The Thousand Nights and a Night (poem)

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TO RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON.
The Thousand Nights and a Night.

Athwart the welkin slant the snows and pile
On sill and balcony, their feathery feet
Trip o'er the landscape, and pursuing sleet
Earth's brow beglooming, robs the skies of smile:
Lies in her mourning-shroud our Northern Isle
And bitter winds in battle o'er her meet.
Her world is death-like, when behold! we greet
Light-gleams from morning-land in welcome while.

A light of golden mine and orient pearl--
Vistas of fairy-land, where Beauty reigns
And Valiance revels; cloudless moon, fierce sun,
The wold, the palm-tree; cities; hosts; a whirl
Of life in tents and palaces and fanes:
The light that streams from THOUSAND NIGHTS AND ONE.

Isabel Burton,

Tangier, Marocco: Feb. 19, 1886.