Today's Beautiful Gem: `Sarat (Autumn)' from Rtusamhaaram by Kaalidaasa
translated by Chandra Rajan

"Splendidly jewelled by numberless star-clusters,
Night wraps herself in moonlight's shining robe
when the moon her face struggles free of obscuring clouds.
Day by day, she grows like a young girl
stepping gracefully into proud womanhood.

"The moon, the eye's delight,
captivates all hearts with aureoles bright;
Bringer of joy, showering beams cool as snowflakes,
it consumes the limbs of women pierced by the poisoned arrows
of separation from their husbands.

"Lost is Indra's bow in the bowels of clouds;
lightning, the sky's banner quivers no more;
egrets no longer beat the air with their wings;
peacocks do not watch the sky with upturned faces.

"A cloudless sky inlaid with the moon and countless stars
wears the exquisite beauty of lakes glowing
with the sheen of emeralds, and strewn with moon-lotuses,
wide open; and a regal swan floats serene.

"Autumn skies are enchanting, star-sprinkled,
lit by a clear-rayed moon; serenely beautiful
are the directions of space, free of thronging rain clouds
the earth is dry; waters sparkling clear;
breezes consorting with lotuses blow cool."

Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao