Part Eleven: Blissful Krishna

 

From long entreaty of the doe-eyed woman,
rich-clothed, Keshava found his arbour bed.
Then on that twilit evening someone went
and to a jewelled and cheerful Rádhá said:

Twentieth Song

 

To you he offered graceful words
and bowed in reverence to your feet,
and at the border of his thicket bower
awaits you on his loving bed.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

Firm the haunches and the breast
when borne on slowly-moving steps:
with tinkling, jewelled anklets come
and mimic the Marála bird.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

Listen to the bees whose hum
intoxicates the lovelorn girls.
Watch as flocks of cuckoo birds
announce the flower-arrowed one.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

The winds make stir the early leaves,
and thicknesses of creepers urge:
as trunks of elephants now move
in unison those supple thighs.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

The motion of your breasts betrays
the love god trembling in their swell,
and like the purest water stream
are necklaces in his embrace.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

All your girlfriends learn how body
arms for passion's joyful fight,
and as the war-drums shake the girdle
roar their passion shamelessly.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

Artless, clinging to a friend
with a hand of sporting arrows,
go to Hari as your bracelets
tell by tinkling you approach.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

May Jayadeva's shining words
adorn the mind that's drawn to Hari
as will the necklaces of pearls
embellishing some beauty's throat.

Innocent Rádhá, you must follow
as Madhu's foe has followed you.

* * *

She will look and speak, remembering words;
and clasp my body eagerly, my friend:
but in the arbour's massy darkness, he,
disturbed in thought, can see his lover come:
swelled up with joy, but trembling, sweat and faint.

So women mischievous, who flit in pleasure
with eyes mascara'd, and tamála'd ears: their heads
are wreathed with lotuses and musk their breasts.
My friend: how beautiful are lustrous eyes
and limbs emboldened with the thicket's shade.

The night is thickly seamed with beauty's gold
when lines of saffron-wearing lovers meet.
As though the dark, vast masses of tamaála
trees would assay with the touchstone mark
for love's sincerity and find it bright.

Seeing at the thicket entrance Hari
swathed with pearls and pendant gem, the blaze
in armlet, bracelet, golden girdle string,
to one who's bashful now the girlfriend said:

Twenty-first Song

 

In this charming bower of pleasure,
railing laughter urges love.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

Let on these soft tamála leaves
your breasts appear with tumbled pearls.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

For you whose body is a flower
is massed the flowering in this house.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

If fearful of the love god's arrows
here are cool Malaya winds.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

If slow to place your solemn hip
here are creepers soft and thick.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

To manifest the god of love
the bees are humming at the honey.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

Like flocks of singing cuckoos flash
the ruby gemstones of your teeth.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

May meeting Padmávatí be blessed
with happinesses hundreds fold,
so sings the king of poet kings.
Rádhá, enter in to Mádhava.

* * *

Why such agitation? Tired by passion,
he seeks the nectar of your lips, your body's
nearness. At your feet he is a slave

a moment's lifting of your brow has bought.

Delighted are the darting glances
fearfully now given Krishna.
Beautiful, the anklets tinkle
as she gains his hiding place.

Twenty-second Song

 

On seeing Rádhá's blossoming, his looks
were sea in ecstasy when moon appears.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

Far off she saw the pearls on Hari's chest
as foam that rises on the Yamuná.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

Dark and soft the body with a saffron robe
as pollen round the dark blue lotus root.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

His loving glances shook his cheeks as will
two wagtails lotus in an autumn pond.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

His lotus face had earrings like the sun,
and lips that glittered splendidly with love.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

As moon through clouds appeared his flower-strewn hair,
and lofty lunar disk his sandal mark.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

A long time bristling with the play of love,
a body moonbeam-radiant with its jewels.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

May Jayadeva's words adorn those twice
who bow to Hari pondered in their hearts.
At sight of her, whose being Hari long
desired, his whole becoming spoke his joy.

* * *

Boundlessly, as stretching to her ears,
so Rádhá, gazing on her most beloved,
let fall the perspiration of her eyes
in storms of agitation and of joy.

When followers had left the place, their smiles
concealed by hands as she approached the bed,
such love's auspiciousness was in his face,
that her embarrassment itself had fled.

The son of Nanda in his joy at pressing
Radha slowly slowly in his arms must look
behind, and pray those proudly swelling, pointed
breasts do not push through to pierce his back.

Like Rati Devi in her hoarded beauty
so Rádhá in the lake where love is played:
a sporting Vishnu shook those lifted breasts
as geese the lotuses of Mánasa.

 

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