University of Virginia Library



In order meet they take their way
Through Bahurim where David fled;
And Shimei like a beast of prey
Prowled on the side-cliff overhead,
And flung the stone, the stone and curse,
And called it just, the king's reverse:
Still grieving grief, as demons may.
In flanking parched ravine they won,
The student wondered at the bale
So arid, as of Acheron
Run dry. Alert showed Belex hale,
Uprising in the stirrup, clear
Of saddle, outlook so to gain,
Rattling his piece and scimeter.
“Dear me, I say,” appealing ran
From the sleek Thessalonian.
“Say on!” the Turk, with bearded grin;
“This is the glen named Adommin!”
Uneasy glance the banker threw,
Tho' first now of such name he knew
Or place. Nor was his flutter stayed
When Belex, heading his brigade,
Drew sword, and with a summons cried:
“Ho, rout them!” and his cohort veered,
Scouring the dens on either side,
Then all together disappeared
Amid wild turns of ugly ground
Which well the sleuth-dog might confound.
The Druze, as if 'twere nothing new—
The Turk doing but as bid to do—
A higher stand-point would command;


But here across his shortened rein
And loosened, shrewd, keen yataghan,
Good Nehemiah laid a hand:
“Djalea, stay—not long I'll be;
A word, one Christian word with ye.
I've just been reading in the place
How, on a time, carles far from grace
Left here half dead the faring man:
Those wicked thieves. But heaven befriends,
Still heaven at need a rescue lends:
Mind ye the Good Samaritan?”—
In patient self-control high-bred,
Half of one sense, an ear, the Druze
Inclined; the while his grave eye fed
Afar; his arms at hand for use.
“He,” said the meek one going on,
Naught heeding but the tale he spun,
“He, when he saw him in the snare,
He had compassion; and with care
Him gently wakened from the swound
And oil and wine poured in the wound;
Then set him on his own good beast,
And bare him to the nighest inn—
A man not of his town or kin—
And tended whom he thus released;
Up with him sat he all that night,
Put off he did his journey quite;
And on the morrow, ere he went,
For the mistrustful host he sent,
And taking out his careful purse,
He gave him pence; and thus did sue:
‘Beseech ye now that well ye nurse
This poor man whom I leave with you;
And whatsoe'er thou spendest more,
When I again come, I'll restore.’—
Ye mind the chapter? Well, this day


Were some forlorn one here to bleed,
Aid would be meted to his need
In good soul traveling this way.
Speak I amiss? an answer, pray?”—
In deference the armed man,
O'er pistols, gun, and yataghan,
The turban bowed, but nothing said;
Then turned—resumed his purpose. Led
By old traditionary sense,
A liberal, fair reverence,
The Orientals homage pay,
And license yield in tacit way
To men demented, or so deemed.
Derwent meanwhile in saddle there
Heard all, but scarce at ease he seemed,
So ill the tale and time did pair.
Vine whispered to the saint aside:
“There was a Levite and a priest.”
“ Whom God forgive,” he mild replied,
“As I forget;” and there he ceased.
Touching that trouble in advance,
Some here, much like to landsmen wise
At sea in hour which tackle tries,
The adventure's issue left to chance.
In spent return the escort wind
Reporting they had put to flight
Some prowlers.—“Look!” one cried. Behind
A lesser ridge just glide from sight—
Though neither man nor horse appears—
Steel points and hair-tufts of five spears.
Like dorsal fins of sharks they show
When upright these divide the wave
And peer above, while down in grave


Of waters, slide the body lean
And charnel mouth.
With thoughtful mien
The student fared, nor might withstand
The something dubious in the Holy Land.