Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/104

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Literary Gazette 6th September 1823, Page 571


The loorie brought to his cinnamon nest
The bee from the midst of its honey quest,[1]
And open the leaves of the lotus lay
To welcome the noon of the summer day.
It was glory and light and beauty all,
When Mandalla closed his wing in Bengal;
He stood in the midst of a stately square,
As the waves of the sea rolled the thousands there;
Their gathering was round the gorgeous car
Where sat in his triumph the Subadar,
For his sabre was red with the blood of the slain,
And his proudest foes were slaves in his chain;
And the sound of the trumpet, the sound of his name,
Rose in shouts from the crowd as onwards he came.
With gems and gold on each ataghan,
A thousand warriors led the van,
Mounted on steeds black as the night,
But with foam and with stirrup gleaming in light;
And another thousand came in their rear,
On white horses, armed with bow and spear,
With quivers of gold on each shoulder laid,
And with crimson belts for the crooked blade.
Then followed the foot ranks,—their turbans showed
Like flashes of light from a mountain cloud,
For white were the turbans as winter snow,
And death-black the foreheads that darkened below;
Scarlet and white was each soldier's vest,
And each bore a lion of gold on his breast,
For this was the chosen band that bore
The lion standard,—it floated o'er
Their ranks like morning; at every wave
Of that purple banner, the trumpets gave
A martial salute to the radiant fold
That bore the lion-king wrought in gold.

  1. the text here shows 'guest' but this was corrected in later appearances of this poem