BY

AUTHOR OF "A SHEAF GLEANED IN FRENCH FIELDS," AND "LE JOURNAL DE MADEMOISELLE D'ARVERS."

WITH AN INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR

BY EDMUND GOSSE.

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LONDON KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO. MDCCCLXXXV

"I never heard the old song of Percie and Douglas, that I found not my heart moved, more than with a trumpet: and yet it is sung but by some blinde crowder, with no rougher voice, than rude style." SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.

Page I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX.

Savitri Lakshman Jogadhya Uma The Royal Ascetic and the Hind Dhruva Buttoo Sindhu Prehlad Sîta

1 46 54 65 71 77 89 107 122

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.
Near Hastings France—1870 The Tree of Life On the Fly Leaf of Erckmann-Chatrian's novel entitled Madame Thérèse Sonnet—Baugmaree Sonnet—The Lotus 127 129 131 133 135 136

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Our Casuarina Tree

137

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR.
If Toru Dutt were alive, she would still be younger than any recognized European writer, and yet her fame, which is already considerable, has been entirely posthumous. Within the brief space of four years which now divides us from the date of her decease, her genius has been revealed to the world under many phases, and has been recognized throughout France and England. Her name, at least, is no longer unfamiliar in the ear of any well-read man or woman. But at the hour of her death she had published but one book, and that book had found but two reviewers in Europe. One of these, M. André Theuriet, the well-known poet and novelist, gave the "Sheaf gleaned in French Fields" adequate praise in the "Revue des Deux Mondes;" but the other, the writer of the present notice, has a melancholy satisfaction in having been a little earlier still in sounding the only note of welcome which reached the dying poetess from England. It was while Professor W. Minto was editor of the "Examiner," that one day in August, 1876, in the very heart of the dead season for books, I happened to be in the office of that newspaper, and was upbraiding the whole body of publishers for issuing no books worth reviewing. At that moment the postman brought in a thin and sallow packet with a wonderful Indian postmark on it, and containing a most unattractive orange pamphlet of verse, printed at Bhowanipore, and entitled "A Sheaf gleaned in French Fields, by Toru Dutt." This shabby little book of some two hundred pages, without preface or introduction, seemed specially destined by its particular providence to find its way hastily into the waste-paper basket. I remember that Mr. Minto thrust it into my unwilling hands, and said "There! see whether you can't make something of that." A hopeless volume it seemed, with its queer type, published at Bhowanipore, printed at the Saptahiksambad Press! But when at last I took it out of my pocket, what was my surprise and almost rapture to open at such verse as this:— Still barred thy doors! The far east glows, The morning wind blows fresh and free Should not the hour that wakes the rose Awaken also thee? All look for thee, Love, Light, and Song, Light in the sky deep red above, Song, in the lark of pinions strong, And in my heart, true Love. Apart we miss our nature's goal, Why strive to cheat our destinies? Was not my love made for thy soul? Thy beauty for mine eyes? No longer sleep, Oh, listen now! I wait and weep,
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was followed by another on Joséphin Soulary. but it would seem that the marvellous faculties of Toru's mind still slumbered. which was illustrated by translations into English verse. They did not remain there very many months. at a French pension. alas! still more pathetic in these sturdy and workmanlike essays in unaided criticism. Still more solitary her work 4 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . obviously. for the first and last time. she wrote its language with more perfect elegance. in whom she saw more than her maturer judgment might have justified. the brain of this wonderful child was moulded. the subject of this memoir. But she was born to write." on Leconte de Lisle.But where art thou? When poetry is as good as this it does not much matter whether Rouveyre prints it upon Whatman paper. but with great zeal and application. With the exception of one year's visit to Bombay. In November. in her thirteenth year. who was born in Calcutta on the 4th of March. This study. and finally they attended for a short time. preserving to the last her appreciation of the poetic side of her ancient religion. she plunged into its mysterious literature. The Dutts arrived in Europe at the close of 1869. She brought with her from Europe a store of knowledge that would have sufficed to make an English or French girl seem learned. and left his two younger sisters to console their parents. In a poem now printed for the first time. as the present volume shows us for the first time. Toru refers to the scene of her earliest memories. Aru. She was pure Hindu. Abju. There is something very interesting and now. Her father. Here. the childhood of these girls was spent in Calcutta. Immediately on her return she began to study Sanskrit with the same intense application which she gave to all her work. stories which it was the last labour of her life to weave into English verse. was eighteen months senior to Toru. who survives them all. their father took them to Italy and England with him. in a mystical retirement more irksome to an European in fancy than to an Oriental in reality. her father decided to take his daughters to Europe to learn English and French. the lectures for women at Cambridge. full of the typical qualities of her race and blood. When we consider what she achieved in these forty-five months of seclusion. the elder daughter. in a feverish dream of intellectual effort and imaginative production. was a monograph. His only son. is himself distinguished among his countrymen for the width of his views and the vigour of his intelligence. Her mother fed her imagination with the old songs and legends of their people. and the girls went to school. but which in her case was simply miraculous. died in 1865. a figure to whom the poet of "Sindhu" must needs be attracted on approaching European literature. Her first essay. Toru Dutt was the youngest of the three children of a high-caste Hindu couple in Bengal. she knew its literature best. and despairing of an audience in her own language. She loved France best. born in 1854. and the four remaining years of Toru's life were spent in the old garden-house at Calcutta. they went back again to Bengal. though faith itself in Vishnu and Siva had been cast aside with childish things and been replaced by a purer faith. and mastering the language with extraordinary swiftness. and. at their father's garden-house. a writer with whom she had a sympathy which is very easy to comprehend. in the "Bengal Magazine. she began to adopt ours as a medium for her thought. when. or whether it steals to light in blurred type from some press in Bhowanipore. published when she was eighteen. The austere poet of "La Mort de Valmiki" was. the circling wilderness of foliage. the murmuring dusk under the vast branches of the central casuarina-tree. 1873. it is impossible to wonder that the frail and hectic body succumbed under so excessive a strain. the Baboo Govin Chunder Dutt. at the age of fourteen. the shining tank with the round leaves of the lilies. 1856. To the end of her days Toru was a better French than English scholar.

chosen by the poetess herself on a principle of her own which gradually dawned upon the careful reader. at other times the rules of our prosody are absolutely ignored. author of a somewhat remarkable book on the position of women in ancient Indian society. Cependant j'espère mettre la main à l'œuvre bientôt. of genius overriding great obstacles and of talent succumbing to ignorance and inexperience. for the use of Hindus less instructed than herself. but it is not the least interesting." She was ready to pronounce an opinion on Napol le Pyrénéan or to detect a plagiarism in Baudelaire. in July. In January. et je suis fière de pouvoir le dire que les héroines de nos grandes épopées sont dignes de tout honneur et de tout amour. le désespoir et l'effroi dans l'âme. Quand j'entends ma mère chanter. 1874. and it is obvious that the Hindu poetess was chanting to herself a music that is discord in an English ear. and to a stranger no less bewildering. or more startling than her learning at others. the famous Orientalist. Aru. and Aru had a faculty for design which promised well. to have been finely accomplished. Y a-ti-il d'héroine plus touchante. M. This inequality of equipment was a thing inevitable to her isolation. je pleure presque toujours. Almost simultaneously this volume fell into the hands of Toru. les vieux chants de notre pays. La plainte de Sîta. It consisted of a selection of translations from nearly one hundred French poets. which has been preserved. and received a prompt and kind reply. On the 18th of March Toru wrote again to this. at the age of twenty. 1877. but no page of this book did Aru ever see. That it should have been performed at all is so extraordinary that we forget to be surprised at its inequality. shows that she had already descended into the valley of the shadow of death:— Ma constitution n'est pas forte. The romance of "Mlle. votre livre et votre lettre en témoignent assez. Nothing could be more naïve than the writer's ignorance at some points. D'Arvers" was originally projected for Aru to illustrate. She eschewed the Classicist writers as though they had never existed.—car vous les aimez. On the whole. bannie pour la séconde fois. le soir. combien votre affection. her solitary correspondent in the world of European literature. the attainment of the book was simply astounding. with full contralto voices. We have already seen that the "Sheaf gleaned in French Fields" attracted the very minimum of attention in England. who scarcely survived Toru by twelve months. she accordingly wrote to Mlle. Garcin de Tassy. Occasionally she showed a profundity of research that would have done no discredit to Mr. j'ai contracté une toux opiniâtre. The English verse is sometimes exquisite. Saintsbury or "le doux Assellineau. She seems to have been no less amiable than her sister. spoke of it to Mlle. Both sisters were well-trained musicians. as we have said. quand. plus aimable que Sîta? Je ne le crois pas. and her letter. It is a wonderful mixture of strength and weakness. and how quick to make the best of small resources. Clarisse Bader. and hardly worth recording. qui ne me quitte point. seule. elle erre dans la vaste forêt. In 1876. The "Sheaf gleaned in French Fields" is certainly the most imperfect of Toru's writings.became. and she was moved to translate it into English. For her André Chenier was the next name in chronological order after Du Bartas. il y a plus de deux ans. and she was curiously vague about the career of Saint Beuve. mademoiselle.—pour mes compatriotes et mon pays me touche. Je ne peux dire. except to show how laborious her mind was. Bader requesting her authorization. died. The notes are no less curious. appeared that obscure first volume at Bhowanipore. In France it was talked about a little more. and if gifted with less originality and a less forcible ambition. when her only sister. But she thought that Alexander Smith was still alive. est si 5 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .

il y a six mois. The description of the hero is most characteristically Indian. and was printed in a Calcutta magazine. begun. turned up. Je vous envois sous ce pli deux petites traductions du Sanscrit." forming a handsome volume of 259 pages. Much more important.pathétique qu'il n'y a personne. son menton a quelque chose de sévère. at the age of twenty-one years. Sa taille est haute. la lèvre supérieure. ce qui dénote sa haute naissance. than as a revelation of the mind of a young Hindu woman of genius. but they are full of vigour and originality. which were printed in another Calcutta magazine. le front est noble. Toru had taken to her bed. but it is less interesting as an experiment of the fancy. a passion which leads to fratricide and madness. Clarisse Bader. is an attempt to describe scenes from modern French society. qui puisse l'entendre sans verser des larmes. translated into English. but it is remarkable for coherence and self-restraint no less than for vigour of treatment. from the days when it originally distinguished the conquering Aryas from the indigenous race of the Dasyous. Ma santé ne me permet pas de les continuer. As a literary composition "Mlle. In English poetry I do not remember anything that exactly parallels their resigned melancholy. there appeared a second edition of the "Sheaf gleaned in French Fields. The story is simple." with a touching sketch of her death. This book. On the 30th of July she wrote her last letter to Mlle. cette belle langue antique. 1878. est parfaitement modelée. Before the month of March was over. je crois. Toru Dutt never sinks to melodrama in the course of 6 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Calcutta. and finished nobody knows when. than any of these was a complete romance. before the family returned from Europe. then some fragments of an English story. It deals with the ungovernable passion of two brothers for one placid and beautiful girl. First a selection from the sonnets of the Comte de Grammont. by her father. These simple and pathetic words. six months. and that one gained too late. ses yeux noirs sont profonds et bien fendus. But as her father examined her papers. D'Arvers. and entering with interest into the questions raised by the Société Asiatique of Paris in its printed Transactions. son teint est d'un blanc presque féminin. the romance of "Le Journal de Mlle. In the first distraction of grief it seemed as though her unequalled promise had been entirely blighted. D'Arvers" deserves high commendation. however. 1877. mais quelques-uns la trouveraient mince. couverte par une moustache naissante et noire. Malheureusement j'ai été obligée de faire cesser mes traductions de Sanscrit. and in 1879 was published.— Il est beau en effet. strewing her sick-room with the latest European books. and as though she would be remembered only by her single book. on the 30th of August. clearly told. reminds us that in India whiteness of skin has always been a sign of aristocratic birth. seem as touching and as beautiful as any strain of Marceline Valmore's immortal verse. the studies of character have nothing French about them. In the meantime Toru was no sooner dead than she began to be famous. meaningless as applied to an European. and interesting. and a month later. under the editorial care of Mlle. being the identical story for which her sister Aru had proposed to make the illustrations. written in French. and twenty-six days. she continued to read. as it appears. sa chevelure noire est bouclée et tombe jusqu'à la nuque. That it is a very melancholy and tragical story is obvious from this brief sketch of its contents. In this description we seem to recognize some Surya or Soma of Hindu mythology. she breathed her last in her father's house in Maniktollah Street. Clarisse Bader. In May. Unable to write. and the final touch. in which the dying poetess pours out her heart to the one friend she had. one completed work after another revealed itself.

and the wonder is that she is not more often fantastic and unreal. it may be suggested that in spite of much in them that is rough and inchoate. It is difficult to exaggerate when we try to estimate what we have lost in the premature death of Toru Dutt. she was not entirely conversant with English. In these last we see Toru no longer attempting vainly. Literature has no honours which need have been beyond the grasp of a girl who at the age of twenty-one. which we present to the public for the first time to-day." needs no apology for its rich and mellifluous numbers. Her father. and they have not the same peculiar value as the rhymed octo-syllabic ballads. or as Chamisso mastered German." or so quaint a piece of religious fancy as the ballad of "Jogadhya Uma. To the end of her days.— The light-leaved tamarind spreading wide. if we may judge by a slight experience." These are interesting. they show that Toru was advancing in her mastery of English verse. and were left so far fragmentary at her death that the fourth and fifth in her projected series of nine were not to be discovered in any form among her papers." The poetess seems in these verses to be chanting to herself those songs of her mother's race to which she always turned with tears of pleasure. especially with the colloquial turns of modern speech. But we believe that the original English poems. therefore. selected out of many no less skilful. Often a very fine thought is spoiled for hypercritical ears by the queer turn of expression which she has innocently given to it. No modern Oriental has given us so strange an insight into the conscience of the Asiatic as is presented in the stories of "Prehlad" and of "Savitri. In other passages. It is probable that she had not even commenced them. here printed for the first time. has filled up these blanks with two stories from the "Vishnupurana. and are singularly devoid of that littleness and frivolity which seem. fluent and graceful as she was. and we feel that it gives but a faint and discordant echo of the music welling in Toru's brain. a pillar tall. the text reads like a translation from some stirring ballad. will be ultimately found to constitute Toru's chief legacy to posterity. and in languages separated from her own by so deep a chasm. With flowers that have the ruby's gleam. With feathery branches for a crest. but turning to the legends of her own race and country for inspiration. but a little rude in form. could hardly be recognized as the work of one by whom the language was a late acquirement:— What glorious trees! The sombre saul.— The betel-nut. As to the merely technical character of these poems.— The pale faint-scented bitter neem. The seemul. On which the eye delights to rest. though heroically. Her sonnets. And her courage and fortitude were 7 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . gorgeous as a bride. and her longer piece entitled "Our Casuarina Tree. Such a stanza as this. These faults are found to a much smaller degree in her miscellaneous poems. to be the bane of modern India." which originally appeared respectively in the "Calcutta Review" and in the "Bengal Magazine. They breathe a Vedic solemnity and simplicity of temper. of course. For it must frankly be confessed that in the brief May-day of her existence she had not time to master our language as Blanco White did. to compete with European literature on its own ground.her extraordinary tale. had produced so much of lasting worth. These ballads form the last and most matured of her writings. seem to me to be of great beauty. to give a certain continuity to the series.

Fair as a lotus when the moon Kisses its opening petals red. though gathered ere their prime. GOSSE. Stern warriors. to whom it was said. and to one ten years senior to Toru." is not the least remarkable. Chance strangers. It was to a native of our island. When the history of the literature of our country comes to be written. and of no other Oriental who has ever lived can the same be said. EDMUND W. having met her. What was her own peculiar charm? The soft black eyes. and lighter tread. when they saw her. 8 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Savitri was the only child Of Madra's wise and mighty king.worthy of her intelligence. past. 1881. Thy generous fruits. there is sure to be a page in it dedicated to this fragile exotic blossom of song. surely. smiled. to her than to Oldham. As mountains smile to see the spring. And often would they turn the head A lingering second look to cast. That mellow sweetness was all that Toru lacked to perfect her as an English poet. that which her father has recorded. or the least significant of strong character. After sweet showers in sultry June! With happier heart. the raven hair. Still showed a quickness. P ART I. "It is only the physical pain that makes me cry. and maturing time But mellows what we write to the dull sweets of Rime. Among "last words" of celebrated people. in words more appropriate. And bless the vision ere it fled.

"Savitri. One care alone. No man with thought impure or base Could ever look. whom.—and hour by hour With young companions of her age. and noon With many a vigil. made morning. and lo." she answering cried. her future lord and guide. And so she wandered where she pleased In boyish freedom." Months passed. Abashed the boldest. Her charm was this—upon her face Childlike and innocent and fair. Or loitered in some hermitage. her father felt— Where should he find a fitting mate For one so pure?—His thoughts long dwelt On this as with his queen he sate. Or mar its perfect beauty ever?— No.—he gave her all She wished.The curving neck. he knew no ill Could touch a nature pure as snow. The sweet simplicity and grace. Her father let her have her way In all things. as a priceless boon He had obtained this child at last By prayers. In those far-off primeval days Fair India's daughters were not pent In closed zenanas. Nor crushing sorrows dimmed her prime. many a fast. They taught her wonders manifold And gave her of the best they had. the rounded arm. and feared and doubted never.—the glory there. He feared no harm. Mirrored in dawning womanhood. On her ways Savitri at her pleasure went Whither she chose. Would Shiva his own gift recall. dear wife. "Ah. All these are common everywhere. Happy time! No small vexations ever teased. may herself elect Some day. should we select?" "Leave it to God. For to the Munis gray and old Her presence was as sunshine glad. She roamed the woods for fruit or flower. he had faith. whether high or low. one summer morn As to the hermitage she went 9 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . but the good God's purity there loved to trace. night. Long childless.

Her heart-rose opened had at last— Opened no flower can ever shut. Now.— When hark a step. Hark! The bells remind 'Tis time to go. every word Sent up a flush on cheek and ear. Sons of the hermits.—on whom the years Consenting. Leaving her virgin heart behind. A ray. and their peers. Satyavan was he hight.—there comes no crash. or silent slow despair.—she went away.— But life. The thatches had a rainbow fringe. Is then no fiction? Heaven above Is witness. In converse with the gray-haired sage She learnt the story of the youth. 10 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . With many tears was said and heard The story.—with his queen and only son He lived a hermit in the land. She saw some youths on sport intent. as poets sing.—and with praise sincere Of Prince Satyavan. Their eyes just met. shed a grace so blithe. But old and blind. Savitri's first care was to tell Her mother all her feelings new. appeared to tinge All objects with supernal light. She looked and looked.Through smiling fields of waving corn.—then gave a sigh.—his sire Dyoumatsen had been Salva's king.—Savitri past Into the friendly Muni's hut. And slackened suddenly her pace. that the eye Was loth to quit that sun-browned face.—we jest. His name and place and parentage— Of royal race he was in truth. Shot down from heaven. Unnoticed. And richer for the loss. that the heart its king Finds often like a lightning flash. And one among them tall and lithe Royal in port. And gentler hermit was there none. We play. So frank and noble.—we have no care. The cornfields looked more green and bright. opponents dire Had gathered round him in a ring And snatched the sceptre from his hand. What was the meaning—was it love? Love at first sight.

Long absent. No god in heaven. 11 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . no! ah. the planets' birth Was not to him a mystery. O sage. All hail. Old and gray.—adored of men. O king. "Now what is it.The queen her own fears to dispel To the king's private chamber flew. But Narad knew his history. When glided like a music-strain Savitri's presence through the room."—he said. hoping then By his assistance. That makes thee hurry in this wise?" She told him." She turned to them her modest face. Came Narad Muni to the place A few days after. welcome. dear old friend.— "Ah. proceed?" As if the king's doubts to allay. my gentle queen. smiles and tears between. And answered quietly and clear. no!—It cannot be— Choose out another husband. Seen hath she at the hermitage A youth to whom in very deed Her heart inclines. Speak as to men who best love thee. "Now welcome. and welcome once again!" The greeting had not reached its end.—"or woe is me!" "And why should I? When I have given My heart away. All loved to see the gossip's face. tell his name and race."—"The seasons pass. say. and smiled. clear to see. alas! This is my one. Great Brahma's son."—"And who is he?" "My daughter. Whose radiance lights the chamber's gloom— Is she an Apsara or fay?" "No son thy servant hath.—my only child.— "And who is this bright creature. can we in such A matter delicate. Make haste. nor king on earth. In which thy wisdom ripe I need. the king with sighs Sadly replied:—"I fear me much! Whence is his race and what his creed? Not knowing aught. doubly welcome he Unto the monarch. All she had heard. the moon's. "That is the very theme. though but in thought."— The Muni cried. dear.— The sun's."— "And married?"—"No.

And here. forsake This fancy.—I would have my son Pure. A shadow. Is he not worthy? tell us. and kingdom lost." "Then where. His merit still remains a star. I wot. and in doubt Thus interposed a gentle word."—"I cannot break A plighted faith. 12 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . A pledge is nought unsanctionèd. There was no pledge at all."—The father heard By turns the speakers. Before the gods it cannot bind."—"Nay. The monarch knew The future was no sealèd book To Brahma's son.—a thought. For riches. O Muni. King.—he gently took Savitri's palm in his. child."— "It may not be. it may be clean forgot. if right I understand. hence may spring despair.—I. All worthiness is in Satyavan. the vigils." This was enough. Upon this day as rounds the year The young Prince Satyavan shall die.— "Friend should to friend his mind speak out.—the Fates I thank I see no hindrance. Nor melts his lineage like the frost. worldly power. and brave. his ancestor. no." "Since thou insistest. I speak not like a madman wild. A clammy dew Spread on his brow."—"Oh. And no one can my praise gainsay: Of solar race—more god than man! Great Soorasen. Trust me in this. And Dyoumatsen his father blind Are known to fame: I can aver No kings have been so good and kind.—I cannot bear A wounded conscience.—barely crossed the mind— Unblamed. not one. My reasons shall be clear in time. wise. and said: "No child can give away her hand. "And think upon the dreadful curse Of widowhood. or rank I care not. is the bar? If wealth be gone. to hear The fatal truth. fasts.Can I take back? Forbid it. Heaven! It were a deadly sin. And why should I? I know no crime In him or his."—"Believe me.—I tell you.

my father dear. or break its chain? "If Fate so rules. "Once. no life is worse Than hopeless life. stood. Not the less solemn was my vow Because unheard. without a fall.And penances. can a sire Unto his well-loved daughter say. Monotonous and blank and drear. if so thou will'st. Once. Judge for me. I give thee to this man away." In the meek grace of virginhood Unblanched her cheek. Duty our watchword. and once only. Can man's device the doom repeal? Unequal seems to be a strife. come what may. Shall woman pledge her faith and hand. Somewhat austere was her reply. that I should feel The miseries of a widow's life. but say Can man balk Fate. friends. for aye to hear— Without one chance of getting free— The ocean's melancholy voice! Mine be the sin. 'Tis well. The Right must be our guiding star. Unwedded to my dying day I must. 13 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . and once only.—as wiser far. like a statue. And peace is but a wandering fire. all submit To Destiny. The father. Between Humanity and Fate. and once only. Death comes to all or soon or late.—if sin there be. And none may strive. Savitri. None have on earth what they desire.—'tis God's command.—the while it lasts. though he patient heard. In presence of the witness fire. have I given My heart and faith—'tis past recall. With conscience none have ever striven. Once. and oh! the sin Will not be less. and once only. Day follows day in one long round. Less painful were it to be bound On some bleak rock. undimmed her eye. remain. so 'tis writ. Expediency leads wild astray. and meekly looked to both. But thou must make a different choice. "Once." She said. if I should now Deny the feeling felt within.

whom praise we owe. Fear! With her husband by her still? Or weariness! Where all was new? Hark! What a welcome from the hill! There gathered are a hermits few. And trumpets blown from castle towers! Slow the procession makes its ground Along the crowded city street: And blessings in a storm of sound At every step the couple greet. All praise to Him. "Bless thee. And blazing banners broad are flung. My child shall wed the youth she loves. And now behold. Wondering the timid wild deer gaze. the bridegroom's sire With joy comes forth amid the throng. Past gardens gay. the monarch—"Be it so! I sanction what my friend approves. In gentle rain they may distil." At this. my child! 'Tis not for us To question the Almighty will. Great joy in Madra. wend the wedded pair. But Narad Muni took the word. And from Briarean fig-trees hoar Look down the monkeys in amaze As the procession moves along. Past frowning hills.—henceforth here Must live the fair and gentle bride: But this thought brought with it no fear. The woods primeval. past pastures wild. Foliage on foliage densely piled. Past all the houses.— What reverence his looks inspire! 14 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . past the wall. and hedgerows trim. At last arises on the sight. Though cloud on cloud loom ominous. where sinuous brooklets small With molten silver to the brim Glance in the sun's expiring light. The doors of every house are hung With gay festoons of leaves and flowers. Screaming the peacocks upward soar. Past fields. Blow the shell The marriage over to declare! And now to forest-shades where dwell The hermits.To give the sanction still seemed loth. where reside The holy hermits." P ART II.

and the want Of comforts that her rank became.—and they go Happy in others' happiness. Sals. That old experience can discern. Valkala robes. And now with rice and gold. and pray. the hermits' wives And daughters gathered to the huts. Strong in all manual work. All undermine the fragile frame? To see the bride. a fitting mate: And gossips add.Blind! With his partner by his side! For them it was a hallowed time! Warmly they greet the modest bride With her dark eyes and front sublime! One only grief they feel. and congratulate The parents. tamarisks. meals poor and scant. help.—Shall she Who dwelt in palace halls before. all bless The bride and bridegroom. limbs. 15 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . day followed day. nor sighed. Each to her home. nor pined. She sickened not.— The manual labour. The hours past peacefully along And rippling bright. False was the fear. Prosperity shall on her wait. And Satyavan their son had found In exile lone. beneath the glow Of the late risen moon that lines With silver. But with simplicity and grace Discharged each household duty kind. that their hearts' desire Had thus accorded been by Fate. and eyes. That it could read at every turn. and South-Sea pines. they admire Her beauty. Though in a lowly home she dwelt Her conduct as a wife was such As to illumine all the place. Good signs in features. all the ghost-like trees.—and strong To comfort.—good signs abound. cherish. And palms whose plumes wave in the breeze. Savitri liked her new life much. Good signs on earth and in the skies. Women of pure and saintly lives! And there beneath the betel-nuts Tall trees like pillars. Dwell in their huts beneath the tree? Would not their hard life press her sore. the parents felt.

Thus she thought. be it so! No sympathy. And now she counted e'en the hours. Upon the fourteenth of the moon. And fed the Bramins and the birds. in its wild solitude. Now ministered. A skeleton in Savitri's heart. the fatal date. Exiled and blind. Arcadian love. Well. nor the king. As to Eternity they past. As the days Slipt smoothly past. that is May or June. The year is rounding full at last. And so. Nor did she vow neglect or rite The Veds enjoin or helpful own. To-day. her prayers.—it matters not! God can avert the heavy blow! He answers worship. Looming in shadow. who with fervid zeal Had said her orisons sublime. fatal speech Of Narad Muni. nor yet the queen.—with doleful sound The word seem'd in her ear to ring! O breaking heart. It was that fatal.—to-day. But One knows in His place above. by day and night. As nearer came the time of dread. With tender smiles and honeyed words. In private she more fervent prays. No help from man. each after each. Death or Love! 16 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . In Joystee. Like incense rose unto the throne. To-day.—to-day.—till advancing hours Apprised him that his frugal meal Awaited him. happy time! Savitri. But there is none to share her fears.—thy pain profound Thy husband knows not. somewhat dim. And fuel. For how could she communicate The sad cause of her bidden tears? The doom approached. She vowed her vows and Bramins fed. O'er head the dark cloud darker lowers. Ah.At morn Satyavan to the wood Early repaired and gathered flowers And fruits. All bliss of earth thou art above! And yet there was a spectre grim.—it will be seen Which shall be victor. But which would never thence depart.

"thus With unseen bands Fate draws us on Unto the place appointed us. Blindfold I could with ease return. The noon is safely tided. But the heart fluttered like a wren That sees the shadow of the hawk Sail on. We feel no outward force. My son is active.—and trembles in affright. draws on apace. And day has not yet lost its power. And asks from him permission straight. If thou wert near Thou might'st embarrass him.—for the air is cool Expect me in an hour or so.—anon We go to marriage or to death At a determined time and place." thought Savitri. Alone. "The forest paths are hard to trace In darkness. faint hope is born." "Not hard for me. Weak and defenceless as thou art. my child. to gather fruit I go. with her breath She blows us where she lists in space. Lest a down-rushing swoop should mock Its fortune." "The night. We are her playthings." "He goes then. methinks it would be wrong For thee to venture where he goes." His sire she seeks." The mother's voice was heard to say.—should she rejoice? The gentle evening's shades come on. While he collects his forest gear Let me permission get to go. Conversant with the woods. The afternoon has come and gone And brought no change. "My daughter. night with ebon wing Hovers above. At such a time.—then A gleam of faint. he knows Each path." 17 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . and o'erwhelm it quite. he would not have a fear. And fuel. What is my duty? It is clear. When hark!—She hears her husband's voice! "The twilight is most beautiful! Mother. dear heart. so.—till the morrow stay.—the blind old king.Incessant in her prayers from morn. and strong. the hour is late. who can discern The forest-paths in any hour. My husband I must follow. brave.

But loveliest. And tone all colours softly down. Now on the fruits they flowers amass That with their red flush all the place While twilight lingers. Make thee unfit to undertake This journey to the forest wild. And very pale. 18 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Grates on its soft. then for wood He saws the branches of the trees. to rest. Bless thee and kept thee in thy ways. Required her now the rites were done To follow where her loving spouse Might e'en a chance of danger run. Down the deep glade with perfume rife From buds that to the dews expand. The gods. The noise. when the sun withdrawn The twilight and a crescent moon Change all asperities of shape. With a blue veil of silvered crape! Lo! By that hill which palm-trees crown. and swiftly ran Where with his saw in lieu of sword. And basket. But with thy husband quick return. Before the flickering shades of eve Deepen to night. He talks. lovely are the woods at dawn.So spake the hermit-monarch blind. And begged Savitri hard. child. and planets burn. His wife too. plodded Satyavan. low harmonies. She urged the nature of her vows.—we give thee leave. His wife." But nothing could her purpose shake. And forest-paths become obscure. who guard all women pure. "Thy recent fasts and vigils. Lit only by their doubtful rays. entering in. heard in the solitude. The basket has no further space.—hand in hand. The husband and the faithful wife Pass to dense jungle. my child. And lovely in the sultry noon. exprest The self-same thoughts in words as kind. "Go then. And safely bring thee and thy lord!" On this she left. The minutes pass. but she is almost mute. Satyavan bears beside his saw A forkèd stick to pluck the fruit. Oh. the basket lined with straw.

The branches flap And fireflies glimmer all around. gods?—Savitri.. Sudden the noise is hushed. Persistent rising to appall This thought its horrid presence thrust. the work must stop.—can this be death? What means this." Her voice was clear And very calm was her reply. dear.—a pain As if he felt the cobra's fangs. Still the same.—'tis getting dark. added—"here. and fails my breath." And as she helped him." "Ah! no— Arrows are piercing through my heart. He staggers. to see the clot! Death's final blow. A mist before his vision hangs. this pain.—a pause! Satyavan lets the weapon drop— Too well Savitri knows the cause. His throat and chest seem iron-bound. The trees whirl dizzily around In a fantastic fashion wild. He feels not well. like a sleepy child. He tries to look around. this is death." "It may be but a swoon. Let me lie Here on the turf. "My head. by Narad's words. Oft and again: thus on the spot Marked with his heart-blood oft comes back The murdered man. love.. A pain is in his head. Which would have fain its stress forgot. This pain is frightful.And all the while one dreadful thought Haunted Savitri's anxious mind. Insensible to sight and sound. thy head upon my breast. I see no more. As if her heart had banished fear: "Lean. This." "Ah me. So shall thou better breathe and rest. my head!—Savitri.. magic-bound. whence will it fall? For fall." He gave one start And then lay quiet on her lap. 19 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .—in vain. it must. His head upon her breast. Breathing his last. It came as chainless as the wind. his frame Part on her lap.—the fatal wrack Of every hope. My hands wax cold. Thus lies he. mark. The pair look statues. Hours pass.— Farewell my love! for I must go. part on the ground.

far less "To stretch a hand."— "Then on this errand I must go Myself. and far. To venture close.—Lo. and bear the dead. whom all men fear. There is the mandate with the seal! How comes it ye return to me Without him? Shame upon your zeal!" "O King. A woman fair. his death long since Was destined in his beauty's bloom. whose brow permits In its austerity of grace And purity. She saw a stranger slowly glide Beneath the boughs that shrunk aghast.—no creatures foul As we seemed. Beside him. Each of his mission makes report.—he lies Deep in the dark Medhya wood. Upon his head he wore a crown That shimmered in the doubtful light. ghost or ghoul. This duty unto Fate I owe. lighting all the place. a golden girdle dight. nor is appeal Allowed against foregone decree. And takes the royal orders. And left him in that solitude. We dared not touch him.P ART III. for there sits. His waist. But looked the goddess of the land. As still Savitri sat beside Her husband dying. no tear-drop had she shed. 20 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Or soul of evil." P ART IV. and bear my dreaded brand. Death in his palace holds his court. His vestment scarlet reached low down. With her meek air of mild command. But merit saves not from the doom Common to man. We left her leaning on her hand. Thoughtful. by her loveliness. I know the merits of the prince. Some slow before his throne appear And humbly in the Presence kneel: "Why hath the Prince not been brought here? The hour is past.—dying fast. His messengers move to and fro. We fled from thence in wild surprise.

Its lessons thou shall learn in time! All that thou canst do. "No mortal form is thine.—list. Thy love sublime My deepest sympathy hath won. thy faith. I answer. But his pure life and thine require No less from me. and yet severe. But glowed so bright. thy fasts severe. And then the inner man was tied. pale the stars above them burned.—my name is Death. She gently laid her husband's head. And he shall cross the doleful lake In my own charge. he turned And looked surprised. not in vain Is held to thee this bitter cup. And in obeisance bent her brow. Thy frequent vows. "Go back. Upon the sod beneath a bough. and let me say To few such honours I accord. More weird the scene had grown and wild. "And I am come myself to take Thy husband from this earth away. his face Irradiate. Hoping against all hope. "Beseech thee say what god art thou? And what can be thine errand here?" "Savitri. Her terrors now Savitri scarcely could command. Thy duty lies before thee clear. they filled with fear. The soul no bigger than the thumb. To be borne onwards by his side:— Savitri all the while stood dumb. for thy prayers. A string was in the stranger's hand Noosed at its end." The dreadful sword Like lightning glanced one moment dire. But when the god moved slowly on To gain his own dominions dim. His eyes had much of love and grace. thou hast done For thy dear lord. the Shasters show. "It is not for the living—hear! To follow where the dead must go. "The funeral rites that they ordain And sacrifices must take up Thy first sad moments. What thou shouldst do."—she said.His skin was dark as bronze. Leaving the body there—anon Savitri meekly followed him. my child!" Pale. 21 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .

—whate'er betide. be magic bound In Maya's network frail and fair. "By all things sacred. brother. When eye shall speak no more to eye And Love cry.—his own sad burden bear. by the love I bear my husband. I too must go. bid me not To leave thee. A woman frail. No friends can help. 22 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . ah! pity me. this is my sum. But do not bid me backward tread My way forlorn. is air To such as know that all must die. To thyself be true!" "Where'er my husband dear is led. To spiritual masters. complete. Or journeys of his own free will. too sorely tried! And let me. by the faith That looks from earth to heaven above. I know its shows are mists unfurled To please and vanish. "I know that in this transient world All is delusion. Like gold we must be tried by fire. O gracious god. Or pass the years in perfect bliss. By Penitence that purifies.—Lo. Is not my aim! The gladsome sound Of husband. 'Tis thus my duty I have read! If I am wrong.—for I can dare All things but that. as best I may. and to go my way. By prompt Obedience. let me follow thee. portending ill. for thou hast come as far As living creature may. And all thy kindness. As ever. in the eyes Of gods so precious. And that at last the time must come.—his sins are facts That nothing can annul or square. But let me follow as I ought Thy steps and his. And by thy own great name O Death. I entreat. oh! with me bear. Adieu! Let duty be thy guiding star. full.—nothing true. though darkness spread Across my path. And each shall suffer as he acts And thinks. "I know in such a world as this No one can gain his heart's desire. friend. To renew Its bubble joys.Return.

And he must bear their consequence. Can I my husband save by rites? Ah, no,—that were a vain pretence, Justice eternal strict requites. "He for his deeds shall get his due As I for mine: thus here each soul Is its own friend if it pursue The right, and run straight for the goal; But its own worst and direst foe If it choose evil, and in tracks Forbidden, for its pleasure go. Who knows not this, true wisdom lacks, Virtue should be the turn and end Of every life, all else is vain, Duty should be its dearest friend If higher life, it would attain." "So sweet thy words ring on mine ear, Gentle Savitri, that I fain Would give some sign to make it clear Thou hast not prayed to me in vain. Satyavan's life I may not grant, Nor take before its term thy life, But I am not all adamant, I feel for thee, thou faithful wife! Ask thou aught else, and let it be Some good thing for thyself or thine, And I shall give it, child, to thee, If any power on earth be mine." "Well be it so. My husband's sire, Hath lost his sight and fair domain, Give to his eyes their former fire, And place him on his throne again." "It shall be done. Go back, my child, The hour wears late, the wind feels cold, The path becomes more weird and wild, Thy feet are torn, there's blood, behold! Thou feelest faint from weariness, Oh try to follow me no more; Go home, and with thy presence bless Those who thine absence there deplore." "No weariness, O Death, I feel, And how should I, when by the side Of Satyavan? In woe and weal To be a helpmate swears the bride. This is my place; by solemn oath Wherever thou conductest him I too must go, to keep my troth; And if the eye at times should brim,
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'Tis human weakness, give me strength My work appointed to fulfil, That I may gain the crown at length The gods give those who do their will. "The power of goodness is so great We pray to feel its influence For ever on us. It is late, And the strange landscape awes my sense; But I would fain with thee go on, And hear thy voice so true and kind; The false lights that on objects shone Have vanished, and no longer blind, Thanks to thy simple presence. Now I feel a fresher air around, And see the glory of that brow With flashing rubies fitly crowned. "Men call thee Yama—conqueror, Because it is against their will They follow thee,—and they abhor The Truth which thou wouldst aye instil. If they thy nature knew aright, O god, all other gods above! And that thou conquerest in the fight By patience, kindness, mercy, love, And not by devastating wrath, They would not shrink in childlike fright To see thy shadow on their path, But hail thee as sick souls the light." "Thy words, Savitri, greet mine ear As sweet as founts that murmur low To one who in the deserts drear With parchèd tongue moves faint and slow, Because thy talk is heart-sincere, Without hypocrisy or guile; Demand another boon, my dear, But not of those forbad erewhile, And I shall grant it, ere we part: Lo, the stars pale,—the way is long, Receive thy boon, and homewards start, For ah, poor child, thou art not strong." "Another boon! My sire the king Beside myself hath children none, Oh grant that from his stock may spring A hundred boughs." "It shall be done. He shall be blest with many a son Who his old palace shall rejoice." "Each heart-wish from thy goodness won, If I am still allowed a choice,
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I fain thy voice would ever hear, Reluctant am I still to part, The way seems short when thou art near And Satyavan, my heart's dear heart. "Of all the pleasures given on earth The company of the good is best, For weariness has never birth In such a commerce sweet and blest; The sun runs on its wonted course, The earth its plenteous treasure yields, All for their sake, and by the force Their prayer united ever wields. Oh let me, let me ever dwell Amidst the good, where'er it be, Whether in lowly hermit-cell Or in some spot beyond the sea. "The favours man accords to men Are never fruitless, from them rise A thousand acts beyond our ken That float like incense to the skies; For benefits can ne'er efface, They multiply and widely spread, And honour follows on their trace. Sharp penances, and vigils dread, Austerities, and wasting fasts, Create an empire, and the blest Long as this spiritual empire lasts Become the saviours of the rest." "O thou endowed with every grace And every virtue,—thou whose soul Appears upon thy lovely face, May the great gods who all control Send thee their peace. I too would give One favour more before I go; Ask something for thyself, and live Happy, and dear to all below, Till summoned to the bliss above. Savitri ask, and ask unblamed."— She took the clue, felt Death was Love, For no exceptions now he named, And boldly said,—"Thou knowest, Lord, The inmost hearts and thoughts of all! There is no need to utter word, Upon thy mercy sole, I call. If speech be needful to obtain Thy grace,—oh hear a wife forlorn, Let my Satyavan live again And children unto us be born,
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on and on. He had a robe of scarlet hue. "Adieu. soon reached her goal.—thou art free! Sleep which had bound thee fast." "From thy stock A hundred families shall spring As lasting as the solid rock. thou seest."— "Thou hast been sleeping. he loosed the knot The soul of Satyavan that bound. And ruby crown. far. hath left Thine eyelids. far through space He bore me. when he expired. brave. men would give. And promised further that their lot In pleasant places should be found Thenceforth. As one awaking from a sleep Wholly bewildered and amazed. Is gone. And running swift. P ART V. And which alternate rose and fell. 26 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Satyavan! "O my belovèd.Wise. Love. With an unquiet look he gazed. Where lay the body stark and dumb. Try thyself to be! For late of every sense bereft Thou seemedst in a rigid trance. and that they both should live Four centuries. Then placed his soul upon his heart Whence like a bee it found its cell. No bigger than the human thumb. She placed the head upon the bands That bound her breast which hope new-fired." As thus he spoke. he woke with sudden start! His breath came low at first. through regions black Where hardly seemed a sign of life Carried me bound? Methinks I view The dark face yet—a noble face. As consciousness came slowly back He recognised his loving wife— "Who was it. then deep. to which the name Of fair Savitri. but now. and valiant.— And then he vanished in a flame. but the man With glory on his kingly brow. She lifted it with eager hands And as before. And lo. great god!" She took the soul. Each son of thine shall be a king.

they could not live 27 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . who watchedst beside me. And like some old remembered song The past came back. Was that the tiger's sullen growl? What means this rush of many feet? Can creatures wild so near us prowl? Rise up. "What anguish must my parents feel Who wait for me the livelong hours! Their sore wound let us haste to heal Before it festers. And with the past. lest I fear. too well. and the skies." "O Love. they may die! Oh hasten dear. and there I lay Silent. Not likely is it soon to end. "Arise! Be strong! Gird up thy loins! Think of our parents. as if an asp Gnawed in my brain. The day. At last He nearly was himself again. Regard the night.—a tangled thread. "I had a pain.—now I am strong. my love. arise.—say Was it a dream from elfland blown.— Then vividly rose all the past. She made a fire. wild fierce eyes through bushes scowl. Summon thy courage.—how strange and dread The shadows of the high trees fall. dearest friend! The solemn darkness haste enjoins. let us fly. past our powers: "For broken-hearted. Homeward our path now let us tread. the dark expanse Spread out before us. long will not appear." Supported by her. And then. No more I suffer. and hasten homewards. To-morrow I shall tell thee all. new fear and pain. look round. They told me once.—my doubts to stay. Hark! Jackals still at distance howl. for oh! I could but gasp. looked he long Upon the landscape dim outspread. Or very truth. sweet!" He rose. Till someone came that bore away My spirit into lands unknown: Thou. Savitri knew His wonted force had not come back. but could not find the track. long. Lo. dear. and from the dew Essayed to shelter him.And if thou canst. Ah me! each minute seems so long.

methinks. ever hath I loved Thy truth. this night. she hung it on a bough.—like autumn rain." In one fair hand the saw she took. Help us. for thou art strong. perhaps. I understand! Courage!" She smiled away his fears. Oh. Oh what a love is theirs—how fond! Whom now Despair. "This weakness. Hush! Hark. the tottering feet Of my blind father. She gently wiped his falling tears. The other with a charming grace She twined around him. and thy peace Eternal. a sweet voice rises clear! A voice of earnestness intense. "If I have worshipped Thee in fear And duly paid with reverence The solemn sacrifices. "Infirm herself. to our parents dear. we perish all. and that Beyond In which a son can help by rites." She helped him rise up by her side And led him like a child along. That their anxieties may cease. O faithful wife Let us on wings fly back again.Without me. in their feeble age. benights. Therefore on Thee I dare to call. for sooth Without thy help." She took in hers Satyavan's hand. He. Love. Thus aiding him she felt anew 28 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Upon their safety hangs my life!" He tried his feelings to restrain. "I'll bear thy saw for our defence.—hear! Send consolation. To-morrow we shall fetch it hence. "Not now." And so. and them. Sudden there burst a fearful cry. Their food and water I must give And help them in the last sad stage Of earthly life. and her look She turnèd upwards to his face. "Now we shall go. for they hear And hasten eagerly to meet Our fancied steps. wistfully the basket eyed Laden with fruit and flowers. But like some river swelling high They swept their barriers weak and vain. Then followed tears. my mother dear Now guides.

He calls on thee.—it is my husband's voice! Oh hasten. Where two paths met.—a race Whom poets praised for martial fire. For all may guess The blind old king received his sight. And nightingales sang mystic rhymes Their fears and sorrows to assuage. And that Savitri's royal sire Was blest with many sons. they hurry fast. perhaps his foes Environ him on all sides round. And to the bride the parents say. dear friend. At times Trees on their path cast densest shade. And every peaceful gift and grace. No more hast thou.—it means death's final throes! Why standest thou. to his succour fly. Under the faint beams of the stars How beautiful appeared the flowers. again that cry! It is.[1] in the bowers That Nature there herself had made Without the aid of man. Here let us end. when couples wed. a choice. to this day Her name is named. As leading to the hermitage. As for Savitri. Be thou like her. And now the pathway he discerns.His bosom beat against her own— More firm his step. And ruled again with gentleness The country that was his by right. For Hope's fair light before them burns. more clear his view. And soon before them. in heart and head. "Hark! Lakshman! Hark. Light scarlet. Butea frondosa. flecked with golden bars Of the palâsas. That wail. And 'neath the trees. the north they chose. More self-possessed his words and tone Became. as swift the minutes past. as magic-bound? 29 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . dim it rose.

Acknowledge in their hearts his might. He has a work. 30 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . strange delay! That cry." "Oh calm thyself. Bowed to the dust each serpent head Erect before in hooded pride. and wise. "He call for help! Canst thou believe He like a child would shriek for aid Or pray for respite or reprieve— Not of such metal is he made! Delusive was that piercing cry. prompt in deed. and I must run alone.—that cry. The man to whom all looked at need? Is it my brother. Art thou transformed to blind dumb stone! Wherefore this impious. I know! Swift in decision."Is this a time for thought. For further here I cannot stay. Evil hangs over us. And slink to their remotest coasts. And be thyself. Pythons and cobras at his tread To their most secret coverts glide. if help we fail to bring His death at least we both can share. Brave unto rashness. that I see! "Ah no. Videhan Queen. Sun-staring eagles of the air His glance of anger cannot brook.—it seems to ring Still in my ears. In terror at his very sight. hears not any word.—bold. Whatever foes against him rise! Banish for aye. "Rakshases. great.— Some trick of magic by the foe. the foolish thought. and take thy bow! He heeds not. ghosts. demons. Hast thou his prowess never seen? Wipe off for shame that dastard tear! What being of demonian birth Could ever brave his mighty arm? Is there a creature on the earth That dares to work our hero harm? "The lion and the grisly bear Cower when they see his royal look.—oh gird Thy bright sword on. can this be. Danavs.—he cannot die.—I cannot bear Suspense. No cause is there for any fear. Evil to him! Oh fear it not.

And dangers with my life to ward If they should come across thy way. see it glide A shapeless mass of vapours dun. If fire can burn. But I shall not survive my Love. Art thou a coward? I have seen Thy bearing in the battle-fray Where flew the death-fraught arrows keen. "Art thou in secret league with those Who from his hope the kingdom rent? A spy from his ignoble foes To track him in his banishment? And wouldst thou at his death rejoice? I know thou wouldst. Who on their wrongs and vengeance brood. And wait the hour their will to work. or sure ere now When first thou heardst that well-known voice Thou shouldst have run to aid.Beseech me not from hence to go. 31 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . let him die! His wife henceforth shall be mine own! Can that thought deep imbedded lie Within thy heart's most secret zone! Search well and see! one brother takes His kingdom.—whatever comes may come. "For here beside thee. Send me not hence. What makes thee loth to leave this spot? Is there a motive thou wouldst hide? "He perishes—well.— Of all my thoughts here is the sum! Witness it gods in heaven above. Else had I judged thee so to-day. So of thy courage. The matter is far darker dyed. "Learn this. as a guard 'Twas he commanded me to stay.—or if not. for in this wood Bands scattered of the giants lurk. and abhor my life. or water drown. "But then thy leader stood beside! Dazzles the cloud when shines the sun." "Oh shame! And canst thou make my weal A plea for lingering! Now I know What thou art Lakshman! And I feel Far better were an open foe. Reft of his radiance. I trow.—one would take his wife! A fair partition!—But it makes Me shudder.

They lacerate my inmost heart And torture me. "Have I deserved this at thine hand? Of lifelong loyalty and truth Is this the meed? I understand Thy feelings. across the line. Look! I go.—and have no fear.—but oh. My pathway lies before me clear. treachery. "Remain here. So shalt thou balk the bad design Of every enemy I fear. and guilt. Though it has broken quite my heart. lo. Flames from her eyes shot forth and burned. Whatever thou mayst see or hear. Choose what thou wilt.—God keep thee so! "In going hence I disregard The plainest orders of my chief. Little I care what comes to me Wert thou but safe. do thou Think better of me from this time.I follow him:—choose what thou wilt. "And now farewell! What thou hast said.— Was this the gentle Sîta? No. I know thee now. with a vain pretence Of shielding me from wrong and shame. I trace A magic circle ere I leave.—a soldier. And mine alone.—but thou mightst be Less rash in judgement. ere I depart. for aught. Sîta. Or go and die in his defence And leave behind a noble name. So that I wish that I were dead— 32 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . wild and wrong. A deed for me. I did not know thy mind before. "Hear me. Step not. "Here with an arrow. Or falsehood. The tears therein had ceased to flow. O Queen. No longer can I bear thy words." She said and proudly from him turned. like poisoned swords.—I urge no more.—hard And deeply painful. Truth with its everlasting crown. allow No other course. No evil thing within this space May come to harm thee or to grieve. Mine be the crime. but thy grief And language. and in sooth I blame thee not.

in morning's glow. stood magic bound And half awake. To Khirogram. Through pasture-meadows where the kine. In knee-deep grass. Till we return unto our own. Till by the sudden sunbeams kist 33 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .— Farewell. Beneath the skies His equal is not.—nay. and straight his weapons took His bow and arrows pointed keen. That floated in dun coils profound. indulgent. Whose voices in the breezes swell And blend with noises of cascades. for well I know That grief and fear have made thee wild. Watch over Sîta. red line. O Queen.I would before.—is it not so?" And speaking thus. involved in mist.—he sadly smiled.—and his heel Shall tread all adversaries down. whom alone I leave. and keep her safe from harm. a red. "For though ill omens round us rise And frighten her dear heart. "And oh ye sylvan gods that dwell Among these dim and sombre shades. O Sîta! Blessings crown And Peace for ever rest with thee!" He said. Only a sorrow dark. that seemed To deepen his resolve to dare All dangers. "Shell-bracelets ho! Shell-bracelets ho! Fair maids and matrons come and buy!" Along the road.—was his look. Hoarse the vulture screamed. I feel That he is safe. for cream renowned. As out he strode with dauntless air. Whoever they may chance to be. Kind. The pedlar raised his wonted cry. We part as friends. I and my brother. arm in arm. No trace of anger there was seen. The road ran straight. we part Freely forgive.

While she the bracelet arm upraised Against the sun to view more clear. an urchin slow Bound for the school. Upon the fourth side was the Ghat. With his long stick and naked feet. A ragged herd-boy. Unheeding all.—"Shell-bracelets ho!" Pellucid spread a lake-like tank Beside the road now lonelier still. Who heard the cry? 'Twas but a few." Dazzled the pedlar on her gazed Till came the shadow of a fear. Aside she shook Intruding curls by breezes fanned And blown across her brows and face. oh happy. and thou shalt never rue. "Shell-bracelets ho! Shell-bracelets ho!" The roadside trees still dripped with dew. Let them but clasp that slender wrist. Oh she was lovely. hurrying fast To the next town. High on three sides arose the bank Which fruit-trees shadowed at their will. The field from which he hopes the wheat. These bracelets are a mighty charm. And dark hair falling to her zone. here and there. And lo! the bracelet matches it. And hung their blossoms like a show. And at the entrance-arch there sat. Buy them. "Oh what a nice and lovely fit! No fairer hand. An early traveller. A fair young woman with large eyes. which when she heard She nodded. "Shell-bracelets ho! See. Full face against the morning light. With its broad stairs of marble white. shalt thou be. And asked the price. maiden see! The rich enamel sunbeam-kist! Happy. but her look Had something of a high command That filled with awe. And eager seemed his ware to own. in all the land. and with quiet grace 34 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .Rich rainbow hues broke all around. They keep a lover ever true. these heard and past. She heard the pedlar's cry arise. Just try them on!"—She stretched her hand. And widowhood avert. A ploughman wending to his care. and harm.

but a spouse. a ray Lit them at times. the mien elate. nor delicate. Shell-bracelets bought from thee to-day. The key whereof has lain for weeks Untouched. as by some spell. is thy house? But no. No maiden art thou." "Far otherwise. or cry alas! No money hath he. And full the bust. Be sure. and rich.For payment to her home referred. my father is the priest. prepared To plunge into the water pure. Like hers. And he must pay so much for that.—and oh. Strong was each limb of flexile grace. From all observance quite secure. marked with streaks Of bright vermilion. a building fair But lowly. Happy. When thou hast knocked."—"Yes. "Within the small box. The manse is near. And him at home thou shalt not find. the face Framed in its cloud of floating hair. to the temple's east. which kings who saw 35 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . my lord is poor. If he demur. Charmed with her voice.—then reveal. he will not let thee pass Without the value. now fare thee well!" She spoke. His daughter. there We live. Not weak she seemed. the pedlar went away. And like a rose her beauty bared. and seen him. he'll find some coin. Ask for my father. "And where. its point of fire Will guide thee o'er the tract between. For though her eyes were soft. O maiden.—'tis mine." "That is the temple spire. While she left lonely there. and young. No painter's hand might hope to trace The beauty and the glory there! Well might the pedlar look with awe. and a meal. and fair. the goddess of the chase On Latmos hill. Seest thou that lofty gilded spire Above these tufts of foliage green? That is our place. say. That will enable him to pay The bracelet's price. at Dhamaser Ghat. but kind. by the shrine. at the door Knock loudly. he is deaf. that wrist-ring has a tongue.

Welcome are all to this repast! The rich and poor. Spoke in a language sweet and plain. Hast thou the ready cash to pay? "The bracelets were enamelled. Onwards through groves the pedlar sped Till full in front the sunlit spire Arose before him." "Thy daughter. flowers. and blest the lucky chance That brought his bark to such a shore. Some minx has played a trick. And praise that generous hand of thine: But let my errand first be told. But step thou in. I should like to know." Loud laughed the priest at this reply. "I shall not put up. friend. So much thou owest me in gold. Paths which led To gardens trim in gay attire Lay all around. For bracelets sold to thine this day. let thy heart be gay. And lo! the manse. Then on thy journey strengthened go. good priest! Observance due And greetings! May thy name be blest! I came on business. a tinkling bell. and break thy fast. with eager eye. and share the food Just offered on our altar high. for all the poor Ten miles around thy sacred shrine Know that thou keepest open door. log huts full of grain. No daughter in the world have I. with the large black eyne. An only son is all my stay. 36 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . the high and low! Come. no doubt. "Here smiling Peace and Plenty dwell." "Oh thanks. But cheer up. but I knew. If thou art in a hungry mood." Unconsciously he raised his cry.Would never dare to disobey. Sankha pedlar! Pass not by. Humble but neat with open door! He paused.—so The price is high. Sleek cattle. Huge straw ricks. Here might be had both food and rest Without a charge. wash thy feet. "Ho. Now bathing at the marble ghat. with that. And made his heart at once rejoice."—"How! Sold to mine? Who bought them. "Shell-bracelets ho!" And at his voice Looked out the priest.

Vigils and fasts and secret tears Have almost quenched my outward sight. The birds were silent in the wood. wait!" The priest said thoughtful. At all events.—'or cry He has no money. "How strange! how strange! Oh blest art thou To have beheld her. The lotus flowers exhaled a smell Faint.—in vain. unsought for. The landscape lay in slumber's chain. and thou. 37 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . They reached the Ghat but could not find The lady of the noble face. "Here is the price exact." A dim light on the pedlar now Began to dawn. wait. good father. she knows thy place. I trow. Before whom Vishnu's self must bow. and he let fall His bracelet basket in his haste. friend. nay.—those eyes of flame? Swift ran the pedlar as a hind. And backward ran the way he came. I must aver.'" "Well. They called. A heron as a sentinel Stood by the bank. That's near the shrine. tell him straight The box vermilion-streaked to try. touched her hand. What may its purport be. To thee. 'And if my father should demur To pay thee'—thus she said. my man. comes the grace. And yet that dazzling form and face I have not seen. What meant the vision fair and chaste.Be sure that I shall find her out. over all the solitude. The old priest followed on his trace. and he ran And with the open box came back. and end? "How strange! How strange! Oh happy thou! And couldst thou ask no other boon Than thy poor bracelet's price? That brow Resplendent as the autumn moon Must have bewildered thee. Whose eyes were they. And made thee lose thy senses all. And Brahma and his heavenly band! Here have I worshipped her for years And never seen the vision bright. No answer came from hill or fell. dear friend. such a face Could not deceive. and no lack." "Nay. No surplus over.

" Sudden from out the water sprung A rounded arm. yet a hush profound! They turned with saddened hearts to go. Mother. And still before the temple shrine Descendants of the pedlar pay Shell bracelets of the old design As annual tribute. And as they home returned in thought. Years. Or was it but an idle dream? Give us some sign if it was not. on which they saw As high the lotus buds among It rose. we wait In meek humility and fear. So let it stand among my rhymes. From the Vishnu Purana. Absurd may be the tale I tell. Broad sunshine.—the priest said low. with awe. Ill-suited to the marching times.—but they confess From that eventful day alone Dawned on their industry. a breath. 38 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Each took from thence a lotus flower In memory of the day and spot. as late thou cam'st unsought. A word. Much they own In lands and gold. I loved the lips from which it fell. II. Chap.E'en Echo slept within her cell. the bracelet white. XIII. "O Mother. The worship-hour has rung. have passed away. Then from afar there came a sound Of silver bells. B. or passing gleam. Must we return home desolate? Oh come. They bowed before the mystic Power. And lo! the arm so fair and young Sank in the waters down again. centuries.—success. Then a wide ripple tost and swung The blossoms on that liquid plain. deign to hear.

And I am all attention. Or any creature sentient. But with the tenderest pity brought it home. Up rose the hermit-monarch at the sight Full of keen anguish. Startled. Sudden. the lion's roar. like a thunder-clap Burst in that solitude from a thicket nigh. in her fright and pain. came fearlessly to drink. as he saw its luckless mother dead. And daily nourished it with patient care. Big with its young. never in his life Harmed he.MAITREYA. but life was in it still. while living thus. Chief of the virtuous. and fame. that great hermit-king: Beloved Master. There. Now. and holy grass. And changed his sceptre for a hermit's staff. the hind leapt up. With a mind fixed intently on his gods Long reigned in Saligram of ancient fame. hear. and its myriad cares. and he passed In stern devotions all his other hours. Until it grew in stature and in strength. 'Twas panting fast. endeavoured to attain Perfect dominion on his soul. wide world. Feared by all creatures. While its poor mother. he gave it food. Of old thou gav'st a promise to relate The deeds of Bharat. The mighty monarch of the wide. now the occasion suits. Whelmed by the hissing waves and carried far By the strong current swoln by recent rain. PARASARA. He would not leave it in the woods alone. Fuel. But he left His kingdom in the forest-shades to dwell. while yet she drank. and flowers. At morn. Fell down upon the bank. Brahman. privations rude. Thither impelled by thirst a graceful hind. Once on a time. At early morn 39 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Of the world heedless. And with ascetic rites. or strove to harm. he sat him down Upon the shelving bank to muse and pray. The tiny thing still struggled for its life. and breathed her last. he went To bathe where through the wood the river flows: And his ablutions done. He gathered for oblations. And constant prayers. and fruit. And heedless too of wealth. in his leafy hut. and love. And to the forest skirts could venture forth In search of sustenance. with his pilgrim staff He drew the new-born creature from the wave. and from her womb Her offspring tumbled in the rushing stream. his fellow-man.

Or at the 'customed hour could not return. Though a kingdom he had left. watched and watched His favourite through a blinding film of tears." Thus passed the monarch-hermit's time. And rub its budding antlers on my arms In token of its love and deep delight To see my face? The shaven stalks of grass. and trouble. weak. His thoughts went with it. last thought. with tearful eyes Watching his last sad moments. With smiles upon his lips. And children.. Prowling about. "And alas!" he cried. Or ravenous tiger with relentless jaws Already hath devoured it. To it devoted was his last. Bound by affection's ties. who spareth none.. And friends and dearest ties. Reckless of present and of future both! 40 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . perhaps some lion or some wolf. approached at last The hermit-king to summon him away. And he who had abandoned ease and wealth. Almost without a tear.Thenceforth it used to leave the hermitage And with the shades of evening come again. how the earth is dinted with its hoofs. helpless foster-child. When will it come back. And so. And variegated. in bitter grief And fear. when it wandered far. And in the little courtyard of the hut Lie down in peace. Remind me of it. And could not think of the Beyond at hand.—timid thing! Lo. His nursling. To greet this dumb. "Who knows. He too. in joy. as they stand in lines Like pious boys who chant the Samga Veds Shorn by their vows of all their wealth of hair. So keen he felt the parting. the fount of love Sprang out anew within his blighted heart. The hind was at his side. But whether near or far. compelled it to return Earlier at noon. unless the tigers fierce. Wandering abroad. The monarch-hermit's heart was with it still. or resting in its home. and a host of loving friends. Years glided on. and kingly power. Found his devotions broken by the love He had bestowed upon a little hind Thrown in his way by chance. by its new teeth clipped. whenever near His little favourite. such deep grief O'erwhelmed him for the creature he had reared. Surely for my joy It was created. like a child Beside a father. nor could he think Of anything besides this little hind. And Death.. whene'er it lingered in the wilds. Kusha and kasha.

That for the hermit-king it was a sin To love his nursling. Pryavrata and Uttanapado. This love engendered in his withered heart. Sprung from great Brahma. Suruchee. Vishnu Purana. live Under the holiest dispensation. But in the heat and bustle of the world. That he had sinned in casting off all love By his retirement to the forest-shades. This little hind brought strangely on his path. And therefore little can we sympathize With what the Brahman sage would fain imply As the concluding moral of his tale. And. 'Mid sorrow. all-including love. sickness. or monks may hold. writ of old By Brahman sage. not apart from all. Manu had two sons. But with a love.—might these not Have been ordained to teach him? Call him back To ways marked out for him by Love divine? And with a mind less self-willed to adore? Not in seclusion. suffering and sin. his adored. For that was to abandon duties high. and not to be adored By a devotion born of stoic pride. What! a sin to love! A sin to pity! Rather should we deem Whatever Brahmans wise. in character akin To His unselfish. Not in a place elected for its peace.—names Known in legends.Thus far the pious chronicle. Chapter XI. Or with ascetic rites. Must he still labour with a loving soul Who strives to enter through the narrow gate. This hindrance to his rituals. leave the post Where God had placed him as a sentinel. but we. Heroic and devout. who happier. as I have said. know That God is Love. Book I. and of these the last Married two wives. or penance hard. like a recreant soldier. The mother of a handsome petted boy 41 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .

I am queen. To be the equal of mine only son Were in thee vain ambition. the king Saw fair Suruchee sweep into the hall With stately step. at the words that fell From his step-mother's lips.Uttama. What though thou art Born of the king. poor Dhruva ran To his own mother's chambers." Repulsed in silence from his father's lap. But from Suneetee's bowels? Learn thy place. till she took And raised him to her lap. And dared not smile upon her co-wife's son. 42 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Dhruva. less beloved.—intent To mount ambitious to his father's knee. languid-eyed from care. Observing him. with a swelling heart Repeated to his mother every word That proud Suruchee spake.—not. and Suneetee. to lowly fortune thou wert born. Heard sighing deeply. on his knee one day Had placed Uttama. trembling lips. longed To clamber up and by his playmate sit. Even in the very presence of the king. The mother of another son whose name Was Dhruva. Dhruva. who beheld His brother in that place of honour." Thus conjured. those sleek and tender limbs Hold of my blood no portion. from first to last. thin. and then soft replied: "Oh son. thou art sprung. but found. For in these veins thou hast the royal blood.—aye. every inch a queen. formed such a vain design? Why harboured such an aspiration proud. and gently said: "Oh. a royal father's lap! It is an honour to the destined given. child. His speech oft broken by his tears and sobs. The throne of thrones. what means this? What can be the cause Of this great anger? Who hath given thee pain? He that hath vexed thee. thus fair Suruchee spake: "Why hast thou. where he stood Beside her with his pale. not from mine. Seated on his throne the king Uttanapado. alas! Scant welcome and encouragement. (Trembling with an emotion ill-suppressed) And hair in wild disorder. Fair prattler. child. And not within thy reach. hath despised thy sire. Helpless Suneetee. Indignant. Led on by Love he came.—her rival's boy. furious. Know'st thou not. Where sat her own. Born from another's womb and not from mine? Oh thoughtless! To desire the loftiest place.

the loftiest place to win. Be meek. but in whatever sphere. Suruchee by the monarch is beloved. and the royal elephant Rich caparisoned. for on modest worth Descends prosperity. For glorious actions done Not in this life. repulsing Love That timidly approached to worship. It is not meet that thou shouldst ever grieve As I have said. Oh think on this. and friendly. And oh. be humble. Women. and seeks Nothing beyond. I shall try The highest good. but in some previous birth. Or who the good works not done. And be content. works in faith. 43 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . thence A goodly harvest must to thee arise. The best steed. nor echo in this heart Broken by words severe. Yet. The ivory throne. who may alas! annul. But pine and suffer for our ancient sins. No enemy to Heaven's favoured ones may say Such words as thy step-mother said to thee. it is not meet that thou shouldst grieve Or vex thy soul. the umbrella of gold. and hurt thee to the quick. and her son. who bear Only the name of wife without the powers. unfortunate like myself. Suruchee raised her virtues pile on pile.And what my co-wife said to thee is truth. the fortunate! Suneetee heaped but evil. The evil. my son. child. Yet to thine eyes thy duty should be plain.—hence her son Dhruva the luckless! But for all this. Hence Uttama her son." She finished. in some former life. must be his by right Who has deserved them by his virtuous acts In times long past. supplement! The sins of previous lives must bear their fruit. haply. The deeds that thou hast done. though proud Suruchee spake Harsh words indeed. long ago. Lowly or great. thy words of consolation find Nor resting-place. full of love. My son. God placed him. even as water flows Down to low grounds. my son. Long. Which the whole world deems priceless and desires. That man is truly wise Who is content with what he has. devout. son. thus replied:— "Mother. Collect a large sum of the virtues. Who patiently had listened. Intent to do good to the human race And to all creatures sentient made of God. Hear My resolve unchangeable.

and from his mother's chambers past. or penance. And never to his father's house returned.—oh far.There is a crown above my father's crown. I yet shall show thee what is in my power. A complex science. Not with another's gifts Desire I. "Ho! Master of the wondrous art! Instruct me in fair archery. whom the king Favours and loves. I shall obtain it. and there he shines a star! Nightly men see him in the firmament. which we meet 44 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . great and wise. O mother. And went into the wood where hermits live. dearest mother. And buy for aye. at Dronacharjya's feet.—all My father pleases to confer on him. Thou shalt behold my glory and rejoice.— Receive the throne and royal titles. Up Time's fair stream far back. Let Uttama my brother. Magic and archery they learned.—a place That would not know him even. Who sat with princes round his knee.—aye." Thus spoke a lad with kindling eyes. Not born of proud Suruchee.— To Dronacharjya. The great wise teacher must be sought! The Kurus had not yet in war With the Pandava brethren fought." He said. But with my own work would acquire a name. but grown up from a germ In thee. or unceasing prayer. to be rich. Well kept the boy his promise made that day! By prayer and penance Dhruva gained at last The highest heavens. I grudge them not. And I shall strive unceasing for a place Such as my father hath not won. far above the highest of this earth. A hunter's low-born son was he.—not thy son. a place Far. In peace. and at any cost Of toil.—a grateful heart That will not grudge to give thy fee. humble as thou art.

—a pillar tall. Oh what a scene! How sweet and calm! It soothed at once his wounded pride." the teacher said. with ages past inurned. They blew the horn. Till he attained the forest's verge." So thinking. Not out of us.No more.—what is rank or caste? In us is honour. What glorious trees! The sombre saul On which the eye delights to rest. For life is as a shadow vain. "The question is. "A hunter's son. single tear Dropped from his eyelash as he past. Until the utmost goal we reach To which the soul points. No matter. "And who art thou." "And I shall do my best to gain The science that man will not teach. Birds had already raised its dirge. "My science brave to learn so fain? Which many kings who wear the thread Have asked to learn of me in vain. As down upon the ground he fell.—a single. "My place I gather is not here. And lo. But cheek and brow grew red with shame.—and waved a proud farewell." "My name is Buttoo. but made a jest and game." Unseen the magic arrow came." said the youth. or disgrace. I shall try To realize my waking dream.—not wealth or place. Not hurt." The teacher answered.— He rose. The garish day was well-nigh spent.—like lightning flame Sudden and sharp. With feathery branches for a crest. my dear. And what if I should chance to die? None miss one bubble from a stream. "Then know him from this time. on and on he went. 45 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . The light-leaved tamarind spreading wide. And on his spirit shed a balm That all its yearnings purified." 'twas thus he mused. smiling smooth. I know not Fear. or gifts abused. The betel-nut. But gifts well used. Amidst the laughter and the scorn Of royal youths.

bok. and day declines.— And here again the trees arose Thick clustering. or golden crown. of timid deer Were feeding in the solitude. They knew not man. and still herds.The pale faint-scented bitter neem. Onwards and on. thousands more. The nagessur with pendant flowers Like ear-rings. The sirish famed in Sanscrit song Which rural maidens love to wear. With flowers that have the ruby's gleam. The mangoe-tope. A waving Pampas green and fair All glistening with the evening dew. The champac.—rock or barren sand.—there New sights of wonder met his view. embowers. The sunset's beauty to disclose.— Stirred in the breeze the crowding boughs. The peepul giant-like and strong. gorgeous as a bride. Herds. and felt no fear. Home of the rooks and clamorous crows.— Here intervened a deep morass. And seemed to welcome him with signs. Then in a grassy open space He sits and leans against a tree. and thousands. a close dark ring. All these.—a glorious band Their tops still bright with sunset glows. The bramble with its matted hair.— Here arid spots of verdure shorn Lay open. He passed into the forest. How vivid was the breast-high grass! Here waved in patches. With helmet red. With here and there a little rent. 46 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . The Indian fig's pavilion tent In which whole armies might repose.—till Buttoo's brows Are gemmed with pearls. rose before The youth in evening's shadows brown.—and the forest vine That clinging over all. Or green tiara. and South-sea pine. The bamboo boughs that sway and swing 'Neath bulbuls as the south wind blows. The seemul. forest corn. To let the wind blow on his face And look around him leisurely.

calm life. I shall learn From beast. guava.And heeded not his neighbourhood. If he great Dronacharjya knew. And when that needful work was done He gathered in his store. plum.— All creatures and inanimate things Shall be my tutors. and licked his feet. "A calm. They shrink not from the hunter-boy. That any one who chanced to view That image tall might soothly swear. "They touch me. On figure." he exclaimed with joy. Should not my home be with them then? Here in this forest let me dwell. in pride of place and power. face and eyes. No jeers to bear or disregard. of reeds and leaves. A pupil reverent from that hour Of one who late had disallowed The claim. As if they wished his cares to soothe. and fish. and all the fruit. A statue next of earth he made. the sheaves Of forest corn. And every pleasant nut and root By Providence for man designed. So deft he laid." With this resolve. With these companions innocent. The teacher in his flesh was there. With wild-flower garlands interlaced. Then at the statue's feet he placed A bow. Some young ones with large eyes and sweet Came close. "They have no pride of caste like men. he could find. and arrows tipped with steel.—and it shall be Its own exceeding great reward! No thoughts to vex in all I see. And rock. An image of the teacher wise. the light and shade. and bird with wings. 47 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . and rubbed their foreheads smooth Against his arms. forehead. and his head he bowed. and tree. and stream. Date. And hailed the figure in his zeal As Master. he soon began To build a hut. And learn each science and each spell All by myself in banishment. and fern.

A conscience clear. Equal to gods themselves.—but roamed about. placable. But by the hush the young man knew 48 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .—for his worth His name. persistent dog At distance. on his work intent.—nay. Resentment had not any part. like some spirit wailed.—and failed again. with many a shout He strove to frighten it away. A sample of his science sage. When lo! the bow proved false and sent The arrow from its mark awry. His nerves unstrung. Unaided he has won the fight. Why was it? Hark!—A wild dog's bark! An evil omen:—it was plain Some evil on his path hung dark! Thus many times he tried and failed.—a ready hand. Unerring to its goal it flew. Yet lacks he not.By strainèd sense. shall be with love Reckoned with great names of the earth. as wolves howl for their prey. with e'en offence That well might wound a noble mind. One evening. who declined To teach him. he feels. No death ensued. Safe in the cover of a fog. And Malice never was enshrined. by tests assured. One magic shaft at last he sent. And still that lean. How could he fail who had all three! And now. Drove him away. Again he tried. Nothing to any man he owes. By steadfastness of heart and will. Howling. and ever kind. he knows His own God-gifted wondrous might. Alone he practised Archery. It would not go. by constant prayer. no blood was dropped. Success must everywhere command.—for in his heart Meek. Joined to a meek humility. Worried and almost in a rage.—above Wishmo and Drona. in reverence To Dronacharjya. All obstacles he conquered still. To quiet but the noises meant. By courage to confront and dare.

though tongue and lip were bound.—to all unknown. some other thou hast taught A magic spell. Come. Henceforth be ties between us new. is at stake. so was driven with shame. Who has in secret from thee bought The knowledge. let us see the dog. Let all the past.—near Buttoo's place."—and straight They followed up the creature's trace. yet unhurt. promise me Thy crown in time should deck my brow And I be first in archery? Lo! here. "Wonder of wonders! Didst not thou O Dronacharjya. Parted from others in the chase. confess. be dead and past. Dumb. Judge not. And here I learn all by myself." "If I am Master. Arjuna. Arjuna brave the wild dog found. judge not yet. in the selfsame state. It happened on this very day That the Pandava princes came With all the Kuru princes gay To beat the woods and hunt the game. all my inspiration here.—and a youth In the dim forest. give me my due. A hut.—but not a trace Of hurt. "Now who art thou that dar'st to raise Mine image in the wilderness? Is it for worship and for praise? What is thine object? speak. They found it. O Master mine.—a statue. now thou hast Finished thy course.— Stuck still the shaft. in this arrow shown!" Indignant thus Arjuna spake To his great Master when they met— "My word.At last that howling noise had stopped. But still as Master thee revere. Name or pelf I had not. for in sooth The thing seemed full of mysteries." "Oh Master." "All that I have. unto thee I came To learn thy science.—what mean these? They gazed in wonder. And all my knowledge is from thee. For who so great in archery! Lo. my honour. 49 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .

"For this. no help or stay. Arjuna. his laughter gay. free from blame. Thou canst not set too hard a task. they hourly felt Their slender hold on life." "Is it a promise?" "Yea. Blind." "Beware! Rash promise ever ends in strife. Gladly shall I to thee resign.—Arjuna hear!" Arjuna and the youth were dumb." "Thou art my Master. Except an only boy. loud I ask and clear. He left the matter with his God. Give me. and Modesty. Truth. A bright-eyed child. I swear So long as I have breath and life To give thee all thou wilt.—and I press For this sad recompense—for thee.—"Fame Shall sound thy praise from sea to sea. O youth. weak. thy right-hand thumb. There was no tear in Buttoo's eye. duteous. No friends had they. kind. Let me but know thy gracious will. Deep in the forest shades there dwelt A Muni and his wife." P ART I. "For thy sake. 50 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Their leaf-hut filled with joy.All I shall conquer by my skill. gray-haired. Attentive. Nor aught refuse I."—said Dronacharjya. I promised in my faithfulness No equal ever shall there be To thee." Glanced the sharp knife one moment high. And men shall ever link thy name With Self-help. loving. The severed thumb was on the sod." "If it be so.—ask! oh ask! From thee my inspiration came.

A belt of Bela trees hemmed round The cottage small and rude. If peace on earth was ever found 'Twas in that solitude. And he. And swords that mirrored back the day. Content to live obscure. and wild boars spent Became an easy prey. P ART II.Thoughtful. He waited on his parents blind. answers mild He meekly ever gave. Whom all men love and fear. He brought them water pure. He loved to be their slave. With elephants and horses proud Went forth to hunt the deer. Not that to him they were austere. he only smiled. and calm. And spears and axes keen. Oh gallant was the long array! Pennons and plumes were seen. on they went! The wild beasts fled away! Deer ran in herds. They called him Sindhu. But age is peevish still. To fretful questions. Dear to their hearts he was. He cooked their simple mess of roots. nay thousands. Rang trump. and piercing fife. Great Dasarath. If they reproved. That none his place might fill. Hundreds. He roamed the woods for luscious fruits. Woke Echo from her bed! The solemn woods with sounds were rife As on the pageant sped. sedate.—so dear. and conch. and his name Was ever on their tongue. Whirring the peacocks from the brake 51 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Who dwelt his own among. nor cared for wealth nor fame. Whose days were like a psalm. the King of Oude.

Osiers and willows on the edge And purple buds and red. The weasel only caught to tame From fissures in the hill. Lowering their horns in crescents grim Whene'er they turned about. Like fiery darts. And in this mimic game of war In bands dispersed and past The royal train. some far. like moving towers. Where was the king? He left his friends At midday. the river formed a lake.—and 'mid the pale green sedge 52 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . No noise the silence there to break.With Argus wings arose. that lengthening swell.—some near. Upon whose bank he stood. As day closed in at last. Curving. From tree to tree the monkeys sprung. But sudden turned to bay! When he beheld the serried rank That barred his tangled way. Unharmed and unpursued. As breezes wake and play. As louder still the trumpets rung And startled all the wood. Wild swans abandoned pool and lake For climes beyond the snows. Wild elephants. Retreated into coverts dim The bisons' fiercer rout. Leant down. in fear and wrath. it was known. The porcupines and such small game Unnoted fled at will. Upon the glassy surface fell The last beams of the day. Slunk light the tiger from the bank. And now that evening fast descends Where was he? All alone. Uprooting fig-trees on their path. And trampling shrubs and flowers. Burst through. Or mar the solitude.

A feeble human wail. He lingered.—I die. And softly. Not hunted. when—oh hark! oh hark What sound salutes his ear! A roebuck drinking in the dark. alas! His parents' stay and pride. On came the twilight pale.— The lake spread bright below. Poor Sindhu was the child. And calm again prevails. a cry. "Oh God!" it said—"I die. Deeper and deeper grew the shades. hour by hour Light faded. 53 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . What is that momentary flash? A gleam of silver scales Reveals the Mahseer. As darkness settled like a pall The eye would pierce in vain. Whizzing the deadly arrow flew. The fireflies gemmed the bushes all. Who'll carry home the pail?" Startled. nor in fear.The lotus raised its head. Ear-guided. and flower. and wave. and a veil Fell over tree. His bow and quiver down to fling. Like fiery drops of rain. Straight to the stretch his bow he drew. That bow ne'er missed its aim.—and knowing not Which way.—then a splash. Pleased with the scene. softly. alas! to go. the monarch forward ran. A child lay dying on the grass. on the game! Ah me! What means this?—Hark. The nightingale along the glades Raised her preluding cry. And then there met his view A sight to freeze in any man The warm blood coursing true. Stars glimmered in the sky. A pitcher by his side. The monarch lingered on the spot.

no! I die. And Sindhu. should I give Thee. Then mingled with his pity. no!—I bear no grudge. O fear not thou. And ranged the blinding hair. And cleansed from every stain!" Struck with these words. Not such my nature. The blood welled fearful from the gap On neck and bosom fair. He chafed the hands. O mighty king? For sure a king thou art! Why should thy bosom anguish wring? No crime was in thine heart! "Unwittingly the deed was done. fear— In all this universe What is so dreadful as to hear A Bramin's dying curse! So thought the king. Thank God. He dashed cold water on the face. Not dead. "Because I suffer. as weeps bereaved 54 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . but pity one Whose fate is thus to die. Lo! here before the unseen Judge.And lift the wounded boy. The monarch wept. It is my destiny. "What dost thou fear. with sighs. king. a needless pain? Ah. The anguish plainly read. the like to do.—that was a joy! He placed the child's head on his lap. but mayst thou live. Burns those that touch it too. "The iron. Till sense revived. and he could trace Expression in the eyes. fully conscious now. and on his brow The beads of anguish spread.—for it spurns. red-hot as it burns. Thee I absolve from guilt. Not thou my blood hast spilt. "No curses. A moment's work was with the king. and doubly grieved At what his hands had done.

"Upon the eleventh day of the moon They keep a rigorous fast.A man his only son. And have no other stay. must they call in vain? Bear thou the pitcher. in idle mood. Near. "Never were they two separate. who are blind. "But rather let me say My own sad story.—then sudden died! 55 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . elate In wicked sport and rude. I took a sling and ball. soon For water and repast "They shall upon me feebly call! Ah. The forfeit thou must pay. Blood calls for red blood still. this. A widowed life I cannot brook.— "And killed one bird." resumed the child. "And so I die—a bloody death— But not for this I mourn.—it was the male.— This. There lived a pair of doves. Oh cruel deed and base! The female gave a plaintive wail And looked me in the face! "The wail and sad reproachful look In plain words seemed to say. "What was my darling's crime that thou Him wantonly shouldst kill? The curse of blood is on thee now. And happy in their loves. 'mid a peepul's quivering leaves. "But for my parents. All yesterday they fasted. weep not so. And why I die to day! "Picking a living in our sheaves. "Nay. friend—'tis all I ask—down that steep lane." He pointed. sin-defiled. To feel the world pass with my breath I gladly could have borne. weighs sore upon my mind And fills me with dismay. And lo.—ceased.

His partner gently says. He suffers cruel wrong? "Some distance he has gone. Down the steep lane—unto the hut Girt round with Bela trees.— Ah. "For fruits and water when he goes He never stays so long.The king took up the corpse.—like Some cloud that hides a hurricane. O lightning. P ART III. "Oh why does not our child return? Too long he surely stays.—it matters not If Sindhu be but safe. What if he leave us. helpless. and this spot. Or how avert the wrath? "Lord of my soul—what means my pain? This horrid terror. blind and stern. Gleamed far a light-the door not shut Was open to the breeze. beset by foes. But something ominous. "Peevish and fretful oft we are.—strike!" Thus while she spake. no—that cannot be: Of our blind eyes he is the star. Says. "I die of thirst. I fear. the king drew near 56 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Poor birds in cages chafe.— Yet why should he? The fruits are near. And with the pitcher slowly hied. Hang not. he is gone from us. Oh can it be."— Thus to the Muni. whither shall we turn. "Why do my bowels for him yearn. a dreadful ache. Attended by Remorse. what were we? "Too much he loves us to forsake. Here in my heart. What ill has crossed his path? Blind. The river near our bound. A more circuitous round. Without him.

speak on. here he is—oh wherefore grieves Thy soul. my partner dear?" The words distinct."—"Speak on. His nature to its depths was stirred. And kissed his forehead pale.—the sudden pause Attention quickly drew.With haggard look and wild. He stopped in speechless woe. and pale with fear. the monarch heard." The dead child in their arms he placed. At the first rustle of the leaves The Muni answered clear. darling—why so long Hast thou delayed to-night? We die of thirst. Rustled the dry leaves neath his foot. A neighbouring owl began to hoot. The parents their dead child embraced. "Our hearts are broken. and what to seek? Have pity on these tears. Weighed down with grief. All else was still around.—only speak. On earth no more we dwell. And briefly told his tale. 57 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . "Lo. "Speak to us. and farewell Life. Come. He could no further go. But. No steps advanced. Rolled sightless orbs to learn the cause. Now welcome Death. Bearing the lifeless child. Then came a cruel throb That tore his heart." With head bent low the monarch heard. hark!—the steps renew. Only a stifled sob! "It is not Sindhu—who art thou? And where is Sindhu gone? There's blood upon thy hands—avow!" "There is. This fasting kills outright. dear wife.—still not a word. Where hast thou been. "Where art thou. dear one.—we are not strong. And calm our idle fears. And made an eerie sound.

the king. Nor in audacious courage. drum and tromp. Since first his black flag he unfurled. God forbid But to my inner eye The future is no longer hid. sacrifices. wide world. In strength of limb he had not met. There honoured he with royal pomp Their funeral obsequies. His equal in the wide. And let us both depart. Libations. Where the Sarayu's waves dash free Against a rocky bank. No bear more sullen in its den. "Die—for a son's untimely loss! Die—with a broken heart! Now help us to our bed of moss.And thou. What is the sequel of the tale? How died the king?—Oh man. Death gently came and placed a crown Upon each reverend head. And watched beside the bed. The monarch had the corpses three Conveyed by men of rank. Thou too shalt like us die. And solemn sacrifice. rites. read the Ramayan. He made all penal. A prophet's words can never fail— Go.— Incense and sandal." Upon the moss he laid them down. A terror both of gods and men Was Heerun Kasyapu. O king. farewell! "We do not curse thee. yet. No tiger quicker at the spring. and the heads 58 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . The holy Veds he tore in shreds.

No sons were e'er more dutiful. their wonted gods. And worship me. No brothers e'er loved more each other. But made by nature stern and grim. His love was covered by a cloud From which it rarely e'er emerged. and gifts misused. Who made his castle gray and hoar. Time changes purple into rags.Of Bramins slain. If ye obey. Once full of gloom. Onoorahd. and pools with reeds To towns and cities large and fair. Cities to pools. Rahd. The Bramins and the pundits wise. with sunshine glad. Why raise ye altars?—cease your pains! I shall protect you. "No god has ever me withstood. Kasyapu proud. Bow down to me—'tis my command. or runs. Who should their teacher be? A man 59 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . To live thenceforth in forests wild. And rags to purple. Time brought the tyrant children four. Nor less beloved were they of him Who gave them birth. give you food. Prehlad. Undreamt of changes on his wing. Whether it flies. Time changes deserts bare to meads. they prayed and mused. No boys were e'er more beautiful. Or caves in hills that touch the skies. he flung to kites. Lest these should earth destroy in ire. and me alone. Chime by chime. or drags— The wise wait patiently on Time. They read the Veds. Their gods. and now Time urged The education of their powers. To gladden these sweet human flowers. they praised.—or else the chains. And made oblations due by fire. Full well they knew that Time would bring For favours scorned. In secret there. Sunghrad. They grew apace. I sit upon the ivory throne. And fertile meads to deserts bare. they altars raised. Nor ever kissed a fonder mother. "I hold the sceptre in my hand." Fled at such edicts. self-exiled.

Science. and modes of speech. Things unseen. Do not seek To lay upon me what I feel Would be unrighteous. what mean'st thou?" In his fright The teacher thus in private said— "Talk on such subjects is not right. the boy. and do not bring Destruction by a speech too free. If he should hear thee talking so. As if his inmost heart were stirred.—such his name. none better knew. and war. Answered his tutor. Thou shalt for ever be exiled. Report Gave him a wisdom owned by few. But Prehlad was the one for thought. He soared above the lesson's range. praise. As sign of a submission meek. child. Let me hear Those inner voices that reveal Long vistas in another sphere. if death he feared. And he of truth from heaven had gleams." Smiling. And I shall die. And of the gods who all control. And veer his bark. "Be wary for thy own sake. But he was told. What are they?—Themes of poets' lays! They are not and have never been.— Took home the four fair boys to teach All knowledge that their years became. "O Prince. and rites revered. honour. and prayers. Never to tell them of the soul. Worthy of worship. Before a changing adverse gale. full well I know. And certainly to trim his sail. And Sonda Marco. The ruler of the world is he! Look up to him. with folded hands. One day the tutor unseen heard The boy discuss forbidden themes. Wouldst thou bring ruin on my head? There are no gods except the king.Among the flatterers in the court Was found. well-suited to the plan The tyrant had devised. Of vows. "Thy commands Are ever precious. Is thy great father. The sciences the boys were taught They mastered with a quickness strange. 60 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM .

— Divest of pride. "What progress have thy charges made? Let them be called. I know thou hast the strongest wing! "What is the cream of knowledge. I lack. thank God. or in fear of death. with attention hear. child.—the true is true."The gods that rule the earth and sea. Is death annihilation? No. he in abject fear. Shall I abjure them and adore A man? It may not. Such suppleness." And Sonda Marco brought as bade His pupils to the royal knee. Prehlad." All's over now. But I shall follow what my heart Tells me is right. who right all wrong. Logic. all are futile. "The coward calls black white. O Sire! To speak I yearn. When persecuted hence I go. The fourth remained: then spake the king.—so I feel. that I may see. may not be. and War. "Now. so I implore My purpose fixed no longer thwart. New worlds will open on my view. For me. O father. make men below 61 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . That is true knowledge which can show The glory of the living gods. none of these. that strives to heal But only aggravates disease. and Politics.— "And Medicine. Which men take such great pains to learn?" With folded hands he answered mild: "Listen. They parted. And soon he heard a choral song Sung by young voices in the praise Of gods unseen. the teacher thought. All sciences are nothing worth. Geography that maps the earth. white black. At bidding.— Astronomy that tracks the star. Now let this reach the monarch's ear! And instant death shall be my lot. The right is right. Three passed the monarch's test severe. And rule the worlds from primal days. Though I should lie in pools of gore My conscience I would hurt no more. To die is but to lose my breath. All.

and his cheeks aglow His rock-firm purpose to attest. And worship me. Sire. his head bent low. And Prehlad. They are the parents of us all. and woe! "The gods who made us are the life Of living creatures. To thee. both I give as due all reverence. give offence. saintlike. "That is true knowledge which can make Us mortals. but space is rife With their bright presence and their state.—yea. 62 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . from sea to sea. wide earth. thou slave. or thou shalt die! We'll see what gods descend to save— What gods with me their strength will try!" Thus spake the monarch in his ire. The sciences whate'er their range Feed but the flesh. One hand outstretched. "Let not my words.—bow down. And to obey thee am not loth. His end is death—the infidel! I warn thee yet. boy? Where live these gods believed so great? Can they like me thy life destroy? Have they such troops and royal state? Above all gods is he who rules The wide. The strange thirst of the spirit slake And strengthen suffering to endure. That is true knowledge which can change Our very natures. fear. in menace rude. and make a show. gods.— Or there will come a fearful crash In lamentation. small and great. all but fools Bow down in fear and worship me! "And dares an atom from my loins Against my kingly power rebel? Though heaven itself to aid him joins.Humble and happy.—then these last must go. His palms joined meekly on his breast As ever. devils. though but clods. Men. in unruffled mood Straight answered him. We see them not. But higher duties sometimes clash With lower. pure. with its glow. holy. And eyes like blazing coals of fire." "Where hast thou learnt this nonsense. and to my mother.

Hushed was the hall. He shall be led in all his ways. be done their will." "Thanks. No breath. if not. may please to spare My tender years. still I never shall my faith forswear. is certain death.—why.—"I have revolved The question in my mind with care." he said beneath his breath. no whisper. What though he all the world displease. Some sycophant with baneful zeal 63 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . He went. Erect and stately as a palm. And bid the executioner wait Our orders. Heaven. "Recant. the Captain spoke. Ho! Captain of our lifeguards. To do the right. as reckless of his fate. Through ranks of courtiers. The gods. babbler! 'tis enough! I know Thy proud. In certain peace shall he abide. all aghast Like beaten hounds that dare not whine. In forests dim. His footsteps shall not ever slide. I can but say. The king's look frightened every one. Do what you will. "The lion's anger to provoke Is death.—I am resolved. redeem. O prince. Soon to the king there came report The sword would not destroy his son. rebellious nature well. they hold in thrall." Whether in pity for the youth. His gods shall all his wants provide!" "Cease. Outside the door. not a sign. as down he past. "There is a spell against cold steel Which known.'Tis they create. perhaps." said the prince. all deaths I dare." All unmoved and calm. or the gods in truth Had ordered that he should not die. sustain. And shall we these high gods blaspheme? "Blest is the man whose heart obeys And makes their law of life his guide. ho! Take down this lad to dungeon-cell. The council held thereon was short. The headsman would not rightly ply The weapon. on raging seas. the steel can work no harm. earth and hell.

Hath taught this foolish boy the charm. men avow Who treason. "Will they come down." "My gracious Liege. now? Against steel. to fight with me. my King! 64 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . But not one man amongst them all Dared raise against the prince his hand. And now vague rumours ran around.— Death. Prehlad. Thou art protected. the firebrands burn. Where are thy gods? Or are they dead." Thus spake the wily-tongued vizier." With terror dumb. 'Twas open to the public all. The King sat on his peacock throne. For once more in the Council-Hall He had been cited to appear.—bare skin and bone. Or do they hide in craven fear? There lies my gage. water. if but bold.—"Enough of this. to deal Some other way. or all. for once. None ever said I hide from any. admire. fire. instant death. to prove their strength? Will they come down. In our own presence thou art brought That we and all may know the truth— Where are thy gods?—I long have sought But never found them. And now the hoary Marechal Brings in the youth. Had every means in turn been tried? Some said they had. at length. And all the people came in fear. Men talked of them with bated breath: The river has a depth profound. is my command! Go throw him down some precipice. from that wide hall Departed all the courtier band. to rescue thee? Let them come down.—far or near.—but soon they learn The brave young prince had not yet died. Or bury him alive in sand. The elephants trample down to death. The poisons kill. hapless youth. It would be wise. Come one. Banners were hung along the wall. O king. or else I fear Much damage to the common weal. my Sire. "Who shall protect thee. poison. Dark frowned the king.

And ripped him down.If thou indeed wouldst deign to hear. God is even here. And in this crystal pillar bright? Now tell me plain. father. and last. like a tree Severed by axes from the root. to which the sun Is darkness. "Hath He a shape. Is He herein. before us all. And vindicate His name and power. Himself unseen! In Him I trust. For oh! my God is everywhere!" "What! everywhere? Then in this hall. And from within.—He sees all below. my words would spring Like a pellucid fountain clear. Then struck the tyrant on the helm. feet and hands. In mockful jest was his demand.—the boldest quailed. There is one God—One only. Dwelling in light." He spumed the pillar with his foot. thy God of light?" The monarch placed his steel-gloved hand Upon a crystal pillar near. He can new life again instil. I fear not sword. The answer came. Down. And if He choose this very hour Can strike us dead." "Where is this God? Now let us see. low. In humble mood. A stately sable warrior sprang.—such strange shapes arise In clouds. And if this body turn to dust. For I have in my dungeon dark Learnt more of truth than e'er I knew. serious. father. clear: "Yes. All dangers. "I fear not fire. He had a lion head and eyes. when Autumn rules the lands! He gave a shout. Colossal. I can dare. down it tumbled.—mark! To Him is all our service due. He can protect me if He will. he hailed Prehlad as king of all the realm! 65 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . with ghastly fear. Like some phantasma of the brain. Alone. with horrid clang That froze the blood in every vein. or hath He none? I know not this. A human body. I can confront a horde. nor care to know.

ah me! as erst at eventide? 66 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . The echoes ran from hill to hill." Tyrants of every age and clime Remember this. there. woe. There. old story. herds of wild deer race. There. their fury when he dares! Three happy children in a darkened room! What do they gaze on with wide-open eyes? A dense.. And bowed in sorrow are the three young heads. and stark. there.—There bloom Gigantic flowers on creepers that embrace Tall trees. and the lay Which has evoked sad Sîta from the past Is by a mother sung. peoples suffer pain.—that awful shape Shall startle you when comes the time. there.. the lion strength is theirs. louder still A sovereign people's wild acclaim. 'Tis hushed at last And melts the picture from their sight away. patches gleam with yellow waving grain.. "Kings rule for us and in our name.A thunder clap—the shape was gone! One king lay stiff. the poet-anchorite. Loud rang the trumpets. dwells in peace. Yet shall they dream of it until the day! When shall those children by their mother's side Gather. But oh. But who is this fair lady? Not in vain She weeps. blue smoke from strange altars rises light.—for lo! at every tear she sheds Tears from three pairs of young eyes fall amain. And in its centre a cleared spot. and dead. dense forest. It is an old. where no sunbeam pries. As human. Woe to the king when galls the chain! Woe." The peacock springs. There. "whirring from the brake. And send its voice from cape to cape. in a quiet lucid lake The white swans glide. Another on the peacock throne Bowed reverently his youthful head.

Then one of us sat down.—some roses red That seemed as wet with tears.—she was not young. But oh! her gentle face No painter-poet ever sung. Observing at a glance That we were strangers. Though grief my years should shade. Still bloom her roses in my heart! And they shall never fade! 67 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Strangers. sick.— Then asked. Or saw such saintlike grace.—we were alone. may she be! Her memory will not depart. But sweeter was the love that gave Those flowers to one unknown. happy. Her face no more may see.—sweet and full. We wandered slow.—the sea and sky seemed blent. I think that He who came to save The gift a debt will own. my dears!" Sweet were the roses. to make complaint. We loitered at the time When ripens on the wall the peach. The distant town its murmurs sent. and she said. weary. She past us. A lady past. The autumn's lovely prime.Near Hastings.— The shadows deepened brown. The day was wholly done. But yet.—Were we from France? We talked awhile. faint. And large as lotus flowers That in our own wide tanks we cull To deck our Indian bowers. "God bless you both. No nature hers. The lady's name I do not know. oh yet I love her so! Blest. Far off. one. in pain. She gave my sister. on the shingle-beach.—then she came again.

was known to each. nations. from loss of blood! Levite England passes her by. Gleams bright the star. Dash cold water over her face! Drowned in her blood. Give her a draught of generous wine. Who shall stanch me this sanguine flood? Range the brown hair.—she cannot die! Only a swoon. Help. but I was not asleep. thus Ever in swoon wilt thou remain? Thought. My hand was in my father's. Bow.—oh no. she stirs!—There's a fire in her glance.Not dead. and I felt His presence near me. it blinds her eyne. Whence then shall Hope arise for us. Samaritan! None is nigh. oh ware of that broken sword! What. Freedom. with a sense of weariness! Mine eyes were closed. quenched ominous. dare ye for an hour's mischance. Strong once more for the battle-fray. none hear. None heed. What was the need Of interchanging words when every thought That in our hearts arose. that from her brow Lightens the world. Thus we often past In silence.—stands up e'en now. Ware. Truth. bow. hour by hour. jeering France. 68 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Head of the human column. And every pulse kept time? Suddenly there shone A strange light. and the scene as sudden changed. Let her again lead on the way! Broad daylight. to do this grace. she stands up. Attila's own exultant horde? Lo. she makes no sign. Plunged in the darkness all again! No. Gather around her.

And in the midst of that vast plain. so far! And o'er it that strange light.—stretching. stretching—oh. my hand. once more. grim and black. frosty winter night. Fallen was their leader. he plucked A few small sprays. close-prest. "Bind too my father's forehead with these leaves.— In her hot haste tumbles her dark hair down. tall. cloudless. A tree with spreading branches and with leaves Of divers kinds. No more. Shimmering in radiance that no words may tell! Beside the tree an Angel stood. Only intenser in its brilliance calm. all at once Opened my tear-dimmed eyes—When lo! the light Was gone—the light as of the stars when snow Lies deep upon the ground. or more full Of holy pity and of love divine." One leaf the Angel took and therewith touched His forehead. no more I felt The fever in my limbs—"And oh. and brown! She snatches up the standard as it falls.—then fell back. though bravest of the brave. and bound them round my head. Patriots and veterans!—Ah! 'Tis in vain! Back they recoil.—dead silver and live gold. Now.—slender.—then. And holding in his own. Was seen the Angel's face.—a glorious light Like that the stars shed over fields of snow In a clear. No human troops may stand that murderous rain. I saw. With lighted matches waving. and then gently whispered "Nay!" Never.I was awake:—It was an open plain Illimitable. For I was wide awake. the delicious touch of those strange leaves! No longer throbbed my brows. no more. oh never had I seen a face More beautiful than that Angel's.—it was no dream. But who is this—that rushes to a grave? It is a woman. Oh. Wondering I looked awhile. Wavered the foremost soldiers. And to the drummer-boy aloud she calls 69 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM ." I cried. and loomed right before The sullen Prussian cannon. I only found My father watching patient by my bed.

between. The lily and the rose. And tyrants trembled. when the moon Looks through their gaps. 70 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Red. long had been Rivals for that high honour. Yet of that time men speak with moistened glance. Bards of power Had sung their claims. But nothing can be lovelier than the ranges Of bamboos to the eastward. Sharp contrasts of all colours here are seen. "Give me a flower delicious as the rose And stately as the lily in her pride"— "But of what colour?"—"Rose-red. Battling against oppression! Years have past. Va-nu-pieds! When rose high your Marseillaise Man knew his rights to earth's remotest bound. One might swoon Drunken with beauty then. had a Washington but then been found! A sea of foliage girds our garden round. The light-green graceful tamarinds abound Amid the mangoe clumps of green profound. or gaze and gaze On a primeval Eden. long. And o'er the quiet pools the seemuls lean.To beat the charge. then forwards on the pont They dash together. Yours alone the praise! Ah. and startling like a trumpet's sound." Love first chose. Nor burn to follow them to victory? I read the story and my heart beats fast! Well might all Europe quail before thee. thus Death confront. "The rose can never tower Like the pale lily with her Juno mien"— "But is the lily lovelier?" Thus between Flower-factions rang the strife in Psyche's bower. Love came to Flora asking for a flower That would of flowers be undisputed queen. But not a sea of dull unvaried green. and the white lotus changes Into a cup of silver. And palms arise. in amaze.—who could bear to see A woman and a child. France. like pillars gray.—red.

But not because of its magnificence Dear is the Casuarina to my soul: Beneath it we have played. And oft at nights the garden overflows With one sweet song that seems to have no close. on the broad tank cast By that hoar tree. O sweet companions. far away In distant lands. For your sakes. Like a huge Python. in whose embraces bound No other tree could live. That haply to the unknown land may reach. it shall arise In memory. 71 of 78 9/10/2011 5:07 PM . Unknown. while men repose. while on lower boughs His puny offspring leap about and play.—"No. I have heard that wail far. till the hot tears blind mine eyes! What is that dirge-like murmur that I hear Like the sea breaking on a shingle-beach? It is the tree's lament. But gallantly The giant wears the scarf. an eerie speech. yet well-known to the eye of faith! Ah. beneath the moon. by many a sheltered bay. A creeper climbs. And "lily-white. Sung darkling from our tree. like snow enmassed. "rose-red" dyed. shall the tree be ever dear! Blent with your images. And to their pastures wend our sleepy cows. indented deep with scars Up to its very summit near the stars. And far and near kokilas hail the day. my eyes delighted on it rest. And in the shadow.Then prayed. When slumbered in his cave the water-wraith And the waves gently kissed the classic shore Of France or Italy. When first my casement is wide open thrown At dawn. The water-lilies spring. winding round and round The rugged trunk.—or. and flowers are hung In crimson clusters all the boughs among. lily-white. so beautiful and vast."—the queenliest flower that blows. both provide. and most in winter. loved with love intense. Whereon all day are gathered bird and bee. Sometimes." And Flora gave the lotus. though years may roll.—on its crest A grey baboon sits statue-like alone Watching the sunrise.

Dearer than life to me. Under whose awful branches lingered pale "Fear.—before Mine inner vision rose a form sublime. CHISWICK PRESS: C. for aye. O Tree. oh fain rehearse. Thy form. as in my happy prime I saw thee. alas! were they! Mayst thou be numbered when my days are done With deathless trees—like those in Borrowdale. repose." and though weak the verse That would thy beauty fain.When earth lay trancèd in a dreamless swoon: And every time the music rose. WHITTINGHAM AND CO. May Love defend thee from Oblivion's curse. . TOOKS COURT. CHANCERY LANE. the skeleton. trembling Hope. And Time the shadow. in my own loved native clime. Tree. and Death. Therefore I fain would consecrate a lay Unto thy honour. beloved of those Who now in blessed sleep.

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