One

Today at the used book store I bought a brittle, yellowed, paperback copy of Poems From the Sanskrit , translated by John Brough, ©1977.  It’s a collection of secular poems from India, all written between the fourth and tenth century A.D.

The one below is, unfortunately, anonymous, but it’s the one that caught my eye and was the deciding factor in buying the book:

Although I conquer all the earth,
Yet for me there is only one city.
In that city there is for me only one house;
And in that house, one room only;
And in that room, a bed.
And one woman sleeps there,
The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.

 

2 Comments

  1. Such a sweet poem! Thanks for sharing that, Abbie.

    Reminds me of one of the oldest English poems, which goes (in translation) something like this:

    Western wind, when will thou blow?
    The rain comes down again.
    Christ! That you were in my arms
    And I in my bed again!

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    • My Dad keeps a framed copy of Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet on his dresser, next to a picture of Mom:

      When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
      I all alone beweep my outcast state,
      And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
      And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
      Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
      Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
      Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
      With what I most enjoy contented least;
      Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
      Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
      Like to the lark at break of day arising
      From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
      For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
      That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

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