Shah Latif `s Poetry (Translated In Verse By: Elsa Kazi) Samudi-XIII (Mariners)

Lady, at moorings do remain;and so prevent the mariners,From plunging you in sudden painby setting sail all suddenly.
Lady, at moorings do reside,and keep the fire in your heart;Burn on, that mariners abidewith you, not leave you suddenly.
At moorings settle down, nor tryto take a rash and careless step,Or else they will not wait, but willat once to foreign regions hie,You knew their home was ocean...whydid you not with them go?
Anchor and chains lifted, they arealready far upon the wayDesolate are port and bazarfor mariners have sailed away.
When loved-ones did voyaging startI was in youth, my blossom-time,Oh friend, my weeping could not holdmy merchant-love, he would depart;On fire did he set my heartand then did sail away.
They sailed away! leaving you here-aeons have passed and none came back,Sorrow for vanished ones, alackwill surely kill you poor one!
They sailed along so very far,Till to the mighty deep they got,Where swell of ocean swept them off,and swiftly down and down they shot,Descending to the traceless spotwhich is fathomlessness!
Ah me! a mixture of deep woeare nuptial ties with mariners;My body he on spikes laid low,and then my merchant hoisted sail.
May you forget the trade you learnt--But yesterday I met you hereToday I see you disappearsailing on ocean waves!
My love seems feeble, luckless fate;They pushed the boat off ere I knew;With sailors yesterday a bondI should have made, today's too late.Why did I not throw myself straightInto the boat, with hawsers bound?
I at the pier did stand when theyTheir anchor lifted and set sail.On God relying, night and dayI shall not cease for them to prayMy longing sighs my life shall swayTill to my arms they do return!
On foot I cannot reach...they sayso far from me the ports do lie;No fare in pinaforce or purseI possess for the strip to pay;Oh ferry-man, so manage thatThe dearly loved-one meet I may;In anguish at thy door I stayEach day beseeching thee with tears.
Alas! no one doth lift a hand-no one will have them in the boat...Without a fare, and at the shoreall day till sunset they did stand-Then God Almighty help did send,and to the landing place they got!
The wives of merchants, waiting there,Did bring their offerings to the sea;Bright lights they kindled everywhere-And even musk to waters gave.
15 the mast-flag is in sight,Although the sails not yet they see...And thrilled with infinite delightAre those who loved-ones do expect.
The ploughers of the salty deep,The waters sweet have entered now;Their inmates bargained not for goldBut greater wealth they wished to reap,The flourishing mariners, loPort of Ceylon for pearls did sweep,And safely in the boat they keepThe treasures they in "Lanka" found.
Oh sisters, if to my homesteadMy love would come, what joy for me-Handfuls of pearls around his headI'll turn, and then to others throw.
For those, for whom I sacrificed,Did worship waters, kindle lights-My hopes all have been realized,My loved-ones have returned to me!
She kindled lights on land and seaAnd pretty tufts to trees she tied"Oh God I have great hope in TheeMy Loved-one, back to me let come."
She who to sea no offerings makes,And doth not kindle floating lights-Is not in earnest, hath no stake,Beloved she will never meet.

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