Sarojini Naidu, (February 17, 1879 – March 2, 1949) also known by the sobriquet as The Nightingale of India, was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist and poet.
Sarojini Naidu was one of the formers of the Indian Constitution and the first Governor of the United Provinces from 1947 to 1949–the first woman to become the governor of an Indian state.
AN INDIAN LOVE SONG
Lift up the veils that darken the delicate moon
of thy glory and grace,
Withhold not, O love, from the night
of my longing the joy of thy luminous face,
Give me a spear of the scented keora
guarding thy pinioned curls,
Or a silken thread from the fringes
that trouble the dream of thy glimmering pearls;
Faint grows my soul with thy tresses’ perfume
and the song of thy anklets’ caprice,
Revive me, I pray, with the magical nectar
that dwells in the flower of thy kiss.
How shall I yield to the voice of thy pleading,
how shall I grant thy prayer,
Or give thee a rose-red silken tassel,
a scented leaf from my hair?
Or fling in the flame of thy heart’s desire the veils that cover my face,
Profane the law of my father’s creed for a foe
of my father’s race?
Thy kinsmen have broken our sacred altars and slaughtered our sacred kine,
The feud of old faiths and the blood of old battles sever thy people and mine.
What are the sins of my race, Beloved,
what are my people to thee?
And what are thy shrines, and kine and kindred,
what are thy gods to me?
Love recks not of feuds and bitter follies,
of stranger, comrade or kin,
Alike in his ear sound the temple bells
and the cry of the muezzin.
For Love shall cancel the ancient wrong
and conquer the ancient rage,
Redeem with his tears the memoried sorrow
that sullied a bygone age
THE INDIAN GIPSY
In tattered robes that hoard a glittering trace
Of bygone colors, broidered to the knee,
Behold her, daughter of a wandering race,
Tameless, with the bold falcon’s agile grace,
And the lithe tiger’s sinuous majesty.
With frugal skill her simple wants she tends,
She folds her tawny heifers and her sheep
On lonely meadows when the daylight ends,
Ere the quick night upon her flock descends
Like a black panther from the caves of sleep.
Time’s river winds in foaming centuries
Its changing, swift, irrevocable course
To far off and incalculable seas;
She is twin-born with primal mysteries,
And drinks of life at Time’s forgotten source