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A Legend of Old Persia and Other Poems   By: (1878-1952)

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First Page:

A LEGEND OF OLD PERSIA AND OTHER POEMS.

BY

A. B. S. TENNYSON.

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN. 1912.

TO

C. T.

Fantasies.

Altruism: A Legend of Old Persia: p. 3. The Enchanted Gipsy: p. 9. The Roof of the World: p. 11. The Poet and the Lily: p. 13. The Tramp: p. 15. The Black Dwarf: p. 23. To an Elephant: p. 24.

Songs.

The Palmer's Song: p. 27. The Song of the Old Men: p. 28. The Song of Snorro: p. 30. The Island: p. 32. Fair Filamelle: p. 34. The Song of Kisses: p. 35. The Song of Odysseus: p. 36.

Stories in Verse.

Adeimantus: p. 41. Pygmalion: p. 44. Alexis: p. 53. The King's Cloak: p. 56. The Knight and the Witch: p. 59. The Dreamer: p. 66.

Dialogues.

The Parting of Lancelot and Guinevere: p. 77. The Hermit and the Faun: p. 80. Love's Defiance: p. 85. The Playmates: p. 87.

Dramas.

June and November: p. 91. A Foolish Tragedy: p. 92. Alone: p. 94. The Wraith: p. 101. The Two Murderers: p. 102.

Reflections.

The Wind and the Hills: p. 107. The Happy Ones: p. 110. A Question: p. 112. The Earth: p. 113. Aspirations: p. 114. Romance: p. 115.

Of the poems in this volume "Adeimantus" and "The Hermit and the Faun" first appeared in THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, and "The Song of Snorro" in THE SPECTATOR. They are republished here by kind permission of the Editors.

FANTASIES.

Altruism: A Legend of Old Persia.

In the flowery land of Persia Long ago, as poets tell, Where three rivers met together Did a happy people dwell. Never did these happy people Suffer sickness, plague, or dearth, Living in a golden climate In the fairest place on earth, Living thus thro' endless summers And half summers hardly colder, Growing, tho' they hardly guessed it, Very gradually older.

I can very well imagine These old Persian lords and ladies Sitting in their pleasant gardens, Dreaming, dozing, where the shade is; Almond trees a mass of blossom, Roses, roses, red as wine, With the helmets of the tulips Flaming in a martial line, While beside a marble basin, With a fountain gushing forth, Stands a red legged crane, alighted From the deserts of the North.

So they lived these ancient people, With the happy harmless faces, Dreaming till the purple twilight In their flowery garden places, Finding every year the sunshine And the wind a little colder, Growing, tho' they hardly guessed it, Very gradually older, Till at last they grew so frail That to their gardens they were carried, Very feeble and exhausted, Weak as babes But still they tarried,

Lying till the purple twilight Wrapped in wool but hardly warm, Wearing shawls of costliest texture Lest the wind might do them harm, Feeling very faint sensations Of delight in each old breast, Twittering with tiny voices Like young swallows in a nest. Then the young men spoke together As they feasted in the taverns, "It is time to take our Fathers, We must bear them to the Caverns... Continue reading book >>




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