The Adjutant Bird.
A Bengal Eclogue.
Leave me, my friend—for now they suit right well
The hour—the gloomy scene—and mine own mood:
The rain will not return—too late it fell,
Besides I've a great coat—don't think me rude;
But au revoir—you dine out too—'tis late;
And the Fitz-Huggenses, you know, don't wait.
Pat, pat—how that mare steps out with the buggy;
Charles is a judge of horses—so a'nt I,
Whew! what a night—now damp and chill, now muggy,
And what a scene around and what a sky.
As if sad Nature wove a funeral pall
For one of her worst handyworks—Bengal.
Even as I speak—the driving rain descends.
Not in a gentle sentimental shower.
But one that drenches to the finger ends
In less that half the tenth part of an hour,
Roaring and hissing as it falls—in fact
A specimen of "Heaven born" cataract.
And as it rattles down a mist arises
From out the hot breast of the batter'd ground,
Hiding the "Palaces" of sorts and sizes
That spread in whitewash'd majesty around;
Hiding the city lights, the dome, the fort;
All that is more than three yards off, in short.
And just within that distance, I behold
A figure grizzled and austere, like Time,
Save that 'tis twice as grim, and twice as old,
A creature that must sure have seen the prime
Of the fresh, beautiful earth—and after that
Left Noah's Ark ashore on Ararat.