poem – the record

HE sleeps, his head upon his sword,
His soldier’s cloak a shroud;
His church-yard is the open field,–
Three times it has been plough’d:

The first time that the wheat sprung up
‘Twas black as if with blood,
The meanest beggar turn’d away
From the unholy food.

The third year, and the grain grew fair,
As it was wont to wave;
None would have thought that golden corn
Was growing on the grave.

His lot was but a peasant’s lot,
His name a peasant’s name,
Not his the place of death that turns
Into a place of fame.

He fell as other thousands do,
Trampled down where they fall,
While on a single name is heap’d
The glory gain’d by all.

Yet even he whose common grave
Lies in the open fields,
Died not without a thought of all
The joy that glory yields.

That small white church in his own land,
The lime trees almost hide,
Bears on the walls the names of those
Who for their country died.

His name is written on those walls,
His mother read it there,
With pride,–oh! no, there could not be
Pride in the widow’s prayer.

And many a stranger who shall mark
That peasant roll of fame,
Will think on prouder ones, yet say
This was a hero’s name.

poem – the power of words

Tis a strange mystery, the power of words!
Life is in them, and death. A word can send
The crimson colour hurrying to the cheek.
Hurrying with many meanings; or can turn
The current cold and deadly to the heart.
Anger and fear are in them; grief and joy
Are on their sound; yet slight, impalpable:–
A word is but a breath of passing air.

poem – the pilgrim

Vain folly of another age,
This wandering over earth,
To find the peace by some dark sin
Banish’d our household hearth.

On Lebanon the dark green pines
Wave over sacred ground,
And Carmel’s consecrated rose
Springs from a hallow’d mound.

Glorious the truth they testify,
And blessed is their name;
But even in such a sacred spot,
Are sin and woe the same.

O pilgrim! with each toilsome step,
Vain every weary day;
There is no charm in soil or shrine,
To wash thy guilt away.

Return, with prayer and tear, return
To those who weep at home;
To dry their tears will more avail,
Than o’er a world to roam.

There’s hope for one who leaves with shame,
The guilt that lured before;
Remember, He who said, ‘Repent,’
Said also, ‘Sin no more.’

Return, and in thy daily round
Of duty and of love,
Thou best wilt find that patient faith
Which lifts the soul above.

In ev’ry innocent prayer, each child
Lisps at his father’s knee: –
If thine has been to teach that prayer,
There will be hope for thee.

There is a small white church, that stands
Beside thy father’s grave,
There kneel and pour those earnest prayers,
That sanctify and save.

Around thee draw thine own home-ties,
And, with a chasten’d mind,
In meek well-doing seek that peace,
No wandering will find.

In charity and penitence,
Thy sin will be forgiven: –
Pilgrim, the heart is the true shrine,
Whence prayers ascend to Heaven.

poem – the poor

Few, save the poor, feel for the poor:
The rich know not how hard
It is to be of needful food
And needful rest debarred.

Their paths are paths of plenteousness,
They sleep on silk and down;
And never think how heavily
The weary head lies down.

They know not of the scanty meal,
With small pale faces round;
No fire upon the cold, damp hearth
When snow is on the ground.

They never by the window lean,
And see the gay pass by;
Then take their weary task again,
But with a sadder eye.

poem – the orphan

Alone, alone! – no other face
Wears kindred smile, kindred line;
And yet they say my mother’s eyes.
They say my father’s brow, is mine;
And either had rejected to see
The other’s likeness in my face,
But now it is a stranger’s eye,
That finds some long forgotten trace.

I heard them name my father’s death,
His home and tomb alike the wave;
And I was early taught to weep,
Beside my youthful mother’s grave.
I wish I could recall one look, –
But only one familiar tone;
If I had aught of memory,
I should not feel so all alone.

My heart is gone beyond the grave,
In search of love I cannot find,
Till I could fancy soothing words
Are whisper’d by the ev’ning wind:
I gaze upon the watching stars,
So clear, so beautiful above,
Till I could dream they look on me
With something of an answering love.

My mother! does thy gentle eye
Look from those distant stars on me?
Or does the wind at ev’ning bear
A message to thy child from thee?
Dost thou pine for me, as I pine
Again a parent’s love to share?
I often kneel beside thy grave,
And pray to be a sleeper there.

The vesper bell! – ’tis eventide,
I will not weep, but I will pray:
God of the fatherless, ’tis Thou
Alone canst be the orphan’s stay!
Earth’s meanest flower, heaven’s mightiest star,
Are equal to their Maker’s love.
And I can say, ‘Thy will be done,’
With eyes that fix their hopes above.

poem – secrets

LIFE has dark secrets; and the hearts are few
That treasure not some sorrow from the world–
A sorrow silent, gloomy, and unknown,
Yet colouring the future from the past.
We see the eye subdued, the practised smile,
The word well weighed before it pass the lip,
And know not of the misery within:
Yet there it works incessantly, and fears
The time to come; for time is terrible,
Avenging, and betraying.

poem – revenge

Ay, gaze upon her rose-wreathed hair,
And gaze upon her smile;
Seem as you drank the very air
Her breath perfumed the while:

And wake for her the gifted line,
That wild and witching lay,
And swear your heart is as a shrine,
That only owns her sway.

‘Tis well: I am revenged at last,—
Mark you that scornful cheek,—
The eye averted as you pass’d,
Spoke more than words could speak.

Ay, now by all the bitter tears
That I have shed for thee,—
The racking doubts, the burning fears,—
Avenged they well may be—

By the nights pass’d in sleepless care,
The days of endless woe;
All that you taught my heart to bear,
All that yourself will know.

I would not wish to see you laid
Within an early tomb;
I should forget how you betray’d,
And only weep your doom:

But this is fitting punishment,
To live and love in vain,—
Oh my wrung heart, be thou content,
And feed upon his pain.

Go thou and watch her lightest sigh,—
Thine own it will not be;
And bask beneath her sunny eye,—
It will not turn on thee.

‘Tis well: the rack, the chain, the wheel,
Far better hadst thou proved;
Ev’n I could almost pity feel,
For thou art nor beloved.

poem – children

A word will fill the little heart
With pleasure and with pride;
It is a harsh, a cruel thing,
That such can be denied.

And yet how many weary hours
Those joyous creatures know;
How much of sorrow and restraint
They to their elders owe!

How much they suffer from our faults!
How much from our mistakes!
How often, too, mistaken zeal
An infant’s misery makes!

We overrule and overteach,
We curb and we confine,
And put the heart to school too soon,
To learn our narrow line.

No: only taught by love to love,
Seems childhood’s natural task;
Affection, gentleness, and hope,
Are all its brief years ask.

poem – krishna learns to walk

Kanha walks
Two steps at a time,
Yasoda’s desires see
Fulfilment sublime.
‘Runuk jhunk’ sing His anklets,
A sound
So pleasing to the mind.
He sits,
But then is up immediately,
A sight difficult to describe.
All the ladies of Braj tire
Of seeing such beauty divine.

poem – krishna begining to speak

Mohan’s begun to say ‘Maiya Maiya,’
And ‘Baba Baba’ to Nanda,
Balaram He’s calling ‘baiya’
From atop the house Yasoda shouts
Taking the name of kanhaiya.
Don’t go far to play my darling
Someone’s cow will hit ye.
The gopas and gopis celebrate boisterously
In each house there is festivity
Surdas, for a glimpse of the Lord
My all is surrendered to the Almighty.

poem – awake o ! prince of braj

Awake, Krishna,
awake the lotus-petals
open the water-lilies droop
the bumblebees have left
the creepers cocks crow,
and birds chirp on the trees.
The cows are in the byre lowing;
they run after their calves;
the moon fades before the sun.
Men and women arise
and joyfully sing their songs;
Krishna, of hands lotus-like awake,
for the day is about to dawn.

poem – krishna’s meal

Kanha eats in Yasoda’s lap.
some he eats, some he drops,
as the ladies of Nandgaon watch,
some he eats and some he puts
in Nanda’s mouth,
this joy is beyound recount.
some he eats, some gives to gopas,
butter in his hands, curd in doniyas.
The joy of Yasoda
the three worlds cannot account.
the meal is over, Kanha washes,
for Sur the left-overs count.

poem – merciful krishna

See the greatness of Krishna;
though Lord, Father and Master of the world
he willingly bears the arrogance of his close devotees
Shiva and Brahma were roaring mad
when Bhrigu kicked them,
but he gently pressed the sage’s foot
when it struck his breast!’
Which of the gods
can emulate him?
He befriends selflessly;

Embracing his foe Ravana’s brother, Vibhisana’ as lovingly as his own
brother Bharata, sending to heaven the demoness Putana

who tried to kill him’-
Such is Sura’s Lord,
the selfless Giver.

कविता – शिमल

शिमल जति बढे पनि घमन्डले चढे पनि
शिमल सेतै फुले पनि सेतै भुवा उडे पनि
अलि बढेर के भायो भुवा उडेर के भयो
सेतै फुलेर के भयो, सेतै झरेर के भयो
गुलाब मानको हुने शिमल फुलेर के हुने
घोचे पनि गुलाब हो शिमल बढेर के हुने
सेतै फुले के भयो न देवको न प्रित्तको
जति बढे नि के भयो न भित्रको न मित्रको
न काठको न फुलको न मोल तोलको कतै
न रंगको छ मोहनी छरेर बास्ना कतै
शिमल भुवा समानका न भित्र चित्त चेतना
शिमल बढे समानाका नि भित्र स्वच्छ भावना
बसन्तको बहार शिमल फुलेर आउला
शिमल बढेर ढुंगामा बसन्त राग गाउला
बनै शिमल मने शिमल शिमल छ चेतना पनि
छ अग्लिंदै कुकाठले बडो म भन्छ तैपनि
सेतो छ रंग फुलमा न बास्ना रंगको बसन्तको
दिगो दरो नदेखिने हुँदैन है जीवन्तको
नि टिप्नुको फुलेर मात्र के भयो
न लाएको न बिक्नु को टिढै गरेर के भयो
कुकाठ अग्लिंदै गए मोटो भएर के भयो
न गाबको न कामको ठूलै भएर के भयो
शिमल घमन्डमा फुले अदुरदर्शिता पनि
जति बढेर के भो शिमल घमन्डका धनी
शिमल जति बढे पनि मोटो कु काठ काम खै
ठूलो भएर के भयो लुतो कुकाठ नामकै
शिमल पलाउँदै गए महु बडा बडी रहँु
शिमल समानका हुँदै म उच्चमा चढिरहँु
कुकाठ सल्किंदै गए शिमल हल्लक हल्कियो
शिमल मोटोे हल्केको बढो विचित्र हल्कियो
दलिन नयाँ दरा बरा शिमल हेरेर हुन्न है
न शिरको न पीरको शिमल झरेर जान्छ है
शिमल झरेर के भयो क्षति रति हुँदैन है
न गाबको बढे पनि आदर्श भन्न हुन्न है
कति झरे कति छरे भुवा समान दर्शन
शिमल बढा म हुँ कैै घमन्ड फूल्छ जीवन
न छो न छो शिमल भुवा हावा बनेर उड्नु है
अझै अझङगका बनि शिमल समान बन्नु है
शिमल बढेर के भयो सेतै फुलेर के भयो
शिमल ढलेर के भयो शिमल बढेर के भयो

poem – nanda’s darling child

Who can contain his joy, say, on seeing the lotus-like lovely face of Nanda’s darling child when he awakes?

His beauty infatuates sages,and destroys the pride of Kama, it captivates the hearts of hundreds of young girls. When he softly smiles the gleam of his teeth seems as though rubies have been stringed with pearls.

When my Lord, Nanda’s lovely child goes out, says Suradasa, the people of Braj are bewitched by his loveliness.

कविता – ब्लेकहोल र मेरो देश

मेरो देश परिवेश तिरै
बहुला दौडे जस्तै
र्‍याल बगाउँदै पुच्छर लुकाउँदै
अनाहारी शिशु माथि
सिंहराजले झम्टे जस्तै
झम्टिने योजना बोकेर
दिन दोब्बर रात चौब्बर
ब्लेक होल दौडिरहेछ
मेरै देशतिर मेरै परिवेश तिर
खै प्रतिवादको फर्मुला
त्वम शरंणं प्रार्थना गर्दै
कायन बाचा भन्दै
नदीको जलले
तराईको मलिलो माटोले
सिमारेखा वरिपरी
जजो गर्दा छोटिएका हातहरूले
कुर्सीको लागि
त्वम शरणं मनहरूले
गंगाजल सेवन गर्दै
तुलसी मठको माटोले
अञ्जी भदै मान्छेहरू
प्रार्थना गर्दैछन्
खै त के भो? ब्लेकहोल आइरहेछ
ब्लेकहोलले सूर्यचन्द्र खान सक्छ
ताराहरू खान सक्छ
मलाई मात्र होइन
तिमीलाई पनि निल्न सक्छ
बलभद्रको किल्ला साक्षी छ
कांगडाको किला साक्षी छ
अमरसिंहको विवेक सँगै
वीरहरूको पथप्रदर्शन साक्षी छ
अब हामीले
मुटु साटौं बलभद्रसँग
खुकुरी मागौं
गज घलेहरूसँग
खुकुरी आफ्नै उदिनमा
उदाउन सक्छौं
अमरसिंहको विवेकले
प्रतिपाद गर्न सक्छौं
सबै भक्षी
ब्लेकहोल सँग

कविता – विवशता

एउटा फरक यात्रामा निस्किरहँदा
फूलका सुगन्धहरुले
स्वागतका मुस्कान छरिरहे।
बर्षातका लहरहरुले
निस्किरहने फोहोर धोइरहे।
पहाडका गोरेटाहरुले
गजबको ताली ठोकिरहे।
निचोरिएका आँखाहरुले
परिवर्तनको आशा बोकिरहे।
निभिरहेका चूलाहरुले
उज्यालोको अनुभूति खोजिरहे।
यात्राका बीचहरुमा
बाटोका घुम्तीहरुमा
अवरोध बनी अल्भि्करहे।
छिस्केनी मात्र होइन
काँडेतारका तारबार भित्र
दबिएका मह140वकांक्षाहरु
इच्छाशक्तिका तासहरु
उभिएर रोक्न खोजे
ठट्टा गर्न खोजिरहे।
तिमीहरु सबै
गर्ल्यामगुर्लुम ढलिरहँदा
म त एक्लै


नठान्नु आकाश शुन्य हुन्छ एक तारा टुट्दैमा
हाम्रो यात्रा रोकिंदैन केही यात्री छुट्दैमा

लाखौं फूलको बगैंचामा एउटा फुल झरे के भो
थाल बनाउन रोकिंदैन टपरीहरू खुट्दैमा

जुन रूखले हिजो ओत्यो आज त्यही काटे पनि
अमर छ आस्था हाम्रो मर्दैन त्यो चुट्दैमा

कायरहरू अप्ठ्यारोमा हातखुट्टा कमाउछन
आउने छैन बाढी पहिरो बर्खे मूल फुट्दैमा

हिजो जसकेा वरिपरि घुम्थ्यौ पुच्छर हल्लाउँदै
नसोच तर्सन्छ बाघ दुईचार फ्याउरा जुट्दैमा

गजल – कमला क्षत्री

गरिबको श्रम, सीप सामन्तीले खान्छ किन
श्रम गर्ने श्रमिकको पसिना खेर जान्छ किन

वर्षभरी दुःखगरी उब्जाएको अन्नबाली
हरेक वर्ष साहुलेनै भरीभरी लान्छ किन

सधैभरी साहुकै काममा साँझविहान खान छैन
एकदिन काममा नजाँदा नी हप्काएर तान्छ किन

गरिबमारा ठालुहरुलाई न त नियम कानुन लाग्छ
अबुझ बनी गरिबैले उसलाई अझै मान्छ किन

उठौं मजदुर किसानहरु पसिनाको मूल्य लिन
खोजौं अझै समाजमा शोषककै सान छ किन

कविता – एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे


एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
एक दिन उसले
एउटा सपना देख्यो
संघीयताको !
संघीयता भित्र आफ्नो राज्यको !
त्यो राज्य भित्रको उ एउटा हकदार !!!
उ आफ्नो राज्यको मनोरम पहाडवाट
सेता झर्नाहरू खसेको देख्यो
पाखाहरूमा चेलीहरूको मिठो भाका पायो
चौपारी र देउरालीहरूमा
वाँसुरीको गुन्जन सुन्यो
हरिया डाडा माथी
गुरासका थुड्डा चुम्दै
आफ्नो राज्य भित्र
रातो घाम उदाएको देख्यो।
राज्य प्राप्तीका उल्लास सँगै
रड्डीन वेलुनहरू आकासमा उडाएर
आफ्नो राज्यको नागरीकहरूले
भव्य उत्सव मनाएको हेर्यो।

अर्को दिन उसले
फेरी पनि सपना देख्यो
उही संघीयताकोे !
जहाँ हर्केले वन्दुक वोकेर गर्जदै थियो ,
“यो मेरो राज्य हो।”
फरी अर्को ठाउँमा विर्खेले खुकुरी नचाउँदै थियो,
“मेरो राज्य खोई?”
एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
उसको सपनामा
उसले भाला र लाठी वोकेका
रक्तरञ्जित मान्छेहरू देख्यो
धनुकाँद भिरेका
आदिवासी जनजातिहरू देख्यो
उसको सपनाको यो अध्यायमा
वेलुन उडेको आकाशभरी
लडाकु विमान हरूको आतंक मडारियो
यसरी उ आफ्नो राज्यको कालो पहाडवाट
रगतको खोला वगेको देख्यो
पाखाहरूमा चेलीहरूको रोदन र चित्कार सुन्यो।

देउराली र चौपारीहरूमा
युवाहरूको विभत्स लाश भेटयो
उसले देखेको संघीयताको सपनामा
उसको राज्यको मनोरम पहाड भत्कीयो
गुराँसका थुड्डाहरू सवै झरे
उसको राज्यको देउराली र चौपारीहरू पनि हराए
उसको राज्यको रातो घाम
क्षितिज पारी गएर विलायो
संघीयताको महाद्धन्दवाट निस्किएको
अशान्तिको शोक धुन सँगै
उसको राज्यको मानचित्रै समेत मेटियो

अचम्म !
उस्तैमा उसको सपनाको
अर्को नविन अध्याय शरू भयो।
एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
अव उसको सपनामा
आकाश थर्काउने मेघको गर्जन सँगै
मोर्चामा उभिएका सहासिला योद्धाहरू देख्यो
धर्ती हल्लाउने भुइचालुका संर्घष सँगै
न्यायप्रेमी जनताहरूका आँतीला पदचाप देख्यो
उसले ज–जसलाई देख्यो
उनिहरूको एउटै हुँकार थियो
संघीयता चाहिंदैन !
यो हुँकार झन् झन् बुलन्द हुदै थियो
मान्छेहरूको पदचाप झन् झन् तेज हुँदै थियो।
अखन्ड नेपालको रक्षा गर्न
अव उसको सपनामा
हर्के पनि कुर्लदै सामेल भएको देख्यो
विर्खे पनि हर्के सँग जुर्रमुराएको पायो
एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
उ पनि के काम थियो र?
संघीयता चाहिदैन भन्दै
सवैभन्दा अगाडि मोर्चामा
रातो कात्रो बाँधेर उभियो।

कविता – खै के भनु?

अन्धकार चिर्दै
बन्धनहरू तोड्दै
अगाडि बढिरहेको बेला
अनेकौं मोडहरू पार गर्दै
शिखर चढिरहेको बेला
चटक्क यात्रा छोड्नेहरूलाई
ईतिहासलाई हिलो छ्यापी
ल73य मोड्ने हरूलाई
खै के भनु?

विजारोपण दोषको
के नौलो भयो र?
समय–समयका बर्बरहाटहरू
जसको प्रतिवाद तिमी पनि गर्‍यौ
उही पुराना शैलीले
उस्तै अफवा फैलाउँदै
रक्त रञ्जित झन्डा छोड्नेहरूलाई
सहयात्रीको नाता तोड्नेहरूलाई
खै के भनु?

अवसरवादका लप्काहरूलाई
विचारको रातो टालोले छोप्दै
महल पजेरो खोज्नेहरूलाई
सरल बाटो रोज्नेहरूलाई
खै के भनु?

पदप्रतिष्ठाको निम्ति
ऐस आरामको निम्ति
भित्र–भित्र सडेर
गिद्ध घुमाउनेहरूलाई
यात्राको नियम तोडेर
साहसको गाथा सुनाउनेहरूलाई
खै के भनु ?
खैके भनु?

कविता – ढुकेको छ मेरो रारा

हरियाली डौटो ओडि, आकाश छुने रारा
मेरो शिर उचा पार्ने, नेपालकै तारा
ऐना हेर्ने अग्ला डाँडा, चुचेमारा भेक
निर्मल जल निलो तल, मुख धुने लेक
ढुकेको छ मेरो सारा बाटो हेरिहेरी
नयाँ प्रदेश बनाउनु छ कर्णालीलाई फेरि
एकसय सत्सट्ी मिटर आँत मुटु छुने
तीन पाँच कि.मि. लम्बा चौडा विशाल
छाती छुने
वारिपारी खेल्ने गर्छन् मिलन चौर अनि
घाँसे मैदान, ठाकुरनाथ, खत्याड खोला पनि
ढुकेको छ मेरो रारा………..

भूल्भूले खोली बोकी डाँफे लेकमाथि
चारभेकको गमपाली, हिमालको छाती
बाटो हेरी छपक् मार्छन वनसम्पदा काफी
जडिबुटी अनगन्ति ढुकेका छन् डाकि
उठ् कर्णाली एक जुट हुँदै दासता हटाउनलाई
गणतन्त्र, स्वतन्त्र शासन नेपाल बनाउनलाई
जलविद्युत, माछापालन, के नहुने छ र?
पर्यटन उद्योग हुने विदेशीको घर
हिमाली चरा जन्तु दर्पन हेरी छायाँ
जैविक विविधता सँगै गाँसेको छ माया
ढुकेको छ मेरा रारा्

रारा मार्ग मोटर बाटो चेतना खुलेमा
बगैचा बाहैमासे हुन्छ, पाटना फूल फूलेमा
बहुआयामिक सम्भावना पोल्टो दासको छ
दीर्घकालीन योजना देशको सारा मागेको छ।
उठ् कर्णाली एकजुट हुँदै
विदेशी पर्यटक डाकी डलर फल्ने माल
देशलाई धनराशी भर्ने मेरो रारा ताल
ताल्चा विमान, घुम्ती बाटो होटल पसल
रारा विकास उत्थान हुने कर्णाली सफल
ढुकेको छ मेरो रारा…………

उठ् कर्णाली एकजुट हुँदै………..
गणतन्त्र स्वतन्त्र शासन नेपाल बनाउनलाई

poem – epitaph on thomas parnell

THIS tomb, inscrib’d to gentle Parnell’s name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly-moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure’s flowery way!
Celestial themes confess’d his tuneful aid;
And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow —
The transitory breath of fame below:
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While Converts thank their poet in the skies.

poem – the poet laberius

WHAT! no way left to shun th’ inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress’d with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw’d by pow’r, and unappall’d by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear;
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more.
For ah! too partial to my life’s decline,
Caesar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin’d to please.
Here then at once, I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.

kavita – jaado

एक्लै छु म
र दिल्लीको सडकमा गर्मी पस्दैन
म बसेको
पाँचतारे होटेलको
दुई सय चौध नम्बरको कोठामा ।
झुग्गीका मानिसहरुको
जाँड खाने भट्टी होईन
एक्लो छु
टेलिभिजनको पर्दा
पङ्खा, एअरकुलर
रक्सीका बोलत
हट डग र ह्याम्बर्गर
सबैसँग आनन्द गर्न सक्छु,
लबी म्यानेजर सुन्दरीका आँखामा
अल्झन सक्छु
खै मेरा ओछयानका उपियाँहरु ?
खै मेरो गर्मी ?
खै मेरो जाडो ?
र र्खै उदास आँखा लगाएर
हिजोदेखि भोकै बसेको मेरो भाइ ?
खै मेरा प्रिय मित्रहरु
जससँग हल्लँदा पनि
अनुभव हुन्छ —म बाँचेको छु ।
बाँचेको छु
तिनै हल्ला र काठमाडौका गल्लीहरुमा
बसेको छु एक्लंै तपस्यारत बुद्धझै
समाधि कसेर दिल्लीको पाँचतारे होटेलमा
र सोच्दैछु
किस्ने छेत्रीले किन माग्यो
मेरो भिजिटिङ कार्ड ?
बाथ टवमा नुहाउँछु
र मलाई सम्झना हुन्छ भक्केमुलाको
लिफ्बाट घरी उक्लेको छु
घरी ओर्लेको छु
र मलाई सम्झना हुन्छ
मेरो घरको लिस्नुको
जसबाट कति पटक पछारिएको छु भुइँमा
बोलेको छु अङ्गेजीमा सिगार च्यापेका ओठले
मलाई कलकत्ते तमाखु राखेर
माइली मैयाँले दिएको
बुट्टेदार सुल्पाको सम्झना हुन्छ ।
बाहिर मानिसहरु मर्दै छन्
तातो हावाको लहरले
र भित्र जाडो छ ।

kavita – antim yuddha

चमेराहरू झुन्डिइराखुन् रूखका हाँगाहरूमा
आकाशलाई पाताल र पाताललाई आकाश बनाइरहुन्
ढोईलाई लगाएर अघि–अघि
अभयारण्यमा लम्किरहोस् मत्त हात्ती
बघिनीहरू घुमफिर गरून् आफ्नो प्रिय जङ्गलमा
र स्नेह गरून् आ–आफ्ना डमरुलाई
हिउँदको चिसोमा
माटाको न्यानो गर्भमा
गुप्त बास बसुन्
या घाम ताप्न निस्कुन् सर्पहरू
स्यालहरू कुदून् बेतोडले
म्याराथुन धावकझैँे
पण्डितहरू मन्दिर जाऊन् या पादरीहरू चर्चतिर
प्रार्थना गरून् वा वर मागुन् आ–आफ्नो ईश्वरसँग
मलाई आपत्ति छैन शासकहरू हो !
यो संसार सबैको हो ।
तर राति झ्यालबाट पसेर चोरझैँ
मेरा जुँगा चाट्न हुन्न चमेराहरूले
मन्त्रीको आदेशमा डाँकाले झैँ
सुकुम्बासी गाउँ नउजाडुन् हात्तीहरूले
खोरका घारहरू फुकालेर
सुत्केरी बाख्राको कल्चौँडो खान हुन्न बघिनीहरूले
सानो दुधे शिशुलाई आँगनमा सुताएर
काममा गएकी छ उसकी आमा
फर्केपछि देख्नु नपरोस्
आफ्नो प्रिय शिशुको छातीमा
सर्पदंशका डोबहरू
कुनै किसानले पालेको कुखुरा
सुटुक्क चोरेर
खोल्सामा लगेर आफ्नो भोक तृप्त गर्न पाइँदैन स्यालहरूले
पण्डितहरू पनि बुझून्—मानिसको बलि दिनु हुन्न
पादरी वा मौलवीहरू पनि बुझून्—
अर्काको आयु ताछेर
आफ्नो आयुमा थप्न पाइन्न
यो संसार सबैको हो ।
संसार सबैको हो भने
मेरो पनि हो संसार
तर मेरो भाग खोसेर कसैले खायो भने
म तयार छु अन्तिम युद्घ गर्न
अन्तिम युद्घ अर्थात निर्णायक युद्घ
जसले फैसला गर्नेछ हारजितको
ए जङ्गल शासक र शिकारी शासकहरू हो !
मेरो सबैभन्दा तीखो हतियार
नैतिकता हो ।

kavita – waripari

देशे बेचेर आफ्नो छोरालाई घडेरी किन्नेहरु छन् वरिपरि
अर्काको काँधमा चढेर सगरमाथा आरोहण गर्नेहरु छन् वरिपरि
जोताएर तमाम मानिसहरुलाई किसान बन्नेहरु छन् वरिपरि
भोक्दै छु एकनाससँग
मलाई लुछ्दै गइरहेका किर्ना, जुम्रा र बिच्छीहरु झैं
केही बाबुहरु छन् वरिपरि ।
हावामा झुलिरहेछन् प्लाष्टिकका रङ्गीन फूलहरु
र जबरजस्ती चुँडिएर
पूजाकोठाको मूर्तिमा चढाइएका छन् सृष्टिका सुन्दर शिशुहरु
परन्तु निःशब्द मानिसहरुको लाटो भीड छ वरिपरि
निहत्था आमाहरुको जमात छ वरिपरि
र ग्रह घुमिरहेका उपग्रहहरु छन् वरिपरि
केही बाबुहरु छन् वरिपरि ।
यो कहाँ हो ?
कहाँ छु म ?
र कहाँ छ यहाँको मानवबस्ती ?
कतिहजार कोष टाढा फैलिएको छ यो अँध्यारो जङ्गल ?
को सँग सोधूँ, कहिले पुगिन्छ मानिसहरुको बस्तीमा ?
यहाँ त केही ताजमहलहरु छन्
जो बनाउँदा काटिए हातहरु कर्मीका
केवल ठुटा हात भएका कलाकारहरु छन् वरिपरि
इतिहास बन्दै गएका केही मानवकृतिहरु छन् वरिपरि
अकुत सम्पत्तिको समुद्रमा पौडिरहेका केही बाबुहरु छन् वरिपरि ।
छद्म समाजसेवीहरु छन् वरिपरि
मृत्यु—घण्टाको रालो अँठयाएर
जबरजस्ती बाँचिरहेका सिकारी चितुवाहरु छन् वरिपरि
सधै घातक खेलमा व्यस्त
व्यूह रचना गरिरहेका केही दुष्टहरु छन् वरिपरि
आगो चोरेको आरोपमा मानिसलाई सजाय दिन सधै उत्सुक
सिकारी द्यौताहरु छन् वरिपरि
केही बाबुहरु र उनका
प्रिय नातेदारहरु छन् वरिपरि ।

kavita – maag

मैले सारिसकें आफूलाई तिमीमा
मेरो प्रिय छोरा
अब म जन्मिसकें तिमी भएर
फेरि पलाइसके केशहरु मेरा
फेरि तिखारिएको छ आवाज मेरो
म फेरि खोज्न थालेको छु
मलाई खेल्न चाहिने
पर्याप्त मैदान ।
पुनर्जन्मको खोजमा डुल्दाडुल्दै
भेटिएकी थिइन् तिम्री आमा
उस्तै त हुन्छन् हरेक आमाहरु
मेरी आमा कलावतीजस्तै
तिम्री आमा शारदा जस्तै
स्नेह, करुणा र ममताले परिपूर्ण
तर तिम्री आमाजस्तै किताबहरु
जब तिमी खोज्छौ
र भेटिन्नन् कतै पनि
त्यस बेला
म फेरि खोज्न थाल्छु
तिम्रो लागि किताबहरु ।
ओह । म चञ्चल हुन फेरि उदाइसकें
उफ्रिन, कुदन र जुलुसमा नारा लगाउन
र केही वर्षपछि
म फेरि प्रेम गर्नेछु
कुनै प्रेमवती किशोरीसँग
त्यति बेला तिमी सार्नेछौ आफूलाई
आफ्नो नवजात शिशुसँग
र म अर्को पटक
समाहित भइसक्नेछु उसमा ।
तर अझैं
जब म हेर्छु तिमीलाई
दगुर्न नपुग्ने यस साँघुरो कोठामा
घरी यता, घरी उता गरिरहँदा
चुरचुर भएर खस्छ
मेरो अमरताको अभिमान,
तसर्थ म माग गर्दछु
यस महान् प्रजातन्त्रमा
आफ्ना निम्ति पर्याप्त मैदान ।

poem – hymn 149

The offices of Christ. From several scriptures.

Join all the names of love and power
That ever men or angels bore,
All are too mean to speak his worth,
Or set lmmannel’s glory forth.

But O what condescending ways
He takes to teach his heav’nly grace
My eyes with joy and wonder see
What forms of love he bears for me.

[The Angel of the cov’nant stands
With his commission in his hands,
Sent from his Father’s milder throne,
To make the great salvation known.]

[Great Prophet! let me bless thy name;
By thee the joyful tidings came
Of wrath appeased, of sins forgiv’n,
Of hell subdued, and peace with heav’n.]

[My bright Example and my Guide,
I would be walking near thy side;
O let me never run astray,
Nor follow the forbidden way!]

[I love my Shepherd, he shall keep
My wand’ring soul among his sheep;
He feeds his flock, he calls their names,
And in his bosom bears the lambs.]

[My Surety undertakes my cause,
Answering his Father’s broken laws:
Behold my soul at freedom set,
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.]

[Jesus, my great High Priest, has died;
I seek no sacrifice beside;
His blood did once for all atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.]

[My Advocate appears on high,
The Father lays his thunder by;
Not all that earth or hell can say
Shall turn my Father’s heart away.]

[My Lord, my Conqueror, and my King!
Thy sceptre and thy sword I sing;
Thine is the vict’ry, and I sit
A joyful subject at thy feet.]

[Aspire, my soul, to glorious deeds,
The Captain of salvation leads;
March on, nor fear to win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.]

[Should death, and hell, and powers unknown,
Put all their forms of mischief on,
I shall be safe; for Christ displays
Salvation in more sovereign ways.]

poem – psalm 45 part 2

Christ and his church.

The King of saints, how fair his face,
Adorned with majesty and grace!
He comes with blessings from above,
And wins the nations to his love.

At his right hand our eyes behold
The queen arrayed in purest gold;
The world admires her heav’nly dress,
Her robe of joy and righteousness.

He forms her beauties like his own;
He calls and seats her near his throne:
Fair stranger, let thine heart forget
The idols of thy native state.

So shall the King the more rejoice
In thee, the favorite of his choice;
Let him be loved, and yet adored,
For he’s thy Maker and thy Lord.

O happy hour, when thou shalt rise
To his fair palace in the skies,
And all thy sons (a numerous train)
Each like a prince in glory reign!

Let endless honors crown his head;
Let every age his praises spread;
While we with cheerful songs approve
The condescensions of his love.

poem – psalm 91 part 1

L. M.
Safety in public diseases and dangers.

He that hath made his refuge God
Shall find a most secure abode,
Shall walk all day beneath his shade,
And there at night shall rest his head.

Then will I say, “My God, thy power
Shall be my fortress and my tower;
I, that am formed of feeble dust,
Make thine almighty arm my trust.”

Thrice happy man! thy Maker’s care
Shall keep thee from the fowler’s snare;
Satan, the fowler, who betrays
Unguarded souls a thousand ways.

Just as a hen protects her brood
From birds of prey that seek their blood,
Under her feathers, so the Lord
Makes his own arm his people’s guard.

If burning beams of noon conspire
To dart a pestilential fire,
God is their life; his wings are spread
To shield them with a healthful shade.

If vapors with malignant breath
Rise thick, and scatter midnight death,
Isr’el is safe; the poisoned air
Grows pure, if Isr’el’s God be there.


What though a thousand at thy side,
At thy right hand ten thousand died,
Thy God his chosen people saves
Amongst the dead, amidst the graves.

So when he sent his angel down
To make his wrath in Egypt known,
And slew their sons, his careful eye
Passed all the doors of Jacob by.

But if the fire, or plague, or sword,
Receive commission from the Lord
To strike his saints among the rest,
Their very pains and deaths are blest.

The sword, the pestilence, or fire,
Shall but fulfil their best desire;
From sins and sorrows set them free,
And bring thy children, Lord, to thee.

poem – psalm 77 part 1

Melancholy assaulting, and hope prevailing.

To God I cried with mournful voice,
I sought his gracious ear,
In the sad day when troubles rose,
And filled the night with fear.

Sad were my days, and dark my nights,
My soul refused relief;
I thought on God the just and wise,
But thoughts increased my grief.

Still I complained, and still oppressed,
My heart began to break;
My God, thy wrath forbade my rest,
And kept my eyes awake.

My overwhelming sorrows grew,
Till I could speak no more;
Then I within myself withdrew,
And called thy judgments o’er.

I called back years and ancient times
When I beheld thy face;
My spirit searched for secret crimes
That might withhold thy grace.

I called thy mercies to my mind
Which I enjoyed before;
And will the Lord no more be kind?
His face appear no more?

Will he for ever cast me off?
His promise ever fail?
Has he forgot his tender love?
Shall anger still prevail?

But I forbid this hopeless thought;
This dark, despairing frame,
Rememb’ring what thy hand hath wrought;
Thy hand is still the same.

I’ll think again of all thy ways,
And talk thy wonders o’er;
Thy wonders of recovering grace,
When flesh could hope no more.

Grace dwells with justice on the throne;
And men that love thy word
Have in thy sanctuary known
The counsels of the Lord.

poem – psalm 48 part 1

S. M.
The church is the honor and safety of a nation.

[Great is the Lord our God,
And let his praise be great;
He makes his churches his abode,
His most delightful seat.

These temples of his grace,
How beautiful they stand!
The honors of our native place,
And bulwarks of our land.]

In Zion God is known,
A refuge in distress;
How bright has his salvation shone
Through all her palaces!

When kings against her joined,
And saw the Lord was there,
In wild confusion of the mind
They fled with hasty fear.

When navies tall and proud
Attempt to spoil our peace,
He sends his tempests roaring loud,
And sinks them in the seas.

Oft have our fathers told,
Our eyes have often seen,
How well our God secures the fold
Where his own sheep have been.

In every new distress
We’ll to his house repair;
We’ll think upon his wondrous grace,
And seek deliv’rance there.

poem – psalm 33 part 2

Creatures vain, and God all-sufficient.

Blest is the nation where the Lord
Hath fixed his gracious throne,
Where he reveals his heav’nly word,
And calls their tribes his own.

His eye with infinite survey
Does the whole world behold;
He formed us all of equal clay,
And knows our feeble mold.

Kings are not rescued by the force
Of armies from the grave;
Nor speed nor courage of a horse
Can the bold rider save.

Vain is the strength of beasts or men,
To hope for safety thence;
But holy souls from God obtain
A strong and sure defence.

God is their fear, and God their trust;
When plagues or famine spread,
His watchful eye secures the just
Among ten thousand dead.

Lord, let our hearts in thee rejoice,
And bless us from thy throne;
For we have made thy word our choice,
And trust thy grace alone.

poem – psalm 129

Persecutors punished.

Up from my youth, may Isr’el say,
Have I been nursed in tears;
My griefs were constant as the day,
And tedious as the years.

Up from my youth I bore the rage
Of all the sons of strife;
Oft they assailed my riper age,
But not destroyed my life.

Their cruel plow had torn my flesh
With furrows long and deep;
Hourly they vexed my wounds afresh,
Nor let my sorrows sleep.

The Lord grew angry on his throne,
And, with impartial eye,
Measured the mischiefs they had done,
Then let his arrows fly.

How was their insolence surprised
To hear his thunders roll!
And all the foes of Zion seized
With horror to the soul!

Thus shall the men that hate the saints
Be blasted from the sky;
Their glory fades, their courage faints
And all their projects die.

[What though they flourish tall and fair,
They have no root beneath;
Their growth shall perish in despair,
And lie despised in death.]

[So corn that on the house-top stands
No hope of harvest gives;
The reaper ne’er shall fill his hands,
Nor binder fold the sheaves.

It springs and withers on the place;
No traveller bestows
A word of blessing on the grass,
Nor minds it as he goes.]

poem – hymn 30

Prayer for deliverance answered.

Isa. 26:12,20,21.

In thine own ways, O God of love,
We wait the visits of thy grace,
Our soul’s desire is to thy name,
And the remembrance of thy face.

My thoughts are searching, Lord, for thee
‘Mongst the black shades of lonesome night;
My earnest cries salute the skies
Before the dawn restore the light.

Look, how rebellious men deride
The tender patience of my God!
But they shall see thy lifted hand,
And feel the scourges of thy rod.

Hark! the Eternal rends the sky,
A mighty voice before him goes;
A voice of music to his friends,
But threat’ning thunder to his foes.

Come, children, to your Father’s arms,
Hide in the chambers of my grace,
Till the fierce storms be overblown,
And my revenging fury cease.

My sword shall boast its thousands slain,
And drink the blood of haughty kings,
While heav’nly peace around my flock
Stretches its soft and shady wings.

poem – psalm 112

The blessings of the liberal man.

That man is blest who stands in awe
Of God, and loves his sacred law:
His seed on earth shall be renowned;
His house the seat of wealth shall be,
An inexhausted treasury,
And with successive honors crowned.

His lib’ral favors he extends,
To some he gives, to others lends;
A gen’rous pity fills his mind:
Yet what his charity impairs,
He saves by prudence in affairs
And thus he’s just to all mankind.

His hands, while they his alms bestowed,
His glory’s future harvest sowed;
The sweet remembrance of the just,
Like a green root, revives and bears
A train of blessings for his heirs,
When dying nature sleeps in dust.

Beset with threat’ning dangers round,
Unmoved shall he maintain his ground;
His conscience holds his courage up:
The soul that’s filled with virtue’s light,
Shines brightest in affliction’s night,
And sees in darkness beams of hope.


[Ill tidings never can surprise
His heart that fixed on God relies,
Though waves and tempests roar around:
Safe on the rock he sits, and sees
The shipwreck of his enemies,
And all their hope and glory drowned.

The wicked shall his triumph see,
And gnash their teeth in agony,
To find their expectations crossed;
They and their envy, pride, and spite,
Sink down to everlasting night,
And all their names in darkness lost.]

poem – hymn 42

Divine wrath and mercy.

Nah. 1:1-3; Heb. 12:29.

Adore and tremble, for our God
Is a consuming fire!
His jealous eyes his wrath inflame,
And raise his vengeance higher.

Almighty vengeance, how it burns!
How bright his fury glows!
Vast magazines of plagues and storms
Lie treasured for his foes.

Those heaps of wrath, by slow degrees,
Are forced into a flame;
But kindled, oh! how fierce they blaze!
And rend all nature’s frame.

At his approach the mountains flee,
And seek a wat’ry grave;
The frighted sea makes haste away,
And shrinks up every wave.

Through the wide air the weighty rocks
Are swift as hailstones hurled;
Who dares engage his fiery rage
That shakes the solid world?

Yet, mighty God, thy sovereign grace
Sits regent on the throne;
The refuge of thy chosen race
When wrath comes rushing down.

Thy hand shall on rebellious kings
A fiery tempest pour,
While we beneath thy shelt’ring wings
Thy just revenge adore.

poem – hymn 120

Faith of things unseen.

Heb. 11

Faith is the brightest evidence
Of things beyond our sight,
Breaks through the clouds of flesh and sense,
And dwells in heav’nly light.

It sets times past in present view,
Brings distant prospects home,
Of things a thousand years ago,
Or thousand years to come.

By faith we know the worlds were made
By God’s almighty word;
Abram, to unknown countries led,
By faith obeyed the Lord.

He sought a city fair and high,
Built by th’ eternal hands,
And faith assures us, though we die,
That heav’nly building stands.

poem – hymn 84

Salvation, righteousness, and strength in Christ.

Isa. 45:21-25.

Jehovah speaks! let Isr’el hear;
Let all the earth rejoice and fear,
While God’s eternal Son proclaims
His sovereign honors and his names.

“I am the last, and I the first,
The Savior God, and God the just;
There’s none beside pretends to show
Such justice and salvation too.

[“Ye that in shades of darkness dwell,
Just on the verge of death and hell,
Look up to me from distant lands;
Light, life, and heav’n are in my hands.

“I by my holy name have sworn,
Nor shall the word in vain return;
To me shall all things bend the knee,
And every tongue shall swear to me.]

“In me alone shall men confess
Lies all their strength and righteousness;
But such as dare despise my name,
I’ll clothe them with eternal shame.

“In me, the Lord, shall all the seed
Of Isr’el from their sins be freed;
And by their shining graces prove
Their int’rest in my pard’ning love.”

poem – hymn 131

The Pharisee and publican.

Luke 18:10ff.

Saints, at your heav’nly Father’s word
Give up your comforts to the Lord;
Behold how sinners disagree,
The publican and Pharisee!
One doth his righteousness proclaim,
The other owns his guilt and shame.

This man at humble distance stands,
And cries for grace with lifted hands
That boldly rises near the throne,
And talks of duties he has done.

The Lord their diff’rent language knows,
And diff’rent answers he bestows;
The humble soul with grace he crowns,
Whilst on the proud his anger frowns.

Dear Father! let me never be
Joined with the boasting Pharisee;
I have no merits of my own
But plead the suff’rings of thy Son.

poem – the female god

We curl into your eyes-
They drink our files and have never drained :
In the fierce forest of your hair
Our desires beat blindly for their treasure.

In your eyes’ subtle pit,
Far down, glimmer our souls ;
And your hair like massive forest trees
Shadows our pulses, overtired and dumb.

Like a candle lost in an electric glare
Our spirits tread your eyes’ infinities :
In the wrecking waves of your tumultuous locks
Do you not hear the moaning of our pulses ?

Queen ! Goddess! Animal!
In sleep do your dreams battle with our souls ?
When your hair is spread like a lover on the pillow
Do not our jealous pulses wake between ?

You have dethroned the ancient God,
You have usurped his Sabbath, his common days;
Yea, every moment is delivered to you,
Our Temple, our Eternal, our one God !

Our souls have passed into your eyes,
Our days into your hair;
And you, our rose-deaf prison, are very pleased with the world,
Your world.

poem – the one lost

I mingle with your bones:
You steal in subtle noose
This lighted dust .Jehovah loans
And now I lose.

What will the Lender say
When I shall not be found,
Safe-sheltered at the Judgment Day,
Being in you bound ?

he’ll hunt through wards of Heaven,
Call to uncoffined earth
‘Where is this soul, unjudged, not given
Dole for good’s dearth?’

And I, lying so safe
Within you, hearing all,
To have cheated God shall laugh,
Freed by your thrall.

poem – the nun

So thy soul’s meekness shrinks,
Too loth to show her face-
Why should she shun the world ?
It is a holy place.

Concealed to itself
If the flower kept its scent,
Of itself amorous,
Less rich its ornament.

Use-utmost in each kind-
Is beauty, truth in one,
While soul rays light to soul
In one God-linked sun.

poem – a mood

You are so light and gay,
So slight, sweet maid-
Your limbs like leaves in play,
Or beams that grasses braid :
O ! Joys whose jewels pray
My breast to be inlaid.

Frail fairy of the streets ;
Strong, dainty lure;
For all men’s eyes the sweets
Whose lack makes hearts so poor ;
While your heart loveless beats.
Light, laughing, and impure.

O ! Fragrant waft of flesh,
Float through me so-
My limbs are in your mesh,
My blood forgets to flow ;
Ah ! Lilied meadows fresh,
It knows where it would go.

poem – the troop ship

Grotesque and queerly huddled
Contortionists to twist
The sleepy soul to a sleep,
We lie all sorts of ways
And cannot sleep.
The wet wind is so cold,
And the lurching men so careless,
That, should you drop to a doze,
Winds’ fumble or men’s feet
Are on your face.

poem – of any old man

Wreck not the ageing heart of quietness,
With alien uproar and rude jolly cries,
Which satyr like to a mild maidens pride,
Ripens not wisdom, but a large recoil,
Give them their withered peace, their trial grave,
Their old youth’s three-scored shadowy effigy,
Mock them not with your ripened turbulence,
Their frost mailed petulance with your torrid wrath,
While edging your boisterous thunder shivers one word,
Pap to their senile shivering, drug to truth,
The feigned ramparts of bleak ignorance,
Experience – crown of naked majesties,
That tells us nought we know not – but confirms,
Oh think! You reverend shadowy austere,
Your Christ’s youth was not ended when he died.

poem – creation

As the pregnant womb of night
Thrills with imprisoned light,
Misty, nebulous-born,
Growing deeper into her morn,
So man, with no sudden stride,
Bloomed into pride.

In the womb of the All-spirit
The universe lay ; the will
Blind, an atom, lay still.
The pulse of matter
Obeyed in awe
And strove to flatter
The rhythmic law.
But the will grew ; nature feared,
And cast off the child she reared,
Now her rival, instinct-led,
With her own powers impregnated.

Brain and heart, blood-fervid flowers,
Creation is each act of yours.

Your roots are God, the pauseless cause,
But your boughs sway to self windy laws.
Perception is no dreamy birth
And magnifies transfigured earth.

With each new light, our eyes receive
A larger power to perceive.
If we could unveil our eyes,
Become as wise as the All-wise,
No love would be, no mystery :
Love and joy dwell in infinity.
Love begets love ; reaching highest
We find a higher still, unseen
From where we stood to reach the first ;
Moses must die to live in Christ,
The seed be buried to live to green.
Perfection must begin from worst.
Christ perceives a larger reachless love,
More full, and grows to reach thereof.
The green plant yearns for its yellow fruit.
Perfection always is a root,
And joy a motion that cloth feed
Itself on light of its own speed,
And round its radiant circle runs,
Creating and devouring suns.

poem – at night

Crazed shadows, from no golden body
That I can see, embrace me warm ;
All is purple and closed
Round by night’s arm.

A brilliance wings from dark-lit voices,
Wild lost voices of shadows white
See the long houses lean
To the weird flight.

Star amorous things that wake at sleep-time
(Because the sun spreads wide like a tree
With no good fruit for them)
Thrill secrecy.

Pale horses ride before the morning,
The secret roots of the sun to tread,
With hoofs shod with venom
And ageless dread;

To breathe on burning emerald grasses
And opalescent dews of the day,
And poison at the core
What smiles may stray.

poem – spring

I walk and wonder
To hear the birds sing,
Without you my lady
How can there be Spring?
I see the pink blossoms
That slept for a year;
But who could have woke them,
While you were not near?

Birds sing to the blossoms;
Blind, dreaming your pink,
These blush to the songsters,
Your music they think.
So well had you taught them,
To look and to sing;
Your bloom and your music;
The ways of the Spring.

poem – august 1914

What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart’s dear granary?
The much we shall miss?

Three lives hath one life –
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone –
Left is the hard and cold.

Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth.
A burnt space through ripe fields
A fair mouth’s broken tooth

poem – beside the sea

ONE time he dreamed beside a sea
That laid a mane of mimic stars
In fondling quiet on the knee
Of one tall, pearlèd cliff; the bars
Of golden beaches upward swept;
Pine-scented shadows seaward crept.

The full moon swung her ripened sphere
As from a vine; and clouds, as small
As vine leaves in the opening year,
Kissed the large circle of her ball.
The stars gleamed thro’ them as one sees
Thor’ vine leaves drift the golden bees.

He dreamed beside this purple sea;
Low sang its trancéd voice, and he-
He knew not if the wordless strain
Made prophecy of joy or pain;
He only knew far stretched that sea,
He knew its name-Eternity.

A shallop with a rainbow sail
On the bright pulses of the tide
Throbbed airily; a fluting gale
Kissed the rich gilding of its side;
By chain of rose and myrtle fast
A light sail touched the slender mast.

‘A flower-bright rainbow thing,’ he said
To one beside him, ‘far too frail
To brave dark storms that lurk ahead,
To dare sharp talons of the gale.
Beloved, thou wouldst not forth with me
In such a bark on such a sea?’

‘First tell me of its name.’ She bent
Her eyes divine and innocent
On his. He raised his hand above
Its prow and answering swore, ”Tis Love!’
‘Now tell,’ she asked, ‘how is it build-
Of gold, or worthless timber gilt?’

‘Of gold,’ he said. ‘Whence named?’ asked she,
The roses of her lips apart;
She paused-a lily by the sea.
Came his swift answer, ‘From my heart!’
She laid her light palm in his hand:
‘Let loose the shallop from the strand!’

poem – the dark stag

1 A startled stag, the blue-grey Night,
2 Leaps down beyond black pines.
3 Behind–a length of yellow light–
4 The hunter’s arrow shines:
5 His moccasins are stained with red,
6 He bends upon his knee,
7 From covering peaks his shafts are sped,
8 The blue mists plume his mighty head,–
9 Well may the swift Night flee!

10 The pale, pale Moon, a snow-white doe,
11 Bounds by his dappled flank:
12 They beat the stars down as they go,
13 Like wood-bells growing rank.
14 The winds lift dewlaps from the ground,
15 Leap from the quaking reeds;
16 Their hoarse bays shake the forests round,
17 With keen cries on the track they bound,–
18 Swift, swift the dark stag speeds!

19 Away! his white doe, far behind,
20 Lies wounded on the plain;
21 Yells at his flank the nimblest wind,
22 His large tears fall in rain;
23 Like lily-pads, small clouds grow white
24 About his darkling way;
25 From his bald nest upon the height
26 The red-eyed eagle sees his flight;
27 He falters, turns, the antlered Night,–
28 The dark stag stands at bay!

29 His feet are in the waves of space;
30 His antlers broad and dun
31 He lowers; he turns his velvet face
32 To front the hunter, Sun;
33 He stamps the lilied clouds, and high
34 His branches fill the west.
35 The lean stork sails across the sky,
36 The shy loon shrieks to see him die,
37 The winds leap at his breast.

38 Roar the rent lakes as thro’ the wave
39 Their silver warriors plunge,
40 As vaults from core of crystal cave
41 The strong, fierce muskallunge;
42 Red torches of the sumach glare,
43 Fall’s council-fires are lit;
44 The bittern, squaw-like, scolds the air;
45 The wild duck splashes loudly where
46 The rustling rice-spears knit.

47 Shaft after shaft the red Sun speeds:
48 Rent the stag’s dappled side,
49 His breast, fanged by the shrill winds, bleeds,
50 He staggers on the tide;
51 He feels the hungry waves of space
52 Rush at him high and blue;
53 Their white spray smites his dusky face,
54 Swifter the Sun’s fierce arrows race
55 And pierce his stout heart thro’.

56 His antlers fall; once more he spurns
57 The hoarse hounds of the day;
58 His blood upon the crisp blue burns,
59 Reddens the mounting spray;
60 His branches smite the wave–with cries
61 The loud winds pause and flag–
62 He sinks in space–red glow the skies,
63 The brown earth crimsons as he dies,
64 The strong and dusky stag.

poem – his mother

In the first dawn she lifted from her bed
The holy silver of her noble head,
And listened, listened, listened for his tread.
‘Too soon, too soon !’ she murmured, ‘Yet I’ll keep
My vigil longer­ thou, O tender Sleep,
Art but the joy of those who wake and weep!

‘Joy’s self hath keen, wide eyes. O flesh of mine,
And mine own blood and bone, the very wine
Of my aged heart, I see thy dear eyes shine!

‘I hear thy tread; thy light, loved footsteps run
Along the way, eager for that ‘Well done !’
We’ll weep and kiss to thee, my soldier son!

‘Blest mother I­ he lives! Yet had he died
Blest were I still, ­ I sent him on the tide
Of my full heart to save his nation’s pride!’

‘O God, if that I tremble so to-day,
Bowed with such blessings that I cannot pray
By speech­ a mother prays, dear Lord, alway

‘In some far fibre of her trembling mind!
I’ll up­ I thought I heard a bugle bind
Its silver with the silver of the wind. ‘

poem – the rose

The Rose was given to man for this:
He, sudden seeing it in later years,
Should swift remember Love’s first lingering kiss
And Grief’s last lingering tears;
Or, being blind, should feel its yearning soul
Knit all its piercing perfume round his own,
Till he should see on memory’s ample scroll
All roses he had known;

Or, being hard, perchance his finger-tips
Careless might touch the satin of its cup,
And he should feel a dead babe’s budding lips
To his lips lifted up;

Or, being deaf and smitten with its star,
Should, on a sudden, almost hear a lark
Rush singing up­the nightingale afar
Sing through the dew-bright dark;

Or, sorrow-lost in paths that round and round
Circle old graves, its keen and vital breath
Should call to him within the yew’s bleak bound
Of Life, and not of Death.

poem – a perfect strain

O BID the minstrel tune his harp,
And bid the minstrel sing;
And let it be a perfect strain
That round the hall shall ring:
A strain to throb in lady’s heart,
To brim the warrior’s soul,
As dew fills up the summer rose
And wine the lordly bowl!

O let the minstrel’s voice ring clear,
His touch sweep gay and light;
Nor let his glittering tresses know
One streak of wintry white.
And let the light of ruddy June
Shine in his joyous eyes,
If he would wake the only strain
That never fully dies!

O what the strain that woos the knight
To turn from steed and lance,
The page to turn from hound and hawk,
The maid from lute and dance;
The potent strain, that nigh would draw
The hermit from his cave,
The dryad from the leafy oak,
The mermaid from the wave;
That almost might still charm the hawk
To drop the trembling dove?
O ruddy minstrel, tune thy harp,
And sing of Youthful Love!

poem – a hungry day

I MIND him well, he was a quare ould chap,
Come like meself from swate ould Erin’s sod;
He hired me wanst to help his harvest in-
The crops was fine that summer, praised be God!

He found us, Rosie, Mickie, an’ meself,
Just landed in the emigration shed;
Meself was tyin’ on their bits of clothes;
Their mother-rest her tender sowl!-was dead.

It’s not meself can say of what she died:
But ’twas the year the praties felt the rain,
An’ rotted in the soil; an’ just to dhraw
The breath of life was one long hungry pain.

If we wor haythens in a furrin land,
Not in a country grand in Christian pride,
Faith, then a man might have the face to say
‘Twas of stharvation me poor Sheila died.

But whin the parish docthor come at last,
Whin death was like a sun-burst in her eyes-
They looked straight into Heaven-an’ her ears
Wor deaf to the poor children’s hungry cries,

He touched the bones stretched on the mouldy sthraw:
‘She’s gone!’ he says, and drew a solemn frown;
‘I fear, my man, she’s dead.’ ‘Of what?’ says I.
He coughed, and says, ‘She’s let her system down!’

‘An’ that’s God’s truth!’ says I, an’ felt about
To touch her dawney hand, for all looked dark;
An’ in me hunger-bleached, shmall-beatin’ heart,
I felt the kindlin’ of a burnin’spark.

‘O by me sowl, that is the holy truth!
There’s Rosie’s cheek has kept a dimple still,
An’ Mickie’s eyes are bright-the craythur there
Died that the weeny ones might eat their fill.’

An’ whin they spread the daisies thick an’ white
Above her head that wanst lay on me breast,
I had no tears, but took the childher’s hands,
An’ says, ‘We’ll lave the mother to her rest.’

An’ och! the sod was green that summer’s day,
An’ rainbows crossed the low hills, blue an’ fair;
But black an’ foul the blighted furrows stretched,
An’ sent their cruel poison through the air.

An’ all was quiet-on the sunny sides
Of hedge an’ ditch the stharvin’ craythurs lay,
An’ thim as lacked the rint from empty walls
Of little cabins wapin’ turned away.

God’s curse lay heavy on the poor ould sod,
An’ whin upon her increase His right hand
Fell with’ringly, there samed no bit of blue
For Hope to shine through on the sthricken land.

No facthory chimblys shmoked agin the sky.
No mines yawned on the hills so full an’ rich;
A man whose praties failed had nought to do
But fold his hands an’ die down in a ditch.

A flame rose up widin me feeble heart,
Whin, passin’ through me cabin’s hingeless dure,
I saw the mark of Sheila’s coffin in
The grey dust on the empty earthen flure.

I lifted Rosie’s face betwixt me hands;
Says I, ‘Me girleen, you an’ Mick an’ me
Must lave the green ould sod an’ look for food
In thim strange countries far beyant the sea.’

An’ so it chanced, whin landed on the sthreet,
Ould Dolan, rowlin’ a quare ould shay
Came there to hire a man to save his wheat,
An’ hired meself and Mickie by the day.

‘An’ bring the girleen, Pat,’ he says, an’ looked
At Rosie, lanin’ up agin me knee;
‘The wife will be right plaised to see the child,
The weeney shamrock from beyant the sea.

‘We’ve got a tidy place, the saints be praised!
As nice a farm as ever brogan trod.
A hundered acres-us as never owned
Land big enough to make a lark a sod.’

‘Bedad,’ says I, ‘I heerd them over there
Tell how the goold was lyin’ in the sthreet,
An’ guineas in the very mud that sthuck
To the ould brogans on a poor man’s feet.’

‘Begorra, Pat,’ says Dolan, ‘may ould Nick
Fly off wid thim rapscallions, schaming rogues,
An’ sind thim thrampin’ purgatory’s flure
Wid red hot guineas in their polished brogues!’

‘Och, thin,’ says I, ‘meself agrees to that!’
Ould Dolan smiled wid eyes so bright an’ grey;
Says he, ‘Kape up yer heart; I never kew
Since I come out a single hungry day.

‘But thin I left the crowded city sthreets-
Th’are men galore to toil in thim an’ die;
Meself wint wid me axe to cut a home
In the green woods beneath the clear, swate sky.

‘I did that same; an’ God be praised this day!
Plenty sits smilin’ by me own dear dure;
An’ in them years I never wanst have seen
A famished child creep tremblin’ on me flure.’

I listened to ould Dolan’s honest words:
That’s twenty years ago this very spring,
An’ Mick is married, an’ me Rosie wears
A swateheart’s little shinin’ goulden ring.

‘Twould make yer heart lape just to take a look
At the green fields upon me own big farm;
An’ God be praised! all men may have the same
That owns an axe an’ has a strong right arm!

poem – a harvest song

THE noon was as a crystal bowl
The red wine mantled through;
Around it like a Viking’s beard
The red-gold hazes blew,
As tho’ he quaffed the ruddy draught
While swift his galley flew.

This mighty Viking was the Night;
He sailed about the earth,
And called the merry harvest-time
To sing him songs of mirth;
And all on earth or in the sea
To melody gave birth.

The valleys of the earth were full
To rocky lip and brim
With golden grain that shone and sang
When woods were still and dim,
A little song from sheaf to sheaf-
Sweet Plenty’s cradle-hymn.

O gallant were the high tree-tops,
And gay the strain they sang!
And cheerfully the moon-lit hills
Their echo-music rang!
And what so proud and what so loud
As was the ocean’s clang!

But O the little humming song
That sang among the sheaves!
‘Twas grander than the airy march
That rattled thro’ the leaves,
And prouder, louder, than the deep,
Bold clanging of the waves:

‘The lives of men, the lives of men
With every sheaf are bound!
We are the blessing which annuls
The curse upon the ground!
And he who reaps the Golden Grain
The Golden Love hath found.’

poem – a battle

SLOWLY the Moon her banderoles of light
Unfurls upon the sky; her fingers drip
Pale, silvery tides; her armoured warriors
Leave Day’s bright tents of azure and of gold,
Wherein they hid them, and in silence flock
Upon the solemn battlefield of Night
To try great issues with the blind old king,
The Titan Darkness, who great Pharoah fought
With groping hands, and conquered for a span.

The starry hosts with silver lances prick
The scarlet fringes of the tents of Day,
And turn their crystal shields upon their breasts,
And point their radiant lances, and so wait
The stirring of the giant in his caves.

The solitary hills send long, sad sighs
As the blind Titan grasps their locks of pine
And trembling larch to drag him toward the sky,
That his wild-seeking hands may clutch the Moon
From her war-chariot, scythed and wheeled with light,
Crush bright-mailed stars, and so, a sightless king,
Reign in black desolation! Low-set vales
Weep under the black hollow of his foot,
While sobs the sea beneath his lashing hair
Of rolling mists, which, strong as iron cords,
Twine round tall masts and drag them to the reefs.

Swifter rolls up Astarte’s light-scythed car;
Dense rise the jewelled lances, groves of light;
Red flouts Mars’ banner in the voiceless war
(The mightiest combat is the tongueless one);
The silvery dartings of the lances prick
His fingers from the mountains, catch his locks
And toss them in black fragments to the winds,
Pierce the vast hollow of his misty foot,
Level their diamond tips against his breast,
And force him down to lair within his pit
And thro’ its chinks thrust down his groping hands
To quicken Hell with horror-for the strength
That is not of the Heavens is of Hell.

poem – his sweetheart

Sylvia’s lattices were dark­
Roses made them narrow.
In the dawn there came a Spark,
Armèd with an arrow:
Blithe he burst by dewy spray,
Winged by bud and blossom,
All undaunted urged his way
Straight to Sylvia’s bosom.
‘Sylvia! Sylvia! Sylvia!’ he
Like a bee kept humming,
‘Wake, my sweeting; waken thee,
For thy Soldier’s coming!’
Sylvia sleeping in the dawn,
Dreams that Cupid’s trill is
Roses singing on the lawn,
Courting crested lilies.
Sylvia smiles and Sylvia sleeps,
Sylvia weeps and slumbers;
Cupid to her pink ear creeps,
Pipes his pretty numbers.
Sylvia dreams that bugles play,
Hears a martial drumming;
Sylvia springs to meet the day
With her Soldier coming.

Happy Sylvia, on thee wait
All the gracious graces!
Venus mild her cestus plait
Round thy lawns and laces!
Flora fling a flower most fair,
Hope a rainbow lend thee!
All the nymphs to Cupid dear
On this day befriend thee!
‘Sylvia! Sylvia! Sylvia!’ hear
How he keeps a-humming,
Laughing in her jewelled ear,
‘Sweet, thy Soldier’s coming!’

poem – the helot

Low the sun beat on the land,
Red on vine and plain and wood;
With the wine-cup in his hand,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood.


Quench’d the fierce Achean gaze,
Dorian foemen paus’d before,
Where cold Sparta snatch’d her bays
At Achaea’s stubborn door.


Still with thews of iron bound,
Vastly the Achean rose,
Godward from the brazen ground,
High before his Spartan foes.


Still the strength his fathers knew
(Dauntless when the foe they fac’d)
Vein and muscle bounded through,
Tense his Helot sinews brac’d.


Still the constant womb of Earth,
Blindly moulded all her part;
As, when to a lordly birth,
Achean freemen left her heart.


Still, insensate mother, bore
Goodly sons for Helot graves;
Iron necks that meekly wore
Sparta’s yoke as Sparta’s slaves.


Still, O God mock’d mother! she
Smil’d upon her sons of clay:
Nurs’d them on her breast and knee,
Shameless in the shameful day.


Knew not old Achea’s fires
Burnt no more in souls or veins–
Godlike hosts of high desires
Died to clank of Spartan chains.


Low the sun beat on the land,
Purple slope and olive wood;
With the wine cup in his hand,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood.


As long, gnarl’d roots enclasp
Some red boulder, fierce entwine
His strong fingers, in their grasp
Bowl of bright Caecuban wine.


From far Marsh of Amyclae,
Sentried by lank poplars tall–
Thro’ the red slant of the day,
Shrill pipes did lament and call.


Pierc’d the swaying air sharp pines,
Thyrsi-like, the gilded ground
Clasp’d black shadows of brown vines,
Swallows beat their mystic round.


Day was at her high unrest;
Fever’d with the wine of light,
Loosing all her golden vest,
Reel’d she towards the coming night.


Fierce and full her pulses beat;
Bacchic throbs the dry earth shook;
Stirr’d the hot air wild and sweet;
Madden’d ev’ry vine-dark brook.


Had a red grape never burst,
All its heart of fire out;
To the red vat all a thirst,
To the treader’s song and shout:


Had the red grape died a grape;
Nor, sleek daughter of the vine,
Found her unknown soul take shape
In the wild flow of the wine:


Still had reel’d the yellow haze:
Still had puls’d the sun pierc’d sod
Still had throbb’d the vine clad days:
To the pulses of their God.


Fierce the dry lips of the earth
Quaff’d the subtle Bacchic soul:
Felt its rage and felt its mirth,
Wreath’d as for the banquet bowl.


Sapphire-breasted Bacchic priest
Stood the sky above the lands;
Sun and Moon at East and West,
Brazen cymbals in his hands.


Temples, altars, smote no more,
Sharply white as brows of Gods:
From the long, sleek, yellow shore,
Oliv’d hill or dusky sod,


Gaz’d the anger’d Gods, while he,
Bacchus, made their temples his;
Flushed their marble silently
With the red light of his kiss.


Red the arches of his feet
Spann’d grape-gleaming vales; the earth
Reel’d from grove to marble street,
Mad with echoes of his mirth.


Nostrils widen’d to the air,
As above the wine brimm’d bowl:
Men and women everywhere
Breath’d the fierce, sweet Bacchic soul.


Flow’d the vat and roar’d the beam,
Laugh’d the must; while far and shrill,
Sweet as notes in Pan-born dream,
Loud pipes sang by vale and hill.


Earth was full of mad unrest,
While red Bacchus held his state;
And her brown vine-girdl’d breast
Shook to his wild joy and hate.


Strife crouch’d red ey’d in the vine
In its tendrils Eros strayed;
Anger rode upon the wine;
Laughter on the cup-lip play’d.


Day was at her chief unrest–
Red the light on plain and wood
Slavish ey’d and still of breast,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood:


Wide his hairy nostrils blew,
Maddning incense breathing up;
Oak to iron sinews grew,
Round the rich Caecuban cup.


‘Drink, dull slave!’ the Spartan said,
‘Drink, until the Helot clod
‘Feel within him subtly bred
‘Kinship to the drunken God!


‘Drink, until the leaden blood
‘Stirs and beats about thy brain:
‘Till the hot Caecuban flood
‘Drown the iron of thy chain.


‘Drink, till even madness flies
‘At the nimble wine’s pursuit;
‘Till the God within thee lies
‘Trampled by the earth-born brute.


‘Helot drink–nor spare the wine;
‘Drain the deep, the madd’ning bowl,
‘Flesh and sinews, slave, are mine,
‘Now I claim thy Helot soul.


‘Gods! ye love our Sparta; ye
‘Gave with vine that leaps and runs
‘O’er her slopes, these slaves to be
‘Mocks and warnings to her sons!


‘Thou, my Hermos, turn thy eyes,
‘(God-touch’d still their frank, bold blue)
‘On the Helot–mark the rise
‘Of the Bacchic riot through


‘Knotted vein, and surging breast:
‘Mark the wild, insensate, mirth:
‘God-ward boast–the driv’ling jest,
‘Till he grovel to the earth.


‘Drink, dull slave,’ the Spartan cried:
Meek the Helot touch’d the brim;
Scented all the purple tide:
Drew the Bacchic soul to him.


Cold the thin lipp’d Spartan smiled:
Couch’d beneath the weighted vine,
Large-ey’d, gaz’d the Spartan child,
On the Helot and the wine.


Rose pale Doric shafts behind,
Stern and strong, and thro’ and thro’,
Weaving with the grape-breath’d wind,
Restless swallows call’d and flew.


Dropp’d the rose-flush’d doves and hung,
On the fountains murmuring brims;
To the bronz’d vine Hermos clung–
Silver-like his naked limbs


Flash’d and flush’d: rich copper’d leaves,
Whiten’d by his ruddy hair;
Pallid as the marble eaves,
Aw’d he met the Helot’s stare.


Clang’d the brazen goblet down;
Marble-bred loud echoes stirr’d:
With fix’d fingers, knotted, brown,
Dumb, the Helot grasp’d his beard.


Heard the far pipes mad and sweet.
All the ruddy hazes thrill:
Heard the loud beam crash and beat,
In the red vat on the hill.


Wide his nostrils as a stag’s
Drew the hot wind’s fiery bliss;
Red his lips as river flags,
From the strong, Caecuban kiss.


On his swarthy temples grew,
Purple veins like cluster’d grapes;
Past his rolling pupils blew,
Wine-born, fierce, lascivious shapes.


Cold the haughty Spartan smiled–
His the power to knit that day,
Bacchic fires, insensate, wild,
To the grand Achean clay.


His the might–hence his the right!
Who should bid him pause? nor Fate
Warning pass’d before his sight,
Dark-robed and articulate.


No black omens on his eyes,
Sinistre–God-sent, darkly broke;
Nor from ruddy earth nor skies,
Portends to him mutely spoke.


‘Lo,’ he said, ‘he maddens now!
‘Flames divine do scathe the clod;
‘Round his reeling Helot brow
‘Stings the garland of the God.’


‘Mark, my Hermos–turn to steel
The soft tendons of thy soul!
Watch the God beneath the heel
Of the strong brute swooning roll!


‘Shame, my Hermos! honey-dew
Breeds not on the Spartan spear;
Steel thy mother-eyes of blue,
Blush to death that weakling tear.


‘Nay, behold! breed Spartan scorn
Of the red lust of the wine;
Watch the God himself down-borne
By the brutish rush of swine!


‘Lo, the magic of the drink!
At the nimble wine’s pursuit,
See the man-half’d satyr sink
All the human in the brute!


‘Lo, the magic of the cup!
Watch the frothing Helot rave!
As great buildings labour up
From the corpse of slaughter’d slave,


‘Build the Spartan virtue high
From the Helot’s wine-dead soul;
Scorn the wild, hot flames that fly
From the purple-hearted bowl!


‘Helot clay! Gods! what its worth,
Balanc’d with proud Sparta’s rock?
Ours–its force to till the earth;
Ours–its soul to gyve and mock!


‘Ours, its sullen might. Ye Gods!
Vastly build the Achean clay;
Iron-breast our slavish clods–
Ours their Helot souls to slay!


‘Knit great thews–smite sinews vast
Into steel–build Helot bones
Iron-marrowed:–such will last
Ground by ruthless Sparta’s stones.


‘Crown the strong brute satyr wise!
Narrow-wall his Helot brain;
Dash the soul from breast and eyes,
Lash him toward the earth again.


‘Make a giant for our need,
Weak to feel and strong to toil;
Dully-wise to dig or bleed
On proud Sparta’s alien soil!


‘Gods! recall thy spark at birth,
Lit his soul with high desire;
Blend him, grind him with the earth,
Tread out old Achea’s fire!


‘Lo, my Hermos! laugh and mark,
See the swift mock of the wine;
Faints the primal, God-born spark,
Trodden by the rush of swine!


‘Gods! ye love our Sparta–ye
Gave with vine that leaps and runs
O’er her slopes, these slaves to be
Mocks and warnings to her sons!’


Cold the haughty Spartan smil’d.
Madd’ning from the purple hills
Sang the far pipes, sweet and wild.
Red as sun-pierc’d daffodils


Neck-curv’d, serpent, silent, scaled
With lock’d rainbows, stole the sea;
On the sleek, long beaches; wail’d
Doves from column and from tree.


Reel’d the mote swarm’d haze, and thick
Beat the hot pulse of the air;
In the Helot, fierce and quick,
All his soul sprang from its lair.


As the drowzing tiger, deep
In the dim cell, hears the shout
From the arena–from his sleep
Launches to its thunders out–


So to fierce calls of the wine
(Strong the red Caecuban bowl!)
From its slumber, deep, supine,
Panted up the Helot soul.


At his blood-flush’d eye-balls rear’d,
(Mad and sweet came pipes and songs),
Rous’d at last the wild soul glar’d,
Spear-thrust with a million wrongs.


Past–the primal, senseless bliss;
Past–red laughter of the grapes;
Past–the wine’s first honey’d kiss;
Past–the wine-born, wanton shapes!


Still the Helot stands–his feet
Set like oak roots: in his gaze
Black clouds roll and lightnings meet–
Flames from old Achean days.


Who may quench the God-born fire,
Pulsing at the soul’s deep root?
Tyrants! grind it in the mire,
Lo, it vivifies the brute!


Stings the chain-embruted clay,
Senseless to his yoke-bound shame;
Goads him on to rend and slay,
Knowing not the spurring flame.


Tyrants, changeless stand the Gods!
Nor their calm might yielded ye!
Not beneath thy chains and rods
Dies man’s God-gift, Liberty!


Bruteward lash thy Helots–hold
Brain and soul and clay in gyves;
Coin their blood and sweat in gold,
Build thy cities on their lives.


Comes a day the spark divine
Answers to the Gods who gave;
Fierce the hot flames pant and shine
In the bruis’d breast of the slave!


Changeless stand the Gods!–nor he
Knows he answers their behest;
Feels the might of their decree
In the blind rage of his breast.


Tyrants! tremble when ye tread
Down the servile Helot clods;
Under despot heel is bred
The white anger of the Gods!


Thro’ the shackle-canker’d dust,
Thro’ the gyv’d soul, foul and dark
Force they, changeless Gods and just!
Up the bright eternal spark.


Till, like lightnings vast and fierce,
On the land its terror smites;
Till its flames the tyrants pierce,
Till the dust the despot bites!


Day was at its chief unrest,
Stone from stone the Helot rose;
Fix’d his eyes–his naked breast
Iron-wall’d his inner throes.


Rose-white in the dusky leaves,
Shone the frank-ey’d Spartan child;
Low the pale doves on the eaves,
Made their soft moan, sweet and wild.


Wand’ring winds, fire-throated, stole,
Sybils whisp’ring from their books;
With the rush of wine from bowl,
Leap’d the tendril-darken’d brooks.


As the leathern cestus binds
Tense the boxer’s knotted hands;
So the strong wine round him winds,
Binds his thews to iron bands.


Changeless are the Gods–and bred
All their wrath divine in him!
Bull-like fell his furious head,
Swell’d vast cords on breast and limb.


As loud-flaming stones are hurl’d
From foul craters–thus the gods
Cast their just wrath on the world,
From the mire of Helot clods.


Still the furious Helot stood,
Staring thro’ the shafted space;
Dry-lipp’d for the Spartan blood,
He of scourg’d Achea’s race.


Sprang the Helot–roar’d the vine,
Rent from grey, long-wedded stones–
From pale shaft and dusky pine,
Beat the fury of his groans.


Thunders inarticulate:
Wordless curses, deep and wild;
Reach’d the long pois’d sword of Fate,
To the Spartan thro’ his child.


On his knotted hands, upflung
O’er his low’r’d front–all white,
Fair young Hermos quiv’ring hung;
As the discus flashes bright


In the player’s hand–the boy,
Naked–blossom-pallid lay;
Rous’d to lust of bloody joy,
Throbb’d the slave’s embruted clay.


Loud he laugh’d–the father sprang
From the Spartan’s iron mail!
Late–the bubbling death-cry rang
On the hot pulse of the gale!


As the shining discus flies,
From the thrower’s strong hand whirl’d;
Hermos cleft the air–his cries
Lance-like to the Spartan hurl’d.


As the discus smites the ground,
Smote his golden head the stone;
Of a tall shaft–burst a sound
And but one–his dying groan!


Lo! the tyrant’s iron might!
Lo! the Helot’s yokes and chains!
Slave-slain in the throbbing light
Lay the sole child of his veins.


Laugh’d the Helot loud and full,
Gazing at his tyrant’s face;
Low’r’d his front like captive bull,
Bellowing from the fields of Thrace.


Rose the pale shaft redly flush’d,
Red with Bacchic light and blood;
On its stone the Helot rush’d–
Stone the tyrant Spartan stood.


Lo! the magic of the wine
From far marsh of Amyclae!
Bier’d upon the ruddy vine,
Spartan dust and Helot lay!


Spouse of Bacchus reel’d the day,
Red track’d on the throbbing sods;
Dead–but free–the Helot lay,
Just and changeless stand the Gods!

shattered desire – vidyapati thakur

Swelling breasts, hard, like golden cups.
Those wanton glances have stolen my heart,
O beautiful one, protest no longer.
I am eager as a bee, let me take your honey.
Darling, I beg you, holding your hands,
Do not be cruel, have pity on me.
I shall say that again and again,
No more can I suffer the agony of love.

thinner than a crescent – vidyapati thakur

Her tears carved a river
And she broods on its bank,
Hurt and confused.
You ask her one thing,
She speaks of another.
Her friends believe
That joy may come again.
At times they banish hope
And cease to care.

O Madhava,
I have run to call you.
Radha each day
Grows thinner
Thinner than the crescent in the sky…

time and love – vidyapati thakur

As I guard my honor,
My love in a foreign land
Ravishes beauties
Who belong to others.
Safely he will come,
But he has left me dead.

O traveler, tell him
That my youth wastes away…
If time goes on
Life too will go
And never shall we love again…

childhood and youth – vidyapati thakur

Childhood and youth are mingled both.
Her eyes have taken the road to her ears:
Wily are her words,and her low laugh
As if the moon appeared on earth.
She takes a mirror to array herself.
And asks:’what is thegame of love ,my dear?’
How many times she secretly regards her bosom,
Smiling to see her breasts!
First like a jujube,then like an orange,-
Love day by day enfolds her limbs:
O Madhava,I saw a girl surpassing fair,
Childhood and youth were one in her!
Saith Vidyapati:Oh foolish maid,
The wise would say,The twain have met.

brooding love – vidyapati thakur

Your moon-faced love
Had never guessed
That parting hurts.
Radha is tortured,
Dreading you will leave.
Love has robbed her of all power,
She sinks clasping the ground.

Kokilas call,
Startled, she wakes
Only to brood again.
Tears wash the make-up
From her breasts.
Her arms grow thin,
Her bracelets slide to the ground.
Radha’s head droops in grief.
Her fingers scar the earth
Bleeding your name.

river and sky – vidyapati thakur

Oh friend, I cannot tell you
Whether he was near or far, real or a dream.
Like a vine of lightning,
As I chained the dark one,
I felt a river flooding in my heart.
Like a shining moon,
I devoured that liquid face.
I felt stars shooting around me.
The sky fell with my dress,
leaving my ravished breasts.
I was rocking like the earth.
In my storming breath
I could hear my ankle-bells,
sounding like bees.
Drowned in the last waters of dissolution,
I knew that this was not the end.

sad love – vidyapati thakur

The moon spits fire,
Lotuses droop
And loaded with fragrance
Mingle in sad love.

Kokila, bird of spring,
Why do you torture?

Why do you sing
Your love-provoking song?

My lover is not here
And yet the god of love
Schemes on and on.
You do not know the meaning of ‘tomorrow.’

‘Tomorrow’ is my tomorrow
And water
Escapes the dam of youth.

You are in love,
So is your lover,
And your two banks
Are brimming with the flood.

My lover left and I would die
Than wait still longer
For his loved return.

The fragrance of flowers
Enters the city,
Bees sing,
The moon and night enchant,
Yet all are enemies.

twin hills – vidyapati thakur

Her hair dense as darkness,
Her face rich as the full moon:
Unbelievable contrasts
Couched in a seat of love.
Her eyes rival lotuses.
Seeing that girl today,
My eager heart
Is driven by desire.
Innocence and beauty
Adore her fair skin.
Her gold necklace
Is lightning.
On the twin hills,
Her breasts ….,

signs of youth – vidyapati thakur

Radha’s glances dart from side to side.
Her restless body and clothes are heavy with dust.
Her glistening smile shines again and again.
Shy, she raises her skirt to her lips.
Startled, she stirs and once again is calm,
As now she enters the ways of love.
Sometimes she gazes at her blossoming breasts
Hiding them quickly, then forgetting they are there.
Childhood and girlhood melt in one
And new and old are both forgotten.
Says Vidyapati: O Lord of life,
Do you not know the signs of youth?

kavita – pukar

म तिमीलाई नै चाहन्छु, तिमीलाई चाहन्छु, यही शब्द सधैँ मेरो
अन्तःकरणले आह्वान गर्दै भनिरहेछ !
जो यमि वासनाहरुले मेरो मनलाई दिनरात बेचैन पारिदिन्छन्,
यमि सर्वथा झूटा छन्, निःसार छन् अनि निष्प्रयोजन छन् ।
मलाई ता तिम्रो चाह छ, ईश्वर ! तिम्रो चाह छ !

जसरी अँध्यारो रातको मर्ममा प्रकाशको प्रार्थना रहन्छ,
त्यसरी नै मेरो अतृप्त वासनामा पनि तिम्रो चाह रहन्छ ।
आङ्खनो अन्तःकरणको चेतनामा पनि मैले निरन्तर यही सुनिरहेको
छु, ‘मलाई तिम्रो चाह छः तिम्रो चाह छ । ’

जसरी बादलले पूरा शक्तिका साथ शान्तिलाई आघात गर्दै आङ्खनो
लक्ष्यको प्राप्ति शान्तिमा नै सम्झन्छन्,
त्यसरी नै मेरो विद्रोह तिम्रो प्रेमलाई आघात गर्छ अनि भनिरहेछ :
‘म तिमीलाई नै चाहन्छु । ’

kavita – apaharan

त्यस दिन उनी मेरो घरमा आए अनि भने,
‘हामी एक कुनामा बसिरह्यौ ।’
उनले यस्तो भने, ‘देवतालाई अर्पण गर्दा म तिम्रो सहायता गर्छु,
अनि पूजाको जो प्रसाद पाइन्छ त्यही ग्रहण गरेर सन्तुष्ट होऔँला ।’

यसरी नै ती दरिद्री, क्षीण, मलिन, वस्त्रधारी मेरो घरको कुनामा बसे,
तर, रात बितिसकेपछि तिनीहरु प्रबल भए, मेरो देवालयमा
जबरजसती पसे अनि तिमीहरुले मलिन हातको देवताको पूजाका
नैवेद्य खोसे ?

kavita – naulo path rekha

एक दिन मेरो मनमा विचार उठयो :
जो हुनु थियो सबै भइसके, मेरो यात्राको आखिरी निर्दिष्ट स्थान
आइपुग्यो ।
मलाई ज्ञात भयो, अब अघि बाटो छैन, म मेरो भ¥याङमा आइपुगें ।व
अब कोशिशको केही आवश्यकता छैन, पाथेय पनि शेष भयो ।
थाकेको, हारेको जीवनलाई विश्रान्ति लिने वेला आयो ।
यमि फाटेका पुराना वस्त्र लिएर म अघाडि कसरी जान सकुँला ?
तर आज देख्दछु :
तिम्रो लीलाको अन्त नै छैन, नजीनताको कुनै घेरा छैन ?
आङ्खनो नयाँ मनोकामना पूर्ण गर्नाको लागि तिमलिे मलाई फेरि
नयाँ जीवन दियौ ?
मेरा गीतका पुराना स्वरले आङ्खनो माधुर्य हराए पनि नयाँ संगीतको
स्वरमा ह्दयको स्रोतबाट उत्पति भए !
जब पुराना पथरेखा अदृष्य भए अनि नयाँ नयाँ मार्गका दृष्यहरु
आँखामा नाच्न थाले !

कथा – सल्लेरी बजारको

सल्लेरीको माथितिर पातलो दमै बस्ती छ । १५–२० घर होलान् दमैहरू । बजार छेउछाउमा भने बाहुनहरूको बाक्लो बस्ती छ । सल्लेरी पुरानो बजार हैन । भर्खर विस्तार हुँदै गरेको बजार हो । विदेशी सहयोगमा मोटर बाटो खुलेपछि सल्लेरी गाउँले बजारको रूप लिएको हो । त्यसले सल्लेरी बजारको अनुहार नै फेरिदियो ।

बाटोको छेउतिर टक्राकटुक्रुक दोकान उभिए । बजार खुलेपछि नजिकैका बाहुनहरूले बाटोछेउ घर बनाउन थाले । बजारभन्दा केही माथि रहेका दमैहरूको घर–घडेरी बाटो छेउमा नपरेकाले उनीहरू जहाँकोत्यहीँ भए ।
पैसा हुने बाहुनहरूले बाटोछेउमा पिल्लर ठड्याउन थाले । पैसा नहुनेहरूले जसोतसो माटोकै भए पनि घर बनाउने सुर कसे ।

पण्डित हरिद्वारले पनि बाटोछेवैको घडेरीमा पिल्लरसहितको तीनतले घर उभ्याए । पण्डित हरिद्वारको खास नाम कृष्णप्रसाद हो । उनले हरिद्वारबाट आचार्य गरेका थिए । उनका हरेक गफमा हरिद्वारको कुरो आउँथ्यो । गफले दिक्क स्थानीयहरूले उनको नामै हरिद्वार राखिदिए । त्यसपछि सल्लेरी बजारमा उनको नाम हरिद्वारले प्रख्यात भयो ।

हरिद्वारका दाजु थिए । उनी बजारछेउ सरे पनि दाजुले पैसा कमाउन नसकेकाले जहाँको त्यहीँ बस्नुप¥यो । घर नभए पनि भाइको सँगै जोडिएको घडेरी थियो । अंश भागमा पाएको । खासमा पैसा भएको भए पनि भाइको घरछेउ उनलाई बस्ने मनै थिएन । अंश मुद्दामा ठाकठुक परेपछि बोलचाल बन्द भएको थियो ।

बोलचाल नभएको भाइको घरछेउको घडेरी राखिराख्न मन लागेन । भाइको मेख मार्नकै लागि बेचिदिए– कान्छो दमैलाई । चलनचल्तीको भन्दा झन्डै दोब्बर मूल्यमा । कान्छो दमै घडेरीको दोब्बर मूल्य तिर्नुपर्दा पनि दुःखी थिएन । खुसी थियो । उसलाई वरपरका बाहुनहरूले छिमेकमा दमै आउने भयो भनेर घडेरी नै दिँदैनथे । दाजुभाइको झगडाले गर्दा घडेरी पाएको उसलाई राम्रोसँग थाहा थियो ।

घडेरी किनेको छ महिनापछि कान्छो दमैले सटर राखेर एक तले पिल्लरवाला घर बनायो । बजारभरिमा सटर भएको पहिलो घर उसकै भयो । कान्छो दमै अरुभन्दा गरिखाने दमै थियो । साहै्र मेहनेती । हातमा सीप थियो, घरको सटरमा टेलर खोल्यो । आफ्नै घरको सटरमा टेलर खोलेपछि भने कान्छो दमैप्रति वरिपरिका बाहुनहरूले टाउको दुखाए– छिमेकमा अछुत जात आयो भनेर । सबैभन्दा बढी पण्डित हरिद्वारको टाउको रन्कियो । रिस फेर्न छिमेकमा अछुत दमै हुलेकोमा दाजुप्रति रिस देखाए । झिँगाको सरापले डिँगो मर्दैन भनेझैं दाजुले वास्तै गरेनन् ।
कान्छो दमैको टेलर भने खाली भएन । दिनहुँ व्यस्त भयो । घडेरी किनेपछि पटक–पटक ‘बाहुनको बीचमा बस्न सक्दैनस् बेच्’ भनेका थिए, पण्डित हरिद्वारले । बल्लबल्ल पाएको घडेरी बेचेन । अहिले टेलर चल्दा कान्छो मख्ख छ ।

० ० ०

पण्डित हरिद्वारकी जेठी छोरी माइतै बस्थी । उसको नाम थियो सावित्री । बिहे गरेको छ महिना नपुग्दै लोग्नेले छाडिदिएछ । पण्डितसँग रिस उठेकाहरूले उसको चरित्रमा शंका गर्थे । पण्डितसँग राम्रो भएकाहरूले केटो नै उस्तो भन्थे । खास के हो, अरु कसैलाई थाहा थिएन । कि सावित्रीलाई थाहा थियो कि दैवलाई । एक साँझ, सावित्री कुर्था सिलाउन कान्छो दमैको टेलरमा पुगी । कान्छो लुगा सिलाउँदै थियो । उठेर सावित्रीको चोलाको नाप लिन थाल्यो । कान्छोले पाखुराको लम्बाइको नाप लिएपछि कम्बरको नाप लियो । छातीको नाप लिने बेला सावित्रीले कान्छाको गाला चिमोटिदिई । कान्छो झसंग भयो र सावित्रीको अनुहारमा हे¥यो ।

कान्छोकी स्वास्नी त्यही दिन माइत गएकी थिई । के भन्ने कसो गर्ने, कान्छो आत्तियो । कुर्थाको नाप लिँदालिँदै रोकिएको कान्छोलाई च्याप्पै समाई सावित्रीले । कान्छो हल न चल भयो । गँगटोले च्यापेको माछाको भुराजस्तो । ऊ असिनपसिन भयो । के बोल्नु, के बोल्नु– अलमलियो । चाहेर पनि बोल्न सकेन । सावित्री भने हनहनी ज्वरो आएझैं तातेकी थिई । “छि ! छाडिदेऊ बजै !!” ओठ–मुख सुकेको कान्छो बल्लतल्ल बोल्न सक्यो । साँझ परेकाले कान्छाको टेलरभित्र अँध्यारो बढ्दै गएको थियो । घुर्मैलो उज्यालो थियो । पण्डित हरिद्वारले बाहिरैबाट देखेछन् । ढोकासम्म आएर ठम्याए । कुरो प्रस्ट भएपछि बाहिर निस्केर कराउन थाले ।
“गुहार ! गुहार !!”
“ए ! गुहार ! गुहार !!”
वरपरबाट दौडादौड गरेर केही मान्छे भेला भए । सल्लेरी बजार कान्छाको टेलरअगाडि जम्मा भयो । त्यतिबेलासम्म सावित्री टेलरबाट बाहिर निस्किसकेकी थिई । कान्छो भने डर र लाजले चाउरिएर भित्रको भित्रै थियो । जम्मा भएकाहरूलाई पण्डितले सरासर भने, “मेरी छोरीलाई कान्छोले समायो ।” “के बलात्कार ….?” सावित्रीलाई परेको आपतमा स्याल ठिटाहरू झन्डै बाघ भएर गर्जिए, जो सावित्रीलाई असाध्यै माया गर्थे । बाबुको अगाडि आफैं समाएको कसरी भनोस्, सावित्रीले कान्छोले समाएकै हो भनिदिई । लाज र डरले भन्दा चोखो बन्न ऊ रुन थालेकी थिई ।

हुल्याहा केटाहरू सटरभित्र छिरेर कान्छोलाई घिसार्दै बाहिर ल्याए । रिसको झोंकमा पाक्कपुक्क हाने । कसैले लात्तले, कसैले मुड्कीले । कान्छाको नाथ्री फुटेर रगत बग्यो । रगत देखेपछि सबै रोकिए । कान्छाले लगाएको कपडा च्यातचुत भएछ । हुलिया केटाहरूले टेलरभित्रको सामान बाहिर ल्याएर मिल्काइदिएछन् । त्यो देखेर उसलाई पिटेभन्दा बढी दुख्यो । कसलाई के पो भन्नु ! आफ्नो कन्तबिजोक शरीर जता छोए पनि दुख्ने भएको थियो । त्यतिबेलासम्म झमक्क साँझ परिसकेको थियो । निसाफ भोलि छिन्ने निष्कर्षमा सबै आ–आफ्नो बाटो लागे । घाइते भएको कान्छो भने डरले थर्रर काँप्दै थियो । बोल्न सकेको थिएन ।

० ० ०

भोलिपल्ट सल्लेरी बजार ढाकेर समाज बस्यो । घाइते कान्छाको मुख गहुँको रोटीझैं भुक्क उक्सिएछ । त्यो बजारले कान्छाको चिनामा बलात्कारी लेखिसकेको थियो । कान्छालाई कसैले कठै भनेनन् । उसको आफ्नै दाँतले जिब्रो टोकेर बोली लर्बरिने भएछ । बिचरो नाके डाँडी स्टिलको भाँडोझैं कुच्चिएछ । निलै भएछ । कसैले सोधेन यो हालत कसरी भयो भनेर । सबैले उही सोधे, “सावित्रीलाई किन बलात्कार गरिस् ?” उसले धुरुधुरु रोएर भन्यो, “म परिबन्दमा परें ।” तर, उसको त्यो बोली कसैले सुनेन । बरु उसैले सुन्यो, कसैले पाता फर्काउनुपर्छ भनेको, कसैले डाँडो कटाउनुपर्छ भनेको, कसैले जेल कोच्नुपर्छ भनेको । कान्छोले स्पष्टीकरण दिने मौकै पाएन । सबैले होहल्लामात्र गरे । ठोक्नुपर्छ, त्यतिकै छाड्नु हुँदैन भने । कसलाई भनोस् आफ्नो यथार्थ ?

कुटाइले उसका आँखा सुनिनमात्र बाँकी थियो । त्यो पनि सुनियो । लुगा सिलाउन जानेजस्तो कुरा सिलाउन जानेको भए बिचरोले यो दुःख पाउँदैनथ्यो । तर, जानेन । रडाको नसकिँदै माइत गएकी कान्छाकी स्वास्नी आइपुगी । कुरो बुझेर ऊ झन्डै बेहोस भइन । उसले रुँदै पण्डित हरिद्वारका खुट्टामा टाउको बिसाएर भनी, “पण्डित बा ! एकपटकलाई माफी पाऊँ । यो लाटाले जे गर्नु गरिगो ।” कान्छो दमैकी स्वास्नीको नाम हो हीरा दमिनी । नामले मात्र हीरा हैन, अनुहार र शरीरले पनि ऊ हीरा नै हो । दमिनी भएरमात्रै घाटामा परी नत्र धनीकी बुहारी हुन्थी ।

हिराको कुरो पण्डितले पटक्कै सुनेनन् । ऊ धरधरी रोएकी थिई खुट्टा समाएर । पण्डितले वास्ता गरेनन् । कुरो टुंगोमा नपुगी सल्लेरी बजारको रमिता अन्त्य भयो । यसमा सबैको एउटै मत थियो । कान्छालाई कारबाही दह्रो हुनैपर्छ । गाउँमा चेलीबेटी जोगाउन गाह्रो भो । त्यो दिन त्यसै बित्यो ।

भोलिपल्ट पण्डित हरिद्वारले कान्छो दमैलाई अदालतमा मुद्दा लाएर आए । यो कुरो खरबारीको डढेलोझैं सल्लेरी बजार फैलियो । जता गयो, उही कुरा । बलात्कारीलाई त्यत्तिकै छोड्नु हुँदैन– सबैको मत एउटै भयो ।
कान्छोले पढेको थिएन । ८ कक्षा पढ्दापढ्दै छाडेको थियो । पण्डित हरिद्वारले मुद्दा दिएपछि ऊ आत्तिएर अब के हुने हो, धेरैलाई सोध्यो । कोहीले के भने, कोहीले के । सबैको एउटा कुरोचाहिँ मिल्यो, कानुनका नौ सिङ हुन्छन् । सबैले उही कुरो भन्दा कान्छो सोच्थ्यो– नौ सिङ भएको कानुनले हानेरै मार्ने भो !

कान्छो दुई–तीन दिनसम्म के–के सोचेर तड्पिँदै बस्यो । भेट्ने जति सबैले एउटै भाका भन्थे, “बेकार झेलखानामा कोचिने भइस् । बलात्कारको मुद्दाले त मान्छे त झेलखाना पर्छपर्छ, सम्पत्ति पनि स्वाहा हुन्छ ।” हितैषी दमैहरूले पनि उसका अगाडि दया देखाउन थाले । “बज्जे सोझो थिइस् । जाली बाहुनको फेला परिस् । कोखमा दाँत हुनेको केही भर हुँदैन । अब के पो हुने हो ! जान्नेहरू जीवनभर जेल बस्नुपर्छ भन्छन् ।”
केही दिनपछि कान्छो कसैको कुरा सुन्न नसक्ने भयो । बिहान पीपलको बोटमा पासो लगाएर झुन्डिएको भेटियो ।

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सल्लेरी बजारको पूर्वपट्टि टिनले छाएको निम्न माध्यमिक विद्यालय छ । विद्यालयका हेडसर हुन् रामहरि शर्मा । रामहरि शर्मा सहयोगी थिए । सबैलाई सहयोग गर्थे । आपत परेकाहरूलाई सहयोग गर्नु उनी आफ्नो धर्म सम्झिन्थे । गाउँको विकास र प्रगतिका निम्ति रामहरि शर्मा जिउज्यानले लागिपर्थे । उनको सहयोग नभएको भए आजसम्म सल्लेरीको बाटोमा मोटर चल्दैनथ्यो । उनी विद्यालयका मास्टरमात्र थिएनन्, सामाजिक कार्यकर्तासमेत थिए । कान्छो दमैलाई परेको आपतमा एक–दुईले साथ दिएका थिए । त्यसमध्ये उनी एक थिए, जसले गर्दा बजारका धेरैले उनको कुरो काटे ।

डुम हेड सर !
नामै फेरिदिए ।
उनले त्यस्ता आलोचनाको मतलबै नगरी कान्छोलाई सहयोग गर्छु भनेका थिए । ‘नडरा, म छु’ भनेथे । तर, कान्छोले उनको कुरा पत्याइदिएन । पत्याओस् पनि कसरी ! सबै ‘कानुनका नौ सिङ हुन्छन्, तँ फन्दामा परिस्’ भनेर अत्याउँथे । जीवनभर जेल बस्नुपर्छ भने । सहन नसकेर आत्महत्या ग¥यो । रामहरि शर्मा निडर थिए । द्वन्द्वकालमा पनि उनी कसैसँग डराउँदैनथे । गल्ती हुनेहरूलाई ठाडै तेरो गल्ती हो भनिदिन्थे । उनका अगाडि गल्ती गर्ने हिम्मत कसैले गर्दैनथ्यो ।

सामान्यभन्दा केही अग्ला कदका रामहरि शर्मा केही पर्दा प्रस्ट विचार राख्थे । त्यसैले होला– सल्लेरी बजारमा उनको नाम छुट्नु सम्भव थिएन । त्यस्ता असल व्यक्ति रामहरि शर्मा अचानक हराए । सामान्य बिरामी भएर अस्पताल गएका फर्किएनन् । कता गए, कहाँ गए– घरपरिवारमा कसैलाई थाहा भएन । एक बिहान उनी सल्लेरी बजारको पीपलको बोटमा झुन्डिरहेको अवस्थामा फेला परे । उनको मृत्यमा सल्लेरी बजारले आँसु झा¥यो । केही महिनासम्म सल्लेरी बजारमा उनको मृत्युबारे विभिन्न टीकाटिप्पणी चले । हेडसर रामहरि शर्माको मृत्युबारे सबैले आ–आफ्नै अड्कल लगाउँथे तर सत्य कसैलाई थाहा थिएन । सल्लेरी बजार आफैं अड्कल काट्थ्यो र आफैं हैन भन्थ्यो ।

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सल्लेरी बजारका अर्का हर्ताकर्ता व्यक्ति हुन्, रामदेव पाण्डे । उनी स्थानीय नेता थिए । उनको पहुँच केन्द्रीय राजनीतिसम्म थियो । मन्त्री÷प्रधानमन्त्रीसँग सिधै भेट्न सक्ने हैसियतका थिए उनी । गरिबहरूको सत्ता ल्याउनुपर्छ भन्ने रामदेव पाण्डे गरिबहरूको हितका लागि जे पनि गर्छु भन्थे । गरेका पनि थिए । कान्छो दमैको आत्महत्यापछि उनले पण्डित हरिद्वारलाई कारबाही गर्नुपर्छ भन्दै हिँडे । यो कुरो सल्लेरी बजारको तात्तातो समाचार बन्यो । साँझ सल्लेरी बजारमा चिया खाएर गफ गर्नेहरूका लागि यो विषय गफको मेलो थियो । चिया खाएर उग्राउने मेलो ।

रामदेव पाण्डेले मुद्दा हाल्छु भनेर हो या केही कारणले पण्डित हरिद्वार बिरामी परे । मेडिकलको औषधिले उनको व्यथा निको भएन । सधैं रुघाखोकी लाग्ने । त्यसमाथि दम बढ्दै गएपछि उनी सदरमुकाम पुगे, स्वास्थ्य जाँच गर्न । पण्डित हरिद्वार स्वाथ्य जाँच गर्न सदरमुकाम गए पनि सल्लेरी बजारले कुरो अर्कै बुझ्यो । नेता रामदेव पाण्डेले मुद्दा हालेकाले तारिख धाउन गएको हल्ला चल्यो । नेता रामदेव पाण्डेले मुद्दा हाले/हालेनन् कसैलाई थाहा थिएन । पण्डित हरिद्वार सदरमुकामबाट स्वाथ्य जाँच गरेर फर्किएको भोलिपल्ट सल्लेरी बजारमा अर्को अचम्म भयो ! पण्डित हरिद्वारले सल्लेरी बजारको नजीकमा रहेको पीपलको बोटमा झुन्डिएर आत्महत्या गरेछन् ।

त्यस दिनदेखि सल्लेरी बजार झन्–झन् रहस्यमय बन्दै गयो । सल्लेरी बजारकामात्र हैन, यो खबर सुनेकाहरूले पनि सल्लेरी बजारको पीपलको रुख हेर्न सकेनन् । सल्लेरी बजारका स्थानीयहरूले सल्लाह गरे । यो अचम्म के भयो ? तर, कसैले पनि यसै भयो भन्न सकेनन् । कान्छो दमै मरेको सात महिना नपुग्दै पण्डित हरिद्वारले त्यही रुखमा झुन्डिएर आत्महत्या गरेपछि धार्मिकहरूले देवी–देउता बौलाएको शंका गरे । धूपधुवार गरे ।

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करिब दुई वर्षपछि ! सल्लेरी बजारमा नेता रामदेव पाण्डेको पहलमा निःशुल्क स्वास्थ्य शिविर आयोजना गरिएको थियो । त्यो विशाल स्वाथ्य शिविरमा सल्लेरी बजारका सम्पूर्णले स्वाथ्य परीक्षण गराए । बच्चादेखि वृद्धसम्म । स्वास्थ्य परीक्षणको रिपोर्ट हप्तादिनपछि आउने भयो । त्यसको जिम्मा लिए नेता रामदेव पाण्डेले । तर, हप्ता दिनपछि सल्लेरीमा चमत्कार भयो ! सल्लेरी बजार नजिकैको पीपलको रुखमुनि जम्मा भयो । पीपलको रुखमा स्थानीय नेता रामदेव पाण्डेले पासो लगाएर आत्महत्या गरेछन् !

प्रभावशाली नेताको आत्महत्या सानो कुरा थिएन । डरले सल्लेरी बजार काम्यो । उनको पार्टी प्रतिपक्षमा थियो । पार्टीले स्वतन्त्र छानबिन गर्न सरकारसमक्ष जोडदार माग ग¥यो । जनता जोगाउन नसक्ने प्रधानमन्त्रीको राजीनामा मागियो । गृहमन्त्रीविरुद्ध चर्का नारा लागे ।
विपक्षीको मागअनुसार सरकारले छानबिन गर्न प्रहरी प्रशासनलाई पठायो । प्रहरी प्रशासनले नेताको मृत शरीरलाई पीपल रुखबाट झा¥यो र मृत नेताको शरीर जाँच ग¥यो ।

मृत नेताको गोजीमा एउटा रिपोर्ट रहेछ, जुन रिपोर्ट हप्ता दिनअघि भएको स्वास्थ्य शिविरमा स्वाथ्य परीक्षण गराएकाहरूको थियो । प्रहरीहरूले खोलेर हेरे । रिपोर्टअनुसार सल्लेरी बजारका स्थानीयमध्ये आधाभन्दा बढीलाई एड्स रहेछ ! रिपोर्टको पुछारमा अर्को अचम्मको कुरा के थियो भने हीरा दमिनी गर्भवती थिई । प्रहरी प्रशासनले हीरालाई सोधपुछ सुरु ग¥यो । हीराले धेरै झन्झट दिइन । उसले सजिलैसँग आफ्नो गर्भमा रहेको शिशुको बाबु चिनाइदिई । नाम लिँदा पण्डित हरिद्वार, हेडसर रामहरि शर्मा, नेता रामदेव पाण्डेको नाम छुटाइन । हतारमा अन्य १५–२० जनाको नाम सम्झिन भ्याई । त्यस दिनदेखि त्यो अनाम सल्लेरी बजार मसानघाटजस्तै भयो ।

(यो कथा नेपालको गत शनिबार प्रकाशित ‘रित्तो आकाश’ कथा संग्रहबाट लिइएको हो ।)

poem – in damodar lake

In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.
Poor sweepers full of devotion for Hari approached him
And touched his feet with devotion.
`Great soul, pray come to our place, and singki rt ans with us! ‘, they prayed.
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.
‘So what we too may attain the wealth called Bhakti
And escape the bewildering snares of life and death! ‘

They joined their hands and implored him.
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.
Seeing them plead, Mehtaji, the kindest of all Vaishnavas,
Was overcome with compassion.
‘The love for lord and the bigotry hardly go together,
For all are equal in his eyes.
Purify the place and wait for me,” the generous Vaishnava replied.
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.

Mehta came withpr as ad and spent the whole night celebrating.
In the morning, he sungbhaj ans
And all Vaishnavas’ hearts were full of contentment.
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.
Singing Hari’s praises on cymbals and drums as he returned home,
TheNagar as mocked him, ‘Is this the way abrahmi n behaves? ‘
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.

But Mehta kept silent, what can you say to unworthy people?
All the men and women of this caste woke up and derided him,
‘O what kind of person are you, O Mehta!
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.

You care not for caste, you care not for creed, you care not for discrimination! ‘
Nevertheless, Narsaiyyo said humbly
‘O I have the support of the true Vaishnavas
In Damodar lake, near Girnar hill, Mehtaji frequently took bath.

poem – with absolute joy

With absolute joy, I sing thebr ahman!
But those encaptivated by theirk ar ma speak ill of me!
Even the great religious heads cannot fathom you,
They can’t even make out priceless jewels from mere beads!
With absolute joy, I sing thebr ahman!
But those encaptivated by theirk ar ma speak ill of me!

What is arcane even for the scriptures is pretty clear for the gopis,
Rare are the ones who can fathom this!
The beloved of Rama lusts not after women,
But these confounded mortals spread base lies!
With absolute joy, I sing thebr ahman!
But those encaptivated by theirk ar ma speak ill of me!

The perfect one is full of the perfect bliss, others worship elsewhere,
But Narsaiyyo sings the attributes of the absolute
And not carnal craving as the lustful think!
With absolute joy, I sing thebr ahman!
But those encaptivated by theirk ar ma speak ill of me!

poem – the cute little gokul

This cute little Gokul, my beloved has made it into Vaikunth!
He pampers his devotees here and gives unlimited joy to the Gopis!

He, who cannot be grasped by all the philosophies,
And never appears even before the greatest of sages,
Churns buttermilk at Nanda’s place
And grazes cows in the Vrindavan woods!
This cute little Gokul, my lord has made it into Vaikunth!

My beloved, the ultimate indestructible brahman,
serves here all on his own
And stands naked in front of the Gopis pleading for butter!
This cute little Gokul, my beloved has made it into Vaikunth!

Narsaiyya’s lord, who is beyond reach even of gods
And who even Lord Shanker serves,
Gives himself unto his devotees,
So that even the ultimate liberation becomes their maidservant!
This cute little Gokul, my beloved has made it into Vaikunth!

poem – we are like that

We are like that-yes we are like what you say!
Call us depraved by love, we will still serve our loved Damodar.
We are like that-yes we are like what you say!

Our minds were once preoccupied in the worldly matters
Now, absorbed in Hari’s nectar, it wanders door to door singing!
We are like that-yes we are like what you say!

The customs and rituals, we heartily dislike
And even that which gives us all the worldly riches
Can’t be compared to ourlord!
We are like that-yes we are like what you say!

We are indeed base, baser than the basest in the world!
Say what you will; we are neck-deep in his love!
We are like that-yes we are like what you say!

I, Narsaiyyo, am a man of base deeds, for I love Vaishnavas
Who ever distances himselves fromhari j ans has wasted his birth!
We are like that-yes we are like what you say!

poem – the bright blessed day

The bright blessed day with joy we see
Rise out of the sea at dawning;
It lightens the sky unceasingly,
Our gain and delight adorning!
As children of light we sense that soon
Dark night will give way to morning!

Our Lord chose the blessed midnight hour
To come down without our knowing,
Then clear in the east in dawn’s pale bower
The sun’s hues in strength were growing:
Then light filled the sky, in which the earth
Shall shimmer with inner glowing!

Were each forest tree to come alive,
And each leaf a voice be granted,
The law of God’s mercy they’d contrive
In vain in words to have chanted;
Since Life’s Light now shines for ever more,
In old and young firmly planted!

Yea, though every blade of grass could speak,
In meadow or field or clearing,
A thanksgiving hymn they could not seek
To sing for our human hearing,
Befitting the day, for light and life,
While eons their course are steering.

In vain would the weak man try who chose
To conquer the mountain summit,
The eagle is wily, though, and knows
The wind will not let it plummet,
And even the small blithe lark can brave
The sky and yet overcome it.

The river so brash with thund’rous noise
From crag-face comes downwards crashing
The streams down below have no such voice,
Though murmur with gentle plashing,
So gently they wind through grassy lea
Up under the lime trees splashing!

So thank we our God, our father good,
As larks in their dawn-time chorus,
For each day he gave, as so we should
For life he from death won for us,
For all that has nurtured human souls
For thousands of years before us!

As long as we see the golden day,
And woods are the Danes’ own bowers,
We’ll deck every pew with sprigs of may
And forefathers’ graves with flowers
A wonderful feast of life and joy,
A Whitsuntide gift that’s ours!

And then from our eyes will start to flow
Mild tears like a stream now thriving,
And streams join and to a river grow
That fain for Life’s Source is striving
It secretly gains, like some deep sigh,
So early yet late arriving!

And no day can have so long a growth
That evening cannot be sighted,
Its light and its setting sun are both
What God in his church has lighted;
But ever again it dawns anew
For hearts who in morn delighted!

Let day gently glide this Whitsuntide,
With haloing rays full-flashing!
The hours pleasing God as past they slide,
As meadowland stream soft-plashing,
So joyously now the last one winds,
Up under the lime trees splashing!

Like gold is the dawn just moments old,
When day from its death is rising,
Yet we too are kissed with lips of gold
By sunset so sweet-enticing,
Then every dull gaze will glint afresh,
Pale cheeks with new blush surprising!

We’ll journey then to our fatherland,
Where no day lies still thereafter,
Where stands a strong castle, proud and grand,
Whose halls all resound with laughter,
And there we will talk till time is done
In light with our friends hereafter!

poem – a simple

A simple, cheerful, active life on earth,
A cup I’d not exchange for monarch’s chalice,
In noble forebears’ tracks a path since birth,
With equal dignity in hut and palace,
With eye as when created heav’nward turned,
All beauty here and grandness keenly knowing,
Familiar though with those things deeply yearned,
Stilled only by eternity’s bright glowing.

I wished for all my line just such a life,
And zealously I planned for its fruition,
And when my soul grew tired from toil and strife,
The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ was its rest and its nutrition.
Then from truth’s spirit I great comfort gained,
And felt joy hover o’er each garden border,
When dust is placed in its creator’s hand
And all is waited for in nature’s order:

Just fresh, green buds that sprout in early spring,
And in the summer heat the flowers’ profusion;
And when the plants mature and long to bring
Their harvest fruit to autumn’s full conclusion!
The human span assigned is short or long,
It is for common weal, its yield is growing;
The day that started well will end as strong,
And just as sweet will be its afterglowing.

poem – true fulfilment of my birth

True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!
Never with dry rituals and harsh austerities
Would I torture my tender body!
All the time I’d play the games of love with my beloved!
True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!

When the final liberation waits on me like a menial servant,
Why should I worship someone else?
True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!

In all our births to come we will ever be your servants!
And the divinel eel a of Narsaiyya’s lord we will sing forever!
True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!

poem – the flute resonates today

The flute resonates today! The flute resonates today!
The women dance with the lord, dance, and sing as they play!
The flute resonates today!

The sound of clapping, the sound of drumming,
The harmony of the jingling anklets unbound!
Mohan is with the women, ravishing and proud,
Their ringing bells, and their melodious sound!
The flute resonates today!

Rapt, oblivious, and absorbed in each other as they happily play!
Says Narsaiyyo, unbound is the joy of the ras players,
As tumultuous love comes down in showers!
The flute resonates today! The flute resonates today!

poem – let’s go and play my dear friend

Let’s go and play dear friend; leave aside the churning of curds!
For spring has arrived, forest creepers have blossomed,
Cuckoos sing happily among kadamb trees, mango trees have bloomed
And hanging around every flower are the mischievous bees!
Let’s go and play dear friend; leave aside the churning of curds!

Wear these ornaments and necklaces, elephant-gaited one!
How many times to tell you to get started!
We’ll kiss the nectarous mouth of our admirer, embrace him, and gambol
Leaving aside all our coyness and shame!
Let’s go and play dear friend; leave aside the churning of curds!

We’ll capture Hari with love and clasp his joy to our heart
He will run holding our hands with love!
Narsinh too is lost in the ecstasy of revelry
And the days we have lost will return!
Let’s go and play dear friend; leave aside the churning of curds!

poem – play raas with us love

Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’
‘More alluring is Vrindavan than Vaikunth, show it to us, love.
Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’

On the banks of Jamuna, Jadava plays his honeyed flute,
The gopis slip away, seduced by the sound,
Leaving their crying kids behind.
‘Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’

With corrylium in her eyes, she goes to fulfill her promise;
But she has dressed herself all wrong, with anklets in ears.
‘Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’

His enchanting face she lovingly eyes, takes his hands in hers,
She offers him everything she has!
‘Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’

Enchanting are the woods of Vrindavan in full autumnal moon.
Red, the color of passion decorates her limbs
The girl looks so enchantingly different!
‘Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’

One girl laughs, one claps and other excitedly sprinkles vermilion.
Where Radha and Madhav play raas it is pure joy unbound.
‘Play raas with us love,
Play your sweet flute to us!’

One who sings or hears this Radha Mohan Raas,
Will attain Vaikunth, the abode of bliss, says Narsinh, His servant
‘Play raas with us love!
Play your sweet flute to us!’

poem – someone silence that bird

Someone silence that bird; he doesn’t leave me alone!
He is sent by the Creator himself
To shoot the arrows of desolation at me!
Someone silence that bird; he doesn’t leave me alone!

His cry is so beautiful, he cries in the middle of the night
He is no songster; he is a wicked bird
Who kills even those who are already dying!
Someone silence that bird; he doesn’t leave me alone!

It is already dark night, and on top of it, the lightening flashes!
The heart of the maiden separated from her love sinks.
Someone silence that bird; he doesn’t leave me alone!

How shall the night pass when the chataka is singing?
And what will happen if the dawn passes away too
Without Narsaiyya’s lord?
Someone silence that bird; he doesn’t leave me alone!

poem – tell me truly, my dark beloved

Tell me truly, my dark beloved,
To which lovely girl were you making love?
O my wild beloved, disheveled are your clothes and eyes are weary with sleep!
Tell me truly, my dark beloved,
To which lovely girl were you making love?

Bedecked brilliantly like the constellations sparkling in the sky,
My matchless one, why come to me when you sleep with someone else?
Tell me truly, my dark beloved,
To which lovely girl were you making love?

Useless it is to argue with the lustful, says Radha,
O Narsaiyya’s lord, what is your game behind all this?
Tell me truly, my dark beloved,
To which lovely girl were you making love?

poem – always up to some prank

Always up to some prank, this mischievous little Govindji over there
It’s always I who has to suffer!
As this little cowherd foolishly totters, the girl becomes fervid!
Always up to some prank, this mischievous little Govindji over there
It’s always I who has to suffer!

‘Kum now yoo, vow eye doo’, if you can’t speak properly why do you babble like this?
Says Narsaiyyo, stop all these childish pranks, just take us to your place, and enjoy us!
Always up to some prank, this mischievous little Govindji over there
It’s always I who has to suffer!

kavita – sawan ghana

आज सावनको मेघका विशाल छायामा चूपचाप, नीरव रात झैँ,
मूक प्रभातमा सबैको अगाडि मुख लुकाउँदै कदापि नभाग !
आज प्रभातकालको आँखा बन्द भएका छन्, पूर्वका कोलाहलपूर्ण
पवन व्यर्थमा कसैलाई आह्वान गरिरहेछ ।
नित्य जागृत नीलाम्बरको मुख मेघका चादरले ढाकिएको छ ।

जंगल–पहाडमा आज गुञ्जन सुनिदैन ।
सबै घरका ढोका आज बन्दछन् ।
निर्जन मार्गमा तिमी एक्लै यहाँ किन कसको प्रतीक्षामा बसिरहेछौ ?

हे एकाकी सखा, प्रियतम ! मेरो ढोका खुला छ :
स्वप्नमा झैँ मेरो अगाडि आएर अदेख नहोऊ ।

kavita – rakhi ko dori

मेरो अंग–अंगमा रोमांच भइरहेछ, आँखामा उन्माद छाया,
मेरो ह्दयमा कसले रातो राखीको डोरी बाँधिदियो ?
आज आकाशको मनि जल–थल, फूल–फलमा तिमीले मेरो मनलाई
आकर्षित पार्यौ ?
आज तिमीसँग मेरो राखीको खेल यति राम्रो कसरी भयो !

अझ पनि, मलाई जसले बोलाएको छ उसँग भेट हुनेछ,
अथवा उसको खोजी गर्दा यातना सहनुपर्ला,
यस विषयमा केही थाह छैन !
आज मेरो आनन्द किन हो कुन्नि आँखाको पानीको रुपमा झर्नको
लागि व्याकुल भइरहेछ ।
आज विरहले मधुर रुप धारण गरेर मलाई विह्वल पारिरहेछ !

kavita – prabal prawaha

प्रबल प्रवाह
आनन्दको यो प्रवाहका प्रबल गतिसँगसँगै तिमीले आङ्खना छन्दहरुका
स्वरलाई जोड्न सक्दैनौ ।
मृत्युको वीणामा, दिशाहरुमा, सूर्य–चन्द्रमा जुन स्वर गति छ,
त्यससँग तिमीले आङ्खनो स्वर मिलाउन सक्दैनौ ।

सबैमा अनन्त वेग छ, कुनैमा विश्रामको इच्छा छैन,
कसैले पछाडि फर्केर हेर्दैन, कुनै शक्तिले उनीहरुलाई रोक्न सक्दैन :
तिमी उसको सहयात्री भएर कसरी हिँड्न सक्छौ ?
उसको शुभागमनका साथ पृथ्वीको रंग, गीत, गन्धको प्रवाह उर्लेर
आउँछ । त्यस आनन्दमा आफुलाई चैन लिन, अर्पित गर्न के तिमी
उसको सहयात्री हुन सक्छौ ?

kavita – rakshya bandhan

ईश्वर ! आज म तिम्रो बायाँ हातमा राखी बाँध्न आएको छु,
त्यो नलुकाऊ !
तिम्रो हातमा राखी बाँधेर म सबैलाई बाँधिदिन्छु, कोही पनि यो
बन्धनदेखि छुटकारा पाउनेछैन ।
आज आङ्खनो अर्काको भन्ने भेदभाव छँदैछैन :
आज म आङ्खनो भित्र–बाहिर सबैलाई एकै देखिरहेछु !

तिम्रो विरह–दुःखमा रुँदा–रुँदा म यति वेलासम्म घुमिरहेँ, तर, त्यो
विरह क्षणभरमा लोप भयो ।
अब तिम्रोमा दगुरेर आउँछु :
तिम्रो हातमा राखी बाँध्न आउँछु, त्यो हात नलुकाऊ !

kavita – ananda yagya

संसारको आनन्द–उत्सवमा भाग लिनाको लागि मलाई निमन्त्रणा
आएको छ । यसले गर्दा मेरो मानव जीवन कृतज्ञ भएको छ ।
मेरो नयनले अब रुप–सुधा पान गर्दछन्, अनि मेरो कानले दिव्य स्वर
सुन्दछन् ।

यो समारोहमा मलाई बाँसुरी बजाउने काम तिमीले दिएको हो,
अब मेरो जीवनमा सबै हाँसो–रुदन गीतको स्वरमा झन्किरहेछन् ।

अब, अन्तिम त्यो वेला आइपुग्योः
तिम्रो उत्सवमा गएर तिम्रो जयध्वनि सुनूँ अनि तिम्रो चरणमा
मौन वन्दना चढाउँ !
संसारको आनन्द–उत्सवमा भाग लिनाको लागि मलाई तिम्रो
निमन्त्रणा आएको छ ।

Kavita – biraha alok

प्रकाश : प्रकाश कहाँ छ र ?
विरहको आलोकले प्रदीप प्रदीप्त गर !
जलिसकेको प्रदीप राख, विरहको नयाँ आलोकले त्यसलाई बाल !

‘यस्तो नै भाग्मा लेखिएको छ,’ यसो भन्नु भन्दा मर्नु असल हो :
विरहको अग्निले आङ्खनो प्रदीप बाल !
वेदनारुपी दूती गाइरहेकी छ,
‘ऐ प्राण !’ तिम्रो निम्ति भगवान् जागरुक भएका छन् :
त्यो रातको अँध्यारोमा साथी–सङ्गीका निम्ति तिमीलाई पुकार
तिमीलाई दुःखी देखीकन उनीहरु तिम्रो प्रेम गौरवान्वित ठान्दछन् :
तिम्रो तिम्ति भगवान् जागरुक भएका छन् !

अम्बर प्रांगण मेघले परिपूर्ण छन्,
वर्षाको पानी झर–झर–झर झरिरहेछन् :
जलिसकेको प्रदीपलाई विरहको आलोकले बाल :
यो तिमिराछन्न रात्रिमा म एक्लै कसैको प्रतीक्षामा जागृत छु ?
वर्षाको पानी झर–झर–झर झरिरहेछन् :
बिजसलीको ज्योति क्षणभर मात्रको लागि न हो, नाउ निस्पट्ट
अन्धकारले घेरेको छ :
कसले जान्दछ र कि कति टढादेखि रात्रिको गम्भीर सङ्गीतको
स्वर आइरहेछ ?
त्यो सङ्गतिले मेरो सम्पूर्ण आत्मालाई उपट्टि खिचिरहेछ !
प्रकाश कहाँ छ ? प्रकाश कहाँ छ र ?
अब विरहको अग्निले नै प्रदीप बाल, जगाऊ, प्रेमी ! जगाऊ ।

मेघ गर्जिरहेछन्, वायस मन्द मन्द बहिरहेछ :
वेला भइसकयो, अब कहीँ जानु असम्भव होला :
निस्पट्ट निशा आबनूसको कालो ढुंगा झैँ कालो छ,
यस्तो रातमा प्राणलाई प्रेमको प्रदीपले प्रकाशित गर !
आङ्खनो प्रदीपलाई विरहको अग्निले नै प्रदीप्त गर !

kavita – katu swar

मेरा जीवन–वीणाका तारले अझ आघात सहनसक्छन् !
बजाऊ, त्यसलाई अझ जोरसँग झँकृत पार !
जो स्वर तिमीले मेरो जीवनमा बजाउन शुरु गर्यौ,
त्यसको आखिरी तान्न अझ रहेको छ !

केवल करुण कोमल रागहरुमा मेरो अनुराग छैन !
मृदुल स्वरको तमाशामा मेरो जीवन व्यर्थमा बिग्रिरहेछ !

आङ्खनो अग्निलाई अब प्रचण्ड शिखामा प्रज्वलित पार !
आङ्खनो समीरलाई प्रतेज आँधीमा बग्न देऊ !
सारा आकाशम विक्षुब्ध हुनदेऊ !

मेरा जीवन–वीणाका तारले आखिरी राग कठोरभन्दा कठोर
स्वरमा बज्नदेऊ !
यमि तारहरुले अझै आघात सहनसक्छन् !

kavita – sandhai naya

तिमी संधै नयाँ नयाँ रुप लिएर मेरो प्राणमा आऊ, प्रियतम !
गन्धमा आऊ, वर्णमा आऊ, शरीरमा रोमांचित सपर्श बनेर आऊ,
मनमा आखण्ड आनन्दको सुधा बनेर आऊ,
मेरा मुग्ध मन्द नयनहरुमा आऊ, प्रियतम !
मेरो प्राणमा दिनहुँ नयाँ नयाँ रुपमा आऊ !
हे निर्मल, हे उज्ज्वल, हे मनोहर, आऊ !
हे सुन्दर, हे स्निग्ध, हे प्रशान्त, आऊ !
मेरो सुख–दुःखमा आऊ,
संधै नैमित्तिक काममा आऊ,
सबै कामको
उच्च लक्ष्य बनेर आऊ !

kavita – fulko arji

चाँडै गर इश्वर ! यसलाई टिप, ढीलो नगर
यति गर्दा कतै म धूलोमा नलडुँ, यही भय छ !

यो फूलले तिम्रो मालामा स्थान पाओस् अथवा नपाओस्,
कसले जान्दछ ? तैपनि, आङ्खनै आघात–स्पर्शले नै यसलाई
भाग्यवान बनाओस् !

टिप–टिप अब ढिलो नगर !
दिन बितिसक्छ, अँध्यारो जम्दछ,
तिम्रो पूजाको समय नबितोस्, यही भय छ !

जो धेर–थोर रंग यो फूलमा छ, अनि जुन थोरै सुवास–अमृतले यसको
ह्दय परिपूर्ण छ, जबसम्म तिम्रो सेवाको मुहुर्त शेष हुँदैन त्यतिञ्जेल
यसलाई उपभोग गर !

टिप, टिप, अब ढिलो नगर !

kavita – bishwa sabha

म यहाँ केवल तिम्रो संगीत गाउन मात्र आएको हुँ,
आङ्खना विश्व–सभामा मलाई गाउन मात्र अनुमति देऊ !
ईश्वर ! तिम्रो विश्वका अन्य कुनै कामको योग्य म छैन ,
मेरा निरुपयोगी प्राण केवल तिम्रो संगीतको ध्वनिमा व्यक्त हुन्छन् ।

मध्यरात्रिको सुनसान समय छ,
देवालयमा तिम्रो आरती भइरहेछ,
यस्तो वेलामा स्वमी ! मलाई गाउन आदेश देऊ !

प्रभातको वेलामा उषाका सुनौला वीणाको तार बज्छ,
त्यस वेला तिम्रो दरबारमा संगीत गाउन सकूँ, यति मात्र भिक्षा
तिमीसँग चाहन्छु ।
ईश्वर ! आङ्खना विश्व–सभामा मलाई संगीत गाउन सम्मान गर ।

kavita – praanma bhaya

आज जुनेली रातमा फेरि मेरो मन चंचल भइरहेछ :
सोच्दछु तिम्रो छेउमा मैले बस्ने ठाउँ पाउँला के ?
के तिम्रो सुन्दर चेहरा देख्न सकुँला अनि के मेरो जिज्ञासु नेत्रले
तिम्रो नेत्रलाई निर्निमेष देख्न सकुँला ?
सोच्दछु, मेरो गीतपूर्ण आँसु, के चिर–समयसम्म तिम्रो चरण स्पर्श
गर्ने अनुमति पाउन सक्ला ?
यस भयले मि कहिलेकाहीँ तिमीले दिएको दान फिर्ता नमागोस्
भनीकन, म जमीनमा खाडल खनेर आङ्खनो चेहरा लुकाउनेछु ।
तिमीले मेरो हातमा हात राखेका छौ, मलाई भय लाग्छ,
यहि तिमीले मलाई छेउमा बोलाएर उभिनू भन्यौ भने मेरो प्राणमा
भयङ्कर दारिद्रयले ढाक्नेछ ।

poem – return home

Vanished then the Sable Monarch, and Savitri held her way
Where in dense and darksome forest still her husband lifeless lay,

And she sat upon the greensward by the cold unconscious dead,
On her lap with deeper kindness placed her consort’s lifeless head,

And that touch of true affection thrilled him back to waking life,
As returned from distant regions gazed the prince upon his wife,

‘Have I lain too long and slumbered, sweet Savitri, faithful spouse,
But I dreamt a Sable Person took me in a fatal noose! ‘

‘Pillowed on this lap,’ she answered, ‘long upon the earth you lay,
And the Sable Person, husband, he hath come and passed away,

Rise and leave this darksome forest if thou feelest light and strong,
The night is on the jungle and our way is dark and long.’

Rising as from happy slumber looked the young prince on all around,
Saw the wide-extending jungle mantling all the darksome ground,

‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I now remember, ever loving faithful dame,
We in search of fruit and fuel to this lonesome forest came,

As I hewed the gnarléd branches, cruel anguish filled my brain,
And I laid me on the greensward with a throbbing piercing pain,

Pillowed on thy gentle bosom, solaced by thy gentle love,
I was soothed, and drowsy slumber fell on me from skies above.

All was dark and then I witnessed, was it but a fleeting dream,
God or Vision, dark and dreadful, in the deepening shadows gleam,

Was this dream my fair Savitri, dost thou of this Vision know,
Tell me, for before my eyesight still the Vision seems to glow! ‘

‘Darkness thickens,’ said Savitri, ‘and the evening waxeth late,
When the morrow’s light returneth I shall all these scenes narrate,

Now arise, for darkness gathers, deeper grows the gloomy night,
And thy loving anxious parents trembling wait thy welcome sight,

Hark the rangers of the forest! how their voices strike the ear,
Prowlers of the darksome jungle! how they fill my breast with fear!

Forest-fire is raging yonder, for I see a distant gleam,
And the rising evening breezes help the red and radiant beam,

Let me fetch a burning faggot and prepare a friendly fight,
With these fallen withered branches chase the shadows of the night,

And if feeble still thy footsteps,-long and weary is our way,-
By the fire repose, my husband, and return by light of day.’

‘For my parents, fondly anxious,’ Satyavan thus made reply,
‘Pains my heart and yearns my bosom, let us to their cottage hie,

When I tarried in the jungle or by day or dewy eve,
Searching in the hermitages often did my parents grieve,

And with father’s soft reproaches and with mother’s loving fears,
Chid me for my tardy footsteps, dewed me with their gentle tears.

Think then of my father’s sorrow, of my mother’s woeful plight,
If afar in wood and jungle pass we now the livelong night,

Wife beloved, I may not fathom what mishap or load of care,
Unknown dangers, unseen sorrows, even now my parents share! ‘

Gentle drops of filial sorrow trickled down his manly eye,
Pond Savitri sweetly speaking softly wiped the tear-drops dry:

‘Trust me, husband, if Savitri hath been faithful in her love,
If she hath with pious offerings served the righteous gods above,

If she hath a sister’s kindness unto brother men performed,
If she hath in speech and action unto holy truth conformed,

Unknown blessings, mighty gladness, trust thy ever faithful wife,
And not sorrows or disasters wait this eve our parents’ life! ‘

Then she rose and tied her tresses, gently helped her lord to rise,
Walked with him the pathless jungle, looked with love into his eyes,

On her neck his clasping left arm sweetly winds in soft embrace,
Round his waist Savitri’s right arm doth sweetly interlace,

Thus they walked the darksome jungle, silent stars looked from above,
And the hushed and throbbing midnight watched Savitri’s deathless love.

poem – fall of salya

Darkly closed the shades of midnight, Karna still and lifeless lay,
Ghast and Pale o’er slaughtered thousands fell the morning’s sickly ray,

Bowman brave and proud preceptor Kripa to Duryodhan said,
Tear bedimmed the warrior’s eyelids and his manly bosom bled:

‘Leaderless are Koru’s forces by a dire misfortune crost,
Like the moonless shades of midnight in their utter darkness lost,

Like a summer-driéd river, weary waste of and sand,
Lost its pride of fresh’ning waters sweeping o’er the grateful land!

As a spark of fire consumeth summer’s parched and sapless wood,
Kuru’s lordless, lifeless forces shall be angry Arjun’s food,

Bhima too shall seek fulfilment of the dreadful vow he made,
Brave Satyaki wreak his vengeance for his sons untimely slayed!

Bid this battle cease, Duryodhan, pale and fitful is thy star,
Blood enough of friendly nations soaks this crimson field of war,

Bid them live,-the few survivors of a vast and countless host,
Let thy few remaining brothers live,-for many are the lost,

Kindly heart hath good Yudhishthir, still he seeks for rightful peace,
Render back his ancient kingdom, bid this war of kinsmen cease! ‘

‘Kripa,’ so Duryodhan answered, ‘in this sad and fatal strife,
Ever foremost of our warriors, ever careless of thy life,

Ever in the council chamber thou hast words of wisdom said,
Needless war and dire destruction by thy peaceful counsel stayed,

Every word thou speakest, Kripa, is a word of truth and weight.
Nathless thy advice for concord, wise preceptor, comes too late!

Hope not that the good Yudhishthir will again our friendship own
Cheated once by deep Sakuni of his kingdom and his throne,

Rugged Bhima will not palter, fatal is the vow he made,
Vengeful Arjun will not pardon gallant Abhimanyu dead!

Fair Draupadi doth her penance, so our ancient matrons say,
In our blood to wash her insult and her proud insulters slay,

Fair Subhadra morn and evening weeps her dear departed son,
Feeds Draupadi’s deathless anger for the hero dead and gone,

Deeply in their bosoms rankle wrongs and insults we have given,
Blood alone can wash it, Kripa, such the cruet will of Heaven!

And the hour for peace is over, for our best sleep on the plain,
Brothers, kinsmen, friends, and elders slumber with the countless slain,

Shall Duryodhan like a recreant now avoid the deathful strife,
After all his bravest warriors have in war surrendered life,

Shall he, sending them to slaughter, now survive and learn to flee,
Shall he, ruler over monarchs, learn to bend the servile knee?

Proud Duryodhan sues no favour even with his dying breath,
Unsubdued and still unconquered, changeless even unto death,

Salya valiant king of Madra. leads our arméd hosts to-day,
Or to perish or to conquer, gallant Kripa, lead the way! ‘

Meanwhile round the brave Yudhishthir calmly stood the Pandav force,
As the final day of battle now began its fatal course,

‘Brothers, kinsmen, hero-warriors,’ so the good Yudhishthir said,
‘Ye have done your share in battle, witness countless foemen dead

Sad Yudhishthir is your eldest, let him end this fatal strife,
Slay the last of Kuru chieftains or surrender throne and life!

Bold Satyaki ever faithful with his arms protects my right,
Drupad’s son with watchful valour guards my left with wonted might.

In the front doth Bhima battle, careful Arjun guards the rear,
I will lead the battle’s centre which shall know nor flight nor fear! ‘

Truly on that fatal morning brave Yudhishthir kept his word,
Long and fiercely waged the combat with fair Madra’s valiant lord,

Thick and fast the arrows whistled and the lances pointed well,
Till with crashing sound of thunder Salya’s mighty standard fell!

Rescued by the son of Drona, Salya rushed again to war,
Slew the noble milk-white coursers of Yudhishthir’s royal car,

And as springs the hungry lion on the spotted jungle-deer,
Salya rushed upon Yudhishthir reckless and unknown to fear!

Brave Yudhishthir marked him coming and he hurled his fatal dart,
Like the fatal curse of Brahman sank the weapon in his heart,

Blood suffused his eye and nostril, quivered still his feeble hand,
Like a cliff by thunder riven Salya fell and shook the land!

Ended was the fatal battle, for the Mlechcha king was slain,
Pierced by angry Sahadeva false Sakuni pressed the plain,

All the brothers of Duryodhan tiger-waisted Bhima slew,
Proud Duryodhan pale and panting from the field of battle flew!

poem – the tumult

Spake the suitors, anger-shaken, like a forest tempest-torn,
As Panchala’s courteous monarch came to greet a Brahman-born:

‘Shall he like the grass of jungle trample us in haughty pride,
To a prating priest and Brahman wed the proud and peerless bride?

To our hopes like nourished saplings shall he now the fruit deny,
Monarch proud who insults monarchs sure a traitor’s death shall die,

Honour for his rank we know not, have no mercy for his age,
Perish foe of crownéd monarchs, victim to our righteous rage!

Hath he asked us to his palace, favoured us with royal grace,
Feasted us with princely bounty, but to compass our disgrace,

In this concourse of great monarchs, glorious like a heavenly band,
Doth he find no likely suitor for his beauteous daughter’s hand?

And this rite of swayamtvra, so our sacred laws ordain,
Is for warlike Kshatras only, priests that custom shall not stain,

If this maiden on a Brahman casts her eye, devoid of shame,
Let her expiate her folly in a pyre of blazing flame!

Leave the priestling in his folly sinning through a Brahman’s greed,
For we wage no war with Brahmans and forgive a foolish deed,

Much we owe to holy Brahmans for our realm and wealth and life,
Blood of priest or wise preceptor shall not stain our noble strife,

In the blood of sinful Drupad we the righteous laws maintain,
Such disgrace in future ages monarchs shall not meet again!’

Spake the suitors, tiger-hearted, iron-handed, bold and strong’
Fiereely bent on blood and vengeance blindly rose the maddened throng,

On they came, the angry monarchs, armed for cruel vengeful strife,
Drupad midst the holy Brahmans trembling fled for fear of life,

Like wild elephants of jungle rushed the kings upon their foes,
Calm and stately, stalwart Bhima and the gallant Arjun rose!

With a wilder rage the monarchs viewed these brothers cross their path,
Rushed upon the daring warriors for to slay them in their wrath,

Weaponless was noble Bhima, but in strength like lightning’s brand,
Tore a tree with peerless prowess, shook it as a mighty wand!

And the foe-compelling warrior held that mace of living wood,
Strong as death with deadly weapon, facing all his foes he stood,

Arjun too with godlike valour stood unmoved, his bow in hand,
Side by side the dauntless brothers faced the fierce and fiery band!

poem – krishna’s speech

Mirth and song and nuptial music waked the echoes of the night,
Youthful bosoms throbbed with pleasure, lovelit glances sparkled bright,

But when young and white -robed USHAS ope’d the golden gates of day,
To Virata’s council chamber chieftains thoughtful held their way,

Stones inlaid in arch and pillar glinted in the glittering dawn,
Gay festoons and graceful garlands o’er the golden cushions shone!

Matsya’s king, Panchala’s monarch, foremost seats of honour claim,
Krishna too and Valadeva, Dwarka’s chiefs of righteous fame,

By them sate the bold Satyaki from the sea-girt western shore,
And the godlike sons of Pandu,-days of dark concealment o’er,

Youthful princes in their splendour graced Virata’s royal hall,
Valiant sons of valiant fathers, brave in war, august and tall,

In their gem-bespangled garments came the warriors proud and high,
Till the council chamber glittered like the star-bespangled sky

Kind the greetings, sweet the converse, soft the golden moments fly,
Till intent on graver questions all on Krishna turn their eye,

Krishna with his inner vision then the state of things surveyed,
And his thoughts before the monarchs thus in weighty accents laid.

‘Known to all, ye mighty monarchs! May your glory ever last,
‘True to plighted word Yudhishthir hath his weary exile passed,

Twelve long years with fair Draupadi in the pathless jungle strayed,
And a year in menial service in Virata’s palace stayed,

He hath kepthis plighted promise, braved affliction, woe, and shame,
And he begs, assembled monarchs, ye shall now his duty name.

For he swerveth not from duty kingdom of the sky to win,
Prizeth hamlet more than empire, so his course be free from sin,

Loss of realm and wealth and glory higher virtues in him prove,
Thoughts of peace and not of anger still the good Yudhishthir move!

Mark again the sleepless anger and the unrelenting hate
Harboured by the proud Duryodhan driven by his luckless fate,

From a child, by fire or poison, impious guile or trick of dice,
He hath compassed dark destruction by deceit and low device!

Ponder well, ye gracious monarchs, with a just and righteous mind,
Help Yudhishthir with your counsel, with your grace and blessings kind,

Should the noble son of Pandu seek his right by open war,
Seek the aid of righteous monarchs and of chieftains near and far?

Should he smite his ancient foemen skilled in each deceitful art,
Unforgiving in their vengeance, unrelenting in their heart?

Should he rather send a message to the proud unbending foe,
And Duryodhan’s haughty purpose seek by messenger to know?

Should he send a noble envoy, trained in virtue, true and wise,
With his greetings to Duryodhan in a meek and friendly guise?

Ask him to restore the kingdom on the sacred Jumna’s shore
Either king may rule his empire as in happy days of yore? ‘

Krishna uttered words of wisdom pregnant with his peaceful thought,
For in peace and not by bloodshed still Yudhishthir’s right he sought.

poem – the princes

Gauntleted and jewel-girdled, now the warlike princes came,
With their stately bows and quivers, and their swords like wreaths of flame,

Each behind his elder stepping, good Yudhishthir first of all,
Each his wondrous skill displaying held the silent crowds in thrall.

And the men in admiration marked them with a joyful eye,
Or by sudden panic stricken stooped to let the arrow fly!

Mounted on their rapid coursers oft the princes proved their aim,
Racing, hit the target with arrows lettered with their royal name,

With their glinting sunlit weapons shone the youths sublime and high,
More than mortals seemed the princes, bright Gandharvas of the sky!

Shouts of joy the people uttered as by sudden impulse driven.
Mingled voice of tens of thousands struck the pealing vault of heaven.

Still the princes shook their weapons, drove the deep resounding car,
Or on steed or tusker mounted waged the glorious mimic war!

Mighty sword and ample buckler, ponderous mace the princes wield,
Brightly gleam their lightning rapiers as they range the listed field,

Brave and fearless is their action, and their movement quick and light
Skilled and true the thrust and parry of their weapons flaming bright!

poem – the suitors

‘Brave Duryodhan and his brothers, princes of the Kuruland,
Karna proud and peerless archer, sister! seek thy noble hand,

And Gandhara’s warlike princes, Bhoja’s monarch true and bold,
And the son of mighty Drona, all bedecked in gems and gold!

King and prince from Matsya kingdom grace this noble wedding feast,
Monarchs from more distant regions north and south and west and east,

Tamralipta and Kalinga on the eastern ocean wave,
Pattan’s port whose hardy children western ocean’s dangers brave!

From the distant land of Madra car-borne monarch Salya came,
Amd from Dwarka’s sea-girt regions Valadeva known to fame,

Valadeva and his brother Krishna sprung from Yadu’s race,
Of the Vrishni clan descended, soul of truth and righteous grace!

This is mighty Jayadratha come from Sindhu’s sounding shore,
Famed for warlike feats of valour, famed alike for sacred lore,

This is fair Kosala’s monarch whose bright deeds our heralds sing,
From the sturdy soil of Chedi, this is Chedi’s peerless king!

This is mighty Jarasandha, come from far Magadha’s land,
These are other princely suitors, sister! eager for thy hand,

All the wide earth’s warlike rulers seek to shoot the distant aim,
Princess, whoso hits the target, choose as thine that prince of fame!’

Decked with jewels, young and valiant, all aflame with soft desire,
Conscious of their worth and valour, all the suitors rose in ire,

Nobly born, of lofty presence, full of young unyielding pride,
Like the tuskers wild and lordly on Himalay’s wooded side!

Each his rival marks as foeman as in field of deadly strife,
Each regards the fair Draupadi as his own his queenly wife,

On the gorgeous field they gather by a maddening passion fired,
And they strive as strove the bright gods, when by Uma’s love inspired!

And the gods in cloud-borne chariots came to view the scene so fair,
Bright ADITYAS in their splendour, MARUTs in the moving air,

Winged Suparnas, scaly Yagas, saints celestial pure and high,
For their music famed, Gandharvas, fair Apsaras of the sky

Valadeva armed with ploughshare, Krishna chief of righteous fame.
With the other Yadu chieftains to that wondrous bridal came,

Krishna marked the sons of Panda eager for the maiden queen,
Like wild tuskers for a lotus, like the fire that lurks unseen,

And he knew the warlike brothers in their holy Brahman guise,
Pointed them to Valadeva, gazing with a glad surprise!

But the other chiefs and monarchs with their eyes upon the bride,
Marked nor knew the sons of Panda sitting speechless by their side,

And the long-armed sons of Panda smitten by KANDARPA’S dart,
Looked on her with longing languor and with love -impassioned heart!

Bright Immortals gaily crowding viewed the scene surpassing fair,
Heavenly blossoms soft descending with a perfume filled the air,

Bright celestial cars in concourse sailed upon the cloudless sky,
Drum and flute and harp and tabor sounded deep and sounded high!

Poem – the arghya

Outspake Bhishma to Yudhishthir: ‘Monarch of this wide domain,
Honour due to crowned monarchs doth our sacred law ordain,

Arghya to the wise Preceptor, to the Kinsman and to Priest,
To the Friend and to the Scholar, to the King as lord of feast,

Unto these is due the arghya, so our holy writs have said,
Therefore to these kings assembled be the highest honour paid,

Noble are these crownéd monarchs, radiant like the noonday sun,
To the noblest, first in virtue, be the foremost honour done!’

‘Who is noblest,’ quoth Yudhishthir, ‘in this galaxy of fame,
Who of chiefs and crownéd monarchs doth our foremost honour claim?’

Pond’ ring spake the ancient Bhishma in his accents deep and clear:
Greatest midst the great is Krishna! chief of men without a peer

Midst these monarchs pure in lustre, purest-hearted and most high
Like the radiant sun is Krishna midst the planets of the sky,

Sunless climes are warmed to verdure by the sun’s returning ray,
Windless wastes are waked to gladness when reviving breezes play,

Even so this rajasuya, this thy sacrificial rite,
Owes its sanctity and splendour unto Krishna’s holy might!’

Bhishma spake and Sahadeva served his mandate quick as thought,
And the arghya duly flavoured unto peerless Krishna brought,

Krishna trained in rules of virtue then the offered arghya took,
Darkened Sisupala’s forehead and his frame in tremor shook,

To Yudhishthir and to Bhishma turns the chief his flaming eyes,
To the great and honoured Krishna, Sisupala wrathful cries.

poem – fest and sacrifice

Jumna’s dark and limpid waters laved Yudhishthir’s palace walls
And to hail him Dharma-raja, monarchs thronged his royal halls,

He to honoured kings and chieftains with a royal grace assigned
Palaces with sparkling waters and with trees umbrageous lined,

Honoured thus, the mighty monarchs lived in mansions milky white,
Like the peaks of famed Kailasa lifting proud their snowy height!

Graceful walls that swept the meadows circled round the royal halls,
Nets of gold belaced the casements, gems bedecked the shining walls,

Flights of steps led up to chambers many-tinted-carpet-graced,
And festooning fragrant garlands were harmonious interlaced!

Far below from spacious gateways rose the people’s gathering cry,
And from far the swan-white mansions caught the ravished gazer’s eye,

Richly graced with precious metals shone the turrets bright and gay,
Like the rich-ored shining turrets of the lofty Himalay.

And the scene bedecked by rishis and by priests and kings of might,
Shone like azure sky in splendourgraced by deathless Sons of Light!

Spake Yudhishthir unto Bhishma, elder of the Kuru race,
Unto Drona proud preceptor, rich in lore and warlike grace,

Spake to wise preceptor Kripa, versed in sacred rites of old,
To Duryodhan and his brothers, honoured guests and kinsmen bold:

‘Friends and kinsmen, grant your favour and your sweet affection lend,
May your kindness ever helpful poor Yudhishthir’s rite attend,

As your own, command my treasure, costly gifts and wealth untold,
To the poor and to the worthy scatter free my gems and gold! ‘

Speaking thus he made his diksha, and to holy work inclined,
To his friends and to his kinsmen all their various tasks assigned:

Proud Duhsasan in his bounty spread the rich and sumptuous feast,
Drona’s son with due devotion greeted saint and holy priest,

Sanjay with a regal honour welcomed king and chief of might,
Bhishma and the pious Drona watched the sacrificial rite,

Kripa guarded wealth and treasure, gold and gems of untold price,
And with presents unto Brahmans sanctified the sacrifice,

Dhrita-rashtra, old and sightless, through the scene of gladness strayed,
With a careful hand Vidura all the mighty cost defrayed,

Proud Duryodhan took the tribute which the chiefs and monarchs paid,
Pious Krishna unto Brahmans honour and obeisance made.

‘Twas a gathering fair and wondrous on fair Jumna’s sacred shore,
Tributes in a thousand nishkas every willing monarch bore,

Costly gifts proclaimed the homage of each prince of warlike might,
Chieftains vied with rival chieftains to assist the holy rite.

Bright Immortals, robed in sunlight, sailed across the liquid sky,
And their gleaming cloud-borne chariots rested on the turrets high,

Hero-monarchs, holy Brahmans, filled the balls bedecked in gold,
White-robed priests adept in mantra mingled with the chieftains bold.

And amidst this scene of splendour, pious-hearted, pure and good,
Like the sinless god VARUNA, gentle-souled Yudhishthir stood,

Six bright fires Yudhishthir lighted, offerings made to gods above,
Gifts unto the poor and lowly spake the monarch’s boundless love.

Hungry men were fed and feasted with an ample feast of rice,
Costly gifts to holy Brahmans graced the noble sacrifice,

Ida, ajya, homa offerings, pleased the ‘Shining Ones’ on high,
Brahmans pleased with costly presents with their blessings filled the sky!

poem – ravan’s coming

Ravan watched the happy moment burning with a vengeful spite,
Came to sad and sorrowing Sita in the guise of anchorite,

Tufted hair and russet garment, sandals on his feet he wore.
And depending from his shoulders on a staff his vessel bore.

And he came to lonely Sita, for each warlike chief was gone,
As the darkness comes to evening lightless from the parted Sun,

And he cast his eyes on Sita, as a graha casts its shade
On the beauteous star Rohini when the bright Moon’s glories fade.

Quaking Nature knew the moment; silent stood the forest trees,
Conscious of a deed of darkness fell the fragrant forest breeze,

Godavari’s troubled waters trembled’ neath his lurid glance,
And his red eve’s fiery lustre sparkled in the wavelets’ dance!

Mute and still were forest creatures when in guise of anchorite,
Unto Sita’s lonely cottage pressed the Raksha in his might,

Mute and voiceless was the jungle as he cast on her his eye,
As across the star of Chitra, planet Sani walks the sky!

Ravan stood in hermit’s vestments,-vengeful purpose unrevealed,-
As a deep and darksome cavern is by grass and leaf concealed,

Ravan stood sedate and silent, and he gazed on Rama’s queen,
Ivory brow and lip of coral, sparkling teeth of pearly sheen!

Lighting up the lonely cottage, Sita sat in radiance high,
As the Moon with streaks of silver fills the lonely midnight sky,

Lighting up the gloomy woodlands with her eyes serenely fair,
With her bark-clad shape of beauty mantled by her raven hair!

Ravan fired by impure passion fixed on her his lustful eye,
And the light that lit his glances gave his holy texts the lie,

Ravan in his flattering accents, with a soft and soothing art,
Praised the woman’s peerless beauty to subdue the woman’s heart:

‘Beaming in thy golden beauty, robed in sylvan russet drew,
Wearing wreath of fragrant lotus like a nymph of wilderness,

Art thou Sri or radiant Gauri, maid of Fortune or of Fame,
Nymph of Love or sweet Fruition, what may be thy sacred name!

On thy lips of ruddy coral teeth of tender jasmine shine,
In thy eyes of limpid lustre dwclls a light of love divine,

Tall and slender, softly rounded, are thy limbs of beauty rare,
Like the swelling fruit of tala leaves thy bosom sweetly fair!

Smiling lips that tempt and ravish, lustre that thy dark eyes beam,
Crush my heart, as rolling waters crush the margin of the stream.

And thy wealth of waving tresses mantles o’er thy budding charms,
And thy waist of slender beauty courts a lover’s circling arms!

Goddess or Gandharva maiden wears no brighter form or face,
Woman seen by eyes of mortals owns not such transcendent grace.

Wherefore then, in lonesome forest, nymph or maiden, make thy stay,
Where the jungle creatures wander and the Rakshas hold their sway?

Royal balls and stately mansions were for thee a meeter home,
And thy steps should grace a palace, not in pathless forest roam,

Blossoms rich, not thorn of jungle, decorate a lady’s bower,
Silken robes, not sylvan garments, heighten Beauty’s potent power!

Lady of the sylvan forest! other destiny is thine,
As a bride beloved and courted in thy bridal garments shine,

Choose a loved and lordly suitor who shall wait on thee in pride,
Choose a hero worth thy beauty, be a monarch’s queenly bride!

Speak thy lineage, heaven-descended! who may be thy parents high,
Rudras or the radiant Maruts, Vassus leaders of the sky,

All unworthy is this forest for a nymph or heavenly maid,
Beast’s of prey infest the jungle, Rakshas haunt its gloomy shade,

Lions dwell in lovely caverns, tuskers ford the silent lake,
Monkeys sport on pendant branches, tigers steal beneath the brake,

Wherefore then this dismal forest doth thy fairy face adorn,
Who art thou and whence descended, nymph or maid or goddess-born?

poem – brother’s faithfulness

Tears bedewed the face of Lakshman as he heard what Sita, said,
And he touched the feet of Rama and in gentle accents prayed:

‘If my elder and his lady to the pathless forests wend,
Armed with bow and ample quiver Lakshman will on them attend,

Where the wild deer range the forest and the lordly tuskers roam,
And the bird of gorgeous plumage nestles in its jungle home,

Dearer far to me those woodlands where my elder Rama dwells,
Than the homes of bright Immortals where perennial bliss prevails!

Grant me then thy sweet permission,-faithful to thy glorious star,
Lakshman,shall not wait and tarry when his Rama wanders far,

Grant me then thyloving mandate,-Lakshman hath no wish to stay,
None shall bar the faithful younger when the elder leads the way!’

‘Ever true to deeds of virtue, duteous brother, faithful friend,
Dearer than his life to Rama, thou shall not to forests wend,

Who shall stay by Queen Kausalya, Lakshman, if we both depart,
Who shall stay by Queen Sumitra, she who nursed thee on her heart?

For the king our aged father, he who ruled the earth and main,
Is a captive to Kaikeyi, fettered by her silken chain,

Little help Kaikeyi renders to our mothers in her pride,
Little help can Bharat offer, standing by his mother’s side.

Thou alone can’st serve Kausalya when for distant woods I part,
When the memory of my exile rankles in her sorrowing heart,

Thou alone can’st serve Sumitra, soothe her sorrows with thy love,
Stay by them, my faithful Lakshman, and thy filial virtues prove,

Be this then they sacred duty, tend our mothers in their woe,
Little joy or consolation have they left on earth below!’

Spake the hero: ‘Fear no evil, well is Rama’s prowess known,
And to mighty Rama’s mother Bharat will obeisance own,

Nathless if the pride of empire sways him from the righteous path,
Blood will venge the offered insult and will quench our filial wrath!

But a thousand peopled hamlets Queen Kausalya’s hests obey,
And a thousand arméd champions own her high and queenly sway,

Aye, a thousand village-centres Queen Sumitra’s state maintain,
And a thousand swords like Lakshman’s guard her proud and prosperous reign!

All alone with gentle Sita thou shalt track thy darksome way,
Grant it, that thy faithful Lakshman shall protect her night and day,

Grant it, with his bow and quiver Lakshman shall the forests roam,
And his axe shall fell the jungle, and his hands shall rear the home!

Grant it, in the deepest woodlands he shall seek the forest fruit,
Berries dear to holy hermits and the sweet and luscious root,

And whenwith thy meek-eyed Sita thou shalt seek the mountain crest,
Grant it, Lakshman ever duteous watch and guard thy nightly rest!’

Words of brother’s deep devotion Rama heard with grateful heart,
And with Sita and with Lakshman for the woods prepared to part:

Part we then from loving kinsmen, arms and mighty weapons bring,
Bows of war which Lord VARUNA rendered to Videha’s king,

Coats of mail to sword impervious, quivers which can never fail,
And the rapiers bright as sunshine, golden-hilted, tempered wen,

Safely rest these goodly weapons in our great preceptor’s hall,
Seekand bring them, faithful brother, for me thinks we need them all!’

Rama spake; his valiant brother then the wondrous weapons brought,
Wreathed with fresh and fragrant garlands and with gold and jewels wrought,

‘Welcome, brother,’ uttered Rama, ‘stronger thus to woods we go,
Wealth and gold and useless treasure to the holy priests bestow,

To the son of saint Vasishtha, to each sage is honour due,
Then we leave our father’s mansions, to our father’s mandate true!’

poem – the fall of bali

Star-eyed Tara softly counselled pressing to her consort’s side,
Mighty Bali proudly answered with a warrior’s lofty pride:

‘Challenge of a humbled foeman and a younger’s haugty scorn
May not, shall not, tender Tara, by a king be meekly borne!

Bali turns not from encounter even with his dying breath,
Insult from a foe, unanswered, is a deeper stain than death,

And Sugriva’s quest for combat Bali never shall deny,
Though sustained by Rama’s forces and by Rama’s prowess high!

Free me from thy sweet embraces and amidst thy maids retire,
Woman’s love and soft devotion woman’s timid thoughts inspire,

Fear not, Tara, blood of brother Bali’s honour shall not stain,
I will quell his proud presumption, chase him from this realm again,

Free me from thy loving dalliance, midst thy damsels seek thy place,
Till I come a happy victor to my Tara’s fond embrace!’

Slow and sad with sweet obeisance Tara stopped around her lord,
Welling tear-drops choked her accents as she prayed in stifled word,

Slow and sad with swelling bosom Tara with her maids retired,
Bali issued proud and stately with the thought of vengeance fired!

Hissing like an angry cobra, city’s lofty gates he past,
And his proud and angry glances fiercely all around he cast,

Till he saw the bold Sugriva, gold-complexioned, red with ire,
Girded for the dubious combat, flaming like the forest fire!

Bali braced his warlike garments and his hand he lifted high,
Bold Sugriva raised his right arm with a proud and answering cry,

Bali’s eyes were red as copper and his chain was burnished gold,
To his brother bold Sugriva thus he spake in accents bold:

‘Mark this iron fist, intruder, fatal is its vengeful blow,
Crushed and smitten thou shalt perish and to nether world shalt go,’

‘Nay that fate awaits thee, Bali,’ spake Sugriva armed for strife,
‘When this right arm smites thy forehead, from thy bosom rends thy life!’

Closed the chiefs in fatal combat, each resistless in his pride,
And like running rills from mountains poured their limbs the purple tide,

Till Sugriva quick uprooting Sal tree from the jungle wood,
As the dark cloud hurls the lightning, hurled it where his brother stood,

Staggering ‘neath the blow terrific Bali reeled and almost fell,
As a proud ship overladen reels upon the ocean’s swell!

But with fiercer rage and fury Bali in his anguish rose,
And with mutual blows they battled,-brothers and relentless foes,

Like the sun and moon in conflict or like eagles in their fight,
Still they fought with cherished hatred and an unforgotten spite,

Till with mightier force and fury Bali did his younger quell,
Faint Sugriva fiercely struggling ‘neath his brother’s prowess fell!

Still the wrathful rivals wrestled with their bleeding arms and knees,
With their nails like claws of tigers and with riven rocks and trees,

And as INDRA battles Vritra in the tempest’s pealing roar,
Blood-stained Bali, red Sugriva, strove and struggled, fought and tore,

Till Sugriva faint and falt’ring fell like Vritra from the sky,
To his comrade and his helper turned his faint and pleading eye!

Ah! those soft and pleading glances smote the gentle Rama’s heart,
On his bow of ample stature Rama raised the fatal dart,

Like the fatal disc of YAMA was his proudly circled bow,
Like a snake of deadly poison flew his arrow swift and low,

Wingéd dwellers of the forest heard the twang with trembling few,
Echoing woods gave back the accent, lightly fled the startled deer,

And as INDRA’S flag is lowered when the Aswin winds prevail,
Lofty Bali pierced and bleeding by that fatal arrow fell!

poem – the sentence

Morning came and duteous Rama to the palace bent his way,
For to make his salutation and his due obeisance pay,

And he saw his aged father shorn of kingly pomp and pride,
And he saw the Queen Kaikeyi sitting by her consort’s side.

Duteously the righteous Rama touched the ancient monarch’s feet,
Touched the feet of Queen Kaikeyi with a son’s obeisance meet,

‘Rama!’ cried the feeble monarch, but the tear bedimmed his eye,
Sorrow choked his failing utterance and his bosom heaved a sigh,

Rama started in his terror at his father’s grief or wrath,
Like a traveller in the jungle crossed by serpent in his path!

Reft of sense appeared the monarch, crushed beneath a load of pain,
Heaving oft a sigh of sorrow as his heart would break in twain,

Like the ocean tempest-shaken, like the sun in eclipse pale,
Like a crushed repenting rishi when his truth and virtue fail!

Breathless mused the anxious Rama,-what foul action hath he done,
What strange anger fills his father, wherefore greets he not his son?

‘Speak, my mother,’ uttered Rama,’ what strange error on my part.
Unremembered sin or folly fills with grief my father’s heart,

Gracious unto me is father with a father’s boundless grace,
Wherefore clouds his altered visage, wherefore tears bedew his face?

Doth a piercing painful ailment rack his limbs with cruel smart,
Doth some secret silent anguish wring his tom and tortured heart,

Bharat lives with brave Satrughns, in thy father’s realms afar,
Hath some cloud of dark disaster crossed their bright auspicious star?

Duteously the royal consorts on the loving monarch wait,
Hath some woe or dire misfortune dimmed the lustre of their fate.

I would yield my life and fortune ere I wound my father’s heart,
Rath my unknown crime or folly caused his ancient bosom smart!

Ever dear is Queen Kaikeyi to her consort and her king,
Hath some angry accent escaped thee thus his royal heart to wring,

Speak, my ever-lovinging mother, speak the truth, for thou must know,
What distress or deep disaster pains his heart and clouds his brow?’

Mother’s love nor woman’s pity moved the deep-determined queen,
As in cold and cruel accents thus she spake her purpose keen:

‘Grief nor woe nor sudden ailment pains thy father loved of old,
But he fears to speak his purpose to his Rama true and bold,

And his loving accents falter some unloving wish to tell,
Till you give your princely promise, you Will serve his mandate well!

Listen more, in bygone seasons,-Rama thou wert then unborn,
I had saved thy royal father, he a gracious boon had sworn,

But his feeble heart repenting is by pride and passion stirred,
He would break his royal promise as a caitiff breaks his word,

Years have passed and now the monarch would his ancient word forego,
He would build a needless causeway when the waters ceased to flow!

Truth inspires each deed attempted and each word by monarchs spoke,
Not for thee, though loved and honoured, should a royal vow be broke,

If the true and righteous Rama binds him by his father’s vow,
I will tell thee of the anguish which obscures his royal brow,

If thy feeble bosom falter and thy halting purpose fail,
Unredeemed is royal promise and unspoken is my tale!

‘Speak thy word,’ exclaimed the hero, ‘and my purpose shall not fail,
Rama serves his father’s mandate and his bosom shall not quail,

Poisoned cup or death untimely,-what the cruel fates decree,
To his king and to his father Rama yields obedience free,

Speak my father’s royal promise, hold me by his promise tied,
Rama speaks and shall not palter, for his lips have never lied.’

Cold and clear Kaikeyi’s accents fell as falls the hunter’s knife,
‘Listen then to word of promise and redeem it with thy life,

Wounded erst by foes immortal, saved by Queen Kaikeyi’s care,
Two great boons your father plighted and his royal words were fair,

I have sought their due fulfilment,-brightly shines my Bharat’s star.
Bharat shall be Heir and Regent, Rama shall be banished far!

If thy father’s royal mandate thou wouldst list and honour still,
Fourteen years in Dandak’s forest live and wander at thy will,

Seven long years and seven, my Rama, thou shalt in the jungle dwell,
Bark of trees shall be thy raiment and thy home the hermit’s cell,

Over fair Kosala’s empire let my princely Bharat reign,
With his cars and steeds and tuskers, wealth and gold and arméd men!

Tender-hearted is the monarch, age and sorrow dim his eye,
And the anguish of a father checks his speech and purpose high,

For the love he bears thee, Rama, cruel vow he may not speak,
I have spoke his will and mandate, and thy true obedience seek.’

Calmly Rama heard the mandate, grief nor anger touched his heart,
Calmly from his father’s empire and his home prepared to part.

poem – greetings

Message from returning Rama, Vanars to Ayodhya brought,
Righteous Bharat gave his mandate with a holy joy distraught:

‘Let our city shrines and chaityas with a lofty music shake,
And ourpriests to bright Immortals grateful gifts and offerings make,

Bards, reciters of Puranas, minstrels versed in ancient song,
Women with their tuneful voices lays of sacred love prolong,

Let our queens and stately courtiers step in splendour and in state,
Chieftains with their marshalled forces range along the city gate,

And our white-robed holy Brahmans hymn and sacred mantras sing.
Offer greetings to our brother, render homage to our king!’

Brave Satrughna heard his elder and his mandate duly kept:
‘Be our great and sacred city levelled, cleansed, and duly swept,

And the grateful earth be sprinkled with the water from the well,
Strewn with parchéd rice and offering and with flower of sweetest smell,

On each turret, tower, and temple let our flags and colours wave,
On the gates of proud Ayodhya plant Ayodhya’a banners brave,

Gay festoons of flowering creeper home and street and dwelling line,
And in gold and glittering garment let the gladdened city shine.

Elephants in golden trappings thousand chiefs and nobles bore.
Chariots, cars, and gallant chargers speeding by Sarayu’s shore,

And the serried troops of battle marched with colours rich and brave,
Proudly o’er the gay procession did, Ayodhya’s banners wave.

In their stately gilded litters royal dames and damsels came,
Queen Kausalya first and foremost, Queen Sumitra rich in fame,

Pious priest and learned Brahman, chief of guild from near and far,
Noble chief and stately courtier with the wreath and water jar.

Girt by minstrel, bard, and herald chanting glorious deeds of yore,
Bharat came,-his elder’s sandals still the faithful younger bore,-

Silver-white his proud umbrella, silver-white his garland brave,
Silver-white the fan of chowri which his faithful henchmen wave,

Stately march of gallant chargers and the roll of battle car,
Heavy tread of royal tuskers and the beat of drum of war,

Dundubhi and echoing sankha, voice of nations gathered nigh,
Shook the city’s tower and temple and the pealing vault of sky!

Sailing o’er the cloudless ether Rama’s Pushpa chariot came,
And ten thousand jocund voices shouted Rama’s joyous name,

Women with their loving greetings, children with their joyous cry,
Tottering age and lisping infant hailed the righteous chief and high.

Bharat lifted up his glances unto Rama from afar,
Unto Sita, unto Lakshman, seated on the Pushpa car,

And he wafted high his greetings and he poured his pious lay,
As one wafts the chaunted mantra to the rising God of Day!

Silver swans by Rama’s bidding soft descended from the air,
And on earth the chariot lighted,-car of flowers divinely fair,-

Bharat mounting on the chariot, sought his long-lost elder’s grace,
Rama held his faithful younger in a brother’s dear embrace.

With his greetings unto Lakshman, unto Rama’s faithful dame,
To Bibhishan and Sugriva and each chief who thither came,

Bharat took the jewelled sandals with the rarest gems inlaid,
Placed them at the feet of Rama and in humble accents said:

‘Tokens of thy rule and empire, these have filled thy royal throne,
Faithful to his trust and duty Bharat renders back thine own,

Bharat’s life is joy and gladness, for returned from distant shore,
Thou shalt rule thy spacious kingdom and thy loyal men once more,

Thou shalt hold thy rightful empire and assume thy royal crown,
Faithful to his trust and duty, Bharat renders back thine own,

poem – the sacrifice

Years have passed; the lonely Rama in his joyless palace reigned,
And for righteous duty yearning, Aswa-medha rite ordained,

And a steed of darkest sable with the valiant Lakshman sent,
And with troops and faithful courtiers to Naimisha’s forest went.

Fair was far Naimisha’s forest by the limpid Gumti’s shom.
Monarchs came and warlike chieftains, Brahmans versed in sacred lore,

Bharat with each friend and kinsman served them with the choicest food,
Proud retainers by each chieftain and each crownéd monarch stood.

Palaces and stately mansions were for royal guests assigned,
Peaceful homes for learnéd Brahmans were with trees umbrageous lined,

Gifts were made unto the needy, cloth by skilful weavers wrought,
Ere the suppliants spake their wishes, ere they shaped their inmost thought!

Rice unto the helpless widow, to the orphan wealth and gold,
Gifts they gave to holy Brahmans, shelter to the weak and old,

Garments to the grateful people crowding by their monarch’s door,
Food and drink unto the hungry, home unto the orphan poor.

Ancient rishis had not witnessed feast like this in any land,
Bright Immortals in their bounty blest not with a kinder hand,

Through the year and circling seasons lasted Rama’s sacred feast,
And the untold wealth of Rama by his kindly gifts increased!

poem – sita lost

Morning dawned; and with Valmiki, Sita to the gathering came,
Banished wife and weeping mother, sorrow-stricken, suffering dame,

Pure in thought and deed, Valmiki gave his troth and plighted word,-
Faithful still the banished Sita, in her bosom held her lord!

Mighty Saint,’ so Rama answered as he bowed his humble head,
‘Listening world will hear thy mandate and the word that thou hast said,

Never in his bosom Rama questioned Sita’s faithful love,
And the God of Fire incarnate did her stainless virtue prove!

Pardon, if the voice of rumour drove me to a deed of shame,
Bowing to my people’s wishes I disowned my sinless dame,

Pardon, if to please my subjects I have bade my Sita, roam,
Tore her from my throne and empire, tore her from my heart and home!

In the dark and dreary forest was my Sita left to mourn,
In the lone and gloomy jungle were my royal children born,

Help me, Gods, to wipe this error and this deed of sinful pride,
May my Sita prove her virtue, be again my loving bride!’

Gods and Spirits, bright Immortals to that royal Yajna came,
Hen of every race and nation, kings and chiefs of righteous fame,

Softly through the halls of splendour cool and scented breezes blew,
Fragrance of celestial blossoms o’er the royal chambers flew.

Sita, saw the bright Celestials, monarchs gathered from afar,
Saw her royal lord and husband bright as heaven-ascending star,

Saw her sons as hermit-minstrels beaming with a radiance high,
Milk of love suffused her bosom, tear of sorrow filled her eye!

Rama’s queen and Janak’s daughter, will she stoop her cause to plead,
Witness of her truth and virtue can a loving woman need?

Oh! her woman~s heart is bursting, and her day on earth is done,
And she pressed her heaving bosom, slow and sadly thus begun:

‘If unstained in thought and action I have lived from day of birth,
Spare a daughter’s shame and anguish and receive her, Mother Earth!

If in duty and devotion I have laboured undefiled,
After Earth I who bore this woman, once again, receive thy child!

If in truth unto my husband I have proved a faithful wife,
Mother Earth I relieve thy Sita from the burden of this life!’

Then the earth was rent and parted, and a golden throne arose,
Held aloft by jewelled Nagas as the leaves enfold the rose,

And the Mother in embraces held her spotless sinless Child,
Saintly Janak’s saintly daughter, pure and true and undefiled,

Gods and men proclaim her virtue! But fair Sita is no more,
Lone is Rama’s loveless bosom and his days of bliss are o’er!

poem – the sandals

Tears nor sighs nor sad entreaty Rama’s changeless purpose shook,
Till. once more with hands conjoinéd Bharat to his elder spoke:

‘Rama, true to royal mercy, true to duties of thy race,
Grant this favour to thy mother, to thy brother grant this grace,

Vain were my unaided efforts to protect our father’s throne,
Town and hamlet, lord and tiller, turn to thee and thee alone!

Unto Rama, friends and kinsmen, chiefs and warriors, turn in pain,
And each city chief and elder, and each humble village swain,

Base thy empire strong, unshaken, on a loyal nation’s will,
With thy worth and with thy valour serve thy faithful people still!’

Rama raised the prostrate Bharat to his ever-loving breast,
And in voice of tuneful hansa thus his gentle speech addrest:

‘Trust me, Bharat, lofty virtue, strength and will to thee belong,
Thou could’st rule a worldwide empire in thy faith and purpose strong,

And our father’s ancient min’sters, ever faithful, wise and deep,
They shall help thee with their counsel and thy ancient frontiers keep.

List! the Moon may lose his lustre, Himalaya lose his snow,
Heaving Ocean pass his confines surging from the caves below,

But the truth-abiding Rama will not move from promise given,
He hath spoke and will not palter, help him righteous Gods in heaven!’

Blazing like the Sun in splendour, beauteous like the Lord of Night,
Rama vowed his Vow of Duty, changeless in his holy might!

‘Humble token,’ answered Bharat, ‘still I seek from Rama’s hand,
Token of his love and kindness, token of his high command,

From thy feet cast forth those sandals, they shall decorate the throne.
They shall nerve my heart to duty and shall safely guard thy own,

They shall to a loyal nation absent monarch’s will proclaim,
Watch the frontiers of the empire and the people’s homage claim!’

Rama gave the loosened sandals as his younger humbly prayed,
Bharat bowed to them in homage and his parting purpose said:

‘Not alone will banished Rama barks and matted tresses wear,
Fourteen years the crownéd Bharat will in hermit’s dress appear,

Henceforth Bharat dwells in palace guised as hermit of the wood,
In the sumptuous hall of feasting wild fruit is his only food,

Fourteen years shall pass in waiting, weary toil and penance dire
Then, if Rama comes not living, Bharat dies upon the pyre!’

do pran mile – gopal singh nepali

दो मेघ मिले बोले-डोले, बरसाकर दो-दो बूँद चले ।

भौंरों को देख उड़े भौरें, कलियों को देख हँसी कलियाँ,
कुंजों को देख निकुंज हिले, गलियों को देख बसी गलियाँ,
गुदगुदा मधुप को, फूलों को, किरणों ने कहा जवानी लो,
झोंकों से बिछुड़े झोंकों को, झरनों ने कहा, रवानी लो,
दो फूल मिले, खेले-झेले, वन की डाली पर झूल चले,
दो मेघ मिले बोले-डोले, बरसाकर दो-दो बूँद चले ।

इस जीवन के चौराहे पर, दो हृदय मिले भोले-भाले,
ऊँची नज़रों चुपचाप रहे, नीची नज़रों दोनों बोले,
दुनिया ने मुँह बिचका-बिचका, कोसा आज़ाद जवानी को,
दुनिया ने नयनों को देखा, देखा न नयन के पानी को,
दो प्राण मिले झूमे-घूमे, दुनिया की दुनिया भूल चले,
दो मेघ मिले बोले-डोले, बरसाकर दो-दो बूँद चले ।

तरुवर की ऊँची डाली पर, दो पंछी बैठे अनजाने,
दोनों का हृदय उछाल चले, जीवन के दर्द भरे गाने,
मधुरस तो भौरें पिए चले, मधु-गंध लिए चल दिया पवन,
पतझड़ आई ले गई उड़ा, वन-वन के सूखे पत्र-सुमन
दो पंछी मिले चमन में, पर चोंचों में लेकर शूल चले,
दो मेघ मिले बोले-डोले, बरसाकर दो-दो बूँद चले ।

नदियों में नदियाँ घुली-मिलीं, फिर दूर सिंधु की ओर चलीं,
धारों में लेकर ज्वार चलीं, ज्वारों में लेकर भौंर चलीं,
अचरज से देख जवानी यह, दुनिया तीरों पर खड़ी रही,
चलने वाले चल दिए और, दुनिया बेचारी पड़ी रही,
दो ज्वार मिले मझधारों में, हिलमिल सागर के कूल चले,
दो मेघ मिले बोले-डोले, बरसाकर दो-दो बूँद चले ।

हम अमर जवानी लिए चले, दुनिया ने माँगा केवल तन,
हम दिल की दौलत लुटा चले, दुनिया ने माँगा केवल धन,
तन की रक्षा को गढ़े नियम, बन गई नियम दुनिया ज्ञानी,
धन की रक्षा में बेचारी, बह गई स्वयं बनकर पानी,
धूलों में खेले हम जवान, फिर उड़ा-उड़ा कर धूल चले,
दो मेघ मिले बोले-डोले, बरसाकर दो-दो बूँद चले ।

navin kalpana karo – gopal singh nepali

निज राष्ट्र के शरीर के सिंगार के लिए
तुम कल्पना करो, नवीन कल्पना करो,
तुम कल्पना करो।

अब देश है स्वतंत्र, मेदिनी स्वतंत्र है
मधुमास है स्वतंत्र, चांदनी स्वतंत्र है
हर दीप है स्वतंत्र, रोशनी स्वतंत्र है
अब शक्ति की ज्वलंत दामिनी स्वतंत्र है

लेकर अनंत शक्तियाँ सद्य समृद्धि की-
तुम कामना करो, किशोर कामना करो,
तुम कल्पना करो।

तन की स्वतंत्रता चरित्र का निखार है
मन की स्वतंत्रता विचार की बहार है
घर की स्वतंत्रता समाज का सिंगार है
पर देश की स्वतंत्रता अमर पुकार है

टूटे कभी न तार यह अमर पुकार का-
तुम साधना करो, अनंत साधना करो,
तुम कल्पना करो।

हम थे अभी-अभी गुलाम, यह न भूलना
करना पड़ा हमें सलाम, यह न भूलना
रोते फिरे उमर तमाम, यह न भूलना
था फूट का मिला इनाम, वह न भूलना

बीती गुलामियाँ, न लौट आएँ फिर कभी
तुम भावना करो, स्वतंत्र भावना करो
तुम कल्पना करो।

sarita – gopal singh nepali

यह लघु सरिता का बहता जल
कितना शीतल¸ कितना निर्मल¸

हिमगिरि के हिम से निकल-निकल¸
यह विमल दूध-सा हिम का जल¸
कर-कर निनाद कल-कल¸ छल-छल
बहता आता नीचे पल पल

तन का चंचल मन का विह्वल।
यह लघु सरिता का बहता जल।।

निर्मल जल की यह तेज़ धार
करके कितनी श्रृंखला पार
बहती रहती है लगातार
गिरती उठती है बार बार

रखता है तन में उतना बल
यह लघु सरिता का बहता जल।।

एकांत प्रांत निर्जन निर्जन
यह वसुधा के हिमगिरि का वन
रहता मंजुल मुखरित क्षण क्षण
लगता जैसे नंदन कानन

करता है जंगल में मंगल
यह लघु सरित का बहता जल।।

ऊँचे शिखरों से उतर-उतर¸
गिर-गिर गिरि की चट्टानों पर¸
कंकड़-कंकड़ पैदल चलकर¸
दिन-भर¸ रजनी-भर¸ जीवन-भर¸

धोता वसुधा का अन्तस्तल।
यह लघु सरिता का बहता जल।।

मिलता है उसको जब पथ पर
पथ रोके खड़ा कठिन पत्थर
आकुल आतुर दुख से कातर
सिर पटक पटक कर रो रो कर

करता है कितना कोलाहल
यह लघु सरित का बहता जल।।

हिम के पत्थर वे पिघल-पिघल¸
बन गये धरा का वारि विमल¸
सुख पाता जिससे पथिक विकल¸
पी-पीकर अंजलि भर मृदु जल¸

नित जल कर भी कितना शीतल।
यह लघु सरिता का बहता जल।।

कितना कोमल¸ कितना वत्सल¸
रे! जननी का वह अन्तस्तल¸
जिसका यह शीतल करूणा जल¸
बहता रहता युग-युग अविरल¸

गंगा¸ यमुना¸ सरयू निर्मल
यह लघु सरिता का बहता जल।।

basant git – gopal singh nepali

ओ मृगनैनी, ओ पिक बैनी,
तेरे सामने बाँसुरिया झूठी है!
रग-रग में इतना रंग भरा,
कि रंगीन चुनरिया झूठी है!

मुख भी तेरा इतना गोरा,
बिना चाँद का है पूनम!
है दरस-परस इतना शीतल,
शरीर नहीं है शबनम!
अलकें-पलकें इतनी काली,
घनश्याम बदरिया झूठी है!

रग-रग में इतना रंग भरा,
कि रंगीन चुनरिया झूठी ह !
क्या होड़ करें चन्दा तेरी,
काली सूरत धब्बे वाली!
कहने को जग को भला-बुरा,
तू हँसती और लजाती!
मौसम सच्चा तू सच्ची है,
यह सकल बदरिया झूठी है!

रग-रग में इतना रंग भरा,
कि रंगीन चुनरिया झूठी है!