Kazi Nazrul Islam

(24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)

I Sing Of Heroes - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam

I sing of Heroes -
The youth, the revolutionary,
Who armed with a sharp Excalibur
Today go forth in all directions
With valiant steps and steady
Upon a campaign for the impossible,
The Egyptian Pyramids of Antiquity,
Stand as a chronicle of such campaign,
Heroes whose mere breath
doth drive away into oblivion
The dead leaves of moth-eaten scriptures
Who hew down the haunts and
temples of false gods. .
And the time-honoured ale-house
Of the grand hypocrite
In the person of a reputed Moralist;
Whose mighty streams of. ideal reform
Swept away the long-standing nuisance
The awful and heavy stocks and stones of customs,
The old fossils of dead scriptures.
Those who came fearlessly
To the temple of the unreal
Armed with the stout relentless club,
To break the bondage of 'Maya'
And did with undaunted courage
Strike, by means of mighty hammer
The Chinese walls of superstition.
Those who ploughed the Burial Ground
And pushed away the dead bones
To layout a garden of blooming flowers,
Who now crowd the sea shore of life,
As 'Cynosure of neighbouring eyes'
I sing of Heroes.
Who today march forward
Upon the path of life in tune, with the world
- At dead of night the other day
A passenger who, all alone,
launched his boat
On the dangerous Deep,
Did not return to the shore next morning.
In memory of that fearless adventurer
I shed my tears and write an Elegy
Even today in the stilIness of Night
Even today I keep sleepless night
And sing a song of welcome to him
He who did not return on the morrow
Did indeed take an aerial journey over night,
As a traveller of infinite space
In search of a far-off New World.
The eternal Sentinel at the gate of Death
Trembles in fear of him,
And keeps ever-wakeful vigils.
Those who under the mighty impulse of life
Pursue Death ceaselessly
In the depths of the ocean,
In the boundless sky,
And all over the surface of the Globe,
Those who go down into the Hades
And despoil the palace of Yakshas
of its rare gems,
Who disregarding the nite of the
terrible cobra
Steal the jewel from its head,
Who have controlled the thunder of Bajrapani,
And made the proud lightning,
Daughter of the clouds,
A captive and a maid -
I have come to salute and sing
Of those who are attended by the wind
As an obedient servant
Refreshing them with its balmy breath -
My wailings and lamentations ill all the air for those
Who mount the Scaffold
And the Scaffold itself is tired now
Of hanging them.
And in whose prison,
Behold, the fair Dawn held in fetters
Doth wake up and smile
A flowery smile!

[Ami gai tari gaan; Translation: Abdul Hakim]

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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