Part Twelve: Very Delighted Krishna

 

When Rádhá's many friends were gone, he saw
her lower lip so brightly bathed with love,
and on his bed of leaves so bashfully
but longingly she gazed, that Hari said:

Twenty-third Song

 

Lay on this leafy bed your lotus foot:
in flowering, loving woman, conquer it.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

My hand a lotus to that travelled foot:
as valiant anklet I have followed you.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

Spill nectar from that moon-like face in words
as cloth I take that keeps me from your breasts.

At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

How fierce and difficult is that embrace
of breasts whose fullness takes the love god's heat.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

Revive your slave with nectar from those lips,
my thoughts are by that fiery body hurt.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

In cuckoo-tortured ears your echoed voice
will lift as girdle gems my long disgrace.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

At last in shame you do not look on one
you maimed so wantonly with futile anger.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

May Jayadeva's words that gladden Krishna
create love's sentiment in men of taste.
At once, now Rádhá, and as closely,
follow Krishna as he's followed you.

   * * *

Clasped and brushing through such obstacles
as bristling hair and blinking eyes, of talk
that stops the nectar from the lips, at length
entwined in happiness they were to be.

Pressed round by arms, by breasts, by fingernails,
by pounding hips, by teeth on lips, his head
pulled down but mad to have the honeyed stream:
how curiously the loved one takes his joy.

Conquering impetuously she falls:
her arms go limp, eyes close, the breasts shake free.
She holds the mount of pleasure motionless,
for such are women in their manly sports.

By morning tired, unloosed, dishevelled, hair
awry, the garlands broken, body clawed,
but still transfixed by his, the love god's arrows,
she looked the more to him a wondrous sight.

Expired the radiance of her hair and lip,
the necklace broken and the girdle lost:
she puts a hand to hide her modesty,
ashamed and artless in her pleasing him.

Ecstatic in her half-closed lids, and bathed
with play of teeth and love-words from her lips:
so warm, the deer-eyed beauty in its tranquil
body breathes a fortune with its kiss.

Rádhá, tired but joyful at the end of sport,
respectfully to Krishna said these words:

Twenty-fourth Song

 

Anoint with sandal-dewy hands my breasts
and, Krishna, make them worthy with your musk
to be receptacles produced in thought.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Make more glistening than the massing bees
the eye's collyrium you kissed away
and loose the arrows of the loved one's looks.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Let the leaping freedom of the deer
return with earrings fastened, that their arc
restrain the splendour in the snaring glance.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Forever may my presence here before
you rearrange your shaken curls as bees
unlock the shape of spotless lotus flowers.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Remake with musk the deer-mark of the moon,
and dress, O lotus-faced, that forehead damp
but not as sprinkled as it was with sweat.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Replace the blossoms fallen in our play
from hair as fly-whisk tossed and in a plume
of love astonishing as peacock's tail.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Reclothe with jewels and waist-string ornaments
the cave so potent, firm and beautiful
it held the elephant of love in sport.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

Thus Jayadeva's nectar in a heart
compassionate and at the feet of Hari
wards off evil from the Kali age.
These words she spoke while Krishna played, delighting
Yadu's family, and her full heart.

   * * *

Decorate my breasts and cheeks, arrange
my girdle-string and tangled hair, replace
my rows of bracelets and my jewelled anklets.
He of yellow robe, delighted, did.

Let music skills of Gándharvas, the thought
that goes with love play and belongs to Vishnu,
discriminate and so make Jayadeva's
tale commensurate with Krishna's name.

May poetry of Jayadeva, son
of Bhojadeva and of Rámádeví,
in telling here his song of cowherds, bless
the speech of Parashara and his friends

 

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