That day on which she pensive stray'd
Amidst the Grove of Palms—that day
How sweetly bloom'd the Arab maid,
Girt by her train in fair array!
Her moist red lips, her teeth of pearl,
Her hair in many a witching curl;
Haply, on that devoted day,
A gallant youth, with followers gay,
In splendid fashion pass'd that way;
Who saw that lamp of beauty gleaming,
Her luscious eye with softness beaming;
And in his bosom rose the fire
Of still-increasing fond desire.
Resolved at once her hand to claim
(Ibn Salam his honor'd name),
He from her parents seeks success,
Offering the nuptial-knot to tie;
And, to promote that happiness,
Scatters his gold abundantly,
As if it were but common earth,
Or sand, or water, little worth–
But he was of illustrious birth.
The parents scarce believed the word,
The marriage-union, thus preferr'd;
And, though consenting, still they pray'd
The nuptial morn might be delay'd:
In her no ripen'd bloom was seen,
The sweet pomegranate still was green;
But a future day should surely deck;
With a bridal yoke her spotless neck;
“We will then surrender the maiden to thee,
The maiden, till now, unaffianced and free!”
The promise soothes his eager heart,
And he and his followers, pleased, depart.