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Autumn Song and Other Poems by Sarojini Naidu

Three poems by Sarojini Naidu from ‘The Golden Threshold’ published in 1905. Naidu is one of the first major female poets in Indian-English literature.
Autumn Song and other poems
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‘The Golden Thread’ was first published at the insistence of British poet critic and editor, Arthur Symons. Sarojini Naidu was heavily influenced by British Romantic and Victorian poets; of which the easy rhythm and metred rhyme especially of her early poetry bears proof. However, her themes were distinctly Indian in nature. She was writing about the Indian rural life and its various landscapes, which makes her one of the most important voices in the early Indian-English literature. Here are three poems from ‘The Golden Thread’, her first anthology of poems.

Autumn Song

Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
     The sunset hangs on a cloud;
  A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
  Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
     The wild wind blows in a cloud.

Hark to a voice that is calling
     To my heart in the voice of the wind:
  My heart is weary and sad and alone,
  For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
     And why should I stay behind?


 Like this alabaster box whose art
  Is frail as a cassia-flower, is my heart,
  Carven with delicate dreams and wrought
  With many a subtle and exquisite thought.

Therein I treasure the spice and scent
  Of rich and passionate memories blent
  Like odours of cinnamon, sandal and clove,
  Of song and sorrow and life and love.


Cover mine eyes, O my Love!
     Mine eyes that are weary of bliss
  As of light that is poignant and strong
     O silence my lips with a kiss,
  My lips that are weary of song!

 Shelter my soul, O my love!
     My soul is bent low with the pain
  And the burden of love, like the grace
     Of a flower that is smitten with rain:
  O shelter my soul from thy face!

The poem is in public domain and the text was reproduced from The Project Gutenberg

Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Sarojini Naidu was an Indian political activist and poet. She was the former Governor of Uttar Pradesh. she played an important role in the Indian independence movement against the British Raj. She was the first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress and to be appointed as governor of a state.

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