A blue-black Nubian plucking oranges
At Jaffa by a sea of malachite,
In red tarboosh, green sash, and flowing white
Burnous—among the shadowy memories
That haunt me yet by these bleak northern seas
He lives for ever in my eyes’ delight,
Bizarre, superb in young immortal might—
A god of old barbaric mysteries.
Maybe he lived a life of lies and lust,
Maybe his bones are now but scattered dust;
Yet, for a moment he was life supreme
Exultant and unchallenged: and my rhyme
Would set him safely out of reach of time
In that old heaven where things are what they seem.
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson