Vikram And The Vampire – 8
The lady Chandraprabha, daughter of the Raja Subichar, was a particularly beautiful girl, and marriage-able withal.
One day as Vasanta, the Spring, began to assert its reign over the world, animate and inanimate, she went accompanied by her young friends and companions to stroll about her father’s pleasure-garden.
The fair troop wandered through sombre groves, where the dark tamale-tree entwined its branches with the pale green foliage of the nim, and the pippal’s domes of quivering leaves contrasted with the columnar aisles of the banyan fig. They admired the old monarchs of the forest, bearded to the waist with hangings of moss, the flowing creepers delicately climbing from the lower branches to the topmost shoots, and the cordage of llianas stretching from trunk to trunk like bridges for the monkeys to pass over. Then they issued into a clear space dotted with asokas bearing rich crimson fiowers, cliterias of azure blue, madhavis exhibiting petals virgin white as the snows on Himalaya, and jasmines raining showers of perfumed blossoms upon the grateful earth.
They could not sufficiently praise the tall and graceful stem of the arrowy areca, contrasting with the solid pyramid of the cypress, and the more masculine stature of the palm. Now they lingered in the trellised walks closely covered over with vines and creepers; then they stopped to gather the golden bloom weighing down the mango boughs, and to smell the highly-scented flowers that hung from the green fretwork of the chambela.
It was spring, I have said. The air was still except when broken by the hum of the large black bramra bee, as he plied his task amidst the red and orange flowers of the dak, and by the gushings of many waters that made music as they coursed down their stuccoed channels between borders of many coloured poppies and beds of various flowers. From time to time the dulcet note of the kokila bird, and the hoarse plaint of the turtledove deep hid in her leafy bower, attracted every ear and thrilled every heart. The south wind—”breeze of the south, the friend of love and spring” blew with a voluptuous warmth, for rain clouds canopied the earth, and the breath of the narcissus, the rose, and the citron, teemed with a languid fragrance.
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