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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Poem for Autumn

Victorian lady autumn walk fall leavesThe official first day of Fall is Sunday, but I couldn't wait. The oak trees are full of squawking bluejays here, come to feast on acorns, and that always means Autumn to me!

So to welcome the Autumnal Equinox, here is a poem.

The poem below was written around 500 AD, by an Indian poet named Kalidasa. The English translation is by Arthur W. Ryder (1877-1938).

The autumn comes, a maiden fair
In slenderness and grace,
With nodding rice-stems in her hair
And lilies in her face.
In flowers of grasses she is clad;
And as she moves along,
Birds greet her with their cooing glad
Like bracelets' tinkling song.

A diadem adorns the night
Of multitudinous stars;
Her silken robe is white moonlight,
Set free from cloudy bars;
And on her face (the radiant moon)
Bewitching smiles are shown:
She seems a slender maid, who soon
Will be a woman grown.

Over the rice-fields, laden plants
Are shivering to the breeze;
While in his brisk caresses dance
The blossomed-burdened trees;
He ruffles every lily-pond
Where blossoms kiss and part,
And stirs with lover's fancies fond
The young man's eager heart.

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