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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 40 New Delhi September 22, 2018

A Rhyme

Tuesday 25 September 2018

At your birth rose the red star,
Unsullied Earth raised her arms,
May-skies rang with the Uchchaisrava neigh
And the seven Kalpurushes sang a concerted song...

Let riots be sponsored, let blood redden the earth,
Let them try to bring death to the country here, there and everywhere,

Let them build a hundred strongholds in cities, on mountains,
Comets vanish with the red glow of your star...

We heard a river ran mad in a far-off land,
The King’s men tried to stop it with mud,
It broke through the dykes; History ever runs
Like Thames, who can stop it?

Let shots be fired, a hundred whips be raised
In Bengal’s villages, hills, in Calcutta,
Yet, Boy, your horse goes galloping
Faster than electrical tramcars.

In your eyes shines the red star,
Your arms raised, your fixed fists hold fire,
The demons of all lands are distraught
And crippled run amok in despair here and there.

In vain they spread red streams of blood!
Over villages and towns everywhere the red star of birth
Burns on with the patter of your footsteps,
Burns in that land and this with wings’ beating.

Your horse’s hooves never came off,
Its adventure has been hammered with life and steel.
That is why from your wrists ring and roar
Mighty songs of victory in this land of your timid friend.

Bishnu Dey

[Translated from the original Bengali by the poet]

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