A Guide to Patrons

Purananuru 69

Dear singer:
here you are,
a lute in your hand
that knows its grammar,
a hunger in your belly
that no one heeds,
clutching at your waist
a cloth of patches
with strange threads,
damp with sweat,
on a body aimless as a ruined man's,
and your large family
dulled by poverty.

You round the whole earth
and you're here
to ask
in a small voice
for help.
So listen.

In bannered camps,
his army slaughters
the murderous elephants of enemy kings,
leaves them wounded in pools of blood,
makes a slaughterhouse of the battlefield.

He is at Uraiyur,
city of tall towers;
he takes up spears only against enemies
and he moves right into the heart of their country.

He is Killi Valavan,

he wears perfect garlands,
his ornaments are flames
of yellow gold.

Go to him,

and you don't even have to stand
at his great door.

Go, fill your eyes
with the chariots he gives away
in broad daylight.

Once you've seen him
you'll wear lotuses of gold, flowers
no bee will touch,

and you don't even have to stand
there, at that door.
Author of original: 
Alattur Kilar
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