THE FORT AGRA!
Ameenah Emily Lincoln (Agra, 1899)
This famous Fort! This noble citadel,
Evok'd the past as by th'enchanter's spell,
Here the great Mougul Potentates held sway,
And came to end inglorious in our day.
Baber, the mighty King, and kingly man,
And of his line Akbar and Shah Jehan,
His palace here, his chamber of repose
Fill'd with the scent of lime, and orange trees,
Panel'd with sacred Modya flower and rose
In varied hues, and dainty traceries;
The roof is conical, on eight shafts rear'd,
And arabesqued in every brilliant hue,
Arches, thro' which the glowing dawn appear'd
Pencil'd with crimson, gold and azure blue.
Balconies, and balustrade,
Pierc'd, and carved with curious taste,
Pillars, and lofty architrave
With precious stones inlaid, and trac'd,
Porphyry, and cornelian red,
Sapphires, and lapis lazuli
Adorn'd the Sultan's costly bed,
And view with sleep to charm the eye,
Whilst round the chissel'd cornice ran
The noble texts of Alkoran!
Shah Jehan's was a dreadful fate!
Not far from this luxurious room
Where he had dwelt in royal state,
He languished in a living tomb,
For seven long, and weary years
Within a little Mosque confin'd,
He was to solitude, and tears,
Condemn'd by Aurungzebe! Here blind,
He asked that he some youths might teach
To balance his half-crazy mind.
He was refus'd, no human speech
Might his condition mitigate,
The Jumna 'neath his prison wall
Roll'd, where he had rear'd to Noor-Mahal
The costly shrine. Now, blind and old,
He doth his liberation wait.
His bitter memories can't be told,
Or how he mourn'd his cruel fate,
Waiting for Azrael's call
To meet again his Noor Mahal!