Strange our world
Those who suffer most
Attain to the greatest perfection
Gold is purified
In raging fire
And plants most pruned
Bear abundant fruits.
Strange that prophets
Should pray to lay down
Their lives for the love of humanity
And only the earth
That is deeply ploughed
Should bear rich and plentiful harvest.
Strange that humanity
Be bowed down
With trouble, sorrow and grief
The world be wet with tears
And messiahs suffer death to bring
Light of love and truth
In a darkened world.
Strange that mind and spirit
Of man advance
When tried by suffering
And a soldier prove his true worth
Having faced the fiercest battle
And received the deepest wounds.
Such is this mortal abode
A storehouse
Of afflictions and suffering.
The secret seems to be in transcending―
The candle burns itself away
To give light to the world;
Perhaps the glimmer of material
Is all too strong to resist.