P.R. Dent

Hail! land of loveliness, and beauty rare,
Matchless thy gifts, as though the fairies kind
Beholding thee, and deeming thee so fair,
With wond'ring homage, each around thee twined
Some precious gift, from earth and air, and sea;
For such, O lovely one, have been bestowed on

Within the Ocean's womb long hadst thou lain,
Maturing there, perchance some thousand years
Or more. At last, upheaved 'midst throes and pain,
An isle of beauty on his breast he wears,
An Orient pearl, set in a sapphire sea!
England her fairest gem beholds in thee!

Thy parent Ocean places at thy feet
Corals and pearls, that strew his gorgeous floor;
Dolphins, and flying fish, and mermaids fleet
Sport 'mid the seaweeds, while from Conch shells pour
The music of the waves, that lulled thy sleep,
Till the " Word " hurled thee from the amorous deep.

When bursts upon the world the roseate morn,
Flinging aside the portals of the East,
Not ling'ringly, but ush'ring in the Dawn
With golden splendours rapidly, to feast
Upon earth's loveliness and rend aside
Night's jewelled curtain which those charms would hide:

Thus, o'er Ceylon is marshalled in the morn
As glorious ; the sun embraces earth,
The air, the sea ; the very depths are torn
From night's chill kiss, to sing in joyous mirth
Of the great miracle, the daily birth!

Here, the proud ocean basks beneath his rays,
As pearl-entangled fringe the golden sands
Caress with murmurs soft, while fitful plays
The diamond spray, whose jewelled and glitt'ring bands
Encircle thee, Queen of the Indian Sea.
Ceylon! what land can e'er compare with thee?


Ceylon is the old name given to the island now called Sri Lanka.

Main Location:

Sri Lanka