University of Virginia Library

So he, the aforesaid mellow man,
Thrumming upon the table's span.
Scarce audible except in air
Mirth's modest overture seemed there.
Nor less the pilgrims, folding wing,
Weary, would now in slumber fall—
Sleep, held for a superfluous thing
By that free heart at home in hall.
And who was he so jovial?
Purveyor, he some needful stores


Supplied from Syrian towns and shores;
And on his trips, dismissing care,—
His stores delivered all and told,
Would rest awhile in Saba's fold.
Not broken he with fast and prayer:
The leg did well plump out the sock;
Nor young, nor old, but did enlock
In reconcilement a bright cheek
And fleecy beard; that cheek, in show,
Arbutus flaked about with snow,
Running-arbutus in Spring's freak
Overtaken so. In Mytilene,
Sappho and Phaon's Lesbos green,
His home was, his lax Paradise,
An island yet luxurious seen,
Fruitful in all that can entice.
For chum he had a mountaineer,
A giant man, beneath whose lee
Lightly he bloomed, like pinks that cheer
The base of tower where cannon be.
That mountaineer the battle tans,
An Arnaut of no mean degree,
A lion of war, and drew descent
Through dames heroic from the tent
Of Pyrrhus and those Epirot clans
Which routed Rome. And, furthermore,
In after-line enlinked he stood
To Scanderbeg's Albanian brood,
And Arslan, famous heretofore,
The horse-tail pennon dyed in gore.
An Islamite he was by creed—
In act, what fortune's chances breed:
Attest the medal, vouch the scar—
Had bled for Sultan, won for Czar;
His psalter bugle was and drum,
Any scorched rag his Labarum.


For time adherent of the Turk,
In Saba's hold he sheathed his dirk,
Waiting arrival of a troop
Destined for some dragooning swoop
On the wild tribes beyond the wave
Of Jordan. Unconstrained though grave,
Stalwart but agile, nobly tall,
Complexion a burnt red, and all
His carriage charged with courage high
And devil-dare. A hawk's his eye.
While, for the garb: a snow-white kilt
Was background to his great sword-hilt:
The waistcoat blue, with plates and chains
Tarnished a bit with grapy stains;
Oaches in silver rows: stout greaves
Of leather: buskins thonged; light cloak
Of broidered stuff Damascus weaves;
And, scorched one side with powder smoke,
A crimson Fez, bald as a skull
Save for long tassel prodigal.
Last, add hereto a blood-red sash,
With dagger and pistol's silvery charms,
And there you have this Arnaut rash,
In zone of war—a trophy of arms.
While yet the monks stood by serene,
He as to kill time, his moustache
Adjusted in his scimeter's sheen;
But when they made their mild adieu,
Response he nodded, seemly too.
And now, the last gowned friar gone,
His heart of onslaught he toned down
Into a solemn sort of grace,
Each pilgrim looking full in face,
As he should say: Why now, let's be
Good comrades here to-night.
Grave plea


For brotherly love and jollity
From such an arsenal of man,
A little strange seemed and remote.
To bring it nearer—spice—promote—
Nor mindless of some aspects wan,
Lesbos, with fair engaging tone,
Threw in some moral cinnamon:
“Sir pilgrims, look; 'tis early yet;
In evening arbor here forget
The heat, the burden of the day.
Life has its trials, sorrows—yes,
I know—I feel; but blessedness
Makes up. Ye've grieved the tender clay:
Solace should now all that requite;
'Tis duty, sirs. And—by the way—
Not vainly Anselm bade good night,
For see!” and cheery on the board
The flask he set.
“I and the sword”
The Arnaut said (and in a tone
Of natural bass which startled one—
Profound as the profound trombone)
“I and the sword stand by the red.
But this will pass, this molten ore
Of yellow gold. Is there no more?”
“Trust wit for that,” the other said:
“Purveyor, shall he not purvey?”
And slid a panel, showing store
Of cups and bottles in array.
“Then arms at ease, and ho, the bench!”
It made the slender student blench
To hark the jangling of the steel,
Vibration of the floor to feel,
Tremor through beams and bones which ran
As that ripe masterpiece of man
Plumped solid down upon the deal.


Derwent a little hung behind—
Censorious not, nor disinclined,
But with self-querying countenance,
As if one of the cloth, perchance
Due bound should set, observe degree
In liberal play of social glee.
Through instinct of good fellow bright
His poise, as seemed, the Lesbian wight
Divined: and justly deeming here
The stage required a riper cheer
Than that before—solicitous,
With bubbling cup in either hand,
Toward Derwent drew he, archly bland;
Then posed; and tunefully e'en thus: