Mir Taqi Mir
Mir Muhammad Taqi Mir (February 1723 – 20 September 1810), also known as Mir Taqi Mir or Meer Taqi Meer, was an Urdu poet of the 18th century Mughal India, and one of the pioneers who gave shape to the Urdu language itself. He was one of the principal poets of the Delhi School of the Urdu ghazal and is often remembered as one of the best poets of the Urdu language.
- When living became an uphill task,
In soldier's camp we sought resort
In narrow straits found them caught,
They lived on bread, stale and scorched,
No drop of drink, nor spoon of broth.
My friends, I found, were nearing death,
Deprived of good were all I met,
Each and all were poverty pressed,
If one had a thread, he had no rope,
If one had a carpet, none to roll.
Life was a struggle against heavy odds,
The grocers fret, the vendors bawl,
They used their swords and shields as cots.
The kings and councilors, were bankrupts all.
- Poem Lament for the City (Shahr Ashob), Masterpieces of Patriotic Urdu Poetry, p. 25
- Men of means and money have joined the beggar's fold
Their veins, like the lines on paper, on their body show,
Great and small are helpless, so are young and old,
A thousand beggars pounce together like a swarm of flies,
When a crumb, or a grain of wheat somewhere they descry.
Every head lies benumbed,
Horse and camel are sans strength,
Hunger cries on every tongue,
Thanks to the civil strife, soldiers sit content,
No fear of drunken brawls, nor of the vagrant young.
Unscrupulous are they all, the town's rich elite,
Every one doth understand how they speak and treat,
Moreover, these haughty rich are not easy to reach,
In their awful presence who can dare to speak?
Their conduct hurts the heart, biting is their speech.
- Masterpieces of Patriotic Urdu Poetry, p. 27
- Why ask about our whereabouts, O denizens of the East,
Knowing we are poor, why taunt us and tease?
Delhi which was once considered the world's crown and pride,
Where only the chosen few once did reside,
Which has been razed and ruined by the cruel skies,
We belong to the same city, now a wasted pile!
- Masterpieces of Patriotic Urdu Poetry, p. 29
- ہنستا ہی میں پھروں جو میرااختیار ہو
پر کیا کروں میں گریۂ بے اختیار ہو
- I would laugh all through life, if I could but help,
But what to do with my tears, which flow unchecked!
- Masterpieces of Patriotic Urdu Poetry, p. 23
- K. C. Kanda: Masterpieces of Patriotic Urdu Poetry: Text, Translation, and Transliteration, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 2009