Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/33

This page has been validated.



The Art of Living in India.

No more shall tragic stories fill our rhymes
Come turn and look at life in softer climes;
In Eastern India's realm pursue the route,
Where passions burn within, and Suns without.
Calcutta, lo! as London o'er the Thames,
Lifts her high head above old Hougly's streams:
There, Novice, fix your residence, and try
To scan the passing scene with curious eye;
The motley mass of various life discern.
And put in practice quickly what you learn.
First, if you mean to gain a due respect,
(And what so terrible as cold neglect!)
Let eight trim bearers uniformly dress'd
Attend your palanquin of modern taste;
Fly at a call, and bring you here and there
To laugh and chatter—God knows what or where,
In vulgar eyes a palanquin has charms.
But on the shining sides emblaze your arms,
This elegant convenience first procure,
Before you thrust your nose without the door.
Let a long train, obsequious at a call.
Attend in order round your spacious hall;
At breakfast seated, let the shining plate,
Arrang'd with splendour, indicate your state;
For taste superior, gracious Heaven invoke.
And learn that fashionable art—to smoke!
The breakfast ended, on a couch reclin'd.
The grateful hookah will relax the mind;
'Tis then the crouching slaves our orders take.
Before they know what we're about to speak:
But if some low born creditor should come.
Be sure give orders then, you're not at home.