śatakatrayam 1.49: ārambhagurvī (heartfelt in the beginning)

by Jahnabi Barooah

आरम्भगुर्वी क्षयिणी क्रमेण
लघ्वी पुरा वृद्धिमती च पश्चात् ।
दिनस्य पर्वार्धपरार्धभिन्ना
छायेव मैत्री खलसज्जनानाम् ।।४९।।
नीतिशतके

heartfelt in the beginning,
but dwindling with time;
faint at first,
and blossoming over time.
thus differ friendships of the
immoral and moral,
much like a shadow contracts and lengthens
during the two halves of a day. ||49||
nītiśataka

*in case it is not apparent in the first reading, the poet here distinguishes between the friendships of immoral and moral people by comparing it to the manner in which the length of a shadow changes during the course of a day. The shadow is longest during the early morning and late evening hours, and shortest during mid-day. Just as a shadow contracts in length during the first half of the day, so does the friendship of an immoral person, and just as a shadow lengthens during the second half of the day, so does the friendship of a moral person.

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