Dismissed with every honour due
The Vánar from the spot withdrew.
Then joyous thought the Wind-God's son:
'The mighty task is wellnigh done.
The three expedients I must leave;
The fourth alone can I achieve. 2
These dwellers in the giants' isle
No arts of mine can reconcile.
I cannot bribe: I cannot sow
Dissension mid the Rákshas foe.
Arts, gifts, address, these fiends despise;
But force shall yet their king chastise.
Perchance he may relent when all
The bravest of his chieftains fall.
This lovely grove will I destroy,
The cruel Rávan's pride and joy.
The garden where he takes his ease
Mid climbing plants and flowery trees
That lift their proud tops to the skies,
Dear to the tyrant as his eyes.
Then will he rouse in wrath, and lead
His legions with the car and steed
And elephants in long array,
And seek me thirsty for the fray.
The Rákshas legions will I meet,
And all his bravest host defeat;
Then, glorious from the bloody plain,
Turn to my lord the king again.'
Then every lovely tree that bore
Fair blossoms, from the soil he tore,
Till each green bough that lent its shade
To singing birds on earth was laid.
The wilderness he left a waste,
The fountains shattered and defaced:
O'erthrew and levelled with the ground
Each shady seat and pleasure-mound.
Each arbour clad with climbing bloom,
Each grotto, cell, and picture room,
Each lawn by beast and bird enjoyed,
Each walk and terrace was destroyed.
And all the place that was so fair
Was left a ruin wild and bare,
As if the fury of the blast
Or raging fire had o'er it passed.
417:1 I omit two Cantos of dialogue. Sítá tells Hanumán again to convey her message to Ráma and bid him hasten to rescue her. Hanumán replies as before that there is no one on earth equal to Ráma, who will soon come and destroy Rávan. There is not a new idea in the two Cantos: all is reiteration.
417:2 The expedients to vanquish an enemy or to make him come to terms are said to be four: conciliation, gifts, disunion, and force or punishment. Hanumán considers it useless to employ the first three and resolves to punish Rávan by destroying his pleasure-grounds.