Walter de la Mare

(1873 - 1958 / Kent / England)

Arabia


Far are the shades of Arabia,
Where the Princes ride at noon,
'Mid the verdurous vales and thickets,
Under the ghost of the moon;
And so dark is that vaulted purple
Flowers in the forest rise
And toss into blossom 'gainst the phantom stars
Pale in the noonday skies.

Sweet is the music of Arabia
In my heart, when out of dreams
I still in the thin clear mirk of dawn
Descry her gliding streams;
Hear her strange lutes on the green banks
Ring loud with the grief and delight
Of the dim-silked, dark-haired Musicians
In the brooding silence of night.

They haunt me -- her lutes and her forests;
No beauty on earth I see
But shadowed with that dream recalls
Her loveliness to me:
Still eyes look coldly upon me,
Cold voices whisper and say --
'He is crazed with the spell of far Arabia,
They have stolen his wits away.'

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Rookie V.N.Seetharam Naidu Naidu (5/11/2009 9:02:00 PM)

    This is a poem that lingers on in my memory for more than fifty years. It was first taught to us in the 7th grade by my beloved English teacher G.T.R.Perinbanayagam in my school Trinity College, Kandy Sri Lanka. The sheer magic of words and the imagery it evokes have haunted me ever since. Whether such an Arabia existed or not doesn't matter.The vision of the poet about the music and the gliding streams and lush banks set in the background of an Arabia unknown still is mesmerizing. (Report) Reply

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