Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

INDIAN ODES.

BY THE LATE REV, W, B. STEVENS,

ADVERTISEMENT. The Scenery of the following Odes is supposed to lie in the meist wild and unenlightened Parts of India. The Names of the two adverse Countries, Hindvar and Oglu, are fictitious. Rutren, or as he is called, Ishuren, or Ruddiren, is one of the three chiet Divinities among the Indians: his Office is that of Destructio!), and he is the favourite Deity of the Malabars. The Goddess Chaday, is believed by that Nation to be the Mother of the Dirumurtigol, under which general denomination the three Divini. ties are included.

RUTREN AND CHADAY.

ODE I.
'Twas at the sad and and solemn hour,
When Midnight wrapp'd the regions round,
And wayward Hags of secret Pow'r
Charm'd the air with angry sound;

From Indian fires, a dying flame
Gleain'd with faint lustre through the cypress-shade,

Which to the fevered eye of Fear became A thousand Giant-Forms, in fancied hues array'd. While hungry panthers urg'd their furious way, Yell’d to the glooms, and mock'd their shrieking prey ; While, waken'd by the sound, the lordly snake Rais'd his crown'd hcad in horror from the brake, Say, Muse, what spectres darted through the glade ? Where moan'd her fate visionary maid?

And where the warriour-spirit stalk'd along,
And wav'd his airy bow, and howld his hîdeous song?

First the Sons of Rutren came,
Fierce in arms of fiery show;
Leaders once of mighty name,
All that bare and bent the bow.
Strong to slay and swift to fly,
All that fought, and all that died;
Fearless of the battle-cry,
Hindvar's terror, Oglu's pride.
Rutren led the warrior-crew
O’er the dews of Oglu's field ;
Well the valiant power I knew,
By the bow and by the shield.
Red with lightnings glane'd his spear,
Martial as he mov'd along;
Death-birds scream'd in frighted air ;
Clashing javelins join'd their song.
Virgins all that died for Love,
Who embalm’d the crimson'd youth ;
Shedding in the cypress grove
Tears of Woe, and Tears of Truth:
Warriour-mothers, warrioyr-wives,
Warriour-daughters join'd the train:
All who pour'd their patriot-lives
Freely on the' empurpled plain:
All who climb'd the funeral pyre,
(Such the purest offerings come)
Who, enshrin'd in bow'rs of fire,
Sought, spontaneous, Chaday's dome,

[ocr errors]

These the Nymphs that Chaday led,
Spirits fair of generous flame;
From th’ Elysium of the Dead
Warriours thus and Virgins came.
All, to such the boon is giv'n,
*Free that live, and firm that die,
Once in every year of Heav'n
Breathe again the Indian sky;
Treading thus their fav’rite ground:
While they dance in mystic throng ;
Big with notes of haughty sound,
India's Genius weaves the song.
" Ye fairer souls! ye warriours slain!
“ Diffuse around your fire divine!
" So India's sons, a living train,
6 Shall lead their rites to Rutren's shrine,
“ Shall swiftly sweep the walks of War,
“ For ever bold, for ever free;
" And Rutren, from his crimson car,
* Shall give the wreath of Victory.
“ So India's Nymphs, on Oglu's plain,
6 Shall

pay their vows to Chaday due;
“ So shall they weep no Lover slain,

“ The Lover crown'd, the Virgin true.” He spake - The golden eye of Day appear'd,

And Rutren led the Heroe-band All sad and sorrowing from their native strand;

Chaday curs'd the sacred light,

The living God of Fire she fear'd, . And swiftly sought again the bowels of the Night.

Swift with her fled the virgin train; But India's Genius lov'd no other plain,

On Indian ground for ever shall he stay, Nor shun the depths of night, nor fear the fires of day.

ODE TO THE SUN.

* ODE II.
HAIL to the God, whose golden ray

Shall beam upon the silky lap of Earth!
Soon shall he

sweep

his rising way
O'er the old eastern ocean, broad and fair;

Or, borne upon the bosom of the air,
Shall peer along the sky-clad mountains hoar :

Thee, God, the sons of Indian birth,

Wak'd to new life by thee, adore :
They feel thy sacred flame, and own thy glowiog pow'r.

No more the sullen shades of Night,
No more the dreary glooms affright;
We hear no more the lion's growl,
Nor panther fierce of fiery soul;
Dispers'd has ev'ry shade of Hell,
And left the Welkin fair and free,
Left for where shapes unholy dwell,
The land of Light and Liberty.
Arise, ye sons of India, rise !
The Lord of Heav'n ascends the skies,
And flings th’empurpling dawn around;
For see, each flow'r of Indian ground,
Fresh-breathing from the dews of night,
Embolden'd by the sacred light,

* This, and the Songs of War and Victory, are supposed to have been sung, or recited, by a Chorus of Bramins, at different times, as the different occasions required.

[graphic]

Springs, op'ning, from its lowly bed,
And meets th' enliv'ning Lord, and lifts the blushing

head!
The * Sea-Nymphs leave the sportful plains,
Their traces scarce the dew retains,
Embathed in their watry bow'rs,
To lose again the sultry hours:
Hence to th' Acacia's circling shades,
Swift too have fled the woodland inaids,

And there, on velvet herbs reclin'd,
They feel the coming God, and won the passing wind.

Hence to the woods and seas for prey!
The Nymphs and Maids have led the way.
Now may ye hunt the woods among,
Now may ye fish the rocks along;
No pointed stone the boat destroys,
The Hunter's feet 110 asp annoys.
The Nymphs and Maids have led the way;
Hence to the woods and seas for prey!
Arise, ye sons of India, rise!
The Lord of Heav'n ascends the skies:
And quench the sacred fires of night;

Already burns th' imperial light.
Arise ! and spread the incense-breathing flaw'rs!
The God of Day shall smile--the God, the day are ours,

THE LOVE SONG,

ODE IIT. WHERE high-brow'd Meli swell'd its mountain height, And smooth Savannahs drew th' enchanted sight,

* The Indians have their inferior Deities, who preside over the woods and rivers.

« AnteriorContinuar »