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Hunger and thirst oppress me sore,
And I am faint with toil :
Who claims his rightful spoil.
• 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,
•No blood of deer for me ; The falcon loves to feed on doves,
And such is Heaven's decree.
But if affection for the dove
Thy pitying heart has stirred,
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;
To see that wondrous sight.
The blessed gods, from every sphere,
By Indra led came nigh ;
Made music in the sky,
They rained immortal chaplets down,
Which hands celestial twine,
Pure Amrit, drink divine.
Then God and Seraph, Bard and Nymph
Their heavenly voices raised,
The glorious monarch praised.
They set him on a golden car,
That blazed with many a gem ;
And bore him home with them.
• From Additional Notes to the Råmayana, translated by Griffiith.
118. PROSPERITY AND ADVERSITY.
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.
Adversity willingly undergone is the highest virtue.
In every human heart the hope of happiness prevails,
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 mon, They understand many an error in life committed by
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 offend
ing humbled merit, Unhappy Narmad ! Do not be vexed The Lord of the Universe will soon allay your diffi
culties ; Have ample patience, oh friend ! And stick fast to morality.
* A Gujarati 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,
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
Adversity, sage useful guest,
Affliction is the good man's shining scene;