The Bird of Time/Songs of Love and Death/A Rajput Love Song

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A Rajput Love Song

[Parvati at her lattice]

O Love! were you a basil-wreath to twine among my tresses,
A jewelled clasp of shining gold to bind around my sleeve,
O Love! were you the keora's soul that haunts my silken raiment,
A bright, vermilion tassel in the girdles that I weave;

O Love! were you the scented fan that lies upon my pillow,
A sandal lute, or silver lamp that burns before my shrine,

Why should I fear the jealous dawn that spreads with cruel laughter,
Sad veils of separation between your face and mine?



Haste, O wild-bee hours to the gardens of the sunset!
Fly, wild-parrot day to the orchards of the west!
Come, O tender night, with your sweet, consoling darkness,
And bring me my Beloved to the shelter of my breast!




[Amar Singh in the saddle]

O Love! were you the hooded hawk upon my hand that flutters,
Its collar-band of gleaming bells atinkle as I ride,
O Love! were you a turban-spray or floating heron-feather,
The radiant, swift, unconquered sword that swingeth at my side;

O Love! were you a shield against the arrows of my foemen,
An amulet of jade against the perils of the way,
How should the drum-beats of the dawn divide me from your bosom,
Or the union of the midnight be ended with the day?



Haste, O wild-deer hours, to the meadows of the sunset!
Fly, wild stallion day, to the pastures of the west!
Come O tranquil night, with your soft, consenting darkness,
And hear me to the fragrance of my 'Beloved's breast!