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He ceased: and Indrajit the pride
Of Rákshas warriors thus replied:
   'Is this a speech our king should hear,
This counsel of ignoble fear?
A scion of our glorious race
Should ne'er conceive a thought so base,
But one mid all our kin we find.
Vibhíshan, whose degenerate mind
No spark of gallant pride retains.
Whose coward soul his lineage stains.
Against one giant what can two
Unhappy sons of Raghu do?
Away with idle fears, away!
Matched with our meanest, what are they?
Beneath my conquering prowess fell
The Lord of earth and heaven and hell,  1
Through every startled region dread
Of my resistless fury spread;
And Gods in each remotest sphere
Confessed the universal fear.
Rending the air with roar and groan,
Airávt  2 to the earth was thrown.
From his huge head the tusks I drew,
And smote the Gods with fear anew.
Shall I who tame celestials' pride,
By whom the fiends are terrified,
Now prove a weakling little worth,
And fail to slay those sons of earth?'
   He ceased: Vibhíshan trained and tried
In war and counsel thus replied
   'Thy speech is marked with scorn of truth,
With rashness and the pride of youth.
Yea, to thy ruin like a child
Thou pratest, and thy words are wild.
Most dear, O Indrajit, to thee
Should Rávan's weal and safety be,
For thou art called his son, but thou
Art proved his direst foeman now,
When warned by me thou hast not tried
To turn the coming woe aside.
Both thee and him 'twere meet to slay,
Who brought thee to this hall to-day,
And dared so rash a youth admit
To council where the wisest sit.
Presumptuous, wild, devoid of sense,
Filled full of pride and insolence,
Thv reckless tongue thou wilt not rule
That speaks the counsel of a fool.
Who in the fight may brook or shun
The arrows shot by Raghu's son
With flame and fiery vengeance sped,
Dire as his staff who rules the dead?
O Rávan, let thy people live,
And to the son of Raghu give
Fair robes and gems and precious ore,
And Sitá to his arms restore.'

p. 438


437:1 Trilohanatha, Lord of the Three Worlds, is a title of Indra.

437:2 The celestial elephant that carries Indra.

Next: Canto XVI.: Rávan's Speech.