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The Excellences Of Hari, Part XII

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Then all the Vraja-people homeward came,

And praised Krishna, and lauded his high fame.

Now summer came to parch the thirsty ground,

But still the signs of springtime did abound;

The crickets’ and the grasshoppers’ shrill calls

Were drowned out by cascading water falls,

The spray from which was carried by the breeze,

Which kept the verdure of the shady trees.

While Ram and Krishna in the forest strayed,

The usual sports and games of cowherds played;

The boys blew horns, and pipes, and close pressed reeds,

Adorned with peacock plumes and gunja beads.

Sometimes they danced, sometimes they capered round,

In bouts of wrestling, rolled upon the ground.

Sometimes Krishna would dance, while others sang;

Their sweet music through all the forest rang.

Some boys extolled the lord for his great skill,

How he did dance, and sing, and demons kill.

At other times they threw and caught with glee,

Big fruits like bilva and amalaki;

And then again in boxing bouts engaged,

Sometimes he roared as if he were enraged;

The gentle deer were startled by that roar;

And now he held a stately king’s durbar.

Sometimes they climb’d the branches of the trees,

From bough to bough leapt with the wild monkeys.

And thus the brothers twain roved o’er the hills,

Through valleys, bowery groves, and bubbling rills,

And sported with their dear friends every day,

And played the games that boys would always play.

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