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Adorned by Flames

Build me a city", said Al-Mansour,
"One the world has never seen before,
Greater than the spread of Al-Cairo,
A city to rival Mecca's glow,
Humble the might of Damascus,
Tell the world that kings are us!
Here where mighty rivers meet
A thousand foes shall taste defeat;
Constantinople, Rome and Greece
Shall make with us ignoble peace!
With stone and mortar wright a song
Make me a city grand and strong"

A thousand plans were made and torn;
The king poured out unvarnished scorn.
"The tortuous history of mankind
With this place should be entwined
When in their thousands fools will die
Make this city the reason why!"
The architect in his confusion
Struggled to match his master's vision.
In his eyes then shone a gleam
In burning sands he saw a dream
Three mighty walls; a golden dome
For the greatest, it shall be home!

"Plough me a circle three miles wide
Fill it with charcoal, wood and hide.
Furrow another outside it
And then plough yet one more pit.
When you're done set them afire
So we shall meet the king's desire"
When it was done he called his king
To watch a most amazing thing:
"O mighty monarch, do you see,
The pivot of human destiny?"
From the flames was a city born
The flames that yet Baghdad adorn!


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