Ina Coolbrith


Leagues, leagues of blinding sand 
On either hand; 
A pitiless, brazen sea 
Outrolling heavily 
Far and away until it glimmers dim, 
At the horizon’s rim. 
A sinking caravan, 
Camel and horse and man 
Spent since the day began, - 
And closing on their path, 
The flame-tinged air that speaks the simoom’s wrath. 

A sudden breath of balm! 
The shadow of a palm 
Against the sky; and then about their feet 
The cool soft grasses meet; 
And to their thirsting lips, 
Sweeter than kisses which the Sultan sips 
In the Rose Garden, when the bulbuls sing, 
And moon and stars and love are listening, 
The cold clear water from the well that drips. 
‘Allah be praised! ’ the Arab drops his rein, 
New life in every vein: 
‘Allah be praised! ’ and bows him to the sod: 
‘Lo, God is God! there is no God but God! ’