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Littell's Living Age/Volume 150/Issue 1942/The Giver and the Taker

< Littell's Living Age‎ | Volume 150

[The following is an attempt to versify a literal translation of a poem by the Hindoo writer, Tinevaluva, who lived, it is supposed, in the third century of our era. He was remarkable for his hatred of idolatry and caste, and for his almost Christian conception of God and human duty.]

Who gives what others may not see,

    Nor counts on favor, fame, or praise,
    Shall find his smallest gift outweighs

The burden of the mighty sea.

Who gives to whom hath naught been given,

    His gift in need, though small indeed
    As is the grass blade’s wind-blown seed,

Is large as earth and rich as heaven.

Forget thou not, O man! to whom

    A gift shall fall, while yet on earth,
    Yea, even to thy sevenfold birth,

Revive it in the-lives to come!

Who, brooding, keeps a wrong in thought;

    Sins much, but greater sin is his
    Who, fed and clothed with kindnesses,

Shall count the holy aims as naught.

For he who breliks all laws may still

    In Sivam’s mercy be forgiven:
    But none can save in earth or heaven

The wretch who answers good with ill!