Perchance a prophet thou-
Who knows? Who dares touch
The depths where Mother hides
Her silent failless bolts!
The Swami in Srinagar planned to write an introductory letter for the forthcoming first number, under the new editorship of Swami Swarupananda, of the Prabuddha Bharata. One afternoon he brought to Sister Nivedita, Josephine MacLoed and Mrs Ole Bull as they sat together, a paper on which he said he had tried to write a letter, but it would come this way:
(A song in Hindi)
O Krishna, my friend, let me go to the water,
O let me go today.
Why play tricks with one who is already thy slave?
O friend, let me go today, let me go.
I have to fill my pitcher in the waters of the Jumna.
I pray with folded hands, friend, let me go.
(Composed at Ridgely Manor, New York, in 1899.)
Hold yet a while, Strong Heart,
Not part a lifelong yoke
Though blighted looks the present, future gloom.
What though thy bed be frozen earth,
Thy cloak the chilling blast;
What though no mate to clear thy path,
Thy sky with gloom o’ercast —
(Rendered from a Bengali poem composed by Swami Vivekananda)
Where darkness is interpreted as light,
Where misery passes for happiness,
Where disease is pretended to be health,
Where the new-born’s cry but shows ’tis alive;
Dost thou, O wise, expect happiness here?
If things go ill or well —
If joy rebounding spreads the face,
Or sea of sorrow swells —
A play — we each have part,
Each one to weep or laugh as may;
Each one his dress to don —
Its scenes, alternative shine and rain.
The wounded snake its hood unfurls,
The flame stirred up doth blaze,
The desert air resounds the calls
Of heart-struck lion’s rage.
( * This poem was not published in the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda)
(Translated by the Swami on June 12, 1898)