so close and so \ons that the nails had actually grown through the
hands as here described.
104 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
His tattered robes, as if worn out by age,
Hanging like moss from trees decayed and dead,
While birds were nesting in his tangled hair.
And thus disguised the subtle Mara stood,
And when the master roused him from his sleep
His tempter cried in seeming ecstasy :
" O ! happy wakening ! joy succeeding grief !
Peace after trouble ! rest that knows no end !
Life after death ! Nirvana found at last !
Here let us wait till wasted by decay
The body's worn-out fetters drop away."
"Much suffering brother," Buddha answered him r
" The weary traveler, wandering through the night
In doubt and darkness, gladly sees the dawn.
The storm-tossed sailor on the troubled sea,
Wearied and drenched, with joy re-enters port.
But other nights succeed that happy dawn,
And other seas may toss that sailor's bark.
But he who sees Nirvana's sacred Sun,
And in Nirvana's haven furls his sails,
No more shall wander through the starless night r
No more shall battle with the winds and waves.
O joy of joys ! our eyes have seen that Sun !
Our sails have almost reached that sheltering port.
But shall we, joyful at our own escape,
Leave our poor brothers battling with the storm,
Sails rent, barks leaking, helm and compass lost,
No light to guide, no hope to cheer them on ? "
" Each for himself must seek, as we have sought,"
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK V. 105
The tempter said, " and each must climb alone
The rugged path our weary feet have trod.
No royal road leads to Nirvana's rest ;
No royal captain guides his army there.
Why leave the heights with so much labor gained ?
Why plunge in darkness we have just escaped ?
Men will not heed the message we may bring.
The great will scorn, the rabble will deride,*
And cry ' He hath a devil and is mad.' ''
" True," answered Buddha, "each must seek to
Each for himself must leave the downward road ;
Each for himself must choose the narrow path
That leads to purity and peace and life.
But helping hands will aid those struggling up ;
A warning voice may check those hasting down.
Men are like lilies in yon shining pool :
Some sunk in evil grovel in the dust,
Loving like swine to wallow in the mire
Like those that grow within its silent depths,
Scarce raised above its black and oozy bed ;
While some love good, and seek the purest light,
Breathing sweet fragrance from their gentle lives
Like those that rise above its glassy face,
Sparkling with dewdrops, royally arrayed,
Drinking the brightness of the morning sun,
Distilling odors through the balmy air ;
But countless multitudes grope blind!}- on,
*Tbe last temptation of Buddha was to keep his light to himself
under the fear that men would reject his message.
106 THE DAWN AND THE DAY.
Shut out from light and crushed by cruel castes,
Willing" to learn, whom none will deign to teach.
Willing to rise, whom none will deign to guide,
Who from the cradle to the silent grave,
Helpless and hopeless, only toil and weep
Like those that on the stagnant waters float,
Smothered with leaves, covered with rop}* slime,
That from the rosy dawn to dewy eve
Scarce catch one glimmer of the glorious sun.
The good scarce need, the bad will scorn, my aid ;
But these poor souls will gladly welcome help.
Welcome to me the scorn of rich and great.
Welcome the Brahman's proud and cold disdain,
Welcome revilings from the rabble rout.
If I can lead some groping souls to light
If I can give some weary spirits rest.
Farewell, my brother, you h ave earned release
Rest here in peace. I go to aid the poor."
And as he spoke a flash of lurid light
Shot through the air, and Buddha stood alone -
Alone ! to teach the warring nations peace !
Alone ! to lead a groping world to light !
Alone ! to give the heavy-laden rest !
SEVEN days had passed since first he saw the light,
Seven days of deep, ecstatic peace and joy,
Of open vision of that blissful world,
Of sweet communion with those dwelling- there.
But having 1 tasted, seen and felt the joys
Of that bright world where love is all in all,
Filling- each heart, inspiring- every thoug-ht,
Guiding- each will and prompting- every act,
He yearned to see the other, darker side
Of that brig-ht picture, where the wars and hates,
The lust, the greed, the cruelty and crime
That fill the world with pain and want and woe
Have found their dwelling-place and final g-oal.
Quicker than eag-les soaring- toward the sun
Till but a speck ag-ainst the azure vault
Swoop down upon their unsuspecting- prey,
Quicker than watch-fires on the mountain-top
Send warning's to the dwellers in the plain,
Led by his g-uides he reached Nirvana's verge,
Whence he beheld a broad and pleasant plain,
Spread with a carpet of the richest green
And decked with flowers of every varied tint,
108 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
Whose blended odors fill the balmy air,
Where trees, pleasant to sight and good for food r
In rich abundance and spontaneous grow.
A living" stream, as purest crystal clear,
With gentle murmurs wound along" the plain,
Its surface bright with fairer lotus-flowers
Than mortal eye on earth had ever seen,
While on its banks were cool, umbrageous groves
Whose drooping- branches spicy breezes stir,
A singing bird in every waving bough,
Whose joyful notes the soul of music shed.
A mighty multitude, beyond the power
Of men to number, moved about the plain ;
Some, seeming strangers, wander through the
And pluck the flowers or eat the luscious fruits ;
Some, seeming visitors from better worlds,
Here wait and watch as for expected guests ;
While angel devas, clothed in innocence,
Whose faces beam with wisdom, glow with love,
With loving welcomes greet each coming guest,
With loving counsels aid, instruct and guide.
And as he looked, the countless, restless throng
Seemed ever changing, ever moving on,
So that this plain, comparing great to small,
Seemed like a station near some royal town,
Greater than London or old Bab} T lon,
Where all the roads from some vast empire meet,.
And many caravans or sweeping trains
Bring and remove the ever-changing throng.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. 109
This plain a valley bordered, deep and still,
The very valley of his fearful dream
Seen from the other side, whose rising- mists
Were all ag-low with ever-chang-ing- light.
Like passing 1 clouds above the setting- sun,
Throug-h which as throug-h a g-lass he darkly saw
Unnumbered funeral-trains, in sable clad,
To solemn music and with measured tread
Bearing- their dead to countless funeral-piles,
As thick as heaps that throug-h the livelong- day
With patient toil the sturdy woodmen rear,
While clearing- forests for the g-olden grain,
And set aflame when evening-'s shades descend,
Filling- the g-lowing- woods with floods of lig-ht
And g-hostly shadows : So these funeral-piles
Send up their curling- smoke and crackling- flames.
There eag-er flames devour an infant's flesh ;
Here loving- arms that risen infant clasp ;
There loud laments bewail a loved one lost ;
Here joyful welcomes greet that loved one found.
And there he saw a pompous funeral-train,
Bearing- a body clothed in robes of state,
To blare of trumpet, sound of shell and drum,
While many mourners bow in silent grief,
And widows, orphans raise a loud lament
As for a father, a protector lost ;
And as the flames lick up the fragrant oils,
And whirl and hiss around that wasting- form,
An eag-er watcher from a better world
Welcomes her husband to her open arms,
110 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
The cumbrous load of pomp and power cast off,
While waiting devas and the happy throng
His power protected and his bounty blessed
With joy conduct his unaccustomed steps
Onward and upward, to those blissful seats
Where all his stores of duties well performed,
Of power well used and wealth in kindness given,
Were garnered up beyond the reach of thieves,
Where moths ne'er eat and rust can ne'er corrupt.
Another train draws near a funeral-pile,
Of aloes, sandal-wood and cassia built,
And drenched with every incense-breathing oil,
And draped with silks and rich with rarest flowers,
Where grim officials clothed in robes of state
Placed one in royal purple, decked with gems,
Whose word had been a trembling nation's law,
Whose angry nod was death to high or low.
No mourners gather round this costly pile ;
The people shrink in terror from the sight.
But sullen soldiers there keep watch and ward
While eager flames consume those nerveless hands
So often raised to threaten or command,
Suck out those eyes that filled the court with fear,
And only left of all this royal pomp
A little dust the winds may blow away.
But here that selfsame monarch comes in view,
For royal purple clothed in filthy rags,
And lusterless that crown of priceless gems ;
Those eyes, whose bend so lately awed the world,
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. Ill
Blinking- and bleared and blinded by the light ;
Those hands, that late a royal scepter bore,
Shaking- with fear and dripping- all with blood.
And as he looked that some should g"ive him place
And lead him to a seat for monarchs fit,
He only saw a group of innocents
His hands had slain, now clothed in spotless white,
From whom he fled as if by furies chased,
Fled from those groves and g-ardens of delig-ht,
Fled on and down a broad and beaten road
By many trod, and toward a desert waste
With distance dim, and g-loomy, grim and vast,
Where piercing- thorns and leafless briars grow,
And dead sea-apples, ashes to the taste,
Where loathsome reptiles crawl and hiss and sting-,
And birds of nig-ht and bat-winged dragons fly,
Where beetling cliffs seem threatening instant fall,
And opening chasms seem yawning to devour,
And sulphurous seas were swept with lurid flames
That seethe and boil from hidden fires below.
Again he saw, beyond that silent vale,
One frail and old, without a rich man's gate
Laid down to die beneath a peepul-tree,
And parched with thirst and pierced with sudden
A root his pillow and the earth his bed ;
Alone he met the King of terrors there ;
Whose wasting body, cumbering now the ground,
Chandalas cast upon the passing stream
To float and fester in the fiery sun,
112 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
Till whirled by eddies, caught by roots, it lay
A prey for vultures and for fishes food.
That selfsame day a dart of deadly pain
Shot through that rich man's hard, unfeeling-
That laid him low, beyond the power to save,
E'en while his servants cast without his gates
That poor old man, who came to beg him spare
His roof-tree, where his fathers all had died,
His hearth, the shrine of all his inmost joys,
His little home, to every heart so dear ;
And in due season tongues of hissing flames
That rich man's robes like snowflakes whirled in
And curled his crackling skin, consumed his flesh,
And sucked the marrow from his whitened bones.
But here these two their places seem to change.
That rich man's houses, lands, and flocks and herds,
His servants, rich apparel, stores of gold,
And all he loved and lived for left behind,
The friends that nature gave him turned to foes,
Dependents whom his greed had wronged and
Shrinking away as from a deadly foe ;
No generous wish, no gentle, tender thought
To hide his nakedness, his shriveled soul
Stood stark and bare, the gaze of passers-by ;
Nothing within to draw him on and up,
He slinks away, and wanders on and down,
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. 113
Till in the desert, groveling 1 in the dust,
He digs and burrows, seeking- treasures there
While that poor man, as we count poverty,
Is rich in all that makes the spirit's wealth,
His heart so pure that thoughts of guile
And evil purpose find no lodgment there ;
His life so innocent that bitter words
And evil-speaking ne'er escape his lips ;
The little that he had he freely shared,
And wished it more that more he might have given ;
Now rich in soul for here a crust of bread
In kindness shared, a cup of water given,
Is worth far more than all Potosi's mines,
And Araby's perfumes and India's silks,
And all the cattle on a thousand hills
And clothed as with a robe of innocence
The devas welcome him, his troubles passed,
The conflict ended and the triumph gained.
And there two Brahmans press their funeral-pile,
And sink to dust amid the whirling flames.
Each from his lisping infancy had heard
That Brahmans were a high and holy caste,
Too high and holy for the common touch,
And each had learned the Vedas' sacred lore.
But here they parted. One was cold and proud,
Drawing away from all the humbler castes
As made to toil, and only fit to serve.
The other found within those sacred books
That all were brothers, made of common clay,
And filled with life from one eternal source,
114 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
While Brahmans only elder brothers were,
With greater light to be his brother's guide,
With greater strength to give his brother aid ;
That he alone a real Brahman was
Who had a Brahman's spirit, not his blood.
With patient toil from youth to hoary ag-e
He taught the ignorant and helped the weak.
And now they come where all external pomp
And rank and caste and creed are nothing worth.
But when that proud and haughty Brahman saw
Poor Sudras and Chandalas clothed in white,
He swept away with proud and haughty scorn,
Swept on and down where heartless selfishness
Alone can find congenial company.
The other, full of joy, his brothers met,
And in sweet harmony they journeyed on
Where higher joys await the pure in heart.
And there he saw all ranks and grades and castes,
Chandala, Sudra, warrior, Brahman, prince,
The wise and ignorant, the strong and weak,
In all the stages of our mortal round
From lisping infancy to palsied age,
By all the ways to human frailty known,
Enter that vale of shadows, deep and still,
Leaving behind their pomp and power and wealth.
Leaving their rags and wretchedness and want,
And cast-off bodies, dust to dust returned,
By flames consumed or moldering to decay,
While here the real character appeared,
All shows, hypocrisies and shams cast off,
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. 115
So that a life of gentleness and love
Shines through the face and molds the outer form
To living- beauty, blooming not to fade,
While every act of cruelty and crime
Seems like a gangrened ever-widening wound,
Wasting the very substance of the soul,
Marring its beauty, eating out its strength.
And here arrived, the good, in little groups
Together drawn by inward sympathy,
And led by devas, take the upward way
To those sweet fields his opened eyes had seen,
Those ever-widening mansions of delight ;
While those poor souls O sad and fearful sight !
The very well-springs of the life corrupt,
Shrink from the light and shun the pure and good,
Fly from the devas, who with perfect love
Would gladly soothe their anguish, ease their pain,
Fly on and down that broad and beaten road,
Till in the distance in the darkness lost.
Lost ! lost ! and must it be forever lost ?
The gentle Buddha's all-embracing love
Shrunk from the thought, but rather sought relief
In that most ancient faith by sages taught,
That these poor souls at length may find escape,
The grasping in the gross and greedy swine,
The cunning in the sly and prowling fox,
The cruel in some ravening beast of prey ;
While those less hardened, less depraved, may gain
1 16 THE DAWN AND THE DAY.
Rebirth in men, degraded, groveling, base.*
But here in sadness let us drop the veil,
Hoping" that He whose ways are not like ours,
Whose love embraces all His handiwork,
Who in beginnings sees the final end,
May find some way to save these sinful souls
Consistent with His fixed eternal law
That good from good, evil from evil flows.
Here Buddha saw the mystery of life
At last unfolded to its hidden depths.
He saw that selfishness was sorrow's root,
And ignorance its dense and deadly shade ;
He saw that selfishness bred lust and hate,
Deformed the features, and defiled the soul
And closed its windows to those waves of love
That flow perennial from Nirvana's Sun.
He saw that groveling lusts and base desires
Like noxious weeds unchecked luxurious grow,
Making a tangled jungle of the soul,
Where no good seed can find a place to root,
Where noble purposes and pure desires
And gentle thoughts wither and fade and die
Like flowers beneath the deadly upas-tree.
He saw that selfishness bred grasping greed,
And made the miser, made the prowling thief,
And bred hypocrisy, pretense, deceit,
* The later Buddhists make much of the doctrine of metempsychosis,
but in the undoubted saying's and Sutras or sermons of Buddha I find
no mention of it except in this way as the last hope of those who per
sist through life in evil, while the good after death reach the other shore,
or Nirvana, where there is no more birth or death.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. 117
And made the bigot, made the faithless priest,
Bred anger, cruelty, and thirst for blood,
And made the tyrant, stained the murderer's knife,
And filled the world with war and want and woe,
And filled the dismal regions of the lost
With fiery flames of passions never quenched,
With sounds of discord, sounds of clanking chains,
With cries of anguish, howls of bitter hate,
Yet saw that man was free not bound and
Helpless and hopeless to a whirling wheel,
Rolled on resistless by some cruel power,
Regardless of their cries and prayers and tears
Free to resist those gross and groveling lusts,
Free to obey Nirvana's law of love,
The law of order primal, highest law
Which guides the great Artificer himself,
Who weaves the garments of the joyful spring,
Who paints the glories of the passing clouds,
Who tunes the music of the rolling spheres,
Guided by love in all His mighty works,
Filling with love the humblest willing heart.
He saw that love softens and sweetens life,
And stills the passions, soothes the troubled breast,
Fills homes with joy and gives the nations peace,
"This great and fundamental truth, lying- as the basis of human
action and responsibility, was recognized by Homer, who makes Jupiter
" Perverse mankind, whose wills created free,
Charge all their woes to absolute decree."
Odyssey, Book I, lines 41 and 4>
118 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
A sovereign balm for all the spirit's wounds,
The living" fountain of Nirvana's bliss ;
For here before his eyes were countless souls,
Born to the sorrows of a sinful world,
With burdens bowed, by cares and griefs oppressed,
Who felt for others' sorrows as their own,
Who lent a helping- hand to those in need,
Returning- g-ood for evil, love for hate,
Whose g-arments now were white as spotless wool,
Whose faces beamed with g-entleness and love,
As onward, upward, devas guide their steps,
Nirvana's happy mansions full in view.
He saw the noble eightfold path that mounts
From life's low levels to Nirvana's heights.
Not by steep grades the strong alone can climb,
But by such steps as feeblest limbs may take.
He saw that day by day and step by step,
By lusts resisted and by evil shunned,
By acts of love and daily duties done,
Soothing some heartache, helping those in need,
Smoothing life's journey for a brother's feet,
Guarding the lips from harsh and bitter words,
Guarding the heart from gross and selfish thoughts,
Guarding the hands from every evil act,
Brahman or Sudra, high or low, may rise
Till heaven's bright mansions open to the view,
And heaven's warm sunshine brightens all the
While neither hecatombs of victims slain,
Nor clouds of incense wafted to the skies,
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. 119
Nor chanted hymns, nor prayers to all the gods,
Can raise a soul that ding's to groveling 1 lusts.
He saw the cause of sorrow, and its cure.
He saw that waves of love surround the soul
As waves of sunlight fill the outer world,
While selfishness, the subtle alchemist
Concealed within, changes that love to hate,
Forges the links of karma's fatal chain,
Of passions, envies, lusts to bind the soul,
And weaves his webs of falsehood and deceit
To close its windows to the living light,
Changing its mansion to its prison-house,
Where it must lay self-chained and self-condemned ;
While DHARMA, TRUTH, the LAW, the LIVING WORD,
Brushes away those deftly woven webs,
Opens its windows to the living light,
Reveals the architect of all its ills,
Scatters the timbers of its prison-house,*
And snaps in twain those bitter, galling chains
So that the soul once more may stand erect,
Victor of self, no more to be enslaved,
And live in charity and gentle peace,
Bearing all meekly, loving those who hate ;
And when at last the fated stream is reached,
* After examining' the attempted explanations of that remarkable
passage, the original of which is given at the end of the sixth book of
Arnold's " Light of Asia," I am satisfied this is its true interpretation.
It is not the death of the body, for he lived forty-five years afterwards,
much less the annihilation of the soul, as some have imagined, but the
conquest of the passions and gross and selfish desires which make hu
man life a prison, the very object and end of the highest Christian
teachings and aspirations.
120 THE DAWN AND THE DAY, OR
With lightened boat to reach the other shore.
And here he found the light he long- had sought,
Gilding at once Nirvana's blissful heights
And lighting life's sequestered, lowly vales
A light whose inner life is perfect love,
A love whose outer form is living light,
Nirvana's Sun, the Light of all the worlds,*
Heart of the universe, whose mighty pulse
Gives heaven, the worlds and even hell their life,
Maker and Father of all living things
Matreya's f self, the Lover, Saviour, Guide,
The last, the greatest Buddha, who must rule
As Lord of all before the kalpa's end.
The way of life the noble eightfold path,
The way of truth, the Dharma-pada found,
With joy he bade his loving guides farewell,
With joy he turned from all those blissful scenes.
And when the rosy dawn next tinged the east,
And morning's burst of song had waked the day,
* " Know then thai heaven and earth's compacted frame,
And flowing waters, and the starry flame.
And both the radiant lights, one common soul
Inspires and feeds and animates the whole."
Dryden's Virgil. Book VI, line 360.
t Buddha predicted that Matreya (Love incarnate) would be his
successor (see Beal's Fa Hian, page 137, note 2, and page 162; also
Hardy's Manual, page 386, and Oldenburgh's Buddhism, page 386), who
was to come at the end of five hundred years at the end of his Dharma
(see Buddhism and Christianity, Lillie, page 2).
It is a remarkable fact that this successor is the most common
object of worship among Buddhists, so that the most advanced Bud
dhists and the most earnest Christians have the same object of worship
tinder different names.
THE BUDDHA- AND THE CHRIST BOOK VI. 121
With staff and bowl he left the sacred tree
Where pilgrims, passing- pathless mountain-heights,
And desert sands, and ocean's stormy waves,
From every nation, speaking- every tong-ue,
Should come in after-times to breathe their vows
Beginning- on that day his pilgrimage
Of five and forty years from place to place,
Breaking- the cruel chains of caste and creed,
Teaching- the law of love, the way of life.
ALONE on his great mission going- forth,
Down Phalgu's valley he retraced his steps,
Down past the seat where subtle Mara sat,
And past the fountain where the siren sang,
And past the city, through the fruitful fields
And gardens he had traversed day by day
For six long years, led by a strong desire
To show his Brahman teachers his new light.
But ah ! the change a little time had wrought !
A new-made stupa held their gathered dust,
While they had gone where all see eye to eye,
The darkness vanished and the river crossed.
Then turning sadly from this hallowed spot-
Hallowed by strivings for a higher life
More than by dust this little mound contained
He sought beneath the spreading banyan-tree
His five companions, whom he lately lett
Sad at his own departure from the way
The sacred Vedas and the fathers taught.
They too had gone, to Varanassi* gone,
High seat and centre of all sacred lore.
* Varanassi is an old name of Benares.
THE BUDDHA AND THE CHRIST BOOK VII. 123
The day was well-nigh spent ; his cave was near,
Where he had spent so many weary years,