(King and Minstrel)



The minstrel came to Junagarh
and here took out his lyre;
With his entrancing melodies
he did all hearts inspire;
With his bewitching magic-strings
he set whole town on fire-
But palace-servants, princesses,
were struck with anguish dire;
"That Raja's head was bard's desire,
lute spoke in accents clear."


The bard at though a living string
played with humility;
The Raja in his palace fine,
to hear him did agree;
He mercifully called him in,
and met him graciously-
Then prince and bard, one harmony,
one single 'self' became!


"I travelled many foreign lands,
and have arrived today;
Poor minstrel I, no tresures crave
but for your life I pray-
To win this favour, let me play,
Oh Sir, the time is short.-"


"Leaving all other doors, O king
I wandered to your door!
Blest Sorth's husband, see my need
a beggar doth implore,
His empty apron fill once more
and happiness restore!"


The king sat on his glistening dais,
the bard below him played;
The faintest note of music sweet
up to the Raja sped-
To private folks that could not come
the minstrel too was led;-
Fine horses were produced, rare gems,
before the bard were spread,
Who said: "no wealth like this, but head
of Raja do I claim!"


No jewels can the mistrel please
no wealth, no property-
From riches and from great rewards
His only wish is, near to be
the giver of this wealth.


prince said: "I'll gladly sacrifice
My head for thee O Bard,
Although this is a small reward
For all thy music's worth...


"Were I to own a hundred heads
And weigh them with thy strings-
Behold the scale, how down it swings
On side of strings divine!


"O Friend, my head is only bone:
An empty, empty bone-
If thousand heads my neck would own
I'll cut them all for thee!"


The strings, the dagger and the neck
were reconciled all thee-
King said: "nought is so lovely than
your wish to come to me,
My head you craved...most heartily
I do thank God for that..."


"But singer, it astounded me,
That while you played your strain.
How could its sweetness you survive
And could alive remain?
Last night, my being all in twain
was by your music cut."



The flower of Girnar plucked;
The town is plunged in mourn and pain,
Hundreds like Sorath stand and raise
Their lamentations all in vain-
The minstrel, holding lock, receives
The prince's head adorned again-
While virgins chant the sad refrain;
"Last night the Raja passed away."


Sorath is dead; and all is peace-
Ruler removed his tents-
There are no singings and no shows,
no tuneful elementss.-
And after this, artist presents
The head again to king!


Sorath is dead, and all is peace-
Raja pitches his tents;
Music is heard again...the show
goes on with merriments-
Echo sounds song's sweet sentiments...
Behold, the happy king!