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“Waiting”

  • With head on hand before my door,
  • I sit and wait in vain.
  • Along the road to Pandhari
  • My heart and eyes I strain.
  • When shall I look upon my Lord?
  • When shall I see him come?
  • Of all the passing days and hours
  • I count the heavy sum.
  • With watching long my eyelids throb,
  • My limbs with sore distress,
  • But my impatient heart forgets
  • My body’s weariness.
  • Sleep is no longer sweet to me;
  • I care not for my bed;
  • Forgotten are my house and home,
  • All thirst and hunger fled.
  • Says Tuka, Blest shall be the day, —
  • Ah, soon may it betide! —
  • When one shall come from Pandhari
  • To summon back the bride.

— Tukaram (trans. Nicol Macnicol)

Tukaram (1607–1649) was a Hindu poet, born in India, and considered the greatest of the Maharashtrian poets and student of Namdev (c. 1270–1350). The author of a thousand hymns (abhangs — which mark the spiritual culmination known as bhakti), Tukaram popularized a form of worship that was stripped of sectarianism, ritualism, and intellectualism.

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