Strength and Mercy

In honor of Parsi New Year, we present this work by one of India’s great 20th century poets.

Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
Indian
1908 – 1974

 

Mercy, resolve, tact, tolerance
You’ve tried everything and some
But o my king of men
When did Suyodhan succumb?

The more forgiving you were
In your humane compassion
The more these rouge Kauravas
Pegged you as cowardly ashen

This is the consequence
Of tolerating atrocities
The awe of machismo is lost
When one’s gentle n kindly

Forgiveness is becoming of
The serpent that’s got venom
None cares for the toothless,
Poisonless, kind, gentle one

For three days Lord Raam kept
Asking the ocean for a passage
Sitting there he petitioned
Using the sweetest words to engage

When in response there was
Not a whisper from the sea
A raging fire of endeavor
Rose from Raam’s body

The ocean took human-form
‘N supplicated to Raam
Touched his feet, was subservient
A slave he had become

ruth be told, it’s in the quiver
That lies the gleam of modesty
Only his peace-talk is reputable
Who is capable of victory

Tolerance, forgiveness and clemency
Are respected by the world
Only when the glow of strength
From behind them is unfurled

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