Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HARMOSAN, by RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH

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HARMOSAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now the third and fatal conflict for the persian throne was done
Last Line: "drink and live!"
Subject(s): Iran; War; Persia

Now the third and fatal conflict for the Persian
throne was done.
And the Moslem's fiery valor had the crowning
victory won.
Harmosan, the last and boldest the invader to
Captive, overborn by numbers, they were bringing
forth to die.

Then exclaimed that noble captive: "Lo, I perish
in my thirst;
Give me but one drink of water, and let then ar-
rive the worst!"

In his hand he took the goblet: but awhile the
draught forbore,
Seeming doubtfully the purpose of the foeman to

Well might then have paused the bravest -- for,
around him, angry foes
With a hedge of naked weapons did the Lonely
man enclose.

"But what fear'st thou?" cried the caliph; "is it,
friend, a secret blow?
Fear it not! our gallant Moslems no such treach-
erous dealing know.

"Thou may'st quench thy thirst securely, for thou
shalt not die before
Thou hast drunk that cup of water--this reprieve
is thine -- no more!"

Quick the satrap dashed the goblet down to earth
with ready hand,
And the liquid sank forever, lost amid the burn-
ing sand.
"Thou hast said that mine my life is, till the
water of that cup
I have drained; then bid thy servants that spilled
water gather up!"

For a moment stood the caliph as by doubtful pas-
sions stirred --
Then exclaimed: "For ever sacred must remain a
monarch's word.
Bring another cup, and straightway to the noble
Persian give:
Drink, I said before, and perish -- now I bid thee
drink and live!"

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