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Still, like a winged mountain, he
Sprang forward through the airy sea, 1
And rushing through the ether drew
The clouds to follow as he flew,
Through the great host around him spread,
Grey, golden, dark, and white, and red.

Now in a sable cloud immersed,
Now from its gloomy pall he burst,
Like the bright Lord of Stars concealed
A moment, and again revealed.
Sunábha  1b passed, he neared the coast
Where waited still the Vánar host.
They heard a rushing in the skies,
And lifted up their wondering eyes.
His wild triumphant shout they knew
That louder still and louder grew,
And Jámbaván with eager voice
Called on the Vánars to rejoice:
'Look he returns, the Wind-God's son,
And full success his toils have won;
Triumphant is the shout that comes
Like music of a thousand drums.'
  Up sprang the Vánars from the ground
And listened to the wondrous sound
Of hurtling arm and thigh as through
The region of the air he flew,
Loud as the wind, when tempests rave,
Roars in the prison of the cave.
From crag to crag, from height to height;
They bounded in their mad delight,
And when he touched the mountain's crest,
With reverent welcome round him pressed.
They brought him of their woodland fruits,
They brought him of the choicest roots,
And laughed and shouted in their glee
The noblest of their chiefs to see.
Nor Hanúmán delayed to greet
Sage Jámbaván with reverence meet;
To Angad and the chiefs he bent
For age and rank preëminent,
And briefly spoke: 'These eyes have seen,
These lips addressed, the Maithil queen.'
They sat beneath the waving trees,
And Angad spoke in words like these:
'O noblest of the Vánar kind
For valour power and might combined,
To thee triumphant o'er the foe
Our hopes, our lives and all we owe.
O faithful heart in perils tried,

p. 426

Which toil nor fear could turn aside,
Thy deed the lady will restore,
And Ráma's heart will ache no more,'  1


425:1 I omit two stanzas which continue the metaphor of the sea or lake of air. The moon is its lotus, the sun its wild- duck, the clouds are its water-weeds, Mars is its shark and so on. Gorresio remarks: 'This comparison of a great lake to the sky and of celestial to aquatic objects is one of those ideas which the view and qualities of natural scenery awake in lively fancies. Imagine one of those grand and splendid lakes of India covered with lotus blossoms, furrowed by wild-ducks of the most vivid colours, mantled over here and there with flowers and water weeds &c. and it will be understood how the fancy of the poet could readily compare to the sky radiant with celestial azure the blue expanse of the water, to the soft light of the moon the ****** hue of the lotus, to the splendour of the sun the brilliant colours of the wild-fowl, to the stars the flowers, to the cloud the weeds that float upon the water &c.'

425:1b Sunábha is the mountain that rose from the sea when Hanúmán passed over to Lanká.

Next: Canto LXI.: The Feast of Honey.