amanyu t thulasi
Wherefore This Life
Wherefore This Life
We knew the time had come,
And the time had come, we knew,
For the grievous lords had called on us
Before on the lea had set the dew.
And I didst espy the other men go
Passing my hut and Charles’ farm too.
Through the haunts of snakes and beasts,
I watched them as they quietly did move.
‘Wherefore do ye walk’ I asked one
To be answer’d by chilly silence.
So like any other man, I from my house sprang,
And made towards the jungle dense.
We walked and walked for many days;
Still not a stain of strain dud we feel.
We passed cold nights still trudging way,
Fain forgetting our own weal.
We passed the tall thickets profound,
Where at morn beasts wild prowl.
We trod our way o’er courage and faith;
Boldly under the ogre’s growl.
Nests of dainty birds passed us,
On top of the redwoods’ high boughs;
Or rather we passed them,
In this place which no one loves.
We passed the moors and lakes immense,
And passed the birds under heaven’s eye.
We passed some blissful beasts and plants;
Thither- somewhere where one must die.
And all through my way I found,
But vain, melancholy and grief;
And then was it that I fathomed my way-
Towards a battlefield… that of life.
The battle began- the battle of life.
With no weapons, the halcyon war.
I fought bravely under depths of grief;
Till I knew I from death was not far.
And I felt myself by an arrow hit hard;
Of love which no witchcraft can erase,
The eternity whereof I’ve felt aye in my life
And now I am with death face to face.
Now I feel myself on the thorns of life,
And I bleed upon this evil time.
And then goes my soul and my life an’ my corpse;
Languidly into the hanging blue rime.
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(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
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