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And muttering to himself “The call of God’
And borne along by that full stream of men,
Like some old wreck on some indrawing
sea, Gain'd their huge Colosseum. The caged beast Yell'd, as he yell'd of yore for Christian blood. Three slaves were trailing a dead lion away, One, a dead man. Sat Blinded; but when the momentary gloom, Made by the noonday blaze without, had left His aged eyes, he raised them, and beheld A blood-red awning waver overhead, The dust send up a steam of human blood, The gladiators moving toward their fight, And eighty thousand Christian faces watch Man murder man. from heaven, As some great shock may wake a palsied limb, Turn'd him again to boy, for up he sprang, And glided lightly down the stairs, ard o'er The barrier that divided beast from man Slipt, and ran on, and flung himself between The gladiatorial swords, and call'd “Forbear In the great name of Him who died for men, Christ Jesus!' ward A silence follow'd as of death, and then A hiss as from a wilderness of snakes, Then one deep roar as of a breaking Sea, And then a shower of stones that stoned him dead, And then once more a silence as of death. His dream became a deed that woke the world, For while the frantic rabble in half-amaze Stared at him dead, thro' all the nobler hearts
He stumbled in, and
A sudden strength
For one moment after
In that vast Oval ran a shudder of shame. The Baths, the Forum gabbled of his death, And preachers linger'd o'er his dying words, Which would not die, but echo'd on to reach Honorius, till he heard them, and decreed That Rome no more should wallow in this old lust Of Paganism, and make her festal hour Dark with the blood of man who murder'd man.
(For Honorius, who succeeded to the sovereignty over Europe, supprest the gladiatorial combats practised of old in Rome, on occasion of the following event. There was one Teleinachus, embracing the ascetic mode of life, who setting out from the East and arriving at Rome for this very purpose, while that accursed spectacle was being performed, entered himself the circus, and descending into the arena, attempted to hold back those who wielded deadly weapons against each other. The spectators of the murderous fray, possest with the drunken glee of the demon who delights in such bloodshed, stoned to death the preacher of peace. The admirable Emperor learning this put a stop to that evil exhibition. —Theodoret's Ecclesiastical History.)
AN INscription by ABUL FAzl for A TEMPLE IN KAsh Mir (Blochmann xxxii.).
O God in every temple I see people that see thee, and in every language I hear spoken, people praise thee. Polytheism and Islám feel after thee. Each religion says, “Thou art one, without equal.” If it be a mosque people murmur the holy prayer, and if it be a Christian Church, people ring the bell from love to Thee. Sometimes I frequent the Christian cloister, and sometimes the mosque. But it is thou whom I search from temple to temple. Thy elect have no dealings with either heresy or orthodoxy; for neither of them stands behind the screen of thy truth. Heresy to the heretic, and religion to the orthodox, But the dust of the rose-petal belongs to the heart of the perfume seller.
* Copyright, 1892, by Macmillan & Co.
AKBAR and ABUL FAzl before the palace at Futehpur-Sikri at night.
* LIGHT of the nations' ask'd his Chronicler Of Akbar “what has darken'd thee tonight?' Then, after one quick glance upon the stars, And turning slowly toward him, Akbar said “The shadow of a dream—an idle one
It may be. Still I raised my heart to heaven,
I pray'd against the dream. To pray, to do—
To pray, to do according to the prayer,
All else is to perdition.” Shall the rose Cry to the lotus “No flower thou”? the palm Call to the cypress “I alone am fair”? The mango spurn the melon at his foot? “Mine is the one fruit Alla made for man.” Look how the living pulse of Alla beats Thro' all His world. If every single star Should shriek its claim “I only am in heaven” Why that were such sphere-music as the Greek Had hardly dream'd of. There is light in all, And light, with more or less of shade, in all Man-modes of worship; but our Ulama, Who “sitting on green sofas contemplate The torment of the damn'd" already, these Are like wild brutes new-caged—the narrower The cage, the more their fury. Me they front With sullen brows. decreed That even the dog was clean, that men may taste Swine-flesh, drink wine; they know too that whene'er In our free Hall, where each philosophy And mood of faith may hold its own, they blurt Their furious formalisms, I but hear The clash of tides that meet in narrow seas, Not the Great Voice not the true Deep. To drive A people from their ancient fold of Faith, And wall them up perforce in mine— unwise, Unkinglike;—and the morning of my reign Was redden'd by that cloud of shame when I . . . I hate the rancour of their castes and creeds, I let men worship as they will, I reap No revenue from the field of unbelief. I cull from every faith and race the best And bravest soul for counsellor and friend.
What wonder . I
I loathe the very name of infidel.
—a sun but dimly seen Here, till the mortal morning mists of earth Fade in the noon of heaven, when creed and race Shall bear false witness, each of each, no more, But find their limits by that larger light, And overstep them, moving easily Thro' after-ages in the love of Truth, The truth of Love. The sun, the sun' they rail At me the Zoroastrian. Let the Sun, Who heats our earth to yield us grain and fruit, And laughs upon thy field as well as mine,
And warms the blood of Shiah and
Sunnee, Symbol the Eternal ' Yea and may not kings Express Him also by their warmth of love
For all they rule—by equal law for all? By deeds a light to men? But no such light Glanced from our Presence on the face of one, Who breaking in upon us yestermorn, With all the Hells a-glare in either eye, Yell'd “hast thou brought us down a new Korān From heaven? art thou the Prophet? canst thou work Miracles?” and the wild horse, anger, plunged To fling me, and fail'd. Miracles' no, not I Nor he, nor any. I can but lift the torch Of Reason in the dusky cave of Life, And gaze on this great miracle, the World, Adoring That who made, and makes, and is, And is not, what I gaze on—all else Form, Ritual, varying with the tribes of men. Ay but, my friend, thou knowest I hold that forms Are needful: only let the hand that rules, With politic care, with utter gentleness, Mould them for all his people. And what are forms? Fair garments, plain or rich, and fitting close Or flying looselier, warm'd but by the heart Within them, moved but by the living limb, And cast aside, when old, for newer,< Forms' The Spiritual in Nature's market-place— The silent Alphabet-of-heaven-in-man Made vocal—banners blazoning a Power That is not seen and rules from far away— A silken cord let down from Paradise, When fine Philosophies would fail, to draw The crowd from wallowing in the mire of earth,
And all the more, when these behold
Shadow-maker, shadow-slayer, arrowing light from clime to clime,
Hearthy myriad laureates hail thee monarch in their woodland rhyme.
Warble bird, and open flower, and, men, below the dome of azure
Kneel adoring Him the Timeless in the flame
that measures Time!
NOTES TO AKBAR'S DREAM.
The great Mogul Emperor Akbar was born October 14, 1542, and died 1605. At 13 he succeeded his father Humayun; at 18 he himself assumed the sole charge of government. He subdued and ruled over fifteen large provinces; his empire included all India north of the Vindhya Mountains—in the south of India he was not so successful. His tolerance of religions and his abhorrence of religious persecution put our Tudors to shame. He invented a new eclectic religion by which he hoped to unite all creeds, castes and peoples: and his legislation was remarkable for vigour, justice and humanity.
“Thy glory baffles wisdom.” The Emperor quotes from a hymn to the Deity by Faizi, brother of Abul Fazl, Akbar's chief friend and minister, who wrote the A in i Akbari (Annals of Akbar). His influence on his age was immense. It may be that he and his brother Faizi led Akbar's mind away from Islám and the Prophet—this charge is brought against him by every Muhammadan writer; but Abul Fazl also led his sovereign to a true appreciation of his duties, and from the moment that he entered Court, the problem of successfully ruling over mixed races, which Islám in few other countries had to solve, was carefully considered, and the policy of toleration was the result (Blochmann xxix.).
Abul Fasl thus gives an account of himself “The advice of my Father with difficulty kept me back from acts of folly; my mind had no rest and my heart felt itself drawn to the sages of Mongolia or to the hermits on Lebanon. I longed for interviews with the Llamás of Tibet or with the padres of Portugal, and I would gladly sit with the priests of the Parsis and the learned of the Zendavesta. I was sick of the learned of my own land.’
He became the intimate friend and adviser of Akbar, and helped him in his tolerant system of government. Professor Blochmann writes ‘Impressed with a favourable idea of the value of his Hindu subjects, he (Akbar) had resolved when pensively sitting in the evenings on the solitary stone at Futehpur-Sikri to rule with an even hand
all men in his dominions; but as the extreme views of the learned and the lawyers continually urged him to persecute instead of to heal, he instituted discussions, because, believing himself to be in error, he thought it his duty as ruler to inquire.’ ‘These discussions took place every Thursday night in the Ibadat-khana a building at Futehpur-Sikri, erected for the purpose' (Malleson).
In these discussions Abul Fazl became a great power, and he induced the chief of the disputants to draw up a document defining the ‘divine Faith" as it was called, and assigning to Akbar the rank of a Mujahid, or supreme khalifah, the vicegerent of the one true God.
Abul Fazl was finally murdered at the instigation of Akbar's son Salim, who in his Memoirs declares that it was Abul Fazl who had perverted his father's mind so that he denied the divine mission of Mahomet, and turned away his love from his son.
Faizi. When Akbar conquered the NorthWest Provinces of India, Faizi, then zo, began his life as a poet, and earned his living as a physician. He is reported to have been very generous and to have treated the poor for nothing. His fame reached Akbar's ears who commanded him to come to the camp at Chitor. Akbar was delighted with his varied knowledge and scholarship and made the poet teacher to his sons. Faizi at 33 was appointed Chief Poet (1588). He collected a fine library of 4300 MSS. and died at the age of 40 (1595) when Akbar incorporated his collection of rare books in the Imperial Library.
The Warring World of Hindostan. Akbar's rapid conquests and the good government of his fifteen provinces with their complete military, civil and political systems make him conspicuous among the great kings of history.
The Goan Padre. Abul Fazl relates that “one night the Ibadat-khana was brightened by the presence of Padre Rodolpho, who for intelligence and wisdom was unrivalled among Christian doctors. Several carping and bigoted men attacked him and this afforded an opportunity for the display of the calm judgment and justice of the assembly. These men brought forward the old received assertions, and did not attempt to arrive at truth by reasoning. Their statements were torn to pieces, and they were nearly put to shame, when they began to attack the contradictions of the Gospel, but they could not prove their assertions. With perfect calmness, and earnest conviction of the truth he replied to their arguments."