Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Later Letter of Sultan Mahmoud

Wherein our fabled folk-hero, the Sultan, mulls over loss.

Brides and marshals have left my side,
My provinces I have lost; my pride has deserted me
Only in your goodness you have kept me alive
When I rend my throat for mercy and no one hears me, you are there
Day after day, my life receives from you a trickle of hope
My love is for you -- how can I pine for anyone else?
The world's treasures before me are as so many pearls before swine
I chase, I covet, with feigned fervour, but I fool no one:
As easily as I gain what I desire, they are taken from me
Only you, for in every moment I long to return to your embrace!
Never turn your gaze away, lest I turn to dust
For I am filled with dread for when you too will leave me forever
I will tear my robes, I will shred my heart, I will never regain peace.