MS (25-11-1960 / Pakistan)

The Madman’s Song

While remembering I do dive deep,
Into the waters of the remote past,
And bring out the shining jewels,
Of the sunken memories at last.

I recollect a man called mad,
Roved he around despised, sad,
Carried he upon his singed shoulder,
A long club of bamboo brown,
With empty cagelets hanging along,
Walked he through the meadows,
Bareheaded, with crude hard feet,
Harrowed face, ashes upon his mouth.

All the time asked he the village folk,
“Haven’t you seen my love, my hope? ”
In fact at the very wedding night,
His father, his wife did elope,
Since then he did nothing but roved,
With hopeful eyes, but lips dried,
Always heaved he the sighs deep,
As a furnace worked in his breast.

He often named his beguiling love,
I recall a song he often sang roving,
“The scent flowed out of the vials,
They contained perfume no more,
Commodities ran short from the market,
The shops lay empty, desolate behind.”

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