Poems eBook

Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 84 pages of information about Poems.

But when she saw her child was dead,
She scattered ashes on her head,
And seized the small corpse, pale and sweet,
And rushing wildly through the street,
She sobbing fell at Buddha’s feet.

“Master, all-helpful, help me now! 
Here at thy feet I humbly bow;
Have mercy, Buddha, help me now!”
She groveled on the marble floor,
And kissed the dead child o’er and o’er. 
And suddenly upon the air
There fell the answer to her prayer: 
“Bring me to-night a lotus tied
With thread from a house where none has died.”

She rose, and laughed with thankful joy,
Sure that the god would save the boy. 
She found a lotus by the stream;
She plucked it from its noonday dream. 
And then from door to door she fared,
To ask what house by Death was spared. 
Her heart grew cold to see the eyes
Of all dilate with slow surprise: 
“Kilvani, thou hast lost thy head;
Nothing can help a child that’s dead. 
There stands not by the Ganges’ side
A house where none hath ever died.” 
Thus, through the long and weary day,
From every door she bore away
Within her heart, and on her arm,
A heavier load, a deeper harm. 
By gates of gold and ivory,
By wattled huts of poverty,
The same refrain heard poor Kilvani,
The living are few, the dead are many.

The evening came—­so still and fleet—­
And overtook her hurrying feet. 
And, heartsick, by the sacred fane
She fell, and prayed the god again. 
She sobbed and beat her bursting breast
“Ah, thou hast mocked me, Mightiest! 
Lo!  I have wandered far and wide;
There stands no house where none hath died.” 
And Buddha answered, in a tone
Soft as a flute at twilight blown,
But grand as heaven and strong as death
To him who hears with ears of faith: 
“Child, thou art answered.  Murmur not! 
Bow, and accept the common lot.”

Kilvani heard with reverence meet,
And laid her child at Buddha’s feet.

Mount Tabor

On Tabor’s height a glory came,
And, shrined in clouds of lambent flame,
The awestruck, hushed disciples saw
Christ and the prophets of the law. 
Moses, whose grand and awful face
Of Sinai’s thunder bore the trace,
And wise Elias,—­in his eyes
The shade of Israel’s prophecies,—­
Stood in that wide, mysterious light,
Than Syrian noons more purely bright,
One on each hand, and high between
Shone forth the godlike Nazarene.

They bowed their heads in holy fright,—­
No mortal eyes could bear the sight,—­
And when they looked again, behold! 
The fiery clouds had backward rolled,
And borne aloft in grandeur lonely,
Nothing was left “save Jesus only.”

Project Gutenberg
Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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