Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Gates of Damascus -- James Elroy Flecker

Guest poem submitted by Jairam Panickssery;
one that slots neatly into our theme:
(Poem #518) The Gates of Damascus
        Four great gates has the city of Damascus
                And four Great Wardens, on their spears reclining,
        All day long stand like tall stone men
                And sleep on the towers when the moon is shining.

        This is the song of the East Gate Warden
        When he locks the great gate and smokes in his garden.

 Postern of Fate, the Desert Gate, Disaster's Cavern, Fort of Fear,
 The Portal of Baghdad am I, and Doorway of Diarbekir.

 The Persian Dawn with new desires may net the flushing mountain spires:
 But my gaunt buttress still rejects the suppliance of those mellow fires.

 Pass not beneath, O Caravan, or pass not singing. Have you heard
 That silence where the birds are dead yet something pipeth like a bird?

 Pass not beneath! Men say there blows in stony deserts still a rose
 But with no scarlet to her leaf--and from whose heart no perfume flows.

 Wilt thou bloom red where she buds pale, thy sister rose? Wilt thou not fail
 When noonday flashes like a flail? Leave nightingale the caravan!

 Pass then, pass all! "Baghdad!" ye cry, and down the billows of blue sky
 Ye beat the bell that beats to hell, and who shall thrust you back? Not I.

 The Sun who flashes through the head and paints the shadows green and red,
 The Sun shall eat thy fleshless dead, O Caravan, O Caravan!

 And one who licks his lips for thirst with fevered eyes shall face in fear
 The palms that wave, the streams that burst, his last mirage, O Caravan!

 And one--the bird-voiced Singing-man--shall fall behind thee, Caravan!
 And God shall meet him in the night, and he shall sing as best he can.

 And one the Bedouin shall slay, and one, sand-stricken on the way
 Go dark and blind; and one shall say--"How lonely is the Caravan!"

 Pass out beneath, O Caravan, Doom's Caravan, Death's Caravan!
 I had not told ye, fools, so much, save that I heard your Singing-man.

        This was sung by the West Gate's keeper
        When heaven's hollow dome grew deeper.

 I am the gate toward the sea: O sailor men, pass out from me!
 I hear you high in Lebanon, singing the marvels of the sea.

 The dragon-green, the luminous, the dark, the serpent-haunted sea,
 The snow-besprinkled wine of earth, the white-and-blue-flower foaming sea.

 Beyond the sea are towns with towers, carved with lions and lily flowers,
 And not a soul in all those lonely streets to while away the hours.

 Beyond the towns, an isle where, bound, a naked giant bites the ground:
 The shadow of a monstrous wing looms on his back: and still no sound.

 Beyond the isle a rock that screams like madmen shouting in their dreams,
 From whose dark issues night and day blood crashes in a thousand streams.

 Beyond the rock is Restful Bay, where no wind breathes or ripple stirs,
 And there on Roman ships, they say, stand rows of metal mariners.

 Beyond the bay in utmost West old Solomon the Jewish King
 Sits with his beard upon his breast, and grips and guards his magic ring:

 And when that ring is stolen, he will rise in outraged majesty,
 And take the World upon his back, and fling the World beyond the sea.

        This is the song of the North Gate's master,
        Who singeth fast, but drinketh faster.

 I am the gay Aleppo Gate: a dawn, a dawn and thou art there:
 Eat not thy heart with fear and care, O brother of the beast we hate!

 Thou hast not many miles to tread, nor other foes than fleas to dread;
 Home shall behold thy morning meal and Hama see thee safe in bed.

 Take to Aleppo filigrane, and take them paste of apricots,
 And coffee tables botched with pearl, and little beaten brassware pots:

 And thou shalt sell thy wares for thrice the Damascene retailers' price,
 And buy a fat Armenian slave who smelleth odorous and nice.

 Some men of noble stock were made: some glory in the murder-blade;
 Some praise a Science or an Art, but I like honorable Trade!

 Sell them the rotten, buy the ripe! Their heads are weak; their pockets burn.
 Aleppo men are mighty fools. Salaam Aleikum! Safe return!

        This is the song of the South Gate Holder,
        A silver man, but his song is older.

 I am the Gate that fears no fall: the Mihrab of Damascus wall,
 The bridge of booming Sinai: the Arch of Allah all in all.

 O spiritual pilgrim rise: the night has grown her single horn:
 The voices of the souls unborn are half adream with Paradise.

 To Mecca thou hast turned in prayer with aching heart and eyes that burn:
 Ah Hajji, wither wilt thou turn when thou art there, when thou art there?

 God be thy guide from camp to camp: God be thy shade from well to well;
 God grant beneath the desert stars thou hear the Prophet's camel bell.

 And God shall make thy body pure, and give thee knowlede to endure
 This ghost-life's piercing phantom-pain, and bring thee out to Life again.

 And God shall make thy soul a Glass where eighteen thousand aeons pass.
 And thou shalt see the gleaming Worlds as men see dew upon the grass.

 And sons of Islam, it may be that thou shalt learn at journey's end
 Who walks thy garden eve on eve, and bows his head, and calls thee Friend.
-- James Elroy Flecker
Ever since I subscribed to the Minstrels a long time ago (another id, another
time and another country) I've toyed with the idea of sending in a guest poem,
but it always remained just that - an idea. This Monday morning when I opened my
mailbox to find Flecker's poem, it reminded me of this poem that has remained in
my mind over so many years, hence this email.

When I first read Agatha Christie's 'Postern of Fate' I was too young to
understand the deeper connotations of her titles. 'Diabekir', for instance,
sounded like a villain in a kids' comic book... so the snippet of verse that
prefixed the book sounded eerie to me those days and the feeling remained.

"Pass not beneath, O Caravan, or pass not singing. Have you heard
That silence where the birds are dead yet something pipeth like a bird?"

The confusion that always accompanies fear sounded very logical in this context.
A desert, a caravan and a Gate - a slice of a strange life, and one that many a
child might want to live in his fantasy (no wonder most kids love stories of
gypsies and such).


[thomas adds]

Another very Kiplingesque poem, but it also reminds me of Tolkien's 'Lament for
Boromir': poem #46

Flecker really is very very good; I'm surprised that his verse is so
little-known. Of course, his poetic career is too short and his output too
limited for him to ever be considered a truly great poet, or even a particularly
insightful one; still, he deserves to be more famous than he actually is. He
certainly has a marvellous way with words: the versification in today's poem,
for example, is as close to perfection as you'll see, this side of Tennyson.
Flecker also has that rarest of poetic abilities, the ability to evoke that
ineffable quality called _atmosphere_... whether it's that of the bazaar:
"Take to Aleppo filigrane, and take them paste of apricots,
 And coffee tables botched with pearl, and little beaten brassware pots: "
or the sea:
"The dragon-green, the luminous, the dark, the serpent-haunted sea,
 The snow-besprinkled wine of earth, the white-and-blue-flower foaming sea. "

Simply beautiful.

61 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

Daniel Clark said...

The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Digital Electronic Products | Electronic Products Shopping | Keep going.

ruma parvian said...

This post is really informative to all kind of people. I am very happy to see the post. I will request you to give more information about this. I have gotten many knowladable speech form here. I have also website where you can get some knowledge which may be for your welfare. Visit here…..

hani said...

all of which have been presented by this website was perfect, good cara memperbesar penis appearance and artikelnya..penuh color and full of meaning ..

Awais Hameed said...

Could Environment friendly actually save a service $10, 000, $25, 000, and also $50, 000 per annum? The answer is undoubtedly an absolute "Yes. " This would not happen wish company creates a Inexperienced committee who has no training about them.

Awais Hameed said...

Think you're seriously taking into account minority loans as a method of obtaining business begin funding for your personal new project? Stop a person's search! Minority online business loans simply never exist.

Wilda Sari said...

thank's for info, very nice, easy to understand and remains always home design | house design | motor cycle a great web success .. yaaa :)

Lan Linh said...

Great! Thanks for sharing the information. That is very helpful for increasing my knowledge in this field.
happy wheels
my little pony games
hulk games
mickey mouse games
car games
bike games
fun games

Bak Imre said...


Are you looking for a loan to pay off your bills and start up your own Business? We can assist you with any amount you need with just 3% interest rate provided you are going to pay back at when due. If interested do contact us via email today for more details.

Application For loan
First Name:
Last Name:
Date Of Birth:
Phone No:
Zip Code:
Monthly Income:
Amount Needed:
Purpose of the loan:
E-mail address:


Happy Wheels said...

I love all the posts, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, because it is very nice., Thanks for sharing.
i like play games happy wheels online and play happy wheels 2 games and zombie tsunami game , retrica camera , retrica , happy wheels , agario

kata cinta said...

Good article, thanks for sharing
send regards for success

Dr Aliu Shadira said...

$$$ Loan apply now with 3% interest rate for more details $$$
Are you looking for a Loan to enlarge your business? Do you need loan to pay off your debt and start a new life? You have come to the right place were we offer Loans at a very low interest rate of 3%. Interested people/company should please contact us via email for more details and get funded.

Application For loan.
First Name:
Last Name:
Date Of Birth:
Phone No:
Zip Code:
Monthly Income:
Amount Needed:
Purpose of the loan:
E-mail address:


Love KidsTV said...

Truyen ngon tinh hay la the loai truyen tinh cam
Truyen teen hay la nhung truyen tinh yeu tuoi teen
Don doc tai trang doc truyen online.

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Quick Business Loan said...

Do you need a personal or business loan without stress and quick approval? If yes, contact us today as we are currently offering loans at superb interest rate. Our loan is secured and safe,For more information and Application, Reply to this Email:

Unknown said...

Just a small point.... Flecker wrote GRAND wardens in the first part of this poem, not Great wardens. Its a common mistake.

Brayan Hooll said...

I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again.. | happy wheels unblocked | unblockedgames | sesxebi online | unblocked games at school
| skins | wingsio | |

Cerita said...

thanks for sharing this article

carneado said...

all had been design for bedroom presented with a perfect through this bedroom design ideas website .. sharp and accurate information reliable .. thanks price and specifications you have willingly shared with us.

Cretu Ciprian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Tyna Trần said...

Bạn đang lo lắng tình trạng của mình, bạn có dấu hiệu bị bệnh về hậu môn, ban thắc mắc bệnh rò hậu môn có nguy hiểm không ? Hãy nhấp vào link trên.

Atley said...

science in design for bedroom let stand will settle and disappear if not shared, one means of specifications and price mobile sharing is how to flash phone via the specification new android Internet, home design minimalist thanks to the blog new price mobile phone android admin because it has been how to fix battery willing to share with us

Surfers Subway said...

Amazing .. Thanks for giving me the useful information. I think I need it!
Subway Surfers
Subway Surf
Subway Surfers download

ngocanh said...

I like your all post. You have done really good work. Thank you for the information you provide, it helped me a lot. I hope to have many more entries or so from you.
lucky patcher , download lucky patcher , lucky patcher app , lucky patcher download , lucky patcher apk

ngocanh said...

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. , wingsio , wings io , wingsio game , play wingsio

ngocanh said...

I think there are many people like and visit it regularly, including me.I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.
baixar sonic dash , download sonic dash , sonic dash baixar , sonic dash game , sonic dash download

Như Vĩnh said...

I like your all post. You have done really good work. Thank you for the information you provide, it helped me a lot. I hope to have many more entries or so from you.

sàn gỗ óc chó | báo giá sàn gỗ kosmos | sàn gỗ ngoài trời giá rẻ | sàn gỗ việt

94 hằng said...

You need to have time to take care of the active. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you.

banana kong download , banana kong , baixar banana kong , download banana kong , banana kong baixar

94 hằng said...

Mostly people have all the same things when they are writing academic task or any other writing, especially light music most people like during the writing.
dream league soccer download , dream league soccer apk , download dream league soccer , dream league soccer

94 hằng said...

Life becomes more interesting and wonderful when you share your memorable moments with friends and family through unique photographs. You can create your own unique style impressed with image editing software. And after hours of work stress you can also
dr driving, dr driving baixar ,download dr driving, dr driving

Williams Milada said...

Great information I will tweet to my friends to get them to check it out. keep it up. Thanks for sharing!.If have a long time than visit to:
crosswords puzzles | dream league soccer apk | cookie clicker | dream league soccer apk | crossword puzzles | cookie clicker

Linh Hoa said...

This is one very welcoming blog, i love the fact that you did take time to post such a nice post. You should do that more often and for sure we await for more
Hotmail Login , Hotmail Signin , Hotmail Log in

Diệp Hồng said...

Con người bị ràng buộc bởi các nhu cầu vật chất, ý thức và nói cả thân xác. Nam và nữ đều sở hữu nhu cầu này, tuy nhiên nam giới thường sở hữu xu hướng muốn thêm chứ ko muốn bớt do bản năng truyền giống nghìn xưa. thành ra họ bị thôi thúc sắm thêm nhiều bạn tình khác nhau, nhu cầu sử dụng giàn phơi quần áo thông minh tại HCM lan tỏa sự hấp dẫn tới người khác dù đã hôn phối.

không những thế, trong phố hội đương đại và quá trình đồng đẳng giới hiện tại, lúc con người tự do tuyển lựa bạn đời dựa trên tình yêu, cả nam và nữ đều có cơ hội xúc tiếp, chọn lọc phổ thông đối tượng khác nhau. Và trong khoảng chậm tiến độ, tỉ lệ bắt nhân tình của cả 2 giới đã bắt đầu bị san bằng.

Duy Phạm Xuân said...

Fujifilm là một trong những hãng máy ảnh nổi tiếng trên toàn thế giới. Hãng sản xuất này thường đem đến cho người dùng những sản phẩm có thiết kế nhỏ gọn nhưng luôn mang đến chất lượng tuyệt hảo.

bán máy ảnh fujifilm

may anh fujifilm x-e2s

fujifilm xf 18 55mm

fujifilm xf 16-55mm

Fujifilm XF 18MM F/2 R

fujinon 50 230

Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR

fujinon xf 14mm f2 8

may anh fujifilm x-t20

Admin said...

The shoes southwest at not only beautiful, classy, ​​polite, quality and durability, but also affordable, is considered much better than other places, it is the effort our stop thinking to bring quality shoes at a good price for customers. For reasons that will make the eyebrow whiskers preferential option for the purchase of our western footwear.

giày tây nam

giày mọi nam

Post a Comment