The Indian Gipsy


Thus in many lands they wandered,
Buddha and his faithful friend,
Teaching truth to many nations,
Till his life approached its end.
And they say, along the pathway,
As the saintly Master went,
Fruit-trees blossomed out of season
And a lovely fragrance lent.
And that flowers and sandal-powder
Gently fell on him from high,
And that strains of heavenly music
Sounded from the sunlit sky!


But the saintly Master whispered
To his friend beloved and blest,
" Tis not thus, O friend Ananda,
That the Buddha's honoured best.
Not by flowers or sandal-powder,
Not by music's heavenly strain,
Is the soul's true worship rendered,
Useless are these things and vain.
But the brother and the sister,
Man devout and woman holy, —
Pure in life, in duty faithful, —
They perform the worship truly! "


Night came on, and saintly Buddha
Slept in suffering, sick and wan,
When a Brahman, seeking wisdom,
Came to see the holy man.
Anxiously Ananda stopped him,
But spake Buddha, though in pain,
" He who comes to seek for wisdom
Shall not come to me in vain. "

And he to the pious stranger
Told the truth in language plain,
Taught the law with dying accents,
Stopped, and never spake again!
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