Oriental Romance, by Madison Cawein

I

  Beyond lost seas of summer she
  Dwelt on an island of the sea,
  Last scion of that dynasty,
  Queen of a race forgotten long.—
  With eyes of light and lips of song,
  From seaward groves of blowing lemon,
  She called me in her native tongue,
  Low-leaned on some rich robe of Yemen.

II

  I was a king. Three moons we drove
  Across green gulfs, the crimson clove
  And cassia spiced, to claim her love.
  Packed was my barque with gums and gold;
  Rich fabrics; sandalwood, grown old
  With odor; gems; and pearls of Oman,—
  Than her white breasts less white and cold;—
  And myrrh, less fragrant than this woman.

III

  From Bassora I came. We saw
  Her eagle castle on a claw
  Of soaring precipice, o'erawe
  The surge and thunder of the spray.
  Like some great opal, far away
  It shone, with battlement and spire,
  Wherefrom, with wild aroma, day
  Blew splintered lights of sapphirine fire.

IV

  Lamenting caverns dark, that keep
  Sonorous echoes of the deep,
  Led upward to her castle steep….
  Fair as the moon, whose light is shed
  In Ramadan, was she, who led
  My love unto her island bowers,
  To find her…. lying young and dead
  Among her maidens and her flowers.