Thus all the princely Vánars, true
To their appointed tasks, withdrew.
Suigríva deemed already done
The work he planned for Raghu's son.
Then Lakshman gently spoke and cheered
Sugríva for his valour feared:
' Now, chieftain, if thy will be so.
Forth from Kishkindhá let us go.'
Sugríva's heart swelled high with pride
As to the prince he thus replied:
'Come, speed we forth without delay:
'Tis mine thy mandate to obey.'
Sugríva bade the dames adieu,
And Tárá and the rest withdrew.
Then at their chieftain's summons came
The Vánars first in rank and fame,
A trusty brave and reverent band,
Meet e'en before a queen to stand.
They at his call made haste to bring
The litter of the glorious king.
' Mount, O my friend.' Sugríva cried,
And straight Sumitrá's son complied.
Then took by Lakshman's side his place
The sovereign of the woodland race,
Upraised by Vánars, fleet and strong.
Who bore the glittering load along.
On high above his royal head
A paly canopy was spread,
And chouries white in many a hand
The forehead of the monarch fanned,
And shell and drum and song and shout
Pealed round him as the king passed out.
About the monarch went a throng
Of Vánar warriors brave and strong,
As onward to the mountain shade
Where Ráma dwelt his way he made.
Soon as the lovely spot he viewed
Where Ráma lived in solitude,
The Vánar monarch, far-renowed,
With Lakshman, lightly stepped to ground,
And to the son of Raghu went
Joining his raised hands reverent.
As their great leader raised his hands,
So suppliant stood the Vánar bands.
Well pleased the son of Raghu saw
Those legions, hushed in reverent awe,
Stand silent like the tranquil floods
That raise their hands of lotus buds.
But Ráma, when the king, to greet
His friend, had bowed him at his feet,
Raised him who ruled the Vanar race,
And held him in a close embrace:
Then, when his arms he had unknit,
Besought him by his side to sit,
And thus with gentle words the best
Of men the Vánar king addressed:
'The prince who well his days divides,
And knows aright the times and tides
To follow duty, joy, or gain,
He, only he, deserves to reign.
But he who wealth and virtue leaves,
And every hour to pleasure cleaves,
False from his bliss like him who wakes
From slumber on a branch that breaks.
True king is he who smites his foes,
And favour to his servants shows,
And of that fruit makes timely use
Which virtue, wealth, and joy produce.
The hour is come that bids thee rise
To aid me in my enterprise.
Then call thy nobles to debate,
And with their help deliberate.'
'Lost was my power,' the king replied,
'All strength had fled, all hope had died
The Vánars owned another lord,
But by thy grace was all restored.
All this, O conqueror of the foe,
To thee and Lakshman's aid I owe
And his should be the villain's shame
Who durst deny the sacred claim.
These Vánar chiefs of noblest birth
Have at my bidding roamed the earth,
And brought from distant regions all
Our legions at their monarch's call:
Fierce bears with monkey troops combined,
And apes of every varied kind,
Terrific in their forms, who dwell
In grove and wood and bosky dell:
The bright Gaudharvas' brood, the seed
Of Gods, 1 they change their shapes at need.
Each with his legions in array,
Hither, O Prince, they make their way,
They come: and tens of millions swell
To numbers that no tongue may tell. 1b
For thee their armies will unite
With chiefs, Mahendra's peers in might.
From Meru and from Vindhya's chain
They come like clouds that bring the rain.
These round thee to the war will go,
To smite to earth thy demon foe;
Will slay the Rákshas and restore
Thy consort when the fight is o'er."
370:1 See Book I. Canto XVI.