SONGS OF DAMASCUS

SONGS OF DAMASCUS
Mabel Wheeler Daniels
Arthur P. Schmidt

1. Before the King

Crimson gleams the wine,
Soft the tapers shine,
Pleadingly the lute’s sweet music swells
Which, from dim retreat,
Sounds in perfect beat
With my jeweled anklets tinkling bells.
And a hundred slave girls sing
When I dance before the King!

Ah! they little know
Neath my girdle’s glow
Beats an aching heart within my breast.
To a fair-haired slave
All my love I gave;
No one but the King our secret guessed.
In a month he dies;
So says the King;
I must ever dance and gaily sing.
Hark! for me they call
From the banquet hall,
Long I’ve learned a breaking heart to hide.
Down my flower strewn way
Floats their laughter gay
Swaying lightly to the throne I glide,
But I spurn the gifts they fling
When I dance before the King!

2. Could I catch the wayward breeze

Could I catch the wayward breeze
Which coquets among the trees
Idly darting to and fro,
Straight to thee I bid her go!

She would sigh caressingly,
Murmur of my love for thee;
And, perchance–when no one hears–
She will whisper of my tears.

3. Love, when I sleep

Love, when I sleep, the sweetest dream enfolds me,
A vision of those dim, enchanted lands
Which veiled in mystic sunlight, now await us
Far, far across the desert’s golden sands.
Eternal Spring dwells in those flow’ry valleys,
There glows forever Love’s immortal fire,
And there, sweetheart, if we are only faithful,
We two shall find at last-
at last shall find our Heart’s Desire.
We two shall find at last our Heart’s Desire!

SONGS OF DAMASCUS