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But when the solemn rite was o'er,
And bold Sugríva reigned once more,
The sons of Rhaghu sought the hill,
Prasravan of the rushing rill,
Where roamed the tiger and the deer,
And lions raised their voice of fear;
Thick set with trees of every kind,
With trailing shrubs and plants entwined;
Home of the ape and monkey, lair
Of mountain cat and pard and bear,
In cloudy gloom against the sky
The sanctifying hills rose high.
Pierced in their crest, a spacious cave
To Raghu's sons a shelter gave.
Then Ráma, pure from every crime,
In words well suited to the time
To Lakshman spake, whose faithful zeal
Watched humbly for his brother's weal:
'I love this spacious cavern where
There breathes a fresh and pleasant air.
Brave brother, let us here remain
Throughout the season of the rain.
For in mine eyes this mountain crest
Is above all, the loveliest.
Where copper-hued and black and white
Show the huge blocks that face the height;
Where gleams the shine of varied ore,
Where dark clouds baog and torrents roar;
Where waving woods are fair to see,
And creepers climb from tree to tree;
Where the gay peacock's voice is shrill,
And sweet birds carol on the hill;
Where odorous breath is wafted far
From Jessamine and Sinduvár;  1
And opening flowers of every hue
Give wondrous beauty to the view.
See, too, this pleasant water near
Our cavern home is fresh and clear;
And lilies gay with flower and bud
Are glorious on the lovely flood.
This cave that fares north and east
Will shelter us till rain has ceased;
And towering hills thut rise behind
Will screen us from the furious wind.
Close by the cavern's portal lies
And level stone of ample size
And sable hue, a mighty block
Long severed from the parent rock.
Now let thine eye bent northward rest

A while upon that mountain creat,
High as a cloud that brings the rain,
And dark as iron rent in twain.
Look southward, brother, now and view
A cloudy pile of paler hue
Like Mount Kailása's topmost height
Where ores of every tint are bright,
See, Lakshman, see before our cave
That clear brook eastward roll its wave
As though 'twere Ganga's infant rill
Down streaming from the three-peaked bill
See, by the water's gentle flow
As'oka, sal, and sandal grow.
And every lovely tree most fair
With leaf and bud and flower is there.
See there, beneath the bending trees
That fringe her bank, the river flees,
Clothed with their beauty like a maid
In all her robes and gems arrayed,
While from the sedgy banks are heard
The soft notes of each amorous bird.
O see what lovely islets stud
Like gems the bosom of the flood.
And sárases and wild swans crowd
About her till she laughs aloud.
See, lotus blooms the brook o'erspread,
Some tender blue, some dazzling red,
And opening lilies white as snow
Their buds in rich profusion show.
There rings the joyous peacock's scream,
There stands the curlew by the stream,
And holy hermits love to throng
Where the sweet waters speed along.
Ranged on the grassy margin shine
Gay sandal trees in glittering line,
And all the wondrous verdure seems
The offspring of creative dreams,
O conquering Prince, there cannot be
A lovelier place than this we see.
Here sheltered on the beauteous height
Our days will pass in calm delight.

Nor is Kishkindhá's city, gay
With grove and garden, far away.
Thence will the breeze of evening bring
Sweet music as the minstrels sing;
And, when the Vánars dance, will come
The sound of labour and of drum.
Again to spouse and realm restored.
Girt by his friends, the Vánar lord
Great glory has acquired; and how
Can he be less than happy now?'
This said, the son of Raghu made
His dwelling in that pleasant shade
Upon the mountain's shelving side
That sweetly all his wants supplied.
But still the hero's troubled mind
No comfort in his woe could find.
Yet mourning for his stolen wife
Dearer to Ráma than his life.
Chief when he saw the Lord of Night
Rise slowly o'er the eastern height,

p. 358

He tossed upon his leafy bed
With eyes by sleep unvisited.
Outwelled the tears in ceaseless flow,
And every sense was numbed by woe.
Each pang that pierced the mourner through
Smote Lakshman's faithful bosom too,
Who, troubled for his brother's sake,
With wisest words the prince bespake:
'Arise, my brother, and be strong:
Thy hero heart has mourned too long.
Thou knowest well that tears and sighs
Will mar the mightiest enterprise.
Thine was the soul that loved to dare:
To serve the Gods was still thy care;
And ne'er may sorrow's sting subdue
A heart so resolute and true.
How canst thou hope to slay in fight
The giant cruel in his might?
Unwearied must the champion be
Who strives with such a foe as he.
Tear out this sorrow by the root;
Again be bold and resolute.
Arise, my brother, and subdue
The demon and his wicked crew.
Thou canst destroy the earth, her seas,
Her rooted hills and giant trees
Unseated by thy furious hand:
And shall one fiend thy power withstand?
Wait through this season of the rain
Till suns of autumn dry the plain,
Then shall thy giant foe, and all
His host and realm, before thee fall.
I wake thy valour that has slept
Amid the tears thine eyes have wept;
As drops of oil in worship raise
The dormant flame to sudden blaze.'

The son of Raghu heard: he knew
His brother's rede was wise and true;
And, honouring his friendly guide,
In gentle words he thus replied:
'Whate'er a hero firm and bold,,
Devoted, true, and lofty-souled
Should speak by deep affection led,
Such are the words which thou hast said.
I cast away each pensive thought
That brings the noblest plans to naught,
And each uninjured power will strain
Until the purposed end we gain.
Thy prudent words will I obey,
And till the close of rain-time stay,
When King Sugríva will invite
To action, and the streams be bright.
The hero saved in hour of need
Repays the debt with friendly deed:
But hated by the good are they
Who take the boon and ne'er repay.'


357:1 Vitex Negundo.

Next: Canto XXVIII.: The Rains.