GITA GOVINDA (4)

Part Four: Tender Krishna

To one love-burdened, in the Yamuná's
thick reeds, came Rádhá's friend, and said:

Eighth Song

Confused, she blames the sandal paste and moon,
finds nesting serpents in Malaya winds.
In Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

She thinks in watery lotus leaves to shield
her vital essence from love's raining arrows:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

Those barbs to flowers she'd turn, to have her bed
in blossom echoing to your embrace:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

Her eyes are trembling and her gentle face
is split as moon is by serrated tears:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

She paints with musk how love has been,
and bows to makara with a Mango branch:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

Though unapproachable and locked in thought,
aloud she laughs and trembles at her tears:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

Declares each step she takes is to your feet,
and thin the moon is when you've turned away:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

If thought would dance to Jayadeva's words
then study what the friend of Rádha said:
Mádhava she dreads in love-god's arrows:
apart and miserable, she thinks of you.

* * *

Her home's the forest and her friends a snare;
she fans her blazing griefs with sighs,
and in your absence, like a deer, too well
her love becomes the deadly tiger's sport.

* * *

Ninth Song

She wears the bright and slender pearls
on breasts so frail they are a burden:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

She feels the soothing sandal cream
as potent venom on her body:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

She sighs the compass of her love
that through her breath the passion burns:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

She scatters here and here a tear
as lotus from its hollow stem:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

She holds her palm against her cheek
as moon is steadied by the evening:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

She sees a bed of tender leaves
ordained for her as fire instead:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

She whispers, calling on your name,
as separation brings her death:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

Let Jayadeva's song so chanted
please and lead to Krishna's feet:
Krishna, Rádhá feels deserted.

* * *

With pain she bristles, sighs, she shuts her eyes,
she rises, whirls about and falls in faints:
unless your heavenly healing aid her, her great
fever holds until she fade away.

Since you, divine physician, by the touch
of your blest body can relieve her pain,
do not abandon Rádhá, lest you fall
as heavily as Indra's thunderbolt.

Against that wantoning and dragging fever
she looks to lotus, sandalpaste and moon,
but thinks of lover in a lonely place
who instantly may cool her if he wish.

Before she could not even close her eyes
a moment lest you go from her in sight;
nor more she breathes with you away, than can
she watch the Mango branches lose their bloom.

one . two . three . four . five . six . seven . eight . nine . ten

© C. John Holcombe 2007.   Draft only: please do not use for the present.