The Four Sights


Behind the palace walls 

stand Siddhartha safe and sound,

curious of the world,

yet to his title bound.


What lay beyond these walls?

He longed at last to see.

He knew the world wasn't limited

to bliss and luxury.


And so at last he left,

in chariot standing tall.

He wished to see the world,

so his illusions like walls might fall.


The first sight seen was so obscene,

Siddhartha's heart stood still.

There lay a shivering man a shade of green,

whom Siddhartha learned was ill. 


Next he saw a haggard man

hobbling with a cane.

This man, he learned, was merely old.

One day he too would know this pain.


What next he saw was so macabre,

it sent shivers up his spine.

There lay motionless, a pale cadaver.

This must surely be a sign.


What sign it was he did not know 

until the last sight was seen;

a mendicant wandering through the streets,

his face tranquil and serene.


Siddhartha couldn't go back to ignorance,

yet these sorrows were too great to bear.

And so, renouncing all, he became a mendicant;

he found freedom from his fear. 

This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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