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The Tomb of Humaioon, Delhi

THE Emperor Humaioon* was the founder of the Mogul dynasty, the father of Akbar, and grandsire of “the magnificent son of Akbar Jehanghire,” so well known as the kingly lover of Nourmahal, in “The Feast of Roses.” In his early life he was much given to a solitude engrossed by the study of astrology. The rebellion of his brother called his attention from the heavens to the earth: he endured many vicissitudes of fortune, and was at one time an exile in Persia; he, however, triumphed at last, reascended his throne, where he was remarkable for all those finer qualities of mildness and humanity which generally belong to a more advanced period of

HE stood alone upon a hill,
Where he had built a tower,
That he might watch in solitude
How worked the midnight hour ;

The blue sky spread above his head,
As if indeed it were
Another world to that sad earth,
Man’s heritage of care.

As yet the moon was in her youth,
Her hour of strength untried,
One white cloud round her, like the veil
That hides an earthly bride.

From drooping leaves, and bending flowers,
Exhaled the midnight dews ! +
Like love that from its inmost thoughts
Its own sweet life renews

Like floating islands on the air,
The palm-tree’s feathery crest
Rose high and lone ; there was no wind
To stir its shadowy rest.

White as the snow which never falls
On these delicious plains,
The marble city reared aloft
Its palaces and fanes ;

So delicately carved, so fair, %
The graceful buildings stand,
Such as to us are like the dreams
Of some enchanted land.

Our northern shores have sullen skies,
The mist, the frost, the rain,
And soon the fairy fabric wears
The shadow, and the stain.

But here there is a purer air,
There is more genial sky,
As if the sun remembered still
His first bright infancy.

The monarch looked not on the scene,
Although it was so fair,
The stars are out upon the sky,
And every thought fixed there.

He looked upon them as the scrolls
Prophetic of our life,
The chronicles where Fate inscribes
Our sorrow, sin, and strife;

All that we struggle with in vain,
All that we seek to shun,
The weird of that stern destiny,
Whose will must aye be done.

Who may deny that on the soul,
The coming hours may cast
Their shadow, till the future seem
As actual as the past.

There are strange mysteries in night,
Its silence and its sleep ;
The pale moon, with the magic power
She has upon the deep.

What, though our common nature holds
No intercourse on high,
Though given not to common eyes
To read the starry sky;

There may be lofty sympathies
Allowed to lofty minds,
And it may be to such that Fate
Her shining scroll unbinds.

Alas, for them, save misery,
What can such knowledge give ?
Had life no mystery, and no hope,
Oh ! who could bear to live !

* Humaioon is the hero of a very interesting poem in Miss Roberts’ interesting “Oriental Scenes,” a volume, whose vivid descriptions of eastern landscape, could only have been written on the spot.

+ In Sir William Herschell's “History of Natural Philosophy,” one of the most delightful volumes that ever had attraction for even so unscientific a reader as myself, there is a theory of the origin of dew, which is there stated to be an exhalation from the plant itself. The many similes which poets have found in “the falling dews,” are therefore erroneous; mine may at least claim the merit of truth.

% “The Patans,” remarks Bishop Heber, “built like giants, and finished like jewellers.”
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on August 09, 2016

3:07 min read

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was an English poet. Born 14th August 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, she lived through the most productive period of her life nearby, at No.22. A precocious child with a natural gift for poetry, she was driven by the financial needs of her family to become a professional writer and thus a target for malicious gossip (although her three children by William Jerdan were successfully hidden from the public). In 1838, she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast, whence she travelled, only to die a few months later (15th October) of a fatal heart condition. Behind her post-Romantic style of sentimentality lie preoccupations with art, decay and loss that give her poetry its characteristic intensity and in this vein she attempted to reinterpret some of the great male texts from a woman’s perspective. Her originality rapidly led to her being one of the most read authors of her day and her influence, commencing with Tennyson in England and Poe in America, was long-lasting. However, Victorian attitudes led to her poetry being misrepresented and she became excluded from the canon of English literature, where she belongs. more…

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