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Best Famous Sarojini Naidu Poems

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by Sarojini Naidu | |

To India

 O YOUNG through all thy immemorial years! 
Rise, Mother, rise, regenerate from thy gloom, 
And, like a bride high-mated with the spheres, 
Beget new glories from thine ageless womb!


The nations that in fettered darkness weep 
Crave thee to lead them where great mornings break .
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Mother, O Mother, wherefore dost thou sleep? Arise and answer for thy children's sake! Thy Future calls thee with a manifold sound To crescent honours, splendours, victories vast; Waken, O slumbering Mother and be crowned, Who once wert empress of the sovereign Past.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

In The Forest

 HERE, O my heart, let us burn the dear dreams that are dead, 
Here in this wood let us fashion a funeral pyre 
Of fallen white petals and leaves that are mellow and red, 
Here let us burn them in noon's flaming torches of fire.
We are weary, my heart, we are weary, so long we have borne The heavy loved burden of dreams that are dead, let us rest, Let us scatter their ashes away, for a while let us mourn; We will rest, O my heart, till the shadows are gray in the west.
But soon we must rise, O my heart, we must wander again Into the war of the world and the strife of the throng; Let us rise, O my heart, let us gather the dreams that remain, We will conquer the sorrow of life with the sorrow of song.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Indian Weavers

 WEAVERS, weaving at break of day, 
Why do you weave a garment so gay? .
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Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild, We weave the robes of a new-born child.
Weavers, weaving at fall of night, Why do you weave a garment so bright? .
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Like the plumes of a peacock, purple and green, We weave the marriage-veils of a queen.
Weavers, weaving solemn and still, What do you weave in the moonlight chill? .
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White as a feather and white as a cloud, We weave a dead man's funeral shroud.


More great poems below...

by Sarojini Naidu | |

LEILI

 THE serpents are asleep among the poppies, 
The fireflies light the soundless panther's way 
To tangled paths where shy gazelles are straying, 
And parrot-plumes outshine the dying day.
O soft! the lotus-buds upon the stream Are stirring like sweet maidens when they dream.
A caste-mark on the azure brows of Heaven, The golden moon burns sacred, solemn, bright The winds are dancing in the forest-temple, And swooning at the holy feet of Night.
Hush! in the silence mystic voices sing And make the gods their incense-offering.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Life

 CHILDREN, ye have not lived, to you it seems 
Life is a lovely stalactite of dreams, 
Or carnival of careless joys that leap 
About your hearts like billows on the deep 
In flames of amber and of amethyst.
Children, ye have not lived, ye but exist Till some resistless hour shall rise and move Your hearts to wake and hunger after love, And thirst with passionate longing for the things That burn your brows with blood-red sufferings.
Till ye have battled with great grief and fears, And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years, Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife, Children, ye have not lived: for this is life.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

The Poet To Death

 TARRY a while, O Death, I cannot die 
While yet my sweet life burgeons with its spring; 
Fair is my youth, and rich the echoing boughs 
Where dhadikulas sing.
Tarry a while, O Death, I cannot die With all my blossoming hopes unharvested, My joys ungarnered, all my songs unsung, And all my tears unshed.
Tarry a while, till I am satisfied Of love and grief, of earth and altering sky; Till all my human hungers are fulfilled, O Death, I cannot die!


by Sarojini Naidu | |

The Poets Love-Song

 In noon-tide hours, O Love, secure and strong, 
I need thee not; mad dreams are mine to bind
The world to my desire, and hold the wind
A voiceless captive to my conquering song.
I need thee not, I am content with these: Keep silence in thy soul, beyond the seas! But in the desolate hour of midnight, when An ectasy of starry silence sleeps And my soul hungers for thy voice, O then, Love, like the magic of wild melodies, Let thy soul answer mine across the seas.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

A Love Song from the North

 Tell me no more of thy love, papeeha,
Wouldst thou recall to my heart, papeeha,
Dreams of delight that are gone,
When swift to my side came the feet of my lover
With stars of the dusk and the dawn?
I see the soft wings of the clouds on the river,
And jewelled with raindrops the mango-leaves quiver,
And tender boughs flower on the plain.
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But what is their beauty to me, papeeha, Beauty of blossom and shower, papeeha, That brings not my lover again? Tell me no more of thy love, papeeha, Wouldst thou revive in my heart, papeeha Grief for the joy that is gone? I hear the bright peacock in glimmering woodlands Cry to its mate in the dawn; I hear the black koel's slow, tremulous wooing, And sweet in the gardens the calling and cooing Of passionate bulbul and dove.
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But what is their music to me, papeeha Songs of their laughter and love, papeeha, To me, forsaken of love?


by Sarojini Naidu | |

A Rajput Love Song

 (Parvati at her lattice)
O Love! were you a basil-wreath to twine 
among my tresses,
A jewelled clasp of shining gold to bind around my sleeve,
O Love! were you the keora's soul that haunts 
my silken raiment,
A bright, vermilion tassel in the girdles that I weave;

O Love! were you the scented fan 
that lies upon my pillow,
A sandal lute, or silver lamp that burns before my shrine,
Why should I fear the jealous dawn 
that spreads with cruel laughter,
Sad veils of separation between your face and mine?

Haste, O wild-bee hours, to the gardens of the sun set!
Fly, wild-parrot day, to the orchards of the west!
Come, O tender night, with your sweet, 
consoling darkness,
And bring me my Beloved to the shelter of my breast!

(Amar Singh in the saddle)
O Love! were you the hooded hawk upon my hand 
that flutters,
Its collar-band of gleaming bells atinkle as I ride,
O Love! were you a turban-spray or 
floating heron-feather,
The radiant, swift, unconquered sword 
that swingeth at my side;

O Love! were you a shield against the 
arrows of my foemen,
An amulet of jade against the perils of the way,
How should the drum-beats of the dawn 
divide me from your bosom,
Or the union of the midnight be ended with the day?

Haste, O wild-deer hours, to the meadows of the sunset!
Fly, wild stallion day, to the pastures of the west!
Come, O tranquil night, with your soft, 
consenting darkness,
And bear me to the fragrance of my Beloved's breast!


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Alabaster

 LIKE this alabaster box whose art 
Is frail as a cassia-flower, is my heart, 
Carven with delicate dreams and wrought 
With many a subtle and exquisite thought.
Therein I treasure the spice and scent Of rich and passionate memories blent Like odours of cinnamon, sandal and clove, Of song and sorrow and life and love.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

An Indian Love Song

 He

Lift up the veils that darken the delicate moon 
of thy glory and grace,
Withhold not, O love, from the night 
of my longing the joy of thy luminous face,
Give me a spear of the scented keora 
guarding thy pinioned curls, 
Or a silken thread from the fringes 
that trouble the dream of thy glimmering pearls;
Faint grows my soul with thy tresses' perfume 
and the song of thy anklets' caprice,
Revive me, I pray, with the magical nectar 
that dwells in the flower of thy kiss.
She How shall I yield to the voice of thy pleading, how shall I grant thy prayer, Or give thee a rose-red silken tassel, a scented leaf from my hair? Or fling in the flame of thy heart's desire the veils that cover my face, Profane the law of my father's creed for a foe of my father's race? Thy kinsmen have broken our sacred altars and slaughtered our sacred kine, The feud of old faiths and the blood of old battles sever thy people and mine.
He What are the sins of my race, Beloved, what are my people to thee? And what are thy shrines, and kine and kindred, what are thy gods to me? Love recks not of feuds and bitter follies, of stranger, comrade or kin, Alike in his ear sound the temple bells and the cry of the muezzin.
For Love shall cancel the ancient wrong and conquer the ancient rage, Redeem with his tears the memoried sorrow that sullied a bygone age.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Autumn Song

 Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
 The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
 The wild wind blows in a cloud.
Hark to a voice that is calling To my heart in the voice of the wind: My heart is weary and sad and alone, For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone, And why should I stay behind?


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Corn Grinders

 O little mouse, why dost thou cry 
While merry stars laugh in the sky? 


Alas! alas! my lord is dead! 
Ah, who will ease my bitter pain? 
He went to seek a millet-grain 
In the rich farmer's granary shed; 
They caught him in a baited snare, 
And slew my lover unaware: 
Alas! alas! my lord is dead.
O little deer, why dost thou moan, Hid in thy forest-bower alone? Alas! alas! my lord is dead! Ah! who will quiet my lament? At fall of eventide he went To drink beside the river-head; A waiting hunter threw his dart, And struck my lover through the heart.
Alas! alas! my lord is dead.
O little bride, why dost thou weep With all the happy world asleep? Alas! alas! my lord is dead! Ah, who will stay these hungry tears, Or still the want of famished years, And crown with love my marriage-bed? My soul burns with the quenchless fire That lit my lover's funeral pyre: Alas! alas! my lord is dead.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Coromandel Fishers

 Rise, brothers, rise; the wakening skies pray to the morning light, 
The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night.
Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free, To capture the leaping wealth of the tide, for we are the kings of the sea! No longer delay, let us hasten away in the track of the sea gull's call, The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades all.
What though we toss at the fall of the sun where the hand of the sea-god drives? He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.
Sweet is the shade of the cocoanut glade, and the scent of the mango grove, And sweet are the sands at the full o' the moon with the sound of the voices we love; But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam's glee; Row, brothers, row to the edge of the verge, where the low sky mates with the sea.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Cradle Song

 FROM groves of spice, 
O'er fields of rice, 
Athwart the lotus-stream, 
I bring for you, 
Aglint with dew 
A little lovely dream.
Sweet, shut your eyes, The wild fire-fiies Dance through the fairy neem; From the poppy-bole For you I stole A little lovely dream.
Dear eyes, good-night, In golden light The stars around you gleam; On you I press With soft caress A little lovely dream.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Damayante To Nala In The Hour Of Exile

 SHALT thou be conquered of a human fate 
My liege, my lover, whose imperial head 
Hath never bent in sorrow of defeat? 
Shalt thou be vanquished, whose imperial feet 
Have shattered armies and stamped empires dead? 
Who shall unking thee, husband of a queen? 
Wear thou thy majesty inviolate.
Earth's glories flee of human eyes unseen, Earth's kingdoms fade to a remembered dream, But thine henceforth shall be a power supreme, Dazzling command and rich dominion, The winds thy heralds and thy vassals all The silver-belted planets and the sun.
Where'er the radiance of thy coming fall, Shall dawn for thee her saffron footcloths spread, Sunset her purple canopies and red, In serried splendour, and the night unfold Her velvet darkness wrought with starry gold For kingly raiment, soft as cygnet-down.
My hair shall braid thy temples like a crown Of sapphires, and my kiss upon thy brows Like çithar-music lull thee to repose, Till the sun yield thee homage of his light.
O king, thy kingdom who from thee can wrest? What fate shall dare uncrown thee from this breast, O god-born lover, whom my love doth gird And armour with impregnable delight Of Hope's triumphant keen flame-carven sword?


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Ecstasy

 Cover mine eyes, O my Love! 
Mine eyes that are weary of bliss 
As of light that is poignant and strong 
O silence my lips with a kiss, 
My lips that are weary of song! 
Shelter my soul, O my love! 
My soul is bent low with the pain 
And the burden of love, like the grace 
Of a flower that is smitten with rain: 
O shelter my soul from thy face!


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Harvest Hymn

 Mens Voices:

LORD of the lotus, lord of the harvest, 
Bright and munificent lord of the morn! 
Thine is the bounty that prospered our sowing, 
Thine is the bounty that nurtured our corn.
We bring thee our songs and our garlands for tribute, The gold of our fields and the gold of our fruit; O giver of mellowing radiance, we hail thee, We praise thee, O Surya, with cymbal and flute.
Lord of the rainbow, lord of the harvest, Great and beneficent lord of the main! Thine is the mercy that cherished our furrows, Thine is the mercy that fostered our grain.
We bring thee our thanks and our garlands for tribute, The wealth of our valleys, new-garnered and ripe; O sender of rain and the dewfall, we hail thee, We praise thee, Varuna, with cymbal and pipe.
Womens Voices: Queen of the gourd-flower, queen of the har- vest, Sweet and omnipotent mother, O Earth! Thine is the plentiful bosom that feeds us, Thine is the womb where our riches have birth.
We bring thee our love and our garlands for tribute, With gifts of thy opulent giving we come; O source of our manifold gladness, we hail thee, We praise thee, O Prithvi, with cymbal and drum.
All Voices: Lord of the Universe, Lord of our being, Father eternal, ineffable Om! Thou art the Seed and the Scythe of our harvests, Thou art our Hands and our Heart and our Home.
We bring thee our lives and our labours for tribute, Grant us thy succour, thy counsel, thy care.
O Life of all life and all blessing, we hail thee, We praise thee, O Bramha, with cymbal and prayer


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Humayun To Zobeida (From the Urdu)

 You flaunt your beauty in the rose, your glory in the dawn, 
Your sweetness in the nightingale, your white- ness in the swan.
You haunt my waking like a dream, my slumber like a moon, Pervade me like a musky scent, possess me like a tune.
Yet, when I crave of you, my sweet, one tender moment's grace, You cry, "I sit behind the veil, I cannot show my face.
" Shall any foolish veil divide my longing from my bliss? Shall any fragile curtain hide your beauty from my kiss? What war is this of Thee and Me? Give o'er the wanton strife, You are the heart within my heart, the life within my life.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

In Praise Of Henna

 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.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

In Salutation to the Eternal Peace

 Men say the world is full of fear and hate,
And all life's ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.
But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born, When from the climbing terraces of corn I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.
What care I for the world's desire and pride, Who know the silver wings that gleam and glide, The homing pigeons of Thine eventide? What care I for the world's loud weariness, Who dream in twilight granaries Thou dost bless With delicate sheaves of mellow silences? Say, shall I heed dull presages of doom, Or dread the rumoured loneliness and gloom, The mute and mythic terror of the tomb? For my glad heart is drunk and drenched with Thee, O inmost wind of living ecstasy! O intimate essence of eternity!


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Indian Dancer

 EYES ravished with rapture, celestially panting, what passionate bosoms aflaming with fire 
Drink deep of the hush of the hyacinth heavens that glimmer around them in fountains of light; 
O wild and entrancing the strain of keen music that cleaveth the stars like a wail of desire, 
And beautiful dancers with houri-like faces bewitch the voluptuous watches of night.
The scents of red roses and sandalwood flutter and die in the maze of their gem-tangled hair, And smiles are entwining like magical serpents the poppies of lips that are opiate-sweet; Their glittering garments of purple are burning like tremulous dawns in the quivering air, And exquisite, subtle and slow are the tinkle and tread of their rhythmical, slumber-soft feet.
Now silent, now singing and swaying and swinging, like blossoms that bend to the breezes or showers, Now wantonly winding, they flash, now they falter, and, lingering, languish in radiant choir; Their jewel-girt arms and warm, wavering, lily-long fingers enchant through melodious hours, Eyes ravished with rapture, celestially panting, what passionate bosoms aflaming with fire!


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Indian Dancers

 EYES ravished with rapture, celestially panting, what passionate bosoms aflaming with fire 
Drink deep of the hush of the hyacinth heavens that glimmer around them in fountains of light; 
O wild and entrancing the strain of keen music that cleaveth the stars like a wail of desire, 
And beautiful dancers with houri-like faces bewitch the voluptuous watches of night.
The scents of red roses and sandalwood flutter and die in the maze of their gem-tangled hair, And smiles are entwining like magical serpents the poppies of lips that are opiate-sweet; Their glittering garments of purple are burning like tremulous dawns in the quivering air, And exquisite, subtle and slow are the tinkle and tread of their rhythmical, slumber-soft feet.
Now silent, now singing and swaying and swinging, like blossoms that bend to the breezes or showers, Now wantonly winding, they flash, now they falter, and, lingering, languish in radiant choir; Their jewel-girt arms and warm, wavering, lily-long fingers enchant through melodious hours, Eyes ravished with rapture, celestially panting, what passionate bosoms aflaming with fire!


by Sarojini Naidu | |

Indian Love Song

 She

LIKE a serpent to the calling voice of flutes, 
Glides my heart into thy fingers, O my Love! 
Where the night-wind, like a lover, leans above 
His jasmine-gardens and sirisha-bowers; 
And on ripe boughs of many-coloured fruits 
Bright parrots cluster like vermilion flowers.
He Like the perfume in the petals of a rose, Hides thy heart within my bosom, O my love! Like a garland, like a jewel, like a dove That hangs its nest in the asoka-tree.
Lie still, O love, until the morning sows Her tents of gold on fields of ivory.


by Sarojini Naidu | |

My Dead Dream

 HAVE YOU found me, at last, O my Dream? Seven eons ago 
You died and I buried you deep under forests of snow.
Why have you come hither? Who bade you awake from your sleep And track me beyond the cerulean foam of the deep? Would you tear from my lintels these sacred green garlands of leaves? Would you scare the white, nested, wild pigeons of joy from my eaves? Would you touch and defile with dead fingers the robes of my priest? Would you weave your dim moan with the chantings of love at my feast? Go back to your grave, O my Dream, under forests of snow, Where a heart-riven child hid you once, seven eons ago.
Who bade you arise from your darkness? I bid you depart! Profane not the shrines I have raised in the clefts of my heart.