The Wall of Self

[See Sentinel, August 8, 1901, p. 784.]

Mexican Herald

Mahmout , the Persian, in splendor rare
Dwelt in Shiraz, in a palace fair;
In old Shiraz, on limestone ledges
That rim the sharp and curving edges
Of the Persian Gulf—the Gulf of Pearl,
Whose waves like scimitars gleam and whirl.
His halls were crowded with courtiers brave;
His ships sailed over the Caspian wave;
His home was jewelled with love and fame,
And yet Mahmout was in saddened frame;
So sad one day that the Sun stood still
To ask the cause of his seeming ill.
"Oh, Sun!" cried Mahmout, "my heart ebbs low;
One room in my home is dark, I know!"
"Dark? What is dark?" cried the Sun, perplexed.
"I know not the trend of thought so vexed.
No darkness can haunt my path of light.
I bring you the day, but never the night.
I kiss the shadows from prison cell.
I coax the gloom from the grave as well.
I rest in love on the couch of pain,
I caress the flowers, the brooks, the grain
That tosses its tassels in your great fields.
Mahmout; all gloom to my glory yields."
The Sun descended to Mahmout's home,
And the children joyed to see him come.
They trickled his rays between their hands,
And painted shadows upon the sands.
The Sun examined each room, each hall,
Each mystic mosaic upon the wall;
And then the Prince threw open the room
Which he said was ever wrapped in gloom.
"Why, where is the dark, O Prince?" he cried.
"It was dark before you came," replied
Mahmout, astonished, "But now 'tis bright,
With a glorious, all-pervading light."
"There is no darkness, no night, no gloom.
Darkness is absence of light, and gloom
Only your absence from God to-day.
Tear down the dark walls of self, I pray."
The Sun returned to his course on high;
And a meaning new and strange did fly
Like a bird of promise to his sense,
Rebuking hollow, vain pretence.
The windows of self and doors of pride
He had built himself no longer hide
From his happy home the smiling Sun.,
The secret of Peace Mahmout had won.

Edward C. Butler
In the Mexican Herald

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My Song
October 24, 1901

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