Monday, 5 June 2017

Poetry Revisited: The Lotus by Toru Dutt

The Lotus

(from Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan: 1882)

Love came to Flora asking for a flower
          That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
          The lily and the rose, long, long had been
Rivals for that high honor. Bards of power
Had sung their claims. “The rose can never tower
          Like the pale lily with her Juno mien“—
          “But is the lily lovelier?“ Thus between
Flower-factions rang the strife in Psyche's bower.
“Give me a flower delicious as the rose
          And stately as the lily in her pride“—
“But of what color?“—„Rose-red,“ Love first chose,
          Then prayed—“No, lily-white—or, both provide;“
          And Flora gave the lotus, “rose-red“ dyed,
And “lily-white“—the queenliest flower that blows.

Toru Dutt (1856-1877)
Indian poet in English and French

1 comment:

  1. 'Tis the season of flowers and this poem fits right in.

    ReplyDelete

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