Our  Casuarina Tree by Toru  Dutt

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Our  Casuarina Tree by Toru  Dutt

Lesson –5

Our  Casuarina Tree

                                                                           – Toru  Dutt

Poetry –

Extract – 1

 Like   a huge  Python , ( अजगर)  winding round and round

The rugged trunk , indented  deep with  scars ,

Up to its very  summit  near  the stars,

A Creeper climbs , in whose  embraces bound

No other  tree  could live . But  gallantly.

The giant wears the  scarf , and  flowers are  hung.

In  crimson clusters all the  boughs among.

Whereon all day are  gathered bird and bee;

And oft  at  nights the garden  overflows

With one sweet songs that  seems  to have no close

Sung darkling  from  our tree , while  men  repose.

 Extract – 2

When first my casement is  wide open thrown

At dawn , my eyes delighted  on it rest.

Sometimes , and  most in  winter – on  its  crest.

A gray baboon sits statue – like alone

Watching the sunrise; while on  lower boughs

His puny offspring leap about and  play;

And far and  near kokilas hail the day;

And to their pastures wend  our  sleepy cows;

And in the shadow , on the broad tank cast

By that hoar tree, so beautiful and vast,

The water – lilies spring, like snow enmassed.

 Extract  – 3       (2013)

But  not  because  of  its  magnificence

 Dear is the  Casuarina to my soul

Beneath it we  have  played : though years may roll,

sweet companions , loved with love  intense.

For your sakes, shall the tree be  ever dear .

Blent with your images, it shall arise

In memory , till the hot tears blind mine eyes!

What  is  that dirge – like murmur that  I hear

Like the sea breaking on  a  shingle- beach?

It is the  tree’s lament ,an  eerie speech,

That haply to the unknown land may reach.

 Extract  – 4

Unknown , yet  well-known to the  eye of faith!

Ah, I have heard that  wail far, far away

In distant lands , by many a sheltered bay,

When slumbered in his cave the water-  wraith

And the  waves gently kissed the  classic shore

Of  France or Itly , beneath the moon,

When earth lay tranced in a  dreamless   swoon

And every time the  music rose, – before

Mine inner vision rose a  form sublime ,

Thy form , O Tree, as in my happy prime

I saw thee, in my own loved native clime.

Extract  – 5

Therefore I fain would consecrate a lay

Unto thy honour , tree , beloved of those

Who now in blessed sleep for aye repose

Dearer than  life to me , alas were they!

Mayst thou be  numbered when my days are done

With deathless trees – like those in Borrowdale ,

Under whose awful branches lingered pale

“Fear trembling Hope , and  Death , the skeleton ,

And  time the shadow, “  and  though weak the  verse

That would thy beauty fain, on , fain rehearse,

May Love defend tree from Oblivion’s curse.


Our  Casuarina Tree by Toru  Dutt