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Daughter of Earth, Ereenia cried, alight, This is thy place of rest, the Swerga this, Lo here my bower of bliss'
He furl’d his azure wings, which round him fold
ren e.p. NIA. Here, Maiden, rest in peace, And I will guard thce, feeble as I am. The Almighty Rajah shall not harm thee here, While Indra keeps his throne.
RAILYAL. Alas, thou fearest him Immortal as thou art, thou fearest him I thought that death had saved me from his power: Not even the dead are safe.
Etter Nia. Long years of life and happiness, O Child of Earth, be thine! From death I saved thee, and from all thy foes Will save thee, while the Swerga is secure.
KAILYAL. Not me alone, O gentle Deveta' I have a father suffering upon earth, A persecuted, wretched, poor good man, For whose strange misery There is no human help, And none but I dare comfort him Beneath Kehama's curse. O gentle Deveta, protect him too!
rette ENIA. Come, plead thyself to Indra! words like thine May win their purpose, rouse his slumbering heart, And make him yet put forth his arm to wield The thunder, while the thunder is his own.
Then to the Garden of the Deity Ercenia led the Maid. In the mid garden tower'd a giant Tree; Rock-rooted on a mountain-top, it grew, Rear'd its unrivall'd head on high, And stretch'd a thousand branches o'er the sky, Drinking with all its leaves celestial dew. Lo! where from thence as from a living well A thousand torrents flow! 24 For still in one perpetual shower, Like diamond drops, etherial waters fell From every leaf of all its ample bower. Rolling adown the steep From that aerial height, Through the deep shade of aromatic trees, Half-seen, the cataracts shoot their gleams of light, And pour upon the breeze Their thousand voices; far away the roar In modulations of delightful sound, Half-heard and ever varying, floats around. Below an ample lake expanded lies,
Blue as the o'er-arching skies; Forth issuing from that lovely Lake, A thousand rivers water Paradise. Full to the brink, yet never overflowing, They cool the amorous gales, whith, ever blowing, O'er their melodious surface love to stray; Then winging back their way, Their vapours to the parent tree repay; And ending thus where they began, And feeding thus the source from whence they came, The eternal rivers of the Swerga ran, For ever renovate, yet still the same. On that etherial lake whose waters lie Blue and transpicuous, like another sky, The Elements had rear'd their King's abode. A strong controlling power their strife suspended, And there their hostile essences they blended, To form a Palace worthy of the God. Built on the Lake the waters were its floor: And here its walls were water arch'd with fire, And here were fire with water vaulted o'er; And spires and pinnacles of fire Round watery cupolas aspire, And domes of rainbow rest on fiery towers, And roofs of flame are turreted around
With cloud, and shafts of cloud with flame are bound.
Here, too, the elements for ever veer, Ranging around with endless interchanging; Pursued in love, and so in love pursuing, In endless revolutions here they roll; For ever their mysterious work renewing: The parts all shifting, still unchanged the whole. Even we on earth, at intervals, descry Gleams of the glory, streaks of flowing light, Openings of heaven, and streams that slash at night In fitful splendour, through the northern sky.
Impatient of delay, Ereenia caught The Maid aloft, and spread his wings abroad, And bore her to the presence of the God. There Indra sate upon his throne reclined, Where Devetas adore him; The lute of Nared,”5 warbling on the wind, All tones of magic harmony combined To soothe his troubled mind, While the dark-eyed Asparas danced before him. In vain the God-musician play'd, In vain the dark-eyed Nymphs of Heaven essay'd To charm him with their beauties in the dance; And when he saw the mortal Maid appear, Led by the heroic Glendovecr. A deeper trouble fill'd his countenance. What hast thou done, Ereenia, said the God, Bringing a mortal here : And while he spake his eye was on the Maid. The look he gave was solemn, not severe; No hope to Kailyal it convey'd, And yet it struck no fear : There was a sad displeasure in his air, But pity, too, was there.
Erteenta. Hear me, O Indra ! On the lower eartli I found this child of man, by what mishap I know not, lying in the lap of death. Aloft I bore her to our Father's grove,
Not having other thought, than when the gales
1.Nott A. No child of man, Ereenia, in the Bowers Of Bliss may sojourn, till he hath put off His mortal part; for on mortality Time and Infirmity and Death attend, Close followers they, and in their mournful train Sorrow and Pain and Mutability: Did they find entrance here, we should behold Our joys, like earthly summers, pass away. Those joys perchance may pass; a stronger hand May wrest my sceptre, and unparadise The Swerga —but, Ereenia, if we fall, Let it be Fate's own arm that casts us down, We will not rashly hasten and provoke The blow, nor bring ourselves the ruin on.
ERep. NIA. Fear courts the blow, Fear brings the ruin on. Necds must the chariot-wheels of Destiny Crush him who throws himself before their track, Patient and prostrate.
India.A. All may yet be well. Who knows but Weeshnoo will descend, and save, Once more incarnate 2
Ettern IA. Look not there for help, Nor build on unsubstantial hope thy trust. Our Father Casyapa hath said he turns His doubtful eye to Seeva, even as thou Dost look to him for aid. But thine own strength Should for thine own salvation be put forth; Then might the higher powers approving see And bless the brave resolve—Oh, that my arm Could wield yon lightnings which play idly there, In inoffensive radiance, round thy head' The Swerga should not need a champion now, Nor Earth implore deliverance still in vain :
1x da A. Think'st thou I want the will rash Son of Heaven,
what if my arm be feeble as thine own
Against the dread Kehama He went on
Till his triumphant car had measured o'er
The insufficient earth, and all the kings
Of men received his yoke; then had he won
And crown his conquests with the sacrifice That should, to men and gods, proclaim him Lord And Sovereign Master of the vassal world, 26 Sole Rajah, the Omnipotent below. 27 The steam of that portentous sacrifice Arose to Heaven. Then was the hour to strike, Then in the consummation of his pride, Ilis height of glory, then the thunder-bolt Should have gone forth, and hurl’d him from his throne Down to the fiery floor of Padalon, To everlasting burnings, agony Eternal, and remorse which knows no end. That hour went by : grown impious in success By prayer and penances he wrested now Such power from Fate, that soon, if Seeva turn not His eyes on earth, and no Avatar save, Soon will he seize the Swerga for his own, Itoll on through Padalon his chariot wheels, Tear up the adamantine bolts which lock The accurst Asuras to its burning floor, And force the drink of Immortality From Yamen's charge—Wain were it now to strive; My thunder cannot pierce the sphere of power Where with, as with a girdle, he is bound.
Take me again to earth ! This is no place
Ilis curse—he shall not bear it all alone;
I do not fear the Almighty Man! the Gods
Who will not turn their eyes from wrongs like ours;
Saying thus she knelt, and to his knees she clung
THE SACRIFICE. 28
Dost thou tremble, O Indra, O God of the Sky,
Art thou smitten, O Indra, with dread? Or seest thou not, seest thou not, Monarch divine, How many a day to Seeva's shrine Kehama his victim hath led Nine and ninety days are fled, Nine and ninety steeds have bled; One more, the rite will be complete, One victim more, and this the dreadful day. Then will the impious Rajah scize thy seat, And wrest the thunder-sceptre from thy sway. Along the mead the hallowed Steed Yet bends at liberty his way; At noon his consummating blood will flow. O day of woe! above, below, That blood confirms the Almighty Tyrant's reign' Thou tremblest, O Indra, O God of the Sky, Thy thunder is vain : Thou tremblest on high for thy power! But where is Weeslinoo at this lour, But where is Seeva's eye Is the Destroyer blind Is the Preserver careless for mankind?
Along the mead the hallowed Steed Still wanders wheresoe'er he will, O'er lill, or dale, or plain ; No human hand hatlı trick'd that mane From which he shakes the morning dew; His mouth has never felt the rein, His lips have never froth'd the chain; For pure of blemish and of stain, His neck unbroke to mortal yoke, Like Nature free the Steed must be, Fit offering for the Immortals he. A year and day the Steed must stray wherever chance may guide his way, Before he fall at Seeva's shrine; The year and day have pass'd away, Nortouch of man hath marr'd the right divine. Aud now at noon the Steed must bleed, The perfect rite to-day must force the inced which Fate reluctant shudders to bestow; Then must the Swers;a-God Yield to the Tyrant of the World below; Then must the Devetas obey The Rajah's rod, and groan beneath his lateful sway.
The Sun rides high; the hour is nigh; The multitude who long, Lestaught should mar the rite, In circle wide on every side, Ilave kept the Steed in sight, Contract their circle now, and drive him on. Drawn in long files before the Temple-court, The Rajah's archers flank an ample space; Here, moving onward still, they drive him near, Then, opening, give him way to enter here.
Behold him, how he starts and flings his head :
Turret and dome and pinnacle elate, The huge Pagoda scems to load the land: And there before the gate The Bramin band expectant stand, The axe is ready for Kellama's hand. Ilark at the Golden Palaces The Bramin strikes the time ! One, two, three, four, a thrice-told claime, And then again, one, two. The bowl that in its vessel floats, 29 anew Must fill and sink again, Then will the final stroke be due. The Sun rides high, the moon is migh; And silently, as if spell-bound, The multitude expect the sound.
Lo how the Steed, with sudden start, Turns his quick head to every part; Long siles of men on every side appear. The sight might well his heart affright, And yet the silence that is here Inspires a stranger fear; For not a murinur, not a sound Of breath or motiou rises round, No stir is heard in all that mighty crowd; He neighs, and from the temple-wall The voice re-echoes loud, Loud and distiuct, as from a hill Across a loucly vale, when all is still.
Within the temple, on his golden throne Reclin'd, Kehama lies, Watching with steady eyes The perfum'd light that, burning bright, Metes out the passing hours. On either hand his cunuchs stand, Freshening with fans of peacock-plumes the air, Which, redolent of all rich gums and flowers, Seems, overcharged with sweets, to stagnate there. Lo! the time-taper's flame ascending slow Creeps up its coil” toward the fated line; Keliana rises and toes forth, And from the altar, ready where it lies, He takes the axe of sacrifice.
That instant from the crowd, with sudden shout,
They seize, they drag him to the Rajah's feet.
Will lie, who knows no mercy, now require?
Infront, with far-stretch'd walls, and many a tower, | The obsequious guards around, with blood-hound eye.
What doom will now be his, what vengeance incet Look for the word, in slow-consuming fire, By piece-meal death, to make the wretch expire, Or hoist his living carcass, hooked on high, To feed the fowls and insects of the sky; Or if aut;it worse inventive cruelty To that remorseless heart of royalty Might prompt, accursed instruments they stand To work tile wicked will with wicked hand. Far other thoughts were in the multitude; Pity, and human feelings, held them still; And stilled sighs and groans supprest were there, And many a secret curse and inward prayer Calid on the insulted Gods to save mankind. Expecting some new crime, in fear they stood, Some horror which would make the natural blood Start, with cold shudderings thrill the sinking heart, Whiten the lip, and make the abhorrent eye Roll back and close, prest in for agony.
How then fared he for whom the mighty crowd Suffered in spirit thus, how then fared he? A ghastly smile was on his lip, his eye Glared with a ghastly hope, as he drew nigh, And cried aloud, Yes, Rajah! it is Is - And wilt thou kill me now? The countenance of the Almighty Man Fell when he knew Ladurlad, and his brow Was clouded with despite, as one asham'd. That wretch again! indignant he exclaim'd, And smote his forehead, and stood silently Awiliie in wrath: then, with ferocious smile, And eyes which seem'd to darken his dark cheek, Let him go free! he cried; he hath his curse, And vengeance upon him can wreak no worse— But ye who did not stop him—tremble ye!
Couch'd at the forest edge, and waited for their prey.
Behold his lowly home, By yonder broad-bough’d plane o'ershaded:31 There Marriataly's Image stands, And there the garland twin'd by Kailyal's hands Around its brow hath faded. The peacocks, at their master's sight, Quick from the leafy thatch alight, And hurry round, and search the ground, And veer their glancing necks from side to side, Expecting from his hand Their daily dole, which erst the Maid supplied, Now all too long denied. But as he gaz'd around, How strange did all accustom'd sights appear! How differently did each familiar sound Assail his alter'd ear! Here stood the marriage bower,33 Reard in that happy hour When he, with festal joy and youthful pride, Brought his Yedillian home, his beauteous bride. Leaves not its own, and many a borrowed flower, Had then bedeck d it, withering'ere the night; But he who look'd, from that auspicious day, For years of long delight, And would not see the marriage bower decay, There planted and nurst up, with daily care, The sweetest herbs that scent the ambient air, And train'd then round to live and flourish there. Nor when dread Yamen's will Had call'd Yedillian from his arms away, Ceas'd he to tend the marriage bower, but still, Sorrowing, had drest it like a pious rite Due to the monument of past delight. He took his wonted seat before the door, Even as of yore, When he was wont to view, with placid eyes, His daughter at her evening sacrifice. Here were the flowers which she so carefully Did love to rear for Marriataly's brow; Neglected now, Their heavy heads were drooping, over-blown: All else appeared the same as heretofore, All—save himself alone; How happy then, –and now a wretch for evermore :
The market-flag,34 which, hoisted high, From far and migh, Above yon cocoa grove is seen, Ilangs motionless amid the sultry sky. Loud sounds the village drum; a happy crowd Is there; Ladurlad hears their distant voices But with their joy no more his heart rejoices; And how their old companion now may fare, Little they know, and less they care. The torment he is doom'd to bear
Was but to them the wonder of a day, A burden of sad thoughts soon put away.
They knew not that the wretched man was uear,
Despair had rous d him to that hopeless prayer, Yet thinking on the heavenly Powers, his mind Drew comfort; and he rose and gather'd flowers, And twind a crown for Marriataly's brow; And taking then her wither'd garland down, Replac'd it with the blooming coronal. Not for myself, the unhappy father cried, Not for myself, O mighty one! I pray, Accursed as I am beyond thy aid : But, oh! be gracious still to that dear Maid Who crown'd thee with these garlands day by day. And danced before thee aye at even-tide In beauty and in pride. O Marriataly, whereso'er she stray Forlorn and wretched, still be thou her guide!
A loud and fiendish laugh replied, Scoffing his prayer. Aloft, as from the air, The sound of insult came: he look'd, and there The visage of dead Arvalan came forth, Only his face amid the clear blue sky, With long-drawn lips of insolent mockery, And eyes whose lurid glare Was like a sulphur fire
Alingling with darkness ere its flames expire.
Ladurlad knew him well: enraged to see The cause of all his misery, IIc stoop'd and lifted from the ground A stake, whose fatal point was black with blood; The same where with his hand had dealt the wound, When Arvalan, in hour with evil fraught, For violation seiz'd the shrieking Maid. Thus arm'd, in act again to strike he stood, And twice with inefficient wrath essay'd To smite the impassive shade. The lips of scorn their mockery-laugh renew’d, And Arvalan put forth a haud and caught The sun-beam, and condensing there its light, Upon Ladurlad turn'd the burning stream. Vain cruelty! the stake Fell in white ashes from his hold, but ho Endur'd no added pain; his agony Was full, and at the height;
The burning stream of radiance nothing harm'd him:
Anon the Spirit wav'd a second hand; Down rush'd the obedient whirlwind from the sky, Scoop'd up the sand like smoke, and from on high Shed the hot shower upon Ladurlad's head. Where'er he turns, the accursed Hand is there; East, West, and North, and South, on every Side The Hand accursed waves in air to guide The dizzying storm; ears, nostrils, eyes, and mouth It fills and chokes, and, clogging every pore, Taught him new torments might be yet in store. Where shall he turn to fly? behold his house In flames' uprooted lies the marriage-bower, The Goddess buried by the sandy shower. Blindly, with staggering step, he reels about, Aud still the accursed Hand pursued, And still the lips of scorn their mockery-langu renew'd.
What, Arvalan! hast thou so soon forgot The grasp of Pollear? Wilt thou still defy The righteous Powers of Ileaven? or know'st thou not That there are yet superior Powers on high, Son of the Wicked:—Lo, in rapid flight, Ereenia hastens from the etherial height; Bright is the sword celestial in his hand, Like lightning in its path athwart the sky. He comes and drives, with angel-arm, the blow. Oft have the Asuras, in the wars of Heaven, Felt that keen sword by arm angelic driven, And fled before it from the fields of light. Thrice through the vulnerable shade The Glendoveer impels the griding blade. The wicked Shade flies howling from his foe. So let that Spirit foul Fly, and for impotence of anger, howl, Writhing with pain, and o'er his wounds deplore; Worse punishment hath Arvalan deserv'd, And righteous fate hath heavier doom in store.