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Three nights upon the road they passed
To rest the steeds that bore them fast,
And reached Ayodhyá's town at last.
Then straight at Das'aratha's call
They stood within the royal hall,
Where, like a God, inspiring awe,
The venerable king they saw.
With suppliant palm to palm applied,
And all their terror laid aside,
They spoke to him upon the throne
With modest words, in gentle tone:
'Janak, Videha's king, O Sire,
Has sent us hither to inquire
The health of thee his friend most dear,
Of all thy priests and every peer.
Next Kus'ik's son consenting, thus
King Janak speaks, dread liege, by us:
'I made a promise and decree
That valour's prize my child should be.
Kings, worthless found in worth's assay,
With mien dejected turned away.
Thy sons, by Vis'vámitra led,
Unurged, my city visited,
And peerless in their might have gained
My daughter, as my vow ordained.
Full in a vast assembly's view
Thy hero Ráma broke in two
The gem of bows, of monstrous size,
That came a treasure from the skies.
Ordained the prize of hero's might,
Sitá my child is his by right.
Fain would I keep my promise made,
If thou, O King, approve and aid.
Come to my town thy son to see:
Bring holy guide and priest with thee.
O lord of kings, my suit allow,
And let me keep my promised vow.
So joying for thy children's sake
Their triumph too shalt thou partake,
With Vis'vámitra's high consent.'
'Such words with friendship eloquent
Spoke Janak, fair Videha's king,
By S'atánanda's counselling.'

The envoys thus the king addressed,
And mighty joy his heart possessed.
To Vámadeva quick he cried,
Vas'ishtha, and his lords beside:
'Lakshman, and he, my princely hoy
Who fills Kaus'alyá's soul with joy,
By Vis'vámitra guarded well
Among the good Videhans dwell.

p. 80

Their ruler Janak, prompt to own
The peerless might my child has shown,
To him would knit in holy ties
His daughter, valour's lovely prize.
If Janak's plan seem good to you,
Come, speed we to his city too,
Nor let occasion idly by.'

He ceased. There came a glad reply
From priest and mighty saint and all
The councillors who thronged the hall.
Then cried the king with joyous heart:
'To-morrow let us all depart.'

That night the envoys entertained
With honour and all care remained.

Next: Canto LXIX.: Das'aratha's Visit.