Patronage to the creative works of art, including poetry, was one of the main sources of income for the creative gentry and also the reason for the rich spring of art and poetry in Ancient India. Dana, gift-giving, was considered a meritorious act and patronage of the commoners by the wealthy and the powerful was an important aspect of the early Buddhist period. Later Hindu kings primarily patronized temples but also held court of people talented in the arts.
Dropping the Bow: Poems of Ancient India (Companions for the Journey) by Translator Andrew Schelling is a collection of poems that are more than two thousand years old.
Read about the art and patrongage of Ancient India in Huntingtons' book The Art of Ancient India.