Clinton Scollard: As I came down from Lebanon

As I came down from Lebanon

Clinton Scollard

As I came down from Lebanon, Came winding, wandering slowly down Through mountain passes bleak and brown, The cloudless day was well-nigh done. The city, like an opal set In emerald, showed each minaret Afire with radiant beams of sun, And glistened orange, fig, and lime, Where song-birds made melodious chime, As I came down from Lebanon.
As I came down from Lebanon, Like lava in the dying glow, Through olive orchards far below I saw the murmuring river run; And 'neath the wall upon the sand Swart sheiks from distant Samarcand, With precious spices they had won, Lay long and languidly in wait Till they might pass the guarded gate, As I came down from Lebanon.
As I came down from Lebanon, I saw strange men from lands afar, In mosque and square and gay bazar, The Magi that the Moslem shun, And grave Effendi from Stamboul, Who sherbet sipped in corners cool; And, from the balconies o'errun With roses, gleamed the eyes of those Who dwell in still seraglios, As I came down from Lebanon.
As I came down from Lebanon, The flaming flower of daytime died, And Night, arrayed as is a bride Of some great king, in garments spun Of purple and the finest gold, Outbloomed in glories manifold, Until the moon, above the dun And darkening desert, void of shade, Shone like a keen Damascus blade, As I came down from Lebanon.