A Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry
A. N. D. Haksar
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This is a comprehensive anthology of Sanskrit poetry in the best English translations available. The first ever of its kind, it brings together excerpts from a full range of original works, translated by over forty distinguished writers including poets and scholars, savants and seers, and two winners of the Nobel prize for literature.
Drawing from sacred as well as classic and folk literature, this collection features a wide variety of poetry in translation. It includes nature hymns and mystic utterances; epic narratives and love lyrics; songs and reflections on the human condition; verses devotional and philosophic, heroic and tragic, erotic and satiric; courtly epigrams and inscriptions, and simple poems form the countryside.
English translations from Sanskrit have a history of over two centuries. The finest of these renderings have been compiled in this volume by a well-known Sanskritist to present the ancient language's poetic splendour, not through learned discourse, but by letting the poetry speak for itself.
soft entreaty which the weeping p ri n cess made, V a i n l y to the g o d s and mortals she in bitter an g u i s h p ra y e d , For w i t h cruel words of i n s u l t sti l l Duhsasan mocked h e r woe: Loo s e l y c l ad or vo i d of c l o t h i n g , to the c o un c i l ha l l you go, " - S l a ve-wench fai rl) staked and conq uered, wait upon thy m a s t e rs brave, wi l l ing s l a v e ! L i ve among ou r house h o l d m e n i a l s , serve us as ou r " " Lllose-au i red, w it h t ra
hour. With her voice and with her spirit she her humble homage paid . Folding both her hands and trembl i ng t o the gods the maiden spake: ' As when heard the swan's sweet language chose I then Nishadha's ki ng, By this truth I here adjure ye, oh, ye gods, reveal my lord ! As in word o r thought I swerve not from m y faith, all -knowing powers ! By this truth I here adj ure ye, oh, ye gods, reveal my lord ! 34 . A Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry As in word or thought I swerve not from my faith, al
a Pri nce unpara l l e led, t h y lord; V i rt uous as fa i r a sea of good ly g i fts, Not t o be sum moned by a meaner v o i c e Than Yama' s own: therefore i s Yama come. ' .. W i t h t h a t t h e g l o om y G od fi t te d h i s noose, from the Pri nce the soul of h i m Suhti l e, a t h u m b i n l en gt h w h i c h b e i n g ren, B reat h s tay e d bl o o d s t o p p ed h i s b o d y s grace was gone, And a l l l i fe ' s wa r m t h to stony co ldness turned. T h e n b i nd i n g i t .
i n g I n every bridegroom ' s heart towards h i s brid e . F rom the s a m e fl ow e r-cu p w h i c h h i s l o v e h a d savoured The bl ack bee s i pped the nectar as a k i ss ; W h i l e t h e b l ack doe, by her o w n consort favoured, Sc ratched by h i s antl ers, c l osed her eyes i n b l i s s . 88 • A Treasury olSanskril Poetry 'he e l ephant w ith water l otus-scented Iprayed her own l ord, g i v i n g o f l ove a token ; 'he whee l - d rake, honouri n g h i s w i fe, presented \
ornaments. /) 1/ 1/ Ingalls * ** ** From Subhashita Ratnakosha • 111 DIVAKARA From Sarngadhara Paddhati 89 The S pread of Fame W hat is the use of gossip about what goes on in other people's houses? But I am not able to remain si lent, with my naturally loq uacious southern temperament: In every house, i n the markets, also i n the square or at a dri nking party, Your bel oved wanders about l ike a drunken woman-wel l ! She is Fam e ! 1 227 A K Warder * * * * * 1 12 . A Treasllry