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    The Hero and the Nymph Essay (483 words)

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    Or Vikramorvasie.

    Sri Aurobindo. Hyderabad: Government Central Press, 1911. PURURAVAS: Angrily Halt, ruffian, halt! Thou in thy giant arms bearest away my Urvasie! He has soared up from a great crag in the sky and wars me, hurling downward bitter rain of arrows. With this thunderbolt I smite thee. He lifts up a clod and runs as if to hurl it; then pauses and looks upward. I am deceived! This was a cloud equipped for rain, no proud and lustful fiend. The rainbow, not a weapon drawn to kill. Quick-driving showers are these, not sleety rain of arrows; and that brilliant line like a streak of gold upon a touchstone, cloud-in-armed, I saw, was lightning, not my Urvasie.

    Sorrowfully, where shall I find her now? Where clasp those thighs, swelling and smooth and white? This grove should find her. Here is something to enrage my resolution. These blossom-cups, red-tinged, expanding, wet, and full of rain, recall to me her eyes brimming with angry tears. How shall I trace her? What tells me Here and here she wandered?” If she had touched the rain-drenched forest sands with her beloved feet, there would be a line of little gracious footprints seen, with lace envermeilled, sinking deeper towards the heel because overburdened by her hips’ large glories. I see a hint of her! This way then went her angry beauty! Lo, her bodice, bright green as a parrot’s belly, smitten with crimson drops, once veiled her bosom and paused to show her naval deep as love.

    These are her tears that trickled from her angry eyes, stealing scarlet from her lips to spangle all this green. Doubtless her tumultuous breasts broke their dear hold and she stumbled in anger, causing it to drift from my Heaven. I’ll gather it to my kisses. [He stoops to it, then sorrowfully:] Oh, my heart! Only green grass with dragon-wings enamelled! From whom shall I have tidings of her in all the desolate forest, or what creature shall help me? Lo, in yon waste of crags, the peacock! He exults, aspires, his gorgeous mass of plumes seized, blown and scattered by the roaring gusts on a cool moist rock that breathes of rain. His outstretched throat is pregnant with shrillness, and his look is with the clouds. I will question him: Have the bright corners of your eyes beheld her, my delight, my wife, my passion, my sweet grief, O sapphire-throated bird? Yielding no answer, he begins his gorgeous dance.

    Why should he be so glad of my heart’s woe? I know thee, peacock. Since my cruel loss, thy plumes that stream in splendor on the wind have not one rival left. For when her heavy dark wave of tresses over all the bed in softness wide magnificently collapsed on her smooth shoulders massing purple glory and bright with flowers, she, passioning in my arms, who then was ravished with thy brilliant plumes, vain bird? I question thee not, heartless thing, that joyest in others’ pain.

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