ORIENTAL HUNTING-GROUNDS AND SCENERY a Poem
ORIENTAL HUNTING-GROUNDS AND SCENERY
TIS a grand scene! The sunset's mellow brush
Tints with a rosy glow the sparkling snows,
Shining o'er frozen torrents, gorgeous lakes,
That gleam as if with diamonds inlaid.
Far to the South, Bengal's untrodden wilds
Glow like an emerald; while Admere's waste
Spreads its vast solitude of drifted sands.
Farther away, the sacred Ganges winds
Thro' green savannas and embowering groves,
Until it mingles with the Bengal tides.
Behold! far down the northern slope,
Beneath the realm of snow, the mighty woods
Rustle their foliage of eternal green.
The teak-tree, the brown chestnut, and the oak,
Kiss'd by the sunset, glow like golden crowns;
While the black hemlock and the plumy pine
Thrust up their spear-like points and pennon'd shafts,
Like hosts embattled. Far beyond, the plains
Of verduous Thibet flaunt in living bloom.
How grand this southern slope, whose terraces
Of granite skirt the dark abyss!
These cliffs o'erhang no pastoral valleys,
Wave with no foliage, nor are imag'd back
In no clear mirror of pellucid lake.
See, how like mosques and minarets they cleave
With their sharp pinnacles the empty air;
While the dark faces of the rocks dip down,
Forming wild chasm—fathomless ravine—
Along whose pebbled road the torrents pour.
And now a picture of serener bloom
Breaks on my vision; oranges in groves,
Citrons and yellow lemons glow like gold—
The ripe pomegranate drops its juicy fruit;
Red cherries hang their clusters o'er the trees,
Luxuriant mangoes swing their golden globes—
While strawberries stain with crimson all the ground.
Green, fruitful vines their branches interlace,
And loftiest trees with flowery festoons drape;
Peacocks display their gorgeous plumes around,
And birds of paradise their mottled hues.
How clear this fountain! in whose depths
The blue and gold-hued fishes glide;
So clear, I count the pink-ray'd shells
That pave the shallows of the tide.
How gay the 'broidering flowers that fringe
Its edge, with hues of every tinge,
As if some fairy hand had sown
The spot with jewels from her zone:
And held a crystal cup to dip
The ice-cold water to the lip.
Would the fair genius of the place
Might beam on me her radiant face!
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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