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Now slanting toward the mountain's head
They round its southern shoulder so;
That immemorial path they tread
Whereby to Bethany you go
From Salem over Kedron's bed
And Olivet. Free change was made
Among the riders. Lightly strayed,
With overtures of friendly note,
To Clarel's side the Smyrniote.
Wishful from every one to learn,


As well his giddy talk to turn,
Clarel—in simpleness that comes
To students versed more in their tomes
Than life—of Homer spake, a man
With Smyrna linked, born there, 'twas said.
But no, the light Ionian
Scarce knew that singing beggar dead,
Though wight he'd heard of with the name;
“Homer? yes, I remember me;
Saw note-of-hand once with his name:
A fig for him, fig-dealer he,
The veriest old nobody:”
Then lightly skimming on: “Did you
By Joppa come? I did, and rue
Three dumpish days, like Sundays dull
Such as in London late I knew;
The gardens tho' are bountiful.
But Bethlehem—beyond compare!
Such roguish ladies! Tarried there?
You know it is a Christian town,
Decreed so under Ibrahim's rule
The Turk.” E'en thus he rippled on,
Way giving to his spirits free,
Relieved from that disparity
Of years he with the banker felt,
Nor noted Clarel's puzzled look,
Who, novice-like, at first mistook,
Doubting lest satire might be dealt.
Adjusting now the sporting gun
Slung to his back with pouch and all:
“Oh, but to sight a bird, just one,
An eagle say, and see him fall.”
And, chatting still, with giddy breath,
Of hunting feats over hill and dale:
“Fine shot was mine by Nazareth;
But birding's best in Tempe's Vale:


From Thessalonica, you know
'Tis thither that we fowlers stray.
But you don't talk, my friend.—Heigh-ho,
Next month I wed; yes, so they say.
Meantime do sing a song or so
To cheer one. Won't? Must I?—Let's see:
Song of poor-devil dandy: he:—
“She's handsome as a jeweled priest
In ephod on the festa,
And each poor blade like me must needs
Idolize and detest her.
“With rain-beads on her odorous hair
From gardens after showers,
All bloom and dew she trips along,
Intent on selling flowers.
“She beams—the rainbow of the bridge;
But, ah, my blank abhorrence,
She buttonholes me with a rose,
This flower-girl of Florence.
“My friends stand by; and, ‘There!’ she says—
An angel arch, a sinner:
I grudge to pay, but pay I must,
Then—dine on half a dinner!—
“Heigh-ho, next month I marry: well!”
With that he turned aside, and went
Humming another air content.
And Derwent heard him as befell.
“This lad is like a land of springs,”
He said, “he gushes so with song,”—
“Nor heeds if Olivet it wrong,”
Said Rolfe; “but no—he sings—he rings;


His is the guinea, fiddle-strings
Of youth too—which may heaven make strong!”
Meanwhile, in tetchy tone austere
That reprobated song and all,
Lowering rode the presbyter,
A cloud whose rain ere long must fall.