Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CARAVAN, by CLINTON SCOLLARD



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THE CARAVAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: From underneath the carob shade
Last Line: One bourn for every caravan!
Subject(s): Caravans; Middle East; Travel; Near East; Levant; Journeys; Trips


FROM underneath the carob shade,
A wavering line of gray and white,
I watch it lose its form and fade
Like dreams across the face of night.

Whither it goes I can but guess;
Haply where ruined Tadmor stands,
The voiceless haunt of loneliness,
Amid the desert's swirling sands;

Or toward the Tigris' tawny tide
Into that land of ancient thrift
Where Bagdad's rich bazaars spread wide,
And Haroun's minarets uplift;

Or toward the swart Arabian skies,
The home of sempiternal calms,
Where pilgrims seek their paradise
Through Mecca, girdled with its palms.

Yet howsoe'er it fares, I fare;
In buoyant spirit I am one
With those that drink the untrammeled air,
The nomad children of the sun.

Sandaled with silence, on I press,
Rousing before the flower of morn,
Through spaces where forgetfulness
Seems to have dwelt since Time was born.

And when, with soothing touch, comes night
After the round of jars and joys,
Above the head, in Allah's sight,
The hosts of heaven wheel and poise.

Throughout the strangely tranquil days
I join in prayer and fast and feast,
Looking on life with long, slow gaze
As does the fatalistic East.

And then -- and then -- the goal! -- Ah, me!
At last, wherever rangeth man,
How well we know that there must be
One bourn for every caravan!





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