Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833/Benares
HINDOO TEMPLE, - BENARES.
HINDOO TEMPLES AT BENARES
And day by day, and hour by hour,
The sacred stream floats past,
And rises higher o’er the shrines,
Doomed to its depths at last.
And soon above those stately domes
The fatal tide will flow,
And carved spire and sculptured tower
Sleep in the depths below
The temples have no worshippers,
The altar be unknown,
And weed and ooze in darkness rest
Upon the polished stone.
Oh, likeness of humanity,
’Tis thus that life flows on,
Till every fabric which we built
In early youth is gone.
The sacred and the beautiful,
The mighty and sublime;
Alas, in vain, the heart would save
One single wreck from time.
The Temples to which the above lines allude, are already half immersed in water; a few more years, and the stream which was once their mirror, will be their shroud.
It is curious to observe how general is the tradition of man’s deterioration: the Bramins say, that the Ganges first rose at Benares—a more sinful generation saw it recede to Hurdwar—a third had to follow it to Burahat—and the fourth age finds it still further off, as it has now its source amid the heights of Gungoutri.