Friday, February 24, 2012

The Dream--Tagore / 梦--泰戈尔

The Dream

Far, far away, at the dream-city of Ujjain, by the bank of the river Sipra, I go searching for my beloved of a former birth:
Her face pollen-powdered, a pink lotus in her hand, white lotus buds stuck behind her ears, and crimson amaranth in her hair; her lithe body enwrapped in a crimson sari, her anklets tinkle shyly.
On a day of Spring-time, I tread far and wide along a half-remembered way.

In the great temple of Mahakal, resonant bells toll at the hour of evening worship.
The market place is deserted, and one can see the beams of the setting sun beyond the high darkling roofs.

Here's my beloved's house at the end of the winding, narrow and lonesome road.
On the doors are painted emblems of conch and wheels and on both side stand lovingly-nursed neepa plantlets.
In the alcove above the marble gateway sites the proud solemn statue of a lion.

Now hie home the pigeons of my love; already the peacock is asleep on his golden perch.

Now down the stairs walks my Malabika, lamp in hand, pauses on the last step, a goddess graceful as the evening star.
The fragrance of the saffron-powder on her body and the incense of her hair envelop me like a passionate sigh.
Through a gap in her loosening vestment shows the design of sandal-paste painted on her left breast.
And she stands like an image in the silence of the evening, the hum of the city now stilled.

At sight of me, my love slowly lowers the lamp on the threshold and stands before me, places her hand on mine and her sad eyes ask, 'In good cheer, my friend?'

My eyes on her, I try to reply but have no words. We have forgotten the language we once spoke, we have forgotten even our names. We muse and muse but can remember nothing. We gaze at each other and tears stream down our eyes.

Under the gate way trees we stand pensive. And then, I know not how her gentle hand nestles within mine like a homing bird yearning for its nest; her head gently lowers itself on my breast like a drooping lotus; breath mingles with breath in passionate silence.

Dark night obliterates the city of Ujjain, a gust of wind puts out the lamp on the threshold, and at the temple of Shiva on the bank of the Sipra, the evening worship comes to an end.

May, 1897
Swapna from "Kalpana"












诗集 Swapna 自《Kalpana》

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