Malayan Literature
Various Authors

Part 2 out of 4

Now again
To Bidasari let us turn. When dawn
Appeared, she rose and sat in loneliness,
Her face grew still more beautiful. Her state
Astonished her. "Perhaps it is the King
Who hath this wonder wrought. How happy I
To be no longer dead!" She washed her face
And felt still sad, but with her pensiveness
A certain joy was mingled, for her pain
Was passed. Her grief the "talking bird" allayed
With songs about the mighty King and love.


There's _siri_ in a golden vase,
Good Dang Melini plants a rose;
The King admires a pretty face,
To-day he'll come to this fair close.

Good Dang Melini plants a rose,
Here in the garden they will meet;
To-day he'll come to this fair close,
To man and maiden love is sweet.

Here in the garden they will meet,
Go seek the fairest fruit and flower;
To man and maiden love is sweet,
The King is coming to the bower.

Lo! At this very instant they approached.
Dear Bidasari hid behind the couch.
The King searched everywhere, and found at last
The maiden hiding, bathed in bitter tears.
Then kissing her, the King inquired: "My love,
Bright glory of my crown; pray tell to me
Why thou art sad." He dried her tears. But she
Still hung her head in silence. Then the King
For elephants and horses to be sent
Gave orders. "Go with _mantris_ two at once,
And bring the merchant and his wife, and bid
Forty _dyangs_ to hasten here forthwith."
Then went the _mantris_ forth in haste, and found
The merchant and his wife and said, "The King
Inviteth ye to come." Then through the wood
The parents hurried to the plaisance fair
Of Bidasari, there to meet the King.
Before his Majesty they bowed with fear.
The great King smiled. "Be not afraid," he said,
"My uncle and my mother. Let us go
Within, to see thy lovely child. I make
Ye now my parents. We have friendly been,
And still shall be." Beside the King they saw
Fair Bidasari seated, as with steps
Still hesitating they the palace sought.
The father fond was glad within his heart,
His daughter was so beautiful. She seemed
A princess lovely of the Mount Lidang.
"Dear Bidasari, sweetest child," they said,
"Behind the King, dear daughter, thou should stand."
She made as if to go, but still the King
Restrained her, "No, my pretty one," he said;
"Thy place is at my side. So God hath willed."
The oldest _mantri_, called for counsel, spoke:
"Lila Djouhara good, what sayest thou?
Art thou not glad to see thy daughter made
A queen? What happiness hath come to thee!"
The merchant bowed before the King, and said:
"Make her thy servant, not thy wife, my lord.
Thy glorious Queen we fear. She e'er hath shown
For Bidasari hatred dire, because
A child so lovely might attract the King."
The monarch hearing him thus speak, still more
Toward him was borne. "My uncle," then he cried,
"Have no more fear. But never shall I make
A servant of thy daughter."

Then he gave
Command to build a castle in the wood.
And all the workers came, and built it there,
With ramparts three. As if by magic then
A golden palace rose. The outer gate
Was iron, loaded down with arms, and held
By demons and by Ethiopians.
These were the keepers of the gates, with steeds
Untamed. With swords unsheathed they stood alert
And waited for the King's commands. Of brass
All chiselled was the second gate, supplied
With cannons and with powder, guarded safe
By beings supernatural. The third
Was silver, such as may be seen in far
Eirak. The beauty of the castle was
Beyond compare! From far it seemed to be
As double, like an elephant with two
White ivory tusks. Where may its like be found?
Three diamonds pure reflected all the light,
Big as a melon. Now the castle built,
The King a plaisance beautiful desired
With gay pavilions, and all kinds of plants.
The middle booth nine spacious rooms displayed,
One for the royal audiences, adorned
And pleasant as a bed of flowers.

The King
A festival maintained for forty days,
With games and sports and dances to divert.
And never was such animation seen!
All ate and drank to sound of music sweet.
They passed the loving-cup and drank to each
In turn.

For forty days resounded there
The gongs and _gendarangs_, and joyous tones
Of gay _serouni_ and _nefiri_ glad.
"How beautiful is Bidasari!" all
Exclaimed; "a thousand times more lovely than
The Queen. Thrice happy are the merchant now
And his good wife; by marriage they're allied
To our great King, though strangers to the land.
We count it strange that Bidasari's face
In naught is like the merchant nor his wife.
Who knoweth but that she, in mortal shape,
An angel fair may be? Full many slaves
The merchant hath, but never children own."
"He found her when a babe, upon the shore,"
Another said, "and brought her up."

The King
Heard all their words. He thought: "It is the truth
And this I take as proof of her high birth.
She certainly is noble or come down
From heaven."

When four days had fled, the wives
Of _mantris_ dressed the beauteous girl. They clad
Her form in satins soft of Egypt, shot
With gold, adorned with precious stones inset
And many gems. Her beauty was enhanced
The more, till she a radiant angel seemed.
She wore a tunic, crimson and pomegranate,
With buttons shaped like butterflies. She was
Adorned with _padaka_ of five quaint clasps,
And belt called _naga souma_. Ear-rings rich
She had, of diamonds set in gold, and wrought
Most wondrously, as bright as daylight's gleam;
A ring most marvellous and rare she wore
Called _astakouna_, and another named
_Gland kana_, and a third from far Ceylon,
Studded with precious stones. Her eyes were like
The stars of orient skies. Her teeth were black,
Her face like water shone. Her chiselled nose
Was prominent and Mike a flower fresh culled.
When she was dressed, upon a couch of pearls
Her mother put her. Supple was her form,
And white, as she reclined, by many maids
Surrounded. In his royal garb the prince
Was clad, and dazzling to the eyes of all
Who saw. He wore a kingly crown which shone
With diamonds bright and lucent amethysts
And many stones, and all majestic seemed.
Then rice was brought. The King with pleasure ate
And what was left he gave the _mantris'_ wives.
When all had finished he perfumed himself
And gazed upon his lovely wife. Her face
And form were charming. Her soft tresses curled
In grace. Her eyes still kept the trace of tears,
Which made her lovelier. The silken folds
Of soft Egyptian curtains fell. They were alone.
"Awake, my darling," said the prince at dawn,
"Crown of my life, awake, my pretty one."
Then Bidasari waked and said, with tears:
"My friend, I had all sorts of wondrous dreams.
I saw a palm-tree tall with tufted limbs,
And fruits all ripe." When three days more had fled
And all the people saw and loud acclaimed,
Then Bidasari took the rank of Queen.
The King o'erloaded her with gifts and loved
Her tenderly. "Oh, let us live and die
Together, dear, and, as the days go by,
Think more of one another, and our love
Preserve, as in the hollow of the hand
Oil is upheld, nor falls a single drop."
So spake the King.

The merchant and his wife
Were soon established in the neighborhood,
Near to Queen Bidasari's palace grand.
A hundred servants had they to fulfil
Their orders. They sent gifts to all their friends,
And food to last a month.

A certain day
It chanced that Bidasari said: "O King,
Why goest thou no more within the gates
Of that thine other palace? Of a truth
Queen Lila Sari will be vexed, because
Thou hast abandoned her so long a time.
She'll think that I have kept thee from her side
Unwilling thou shouldst go." So, with all sorts
Of words, fair Bidasari strove to urge
The King to visit Lila Sari. "I
Will go to-morrow," finally he said.
He went, when morning came, and met the Queen.
She turned him back, and with sharp, bitter words
Reproached him. "Wretched one, I will not see
Thy face. I love thee not. I hate thee. Go!
Lila Djouhara's son-in-law, thou'rt not
To me an equal. Thy new wife's an ape,
Who liveth in the woods."

But when the King
Heard these vociferations of the Queen,
He said: "Branch of my heart, light of my eyes,
Oh, be not vexed, my dear. It was not I
Who wrong began, but thou didst cause it all.
For thou didst hide thy deed from me, and drive
Me on to this extremity. Oh, why
Art thou now angry with me? If thou wilt
But love her, and attach thy heart to hers,
She'll pardon thee, and take thee as a friend."
As more and more enraged the Queen became,
Her wrath with strong reproaches overflowed.
"Depart from here, accursed of God! Thou art
No longer husband mine. Go live with her
Whom God hath struck, but whom thou dost delight
To honor. Formerly of noble blood
Thou wert, but now no more than broken straw.
Thou needst not further try to flatter me.
Though thou shouldst purify thyself seven times, false one,
I'd not permit thee to approach my side."
The King grew angry and replied: "Tis thou
Who art despicable. Thy cunning tricks
Are worthless now. Thy jealousy insane
Was without cause, and common were thy acts.
Thy wit is much below thy beauty.
Will follow thee, should I protection cease."
"Have I forgot my noble birth?" she asked.

"But thou hast erred, to lower thine high estate
To people of such base extraction. Here
And everywhere thy shame is known, that thou
Art wedded to a gadabout. Is it
For princes thus to wed a merchant's child?
She ought far in the woods to dwell, and know
Most evil destiny." The King but smiled
And said: "If this event is noised abroad,
'Tis thou who wilt receive an evil name.
For who in all the land would dare prevent
The King from marrying? I ought to take
From thee all I have given. But before
The people I've no wish to humble thee.
Is it because I met thy every wish
That thou art grown so bad? Most evil hath
Thy conduct been, and I with thee am wroth,"
And in hot anger rushed the King away,
And straight repaired to Bidasari's side.


This song will tell again about the prince
Of Kembajat, most powerful. He was chased
By fell _garouda_, horrid bird of prey,
And sought another land. His way he took
Toward Indrapura. At the break of dawn
A daughter fair was born, a princess true,
Within a boat that lay upon a shore.
The Queen and he abandoned her, and went
Back to the royal palace and for days
Bemoaned her fate. Of her they nothing heard.
"Alas my child!" the father cried, "my dear,
In whose care art thou now? We do not know
If thou art dead or living. Thus thy sire
Hath no repose. Light of mine eyes, my love,
My purest gold, our hearts are torn with grief.
An evil fate was ours to hide thee there.
We do repent the deed. To think that thou
Perchance hath fallen among the poorest folk!
A slave perhaps thou art!" The prince's son
Remarked the sorrow of his parents dear,
And was profoundly moved. "Have I," he asked,
"A sister? Tell me why have ye concealed
Her far away? Did ye not care for her?
Was she a burden that ye must forsake
Her thus? Doth shame not fill your parents' hearts?"
But when he heard the tale in full, he said:
"O father, let me go to seek for her,
My sister dear. If I succeed I'll bring
Her back to thee." "Oh, leave us not, my son,"
The father said. "Thou art our only heir.
Like a tamed bird upon our shoulders fain
We've carried thee, and watched thee, day and night.
Why shouldst thou leave us now? Oh, go not forth.
Vex not thyself about thy sister dear.
From travellers we shall get news of her,
And her abode discover."

Then the prince
Bowed low and said: "My father, lord, and King,
I am but strengthened in my wish to go
And find my sister. Let me now depart,
And seek for news of her." The King replied:
"Well, go, my dearest son; thy heart is good.
Though but a child thou still dost bear a brain."
Then summoned the young prince the merchants all,
And bought much goods and questioned them in turn
About all neighboring villages and camps.
They told whate'er they knew most willingly,
For much the young prince was beloved by them.
Among them was a youth of handsome face,
Fair Bidasari's foster-brother tall.
Amid the strangers sat he near the throne;
His name was Sinapati. He was brave
And wise. Now as he watched the prince he thought,
"How strangely like dear Bidasari's face
Is his, as when a reed is split in twain
There is no difference between the halves."
His home he left when Bidasari fair
Became the Queen. He thought of her and wept.
The prince observed him there, and said, with smiles:
"Young man, my friend, from what far town art thou?
Why dost thou weep so bitterly? What thoughts
Arise in thee and make thy visage dark?"
Young Sinapati bowed and said: "My lord,
I came from Indrapura, in a ship,
My wares to sell. For that I do not weep.
But sorrow cometh to my heart whene'er
I think upon my home, and brothers dear,
And sisters."

At these words the prince rejoiced.
He thought, "From him some news I'll surely learn."
Sherbets and dainties then to all the folk
He offered, and the cup went 'round from dawn
Till noon, and then the merchants went away;
But the young prince kept Sinapati there.
Now he already strong affection felt
For him and said: "My friend, toward thee I'm moved
And look upon thee as a brother dear.
Thou dost at Indrapura live, but who
May be thy patron there?" Then with a smile
Young Sinapati said: "My patron's called
Lila Djouhara, merchant great. He owns
Some six or seven swift ships, and toileth more
Than ever since he Bidasari took
As child." In two days' time the young prince went
With Sinapati to his father's house.
"I bring thee news," he said, "but nothing yet
Is sure. Behold from Indrapura far
A youth, from whom I've things of import great.
A merchant of Pesara, very rich,
My sister must have found. All well agrees
With what to me thou saidst. Now must we seek
For confirmation of the glad report."
To Sinapati gold and gems they gave.
Then spake the King: "If this be so I'll send
An envoy bearing richest gifts, and thanks
Within a letter writ."

The youthful prince
Bowed low and said: "Oh, send me on this quest!
Lila Djouhara I would like to see.
Perhaps he's virtuous and just. If I
Am made full sure it is my sister dear,
I'll send a messenger. And if it be
I'll bring her back."

The King was moved
To hear his son thus speak. "O dearest child,"
He said: "I'm very loath to let thee go.
But thou must many horsemen take with thee,
Lest thou shouldst long be absent."

"Why should I
Be long away?" the prince replied, with bows;
"For if Lila Djouhara will not let
Her come, I shall forthwith return to thee."
The King could now no more object. He gave
Commands to make an expedition great.
With richest gifts, and food, and princely things,
And sent him forth with blessings on his head.
"Stay not too long; thou art my only hope,"
The King exclaimed; "I'm getting old, my son,
And thou my heir upon the throne must be."
They started early on the fourteenth day
Of that same month. And Sinapati rode
Beside the Prince.

Some went on foot and some
On horses. When they far had gone, the prince
Said to the youth: "Now listen, friend. When we
Arrive thou must not name my family
And rank. I'm someone from another town.
It doth not please me to declare my rank
To strangers. Should the girl my sister prove,
Thou mayst tell all, for I shall soon return."
Thus speaking, the young prince his way maintained,
And soon arrived near to the city sought.
He Sinapati left, and went within
The gates, with four companions, true as steel,
And six attendants. They at once repaired
To the _campong_ of good Lila Djouhara.
They found it closed, with a forsaken look.
"There's no one here. The King hath taken all
Away, both old and young," said the _mandar_.
Then Sinapati beat his breast and said:
"What hath become of my dear patron, then?"
"Be not disturbed. No harm hath come to him.
The merchant with the King hath gone, because
The King hath married Bidasari fair,
And made of her a queen, and built a fine
New palace in the country wild. There all
Is joy and happiness." Beyond all count
Was Sinapati glad to hear these words.
Then to the prince he said: "My gracious lord,
Lila Djouhara's near at hand. He is
In highest favor with the King, and bears
A title new." They hurried forth to find
His residence. "It is the left _campong_,"
Remarked a country-man. "Thy lord is grand
And powerful now, and master of us here.
The King hath now become his son-in-law."
Then Sinapati went within the gates
And saw his mother there. Her heart was touched.
She kissed him and inquired, "Whom hast thou brought?"
"It is a friend," he answered. "Come, my lord,"
She to the young prince said, "enter and rest."
"He's so like Bidasari," to herself
She said. "What is thy name, my brave young man,
Thou seemest nobly born. In very truth
Thou'rt handsome and well mannered." Then the prince
Said: "Poutra Bangsawan I'm called. Thy son
I've followed here." But Sinapati paid
Him homage, and they knew him for a prince.
Before his door young Sinapati slept
At night to guard him safe. Next day there came
An invitation from Lila Mengindra
(Before, Djouhara). So they started forth.
Lila Mengindra was astonished quite
To see the prince's face so beautiful.
"Who is this most distinguished stranger here?"
He asked himself. "My master, speak a word
To Poutra Bangsawan, a friend of mine,"
Said Sinapati. So the old man turned
And spoke unto the prince, "Come here, my son,
And sit thee near thy father." He felt drawn
To him, he looked so much like Bidasari.
The young prince smiled and on the dais sat.
"What is thy visit's purpose?" then inquired
The good old man. The prince with bows polite
Replied: "I'm but a humble stranger, come
To find my sister. I bespeak thine aid."
"Be not afraid, my son, but trust in me,
Nor fear to give thy sister's name. If thou
Wilt have it so I'll take thee for a son;
I love thee for thou hast a face so like
My daughter's." Then the brave young prince began
And told his sister's story, how she was
In time of stress abandoned on the shore.
"And if I only knew," he said, "where now
She is, I'd be her master's willing slave."
Now when Lila Mengindra heard his tale
His joy was quite unspeakable. His love
For Bidasari's brother greater grew.
With smiles he asked: "Now, Poutra Bangsawan,
Say of what family thou art, that I
May aid thee in thy quest, and help thee find
Thy sister." Then the young prince bowed his head
And pondered, "Shall I lie?" For he knew not
If 'twere his sister. Lila saw his mood
And said: "Be not disturbed. It is most sure
That thy dear sister's here. So speak the truth,
That my old heart may be surcharged with joy.
Thy sister's seated on a throne, and like
A brilliant jewel is her family.
Be no more sorry. As for me, my heart
Is full of joy."

The prince looked in his face
And said: "Can I confide in him? I am
A stranger here and fear to be deceived."
Said Sinapati: "Speak not thus, I pray,
For everybody knows this man can tell
Ten-carat gold from dross. Now list, my lord.
Although he bids me silent be, a prince
He is, son of a powerful king, and comes
To seek his sister." Then within his heart
The former merchant much rejoiced, as if
He'd found a mountain of pure gems. He paid
His homage to the prince in proper form,
And took him into his abode, to meet
His wife and all within. The spouses two
To him exclaimed: "Dear prince, in our old age
We're very happy. When thy sister sweet
We found, o'erjoyed were we. And now the King
Hath married her, and raised her to the throne.
He hath our family to noble rank
Upraised, and covered us with benefits."
Then smiling said the prince: "I learn with joy
My sister sweet is here. When may I go
Before the King and see her? For I've come
To take her home. And yet I fear the King
Will never let her go away from him.
When I have seen her I'll return again."
In three days' time the King gave audience.
The former merchant with him took the prince,
Who sent the richest presents on before.
The princeling was most gorgeously attired
And bore himself with haughty dignity.
His robe was rich, his tunic violet
And fire. His many-colored turban bore
Bright agates. At his girdle hung his kriss.
He was entirely clad as prince should be,
And bracelets wore with little bells and rings.
His leggings were embroidered with bright flowers
Called _pouspa angatan_. He seemed divine--
His beauty was extraordinary. Pearls
In numbers countless covered all his garb;
An amulet he had with sacred verse
From the Koran, a diamond pure. He rode
A steed most richly housed, with _shabraque _decked
With gleaming jewels casting rays of light.
Twas thus the prince set out to meet the King.
Lila Mengindra with him went. The prince
Approached the King's pavilion, and at once
The King remarked his beauty and his mien
Of noble grace. "Who can he be?" he thought.
Meanwhile the prince dismounted and appeared
Before the King. Full seven times he bowed
And said, "O may your happiness increase,
Illustrious sovereign!"

Then the King with smiles
Lila Mengindra questioned, "Who is this
Thou hither bringest, of such noble mien
And amiable face?"

With humble bow
The former merchant said: "This slave of thine
Has come from lands remote, from Kembajat,
Upon the seashore, since thy Majesty
He wished to see. His presents few he sent
Before him, which he hopes thou wilt accept."
The former merchant thought: "I would his rank
Divulge. But some might think I lied because
The King hath Bidasari wed, and if
She knew she was a princess born she might
Be very vain and haughty."

To the prince
The King was very friendly. "Come and sit
Here by my side," he said, "for thee I deem
A brother." "Let me here remain, my lord,
I am a poor unworthy servitor.
I hope that thou wilt pardon me. I would
I might become a subject of thy crown."
The King thought: "This may be some royal heir
Who here hath wandered. He resembles much
Our Bidasari, Pity 'tis that he
Unto another nation doth belong."
Then pleasantly he said: "Pray, truly tell
What is thine origin? Keep nothing back.
What is thy name? The whole truth let me know."
The young prince bowed him low and said: "My name
Is Poutra Bangsawan, of family
Most humble. I am searching everywhere
To find a sister lost. When she is found
I shall return at once." Then said the King:
"Where is thy sister? I will help thy search.
Stay here with me a month or two, that we
May learn to know each other and become
Fast friends." The young prince then obeisance made
And said: "I bear thine orders on my head.
Thou art a king illustrious, and I
A humble servitor. I am the son
Of good Lila Mengindra, but for long
I've absent been. My sister dear I seek.
Thine aid I do bespeak. From Kembajat
I come, a subject of thy father there, the King.
Forgive me, lord, for now thou knowest all."
The King rejoiced to hear a voice that seemed
So much like Bidasari's, and inquired
Of Sinapati, "Tell me now his race."
Then Sinapati bowed and said: "My lord,
Of princes and of caliphs is his race.
His kingdom, not so far, is most superb;
His palace is most beautiful and grand.
Swift ships within the harbor lie, all well
Equipped." At this the King enchanted was,
To find a prince was brother to his wife.
Still more he asked and Sinapati said:
"Because his realm was ravaged by the foe
He hath misfortunes suffered manifold."
Then knew the King he was of royal blood
And had adversity experienced.
The King came from his throne and said, "My friend,
My palace enter." So the King and prince
Went in. They met fair Bidasari there.
She sat beside a Chinese window quaint,
All choicely carved. She saw the King and thought,
"What fine young man is this he bringeth here?"
When they were seated all, the young prince looked
At Bidasari: "Beautiful is she,"
He thought, "my sister dear, and very like
My father." Then the King with smiling face
Said: "Bidasari, darling, speak to him.
He is thy younger brother, come to seek
Thee here. From Kembajat he came. And thy
Dear father mourns for thee the livelong day."
At this fair Bidasari sighed. She bowed
Her head and silence kept. She much was moved
Because she had not known her parents true,
But fancied them Djouhara and his wife.
"I'm but a merchant's daughter," finally
She said. "Things all uncertain this young prince
Hath told. If I'm the daughter of a King,
Why hath he left me here, and never sought
For me through all these years? 'Tis not so far
From here to Kembajat." The young prince bowed.
"Thy words I bear upon my head," he said,
"O sister dear. Pray banish from thy heart
All hatred. If thou'rt lowly born, I am
Likewise. Our realm was ravaged at thy birth.
But shortly afterward fair peace returned,
And to his own my father came again.
I've seen how much he suffers in his heart.
Thy name he never utters without tears--
He never hath forgotten thee. Forgive
Him, then, in what he was remiss. Except
For stern necessity he never would
Have thee abandoned."

Then the King with smiles
Said: "Speak to him, my dear. He tells the truth.
Thy parents wandered through a desert land
Beneath a cruel sun. Impossible
It was to carry thee through brier and brush."
Down at his sister's feet the young prince knelt.
Then Bidasari clasped him in her arms.
The brave young prince to them recounted all
The sorrows of his parents. Much he wept,
And they wept, too, as he the story told.
Then sat they down to dine. And afterward
They _siri_ took and perfumes of all kinds.
Then the young prince took leave. "Where goest thou,
My brother?" asked the King. "I fain would go
Straight home to my dear parents," said the prince.
But, with a voice affectionate, the King
Replied: "Seek not Lila Mengindra. Here
Thou shouldst remain, for thou hast met within
This palace thy dear sister. There is room
Enough for thee. Stay here with all thy folk
And retinue." The prince bowed low, and forth
Unto the merchant went, and to him said:
"Within the palace now I shall remain
With all my retinue, for thus the King
Commands." The merchant said: "'Tis very well
For where can one lodge better than within
The palace?" So the prince returned, with all
His people, to the palace of the King.
Then all the _mantris_ came, and festivals
And feasts were held. As long as he remained
At Indrapura, the young prince received
All courtesies. And Bidasari fair
Was known as daughter of a mighty king.
The news was carried far and wide, and all
Repeated how her brother brave had come
To seek for her.

Queen Lila Sari heard
And was surprised. She sighed in solitude,
And felt a woe unspeakable. She said
To a _mandar_: "I was in too much haste.
On the _dyangs_ I counted, but they come
No more. All four have gone and homage paid
To Bidasari. All my tricks are foiled.
In no one can I trust." Dang Lila then
Approached and said: "Acts of unfaithfulness
Bring never happiness. God's on the side
Of loyalty. Now those _dyangs_ are sad
And languish after thee, but fear the King,
Dost thou not think, O Queen, thou ill hast wrought?
For while the King is absent none will come
Thy heart to cheer." The Queen replied with ire:
"Seek not to consolation give. The King
Esteems me not. I'll not humiliate
Myself before him. Who is that young prince,
So called, who hither came? A pirate's son
He well may prove, and calls himself a prince.
Go ye, _dyangs_, pay service to the King,
And he may favor ye as he did her."
She seemed most wroth. But she repented sore
In truth, and pined away in sorrow deep.
In other days she had no wish nor whim
Unsatisfied. Now all were for the King.
The Queen's heart angrier grew from day to day
As if a scorpion's sting had wounded her.
And her distress grew greater when she thought
Upon the love of other days. Her heart
Was inconsolable because so bitterly
She missed the pomp and glory of her court.
But Bidasari to the King one day
Said: "Send back these _mendars_; for if they all
Stay here, Queen Lila Sari all alone
Will be." The King with smiles replied: "Oh, no!
I will not let them go. She is so fell
And barbarous, she no one loves. She is
Much better all alone." Then to the King
Fair Bidasari said: "Thine anger was
Too prompt. She spoke in wrath because she was
Accustomed to a court. In what to thee
Hath she been wanting, that thou shouldst repel
Her thus? Thou gav'st her love, and now thou dost
Abandon her in sorrow. Be not thus
Incensed with her, for should she come to want
The shame would be reflected on thy head."
The King's face lighted, and he said: "My dear,
I went to see her, but she drove me forth
With bitter words. Her conduct was beyond
All bearing. And she heaped on me abuse."
But Princess Bidasari said: "Dwell not
On that, my friend. She was disturbed by wrath
And jealousy. In other days thou didst
Embrace and kiss her. Now she is alone.
And thou perchance didst somehow hurt
Or bruise her body." All his anger left
The King at this. He said: "O purest soul,
Thou speakest well and wisely. How could I
Not love thee, dear, and cling to thee for life?
Oh, never may we separated be!
Branch of my heart, light of my eyes, thou dost
But good desire. Thou'rt all the world to me.
I'll go to her, since thou doth ask. Perchance
A reconciliation may be made.
But she must first admit her faults. If she
Repentance shows, to see her I will go."
The merchant's wife had come and heard these words.
Her warm tears fell. She thought within herself,
"My daughter hath no vengeance in her heart."
Then Dang Bidouri brought delicious rice
Unto the King and Queen. They ate and drank,
And stronger grew their love from hour to hour.
Then gave the King commands to call the prince.
He came with smiling face and graceful bows.
"Sit here beside us," said the King, and all
The three dined there together, royal ones,
Surrounded by deft servants and _dyangs_.
They chatted gayly, and, with laughter, ate.
When all was finished, from the betel-box
The King of _siri_ took, perfumed himself,
And then the prince retired.

When two short months
Had fled, the prince bethought him of his home
And parents. To himself he said, "I'll go."
He gave commands to preparation make
For his departure. "I am loath to leave
My sister," he to Sinapati said.
"My life is joyous here. But there at home
I've left my parents in solicitude."
Then Sinapati bowed and said, "With thee
I'll go."


A certain day the _mantris_ came
Before the King, in the pavilion grand.
And with them came the youthful prince, and cast
Himself before the throne. The King with smiles
Said: "Sit thou at my side, my brother dear,
I have not seen thee for a day entire."
The princeling bowed and said: "My gracious lord
If thou wilt pardon me, I would return
And give my parents dear the joyful news.
My father bade me seek my sister lost,
And still he nothing knows of her good fate."
The King replied with sorrow: "Brother mine,
Why wilt thou go so soon? We scarcely are
Acquainted, and I have not had enough
Of thy dear company." The prince replied:
"Oh, be not sorrowful, my gracious lord.
As soon as I have my dear father seen
I'll tell him what good things have come to pass.
'Twill soothe his heart to hear my sister's joy.
My parents will be glad in learning all
Thy goodness great. And pray consider me
Thy subject leal. Soon I'll return again."
The King's emotion grew. With pleasant voice
He said: "Take counsel of thy sister. Heed
What she may say." They found the Queen within,
Fair Bidasari, and attending her
Dyang Agous Djouhari. All sat down
And took some _siri_ from the betel-box.
The Queen to the young prince then spoke: "Come here.
My brother, why have I thy face not seen
For two long days?" With bows the prince replied:
"I've had a multitude of things to do.
Thus came I not; for my companions all
Seek homeward to return. So I must take
My leave of thee upon the morrow morn,
When pales the silver moon before the dawn."
The Queen was grieved to hear these words, and shed
A flood of tears. Her tender heart was touched.
Beside herself with sorrow she exclaimed:
"O prince illustrious! How canst thou go,
Since we have met? I've loved thee from the time
I knew thou wert my brother. I am grieved
To hear thee say thou wilt so soon depart.
Of low extraction must I be! 'Twas wrong
For thee to call thyself my brother. I
A poor and feeble orphan am, and how
Should I the love deserve of a great prince?"
When this he heard the prince bowed low his head
And was much troubled. "Sister sweet," he said,
"Grieve not like this. I only do return
Because our parents must so anxious be.
I love thee so, my darling, that my heart
Is nearly breaking. If thou speakest thus
To me, my dear, my grief will still increase.
I could not leave thee, but I must respect
Our parents' wishes. They commanded me
All haste to make. So--sweet--I pray thee have
Compassion on me."

Much disturbed, the King
Observed the sorrow of the princess fair.
He kissed her lips, to her a _sepah_ gave,
And said with tender voice: "My darling wife,
What dost thou wish? Let now thy brother go.
We'll see thy parents here ere many days."
The Queen wept bitterly, and said to him:
"His wishes I do not oppose. Let him
Do whatsoe'er it pleaseth him to do.
For I am but a stranger, a lost child,
And who should think of me or love me true?"
Then bowed the prince and said: "In very truth,
I know thou art my sister. Speak not thus.
God knows how much I love thee, sister mine.
If thou dost not permit me to depart
I'll not resist. I'm happy here with thee,
But our dear parents are in cruel doubt,
And look for news of thee. Now that I know
Thy husband is a king, our parents dear
Would be so overjoyed to learn it too!"
Then spoke the King with face all radiant,
"Return not, brother mine," he said. "I'll send
Swift messengers to bear the gladsome news
That Bidasari's found. Then, if he wills,
Thy royal father here we'll hope to see.
I'll go myself to meet him when he comes."
The young prince bowed and said: "Nay, rather send
Thy messengers, a great king cannot go
So far away." Queen Bidasari heard
These words and much rejoiced, and gayly gave
Her brother then her betel-box.

The King
Caressed his wife and said, "My dearest soul,
Love not thy brother more than me." He called
Lila Mengindra. Soon the merchant came
Before the King and prince. The King exclaimed:
"Come here, my uncle. Tell me, wilt thou take
A letter to the King of Kembajat--
To prove to him we live?"

So spake the King
And called his counsellor of state, who came
And kissed his hands. The King then bade him write
A letter, all in characters of gold.
"Well," cried the King, "let's hear the letter now,"
"Now glory be to God," it thus began,
And all fair Bidasari's history
Recited. Then the King a mighty host
Assembled and with elephants and steeds
Ten _mantris_ took the letter of the prince
Unto his parents. With the cavalcade
There went a _laksimana_ great, who bore,
As king's ambassador, bejewelled flags
And standards rich, and presents of much worth.
Then Sinapati by the King was called
A _laksimana mantri_, and received
A fine equipment, with a hundred men
To follow him. 'Twas thus the King preserved
His reputation as a mighty king.

When he had sent the embassy, the King
Went to his wife, and they were very gay.
His love for her grew greater every day.
The former merchant also was beloved.
He gave the King good counsel, and obeyed
His orders willingly. He often dined
Together with the King and Queen. His wealth
Grew vast. No one at all could with him vie,
In Indrapura. He was much attached
To the chief _mantri_. They were equals both
In prudence, wisdom, and fidelity,
With power unquestioned over all the folk.
Beneath their sway prosperity increased,
And many merchants came from far and wide.
The kingdom was at peace. The King rejoiced,
And everyone was happy in the land.


The _laksimana mantri_ now I'll sing,
Who went upon the embassy. As soon
As the great King of Kembajat had news
Of his arrival, he was much rejoiced.
He told the Queen, and in the audience-hall
Awaited. Then went forth the officers
With elephants and _payongs_. A countless throng
Attended them, with music and with flags.
They met the embassy, and, with rich gifts,
They gave the King's commands. Into the town
Then entered all. The King was very glad,
As if his only daughter had returned.
All bowed before the King, who took the gifts,
While servants took the letter to the chief
Of _mantris_. And he gave it to the King,
The monarch read, and was possessed with joy.
He could not thank enough the merchant good,
Who raised his daughter to a royal throne.
He wished forthwith to go and see his child.
The letter cordial invitation gave.
But one thing troubled him: "He straight inquired,
'Hath not the prince, my son, the liberty
To come back home?'" The _laksimana_ bowed
And said: "The King wished not to let him come
And begged with tears that he would stay. The Queen
Feared if her brother went she'd never see
Her father. From your children both I bring
Warm greetings. Kind indulgence from your heart
They ask, and press their invitation. I
Crave pardon for myself, O King, and hope
Thy children dear may see their father's face,
And that the kingdoms may become one realm."
At these words smiled the King. "Ah, well!" he said,
"I'll wait for seven days still." Then questions flew,
And the great king learned all about his child.

The Indrapura _mantris_ went apart
When evening came. A separate palace grand
The King assigned them, with the best of food.
He orders gave for preparations great.
Unto the Queen he said: "In seven days' time,
My dear, I look to start, for I shall have
No peace until I've seen our darling child."
Then he assembled there his _mantris_ all,
Both young and old, with elephants and steeds.
And all was ready to set forth, as he had wished.
The while the morning stars were twinkling still,
The royal gong resounded many times.
The guards leaped forth with joy. The officers
Came out and took their shining helms of war.
Their naked swords all glistened. It was thus
They made the glittering royal cavalcade.
Their flags and banners flaunted in the air,
All those who stayed behind were sad, as if
A knife had cut them. All together marched,
The lancers and the horsemen, and they seemed
A moving city. Soon all darkened was
The moon, as someone sorrowful. The swords
And lances glistened like an island in
The middle of the sea. Thus is described
The royal escort marching through the land.
The King was mounted on an elephant,
His _siri_-bearer seated close behind.
A rich _payong_ of royalty, all tricked
With bells, was stretched above his head,
And drums and other instruments without
Cessation sounded. Thus went forth the King,
And soon to Indrapura came.

When near
He halted and forthwith an envoy sent
His coming to announce, together with
The _laksimana mantri_. "Mighty King,"
They said, "thy royal father hath arrived."
The King his heralds ordered then to call
Lila Mengindra. With a smile he said
To him: "Assemble in the square the folk
And army. Straight to my pavilion let
Them come, and all in holiday attire,
For I my father am to meet to-day."
Lila Mengindra bowed and hied him forth
To execute the orders of the King.
The King within his palace went, and sat
Upon a jewelled seat. The Queen was there,
And good Lila Mengindra at her side.
The King said smilingly: "Light of my eyes,
Let all the palace decorated be.
Assemble all the palace folk and all
The younger girls. For now without the gates
Our parents wait. To-morrow I shall go
To meet them." Then Queen Bidasari cried,
With smiles: "My brother they have come to see.
I cannot go before them and declare
Myself their daughter." But the young prince said:
"Oh, speak not thus, my sister, but give heed
To what I say to thee, and be not wroth.
If I'm the only one they love, alone
I'll go with them away." Then to the King
He said: "With my dear sister I but jest,
To quiet her alarms." He bowed before the King
And asked permission forth to go at once
To meet his father. "Nay," replied the King,
"We'll go together." A repast was served
With every kind of food. The royal three
Together ate. Then from the betel-box
They _siri_ took, and perfumes sweet they used.
The prince then from the palace forth did go.
Next day the King invited him to start
With him upon the royal progress. All
The banners waved, and everyone was glad.
Then to the Queen he said: "Stay here, my love,
And I will hither bring thy father dear."
These words rejoiced the Queen. She said: "Go forth,
My dear, and I will follow with my eyes."
The King then took his leave with the young prince,
With many _mantris_ following. The strains
Of gladsome music sounded. All the bells
Were rung, and those without the cavalcade
Were sad.

Ere long they came to the frontier,
And King met King. The folk of Kembajat
Were all astonished at the young King's face,
As beautiful as painter's masterpiece.
The old King looked with smiles on all. His joy
Was great. The King of Indrapura bowed
Respectfully, and made them bring to him
The elephant that bore 'neath gay _payong_
His consort's father. "Son, where goest thou?"
"I've come to seek thee." Then the old King said:
"Why didst thou come in person? 'Twould have been
Enough if thou hadst _mantris_ sent instead."
His joy o'erflowed his heart. His son-in-law
He greatly loved. Upon his elephant
He said: "Approach, my son, thou art a king
Renowned. Thy body and thy soul are both
Alike, and both of royal stock!" He pressed
Him in his arms and said: "Light of my eyes,
Almighty God hath heard my many prayers,
And granted me a perfect son-in-law."
The King of Indrapura bowed and smiled
Most graciously. Then to the young prince said
His father: "Mount, my son, beside me, here."
The young prince mounted at his father's side.
He was as beautiful as chiselled gold.

Within the town the kings made entry then
Amid a joyous throng. When they had come,
The former merchant bowed before them both,
The _mangkouboumi_ now. The mighty King
Of Indrapura bowed and said: "My sire,
Speak to my uncle here; for he brought up
Thy daughter." Scarcely had the old King heard
These words than he exclaimed with joy: "Come here,
My brother, let us now acquaintance make."
The old King, seated on his elephant,
Shed all about him rays of happiness,
And all the people there were greatly moved.
"This is my brother well beloved," he said,
And kissed his brow. "How great hath been his love,
His faithfulness has proved beyond compare."
The former merchant bowed, and to the King
Replied: "I am thy slave, O King, and bear
Thine orders on my head. Thou dost o'erwhelm
Thy servant with thy favor." Then upon
The royal throne, which was all gem-bedecked,
The old King sat, the young prince at his side,
With all the _mantris_ near. Then came the Queen
Consort. The prince and Bidasari fair
Came from their seats, their mother to receive.
All entered then the palace. The young Queen,
Fair Bidasari, bowed and was embraced
By both her parents. With a flood of tears
Her father said: "Alas, my darling child,
Fruit of my heart, light of my eyes, keep not
A hatred in thy soul against us now.
The will of God is now made manifest.
We long have separated been. At last
We see each other with our very eyes.
Great wrong we did thus to abandon thee,
But still let not thy heart a stranger be
To us. Peace later came to our dear land--
Such was our destiny. What could we do?
We were in flight. We thought, 'May God decree
Some honorable man shall find her here!'
How can we now be glad enough 'twas thus
Ordained! What recompense can we present?"
Sweet Bidasari wept as she recalled
The past. The King her husband was much moved,
And felt great pity when her tears he saw.
And all were sad with sorrow mixed with joy,
Because they knew she was of royal birth.
Food now was served, and quickly the _dyangs_
Brought salvers for the princes. The two kings
Ate of the rice till they were surfeited,
Then to their children offered it. All took
The _siri_ placed before them, and straightway
Themselves anointed with rare perfumes sweet.
When all had eaten, the five royal ones
Lila Mengindra called, and gave to him
The remnants of the feast. The kings then spoke
To him and to his wife. They both bowed low
And kissed the royal hands. Then said the King
Of Kembajat: "My children, I had planned--
In case we ever met on earth and ere
The prey of death became--a feast to give,
To last a month, and to it ye invite.
In triumph I my daughter fain would bear,
With all of ye. I would at once repair
Unto the isle of Nousa Antara,
And there I'd hold a royal festival
With all the members of our family,
And all the _bitis_, _mandars_, and _dyangs_.
Such was my plan--if ever I should find
My daughter dear. Now while this moon doth last
Let me the project see fulfilled before
Your parents come to die."

The gracious King
Of Indrapura at these words bowed low
And said: "I bear thy words upon my head.
It shall be done as thou hast wished, my King."
And when the evening came all was prepared.
Soft mattresses were spread, and the two queens
Betook them to their chambers, and the rich
Egyptian curtains fell. They vainly sought to sleep.
They talked together of their sorrows past
And evil days. And neither kings nor queens
That night could slumber.

At the break of day
The talking bird began to sing and prate.
A little later the _bajangs_ began
Their song. Then all arose, and bathed, and broke
Their fast, and chattered and amused themselves.
The King of Indrapura then gave word
Unto the _mangkouboumi_: "All prepare
That's necessary, ere the moon be full.
Get ready all the various kinds of ships,
And load them down with every sort of arms.
Prepare all sorts of games to pass the time,
And get in order all the cannons great
And fire-arms. Thus the King commands."

The _mangkouboumi_ bowed before the King,
And went his orders to obey. He made
The ships all ready, with new paint and gold.
When three were well equipped, on board he took
The people of the city. All the old
Were left behind, but of the young none stayed.
Then to the King the _mangkouboumi_ said,
"All is prepared." At this the King rejoiced,
And to the King of Kembajat sent word,
Who told his wife, and she was all aglow.
They started from the palace, kings and queen
And prince, and lovely Bidasari, too,
Attended by the courtiers all. The strains
Of music sounded and the bells were rung.
All those whose lot it was to stay at home
Were pained, as if a knife had stricken them.
The cannons roared; the royal banners waved.

In three days' sail they reached the island fair,
Of Nousa Antara, and the ships made fast.
The two queens sat and watched the deft _dyangs_
Take up the coral white and pink, and toyed
With pretty shells. The King set foot upon
The isle of Nousa Antara. The King
And his dear wife upon the shore came forth,
With their sweet daughter Bidasari pure.
The King of Indrapura with them went,
The prince walked near them on the left.

The King
Of Indrapura ordered that a tent
Be raised, and one was made. It was as large
As any palace, set with royal throne.
The two queens entered it and sought repose.
The prince before his father bowed and said,
"My royal father, let me go and hunt."
To this the King of Kembajat replied,
"Do what thou dost desire, light of my eyes."
The King of Indrapura said with smiles,
"I'll go with thee to hunt, my brother dear."
The prince replied, "I shall in truth be charmed,
My brother." "Forth we'll fare to-morrow morn,"
Returned the King of Indrapura. "Call
The folk together."

When the dawn appeared,
The King and prince together started forth,
Escorted by a band of hunters tried,
And beat the woods for game. The King and prince
And all their following made rapid work.
The game took flight. The King then drew his bow
And many animals were killed. A deer
Came running by. His arrow struck him full
Upon the shoulder, and the huntsmen seized
And quickly killed him. In the pathless woods
Of Nousa Antara there was much game.
A tiger roared, the King and prince pursued.
The tiger swiftly fled. The prince sat down
Within the forest deep. To overtake
The beast he was unable. To return
He sought, but could not find the way. Alone
He was, and in perplexity, because
His huntsmen he no longer could descry.
Then, wandering to and fro, he found at last
A pleasure garden of the days gone by,
Belonging to King Lila, beautiful
And without flaw. He was astonished quite
When he perceived a palace. All alone
He found himself, when he had entered there.
He walked about, but found no living soul.
Unto himself he said: "Can this domain
A habitation be of demons dread
And spirits? Can this be the cause of all
The solitude which reigns?" On all sides then
He looked. All suddenly a voice he heard,
But still no one could see. Amazed he stood.
The mystic voice exclaimed, "Have pity, lord,
And free me from this room." As in a dream
The prince these accents heard. He answered then:
"Who art thou? Whose strange voice is this I hear,
The while I no one see? Dost thou belong
Unto the race of demons and of spectres?
Where is the key, that I may ope the door?"
Then the _dyang_ of Mendoudari said
Unto the prince: "Look toward the left, for there
The key thou'lt find that opes the palace tower."
He took the key and opened wide the door.
All those who were within, when they beheld
The prince's face, fell prostrate at his feet.
To them the prince cried out: "Say to what race
Ye do belong. This quickly tell. And whose
This palace beautiful?" Then answered him
Dang Tjindra Melini: "O Royal prince,
We are God's creatures, like to thee. And this
Fair palace of the King Lila is now
By Ifrid occupied, a spirit-king,
With whom now lives the prince illustrious,
Lila. His daughter, Princess Mendoudari,
Is shut alone within a chamber here,
And Ifrid, king of spirits, cometh oft.
On every third day cometh he. His eyes
Are brilliant as the sun." When this he heard
The prince was glad. The room he entered then.
The Princess Mendoudari sought to flee.
"Where wouldst thou go, my friend," he said. "I've sought
And found thee. Do not flee away from me."
The Princess Mendoudari said with tears:
"And art thou mad enough hither to come?
The spirits will destroy thee without doubt."
These words rejoiced the prince, and to her then
He sang a low sweet song of love and wooing.
The princess answered with a dreamy chant.
And when the young prince heard her gentle lay
He felt a yearning pity for her fate.
"Be not afraid, my dear," he said, "for I
Will triumph over all thine enemies."
Then Dang Sendari served them dainty food;
And what was left, to her the princess gave.
The prince too _siri_ from the betel-box
And rare sweet perfumes used. When evening came,
A soft couch for the prince was spread. And then
The princess sought her room, and curtains drew
Of rich Egyptian stuff. The prince had asked,
"When comes the spirit-king?" And she had said,
"At early dawn." The young prince could not sleep,
But through the long night hours sang soft _pantoums_.
When daylight came the prince arose. He heard
A spirit coming to the palace. Then with fear
Was seized the princess fair. "Behold," she cried,
"He cometh." Then the young prince took his arms.
"Fear not," he said; "have confidence in God.
What he decrees must always come to pass.
If I'm destroyed, then follow me in death.
I only ask one thing of thee, my love.
When I am dead, I pray thee weep for me,
And let thy mantle be my winding-sheet.
Now let thy glances follow as I go."

I'll tell of Ifrid now--the spirit-king.
He lurked beneath the palace. When he heard
The princess talking with the prince his ire
Arose like burning flame. His cry was like
A thunder-burst. The very palace shook.
"Depart from here," unto the prince he roared,
"And feel my mighty power." Then sweet love-songs
Exchanging with the princess went he forth.
His mien was like Sang Samba's, and his face
Was nobly firm, as if he went to meet
A roaring tiger. At his side he wore
A rare carbuncled sword, and arrows bore
With points in deadly poison dipped. Ifrid,
The creature with two heads, like spectre came
With laughter horrid. He took up a stone
And hurled it at the prince, who dodged its flight.
Then full of wrath Ifrid upon him rushed.
But swift the prince let fly an arrow sharp,
And pierced his heart. One groan, and then he fell,
And died beside the river. Then the prince
Made haste to join the princess.

When she saw
The spirit Ifrid dead she much rejoiced
And bowed before the prince. Great gladness shone
In her fair face, because her woe had ceased,
And she was happy that 'twas to the prince
She owed her rescue. 'Twas as if she'd found
A mountain great of jewels. Then she said:
"Caliph a high divinity once was
And called himself King Lila. God will bless
Thee for thy deeds, O mighty prince."

The prince
With kisses said: "Thou hast a charming mouth.
Thy form is supple. Prithee tell me why
I should not love thee? Thou art beautiful
As a statue of pure gold, and thou shalt be
A princess in my palace. Well I know
Thine origin is noble, and thy race
Is high." They gayly chatted while some food
Was served. The prince, with pleasure, at the side
Of the fair princess ate. When all was done
He took some _siri_ from the betel-box
And perfumes used. "Thou art a jasmine sweet,"
He said, "an antidote to every ill,
And thou shalt be my wife."

Next day the prince
Took her behind him on his horse, and they
Departed. The _dyangs_ accompanied them.

Now will I tell about the _mantris_ all.
Until the fall of evening, with the King
Of Indrapura, they in waiting stayed,
To welcome back the prince. And much disturbed
They were that he delayed so long to come.
The King then bade them seek the prince, and see
Why he remained so long apart from them.
Then _mantris_ four set out, and hunted far
And wide, but found him not. They brought the news
That he could not be found. The King was sad
And ordered them to go and tell the King,
His wife's dear father, that the prince was lost.
The old King fainted when he heard the tale.
With oil of rose they sprinkled him, and back
Unto his senses came he. "O my child,"
He said, "my heart hath lost all hope. Where now
Art thou? I'll go, myself, to seek."

The King
Wept much, and his dear wife. And as for her--
Sweet Bidasari--she appeared to wish
To kill herself, for never on the earth
Did brother love his sister like the prince
And Bidasari. At the fall of day
Back came the King of Indrapura, sad
And weeping. Then the King of Kembajat
Said: "O my son, be silent. Do not weep,
For thou dost but increase the pain I feel."
But Indrapura's King replied: "Alas!
He was my brother true, so brave and good!"
But while they were lamenting thus the prince
Stood there before them with his consort fair.
He bowed to all. The King, his father, saw
And could not speak. He thought, "It is the voice
Of my dear son." Then recognition came
And he was wild with joy. The prince then told
How he had chased the tiger, and had lost
His way within a wood: how he had killed
A spirit there, Ifrid, the dread.

The King
Heard all he said and much rejoiced. Then came
The servants serving tasteful food to all.
The King ate with his wife and children dear.
Together they were six. All sorts of rare
And dainty food were served them, and the King
Took _siri_ from the betel-box, and used
Sweet perfumes. The great King of Kembajat
Then gave a festival which lasted quite
Seven days, with music and diversions gay.
Glad joy was at its height, of pleasure born
And of the dance. The kings amused themselves.
All kinds of games they had. Intji Bibi,
A singer of Malacca, sang with grace.
The seven days passed, the Princess Mendoudari
Was all in finery arrayed. The wives
Of the two kings took her in hand. The prince
Was by the _mangkouboumi_ ta'en in charge.
The princess sweetest perfumes did exhale.
Her manners were most gracious and polite
As of a well-born person. Every sort
Of gem and jewel sparkled from her robes.
She wore a ring--'twas _astokouna_ called--
And yet another one, _glangkano_ named,
And still another, with bright stones all carved
In fashion of Ceylon. Her tresses curled
Like to a full-blown flower, and on them shone
Full many precious stones. The _tourie_ buds
Became her well. Her features were as bright
As those of some celestial being pure.
Fair Mendoudari thus was clad, and led
To the bride's seat, and at her either hand
Stood _mantris'_ daughters seven with waving fans.
Meanwhile the _mangkouboumi_ patiently
Achieved the tiring of the prince. He wore
A royal crown, made in the island fair
Called Nousa Antara, and a rich coat
Which opened at the sides, made in the West.
A chiselled necklace hung about his neck.
His tunic flamed with orange, like the robe
Of great Schahid Schah Pri. His girdle bright
Was cloth of _tjindi_, fringed with agates rare.
An amulet he wore with diamond pure,
With sacred words engraved of the Koran.
He wore a jewel like a butterfly,
Most beautiful, and many rings and gems.
His features of the rarest beauty were,
Like those of some divinity of heaven.
When thus arrayed, the youthful prince came forth
And made obeisance to his parents both.
He went to the appointed place, and all
The children of the court assembled there
Before him, while two sons of heralds stood
Beside him, waving fans like floating clouds.
All kept the strictest silence. Then a band
Of soldiers came, with blades all glittering.
The royal sword, all diamond decked, flashed rays
Of light. Three times around the island went
They all, with sound of music and the noise
Of bells. And all who heard in vain essayed
To estimate the number. Everyone
Ran forth to see the progress--men and women.
Some tore their garments, some their children lost,
Distracted by the pleasure and the noise.
When ended the procession, the young prince
At Princess Mendoudari's right was placed,
Within the palace. Then to them was brought
Rice called _adapadap_, and they became
A wedded pair. And all the folk dispersed.
In three days' time was Mendoudari dressed
Anew by Bidasari. She was robed
With vesture of embroidered silk. The prince
Was likewise gayly clad, to suit the glad
Occasion. Now again they made, in state,
A royal progress round about the isle.
The King and Bidasari rode in one
Grand chariot, and, within another, went
The prince and Mendoudari, his fair bride.
Then back they came for rest, upon the soft
Rich palace cushions. Then the mighty King
Of Kembajat inquired of his dear wife:
"What think'st thou, love? Shall we to-morrow morn
Return?" With smiles the Queen replied, "I bear
Thine orders on my head." Next day the hearts
Of all the royal company were filled
With joy. The officers assembled then
To take the King's commands, and he was pleased
To see them dutiful. The following morn
The song of the _bajans_ awaked the King.
At early dawn each princess with her lord,
And all the officers, embarked upon
The ship. They sailed far from the island fair,
Nousa Antara, and in three days came
To Indrapura and the river's mouth.
When at the palace they arrived again,
The _mantris_ came in joy and kissed their hands.
The King of Kembajat said that he wished
To go. Scarce had fair Indrapura's King
Heard that his parents to their home desired
At once to go, when he the _mantris_ called
And orders gave. The King of Kembajat
Set out with his dear wife next day at dawn.
Within the palace of their daughter sweet
They met fair Indrapura's King. The King
Of Kembajat sat at his side, and said
In softest tones: "Well, Bidasari, child,
Thy parents now will homeward fare. Obey
The King, thy gracious husband, in all things.
The former merchant brought thee up. He will
A father be to thee. Strive hard to win
Thy husband's heart, and never disregard
His wishes." Scarcely had she heard these words
Than at her father's knees she fell, and shed
A flood of tears. The King embraced his child
And, weeping, said: "My daughter dear, pure gold,
My crown's chief gem, light of my very eyes,
Branch of my heart, be not disturbed, my soul,
Nor let thy heart be sad." The royal four
All wept together. Then the father said:
"My son, accomplished prince, we trust to thee
Our Bidasari. Show her the right path
If she aside should step, for hither she
As prisoner came. Correction should she need,
For us it will not be a shame." At this
Fair Indrapura's King was greatly moved.
He bowed and said: "My father, speak not thus.
I have the best opinion of the girl.
Our hearts are one, as body with the soul.
This kingdom all is hers, the guardian I
Of her possessions, and I'll satisfy
Her every wish." The King with joy replied:
"Well, daughter, jewel of my crown, thou art
No more beneath my sway, but wholly now
Under the orders of thy husband dear."
He much was moved, and to the _mangkouboumi_
Said, "Brother, take my treasures all, for we
Can never all thy goodness recompense."
The former merchant and his wife bowed low:
"Your gratitude, O prince, is great, but all
Thy treasures are thy royal daughter's meed.
For her we'll guard them." But the King replied:
"Nay, speak not thus, my brother. Should I give
All Indrapura's weight in purest gold
It would not pay thee for thy care and love.
We are to thee devoted from our hearts."
At dawn they breakfasted, but all were sad,
Because from Bidasari now must part
Her parents dear and brother. Much she wept
Because she felt her heart go out to him
Her brother. Then she said: "I've one to take
The place of parents, but where shall I find
A brother?" Princess Mendoudari bowed
To Bidasari, and they kissed with tears.
Fair Bidasari said: "My sister dear,
Sweet Mendoudari, when wilt thou return?
Stay not too long at Kembajat, for I
Could not thine absence bear. Farewell, my love."
The King embraced his daughter. Bitterly
Both wept. The royal father said, "Stay here,
My son-in-law, with thy dear wife." The King
Before his parents bowed. The youthful prince
Before the King his brother bowed, and went
To Bidasari's side, his sister dear,
With heavy heart. Then, weeping much, he said:
"O sister mine, gem of my crown, be not
So sorrowful. I go, but if thou dost
Desire, I'll come each year to visit thee."
Sweet Bidasari kissed him. But her grief
Was inexpressible. "O brother dear,
Illustrious prince," she said, "thine absence would
E'en then be much too long." The prince replied,
With bows: "Assuage thy grief, my sister dear.
For if the King permits, perhaps I may
Come sooner back to thee."

The mighty King
Of Indrapura said, in friendly tones:
"Although he be thy brother, still, my dear,
I love him much. We ne'er have had the least
Misunderstanding. Why art thou not gay?
And why art thou not willing he should go?
If 'twere not for thy father I would keep
Him here."

The King departed, followed by
His son, who took his father just beyond
The gates. The _mangkouboumi_ bowed his head
Before the King, who with much ardor said,
"O father of dear Bidasari, give
Aid and protection to thy lovely child."
The _mangkouboumi_ bowed again, and said:
"Whate'er is fit, I'll do. Upon my head
I bear thine orders. I thy servant am."
The prince embraced the former merchant too,
And said, "O uncle dear, my sister guide,
And counsel her if any fault she doth."
Then said the King of Kembajat, "My son,
Come, let us start at once."

So forth he fared.
The prince and all the escort with him went.
A few days passed and they were home again.
New garments to the escort all were given,
And many presents to the officers.
By _mantris_ four the King rich treasures sent
Unto his children loved, with many steeds
And elephants. When safely they arrived
At Indrapura, they appeared before
The _mangkouboumi_. He presented them
Unto the King, and said: "O sire, these gifts
Are from thy son." The King replied: "Why dost
Thou bring them here, my uncle? Keep them all
In thine own treasury." Then he retired
Within and said to Bidasari sweet:
"Thy father, dear, hath sent us presents rare,
And four young _mantris_, and a thousand men
With elephants and horses. All is thine."
The fair young Queen with smiles to him replied:
"All that with me to share thou dost desire.
Whatever be thy wish, I wish it too."
The King adored his wife, and was to her
Devoted. His great happiness increased
And his domains extended every year.
When Bidasari's royal birth was known,
The news spread far and wide, and everywhere
Was told. The realm of Indrapura grew
More populous and powerful year by year.

The wicked Princess Lila Sari lived
Alone and desolate, in sadness deep
And full repentance for her evil deeds.

This song is weak because my skill is small.
My heart was deeply stirred. And that is why
I made, poor fakir I, this poem here.
I have not made it long, because too sad
I was, and troubled. Now at last 'tis done.
For this, at least, your blessings I deserve.




[Translated by M. Devic and Chauncey C. Starkweather]

Once upon a time lived King Iskender, son of King Darab. He traced his
origin to Roum; Macedonia was his native country, and Dhoul-Garnein his
surname. Now it happened that this prince set out upon his travels to
find the place where the sun rose; and he arrived at the frontier of
India. There reigned in this country a very powerful king, to whom half
of India was in subjection; and his name was King Kida Hindi. As soon
as King Kida Hindi heard of King Iskender's approach, he gave orders to
his prime minister, who gathered together the armies and princes who
were subject to him. When all were met together, he marched forth to
meet King Iskender. The two armies engaged and the conflict was carried
on with extreme activity on both sides, as is related in the history of
King Iskender. Kida Hindi was defeated and taken alive. Iskender
ordered him to embrace the true faith, and Kida Hindi embraced the
faith and became enrolled in the religion of the prophet Abraham, the
friend of God, to whom be the glory! Then King Iskender caused him to
be clothed in a garment like his own, and bade him return to his own

King Kida Hindi was the father of a very beautiful girl, whose equal
was not to be found in her day. Her face had the dazzling lustre of the
sun or the moon; she was modest and discreet. Her name was Chehr-el-
Beria. King Kida Hindi took his prime minister aside and said to him:

"I have summoned you to ask your advice on the subject of my daughter,
whose equal in these days cannot be found. I have formed the project of
presenting her to King Iskender."

The minister answered: "Your Majesty has made a wise decision."

"Very well," replied the King, "to-morrow, God willing, you shall go
and find the prophet Khidar and relate to him the whole matter."

Next day accordingly the minister set out to find the prophet Khidar.
After his departure King Kida Hindi commanded that the name of King
Iskender should be inscribed on the coins and standards of his realm.
When the minister approached the prophet Khidar he made a salaam to
him, which the prophet returned and asked him to be seated. Then the
minister spoke as follows:

"You must know, O prophet of God, that my King entertains for King
Iskender an affection so fervent that I cannot describe it. He is the
father of a girl who has no equal among the children of this world's
monarchs from the rising to the setting sun. She is without a rival in
face, wit, and goodness of disposition. Now the desire of the King is
to present the princess before King Iskender, with the view of
ultimately giving her to him for his wife."

Now the soldiers of King Souran laid siege against the walled town of
Gangga-Chah Djouhan; but those on guard repulsed them, so that they
could not get near. Seeing this, King Souran advanced, mounted on an
untamed elephant. Taking no heed to the arrows that were launched
against him by the defenders of the wall, he reached the gate and
struck it with his mace. The gate gave way and King Souran entered,
followed by his warriors.

When King Gangga-Chah Djouhan saw King Souran approaching, he seized
his bow and shot an arrow with haste. The arrow struck the forehead of
King Souran's elephant. The elephant fell on his knees. King Souran
quickly leaped to the ground, drawing his sword as he did so; at a
single stroke he struck through the neck of King Gangga-Chah, and the
severed head rolled to the ground. The forces of Gangga-Nagara, as soon
as they saw their prince fall, demanded the _aman_ (i.e., truce).

King Gangga-Chah Djouhan had a sister, named Princess Zaras Gangga. She
was exceedingly beautiful. The victorious prince took her for his wife.
Then he resumed his march.

Some time afterward he reached the city of Ganggayon. It was formerly a
great city, the black stones of whose fortress survive even to this
day. This fortress is at the extremity of the river Djoher. The name
Ganggayon in the Siamese tongue means "treasury of emeralds." The King
of the city was Rajah Tchoulin; he was a powerful prince, to whom all
the kings of the land did obeisance.

On the news of King Souran's approach, King Tchoulin called together
all his troops and sent word to the kings who were his tributaries.
When all were assembled he set out to repel the invaders. The multitude
of his soldiers was like the waves of the sea; his elephants and
horses stood up among them like islands; his flags and standards
presented the appearance of a forest, and the cows' tails fluttering at
the pike-heads presented the appearance of _lalang_ ploughers.

The army came in four bodies and reached the banks of a river. There
they saw the soldiers of King Souran, ranged like forest-trees. The
Siamese exclaimed, "Pangkal," a word which means "river," and hence
that river became known as the river Pangkal.

The soldiers of Siam at once joined battle with the soldiers of Kling,
who were Hindoos; and the battle raged with indescribable confusion.
The soldiers mounted on elephants pressed forward these great beasts;
the men on horseback made their horses champ with fury; the lancers
pressed home their lances; those who carried pikes plied them
furiously; and those who bore sabres dealt many a doughty stroke. Blood
flowed like rain. The crash of thunder would have been drowned by the
shouts of the warriors and the clash of arms. The dust that rose from
the plain obscured the brightness of the day like an eclipse of the
sun. So complete was the confusion with which the contestants mingled
that it was not possible to distinguish the combatants of either side:
each assailant was at the same time the assailed, and he who struck
with his weapon himself at the same moment was stricken with a blow.
Sometimes the soldiers attacked a comrade by mistake. Every moment
crowds of people on either side were killed and wounded, many horses
and elephants had their throats cut, and the blood shed covered the
ground. The dust had disappeared; the combatants were seen struggling
in masses so compact that neither party was able to retire from the

King Tchoulin managed to force a way by means of the elephant he rode
through the innumerable horde of King Souran's soldiers; the corpses
were piled up beneath his feet. A crowd of Hindoo warriors lost their
lives. The rest of them began to give way. King Souran, on perceiving
this, dashed forward to meet King Tchoulin in single combat. He mounted
an untamed elephant eight cubits high that had no driver. But the
elephant of King Tchoulin was also very brave. The two animals met;
they attacked each other; the clash of their encounter was like the
thunder that rends the earth; their tusks clashing and intertwining
made a sound like that of a storm that never ceases. Neither could
triumph over the other.

Then King Tchoulin raised himself upon the beast he rode and brandished
a javelin. He hurled it against King Souran; the javelin struck the
elephant on his flank and pierced deep. At the same time King Souran
shot an arrow which smote King Tchoulin in the breast and came out at
his back. That prince fell to the earth and expired. The soldiers
seeing their king dead, broke ranks and took flight in utter disorder,
pursued by the Hindoos, who put to the sword all they overtook.
Penetrating the ramparts of Ganggayon the Hindoo soldiers pillaged the
town; the booty was immense.

King Tchoulin had a daughter, extremely beautiful. Her name was the
princess Ouangkion; she was presented to King Souran, who took her for
his wife.

The King then resumed his march and arrived at Temasik. The rumor of
his approach soon reached China. People said, "Lo! King Souran comes
with a countless army to conquer China. He has already reached
Temasik." This news was heard with dire alarm by the King of China. He
said to his ministers and to his officers:

"What must be done to repel this invading multitude? If the King of
Kling arrives here, he will doubtless ruin our country."

The prime minister said: "O King of the world; I have a device for
repelling him."

"Very good," said the King; "do not fail to try it."

The prime minister therefore caused a _pilo_, or ship, to be fitted out
with rusty needles. They took also two kinds of trees, kamses and
jujube trees, laden with fruit; these were placed on board ship with
the soil in which they grew. Old men who had lost their teeth were
chosen for passengers and crew. To these the minister gave his
instructions and they started for Temasik.

When they had reached this place King Souran was informed that a ship
had arrived from China. "Go and ask these strangers," he said to his
attendants, "at what distance does this country lie from us." The
attendant put this question to the crew of the _pilo_ and received the
following reply:

"When we left China we were all still young, being scarcely twelve
years old; and these trees were seeds which we had sown. But you see
how old we are now, and how our teeth are fallen out; the grains of
seed have become trees in fruit, and all this has happened during the
time it has taken us to reach here."

At the same time they took the needles of which they had a large
quantity and said as they showed them to the Hindoos:

"When we started from China, these were as thick as a man's arm, and
now see how they are worn out by the rust. This will give you an idea
of the length of the voyage: we could not keep count of the years and
the months."

On hearing this answer of the Chinese, the Hindoos ran to report it to
King Souran, to whom they repeated all they had heard.

"If the thing is as they say," replied the prince, "the land of China
is still a very long way off. When shall we arrive there? We had better
return home."

"His Majesty is undoubtedly right," said the officers.

King Souran meditated thus: "Behold, the contents of the land is known
to me, but how can I learn the contents of the sea? I must needs enter
the sea, in order to know it."

Then he summoned his engineers and skilful men, and ordered them to
fashion a box of glass with lock and fastenings within, in order that
he might shut himself in it. The engineers made the box of glass just
as the King desired it; they furnished it with a chain of the purest
gold; then they presented it to King Souran, who was exceedingly well
pleased with it, and rewarded them all with rich presents.

The prince entered into the box, disappeared from the eyes of all
present, and shut the door upon himself. They took the box to the sea,
and let it descend even to the bottom. What treasures, what wealth,
works of the Almighty, were seen by King Souran! The box fell until it
reached a land called Dika. There King Souran came out of the box, and
went forward, seeing most wonderful things. He arrived at a great and
strongly fortified town, which he entered and saw a vast population,
whose number God alone knows. This people, who call themselves the
Badsam people, were composed of believers and unbelievers.

The inhabitants of the town were astonished to see the face of King
Souran, and his garments they looked upon with astonishment. They
conducted him to the presence of their King, whom they call Agtab-al-
Ard (_i.e._, Bowels of the Earth). This prince asked, "What man is

"My lord," was the reply, "it is a stranger, who arrived a moment ago."

"Whence does he come?"

"We do not know."

Then the King addressed King Souran himself and said, "Who are you, and
whence do you come?"

King Souran replied: "I come from the world; I am the king of men; my
name is King Souran."

King Agtab-al-Ard was very much astonished on hearing these words.
"There is, then," he said, "another world beside ours?"

"The world," replied King Souran, "contains many races."

"Glory to God almighty," said the King, full of surprise. Then he made
King Souran ascend and sit with him on the royal throne.

Agtab-al-Ard had a daughter, of great beauty, named Princess Mah-tab-
al-Bahri ("Moon of the Sea"). He gave her in marriage to King Souran.
That prince dwelt three years with her and had three male children by
her. When he thought about these three children King Souran felt much
troubled. He said to himself: "What will become of them, here, under
the earth? Or how shall I withdraw them hence?"

He went to see Agtab-al-Ard, and said to him: "If my sons grow up, will
your Majesty allow me to see that they are brought into the upper
world, in order that the royal line of Sultan Iskender Dhoul-Quameen
may not be broken to the end of time?"

The King answered, "I shall not hinder you."

Then King Souran took leave of the King and prepared for his return.
The King and his daughter shed many tears at parting. Then the King
gave orders to bring the horse Sembrani, named Paras-al-Bahri
("Sea-horse"), which he gave to King Souran. The prince mounted the
horse, which bore him from the sea, and carried him in the air above
the billows.

The troops of King Souran caught sight of the horse Sembrani, and
recognized in its rider their King. The prime minister at once took a
beautiful mare and led it to the shore. The sea-horse saw the mare and
came to land to meet her, and King Souran descended. Then the horse
Sembrani went back into the sea.

King Souran said to his wise men and engineers: "Raise a monument which
shall witness to my journey in the sea; for I wish the memory of it to
be preserved even to the Resurrection day. Write out the story, so that
it may be told to all my descendants."

In obedience to the words of the King the wise men and engineers set up
a stone on which they traced an inscription in the tongue of Hindostan.
This done, King Souran gathered a quantity of gold, silver, jewels,
gems, and precious treasures, which he laid up under the stone.

"At the end of the centuries," he said, "there will come a king among
my descendants who will find these riches. And this king will subdue
every country over which the wind blows."

After this, King Souran returned to the land of Kling. There he built a
mighty city, protected by a wall of black stone having seven rows of
masonry thick and nine fathoms high; the engineers made it with such
skill that the joints of the stones were invisible, and the wall seemed
cast of a single substance. The gate was of steel, enriched with gold
and precious stones.

This rampart enclosed seven hills. In the centre of the city extended a
pool vast as the sea; from one bank it was impossible to discern an
elephant standing up on the other. It contained very many kinds of
fishes. In the midst of it rose a very lofty island, always covered
with a mantle of mist. The King caused to be planted there every sort
of flowering and fruit-bearing tree to be found in the world. None was
lacking, and to this island the King would repair when he wished for

He caused also to be planted on the banks of the pool a vast forest
wherein wild animals were at large. And when the King wished to hunt,
or catch elephants in the snare, he went to this forest. When the town
was completed the King called it after himself, Souran-Bidgi-Nagara,
and this town still exists in the province of Kling.

In short, if one wished to relate all the rest of King Souran's history
he would find it as long as that of Sidi Hanza.


It is related that there once lived at Salouang a husbandman who owned
a slave named Badang, whom he employed in clearing forest-land. It
happened one day that Badang spread his nets in the river; but on the
following morning he found his net quite empty, and by its side some
fish-scales and fish-bones. The same thing took place for some days
following. Badang flung the fish-scales (_sisik_) into the river; from
which circumstance was derived the river's name, Besisik.

Meanwhile the slave said to himself: "Who is it who eats the fish
caught in my net? I must watch and find out."

With this intention he hid one day behind some trees and saw a
_hantou_, or evil genius, or monster, who was eating the fish taken in
his net. This _hantou_ had eyes red as fire, his hair was like woven
osiers, and his beard fell down to his waist. Badang drew his knife,
and, screwing up his courage, rushed up to the _hantou_ and seized him.

"Every day," he said, "you eat up my fish. But this time you shall die
at my hands."

On hearing these words, the _hantou_ was afraid, and slipped aside,
wishing to avoid the hands of his adversary; but failing to do so, he
said to him: "Do not kill me; I will give you what you wish, on
condition that you spare my life."

Badang thought: "If I ask for riches, my master will claim them. If I
ask the power to become invisible, they will put me to death as a
sorcerer. Therefore it is best for me to ask for the gift of physical
strength, in order that I may do the work of my master."

In accordance with this resolution, Badang said to the _hantou_, "Give
me the gift of physical strength; let me be strong enough to tear down
and to uproot the trees; that is, that I may tear down, with one hand,
great trees, a fathom or two in girth."

The _hantou_ answered: "Your prayer is granted. You wish for strength;
I will give it to you; but first it is necessary that you eat up what I

"Very well," said Badang; "vomit, and I will eat it up." The _hantou_
vomited, and Badang set to work to eat it. He held the _hantou_ by the
beard, and would not let him go. Then he attempted the uprooting of
great trees; and, seeing that he tore them up with ease, he let go the
beard of the _hantou_.

Afterward, coming and going through the forest, he tore down enormous
trees; he carried off, roots and all, those of a fathom or two in
girth. As for the small ones, he tore them up by handfuls and flung
them on all sides. In a moment the forest which had been a wilderness
became level as a great plain.

When his master saw this work he said: "Who has cleared our land? For I
see that it is suddenly freed entirely from trees and brushwood."

"It is I," said Badang, "who have effected this clearance."

Then answered the master: "How have you been able to do this, single-
handed, so quickly and in one job?"

Then Badang related all the details of his adventure, and his master
gave him his liberty.

The report of these occurrences reached Singapore. King Krama
immediately ordered that Badang be brought before him, and he called
him Raden (_i.e._, Royal Prince).


Back to Full Books