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In Praise Of Henna

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Written by Sarojini Naidu

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 A KOKILA called from a henna-spray: 
Lira! liree! Lira! liree! 
Hasten, maidens, hasten away 
To gather the leaves of the henna-tree.
Send your pitchers afloat on the tide, Gather the leaves ere the dawn be old, Grind them in mortars of amber and gold, The fresh green leaves of the henna-tree.
A kokila called from a henna-spray: Lira! liree! Lira! liree! Hasten maidens, hasten away To gather the leaves of the henna-tree.
The tilka's red for the brow of a bride, And betel-nut's red for lips that are sweet; But, for lily-like fingers and feet, The red, the red of the henna-tree.


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