Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 154. From ‘The Light of Asia’
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
154. From ‘The Light of Asia’
By Sir Edwin Arnold  (1832–1904)
  
OM, AMITAYA! measure not with words
  Th’ Immeasurable; nor sink the string of thought
Into the Fathomless. Who asks doth err,
  Who answers, errs. Say nought!
 
The Books teach Darkness was, at first of all,        5
  And Brahm, sole meditating in that Night:
Look not for Brahm and the Beginning there!
  Nor him, nor any light
 
Shall any gazer see with mortal eyes,
  Or any searcher know by mortal mind;       10
Veil after veil will lift—but there must be
  Veil upon veil behind.
 
Stars sweep and question not. This is enough
  That life and death and joy and woe abide;
And cause and sequence, and the course of time,       15
  And Being’s ceaseless tide,
 
Which, ever changing, runs, linked like a river
  By ripples following ripples, fast or slow—
The same yet not the same—from far-off fountain
  To where its waters flow       20
 
Into the seas. These, steaming to the Sun,
  Give the lost wavelets back in cloudy fleece
To trickle down the hills, and glide again;
  Having no pause or peace.
 
This is enough to know, the phantasms are;       25
  The Heavens, Earths, Worlds, and changes changing them,
A mighty whirling wheel of strife and stress
  Which none can stay or stem.…
 
If ye lay bound upon the wheel of change,
  And no way were of breaking from the chain,       30
The Heart of boundless Being is a curse,
  The Soul of Things fell Pain.
 
Ye are not bound! the Soul of Things is sweet,
  The Heart of Being is celestial rest;
Stronger than woe is will: that which was Good       35
  Doth pass to Better—Best.
 
I, Buddh, who wept with all my brothers’ tears,
  Whose heart was broken by a whole world’s woe,
Laugh and am glad, for there is Liberty!
  Ho! ye who suffer! know       40
 
Ye suffer from yourselves. None else compels,
  None other holds you that ye live and die,
And whirl upon the wheel, and hug and kiss
  Its spokes of agony,
 
Its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness.       45
  Behold, I show you Truth! Lower than hell,
Higher than Heaven, outside the utmost stars,
  Farther than Brahm doth dwell,
 
Before beginning, and without an end,
  As space eternal and as surety sure,       50
Is fixed a Power divine which moves to good,
  Only its laws endure.…
 
That which ye sow ye reap. See yonder fields!
  The sesamum was sesamum, the corn
Was corn. The Silence and the Darkness knew!       55
  So is a man’s fate born.…
 
If he shall day by day dwell merciful,
  Holy and just and kind and true; and rend
Desire from where it clings with bleeding roots,
  Till love of life have end:       60
 
He—dying—leaveth as the sum of him
  A life-count closed, whose ills are dead and quit
Whose good is quick and mighty, far and near,
  So that fruits follow it.
 
No need hath such to live as ye name life;       65
  That which began in him when he began
Is finished: he hath wrought the purpose through
  Of what did make him Man.
 
Never shall yearnings torture him, nor sins
  Stain him, nor ache of earthly joys and woes       70
Invade his safe eternal peace; nor deaths
  And lives recur. He goes
Unto NIRVÂNA. He is one with Life,
  Yet lives not. He is blest, ceasing to be.
OM, MANI PADME, OM! the Dewdrop slips       75
  Into the shining sea!…
 
    AH! BLESSED LORD! OH, HIGH DELIVERER!
FORGIVE THIS FEEBLE SCRIPT, WHICH DOTH THEE WRONG,
MEASURING WITH LITTLE WIT THY LOFTY LOVE.
AH! LOVER! BROTHER! GUIDE! LAMP OF THE LAW!       80
I TAKE MY REFUGE IN THY NAME AND THEE!
I TAKE MY REFUGE IN THY LAW OF GOOD!
I TAKE MY REFUGE IN THY ORDER! OM!
THE DEW IS ON THE LOTUS!—RISE, GREAT SUN!
AND LIFT MY LEAF AND MIX ME WITH THE WAVE.       85
OM MANI PADME HUM, THE SUNRISE COMES!
THE DEWDROP SLIPS INTO THE SHINING SEA!

CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors