I am a Nomad, a Fanatic Tramp,
Life has no ties for such an idle scamp;
Aimless by day I wander, and at night
A Stone’s my pillow, and the Moon my lamp.
By day and night the Desert is my home,
My Tent the friendly Heavens’ spreading Dome,
Nor pain nor fever rack me, but I know
That night and day I sorrow as I roam.
The Roses bloom upon the breast of Spring,
From every bough a thousand Bulbuls sing,
But Earth contains no Pleasure-ground for me,
A Burning Heart to every joy I bring.
Thy pictured Beauty, Love, ne’er leaves my Heart,
Thy downy cheek becomes of me a part,
Tightly I’ll close mine eyes, O Love, that so
My Life, before thine Image, shall depart.
Out hunting, when a Falcon, once I went;
Sudden an Arrow through my wing was sent.
Be warned, O heedless Wanderer! by me,
Against the Height the strongest Bows are bent.
Without Thee in the Garden, Lord, I know
The sweetly-perfumed Roses cannot grow,
Nor Tears of Grief, although the Lips should smile,
Be washed away in Joy’s bright overflow.
I am beset by cruel Tyranny,
My heart remembers all mine Eyes must see,
I’ll fashion, straight, a pointed sword of steel,
Put out mine Eyes, and set my poor Heart free.
O thou who dost possess no less, no more,
Of Heavenly Knowledge than of Tavern-lore,
And that is—Nothing! Oh, canst thou expect
Aught from a World thou never wouldst explore?
A Lion or a Tiger thou mightst be,
Ever, O Heart, O Heart, at War with me;
Fall but into my hands, I’ll spill thy Blood,
That I may then know what to make of thee.
Love, since my Day, by reason of thy Flight
Is all so dark, O come, illume my Night;
By those fair Curves that are thy Brows, I swear
Grief only shares my bed in my despite.
Prince! through my Heart I am Affliction’s prey,
It is the same all night and all the day,
I often grieve that I should grieve so much;—
O Someone take my graceless Heart away!
O Love, in purple thou dost bid me go,
Grief, like an extra garment, weights me low,
Yet will I boast thee as Dawn boasts the Sun,
Till Israfil the Final Trump shall blow.
I am the Phoenix, of such great Renown
The beating of my Wings inflames the town:
If one should paint me on a house-wall, why,
That luckless house would straightway be burned down.
That phrase, “Yes, He is God,” it troubles me,
My Sins are like the Leaves upon a Tree;
Oh, when the Readers read the Book of Doom,
What must my shame, with such a Record, be!
Alas, how long, then, must I sorrow so?
Bereft of all, my Tears unceasing flow;
Turned from each Threshold I will turn to Thee,
And if Thou fail’st me, whither shall I go?
Strung with thy Hair, O Love, my Rebāb gleams;
How far from thee my Degradation seems!
Thou lov’st me not, and wouldst not be my Love,
Then wherefore comest thou to me in Dreams?
Com’st thou? My Welcome thou shalt not contemn;
Come not, and who my bitter Grief shall stem?
Give them to me, and of thy Woes I’ll die
Or be consumed, or I’ll put up with them.
A Moment’s space to seek my Love I ran,—
Hurry not so, for God’s sake, Camel-man!—
She holds my Heart a Prisoner, and through Love,
I’m but a Laggard in Life’s Caravan.