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Salutation to the dawn

Look to this day!

For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course

Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth,

The glory of action,

The splendour of beauty,

Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow only a vision;

But today, well-lived, makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness,

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day!

Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn.


The autumn comes, a maiden fair

In slenderness and grace,

With nodding rice-stems in her hair

And lilies in her face.

In flowers of grasses she is clad;

And as she moves along,

Birds greet her with their cooing glad

Like bracelets' tinkling song.

A diadem adorns the night

Of multitudinous stars;

Her silken robe is white moonlight,

Set free from cloudy bars;

And on her face (the radiant moon)

Bewitching smiles are shown:

She seems a slender maid, who soon

Will be a woman grown.

Over the rice-fields, laden plants

Are shivering to the breeze;

While in his brisk caresses dance

The blossomed-burdened trees;

He ruffles every lily-pond

Where blossoms kiss and part,

And stirs with lover's fancies fond

The young man's eager heart.

Still sat Umā though scorched by various flame

Of solar fire and fires of kindled birth,

Until at summer's end the waters came.

Steam rose from her body as it rose from earth.

With momentary pause the first drops rest

Upon her lash then strike her nether lip,

Fracture upon the highland of her breast,

Across the ladder of her waist then trip

And slowly at her navel come to rest.
translation Ingalls

Wouldst thou the young year's blossoms and the fruits of its decline

And all by which the soul is charmed, enraptured, feasted, fed,

Wouldst thou the earth and heaven itself in one sole name combine?

I name thee, O Sakuntala! and all at once is said.