Abu Midjan

When Father Time swings round his scythe,
Entomb me 'neath the bounteous vine,
So that its juices, red and blithe,
May cheer these thirsty bones of mine.

"Elsewise with tears and bated breath
Should I survey the life to be.
But oh! How should I hail the death
That brings that--vinous grace to me!"

So sung the dauntless Saracen,
Whereat the Prophet-Chief ordains
That, curst of Allah, loathed of men,
The faithless one shall die in chains.

But one vile Christian slave that lay
A prisoner near that prisoner saith:
"God willing, I will plant some day
A vine where liest thou in death."

Lo, over Abu Midjan's grave
With purpling fruit a vine-tree grows;
Where rots the martyred Christian slave
Allah, and only Allah, knows!

by Eugene Field

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