Hindoo and Mahommedan Buildings

THE Engraving represents a splendid sculptured Portico of a Temple dedicated to Mahadeo, at Moondheyra in Guzerat. This elaborate and magnificent specimen of the best age of Hindoo architecture, has been in ruins since the invasion of Alla o Deen, surnamed Khoonee, or the Bloody. Tradition inscribes to his intolerant spirit the destruction both of this noble edifice and numerous other religious buildings in Guzerat. This temple is so gigantic that the natives ascribe its erection to a deity, and say, that it was built by Ram some thirty lacks of years ago. The most unpretending insist on an antiquity of five thousand years.”

History hath but few pages—soon is told
     Man’s ordinary life,
     Labour, and care, and strife,
Make up the constant chronicle of old.

First comes a dream—the infancy of earth,
     When all its untried powers
     Are on the conscious hours
Warm with the light that called them into birth.

’Tis but a dream—for over earth was said
     An early curse—time’s flood
     Rolls on in tears and blood ;
Blood that upon her virgin soil was shed.

Abel the victim—Cain the homicide,
     Were type and prophecy
     Of times that were to be,
Thus reddened from the first life’s troubled tide.

See where in great decay yon temple stands,
     Destruction has began
     Her mockery of man,
Bowing to dust the work of mortal hands.

What are its annals—such as suit all time
     Man’s brief and bitter breath,
     Hurrying unwelcome death,
And something too that marks the East’s bright clime.

For mighty is the birthplace of the sun,
     All has a vaster scale
     Than climes more cold and pale,
Where yet creation’s work is half begun.

Her conquests were by multitudes,—the kings
     Who warred on each vast plain,
     Looked on a people slain,
As amid conquests customary things.

Her wealth—our gold is one poor miser’s store,
     Her pomp was as the night,
     With glittering myriads bright,
Her palace floors with gems were covered o’er.

Her summer’s prodigality of hues,
     Trees like eternal shrines,
     Where the rich creeper twines,
And all lit up with morn’s most golden dews.

’Tis a past age—the conqueror’s banner furled,
     Droops o’er the falling tower;
     Yet was the East’s first hour
The great ideal of the material world.

The beautiful—the fertile and the great,
     The terrible—and wild,
     Were round the first-born child
Of the young hour of earth’s imperial state :

And yet the mind’s high tones were wanting there,
     The carved and broken stone
     Tells glories overthrown :
Religions, empires, palaces are—where ?

Such annals have the tempest’s fire and gloom ;
     They tell of desperate power,
     Famine and battle’s hour,
War, want, disorder, slavery, and the tomb.

Not such the history that half redeems
     The meanness of our clay ;
     That intellectual sway
Which works the excellence of which it dreams.

Fall, fall, ye mighty temples to the ground ;
     Not in your sculptured rise
     In the real exercise
Of human nature's highest power found.

’Tis in the lofty hope, the daily toil,
     ’Tis in the gifted line,
     In each far thought divine,
That brings down heaven to light our common soil.

’Tis in the great, the lovely, and the true,
     ’Tis in the generous thought,
     Of all that man has wrought,
Of all that yet remains for man to do.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on November 09, 2016

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:43 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 3,380
Words 542
Stanzas 19
Stanza Lengths 1, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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…

All Letitia Elizabeth Landon poems | Letitia Elizabeth Landon Books

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