She was scarcely twenty one
on the day the Reaper came.
A writer of great promise;
Toru Dutt was her name.
Bengali was her native tongue,
but only just her first.
She had conversed in German,
written French and English verse.
Now she lay silent, dressed in white
in the company of flowers.
A shame it was a funeral pyre
and not her wedding bower.
Her sister, overcome with grief,
Her Parents both the same.
Her sad eyed father lit the torch
and consigned her to the flames.
How quickly did those flames consume
the girl who lived to write.
Her dust was carried on the winds
from the sacrificial site.
The beauty of her verse endures
and will preserve her name.
That's all that could be salvaged
of the maiden from the flames.