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Six Song Offerings

Word count: 634

Song Cycle by Margaret Lucy Wilkins (b. 1939)

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1. Light [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): DUT FRE GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Light, oh where is the light? 
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame - 
is such thy fate, my heart? 
Ah, death were better by far for thee!

Misery knocks at thy door, and her message is 
that thy lord is wakeful, 
and he calls thee to the love-tryst 
through the darkness of night.

The sky is overcast with clouds 
and the rain is ceaseless. 
I know not what this is that stirs in me - 
I know not its meaning.

A moment's flash of lightning drags down 
a deeper gloom on my sight, 
and my heart gropes for the path 
to where the music of the night calls me.

Light, oh where is the light! 
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire! 
It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void. 
The night is black as a black stone. 
Let not the hours pass by in the dark. 
Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Awaiting

Language: English

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3. Sleep, precious sleep [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


The night is nearly spent 
waiting for him in vain. 
I fear lest in the morning 
he suddenly come to my door 
when I have fallen asleep wearied out. 
Oh friends, leave the way open to him - 
forbid him not.

If the sounds of his steps does not wake me, 
do not try to rouse me, I pray. 
I wish not to be called from my sleep 
by the clamorous choir of birds, 
by the riot of wind at the festival of morning light. 
Let me sleep undisturbed 
even if my lord comes of a sudden to my door.

Ah, my sleep, precious sleep, 
which only waits for his touch to vanish. 
Ah, my closed eyes that would open their lids only 
to the light of his smile when he stands before me 
like a dream emerging from darkness of sleep.

Let him appear before my sight 
as the first of all lights and all forms. 
The first thrill of joy to my awakened soul 
let it come from his glance. 
And let my return to myself 
be immediate return to him.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Dreams, resonant with melodies [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): DUT FRE GER GER ITA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


He came and sat by my side
but I woke not.
What a cursed sleep it was, 
O miserable me!

He came when the night was still; 
he had his harp in his hands,
and my dreams became resonant with its melodies.

Alas, why are my nights all thus lost? 
Ah, why do I ever miss his sight 
whose breath touches my sleep?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Arrival

Language: English

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6. The world-filling light [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): DUT FRE GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Das welterfüllende Licht", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I asked nothing from thee; 
I uttered not my name to thine ear. 
When thou took'st thy leave I stood silent. 
I was alone by the well 
where the shadow of the tree fell aslant, 
and the women had gone home 
with their brown earthen pitchers full to the brim. 
They called me and shouted, 
'Come with us, the morning is wearing on to noon.' 
But I languidly lingered awhile 
lost in the midst of vague musings.

I heard not thy steps as thou camest. 
Thine eyes were sad when they fell on me; 
thy voice was tired as thou spokest low - 
'Ah, I am a thirsty traveller.' 
I started up from my day-dreams 
and poured water from my jar 
on thy joined palms. 
The leaves rustled overhead; 
the cuckoo sang from the unseen dark, 
and perfume of babla flowers 
came from the bend of the road.

I stood speecess with shame 
when my name thou didst ask. 
Indeed, what had I done for thee 
to keep me in remembrance? 
But the memory that I could give water to thee 
to allay thy thirst will cling to my heart 
and enfold it in sweetness. 
The morning hour is late, 
the bird sings in weary notes, 
neem leaves rustle overhead 
and I sit and think and think.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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