A Poem by Surdas



Gopal has slipped in and stolen my heart, friend.
He stole through my eyes and invaded my breast
simply by looking – who knows how he did it? –
Even though parents and husband and all
crowded the courtyard and filled my world.
The door was protected by all that was proper;
not a corner, nothing, was left without a guard.
Decency, prudence, respect for the family –
these three were locks and I hid the keys.
The sturdiest doors were my eyelid gates –
to enter through them was a passage impossible –
And secure in my heart, a mountainous treasure:
Insight, intelligence, fortitude, wit.
And then, says Sur, he had stolen it –
With a thought and a laugh and a look –
And my body was scorched with remorse.

Surdas

(Source: Song of the Saints of India, Translated by J.S.Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer.)