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The Zenana - 2
Letitia Elizabeth Landon 1802 (Chelsea) – 1838 (Cape Coast)
City of glories now no more,
His camp extends by Bejapore,(Bejapore)
Where the Mahratta’s haughty race (The Taj Bowlee)
Has won the Moslem conqueror’s place;
A bolder prince now fills the throne,
And he will struggle for his own.
“And yet,” he said, “when evening falls
Solemn above those mouldering walls,
Where the mosques cleave the starry air, (Mosque of Mustapha Khan)
Deserted at their hour of prayer,
And rises Ibrahim’s lonely tomb, (Ibrahim Pudshah’s Tomb)
’Mid weed-grown shrines, and ruined towers,
All marked with that eternal gloom
Left by the past to present hours.
When human pride and human sway
Have run their circle of decay;
And, mocking—the funereal stone,
Alone attests its builder gone.
Oh! vain such temple, o’er the sleep
Which none remain to watch or weep.
I could not choose but think how vain
The struggle fierce for worthless gain.
And calm and bright the moon looked down
O’er the white shrines of that fair town;
While heavily the cocoa-tree
Drooped o’er the walls its panoply,
A warrior proud, whose crested head
Bends mournful o’er the recent dead,
And shadows deep athwart the plain
Usurp the silver moonbeam’s reign;
For every ruined building cast
Shadows, like memories of the past.
And not a sound the wind brought nigh,
Save the far jackal’s wailing cry,
And that came from the field now red
With the fierce banquet I had spread:
Accursed and unnatural feast,
For worm, and fly, and bird, and beast;
While round me earth and heaven recorded
The folly of life’s desperate game,
And the cold justice still awarded
By time, which makes all lots the same.
Slayer or slain, it matters not,
We struggle, perish, are forgot!
The earth grows green above the gone,
And the calm heaven looks sternly on.
’Twas folly this—the gloomy night
Fled before morning's orient light;
City and river owned its power,
And I, too, gladdened with the hour;
I saw my own far tents extend
My own proud crescent o’er them bend;
I heard the trumpet’s glorious voice
Summon the warriors of my choice.
Again impatient on to lead,
I sprang upon my raven steed,
Again I felt my father’s blood
Pour through my veins its burning flood.
My scimetar around I swung,
Forth to the air its lightning sprung,
A beautiful and fiery light,
The meteor of the coming fight.
“I turned from each forgotten grave
To others, which the name they bear
Will long from old oblivion save
The heroes of the race I share.
I thought upon the lonely isle (Shere Shah’s Tomb)
Where sleeps the lion-king the while,
Who looked on death, yet paused to die
Till comraded by Victory.
And he, fire noblest of my line,
Whose tomb is now the warrior's shrine,
(Where I were well content to be,
So that such fame might live with me.)
The light of peace, the storm of war,
Lord of the earth, our proud Akbar.(Akbar’s Tomb)
“What though our passing day but be
A bubble on eternity;
Small though the circle is, yet still
’Tis ours to colour at our will.
Mine be that consciousness of life
Which has its energies from strife,
Which lives its utmost, knows its power,
Claims from the mind its utmost dower--
With fiery pulse, and ready hand,
That wills, and willing wins command—
That boldly takes from earth its best—
To whom the grave can be but rest.
Mine the fierce free existence spent
Mid meeting ranks and armed tent:--
Save the few moments which I steal
At thy beloved feet to kneel—
And own the warrior's wild career
Has no such joy as waits him here—
When all that hope can dream is hung
Upon the music of thy tongue.
Ah! never is that cherished face
Banished from its accustomed place—
It shines upon my weariest night
It leads me on in thickest fight:
All that seems most opposed to be
Is yet associate with thee—
Together life and thee depart,
Dream—idol—treasure of my heart.”
Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on May 15, 2016
- 3:23 min read
- 70 Views
|Scheme||AABCDDEEFGHIHIJJDKLLMMNNOBPPMMQQRRPPSSTUTUVVKFWWXXYYZZPXTT1 1 WW 2 G2 GHBRO3 3 OOAHOOBB4 4 XX5 5 6 6 7 7 BBXX1 1 CCWWOO8 8|
|Closest metre||Iambic tetrameter|
|Stanza Lengths||62, 42|
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"The Zenana - 2" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/44765/the-zenana---2>.
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