Alexander And Zenobia

Fair was the evening and brightly the sun
  Was shining on desert and grove,
Sweet were the breezes and balmy the flowers
  And cloudless the heavens above.
It was Arabia's distant land
  And peaceful was the hour;
Two youthful figures lay reclined
  Deep in a shady bower.

One was a boy of just fourteen
  Bold beautiful and bright;
Soft raven curls hung clustering round
  A brow of marble white.

The fair brow and ruddy cheek
  Spoke of less burning skies;
Words cannot paint the look that beamed
  In his dark lustrous eyes.

The other was a slender girl,
  Blooming and young and fair.
The snowy neck was shaded with
  The long bright sunny hair.

And those deep eyes of watery blue,
  So sweetly sad they seemed.
And every feature in her face
  With pensive sorrow teemed.

The youth beheld her saddened air
  And smiling cheerfully
He said, 'How pleasant is the land
  Of sunny Araby!

'Zenobia, I never saw
  A lovelier eve than this;
I never felt my spirit raised
  With more unbroken bliss!

'So deep the shades, so calm the hour,
  So soft the breezes sigh,
So sweetly Philomel begins
  Her heavenly melody.

'So pleasant are the scents that rise
  From flowers of loveliest hue,
And more than all -- Zenobia,
  I am alone with you!

Are we not happy here alone
  In such a healthy spot?'
He looked to her with joyful smile
  But she returned it not.

'Why are you sorrowful?' he asked
  And heaved a bitter sigh,
'O tell me why those drops of woe
  Are gathering in your eye.'

'Gladly would I rejoice,' she said,
  'But grief weighs down my heart.
'Can I be happy when I know
  Tomorrow we must part?

'Yes, Alexander, I must see
  This happy land no more.
At break of day I must return
  To distant Gondal's shore.

'At morning we must bid farewell,
  And at the close of day
You will be wandering alone
  And I shall be away.

'I shall be sorrowing for you
  On the wide weltering sea,
And you will perhaps have wandered here
  To sit and think of me.'

'And shall we part so soon?' he cried,
  'Must we be torn away?
Shall I be left to mourn alone?
  Will you no longer stay?

'And shall we never meet again,
  Hearts that have grown together?
Must they at once be rent away
  And kept apart for ever?'

'Yes, Alexander, we must part,
  But we may meet again,
For when I left my native land
  I wept in anguish then.

'Never shall I forget the day
  I left its rocky shore.
We thought that we had bid adieu
  To meet on earth no more.

'When we had parted how I wept
  To see the mountains blue
Grow dimmer and more distant -- till
  They faded from my view.

'And you too wept -- we little thought
  After so long a time,
To meet again so suddenly
  In such a distant clime.

'We met on Grecia's classic plain,
  We part in Araby.
And let us hope to meet again
  Beneath our Gondal's sky.'

'Zenobia, do you remember
  A little lonely spring
Among Exina's woody hills
  Where blackbirds used to sing,

'And when they ceased as daylight faded
  From the dusky sky
The pensive nightingale began
  Her matchless melody?

'Sweet bluebells used to flourish there
  And tall trees waved on high,
And through their ever sounding leaves
  The soft wind used to sigh.

'At morning we have often played
  Beside that lonely well;
At evening we have lingered there
  Till dewy twilight fell.

'And when your fifteenth birthday comes,
  Remember me, my love,
And think of what I said to you
  In this sweet spicy grove.

'At evening wander to that spring
  And sit and wait for me;
And 'ere the sun has ceased to shine
  I will return to thee.

'Two years is a weary time
  But it will soon be fled.
And if you do not meet me -- know
  I am not false but dead.'

* * *

Sweetly the summer day declines
  On forest, plain, and hill
And in that spacious palace hall
  So lonely, wide and still.

Beside a window's open arch,
 
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Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë was a British novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. more…

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"Alexander And Zenobia" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 11 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/3134/alexander-and-zenobia>.

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