श्रावण मासी हर्ष मानसी

श्रावण मासी हर्ष मानसी हिरवळ दाटे चोहिकडे,
क्षंणात येते सर सर शिरवे क्षंणात फिरुनि ऊन पडे

वरति बघता इंद धनुचा गोफ दुहेरि विणलासे
मंगल तोरण काय बांधले नभोमंडपी कुणी भासे

झालासा सुर्यास्त वाटतो,सांज अहाहा तो उघडे
तरु शिखरावर उंच घरावर पिवळे पिवळे ऊन पडे

उठती वरती जलदांवरती अनंत संध्याराग पहा
सर्व नभावर होय रोखिले सुंदरतेचे रुप महा

बलाकमाला उडता भासे कल्पसुमांची माळिच ते
उतरुनि येती अवनीवरती ग्रहगोलचि की एकमते

फडफड करुनि भिजले अपुले पखं पाखरे सावरती
सुंदर हरिणी हिरव्या कुरणी निजबाळांसह बागडती

खिल्लारे ही चरती रानी गोपही गाणी गात फिरे
मंजूळ पावा गाई तयांचा श्रावण महिमा एकसुरे

सुवर्ण चंपक फुलला विपिनी रम्य केवडा दरवळला
पारिजातही बघता भामा रोष मनीचा मावळला

सुंदर परडी घेऊनि हाती पुरोपकंठी शु्द्धमती
सुंदर बाला या फुलमाला रम्य फुले पत्री खुडती

देव दर्शना निघती ललना हर्ष मावे ना हदयात
वदनी त्यांच्या वाचून घ्यावे  श्रावण महिन्याचे गीत

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The Highwayman

PART ONE
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—
“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”
He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.
PART TWO
He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
Marching—marching—
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.
They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.
But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.
They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!
She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!
The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.
Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.
He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.
Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.
.       .       .
And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
Riding—riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.
 
Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Thinking

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Invictus: The Unconquerable

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Upon the Still Burning of Night

Upon the still burning of night, light shines in the void;
Every winding season carries its ghost,
The mariner sails in the tides of time;
The signaling hands wake the winged throat.

Figures are formed from the lever of the clock;
Summer teaches its feathered arms to fly,
Fall sings the dove its mournful song,
Winter weaves the chain of the holy sea,
And spring gives birth to all its dead.

The trees shall inform the quartered change
As the worm crawls from trunk to branch,
Cloudy turning of the rooted veins
Shall cast the harbor into its cycled grave.

As the light of the sun will darken the skies,
Veiled by the sight of the bleeding moon;
The timeless insect will be betrayed by time,
As time itself will break upon its mortal wound.

  • J. M. Thomez

Ode to the Double “L”

Twin shorelines
at the end
of my name, traffickers
of white space,
you could last on the tongue
forever, lolling, longing,
an endless drawing out
of the little stream
between you.
Fill my life.
I drink from the narrowest
canal, flowing between
two countries
that, half of the time,
claim me.
Double “l,”
bring me back
to the in-between
where my breath
has always lived,
without containment,
like two legs
pointing toward the ocean,
or these arms
reaching into sky.
From birth you have doubled
my grief and my wonder,
shown me
forever the parallel
which can never touch—
the way I run
alongside my love
without entering
his true mind.
Rivulet of secrets,
slim as a eucalyptus leaf,
airplane runway
of the heart.
Double “l,”
let my days
always move
in two directions.
Build me a channel
into which I can pour
this voice.

Love and Friendship

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree—
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.

I Sing of an Old Land

I sing of an old land
where the gods have taken shelter underground,
where the human idols eat human sacrifice,
where hatred runs the business of philanthropy,
where blazing dragons eclipse the wronged ghosts,
where silence and smiles are the trace of wisdom,
where words imitate spears and swords,
where truth is always a bloody legend.
I speak of the old land not
out of love or wonderment.
Like my ancestors who were scattered into the smoky winds,
who scrambled to leave home
or rushed towards the approaching enemies,
I join those who fled and returned,
who disappeared in other lands
bearing no hope but persistence, no honor but the story,
no fortune but parents and children,
singing a timeless curse,
a curse that has bound us together
and rooted us deep in the wreck
of our homeland.
I touch the land at night—
My hands trace the map on the wall,
from mountains to villages and to rivers,
from plains to cities and to seashores.
I see the green fields of the South,
the dark soil and birch woods of the North,
and snow swirling in summer.
I dream of myself in that land,
not for happiness or harvest.
I dream of suffering together with my people,
of being understood and useful,
of being left alone and able to sleep,
of my children refusing my land
so they will not repeat my life,
of talking and walking with friends,
of completing the work and dying with ease.
I weep for the old land,
for its vast narrowness,
for its profound stupidity,
for its chaos and tenacity,
for its power to possess those of my kind
to devour us to nourish itself
to seize our hearts and throats
and mix our moans with songs—
songs of monstrous grandeur
and merciless devotion,
songs crazed by the cycle of that land.
  • Ha Jin, “I Sing of an Old Land” from Facing Shadows.  Copyright © 1996 by Ha Jin.