Tagore Poem | Birpurush - The Brave man | Rabindranath Tagore translation by Barnali Saha

Birpurush, The Brave man

By Rabindranath Tagore
Translated by Barnali Saha, Nashville, TN

Painting by Barnali Saha
A Painting by Barnali Saha


 Imagine we made a journey together

 Mother and I are going to somewhere far

 You are riding the palanquin, my mother

 With windows kept ajar

 I on  my mighty red stallion

 ride next to you with valor

 Clouds of red dust rise from the road

 As my stallion's hooves forward strode


 Twilight dawned and sun went to rest

 And there we came extensive twin pond plain

 Wherever I look desolation reigns free

 No trace of life my eyes could see

 In your mind you are anxious, and think, in what strange land have we  come?

 I tell thee, "Don't be afraid mother, yonder lies the bed of the withered river."


 Wild thistles and brambles deck the field

 In the middle the meandering road is build

 No cattle graze in the desolate terrain

 They must have left for the village after sundown

 Where we are headed no one knows

 For in murk nothing is discernible

 I thought I heard you say, "What light I see by the ponds?"


 Just then, there they came raising a hullabaloo

 Trembling with fear in a corner of your palanquin

 To heavens you pray for divine backing

 The bearers leave the palanquin and flee

 In the adjacent thorny bramble they skulk and shudder

 I say to you, mother, "Don’t be afraid,  I am here."


 They hold clubs and have disheveled tresses

 Hibiscus flowers are tucked in their ears

 I tell them, "Beware, don’t you dare step forward

 Watch out my sword, I will cut you to pieces."

 With retorted scorn they leaped up and raised a tumult


 You say, "Dear son, do not go!"

 I say, "Wait and watch."

 Valiantly I goaded my horse in the midst of the iniquitous mass


 The swords and shields clank and hit

 What a terrible fight it has been

 You will horripilate when you hear


 So many were beheaded, so many escaped

 You thought, your son is dead

 Fighting with the villainous brigands

 Drenched with blood then I debouch

 And say, "The fight is over."


 Hearing me you step out

 Lift me and embrace me hard

 You say, "Sonny dear,

 what a disaster it would have been if you hadn’t been near."


 Everyday so many things happen

 Trivial and not so important

 Why can't for once this be true?

 Oh! then it would be a great story

 People would listen with bewilderment

 Brother would rail in disbelief

 "How can this happen, he is not strong"

 But the neighbors would rave and say, "Thank god, sonny dear went along."



Rabindranath Tagore Poem Translation | Barnali SahaBarnali is a creative writer, painter and elocutionist from Nashville, TN.
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