Page:Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan.djvu/33

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INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR.

xxv

work of one by whom the language was a late acquirement:—

What glorious trees! The sombre saul,
On which the eye delights to rest,—
The betel-nut, a pillar tall,
With feathery branches for a crest,—
The light-leaved tamarind spreading wide,—
The pale faint-scented bitter neem,
The seemul, gorgeous as a bride,
With flowers that have the ruby's gleam.

In other passages, of course, the text reads like a translation from some stirring ballad, and we feel that it gives but a faint and discordant echo of the music welling in Toru's brain. For it must frankly be confessed that in the brief May-day of her existence she had not time to master our language as Blanco White did, or as Chamisso mastered German. To the end of her days, fluent and graceful as she was, she was not entirely conversant with English, especially with the colloquial turns of modern speech.