Natrinai: Marutham – Poem 210

From The Natrinai Four Hundred
International Institute of Tamil Studies, Chennai, 2001.

(The companion of the heroine allows entry to the hero)

Oh chief of a fertile plain
In your domain, the tillers take
Baskets full of seeds, to sow
In the vast fields ploughed again
After a harvest, for raising a second crop;
Their sowing done,
They return home, with the same baskets
Filled with many a kind of fishes.
You must know, chief,
That to be honored by the crown with titles
And travelling in speeding vehicles
Are never the marks of prosperity.
What the wise deem as genuine wealth
Is compassion – the melting of heart
That makes one to rush
To wipe the tears of the dependents
Who seek one’s support.
Poet – Milaikilan Nalvetanar


Akananuru: Marutham – Poem 16

(The heroine speaks to her husband who returns home after a visit to his hetaera)

My lord, our son is adorned with golden bangles whose charm attracts everyone;
His spotless palms are like the inner petals of the lotus flower
That flourishes in the midst of the very ancient pond where flourish otters;
His mouth is red as ruby and his sweet prattle evoked great fun
As it does not conform to rules of speech; He stood all alone in the street
Pulling his toy-car, when your young hetaera with her sharp teeth,
Approached him in love since he resembled you.
Assured of the absence of by-standers, she took him in her arms saying,
“O my dear life! Come to me!”, and stood holding him
Close to her tender bosom adorned with golden jewels.
I watched her standing at a distance but did not move from where I stood
And then moved to her and on a sudden, hugged her and invited her to our home saying,
“O flawless young girl! Why are you so bewildered? You too are a mother to him!”
When she blushed and dropped her head down and stood scratching the ground with her toe
Like a thief who pleaded guilty of larceny when caught red-handed.
My lord! Did I not take pity on her, your favorite girl- as chaste as celestial Aruntati -,
And treat her with affection deeming her fit to be the mother of your son?
Why do you lie and pretend ignorant?

Poet – Cakalacanar.
Translated by A. Dakshinamurthy