OUR CASUARINA TREE Poem by Toru Dutt

Our Casuarina Tree by Toru Dutt

LIKE a huge Python, winding round and round
The rugged trunk, indented deep with scars,
Up to its very summit near the stars,
A creeper climbs, in whose embraces bound
No other tree could live. But gallantly
The giant wears the scarf, and flowers are hung
In crimson clusters all the boughs among,
Whereon all day are gathered bird and bee;
And oft at nights the garden overflows
With one sweet song that seems to have no close,
Sung darkling from our tree, while men repose.

Nou pie filao

Kouma’nn serpan zean ki tourn-tourne
Lor tron bos-bos pie plen ar sikatris,
Ki grenpe-monte pou zwenn lesiel tris,
Enn laliann file, anvlop for-sere
Koumadir trangle. Me san kil parad,
Nou pie filao abiy so kadans
Ar zoli fler rouz anpandan lor brans
Kot toutlazourne lavi zame fad;
E souvan aswar enn melodi dous
Anbras nou zarden ar enn zoli kous,
Alim marenwar ar somey kaylous.

When first my casement is wide open thrown
At dawn, my eyes delighted on it rest;
Sometimes, and most in winter,—on its crest
A gray baboon sits statue-like alone
Watching the sunrise; while on lower boughs
His puny offspring leap about and play;
And far and near kokilas hail the day;
And to their pastures wend our sleepy cows;
And in the shadow, on the broad tank cast
By that hoar tree, so beautiful and vast,
The water-lilies spring, like snow enmassed.

Gramaten, kouma mo ouver lafnet,
Mo pie filao dir mwa namaste;
Parfwa net lao, sirtou kan fer fre,
Enn zako size, vadire enn pret
Ki priye Sourrya; lor bann brans anba
So bann ti marmay pe fer zot zako;
Partou tann refren bann sante zwazo;
Laba troupo vas pe al manz kasia;
Dan lonbraz epe, lor basen ranpli,
Koste ar vie pie, bote bien garni,
Nenifar gayar larg so fler beni.

But not because of its magnificence
Dear is the Casuarina to my soul:
Beneath it we have played; though years may roll,
O sweet companions, loved with love intense,
For your sakes, shall the tree be ever dear.
Blent with your images, it shall arise
In memory, till the hot tears blind mine eyes!
What is that dirge-like murmur that I hear
Like the sea breaking on a shingle-beach?
It is the tree’s lament, an eerie speech,
That haply to the unknown land may reach.

Pa parski li gran ek li manifik
Ki pie filao finn ranpli mo nam:
Anba sa pie la lavi ti tamam;
Banane apre, lamitie mazik
Anba sa pie la fer mwa tris. Hay Ram!.
Fer mwa rapel yer kan nou ti ere
Anba nou gran pie – ziska larm koule.
Ki sa sante tris ki pe pers mo nam
Koumadir bann vag ki kraz lor gale?
Mo pie pe kriye dezespwar dime
Ki, fotespere, dimoun pou tande.

Unknown, yet well-known to the eye of faith!
Ah, I have heard that wail far, far away
In distant lands, by many a sheltered bay,
When slumbered in his cave the water-wraith
And the waves gently kissed the classic shore
Of France or Italy, beneath the moon,
When earth lay trancèd in a dreamless swoon:
And every time the music rose,—before
Mine inner vision rose a form sublime,
Thy form, O Tree, as in my happy prime
I saw thee, in my own loved native clime.

Enkoni me pa etranze lafwa.
Mo finn deza tann sa sante bien tris
Dan pei lweten, dan lepor bien ris
Kan nam-dilo pe dormi dan lazwa;
Kan bann vag kares laplaz douniya,
Isi ek laba dan lanwit plennlinn,
Kan later manitize san mofinn:
Sak fwa sawal la met so lafaya,
Dan mo prop lespri enn form lev latet,
Se to form, mo pie, kouma mo ti get
Twa dan mo lanfans, dan pei anset.

Therefore I fain would consecrate a lay
Unto thy honor, Tree, beloved of those
Who now in blessed sleep for aye repose,—
Dearer than life to me, alas, were they!
Mayst thou be numbered when my days are done
With deathless trees—like those in Borrowdale,
Under whose awful branches lingered pale
“Fear, trembling Hope, and Death, the skeleton,
And Time the shadow;” and though weak the verse
That would thy beauty fain, oh, fain rehearse,
May Love defend thee from Oblivion’s curse.

Akozsa mo’le dedie mo sante
Pou twa, zoli pie, adore par bann
Ki nepli isi – lavi nepli rann –
Ki mo ti kontan, ki mo bien manke.
Mo souete ki, kan mo nepli la,
Twa to pou parmi bann pie imortel
Kouma pie Wordsworth; to pa pou tousel
Parski anba to brans ‘si pou ena
“Lafreyer, Lespwar, Lamor ek Maya”.
Mem si mo poem mengi ek fatra,
Lamour pou anpes Fitir bliye twa.

26.07.18

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