Poets of John Company/The Mussulman's Lament

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.

Thy mighty father joyfully
Look'd from his throne on high;
He mark'd his spirit live in thee,
He smiled to see thee die;
To see thy sabre's last faint sweep
Tinged with a foeman's gore;
To see thee sink to the hero's sleep,
With thy red wounds all before.

The faithful, in their emerald bowers
The toobah-tree beneath,
Have twined thee of unfading flowers,
The martyr's glorious wreath;
And dark-eyed girls of Paradise,
Their jewell'd kerchiefs wave,
To welcome to their crystal skies
The Sultan of the brave.