He spoke: and Bharat thus replied;
'If, false to every claim beside,
I ne'er in kingly duties fail,
What will my royal life avail?
Still should the custom be observed,
From which our line has never swerved,
Which to the younger son ne'er gives
The kingdom while the elder lives.
Now to Ayodhya rich and fair
With me, O Raghu's son, repair,
And to protect and gladden all
Our house, thyself as king install,
A king the world's opinion deems
A man: to me a God he seems,
Whose life in virtuous thoughts and deeds
The lives of other men exceeds.
When I in distant Kekaya stayed,
And thou hadst sought the forest shade,
Our father died, the saints' delight,
So constant in each holy rite.
Scarce with thy wife and Lakshman thou
Hadst journeyed forth to keep the vow,
When mourning for his son, forspent,
To heavenly rest the monarch went,
Then up, O lord of men, away!
His funeral rites of water pay:
I and S'atrughna, ere we came,
Neglected not the sacred claim.
But in the spirit-world, they say,
That gift alone is fresh for aye
Which best beloved hands have poured;
And thou his dearest art, my lord.
For thee he longed, for thee he grieved,
His every thought on thee was bent,
And crushed by woe, of thee bereaved,
He thought of thee as hence he went.'