Hymn to Shiva
Shiva! whom all the gods in heaven obey,
Thou mightiest, deign to hear my humble prayer!
I’ve sinned. Oh, save me from the fiend Despair,
Which turns to gloom the sunshine of the day!
The angry storms of Fate around me play,
Strange sounds are hurtling through the troubled air,
Be thou my steadfast rock, my guide, and stay.
Thou who art king of all the things I see,
Thou who art clothed in glory and in light,
Thou from whose tresses sprang, in radiance bright,
The sacred Ganges rolling wide and free,
Thou art my hope—lo! here I bring to thee,
To find forgiveness in thy awful sight,
These varied offerings on my bended knee.
Dread lord of Uma, to whose golden shrine
In far Benares countless pilgrim bands,
From Indian cities and from distant lands,
Yearly repair in never-ending line,
I too will visit that abode divine,
If I but now receive thy high commands;—
Oh, leave me not in bitter grief to pine!
O thou! who dwellest on the lofty crown
’Mid the pure snows of cloud-capped Kalasay,
From thy bright region of ne’er-ending day,
In pity on this sinful one look down.
Chase from thy lofty brow that angry frown,
And let me go in peace of mind away,
Rejoicing, to my distant native town.
Umesh Chunder Dutt (1836–1912)