Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Songs, Hymns, and Lyrics
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Songs, Hymns, and Lyrics.
 
Poems from Oriental Languages
The Time of the Barmecides
Author Unknown
 
(Arabian—Fourteenth Century)

Translation in Dublin University Magazine

“MY eyes are filmed, my beard is gray,
  I am bowed with the weight of years:
I would I were stretched in my bed of clay,
  With my long-lost youth’s compeers!
For back to the Past, though the thought brings woe,        5
        My memory ever glides,—
      To the old, old time, long, long ago—
        The Time of the Barmecides! 1
      To the old, old time, long, long ago—
        The Time of the Barmecides.        10
 
Then youth was mine, and a fierce wild will,
  And an iron arm in war,
And a fleet foot high upon Ishkar’s hill
  When the watch-lights glimmered afar,
And a barb as fiery as any I know        15
  That Khoord or Bedaween rides,
Ere my friends lay low—long, long ago,
  In the Time of the Barmecides,
Ere my friends lay low—long, long ago,
  In the Time of the Barmecides.        20
 
One golden djam 2 illumed my board,
  One silver zhaun 3 was there;
At hand my tried Karamanian sword
  Lay always bright and bare:
For those were days when the angry blow        25
  Supplanted the word that chides,—
When hearts could glow—long, long ago,
  In the Time of the Barmecides,
When hearts could glow—long, long ago,
  In the Time of the Barmecides.        30
 
Through city and desert my mates and I
  Were free to rove and roam,
Our canopy the deep of the sky,
  Or the roof of the palace-dome;—
Oh, ours was that vivid life to and fro        35
  Which only Sloth derides:
Men spent life so, long, long ago,
  In the Time of the Barmecides;
Men spent life so, long, long ago,
  In the Time of the Barmecides.        40
 
I see rich Bagdad once agen,
  With its turrets of Moorish mold,
And the Khalif’s twice five hundred men, 4
  Whose binishes 5 flamed with gold;
I call up many a gorgeous show        45
  Which the pall of oblivion hides,—
All passed like snow, long, long ago,
  With the Time of the Barmecides;
All passed like snow, long, long ago,
  With the Time of the Barmecides!        50
 
But mine eye is dim, and my beard is gray,
  And I bend with the weight of years:
May I soon go down to the House of Clay
  Where slumber my youth’s compeers!
For with them and the Past, though the thought wakes woe,        55
  My memory ever abides,
And I mourn for the times gone long ago,
  For the Times of the Barmecides!
I mourn for the times gone long ago,
  For the Times of the Barmecides!        60
 
Note 1. The Baramekee, or Barmecides, were the most illustrious of the Arabian nobles for hospitality, intelligence, and valor. Their downfall, by means of court intrigues, occurred in the reign of the great Haroun al-Rashid, about the beginning of the ninth century. [back]
Note 2. Goblet. [back]
Note 3. Dish. [back]
Note 4. His body-guard. [back]
Note 5. Cavalry cloaks. [back]
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.