Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
The Fair Circassian
By Richard Garnett (1835–1906)
 
FORTY Viziers saw I go
Up to the Seraglio,
Burning, each and every man,
For the fair Circassian.
 
Ere the morn had disappear’d,        5
Every Vizier wore a beard;
Ere the afternoon was born,
Every Vizier came back shorn.
 
‘Let the man that woos to win
Woo with an unhairy chin:’        10
Thus she said, and as she bid
Each devoted Vizier did.
 
From the beards a cord she made,
Loop’d it to the balustrade,
Glided down and went away        15
To her own Circassia.
 
When the Sultan heard, wax’d he
Somewhat wroth, and presently
In the noose themselves did lend
Every Vizier did suspend.        20
 
Sages all, this rhyme who read,
Of your beards take prudent heed,
And beware the wily plans
Of the fair Circassians.
 
 
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