Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832/Palace of Seven Stories

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1832-10-Palace of the Seven Stories, Beejapore.png


Artist: W. Turner - Engraved by: W. Finden


The past it is a fearful thing,
With an eagle’s sweep, and a tiger's spring.
Here was a palace, the dwelling of kings,
Now to its turrets the creeping plant clings.

The past it is a mighty grave;
What remains for the present to save?
A few sad thoughts, a few brief words,
These are the richest of memory's hoards.

Where temples stood, the tamarinds grow;
Broken columns are mouldering below.
No steps are heard in the ruined hall.
Such is man’s pride, and such is its fall.

The Seven-storied Palace is a ruin of great beauty. Captain Sykes states, "that it must have been a splendid building; the remains of carved work and gilding indicate that no expense or art was spared." Bejapore is one of the most picturesque cities in Hindostan. Immense tamarind trees spread their rich foliage over the magnificent remains of mosques and mausoleums, or partially cover some finely broken palace or beautiful tank. Tradition records a characteristic anecdote of the building of the palace. "The inhabitants of a small village called Kejgunally, complaining of the injury they were exposed to, from the works in progress, the king, with a whimsical affectation of justice, surrounded them with a high wall. The village, in the course of time, disappeared; but the wall remains, and is pointed out as a proof of the severe justice of the king, who chose rather to comply with the literal wish of the inhabitants, of being protected from injury, than remove them by force to a more desirable spot."