A New Altar
|I’ll tell you truth, oh Brahmin, if I may make so bold!|
These idols in your temples—these idols have grown old,
To hate your fellow-mortals is all they teach you, while
Our God too sets his preachers to scold and to revile;
Sickened, from both your temple and our shrines I have run,
Alike our preachers’ sermons and your fond myths I shun.
—In every graven image you fancied God: I see
in each speck of my country’s poor dust, divinity.
|Come, let us lift suspicion’s thick curtains once again,|
Unite once more the sundered, wipe clean division’s stain.
Too long has lain deserted the heart’s warm habitation—
Come, build here in our homeland an altar’s new foundation,
And rise a spire more lofty than any of this globe,
With high pinnacle touching the hem of heaven’s robe!
And there at every sunrise let our sweet chanting move
The hearts of all who worship, pouring them wine of love:
Firm strength, calm peace, shall blend in the hymns the votary sings—
For from love comes salvation to all earth’s living things.
Translated by: V.G. Kiernan