Nicholas Michell

Still on we press, and now the ruddy beam
To amber turns swift Tigris' arrowy stream,
Shines on famed Bagdad's walls, and bathes with fire
Each gilded dome and crescent-mounted spire.
Romantic Bagdad ! name to childhood dear,
Awaking terror's thrill and pity's tear;
For there the sorcerer gloomed, the genii dwelt,
And Love and Worth to good Al Rashid knelt;
Prince of the Thousand Tales! whose glorious reign
So brightly shines in fancy's fair domain!
Whose noble deeds still Arab minstrels sing,
Who rivalled all but Gallia's knightly king.
Yonder where fountains gush, and yew-trees weep,
Watch o'er his harem-queen doth Azrael keep;
Yes, morn's rich hues illume that sacred pile,
Like beams shed down by some blest angel's smile —
Where fair Zobeida, shrined in odour, lies:
Her soul long since in starry Paradise. *

* Author's note: Zobeida, wife of Harun al Rashid, died 216 of the Hegira, or a.d. 831. Her tomb, which has a high dome, stands, surrounded by trees and other mausoleums, near Bagdad.