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Title: Vidyāpati: Bangīya padābali; songs of the love of Rādhā and Krishna
Author: Vidyāpati Thākura
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The whole creation will be consumed and appear infinite and holy,
whereas it now appears finite and corrupt. This will come to pass by an
improvement of sensual enjoyment.

                               --_William Blake._

Be drunken with love, for love is all that exists.

                                             --_Shamsi Tabrīz._



KRISHNA PŪRBBARĀGA: The First Passion of Krishna

RĀDHĀ BAYAHSANDI: The Growing-up of Rādhā

RĀDHĀ PŪRBBARĀGA: The First Passion of Rādhā

SAKHĪ-SHIKSHĀ-BACANĀDI: The Counsel of Girl-friends (Sakhīs)

PRATHAMA MILNA: First Meetings

ABHISĀRA: (Rādhā's) Going-forth (to visit Krishna)

VASANTA LĪLA: Dalliance in Spring

MĀNA: Wilfulness

MĀNĀNTE MILNA: Reunion after Wilfulness

ĀKSHEPA ANUYOGA O VIRAHA: Reproaches, Lack and Longing

PUNARMILNA O RASODGĀRA: Reunion and the Flow of Nectar








VIDYĀPATI THĀKUR is one of the most renowned of the Vaishnava poets of
Hindustān. Before him there had been the great Jāyadeva, with his Gītā
Govinda made in Sanskrit; and it is to this tradition Vidyāpati
belongs, rather than to that of Rāmānanda, Kabīr, and Tul'si Dās, who
sang of Rāma and Sītā. Vidyāpati's fame, though he also wrote in
Sanskrit, depends upon the wreath of songs (_pada_) in which he describes
the courtship of God and the Soul, under the names of Krishna and Rādhā.
These were written in Maithilī, his mother-tongue, a dialect
intermediate between Bengālī and Hindī, but nearer to the former. His
position as a poet and maker of language is analogous to that of Dante
in Italy and Chaucer in England. He did not disdain to use the
folk-speech and folk-thought for the expression of the highest matters.
Just as Dante was blamed by the classical scholars of Italy, so
Vidyāpati was blamed by the pandits: he knew better, however, than
they, and has well earned the title of Father of Bengali literature.

Little is known of Vidyāpati's life[1]. Two other great Vaishnava poets,
Chandī Dās and Umāpati, were his contempories. His patron Rājā
Shivasimha Rūpanārāyana, when heir-apparent, gave the village of Bisapī
as a rent-free gift to the poet in the year 1400 A.D. (the original deed
is extant). This shows that in 1400 the poet was already a man of
distinction. His patron appears to have died in 1449, before which date
the songs here translated must have been written. Further, there still
exists a manuscript of the Bhāgavata Purāna in the poet's handwriting,
dated 1456. It is thus evident that he lived to a good age, for it is
hardly likely that he was under twenty in the year 1400. The following
is the legend of his death: Feeling his end approaching, he set out to
die on the banks of Gangā. But remembering that she was the child of the
faithful, he summoned her to himself: and the great river divided
herself in three streams, spreading her waters as far as the very place
where Vidyāpati sat. There and then he laid himself, it is said down and
died. Where his funeral pyre was, sprang up a Shiva lingam, which exists
to this day, as well as the marks of the flood. This place is near the
town of Bāzitpur, in the district of Darbhangā.

Vidyāpati's Vaishnava _padas_ are at once folk and cultivated art--just
like the finest of the Pahārī paintings, where every episode of which he
sings finds exquisite illustration. The poems are not, like many
ballads, of unknown authorship and perhaps the work of many hands, but
they are due to the folk in the sense that folk-life is glorified and
popular thought is reflected. The songs as we have them are entirely the
work of one supreme genius; but this genius did not stand alone, as
that of modern poets must--on the contrary, its roots lay deep in the
common life of fields and villages, and above all, in common faiths and
superstitions. These were days when peasants yet spoke as elegantly as
courtiers, and kings and cultivators shared one faith and a common view
of life--conditions where all things are possible to art.

It is little wonder that Vidyāpati's influence on the literature of
Eastern Hindustān has been profound, and that his songs became the
household poetry of Bengal and Behar. His poems were adopted and
constantly sung by the great Hindū lover, Cāitanya, in the sixteenth
century, and they have been adapted and handed down in many dialects,
above all in Bengālī, in the Vaishnava tradition, of which the last
representative is Rabindranāth Tagore. A poem by the latter well resumes
and explains the theory of the Vaishnava lovers:[2]

    _Not my way of Salvation, to surrender the world!_
        _Rather for me the taste of Infinite Freedom,_
    _While yet I am bound by a thousand bonds to the wheel:_
        _In each glory of sound and sight and smell_
    _I shall find Thy Infinite Joy abiding:_
        _My passion shall burn as the flame of Salvation,_
    _The flower of my love shall become the ripe fruit of Devotion._

This leads us to the subject of the true significance of poems such as
Vidyāpati's. It is quite true, as Mr. Nicholson says, that students of
oriental poetry have sometimes to ask themselves, 'Is this a love-poem
disguised as a mystical ode, or a mystical ode expressed in the language
of human love?' Very often this question cannot be answered with a
definite 'Yes' or 'No': not because the poet's meaning is vague, but
because the two ideas are not at all mutually exclusive. All the
manifestations of Kama on earth are images of Pursuit or Return.

As Vidyāpati himself says (No. LXIII):

    _The same flower that you cast away, the same you use in prayer._
    _And with the same you string the bow._

It is quite certain that many poems of Vidyāpati have an almost wholly
spiritually significance.[3] If some others seem very obviously secular,
let us remember that we have no right to detach such poems from their
context in books and still less any right to divorce them from their
context in life.

We may illustrate this point by a comparison with poetry of Western
Europe. Take for example a poem such as the following, with a purely
secular significance (if any true art can be said to be secular):

    _Oh! the handsome lad frae Skye_
    _That's lifted a' the cattle, a'oor kye._
    _He's t'aen the dun, the black, the white._
    _And I hae mickle fear_
    _He's t'aen my heart forbye._

Had this been current in fifteenth century Bengal, every Vaishnava would
have understood the song to speak as much of God and the Soul as of man
and maid, and to many the former meaning would have been the more
obvious. On the other hand, there are many early medieval Western hymns
in which the language of human love is deliberately adapted to religious
uses, for example:

    _When y se blosmes springe,_
        _And here foules songe,_
    _A suete love-longynge_
        _Myn herte thourh out stong;_
    _Al for a love newe,_
    _That is so suete and trewe._
    _That gladieth al mi song._

Here the 'new love' is Christ.

Finally, there are other Western lyrics, and very exquisite ones, that
could equally be claimed as religious or secular, for example:

    _Long ago to thee I gave_
    _Body, soul and all I have--_
        _Nothing in the world I keep._ [4]

The Western critic who would enquire what such a poem meant to its maker
and his hearers must be qualified by spiritual kinship with him and with
them. Let us demand a similar qualification from those who propose to
speak of Oriental poetry:

    _Wer den Dichter will verstehen._
    _Muss in Dichter's Lande gehen,--_

if not in physical presence, at least in spirit.

In ecstasy, man is beside himself: that this momentary escape from
'himself' is the greatest gift life offers, is a promise, as it were a
foretaste, of Release, warranting us that Nirvāna is something more than
annihilation. At the same time, be it well understood that such
ecstasies are not rewarded to those who are followers of Pleasure, nor
to those that cling to self-will. In Vaishnava literature this is again
and again emphasized. It is not till the ear ceases to hear the outside
world, that it is open to the music in the heart, the flute of Krishna.
If the objection is still made that our poet sings rather of human than
divine love,--and we do not deny that he worships physical beauty,
albeit the critics have told us that Rabīndranath Tagore is the first
Indian poet to do so,--we answer with him that Love is One, and we would
also quote the very splendid passage of the _Prema Sāgara_ where the doubt
is resolved, "How could the love of a certain milk-maid have brought her
salvation, notwithstanding that her love for Krishna was paramours, and
she knew him not as God, but as man?" The answer is given as follows:

Shri Krishna sat one moonlit night at the edge of a deep forest, playing
his flute with intent to lure the milk-maids from their homes. The Braj
girls could not rest nor resist the call, and abandoning the illusion of
family and the ties of duty, they hurried in confusion from their homes
to the forest. But one was seen and detained by her husband; yet she, in
the intensity of her absorption in the thought of Hari, abandoned her
body and was the first to reach Him. Perceiving the love of her heart.
He gave her final release.

The king to whom the story has been thus far related, remarks that the
milk-maid did not worship Krishna knowing him to be God, but regarded
him as an object of sensuous desire, and asks, 'How then was she saved
by her love?' The answer is given that even they who worship Krishna
unawares obtain emancipation; just as the water of life makes the
drinker immortal, without question whether he knows or does not know its
virtue.[5] Should anyone with any purpose worship, he will be
emancipated. Shri Krishna was reverenced in many ways, and in each was
salvation obtained. Thus, "Nand, Yashodā and others knew him as a child,
the milk-maids as a lover, Kāns worshipped him by fear, the cowherds
called him their friend, the Pāndavas knew him as an ally, Shishupāl
worshipped him as a foe, the Yaduvamsīs thought him one of themselves,
the Yogīs, Yatīs and Munis meditated upon Him as God; but at last
everyone of these obtained deliverance. What wonder then if one
milk-maid by devotion to Him, was able to cross the sea of life,--to
reach the further shore?"[6]

This pure humanism is the Vaishnava equivalent for: "Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto these, ye have done it unto Me," and "The worship of God is
. . . loving the greatest men best."

We may also give here the Indian answer to the objection sometimes
raised respecting the morality of Krishna Himself,--much as the
Pharisees questioned the right of Christ to pluck the ears of corn. The
Bhāgavata Purāna in one place answers as Blake or Nietzsche might, that
_dharma_ is not the same for the great and the small. More than this, it
is a fault in logic to subject to ethical criticism a Power Who is by
hypothesis Infinite, beyond the Pairs of opposites. As Purnendu Narayan
Sinha expresses it: "Nothing that we know, nothing that we are composed
of, nothing that shapes our experiences, that causes our likes and
dislikes, limits Krishna. He is the absolute, for the relatives we know
of, or which we may even think of, have no place in Him."[7] And indeed,
this ought to be obvious to anyone that understands the language of
mythology; for the multiplication of Krishna's form in the circular
dance, and at Dvārakā, and the fact already alluded to, of His
accessibility in every form, are clear indications of His Infinity. It
is nowhere suggested that the illusion of family and the ties of duty
may be abandoned except in self-surrender to Him.

It must also be remembered that the Krishna Līlā is not a historical
record (as Nīlakantha remarks, 'The narration is not the real point');
His Līlā in Brindāban is eternal, and Brindāban is the heart of man. We
are thus concerned with ideas and symbols, and not with history. The
most that an objector could then adduce, would be to suggest that the
symbolism may be unwisely chosen, and may be misunderstood. I should
treat this objection with respect, and would agree that it may be valid
from the standpoint of the objector. But I do not think it is valid from
the standpoint of the lover. I would not even say, Let those who are
able to take this passionate literature only in a carnal sense (and we
have admitted that much of it has a carnal as well as a spiritual
sense), therefore ignore it; for if the worship of loveliness is not
Love, it is none the less a step on the way to Love.

Again, however, it is not meant to imply that the pastoral and romantic
conditions indicated in Vaishnava literature do not exist, and have
never existed, anywhere in India. On the contrary, if India is the
classic country of lyrical poetry, this is because she is also the
classic country of love.[8] Love is certainly of more significance to
the Indian consciousness than to the European, and the Western fear of
voluptuousness is hardly known in the East. But just as beauty was never
in India glorified as an end in itself, so romantic love never obtained
there such hold and possession over life and art as it has in the West.
To put the same conclusion in other words, the Indian culture is
nowhere corrupted by sentimentality. The reason of this is to be found,
I think, in a wide-spread and deep-rooted consciousness of the principle
of Impermanence. It is just this consciousness of evanescence which
gives to the voluptuous and passionate art of Ajantā the spiritual
significance that is all the more impressive because of its sensuous
setting. Non-attachment is a greater quality than non-participation.
Where life is transparent, the enjoyment of life is never a spiritual
bondage. One might almost believe that to the Ajantā painters and the
Vaishnava poets had been granted the prayer of Socrates,--"O beloved
Pan, and all ye other gods of this place, grant me to become beautiful
in the inner man, and that whatever outward things I have may be at
peace with those within."

A few words are needed to explain the method of translation. The
rendering is line for line, and often word for word, but whenever a
choice lay between expressing the letter and the spirit of the original,
the latter has been considered of the first importance. Vidyāpati
reflects a certain view of life: it is this, rather than the form of his
utterance, however perfect, that touches us most nearly. A single word
in the original is often rendered by two or three in the translation,
for the terseness of the Bengālī could rarely be repeated.
Notwithstanding that our translation does not pretend to be metrical,
much care has been taken with the phrasing, to make it readable: for it
would appear that alike in music and poetry, _rasa_ is more closely
bound up with phrasing than with a regular division into bars or
feet.[9] At the same time, a few examples of the original text are
quoted in the 'Notes,' in order to give the reader some idea of their

It should be noticed that the songs here translated are but a part of
Vidyāpati's _Bangīya Padābali_. Two hundred and two songs are given in
the edition of Kāliprasanna Kāvyābhisharad which we have chiefly used;
and there are over nine hundred in that of Shrī Nagendranath Gupta
published in Nāgarī character for H. H. the Mahārājah of Darbhangā,--to
whom I am indebted for a copy of the edition. The order of our versions
follows that of Kāliprasanna Kāvyābhisharad; the songs omitted are those
which are almost repetitions of those translated, or of which we could
not make a satisfactory rendering.

It has been very difficult to find such words as can express Vidyāpati's
transparency. English since the Elizabethan age has grown poor in purely
lyrical words and idioms, for modern literature, like modern plastic art
or music, rarely deals with unmixed feelings. To present Vidyāpati in
English in a form at all comparable with the original, would require all
the facility and elegance of the Elizabethans joined to nearly all the
seriousness of the earliest English lyrics. I say nearly all, for
Vidyāpati is a very conscious artist, with a considerable sense of
humour; and though he is certainly far more serious than the elegant
Elizabethans, he is not in any sense a primitive.

The rendering of certain words in the original demands a brief
explanation. _Sakhī_ (the _chetī_ of Mr. Bain's beautiful Sanskrit
imitations), meaning a girl-friend and confidante of the heroine,
usually used in the vocative, is translated as 'my dear.' _Dūtīka_, the
messenger or go-between, is a _sakhī_ or any woman who carries messages
between the lovers: but often, too, the poet himself is the messenger,
and in this case there is perhaps a conscious reference to the artist as
go-between God and the soul. The _gopīs_ are the milk-maids of Gokula,
of whom Rādhā is Krishna's beloved.

_Añcala_, meaning the upper part of the _sārī_, thrown across the
breast and over the shoulder, also forming a head-veil, we have
translated, not quite accurately, as 'wimple,' for want of a better
word. _Nibibanda_, which means the knotting of the _sārī_ round the
waist, is rendered as 'zone' or 'girdle,' though it is not properly a
separate garment.

The word _rasa_ can never be adequately translated into English, and
perhaps it should be adopted there as a loan-word, together with such
others as _karma_, _yoga_, _dharma_, _samsāra_, _nirvāna_. _Rasa_,
like the word 'essence,' has both a concrete and an abstract
significance; it has, amongst others, such meanings as juice, nectar,
essence, taste, flavour, savour, lust, and in an abstract sense, taste,
appreciation, passion, ecstasy, love and so forth. _Rasa_ is equally
the essential element in love and in art. It would be defined from the
Indian standpoint as an emotion provoked by the recognition of reality.
From _rasa_ are derived the two important words _rasika_ (a
connoisseur, lover), and _rasavanta_ or _rasamanta_ ('possessing
_rasa_' said either of an individual or of a work of art).

It is a canon of Indian dramatic criticism, not only that _rasa_ is
unique, but that those only can experience rasa who are temperamentally
qualified to do so by virtue acquired in a former life,--_Poeta nascitur
nonjit_. All these associations give great weight to Vidyapati's
splendid aphorism:

    _Rasa bujha, i rasamanta_

'None knoweth love but the lover, none ecstasy save the ecstatic.'

If we apply this to life and art, it means what Blake meant when he said
that enthusiasm is the first and last principle of criticism.

It should not be forgotten that Vidyāpati's songs, like those of all the
Vaishnava poets--from Jayadeva to Rabindranath Tagore--were meant to be
sung; and as the latter says himself, "In a book of songs the main thing
is left out: to set forth the music's vehicle, and leave out the music
itself, is just like keeping the mouse and leaving out Ganapati himself"
('_Jiban-smrti_,' p. 148). The padas of Vidyāpati may still be heard on
the lips of Bengali singers, albeit often in corrupt forms. It may also
be noted that song was constantly illustrated by the conventional
language of descriptive gesture. We are able to partly compensate the
lack of this in reproducing the eleven illustrations from Indian
sources; for although not designed directly to illustrate Vidyāpati's
text, there is to be found in these an immediate expression of the same
ideas. A further account of all the illustrations is appended to the

Finally, in the matter of transliteration: since these versions are
intended rather for the _rasika_ than for the _pandit_, we have done
no more that mark the long and short vowels of Indian names and words
occurring in this Introduction or in the text. The reader will not go
far wrong if he pronounces such words as if in Italian. C has the the
sound of ch in _church:_  for ś and ṣ we have used sh throughout.

It is by an inexcusable oversight that the poet's name has been printed
as Vidhyāpati throughout the text. (Transcriber's note: This has been

                                           ANANDA COOMARASWAMY.

Britford, _December_, 1914.

[1] _What is here given is mainly derived from: G. A. Grierson, 'The
Vernacular Literature of Hindustan,' and Dinesh Chandra Sen, 'History of
Bengali Literature.'_

[2] _The Tarjuman al-Ashwāq_, 1911 _p_. 7.

[3] _I do not here refer to the details of concrete symbolism (for which
see Purnendu Narayan Sinha, 'The Bhāgavata Purāna, a Study,' Benares,
1901), but to the common language of mysticism._

[4] _Translated by Henry Newbolt from the French of Wenceslas._

[5] _Thus the Hindūs hold that it is better to be the foe of God, or to
use His name in vain, than to live without knowledge of Him and without
speaking His name._

[6] _Prema Sāgara, Ch. xxx._

[7] _loc. cit. p. 302._

[8] _We have already mentioned the 'Gītā Govinda.' It needs scarcely to
be said that Indian lyrical poetry is of still older ancestry. The
reader of Kalidāsa's 'Shakuntalā' for example, will find there
innumerable parallels both to Vidyāpati's combined tenderness and
wisdom, and his quaint conceits. These parallels are so many that we
have made no attempt to mention them in the 'Notes' The same spirit,
too, is already recognizable in the lyrical passages of the 'Rāmāyana.'
All this is no more than to say that Vidyāpati is essentially and
typically Indian._

[9] _According to Hindu theory, Kāvya (poetry) includes both prose
(gadya-kāvya) and verse (padya-kāvya)._



_Krishna:_      Some damsel I saw, supremely fair--
            A moon unstained, that slowly rose,
                Or a golden vine.

            Eyes twin lotus-blooms, dyed with sūrm,
                The playground of waves of love--
            Twin timid partridges, snared by Nature
                With nought but a rope of collyrium!

            A garland of ivory-pearls caressed the burden
                Of her mountain breasts--
            Kāma pouring celestial streams from a brimming conch
                On a golden Shambhu!

            The sacrificer of a hundred offerings on a sacred shore
                Were blest by such reward!
            _Vidyāpati says: It is Gokula's lord._
                _The herd-girls' darling._


_Krishna:_  Your hair dismays the yak, the mountain sinks into the vale,
                Fearing your face, the moon is fading in the sky,
            The antelope is fearful of your eyes, your voice dismays
                    the koil.
                Your gait alarms the olifant, he hides him in the wood:

            Why came you not for speech with me, fair may?
                All these have fled afar in fear of you,
            How then should you in turn fear me?

            Dismayed by your breasts, the unblown lily lingers under lake.
                The globéd jar leaps into fire.
            The honey-apple and the pomegranate abide aloft.
                And Shambhu drinks his poison.

            Dismayéd by your arms, the golden lily-root leaves not the mud.
                Affrighted by your fingers, the flower-stems are shivering!
            _Vidyāpati asks: How many shall I cite_
                _Of spells of Love like these?_


_Krishna:_  Which of the gods this fair face fashioned?
                Beauty-surpassing, heart's-bliss-granting,
            Garland-victress of the Triple Worlds.

            The sun-bright eyes of her fair face
                Are tricked with sūrm--
            Restless wagtails on a golden lotus,
                At play with pitch-black snakes.

            The vine of down from her navel's well
                Is a serpent thirsting for air:
            Thinking in terror her nose is Garuḍa's beak
                It hides in the valley of her bosoms' hills.

            Love with three arrows conquered Three World's,
                Still two of the arrows remained:
            Very cruel is Nature to slay the love-lorn,
                Surrendering those to her two eyes!

            _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, fair maids_
                _Who haunt the well of Love:_
            _Rājā Shivasimha Rūpanārāyana_
                _And Lakshmī Devī be witness._


_Krishna:_  Why did that moon-face cross my path?
            Just for one moment her eyes met mine,
            Whose sidelong glance is all too keen:
            An ill day that for me!

            My thoughts were set upon her breasts,
            Love lay waking in my heart.
            Her voice was ringing in my ears:
            I would have gone, my feet refused to move.

            _The bonds of hope constrain me yet:_
            _Love is a tide, says Vidyāpati._


_Krishna:_  Fair-face, red brow-spot, there-behind the heavy
                    jet-black hair--
            As if the sun and moon together rising left the night behind.

            Ah damsel fair! with what and what devoted care,
            Has Nature given to you the utmost beauty of the moon.

            A grass green bodice binds your breasts, a glimpse is
                    only seen;
            So jealously you cover them,--but never snow may hide
                    the hills!

            Dark sūrm decks your curving restless eyes.
            As if the bees would rest their weight upon some
                    wind-bent lotus.

            _Hearken, young thing, says Vidyāpati; these charms,
                    you know them all,--_
            _Witness be Rājā Shivasimha Rūpanārāyana
                    and Lakshmī Devī._


_Krishna:_  She left the shrine at cowdust-time, passing gliding
            Like a flash of lightning mated with a fresh cloud.

            Tender of age she was, a garland deftly woven:
            A glimpse could not content my hope, but Love's fire
                    fiercer fanned.

            Bright was her body, shining under wimple with the
                    shene of gold:
            Long locks, small middle, sidelong-glancing eyes.

            And softly smiling, pierced me with the arrows
                    of her eyes,--
            _Lord of the Five Gaurs, live for ever, says Vidyāpati!_


_Krishna:_  Laughing, talking, milk-white girl.
            Nectar-showering as autumn moon at full:

            Jewel of beauty surpassing, passing before me,
            Gainly of gait as olifant-king.

            Small was her middle as any lion's, her frail frame breaking
            With the burden of the honey-apples of her breasts.

            Her lovely eyes shone white beside the sūrm that dyed them.
            Bees, as it were, mistaking them for spotless water-lilies.

            _Says Vidyapati: The Lord of lovers_
            _Sorely tholes the sight of Radha's loveliness._


_Krishna:_      I could not see her clearly:
            Like a vine of lightning        flashing from a wreath
                        of cloud,
                She plunged an arrow in my heart.

            Half the wimple had slipped,    half was her face in smiles.
                Half a wave in her eyes:
            Half of her bosom I saw, half of the wimple filling,--
                Love consumes me ever since.

            Bright was her body withal,     and golden cups her breasts.
                Her bodice, Love transformed:
            My wits were routed,--          meseems this snare
                Was set by Kāmadev.

            Pearl-teeth arow                her lips did meet.
                That murmured gentle words.
            _Vidyāpati says:                Grief haunts my heart:_
                _I saw her indeed, but hope was not sated._


_Krishna:_  Beholding that my love was at her bath,
            She pierced my heart with arrows five,--
            The stream of water pouring from her tresses.
            Was her moon-face weeping, frighted by their gloom.

            The wet cloth clung upon her corse,--
            So might Kāma shake a hermit's heart!
            Twin breasts were cakravākas sweet.
            United by the gods upon the self-same shore,--
            Caged in the prison of her arms.
            Lest they should fly away in fear.

            _Vidyāpati, the poet, sings:_
            _The precious maid her lover meets!_


_Krishna:_  A joyous day this day for me!
            I saw my love when she was bathing,
            A stream of water pouring from her hair,--
            The clouds were showering strings of pearls!

            Wiping her face intentifly,
            As though she cleansed a golden mirror,--
            Discovering both her breasts.
            Where had been set inverted golden cups,

            She let her zone fall free:
            _That was the bound of my desire, says Vidyāpati._


_Krishna:_  Rāi of the lily face had not yet climbed the bank,
                When she beheld brave Kān before her:
            'A maid demure, with hanging head, in company of elders.
                How was I to see her face?'

                But matchless was the bright may's art:
            Stepping before them all, she called aloud,
                With half-averted face,
            And broke withal her string of pearls.
                Crying aloud: 'My garland's broken!'
            Every person, one and all, was gathering up the beads,--
                Then she gazed on Shyāma!

            Her partridge-eyes beholding Krishna's moon-fair face.
                Were drinking draughts of dew:
            _Each on the other gazing, spread abroad the taste
                        of bliss,--_
                _That Vidyāpati knoweth well._


_Krishna:_  She smiled a little when she saw me lurking there--
            As if the rising moon lit up the night:
            And when she rained on me her sidelong glances,
            The heavens became a swarm of bees.

            Who knoweth whose the maid may be,
            Setting my heart a-shake, and vanishing?
            The humble-bee is prisoned in the lotus-flower of love,--
            I was amazed to see the timid fair one passing by.

            Then was made manifest the beauty of her breasts,--
            (Whose heart does not the golden lily snare?)
            Half was she hidden, half revealed.
            Her globéd breasts told me of her desire.

            _Vidyāpati says: That was love's dawn:_
            _Whom does Madans secret arrow spare?_


_Dūtikā:_  The flower is open all amidst the thorns;
           The frenzied bee can find no place of rest,
           But haunts continually the nectar-laden jasmine,
           Reckless of life in eager thirst.

           He honey-life, you honey-heap.
           Already hiding hoarded sweets,--
           The maddened bee has neither home
           Nor rest without your jasmine-self.

           Deep in your heart consider this:
           Why should you be the murderer of a bee?
           _For Vidyāpati avows: He will return to life._
           _If He may drink the nectar of your lips._


_Krishna:_  Wheresoever her twin feet fall,
            A lotus-flower uplifts them:
            Wheresoever her body passes swaying,
            There is the lightning's undulation!

            Surpassing radiance that I beheld,
            Has made her seat amidst my heart:
            Wheresoever her eyes are opened,
            There are water-lilies seen!

            Wheresoever her light laugh rings,
            There very nectar sours in envy:
            Wheresoever fall her sidelong glances,
            Fly the myriads of Madan's arrows!

            Even an instant to behold such loveliness
            Suffices to eclipse the Triple Worlds:
            But and I see her once again,
            My mourning may depart!

            _Says Vidyāpati: In sooth,_
            _For your dear sake, I'll bring her._



_Dūtikā:_  Childhood and youth are mingled both,
           Her eyes have taken the road to her ears:
           Wily are her words, and her low laugh
           As if the moon appeared on earth.

           She takes a mirror to array herself,
           And asks: 'What is the game of love, my dear?'
           How many times she secretly regards her bosom,
           Smiling to see her breasts!

           First like a jujube, then like an orange,--
           Love day by day enfolds her limbs:
           O Mādhava, I saw a girl surpassing fair.
           Childhood and youth were one in her!

           _Saith Vidyāpati: Oh foolish maid,_
           _The wise would say, The twain have met._


_Dūtikā:_  Day by day her breasts grew great.
           Her hips increased, her middle waned:
           Madan now enlarged her eyes.
           All of her childhood fled in fear.

           Breasts that are jujubes first, and then like oranges,
           Daily the sting of Love increasing them:
           Thereafter waxing greater than the pummalo,
           Now they are twin ripe honey-apple fruits.

           Ah Mādhava! I saw the fair one freely,
           I suddenly beheld her as she bathed;
           The filmy muslin clung upon her breast,--
           Happy he who sees her thus!

           Her jet-black hair poured down her breast
           As though a shaggy yak concealed a gold Mahesh:
           _Hearken Murāri, Vidyāpati saith:_
           _So fair a may may dally with a man of worth._


_Krishna:_  Now and again her eyes to their corners fly,
            Now and again her filmy robe receives them;
            Now and again her serried teeth laugh out,
            Now and again the smile delays upon her lips.

            Sometimes she hurries nervously, sometimes she walks
                    but slowly,
            Now for the first time learning Madan's lessons:
            She steals a glance at her breasts' buds,--
            Sometimes she draws the wimple close, sometimes she
                    stands astonished.

            Childhood and youth are met in her.
            None knoweth which is first or last:
            _Hearken, O Kāna, says Vidyāpati,_
            _The marks of youth and childhood are indivisible._


_Krishna:_  Childhood and youth are face to face,--
            She stands uncertain, in the hold of rival factions:
            Sometimes she binds her hair, sometimes she lets it fall,
            Sometimes she hides her body, sometimes she leaves it bare.

            Her tranquil eyes are somewhat troubled,
            There where the breasts arise are purple stains,
            Her restless feet reflect her heart's unrest:
            Madan awakes, whose eyes were shut.

            _Hearken, Murāri, saith Vidyāpati:_
            _Sustain with patience till I bring her._


_Dūtikā:_   The little buds are peeping shyly,
            Her eyes have stolen the dancing of her feet,
            Her hand remains continually upon her robe,
            She is ashamed to question her companions.

            Oh Mādhav! How shall I recite her growing-up?
            E'en Madan's heart, beholding her, must be ensnared!
            Love is forsooth the ruler of her heart:
            Setting the jars upon her breast, he straightens out her form.

            She bends her mind to learn the lore of love,
            Just as the deer to hear the song:
            Strife springs up twixt youth and childhood.
            Neither admits defeat or victory.

            _Lo, Vidyāpati's enquiry,--_
            _Shall she not leave her childhood finally?_


_Dūtikā:_   Now youth advanced, childhood withdrew,
            Her eyes have caught the dancing of her feet.
            Twin eyes performed the task of messengers,
            Her laughter hid, and shame was born.

            Continually she sets her hand upon her robe.
            Speaks every word with hanging head:
            Her hips have gained their full-grown glory--
            She leans on her companions when she walks.

            Hearken, O Kana: I have drawn my own conclusions,
            Hearken now, and make your own decision:
            _The savour of this matter is well-known to Vidyāpati,--_
            _Record I take of Rāja Shrvasimha and Lakshmī Devī._



_Rādhā_:   How shall I tell of Kānu's beauty, my dear?
            Who shall describe that dream-shape?
            His lovely form is a fresh cloud,
            His yellow garment the lightning's flash.

            So black, so black his waving hair!
            The peacock-plume so near the moon's orb!
            For fragrance of the screw-pine and the jasmine,
            Madan casts away his flower-arrows in dismay.

            _Vidyāpati asks: What more shall I say?_
            _Nature has emptied Madan's treasury!_


_Rādhā:_    I had desired to look on Kānu,
            But when I saw him I was filled with fear:
            Ever since then I am both fond and foolish,
            I have no knowledge at all what I say or do.

            My twin eyes wept like dripping rain,
            Unceasingly my heart went pit-a-pat:
            I cannot think what made me look on him, my dear,
            Just for that whim, I lent my life into another's hand!

            I cannot tell what that dear thief has done to me,--
            When I beheld him, he did steal my heart, and went away,
            And as he went he showed so many signs of love,
            The more I would forget, the less I may!

            _Hearken, fair maid, says Vidyāpati:_
            _Have patience in your heart, for you shall meet Murāri._


_Rādhā:_    A peerless beauty I beheld, my dear,
            If you but listen, you may know it was the vision of a dream
            Twin lotus-feet that wore a string of moons,
            From them two tender tamāl-shafts arising,--

            Around them twined a vine of lightning,
            (He slowly passed along Kālindī's bank):
            Upon his leaf-like hands another string of moons--
            The lustre of the sun on new-blown flowers.

            Twin flawless bimba-fruits were ripe.
            Above them sat a tranquil parrot:
            Over him twin restless wagtails.
            Over them a serpent coiled about his head.

            My playful maid, explain:
            Why did he steal my wits when I beheld him thus?
            _Vidyāpati says: It is a sign of love;_
            _Well have you weighed the worthy wight._


_Rādhā:_    How can I tell the limits of my grief, my dear?
            The blowing of that flute diffuses poison through my frame:
            Insistently I hear it sounding,
            And then my heart and body melt in shame.

            In that supreme instant, my body fills to overflowing,
            I dare not lift my eyes lest anyone should know of it:
            In the company of elders, waves of emotion sweeping through me,
            I draw my dress across each limb to hide it carefully.

            With softest steps I walk about the house--
            Kind fate has so far hidden my secret shame--
            But rapture fills my heart and body, my girdle slips!
            _Vidyāpati is dazed! What can he say?_



_Sakhī:_    Happy is your birth, and blest your beauty!
            For all are crying upon Kānu, Kānu,
            And he is laden deep with love of you.

            The longing cloud desires the cātak,
            The moon desires the partridge,
            The vine upholds the full-grown tree,--
            There is amazement in my heart!

            When there you stood with hanging hair,
            Across your breast but half its veil,
            Then Kānu, seeing all, was sorely troubled,--
            Tell me, dear damsel, what is your intent?

            When you laughed and showed your teeth,
            With hand on hand held over head,
            And your unconscious glances pierced his heart,--
            Then seeing him, you took a maiden on your lap!

            Such is my tale of you, O beauty,
            Advise you thereupon:
            _You are the idol of his heart, and he a frame forlorn,_
            _Says Vidyāpati the poet._


_Sakhī:_    Hearken, hearken, O virtuous Rādhā:
            Murdering Mādhava, what is the good you will gain?

            By day the moon is pale and lonely,
            Likewise _he_ waxes thinner and thinner:
            His rings and bracelets slip,--
            I think he must remake them many times.

            _I cannot understand your ways;_
            _The poet rests his head upon his hands!_


_Sakhī:_    Make your decision, Beauty:
            Kāna is waxen wood for want of you,
            Sometimes he laughs for little cause:
            What would he say with passionate words?

            Very sorry are his sighs,
            He cries, _O Wel-a-way:_
            His helpless body trembles,
            None can hold him still.

            _Saith Vidyāpati: Dear maiden,_
            _Witness Rūpanārāyana._


_Sakhī:_    Hearken fair damsel, to good advice,
            For I shall teach you special wisdom:
            First you shall sit beside the bed,
            With bended neck, but half regarding him.

            And when your lover touches you, push out your hand,
            Remaining silent, uttering never a word:
            And when he takes you forcibly and clasps you to his side,
            Passionately you shall exclaim. Nay, nay!

            In his embrace, your body you shall wrench aside,
            Breaking away in the moment of delight.
            _Saith Vidyāpati: What can I say?_
            _Yourself the Guru shall teach e'en Love himself._


_Sakhī:_    Now hear me, daughter of a king,
            For I have come to speak with you:
            You have destroyed the life of precious Kāna,--
            What work is this that you have wrought?

            When day declined, I think,
            You walked beside the water's edge,
            And when you saw him, did embrace
            Some maiden's neck, demurely smiling:

            And showing him your moon-face,
            You put him in a sorry plight.
            Then suddenly you came away, before he saw you well
            Now he is weeping, _Wel-a-way_.

            Giving him just a glimpse of your breast,
            You stole his heart:
            _Vidyāpati enquires: Beauty,_
            _How shall Kānu live?_


_Sakhī:_  Attend my teaching, artless maid,
          And I shall give you good advice:
          First you shall deck your hair with jewels,
          And paint your curving eyes with sūrm.

          Then you shall go to him with all your body folded close,
          And seeming to be dumb, shall stay apart:
          My dear, at first you shall not go anigh him,
          But with wanton glances, fair one, shall awaken Love.

          Hiding your breasts, your shoulders showing,
          Your girdle knotted fast,
          You shall appear offended, yet be loving,
          You shall refrain desire, that ever springs afresh.

          _Says Vidyāpati: This is the first degree:_
          _They that be worthy shall taste the fruit._


_Rādhā:_  I know not the taste of love, nor the colour of desire;
          How may I have ado, my dear, with yonder swain,
          That I should love him as you ask?
          A young thing I, afraid of shame.

          What can I tell you, dearest maiden?
          I may not dare to have ado with him,
          He is a herdsman lover, new-enflamed,
          With all five arrows Love awakens his desire.

          No sooner seeing me, but he will clip me tight:
          Who then will save me, when my life is dying?
          _Vidyāpati says: Your fears are vain,_
          _Believe me, that his love is not of such a sort._


_Rādhā:_  Leave me, dear maid, I pray you,--
          I will not go whereas he is:
          Nought do I know the skill of words,
          Or art of signs, nor how to pretend offense.

          All of my friends arraying me at once,--
          I cannot even bind my own hair!
          I never have heard what dalliance means,
          How may I mix with Mādhava?

          He is learned in love, a passionate swain,
          And I a weak girl of scanty wisdom.
          _Says Vidyāpati: What counsel do I give?_
          _'Tis that there should be union._



_Dūtika:_   Hearken, hearken, beautiful Kānāi:
            I give the maiden Rādhā to your care,
            A lotus-damsel, softly-wrought,
            And thirstier bee than you.

            The feast of honey is prepared,--
            Only forget the Archer's cruelty,
            Touching her bosom gently
            As an olifant a lily.

            Making excuse to count her necklace pearls,
            Your hands may lift the burden of her breasts:
            She does not understand the ways of love,
            But now consents, and now refuses.

            The shirīsh-flower is not more delicate than she, therefore
            Inure her to the Archer's way by little steps,--
            _The poet Vidyāpati lays down_
            _This prayer of a messenger upon your feet._


_Sakhī:_    When first the damsel to her leman came,
            Her heart beat fast with shame and fear:
            Like to a golden image, Rādhā stood quite still,
            Nor moving forward, nor returning.

            Taking her hands, he sets her by his side,
            And she in shame and anger veils her face:
            When he unfolds her face and kisses her upon her mouth,
            She hides the shamefast face in Mādhav's breast.

            _This is the merry song of Vidyāpati the poet,_
            _Delighting Rājā Shivasimha's heart._


_Sakhī:_    The sakhī soothed her fears, and led her lovingly,--
            Her leman's heart was gladdened, he took her by the hand:
            But Rādhā paled at Kānu's touch,
            A lotus fading in the moon's embrace.

            She cries: _Oh no, no, no!_ and tears are pouring
                    from her eyes,
            She lies outstretched upon the margin of the bed,
            His close embrace has not unloosed her zone,--
            Even of handling of her breasts has been but little.

            She lifts the wimple up to hide her face,
            She cannot rest, but trembles through and through.
            _Says Vidyāpati: The heart of it is patience:_
            _Step by step may Madan claim his own._


_Sakhī:_    Ah damsel fair! in dalliance is no delight,
            For Madan wounds the heart with double pains.

            The maidens all together setting her by Kānu's side,
            The damsel breathes in frightened gasps:
            When Kānu lifts her to his lap, she bends her body back,
            Like the young snake, untamed by spells.

            'But shut your eyes this once, my fair one,
            As a sick man drinks his draught:
            A little moment's pain, and then the birth of bliss,--
            Why do you turn your face away from this, my girl?'

            _Hearken, Murāri, saith Vidyāpati:_
            _You are the ocean of desire, and she is artless._


_Rādhā:_    How can I tell of what was done that night?
            Unhappily the hours were spent with Mādhava:
            He clasped my breasts and drank the nectar of my lips,
            Laying his face on mine, he killed my life.

            (First youth, and hence this pouring out of passion:
            So rash is Kān,--he has no skill in love).
            Madan-maddened, nothing recking,
            He would not heed how many prayers!

            _Hearken, Lady fair, says Vidyāpati:_
            _You are but artless, and Murāri is athirst._


_Rādhā:_    What can I say, my sakhī? It is shame to tell
            All that my Lover did imperiously;
            A young thing I, unlearned in lore of love,--
            It was the messenger that led me to his side.

            My body shivered at the sight of him,
            So fierce he was to fall on me,
            I lost my wits in his embrace:
            How can I tell what amorous play he played?

            In everything my Lord behaved ungently,
            How can I speak of it amongst my friends?
            Why ask of it, who know it all too well?
            Happy is she whom he may not distress!

            _Fear not, says Vidyāpati:_
            _Such is the fashion of first dalliance._


_Rādhā:_    Do not urge me, dearest maiden, do not urge.
            What can I do, if he should soothe my fears?
            Few are my years, for I am not so old as Kānu,--
            I am too shamefast and too tender.

            Cruel Hari played with me impatiently,
            How can I tell how many woes the night bestowed?
            Passion flamed up, I lost my wits,--
            Who knows when he broke my girdle?

            He held me close, with pinioned arms,
            And then my heart was beating wildly;
            I let him see my streaming eyes,
            But even then Kānu had no pity.

            My wicked lover parched my lips--
            Abetted by the night, Rahu devoured the moon;
            He tore my twin breasts with his nails,
            Just as a lion tears an elephant.

            _Ah amorous woman, says Vidyāpati,--_
            _You knew full well Murāri was aflame!_


_Sakhī:_    Shyāma sitting in his pride
            Speaks of the night's delights:
            'She is the beauteous sweet-faced Rāi,
            With rapture I received her in my inmost heart.

            'How many ways she kissed me,
            Laughing light and low in gladness,
            Diversely disporting,
            My dream of delight.

            'How nectar-sweet her words,
            Eyebrows arching, wanton glances,
            Damsel waking in my heart's core.'
            _This is first love, says Vidyāpati._


_Rādhā:_    O maiden, dearest maiden, do not lead me to him,
            Too young am I, and he is a burning lover:
            My heart is shaken, going to his side,--
            The amorous bee will spring upon the lotus.

            The muslin hides my harmless body
            Like wimpling waters of a lily-lake:
            Oh Mother mine, how creatures suffer pain!
            What Power shaped the wicked Night?

            _Says Vidyāpati: What is befitting now?_
            _Who cannot tell when it is dawn?_


_Sakhī:_    Her gentle words she can but stammer,
            Her shamefast speech will not well out:
            To-day I found her most contrary,
            Sometimes consenting, sometimes fearful.

            At any word of dalliance, she tightly shuts her eyes,
            For she has caught a glimpse of the great sea of Love:
            At kissing-time she turns her face away,--
            The moon has taken the lotus on his lap!

            Stricken with terror if her zone be touched, the shining maiden
            Knows that Madan's treasury is being rifled.
            Her clothes are disarrayed, she hides her bosom
                    with her arms,--
            The jewels are exposed, and yet she knots her garment!

            _What is Vidyāpati to think, forsooth?_
            _For at the moment of embrace, she flies the bed!_


_Rādhā:_    Oh Hari, Why do you seek to loose my girdle?
            You shall not win your will:
            I cannot tell what pleasure there can be in seeing me,
            But now I know your guile, O Banamāli!

            If you will listen to my plea, Murāri,
            I shall abuse you only very gently:
            Sufficed with dalliance, what need for sight?
            My soul may not endure it.

            Never has like been heard,
            While lamps are lit, to play with me:
            The people of the house will hear our very breath!
            Deal with me gently, for the people of the house are
                    very near.

            _This savour Vidyāpati knoweth well,--_
            _Rājā Shivasimha and Lakshmī Devī be witness!_


_Rādhā:_    You that are skilled in passion's lore have pity
                    on my shame,--
            I will forsake it when my youth increases:
            My little savour cannot satisfy you now,
            The little draught will not suffice to slake your thirst.

            Would you but take it drop by drop,
            Daily increasing like the digit of the moon!
            These little breasts of mine will hardly fill your hands
                    as yet,--
            O Hari, do not wound them with your nails, be wise in love.

            _Vidyāpati exclaims: What are these gestes,_
            _To set such store upon a green pomegranate?_


_Rādhā:_    You are that Banamāli that did slay Chānur:
            This tender woman is the shirīsh-flower.
            O cruel messenger that made this war,
            And gave a jasmine-garland to an olifant!

            No longer does the sūrm paint my eyes,
            And wet with sweat are musk and sandal:
            O wounded Mādhav, I beseech you,
            Do not offer up my life upon the altar of Desire!

            O Hari, Hari, let your purpose be
            To spare my life until another day.
            _Give Love his due, impatient lover!_
            _Says Vidyāpati: Your wish shall be accomplished._


_Sakhī:_    Amorous the swain, and little is his darling:
            If hands be laid on her, how many are her wiles!
            With what entreaties and persuasions have the maidens led her
            To her lover's house, and laid her on his bed!

            With face averted, lying closely curled,
            (For who may turn the tide when passion flows?)
            She hides her face beneath the wimple,--
            The frightened moon escaping from the storm.

            No word comes out, she hears nought that is said,
            Repeatedly she folds her hands imploringly:
            With covering arms she guards the treasures of her life,--
            She needs no bodice to enfold her breasts.

            Insistently from sight and touch alike
            She keeps her jewels hidden in the granary of Love,--
            A matter for her maidens' mocking many days,
            Now learning her the lore of Love.

            _Vidyāpati finds great delight herein:_
            _For at a sudden touch, she pushes out her hand!_


_Sakhī:_    Enough! and cast the trouble from your heart.
            Be not afraid, go to your lover's side:
            Have done with obstinacy, for I tell you
            Never can be joy without its pain.

            But half a grain of grief, and then a life of gladness
            Why are you so averse to this, my girl?
            Just for a moment shut your eyes,
            As a sick man drinks his draught.

            _Go, Beauty, go, and play loves game,_
            _Vidyāpati prays for your consent._


_Rādhā:_    O Hari, if you will insist on touching me,
            The sin of murdering a wife will fall on you:
            You are a guileful lover full of passion
            I know not whether it be sweet or bitter.

            When passion is outpoured, I shiver
            Like an arrow-smitten bounding antelope:
            O do not realise your hopes before the time,--
            Savour is never lacking to the wise man's end.

            _Vidyāpati says: I see it clear,_
            _That honeyed fruit is never green._


_Sakhī:_    How to direct the flying arrows of her restless eyes
            The Archer-guru teaches her the unfamiliar lesson
            (And who would practise uninformed?)

            'Oh do not take my life by force!
            Toy not with me, O Kānu,--release my skirt;
            I am so faint, I fear love's war.

            How can my early youth content your will at all?
            A little riches cannot satisfy a beggar.
            The unblown jasmine of the early spring
            Cannot appease the hunger of the lusty bees:
            There cannot be a happy ending of a sinful deed--
            Be not so rash, when you ought rather hesitate.'

            _Says Vidyāpati: Oh amorous Kānu!_
            _The maddened elephant heeds not the goad._


_Sakhī:_    With soft persuasion all the maidens
                Led her to her lover's side,
            A fawn ensnaréd from the forest
                Panting hard.

            The sweet-face sits beside the bed
                With busily averted looks,
            Her mind wide-wandering,--
                Love breathing hard.

            Cruel is Love, and loveliness is stubborn,
                She will not follow reason:
            Fast is her girdle knotted, bodice bound,
                And barriers before her lips.

            Her body closely swathed on neither side
                A glimpse revealed,
            She yields her life at a hand's touch,--
                How may Hari win his will?

            _Unhappy Kānta lays how many prayers_
                _Upon the maiden's feet,_
            _Hurting her soul (so Rādhā thinks):_
                _Such is the song of Vidyāpati._



_Sakhī:_    Gainlier than a royal olifant, more graceful than the swan,
                She goes to keep her tryst:
            Her glorious body far surpasses any golden bud,
                Or flawless flash of lightning.

            Her tresses far surpass the clouds, the night, the yak,
                Or bees, or moss:
            Her eyebrow-tendril set on a crescent brow, surpasses
                Bow and bees and snakes.

            Her face excels the golden mirror, the moon, the lily,
                Her lips the bimba-fruit and coral:
            Her teeth surpass the pearl, the jasmine and the granate seed.
                Her neck the figure of the conch.

            Her beauteous breasts surpass the honey apple, or twin
                        palmyra fruits,
                Or golden jars, mountains, or goblets:
            Her arms excel the lotus-root and jungle-rope.
                Her waist the drum's and lion's.

            Softer than moss her vine of down and darker than the sūrm,
                The triple folds are lovelier than rolling waves:
            Her navel far surpasses any lake, or lotus-leaves.
                Her buttocks, head of olifant.

            Her thighs excel the plaintain-stem, or trunk of royal olifant.
                Her hands and feet, the lotus of the land:
            Her nails surpass pomegranate-seeds, the moon, or gems.
                Her speech is more than nectar-sweet.

            _Says Vidyāpati: Her shape is unsurpassed,_
                _Peerless is Rādhā's beauty:_
            _Rājā Shivasimha Rūpanārāyana_
                _Is the eleventh Avatar!_


_Sakhī:_    Rādhā's love is young,
            No obstacle can stay her:
            She has started all alone,
            Reckless of any path.

            She casts away the jewelled necklace
            That weighed upon her jutting breasts:
            She casts the rings and bracelets from her hands.
            And leaves them all along the road.

            The jewelled anklets from her feet
            She flings afar and hurries on:
            The night is very thick and black,
            But Love lights up the gloom.

            The way is fraught with dangers
            Which love's weapon overcomes:
            _Vidyāpati knows your mind--_
            _Never was such another seen._


_Krishna:_  The night is late, the fair one timorous and fearful:
            When will she of the olifant gait be here?
            The path is filled with dreadful snakes,
            How many dangers do her path beset, and she with feet
                    so tender!

            To the feet of Providence I trust her,
            Success attend the Beauty's tryst!
            The sky is black, the earth is sodden,--
            My heart is anxious for her danger.

            Heavy the darkness in every airt,--
            Her feet may slip, she cannot find the path:
            Her glance beguiles each living thing
            Lakshmī comes in human form!

            _Says Vidyāpati the poet:_
            _The maid enamoured yields to none but Love._


_Sakhī:_    She veils her face, that lady shene,--
            They tell the king: The moon is stolen.
            O lovely lover, how may you not be seen
            By watchmen keeping watch in every house?

            Let not your smile flash out, sweet-face,
            Murmur but soft and low the music of your words,--
            For near your lips are lustrous teeth.
            As near the vermeil mark is set a pearl.

            Hearken, hearken, to my words of counsel,
            Even in dreams may nothing hinder:
            The moon differs from you but in her spots,
            For she is stained, and you are stainless.

            _Ha! Rājā Shivasimha and Lakshmī Dev,_
            _Says Vidyāpati: My heart is fearless._


_Sakhī:_    The citizens are waking on the king's highway,
            Rays of the moon light up the dome of earth:
            No peace in new-born love,--
            I am amazed to see you. Loveliness!

            How many ways the damsel seeks to hide herself:
            She goes a-trysting in a boy's disguise.
            And binds her flowing tresses in a knot.
            Changing diversely the fashion of her dress.

            And since her breasts may not be hidden by their veil,
            She clasps an instrument of music to her bosom:
            Thus she attains the darkness of the forest,--
            The Lord of lovers cannot know her when he sees her!

            Perplexed is Mādhava, when he perceives her,
            But at a touch the riddle is resolved.
            _Says Vidyāpati: What happened then,--_
            _What sports of Love ensued?_



_Kavi:_  Came the lord of seasons,--Royal Spring:

         The hosts of bees besieged the mādhavī flowers,
         The sun's rays reached their youthful powers,
         The keshara flowers upheld the sceptre of the king.

         Fresh pītal flowers composed the royal throne,
         Golden blossoms raised the state umbrella.
         And mango-buds the crest above:
         Before the king the koils sang the pancam-note.

         The peacocks danced, the bees buzzed,
         The twice-born sang the blessing spells:
         Enamoured of the southern breeze.
         The pollen of the flowers upraised a canopy.

         Jasmine and honey-apple bore the banner:
         Pātal the quiver, rows of ashoka trees the arrows.
         Seeing the allied kimshuk and labanga-vine
         The Winter season broke before the Spring.

         The army was a swarm of honey-bees
         That rooted out the Winter utterly:
         The rescued lotus came to life.
         Offering its fresh leaves for a throne.

         _There is delight in Brindāban, says Vidyāpati,_
         _Befitting what shall there befall._


_Kavi:_  In Brindāban renewed the groves are green,
             The flowers new-spread:
         The Spring is new, and the new southern breeze
             Excites the swarms of lusty bees.

             The bloom of youth disports.
         The bowers beside Kālindī's banks display unwonted loveliness,
             New snares of love are laid:
         The bees are frenzied by new sappy buds,
             The callow koils are a-calling.

         The new young maidens, maddened with new longings,
             Are hurrying to the groves.
         A new Lord reigns: the lusty lovers young
             Are bright with new-found lustre.

         _For ever and for ever new diversions such as these_
         _Delight the heart of Vidyāpati._


_Kavi:_  Drunken are the honey-bees in honey-season
         With the honey of the honey-flowers:
         In Honey-Brindāban resides
         The Honey-Lord of honey-love.

         Amid the companies of honey-maids
         Is honey-honey-dalliance:
         Honeyed are the blissful instruments of music,
         Honeyed hands are beating honey-measures.

         Honeyed is the dance's sway,
         Honeyed are the movements of the dancers.
         Honeyed are their happy songs,
         _And honeyed are the words of Vidyāpati._


_Kavi:_  The blissful night of Spring holds sway
         Glad dalliance among, and passionate rāsa-dance;
         And lovely Rādhā, jewel of maids, is filled with longing,--
         Skilled in the dance. He bathes with her in bliss.

         Merrily the company of maidens dancing,--
         Golden bangles tinkling tunefully,--
         Now will they sing an amorous air
         The mode of Spring, more passionate than any other.

         Rabāb, pināsh, and mahātik are sounding:
         Murali sports, delighting Rādhā's heart.
         _The merry poet Vidyāpati sings_
         _What Rūpanārāyan his lord, well knows._



_Krishna:_  Refrain your wrath, disdainful lady:
            Breasts that are globes of gold, and serpent-necklace,
            By these I swear,--
            If ever I touch another girl, forsaking you,
            May I be bitten by that necklace-serpent!

            Or if you will not trust my protestation,
            Inflict on me at will a fitting penance:
            Bound in the rope of your two arms, bruise me with your hips.
            Rest on my body the weary burden of your breasts.
            Prison me night and day within your bosom's gaol!

            _Vidyāpati says: This penance is befitting!_


_Dūtikā:_  He who was wont to wanton with a flute, has cast away
                   his jewels,
           He who was wont to wear a yellow weed, now grovels at
                   your feet,--
           There was a time your eyes would overflow, might you
                   not see him.
           Now you will not so much as look upon his face!

           Beauty, abandon your bitter mood.
           Lusty Kānu is praying at your feet:
           By happy hap this amorous Shyām is yours.
           By happy hap the tide of spring,--

           By happy hap this love's attainment,
           By happy hap this blissful night,--
           Damsel disdainful, will you forsake your Krishna's body,
           And spend your life henceforth in lonely weeping?

           _These be love's ways, says Vidyāpati,--_
           _Yet prayer's denial deserves no praise._


_Dūtikā:_  One little moment of a day you keep your youth,--
               The days are floating by:
           Evil and good, these two will travel at your side,--
               The only final gain is what you give to others.

               Beauty, you have had part in killing Hari,
           All day and night he thinks of only you,--
               This is his hour of separation!

           In sorrow's sea he swims or sinks,--
               Show him your globéd breasts:
           O worthy fair one, Gokula's Lord preserve,
               And win the praise of the Triple Worlds!

           _Of a myriad lovers, whosoever looks on Kāna,_
               _Deems that day is blest:_
           _Frenzied is Hari by reason of your fury_
               _The poet Vidyāpati avows._


_Rādhā:_      You shall not tell me otherwise, my dear:
          Little by little I came to know him better,
              That Kānu is so cunning.

          He made a sweetmeat of some knotty wood,
              By smearing treacle on it:
          Filling with poison a golden jar,
              He added a layer of milk!

          Yet surely Kān is good, and I am bad,
              Because his words beguile me:
          In heart and speech He is the same,
              Matchless amidst a myriad.

          _The same flower that you cast away, the same you use
                       in prayer._
              _And with the same you string the bow:_
          _Such is the quality of Kānu s speech._
              _The poet Vidyāpati avows._


_Dūtika:_  O lovely wrathful lady, stony-heart,
           In such a plight he is, and yet you say no word!

           True love's way is not of such a sort;
           It is befitting you should mix with him.

           When for his loneliness his life is forfeit,
           With whom will you continue anger then?

           Who says your heart is soft?
           Never was heart so hard as yours!

           _If now you do not mix with Mādhava,_
           _The poet Vidyāpati will never speak with you again._


_Kavi:_  With hanging head, she writes upon the ground,
         Whoever utters Shyāma's name, she utterly ignores
         Over her glowing robe her hair falls free,
         She casts away her jewels and all her fine array.

         Her face is like a lord of rosy lilies, void of sap:
         The earth is flooded with her streaming tears.
         Just then the Lady of the Forest came
         And said: 'Fair maid, go we to serve the Sun.'

         _But she of the hanging head made no reply._
         _Says Vidyāpati: She went away._


_Krishna:_  'Why veil your face, dear beautiful?
                You've stolen my wits away:
            You have no dread of slaying men,
                Your courage is unbounded!

                'O wrathful lady, my heart is frenzied,
            No more I may sustain the pangs of Madan,
                But come to you for refuge.

            'Whether two towering hills, or cups of gold,
                I gaze and cannot tell:
            And on each breast is Shambhu reverenced,
                Framed in his crescent moon.

            'I fain would touch them with these lotus hands
                If fate be not forbidding:
            I seek a sanctuary at your feet--
                (O that the damsel may be kind!)'

            Seeing her restlessness, I was distraught.
                My heart beat fast.
            _Hearken, young damsel, says Vidyāpati:_
                _Bestow some boon on Kāna._


_Krishna:_  Hearken, hearken, worthy Rādhā,
            For what offence do you refuse my company?

            How many stars have risen in the sky,
            But the moon is another Avatār!

            What more in special can I say?
            In a host of a myriad Lakshmīs I have eyes for none.

            _And hearing this the maiden's heart dissolved in tears,_
            _And his desires were realised._

            _Vidyāpati says: There was reunion;_
            _All were astonished at the tale!_


_Krishna:_  Your high round breasts--like golden cups--
            And curving eyes, have stolen my wits away:
            O lady fair, forbear your bitter fury,
            And give the frenzied bee his draught of honey!

            I clasp your hands, my fair sweet girl,
            Be not so cruel, have pity on my lot:
            How many times must I advise you
            I may no more sustain the sting of love!

            _Vidyāpati says: You know full well._
            _That hope deferred is worse than death._


_Dutikā:_  Hearken, O Mādhava: Rādhā is waxen wilful,--
               How carefully and in how many ways I warned her.
           And yet the beauty gave no answer!

           The lovely creature when she hears your name,
               Covers her ears with her hands:
           She who thought that your love was for ever new.
               Now will not even hear you speak!

           I laid before her a lock of your hair.
               Flowers and grass and pan:
           But the wrathful face of a lily she would not turn,--
               She sat unmoved, with face averted.

           _This heart of yours forsooth, is lightning's very essence,--_
               _How shall I soothe your fury?_
           _Vidyāpati says: A kind word would be fitting;_
               _But you yourself be still, O Kāna._


_Rādhā:_      At last, my dear, I see how Kāna is uncouth:
          An axe of brass, useless for any work,
              A layer of tinsel over it!

          Albeit I showed him angry eyes, how came it that the mountains
              Slipped in two thick roads?
          Taking the shālmal for the sandal, he clasped it close,--
              But there was a thorny dart!

          He who has spent his life amongst the beasts,
              What can he know of Rati's ways?
          This is a night of nectar, but I spent it vainly
              With yonder boorish Herdsman!

          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, young woman:_
              _He is not ever a boor!_
          _You are uncouth yourself, your trade is herding too,_
              _You cannot lay such blame on Hari!_


_Rādhā:_  There bloomed a flower of golden shene,
          My hope was high the fruit would be a gem,
          I fed its roots with streams of milk;
          I saw no fruit, and all was vanity!

          I am the simple daughter of a cowherd,
          And this unworthy love is worse than death;
          What woe, Alas, has Fate afflicted me,--
          For hope of gain, I lost my all!

          _This is Vidyāpati' s conclusion:_
          _You cannot make a dogs tail straight._


_Krishna:_  The sun is in the East, the tide of night has ebbed,
                The moon is merging in the sky.
            The water-lily closed,--and even so, my lady fair,
                Your lily-face is shut.

            A lily-face, two lotus-eyes,
                And lips of honey.
            All your body flower-wrought,--
                Why is your heart of stone?

            Your hands are wasted, and you wear no bracelets,
                Even a garland is a weary burden:
            And yet you will not cast away your mountain load of pride--
                What wicked ways are yours!

            _Now leave these wrongs, give Hari bliss, my fair,_
                _Now with the dawn, give over wrath:_
            _Rājā Shivasimha Rūpanārāyana,_
                _Says Vidyāpati!_


_Sakhī:_  Beauty, of lineage and courtesy, without your eyes--
              The best of lovers--what may you do?
          How may you make jap-tap, or alms bestow or vows accomplish.
              Who have no pity on the pitiful?

              'I would advise you very seriously, my dear:
          One such a virtue many a sin may cancel,
              A single sin destroys the fruit of many virtues.

          'Though brother to the poison, thief of a guru's wife.
              And vomited from Rahu's jaws.
          Scorching divided lovers, slayer of water-lilies,--
              Yet for his merits the moon shines bright!

          'Loving another's children, careless of his own,
              The crow drinks dregs of love:
          Yet an only word of His, wipes all those faults away,--
              He speaks such honey-words.'

_Rādhā:_  'What can I say, my dear, of Kāna's love--
              The roothless root of every virtue?
          Touching His flute He makes a hundred vows
              But even then I cannot trust Him.

          'Renewed embraces: kissing me upon His lap,
              He makes protest of loyalty!
          But He has spent the night beside some other girl,
              And emptied me of hope.

          'In something more than fire my body burns
              I see the seal of Rati on every limb.'
          _Life may expire, says Vidyāpati,_
              _And yet you will not mix with Hari!_


_Rādhā:_  Hearken, prithee, heartless Hari,
          Fie on your such love!
          Why did you speak of keeping tryst,
          And with another maiden spent the night?

          You make pretence of love for Rāi,
          And dally with another girl:
          Who says brave Kānu is best of lovers?
          No such another fool is in the world.

          Refusing ruby, you seek for glass,
          Leaving an lake of nectar, you long for brine,
          Forsaking a sea of curds, to wanton in a well,--
          Fie on your amorous blandishment!

          _Vidyāpati the lord of poets avows:_
          _Rādhā will never look upon your face again._


_Rādhā:_  Thirsting for fragrance I flew to the flower
          But never I came the near,
          I saw not a drop of the ocean of honey,
          And now the people mock me.

          And lo, my dear, the bee bewitched by someone else
          And no one passes any judgment thereupon:
          By little steps I came to understand him better,
          How is his heart as fickle as the lightning.

          Forsaking the lily, he followed the screw-pine,
          Inhaling its fragrance:
          But the thorns have pierced his body
          His face is smeared with dust.

          Somewhat hurt, I think, he comes again to me,
          As though he had been disappointed:
          There is one flavour men have never understood--
          Distinction of the good and bad.

          _Hearken, my good girl, says Vidyāpati;_
          _Love is only understood by lovers,--_
          _Rājā Shivasimha is the storehouse of all virtues._
          _And Rānī Lakshmī Devī his wife!_



_Sakhī:_  The wrath of the wrathful fled afar
          Kānu sank in a sea of nectar:
          But when he asked for her embrace,
          Albeit heavy with love, her lovely body might not bend.

          Honeyed was the swain's speech,
          Tremulous the beauty's sighs;
          Her Lord enfolded her upon his lap.
          But yet the flow of nectar was but little.

          Gently he kissed her face--her eyes were full of tears,
          And though her heart was full of love, yet love was lacking;
          Bravely he touched her bosom with his hands.
          But even then desire would not awake.

          And when at last he loosed her girdle.
          Then even, in Hari's bliss, desire was cold.
          And even then she felt no gladness:
          _Is it pleasure or pain, says Vidyāpati?_


_Sakhī:_  Peerless Rādhā beside Murāri,--
          Her wrath broke down, whose wrath was stubborn!
          Mādhava kisses Rādhā's face,
          Looks on her moon-face with brimming eyes.

          All of her maidens were filled with joy,
          Madan entered the hearts of both.
          Twain were enraptured, each in the other's lap:
          _A sight that fills Vidyāpati with bliss._


_Sakhī:_  'Tell me, O Beauty, what were the night's delights.
          How did your Lord fulfil your hopes?
          (How curiously, methinks, has Providence
          Created man and maid!)
          You are the fairest woman of the world
          And have attained Murāri, worthiest of men.'

_Rādhā:_  'I am not able to recite my lover's love,
          The fates have not bestowed on me a myriad mouths!
          Doffing his necklace of ivory pearls,
          With care he set it on my neck:
          Taking my hands, he set me on his lap,
          And cooled my limbs with fragrant sandal.

          'He loosed my locks (so neatly bound),
          And wreathed them with a campak garland;
          With honey-honey-glances Kāna gazed on me,
          His eyes brimmed over with tears of joy.'

          _Billows of love, says Vidyāpati:_
          _Hearken, my dear, I sing their Union._


_Sakhī:_  Measureless virtue! whereso yearning bodies meet--
          Now there has been indissoluble union of the twain:
          How many a one essayed this way and that,
          Yet none availed to put the twain asunder!

          Never any household in the wicked world
          Has seen such love as this, a very fount of milk!
          If one should fetch it to the fire
          And stir the milk to separate the water,
          The milk, exulting in the heat, boils over--
          Goaded by separation pangs, it leaps into the fire!

          If any one should pour more water in it,
          Then the separation-pangs withdraw afar.
          _Avows Vidyāpati: Love is such,_
          _And such the love of Rādhā-Mādhava._


_Rādha:_  Very cunning is my Kāna,
          Without any spell he broke my wrath!
          He appeared to-day in a yogi's weed--
          Who can explain such singular gestes?

          At the will of my mother-in-law I went to give him alms,
          When he saw my face, he began to murmur words of love,
          And he said: 'The gift I ask is the jewel of your pride,'--
          (Then I could tell what guile was his!)

          'Tis shame to recite all that he said.
          Nobody knows the Lord of lovers!
          _Vidyāpati says: lovely Rāi,_
          _How can you plumb the depth of his cunning?_


_Rādhā:_  What can I tell of to-day's affair my dear?
          A jewel fell to the hands of a fool
          Who knows not the price of gold or glass,
          And reckons alike the jewels and _gañja_ seeds,

          Who is lacking in lore of crafts of love,
          And reckons milk and water the same:
          How can I feel affection for him?
          Shall a necklace of pearls adorn the neck of a monkey?

          _Wise in this savour, Vidyāpati asks:_
          _Has pan ever graced the_ mouth _of a monkey?_


_Rādhā:_  What shall I tell you, dear gay friend?
          I cannot speak of to-day's disports:
          I was lying alone on my flowery bed,
          Love was my fellow, armed with his flowery darts.

          Kāna came with his tinkling anklets,
          In jest I lay with eyes closed:
          Kāna came nigh and sat beside me,
          I turned my face to hide my laughter.

          Hari lifted from my locks their flowery chaplet,
          And gave me his crest of peacock feathers:
          With elaborate care he took the pearl from my nose
          And lifted the necklet from my neck!

          Loosing the bodice, my dear one lost his wits!
          Then Madan woke, and I bound the thief my arms:

          _Says Vidyāpati: A learned wanton he--_
          _You may be lovesome, but your lover is a master of
                  the art of love!_
          _In you there is love, but he is a lover all-wise in loving!_


_Rādhā:_  I was still very wrathful.
          But my lover disguised as a girl dissolved my pride:
          What can I tell of the pranks of to-day, my dear?
          For there came Kān with the maiden-messenger!

          He bound his curling hair in a knot,
          The Lord of lovers dressed like a girl!
          He put on a necklace and made a breast in his bosom,
          He put on his feet a jewelled anklet.

          First he put his left foot foremost,--
          Ratipati danced with his flowery bow;
          I looked with amazement,--and fondled him freely,
          With downbent glances, I set him in my lap!

          When I touched his body so full of love,
          The pride of my wrath fled Under-earth,
          I stood all astonished, with finger to nose.
          _Vidyāpati says: The quarrel was ended!_


_Rādhā:_  My frolicsome friend, what shall I say?
          There was another prank, unspeakable:
          Naked of any weed, I sat alone at home,
          When he of the lotus-eyes appeared unseen!

          To hide my body on either side revealed the other,
          (O open wide and let me sink into the earth!)
          Seeking to cover my breasts with my hands, I could not,--
          Just as the snow may not conceal the southern hills.

          Out on you, fie! my life, my youth, my honour,
          The Lord of Braj gazed on my limbs to-day!
          _O amorous Rai, Vidyāpati says,_
          _Could you outwit such wit as his?_


_Rādhā:_  O mother mine, what can I say to-day!
          The stain sticks fast, for all washing with water:
          After my bath, and climbing Kālindī's bank,
          The filmy muslin clung to my limbs,
          That all my shape was clearly seen,--
          And there was Yaduvira just before me!

          My buttocks broad were plain to see,
          I turned me round and over them shook my hair:
          And when he fixed his gaze upon my breasts,
          I turned my back on Hari and sat me down.
          But cunning Mādhava scanned my body with smiling face,
          The body I sought to hide would not be hidden!

          _You are a witless maid, says Vidyāpati:_
          _Why did you not return to the water?_


_Rādhā:_  My mother-in-law was asleep, and I lay in her lap,
          And love-learned Kānu was lurking behind.
          Somehow I made it clear to him by signs:
          'Will you give over fooling, or shall I begone?

          'Refrain this affection, O foolish lover,--
          As at this time your prayers are not to be granted!
          (Can there be any pleasure in embraces from behind,
          Shall thirst for water be slaked with milk?)'

          Bending his face to mine, how did he drink the nectar of my lips
          How often silently he laid his hand upon my breasts,
          Nor let betray him any panting breath,--
          What laughing battles were fought with flashing teeth!

          _My mother-in-law awoke, and Kāna ran away:_
          _My hopes were not fulfilled, says Vidyāpati._


_Rādhā:_  I was alone, and weaving garlands,
          My skirt and bodice were unloosed,
          And then came Kānu with quiet smiles!
          (How shall I hide my bosom and my girdlestead?)

          My darling clasped me with a merry laugh,
          Modesty and shame departed to the underworld--
          (How may I dout the lamp, that's out of reach of hands?)
          And yet my brazen life dies not of shame!

          _This is the very work of love, says Vidyāpati:_
          _Wherefore this shame of him to whom your life is dedicate?_


_Rādhā:_  To-day my awkward shame was far away,
          He realised his heart's desires:
          What shall I say, my dear? (I smile to speak of it,)
          So very marvellous was the dalliance of to-day.

          The toppling clouds fell down on earth,
          The pleasant mountain-kings rose up on high:
          I likewise, gazing in the emerald mirror,
          Fell there where neither up nor down are known.

          Newly advised was Kān, my lord,
          His sayings overpowered me:
          He gave a refuge to the homeless--
          Shamefast I was and hid my heart's fire.

          The prince of wantons folded me upon his lap.
          And with the wimple wiped the dews of weariness,
          Fanning me gently, I fell asleep.
          _Vidyāpati exclaims: Delight beyond compare!_


_Rādhā:_      What can I say, my dear? 'Tis measureless!
          Whether this was a dream, or real, I cannot tell,
              Or very near, or far away.

          Beneath the winding lightning, darkness came to birth,
              Within, a river of heavenly nectar:
          The wavering darkness swallowed the sun and moon.
              On every hand the stars were falling!

          The heavens fell, the hills were overthrown,
              The earth quaked hard,
          Stormily rose the sighing winds,
              The swarms of bees buzzed:

          Like an ocean of chaos the waters overflowed,--
              Yet this was not an æon's ending!
          _How can I trow this contrary tale?_
              _Vidyāpati makes enquiry._


_Sakhī:_  Her wandering hair was mingled with the circle of her face--
              A wreath of clouds across the moon:
          Jewelled earrings swung from her ears,
              Her tilka ran with sweat.

              (Beauty, of fortune-yielding face:
          If you should still wage Rati's war,
              How may Hari-Hara save?)

          Bracelets musical, and bangles noisy,
              Anklets clinking:
          Drunk with the wine of love, Love yielded,--
              Victory, Victory! by beat of drum!

          For when from the loins arose a muffled sound,
              The warrior was crushed:
          _Vidyāpati's Master wins such bliss,--_
              _Yamunā and Gangā mingling._


_Kavi:_   Shyāma is drunk with Madan's drowsy wine,
          With smiles he takes the moon-face on his lap--
          Wanton glances, gentle laughter,
          Leaning of limbs, amorous murmuring.

          Amorous she, and passionate Kān,
          Heart upon heart, face on face,
          Both are drunken, both are archers:
          _Such song of love shapes Vidyāpati._


_Rādhā:_  If you would have my love, O Mādhava
          Make Madan witness to this document:

          'You will abandon dalliance 'neath the kadamb,
          You will have no more regard to parents.
          Even in dreams you will see only me,
          And never drink but to my eyes,
          Night and day will sing my praise,
          And take no other maiden on your lap.'

          When I shall have such covenant in hand,
          Then I will speak of love with you!

          _Hearken, brave Kān, to Vidyāpatis advice,--_
          _Preserve your dignity even at cost of life!_


_Rādhā:_  Like to the tool that trims the jewels of her toes,
          Gokula's darling grovelled on the ground:
          Unceasing tears were flowing down his face,
          How many ways my love besought me!

          O evil day! for I was proud,--
          And now my brazen heart declines to die!
          Who would have thought black wrath could be so dangerous,
          Or that a jewel could be changed to clay?

          I have been luckless in my woman's lot:
          My refuge is in death, I was too proud!
          _Hearken, lady Rāi, says Vidyāpati:_
          _I shall explain the reason of your weeping._



_Sakhī:_  The mournful beauty, gazing on Kānu's face,
          Was sobbing loud with brimming eyes:
          The peerless moon-face, when he said 'Farewell,'
          Fell fey upon the ground, with cries of 'Hari, Hari!'

          How distractedly did Hari comfort her,--
          'Now I shall not go to Mathura':
          When this sweet sound reached her ears,
          The lovesick nymph revived.

          And taking Kānu's hands in hers.
          She lifted them to touch her head:
          'Say unmistakeably, good Kān, my lord,
          'I will not go to Mathura.''

          And when the damsel had this comfort,
          She raised herself again, and sighed no more.
          _Murāri went his way, when Rāi was soothed--_
          _Vidyāpati refrains from words!_


_Dūtika:_  Mādhava, O moon-face,
           Never can you have known the sting of separation!
           Hearing you are departed to another land, she wastes away:
           O wretched Rāi, bereft of wit by force of love!

           Refusing even buds of flowers, she lies exhausted on the ground,
           The calling of the koil fills her with fear,
           Her tears have washed the beauty-spots away,
           Her wasted arms let slip their ornaments.

           With hanging head Rādhā regards her throat,
           Now are her fingers raw with writing on the ground:
           _Says Vidyāpati: Recollecting all his ways,_
           _And taking count of them, she fainted._


_Rādhā:_      A sorry end to all my love, my dear,
          To let my life depend upon a wanton,--
              Nowhere to look for help!

          I could not see the hidden well,
              But as I ran, I fell therein:
          At first I nowise knew the heavy from the light,--
              Now would I might return!

          His honey-speech I understood for love,
              At first I knew no better:
          I yielded all my skill into another's hands,
              Pride had fled afar my heart.

          Till now I led another way of life,
              But now I know what drowning is:
          I with my own hands sharped the stake,
              Whom can I blame now?

          _Hearken, fair young thing says Vidyāpati:_
              _No other thought be in your heart!_
          _Oft is life lost for sake of love,_
               _Who does not know this in the world?_


Rādhā: Why would you burn my body, O thou Bodiless?
       I am not Shankara, but a gentle girl,

       This is my flowing hair, not matted locks,
       Not Gangā, but a jasmine garland on my head.

       This is a pearl tiara, not the moon,
       No eye upon my forehead, but a scarlet beauty-spot:

       Not poison, but a trace of musk upon my throat,
       A necklace on my breast, and not the lord of serpents.

       Blue silk my robe, and not a tiger's skin,
       This is a lotus of delight, and not a skull!

       _All this is loveliness, says Vidyāpati:_
       _Not ashes on her limbs, but dust of Malaya._


_Dūtika:_  Often, in meditation on the name of Mādhava,
               She changes into Mādhava himself:
           Forgetful of her own desires and of her own identity,
               She is enamoured of her own charms.

               O Mādhava, your love is peerless!
           The fire of sundering from herself devours her body
                       in its flames,
               I doubt if she may live.

           Her friends are filled with grief, so sadly she regards them,
               The tears are pouring from their eyes:
           The cry of 'Rādhā, Rādhā,' echoing repeatedly,
               She murmurs broken words.

           When she is with Rādhā, she thinks that she is Mādhava,
               And when with Mādhav, Rādhā:
           And even so, this bitter love may not be broken asunder.
               The pang of separation hurts her more and more.

           Just as a tree both sides aflame quite utterly consumes
               Some wretched insect's life:
           _In such a plight, Vallabha, I saw the nectar-face,_
               _Says Vidyāpati._


_Rādhā:_  Where wanton Murāri is wont to sit,
          There write my name or twice or thrice:
          Lay by his side the jewels from my body,
          This is my life's last prayer!

          And all the number of my friends, write ye my name,--
          Kind was my darling, only fate was cruel.
          I die indeed, for Kānu's sake:
          Seek some occasion to ask news of him.

          Once on a day let my beloved write my name,
          And pour the lustring water with his rosy hands!
          _Hearken fair damsel, says Vidyāpati:_
          _Be patient of heart, you shall meet your Murāri!_


_Rādhā:_  Hari has gone to Mathurā town.
          And Gokula is void to-day,
          My ribs are all shrunken with weeping,
          The cows are roaming on the road to Mathurā.

          Herdsmen and maidens no more wandering
          Beside the Jamunā's banks,--
          I shall cast my life away in the waves,
          And I will be born again as Kānu!

          Then shall Kānu be Rādhā,
          To suffer the pangs of love.
          _Vidyāpati gives this advice:_
          _No need for weeping now!_


_Rādhā:_  Now Mādhav has gone to Mathurā town,
          (Who can have stolen the jewel of Gokula?)
          Gokul resounds with the noise of weeping.
          See how the waves are swollen with tears!

          Empty the temple, empty the lover,
          Empty each airt, empty all!
          How can I go to Jamunā's banks?
          How can I look on the booths and the groves?

          How can I look on the place and live,
          Where he smothered my friends with flowers?
          _Vidyāpati says: Be well advised,_
          _Maybe he is hiding there in jest!_


_Sakhī:_  Watching with streaming eyes the way her darling went,
              Half a second seems an aeon,--
          'Fate is most bitter, sundering thus
              Murāri far from me!

             'What shall I do, my dear?
          What karma's fruit is this, my dear one gone abroad?
             Perpetually pierce me the pangs of Madan.

         'O that a woman's sighs, may fall beside my dear!
             (By whom is my beloved sitting?)
         Were I but a bird, I would fly to his side,
             And describe to him all my distress!

         'Bring me my darling, and save my life,--
             Will no one take pity?'
         _Vidyāpati says: Soon ye shall meet,_
             _Possess your heart in patience._


_Rādhā:_  I am a girl on fire, in the temple bird-alone,
              No friend is here with me:
          The rain comes on, my love is gone abroad,
              And cruel Love is hostile.

              This is my day of dissolution,
          Fresh clouds are driving in every quarter,
              My life is flying from the sight.

          Again the thunder roars, my life is shaken as I listen,
              My heart is pounding:
          The cruel peewit, calling 'Piu, piu,'
              Reminds me of his lap.

          And since it rains incessantly, I know my life will end,
              As though in flames of fire.
          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, fair lady,_
              _The worthy lover shall be yours._


_Rādhā:_  Even the moon's cool rays are scorching-hot,
              The Spring is comen in:
          Even from a crow's mouth not a word of Kānta!
              What makes this cruel Madan?

              I know, my dear, my evil day is come:
          At what a time has Fate opposed me,
              Denying me to see him more!

          So many days, I kept my body carefully
              And now I know my end is near:
          My last faint hope is but a legend now,--
              How long my wicked heart endures!

          _Evil is Madan's mood, says Vidyāpati:_
              _To whom may you confide your care?_
          _Fiercer than flames of a sea of fire_
              _This bitter severance from your darling!_


_Rādhā:_  Fresh flowers are springing by every cabin, brake and copse.
              The koil sings the pancam note:
          The southern breeze has reached the snowy hills,
              And yet my darling has not come again!

          The lunar sandal burns my body hotly,
              The bees are buzzing in the woods,
          The Spring is here and Kānu far away,
              Unfriendly Fate I see.

          With steadfast gaze to scan my Master's face,
              My eyes have no content:
          So many hardships may a woman's shrivelled heart
              Endure in such a joyful season!

          My body wasting daily, like the winter lotus,
              I know not what the end will be!
          _Fie upon life, for shame, says Vidyāpati,_
              _Pitiless Mādhava's heart!_


_Rādhā:_  Unhappy I, all birdalone.
          Calling for Kānu, Kān, my life slipped by:
          With promise of return, my lover went away,
          He has forgotten all my former charms!

          The flowers are blowing in every glade,
          Now Spring has come, my dear,
          The host of koils spread their noise:
          My darling is abroad, I may no more sustain!

          To whom shall I confide my heart's distress?
          No living creature of the Triple World such pain may know!
          _Hearken, fair Rāi, says Vidyāpati:_
          _I shall expound it all to Kānu._


_Rādhā:_      There is no limit to my woe, my dear!
          O heavy rains of autumn-tide,
              My house is empty!

          Impenetrable clouds are thundering unceasingly,
              And all the world is full of rain:
          Kānta is a stone, and Love is cruel,
              A rain of arrows pierces me.

          A hundred flashes blind my eyes,
              The peacock dances in an ecstasy:
          The happy frogs but croak and croak,
              My heart is bursting.

          _Utter darkness, night impenetrable,_
              _Unbroken line of lightning:_
          _Vidyāpati says: How may you pass_
              _The day and night alone?_


_Rādhā:_      Who says that Mādhava will come, my friend?
          How can I ever cross the sea of longing?
              I have no faith within my heart!

          Expectant every moment, I pass the livelong day,
              Expectant day by day, a month goes by:
          Expectant every month, I pass the year,
              I have forsaken all hope in life.

          Expectant every year, I pass my life
              Wasting my flesh with hopes:
          If the lotus die of the winter moon,
              What shall avail in the spring?

          If the flower be scorched by the summer sun,
              What shall avail the autumn rains?
          If I waste in longing this fresh young life,
              What shall avail my Lover's love?

          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, young thing:_
              _Do not be hopeless now:_
          _That Bliss of Braja, and Heart's Delight_
              _Shall quickly be at your side!_


_Dūtikā:_      O Kān, I saw the tender she beside herself!
           Love is distraught by koil's calls,--
               And day by day she wastes away.

           He stays abroad, he sends no news,--
               How shall the Braj girls live?
           The best and fairest of the world endures
               The poison and the pain of parting!

           She who might have no bed except his bosom,
               Now grovels on the ground,--
           As if the full round moon lay fallen asunder
               In a withered campak garland.

           From then till now I have consoled her,
               Nought else has saved her life!
           _Vidyāpati says: O pitiless Mādhava,_
               _She swooned away to hear your name!_


_Sakhī:_  Making a promise to return 'To-morrow,' her lover went away,--
          Writing the word 'To-morrow,' the wall is full!
          The day had dawned, she asked of everyone:
          Tell me, O tell me, when will to-morrow come?

          'Awaiting to-morrow, abandoning hope,--
          Never again shall I lie by Kānu's side.'
          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, fair damsel:_
          _The beauties of the town are holding him back._


_Rādhā:_  Everyone praises the gifts of love,
          That love whereby the virtuous woman is made a wanton!

          Had I but known how cruel was love,
          Should I have passed the limits of sin?

          Now it has come to be poison to me:
          Let no one set their love on Hari, on Hari!

          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, fair damsel:_
          _Would you first drink water and then consider
                  the giver's birth?_


_Rādhā:_  How many reproaches and scornful words of my elders
          I counted for nought in my heart, deep-laden in love.

          For whose sake I forsook without shame the path of duty,
          He now has forsaken my companionship.

          Now dearest maiden, tell Murari for me and remind him,
          'The worthy forsake not any without regard to their innocence.'

          O dear companion, he that is wise,
          Even though sentence be harsh, does justice at least.

          What more can I say, that am but a helpless woman?
          It is you that are skilled in speech and full of resource.

          Tell Kānu this with honeyed words,
          I pray you do it, appease his wrath.

          For your wiles are many, and what do I know?
          _Vidyāpati says: This song is of love._


_Rādhā:_  I never thought that love would break,
          Or that the love of any worthy one might be a stone.

          Therefore it is this great misfortune has befallen me,
          I cannot fathom what Fate has wrought.

          And tell my friend, my dear, with folded hands,
          'It is but fruitless to destroy the flower of love.'

          If he should answer, 'You are senseless,'
          Say that I gave my heart with a free good will.

          _Vidyāpati declares: I am amazed;_
          _He whom you love, it seems, is blind!_


_Rādhā:_      Explain this all to Kānu, dearest friend:
          'If you who sowed the seeds of love, destroy the flower,
              In what way shall I live?

          'Just as a drop of oil floats on the surface of the water,
              Such is the likeness of your love:
          Just as the water on the sand immediately vanishes,
              Such is the way of your affection.'

          I was a woman of honour, and am become a wanton
              Since his words beguiled me:
          I with my own hands shaved my head
              Because of Kānu's love.

          Deep in my heart I am grieved, like the wife of a thief,
              And hide my face within my veil:
          Like the eager moth's that flings itself on the flame
              Was the fruit I sought to enjoy.

          _Vidyāpati says: This is the way of the Kali age,_
              _Let no one wonder thereat:_
          _Everyone reaps the fruit of his folly_
              _Who puts himself in another s power._


_Rādhā:_  I am dying, am dying, I die indeed, my dear:
          To whom shall I leave my Kānu, my storehouse of treasure?
          As many as may be, dear friends, remain by me,
          And when I am dead, write Krishna's name along my limbs.

          And Lalita, friend of my life, whisper such spells in my ears
          That my body may die to the sound of Krishna's name:
          Nor burn nor cast in the waters Rādhā's body,
          But hang me high on a tamāl bough, when I am dead.

          The tamāl tree is of Krishna's hue,
          There let my body ever rest:
          If ever again my darling comes to Brindāban,
          I shall come to life at the sight of my dear.

          If I may not see his moon-fair face again,
          I shall cast off my life in the fire of love!
          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, fair damsel,_
          _Be patient of heart, you shall meet your Murāri._


_Rādhā:_  After how long shall this sadness depart?
          When shall the heavy load of this grief be lifted?
          How long shall it be till the moon and the lotus are joined?
          After how many days shall the bee disport with the lily?

          When shall my lover converse with me?
          When will he put his hands on my breasts?
          When will he take my hand to set me on his lap,
          When shall my longing be realised?

          _Hearken, fair woman, says Vidyāpati:_
          _Every sorrow shall fly when Murāri is yours._


_Rādhā:_  Speak to me, speak to me, dear, and tell me, O tell me,
              Where is the land where my darling dwells?
          For Madan's burning arrows, my body is ablaze
              To hear some news of him.

          What like is she my Lord has met,
              That he is so enamoured?
          Some maid he must have found, my Lord is glad.
              And plunges in my heart an arrow.

          Shatter my bangles of shell, take off my fine array,
              And break my necklace of ivory-pearls,--
          If my dear will forsake me, what is the use of jewels?
              Cast them all in the waves of the Jamunā.

          Wipe from my hair the scarlet line and put it far away.
              All is hopeless without my darling.
          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken young damsel:_
              _Your sorrow is come to an end._


_Rādhā:_  The day that Mādhava went his way
              All those words poured forth:
          My heart was heavy and heavier still to hear,
              The tears were dropping from my eyes.

          When morning dawned, then coming close,
              Did Kānu swear an oath,
          I held his hand upon my head:
              Now all is otherwise.

          Scanning the road, my heart is heavy:
              The mādhavī vine is flowering,
          The koil is a-calling, _Kuhu, kuhu_, resounding.
              And every bee is buzzing.

          Which is the city where my dear was stolen.
              Pleased by what maid he won?
          _Vidyāpati says: Hearken, young damsel:_
              _The thief is your lover himself._


_Dūtikā:_  A river of tears is flowing from her eyes,
           And on its banks she falls and swoons:
           O Mādhava, your pity is but too perverse,
           You have no fear of murdering a wife.

           Then did her breath grow faint,
           And some were fanning her with lotus-leaves,
           And other clever maids were listening for her breath,
           And I have run to tell you.

           Some say that Hari is a-coming,
           And at that name her wit returns,
           The dusky braid begins to dance upon her breast--
           A serpent black upon a lily's lap.

           Recounting in your heart your former love,
           Come back once more to your own home,
           _Vidyāpati the mighty bard declares:_
           _The wily wight is well aware of all her woe!_


_Dūtikā:_  Ah Mādhava, I come just now from seeing Rāi:
           For grief of loneliness she answers nought,
           But lies with her face on the earth.

           She lay outstretched on the grassy ground,
               Her body was wasted with love,
           As if with a touchstone the Lord of Five Arrows
               Had proved a streak of gold.

           The orb of her face lay low in the dust--
               (More lovely it seemed therefor):
           The moon in fear of Rāhu had fallen down on the floor--
               (Such was the fashion of my delusion).

           What can I say of the pangs of disunion?
               Hearken, most cruel Kānu:
           _Vidyāpati says: She is of good fame,--_
               _You know that her life is in danger._


_Dūtikā:_  Mādhava, lo, I have seen your lovely Rāi,--
           Her gaze is fixed like a painted puppet's,
           Friends surround her on every side,
           Exceeding faint is the breath of her nostrils.

           Exceeding thin is her corse, like a streak of gold,
           (None that beholds it believes it hers),
           Bracelets and bangles fall from either wrist,
           Her hair untressed, her head unhidden.

           I cannot solve these sentiments and swoons,--
           Fiercely the fever of longing scorches her relentlessly.
           _Vidyāpati says: Her loveless body_
           _Has abandoned now all love on earth._


_Dūtika:_      Mādhava, prithee, visit yonder babe:
           To-day or to-morrow she is like to die,
               Such burning love she bears!

           Refreshing water, lotus-leaves upon her bed,
               Or ointment of sandal-paste,
           Each and all are flames of fire;
               The moon with tenfold heat annoys.

           Devoid of might, she leans upon the earth to rise,
               All night she wends and wakes,
           And starting suddenly, she murmurs 'Shiva, Shiva!'
               Her fire has filled the earth.

           _I know not if there be a remedy._
               _Says Vidyāpati the poet:_
           _Nought but the fated tenth-day plight remains,--_
               _Be well-advised forthwith._


_Dūtika:_  She turns her face away from looking on the moon.
               She stands and gazes piteously down the road;
           With eye-collyrium she makes a painted Rāhu
               And speaks with him in wrath.

               Mādhava, unyielding heart, delaying abroad,
           Her that you dallied with I have beheld all birdalone,
               I pray you turn again to home.

           How can the tender child support the southern zephyr?
               For Love is doing her hurt:
           Her breath has ceased, which hope sustained,--
               With every finger she draws a snake.

           _Vidyāpati says: O Lord Shrvasimha,_
               _This is the cure for sundering's sorrow--_
           _Avoiding the koil, and taking sweets in hand,_
               _Loudly to summon the crows._


_Rādhā:_  There was a time my lover leaned above my face in bliss,
          Not for an instant would he leave my body:
          He bound my flesh in a bond of measureless love,
          Who now forsakes my company.

          Why should I live any more, O fair sweet friend?
          He without whom I could not rest for a moment,
          Is filled with the love of another.

          My friend would fare to a far-away land, and I shall
                  die of grief,
          I will cast away my heart in the sea, and none shall know:
          Or taking the necklace lay on my lover's neck,
          I will wander wide in the world as a yoginī.

          _Vidyāpati Kavi sings of this sundering--_
          _Record I take of Rājā Shivasimha and Lakshmī Devī._


_Dūtika:_  Mādhava and the babe new-led in love,--
           You have forgotten her, forsaken to her fate,
           She is become a garland offering.

           She who so loves, I see her frame is fretted,
           She stares upon your path
           With fixed regard, she hears no word,
           Her tears are falling fast.

           Her country is forsaken of your flute,
           Her body is wasted all away
           Most like the narrow streak of gold
           The goldsmith draws upon the touchstone.

           Her hair is disarrayed, she no more tresses it--
           So little might the fair thing has:
           Wasted and worn and woeful I have seen her
           Midst her gay companions.

           Like chaff she flies and falls,
           She needs her friend's embraces:
           Cure of her sickness lies in other hands,
           How may she live?

           _On solemn oath Vidyāpati reveals_
           _A yet more ferly thing:_
           _Pondering ever on your ways_
           _Is the root of her undoing._


_Krishna:_      Can I forget, my dear and gentle lady,
            How when I took her hands, and went my way to Mathurā,
                She fell and fainted?

            Nor with what trembling speech and gentle murmuring
                The fair and gentle creature spake?
            My body stiffened, I came away indeed,
                But there was left my heart with her.

            Now lacking her, the day and night are dimmed,
                She is established in my heart:
            Beside another love in regal state,
                I live like any anchorite!

            Surely I come in a day or twain,
                Make her assured of this.
            _Vidyāpati says: There lies his heart,--_
                _They shall be joined in love._



_Rādhā:_  When Hari comes to Gokula town,
          In every house shall the trumpets flourish 'Victory'!
          I shall give my necklace of pearls for festal knots,
          And my heavy breasts as festal urns.

          I shall offer my nipples as sprouts of the scented mango,
          In Mādhava's service I shall achieve my heart's desires:
          I will set before my beloved incense and light and gifts,
          And do the anointing with tears of joy from my eyes!

          _My outstretched hands shall embrace my dear._
          _Vidyāpati says: This is loves ecstasy._


_Radha:_  When my dear and blissful lover comes to my garth,
          I shall turn my back with a little smile:
          Wildly my darling will grasp my wimple,--
          And I shall draw back, for all he may do!

          And when my belovéd asks me to play,
          Then shall my smiling mouth refuse:
          When he shall roughly clasp my breasts,
          My hands shall restrain his hands, half-glances belying.

          For my lover, the proper man is a bee,
          Holding my cheeks will drink the honey of my lips,--
          Then shall he ravish my every sense!
          _Vidyāpati says: Your life is blest!_


_Rādhā:_  When Kāna shall come to my house,
          I shall gaze on his moon-face with swimming eyes:
          When as a woman I say 'Nay, nay,'
          Then shall Murāri woo me more wildly!

          He will take my hands and set me down on his lap,
          He will soothe my heart for endless time:
          I shall clasp him close, casting out coldness,
          He will fill me with balm, I shall close my eyes!

          _Vidyāpati says: Lo, lovely lady,_
          _Fie on this brazen love of yours!_


_Rādhā:_  I spent last night in bliss,
          I saw my darling's moon-face:
          Meseemed my life and youth bore fruit,
          The ten directions were filled with joy.

          I thought to-day that my home was made a home,
          To-day my body became a body indeed:
          Fate has been friendly to me to-day,
          And all my doubts are dissolved.

          Now let the koil call a hundred thousand times,
          A hundred thousand moons may rise!
          Now let the arrows-five become a hundred thousand,
          And southern breezes sigh their softest!

          Now for so long as he leaves me not
          So long I deem my body is verily mine,
          _Vidyāpati says: Your bliss is not little,_
          _Blessing upon your love renewed!_


_Rādhā:_  How shall I tell of my boundless joy, my dear,--
          Mādhav abiding day after day in my house?
          Just so much as the wicked moon annoyed me before,
          Even so much was the joy when I saw my darling's face.

          Even if I might fold in my wimple the best of treasures,
          I would not let go my beloved into a far-away land:
          A shawl in the winter is my beloved, a gentle breeze in
                  the summer,
          My dear is a shelter from the storm, and a boat on the river.

          _Vidyāpati says: Lo, lovely lady,_
          _The grief of the goodly endures not for ever._


_Rādhā:_  The hurt that the Lord of the Seasons erstwhile did me,
          All has departed at sight of Hari's face!
          All hopes and desires that were in my heart,
          All are achieved in my Lover's kindness.

          When I lay in His arms every hair of my body was glad,
          In the dew of His lips my grieving melted away:
          Fate has fulfilled the hope of all the days of my life,--
          From bending my eyes upon Him I know no rest.

          _Vidyāpati says: There is grief at an end,_
          _No sickness remains when the cure has been found._


_Sakhī:_  Fate is now friendly for ever more!
          Each on the other's countenance gazing, twain are rapt--

          Each in the other's arms the other enfolds--
          Twain are the mouths contented each with the nectar of
                  other's lips.

          Twain are the bodies a-tremble at Madan's behest,
          The jingle of jewels is heard again in the house!

          _What more should I say, Vidyāpati asks:_
          _So as their love is, so is their loving._


_Sakhī:_  Rare was that meeting of one with the other,
          The grief of disunion vanished afar:
          He has taken her hand and put her down on the painted seat,
          The jewel-Shyāma disports with the jewel-damsel!

          In many wise playing with diverse delights,
          The bee, as it were, with the lotus delaying:
          Eyes upon eyes and face upon face,
          A chorus of twain entranced by each other's perfections!

          _Vidyāpati says: The Lover is rapt,_
          _The Love-thief has conquered the Triple Worlds!_


_Rādhā:_  A mirror in hand, a flower in my hair,
          Surm of my eyes, tāmbūl of my mouth,
          Musk on my breast, a necklace about my throat,
          All the gear on my body, the life of my house.

          Wings to the bird, and water to fish,
          Life of my life--I know Thou art these--
          But tell me, O Mādhav, what art Thou in sooth?
          _Avers Vidyāpati: Each is both._


_Rādhā:_  What would you ask of my feelings, my dear,--
          Can I expound such love and affection
          As are moment by moment transformed?

          From the day of my birth I have seen His beauty,
              And yet are my eyes unsatisfied:
          My ears have continually heard His honeyed speech,
              But I have not attained the path of audition.

          Many a night have I passed in play,
              And never have learnt what is dalliance:
          Myriad aeons I held Him close to my heart,
              And yet no rest has reached that heart.

          How many a one tormented and passion-tost
              I have seen--without seeing!
          _Vidyāpati says: For your heart's ease_
              _You have met with One who is nonpareil._


_Kavi:_  Hearken, O Mādhava, what more can I say?
         Nought can I find to compare with love:

         Though the sun of the East should rise in the West,
         Yet would not love be far from the worthy,

         Or if I should write the stars of heaven on earth,
         Or if I could pour from my hands the water of all the sea.

         _Vidyāpati says: O Shivasimha Rāi,_
         _To abandon the loving is ever unmeet._


_Kavi:_  Frenzied tresses encircling her radiant face--
         It is Rāhu desiring the orb of the moon:
         Flowers of her hair with her necklace entwined,
         As the Jamunā joins with the waters of Gangā.

         The twain beyond speech are out of all reason,
         The loveling disports with most ardent passion:
         Eagerly fair-face kisses love-face,
         The bending moon drinks up the lotus.

         Her face is adorned with a bead of sweat--
         Madan has offered a pearl to the moon:
         Long is the necklace that hangs on her breasts--
         It is pouring its milk into golden jars.

         The chains on her hips are loudly jingling--
         Madan is sounding pæans of conquest.
         _Vidyāpati says: O amorous lady,_
         _Your skill in love's lore surpasses my speech!_









The poems voice the thoughts or represent the spoken words of Rādhā and
Krishna, of sakhīs (Rādhā's friends) and dūtikās (messengers of Rādhā or
Krishna), and of the poet himself The greater part of the whole is
properly dialogue, but inasmuch as the 'audience' is generally silent,
we have only thought it necessary to make use of quotation marks where
the words of more than one speaker are reported in one and the same

The following synonyms of Krishna are used by Vidyāpati: Hari, Mādhava,
Kāna, Kānu, Kānta, Kanāi, Murāri, Murali, Banamāli, Shyāma, Vallabha,
Giridhara, Gokula-nātha, Nanda-kumara,--and the following of Rādhā:
Rādhikā, Rāi.

As regards the use of capitals: 'Love' is so printed when the poet
refers to love as a Power (Kāmadeva, Anaʼnga, Pañca-bān, Madan,
Manmatha), and 'Desire' is similarly printed with a capital when the
reference is to desire as a Power (Rati, the wife of Kāmadeva).

In the use of pronouns refering to Krishna, we have only occasionally
printed a capital 'He,'--for though He was God, he appeared to Rādhā
as man. We have generally used the colloquial second person plural, in
place of the thee and thou of the original, since to reproduce the
original would not convey the needed intimacy of the French
'_tutoyer_': but in few cases it seemed better to adhere to the



The First Passion of Krishna


Rādhā first seen:

_'She was a phantom of delight_
_When first she gleamed upon my sight.'_


2. 'Unstained,' literally 'without antelope.' Indian fancy sees in the
moon's markings, not a 'man in the moon,' but an antelope (or a hare).
Rādhā is flawless, and so lovelier than the moon itself.

4. 'Sūrm,' viz. _añjana_, otherwise rendered as kohl or collyrium,
with which the lower eyelid is blackened.

10, 11. A woman's throat is commonly compared to a conch. The Shambhu
(Shiva-lingam) is the nipple (cf. Nos. XVI, LXVI). The poet suggests
that Rādhā's pearl necklace seems to be an ambrosial offering to Shiva,
made by Kāmadeva, using the sacrificial vessel of Rādhā's conch-like
throat (cf No. LI, 12).

12, 13. _'Hevene y tolde al his_
        _That o nyght were hire gest.'_


Rādhā excels the sources of her charms in every quality, so that each is
put to shame. Cf. _Prema Sāgara_, Ch. LXIII, and

       _'Straighter than cedar, brighter than glass;_
       _More fine in trip than foot of running roe . . ._
       _Fresher than poplar, smaller than my span._

                     Shep. Tony (in 'England's Helicon').

4. 'Olifant,'--the elephant is commonly regarded by those least
familiar with him, as a clumsy animal, probably on account of his size
and weight. For the eastern poet he symbolises strength, grace and
symmetry. The old form 'olifant' is therefore used here as if to restore
him to his true position by a slight suggestion of mystery.

"The soft and graceful gait of an Indian woman is likened to that of an
elephant; and in the East, where a woman's garments permit freedom of
movement and sympathetic co-operation of the muscular system this is an
apt comparison. In the West the natural swing of the hips, only possible
in conjunction with the free, lithe play of the muscles of the foot and
torso, is restricted and becomes jerky . . . The elephant has an exquisite
sense of balance and most supple joints, and can even make obeisance with
profound dignity."

F. H. Andrews, _Journal of Indian Art_, X, 52. See also Max
Muller,_S.B.E._, Vol. XI, p. 46, note 2.

11. To save the Worlds, Shiva drank up the poison that appeared at the
churning of the Ocean, whence his throat is stained blue. The poet
suggests that despair at the sight of Rādhā's beauty was the real cause
that Shiva drank.


6. "The _Khanjana_ (wagtail) eyes are characterised by their playful
gaiety." (A. N. Tagore, _Some notes on Indian Artistic Anatomy_,
Calcutta, 1914). The 'snakes' are the lines of collyrium drawn on each

8. _Lomā-latā-bāli_, lit. 'down-vine-wreath,' here compared to a half
suffocated snake, to suggest the depth of Rādhā's navel. Garuḍa is the
enemy of all snakes. The _lomā-latā-bāli_ is often indicated in Orissan
sculpture (e.g. _Viśvakarma_ LV) by a slight furrow extending upwards
from the navel. See also LI, 17.

12. The Indian Eros is armed with five arrows, from which he sometimes
takes the name Five Arrows (cf. No. CXX). Here it is suggested that Love
with Three Arrows slew the Three Worlds, and gave the two others to
Rādhā's eyes, that the slain might be slain again.

The Three Worlds, constantly alluded to are _Svarga_, _Mata_ and
_Patal_,--Heaven, Earth and Underworld.

17. The well of love: by 'maidens about the village well,' we can hardly
doubt that the poet intends to signify the souls of men, attracted to
the source of Eternal Life.

18, 19. The names of the poet's patron and his queen are constantly
introduced in the refrains.


    _'Oh woe is me, that ever I did see_
    _The beauty that did me bewitch.''--_

                       John Forbes, 1661.


1. 'Cowdust-time,' viz. evening, when the cows are driven home: a
favourite subject of Pahārĩ painters.

5. _'Tis not the linen shows so fair_
   _Her skin shines through and makes it bright.'--_

                       Anon. (1671).

8. 'Lord of the Five Gaurs'--the Panjab, Kānoja, Bengal, Darbhangā,
Orissā. The sway of the Princes of Gaur was of course far less extended
than this in Vidyāpati's day. The term is complimentary: see Dinesh
Chandra Sen, Bengali Language and Literature, p. 290.


1. 'Milk-white,' a free rendering of '_nanuñga-badanī_': _nanuñga_,
modern _nanī_, is a preparation of milk, not exactly curd.

          _'Whiter far than Moorish milk.'_

                      Richard Braithwait.

7. '_Cakravākas_,' birds (_Anas casarca_), of which the pairs are said
to separate at night, for example, to sleep on opposite sides of a


This is one of Vidyāpati's most renowned poems, and a favourite subject
of Rājput painters.


1. The bank of the Jamunā, or the steps of a bathing ghāt. Jamunā bank
in Vaishnava literature stands for this world regarded as the constant
meeting place of Rādhā and Krishna where amidst the affairs of daily
life the soul is arrested and beguiled to her (worldly) undoing.

12. It is a popular tradition that the partridge (_cakora_) is in love
with the moon and lives on the moon's rays. (Cf. XXV, 5).


7. A favourite motif of Indian poets. When the day lotus closes at dusk,
the thoughtless bee intent on honey is made a prisoner.


2. Rādhā's feet do not touch the ground, but are upborne by lotus
flowers that spring up beneath them. Thus Rādhā is very tenderly
represented as divine. Every footfall finds a lotus-footstool,--which
is a constant convention of Buddhist and Hindū art. The lightness of her
step is also suggested.

8. Called 'water-lily' eyes "for the calm repose of their drooping
lids." (Tagore, loc. cit.).


The Growing-up of Rādhā


3. Her eyes are elongated just when she grows up: or possibly the poet
means that she then first artificially extends their length with a line
of collyrium.

14. 'Mahesha,' i.e. a Shiva-lingam, Cf I, 11, and LXVI, 10.


1, 2. Sometimes she flashes sidelong glances, sometimes she veils her


8. _'And vital feelings of delight_
       _Shall rear her form to stately height._
           _Her virgin bosom swell.'_


9, 10. The attraction of music for deer is a favourite motif of Rājput
paintings, particularly in the representation of certain rāgiṇīs (Torī,
etc),--see Coomaraswamy, '_Arts and Crafts of India and Ceylon_,' fig.
78. In another poem Vidyāpati has:

    For when she hears love's language spoken,
    She turns away her eyes,--and lends her ears.


The First Passion of Rādhā


4, Lit. 'That he wears a yellow garment is the lightning's streak.'

6. The peacock plume, Krishna's constant headdress, beside his


3, 7. 'Strings of moons,' i.e. toe-nails and finger-nails.

5. The yellow dhoti round his legs, the 'tamāl-shafts.'

8-12. Krishna's lips, nose, eyes and hair.


The flute of Krishna is the call of the Infinite, 'the sound of the
camel-bell,' the 'sword' of 'I come to bring not peace, but a sword.'

3. Lit. 'Suddenly (or forcibly) it takes its seat in my ears,' cf.

    _'Every moment the voice of Love is coming from right and left.'_

                               Shamsi Tabrīz (Nicholson, IX).

11. _'When the strings of thy robe are loosed by the intoxication of

                               Shamsi  (Nicholson, I).


The Counsel of Girl-friends (Sakhīs)


'Artless,'--_mugadhini_. Svakīya heroines are classified according to
their experience, as _mugdhā_, inexperienced, _madhyā_, more
experienced, and _pragalbhā_, fully mistress of love's art (e.g.
Rudraṭa, _Kāvyālaṅkara_, XII, 17: _Sāhityadarpaṇa_, 97,98, _Daśarūpa_
11,25). _Mugadhini_ has also the signification of 'fond,' 'lovesick,'
as in XXII, 2 (_mugadha nārī_).


First Meetings


    _'A honey-comb and a honey-fower_
    _And the bee shall have his hour.'_



4. The day-lotus closes and fades at night and in the moon's rays; Rādhā
is the lotus, Krishna the moon, as also in XLII, 8.


7-10. _'Sweet reward for sharpest pain.'_

                    Sir Philip Sydney.

12. 'Artless 'or 'innocent,'--_mugadhini_, as in XXX, 1 and again in


12. _Lit._ Happy is she that can look on him unmoved.


2. Rādhā knows and fears that she will yield to Krishna's wooing.

14. Rāhu, demon that swallows the moon at each eclipse. Cf. CXX, 10 and


Mark the contrast between Krishna's memories of the night, and Rādhā's.


12. The Indian woman's purse is a knot tied in her _sārī_. The suggestion
is that of the uselessness of tying up the treasure which the thief has
already seen.


3. Cānūra, a wrestler in the service of Kaṅs, slain by Krishna (CF _Prema
Sāgara_, Chs. XLIV, XLV).


5. Cf. The following _dohā_, the text of a Pahārī drawing:

    _'Jyoṅ jyoṅ parasai Lāla tana     tyoṅ tyoṅ rākhata gō, ē_
    _Navala bāla ḍara Lāla-kai        indabadhu-sī hū, ē_

    'The more that Lāla touches her body, the more she curls up her body,
    The tender girl, afraid of Lāla, becomes, as it were, a woodlouse!'


4. The Pairs of Opposites, as also in No. LXII.


2. 'A wife,'--the original signifies 'woman' or 'wife.' In any case, the
reader will observe (Nos. LXXX, LXXXVI and CXVII) that Vidyāpati writes
of Rādhā as a _svakīya_ heroine, whereas a majority of Vaishnava
writers further emphasize the conflict between Love and Duty by making
her _parakīya_, the wife of another. But as Rādhā's was at best a
Gāndharva marriage (according to Vidyāpati's indications), ratified at
first only by mutual consent (as in the case of Shakuntalā), and
willingly accepted by the family, we should perhaps call her _anūdha_
(unmarried) rather than _svakīya_ (_Vāgbhaṭālaṅkāra_, V, 12,13). It is
the yielding before or without marriage which Rādhā often speaks of as
her shame and sin, and for which she is blamed by her family. None the
less, much of what is here related is quite true to everyday Indian
life, where courtship normally follows marriage, and public flirtation
is always considered disgraceful.


(Rādhā's) Going-forth (to visit Krishna)

The Abhisārikā heroine is one who goes from her home to visit her
belovèd, careless of danger or shame. The Abhisārikā is a favourite
subject of Pahari painters (see Coomaraswamy, '_Journal of Indian Art_,
October, 1914). An English example in John Davidson's 'A Ballad of a


5-8. _'Teeth of pearl, the double guard_
     _To speech, whence music still is heard.'_


11, 12. See note to 1, 2.


Dalliance in Spring


Cf. the extract from Kālī Krishna Dasa's _Kāmini Kumāra_, translated in
Dinesh Chandra Sen's _Bengali Language and Literature_, p. 688.

8. _Pañcam_--the dominant. Also in CV, 2. The pitch of each of the seven
notes "was originally determined by the rishis of the forest from the
sounds of various Birds and Animals uttered at particular seasons and
times. . . Pā is the note sounded by the Kokila, the Indian nightingale,
at springtime, when after a silence of six months it hails the brightest
period of the year and tastes the first sprouts of the new season with
an ebullition of joy"--Chinnaswami Mudaliyar, _Oriental Music_.

10. 'Twice-born,' epithet equally of Brāhmans and birds. The sense is
that in this Nature-festival the birds performed the 'the most solempne
servise' of the officiating priests.


14. 'For ever and for ever'--since the Krishna Līlā is eternal.


2. _Rāsa_, the circular dance of Krishna with the _gopīs_ (herd-girls),
wherein his form was multiplied and became many; thus described in the
_Prema Sāgara_, and often represented in Rājput drawings, and
constantly acted in the _Rās-līlā_--

    _'Two and two the gopīs held hands and between each pair was
            Hari their friend. . ._
    _Gopi and Nanda-kumara alternate, a round ring of lightnings
            and heavy clouds,_
    _The fair Braj girls and the dusky Krishnas, like to a gold
            and sapphire necklace._

The _Rās Maṇḍala_ thus described is the exact equivalent of the
'General Dance' to which (in a well-known mediæval carol, 'To-morrow
will be my Dancing Day') Christ invites the souls of men,--for the words
of the carol see G. R. S. Mead, in 'The Quest,' October, 1910.

8. _Vasanta Rāg_.

9. Cf. _Indian Drawings_, II, PI. 2.



This affection of a heroine is something compound of pride, disdain,
offense and coldness: a hardening of heart (cf. _hṛdaya-granthih_). The
soul's contraction though the voice of God is heard,--she will not open
her doors.


3. The Pairs of Opposites, cf. No. XLVII, 4.


This is most typical Vaishnava poetry, in one breath blaming Krishna's
wiles and proclaiming Him One without second. The note of blame is
specially characteristic. In the _Prema Sāgara_:

    _'He forsakes goodness; He accepts badness: deceit is pleasing
    to Him!'_

In Tagore's King of the Dark Chamber:

    _'Well, I tell you, your King's behaviour is--mean, brutal,

In the _Krishna_ of 'A.E.'

    _'I saw the King pass lightly from the beauty that he had betrayed._
    _I saw him pass from love to love; and yet the pure, allowed
            His claim_
    _To be the purest of the pure, thrice holy, stainless, without

6. The golden jar is Krishna's body.

12, 13. All love is one, though you may reject it,--sacred or profane:

    _'Cowl of the monk and bowl of wine, how shall the twain by
            man be wed'?_
    _Yet for the love I bear to thee, these to unite I dare for thee.'_

                                Hafiz (translated by Walter Leaf).

Vidyāpati might have written (since Vaishnavas never used the Sufī
symbol of wine), 'Lust of the flesh and love of Thee . . . these to
unite I dare for Thee.'


7-9. Rādhā ignores a message from Krishna, sent through the priestess of
a Sun-shrine, to meet him at the temple.


10, II. The nipple with its areola, compared to a Shiva-lingam with the
digit of the moon that Shiva wears in his hair. Cf. XVI, 10, 11.


6. Lakshmī, consort of Vishnu and goddess of beauty and fortune.


8, 9. This message implies, by the lock of hair that he would leave the
world as a shaven monk if Rādhā would not yield. Flowers and pān (betel)
are an 'olive-branch.' A blade of grass is sometimes held in the mouth
to swear by, and here means sincerity.


6. The sandal is the best of trees, the shālmāl the worst.


10. Evidently a popular proverb--cf. 'The leopard cannot change its


3. Here the night-lily closing at dawn.


3. '_Jap-tap_: prayers, personal office, daily ritual,--(_japa_ or
offerings of water, _tapas_ or 'rule').

8. The moon is brother to the poison, since both were produced at the
Churning of the Ocean: a thief because he stole Tārā, the wife of
Brihaspati: vomited (unclean) because he escapes from Rāhu's jaws at
each eclipse; cruel because his rays are scorching fires to divided
lovers; slayer of lilies, because the day-lotus wilts at night; yet in
spite of these enormities, some merit makes him bright.

13. _Saba guṇa mula amula_: A thought akin to that of LXIII.


Rādhā is here the typical Khaṇḍitā Nāyikā who reproaches her lover when
he returns in the morning and has spent the night with some other flame.

6. _'He takes another girl on his knee_
   _And tells her what he dosen't tell me.'_


8. Fickle, like the 'rootless' of LXXIII, 13. _Lit._ 'His heart is the
essence of lightning.'

9-12. Here the thought approaches the prevailing motif of the _Gītā
Govinda_, where Rādhā is the higher self of man, and Krishna the self
entangled in the world of sensation.

18. _Rasa bujha'i rasamanta_: a pregnant epigram, valid equally in love
and art.


Reunion after Wilfulness


4. 'Might not bend,' _lit_. 'was like a _stambha_,' a monumental


The lovers are mixed like milk and water.


2. 'Spell,'--_sādhanā_.

8. Inasmuch as being a religious mendicant, he could not be refused.


4. _Gañja_-seeds (_Abrus precatorius_), used by jewellers as weights.

8, 10. Rādhā complains that she has cast her pearls before a monkey; but
the poet retorts by the insinuation that Rādhā has given Krishna betel
from her own mouth (as lovers do) and says that for betel to issue from
a monkey's mouth is at least as strange as to see a necklace of pearls
on a monkey's neck.


6.     _'Phillis' closed eyes attracts you her to kiss,'_

                             Francis Pilkington, 1605.

       _'She lay still and would not wake,'_

                Campion and Rosseter's Book of Airs, 1601.

9, 10. Such exchange of gear, when it amounts to a complete disguise of
lover as belovèd, belovèd as lover, is known as _Līlā-hāva_. A familiar
English parallel is the London coster lovers' habit of exchanging hats,
when out for dalliance on Hampstead Heath; here also the original or
sub-conscious motif is a sense of indentity.

    _Rādhā Hari Hari Rādhā-ke bani-āe sanketa--_

The station of Rādhā becoming Hari and Hari Rādhā: is a not infrequent
subject of Pahārī paintings.


10, Ratipati, the Lord of Rati, Madan, Love.

15. For this gesture, see 'Journal of Indian Art,' No. 128, fig. 3.


6. i.e. 'I could have sunk into the earth with shame.'

8. The poet overlooks that no snow settles on the southern hills.


2. The stain: see note to XLVIII, 2.

6. Yaduvīra, Hero of the Yadus, Krishna.

14. The poet insinuates that Rādhā could have escaped from Krishna's
gaze had she wished; just as the Kāshmīrī paṇḍitānīs bathing naked, slip
from the river-bank into the water while the traveller's boat is


1. Mother-in-law: see note to XLVIII.

Even as a wife, such dalliance before a mother-in-law would be contrary
to all decorum; thus the mother-in-law represents, as it were, the cares
of this world, whereby the soul is prevented from yielding herself,--and
hence Vidyāpati's disappointment.


2. Skirt, _ghagari_, not now a separate garment, but that part of the
_sārī_ which forms a skirt. But in Vidyāpati's day the costume of
Bengālī women seems to have been that of Western Hindustan (skirt,
bodice and veil), familiar in Rājput paintings. In this case the
_nībībandha_ (see Introduction p. 11), is actually the skirt-string,
and the translation as 'zone' or 'girdle' is not inappropriate, nor that
of _añcala_ as 'wimple' or 'veil.'


8. Like the 'neither within or without' of Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad, IV,
3, 33: 'beyond the striving winds of love and hate'--Wilfrid Wilson


10. With such a tempest, as when Jove of old
    Fell down on Danäe in a storm of gold--



4. _Tilka_, the vermilion brow-spot.

7. Hari-Hara, God as equally Vishnu and Shiva: see _Prema Sāgara_, Ch.
LXXXIX, also Havell, _Indian Sculpture and Painting_, PI. XXVI.

14. Vidyāpati's Master: Krishna.


Rādhā presumptuously claims for herself alone the love that is given to
all that seek it. This song would be more appropriately included under
the heading 'Māna.'

3. _Kadamba_, (_Anthocepalus cadamba_, Mig.) the tree most associated
with Krishna, beneath which he stands and plays his flute and dallies
with the milk-maids.


Rādhā is here the typical Abhisandhitā Nāyikā "who repulses her lover
just when he seeks to soften her pride, and suffers double grief when he
is no longer beside her" (Keśava Dāsa).


Reproaches, Lack and Longing

The departure of Krishna to Mathurā is God forsaking the soul, or
seeming to do so; the complaint of Rādhā is "Why hast thou forsaken me?"


6, Moving her heart to love, though love be hopeless.

7. Beauty-spots, _kuca-kuṅkuma_, patterns drawn on her breasts with
sandal-paste: cf. _Gītā Govinda_ XII, 18, 'Draw leafy patterns on my


This conceit is the subject of beautiful songs by many poets, including
Jāyadeva and Rāmbasu.

The Bodiless (Anaṅga) is Kāmadeva, Love: on behalf of Umā he endeavoured
to rouse Shiva from his rapt meditation, and Shiva in wrath destroyed
his body with a glance from his third eye.

Rādhā feigns to think that Love has mistaken her for Shiva, and explains
in detail that she is but a human maiden. Amongst the attributes of
Shiva are the Ganges in his matted locks, and crescent moon, a third
eye, the stain of poison in his throat (see No. II, 11), and a serpent
coiling about it, a tiger-skin, a skull, and ashes smeared on his body;
in place of these Rādhā has flowing tresses, a pearl ornament, a
brow-spot, a touch of musk, a pearl necklace, a dark silk sari, a lotus,
and her body is dusted with sandal paste. The lotus of dalliance
(_kelika kamala_) is a real or artificial lotus flower held in the hand
as a plaything: for an illustration see _Indian Drawings_ II, PL IX, 1.


This is one of the most obviously mystical of Vidyāpati's songs:

    _'I am he whom I love, and he whom I love is I.'_

                                   Mansūr Hallāj.

Cf. the exclamation _Śivoham_, 'Shiva is myself (_sohambhāva_, He
being I); and the injunction _Devo bhūtva, devam yajet_, 'By becoming
God, worship Him!' also the half-_dohā_ quoted in the note to LXXXII, 9,
i o.

3. _O nija bhāva svabhāva hi bichurala_, Forgetting her own _bhāva_
and _svabhāva_, feelings and character, will and self-consciousness.

    _'At last I have found myself.'_

                        Jalālu'd Din Rumi.

    _'Whoso has not escaped from will, no will has he.'_

                        Shamsi Tabrīz,


10. _Piu, piu_: that is to say, 'Belovèd, Belovèd.'


3. Even from a crow's mouth--the crow is the chief omen and messenger,
of a lover's return. Cf. No. CXXIII, and also _Journal of Indian Art_,
No. 128, p. 103 and figure 12.


These are clearly related to reverdies of the folk, such as the Kāshmīrī
songs recorded in Ratan Devī's _Thirty Indian Songs_. It is probable
that the more one could learn of contemporary folk-song, the more
apparent would be Vidyāpati's dependence on the folk-tradition. These
popular motifs are interwoven throughout with the familiar similes of
the classic literature. Perhaps we ought to think of Vidyāpati as a sort
of mystic Burns.


3. 'House': the house, in Vidyāpati's songs refers sometimes to the
actual home of Rādhā's parents, or her own home, and sometimes as here,
to the 'house of love,'--the 'palace' of Shamsi Tabrīz (Nicholson


2. 'Cross the sea': see note to CXXXI.


Rādhā is here the typical Proshita-preyasī 'whose husband has gone
abroad, appointing a time of return' (Keśava Dāsa).


The poet says that Rādhā should have thought _before_ she drank. To
take water from a man of low caste is to 'lose caste'--but it is too
late to think of this after the water is already drunk.


The idea of reproach is essential to the drama of the soul, and a
leading motif of the greater part of Rādhā-Krishna literature:

_'Folk, family, house and husband are abandoned, the reproach of the
world rejected.'_

                                                  _Prema Sāgara._


    _'Blessed are ye when men shall revile and persecute you for My

and likewise:

    _'Let every reproach that honour disdains and avoids be mine.'_


    _'--Cast shame and pride away,_
    _Let honour gild the world's eventless day,_
    _Shrink not from change and shudder not at crime,_
    _Leave lies to rattle in the sieve of Time!_
    _Then whatsoe'er your workday gear shall stain,_
    _Of me a wedding garment shall ye gain!'_

                                                 _Love is Enough._

This point is to be emphasized: for to understand the necessity and
signifiance of reproach, is to comprehend how it was not merely possible
but inevitable that in a society where the strictest possible conception
of woman's honour prevails, the self-surrender of Rādhā should be
regarded as the natural symbol of the soul's self-gift to God.


16. Kali age: the fourth or evil age in which we now live, when the
prevailing motive is self-interest; it is what Blake calls _Tax_ or


This song is still to be heard in Bengal, to the Rāgiṇi Bhairavī.

4. It is a custom of many bhaktas to print the name or symbol of Vishnu
on forehead, breast and arms. The custom of tattooing the name of the
Belovèd upon the body is world-wide.

5. Lalitā: Rādhā's dearest sakhī. It is customary amongst Vaishnavas to
recite the name of Krishna in the ears of the dying.

7. The two customary means of disposing of the dead.

8. Tamāla, a tree with dark glaucous leaves, constantly compared to
Krishna for its colour.


13. The scarlet line, drawn along the parting of the hair by married
women whose husbands are still living; if Krishna will not return, Rādhā
will adopt the rule of a widow.


Referring to the circumstances of XCIV.


Contains verses from two songs printed separately in the original.


8. Marks of complete indifference to propriety and elegance.

12. And is thus in truth 'broken and contrite,' acceptable to God.


4-7. All objects normally cool, are scorching hot to Rādhā, racked as
she is by the fire of love. For the lotus-leaves, see the picture facing
p. 115.


1. For the sight of the moon, so pleasant to united lovers, increases
her pain.

3. A sort of black magic; Rādhā invokes Rāhu to eclipse the moon.

11. _Lit._ 'with ten nails': more black magic, the snakes are to
swallow up the vexing southern breeze.

14, 15. The koil, whose calling accentuates the suffering of divided
lovers: crows, their messengers, and omens of reunion. Cf. No. CIV, 3.


11. Using the necklace as a rosary.

Contains verses from two songs printed separately in the original.


Babe--_bāla_, a girl under 16.


3. Garland-offering--hung on the idol's neck when it is new, and cast
away the next day.


10, II. We ought perhaps to understand by this the loneliness of God in
heaven, lacking the love of men.


Reunion and the Flow of Nectar.


6. Rādhā has learnt at last that service is self-realisation and


The 'boat on the river' goes back to the old Buddhist idea of a raft or
boat wherein to cross the samsāra, the sea of this world, to reach the
further shore; just as in the carol 'Come over the burn, Besse,'

    _'The burne is this world blind.'_


Rādhā feels that Krishna, whom she had thought her equal, is indeed
beyond her ken; but the poet answers, 'That art thou,' proclaiming their

7. 'I know the beings of the past, the present and the future, O Arjuna:
but no one knoweth Me.'--_Bhagavad Gītā_ VII, 26.


Like the last, this throws a light upon the whole wreath of songs; for
the soul perceives that she has had ears to hear and eyes to see ever
since she came to birth, yet she has neither heard nor seen; and now she
cannot have enough of hearing and seeing.

13. _Lit._ 'I have known--and seen not one.'


The poet leaves the lovers in each other's arms.


The following birds, flowers and trees are mentioned in the text in the
connection indicated:


_Cātaka:_  a kind of cuckoo, perhaps _Luculus melanoleucus_,--said to
drink only drops of water as they fall from the clouds.

_Cakravāka:_  _Anas casarca_,--pairs are said to sleep apart at night.

Crow: _kāka, bāyasa, Corvus splendens_,--messenger of separated
lovers: also (LXXIII) an eater of leavings.

_Garuḍa:_  a mythical bird, usually represented with a parrot's head and
partly human body: the vehicle of Vishnu and the enemy of all serpents.

_Koil_ or _kokila_: _parabṛtaka_, Indian cuckoo, _Eudynamys
honorata_,--its cry is _kuhu, kuhu_, delightful to united, and
distressing to divided, lovers. Its 'pancam-note' is the 'dominant' of
Nature's chorus.

Parrot: _kīra_,--"Parrot noses are invariably associated with heroes
and great men, while, among female figures they are to be seen only in
images of Sakti." (A. N. Tagore, _loc. cit._).

Partridge: _cakora_, _Perdrix rufa_,--said to feed on the rays of the

'Peewit': _pāpihā_, the hawk-cuckoo, Hieroccyx varius,--its cry is
_piu, piu_, 'Beloved, Beloved.'

Peacock: _mayūra_, _Pavo cristatus_,--delights in rain.

Wagtail: _khañjana_, _Montacilla alba_,--restless movement.


_Ashoka_: _Jonesia asoka_,--herald of Spring.

_Bandhūka_: _Pentapetes phœnicia_ (or _Leucas linifolia?_)

Betel: _pān, tāmbūla, Piper betle_,--leaves used for chewing.

_Bimba_: _Momordica monadelpha_ (or _coccinia?_),--bright red fruit.

_Gañja_: _Abrus precatorius_, seeds used as jeweller's weights.

Honey-apple: _bel, shrĩphala_, 'Bengal quince,' _Aegle
marmelos_,--large round fruit.

Jasmine: several varieties are mentioned, as _cameli_, Arabian jasmine
_J. sambac_; _campak_, _Michelia champaka_; _mālatī_, clove-scented
jasmine, _Aganosma caryophyllata_ (or perhaps _J. grandiflorum_);
_kunda_, Indian jasmine, _J. pubescens_,--all mentioned for their

Jujube: _badarī_, _Zizyphus jujuba_,--small round fruits.

_Kadamba_: _Anthocephalus cadamba_,--the haunt of Krishna.

_Keshara_: safflower, _Crocus sativa_,--a herald of Spring.

_Kimshuk_: _Butea frondosa_,--tree with beautiful flowers, a herald of

_Labanga_-vine: _labaṅga-latā_, _Limonia scandens_,--a herald of

Lotus and water-lily: many varieties are mentioned, as _aravinda_, and
_kamala_ which are day-flowering, and _kubalaya_ and _kumudini_,
which flower at night. We have used the names 'lotus' and 'water-lily'
indifferently for all varieties.

_Mādhavi_: _Gaertnera racemosa_,--herald of Spring.

Mango: _Mangifera indica_,--tender shoots and herald of Spring.

Orange: _naraṅga, Citrus aurantum_,--round fruits.

_Pātal_: trumpet-flower, _Bignonia suaveolens_,--herald of Spring.

_Pītal_: a yellow flower not identified.

Plantain: _kerā_, _Musa paradisaica_,--smooth straight stem.

Pomegranate, granate: _dāṛima, Punica granatum_,--white smooth seeds.

_Shālmalī_: silk-cotton tree, _Salmaria malabarica_,--the thorns are
used in the tortures of hell.

Sandal: _candana, Santalum album_,--which affords a fragrant powder
for the body, much appreciated, and hence stands for the best of

Screw-pine: _ketakī, Pandanus odoratissimus_,--fragrance.

_Shirīsh_: _Acacia sirissa_,--tenderness.

_Tamāl_: _Garcinia zanthochymus_,--straight stem, dark leaves (the
colour of Krishna).

_Tāla_: palmyra, _Borassus flabelliformis_,--round fruits.


(Transcriber's note: The page images used to prepare this text did not
include the illustrations).

One and the same lyrical tradition is the common inheritance of all
Hindustan; it finds expression now in poetry, now in music, and now in
painting. Hence it is that the schools of painting, though they are
local, illustrate all the ideas of the Vaishnava poets as directly as
the songs themselves. Amongst Rajput paintings it would perhaps be
possible to find an appropriate illustration to every line of Vidyāpati,
or of any other Vaishnava singer; not that Vidyāpati was known to the
western painters, but their and his experience was the same. Just as the
Vaishnava songs are word-painted miniatures, rather than narative, so
with the Rājasthānī and still more with the Pahārī Rajput paintings;
these are likewise musical delineations of brief moments of the soul's
history. It is hoped that the reproductions given here will help to
actualise the meaning of Vidyāpati's words, for those who are unfamiliar
with the Vaishnava tradition.

The key to each picture is given in the quoted text, to which the
following notes are supplementary:

Facing page 3: Jaipur painting of the 18th century, very brilliant in
sunset colourings, representing a girl returning from a Shaiva shrine.

The original in the collection of Mr. N. Blount, Calcutta.

Facing page 19: A Pahārī (Kāngrā) painting of the early XIXth century,
representing a girl bathing.

The original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 27: A Pahārī (Kāngrā?) painting, of the earlier part of the
XVIIIth century, representing Krishna with his flute, beneath a
_kadamba_ tree, and beside him are two milk-maids with offerings of
curd and betel.

The original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 33: This is the only one of our eleven illustrations which
is not absolutely appropriate to the text. It is taken from an MS of
Keśava Dāsa's _Rasikapriyā_, and represents the 'Clandestine Meeting'
(_Pracchanna samyoga_). It is, however, Mughal in style,
notwithstanding its Hindū subject; and while in a general way it
illustrates the quoted text, its sentiment is more secular and
realistic, and a further objection appears in the fact that the text
implies a night and indoor environment.

The original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 43: A Pahārī (Kāngrā) painting of the late XVIIIth century,
representing a _dutikā_ leading Rādhā (or any heroine) across a starlit
courtyard to her lover's house.

Original in the collection of Babu Gogonendronath Tagore.

Facing page 63: A Pahārī (Jammu district) painting of the XVIIth or
XVIIIth century, representing an Abhisārikā. Part of a picture, the
whole of which is given in 'The Journal of Indian Art,' No. 128, figure

Original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 71: A Pahārī (Kāngrā) painting of the late XVIIIth century
representing Krishna and Rādhā seated on a bed of plaintain leaves in a
flowery grove.

Original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 77: A Pahārī (Kāngrā) painting of the early XIXth century
representing the Mānini denying Krishna's prayers.

Original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 95: A Pahārī (Kāngrā) painting of the early XIXth century
representing a woman cooking.

Original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 115: Part of a Pahārī (Jammu district) painting representing
Rādhā (or any heroine) suffering from the pangs of _viraha_. Lotus
leaves are spread on the bed, one sakhī is fanning the patient, and
another brings her water in a jade cup; yet her body is scorched as
though by fire.

Original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Facing page 151: Part of a Pahārī (Kāngrā) painting of late XVIIIth
century, representing the Vāsakasāyya Nāyika, she who welcomes her
beloved on his return from abroad. For the whole picture see 'Journal of
Indian Art,' No. 128, figure 13.

Original in the collection of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy.

The dates suggested are only approximate. Most of the reproductions are a
little smaller than the originals.



    Āju majhu ́subha dina bhelā!
    Kaminī pekhalu sinānaka belā,
    Cikura galaye jala dhāra,--
    Meha barikhe janu motima hāra!

    Badana mochala paracura,
    Maji dhayala janu kanaka mukura,--
    Teṅgi udāsala kucajora,
    Pālaṭi baiṭhāyala kanaka kaṭhaura,

    Nībibandha karala udesa,--
    Vidyāpati kaha: manoratha śesha.


    Ki kahaba re sakhi iha duhkha ora?
    Baṅśī niśāsa garale tanu bhora:
    Haṭha saṅge paiṭhaye śrabanaka mājha,
    Taikhane bigalita tanu mana lāja.

    Bipula pulake paripùraye deha,
    Nayane nā heri heraye jani keha:
    Gurujana samukha-i bhāvataraṅga,
    Jatanahiṅ basane jhāmpi saba aṅga.

    Lahu lahu caraṇe caliye gṛha mājha--
    Dhaire se bihi āju rākhala lāja--
    Tanu mana bibaśa, hasaye nībibandha!
    Ki kahaba Vidyāpati? rahu dhanda.


    Katihuṅ Madana tanu dahasi hāmāri?
    Hāma naha Śaṅkara, ha-u baranāri:
    Nahi jaṭa iha, beṇi bibhaṅga:
    Mālatī māla śire, naha Gaṅga:

    Motima baddha moli, naha indu:
    Bhāle nayana naha, sindūra bindu:
    Kaṇṭhe garala naha, mṛgamada sāra:
    Naha phanirāja ure maṇi hāra:

    Nīla paṭāmbara, naha bāgha chāla
    Kelika kamala iha, nā ha-ī kapāla.
    Vidyāpati kaha: e hena suchanda:
    Aṅge bhasama naha, malayaja paṅka.


    Hātaka darapana, māthaka phula,
    Nayanaka añjana, mukhaka tāmbula,
    Hṛdayaka mṛgamada, gīmaka hāra,
    Dehaka sarabasa, gehaka sāra,

    Pākhīka pākha, mīnaka pāni,
    Jīvaka jīvana, hāma tuhu jāni,--
    Tuhu kaiche Mādhava? kahabi mo-ī.
    Vidyāpati kaha: duho dohā ho-ī.


        Sakhī ki puchasi anubhava mo-ī--
    So-i pīriti anurāga bakhānite
        Tile tile nūtana ho-ī?

    Janama abadhi hāma rūpa nehāranu,
        Nayana nā tirapita bhela:
    So-i madhura bola śrabaṇahi śunanu,
        Śruti-pathe paraśa nā gela.

    Kata madhu-jāminī rabase goṅvāyanu,
        Nā bujhanu kaichana keli:
    Lākha lākha juga hiye hiye rākhanu,
        Tabu hiya juṛana na geli.

    Kata bidagadha jana rase anumagana
        Anubhava--kāhu nā pekha.
    Vidyāpati kaha: prāṇa juṛā-ite
        Lākhe nā milala eka.


(Transcriber's note: The corrections listed below have been made in the

XV, 13, for 'man' read 'maid.'
XXI, for 'beauty?' read 'beauty, my dear?'
XXXVIII, 6, read 'So fierce he was to fall on me.'
LI, 13, for 'cymbals twain' read 'twin palmyra fruits.'
LXVIII, 2, for 'sidelong glances' read 'curving eyes.'

Throughout text for Vidhyāpati read Vidyāpati.


Of this edition of VIDYĀPATI three hundred fifty and copies have been
printed, and three on handmade paper.

(Transcriber's note: The original page images this book was made from
were provided by the Internet Archive).

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