In 1857 the English-speaking world was electrified by news of a rebellion in India against British rule accompanied by massacres and savage reprisals. An incident in the Mutiny, as it was called, was the siege for five months of the British garrison at Lucknow. When the siege was broken by a relief column that included Highland troops, an American poet sent off some lines about it to the Atlantic. They were rejected by editor James Russell Lowell but later much anthologized. The poem reads in part: "Day by day the Indian tiger/ Louder yelled, and nearer crept; Round and round the jungle-serpent/ near and nearer circles swept./ 'Pray for rescue, wives and mothers, -- / Pray to-day!' the soldier said. . . . Oh, they listened, looked and waited, till their hope became despair; Then up spake a Scottish maiden,/ With her ear unto the ground: 'Dinna ye hear it? -- dinna ye hear it?/ The pipes o' Havelock sound!/'. . . . Oh, they listened dumb and breathless,/ And they caught the sound at last;/ Faint and far beyond the Goomtee/ Rose and fell the piper's blast!" What was the poem and who was the poet?
All entries (one per person) must be clearly written on postcards and mailed to: Book Bag, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071, and must include complete return address and competition number. The winning entry will be the first correct answer drawn at random. Employees of The Washington Post Company and their families are not eligible to enter. Entries must be received no later than February 11. The winner's name and city of residence will be announced in the February 21 issue. A Washington Post Book World book bag will be sent to the winner.
Answer to Book Bag #453: Daniel Webster was the senator who voted for compromise and John Greenleaf Whittier the poet who lamented, in the poem "Ichabod," this defection from the strict abolitionist position. Winner: M. L. Young, Washington, D.C.