WAR SONG OF THE SARACENS
We are they who come faster than fate,
We are they who ride early or late:
We storm at your ivory gate:
Pale Kings of the Sunset, beware!
Not on silk nor in samet we lie,
Not in curtain’d solemnity die,
Among women who chatter and cry,
And children who mumble a pray’r.
But we sleep by the ropes of the camp
and we rise with a shout and we tramp
With the sun or the moon for a lamp,
And the spray of the wind in our hair.
From the lands to the forts of Merou and Balghar
Our steel we have brought and our star to shine on the ruins of Rum.
We have march’d from the Indus to Spain
and by God we will go there again;
We have stood on the shore of the Plain
where the Waters of Destiny boom,
A mart of destruction we made at Jalula
where men were afraid, For death was a difficult trade
and the sword was a broker of doom;
And the Spear was a Desert Physician
Who cured not a few of ambition,
And drave [sic] not a few to perdition
with medicine bitter and strong.
And the shield was a grief to the fool
and as bright as a desolate pool,
And as straight as the rock of Stamboul
when their cavalry thunder’d along:
For the coward was drown’d with the brave
When our battle sheer’d up like a wave,
And the dead to the desert we gave,
And the glory to God in our song we gave.