Poem – In Praise of Henna 

A KOKILA called from a henna-spray: 

Lira! liree! Lira! liree! 

Hasten, maidens, hasten away 

To gather the leaves of the henna-tree. 

Send your pitchers afloat on the tide, 

Gather the leaves ere the dawn be old, 

Grind them in mortars of amber and gold, 

The fresh green leaves of the henna-tree.

A kokila called from a henna-spray: 

Lira! liree! Lira! liree! 

Hasten maidens, hasten away 

To gather the leaves of the henna-tree. 

The tilka’s red for the brow of a bride, 

And betel-nut’s red for lips that are sweet; 

But, for lily-like fingers and feet, 

The red, the red of the henna-tree. 

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