Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Persian Songs
By Frederic S. Hill

BEFORE the winning breeze could steal
  Morn’s sprinkled pearl-drops from this rose,
I cull’d it, that it might reveal
  The tale my lips dare not disclose.
Its leaves of virgin tenderness,        5
  Where I have press’d a kiss for thee,—
Its blush of maiden bashfulness,—
  Both tell of love and secrecy.
For they have bound my flowing curls,
  And told me, that ere eve’s mild hour,        10
They ’ll deck me with their gems and pearls,
  To shine the queen of Irad’s bower.
But I will toil and tempest brave,
  And roam the desert at thy side,
And kiss thy feet, and live thy slave,        15
  Rather than be proud Irad’s bride.

THOU bright one!—let thy lover calm
  The breast that heaves such throbbing sighs,
And still thy quivering lips, whose balm
  Is like the breath of Paradise.        20
For, by thy token-flower, that brought
  The seal thy crimson lips impress’d,—
By these thin leaves, with sweetness fraught,
  Like shrines where spikenard blossoms rest;—
By thy pure eyes, whose diamond glow        25
  Steals through their lashes timidly;
By thy dark locks, that loosely flow,
  In glossy curls, luxuriantly;—
And by that bosom’s snowy light,
  Which ’neath the veil swells half-conceal’d—        30
As oft through clouds of fleecy white
  A heaven of beauty is reveal’d;—
By these, and by my blade, I swear,
  That little blue-vein’d foot of thine
Shall never tread the soft couch, where        35
  The silken tents of Irad shine.
But thou thy Kosru’s bride shalt be,
  And seek, with him, rich Cashmir’s vale;
There, thou shalt wander, wild and free
  As the young fawn, o’er hill and dale.        40
There, like the notes of Eden’s bowers, 1
  Thy strains shall listless time beguile;
There I will gaily pass the hours,
  In the clear sunshine of thy smile.
Note 1. Mahomet in speaking of the sweetness of the Persian dialect used in his day said that it would be the language of Paradise. [back]

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