English version by P. S. Sundaram
Original Language Tamil
Can love be latched and hidden? A trickling tear
Will proclaim it loud.
The loveless grasp all; while the loving
With their very bones help others.
The soul, it is said, is enclosed in bones
That human love may be.
From love, devotion comes; and from that unsought
Bliss hereafter is the fruit, they say,
Of a loving life here.
"Love helps only virtue," say the fools:
But it also cures vice.
As boneless worms wither in the sun, so too
The loveless in a just world.
A loveless life is a withered tree that would fain
Sprout in a desert.
What good are outward features if they lack
Love, the inward sense?
Love's way is life; without it humans are
But bones skin-clad.
|-- from The Kural (Penguin Classics), by Tiruvalluvar / Translated by P. S. Sundaram|