Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/86

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Grave in the tide the Brahman stands,
And folds his cord, or twirls his hands.
And tells his beads, and all unheard
Mutters a solemn mystic word.
With reverence the Sudra dips,
And fervently the current sips.
That to his humbler hopes conveys
A future life of happier days.
But chief do India's simple daughters
Assemble in these hallowed waters,
With vase of classic model laden,
Like Grecian girl or Tuscan maiden,
Collecting thus their urns to fill
From gushing fount or trickling rill;
And still with pious fervour they
To Ganga veneration pay,
And with pretenceless rite prefer
The wishes of their hearts to her.
The maid or matron, as she throws
Champac or lotus, bel or rose,
Or sends the quivering light afloat
In shallow cup or paper boat,
Prays for a parent's peace and wealth.
Prays for a child's success and health.
For a fond husband breathes a prayer,
For progeny their loves to share.
For what of good on earth is given
To lowly life, or hoped in heaven,

And still in quick succession start
Village and hamlet; town and mart,
And ghats that to the stream descend.
And temples where the votaries bend
In homage unto stones and flowers,
Or to less inoffensive powers.
And hark, the sounds of horn and drum
Along the river fitful come.