Madame A. Christina Albers
Buddha

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Kuśinārā

Near Kuśinārā in sequestered grove
Four Sāl trees stand, their crowns in rhythm swaying,
A mystic murmur passes through the air.
The young twigs weep and sigh their rosy blossoms,
The melancholy crowns wave doleful dirge,
Mingled with the soft sobbing of the leaves,
The falling tears of foliage laden branches,
The sighing lutestrings of the soughing wind
Adding a sad refrain in soulful cadence.
Nature is stirred unto its inmost core.
The heaving earth, the waves of distant oceans
Call forth mysterious voices from the deep,
And unknown mysteries rise from dark caverns;
Strange occult forces, unknown all to man,
Join in one mighty world encircling anthem,
And blend their voices in a requiem,
While o'er the earth the pall of death is hanging.
But is the ground a carpet of gold bloom
That fall from vivid height in gorgeous showers,
Laden with scent of lavender and myrrh;
And fragrance wafted from celestial gardens
Send waves of light in a transcendent stream.
The air is kindled with love-blazing beauty.
The gods are sending from their unseen realms
A glorious welcome to a world-tired pilgrim,
Who soon will travel through their sunny land,
Into Vastness of unconquered Silence.
And under these four sāl trees stands a couch,
Around which stand in pale and stricken anguish
A multitude, who turn their tear-stained eyes
Upon that couch in poignant adoration.
There in serene, unstricken majesty,
Solemn and calm the conqueror is resting.
Halos of glory from His body shine,
Still speaks His voice, the love-notes gently flowing
In mellifluent cadence, golden stream,
Bidding farewell in those fond, tender accents
That, ah, so oft have made their hearts rejoice.
But now, on every word hang silver teardrops.
‘Weep not for me, my friends, the Law, the Doctrine
That I have given you, shall be your guide,
Be steadfast on the path that I have shown you,
And be ye each a lamp unto himself.
I now go to my final home, Nirvāna,
The weary pathway in Saṁsāra's round
My searching aching feet no more shall wander,
And you awaits the same great Destiny.’
Then came the moment of majestic stillness,
Hushed was the hour, His great heart beat no more.
The conqueror had gone to His Dominions,
That land of bliss beyond all time and space,
Where only love and unchecked thought can follow,
Where change and weeping sorrow are no more,
Where in perennial cosmic silence shrouded
Eternal life rests in transcendent bliss.
Now quaked the earth, the rivers swelled in torrents,
And mystic forces filled the atmosphere.
Down from supernal heights rained flaming garlands
In golden showers on that holy bier.
Now they who mourned turned to their last-love-duty
With weeping hearts and bitter burning tears.
But spake the voice within, that roused to action!
‘Forward, go carry on the flaming torch,
O'er land and seas shall flow the fiery banner,
The world shall know the Lovelight of the Law.’
And thus the Wheel of the great Law is rolling
And will roll on as long as time does last.