To Professor John Henry Wright

//To Professor John Henry Wright

To Professor John Henry Wright

Salem
Saturday, 4th Sept., 1893

Dear Adhyapakji;
I hasten to tender my heartfelt gratitude to you for your letters of introduction. I have received a letter from Mr. Theles of Chicago giving me the names of some of the delegates and other things about the Congress. Your professor of Sanskrit in his note to Miss Sanborn mistakes me for Purushottama Joshi and states that there is a Sanskrit library in Boston the like of which can scarcely be met with in India. I would be so happy to see it.
Mr. Sanborn has written to me to come over to Saratoga on Monday and I am going accordingly. I would stop then at a boarding house called Sanatorium. If any news come from Chicago in the meanwhile I hope you will kindly send it over to the Sanatorium, Saratoga.
You and your noble wife and sweet children have made an impression in my brain which is simply indelible, and I thought myself so much nearer to heaven when living with you. May He, the giver of all gifts, shower on your head His choicest blessings.
Here are a few lines written as an attempt at poetry. Hoping your love will pardon this infliction.
Ever your friend,
Vivekananda
O’er hill and dale and mountain range,
In temple, church, and mosque,
In Vedas, Bible, Al Koran
I had searched for Thee in vain.
Like a child in the wildest forest lost
I have cried and cried alone,
“Where art Thou gone, my God, my love?”
The echo answered, “gone.”
And days and nights and years then passed–
A fire was in the brain;
I knew not when day changed in night,
The heart seemed rent in twain.
I laid me down on Ganga’s shore,
Exposed to sun and rain;
With burning tears I laid the dust
And wailed with waters’ roar.
I called on all the holy names
Of every clime and creed,
“Show me the way, in mercy, ye
Great ones who have reached the goal”.
Years then passed in bitter cry,
Each moment seemed an age,
Till one day midst my cries and groans
Some one seemed calling me.
A gentle soft and soothing voice
That said “my son”, “my son”,
That seemed to thrill in unison
With all the chords of my soul.
I stood on my feet and tried to find
The place the voice came from;
I searched and searched and turned to see
Round me, before, behind.
Again, again it seemed to speak–
The voice divine to me.
In rapture all my soul was hushed,
Entranced, enthralled in bliss.
A flash illumined all my soul;
The heart of my heart opened wide.
O joy, O bliss, what do I find!
My love, my love, you are here,
And you are here, my love, my all!
And I was searching thee!
From all eternity you were there
Enthroned in majesty!
From that day forth, where’er I roam,
I feel Him standing by
O’er hill and dale, high mount and vale,
Far far away and high.
The moon’s soft light, the stars so bright,
The glorious orb of day,
He shines in them; His beauty–might–
Reflected lights are they.
The majestic morn, the melting eve,
The boundless billowy sea,
In nature’s beauty, songs of birds,
I see through them–it is He.
When dire calamity seizes me,
The heart seems weak and faint,
All nature seems to crush me down,
With laws that never bend.
Meseems I hear Thee whispering sweet
My love, “I am near”, “I am near”.
My heart gets strong. With Thee, my love,
A thousand deaths no fear.
Thou speakest in the mother’s lay
That shuts the baby’s eye;
When innocent children laugh and play
I see Thee standing by.
When holy friendship shakes the hand,
He stands between them too;
He pours the nectar in mother’s kiss
And the baby’s sweet “mama”.
Thou wert my God with prophets old;
All creeds do come from Thee;
The Vedas, Bible, and Koran bold
Sing Thee in harmony.
“Thou art”, “Thou art” the Soul of souls
In the rushing stream of life.
“Om tat Sat om.” 79 Thou art my God.
My love, I am thine, I am thine.

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