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Soon as his stature they beheld.
Their fear and sorrow were dispelled;
And joyous praises loud and long
Rang out from all the Vánar throng.
On the great chief their eyes they bent
In rapture and astonishment,
As, when his conquering foot he raised,
The Gods upon Naráyan  2 gazed.
He stood amid the joyous crowd,
Bent to the chiefs, and cried aloud:
'The Wind-God, Fire's eternal friend.
Whose blasts the mountain summits rend,
With boundless force that none may stay,
Takes where he lists his viewless way,
Sprung from that glorious father, I
In power and speed with him may vie,
A thousand times with airy leap
Can circle loftiest Meru's steep:
With my fierce arms can stir the sea
Till from their bed the waters flee
And rush at my command to drown
This land with grove and tower and town.
I through the fields of air can spring
Far swifter than the feathered King,
And leap before him as he dies.
On sounding pinions through the skies,
I can pursue the Lord of Light
Uprising from the eastern height,
And reach him ere his course be sped
With burning beams engarlanded,
I will dry up the mighty main,
Shatter the rocks and rend the plain.
O'er earth and ocean will I bound,
And every flower that grows on ground,

And bloom of climbing plants shall show
Strewn on the ground, the way I go.
Bright as the lustrous path that lies
Athwart the region of the skies.  1b
The Maithil lady will I find,--
Thus speaks mine own prophetic mind,--
And cast in hideous ruin down
The shattered walls of Lanká's town.'
   Still on the chief in rapt surprise
The Vánar legions bent their eyes,
And thus again sage Jámbaván
Addressed the glorious Hanumán;
'Son of the Wind, thy promise cheers
The Vánars' hearts, and calms their fears,
Who, rescued from their dire distress.
With prospering vows thy way will bless.
The holy saints their favour lend,
And all our chiefs the deed commend
Urging thee forward on thy way;
Arise then, and the task assay.
Thou art our only refuge; we.
Our lives and all, depend on thee.'
   Then sprang the Wind-God's son the best
Of Vánara, on Mahendra's crest.
And the great mountain rocked and swayed
By that unusual weight dismayed,
As reels an elephant beneath
The lion's spring and rending teeth.
The shady wood that crowned him shook,
The trembling birds the boughs forsook,
And ape and pard and lion fled
From brake and lair disquieted.


393:1 Vishnu, the God of the Three Steps.

393:2 Náráyan, 'He who moved upon the waters,' is Vishnu. The allusion is to the famous three steps of that God.

393:1b The Milky Way.

Next: Book V