Ode to Rivers


To the Indus River

In Tibet, from the Kailash Mount,
Along its highland vale,
You come aflow as if a fount,
Rolls down a spumy dale;
How quick about a bending stream,
You make the lissom pass;
While gilds your face the bright sunbeam,
And hails the swayful grass;
You leap over boulders and rocks,
And watch a swimming floe,
You watch the gliding seagulls’ flocks,
And watch a plateau glow;

You cross Kashmir and cross the Leh,
Traverse the Pangong Lake,
Then merrily, your lengthful way,
Towards India make.
By Punjab’s Mustard fields and lea
And gamuts of rice mills;
With Ghaggar, Satluj and Ravi,
Flow by the verdant hills;
The daily working Bullock carts,
The Banyan leaves that trindle,
The rustic children’s jolly hearts,
And hay, the farmers’ windle,
You greet Nanga Parbat’s ranges
And touch full northern Hind,
You meet Himachal’s high granges,
And advance on to Sind;

From Peshawar’s ridges and cliffs
You enter Pakistan,
And through its long and wide massifs,
Meet Chenab at Multan.
Kabul River, Panjnad joins you,
Joins you in the little creeks,
‘Indus’, ‘Jhelum’, this land coins you,
As you flow neath their peaks;
The nearby bucolic huts glow,
With avidness, they cheer,
And all of Rawalpindi know,
Your coming course, they hear;
No place to you remains a roun,
You ripple through each land,
Men laud as if a king with a crown,
In great grandeur does stand;
Then eternal beautyness of you,
In Arabian Sea,
With love, mixes the waters blue,
From the coast of Karachi.

Thy course emerging from Lord Shiva’s pate,
First floweth to Haridwar’s bank and earth
Where man taketh long plunge to cleanse his fate
And shrived from malefactions, formeth new birth.
With pleasance, our lands venerate thee
For thou, like God, art form’d of permanence;
Sprigs bend, leaves twitch to show their piety;
Monkeys and elks bow heads with reverence.
Thy sanctity I knew not till I paid
Pilgrimage and dipped in a stream of thine,
Thence had in my sprite like father convey’d—
‘A conflux of freedom and bliss, like shrine
Of God where man’s despair washes away’
On whose grandness, one sonnet cannot say.

About the sonnet, Ganga: This sonnet is to the most widely flowing river of India, The Ganges. This river
derives its state of divinity from the holy scriptures of Hinduism. It is considered ‘the mother of India’
both mythologically and culturally, and its source is believed to be the head (pate) of Lord Shiva. It is
believed bathing in it purges one of his sins. This poem alludes to the unfathomable and ecstatic peace
which I had felt upon dipping in it.

PoetShamik Banerjee is a poet and poetry reviewer from the North-Eastern belt of India. He loves taking long strolls and spending time with his family. His deep affection for Solitude and Poetry provides him happiness.

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