Hindoo [Hindu] Superstition, or the First Velocipede in India (1870)

Hindoo [Hindu] Superstition, or the First Velocipede in India

The Hindoos say the gods sometimes

Their heavenly mansions leave,

And visit the abodes of men; –

This multitudes believe.

Vishnu, they tell us, has been seen

Night after night of late,

Riding upon a wheel of fire,

At a most rapid rate.

 

O’ercome with terror and dismay,

Whene’er the god rode by,

Prostrate upon the ground they fell,

Nor dared lift up an eye.

 

‘Tis evident they did not know

Of fear there was no need,

That ‘twas an Englishman rode by

On a velocipede.

 

When Sol shot forth his scorching rays,

The heat o’ ercame him quite,

 It was such tiring work by day,

Therefore he rode at night.

 

A lamp on the carriage hung

The needed light supplied,

Thus was the Englishman enjoyed,

The Hindos terrified.

 

Oft when the night has o’er the world

Its sable mantle spread,

Then ghosts and goblins roam abroad,

By many folks’tis said.

 

Strange fancies then prey on the mind,

Come some at mid-day see,

What so affrighted them at night,

Astonished they would be.

                        John Dore

Isle of Wight Observer, January 15, 1870; pg. 3

 

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