Kazi Nazrul Islam (24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)
Faith and Hope
Don't look up to them-those
who have lost faith and hope.
They move-yet they're dead-the living dead,
the devil has finished them, robbed them
of their integrity.
Out of fear, their souls have escaped
to the land of Death.
If there are wants, poverty, debt, disease,
suffering, humiliation-don't just succumb
to hopelessness-fight them!
The real enemy is within-fear; and
only the ones who will accept defeat out of confusion,
lies and unnecessary fear will go on suffering every day.
'Oh, what is going to happen? '-those who just sit at home
trembling in fear, are the ones already defeated
in the battle of life.
They are the captives in the prison
of humiliation and subjugation.
They are repuIsive-allowing the helpIess
to be treated with injustice.
They are afraid for no reason, weak and ignorant.
More than pity, I feel infuriated by them.
They lie dead with their tongues stuck out.
Flowers blossom in burial grounds, but
in these dead trees, blossoms nothing.
They are fatalists-sitting alone they think,
'This is my fate, you can't change that! '
They deny their own power,
accepting defeat without a fight.
They are senile, morbid-.don't mix with them.
They are the death's leftover garbage in this world.
They are diseased from the inside,
they see only darkness around them.
With eyes closed, even when they see light,
they say, 'This is not light.'
For those with intense, unshakeable confidence,
waves of youth and life flow melodiously.
They enliven the dead earth-bountiful
with crops, flowers and fruits.
Nothing can block their way.
Fearless-any defeat is their ladder to heaven.
The darker the days, the more they see the light of hope.
Go to them-they wear the amulets
of fearlessness and victory over death.
Those who can imagine loftily, dream nobly,
they are the ones who bring welfare to the earth.
They show the paths of exploring the impossible,
even angels abide by them.
Possessing soul, yet allowing themselves
to suffer bodily pain,
not vowing their lives against the oppressor-
they are like caged animals, not human beings,
their hopelessness leads all human hopes and faith
Possessing hands and feet, yet sitting inert
hiding faces in a dark muddy hole out of fear-
they have disavowed their humanity.
They belong to burial and cremation grounds-
not amongst us.
I say, listen people, lead a life of fulfillment.
You'll see, the earth is shaken by its power!
This is the message of God: 'Human beings get
what they wish for.'
Their hands, feet, eyes become God's own.
If hopes are lofty, and so are the efforts to achieve them,
then victory awaits at the door.
Impatience never overtakes that soldier
even at times of great difficulties.
Determined, calm, engrossed is the pioneer hero.
He replaces gloom with divine joy.
Like the moon, his love moves the sea of humanity.
His heart is filled with courage.
March along with him on that path of victory!
Have faith- you will get what you hope for!
And don't touch him-he's dead-one
who has lost faith.
[Original: Bishshash o Asha; Translation: Sajed Kamal]
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