Ancient Ballads of Hindustan - Part 3


Death in his palace holds his court,

His messengers move to and fro,

Each of his mission makes report,

And takes the royal orders, — Lo,

Some slow before his throne appear

And humbly in the Presence kneel:

" Why hath the Prince not been brought here?

The hour is past; nor is appeal

Allowed against foregone decree;

There is the mandate with the seal!

How comes it ye return to me

Without him? Shame upon your zeal! "

" O King, whom all men fear, — he lies

Deep in the dark Medhya wood,

We fled from thence in wild surprise,

And left him in that solitude

We dared not touch him, for there sits,

Beside him, lighting all the place,

A woman fair, whose brow permits

In its austerity of grace

And purity, — no creatures soul

As we seemed, by her loveliness,

Or soul of evil, ghost or ghoul,

To venture close, and far, far less.

To stretch a hand, and bear the dead;

We left her leaning on her hand,

Thoughtful; no tear-drop had she shed,

But looked the goddess of the land,

With her meek air of mild command. " —

" Then on this errand I must go

Myself, and bear my dreaded brand,

This duty unto Fate I owe;

I know the merits of the prince,

But merit saves not from the doom

Common to man; his death long since

Was destined in his beauty's bloom. "

Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.