Friday, July 1, 2011

Shall They Persevere?

Good words are worth much, and cost little.
~ George Herbert

Two older poems today. In the Herbert poem, the lines in italics are the echo.

by George Herbert, 1593-1633

O who will show me those delights on high?
Thou Echo, thou art mortall, all men know.
Wert thou not born among the trees and leaves?
And are there any leaves, that still abide?
What leaves are they? impart the matter wholly.
Are holy leaves the Echo then of blisse?
Then tell me, what is that supreme delight?
Light to the minde : what shall the will enjoy?
But are there cares and businesse with the pleasure?
Light, joy, and leisure ; but shall they persever?

I Said To The Wanting-Creature Inside Me
by Kabir, 1398-1448

I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?

There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the
soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don't go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.


Andi has today's Poetry Friday round-up at a wrung sponge.

1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

Good words are worth much, indeed.

What an interesting pair of poems. So old, and yet, so current...