Day's End

[Bela sheshe]

Original: Kazi Nazrul Islam

Translation: Zakeria Shirazi

Source of the original: Nazrul Rochonaboli, Vol. 1, p. 51 [Bangla Academy, 1996]

The earth has cloaked the folds of the horizon
with its mud-dyed, faded grey anchal[1]
of deep pathos.
Birds fly
out of some depth of the clouds, as though
towards some inviting home
lit by evening lamp.
Through the sunset-dim casement of the sky
which lovelorn bride of endless time
casts her fearful eyes
in the direction of sunrise
having lit her golden lamp
perhaps waiting for her love
who left
with a promise to return.
The sighs making the realm of sunset
heavy with cloud and vapour.
In the sad eyes of the
ever-waiting primordially tragic maiden
in the lamplight brought at the doorway
to light up her loves path
falls the shadow of Mother Earth.
The cry of pity condenses
in the downward looking still horizon.
Timeless pains of the eternally suffering Mother Earth
pours down through the ages perhaps
in this late autumn.
That load of accumulated pains
lies prostrate, its face buried
the fragrance of pain, as though,
weeps in muted sorrow
in such quiet serene evening.
Slowly descends Night
spreading around her dust-smeared unkempt tresses
the evening star sinks
day's configuration melts away.
Amid this, for no reason, alas
the cloud of pain hovers in my two eyes.
In my heart echo
the cries of nought
and some pining lover wails
Everything is empty, everything
the sky, earth, this evening
the compassion of the universe
can spare for you no tears.
Hearing this I am reminded
how many times I visited the temple
and like the contemptible street beggar
made supplications for divine grace.
Open the door O worshipper
at your door has arrived a suppliant.
The door was opened
I saw the god in the shrine
I made an offering of blood and tears
The god spoke no words.
Oh, these are the eyes
that spared for me no tears,
I lament, what love-bereft
shrine of god it is,
bare of all compassion.

O fatuous ones! Where are the gods!
From them one seeks love!
Like a volcano coming to the desert
and pleading for jets of water.
In the houses around me
there is so much worshipping.
Seeing this my love-sick heart weeps
and looks back again and again
and humiliated, it comes back
I am afraid someone may laugh
over my foolish earnestness.
The gods have laughter, not tears.
O my heart, neglected you are through the ages
come let us beat a retreat.
This evening I feel
there is beyond this emptiness
a greater emptiness
in this heart of mine,
the heart that was disdainfully ignored
by the gods.
That's why perhaps my tortured love
is as destructive as it is.
These arms shall never embrace
the lady-love.
The rejected love of mine is not a garland
but naked lance.

[1] Loose, hanging end of a sari. Tr.