Harley White

Chant Royal - Poem by Harley White

Life flashes by in a moment of time.
Late twilight's rose fades, the sweet songbirds leave.
Though we strive to remain in reasoned rhyme,
All living will die, the joyful will grieve.
What vision can guide us? What blinding sight
Could glow like a lantern to light the night?
The sages and prophets the wide world round
Still fumble in darkness, fall to the ground.
The winds of impermanence blast and blow.
Yet ages ago did the truth resound—
The daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

How swiftly we play out our pantomime!
Companions with whom on an autumn eve
We versified the moon's heavenly climb
Have vanished in silent recitative.
The tiger of death with eyes burning bright
Does roar long before we must bear its bite.
But thralled in the lust to be world-renowned
We hear not, nor heed this frightening sound.
Yet there's a chant that can death overthrow,
A single phrase in which blessings abound—
The daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

The medicine men have cures for a dime.
Specious magicians with tricks up their sleeve
To treat our afflictions each will say, ‘I'm
The wisest.' Thus they deceive the naïve,
Look down on the rest from their puffed-up height.
For prizes, awards with great appetite
Wry buffoons, erudite, all capped and gowned,
In circumlocutions their words have wound.
Yet the healing phrase not one can bestow
Is elixir medicine to be downed—
The daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Some live for adventure, hear midnight's chime;
Others in misery crave death's reprieve.
Still to waste our precious life is a crime
Or let our days meaningless matters thieve.
Gold will be gold, of great value, despite
A fool falsely weighing its worth as slight.
With profit, fool's gold, our actions are crowned.
‘We are happy, ' we say, with faces frowned.
Yet one practice gives proof that we can show,
However madly we've capered and clowned—
The daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Security, peace are benefits prime—
A fabric of cause and effect we weave.
Dimensions ageless, eternal, sublime—
All are wonders within we can achieve.
In a muddy pond the lotus pure white
Emerges from earth, as wrong turns to right.
In the sea of sufferings most are drowned,
For sadness and sorrow us humans hound.
Yet enlightenment's path is ours to know,
Where fortune upon good fortune will mound—
The daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.


To discard the shallow, seek the profound
Takes courage and faith in equal compound.
Yet water of wisdom will always flow,
If we embrace what will truly astound—
The daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

Topic(s) of this poem: wisdom

Form: Ballad

Poet's Notes about The Poem

The Chant Royal is a poetic form that is a variation of the ballad form and consists of five eleven-line stanzas with a rhyme scheme a-b-a-b-c-c-d-d-e-d-E and a five-line envoi rhyming d-d-e-d-E or a seven-line envoi c-c-d-d-e-d-E. To add to the complexity, no rhyming word is used twice. It was introduced into French poetry in the 15th century by Christine de Pizan and Charles d'Orléans and was introduced into England towards the end of the 19th century as part of a general revival of interest in French poetic forms. The complexity of the form caused William Caswell Jones to describe it as 'impractical' for common use. The Chant Royal was the most complicated form of poetry in Northern France during the 15th century, though not as complex as the sestina, which was more popular in Southern France. The form was often used for stately, or heroic subjects.

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Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam[u]) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) [entirety of existence, enlightenment and unenlightenment] permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas [which is every possible psychological wavelength] (Kyō) .

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Translations of the Meaning of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō
http: //www.dharmagateway.org/daimoku.htm

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Poem can be seen here...
http: //dharmagateway.org/index.htm
http: //dharmagateway.org/harley_poems.htm
http: //www.dharmagateway.org/poem_chant_royal.htm

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Painting ~ Franz Marc ~ The Tiger (1912)

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 21, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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