Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

India: Gour


By Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)

(From Ruins of Many Lands)

NOR may we pass Gour’s ruins lone and gray,

Seat of Bengal’s proud lords in former day.

Vast piles of brick, once grandeur’s glittering domes,

Fragments of pillars—shattered, nameless tombs—

High banks where poison-shrubs and jungle grow,

Shrouding for leagues the winding walls below,—

Such is the scene; e’en Ganges’ sacred tide

Hath turned, for many a year, its course aside;

Like some false friend who flies, when adverse fate

Hath made its victim dark and desolate:

Type of the Hindoo faith, which says that stream

Conducts to heaven, all changeful though it seem.

Yes, where the hallowed waters gushed of yore,

Myriads have knelt, to worship and adore;

Men of far countries, wan Disease and Age

Have sought these banks in weary pilgrimage,

On Ganges fixed at last their rapturous eyes,

And deemed its murmurs hymns of Paradise.