She leaves it to the sacred stream,
      She leaves it to the tide,
Her little child—her darling one,
      And she has none beside.

She used to sit beneath the palm,
      Her boy upon her knee;
And dreaming of the future years,
      That were his own to be:

She saw him with a stately steed,
      The sabre in his hand;
His pistols gleaming at his waist,
      The foremost of his band:

She saw him with his father's smile,
      Beside some maiden dear;
She smiled to hear familiar words!
      Alas! and is he here!

The light has vanish'd from her day,
      The hope gone from her heart;
The young, the bright, and the beloved,
      O! how could he depart?

No more his sunny smile will make
      Her own, her household light;
No more will her sweet voice be heard,
      Above his sleep at night.

Her heart and home are desolate,
      But for one dearest tie;
But for the father of her child,
      She would lay down and die.

The tide rolls on beneath the moon,
      Down to the mighty main;
To-morrow may the mother seek,
      And seek her child in vain.                   [299]

* Of the custom alluded to above, Mrs. Belnos gives the following interesting description -" Hindoos of high caste burn their dead; but if unable to do so from poverty, are forced to throw them into the Ganges, after having per formed the ceremony of burning the mouth with a wisp of straw. The expenses attending the burning of the dead are too great for any but the rich. When the infant of a poor Hindoo dies, the wretched mother takes it up in her arms, and carries it to the river, on the bank of which she lays it for some time on a piece of mat, or on the sands; she stands weeping over the body a little while, then retires a few paces back, where she sits down watching for the return of the tide to wash away the body, and to prevent the birds of prey and Pariah dogs from approaching it; at intervals she breaks forth in loud lamentations (something resembling a chant, which is often heard at a great distance) in the following words:—

‘O! my child who has taken thee, my child! I nourished thee and reared thee, and now where art thou gone take me with thee, O! my child, my child' thou play’dst around me like a gold top, my child the like of thy face I have never seen, my child let fire devour the eyes of men, my child. The infant continually called me mah, mah (mother, mother;) the infant used to say mah, let me sit upon thy lap! my child his father never stayed at home since he was born, my child! my child but bore him continually in his arms for men to admire. What has become now of that admira tion Evil befall the eyes of men O' my life, say mah again, my child! my child My arms and my lap feel empty, who will fill them again? O, my sweet burden, my eyesight has become darkened, now that thou hast vanished from before it!”.


Landon, Latitia E. The Poetical Works of Miss Landon. Philadelphia: E.L. Cary and A. Hart, 1839. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the New York Public Library. Web. 17 July 2020.

Last modified 17 July 2020