Page:Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan.djvu/45

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SAVITRI

9

"Then where, O Muni, is the bar?
If wealth be gone, and kingdom lost,
His merit still remains a star,
Nor melts his lineage like the frost.
For riches, worldly power, or rank
I care not,—I would have my son
Pure, wise, and brave,—the Fates I thank
I see no hindrance, no, not one."
"Since thou insistest, King, to hear
The fatal truth,—I tell you,—I,
Upon this day as rounds the year
The young prince Satyavan shall die."

This was enough. The monarch knew
The future was no sealed book
To Brahma's son. A clammy dew
Spread on his brow,—he gently took
Savitri's palm in his, and said:
"No child can give away her hand,
A pledge is nought unsanctionèd;
And here, if right I understand,
There was no pledge at all,—a thought,
A shadow,—barely crossed the mind—
Unblamed, it may be clean forgot,
Before the gods it cannot bind.