Above is the vaishnava saint who composed this sublime poem, at the age of 33 in 1871, India. His name is Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. To his right, is a disciple of one of his sons.
Alas, for those that spend their days in festive mirth and joy,
The dazzling deadly liquid forms their hearts for e’er employ!
The shining bottles charm their eyes and draw their hearts embrace,
The slaves of wine can never rise from what we call disgrace!
Was man intended so to be a brute in work and heart?
Should man the Lord of all around from common sense depart?
Man’s glory is in common sense dictating us the grace
That man is made to live and love the beauteous heaven’s embrace!
The flesh is not our own alas, the mortal frame a chain
The soul confined for former wrongs should try to rise again!
Why then this childish play in that which cannot be our own,
Which falls within a hundred years, as if rose ablown!
Our life is but a rosy hue to go e’re long to nought,
The soul alone would last for e’er with good or evil fraught!
How deep the thought of times to be, how grave the aspect looks
And rapt in awe become, Oh! I, when reading nature’s books!
Man’s life to him a problem dark, a screen both left and right,
No soul hath come to tell us what exists beyond our sight!
But then a voice, how deep and soft within ourselves is left,
Man! Man! Thou are immortal soul, thee death can never melt!
For thee they Sire on High has kept a store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art He Who wants but purest love!
Oh love Thy power and spell begin, now melt my soul to God
How can my earthly words describe that feeling soft and broad!
Enjoyment – sorrow – what but lots to which the flesh is heir,
The soul that sleeps alone concludes in them it has a share!
Ah, then; my friends no more enjoy, nor weep for all below,
The woman, wine and flesh of beasts no love on thee bestow!
But thine to love they brother man and give thyself to God,
And God doeth know your wages, this fact is true and broad!
Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er the future dream at all,
But act in times that are with thee and progress thee shall call!
But tell me not in reasoning cold, the soul is made alone,
By earth’s mechanic, lifeless rules and to destruction prone!
My god who gave us life and all, alone the soul can kill,
Or give it all the joys above His promise to fulfil!
So push they onward march o soul against an evil deed,
That stands with soldiers – hate and lust, a hero be indeed!
Maintain they post in spirit world as firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down o stand heroic man!
O saragrahi vaishnava soul, thou are an angel fair,
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan and spirit’s power declare!
There rest my soul from matter free, upon my Lover’s arms,
Eternal peace and Spirit’s love are all my chanting charms!