When all the panes are hung with frost,

Wild wizard-work of silver lace,

I draw my sofa on the rug,

Before the ancient chimney-place.

Upon the painted tiles are mosques

And minarets, and here and there

A blind muezzin lifts his hands,

And calls the faithful unto prayer.

Folded in idle, twilight dreams,

I hear the hemlock chirp and

As if within its ruddy core

It held the happy heart of Spring.

Ferdousi never sang like that,

Nor Saadi grave, nor Hafiz gay;

I lounge, and blow white rings of smoke,

And watch them rise and float away.


The curling wreaths like turbans seem

Of silent slaves that come and go,--

Or Viziers, packed with craft and crime,

Whom I behead from time to time,

With pipe-stem, at a single blow.

And now and then a lingering cloud

Takes gracious form at my desire,

And at my side my lady stands,

Unwinds her veil with snowy hands,--

A shadowy shape, a breath of fire!

O Love, if you were only here

Beside me in this mellow light,

Though all the bitter winds should blow,

And all the ways be choked with snow,

'Twould be a true Arabian night!