The Lantern lights are swinging
And the temple bells are ringing.
The poya-moon is shining everywhere
And music wildly sweet
And the fall of pilgrim feet
All mingle in the warm and the manes-scented air.

See! White-robed youth is lending
A hand to ‘age’ ascending
Up the temple ways with Lotus and with Na.
Soft echoes haunt the air,
Remurmuring every prayer
While distant stars are sounding a temple sonata.
A myriad lamps are burning
On the temple walls! And turning
All the night into a lovely silvered dream.
Forgetting Life awhile I And, life’s bitter mocking smile
Here we catch the echo of a more ecstatic strain.


Mallika Cooray