What Her Girlfriend Said

Here's another Tamil poem from the Sangam Period (100 BC - AD 250), from A. K. Ramanujan’s Poems of Love and War:
What Her Girl Friend Said
to him (on her behalf) when he came by daylight

Playing with friends one time
we pressed a ripe seed
into the white sand
and forgot about it
till it sprouted

and when we nursed it tenderly
pouring sweet milk with melted butter,
Mother said,
"It qualifies
as a sister to you, and it's much better
than you,"
praising this laurel tree.

we're embarrassed
to laugh with you here
O man of the seashore
with glittering waters
where white conch shells,
their spirals turning right,
sound like the soft music
of bards at a feast.

Yet, if you wish,
there's plenty of shade
Narrinai 172

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