An Indian Love Song

An Indian Love Song

He

Lift up the veils that darken the delicate moon 
of thy glory and grace,
Withhold not, O love, from the night 
of my longing the joy of thy luminous face,
Give me a spear of the scented keora 
guarding thy pinioned curls, 
Or a silken thread from the fringes 
that trouble the dream of thy glimmering pearls;
Faint grows my soul with thy tresses’ perfume 
and the song of thy anklets’ caprice,
Revive me, I pray, with the magical nectar 
that dwells in the flower of thy kiss.

She 

How shall I yield to the voice of thy pleading, 
how shall I grant thy prayer,
Or give thee a rose-red silken tassel, 
a scented leaf from my hair?
Or fling in the flame of thy heart’s desire the veils that cover my face,
Profane the law of my father’s creed for a foe 
of my father’s race?
Thy kinsmen have broken our sacred altars and slaughtered our sacred kine,
The feud of old faiths and the blood of old battles sever thy people and mine.

He

What are the sins of my race, Beloved, 
what are my people to thee? 
And what are thy shrines, and kine and kindred, 
what are thy gods to me?
Love recks not of feuds and bitter follies, 
of stranger, comrade or kin,
Alike in his ear sound the temple bells 
and the cry of the muezzin.
For Love shall cancel the ancient wrong 
and conquer the ancient rage,
Redeem with his tears the memoried sorrow 
that sullied a bygone age. 

Sarojini Naidu

 

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