Sukumar Ray (30 October 1887 - 10 September 1923 / Calcutta / India)
The Power Of Music
When summer comes, we hear the hums
Bhisma Lochan Sharma.
You catch his strain on hill and plain from Delhi
down to Burma
He sings as though he's staked his life, he sings
as though he's hell-bent;
The people, dazed,retire amazed although they
know it's well-meant.
They're trampled in the panic rout or languish
pale and sickly,
And plead,'My friend, we're near our end,oh
stop your singing quickly! '
The bullock-carts are overturned, and horses
line the roadside;
But Bhisma Lochan, unconcerned, goes
booming out his broadside.
The wretched brutes resent the blare the hour
they hear it sounded,
They whine and stare with feet in air or wonder
The fishes dived below the lake in frantic search
The very trees collapse and shake - you hear the
crash a mile hence -
And in the sky the feathered fly turn turtle while
Again we cry,'We're goingto die, oh won't you
stop your singing? '
But Bhisma's soared beyond our reach, howe'er
we plead and grumble;
The welkin weeps to hear his screech, and mighty
But now there comes a billy goat, a most
He downs his hornsand charges straight, with
bellow answ'ring bellow.
The strains of song are tossed and whirled by
blast of brutal violence,
And Bhisma Lochan grants the world the golden
gift of silence.
[Original: 'Ganer Gunto' (Bengali) , Translated by: Sukanta Chaudhury]
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