Deity of the ruined temple!

Abandoned Hindu temple on the road to Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Deity of the ruined temple! The broken strings of

Vina sing no more your praise. The bells in the

evening proclaim not your time of worship.  The air

is still and silent about you.

In your desolate dwelling comes the vagrant spring

breeze.  It brings the tidings of flowers-the flowers

that for your worship are offered no more.

Your worshipper of old wanders ever longing for favour

still refused. In the eventide, when the fires and

shadows mingle with the gloom of dust, he wearily

comes back to the ruined temple with hunger in

his heart.

Many a festival day comes to you in silence, deity of

ruined temple.  Many a night of worship goes

away with lamp unlit.

Many new images are built by masters of cunning art

and carried to the holy stream of oblivion when

their time is come.

Only the deity of the ruined temple remains

unworshipped in deathless neglect.

— Rabindranath Tagore

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