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Markandeya Purana, Books VII. VIII by Unknown
page 2 of 32 (06%)


ONCE upon earth there lived a saintly king
Named Harischandra; pure in heart and mind,
In virtue eminent, he ruled the world,
Guarding mankind from evil. While he reigned
No famine raged, nor pain; untimely death
Ne'er cut men off; nor were the citizens
Of his fair city lawless. All their wealth,
And power, and works of righteousness, ne'er filled
Their hearts with pride; in everlasting youth
And loveliness the women passed their days.

It so fell out, that while this mighty king
Was hunting in the forest, that he heard
The sound of female voices raised in cry
Of supplication. Then he turned and said,
Leaving the deer to fly unheeded: "Stop!
Who art thou, full of tyranny and hate,
That darest thus oppress the earth; while I,
The tamer of all evil, live and rule?"
Then, too, the fierce Ganesa,--he who blinds
The eyes, and foils the wills of men,--he heard
The cry, and thus within himself he thought:
"This surely is the great ascetic's work,
The mighty Visvamitra; he whose acts
Display the fruits of penance hard and sore.
Upon the sciences he shows his power,
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