While doing a bit of early spring cleaning, I found an old Marathi song book and my old fountain pen! So here’s an attempt at translation. Feel free to suggest improvements.
So that was a close-to-literal translation. To be accurate, instead of “diamonds” it should be “pearls”.
Now we can try a bit of trans-creation. Getting the tropical imagery and cultural context right in English can be difficult. But with some keen insights given by a friend, here goes …
The song bird of spring is cooing its insistent song;
You to me now and ever I to you belong.
Spring, in a princely turn of season,
Gathers under a tree with us as one;
Soft hands given into yours, as gently burn
The gloaming stars of trance day-long.
On a languorous swing from a branch above,
The blossom of our delightful love,
Pearl-sprinkled on heaven’s fledgling dove,
Arrives on soul-wings that sweep in strong.
Dear, when you draw close to me,
The vine a-flower hugs close the tree,
Nectar in the lotus yields the bee;
On our dreamy eyes the love-smiles throng.
Here’s the link to the Lata Mangeshkar song from Kanyadan: http://www.dhingana.com/kokil-kuhu-kuhu-bole-song-kanyadan-marathi-2535b31. It can be heard here also: http://www.aathavanitli-gani.com/Song/Kokil_Kuhukuhu_Bole.
There are some differences from the transcription in my song book.
1. mohoruna dahali varati apuli hindolat priti – words rearranged
2. madhumarand instead of madhumakarand
3. antarat mitata dole instead of papanit hasta dole
But the English one is still ok, imo.
Please read the comments below for an organic discussion of this translation, or read the “finished” version of these translations here: (pdf).