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Written in the end of the nineteenth century, Swami Vivekananda’s poem, Kali the Mother, evokes the Night of Kali as a time of pitch darkness that blots out stars, while on every side, ‘a thousand, thousand shades of Death begrimed and black’ scatters plagues and sorrows in a mad, joyful dance. In the poet’s awesome vision, Terror is the Goddess’ name, Death is in her breath, and destruction follows every footfall. She is the relentless power of all-consuming Time.

Here goes the poem by Swami Vivekananda:

The stars are blotted out, 
The clouds are covering clouds, 
It is darkness vibrant, sonant.

In the roaring, whirling wind
Are the souls of a million lunatics
Just loose from the prison-house, 
Wrenching trees by the roots, 
Sweeping all from the path.

The sea has joined the fray, 
And swirls up mountain-waves, 
To reach the pitchy sky.
The flash of lurid light

Reveals on every side
A thousand, thousand shades
Of Death begrimed and black —
Scattering plagues and sorrows, 

Dancing mad with joy, 
Come, Mother, come! 
For Terror is Thy name, 
Death is in Thy breath, 

And every shaking step
Destroys a world for e'er.
Thou 'Time', the All-Destroyer! 
Come, O Mother, come! 

Who dares misery love, 
And hug the form of Death, 
Dance in Destruction's dance, 
To him the Mother comes.