When Othman’s sword, as Paleologue’s, is broken
And Othman’s gods are smitten to the dust,
And naught remains, not even a rusty token
Of their hierarchal cruelty and lust;—
When church and mosque and synagogue shall be,
Despite the bigot’s cry, the zealot’s prayer,
Unbounded in their bounties all and free
In every heritage divine to share;—
When thou shalt rise, rejoicing in thy loss,
Upon the ruins of a state nefast
To reconcile the Crescent and the Cross
And wash thy hands of thine unholy past;—
When with the faith new-born of East and West,
Which spans the azure heights of man’s desire,
The spirit of thy people, long oppressed,
Is all a-glow with its undying fire;—
When thou thyself, Byzantium, shalt stand
In the minaret of Freedom and thy voice,
Rising above the muazzens in the land,
Bids all the seekers of the light rejoice;—
When in thy heart the flame of freedom sings,
And in thy hand the torch of freedom glows,
And in thy word the sword of freedom rings,
And in thy deed the seed of freedom grows,—

Then shall we call thee Mistress of the Morn,
Bride of the Straits, Queen of the Golden Horn.

From A Chant of Mystics (James T. White & Co., 1921) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.