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The Lascar



I.

"Another day, Ah! me, a day
"Of dreary Sorrow is begun!
"And still I loath the temper'd ray,
"And still I hate the sickly Sun!
"Far from my Native Indian shore,
"I hear our wretched race deplore;
"I mark the smile of taunting Scorn,
"And curse the hour, when I was born!
"I weep, but no one gently tries
"To stop my tear, or check my sighs;
"For, while my heart beats mournfully,
"Dear Indian home, I sigh for Thee!

"Since, gaudy Sun! I see no more
"Thy hottest glory gild the day;
"Since, sever'd from my burning shore,
"I waste the vapid hours away;
"O! darkness come ! come, deepest gloom!
"Shroud the young Summer's op'ning bloom;
"Burn, temper'd Orb, with fiercer beams
"This northern world ! and drink the streams
"That thro' the fertile vallies glide
"To bathe the feasted Fiends of Pride!
"Or, hence, broad Sun ! extinguish'd be!
"For endless night encircles Me!

"What is, to me, the City gay?
"And what, the board profusely spread?
"I have no home, no rich array,
"No spicy feast, no downy bed!
"I, with the dogs am doom'd to eat,
"To perish in the peopled street,
"To drink the tear of deep despair;
"The scoff and scorn of fools to bear!
"I sleep upon a bed of stone,
"I pace the meadows, wild--alone!
"And if I curse my fate severe,
"Some Christian Savage mocks my tear!

"Shut out the Sun, O! pitying Night!
"Make the wide world my silent tomb!
"O'ershade this northern, sickly light,
"And shroud me, in eternal gloom!
"My Indian plains, now smiling glow,
"There stands my Parent's hovel low,
"And there the tow'ring aloes rise
"And fling their perfumes to the skies!
"There the broad palm Trees covert lend,
"There Sun and Shade delicious blend;
"But here, amid the blunted ray,
"Cold shadows hourly cross my way!

"Was it for this, that on the main
"I met the tempest fierce and strong,
"And steering o'er the liquid plain,
"Still onward, press'd the waves among?
"Was it for this, the LASCAR brave
"Toil'd, like a wretched Indian Slave;
"Preserv'd your treasures by his toil,
"And sigh'd to greet this fertile soil?
"Was it for this, to beg, to die,
"Where plenty smiles, and where the Sky
"Sheds cooling airs; while fev'rish pain,
"Maddens the famish'd LASCAR'S brain?

"Oft, I the stately Camel led,
"And sung the short-hour'd night away;
"And oft, upon the top-mast's head,
"Hail'd the red Eye of coming day.
"The Tanyan's back my mother bore;
"And oft the wavy Ganges' roar
"Lull'd her to rest, as on she past--
"'Mid the hot sands and burning blast!
"And oft beneath the Banyan tree
"She sate and fondly nourish'd me;
"And while the noontide hour past slow,
"I felt her breast with kindness glow.

"Where'er I turn my sleepless eyes,
"No cheek so dark as mine, I see;
"For Europe's Suns, with softer dyes
"Mark Europe's favour'd progeny!
"Low is my stature, black my hair,
"The emblem of my Soul's despair!
"My voice no dulcet cadence flings,
"To touch soft pity's throbbing strings!
"Then wherefore cruel Briton, say,
"Compel my aching heart to stay?
"To-morrow's Sun--may rise, to see--
"The famish'd LASCAR, blest as thee!"

The morn had scarcely shed its rays
When, from the City's din he ran;
For he had fasted, four long days,
And faint his Pilgrimage began!
The LASCAR, now, without a friend,--
Up the steep hill did slow ascend;
Now o'er the flow'ry meadows stole,
While pain, and hunger, pinch'd his Soul;
And now his fev'rish lip was dried,
And burning tears his thirst supply'd,
And, ere he saw the Ev'ning close,
Far off, the City dimly rose!

Again the Summer Sun flam'd high
The plains were golden, far and wide;
And fervid was the cloudless sky,
And slow the breezes seem'd to glide:
The gossamer, on briar and spray,
Shone silv'ry in the solar ray;
And sparkling dew-drops, falling round
Spangled the hot and thirsty ground;
The insect myriads humm'd their tune
To greet the coming hour of noon,
While the poor LASCAR Boy, in haste,
Flew, frantic, o'er the sultry waste.

And whither could the wand'rer go?
Who would receive a stra
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:44 min read
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Mary Darby Robinson

Mary Robinson was an English actress, poet, dramatist, novelist, and celebrity figure. more…

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