Saturday, 28 May 2011

Thirukkural in English - From chapters 121 to 133

Division III. Love - From chapters 121 to 133

121 Nostalgic memories

1201 Love is sweeter than wine;
Its mere thought intoxicates.

1202 Nothing better than sweet memories of love
To overcome the pain of loneliness!

1203 Is it because of my lover’s incomplete thoughts
That my sneeze passes off incomplete?

1204 No doubt my lord abides in my heart.
Do I also likewise abide in his?

1205 Having kept me out of his heart,
Is he not ashamed to enter mine?

1206 You know why I live? To live in remembrance of the days
I lived in union with him.

1207 What will happen if I forget him,
When his memory itself burns my heart?

1208 He never resents, however much I think of him.
Isn’t it an honor from my lover?

1209 My dear life wastes thinking of his cruelty;
For once he said we are not different.

1210 Hail Moon! Set not till I set my eyes on him
Who left me but not from my heart.

122 Dream remembered

1211 How shall I feast this dream which brought
A message from my lord?

1212 If only my painted eyes could sleep,
I will tell him in my dream of my true predicament.

1213 Though I miss him when I am awake,
My life lingers on as I see him in my dreams.

1214 Dreams sustain my love for in it I seek him
Who visits not while I am awake.

1215 The very sight of him is joyous.
Be it in dreams or while I am awake.

1216 Save for that thing called waking,
My dream-lover won't leave me indeed.

1217 Why does he haunt me in my dreams
When he cruelly deserts me when awake?

1218 Asleep he is round my shoulders.
Awake he hurries back to my heart.

1219 Only those starved of love dreams,
Rue missing their beloved in wakefulness.

1220 He is a deserter, people say.
But how can they see his visits in my dreams?

123 Evening sorrows

1221 Farewell, evening! You are no more just,
For you devour the souls of brides!

1222 Bless you, muddled, lack-lustre twilight!
Is your love too heartless like mine?

1223 The evening that once sighed with unease,
Now comes with growing hatred causing pain.

1224 There goes my love and in strides the evening,
Like slayers at the slaughter

1225 What good did I do to dawn?
And what harm to evening?

1226 When my love was with me, I did not know
How cruel evening could be.

1227 Budding at dawn and growing all day,
This disease blooms by evening.

1228 The cowboy’s flutes now sound as envoys of death
Forecasting the fiery evening.

1229 This place will all be dizzy and grieved
When the evening spreads and smothers me.

1230 Longing for him who left longing for wealth,
The evenings take toll of my undying soul.

124 Wasting away

Her friend to her

1231 To lift us from want, he left us afar. Brooding over him,
Your eyes now quail before flowers.

1232 The pale and tear-filled eyes seem to convey
That your lover has been unkind.

1233 Sagging shoulders that once stood firm on the bridal day
Seem to clearly point to parting.

1234 Your lord away, your think shoulders droop,
Beauty and bracelets lost.

1235 Drooping shoulders, its fading beauty
And slipping bracelets declare his cruelty.


1236 Drooping shoulders and slipping bracelets,
These I bear; to call him cruel, unbearable.

1237 Can you, O heart, gain glory by relating that cruel man
The woes of my fading shoulders?


1238 For once I relaxed my hugging arms,
This poor girl’s forehead turned pale.

1239 Cool breeze crept between our embrace;
Her large rain-cloud eyes paled at once.

1240 Seeing the once bright forehead grow pale,
Her eyes too suffered and grew pale!

125 Heart to heart

1241 My heart, can't you suggest any remedy at all
For this incurable sickness?

1242 O my heart! How foolish you are to grieve for him
Who has no love for me!

1243 O heart, what use to stay here and pine
When he who caused this sickness is heartless?

1244 Rid me of these eyes, O my heart! For they,
Longing to see him, wear my life away.

1245 O heart, can I call him a foe and dump him
Who longs not for me though I long for him?

1246 My heart that pretends to be angry will at once
Yield and jell seeing my lover.

1247 O my good heart! Either shed shame or shed love
For I cannot bear both.

1248 O my poor soul! You persist in pursuit of the departed,
Longing for his favours!

1249 Where are you searching my heart
While you know my dear one is within?

1250 To retain the deserter still in my heart
Is to suffer losing more charm.

126 Loss of modesty

1251 The axe of love can break open the door of chastity
Secured by the bolt of modesty.

1252 That pitiless thing called Love
Exploits my heart even at night.

1253 Fain would I hide my love, but it breaks out
Unawares like a sneeze.

1254 In modesty I deemed myself beyond assail;
But love has now cast away the veil.

1255 The dignity of not pursuing the indifferent
Is one thing unknown to the love-sick.

1256 What sort of passion is this that induces me
To follow the very one who deserted me?

1257 When the lover does all we desire,
We forget all shame unawares.

1258 Are not the enticing words of this wily fraud
Weapons that break my feminine reserve?

1259 Determined to sulk I went, but when my heart merged,
I too went and clasped him.

1260 Can they ever think of refusing to be reconciled,
Whose hearts melt like fat in fire?

127 Mutual longings


1261 My eyes have lost their glow and my fingers worn out
Marking the days of his absence.

1262 What if I forget him now, my bright jewel?
For it costs my beauty and armlets!

1263 He parted from me longing for conquests;
And if I live yet, it is longing for his return.

1264 The thought of reunion when my love returns
Makes my heart burgeon higher and higher.

1265 Pallor will soon disappear from my slim shoulders,
Once my eyes feast seeing him.

1266 Enough if he returns for a day,
I will gorge him till all my ills vanish.

1267 When he, dear as my eyes, returns,
Should I frown or embrace him or do both?


1268 May the king succeed in his efforts!
I can then join my wife and party in the evenings.

1269 Even a day will seem seven to those
Who long for the day of their mate’s return.

1270 To one dead of a broken heart, what avails my return,
Meeting or even embrace?

128 Sign language


1271 Even if you hide, your divulging eyes reveal
That something lurks your mind.

1272 Her eye catching beauty and bamboo shoulders
Simply enhance her feminine reserve!

1273 Something shines in her jeweled charm,
Like the thread shining in a crystal bead.

1274 Something lurks behind her half smile
Like the fragrance in a flower bud.

1275 The trickery caused by the braceleted one
Carries the medicine to cure my ills as well.


1276 The lack of love in his embrace implies that
More sufferings are in store for me.

1277 Even before I could, my bangles figured out
The immanent separation from my lord.

1278 My lord left only yesterday,
And I already have a week's pallor.

Her friend to Him

1279 She did no more than show me her loose bracelets,
Slender shoulders and swollen feet.

1280 They say a woman is most womanly
When she makes her eyes declare and plead.

129 Yearning for union

1281 To please with the thought and delight with the sight,
Belongs not to liquor but love.

1282 Where love is as large as a palm tree,
Even millet of sulk is misplaced.

1283 Let him neglect me and do what he will.
My eyes will not rest till they see him.

1284 My friend, I went all set to quarrel,
But my heart forgot and clasped him.

1285 Like eyes that can’t see the painting brush,
I don’t see his faults when I see him.

1286 When I see him I see no faults, and when I don't,
I see nothing but faults!

1287 It is folly to plunge into a known raging stream.
Likewise, why sulk and plumb known lies?

1288 The drunkard seeks wine knowing well its shame;
So does your bosom to me, O thief!

1289 Love is more delicate than flower;
Not many handle it properly.

1290 Though hostile in the eyes, she was faster than me
To break down and unite.

130 Complaint to the heart

1291 My heart! You see his heart and stand by him,
But why don’t you stand by me?

1292 My heart! Having seen his indifference,
Why do you go after him in hope?

1293 O my heart! Is it because the fallen have no friends
That you madly run after him?

1294 Who will consult you hereafter, my heart,
Having failed to sulk before yielding?

1295 Anxious of not getting, and of losing when got,
Either way my heart is always anxious.

1296 If my heart stays with me here,
It is to devour me when I am musing alone.

1297 Even modesty I have forgotten,
Due to my meek and foolish heart unable to forget him.

1298 My dear loving heart decrees, my lord is not to be shamed
And thus hails only his glory.

1299 Who will help one in distress,
When one’s own heart refuses to help?

1300 When one's own heart behaves like a stranger,
Why talk of strangers?

131 Coyness

1301 Let me feign to be angry
And see his pain of suffering for a while.

1302 Sulking is the salt of love. To prolong it
Is like salt a little too much.

She to Him

1303 To leave a sulky woman alone
Is to cause more pain to the suffering.

1304 To ignore a lady in pout is to cut
An already withering climber at its root.

He to Himself

1305 The beauty of her feigned anger has an attraction
Even for the spotlessly pure men.

1306 Without frowns and sulking,
Love is like a fruit unripe or overripe.

1307 Coyness has this one drawback.
That is the worry of delayed union.

1308 Why grieve when the lover is not there
To know whether you are grieving?

1309 Just as the refreshing water in the shade,
Pouting has its charms only between lovers.

1310 Only my desire makes my heart pine for union
With one who keeps on sulking.

132 Lovers’ quarrels


1311 I won't clasp your broad chest,
A common dish for all women's eyes to gorge!

1312 When I sulked, he sneezed: hoping
I would forget and say "Bless you".


1313 If I wear a wreath, she cries enraged:
"For which woman's sake is this?"

1314 If I say "I love you more than any one",
She frowned asking, "Than whom, than whom?"

1315 The moment I said we won’t part in this life,
Her eyes were filled with tears.

1316 "I remembered you", I said;
"After forgetting?" said she withdrawing herself!

1317 She blessed as I sneezed, but soon recalled it crying:
"Thinking whom did you sneeze?"

1318 When I suppressed my sneeze, she wept saying,
"Whom are you hiding from me?"

1319 If I try making up with her, she would ask enraged,
"Is this how you coax others as well?"

1320 If I gaze at her in silence, she would fume and ask,
"Thinking of whom this comparison?"

133 Joys of sulking


1321 Though he is not to blame, I feign sulking
To bring out the best in him.

1322 The pinpricks of sulking do not discourage
But strengthen love.

1323 Is there a heaven higher than love’s sulk
With hearts that join like earth and water?

1324 From this prolonged pout arises the weapon
To break the defence of my heart.


1325 Even for the guiltless it is a joy to forgo briefly
The shoulders from one’s clasp.

1326 More joyous than the meal is its digestion.
So is sulking more joyous than union.

1327 In lovers' quarrels the loser wins,
As shown when they make up.

1328 Will she sulk again to bring back the pleasure
Of that union drenched in sweat?

1329 May the bright-jewel sulk,
And may the night be prolonged for me to implore her!

1330 The joy of love lies in sulking, for that joy is realized
While embracing in union.

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