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Kalmuck Bride

Padraic Colum 1881 (County Longford) – 1972 (Enfield)



I HAVE saddled your white steed, and I have burnished them-
Your belt with crystal clasps, your lance, your scimitar,
Your carbine silver-chased; now ere you mount and ride
Across the sky-wide steppe, a horseman to the war:

A promise make your bride: that at the self-same hour,
Whether you gallop on or halt in some wide mart,
You'll look up at the moon, so round, so full, so bright,
The almost moveless moon, with longing in your heart!

And I beside the tent will gaze and gaze and gaze
Upon the self-same moon that's like the looking-glass
You brought me from the fair of whitened Kadajah,
The present from your hand in which I saw my face.

(Shine, lance and scimitar, shine belt, and shine, carbine,
With magic of the moon I have endued your shine!)

Charmed by that double gaze, the moon that's won unto
The magic I contrive, will mirror my wan face,
And you will see above, so far, so still, so sad,
The daughter of the Khan who nightly seeks your gaze.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer, playwright, children's author and collector of folklore. more…

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