My garden blazes brightly with the rose-bush and the peach,
And the koil sings above it, in the siris by the well,
From the creeper-covered trellis comes the squirrel’s chattering speech,
And the blue jay screams and flutters where the cheery sat-bhai dwell.
But the rose has lost its fragrance, and the koil’s note is strange;
I am sick of endless sunshine, sick of blossom-burdened bough.
Give me back the leafless woodlands where the winds of Springtime range
Give me back one day in England, for it’s Spring in England now!
Through the pines the gusts are booming, o’er the brown fields blowing chill,
From the furrow of the ploughshare streams the fragrance of the loam,
And the hawk nests on the cliffside and the jackdaw in the hill,
And my heart is back in England ‘mid the sights and sounds of Home.
But the garland of the sacrifice this wealth of rose and peach is,
Ah! koil, little koil, singing on the siris bough,
In my ears the knell of exile your ceaseless bell like speech is
Can you tell me aught of England or of Spring in England now?
* koil Then Indian bell-bird.
sat-bhai Indian starlings.