Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: IV. Ingenuities: Oddities
A Threnody
George Thomas Lanigan (1845–1886)
“The Ahkoond of Swat is dead.”—London Papers.

  WHAT, what, what,
What ’s the news from Swat?
    Sad news,
    Bad news,
Comes by the cable led        5
Through the Indian Ocean’s bed,
Through the Persian Gulf, the Red
Sea and the Med-
Iterranean—he ’s dead;
The Ahkoond is dead!        10
For the Ahkoond I mourn.
    Who wouldn’t?
He strove to disregard the message stern,
    But he Ahkoodn’t.
Dead, dead, dead;        15
      (Sorrow Swats!)
  Swats wha hae wi’ Ahkoond bled,
Swats whom he had often led
  Onward to a gory bed,
    Or to victory,        20
    As the case might be,
      Sorrow Swats!
Tears shed,
    Shed tears like water,
Your great Ahkoond is dead!        25
    That Swats the matter!
Mourn, city of Swat!
Your great Ahkoond is not,
But lain ’mid worms to rot.
His mortal part alone, his soul was caught        30
  (Because he was a good Ahkoond)
  Up to the bosom of Mahound.
Though earthy walls his frame surround
(Forever hallowed be the ground!)
And sceptics mock the lowly mound        35
And say “He ’s now of no Ahkoond!”
  His soul is in the skies,—
The azure skies that bend above his loved
    Metropolis of Swat.
  He sees with larger, other eyes,        40
  Athwart all earthly mysteries—
    He knows what ’s Swat.
Let Swat bury the great Ahkoond
With a noise of mourning and
    of lamentation!        45
Let Swat bury the great Ahkoond
  With the noise of the mourning
    of the Swattish nation!
    Fallen is at length
    Its tower of strength,        50
  Its sun is dimmed ere it had nooned;
  Dead lies the great Ahkoond,
    The great Ahkoond of Swat
    Is not!

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