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760

Afrasiab's cities only, Samarcand,
Bokhara, and lone Khiva in the waste,
And the black Toorkmun tents; and only
drunk

The desert rivers, Moorghab and Tejend, Kohik, and where the Kalmuks feed their sheep,

The northern Sir; and this great Oxus stream765

The yellow Oxus, by whose brink I die.' And, with a heavy groan, Rustum bewailed:

'Oh, that its waves were flowing over me! Oh, that I saw its grains of yellow silt Roll tumbling in the current o'er my head!' And, with a grave mild voice, Sohrab replied:

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'Desire not that, my father: thou must live. For some are born to do great deeds, and live,

As some are born to be obscured, and die. Do thou the deeds I die too young to do, And reap a second glory in thine age. 776 Thou art my father, and thy gain is mine. But come: thou seest this great host of

men

Which follow me; I pray thee, slay not these:

Let me entreat for them: what have they done? 780

They followed me, my hope, my fame, my

star.

Let them all cross the Oxus back in peace.

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With the snow-headed Zal, and all my

friends,

And I will lay thee in that lovely earth, And heap a stately mound above thy bones, And plant a far-seen pillar over all: 804 And men shall not forget thee in thy grave. And I will spare thy host: yea, let them go: Let them all cross the Oxus back in peace. What should I do with slaying any more? For would that all whom I have ever slain Might be once more alive; my bitterest foes,

810

And they who were called champions in their time,

And through whose death I won that fame I have;

And I were nothing but a common man,
A poor, mean soldier, and without renown;
So thou mightest live too, my son, my son!
Or rather would that I, even I myself, 816
Might now be lying on this bloody sand,
Near death, and by an ignorant stroke of
thine,

Not thou of mine; and I might die, not thou;

And I, not thou, be borne to Seistan;

820

And Zal might weep above my grave, not thine;

And say "O son, I weep thee not too

sore,

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Not yet but thou shalt have it on that day, When thou shalt sail in a high-masted ship, Thou and the other peers of Kai Khosroo, Returning home over the salt blue sea, From laying thy dear master in his grave.' And Rustum gazed in Sohrab's face, and said: 835 'Soon be that day, my son, and deep that sea!

Till then, if fate so wills, let me endure.' He spoke; and Sohrab smiled on him, and took

The spear, and drew it from his side, and eased

His wound's imperious anguish; but the blood 840

Came welling from the open gash, and life Flowed with the stream; all down his cold white side

The crimson torrent ran, dim now and soiled,

Like the soiled tissue of white violets Left, freshly gathered, on their native bank, By children whom their nurses call with haste 846 Indoors from the sun's eye; his head drooped low,

His limbs grew slack: motionless, white, he lay,

White, with eyes closed, only when heavy

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By Jemshid in Persepolis, to bear His house, now 'mid their broken flights of steps,

Lie prone, enormous, down the mountain side:

So, in the sand, lay Rustum by his son. And night came down over the solemn waste, 865 And the two gazing hosts, and that sole pair,

And darkened all; and a cold fog, with night,

Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose, As of a great assembly loosed, and fires Began to twinkle through the fog; for now Both armies moved to camp, and took their meal: 871 The Persians took it on the open sands Southward, the Tartars, by the river marge: And Rustum and his son were left alone.

But the majestic river floated on, 875 Out of the mist and hum of that low land, Into the frosty starlight, and there moved, Rejoicing, through the hushed Chorasmian waste,

Under the solitary moon: he flowed

Right for the polar star, past Orgunjè, 880 Brimming, and bright, and large; then sands

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MATTHEW ARNOLD

'Mid wide grass meadows which the sunshine fills,

And watch the

Cumner hills,

warm

green-muffled

And wonder if thou haunt'st their

shy retreats.

70

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And once, in winter, on the causeway chill Where home through flooded fields foottravelers go,

Have I not passed thee on the wooden bridge

Wrapt in thy cloak and battling with the

snow,

Thy face toward Hinskey and its wintry ridge?

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And thou hast climbed the hill, And gained the white brow of the Cum

ner range,

Turned once to watch, while thick the

snowflakes fall,

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