Rita And The Rifle – Mahmoud Darwish

Between Rita and my eyes 

There is a rifle 

And whoever knows Rita 

Kneels and prays 

To the divinity in those honey-colored eyes. 

And I kissed Rita 

When she was young 

And I remember how she approached 

And how my arm covered the loveliest of braids. 

And I remember Rita 

The way a sparrow remembers its stream 

Ah, Rita 

Between us there are a million sparrows and images 

And many a rendezvous 

Fired at by a rifle. 

Rita’s name was a feast in my mouth 

Rita’s body was a wedding in my blood 

And I was lost in Rita for two years 

And for two years she slept on my arm 

And we made promises 

Over the most beautiful of cups 

And we burned in the wine of our lips 

And we were born again 

Ah, Rita! 

What before this rifle could have turned my eyes from yours 

Except a nap or two or honey-colored clouds? 

Once upon a time 

Oh, the silence of dusk 

In the morning my moon migrated to a far place 

Towards those honey-colored eyes 

And the city swept away all the singers 

And Rita. 

Between Rita and my eyes— 

A rifle.

The Pigeons Fly – Mahmoud Darwish

The pigeons fly, 

the pigeons come down… 

Prepare a place for me to rest. 

I love you unto weariness, 

your morning is fruit for songs 

and this evening is precious gold 

the shadows are strong as marble. 

When I see myself, 

it is hanging upon a neck that embraces only the clouds, 

you are the air that undresses in front of me like tears of the grape, 

you are the beginning of the family of waves held by the shore. 

I love you, you are the beginning of my soul, and you are the end… 

the pigeons fly 

the pigeons come down… 

I am for my lover I am. And my lover is for his wandering star 

Sleep my love 

on you my hair braids, peace be with you… 

the pigeons fly 

the pigeons come down… 

Oh, my love, where are you taking me away from my parents, 

from my trees, small bed and from my weariness, 

from my visions, from my light, from my memories and pleasant evenings, 

from my dress and my shyness, 

where are you taking me my love, where? 

You take me, set me on fire, and then leave me 

in the vain path of the air 

that is a sin… that is a sin… 

the pigeons fly 

the pigeons come down… 

My love, I fear the silence of your hands. 

Scratch my blood so the horse can sleep. 

My love, female birds fly to you 

take me as a wife and breathe. 

My love I will stay and breasts will grow for you 

The guards take me out of your way 

my love, I will cry upon you, upon you, upon you. 

because you are die surface of my sky. 

My body is the land, 

the place for you… 

the pigeons fly 

the pigeons come down…

The Prison Cell – Mahmoud Darwish

It is possible… 

It is possible at least sometimes… 

It is possible especially now 

To ride a horse 

Inside a prison cell 

And run away… 
It is possible for prison walls 

To disappear, 

For the cell to become a distant land 

Without frontiers: 
What did you do with the walls? 

I gave them back to the rocks. 

And what did you do with the ceiling? 

I turned it into a saddle. 

And your chain? 

I turned it into a pencil. 
The prison guard got angry. 

He put an end to my dialogue. 

He said he didn’t care for poetry, 

And bolted the door of my cell. 
He came back to see me 

In the morning, 

He shouted at me: 
Where did all this water come from? 

I brought it from the Nile. 

And the trees? 

From the orchards of Damascus. 

And the music? 

From my heartbeat. 
The prison guard got mad; 

He put an end to my dialogue. 

He said he didn’t like my poetry, 

And bolted the door of my cell. 
But he returned in the evening: 
Where did this moon come from? 

From the nights of Baghdad. 

And the wine? 

From the vineyards of Algiers. 

And this freedom? 

From the chain you tied me with last night. 
The prison guard grew so sad… 

He begged me to give him back 

His freedom.

The Owl’s Night – Mahmoud Darwish

Here is a present that yesterday doesn’t touch… 

When we reached 

the last of the trees we noticed that we 

were no longer able to notice. When 

we looked at the trucks. We saw absence 

heaping up its selected things and pitching 

its eternal tent around us… 

Here is a present 

that yesterday doesn’t touch 

Silk thread slips between the mulberrry trees 

letters on the nights’s notebook. Only 

butterflies light our boldness 

descending to the hollow of strange words: 

Was this difficult man my father? 

Perhaps I’ll look after myself here. Perhaps 

I’ll give birth, now, to myself, with myself 

and choose for my name vertical letters… 

Here is a present 

sitting in time’s emptiness, staring 

at the trace of those who pas on the river’s reeds 

polishing their flutes with wind…Perhpas speech 

will become transparent, so we’ll see windows in it, open 

Perhaps time will hurry, with us 

carrying our tomorrow in its luggage… 

Here is a present 

without time 

No one here found anyone who remembered 

how we left the door, a gust of wind. Or anyone who remembered 

when we fell off yesterday. Yesterday 

shattered ove rth floor, shrapnel gathered together 

by others, like mirrors for the image, after us… 

Here is a present 

without place 

Perhaps I’ll look after myself and scream at 

the owl’s night: Was that difficult man 

my father, who would have me carry the burden of his history? 

Perhpas I’ll transform within my name and choose 

my mother’s words and habits as it should 

be: She’ll be able to joke with me 

whenever salt touches my blood. She’ll be able 

to comfort me whenever a nightingale bites my mouth! 

Here is a present 


Here strangers hung their guns on 

the branches of an olive tree, prepared dinner 

quickly from tin cans, and left 

quickly for their trucks… 

To My Mother – Mahmoud Darwish

I long for my mother’s bread 

My mother’s coffee 

Her touch 

Childhood memories grow up in me 

Day after day 

I must be worth my life 

At the hour of my death 

Worth the tears of my mother. 

And if I come back one day 

Take me as a veil to your eyelashes 

Cover my bones with the grass 

Blessed by your footsteps 

Bind us together 

With a lock of your hair 

With a thread that trails from the back of your dress 

I might become immortal 

Become a God 

If I touch the depths of your heart. 

If I come back 

Use me as wood to feed your fire 

As the clothesline on the roof of your house 

Without your blessing 

I am too weak to stand. 

I am old 

Give me back the star maps of childhood 

So that I 

Along with the swallows 

Can chart the path 

Back to your waiting nest.

We Journey Towards A Home – Mahmoud Darwish

We journey towards a home not of our flesh. Its chestnut trees are not of our bones. 

Its rocks are not like goats in the mountain hymn. The pebbles’ eyes are not lilies. 

We journey towards a home that does not halo our heads with a special sun. 

Mythical women applaud us. A sea for us, a sea against us. 

When water and wheat are not at hand, eat our love and drink our tears… 

There are mourning scarves for poets. A row of marble statues will lift our voice. 

And an urn to keep the dust of time away from our souls. Roses for us and against us. 

You have your glory, we have ours. Of our home we see only the unseen: our mystery. 

Glory is ours: a throne carried on feet torn by roads that led to every home but our own! 

The soul must recognize itself in its very soul, or die here.

For A Virgin And Child By Hans Memmelinck – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(In the Academy of Bruges) 

MYSTERY: God, man’s life, born into man 

Of woman. There abideth on her brow 

The ended pang of knowledge, the which now 

Is calm assured. Since first her task began 

She hath known all. What more of anguish than 

Endurance oft hath lived through, the whole space 

Through night till day, passed weak upon her face 

While the heard lapse of darkness slowly ran? 

All hath been told her touching her dear Son, 

And all shall be accomplished. Where He sits 

Even now, a babe, He holds the symbol fruit 

Perfect and chosen. Until God permits, 

His soul’s elect still have the absolute 

Harsh nether darkness, and make painful moan.

First Love Remembered – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

PEACE in her chamber, wheresoe’er 

It be, a holy place: 

The thought still brings my soul such grace 

As morning meadows wear. 

Whether it still be small and light, 

A maid’s who dreams alone, 

As from her orchard-gate the moon 

Its ceiling showed at night: 

Or whether, in a shadow dense 

As nuptial hymns invoke, 

Innocent maidenhood awoke 

To married innocence: 

There still the thanks unheard await 

The unconscious gift bequeathed: 

For there my soul this hour has breathed 

An air inviolate.

Dream Love – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping 

In May-time of the year, 

Among the lilies, 

Lapped in the tender light: 

White lambs come grazing, 

White doves come building there: 

And round about him 

The May-bushes are white. 
Soft moss the pillow 

For oh, a softer cheek; 

Broad leaves cast shadow 

Upon the heavy eyes: 

There wind and waters 

Grow lulled and scarcely speak; 

There twilight lingers 

The longest in the skies. 
Young Love lies dreaming; 

But who shall tell the dream? 

A perfect sunlight 

On rustling forest tips; 

Or perfect moonlight 

Upon a rippling stream; 

Or perfect silence, 

Or song of cherished lips. 
Burn odours round him 

To fill the drowsy air; 

Weave silent dances 

Around him to and fro; 

For oh, in waking 

The sights are no so fair, 

And song and silence 

Are not like these below. 
Young Love lies dreaming 

Till summer days are gone, – 

Dreaming and drowsing 

Away to perfect sleep: 

He sees the beauty 

Sun hath not looked upon, 

And tastes the fountain 

Unutterably deep. 
Him perfect music 

Doth hush unto his rest, 

And through the pauses 

The perfect silence calms: 

Oh, poor the voices 

Of earth from east to west, 

And poor earth’s stillness 

Between her stately palms. 
Young Love lies drowsing 

Away to poppied death; 

Cool shadows deepen 

Across the sleeping face: 

So fails the summer 

With warm delicious breath; 

And what hath autumn 

To give us in its place? 
Draw close the curtains 

Of branched evergreen; 

Change cannot touch them 

With fading fingers sere: 

Here first the violets 

Perhaps with bud unseen, 

And a dove, may be, 

Return to nestle here.

During Music – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

O COOL unto the sense of pain 

That last night’s sleep could not destroy; 

O warm unto the sense of joy, 

That dreams its life within the brain. 

What though I lean o’er thee to scan 

The written music cramped and stiff;— 

‘Tis dark to me, as hieroglyph 

On those weird bulks Egyptian. 

But as from those, dumb now and strange, 

A glory wanders on the earth, 

Even so thy tones can call a birth 

From these, to shake my soul with change. 

O swift, as in melodious haste 

Float o’er the keys thy fingers small; 

O soft, as is the rise and fall 

Which stirs that shade within thy breast.

Mount Liupan – Mao Zedong

The sky is high, the clouds are pale, 

We watch the wild geese vanish southward. 

If we fail to reach the Great Wall we are not men 

We who have already measured twenty thousand li 

High on the crest of Mount Liupan 

Red banners wave freely in the west wind. 

Today we hold the long cord in our hands, 

When shall we bind fast the Grey Dragon?

Snow – Mao Zedong

North country scene: 

A hundred leagues locked in ice, 

A thousand leagues of whirling snow. 

Both sides of the Great Wall 

One single white immensity. 

The Yellow River’s swift current 

Is stilled from end to end. 

The mountains dance like silver snakes 

And the highlands* charge like wax-hued elephants, 

Vying with heaven in stature. 

On a fine day, the land, 

Clad in white, adorned in red, 

Grows more enchanting. 
This land so rich in beauty 

Has made countless heroes bow in homage. 

But alas! Chin Shih-huang and Han Wu-ti 

Were lacking in literary grace, 

And Tang Tai-tsung and Sung Tai-tsu 

Had little poetry in their souls; 

And Genghis Khan, 

Proud Son of Heaven for a day, 

Knew only shooting eagles, bow outstretched 

All are past and gone! 

For truly great men 

Look to this age alone.

Reascending Chingkangshan – Mao Zedong

I have long aspired to reach for the clouds 

And I again ascend Chingkangshan. 

Coming from afar to view our old haunt, I find new scenes replacing the old. 

Everywhere orioles sing, swallows dart, 

Streams babble 

And the road mounts skyward. 

Once Huangyangchieh is passed 

No other perilous place calls for a glance. 

Wind and thunder are stirring, 

Flags and banners are flying 

Wherever men live. 

Thirty-eight years are fled 

With a mere snap of the fingers. 

We can clasp the moon in the Ninth Heaven 

And seize turtles deep down in the Five Seas: 

We’ll return amid triumphant song and laughter. 

Nothing is hard in this world 

If you dare to scale the heights.

Tapoti – Mao Zedong

Red, orange, yellow, green, 

blue, violet, indigo: 

Who is dancing with these 

rainbow colours in the sky? 

Air after rain, slanting sun: 

mountains and passes turning blue 

in each changing moment. 

Fierce battles that year: 

bullet holes in village walls. 

These mountains so decorated, 

look even more beautiful today.

Swimming – Mao Zedong

I have just drunk the waters of Changsha 

And come to eat the fish of Wuchang. 

Now I am swimming across the great Yangtze, 

Looking afar to the open sky of Chu. 

Let the wind blow and waves beat, 

Better far than idly strolling in a courtyard. 

Today I am at ease. 

‘It was by a stream that the Master said 

‘Thus do things flow away!’ ‘ 

Sails move with the wind. 

Tortoise and Snake are still. 

Great plans are afoot: 

A bridge will fly to span the north and south, 

Turning a deep chasm into a thoroughfare; 

Walls of stone will stand upstream to the west 

To hold back Wushan’s clouds and rain 

Till a smooth lake rises in the narrow gorges. 

The mountain goddess if she is still there 

Will marvel at a world so changed.

The Double Ninth – Mao Zedong

Man ages all too easily, not Nature: 

Year by year the Double Ninth returns. 

On this Double Ninth, 

The yellow blooms on the battlefield smell sweeter. 
Each year the autumn wind blows fierce, 

Unlike spring’s splendour, 

Yet surpassing spring’s splendour, 

See the endless expanse of frosty sky and water.

The Warlords Clash – Mao Zedong

Sudden veer of wind and rain 

Showering misery through the land, 

The warlords are clashing anew 

Yet another Golden Millet Dream. 

Red banners leap over the Ting River 

Straight to Lungyen and Shanghang. 

We have reclaimed part of the golden bowl 

And land is being shared out with a will.

Yellow Crane Tower – Mao Zedong

Wide, wide flow the nine streams through the land, 

Dark, dark threads the line from south to north. 

Blurred in the thick haze of the misty rain 

Tortoise and Snake hold the great river locked. 
The yellow crane is gone, who knows whither? 

Only this tower remains a haunt for visitors. 

I pledge my wine to the surging torrent, 

The tide of my heart swells with the waves.

Mistaken – Vikram Seth

I smiled at you because I thought that you 

Were someone else; you smiled back; and there grew 

Between two strangers in a library 

Something that seemes like love; but you loved me 

(If that’s the word) because you thought that I 

Was other than I was. And by and by 

We found we’d been mistaken all the while 

From that first glance, that first mistaken smile.

Distressful Homonyms – Vikram Seth

Since for me now you have no warmth to spare 

I sense I must adopt a sane and spare 
Philosophy to ease a restless state 

Fuelled by this uncaring. It will state 
A very meagre truth: love like the rest 

Of our emotions, sometimes needs a rest. 
Happiness, too, no doubt; and so, why even 

Hope that ‘the course of true love’ could run even?

How Rarely These Few Years – Vikram Seth

How rarely all these few years, as work keeps us aloof, 

Or fares, or one thing or another, 

Have we had days to spend under our parents’ roof: 

Myself my sister, and my brother. 
All five of us will die; to reckon from the past 

This flesh and blood is unforgiving. 

What’s hard is that just one of us will be the last 

To bear it all and go on living.

Round And Round – Vikram Seth

After a long and wretched flight 

That stretched from daylight into night, 

Where babies wept and tempers shattered 

And the plane lurched and whiskey splattered 

Over my plastic food, I came 

To claim my bags from Baggage Claim 
Around, the carousel went around 

The anxious travelers sought and found 

Their bags, intact or gently battered, 

But to my foolish eyes what mattered 

Was a brave suitcase, red and small, 

That circled round, not mine at all. 
I knew that bag. It must be hers. 

We hadnt met in seven years! 

And as the metal plates squealed and clattered 

My happy memories chimed and chattered. 

An old man pulled it of the Claim. 

My bags appeared: I did the same.

Morning Rain – Tu Fu

A slight rain comes, bathed in dawn light. 

I hear it among treetop leaves before mist 

Arrives. Soon it sprinkles the soil and, 

Windblown, follows clouds away. Deepened 
Colors grace thatch homes for a moment. 

Flocks and herds of things wild glisten 

Faintly. Then the scent of musk opens across 

Half a mountain — and lingers on past noon.

Restless Night – Tu Fu

As bamboo chill drifts into the bedroom, 

Moonlight fills every corner of our 

Garden. Heavy dew beads and trickles. 

Stars suddenly there, sparse, next aren’t. 
Fireflies in dark flight flash. Waking 

Waterbirds begin calling, one to another. 

All things caught between shield and sword, 

All grief empty, the clear night passes.

The Passionate Shepherd (Excerpt) – Nicholas Brenton

Who can live in heart so glad 

As the merry country lad? 

Who upon a fair green balk 

May at pleasure sit and walk, 

And amid the azure skies 

See the morning sun arise; 

While he hears in every spring 

How the birds do chirp and sing; 

Or before the hounds in cry 

See the hare go stealing by; 

Or along the shallow brook 

Angling with a baited hook, 

See the fishes leap and play 

In a blessed sunny day; 

Or to hear the partridge call 

Till she have her covey all; 

Or to see the subtle fox, 

How the villain plies the box, 

After feeding on his prey 

How he closely sneaks away 

Through the hedge and down the furrow, 

Till he gets into his burrow; 

Then the bee to gather honey, 

And the little black hair’d coney 

On a bank for sunny place 

With her forefeet wash her face: 

Are not these, with thousands moe 

Than the courts of kings do know, 

The true pleasing-spirits sights 

That may breed true love’s delights?

Eclogue IV – Virgil

Muses of Sicily, essay we now 

A somewhat loftier task! Not all men love 

Coppice or lowly tamarisk: sing we woods, 

Woods worthy of a Consul let them be. 

Now the last age by Cumae’s Sibyl sung 

Has come and gone, and the majestic roll 

Of circling centuries begins anew: 

Justice returns, returns old Saturn’s reign, 

With a new breed of men sent down from heaven. 

Only do thou, at the boy’s birth in whom 

The iron shall cease, the golden race arise, 

Befriend him, chaste Lucina; ’tis thine own 

Apollo reigns. And in thy consulate, 

This glorious age, O Pollio, shall begin, 

And the months enter on their mighty march. 

Under thy guidance, whatso tracks remain 

Of our old wickedness, once done away, 

Shall free the earth from never-ceasing fear. 

He shall receive the life of gods, and see 

Heroes with gods commingling, and himself 

Be seen of them, and with his father’s worth 

Reign o’er a world at peace. For thee, O boy, 

First shall the earth, untilled, pour freely forth 

Her childish gifts, the gadding ivy-spray 

With foxglove and Egyptian bean-flower mixed, 

And laughing-eyed acanthus. Of themselves, 

Untended, will the she-goats then bring home 

Their udders swollen with milk, while flocks afield 

Shall of the monstrous lion have no fear. 

Thy very cradle shall pour forth for thee 

Caressing flowers. The serpent too shall die, 

Die shall the treacherous poison-plant, and far 

And wide Assyrian spices spring. But soon 

As thou hast skill to read of heroes’ fame, 

And of thy father’s deeds, and inly learn 

What virtue is, the plain by slow degrees 

With waving corn-crops shall to golden grow, 

From the wild briar shall hang the blushing grape, 

And stubborn oaks sweat honey-dew. Nathless 

Yet shall there lurk within of ancient wrong 

Some traces, bidding tempt the deep with ships, 

Gird towns with walls, with furrows cleave the earth. 

Therewith a second Tiphys shall there be, 

Her hero-freight a second Argo bear; 

New wars too shall arise, and once again 

Some great Achilles to some Troy be sent. 

Then, when the mellowing years have made thee man, 

No more shall mariner sail, nor pine-tree bark 

Ply traffic on the sea, but every land 

Shall all things bear alike: the glebe no more 

Shall feel the harrow’s grip, nor vine the hook; 

The sturdy ploughman shall loose yoke from steer, 

Nor wool with varying colours learn to lie; 

But in the meadows shall the ram himself, 

Now with soft flush of purple, now with tint 

Of yellow saffron, teach his fleece to shine. 

While clothed in natural scarlet graze the lambs. 

‘Such still, such ages weave ye, as ye run,’ 

Sang to their spindles the consenting Fates 

By Destiny’s unalterable decree. 

Assume thy greatness, for the time draws nigh, 

Dear child of gods, great progeny of Jove! 

See how it totters- the world’s orbed might, 

Earth, and wide ocean, and the vault profound, 

All, see, enraptured of the coming time! 

Ah! might such length of days to me be given, 

And breath suffice me to rehearse thy deeds, 

Nor Thracian Orpheus should out-sing me then, 

Nor Linus, though his mother this, and that 

His sire should aid- Orpheus Calliope, 

And Linus fair Apollo. Nay, though Pan, 

With Arcady for judge, my claim contest, 

With Arcady for judge great Pan himself 

Should own him foiled, and from the field retire. 

Begin to greet thy mother with a smile, 

O baby-boy! ten months of weariness 

For thee she bore: O baby-boy, begin! 

For him, on whom his parents have not smiled, 

Gods deem not worthy of their board or bed.

Eclogue X – Virgil

This now, the very latest of my toils, 

Vouchsafe me, Arethusa! needs must I 

Sing a brief song to Gallus- brief, but yet 

Such as Lycoris’ self may fitly read. 

Who would not sing for Gallus? So, when thou 

Beneath Sicanian billows glidest on, 

May Doris blend no bitter wave with thine, 

Begin! The love of Gallus be our theme, 

And the shrewd pangs he suffered, while, hard by, 

The flat-nosed she-goats browse the tender brush. 

We sing not to deaf ears; no word of ours 

But the woods echo it. What groves or lawns 

Held you, ye Dryad-maidens, when for love- 

Love all unworthy of a loss so dear- 

Gallus lay dying? for neither did the slopes 

Of Pindus or Parnassus stay you then, 

No, nor Aonian Aganippe. Him 

Even the laurels and the tamarisks wept; 

For him, outstretched beneath a lonely rock, 

Wept pine-clad Maenalus, and the flinty crags 

Of cold Lycaeus. The sheep too stood around- 

Of us they feel no shame, poet divine; 

Nor of the flock be thou ashamed: even fair 

Adonis by the rivers fed his sheep- 

Came shepherd too, and swine-herd footing slow, 

And, from the winter-acorns dripping-wet 

Menalcas. All with one accord exclaim: 

‘From whence this love of thine?’ Apollo came; 

‘Gallus, art mad?’ he cried, ‘thy bosom’s care 

Another love is following.’Therewithal 

Silvanus came, with rural honours crowned; 

The flowering fennels and tall lilies shook 

Before him. Yea, and our own eyes beheld 

Pan, god of Arcady, with blood-red juice 

Of the elder-berry, and with vermilion, dyed. 

‘Wilt ever make an end?’ quoth he, ‘behold 

Love recks not aught of it: his heart no more 

With tears is sated than with streams the grass, 

Bees with the cytisus, or goats with leaves.’ 

‘Yet will ye sing, Arcadians, of my woes 

Upon your mountains,’ sadly he replied- 

‘Arcadians, that alone have skill to sing. 

O then how softly would my ashes rest, 

If of my love, one day, your flutes should tell! 

And would that I, of your own fellowship, 

Or dresser of the ripening grape had been, 

Or guardian of the flock! for surely then, 

Let Phyllis, or Amyntas, or who else, 

Bewitch me- what if swart Amyntas be? 

Dark is the violet, dark the hyacinth- 

Among the willows, ‘neath the limber vine, 

Reclining would my love have lain with me, 

Phyllis plucked garlands, or Amyntas sung. 

Here are cool springs, soft mead and grove, Lycoris; 

Here might our lives with time have worn away. 

But me mad love of the stern war-god holds 

Armed amid weapons and opposing foes. 

Whilst thou- Ah! might I but believe it not!- 

Alone without me, and from home afar, 

Look’st upon Alpine snows and frozen Rhine. 

Ah! may the frost not hurt thee, may the sharp 

And jagged ice not wound thy tender feet! 

I will depart, re-tune the songs I framed 

In verse Chalcidian to the oaten reed 

Of the Sicilian swain. Resolved am I 

In the woods, rather, with wild beasts to couch, 

And bear my doom, and character my love 

Upon the tender tree-trunks: they will grow, 

And you, my love, grow with them. And meanwhile 

I with the Nymphs will haunt Mount Maenalus, 

Or hunt the keen wild boar. No frost so cold 

But I will hem with hounds thy forest-glades, 

Parthenius. Even now, methinks, I range 

O’er rocks, through echoing groves, and joy to launch 

Cydonian arrows from a Parthian bow.- 

As if my madness could find healing thus, 

Or that god soften at a mortal’s grief! 

Now neither Hamadryads, no, nor songs 

Delight me more: ye woods, away with you! 

No pangs of ours can change him; not though we 

In the mid-frost should drink of Hebrus’ stream, 

And in wet winters face Sithonian snows, 

Or, when the bark of the tall elm-tree bole 

Of drought is dying, should, under Cancer’s Sign, 

In Aethiopian deserts drive our flocks. 

Love conquers all things; yield we too to love!’ 

These songs, Pierian Maids, shall it suffice 

Your poet to have sung, the while he sat, 

And of slim mallow wove a basket fine: 

To Gallus ye will magnify their worth, 

Gallus, for whom my love grows hour by hour, 

As the green alder shoots in early Spring. 

Come, let us rise: the shade is wont to be 

Baneful to singers; baneful is the shade 

Cast by the juniper, crops sicken too 

In shade. Now homeward, having fed your fill- 

Eve’s star is rising-go, my she-goats, go

The Aeneid, Book I – Virgil

Arms and the man I sing

Arms and the man I sing, who, forced by fate 

And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate, 

Expelled and exiled, left the Trojan shore. 

Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore; 

And in the doubtful war, before he won 

The Latin realm and built the destined town, 

His banished gods restored to rights divine, 

And settled sure succession in his line; 

From whence the race of Alban fathers come, 

And the long glories of majestic Rome. 

O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate,— 

What goddess was provok’d, and whence her hate; 

For what offense the Queen of Heav’n began 

To persecute so brave, so just a man; 

Involv’d his anxious life in endless cares, 

Expos’d to wants, and hurried into wars! 

Can heav’nly minds such high resentment show, 

Or exercise their spite in human woe? 

Against the Tiber’s mouth, but far away, 

An ancient town was seated on the sea,— 

A Tyrian colony; the people made 

Stout for the war, and studious of their trade: 

Carthage the name; belov’d by Juno more 

Than her own Argos, or the Samian shore. 

Here stood her chariot; here, if Heav’n were kind, 

The seat of awful empire she design’d. 

Yet she had heard an ancient rumor fly, 

(Long cited by the people of the sky,) 

That times to come should see the Trojan race 

Her Carthage ruin, and her tow’rs deface; 

Nor thus confin’d, the yoke of sov’reign sway 

Should on the necks of all the nations lay. 

She ponder’d this, and fear’d it was in fate; 

Nor could forget the war she wag’d of late 

For conqu’ring Greece against the Trojan state. 

Besides, long causes working in her mind, 

And secret seeds of envy, lay behind; 

Deep graven in her heart the doom remain’d 

Of partial Paris, and her form disdain’d; 

The grace bestow’d on ravish’d Ganymed, 

Electra’s glories, and her injur’d bed. 

Each was a cause alone; and all combin’d 

To kindle vengeance in her haughty mind. 

For this, far distant from the Latian coast 

She drove the remnants of the Trojan host; 

And sev’n long years th’ unhappy wand’ring train 

Were toss’d by storms, and scatter’d thro’ the main. 

Such time, such toil, requir’d the Roman name, 

Such length of labor for so vast a frame. 

Now scarce the Trojan fleet with sails and oars 

Had left behind the fair Sicilian shores, 

Entering with cheerful shouts the watery reign, 

And plowing frothy furrows in the main, 

When, laboring still, with endless discontent 

The Queen of Heaven did thus her fury vent:— 

“Then am I vanquished? must I yield?” said she, 

“And must the Trojans reign in Italy?” 

So Fate will have it, and Jove adds his force; 

Nor can my power divert their happy course. 

Could angry Pallas, with revengeful spleen, 

The Grecian navy burn and drown the men? 

She, for the fault of one offending foe, 

The bolts of Jove himself presumed to throw; 

With whirlwinds from beneath she tossed the ship 

And bare exposed the bosom of the deep: 

Then, as an eagle gripes the trembling game, 

The wretch , yet hissing with her father’s flame, 

She strongly seized, and with a burning wound, 

Transfixed and naked, on a rock she bound. 

But I, who walked in awful state above, 

The majesty of heaven, the sister-wife of Jove, 

For length of years my fruitless force employ 

Against the thin remains of ruined Troy. 

What nations now to Juno’s power will pray, 

Or offerings on my slighted altars lay?”

First Georgic [Excerpt] – Virgil

When spring begins and the ice-locked streams begin 

To flow down from the snowy hills above 

And the clods begin to crumble in the breeze, 

The time has come for my groaning ox to drag 

My heavy plow across the fields, so that 

The plow blade shines as the furrow rubs against it. 

Not till the earth has been twice plowed, so twice 

Exposed to sun and twice to coolness will 

It yield what the farmer prays for; then will the barn 

Be full to bursting with the gathered grain, 

And yet if the field’s unknown and new to us, 

Before our plow breaks open the soil at all, 

It’s necessary to study the ways of the winds 

And the changing ways of the skies, and also to know 

The history of the planting in that ground, 

What crops will prosper there and what will not. 

In one place grain grows best, in another, vines; 

Another’s good for the cultivation of trees; 

In still another the grain turns green unbidden.

Dawn – Federico García Lorca

Dawn in New York has 

four columns of mire 

and a hurricane of black pigeons 

splashing in the putrid waters. 
Dawn in New York groans 

on enormous fire escapes 

searching between the angles 

for spikenards of drafted anguish. 
Dawn arrives and no one receives it in his mouth 

because morning and hope are impossible there: 

sometimes the furious swarming coins 

penetrate like drills and devour abandoned children. 
Those who go out early know in their bones 

there will be no paradise or loves that bloom and die: 

they know they will be mired in numbers and laws, 

in mindless games, in fruitless labors. 
The light is buried under chains and noises 

in the impudent challenge of rootless science. 

And crowds stagger sleeplessly through the boroughs 

as if they had just escaped a shipwreck of blood.

Gacela Of The Dead Child – Federico García Lorca

Each afternoon in Granada, 

each afternoon, a child dies. 

Each afternoon the water sits down 

and chats with its companions. 
The dead wear mossy wings. 

The cloudy wind and the clear wind 

are two pheasants in flight through the towers, 

and the day is a wounded boy. 
Not a flicker of lark was left in the air 

when I met you in the caverns of wine. 

Not the crumb of a cloud was left in the ground 

when you were drowned in the river. 
A giant of water fell down over the hills, 

and the valley was tumbling with lilies and dogs. 

In my hands’ violet shadow, your body, 

dead on the bank, was an angel of coldness.

City That Does Not Sleep -Federico García Lorca

In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody. 

Nobody is asleep. 

The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins. 

The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream, 

and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the 

street corner 

the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the 

Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody. 

Nobody is asleep. 

In a graveyard far off there is a corpse 

who has moaned for three years 

because of a dry countryside on his knee; 

and that boy they buried this morning cried so much 

it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet. 
Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful! 

We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth 

or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead 


But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist; 

flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths 

in a thicket of new veins, 

and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever 

and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders. 
One day 

the horses will live in the saloons 

and the enraged ants 

will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the 

eyes of cows. 
Another day 

we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead 

and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats 

we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue. 

Careful! Be careful! Be careful! 

The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm, 

and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention 

of the bridge, 

or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe, 

we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes 

are waiting, 

where the bear’s teeth are waiting, 

where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting, 

and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder. 
Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody. 

Nobody is sleeping. 

If someone does close his eyes, 

a whip, boys, a whip! 

Let there be a landscape of open eyes 

and bitter wounds on fire. 

No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one. 

I have said it before. 
No one is sleeping. 

But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the 


open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight 

the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Landscape Of A Vomiting Multitude – Federico García Lorca

The fat lady came out first, 

tearing out roots and moistening drumskins. 

The fat lady 

who turns dying octopuses inside out. 

The fat lady, the moon’s antagonist, 

was running through the streets and deserted buildings 

and leaving tiny skulls of pigeons in the corners 

and stirring up the furies of the last centuries’ feasts 

and summoning the demon of bread through the sky’s clean-swept hills 

and filtering a longing for light into subterranean tunnels. 

The graveyards, yes the graveyards 

and the sorrow of the kitchens buried in sand, 

the dead, pheasants and apples of another era, 

pushing it into our throat. 
There were murmuring from the jungle of vomit 

with the empty women, with hot wax children, 

with fermented trees and tireless waiters 

who serve platters of salt beneath harps of saliva. 

There’s no other way, my son, vomit! There’s no other way. 

It’s not the vomit of hussars on the breasts of their whores, 

nor the vomit of cats that inadvertently swallowed frogs,

but the dead who scratch with clay hands 

on flint gates where clouds and desserts decay. 
The fat lady came first 

with the crowds from the ships, taverns, and parks. 

Vomit was delicately shaking its drums 

among a few little girls of blood 

who were begging the moon for protection. 

Who could imagine my sadness? 

The look on my face was mine, but now isn’t me, 

the naked look on my face, trembling for alcohol 

and launching incredible ships 

through the anemones of the piers. 

I protect myself with this look 

that flows from waves where no dawn would go, 

I, poet without arms, lost 

in the vomiting multitude, 

with no effusive horse to shear 

the thick moss from my temples. 
The fat lady went first 

and the crowds kept looking for pharmacies 

where the bitter tropics could be found. 

Only when a flag went up and the first dogs arrived 

did the entire city rush to the railings of the boardwalk.

Sonnet Of The Sweet Complaint – Federico García Lorca

Never let me lose the marvel 

of your statue-like eyes, or the accent 

the solitary rose of your breath 

places on my cheek at night. 
I am afraid of being, on this shore, 

a branchless trunk, and what I most regret 

is having no flower, pulp, or clay 

for the worm of my despair. 
If you are my hidden treasure, 

if you are my cross, my dampened pain, 

if I am a dog, and you alone my master, 
never let me lose what I have gained, 

and adorn the branches of your river 

with leaves of my estranged Autumn.

The Little Mute Boy – Federico García Lorca

The litle boy was looking for his voice. 

(The King of the crickets had it.) 

In a drop of water 

the little boy was looking for his voice. 
I do not want it for speaking with; 

I will make a ring of it 

so that he may wear my silence 

on his little finger. 
In a drop of water 

the little boy was looking for his voice. 
(The captive voice, far away. 

Put on a cricket’ clothes.)

Jindagi Yo Phoolai – Anju Panta 

(jindagi yo phoolai 

phoolko thungo hudaina) 2 

fakrine ra oilaauneko 

tungo hudaina 

phoolko thungo hudaina 

(jindagi ko phoolai 

phoolko thungo hudaina) 2 
(rokda rokdai aasuharu 

katai pokhinchha) 2 

(hid-da hid-dai jindagaani 

katai thokinchha) 2 

jindagi yo sadhai 

ghaamko jhulko hudaina 

jhulkine ra astaaune 

(tungo hudaina) 2 

jindagi ko phoolai 

phoolko thungo hudaina 
(kahile kaahi achaano maa 

tukryaainchha man) 2 

(kahile haadai hatkelamaa 

chadhaainchha jeevan) 2 

(jindagaani soche jasto 

mitho hudaina) 2 

sabai ghaau chhati bhitra 

niko hudaina niko hudaina 
jindagi ko phoolai 

phoolko thungo hudaina

The Faithless Wife – Federico García Lorca

So I took her to the river 

believing she was a maiden, 

but she already had a husband. 

It was on St. James night 

and almost as if I was obliged to. 

The lanterns went out 

and the crickets lighted up. 

In the farthest street corners 

I touched her sleeping breasts 

and they opened to me suddenly 

like spikes of hyacinth. 

The starch of her petticoat 

sounded in my ears 

like a piece of silk 

rent by ten knives. 

Without silver light on their foliage 

the trees had grown larger 

and a horizon of dogs 

barked very far from the river. 
Past the blackberries, 

the reeds and the hawthorne 

underneath her cluster of hair 

I made a hollow in the earth 

I took off my tie, 

she too off her dress. 

I, my belt with the revolver, 

She, her four bodices. 

Nor nard nor mother-o’-pearl 

have skin so fine, 

nor does glass with silver 

shine with such brilliance. 

Her thighs slipped away from me 

like startled fish, 

half full of fire, 

half full of cold. 

That night I ran 

on the best of roads 

mounted on a nacre mare 

without bridle stirrups. 
As a man, I won’t repeat 

the things she said to me. 

The light of understanding 

has made me more discreet. 

Smeared with sand and kisses 

I took her away from the river. 

The swords of the lilies 

battled with the air. 
I behaved like what I am, 

like a proper gypsy. 

I gave her a large sewing basket, 

of straw-colored satin, 

but I did not fall in love 

for although she had a husband 

she told me she was a maiden 

when I took her to the river.

Train Ride – Federico García Lorca

After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan 

of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot 

of a larger arc into the green of evening; 

I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud 

still white; though dead in its warm bloom; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

And I wondered what surgery could recover 

our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure 

which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile 

not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused. 

We, when we disperse from common sleep to several 

tasks, we gather to despair; we, who assembled 

once for hopes from common toil to dreams 

or sickish and hurting or triumphal rapture; 

always our enemy is our foe at home. 

We, deafened with far scattered city rattles 

to the hubbub of forest birds (never having 

‘had time’ to grieve or to hear through vivid sleep 

the sea knock on its cracked and hollow stones) 

so that the stars, almost, and birds comply, 

and the garden-wet; the trees retire; We are 

a scared patrol, fearing the guns behind; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

What wonder that we fear our own eyes’ look 

and fidget to be at home alone, and pitifully 

put of age by some change in brushing the hair 

and stumble to our ends like smothered runners at their tape; 

We follow our shreds of fame into an ambush. 

Then (as while the stars herd to the great trough 

the blind, in the always-only-outward of their dismantled

archways, awake at the smell of warmed stone 

or the sound of reeds, lifting from the dim 

into the segment of green dawn) always 

our enemy is our foe at home, more 

certainly than through spoken words or from grief- 

twisted writing on paper, unblotted by tears 

the thought came: 

There is no physic 

for the world’s ill, nor surgery; it must 

(hot smell of tar on wet salt air) 

burn in fever forever, an incense pierced 

with arrows, whose name is Love and another name 

Rebellion (the twinge, the gulf, split seconds, 

the very raindrops, render, and instancy 

of Love). 

All Poetry to this not-to-be-looked-upon sun 

of Passion is the moon’s cupped light; all 

Politics to this moon, a moon’s reflected 

cupped light, like the moon of Rome, after 

the deep well of Grecian light sank low; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

But these three are friends whose arms twine 

without words; as, in still air, 

the great grove leans to wind, past and to come.

Wheat –  Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘Sowin’ things an’ growin’ things, an’ watchin’ of ’em grow; 

That’s the game,’ my father said, an’ father ought to know. 

‘Settin’ things an’ gettin’ things to grow for folks to eat: 

That’s the life,’ my father said, ‘that’s very hard to beat.’ 

For my father was a farmer, as his father was before, 

Just sowin’ things an’ growin’ things in far-off days of yore, 

In the far-off land of England, till my father found his feet 

In the new land, in the true land, where he took to growin’ wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Oh, the sound of it is sweet! 

I’ve been praisin’ it an’ raisin’ it in rain an’ wind an’ heat 

Since the time I learned to toddle, till it’s beatin’ in my noddle, 

Is the little song I’m singin’ you of Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Plantin’ things —- an’ grantin’ things is goin’ as they should, 

An’ the weather altogether is behavin’ pretty good —- 

Is a pleasure in a measure for a man that likes the game, 

An’ my father he would rather raise a crop than make a name. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ ‘All fame,’ he said, ‘ain’t reel; 

An’ the same it isn’t fillin’ when you’re wantin’ for a meal.’ 

So I’m followin’ his footsteps, an’ a-keepin’ of my feet, 

While I cater for the nation with my Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! When the poets all are beat 

By the reason that the season for the verse crop is a cheat, 

Then I comes up bright an’ grinnin’ with the knowledge that I’m winnin’, 

With the rhythm of my harvester an’ Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Readin’ things an’ heedin’ things that clever fellers give,

An’ ponderin’ an’ wonderin’ why we was meant to live —- 

Muddlin’ through an’ fuddlin’ through philosophy an’ such 

Is a game I never took to, an’ it doesn’t matter much. 

For my father was a farmer, as I might ‘a’ said before, 

An’ the sum of his philosophy was, ‘Grow a little more. 

For growin’ things,’ my father said, ‘it makes life sort o’ sweet 

An’ your conscience never swats you if your game is growin’ wheat.’ 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Oh, the people have to eat! 

An’ you’re servin’, an’ deservin’ of a velvet-cushion seat

In the cocky-farmers’ heaven when you come to throw a seven; 

An’ your password at the portal will be, ‘Wheat, Wheat, Wheat.’ 
Now, the preacher an’ the teacher have a callin’ that is high 

While they’re spoutin’ to the doubtin’ of the happy by an’ by; 

But I’m sayin’ that the prayin’ it is better for their souls 

When they’ve plenty wheat inside ’em in the shape of penny rolls. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit an’ grieve

When he thought about the apple that old Adam got from Eve. 

It was foolin’ with an orchard where the serpent got ’em beat, 

An’ they might ‘a’ kept the homestead if they’d simply stuck to wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! If you’re seekin’ to defeat 

Care an’ worry in the hurry of the crowded city street, 

Leave the hustle all behind you; come an’ let contentment find you 

In a cosy little cabin lyin’ snug among the wheat. 
In the city, more’s the pity, thousands live an’ thousands die 

Never carin’, never sparin’ pains that fruits may multiply; 

Breathin’, livin’, never givin’; greedy but to have an’ take, 

Dyin’ with no day behind ’em lived for fellow-mortals’ sake. 

Now my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit and laugh 

At the ‘fools o’ life,’ he called ’em, livin’ on the other half.

Dyin’ lonely, missin’ only that one joy that makes life sweet —- 

Just the joy of useful labour, such as comes of growin’ wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Let the foolish scheme an’ cheat; 

But I’d rather, like my father, when viv span o’ life’s complete, 

Feel I’d lived by helpid others; earned the right to call ’em brothers 

Who had gained while I was gainin’ from God’s earth His gift of wheat. 
When the settin’ sun is gettin’ low above the western hills, 

When the creepin’ shadows deepen, and a peace the whole land fills, 

Then I often sort o’ soften with a feelin’ like content, 

An’ I feel like thankin’ Heaven for a day in labour spent. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit an’ smile,

Realizin’ he was wealthy in what makes a life worth while. 

Smilin’, he has told me often, ‘After all the toil an’ heat, 

Lad, he’s paid in more than silver who has grown one field of wheat.’ 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! When it comes my turn to meet 

Death the Reaper, an’ the Keeper of the Judgment Book I greet, 

Then I’ll face ’em sort o’ calmer with the solace of the farmer 

That he’s fed a million brothers with his Wheat, Wheat, Wheat.

Youth Revisited – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Can this be the old town of wheat-teams and saddle-hacks, 

Of Ted Toll’s smithy, with the anvil ringing clear, 

Of stacks in the station yard, and stockmen, and farming hands, 

Of bow-legged bound’ry riders coming in for beer 

This strange, new, brisk town of sweet-shops and petrol pumps 

Petrol pumps with motor cars dashing up and down? 

Yet there stands the old church, the bluestone baker’s shop, 

And the queer, shrunken houses of my old home town. 
What has become of him – Little Johnny Parkinson? 

Little Johnny Parkinson out upon a bust 

The long red beard of him, the red-rimmed eyes of him;

Red from the harvest field and winnower dust. 

Five foot two of him – Little Johnny Parkinson, 

Driving in his wheat team, down the dusty street; 

Red beard, red eyes, red bandana neckerchief 

Little Johnny Parkinson, who took his whiskey neat. 
What has become of him – Big Jack Herringford? 

Big Jack Herringford, champion of the stacks, 

Where the lumpers, laboring, climbed the crazy wooden ways 

One, two, three hundred pounds upon their backs. 

Big Jack Herringford, soft-hearted Hercules, 

Went to the West land and won a fortune there. 

Was the gold a bension to Big Jack Herringford? 

Does anybody know, or does anybody care? 
What has become of him – Black Tom Boliver? 

Black Tom, Dude Tom, of the shearing shed 

The bold, black eyes of him, the well-oiled curls of him, 

The cabbage-tree hat well back upon his head. 

What has become of them, all the men I used to know?

Only one I recognise of all men there; 

But one has a smile for me – schoolmate Jimmy Tomlinson 

Laughing Jimmy Tomlinson, with snow-white hair.

Winter – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Winter comes; and our complaints 

Grow apace as summer faints, 

Waning days grow dull and drear, 

Something tells, too well, I fear, 

That I’ve found a germ or two; 

Something seems – ee! – ah! Tish-OO. 
Subthig certigly does tell 

That I’b very far frob weel. 

Ad I’b cadging cold, I fear 

As the wading days grow near, 

Winter cubs; ad our complades 

Grow apace as subber fades.

कुनै बाटोमा तिमी – प्रकाश सायमी     

कुनै बाटोमा तिमी एक्लै

कुनै बाटोमा म एक्लै

आकाश त एउटै छ हाम्रो

तर धर्ती बेग्लाबेग्लै

तिमी नदी भई बग्छौ

म पहाड भई छेकिन्छु

तिमी पहाड हुँदा

म मैदानमै रोकिन्छु

अस्ताइरहेछ घाम-जून

साँझ बिहान एक्लैएक्लै
उच्छ्वासहरु उठेका

शून्य निस्तब्ध पथमा

हिँडिरहेछ जीवन

चक्कै छुटेको रथमा

पुग्छौँ कहाँ कहाँ खै

छलेर आफैलाई
पत्थरको चोट भन्दा

नमिठो एक्लोपन छ

साथी छुटेर यात्रा

दुखिरहेको मन छ

कहाँ थियो म जानु

फर्कें कहाँ म एक्लै
आकाश त एउटै छ हाम्रो

तर धर्ती बेग्लाबेग्लै

शकुन्तला नम्बर दुइ – प्रकाश सायमी    

तिलस्मी दाँतलाईकृत्रिम माजनले चमक दिएर

एक अस्वभाविक मुस्कानकासाथ

फोसिल उडेको बेल्जियमी ऐनामा

आफ्नो अनुहारको भूगोल हेर्दै

हठात् अाजलीले आफ्नो हराएको औंठी सम्झी

त्यो औंठी

उनले पोखरीमा कतै पोखरामा हराएकी थिई

मनमा उत्ताल पोखरीहरु पौडिरहेको बेला

अाजली त्यो औंठीसित खेल्थी र भन्थी-

म कदापि शकुन्तला बन्न चाहन्नँ ।

समयले उनलाई

आज शकुन्तलाको अर्को रुप दिएको छ

औठी हराएकी शकुन्तला

स्वर वर्णमालाको पहिलो अक्षरमा नाम धारण गरेकी


कक्षा कोठामा

क्लास टीचरले हाजिरीकापी

पल्टाउने बित्तिक्कै उठ्थी

र ऊ बस्दा

अरु उठ्ने क्रममा हुन्थे


कक्षा कोठामा उनी रोलनम्बर एक थिई

र त्यो नै तिनको परिचय थियो

आज इतिहासले

तिनलाई रोलनम्बर दुई बनाइदिएको छ ।
नजीर भन्छ –

ऊ गाउनको लागि होइन

ऊ गुन्गुनाउनको लागि जन्मिएकी हो

सँधै ऊ बिहानीमा घिमिरेको हिमालकी छोरी बन्थी

तर समय सरगमले

आज उनलाई

गीतमा होइन गणितमा अल्झाइदिएको छ ।

Uncle Jim – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘Give me a man wiv grit,’ sez Uncle Jim. 

‘E bores ‘is cute ole eyes right into me, 

While I stares ‘ard an’ gives it back to ‘im. 

Then orl at once ‘e grips me ‘and in ‘is: 

‘Some’ow,’ ‘e sez, ‘I likes yer ugly phiz.’ 
‘You got a look,’ ‘e sez, ‘like you could stay; 

Altho’ yeh mauls King’s English when yeh yaps, 

An’ ‘angs flash frills on ev’rythink yeh say. 

I ain’t no grammarist meself, per’aps, 

But langwidge is a ‘elp, I owns,’ sez Unk, 

‘When things is goin’ crook.’ An’ ‘ere ‘e wunk. 
‘Yeh’ll find it tough,’ ‘e sez, ‘to knuckle down. 

Good farmin’ is a gift—like spoutin’ slang. 

Yeh’ll ‘ave to cut the luxuries o’ town, 

An’ chuck the manners of this back-street gang; 

Fer country life ain’t cigarettes and beer.’ 

‘I’m game,’ I sez. Sez Uncle, ‘Put it ‘ere!’ 
Like that I took the plunge, an’ slung the game. 

I’ve parted wiv them joys I ‘eld most dear; 

I’ve sent the leery bloke that bore me name 

Clean to the pack wivout one pearly tear; 

An’ frum the ashes of a ne’er-do-well 

A bloomin’ farmer’s blossomin’ like ‘ell. 
Farmer! That’s me! Wiv this ‘ere strong right ‘and 

I’ve gripped the plough; and blistered jist a treat. 

Doreen an’ me ‘as gone upon the land. 

Yours truly fer the burden an’ the ‘eat! 

Yours truly fer upendin’ chunks o’ soil! 

The ‘ealthy, ‘ardy, ‘appy son o’ toil! 
I owns I’ve ‘ankered fer me former joys; 

I’ve ‘ad me hours o’ broodin’ on me woes; 

I’ve missed the comp’ny, an’ I’ve missed the noise, 

The football matches an’ the picter shows. 

I’ve missed—but, say, it makes me feel fair mean 

To whip the cat; an’ then see my Doreen. 
To see the colour comin’ in ‘er cheeks, 

To see ‘er eyes grow brighter day be day, 

The new, glad way she looks an’ laughs an’ speaks 

Is worf ten times the things I’ve chucked away. 

An’ there’s a secret, whispered in the dark, 

‘As made me ‘eart sing like a flamin’ lark. 
Jist let me tell yeh ‘ow it come about. 

The things that I’ve been thro’ ‘ud fill a book. 

Right frum me birf Fate played to knock me out; 

The ‘and that I ‘ad dealt to me was crook! 

Then comes Doreen, an’ patches up me parst; 

Now Forchin’s come to bunk wiv me at larst. 
First orf, one night poor Mar gits suddin fits, 

An’ floats wivout the time to wave ‘good-byes.’ 

Doreen is orl broke up the day she flits; 

It tears me ‘eart in two the way she cries. 

To see ‘er grief, it almost made me glad 

I never knowed the mar I must ‘ave ‘ad. 
We done poor Muvver proud when she went out 

A slap-up send-orf, trimmed wiv tears an’ crape. 

An’ then fer weeks Doreen she mopes about, 

An’ life takes on a gloomy sorter shape. 

I watch ‘er face git pale, ‘er eyes grow dim; 

Till—like some ‘airy angel—comes ole Jim. 
A cherub togged in sunburn an’ a beard 

An’ duds that shouted ”Ayseed!’ fer a mile: 

Care took the count the minute ‘e appeared, 

An’ sorrer shrivelled up before ‘is smile, 

‘E got the ‘ammer-lock on my good-will 

The minute that ‘e sez, ‘So, this is Bill.’ 
It’s got me beat. Doreen’s late Par, some way, 

Was second cousin to ‘is bruvver’s wife. 

Somethin’ like that. In less than ‘arf a day 

It seemed ‘e’d been my uncle orl me life. 

‘E takes me ‘and: ‘I dunno ‘ow it is,’ 

‘E sez, ‘but, lad, I likes that ugly phiz.’ 
An’ when ‘e’d stayed wiv us a little while 

The ‘ouse begun to look like ‘ome once more. 

Doreen she brightens up beneath ‘is smile, 

An’ ‘ugs ‘im till I kids I’m gettin’ sore. 

Then, late one night, ‘e opens up ‘is scheme, 

An’ passes me wot looks like some fond dream. 
‘E ‘as a little fruit-farm, doin’ well; 

‘E saved a tidy bit to see ‘im thro’; 

‘E’s gittin’ old fer toil, an’ wants a spell; 

An’ ‘ere’s a ‘ome jist waitin’ fer us two. 

‘It’s ‘ers an’ yours fer keeps when I am gone,’ 

Sez Uncle Jim. ‘Lad, will yeh take it on?’ 
So that’s the strength of it. An’ ‘ere’s me now 

A flamin’ berry farmer, full o’ toil; 

Playin’ joo-jitsoo wiv an’ ‘orse an’ plough, 

An’ coaxin’ fancy tucker frum the soil, 

An’ longin’, while I wrestles with the rake, 

Fer days when me poor back fergits to ache. 
Me days an’ nights is full of schemes an’ plans 

To figger profits an’ cut out the loss; 

An’ when the pickin’s on, I ‘ave me ‘an’s 

To take me orders while I act the boss; 

It’s sorter sweet to ‘ave the right to rouse…. 

An’ my Doreen’s the lady of the ‘ouse. 
To see ‘er bustlin’ ’round about the place, 

Full of the simple joy o’ doin’ things, 

That thoughtful, ‘appy look upon ‘er face, 

That ‘ope an’ peace an’ pride o’ labour brings, 

Is worth the crowd of joys I knoo one time, 

An’ makes regrettin’ ’em seem like a crime. 
An’ ev’ry little while ole Uncle Jim 

Comes up to stay a bit an’ pass a tip. 

It gives us ‘eart jist fer to look at ‘im, 

An’ feel the friendship in ‘is warm ‘and-grip. 

‘Im, wiv the sunburn on ‘is kind ole dile; 

‘Im, wiv the sunbeams in ‘is sweet ole smile. 
‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘But that there ugly mug o’ yourn I trust.’ 

An’ so I reckon that it’s up to me 

To make a bloomin’ do of it or bust. 

I got to take the back-ache wiv the rest, 

An’ plug along, an’ do me little best. 
Luck ain’t no steady visitor, I know; 

But now an’ then it calls—fer look at me! 

You wouldn’t take me, ’bout a year ago, 

Free gratis wiv a shillin’ pound o’ tea; 

Then, in a blessed leap, ole Forchin lands 

A missus an’ a farm fair in me ‘ands.

War Song – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Sing a song o’ Hempire 

Mother’s took a fit, 

Nasty Germans buildin’ ships, 

An’ never mentioned it. 

Buildin’ beastly warships, 

Quite a tidy few; 

Mother’s got an awful start 

Baby’s got it too. 
The King was in the Customs House, 

But couldn’t find a penny ; 

The Lords were at their country seats 

And didn’t offer any; 

A millyun paupers mooned about 

With nothin’ much to eat, 

When down comes Australyer 

With a Dreadnought fer the fleet. 

Sing a song o’ Warships, 

‘Orrid ole Bulow, 

Layin’ down ‘is Dreadnoughts 

An’ didn’t let us know 

Didn’t advertise it, 

Till the Cablegram 

Spread the awful tidings 

An’ the Empire shouted, ‘Damn!’ 
Sing a song o’ Hempire, 

Mother’s up a tree; 

But the Melbourne Stock exchange 

‘As swore to set ‘er free. 

Does the German caitiff 

Build upon the sly? 

Then seventeen suburban may’rs 

Will know the reason why! 
Seventeen suburban may’rs 

Of the Bulldog Breed 

Fly to succor Hingland 

In her hour of need. 

What of ‘Constant Reader’? 

‘Pro Bono Publico’? 

Will ‘Subscriber’ see old Hingland 

Flabbergasted? No!! 
A reeiy, trooly battleship, 

With guns an’ things galore, 

And splendid sails of calico 

From MacMillan’s store 

The Stock Exchange will float it 

On a sea of gush. 

Wot’s two millyun quid to us? 

We don’t care a rush! 
(But – whisper – little mother, 

If, later on, some day, 

We want ter sorter float a loan, 

To ‘elp us on our way 

Borrer of it back, like 

After wot ‘as passed, 

Don’t you go an’ crool our pitch, 

Like you did the last.) 
Sing a song o’ Britain’s fleet 

(‘Ow the Tories raged!) 

That’s goin’ to guard Australyer 

(If not otherwise engaged). 

Sing of ‘Umpty Dumpty 

‘Im that ‘ad the fall. 

Rob Australian Peter 

To pay old Hinglish Paul. 
Sing o’ topsy-turvey; 

Sing of inside-out, 

Of back-to-front and upside-down 

An’ t’other way about. 

Spend ten bloomin’ millyun, 

Buy yer ships galore, 

An’ send them all to Hingland 

To guard Australyer’s shore. 
Sing a song o’ Hempire! 

We’ve got ter guard ‘the heart.’ 

If it gets a limb lopped off, 

That ain’t a vital part. 

Learn ter think Imperially 

Shriek with courage grim 

Fer ‘the heart’ must be protected 

Tho’ it’s tough if we’re the limb.

To A Dead Mate  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

There’s many a man who rides today 

In the lonely, far out-back; 

There’s many a man who makes his way 

On a dusty bushland track; 

There’s many a man in bush and town 

Who mourns for a good mate gone; 

There are eyes grown sad and heads cast down 

Since Henry has passed on. 
A mate he was, and a mate to love, 

For mateship was his creed: 

With a strong, true heart and a soul above 

This sad world’s sordid greed. 

He lived as a mate, and wrote as a mate 

Of the things which he believed. 

Now many a good man mourns his fate, 

And he leaves a nation grieved. 
True champion he of the lame and halt: 

True knight of the poor was he, 

Who could e’er excuse a brother’s fault 

With a ready sympathy. 

He suffered much, and much he toiled, 

With his hand e’er for the right: 

And he dreamed and planned while the billy boiled 

In the bushland camp at night. 
Joe Wilson and his mates are sad, 

And the tears of bushwives fall, 

For the kindly heart that Henry had 

Had made him loved of all. 

There’s many a man who rides today, 

Cast down and sore oppressed; 

And thro’ the land I hear them say: 

‘Pass, Henry, to your rest.’

Wanderers Lost  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Oh, we are the phantoms of rovers lost 

See how the mocking mirages play! 

Men who have ventured and paid the cost. 

Lone, waiting women, ’tis vain to pray! 

We dies unshriven, as rovers die, 

And no man knows where our white bones lie. 

Black birds gather when rovers stray, 

Out where the mocking mirages play. 
A maiden has waited a long year thro’. 

Mark where a crow from the northward flies! 

‘Ah, can he be false that had sworn so true?’ 

They say that a wanderer woos with lies. 

A maiden has waited and counted the days, 

Since a lover went roving the northward ways. 

What do they profit – unheeded sighs? 

Mark where a crow from the northward flies! 
Out in the desert a still thing lies. 

Westward the sun is sinking low. 

Who is to mourn when a rover dies? 

Hark! ‘Tis the caw of a sated crow. 

Who is to tell of a mad’ning thrist 

Of a lonely death in a land accurst? 

Merciful God! Is she ne’er to know? 

(Hark to the caw of a sated crow.) 
Oh, we are the legion that never came back 

Ever have rovers to count the cost. 

Men who went out on the waterless track. 

Curst is the plain that was ne’er recross’d! 

Restless to roam o’er the desert our doom, 

Till our end shall be known and our bones find a tomb. 

Mourn for the souls of wanderers lost, 

Ever have rovers to count the cost.

विचाराधीन – प्रकाश सायमी 

यो समयकेवल मेरो हृदय जान्दछ

म किन घर फर्किन चाहन्छु ?
यतिबेला विस्तारपूर्वक

भन्नुको अर्थ

अझ अस्पष्ट हुन सक्छ
यतिबेला पछिल्लो वाक्यले

अघिल्ला वाक्यसित

कुनै मेल राख्दैन
भन्ने नै हो भने


एकको संवेदनाले


सहानुभूति राख्दैन

म यसकारण

घर फर्किन चाहन्छु
यतिबेला म कमजोर छु

रुग्ण र नग्न भइरहेछु


मसँग घरको सम्पूर्ण अर्थ छ

……जसरी सारा घर छोडेर गएकाहरु

फर्किन पाएनन्

घर बाहिरका सारा दृश्य नष्ट छन्

घरभित्र पनि सम्भवतः

नष्ट नै होलान्

तर पनि

म घर फर्किन चाहन्छु

जबकि त्यो मेरो गन्तव्य होइन

त्यहाँ मलाई पर्खिरहेका कोही छैनन्


मेरो घर जत्ति सुरक्षित

यो देश पनि छैन ।

मोफसलमा – प्रकाश सायमी   

कारिन्दाको कुर्सिमा छु

गृहस्थीको सपना छाउँछ टेबुल भरि

घरको पलङ्गमा छु

हाकिमको सपनाले तर्साउँछ रात भरि

यो मुलुकमा म बाहेक अरुको एक्लो छ ?

म सोध्छु- आफैलाई घरिघरि

निरुत्तर उभिन्छु

आफ्नै तस्विर अगाडि

ऐना भएर ।
छियाछिया भएर सजिन्छु

विधवाको सिउँदो भरि

यो मुलुकमा मभन्दा कमजोर को होला र ?

एउटा सिङ्गै गाउँ सुतेको छ मभित्र

र जतै म जान खोज्छु त्यो ब्युँझिन खोज्छ

र जतै म भाग्न खोज्छु त्यो पछ्याइरहन्छ

एउटा अर्को पनि गाउँ छ- मेरो आँखामा

जो भत्किनै लागेको छ

पूर्वमा घाम नफुटदै

यसको मन फाटिसक्छ

आवाजहरुको रङ्गीन जङ्गलमा

खोजिरहन्छ यो आफ्नै आवाज

विज्ञापनको भाषामा

अखबार खोजिरहेछ

आफ्नो आवश्यकता

एउटा अनुहार बोकेर आएको छ- चिठ्ठी

एउटा चिठ्ठी बोकेर आएको छ आमाको अनुहार

धेरै कुरा देखिन्छ- आमाको अनुहारमा…।
पहिरोमा डुब्दै गरेको गाउँ

सपनामा भत्किँदै गरेको गाउँ


त्यो गाउँमा एउटा पहाड पनि छ

एक्लोपनको पहाड !
म त्यो गाउँमा अब पुग्न सक्दिन

एउटा गाउँ नै बोकेर आएको छ चिठ्ठी

एउटा चिठ्ठी बोकेर आएको छ- गाउँ ।

के माग्छु र तिमीसित –  प्रकाश सायमी   

के माग्छु र तिमीसित घामपानी सिवाय

के नै दिन सक्छौ अनिँदो बिहानी सिवाय

मेरो कसम तिम्रा निम्ति कति जुठो भो

चोखो त क्यै छैन तिम्रो जवानी सिवाय

नबुझाउ पहेली मनको म बुझ्दिन खै

स्पष्ट त क्यै भएन उही बानी सिवाय

सपना देख्छु रंगीविरंगी मन त त्यै हो

बदल्छु सारा चीज त्यै सिरानी सिवाय

भित्ताको तस्वीरले रगतको रंग भन्छ

के नै भन्ला शहीदको कहानी सिवाय

यै जीवन काल कोठरी भो नानू

जिन्दगी क्यै हैन पुरानो बानी सिवाय

म आपदमा तिमीसित हिँडे –  प्रकाश सायमी  

म आपदमा तिमीसित हिँडे

म सापटमा तिमीसित हिँडे
हिँड्नेहरु कहाँ कहाँ पुगे खै

म राहतमा तिमीसित हिँडे
नदीको वेगसरिको जवानी यो

म चाहतमा तिमीसित हिँडे
के नगद के बाँकी पिरतीमा

त्यै वापतमा तिमीसित हिँडे
घाउ दुखेसरिको पीडामा छुँ

म आहतमा तिमीसित हिँडे

बाटोभरि आशैआश छन् – प्रकाश सायमी 

बाटोभरि आशैआश छन्

आँखाभरि प्यासैप्यास छन्

दुवै भाव मिल्न सके

भाव एउटै हुनसके

हाँस्न सके हाँसिदिन्थेँ

रुन सके रोईदिन्थेँ

दुई मन एउटै भए अरु पनि के के हुन्थेँ
वरिपरि साँझैसाँझ छन्

तिमीसित मातैमात छन्

दुवैलाई गाँस्न सके

जिन्दगी नै जुठो पार्थेँ

हार्न सके हारिदिन्थेँ मर्न सके मरिदिन्थेँ

एकलाश जिन्दगीमा अरु पनि के के हुन्थेँ

 जाँदाजाँदै – प्रकाश सायमी

जाँदाजाँदै आज फेरि मन उधारै रह्यो

ढोकैसम्म पुगेर पनि पाइला संघारै रह्यो

छिचोलेरै पुगेको’थेँ कति आँखा बाधा थिए

चाहनाथ्यौ तिमी मेरो सपना पनि आधा थिए

खोलुँ भन्थेँ मनको ढोका सबै अपुरै रह्यो

ढोकासम्म पुगेर पनि पाइला संघारै रह्यो

काँढामाथि टेक्नु पर्यो त्यो पनि त सहेकै’थेँ

दुनियाँ नै वैरी हुँदा तिम्रो आफ्नो भएकै’थेँ

कुन सिमाना कोर्यौ दैव ! बोली अधुरै रह्यो

ढोकैसम्म पुगेर पनि पाइला संघारै रह्यो

The Wicket Cricket Critic – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

If the cricket critics’ nagging 

Merits stern official gagging 

Which I doubt 

How would critical ascetics, 

With their prosy homiletics, 

Shut it out? 

And the question then arises: 

If more cricketing surprises, 

Such as bodyline, begin to threaten cricket, 

And another stunt, when sprung, 

Call for clicking of the tongue, 

Should a cricket critic critically click it? 
When the barrackers grow lyric 

In a manner most satiric 

And profane, 

How, one ventures still to wonder, 

May the clamor be kept under? 

How restrain? 

For one barbaric larrik- 

In can do a lot of barrack- 

In’, and cause a lot of worry at the wicket. 

But would sportsmen be abusing 

Cricket canons in refusing 

To supply that cricket critic with a ticket? 
As a critic analytic 

Of the cricket critics’ critic 

I would say, 

When we criticise their cricket, 

Then the players have to stick it, 

Come what may. 

No specific soporific 

May be used; for it is diffic- 

Ult to strike a critic partly paralytic. 

So there’s nothing gained in seeking, 

As I know; and I am speaking 

As a critic of the cricket critic’s critic.

The Wooer  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

I nearly fell fair in my tracks. 

I’m trudgin’ homeward with my axe 

When I come on her suddenly. 

‘I wonder if I’m lost?’ says she. 

‘It’s risky on such roads as this.’ 

I lifts my hat an’ says, ‘Yes, miss.’ 

I knew ’twas rude for me to stare, 

But, oh, that sunlight in her hair! 
‘I wonder if I’m lost? says she, 

An’ gives a smile that staggers me. 

‘An’ yet, it wouldn’t matter much 

Supposing that I was, with such 

A glorious green world about, 

With bits of blue sky peepin’ out. 

Do you think there will be a fog?’ 

‘No, miss,’ says I, an’ pats my dog. 
‘Oh, what a dear old dog!’ says she. 

‘Most dogs are pretty fond of me.’ 

She calls him to her, an’ he goes. 

(He didn’t find it hard, I s’pose; 

I know I wouldn’t if she called.) 

‘It’s wondrous how the tracks are walled 

With these great trees that touch the sky 

On either side.’ ‘Yes, miss,’ says I. 
She fondles my old dog a bit; 

I wait to make a bolt for it. 

(There ain’t no call to stand an’ talk 

With one who’d be too proud to walk 

A half-a-yard with such as me.) 

‘The wind keeps workin’ up,’ says she. 

‘Yes, miss,’ says I, an’ lifts me hat. 

An’ she just let’s it go at that. 
She let me reach the dribblin’ ford – 

That day to me it fairly roared. 

(At least, that’s how the thing appears; 

But blood was poundin’ in my ears.) 

She waits till I ahve fairly crossed: 

‘I thought I told I was lost?’ 

She cries. ‘An’ you go walkin’ off, 

Quite scornful, like some proud bush toff!’ 
She got me thinkin’ hard with that. 

‘Yes, miss,’ I says, an’ lifts my hat. 

But she just waits there on the track, 

An’ lets me walk the whole way back. 

‘An’ are you reely lost?’ says I. 

‘Yes, sir,’ says she an’ drops her eye. . . 

I wait, an’ wait for what seems days; 

But not another word she says. 
I pats my dog, an’ lifts my hat; 

But she don’t seem to notice that. 

I looks up trees an’ stares at logs, 

An’ long for twenty hats an’ dogs. 

‘The weather’s kept reel good to-day,’ 

I blurts at last. Say she, ‘Hurray!’ 

‘Hurray!’ she says, an’ then, ‘Encore!’ 

An’ gets me wonderin’ what for. 
‘Is this the right road to ‘The Height?” 

I tell her it’s the road, all right, 

But that the way she’s walkin’ ain’t. 

At that she looked like she would faint. 

‘Then I was lost if I had gone 

Along this road an’ walked right on 

An unfrequented bush track, too! 

How fortunate that I met you!’ 
‘Yes, miss,’ I says. ‘Yes – what?’ says she. 

Says I, ‘Most fortunate . . . for me.’ 

I don’t know where I found the pluck 

To blurt that out an’ chance my luck. 

‘You’ll walk,’ she says, ‘a short way back, 

So you can put me on the track?’ 

‘I’ll take you all the way,’ says I, 

An’ looks her fair bang in the eye. 
Later, I let myself right out, 

An’ talked: an’ told her all about 

The things I’ve done, an’ what I do, 

An’ nearly all I’m hopin’ to. 

Told why I chose the game I’m at 

Because my folks were poor, an’ that. 

She seemed reel pleased to hear me talk, 

An’ sort of steadied up the walk. 
An’ when I’d spoke my little bit, 

She just takes up the thread of it; 

An’ later on, near knocks me down 

By tellin’ me she works – in town. 

Works? her? I thought, the way she dressed, 

She was quite rich; but she confessed 

That makin’ dresses was her game, 

An’ she was dead sick of the same. 
When Good bye came, I lifts my hat; 

But she holds out her hand at that. 

I looked at mine, all stained with sap, 

An’ told her I’m a reel rough chap. 

‘A worker’s hand,’ says she, reel fine, 

‘An’ marked with toil; but so is mine. 

We’re just two toilers; let us shake, 

An’ be good friends – for labour’s sake.’ 
I didn’t care to say no more, 

For fear of what she’d take me for 

But just Good bye, an’ turns away, 

Bustin’ with things I had to say. 

I don’t know how I got right home. 

The wonder was I didn’t roam 

Off in the scrub, an’ dream out there 

Of her with sunlight in her hair. 
At home I looks around the place, 

An’ sees the dirt a fair disgrace; 

So takes an’ tidies up a bit, 

An’ has a shave; an’ then I sit 

Beside my fire to have a think. 

But my old dog won’t sleep a wink; 

He fools, an’ whines, an’ nudges me, 

Then all at once I thinks of tea. 
I beg his pardon wiht a smile, 

An’. talkin’ to him all the while, 

I get it ready, tellin’ him 

About that girl; but, ‘Shut up, Jim!’ 

he says to me as plain as plain. 

‘First have some food, an’ then explain.’ 

(I don’t know how she came to tell, 

But I found out her name is Nell.) 
We gets our bit to eat at last. 

(An’, just for spite, he et his fast) . . . 

I think that Nell’s a reel nice name . . . 

‘All right, old dog, I ain’t to blame 

If you’ . . . Just as I go to sup 

My tea I stop dead, with my cup 

Half up, an’ . . . By the Holy Frost! 

I wonder was Nell reely lost?

The Warrior King  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Albert, King of the Belgians, 

Lived for his whole reign thro’ 

The father and friend of his people, 

Soldier and statesman, too. 

When his armies rode to the carnage, 

‘Twas their King who rode at their hear 

To battle as great Kings battled… 

And Albert the King is dead. 
Albert, King of the Belgians, 

Looking at doomed Louvain, 

Wept for the plight of his people, 

Grieved for his country’s pain. 

But the pride of a King upheld him; 

The strength of a true King stayed, 

And the love of a wise King triumphed 

Thro’ the travail, undismayed. 
Albert, King of the Belgians, 

After the red war’s close, 

Seeking no rest from his labors, 

As a builder now arose; 

Lending his life to service, 

Turning to tasks anew, 

Healing his country’s war-wounds 

Builder and comforter, too. 
Albert, King of the Belgians, 

Died as a Man would die, 

Prone on earth’s broad bosom, 

Under the open sky. 

To a swift and merciful passing, 

Here went, at the end of his span, 

A greater that King of his people 

A wise and well-loved man.

The Silent Member –  Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

He lived in Mundaloo, and Bill McClosky was his name,

But folks that knew him well had little knowledge of that same; 

For he some’ow lost his surname, and he had so much to say –- 

He was called ‘The Silent Member’ in a mild, sarcastic way. 
He could talk on any subject — from the weather and the crops 

To astronomy and Euclid, and he never minded stops; 

And the lack of a companion didn’t lay him on the shelf,

For he’d stand before a looking-glass and argue with himself. 
He would talk for hours on literature, or calves, or art, or wheat; 

There was not a bally subject you could say had got him beat; 

And when strangers brought up topics that they reckoned he would baulk, 

He’d remark, ‘I never heard of that.’ But all the same — he’d talk. 
He’d talk at christ’nings by the yard; at weddings by the mile; 

And he used to pride himself upon his choice of words and style. 

In a funeral procession his remarks would never end 

On the qualities and virtues of the dear departed friend.
We got quite used to hearing him, and no one seemed to care — 

In fact, no happ’ning seemed complete unless his voice was there. 

For close on thirty year he talked, and none could talk him down, 

Until one day an agent for insurance struck the town. 
Well, we knew The Silent Member, and we knew what he could do, 

And it wasn’t very long before we knew the agent, too, 

As a crack long-distance talker that was pretty hard to catch; 

So we called a hasty meeting and decided on a match. 
Of course, we didn’t tell them we were putting up the game; 

But we fixed it up between us, and made bets upon the same. 

We named a time-keep and a referee to see it through; 

Then strolled around, just casual, and introduced the two. 
The agent got first off the mark, while our man stood and grinned; 

He talked for just one solid hour, then stopped to get his wind. 

‘Yes; but –‘ sez Bill; that’s all he said; he couldn’t say no more; 

The agent got right in again, and fairly held the floor. 
On policies, and bonuses, and premiums, and all that, 

He talked and talked until we thought he had our man out flat. 

‘I think –‘ Bill got in edgeways, but that there insurance chap 

Just filled himself with atmosphere, and took the second lap. 
I saw our man was getting dazed, and sort of hypnotized, 

And they oughter pulled the agent up right there, as I advised. 

‘See here -‘ Bill started, husky; but the agent came again, 

And talked right on for four hours good — from six o’clock to ten. 
Then Bill began to crumple up, and weaken at the knees, 

When all at once he ups and shouts, ‘Here, give a bloke a breeze! 

Just take a pull for half a tick and let me have the floor, 

And I’ll take out a policy.’ The agent said no more. 
The Silent Member swallowed hard, then coughed and cleared his throat, 

But not a single word would come –- no; not a blessed note. 

His face looked something dreadful –- such a look of pained dismay; 

Then he have us one pathetic glance, and turned, and walked away. 
He’s hardly spoken since that day –- not more than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. 

We miss his voice a good bit, too; the town seems rather slow. 

He was called ‘The Silent Member’ just sarcastic, I’ll allow; 

But since that agent handled him it sort o’ fits him now.

The Rose And The Bee – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘Well, what tidings today?’ said the bee 

To the burgeoning rose. 

‘You are young, yet already you see 

Much of life, I suppose.’ 

Said the rose, ‘Oh, this life is so filled 

With astonishing things 

That I think I could not be more thrilled 

E’en if roses had wings. 
Three lupins have bloomed by the pond 

Since last you were here; 

In the nest of the blue-wrens beyond 

Three nestlings appear. 

A gay butterfly slept by my side 

All yesternight thro’ 

Till dawn, when a thrush hymned his pride. 

But how goes it with you?’ 
‘There are great things at hand,’ said the bee. 

‘Change comes to my life. 

In my hive in the woollybutt tree 

Strange rumors are rife. 

The old queen grows restless, I fear, 

She is planning to roam; 

And I must adventure this year 

From the old, safe home. 
‘Old Black Wallaby’s limping, I see, 

Trap again, I suppose. 

Life is full of mischance,’ said the bee. 

‘Ah, no,’ sighed the rose. 

‘Despite all the folly and sin 

And the gala and the strife, 

It’s a wonderful world we live in, 

It’s a wonderful life.’

The Old White Horse  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

In olden days the Old White Horse 

Stood brave against the sky; 

And ne’er a teamster shaped his course 

To pass the good inn by. 

Far shone its lights o’ winter nights 

To beckon weary men; 

By the long road where calm life flowed 

It loomed a landmark then. 
And many a good right yarn was spun 

Mid pewter-pots agleam; 

And mnay a friendship here begun 

Grew riper as the team 

Drew down the road its precious load 

Of merchandise or mail, 

And faced the ills of long, steep hills 

To far-off Lilydale. 
The tap-room rang to many a song, 

While patient teams stood there; 

And talk and laughter loud and long 

Held nothing of despair; 

For spoke they then, those bearded men, 

Of fortunes shining near 

Spoke with a grand faith in their land, 

A faith that laughed at fear. 
Gone are the days and gone the ways 

Of easy, calm content; 

Yet few supposed an epoch closed 

The day the old inn went. 

Now, past brick homes trim and cold, 

The swift cars, speeding by, 

Shall see no beacon as of old, 

Shall see no brave White Horse stand bold 

Against a hopeful sky.

The Shrine – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

For them we have builded a temple 

To stand as a visible sign. 

For them we have builded a temple, 

And set in its great heart a shrine. 

Ere the dull years shall tarnish their story, 

While the spirit bides close to us yet, 

We have set up a shrine to their glory, 

Lest men should forget. 
We have raised upa visible temple, 

Hewn from impermanent stone; 

And the spirit shall dwell in the temple; 

Yet not in the temple alone. 

Lest the spirit of that great oblation, 

Eternal, transcending all pride, 

Dwell, too, in the heart of their nation, 

In vain they have died. 
For a holier place has enshrined them 

From treacherous time’s swift decay: 

A temple more hallowed has held them 

Inviolate unto today. 

But the friends of their friends, too, shall perish, 

The seed of their seed shall grow old, 

While for ever the flame that these cherish 

A nation must hold. 
So soon do their feet grow aweary 

Of treading where glory had birth, 

So soon do their souls grow aweary 

Of transient things of the earth. 

And they go to the great consummating, 

The goal of their pilgrimage won, 

To triumphant battalions awaiting 

They drift one by one. 
When the last tired veteran totters 

From this, fame’s unstable abode; 

When the last tired footfall has echoed 

And died in the dust of the road; 

Tho’ they boast down the years of his story, 

If the spirit he left us shall fail 

No shrine may envision that glory 

No temple avail. 
We have builded a visible temple; 

We have set us a tangible sign 

For a symbol of that truer temple, 

A mark of that holier shrine; 

And nought of war’s long tarnished story 

Dwells there, not of pride nor of pain, 

But all that remains of their glory 

Who died not in vain.

One Whisper Of The Beloved – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Lovers share a sacred decree – 

to seek the Beloved. 

They roll head over heels, 

rushing toward the Beautiful One 

like a torrent of water. 
In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved – 

Our seeking is His seeking, 

Our words are His words. 
At times we flow toward the Beloved 

like a dancing stream. 

At times we are still water 

held in His pitcher. 

At times we boil in a pot 

turning to vapor – 

that is the job of the Beloved. 
He breathes into my ear 

until my soul 

takes on His fragrance. 

He is the soul of my soul – 

How can I escape? 

But why would any soul in this world 

want to escape from the Beloved? 
He will melt your pride 

making you thin as a strand of hair, 

Yet do not trade, even for both worlds, 

One strand of His hair. 
We search for Him here and there 

while looking right at Him. 

Sitting by His side we ask, 

‘O Beloved, where is the Beloved?’ 
Enough with such questions! – 

Let silence take you to the core of life. 
All your talk is worthless 

When compared to one whisper 

of the Beloved.

The Guest House – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house. 

Every morning a new arrival. 
A joy, a depression, a meanness, 

some momentary awareness comes 

As an unexpected visitor. 
Welcome and entertain them all! 

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, 

who violently sweep your house 

empty of its furniture, 

still treat each guest honorably. 

He may be clearing you out 

for some new delight. 
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 

meet them at the door laughing, 

and invite them in. 
Be grateful for whoever comes, 

because each has been sent 

as a guide from beyond.

The Temple Of Love – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

The temple of love is not love itself; 

True love is the treasure, 

Not the walls about it. 

Do not admire the decoration, 

But involve yourself in the essence, 

The perfume that invades and touches you- 

The beginning and the end. 

Discovered, this replace all else, 

The apparent and the unknowable. 

Time and space are slaves to this presence.

This Is Love – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, 

to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. 

First, to let go of live. 

In the end, to take a step without feet; 

to regard this world as invisible, 

and to disregard what appears to be the self. 
Heart, I said, what a gift it has been 

to enter this circle of lovers, 

to see beyond seeing itself, 

to reach and feel within the breast.

We Are As The Flute – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

We are as the flute, and the music in us is from thee; 

we are as the mountain and the echo in us is from thee.
We are as pieces of chess engaged in victory and defeat: 

our victory and defeat is from thee, 

O thou whose qualities are comely! 
Who are we, O Thou soul of our souls, 

that we should remain in being beside thee? 
We and our existences are really non-existence; 

thou art the absolute Being which manifests the perishable. 
We all are lions, but lions on a banner: 

because of the wind they are rushing 

onward from moment to moment. 
Their onward rush is visible, 

and the wind is unseen: 

may that which is unseen not fail from us! 
Our wind whereby we are moved and our being are of thy gift; 

our whole existence is from thy bringing into being.

When Grapes Turn To Wine – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

When grapes turn 

to wine, they long for our ability to change. 
When stars wheel 

around the North Pole, 

they are longing for our growing consciousness. 
Wine got drunk with us, 

not the other way. 

The body developed out of us, not we from it. 
We are bees, 

and our body is a honeycomb. 

We made 

the body, cell by cell we made it

When The Rose Is Gone – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

When the rose is gone and the garden faded 

you will no longer hear the nightingale’s song. 

The Beloved is all; the lover just a veil. 

The Beloved is living; the lover a dead thing. 

If love withholds its strengthening care, 

the lover is left like a bird without care, 

the lover is left like a bird without wings. 

How will I be awake and aware 

if the light of the Beloved is absent? 

Love wills that this Word be brought forth

Two Friends – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

A certain person came to the Friend’s door 

and knocked. 

‘Who’s there?’ 

‘It’s me.’ 

The Friend answered, ‘Go away. There’s no place 

for raw meat at this table.’ 

The individual went wandering for a year. 

Nothing but the fire of separation 

can change hypocrisy and ego. The person returned 

completely cooked, 

walked up and down in front of the Friend’s house, 

gently knocked. 

‘Who is it?’ 


‘Please come in, my self, 

there’s no place in this house for two. 

The doubled end of the thread is not what goes through

the eye of the needle. 

It’s a single-pointed, fined-down, thread end, 

not a big ego-beast with baggage.’

Your Grief…. – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Your grief for what youve lost holds a mirror 

up to where you’re bravely working. 
Expecting the worst, you look and instead, 

here’s the joyful face youve been wanting to see. 
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. 

If it were always a fist or always stretched open, 

you would be paralyzed. 
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expand 

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated 

as birdwings.

Zero Circle – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Be helpless, dumbfounded, 

Unable to say yes or no. 

Then a stretcher will come from grace 

To gather us up. 
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty 

If we say we can, we’re lying. 

If we say No, we don’t see it, 

That No will behead us 

And shut tight our window onto spirit. 
So let us rather not be sure of anything, 

Besides ourselves, and only that, so 

Miraculous beings come running to help. 

Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute, 

We shall be saying finally, 

With tremendous eloquence, Lead us. 

When we have totally surrendered to that beauty, 

We shall be a mighty kindness.

Amoretti LXXIX- Edmund Spenser

Men Call You Fair

Men call you fair, and you do credit it, 

For that your self ye daily such do see: 

But the true fair, that is the gentle wit, 

And vertuous mind, is much more prais’d of me. 

For all the rest, how ever fair it be, 

Shall turn to naught and lose that glorious hue: 

But only that is permanent and free 

From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue. 

That is true beauty: that doth argue you 

To be divine, and born of heavenly seed: 

Deriv’d from that fair Spirit, from whom all true 

And perfect beauty did at first proceed. 

He only fair, and what he fair hath made, 

All other fair, like flowers untimely fade.

Amoretti LXXIV – Edmund Spenser

 Most Happy Letters
Most happy letters, fram’d by skilful trade, 

With which that happy name was first design’d: 

The which three times thrice happy hath me made, 

With gifts of body, fortune, and of mind. 

The first my being to me gave by kind, 

From mother’s womb deriv’d by due descent, 

The second is my sovereign Queen most kind, 

That honour and large richesse to me lent. 

The third my love, my life’s last ornament, 

By whom my spirit out of dust was raised: 

To speak her praise and glory excellent, 

Of all alive most worthy to be praised. 

Ye three Elizabeths for ever live, 

That three such graces did unto me give.

Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English language. 

Edmund Spenser was born in East Smithfield, London around the year 1552 though there is some ambiguity as to the exact date of his birth. As a young boy, he was educated in London at the Merchant Taylors’ School and matriculated as a sizar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he became a friend of Gabriel Harvey, and later consulted him, despite their differing views on poetry. 

In July 1580 Spenser went to Ireland, in the service of the newly appointed Lord Deputy, Arthur Grey, 14th Baron Grey de Wilton. Then he served with the English forces during the Second Desmond Rebellion. After the defeat of the native Irish he took lands in County Cork that had been confiscated in the Munster Plantation during the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland. Among his acquaintances in the area was Walter Raleigh, a fellow colonist. 

Through his poetry Spenser hoped to secure a place at court, which he visited in Raleigh’s company to deliver his most famous work, The Faerie Queene. However, he boldly antagonised the queen’s principal secretary, Lord Burghley, and all he received in recognition of his work was a pension in 1591. When it was proposed that he receive payment of 100 pounds for his epic poem, Burghley remarked, “What, all this for a song!” 

In 1596 Spenser wrote a prose pamphlet titled, A View of the Present State of Ireland. This piece remained in manuscript until its publication and print in the mid-seventeenth century. It is probable that it was kept out of print during the author’s lifetime because of its inflammatory content. The pamphlet argued that Ireland would never be totally ‘pacified’ by the English until its indigenous language and customs had been destroyed, if necessary by violence. Spenser recommended scorched earth tactics, such as he had seen used in the Desmond Rebellions, to create famine. Although it has been highly regarded as a polemical piece of prose and valued as a historical source on 16th century Ireland, the View is seen today as genocidal in intent. Spenser did express some praise for the Gaelic poetic tradition, but also used much tendentious and bogus analysis to demonstrate that the Irish were descended from barbarian Scythian stock. 

Two of Ireland’s historians of the early modern period, Ciaran Brady and Nicholas Canny, have differed in their view of Spenser’s View of the State of Ireland. Brady’s essential proposition is that Spenser wished the English government to undertake the extermination of most of the Irish population. He writes that Spenser preferred to write in dialogue form so that the crudity of his proposals would be masked. Canny undermines Brady’s conclusion that Spenser opted for “a holocaust or a “blood-bath”, because despite Brady’s claims Spenser did not choose the sword as his preferred instrument of policy. Canny argues that Spenser instead chose not the extermination of the Irish race but rather a policy of ‘social reform pursued by drastic means’. Canny’s ultimate assertion was that Brady was over-reacting and that Spenser did not propose a policy to exterminate the Irish race. 

However, within one page he moves on to argue that no ‘English writer of the early modern period ever proposed such a drastic programme in social engineering for England, and it was even more dramatic than Brady allows for because all elements of the Irish population including the Old English of the towns, whom Brady seems to think were exempt were subject to some element of this scheme of dispersal, reintegration and re-education’. Here, Canny argues that this policy was more ‘dramatic than Brady allows’, in that Brady’s description was one of ‘bloodshed’, ‘extermination’ and ‘holocaust’ only of the native Irish but Canny’s was one of dispersal, reintegration and re-education of both the native Irish and the settler English. Even though Canny writes that ‘substantial loss of life, including loss of civilian life, was considered by Spenser’, he considers that that falls short of Brady’s conclusion. 

Later on, during the Nine Years War in 1598, Spenser was driven from his home by the native Irish forces of Aodh Ó Néill. His castle at Kilcolman, near Doneraile in North Cork was burned, and it is thought one of his infant children died in the blaze – though local legend has it that his wife also died. He possessed a second holding to the south, at Rennie, on a rock overlooking the river Blackwater in North Cork. The ruins of it are still visible today. A short distance away grew a tree, locally known as “Spenser’s Oak” until it was destroyed in a lightning strike in the 1960s. Local legend has it that he penned some or all of The Faerie Queene under this tree. 

In the year after being driven from his home, Spenser travelled to London, where he died in distressed circumstances (according to legend), aged forty-six. It was arranged for his coffin to be carried by other poets, upon which they threw many pens and pieces of poetry into his grave with many tears. 

The Faerie Queene 

Spenser’s masterpiece is an extensive poem The Faerie Queene. The first three books of The Faerie Queene were published in 1590, and a second set of three books were published in 1596. This extended epic poem deals with the adventures of knights, dragons, ladies in distress, etc. yet it is also an extended allegory about the moral life and what makes for a life of virtue. Spenser originally indicated that he intended the poem to be twelve books long, hence there is some argument about whether the version we have is in any real sense complete. 

Structure of the Spenserian Stanza and Sonnet 

Spenser used a distinctive verse form, called the Spenserian stanza, in several works, including The Faerie Queene. The stanza’s main meter is iambic pentameter with a final line in iambic hexameter (having six feet or stresses, known as an Alexandrine), and the rhyme scheme is ababbcbcc. 

The Spenserian Sonnet is based on a fusion of elements of both the Petrarchan sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet. It is similar to the Shakespearan sonnet in the sense that its set up is based more on the 3 quatrains and a couplet,a system set up by Shakespeare; however it is more like the Petrarchan tradition in the fact that the conclusion follows from the argument or issue set up in the earlier quatrains. 

There is also a great use of the parody of the blason and the idealisation or praise of the mistress, a literary device used by many poets. It is a way to look at a woman through the appraisal of her features in comparison to other things. In this description, the mistress’s body is described part by part, i.e., much more of a scientific way of seeing one. As William Johnson states in his article “Gender Fashioning and Dynamics of Mutuality in Spenser’s Amoretti,” the poet-love in the scenes of Spenser’s sonnets in Amoretti, is able to see his lover in an objectified manner by moving her to another, or more clearly, an item. The purpose of Spenser doing this is to bring the woman from the “transcendental ideal” to a woman in everyday life. “Through his use of metonymy and metaphor, by describing the lady not as a whole being but as bodily parts, by alluding to centuries of topoi which remove her in time as well as space, the poet transforms the woman into a text, the living ‘other’ into an inanimate object” (503). 

The opposite of this also occurs in The Faerie Queen. The counter-blason, or the opposition of appraisal, is used to describe Duessa. She is not objectified, but instead all of her flaws are highlighted. In this context it should be noted that in Amoretti Spenser actually names his loved one as “Elizabeth” and that he puns humorously and often on her surname “Boyle”. S

Sonnet LX – Edmund Spenser

THey that in course of heauenly spheares are skild, 

To euery planet point his sundry yeare: 

in which her circles voyage is fulfild, 

as Mars in three score yeares doth run his spheare 

So since the winged God his planet cleare, 

began in me to moue, one yeare is spent: 

the which doth longer vnto me appeare, 

then al those fourty which my life outwent. 

Then by that count, which louers books inuent, 

the spheare of Cupid fourty yeares containes: 

which I haue wasted in long languishment, 

that seemd the longer for my greater paines. 

But let me loues fayre Planet short her wayes 

this yeare ensuing, or else short my dayes.

Sonnet LVI – Edmund Spenser

FAyre ye be sure, but cruell and vnkind, 

As is a Tygre that with greedinesse 

hunts after bloud, when he by chance doth find 

a feeble beast, doth felly him oppresse. 

Fayre be ye sure but proud and pittilesse, 

as is a storme, that all things doth prostrate: 

finding a tree alone all comfortlesse, 

beats on it strongly it to ruinate. 

Fayre be ye sure, but hard and obstinate, 

as is a rocke amidst the raging floods: 

gaynst which a ship of succour desolate, 

doth suffer wreck both of her selfe and goods. 

That ship, that tree, and that same beast am I, 

whom ye doe wreck, doe ruine, and destroy.

Sonnet LIX – Edmund Spenser

THrise happie she, that is so well assured 

Vnto her selfe and setled so in hart: 

that nether will for better be allured, 

ne feard with worse to any chaunce to start, 

But like a steddy ship doth strongly part 

the raging waues and keepes her course aright: 

ne ought for tempest doth from it depart, 

ne ought for fayrer weathers false delight. 

Such selfe assurance need not feare the spight, 

of grudging foes, ne fauour seek of friends: 

but in the stay of her owne stedfast might, 

nether to one her selfe nor other bends. 

Most happy she that most assured doth rest, 

but he most happy who such one loues best.

Sonnet XI – Edmund Spenser

DAyly when I do seeke and sew for peace, 

And hostages doe offer for my truth: 

she cruell warriour doth her selfe addresse, 

to battell, and the weary war renew’th. 

Ne wilbe moou’d with reason or with rewth, 

to graunt small respit to my restlesse toile: 

but greedily her fell intent poursewth, 

Of my poore life to make vnpitteid spoile. 

Yet my poore life, all sorrowes to assoyle, 

I would her yield, her wrath to pacify: 

but then she seekes with torment and turmoyle, 

to force me liue and will not let me dy. 

All paine hath end and euery war hath peace, 

but mine no price nor prayer may surcease.

Sonnet LXXXII – Edmund Spenser

Ioy of my life, full oft for louing you 

I blesse my lot, that was so lucky placed: 

but then the more your owne mishap I rew, 

that are so much by so meane loue embased. 

For had the equall heuens so much you graced 

in this as in the rest, ye mote inuent 

som heuenly wit, whose verse could haue enchased 

your glorious name in golden moniment. 

But since ye deignd so goodly to relent 

to me your thrall, in whom is little worth, 

that little that I am, shall all be spent, 

in setting your immortall prayses forth. 

Whose lofty argument vplifting me, 

shall lift you vp vnto an high degree.

Sonnet LXXXV  – Edmund Spenser

THe world that cannot deeme of worthy things, 

when I doe praise her, say I doe but flatter: 

so does the Cuckow, when the Mauis sings, 

begin his witlesse note apace to clatter. 

But they that skill not of so heauenly matter, 

all that they know not, enuy or admyre, 

rather then enuy let them wonder at her, 

but not to deeme of her desert aspyre. 

Deepe in the closet of my parts entyre, 

her worth is written with a golden quill: 

that me with heauenly fury doth inspire, 

and my glad mouth with her sweet prayses fill. 

Which when as fame in her shrill trump shal thunder 

let the world chose to enuy or to wonder.

Sonnet XlIIII – Edmund Spenser

When those renoumed noble Peres of Greece, 

thrugh stubborn pride amongst the[m]selues did iar 

forgetfull of the famous golden fleece, 

then Orpheus with his harp theyr strife did bar. 

But this continuall cruell ciuill warre, 

the which my selfe against my selfe doe make: 

whilest my weak powres of passions warreid arre. 

no skill can stint nor reason can aslake. 

But when in hand my tunelesse harp I take, 

then doe I more augment my foes despight: 

and griefe renew, and passions doe awake, 

to battaile fresh against my selfe to fight. 

Mongst whome the more I seeke to settle peace, 

the more I fynd their malice to increace.

Sonnet XIX – Edmund Spenser

THe merry Cuckow, messenger of Spring, 

His trompet shrill hath thrise already sounded: 

that warnes al louers wayt vpon their king, 

who now is comming forth with girland crouned. 

With noyse whereof the quyre of Byrds resounded 

their anthemes sweet devized of loues prayse, 

that all the woods theyr ecchoes back rebounded, 

as if they knew the meaning of their layes. 

But mongst them all, which did Loues honor rayse 

no word was heard of her that most it ought, 

but she his precept proudly disobayes, 

and doth his ydle message set at nought. 

Therefore O loue, vnlesse she turne to thee 

ere Cuckow end, let her a rebell be.

Sonnet X – Edmund Spenser

VNrighteous Lord of loue what law is this, 

That me thou makest thus tormented be: 

the whiles she lordeth in licentious blisse 

of her freewill, scorning both thee and me. 

See how the Tyrannesse doth ioy to see 

the huge massacres which her eyes do make: 

and humbled harts brings captiues vnto thee, 

that thou of them mayst mightie vengeance take. 

But her proud hart doe thou a little shake 

and that high look, with which she doth comptroll 

all this worlds pride bow to a baser make, 

and al her faults in thy black booke enroll. 

That I may laugh at her in equall sort, 

as she doth laugh at me & makes my pain her sport.

Sonnet XIVIII – Edmund Spenser

INnocent paper whom too cruell hand, 

Did make the matter to auenge her yre: 

and ere she could thy cause wel vnderstand, 

did sacrifize vnto the greedy fyre. 

Well worthy thou to haue found better hyre, 

then so bad end for hereticks ordayned: 

yet heresy nor treason didst conspire, 

but plead thy maisters cause vniustly payned. 

Whom all the carelesse of his griefe constrayned 

to vtter forth th’anguish of his hart: 

and would not heare, when he to her complayned, 

the piteous passion of his dying smart. 

Yet liue for euer, though against her will, 

and speake her good, though she requite it ill.

Sonnet XXX – Edmund Spenser

MY loue is lyke to yse, and I to fyre; 

how comes it then that this her cold so great 

is not dissolu’d through my so hot desyre, 

but harder growes the more I her intreat? 

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat 

is not delayd by her hart frosen cold: 

but that I burne much more in boyling sweat, 

and feel my flames augmented manifold? 

What more miraculous thing may be told 

that fire which all things melts, should harden yse: 

and yse which is congeald with sencelesse cold, 

should kindle fyre by wonderfull deuyse. 

Such is the powre of loue in gentle mind, 

that it can alter all the course of kynd.

Sonnet XV – Edmund Spenser

YE tradefull Merchants that with weary toyle, 

do seeke most pretious things to make your gain: 

and both the Indias of their treasures spoile, 

what needeth you to seeke so farre in vaine? 

For loe my loue doth in her selfe containe 

all this worlds riches that may farre be found, 

if Saphyres, loe her eies be Saphyres plaine, 

if Rubies, loe hir lips be Rubies found: 

If Pearles, hir teeth be pearles both pure and round; 

if Yuorie, her forhead yuory weene; 

if Gold, her locks are finest gold on ground; 

if siluer, her faire hands are siluer sheene, 

But that which fairest is, but few behold, 

her mind adornd with vertues manifold.

The Tamed Deer – Edmund Spenser 

Like as a huntsman after weary chase 

Seeing the game from him escaped away, 

Sits down to rest him in some shady place, 

With panting hounds beguiled of their prey: 

So, after long pursuit and vain assay, 

When I all weary had the chase forsook, 

The gentle deer returned the self-same way, 

Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brook. 

There she beholding me with milder look, 

Sought not to fly, but fearless still did bide; 

Till I in hand her yet half trembling took, 

And with her own good-will her firmly tied. 

Strange thing, me seemed, to see a beast so wild 

So goodly won, with her own will beguiled.

Finale – Pablo Neruda

Matilde, years or days 

sleeping, feverish, 

here or there, 

gazing off, 

twisting my spine, 

bleeding true blood, 

perhaps I awaken 

or am lost, sleeping: 

hospital beds, foreign windows, 

white uniforms of the silent walkers, 

the clumsiness of feet. 
And then, these journeys 

and my sea of renewal: 

your head on the pillow, 

your hands floating 

in the light, in my light, 

over my earth. 
It was beautiful to live 

when you lived! 
The world is bluer and of the earth 

at night, when I sleep 

enormous, within your small hands

I Like For You To Be Still – Pablo Neruda

i like for you to be still 

it is as though you are absent 

And you hear me from far away 

And my voice does not touch you 

it seems as though your eyes had flown away 

And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth 

As all things are filled with my soul 

You emerge from the things 

Filled with my soul 

You are like my soul 

A butterfly of dream 

And you are like the word: Melancholy 
i like for you to be still 

And you seem far away 

it sounds as though you are lamenting 

A butterfly cooing like a dove 

And you hear me from far away 

And my voice does not reach you 

Let me come to be still in your silence 

And let me talk to you with your silence 

That is bright as a lamp 

Simple, as a ring 

You are like the night 

With its stillness and constellations 

Your silence is that of a star 

As remote and candid 
i like for you to be still 

it is as though you are absent 

Distant and full of sorrow 

So you would’ve died 

One word then, One smile is enough 

And i’m happy; 

Happy that it’s not true

Gentleman Alone – Pablo Neruda

The young maricones and the horny muchachas, 

The big fat widows delirious from insomnia, 

The young wives thirty hours’ pregnant, 

And the hoarse tomcats that cross my garden at night, 

Like a collar of palpitating sexual oysters 

Surround my solitary home, 

Enemies of my soul, 

Conspirators in pajamas 

Who exchange deep kisses for passwords. 

Radiant summer brings out the lovers 

In melancholy regiments, 

Fat and thin and happy and sad couples; 

Under the elegant coconut palms, near the ocean and moon, 

There is a continual life of pants and panties, 

A hum from the fondling of silk stockings, 

And women’s breasts that glisten like eyes. 

The salary man, after a while, 

After the week’s tedium, and the novels read in bed at night, 

Has decisively fucked his neighbor, 

And now takes her to the miserable movies, 

Where the heroes are horses or passionate princes, 

And he caresses her legs covered with sweet down 

With his ardent and sweaty palms that smell like cigarettes. 

The night of the hunter and the night of the husband 

Come together like bed sheets and bury me, 

And the hours after lunch, when the students and priests are masturbating, 

And the animals mount each other openly, 

And the bees smell of blood, and the flies buzz cholerically, 

And cousins play strange games with cousins, 

And doctors glower at the husband of the young patient, 

And the early morning in which the professor, without a thought, 

Pays his conjugal debt and eats breakfast, 

And to top it all off, the adulterers, who love each other truly 

On beds big and tall as ships: 

So, eternally, 

This twisted and breathing forest crushes me 

With gigantic flowers like mouth and teeth 

And black roots like fingernails and shoes. 

Gautama Christ – Pablo Neruda

The names of God and especially those of His representative 

Who is called Jesus or Christ according to holy books and 

someone’s mouth 

These names have been used, worn out and left 

On the shores of rivers of of human lives 

Like the empty shells of a mollusk. 

However when we touch these sacred but exhausted 

Names, these wounded scattered petals 

Which have come out of the oceans of love and fear 

Something still remains, a sip of water, 

A rainbow footprint that still shimmers in the light. 

While the names of God were used 

By the best and the worst, by the clean and the dirty 

By the white and the black, by bloody murderers 

And by victims flaming gold with napalm 

While Nixon with his hands 

Of Cain blessed those whom he condemned to death, 

While fewer and fewer divine footprints were found 

on the beach 

People began to study colors, 

The future of honey, the sign of uranium 

They looked with anxiety and hope for the possibilities 

Of killing themselves or not killing themselves, of organizing 

themselves into a fabric 

Of going further on, of breaking through limits without stopping 
What we came across in these blood thirsty times 

With their smoke of burning trash, their dead ashes 

As we weren’t able to stop looking 

We often stopped to look at the names of God 

We lifted them with tenderness because they reminded us 

Of our ancestors, of the first people, those who said the prayers 

Those who discovered the hymn that united them in misfortune 

And now seeing the empty fragments which sheltered those 

ancient people 

We feel those smooth substances, 

Worn out and used up by good and by evil.

I Like For You To Be Still – Pablo Neruda

i like for you to be still 

it is as though you are absent 

And you hear me from far away 

And my voice does not touch you 

it seems as though your eyes had flown away 

And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth 

As all things are filled with my soul 

You emerge from the things 

Filled with my soul 

You are like my soul 

A butterfly of dream 

And you are like the word: Melancholy 
i like for you to be still 

And you seem far away 

it sounds as though you are lamenting 

A butterfly cooing like a dove 

And you hear me from far away 

And my voice does not reach you 

Let me come to be still in your silence 

And let me talk to you with your silence 

That is bright as a lamp 

Simple, as a ring 

You are like the night 

With its stillness and constellations 

Your silence is that of a star 

As remote and candid 
i like for you to be still 

it is as though you are absent 

Distant and full of sorrow 

So you would’ve died 

One word then, One smile is enough 

And i’m happy; 

Happy that it’s not true

If You Forget Me – Pablo Neruda

I want you to know 

one thing. 
You know how this is: 

if I look 

at the crystal moon, at the red branch 

of the slow autumn at my window, 

if I touch 

near the fire 

the impalpable ash 

or the wrinkled body of the log, 

everything carries me to you, 

as if everything that exists, 

aromas, light, metals, 

were little boats 

that sail 

toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 
Well, now, 

if little by little you stop loving me 

I shall stop loving you little by little. 
If suddenly 

you forget me 

do not look for me, 

for I shall already have forgotten you. 
If you think it long and mad, 

the wind of banners 

that passes through my life, 

and you decide 

to leave me at the shore 

of the heart where I have roots, 


that on that day, 

at that hour, 

I shall lift my arms 

and my roots will set off 

to seek another land. 

if each day, 

each hour, 

you feel that you are destined for me 

with implacable sweetness, 

if each day a flower 

climbs up to your lips to seek me, 

ah my love, ah my own, 

in me all that fire is repeated, 

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 

my love feeds on your love, beloved, 

and as long as you live it will be in your arms 

without leaving mine.

Here I Love You – Pablo Neruda

Here I love you. 

In the dark pines the wind disentangles itself. 

The moon glows like phosphorous on the vagrant waters. 

Days, all one kind, go chasing each other. 
The snow unfurls in dancing figures. 

A silver gull slips down from the west. 

Sometimes a sail. High, high stars. 

Oh the black cross of a ship. 


Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet. 

Far away the sea sounds and resounds. 

This is a port. 
Here I love you. 

Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain. 

I love you still among these cold things. 

Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels 

that cross the sea towards no arrival. 

I see myself forgotten like those old anchors. 
The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there. 

My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose. 

I love what I do not have. You are so far. 

My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights. 

But night comes and starts to sing to me. 
The moon turns its clockwork dream. 

The biggest stars look at me with your eyes. 

And as I love you, the pines in the wind 

want to sing your name with their leaves of wire.

Twenty Poems Of Love – Pablo Neruda

I can write the saddest lines tonight. 
Write for example: ‘The night is fractured 

and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance’ 
The night wind turns in the sky and sings. 

I can write the saddest lines tonight. 

I loved her, sometimes she loved me too. 
On nights like these I held her in my arms. 

I kissed her greatly under the infinite sky. 
She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. 

How could I not have loved her huge, still eyes. 
I can write the saddest lines tonight. 

To think I don’t have her, to feel I have lost her. 
Hear the vast night, vaster without her. 

Lines fall on the soul like dew on the grass. 
What does it matter that I couldn’t keep her. 

The night is fractured and she is not with me. 
That is all. Someone sings far off. Far off, 

my soul is not content to have lost her. 
As though to reach her, my sight looks for her. 

My heart looks for her: she is not with me 

The same night whitens, in the same branches. 

We, from that time, we are not the same. 
I don’t love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her. 

My voice tried to find the breeze to reach her. 
Another’s kisses on her, like my kisses. 

Her voice, her bright body, infinite eyes. 
I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her. 

Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long. 
Since, on these nights, I held her in my arms, 

my soul is not content to have lost her. 
Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer, 

and these are the last lines I will write for her.

And Because Love Battles – Pablo Neruda

And because love battles 

not only in its burning agricultures 

but also in the mouth of men and women, 

I will finish off by taking the path away 

to those who between my chest and your fragrance 

want to interpose their obscure plant. 
About me, nothing worse 

they will tell you, my love, 

than what I told you. 
I lived in the prairies 

before I got to know you 

and I did not wait love but I was 

laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose. 
What more can they tell you? 

I am neither good nor bad but a man, 

and they will then associate the danger 

of my life, which you know 

and which with your passion you shared. 
And good, this danger 

is danger of love, of complete love 

for all life, 

for all lives, 

and if this love brings us 

the death and the prisons, 

I am sure that your big eyes, 

as when I kiss them, 

will then close with pride, 

into double pride, love, 

with your pride and my pride. 
But to my ears they will come before 

to wear down the tour 

of the sweet and hard love which binds us, 

and they will say: “The one 

you love, 

is not a woman for you, 

Why do you love her? I think 

you could find one more beautiful, 

more serious, more deep, 

more other, you understand me, look how she’s light, 

and what a head she has, 

and look at how she dresses, 

and etcetera and etcetera”. 
And I in these lines say: 

Like this I want you, love, 

love, Like this I love you, 

as you dress 

and how your hair lifts up 

and how your mouth smiles, 

light as the water 

of the spring upon the pure stones, 

Like this I love you, beloved. 
To bread I do not ask to teach me 

but only not to lack during every day of life. 

I don’t know anything about light, from where 

it comes nor where it goes, 

I only want the light to light up, 

I do not ask to the night 


I wait for it and it envelops me, 

And so you, bread and light 

And shadow are. 
You came to my life 

with what you were bringing, 


of light and bread and shadow I expected you, 

and Like this I need you, 

Like this I love you, 

and to those who want to hear tomorrow 

that which I will not tell them, let them read it here, 

and let them back off today because it is early 

for these arguments. 
Tomorrow we will only give them 

a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf 

which will fall on the earth 

like if it had been made by our lips 

like a kiss which falls 

from our invincible heights 

to show the fire and the tenderness 

of a true love.

Drunk As Drunk – Pablo Neruda

Translated from the Spanish by Christopher Logue 
Drunk as drunk on turpentine 

From your open kisses, 

Your wet body wedged 

Between my wet body and the strake 

Of our boat that is made of flowers, 

Feasted, we guide it – our fingers 

Like tallows adorned with yellow metal – 

Over the sky’s hot rim, 

The day’s last breath in our sails. 
Pinned by the sun between solstice 

And equinox, drowsy and tangled together 

We drifted for months and woke 

With the bitter taste of land on our lips, 

Eyelids all sticky, and we longed for lime 

And the sound of a rope 

Lowering a bucket down its well. Then, 

We came by night to the Fortunate Isles, 

And lay like fish 

Under the net of our kisses.

The Dead Woman – Pablo Neruda

If suddenly you do not exist, 

if suddenly you no longer live, 

I shall live on. 
I do not dare, 

I do not dare to write it, 

if you die. 
I shall live on. 
For where a man has no voice, 

there, my voice. 
Where blacks are beaten, 

I cannot be dead. 

When my brothers go to prison 

I shall go with them. 
When victory, 

not my victory, 

but the great victory comes, 

even though I am mute I must speak; 

I shall see it come even 

though I am blind. 
No, forgive me. 

If you no longer live, 

if you, beloved, my love, 

if you have died, 

all the leaves will fall in my breast, 

it will rain on my soul night and day, 

the snow will burn my heart, 

I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow, 

my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but

I shall stay alive, 

because above all things 

you wanted me indomitable, 

and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man 

but all mankind.

Water – Pablo Neruda

Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble 

pricked and the green thread 

nibbled away, the petal fell, falling 

until the only flower was the falling itself. 

Water is another matter, 

has no direction but its own bright grace, 

runs through all imaginable colors, 

takes limpid lessons 

from stone, 

and in those functionings plays out 

the unrealized ambitions of the foam.

The Deeds Of Krishna – Sant Surdas

There is no end to the deeds of Krishna: 

true to his promise, he tended the cows in Gokula; 

Lord of the gods and compassionate to his devotees, 

he came as Nrisingha 

and tore apart Hiranyakashipa. 

When Bali spread his dominion 

over the three worlds, 

he begged three paces of land from him 

to uphold the majesty of the gods, 

and stepped over his entire domain: 

here too he rescued the captive elephant. 

Countless such deeds figure in the Vedas and the Puranas, 

hearing which Suradasa 

humbly bows before that Lord.

Krishna Returning With The Herd – Sant Surdas

Mohan comes herding the cows, 

crown of peacock feathers on his head, 

garland of forest flowers on his chest, 

in his hand a wooden staff, 

his body wrapped in cow-dust. 

A band around his waist 

and from his feet the sound of anklets 

there amidst his cow-boy friends 

Shyam comes. His yellow garments standing out 

like lightning amidst the clouds.

Secret Signs – Sant Surdas

Krishna conveyed by signs to clever Radha. [he could not speak out as her girl friends were with her] to make a pretence of milking the cows, and picking up the milkpail come to meet him in the meadow. Nanda, his foster-father, would also be there to have the cows counted and verified, and he would bring him along too. So they would have a chance to meet. Radha’s heart rejoiced at their mutual resolve. But that lovely golden-hued girl, feeling abashed, hid her face in her arms. Krishna amorously lifting it up gazed at her lovingly. They kept their hidden love to themselves. Says Suradasa as Krishna went on speaking sweet nothings, Radha blushed with shame.

The Course Of Love – Sant Surdas

Seeing Radha stand alone, Krishna came from behind and blindfolded her with his hands. But his hands could not fully cover her large and elongated vivacious eyes. They shone out from within his fingers as a serpent’s gem which it had disgorged and hid between its fangs;” or as Rahu finding the sun and Mars together, had pounced and held them fast. Krishna does not have any self-interest, for there is nothing for him to desire or achieve. But he removes the grief of separation of those whom he loves. His eyes came close to Radha’s, and his lips were on hers. It was as though the lotuses forgetting their opposition to the moon had opened their petals to be kissed by the moon rays. Says Suradasa, Krishna’s loving embrace removed from Radha. the sorrow of her parting.

Krishna Awakes – Sant Surdas

Krishna awake, for the day has dawned: 

large, deep and lotus-like, 

your eyes are as in the love-shaped lake 

a pair of swans even a million Kamadevas cannot vie 

with the bewitching beauty of your face; 

the sun rises in the east, 

a crimson ball the night is going 

and the moonlight pales 

the lamps turn dim 

and the stars fade out 

as though the bright radiance of wisdom’s rays 

dispels the pleasures that the senses tire, 

and the light of hope chases away 

the murky darkness of despair and doubt. 
Listen, the birds sing 

aloud with glee O sweet child, 

life of my life, 

my sole wealth, 

O darling boy, 

bards and minstrels 

sing your praises, 

saying ‘victory! victory!’ 
Clusters of lotuses burst into bloom 

the bumblebees humming with sweet sound 

leave the lotuses; 

as though the devout renouncing worldly ties, 

in your love drowned 

chant your name as they go about. 
Hearing his mother’s words with love 

drenched the Lord of Mercy arose from his bed; 

the world’s woes vanished, 

maya’s net was rent. 
Says Suradasa, 

‘Seeing his lotus face delusion fled; 

all doubts and dualities were destroyed and I found in Govinda eternal joy.

Krishna Approaches Radha – Sant Surdas

Krishna said, ‘O fair beauty, who are you? 

Where do you live? Whose daughter are you? 

I never yet saw you in the lanes of Braj.’ 
Radha said, ‘What need have I to come this way? 

I keep playing by my door. 

But I hear that some son of Nanda 

is in the habit of stealing butter and curds.’ 
Krishna said, ‘Look, why should I appropriate 

anything that’s yours? Come, let’s play together.’ 
Suradasa says: By his honied words, 

Krishna, the crafty prince of amorists, 

beguiled Radha and put her at ease.

Breakfast – Sant Surdas

O Hari, ’tis morn, awake, there’s water in the jar for you to wash your face no need to hurry there’s plenty of time. 
I’ll bring you whatever you like for your breakfast- dried fruits, butter, honey and bread. 
Says Suradasa, Yashoda’s heart overflows with joy when her gaze alights on her darling boy.

Tie Your Heart At Night To Mine, Love – Pablo Neruda

Tie your heart at night to mine, love, 

and both will defeat the darkness 

like twin drums beating in the forest 

against the heavy wall of wet leaves. 
Night crossing: black coal of dream 

that cuts the thread of earthly orbs 

with the punctuality of a headlong train 

that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly. 
Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement, 

to the grip on life that beats in your breast, 

with the wings of a submerged swan, 
So that our dream might reply 

to the sky’s questioning stars 

with one key, one door closed to shadow.

Your Feet – Pablo Neruda

When I cannot look at your face 

I look at your feet. 

Your feet of arched bone, 

your hard little feet. 

I know that they support you, 

and that your sweet weight 

rises upon them. 

Your waist and your breasts, 

the doubled purple 

of your nipples, 

the sockets of your eyes 

that have just flown away, 

your wide fruit mouth, 

your red tresses, 

my little tower. 

But I love your feet 

only because they walked 

upon the earth and upon 

the wind and upon the waters, 

until they found me.

Your Hands – Pablo Neruda

When your hands leap 

towards mine, love, 

what do they bring me in flight? 

Why did they stop 

at my lips, so suddenly, 

why do I know them, 

as if once before, 

I have touched them, 

as if, before being, 

they travelled 

my forehead, my waist? 

Their smoothness came 

winging through time, 

over the sea and the smoke, 

over the Spring, 

and when you laid 

your hands on my chest 

I knew those wings 

of the gold doves, 

I knew that clay, 

and that colour of grain. 

The years of my life 

have been roadways of searching, 

a climbing of stairs, 

a crossing of reefs. 

Trains hurled me onwards 

waters recalled me, 

on the surface of grapes 

it seemed that I touched you. 

Wood, of a sudden, 

made contact with you, 

the almond-tree summoned 

your hidden smoothness, 

until both your hands 

closed on my chest, 

like a pair of wings 

ending their flight.

Your Laughter – Pablo Neruda

Take bread away from me, if you wish, 

take air away, but 

do not take from me your laughter. 
Do not take away the rose, 

the lance flower that you pluck, 

the water that suddenly 

bursts forth in joy, 

the sudden wave 

of silver born in you. 
My struggle is harsh and I come back 

with eyes tired 

at times from having seen 

the unchanging earth, 

but when your laughter enters 

it rises to the sky seeking me 

and it opens for me all 

the doors of life. 
My love, in the darkest 

hour your laughter 

opens, and if suddenly 

you see my blood staining 

the stones of the street, 

laugh, because your laughter 

will be for my hands 

like a fresh sword. 
Next to the sea in the autumn, 

your laughter must raise 

its foamy cascade, 

and in the spring, love, 

I want your laughter like 

the flower I was waiting for, 

the blue flower, the rose 

of my echoing country. 
Laugh at the night, 

at the day, at the moon, 

laugh at the twisted 

streets of the island, 

laugh at this clumsy 

boy who loves you, 

but when I open 

my eyes and close them, 

when my steps go, 

when my steps return, 

deny me bread, air, 

light, spring, 

but never your laughter 

for I would die.

The First Meeting Of Radha And Krishna – Sant Surdas

Krishna went playing in the lanes of Braj, 

a yellow silk garment round his waist, 

holding a top and a string to spin it with, 

a crown of peacock-feathers adorning his head 

his ears with charming ear-rings decked, 

his teeth flashing brighter than the sun’s rays, 

his limbs anointed with sandalwood-paste. 
On the Yamuna bank he chanced to see Radha; 

a tika mark of turmeric on her brow, 

dressed in a flowing skirt and blue blouse, 

her lovely long wreathed hair dangling behind, 

a stripling, fair, of beauty unsurpassed 

with he a bevy of fair milkmaids: 
Krishna’s eyes met her’s; 

love woke in his heart, 

says Suradasa, bewitched by her, 

he gazed and gazed.

The Lord Helps His Devotees – Sant Surdas

The voice falters 

when it sings of the deeds of the Lord 

who’s an ocean of mercy. 

He gave guileful Putana, who posed as his mother, a 

mother’s reward! 

He of whom the Vedas and the Upanishads sing as the Unmanifest, 

let Yashoda bind him with a rope, 

lamented Ugrasena’s grief, 

and after killing Kansa made him king 

paying him obeisance, bowing low; 

Freed the kings held captive by jardsandha 

at which the kingly hosts sang his praises; 

removing Gautama’s curse 

he restored life to stone-turned Ahalya:’ 

all in a moment he rescued Braj’s ruler from the sea-monster running to his 

aid as a cow to her calf,” 

he came hastening to rescue the king of the elephants; 

he got Namadeva’s hut thatched. 

says Suradasa, O, make Hari hear my prayer.

The Lord Is His Devotees Slave – Sant Surdas

Whatever is a devotee’s 

caste, clan, family, or name, 

Rama’s love for him is the same. 
Beggar and king 

are one to him. 
Say, of what caste could be 

Brahma or Shiva? 
Rama will never abide 

in the egotistic man’s heart 

therefore his slave, Suradasa, 

has abandoned pride. 
Rama was born in the Raghu clan 

Krishna found his home in Gokula. 
Words fail to tell of 

the Lord’s love 

universal, all-embracing; 

Dhruva was a Kshatriya, 

Prahlada a demon and Vidura the son of a maid: 

yet the Lord gave them his supreme love, 

Krishna washed the devotees’ feet 

at the Rajasuya. 
The Lord is the slave 

of his devotees 

age after age. 

The tongue can’t relate 

his countless deeds. 
Says Suradasa, the Puranas and Vedas 

are witness to these.

The Welcome Of The Women Of Braj – Sant Surdas

‘Tis morn, O Krishna, awake, all the pretty young milkmaids are calling for you; arise O Braj’s prince, The sun is up in the sky, the moon pales, the tender tamala trees are in full bloom . 
The women of Braj have stringed a garland of flowers of many kinds and wait to greet you. Arise dear child, wash your face and have your breakfast, O my heart’s delight! 
Says Sura, my Lord of large lotus-like eyes is the abode of bliss that never abates.

Yasoda Inducing Krishna To Stay Nearby – Sant Surdas

Kanha, don’t go so far to play, 

you do not know the ‘hau’ is here, 

I’ve learnt of it today. 

one boy came running just now 

I saw him crying away, 

the ‘hau’ clips the ears away 

of little boys astray. 

come let us be up and gone 

to near our place of stay, 

Sur, Shyam on hearing this, 

with Balaram came away.

Mother’s Story – Taslima Nasrin

My mother’s eyes became yellowish, egg-yoke like. 

Her belly swelled out rapidly like an overly full water tank 

ready to burst at any moment. 
No longer able to stand up, or sit down, or even move her fingers, she just lay there. 

At the end of her days, she did not look like Mother any more. 
Relatives appeared each morning, every evening, 

telling Mother to be prepared, 

telling her to be ready to die on the holy day, Friday, 

uttering la ilaha illallah, Allah Is One! 
They warned her not to disappoint the two angels– 
Munkar and Nakir. 
The relatives wanted to make certain that the room 
and yard would be clean 

that the perfume surma and the blue eye shadow atar 
would be present when Death would finally arrive. 
The disease had nearly devoured her entire body; 

it had stolen her last remaining strength; 

it had made her eyes bulge from their sockets, 

it had dried her tongue, 

it had sucked the air from her lungs. 
As she struggled to breathe, 

her forehead and eyebrows wretched with pain. 
The whole house demanded– shouting– 

that she should send her greatest respects and reverence 
to the Prophet. 

Not one doubted that she would go to Jannatul Ferdous, 
the highest level of heaven. 
Not one doubted that she would soon walk hand-in-hand 
with Muhammed, on a lovely afternoon, 
in the Garden of Paradise… 
No one doubted that the two would lunch together 
on pheasant and wine. 
Mother thus dreamed her lifelong dream: 

She would walk with Muhammed 
in the Garden of Paradise. 
But now, at the very time that she was about to depart from this Earth, what a surprise! 
She hesitated. 
Instead of stepping outside, and entering that Garden, 

she wished to stay and boil Birui rice for me. 

She wished to cook fish curry and to fry a whole hilsa. 

She wished to make me a spicy sauce with red potatoes. 
She wished to pick a young coconut for me 

from the south corner of her garden. 

She wished to fan me with a silken hand-fan, 

and to remove a few straggly hairs from my forehead. 
She wished to put a new bed sheet upon my bed, 

and to sew a frock with colorful embroidery– 
just for me. 
Yes, she wished to walk barefoot in the courtyard, 

and to prop up a young guava plant with a bamboo stick. 
She wished to sing sitting in the garden of hasnuhena, 
‘Never before, had such a bright moon shone down, 

never before, was night so beautiful.. .’ 
My mother wanted so desperately to live. 

There is, I know, no reincarnation, 

no last judgment day: 
Heaven, pheasant, wine, pink virgins — 

these are nothing but traps 
set by true believers. 
There is no heaven for mother to go. 

She will not walk in any garden with anybody whatsoever. 
Cunning foxes will instead enter her grave; 
they will eat her flesh; 

her white bones will be spread by the winds… 
Nevertheless, I do want to believe in Heaven 

over the seventh sky, or somewhere– 

a fabulous, magnificent heaven– 

somewhere where my mother would reach 
after crossing the bridge, 
the Pulsirat– which seems so impossible to cross. 
And there, once she has passed that bridge 
with the greatest ease, 
a very handsome man, the Prophet Muhammed, 

will welcome her, embrace her. 
He will feel her melt upon his broad chest. 
She will wish to take a shower in the fountain; 

she will wish to dance, to jump with joy; 

she will be able to do all the things 
that she has never done before. 
A pheasant will arrive on a golden tray. 

My mother will eat to her heart’s content. 

Allah Himself will come by foot into the garden to meet her; 

he will put a red flower into her hair, 
kiss her passionately. 
She will sleep on a soft feather bed; 

she will be fanned by seven hundred Hur, the virgins 

and be served cool water in silver pitcher 
by beautiful gelban, the young angels. 
She will laugh, 
her whole body will stir with enormous happiness. 
She will forget her miserable life on Earth… 
An atheist, 
How good I feel 

just to imagine 

somewhere there is a heaven

Mosque, Temple – Taslima Nasrin

Let the pavilions of religion 

be ground to bits, 

let the bricks of temples, mosques, guruduaras, churches 

be burned in blind fire, 

and upon those heaps of destruction 

let lovely flower gardens grow, spreading their fragrance. 

let children’s schools and study halls grow. 
For the welfare of humanity, now let prayer halls 

be turned into hospitals, orphanages, universities, 

Now let prayer halls become academies of art, fine art centers, 

scientific research institutes. 

Now let prayer halls be turned to golden rice fields 

in the radiant dawn, 

Open fields, rivers, restless seas. 
From now on, let religion’s other name be humanity.

So Let Them Rule The World – Taslima Nasrin

Just let them be free to do as they please… 
Let all the doors of the world’s arsenals swing open for them… 

Let them wield their swords and hang rifles from their waists… 

Let them clutch grenades in their fists… 
And with the grand inspiration of Dar-ul-Islam in their minds 

Let them go out onto the streets and behead the infidel… 
Let them torture women until death, 

after wrapping their obedient heads with veils, 

and confining them to their rooms… 
Let the rapists go berserk door to door 

to copulate in their erect hysteria, 

so that they can beget male babies to overcrowd the world. 
Let all the men become Talibans overnight… 

Let them seize the entire planet 

from Argentina to Iceland, from Maldives to Morocco, 

from the Bahamas to Bangladesh… 
May the whole universe become their citadel… 
Let the leaders of the world bow down 

upon the sacred land of Islam… 

And let them crown the heads of these terrorists, one by one. 
Yes, let the world’s leaders apologize with folded hands

for their own cruel misdeeds… 

Let them together imbibe the holy water— 

the filthy liquids of these true believers— 

so as to be blessed by their grace.

The Safe House – Taslima Nasrin

I’m compelled to live in such a house 

Where I’m forbidden to say ‘I like it not’ 

Though I feel aghast to live in here. 
Such a safe house I live in 

Where I’m destined to live and suffer 

But cannot weep. 

I must avoid eye contact with others 

Lest I should expose my pains inconclusive. 

In this house everyday at dawn 

My longings are slaying and before evening descends 

The pallid corpses are buried on its courtyard. 
My deep sighs break the silence of the safe house 

All other sounds are inconspicuous within and without the house. 

Every night I go to bed trepidation, 

And with the same feelings I wake up, 

While awake, I subject my own shadow to a monologue. 
I’m caught unawares by the invasion of a venomous snake, 

Hurtling wrath and loathing, squirms all over my body 

And hiss: Be off transcending boundaries 

Hush-hush escape to a far off quaint land 

Towards the impassable mountains. 

While creeping around the shadow, the serpent demands: 

Get lost forever. 
Friends, do pray for me 

For my safe exit, from the safe house, 

Pray for my lucky sojourn, 

Once in safety in an unsafe house. 
[This poem was written while Taslima was forced to live in confinement in an undisclosed location in Delhi from 22 November 2007 to 19 March 2008. Sujal Bhattacharya translated this poem from her book PRISONERS POEMS]

Strange Is The Path When You Offer Love – Mirabai 

Do not mention the name of love, 

O my simple-minded companion. 

Strange is the path 

When you offer your love. 

Your body is crushed at the first step. 
If you want to offer love 

Be prepared to cut off your head 

And sit on it. 

Be like the moth, 

Which circles the lamp and offers its body. 

Be like the deer, which, on hearing the horn, 

Offers its head to the hunter. 

Be like the partridge, 

Which swallows burning coals 

In love of the moon. 

Be like the fish 

Which yields up its life 

When separated from the sea. 

Be like the bee, 

Entrapped in the closing petals of the lotus. 
Mira’s lord is the courtly Giridhara. 

She says: Offer your mind 

To those lotus feet.

Mine Is Gopal – Mirabai 

Mine Is Gopal 

Mine is Gopal, the Mountain-Holder; there is no one else. 

On his head he wears the peacock-crown: He alone is my husband. 

Father, mother, brother, relative: I have none to call my own. 

I’ve forsaken both God, and the family’s honor: what should I do? 

I’ve sat near the holy ones, and I’ve lost shame before the people. 

I’ve torn my scarf into shreds; I’m all wrapped up in a blanket. 

I took off my finery of pearls and coral, and strung a garland of wildwood flowers. 

With my tears, I watered the creeper of love that I planted; 

Now the creeper has grown spread all over, and borne the fruit of bliss. 

The churner of the milk churned with great love. 

When I took out the butter, no need to drink any buttermilk. 

I came for the sake of love-devotion; seeing the world, I wept. 

Mira is the maidservant of the Mountain-Holder: 

Now with love He takes me across to the further shore.

Mira Danced With Ankle Bells – Mirabai 

Mira danced with ankle-bells on her feet. 
People said Mira was mad; my mother-in-law 
said I ruined the family reputation. 
Rana sent me a cup of poison and Mira 
drank it laughing. 
I dedicated my body and soul at the feet of Hari. 
I am thirsty for the nectar of the sight of him. 
Mira’s lord is Giridhar Nagar; I will 
come for refuge to him.

The Heat Of Midnight Tears – Mirabai 

Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening, 

Kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night. 
If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water, 

I would have asked to be born a fish in this life. 

If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts, 

Then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb! 

If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves, 

Then the goats would surely go to the Holy One before us! 
If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way, 

I would have adored a granite mountain years ago. 
Mirabai says: The heat of midnight tears will bring you to God. 

The Dark One Is Krishna – Mirabai

Thick overhead 

clouds of the monsoon, 

a delight to this feverish heart. 

Season of rain, 

season of uncontrolled whispers—the Dark One’s returning! 

O swollen heart, 

O sky brimming with moisture— 

tongued lightning first 

and then thunder, 

convulsive spatters of rain 

and then wind, chasing the summertime heat. 
Mira says: Dark One, 

I’ve waited— 

it’s time to take my songs 

into the street.

The Bhakti Path – Kabir 

The bhakti path winds in a delicate way. 

On this path there is no asking and no not asking. 

The ego simply disappears the moment you touch 


The joy of looking for him is so immense that you 

just dive in, 

and coast around like a fish in the water. 

If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer 


The Bride Soul – Kabir 

When will that day dawn, Mother; 

When the One I took birth for 

Holds me to His heart with deathless love? 

I long for the bliss of divine union. 

I long to lose my body, mind, and soul 

And become one with my husband. 

When will that day dawn, Mother? 

Husband, fulfil now the longing I have had 

Since before the universe was made. 

Enter me completely and release me. 

In terrible lonely years without You 

I yearn and yearn for You. 

I spend sleepless nights hunting for You, 

Gazing into darkness after You, 

With unblinking hopeless eyes. 

When will that day dawn, Mother? 

When will my Lord hold me to His heart? 

My empty bed, like a hungry tigress, 

Devours me whenever I try to sleep. 

Listen to your slave’s prayer – 

Come and put out this blaze of agony 

That consumes my soul and body. 

When will He hold me to His heart? 

When will that day dawn, Mother? 

Kabir sings, “If I ever meet You, my Beloved, 

I’ll cling to you so fiercely You melt into me; 

I’ll sing from inside You songs of union, 

World-dissolving songs of Eternal Bliss.”

The Moon Shines In My Body – Kabir 

The moon shines in my body, 

but my blind eyes cannot see it: 

The moon is within me, 

and so is the sun. 
The unstruck drum of Eternity is sounded within me; 

but my deaf ears cannot hear it. 
So long as man clamours for the ‘I’ and the ‘Mine’, 

his works are as naught: 

When all love of the ‘I’ and the ‘Mine’ is dead, 

then the work of the Lord is done. 
For work has no other aim than the getting of knowledge: 

When that comes, then work is put away. 
The flower blooms for the fruit: 

when the fruit comes, the flower withers. 

The musk is in the deer, 

but it seeks it not within itself: 

it wanders in quest of grass.

The Self Forgets Itself – Kabir 

The self forgets itself 

as a frantic dog in a glass temple 

barks himself to death; 

as a lion, seeing a form in the well, 

leaps on the image; 

as a rutting elephant sticks his tusk 

in a crystal boulder. 

The monkey has his fistful of sweets 

and won’t let go. So 

from house to house 

he gibbers. 

Kabir says, parrot-on-a-pole: 

who has caught you?

Where Spring, The Lord Of The Seasons – Kabir

Where Spring, the lord of the seasons, reigneth, 

there the Unstruck Music sounds of itself, 

There the streams of light flow in all directions; 

Few are the men who can cross to that shore! 
There, where millions of Krishnas stand with hands folded, 

Where millions of Vishnus bow their heads, 

Where millions of Brahmas are reading the Vedas, 

Where millions of Shivas are lost in contemplation, 

Where millions of Indras dwell in the sky, 

Where the demi-gods and the munis are unnumbered, 

Where millions of Saraswatis, Goddess of Music, play on the veena 

There is my Lord self-revealed: 

and the scent of sandal and flowers dwells in those deeps.

Within This Earthen Vessel – Kabir

WITHIN this earthen vessel are bowers and groves, 

and within it is the Creator: 

Within this vessel are the seven oceans 

and the unnumbered stars. 

The touchstone and the jewel-appraiser are within; 

and within this vessel the Eternal soundeth, 

and the spring wells up. 

Kabîr says: 

‘Listen to me, my Friend! 

My beloved Lord is within.’

Height In Depth – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

HE turned his face apart, and gave a sigh 

And a strange whimper—such a pitiful thing 

As haunts the heart for days. “Yes, Love can bring 

Unto a pass so low that it seems high: 

And, when we see a brave and strong man cry 

With a poor infant’s feeble sorrowing, 

It is a nobler passion than to wing 

Shafts of small angers and small prides,” thought I. 

There is a love so deaf that it can hear 

Not even its own voice which bids it seek 

A name for its own meanness: it would find 

The outlet else. But thus it is a sheer 

Humility—an earnestness so meek 

That your knees bow and sharp tears make you blind.

Genius In Beauty – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Beauty like hers is genius. Not the call 

Of Homer’s or of Dante’s heart sublime, — 

Not Michael’s hand furrowing the zones of time, — 

Is more with compassed mysteries musical; 

Nay, not in Spring’s Summer’s sweet footfall 

More gathered gifts exuberant Life bequeaths 

Than doth this sovereign face, whose love-spell breathes 

Even from its shadowed contour on the wall. 
As many men are poets in their youth, 

But for one sweet-strung soul the wires prolong 

Even through all change the indomitable song; 

So in likewise the envenomed years, whose tooth 

Rends shallower grace with ruin void of truth, 

Upon this beauty’s power shall wreak no wrong.

During Music – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

O COOL unto the sense of pain 

That last night’s sleep could not destroy; 

O warm unto the sense of joy, 

That dreams its life within the brain. 

What though I lean o’er thee to scan 

The written music cramped and stiff;— 

‘Tis dark to me, as hieroglyph 

On those weird bulks Egyptian. 

But as from those, dumb now and strange, 

A glory wanders on the earth, 

Even so thy tones can call a birth 

From these, to shake my soul with change. 

O swift, as in melodious haste 

Float o’er the keys thy fingers small; 

O soft, as is the rise and fall 

Which stirs that shade within thy breast.

Dream-Love – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping 

In May-time of the year, 

Among the lilies, 

Lapped in the tender light: 

White lambs come grazing, 

White doves come building there: 

And round about him 

The May-bushes are white. 
Soft moss the pillow 

For oh, a softer cheek; 

Broad leaves cast shadow 

Upon the heavy eyes: 

There wind and waters 

Grow lulled and scarcely speak; 

There twilight lingers 

The longest in the skies. 
Young Love lies dreaming; 

But who shall tell the dream? 

A perfect sunlight 

On rustling forest tips; 

Or perfect moonlight 

Upon a rippling stream; 

Or perfect silence, 

Or song of cherished lips. 
Burn odours round him 

To fill the drowsy air; 

Weave silent dances 

Around him to and fro; 

For oh, in waking 

The sights are no so fair, 

And song and silence 

Are not like these below. 
Young Love lies dreaming 

Till summer days are gone, – 

Dreaming and drowsing 

Away to perfect sleep: 

He sees the beauty 

Sun hath not looked upon, 

And tastes the fountain 

Unutterably deep. 
Him perfect music 

Doth hush unto his rest, 

And through the pauses 

The perfect silence calms: 

Oh, poor the voices 

Of earth from east to west, 

And poor earth’s stillness 

Between her stately palms. 
Young Love lies drowsing 

Away to poppied death; 

Cool shadows deepen 

Across the sleeping face: 

So fails the summer 

With warm delicious breath; 

And what hath autumn 

To give us in its place? 
Draw close the curtains 

Of branched evergreen; 

Change cannot touch them 

With fading fingers sere: 

Here first the violets 

Perhaps with bud unseen, 

And a dove, may be, 

Return to nestle here.

First Love Remembered – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

PEACE in her chamber, wheresoe’er 

It be, a holy place: 

The thought still brings my soul such grace 

As morning meadows wear. 

Whether it still be small and light, 

A maid’s who dreams alone, 

As from her orchard-gate the moon 

Its ceiling showed at night: 

Or whether, in a shadow dense 

As nuptial hymns invoke, 

Innocent maidenhood awoke 

To married innocence: 

There still the thanks unheard await 

The unconscious gift bequeathed: 

For there my soul this hour has breathed 

An air inviolate.

Soul’s Beauty – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Under the arch of Life, where love and death, 

Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw 

Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe, 

I drew it in as simply as my breath. 

Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath, 

The sky and sea bend on thee,—which can draw, 

By sea or sky or woman, to one law, 

The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath. 
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise 

Thy voice and hand shake still,—long known to thee 

By flying hair and fluttering hem,—the beat 

Following her daily of thy heart and feet, 

How passionately and irretrievably, 

In what fond flight, how many ways and days!

On The New Year – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

FATE now allows us, 
‘Twixt the departing 
And the upstarting, 

Happy to be; 

And at the call of 
Memory cherish’d, 
Future and perish’d 

Moments we see. 
Seasons of anguish,– 
Ah, they must ever 
Truth from woe sever, 

Love and joy part; 

Days still more worthy 
Soon will unite us, 
Fairer songs light us, 

Strength’ning the heart. 
We, thus united, 
Think of, with gladness, 
Rapture and sadness, 

Sorrow now flies. 

Oh, how mysterious 
Fortune’s direction! 
Old the connection, 
New-born the prize! 
Thank, for this, Fortune, 
Wavering blindly! 
Thank all that kindly 

Fate may bestow! 

Revel in change’s 
Impulses clearer, 
Love far sincerer, 

More heartfelt glow! 
Over the old one, 
Wrinkles collected, 
Sad and dejected, 

Others may view; 

But, on us gently 
Shineth a true one, 
And to the new one 

We, too, are new. 
As a fond couple 
‘Midst the dance veering, 
First disappearing, 

Then reappear, 

So let affection 
Guide thro’ life’s mazy 
Pathways so hazy 

Into the year!

New Love, New Life  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

HEART! my heart! what means this feeling? 
What oppresseth thee so sore? 

What strange life is o’er me stealing! 
I acknowledge thee no more. 

Fled is all that gave thee gladness, 

Fled the cause of all thy sadness, 
Fled thy peace, thine industry- 
Ah, why suffer it to be? 
Say, do beauty’s graces youthful, 
Does this form so fair and bright, 

Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful, 
Chain thee with unceasing might? 

Would I tear me from her boldly, 

Courage take, and fly her coldly, 
Back to her. I’m forthwith led 
By the path I seek to tread. 

By a thread I ne’er can sever, 
For ’tis ‘twined with magic skill, 

Doth the cruel maid for ever 
Hold me fast against my will. 

While those magic chains confine me, 

To her will I must resign me. 
Ah, the change in truth is great! 
Love! kind love! release me straight!

Declaration Of War – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

OH, would I resembled 
The country girls fair, 

Who rosy-red ribbons 
And yellow hats wear! 
To believe I was pretty 
I thought was allow’d; 

In the town I believed it 
When by the youth vow’d. 
Now that Spring hath return’d, 
All my joys disappear; 

The girls of the country 
Have lured him from here. 
To change dress and figure, 
Was needful I found, 

My bodice is longer, 
My petticoat round. 
My hat now is yellow. 
My bodice like snow; 

The clover to sickle 
With others I go. 
Something pretty, e’er long 
Midst the troop he explores; 

The eager boy signs me 
To go within doors. 
I bashfully go,– 
Who I am, he can’t trace; 

He pinches my cheeks, 
And he looks in my face. 
The town girl now threatens 
You maidens with war; 

Her twofold charms pledges . 
Of victory are.

Lover In All Shapes – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To be like a fish, 

Brisk and quick, is my wish; 

If thou cam’st with thy line. 

Thou wouldst soon make me thine. 

To be like a fish, 

Brisk and quick, is my wish. 
Oh, were I a steed! 

Thou wouldst love me indeed. 

Oh, were I a car 

Fit to bear thee afar! 

Oh, were I a steed! 

Thou wouldst love me indeed. 
I would I were gold 

That thy fingers might hold! 

If thou boughtest aught then, 

I’d return soon again. 

I would I were gold 

That thy fingers might hold! 
I would I were true, 

And my sweetheart still new! 

To be faithful I’d swear, 

And would go away ne’er. 

I would I were true, 

And my sweetheart still new! 
I would I were old, 

And wrinkled and cold, 

So that if thou said’st No, 

I could stand such a blow! 

I would I were old, 

And wrinkled and cold. 
An ape I would be, 

Full of mischievous glee; 

If aught came to vex thee, 

I’d plague and perplex thee. 

An ape I would be, 

Full of mischievous glee 
As a lamb I’d behave, 

As a lion be brave, 

As a lynx clearly see, 

As a fox cunning be. 

As a lamb I’d behave, 

As a lion be brave. 
Whatever I were, 

All on thee I’d confer; 

With the gifts of a prince 

My affection evince. 

Whatever I were, 

All on thee I’d confer. 
As nought diff’rent can make me, 

As I am thou must take me! 

If I’m not good enough, 

Thou must cut thine own stuff. 

As nought diff’rent can make me, 

As I am thou must take me!

Joy And Sorrow – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As a fisher-boy I fared 
To the black rock in the sea, 

And, while false gifts I prepared. 
Listen’d and sang merrily, 

Down descended the decoy, 
Soon a fish attack’d the bait; 

One exultant shout of joy,– 
And the fish was captured straight. 
Ah! on shore, and to the wood 
Past the cliffs, o’er stock and stone, 

One foot’s traces I pursued, 
And the maiden was alone. 

Lips were silent, eyes downcast 
As a clasp-knife snaps the bait, 

With her snare she seized me fast, 
And the boy was captured straight. 
Heav’n knows who’s the happy swain 
That she rambles with anew! 

I must dare the sea again, 
Spite of wind and weather too. 

When the great and little fish 
Wail and flounder in my net, 

Straight returns my eager wish 
In her arms to revel yet!

Happiness And Vision – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

TOGETHER at the altar we 

In vision oft were seen by thee, 
Thyself as bride, as bridegroom I. 

Oft from thy mouth full many a kiss 

In an unguarded hour of bliss 
I then would steal, while none were by. 
The purest rapture we then knew, 

The joy those happy hours gave too, 
When tasted, fled, as time fleets on. 

What now avails my joy to me? 

Like dreams the warmest kisses flee, 
Like kisses, soon all joys are gone.

गाई  – शिवगोपाल रिसाल

गाई हाम्रो पशुधन, गोठको शोभा गाई

गाईजस्तो अरू छैन गाउँघरलाई

गाई पाल्ने देश हाम्रो गाईलाई मान्छ

वर्षैपिच्छे तिहारमा गाईको पूजा हुन्छ
घाँसपात, कुँडो, पराल, भुस्सा यसले खान्छ

अरूभन्दा तागतिलो दूध यसले दिन्छ

दूधबाट दही बन्छ, दहीबाट घिउ

दूध, दही, घिउ खाँदा राम्रो हुन्छ जीउ
घर लिप्न, चोख्याउन गोबर यसले दिन्छ

खेतबारीमा हाल्ने मल गोबरबाट बन्छ

मर्दा-पर्दा, धर्म गर्दा गौदान गाईकै हुन्छ

गुइँठो पारेपछि गोबर बाल्न पनि हुन्छ
गाईका काम धेरै हुन्छन्, कामधेनु गाई

गाई आमा पनि भन्छौँ हामी गाईलाई

हामी गाईको माया गर्छौँ गाईका धेरै गुन

यो राष्ट्रिय जनावर नेपालको धन

रमाइलो धर्ती – कृष्णप्रसाद पराजुली

हराभरा धर्ती राम्रो, नीलो आकाश राम्रो

घाम राम्रो, दिन राम्रो, जून पनि राम्रो

धर्तीभरि रमाइला कुरा धेरै हुन्छन्

पहाड, मैदान, खोलानाला, वनपाखा हुन्छन्
हिमालबाट तल झरी थरीथरी नदी

समुन्द्रमा मिल्न जान्छन् सललल बगी

ढुङ्गा हुन्छ, माटो हुन्छ, रूख यहीँ हुन्छ

जीवजन्तु सबको बास धर्तीमा नै हुन्छ
रमाइलो हिउँद-वर्षा घुमीफिरी आउँछ

फलफुल, अन्नपानी धर्ती उब्जाउँछ

धर्तीमा नै रहेका छन् सुन-तामाका खानी

राम्रो लाग्छ यही धर्ती, राम्रो घामपानी

पाप लाग्छ – लक्ष्मीप्रसाद देवकोटा

नटिप्नु हेर कोपिला

नचुँड्नु पाप लाग्दछ

नच्यात्नु फुल नानी हो

दया र धर्म भाग्दछ
नछोप्नु है चरी बरी

सराप आँसु लाग्दछ

नमार्नु जन्तु है कुनै

बसेर काल जाग्दछ
न घाउ चोट लाउनू

सडेर चित्त पाक्दछ

धुलो नफेक्नु नानी हो

उडेर भित्र ढाक्दछ
हिलो नखेल्नु फोहरी

खराब दाग लाग्दछ

न चित्त है दुखाउनु

डसेर आँसु बग्दछ
बनेर फुलझैँ सधैँ

हँसाउनू सुवास दी

सधैँ रमाउनू जगत्

रमेर नित्य आस दी
जताततै छ ईश रे

छ सुन्नु त्यो विचार रे

छकाउने लुकाउने

नराख भाव क्यै गरे

बिहानीको गीत  – गणेश ‘विषम’

चिरबिर गर्छ गौँथली हाम्रै घर आँगनमा

फुरफुर गर्छ पुतली हाम्रै फुलबारीमा

हाम्रा राम्रा वनचरी बिहानी पो डाक है

आजभन्दा भोलि झन् अझ राम्रो पार है
के के भन्छौ पालुवा बोलेजस्तै गरेर

हाम्रै वन डाँडामा तिमीहरू झुलेर

हामी त बालक साना छौँ सबै राम्रो देख्दछौँ

बारीकै फुल टिपेर बिहानीलाई पुज्दछौँ
हिमालका चुलीमा सूर्यका ज्योति छरिए

पहेँलपुर भुइँमा हिमाली पाखा चम्किए

धोबिनी चरी बसेर फुलबारीमा गाउँछे

विकासको बिहानी सूर्यसँगै आउँछे

Pathos Of Love – Allama Muhammad Iqbal

O Pathos of Love! You are a glossy pearl 

Beware, you should not appear among strangers 
The theatre of your display is concealed under the veil 

The modern audience’ eye accepts only the visible display 
New breeze has arrived in the Existence’ garden 

O Pathos of Love! Now there is no pleasure in display 
Beware! You should not be striving for ostentation! 

You should not be obligated to the nightingale’s lament!
The tulip’s wine‐cup should be devoid of wine 

The dew’s tear should be a mere dropp of water 
Your secret should be hidden in the bosom somewhere

Your heart‐melting tear should not be your betrayer 
The flowery‐styled poet’s tongue should not be talking 

Separation’s complaint should not be concealed in flute’s music 
This age is a critic, go and somewhere conceal yourself

In the heart in which you are residing conceal yourself 
The learning’s surprise is neglecting you, beware! 

Your immature eye is not the seeker of Truth, beware 
Let the elegant thought remain in search of Truth 

Let your wisdom‐loving eye remain in astonishment 
This is not the garden whose spring you may be 

This is not the audience worthy of your appearance 
This audience is the lover of the material sights 

The purpose of your sight is the closet of secrecy 
Every heart is intoxicated with the wine of thinking 

Something different is the Tur of the Kalims of this age

 Jawab-E-Shik – Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Whatever comes out of the heart is effective 

It has no wings but has the power of flight 
It has holy origins, it aims at elegance 

It rises from dust, but has access to the celestial world 
My love was seditious, rebellious and clever 

My fearless wailing rent through the sky 
On hearing it the sun said, ‘Somewhere there is somebody! ‘ 

The planets said, ‘At the ‘Arsh-i-Bar

Poems On Man – Rabindranath Tagore

Man goes into the noisy crowd 

to drown his own clamour of silence. 
Man is immortal; therefore he must die endlessly. 

For life is a creative idea; 

it can only find itself in changing forms. 
Man’s abiding happiness is not in getting anything 

but in giving himself up to what is greater than himself, 

to ideas which are larger than his individual life, 

the idea of his country, 

of humanity, 

of God.

Poems On Life – Rabindranath Tagore

Life is given to us, 

we earn it by giving it. 
Let the dead have the immortality of fame, 

but the living the immortality of love. 
Life’s errors cry for the merciful beauty 

that can modulate their isolation into a 

harmony with the whole. 
Life, like a child, laughs, 

shaking its rattle of death as it runs.