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This poem is taken from PN Review 2, Volume 4 Number 2, January - March 1978.

The Last Caliph Robert Wells

1.
Quietly he watched the weighed eyes close
And the unhallowed presence intrude.
When the boy fell on the rug, he rose
In silence, his anger dispossessed

By kindness that took as its disguise
Ironic leave of each kingly mood;
Then stared at the scheme of paradise
In woven silk, and the limbs at rest.

2.
The masterful whirls seemed metal grills
Of a great window, at which he stood
For a breeze from the spare-featured hills
To sting his eyes like a hint of dust.

But its life was fixed like summer air
Till he assented with gratitude
To the grace that broke the pattern there
In sleep's unthinking perilous trust.

3.
Taking your challenge, one from their line
...


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