Ballade Of Ajam The Washerman

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

Come to me to-day wearing your green collar,
Make your two orange sleeves float in the air, and come to me.
Touch your hair with essence and colour your clothes yellow;
The deer of reason has fled from the hill of my heart;
Come to me.

The deer of reason has fled from the hill of my heart
Because I have seen your gold rings and your amber rings;
Your eyes have lighted a small fire below my heart,
Put on your gold rings and your amber rings, and come to me.

Put on your gold rings and your amber rings, and you will be more beautiful
Than the brown girls of poets and the milk-white wives of kings.
The coil of your hair is like a hangman's rope;
But press me to your green collar between your orange sleeves.

Press me to your green collar between your orange sleeves,
And give yourself once to Ajam. Slip away weeping,
Slip weeping away from the house of the wicked, and come to me.
Come to me to-day wearing your green collar,
Make your two orange sleeves float in the air and come to me.

From the Pus'hto (Afghans).

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