James Elroy Flecker

The Golden Journey To Samarkand

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, -

What shall we tell you? Tales, marvellous tales
Of ships and stars and isles where good men rest,
Where nevermore the rose of sunset pales,
And winds and shadows fall towards the West:

And there the world's first huge white-bearded kings
In dim glades sleeping, murmur in their sleep,
And closer round their breasts the ivy clings,
Cutting its pathway slow and red and deep.

And how beguile you? Death has no repose
Warmer and deeper than the Orient sand
Which hides the beauty and bright faith of those
Who make the Golden Journey to Samarkand.

And now they wait and whiten peaceably,
Those conquerors, those poets, those so fair:
They know time comes, not only you and I,
But the whole world shall whiten, here or there;

When those long caravans that cross the plain
With dauntless feet and sound of silver bells
Put forth no more for glory or for gain,
Take no more solace from the palm-girt wells.

When the great markets by the sea shut fast
All that calm Sunday that goes on and on:
When even lovers find their peace at last,
And Earth is but a star, that once had shone.

Poem Submitted: Sunday, March 16, 2003
Poem Edited: Monday, March 17, 2003

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Comments about The Golden Journey To Samarkand by James Elroy Flecker

  • RITA mccormick (6/28/2018 4:42:00 AM)

    Where comes we travel not for trafficking alone by hotter fires are Xxxxx fanned
    For want of knowing what should not be known
    We take the golden road to Samarkand

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  • Wilhelm (2/13/2018 7:30:00 AM)

    poetry read by an artificial voice?

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  • M W (9/2/2017 11:20:00 AM)

    This is not the entire poem. It is a very long poem and this is only a fragment.

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