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The Curse
(24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)

The Curse

When I shall be no more
You will suffer, I promise,
Cursed, friendless and alone.
Then you will ask the evening star about me,
And with my picture engrave, fin your heart
Will roam through forests and seas
And around hills and dales,
Weeping many a desolate tear.
Then you will realise, my dear,
Then you will search for me desperately
Far and near.
When your soul will tremble
At some one's familiar touch,
And your heart will gladden
Imagining my presence by your bed,
You will suddenly wake up with a start
From your sleep,
And discover with a freezing heart
That it was nothing but an empty dream.

With eager arms spread
You will advance to embrace,
But there will be no trace of me.
Instead, you will meet
An emptiness, dull and dreary.
In anguish you will close your eyes,
Then my darling will you realise.
Trying to sing
You will find your voice choked with tears.
And, all around, people will whisper
About the song, taught by that stranger,
And then you will remember me,
And the fond caresses I bestowed on you.
Thinking of those nights
Your hard and glittering eyes
Will overflow with brimming tears
Then will you regret your past deceptions,
Then will you realise the pang of separation.
When your garden will grow fragrant
With daisies, jasmine and ivy bowers
You will suddenly think of my grave
Covered with snow-white flowers,
And your fingers, busy in making a garland
Will suddenly grow1hesitant and numb.
Your smiling face will turn pale and wan,
And tears will swim in your eyes,
Then, my dear, will you realise.

Autumn wind will come again,
And the lovely dewy nights will reappear
All, all will remain
Save this traveller, bound for the eternal night.
Friends will gather by your side.
And the love will take you in his arms,
But suddenly his touch
Will bring to your mind
The touch of another one.
Turning the joyous moment poisonous and bitter.
That is my cruse for you, sweetheart dear.

Winter nights will come again
But I will return no more.
Yet you will remember the time
When resting your head on my loving arm
You quietly slept, with only contempt in your heart.
The memory of those days
Will make your bed one of singing thorns,
I forecast.

The tide will come in the river again.
Again the boat will float en a pleasure cruise
With gay and loving company.
And yet, the memory of other voyages,
Of a boat speeding by the dark coast,
And of me sitting close beside

Will haunt you like a ghost relentlessly.
Then will Your tears mingle with your sighs,
Then you will realise..

When Your friend will be imprisoned like me
You will shed bitter tears,
When he will treat You negligently
Your happiness will lie in ruins
Then will You find Your days
Cheerless, dreary and lying.
Then will you realise, how very wrong
You were about me.

The rises will blossom again
Again the stars will shine,
And the pale moon reign in the sky:
Season will follow season in regular order,.
But for you
There will be no pleasure.
You will only cry and bewail your lost treasure.

The storm will come,
All tornado will appear,
All ties will break asunder.
And your tiny cottage will tremble in fear.
Then you will remember him
Who will not be by your side.

And you will hanker for his caresses, my dear.
At that hour will you realise.
At that hour will you regret your profuse lies.

The wound in my bosom
That once hurt you so..
Would perhaps appear sweet to. you now.

Tired and weary and forlorn at last
You might now seek it yourself,
And then shall I reappear.
And who knows
You will probably throw yourself
In my arms in a pleasant swoon
And worship me in humility.
Then will you know, my dear,
Then will the final truth be simple and clear.

[Translation: Kabir Chowdhury]

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