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CHILD, how happy you are sitting in the dust, playing with a broken twig all the morning. With whatever you find you create your glad games, I spend both my time and my strength over things I never can obtain.


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In my frail canoe I struggle to cross the sea of desire, and forget that I too am playing a game. I ONLY said, "When in the evening the round full moon gets entangled among the branches of that Kadam tree, couldn't somebody catch it? The moon is ever so far from us, how could anybody catch it?

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When mother looks out of her window and smiles down at us playing, would you call her far away? Still said, "You are a stupid child! But, baby, where could you find a net big enough to catch the moon with? If it came nearer, you would see how big the moon is. When mother bends her face down to kiss us does her face look very big? I ask, "But, how am I to get up to you? I ask, "But, how am I to join you?

I say, "My mother always wants me at home in the evening--how can I leave her and go? SUPPOSING I became a champa flower, just for fun, and grew on a branch high up that tree, and shook in the wind with laughter and danced upon the newly budded leaves, would you know me, mother? You would call, "Baby, where are you? When after your bath, with wet hair spread on your shoulders, you walked through the shadow of the champa tree to the little court where you say your prayers, you would notice the scent of the flower, but not know that it came from me.

When after the midday meal you sat at the window reading Ramayana, and the tree's shadow fell over your hair and your lap, I should fling my wee little shadow on to the page of your book, just where you were reading. When in the evening you went to the cow-shed with the lighted lamp in your hand, I should suddenly drop on to the earth again and be your own baby once more, and beg you to tell me a story.

The queen lives in a palace with seven courtyards, and she wears a jewel that cost all the wealth of seven kingdoms. She has bracelets on her arms and pearl drops in her ears; her hair sweeps down upon the floor. She will wake when I touch her with my magic wand, and jewels will fall from her lips when she smiles. But let me whisper in your ear, mother; she is there in the corner of our terrace where the pot of the tulsi plant stands. Where is it, mother, on the shore of what sea, at the foot of what hills, in the kingdom of what king?

There are no hedges there to mark the fields, no footpath across it by which the villagers reach their village in the evening, or the woman who gathers dry sticks in the forest can bring her load to the market. I can imagine how, on just such a cloudy day, the young son of the king is riding alone on a grey horse through the desert, in search of the princess who lies imprisoned in the giant's palace across that unknown water.

See, mother, it is almost dark before the day is over, and there are no travellers yonder on the village road. The shepherd boy has gone home early from the pasture, and men have left their fields to sit on mats under the eaves of their huts, watching the scowling clouds. The palm trees in a row by the lake are smiting their heads against the dismal sky; the crows with their draggled wings are silent on the tamarind branches, and the eastern bank of the river is haunted by a deepening gloom. Men have crowded into the flooded field to catch the fishes as they escape from the overflowing ponds; the rain water is running in rills through the narrow lanes like a laughing boy who has run away from his mother to tease her.

The sky seems to ride fast upon the madly-rushing rain; the water in the river is loud and impatient; women have hastened home early from the Ganges with their filled pitchers. The road to the market is desolate, the lane to the river is slippery. The wind is roaring and struggling among the bamboo branches like a wild beast tangled in a net. I load my little boats with shiuli flowers from our garden, and hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land in the night.

I launch my paper boats and look up into the sky and see the little clouds setting their white bulging sails. I know not what playmate of mine in the sky sends them down the air to race with my boats! When night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream that my paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars. If he would only lend me his boat, I should man her with a hundred oars, and hoist sails, five or six or seven. I should never steer her to stupid markets. I should sail the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.

I am not going into the forest like Ramachandra to come back only after fourteen years. I shall take my friend Ashu with me. We shall sail merrily across the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland. Where men cross over in their boats in the morning with ploughs on their shoulders to till their far-away fields;. Whence they all come back home in the evening, leaving the jackals to howl in the island overgrown with weeds,.

Mother, if you don't mind, I should like to become the boatman of the ferry when I am grown up. Where flocks of wild ducks come when the rains are over, and thick reeds grow round the margins where waterbirds lay their eggs;. Where in the evening the tall grasses crested with white flowers invite the moonbeam to float upon their waves. Mother, if you don't mind, I should like to become the boatman of the ferryboat when I am grown up. I shall cross and cross back from bank to bank, and all the boys and girls of the village will wonder at me while they are bathing.

When the sun climbs the mid sky and morning wears on to noon, I shall come running to you, saying, "Mother, I am hungry!


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When the day is done and the shadows cower under the trees, I shall come back in the dusk. Then crowds of flowers come out of a sudden, from nobody knows where, and dance upon the grass in wild glee. They do their lessons with doors shut, and if they want to come out to play before it is time, their master makes them stand in a corner. Branches clash together in the forest, and the leaves rustle in the wild wind, the thunder-clouds clap their giant hands and the flower children rush out in dresses of pink and yellow and white.

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I shall cross to the pearl island shore. There in the early morning light pearls tremble on the meadow flowers, pearls drop on the grass, and pearls are scattered on the sand in spray by the wild sea-waves. IF I were only a little puppy, not your baby, mother dear, would you say "No" to me if I tried to eat from your dish?

Then go, mother, go! I will never come to you when you call me, and never let you feed me any more. If I were only a little green parrot, and not your baby, mother dear, would you keep me chained lest I should fly away?

Would you shake your finger at me and say, "What an ungrateful wretch of a bird! It is gnawing at its chain day and night? Then, go, mother, go! I will run away into the woods; I will never let you take me in your arms again. There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no road he must take, no place he must go to, no time when he must come home. I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in the road, crying, "Bangles, crystal bangles! He does what he likes with his spade, he soils his clothes with dust, nobody takes him to task if he gets baked in the sun or gets wet.

The lane is dark and lonely, and the street-lamp stands like a giant with one red eye in its head. The watchman swings his lantern and walks with his shadow at his side, and never once goes to bed in his life. When we play at eating with pebbles, she thinks they are real food, and tries to put them into her mouth. Scholfield Greek natural history C2nd A.

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Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 30 trans. Seneca, Hercules Furens 83 ff trans. Miller Roman tragedy C1st A. But he [Herakles] has conquered such as these [i.

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I Cry Gray Mountains on the Moon: Literary Objects

How many times, when I was bent on love, have you disorbed me with your incantations, making the night moonless so that you might practise your beloved witchcraft undisturbed! And now you are as lovesick as myself. The little god of mischief has given you Iason Jason , and many a heartache with him.

Well, go your way; but clever as you are, steel yourself now to face a life of sighs and misery.

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Strabo, Geography Jones Greek geographer C1st B. At a slight distance away from it, after one has crossed a little river near Latmos, there is to be seen the sepulchre of Endymion, in a cave. As to the death of Enydmion, the people of Herakleia Heraclea near Miletos Miletus do not agree with the Eleans; for while the Eleans who a tomb of Endymion, the folk of Herakleia say that he retired to Mount Latmos Latmus and give him honour, there being a shrine of Endymion on Latmos.

And a memorial of her couch abides still 'neath the oaks; for mid the copses round was poured out milk of kine; and still do men marvelling behold its whiteness. Thou wouldst say far off that this was milk indeed, which is a well-spring of white water : if thou draw a little nigher, lo, the stream is fringed as though with ice, for white stone rims it round.