BETA

LINES ON THE SALE OF THE BLACK ARAB, THE GIFT OF THE
IMAUM OF MUSCAT.

Yes ! it is well that he should go,1
The matchless present of a king,2
From ends so vile, and thoughts so low,3
As round the soul of England cling.4
He was a horse for days of old,5
When British hearts were firm and
true,
6
Unfit for times so mean and cold,7
And that the greedy pedlars knew ;8
They cared not, when to stranger-men9
The courteous monarch’s gift was
sent ;
10
That link’d therewith, for ever then11
The honour of the people went.12
They care not that the shameful tale13
Throughout the wavering East is
borne,
14
Making the sellers, and the sale,15
A mark for just and hostile scorn.16
What though with throbbing hearts
we fear
17
Strange terrors rushing from afar,18
And daily rather feel than hear19
The stealthy tread of Russian war ?20
Great thoughts, great deeds, and feel-
ings high,
21
The sunshine of our British past,22
All they can neither sell nor buy,23
To heaven or hell away they cast.24
Yes ! it is well that he should go,25
The matchless present of a king,26
From ends so vile, and thoughts so
low,
27
As round the soul of England cling.28
The spirit of his Arab sires29
Would droop, as though in fetters
bound,
30
With no reflection of its fires,31
From aught that moved or breathed
around.
32
England of yore was full of men 33
Made strong to run a glorious
course,
34
Of lion-port and eagle-ken,35
Fit riders for the Arab horse.36
His high heart, then, like mingling
flame,
37
Into their brightness would have
flow’d ;
38
And, in his generous veins, the same39
Free spirit would have lived and
glow’d.
40
Such were the fearless few who stood41
Around a trembling tyrant’s throne,42
Eager to shed their dearest blood43
On freedom’s primal altar-stone.44
Such were the giants who upsprung45
Round her who crush’d insulting
Spain,
46
When, from our arms and hearts, we
flung
47
The fragments of the papal chain.48
Such who, in old manorial halls,49
Which yet with loyal echoes ring,50
Live still along the storied walls51
In armour for an outraged king.52
Knights who at Naseby stood, and
died
53
Unbroken by the Roundhead boor,54
Or from broad death wounds swell’d
the tide
55
Of faithful blood on Marston moor.56
But Faith, and Truth, and Chivalry,57
And emanting powers, have fled ;58
The veins of the worn earth are dry,59
By which each mighty growth was
fed.
60
Scarce, through the gathering dim-
ness, One
61
True-hearted heir of ancient worth62
Shines, like the last ray of the sun,63
The night before the floods went
forth.
64
The rest are shadows of an hour,65
A sapless, bloodless, boneless throng,66
Without the spirit, or the power,67
For noble right, or strenuous wrong.68
Amid the fog, and icy gloom,69
Round wither’d heart, and stunted
brain,
70
We have not sympathy, or room71
For aught that shows a generous
strain.
72
Then freely let the Arab go,73
That matchless present of a king,74
From ends so vile, and thoughts so
low,
75
As round the soul of England cling.76