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

India: Carlee (Carli)

The Caverns of Carli

By Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)

(From Ruins of Many Lands)

SEE! where those caverns yawn on Carli’s steep;

Do spirits call, awaked from ages’ sleep,

That yon lone Hindoo creeps with stealthy tread,

Hies down the hill, nor dares to turn his head?

So old these grots, so silent, and so drear,

E’en Brahmins view them with a solemn fear.

Wild rocks above, a lengthening vale below,

Through which at night the breezes wail like woe;

Huge sculptures, forms of gods e’en strangers grown,

Along the walls a writing now unknown;

The lions on their pillar, calm and still,

Watching for sumless ages on that hill,—

These throw o’er Carli’s shrines an awe and gloom,

Which less befit the temple than the tomb.