Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
A Lesson of Mercy
 
George Murray
 
 
BENEATH a palm-tree by a clear cool spring
God’s Prophet, Mahomet, lay slumbering,
Till, roused by chance, he saw before him stand
A foeman, Durther, scimitar in hand.
The chieftain bade the startled sleeper rise;        5
And with a flame of triumph in his eyes,
“Who now can save thee, Mahomet?” he cried.
“God,” said the Prophet, “God, my friend and guide.”
Awe-struck the Arab dropped his naked sword,
Which, grasped by Mahomet, defied its lord:        10
And, “Who can save thee now thy blade is won?”
Exclaimed the Prophet. Durther answered, “None!”
Then spake the victor: “Though thy hands are red
With guiltless blood unmercifully shed,
I spare thy life, I give thee back thy steel:        15
Henceforth, compassion for the helpless feel.”
And thus the twain, unyielding foes of yore,
Clasped hands in token that their feud was o’er.
 

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