Kali the Mother

O terrible and tender and divine!
O mystic mother of all sacrifice,
We deck the sombre altars of thy shrine
With sacred basil leaves and saffron rice;
All gifts of life and death we bring to thee,
Uma Haimavati! Maidens:

We bring thee buds and berries from the wed! Brides:

We bring the rapture of our bridal prayer! Mothers:

And we the sweet travail of motherhood! Widows:

And we the bitter vigils of despair! All Voices:

All gladness and all grief we bring to thee,
Ambika! Parvati! Artisans:

We bring the lowly tribute of our toil! Peasants:

We bring our new-born goats and budded wheat! Victors:

And we the swords and symbols of our spoil! Vanquished:

And we the shame and sorrow of defeat! All Voices:

All triumph and all tears we bring to thee,
Girija! Shambhavi! Scholars:

We bring the secrets of our ancient arts. Priests:

We bring the treasures of our ageless creeds. Poets:

And we the subtle music of our hearts. Patriots:

And we the sleepless worship of our deeds. All Voices:

All glory and all grace we bring to thee,
Kali! Maheshwari!
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