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Are you not weary of ardent ways? Women’s Song.

Are you not weary of ardent ways,
lure of the fallen seraphim?
Tell no more of enchanted days.

Your eyes have set man's heart ablaze
And you have had your will of him.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?

Above the flame the smoke of praise
Goes up from ocean rim to rim.
Tell no more of enchanted days.

Our broken cries and mournful lays
Rise in one eucharistic hymn.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?

While sacrificing hands upraise
The chalice flowing to the brim,
Tell no more of enchanted days.

And still you hold our longing gaze
With languorous look and lavish limb!
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
Tell no more of enchanted days.
- A villanelle, a pastoral poem by James Joyce that can be found in his semi-autobiographical novel Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, first published in book form in 1916. 

(Image: Something I did to a publicity still featuring Rekha.)
(Image: An illustration by Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814), a French naturalist and explorer. It is actually captioned 'Danse des Bayaderes' or 'Dance of Dancing girls') Found it in his book 'Journey to the East Indies and China, Undertaken at the King's Command, from 1774 until 1781: In Which the Religious Mores, Sciences, and Arts of the Indians, the Chinese, the Pegouins, and the Madegasse are Discussed.' More about the book and illustrations in a previous 'Hindu Gods' post)

Women’s Song

Our mother Nerbudda is very kind; blow, wind, we are hot with labour.

He said to the Maina: Go, carry my message to my love.

The red ants climb up the mango-tree; and the daughter follows her mother’s way.

I have no money to give her even lime and tobacco; I am poor, so how can I tell her of my love.

The boat has gone down on the flood of the Nerbudda; the fisherwoman is weeping for her husband.

She has no bangles on her arm nor necklace on her neck; she has no beauty, but seeks her lovers throughout the village.

Bread from the girdle, curry from the lota; let us go, beloved, the moon is shining.

The leaves of gram have been plucked from the plants; I think much on Dadaria, but she does not come.

The love of a stranger is as a dream; think not of him, beloved, he cannot be yours.

Twelve has struck and it is thirteen time (past the time of labour); oh, overseer, let your poor labourers go.

The betel-leaf is pressed in the mouth (and gives pleasure); attractive eyes delight the heart.

Catechu, areca and black cloves; my heart’s secret troubles me in my dreams.

The Nerbudda came and swept away the rubbish (from the works); fly away, bees, do not perch on my cloth.

The colour does not come on the wheat; her youth is passing, but she cannot yet drape her cloth on her body.

Like the sight of rain-drops splashing on the ground; so beautiful is she to look upon.

It rains and the hidden streams in the woodland are filled (and come to view); hide as long as you may, some day you must be seen.

The mahua flowers are falling from the trees on the hill; leave me your cloth so that I may know you will return.

He went to the bazār and brought back a cocoanut; it is green without, but insects are eating the core.

He went to the hill and cut strings of bamboo; you cannot drape your cloth, you have wound it round your body.

The coral necklace hangs on the peg; if you become the second wife of my husband I shall give you clothes.

She put on her clothes and went to the forest; she met her lover and said you are welcome to me.

He went to the bazār and bought potatoes; but if he had loved me he would have brought me liquor.

The fish in the river are on the look-out; the Brāhman’s daughter is bathing with her hair down.

The arhar-stumps stand in the field; I loved one of another caste, but must give him up.

He ate betel and coloured his teeth; his beloved came from without and knew him.

The ploughmen are gone to the field; my clever writer is gone to the court-house.

The Nerbudda flows like a bent bow; a beautiful youth is standing in court.

The broken areca-nuts lie in the forest; when a man comes to misfortune no one will help him.

The broken areca-nuts cannot be mended; and two hearts which are sundered cannot be joined.

Ask me for five rupees and I will give you twenty-five; but I will not give my lover for the whole world.

I will put bangles on my arm; when the other wife sees me she will die of jealousy.

Break the bangles which your husband gave you; and put others on your wrists in my name.

O my lover, give me bangles; make me armlets, for I am content with you.

My lover went to the bazār at Lakhanpur; but he has not brought me even a choli that I liked.

I had gone to the bazār and bought fish; she is so ugly that the flies would not settle on her.

-  found the song in 'The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV' (1916) by R.V. Russell.( Find it Here And Previously from this book, Thugs and Kali )
It's a folk song of 'Murha people (Khare Bind Kewat and Lunia or Nunia)  — a Dravidian caste of navvies and labourers' found in Jabalpur, which the 'women sing as they are carrying the basketfuls of earth or stones at their work; in the original each line consists of two parts, the last words of which sometimes rhyme with each other.'


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