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

India: Himalaya, the Mountains

Hymn to Durga

By Sir William Jones (1746–1794)

FROM thee begins the solemn air,

Adored Ganésa; next, thy sire we praise

(Him, from whose red clustering hair

A new-born crescent sheds propitious rays,

Fair as Ganga’s curling foam),

Dread Is’wara; who loved o’er awful mountains,

Rapt in prescience deep, to roam,

But chiefly those, whence holy rivers gush,

Bright from their secret fountains,

And o’er the realms of Brahma rush.

Rock above rock they ride sublime,

And lose their summits in blue fields of day,

Fashioned first, when rolling Time,

Vast infant, in his golden cradle lay,

Bidding endless ages run

And wreathe their giant heads in snows eternal

Gilt by each revolving sun;

Though neither morning beam, nor noontide glare,

In wintry sign or vernal,

Their adamantine strength impair;

Nor e’en the fiercest summer heat

Could thrill the palace, where their monarch reigned

On his frost-impearléd seat,

(Such height had unremitted virtue gained!)

Himalaya, to whom a lovely child,

Sweet Parvatì, sage Mena bore,

Who now, in earliest bloom, saw heaven adore

Her charms, earth languish till she smiled.