And change the fixed eternal law of life
That good from good, evil from evil flows ? "
This said, he stooped and loosed the panting goat,
None staying- him, so great his presence was.
And then with loving- tenderness he taught
How sin works out its own sure punishment ;
How like corroding- rust and eating moth
It wastes the very substance of the soul ;
Like poisoned blood it surely, drop by drop,
Pollutes the very fountain of the life ;
Like deadly drug- it changes into stone
The living fibres of a loving heart ;
Like fell disease, it breeds within the veins
The living agents of a living- death ;
And as in g-ardens overgrown with weeds,
Nothing but patient labor, day by day,
Uprooting 1 cherished evils one by one,
Watering- its soil with penitential tears,
Can fit the soul to grow that precious seed,
Which taking- root, spreads out a grateful shade
Where g-entle thoughts like sing-ing- birds may
Where pure desires like fragrant flowers may bloom,
And loving acts like ripened fruits may hang.
Then, chiding not, with earnest words he urged
Humanity to man, kindness to beasts,
8(i THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
Pure words, kind acts, in all our daily walks,
As better than the blood of lambs and goats,
Better than incense or the chanted hymn,
To cleanse the heart and please the powers above,
And fill the world with harmony and peace,
Till pricked in heart, the priest let fall his knife ;
The Brahmans listening 1 , ceased to chant their
The king- drank in his words with eager ears ;
And from that day no altar dripped with blood,
But flowers instead breathed forth their sweet per
And when that troubled day drew near its close,
Joy filled once more that shepherd's humble home.
From door to door his simple story flew.
And when the king- entered his palace gates,
New thoughts were surging in his wakened soul.
But though the beasts have lairs, the birds have
Buddha had not whereon to lay his head,
Not even a mountain-cave to call his home ;
And forth he fared, heedless about his way
For every way was now alike to him.
Heedless of food, his alms-bowl hung unused.
While all the people stood aside with awe.
And to their children pointed out the man
Who plead the shepherd's cause before the king.
At length he passed the city's western gate,
And crossed the little plain circling its walls.
Circled itself bv five bold hills that rise,
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK IV. 87
A rugged rampart and an outer wall.
Two outer gates this mountain rampart had.
The one a narrow valley opening west
Toward Gaya, through the red Barabar hills,
Through which the rapid Phalgu swiftly glides,
Down from the Vindhya mountains far away,
Then gently winds around this fruitful plain,
Its surface green with floating lotus leaves.
And bright with lotus blossoms, blue and white,
O'erhung with drooping trees and trailing vines,
Till through the eastern gate it hastens on,
To lose itself in Gunga's sacred stream.
Toward Gaya now Siddartha bent his steps,
Distant the journey of a single day
As men marked distance in those ancient times,
No longer heeded in this headlong age,
When we count moments by the miles we pass ;
And one may see the sun sink out of sight
Behind great banks of gray and wintry clouds,
While feathery snowflakes fill the frosty air,
And after quiet sleep may wake next day
To see it bathe green fields with floods of light,
And dry the sparkling dew from opening flowers,
And hear the joyful burst of vernal song,
And breathe the balmy air of opening spring.
And as he went, weary and faint and sad,
The valley opening showed a pleasant grove,
Where many trees mingled their grateful shade,
And many blossoms blended sweet perfumes ;
88 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
And there, under a drooping- vakul-tree,
A bower of roses and sweet jasmine vines,
Within a couch, without a banquet spread,
While near a fountain with its falling- spray
Ruffled the surface of a shining- pool,
Whose liquid cadence mingled with the song-s
Of many birds concealed among- the trees.
And there three seeming sister graces were,*
Fair as young- Venus rising- from the sea.
The one in seeming- childlike innocence
Bathed in the pool, while her low liquid laugh
Rung- sweet and clear ; and one her vina tuned,
And as she played, the other lig-htly danced,
Clapping- her hands, tinkling- her silver bells,
Whose gauzy silken garments seemed to show
Rather than hide her slender, graceful limbs.
And she who played the vina sweetly sang- :
" Come to our bower and take your rest
Life is a weary road at best.
Eat, for your board is richly spread ;
Drink, for your wine is sparkling- red :
Rest, for the weary day is past ;
Sleep, for the shadows gather fast.
Tune not your vina-string-s too high,
Strained they will break and the music die.
Come to our bower and take your rest
Life is a weary road at best."
* Mara dispatched three pleasure-girls from the north quarter to
come and tempt him. Their names were Tanha, Rati and Ranga.
Fa Hian (Beal), p. 120.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK IV. 89
But Buddha, full of pity, passing- said :
" Alas, poor soul ! flitting- a little while
Like painted butterflies before the lamp
That soon will burn your wings ; like silly doves,
Calling- the cruel kite to seize and kill ;
Displaying- lig-hts to be the robber's g-uide ;
Enticing- men to wrong-, who soon despise.
Ah ! poor, perverted, cold and cruel world !
Delig-hts of love become the lures of lust,
The joys of heaven chang-ed into fires of hell."
Now mighty Mara, spirit of the air,
The prince of darkness, ruling- worlds below,
Had watched for Buddha all these weary years,
Seeking- to lead his steady steps astra} 7
By many wiles his wicked wit devised,
Lest he at length should find the living- light
And rescue millions from his dark domains.
Now, showing him the king-doms of the world,
He offered him the Chakravartin's crown ;
Now, opening- seas of knowledge, shoreless, vast,
Knowledge of ag-es past and yet to come,
Knowledge of nature and the hidden laws
That guide her changes, guide the rolling- spheres,
Sakwal on sakwal,* boundless, infinite,
Yet ever moving on in harmony,
He thought to puff his spirit up with pride
Till he should quite forget a suffering world,
In sin and sorrow groping blindly on.
* A sakwal was a sun with its system of worlds, which the ancient
Hindoos believed extended one beyond another through infinite space.
It indicates great advance in astronomical knowledge when such a com
plex idea, now universally received as true, as that the fixed stars are
suns with systems of worlds like ours, could be expressed in a single
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 91
But when he saw that lust of power moved not,
And thirst for knowledge turned him not aside
From earnest search after the living" light,
From tender love for every living thing,
He sent the tempters Doubt and dark Despair.
And as he watched for final victory
He saw that light flash through the silent cave,
And heard the Buddha breathe that earnest prayer,
And fled amazed, nor dared to look behind.
For though to Buddha all his way seemed dark,
His wily enemy could see a Power,
A mighty Power, that ever hovered near,
A present help in every time of need,
When sinking souls seek earnestly for aid.
He fled, indeed, as flies the prowling wolf,
Alarmed at watch-dog's bark or shepherd's voice,
While seeking entrance to the slumbering fold,
But soon returns with soft and stealthy step,
With keenest scent snuffing the passing breeze,
With ears erect catching each slightest sound,
With glaring eyes watching each moving thing,
With hungry jaws, skulking about the fold
Till coming dawn drives him to seek his lair.
So Mara fled, and so he soon returned,
And thus he watched the Buddha's every step ;
Saw him with gentleness quell haughty power ;
Saw him with tenderness raise up the weak ;
Heard him before the Brahmans and the king
Denounce those bloody rites ordained by him ;
Heard him declare the deadly work of Sin,
His own prime minister and eldest-born ;
92 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
Heard him proclaim the mighty power of Love
To cleanse the life and make the flinty heart
As soft as sinews of the new-born babe.
And when he saw whither he bent his steps,
He sent three wrinkled hags, deformed and foul,
The willing agents of his wicked will
Life-wasting Idleness, the thief of time ;
Lascivious Lust, whose very touch defiles,
Poisoning the blood, polluting all within ;
And greedy Gluttony, most gross of all,
Whose ravening maw forever asks for more
To that delightful garden near his way,
To tempt the Master, their true forms concealed
For who so gross that such coarse hags could
But clothed instead in youthful beauty's grace.
And now he saw him pass unmoved by lust,
Nor yet with cold, self-righteous pride puffed up,
But breathing pity from his inmost soul
E'en for the ministers of vice themselves.
Defeated, not discouraged, still he thought
To try one last device, for well he knew
That Buddha's steps approached the sacred tree
Where light would dawn and all his power would
Upon a seat beside the shaded path,
A seeming aged Brahman, Mara sat,
And when the prince approached, his tempter rose,
Saluting him with gentle stateliness,
Saluted in return with equal grace.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 93
"Whither away, my son?" the tempter said,
" If you to Gay a now direct your steps,
Perhaps your youth may cheer my lonely age."
"I go to seek for light," the prince replied,
"But where it matters not, so light be found."
But Mara answered him : "Your search is vain.
Why seek to know more than the Vedas teach ?
Why seek to learn more than the teachers know ?
But such is youth ; the rosy tints of dawn
Tinge all his thoughts. ' Excelsior !' he cries,
And fain would scale the unsubstantial clouds
To find a light that knows no night, no change ;
We Brahmans chant our hymns in solemn wise,
The vulgar listen with profoundest awe ;
But still our muffled heart-throbs beat the march
Onward, forever onward, to the grave,
When one ahead cries, ' Lo ! I see a light !'
And others clutch his garments, following on
Till all in starless darkness disappear.
There may be day beyond this starless night,
There may be life beyond this dark profound
But who has ever seen that changeless day ?
What steps have e'er retraced that silent road ?
Fables there are, hallowed by hoary age,
Fables and ancient creeds, that men have made
To give them power with ignorance and fear ;
Fables of gods with human passions filled ;
Fables of men who walked and talked with gods ;
Fables of kalpas passed, when Brahma slept
And all created things were wrapped in flames,
94 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
And then the floods descended, chaos reigned,
The world a waste of waters, and the heavens
A sunless void, until again he wakes.
And sun and moon and stars resume their rounds,
Oceans receding- show the mountain-tops,
And then the hills and spreading plains
Strange fables all, that crafty men have feigned.
Why waste your time pursuing such vain dreams
As some benighted travelers chase false lights
To lose themselves in bogs and fens at last ?
But read instead in Nature's open book
How light from darkness grew by slow degrees ;
How crawling worms grew into light-winged birds,
Acquiring sweetest notes and gayest plumes ;
How lowly ferns grew into lofty palms ;
How men have made themselves from chattering
How, even from protoplasm to highest bard,
Selecting and rejecting, mind has grown
Until at length all secrets are unlocked,
And man himself now stands pre-eminent,
Maker and master of his own great self,
To sneer at all his lisping childlike past
And laugh at all his fathers had revered."
The prince with gentle earnestness replied :
" Full well I know how blindly we grope on
*It may seem like an anachronism to put the very words of the
modern agnostic into the month of Bnddha's tempter, bnt these men are
merely threshing 1 over old straw. The sneer of Epicurus curled the lip
of Voltaire, and now merely breaks out into a broad laug-h on the
pood-natured face of Inpersoll.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 95
In doubt and fear and ignorance profound,
The wisdom of the past a book now sealed.
But why despise what ages have revered ?
As some rude plowman casts on rubbish-heaps
The rusty casket that his share reveals,
Not knowing- that within it are concealed
Most precious gems, to make him rich indeed,
The hand that hid them from the robber, cold,
The key that locked this rusty casket, lost.
The past was wise, else whence that wondrous
That we call sacred, which the learned speak,
Now passing- out of use as too refined
For this rude ag-e, too smooth for our roug-h tongues,
Too rich and delicate for our coarse thoughts.
Why should such men make fables so absurd
Unless within their rough outside is stored
Some precious truth from profanation hid ?
Revere your own, revile no other faith,
Lest with the casket you reject the gems,
Or with rough hulls reject the living seed.
Doubtless in nature changes have been wrought
That speak of ages in the distant past,
Whose contemplation fills the mind with awe.
The smooth-worn pebbles on the highest hills
Speak of an ocean sweeping o'er their tops ;
The giant palms, now changed to solid rocks,
* The Sanscrit, the most perfect of all languages, and the mother of
Greek and of all the languages of the Aryan races, now spread over the
world, had gone out of use in Buddha's time, and the Pali, one of its
earliest offspring, was used by the great teacher and his people.
96 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
Speak of the wonders of a buried world.
Why seek to solve the riddle nature puts,
Of whence and why, with theories and dreams ?
The crawling- worm proclaims its Maker's power ;
The sing-ing- bird proclaims its Maker's skill ;
The mind of man proclaims a greater Mind,
Whose will makes world, whose thoughts are living-
Our every heart-throb speaks of present power,
Preserving, recreating, day by day.
Better confess how little we can know,
Better with feet unshod and humble awe
Approach this living Power to ask for aid."
And as he spoke the devas filled the air,
Unseen, unheard of men, and sweetly sung :
" Hail, prince of peace ! hail, harbinger of day !
The darkness vanishes, the lig-ht appears."
But Mara heard, and silent slunk away.
The o'erwroug-ht prince fell prostrate on the
And lay entranced, while devas hovered near,
Watching each heart-throb, breathing that sweet
Its guardian angel gives the sleeping child.
The night has passed, the day-star fades from
And morning's softest tint of rose and gold
Tinges the east and tips the mountain-tops.
The silent village stirs with waking life,
The bleat of goats and low of distant herds,
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 97
The song- of birds and crow of jungle-cocks
Breathe softest music through the dewy air.
And now two girls,* just grown to womanhood,
The lovely daughters of the village lord,
Trapusha one, and one Balika called,
Up with the dawn, trip lightly o'er the grass,
Bringing rich curds and rice picked grain by grain,
A willing offering to their guardian god
Who dwelt, as all the simple folk believed,
Beneath an aged bodhi-tree that stood
Beside the path and near where Buddha lay -
To ask such husbands as their fancies paint,
Gentle and strong, and noble, true and brave ;
And having left their gifts and made their vows,
With timid steps the maidens stole away.
But while the outer world is filled with life,
That inner world from whence this life proceeds,
Concealed from sight by matter's blinding folds,
Whose coarser currents fill with wondrous power
The nervous fluid of the universe
Which darts through nature's frame, from star to
From cloud to cloud, filling the world with awe ;
Now harnessed to our use, a patient drudge,
Heedless of time or space, bears human thought
* Arnold follows the tradition that there was but one, whom he
makes a young- wife, without any authority so far as I can learn. I
prefer to follow the Chinese pilgrim, Fa Hian, who was on the ground
with every means of knowing, who makes them two young 1 g'irls, and
named as above.
98 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
From land to land and through the ocean's depths ;
And bears the softest tones of human speech
Faster than light, farther than ocean sounds ;
And whirls the clattering car through crowded
And floods with light the haunts of prowling
That inner world, whose very life is love,
Pure love, and perfect, infinite, intense,
That world is now astir. A rift appears
In those dark clouds that rise from sinful souls
And hide from us its clear celestial light,
And clouds of messengers from that bright world,
Whom the} 7 called devas and we angels call,
Rush to that rift to rescue and to save.
The wind from their bright wings fanned Buddha's
The love from their sweet spirits warmed his heart.
He starts from sleep, but rising, scarcely knows
If he had seen a vision while awake,
Or, sunk in sleep, had dreamed a heavenly dream.
From that pure presence all his tempters fled.
The calm of conflict ended filled his soul,
And led by unseen hands he forward passed
To where the sacred fig-tree long had grown,
Beneath whose shade the village altar stood,
Where simple folk would place their willing gifts,
And ask the aid their simple wants required,
Believing all the life above, around,
The life within themselves, must surely come
From living powers that ever hovered near.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 99
Here lay the food Sagata's daughters brought,
The choicest products of his herds and fields.
This grateful food met nature's every need,
Diffused a healthful g-low through all his frame,
And all the body's eager yearnings stilled.
Seven days he sat, and ate no more nor drank,
Yet hungered not, nor burned with parching thirst,
For heavenly manna fed his hungry soul
Its wants were satisfied, the body's ceased.
Seven days he sat, in sweet internal peace
Waiting for light, and sure that light would come,
When seeming scales fell from his inner sight,
His spirit's eyes were opened and he saw
Not far away, but near, within, above,
As dwells the soul within this mortal frame,
A world within this workday world of ours,
The living soul of all material things.
Eastward he saw a never-setting Sun,
Whose light is truth, the light of all the worlds,
Whose heat is tender, all-embracing love,
The inmost Life of everything that lives,
The mighty Prototype and primal Cause
Of all the suns that light this universe,
From ours, full-orbed, that tints the glowing east
And paints the west a thousand varied shades,
To that far distant little twinkling star
That seems no larger than the glow-worm's lamp,
Itself a sun to light such worlds as ours ;
And round about Him clouds of living light,
Bright clouds of cherubim and seraphim,
100 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
Who sing" His praise and execute His will
Not idly sing-ing-, as the foolish feig-n,
But voicing- forth their joy they work and sing- ;
Doing- His will, their works sound forth His praise.
On every side were fields of living- green,
With g-ardens, groves and g-ently rising- hills,
Where costal streams of living- waters flow,
And dim with distance Meru's lofty heig-hts.
No desert sands, no mountains crowned with ice,
For here the scorching- simoom never blows,
Nor wintry winds, that pierce and freeze and kill,
But g-entle breezes breathing- sweet perfumes ;
No weeds, no thorns, no bitter poisonous fruits,
No noxious reptiles and no prowling- beasts ;
For in this world of innocence and love
No evil thoughts give birth to evil thing's,
But many birds of every varied plume
Delight the ear with sweetest melody ;
And many flowers of every varied tint
Fill all the air with odors rich and sweet ;
And many fruits, suited to every taste,
Hang- ripe and ready that who will may eat -
A world of life, with all its lig-hts and shades,
The brig-ht original of our sad world
Without its sin and storms, its thorns and tears.
No Lethe's slug-gish waters lave its shores,
Nor solemn shades, of poet's fancy bred,
Sit idly here to boast of battles past,
Nor wailing- g-hosts wring- here their shadowy hands
For lack of honor to their cast-off dust ;
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 101
But living- men, in human bodies clothed -
Not bodies made of matter, dull and coarse,
Dust from the dust and soon to dust returned,
But living- bodies, clothing living souls,
Bodies responsive to the spirit's will,
Clothing in acts the spirit's inmost thoughts
Dwell here in many mansions, larg-e and fair,
Stretching- beyond the keenest vision's ken,
With room for each and more than room for all,
Forever filling and yet never full.
Not clog-ged by matter, fast as fleetest birds,
Wishing 1 to go, they go ; to come, they come.
No helpless infancy or palsied age,
But all in early manhood's youthful bloom,
The old grown young, the child to man's estate.
Gentle they seemed as they passed to and fro,
Gentle and strong, with every manly grace ;
Busy as bees in summer's sunny hours,
In works of usefulness and acts of love ;
No pinching poverty or grasping greed,
Gladly receiving-, they more gladly give,
Sharing in peace the bounties free to all.
As lost in wonder and delight he g-azed,
He saw approaching from a pleasant grove
Two noble youths, yet full of gentleness,
Attending one from sole to crown a queen,
With every charm of fresh and blooming- youth
And every grace of early womanhood,
Her face the mirror of her gentle soul,
Her flowing robes finer than softest silk,
102 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
That as she moved seemed woven of the light ;
Not borne by clumsy wings, or labored steps,
She glided on as if her will had wings
That bore her willing body where she wished.
As she approached, close by her side he saw,
As through a veil or thin transparent mist,
The form and features of the aged king,
Older and frailer by six troubled years
Than when they parted, yet his very face,
Whom she was watching with the tenderest care.
And nearer seen each seeming youth was two,
As when at first in Eden's happy shade
Our primal parents ere the tempter came
Were twain, and yet but one, so on they come,
Hand joined in hand, heart beating close to heart,
One will their guide and sharing every thought,
Beaming with tender, all-embracing love,
Whom God had joined and death had failed to part.
What need of words to introduce his guests ?
Love knows her own, the mother greets her son.
Her parents and the king's, who long had watched
Their common offspring with a constant care,
Inspiring hope and breathing inward peace
When secret foes assailed on every side,
Now saw him burst the clouds that veiled their view
And stand triumphant full before their eyes.
O happy meeting ! joy profound, complete !
Soul greeting soul, heart speaking straight to heart,
While countless happy faces hovered near
And songs of joy sound through Nirvana's heights.
THK BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 103
At length, the transports of first meeting- past,
More of this new-found world he wished to see,
More of its peace and joy he wished to know.
Led by his loving glides, enwrapt he saw
Such scenes of beauty passing- human speech,
Such scenes of peace and joy past human thought,
That he who sings must tune a heavenly lyre
And seraphs touch his lips with living fire.
My unanointed lips will not presume
To try such lofty themes, glad if I gain
A distant prospect of the promised land,
And catch some g-limpses throug-h the gates ajar.
Long' time he wandered through these blissful
Time measured by succession of delights,
Till wearied by excess of very joy
Both soul and body sunk in tranquil sleep.
He slept while hosts of devas sweetly sung :
"Hail, great physician ! savior, lover, friend !
Joy of the worlds, guide to Nirvana, hail ! "
From whose bright presence Mara's myriads fled.
But Mara's self, subtlest of all, fled not,
But putting on a seeming yogi's form,
Wasted, as if by fasts, to skin and bone,
On one foot standing, rooted to the ground,
The other raised against his fleshless thigh,
Hands stretched aloft till joints had lost their use,
And clinched so close, as if in firm resolve,
The nails had grown quite through the festering
* Bishop Heber says he saw a recluse whose hands had been clinched