Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/50

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A letter from Shigram-Po to his Father.

Calcutta one hundred years ago.

You know, my dear Parent, how oft you and I
Talk'd in praise of Bengal, ere I wish'd you good bye.
Of the riches and rank which were sure to accrue
To those who its glittering paths should pursue;
No more on such faithless descriptions depend,
'Tis a fudge I've found out, from beginning to end!


You'll expect I am sure whilst my sorrows I utter,
That I write some few hints about charming Calcutta.
It is without doubt a magnificent spot.
Both charmingly sickly and charmingly hot!
'Tis the City of Palaces, long since so named.
And for very large mansions most justly is famed.
These mansions of bliss to extend may be said.
From the ghaut at Chandpal down the whole Esplanade,
Including the Court House, Town Hall and besides
The great house of all, where the Governor resides.
The first in the list is a mansion we find.
Where justice and mercy, are justly combined,
Where Lawyers dispute, but on one point agree.
And that is—the never refusing a fee.
Next, the Town Hall in turn, stands in splendid array,
Tho' many supposed, 't would fall down t' other day,
But confident grown, they by hundreds assemble,
And dance till they make every board of it tremble!
'Tis there, when they hold their famed conversationes,
Ladies meet their admirers, and men meet their cronies.