You Do Not Want Me?

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

You do not want me, Zohrah.
Is it because I am maimed?
Yet Tamour-leng was maimed,
Going on crippled feet,
And he conquered the vast of the world.

You do not want me, Zohrah.
Is it because I am maimed?
Yet I have one arm to fight for you,
One arm to crush you to my rough breast,
One arm to break men for you.

It was to shield you from the Khargis
That I drag this stump in the long days.
It has been so with my women;
They would have made you a toy for heat.

After their chief with his axe once swinging
Cut my left arm, that, severed, bloody, and dead,
Yet struggled on the ground trying to guard you,
I have had pain for long in my arm that's lost.

Since the silk nets of your grape-lustrous eyes
Ensnared this heart that did not try to guard,
Ever I have a great pain in my heart that's lost.
You do not want me, Zohrah.

Kazack poem of the Chief Gahuan-Beyg (1850-1885).

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