Ellora Caves

Nicholas Michell

Ellora's wonders half unearthly seem,
Born as of fancy, dazzling as a dream.
Shaped from the living stone, vast halls appear,
Their massive grandeur sculptured columns rear;
Ranged round the shrine, unnumbered gods are seen,
From Lashmi fair, to Siva's blood-stained queen;
From wisdom's lord, proud Ganesa, to him
The child of love, the god of mirth and whim.
Who carved this grand cathedral? — ask yon sage
That haunts these ruins, bow'd like them with age;
A king, he says, in earth's pure happy prime,
Ere China was, or Hebrews reckon time;
And then he kneels, o'er brighter days to grieve,
And simple hearts the fabling tale believe.