In Praise Of Henna

henna-sarojini-naidu-shortstoriescoin-imageA KOKILA called from a henna-spray:
Lira! liree! Lira! liree!
Hasten, maidens, hasten away
To gather the leaves of the henna-tree.

Send your pitchers afloat on the tide,
Gather the leaves ere the dawn be old,
Grind them in mortars of amber and gold,
The fresh green leaves of the henna-tree.

A kokila called from a henna-spray:
Lira! liree! Lira! liree!
Hasten maidens, hasten away
To gather the leaves of the henna-tree.

The tilka’s red for the brow of a bride,
And betel-nut’s red for lips that are sweet;
But, for lily-like fingers and feet,
The red, the red of the henna-tree.

 

In Praise Of Henna – Sarojini Naidu

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