Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural – 1221

மாலையோ அல்லை; மணந்தார் உயிர் உண்ணும்
வேலை நீ;-வாழி, பொழுது!.

Oh sunset! You aren’t the evenings of yore,
but death knell of wedded souls.

She laments the separation from her husband. “When we were together the evenings were pleasant. But now that he is away, these evenings remind me of him and kill me”

வேலை – end  of time. Some commentaries take it as வேல் – spear. Both Parimel Alagar and Devaneya Paavanar take ‘time’ as the primary meaning. If taken as spear, it will read

Oh sunset! You are not the evenings of yore,
but a spear, devouring wedded souls.

I prefer to go with death knell – end of time  – இறுதிக்காலம்.

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