« ElőzőTovább »
Say then what conflicts tortured Leila's breast, What struggling passions all her soul oppress’d. She feared to see her love depart,
Lest slaughtering hand should snatch away, In deadly strife of battle fray,
Her hope, her glory, and her stay,
And tear the treasure from her heart.
And yet she knew
His country sought his powerful aid,
Reliance on his valour laid,
And Leila had an Indian soul,
Which yielded not to passion's sway, But strove its yearnings to control,
And his forebodings to allay.
She therefore sought to hide her sorrow,
To nerve him for the coming morrow,
New life, new courage to inspire,
Was all her inmost soul's desire.
Thus she, in accents sad and grave,
Her blessing to her Abdoul gave,-
Her blessing! nay, her parting prayer,
Commending him to heavenly care,
Adjuring that his land and he,
By his exertions, might be free.
• By Golconda’s diamond mines,
By Umritsur's hallowed shrines,—
By the lotus leaf which lay,
On the first chaotic day,
Brooding on the waters drear,
Over the primeval springs
Of Creation's hidden things,
Bidding land and life appear;
By incarnate Brahma's power, -
Come the day and come the hour,
Come the hour of victory,
When the Sikh shall yet be free;
When Lahore shall raise her head,
Like an offspring of the dead,
From the blood her sons have shed.
While the Sutlej water flows
From the Himalayan snows,-
While the rose of Cashmere blows, -
May an Indian arm be found
To defend our native ground.
“Abdoul, though it rend my heart
That so quickly we must part,
Yet I would not thee detain,-
Speed thee to the battle plain;
Go, since glory bids thee go, —
Be victorious o'er the foe.”
Her Abdoul then she tenderly embraced,
And all his sad presentiments effaced;
And though she felt she never more might see
That form engraven on her memory,
Yet she restrained her too prophetic fears,
Saw him depart unruffled by her tears,
And kept her apprehensions from his ears.
With Abdoul now we speed afar,
Revisiting the seat of war,
Near Loodianah, at Baran Hara,
Where Runjoor Singh endeavoured to oppose
In deep emprise the junction of his foes.
But fortune, like a fickle child,
When courted most
Is soonest lost, Nor on his skilful labour smiled; And, foiled, he bade the trumpet sound recall, Moved to Budhowal, thence to Aliwal; Posted his rear upon the Sutlej banks, With strong entrenchments fortified his flanks, And thus remained, and kept his forces back, Calmly awaiting the designed attack; Till smiling dawn had ushered in The day which bade their toil begin, Which bade them draw the sword again, Inciting men to murder men, And loosed the war-fiend from his den.
Lol glistening bayonets advance,
And brightly gleams the hostile lance;
The golden orb of day, with curious eye,
Sees man exhort his fellow-man to die.
There are the British Lancers charging on,
Exhibiting how battle-fields are won;
The Sikhs dispersed, some flying all around,
And some expiring on the gory ground.
Here hand to hand the fight is fiercely raging,
The Aieen troops and 50th foot engaging.
Charge upon charge, and sally after sally,
Destroy the Sikhs as they attempt to rally.
Guns, howitzers, belch forth their horrid flame,
And groans attest their well-directed aim:
Numbers who sought in flight their life to save,
In the dark-flowing river found a grave,
Six thousand Sikhs in death's embraces bound,
Lay mangled corses on that fatal ground;
And those who 'scaped unscathed the fearful fray
Took nought except their beards and lives away.