Where his timid foot first halted, there he stayed,
Till mere trade
Grew to Empire, and he sent his armies forth
South and North.
Till the country from Peshawar to Ceylon
Was his own.
Thus the midday halt of Charnock—more's the pity!
Grew a City.
As the fungus sprouts chaotic from its bed,
So it spread—
Chance-directed, chance-erected, laid and built
On the silt—
Palace, byre, hovel—poverty and pride—
Side by Side;
And, above the packed and pestilential town,
Death looked down.
But the Rulers in that City by the Sea,
Turned to flee—
Fled, with each returning Spring-tide from its ills
To the Hills.
From the clammy fogs of morning, from the blaze
Of the days,
From the sickness of the noontide, from the heat