Sir Edwin Arnold (1832–1904) was an English poet, journalist and Orientalist. In 1852 while attending University College in Oxford he won the Newdigate Prize for his poem “Feast of Belshazzar.” Later, after serving as principal of a college in India, he returned to England and joined the Daily Telegraph, where he became editor. His interests remained in the East, and he traveled to Japan and back to India whenever possible. His writing was heavily influenced by that part of the world, and Arnold is most noted for The Light of Asia, an Indian epic about the life of Buddha. Arnold later wrote a similar (but not so well received) poem about Jesus called The Light of the World. He was made a Companion of the Star of India and Knight Commander of the Indian Empire.
Following is an excerpt from Arnold’s Wandering Words (1894) describing a rather obscure evening pastime on the Jericho plain: