To a Dead Crow

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Gay minstrel of the Indian clime!How oft at morning's rosy primeWhen thou didst sing in caw, caw numbers,Vexed I've awoke from my sweet slumbers,And to avoid that hateful sound,That plagues a head howe'er profound,Have walked out in my garden, whereBeside the tank, in many a square,Sweet lilies, jasmines, roses bloom,Far from those trees within whose gloomOf foliage thick, thou hadst thy nestFrom daily toil at night to rest.

Now lifeless on the earth, cold, bare,Devoid alike of joy and care,The offals of my meal no moreAttract thee as they did before.There's rubbish scattered round thee, butThy heart is still, thine eyes are shut.No more that blunt yet useful beakFrom carcases thy food can seek,Or catch the young unheeding mouse,Which from the flooring of my houseUrged by its hapless luck, would strayAnd bask beneath the solar ray.

Gay minstrel! ne'er had Death beforeIts dart destructive, sharpened moreTo pierce a gayer, mortal heartThan thine, which ah! hath felt the smart!Though life no more is warm in thee,Yet thou dost look as though 't may beThat life in thee is full and warm;Not cruel death could mar thy form:Thy features, one and all, possessStill, still their former ugliness.They are in truth the very sameThe Indian Crow hath, known to fame.

Oh! may when death hath closed these eyes,And freed from earthly bondage, fliesThe spirit to eternity,Stretched at full length I lie like thee,On mother earth's cold lap, so ne'erTo spin such verses out I'll dare,And please the public ear againWith such discordant, silly strain,As thou didst once delight to pourAt morn or noon, or evening hour.In sooth I promise this shall beMy last line in addressing thee.

© Ghose Kasiprasad