Indian History Poem
Long before the advent of writing there was language and music as a means of communication and before the written word, there were oral traditions of learning. The chandas of the Vedas and Upanishads or the metrical-lyrical learning of the yore, oral traditions of learning are supposed to be the best possible way of retaining knowledge. A huge amount of information can be retained in a very small amount of time when learned through the medium of poetry, music or stories and such mnemonic techniques, as humans tend to connect more positively to them.
The “Indian History Poem” is one such antiquarian source book which uses rhymed verses through metrical analysis to make aware and retain Indian history in the minds of its young readers. It was written by An English University Graduate as metrical analysis of Indian history and followed the “School History of India and Shorter History of India” compiled by Prof. Macmillan of Elphinstone College of erstwhile Bombay (now Mumbai). Though this book is quite outdated (considering the ever changing interpretations of historical data), it is a treasure-trove of colonial history, and still very relevant. This one of its kind construct apparently didnt sell too much, when it came out in print. Per chance, we came upon this book in an English antiquarian bookshop. It is published in 1897 by George Bell & Sons & printed at Caxton Printing Works, Bombay (Mumbai). We havent seen another copy of this book in digital libraries or antiquarian shops. The book is unique, and probably the only brave attempt to, make the complete Indian History available for study through lyrical learning.
We, at Prarang, would therefore like to share this gem through Color-feeds/Posts over the next few months; taking you on a wonderful lyrical journey of Indian History as described in this Metrical Analysis of Indian History right from 2000 BC to 1895 AD.
It starts with the much debated Aryan Invasion theory (even though the Pallavaram hand axe was already discovered by Robert Bruce Foote in 1863 revolutionising Indian History and taking back the existence of human beings in the Indian subcontinent to Palaeolithic times), in-keeping with the popular belief of the time that Indias History itself starts with the Aryan Invasion.
Early Hindu Period : About 2000 B.C .
Aryans in Central Asia.
In Hindu Khush, a region cold,
The hardy Aryans dwelt of old,
From whom the proof of language traces
The English and the Indian races.
Houses they made and ships and ploughs,
Kept horses, sheep, and dogs, and cows,
Knew right and wrong and marriage law,
And worshipped God with reverent awe.
Aryans in the Punjab.
The Indus crossed, a venturous band
Of Aryans seized the Punjab land
The hymns they made suffice to show
The life they lived long years ago,
And how in arts of battle skilled
Their dark-skinned enemies thoy killed.
Beneath the sky their vows they paid
To Gods, who natures forces swayed.
Tho widow was not then abhorred,
Nor died in flames to please her lord;
The women lived in open air,
And girls were free from marriage care.
Conquest of India and Sanskrit Writers.
The Punjab soon they found too small
And, pressing southwards, conquered all
The land of India to Ceylon.
Nor less the victories they won
In peace. The Indian bards and sages,
Who lived in those far distant ages,
Writers Wrote mighty works in verse and prose,
Ere yet the star of Hellas rose.
The Punjab a Persian Province : 515 B.C.
As history they would not write,
Chronology withholds her light,
The Punjab Till Persias King,
The land by five great rivers drained.
Xerxes great army to increase
Some Indian sepoys went to Greece.
Were told that cotton clothes they wore
And bamboo bows and arrows bore.
Persian and Indian side by side,
Plataea’s bloody field they dyed.
Alexandar’s Invasion : 479 BC to 326 B.C.
The mighty King of Macedon
Won by his arms the Persian throne,
And then, the Punjab to invade,
A boat bridge
Oer the Indus made.
Porus arrayed his warlike ranks
Upon Hydaspes southern banks,
And there, when Alexander crossed,
The Indian King the battle lost.
But bravely to the last he fought,
And, when before his conqueror brought,
Defeated, captive, wounded sore,
Still like a King himself he bore.
Great Alexanders kindred mind
To admiration was inclined,
So that he let him keep his throne
As vassal prince to Macedon,
The conqueror wished to conquer more
And reach the eastern oceans shore;
His weary soldiers longed for home
And would not any farther roam.
From where the Beas waters ran
The invaders homeward march began,
To the Hydaspes back they went
And there their route they westward bent.
Seaward along the Indus course
They were resolved their way to force.
The Malli living on the way
Fruitlessly tried their course to stay,
Although within their citadel
Great Alexander wounded fell,
When ten or seven months were past,
They reached the Indus mouths at l11st,
And part by sea, and part by land
Through the Beluchis thirsty sand,
Northwards the weary Grecians pressed
Till rich Carmania gave them rest
The Greeks, great Alexander gone,
Could not retain the country won
For Chandra Gupta rose, and gained
The Punjab, and thereafter reigned
0er Magadha of ancient fame.
Against him from far Syria came
Seleucus but to end their strife,
He took Seleucus; child as wife,
And gave to satisfy his wants,
Five hundred Indian elephants.
Megasthenes’ Account of India.
Then came to Chandra Gupta’s court
Seleucus’ envoy, whose report
Of Indian ways showed knowledge more
Than ever Greek possessed before.
The country well supplied he found
With wealth above and underground.
The well fed folk were tall and strong
And did not do each other wrong;
They spoke the truth and would not steal,
And made no use of stamp or seal.
The Buddhist Period:.
Life of Buddha.
About the time Darius’ sword
Over the Punjab made him lord,
By the Rohini’s banks arose
A prince who felt for human woes,
Siddhartha Gautama his name
And Buddha when his glory came.
Resolved to heal the ills of life,
He left his palace, child, and wife.
Nor Hindu philosophic lore,
Nor all the penances he bore
Brought him the nearer to his goal,
Salvation of the human soul.
At last beneath the bo-tree’s shade,
Alone in Buddhagaya’s glade
There flashed like lightning on his mind;
Whence spring the woes of all mankind.
What saves the soul from misery?
A holy life from passions free.
Mysterious rites and pompous train
And costly sacrifice are vain.
By holy life he understood
A life that’s spent in doing good.
The life approved by Buddhas creed
The humblest sudra serf may lead,
And help his fellow-creatures more
Than Brahmans versed in Sanskrit lore.
The teacher did not call in vain
To men who felt caste’s iron chain;
Many believed, and ere he died,
Monks and disciples multiplied,
And spread his doctrines far and wide.
Conversion of Asoka 260 B.C.
The son of Chandragupta’s son
Asoka, when his sword had won
Kalinga’s realm, was horrified
To think how many thousands died
And were enslaved, that so his name
Might win the conqueror’s wreath of fame.
Moved by such thoughts as these his mind
To Buddha’s doctrine was inclined,
Which henceforth had for its support
A mighty monarch and his court.
The royal convert gave command
To teach religion through the land
And sent his messengers of peace
To Egypt, Syria, and Greece.
These facts are from oblivion saved
On pillars and on rocks engraved,
Whose stony letters also toll
Asoka ruled his kingdom well.
“I have,” he said, a debt to pay
To subjects who my rule obey,
To seek their good and by my reign
The cause of justice to maintain.”
Though Buddha’s holy rule he chose,
He thought not other sects his foes,
But knew to all alike ’twas given
By virtuous deeds to rise to heaven
The blessing of his rule he gave
To beast and criminal and slave.
And, moved by philanthropic zeal,
Sent Indian drugs the Greeks to heal,
After Asoka’s happy reign
For many centuries again
Chronology withholds her light
From Indian History’s dateless night.
To India Bactrian conquerors came,
Of one Menander was the name.
Next of wild Scythians many a horde
In spite of Vikram’s patriot sword,
Across the Indian frontier poured.
About 40 A.D
One Scythian king, Kanishka named,
Ruled in Kashmir and homage claimed
As far as Agra’s wall, and he
A council summoned to decree
What northern. Buddhists’ creed should be.
But with the years that onward rolled.
Buddhism on India lost its hold.
Wandering o’er .Buddha’s holy ground,
The pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang found A.D.
Buddhist and .Brahman side by side,
Nor which was stronger could decide.
At last, when Sultan Mahmud came,
The Indians scarce knew Buddha’s name.
Arabian Conquests 670-632
When Islams Prophet gave the word
To spread his doctrines by the sword,
And bands of fiery Arabs hurled
On the four quarters of the world,
India was bound ere long to face
The onset of the conquering, race.
Ere the eight century began,
They came to Thana and Multan.
But did not stay. From Persia sent,
Invasion of Sind. 711 A.D.
Young Kasim came on conquest bent,
Took Raja Dahir’s port; Dewal,
Marched on Alor, his capital,
Where fifty, thousand Rajputs stood
For hearth and howe to shed their blood.
In vain they fought to save the blood;
Fell Raja. Dahir, sword in hand
His widow well the town defened
Till all supplies of food were ended.
On funeral pyres the Rajput wives
Destroyed their own and childrens’ lives,
And then the men in wild career
Rushed desperate on the Moslem spear.
Sind a Province of the Kaliph’s Empire.
Multan fell next, and Sind became
A province in the Kaliph’s name.
The Hindus paid by his command
– A poll tax and a tax on land,
And were permitted to restore
Their plundered shrines. This time no more
Of India felt the Moslem yoke;
Muhammadans driven out of Sind.
And soon their bonds the Rajputs broke
And rose against their foreign lords,
And won their freedom by their swords.
Muhammadans in Central Asia 977 A.D.
When fled have thrice a hundred years,
The Moslem storm cloud re-appears,
And Tartar kingdoms in the north
Threaten to lead their warriors forth
Jaipal in Afghanistan.
To conquer India; but Jaipal
Resolves invasion to forestall
And leads his army from Peshawar
To meet the king of Ghaznis power,
And, frightened by a storm, comes back
Not having ventured to attack.
Defeated by Sabuktigin.
Then leading north a mighty host
Jaipal at Lagliman takes his post.
The Indian king the day has lost
And peace must purchase at the cost
Of all his lands from Khaibar’s snow
Accession of Mahmud Ghazni of 997 A.D
To where the Indus waters flow
when died Subuktigin, his son
Mahmud the throne of Ghazni won.
And, leading on an Indian raid
He invades India 1001 A.D.
Ten thousand horsemen, captive made
Jaipal, his fathers ancient foe,
Who, desperate at his overthrow,
As subject king would not survive
And on his pyre was burnt alive
Rebellion of AnangpaL.
While Mahmud strove with other foes,
Anangpal in rebellion rose, –
And prompted by their common fear
Kanauj and Delhi and Ajmere
With Uijain, Gwalior, kalinjar
Joined m the patriotic war.
The Indian wives their jewels sold,
And well supplied the h0at with gold.
The Battle 1008 A.D.
Mahmud awaits the battle hoar
In strong entrenchments near Peshawar,
Where hostile Gakkar tribesmena knives
Destroy three thousand Moslem lives.
When Mahmuds camp was fiercely pressed,
Anangpals elephant, distressed
By missiles, bore the king away
And then the Indians lost the-day.
Capture of the Shrine of Nagarkot.
Rich Nagarkot the victor plundered,
And borne in triumph Ghazni wondered
To see the treasures worshippers
Had offered there through countless years.
1016 A. D.
Mahmud, returned to Afghan land,
Annexed Bokham, Samarcand;
With the fresh forces thence he drew
Embarked on Indian conquests new,
And Munj and Muttra overthrew.
Expedition To Somnath 1024 A.D.
At length the great iconoclast,
Eclipsing all his exploits past,
By Rajputanas desert path
Marched to the temple of Somnath.
The Rajputs hold the wall two days,
But, when the army, sent to raise
The siege, was beat in bloody fight,
They gave up hope and took to flight.
The Brahmans, so the story goes,
With countless wealth would bribe their foes
To leave the image in its place;
But Mahmud smashed it with his mace,
And from the hollow body fell
More priceless gems than tongue can tell.
Death and Character of Mahmud 1030 A.D.
The rest of Sultan Mahmuds life,
Was spent in Central Asian strife,
And, ere he died aged sixty-three
Persia had owned his sovereignty.
The dying Mahmud wept to find
His treasures must be left behind,
For wealth be loved, and, so were told.
Until too we, withheld the gold
Promised as guerdon to repay
Ferdousi for his epic lay.
Mahmud was called Bhut Shikun.
Great Mahmud raids on Indian soil
Were less for conquest made that spoil.
The rule of conquered Indian lands
He gave to Native Princes lands
The Punjab, at his death alone
Was subject to the Ghazni throne
There for twee eighty year& and more
His line held rule, until Lahore.
Was taken by the house of Ghor.
Victories of Muhammad of Ghor 1193 A.D.In this new line of kings arose
Triumphant over Hindu foes,
Shabab-ud-din. He overthrew
In war the Raja Prithwi, who
Over Ajmere and Delhi reigned;
Both which the conquering Moslems gained.
Next Kananuj and Benares fell
And Gwaliors rocky citadel,
And farther west and farther east
The Moslem empire still increased
Extended by successful war
Oer Gujarat, Bengal, Behar.
The conqueror dead, the house of Ghor
Slave dynasty begins 1206 A.D.
Its Indian realms could held no more,
But gave them to Kutao-ud-din
Whose sword had helped those realms to win
From him, a slave by origin,
The servile Delhi kings begin.
His son-.in-law to guard his fame,
The pillar built which bears his name.
Among the kings of servile race
Raziya Begam finds a place,
A woman virtuous and bold,
Who well the reins of power could hold
House of Khilji 1290 AD.
When Kai Kubad was killed, the throne
Was by the house of Khilji won.
Ala-uddins Wars 1295 A.D.
First of the line, Jalal-ud-din
Was murdered by Ala-ud-din,
Who in the first year of his reign
Loaded with heaps of Mughals slain
The plain of Delhi, then subdued
The Rajputs who his power withstood;
The realm of Gujarat he quelled,
And her rebellious prince expelled.
Malik Kafur he southwards sent,
Who through the Deccan kingdom went
Imposing Moslem sovereignty,
Dethroned the Ballal dynasty
Of Rajputs, and annexed their land
Along the Coromandel strand.
The Hindus rose and Chitor won
Ere Ala-ad-Dins reign was done.
India in his Reign.
During his reign of twenty years
A victim to suspicions fears
He ruled his realm with iron hand.
His wars poured riches on the land.
His strong rule gave internal peace
And let the folk their wealth increase.
Four years his son Mubarik reigned •
Khusru, a Hindu convert, gained
For him the realm of Malabar,
And proud of his success in war
Murdered his king, but missed the throne,
By Ghazi Khan Tughlak oerthrown.
Accession of House of Tughlak 1320 A.D.
This Ghazi Khan to death wu done
In a pavilion, which his son
Muhammad built to tumble down,
So that he might possess the crown.
Muhammad Tughlak 1324 A.D.
Muhammad Tughlak, as a man,
A moral race and godly ran,
And by his scientific knowledge
Might have been eminent at college;
But, as a king, his waywardness
Ruined his subjects happiness.
The wildest of his projects mad
Was when he built Daulatabad,
And sent the Delhi folk to dwell
Around its mighty citadel,
And reckless of their loss and pain
Sent them to Delhi back again.
To conquer Persia when he tried,
His unpaid soldiers mutinied.
An army sent to far Cathay,
Retiring, on its homeward way
Suffered so much from mountain snows
That few survived to tell their woes.
State of Vijayanagar founded 1350 A.D.
A Hindu southern prince rebelled,
At bay the imperial forces held,
Made Vijaynagars walls rise
Whose ruins still excite surprise.
Invasion of Tamerlane 1398 A.D.
The last kings of the Tughlak line
Saw their imperial power decline,
Till Tamerlane their realm attacked
And mercilessly Delhi sacked.
1414-1450 A. D.
Though little homage they obtained
Beyond the walls, the Sayyids reigned
In Delhi, till the sceptre passed
To Bahlul Lodi from the last.
The House of Lodi 1450 A.D.
During this Afghan princes reign
The Delhi realm increased again.
He won Jaunpur, though long the war;
His son Sikander, won Behar.
Babar invades India 1524 A.D. – 1526 A.D.
Ibrahim was Sikanders son
His reign amid revolts begun,
And one, who rose against his rule,
Invited Babar from Kabul,
Who, nothing loth, obeyed the call
And seized the Punjabs capital.
The fate of India was sealed,
When Ibrahim upon the field
Of Panipat assailed in vain
The invaders troops, till he was slain
And; leaving fifteen thousand dead,
His mighty army broke and fled,
When Babar Delhi, Agra won,
His mighty task was but begun;
He still had many foes to face
Of Indian and of Afghan race;
The country folk supplies refused;
His troops to colder climates used,
So suffered from the scorching sun,
That they with difficulty were won
To stay and bear the Indian heat,
And make the conquerors work complete.
Confederacy against Babar.
A Lodi Prince and Hasan Khan
And many an Indian Mussalman
With Raja Sanga of Chitor
Their mutual enmities forbore,
And made a great confederacy
The land from Babars grasp to free.
When Babar saw his vanguard fly,
His camp he had to fortify.
Victory near Biana 1527 A.D.
The woes a Cabul seer foretold
Discouraged much his soldiers bold.
Babar himself strong drink forswore
And vowed hed shave his beard no more,
If God would give him strength to gain
The victory on Bianas plain.
Then he and his companions took
An oath upon their sacred book
To do or die, and strengthened so
Won a great victory oer the foe.
Babars last year
Three years of Babars life remained
In which new conquests were obtained
Along the Ganges stream, till Oudh
And rich Behar submissive bowed.
Babars Death and Character 1530 A.D.
Babar to save his son from death
Willingly gave his latest breath,
Which shows that, though be spent his life
From childhoods days in war and strife,
His heart was tender still and true,
And this his many friends well knew,
Who heard him round the festive bowl
Without reserve reveal his soul.
His memoirs tell us how he sighed
For fair Kabul, and, when he died
He bade them take his bones to rest
Within the country he loved best.
Humayun, though his fathers care
Had named him of the empire heir,
Allowed Kamran to keep Kabul
And add the Punjab to his rule.
Then be marched forth to overawe
In Gujarat Bahadur Shah,
Who, army and artillery lost,
To Diu fled on the sea-coast.
The work of conquest was in vain;
The province soon rebel~ again.
Sher Shah’s Rebellion.
Meanwhile the Afghans in Behar
Had risen in rebellious war
And captured Rohtas and Chanar.
Their chief, Sher Shah, his line could trace
To Shabab-ud-dins royal race.
lo meet the foe Humayun hasted;
But all his armys strength was wasted
In luxury and, when the rains
Converted into mud the plains,
His soldiers spiritless retreated
And were on Ganges banks defeated.
Battle of Chausa.
Humayun scaped and tried again,
His lost dominions to regain.
Worsted again, he northward fled.
Sher Shahs reign 1545 A.D.
Sher Shah was Emperor in his stead,
And conquered Malwa and Marwar
And was blown up at Kalinjar.
Sher Shahs Death and Rule.
Even his enemies must own
Sher Shah filled well the imperial throne.
He built great roads; on either side,
Were trees which fruit and shade supplied;
And mosques and inns in order stood
Providing soul and bodys food.
Justice he loved; great schemes he planned
That justice should the law command;
Not without reason he complained,
That he so late had power attained.
End of Sher Shahs Dynasty. 1553 A.D.
His son Salim for nine years reigned.
Muhammad Adil next obtained
The throne by murder. Such his rule,
His name was changed to mean the fool.
His Hindu minister Hemu
Did for him all that man could do.
After Humayun northwards fled,
For years a wandering life he led,
Often a lonely fugitive
With scarce the means on which to live.
A suppliant at Persias court
At last he purchased armed support,
And by that means imposed his rule,
Blinding his brother, on Kabul.
Thence in Muhammad Adils reign
He won his kingdom back again.
Return and Death 1556 A.D.
Six months the throne regained he filled,
And, slipping on the stairs, was killed.
Akbar his son, when thus he rolled
Downstairs, had thirteen summers told.
The greatest danger to be feared
Was Hemus army, which appeared
Near Delhi, beat the Mughals there,
And soon possessed the city fair.
Some Mughals counselled to retire;
But Akbar with his soul on fire.
Rejecting all their vain alarms,
Resolved to try the fate of arms.
His troops were led by Bairam Khan
In war a seasoned veteran.
Battle of Panipat 1556 A.D.
Arrayed in Panipats broad plain
Mughal and Afghan met again.
When almost sure of victory,
Hemu was wounded in the eye.
His sudden fall dismayed his host
Who gave the battle up for lost.
Young Akbar, when fierce Bairam bade
Him kill the captive Hemu, said
“I cannot kill one almost dead”
Bairam Khans Power and Fall
After the battle Bairam Khan
Was in the state the greatest man.
His rule was harsh, and some, untried,
By his command unjustly died.
Akbar takes the power into own hand 1560 A.D.
When Akbar eighteen summers old
Resolved himself the power to hold,
The change was much approved by all;
But Bairam angered at his fall
Rebelled, was back to favour ta en
And on the way to Mecca slain.
When Akbar thus the reins of power
Assumed, twas in a dangerous hour,
Nobles both Mughal and Afghan
To break out in remit began;
Round the divided conquerors stood
Rajputs athirst for Moslem blood.
His nobles quelled, great Akbars mind
To foreign conquest was inclined.
War against the Rajputs
A garrison of Rajputs bold
Fought hard and well Chitor to hold
Against the Mughals, till Jairnal
Was shot upon the fortress wall
By Akbars hand arid on his pyre
Women and children Rought the fire.
The Rajputs that alive remain
Are by the entering Moslems slain.
Thus fell Chitor and soon Akbar
Took Rintimbur and Kalinjar,
Conquest of Gujarat 1527 A.D.
Weary of constant civil strife,
Fearing for liberty and life,
Muzaffer Shah of Gujarat
Gave up the throne whereon he sat To Akbar.
Not without a struggle
The country yielded to the Mughal,
Once six to one and hand to hand
The Mirzas made a desperate stand,
And might have shed the Emperors blood.
But by his side bold heroes stood
Man Singh and Bhagwan Singh. At last
Fresh troops arrived and danger past.
Conquest of Bengal 1576 A.D.
Bengal was next subdued, but war
Raged in that province and Behar
For three long years, and many died
Ere these rich realms were pacified.
Extent of Akbars Dominions 1587-1592 A.D.
The conquest of Kashmir and Sind
Made Akbar master of all Ind
North of Narbadas stream. His rule
Extended northwards to Kabul,
Though Birbal with eight thousand men
Was in the Afghan mountains slain.
The Deccan Kingdoms 1347 A.D.
The kingdom Bahmani, which rose
To rule the Deccan at the close
Of mad Muhammads reign, is done,
Ere twice a hundred years are run.
It falls and from its ruins rise
Three powerful Moslem dynasties
At Ahmadnagar, Bijapur,
And rich Golconda. (Ellichpur
And Bidar did not long endure.)
Their kings united overthrew
Battle of Talikot
At Talikot the great Hindu
Vijayanagar throne, which long
Had in the south been great and strong
When Akbar, seeking conquests new,
Resolved the Deccan to subdue,
Then Ahmadnagar in the front
Was bound to bear the onsets brunt,
Murad repulsed by Chand Bibi
The city walls were well defended
By Chand Bibi, a lady splendid,
Who, ruling for her infant son
Did neither toil nor danger shun,
And sword in hand her soldiers led
Back to the breach from which theyd fled.
At last Murad, who had to fear
Bijapur forces in his rear,
Patched up a peace, by which Berar
Became the Mughals prize in war.
Akbar takes Ahmadnagar 1599 A.D.
A doubtful battle that was fought
Against the Deccan armies, brought
Akbar himself upon the scene,
Chand Bibis soldiers slew their queen,
The city fell, the king was slain,
The state did unsubdued remain.
Salims Rebellion, Death of Abul Fazl
While in the Deccan warrd Akbar,
Rebellions Salim in Behar
Usurped the name of king, and still,
Though pardoned, had the heart to kill
By villains hired his fathers friend.
Akbars Death 1605 A.D.
The Emperor now was near his end.
His younger sons excess had killed,
And all his soul with grief was filled.
So in his three and• sixtieth year
Dying he named Salim his heir.
Great Akbars form was middle size,
Black were his eyebrows and his eyes,
His face was rather dark than fair,
His arms so long and sinewy were,
That whosoer encountered him
Found him in fight a champion grim.
Struck by his naked fist a face
Seemed to be wounded by a mace.
By Akbars conduct on the throne
His tender heart is clearly shown
The hateful poll tax on Hindus
And pilgrim tax he did refuse.
He let no widow burn alive
If she was minded to survive,
Nor let the wives of conquered foe
And children liberty forego.
Akbars Religious views
By Faizi and his brother taught
Akbar religious equal thought.
He built a great debating hall,
Where Parsees, Christians, and all
Would argue for their various views,
And their antagonists abuse.
Himself a mixt religion framed
And Akbar Gods vicegerent named.
His son does in his memoirs state
That Akbar was illiterate;
But, if he did not use the pen,
Be loved converse with learned men.
With music and inventive skill
He was endowed, and we can still
In Agra, Fatehpur Sikri
His taste and love of beauty see.
With true imperial policy
The highest offices were free
To every man, as talents meed,
Whateer might be his race or creed;
Only the judgeship was retained
For Moslems in the Koran trained.
His Revenue System
By friendship and by marriage ties
Rajputs were Akbars staunch allies.
One of their number, Toder Mall,
With great exactness measured all
The land and valued every field
To see what produce it should yield.
One-third was to the state assigned
And paid in money or in kind.
Jahangirs Accession 1605 A.D.
Salim was crowned as Jahangir.
To make his just intentions clear
A golden chain with bells he bung,
Which those, who wrong had suffered, rung.
Cruel himself, he punished those
Who cut a felons ears or nose.
None were allowed to make or sell
Wine, though the emperor loved it well.
Prince Khusrus Rebellion 1605 A.D.
Khusru, confined because Man Singh
His uncle wished to make him king,
Escaped, rebelled, and, at Lahore
Beaten, was brought his sire before.
His comrades killed, himself was spared
To live for years with sight impaired.
Nur Jahan 1611 A.D.
Jahangir in his fathers reign
A lady loved of Persian strain.
As king he caused her to be brought
To Delhi. Though her husband fought
And fighting for her lost his life,
She yet became Jahangirs wife,
And was renowned as Nur Jahan.
She joined the courage of a man
To female charms. In happy hour
Jahangir trusted her with power,
He had at least the sense to see
His wife could better rule than he.
Shah Jahans Victory and Rebellion.
The Ahmadnagar kingdom long
By Malik Ambar was made strong,
Till Shah Jahan, the Emperors son,
Sent to the Deccan victory won.
When Shahriyar, his brother, wed
The Empress daughter and was led
By her support to hope the throne,
Then Shah Jahan rebellious grown
Against his fathers troops waged war,
Won for a time Bengal, Behar.
Mahabat Khan Seizes Jahangir 1625 A.D.
Commanding against Shah Jahan
Too powerful grew Mahabat Khan.
When summoned to the imperial court,
He came, but brought as his support
Five thousand Rajputs, and with these
He dared the Emperor to seize.
In vain by force tried Nur Jahan
To rescue from Mahabat Khan
Her husbands person, then pretended
That with his captor strife was ended,
Came to his camp, at a review
Her troops around Jahangir threw,
And he was free. Mahabat Khan
Joined in the Deccan Shah Jahan.
His Death and Character 1627 A.D
By chance soon after terrified
Jahangir could not sleep and died.
His copious memoirs plainly tell
He loved the wine cup far too well.
Horribly cruel to his foes,
A pleasant comrade when he chose,
Fond of the chase, he shunned afar
The dangers and the toils of war.
British Embassy, 1615-1618 A.D.
Sent by King James Sir Thomas Roe
British ambassador did go
To India in Jahangirs reign
And travelled three years in his train.
He was most kindly entertained
But not much favour could be gained
For British trade. Jahangir thought
But little of the gifts he brought.
Shahriyar tried the throne to gain
With his wifes mothers help-in vain.
The Prince was killed and Nur Jahan
In widows weeds lived out her span.
Final conquest of Ahmadnagar 1637 A.D.
The Afghan Khan Jahan, who held
High office in the south, rebelled,
And joined his forces with the state
Of Ahmadnagar. Armies great
By Shah Jahan were sent. But long
It took to break the alliance strong,
When Bijapur by common dread
To join her arms to theirs was led.
But Bijapur, a broken reed,
Faithlessly with the foe agreed,
And Ahmadnagar left alone
Was added to the imperial throne.
War in Afghanistan 1648 A.D.
And now recovered Kandahar
Led to long years of northern war.
Balkh was annexed and lost again;
By Persia Kandahar retaen
Was by the Mughals thrice assailed;
Thrice the besieging armies failed.
When Shah Jahan well weighed the cost
Of all the lives and treasure lost
And stopped the useless war, Kabul
Alone obeyed the imperial rule.
Aurangzeb in the Deccan.
Aurangzeb to the Deccan sent
As Viceroy, to Mir Jumla lent
His ear, and to redress his wrong
Besieged Golcondas fortress strong.
The King was humbled to obey
Mughal control and tribute pay.
Bijapur next had woes to tell;
Her frontier fortress, Bidar, fell;
The peace she begs her foes refuse,
When from the north comes startling news
That Shah Jahan is ill, and must
His power to other hands entrust.
Shah Jahans Sons.
His eldest son Dara Shukoh,
Of manner dignified, does show
Religious tolerance, which shocks
The feelings of the orthodox.
Recognised as his fathers heir,
He shares with him the empires care.
Shuja, a Shiah, Bacchus thrall
Comes next, now viceroy of Bengal;
Third Aurangzeb, and Murad last,
A brave young man who lived too fast.
The War of Succession.
Shuja by Daras son is beat
And forced to Bengal to retreat,
Aurangzeb and Murad combine,
And win a victory near Ujjein _
Oer Jeswant Singh. The Chambal crossed,
Dara they find has taen his post
At Samugarh to bar their way.
Again they fight and win the day.
Aurangzeb, when the battles won,
Congratulates Murad upon
His happy prospect of the throne.
Yet he usurped the imperial sway,
And chasing Dara, on the way
Oer Murad drunk the mastery gained
And sent him back to Delhi chained.
From chasing Dara, when he learned
Shujas advance, he promptly turned.
At Kajwa the two armies fought,
And once again Aurangzeb got
The victory. Dara meanwhile
In Gujarat knew Fortunes smile,
And, sheltered in the hills that rose
Around Ajmere, defied his foes.
1659 A.D. – 1660 A.D.
Defeated and betrayed at last,
And to Aurangzeb sent bound fast,
Death sentence was on him pronounced
As one who had his faith renounced.
Shuja across the frontier fled
Murad in Gwalior prison bled.
Of his imperial power deprived
For eight years Shah Jahan survived.
Shah Jahans Splendour
The books of travellers report
The splendour of his gorgeous court,
The golden plate, the peacock throne
That decked with priceless jewels shone.
His Taj Mahal does still endure,
A dream of love in marble pure.
Still Delhis palace gives delight,
And Agras mosque of pearly white.
Canals were built by his command
Which still enrich large tracts of land.
Rise of Sivaji.
Twixt the Maratha and the Mughal.
His greatest foe was Sivaji,
Who claiming Rajput ancestry
And burning with ambitious thoughts
Was bred among the Western Ghauts.
His skill and deeds of daring drew
Around him many a comrade true.
Torna, Singhar, and Purandhar
Captured became the centers for
His daring raids, until the king
Of Bijapur, imprisoning
His father Shahji, made him pause
For fear his fathers death hed cause.
Shahji released, he could renew
His raids. A Hindu prince he slew
And seized his land. Then Bijapur
War with Bijapur 1659 A.D.
Resolved to crush this evil-doer.
With a large army Afzal Khan
Shivajis country overran
As far as Pertabgarb, and there
The foe for mercy made his prayer,
And at a private interview
With hidden arms the Moslem slew.
Then all at once a trumpet sounded,
The Moslem army was surrounded,
And scattered in confusion fled
Leaving their treasure and their dead.
Twice more did largo armies invade
Conclusion of Peace 1662 A.D.
The Ghauts, before the peace was made,
By which to Sivaji was given
The realm from Bijapur hed riven.
Sivaji at war with the Mughals 1664 A.D.
Sivaji next on Mughals preyed,
On Shaista Khan, their General, made
A bold attack with comrades few,
In which the Khan lost fingers two.
Then Surat with four thousand men
Surprised he plundered. Oxinden
Both Englishmen and natives guarded,
For which Aurangzeb him rewarded.
Sivaji made a safe retreat
To Raigarh his new royal seat,
Where royal honours he did claim
And money coined in his own name.
Sivaji submits and goes to Delhi 1665 A.D.
When Aurangzeb, to subjugate
First Sivaji and then the state
Of Bijapur, an army sent,
Sivaji to the tempest bent,
Gave up some fastnesses and said
The Mughals in the war hed aid.
Aurangzeb with his help delighted
His enemy to court invited.
He came and, to his great surprise
Coldly received, fled in disguise.
Aurangzebs Deccan army had
Retreated to Aurangabad
Sivajis power increases.
Sivaji made his foes restore
The ground hed lost a year before,
And forced Golconda, Bijapur
A yearly tribute to endure.
When the next Mughal war begins
Sivaji Singhar fortress wins,
But Tanaji Malusris slain.
“The lions killed; his den is taen.
Ive gained a fort” said Sivaji
“But lost my trusty Tanaji.”
Some twenty thousand Mughals yield,
Defeated in the open field.
From his south-western frontier far
Aurangzeb plunged in Afghan war;
Aurangzeb oppresses the Hindus 1677 A.D.
Still more his power was weakened by
His ever-growing bigotry.
To check official post denied
To all Hindus, and, worst climax,
Renewed the capitation tax.
The wrongs Hindus had to endure
Rajput War 1679 A.D.
Induced Jodhpur and Udaipur
Against the oppressor to unite.
Not having troops enough to fight
The Mughal armies in the field
And yet determined not to yield,
They scattered parties would surprise
And intercepted their supplies.
Akbar Aurangzebs youngest son,
With all his troops the Rajputs won
To take their side, and, when he came,
They gave him the imperial name.
The Mughal army thus perverted
Ere long the rebel prince deserted,
Who by the Rajputs help alone
Could hardly hope to gain the throne.
At last was made a hollow peace,
But disaffection did not cease.
The Rajputs hostile did remain
Until Aurangzeb closed his reign.
Sivajis Second Coronation 1674 A.D.
While thus the Emperors hands were full,
At Bijapur a minors rule
Gave a good chance to Sivaji
Both eastward and along the sea
His kingdom to increase, and now
Once more at Raigarh on his brow
The crown with great solemnity
Was placed, as Oxinden did see.
He captured Jinji and Vellore
Away on the Carnatic shore,
When to the south he took his course
With fifty thousand foot and horse.
And Death 1680 A.D.
He died at age of fifty-three
And left his throne to Sambhaji.
His Policy and character.
Sivaji very clearly knew
What his Marathas best could do,
Avoided battles pitched and taught
Their mountain warfare should be fought
By rapid movement, quick surprise,
And cutting off the foes supplies.
His well-paid squadrons were arrayed
By officers of different grade.
His armies were directed by
A skillful foreign policy,
Which shunned an internecine struggle
With all the forces of the Mughal,
And Bijapur dominions won
By conquest or for service done.
The great defender of Hindus
The hostile faith did not abuse,
Respected mosques, sent back again.
Korans his followers had taen,
And seldom cruel was his mood;
He spared the foes his sword subdued.
Aurangzeb annexes Bijapur and Golconda 1686 A. D.
Soon as the Rajput war was oer,
Aurangzeb turned his mind once more
To southern conquest. After years
Of fighting hard, his host appears
Led by himself, before the walls
Of Bijapur. The city falls.
Golconda next succumbs to fate.
The broad domains of either state
Made the Mughal dominions more
Than they had ever been before.
But was the Empire made more strong?
The people were rebellious long,
The scattered soldiers gave their swords
To the Maratha plundering hordes.
Death of Sambhaji 1689 A.D.
Aurangzeb one more triumph won
By capturing Sivajis son
Sambhaji, who, when drunk, was caught
And bound before the Emperor brought.
He cursed the Prophet and his faith
And cruelly was put to death.
Regency of Raja Rama.
As young Sahu, Sambhajis heir,
Was taken with him, they declare
Regent Sivajis younger son
Called Raja Ram. His rule begun
For the Marathas badly, for
The foe by treachery gained Raigarh.
Last Years of Aurangzeb.
The last years of Aurangzebs life
Were spent in constant war and strife.
For more than twenty years the shade
Of canvas walls his palace made.
The closing century saw him make
His greatest last attempt to break
His obstinate Maratha foes.
With two great hosts he westwards goes,
The one to make the bill forts yield,
The other was to keep the field.
The plan at first succeeded well,
With other forts Satara fell.
Slowly a change was brought about
The Mughals, fairly wearied out,
By the Marathas harassed sore,
Lost all the ground they gained before
His Death 1707 A.D.
And to Ahmadabad retreated
Disgraced, demoralised, defeated;
And there “Farewell” the Emperor cried,
And in his ninetieth year he died.
Akbar and Aurangzeb.
Akbar sought all his subjects, good;
Aurangzeb treated the subdued
Hindus as an inferior race
Unfit for honourable place,
Whom with good reason he might tax
To ease the true believers backs.
Akbar respected other creeds,
Which Aurangzeb thought noxious weeds
To be destroyed, that all the laud
Might hear Muhammads high command.
Aurangzeb was not fierce but cold;
Yet his religion could not hold
His hand from doing bloody deeds
To satisfy ambitions needs,
Akbar was frank; the other sought
From every soul to veil his thought.
And into needless risks would dash;
The other was of different mood,
And most excelled in fortitude.
Bahadur Shah 1707 A.D.
His two rebellions brothers slain,
Bahadur Shah began to reign,
To Rajput chiefs was forced to yield
That he might better take the field
War with the Sikhs.
Against the Sikhs, who now became
In the Punjab a dreaded name,
Captured Sirhind, and lit their fires
Of ravage close to Delhis spires.
The Emperor against them fought,
Their leader Banda nearly caught,
And not long after the campaign
His Death and His Successors 1712 A.D.
Closed at Lahore his life and reign.
The emperors who succeed him are
Jahandar Shah, Farukhsiyar,
Mere puppets. In the latters reign
Banda is killed with horrid pain,
Two Sayyid brothers had him crowned
And they deposed him. Then they found
(When two young princes, that they tried,
Enthroned in quick succession died)
An emperor in Muhammad Shah.
Their power was broke by Asaf Jah.
The Emperor freed from their control
To idle pleasure gave his soul,
And little recked that in his reign
Curtailment of the Empire.
Fragments were from the Empire taen,
Rajah of Jodhpur, Ajit Singh,
Did Ajmere neath his sceptre bring.
Five hundred years had vanished since
It last obeyed a Hindu prince.
The Deccan Governor, Asaf Jah,
Disgusted with Muhammad Shah,
Half from the Empire tore away
His province, where his line holds sway,
As Nizams, to the present day.
The sons of Sivajis two sons
By their dissensions more than once,
When Tarabai had met her fate,
Did harm to the Maratha State,
And unions strength was not obtained
Until the Peshwas power had gained.
Balaji Vishwanath 1720 A.D.
The first was Balaji. He made
Treaties by which the Mughals paid
Not only in the Deccan chauth,
But also farther to the south
In the Carnatic and Tanjore
Trichinopoli and Mysore.
The second Peshwa, Baji Rao,
Said “Strike the trunk and every bough
Of the decaying empire will
Fall of itself.” So first by skill
Of policy and warlike might
He managed to discomfit quite
Maratha rivals and to foil
Asaf Jahs efforts to embroil
Maratha, chiefs in civil strife
Destructive of the nations life.
Then with their undivided force
He struck the empire at its source.
Concessions to the Marathas 1731 A.D.
The right of levying chauth he wrested,
In Gujarats rich plains he vested
In Pilaji Gaekwar, from whom
The Gaekwars of Baroda come.
Next Jhansi on the Jumna river
He from the Empire did dissever,
And all the province of Malwa
Surrendered by Muhammad Shah.
Mulhar Rao Holkar plundered Oudh,
And Baji Rao became so proud,
That for a while he took his post
Not far from Delhi with his host.
Asaf Jah aids the Empire.
The Nizam meanwhile, called upon
To prop up the imperial throne,
By the Marathas undefeated,
From Bhopal with his troops retreated,
And ceded by a treaty humble
All twixt Narbada and the Chambal,
Nadir Shahs Invasion 1738 A.D.
But now a mighty conqueror
Burst rudely into Indian war.
The Persian Nadir Shah Kabul
Had wrested from the Mughal rule,
Oer came the Mughal troops that ventured
To bar his course and Delhi entered, –
The populace his troops attacked;
Delhi was mercilessly sacked.
The peacock throne, imperial treasure,
And wealth was taken without measure.
The conqueror took the spoil away,
Nor added India to his sway.
Till the Marathas took Bassein
They had not power to intervene,
And so the Persian bore away
The spoil theyd destined as their prey.
Death of Baji Rao 1740 A.D.
Baji Rao died with troubles vext,
Balaji Rao his son came next.
Maratha raiding still increased;
Raghuji Bhonsla in the east
Maratha rights of tribute had
And plundered to Murshidabad;
While the Marathas in the west
The Nizams Kingdom much oppressed,
And sent their conquering squadrons forth
Far as the Punjab in the north.
Ahmad Shahs Invasion.
Meanwhile the angry Peshwa saw
That the Durani Ahmad Shah
Was carrying to his mountains spoil
Amassed by raids on Indian soil.
A Maratha Army sent against him.
His fourth invasion when he made,
The Peshwa vowed he should be stayed.
Northward a mighty army sped
By Sadasheo Rao Bhao twas led
Chimnajis son, whod won renown
By capturing many a Deccan town.
Young Viswas Rao, the Peshwas heir,
And many a chieftain went to share
The fame and spoil they hoped to win.
The war did happily begin
For the Marathas. Delhi fell
And all seemed to be going well,
Till Shuja-ud-Daula joined their foes,
And then began their tale of woes.
Entrenched at Panipat they stood
For two long months in want of food.
At last starvation came so nigh,
They left their camp to do or die.
Battle of Panipat 1761 A.D.
With turmeric their faces smeared,
Like men despairing they appeared.
Yet was the battle fierce and Iong.
At last the Afghan warriors strong
From winters spent mid mountain snows,
Crushed by sheer weight their slighter foes.
Wounded to death fell Viswas Rao,
Upon a fleet horse fled the Bhao,
The whole Maratha battle reeled,
And Holkar hopeless left the field.
Maratha corpses strewed the plain
By thousands upon thousands slain.
Ahmad Shah leaves India.
The conquerors heart did not incline
To found a new imperial line.
Leaving the Mughals heir the throne
Of Delhi, he has homeward gone.
In early times the Indian trade
To Egypt, Syria conveyed,
And wafted oer the midland sea,
Enriched the ports of Italy.
Discovery of the Cape of Good Hope 1498 A.D.
The Cape Vasco da Gama found
And from that date the trade went round
Through Indian and Atlantic seas
In vessels of the Portuguese.
Muhammadan Coalition against the Portuguese.
Then Egypts Sultan much afraid
Of losing all his eastern trade
Despatched a powerful fleet to aid
The Zamorin of Calicut
And king of Gujarat to shut
By force of arms the Indian seas
Against the intruding Portuguese.
Francis Almeida overthrew
The coalition near Diu,
Albuquerque 1510 A.D. – 1515 A.D.
Great-Albuquerque won fame unbounded.
Twas he who Goa city founded,
And made it populous and rich,
And raised up to the highest pitch
His countrys power and fame and pride.
A broken-hearted man he died,
Portuguese after Albuquerque.
The Portuguese soon after got
By conquest Thana and Salsette.
By treaty with Bahadur Shah
Bassein, Diu obey their law.
A great Egyptian fleet in vain
Tries Diu from their hands to gain.
Their decline 1570 A.D.
From Goa Bijapurs attack
With heavy loss is driven back,
The Portuguese decline, begun
1580 A.D.-1640 A.D.
When Portugal and Spain were one,
Was hastened by the rapid rise
Of their Maratha enemies.
When Chimnaji had won Bassein.
Their power could never rise again.
The Dutch in India 1597 A.D.
The Dutch appeared in Indian seas
As rivals or the Portuguese,
And later, when the English came,
In peace and war they strove with them;
But though theyd factories upon
The coast of India, in Ceylon
And the Spice Islands further east
Their power and commerce most increased.
The English in India 1609 A.D.
Of English captains Hawkins first
Into the Indian Ocean burst.
At Swally Portuguese were taught
How well the English sailors fought.
But not much progress could be made
Till Shah Jahan had Broughton paid
For medical advice by granting
His countrymen the right of planting
A settlement on Hugli shore.
1639 A.D. -1661 A.D.
Madras was gained not long before.
Madras came into British power
As Catharine of Braganzas dower.
Aurangzeb punishes the company 1686 A.D.
When both in Bengal and Bombay
They acted in a hostile way,
By orders by Aurangzeb given
The English from Surat were driven
And from Bengal. Their factories taen
Calcutta Founded 1600 A.D.
By due submission they regain,
And Charnock guides them to the site
Where now Calcuttas buildings white
Stand glittering in the morning light.
At this time Pondicherry was
By the French founded near Madras,
Smiled fortune on the city new;
Strong, rich, and populous it grew.
War with France 1744 A.D.
When France and England went to war,
It had Dupleix for Governor,
Who would not yield Madras, his prey,
When taken by Labourdonais,
Till peace made at Aix-la-Chapelle
Its restoration did compel.
Dupleix intrigues with Native Princes 1748 A.D.
Dupleix then laboured to increase
The power of France by war and peace
With native princes. Nazir Jang
Was Nizam, but Muzaffar Jang,
The son of tire first Nizams son,
The favour of the Frenchman won.
Who also would make Chanda Sahib
Of the Carnatic coast Nawab.
The then Nawab Anwar-ud-din-.
Oer him the French a victory win
And he is killed. When he was dead,
His son Muhammad Ali fled
Aid from the British to obtain
And Jet the Frenchmen Arcot gain.
Meanwhile de Bussys skill in war
Extended French dominion far.
Ginji and other forts were taen;
Nazir Jang in his camp was slain.
Muzaffar Jang Nizam became,
And Dupleix in the Emperors name
Of all the Mughal lands got sway
That southward of the Krishna lay.
Muzaffar Jang in battle died;
Salabat Jang his place supplied.
Clive: His Expedition to Arcort 1751 A.D.
Clive, who came out to be a writer,
This stirring crisis made a fighter.
Muhammad Ali our ally,
Besieged in Trichinopoly,
Could not be freed, till Clive had planned
A daring scheme and got command
Of a small force to storm the wall
Of the Carnatic capital.
When Clive his troops to Arcot led,
The garrison affrighted fled.
Defence of Arcot
Clive thus contrives the town to win,
And his small force besieged therein
Most valiantly maintains its ground,
Although ten thousand foes are round
The battered walls, A grand attack
On the Mohurrum beaten back
The enemy dismays. They Flee.
Clive goes and routs then at Arm.
He next year Kaveripak did drench
With blood of the invading French.
When Chanda Sahibs soldiers fled,
Our Tanjore friends cut off his head.
Clive at Home 1753 A.D.
Next year at home the companys board
Gave Clive a diamond-hilted sword.
The French get the Northern Circars
Salabat Jang de Bussys aid
Against Maratha foes repaid,
And to his French protectors brave
Six hundred miles of sea-coast gave.
Dupleix recalled, the French no more
Made war on the Carnatic shore.
Clive and Watson capture Gheria 1755 A.D.
Clive with a colonels rank returned,
Acting with Admiral Watson burned
Angrias ships and took the hold
In which the pirates stored their gold.
Suraja Daula attacks Calcutta 1756 A.D.
Suraja Daula, of Bengal
Viceroy, Calcuttas feeble wall
Attacked. The garrison not strong
Failed to defend the ramparts long.
Tragedy of the Black Hole.
Most fled in boats, but some too slow,
Left to the mercy of the foe,
Are in the Black Hole prison cast,
From which when they emerge at last,
Of six and seven score there survive
But three and twenty souls alive.
Clive comes to Calcutta 1757 A.D.
When Clives small force with anger fired
Appeared, the enemy retired,
But back returned his camp to pitch
Not far from the Maratha ditch.
One foggy morn Clive, breaking through
The hostile camp, a thousand slew.
By this Suraja Daula cowed
Capture of Chandernagore 1757 A.D.
Submitted and was peace allowed.
When war with France broke out once more,
Watson and Clive on Hugli shore
Took from the French Chandernagore.
Suraja Daula hostile
Faithless Suraja Daula strives
To help the French, but late arrives
The force he sends. An army large
To Mir Jafar he gives in charge.
Battle of Plassey 1757 A.D.
Three thousand men can Clive oppose
Against some seventy thousand foes.
From morn till mid-day he defends
A mango tope, Mir Jafar sends
A message to his master, saying
There is no use in longer staying.
The Bengal army turns about,
Their flight becomes a hopeless rout.
Suraja Daula flies, is ta en,
And by Mir Jafars son is slain.
Mir Jafar becomes Viceroy 1758 A.D.
Then to requite his treacherous aid
Mir Jafar, Bengal Viceroy made,
Gives millions of rupees to those
To whom his rank and power he owes.
Clive foils the Dutch.
Appointed Governor of Bengal,
Clive makes the Dutch relinquish all
Their hopes of conquest there forever,
Defeated both by land and river.
Lally comes to India 1758 A.D.
Impetuous Lally eager came
To extirpate the English name,
Razed Fort St. David to the ground,
Against the Tanjore Raja found
A bond of six and fifty lacs,
To get it paid Tanjore attacks,
Effects a breach within the walls,
But, just before the city falls,
With British sepoys comes Caillaud,
And makes the weary Frenchmen go
Repulsed from Tanjore.
In full retreat back to the coast,
Their cannon and their baggage lost.
In Pondicherry resting not,
The French commander took Arcot,
Goes against Madras
And calling in de Bussys aid
A fruitless expedition made
Against Madras, the Black Town sacked;
But siege artillery he lacked
To breach the walls, and so retired
Defeated, when two months expired.
The British gain Masulipatnam (Machlipatnam) and the sea coast, 1759 A.D.
Then on the Haidarabad sea- board
Took Machlipatnam colonel Forde,
On which the Nizam dis agree
To give the British on the sea
Some eighty miles of land, expelling
All Frenchmen in the Deccan dwelling
As the too timid Count DAché
Had to Mauritius sailed away,
The British ships continually
Cut off the French supplies by sea.
When Wandiwash by Coote was taen,
Lally would fain the place regain,
Battle of Wandiwash 1760 A.D.
And in the battle that ensued
The French troops broken and pursued
Were saved from absolute destruction
By Lallys regiments protection.
After the battle Coote did wrench
The town of Arcot from the French,
And, when the monsoon rains were ended,
Siege of Pondicherry
Besieged their capital defended
By Lally with great bravery,
Although no help could come by sea.
At last, oppressed by hunger sore,
Capture of Pondicherry 1761 A.D.
The French could man the walls no more.
The year when Pondicherry fell
Saw Ahmad the Marathas quell,
Both which events prepared the way
For Englands wide imperial sway.
Mir Jafar deposed 1761 A.D.
Mir Jafar, soon as Clive is gone,
The Bengal Government dethrone,
And choose Mir Kasim in his stead,
His able son-in-law, who paid
The Company five lakhs in coin,
And did to its dominions join
Mindapur, Burdwan, Chittagong,
But the new Viceroy cannot long
Submit to the high-banded pride
With which the English override
His sovereign rights, and makes trade free,
Destroying their monopoly.
War with Mir Kasim 1761 A.D.
This leads to war. Mir Kasim pinions
The Englishmen in his dominions.
A British force, sent to restore
Mir Jafar Viceroy as before,
Three times in battle overthrows
Against tremendous odds its foes,
Although their guns were manned by
Europeans and the Swiss Sumru
Had trained them. Then Mir Kasim willed
His English captives should be killed.
Massacre of Patna.
So at a feast the vile Sumru
Two hundred helpless captives slew.
Although no crime could well be fouler,
The Oudh Viceroy, Shuja-ud-Daula,
Shah Alams vazir, dared to give
Protection to the fugitive
Mir Kasim, what time with Sumru
He came for warlike aid to sue,
Battle of Baxar 1764 A.D.
The new allies kept up the war
Till they were routed at Baxar,
Shuja-ud-Daula sought the aid
Of Malhar Rao, who did invade
The land of Oudh, till driven back
Across the Jumna by Carnac.
Mir Jafar dead, his eldest son,
Nujam-ud-Daula got the throne.
Clive returns to India 1764 A.D.
So stood affairs when Clive, a Lord,
Was back to India restored,
As arbiter of peace and war
From Oudh to Bengal and Behar.
Treaty with Shuja-ud- Daula and the Emperor.
The treaty he concluded gave
Shuja-ud-Daula all Oudh, save
That Kora and Allahabad
The Emperor, Shah Alam, had,
And in return the Company
Of Bengal got the diwani.
For Clive a harder task remained.
Reform of the Civil Service.
The service with corruption stained
Practised illegal inland trade
And each successive Nawab paid
Enormous bribes to gain permission
To occupy his high position.
Though the officials could say
That Clive himself had in this way
Gained wealth, he forced them to agree
To give up to the Company
The larger presents that they got,
And, that the service suffer not,
The salt monopoly supplies
An increase to their salaries.
Military Retrenchment 1766 A.D.
Next Olive had very serious trouble
When he abolished batta double.
The British officers combine,
Threaten commissions to resign.
But Clive by measures prompt and bold
The dangerous mutiny controlled.
Clive retires 1767 A.D.
When Olive outwearied home returned
To seek the rest he well had earned,
His harsh demandour did invite
Attacks made with envenomed spite.
Not his the soul that long could please
Enjoyment of inglorious ease.
His Death 1775 A.D.
Despondency his mind oppressed,
And in despair—–Why tell the rest?
Nizam Ali at Haidarabad 1763- 1765 A.D.
Nizam Ali in Haidarabad
Salabat Jang, his brother, had
Dethroned and murdered. Then when Clive
From the Mughal in sixty-five
British gain the Northern Circars 1766 A.D.
By grant the Northern Circars held,
From which the French had been expelled,
He mustered troops, but timely wise
Consented to a compromise,
By which the British tribute paid
But those lands in their empire stayed.
Triple Alliance against Haidar Ali
With the Marathas both allied
Themselves to humble Haidars pride,
Whod seized the kingdom of Mysore,
Captured Bednur and Mangalore
And won the whole of Malabar.
Haidar Ali breaks up the Alliance
When threatened thus with triple war
With the Marathas peace he bought
And to his side the Nizam brought.
War with Haidar and the Nizam.
Smith by two royal armies faced
Back towards the coast his steps retraced.
Like thunder-cloud with lightning fraught
The Mysore horse rushed down the Ghaut
And spoiled Madras. The English all
Found refuge in St. Georges wall,
Battle of Eroor 1767 A.D.
Smith at Eroor defeats the allies.
Fast from the field the Nizam flies,
And, making peace to save his throne,
Leaves Haidar to contend alone.
The war, with varying fortune waged,
From west to east with fury raged.
Avoiding the pitched battles shock
Pursuit the Mysore squadrons mock.
At last one day St. Thomas height
Is with their flashing armour bright.
Except the Fort, Madras below,
Lies at the mercy of the foe.
Peace with Haidar 1769 A.D.
So peace was made her wealth to save,
And each side back its conquests gave.
Haidar at war with the Marathas.
By the Marathas next assailed
The star of Haidar Ali paled.
With Madhu Rao, the Peshwa, first,
And then with Trimbak Rao they burst
Upon his realm, and made him buy
Peace at expense of territory.
Marathas in Hindustan 1771 A.D.
The Marathas now once more began
To show their strength in Hindustan,
Recovering from the deadly blow
At Panipat that laid them low.
Shah Alam their protection sought
Leaving the British, and was brought
By Sindhia to his capital.
Death of Madhu Rao
Then did a sad event befall,
The early death of Madhu Rao,
Succeeded by Narayan Rao,
Invasions of Tanjore 1771 A.D. – 1773 A.D.
Twice for Muhammad Alis right
Madras was pleased Tanjore to fight.
In the first war Tanjore was reached
And yielded when its walls were breached.
Besieged again, the town was captured
Each British subaltern enraptured,
Got pounds four hundred as his share
Of the rich plunder taken there.
The prince some time in prison lay,
Was then restored, but had to pay
Lacs sixteen yearly, the expense
Of British bayonets defence.
Warren Hastings Governor of Bengal 1772 A.D.
When Hastings Governor was made,
Famine had damaged Bengal trade
The indebted companys finances
Called for still heavier advances.
The Viceroy, who in name survived
Of half his income was deprived.
Arrest of Reza Khan.
Then was arrested Reza Khan
The naib-nizam and naib- diwan.
Though guiltless, he lost either post,
Both which the Company engrossed,
Collected its own revenue,
And governed all the province too.
Treaty of Benares 1773 A.D.
When Sindhia had Shah Alam brought
To Delhi, Shuja-ud-Daula bought
For fifty lakhs Allahabad
And Kora, which the Emperor had.
Hastings for some more lacs allowed
A British force to serve in Oudh,
And crush the brave Rohilla race,
Which brought the British name disgrace.
Whateer against them may be said,
These measures Bengal prosperous made,
And raised a barrier in Oudh
Which kept back the Maratha proud.
India Bill 1773 A.D.
Meanwhile in England Parliament
To Indian things attention lent
And passed a bill by which Bengal
Under a Governor-General
Was vested with superior sway
Madras controlling and Bombay.
Hastings Governor-General 1774 A.D.
Hastings now Governor-General
Was hampered by a council, all,
Except Barwell, to him opposed,
Rejecting all that lie proposed.
Bombay akes Salsette 1774 A.D.
The Bombay English having heard
The Portuguese have ships prepared
From the Marathas to regain
The isle of Salsette and Bassein,
Quick to forestal the Portuguese,
By force the Fort of Thana seize
And thus by war in peace they get
The fertile island of Salsette.
His great grand-uncle disputes Madhu Raos succession 1773- 1775 A.D.
The Marathas discord weakens now
Murdered had been Narayan Rao,
And Raghuba disputes the claim
Of his son posthumous, whose name
Was Madhu Rao, and aid to gain
The British gives Salsette, Bassein.
First Maratha war.
By Keatings victory on the plains
Of Arass Raghuba little gains.
A treaty at Purandhars made
By which his cause is quite betrayed.
Discord at Calcutta
Meanwhile the Bengal Council Board
Was still the scene of much discord,
By which encouraged Hastings foes
In numbers to accuse him rose,
Execution of Nuncomar 1775 A.D.
Till the rich Brahman Nuncomar,
Of all his foes the bitterest far,
On an old charge of forgery tried,
Convicted, on the gallows died.
Hastings gets a majority in the Bengal Council
The next two years saw Hastings freed
By death from two who disagreed
With him in council. Then he sought
A quarrel and with Francis fought
Francis leaves India 1780 A.D.
A duel, and his rival shot.
When he got well and went away,
Hastings had none to say him nay.
War with France 1788 A.D.
Much need there was that one strong hand
Should all the reins of power command.
When France was now at open war
And sent her envoys near and far
To Poona, Hyderabad, Mysore.
Renewal of Maratha War.
Purandhar did not peace restore.
Their aid again the British lent
To Raghuba, and Hastings sent
Goddard on his adventurous way
From far Bengal to reach Bombay.
Convention of Wargaum 1779 A.D.
But, ere he came, a Bombay force,
Surrounded by Maratha horse,
By terms with much dishonour fraught
Its safe return from Wargaum bought.
Both at Calcutta and Bombay
Refused the councils to obey
The base convention. Goddards force
Continued on its daring course
Goddard reaches Western India 1779-1780 A.D.
And reached Surat. The war went on.
Next year Ahmadabad was won
And given to Fatteh Singh to buy
His warlike aid as our ally.
Capture of Gwalior and Bassein.
Far in the east, the Jumna crossed
By Popham, Scindia Gwalior lost.
Hartley on three successive days
Repulsed an army sent to raise
The siege of Bassein, Goddard won
That city ere the year was done.
Goddard repulsed 1781 A.D.
But less success his steps attended
When he the Western Ghauts ascended
And found himself compelled to beat
Back to Panwell a quick retreat,
While the Maratha cavalry
Harassed his rear exultingly.
As Sindhia wanted any peace
That would his captured forts release,
And the Marathas could not hope
Without him with their foes to cope,
Treaty of Salbai 1782 A.D.
And as the British wished to fight
Haidar Ali with all their might,
A treaty at Salbai concluded
Salsette in British lands included,
While the Marathas did regain
The towns and forts more lately ta en.
Second War with Haidar Ali 1779 A.D.
Ere the year seventy-nine had ended,
Haidars great army had descended
Upon the rich Carnatic plain,
The Madras forces cant restrain
The ravage, and, ere aid is sent
By the Calcutta Government,
Baillies Disaster at Pollilore 1780 A.D.
Baillie, cut off at Pollilore
By the whole army of Mysore,
Again and yet again drives back
The overwhelming foes attack,
Till of four thousand few remain
Alive to bear the victors chain,
Haidar at first would not oppose
In battle pitched his British foes,
Battle of Porto Novo 1781 A.D.
When Coote from Bengal took command,
At last he dared to make a stand
At Porto Novo, where old Coote
In front and rear by horse and foot
Assailed, gainst tenfold odds maintained
The battle and the victory gained.
Along the coast of Malabar
The British wage successful war,
But Tipus army in Tanjore
Does Braithwaites column overpower.
The war went on by land and sea
With no decisive victory.
Death of Haidar Ali 1782 A.D.
Macleod with loss oercame Tipu,
Who to his capital withdrew,
To claim succession to the throne
Soon as his fathers death was known.
Bednore taken and retaken 1783 A.D.
When the Maratha war was oer,
A Bombay army took Bednore,
And there surrendered to Tipu,
Who into chains his captives threw,
And faithlessly immured them all
In dungeons in his capital.
Peace with France 1783 A.D.
When France and England had made peace,
Tipu from warring would not cease,
But pressed the siege of Mangalore,
Though France could give him aid no more.
So Fullerton in south Mysore
Advanced and captured Coimbatore.
Peace with Tipu 1784 A.D.
By peace his progress north was stayed,
Both sides the conquests they had made
Restored and Tipu must unbind
The captives in his cells confined.
Hastings Decides to levy Tribute
The cost of these two wars was heavy.
Hastings resolved hed tribute levy
On native states whom British power
Preserved from harm in dangers hour.
Chait Singh of Benares 1781 A.D.
But when he tries Chait Singh to force
To furnish forth a thousand horse,
And pay in tribute five lakhs more,
The city mob with great uproar
His escort scatters easily,
And from Benares makes him flee.
He soon returns, Chait Singh deposes,
As tribute forty lacs imposes
The Begams of Oudh
On the next prince. Two aged dames,
Gainst whom the Nawab had some claims,
Historians call Begams of Oudh.
From them the Nawab is allowed
To get his money as he may.
Thus the Nawab contrives to pay
The debt he to the Company owes.
And thus by these two ladies woes
A million to its treasury goes.
Hastings leaves India 1785 A.D.
Condemned at home, abroad admired
Hastings in eighty-five retired.
To impeach his conduct was the work
Of Sheridan and famous Burke.
Their speeches showed hd done some wrong;
But still he was a ruler strong,
Who made the people prosperous
In troublous times and dangerous.
Acquitted after long delays,
Hes blessed by Heaven with length of days.
Pitts Bill 1784 A.D.
India Pitts India Bill in eighty-four
Gave to the Ministry still more
Control in India through a board
Appointed by the Sovereigns word.
Cornwallis for three peaceful years
The service from abuses clears.
Tipu attacks Travancore 1789 A.D.
Then Tipu British power defied,
And Travancore with us allied
Attacked, and from her double line
Of works was driven in eighty-nine.
Triple League against Tipu.
While Tipu with the French intrigued,
The Peshwa and the Nizam leagued
With us against him to obtain
By conquest territorial gain.
First Campaign 1790 A.D.
Tipu Sultan attacked once more,
And this time entered, Travancore,
But back returned on the report
Of Medows taking many a fort
The British conquered Malabar.
Thus in the first campaign the war,
Although no triumph great was won,
Was yet successfully begun.
Second Campaign 1791 A.D.
Cornwallis in the next campaign
Himself commanded. With his train
Of heavy guns he battered sore
And stormed the fort of Bangalore.
From Arikeras field Tipu
Into his capital withdrew.
Though Abercromby from the west
Was close at hand, they thought it best
Siege operations to postpone
Until the heavy rains were done.
Retreat from Seringapatam 1792 A.D.
Cornwallis went to Bangalore,
The other to the western shore.
The shadow of destruction falls
Upon Seringapatams walls,
When early in the following year
Cornwallis and his troops appear
With the contingents of allies
In their resplendent panoplies.
Comes Abercromby with his force;
The chiefs of Coorg made smooth his course.
Before his walls are battered down,
Peace with Tipu.
Tipu submits to save his crown.
The terms of peace to him restore
The captured town of Bangalore.
To our dominions by the war
Were added Coorg and Malabar;
The Peshwa and the Nizam too
Won by the war dominions new,
War with France 1793 A.D.
In ninety-three when war began
With France become Republican,
She lost her Indian towns once more,
As happened fifteen years before.
Permanent Settlement of Bengal 1793 A.D.
This year was fixed the Settlement
Which to this day is permanent.
The zemindars, promoted all,
Became landowners in Bengal,
Paid a fixed tax to Government
And made the ryots pay them rent.
In this way Government well knew
The exact amount of revenue;
But when the price of land increased,
Twas then the revenue was least,
For in rupees twas fixed (?), and so
With the rupee it down must go.
Some also say the ryots right
Was in the scheme neglected quite.
Sir John Shore, Governor- General 1793 A.D.
Sir John Shore, who his aid had lent
In framing Bengals settlement,
Out here as Governor-General sent,
(Such were the orders he had got,)
With native princes meddled not.
Death of Mahadji Sindhia 1794 A.D.
In Poona died Mahadji Sindhia,
Whose power oershadowed northern India.
Shah Alam in whose name he ruled
A puppet was whose strings he pulled.
In Hindustan supreme he reigned,
And nearly like control obtained.
In Poona oer the Peshwas throne.
Twas Nana Farnavis alone
Whose skill had foiled his schemes, and now
Death gave his power to Daulat Rao.
When the Marathas chauth demanded,
Nizam Ali his troops commanded
By force of arms against the claim.
Maratha troops to meet them came.
Battle of Kardla 1795 A.D.
At Kardla was the battle fought.
The Nizam fled before he ought,
And all his army with him fled,
Although but few of them had bled.
Result of Battle 1795 A.D.
When basely thus hed lost the day,
He had three million pounds to pay.
As Shore by no means would assist,
British battalions he dismissed,
While high in favour did advance
Raymond and other men of France.
The victory did much elate
The chiefs of the Maratha State,
But hope of lasting union passed,
When Madhu Rao had breathed his last.
Wellesley Governor General 1798 A.D.
Non-intervention was no more,
When Wellesley succeeded Shore.
Tipu was still our deadly foe:
To bring about his overthrow,
It first was requisite to try
To make the Nizam our ally.
Treaty with the Nizam 1798 A.D.
Yielding to Wellesleys demands
His French battalions he disbands,
Nor does a British force refuse
Maintained by his own revenues.
War with Tipu 1799 A.D.
As Tipu asked to be allied
With France, the war was justified.
A powerful British army was
Mustered by Harris at Madras.
Came the subsidiary British force
And thirty thousand foot and horse
From Haidarabad, and joined the war
A Bombay force from Malabar.
Tipu defeated in the field
Made his strong capital his shield.
Siege of Seringapatam.
The city must be quickly won
Ere the besiegers food is done.
The outworks speedily are taken
And by great guns the wall are shaken.
Tipu oppressed by dark despair
To Hindu idols bends in prayer.
On May the fourth the breach prepared
Was stormed by dauntless General Baird.
His band of Englishmen he led
Across the Kaveris dry bed.
In minutes seven the breach they crowned.
Tipu lay dead upon the ground.
The thunder and the cannon boomed,
When royally he was entombed.
Settlement of Mysore.
Some twenty thousand sand miles extent
Of land the British Government
Annexes, and an equal share
The Nizams portion does declare,
And takes it back, pay to supply
For British troops subsidiary.
A scion of the royal race,
That Haidar Ali did displace,
Is given the remnant of Mysore.
In the Karnatic and Tanjore
In Oudh and everywhere he can
Wellesley goes upon the plan
Of making native princes yield
The kingly power they used to wield,
And at their own expense maintain
The troops that bind them as a chain.
Though Tipu is subdued and slain,
The great Maratha chiefs remain
Opponents of the British power,
And eagerly await the hour,
When troops of France will come to India
And with the Peshwa, Holkar, Sindhia,
Will drive the British to the sea;
But meantime they cannot agree.
Baji Rao driven from Poona 1802 A.D.
Baji Rao from his capital
By Holkar driven is forced to call
For British aid, which Wellesley
Agrees to give most willingly,
Treaty of Bassein 1802 A.D.
Since by the treaty of Bassein
A British force he will maintain,
Restoration of Baji Rao 1803 A.D.
Thus Baji Rao his throne regained
By British bayonets sustained.
Sindhia and Bhonsla of Berar
Combined, advanced, and threatened war.
Battle of Assaye 1803 A.D.
In autumn General Wellesley
“Against the myriads of Assaye
Clashed with his fiery few and won;”
But ere the deadly fight was done,
Each third man of the British force
Was either wounded or a corse.
Then at Argaum to end the war
He beat the army of Berar.
Lakes Victories in Hindustan.
Betwixt these battles General Lake
Did Sindhias power at Delhi break.
A battle won before the walls,
The victor on Shah Alam calls;
The blind old Emperor joyfully
Escapes Maratha tryanny.
The French-drilled troops of Sindhia make
One last great stand gainst General Lake,
And on Laswaris bloody field
Seven thousand die before they yield,
Thus in four months a power, whose sway
Was felt from Ganges to Bombay,
Is broken. Sindhia and Berar
By ample cessions end the war.
War against Holkar Dec. 1803-1804 A.D.
Fearing the aspect of affairs,
Holkar, though late, for war prepares,
Attacked by Monson aye retreats,
And by not fighting shuns defeats,
Until the British wearied out,
Retrace their steps in headlong rout.
Jeswant Rao Holkar then assails
Delhi, but this adventure fails.
Next month his troops sustain defeat
At Dig, where they the British meet.
Siege of Bhurtpore 1800 A.D.
Early next year impetuous Lake
Attempts Bhurtpores mud wall to take.
Four times the British troops attack;
Four times with loss theyre driven back.
His wall unstormed, the Prince submits,
Pay twenty lakhs and Holkar quits.
Treaties with Sindhia and Holkar.
The Companys directors fear
These warlike triumphs cost too dear,
And send Cornwallis to make peace
Lest their expenses should increase.
Cornwallis died. Sir George Barlow
Would not to such extreme lengths go
In yielding to a conquered foe.
The Chambal was the boundary fixed
Sindhia and British soil betwixt.
Holkar across the Sutlej driven
Is far too good a treaty given,
By which the British him restore
Most of the lands hed lost in war.
Mutiny at Vellore 1806 A.D.
New regulations that were passed
About their dress and marks of caste
Made the Vellore sepoys afraid
They would by force be Christians made.
Urged by the family of Tipu,
The English troops they fired into
And some two hundred killed or wounded.
With his dragoons Gillespie soon did
Arrive from Arcot, overthrew
The rebels, and four hundred slew.
Lord Minto Comes to India 1807 A.D.
When Barlow acted had two years,
As Governor-General appears
Lord Minto, who, though quite resolved
In war he would not get involved,
Found war, the only remedy
Wild Bundelkhand to pacify.
Embassies to Persia Sind, and Afghanistan.
Fearing invasion from the north
Lord Minto sent his envoys forth,
To Sind, and Persia, and Kabul,
Where now Shah Shuja held the rule.
Seated on his precarious throne
He kindly welcomed Elphinstone.
Treaty with Ranjit Singh 1809 A.D.
When in the Punjab Ranjit Singh
Had made himself a powerful king,
He crossed the Sutlej to subdue
Beyond its waters countries new.
The Sikhs upon the eastern shore,
Against him British implore,
Nor are refused. A treaty’s made,
By which his eastward course is stayed,
To which he faithfully adheres
Until his death for thirty years.
Military Officers of the Company Mutiny
As Governor of Madras, Barlow
Harassed the Company’s officers so,
They dared to draw rebellious sword.
Lord Minto came and peace restored.
Conquest of Mauritius 1810 A.D.
The privateers from France, that preyed
From hostile frigates cruising round
Had shelter in Mauritius found.
Thither was Abercromby sent
With a strong British armament.
The island, conquered easily,
Is still a British Colony.
Conquest of Java 1811 A.D.
Java, which books and buildings show
Was some two thousand years ago
Conquered from India, now once more
Invaders saw from India’s shore.
The Dutch fought well, but could not long
Resist a force ten thousand strong.
Java in British hands throve much,
Till peace restored it to the Dutch.
Minto’s Successful Finance.
To Minto’s credit it redounds
A surplus of two million pounds
He saved in his last year’s finance
Spite of the costly war with France.
Lord Moira Governor General
Moira * as Governor-General
Had frontier troubles with Nepal
And, all the Gurkhas’ would not yield,
The British troops must take the field.
First Campaign against Nepal 1814 A.D.
The sturdy foe on rugged hills
The low land sepoy’s courage chills.
Kalanga’s garrison at bay
More than their total number slay.
Second campaign 1815 A.D.
But Ochterlony back did fling
The fierce attack of Amar Singh,
And next year with his troops did crown
The captured heights of fort Malaun.
The Gurkhas sued for peace, and then,
When it was signed, made war again.
Third campaign 1816 A.D.
A third campaign decides the war.
For Ochterlony, piercing far
Into the center of Nepal,
Threatens the hostile capital,
Which from assault and siege to save
The Gurkhas’ peace in earnest crave.
Garhwal, Kumaon, and the Terai
Are henceforth British property.
* Marquis of Hasting (1817 A.D.)
Large bands of robbers called Pindari
Mid India had been wont to harry.
When the Maratha war had ceased,
Their strength and number were increased,
Swollen by disbanded soldiers, who,
But plunder, had nought else to do.
United not by faith or nation
But by their villainous vocation,
They sallied forth in powerful bands
And sometimes ravaged British lands.
To make these cruel robbers yield
Large British armies took the field.
Sindhia and many a native State
Were called on to co-operate.
The Peshwa, Holkar, and Berar
Considered the Pindari War
A chance, that should not be let slip,
To get the British on the hip.
The Peshwa, as was very plain,
Chafed at the treaty of Bassein.
His follower Danglia Trimbakji
Had murdered Gangadhar Shastri,
Escaped from Thana gaol, and then
Around him gathered armed men.
The Peshwa signed a treaty quite
Submissive, but prepared to fight.
Third Maratha War November 1817 A.D.
Then came the battle of Kirki
The Peshwa saw from Parbati
His army, twenty thousand strong,
Unable to encounter long
The onset of the small brigade
Under the British flag arrayed.
Defence of Korigaum January 1818 A.D.
At Korigaum on their retreat
The Peshwa and his army meet
Staunton’s eight hundred men, whose might
Repulses all attacks till night.
Back to Sirur the heroes go
Not followed by the baffled foe.
Events Nagpur November 1817 A.D.
Young Appa Sahib of Berar
Had broken out in open war,
Though he had been by British aid
First Regent and then Raja made.
Upon the Sitabaldi heights
The British force outnumbered fights
All night till noon the following day
Against the Raja’s whole array.
Next month when General Doveton comes,
The troops resist, the prince succumbs.
The battle of Nagpur is won
And Doveton captures many a gun.
Tulsi Bai’s Death December 1817 A.D.
Tulsi Bai, wife of Yeswant Rao,
Who ruled in name of Malhar Rao
The proud Maratha chiefs have slain
Because she would from war refrain.
Battle of Mehidpur.
They met at Mehidpur next day
Hislop and Malcolm, lost the day,
And the young Holkar must agree
By British troops maintained to be.
Suppression of the Pindari
These three Maratha States o’erthrown,
The British troops could all go on
To break up the Pindari hordes, [swords.
‘Gainst whom they first had drawn their
The robber bands like boasts of chase
Were hunted down from place to place.
Wasil Muhammad, apprehended,
His life by taking poison ended,
To Malcolm yielding, Karim Khan
Became a peaceful farming man.
Death of Chitu 1819 A.D.
Most famous of them all, Chitu
Into the wilderness withdrew,
And there at last his corpse was found
Mangled on tiger-haunted ground.
Peshwa’s Dominions Annexed 1818 A.D.
Satara when the British won,
It was proclaimed by Elphinstone
That all the Peshwa’s realm should be
Subject to British sovereignty,
Except that in Satara still
Sivaji’s line the throne should fill.
Meanwhile the Peshwa ever fled
And his decreasing followers led
Northward, till fording the Tapti,
He found he could no further flee.
Surrender of the Peshwa May 1818 A.D.
Malcolm bought his surrender dear,
Allowing him eight lakhs a year.
Pacification of the Maratha Country.
The hill forts captured one by one,
It was the task of Elphinstone
Peace and good order to restore
Where violence had reigned before,
Disbanded native troops enlisted
Actively in the work assisted,
Who, left without employment, would
Have robbed or starved for want of food.
The rights of learning were protected;
A Hindu college was erected
At Poona from a fund, which erst
To learned Brahmins’ was disbursed.
Like good results accomplished were
In Malwa under Malcolm’s care.
Farmers began to cultivate
Land that had long lain desolate.
Lord Amherst, Governor- General 1823 A.D.
As Governor-General Lord Amherst
Must deal with Burmese troubles first;
For Ava’s court with foolish pride
Warnings and threats of war defied.
First Burmese War 1824 A.D.
A powerful British force, commanded
By Campbell, was at Rangoon landed,
And found abandoned all the place
By garrison and populace.
Want of fresh food and heavy rains
Caused dysentery and fever pains.
Behind their stockades the Burmese
Faced troops enfeebled by disease.
But, ere the year came to an end,
The state of things began to mend,
Till Maha Bandula, who came
To Rangoon after winning fame
Defeat of Maha Bandula December 1824 A.D.
By victory in Chittagong,
Was driven from his entrenchments strong.
Mutiny at Barrackpore November 1824 A.D.
Some sepoy troops at Barrackpore,
Ordered to march to Burma, swore
They would not or they could not go.
By grape shot many were laid low;
The rest, o’ercome by wild dismay.
From the parade ground broke away.
War with Burma Continued 1825 A.D.
The British, when next year began,
Won first Assam, then Arakan.
Bandula on the Irawadi
Opposed the invading foe’s main body.
He first did some advantage gain
But was at last in battle slain.
Campbell advancing captured Prome,
An army large repulsed therefrom.
And, when attempts at peace fell through,
Conquered again at Pagamhew.
Treaty of Yandabu 1826 A.D.
Peace was then made at Yandabu,
The victors from Pegu retired,
But kept what else they had acquired.
Fall of Bhurtpore 1826 A.D.
Bhurtpore, whose solid earthen wall
Had foiled Lord Lake, did this year fall.
By mines, not guns, were breaches formed,
Up which ten thousand bayonets swarmed.
Usurping Durjan Sal o’erthrown,
The rightful prince got back his own.
Bentinck’s Peaceful Rule 1828 A.D.
Lord Bentinck’s rule gave India rest.
The country quietly progressed.
His measures of finance was good
He earned the Natives’ gratitude
By promising nor caste nor creed
Should interfere with merit’s meed
Dacaiti, thagi, and sati
Were combated successfully.
When counsels had been long divided,
Macaulay’s influence decided,
That Indian students should be taught
In England’s language western thought.
Foreign Affairs 1831 A.D.
A stately meeting was arranged:
Bentinck and Ranjit Singh exchanged
Their views. The men of Coorg, oppressed
By their own king, at last found rest,
Made British at their own request.
Alteration of Charter 1833 A.D.
The company in thirty-three
A trading company ceased to be,
But kept its ruling powers. Then came
The Indian penal code to frame
Macaulay, by whose graphic pen
Great Clive and Hastings live again.
Metcalfe acting Governor General 1835-1836 A.D.
In Metcalfe’s year of government
The press obtained enfranchisement.
Lord Auckland Governor General 1836 A.D.
When Auckland came the progress south
Of Russia was in every month.
With Persian or with Afghan aid
She next might India invade.
When Persian troops Herat attacked,
‘Twas said they were by Russia backed.
Negotiations at Kabul.
Burnes went as envoy to Kabul,
Where Dost Muhammad now did rule.
The Afghan promised for Peshawur
He’d aid our plans with all his power.
Extravagant seemed this demand;
Another scheme was forthwith planned.
Shah Shuja to be Restored
A British army was to bring
Back to Kabul the rightful king,
Shah Shuja, who, long since expelled,
An exile in the Punjab dwelled.
This scheme was carried out, although
The Persians from Herat did go.
Invasion of Afghanistan 1839 A.D.
An army under Keane’s command,
Advancing into Afghan land,
Won Kandahar without a blow.
Then followed Ghazni’s overthrow,
Stormed on a dark tempestuous night
After a short but desperate fight.
Occupation of Afghanistan 1839-1841 A.D.
August the 7th saw British rule
Firmly established at Kabul.
Two years and more Shah Shuja reigned
By British bayonets maintained.
The Dost dethroned to India went
In honourable banishment.
Macnaghten really ruled the land
With Burnes as second in command.
Thus for a period all went well,
Till Burnes’s murder broke the spell,
Outbreak at Kabul 1841 A.D.
And then Kabul became a hell
With furious Afghans stabbing, shooting,
Cursing, shouting, burning, looting.
The British weaker day by day
Could scarcely hold the foe at bay,
Akbar Khan* at an interview
Macnaghten with his pistol slew.
The British to the Afghans granted
Guns, treasure, everything they wanted.
The Retreat and Rout January 6th 1842 A.D.
From the cantonments sadly go
In January through heavy snow
More than four thousand troops, out numbered
By followers who their march encumbered,
Some to the winter’s icy breath,
Some to the Ghilzais owe their death
The few survivors of the band
At Gandamak make their last stand.
January 13th 1842 A.D.
One reached Jellalabad to tell
What in that dreadful week befell.
Lord Ellenborough, Governor-General and the Campaign of Revenge
Lord Ellenborough soon discovered
British prestige must be recovered.
Pollock marched to Jellalabad,
Whose garrison defeated had
The Afghans under Akbar Khan.
Though Government to doubt began,
At last the General got leave
The late disaster to retrieve;
And beating back the Afghan bands
A conqueror in Kabul stands.
September 15th 1842 A.D.
There joined by Nott from Kandahar
He sets on fire the great bazaar.
The British then their troops withdrew
And Dost Muhammad reigned anew.
Sir Charles Napier conquers Sind 1842-1843 A.D.
The Sind Amirs, so Napier thought,
Found guilty of a treacherous plot
Against the British, in their fear
Accept a treaty most severe.
On Outram an attack was made;
Napier his troops at once arrayed.
Two thousand against myriads three,
He beat the foe at Miani.
Then Dabha sealed the fate of Sind
And made it part of British Ind.
Intervention in Gwalior 1843 A.D.
A minor’s rule produced disorder
In Gwalior state; Gough crossed the border,
And won a hard fought victory o’er
The Gwalior troops at Maharajpore,
Which were reduced for fear they might
In battle with the Sikhs unite.
Sir Henry Hardinge Governor General 1844 A.D.
Hardinge was in the place installed
Of restless Ellenb’rough recalled.
The Sikhs, since Ranjit Singh was dead
Had none to rule them in his stead.
Their country’s fate was in the hands
Of the Dal Khalsa’s well-trained bands,
The Sikhs cross the Sutlej 1845 A.D.
Which, by the Rani’s wiles persuaded,
The British border land invaded.
* Dost Muhammad’s son.
Battle of Mudki December 18th 1845 A.D.
Weary with marching all day long,
Gough’s force defeats an army strong
Of Sikhs at Mudki, though the fight
Lasts till the middle of the night.
Battle of Firozshah December 21st 1845 A.D.
The British troops o’er heaps of slain
Into the camp an entrance gain
At Firozshah, and with the Sikhs
All through the night confusedly mix,
At morn the victory is completed;
The Sikhs are driven out defeated.
Battles of Aliwal and Sobraon January-February 1846 A.D.
Smith drove the Sikhs at Aliwal
Into the Sutlej. Last of all
Sepoys with English soldiers vied
To break the Khalsa’s martial pride,
Storming Sobraon camp defended
By thirty thousand Sikhs. Thus ended
Treaty of Lahore March 1846 A.D.
The deadly struggle. At Lahore
The peace is signed. The Sikhs no more
Across the Sutlej land possess.
Their powerful army is made less,
To be declared of Kashmir king,
A million pounds pays Golab Singh.
Hardinge succeeded by Dalhousie 1848 A.D.
As Hardinge, now a Lord, retires,
Dalhousie his high post acquires.
April 1848 A.D.
When Anderson and Vans Agnew
Were killed at Mooltan, war anew
Broke out, and Edwardes long unaided
The lands of hostile Sikhs invaded.
Battle of Chilianwala January 1849 A.D.
At last Gough moved and fought till night
A bloody indecisive fight
At Chilianwala, where long since
The Greek had met the Indian prince.
Battle of Gujrat February 1849 A.D.
Fell Multan. The last stand was made
By Sikhs with Afghan horse arrayed
Near Gujrat on the Chenab’s bank,
Where the Sikh star of freedom sank.
Before the British guns they reeled
And fled disordered from the field.
Annexation of the Punjab.
By John and Henry Lawrence ruled
The Punjab, now annexed, was schooled
To law and order. Dhulip Singh
In England lived no more a king.
Second Burmese War 1851 A.D.
In the next war with Burma, soon
The British troops were in Rangoon,
Annexation of Pegu
Advanced to Prome, Pegu annexed,
At which the people were not vexed.
Satara, Haidarabad 1849-1853 A.D.
With Native States Dalhousie’s plan
Is to annex whene’er he can.
He had annexed Satara state,
Because the dying Prince too late
An heir adopted. Haidarabad,
To pay its own contingent, had
To assign Berar. Prospered the realm,
When Salar Jung was given the helm.
Death of Baji Rao 1853 A.D.
When Baji Rao his course had run,
Nana Sahib, his adopted son,
What private wealth to him belonged
Inherited, but still felt wronged.
He was not given what most he wanted,
The pension to his father granted.
Jhansi, Nagpur and Oudh annexed 1853-1856 A.D.
The Jhansi Rani was not pleased,
When her dead husband’s realm was seized.
Nagpur ’twas lawful to declare
British. The Raja left no heir.
The last and greatest annexation,
Which caused the widest indignation
Was that of Oudh, which long had groaned
Under misgovernment enthroned.
Dalhousie retires 1856 A.D.
‘Twas then with toil incessant spent
Dalhousie home to England went.
His Internal Policy.
By him was fixed State Education
Which students led by slow gradation
From native village school to college
Teaching the highest kind of knowledge,
Canals and highways broad were made,
Two hundred lines of rail he laid.
Cheap postage he to India gave,
And made the electric spark her slave.
Canning and War with Persia 1853 A. D.
When Canning first in India lands,
The Persian king has laid his hands
On Herat. Outram takes Bushire
And makes the Persian troops retire
At Khushab. Then the Shah thinks fit
To give up Horst, and submit.
Causes of the Mutiny
The sepoys’ minds were much excited
With fears and wrongs they wanted righted,
The Enfield cartridges, they feared,
With fat of cows and pigs were smeared.
The Punjab, Sind seemed far away
To serve in without extra pay.
The telegraph and railway trains
Raised strange suspicions in their brains.
Old prophecies their minds perplexed.
They grieved o’er Native States annexed.
The horrors of the Afghan war
Made them distrust the British star.
The Russian war had left, they knew,
In India English troops too few.
Outbreak at Meerut
At Meerut on the tenth of May
Three regiments rebel and slay
Their officers, and unpursued
To Delhi their escape make good.
With all the sepoys there united
The old Mughal they have invited
To raise his standard and have slain
What English in the place remain.
All o’er Bengal the sepoys rose.
At Cawnpur Nana Sahib they chose
To be their chief. The English seek
Refuge in an entrenchment weak.
In Oudh, when Henry Lawrence falls,
They man the Residency walls.
Where’er the sepoys win the day,
Woman and man and child they slay.
Siege of Delhi June 8th 1857 A.D
The rebels did not Delhi hold
Long unopposed. Ere June was old,
The Ridge was by the British seized.
Thither the troops, that could be squeezed
Out of the Punjab, Lawrence sent.
Capture of Delhi September 14th 1857 A.D.
The siege guns came; eight thousand went
And stormed a city, which contained
Some thirty thousand soldiers trained.
The triumph with great loss was won
Of life, including Nicholson.
Massacre of Cawnpur June 25th 1857 A.D.
The Cawnpur troops gave up their swords
Trusting to Nana Sahib’s words.
Sorrow it were and shame to tell
The butcher work that then befell.
Havelock’s Advance July 16th 1857 A.D.
Havelock, victorious and brave,
To Cawnpur came too late to save.
September 25th 1857 A.D.
Thence to Lucknow he struggled on
And joined the hard pressed garrison.
Second Relief of Lucknow November 17th 1857 A.D.
Appointed to the chief command,
Sir Colin Campbell ably planned
To set the men and women free
Long pent in Lucknow Residency.
Returning to Cawnpur he saved
Wyndham whom Tantia Topi braved.
Next year a grand advance he made
With thirty thousand men arrayed.
Capture of Lucknow March 1858 A.D.
At cost of some six hundred lives
The rebels from Lucknow he drives
In twenty days. This fatal blow
Deprives of hope the stubborn foe.
Sir Hugh Rose’s Campaign January 1858 A.D.
Sir Hugh Rose, with the opening year,
Begins from Mhow his proud career
Of victory. Nor rebel force
Nor raging sun could stay his course,
And Jhansi’s rocky citadel,
In spite of Tantia Topi, fell.
The Rani was at Gwalior slain
In battle, when that fort was ta’en;
But Tantia Topi, captured late,
Was tried and hanging was his fate.
India transferred to the Crown November 1858 A.D.
While the rebellion dwindled down,
India was taken by the Crown.
The Queen by solemn proclamation
Then promised to the Indian nation
Their ancient customs to respect
And as State servants to select
Such Natives as were fitted most
For holding each official post.
The Native States that true remained
Large gifts of land and honour gained.
The granting of adoption’s right
Their apprehensions put to flight.
Lord Canning’s Departure 1862 A.D.
Order and law once more prevailed,
And, ere Lord Canning homeward sailed,
Railways and telegraphs and trade
Resumed the progress war bad stayed.
Lord Elgin Viceroy and the Ambela Campaign 1863 A.D.
Lord Elgin ruled a year and died.
In his time frontier tribes defied
Two months the troops of Chamberlain;
Ambela Pass saw many slain.
John Lawrence, Viceroy 1864 A.D.
John Lawrence was a Viceroy shrewd
Who always sought the people’s good.
A Bhutan war with loss begun
Yielded a strip of land when won.
Dost Muhammad dies 1863 A.D.
When Dost Muhammad died, his throne
Was fought for by Afghans alone.
The battle verdict made it clear
They wished Sher Ali as Amir.
British support, when this was known,
Fixed him more firmly on his throne.
Famine in Orissa 1866 A.D.
The famine in Orissa taught
That Indian roads and railways ought
To be extended, so that aid
To starving mouths might be conveyed.
Mayo and Sher Ali 1869 A.D.
Lord Mayo at Ambala met
The Afghan Prince, who failed to get
The aid he wanted. Yet his warm
Reception and the Viceroy’s charm
Of manner won the Afghan chief.
Soon after, to his great relief,
The Russians made a promise plain
They would from Afghan lands abstain.
Financial Measures 1869- 70 A.D.
To mend the state of the finances
Mayo the tax on salt enhances,
And by an income tax offends
His Indian and his English friends.
Death of Lord Mayo 1872 A.D.
At the Andamans a Pathan knife
Deprived Lord Mayo of his life.
Princes and people loved him dearly,
And mourned the Viceroy’s death sincerely.
Lord Northbrook and the Finances.
Of banker origin Northbrook
Great care of the finances took.
Without the income tax’s aid
Each year a large surplus was made,
The Bengal Famine 1874 A.D.
Except when millions six were spent
The deaths of millions to prevent
And bring the Bengal peasants food,
From districts blessed with harvests good.
The Prince of Wales in India 1875 A.D.
The second son of England’s Queen
In Mayo’s time had India seen.
‘Twas greater joy in seventy-five
To see the Prince of Wales arrive.
Where his equestrian statue stands,
The greeting given him as he lands
Is well portrayed. In princely pride
The Rajas with each other vied,
And gold and jewels did not spare
In welcoming the Empire’s heir.
Mulhar Rao warned and deposed 1874-1875 A.D.
Mulhar Rao, warned he’d be removed
Unless his government improved,
Was next suspected of intent
To poison Phayre, the Resident,
And by a mixed commission tried,
Which could not on his guilt decide.
So Salisbury for misrule alone
Deprived him of Baroda’s throne.
Lord Lytton and Sher Ali 1876 A.D.
Lord Lytton came from home with orders
To make the Afghans in their borders
Take English officers, although
Sher Ali always answered “No”
To such requests, declaring he
Could not their safety guarantee,
On his refusal he was told
The British would their aid withhold.
Proclamation of the Empress 1877 A.D.
On the first day of seventy-seven
O’er Delhi’s towers the skies were riven,
When the loud cannon’s voice proclaimed
The Queen was India’s Empress named.
Turning from this assembly bright
What dismal visions meet our sight!
Bengal Cyclone Waves 1876 A.D.
In Bengal’s low alluvial soil
Two cyclone waves destroy the toil
Of thousands, and the toilers’ lives,
Their homes, their children, and their wives.
Famine in Western and Southern India 1876-1877 A.D.
Before the closing of the year
In Bombay and Madras ’twas clear
That famine raged, and thousands went
To earn the pittance government
On its relief works offered those
Who suffered from starvation’s throes.
But, spite of all that man could do,
The famine some five millions slew.
Embassy to Sher Ali 1878 A.D.
In seventy-eight, when it was known
Some Russians had to Kabul gone,
Without his leave our government
A mission to Sher Ali sent,
Which Ali Musjid’s garrison
Refused permission to go on.
Sher Ali now must give consent
To take a mission permanent.
Invasion of Afghanistan 1878 A.D.
No answer given to this demand,
The British troops invade his land.
February 1879 A.D.
His troops o’ercome, Sher Ali flies
Northwards and there next year he dies.
Attack on the Residency September 1879 A.D.
To Yakub Khan, his heir, is sent
Cavagnari as Resident,
Who in September with his train
By Afghan mutineers is slain.
Renewal of War October and Occupation of Kabul 1879 A.D.
Roberts, to punish such a crime,
Advances without loss of time,
At Charasia the mutineers
Defeats and in Kabul appears.
His troops the Afghans overawe
And many hang by martial law.
Yakub Khan to Mussoorie goes.
The Afghans in December rose,
But Roberts all attacks repelled
And his position firmly held.
Sir Donald Stewart a column brought
From Kandahar in spring and fought
Ahmad Khel April 1880 A.D.
At Ahmad Khel an army large
Whose furious ghazis vainly charge.
Sher Ali’s brother, Ayub Khan,
The siege of Kandahar began,
When he had routed at Maiwand
In July Burrows’ scanty band.
Battle of Kandahar August 9th-31st to September 1st 1880 A.D.
Roberts in two and twenty days
From Kabul marched the siege to raise
And won with ease at Kandahar
The final battle of the war.
Lord Ripon, Viceroy and Abdul Rahman July 1880 A.D.
Meanwhile Lord Lytton had gone home,
A Liberal Viceroy had come,
Lord Ripon, who Afghanistan
Gave up to Abdul Rahman Khan.
Liberal Policy 1881 A.D. – 1883 A.D.
Lord Ripon, by his policy
Tried native claims to satisfy,
He did to native rule restore
The prosperous Kingdom of Mysore.
Local self-government he gave,
Nor would the native press enslave.
The much debated Ilbert bill
Gave greater satisfaction still;
After much waste of verbal fury
‘Twas settled a half-English jury
To Englishmen of crime accused,
Who claimed it, should not be refused.
Lord Ripon’s Departure 1884 A.D.
When Ripon’s time came to depart
He found he’d won the nation’s heart.
Indian Contingent in Egypt 1883 A.D.
A year before Lord Ripon went,
An Indian contingent sent
To Egypt, when the battle’s done,
To Cairo marching swiftly on
The hostile city occupy
And capture Pasha Arabi.
Lord Dufferin, Viceroy 1884 A.D.
Lord Dufferin to India came,
Chosen for his diplomatic fame.
Russian complications 1885 A.D.
Russia consented to define
The northern Afghan frontier line;
But Komaroff with violence
Seized Penjdeh, drove the Afghans thence
And many killed. The war seemed near.
At Rawalpindi the Amir
Declared he’d fight upon our side,
If Russia England’s might defied.
Like promises of loyal aid
The Indian princes freely made.
Delimitation of Frontier.
But Russia now to peace inclined,
And so the frontier was defined.
Conquest of Upper Burma.
Theebaw, the King of Burma, long
Had done his subjects cruel wrong,
And had by his intrigues with France
Provoked the British to advance.
November 14th 1885 A.D. – Nov 29th 1885 A.D.
An outrage done to British trade,
An ultimatum not obeyed
Across his southern frontier brought
A British army. Feebly fought
The Burmese. On the fifteenth day
The British flag o’er Mandalay
Was flying. King Theebaw was sent
To live in Indian banishment.
Next year his realm annexed increased
The British Empire in the East.
Pacification of Upper Burma.
Burma, though conquered easily
Took a long time to pacify.
Though thirty thousand soldiers hold
The country, bands of robbers bold
Right up to Rangoon burned and killed,
And all the land with bloodshed filled.
At last the cause of order won
And commerce to revive begun.
Houses and factories were erected
And tillage was no more neglected.
Ere long, it’s hoped, the province new
Will yield an ample revenue.
Lord Dufferin retires and his work 1888 A.D.
Lord Dufferin in eighty-eight
Retired. His services were great,
For peace with honour was his care,
When warlike rumours filled the air.
Of rupees many lakhs expended
Rendered the frontier well defended,
Among the measures of defence
Some Princes at their own expense.
Imperial Service Troops
Imperial Service Troops prepare
In frontier wars to take their share.
The Marquis of Lansdowne, Viceroy.
Lansdowne the bounds of Empire far
Did not extend, nor mighty war
Avert from India, yet his rule
Was of events of interest full.
Royal Visitors 1889- 90 A.D.
The Prince of Wales’s son and heir
And Russia’s Czarewitch both were
Among his guests. To death were done
Manipur Massacre 1891 A.D.
At Manipur in ninety-one
English officials. Such a crime
Was punished without loss of time.
The Amir a reception grand
Gave to Sir Mortimer Durand.
Religious Riots August 1893 A.D.
There were some petty frontier wars;
But worse were the internal jars,
When in the cities Mussalman
And Hindu civil strife began.
Three days in Bombay warfare raged
With knives and stones and bludgeons waged
Spite of two thousand foot and horse
Called out to conquer force by force.
Indian Members of Parliament 1892 A.D.
The Indian nation felt great joy
When the news came that Dadabhoy
Naoroji had been made M. P.
By radicals of Finsbury.
In ninety-five he lost his seat;
But, to atone for his defeat,
We’ve still an Indian M. P.
In Mr. M. M. Bhownuggree.
Indian Councils Acts 1892 A.D.
The Councils Act of ninety-two
To Indian Councils adds a few
Elected members chosen by
District board, university,
Merchants or civic corporation
To give their views on legislation.
Currency Act June 26th 1893 A.D.
In hope to raise the fallen ‘rupee
The mints were closed in ninety-three;
Though this was done in its defence,
It fell as low as thirteen pence.
Now it has risen to one and two;
But who knows what it next will do?
Chitral 1895 A.D.
Chitral, since Elgin’s rule begun,
Has by our troops in war been won.
Tax upon Imports 1894 A.D.
A tax on imports has been laid
To mend at the expense of trade
The havoc the rupee’s mischances
Have wrought in Indian finances.
With this exception we may say
The country’s in a prosperous way.
Years eight and thirty battle sounds
Have been unheard in India’s bounds.
These years have seen her wealth increase
By progress in the arts of peace.
Her numbers quickly multiply
But don’t outrun the food-supply.
For eighteen years grim Famine’s hand
Has spared the people of the land.
During this time of peace the nation
Has much advanced in education,
And far more Natives than of old
Can government appointments hold.
When England first to India came
Her chief and almost only aim
Was wealth. But as her empire grew,
Her rulers took a nobler view
Of what became them in their station
As rulers of a mighty nation,
And by degrees have come to know,
What Akbar mastered long ago,
That a great empire’s best defence
Is Justice and Benevolence.