His Hill

Purananuru 109

Pari's Parampu hill
is quite a place.

Even if all three of you kings
should surround it
with your great drums of war,
it has four things
not grown under the plows
of plowmen:

one, wild rice
grows in the tiny-leaved bamboos;
two, ripening jackfruit,
crammed with segments
of sweet flesh;
three, down below
grow sweet potatoes
under fat creepers;
beehives break
as their colors ripen
to a purple,
and the rich tall hill
drips with honey.

The hill is wide as the sky,
the pools flash like stars.
Even if you have
tied to every tree there,
and chariots
standing in every field,
you will never take the hill.
He will not give in
to the sword.

But I know a way
to take it:

pick carefully
your lute-strings, string little lutes,
and with your dancing women
with dense fragrant hair
behind you,
go singing and dancing
to Pari,
and he'll give you
both hill and country.
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