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SIR ALFRED COMYN LYALL.


He did list to the voice of a siren,
He was caught by the clinking of gold,
And the slow toil of Europe seemed tiring,
And the grey of his fatherland cold;
He must haste to the gardens of Circe;
What ails him, the slave, that he frets
In thy service? O Lady sans merci!
O Land of Regrets!

From the East came the breath of its odours
And its heat melted soft in the haze,
While he dimly descried thy pagodas,
O Cybele, ancient of days;
Heard the hum of thy mystic processions,
The echo of myriads who cry.
And the wail of their vain intercessions,
Through the bare empty vault of the sky.

Did he read of the lore of thy sages?
Of thy worships by mountain and flood?
Did he muse o'er thy annals? the pages
All blotted with treason and blood;
Thy chiefs and thy dynasties reckon?
Thy armies—he saw them come forth
O'er the wide stony wolds of the Dekhan,
O'er the cities and plains of the North.

He was touched with the tales of our glory,
He was stirred by the clash and the jar
Of the nations who kill con amore,
The fury of races at war;
'Mid the crumbling of royalties rotting,
Each cursed by a knave or a fool,
Where kings and fanatics are plotting,
He dreamt of a power and a rule;
Hath he come now, in season, to know thee;
Hath he seen, what a stranger forgets,
All the graveyards of exiles below thee,
O Land of Regrets!