Speech that came like leech-craft
And killed us almost, bleeding us white!
You bleached our souls soiled with impurities.
You bathed our hearts amid tempestuous seas
Of a purer, drearier, delight.
O tongues of fire! You came devouring
Forests of nightshade, creepers that enmesh,
Trees that never remembered to grow,
And shrubs that were but thornmills in our flesh.
You were the dawn, and sunlight filled the spaces
Where owls were hovering.
O winged seeds! You crossed the furrowed seas
To nestle in the warm and silent earth.
Like a golden swarm of fireflies you came
Pining for a new agony, a new birth.
You blossomed into a nascent loveliness.
You ripened into nectar in fruit-jars
That hung like clustered stars.
O winging words! Like homing bees you borrow
Grown murmurous, the honey of delight,
Pollened within our hearts the coming morrow,
Sweetened within our souls for aeons bright:
You kindle in the far corners of the earth
The music of an ever-deepening chant:
The burthen of a waneless, winterless spring,
The gospel of an endless blossoming.
Fathomless words, with Indo-Aryan blood
Tingling in your veins.
The spoils of ages, global merchandise
Mingling in your strains!
You pose the cosmic riddles:
In the beginning was the Word
And the Word was God.
The Word is in the middle
And the Word is Man.
In the end will be the Word
And the Word will be God in Man.
-V. K. Gokak