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a poem and pilgrimage in the Holy Land

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So Rolfe, and shrank,
Awed by that region dread and great;
Thence led to take to heart the fate
Of one who tried in such a blank,
Believed—and died.
Lurching was seen
An Arab tall, on camel lean,
Up laboring from a glen's remove,
His long lance upright fixed above
The gun across the knee in guard.
So rocks in hollow trough of sea
A wreck with one gaunt mast, and yard
Displaced and slanting toward the lee.
Closer he drew; with visage mute,
Austere in passing made salute.
Such courtesy may vikings lend
Who through the dreary Hela wend.
Under gun, lance, and scabbard hacked
Pressed Nehemiah; with ado
High he reached up an Arab tract
From the low ass—“Christ's gift to you!”
With clatter of the steel he bore


The lofty nomad bent him o'er
In grave regard. The camel too
Her crane-like neck swerved round to view;
Nor more to camel than to man
Inscrutable the ciphers ran.
But wonted unto arid cheer,
The beast, misjudging, snapped it up,
And would have munched, but let it drop;
Her master, poling down his spear
Transfixed the page and brought it near,
Nor stayed his travel.
On they went
Through solitudes, till made intent
By small sharp shots which stirred rebound
In echo. Over upland drear
On tract of less obstructed ground
Came fairly into open sight
A mounted train in tulip plight:
Ten Turks, whereof advanced rode four,
With leveled pistols, left and right
Graceful diverging, as in plume
Feather from feather. So brave room
They make for turning toward each shore
Ambiguous in nooks of blight,
Discharging shots; then reunite,
And, with obeisance bland, adore
Their prince, a fair youth, who, behind—
'Tween favorites of equal age,
Brilliant in paynim equipage—
With Eastern dignity how sweet,
Nods to their homage, pleased to mind
Their gallant curvets. Still they meet,
Salute and wheel, and him precede,
As in a pleasure-park or mead.