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THE

VICTORIES OF THE SUTLEJ.

“ Arma! Arma! aqui vienen los Ingleses.”

Canto the first.

I.

The moon had risen radiant and fair,

And shed a light most tranquilly serene, Diffusing softness o’er the midnight air,

Enlightening nature with her silver sheen.
It smiled upon the sleeping orange bowers,

It played among the tall palmetta groves,
It kissed the incense-breathing myrtle flowers,

It listened to the sighs of turtle doves.

II.

It peeped through the trellis of Leila's bower,

With the jessamine blossoms entwining, As if it would ask, in that lonely hour,

Why Leila's heart was pining.

B

Leila waits for her husband's return,

By the moonbeams' gentle ray;
She watches the star-lit cressets burn,

But her thoughts are far away.

III.

Her long raven tresses were loose to the breeze,
And her dark, piercing eye spoke a mind ill at ease.
Sadly she pondered-anon she sighed -
“Why lingers he thus from his lonely bride?
Be my curse on the British, whose bayonets bright
Have banished my heart's blood from my sight:
Be my curse on the Rânee, whose haughty pride
Has summoned

my
Abdoul from

my

side.

IV.

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• But, hark! what footfall strikes upon mine ear? That mighty tread is full familiar here. Or is it that

my

anxious ear deceives,
And fancies what my fluttering heart believes ?
I surely heard the rustling fig leaves part,
Ah, see—he comes! But what fore bodes

my

heart? How sad, how lowering is his manly brow! What ill impending shall afflict me now?”

With flashing eyes that gleamed with sullen ire,
With lips compressed, revealing inward fire,
With darkly shaded and portentous brow,
With dignity that made inferiors bow,
With lion-heart, unused to bend or fawn,
A chief, a warrior, a hero born,
An Indian, a Sikh, in short-a Man!
In stepped his Leila's glory-Abdoul Khan.

V.

His Leila's form he fondly pressed,
Suffered himself to be caressed,
And still his long-drawn sighs betrayed

Some mighty grief his soul enchaining,
Refused to have its smart allayed,

Its nature or its cause explaining. But Leila must this sorrow know,

And set herself, with all her woman's art, To make the pent-up torrent flow,

And all his pain beguile him to impart.

'Twas thus at length the mourning chief revealed The dread disasters of the fatal field.

Canto the Second.

I.

1

“I saw the sun so brightly shining

O'er the blue Indus' wave,
But ere 'twas on that wave reclining

How many found a grave!
I saw on Moodkee's plains advancing

The stern, invading foe;
By twilight dim their swords were glancing

In grim, imposing show.
Where is the Punjab's ancient glory,

Her splendour and her pride ? 'Tis now a tale of olden story,

Departed like the tide.
Her palmy days of freedom over,

To British lords she bows,
Whose blood-stained sway, enthralling ever,

No free-drawn breath allows.

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