THE REGRET OF THE RANEE IN THE HALL OF PEACOCKS
translated into English by: Laurence Hope (1865-1904)
- HIS man has taken my Husband's life
- And laid my Brethren low,
- No sister indeed, were I, no wife,
- To pardon and let him go.
- Yet why does he look so young and slim
- As he weak and wounded lies?
- How hard for me to be harsh to him
- With his soft, appealing eyes.
- His hair is ruffled upon the stone
- And the slender wrists are bound,
- So young! and yet he has overthrown
- His scores on the battle ground.
- Would I were only a slave to-day,
- To whom it were right and meet
- To wash the stains of the War away,
- The dust from the weary feet.
- Were I but one of my serving girls
- To solace his pain to rest!
- Shake out the sand from the soft loose curls,
- And hold him against my breast!
- Have we such beauty about our Throne?
- Such lithe and delicate strength?
- Would God that I were the senseless stone
- To support his slender length!
- I hate those wounds that trouble my sight,
- Unknown! how I wish you lay,
- Alone in my silken tent to-night
- While I charmed the pain away.
- I would lay you down on the Royal bed,
- I would bathe your wounds with wine,
- And setting your feet against my head
- Dream you were lover of mine.
- My Crown is heavy upon my hair,
- The Jewels weigh on my breast,
- All I would leave, with delight, to share
- Your pale and passionate rest!
- But hands grow restless about their swords,
- Lips murmur below their breath,
- "The Queen is silent too long!" "My Lords,
- --Take him away to death!"
POEMS BY LAURENCE HOPE
|"The Regret of the Ranee in the Hall of Peacocks" is reprinted from India's Love Lyrics. Trans. Laurence Hope. New York: John Lane Co., 1906.