The emotion is of an invitation to enter into a deeper commitment of young love which may or may not endure.

The imagery is relatively benign from the perspective of translation.

The main difficulty is the “na” sound which is an entreaty to agree with what precedes or at least to respond and keep the dialog going. For example, “ahe na” in Marathi translates literally to “is no” and naturally to “it is, isn’t it”. But “come no” and “take no” are problematic. “Don’t you think”, “don’t you say” are elicitors of thought and speech, but what are the elicitors of action? “Do come”, “do take” don’t insist on a response. “Why don’t you” is a relatively neutral suggestion, and (recalling Shelley’s “wilt thou accept not”) “won’t you” by itself runs the fair risk of refusal.

The other difficulty is to get the refrain right.

You can listen to this song here:


Literal Translation

In silver sands, in the grove of coconut palms come no
In the grove come no, take me close no
With a moonlit footfall enter into love no
Enter into love no, take me close no

Intoxicated today the entire sky
In the bower [Amongst the vines] sings the languid, besotted breeze
Crowds in my breast beloved your signal
On the body blossoms such a tremor

Your signal, such a tremor

In bashfulness today these flowers bathe
On the cheeks pomegranates love song sing
“You come” night so gives a call
Give, come, beloved to me your shelter

Your shelter, your shelter


Poetic Translation

On silver sands
In coconut stands
Walk with me won’t you talk with me

Stand with me won’t you hold me close

With a soft footfall
In the moonlit mall
Fold in your love won’t you hold me close

Walk with your love won’t you hold me close

Today the sky has swooned up there
In the arbor sings the languid air
Love, your signal crowds my chest
My body quakes in a sweet unrest

Your sign, my quake has told me, goes
Walk with me won’t you hold me close

Bashful are the blossoms now
The blushing fruit but sing of love
The night is blaring its command
Love, your arms now I demand

Safe in your arms won’t you hold me close
Walk with me won’t you hold me close


Please read the comments below for an organic discussion of this translation, or read the “finished” version of these translations here: (pdf).


4 thoughts on “Ruperi

  1. Removing all particularities such as the scenery and the weather, the poem becomes:

    Come won’t you
    Take me close won’t you
    Fall in love won’t you
    Your signal, my tremor
    Come, give me your shelter

    The signal and tremor can be dispensed with as the transitory initial stages of love, and the giving and taking of shelter can soon be reversed depending on the vicissitudes of life. So what remains and should become the refrain is:

    Come into love, take me close

    So here’s a take with that.


    On the shining silver beaches
    Where the moonlight softly reaches

    The coconuts grove in palm tree rows
    Come into love
    Come into love and take me close

    Indication fills in my heart
    On my body little quakes start

    Drunk the sky above and the mad wind blows
    Come into love
    Come into love and take me close

    Flowers glow in shy surrender
    Cheeks are fresh with a love song tender

    Night beckons and now in your arms I repose
    Come into love
    Come into love and take me close

  2. “Your signal, my tremor” is too heavy for the love-lyric. How about: Your signs, my shivers?

  3. Quiver, tremble (or shiver) is more genteel and better choice than “tremor”. Tremor invokes fear. Also perhaps “wink” is better choice than “indication” in freeflow translation even though “wink” is not literal translation of “Ishara” it plays better with the spirit of the poem

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