In the Bazaars of Hyderabad

-- Sarojini Naidu


What do you sell, O ye merchants?

Richly your wares are displayed.

Turbans of purple brocade,

Mirrors with panels of amber,

Daggers with handles of jade.


What do you weigh, O ye vendors?

Saffron and lentil and rive.

What do you grind, O ye maidens?

Sandalwood, henna, and spice.

What do you call, O ye pedlars?

Chessmen and ivory dice.


What do you make, O ye goldsmiths?

Wristlet and anklet and ring,

Bells for the feet of blue pigeons,

Frail as a dragon-fly’s wing,

Girdles of gold for the dancers,

Scabbards of gold for the king.


What do you cry, O ye fruitmen?

Citron, pomegranate, and plum.

What do you play, O musicians?

Sithar, sarangi, and drum.

What do you chant, O magicians?

Spells for the aeons to come.


What do you weave, O ye flower-girls

With tassels of azure and red?

Crowns for the brow of a bridegroom,

Chaplets to garland his bed,

Sheets of white blossoms new-gathered

To perfune the sleep of the dead.