Monday, 7 August 2017

Himalaya - Lekhnath Paudyal

A scarf of pure white snow
Hangs down from its head to its feet,
Cascades like strings of pearls
Glisten on its breast,
A net of drizzling cloud
Encircles its waist like a gray woollen shawl:
An astounding sight, still and bright,
Our blessed Himalaya.

Yaks graze fine grass on its steepest slopes,
And muskdeer spread their scent divine,
Each day it receives the sun's first embrace:
A pillar of fortune, deep and still,
Our blessed Himalaya.

It endures the blows of tempest and storm,
And bears the tumult of the rains;
Onto its head it takes the burning sun's harsh fire,
For ages past it has watched over Creation,
And now it stands smiling, an enlightened ascetic,
Our blessed Himalaya.

Land of the Ganga's birth,
Holy Shiva's place of rest,
Gauri's jewelled palace of play,
Cruel black Death cannot enter
This still, celestial column,
Our blessed Himalaya.

It nurtures mines of precious gems,
And gives pure water, sweet as nectar,
And they say it still contains
Alaka, the Yaksha's capital;
Climbing to its peak, one's heart
Is full of thoughts of heaven,
Thus bright with light and wealth,
Our blessed Himalaya.

Lekhnath Paudyal (1885 - 1966) Nepal
Translated by Michael James Hurt
Source: Himalayan Voices An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature, Translated and Edited by
Michael James Hurt, University of California Press, 1991

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