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The World is Black

Death and destruction, all for no reason
Wars and bombings based only on rumors
Suicide and murder in all seasons
Earth is a society of consumers

Death and hatred not shocking anymore
Growing repititous in newspapers
Scenes upon scenes of dead bodies and gore
The air swarming with poisonous vapors

Dying seems to be a popular trend
Is becoming okay in the world's eyes
All this chaos never going to end
Until everyone meets their demise

People and countries all under attack
The world is evil, the world is pitch black

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[1] Death And Life

DEATH AND LIFE
.
DEATH-PERCEPTION: LIFE-PERCEPTION

Poet: Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar

50 Poems & Criticism

1 Gratitude
2 Gratitude; Again
3 The Wheel of Death
4 Free from worry
5 Contemplation
6 A puzzle
7 The Truth
8 Forms of Death
9 Conclusion
10 Life-Death
11 A Pair
12 The Opposite
13 Equal
14 Sakhi
15 A desire
16 Reality
17 The Philosophy of Life
18 Excelsior!
19 Experimenting
20 Meaningfulness
21 A Prayer
22 A Mirage
23 A Vow
24 The Call of Conquest
25 A Call
26 One Day
27 Purpose
28 A Wish
29 As Desired
30 Proved
31 Healthy Vision
32 Compatibility
33 Dreadful
34 The Philosophy of Death
35 An Invitation
36 To The Fairy of Death
37 A Request
38 The Mode of Death
39 A Comparison
40 The Difference
41 The End
42 A Blow
43 Truth
44 A Proclamation
45 I Bow Thee
46 Good Bye
47 Preordained
48 An Ascetic
49 The Last Will
50 Kritkarma

  

ARTICLES

1 The Motif of Death in the Poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar —
An Assessment /
Dr. D. C. Chambial, Maranda (H.P.)
.
2 'Death-Perception: Life-Perception': A Dialectical Study
Mrs. Purnima Ray, Burdwan (W.B.)
.
3 Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar's 'Death-Perception: Life- Perception': An analysis
Dr. (mrs.) Jaya Lakshmi Rao V., (Visakhapatnam) (A.P.)
.
4 'Death' in the Poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar
Dr. D. Murali Manohar, Hyderabad (A.P.)
.
5 Revealing Reflections On Death And Life
Dr. Atma Ram
.
6 Reflecions on Mahendra Bhatnagar's Philosophy of Death
Dr. A.K. Chaturvedi

 



[1] Gratitude

Death is;
Death is imminent,
Unavoidable -
That's why
Life is so desired!
That's why
There's such a semblance
Between life and death!
Death's given
Beauty to life
Such
Endless — vast!
Death's given
Man
Life - art - efficiency
Such
Embellishment - adornment!
Indubiously
Transience,
Death element / feeling
Minute by minute death - tension
Are acceptable,
Gratitude
To death
Life's gratitude!

[2] Gratitude; Again

Death's made life
very beautiful,

Transformed this world,
in fact,
into a pleasant heaven,

We learnt
the meaning of love,
only then
true's true,

Transformed man
into higher beings
than immortal god!

[3] The Wheel of Death

Cruel is
The wheel of death
Very cruel!
Under which
Lifeless - living
Gradually grinding and changing
Every moment, every minute!

This earth rocks horribly!

Invisibly
Silently
Continuously moves
This wheel of death
Uninterrupted... unchanged!

Before it
Stability has
No existence
Its motion
Always controls
Life and death,
Earth and sky!

[4] Free from Worry

Fearing death
will make
living
futile!
weight heavy
dry onerous
pleasureless heart.

So
Life
only meaningful,
when every moment is free
from the dread of death.

It is ill-ominous
to talk about
the fear of death,
or cataclysm
for this reason.

[5] Contemplation

Death?
A question-mark!
To know the mystery
not only difficult
but also
all unknown
for man.
Body
merges into five-elements
everything scatters
and ends.
Life's
not to return;
impossible
to revive again,
and know the mystery.


When there's no self
deatha puzzle
queer puzzle!
Uninterpreted to-date,
A wonderful puzzle!

All efforts futile —
to explicate
the meaning of death;
it's very intricate difficult
to contemplate.

[6] A Puzzle

What?
Body
Not worth living;

Therefore...
Soul!
You left.

In quest of new
On an unknown path;

Where?
But where? ?

Unknown,
Everything unknown!
A pitch dark night,
Everything
Mysterious!

Who questions?
Who answers?

[7] The Truth

If there were no death,
God wouldn't have any existence,
man
would have never reconciled
with his fate!

God - a symbol,
God - a proof
of man's helplessness
of readiness after death.

The whole philosophy
of hell and heaven
is an imagination.

Man
at each moment
is afraid of death, and
horripilant again and again!
He knows —
'death is imminent'!

So, his each step
is frought with suspicion.
Not only this
he is also
absolutely ignorant
of the so called
Yam's1 world.
That's why
he takes refuge
in God
for eternal peace in death!

That's why
he sings the long song -
'Ram nam satya hai! '
(God's name is the only TRUTH)
O, birth and death
is nothing
save for his cruel-amusing act!

[1 God, dispensing death in Indian mythology.]

[8] Forms of Death

Be death natural
or accidental
conclusion is the same -
end of a conscious life,
to change into a senselessness
active life
to sleep for good
palpitation of heart!
Both are the so called
writs of Providence,
the script of fate: invisible, indelible.

But
an act of terminating life
by suicide
or
by murder,
or destruction of the ferocious
in self or social defense,
isn't death,
but, a murder.
Though the end, the same
death!
True death or untimely death.

[9] Conclusion

Death?
A question-mark?

Stable
Unanswered,
adamant,
stands
as an adversary.

But, man
accept not defeat,
not a bit
think of God
in defense,
in an answer to the question,
no, not!

The mystery of death
to be unmasked... revealed
sure
sure
some day!

[10] Life-Death

Death:
An unbreakable string
Tied to birth,

Birth:
One end;
Death:
The other extreme end!

Birth - a shore
Death - an opposite bank;
Birth:
Why a jubilation?
Death:
Pain...!
Why?

Birth - death
When equal?

One / well shaped;
The other / completely invisible!

Birth -
A beginning,
Death -
Destruction: an assault!

Birth... known,


Death... un-known!
Birth: beginning
Death: end,
Birth - initiation
Death - an earthly end!

Birth: yes, a being,
Death: ah! a non-being!

Birth: a new dawn,
Death: a horrendous night!

[11] A Pair

Sandy desert spread
all around
like the dying lamp-flame
brown
yellow
Palish-green
waterless
slipping age
at he verge of death!

But
countless
waving... green
oases
Thorny
leafless
growing trees -
flags
of life!

Lake —
a resting place... life giving
infusing life!

[12] The Oppsite

Life: a jubilation
Death: the last breath
A melody / a cry!
Pious action / loud lamentation!

[13] Equal

Morning is red
Evening is red
Morning-evening are one.

Wail on birth
Wail on death
Birth-death are one.


It is
the true wisdom,
the real knowledge,
every other consideration
is in vain.

[14 Sakhi1

What makes you so sad?
Why do you lose your wits?
Life - very precious; true
Death - eternal, why do you rue

[1 A detached saintly statement.]

[15] A Desire

May all children and young live!
Heart-rending is untimely death!

[16] Reality

''Death
a birth
over and over again
of soul.''

It's untrue
to consider this idea true?
A blind faith
an irrational faith!

Life / blends in five-elements,
the end / of a creation,
the end / of a person,
a being.
No where
here... there.

It's true
there be an eternal fusion.
Neither there is any Hell,
nor there is any Heaven,
this manifest world is the only truth.
Deatha truth,
Life — a truth!

[17] The Philosophy Of Life

External motion —
physical vibration,
Internal motion —
Life.

The transporter of life-motion
I

Ceaseless controller —
I
as long as
life is in flux
History will be created by

human-mind
human-body.

Nev er there be catastrophe;
Life ever be full of melody,
Every particle be in motion.

To fuse is
To lose internal motion.

[18] Excelsior!

Struggles and strifes
lead to life,
to be inactive,
an indication - of the approaching death,
to stop - the end of life.
Life: only a flux
ceaseless flux!
To grow,
to change
is to be alive!
Stasis
an established trait
of the lifeless.

Life has a thrill, a throb,
a continuous palpitation in the live hearts!

To stop —
de-existence
invitation to ill-ominous death,

Excelsior... excelsior!
The only 'mool-mantra'1
to prove life!

[1 Key principle.]

[19] Experimenting

In man
Wish for life —
Eternal and strongest,

Whereas
The final truth
About every life
Is death!
Yes, end is certainly,

Unavoidable!

But / it is also true -
impatient passion for
Immortality and youth

Will never wane,

Man's queer valour
Longs for melody,
Not for tears!
Every time
Continuous struggle
With the eternal challenge
of death is welcome!
He will be
A mrityunjaya1; he will be!

[1 victorious over death.]

[20] Meaningfulness

Mere living
isn't a proof of
life's meaningfulness,
Living -
only helplessness
like death - an exit.

Which is natural
in adopting it
without any specificity,
'Living-being'
doesn't mean
to be 'a human being.'

Declaration of
human glory only when
there is perfect peace of mind -
when we give
a new meaning to life,
in pitch dark
open doors
to a world full of lights.

Know the mysteries of life,
Talk to the moon and stars.
Let selflessness
be the motive of our living,
let's devour materialistic hurdles
at every step.

Let's acquire
such capabilities,
then
life may be

dedicated to death.

No regret,
no sorrow.

There isn't
the least difference of opinion.

This life is successful
this life is rare.

Blessed is the Earth!

[21] A Prayer

I long
not for immortality,
I long for
youthfulness.
Perfect health, diseaselessness,
absolute peace
of human mind and body.

This desired boon
is sought
not from any god.

Self-achieved by self-efforts
not by any prayer.

Body free from pain
mind free from torture.

Yes,
May
we live for
125 years!
For ourselves,
for others.

[22] A Mirage

Self-willed and ambitious
man
runs after money
after pleasures
at the cost of life.
How strange
at this queer, dirty intention!

If there is life / money must flow in,
If there is life / pleasure must dog in!

Shattered and disorderly life
malady-stricken / frustrated wounded life
momentary
eager to fall into
the death-pool!

Blind, perplexed, ignorant
Man
Construes money to be supreme
thinks pleasure all in all!

He'll spoil / the precious life,
and will lose life / the gift of God!

[23] A Vow

Absolutely loyal
we,
have descended in
the formidable duel of
life and death!
being soldiers of
an immortal army of life,
will not be surrounded
by the deceitful trick of
any adversary!

May be vanquished,
but, will never admit the supremacy
of death a bit,
won't let our right
to live
be snatched away!

The triumphant-call will echo
till the last breath
struggling
life-strength will fight
till the last edge of hope / effort!

[24] The Call Of Conquest

The whole world sleeps -
who weeps
in the dead of night?

It's heard -
in the house hard by
death has suddenly charged,
it's true —
someone has died.

The sharp dagger
of theYama-doot1
has once again
touched the man!

Reach
with ambrosial heart-felt condolences,
may this man

live again and again!

Let life-drum sound
every moment

though
biers be laid!

[1 Emissary of Yam / God dispensing death in Indian
mythology.]

[25] A Call

They who sing Alakh1
have come,
who sing the sweet beloved song
of new life
have come!

Singers of Sohar2
have come!

Players of life-song
on every string of the violin of heart
have come!

Mentally vanquished!
Awake!
Strike by stretching!
Awake!

Jump
into the live sea
of life
O divers!
Stir the stupor!

[1 A word urging inspiration.
2 An auspicious song sung at the birth of a child.]

[26] One Day

Have faith
Life
will be victorious,
fear not the wicked,
fear not!

Let's destroy
every doubt!
Have faith
life will be victorious!

Deep darkness
of dead death
will surround / frighten;
have faith in

the sun's strength / firmness
Let's unmask
every particle of it!

Let's floodlight around!
Have faith
life will be triumphant!

[27] Purpose

We
who are the artisans of life
should talk only
about life,
discover
the meaningfulness of life,
and know
about the essence of life!

If death
destroys us
let us
strike back at it,
let us
sing the glory of life,
let us
strike a severe blow at
Yama, death!

[28] A Wish

let there be
no existence of death-serpent
in the garden of life,
let human self
not be terrorized
of death scare!

let every person
enjoy life
without any doubt,
let his each moment be
mellifluous!

Let a lover of life
play with life,
and live life fully
by embracing
every pleasure!

[29] Longing

As long as
I wished

to live,

lived heartily!
Imagine
the lamps burnt on
even in rains!

None
was kind,
struggled -
with firm faith in

self potence!

[30] Proved

With a wish to live
one won't
wait for death!
Gold
pure, drossless:
why should it take
a fire-test?

End the illusion,
Bend the kaal-chakar1!
Associate with life!
Give up this stupor!

[1 Cycle of death / time]

[31] Healthy Vision

Live
by thinking self
immortal,
laugh and sing
without any concern,
eat and drink
without any worry;
should it
be termed
true living?

When face to face
with the end
Or
Should remain ignorant of it
Should
we call it
true living?

[32] Compatibility

I sing
I sing the songs
of victory!
I sing

about the triumph of life
over death!
I sing dauntlessly
the triumph of life-bud
of the dearest thing!

I sing
again and again!

The sounds that echo
in the sky of the graveyard
of the liberated-selves of carefree birds
are translations
of my
life-sentiments!
The compatriots
of my
life-adorations!

[33] Dreadful

Beware!

We have
hoisted the red flags,
on every house, in every village,
in every town,
of life, new life!

In every locality, at every cross,
here, there -
everywhere!
Hoisted
red flags!

Now
the demon of death
won't be able to carry out
his terrorist, fatal, men-devouring
maddening trick!

Ambushes
on entering into the body,
proclaims himself
an unvanquished doota1
of Yama2
lays down
within the body
explosives,

and...
remote-controls
by hiding
in invisible places!

Let's see,

where from he comes now!

[1 Emissary. 2 Lord of death.]

[34] The Philosophy of Death

Death:
When a certainty,
In vain
Why

to doubt,
to fear
so much!

O, tell death -
'Come; when you please.'

At this time
Come,
Let's sing and dance!
Play on varied musical instruments!

Let's end this silence;
Who cares
for death?

[35] An Invitation

Death
come,
do come one day!
And take me away
in your flying-chariot;
away... far away
into hell!
That I may
unite all those
living in hell,
urge on them
for a revolt,

prepare them
for a change in life!
I don't acknowledge
any Chitragupta1
any Yama;
I'll challenge them!
Just, let me jump
into the hell-pond!
Just, let me mingle
with the huge crowd of
hell-denizens!

[1 According to Indian mythology an official in the court of Yama who keeps record of righteous and unrighteous actions of living beings.]

[36] To The Fairy of Death

O death, come
I am ready!
Never think,
I am helpless.

Won't you
Inform?
Won't you

Oblige me?

You'll come —
On tip-toes,
Surprising
Like a clever girl.

Alright,
Accepted!
My beloved,
Your this game
Is welcome!

Come quietly,
Come, o death
I'm ready!

I know
It well
That of the book of life
Thou art the end!

Therefore,
For me
Thou art the good news
Of totality!

Come
O death, come
I'm ready!
Awaiting you
I've bedecked myself,
I'm ready!

[37] A Request

Death -
it hardly matters
if you are feminine,
I can befriend you!

Why do you feel shy?

Come
be my comrade!
If not a cohabiter
be my neighbour!

You beautiful like the moon,
from the opposite window
peep out,
evaluate —
and one day
all at once
make me accompany you
to the land of the dead!
Just
taunting and teasing!

[38] The Mode of Death

Death might be overtaking
while dreaming,
Prana1
might be out from the body
just then.

A dreaming man
passes away!

What does he know?

Ask those living
who
have covered the dead body
with a sheet of cloth!
what happened?
What happened?
At last?

[1The life-force]

[39] A Comparison

Between Shiva
and shava1
the difference lies only in the 'I'
(the first vowel sound)

Shiva —
is goodness,
gives comfort!
Shava —
ill-ominous,
only decays!

Shiva has three eyes,
Shava is blind!

A great imbroglio!

[1Shava — a dead body.]

[40] The Distance

You remembered
Thanks!
Gave a sweet pain
Accepted!

How strange the coincidence
That the last farewell
O, the first love!
Came
On the disappearing path,
With a wish -
Never to be fulfilled,
Sometime with a true physical touch
Our co-feelings
Never to be distanced!

I go -
Go with memory,
Go with pain!

[41] The End

Strife
Where is it now?
Journey -
Where is it now?

Everything stood still
The running, jumping, the liquid river water
Everything frozen —
Like blood in veins!

All bones of body
Continuously
Crackle with pain,
Who'll press them
Now
Till the dying breath?
Dark surrounds
While none is around!

Now there is no flutter
Only a stasis,
Now life -
A fatigued filament;
A scatter!

[42] A Blow

I...

kept you alive -
so

I'll carry
your living but decayed corpse!
Carry it silently, helplessly!

You
murdered
the faiths,
you
burnt the wishes
in a flaming furnace,
sham, hypocrisy
well enacted
and filled every moment of life
with unbearable pain!

Never became a loved one;
never became a murderer!
O, never snatched the right to live -
though the doubt was unmasked,
every doubt!

When kept alive
I'll burn in the hell-fire
bear all by
being insensitive!

Early or late
all
in an eternal sleep have to fall,
dust unto dust!

O unfortunate!
Then, why to weep?

[43] Truth

Life-bird
will fly,
fly away!
Life-bird
will fly away!

Why you try so hard,
sing hymns every morn and eve,
nothing is in your control
you bow in every temple,

one day from the body
Life-bird
will fly away,

that will
never return!
Fly away
Life-bird
will fly away!

[44] Preordained

It is preordained that
you
one day
will sleep
in the lap of death
silently!

It is preordained that
you
one day
will be lost
in the pitch dark
of the death!

It is preordained that
you
one day
renouncing name and fair form
will be reduced
to ashes!

[45] A Proclamation

Tell
the world -
now
Mahendra Bhatnagar sleeps!
Sleeps in an eternal sleep!

What
is to happen
happens;
O Man!
Why do you weep?

Life
that is one's own,
one has no right
over it too,
hearth - wealth
that is one's own
that too
in fact
has no essence!
You've no claim
over that!

Becoming
silent - stoic

set out
leaving everything

set out
severing all relations
new and old!

Everyone
has to experience
this moment,
death's eternal
then
why to fear it?

O immortal death!
You may consider me
helpless,
end,
I voluntarily
accept you,
accept you from body and mind!

I sleep
on the comfortable
soil-bed!
I lose my identity
by fusing with the particles
of this soil!
I sow a new life!
As I have accepted life
likewise
O death
I do accept you!

I go,
I go from this world!
I go from this
lovely home, lovely world!
I go
for good... for good!
I go!

[46] I Bow Thee

Adieu!
O the springs of the world
Adieu!
O, the shining moon
The twinkling bright stars
Adieu!

Hills... valleys
Slopes... marshes
Adieu!

Adieu
O, the high waves of the sea!

Fluttering
wings of illusion,
Eyes

Profuse with love
Adieu!

The strings of
An inextricable knot
The unrealised hopes
Adieu!
Adieu!

[47] Good Bye!

We
Beaten by fate,
We
Defeated
In the game of life,

Ah!
Tortured by dears,
Hurt on heart,
With a bowed head
Silent
Go for good —

Never
Remember,
Even today
Listen,
Do not light the memory-lamp!

[48] An Ascetic

To overcome death
one more Siddharth1 — an ascetic
has set out!

Who at each step
trampled the elusive moves of
Yama's legion!

Wasn't trapped
in any vyuha2
tied his noose hard
on death!

He who sings
songs of life
at the edge of doom,
one day —
he will attain
an immortal place
by changing his shape,

preserve this
heritage
by making it a stupa3

:
1 initial name of Buddha.2 phlanx, the war movement arrangement of an army to surround or capture the enemy. 3 a Buddhistic tope/sacred spot.

[49] The Last Will

Never weep,
Never be disinterested!

Bear a blow
Never lose temper.

Let the last act be
free from rituals
let mind be set
only on the mystery beyond death!

Life after death
when none has known
when none has seen...
All established systems:
imaginary,
illogical.
To follow them - not desired!
O never be a blind-follower,
Let refinement of worship be
in the splendour of knowledge.

Follow -
good faith and good feelings!

 

[50] Kritkarma1

Why bewail?
Why bewail
on the renunciation of body?

End
a sign of perfection,
a successful stage
Why to bewail?

The end of life —
A stage
Why to bewail?

Let us
follow in the footsteps
of the departed
to attain the meaning of life,
glorify it.

Take the last salute!

:
One who has finished one's duty/karma.


ARTICLES

[1 ]
THE MOTIF OF DEATH
N THE IPOETRY OF MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR:
AN ASSESSMENT

– Dr. D. C. Chambial

Life is poised between the two antipodal points of birth and death. Where there is birth, there is death. Where one begins the other ends. Birth is welcome and rejoiced. Death is considered terrible and is, therefore, mourned. Enmeshed in the enigma of existence man has been trying since time immemorial to dive into the mysteries of life and death. All metaphysical systems of world are the outcome of man’s endeavour to find truth in this regard. In the modern age of science man has toiled hard to lay bare the mystery of death. However, it still remains beyond the domain of science. Where the domain of science ends, the domain of metaphysics begins.What is outside the physical world is left for the philosophy to explain. Mahendra Bhatnagar has, in his book, 'Death-Perception: Life-Perception', tried to perceive the mystery of life and death. In this paper my endeavour shall be to explore Mahendra Bhatnagar’s views about death.
In order to answer the question: What is death? The poet has nothing to say different from the commonly held notion about it that death is ‘an earthly endand compares it toa horrendous night’ (‘Life - Death’: 22) . What the poet calls ‘a horrendous night’ is the state of existence after death. However, this ‘horrendous night’ begins with death. As the one side of a coin cannot be severed from the other, similarly, birth and death are also integral and cannot be separated: ‘an unbreakable string / tied to birth’ (Ibid.) The poet declares the Vedic truth: ‘Death - a truth’ (Reality’: 32) . It is also the truth of existence. Where there is life, there is death.
Man, ever since he began to speculate and meditate about the fate of life after its termination on this terra firma, has found death an enigma to explore. It was, and still is, an enigma for him.
There is a lot about death that one wants to know: what is death? What happens to the individual on death? If body is the dwelling of soul, as the Hinduism and most of the other world religions maintain, then, what happens to the soul on and after death? What would happen if there were no death? Etc. The poet also believes in this arcane nature of death and states: ‘Death? / A question-mark! ’ (Contemplation: 10) . He, once again, repeats this mystery of death in his poem, ‘Conclusion’, with the same words and is staunch in his faith that man is ever engaged in unraveling and unmasking the secrets about death. He says though ‘death’, at present, isa question-mark’, but a day will certainly come when ‘The mystery of death / to be unmasked... revealed’ (‘Conclusion’: 20)
Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar, the poet, opens his discourse about death and tells the readers about its imminence. He says: ‘Death is imminent / Unavoidable’ (Gratitude’: 2) . It is very much intone with the Hindu philosophy that states: ‘Jatasya hi dhruvo mrityu...’ (the Ghagvadgita: II,27) . He further expounds that death which is the end of life on the earth ‘... is certainly / Unavoidable! ’ (Experimenting’: 38) . The fact that whosoever has life and is born on this earth is bound to decay or die. An individual’s life is limited. One cannot go beyond this limit. None can abjure the verity that one day this life on earth has to come to an end. There is no way out. The poet sings:
One day from the body
Life-bird
will fly away,
That will
Never return!
Fly away!
Life-bird
Will fly away!
(‘Truth’: 94)
Here the poet, with the help of the symbol of a bird, tries to explain that one day JIVA or PRANA will have to forsake this body. It cannot live in for good. This body is subject to the laws of destructibility and transience.
Death has never been a welcome. The very origin of death, according to Christianity, is cruel, for it is the result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God: they disobeyed the God, ate the forbidden fruit and the God, in turn, not only expelled them out of Eden but also inflicted death on them. Death has been with man since his first disobedience and the original sin. The poet calls death a cruel wheel that spares no one:
Cruel is
the wheel of death
very cruel!
Under which
Lifeless - living
Gradually grinding and changing
Every moment, every minute!
This earth rocks horribly!
invisibly / Silently
Continuously moves
This wheel of death.
(‘The Wheel of Death’: 6) .
This wheel always goes on like the wheel of time and one and all fall prey to it without any distinction.
The termination of life from the physical body is termed as death. Death is death whatever be its kind or form. The philosopher poet, Dr. Mahendra also declares that ‘Though the end, the same death! ’ (‘Forms of Death’: 18) . Nonetheless, he differentiates and recognizes two kinds of death: one, natural or accidental death; two, the unnatural or suicide or murder. In this regard the poet writes: ‘Death natural / or accidental /... / end of a conscious life’ (Ibid.) These both kinds of death, natural and accidental, are so called because they are the ‘writs of Providence’ (Ibid.) But, about the second kind, ‘suicide / or / murder’, the poet says that it ‘isn’t death, but, a murder.’ (ibid.) Thus, the poet acknowledges two kinds of death with clear difference.
The poet is of the view that one should not fear death. While living one should be free from its fear. Living constantly under the fear of death will make the individual a coward and one will not be able to accomplish anything in one’s life. Thus the whole objective of life and living will be defeated. One is supposed to live and, while living, do such acts that are helpful for the progress of humanity. With this motive in mind, the poet says that ‘Fearing death / will make / living futile! / weight heavy / dry onerous / pleasureless heart.’ (Free From Worry’: 8) . Under the constant fear of death, life loses its meaning. In order to make life meaningful one has to be free from the fear of death. So, the philosopher poet says:
Life
only meaningful,
when every moment is free
from the dread of death. (Ibid.)
The poet seems to echo what the Hindu philosophy says:
v'kksP; kuUo'kkspLRoa izKkoknkaÜp Hkk'klsA
xrklwuxrklawÜp ukuq'kkspfUr if.Mrk%AA
What should not be worried about you should not worry say the wise
Whether one lives or dies does not bother the pundit.
(the Bhagvadgita: II,11) .
The poet, in his poem ‘The Philosophy of Death’ (72) posits:
Death:
When a certainty,
In vain
Why
to doubt
to fear
so much?
O, tell death
‘Come; when you please.’
There is no need either to nourish any doubt about death or fear it; it is imminent. In another poem, he says:
It is preordained that
you
one day
will sleep
in the lap of death
silently!
× × ×
in the pitch dark
of the death! (‘Preordained’: 96)
and then talks about the destruction of the body after death by consigning it to fire: ‘fair form / will be reduced / to ashes! ’ (Ibid.) The JIVA forsakes body; body becomes dead because it is senseless to all external stimuli of the physical world, and finally the body joins the five elements - fire, earth, water, air, and sky, the PANCH BHUTA — out of which it had taken shape.
All this happens, the poet argues, when body becomes unsuitable for the soul as it’s dwelling. Then the soul leaves it and looks for a new one that is befitting for it, the poet says:
What?
Body
Not worth living;
Therefore...
Soul!
You left
In quest of new.’ (‘A Puzzle’: 12)
as if the soul unfolds the secret of its leaving the body, that is death, to the poet. The poet’s philosophy seems to echo the Vedic philosophy:
oklkafl th.kkZfu; Fkk fogk; uokfu x`g~.kkfr ujkss•ijkf.kA
rFkk 'kjhjkf.k fogk; th.kkZU; kfu la; fr uokfu nsghAA
As a man discards the old and worn out clothes,
Likewise the soul discards old body and enters new one.
(the Bhagvadgita: II,22) .
In the absence of death there would have no God nor the need for any such supreme divinity. The poet continues his argument that ‘If there were no death, / God wouldn’t have any existence’ (‘The truth’: 14) . It means that in the absence of death man would have thought himself to be the Supreme Being and the God were to be something non-existent. It is the existence of death that makes human being inferior to God and man needs some super power to attribute to that power all the enigmas of physical and metaphysical existence that are beyond the human ken. In the absence of death, even ‘The whole philosophy / hell and heaven’ (Ibid.) would have become redundant. But, there is death that necessitates the existence of God, before whose will the man bows. Therefore, the man realizes the ultimate truth that ‘Ram nam satya hai / (God’s name is the only TRUTH) ’ (Ibid.) In other words, the poet contends that only God is the Reality.
It is not that death has made the existence of God feasible but it also has a purpose. The poet maintains that death is not without purpose. It also has its utilitarian value and makes life not only useful but also beautiful for existence on this earth. He posits:

Deaths made life very beautiful,
Transforms this world, in fact,
Into a pleasant heaven,
We learnt the meaning of love,
only then
true’s true,
Transformed man into higher beings
Than immortal god!
(‘Gratitude; Again’: 4)
.

Whatever man tries to achieve in life and art is also deaths gift to him; so, the poet firmly holds:
Deaths given
Beauty to life
Such
Endless - vast!
Deaths given
Man
Life - art - efficiency
Such
Embellishment - adornment!
(‘Gratitude’: 2)
It is a fact that death has some objective. But, the poet not only encourages the mankind to shed the fear of death but also suggests to betittle death by finding a purpose of living because:
We
who are the artisans of life
should talk only about life
discover
the meaningfulness of life.
and know
about the essence of life.
(‘Purpose’: 56)
His panacea for belittling death is:
If death
destroys us
let us
strike back at it. (Ibid.)
But, how can we strike back at death? The poet has himself answered this question successfully in the poem itself that it can be done by discovering ‘the meaningfulness of life’ and by singing ‘the glory of life’ (Ibid.) The ‘meaningfulness of life’ suggests a purposeful life so that he is remembered even after he is dead.
Death is imminent. It cannot be avoided. It is the fate of all living beings on this earth. It can only be relegated to pettiness. Then there is no need to fear death: ‘let human self / not be terrorized / of death care’ (‘A Wish’: 58) . The living ones should always be ready to welcome death. There is no alternative to it. Therefore, the poet has debunked death of all its power and fear and and welcomes death to
come,
do come one day!
And take me away
in your flying-chariot
away... far away
(‘An Invitation’: 74) .
perhaps, like the persona in Emily Dickinson’s poem, ‘The Chariot’1
To conclude our discussion, we can say that the poet comes out with some very concrete suggestions to tear off the hitherto much significance attached to death. He does not believe in any type of ritual, because these do not form part of the eternal truth; these have been devised and followed by the survivors. He exhorts the mankind: ‘Let the last act be / free from rituals’ (‘The Last Will’: 110) . What is more important. in order to find the ultimate truth, to unmask the enigma of death shrouded in the mystery, is to approach the hitherto unsolved riddle of death single-mindedly. For this he suggests: ‘let mind be set / only on the mystery deyond death! ’ (Ibid.) He also consoles those who are left behind wailing and bemoaning in these words: ‘End - / a sign of perfection, / a successful stage / why to bewail’ and should
follow in the footsteps
of the departed
to attain the meaning of life
glorify it.
(‘Kritkarma’: 112) .
It isthe meaning of life’ that has not been found yet and the quest for which is ever going on like the journey of life as propounded by Aurobindo Ghose2. Mahendra Bhatnagar, the poet and philosopher, has very deeply studied and experienced, in his imagination, the concept of death and has made some very radical observations that make him stand all alone as a sedate thinker in the contemporary poetry.
.
Notes:
(1) In the Dickinson’s poem, Death is one of the occupants in the chariot. Death asks the poetess / persona to accompany him. The opening lines of the poem are:
Because I could not stop for death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And immortality.
In Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poem, the poet / persona invites Death to take him / her with himself, because he is not afraid of death and ready to go with him.
(2) In his poem, ‘Is This the End? ’, Aurobindo Ghose says that death does not put an end to the journey or quest of life. The poet refers to soul that is immortal and continues its journey ceaselessly. It goes on even after the goal has been achieved. The last two stanzas of them poem, that have relevance to the argument in the present article, are:
The Immortal in the mortal is his name!
An artist Godhead here
Ever remoulds himself in dimmer shapes,
Unwilling the cease.
Till all is done for which the stars were made,
Till the heart discovers God
And the soul knows itself. And even then
There is no end.
.


[2]
Death-Perception: Life-Perception
— Mrs. Purnima Ray

Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’sDeath-Perception: Life-Perception’ is a collection of fifty beautiful poems translated from original Hindi into English by Dr. D.C.Chambial. The poet, and the translator are already well-known figures in the literary arena, both in India and abroad. The Appendix 1&2 published in this book help us to know their achievements in detail. In short, their bio-notes are as follows -
Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is a leading Professor of Hindi Language and Literature, guides scholars, has several published books, and received many awards. His major poetry-collections include ‘Forty Poems’ translated by Shree Amir Mohammad Khan, and Prof. L.S.Sharma, ‘After The Forty Poems’ translated by Dr. Ramsevak Singh Yadav, Prof. Vareendra Kumar Varma, and Shree Amir Mohammad Khan, ‘Exuberance and other poems’, translated by Dr. Ravinandan Sinha, and ‘Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry’ translated by Dr. H.C.Gupta.
Dr. D.C.Chambial is a Professor of English, a widely published Indo-English poet and critic, has several published books, poetry collections, and on criticism, and edits an international journal ‘Poetcrit’. At the outset the translator in his note makes clear to us the most important features of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry, which we have to recho in our discussion from time to time in our own way. And we will see that Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poems are deep, intense in feeling, suggestive and thought-provoking.
The title of this present collection is very important. One should notice that ‘Death-Perception’ comes first, then ‘Life Perception’. TheDeath-theme’ is a very common and universal one, but the fact is that we sometimes are aware of it, and sometimes not. Most of us know that it is inevitable and certain, and we are eager to know more about it, and want to escape from its clutches, but we do not know how to do it. It is here the utility of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poems on this subject. He explores all the possible ways with his extraordinary creative spirit, and he succeeds to satisfy our quench for the thirst of knowledge of this kind.
Poet Mahendra points us to see the fact that we are standing on the backbone ofDeath’, so that our desire for life is being stirred again and again:
Death is;
Death is imminent,
Unavoidable —
That’s why
Life is so desired!
Although we get scared by it every now and then, yet it is acceptable, and for that ‘life’ itself is grateful toDeath’:
Death element / feeling
Minute by minute death-tension
Are acceptable,
Gratitude
To Death
Life’s gratitude!
Because Deaths contributions to Life are unnumbered:
Deaths made life
very beautiful,
Transformed this world,
in fact,
Into a pleasant heaven,
We learnt
the meaning of love...
and the most important achievement ofDeathis that it
...Transformed man
Into higher beings
than immortal god!
This poet has seen ‘Deathin the best possible ways, yet
he admits the impossibility to define it:
All efforts futile -
to explicate
the meaning of death;
it’s very intricate difficult
to contemplate.
He does not ignore its dark sides:
Cruel is
The wheel of death
very cruel!
He defines finely in a word:
.. A wonderful puzzle!
Poet Mahendra can establish a truth that man’s all philosophy including the idea of God revolves round ‘Death’:
If there were no death,
God wouldn’t have any existence,
man
would have never reconciled
with his fate!
For he is always led by this fact:
... ‘Death is imminent’!
So his idea of God is nothing but:
... a proof
of man’s helplessness
of readiness after death...
Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar equates the relation between Life and death through a fine imagery:
Death:
An unbreakable string
Tied to birth..
So he rightly poses the stoic question:
... Birth
why a jubilation?
Death:
pain..!
why?
Birth-death
when equal?
He can justify what he says regarding this by a logical fallacy:
Morning is red
Evening is red
Morning - evening are one.

Wail on birth
Wail on death
Birth-death are one...
It seems that he wants to say as one cannot detach death from life, similarly life cannot be detached from death:
Death -
a birth
Over and over again
of soul...
Like the ancient Greek philosophers the poet says:
... this manifest world is the only truth...
Yet he confirms:
Death - a truth
Life - a truth
The poet gives us the key-principle to overcome death:
... Every time
Continuous struggle
With the eternal challenge
of death is welcome!
He will be
A mrityunjaya; he will be!
At the same time he makes us aware of meaningfulness of life:
Mere living
isn’t a proof of
life’s meaningfulness...
and his ‘meaningfulness’ finds its expression in humanistic approach to life:
Let selflessness
be the motive of our living,
let’s devour materialistic hurdles
on every step.
Let’s acquire / such capabilities,
then
life may be
dedicated to death...
So in ‘Prayer’ poet Bhatnagar does not want any ascetic attainment, but leads the mankind in time of need:
I long
not for immortality,
I long for
youthfulness.
Perfect health, diseaselessness,
absolute peace
of human mind and body...
.
He shows us where ‘death’ takes place:
.
Shattered and disorderly life
Malady-stricken / Frustrated wounded life
momentary
eager to fall into
the death-pool!
.
and the victory of life over death:
.
Have faith
Life
will be victorious,
fear not the wicked,
fear not!
.
Like a Miltonic hero the poet discloses the way:
.
If death destroys us
let us
strike back at it,
Let us
sing the glory of life,
let us
strike a severe blow at
Yama, death!
.
Here also revolution takes place, one has to utter these words:
.
That I may
unite all those
living in hell,
urge on them
for a revolt,
prepare them
for a change in life!
.
It is only then we can realise what he says:
.
With a wish to live
one won’t
wait for death!
.
He does not want the Epicurean way of living be termed as ‘true-living’:
.
Live / by thinking self
immortal,
laugh and sing
without any concern,
eat and drink
without any worry;
should it / be termed / true living?
.
Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar sings paean of life, but there is something more special in his singing:
.
I sing
about the triumph of life
over death!
.
Like post-Tagorean Bengali surrealistic poet Jibanananda Das he admires the wealth of life:
.
I sing dauntlessly
the triumph of thru life-bud
of the dearest thing!
I sing again and again!
.
One may compare the words ‘again and again’ quoted above with Jibananada’s abar asiba phire (I will come again) . The words which poet Bhatnagar used are different, but the total effect is the same:
.
The sounds that echo
in the sky of graveyard
of the liberated-selves of carefree birds
are translations
of my life sentiments!
The compatriots
of my life - adorations!
.
Here he establishes one truth that poets from ages to ages sing life in there unique ways.
Perhaps for that reason poet Bhatnagar can romanticize ‘Death’:
.
(1) You’ll come —
On tip-toes,
Surprising
Like a clever girl.
Alright,
Accepted!
My beloved,
your this game
is welcome
.
(2) You beautiful like the moon,
from the opposite window
peep out
evaluate —
.
One should notice that the poet attaches feminity to a beautiful object.
Poet Bhatnagar’s creativity finds its fullest expression when he uses the word ‘passing away’ instead ofdeath’:
.
Death might be overtaking
while dreaming,
Prana
might be out from the body
just then.
A dreaming man
passes away!
.
Yes, the dreaming people are active and creative, they dream before turning themselves into creativity, as Lord Vishnu sleeps and dreams before the creation of the Universe; they do not know the word ‘death’ while engrossing in their way of life. The last lines of this poem makes us thoughtful, leave us in a whirlpool of suggestions:
What does he know?
Ask those living
who
have covered the dead body
with a sheet of cloth!
What happened?
What happened?
At last?
It seems that poet Bhatnagar accepts indirectly the will of God behind death:
It is preordained that
you
one day
will sleep
in the lap of death
silently!
So he says to himself and at the same time to us to renounce all earthly attachments:
Never
Remember,
Even today
Listen,
Do not light the memory-lamp!
He does not forget to remind us the most precious things of life, and he puts all this so masterly in the tongue of a dying-person:
Adieu!
O the springs of the world
Adieu!
O, the shining moon
The twinkling bright stars
Adieu!
Hills..... valleys
Slopes... marshes
Adieu!
O, the high waves of the sea!
In a way, he values most the Nature surrounding us, as
Mrityunjaya in Rabindranath Tagore’s short-story ‘The Hidden Treasure’ exclaimed: “I want sunlight, air, sky’’ etc. wanting to live.
For he knows that ultimate truth is, he makes a goodbye to an illusory world behind him:
Fluttering
wings of illusion,
Eyes
Profuse with love
Adieu!

The strings of
An inextricable knot
The unrealised hopes
Adieu!
Adieu!
‘An Ascetic’ is an important poem, in the sense that the poet gives here a message to the strife - torn world we are living in:
He who sings
songs of life
at the edge of doom,
one day -
he will attain
an immortal place
by changing his shape,
Preserve this / heritage /
by making it a stupa.
The suggestion is if we sing songs of life, then there should be no hankering after life-killing desires and efforts; again the poet’s spirituality lies in humanity, and man’s religion in his ‘Kritakarma’. The poem ‘The Last Will’ can be seen as his consolation for us as well as a clarion call:
let mind be set
only on the mystery beyond death!
× × × ×
Let refinement of worship be
in the splendour of knowledge..
Here he gives more emphasis on ‘mind’ which controls all body-organs, and on ‘knowledge’, the purest of all things in the world, as we find in The Srimat Bhagavat Gita.
Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is, no doubt, an avant-garde Indian poet. Dr. D.C.Chambial excellent rendition extends the readership of
Dr. Bhatnagar’s philosophy and poetic ability. Dr. Chambial has done his job well, for his transcreation has retained all the literary qualities of the original poems - e.g. ‘the economy of linguistic expressions’, lucidity etc.

. .

[3]
Death-Perception: Life-Perception
An Analytical Study

— Dr (Mrs) Jaya Lakshmi Rao V.


DEATH PERCEPTION - LIFE PERCEPTION is a sensitively rendered volume of 50 poems, originally written in Hindi. The poems retain their natural flavour to a great extent, thanks to the versatility of the well-known poet of national and international fame Dr D.C. Chambial. As the title indicates the mysterious entity of death and the magical polarity called life occupy the mind and art of Dr Mahendra Bhatnagar. The theme of death and life has ever been source of deep contemplation often verging on to obsession for creative writers from times immemorial. Yet it never lost its freshness and vigour due to the mystery that surrounds it, the magnetism it generates and the manifold wonder it evokes. Dr Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry bears witness to all the above observations.
Dr Chambial kept the translation as close as the linguistic boundaries between the original Hindi and the foreign English languages have allowed. Praise is to him, who, despite the language constrictions was able to carry and convey the poetic preoccupations of the well¬ known Hindi Poet with life and death.
The volume begins with a difference. In the first poem ‘Gratitude’, the poet gleans a reason to be grateful to death. It certainly is a new perception. The poet says: “Deaths given / Man / Life-art¬efficiency / Such / Embellishment - adornment.” According to the poet, it is death that makes life beautiful and therefore desirable. Deaths imminence makes life all the more attractive. So, he offers “Gratitude / To death / Life’s gratitude.” The fact that death equals all is mourned in a poem entitled ‘The Wheel of Death / Time’. Death tramps the white radiance of life. Death is relentless, inexorable: “Before it! Stability has! No existence! Its motion! Always controls! Life and death! Earth and sky.”
Dr Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poems are not for those who seek the romantic, who look for the sensational. They do not jingle either. There is evidently a deep contemplation, a firm conviction in his poems. Written in free verse, some of the lines remain clearly etched in the reader’s mind. Lines such as: “Invisibly / Silently / Continuously moves / This wheel of death / Uninterrupted... unchanged! ” make a mark because in spite of simple terminology the poet has used memorable imagery. When he captions a poem as ‘Wheel of Time’ (kaal chakra) , the poet is using a native metaphor. In the cultures of India, time is compared to a wheel, a wheel that is conceptualized with the elements of birth-growth (life) - death that repeat themselves ceaselessly. It is a cyclic process that is inevitable and unavoidable. So, says the poet why grieve over death and spoil one’s peace of mind? —“Life! only meaningful, / When every moment is free / From the dread of death.” Despite the scientific advancement, death is a ‘wonderful puzzle’ for the poet. He sees death as a conundrum in poems such as ‘Contemplation’ andA Puzzle’. It is the fear of death that urges man to take “refuge! In God! For eternal peace..” Yet the poet firmly believes that man’s invincibility will make him see “The mystery of death / To be unmasked... revealed / Sure... some day” in ‘Conclusion’.
. In poems such as ‘Life-DeathandThe Opposite’ the dividing line between the polarities of life and death are brought to focus. To the poet they are not separate but intrinsically interconnected. One cannot be without the other. They are the beginning and end of a unique cycle. Why then are feelings generated by then different? questions the poet. “Birth: Why a jubilation? / Death: Pain...? Why? ” the ironical fact however is, “Wail on birth! Wail on death! Birth-death are one.” (‘Equal’) According to the poet it is futile to think of Hell or Heaven. Suffice to know that “This manifest world the only truth / Death - a truth, / Life - a truth! ” The common everyday thought of life and death attains a special significance in the poems of Dr Mahendra Bhatnagar because of the complexity of human emotion and intellectual activity. Although the theme of death is glaring enough, we are especially made to take notice of it due to the rhythm the poet used. It successfully indicates the relative value of his individualized perception. For example in a poem entitled ‘The Philosophy of life’ the poet says that life is “ External motion / Physical vibration / Internal motion - / Life. Real death is to lose ‘internal’ motion, the spiritual death. Now we know where the ‘fuse’ lies. The poetic thought continues on to ‘Excelsior’. If - “Struggles and strifes / lead to life” then “to be inactive” is “an indication - of the approaching death, / to stop - the end of life.”
Here is a rediscovery of the Vedic observation that our life is a pilgrimage and that man is an eternal traveler on the move. Life is an adventure. There is no resting on the journey and there is no end to it either. In the Aitereya Brhmana there is hymn, which ends with the refrain: ‘Charaiveti, Charaiveti’ which means “Hence O traveler, march along, march along.” One finds an echo in “Excelsior.... excelsior! ”
Now that we do not have a key to the puzzle of death, why not we unravel the ‘mysteries of life’, which in turn equips us with the ability ‘to talk to the moon and to the stars’ thus achieving ‘meaningfulness’ of life. In other words, the poet exhorts us to keep in touch with the unseen presence of the cosmic power by its physical manifestation in various forms of nature. True, nature is our guide, friend, and philosopher. It gives according to the poet “Perfect peace of mind /... a new meaning to life.”
A Prayer’ is an insightful poem on the secret of leading a happy life. In the poet’s opinion happy life is an outcome of self achievement. He says: “We live for / 125 years” only when we have a “Body free from pain / Mind free from torture.” So that we live as much for ‘ourselves’ as of ‘others’ because according to the Indian thought the whole world is a family - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. The foregone thought is entirely in opposition with the feeling that “Blind, perplexed, ignorant / Man... construes money to be supreme / Thinks pleasure all in all.” (‘A Mirage’) InA Vow’ the poet depicts death as an adversary whom we the human race fight like soldiers because life is too precious to lose toa deceitful trick of / Any adversary! ”
. ‘A Call’ is a unique poem in which the poet uses a number of sensory images to celebrate the carnival of life. In a Tagore-like lyricism, the poet hails the singers of Alakh and Sohar who play on ‘every string of the violin of heart’. Their songs are mainly meant for the ‘mentally vanquished’, to awaken those whose life turned into ‘stupor’. A number of poems expound the value attached to life, a rare gift. Poems such as ‘One day’, ‘Proved’, A Healthy Vision’, and ‘Compatibility’ sing of Shanti (peace) , victory, glory and pleasure of life. He envisages life wherein all will laugh and be merry. Death is compared to a terrorist in the poem ‘Dreadful’ who “remote controls” life - “By hiding / In invisible places.”
InThe Philosophy of Death’, ‘An Invitation’, ‘To the Fairy of DeathandA Request’ there is a new challenge, a new welcome to a hail-fellow-well-met attitude to death. There is neither fear nor fascination towards humanity’s foe i.e. death. But one finds camaraderie, bonhomie, open, and candid. Death is treated as a friend, “a clever girl”, “a cohabiter” anda neighbour.” Thus, we witness a metamorphosis in the poet’s notion of death as it passes from the stage of being the fearful and the awe-inspiring to that of a much¬-awaited welcome guest. Finally an agreeable compromise is reached. Peace at last! The pilgrim realizes his futile fencing with an invincible enemy. What cannot be cured must be endured. This endurance is not born of frustration but out of wise realization. that makes a world of difference.
In ‘Comparison’ the poet juxtaposes Shiva, the three-eyed Godhead with shava, the lifeless body. A single vowel shift from ‘i’ toa’ brings in an irreplaceable difference in consciousness i.e. from spandana to jada. ‘ A Blow’ shows the futility of involvement because says the poet: “Early or late / all / in an eternal sleep have to fall / dust unto dust! ” thus after being enlightened that every one “One day / renouncing name and fair form / will be reduced / to ashes! ” (‘Preordained’) , the poet proclaims in ‘Proclamation’: “0 Death / I do accept you.../ I go / For good... for good / I go! ”
Now there is loveliness all around. Nothing but peace remains. Not, that which is a result of impotent stupor but the peace one arrives at after experiencing the vicissitudes of life, like the pe

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The Toad And Spyder. A Duell

Upon a day, when the Dog-star
Unto the world proclaim'd a war,
And poyson bark'd from black throat,
And from his jaws infection shot,
Under a deadly hen-bane shade
With slime infernal mists are made,
Met the two dreaded enemies,
Having their weapons in their eyes.

First from his den rolls forth that load
Of spite and hate, the speckl'd toad,
And from his chaps a foam doth spawn,
Such as the loathed three heads yawn;
Defies his foe with a fell spit,
To wade through death to meet with it;
Then in his self the lymbeck turns,
And his elixir'd poyson urns.
Arachne, once the fear oth' maid
Coelestial, thus unto her pray'd:
Heaven's blew-ey'd daughter, thine own mother!
The Python-killing Sun's thy brother.
Oh! thou, from gods that didst descend,
With a poor virgin to contend,
Shall seed of earth and hell ere be
A rival in thy victorie?
Pallas assents: for now long time
And pity had clean rins'd her crime;
When straight she doth with active fire
Her many legged foe inspire.
Have you not seen a charact lie
A great cathedral in the sea,
Under whose Babylonian walls
A small thin frigot almshouse stalls?
So in his slime the toad doth float
And th' spyder by, but seems his boat.
And now the naumachie begins;
Close to the surface her self spins:
Arachne, when her foe lets flye
A broad-side of his breath too high,
That's over-shot, the wisely-stout,
Advised maid doth tack about;
And now her pitchy barque doth sweat,
Chaf'd in her own black fury wet;
Lasie and cold before, she brings
New fires to her contracted stings,
And with discolour'd spumes doth blast
The herbs that to their center hast.
Now to the neighb'ring henbane top
Arachne hath her self wound up,
And thence, from its dilated leaves,
By her own cordage downwards weaves,
And doth her town of foe attack,
And storms the rampiers of his back;
Which taken in her colours spread,
March to th' citadel of's head.
Now as in witty torturing Spain,
The brain is vext to vex the brain,
Where hereticks bare heads are arm'd
In a close helm, and in it charm'd
An overgrown and meagre rat,
That peece-meal nibbles himself fat;
So on the toads blew-checquer'd scull
The spider gluttons her self full.
And vomiting her Stygian seeds,
Her poyson on his poyson feeds.
Thus the invenom'd toad, now grown
Big with more poyson than his own,
Doth gather all his pow'rs, and shakes
His stormer in's disgorged lakes;
And wounded now, apace crawls on
To his next plantane surgeon,
With whose rich balm no sooner drest,
But purged is his sick swoln breast;
And as a glorious combatant,
That only rests awhile to pant,
Then with repeated strength and scars,
That smarting fire him new to wars,
Deals blows that thick themselves prevent,
As they would gain the time he spent.

So the disdaining angry toad,
That calls but a thin useless load,
His fatal feared self comes back
With unknown venome fill'd to crack.
Th' amased spider, now untwin'd,
Hath crept up, and her self new lin'd
With fresh salt foams and mists, that blast
The ambient air as they past.
And now me thinks a Sphynx's wing
I pluck, and do not write, but sting;
With their black blood my pale inks blent,
Gall's but a faint ingredient.
The pol'tick toad doth now withdraw,
Warn'd, higher in CAMPANIA.
There wisely doth, intrenched deep,
His body in a body keep,
And leaves a wide and open pass
T' invite the foe up to his jaws,
Which there within a foggy blind
With fourscore fire-arms were lin'd.
The gen'rous active spider doubts
More ambuscadoes than redoubts;
So within shot she doth pickear,
Now gall's the flank, and now the rear;
As that the toad in's own dispite
Must change the manner of his fight,
Who, like a glorious general,
With one home-charge lets fly at all.
Chaf'd with a fourfold ven'mous foam
Of scorn, revenge, his foes and 's own,
He seats him in his loathed chair,
New-made him by each mornings air,
With glowing eyes he doth survey
Th' undaunted hoast he calls his prey;
Then his dark spume he gred'ly laps,
And shows the foe his grave, his chaps.

Whilst the quick wary Amazon
Of 'vantage takes occasion,
And with her troop of leggs carreers
In a full speed with all her speers.
Down (as some mountain on a mouse)
On her small cot he flings his house;
Without the poyson of the elf,
The toad had like t' have burst himself:
For sage Arachne with good heed
Had stopt herself upon full speed,
And, 's body now disorder'd, on
She falls to execution.
The passive toad now only can
Contemn and suffer. Here began
The wronged maids ingenious rage,
Which his heart venome must asswage.
One eye she hath spet out, strange smother,
When one flame doth put out another,
And one eye wittily spar'd, that he
Might but behold his miserie.
She on each spot a wound doth print,
And each speck hath a sting within't;
Till he but one new blister is,
And swells his own periphrasis.
Then fainting, sick, and yellow-pale,
She baths him with her sulph'rous stale;
Thus slacked is her Stygian fire,
And she vouchsafes now to retire.
Anon the toad begins to pant,
Bethinks him of th' almighty plant,
And lest he peece-meal should be sped,
Wisely doth finish himself dead.
Whilst the gay girl, as was her fate,
Doth wanton and luxuriate,
And crowns her conqu'ring head all or
With fatal leaves of hellebore.
Not guessing at the pretious aid
Was lent her by the heavenly maid.
The neer expiring toad now rowls
Himself in lazy bloody scrowls,
To th' sov'raign salve of all his ills,
That only life and health distills.
But loe! a terror above all,
That ever yet did him befall!

Pallas, still mindful of her foe,
(Whilst they did with each fires glow)
Had to the place the spiders lar
Dispath'd before the ev'nings star.
He learned was in Natures laws,
Of all her foliage knew the cause,
And 'mongst the rest in his choice want
Unplanted had this plantane plant.

The all-confounded toad doth see
His life fled with his remedie,
And in a glorious despair
First burst himself, and next the air;
Then with a dismal horred yell
Beats down his loathsome breath to hell.

But what inestimable bliss
This to the sated virgin is,
Who, as before of her fiend foe,
Now full is of her goddess too!
She from her fertile womb hath spun
Her stateliest pavillion,
Whilst all her silken flags display,
And her triumphant banners play;
Where Pallas she ith' midst doth praise,
And counterfeits her brothers rayes,
Nor will she her dear lar forget,
Victorious by his benefit,
Whose roof inchanted she doth free
From haunting gnat and goblin bee,
Who, trapp'd in her prepared toyle,
To their destruction keep a coyle.

Then she unlocks the toad's dire head,
Within whose cell is treasured
That pretious stone, which she doth call
A noble recompence for all,
And to her lar doth it present,
Of his fair aid a monument.

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Death and Darkness

The lane was dark
As she hiked through the night

She stopped when she saw the blood
Under it was the fallen girl

Then a howl tore against the night
As the hound burst into the street

Her scream echoed in the sky
As she fell with a bloodied cry

Her white clothes were red
With the stream of blood that flowed

And her eyes were wet
With the tears of death that flowed

The darkness closed in then
As she breathed her last

She was alone this time
With only the death and the dark

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Death And Dust

Looking beyond the window
I always wanted to shut my eyes.
No sky could hold my head.
I did’t want to see the innocent smiles
vanishing from the moulded faith.

The smell of burning leaves waftes through
the catacomb of dead thoughts.
The time does not spare any overflow of poetry.
Life extracts its price of tomorrow.

Nothing will change. People will laugh,
weep and mourn. A candle for those
who jumped from minaret of silence. A
bonquet for them who died on waves.

I will hide the kernel under the mud
by stealth. One day amongst the
spikes a pink spirit will rise. A double landmark
for death and dust.

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Death And Destruction

I see it on the news.
Death and destruction forever cruise.
When big egos are slightly bruised.
They strike out like youthful fools.
Breaking all the decent rules.
Killing people in such pointless duels.
To show that they're the conquering force.
Sweeping through those they find coarse.
Showing all that they're the best.
Never giving us any rest.
They keep fighting amongst themselves.
Dragging us along for their defense.
We're puppets in their silly games.
They feel no pity and have no shame.
They rule supreme to win the game.
Of who's the biggest man it's lame.
Forever it will be the same.
Destruction rules and death is played.
Unless someone comes and saves the day.
Then we'll finally see the way.
To enlightment, hope and peaceful days.

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I prefer death and departure

I prefer death and departure

I prefer death and departure
From this wonder world,
Which has been my school
All these years
Making me learn something new
Each second, minute, hour and day

To the torture
Of your not being near

Each second of your absence
Kills me but not squarely
Only to bring me back to life
And torturing

Your presence
Though I used to feel painful
At times
Because of your intervention
Through my unhealthy means
You always demonstrated
Love and care

Your efforts to meet my needs
Exceeded ever my expectations
And my requirements
Were more than met

You came to unearth
My fallacies one after another
With our association growing

While your list of occasions
Where I fell short of your hopes
Increasing day by day
My list of your potentials
Kept elongating with
My discovering newer strengths in you

This is a kind of relationship
Where one’s weakness
Makes the other stronger

Come soon and join me
Before death takes over

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Life After Death And Taxes (Failure II)

Hey taxi
take me strait to
the heart of it
the nucleus of politics
where somebody
started it
cause they taxed me
with a scalpel
piece by piece
they cut me deep
and bled me dry
until there was nothing
left to bleed
and this is how
i choose to live
as if i'm jumping
off a cliff
knowing that you'll save me
knowing that you'll save me
and after all the stupid
things i did
there's nothing left
there to forgive
because you already forgave me
yea you already forgave me
just keep driving
leave this defeat miles behind
so far back i'd have to rack
my mind just to remind me
i keep trying
to pick myself back up
and then move on
and think about the life
i'll have when this fragile
one is gone
never forget
there's life after death
and taxes
and forgiveness comes
then all of this rest
is what passes away
death and decay
can't touch us now
every breath that i inhale
is followed by exhaling
sure as the one who never fails
i know you will never fail me

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Sex, Death And Money

When I go to the show
All I see on the screen
Is a stream of pure vulgarity
I wrote down a note
Complained for a day
To the House of Representatives
They laughed
In my face
They said Son,
You're a one-in-a-million minority
The name of the game
Is to titillate the brain
Stimulate the immorality
I was so offended
As I sat for three hours
It was mental cruelty
I was so shocked
Just a little more flesh
Just a little more blood
Little closer to the edge
A little deeper in the mud
I'll never be the same
Sex, death and money, sonny
Makes this wicked world go round
Sex, death and money
It's the Gospel here in Dragontown
Sex, death and money, honey
Grease the wheels and make them fly
Sex, death and money, sonny
That is why we all are gonna fry
Stuck my nose in the door
Ended up on the floor
In the middle of an undie show
She danced on my lap
A coupla hundred dollars later
I was up on a morals rap
I was so offended
As I sat for three hours
It was mental cruelty
I was so shocked
Just a little more flesh
Just a little more blood
Little closer to the edge
A little deeper in the mud
I'll never be the same
Sex, death and money, sonny
Makes this wicked world go round
Sex, death and money
It's the Gospel here in Dragontown
Sex, death and money, honey
Grease the wheels and make them fly
Sex, death and money, sonny
That is why we all are gonna fry

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Dead Bodies and Cardboard

Born beneath a dying sun
Mourn for them the dying young.
Lament for those whose song
By siren chords has long since been sung.

Lament for those, skinned and hung from the city gates.
We pray for them this nightmare shall prove easy enough to shake
As the sky bakes slow in furnace fumes, igniting the skies in fury.
There, low and behold the addict merchant selling his soul.

I dreamt last night of a girl I have not seen in years
Years which can not match the tears nor fears in number.
Little did I know that she slept, slumbering numb beneath the mountain.
Dreaming of Pan, of ancient scented night.

King of Hedgerows, Prince of Circus Shows
Queens of the Flow gather in flowering
Embrace the bloom, the pinnacle of the chase.
Race the moon to see her face.

How long have you been guardian to this shell?

Your hell is cold.
Your heaven warm.

I was never told
I was never warned

Of eggshell time within fragmented dimensions
I’m left with no path and no hope of redemption.

Was it the promise of salvation
That woke you every Sunday morn?
Show me your scars, your crown of thorns.
Show me the Christ child in the eyes of the new born.


The youth are crowded in the shade
Digging there with diamond spades
Fading in the shadows cast and fast enlisting.
Cringing at media portrayed portraits of their generation,
Supposed portrait of a nation.
A nation underground unfound
Here no one makes a sound.

How is it these fools, these ministers of schools
Can keep it all so cool as they push for blanket death?

A blanket to cover the Death of the soul
A blanket to cover the Death of the mind
A blanket to cover the Death of the body
A blanket to cover the Death of the blind.

I see children torn from the playground
Force fed knowledge and left to suffer no wisdom
Taught to regurgitate for the hand that would beat them.
Beat them if only they could.

Show me the skins on the leash of the freaks
Show me the bold worship the meek.
Show me the snowflake cold in the sun
Show me the restless, the new guns, the young.

Three birds sitting
Watching
Cold eye on warm life decaying
Maggot child of a million unseen eyes
How long can you last?
The children will not fast forever.

Dead bodies and cardboard surround
A pony dead upon the ground
Scorched earth, broken earth
No survivors found.

No one made a sound.

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An Essay on Death and a Prison

A prison is in all things like a grave,
Where we no better priviledges have
Then dead men, nor so good. The soul once fled
Lives freer now, then when she was cloystered
In walls of flesh; and though she organs want
To act her swift designs, yet all will grant
Her faculties more clear, now separate,
Then if the same conjunction, which of late
Did marry her to earth, had stood in force,
Uncapable of death, or of divorce:
But an imprison'd mind, though living, dies,
And at one time feels two captivities;
A narrow dungeon which her body holds,
But narrower body which her self enfolds.
Whil'st I in prison ly, nothing is free,
Nothing enlarg'd but thought and miserie;
Though e'ry chink be stopt, the doors close barr'd,
Despight of walls and locks, through e'ry ward
These have their issues forth; may take the aire,
Though not for health, but onely to compare
How wretched those men are who freedom want,
By such as never suffer'd a restraint.
In which unquiet travel could I find
Ought that might settle my distemper'd mind,
Or of some comfort make discovery
It were a voyage well imploy'd: but I,
Like our raw travellers that cross the seas
To fetch home fashions or some worse disease,
Instead of quiet a new torture bring
Home t'afflict me, malice and murmuring.
What is't I envy not? no dog nor fly
But my desires prefer, and wish were I;
For they are free, or if they were like me,
They had no sense to know calamitie.
But in the grave no sparks of envy live,
No hot comparisons that causes give
Of quarrel, or that our affections move
Any condition, save their own, to love.
There are no objects there but shades and night,
And yet that darkness better then the light.
There lives a silent harmony, no jar
Or discord can that sweet soft consort mar.
The graves deaf ear is clos'd against all noise
Save that which rocks must hear, the angels voice:
Whose trump shall wake the world, and raise up men
Who in earths bosom slept, bed-rid till then.
What man then would, who on deaths pillow slumbers,
Be re-inspir'd with life, though golden numbers
Of bliss were pour'd into his breast; though he
Were sure in change to gain a Monarchie?
A Monarchs glorious state compar'd with his,
Less safe, less free, less firm, less quiet is.
For nere was any Prince advanc't so high
That he was out of reach of misery:
Never did story yet a law report
To banish fate or sorrow from his Court;
Where ere he moves by land, or through the Main,
These go along sworn members of his train.
But he whom the kind earth hath entertain'd,
Hath in her womb a sanctuary gain'd,
Whose charter and protection arm him so,
That he is priviledg'd from future woe.
The Coffin's a safe harbour, where he rides
Land-bound, below cross windes, or churlish tides.
For grief, sprung up with life, was mans half-brother
Fed by the taste, brought forth by sin, the mother.
And since the first seduction of the wife,
God did decree to grief a lease for life;
Which Patent in full force continue must,
Till man that disobey'd revert to dust.
So that lifes sorrows ratifi'd by God
Cannot expire, or find their period,
Until the soul and body disunite,
And by two diff'rent wayes from each take flight.
But they dissolved once our woes disband,
Th' assurance cancell'd by one fatall hand;
Soon as the passing bell proclaims me dead,
My sorrows sink with me, lye buried
In the same heap of dust, the self-same Urn
Doth them and me alike to nothing turn.
If then of these I might election make
Whether I would refuse, and whether take,
Rather then like a sullen Anchorite
I would live cas'd in stone, and learn to write
A Prisoners story, which might steal some tears
From the sad eyes of him that reads or hears;
Give me a peaceful death, and let me meet
My freedom seal'd up in my winding sheet.
Death is the pledge of rest, and with one bayl
Two Prisons quits, the Body and the Jayl.

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In The Same Moment Death And Birth

IN THE SAME MOMENT DEATH AND BIRTH

In the same moment death and birth joy and sorrow,
A world that goes on contradicting itself in feeling-
No one forever happy always
And no light bright enough to forever shine -
In a world of constant contradiction,
Of never- ending dissonance,
Of always somewhere else something else-
In that world
And in ourselves
We must try to be at home and at one,
For the little time we have.

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Death And Birth

Death and birth should dwell not near together:
Wealth keeps house not, even for shame, with dearth:
Fate doth ill to link in one brief tether
Death and birth.

Harsh the yoke that binds them, strange the girth
Seems that girds them each with each: yet whether
Death be best, who knows, or life on earth?

Ill the rose-red and the sable feather
Blend in one crown's plume, as grief with mirth:
Ill met still are warm and wintry weather,
Death and birth.

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Death, Death And Death

I see the death everyday
Death in relations
Death in religion and faith
Death of man in man
Everyday, everywhere, every moment
Death, death and death.

I experience the death around me
Millions and billions of ceremonies
The smoke on maps of mankind
Death in temple and streets
Death in clubs and parties
Death, death and death.

I foresee the death of humanity
Harassment, discrimination and hatred
Death in purity and sacredness
Death in broken mirrors and home
Death in king, death in masses
Death, death and death.

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Death and I

When death comes
I’ll need not love –
Consumed,
No wreath or dove
Could offer me salvation,
Not when I’m no more.

A weathered stone will bear my name –
Identity of once a being
Living out existence in
A world of risk, and never seeing
Sense of why we’re here.

My genes will die away thro’ child –
Hue of eyes and hair, the way of thought,
Will quickly dim with generation –
Bow to future dominance –
Memories of provenance
Resigned to curious few.

When death comes
I’ll need not grace
Below; no grieving face
Will call my resurrection,
Not when I’m at ground –

Death and I so bound.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2011


D eath Crawl

death death death death death death death death death death death
death death death death death death death death death death death
death death death death death death death death death death death
death death death death death death death death death death death
death death death death death death death death death death death

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Death and Birth

Death leads to birth rather than birth, to death.
Birth is close to death and not vice versa.
Every birth is at the result of a death.
Death to birth, not birth to death, is the path.

The death of clay is the birth of a pot;
The death of the pot is the birth of clay.
Ice melts to water and water forms ice.
In each conversion, occur death and birth.

The death of a night is the birth of a day;
The death of a day is the birth of a night.
New Year means the death of the old year too.
In each transition, takes place death and birth.

The death of a seed is the birth of a plant;
The death of gametes is the birth of an embryo.
Salts die to form cells; cells die to form salts.
In each growth, form death and birth of matter.

The so called death and birth is nothing but
Deaths and births of forms made of matter.
The matter itself does not die to be born
But is converted to different forms.

Elements disappear to form plants.
Plants as food add to the animals’ flesh.
Plants and animals on death liberate
As elements, serving through worms and germs.

When a child is born, there’s no birth of life.
The embryo transforms into a child.
When a man dies, there is no death of life.
The body disintegrates to salts.

Matter, energy and life have no death
They have got one birth since when they’ve been.
They interact and come different stages
In which the pattern is death and birth.

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George Eliot

Brother and Sister

I.

I cannot choose but think upon the time
When our two lives grew like two buds that kiss
At lightest thrill from the bee's swinging chime,
Because the one so near the other is.

He was the elder and a little man
Of forty inches, bound to show no dread,
And I the girl that puppy-like now ran,
Now lagged behind my brother's larger tread.

I held him wise, and when he talked to me
Of snakes and birds, and which God loved the best,
I thought his knowledge marked the boundary
Where men grew blind, though angels knew the rest.

If he said 'Hush!' I tried to hold my breath;
Wherever he said 'Come!' I stepped in faith.

II.

Long years have left their writing on my brow,
But yet the freshness and the dew-fed beam
Of those young mornings are about me now,
When we two wandered toward the far-off stream

With rod and line. Our basket held a store
Baked for us only, and I thought with joy
That I should have my share, though he had more,
Because he was the elder and a boy.

The firmaments of daisies since to me
Have had those mornings in their opening eyes,
The bunchèd cowslip's pale transparency
Carries that sunshine of sweet memories,

And wild-rose branches take their finest scent
From those blest hours of infantine content.

III.

Our mother bade us keep the trodden ways,
Stroked down my tippet, set my brother's frill,
Then with the benediction of her gaze
Clung to us lessening, and pursued us still

Across the homestead to the rookery elms,
Whose tall old trunks had each a grassy mound,
So rich for us, we counted them as realms
With varied products: here were earth-nuts found,

And here the Lady-fingers in deep shade;
Here sloping toward the Moat the rushes grew,
The large to split for pith, the small to braid;
While over all the dark rooks cawing flew,

And made a happy strange solemnity,
A deep-toned chant from life unknown to me.

IV.

Our meadow-path had memorable spots:
One where it bridged a tiny rivulet,
Deep hid by tangled blue Forget-me-nots;
And all along the waving grasses met

My little palm, or nodded to my cheek,
When flowers with upturned faces gazing drew
My wonder downward, seeming all to speak
With eyes of souls that dumbly heard and knew.

Then came the copse, where wild things rushed unseen,
And black-scathed grass betrayed the past abode
Of mystic gypsies, who still lurked between
Me and each hidden distance of the road.

A gypsy once had startled me at play,
Blotting with her dark smile my sunny day.

V.

Thus rambling we were schooled in deepest lore,
And learned the meanings that give words a soul,
The fear, the love, the primal passionate store,
Whose shaping impulses make manhood whole.

Those hours were seed to all my after good;
My infant gladness, through eye, ear, and touch,
Took easily as warmth a various food
To nourish the sweet skill of loving much.

For who in age shall roam the earth and find
Reasons for loving that will strike out love
With sudden rod from the hard year-pressed mind?
Were reasons sown as thick as stars above,

'Tis love must see them, as the eye sees light:
Day is but Number to the darkened sight.

VI.

Our brown canal was endless to my thought;
And on its banks I sat in dreamy peace,
Unknowing how the good I loved was wrought,
Untroubled by the fear that it would cease.

Slowly the barges floated into view
Rounding a grassy hill to me sublime
With some Unknown beyond it, whither flew
The parting cuckoo toward a fresh spring time.

The wide-arched bridge, the scented elder-flowers,
The wondrous watery rings that died too soon,
The echoes of the quarry, the still hours
With white robe sweeping-on the shadeless noon,

Were but my growing self, are part of me,
My present Past, my root of piety.

VII.

Those long days measured by my little feet
Had chronicles which yield me many a text;
Where irony still finds an image meet
Of full-grown judgments in this world perplext.

One day my brother left me in high charge,
To mind the rod, while he went seeking bait,
And bade me, when I saw a nearing barge,
Snatch out the line lest he should come too late.

Proud of the task, I watched with all my might
For one whole minute, till my eyes grew wide,
Till sky and earth took on a strange new light
And seemed a dream-world floating on some tide -

A fair pavilioned boat for me alone
Bearing me onward through the vast unknown.

VIII.

But sudden came the barge's pitch-black prow,
Nearer and angrier came my brother's cry,
And all my soul was quivering fear, when lo!
Upon the imperilled line, suspended high,

A silver perch! My guilt that won the prey,
Now turned to merit, had a guerdon rich
Of songs and praises, and made merry play,
Until my triumph reached its highest pitch

When all at home were told the wondrous feat,
And how the little sister had fished well.
In secret, though my fortune tasted sweet,
I wondered why this happiness befell.

'The little lass had luck,' the gardener said:
And so I learned, luck was with glory wed.

IX.

We had the self-same world enlarged for each
By loving difference of girl and boy:
The fruit that hung on high beyond my reach
He plucked for me, and oft he must employ

A measuring glance to guide my tiny shoe
Where lay firm stepping-stones, or call to mind
'This thing I like my sister may not do,
For she is little, and I must be kind.'

Thus boyish Will the nobler mastery learned
Where inward vision over impulse reigns,
Widening its life with separate life discerned,
A Like unlike, a Self that self restrains.

His years with others must the sweeter be
For those brief days he spent in loving me.

X.

His sorrow was my sorrow, and his joy
Sent little leaps and laughs through all my frame;
My doll seemed lifeless and no girlish toy
Had any reason when my brother came.

I knelt with him at marbles, marked his fling
Cut the ringed stem and make the apple drop,
Or watched him winding close the spiral string
That looped the orbits of the humming top.

Grasped by such fellowship my vagrant thought
Ceased with dream-fruit dream-wishes to fulfil;
My aëry-picturing fantasy was taught
Subjection to the harder, truer skill

That seeks with deeds to grave a thought-tracked line,
And by 'What is,' 'What will be' to define.

XI.

School parted us; we never found again
That childish world where our two spirits mingled
Like scents from varying roses that remain
One sweetness, nor can evermore be singled.

Yet the twin habit of that early time
Lingered for long about the heart and tongue:
We had been natives of one happy clime
And its dear accent to our utterance clung.

Till the dire years whose awful name is Change
Had grasped our souls still yearning in divorce,
And pitiless shaped them in two forms that range
Two elements which sever their life's course.

But were another childhood-world my share,
I would be born a little sister there.

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A Dialogue Betwixt Himself And Mistress Elizawheeler, Under The Name Of Amarillis

My dearest Love, since thou wilt go,
And leave me here behind thee;
For love or pity, let me know
The place where I may find thee.

AMARIL. In country meadows, pearl'd with dew,
And set about with lilies;
There, filling maunds with cowslips, you
May find your Amarillis.

HER. What have the meads to do with thee,
Or with thy youthful hours?
Live thou at court, where thou mayst be
The queen of men, not flowers.

Let country wenches make 'em fine
With posies, since 'tis fitter
For thee with richest gems to shine,
And like the stars to glitter.

AMARIL. You set too-high a rate upon
A shepherdess so homely.
HER. Believe it, dearest, there's not one
I' th' court that's half so comely.

I prithee stay. AMARIL. I must away;
Let's kiss first, then we'll sever;
AMBO And though we bid adieu to day,
We shall not part for ever.

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Death Is Death, Dissolution Of All

All over this mammoth Earth,
There is nothing like death;
All over this mammoth Earth,
Nothing escapes death
Except that strange death itself.


What is this death,
Perchance, death itself knows not;
Whence it springs,
Where are its wings,
Fancied none in these million years.


It’s the live black hole
In dance along the time’s scale;
Nothing escapes its rapacious field
And nothing ever breaks out of its shield,
Death is death, dissolution of all.

Is death a beginning, none ever ever knows,
No mysteries as mysterious as death ever is;
No light or shade nor talent prised it,
No voyages ever came back out of its womb,
Nor light-years ever scaled the depth of death.


Death brings down all to the Nature’s womb,
To the Natures pristine pure form;
No rise or fall nor glory or shame,
‘Neath the mysterious death, all are same;
Indeed, the supreme equalizer is death.


Death is true peace, death is ultimate pain,
Death is finding peace in the folds of pain;
Death robs light and spreads dark night
And numbs soul to the inevitable truth, that
Born out of night, but we are part of that night.

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Dead Bodies

The slaughter of the pagans and,
Of their dead bodies almost everywhere;
But such a ferocity is like to scramble up the ramparts.

Pregnable,
With tears running down our eyes;
But who will kiss the dusty roads?

Deified at this time,
And bribed to act treacherously at times;
For the impregnable tree has fallen.

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Fragments Of An Unfinished Drama

Scene.--Before the Cavern of the Indian Enchantress.

The Enchantress comes forth.


Enchantress.
He came like a dream in the dawn of life,
He fled like a shadow before its noon;
He is gone, and my peace is turned to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.
O, sweet Echo, wake,
And for my sake
Make answer the while my heart shall break!

But my heart has a music which Echo's lips,
Though tender and true, yet can answer not,
And the shadow that moves in the soul's eclipse
Can return not the kiss by his now forgot;
Sweet lips! he who hath
On my desolate path
Cast the darkness of absence, worse than death!

The Enchantress makes her spell: she is answered by a Spirit.

Spirit.
Within the silent centre of the earth
My mansion is; where I have lived insphered
From the beginning, and around my sleep
Have woven all the wondrous imagery
Of this dim spot, which mortals call the world;
Infinite depths of unknown elements
Massed into one impenetrable mask;
Sheets of immeasurable fire, and veins
Of gold and stone, and adamantine iron.
And as a veil in which I walk through Heaven
I have wrought mountains, seas, and waves, and clouds,
And lastly light, whose interfusion dawns
In the dark space of interstellar air.


ANOTHER SCENE
Indian Youth and Lady.

Indian.
And, if my grief should still be dearer to me
Than all the pleasures in the world beside,
Why would you lighten it?-

Lady.
I offer only
That which I seek, some human sympathy
In this mysterious island.

Indian.
Oh! my friend,
My sister, my beloved!-What do I say?
My brain is dizzy, and I scarce know whether
I speak to thee or her.

Lady.
Peace, perturbed heart!
I am to thee only as thou to mine,
The passing wind which heals the brow at noon,
And may strike cold into the breast at night,
Yet cannot linger where it soothes the most,
Or long soothe could it linger.

Indian.
But you said
You also loved?

Lady.
Loved! Oh, I love. Methinks
This word of love is fit for all the world,
And that for gentle hearts another name
Would speak of gentler thoughts than the world owns.
I have loved.

Indian.
And thou lovest not? if so,
Young as thou art thou canst afford to weep.

Lady.
Oh! would that I could claim exemption
From all the bitterness of that sweet name.
I loved, I love, and when I love no more
Let joys and grief perish, and leave despair
To ring the knell of youth. He stood beside me,
The embodied vision of the brightest dream,
Which like a dawn heralds the day of life;
The shadow of his presence made my world
A Paradise. All familiar things he touched,
All common words he spoke, became to me
Like forms and sounds of a diviner world.
He was as is the sun in his fierce youth,
As terrible and lovely as a tempest;
He came, and went, and left me what I am.
Alas! Why must I think how oft we two
Have sate together near the river springs,
Under the green pavilion which the willow
Spreads on the floor of the unbroken fountain,
Strewn, by the nurslings that linger there,
Over that islet paved with flowers and moss,
While the musk-rose leaves, like flakes of crimson snow,
Showered on us, and the dove mourned in the pine,
Sad prophetess of sorrows not her own?
The crane returned to her unfrozen haunt,
And the false cuckoo bade the spray good morn;
And on a wintry bough the widowed bird,
Hid in the deepest night of ivy-leaves,
Renewed the vigils of a sleepless sorrow.
I, left like her, and leaving one like her,
Alike abandoned and abandoning
(Oh! unlike her in this!) the gentlest youth,
Whose love had made my sorrows dear to him,
Even as my sorrow made his love to me!

Indian.
One curse of Nature stamps in the same mould
The features of the wretched; and they are
As like as violet to violet,
When memory, the ghost, their odours keeps
Mid the cold relics of abandoned joy.-
Proceed.

Lady.
He was a simple innocent boy.
I loved him well, but not as he desired;
Yet even thus he was content to be:-
A short content, for I was-

Indian
[aside].
God of Heaven!
From such an islet, such a river-spring-!
I dare not ask her if there stood upon it
A pleasure-dome surmounted by a crescent,
With steps to the blue water. [Aloud.]
It may be
That Nature masks in life several copies
Of the same lot, so that the sufferers
May feel another's sorrow as their own,
And find in friendship what they lost in love.
That cannot be: yet it is strange that we,
From the same scene, by the same path to this
Realm of abandonment -- But speak! your breath-
Your breath is like soft music, your words are
The echoes of a voice which on my heart
Sleeps like a melody of early days.
But as you said--

Lady.
He was so awful, yet
So beautiful in mystery and terror,
Calming me as the loveliness of heaven
Soothes the unquiet sea:-and yet not so,
For he seemed stormy, and would often seem
A quenchless sun masked in portentous clouds;
For such his thoughts, and even his actions were;
But he was not of them, nor they of him,
But as they hid his splendour from the earth.
Some said he was a man of blood and peril,
And steeped in bitter infamy to the lips.
More need was there I should be innocent,
More need that I should be most true and kind,
And much more need that there should be found one
To share remorse and scorn and solitude,
And all the ills that wait on those who do
The tasks of ruin in the world of life.
He fled, and I have followed him.

Indian.
Such a one
Is he who was the winter of my peace.
But, fairest stranger, when didst thou depart
From the far hills where rise the springs of India?
How didst thou pass the intervening sea?

Lady.
If I be sure I am not dreaming now,
I should not doubt to say it was a dream.
Methought a star came down from heaven,
And rested mid the plants of India,
Which I had given a shelter from the frost
Within my chamber. There the meteor lay,
Panting forth light among the leaves and flowers,
As if it lived, and was outworn with speed;
Or that it loved, and passion made the pulse
Of its bright life throb like an anxious heart,
Till it diffused itself, and all the chamber
And walls seemed melted into emerald fire
That burned not; in the midst of which appeared
A spirit like a child, and laughed aloud
A thrilling peal of such sweet merriment
As made the blood tingle in my warm feet:
Then bent over a vase, and murmuring
Low, unintelligible melodies,
Placed something in the mould like melon-seeds,
And slowly faded, and in place of it
A soft hand issued from the veil of fire,
Holding a cup like a magnolia flower,
And poured upon the earth within the vase
The element with which it overflowed,
Brighter than morning light, and purer than
The water of the springs of Himalah.

Indian.
You waked not?

Lady.
Not until my dream became
Like a child's legend on the tideless sand,
Which the first foam erases half, and half
Leaves legible. At length I rose, and went,
Visiting my flowers from pot to pot, and thought
To set new cuttings in the empty urns,
And when I came to that beside the lattice,
I saw two little dark-green leaves
Lifting the light mould at their birth, and then
I half-remembered my forgotten dream.
And day by day, green as a gourd in June,
The plant grew fresh and thick, yet no one knew
What plant it was; its stem and tendrils seemed
Like emerald snakes, mottled and diamonded
With azure mail and streaks of woven silver;
And all the sheaths that folded the dark buds
Rose like the crest of cobra-di-capel,
Until the golden eye of the bright flower,
Through the dark lashes of those veinèd lids,
....disencumbered of their silent sleep,
Gazed like a star into the morning light.
Its leaves were delicate, you almost saw
The pulses
With which the purple velvet flower was fed
To overflow, and like a poet's heart
Changing bright fancy to sweet sentiment,
Changed half the light to fragrance. It soon fell,
And to a green and dewy embryo-fruit
Left all its treasured beauty. Day by day
I nursed the plant, and on the double flute
Played to it on the sunny winter days
Soft melodies, as sweet as April rain
On silent leaves, and sang those words in which
Passion makes Echo taunt the sleeping strings;
And I would send tales of forgotten love
Late into the lone night, and sing wild songs
Of maids deserted in the olden time,
And weep like a soft cloud in April's bosom
Upon the sleeping eyelids of the plant,
So that perhaps it dreamed that Spring was come,
And crept abroad into the moonlight air,
And loosened all its limbs, as, noon by noon,
The sun averted less his oblique beam.

Indian.
And the plant died not in the frost?

Lady.
It grew;
And went out of the lattice which I left
Half open for it, trailing its quaint spires
Along the garden and across the lawn,
And down the slope of moss and through the tufts
Of wild-flower roots, and stumps of trees o'ergrown
With simple lichens, and old hoary stones,
On to the margin of the glassy pool,
Even to a nook of unblown violets
And lilies-of-the-valley yet unborn,
Under a pine with ivy overgrown.
And there its fruit lay like a sleeping lizard
Under the shadows; but when Spring indeed
Came to unswathe her infants, and the lilies
Peeped from their bright green masks to wonder at
This shape of autumn couched in their recess,
Then it dilated, and it grew until
One half lay floating on the fountain wave,
Whose pulse, elapsed in unlike sympathies,
Kept time
Among the snowy water-lily buds.
Its shape was such as summer melody
Of the south wind in spicy vales might give
To some light cloud bound from the golden dawn
To fairy isles of evening, and it seemed
In hue and form that it had been a mirror
Of all the hues and forms around it and
Upon it pictured by the sunny beams
Which, from the bright vibrations of the pool,
Were thrown upon the rafters and the roof
Of boughs and leaves, and on the pillared stems
Of the dark sylvan temple, and reflections
Of every infant flower and star of moss
And veined leaf in the azure odorous air.
And thus it lay in the Elysian calm
Of its own beauty, floating on the line
Which, like a film in purest space, divided
The heaven beneath the water from the heaven
Above the clouds; and every day I went
Watching its growth and wondering;
And as the day grew hot, methought I saw
A glassy vapour dancing on the pool,
And on it little quaint and filmy shapes,
With dizzy motion, wheel and rise and fall,
Like clouds of gnats with perfect lineaments...
O friend, sleep was a veil uplift from Heaven--
As if Heaven dawned upon the world of dream--
When darkness rose on the extinguished day
Out of the eastern wilderness.

Indian.
I too
Have found a moment's paradise in sleep
Half compensate a hell of waking sorrow.

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