Sanskrit Messenger poems evoke the pain of separated sweethearts through the formula of an estranged lover pleading with a messenger to take a message to his or her beloved. The plea includes a lyrical description of the route the messenger will take and the message itself. The first was the Cloud Messenger, composed by Sanskrit's finest poet, Kali*dasa, in the fifth century CE. This inspired the next, the Wind Messenger, composed in praise of King Lakshmana*sena of Gauda (Bengal) in the twelfth century by Dhoyi, one of his court poets. Numerous more followed, including the third in the CSL selection, the sixteenth-century Swan Messenger, composed in Bengal by Rupa Go*svamin, a devotee of Krishna.
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