O sweet woman with black tresses so profound,
Cascading down your back in all its resplendent glory,
Much like the graceful descent of Ganga-devi
Why do your feet trail the riverbanks with nary a sound?
O ravishing beauty with eyelashes evoking much envy,
As your pitiful husband lay desolate inhaling his final breaths
Which tree reaches out its branches and beckons you come
At three in the morn, the hour of deaths?
O my lovely wife, to whom do you extend your dainty fingers?
As he encapsulates your desperate body with warmth
From the locks of your hair to the soles of your feet
Bold caresses as on dewy grass man and woman meet.
I watch with glassy eyes from underneath the Banyan tree
My fingers have turned cold, don’t you see?
O silly woman, is it warmth you so truly desire?
At the hour of dawn, you shall ascend to my funeral pyre—
And your limbs shall wail as the flames rise higher, higher.
Cover image is a 19th-century painting depicting the act of sati. Sourced from Wikipedia. The copyright of Sati belongs to Nur Dayana.