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But other thoughts resumed their sway
When Lanká's town in ruin lay;
And, as his bosom felt their weigh
He stood a while to meditate
'What have I done?', he thought with shame,
'Destroyed the town with hostile flame.
O happy they whose firm control
Checks the wild passion of the soul;
Who on the fires of anger throw
The cooling drops that check their glow.
But woe is me, whom wrath could lead
To do this senseless shameless deed.
The town to fire and death I gave,
Nor thought of her I came to save,--
Doomed by my own rash folly, doomed
To perish in the flames consumed.
If I, when anger drove me wild.
Have caused the death of Janak's child,
The kindled flame shall end my woe,
Or the deep fires that burn below, 1
Or my forsaken corse shall be
Food for the monsters of the sea.
How can I meet Sugríva? how
Before the royal brothers bow,--
I whose rash deed has madly foiled.
The noble work in which we toiled?
Or has her own bright virtue shed
Its guardian influence round her head?
She lives untouched,--the peerless dame;
Flame has no fury for the flame. 2
The very fire would ne'er consent
To harm a queen so excellent,--
The high-souled Ráma's faithful wife,
Protected by her holy life.
She lives, she lives. Why should I fear
For one whom Raghu's sons hold dear?
Has not the pitying fire that spared
The Vánar for the lady cared?'
   Such were his thoughts: he pondered long,
And fear grew faint and hope grew strong.
Then round him heavenly voices rang,
And, sweetly tuned, his praises sang:
'O glorious is the exploit done
By Hanumán the Wind-God's son.
The flames o'er Lanká's city rise:
The giants' home in ruin lies.
O'er roof and wall the fires have spread,
Nor harmed a hair of Sítá's head.'

Next: Canto LVI: Mount Arishta.