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Published on 14 Jun 2012 | over 4 years ago

Circle of Literary Friends, Millennium Arts, Oldham Libraries jointly organised the Annual Iqbal Day on 21st April 2012.On this occasion,local school children presented a tableau based on Allama Iqbal's famous poem "Ek Prinde Ki Faryad ( Lament of a Bird) " - an adaptation from English poet William Cowper's " Goldfinch Starved to Death in His Cage".Young scholar Sarah Syed presented an essay and the tableau was directed by Mr Makhdoom. Further details from friends@mehfil.org.uk Read more ....

William Cowper (1731-1800), the renowned English poet whom Romantics like Coleridge and Wordsworth liked for his spiritual poetry, is now best known in the West for such famous quotes as "God made the country, and man made the town" and "I am monarch of all I survey." An average Pakistani or Indian, even if one cannot read or write, is familiar with at least one line from Cowper, and that is "Time was when I was free as air." Of course, they know it in translation from Iqbal: "Aata hai yad mujko guzra hua zamana..."
On a Golfinch Starved to Death in His Cage

Time was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on every spray,
My form genteel, my plumage gay,
My strains for ever new.

But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,
And form genteel were all in vain,
And of a transient date;
For, caught and caged, and starved to death,
In dying sighs my little breath
Soon pass'd the wiry grate.

Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
And thanks for this effectual close
And cure of every ill!
More cruelty could none express;
And I, if you had shown me less,
Had been your prisoner

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