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Then o'er the lady's soul and frame
A sudden fear and trembling came,
When, glowing in his youthful pride,
She saw the monarch by her side.
Silent she sat, her eyes depressed,
Her soft arms folded o'er her breast,
And,--all she could,--her beauties screened
From the bold gazes of the fiend.
There where the wild she-demons kept
Their watch around, she sighed and wept.
Then, like a severed bough, she lay
Prone on the bare earth in dismay.
The while her thoughts on love's fleet wings
Flew to her lord the best of kings.
She fell upon the ground, and there
Lay struggling with her wild despair,
Sad as a lady born again
To misery and woe and pain,
Now doomed to grief and low estate,
Once noble fair and delicate:
Like faded light of holy lore,
Like Hope when all her dreams are o'er;
Like ruined power and rank debased,
Like majesty of kings disgraced:
Like woman *** led by erring slips,
The moon that labors in eclipse
A pool with all her lillies* dead
An army when its king has fled:
So sad and helpless wan and worn,
She lay among the fiends forlorn.


406:1 Rávan is one of those beings who can 'limb* them as they will' and can of course assume the loveliest form to please human eyes as well as the terrific* shape that sits * the king of the Rákshas.

406:2 White and lovely as the Arant or nectar recovered from the depths of the Milky Sea when churned by the assembled Gods. See Book I. Canto XLV.

Next: Canto XX.: Rávan's Wooing.