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But Ráma in the autumn night
Stood musing on the mountain height.
While grief and love that scorned control
Shook with wild storms the hero's soul.
Clear was the sky, without a cloud
The glory of the moon to shroud.
And bright with purest silver shone
Each hill the soft beams looked upon,
He knew Sugriva's heart was bent
On pleasure, gay and negligent.
He thought on Janak's child forlorn
From his fond arms for ever torn.
He mourned occasion slipping by,
And faint with anguish heaved each sigh

p. 361

He sat where many a varied streak
Of rich ore marked the mountain peak.
He raised his eyes the skv to view.
And to his love his sad thoughts flew.
He. heard the Sáras cry, and faint
With sorrow poured his love-born plaint:
She, she who mocked the softest tone
Of wild birds' voices with her own,--
Where strays she now, my love who played
So happy in our hermit shade '
How can my absent love behold
The bright trees with their flowers of gold,
And a11 their gleaming glory see
With eyes that vainly look for me?
How is it with my darling when
From the deep tangles of the glen
Float carols of each bird elate
With rapture singing to his mate?
In vain my weary glances rove
From lake to hill, from stream to grove:
I find no rapture in the scene,
And languish fur my fawn-eyed queen.
Ah, does strong love with wild unrest,
Born no the autumn, stir her breast?
And does the gentle lady pine
Till her bright eyes shall look in mine?'
   Thus Raghu's son in piteous tone,
O'erwhelmed with sorrow, made his moan.
E'en as the bird that drinks the rains  1
To Indra thousand-eyed complains.
Then Lakshman who had wandered through
The copses where the berries grew,
Returning to the cavern found
His brother chief* in sorrow drowned,
And pitying the woes that broke
The spirit, of the hero spoke:
   'Why east thy strength of soul away,
And weakly yield to passion's sway?
Arise, my brother, do and dare
Ere action perish in despair.
Refill the firmness of thy heart,
And nerve thee for a hero's part.
Whose is the hand unscathed to sieze
The red flame quickened by the breeze?
Where is the foe will dare to wrong
Or keep the Maithil lady long?'
Then with pale lips that sorrow dried
The son of Raghu thus replied:
Lord Indra thousand-eyed, has sent
The sweet rain from the firmament,
Sees the rich promise of the grain,
And turns him to his rest again.
The clouds with voices loud and deep,
Veiling each tree upon the steep,
Up on the thirsty earth have shed
Their precious burden and are fled.

Now in kings' hearts ambition glows:
They rush to battle with their foes; 1b
But in Sugríva's sloth I see
No care for deeds of chivalry.
See, Lakshman, on each breezy height
A thousand autumn blooms are bright.
See how the wings of wild swans gleam
On every islet of the stream.
Four months of flood and rain are past:
A hundred years they seemed to last
To me whom toil and trouble tried,
My Sitá severed from my side.
She, gentlest woman, weak and young,
Still to her lord unwearied clung.
Still by the exile's side she stood
In the wild ways of Dandak wood,
Like a fond bird disconsolate
If parted from her darling mate.
Sugríva, lapped in soft repose.
Untouched by pity for my woes,
Scorns the poor exile, dispossessed,
By Rávan's mightier arm oppressed,
The wretch who comes to sue and pray
From his lost kingdom far away.
Hence falls on me the Vánar's scorn,
A suitor friendless and forlorn.
The time is come: with heedless eye
He sees the hour of action fly,--
Unmindful, now his hopes succeed,
Of promise made in stress of need.
Go seek him sunk in bliss and sloth,
Forgetful of his royal oath,
And as mine envoy thus upbraid
The monarch for his help delayed:
'Vile is the wretch who will not pay
The favour of an earlier day,
Hope in the supplicant's breast awakes,
And then his plighted promise breaks.
Noblest, mid all of women born,
Who keeps the words his lips have sworn.
Yea, if those words be good or ill.
Maintains his faith unbroken still.
The *ss who forget to aid
The friend who helped them when they prayed,
Dishonoured in their death shall lie,
And dogs shall pass their corpses by.
Sure thou wouldst see my strained arm hold
My bow of battle backed with gold,
Wouldst gaze upon its awful from
Like lightning flashing through the storm,
And hear the clanging bowstring loud
As thunder from a labouring cloud
   His valour and his strength I know:
But pleasure's sway now sinks them low
With thee, my brother, for ally
That strength and valour I defy

p. 362

He promised, when the rains should end,
The succour of his arm to lend.
Those months are past: he dares forget.
And, lapped in pleasure, slumbers yet.
No thought disturbs his careless breast
For us impatient and distressed.
And, while we sadly wait and pine,
Girt by his lords he quaffs the wine.
Go, brother, go, his palace seek,
And boldly to Sugríva speak.
Thus give the listless king to know
What waits him if my anger glow:
Still open, to the gloomy God,
Lies the sad path that Báli trod.
'Still to thy plighted word be true,
Lest thou, O King, that path pursue.
I launched the shaft I pointed well.
And Báli, only Báli, fell.
But, if from truth thou dare to stray,
Both thee and thine this hand shall slay.'
Thus be the Vánar king addressed,
Then add thyself what seems the best.


360:1 The troops who guard the frontiers on the north, south, east and west.

361:1 The Chátake, Cualus Melanoleucus, is supposed to drink nothing but the water for the clouds.

361:1b The time for warlike expeditions began when the rains had ceased.

Next: Canto XXXI.: The Envoy.