Fly to the Desert


Moore, Thomas, 1779-1852, “Fly to the Desert,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 13, 2024,

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Fly to the Desert


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Courtship--Songs and music
Love--Songs and music
Irish poetry
Deserts--Songs and music


Moore, Thomas, 1779-1852


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967







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Fly to the Desert

Fly to the desert, fly with me,
Our Arab tents are rude for the
But oh! The choice what heart can doubt,
Of tents with love or thrones without?

Our rocks are rough, but smiling there,
The acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lovely and sweet, nor loved the less,
For flowering in a wilderness.

Our sands are bare, but down their slope,
The silvery-footed antelope,
As gracefully and gaily springs,
As over the marble court of kings.

Then come - thy Arab maid will be,
The loved and lone acacia tree
The antelope, whose feet shall bless,
With their light sound thy loneliness.

Oh! there are looks and tones that dart,
And instant sunshine through the heart,
As if the soul that minute caught,
Some treasure it through life has sought.

As if the very lips and eyes,
Predestined to have all our sighs
And never be forgot again,
Sparkled and spoke before us then.

So came thy very glance and tone,
When first on me they breathed and shone,
New as if brought from other spheres,
Yet welcome as if loved for years!

Then fly with me-if thou hast known,
No other flame, nor falsely thrown
A gem away that thou hast sworn,
Should ever in thy heart be worn.

Come, if the love thou hast for me,
Is pure and fresh as mine for thee,
Fresh as the fountain under ground,
Whey first it is by the lapwing found.

But if for me thou dost forsake,
Some other maid and rudely break,
Her worshipped image from its base,
To give to me the ruined place.

When, fare thee well - I would rather make,
My bower upon some icy lake
When thawing suns begin to shine,
Than trust to love so false as thine.

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