Certain Fragments From The Arabic
by Charles Hanson Towne
You who are wise today,
What of your knowledge when life's little play
Is ended, and the curtain rustles down--
What of your wisdom then, your great renown?
Make me not wise, like you;
I envy neither sage nor prophet Jew.
Beggared, each journeyed here, and sought for fame,
And lo! went forth as poor as when he came!
I did not know the nightingale could fling
Into one song the whole wild soul of Spring;
I did not know--until I heard him sing.
I did not know that Love held all of bliss--
Yea, all that ever was, and all that is;
I did not know--until I felt your kiss!
O in that hour when both of us are dead,
When all of Life and Love at last is said,
Will some red rose bloom o'er our graves to tell how our hearts bled?
Or will a lily, in the starlit night,
Lift its pale wonder and its waxen light,
To tell the world how our poor hearts loved with a love most white?