On the Capture of Jerusalem in the First Crusade

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On the Capture of Jerusalem in the First Crusade
by Modaffar of Abiward, translated by W. A. Clouston
Translated in 1881.

FROM our distended eyeballs flow
A mingled stream of tears and blood;
Nor care we feel, nor wish we know,
But who shall pour the largest flood.

But what defence can tears afford?
What aid supply in this dread hour?
When, kindled by the sparkling sword,
War's raging flames the land devour!

No more let sleep's seductive charms
Upon your torpid souls be shed:
A crash like this, such dire alarms,
Might burst the slumbers of the dead.

Think where your dear companions lie—
Survey their fate, and hear their woes:
How some through trackless deserts fly,
Some in the vulture's maw repose;

While some, more wretched still, must bear
The tauntings of a Christian's tongue;—
Hear this—and blush ye not to wear
The silken robe of peace so long?

Remember what ensanguined showers
The Syrian plains with crimson dyed;
And think how many blooming flowers
In Syrian forts their beauties hide.

Arabian youths! in such a cause
Can ye the voice of glory slight?
Warriors of Persia! Can ye pause,
Or fear to mingle in the fight?

If neither piety nor shame
Your breasts can warm, your souls can move,
Let emulation's bursting flame
Wake you to Vengeance and to Love!