Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/55

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REGINALD HEBER.

Come boldly on! no venom'd snake
Can shelter in so cool a brake:
Child of the Sun, he loves to lie
'Midst Nature's embers, parch'd and dry,
Where o'er some tower in ruin laid.
The peepul spreads its haunted shade;
Or round a tomb his scales to wreath,
Fit warder in the gate of Death.
Come on! yet pause! Behold us now
Beneath the bamboo's arched bough,
Where, gemming oft that sacred gloom
Glows the geranium's scarlet bloom,
And winds our path through many a bower
Of fragrant tree and giant flower;
The ceiba's crimson pomp displayed
O'er the broad plantain's humbler shade.
And dusk anana's prickly glade;
While o'er the brake, so wild and fair.
The betel waves his crest in air.
With pendent train and rushing wings
Aloft the gorgeous peacock springs;
And he the bird of hundred dyes,
Whose plumes the dames of Ava prize.
So rich a shade, so green a sod
Our English fairies never trod.
Yet who in Indian bowers has stood.
But thought on England's "good green wood,"
And bless'd beneath the palmy shade,
Her hazel and her hawthorn glade.
And breath'd a prayer, (how oft in vain)
To gaze upon her oaks again?
A truce to thought.—the jackal's cry
Resounds like sylvan revelry;
And through the trees yon failing ray
Will scantly serve to guide our way.
Yet mark, as fade the upper skies.
Each thicket opes ten thousand eyes.

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