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The Excellences Of Hari XVII

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Thus Shuka, best of speakers, did relate

Unto Pariksit, who before him sate,

Those wondrous deeds which Hari did perform,

When he assumed a cowherd’s rustic form.

Thus autumn, like some goddess, did unfold

Her natural beauty, as has here been told;

The limping breeze surcharged with sweet odours,

Conveyed the pollen of fresh lotus flowers;

From grove to grove the honey bees resound,

And resonate with the delightsome sound

Of chirping birds, and cooing nightingales.

Thus wandering o’er the shady woods and dales,

Tending the cattle, Ram and Krishna stray;

Then Govinda his flute begins to play.

The cowherd dames when they that music heard,

Their loving hearts were with high passion stirred;

Then each to each, in groups, ‘gan to converse,

And Hari’s excellences did rehearse.

But as strong passion did in them awake,

Joy from their tongues the power of speech did take;

In trance-like ecstasy they contemplate,

Like yogins who have gained the highest state.

Adorned with peacock plumes and flower wreaths,

Into his bamboo flute Govinda breaths;

A varied vaijayanti garland wears,

Hangs karnikara blossoms o’er his ears;

His yellow garment shines like burnished gold;

He looks the foremost actor, brave and bold.

The touch of his feet does new luster bring

To Vrindavan, while all his dear friends sing

His hallowed glory, as they tend the kine.

And when again they heard that sound divine,

In mutual discourse the milk maids praise

The fortune of the flute, which always stays

Close by Mukunda’s bimba berry lips,

And ever from those lips, sweet nectar sips.

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