Fast bound am I, as are thy tresses long,
And bent am I, as bend thy brows so fair;
Low to the earth I fall, as falls thy hair,
And clasp thy feet, as thy small sandals’ thong.
The lurking dimple that divides thy chin
Holds greater peril than the deep ravine;
Thine eyes are wells, o’er which I dared to lean,
And now, alas! my heart hath fallen in!
Or shall I say, this day I pawned my soul,
And thy coy mole was witness to the deed?
Or, is thy chin an apple, and its seed
This same bewitching, all-enticing mole?
Behold my sword from out its scabbard cried:
‘Am I to be forgotten for a maid?
Must I, the flawless one, the faultless blade,
Within this sheath of rust and shame abide?’
O faithful one, with thee true faith I’ll keep,
To thee I’ll turn my songs for evermore;
Of Life and Death thou knowest all the lore,
Of Life’s warm essence thou shalt soon drink deep.
As a strong swimmer dives into the sea,
Deep down and sure in his exultant strength,
Thy naked steel doth plunge its shining length
Into the heart of thy sought enemy.
O sword! thou art the blade that moweth men
As men mow down the shrinking blades of grass;
A flash of lightning through the air doth pass,
And, lo! the flowers of blood bloom forth again.
O sword! when in my hand I grasp thy hilt,
The fountain-head of victory is mine;
For conquest flows along thy steel like wine—
Red wine of conquest that thy strength hath spilt.
Behold! the curving sea-beach envies thee,
O scimitar, inlaid with golden signs;
The waters envy thee, who, flashing, shines
Brighter than sunlight on the rippled sea.
O sword! thou art the very fang of Death!
Thy rubies are his eyes ablaze and red,
Thy pearls the tears the fatherless have shed,
Thy scent of drying blood his battle breath.