The Bengali Book of English Verse/Poplar, Beech, and Weeping Willow (Manmohan Ghose)

Poplar, Beech, and Weeping Willow.

Shapely poplar shivering white, poplar like a maiden,
Thinking, musing softly here so light and so unladen
That with every breath and stir perpetually you gladden,
Teach me your still secrecy of thoughts that never sadden.

From the heavy-hearted earth, earth of grief and passion,
Maiden, would you spring with me, and leave men's lowly fashion?
Skyward lift with me your thoughts in cumberless elation,
Every leaf and every shoot a virgin aspiration.

The blue day, the floating clouds, the stars shall you for palace
Proffer their pure world of pomp, dawn her rosy chalice,
Where the birds are you shall wing and revel to be lonely,
In the clear of heaven to spire and sway with breezes only.

Beech of lofty aisles the queen, beech of trees the lady,
Soaring to a tower of sighs in branches soft and shady,

You that sunward lift your strength to make of shadow duty,
Teach me tree your heavenly height and earth-remembering beauty.

Maiden, would you soar like me with sky-upclouding tresses?
Beauty into bounty change, bend down the eye that blesses,
Make from heaven a shelter cool for shepherd and sheep silly,
Shadow with shadiness hot rose and fainting lily.

Through your glorious heart of gloom the noonday wind awaking
In an ecstasy shall set swaying, blowing, shaking
Leafy branches, in their nests set the sweet birds rocking,
Till their happy song breaks out the noonday ardour mocking.

Willow sweet, willow sad, willow by the river
Taught by pensive love to droop where ceaseless waters shiver,
Teach me steadfast sorrower your mournful grace of graces
Weeping to make beautiful the silent water places.

Maiden, would you learn of me the loveliness of mourning,
Weep into the chill wan wave strength, hardness, lofty scorning;
Drench your drooping soul in tears content to love and languish,
Gaze in sorrow's looking-glass and see the face of anguish.

In the very wash of woe as your bowed soul shall linger,
You shall touch the sheer bright stars and on the moon set finger.
You shall hear where brooks have birth the mountain pines' emotion
Catch upon the broadening stream the sound and swell of ocean.