Cold gods of fretted stone !
By jungle shade—by Ganges’ holy stream,
Arise! appease, explain, this hell-fringed dream,
That haunts our foodless zone.
Fear’d car of Juggernaut !
Whose worshipp’d wheels, e’en roll so slowly, proud,
O’er quick-kissed ground, where bends the frenzied crowd,
Hast thou no harvest brought ?
Fond fire, unceasing—true !
Eternal light of India’s scented day,—
Oh ! mock us not, for thy rapt flames display
A beauteous, barren view !
Stray clouds, new manna rain !
Sweet mornings, breathe a fruit-creating dew !
With men, O angels! yield an interview,
And soothe this ten-edged pain !
No birds, or cymbal sound,
No boatman’s psalm adown the winding creek
Can call the rose-bloom to the starveling’s cheek,
Whilst men, with thorns, are crowned !
Weak baby-wailings, blend
With mother’s wilder, far-extending cries ;
Quaint, dead-march music, rumbles in the skies :
The famine pains extend !
Great Power ! unseen of man !
Oh ! smile away the plague, and haste to bless :
Raise frightened palm-groves in the wilderness,
Nor purge with harshest fan.
Blow ! spicy, eastern gales !
Call forth the soft rain’s holy overflow :
Oh ! consecrate your whispers—and bestow
Grand speech to friendly sails.
Glide ! ships of Tarshish ! glide,
O’er oceans, hallowed by our flag and fame :
Bear forth rich off’rings in Britannia’s name,
Be charity our pride.
Stay not to test the creed,
Or urge a rude comparison of skin,
The merciful themselves now mercies win,
And golden is the deed.
Bloom ! sable mulberry !
Creep amber shadows ! through the orange plain ;
Take life, O sacred green ! blush fruit again,—
Burst into majesty !
Sad chords of Moslem song,
Steal out in broader love and melody ;
O India ! our love comes laden unto thee !
Tho choice gifts of the strong.