thee to act faithfull, according to those words thou
hadst spoken unto me before in the presence of the
guardians of the worlds. O bull among men, that
thy wife liveth even a moment after thy desertion of
her, is only because mortals are decreed to die at
the appointed time. O bull among men, enough
of this joke! O irrepressible one, I am terribly
frightened. O lord, show thyself. I see thee!
I see thee, o king! Thou art seen, O Naishadha,
Hiding thyself behind those shrubs, why dost thou
not reply unto me? It is cruel of thee, O great
king, that seeing me in this plight and so lamenting,
thou dost not, O king, approach and comfort me.
I grieve not for myself, nor for anything else.
I only grieve to think how thou wilt pass thy days
alone, O king. In the evening oppressed with
hunger and thirst and fatigue, underneath the trees,
how wilt it take with thee when thou seest me not?’
And then Damayanti, afflicted with anguish and burning
with grief, began to rush hither and thither, weeping
in woe. And now the helpless princess sprang up,
and now she sank down in stupor; and now she shrank
in terror, and now she wept and wailed aloud.
And Bhima’s daughter devoted to her husband,
burning in anguish and sighing ever more, and faint
and weeping exclaimed, ’That being through whose
imprecation the afflicted Naishadha suffereth this
woe, shall bear grief that is greater than ours.
May that wicked being who hath brought Nala of sinless
heart this, lead a more miserable life bearing greater
“Thus lamenting, the crowned consort of the
illustrious (king) began to seek her lord in those
woods, inhabited by beasts of prey. And the daughter
of Bhima, wailing bitterly, wandered hither and thither
like a maniac, exclaiming, ‘Alas! Alas!
Oh king!’ And as she was wailing loudly like
a female osprey, and grieving and indulging in piteous
lamentations unceasingly, she came near a gigantic
serpent. And that huge and hungry serpent thereupon
suddenly seized Bhima’s daughter, who had come
near and was moving about within its range. And
folded within serpent’s coils and filled with
grief, she still wept, not for herself but for Naishadha.
And she said ’O lord, why dost thou not rush
towards me, now that I am seized, without anybody
to protect me, by this serpent in these desert wilds?
And, O Naishadha, how will it fare with thee when thou
rememberest me? O lord, why hast thou gone away,
deserting me today in the forest? Free from thy
course, when thou wilt have regained thy mind and senses
and wealth, how will it be with thee when thou thinkest
of me? O Naishadha, O sinless one, who will soothe
thee when thou art weary, and hungry, and fainting,
O tiger among kings?’ And while she was wailing
thus, a certain huntsman ranging the deep woods, hearing
her lamentations, swiftly came to the spot. And
beholding the large-eyed one in the coils of the serpent,
he rushed towards it and cut off its head with his
sharp weapon. And having struck the reptile dead,