BLACK CAT POEMS
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The Lady Kukachin
Sarah Knowles Bolton
Sad and lonely was Arghun Khan
For the loss of Khatun Bulughan,
His best beloved, who, dying, left
A tender message for him bereft,
That one of her blood should fill her place,
Pure and fair from the Mongul race.
So he sent his courtiers among her kin,
And they chose the Lady Kukachin,
Gentle, yet able, though scarce seventeen,
Fit to rule as the Persian Queen.
* * * * *
Thirteen ships and eight hundred men
Sailed from a port in Fokien,
Bearing the bride that was to be;
For two long years, in the Indian sea,
Stopped sometimes by the deadly breath
Of the hot monsoon, they sailed, till death
Had spared but eight of the valiant throng
Who started gayly, with hope and song.
* * * * *
Arghun Khan had passed away
Before his bride had left Cathay:
His brother reigned, and his son Ghazan
Guarded the passes of Khorassan,
With sixty thousand of Persia's pride;
Thither they brought the fair young bride.
He was learned and noble, and fit to win
The hand of the Lady Kukachin;
So with music and dancing she wed Ghazan,
Instead of the gray-haired Arghun Khan.
For two brief years did the sweet girl-wife
Brighten the courtly Persian life;
But when June roses began to fade,
A royal and costly tomb was made,
And with breaking hearts they laid therein
The beautiful Lady Kukachin.
poems by Sarah Knowles Bolton