[266] 20

THE bulbuls are wailing and crying

In every thicket to-night,

And my heart in its anguish is sighing

For daybreak and light.

Fate, full of inveterate malice,

As day follows day, takes care

To mix for my drinking the chalice

Of pain and despair.

The moth in the flame is dying,

The candle wastes to the core,

The world is replete with sighing

And hearts that are sore.

Like Jacob, I sorrow. No token

Of Joseph comes from the wild;

The heart of the parent is broken,

And careless the child.

The powers that are leagued to undo me

Are subtle and myriad-eyed;

Wherever I turn they pursue me;

Nowhere can I hide.

The oppressor’s hand on my shoulder

Is heavy; my strength is spent.

How long shall I languish and moulder

In prison-house pent?

Oh tyrant-horde! It is written,

“Beware of the down-trodden’s wail!”

The shaft of the cry of the smitten

Shall pierce through your mail.

In this world it is not to merit

Or virtue that honours are doled;

The wealthy distinction inherit,

And honours are sold.

NOTE—Couplets 4, 5, 6, of the original have been rearranged in translation.