Gustave Kahn

The Pilgrim From the East

It is a pilgrim coming from the East.
There had been to seek a balmy flower
which planted, in the gardens of Engaddi
designed according to the loveliness
Of Abishag and of the robes her dowry,
Solomon, old Magician with smoked hands
by an eternal prayer to beauty sent.

He journeyed with his staff and cockle-shell,
he slept by sounding waters of cool streams
which under rosy laurels on white pebbles
feign arabesques of silver dragon-flies.
Then, since the mosques from janissaries suffered,
who guarded them with scimitar in hand,
he came in melancholy home again.

He reared his staff against the chimney-stone,
the staff of the long journey,
and watched towards him kindle
the gentle eyes he loved.
And then his staff became a scented stem
flowered with the great white lily he had found not.

Good pilgrim home from the East,
here in thy home is happiness,
and not along the roads with ambush deaf,
And the world is a masquerade,
beside the sweet and delicate face
that by thy hearth-stone smiles.

Submitted: Thursday, November 08, 2012

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