Alas! the service is not what it was!
How much degen'rate from those golden days,
When money streamed a thousand different ways.
When hands and pockets wisely understood
No rule of guidance but their master's good;
Ere yet we ventured honesty to sham.
And drew no profit from the low salaam;
Thought it no fault, whatever were the drift,
To take a handsome nuzza as a gift!
Now rules and scruples all our prospects blast,
Touch but the money, and you lose your caste.
Who dried a source that swelled the guilty purse
Claims our best thanks, and has no Briton's curse
And ill is treasure used, and wisdom shown.
In dealing cates and banquets to the drone.
First show the balance where your merits weigh,
Then prove an hardship in the want of pay,
And hint at least an equitable rate
To pay your zeal and services of state,
That wear and tear of body and of mind,
When crazed with thinking, and with study blinds
Your monthly pay-bills in a huff you scrawl.
For what? three hundred siccas—and that's all!
Fast by the banks where muddy Hoogly flows.
The merchant's seat, a modest factory, rose.
While yet no works of engineering skill
Thundered resistance to a nabob's will.
While yet Bengal an Indian prince obeyed.
And careful factors plied the silken trade,
Content with grants that jealousies prescribe,
And paid their court to eunuchs by a bribe.
Not long their bound'ry a Mahratta ditch,
When roused by wrong, and burning to be rich;