Where a few travellers wander around the empty rooms. 1974
The sun shines hot
On the still stone steps,
But in the courts where fountains play
Cool breezes find their winding way
Among the shade of a colonnade
Where the peacocks walk on marble floors,
As in the alcoves set apart,
The waiting servants stand and talk.
And in this place
Where the bright lords live
Their lives of wine and love,
A young girl waits alone,
Alone at a window in a tower.
She dreams of one who promised to come,
And counts the days until the hour
Of his return.
The ladies of court
All take their ease
In the garden
By the trees.
They gossip now
About their friends
And plan love´s complex strategies.
They talk about the latest jewels,
And silks and spices, mirrors and fans,
From the longed-for camel caravans.
The young girl sits and waits
By the lattice frame.
In the chequered shade
Her cheek and shoulder both are made
A dark and delicate brocade.
She looks on the lake
On the forts and temples,
And sees the hills and the wandering line
Of the strong stone wall,
Built to keep out Amber´s foes,
Who would ravage this sun-hot land,
And steal the gems of jewelled Jaipur.
But all is empty now.
The lords and ladies are no more.
We do not know if the young prince came.
That is a story long, long past.
The thousand mirrored roofs reflect
Only the stones of the floor.
The courts are quiet.
Silent the great stone palace stands,
Empty of its busy life,
Of smiles and tears, of fears and plans,
Of promises made and promises broken.
Now home to ghosts of Mughals gone,
Who live in the winds and drink the air,
As they wander through the courtyards there.