We who with songs beguile your pilgrimage
And swear that Beauty lives though lilies die,
We Poets of the proud old lineage
Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why, -
I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.
Four great gates has the city of Damascus
And four Great Wardens, on their spears reclining,
All day long stand like tall stone men
I have seen old ships like swans asleep
Beyond the village which men call Tyre,
With leaden age o'ercargoed, dipping deep
For Famagusta and the hidden sun
A Ship, an isle, a sickle moon-
With few but with how splendid stars
The mirrors of the sea are strewn
Between their silver bars!
We are they who come faster than fate:
We are they who ride early or late:
We storm at your ivory gate:
Pale Kings of the Sunset, beware!
How splendid in the morning grows the lily: with what grace he throws
His supplication to the rose: do roses nod the head, Yasmin?
When the words rustle no more,
And the last work's done,
When the bolt lies deep in the door,
And Fire, our Sun,
I walked with Maisie long years back
The streets of Camden Town,
I splendid in my suit of black,
And she divine in brown.
Smile then, children, hand in hand
Bright and white as the summer snow,
Or that young King of the Grecian land,