Home  »  An American Anthology, 1787–1900  »  517 Bookra

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). An American Anthology, 1787–1900. 1900.

By Charles DudleyWarner

517 Bookra

ONE night I lay asleep in Africa,

In a closed garden by the city gate;

A desert horseman, furious and late,

Came wildly thundering at the massive bar,

“Open in Allah’s name! Wake, Mustapha!

Slain is the Sultan,—treason, war, and hate

Rage from Fez to Tetuan! Open straight.”

The watchman heard as thunder from afar:

“Go to! In peace this city lies asleep;

To all-knowing Allah ’t is no news you bring;”

Then turned in slumber still his watch to keep.

At once a nightingale began to sing,

In oriental calm the garden lay,—

Panic and war postponed another day.