An Arab beats upon a kettle drum,
And tuneless is the wailing of the flutes
As on the sands a slavegirl executes
Her dance of wantonwild delirium;
Her body swaying like a pendulum
Backwards and forwards, while in evolutes
She weaves and weaves before fierce pagan brutes
Who gaze at her in wonder that is dumb.
I look upon her limbs bronzed by the sun,
And see within her eyes strange caravans,
Marching all day across blank desert lands,
Until they come at night to where in rings
The Nomad fires glimmer, one by one,
around the tombs of longforgotten kings.