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The Light of Asia

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:59 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
Sir Edwin Arnold published this poetic life of Buddha in 1879, an instant classic then and for many years thereafter. Whether folks under the age of 40 today, have even heard of it, I do not know. ... sia-hp.htm

Re: The Light of Asia

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:14 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
That night the wife of King SuddhĂ´dana,
Maya the Queen, asleep beside her Lord,
Dreamed a strange dream; dreamed that a star from heaven --
Splendid, six-rayed, in color rosy-pearl,
Whereof the token was an Elephant
Six-tusked and whiter than Vahuka's milk --
Shot through the void and, shining into her,
Entered her womb upon the right. Awaked,
Bliss beyond mortal mother's filled her breast,
And over half the earth a lovely light
Forewent the morn. The strong hills shook; the waves
Sank lulled; all flowers that blow by day came forth
As 'twere high noon; down to the farthest hells
Passed the Queen's joy, as when warm sunshine thrills
Wood-glooms to gold, and into all the deeps
A tender whisper pierced. "Oh ye," it said,
"The dead that are to live, the live who die,
Uprise, and hear, and hope! Buddha is come!"
Whereat in Limbos numberless much peace
Spread, and the world's heart throbbed, and a wind blew
With unknown freshness over lands and seas.
From Book the First