Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kambaramayanam – 1047

Like an abundance of white colored toddy,
like spreading of a tangible melody,
like spilling over of heart’s hidden carnality,
did cool moonlight suffuse the world in entirety.

வெண்ணிற நற நிறை வெள்ளம் என்னவும்,
பண் நிறம் செறிந்து இடை பரந்தது என்னவும்,
உள் நிறை காமம் மிக்கு ஒழுகிற்று என்னவும்,
தண் நிறை நெடு நிலா தழைத்தது எங்குமே.

This is the first verse in Revelry chapter (உண்டாட்டுப் படலம்) in the first part of Kamba Ramayanam. King Dasaratha and his entourage is on their way to Mithila for Rama’s wedding with Sita. This chapter details the merry making of the entourage during their night stay.

In this verse Kamban uses toddy, melody and lust as similes for moonlight. It is a hint of the merrymaking to follow in the next verses. Moon light is like an abundance of toddy, like melody that has taken physical shape and spread across the world, and over-spilling lust hidden in the hearts of all human beings.

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