Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/371

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of Lakshmī, and had, when asked on whom her heart was set, named Purūravas instead of Purushottama (i.e. Vishṇu). She is consequently cursed by her teacher, Bharata, but is forgiven by Indra, who allows her to be united with Purūravas till the latter sees his offspring.

The fourth act is peculiar in being almost entirely lyrical. The lovers are wandering near Kailāsa, the divine mountain, when Urvaçī, in a fit of jealousy, enters the grove of Kumāra, god of war, which is forbidden to all females. In consequence of Bharata's curse, she is instantly transformed into a creeper. The king, beside himself with grief at her loss, seeks her everywhere. He apostrophises various insects, birds, beasts, and even a mountain peak, to tell him where she is. At last he thinks he sees her in the mountain stream:—

The rippling wave is like her frown; the row
Of tossing birds her girdle; streaks of foam
Her flutt'ring garment as she speeds along;
The current, her devious and stumbling gait:
'Tis she turned in her wrath into a stream.

Finally, under the influence of a magic stone, which has come into his possession, he clasps a creeper, which is transformed into Urvaçī in his arms.

Between the fourth and fifth acts several years elapse. Then Purūravas, by accident, discovers his son Āyus, whom Urvaçī had secretly borne, and had caused to be brought up in a hermitage. Urvaçī must therefore return to heaven. Indra, however, in return for Purūravas' services against the demons, makes a new concession, and allows the nymph to remain with the king for good.

There are two recensions of this play also, one of them belonging to Southern India.

The doubts long entertained, on the ground of its