The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/On Finding Buddha's Dust

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This poem was not included in Mrs. Coates' collected Poems (1916, in 2 vols.).


"One hundred million people will experience a thrill of religious enthusiasm at the recent discovery of a relic-casket near Peshawar, India, containing some of the bones of Gautama Buddha."

O ashes of Gautama, once the shrine
And outer temple of celestial mind!—
Home of a spirit, pure and heavenly kind,
That moved by human sympathy benign,
Out-poured itself, like sacrificial wine,
To bring a light of hope unto the blind,—
O ashes of Gautama! earth shall find
Naught midst her buried treasure more divine!

Though, centuries gone by, an Emperor sealed
In crystal and in bronze this royal dust,
Time may uncover it through waste and rust;
But while man's heart to aught shall homage give,
Gautama's love, through sacrifice revealed,
Eternal as that heart itself shall live!