Twenty-five drops of liquid pearls
have dripped from the water-clock,
Twenty-five birds have flown across the sky
singing songs of joys and sorrows
Twenty-five steps have I taken
towards the funeral pyre.
Celebrating my birthday, ah!
I have wept this time
silently shedding lovely, laden tears
in memory of bygone years.
Twenty-five winters and twenty-five springs
of that first, sweet, honeyed life
have left the dregs behind:
burdens, anxieties, boredom,
an attractive picture now faded,
the necessity of crawling in the sweltering heat.
Twenty-five times the earth has swirled,
progress has counted twenty-five steps.
The hero climbing up the hill
has taken twenty-five difficult slopes.
Hard and genuine labour has reaped
many golden harvests,
O, the music of the heart
leads me step by step towards the grave.
As I sit counting my lazy fingers
the king of the heart encourages me to rise.
While I've been dreaming, O Lord!
the sun has approached the sun-set peak.
I have forgotten your message;
fill me with a moment's enlightenment.
I have spent this human life like an animal.
There was a spark in my heart;
the fog has descended over it.
I now tremble and weep.
Either kindle or dowse this flame of life!
Give me a heart that can weep and shed pearly tears,
give winter the ornament of sprouts,
circulate a new awakening,
uplift a fallen one.
Laxmi Prasad Devkota
Trans: Padma Devkota