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When wise Kabandha thus had taught
The means to find the dame they sought,
And urged them onward in the quest,
He thus again the prince addressed:
  'This path, O Raghu's son, pursue
Where those fair trees which charm the view,
Extending westward far away,
The glory of their bloom display,
Where their bright leaves Rose-apples show,
And the tall Jak and Mango grow.
Whene'er you will, those trees ascend,
Or the long branches shake and bend.
Their savoury fruit like Amrit eat,
Then onward speed with willing feet.
Beyond this shady forest, decked
With flowering trees, your course direct.
Another grove you then will find
With every joy to take the mind,
Like Nandan with its charms displayed,
Or Northern Kuru's blissful shade;
Where trees distil their balmy juice.
And fruit through all the year produce;
Where shades with seasons ever fair
With Chaitraratha may compare:
Where trees whose sprays with fruit are bowed
Rise like a mountain or a cloud.
There, when you list, from time to time,
The loaded trees may Lakshman climb,
Or from the shaken boughs supply
Sweet fruit that may with Amrit vie.
The onward path pursuing still
From wood to wood, from hill to hill,
Your happy eyes at length will rest
On Pampá's lotus-covered breast.

Her banks with gentle slope descend,
Nor stones nor weed the eyes offend,
And o'er smooth beds of silver sand
Lotus and lily blooms expand.
There swans and ducks and curlews play,
And keen-eyed ospreys watch their prey,
And from the limpid waves are heard
Glad notes of many a water-bird.
Untaught a deadly foe to fear
They fly not when a man is near,
And fat as balls of butter they
Will, when you list, your hunger stay.
Then Lakshman with his shafts will take
The fish that swim the brook and lake,
Remove each bone and scale and fin,
Or strip away the speckled skin,
And then on iron skewers broil
For thy repast the savoury spoil.
Thou on a heap of flowers shalt rest
And eat the meal his hands have dressed
There shalt thou lie on Pampá's brink.
And Lakshman's hand shall give thee drink,
Filling a lotus leaf with cool
Pure water from the crystal pool,
To which the opening blooms hare lent
The riches of divinest scent.
Beside thee at the close of day
Will Lakshman through the woodland stray,
And show thee where the monkeys sleep
In caves beneath the mountain steep.
Lurd-voiced as bulls they forth will burst
And seek the flood, oppressed by thirst;
Then rest a while, their wants supplied,
Their well-fed bands on Pampá's side.
Thou roving there at eve shalt see
Rich clusters hang on shrub and tree,
And Pampá flushed with roseate glow,
And at the view forget thy woe.
There shalt thou mark with strange delight
Each loveliest flower that blooms by night,
While lily buds that shrink from day
Their tender loveliness display.
In that far wild no hand but thine
Those peerless flowers in wreaths shall twine:
Immortal in their changeless pride,
Ne'er fade those blooms and ne'er are dried.
There erst on holy thoughts intent
Their days Matanga's pupils spent.
Once for their master food they sought,
And store of fruit and berries brought.
Then as they laboured through the dell
From limb and brow the heat-drops fell:
Thence sprang and bloomed those wondrous trees:
Such holy power have devotees.
Thus, from the hermits' heat-drops sprung,
Their growth is ever fresh and young.
There S'avarí is dwelling yet,
Who served each vanished anchoret.

p. 316

Beneath the shade of holy boughs
That ancient votaress keeps her vows.
Her happy eyes on thee will fall,
O godlike prince, adored by all,
And she, whose life is pure from sin,
A blissful seat in heaven will win.
But cross, O son of Raghu, o'er,
And stand on Pampa's western shore.
A tranquil hermitage that lies
Deep in the woods will meet thine eyes.
No wandering elephants invade
The stillness of that holy shade,
But checked by saint Matanga's power
They spare each consecrated bower.
Through many an age those trees have stood
World-famous as Matanga's wood
Still, Raghu's son, pursue thy way:
Through shades where birds are vocal stray,
Fair as the blessed wood where rove
Immortal Gods, or Nandan's grove.
Near Pampa eastward, full in sight,
Stands Rishyamuka's wood-crowned height.
'Tis hard to climb that towering steep
Where serpents unmolested sleep.
The free and bounteous, formed of old
By Brahma, of superior mould,
Who sink when day is done to rest
Reclining on that mountain crest,
What wealth or joy in dreams they view
Awaking find the vision true.
But if a villain stained with crime
That holy hill presume to climb,
The giants in their fury sweep
From the hill top the wretch asleep.
There loud and long is heard the loar
Of elephants on Pampa's shore.
Who near Matanga's dwelling stray
And in those waters bathe and play.
A while they revel by the flood,
Their temples stained with streams like blood.
Then wander far away dispersed,
Dark as huge clouds before they burst.
But ere they part they drink their fill
Of bright pure water from the rill.
Delightful to the touch, where meet
Scents of ail flowers divinely sweet,
Then speeding from the river side
Deep in the sheltering thicket hide.
Then bears and tigers shalt thou view
Whose soft skins show the sapphire's hue,
And silvan deer that wander, nigh
Shall harmless from thy presence fly.
High in that mountains wooded side
Is a fair cavern deep and wide,
Yet hard to enter: piles of rock
The portals-of the cavern block.'  1

By the eastern door a pool
Gleams with broad waters fresh and cool,
Where stores of roots and fruit abound,
And thick trees shade the grassy ground.
This mountain cave the virtuous-souled
Sugríva, and his Vánars hold,
And oft the mighty chieftain seeks
The summits of those towering peaks,'
   Thus spake Kabandha. high in air
His counsel to the royal pair,
Still on his neck that wreath he bore,
And radiance like the sun's he wore,
Their eyes the princely brothers raised
And on that blissful being gazed:
'Behold, we go: no more delay;
Begin,' they cried,'thy heavenward way.'
'Depart,' Kabandha's voice replied,
'Pursue your search, and bliss betide.'
   Thus to the happy chiefs he said,
Then on his heavenward journey sped:
  Thus once again Kahandha won
A shape that glittered like the sun
   Without a spot or stain.
Thus bade he Ráma from the air
To great Sugríva's side repair
   His friendly love to gain.


316:1 Or as the commentator Titha says, S'ilápidháná, rock-covered, may be the name of the cavern.

Next: Canto LXXV.: Savari