430 THE INDIAN EMPIRE [CHAP.
but UrdE poetry continues to flourish. Htli is perhaps the
best known of the Urda poets of the present day.
Ritjasthani Rajasthani literature is mainly composed of bardic chronicles,
literature. which have already been dealt with. Mira Bal of Chitor
wrote in Braj Bhasha. In Marwar both that dialect and
Marwari have for centuries been employed for poetry, the
former being locally known as Pingal and the latter as Dingal.
The most admired .Dinga/ work is the Ragkundtk-ruak of
ManSa-ram, written at the commencement of the nineteenth
century. It is a prosody with copious original examples, so
arranged that they give a continuous history of the life of Rama.
Gujarati Gujarati has an old literature, dating from the fourteenth
literature. century, which has been little explored. The oldest writers dealt
with philology. The first poet was Narsingh Meta or Meheta
(I413-79). He does not seem to have written any long
work, and his fame rests upon his short religious songs, many
of which exhibit considerable grace. Among his followers
we may mention Premanand Bhatt (flourished i68i), author of
the Narsingh y2fjehtlcnf AHdmnzrd), Rewa-Sankar (translator
of the Alakaibh/zahrata), and Samal Ehatt. Gujarat has not yet
produced a great poet approaching in excellence the mediaeval
masters of Hinddstan. Of more importance are its bardic
chronicles already mentioned. Under English influence a
number of works have issued from the press of late years, but
these possess little originality, and are mostly translations.
Panjabi Panjabl has no formal literature-as already said, even most
literature. of the Sikh Grantl is in Western Hindi-but is specially rich
in ballad-poetry which is much admired by those who have
studied it, and has been more than once translated for the
benefit of English readers. Some of these ballads are almost
epic poems, and one, the Hir and Rdnjha of Waris Shah, is
worthy of particular notice on account of the purity of its
Kashmiri language. Kashmiri has an old literature which has not yet
literature, been explored. It is mainly religious. Under Musalman
domination it also produced some imitations of Persian poetry,
such as a version of the tale of Yiisufand Zulaikha.
Eastern Nearly all the Eastern Hindi literature has followed its great
lHindte e master, and is devoted to the cult of Rama. There are, how-
ever, some important works which do not fall within this class.
In the year I540 (more than thirty years before Tulsi Das
The Pad- commenced his epic) Malik Muh. ammad wrote the Padumawati,
umnawati. and dedicated it to Sh&r Shah. It is remarkable both for the
originality of its subject and for its poetical beauty, and was
the first important work written in Eastern HindL It is a tale