Edwin Arnold.

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Embellishing, anointing, tricking out
With garlands, perfumes, ornaments — at heart
Aye musing on her great dark eyes, her limbs
Smooth as banana-stems, her shining hair.
And stately ste^D. Like a spent lamp which flares
Before the flame dies down, so Kichaka
Bore himself brighter, as his proud heart drew
Nearer the stroke of Fate.

But Draupadi,
Beautiful with her wrath, sought Bhima out
And whispered : " What thou badest I have done :
Kichaka meets me in the dancing-hall
To-night, when darkness falls. He comes alone.
Slay him there, Bhima ! Slay him, dear my Lord,
That hast the mighty arms ! Kill this vain fool.


Drunk with vile pride. Deal with him, Kunti's Son,

As doth an elephant with vilva-fruits,

So shalt thou stay these tears, and purge my shame ! "

Bhima replied : " Thou hast done well ! I craved
Nought better than such tidings. Now my soul
Is glad again, as when in days bygone
I slew Hidimba. Listen ! Here, I swear
By thine own truth, and by my Brothers' lives,
And by great Dharma, I will kill this wretch
As Indra slaughtered Vritra. Sit at peace !
This night his head shall be even as vilva-fruit
Whereon an elephant hath trampled 1 "

At nightfall, early, having wrapped himself
In woman's garb, went Bhima to the Hall,
And lay in darkness on the couch, as lies
A tiger in the tiger-grass, close-hid,
Glaring, expectant till the buck shall pass.

Then Kichaka — all trim and scented — trips


To the appointed spot, full of his bliss

To meet that peerless Queen. He enters in —

Gropes in the gloom — this Lord of sinful soul —

Feeling his way toward Bhima on the bed :

Toward Bhima, burning? fierce with shame and rag^e —

Toward Bhima, huge and dreadful — as a moth

Flutters into a flame, as foolish deer

Play towards the cheetah's lair. The bed he finds ;

Sees in the dark a form, and, smilingly

He lisps : " My Fair ! thou with the eyes ! art here ?

Know, I have set apart rich gifts for thee ;

Jew^els and gold, and inner chambers stored '

With scarlet cloths and carpets ; and a throng

Of slaves to serve our sports and pleasures ! ISTow

Come I — thy humble slave ! though women say

None is like Kichaka for face and grace ! "

Then Bhima from the couch his answering voice
Belittled, while he said : " Fortunate Lord,
To be so great and have such praise ! In truth
A winning way is thine, and conquering hand —
Come nearer, that I kiss them ! Ah, no doubt,
None can resist so sweet a Lord ! "


And while
Kichaka marvelled at those accents rough,
Suddenly started Bhima from the couch
Thunderously crying, " Now thou diest, Dog !
Now shall thy carcass roll in dust, and leave
Peace to Sairindhris and to us ! " Therewith
Caught he the hair of Kichaka, entwined
With flower-wreaths, bent him down, and seized his neck ;
But quick, that Lord, tearing his locks away.
Grappled the Pandu Prince. So, fierce they close
In deadly strife, as when two lions meet.
Or wild bull elephants. Their huge arms rose
Like hooded cobras striking ; nails and teeth
Helped hands and feet in the hot conflict. Now
One would roll uppermost, another now :
For Bhima flung down Kichaka, but he
Slipped from beneath, and hurled his enemy
Back overhand — with crash of joint and bone
As when the bamboos crack in hurricanes :
But Bhima gripped again, and beat the knees
From under Kichaka, so that both fell
Locked chest to chest, roaring in wrath, the foam
Upon their lips, fire flashing from their eyes,


Eaging to slay each other in that gloom.

Loud was the noise and clatter of the fight;

Till, knitting close his giant arms, the Prince

Drew tight against his breast Kichaka's breast,

Pressing the life-breath out ; and — waxin^ stronor.

As the Adulterer waned — shifted one hand

To Kichaka's strained throat, one to his hair.

The while with feet and knees he trampled him ;

Whereat, overcome and helpless, Kichaka

Groaned and fell prone — at which the Pandu stamped

His body limp, and broke his limbs, and cast

The shapeless carcass back, a lump of Death.

Thereon Bhima arose, all shaking still
With stress of combat, red with blood, and hoarse
By cries of rage. " Come hither ! come," said he,
" Thou Princess of Panchala ! Witness here
What thing it is who wrought to do thee shame."

Then Draupadi, lighting a torch, strode in
And saw the foot of Bhima planted hard
On Kichaka's torn corpse ; and how he lay
Bloody and broken by the carven bed ;


Whereon she called the keepers of the Hall,
Saymg : " Enter ! enter ! see how Kichaka,
Who spurned me, and who sought to shame me, lies
Slain by my Gandharvas 1 "


Messrs. Roberts Brothers' Publications.



(From the Mahabharata), Being a Discourse between Arjuna,
Prince of India, and The Supreme Being under the Form of
Krishna. Translated from the Sanskrit Text by Edwin
Arnold, M.A., author of " The Light of Asia," " Pearls of
the Faith," " Indian Idylls," " India Revisited," etc.

i6mo. Cloth. Price, $i.oo.

Mr. ArnJd is not in the least disposed to sleep upon the laurels that " The
Lisjht of Asia" won for him. He has ever since that brilliant performance, the
success of which was owing quite as much to its sensuous as to its supersensuous
elements, been making hay while the sun of popular favor has been shining
warmly on his work. The episodic poem he has now translated is one of the
best known of all the products of the Indian mind. It was tlie darling of the
New England Transcendentalists half a century ago, in the earlier prose transla-
tions. It is an episode in the sixth book of the enormous Hindu epic, the Ma-
habliarata. In India, Mr, Arnold tells us, it enjoys immense popularity, and is
reckoned one of the " five jewels " of Devanagiri literature. To translate a poem
of this sort into melodious English verse that should represent at all adequately
the subtile distinctions of the original was, certainly, a daring thing for Mr. Ar-
nold to attempt ; and the manner of his doing it is extremely creditable to his
ability. Some of the lyrical passages in the poem are rendered with great force
and beautv. — Christian Register.

The wonderful popularity of Mr. Arnold's " Light of Asia " and " Pearls of
the Faith," and his translations from Oriental literature, will secure a welcome
for this new volume. " The Song Celestial," or Bhagavad-Gita, is a remarkable
Sanskrit poem, the subject of which is a discourse between Arjuna, Prince of
India, and the Supreme Being under the form of Krishna._ It is a poem of great
popularity and authority in India, and has been translated into the French, Latin,
and Italian by students of Oriental literature. Two or more English translations
have appeared before this of Mr. Arnold. No doubt the present version vili
have a thousand readers where the former English versions have secured a hun-
dred, Mr. Arnold's popularity in this line being beyond that of any other transla-
tor. Of the teaching of "The Song Celestial," Mr. Arnold says : "In plain but
noble language it unfolds a philosophical system which remains to this day the
prevailing Brahmanic belief. So lofty are many of its declarations, so sublime
its aspirations, so pure and tender its piety, that Schlegel, after his study of the
poem, breaks forth into an outburst of delight and praise toward its unknown
author " Mr. Arnold places the date of the poem at about the third century
after Christ, and adds : " Perhaps there are really echoes in this Brahmanic
poem of the lessons of Galilee and of the Syrian incarnation." — The Untversalist,

Sold by all booksellers. Mailed, post-paid, by iJie


Me.'isrs. Roberts Brothers Publieatio7U,




Being the " Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of Allah."
With Comments in Verse from Various Oriental Sources
(as made by an Indian Mussulman).


One volume. i6mo. Cloth. Price $i oo.

" I have thus at length finished the Oriental trilogy which I designed. In my
Indian ' Song of Songs ' I sought to transfer to English poetry a subtle and lovely
Sanskrit idyll of the Hindu theology. In my ' Light of Asia ' I related the story,
and displayed the gentle and far-reaching doctrines of that great Hindu prince
who founded Buddhism. I have tried to present here, in the simple, familiar,
and credulous but earnest spirit and manner of Islam, and from its own points of
view, some of the thoughts and beliefs of the followers of the notable Prophet
of Arabia." — Extract from the A uthor's Preface.

. " No one can fail to be astonished at the extraordinary variety and beauty of
the poems, which seem to breathe the calmer and purer faith of a race which
aspires to the victories of moral greatness rather than to the supremacy of the
sword. Indeed, if there is a criticism to be made on this work of the poet of
Eastern morality, it is one which applies equally to 'The Light of Asia 'and to
' The Song ( f Songs.' He describes religions not as they are, but as they might
be, if all men were better ; and he conveys unconsciously the impression that thi.s
exquisite delicacy of moral sense, this broad and pervading yet tender and true
love for our fellow-creatures, which his gentle pen has so often and so well de-
lineated, are the actual motives and life-principles of millions of Eastern men
to-day." — The Critic.

" In several instances, the worth is considerable, and those who are ready to
welcome good teaching, no matter what be the channel through which it comes,
will enjoy many of these moral ballads and devotional poems. They represent
the better side of Islam. They are the echo of a Voice that spoke to all the world
long before Mohammed was born." — The Churchvian.

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Messrs. Roberts BrotJiers' Publications.



One Volume. i6mo. Cloth. Price $i.oo.

" It would be difficult to find nobler flights of the imagination, sweeter ideals of
human affection and devotion, and more poetic conceptions of human relations,
than are contained in this volume. It is a chapter taken from the heart of the
Indian * Ma'.'abharata,' one of the noblest intellectual achievements which has
yet been made by any race. Most Western readers not familiar with Indian
literature have probably thought of it, if they have thought at all, as a mass of
extravagance, fantasy, and distorted imagination. That it has these defects is un-
questioned, but it must be remembered that it is as old as the Iliad, and seven
times as great in bulk as the whole volume of Homer's writings. It is not, there-
fore, an orderly and symmetrically developed epic ; it is rather a vast mine of
poetic thought, full of all manner of strange and beautiful, and sometimes repul-
sive things, but its riches are so great that the Western world cannot afford to
remain ignorant of them. Mr. Arnold has selected a few of the most beautiful
incidents in the poem, which have both completeness and adaptation for Western
readers, and has put them into his easy, fluent, if not always elegant verse ; his
selection has evidently been a wise one, since the whole volume is replete with a
strange beauty of sentiment and expression. Whatever may be the defects of
Mr. Arnold's verse, no one can afford to leave this volume unread who wishes to
know something of the lofty and noble gifts of the Indian mind wlien it first gained
self-consciousness and found expression for itself in its vast mythology." —
Christian Union.

" These idylls are all beautiful, all deeply marked with the sweet and gentle
philosophy which appears to have dominated the Hindu mind even from the
earliest times. . . . And Mr. Arnold has clothed these charming and tender epi-
sodes in a verse whose smooth and graceful flow accords most happily with his
subjects." — New York Tribune.

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Messrs Roberts Brothers Publicatio7ts.


Being a Version, in a a Opiuai ina jVu'vel Form, of the " Katha
Upanishad," from the Sanskrit, with some Collected Poems.


One Volume. i6mo. Cloth. Price ^i.oo.

" It was one of the distinguishing notes of ' The Light of Asia ' that it pre-
sented the spirit of Oriental thought not as it appeared to the European inteUigence,
but as it impressed itse'*^ upon the Hindu ; and in ' The Secret of Death ' this
systematic realization of the Asiatic cast of mind is even more clearly manifest.
. . . The legend is o£ Nachiketas, the son of Gautama, who, having obtained the
promise of three boons from Yama, god of Death, asks of the divinity knowledge
of the great problems of existence. In answer to this we have an exposition of
the Brahmanical system of Pantheism to which the Upanishads are largely
devoted. If we cannot find in this speculation the simplicity and insight, still less
the consoling hope and the lofty morality, which the poet admires, we can at all
events value the beauty and compactness of phrase, the felicity of imagery' and the
sustained dignity of tone in which the strange verse of the Old World is rehearsed
by this accomplished interpreter. The majestic calm which broods over the deeps
of the Pundit's philosophy, and the slow, lingering richness of the poetry of a
venerable and splendid antiquity, are reproduced with marvellous skill." — The
New York Tribtote.

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Online LibraryEdwin ArnoldLotus and jewel → online text (page 10 of 10)