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RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.

21

II.

Anight my shallop, rustling thro'
The low and bloomed foliage, drove
The fragrant, glistening deeps, and clove
The citron-shadows in the blue :
By garden porches on the brim,
The costly doors flung open wide,
Gold glittering through lamplight dim,
And broider'd sophas on each side :

In sooth it was a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

III.

Often, where clear-stemm'd platans guard
The outlet, did I turn away
The boat-head down a broad canal
From the main river sluiced, where all
The sloping of the moon-lit sward
Was damask-work, and deep inlay

Of braided blooms unmown,

which

crept Adown to where the waters slept.

A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid !

IV.

A motion from the river won

Ridged the smooth level, bearing on
My shallop through the star-strown calm,
Until another night in night
I enter'd, from the clearer light,
Imbower'd vaults of pillar'd palm,
Imprisoning sweets, which, as they clomb
Heavenward, were stay'd beneath the dome

Of hollow boughs. — A goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid !

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From the green rivage many a fall
Of diamond rillets musical,
Thro' little crystal arches low

Down to the central fountain's flow

Fall'n silver-chiming, seem'd to shake
The sparkling flints beneath the prow.

A goodly place a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid !

VI.

Above thro' many a bowery turn
A walk with vary-colour'd shells
Wander'd engrain'd. On either side
All round about the fragrant marge,
From fluted vase, and brazen urn
In order, eastern flowers large,
Some dropping low their crimson bells
Half-closed, and others studded wide

With disks and tiars, fed the time
With odour in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

VII.

Far off, and where the lemon-grove

In closest coverture upsprung,

The living airs of middle night
Died round the bulbul as he sung ;
Not he: but something which possess'd
The darkness of the world, delight,
Life, anguish, death, immortal love,
Ceasing not, mingled, unrepress'd,

Apart from place, withholding time,
But flattering in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

VIII.

Black the garden-bowers and grots
Slumber'd: the solemn palms were ranged
Above, unwoo'd of summer wind :
A sudden splendour from behind
Flush'd all the leaves with rich gold-green,
And, flowing rapidly between

Their interspaces, counterchanged
The level lake with diamond-plots
Of dark and bright. A lovely time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid !

IX.

Dark-blue the deep sphere overhead,
Distinct with vivid stars inlaid,

Grew darker from that under-flame :

So, leaping lightly from the boat,
With silver anchor left afloat,
In marvel whence that glory came
Upon me, as in sleep I sank
In cool soft turf upon the bank,

Entranced with that place and time,
So worthy of the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

X.

Thence thro’ the garden I was drawnA realm of pleasance, many a mound, And many a shadow-chequer'd lawn Full of the city's stilly sound.

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