Open main menu

Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/132

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

feet, throwing them upside down upon the floor, pinching their necks and using them ill.

52. There also live yelling ghosts naked, black, wan, tall, and high, who, hungry and in quest of food, are here and there emitting cries of distress.

53. Some have a mouth like a needle, others have a face like a cow's; they are of the size of men or dogs, go with entangled hair, and utter plaintive cries from want of food.

54. Those goblins, ghosts, imps, like vultures, are always looking out through the windows and loopholes, in all directions in search of food.

55. Such is that dreadful house, spacious and high, but very infirm, full of holes, frail and dreary. (Let us suppose that) it is the property of a certain man,

56. And that while he is out of doors the house is reached by a conflagration, so that on a sudden it is wrapt in a blazing mass of fire on every side.

57. The beams and rafters consumed by the fire, the columns and partitions in flame are crackling most dreadfully, whilst goblins and ghosts are yelling.

58. Vultures are driven out by hundreds; urchins withdraw with parched faces ; hundreds of mischievous beasts of prey[1] run, scorched, on every side, crying and shouting[2].

59. Many poor devils move about, burnt by the fire; while burning they tear one another with the teeth, and bespatter each other with their blood.

  1. Vyâda.
  2. Krosanti, var. lect. kroshanti. Burnoufs version, 'sont en fureur,' points to a reading roshanti, which, however, is not appropriate, for the would-be conflagration is a description of the time of twilight.