A Song In The Desert Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Friend thou beholdest the lightning Who has the charge of itA
To decree which rock ridge shall receive shall be chosen for targe of itA
Which crown among palms shall go down by the thunderbolt brokenB
While the floods drown the sere wadis where no bud is tokenB
First for my eyes above all he made show of his treasureC
First in his ear before all I made sure of my measureC
If it were good what acclaim None other so moved meD
If it were faulty what shame While he mocked me he loved meD
Friend thou hast seen in Rida'ar the low moon descendingE
One silent swart swift striding camel oceanward wendingE
Browbound and jawbound the rider his shadow in front of himF
Ceaselessly eating the distances That was the wont of himF
Whether the cliff walled defiles the ambush prepared for himF
Whether the wave crested dunes a single sword bared for himF
Whether cold danger fore weighed or quick peril that took himF
Alone out of comfort or aid no breath of it shook himF
Whether he feasted or fasted sweated or shiveredG
There was no proof of the matter no sign was deliveredG
Whatever this dust or that heat or those fools that he laboured withH
He forgot and forbore no observance towards any he neighboured withH
Friend thou hast known at Rida'ar when the Council was biddenI
One face among faces that leaped to the light and were hiddenB
One voice among night wasting voices of boasting and shoutingE
And that face and that voice abide with thee His beyond doubtingE
Never again in Rida'ar my watch fire burningE
That he might see from afar shall I wait his returningE
Or the roar of his beast as she knelt and he leaped to unlade herC
Two handedly tossing me jewels He was no traderC
Gems and wrought gold never sold brought for me to behold themJ
Tales of far magic unrolled to me only he told themJ
With the light easy laugh of dismissal 'twixt story and storyD
As a man brushes sand from his hand or the great dismiss gloryD
Never again in Rida'ar My ways are made black to meD
Whether I sing or am silent he shall not come back to meD
There is no measure for trial nor treasure for bringingE
Allah divides the Companions Yet he said yet he said Cease not from singingE

Rudyard Kipling


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