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Apart a dais of crystal rose
With couches spread for soft repose.
Adorned with gold and gems of price
Meet for the halls of Paradise.
A canopy was o'er them spread
Pale as the light the moon beams shed,
And female figures, 1 deftly planned,
The faces of the sleepers fanned,
There on a splendid couch, asleep
On softest skins of deer and sheep.
Dark as a cloud that dims the day
The monarch of the giants lay,
Perfumed with sandal's precious scent
And gay with golden ornament.

p. 402

His fiery eyes in slumber closed,
In glittering robes the king reposed
Like Mandar's mighty hill asleep
With flowery trees that clothe his steep.
Near and more near the Vánar
The monarch of the fiends to view,
And saw the giant stretched supine
Fatigued with play and drunk with wine.
While, shaking all the monstrous frame,
His breath like hissing serpents' came.
With gold and glittering bracelets gay
His mighty arms extended lay
Huge as the towering shafts that bear
The flag of Indra high in air.
Scars by Airávat's impressed
Showed red upon his shaggy breast.
And on his shoulders were displayed
The dints the thunder-bolt had made.  1
The spouses of the giant king
Around their lord were slumbering,
And, gay with sparkling earrings, shone
Fair as the moon to look upon.
There by her husband's side was seen
Mandodarífavourite queen,
The beauty of whose youthful face
Beamed a soft glory through the place.
The Vánared the dame more fair
Than all the royal ladies there,
And thought, 'These rarest beauties speak
The matchless dame I come to seek.
Peerless in grace and splendour, she
The Maithil queen must surely be.'


401:1 Women, says Válmíki. But the commentator says that automatic figures only are meant. Women would have seen Hanumán and given the alarm.

Next: Canto XI.: The Banquet Hall.