Feroza

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

The evening sky was as green as Jade,
As Emerald turf by Lotus lake,
Behind the Kafila far she strayed,
(The Pearls are lost if the Necklace break!)

A lingering freshness touched the air
From palm-trees, clustered around a Spring,
The great, grim Desert lay vast and bare,
But Youth is ever a careless thing.

The Raiders threw her upon the sand,
Men of the Wilderness know no laws,
They tore the Amethysts off her hand,
And rent the folds of her veiling gauze.

They struck the lips that they might have kissed,
Pitiless they to her pain and fear,
And wrenched the gold from her broken wrist,
No use to cry; there were none to hear.

Her scarlet mouth and her onyx eyes,
Her braided hair in its silken sheen,
Were surely meet for a Lover's prize,
But Fate dissented, and stepped between.

Across the Zenith the vultures fly,
Cruel of beak and heavy of wing.
Thus it was written that she should die.
Inshallah! Death is a transient thing.

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