Ceylon - the Bo Tree

P.R. Dent

Nutmegs and cinnamon, rich spices, too,
Fill the warm air with heavy fragrant breath;
The tea and coffee shrubs, of snowy hue,
Their flowerets pale, enclosed in glossy sheath;
And the proud bo-tree, with its blossoms lush,
As though with crimsoned sunset's stolen flush.

Beneath the shade of one of countless years,
Within the temple court of ruined shrine,
The sacred B6-tree still its crest uprears.
'Tis said, Prince Siddaratha did recline,
And there attained of Buddhahood the birth,
Eternal rest and peace, beyond this earth!

Pilgrims devout still worship at this shrine,
And thousands yearly to that tree repair,
Treasuring the leaves as precious and divine,
Assured some healing power still lingers there.
God's words, upspeaking through the dark cold earth,
In flowers, and shrubs, and trees, to which the Word gave birth.


This holy tree in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, is said to come from a cutting of the original Bodhi tree in India, under which the Buddha reached enlightenment.