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Hunger and thirst oppress me sore,
And I am faint with toil :
Thou shouldst not stay a bird of prey
Who claims his rightful spoil.

They say thou art a glorious king,
And justice is thy care:
Then justly reign in thy domain,
Nor rob the birds of air.'

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Mine oath forbids me to betray
My little twice-born guest:

See how she clings with trembling wings.
To her protector's breast?'

'No flesh of lambs', the hawk replied,

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But if affection for the dove

Thy pitying heart has stirred,
Let thine own flesh my maw refresh,
Weighed down against the bird.'

He carved the flesh from off his side,
And threw it in the scale,

While women's cries smote on the skies,
With loud lament and wail.

He hacked the flesh from side and arm, From chest and back and thigh,

But still above the little dove

The monarch's scale stood high.

He heaped the scale with piles of flesh, With sinews, blood, and skin,

And when alone was left him bone

He threw himself therein.

Then thundered voices through the air;
The sky grew black as night;
And fever took the earth that shook,
To see that wondrous sight.

The blessed gods, from every sphere,
By Indra led came nigh;

While drum and flute and shell and lute,
Made music in the sky.

They rained immortal chaplets down,

Which hands celestial twine, And softly shed upon his head

Pure Amrit, drink divine.

Then God and Seraph, Bard and Nymph
Their heavenly voices raised,

And a glad throng with dance and song,
The glorious monarch praised.

They set him on a golden car,

That blazed with many a gem;
Then swiftly through the air they flew,
And bore him home with them.

Thus Kâshi's lord, by noble deed,
Won heaven and deathless fame;
And when the weak protection seek
From thee, do thou the same.*

From Additional Notes to the Râmâyana, translated by Griffith.


Adversity is a school in which many valuable lessons are learned, which can scarcely be gained in any other. Here we become acquainted with ourselves, with the frailties of our natures, with the fallacies of the world, with the worth and necessity of religion. Here the powers of the soul are called forth, and trained in a discipline, which, however severe, is found to be salutary. Some virtues are only seen in affliction, and some in prosperity; if the latter are more showy and attractive, the former are more solid and enduring. Humility, patience, fortitude, prudence, and pious resignation are best promoted by events and circumstances of a dark and disastrous kind. At such a time we wake from inglorious slumber, and the vain illusions and dreams, which before amused us are scattered and dispersed. -RUSTICUS.

Adversity willingly undergone is the highest virtue.
Adversity successfully overcome is the highest glory.

Oh, cease to weep, this storm will yet decay,
And the sad clouds of sorrow melt away:
While through the rugged path of life we go,
All mortals taste the bitter draught of woe:
The famed and great, decreed to equal pain,
Full oft in splendid wretchedness complain.


In every human heart the hope of happiness prevails,
None ever wishes that he may meet with distress ;

But human existence is in its nature beset with happiness and misery,

And grief therefore every one is destined to suffer.
Were there no dying of the dear and the near,
Of loss in business were there no fear,

If the human system were proof against all diseases and pain,

All would have been full of conceit and vain.

Prosperity is the time when men neglect their duties,
Many a vice is contracted by them at this time ;
Adversity is the time of instruction and learning,
It gives men an opportunity of cultivating virtues.
Whom to befriend and what it is to befriend
Is learnt at the time of adversity,

As then only the love of friends is tested,
And friend from foe distinguished.

When experience of adversity is obtained by men, They understand many an error in life committed by them;

In adversity they learn to compassionate others and mercifully give charitable gifts to the poor.

In adversity those inflamed with arrogance give up their egotism,

The boasters forget the habit of boasting;

And the foolish persons cease ridiculing and offending humbled merit.

Unhappy Narmad! Do not be vexed

The Lord of the Universe will soon allay your difficulties;

Have ample patience, oh friend!

And stick fast to morality.

• A Gujaráti poet.


Dark clouds roll up and obscure the sun, but we know there is light above the clouds.

Bear and blame not what you cannot change.

Heaven has to all allotted, soon or late,

Some lucky revolution of their fate.


Adversity has ever been considered as the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself -particularly being free from flatterers.

It is not but the tempest that doth show
The seaman's cunning; but the field that tries
The captain's courage; and we come to know
Best what men are, in their worst jeopardies.
For lo! how many have we seen to grow
To high renown from lowest miseries,
Out of the hands of Death? And many a one
To have been undone, had they not been undone?

Adversity, sage useful guest,
Severe instructor, but the best,
It is from thee alone we know
Justly to value things below.


Affliction is the good man's shining scene;
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.


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