TO A BUDDHA SEATED ON A LOTUS
by: Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)
- ORD BUDDHA,
on thy lotus-throne,
- With praying eyes and hands elate,
- What mystic rapture dost thou own,
- Immutable and ultimate?
- What peace, unravished of our ken,
- Annihilate from the world of men?
- The wind of change for ever blows
- Across the tumult of our way,
- To-morrows unborn griefs depose
- The sorrows of our yesterday.
- Dream yields to dream, strife follows strife,
- And Death unweaves the webs of Life.
- For us the travail and the heat,
- The broken secrets of our pride,
- The strenuous lessons of defeat,
- The flower deferred, the fruit denied;
- But not the peace, supremely won,
- Lord Buddha, of thy Lotus-throne.
- With futile hands we seek to gain
- Our inaccessible desire,
- Diviner summits to attain,
- With faith that sinks and feet that tire
- But nought shall conquer or control
- The heavenward hunger of our soul.
- The end, elusive and afar,
- Still lures us with its beckoning flight,
- And all our mortal moments are
- A session of the Infinite.
- How shall we reach the great, unknown
- Nirvana of thy Lotus-throne?
POEMS BY SAROJINI NAIDU
"To a Buddha Seated on a Lotus"
is reprinted from The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse.
Ed. Nicholson & Lee. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1917.