Songs of Radha


All night my heart its lonely vigil kept
Listening for thee, O Love. All night I wept.
Where went thy wanton footsteps wandering,
Sweet Ghanashyam, my King?

My bridal veils are flung upon the floor,
My bridal garlands drop across the door.
The buds that on my bed their fragrance spilt,
Grief-scattered, wane and wilt.

O Flute-player, how quickly dost thou tire
Of thine own gladness and thine own desire!
Couldst thou not find upon my sheltering breast
Thy rapture and thy rest?

Whose are the fingers that like amorous flocks
Raid the ambrosial thickets of thy locks?
Ah, whose the lips that smite with sudden drouth
The garden of thy mouth?

What shall it profit to revile or hate
Thy fickleness, her beauty or my fate,
Or strive to tear with black and bitter art
Thine image from my heart?

Without thy loveliness my life is dead,
Love, like a lamp with golden oils unfed.
Come back, come back from thy wild wandering.
Sweet Ghanashyam, my King!

AT Dusk

Krishna Murari, my radiant lover
Cometh O comrades haste.
Bring me rich perfumes my limbs to cover.
Saffron and sandal paste.
Bring shining garments for my adorning,
Blue of the dusk and rose of the morning.
Gold of the flaming noon.
Bring me a breastband of gems that shimmer,
Making the lamps of the stars grow dimmer,
Fillets and fringes of pearls whose glimmer
Shameth the Shravan moon.

Krishna Murari, my radiant lover
Cometh, O sisters spread
Buds and ripe blossoms his couch to cover,
Silver and vermeil red.
With flowering branches the doorways darken,
Is that his flute call? Sisters hearken!
Why tarrieth he so long?
O like a leaf doth my shy heart shiver,
O Like a wave do my faint limbs quiver.
Softly, softly, Jamuna river,
Sing thou our bridal song.


My foolish love went seeking thee at dawn,
Crying — O wind where is Kanhaya gone?

I questioned at noonrise the forest glade,
Rests my sweet lover in thy friendly shade?

At dusk I pleaded with the dovegray tides,
O tell me where my Flute-player abides?

Dumb were the waters, dumb the woods, the wind,
They knew not where my playfellow to find.

I bowed my weeping face upon my palm,
Moaning — O where art thou, my Ghanashyam?

Then, like a boat that rocks from keel to rafter,
My heart was shaken by thy hidden laughter.

Then didst thou mock me with thy tender malice,
Like nectar bubbling from my own heart's chalice.

Thou saidst, — O faithless one, self-slain with doubt,
Why seekest thou my loveliness without,

And askest wind or wave or flowering dell
The secret that within thyself doth dwell?

I am of thee, as thou of me, a part.
Look for me in the mirror of thy heart.
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"Songs of Radha" by Sarojini Naidu - A Poetic Journey of Love and Longing

"Songs of Radha" by Sarojini Naidu offers readers a poignant exploration of love, longing, and spiritual devotion through the lens of the legendary Radha-Krishna romance. Divided into three evocative sections, "At Dawn," "At Dusk," and "The Quest," the poems transport readers to the mystical realm of Vrindavan, where Radha's passionate yearning for her beloved Krishna unfolds in lyrical verses.

In the first section, "At Dawn," Naidu captures Radha's lonely vigil and heartache as she awaits the return of her beloved Krishna. Through vivid imagery and emotive language, the poet conveys Radha's sense of abandonment and longing as she pines for her absent lover. The juxtaposition of Radha's bridal veils and wilted garlands symbolizes the ephemeral nature of love and the pain of unfulfilled expectations.

"As Dusk" transports readers to a scene of anticipation and preparation as Radha awaits Krishna's arrival. Naidu masterfully paints a picture of Radha adorning herself in luxurious garments and jewels, eagerly anticipating her radiant lover's return. The imagery of saffron, sandalwood, and shimmering gems evokes a sense of opulence and sensuality, heightening the anticipation of their impending reunion.

In "The Quest," Naidu delves into Radha's relentless search for Krishna, as she seeks him in the natural world and within her own heart. Through poignant verses, the poet explores themes of faith, doubt, and self-discovery as Radha grapples with the elusive nature of divine love. The revelation that Krishna resides within Radha's own heart serves as a powerful reminder of the inherent connection between lover and beloved, and the transformative power of introspection and self-realization.

Throughout "Songs of Radha," Naidu's lyrical language and emotional depth resonate with readers, inviting them to immerse themselves in the timeless tale of Radha and Krishna's love. The poems' universal themes of longing, devotion, and spiritual awakening transcend cultural and temporal boundaries, resonating with readers of all backgrounds.

In conclusion, "Songs of Radha" by Sarojini Naidu is a captivating poetic journey that captures the essence of love and longing through the timeless story of Radha and Krishna. Naidu's exquisite verses and evocative imagery create a rich tapestry of emotions, inviting readers to explore the depths of the human heart and the boundless nature of divine love. This timeless collection is sure to enchant readers with its beauty and resonance, leaving a lasting impression on hearts and minds alike.

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