My Love

I wander by myself in my palace garden,
Where moonlight gleams on bamboo and willow leaves.
Once I preferred the calm and quiet here
To the chatter and clamor of my busy court.
Never had I felt alone,
Until I met the one I love.

My love lives many thousand miles to the south and west,
Beyond many mountain ranges and many desert wastes.
There the sun always blazes with the fury of summer
Almost never do the snows of winter fall.
It is a land of mudbrick huts and limestone temples,
And tombs big as mountains with golden caps.

My love is the fairest I have ever seen,
Yet she is not pale like the maidens here.
The linen hugging her curves may be white,
But underneath she is black as her river’s floodplains.
Gold and colored stones sparkle on her limbs and neck,
But her full lips and dark eyes glisten even brighter.

My love is the fairest I have ever seen,
Yet she is not frail like the maidens here.
She can read and write in hieroglyphs,
So she has learned the wisdom of sages and scholars.
She does not bend or sway to the will of all men.
Instead she holds her head high with a lioness’s pride.

My love is like no other woman I have ever seen.
So there is no woman I desire more than she.
Yet she is the daughter of a king who claims kinship to the heavens.
And he does not want my pallid self to soil their divine lineage.
He has sworn to all his many gods,
That he will protect the one I love.

I will not let him get in the way.
No man shall stand between me and my love.
I shall send my largest galleons to his shores,
Each of them stuffed with soldiers and cannon.
I will claim the one I love for myself,
Even if I must raze her whole kingdom to the ground.


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