Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Buddha
By Charles Erskine Scott Wood
THE LITTLE gilded Buddha sits
Patiently on my table,
With delicate, quiet, folded hands—
Musing upon eternity.
The lines of his drapery are        5
Fluent as the ages,
Drooping gracefully in curves,
As life droops gently into death.
His face is calm; he ignores me
And all the fret and trouble of the world,        10
Contemplating me indifferently.
From the divan, where I lie alone,
Vaguely I consider the gilded Buddha.
I cannot reach to his serenity.
He is not of my age; I am not of his race.        15
He is not to me an inspiration
To emotionless contemplation.
To me he is only a work of art,
The lines of his drapery drooping gracefully.
If I were to make an idol, a symbol,        20
It would not be beautiful;
It would be a great Hammer,
And the world lying in fragments;
Or a woman with an angry face,
Tearing her breasts.        25
But on my table—an alien, a foreigner—
Sits the gilded Buddha, with face serene,
And patient, quiet, folded hands,
Musing on eternity.
Life is greater than eternity.        30

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