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Fatima And Raduan

William Cullen Bryant 1794 (Cummington) – 1878 (New York City)

FROM THE SPANISH.

Diamante falso y fingido,
Engastado en pedernal, &c.

'False diamond set in flint! the caverns of the mine
Are warmer than the breast that holds that faithless heart of thine;
Thou art fickle as the sea, thou art wandering as the wind,
And the restless ever-mounting flame is not more hard to bind.
If the tears I shed were tongues, yet all too few would be
To tell of all the treachery that thou hast shown to me.
Oh! I could chide thee sharply--but every maiden knows
That she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes.

'Thou hast called me oft the flower of all Grenada's maids,
Thou hast said that by the side of me the first and fairest fades;
And they thought thy heart was mine, and it seemed to every one
That what thou didst to win my love, from love of me was done.
Alas! if they but knew thee, as mine it is to know,
They well might see another mark to which thine arrows go;
But thou giv'st me little heed--for I speak to one who knows
That she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes.

'It wearies me, mine enemy, that I must weep and bear
What fills thy heart with triumph, and fills my own with care.
Thou art leagued with those that hate me, and ah! thou know'st I feel
That cruel words as surely kill as sharpest blades of steel.
'Twas the doubt that thou wert false that wrung my heart with pain;
But, now I know thy perfidy, I shall be well again.
I would proclaim thee as thou art--but every maiden knows
That she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes.'

Thus Fatima complained to the valiant Raduan,
Where underneath the myrtles Alhambra's fountains ran:
The Moor was inly moved, and blameless as he was,
He took her white hand in his own, and pleaded thus his cause.
'Oh, lady, dry those star-like eyes--their dimness does me wrong;
If my heart be made of flint, at least 'twill keep thy image long;
Thou hast uttered cruel words--but I grieve the less for those,
Since she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant was an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. more…

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