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Then with his heart consumed with woe,
Still brooding on his overthrow
By the great saint he had defied,
At every breath the monarch sighed.
Forth from his home his queen he led,
And to a land far southward fled.
There, fruit and roots his only food,
He practised penance, sense-subdued,
And in that solitary spot
Four virtuous sons the king begot:
Havishyand, from the offering named,
And Madhushyand, for sweetness famed,
Mahárath, chariot-borne in fight,
And Dridhanetra strong of sight.

A thousand years had passed away,
When Brahmá, Sire whom all obey,
Addressed in pleasant words like these
Him rich in long austerities:
'Thou by the penance, Kus'ik's son,
A place 'mid royal saints hast won.
Pleased with thy constant penance, we
This lofty rank assign to thee.'

Thus spoke the glorious Lord most High
Father of earth and air and sky,
And with the Gods around him spread
Home to his changeless sphere he sped.
But Vis'vámitra scorned the grace,
And bent in shame his angry face.
Burning with rage, o'erwhelmed with grief,
Thus in his heart exclaimed the chief:
'No fruit, I ween, have I secured
By strictest penance long endured,
If Gods and all the saints decree
To make but royal saint of me.'
Thus pondering, he with sense subdued,
With sternest zeal his vows renewed.

p. 69

Then reigned a monarch, true of soul,
Who kept each sense in firm control;
Of old Ikshváku's line he came,
That glories in Tris'anku's 1 name.
Within his breast, O Raghu's child,
Arose a longing, strong and wild,
Great offerings to the Gods to pay,
And win, alive, to heaven his way.
His priest Vas'ishtha's aid he sought,
And told him of his secret thought.
But wise Vas'ishtha showed the hope
Was far beyond the monarch's scope.
Tris'anku then, his suit denied,
Far to the southern region hied,
To beg Vas'ishtha's sons to aid
The mighty plan his soul had made.
There King Tris'anku, far renowned,
Vas'ishtha's hundred children found,
Each on his fervent vows intent,
For mind and fame preëminent.
To these the famous king applied,
Wise children of his holy guide.
Saluting each in order due.
His eyes, for shame, he downward threw,
And reverent hands together pressed,
The glorious company addressed:
'I as a humble suppliant seek
Succour of you who aid the weak.
A mighty offering I would pay,
But sage Vas'ishtna answered, Nay.
Be yours permission to accord,
And to my rites your help afford.
Sons of my guide, to each of you
With lowly reverence here I sue;
To each, intent on penance-vow,
O Bráhmans, low my head I bow,
And pray you each with ready heart
In my great rite to bear a part,
That in the body I may rise
And dwell with Gods within the skies.
Sons of rny guide, none else I see
Can give what he refuses me.
Ikshváku's children still depend
Upon their guide most reverend;
And you, as nearest in degree
To him, my deities shall be!'


69:1 'Tris'anku, king of Ayodhyá, was seventh in descent from Ikshváku. and Das'aratha holds the thirty-fourth place in the same genealogv. See Canto LXX. We are thrown back, therefore, to very ancient times, and it occasions some surprise to find Vas'ishtha and Vis'vámitra, actors in these occurences, still alive in Ráma's time.'

Next: Canto LVIII.: Tris'anku Cursed.