The Bengali Book of English Verse/Tarra Baee (Hur Chunder Dutt)


Tarra Baee.

"Sootan being deprived of Thoda by Lilla the Afghan, occupied Bednore. His daughter Tarra Baee, or the Star of Bednore, stimulated by the reverses of her family, and by the incentive of its ancient glory, scorned the habiliments and occupations of her sex, and devoted herself to manly sports and exercises. When princes made proposals for her hand, her answer was 'Redeem Thoda and my hand is thine.'"

She sat upon her palfrey white,
That damsel fair and young,
And from the jewelled belt she wore,
Her trusty rapier hung;
And chieftains bold, and warriors proud,
Around her formed a gallant crowd.

A helmet clasped her forehead fair,
A shield was by her side;
The helmet was of polished steel,
The shield of bison's hide;
And as she spoke, the evening air
Disported with her raven hair.

'From girlhood, I have shunned the sports
In which our sex delight,
And learnt instead to use the sword,
And wield the falchion bright;
To meet the tigress turned to bay,
And guide the war-horse in the fray.

'From girlhood, I have vowed a vow
Our honour to redeem,

And make my noble father's name
Of every song the theme;
To rescue Thoda from the slave
Who lives to fill a coward's grave.

'And till my life-blood's purple flow
Stand stagnant in my veins,
That early vow to see fulfilled
I'll spare nor strength nor pains:
To those who join me in the war
I'll be a radiant beacon star!

'My hand—'tis his who foremost scales
The ramparts of the foe,
And to the wicked Lilla deals
The dread avenging blow;
Go, warriors—these alone decide
The man who wins me as his bride.'