Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
Arabia: Sabla
The Battle of Sabla
Jaafer Ben Alba
Translated by J. D. Carlyle

SABLA, thou saw’st the exulting foe,
  In fancied triumph crowned;
Thou heard’st their frantic females throw
  These galling taunts around.
“Make now your choice; the terms we give,        5
  Desponding victims, hear:
These fetters on your hands receive,
  Or in your hearts the spear.”
“And is the conflict o’er,” we cried,
  “And lie we at your feet?        10
And dare you vauntingly decide
  The fortune we must meet?
“A brighter day we soon shall see,
  Though now the prospect lowers,
And conquest, peace, and liberty        15
  Shall yield our future hours.”
The foe advanced: in firm array
  We rushed o’er Sabla’s sands;
And the red sabre marked our way
  Amidst their yielding bands.        20
Then, as they writhed in death’s cold grasp,
  We cried, “Our choice is made:
These hands the sabre’s hilt shall clasp,
  Your hearts shall have the blade.”

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