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THE MINSTREL, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: He played on the single string
Last Line: And the red damascus rose!
Subject(s): Middle East; Music & Musicians; Superstition; Near East; Levant

HE played on the single string
Of a strange lute warped and old,
And sang and sang till the gray walls rang
To the ditty weird he trolled.
Sweet was the languid air,
The sun was hot and high,
And ruby-red the pomegranates spread
Their bloom to the Syrian sky.

A turban green he wore,
And a flowing robe of white;
With a rhythmic grace he moved, and his face
Was black as the Nubian night.
Why had he strayed from the clime
Where the scorching siroc blows,
To sing in the bowers of the citron flowers
And the red Damascus rose?

I can but think he was one
Of that dusky, mythic band
Who weave dark spells in the fountained dells
Of the swart Arabian land;
A genie, slave of a ring,
A roamer of earth and air,
At the will of some young Aladdin come
To lure with a fatal snare.

His vision haunts me still,
Haunts in the height of noon,
And again up-floats in wild low notes
His mystic Arabic croon;
It bears me there once more
Where the silvery Pharpar flows,
And I stray in the bowers of the citron flowers
And the red Damascus rose!

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