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