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 ‘Alas!’ she cried, “hast thou forgotten quite
The words of Him we spake of yesternight?
Or thy own prophet's, ‘ Whoso doth endure And pardon, of eternal life is sure
O great and good! be thy revenge alone
Felt in thy mercy to the erring shown;
Let thwarted love and youth their pardon plead,
Who sinned but in intent, and not in deed!”
One moment the strong frame of Akbar shook
With the great storm of passion. Then his look
Softened to her uplifted face, that still
Pleaded more strongly than all words, until
Its pride and anger seemed like overblown,
Spent clouds of thunder left to tell alone
Of strife and overcoming. With bowed head,
And smiting on his bosom: ‘God,’ he said,
“Alone is great, and let His holy name
Be honored, even to His servant's shame!
Well spake thy prophet, Miriam,—he alone
Who hath not sinned is meet to cast a stone
At such as these, who here their doom await,
Held like myself in the strong grasp of fate.
They sinned through love, as I through love for. give;
Take them beyond my realm, but let them live!”
And, like a chorus to the words of grace,
The ancient Fakir, sitting in his place,
Motionless as an idol and as grim,
In the pavilion Akbar built for him
Under the court-yard trees, (for he was wise,
Knew Menu's laws, and through his close-shut eyes
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