Poets of John Company/Ode to an Indian Gold Coin



Ode to an Indian Gold Coin.

Slave of the dark and dirty mine!
What vanity has brought thee here?
How can I love to see thee shine
So bright, whom I have bought so dear?
The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear
For twilight-converse, arm in arm;
The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear
When mirth and music wont to charm.

By Cherical's dark wandering streams,
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild.
Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams
Of Teviot lov'd while still a child,
Of castled rocks stupendous pil'd
By Esk or Eden's classic wave.
Where loves of youth and friendships smil'd,
Uncurs'd by thee, vile yellow slave!

Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade!
The perish'd bliss of youth's first prime.
That once so bright on fancy play'd.
Revives no more in after-time,
Far from my sacred natal clime,
I haste to an untimely grave;
The daring thoughts that soar'd sublime
Are sunk in ocean's southern wave.

Slave of the mine! thy yellow light
Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear—
A gentle vision comes by night
My lonely widow'd heart to cheer;
Her eyes are dim with many a tear.
That once wer& guiding stars to mine:
Her fond heart throbs with many a fear—
I cannot bear to see thee shine.

For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave,
I left a heart that lov'd me true I
I cross'd the tedious ocean-wave,
To roam in climes unkind and new.
The cold wind of the stranger blew
Chill on my wither'd heart:—the grave
Dark and untimely met my view—
And all for thee, vile yellow slave!

Ha! com'st thou now so late to mock
A wanderer's banish'd heart forlorn,
Now that his frame the lightning shock
Of sun-rays tipt with death has borne?
From love, from friendship, country, torn,
To memory's fond regrets the prey,
Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn—
Go, mix thee with thy kindred clay!