The Sheikh Who Never Studied English Verse
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  • WigWag

    I have another poem about an ancient Persian sheikh that deals with the same subject.

    Even This Shall Pass Away
    Theodore Tilton

    Once in Persia reigned a King
    Who upon his signet ring
    Graved a maxim true and wise,
    Which, if held before the eyes,
    Gave him counsel at a glance,
    Fit for every change and chance.
    Solemn words, and these are they:
    “Even this shall pass away.”

    Trains of camels through the sand
    Brought his gems from Samarcand;
    Fleets of galleys through the seas
    Brought him pearls to match with these.
    But he counted not his gain
    Treasures of the mine or main;
    “What is wealth?” the king would say;
    “Even this shall pass away.”

    Lady fairest ever seen,
    Was the woman he crowned his queen,
    Pillowed on his marriage bed,
    Softly to his soul he said,
    Though no bridegroom ever pressed,
    Fairer bosom to his breast,
    Mortal flesh must come to clay,
    Even this shall pass away.

    In the revels of his court
    At the zenith of the sport,
    When the palms of all his guests
    Burned with clapping at his jests;
    He amid his figs and wine,
    Cried: “Oh loving friends of mine!”
    “Pleasure comes but not to stay;”
    “Even this shall pass away.”

    Fighting on a furious field,
    Once a javelin pierced his shield;
    Soldiers with a loud lament
    Bore him bleeding to his tent;
    Groaning from his tortured side,
    “Pain is hard to bear,” he cried,
    “But with patience, day by day,
    Even this shall pass away.”

    Towering in the public square,
    Twenty cubits in the air,
    Rose his statue, carved in stone,
    Then, the king, disguised, unknown,
    Stood before his sculptured name
    Musing meekly, “What is fame?
    Fame is but a slow decay
    Even this shall pass away.”

    Struck with palsy, sere and old,
    Waiting at the gates of gold,
    Said he with his dying breath;
    “Life is done, but what is death?”
    Then, in answer to the King,
    Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
    Showing by a heavenly ray,
    Even this shall pass away.

  • David

    I wonder if he knows it is upside down relative to North. Why wouldn’t he have it facing Mecca.

  • Toni

    Well…at least he created some jobs.

  • OzyPOTUS

    …Shovel ready.

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