(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Bengali Book of English Verse"

Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



GIFT OF 
HORACE W. CARPENTIER 



9^ 




' ' ' ' t ' ' • •!• 



• * «*h«.v '»• - W* 



The Bengali Book 

of 

English Verse 

selected and arranged 

by 
THEODORE DOUGLAS DUNN 

with a foreword 

by 
SIR RABINDRANATH TAGORE. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 

HORNBY ROAD, BOMBAY 

6 OLD COURT HOUSE STREET, CAIXiUTTA 

167 MOUNT ROAD, MADRAS 

I^NDON AND NBW YORK 
I918 



• » • • - 

• 



• * 



• » » • ■ • , 

• • • •/ • • 













/• -N_' 



Ga»-p<''^""' 



CV^ 



TO 

HIS EXCELLENCY 
THE EARL OF RONALDSHAY 

THIS MEMORIAL OP BENGALI ACHIEVEMENT 

IN 
THE LANGUAGE OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 



i ' 5 '-i O O v> 



Contents. 



• • 



Acknowledgments 

Foreword 

Introduction 



KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 

Dasahara . • 

To a Young Hindu Widow 

Storm and Rain 

To a Dead Crow . . 

RAJNARAIN DUTT. 



• • 



• • 



Song from *' Osmyn 



99 



• • 



• • 



PACK 

ix 
xi 

XV 



• • 



• •> 



I 

2 
3 
5 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 




The Captive Ladie • • 


• • • • 8 


Sonnets 


20 


HUR CHUNDER DU'lT. 




Tarra Baee; • 


.. 21 


The Flight of Humayun . • 


. . 22 


Akbar*s Dying Charge 


.. 26 


Sonnet — India 


. . 27 


The Rakhi . • 


.. 27 


COVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 




Song from the Bengali 


.. 29 


To Lord Canning . . 


. 29 


A Farewell to Romance 


.. 31 


Lines • • • • • . • 


. . 34 


Wordsworth's Poems 


.. 35 


Home • • . . • • • • 


.. 36 


Night on the Ganges 


.. 38 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



OMESH CHUNDER DUTT. 
The Chief of Pokuma 
The Hindu Wife to her Husband 
Hynm to Shiva 
Sonnets — War 
Sonnets — Peace 



•'• 



FACB 

40 
44 
45 
46 
47 



NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (RAM SHARMA). 

In Memoriam, Michad Dutt 
Portraits from " The Last Day " . . 
Hymn to Dorga 
Robert Knis^t 



« • 



49 
50 
52 
54 



MAHARAJAH SIR JOTINDRA MOHUN 
TAGORE. 



An Indian Wreath 


., 55 


The Rajput Soldier's Farewell 


.. 55 


The Gopees* Address to the Kokil 


56 


Origin of the Kaminee Flower 


. . 57 


GREECE CHUNDER DUl"!. 




The Maid of Roopnagore . . 


. . 58 


Gibraltar . . 


. . 59 


Fire Hunters 


.. 59 


The Hills 


.. 61 


Samarsi 


.. 61 


On an Old Romaunt 


. . 62 


The Terai . . 


64 


SHOSHEE CHUNDER DU1"1'. 




oivajee •• •• •• •• 


. . 65 


The Warrior's Return 


.. 67 


Address to the Ganges 


.. 69 


The Requiem of Timour 


.. 71 


Jelaludeen Khiliji . . 


..72 



CONTENTS. 



▼11 



TORU DUll. 




PAGB 


Jogadhya*Uina 




.. 75 


Sonnet — The Lotus 




.. 82 


Our Gtsuarina Tree 


• • • • • • 


.. 83 


Morning Serenade . . 


• • • • • • 


.. 84 


ROMESH CHUNDER 


DUll. 




The Legend of Balaid 




.. 86 


Mahabharata — Gandhari*8 Lament . • 


.. 89 


„ Funeral Rites 


.. 91 



NARENDRA NATH DUTTA (SWAMI VIVEK- 
ANANDA). 

1 ne Vi^up •• •• •• •• •• •• 

ROBY DUTT. 



93 



On Tibet 


.. 94 


To Britain . . 


.. 94 


Sir Asutosh Mookerjee 


.. 95 


Indians at the Front 


. . 96 


PROFUF.FA RANJAN DAS. 




Refusal 


.. 97 


The Quest 


. . 97 


Youth and Age 


. . 98 


A Lament . . 


98 


SAROJINI NAIDU. 




The Pardah Na^iin 


.. 100 


To a Buddha Seated on a Lotus . . 


.. 100 


The Gih of India . . 


..101 


Suttee 


.. 102 


A Challenge to Fate 


.. 103 


MANMOHAN GHOSE. 




A Song of Britannia 


.. 105 


Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose . . 


.. 109 



▼Ul 



CONTENTS. 



London • • • • • • 

^^SLDy •• •• •• •• 

Poplar, Beech, anH Weeping Willow 

Myvanwy . . 

The Garden Passion 

Ciieflv •* ** ** 



PAGB 

no 

in 

n3 

115 

n6 
n9 



Acknowledgments. 



Many of the poems of this book have been taken from 
magazines no longer in circulation^ and from volumes long 
out of print. In the examination of these sources I have been 
greatly helped by Mr. S. C. Sanial^ Secretary of the Calcutta 
Historical Society. Mr. J. A. Chapman of the Imperial 
Library has given much assistance in procuring forgotten 
but interesting material. 

Of living authors who^ have allowed their verse to appear 
in this collection^ my thanks are due to Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, 
to Mr. P. R. Das and to Professor Manmohan Ghose. With 
the exception of one extract, reproduced with the permission 
of Messrs. Elkin Mathews from ** Love Songs and Elegies," 
the poems of Professor Ghose included in this book are pub- 
lished for the first time. For such as have appeared in the 
'' Presidency College Magazine" I am indebted to the 
managers of that journal. 

In many cases the copyright of books now out of print 
rests with the family of the author. .Here I have to make 
many grateful acknowledgments. Mr. J. C. Dutt who intro- 
duced me to the ''Dutt Family Album," published in 1870 
by Messrs. Longmans Green, has allowed the reproduction of 
the verse of his father, Omesh Chunder Dutt. Mrs. G. C. 
Dutt, Professor B. C. Dutt and Mr. S. C. Dutt have given me 
permission to include the poems of their relatives. For the 
work of Sir Jotindra Mohan Tagore I am indebted to his son, 
the present Maharaja. The members of the Ranikrishna 
Mission have given one of the poems of the Swami Vivekan- 
anda. Mr. R. K. Ghose and Mr. D. C. Mullick have 
allowed me to select from the writings of the late Nobo 

ix 



X ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. 

Kissen Ghose (Ram Sharma). Mr. M. Dutta and the Com- 
mittee of the Bamagore Victoria School have permitted the 
inclusion of poems by Roby Dutt. 

In the spelling of Bengali names I have adhered in every 
case to the forms adopted by the authors themselves ; and 
these, in some cases, peculiar forms have been confirmed by 
the relatives of the writers now deceased. 

Messrs. Heinemann have allowed me to select from the 
poems of Mrs. Sarojini Naidu ; and Messrs. Kegan Paul have 
granted the use of three poems by Toru Dutt and of one 
poem by Romesh Chander Dutt. The latter 's translations 
from the Mahabharata have been given by Messrs. Dent. 
Mr. J. N. Bose, the author and publisher of the Bengali bio- 
graphy of Michael Dutt, has given two of the latter 's sonnets 
from that work. Mr. W. I. Keir has generously furnished 
the cover design. 

No anthology of this kind could appear with assurance, 
were it not introduced by the author of the Gitanjali. I have 
to acknowledge with thankful appreciation the foreword of 
Sir Rabindranath Tagore who has allowed me to retain the 
translation of his poem on Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose. 



Foreword. 



The following anthology has its greatest interest in being 
a self-recording evidence of the earliest response that Bengal 
gave to the touch of the West. I think we can safely assert 
that she is the only country in the Orient which has shown 
any distinct indication of being thrilled by the voice of 
Europe as it came to her through literature. We are not 
concerned with a critical estimate of Bengal's earliest literary 
adventures in the perilous fields of a foreign tongue. But 
the important fact is this, that while there are other eastern 
countries captivated by the sight of the immense power and 
prosperity which Europe presented to us, Bengal has been 
stirred by the force of new ideas breaking upon her from the 
western horizon. One of its earliest effects upon our students 
was to rouse them into an aggressive antagonism against all 
orthodox conventions, irrespective of their merits. It was 
a sudden self-assertion of life after its repression for ages. 
This shock, which roused Bengal, mainly came through 
literature, and a great part of her energy followed the same 
channel of literature for its expression. 

The most memorable instance of the working of ideas in 
Bengal in the time of her early contact of mind with Europe, 
has been Rammohan Roy's message of life to India, — a life 
centering in the spiritual idea of the all-pervading oneness of 
God, as inculcated in the Upanishads, and comprehending in 
its circumference all varieties of human activities from the 
moral down to the political. It was a call to move and fully to 
live, not from a blind love of movement, but as directed by an 
inner guidance coming from the heart of India's own wisdom. 

xi 



xii FOREWORD. 

Though the above instance does not directly touch the 
literary side of our life, yet I cite it to show that it was 
through her sensitiveness to ideas that Bengal has been 
deeply moved from the time of her first acquaintance with 
Europe. And ever since, the same formation of ideals has 
been going on through various stages of action and reaction. 
Those who have the talent and love for constructive work 
can show their productions in a palpable form and with a 
rapidity of results. But Idea works in the depth of life, bring- 
ing about fundamental changes in the very soil and seeds, 
and sprouts forth from the unseen in its own time in a living 
creative form. Its early energies are engaged and seem 
wasted in work of destruction, in explosions of discontent, 
in constant vacillation in choice, thus easily lending itself to 
the charge of volatility and indecision. But life has its side 
which is vigorously destructive and full of uncertainties and 
contradictions. The signs of perturbation so evident in 
Bengal, in her social and religious life, in her intellectual 
adjustments, only show that creative ideas are at work in the 
centre of her being. I trust I do not merely prove my 
patriotic bias by saying that, of all countries in the East, 
Bengal is most earnestly engaged in the exploration of life 's 
ideal. All the great personalities she has produced in the 
modern time have presented, to us according to their light, 
some ideal solution of life 's inner problem. We are fully 
aware that this is not all that humanity requires, that there 
are other questions more immediately importunate which have 
to be answered if we must live ; and there are signs that we 
are beginning actively to recognise this important fact. But 
all the same we must confess, that whatever it may have cost 
us, we have dealt more with the ideas that move our soul by 
kindling our imagination than with acquiring and arranging 



FOREWORD. xiii 

materials to help us in our struggle for existence. This has 
led to an active conflict in Bengal between the Old and the 
New, a constant shifting of her outlooks upon life and an 
unrest owing to her groping for something positive, by which 
she can win for good her own true place in the world. 

Our present age of renaissance began its career with an 
exaggerated faith in the foreign and the external, to find out 
at last that life is a process of constant self -unfolding, whose 
impulse comes from the centre of its own being. In Bengal 
we meet with all the different stages of this development, and 
therefore, more than in other parts of India, it is here that 
love of imitation of the West runs to excess, pompously 
proud of its tawdriness and incongruity. On the other hand 
in Bengal have been originated all the recent movements for 
the seeking of truth that is our national heritage. The West, 
which at first drew us on to itself, has forcibly flung us back 
upon an intense consciousness of our personality. The breath 
of inspiration, coming from the West, has kindled the original 
spark in us into a flame that lay smothered in the ashes of 
dead habits and rigidity of traditional forms. This has been 
illustrated by the course our literature has taken, almost 
completely abandoning its earlier foreign bed, finding its 
natural channel in the mother tongue. The following collect- 
ion of English poems written by Bengali authors also proves 
it, in which the earlier writings are timorously imitative, 
while the leter ones boldly burn with their own fire, daring 
to challenge time's judgment with their claim of immortality. 
I believe foreign readers, while reading this book, will find 
much to think of in the fact that Bengal's response through 
literature to the call of the West is something unique in the 
history of the modern East. It has a future, for it is 
quickened with life, and it carries within itself a hope that 



xiv FOREWORD. 

one day it will become a great channel for communication 
of ideas between the adventurous West and the East of the 
immemorial tranquillity. 

RABINDRANATH TAGORE. 



Introduction. 



The yerse collected in this volume represents about one 
hundred years of poetical effort ; and has its origin in 
England's introduction into India of western education. It 
is worth recording that the first volume of Bengali verse 
in English appeared five years before Thomas Babington 
Macaulay gave judgment in favour of the teaching of English 
in Indian schools and colleges. The fact i s significant. It 
shows that the movement towards English instruction had 
begun before the administration of Lord William Bentinck, 
and had achieved definite results before the famous Resolu- 
tion of 1835. 

From this date the character of education in India was 

fixed. An educational policy had 

, „ been conceived and adopted— briefly, 

Teachers in Bengal. .u 4, w ri? tui j 

the teaching of English language and 

literature. It was the good fortune of Bengal that this 
policy was bom in the spacious days when the literary life 
of England was brilliant and vigorous ; and when, amongst 
the English in India, there were men who had lived largely 
in the life of their time. The shadow of a few great names 
lies broad over the scholastic history of the early 19th cent- 
ury in Bengal. Sir William Jones had handed down a rich 
scholarly tradition. Dr. John Leyden, the friend and col- 
league of Sir Walter Scott, had kept alive the fires of Border 
Song amid the fevers of Bengal and Java. Bishop Heber 
was a poet of rare delicacy as well as a strenuous traveller 
and priest. Before he left India in 1832, Horace Hayman 
Wilson had laid deep the foundations of his Sanskrit learn- 
ing ; and Henry Meredith Parker, by his witty occasional 

XV 



xvi INTRODUCTION. 

poems and the versatility of his talent, had delighted the 
English and Indian community up to the date of his depart- 
ure in 1842. One of the earliest teachers of the Hindu 
College was himself a poet deeply imbued with the Byronic 
spirit. JBisa u l i>er 9ffj|9 was trained in the Dhurnmitollah 
Academy of John Drummond, a Scottish dominie of the old 
type ; and, while engaged as an Indigo planter, he began to 
contribute verse to the Calcutta journals. In 1818 he was 
appointed to the Hindu College as a teacher of English literat- 
ure and history ; but the orthodox took fright at his out- 
spoken treatment of sacred themes, and he had to resign 
his post. In 1 83 1 after the enjoyment of much poetical 
effort and a few stimulating friendships, he died of cholera. 
His fluent and impassioned poetry brought him recognition 
in India, and contributed to his undoubted influence over his 
students who regarded him as a teacher of genius. In the 
Hindu College he established the tradition of an enthusiastic 
study of English literature which, on sounder and more 
scholarly lines, was carried on by David Lester Richardson. 
To this teacher modern Bengal owes much. Like many 
Englishmen whose names are still alive in the East, he came 
to India as a soldier in the army of the Company. On his 
return to England in search of health, he engaged in literary 
work in London, published his poems and started a paper 
called The Weekly Review. The collapse of this journal in 
1827 compelled Richardson's return to Bengal. In 1835 he 
acted as aide-de-camp to Lord William Bentinck ; and in 
the following year, through the influence of Macaulay, he was 
appointed professor and, later, principal of the Hindu College. 
From this date, until his retirement in 1861, his career was 
definitely that of a teacher and man of letters. In addition 
to his miscellaneous literary work, Richardson was respon- 
sible for two publications of great value and interest. The 



/ 



INTRODUCTION. xvii 

first was the Bengal Annual, a collection of prose and 
verse that appeared on seven occasions between the years 
1830 and 1836. To this work Indian and English authors 
contributed ; and its pages make a delightful thesaurus of 
the outstanding names of the period. The second was the 
voluminous Selections from the British Poets. This compil- 
ation was undertaken at the suggestion of Macaulay and 
produced in 1840. Its chief interest lies in the anthology 
of British-Indian poetry— the first and best anthology of its 
kind — which the author compiled and added as an appendix 
to the major work. 

It is pleasant to attempt to reconstruct the life of the 

Hindu College in these early years. 

Its teachers were men of established 
literary reputation ; and its patrons have written their 
names large upon the history of their age. There are 
frequent contemporary references to the quaint figure of 
David Hare, with long blue coat adorned by large brass 
buttons, moving through the class rooms, or attending the 
debates of the academic association. No less a person- 
age than Thomas Babington Macaulay, who admitted that 
one of his compensations for exile in Calcutta was to hear 
Richardson read Shakespeare, has put on record his work 
done as an examiner for the Committee of Public Instruction. 
In the present age of conflicting pedagogic theories this makes 
curious reading. He speaks of examining on the texts of 
Shakespeare, Bacon, Cowley and Swift ; and writes with 
characteristic absence of humour or hesitation —''I gave a 
subject for an essay, the comparative advantage of the study 
of poetry and the study of history. ' * Whatever the Bengali 
students made of this majestic theme, there can be no doubt 
that, with Richardson for teacher and Macaulay for examiner, 
the atmosphere of their work was saturated with the literary 



xviii INTRODUCTION. 

spirit, and their labours were not confined to any petty 
scholastic routine. The day of the Indian Universities was 
not yet. The rush of modem competition transforming 
school and college courses into an inunediate means towards 
desperately desired ends, had not set in. There was no 
examination fetish, nor any extensive system of cheap 
secondary education. German philology had not as yet 
invaded the fair domain of letters. The aim of college work 
was to learn the English language ; and towards this end the 
good fortune of Bengal provided patrons and teachers who 
combined scholarship with culture, and who had lived largely 
in the life of their time. 
To the encouragement and example of these men may be 

traced whatever English verse was 

M/ ^ "^^ jT "^?^ L produced by Bengali writers in the 

,, first half of the I oth century. This 

yerse. ^ ^ 

was not large in quantity, and was the 

work of three authors : Kasiprasad Ghose, whose Minstrel ap- 
peared in 1830 ; Rajnarain Dutt who dedicated to Richardson 
his Osmyn, an Arabian tale, in 1841 ; and Michael Madhu- 
sudan Dutt whose Captive Ladie, published in 1849, is the 
most ambitious poetical effort of any Bengali writer. Michael 
Dutt is a curiously interesting figure. He was educated in 
the Hindu College, and won the friendship and patronage of 
Richardson who encouraged his bent towards poetry. In 
1843 he became a Christian ; and after residence in the 
Bishop's College, he went to Madras. Here, in 1849, he 
produced The Captive Ladie ; and thereafter devoted himself 
to the study and cultivation of Bengali literature. In 1861 
his classical narrative poem, Meghanadbadh, and his transla- 
tion of the notorious Nil Darpan, brought him prominently 
into notice. In the following year he went to England and 
studied law ; but his subsequent career was not fortunate ; 



INTRODUCTION. xix 

and in 1873 he died in poverty. His name is beloved by his 

countrymen ; and Ram Sharma's memorial lines, quoted in 

this volume, have found a ready response in Bengal. 

The success of Michael Dutt stimulated the brilliant band 

of relatives who produced in London, 
The Dutt Famib j^ ^g^^^ ^y^^ j^^^^ P^^jy ^j^^^^ 

Album. *-««.<- « f * ' *» 

This book must be of abidmg mterest 

and value to the student of literary history in India. 
Published by the house of Longmans, it is an anthology 
compiled from the original poems of Covin, Omesh, 
Greece and Hur Chunder Dutt. In the preface the authors 
claim consideration for their compilation as a curiosity, and 
as the work of foreigners educated out of England. Up to 
this date no Bengali writer had been trained in Europe. 
While it is true that Michael Dutt studied law in London, 
his production of the Captive Ladie belongs to the year 1849, 
before he had left Madras. The Dutt Family Album, there- 
fore, may be taken to represent the older school of Bengali 
poetry in English. It was the compilation of men whose 
encouragement to literary work was received from such 
enthusiastic teachers as Richardson, and whose academic 
career began and ended in the Hindu College of Calcutta. 
The literary merits of this book, carefully judged in the light 
of the special circumstances of its production, are consider- 
able. The quality of the verse, the range and variety of 
theme, the conmiand of various metrical forms, and the 
restraint and dignity of the style, are everywhere pleasing. 
The most notable of the four authors were Covin and Omesh, 
who contributed 66 and 73 pieces out of the total of 197. 
Indian history, legend and landscape, the picturesque elements 
of the Christian and the Hindu faith, and such ideas as would 
attract an oriental in his first intercourse with the west, 
provide the themes of their verse. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Hiir Chunder Dutt began to write early. In 1851 he 
produced in Calcutta a small voltxme of poems called Fugi- 
tive Pieces. Much of this was reprinted twenty years later 
in his second volume named Lotus Leaves. Both works are 
slight ; but they contain a pleasing variety of themes drawn 
from Indian history, and the verse is everywhere graceful. 
His part in the Album amounted to eleven poems in all. 
Greece contributed forty-seven separate pieces ; and in 1887 
published with Messrs. Fisher Unwin a separate volume of 
poems entitled Cherry Blossoms. In this work several of the 
earlier contributions to the Album were reprinted, but the 
greater ntmiber of the poems were new. The book was 
carefully produced and contains much of interest and value. 
The author had specialised in the difficult sonnet form ; and 
of the 165 poems of the book, no less than 70 are sonnets. 
The subjects of these poems are as varied as the author's 
experiences derived from much travel in Europe and India. 
With this last volume of Greece Chunder Dutt the poetical 
effort of these gifted relatives may be said to have reached 
its close. Their achievement was creditable both in its 
quality and in its consistency. That portion of their work 
embodied in the Dutt Family Album will remain as a memorial 
of a gifted family, and as a testimony to the influence of 
those English teachers who were the first to encourage the 
higher learning in the city of Calcutta. 

The successful treatment of Indian historical themes, of 

which there are frequent illustrations 

Later Poets. • ^1. a «_ j.- ^ 1^ 

m the Album, was contmued by 

Shoshee Chunder Dutt who published in 1878 his Vision of 

Sumeru and other Poems, a compilation of verse written 

at any time in the preceding twenty years. The greater part 

of this volume is taken up with historical and legendary 

poems of such interest as to cause regret that their author 



INTRODUCTION. xxi 

did not seek inspiration more assiduously in the romantic 
history of India. To the year 1881 belongs the work of the 
Maharajah Sir Jotindra Mohan Tagore whose Flights of 
Fancy may still be read with pleasure. This is a slight 
yolume of occasional verse dealing with a variety of pleasing 
topics, and exhibiting a cultivated command of English 
metre. Of thie writers of this time the most voluminous 
was Nobo Kissen Ghose who wrote under the pseudonym 
of Ram Sharma. His verse is scattered throughout a 
number of magazines that appeared in Calcutta between 
the years 1878 and 1901. In 1886 he published his 
blank verse poem, The Last Day, in which are embodied 
interesting portraits of such outstanding men as David Hare, 
Rammohan Roy, Lord Canning, and Dr. Duff. His occa- 
sional poems are distinguished by the vigour of their expres- 
sion and the independence of their author 's mind. He dealt 
frequently with social and political themes ; and his out- 
spokenness was greatly emphasised by the refinement and 
energy of his language. Ram Sharma was born in the year 
of Queen Victoria's accession, and died in 1918. His long 
career is a link with the past. While he was educated in 
the Oriental Seminary under Captain Francis Palmer, and 
may have missed the influence of Richardson and the Hindu 
College, he belongs to the period that includes the work of 
the ten poets already named. 

It may well be asked what is the value of the poetry pro- 

duced by these writers. That they 

The Value of this . ^ j j- • 1 r ^.t. i. r 

-. .. , w ,r , were devoted disciples of the art of 

T^oetical Work,. 

letters is clear enough ; but more 

than disciples they were not. To the student of Indian educa- 
tional history their work must be of abiding interest ; but in 
the larger world of literature, it can hold no distinctive place. 
Such poetry as they produced was Indian only in so far as it 



xxii INTRODUCTION. 

was written in Bengal, and was the result of education received 
therein ; and it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that here 
its oriental character begins and ends. Even the excellence 
of Michael Dutt lies chiefly in his ability to follow his metrical 
masters ; while most of his successors approach the his- 
tory of their country as if they had no part in its heritage. 
In dealing with the intimacies of the Hindu faith, it might 
be expected that these writers would produce something of 
unique interest. There are frequent odes on Indian deities 
and on religious festivals, but none of them are really arrest- 
ing in their sincerity, or provide anjrthing that is essentially 
eastern in conception. When Kasiprasad Ghose addresses 
Saraswati in this manner — 

Goddess of every mental grace. 
And virtue of the s«ul» 
Which high exalt the human race, 
And lead to glory's goal, 

'Tis thou who bid'st the infant mind, 
Its growing thoughts display, 
Which lay within it undefined 
In regular array. 

— he is merely re-echoing the jingle of such i8th century 
rhymesters as William Hayley, and fails utterly to reproduce 
the atmosphere of his own faith. It is reasonable to expect 
from an eastern poet something that a western cannot give. 
But the reader of this literature will look in vain for anything 
that is peculiarly and exclusively oriental. Emerson, in one 
of his briefest occasional poems, obsessed by the conception 
of Brahma, has conjured up a whole world of eastern reli- 
gious mysticism — 

If the red slayer thhik he slays, 
Or if the slain think he is slain, 
They know not well the subtle ways 
I keep and pass and turn again. 



INTRODUCTION. jociii 

Far or forgot to me is near ; 
Shadow and sunlight are the same ; 
The vanquished gods to me appear ; 
And one to me are shame and fame. 

They reckon ill who leave me out ; 
When me they fly, I am the wings ; 
I am the doubter and the doubt. 
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings. 

Sir Alfred Lyall in his poem, Siva, has looked through and 
beyond the sensuous imagery of the Hindu temple to the 
conception of those terrible powers that hold man and rule 
his destiny. In his verse the majesty and terror of an 
ancient faith are made to appeal from their own oriental 
setting. Sir Edwin Arnold, in such a brief lyric as The Song 
of the Serpent Charmers, has created the true atmosphere of 
the east. But the Bengali writers now under consideration 
appear to be at work in some strangely neutral zone of the 
imagination, and to be uninfluenced by the colour and at- 
mosphere of. their environment. The reason may be that 
these early writers in an alien tongue were anxious to angli- 
cise not only their vocabulary but their ideas. If so, to 
contrast their efforts with the achievements of the three 
western poets already named, would be unfair. The latter 
deliberately sought the eastern point of view and the eastern 
atmosphere ; while the former were content to exhibit their 
skill in the handling of a newly acquired and difficult lan- 
guage. They were amongst the earliest students of English 
in India ; and while they have failed to contribute an3rthing 
of real value to the literature of the Empire, they have at 
least justified their own publications as illustrating the 
successful study of a great literature and a difficult speech. 
They have laid the foundation of the work of several poets 
still in our midst ; and have provided the curious student of 



xxiv INTRODUCTION. 

Anglo-Bengali verse with the pleasure to be found in the 
perusal of all clever literary exercise. 

The tradition established by these writers was broken by 

the daughter of Covin Chunder Dutt. 

The Modern School. -m.' i j i. • ^i j •!. j 

This lady may be justly described as 

the founder of the modern school of English poetry in Bengal. 
In two ways she differs from her predecessors — in her 
European education received in England and France ; and 
in her acceptance of oriental themes at the very time when, 
by her talented application, she had forged for herself an 
instrument of expression from two difficult European lan- 
guages. Torn Dutt was born in 1856 ; and, at the age of 13, 
was taken to Europe by her parents. In 1872, after various 
courses of study in London and Paris, she returned to 
Calcutta. Four years later 'she died of consumption. Into 
her tragically brief career, there was crowded a literary ac- 
complishment little short of marvellous. She was an 
enthusiastic student of French, and wrote that language 
with ease and precision. Her romance, Le Journal de Mile. 
D'Arvers, was published in 1879, three years after the ap- 
pearance of her first work, A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields. 
The history of the latter book is curious. Mr. Edmund Gosse 
tells how, in the office of the Examiner j he was lamenting 
with the editor, the famous William Minto, the dearth of 
new books of merit. As he was speaking, the postman 
brought in a packet from India which contained a curiously 
coloured pamphlet printed at the Saptahik Sam.bad Press of 
Bhowanipore. Those acquainted with the binding and type 
of the Calcutta presses will understand the amused surprise of 
the London editor when he handled an orange-tinted cover and 
read the mysterious names on the title page. Minto handed 
the book to Mr. Gosse who, glancing at it later, happened to 
light upon this rendering of Victor Hugo's serenade : — 



INTRODUCTION. 

Still barred thy doors 1 The far east glows, 
The morning wind blows fresh and free, 

Should not the hour that wakes the rose 
Awaken also thee ? 



All look for thee, Love, Light and Song ; 

Light, in the sky deep red above. 
Song, in the lark of pinion strong* 

And in mj heart, true love. 



There was sufficient beauty and skill in these lines to arrest 
the attention of any critic ; and in 1881 Mr. Gosse wrote the 
preface to the first collection of Toru Dutt's original poems 
entitled Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan. This 
volume, published by Messrs. Kegan Paul, contains her latest 
and best work. Unlike her predecessors, Toru Dutt did not 
wilfully anglicise her ideas. For the first time in literature 
of this kind, there is struck a genuinely Indian note that 
reveals the sincerity of a mind proud of the intellectual 
traditions of its native land. The technical skill of this 
poetess is superior to that of any of her predecessors ; and 
this, in view of her extreme youth, is little short of amaz- 
ing. Her verse is finely knit, vigorous and of a pleasing 
variety. It is never obviously imitative, and moves with 
such freedom and independence as are inseparable from 
genuinely creative work. Toru Dutt was nurtured in a liter- 
ary family ; but this environment does not wholly explain 
the achievement of this gifted lady whose genius was so., 
■iragirally t\Atx\»A mflfijrjjy, She brought to her work a cer- 
tain fervid originality that, before the end of the 19th century, 
redeemed Bengali literature in English from the conmion- 
place. She is the first of the new school of Indian poets, and 
both in England and India her place and her memory are 
assured. 



xxvi INTRODUCTION. 

Of living autiiors whose work has been illustrated in this 

volume, it is unnecessary to speak at 

Poets in our midst. t ^u tu t. • i.i- i-r r 

length. There is much m the life of 

modern India to foster intellectual and artistic activity. A 
perfervid political enthusiasm ; the intense realisation of 
racial and national sentiment ; a fuller knowledge of India's 
intellectual heritage, and a careful balancing of the rival 
claims of eastern and western culture — these may well stir 
the artistic impulse of a people naturally endowed with the 
-4 gift of expression. But only two writers of English verse 
have come to prominence ; and one of them is not specially 
cpncemed with eastern thought or life. 

Manmohan Ghose left Oxford in 1892, having won distinc- 
tion in the classical schools. * In 1898 he published with 
\ Messrs. Elkin Mathews a small volume of p9ems en1;itled 
Love Songs and Elegies ; and if he were to pf oiluce notning 
more, his position as a true poet and as an exquisite artist 
would demand recognition. Unfortunately the whole work 
of this gifted author is not yet accessible in any single 
volume. Much of it has appeared in magazine literature ; 
and of this, one poem — A Song of Britannia — is the finest 
poetic expression of patriotism yet called forth by the war. 
Manmohan Ghose has brought to the work of a poet a fine 
scholarship and a cultivated critical taste. In his poetry 
there is a subtler melody and a more convincing exhibition 
of technical skill than have yet appeared in the history of 
Bengali verse in English. 

His contemporary, the poetess Sarojini Naidu, shares his 
fastidious choice of language, but seeks a more popular 
fluency of rhythm. This lady, like her gifted predecessor, 
Torn Dutt, was educated in London, and has already found 
an eager audience in England and India. Her popularity 
may be in part explained by her skilful treatment of eastern 



INTRODUCTION. xxvii 

themes, and by her representation of these in a genuinely 
oriental light. It is significant that the task of wedding 
the rich vocabulary of England 's poetry to purely oriental 
subjects has been accomplished by two Indian women. The 
feminine imagination will not endure expatriation, and clings 
tenaciously to the subtle memory of its origins. After half a 
century of barren literary exercise, Toru Dutt was the first to 
find in jber own land an inspiration for her genius ; and her 
achievement is being triumphantly repeated in the work 
of her accomplished successor. 

The story of Bengali adventure in the realm of English 
poetry is not yet complete. But it is a pleasing task to put 
on record a century of this endeavour, and to trace its pro- 
gress towards a rich fulfilment. 

T. O. D. DUNN. 

United Senrtce Club, 

Calcutta, December 19x8. 



• _•- 



• • • • 



KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 
1809-1873. 

Dasahara. 

Glorious river ! thee of yore 
Siva on his tresses bore. 
When thou didst thy rapid flow 
Take unto this world below, 
From the peak of Himalay, 
Where thy lucid waters stray, 
Dispensing to the gods above 
Purity and holy love. 

Propitious river ! by thy grace 
Royal Sagar 's numerous race, 
Though burned to ashes by the fire 
Of the saintly sage's ire. 
Enjoyed the bright, unchanging hours. 
Smiling round the emerald bowers. 
And bringing in the heavenly sphere 
Joys which only circle there. 

Holy stream ! thou dost bestow 
Freedom from each earthly woe. 
Destroying all the sins that be 
Pertaining to humanity, 
And ensure at being's close. 
Sweet and undisturbed repose. 
Nay ! even the deities love to lave 
Their forms of glory in thy wave. 

Beauteous river ! on thy spray 
The lotos famed in ancient lay — 



• • « • • • 

- ' . . . . * 

• ^ • • • 



• • • • . . • ' 
- - • - - • 






KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 

Whose chaplets and whose odours sweet, 
Goddess ! to thee are offerings meet — 
In gladness doth its leaves unfold 
Full to the morning's beam of gold. 
As if inspired with the love 
Of the majestic sun above. 

Dreadful river ! in thy waves 
His length the alligator laves. 
And sharks and sea-hogs roimd him play, 
Glad with the hope of human prey. 
When summer with the hot sun crowned, 
Showers her dazzling splendour round, 
And brings forth in our Indian bowers 
Refulgent days and lovely flowers. 

To a Young Hindu Widow. 

Ah, fair one ! lone as desert flower^ 
Whose bloom and beauty are in vain ; 

How dark was that too fatal hour, 
Which brought thee lasting grief and pain I 

What is the world to thee forlorn 1 

Thine every path is desolate. 
From all enjoyments rudely torn, 

How drear and comfortless thy fate ! 

What pity, friendless, helpless, poor I 
That such should be thine early lot — 

Doomed to remain for ever more 
As if thou in this world wert not. 

And is there none — O ! can it be ? 

None warm or friendly in thy cause ? 
Has pitiless humanity 

Forgot its sacred ties and laws ? 



KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 

The rigours of a life austere. 

Followed by every fear and shame, 

Await thee as thy portion here : 
What is thy being but a name ? 

Thou may 'st not, dar 'st not, must not hope 
A joy upon the world beneath ; 

But thou must e'er with sorrows cope. 
Sorrows which only end in death. 

And thou art doomed to be at strife 

For ever with thyself, to quell 
The very elements of life. 

And every brighter thought repel. 

Is this the all, or should it be 
The all that here to thee is left ? 

And must the world remain to thee 
A scene of every charm bereft ? 



Storm and Rain. 

The mighty demons of the storm have met 
In battle fierce. Relentless anger fires 
Their bosoms, proud of desolating power. 
Their swords in rapid wavings fiash ; and oft 
In lightning gleams illume the darkened earth. 
Hark 1 how they vaunt in thunder deep and loud. 
And madly howling, rave athwart the arch 
Of heaven ; convolving Gunga's waters deep ; 
Which wildly running to and fro, dismayed, 
Or upward bounding high, appear as if 
They wish to break loose from their beds to fly 
The tempest 's rage. Beneath its headlong speed 



4 KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 

Reft of her beauties green, fair Nature quakes 
Affrighted ; and upon the plain are strewed 
Leaves, arms, and trunks of many a giant tree 
Felled by their wrath. 

But soon unto the clouds. 
Which darkly frown upon the earth, as though 
In hate and envy, fly the tempest fiends ; 
And there, bound by some unknown, powerful charm. 
They roar as if once more they would descend 
And sweep the world before their furious course 
Blasting the fairest scenes of Nature fair 
With demon strength and hate. 

The ruthless storm 
Is past. Cloud upon cloud is piled along 
The darksome brow of yonder skies, enshrouding 
The face of the bright Sun, who o 'er the earth 
High on his throne of ether, erst did reign 
In splendour cloudless, dazzling, yet serene. 
The gathering darkness deepens round ; as if 
The spell of awe hath bound the face of heaven — 
The spell which but the poet's gifted eye 
Can trace ; and but his fiexile heart can feel 
Attracted. 

Now the floods of heaven unsealed 
At once burst forth in torrents, deluging 
The shrinking earth : and as the clouds become 
Dispersed and thinner by the wandering breeze. 
The glories of the broad, meridian Sun 
Descend and sparkle. But the firmament 
Still pours its genial springs of crystal rain. 
Which, brightened by the solar beams, appear 
Like showers of liquid radiance falling down, 
A blessed gift to Man from favouring heaven. 
The little shrubs, which ere long drooped beneath 



KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 

The summer Sun's refulgent noontide, now 
Reviving, raise their heads and put forth all 
Their verdurous majesty. Each leaf is decked 
With drops of rain, like pearls and diamonds bright 
Quivering in the gentle gale, which breathes 
Delightful fragrance round. 



To a Dead Crow. 

Gay minstrel of the Indian clime ! 

How oft at morning's rosy prime 

When thou didst sing in caw^ caw numbers. 

Vexed I've awoke from my sweet slumbers. 

And to avoid that hateful sound. 

That plagues a head howe'er profound. 

Have walked out in my garden, where 

Beside the tank, in many a square. 

Sweet lilies, jasmines, roses bloom. 

Far from those trees within whose gloom 

Of foliage thick, thou hadst thy nest 

From daily toil at night to rest. 

Now lifeless on the earth, cold, bare, 
Devoid alike of joy and care. 
The offals of my meal no more 
Attract thee as they did before. 
There's rubbish scattered round thee, but 
Thy heart is still, thine eyes are shut. 
No more that blunt yet useful beak 
From carcases thy food can seek. 
Or catch the young unheeded mouse. 
Which from the flooring of my house 
Urged by its hapless luck, would stray 
And bask beneath the solar ray. 



KASIPRASAD GHOSE. 

Gay minstrel I ne'er had Death before 

Its dart destructive, sharpened more 

To pierce a gayer, mortal heart 

Than thine, which ah ! hath felt the smart ! 

Though life no more is warm in thee, 

Yet thou dost look as though 't may be 

That life in thee is full and warm ; 

Not cruel death could mar thy form ; 

Thy features, one and all, possess 

Still, still their former ugliness. 

They are in truth the very same 

The Indian Crow hath, known to fame. 

Oh ! may when death hath closed these eyes, 

And freed from earthly bondage, flies 

The spirit to eternity. 

Stretched at full length I lie like thee. 

On mother earth's cold lap, so ne'er 

To spin such verses out I'll dare, 

And please the public ear again 

With such discordant, silly strain. 

As thou didst once delight to pour 

At morn or noon, or evening hour. 

In sooth I promise this shall be 

My last line in addressing thee. 



RAJNARAIN DUTT. 
1824-1889. 



Song. 



The Beduins have mounted their steeds, and afar 
Their Cohorts advance in the proud ranks of war, 
They have braced on the shield, and the sword by their side 
And forth are they gone on a foray to ride. 

On, on through the forest they gallop away, 
Like the prowler that rushes in wrath on the prey ; 
At the clang of their steeds, and the clash of their arm. 
The owl and the tiger will start in alarm. 

O'er hill, and o'er valley they ride with the blast, 
Ah ! blood shall soon mark where those footsteps have past. 
Like the lightning they come, like the lightning they go, 
To work out destruction and slaughter and woe. 

For the right of their chieftain the broad-sword they draw. 
Revenge is their leader, and vengeance their law ; 
And reckless alike of disgrace or renown. 
Their highest ambition's to crush the foe down. 

Ah» soon will those hills with the thunder be riven. 
And soon will the proud steed to battle be driven. 
The smoke of the village, and shrieks of the prey, 
Shall 3rield to stern war the red spoil of decay. 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT, 

1824-1873. 

The Captive Ladie. 

The Captive Ladie is the most considerable verse product- 
ion in English from the pen of a Bengali writer. For this 
reason alone it deserves more lengthy representation than 
other worka. Concerning its theme the author himself 
writes : — 

" The following tale is founded on a circumstance pretty 
generally known in India, and, if I mistake not, noticed by 
some European writers. A little before the famous Indian 
expedition of Mahmud of Ghuzni, the King of Kanauj 
celebrated the " Raj-shooio Jugum ' ' or, as I have trans- 
lated it in the text, the '' Feast of Victory. * * Almost all the 
contemporary Princes, being unable to resist his power, at- 
tended it, with the exception of the King of Delhi, who, be- 
ing a lineal descendant of the great Pandu Princes — the 
heroes of the far-famed Mahabharat of Vyasa-=-refused to 
sanction by his presence the assumption of a dignity — for 
the celebration of this Festival was an universal assertion of 
claims to being considered as the lord paramount over the 
whole country — ^which by right of descent belonged to his 
family alone. The King of Kanauj highly incensed at this 
refusal, had an image of gold made to represent the absent 
chief. On the last day of the Feast, the King of Delhi, having, 
with a few chosen followers, entered the palace in disguise, 
carried off this image, together, as some say, with one of 
the Princesses Royal whose hand he had once solicited but 
in vain, owing to his obstinate maintenance of the rights of 
his ancient house. The fair Princess, however, was retaken 
and sent to a solitary castle to be out of the way of her 
pugnacious lover, who eventually effected her escape in the 
disguise of a Bhat or Indian Troubadour. The King of 

8 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT« 9 

Kanauj never forgave this insult, and, when Mahmud 
invaded the kingdom of Delhi, sternly refused to aid his son- 
in-law in expelling a foe, who soon after crushed him also. 
I have slightly deviated from the above story in representing 
my heroine as sent to confinement before the celebration of 
the " Feast of Victory.** 

CANTO FIRST. 

The star of Eve is in the sky, 
But pale it shines and tremblingly, 
As if the solitude around, 
So vast, so wild, without a bound. 
Hath in its softly throbbing breast 
Awak'd some maiden fear — unrest : 
♦ 41 41 41 

Tis eve — the dew's on leaf and flower. 
The soft breeze in the moon-lit bower, 
And fire-flies with pale gleaming gems 
Upon their fairy diadems, 
Like winged stars now walk the deep 
Of space soft-hushed in dewy ^leep. 
And people every leaf and tree 
With beauty and with radiancy. 

There's light upon the heaving stream, 
And music sweet as heard in dream, 
And many a star upon its breast 
Is calmly pillow'd unto rest. 
While there, as on a silver throne, 
All melancholy, veil'd, alone. 
Beneath the pale Moon's colder ray, 
The Bride of him — the Lord of Day, 
In silence droops, as in lone bower 
The love-lorn maid at twilight hour. 



10 MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 

She looks not on the smiling sky. 
The wide expanse blue, far and high. 
She looks not on the stars above 
Throbbing like bosoms breathing love ; 
Nor lists she to the breeze so gay, 
Which whispers round in wanton play, 
And stirs soft waves of starry gleam 
To wake her from that moody dream. 

The moon-light's on yon frowning pile, 
But oh I how faint and pale its smile I 
Methinks yon high and gloomy tow'r 
And battlement and faded bow'r, 
With awful hush and solitude 
Have chiird its soft and joyous mood« 

This fortress is the prison of the captive princess whose 
guards deplore the duty that keeps them from the more 
active service of their time : — 

** You tell me that yon captive lone 
Would grace the proudest monarch's throne, 
And that from regal bowers she came, 
And halls whose splendour has no name, 
Because she lov'd some chief whose pride 
Would stoop not, e'en to win his bride. 
To her proud father ; for his hand 
Could wield as well the warrior brand, 
And his the race who ne'er hath shown 
Submission to a stranger's throne ; 
And ne'er hath lowly bent the knee 
To Powers of this wide earth that be ! 
I grieve to hear her piteous tale ; 
And must such cruel fate bewail ; 
I grieve to hear that maiden fair 
Should shed the tear of dark Despair, 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. ii 

And dim the lustre of her eye, 

And blanche her cheek's soft, rosy dye. 

But why should warrior come to dwell 

Like captive in his lightless cell, 

Nor list to charger's neigh so shrill 

Re-echoed far from hill to hill, 

Nor midst the battle's maddening roar, 

Nor on wide plains all bath'd in gore. 

Wield his bright blade where foe-men throng 

To spare the weak — to crush the strong ! 

'' They say the Crescent's on the gales 
Which whisper in our moon-lit vales : 
They say that Moslem feet have trod 
The fanes of him — the Bramin's God ; 
And that from western realms afar 
Fast flows the tide of furious war. 
Like torrent from the mountain glen. 
Like lion from his bloody den. 
Like eagle from the aery peak 
Of skiey mount and high and bleak. 
What— must we here on this lone isle 
Watch yon pale Goddess' pensive smile. 
Like cravens who will shrink to bleed 
E'en for the Hero's deathless meed ! " 

The guards decide to while the weary hours with song ; 
and one of their number, a soldier-minstrel or troubadour, 
tells the story of the Feast of Victory : — 

'' The Raja sat in his gorgeous hall 
In pomp the proudest earth had known. 
While monarchs bow'd them to his thrall, 
And knelt them lowly round his throne. 
The brightest gems of the South lay there 
And the North's treasiures from afar. 



12 MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 

And of the East and West so fair. 

The home of Even's dewy star : 

For all were his — o'ler earth and sea 

His flag had wav'd in Victory, 

From proud Himala's realms of snow 

To where upon the ocean-tide 

Fair Lunka smiles in beauty's glow 

And breathes soft perfumes far and wide, 

And sits her like a regal maid 

In her gay, bridal wreathes array'd I 

** A prouder scene the fiery sun 
Had never, never shone upon ! 
Like golden clouds that on the breast 
Of yonder Heavens love to rest, 
Unnumber'd hosts in bright array 
Glitter'd beneath the noon-tide ray ; 
A thousand flags wav'd on the air, 
Like bright-wing'd birds disporting there ; 
A thousand spears flash'd in the light 
In dazzling splendour high and bright. 
The warrior-steed so fierce and proud 
Neigh'd in wild fury shrill and loud. 
The jeweird elephant too stood 
In solemn pride and quiet mood ; 
And in the glittering pomp of war 
The mail-clad hero in his car. 
For nations on that glorious day 
Met there from regions far away — 
The mightiest on this earth that be 
In all the pride of Chivalrie— 
To celebrate thy feast, proud Victory I 

" And all around the dazzled eye 
Met scenes of gayest revelrie : 
For, here beneath the perfum'd shade, 
By some bright silken awning made. 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN pUTT. 13 

Midst rose and lily scattered round 
That blush'd as if on fairy ground. 
Bright maidens fair as those above 
Sang softly—for they sang of Love. 



** But there was one — a monarch he — 
Came not to that high revelrie : 
They said he once had sought to gain 
That chieftain's daughter but in vain ; 
And that his slighted love had taught 
Hate, deathless, deep and unforgot : 
Such as the bosom's inmost core 
Will darkly nurse for ever-more : 
Such as will ever fiercely blight 
Love, Friendship, Mercy — all that's bright 
And gilds Life's path with starry light. 
And parts but with the latest breath 
That heaves the breast embrac'd by Death ! 
Perchance this was a whisper'd lie — 
An idle tale — foul calumny. 
Yet — tho' Inquiry all around 
Breath'd from each hurried look and sound — 

* Why comes he not ?— once in this hall, 

* Now gay with blithesome festival, 

* How oft he came— a welcome guest, 

* Best lov'd — best cherish'd— honour'd best ? ' 
Calm was that chieftain's brow and stern 
From which conjecture naught could learn : 
Yes — calm it was as is the grave 

Or some unrufiS'd slumbering wave* 

'' But suddenly a warrior shell 
In loud defiance rose and fell ; 
As if the Thunderer from on high. 
To crush vain mortals met below, 



14 MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 

In pomp and grandeur which might vie 
With realms above the starry sky, 
Came there to work fierce scenes of woe I 
And loud it swell'd and hall and bower, 
And turret high and skiey tower 
Shook, for it was the call to war, 
Wild, fierce, and rolling from afar ! 
The maiden's blushing cheek was pale. 
And hush'd her lover's whisper'd tale ; 
The hand which strung the breathing lyre, 
Seiz'd falchions, bright as blazing fire ; 
And thousands from that blithesome hall, 
Rush'd madly IForth to slay or fall ! 
Loud was the trumpet's shrilly yell. 
And loud the warrior's deafening shell. 
And madden'd war-steed's whirl-wind tread, 
Which crush'd the dying and the dead I 
As when within the starless gloom. 
Of Himalaya's snowy womb. 
Ten thousand torrents madly roll. 
To burst from out its dark control ; 
They roar, as if each furious wave. 
Writhed wild with life some Fury gave ! " 

The tale of the troubadour recited to the guards was heard 
by the captive princess to rescue whom the singer, in reality 
the King of Delhi in disguise, had thus made known his mis- 
sion and identity. They managed to escape together in the 
night following the recital. The second Canto opens with the 
Moslem siege of Delhi. 

High in his tent of costliest shawl, 

Which tow'rs midst thousands, glittering all. 

Like fair pavilions Fancy's eyes 

View limn'd on sun-set eastern skies. 

The Moslem-chief holds glad divan. 

Nor fasts and lists to alcoran. 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 15 

And that grim brow where bigot zeal 
Oft set its sternest, fiercest seal. 
Smiles gayly like a lightless stream, 
When Chandra sheds her silver beam, 
As sweetly sounds the gay Sittar, 
Like voice of Home when heard afar, 
Or wild and thrilling rolls along, 
Ferdousi's high, heroic song ; 
For ceaseless orison and fast. 
Have won Heaven's favouring smile at last, 
And when to-morrow's sun shall rise. 
On car of light from orient skies. 
The first, faint blushing of his ray. 
Will lead proud Conquest to her prey. 
And see the Crescent's blood-red wave. 
Gild fall 'n Husteena's lowly grave I 

A thousand lamps all gayly shine. 
Along the wide extended line ; 
And loud the laugh and proud the boast, 
Swells from that fierce, unnumber'd host. 
And wild the prayer ascends on high. 
Dark Vengeance I thine impatient cry — 
** Oh ! for a glimpse of Day's fair brow, 
To crush yon city tow'ring now. 
To make each cafir-bosom feel, 
Th' unerring blade of Moslem steel ! 
By Alia ! how I long to be. 
Where myriads writhe in agony, 
And mark each wretch with rolling eye 
Call on false gods, — then curse and die. 
Meet pilgrim for the dire domain. 
Where Eblis holds his sun-less reign ! 
To-morrow — oh ! — why wilt thou. Night, 
Thus veil the smile of Day so bright ? 



i6 MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT« 

We want not now thy Moon and Star, 

In pensive beauty shrin'd afar. 

We want not now thy pearly dew 

To dim our falchion's blood-red hue, 

Thy lonely breath thus passing by, 

Like Beauty's whispered, farewell-sigh : 

Go — hie thee hence I — where Rocnabad, 

With murmuring waters wildly glad, 

Doth woo thy stars to silver rest, 

Upon its gently-heaving breast, 

Or, where soon as the sun hath set. 

And dome, kiosk and minaret 

Glow with thy pale moon's gentler beam. 

Like the bright limnings of some dream. 

The lover gayly tunes his lay — 

The rosy bow'rs of Mosellay ! 

We want thee not, the brightest flood. 

The fiery sun can ever shed. 

Must blaze o'er warrior's deeds of blood. 

And light him on whene'er he tread, 

The field where foe-men fierce and brave. 

Meet, slay, or win a bloody grave I 



»> 



At this point the poem reaches its dramatic climax, and is 
full of fine feeling for the incidents related. The besieged 
monarch, the troubadour of the first canto, knows his doom, 
and goes to break it to his love : — 

" Oh I hast thou conquer'd — have they fled, 
And is he come, — and are they dead ? 
My God — but why that hueless cheek, 
Must Victory thus to true Love speak ! 
Oh I tell me, for thy tale must be 
Of Joy since thou art come to me ! 
For fearful visions in my sleep. 
Have made me shudder, shriek, and weep I 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 17 

When wearied with long vigils kept, 

I laid me down and thought I slept : 

Methought there came a warrior-maid. 

With blood-stained brow and sheathless blade ; 

Dark was her hue, as darkest cloud, 

Which comes the Moon's fair face to shroud, 

And 'round her waist a hideous zone 

Of hands with charnal lightnings shone, 

And long the garland which she wore 

Of heads all bath'd in streaming gore : 

How fierce the eyes by Death unseal'd. 

And blasting gleams which they reveal'd. 

I shudder'd— tho* I knew 'twas she. 

The awful, ruthless Deity, 

On whose dread altar like a flood, 

There flows for aye her victim's blood ! 

I shudder'd— for, methought, she came. 

With eyes of bright consuming flame, 

* Daughter,' — she said,—' farewell I— I go : 

* The time is come, — it must be so : 

* Leave thee and thine I will to-night,' — 
Then vanish'd like a flash of light ! 

" Again I dreamt : — I saw a pyre 
Blaze high with fiercely gleaming fire ; 
And one there came, — a warrior he, — 
Tho' faint, yet bold, — undauntedly. 
And plung'd — oh ! God ! into the flame 
Which like a hungry monster rose. 
And circl'd round his quivering frame, 
A hideous curtain waving close ! 
I shriek'd — but, tell me why that start. 
And paler brow and heaving heart ? 
Oh ! tell me, hath my royal sire 
Forgot his deep and ruthless ire. 
And come and crush 'd our foe-men dire ? " 



i8 MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 

It was the refusal on the part of the monarch who cele- 
brated the Feast of Victory, to come to the rescue of his 
brother king that enabled the Moslem to triumph. The 
besieged sovereign implores his lady to fly. She answers in 
the spirit of ancient Hindu chivalry : — 

Oh ! never, — never will this heart 
Be severed, Love ! to beat apart ! 
I fear not Death, tho' fierce he be, 
When thus I cling, mine own to thee ! 
For in the forest's green retreat. 
Where leafy branches twine and meet, 
Tho* wildly round dread Agni roars, 
Like angry surge by rock-girt shores. 
The soft gazelle of liquid eye 
Leaves not her mate alone to die I 

The funeral pyre consumes the lovers, and the tale ends 
with the disappointed Moslem's entry into the doomed city. 

High flames the fiercely kindling pyre 
Like Rudra's all consuming ire ; 
And many a spark ascends on high 
Like light-wing'd birds which wildly fly 
Or gayly sweep along the sky ; 
The Rishi with his gods is there 
But weeps as swells his solemn pray'r, 
And all around the brightening glow 
Lights hueless cheek and pallid brow ! 
And there be murmured voice of wail. 
Like mournful sigh of mid-night gale, 

* And must he die so young, so brave, 

' Is there no god above to save ! ' 

There is a hush : — a warrior stands 
Fast by that pyre of blazing brands ; 
With all a warrior's fearless pride 
He shrinks not from the fiery tide, 



MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 19 

Which rolls, a golden lava-stream, 
And darts full many a lightning beam ; 
A glittering crown is on his brow 
Of beauty,— tho* all pallid now, 
And in his hand a broken blade 
Bath'd in red gore but lately shed ! 
He looks him round with dauntless eye. 
As one who never fears to die ! 

* Farewell !— Death's but a short-liv'd pain, 

* I Live not for a captive's chain ; 

* And now, ye gods who love the brave, 

* Smile o'er a warrior's fiery grave ! ' 

He paus'd— they look'd— * oh ! he is gone, 
' His last, his boldest deed is done, 

* Husteena see thy hope expire, 

* Upon yon pile of blazing fire ! ' 

But, hark ! there is a shriek, — a cry. 
Of wild, controlless agony I 
How fearfully around it rung. 
As one burst thro' that weeping throng. 
And plung'd into that flaming pyre. 
And clove awhile the column'd fire ! 
They look'd — they knew — yes, it was she, 
The bride of him whose spirit there 
Had burst its prison, joyously 
To fly far to the realms of air ! 

Go, — ope the portals far and wide, 

And let the over-whelming tide 

Of foe-men like an ocean glide ; 

What boots it now, since they must sheathe 

Their blades in hearts have ceas'd to breathe. 

And Conquest in proud triumph tread 

A lone, wide city of the dead ! 



20 MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 



Sonnets. 



I. 

I am not rich, nay, nor the future heir 

To sparkling gold or silver heaped on store ; 

There is no marble blushing on my floor 

With thousand varied dies : — no gilded chair. 

No cushions, carpets that by riches are 

Brought from the Persian land, or Turkish shore ; 

There is no menial waiting at my door 

Attentive to the knell : and all things rare, 

Born in remotest regions, that shine in 

And grace the rich-man *s hall, are wanting here. 

These are not things that by blind Fate have been 

Allotted ever to the poor man's share : 

These are not things, these eyes have ever seen, 

Tho ' their proud names have sounded in this ear I 

II. 

But oh ! I grieve not ; — for the azure sky 
With all its host of stars that brightly shine. 
The green-robed earth with all her flow'rs divine, 
The verdant vales and every mountain high. 
Those beauteous meads that now do glittering lie 
Clad in bright sun-shine, — all, oh ! all are mine ! 
And much there is on which my ear and eye 
Can feast luxurious ! — why should I repine ? 
The furious Gale that howls and fiercely blows. 
The gentler Breeze that sings with tranquil glee. 
The silver Rill that gayly warbling flows, 
And e 'en the dark and ever-lasting Sea, 
All, all these bring oblivion for my woes. 
And all these have transcendent charms for me ! 



HUR CHUNDER DUTT, 
I831-I90I. 

Tarra Baee. 



** Sootan being deprived of Thoda by Lilla the Afghan, occupied 
Bednore. His daughter Tarra Baee, or the Star of Bednore, stimulated 
by the reverses of her family, and by the incentive of its ancient glory, 
scorned the habiliments and occupations of her sez, and devoted herself 
to manly sports and exercises'. When princes made proposals for her hand , 
her answer was * Redeem Thoda and my hand is thine.' " 

She sat upon her palfrey white. 

That damsel fair and young, 
And from the jewelled belt she wore, 

Her trusty rapier hung ; 
And chieftains bold, and warriors proud. 
Around her formed a gallant crowd. 

A helmet clasped her forehead fair, 

A shield was by her side ; 
The helmet was of polished steel. 

The shield of bison's hide ; 
And as she spoke, the evening air 
Disported with her raven hair. 

* From girlhood, I have shunned the sports 

In which our sex delight. 
And learnt instead to use the sword, 

And wield the falchion bright ; 
To meet the tigress turned to bay. 
And guide the war-horse in the fray. 

' From girlhood, I have vowed a vow 
Our honour to redeem, 

A 21 



22 HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 

And make my noble father's name 

Of every song the theme ; 
To rescue Thoda from the slave 
Who lives to fill a coward *s grave. 

* And till my life-blood *s purple flow 
Stand stagnant in my veins, 
That early vow to see fulfilled 

I *11 spare nor strength nor pains : 
To those who join me in the war 
I '11 be a radiant beacon star ! 

' My hand — 'tis his who foremost scales 

The ramparts of the foe, 
And to the wicked Lilla deals 

The dread avenging blow ; 
Go, warriors — these alone decide 
The man who wins me as his bride. ' 



The Flight of Humayim. 

" Husnayun fled towards Amarcot. His horse died on the way ; and he 
desired Tirdi Beg, one of his chiefs, to let him have his horse. The 
request was refused, so low had royalty fallen. One Koka, dismounting 
his own mother, gave the king her horse, and placing the lady on a camel 
ran himself on foot beside her." 

At midnight, o'er the desert sands 

The monarch fled alone, 
And in the light of paling stars 

His blood-stained armour shone. 
Disbanded were his glorious ranks, 

His bravest chieftains slain, 
Yet o'er his wide ancestral realm 

Once more he hoped to reign. 



HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 23 

The gallant barb which he bestrode 

Had travelled far from home, 
And his dun hide on either side 

Was wet with snow-white foam ; 
But minding not his toil he sped 

As swiftly as the wind. 
To save from foes his regal lord, 

The kindest of the kind. 

As horse and horseman onward passed, 

Still feebler waxed the din, 
The echoing tramp and deafening shout. 

And roar of culverin. 
* Thou bear'st me well, my barb,' he said 

* Thou bear'st me well this night 
And I with jewelled bit and band 

Thy labours will requite.' 

But ere another hour had passed, 

Down falls the noble steed ; 
The king dismounts in fear and haste 

And looks at him with heed, — 
Distended nostrils, starting eyes 

And stiffening limbs display 
That life with him is ebbing fast 

And soon shall pass away. 

Beyond the hills by cloudlets ribbed. 

The broad-disked moon appears. 
And o 'er the vasty sea of sand 

Its crest of fire uprears ; 
And far adown the glimmering glen 

Advance with headlong haste 
A hundred fugitives to seek 

The refuge of the waste. 



24 HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 

And Tirdi Beg, the veteran chief, 

Among the troop was found, 
The king accosted him by name. 

But looked he not around ; 
He plied amain his blood-stained spurs 

And passed his lord with speed, — 
Thus e'er the cringing race behave 

When most their aid we need. 

' Is it for this that from thy youth 

I reared thee in my hall. 
And favours heaped on thee and thine 

From which ye feared no fall ? 
Is this the guerdon of my love 

So equable and true ? 
This night, ungrateful Tirdi Beg, 

This night thou 'It dearly rue/ 

^ Ho ! Tirdi Beg, ' brave Koka cried, 

* Death light upon thy head. 
Dost thou desert at utmost need 

Him at whose board thou 'st fed ? 
The flashing brand that's in my hand 

Shall cleave thy skull in twain, 
If e'er upon the tented field 

I meet thee once again.' 

^ My lord, my king, accept I pray 

A subject's proferred love. 
Who, though despised at camp and court. 

Disloyal ne'er shall prove ; 
The steed that bore my mother safe. 

Is at my king's command, 
And she upon a camel fleet 

Shall cross the sea of sand. 



HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 25 

* The foe, the foe, I hear the drum, 

The trumpet's echoing peal, 
I see the waving of their flags. 

The flashing of their steel. 
A thousand dark plumes cloud the air, 

A thousand flambeaux burn ; 
They speed, like eagles from their home, 

Among the mountain fern. 

* The earth shakes 'neath their chargers' tramp, 

Mount, mount my liege in haste, 
Ere like the wild and fierce Simoom 

They sweep across the waste. 
Where Tatta's mountains lift to heaven 

Their diadems of snow. 
Once more to rear thy banner high 

Great king I we now must go. ' 

The borrowed steed, with lightning speed. 

Forth darts into the wind. 
The camel fleet brave Koka leads. 

And follows close behind ; 
And many a hairbreadth 'scape they made 

And trying toil o'ercame, 
Till Tatta's lordly mountain peaks 

Burst forth in garbs of flame. 

And when, again, by heaven's decree 

He won his father's throne. 
He bade the heralds to proclaim 

The deeds by Koka done ; 
Jewels and gold — his royal robe. 

And lordly 'states he gave 
To him who perilled his own life 

His monarch's life to save. 



26 HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 

Akbar's Dying Charge. 

This is no time to weep, my son. 

By weeping you do wrong. 
But bear thee up right manfully 

And in God's love be strong. 

Lovely and large thy heritage, 

As lovely as a bride. 
To keep her still thine own gird on 

That bright sword by thy side. 

See now it hangs on yonder wall 

(For powerless is the hand 
That wielded it in hunt or fray) 

My own, my noble brand. 

Read what is writ on either side 

And write it in your breast. 
Those characters of gold shine clear : 

^ The merciful are blest.' 

Upon the jewelled hilt and haft 

The diamond-sparks bespeak 
The grasp around it must be pure 

Though not infirm or weak. 

At honour's beck, in kingdom's cause, 

Like lightning let it fall. 
With power avenge the oppressed and wronged, 

And justly rule o'er all. 

The Blood-stains on the polished steel 

At mercy's fount make clean, 
And may thy battle-fields right soon 

With waving crops be green. 



X 



HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 27 

In all the triumphs, all the joys 

Which thy good angel brings. 
Forget not to give glory, son, 

To God the King of kings. 

His blessing crave, his grace implore, 

Alike in weal and woe. 
Long be thy reign in this fair land, — 

I go where all things go. 

Sonnet. 

INDIA. 

yes ! I love thee with a boundless love, 
Land of my birth ; and while I lisp thy name. 
Bums in my soul * an Aetna of pure flame ' 
Which none can quench nor aught on earth remove. 
Back from the shrouded past, as with a spell. 

Thy days of glory memory recalls. 

And castles rise, and towers, and flanking walls. 

And soldiers live, for thee dear land who fell ; 

But as from dreams of bliss men wake to mourn, 

So mourn I when that vision is no more, 

And in poor lays thy widowed fate deplore. 

Thy trophies gone, thy beauteous laurels torn. 

But Time shall yet be mocked ; — though these decay, 

1 see broad streaks of a still brighter day. 

The Rakhi. 

Wear, wear this fillet round thy arm, 

Thou brave and noble knight. 
Thy gallant warhorse paws the ground, 

Impatient for the fight. 



28 HUR CHUNDER DUTT. 

A sister's love for thee hath wrought 

This silken tie so fair. 
That thou protected by the gods 

The deadly fray may'st share. 

Thy flashing eyes full plainly tell 
Thou'lt not disgrace the band, 

If e'er the impetuous tide of war 
Roll where thy loved ones stand. 

And sheath not, knight, thy gleaming blade, 

Till routed is the foe ; 
And as the chaff before the wind, 

Before thy ranks they go. 

And when by glorious Victory crowned 
Thou tread'st the bloody fleld. 

Spare, by my tears, the wounded foe ; 
Be thou their help and shield. 

But hark I the tocsin 's quivering peal 
Bursts on my ear from far — 

Mount, mount thy steed that proudly neighs 
To join the ranks of war. 



COVIN CHUNDER DUTT, 

1828-1884. 

Song from the Bengali. 

Oh, never look on woman's eyes ! 

Their serpent gaze will fascinate 
And then betray thee ; youth, be wise 

And fly their lustre ere too late ; 
Or shouldst thou linger, loth to part, 

Oh, never, never trust her heart ! 

Oh, never list to woman's voice ! 

There's flattery in its every tone 
To make thy pulses throb, rejoice. 

And leave thee then to mourn alone ; 
But shouldst thou linger, loth to part. 

Oh, never, never trust her heart I 

Oh, never let thy bosom heave 

For woman's twin-born blush and smile ! 
The glittering smile will oft deceive, 

The blush, alas ! as oft beguile ; 
But shouldst thou linger, loth to part. 

Oh, never, never trust her heart ! 



To Lord Canning. 



Though a thousand pens condemned thee, mine still should 

write thy praise ; 
Though a thousand tongues reviled thee, mine still should 

paeans raise ; 
For factious clamours heeding not, that only call for blood. 
True to thy duty and thy race. Lord Canning, thou hast stood. 

29 



30 GOVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 

What is the meed of thy deserts ? Let history blush to tell ! 

A foul memorial of recall sent o'er the ocean's swell ; 

And from the press — a press, alas 1 long held in honour 
too — 

The daily sneer for justice done, as God hath taught to do ! 

Is this the meed of thy deserts ? No, no, it cannot be I 
All England's best and noblest are heart and soul with thee ! 
And India's swarthy children, from hill and field and town, 
Lift up the voice with one acclaim, and blessings summon 
down. 

And the next age — shall it not hear, with wonder and with 

awe, 
How amidst rancour, hate, and strife, thou sternly gayest 

law ? 
* He governed all alike ' — 'twill say — * all races and all 

creeds. 
He judged not men by skin or faith, he judged them by their 

deeds. ' 

And the next life ? Is there not one when God shall judge 

us all. 
The peasant from his cottage and the ruler from his hall ? 
Then who shall justified appear, and who shall win the crown ? 
The man that strove for duty, or the man that sought renown ? 

All that a bold wise heart can do — all that a righteous may, 
Was done the bursting storm to quell in India's evil day I 
But a heavy task is still on hand, for an omniscient God 
Hath women's blood and children's seen run reeking on the 
sod. 

Yes, a heavy task remains behind — a burden's laid on thee. 

Thou hast been chosen Minister — such is thy destiny ; 

Oh, pray — for highest counsel pray! — of such shalt thou 

have need. 
For vengeance is a fearful thing — and vengeance is decreed. 



GOVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 31 

Strike thou and home, but not in wrath fulfil a high com- 
mand ; 
Avenging angels weep to smite a sin-o 'erburdened land ; 
Strike, mourning, at the word of God, and hold at His behest 

These words in water are not writ — 'The merciful are 
blest.' 

It is not for her trampled flag that England bares her sword ; 
It is not for a just revenge upon a murderous horde ; 
It is to prove to blood-stained men, self-blinded of their sight. 
That evil hath no chance with good or darkness with the 
light. 

But guiltless blood, where'er it flows, in black or white men's 

veins 
Is precious in the sight of Him who trieth heart and reins ; 
Oh, watch it be not shed in vain ! — Oh, act as heretofore ! 
And let a wreath-encircled name one priceless wreath have 

more. 



A Farewell To Romance. 

Farewell I — a long farewell — to thee, Romance ! 

We may not meet as we have met before. 
Though yet the witchery of that downcast glance 

Enthralls my heart, it must enthral no more. 
Though yet the music of thy silver voice 
Rings in my ear — it must no longer ring ; 
The stern command of duty bids us part. 
The moments hasten and she grants us few ; 
But ere thou speed'st where yoimger hearts rejoice. 
And ere I wander like an alien thing. 

Jostling and jostled in the world's wide mart, 
Fain would I murmur 'mid my sighs ' Adieu.' 



32 GOVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 

Who hath not seen thee, fair one, when the day 

Urges his coursers o'er the dappled clouds, 
Flit o'er the dewsprent lawns in green array ? 

Who hath not seen thee when the evening shrouds 
The landscape hushed, by skirt of forest wide. 
Listening transfixed to echoes floating there, 
Pale as a statue and as motionless ; 
Or kneeling by the margin of a stream. 
Wherein thine image might be dimly spied, 
While the winds dallied with thy bosom bare. 
And raised thy robes, and oft in wantonness 
Rippled thy mirror, to destroy thy dream ? 



Who hath not seen thee in his chamber still 

At dead of night ? For me, I've seen thee oft, 
When through the lattice came the moonlight chill. 

With incense from the garden borne aloft. 
The star of peace flamed ever on thy brow 
Just where the hair was parted, and thy face. 
That pale and pensive face, was aye serene 
As a white lotus on its watery throne : 
One hand upheld a verdant cypress bough, 
The other on thy lip with artless grace 

A finger pressed — while o'er thy head was seen. 
Round yet apart, a rainbow-tinted zone. 

Yes, I have seen thee many and many a night. 

But silent ever, and thine eyes have made 
(Those eyes where quiver passion's tear drops bright) 

A deep impression on my heart, and laid 
A spell upon me that I may not rend — 
A spell that half unfits me for the strife 
Recurring constant in the work-day world. 
Ah 1 how I long to linger by thy side 



GOVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 33 

In pathless wilds, where leafy branches bend 
Each above each — the busy hum of life 
Is never felt — the contest-flag is furled, 

And from his foes the wounded deer may hide. 

It may not be ; I dare not disobey 

The trumpet-voice of duty which I hear, 
With aching bosom, call me hence away, 

And bid me leave thee whom I love so dear. 
Therefore farewell — a long farewell — Romance ! 
We may not meet as we have met before. 
For now my leisure hours can be but few. 

Yet when we meet what raptures shall there be, 
Upon some rare, rare holiday, by chance, 
Roving in gardens as I roved of yore 

At evening, when the stars begem the blue, 
And warbling bi|:ds awake to ecstasy. 

And if we meet not— if thou shunn'st my sight. 

Scared at my world-worn brow and haggard look. 
Then shall I woo thee with the charms of might. 
And pore intently on some well-loved book — 
Well-loved of old, to be well-loved no more — 
The varied melody of Shakespeare's shell, 
The Doric flute of Milton, or the reed 
Of * sage and serious ' Spenser ever dear, 
In breathless silence heard so oft before 

By thee and me, (thou did'st confess the spell ;) 
Or what less deep, of late, thou lov 'st to hear 
The strains of Scott that stir the soul indeed. 

If time or care thine image should efface. 

The image deeply graven on my brain. 
And scenes seem dull which once I loved to trace. 

And books, once prized, afford no balm to pain. 



34 COVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 

Where shall I seek to light the fire anew ? 
How find thee, Goddess of the peerless eyes ? 
In mine own hearth, and in the prattle sweet 
Of children dear, and in their sunny glancev 
And in their love so tender and so true, 
A love that every morning magnifies. 

Though parting now, we thus may sometime meet 
And love each other as of old, Romance. 



Lines. 

When from the dewsprent rose the blustering wind 

Steals leaf by leaf away. 
Sighs the sad flower to leave no trace behind, 

No record of its day ? 

When the fair colours in the rainbow laid. 

Dissolve in heaven's own hue. 
Weep they to find their glories blend and fade 

Into the pristine blue ? 

When stars on stars before the rising sun 

Sink down and disappear. 
Mourns any that its brief career is run. 

And leaves no vestige here ? 

Why then should man alone indulge in grief. 

Or ever wish to give 
A frail memorial of his sojourn brief 

To those who later live ? 

What the necessity of earthly fame. 

Or monument, or mound. 
To one who in the Book of Life, his name 

Shall see, if faithful foimd ? 



GOVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 35 

Wordsworth*s Poems. 

This volume is a Gothic church — no less, 

And every separate poem but a part 

Of a great edifice, built with rarest art, 
A cell, or oratory, or carved recess, 
Or but a simple leaf-wreath winding round 

A marble pillar, in the sombre light, 

Or an emblazoned window flashing bright. 
Fair in itself, but fairest where 'tis found ; 
Each delicately symmetrical — but the whole 
Ravishing with loveliness the prisoned soul. 

The labour of a lifetime, and the work 

Of one inspired, the prophet of his age. 

What deep philosophy and experience sage 
And tender sympathies here retired lurk 
In simplest verses. Oh, beloved book ! 

With thee and but one other, which to name 

Even with thee would matter be for blame. 
Contented could I glide o'er life's calm brook. 
Until it mingle with the mighty sea. 
And time be swallowed in eternity. 

Nor deem this praise extravagant or strange. 
For without travel here I have its joys. 
And sitting by my hearth where naught annoys, 
O'er hills and oceans by these spells I range. 
Is it not grand to see Helvell3rn rear 
Its lofty siunmit to the azure sky. 
Or mark the lake below faint-gleaming lie, 
A mirror for all objects far and near. 
Bare rocks, and woods arrayed in vivid green. 
And cheerful homesteads through the fpliage seen ? 



36 COVIN CHUNDER DUTT, 

And should an English landscape ever pall, 

With all its wide diversity of hills 

And trees and waters, lo 1 the fresh breeze fills 
Our swelling canvas at the Poet's call ! 
Where shall we wander ? In the fields of France ? 

Or classic Italy's wave-saluted shore ? 

Or dearer Scotland's barren heaths and moor ? 
Or Staffa's natural temple, where in trance 
We shadowy beings may behold ? Command, — 
All wait the movement of the enchanter 's wand. 

Hail, ye Rydalian laurels that have grown 
Untended by the Poet's calm abode, 
And in the footpaths that he often trod 
Wrapt in deep thought, at evening time, alone. 
No Delphic virreath he wanted, when he foimd 
Nature unveiled in all her loveliness. 
But these wild leaves and wilder flowers that bless 
Our common earth he prayed for, and she boimd 
His brows therewith ; and see, they never fade, 
A crown of amaranth by her own hands made. 

Home. 

No picture from the master hand 
Of Gainsborough or Cuyp may vie 

With that which at my soul's command 
Appears before mine inward eye 

In foreign climes when doomed to roam — 

Its scene, my own dear native home. 

What though no cloud-like hills uprear 
Their serried heights sublime afar ! 

What though the ocean be not near, 
With wave and wind in constant war ! 



COVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 37 

Nor rock nor sea could add a grace, 
So perfect seems the hallowed place. 

Casuarinas in solemn range, 

At distance look like verdant hills ; 
And winds draw from them music strange, 

Such as the tide makes when it fills 
Some shingle-strown and land-girt bay 
From men and cities far away. 

And round, as far as eye can reach 

What vivid piles of foliage green ! 
Mango and shaddock, plum and peach. 

And palms like pillars tall between : 
An emerald sea surrounds the nest, 
A sea for ever charmed in rest. 

What roses blossom on the lawn I 

What warblers on the bamboo boughs, 

Lithe and elastic, swing at dawn. 
And pour their orisons and vows ! 

What dew upon the greensward lies ! 

How lovingly look down the skies ! 

And at high noon when every tree 
Stands brooding on its round of shade. 

And cattle to the shelter flee 

And there, in groups recumbent laid. 

Gaze ruminant — what deep repose 

Lies on the landscape as it glows ! 

But most at evening's gentle hour 

The reign of Peace is clearly read, 
In the blue mists which hail her power. 

Pavilions rich and banners spread. 
While 'mid the hush is heard the tone 
Of night's sweet minstrel — hers alone. 



38 GOVIN CHUNDER DUTT, 

As star by star leaps out above, 
As twilight deepens into night, 

As round me cluster those I love, 
And eye meets eye in glances bright, 

I feel that earth itself may be 

Lit up with heaven's own radiancy. 



Night on the Ganges. 

How beautiful the glorious night would be, 
How much more lovely than the garish day, 
If thus for ever she arrayed herself I 
The moon is up — high on the cloudless sky, 
Over the towering mast she brightly gleams. 
Pale, like a lady sick with silent grief, 
Showering her beams on everything around. 
And clear defining every rope and spar 
Of this our gallant bark, whose shadow falls 
Enormous, on the smooth reflecting wave. 
In this pure light the eye with ease discerns 
Each distant object that it sees by day. 
And freed from every fault that sunbeams show. 
It seems, indeed, a clear meridian noon 
Reft of its heat, its turmoil, and its strife. 
Its busy wasting cares, its stunning noise. 
Its idle flouting glare, and scorching winds. 
Naught now disturbs the stillness of the scene — 
The holy stillness — save the. cricket's song 
That lulls each weary sense to pleasant sleep 
By shrill monotony, and the night-bird's lay. 
Anon that lay is hushed. The fishes leap 
Up in the clear moonlight from out the wave. 
Then fall again and raise a sullen splash ; 
The huge unwieldy porpoise rolling out. 



COVIN CHUNDER DUTT. 39 

Sinks down immediate. Sudden from the glade, 

A spectral, hollow, long-repeated cry 

Of wild ducks in alarm comes loud and shrill, 

Blent with the famished jackal's harsher voice. 

As ruthlessly that tyrant's steps pursue 

These harmless dwellers of the tangled brakes. 

Soft spread the dews upon the fragrant earth. 

Beading with orient pearls the silken grass. 

And emerald leaves of trees upon the banks 

That bound with green the dim horizon's verge. 

On every side, save that in which the stream 

Loses itself amid the bending sky. 

How pleasant now, at ease reclined to mark 

The sombre shadows of each varying tree : 

The mangoe here, with countless leaves adorned. 

Casts densest shade, and there the towering palm 

Mirrors its length. The scented baubool next 

With fragrant yellow flowers and clust'ring leaves. 

Bends o'er the wave to see its image fair. 

One mass of green the trees far off appear. 

And cast new shadows on the flood below. 

The ample Ghaut its thousand pillars rears 

In the dim moonshine, looking vast and pale. 

Untenanted and cold, sublimely grand ; 

And the high temple with its upward points. 

Shaded by moonlight like a phantom, looms 

In dim mysterious beauty. At this time. 

The spirit of eternal peace seems thrown 

On every object, and the rudest breast 

Is filled with pure and unimpassioned thoughts. 

May such a calmness in my dying hour 

Encircle me, while those I dearly love 

Stand by — not mourning — and may my passing soul 

Partake in that mysterious, awful time 

The peace and stillness of the scene around. 



OMESH CHUNDER DUTT, 
1836-1912. 

The Chief of Pokurna. 

Within the merry greenwood, 

At dawning of the day, 
Four-and-twenty armed men 

In silent ambush lay. 
They wait like couchant leopards, 

Their eager eyes they strain, 
And look towards the lonely glade. 

Towards the distant plain. 
Naught see they but the golden com 

Slow waving in the sun, 
Naught see they but the misty hills 

And uplands bare and dun. 
The rustle of the forest leaves, 

The trampling of the deer. 
The chirp of birds upon the boughs. 

Are all the sounds they hear. 

But hark ! they catch the thrilling notes 

Of a distant bugle horn 
Come pealing through the wild ravine. 

By the morning breezes borne : 
Lower they stooped, and anxiously 

Their laboured breath they drew. 
And clutched their brands with nervous hands 

Their quarry is in view. 
Attended by a single squire. 

Slow riding up the glen, 

40 



OMESH CHUNDER DUTT. 41 

Unconscious that his path 's beset 

By armed and desperate men ; 
A brave gerfalcon on his wrist, 

The bugle on his breast, 
The sunlight gleaming brightly on 

His nodding plume and crest. 

Not clad in steel, from head to heel 

In satin rich arrayed, 
With his trusty sword, Pokurna's lord 

Is riding through the glade, 
To see his falcon proudly soar 

And strike, he comes so far ; 
In peaceful guise he rideth on. 

Nor dreams of blood or war. 
All sudden from their ambush 

The treacherous f oemen rose. 
With vengeful eyes and glittering arms. 

With spears and bended bows : 
And ere the chief could draw his blade, 

They hemmed him darkly round. 
And plucked him from his frightened steed. 

And bore him to the ground. 

The king sat on a gorgeous throne. 

All rough with ruddy gold. 
Begirt with many a haughty peer. 

And warriors stern and bold ; 
With many a vassal-prince aroimd. 

For they had come from far 
To pay their homage to their lord. 

The sovereign of Marwar. 
With fetters on his manly hands. 

Within that hostile ring. 
With dauntless look the chief appeared 

Before his angry king. 



42 OMESH CHUNDER DUTT. 

For he had often vaunted thus, 
In public and alone, 

* Within my dagger's sheath I hold 

This kingdom's royal throne/ 

Before his angry king he stood. 

The king he had defied, 
Nor quailed he 'neath that princely glance 

Nor vailed his brow of pride ; 
Though bent on him were fiery eyes. 

And looks of rage and hate. 
He stood as calm as if he were 

Within his castle gate. 
The monarch spoke, his words rang out 

In accents stern and clear, 
' Ha 1 traitor, insolent and keen. 

At last we have thee here ; 
Where now are all thy boastings vain. 

Amidst thy men of war ? 
Say, where is now the sheath which holds 

The fortunes of Marwar ? ' 

Oh ! grimly turned Pokurna's lord. 

And loud and long laughed he. 
Then waved his hand towards the prince 

And answered loftily : 
' I left it with my gallant son. 

Within Pokurna's hall ; 
Tremble, false prince, for sure he will 

Avenge his father's fall ! ' 
The monarch's swarthy cheeks grew pale. 

The lightning filled his eye : 

* And dar'st thou, rebel, even here. 

Thy sovereign lord defy ? 
Ho, soldiers I drag the traitor out. 
And ere the close of day 



OMESH CHUNDER DUTT, 43 

Let his foul carcase feed the dogs 
Upon the public way.' 

Oh ! gaily in a golden shower 

The setting sunlight falls 
Upon the waste of glinting sand 

Which girds Pokuma's walls. 
The warder paced the battlements, 

With heavy steps and slow, 
And from within arose a cry, 

A wail of grief and woe. 
There noble dames shed heart-wrung tears, 

And rent their glossy hair, 
And cried aloud for him, the dead, 

And beat their bosoms bare. 
And cursed with bitter, bitter words 

The prince at whose command 
Was foully slain their noble chief. 

The bravest in the land. 

Far different was the scene within 

That castle's ancient hall, 
Where, 'neath the glorious banners ^ 

Which graced the blackened wall. 
Five hundred mailed warriors 

And chiefs of high emprise 
Around their youthful leader stood. 

With stern yet moistened eyes. 
They bared at once their shining blades 

And lifted them on high. 
And swore a deep and deadly oath 

To avenge their lord or die. 
Full well their solemn oath they kept 

In many a mortal fray. 
And sorely rued that haughty prince 

The deed he did that day. 



44 * OMESH CHUNDER DUTT. 

The Hindu Wife to her Husband. 

** An English lady, visiting an odalisque, inquired what pleasure her 
profusion of rich ornaments could afford, as no person except her 
husband was ever to behold them. ' And for whom/ replied the fair 
oriental, ' do you adorn yourself ? — ^is it for other men ? ' " 

Oh, not for strangers do I wear 
The jewels in my flowing hair, 
Nor yet for others' eyes array 
My limbs in vestments rich and gay : 
Nor wish that even friends should see 
The smile that's only meant for thee. 

From pleasures of this life debarred, 
They tell me that my lot is hard, 
That, forc'd like prison'd bird to pine. 
Such joys as theirs can ne'er be mine ; 
That beauty, wit, and gems are vain 
If hidden they must thus remain. 

They tell me that in festal hall. 

To be admired and prais'd by all. 

To feel one's self — O triumph high ! — 

The cynosure of every eye. 

The fairest of the fair to be : 

This, this is life, — bright, glad and free. 

From such advice I turn away. 

It only serves to lead astray : 

The dance, the crowd, are not for me, 

I envy not their liberty : — 

Happy as queen upon her throne, 

I love to dwell among mine own. 

Is there no peace for them at home, 
That restless here and there they roam ? 
And are they of their lords so tired, 
That they should seek to be admired 



OMESH CHUNDER DUTT. 45 

By friends and strangers ? Thus can they 
Mid dance, and song, and jest, be gay ? 

For thee alone, my love, I wear 

The jewels in my flowing hair. 

For thee the glance, for thee the smile, 

For thee this heart which knows no guile : 

And blest, supremely blest I '11 be 

With one kind word and look from thee. 



Hymn to Shiva. 



Shiva ! whom all the gods in heaven obey. 

Thou mightiest, deign to hear my hunible prayer I 
I 've sinned. Oh, save me from the fiend Despair, 

Which turns to gloom the sunshine of the day ! 

The angry storms of Fate around me play. 

Strange sounds are hurtling through the troubled air. 

Be thou my steadfast rock, my guide, and stay. 

Thou who art king of all the things I see, 
Thou who art clothed in glory and in light, 
Thou from whose tresses sprang, in radiance bright. 

The sacred Ganges rolling wide and free. 

Thou art my hope — lo ! here I bring to thee, 
To find forgiveness in thy awful sight. 

These varied offerings on my bended knee. 

Dread lord of Uma, to whose golden shrine 
In far Benares countless pilgrim bands. 
From Indian cities and from distant lands, 

Yearly repair in never-ending line, 

I too will visit that abode divine. 

If I but now receive thy high conmiands ; — 

Oh, leave me not in bitter grief to pine I 



46 OMESH CHUNDER DUTT, 

O thou I who dwellest on the lofty crown 

'Mid the pure snows of cloud-capped Kalasay, 
From thy bright region of ne'er-ending day, 

In pity on this sinful one look down. 

Chase from thy lofty brow that angry frown, 
And let me go in peace of mind away, 

Rejoicing, to my distant native town. 

Sonnets — War. 

I 

How terrible art thou O iron War ! 

With vengeful furies in thy long-drawn train, 

Thy step is found e'en o'er the trackless main, 
Nor rock, nor sea thy fiery course can bar. 
Where'er thou goest in thy rattling car, 

Deserted hamlet and ensanguin'd plain. 

Attest thy cruel and tyrannic reign. 
And flaming towns gleam lurid from afar. 
Thy blood-red standard to the winds display'd. 

Thy drum's deep roll, thy trumpets shrill and clear. 
The thunder of the furious cannonade. 

Are sights and sounds which fill the heart with fear ; 
For they presage, alas I too well we know. 
Rapine and wreck, untimely death and woe. 

II. 

But yesterday upon this ravaged spot, 
Rose the proud city lifting high in air 
Its graceful arches and its columns fair, 

Here was the mart with life and tumult fraught ; 

O cruel War, what ruin hast thou wrought ! 
Outrage and wrong are rampant everywhere : 
Hark to those shrieks, wild cry, and hopeless prayer, 

Bursting alike from hall and lowly cot I 



OMESH CHXJNDER DUTT. 47 

Is this the glory, this the deathless fame, 

Which thou dost promise to thy lawless crew I 

Shall we for this emblazon forth thy name, 

Shall we for this thy path with flowerets strew ! 
Away, — tho' proud thy brow, and dark its frown, 

It is not worthy of the victor's crown. 



Sonnets — Peace. 



I. 

Come gentle Peace, with Plenty at thy side. 
And scatter with a free and bounteous hand. 
Thy gifts and blessings over all the land. 
The earth has worn the rich robes of a bride. 

The trees lift up their stately heads in pride. 

The cloudless skies with varied hues look grand, 
The air, is full of perfume sweet and bland. 

To welcome thee, O goddess tender-eyed ! 

We love thee with an ardent love sincere. 
For 'neath thy quiet and benignant sway. 

Gaunt Care, and sombre Grief, and trembling Fear 
Depart, and vanish from our homes away, 

And sunshine lights each heart so dark erewhile. 

The glad bright sunshine of thy cheerful smile. 

II. 

Lo ! where they stand upon yon village green. 
Youths and young maidens in a joyous round, 
Hark to the violin and pipe's sweet sound, 

As they strike up to greet May's lovely queen. 

High in the midst the slender pole is seen. 

With garlands bright and prizes gaily crown' d ; 
O, can a fairer sight than this be found. 



48 OMESH CHUNDER DUTT. 

Where all is mirth, no shadows intervene ! 
O Peace, our guardian angel, may thy throne 

Be fix'd and steadfast on our fertile shore, 
And may we ne'er thy sovereignty disown, 

But love and worship thee for evermore ; 
The crown, the laurel wreath are meet for thee, 
Thine is the triumph, thine the victory I 



NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (Ram Sharma). 

I837-I918. 

In Memoriam 

MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT. 

Mourn, poor Bangala, mourn, thy hapless state ! 

Thy swan, thy warbler's snatched by ruthless fate ! 

Oh, snatched in prime of life, thy darling child, 

Datta who sang in magic numbers wild 

Great Megnath — Indra's haughty conquering foe, 

Hurled by brave Lakshman to the shades below ! 

— Hushed is the tuneful voice that thrilled the soul, 

Silent the lyre whose swelling notes did roll 

In streams of music sweet that did impart 

A life— a soul ev'n to the dullest heart ! 

Ah, poor unhappy land I how sad thy doom. 

Thy noblest sons are lost in vigor's bloom I 

Oh Death how stern, implacable thou art 

To single them out for thy cruel dart ! 

Ye children of Bangala, o'er his bier 

Pour forth your sorrows — shed the grateful tear 

To wit and talents due, and genius rare. 

Now lost beyond the reach of hope and care ! 

What though no pageant grand, no funeral show 

Followed his hearse in sable garb of woe ? 

What though no column high, no living bust 

Should mark the spot where lies his honoured dust ? 

He needs not these, though prized by little men ; 

His works his noblest monument remain I 

Oh, crown your poet's grave with flowery wreaths, 

The flesh is dead, th' immortal spirit breathes ! 

49 



50 NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (Ram Sharma). 

Portraits from "The Last Day/' 

I. LORD CANNING. 

And now I see a noble figure cast 
In highest beauty's mould, whose lofty brow 
Bespeaks a pure and gracious soul within. 
He looks the image bright of Clemency ; 
And as he moves, lo ! Peace attends his steps. 
When a fierce hurricane swept o'er the East, 
And men hurled Reason from her tottering throne, 
With cheeks unblanched, stout heart, and iron nerves. 
He curb'd their passions wild, and firmly check'd 
War's blood-hounds in their merciless career, 
And thus from ruin saved a classic land. 
And fair Humanity from lasting shame. 
Oh, baleful days ! whose memory still sends 
A thrill of horror through the circling veins ! 
Oh, stormy days I when lacerated Peace 
Lay all but lifeless upon Mercy's lap, 
And Virtue — Innocence — Religion's self. 
Like storm-kiss'd flowers, with consternation shook ; 
While with infernal merriment, hell laughed 
To find another hell produced on earth ! 
In that dread saturnalia of blood. 
This righteous statesman stood revealed in all 
His moral grandeur ; violence and rapine 
And lawlessness fled at his stern command ; 
He brought down Mercy from her heavenly bower. 
The sword of Justice tempered with her dew ! 

II. RAJA RAMMOHAN ROY. 

Among that saintly host, with thrilling joy 
And pride, I see the bold Reformer, who 
In darkest times flung off the yoke of Falsehood ; 



NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (Ram Sharma). 51 

And, putting on the panoply of light, 

Brought bright-eyed Truth from her secluded home 

Amidst Himalaya's eternal snows 

Back to his native plain, from whence she had 

In terror fled, all scared by hateful rites 

Revolting of a hellish superstition. 

Filled with the learning of the East and West, 

An intellectual Samson in the midst 

Of Philistines grovelling in ignorance. 

And fallen from their simple ancient faith. 

He consecrated, with unflinching zeal. 

His mighty mind with all its gifts and powers, 

Its wealth of knowledge spoiled from hoary Time, 

Its deepest thoughts, and fpndest, brightest hopes, 

To the sole service of his God and kind. 

! noble life with noble deeds replete ! 

'Twas thine the glory and the grace and joy 

To save thy country's new-born buds from slaughter 

On the altars of a fell idolatry. 

And widowed female hearts all warm and throbbing 

With full-blooded life from off the blazing pyre ! 

Thine the still higher glory to erect 
God 's church pure from abominations foul 
On the strong rock of Nature's revelation. 
Which ne'er deceiveth, understood aright. 

III. DAVID HARE. 

Next see he comes, with smiling looks benign, 
The grand old man, who left his sea-girt home 
In the far West, to spouse Philanthropy 
In fair Bengala's grove of champac bright ; 
Who fondly, passionately clave to her. 
And only her, thro' weal and woe, in health 
And sickness, and thro' good report and evil. 
Unchanged and changeless with the ceaseless whirl 



52 NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (Ram Sharma). 

Of self and passions' bustling stir around I 

For he re-lit the lamp of Knowledge, where 

Her crystal light had been for ages quenched, 

And all his heart and soul and means employed 

In serving selflessly an ancient race, 

Borne down by wars and robber-hordes, and pining 

In the deep gloom of Freedom's longest night. 

His life was but a stream of golden deeds, 

A white page undefiled by blur or blot ; 

And so he left a blessed name behind, 

A name told on the heart's own rosary. 

Methinks I see a merry troop of boys 

Gathered round him, the centre of their sports ; 

And as the fun goes round, loud ringing peals 

Of elfin laughter greet each sprightly prank 

The little folk — spring-flowers of innocence — 

Invent, to speed the joyous hours away. 

And he the while views them with glistening eyes, 

Or joins them in their sports, more blithe and gay 

Than even the merriest, playfullest of them ; 

Or now and then, as they fall out, decides 

Their little suits, and harmony restores. 

Blest spirit hallowed be thy name, and cherished 

In kind remembrance to the verge of time ! 



Hymn to Durga. 



HAIL Mighty Goddess ! Universal Soul ! 

Power or Love, Fate or Illusion sweet ! 
Whate'er thy name, O mother, whose control 

All nature quickens — humbly thee I greet ! 
Hail ! ten-armed Goddess of the lion-throne. 
Whose power Time and Space and Being own I 
The seed of things was in thy mighty womb. 
Their source prolific, and their final doom ! 



NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (Ram Sharma). 53 

From thee the mystic Trinal Unity — 

Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesha — one in three — 
All sprung, thou primal dread Divinity, 

Thou great First Cause of all and End to be I 
The wondrous glories of yon azure sky, 
The nameless beauties that around us lie. 
The whirlwind's blast, and lightning's dazzling flame, 
All — all thy pow'r and providence proclaim. 

Descend, great Deity ! from thy cloud girt seat 
Amidst the changeless, everlasting snows 

Of lofty Himmala, where at thy feet 

Time's self doth lie like Passion in repose. 

And Kartikaya on his star-eyed bird. 

As fits the war-god, bravely keeps his guard ; 

And Ganesha, in sober vesture drest 

Wooing Philosophy to his loving breast. 

And golden Lakshmee, smiling like the mom. 

And bright as when she rose from the ocean foam, 

Her lap adorn'd with golden ears of corn, 
Emparadtses still thy mountain home. 

And lovely Saraswatee — lute in hand — 

Attended by the Arts — a witching band — 

Awakes ethereal music midst the snows, 

And all the place with rapturous ardour glows. 

The Aryan world prepares for social mirth 

By acts of lovingkindness to mankind ; 
May universal love pervade the earth. 

And charity fill every heart and mind ! 
May brother brother clasp in close embrace, 
And pleasure beam in each familiar face. 
As friend meets friend around the festive board 
And tells of pangs endured or triumphs scored ! 

6 



54 NOBO KISSEN GHOSE (Ram Sharma). 

Come, Mother come, all clothed in holy light, 
The sun and moon both shining at thy feet. 
O bless our hearths and homes ! O bless our sight 

With visions of the glorious Infinite I 
In varied names we worship only thee ; 
In vain, the creeds veil thee in mystery : 
For God or Goddess, it is all the same — 
In every form we worship but thy name ! 

Come, Goddess bright, O come, Supernal Power, 
In beaming smiles and loveliness arrayed. 

Our only hope in dark misfortune's hour. 
Our sole support, and never-failing aid I 

O bless the land with Peace and tranquil Joy ! 

May no distressing ills the Year annoy ! 

O come with all thy radiant progeny, 

DurgUy Durga, Durgatinashtni ! 



Robert Knight. 



Sudden the Indian sky is overcast. 

And all the land is shrouded deep in gloom : 
A wail goes forth from many an Indian home. 

And tears from old and young are streaming fast. 

For where is he, our fearless champion bold, 
India's unflinching advocate and friend. 
Whose lofty purpose and whose cherish'd end. 

Were Justice, Truth, and Righteousness to uphold ? 

Alas, the generous soul is now no more I 

Hush'd the large heart, whose love our hearts had won I 
O noble Knight, thy mortal warfare o'er, 

O weary pilgrim thy long journey done, 

Rest, from thy loving toil and labour rest, 
Repose, in peace on thy Redeemer's breast ! 



MAHARAJAH SIR JOTINDRA MOHUN TAGORE. 

1831-1908. 

An Indian Wreath. 

Bring CHAMPA from the bower, 
Fresh blown and of a golden dye ; inweave 
Gay APRAJITA of the richest blue, 
That rivals Beauty's eyes when lit by Love 
First dawning. BELH too, — sweet BELA cull. 
That blooms in virgin loveliness serene. 
And with it twine ambrosial JANTI fair 
Whose fragrance well may vie with PARI J AT 
Of Indra's bower. Forget not NAGESHUR, 
The Love-God's fav'rite ; for with that he tips 
This flowery shaft, and him the world obeys : 
With these in clusters bright ASOKA braid, 
— A charm 'gainst broken hearts and sorrow's pangs, — 
And GUNDHARAJ that sends its frankincense 
Afar ; then gather sweet SAPHALIKA, 
That blooms and falls at eventide, nor waits 
It e'er the Day-God's ardent looks to meet. 
Like maids who coyly shun each wanton gaze ; 
And RAJNI-GANDHA, that expands at night 
Alone, and like a lover's vow doth breathe 
Its odour rich in secret. There — 'tis done. 
The wreath's complete, an offering rich and rare, 
Fit to adorn the forehead of the fair. 

The Rajput Soldier's Farewell. 

Adieu ! 'Tis time for me to part 

While yet from bondage free. 
While yet I may persuade my heart 

To bid farewell to thee, dear love ! to bid farewell to 
thee. 55 



56 MAHARAJAH SIR JOTINDRA MOHUN TAGORE. 

Now sounds the nagra loud and deep. 

To war it turns my mind, 
I go where duty calls, nor weep 

To leave thee here behind, dear love I to leave thee 
here behind. 

Where lazy peace still holds her sway 

I cannot now remain, 
Nor must I love's soft voice obey 

The Rajput name to stain, dear love ! the Rajput 
name to stain. 

Once more farewell ! If gracious Raam 

But spare this life of mine, 
For every pain I'll find a balm 

On those sweet lips of thine, dear love I on those 
sweet lips of thine. 

But if remorseless death should dart 

The cruel shaft at me. 
Though hence my spirit should depart. 

It still should pray for thee, dear love ! it still should 
pray for thee. 



The Gopees' Address to the^KokiL 

Ah ! cease, dear Kokil, cease to sing 

Thy soft enchanting la3rs. 
For, ever to our minds they bring 

The thoughts of happier days, sweet bird I 
The thoughts of happier days ! 

And mem'ry fondly paints the scene, 

When in the Tamal grove 
We joyous danced and struck the Veen 

And sang of youth and love, sweet bird ! 
And sang of youth and love I 



MAHARAJAH SIR JOTINDRA MOHUN TAGORE. 57 

What time the moonbeams brightly glanced 

On yonder flowery mead, 
How oft we sat and heard entranced 

The BLUE GOD 'S distant reed, sweet bird ! 
The BLUE GOD'S distant reed ! 

When Phalgoon showered her beauties bright, 
And bloomed both hearts and flowers, 

How joyous then we past the night 
In Jumna^s blessed bowers, sweet bird ! 
In Jumna's blessed bowers I 

But past and gone are those sweet dajrs. 

And all our joys are o'er ; 
Thy songs but sad remembrance raise. 

Oh I sing thy lays no more, sweet bird ! 
Oh ! sing thy lays no more ! 



Origin of the Kaminee Flower. 

A maiden fair once loved a youth, 
To win his smile she ever sighed. 

But false she found his plighted truth. 
Of broken heart the maiden died. 

The Love-God's breast with pity warmed, 
And now for once himself he blamed, 

Into a flower the maid transformed. 
And sweet Kaminee it was named. 

And evermore alone at night. 
It weeps full many a dewy tear, 

But fades and falls ere dawn of light, 
Lest faithless man approach it near. 



GREECE CHUNDER DUTT. 

1833-1892. 

The Maid of Roopnagore. 

The Emperor Aurungzeb, in the height of his power , made an offer 
of marriage to the Princess of Roopnagore, who haughtily rejected his 
snit, saying, that she would rather renounce the throne of her ancestors 
than be allied to an infidel. 

Hear how the maid of Roopnagore 
Disdained the friendship of the Moor, 
When forth by royal hest there came, 
With peers and paladins of fame, 
A gay young lordling of degree, 
The pride of Moslem chivalry, 
To win her from her father's side, 
To be a Kaffir sovereign's bride. 

' Go back, Sir Knight,' she sternly said. 
While maiden shame her cheeks dyed red, 
' Go back and say, for gems and gold, 
For lordly Delhi's guarded hold. 
For power, for state, for lands in fee. 
An odalisque I ne'er will be, 
Nor faith and troth will coldly sell 
To him who is an infidel. 

* The dun-deer on the mountain's side 
May with the panther be allied ; 
Compelled by bleak December's weather. 
The owl and lark may house together ; 
Or yet by spring inspired the dove 
May seek the hawk's protecting love ; 
But Roopnagore in weal and woe 
Shall ever deem the Moor a foe. 

^8 



GREECE CHUNDER DUTT, 59 

' In rich brocade, and jewels sheen. 
Rather than shine the Moslem's queen, 
Rather than greet a fratricide, 
rd be a simple shepherd's bride, 
And take as readily my share 
Of rustic toil and rustic care, 
As ever lowly Rajpoot swain, 
On Mewar's still romantic plain. ' 

Gibraltar. 

The flag that here floats proudly in the air, 
The silent warders on the ramparts white. 

The gims that hide in sheltered nooks from sight. 
Or from the seaward scarp, their chosen lair, 
Gaze on the waters with a steadfast stare, 

The rock-cut embrasures ablaze at night. 

The mole, the ships, the keep's commanding height. 
All speak of stern resolve, and watchful care. 
For leagued in arms should Europe rise once more. 

To question on this steep the Lion's reign. 
Swift must the deadly hail of battles pour. 

As on the day when baffled France and Spain 
Beheld their vaunted ships in flames ashore. 

Or drifting helpless on the stormy main. 

Fire Hunters. 

There are no abler adepts in the art 

Of woodcraft, than the gentle Gonds, who dwell 

In the wild region where the mighty sal. 

The hardy salei, and Briarean saj, 

O'erhung with creepers of enormous bulk. 

Clothe the soft uplands, and the vales that lie 

Round the head-waters of the rapid Sone. 



6o GREECE CHUNDER DUTT. 

Unused to agriculture, and devoid 

Of e'en such lore as is required to rear 

Cattle or sheep or poultry with success, 

They look alone to what their woods supply, 

Gums, berries, honey, wholesome nuts and game. 

To meet their wants, and thus from youth become 

Experienced trappers, wary, quick of eye, 

And full of rare devices to ensnare ^ 

The game that furnishes their fires with meat. 

They often start at eve in knots of four. 
Equipped with a slight pole of pliant wood. 
From which as from a balance-beam depend 
A heap of branches, and an earthen jar 
With blazing fagots piled of driest wood. 
This strange machine, contrived with simple art. 
To cast a flaring light upon the path, 
The foremost hunter on his shoulder bears. 
And while the second, as he jogs, oft shakes 
A rod of iron garnished with ten rings. 
That jingle lightly like a bunch of keys, 
The hindmost follow with their hunting poles 
Of toughened cane, six yards and more in length. 

When near the covert side, the jingling sound 
Excites the timid hare, nay bolder game. 
To scour the precincts, and detect the cause : 
It tempts the open, but the occult glare 
Frustrates its purpose, and it stands agaze ; 
Till a quick thwack ! delivered with just aim. 
Cuts short Its blank surprise and life at once. 

If the sport lasts an hour or two, so rich 
Are all the coverts of their woods in game. 
The hunters come home with a varied bag 
Of hares and porcupines and spotted deer. 



s 
\ 



GREECE CHUNDER DUTT. 6i 



The HUk 



How sweet 'twere here an anchorite to dwell, 

Here in the presence of this white cascade ! 

To muse at noon beneath this grateful shade, 
With bead and crucifix to haunt this cell ; 
Fresh wholesome fruits to gather in the dell, 

At early morn what time broad lights invade 

The dew-gemmed coverts of the peaceful glade, 
And listening silence broods o'er rock and fell ; 
With solemn cheer to mark at eve on high 

The stars leap forth, to lie on this smooth stone 
Strewed with crisp leaves, and hear the owlet's cry 

Borne on the breeze from crag and cavern lone. 
Or close in balmy sleep the languid eye, 

Lulled by the deep-voiced Teesta's soothing tone. 

Samarsi. 

Samarsi the bold is the pride of his clan. 

But he owns not an acre in broad Rajasthan ; 

Samarsi the bold is the hope of the true. 

But his sporran is empty, his henchmen are few. 

For the Moors o'er the Jumna in triumph have come. 

And Samarsi the bold is an exile from home. 

Though the Moslem now feasts in his hall and his bower, 
And the crescent flag flutters from temple and tower. 
Though the chase and the forest, the pass and the height. 
Are watched by the soldiers by day and by night, 
Samarsi the bold is as merry as when 
His will was the law in his loved native glen. 

For the roebuck still bounds by the dark haunted lake. 
And the partridge still springs from the deep tangled brake, 



62 GREECE CHUNDER DUTT. 

And the perch and the salmon in silv'ry shoals gleam. 
At morning and noontide in pool and in stream, 
And spite of their warders on hill and on plain 
Samarsi can harry his father's domain. 

Though an outlaw decreed by the chiefs of the foe, 
Samarsi has homage from high and from low. 
For the copsewood is heavy by Saloombra park, 
And the vale of Banmora at noonday is dark, 
And he's ready, aye ready, right firmly to stand 
By the wood or the pass with his sword in his hand. 

In the cave of Pokurna, beneath the green hill. 

Where the throstle keeps time to the soft-crooning rill, 

Samarsi at nightfall, unknown to the Moor, 

Lights his watch-fire in peace, when his labours are o'er, 

And revels in freedom till morning again 

Gives the signal to mount and ride down to the plain. 



On an Old Romaunt. 

When the night is dark and dreary, and the north wind 

whistles shrill. 
And the snow storm drives in fury down the gorges of the hill, 
Like the necromancer's mirror, when his magic perfumes 

burn, 
Mocking Time, these curious volumes make the glorious Past 

return. 

Fast as ripples on the river, or cloud-shadows on the grass. 
As I read their quaint old pages, down my curtained chamber 

pass 
Mitred priest, and hospitaller, armed and mounted for the 

fray, 
Bands of bronzed condottieri, maidens fair as laughing May. 



GREECE CHUNDER DUTT. 63 

All that fancy loves to cherish, of the grand old feudal times. 

Palmer guides, and weary pilgrims, wending home from dist- 
ant climes, 

Trembling Jews with jewel caskets, border chiefs who own 
no law, 

Quivered bands of merry archers, mustered on the * greene 

shaw.' 

« 

Norman holds, embattled belfrys, g3rves, and chains, and dun- 
geons dim. 

Winding stairs, and blazing beacons, ancient arms grotesque 
and grim. 

Pensive nuns> in quest of simples, in the lonely midnight 
hour. 

Adepts o'er alembics chanting uncouth rhymes of mystic 
power. 

Foreign marts, Venetian Doges, bales of precious merchandise, 
Stately streets in Flemish cities, burgher crowds in peaceful 

guise. 
Mighty dukes by guards attended, foresters in kirtles green. 
Silver fonts and flaring tapers, ladies sheathed in jewels' 

sheen. 

Moorish forts in far Grenada, portals barred and turbans blue, 
Gardens green as blissful Eden, crystal fountains fair to view. 
Divans in the proud Alhambra, fairy mosques of Parian stone. 
Groups of Moors and whiskered Spaniards tilting round the 
Soldan's throne. 

And enrapt I gaze in silence, like a child before a show. 
Heedless in my joy and wonder, how the golden moments 

flow. 
Till the cock's shrill ringing clarion breaks the spell and 

clears the air. 
And I find me silent seated in my old accustomed chair. 



64 GREECE CHUNDER DUTT. 

The Terai. 

The arching alders with dank moisture shone ; 

Above, around, the wild vine, as I past, 

Waved in slow cadence to the fever blast. 
Sweeping in fitful gusts with languid moan. 
The thick white mist on mouldering stem and stone, 

As evening closed, a fearful shroud rolled fast ; 

The blinding darkness round her mantle cast, 
And quenched my hopes ere half the woods were won ; 
A dip ! a rise ! clean vanished mist and shade, 

And blissful Eden swam at once to sight ! 
Clear tops of distant hills, a smiling glade. 

And modest farms, blue skies, and pastures bright. 
And terraced slopes with grass and flower inlaid. 

Bathed in a flood of autumn's golden light. 



SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT, 

1825-1886. 



Sivajee. 



AURUNGZEB'S RECEPTION OF THE MAHRATTA 

LEADER. 

They led him to the stately hall, 

Before the royal throne, 
Where, towering in the pomp of power, 

The tyrant sat alone ; 
And knights and nobles stood around. 

Elate with haughty pride, 
And slaves, in gorgeous tinsel dress'd, 

Awaited by their side. 

He knelt before the tyrant's throne, 

But caught no courtly smile : 
The monarch look'd with eye of scorn. 

Then darkly gazed awhile ; 
And minions proud, whose hearts had quail'd 

When told his name of fear. 
Now mock'd the valiant Sivajee 

With cold respect and sneer. 

He could not bear their servile scorn — 

The scorn of vassals low. 
The passions of his stubborn heart 

Were gathering on his brow ; 
His bosom, ploughed with manly scars. 

The records of his fame. 
Now heaved with all a warrior's wrath : 

He was not bom to shame. 

65 



66 SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 

In dudgeon high he left the court, 

Nor ask'd the king's command ; 
But found himself deceived, betray'd, 

A captive in the land. 
But who can cross the fox's wile ? 

Control the eagle free ? 
The royal guards are shrewd and true, 

But where is Sivajee ? 

The bird has flown ; no stubborn cage 

Its wily heart could tame ; 
For deadlier works of death prepare — 

He comes with sword and flame ! 
Ye ply to trap with subtle words ; 

That feeble art is vain ; 
The trusting bird, when once deceived. 

Will never trust again. 

No, ne'er again he'll cross the hall 

To cringe on servile knee. 
But oft, through battle's dusky ismoke. 

His blood-red sword ye '11 see ; 
At merry feast he may not join. 

But through the war-clouds dun, 
O 'er gasping chiefs and soldiers slain. 

He '11 lead the carnage on. 

The bravest hearts shall own with dread 

The fury of his wrath, 
And sights of woe alone shall mark 

The dread avenger's path ; 
With horror mute the wife shall gaze 

Upon her murder'd lord. 
While yet shall glow, though wet and dim. 

The unrelenting sword. 



SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 67 

On vengeance he will build his name, 

Till rocks aloud resound 
The glory of his valiant arms, 

And quakes the unconscious ground ; 
Till e'en the scomer, from his throne, 

Shall mark the kindling fire. 
And wish that he had never stirr'd 

That haughty soul 's dark ire. 



The Warrior's Return. 

When Maharajah Jeswant Singh, being defeated by Aurungzeb, fled for 
refuge to his own capital, his wife, with Spartan haughtiness, refused him 
admittance, saying '' This man is an impostor, for the brave never 
return with dishonour. My husband sleeps on the field of battle." 

Heard ye that lofty pealing sound 

Upon the balmy air, 
The exulting shout that best proclaims 

The deeds which heroes dare ? 

In triumph blow their trumpets proud, 

The clouds repeat their voice ; 
Go, greet the laureird victors home, 

And bid our realms rejoice. 

Let poets tune their golden harps, 

Let maidens wear their smile, 
And young and old their cares lay by, 

And cease to mourn awhile. 

What ! hear'st thou not their joyous din ? 

Behold, above the vale. 
Their haughty plumes and ensigns red 

Are fluttering in the gale ; 



68 SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 

And helmets cleft^ and canvas torn, 
Proclaim the fighting done ; 

And neighing steeds, and bloody spears, 
Announce the battle won. 

Alas I the vision mocks my sight ; 

I see no gallant throng, 
No trophies meet my longing eyes ; 

Bid cease the joyous song. 

That recreant slave is not my lord ; 

Ne'er thus the brave return ; 
Go, bid the city-gates be barr'd, 

And leave me lone to mourn. 

I know him not, I never knew 

A low, ignoble love ; 
My warrior sleeps upon the moor. 

His soul hath.soar'd above. 

Upon the battle-field he lies. 
His garments stain'd with gore ; 

With sword in hand prepared he sleeps 
To fight the battle o'er. 

His shiver'd shield, his broken spear, 

Around him scattered lie ; 
The iron-breasted Moslems shook 

To see my hero die. 

Where helmets rang, where sabres smote. 

He found his gory bed ; 
Join, mourners, join, and loudly raise 

The requiem of the dead. 

Expel yon vile impostor hence ; 

I will not trust his tale ; 
Our warriors on the crimson field 

Their chieftain's loss bewail. 



SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 69 

The mountain-torrent rushing down 

Can ne'er its course retrace, 
And souls that speed on glory's path 

Must ever onward press : 

Aye, onward press— to bleed and die, 

Triumphant still in death ; 
Impostor, hence I in other lands 

Go draw thy coward breath. 

Address to the Ganges. 

The waves are dashing proudly down, 

Along thy sounding shore ; 
Lashing, with all the storm of power, 
The craggy base of mountain tower, 

Of mosque, and pagod hoar. 
That darkly o'er thy waters frown ; 
As if their moody spirits' sway 
Could hush thy wild and boist'rous play. 

Unconscious roll the surges down. 

But not unconscious thou. 
Dread spirit of the roaring flood ! 
For ages worshipp'd as a god. 

And worshipp'd even now — . 
Worshipp'd and not by serf or clown ; 
For sages of the mightiest fame 
Have paid their homage to thy name. 

Canst thou forget the glorious past. 

When, mighty as a god. 
With hands and heart unfetter'd yet. 
And eyes with slavish tears unwet. 

Each sable warrior trod 
Thy sacred shore ; before the blast 
Of Moslem conquest hurried by ; 
Ere yet the Mogul spear was nigh ? 



70 SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 

O'er crumbled thrones thy waters glide, 

Through scenes of blood and woe ; 
And crown and kingdom, might and sway, 
The victor's and the poet's bay, 

Ignobly sleep below. 
Sole remnant of our ancient pride; 
Thy waves survive the wreck of time, 
And wanton free, as in their prime. 

I gaze upon thy current strong 

Beneath the blaze of day ; 
What conjured visions throng my sight. 
Of war and carnage, death and flight ! 

Thy waters to the Bay 
In purple eddies sweep along. 
And Freedom shrieking leaves her shrine, 
Alas ! no longer now divine. 

'Twas here the savage Tartar stood, 
And toss'd his brand and spear ; 
The ripples of thy sacred stream 
Reflected back his sabre's gleam. 

While quaked with dastard fear 
The children of a haughtier blood. 
No longer now a haughty race. 
Their own, their sires', their land's disgrace. 

But why recount our woes and shame ? 

Upon thy sacred shore 
Be mine to dream of glories past. 
To grieve those glories could not last. 

And muse on days of yore ; 
For ever harp on former fame. 
Remembering still those spirits brave 
Who sleep beneath thy boist'rous wave. 



SHOSHEE CRUNDER DUTT. 71 

Roll, Gunga, roll in all thy pride, 

Thy hallow'd groves among 1 
Glorious art thou in every mood. 
Thou boast of India's widowhood, 

Thou theme of every song ! 
Blent with the murmurs of thy tide 
The records of far ages lie, 
And live, for thou canst never die. 



The Requiem of Timour, 

Sleep, perturbed spirit, sleep 
Within earth's quiet breast ! 

Thy task of vengeance now is o'er ; 
Rest, ruthless conqueror, rest ! 

As speeds the whirlwind o'er the wave 

With its resistless might. 
The torrent of thy wrath has roU'd 

Upon the field of fight. 

The world aghast has quaked beneath 

The terrors of thy frown ; 
Thy footsteps, they have trampled o'er 

The royal neck and crown. 

The burning sand, the fertile vale. 
Have groan'd beneath thy tread ; 

Thy hardy legions foUow'd still. 
Where thou undaunted led. 

From Kabool's rock, thy crimson flag 

Stream'd proudly to the air ; 
Beneath were martial shields and spears. 

And sabres red and bare. 



72 SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 

The Indus' stormy waters fail'd 

To bar the victor's path ; 
And Delhi's burning towers confest 

The awful Scythian's wrath. 

A thousand terrors rode along 

By Gunga's quaking shore ; 
And hungry vultures scream'd above 

Thy sacred shrine, Hurdwar. 

And now he sleeps : rest, conqueror, rest I 

Thy vengeful task is o'er : 
The trumpet's voice, though loud it speaks^ 

Will wake thee never more I 

The world thy triumphs mark'd with dread ; 

Sleep, ruthless tyrant, sleep ! 
That breathless terror now has pass'd, 
• The world has ceased to weep. 

Rest, perturbed spirit, rest ! 

Rest, thunder-bolt of heaven ! 
The avenger's rod, the victor's might. 

To thee conjoint were given. 



Jelaludeen Khiliji. 



Kalleck Peroze, otherwise called Jelaludeen, was the son of Malleck, 
a soldier of fortune and chief of the Afghan tribe called Khiliji. He was 
raised to the throne by a powerful faction, on the murder of Keikobad, 
of which he was believed to be the principal instigator : but he afEected 
extreme regret at having his high office forced on him; and, while on 
the throne, was remarkable for his exceeding humility, clemency and 
simplicity of manners. 

I am a king, but why forget 

That I am still a man ? 
And why should gilded baubles lure. 
And thoughts unclean, and deeds impure 

Engross life's little span ? 



SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT, 73 

Who in the pride and pomp of state 
Hath ever found his spirit's rest ? 
In Glory's thraldom who was blest ? 

What is there in a pageant's blaze 

To cheer a monarch's eye ? 
And why should flattery's voice subdue. 
Or why should dazzling trinkets woo. 

Or vests of purple dye, 
That soul which God has deign'd to raise 
Above the reach of vulgar pain, 
And fortune's frown, and pride's disdain ? 

I scorn the applause of servile men. 

The wicked passions shun ; 
Nor would I barter for renown, 
A richer jewel than my crown. 

The feelings which I own : 
I seek the poor in every den ; 
The rustic's cheerful hearth is mine, 
I laugh with him — with him repine. 

The friends with whom my footsteps ranged 

O'er barren rock and hill, 
To them with haughtiness to speak, 
This faithful heart would surely break, 

And be for ever still : 
I find my feelings are unchanged. 
Or I these royal robes would scorn, 
And be again what I was bom. 

When I was low I ne'er repined, 

Nor cursed my humble lot ; 
I never ask'd for wealth or pride. 
Ne'er tum'd from poverty aside. 

My duty ne'er forgot ; 



74 SHOSHEE CHUNDER DUTT. 

I sought for peace within my mind : 
A man content I roved the green, 
In folly's path was never seen. 

The sick, the grieved, I tend them still 

Beside their beds of straw ; 
A welcome guest where'er I come, 
I always seek the poor man's home : 

My word they say is law ; 
Then be fulfill'd a monarch's will, 
Avaunty fly Fear, let Discord cease. 
And come and bless us meek-eyed Peace. 

I ask'd not to be raised to state, 

I never sought a throne ; 
With greater pleasure I could dwell. 
My friends and I within a cell. 

Than thus reign all alone — 
The greatest man among the great ! 
No, rather would I choose to be 
The poorest of the company. 

O Thou ! who from the lowliest life 

Hast raised me 'bove my peers. 
When all the world lies hush'd in sleep. 
Before Thy throne my soul doth creep, 

In penitence and tears : 
Since to this state, with peril rife. 
Lord ! Thou hast dragg'd me in Thy wrath, 
In pity light my rugged path. 



TORU DUTT. 
1856-1877. 

Jogadhya Uma. 

'' Shell-bracelets ho ! Shell-bracelets ho I 

Fair maids and matrons come and buy ! " 
Along the road, in morning's glow. 

The pedlar raised his wonted cry. 
The road ran straight, a red, red line, 

To Khirogram, for cream renowned. 
Through pasture-meadows where the kine, 

In knee-deep grass, stood magic bound 
And half awake, involved in mist, 

That floated in dun coils profound, 
Till by the sudden sunbeams kist 

Rich rainbow hues broke all around. 

" Shell-bracelets ho ! Shell-bracelets ho ! " 

The roadside trees still dripped with dew, 
And hung their blossoms like a show. 

Who heard the cry ? Twas but a few, 
A ragged herd-boy, here and there. 

With his long stick and naked feet ; 
A ploughman wending to his care. 

The field from which he hopes the wheat ; 
An early traveller, hurrying fast 

To the next town ; an urchin slow 
Bound for the school ; these heard and past, 

Unheeding all,—" Shell-bracelets ho ! '* 

Pellucid spread a lake-like tank 
Beside the road now lonelier still, 

High on three sides arose the bank 

Which fruit-trees shadowed at their will ; 

75 



76 TORU DUTT. 

Upon the fourth side was the Ghat, 

With its broad stairs of marble white, 
And at the entrance-arch there sat, 

Full face against the morning light, 
A fair young woman with large eyes. 

And dark hair falling to her zone, 
She heard the pedlar's cry arise, 

And eager seemed his ware to own. 

** Shell-bracelets ho ! See, maiden see ! 

The rich enamel sunbeam kist ! 
Happy, oh happy, shalt thou be. 

Let them but clasp that slender wrist ; 
These bracelets are a mighty charm, 

They keep a lover ever true, 
And widowhood avert, and harm, 

Buy them, and thou shalt never rue. 
Just try them on ! " — She stretched her hand, 

** Oh what a nice and lovely fit ! 
No fairer hand, in all the land. 

And lo ! the bracelet matches it." 

Dazzled the pedlar on her gazed 

Till came the shadow of a fear, 
While she the bracelet arm upraised 

Against the sun to view more clear. 
Oh she was lovely, but her look 

Had something of a high command 
That filled with awe. Aside she shook 

Intruding curls by breezes fanned 
And blown across her brows and face. 

And asked the price, which when she heard 
She nodded, and with quiet grace 

For payment to her home referred. 

'' And where, O maiden, is thy house I 
But no, that wrist-ring has a tongue. 



TORU DUTT. 77 

No maiden art thou, but a spouse, 

Happy, and rich, and fair, and young." 
'' Far otherwise, my lord is poor. 

And him at home thou shalt not find ; 
Ask for my father ; at the door 

Knock loudly ; he is deaf, but kind. 
Seest thou that lofty gilded spire 

Above these tufts of foliage green ? 
That is our place ; its points of fire 

Will guide thee o*er the tract between." 

" That is the temple spire."—" Yes, there . 

We live ; my father is the priest. 
The manse is near, a building fair 

But lowly to the temple's east. 
When thou hast knocked, and seen him, say. 

His daughter, at Dhamaser Ghat, 
Shell-bracelets bought from thee to-day. 

And he must pay so much for that. 
Be sure, he will not let thee pass 

Without the value and a meal, 
If he demur, or cry alas I 

No money hath he, — then reveal. 

Within the small box, marked with streaks 

Of bright vermilion, by the shrine. 
The key whereof has lain for weeks 

Untouched, he'll find some coin, — 'tis mine. 
That will enable him to pay 

The bracelet's price, now fare thee well ! " 
She spoke, the pedlar went away, 

Charmed with her voice, as by some spell ; 
While she left lonely there, prepared 

To plunge into the water pure, 
And like a rose her beauty bared. 

From all observance quite secure. 



78 TORU DUTT. 

Not weak she seemed, nor delicate. 

Strong was each limb of flexile grace, 
All full the bust ; the mien elate, 

Like her's, the goddess of the chase 
On Latmos hill, — and oh, the face 

Framed in its cloud of floating hair. 
No painter's hand might hope to trace 

The beauty and the glory there ! 
Well might the pedlar look with awe, 

For though her eyes were soft, a ray 
Lit them at times, which kings who saw 

Would never dare to disobey. 



On through the groves the pedlar sped 

Till full in front the sunlit spire 
Arose before him. Paths which led 

To gardens trim in gay attire 
Lay all around. And lo ! the manse. 

Humble but neat with open door ! 
He paused, and blest the lucky chance 

That brought his bark to such a shore. 
Huge straw ricks, log huts full of grain. 

Sleek cattle, flowers, a tinkling bell, 
Spoke in a language sweet and plain, 

** Here smiling Peace and Plenty dwell." 

Unconsciously he raised his cry, 

" Shell-bracelets ho ! " And at his voice 
Looked out the priest, with eager eye. 

And made his heart at once rejoice. 
Ho, Sankha pedlar ! Pass not by. 

But step thou in, and share the food 
Just offered on our altar high. 

If thou art in a hungry mood. 



it 



TORU DUTT. 79 

Welcome are all to this repast I 

The rich and poor, the high and low ! 

Come, wash thy feet, and break thy fast, 
Then on thy journey strengthened go/* 

" Oh thanks, good priest ! Observance due 

And greetings ! May thy name be blest ! 
I came on business, but I knew 

Here might be had both food and rest 
Without a charge ; for all the poor 

Ten miles around thy sacred shrine 
Know that thou keepest open door, 

And praise that generous hand of thine : 
But let my errand first be told. 

For bracelets sold to thine this day, 
So much thou owest me in gold, 

Hast thou the ready cash to pay ? 

The bracelets were enamelled, — so 

The price is high/'—*' How ! Sold to mine ? 
Who bought them, I should like to know.*' 

" Thy daughter, with the large black eyne. 
Now bathing at the marble ghat." 

Loud laughed the priest at this reply, 
" I shall not put up, friend, with that ; 

No daughter in the world have I, 
An only son is all my stay ; 

Some minx has played a trick, no doubt, 
But cheer up, let thy heart be gay. 

Be sure that I shall find her out." 

*' Nay, nay, good father, such a face 
Could not deceive, I must aver ; 
At all events, she knows thy place, 
* And if my father should demur 



8o TORU DUTT. 



To pay thee/ — thus she said, — * or cry 

He has no money, tell him straight 
The box vermilion-streaked to try. 

That's near the shrine. ' " " Well, wait, 
friend, wait ! " 
The priest said thoughtful and he ran 

And with the open box came back, 
Here is the price exact, my man, 

No surplus over, and no lack. 



ti 



How strange ! how strange ! Oh blest art thou 

To have beheld her, touched her hand. 
Before whom Vishnu's self must bow. 

And Brahma and his heavenly band ! 
Here have I worshipped her for years 

And never seen the vision bright ; 
Vigils and fasts and secret tears 

Have almost quenched my outward sight ; 
And yet that dazzling form and face 

I have not seen, and thou, dear friend. 
To thee, unsought for, comes the grace, 

What may its purport be, and end ? 

How strange ! How strange ! Oh happy thou ! 

And couldst thou ask no other boon 
Than thy poor bracelet's price ? That brow 

Resplendent as the autumn moon 
Must have bewildered thee, I trow. 

And made thee lose thy senses all." 
A dim light on the pedlar now 

Began to dawn ; and he let fall 
His bracelet basket in his haste. 

And backward ran the way he came ; 
What meant the vision fair and chaste. 

Whose eyes were they, —those eyes of flame ? 



TORU DUTT. 8i 

Swift ran the pedlar as a hind. 

The old priest followed on his trace. 
They reached the Ghat but could not find 

The lady of the noble face. 
The birds were silent in the wood, 

The lotus flowers exhaled a smell 
Faint, over all the solitude, 

A heron as a sentinel 
Stood by the bank. They called, — in vain, 

No answer came from hill or fell, 
The landscape lay in slumber's chain, 

E'en Echo slept within her cell. 

Broad sunshine, yet a hush profound ! 

They turned with saddened hearts to go ; 
Then from afar there came a sound 

Of silver bells ; —the priest said low, 
*^ O Mother, Mother, deign to hear. 

The worship-hour has rung ; we wait 
In meek humility and fear. 

Must we return home desolate ? 
Oh come, as late thou cam'st unsought, 

Or was it but an idle dream ? 
Give us some sign if.it was not, 

A word, a breath, or passing gleam." 

Sudden from out the water spnmg 

A rounded arm, on which they saw 
As high the lotus buds among 

It rose, the bracelet white, with awe. 
Then a wide ripple tost and swung 

The blossoms on that liquid plain. 
And lo ! the arm so fair and young 

Sank in the waters down again. 



82 TORU DUTT. 

They bowed before the mystic Power, 
And as they home returned in thought. 

Each took from thence a lotus flower 
In memory of the day and spot. 

Years, centuries, have passed away, 

And still before the temple shrine 
Descendants of the pedlar pay 

Shell bracelets of the old design 
As annual tribute. Much they own 

In land and gold, — but they confess 
From that eventful day alone 

Dawned on their industry,— success. 
Absurd may be the tale I tell. 

Ill-suited to the marching times ; 
I loved the lips from which it fell, 

So let it stand among my rhymes. 



The Lotus. 



Love came to Flora asking for a flower 

That would of flowers be undisputed queen. 
The lily and the rose, long, long had been 

Rivals for that high honour. Bards of power 

Had sung their claims. ** The rose can never tower 
Like the pale lily with her Juno mien *' — 
" But is the lily lovelier ? ** Thus between 

Flower factions rang the strife in Psyche's bower. 
Give me a flower delicious as the rose 
And stately as the lily in her pride " — 
" But of what colour ? '* — " Rose-red," Love first chose. 
Then prayed, — " No, lily-white, —or, both provide ; *' 
And Flora gave the lotus, ** rose-red *' dyed, 

And " lily-white,'* — the queenliest flower that blows. 



TORU DUTT. 83 

Our Casuarina Tree. 

Like a huge Python, winding round and round * 

The rugged trunk, indented deep with scars , 

Up to its very summit near the stars, • 
A creeper climbs, in whose embraces bound 

No other tree could live. But gallantly 
The giant wears the scarf, and flowers are hung 
In crimson clusters all the boughs among, 

Whereon all day are gathered bird and bee ; 
And oft at nights the garden overflows 
With one sweet song, that seems to have no close, 
Sung darkling from our tree, while men repose. 

When first my casement is wide open thrown 

At dawn, my eyes delighted on it rest ; 

Sometimes, and most in winter, — ^on its crest 
A grey baboon sits statue-like alone 

Watching the sunrise ; while on lower boughs 
His puny offspring leap about and play ; 
And far and near kokilas hail the day ; 

And to their pastures wend our sleepy cows ; 
And in the shadow, on the broad tank cast 
By that h ^a r tree, so beautiful and vast. 
The water-lilies spring, like snow enmassed. 

But not because of its magnificence 

Dear is the Casuarina to my soul ; 

Beneath it we have played ; though years may roll, 
O sweet companions, loved with love intense. 

For your sakes, shall the tree be ever dear ! 
Blent with your images, it shall arise 
In memory, till the hot tears blind mine eyes ! 

What is that dirge-like murmur that I hear 
Like the sea breaking on a shingle-beach ? 
It is the tree's lament, an eerie speech, 
That haply to the unknown land may reach. 



84 TORU DUTT. 



i 



Unknown, yet well-known to the eye of faith ! 

Ah, I have heard that wail far, far away 

In distant lands, by many a sheltered bay. 
When slumbered in his cave the water-wraith, 

And the waves gently kissed the classic shore 
Of France or Italy, beneath the moon, 
When earth lay tranced in a dreamless swoon : — 

And every time the music rose, before 
Mine inner vision rose a form sublime, - 
Thy form, O Tree, as in my happy prime 
I saw thee, in my own loved native clime. 

Therefore 1 1 fain would consecrate a lay 
Unto thy honour, Tree,^beloved of those 
Who now in blessed sleep,, for aye,, repose, ^ 
Dearer than life to me, alas ! were they ! 

Mayst thou be numbered when my days are done 
With deathless trees — like those in Borrowdale, 
Under whose awful branches lingered pale 

'' Fear, trembling Hope, and Death> the skeleton. 
And Time the shadow ; *' and though weak the verse 
That would thy beauty fain, oh fain rehearse, 
May Love defend thee from Oblivion's curse ! 

Morning Serenade.* 

From Victor Hugo, 

^Still barred thy doors I — The far east glows, 

The morning wind blows fresh and free. 
Should not the hour that wakes the rose 
Awaken also thee ? 

* This poem, quoted in the preface of *' Ancient Ballads and Legends of 
Hindustan" as the work of Toru Dutt, has been assigned rightly to her 
elder sister. Am Dutt, some of whose translations appear in *' A Sheaf 
Gleaned in French Fields." 



TORU DUTT. 85 

No longer sleep. 
Oh, listen now ! 
I wait and weep. 
But where art thou ? 

All look for thee. Love, Light and Song ; 

Light, in the sky deep red above, 
Song, in the lark of pinion strong, 
And in my heart, true Love. 
No longer sleep. 
Oh, listen now ! 
I wait and weep, 
But where art thou ? 

Apart we miss our nature's goal. 

Why strive to cheat our destinies ? 
Was not my love made for thy soul ? 
Thy beauty for mine eyes ? 
No longer sleep, 
Oh, listen now ! 
I wait and weep. 
But where art thou ? 



8 



ROMESH CHANDER DUTT, 
1848-1909. 

The Legend of Balaki. 

Balaki, a learned Brahman, 

Proud of knowledge, proud of lore, 
Versed he was in many a sastra. 

Travelled many a distant shore. 
In the land of Usinara, 

And in Matsya he had been, 
Panchala and the Kuru kingdoms, 

Videha and the Kasi seen. 



Ajatasatru, learned monarch, 

Ruled in Kasi's mighty land. 
Unto him repaired the Brahman, 

In his palace rich and grand. 
** Blessed be thy rule, O monarch ! 

O'er this kingdom rich and broad, 
I will speak to thee of Brahman, 

I will speak to thee of God ! " 



** Welcome, welcome, learned priest ! " 

Ajatasatru thus replied, — 
** For thy holy speech accept 

A thousand kine of finest breed I 
Every learned Brahman hies 

To Janaka, holy king, — 
Welcome thou to Kasi's court. 
And a Brahman's blessings bring ! 

86 



f> 



ROMESH CHANDER DUTT. 87 

" List then, king ! to words of wisdom," — 

Proud Balaki thus began,— ^ 
** Knowest thou the radiant Soul 

Dwelleth in the radiant sun ? 
Him I worship ! " — said Balaki. • 

" Not so ! ''—answered thus the king, 
** For the sun is mighty, glorious. 

But is a created thing I " 

^* Knowest thou the lunar crescent. 
Shining in the starry sky ? 
Knowest thou the beauteous Soul, 
Dwelleth there serene and high ? 
Him I worship ! " — said Balaki. 

" Not so ! " — answered thus the king, 
** For the moon is bright and beauteous 
But is a created thing ! " 

** Dost thou know the forked lightning, 
Flashing through the lurid sky ? 
Dost thou know the dreaded Soul, 

Dwelleth there, terrific, high ? 
Him I worship ! " — said Balaki. 

" Not so " — answered thus the king, 
" For the lightning is terrific. 
But is a created thing I " 

** Dost thou know the deep- voiced thunder. 
Pealing through the echoing sky ? 
Dost thou know the soul that dwelleth 

In that sound, terrific, high ? 
Him I worship ! " — said Balaki. 

" Not so ! " — answered thus the king ; 
" For the thunder is terrific. 
But is a created thing ! " 



88 ROHESH CHANDER DUTT. 



Long he toiled, the learned Brahman, 

Power Almighty to explain. 
Quoted he from holy sastras. 

Argued long, but argued vain ! 
To his reasons, to his learning, 

Ever answered thus the king. 
Mighty wondrous is all nature, 

But it is created thing ! " 



u 



still he toiled, the learned Brahman, 

To explain the God on high. 
Spoke of fire and spoke of ether. 

Spoke of water and of sky, 
Spoke of shadow and reflection. 

Spoke of echo and of sound, 
Argued about dreams and slimiber, 

But solution none he found ! 

Silet\tly the boastful Brahman 

Bent his head in grief and shame, 
Sad he was, the learned Brahman, 
To a wiser king he came ! 
" Thus far,'' — said the monarch gently, 

**Thus far doth thy wisdom go ! " 
'' Thus far ! wise and learned monarch ! 
Teach me what you further know I " 

With the fuel, meek and humble, 

Balaki as student came, 
Seeking knowledge from the monarch. 

Great in learning as in fame. 
** He who made the sun and moon. 

And the sky and earth so broad. 
He who breathed all Nature forth, — 

He is Brahman, He is God ! " 



ROMESH CHANDER DUTT. 89 

Mahabharata. 

GANDHARI'S LAMENT FOR THE SLAIN. 

Stainless Queen and stainless woman, ever righteous ever 

good, 
Stately in her mighty sorrow on the field Gandhari stood ! 
Strewn with skulls and clotted tresses, darkened by the stream 

of gore. 
With the limbs of countless warriors was the red field covered 

o'er. 

Elephants and steeds of battle, car-borne chiefs untimely 
slain, 

Headless trunks and heads dissevered filled the red and 
ghastly plain ! 

And the long-drawn howl of jackals o'er the scene of carnage 
rings. 

And the vulture and the raven flap their dark and loathsome 
wings. 

Feasting on the blood of warriors foul pisachas fill the air. 

Viewless forms of hungry rakshas limb from limb the corpses 
tear I 

Through this scene of death and carnage was the ancient 
monarch led, 

Kuru dames with faltering footsteps stepped amidst the count- 
less dead. 

And a piercing wail of anguish burst upon the echoing plain. 

As they saw their sons or fathers, brothers, lords, amidst the 
slain, 

As they saw wolves of the jungle feed upon the destined prey, 

Darksome wanderers of the midnight prowling in the light 
of day ! 

Shriek of pain and wail of anguish o 'er the ghastly field re- 
sound, 

And their feeble footsteps falter and they sink upon the 
ground, 



90 ROMESH CHANDER DUTT. 

Sense and life desert the mourners as they faint in common 

grief, 
Death-like swoon succeeding sorrow yields the sufferers short 

relief ! 
Then a mighty sigh of anguish from Gandhari's bosom broke, 
Gazing on her anguished daughters imto Krishna thus she 

spoke : 
" Mark my unconsoled daughters, widowed queens of Kuru's 

house. 
Wailing for their dear departed, like the osprey for her spouse ! 
How each cold and fading feature wakes in them a woman's 

love. 
How amidst the lifeless warriors still with restless steps they 

rove, 
Mothers hug their slaughtered children all unconscious in 

their sleep. 
Widows bend upon their husbands and in ceaseless sorrow 

weep ! 
Mighty Bhishma, hath he fallen ? quenched is archer Kama's 

pride ? 
Drupad monarch of Panchala sleeps by f oeman Drona's side ? 
Shining mail and costly jewels, royal bangles strew the plain. 
Golden garlands rich and burnished deck the chiefs untimely 

slain. 
Lances hurled by stalwart fighters, clubs of mighty wrestlers 

killed. 
Swords and bows of ample measure, quivers still with arrows 

filled ! 
Mark the unforgotten heroes, jimgle prowlers 'mid them 

stray. 
On their brow and mailed bosoms heedless perch the birds of 

prey ! 
Mark the great unconquered heroes famed on earth from west 

to east, 
Kankas perch upon their foreheads, hungry wolves upon them 

feast! 



ROMESH CHANDER DUTT. 91 

Mark the kings, on softest cushion scarce the needed rest they 
found, 

How they lie in peaceful slumber on the hard and reddened 
ground ! 

Mark the youths who mom and evening listed to the minstrel 's 
song, 

In their ear the loathsome jackal doth his doleful wail pro- 
long I 

Mark the chieftains with their maces and the swords of trusty 
steel. 

Still they grasp their well tried weapons, — do they still the 
life-pulse feel ? " 

FUNERAL RITES. 

Victor of a deathful battle, sad Yudhishthir viewed the plain. 
Friends and kinsmen, kings and chieftains, countless troops 

untimely slain, 
And he spake to wise Sudharman, pious priest of Kuru's race. 
Unto Sanjay, unto Dhaumya, to Vidura full of grace. 
Spake unto the brave Yujutsu, Kuru's last surviving chief. 
Spake to faithful Indrasena and to warriors sunk in grief ; 
" Pious rites are due to foemen and to friends and kinsmen 

slain. 
None shall lack a fitting funeral, none shall perish on the 

plain." 
Wise Vidura and his comrades sped on sacred duty bound, 
Sandalwood and scented aloes, oil and ghee and perfumes 

found. 
Silken robes of costly splendour, fabrics by the artist wove, 
Dry wood from the thorny jungle, perfume from the scented 

grove, [fire. 

Shattered cane and splintered lances, hewed and ready for the 
Piled and ranged in perfect order into many a funeral pyre. 
Kings and princes, noble warriors, were in rank and order 

laid. 
And with streams of melted butter were the rich libations made. 



92 ROMESH CHANDER DUTT. 

Blazed the fire with wondrous radiance by the rich libations 

fed, 
Sanctifying and consuming mortal remnants of the dead. 
Brave Duryodhan and his brothers, Salya of the mighty car, 
Bhurisravas king of nations, Jayadratha famed in war, 
Abhimansru son of Ar jun, Lakshman proud Duryodhan's son, 
Somadatta and the Srinjays famed for deeds of valour done, 
Matsya's monarch proud Virata, Drupad fair Psuichala's king. 
And his sons, Panchala's princes, whose great deeds the 

minstrels sing. 

Cultured monarch of Kosala and Gandhara's wily lord, 
Kama proud and peerless archer, matchless with his flaming 

sword, 
Bhagadatta eastern monarch, all resistless in his car, 
Ghatotkacha son of Bhima, Alambusha famed in war. 
And a hundred other monarchs all received the pious rite, 
Till the radiance of the fire-light chased the shadows of the 

night 1 
Pitri-medha^ due to fathers, was performed with pious care. 
Hymns and wails and lamentations mingled in the midnight 
I air. 

Sacred songs of rik and saman rose amidst the women's wail. 
And the creatures of the wide earth heard the sound subdued 

and pale I 
Smokeless and with radiant lustre shone each red and lighted 

pyre, 
I Like the planets of the bright sky throbbing with celestial fire I 

^ Coimtless myriads, nameless, friendless, from each court and 

camp afar. 
From the east and west collected, fell in Kuru-Kshetra's war. 
Thousand fires for them were lighted, they received the pious 

rite. 
Such was good Yudhishthir's mandate, such was wise Vidura's 

might, 

^ All the dead were burned to ashes, and the sacred rite was o'er, 

Dhrita-rashtra and Yudhishthir slowly walked to Ganga's 
shore. 



k 



NARENDRA NATH DUTTA (Swami Vivekananda). 

1862-1902. 



The Cup. 



This is your cup — the cup assigned to you 
From the beginning. Nay, My child, I know 
How much of that dark drink is your own brew 
Of fault and passion, ages long ago, 
In the deep years of yesterday, I knew. 

This is your road— a painful road and drear. 
I made the stones that never give you rest. 
I set your friend in pleasant ways and clear. 
And he shall come, like you, unto My breast. 
But you, My child, must travel here. 

This is your task. It has no joy nor grace, 
But 'tis not meant for any other hand. 
And in My universe hath measured place. 
Take it. I do not bid you understand. 
I bid you close your eyes to see MY face. 



93 



ROBY DUTT. 
1883-1918. 

On Tibet. 

Deep in the bosom dark of mystery. 
Housed in the gleam of days that are no more 
And dreams that like her Himalayas soar 
To height incredible — methinks I see 
The land of mystic faith and l€unas hoar ! 

A glamour thro' the creeping sunset steals. 
Weird Tibet, o'er thy snow-encircled brow ; 
A glamour from the Occident, that now. 
Silent, pursues thy gloom-engirdled heels. 
Mother of fossil modes and customs thou ! 

Thou mighty miracle of centuries. 
To us, the dwellers in the setting sun, 
Perpetual dream-land, child of sunrise dun. 
Who " teasest out of thought " man's memories, 
Grim in thy glory, till thy race be run ! 

Land of the faith by pensive Buddha rear'd. 

Where thought is stable, prayers are roll'd by wheels. 

Faith moves with a dull motion as she feels 

Her way thro' gloom of births, where Fate is fear'd, 

God is unknown, and man in darkness reels ! 

To Britain. 

To Britain, Queen of all the Seas, 
Whose Alfred first did show her might. 
Whose Nelson, strong and bold of sprite. 
Did waft her fame from breeze to breeze. 

94 



ROBY DUTT. 95 

The land where Caedmon saw the light. 
Where Chaucer shaped his harmonies. 
Whose Shakespeare fathom'd all that is, 
Whose Milton rose to starry height. 

To her whose light shall e'er increase, 
Whose might in countless foemen's spite 
From land to land shall spread aright, 
Whose right to rule shall ne'er decrease. 

To heir who ever shall be bright, 
I, prone to perish, offer these 
Decaying, dying melodies, 
I, rushing into endless night. 



Sir Asutosh Mookerjee. 

He rose, a meteor, in the midst of men 
To awe the world with splendour : many a star. 
That might in other skies have shone afar. 
Beside him paled, and swam not into ken. 

His lore with glory fiU'd the quarters then. 
And won him such a name as nought could mar 
He foi;ght, and gain'd success without a scar, 
A valiant knight, whose weapon was his pen. 

Good-temper'd, even-minded, patient, wise. 
He lent his aid wherever he could meet 
A man of promise that deserved to rise : 

In dealing justice fairly, none could beat 

His breadth of view, and none the solemn guise 

In which all fine distinctions he would greet. 



96 ROBY DUTT. 

Indians at the Front 

Fight for the cause of Britain and of right, 

Ye Indians brave, and lay the tyrant low, 

A ' cultured ' yet at heart a savage foe, 

That dares astound the world with ruthless might. 

For peace, for conunerce and for freedom fight. 
Fight to relieve a hapless nation's woe, 
That in the cause of all the world did throw 
Her lot in with your king in terror's spite. 

Your country needs no tyrant's lip-deep lore 

Her old enlightenment to vindicate, 

That placed her high among the states of yore : 

For valour India always has been great, 
And ye are India's sons, and — what is more — 
Fit partners of a world-embracing State. 



PROFULLA RANJAN DAS. 

1881- 

Refusal. 

Ah, not to-night !— for thrilled yet wild with fire, 

The night would whisper burning words to me. 

And I should blindly search Eternity 

For passion fit to crown the wild desire 

To-night gives birth to ! — and that passion's hire 

Summoned from all the times would ever be 

A bitter shame and joyless memory, 

— A thing whereon would tremble Heaven's just ire ! 

For I would love thee only with my soul. 
And build thereby a palace strong, secure. 
To stand amidst the vain pomps that allure 
And leave but corpses as they onward roll ! 
Oh, then, at last when Death demands its toll. 
There's something to remember,— calm and pure I 



The Quest. 



I stepped into the dusty thoroughfare, 
Where men with weary footsteps trod the earth. 
And sought the secrets of their death and birth 
In heat and passion of the noon-day air ! 
— In life that has been lived in black despair. 
Or in the splendour of the city's worth. 
Where mortals moving with no joy or mirth 
Have yet aspired to do, conceive, and dare ! 

And one above them all cried out to me, 
'' Alas, alas, — I gave a life's devotion. 
To drag the secrets of Eternity 

97 



98 PROFULLA RANJAN DAS. 

From objects whirling with the earth's swift motion. 
And now I think I'll wander never more. 
What, if those secrets waited at my door ? " 



Youth and Age. 

Do you remember, how one night, 
When never rose a star on high, 
We stepped into the dubious light 
Beneath the silence of the sky, 
— You wondered, — so did I ! 

Your life was of the sun and flower, 
But mine was of the autumn leaf. 
And we imagined every hour 
Would take us farther from our grief. 
Forgetting time, the thief I 

And yet the thief was on the wing. 

And caught me gray — but you, pure white ! 

And now because life's splendours cling 

Unto the freshness of your light, 

I wonder, was I right ? 



A Lament. 



Alas, alas ! — the roses cried despairing. 

That leaf by leaf our glory should decay ! 

That all our splendours should be earth and clay, 

And dream-like fade for all our crimson daring ! 

No more the winds our raptures wide are bearing, 

— No more our fragrance doth uplift the day, 

And passionate pilgrims now no more do stray, 

Around us dreamless, death's dark splendours wearing I 



PROFULLA RANJAN DAS. 99 

Yet shall we sigh and raise the mournful wail, 
Because our Beauty now has ceased to be ! 
Nay, tho' to-day our youth an'd glory pale, 
What is to-day to all Eternity ! 
For in fresh raptures of this radiant earth 
Dead roses come again to crimson birth ! 



SAROJINI NAIDU. 
1879- 

The Pardah Nashin. 

Her life is a revolving dream 
Of languid and sequestered ease ; 
Her girdles and her fillets gleam 
Like changing fires on sunset seas ; 
Her raiment is like morning mist, 
Shot opal, gold and amethyst. 

From thieving light of eyes impure. 
From coveting sun or wind's caress, 
Her days are guarded and secure 
Behind her carven lattices, 
Like jewels in a turbaned crest. 
Like secrets in a lover's breast. 

But though no hand unsanctioned dares 
Unveil the mysteries of her grace. 
Time lifts the curtain unawares, 
And Sorrow looks into her face — 
Who shall prevent the subtle years. 
Or shield a woman's eyes from tears ? 

To a Buddha Seated on a Lotus, 

Lord Buddha, on thy Lotus-throne, 
With praying eyes and hands elate. 
What mystic rapture dost thou own, 
Inunutable and ultimate ? 
What peace, unravished of our ken. 
Annihilate from the world of men ? 

zoo 









SAROJINI NAIDU. loi 

The wind of change for ever blows 

Across the tumult of our way. 

To-morrow's unborn griefs depose 

The sorrows of our yesterday. 

Dream yields to dream, strife follows strife, 

And Death imweaves the webs of Life. 

For us the travail and the heat. 
The broken secrets of our pride, 
The strenuous lessons of defeat, 
The flower deferred, the fruit denied ; 
But not the peace, supremely won. 
Lord Buddha, of thy Lotus-throne. 

With futile hands we seek to gain 

Our inaccessible desire. 

Diviner summits to attain. 

With faith that sinks and feet that tire ; 

But nought shall conquer or control 

The heavenward hunger of our soul. 

The end, elusive and afar. 

Still lures us with its beckoning flight. 

And all our mortal moments are 

A session of the Infinite. 

How shall we reach the great, unknown 

Nirvana of thy Lotus-throne ? 



The Gift of India. 



Is there aught you need that my hands withhold. 
Rich gifts of raiment or grain or gold ? 
Lo ! I have flung to the East and West, 
Priceless treasures torn from my breast. 
And yielded the sons of my stricken womb 
To the dnun-beats of duty, the sabres of doom. 



102 SAROJINI NAIDU. 

Gathered like pearls in their alien graves 

Silent they sleep by the Persian waves, 

Scattered like shells on Egyptian sands. 

They lie with pale brows and brave, broken hands, 

They are strewn like blossoms mown down by chance 

On the blood-brown meadows of Flanders and France. 

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep 

Or compass the woe of the watch I keep ? 

Or the pride that thrills thro' my heart's despair, 

And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer ? 

And the far sad glorious vision I see 

Of the torn red banners of Victory ? 

When the terror and tumult of hate shall cease, 
I And life be refashioned on anvils of peace, 
And your love shall offer memorial thanks 
To the comrades who fought in your dauntless ranks, 
And you honour the deeds of the deathless ones. 
Remember the blood of my martyred sons I 

Suttee. 

Lamp of my life, the lips of Death 
Have blown thee out with their sudden breath ; 
Naught shall revive thy vanished spark — 
Love, must I dwell in the living dark ? 

Tree of my life. Death's cruel foot 

Hath crushed thee down to thy hidden root ; 

Nought shall restore thy glory fled — 

Shall the blossom live when the tree is dead ? 

Life of my life, Death's bitter sword 
Hath severed us like a broken word. 
Rent us in twain who are but one — 
Shall the flesh survive when thesoul is gone ? 



SAROJINI NAIDU. 103 

A Challenge to Fate. 

Why will you vex me with your futile conflict, 
Why will you strive with me, foolish Fate ? 
You camiot break me with your poignant envy, 
You cannot slay me with your subtle hate : 
For all the cruel folly you pursue 
I will not cry with suppliant hands to you. 

You may perchance wreck in your bitter malice 
The radiant empire of mine eager eyes — 
Say, can you rob my memory's dear dominion 
O'er simlit mountains and sidereal skies ? 
In my enduring treasuries I hold 
Their ageless splendour of unravished gold. 

You may usurp the kingdoms of my hearing — 
Say, shall my scatheless spirit cease to hear 
The bridal rapture of the blowing valleys. 
The lyric pageant of the passing year. 
The sounding odes and singing harmonies 
Of battling tempests and unconquered seas ? 

Yea, you may smite my mouth to throbbing silence, 
Pluck from my lips power of articulate words — 
Say, shall my heart lack its familiar language 
While earth has nests for her mellifluous birds ? 
Shall my impassioned heart forget to sing 
With the ten thousand voices of the spring ? 

Yea, you may quell my blood with sudden anguish. 
Fetter my limbs with some compelling pain — 
How will you daunt my free, far- journeying tancy 
That rides upon the pinions of the rain ? 
How will you tether my triumphant mind. 
Rival and fearless comrade of the wind ? 



Z04 SAROJINI NAIDU. 

Tho* you deny the hope of all my being, 
Betray my love, my sweetest dream destroy^ 
Yet will I slake my individual sorrow 
At the deep source of Universal joy — 
O Fate, in vain you hanker to control 
My fraili serene, indomitable soul. 



MANMOHAN GHOSE, 
1869- 

A Song of Britannia. 



Muse, who art quick to fire 
At the least noble thing, 
And frankest praise to bring 

Upon the quivering l3rre, 
Why art thou slow to sing 

Now when the world beclouds 

With battle, such as shrouds 
Earth in a mist of tears ? 

For want of heart belike, 
While thunder sings afar 

And even the bravest fears. 
Seek'st thou a theme for song 
No fears can ever wrong. 

No tears can tarnish ? Strike 
And sing Britannia. 



Britannia the fair, 

Whom oceans girdle round. 

With hill and valley crowned. 
And purest wash of air 

Prom her Atlantic bound. 
What heaths so fresh as hers 
With blossom ? and how stirs 

The soft wind in her pines. 
Earth's fairest isle, 'tis said, 

Where all things lovely are. 



xo6 MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

Yet beauty there not mines 
Strength ; for no cliff is there 
No headland calmly fair 

But fringed with wild spra3rs wed 
To shout Britannia. 

3 

Britannia the strong. 

Whom God designed should queen 

The Ocean plain, serene 
Though threatening foes bethrong : 

Whose fate shall not belong, 
While round her, every deck 
Bristling with cannon, speck 

The seas her angry fleet. 
Not earth to dominate 

Or to embroil with war 
Tower they : 'tis to keep sweet 

The world's dear peace they bulk 

So with their silent hulk 
In all eyes power, elate 

To speak Britannia. 

4 
Britannia the free. 

Of soil so virtuous, such 

No foot of slave can touch 
But walks at liberty. 

The staff she is, the crutch 
By whom weak lands arise. 
Who nourished in her eyes 

Grow, and shake off the sloth 
Of old anarchic power. 

Two richly tokens are 
Of her boon influence, both : 

What man of Ind or Nile 

Who sees his fat fields smile 



MANMOHAN GHOSE. 107 

But his lips burst aflower 
To praise Britannia. 

5 
Britannia the sage, 

With her own history wise ; 

The stars were her allies 
To write that ample page. 

'Twas her victorious eyes 
The vantage saw, whence she 
To this wide regency 

Through acts adventurous won : 
Which if from strife and jar 

She keep, the secret learn 
From her mild brow alone ; 

How, not the world to daunt 

Or power imperial flaunt 
She makes the queen'd earth yearn 

To serve Britannia. 

6 

Britannia the good. 

With her own heart at school. 

Whom flatterer cannot fool 
Nor rebel sour ; at flood 

Her own strength taught to rule. 
Hers are the mighty hands 
That o'er a hundred lands 

Weave good from dawn to gray. 
Like fond words from afar 

Hers are the winged sails 
O'er ocean : words are they 

Which in a moment bring 

Her brood beneath her wing ; 
And none so small that fails 

To knit Britannia. 



xo8 MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

7 

Britannia wide-flung 
Over the globe ; its half 
Her children, whether graff 

Or scion mother-sprung ; 
Sons, now to be her staff 

When her path glooms ; though Rhine, 

Danube and Elbe combine 
Of these (O idlest dream !), 

To reave her. Hers they are, 
Rous'd, ardent in her right ! 

From Ganges utmost stream 
Far as Canadian firs 
And bush Australian, hers, 

Joined even in hell's despite 
To help Britannia. 



8 

Britannia the heart 

And brain that bulwarks power ; 

See, at the crucial hour 
How well she bears her part ! 

Prom fields how peaceful flower 
In millions arms and men ! 
Which now she pours again 

To those old battleflelds, 
Prance, Flanders ; makes her star 

Of glory that she shields 
The weak, confronts the strong. 

Brute force let others sing ; 

She shows in everything 
To her it shall belong 

To be — Britannia. 



MANMOHAN GHOSE. 109 

9 

Britannia, sublime 

To flame in generous deed ; 

In others* cause to bleed. 
So to the end of time 

It shall be. Once she freed 
The Iberian. Wellington 
And Torres Vedras spun 

The lines of victory then. 
Another Trafalgar 

The bleak North Seas await ; 
Where her fleet towers the main ; 

Each mighty battleship 

Charged to the very lip 
With thunder. Big with fate 

They loom Britannia. 

To Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, 

(Translated from a poem by Sir Rabindranath Tagore.) 

Yoimg image of what old Rishi of Ind 

Art thou, O Arya savant, Jagadish ? 

What unseen hermitage hast thou raised up 

From 'neath the dry dust of this city of stone ? 

Amidst the crowd's mad turmoil, whence hast thou 

That peace in which thou in an instant stoodst 

Alone at the deep centre of all things — 

Where dwells the One alone in sun, moon, flowers. 

In leaves, and beasts and birds, and dust and stones, 

— Where still one sleepless Life on its own lap 

Rocks all things with a wordless melody. 

All things that move or that seem motionless ! 

While we were drunk with the remote and vain 

Dead glories of our past, — in alien dress 

Walking and talking in an alien tongue. 



no MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

In the caricature of other men — 

Their style, their bearing, — while we shouted, yeird 

Frog-like with swollen throat in our dark well, 

0, in what vast remoteness wert thou then ? 

Where didst thou spread thy hush'd and lonely mat — 

Thy mat of meditation ? Thou, thy mind 

Curdling into calm gravity, didst plunge 

In thy great quest after the viewless ray, 

Beyond the utmost borders of this world 

Of visible form, there where the Rishis old 

Oped, and passed in beyond the lion-gates 

Of the Manifold and stood before the One, 

Silent in awe and wonder, with joined hands ! 

O Hermit, call thou in the authentic words 

Of that old hymn called Sama ; '' Rise ! Awake ! " 

Call to the man who boasts his Sastnc lore 

From vain pedantic wranglings profitless. 

Call to that foolish braggart to come forth 

Out on the face of Nature, this broad earth. 

Send forth this call unto thy scholar band ; 

Together round thy sacrifice of fire 

Let them all gather. So may our India, 

Our ancient land, unto herself return. 

O once again return to steadfast work, 

To duty and devotion, to her trance 

Of earnest meditation ; let her sit 

Once more unruffled, greedless, strifeless, pure 

O once again upon her lofty seat 

And platform, teacher of all other lands. 

London, 

Farewell, sweetest country ; out of my heart, you roses, 
Wa3rside roses, nodding the slow traveller to keep. 

Too long have I drowsed alone in the meadows deep. 
Too long alone endured the silence Nature espouses. 



MANMOHAN GHOSE. iii 

O, the rushy the rapture of life ! — throngs^ lights, houses ! 
This is London. I wake as a sentinel from sleep. 

Stunned with the fresh thunder, the harsh delightful noises, 
I move entranced on the thronging pavement. How sweet, 

To eyes sated with green, the dusty brick-walled street ! 
And the loile spirit, of self so weary, how it rejoices 

To be lost in others, bathed in the tones of human voices, 
And feel hurried along the happy tread of feet. 

And a sense of vast sympathy my heart almost crazes. 
The warmth of kindred hearts in thousands beating with 
mine. 

Each fresh face, each figure, my spirit drinks like wine. 
Thousands endlessly passing. Violets, daisies. 

What is your charm to the passionate charm of faces. 
This ravishing reality, this earthliness divine ? 

O murmur of men more sweet than all the wood's caresses. 

How sweet only to be an unknown leaf that sings 
In the forest of life ! Cease, nature, thy whisperings. 

Can I talk with leaves, or fall in love with breezes ? 
Beautiful boughs, your shade not a human pang appeases, 

This is London. I lie, and twine in the roots of things. 



Baby. 



Baby dear ! and shall we sever ? 
All your awn 
Mother is, and yours alone. 
Father goes, he cares not he ! 

Comes, and now from other shores, 
Baby dear, your deity 

Woos he, and adores. 
Never heed him ! he was never 
Yours ! 



112 MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

My one bliss, and would you lonely 
Leave my heart, 
Thus from mother's lap to part ? 
O what is it, charm of charms. 

Seek your lips incarnadine, 
Stretching forth your little arms. 

With that cry divine ? 
Enchantment ! art thou not only 
Mine? 

Fret not so, nor fear my raiment : 
• Heed not thou ! 
Softly though he flatters now. 
Woods nor whispers thinks she sweet. 

Mother, to thy vague murmurs : 
Men, the world, the roaring street, 

Father, he prefers. 
Hers you are 'gainst every claimant. 
Hers! 

Leave him ! Not a kiss deserves he 
Lonely here 
To forsake us, baby dear. 
Toils and troubles all the week 

They possess him, toils like tares 
For the rose of baby's cheek 

Not a thought he cares. 
'Tis for them his heart preserves he. 
Theirs ! 

Laughing, see, has baby known him. 
And small hands 

Stretching out, his beard demands. 
O his flattery well I know. 

Sweet he comes, as April showers ; 



MANHOHAN GHOSE. 113 

Wait, poor prattler, he will go, 

False as April flowers. 
N0| my joy, we cannot own him 
Ours. 

Prom his arms to keep you ? Never 1 
Baby dear ! 
From his arms, your native sphere. 
Home from labour comes he tired, 

You and I, his only bliss. 
Crown him, crown our king desired 

To adore and kiss, 
You and I his slaves forever, 
His. 



Poplar, Beech, and Weeping Willow. 

Shapely poplar shivering white, poplar like a maiden, 
Thinking, musing softly here so light and so unladen 
That with every breath and stir perpetually you gladden, 
Teach me your still secrecy of thoughts that never sadden. 

From the heavy-hearted earth, earth of grief and passion. 
Maiden, would you spring with nxe, and leave men's lowly 

fashion ? 
Skyward lift with me your thoughts in cumberless elation, 
Every leaf and every shoot a virgin aspiration. 

The blue day, the floating clouds, the stars shall you for palace 
Proffer their pure world of pomp, dawn her rosy chalice, 
Where the birds are you shall wing and revel to be lonely, 
In the clear of heaven to spire and sway with breezes only. 

Beech of lofty aisles the queen, beech of trees the lady, 
Soaring to a tower of sighs in branches soft and shady, 



114 MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

You that sunward lift yoiu- strength to make of shadow duty, 
Teach me tree your heavenly height and earth-remembering 
beauty. 

Maiden, would you soar like me with sky-upclouding tresses ? 
Beauty into bounty change, bend down the eye that blesses, 
Make from heaven a shelter cool for shepherd and sheep silly. 
Shadow with shadiness hot rose and fainting lily. 

Through your glorious heart of gloom the noonday wind 

awaking 
In an ecstasy shall set swaying, blowing, shaking 
Leafy branches, in their nests set the sweet birds rocking. 
Till their happy song breaks out the noonday ardour mocking. 

Willow sweet, willow sad, willow by the river 

Taujg^ht by pensive love to droop where ceaseless waters 

shiver. 
Teach me steadfast sorrower your mournful grace of graces 
Weeping to make beautiful the silent water places. 

Maiden, would you learn of me the loveliness of mourning. 
Weep into the chill wan wave strength, hardness, lofty 

scorning ; 
Drench your drooping soul in tears content to love and 

languish. 
Gaze in sorrow's looking-glass and see the face of anguish. 

In the very wash of woe as your bowed soul shall linger, 
You shall touch the sheer bright stars and on the moon set 

finger. 
You shall hear where brooks have birth the mountain pines' 

emotion 
Catch upon the broadening stream the sound and swell of 

ocean. 



MANMOHAN GHOSE. 115 



Myvanwy. 



Virgin darkness, wet and deep 
Where dwells but April, dwells but sleep, 
What presence clear 

Like a beam has entered here ? 

What lov'd footstep, that the trees 
Freshen their soliloquies, 

Birds break into louder lays ? 
All fair Nature's heart runs wild 
To remember her sweet child : 

In the wood Myvanwy strays ! 

O what gladness thrills her through 
Her wayward darling back to woo 
From life again, 

Thought, and passion, stir and men ! 
Clasp her now ! From that great lure 
O sweet Nature, clasp her sure. 

Where no alien eye perceives I 

Lead her where dim brooks have birth. 
Fill her with the smell of earth, 

Shut her in a thousand leaves. 

Bom in foliage like the flowers, 
Myvanwy, to that world of ours 
Of throng and street 

how strayed your vernal feet ? 
There where not a daisy smiles. 
There where green earth's pale exiles 

Toil and toil and never cease ! 

" Who is this ? " the passer said : 
Rustic grass was in your tread. 

In your laughter the wild breeze ! 



zi6 MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

Ah ! no gift of heath to city ; 
It was love led you, love and pity 
To my sad heart, 
Child, your rapture to impart. 

The fast-bound, like wintry earth, 

Your intoxicating mirth 
Loosed and rained delightful showers : 

Showed me where their song birds borrow, 

All the uselessness of sorrow. 
All the joy of April flowers ! 

The Garden Passion. 

It is a garden, shy and sweet, 
For youth and tongue-tied passion meet ; 
A green dim garden shaded deep. 
Breathing of lilies, love, and sleep. 
Here only flowers in darkness grow ; 
Here only whispering waters flow. 
And fishes glide, and linnets 3ing, 
And Summer dances with the Spring, 
And here in evenings gradual gloom 
Have Julian and Irene come. 

Speechless they stand beneath the shade 
The burning youth, the lovely maid. 
Bashfully drooped the lashes sheathe . 
The splendour of her eyes beneath ; 
And o'er her cheek and brow of snow 
The virgin roses come and go. 
His heart too strong, his tongue too weak. 
Only his lustrous eyes can speak ; 
And they seem all one pent desire 
An incommunicable fire ! 

Conscious of that impassioned gaze 
She turns away her glowing face 



MANMOHAN GHOSE. 117 

As though too rich a joy and shame 
In that deep crimson mantling came. 
And with averted cheek and hands 
Folded one rapturous moment stands. 
Empresslike she smiles, and fain 
Would linger o'er his gorgeous pain. 
But ah ! that passion-eaten look 
Her gentle bosom cannot brook. 
Tears start into her eyes : she turns 
With shining eyes, and cheek that burns. 
Love and reluctant maidenhood 
Her heart impelled, her heart withstood, 
A rosy strife ; but soon that glow 
Of shame she checks, and, tranquil now, 
Raising her soft-fringed eyelids dim. 
Bends full her starry gaze on him. 

O what a heaven, what land unknown 
To Julian's happy sight is shown I 
To all his agonies, all his sighs 
What opening, sudden paradise ! 
Abandoned to that glorious gaze, 
A moment in sweet dread he stays : 
That gaze of speechless amethyst, 
Its meaning, could it e'er be missed ? 
He takes her hand inflamed with bliss, 
Her willing, trembling hand in his ; 
And in glad tears she hides her face 
Lock'd in his passionate embrace. 

To his her darling cheek is prest, 
Against her own his fever'd breast ; 
Love gleams from her eyes into his 
In answer to each glowing kiss. 
And while a smile, a sigh there springs, 
Kisses and tears, — sweet idle things, 



10 



ii8 MANMOHAN GHOSE. 

Things dearer than the world is worth, 
In speech their brimming hearts break forth 
Words that with ravishing music pierce 
Each other's hearts, each other^s ears. 
Hers are dim murmurs, his a voice 
That makes the silent air rejoice. 

Health glows upon their cheeks, its flood 
Courses impetuous in their blood ; 
They feel like some absorbing truth 
The fulness of their godlike youth. 
Its strength, its beauty, its delight 
'erflows their bosoms, fills their sight. 
And all this garden, all this glade, 
Water and wind and flower and shade. 
The leaves that sigh, the bird that sings 
Seem one ambrosial chain of things. 
One happy whole, where they are parts. 
It is the fragrance of their hearts 
That the rose breathes : the water's sound 
Answers a feeling near, profound. 
And flashing, eddying fast and bright 
It leaps with their own heart's delight. 
Those spheres of solemn light on high 
Shine but in glorious S3rmpathy, 
And heaven seems for no other end 
Spread there, but over them to bend. 
Theirs is the pomp, theirs is the power 
Of Nature in this sovereign hour. 
For them the balmy woodlands show 
Their virgin wealth : the hyacinths grow 
For them, for them the nightingale 
Tells all her rich melodious tale. 
Earth seems one flowery empire green 
And they its happy king and queen. 



MANHOHAN GHOSE. 119 



Elegy. 



Where breathes who bloomless left the meadows ! 

She! 
Grave, in the wintriness of thee ? 
Her laughter might have thrilled the dead, 
So real she seemed, so white and red : 
Gone, and the aching world she widows 

With me ! 



0, of her presence any rumour. 

Spring, 
News of her sweetness canst thou bring ? 
In that mysterious underground 
What charm, what fire, what fragrance bound ? 
There, from whence bursts the whole bright summer 

On wing I 

Her glorious kinsfolk, that forsook us. 

Wake : 
Each lily, for the light's own sake. 
But she, more strong, more swift to bloom. 
Kept captive in the cold earth's gloom. 
Will she not with the beaming crocus 

Upbreak ? 



Too well thy heart, bereaved lover. 

Knows, 
Tis dust that did her bloom compose : 
And she, so vivid and so sweet. 
Is now a name, an image fleet ; 
All that the stars remember of her, 

A rose ! 



Calcutta : Printed at the Baptist Mission Press. 



i"f 






'^R "'^ O^ 



r- "s- 



RNT 



14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 

RINIWALS ONLY— TIL. NO. M2-340S 

This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to which renewed. 

Renewed books are subject to immediate recalL 



OCT 9 1969 1 8 



RECEIVED 



OCT 2 3 '68 -UM 






LOAN DEPT. 




r.t. 






xv 






IKOT. 



LD 21A-38m-5,'68 
(J401alO)476B 



General Library 

University of California 

Berkeley 



I 



I; 



»-.*--5f 



'9 



I 



LIBRARY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM VHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 



ilBRlBY USE 



APR 41967. 



u 




, 1 








»:.'i