Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd

Hospitality

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Lives there a man whose harden'd soul
Ne'er felt soft Pity's kind control;
Ne'er learn'd for others' joys to glow,
Or shed the tear for others' woe;
Whose spark of pure celestial fire
Too soon was quench'd in base desire;
And, once of pure celestial ray,
The mind's best virtues die away.
I bid him turn his tearless eye,
Since Fancy's wing so far can fly;
And view Arabia's desert plains,
Where pure unfetter'd Nature reigns;
'Mid sultry wastes and deserts drear,
The sand reflects affection's tear;
And all the soul, from fetters free,
Dissolves in Hospitality.


Behold the friendless trav'ler roam
These sandy deserts far from home;
And see the deadly whirlwinds rise,
Tremendous sweep the crimson skies;
Heave flaming columns from the ground,
And hurl them all the desert round;
Then fall half smother'd on the sand--
A stranger in a desert land.


See on the torrid ground he lies,
And scarcely lifts his feeble eyes;
While pangs oppress his heaving breast,
And death's dark cave his only rest;
No wife, no child, no parent near,
To raise his head, and wipe the tear;
No pillow and no fountain by,
His only refuge seems--to die.


But when the whirlwind's rage is o'er,
And peaceful lies the sandy shore;
The savage smiling hastes to see,
The beam of sweet tranquillity;
The helpless stranger griev'd shall view,
And tears his manly cheeks bedew;
For him a sigh to Heav'n shall send,
And own a brother and a friend.


He softly raises then the head,
His eyes the tears of sorrow shed;
While friendly, yet discordant sounds,
Pour balm in all his inward wounds;
Bid once again the pulses glow,
The veins with crimson torrents flow;
The savage shall embrace a guest,
Shall bid him welcome to his breast.


At length the trav'ler glad shall rise,
And casting round his grateful eyes;
Shall call the savage nature's child,
The guardian angel of the wild;
And to the tent in peace convey'd,
Shall welcome glad the sacred shade,
And while he views each favor free,
Bless purest Hospitality.

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Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd