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Rivers are defined as narrow bodies of water that move along a certain path. They have a source , which is where the river begins and a mouth w/c is the larger body of water where the river flows into. since water flows downward and along the easiest or deepest path, many rivers start in a higher area such as mountains. as rivers move along, they change the face of the earth that they flow over by wearing away the land and also by causing buildup at the end of the river. The mud and sand that builds up at the mouth of a river is called a delta. When one stream meets another and they merge together,the smaller stream is known as a tributary. it takes many tributary streams to form a river
Usage Frequency: 5
(1) Nearly five hundred years ago the Celestially August, the Son of Heaven, Yong-Lo, of the “Illustrious” or Ming dynasty, commanded the worthy official Kouan-Yu that he should have a bell made of such size that the sound thereof might be heard for one hundred li. And he further ordained that the voice of the bell should be strengthened with brass, and deepened with gold, and sweetened with silver; and that the face and the great lips of it should be graven with blessed sayings from the sacred books, and that it should be suspended in the centre of the imperial capital to sound through all the many-coloured ways of the City of Pe-King.
(2) Therefore the worthy mandarin Kouan-Yu assembled the master-moulders and the renowned bellsmiths of the empire, and all men of great repute and cunning in foundry work; and they measured the materials for the alloy, and treated them skilfully, and prepared the moulds, the fires, the instruments, and the monstrous melting-pot for fusing the metal. And they laboured exceedingly, like giants neglecting only rest and sleep and the comforts of life; toiling both night and day in obedience to Kouan-Yu, and striving in all things to do the behest of the Son of Heaven.
(3) But when the metal had been cast, and the earthen mould separated from the glowing casting, it was discovered that, despite their great labour and ceaseless care, the result was void of worth; for the metals had rebelled one against the other—the gold had scorned alliance with the brass, the silver would not mingle with the molten iron. Therefore the moulds had to be once more prepared, and the fires rekindled, and the metal remelted, and all the work tediously and toilsomely repeated. The Son of Heaven heard and was angry, but spake nothing.
(4) A second time the bell was cast, and the result was even worse. Still the metals obstinately refused to blend one with the other; and there was no uniformity in the bell, and the sides of it were cracked and fissured, and the lips of it were slagged and split asunder; so that all the labour had to be repeated even a third time, to the great dismay of Kouan-Yu. And when the Son of Heaven heard these things, he was angrier than before; and sent his messenger to Kouan-Yu with a letter, written upon lemon-coloured silk and sealed with the seal of the dragon, containing these words:
(5) “From the Mighty Young-Lo, the Sublime Tait-Sung, the Celestial and August, whose reign is called ‘Ming,’ to Kouan-Yu the Fuh-yin: Twice thou hast betrayed the trust we have deigned graciously to place in thee; if thou fail a third time in fulfilling our command, thy head shall be severed from thy neck. Tremble, and obey!”
(6) Now, Kouan-Yu had a daughter of dazzling loveliness whose name—Ko-Ngai—was ever in the mouths of poets, and whose heart was even more beautiful than her face. Ko-Ngai loved her father with such love that she had refused a hundred worthy suitors rather than make his home desolate by her absence; and when she had seen the awful yellow missive, sealed with the Dragon-Seal, she fainted away with fear for her father’s sake. And when her senses and her strength returned to her, she could not rest or sleep for thinking of her parent’s danger, until she had secretly sold some of her jewels, and with the money so obtained had hastened to an astrologer, and paid him a great price to advise her by what means her father might be saved from the peril impending over him. So the astrologer made observations of the heavens, and marked the aspect of the Silver Stream (which we call the Milky Way), and examined the signs of the Zodiac—the Hwang-tao, or Yellow Road—and consulted the table of the Five Hin, or Principles of the Universe, and the mystical books of the alchemists. And after a long silence, he made answer to her, saying: “Gold and brass will never meet in wedlock, silver and iron never will embrace, until the flesh of a maiden be melted in the crucible; until the blood of a virgin be mixed with the metals in their fusion.” So Ko-Ngai returned home sorrowful at heart; but she kept secret all that she had heard, and told no one what she had done.
(7) At last came the awful day when the third and last effort to cast the great bell was to be made; and Ko-Ngai, together with her waiting-woman, accompanied her father to the foundry, and they took their places upon a platform overlooking the toiling of the moulders and the lava of liquefied metal. All the workmen wrought at their tasks in silence; there was no sound heard but the muttering of the fires. And the muttering deepened into a roar like the roar of typhoons approaching, and the blood-red lake of metal slowly brightened like the vermilion of a sunrise, and the vermilion was transmuted into a radiant glow of gold, and the gold whitened blindingly, like the silver face of a full moon. Then the workers ceased to feed the raving flame, and all fixed their eyes upon the eyes of Kouan-Yu; and Kouan-Yu prepared to give the signal to cast.
(8) But ere ever he lifted his finger, a cry caused him to turn his head and all heard the voice of Ko-Ngai sounding sharply sweet as a bird’s song above the great thunder of the fires—“For thy sake, O my father!” And even as she cried, she leaped into the white flood of metal; and the lava of the furnace roared to receive her, and spattered monstrous flakes of flame to the roof, and burst over the verge of the earthen crater, and cast up a whirling fountain of many-coloured fires, and subsided quakingly, with lightnings and with thunders and with mutterings.
(9) Then the father of Ko-Ngai, wild with his grief, would have leaped in after her, but that strong men held him back and kept firm grasp upon him until he had fainted away, and they could bear him like one dead to his home. And the serving-woman of Ko-Ngai, dizzy and speechless for pain, stood before the furnace, still holding in her hands a shoe, a tiny, dainty shoe, with embroidery of pearls and flowers—the shoe of her beautiful mistress that was. For she had sought to grasp Ko-Ngai by the foot as she leaped, but had only been able to clutch the shoe, and the pretty shoe came off in her hand; and she continued to stare at it like one gone mad.
(10) But in spite of all these things, the command of the Celestial and August had to be obeyed, and the work of the moulders to be finished, hopeless as the result might be. Yet the glow of the metal seemed purer and whiter than before; and there was no sign of the beautiful body that had been entombed therein. So the ponderous casting was made; and lo! when the metal had become cool, it was found that the bell was beautiful to look upon and perfect in form, and wonderful in colour above all other bells. Nor was there any trace found of the body of Ko-Ngai; for it had been totally absorbed by the precious alloy, and blended with the well-blended brass and gold, with the intermingling of the silver and the iron. And when they sounded the bell, its tones were found to be deeper and mellower and mightier than the tones of any other bell, reaching even beyond the distance of one hundred li, like a pealing of summer thunder; and yet also like some vast voice uttering a name, a woman’s name, the name of Ko-Ngai.
And still, between each mighty stroke there is a long low moaning heard; and ever the moaning ends with a sound of sobbing and of complaining, as though a weeping woman should murmur, “Hiai!” And still, when the people hear that great golden moan they keep silence, but when the sharp, sweet shuddering comes in the air, and the sobbing of “Hiai!” then, indeed, do all the Chinese mothers in all the many-coloured ways of Pe-King whisper to their little ones: “Listen! that is Ko-Ngai crying for her shoe! That is Ko-Ngai calling for her shoe!”
Usage Frequency: 1
Siva And The Birth Of The River Ganga
There came a sage whose name was Bhagīratha: he stayed in a forest of Himalaya practising terrible austerities. For a thousand years he remained with arms upraised, with four fires burning around, and with the sun blazing upon him. At last Brahma had compassion upon him. The Lord of All came to that sage and told him he could ask a boon as a reward for his austerities.
Then the sage said, "The boon I ask is that King Sagara's sixty thousand sons win to Indra's heaven. Their ashes lie far down in the earth. And until a water which is not the water of earth flows over the ashes and purifies them they cannot win to heaven." The Lord of All was pleased with what the sage asked, and the boon was granted.
And so Brahma promised that Gangā would descend upon earth. Now Gangā was the daughter of Himalaya, the Lord of Snow, and she had held herself back from leaving the heaven-world. She would leave at Brahma's command, but her downward rush would be so terrible that the earth would be dashed to pieces by it. Only one thing could save the earth from that tremendous stroke: if the head of Shiva received her stream the fall of Gangā upon earth would be broken.
For a year the sage worshipped Shiva. Then he was taken into Shiva's heaven and he saw the God with his four faces. Once Brahma had created a nymph out of all that is loveliest in the world, and he had sent her to Shiva so that her beauty might distract him from his eternal meditation. As she walked around where he stayed a face appeared at each side of the God: the faces looking east and west and north are beautiful and pleasant to behold, but the face looking south is terrible. With the face looking east Shiva rules the world; with the face looking west he delights all beings; with the face looking north he rejoices in the company of his wife Umā. But the face looking south is his face of destruction.
Shiva, moved by the prayers of the great ascetic, agreed to take the fall of Gangā upon his head. He went forth with his trident, and standing upon a high peak he bade the daughter of Himalaya descend upon the world. She was made angry by his imperious call. "I shall descend, and I will sweep Shiva away," she said. And so, in a mighty fall, Gangā came down from the heaven-world.
But Shiva, knowing what Gangā would have done, smiled to himself. He would shame her for her arrogance. He made her streams wander through the locks and clusters of his hair. For seasons and seasons Ganga wandered through them as through the forests of Himalaya, and she was made ashamed by her powerlessness to reach the earth.
Then the sage, not seeing the river come down, prayed to Shiva once more, and once more went through awful austerities. Shiva, for the sake of Bhagīratha, allowed Gangā to make her way through the locks and clusters of his hair and come down upon the earth.
In seven streams she descended. The Gods came in their golden chariots to watch that descent upon earth, and the flashing of their chariots made it seem as if a thousand suns were in the sky. Fish of all kind and colours, dolphins of every shape and hue, flashed in the river. And sages and saints came and purified themselves in the water, for the stream that had wandered upon Shiva's head made even the wicked pure. The Gladdener, the Purifier, the Lotus-clad, the Faireyed, were the names that were given to four of her seven streams. Three flowed to the east, three flowed to the west. The middle stream, the fullest, the clearest, flowed to where Bhagīratha waited in his chariot. He drove on, and where he drove, there did the bright, full, clear river flow.
On and on it flowed, following the chariot of the sage: now it was a sweeping current, and now it went on as though it was hardly able to bear on its wave the feather of the swan, and now full and calmly it flowed along. At last it came to the wide sea. There it sank down, and as it sank into the middle of the world the sage prayed that it would purify the ashes of King Sagara's sixty thousand sons.
In an age before, King Sagara and his sixty thousand sons had been on the earth. The king would have himself proclaimed a world-ruler, and that this might be done a steed was loosed and set to range the distances. All the land the steed ranged over would be proclaimed the king's domain, and when the steed returned it would be sacrificed to the Gods. But Sagara's steed was stolen and led down into the very middle of the earth. The king commanded his sixty thousand sons to find the steed and bring it back for the sacrifice.
They made their way down to the very middle of the earth. They went beyond where the Elephant of the East, the Elephant of the West, the Elephant of the South, and the great white Elephant of the North stand, bearing up the earth. These immortal ones they worshipped, and they passed on. At last they came to where Kapila, at the very centre of all things, sustains the world. There the steed was grazing. King Sagara's sixty thousand sons went to seize it, and as they did they attacked Kapila with trees and boulders, crying out that he was the robber of their father's steed.
As they came near he turned a flame upon them, and the sixty thousand sank down in heaps of ashes. Kapila went on with his meditation and thought no more upon the destruction he had brought upon King Sagara's sons. The king then sent his princely grandson to find die steed. He came down to the very middle of the earth. He passed the immortal elephants; he found the steed grazing near Kapila and he saw the heaps of ashes that were there. Then the bird Garuda that was flying there told him of what had befallen the sons of King Sagara, and told him, too, that they could win to Indra's heaven only when Gangā was brought down and made flow over their ashes.
The prince led the steed back to Sagara. He became king after his grandfather, and when his duties as king had been fulfilled he went into a forest of Himālaya and engaged in sacrifices to bring Gangā down from the heaven-world. After him his son engaged in sacrifices. Then his son's son, the sage Bhagīratha, engaged in austerities that had never before been known, and these austerities won Brahmā's compassion, and so, with the mighty aid of Shiva, Gangā was brought down upon the earth.
There where Kapila ponders, sustaining the world, Ganga flowed. The river went over the heaps of ashes that were the sons of King Sagara. They were purified, and the sixty thousand, rejoicing, went into the heaven of great Indra.
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To Virgin Mary
Mary, sweet peace, solace dear
Of pained mortal ! You're the fount
Whence emanates the stream of succor,
That without cease our soil fructifies.
From thy throne, from heaven high,
Kindly hear my sorrowful cry!
And may thy shining veil protect
My voice that rises with rapid flight.
Thou art my Mother, Mary, pure;
Thou'll be the fortress of my life;
Thou'll be my guide on this angry sea.
If ferociously vice pursues me,
If in my pains death harasses me,
Help me, and drive away my woes!
Usage Frequency: 1
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