śatakatrayam 1.21: kṣutkṣāmo’pi (although emaciated by hunger)

by Jahnabi Barooah

क्षुत्क्षामोऽपि जराकृशोऽपि शिथिलप्रायोऽपि कष्टां दशा-
मापन्नोऽपि विपन्नदीधितिरपि प्राणेषु नश्यत्स्वपि ।
मत्तेभेन्द्रविभिन्नकुम्भपिशितग्रासैकबद्धस्पृह:
किं जीर्णं तृणमत्ति मानमहतामग्रेसर: केसरी ।।२१।।
नीतिशतके

emaciated by hunger,
weakened by old age, aching all over,
experiencing pain, his splendor lost,
and life breaths ebbing away,
does a lion–
who desires a mouthful of flesh torn from the forehead of a rutting elephant,
and is the foremost of proud beings,
eat dry grass? ||21||
nītiśataka

p.s. – Lost in my translation is the fact that the word ‘api’ (meaning although) occurs six times in the Sanskrit poem. Also take note that the entire third line of the poem is a single compound describing the lion (kesarī), which is the last word of the Sanskrit poem. The poem begins with several adjectives which qualify the lion, but we don’t know for sure that the poet is describing a lion until we reach the end of the poem.

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