Faded and pale their beauty, vanished their early bloom,
Their folded leaves emit alone a sweet though faint perfume,
But, oh! than brightest bud or flower to me are they more dear,
They come from that rose-haunted land, the bright Vale of Cashmere.
Cashmere! a spell is in that name! what dreams its sound awakes
Of roses sweet as Eden's flowers, of minarets and lakes,
Of scenes as vaguely, strangely bright as those of fairy land,
Springing to life and loveliness 'neath some enchanter's wand!
Cashmere! poetic in its name, its clear and brilliant skies
That seem to clothe earth, flower and wave in their own lovely dyes;
Poetic in its legend lore, and spell more dear than all,
Enshrined in poet's inmost heart, the home of "Nourmahal."*
Yes, there oft fell her fairy feet, there shone the glances bright,
That won for her the glorious name of harem's queen and light;
There, as she wandered 'mid its bowers, her royal love beside,
She taught him to forget all else save her, his beauteous, bride.
Cashmere! what would this heart not give to see thy favored earth,
So rich in nature's peerless gifts, in beauty's dazzling worth,
Rich in a name that in mine ear from childhood's hour hath rung,
The land of which impassioned Moore with such sweet power hath sung.
Yet, were I there, oh! well I know the time would surely come
When my yearning heart would turn again to my far Canadian home,
Longing to look once more upon its wintry wastes of snow,
And the friends whose hearts throb like mine own, with friendship's changeless glow.