Those days are now long past
In oblivion those hours lie
When in my garden thousands flower bloomed
When I presented to her bunches of sweet flowers;
Those days are now only a memory
When, in return, I got equal fragrant flowers from her.
First when flowers of my garden began to bloom
Fortnightly I presented to her
And fortnightly I was returned.
Each flower carried
Throbbing of my heart to her.
But I was greedy;
With flowers I wanted to tempt her
To draw her close
I began to present her
Twice or thrice a week
Bunches of flowers.
They carried to her
My heart with its light and shade;
She knew all the well-lighted streets
And dark alleys of my heart;
I thought equal perfume in return
Shall carry her heart to me.
But slowly declined the returns
Though it did not stop;
For all my flowers in large number
I was returned once a month.
But I was a fool
And thought flowers she returned
Once a month
Worth my whole.
I could not guess
Those were courtesy,
And even if I had pretended
To present flowers to someone else
She continued to present me:
It was her genial nature,
Not to be jealous, or
I did not know
Slowly to her my fragrance vanished
Slowly to her my image withered.
I gave her flowers
To get from her
But things I presume always go wrong
Although vibrations of my heart were exposed to her
Her heart remained locked to me;
No key could I find
To open her heart
And burglary was always against my honour.
My flowers withered;
No flowers from her
Carried her heart to me.
I stopped presenting flowers to her
Now she would feel the worth and ask,
But she asked for none;
Te dark alleys loomed large in her vision
The image already withered;
Flowers that once enthralled her
Lost their magic and their charm.
Slowly realized I
The worth of my flowers
No return they deserve
Nor my heart.
My poetry became a memory,
My ardent longing became a past,
Those sweet hours lost in darkness
And all the flowers of my garden withered.
Prateep Sengupta's Other Poems
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