Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
 
Arabia: Desert of Arabia
Fly to the Desert
Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
 
(From Lalla Rookh)

FLY to the desert, fly with me,
Our Arab tents are rude for thee;
But, oh, the choice what heart can doubt,
Of tents with love, or thrones without?
 
Our rocks are rough, but smiling there        5
The acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lonely and sweet, nor loved the less
For flowering in a wilderness.
 
Our sands are bare, but down their slope
The silvery-footed antelope        10
As gracefully and gayly springs
As o’er the marble courts of kings.
 
Then come,—thy Arab maid will be
The loved and lone acacia-tree,
The antelope, whose feet shall bless        15
With their light sound thy loneliness.
 
Oh, there are looks and tones that dart
An instant sunshine through the heart,—
As if the soul that minute caught
Some treasure it through life had sought;        20
 
As if the very lips and eyes,
Predestined to have all our sighs,
And never be forgot again,
Sparkled and spoke before us then!
 
So came thy every glance and tone,        25
When first on me they breathed and shone;
New, as if brought from other spheres,
Yet welcome as if loved for years.
 
Then fly with me,—if thou hast known
No other flame, nor falsely thrown        30
A gem away, that thou hadst sworn
Should ever in thy heart be worn.
 
Come, if the love thou hast for me
Is pure and fresh as mine for thee,
Fresh as the fountain under ground,        35
When first ’t is by the lapwing found.
 
But if for me thou dost forsake
Some other maid, and rudely break
Her worshipped image from its base,
To give to me the ruined place;        40
 
Then, fare thee well,—I ’d rather make
My bower upon some icy lake
When thawing suns begin to shine,
Than trust to love so false as thine!
 
 
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