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Sarojini Naidu

(13 February 1879 - 2 March 1949 / Hyderabad / India)

A Rajput Love Song


(Parvati at her lattice)
O Love! were you a basil-wreath to twine
among my tresses,
A jewelled clasp of shining gold to bind around my sleeve,
O Love! were you the keora's soul that haunts
my silken raiment,
A bright, vermilion tassel in the girdles that I weave;

O Love! were you the scented fan
that lies upon my pillow,
A sandal lute, or silver lamp that burns before my shrine,
Why should I fear the jealous dawn
that spreads with cruel laughter,
Sad veils of separation between your face and mine?

Haste, O wild-bee hours, to the gardens of the sun set!
Fly, wild-parrot day, to the orchards of the west!
Come, O tender night, with your sweet,
consoling darkness,
And bring me my Beloved to the shelter of my breast!

(Amar Singh in the saddle)
O Love! were you the hooded hawk upon my hand
that flutters,
Its collar-band of gleaming bells atinkle as I ride,
O Love! were you a turban-spray or
floating heron-feather,
The radiant, swift, unconquered sword
that swingeth at my side;

O Love! were you a shield against the
arrows of my foemen,
An amulet of jade against the perils of the way,
How should the drum-beats of the dawn
divide me from your bosom,
Or the union of the midnight be ended with the day?

Haste, O wild-deer hours, to the meadows of the sunset!
Fly, wild stallion day, to the pastures of the west!
Come, O tranquil night, with your soft,
consenting darkness,
And bear me to the fragrance of my Beloved's breast!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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