The Bengali Book of English Verse/Home (Govin Chunder Dutt)


No picture from the master hand
Of Gainsborough or Cuyp may vie
With that which at my soul's command
Appears before mine inward eye
In foreign climes when doomed to roam—
Its scene, my own dear native home.

What though no cloud-like hills uprear
Their serried heights sublime afar!
What though the ocean be not near,
With wave and wind in constant war!

Nor rock nor sea could add a grace,
So perfect seems the hallowed place.

Casuarinas in solemn range,
At distance look like verdant hills;
And winds draw from them music strange,
Such as the tide makes when it fills
Some shingle-strown and land-girt bay
From men and cities far away.

And round, as far as eye can reach
What vivid piles of foliage green!
Mango and shaddock, plum and peach,
And palms like pillars tall between:
An emerald sea surrounds the nest,
A sea for ever charmed in rest.

What roses blossom on the lawn!
What warblers on the bamboo boughs,
Lithe and elastic, swing at dawn,
And pour their orisons and vows!
What dew upon the greensward lies!
How lovingly look down the skies!

And at high noon when every tree
Stands brooding on its round of shade,
And cattle to the shelter flee
And there, in groups recumbent laid,
Gaze ruminant—what deep repose
Lies on the landscape as it glows!

But most at evening's gentle hour
The reign of Peace is clearly read,
In the blue mists which hail her power,
Pavilions rich and banners spread,
While 'mid the hush is heard the tone
Of night's sweet minstrel—hers alone.

As star by star leaps out above,
As twilight deepens into night,
As round me cluster those I love,
And eye meets eye in glances bright,
I feel that earth itself may be
Lit up with heaven's own radiancy.