In the Great God's Hair, by F. W. Bain, , at sacred-texts.com
p. 82 p. 83
And then, Maheshwara ceased. And he put up his hand, and took the Kathaka out of his hair, and set him down. And he said: Thou hast heard: Go now, and tell thy story to the King.
But instead of going, the Kathaka fell with his face upon the snow. And he exclaimed: O Maheshwara, O Shambu, O Three-eyed Trident-bearer, O Lord of All and Giver of Boons, thou hast sanctified my ears with the nectar of thy tale. Yet O! grant me yet one other boon. So Maheshwara said: What is that? And the Kathaka said: O show me but a single glimpse of that wave-born beauty, as she rose out of the sea before the gods.
Then the Great God said privately to his wife: See now, how these dim-sighted stupid mortals ask for they know not what, and rush ignorantly upon their own destruction. And he said to the Kathaka: Dost thou really desire to see that immortal beauty? The Kathaka said: Yes. Then
said the god to Umá: Go quickly and find Water-lily, and tell her only that I have need of her favour for a moment.
Then his wife flew away like a flash of lightning. And they waited there in silence, the Great God and the mortal, while the diadem of the deity shone out over the lonely peaks of snow. And after a while, the Daughter of the Mountain returned, bringing Water-lily with her. Then that beautiful one said: I am here: and now, what favour has the Great God to confer upon me?
And Maheshwara said, O darling of Náráyana, here is a poor devil of a mortal, to whom I have granted a boon. Do me this favour: show thyself for a single instant. And he said to the Kathaka: Look up now, and see.
And the Kathaka raised his head, and looked up into the dark expanse of sky, stretching over the pallid snowy moonlit peaks. And suddenly, the goddess was revealed against it, like a picture painted on a wall. And for a single fraction of an atom of an instant of time, there flashed in his eyes the vision of that blinding loveliness, and over two hills of snow a pair of dark blue eyes shot into his own, and withered his heart like a blade of dry grass in a sheet of forest flame. And he
uttered a cry, and caught at his heart with both hands, and fell upon the snow dead.
Then said Maheshwara: How could a mortal expect to endure such a beauty as thine? But this dead body must not remain here. And he took it by the foot with his purifying hand, and flung it away. Then that empty corpse rushed with a whistle through the ice-cold air, and fell like a meteor into the Ganges at Haradwára. But the soul of that unlucky Kathaka instantly returned to earth and was born again. And he became a poet, who wandered in the world all his life long, hunting with a heart on fire for the eyes he could never find.
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