Poems by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

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Who does not feel desire unending
Since, Oh, Beloved, you are not even faithful
She was fair as a Passion-flower,
Out I came from the dancing-place:
Deep in the jungle vast and dim,
The tremulous morning is breaking
We have left Gul Kach behind us,
I, who of lighter love wrote many a verse,
She is glad to receive your turquoise ring,
Oh, come, Beloved, before my beauty fades,
Who says I wrong thee, my half-opened rose?
Death and Famine on every side
Far in the Further East the skilful craftsman
Farewell, Aziz, it was not mine to fold you
Just as the dawn of Love was breaking
The rice-birds fly so white, so silver white,
The evening sky was as green as Jade,
I see your red-gold hair and know
Oh Amber Eyes, oh Golden Eyes!
On the wooden deck of the wooden Junk, silent, alone, we lie,
Along the hot and endless road,
I arise and go down to the River, and currents that come from the sea,
Although my life, which thou hast scarred and shaken,
The fields are full of Poppies, and the skies are very blue,
Pale hands I love beside the Shalimar,
You never loved me, and yet to save me,
The fires that burn on all the hills
(Translation by Moolchand)
At Kotri, by the river, when the evening's sun is low,
Why above others was I so blessed
"This is no time for saying 'no'"
Less than the dust, beneath thy Chariot wheel,
This passion is but an ember
Listen, Beloved, the Casurinas quiver,
After the Hazara War
There were Roses in the hedges, and Sunshine in the sky,
Oh, Silver Stars that shine on what I love,
He lurks among the reeds, beside the marsh,
The Stars await, serene and white,
How I loved you in your sleep,
The sins of Youth are hardly sins,
Fate has given me many a gift
My paramour was loneliness
Nay, not to-night; - the slow, sad rain is falling
As those who eat a Luscious Fruit, sunbaked,
Oh, unforgotten and only lover,
I am waiting in the desert, looking out towards the sunset,
Oh, youthful bearer of my palanquin,
Upon the City Ramparts, lit up by sunset gleam,
Love, let me thank you for this!
You are all that is lovely and light,
Alas! alas! this wasted Night
I shall never forget you, never. Never escape
Give me your self one hour; I do not crave
The Desert is parched in the burning sun
Softly the feathery Palm-trees fade in the violet Distance,
Alone, I wait, till her twilight gate
His back is bent and his lips are blue,
A little breeze blew over the sea,
Against the planks of the cabin side,
How much I loved that way you had
Throb, throb, throb,
This was the tale Sher Afzul told to me,
(While the procession passed at Ramesram)
"Is it safe to lie so lonely when the summer twilight closes
Just at the time when Jasmins bloom, most sweetly in the summer weather,
Had I been young I could have claimed to fold thee
As one may sip a Stranger's Bowl
Now is the season of my youth,
Dear is my inlaid sword; across the Border
There is one God: Mahomed his Prophet. Had I his power
Heart, my heart, thou hast found thy home!
Beauty, the Gift of Gifts, I give to thee.
O beautiful Stars, when you see me go
He loved the Plant with a keen delight,
They lay the slender body down
"And when the Summer Heat is great,
Oh, straight, white road that runs to meet,
Drifting, drifting down the River,
My life was like an Aloe flower, beneath an orient sky,
Beat on the Tom-toms, and scatter the flowers,
"The Atlas summits were veiled in purple gloom,
The sun was hot on the tamarind trees,
There are no days for me any more, for the dawn is dark with tears,
As o'er the vessel's side she leant,
Ah, my lord, are the tidings true,
The Desert sands are heated, parched and dreary,
The daylight is dying,
Dear little Hut by the rice-fields circled,
Ah, the cool silence of the shaded hours,
Ah, what hast thou done with that Lover of mine?
Oh, Masters, you who rule the world,
I cast the Net of Memory,
How one loves them
I was sold to the Rao of Ilore,
This man has taken my Husband's life
The Rice was under water, and the land was scourged with rain,
I slept upon the Rice-boat
The singer only sang the Joy of Life,
Whether I loved you who shall say?
You will be mine; those lightly dancing feet,
Dost thou hear the tom-toms throbbing,
Sad is the Evening: all the level sand
The listless Palm-trees catch the breeze above
To-night the clouds hang very low,
I hate this City, seated on the Plain,
Talk not, my Lord, of unrequited love,
If some day this body of mine were burned
The tropic day's redundant charms
When I am dying, lean over me tenderly, softly,
Thou hast no wealth, nor any pride of power,
'T is eight miles out and eight miles in,
Oh, that my blood were water, thou athirst,
I would have taken Golden Stars from the sky for your necklace,
Beloved! your hair was golden
Something compels me, somewhere. Yet I see
Do you ever think of me? you who died
Waters glisten and sunbeams quiver,
The Temple bells are ringing,
Ah, Wind, I have always loved thee
When first I loved, I gave my very soul
You are my God, and I would fain adore You
Just in the hush before dawn
Only in August my heart was aflame,
Was it worth while to forego our wings
Ay, thou has found thy kingdom, Yasin Khan,
At night, when Passion's ebbing tide
I am not sure if I knew the truth
Love me a little, Lord, or let me go,