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OMAR APR 28 1913

APR 28 1913


With a supplement by
James E. Richardson



With a supplement by
James E. Richardson

ti Christ was a missionary to this island of savages in the cosmic sea."
(RICHARD HODGSON to the author, April i, 1898)



Copyright, 1913, by

The author is under a pledge to the Simplified
Spelling Board of New York to espouse their cause.
See Buddhist and Christian Gospels, Prolegomena 4.

Clarendon type is used to denote oracles and scripture.


. / ' f





"I'm rooting around in the Bible all the time> like you!"






A Duet With Omar



In days of eld Imagination reigned,

On angel wings were heights divine attained,

But now we rear cathedrals out of fact :
My heaven-wooing verse by Truth is trained.

No priest or wizard, murmuring for hire*
Can wrap the spirit in the final fire,

But line by line and here and there we glean
The straws that blaze and all the soul inspire.


I saw, saith SWEDENBORG, no earthly hand
Write on a temple for the future planned:

The things of Faith were heretofore believed :
Now it is lawful that we understand.

The Seer of Skara died, and one year more
Beheld the tempest of a world-wide war:

Strange goblins in the Bay of Boston danced,
Like Northern lights upon a cloudy shore.

The wine that Dogberry and Shallow drank,
Who scoft at BUNYAN by the Ouse's bank,

Had turned to fire and lighted earth and sky,
Burning conceits that unto heaven stank.


The planet rolled convulst: not Brandywine
Nor Lexington alone was made divine,

But Dogger Bank, Azores, Conjevaram,
Till rainbow Stripes and Stars began to shine.


In wilder tempest, lo ! a DARWIN born,

To teach mankind the meaning of the morn;

MAX MuLLER followed with the Sacred Books
And saved religion from an age of scorn.


We saw the wrecks of a dissolving Rome
And Alexandria besprent with foam,

Dasht from a wave of Oriental faith:
We traced a live enigma to its home.


Known at Benares, Balkh and Samarkand,
A story went that all could understand :

How that a hermit, in the noonday heat,
An opening heaven saw, with angel band.


White robes were waved, as in celestial dance,
Unearthly music did the charm enhance;

The seer inquired what joy the angels knew,
Then deeply heard in Himalayan trance:


The Buddha who shall be, the pearl unpriced,
Is born with men to be the Hindu Christ,

In Sakya town and realm of Lumbini:
Therefore we glory with a joy sufficed.


Research revealed the spectral caravan
Of thought : from Balkh to Antioch it ran,
Where LUKE was learning in a Hebrew

The Gospel he re-wrought and gave to man.


In the deep waters of the ancient dark
We dived to find thy lost finale, MARK !

How CHRIST appeared to PETER all alone,
Gave him the power, and left him true and


Neanderthal and Java yielded skulls
From ape-humanity's abandoned hulls,
Dry on the shores of geologic time:
One fact entire theologies annuls.


Then ever and anon thru thought's mad whirl
The voice of RUSKIN, blither than a girl,

Soothed us with music, while a deeper tone
Boomed from the thunderbolts CARLYLE would



Where shall we turn ? Religion we have traced
With TYLOR, FRAZER, from the frozen waste

Of man's primeval dreams. What seer of

The nightmares of the night away hath chased?


Lo, MYERS comes, to wrestle in the dark
And fire Truth's tinder with a tiny spark,
Proving that Man, the million-summered

Dies not the death of saurian and shark.


The youth of MYERS ends the Middle Age:
When Science thrust him, in a noble rage,
Out from the heavenly cathedral porch,
Back thru the screened apse-window climbed
the sage.


If unseen powers erst workt upon the world
In ages far into oblivion whirled,

Said he, they surely work upon it now:
Search for the Truth in humble things im-
pearled !



My prolog was the door to homely facts,
Not to Augustines and Theophylacts.

Be humble, reader, now; descend to earth,
Despise not thou my modern Book of Acts.


An instrument is ours of traveling sound,
Whereby we talk the hemisphere around :

When name and voice are equally unknown,
How can the lost identity be found?


JAMES HYSLOP, MAN, to Science devotee,
Has proved that trifles are the only key:

Along the long dark line the lost is found:
"Don't you remember what you said to me?"



Why should the Gospel word the learner shock
Because it names the crowing of the cock?

A trifle, say you. Nay, 'twas tragedy
Unto the stern Apostle of the Rock.


In apparition mid the morning mist,

Known was the ghost to ANANDO by praise,
Of SARIPUTTO, who did once assist


With cheer the benefactor's dying day.
O Anando, said BUDDHA, no display

Of mystic art identifies for thee
Our wealthy patron, but plain Reason's way.


Ah, gifted chorus, once by MYERS led,
Help me proclaim that none of you are dead!

Find me the fire that feedeth more than bread!



When past the leader and the queen from earth,
A sound of rain declared an end of dearth :

The sacred springs were welling once again,
New channels hollowed by an earthquake-birth.


The gifted chorus had amast the facts
Dry, weird, grotesque, but scarred with moun-
tain tracts

On whose hot lava-sides the leader strong
Turned the new channels into cataracts.


Far in the past the century reposed
Wherein our eyelids never had been closed;

All were on tiptoe for the final book:
We knew the lofty poet had not prosed.


He died, and HODGSON o'er the Testament,
Thus left unended, strenuously spent

His glorious manhood for the Master gone,
While woman toward the work her labor lent.



Reader, three threads of labyrinthine rays
Are all I ask of thee to feel, in ways

Now new to Science, till a cycle dawn
That shall dispel the darkness and the haze.


Whene'er I roam the Massachusetts hills,
It is not seeking for the fame that fills

Their vales with names like BRYANT, WHITTIER,
But KATE M'GuiRE, who there my fancy thrills.


JOHN WILKIE, of Chicago, never went
To Massachusetts, but ofttimes he spent
A genial evening with a man of health,

OSCAR DE WOLF, born there of long descent.


Fate whirled the twain to London; English air,
October-chilled, soon laid John Wilkie there;

De Wolf attended, gave him shelter, too;
One day, asleep upon a parlor chair,


Wilkie, awaking, straightway dreamt he had
Upon his knee a paper writing-pad

Whereon he wrote, and some deep inward

To read this message to the doctor bade:


Dear Doctor: You remember Kate M'Guire
Who lived with you in Chester? To expire
In Eight een-seventy-two her fortune was:
That you in London thrive is her desire!


Whereat the seer entranced completely woke,
And turning toward the doctor silence broke:

"Doctor, behold a message here for you!"
"What do you mean?" the doctor sharply spoke.


Without the fear of wrath or jeer, I wis
No subterfuge, explosive words to miss-
John Wilkie simply to the doctor said :
"I have a message for you. It is this :


Dear Doctor: You remember Kate M'Guire
Who lived with you in Chester? To expire
In Eighteen-seventy-two her fortune was:
That you in London thrive is her desire!


Such was the oracle, and all amazed
The Doctor wildly on the patient gazed :

"How know you Kate M'Guire and Chester

"I know not either!" said the patient dazed.


The Doctor answered: I was born and reared
At Chester, Massachusetts. Long endeared
To me are all those hills and valleys fair,
But your illusion is a trifle weird.


From Etghteen-sixty-six to Seventy-three
Northampton was my home. Thence would I see ',

Not far away, my Chester friends again ,
A nd Kate M y Guire ofttimes would wait on me.


Obliging girl she was, and found a pride
In serving me, but in dead days hath died :

Of her these twenty years I have not thought ;
I know not when she past out with the tide.


The Doctor mused: Do I remember Kate
M'Guire who lived in Massachusetts State

With me at Chester? Eighteen-seventy-two
Beheld her die. She hopes me kindly fate!


Turn we to HENSLEIGH WEDGWOOD, Eighty-nine
The century told when he beheld a sign :

An arm and sword from castellated notch
Did thru the talking wood with words


I killed myself long since on Christmas Day.
Would I had died the foremost in the fray!

A wounded head was mine in Eighteen-ten,
In the Peninsula. I past away



Now four-and-f orty years. It was the pen
That killed me, not the sword. My head again

Pains me whene'er I re-descend to earth,
Thus to communicate with mortal men.


I captured Banier; I seized his brand,
And in the fortress found beside his hand

Plans for defense. Yes, Banier. O my head !
John Gurwood. Failing power. You under-


Now, Wellington to Gurwood had the sword
Of Banier presented, which award

Is limned in emblem of heraldic arms.
In later days, John Gurwood, who ignored.


His wounded head, and redescribed the fight
Of Eighteen-twelve (his ghostly date not


Was overcome by much unwonted toil,
Reft his own life and sank forgotten quite.


Hensleigh and two companions all confest
They wotted not of Gurwood and the crest,

But knew the Iron Duke's dispatches were
By Gurwood given forth. As for the rest,


They wist not even that his name was John.
While we surmise that books could lead them


Or lurking recollection, how should thought
Thus guide their minds unless the spirits gone


Leave a live memory behind, or haunt

Some region of the soul? Ne'er do they daunt

Or drive to ridicule, except that half
Of man that lags and fears an idle taunt.


Reason our personality dissolves,
Or shows that this with vaster orbs revolves
Around some central fire, to knowledge

naught :
No doctrine all the hurlyburly solves.



Be patient, Man! The star-lore time is slow,
And like her cycles is the silent flow

Of all our learning down the centuries:
Millions of minds must think before we know.


"A jury of the choicest of the wise
Of many generations" must advise

The judges with a verdict, but to-day
At least we know 'tis not the soul that dies.



Yet while the feet of Science aye must climb
The endless ladder of eternal time,

To find the Truth through alchemies grotesque
And false astrologies, the high sublime

Attends the poet. Science too he owns,

But all her facts are in the tints and tones

Of his internal being, made secure
Upon Comparison's foundation-stones.


Thus BUCKE, the friend of WHITMAN, wrought

a tower

Of COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS, a work of power
Because the cloud of witnesses are called
Who from the minster-turret sound the hour.


The seer himself, who wrote the book, began
By beatific vision, rare to man,

Seen early in mid life, the age of most
Who know the Highest and who lead the van.


A London evening with the mellow souls
Around whose names the lettered circle rolls ;

A long dark ride alone; and lo! absorbed,
He saw a glory as of altar-coals.


All London was in flames, he surely thought,
And from the chariot-window gazed distraught
To see what this could be, then straightway

It was himself in conflagration caught.


His very head was in a cloud of fire

That burned not, but illumined : earth entire

And human destiny before him lay
Stretcht as a map. Behold, a mighty spire


Of faith in God and Goodness rose within
The soul that ne'er had been conceived in sin,
But by the Holy Ghost. All shall be saved,
For all are brethren of supernal kin.


Beyond a peradventure, every soul
Revolves at last within divine control ;
All nature glows alive unto the core,
And Love begins and terminates the whole.

The vision faded, but the joy remained,
And this was his religion; theories gained
By church or search were swampt and

whelmed away,
Sunk in the universe anew explained.



Then ransackt he the wide historic field
And found that kinsfolk of the soul revealed
Their answering beacon-lights, which made

the Truth
No more mysterious, but a scroll unsealed.


The saints of God the BUDDHA, CHRIST and

PLOTTNUS, PASCAL of the fire do all

Tell what they heard and saw and inly knew.
Behold the Holy City's outer wall.


Such is the book, no story wrought for gold,
But twin to MYERS, and as manifold,

Tho rugged, like the Rocky Mountain

Where two worlds meet, the newer and the old.


In ages hence, when long arcades of Truth,
Seen in perspective from the planet's youth,

Upbuild the vast cathedral of our thought,
Naught shall remain of savage or uncouth.


Allied to Science now for evermore,
The Soul is marching in a holy war,

And from the minarets of light on high
A world-muezzin doth the music pour


That wakes the nations from the brunt of strife
To thought and labor, with enrichment rife,

And warfare only with the beast within.
Hark! 'tis the rising tide Eternal Life!


Verse 2. The greatest promotion of spiritual truth
has been made by men who have lived for religion, and
not by religion. The work of Myers was exactly of this
martyr quality. He was a government school inspector,
and worked himself to death in his fifties to re-establish
religion upon a scientific basis. The hundreds of cases of
psychical phenomena collected by him and his colleagues
of the Society for Psychical Research were almost en-
tirely from non-professional sources. The professional
teacher of religion or ethics on the one hand, and the paid
medium on the other, play a subordinate part. Indeed,
they are often actively hostile to this branch of science.
The two narratives here versified from the Society's Jour-
nal are typical ones. Both are reprinted in the immortal
work of Myers. Such experiences, occurring amongst
people of all conditions, must, sooner or later, make them-
selves felt as part of the facts of life.

3 and 4. Swedenborg died in 1772; Boston Tea
Party, 1773. The passage versified is from Vera Christ-
iana Religio (Amsterdam, 1771, paragraph 508).

5. The allusion is to the Bedfordshire "gentry" and
"justices" who dined with Sir Matthew Hale in 1661, and
made merry over the fact that their moral and intellectual
master was a tinker. (See Bunyan's Grace Abounding,
near the end.) When probed to the bottom, the American
Revolution was an uprising against English snobbery
that coarse assertion of superiority by mere officialism
and brutal wealth against character and genius.


The Great Ouse, whereon the boro of Bedford is
situated; pronounced Ooze (International Alphabet, u:z).

6. For neglected aspects of the American Revolu-
tion, see The Struggle for American Independence. By
Sydney G. Fisher (Philadelphia, 1908), and also his re-
markable essay : The Legendary and Myth-Making Pro-
cess in Histories of the American Revolution, read before
the American Philosophical Society, April 18, 1912. For
the battle of Conjevaram in India, between the English
and our French and Muhammadan allies, see London
Notes and Queries, Feb. 2, 1861. (Pronounce Cori-

jevaram' ; International Alphabet, kt?nd3ev9raem. )

7. The Sacred Books of the East. (Oxford, 1879-
1910, 50 vols.)

9. See Buddhist and Christian Gospels, Vol. I, pp.
77-89, for the date of this poem, and I, 185-186, for a
literal translation.

9 and 12. For the significance of Balkh in the his-
tory of religion, see Buddhist and Christian Gospels, I,
154; also the author's article: The Progress of Buddhist
Research, with something about Pentecost, in the Chicago
Monist, October, 1912 (reading brothers, instead of the
editorial "brethren," in the last sentence). For the part
played by Luke in introducing Hindu elements into the
Gospel, see Buddhist Loans to Christianity in the Chicago
Monist, January and October, 1912, reprinted at Colombo.
For the problem in general : The Buddhist-Christian
Missing Link, in the Chicago Open Court, January, 1912;
and The Wandering Jew; his Probable Buddhist Origin,
in London Notes and Queries, January 18, 1913. These

articles are among the most important things that I have
written, and it is my wish that they be reprinted at the
end of Buddhist and Christian Gospels, in case I should
not live to issue a fifth edition. Carl Clemen's useful
work on Primitive Christianity and its Non-Jewish
Sources (Giessen, 1909, in German; Edinburgh, 1912, in
English) is thirty years out of date in Buddhist criticism.

11. Lumbinl is pronounced Loombinee in English
conventional spelling. (International Alphabet, lumbmi.)

13. The problem of the lost Mark-ending and the
present Mark- Appendix is treated by Kirsopp Lake : His-
torical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(London and New York, 1907.) See also The Lost
Resurrection Document in the Chicago Open Court,
March, 1910.

24. The story of Anathapi^iko's appearance to
Buddha after death was (I believe) first translated into a
European tongue in Buddhist and Christian Gospels.
(Tokyo, 1905, pp. 204-206; Philadelphia, 1909, II, 195-
197; Milan, 1913, p. 266.)

Anando, Buddha's beloved disciple, pronounced
Ahnundo (International Alphabet, flnando).

27. Myers and Victoria both died in January, 1901.

28. The Society for Psychical Research, founded
by a band of scholars at the University of Cambridge in

29. Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily
Death. By Frederic W. H. Myers. (London, New
York and Bombay, 1903.) The reference to woman is to


the editorial work of Alice Johnson and to the assistance
rendered Hodgson by his secretary from 1890 to 1905.
Human Personality, I, note to preface; II, 616.) The
tiptoe expectation was such that the whole edition was
sold in three weeks, and London had to call for copies on
New York.

32. The case of Katy M'Guire is in the same work.
(II, 214-217.)

33. There is a De Wolf Genealogy (New York,
1902) containing accounts of Dr. Oscar and his father.
Curiously enough, two stanzas of Omar are quoted.

34. "Bronchitis-laden" was my literalistic version,
but to this James E. Richardson objected. October, 1895,
was the date of Wilkie's illness, and the story was written
for the Society for Psychical Research by both witnesses
in April and May, 1898.

36. The exact words were: Dear Doctor Do
you remember Katy M'Guire, who used to live with
you in Chester? She died in 1872. She hopes you are
having a good time in London.

45. The case of Hensleigh Wedgwood, brother-in-
law to Darwin, and himself a scholar of note, is in Myers
II, 161-167. It ought to be rescued from the small print
wherein it is read at disadvantage. It is curious that in
1889, the year of Wedgwood's experience, the biograph-
ical sketch of Colonel Gurwood in the Dictionary of
National Biography was passing thru the press. (Vol.
XXIII, London, 1890.) The article confirms the plan-

2 7

47. The planchette's words are : Pen did for me.
Repeated with variations. A sense of humor and a sense
of the sublime are equally necessary in these studies.

48. The storming of Cuidad Rodrigo, January,

50, 51. The Duke of Wellington's Dispatches were
edited by Gurwood in 13 vols. ( 1834-1839.) The work
was too much for him after the wound. He was working
on the second edition (1844-1847, 8 vols.) when he died.

54. Justice must be done to the problem of our per-
sonality's final destiny, upon which the Hindus have done
more thinking than all other nations combined.

56. Shelley's Essays.

59. Cosmic Consciousness. By R. M. Bucke.
(Philadelphia, 1901.) This book was in the press simul-
taneously with that of Myers, and it is unfortunate that
they were then unknown to each other, though Bucke
alludes to the previous articles of Myers. Bucke's vision
has been popularized by William James in his Varieties of
Religious Experience.

61. London, England, not to be confounded with
London, Ontario, in the life of Bucke.

68. Catholics will remember that the Buddha
(known in the calendar as Josaphat) is a saint of the
Roman Church (November 27) and of the Greek Church
(August 26).

Blaise Pascal, in 1654, had a vision similar to
Doctor Bucke's. There is no doubt that it is this


very experience that is meant in the Buddhist texts
by the phrase: entering into the flame-meditation.
For a mythical story about this, see the ascension of
Dabbo, the Mallian, first translated in the Chicago Open
Court for February, 1900, reprinted in Buddhist and
Christian Gospels (Tokyo, 1905, p. 192; Philadelphia,
1909, II, 174-175; Milan, 1913, p. 253).

69. Of course Bucke cannot be compared with
Myers for scholarship, style or extent, but their aim is
one : to re-establish religion upon a scientific basis.



Wherein the reader is introduced behind
the scenes in verse-making

NOTE. Lacking confidence in his own poetic ability,
the author showed the manuscript to James E. Richard-
son, the poet, to whom are due the following words:
rolled, in stanza 5; thru thought's, in 15; screened apse,
instead of vestry, in 18. Verse 38 was also composed
at his suggestion for dramatic effect, as well as 44. The
doctor mused is Richardson's, tho the rest of the verse is
simply my original draft of stanzas 36 and 39, slightly

Mr. Richardson rewrote Canto I from an earlier
draft, and his version is appended for the interest of

The poets who have influenced me most have been :
Longfellow and Campbell (since 1868) ; Cowper (1869) ;
Gray, Poe, Macaulay and a modicum of Byron (about
1870) ; Milton and Aytoun (1871) ; Scott (1873, lyrics
earlier); Shakspeare (1874); Calverley (1877); Myers
(1878); Tennyson and Wordsworth (1880, but some
lyrics earlier) ; Whittier (1881) ; Shelley (1884) ; Mat-
thew Arnold (1898) ; Burton (1901) ; Fitzgerald (1912).
The Omar was read to me by Frank W. Peirson in 1898,
but made little impression.

Richardson has been influenced by Swinburne and
Rossetti, who have never appealed to me (except one
chorus of the former's).


My dear Edmunds :

I have your drafts and have given them a day's full
analysis, reaching, unfortunately, the inevitable conclu-
sion: that your own metrical method and mine are so
hopelessly dissimilar that I cannot really help you. What-
ever criticism I can offer must be from a standpoint so
different from yours, that I fear to accept any of it can
only do more harm than good. Your own directness and
my slow method, that of crushing dissyllables, feeding
in surd adjectives, and generally holding the lines back to
the weariest possible elegiac drone, have little in com-
mon. The tempo of your lines and mine, in the one case
so sharp and clear and in the other so disguised and
thickened with artificial pauses, must, if each of us takes
a hand, give the whole thing away. Retaining the end-
rhymes, I have recast the whole poem as I should
originally have metrified it; using, perhaps, more of the
"run-on" structure than is really characteristic of the
good rubaiy. So you can see how different our notions
of metre really are. I can't overcome the temptation to
look at words in the artistic, as against the intellectual
sense, i.e., the sound of them as against the meaning;
which is very bad all round. If, however, you can use
one of my own little tesserals here and there to any effect,
by all means do. * * *

Sincerely yours,



In our old days Imagination reigned :

By angel wings were Heaven's vast portals

gained ;

But now? We raise cathedrals out of fact:(#)
My Heaven-aspiring verse by Truth is trained.

No priest nor wizard, muttering low for hire,
Can whelm the spirit in Hell's ultimate fire; *
But line by line, lo ! here and there we glean
The straws that blaze and our freed souls in-


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