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

Arabia: Mecca


By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

UTTER the song, O my soul! the flight and return of Mohammed,

Prophet and priest, who scattered abroad both evil and blessing,

Huge wasteful empires founded and hallowed slow persecution,

Soul-withering, but crushed the blasphemous rites of the Pagan

And idolatrous Christians. For veiling the gospel of Jesus,

They, the best corrupting, had made it worse than the vilest.

Wherefore Heaven decreed the enthusiast warrior of Mecca,

Choosing good from iniquity rather than evil from goodness.

Loud the tumult in Mecca surrounding the fane of the idol;

Naked and prostrate the priesthood were laid,—the people with mad shouts

Thundering now, and now with saddest ululation

Flew, as over the channel of rock-stone the ruinous river

Shatters its waters abreast, and in mazy uproar bewildered,

Rushes dividuous all,—all rushing impetuous onward.