Madame A. Christina Albers

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The Deer Park

Now in the fulness of His Buddhahood
He walked the road that led unto Benares
Where the five comrades of His former days
Were keeping rest. Seeing His form approaching,
They whispering spake, ‘Behold He has come back!
But we will not now greet Him as Preceptor.’
But when they saw His soul’s full majesty,
Upon His noble brow wisdom’s bright splendour,
Those deep eyes with unfathomed glory filled,
They bowed their heads in reverent obeisance,
And fell in adoration at His feet.
And here, near Kāshī, in the sylvan deer park
He set in motion the great ‘Wheel of Law’,
That Wheel that sent its beacon through the ages
And left its golden stamp on many lands.
The pebbly desert bears eternal witness,
The sages of the South and northern Lakes
Live by the Law, tell morbid world-tired seekers
Of an effulgent Life that cannot die.
Calmly He sat, His hand elate in blessing.
Drawn by the magic of those towering words,
The flaming devas from supernal regions,
The groaning dwellers of the lampless pit,
And all the speechless dwellers of the forest
Assembled at that grove in harmony,
Joining the five, all listening in mute rapture,
The sylvan harpstring of this rhythmic speech
The mellifluent notes of silver cadence
That from the wellspring of His diamond soul
Gave hope to man and beast and sobbing spirits
And sent its echo over worlds in space.
That was the night of a world stirring rapture
That filled the heaving air with cosmic force,
A spring from which flowed forth an eightfold river,
Which waters still a thirsty world today.