Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/97

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But first, one rattle of that bony beak
Rings like a bell funereal through the air,
Saying, as plain as ominous sound can speak,
"Thou curious fool, of thine own doom beware.
Perchance the next grey tomb I make my throne.
If thou stand'st chattering here—may be thine own."

The Mussulman's Lament over the body of Tippoo Sultan.

Written on the spot where he fell.

Light of my faith! thy flame is quench'd
In this deep night of blood;
The sceptre from thy race is wrenched.
And of the brave who stood
Around thy Musnud, strong and true.
When this day's sunrise on the brow
Of yonder mountains glanced, how few
Are left to weep thee now!

Star of the battle! thou art set;
But thou didst not sink down.
As those who could their fame forget,
Before the tempest's frown;
As those crown'd dastards, who could crave
The mercy of their haughty foes.
Better to perish with the brave.
Than live and reign like those.

No! thou hast to thy battle-bed
Rush'd like thy native sun.
Whose fiercest, brightest rays are shed
When his race is nearest done;
Where sabres flash'd and vollies rang.
And quickest sped the parting breath.
Thou, from a life of empire, sprang
To meet a soldier's death.