Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ALGIERS, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS

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ALGIERS, by            
First Line: Gold-vestured suns and silver-fretted nights
Last Line: Algiers!—inch' allah!—sleeping!
Subject(s): Algiers; Cities; Urban Life

Gold-vestured suns and silver-fretted nights
O'er Algiers—Allah's sonnet in the tongue of France,
Afric Paris, frenetic with the Marabout,
A-pointed columns in the air,
First languors of the East and fair
With bright illusions, flecked enkindling sights,
Mosques and kiosks—harlots thro' yakmak a-glance,
Polyglot zig-zagging streets to turbaned rue!

O Sensuous city! How subtly weird thy spell!
Background, translucent sea of dreamland blue;
Thy minarets in tapers to the sky;
Bedouin inns and clanking dice,
Cythereas, drab dancing girls to tice
The dragomans, gendarmes and rake-hell;
Thy turquoise noons to twilight bronze imbue
Thro' architraves, thy villas laced to gardens high.

Topaz yellowing to sunset crimsoning,
Gilded muezzins call the prayer,
Down-floating magic in the air
O'er mosques nestled into moonlight silvering.
Fair Southern Cross a-trembling,
An irised mystic quivering
To strange emotions soothing,
A distant cry and droning,
A castanet a-clanging
Algiers!—inch' Allah!—sleeping!

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