Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thiruppavai – 12

Young buffalo grunts and thinks of its calf warmly;
The mere thought makes its udders gush with milk
And muddy the cowshed;
O’ girl, Sister of such fortunate cowherd! 
We stand at your doorstep with dew falling on  our head,
Singing the praise of the Lord dear to our heart, who in fitful rage 
destroyed the King of Lanka; yet you don’t reply back;
Wake up now at least; what’s this lingering sleep?
All the neighbours hear us, my friend!

கனைத்துஇளம் கற்றெருமை கன்றுக்கு இரங்கி
நினைத்து முலைவழியே நின்றுபால் சோர
நனைத்துஇல்லம் சேறாக்கும் நற்செல்வன் தங்காய்
பனித்தலை வீழநின் வாசற் கடைபற்றிச்
சினத்தினால் தென்இலங்கைக் கோமானைச் செற்ற
மனத்துக்கு இனியானைப் பாடவும்நீ வாய்திறவாய்
இனித்தான் எழுந்திராய் ஈதென்ன பேர்உறக்கம்
அனைத்துஇல்லத் தாரும் அறிந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

Now the girls are in front of the house of a wealthy cowherd’s sister. Andal sings ‘Your brother has buffaloes with overflowing udders. These buffaloes think of their calves and the mere thought makes their udders gush with milk, muddying the cowshed. Such a wealthy cowherd’s sister are you.

We are at your doorstep, trying to wake you up. It is early morning and the dew is slowly dropping on our head. We sing the praise of our favorite Lord, who in his anger destroyed Ravana, the king of Lanka. You hear us, yet you don’t reply back. Wake up atleast now. What sort of long sleep is this? The whole neighbourhood hears us and knows that you are still asleep. Wake up and join us, my friend!”

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