Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

The Eclipse

When an eclipse is predicted, the Hindoos, men, women, and children, betake themselves to the river-side, and stand in expectation of the event, ready to plunge into the water with prayers to "all the Gods at once," that the moon may not be swallowed up by a monster, who they suppose comes (or that purpose. This is the belief of the multitude; but the Brahmins know full welt how eclipses are caused, and they can calculate them with the precision of the best European astronomers. 

By all the mighty powers above, 
O! leave me not to-night, my love! 
Let others in the sacred wave 
Their sinful bodies seek to lave; 
But leave me not; for sure thou art 
Of spotless hand, and guileless heart — 
There cannot be, my girl divine! 
A sin upon that soul of thine 
Let others pray that night's bright gem 
May not be lost to heaven, and them, 
But what's the sickly moon to thee. 
And all her cold inconstancy? 
Let other maids whose nightly dreams 
Of love are brought by Chandra's beams. 
Implore the powers of Heaven to spare 
That Chandra to their pious prayer. 
But thou, whose dreams are ever bright. 
Awake, asleep, by day, by night, 
O! why shouldst thou, my gentle girl. 
My lotus flower! my precious pearl! 
To-night implore the gods above? —
I pray thee, leave me not, my love! 

   Ah! go not forth; for shouldst thou go 
Afresh will bleed my wounds of woe. 
Encircled by the wave thou'lt be 
While Chandra wakens fears in thee; 
Bui ah ! mine eye will swim in tears. 
And thou, oh ! thou wilt wake my fears 
My life, my love, my spirit's, light, 
I pray thee, leave me not to-night; — 
For when thy angel form is gone. 
And my poor hearts is left alone. 
Although the moon be riding high. 
Although the stars illume the sky. 
Dark to my soul the world will be. 
And heaven, and earth eclipsed to me! 

   Nay, go not forth — for shouldst thou go 
Her face the moon will shrink to show, 
Her meaner light will never dare 
To send one rav while thou art there. 
And every envious star will fall 
As thy bright eyes outshine them all — 
And when the monster armed with power 
Shall come alas! in luckless hour 
His prize, his valued prize to gain. 
He'll seek his Chandra there in vain— 
Thy angel face my love! he'll see, 
(For there who will not gaze on thee?) 
And deeming thee a moon more bright 
Than that which reigns supreme by night, 
Thee, thee he'll seize ; and dark to me 
Thenceforth this dreary world will be! 
Nor can I hope that prayers may fly 
Up to the holy throne on high , 
For though creation prostrate prayed 
It would not save my beauteous maid 
And when from me thou shall be riven 
They'll make thee queen of earth, and heaven. 
For ne'er may all in heaven and earth 
To aught like thee again give birth. — 

   Then if to thee my peace is dear 
For once my supplication hear; 
I pray thee, by the gods above 
O! leave me not to-night, my Love! 

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