Thus spoke the dame in mournful mood,
And Hanumán his speech renewed:
'O lady, by thy lord's decree
I come a messenger to thee.
Thy lord is safe with steadfast friends,
And greeting to his queen he sends,
And Lakshman, ever faithful bows
His reverent head to Ráma's spouse.'
Through all her frame the rapture ran,
As thus again the dame began:
'Now verily the truth I know
Of the wise saw of long ago:
'Once only in a hundred years
True joy to living man appears.'
He marked her rapture-beaming hue,
And nearer to the lady drew,
But at each onward step he took
Suspicious fear her spirit shook.
'Alas, Alas,' she cried in fear.
'False is the tale I joyed to hear.
'Tis Rávan, 'tis the fiend, who tries
To mock me with a new disguise.
If thou, to wring my woman's heart,
Hast changed thy shape by magic art,
And wouldst a helpless dame beguile,
The wicked deed is doubly vile.
But no: that fiend thou canst not be:
Such joy I had from seeing thee.
But if my fancy does not err,
And thou art Ráma's messenger,
The glories of my lord repeat:
For to these ears such words are sweet.
The Vánar knew the lady's thought, 1b
And gave the answer fondly sought:
'Bright as the sun that lights the sky
Dear as the Moon to every eye.
He scatters blessings o'er the land
Like bounties from Vais'ravan's 1 hand.
Like Vishnu strong and unsubdued,
Unmatched in might and fortitude.
Wise, truthful as the Lord of Speech,
With gentle words he welcomes each.
Of noblest mould and form is he,
Like love's incarnate deity.
He quells the fury of the foe,
And strikes when justice prompts the blow.
Safe in the shadow of his arm
The world is kept from scathe and harm.
Now soon shall Rávan rue his theft,
And fall, of realm and life bereft.
For Ráma's wrathful hand shall wing
His shafts against the giant king.
The day, O Maithil Queen, is near
When he and Lakshman will he here,
And by their side Sugríva lead
His countless hosts of Vánar breed.
Sugríva's servant, I, by name
Hanúmán, by his order came.
With desperate leap I crossed the sea
To Lanká's isle in search of thee,
No traitor, gentle dame, am I:
Upon my word and faith rely.'
413:1b That a friend of Rama would praise him as he should be praised, and that if the stranger were Rávan in disguise he would avoid the subject.