(((span class="indent1"/))) Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar
(((span class="indent1"/))) (((span class="indent4"/))) — Laurence Hope

Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight?
Whom else from rapture’ s road will you expel tonight?

Those “Fabrics of Cashmere — ” “to make Me beautiful — ”
“Trinket” — to gem — “Me to adorn — How tell” — tonight?

I beg for haven: Prisons, let open your gates —
A refugee from Belief seeks a cell tonight.

God’ s vintage loneliness has turned to vinegar —
All the archangels — their wings frozen — fell tonight.

Lord, cried out the idols, Don’ t let us be broken;
Only we can convert the infidel tonight.

Mughal ceilings, let your mirrored convexities
multiply me at once under your spell tonight.

He’ s freed some fire from ice in pity for Heaven.
He’ s left open — for God — the doors of Hell tonight.

In the heart’ s veined temple, all statues have been smashed.
No priest in saffron’ s left to toll its knell tonight.

God, limit these punishments, there’ s still Judgment Day —
I’ m a mere sinner, I’ m no infidel tonight.

Executioners near the woman at the window.
Damn you, Elijah, I’ ll bless Jezebel tonight.

The hunt is over, and I hear the Call to Prayer
fade into that of the wounded gazelle tonight.

My rivals for your love — you’ ve invited them all?
This is mere insult, this is no farewell tonight.

And I, Shahid, only am escaped to tell thee —
God sobs in my arms. Call me Ishmael tonight.