7 MARCH 1931, Page 11

My First Grief


[Translated from the original Bengali by Bhabani Bhattdcharya.] • THE pathway that runs through the shades of the wood is now -covered with tall grass. As I pass by someone calls me and says : " Don't you remember me ? "

I turn round and look wonderingly at her face : " I rementfier - you -as 'through a veil Of mist, but I cannot rec011eet ' your name."

am your First Grief," she says, whom you knew -When you -were twenty-five." There is a tear in her eye. It is like the crescent moon in dark waters.

Amazed, I answer : " On that day I saw you gloomy as a rain-cloud, but to-day you bear the joy of Spring on your face. Arc all your tears dried up ? "

She stands in silence, while her lips part in a faint smile. That smile is her answer ; it is the disguise for a world of tears.

" Have you still preserved the youth of my twenty-fifth spring ? " I ask.

She lifts her head : " Ay, it is here ; it swings as a wreath at my heart."

It is true. Not a petal of the wreath of my forgotten youth has fallen.

" All that I possess is withering " I say, " but this— this alone is still alive on your heart with all the colour of life."

Slowly she takes the garland out, and puts it round my neck, and whispers, " Do you remember that day when you said that you would love your First Grief for ever ? "

I feel ashamed ; " Year followed year," I answer, " and as time passed my First Grief passed too, like a dream." • " Since that day I have been awaiting you," she says. " Will you not take me back, beloved ? "

I clasp her hands and she sighs contentedly : " What was Grief to you, is now Peace."