Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Puranaanooru – 292

O petty people, quit being angry
that he stood up grasping his flawless sword
and pushed away Ruler’s sweet, chilled wine
you stirred and served as per rank!
In battle field too he will do the same,
will not say “let my turn come”; will rush
to meet the mighty forces of the enemy
and force them away, such a man is he.

வேந்தற் கேந்திய தீந்தண் ணறவம்
யாந்தனக் குறுமுறை வளாவ விலக்கி
வாய்வாள் பற்றி நின்றனெ னென்று
சினவ லோம்புமின் சிறுபுல் லாளர்
ஈண்டே போல வேண்டுவ னாயின்
என்முறை வருக வென்னான் கம்மென
எழுதரு பெரும்படை விலக்கி
ஆண்டு நிற்கு மாண்டகை யன்னே.

Purananooru 292. The tradition before battle was for the King to drink clear toddy and pass it on to this soldiers. Since the soldiers needed more kick out of the booze, it was stirred up and served to them. The hero of this poem refuses the toddy offered because he thinks it has come to him late. So he pushes away the toddy, stands up with his sword,  ready to go to the battlefield. Those who served him are angry because he didn’t wait for his turn and is breaking tradition. Poet says to them, “Stop being petty. He is not one to follow tradition. You are angry that he stood up with his sword and pushed away the toddy you offered. In the battle field too he will do the same. He will not wait for his turn to go and fight. He will rush to meet the enemy forces with his sword and force them to retreat, such is his valor”.

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