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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Threnody

By George Thomas Lanigan (1845–1886)

The Ahkoond of Swat is dead.—London Papers of 22 January, 1876.

WHAT, what, what,

What’s the news from Swat?

Sad news,

Bad news,

Comes by the cable led

Through the Indian Ocean’s bed,

Through the Persian Gulf, the Red

Sea and the Med-

iterranean—he’s dead;

The Ahkoond is dead!

For the Ahkoond I mourn,

Who wouldn’t?

He strove to disregard the message stern,

But he Ahkoodn’t.

Dead, dead, dead;

(Sorrow Swats!)

Swats wha hae wi’ Ahkoond bled,

Swats whom he hath often led

Onward to a gory bed,

Or to victory,

As the case might be,

Sorrow Swats!

Tears shed,

Shed tears like water,

Your great Ahkoond is dead!

That Swats the matter!

Mourn, city of Swat!

Your great Ahkoond is not,

But lain ’mid worms to rot.

His mortal part alone, his soul was caught

(Because he was a good Ahkoond)

Up to the bosom of Mahound.

Though earthy walls his frame surround

(Forever hallowed be the ground!)

And sceptics mock the lowly mound

And say “He’s now of no Ahkoond!”

His soul is in the skies—

The azure skies that bend above his loved

Metropolis of Swat.

He sees with larger, other eyes,

Athwart all earthly mysteries—

He knows what’s Swat.

Let Swat bury the great Ahkoond

With a noise of mourning and of lamentation!

Let Swat bury the great Ahkoond

With the noise of the mourning of the Swattish nation!

Fallen is at length

Its tower of strength,

Its sun is dimmed ere it had nooned;

Dead lies the great Ahkoond,

The great Ahkoond of Swat

Is not!