(Adapted From Lord Alfred Tennyson)1

This poem is an allegorical description of the events on the day of the starting of the Universe. It gives a very elegantly artistic description of the way everything was created according to the plan of God. However, the poem is not just an account of the flight of imagination, but a treasure house of mystic ideas. Its central theme is that all created things are bound to perish except the Love of God, which is part of His existence and is eternal (verses 11-23). This Love is one of the basic themes of ‘All«mah Iqb«l's philosophy and pervades all his poetic works. A conspectus of ‘All«mah Iqb«l's views on Love is not possible in this discussion. Only selected samples of his works can be given to show his thinking on this topic and some are given below:

(169) If self-cognizant, self-effective, and self-comprehending is the Khudâ of yours
It is also possible that even death may be unable to cause the death of yours

(Appendix III, No. 32)

(170) The first, the last, the concealed and the obvious are doomed to perish
Alas ! The old and the new pictures alike are doomed to perish

(171) But in that picture the color of Eternity is
Which perfected by some Man of God is

(Appendix III, No. 29)

The hour of the Universe' appearance was charming
The flower-bud of life was showering smiles

Here the golden crown, the sun was getting
There the moon its moon-light was getting

The dark gown to the night was being given
Training of brightness to stars was being given

The Existence's branch was getting leaves here
The bud of life was bursting out there

The angels were teaching weeping to the dew
For the first time the rose was laughing

They were conferring pathos on the poet's heart
Khudâ for the wine of Bükhudâ was pining 2

For the first time dark black clouds were appearing
As if some Houri of Paradise with open hair was standing

The earth was claiming elegance of the sky
The space was claiming to be boundless

In short so beautiful the sight was
That seeing it in itself a panorama was

The angels their flying powers were testing
Eternal lights from their foreheads were appearing

An angel called Love there was
Whose guidance everyone's hope was

The angel who the embodiment of restlessness was
Angel among angels and restless like mercury he was

He was going towards the Paradise for a stroll
He met death on its way by the destiny's roll

He asked death, "What is the name and work of yours?
I do not want to encounter the face of yours"

Hearing this said the angel of death
"My work is clear, I am the angel of death

I shatter the chattels of existence
I extinguish the spark of life

The magic of annihilation is in my eyes
The message of destruction is its symhol

But there is one entity in the Universe
It is fire, I am only mercury before it

It lives in the human heart as a spark
It is the darling of the Divine Light

It constantly drips as tears from the eyes
The tears whose bitterness is tolerable"

When Love heard this from the death's lips ,
Laughter started appearing from its lips

The thunder of such smile descended on death
How can darkness stay in front of such light?

On seeing eternity to death it fell
Death it was, to death it fell

Explanatory Notes

1. Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-92)- He was a famous English poet. He was a lyric poet and published several volumes of lyrical poetry. The famous among these are Poems Chiefly Lyrical (1832), Poems (1842), In Memoriam (1850) Ode to the Death of the Duke of Wellington (1852), Maud (1855) and The Idylls of the King. (1859)

2. See Chapter 3, paragraph "The Status of Mankind in the Universe and the Concept of Khudâ" for the relationship of Khudâ and Bükhudâ.