The grave-digger’s song

 

The euphoria of wine is the only real thing in this world

everything else is utterly false.

Seems like a tigress that woman,

in whose shadow I spent last night.

 

In whose shadow I spent last night,

her memory burns like some strong addiction.

In the bottomless chasm of her embrace

I forget my worldly life in a trice.

 

In her bottomless chasm I forget my fancies in a trice.

False jargon dropping from that enticing mouth

seems lie the essence of truth and I

pay not the least heed to any exalted personage.

 

I pay not the least heed to any exalted personage,

The three of us are digging a grave,

a gold sovereign glitters with deft ridicule

from endless distance in the sky.

 

A gold sovereign glitters in the distant sky.

With a shovel I uproot in disdain

lumps of earth and a human skull.

How do I know if it is a noble man of distinction?

 

How do I know if it is a noble man of distinction?

Perhaps rotting in the blinding darkness of the grave

it could be a beauty or an ugly woman.

Do not behave impudently, you slave.

 

Do not behave impudently, you slave.

There is no king, all are slaves,

the queen craves for the slave girl’s bliss:

thus have uttered many true-speaking saints.

 

Thus have uttered many true-speaking saints:

Samarkand and Bukhara are no matches

for the exquisite lover.

Those are empty words, a big hoax.

 

Those are empty words, a big hoax.

A conscience devoid of decency,

even the beast lurking in the mind is shameless.

Three of us are digging a grave.

 

Three of us are digging a grave.

Bread and rosebuds are lit up in unison

to blend desire and fulfillment perhaps.

There is nothing as pure as euphoria.

 

There is nothing as pure as euphoria.

The only reality is what the body demands.

The self-willed mind is loath to accept

the hoax played by the world upon the poor.

 

Shamsur Rahman
tr. from the Bengali by Shankar Sen