The Merry Bard

By William Makepeace Thackeray

ZULEIKAH! The young Agas in the bazaar are slim-wasted and wear
yellow slippers. I am old and hideous. One of my eyes is out, and
the hairs of my beard are mostly gray. Praise be to Allah! I am a
merry bard.

There is a bird upon the terrace of the Emir’s chief wife. Praise
be to Allah! He has emeralds on his neck, and a ruby tail. I am a
merry bard. He deafens me with his diabolical screaming.

There is a little brown bird in the basket-maker’s cage. Praise be
to Allah! He ravishes my soul in the moonlight. I am a merry bard.

The peacock is an Aga, but the little bird is a Bulbul.

I am a little brown Bulbul. Come and listen in the moonlight.
Praise be to Allah! I am a merry bard.

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