« PreviousContinue »
As, in a dream of thee, they watch me spread
My arms, enlacing in their eager strain
Naught but the yielding air of night instead
Of that delicious form they would detain :
Then see me start and sigh and wake to woe again,
A welcome herald from my darling comes
The breeze that from the snowy mountain springs,
Loaded with fragrance from the oozing gums
Of pine-buds rifled by its balmy wings:
To me it whispers such delicious things,
For it may be its breath has fondly played
Over my lady's bosom, whence it brings
Diviner fragrance, tenderly has laid
A kiss upon her lips, and fanned her in the shade.
But yield not, love, to dark despair, nor think
That changeless, never ending, is our doom,
Or in the strife thy gentle soul will sink :
Some friendly stars the moonless night illume,
Some flowers of hope amid the desert bloom :
Life has no perfect good, no endless ill,
No constant brightness, no perpetual gloom ;
But circling as a wheel, and never still,
Now down, and now above, all must their fate fulfil.
Four months remain, and when that age is fled,
Then ends my banishment and all our pain :
When Vishnu rises from his serpent bed'
Where lapt in sleep the Bow-armed God has lain,
Thy lover speeds to home and thee again :
The moon of autumn with serener glow
His silver influence on our nights shall rain,
And our rapt souls with joy shall overflow
More exquisitely sweet for all remembered woe.
I “ The serpent couch is the great snake Ananta, upon which Vishnu, or, as he is here called, the Holder of the bow Sarnga (the horn-bow), reclines, during four months, from the 11th of Asharha to the 11th of Kartik; or, as it has occurred in 1813 (the year in which the first edition was printed), from the 23rd of June to the 26th of October. The sleep of Vishnu, during the four months of the periodical rains in Hindustan, seems to bear an emblematical relation to that season. It has been compared to the Egyptian Hieroglyphical account of the sleep of Horus, typical of the annual overflow of the Nile, by the late Mr. Paterson, in his ingenious Essay on the Origin of the Hindu Re. ligion. Asiatic Researches, vol. viii.” H, H, WILSON.
Once more I see thee, but no more alone,
Thy senses steept in dews of slumber, lie,
With thy fond arms around thy husband thrown.
Thou startest, weeping, and I ask thee why
Thy soul is troubled when thy lord is nigh.
* Traitor,' thou sayest, as a smile and tear
Plays on thy lip and glistens in thine eye,
Faithless I saw thee in
Whispering tales of love into another's ear.'
But, dark-eyed beauty, rest thou ever sure
That, with a constancy that naught shall bend,
Through woe and absence shall my faith endure.
To slanderous tales forbear thine ear to lend :
Store in thy heart the message which I send,
And soothe thee with the trust that love like mine
Will live unchanging on till time shall end;
Burn with a flame that ne'er shall know decline,
But, fed with hope, each day shall yet more brightly shine.'
“Wilt thou, dear Cloud, through regions far away,
This loving message to my darling bear?
Silent art thou, yet not in vain I pray;
For when the Rain-birds, in the sultry air,
Crave the cool shower of thee, thou dost not care
To speak in answer, but sweet drops descend
And their faint strength and flagging wings repair :
So comes the aid the good delight to lend,
Deeming the granted wish best answer to a friend.
Thus, faithful herald, having cheered her heart
Who mourns in joyless solitude her fate,
From the high forehead of that hill depart
Where the celestial Bull, who bears the weight
Of Siva, rends the rock with joy elate :
Return to me, and let my spirit know
Some comfort, hearing of my darling's state,
Ere my soul sink beneath its weight of woe
Like a frail jasmine-bud scorcht by the summer's glow.
So shall my thanks repay thy gentle deed,
And evermore my blessings follow thee :
So by the breezes wafted, shalt thou speed
To pleasant regions where thou fain wouldst be,
There rest delighted or there wander free;
May the sweet rain ne'er fail thee; and thy bride,
The splendid lightning, mayst thou ever see
Close to thyself in dazzling beauty ride,
Flashing upon thy breast or sporting at thy side.”
The mourner ceased; the airy envoy heard ;
And the fond speech, by love made eloquent,
Kuvera's breast with soft compassion stirred.
His ear in mercy to the tale he bent
That led his yielding spirit to relent,
And made him, ere the term was nigh, restore
The exile languishing in banishment,
And freely bade him, all his trials o'er,
Live with his love again with joy for evermore.