Light of light, O Sun of heaven,
O Thou bright and morning Star,
To mankind in mercy given,
Send Thy radiance from afar,
Bringing light to all the earth,
Health and strength, and joy and mirth;
Darkness past, the dawn is breaking,
All creation is awaking.
Still my soul is thickly shrouded
In the chilling mist of sin,
And my conscience is beclouded
By the ignorance within.
Lead me by the hand, I pray,
Lest in error’s path I stray;
Make Thy light my sole attraction,
Guiding every thought and action.
Spirit of the heavenly morning,
Shine into my darkened heart,
That, the way of life discerning,
I may choose the better part.
Make my erring walk secure,
Every thought and action pure;
Whereso’er my feet be turning,
Keep Thy zeal within me burning.
Deign Thy feeble flock to strengthen
By the bonds of sacred love,
And Thy lines of empire lengthen
By Thy power from above.
Help us govern in Thy sight,
That our laws be just and right;
That we suffer no oppression,
Make our land Thine own possession.
Let our lamp of faith be burning
On that awful judgment day.
While in sin’s domain sojourning,
Guide us in the heavenward way:
Then their praise and thanks to Thee,
Lord, in all eternity
Shall Thy happy children render,
For Thy mercies, kind and tender.
Kim, composite of all my loves,
less real than most, more real than all;
of my making, all the good and
some of the bad, yet of yourself;
sole, unique, strong, alone,
whole, independent, one: yet mine
in that you cannot be unfaithful.
Came the month of Kartik and the end of the rainy season.
The great Emperor Akbar
Died in the city of Agra.
The news of his death reached Jaunpur.
The people, bereft of their emperor, felt orphaned and helpless.
The townsfolk were afraid,
Their hearts troubled, their faces pale with fear.
Heard of Akbar’s death.
He had been sitting on the stairs,
The news struck him like a blow upon the heart.
He swooned and fell,
He could not help himself.
He cracked his head and began bleeding profusely.
The word ‘God’ slipped from his mouth.
He had hurt his head on the stone floor
Of the courtyard, which turned red with his blood.
Everyone began making a great fuss;
His mother and father were frantic.
His mother held him in her arms,
Applied a piece of burnt cloth to his wound.
Then, making up a bed, she laid her son upon it
His mother wept unceasingly.
Meanwhile there was chaos in the city,
Riots broke out everywhere.
People sealed shut the doors of their houses,
Shopkeepers would not sit in their shops.
Fine clothes and expensive jewellery–
These, people buried underground.
Books recording their business transactions they buried somewhere else,
And hid their cash and other goods in safe and secure places.
In every house, weapons were gathered.
Men began to wear plain clothes
And casting off fine shawls, wrapped themselves in rough blankets.
The women too began to dress plainly.
No one could tell the difference between the high and the low.
The rich and the poor were alike.
No thieves or robbers were to be seen anywhere,
People were needlessly afraid.
The chaos and confusion continued for ten days.
Then peace returned:
A letter came from Agra saying that all was well.
This was what the letter said–
“The great Akbar was emperor
For fifty-two years.
Now in Samvat 1662,
He died in the month of Kartik.”
“Akbar’s oldest son
Sahib Shah Salim,
Has, in the city of Agra, assumed the throne
In Akbar’s palace.”
“He has taken the name of Nuruddin
This news is being given all over the kingdom,
In every place where the emperor’s authority holds sway.”
This was the news contained in the letter
Which was read from house to house
And spread around Jaunpur
Causing the people to give thanks in relief.
There was joy in Kharagsen’s house
A state of well-being prevailed, gone were sorrow and strife;
Banarasi recovered, and bathed;
The family rejoiced and gave alms generously in their joy.
Most truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same
Than may your worthy self from whom it came?
The principal might yield a greater sum,
Yet handled ill, amounts but to this crumb;
My stock’s so small I know not how to pay,
My bond remains in force unto this day;
Yet for part payment take this simple mite,
Where nothing’s to be had, kings loose their right.
Such is my debt I may not say forgive,
But as I can, I’ll pay it while I live;
Such is my bond, none can discharge but I,
Yet paying is not paid until I die.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 380th birthday.
Love in Fantastique Triumph satt,
Whilst bleeding Hearts around him flow’d,
For whom Fresh pains he did create,
And strange Tryanic power he show’d;
From thy Bright Eyes he took his fire,
Which round about, in sport he hurl’d;
But ‘twas from mine he took desire,
Enough to undo the Amorous World.
From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his Pride and Crueltie;
From me his Languishments and Feares,
And every Killing Dart from thee;
Thus thou and I, the God have arm’d,
And sett him up a Deity;
But my poor Heart alone is harm’d,
Whilst thine the Victor is, and free.
Great Monarch, since the worlds nativity,
No mind, nor body had so divine parts
To grace the State of Sov’rain Majesty,
As hath your Royall person, whose deserts
Soare higher ‘bove the reach of other Kings,
Then the bright Sun transcends terrestriall things.
I have idled away seventy years of a floating life,
My true self has comprehended Theravada.
Luckily I am spared from concerns for my children when I die.
Only cuckoos will cry on the ancient trees over my tomb.