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Then Raghu's son, whose feeling breast
Shared the great woe that moved the rest,
Strove with wise charm their grief to ease
And gently spoke in words like these:
    'You ne'er can raise the dead to bliss
By agony of grief like this
Cease your lament, nor leave undone
The funeral task you may not shun.
As nature orders o'er the dead
Your tributary tears are shed,
But Fate, directing each event,
Is still the lord preeminent.
Yes, all obey the changeless laws
Of Fate the universal cause,
By Fate, the lives of all proceed,
That governs every word and deed,
None acts, none sees his hest obeyed.
But each and all by Fate are swayed.
The world its ordered course maintains,
And o'er that course Fate ever reigns.
Fate ne'er exceeds the rule of Fate:
Is ne'er too swift, is ne'er too late,
And making nature its ally
Forgets no life, nor passes by.
No kith and kin, no power and force
Can check or stay its settled course,
No friend or client, grace or charm,
That victor of the world disarm.
So all who see with prudent eyes
The hand of Fate must recognize,
For virtue rules, or love, or gain,
As Fate's unchanged decrees ordain.
Báli has died and won the meed
That waits in heaven on noble deed,
Throned in the seats the brave may reach
By liberal hand and gentle speech,
True to a warrior's duty, bold
In fight, the hero lofty-souled
Deigned not to guard his life: he died,
And now in heaven is glorified.
Then cease these tears and wild despair:
Turn to the task that claims your care,
For Báli's is the glorious fate
Which warriors count most fortunate.'
    When Ráma's speech had found a close.
Brave Lakshman, terror of his foes,
With wise and soothing words addressed
Sugríva still with woe oppressed:
'Arise Sugríva,' thus he said,
'Perform the service of the dead.
Prepare with Tárá and her son
That Báli's rites be duly done.
A store of funeral wood provide
Which wind and sun and time have dried
And richest sandal fit to grace
The pyre of one of royal race.

With words of comfort soft and kind
Console poor Angad's troubled mind,
Nor let thy heart be thus cast down,
For thine is now the Vánars' town.
Let Angad's care a wreath supply,
And raiment rich with varied dye,
And oil and perfumes for the fire,
And all the solemn rites require.
Go, hasten to the town, O King,
And Tárá's little quickly bring.
A virtue is despatch: and speed
Is best of all in hour of need.
Go, let a chosen band prepare
The litter of the dead to bear.
For stout and tall and strong of limb
Must be the cheifs who carry him.'
    He spoke,--his friends' delight and pride,--
Then stood again by Ráma's side.
When Tára  1 heard the words he said
Within the town he quickly sped,
And brought, on stalwart shoulders laid,
The litter for the rites arrayed,
Framed like a car for Gods, complete
With painted sides and royal seat,
With latticed windows deftly made,
And golden birds and trees inlaid:
Well joined and wrought in every part,
A marvel of ingenious art.
Where pleasure mounds in carven wood
And many a graven figure stood.
The best of jewels o'er it hung,
And wreaths of flowers around it clung,
And over all was raised on high
A canopy of saffron dye,
While like the sun of morning shone
The billiant blooms that lay thereon.
That glorious litter Ráma eyed.
And spake to Lakshman by his side:
'Let Báli on the bier be placed
And with all funeral service graced.'
Sugríva then with many a tear
Drew Báli's body to the bier
Whereon, with weeping Angad's aid,
The relics of the chief were laid
Neath many a vesture's varied fold,
And wreaths and ornaments and gold.
Then King Sugríva bade them speed
The obsequies by law decreed:
'Let Vánars lead the way and throw
Rich gems around them as they go,
And be the chosen bearers near
Behind them, laden with the bier.
No costly rite may you deny,
Used when the proudest monarchs die:
As for a king of widest sway.
Perform his obsequies to-day,'

p. 355

Sugríva gave his high behest;
Then Princely Tára and the rest,
With little Angad weeping, led
The long procession of the dead.
Behind the funeral litter came,
With Tára first, each widowed dame
In tears and shrieks her loss deplored,
Add cried aloud, My lord! My lord!
While wood and hill and valley sent
In echoes back the shrill lament.
Then on a low and sandy isle
Was reared the hero's funeral pile
By crowds of toiling Vánars, where
The mountain stream ran fresh and fair.
The Vánar chiefs, a noble band,
Had laid the litter on the sand,
And stood a little space apart,
Each mourning in his inmost heart.
But Tára, when her weeping eye
Saw Báli, on the litter lie,
Laid his dear head upon her lap,
And wailed aloud her dire mishap;
'O mighty Vánar, lord and king,
To whose fond breast brave, and bold,
Rise, look upon me as of old.
Rise up, my sovereign, dost thou see
A crowd of subjects weep for thee?
Still o'er thy face, though breath has fled.
The joyous light of life is spread:
Thus around the sun, although he set,
A crimson glory lingers yet.
Death clad in Ráma's form to-day
Hast dragged thee from the world away.
One shaft from his tremendous bow
Dooms us to widowhood and woe.
Hast thou, O Vánar King, no eyes
Thy weeping wives to recognize,
Who for the length of way unmeet
Have followed thee with weary feet?
Yet every moon-faced beauty here
By thee, O King was counted dear.
Lord of the Vánar race, hast thou
No eyes to see Sugríva now?
About thee stands in mournful mood
A sore-afflicted multitude,
And Tára and thy lords of state
Around their monarch weep and wait,
Arise my lord, with gentle speech,
As was thy wont, dismissing each,
Then in the forest will we play
And love shall make our spirits gay.'
   The Vánar dames raised Tára, drowned
In floods of sorrow, from the ground;
And Angad with Sugríva's aid,
O'erwhelmed with anguish and dismayed,
Weeping for his departed sire,
Placed Bali's body on the pyre:
Then lit the flame, and round the dead
Paced slowly with a mourner's tread.
Thus with full rites the funeral train.
Performed the service for the slain,
Then sought the flowing stream and made
Libations to the parted shade.
There, setting Angad first in place,
The chieftains of the Vanar race,
With Tára and Sugríva, shed
The water that delights the dead.


354:1 The Vánar chief, not to be confounded with Tárá.

Next: Canto XXVI.: The Coronation.