The Worshipper

Buddha statue at Avkana  -32 miles south east of Anuradhapura.  Height 42 feet. The original statue is carved out of solid rock during the reign of King Dhatusena (5th century)


Stern, silent image cast in bronzed mould
Still brooding with that beatific smile
The scultor's dream once gave to Thee of old
Lift up Thine eyelids on the world awhile.

Upon Thy Buddha-brow the moonbeams shine,
Cool blows the lotus round Thy folded feet,
I burn this incense at Thy wayside shrine,
These flowers I offer Thee in homage meet.

The Temple-bells are ringing, dost Thou hear
Their music mingled with the sullen roar of fretful man?...
Calm in Thy niche, austere
Thou weavest dreams of peace for evermore,
Here while I bow before Thy graven form
Thy voice in music floats above the storm.

Helen D'Alwis