Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

The Song of Antar the Arab: A Paraphrase

[Editor's Note]

I love thee with a warrior's soul ; 
   The thought of thee brings weal or woe — 
Thou dost my maddening heart control. 
   My spirit's hope — my all below!
'Tis vain my Ybla's charms to paint; 
They leave all pict'ring pale and faint, 

Were I to say thy placid brow 
   Is like the moon in yon blue sky. 
In midnight glory shining now — 
   Who could describe thy sparkling eye 
I fain would in the cypress trace 
Thy shape — but 'twould not show thy grace 

Thy forehead's like the orb of day, 
   Where those who gaze must blinded be;
Like night, the locks that o'er it play,
   Like night, those locks bewilder me!
Yet, O! that Heaven, in shine or shade,
May guard that breast it perfect made!

Life breathes not in the gems that shine
   In ocean's caves, or they might vie
With those superior pearls of thine,
   That hid by living coral lie.
Thou wast my bliss, but now thou'rt gone--
My world is dark, and I'm undone!

What dew is to the drooping rose,
   Thy smile was to my tortured breat--
They wrathful glance could make to woes
   The heart that else had been at rest.
As on the distant moon I gaze,
I think of thee and other days;
For thou, like her, art bright, and far
Above sad, hopeless, lone Antar!

October, 1825.  


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