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But soon the baseless thought was spurned
And longing hope again returned:
'No: Ráma's wife is none of these,
No careless dame that lives at ease.
Her widowed heart has ceased to care
For dress and sleep and dainty fare.
She near a lover ne'er would lie
Though Indra wooed her from the sky.
Her own, her only lord, whom none
Can match in heaven, is Raghu's son.'
   Then to the banquet hall intent
On strictest search his steps he bent.
He passed within the door, and found
Fair women sleeping on the ground,
Where wearied with the song, perchance,
The merry game, the wanton dance,
Each girl with wine and sleep oppressed

Had sunk her drooping head to rest.
That spacious hall from side to side
With noblest fare was well supplied,
There quarters of the boar, and here
Roast of the buffalo and deer,
There on gold plate, untouched as yet
The peacock and the hen were set.
There deftly mixed with gait and curd
Was meat of many a beast and bird,
Of kid and porcupine and hare,
And dainties of the sea and air.
There wrought of gold, ablaze with shine
Of precious stones, were cups of wine.
Through court and bower and banquet hall
The Vánared and viewed them all;
From end to end, in every spot,
For Sítá but found her not.


402:1 Rávan fought against Indra and the Gods, and his body was still scarred by the wounds inflicted by the tusks of Indra's elephant and by the fiery bolts of the Thunderer.

Next: Canto XII.: The Search Renewed.