In the paddy field flooded with fresh water
where the frogs begin to croak
and where the prickly cane along the bank is whiter than heaped pearls,
the children, sticks in hands and smeared with mud,
run after the rising fish,
yelling "chubhroo, chubhroo!"
A cloth of darkness inlaid with fireflies;
flashes of lightning;
the mighty cloud mass guessed at from the roll of thunder;
a trumpeting of elephants;
an east wind scented by opening buds of ketaki,
and falling rain:
I know not how a man can bear the nights that hold all these,
when separated from his love.
The cloud by miring the road has spoiled the red lac of her soles
and with his rain has washed the cosmetic from her cheek;
but for these sins he makes quick recompense:
his lightning shows the wanton girl
the path that leads her to her lover's house.
Poems for the Rainy Season
From Sanskrit Poetry From Vidyakara's Treasury, translated by Daniel H. H. Ingalls: