All my muscles are fallen in, and the blood deserts
Every fibre and bone of me is waxen full of pains,
The iron feet of mine enemy’s curse are heavy upon my head,
Look at me and judge for thyself, thou seest I am but dead.
“Then, who is it, Prince, who has done this
thing, has sown such a bitter seed,
That we hale him forth to the Market-place, bind him and let him bleed,
That the flesh may shudder and wince and writhe, reddening ’neath the rod.”
Love is the evil-doer, alas! and how shalt thou scourge a God?
Dear little Hut by the rice-fields circled,
That cocoa-nuts shade above.
I hear the voices of children singing,
And that means love.
When shall the traveller’s march be over,
When shall his wandering cease?
This little homestead is bare and simple,
And that means peace.
Nay! to the road I am not unfaithful;
In tents let my dwelling be!
I am not longing for Peace or Passion
From any one else but thee,
Any one else but thee!
My paramour was loneliness
And lying by the sea,
Soft songs of sorrow and distress
He did beget in me.
Later another lover came
More meet for my desire,
“Radiant Beauty” was his name;
His sons had wings of fire!
The Rice was under water, and the land was scourged
The nights were desolation, and the day was born in pain.
Ah, the famine and the fever and the cruel, swollen streams,
I had died, except for Krishna, who consoled me—in my dreams!
The Burning-Ghats were smoking, and the jewels melted
The Temples lay deserted, for the people left the town.
Yet I was more than happy, though passing strange it seems,
For I spent my nights with Krishna, who loved me—in my dreams!
Drifting, drifting down the River,
Tawny current and foam-flecked tide,
Sorrowful songs of lonely boatmen,
Mournful forests on either side.
Thine are the outcrops’ glittering blocks,
The quartz where the rich pyrites gleam,
The golden treasure of unhewn rocks
And the loose gold in the stream.
But,—the dim vast forests along the shore,
That whisper wonderful things o’ nights,—
These are things that I value more,
My beautiful “surface rights.”
Drifting, drifting down the River,—
Stars a-tremble about the sky—
Ah, my lover, my heart is breaking,
Breaking, breaking, I know not why.
Why is Love such a sorrowful thing?
This I never could understand;
Pain and passion are linked together,
Ever I find them hand in hand.