Dreams Of Nineveh

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Silver bridge in a broken sky,
   Golden fruit on a withered bough,
Red-lipped slaves that the ancients buy—
   What are the dreams of Nineveh now?

Ghostly hoofs in the brooding night
   Beat the bowl of the velvet stars.
Shadows of spears when the moon is white
   Cross the sands with ebony bars.

But not the shadows that brood her fall
   May check the sweep of the desert fire,
Nor a dead man lift up a crumbling wall,
   Nor a spectre steady a falling spire.

Death fires rise in the desert sky
   Where the armies of Sargon reeled;
And though her people still sell and buy,
   Nineveh's doom is set and sealed.

Silver mast with a silken sail,
   Sapphire seas 'neath a purple prow,
Hawk-eyed tribes on the desert trail—
   What are the dreams of Nineveh now?