Poets of John Company/Lines on David Hare

DAVID LESTER RICHARDSON.

1801–1865.

Lines to the Memory of David Hare.

O'er the vast waste of waters—from a land
Small but renowned—a proud undaunted band,
Stirred with the thirst of conquest and of gold.
Came—traded—triumphed! History never told
Of monarch-merchants—heroes wandering far—
A stranger tale of traffic or of war.

But can the busy mart, the battle field,
The dearest wealth—the brightest triumph yield?
Ah! no: e'en now our generous rulers claim
A prouder guerdon and a purer fame.
Though gold was gained and martial glory won,
They knew their noblest task was not begun.
They held our lands, but could not hold our hearts.
Till, changing force for kindness, arms for arts,
They proffered the rich wisdom of the west.
And poorest minds with priceless treasures blest!
In this divinest duty many a heart.
With holy zeal, hath well sustained its part—
All these our guides—an honour to their land—
To ours a blessing—grateful love command;
But in the glorious list, beyond compare,
In types of light, behold the name of HARE!

Ah, warm philanthropist! ah, faithful friend!
Thy life devoted to one generous end—
To bless the Hindu mind with British lore,
And truth's and nature's faded lights restore—

If for a day that lofty aim was crost,
You grieved, like Titus, that a day was lost.
Alas! it is not now a few brief hours
That fate withholds—a heavier grief o'erpowers
A nation whom you loved as if your own—
A life that gave the life of life is gone!

Yet oh! my countrymen, why weep in vain?
If aught may cause an earth-freed spirit pain,
'Tis when it sees in fond hearts left below
An unresigned and unavailing woe.
Be sighs above the grave breathed forth no more;
The gods are deaf when men the past deplore;
But let a friend's true merit best be proved
By imitative zeal in acts he loved.
His memory thus with loftiest lessons rife
May well complete the purpose of his life,
And while our Hindu youth Mind's blessings share
They'll learn to venerate the name of HARE!