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On the slope of the desolate river

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

On the slope of the desolate river 
among tall grasses I asked her,
'Maiden, where do you go 
shading your lamp with your mantle? 
My house is all dark and lonesome - 
lend me your light!' 
She raised her dark eyes for a moment 
and looked at my face through the dusk. 
'I have come to the river,' she said, 
'to float my lamp on the stream 
when the daylight wanes in the west.' 
I stood alone among tall grasses 
and watched the timid flame of her lamp 
uselessly drifting in the tide.

In the silence of gathering night I asked her, 
'Maiden, your lights are all lit - 
then where do you go with your lamp? 
My house is all dark and lonesome - 
lend me your light.' 
She raised her dark eyes on my face 
and stood for a moment doubtful. 
'I have come,' she said at last, 
'To dedicate my lamp to the sky.' 
I stood and watched her light
uselessly burning in the void.

In the moonless gloom of midnight I ask her, 
'Maiden, what is your quest, 
holding the lamp near your heart? 
My house is all dark and lonesome -- 
lend me your light.' 
She stopped for a minute and thought
and gazed at my face in the dark. 
'I have brought my light,' she said,
'To join the carnival of lamps.' 
I stood and watched her little lamp 
uselessly lost among lights.


Translation(s): GER

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Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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

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


Text added to the website: 2010-11-03.
Last modified: 2014-07-02 13:14:04
Line count: 36
Word count: 238

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