Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Turkey in Europe, and the Principalities
Bosphorus (Straits of Constantinople)
The Wail and Warning of the Three Khalendeers
From the Ottoman
 
Translated by J. C. Mangan

        LA’ laha, il Allah!
Here we meet, we three, at length,
  Amrah, Osman, Perizad:
Shorn of all our grace and strength,
  Poor, and old, and very sad!        5
We have lived, but live no more;
  Life has lost its gloss for us,
Since the days we spent of yore
  Boating down the Bosphorus!
        La’ laha, il Allah!        10
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!
  Old Time brought home no loss for us.
We felt full of health and heart
  Upon the foamy Bosphorus!
 
        La’ laha, il Allah!        15
Days indeed! A shepherd’s tent
  Served us then for house and fold;
All to whom we gave or lent
  Paid us back a thousand-fold.
Troublous years, by myriads wailed,        20
  Rarely had a cross for us,
Never when we gayly sailed,
  Singing down the Bosphorus.
        La’ laha, il Allah!
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!        25
  There never came a cross for us,
While we daily, gayly sailed
  Adown the meadowy Bosphorus.
 
        La’ laha, il Allah!
Blithe as birds we flew along,        30
  Laughed and quaffed and stared about;
Wine and roses, mirth and song,
  Were what most we cared about.
Fame we left for quacks to seek,
  Gold was dust and dross for us,        35
While we lived from week to week,
  Boating down the Bosphorus.
        La’ laha, il Allah!
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!
  And gold was dust and dross for us,        40
While we lived from week to week,
  A-boating down the Bosphorus.
 
        La’ laha, il Allah!
Friends we were, and would have shared
  Purses, had we twenty full.        45
If we spent, or if we spared,
  Still our funds were plentiful.
Save the hours we past apart
  Time brought home no loss for us;
We felt full of hope and heart        50
  While we clove the Bosphorus.
        La’ laha, il Allah!
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!
  For life has lost its gloss for us,
Since the days we spent of yore        55
  Upon the pleasant Bosphorus!
 
        La’ laha, il Allah!
Ah! for youth’s delirious hours,
  Man pays well in after days.
When quenched hopes and palsied powers        60
  Mock his love-and-laughter days.
Thorns and thistles on our path
  Took the place of moss for us,
Till false fortune’s tempest wrath
  Drove us from the Bosphorus.        65
        La’ laha, il Allah!
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!
  When thorns took place of moss for us,
Gone was all! Our hearts were graves
  Deep, deeper than the Bosphorus!        70
 
        La’ laha, il Allah!
Gone is all! In one abyss
  Lie health, youth, and merriment!
All we ’ve learned amounts to this,—
  Life ’s a sad experiment.        75
What it is we trebly feel
  Pondering what it was for us,
When our shallop’s bounding keel
  Clove the joyous Bosphorus.
        La’ laha, il Allah!        80
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!
  We wail for what life was for us,
When our shallop’s bounding keel
  Clove the joyous Bosphorus!
 
The Warning

        La’ laha, il Allah!
        85
Pleasure tempts, yet man has none
  Save himself to accuse, if her
Temptings prove, when all is done,
  Lures hung out by Lucifer.
Guard your fire in youth, O friends        90
  Manhood’s is but phosphorus,
And bad luck attends and ends
  Boatings down the Bosphorus!
        La’ laha, il Allah!
  The Bosphorus, the Bosphorus!        95
  Youth’s fire soon wanes to phosphorus,
And slight luck or grace attends
  Your boaters down the Bosphorus!
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors