Songs of my City

I. In A Latticed Balcony

How shall I feed thee, Beloved?

On golden-red honey and fruit.

How shall I please thee, Beloved?

With th' voice of the cymbal and lute.

How shall I garland thy tresses?

With pearls from the jessamine close.

How shall I perfume thy fingers?

With th' soul of the keora and rose.

How shall I deck thee, O Dearest?

In hues of the peacock and dove.

How shall I woo thee, O Dearest?

With the delicate silence of love.

II. In the Bazaars of Hyderabad

(To a tune of the Bazaars)

What do you sell, O ye merchants?

Richly your wares are displayed.

Turbans of crimson and silver,

Tunics of purple brocade,

Mirrors with panels of amber,

Daggers with handles of jade.

What do you weigh, O ye vendors?

Saffron and lentil and rice.

What do you grind, O ye maidens?

Sandalwood, henna, and spice.

What do you call, O ye pedlars?

Chessmen and wory dice.

What do you make, O ye goldsmiths?

Wristlet and anklet and ring,

Bells for the feet of blue pigeons,

Frail as a dragon-fly's wing,

Girdles of gold for the dancers,

Scabbards of gold for the king.

What do you cry, O ye fruitmen?

Citron, pomegranate, and plum.

What do you play, O musicians?

Sithar, sarangi, and drum.

What do you chant, O magicians?

Spells for the aeons to come.

What do you weave, O ye flower-girls

With tassels of azure and red?

Crowns for the brow of a bridegroom,

Chaplets to garland his bed,

Sheets of white blossoms new-gathered

To perfume the sleep of the dead.

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