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HIM best in all the dim Arthuriad,
Of lovers of fair women, him I prize,
The Pagan Palomydes. Never glad
But, unloved ever, still must love the same,
So I, who strove to You I may not earn,
No, I am come too high. Whate'er betide,
To find the doubtful thing that fights with me, Towards the mountain tops I still shall ride, And cry your name in my extremity,
Until the issue come. Will it disclose
No gift of grace, no pity made complete, After much labour done,—much war with woes? Will you deny me still in Heaven, my sweet ;Ah, Death-who knows?
THE MOSQUE OF THE CALIPH
NTO Seyd the vizier spake the Caliph Abdallah:
"Now hearken and hear, I am weary, by Allah! I am faint with the mere over-running of leisure; I will rouse me and rear up a palace to Pleasure!"
To Abdallah the Caliph spake Seyd the vizier : "All faces grow pale if my Lord draweth near; And the breath of his mouth not a mortal shall scoff it ;
They must bend and obey, by the beard of the Prophet!"
Then the Caliph that heard, with becoming sedateness,
Drew his hand down his beard as he thought of his greatness;
Drained out the last bead of the wine in the chalice:
"I have spoken, O Seyd; I will build it, my
THE MOSQUE OF THE CALIPH
"As a drop from the wine where the wine-cup hath spilled it,
As a gem from the mine, O my Seyd, I will build it; Without price, without flaw, it shall stand for a token
That the word is a law which the Caliph hath spoken!"
Yet again to the Caliph bent Seyd the vizier : "Who shall reason or rail if my Lord speaketh clear?
Who shall strive with his might? Let my Lord live for ever!
He shall choose him a site by the side of the river."
Then the Caliph sent forth unto Kür, unto Yemen,
To the South, to the North,-for the skilfullest freemen;
And soon, in a close, where the river breeze fanned it,
The basement uprose, as the Caliph had planned it.
Now the courses were laid and the corner-piece
And the butments and set-stones were shapen and knitted,
When lo! on a sudden the Caliph heard frowning, That the river had swelled, and the workmen were
Then the Caliph was stirred, and he flushed in his
He sent forth his word from Teheran to Shiraz ; And the workmen came new, and the palace, built faster,
From the bases up-grew unto arch and pilaster.
And the groinings were traced, and the arch-heads were chasen,
When lo! in hot haste there came flying a mason, For a cupola fallen had whelmed half the work
And Hamet the chief had been slain by the Turc'
Then the Caliph's beard curled, and he foamed in his rage as
Once more his scouts whirled from the Tell to the Hedjaz;
"Is my word not my word?" cried the Caliph
Though he spoke in his haste like King David before him,
Yet he felt as he spoke that a something stole o'er
And his soul grew as glass, and his anger passed
As the vapours that pass from the Pool of Ma