The monarch lay upon his bier,
sconces were burning low
As through the lofty arches streamed
the setting sun’s red glow,
Still grasped he in his hand the blade
which well fought fields had won
And Aurangzeb beside him knelt;
Usurper, proud and son.
Remorse had stricken his false heart
and quenched his wonted fire
With gloomy brow and look intent
he gazed upon his sire,
hot tears burst from his eyes
As thus his grief found vent in words
to the warrior trains surprise
“Father thou were the goodliest king
that e’er the scepter swayed,
How could I then lift up my hand
against thee undismayed?
How could I send thee here to pine,
usurp the peacock throne
O had I perished in the womb
that deed were left undone.
Look all is changed that was estranged
awake my sire, my king,
Look soldiers in their war array
thy son in fetters bring,
Thy rebel son who will abide
thy word whate’er it be
And fearless meet the rack or steel;
rise up once more and see.
Thou will not hear, thou will not speak;
it is the last long sleep.
And am I not a king myself
what mean these stirrings deep,
O foolish eyes what means this rheum,
I will not call them tears
My heart which nothing ere could daunt
is faint with boding fears.
The past appears! a checkered field
Of guilt and shame and war,
What evil influence ruled my birth,
What swart malignant star?
Why did I barter peace of mind
For royal pomp and state?
Mad for the baleful meteor’s gleam
With worldly joys elate
Remembered voices speak my name
and call me parricide
The murdered Dara beckons me,
he was thy joy and pride.
And thus I fling the dear bought crown
but whither can I fly?
The awful thought still follows me
that even kings will die….