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A Spring Festival

A Spring Festival
One day, when Spring, the abode of love, had come, the Lord went to a garden to please his retinue. There in a bower of flowers, the Master of the World, adorned with ornaments of flowers, sat like Spring personified. The Laksmi of Spring, as it were, gave welcome to the Lord of the World by humming bees intoxicated by the juice of blossoming mango-trees. An overture, as it were, being performed by cuckoos singing the fifth note, the wind from Malaya, the leader of the dance, showed the dance of the creepers. Gazelle eyed maidens gave embraces, kicks, and nectar from their lips to the henna plant, asokas, and bakula, as if to lovers. A bee, delighted with strong fragrances, like a tilaka, made the wood look like the forehead of a young man. The lavali-creeper was bent with the weight of clusters of blossoms, like a slender-wasted maiden with the very great weight of her swelling breasts.

The wind from Malaya slowly, slowly embraced the mango shoot, like a well-versed lover an innocent young girl. Love, like one carrying a club, was strong enough to kill the travelers with his clubs in the form of stalks of jambu, kadamba, mango, campaka, and asoka. To whom did not the wind from Malaya, like water, give pleasure, made fragrant by union with fresh flowers of the trumpet flower tree? The mahua, stored with sweet juices like a dish of honey, was filled with humming by the bees approaching. Balls were arranged, I think, under the guise of kadamba-flowers, to make practice of ball and bow by the God of Love. The vasanti flower was made a well of juice for bee-travelers by Spring, as if devoted to establishing water-supplies for the public. The sinduvara caused great stupor to travelers by its blossoms’ wealth of perfume hard to restrain like poison in the nose. The bees wander fearlessly like guards appointed over the campakas by the gardener of Spring. Spring showed a wealth of fine and superfine trees and plants, like the youth of men and women.

A Spring Festival
Gazelle eyed maidens began to gather flowers there as if eager to give wealth to the great tirtha of Spring. “Since we have become weapons of Smaras, what need of other weapons?” as if with this idea, the amorous women gathered flowers. Her flowers having been gathered, pained by separation from them, the vasanti cried out, as it were, by bees humming low. One maiden, when she had gathered jasmine, stopped as she was going away, because her dress clung to it, as if restrained by the jasmine, saying, “Do not go elsewhere.” As one was gathering campaka, she was stung on the petal-lip by a young bee flying up as if from anger at the breaking up of his shelter. One, with her creeper-arm raised, gathered flowers very high together with the minds of young men who saw the hollow of her arm. Creepers looked like living gatherers of flowers, with hands that were masters of clusters of fresh flowers. The trees looked as if they bore women as fruit, with women clinging to each branch from the desire to gather flowers.

One man made a body-ornament for his sweetheart from jasmine flowers that he himself had gathered, which resembled a wreath of pearls. One filled his sweetheart’s coil of hair with full-blown flowers with his own hand, like a quiver of the God of Love. One satisfied his beloved by giving a wreath, resembling the rainbow, woven by himself from five-colored flowers. One gracefully caught in his hands a ball of flowers thrown by his sweetheart, like a servant a gratuity. Gazelle eyed maidens going to and fro from the motion of the swings kicked the tree-tops as if they were guilty husbands. One bride, seated in a swing, endured blows from creepers from her women friends who asked her husband’s name, her mouth sealed from modesty. One man who was seated with a timid eyed maiden opposite, swung the swing very hard from the desire for a close embrace with her. Young men engaged in the sport of swinging the swings on every branch looked like monkeys on the garden-trees.

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