Michael Modhusudan Dutt was born to a learned zamindar Hindu family on 25 January 1824 in the village of Sagardari in Keshabpur Upazila, Jhoshore District of Bangladesh, and he died on 29 June 1873. His father, Rajnarayan Dutt, worked as a lawyer in the court at Kolkata. Dutt proved to be a talented student and learnt English language devotedly.
Modhusudan wrote exclusively in English in his early periods. The Captive Ladie was published in 1849. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Wordsworth and Milton. He was the first composer and introducer of sonnets in Bangla literature. Rebecca and Henrietta were his Spouse and Partner respectively.
Original: Michael Modhusudan Dutt
Translation: Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui
Italy a country of repute is a bower of poetry,
Various kinds of Birds are singing here in sweet tune,
By pouring Modes and arts of music-nectar,
In vernal festivity always fill up the mind with pleasure
Poet Francis Petrarch was born in this country
Obtaining a boon from the Muses, he turns an eminent saint,
His greatness towers above all poets, his poetic tongues
Are soaked with nectar; a gold fiddle in his hands.
Gaining this tiny gem in the mine of poetry,
In his own shrine, to the feet of verse-goddess is offered
Mother has delightfully accepted the great poet,
(Bestowing her choicest blessings) on these products.
In India to the feet of Bharati-goddess deeming it most proper,
I offer this Gem as a gift today.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
You are the ocean of learning and eminent in India.
A friend to the needy, you are the sea of benevolence,
And he who is needy knows you in heart!—in the bright world,
The visage of Himalaya looks golden in the unfading sun rays.
But he who gets closer to this prodigious mountain
By dint of fortune takes shelter at its gold feet,
And knows how many virtues this great Mountain possesses,
This King of Mountains! How many services
Are obtainable in its happy abode! He lavishes charities
Like a river such as a maid pure in heart dispenses water.
Servants like tall trees supply nectar-fruits with deepest love.
Fragrance of bunches of flowers envelopes all sides,
The Sylvan god provides cool-breathing shades by day,
And at night sound peaceful sleep dispels fatigue.
Who is poet—who will tell me? Is he who gets
Words married to words by the artifice of match-making
The death-controller? Does the undying glow
Shine as the gem of fame on his crown?
In my opinion, a poet is one whose charming imagination
Has got seated in one’s mind’s lotus, and he distributes
His golden rays like the luminous glow of the setting sun
In the realm of sentiment and feelings.
Delight, repining and anger obey his orders
Flowers bloom in woody gardens as per his desire;
He is that good soul who brings from Eden
Pleasant fragrance of amaranth flower;
Being contended by the contemplation of whom
Flows the rising purling river in the desert.
Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui, a Rubai composer, poet and translator, is famous for his art of writing both in English and Bangla.