Henry O'Meara Ballads of America

Decoration

THE SACRED WHITE ELEPHANT FROM SIAM

[written In reponse to an offer by P. T. Barnum. -The White Elephant of Siam has been held sacred to Guatama to the religion of the Buddists, and called by the people Toung Taloung.]
OUT from the Orient, - auric home primeval, -
   Realm of the unreal - maze of mythic lore, -
From palmy clime, with primal day coeval,
   Earth's peering oriel where her dawn-rays pour!
 
First to the Occident - from mystic thrall
   Is lent the light of Thai's faith and throne,
The aulic elephant of Siam's lustral hall,
   In guise that great Guatama claims alone.
 
Sacred Leviathan of land renowned -
   Chosen of Buddha - Rose of vernal shrine
A myriad chants on Ava's magic ground
   Bespeak the claims of Toung Taloung divine.
 
Behind his hallowed stamp of hue revealed,
   Centuple tongues their mysteries have told,
A chiliad of visioned deeds unsealed,
   A thousand lustrums' vanished dreams unrolled.
 
'Round Toung Taloung, like Indra's censers swung,
   Cycles of Buddha sweep in weird progression, -
Their incense breathes as lays on Meinam sung
  Of memories chimed in rhythmic retrocession.
 
Decoration
A VIRGILIAN CHARADE CONTENTS THE LAST DAY OF POMPEII

 

Edited and formatted by Sheldon Brown

updated Wednesday, April 19, 2000
URL: http://sheldonbrown.com/omeara/elephant.html
Copyright © 2000 Sheldon Brown