Akbar the Great, who lived about the same time as Queen Elizabeth I. of England, was one of the most renowned emperors of the Mughal empire in India. This story, follows some of his adventures as a small boy, when under the protection of servants loyal to his parents, he had to flee across the mountains to escape from his families enemies.
ON A SHELVING BANK OF DRY SAND BABY AKBAR SITTING UP AND RUBBING HIS EYES.
Oft when the house lay silent in the heat
My thoughts would be so full of you, my sweet,
That dreaming half—I seemed to hear once more
Your little fingers fluttering at the door,
The pitter patter of your childish feet
In joyous rhythm cross the echoing floor.
Then small, soft hands would nestle into mine,
And warm soft arms around my neck would twine,
As soft and warm the dream child on my knees,
Cuddling so close in clear young voice would tease
And tease and tease in mimicked glad young whine
For "Just one little story if you please."
So half in jest and half in earnest, too,
Mostly I think to dream my dreaming true,
I'd conjure up long tales of lands afar
And days gone by that yet remembered are;
Shaping my stories with this end in view
To gain the verdict "Tell some more, Mamma."
For I was happy when I had beguiled
Into my life the spirit of a child.
Thus one by one the weary hours flew
And page by page a little volume grew,
So—that my dreams with truth be reconciled,
Take it, my darling, it was writ for you.
Long years have sped since that poor book was penned.
None read the pages. Therefore at the end
Of this world's life I dedicate to two
Small boys—her sons—whose question'ng eyes of blue
Tell me that dreams of childhood never end
This book. So take it boys—'twas writ for you.
This book is written for all little lads and lasses, but especially for the former, since it is the true—quite true—story of a little lad who lived to be, perhaps, the greatest king this world has ever seen.
It is a strange, wild tale this of the adventures of Prince Akbar among the snowy mountains between Kandahār and Kābul, and though the names may be a bit of a puzzle at first, as they will have to be learned by and bye in geography and history lessons, it might be as well to get familiar with them in a story-book; though, indeed, as everybody in it except Roy the Rājput, Meroo the cook boy; Tumbu, the dog; and Down, the cat (and these four may have been true, you know, though they have not been remembered) really lived, I don't know whether this book oughtn't to be considered real history, and therefore
Anyhow, I hope you won't find it dull.