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She lives in glory,—like night's gems
Set round the silver moon;
She lives in glory,—like the sun
Amid the blue of June.
CHARLES DOYNE SILLERY,
The Orient day was fresh and and fair,
A brecze sang soft in the ambient air,
Men almost wondered to find it there,
Blowing so near Bengal,
Where waters bubble as boiled in a pot,
And the gold of the sun spreads melting hot,
And there 's hardly a breath of wind to be got
At any price at all.
Unless, indeed, when the great Simoom
from its bed with the voice of doom,
And deserts no rains e'er drench
Rise up and roar with a dreadful gust,
Pillars of sand and clouds of dust
Rushing on drifted, and rapid to burst,
And filling all India's throat with thirst
That its Ganges couldn't quench.
No great Simoom rose up to-day,
But only a gentle breeze,
And that of such silent and voiceless play
That a lady's bustle
Had made more rustle
Than it did among the trees.
'T was not like the breath of a British vale,
Where each Green acre is blessed with a Gale
Whenever the natives please;
But it was of that soft inviting sort
That it tempted to revel in picnic sport
A couple of Bengalese.
Resolved to seize
The balmy chance of that cool-winged weather,
To revel in Bengal ease together.
One was tall, the other was stout,
They were natives both of the glorious East,
And both so fond of a rural feast
That off they roamed to a country plain,
Where the breeze roved free about,
That during its visits brief, at least,
If it never were able to blow again,
It might blow upon their blow-out.
The country plain gave a view as small
As ever man clapped his eyes on,
Where the sense of sight did easily pall,
For it kept on seeing nothing at all,
As far as the far horizon.
Nothing at all!-Oh! what do I say ?-
Something certainly stood in the way
(Though it had neither cloth nor tray,
With its “ tiffin " I would n't quarrel) -
It was a sort of hermaphrodite thing,
(It might have been filled with sugar or ling
But is very unfit for a muse to sing),
Betwixt a tub and a barrel.
It stood in the midst of that Indian plain,
Burning with sunshine, pining for rain,
A parenthesis balanced 'twixt pleasure and pain,
And as stiff as if it were starching, -
When up to it, over the brown and green
Of that Indian soil, were suddenly seen
Two gentlemen anxiously marching.
Those two gentlemen were, if you please,
The aforesaid couple of Bengalese;
And the tub or barrel that stood beyond-
For short we will call it Tub
Contained with pride,
In its jolly inside,
The prize of which they were dotingly fond,
The aforesaid gentlemen's grub.
“Leave us alone—come man or come beast," Said the eldest, “ We 'll soon have a shy at the feast."
They are now at their picnic with might and with main.
But what do we see in the front of the plain?
A jungle, a thicket of bush, weed, and grass,
And in it reposing-eh?-no, not an ass-
Not an ass, not an ass,—that could not come to pass;
No donkey, no donkey, no donkey at all,
But, superb in his slumber, a Royal Bengal.
Though Royal, he was n't a king
No such thing!
He did n't rule lands from the Thames to the Niger,
But he did hold a reign
O’er that jungle and plain,
And besides was a very magnificent Tiger.
There he lay, in his skin so gay,
His passions at rest, and his appetites curbed;
A Minister Prime,
In his proudest time,
Asleep, was never more undisturbed;
For who would come to shake him ?
O, it 's certain sure, in his dream demure,
That none would dare to wake him.
Only the Royal snore may creep
Over the dreams of a Tiger's sleep.
The Bengalese, in cool apparel,
Meanwhile have reached their picnic barrel;
In other words, they have tossed the grub
Out of their great provision Tub,
And, standing it up for shelter, Sit guzzling underneath its shade, With a glorious dinner ready-made,
Which they're eating helter-skelter.
Ham and chicken, and bread and cheese,
They make a pass to spread on the grass.
They sit at ease, with their plates on their knees,
And now their hungry jaws they appease,
And now they turn to the glass;
For Hodgson's ale
Is genuine pale,
And the bright champagne
Flows not in vain,
The most convivial souls to please
Of these very thirsty Bengalese.
Hal one of the two has relinquished his fork,
And wakes up the Tiger by drawing a cork.
Blurting and spurting!
List! O list!
Perhaps the Tiger thinks he is hissed.
Effervescing and whizzed and phizzed !
Perhaps his Majesty thinks he is quizzed,
Or haply deems,
As he 's roused from his dreams,
That his visions have come to a thirsty stop,
And resolves to moisten his throat with a drop.
At all events, with body and soul,
He gives in his jungle a stretch and a roll,
Then regally rises to go for a stroll,
With a temperate mind,
For a beast of his kind,
And a tail uncommonly long behind.
He knows of no water,
By field or by flood;
Ile does not seek slaughter,
He does not scent blood.
No! the utmost scope
Of his limited hope
Is, that these
When they find he arrives,
May not rise from their picnic and run for their lives,
But simply bow on that beautiful plain,
And offer Sir Tiger a glass of champagne.
“From my jungle it true is
They woke me, I think,
So the least they can do is
To give me some drink.”
Gently Tiger crouches along,
Humming a kind of animal song,
A sweet subdued familiar lay
As ever was warbled by beast of prey ; And all so softly, tunefully done,
That made no more sound
Than his shade on the ground;
So the Bengalese heard it, never a one!
Gently Tiger steals along,
“Mild as a moonbeam,” meek as a lamb,— What so suddenly changes his song
From a tune to a growl?
“Och! by my sowl, Nothing on earth but the smell of the ham!”
He quickens his pace,
The illigant baste,
And he's running a race
With himself for a taste.
And he's taken to roaring, and given up humming,
Just to let the two Bengalese know he is coming.