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But Ráma, when he first looked down
And saw afar Ayodhyá's town,
Had called Hanumán to his side,
The chief on whom his heart relied,
And said: 'Brave Vánar, good at need,
Haste onward, to Ayodhyá speed,
And learn, I pray, if all be well
With those who in the palace dwell.
But an thou speedest on thy way
Awhile at S'ringavera stay.
Tell Guha the Nishádas' lord,
That victor, with my queen restored,
In health and strength with many a friend
Homeward again my steps I bend
Thence by the road that he will show
On to Avodhyá swiftly go.
There with my love my brother greet,
And all our wondrous tale repeat.
Say that victorious in the strife
I come with Lakshman and my wife,
Then mark with keenest eye each trace
Of joy or grief on Bharat's face.
Be all his gestures closely viewed,

p. 504

Each change of look and attitude.
Where breathes the man who will not cling
To all that glorifies a king?
Where beats the heart that can resign
An ancient kingdom, nor repine
To lose a land renowned for breeds
Of elephants and warrior steeds?
If, won by custom day by day,
My brother Bharat thirsts for sway,
Still let him rule the nations, still
The throne of old Ikshváku fill.
Go, mark him well: his feelings learn,
And, ere we yet be near return.'
   He ceased: and, garbed in human form,
Forth sped Hanumán swift as storm.
Sublime in air he rose, and through
The region of his father flew.
He saw far far beneath his feet
Where Gangá's flood and Jumna meet.
Descending from the upper air
He entered S'ringavera, where
King Guha's heart was well content
To hear the message Ráma sent.
Then, with his mighty strengtn renewed,
The Vánar chief big way pursued,
Válúkiní was far behind,
And Gomatí with forests lined,
And golden fields and pastures gay
With flocks and herds beneath him lay.
Then Nandigráma charmed his eye
Where flowers were bright with every dye,
And trees of lovely foliage made
With meeting boughs delightful shade,
Where women watched in trim array
Their little sons' and grandsons' play.
His eager eye on Bharat fell
Who sat before his lonely cell.
In hermit weed, with tangled hair,
Pale, weak, and worn with ceaseless care.
His royal pomp and state resigned
For Ráma still he watched and pined,
Still to his dreary vows adhered,
And royal Ráma's shoes revered.
Yet still the terror of his arm
Preserved the land from fear and harm.
   The Wind-God's son, in form a man,
Raised reverent hands and thus began:
'Fond greeting, Prince, I bring to thee,
And Ráma's self has sent it: he
For whom thy spirit sorrows yet
As for a hapless anchoret
In Dandak wood, in dire distress,
With matted hair and hermit dress.
This sorrow from thy bosom fling,
And hear the tale of joy I bring.
This day thy brother shalt thou meet
Exulting in his foe's defeat,
Freed from his toil and lengthened vow,
The light of victory on his brow,
With Sítá, Lakshman and his friends
Homeward at last his steps he bends.'
   Then joy, too mighty for control,
Rushed in full flood o'er Bharat's soul;
His reeling sense and strength gave way,
And fainting on the earth he lay,
At length upspringing from the ground,
His arms about Hanumán wound,
With tender tears of rapture sprung,
He dewed the neck to which he clung:
'Art thou a God or man,' he cried,
'Whom love and pity hither guide?
For this a hundred thousand kine,
A hundred villages be thine.
A score of maids of spotless lives
To thee I give to be thy wives,
Of golden hue and bright of face,
Each lovely for her tender grace.'
   He ceased a while by joy subdued,
And then his eager speech renewed;


503:1 The arghya, a respectful offering to Gods and venerable men consisting of rice, dúivá grass, flowers etc, with water.

Next: Canto CXXVIII.: Hanumán's Story.