David Park Barnitz

I am a little tired of all things mortal;
I see through half-shut eyelids languorous
The old monotonous
Gold sun set slowly through the western portal,
Where I recline upon my deep diwan,
In Ispahan.

I am a little weary of the Persian
Girl that I lov'd; I am quite tir'd of love;
And I am weary of
The smoking censers, and the sweet diversion
Of stroking Leila's jasmine-scented hair,
I thought so fair.

At last I think I am quite tired of beauty;
Why do the stars shine always in the sky?
I think if I might die,
Something more sweet, less tiring than the duty
Of kissing her, might be; I am tired of myrrh,
And kissing her.

Khaled, come, come, and slowly move the scented
Gold narghile away; let the lyres cease.
And now a little peace!
For see, moon-faced Leila hath repented
Of singing Hafiz' songs melodiously,
And languidly.

Surely all things are vain, and great thanksgiving
Is due not; surely all things now are vain;
And all my heart is fain
Of something, something, far too great for living;
Nothing is very sad, nor wonderful,
Nor beautiful.

Well now, since all things are not worth the winning,
Goodbye! With these I have a little playd;
And once, alas, I pray'd
That gorgeous, golden sins be mine for sinning;
But now I would not leave my palanquin
For any sin.

And long ago I prov'd in great compassion
For man, that Brahm is not nor ever was;
But now, alas, alas
I would he were, that in the olden fashion
I might laugh once again ere all is said;
But Brahm is dead.

Then with philosophy I bor'd me duly;
And since I could not slumber all the time,
I, in sweet golden rhyme,
On white papyrus scented with patchouli
Wrote masterpieces starry-beautiful.
The earth was full.

So beauty wearied me; in order slowly
Love, Joy, and Victory came unto me;
I kiss'd them languidly;
'And Virtue came, and Duty, stiff and holy;
To these I said Pray come another day;
'And turn'd away.

Now since of all I am a little weary,
And since on earth I must a while sojourn,
And since a while must burn
The censer of my long existence dreary,
All things shall walk, that own my mastery,
In luxury.

My Ennui shall in vestments falling lowly,
Stiff, purple, trailing, long, episcopal
Sweep through her palace hall,
Like to a consecrated bishop holy;
My Sin from golden goblets of Bysant
Shall drink absinthe.

And my gold-crowned wanton goddess Pleasure,
(My candles are all burning at her shrine)
Shall be made drunk with wine,
And walk unto the velvet-falling measure
Of golden-voiced, solemn-sounding shawms.
No rhyme for shawms.

All they that wait upon me in my glory,
My purple Pride, and my Luxuriousness,
And my Voluptuousness,
Shall show within their faces transitory
Something more subtile than all life can give,
While I shall live. . .

Ah, all is liv'd, all eaten, all is drunken!
Soul, is there anything now left for thee
Nay, ev'n we too have been in virtue sunken,
We have been holy priest, we have confess'd,
Said, Missa Est.

I have drunk out of heavy goblets golden,
As from some hellish tabernaculum
Cannabis, conium;
I know quite all the poisons, all the olden
Sins, all the tenebreux dark secrets hid,
And things forbid.

I have had all things unto mortals given,
I all the women, all the passion I,
All the satiety;
I have had all the pleasures known in heaven,
Paradisiacal, purpureal,

With all the sciences I am acquainted,
Alas! I know quite all the languages,
All the philosophies,
Alas! and all the pictures that are painted,
And all the palac'd capitals that be
Have wearied me.

Alas, all art, all knowledge, and all passion
I have had: I have heard all the symphonies;
I have sail'd all the seas;
I have drain'd all life's cup in languid fashion;
And I am come to Persia again,
Land of cocagne.

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