On a recent memorial




Verbum sap. —Oh, wise Bengalis, it is very sad to find
We cannot mistake your meaning; it would prove us worse than blind,
So forgive us if our answer be unwelcome or unkind.

Truth, that nasty, nude old beldame, lives (thank Heaven) underground,
But alas! upon occasion speaks with no uncertain sound.—
Though your ring-fence be a large one, yet the iron runs all round.

You may bush it up with laurels—academic if you please,
Hide it neath the brick and mortar of a hundred colleges,
In the centre (do we stop you?) print sedition at your ease.

Strip the laurels, raze the buildings? more's the pity. They were fair,
(Served to shield your budding fancies from the nipping outer air)
Rises Private Thomas Atkins to attention,—'As you were.'

For we love not to obtrude him. See! the fence is lost to view,
Greener grow the verdant laurels; rise the colleges anew,
But the laurels men call martial are not meant for such as you.

'Tis a brutal truth and ancient—but Time's verdict on your race—
Be content with mere sedition; rise to high judicial place;
Point to 'galling race distinctions' with your smooth Bengali grace.

Yet forget not, Holy Russia would have hanged you for one word
Of the deftly put Memorial lately printed and preferred—
Will you pardon then our laughter when we call the thing—absurd?