Refuge
[Translated from the Tamil verses of Kulasekara Alwar,
the Chera King and Saing.]

Though thou shouldst not spare me the anguish of the world, yet I have no refuge but thy feet, O Lord of the City of the wise begirt by gardens full of sweet flowers, if in a keen edged wreath, the Mother cast off the babe, what can it do but cry for the mother’s love? I am like that babe. (1)

If the man whom she loves subject h to contumely, the high-born wife still clings to him; for he is her chosen lord. And I, too, O Lord of the City of the wise whose walls reach up to Heaven, I will ever praise thy victorious feet, even if thou shouldst leave me unprotected. (2)

Reject me, O Lord, and I will yet hold on to the, not knowing another prop. O Lord of the City of the wise encircled by green fields with their glancing fish, the right-ful king may cause much pain to his country’s heart, not looking at things with his own eyes; by still the country trusts in him. I am like that country. (3)

The sufferer loves the wise physician even when his flesh is cut and burnt. O Lord of the City of the wise, let thy illusion inflict on me an endless pain, I will yet remain thy servant, I will yet look up to thy feet. (4)

O Lord of the City of the wise, who didst slay the strong and cruel Beast, ah, where shall I fly for refuge, if I leave thy feet? On the tossing sea the bird leaves the mast of the ship, he flies to all sides but no shore is visible, and he again returns to the mast. I am like that bird. (5)

Let Fire himself assail with its heat the lotus-flower; it will blossom to none but the sun. Even if thou shouldst refrain from healing its pain, my heart can be melted by nothing else as by thy unlimited beauty. (6)

The Rain may forget the fields, but the fields will ever be thirsting for its coming. O Lord of the City of the wise, what care I whether thou heal my wound or no, my heart shall ever be thine. (7)

The rivers course down through many lands but must yield themselves to the Sea, they cannot flow back, O sea-hued Lord of the City of the wise, even so must I ever be drawn to thy resplendent glory. (8)

Illusory Power ever seeks him who seeketh thee not, not seeking thy lasting Might. O Lord of the City of the wise whose discus flashes like the lightning, I must ever seek thee, who am thy servant. (9)

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Arya
15.11.1915

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