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Where bubbling fountains kiss the wind,
And birds make music to their loves, She lives a kind of fairy life,
In sisterhood of fruits and flowers, Unconscious of the outer strife,
That wears the palpitating hours.
And when maturer duties rise
In pleasure's and in passion's place, Her duteous loyalty supplies
The presence of departed grace: So hopes she, by untiring truth,
To win the bliss to share with him Those glories of celestial youth,
That time can never taint or dim.
Thus in the ever-closed Hareem,
As in the open Western home, Sheds womanhood her starry gleam
Over our being's busy foam; Through latitudes of varying faith
Thus trace we still her mission sure, To lighten life, to sweeten death,
And all for others to endure.
Home of the East! thy threshold's edge
Checks the wild foot that knows no fear, Yet shrinks, as if from sacrilege,
When rapine comes thy precincts near : Existence, whose precarious thread
Hangs on the tyrant's mood and nod,
Beneath thy roof its anxious head
Rests as within the house of God.
There, though without he feels a slave,
Compelled another’s will to scan, Another's favor forced to crave,
There is the subject still the man : There is the form that none but he
Can touch, — the face that he alone Of living men has right to see;
Not he who fills the Prophet's throne.
Then let the moralist, who best
Honors the female heart, that blends The deep affections of the West
With thought of life's sublimest ends,
Its lesser, yet not humble praise,
SIMPLE unpartitioned room, –
Surmounted by an ample dome,
By which two massive lights are burned ;
Not that the power of God is here
The floor is spread with matting neat,
A decent and delightful seat !
God willing,” at the close, To-morrow's hopes and deeds dispose.
Children are running in and out With silver-sounding laugh and shout, No more disturbed in their sweet play, No more disturbing those that pray, Than the poor birds, that fluttering fly Among the rafters there on high, Or seek at times, with grateful hop, The corn fresh-sprinkled on the top.
So, lest the stranger's scornful eye Should hurt this sacred family, Lest inconsiderate words should wound Devout adorers with their sound, Lest careless feet should stain the floor With dirt and dust from out the door, 'Tis well that custom should protect The place with prudence circumspect, And let no unbeliever pass The threshold of the faithful mass; That as each Muslim his Hareem Guards even from a jealous dream,
So should no alien feeling scathe
Yet, though such reverence may demand
THE CALL TO EVENING PRAYER.
NE silver crescent in the twilight sky is hanging,
And now the Muezzin's call is heard, sonorous clanging