Wednesday, December 29

The Road To Samarkand

M39 over a small outcrop of the Pamirs, via Kishlyk, Kizyl-Turuk, Dzhana; leaving the highway to cross the Zarafshan near Urtashikh; into Samarkand from the S:

We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further: it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,

White on a throne or guarded in a cave
There lives a prophet who can understand
Why men were born: but surely we are brave,
Who take the Golden Road to Samarkand.

Sweet to ride forth at evening from the wells
When shadows pass gigantic on the sand,
And softly through the silence beat the bells
Along the Golden Road to Samarkand.

We travel not for trafficking alone;
By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned:
For lust of knowing what should not be known
We make the Golden Journey to Samarkand.

-- James Elroy Flecker.


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