'What truth or justice canst thou find,'
Cried Angad, 'in Sugríva's mind ?
Where is his high and generous soul,
His purity and self-control?
How is he worthy of our trust,
Righteous, and true, and wise, and just,
Who, shrinking not from sin and shame,
Durst take his living brother's dame?
Who, when, in stress of mortal strife
His noble brother fought for life,
Against the valiant warrior barred
The portal which he stood to guard?
Can he be grateful--he who took
The hand of Ráma, and forsook
That friend who saved him in his woes,
To whom his life and fame he owes?
Ah no! his heart is cold and mean,
What bids him search for Ráma's queen?
Not honour's law, not friendship's debt,
But angry Lakshman's timely threat.
No prudent heart will ever place
Its trust in one so false and base,
Who heeds not friendship, kith or kin,
Who scorns the law and cleaves to sin.
But true or false, whate'er he be,
One consequence I clearly see;
Me, in my youth anointed heir
Against his wish, he will not spare,
But strike with eager hand the blow
That rids him of a household foe.
Shall I of power and friends despoiled,
In all my purpose crossed and foiled,--
Shall I Kishkindhá seek, and wait,
Like some poor helpless thing, my fate?
The cruel wretch through lust of sway
Will seize upon his hapless prey,
And to a prison's secret gloom
The remnant of my years will doom.
'Tis better far to fast and die
Than hopeless bound in chains to lie,
Your steps, O Vánars, homeward bend
And leave me here my life to end.
Better to die of hunger here
Than meet at home the fate I fear
Go, bow you at Sugríva's feet,
And in my name the monarch greet.
Before the sons of Raghu bend,
And give the greeting that I send
Greet kindly Rumá too, for she
A son's affection claims from me,
And gently calm with friendly care
My mother Tárá's wild despair;
Or when she hears her darling's fate
The queen will die disconsolate.'
Thus Angad bade the chiefs adieu:
Then on the ground his limbs he threw
Where sacred Darbha 1 grass was spread,
And wept as every hope had fled.
The moving words of Augad drew
Down aged cheeks the piteous dew.
And, as the chieftains' eyes grew dim,
They swore to stay and die with him.
On holy grass whose every blade
Was duly, pointing southward, laid,
The Vánars sat them down and bent
Their faces to the orient,
While 'Here, O comrades, let us die
With Angad,' was the general cry.