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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

Under the Palms

By Frederick K. Crosby (1845–1874)

[Born in Newton, Mass., 1845. Died in San Diego, Cal., 1874.]

PROUD is his heart, and strong his limb,

As his own desert’s tiger brood,

And all my soul is lost in him!

What recked he then, my fierce Mahmoud,

Of turbaned Sheik or belted Khan,

When, ’neath the date-palm spreading wide,

With beating heart I saw him ride

Along the road to Toorkistan?

Ah me!

Beside his saddle-girth to be!

Beneath the noonday’s breathless heat

The whitening sand-leagues flame and glow;

At eve the oasis odors sweet

Across the darkening deserts blow.

Into Light, and Other Poems. Private!

But ne’er my hungry eyes may scan,

By garish day or evening-tide,

The war-troops of my hero ride

Along the road from Toorkistan.

Ah me!

The night-birds haunt the rustling tree!

Up to my scarlet-woven tent

The way-worn warriors journey slow;

Why is yon silent rider bent

Upon his horse’s saddle-bow?

Each eye is dim, each cheek is wan:

Why pale before your chieftain’s bride?

The ’broidered burnos falls aside—

’Tis he!

They bend their spear-points low to me!

Into Light, and Other Poems. Privately printed. 1876.