Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/85

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63
HORACE HAYMAN WILSON.

From morn to eve who never tire.
Plodding through bush, and brake, and briar;
Now wading mid-deep in the mud.
Now plunging breast-high in the flood;
Yet as they move, the merry laugh,
And frequent frolic, lighten half
Their labour, till the day expires,
When gleam along the shore the fires
With which contented they prepare,
Their single meal of frugal fare;
Then to repose, at dawn again
To brave the sun, and wind, and rain.

Close to the marge the cattle browse,
Or trail the rudely fashioned ploughs.
The bufifalo, his sides to cool.
Stands buried in the marshy pool.
The wild duck nestles in the sedge;
The crane stands patient on the edge,
Watching to seize its finny prey;
Whilst high the skylark wings its way,
And in the shadow of a cloud.
Warbles its song—distinct and loud.
Though far removed from human eye.
The songster sails the upper sky.
Scattered across the teeming plain
In groups the peasants glean the grain,
The sickle ply, or wield the hoe,
Or seed for future harvests sow.
Some burthened with their homely ware
Journey to village hat or fair.
And some suspend their toil to mark
Inquisitive the passing bark.

But most where to the river leads,
The ghat, or beaten path proceeds,
A never-ending train collects
Of every caste, and age, and sex.