Memorial Verses


Are these the streets that I used to know —
Was it yesterday or aeons ago?
Where are the armies that used to wait —
The pilgrims of Love — at your palace gate?
The joyous paeans that thrilled the air
The pageants that shone thro' your palace square?
And the minstrel music that used to ring
Thro' your magic kingdom ... when you were king?

O hands that succoured a people's need
With the splendour of Haroun-al-Rasheed!
O heart that solaced a sad world's cry
With the sumptuous bounty of Hatim tai!
Where are the days that were winged and clad
In the fabulous glamour of old Baghdad.
And the bird of glory used to sing
In your magic kingdom ... when you were king?

O king, in your kingdom there is no change.
'Tis only my soul that hath grown so strange,
So faint with sorrow it cannot hear
Aught save the chant at your rose-crowned bier.
My grieving bosom hath grown too cold
To clasp the beauty it treasured of old,
The grace of life and the gifts of spring,
And the dreams I cherished ... when you were king!


Heroic Heart! lost hope of all our days!
Need'st thou the homage of our love or praise?
Lo! let the mournful millions round thy pyre
Kindle their souls with consecrated fire
Caught from the brave torch fallen from thy hand,
To succour and to serve our suffering land,
And in a daily worship taught by thee.
Upbuild the temple of her Unity.
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