Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Here you will find the Long Poem Zoheyr of poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt


Woe is me for 'Ommi 'Aufa! Woe for the tents of her
lost on thy stony plain, Durráj, on thine, Mutethéllemi!
In Rákmatéyn I found our dwelling, faint lines how desolate,
tent--markstraced like the vein--tracings blue on the wrists of her.
Large--eyed there the wild--kine pastured, white roes how fearlessly,
leaped, their fawns beside them, startled: I in the midst of them.
Twenty years abroad I wander. Lo, here I stand to--day,
hardly know the remembered places, seek I how painfully.
Here our hearth--stones stand, ay, blackened still with her cooking--pots,
here our tent--trench squarely graven, grooved here our camel--trough.
Love, when my eyes behold thy dwelling, to it I call aloud:
Blessed be thou, O house of pleasure, greeting and joy to thee!

Friend of my soul! Dost thou behold them? Say, are there maidens there,
camel--borne, high in their howdahs, over the Júrthum spring?
Say, are their curtains lined with scarlet, sanguine embroideries,
veiling them from eyes of all men, rose--tinted coverings?
Slantwise up El Subáan they mounted: high--set the pass of it.
With them the new--born morning's beauty, fair--faced and fortunate.
At the blink of dawn they rose and laded. Now, ere the sun is up,
point they far to Wády Ras, straight as hand points to mouth.
Joy! Sweet joy of joys! Fair visions, human in tenderness,
dear to the human eye that truly sees them and understands!
As the scarlet fringe of fénna seed--pods no lip hath browsed upon,
so is the dye of their scarlet wool new--fringing the camping--grounds.
And they came to the watering pool in the red rocks: blue--black the depths of it.
And they planted the tent--poles, straight and fairly, firm for a dwelling--place.
They have left Kanáan on the far right hand: dark--crowned the crest of it.
How many foes in El Kanáan! And friends, too, ah, how many!
But they came to El Subáan in their might, impetuous, beautiful,
they in their howdahs of scarlet wool. O friend, dost thou look on them?

I have sworn by the most illustrious dwelling, shrine of processioners,
house revered of Koréysh and Júrhum, founded in piety.
I have sworn my praise to the two chieftains, men of what hardihood,
prompt todo when need shall call them, light deeds and doughty deeds.
Strove ye well, ye Lords of Mórra, what though the clans of you
long had drwoned in blood their friendship, drowned it in war--clamours.
Ye with Abs and Dóbián that day ye persuaded them,
spite of feud and their death--dealing perfumes of mínshami.
For thus ye spake: Let peace be garnered, all the fair wealth of it,
based onpay and fair exchanges, ours to establish it.
Theirs the peace and yours the glory, high names and dignities,
you the nobletwain prevailing, purging the rage of them.
Lo, in Maád ye stand exalted, ye the high--guided ones.
He who a booty brings of glory, shall he not share in it?
Healing of wounds ye dealed in hundreds, hundreds of debt--camels,
guiltless you for the death--guilty, ending the feud of them.
Tribe and tribe, you paid the ransom, what though the hands of you
clean were of blood and the red shedding, ay, the least cup of it.
Yet ye brought the payment bravely, all your fair heritage,
camels yours by right of plunder, these and your earmarked ones.

Ho! To the oath--bound tribes a greeting: Have ye not sworn to it?
Ay, and to Dóbián a message: Will ye not keep the peace?
For you may not hide from God your dealings, what though in secrecy
deep in your heart of hearts you seal it. Nathless He knoweth it,
Knoweth and taketh note in patience, sure of His reckoning
till the day of the great counting, waiteth or hasteneth.
War! Ye have learned it all, its teachings, well have ye tasted them.
These no tales are that I tell you. Each is a certainty.
A smouldering coal ye flung it lightly, blindly despising it.
Lo, into raging flame it leapeth, wind--lit, destroyeth you.
Ye are ground as corn by Hate's ill--grinding, flat on her grinding--skin.
Nay, a too fruitful camel she. Twins hath she borne to you,
Sinister sons of fear and anger, milk--fed on bitterness;
dark as his, Aád's, their nursing. Lo, she is weaned of them.
And her hand is large to rain you harvests, evil the wealth of them.
No such plenty Irák hath garnered, hell--grain and hate--money.

Ay, by my life, the kin was noble. Yet did it fare with them
ill when they the peace--terms flouted. Démdem's the sin of it,
His, Huséyn's, who held his counsel, hiding the thought in him,
yielding naught and naught revealing, steeled in his stubbornness.
For he thought: My end will I accomplish. No ill shall come to me,
fenced and armed, with might behind me, warriors, horse--riders.
Proud he stood, nor feared the tent--lords, what though Om--Káshami
watched them near, the vulture--mother, eyeing the multi