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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Damascus

Cafés in Damascus

By Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)

LANGUIDLY the night-wind bloweth

From the garden round,

Where the clear Barrada floweth

With a lulling sound.

Not the lute-note’s sweetest shiver

Can such music find,

As is on a wandering river,

On a wandering wind.

There the Moslem leaneth, dreaming

O’er the inward world,

While around the fragrant steaming

Of the smoke is curled,

Rising from the coffee berry,

Dark grape of the South;

Or the pipe of polished cherry,

With its amber mouth,

Cooled by passing through the water,

Gurgling as it flows,—

Scented by the Summer’s daughter,

June’s impassioned rose.

By that Rose’s spirit haunted

Are the dreams that rise,

Of far lands, and lives enchanted,

And of deep black eyes.

Thus with some sweet dream’s assistance,

Float they down life’s stream;

Would to Heaven our whole existence

Could be such a dream!