Friday, 22 July 2011


- Mukundh Vasu

This is a little something for a friend who was getting married. To be frank, I wouldn’t have written it if not for her uncle.

It’s called Celebration, inspired by the Lord Tennyson’s Vastness (c. 1892).

A storm-felt sculpture not to be read,
And a bough, upon its bosom a moulder’d nest,
Astride its weary form, stood stark by the dead;
And beyond him, hung low in the West,

With one thousand rays of shadow and light,
And many in colour but only one in form,
‘Twas a baleful orb that over the gates of night,
A sun, glaring at a coming storm.

Then glided a rapturous paragon forth,
That on the passage of time had thriven;
They call’d her ‘Beauty’ here upon earth,
And the mortal engines of life in heaven.

Behold! For she sang and the people turned,
And the beauty of her voice caught like a flame
From heart to heart it sprang, and on, it burned,
Till her nobility was her soul whence it came.

The voice that sung nae deserving an old sun set,
But a sun rising in the East, in his youth!
Great and noble—oh, yes—but yet—
A man, as men everywhere are, a lover of truth

And bound to follow, wherever she goes,
Hither, thither, and up or down,
Through high hill-passes of stainless snow,
Or the foulest sewer of the town!

Noble and great—oh, aye—but then,
And here a prophet just has earned his due,
For the man was noblier-fashion’d than other men!
Lo! Shall we see to it, then, I and you,

To help the love paving their pathway still,
Until it presses into ardour the evening’s din
Behold! They rise with togetherness, and will,
Now, each others’ hearts aspire to win.

Autumns and Winters, Springs and Summers,
And all old revolutions of this good earth;
Travails of our Empire—carpentered wonders—
What is all of it worth?

Treasures are they all, if we all of us stand
Here as one, in this finest of hours,
Swallowed in mirth, and hand in hand,
To thus bear witness to the celebration of lovers!

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