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his arm,

And show'd a sign in faint vermilion

points Prick'd; as a cunning workman, in

Pekin, Pricks with vermilion some clear porce

lain vase, An emperor's gift--at early morn he

paints, And all day long, and, when night

comes, the lamp Lights up his studious forehead and thin

handsSo delicately prick'd the sign appear'd On Sohrab's arm, the sign of Rustum's

seal. It was that griffin, which of old rear'd

Zal, Rustum's great father, whom they left

to die, A helpless babe, among the mountain

rocks ; Him that kind creature found, and

rear'd, and lovedThen Rustum took it for his glorious

sign. And Sohrab bared that image on his

arm, And himself scann'd it long with mourn

And his head swam, and he sank down

to earth. But Sohrab crawl'd to where he lay, and

cast His arms about his neck, and kiss'd his

lips, And with fond faltering fingers stroked

his cheeks, Trying to call him back to life; and life Came back to Rustum, and he oped his

eyes, And they stood wide with horror; and

; he seized In both his hands the dust which lay

around, And threw it on his head, and smirch'd

his hair,His hair, and face, and beard, and glit

tering arms; And strong convulsive groanings shook

his breast, And his sobs choked him ; and be

clutch'd his sword. To draw it, and for ever let life out. But Sohrab saw his thought, and held

his hands, And with a soothing voice he spake, and

said : “ Father, forbear! for I but meet to

day The doom which at my birth was writ

ten down In Heaven, and thou art Heaven's un

conscious hand. Surely my heart cried out that it was

thou, When first I saw thee; and thy beart

spoke too, I know it! but fate trod those prompt

ings down Under its iron heel ; fate, fate engaged The strife, and hurl'd me on my father's

spear. But let us speak no more of this! I find My father; let me feel that I have

found ! Come, sit beside me on this sand, and

take My head betwixt thy hands, and kiss my

cheeks, And wash them with thy tears, and say:

My son! Quick ! quick! for number'd are my

sands of life, And swift ; for like the lightning to this

field I came, and like the wind I go awaySudden, and swift, and like a passing


ful eyes,

And then he touch'd it with his hand

and said :“How say'st thou? Is that sign the

proper sign Of Rustum's son, or of some other

man 's?He spoke; but Rustum gazed, and

gazed, and stood Speechless ; and then he utter'd one

sharp cry : O boythy father!-and his voice choked there.

[eves, And then a dark cloud pass'd before his


. it was writ in Heaven that this

should be." o said he, and his voice released the

heart Rustum, and his tears broke forth ;

he cast arms round his son's neck, and wept

aloud, d kiss'd him. And awe fell on both

the hosts, en they saw Rustum's grief; and

Ruksh, the horse, th his head bowing to the ground

and mane eeping the dust, came near, and in

mute woe st to the one, then to the other moved head, as if inquiring what their

grief ght mean ; and from his dark, com

passionate eyes, big warm tears roll'd down, and

caked the sand. t Rustum chid him with stern voice,

and said :· Ruksh, now thou grievest ; but, O

Ruksh ; thy feet ould first hare rotted on their nimble

joints. ere they brought thy master to this

field !" But Sohrab look'd upon the horse and

said ;s this, then, Ruksh? How often, in

past days, mother told me of thee, thou brave

steed, terrible father's terrible horse! and

said, at I should one day find thy lord and

thee. me, let me lay my hand upon thy

mane ! Ruksh, thou art more fortunate than I; r thou hast gone where I shall never

go, and snuff'd the breezes of my father's

home, nd thou hast trod the sands of Seis

tan, nd seen the River of Helmund, and the

Lake Zirrah; and the aged Zal himself as often stroked thy neck, and given

thee food, orn in a golden platter soak’d with

wine, nd said : O Ruksh ! bear Rustum well!

-but I

Have never known my grandsire's fur

row'd face, Nor seen his lofty house in Seistan, Nor slaked my thirst at the clear Hel

mund stream; But lodged among my father's foes, and Afrasiab's cities only, Samarcand, Bokhara, and lone Kbiva in the waste, And the black Toorkmun tents; and

only drunk The desert rivers, Moorghab and Tejend, Kohik, and where the Kalmuks feed

their sheep, The northern Sir; and this great Oxus

stream, The yellow Oxus, by whose brink I die.” Then, with a heavy groan, Rustum be

wail'd :“Oh, that its waves were flowing over

me ! Oh, that I saw its grains of yellow silt Roll tumbling in the current o'er my

head!” But, with a grave mild voice, Sohrab

replied :“ Desire not that, my father! thou must

live. For some are born to do great deeds, and

live, As some are born to be obscured, and

die. Do thou the deeds I die too young to do, And reap a second glory in thine age ; Thou art my father, and thy gain is mine. But come! thou seest this great host of Which follow me; I pray thee, slay

not these! Let me entreat for them ; what have

they done ? They follow'd me, my hope, my fame,


my star,

Let them all cross the Oxus back in

peace. But me thou must bear hence, not send

with them, But carry me with thee to Seistan, And place me on a beil, and mourn for

me, Thou, and the snow-haird Zal, and all

thy friends. And thou must lay me in that lovely

earth, And heap a stately mound above my

bones, And plant a far-seen pillar over all. That so the passing horseman on the May see my tomb a great way off, and


cry: Sohrab. the mighty Rustum's son, lies

there, W'hom his great father did in ignorance

kill! And I be not forgotten in my grave.” And, with a mournful voice, Rustum

replied :“ Fear not, as thou hast said, Sohrab,

my son, So shall it be; for I will burn my tents, Aud quit the host, and bear thee hence

with me, And carry thee away to Seistan, And place thee on a bed, and mourn for

thee, With the snow-headed Zal, and all my

friends, And I will lay thee in that lovely earth, And heap a stately mound above thy

bones, And plant a far-seen pillar over all, And men shall not forget thee in thy

grave. And I will spare thy host; yea, let

them go! Let them all cross the Oxus back in

peace !

What should I do with slaying any

more? For would that all that I have ever

slain Might be once more alive; my bitterest

foes, And they who were call'd champions in

their time, And through whose death I won that

fame I haveAnd I were nothing but a common man, A poor, mean soldier, and without re

nown, So thou mightest live too, my son, my

son ! Or rather would that I, even I myself, Might now be lying on this bloody sand, Near death, and by an ignorant stroke

of thine, Not thou of mine! and I might die, not

thou; And I, not thou, be borne to Seistan ; And Zal might weep above my grave,

not thine ; And say : 0) son I weep thee not too sore, For willingly, I know, thou met'st thine

end! But now in blood and battles was my

youth, And full of blood and battles is my age,

And I shall never end this life of blood." Then, at the point of death, Sohrab

replied : · A life of blood indeed, thou dreadful

man ! But thou shalt yet have peace; only not

now, Not yet! but thou shalt have it on that

day, When thou shalt sail in a high-masted

ship, Thou and the other peers of Kai Khos

roo, Returning home over the salt blue sea. From laying thy dear master in his

grave. And Rustum gazed in Sohrab's face,

and said :“Soon be that day, my son, and deep

that sea ! Till then, if fate so wills, let me endure." He spoke ; and Sohrab smiled on him,

and took The spear, and drew it from his side, and

eased His wound's imperious anguish ; but the

blood Came welling from the open gash, and

life Flow'd with the stream ;-all down his

cold white side The crimson torrent ran, dim now and

soil'd, Like the soil'd tissue of white violets Left, freshly gather'd, on the native

bank, By children whom their nurses call with

haste Indoors from the sun's eye; his lead

droop'd low, His limbs grew slack; motionless, white,

he layWhite, with eyes closed ; only when

heavy gasps, Deep heavy gasps quivering through all

his frame, Convulsed him back to life, he open it

them, And fix'd them feebly on his father's

face ; Till now all strength was ebb'd, ami

from his limbs, Unwillingly the spirit fled away, Regretting the warm mansion which

left, And youth, and bloom, and this delight

ful world. So, on the bloody sand, Sohral, by


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is those black granite pillars, once

high-rear'd By Jemshid in Persepolis, to bear His house, now 'inid their broken flights

of steps Lie prone, enormous, down the moun

tain sideSo in the sand lay Rustum by his son. And night came down over the sol

emn waste, And the two gazing hosts, and that sole

pair, And darken'd all; and a cold fog, with

night, Crept froin the Oxus. Soon a hum

arose, As of a great assembly loosed, and fires Began to twinkle through the fog ; for

PHILOMELA HARK! ah, the nightingaleThe tawny-throated ! Hark, from that moonlit cedar what a

burst! What triumph! hark !-what pain ! O wanderer from a Grecian shore, Still, after many years, in distant lands, Still nourishing in thy bewilder'd brain That wild, unquench'd, deep-sunken,

old-world pain-Say, will it never heal ? And can this fragrant lawn With its cool trees, and night, And the sweet, tranquil Thames, And moonshine, and the dew, To thy rack'd heart and brain Afford no balm ? Dost thou to-night behold. Here, through the moonlight on this

English grass, The unfriendly palace in the Thracian

wild ? Dost thou again peruse With hot cheeks and sear'd eyes The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's

shame? Dost thou once more assay Thy flight, and feel come over thee, Poor fugitive, the feathery change Once more, and once more seem to make

resound With love and hate, triumph and agony, Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian

vale ? Listen. EugeniaHow thick the bursts come crowding

through the leaves !
Again-thou hearest ?
Eternal passion!
Eternal pain !



Both armies moved to camp, and took

their meal ; The Persians took it on the open sands Soutlıward, the Tartars by the river

marge ; And Rustum and his son were left alone.

But the majestic river floated on, Out of the mist and hum of that low

land, Into the frosty starlight, and there

moved, Rejoicing, through the hush'd Choras

mian waste, Under the solitary moon ;-he flow'd Right for the polar star, past Orgunje, Brimming, and bright, and large; then

sands began To hem bis watery march, and dam his

streams, And split his currents ; that for many a

league The shorn and parcell'd Oxus strains

along Through beds of sand and matted rushy

islesOxus, forgetting the bright speed he had In his high mountain-cradle in Pamere, A foil'd circuitous wanderer--till at last The long'd-for dash of waves is heard,

and wide His luminous home of waters opens,

bright And tranquil, from whose floor the new

bathed stars Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.



Go, for they call you, shepherd, from the

hill: Go, shepherd, and untie the wattled

cotes ! No longer leave thy wistful flock un

fed, Nor let thy bawling fellows rack their

throats, Nor the cropp'd herbage shoot another


But when the fields are still, Aud the tired men and dogs all gone to And only the white sheep are some


times seen Cross and recross the strips of moon

blanch'd green, Come, shepherd, and again begin the


And came, as most men deem’d, tolit

tle good. But came to Oxford and his friends no


Here, where the reaper was at work of

late-In this high field's dark corner, where he

leaves His coat, his basket, and his earthen

cruse, And in the sun all morning binds the

sheaves, Then here, at noon, comes back his

stores to use

Here will I sit and wait, While to my ear from uplands far away The bleating of the folded flocks is

borne, With distant cries of reapers in the

But once, years after, in the country.

lanes, Two scholars, whom at college erst he

knew, Met him, and of his way of life en

quired ; Whereat he answer'd, that the gipsy

crew, His mates, had arts to rule as they de


The workings of men's brains, And they can bind them to what thoughts

they will. * And I,” he said, “the secret of their

art, When fully learn’d, will to the worlil

impart ; But it needs heaven-sent moments for

this skill."


All the live murmur of a summer's day.

Screen'd is this nook o'er the high, half

reap'd field, And bere till sun-down, shepherd ! will

I be.
Through the thick corn the scarlet

poppies peep, And round green roots and yellowing

stalks I see Pale pink convolvulus in tendrils


And air-swept lindens yield Their scent, and rustle down their per

fumed showers Of bloom on the bent grass where I am

laid, And bower me from the August sun

with shade ; And the eye travels down to Oxford's


This said, he left them, and return d no

more.-But rumors hung about the country.

side, That the lost Scholar long was seen to

stray, Seen by rare glimpses, pensive and

tongue-tied. In hat of antique shape, and cloak of


The same the gipsies wore. Shepherds bad met him on the Hurst in

spring; At some lone alehouse in the Berk

shire moors, On the warm ingle-bench, the smoch.

frock'd boors Had found him seated at their entering,

And near me on the grass lies Glanvil's

bookCome, let me read the oft-read tale

again! The story of the Oxford scholar poor, Of pregnant parts and quick inventive

brain, Who, tired of knocking at prefer

ment's door,

One summer-morn forsook His friends, and went to learn the gipsy

lore. And roam'd the world with that wild


But, 'mid their drink and clatter, he

would fly. And I myself seem hialf to know tliy

looks, And put the shepherds, wanderer! on

thy trace; And boys who in lone wheatfields scare

the rooks I ask if thou hast pass'd their quiet


Or in my boat I lie Moor'd to the cool bank in the summer

heats. 'Mid wide grass meadows which the

sunshine fills,

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