Sir Edwin Arnold: 

The Light of Asia or the Great Renunciation

(Three stanzas from a long poem.)

Pray not! the Darkness will not brighten! Ask

Naught from the Silence, for it cannot speak!

Vex not your mournful minds with pious pains!

Ah! Brothers, Sisters! seek

Naught from the helpless gods by gift and hymn,

Nor bribe with blood, nor feed with fruits and cakes;

Within yourselves deliverance must be sought;

Each man his prison makes. . .

If any teach NIRVANA is to live,

Say unto such they err; not knowing this

Nor what light shines beyond their broken lamps,

Nor lifeless, timeless, bliss.


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