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- Now the third and fatal conflict for the Persian throne was done,
- And the Moslem's fiery valor had the crowning victory won.
- Harmosan, the last and boldest the invader to defy,
- Captive overborne by numbers, they were bringing forth to die.
- Then exclaimed the noble captive: "Lo! I perish in my thirst;
- Give me but one drink of water, and let then arrive the worst!"
- In his hand he took the goblet, but awhle the draught forbore,
- Seeming doubtully the purpose of the foemen to explore.
- Well might then have paused the bravest -- for around him angry foes
- With a hedge of naked weapons did that lonely man enclose.
- "But what fear'st thou?" cried the caliph; -- "is it, friend, a
- Fear it not! -- our gallant Moslem no such treacherous dealing know.
- "Thou mayst quench thy thirst securely, for thou shalt not die
- Thou hast drunk that cup of water -- this reprieve is thine -- no
- Quick the satrap dashed the goblet down to earth with ready hand,
- And the liquid sand for ever, lost amid the burning sand.
- "Thou hast said that mine my life is, till the water of that cup
- I have drained; then bid thy servants that spilled water gather up!"
- For a moment stood the calph as by doubtful passions stirred --
- Then exclaimed: "For ever sacred must remain a monarch's word.
- "Bring another cup, and straightway to the noble Persian give:
- Drink, I said before, and perish -- now I bid thee drink and live!"
- Richard Chenevix Trench
- Lord, what a change within us one short hour
- Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make --
- What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
- What parchèd grounds refresh, as with a shower!
- We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
- We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
- Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
- We kneel how weak, we rise how full of power!
- Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,
- Or others -- that we are not always strong;
- That we are ever overborne with care;
- That we should ever weak or heartless be,
- Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
- And joy, and strength, and courage, are with Thee?
- A garden so well watered before morn
- Is hotly up, that not the swart sun's blaze
- Down beating with unmitigated rays,
- Nor arid winds from scorching places borne,
- Shall quite prevail to make it bare and shorn
- Of its green beauty -- shall not quite prevail
- That all its morning freshness shall exhale,
- Till evening and the evening dews return --
- A blessing such as this our hearts might reap,
- The freshness of the garden they might share,
- Through the long day a heavenly freshness keep,
- If, knowing how the day and day's glare
- Must beat upon them, we would largely steep
- And water them betimes with dews of prayer.
- When hearts are full of yearning tenderness,
- For the loved absent, whom we can not reach --
- By deed or token, gesture or kind speech,
- The spirit's true affection to express;
- When hearts are full of innermost distress,
- And we are doomed to stand inactive by,
- Watching the soul's or body's agony,
- Which human effort helps not to make less --
- Then like a cup capacious to contain
- The overflowings of the heart, is prayer:
- The longing of the souls is satisfied,
- The keenest darts of anguish blunted are;
- And, though we can not cease to yearn or grieve,
- Yet we have learned in patience to abide.
- Richard Chenevix Trench
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