Once, in the heart of a desert

Once, in the heart of a desert,
Blossomed a rose-bush unseen:
Only the sands were around it;
Naught but its leaf was there green.
Ever, at evening and morning,
Trickled its flowers with dew;
And then, in light circles, round it
Fondly a nightingale flew.

Over the sands strayed a pilgrim,
Lost in the midst of the wild,
When on his faint eye, at evening,
Sweetly the rose-blossom smiled:
Sweetly the nightingale wooed him,
Under its shade to repose;
There his song charmed him to slumber,
Wet by the dew of the rose.

Freshly he rose in the morning,
Dug in the sand by the flower,
And a bright fountain up-sparkled,
Welling with bubbling shower:
Over the sands as it murmured,
Green sprung the grass by its side;
Round it a garden soon blossomed,
Fed by its life-giving tide.

There, too, a wild vine up-started;
Under its shelter he dwelt:
Morning and evening, yet ever
Low by the rose-bush he knelt.
So in the far waste, forgotten,
Still flowed his pure life along,
Soothed by the rose-blossom's fragrance,
Charmed by the nightingale's song.
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