Monday, 19 January 2015

Gita Govinda 4th song - Jayadeva

With sandal smeared the bluish body,
garlanded, with yellow clothes.
With jewelled earrings on the cheeks,
to and fro the smiling roves.
Carelessly the women play.

Burdened there by heavy breast,
one embraces passionately.
And here another, simple herder,
sings in elevated key.
Carelessly the women play.

Yet another, young and artless,
dreams of Krishna's rolling glances.
Sees in Madhu's slayer's gaze
the beauty of a lotus face.
Carelessly the women play.

Someone to his ear has spoken,
kissed him sweetly on the cheek:
and someone shows her splendid buttocks,
as he bristles with delight.
Carelessly the women play.

Someone sporting, skilled and eager,
along the slopes of Yamuna:
now through water-cane she's led him,
beautiful, her hand on dress.
Carelessly the women play.

Hands are clapping, bracelets softly
syncopate with bamboo flute.
Round they go, the women dancing:
one attracts by praising him.
Carelessly the women play.

One by one he takes and kisses
these most beautiful of girls.
And then another, all surpassing,
smiles and beckons, leads him on.
Carelessly the women play.

How marvellous this secret rapture
Jayadeva grandly tells:
through Brindavan they go on dancing:
noise it round in Krishna's name.
Carelessly the women play.

   *      *      *      *      *

The love-god’s festival of darkened body
draws them garlanded as lotus blooms.
How freely, through their limbs, the comely Vraja
women sport with Hari in the spring.

From pent with snakes in sandal trees, the mountain
breezes plunge in Himalayan snows,
and, sweet and loud, the cuckoo‘s coo coo callings
come from topmost shoots of mango trees.

Jayadeva (13th century) India
Translated by C. John Holcombe

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