Hymn of the Dying Man

Original Text: 
Romesh Chunder Dutt, Lays of Ancient India: Selections from Indian Poetry Rendered into English Verse (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1894): 81-82. British Library 2318.h.9
2   God of day! withdraw thy rays,
3And let me once more view thy splendour, --
4   View it with my closing eyes!
5Let me once more view the light,
6   The gladsome light that dwells in thee!
7Th' Almighty Light which you reflect, --
8   Th' Almighty Soul, it dwells in me!
9My breath will mingle with the air,
10   To ashes turn this mortal frame,
11Then turn, my soul, recall each deed,
12   Each action done of praise or blame.
13My hours of life are almost past,
14   And steals o'er me the hand of death,
15Then think, my soul, of actions done,
16   Ere yet I yield this fleeting breath!
18   Lead me by the righteous path,
19Let me win thy gracious blessings,
20   Let me shun thy mighty wrath!
21Lead me by the righteous path,
22   In this last momentous hour,
23Reverently I bend to Agni,


1] "From the Îsâ Upanishad." (Dutt's note.)
"The following remarkable verses are to be uttered on the death-bed. They are the last three verses of the Upanishad from which they are translated." (Dutt's note.)
Rishi ... Pushan ... Yama: "All names of the sun." (Dutt's note.) Back to Line
17] "Address to Fire, -- in reference to the rite of cremation, which is considered beneficial to the departed." (Dutt's note.) Back to Line
24] Brahman: Hindu priest. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001