Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 


Then forth the giant's fury broke
As Súrpanakhá harshly spoke.
Girt by his lords the demon king
Looked on her, fiercely questioning:

'Who is this Ráma, whence, and where?
His form, his might, his deeds declare.
His wandering steps what purpose led
To Dandak forest, hard to tread?
What arms are his that he could smite
In fray the rovers of the night
And Tris'iras and Dúshan lay
Low on the earth, and Khara slay?
Tell all, my sister, and declare
Who maimed thee thus, of form most fair.'

Thus by the giant king addressed,
While burnt her fury unrepressed,
The giantess declared at length
The hero's form and deeds and strength:

'Long are his arms and large his eyes:
A black deer's skin his dress supplies.
King Das'aratha's son is he,
Fair as Kandarpa's self to see.
Adorned with many a golden band,
A bow, like Indra's, arms his hand,
And shoots a flood of arrows fierce
As venomed snakes to burn and pierce.
I looked, I looked, but never saw
His mighty hand the bowstring draw
That sent the deadly arrows out,
While rang through air his battle-shout.
I looked, I looked, and saw too well
How with that hail the giants fell,
As falls to earth the golden grain,
Struck by the blows of Indra's rain.
He fought, and twice seven thousand, all
Terrific giants, strong and tall,
Fell by the pointed shafts o'erthrown
Which Ráma shot on foot, alone.
Three little hours had scarcely fled,--
Khara and Dúshan both were dead,
And he had freed the saints and made
Asylum sure in Dandak's shade.
Me of his grace the victor spared,
Or I the giants' fate had shared.
The high-souled Ráma would not deign
His hand with woman's blood to stain.
The glorious Lakshman, justly dear,
In gifts and warrior might his peer,
Serves his great brother with the whole
Devotion of his faithful soul:
Impetuous victor, bold and wise,
First in each hardy enterprise,
Still ready by his side to stand,
A second self or better hand.
And Ráma has a large-eyed spouse,
Pure as the moon her cheek and brows,
Dearer than life in Ráma's sight,
Whose happiness is her delight.
With beauteous hair and nose the dame
From head to foot has naught to blame.
She shines the wood's bright Goddess, Queen
Of beauty with her noble mien.
First in the ranks of women placed
Is Sítá of the dainty waist.
In all the earth mine eyes have ne'er
Seen female form so sweetly fair.
Goddess nor nymph can vie with her,
Nor bride of heavenly chorister.
He who might call this dame his own,
Her eager arms about him thrown,
Would live more blest in Sítá's love
Than Indra in the world above.
She, peerless in her form and face
And rich in every gentle grace,
Is worthy bride, O King, for thee,
As thou art meet her lord to be.
I even I, will bring the bride
In triumph to her lover's side--
This beauty fairer than the rest,
With rounded limb and heaving breast.
Each wound upon my face I owe
To cruel Lakshman's savage blow.
But thou, O brother, shalt survey
Her moonlike loveliness to-day,
And Ráma's piercing shafts shall smite
Thine amorous bosom at the sight.
If in thy breast the longing rise
To make thine own the beauteous prize.
Up, let thy better foot begin
The journey and the treasure win.
If, giant Lord, thy favouring eyes
Regard the plan which I advise.
Up, cast all fear and doubt away
And execute the words I say
Come, giant King, this treasure seek,
For thou art strong and they are weak.

p. 270

Let Sítá of the faultless frame
Be borne away and be thy dame.
Thy host in Janasthán who dwelt
   Forth to the battle hied.
And by the shafts which Ráma dealt
   They perished in their pride.
Dúshan and Khara breathe no more,
   Laid low upon the plain.
Arise, and ere the day be o'er
   Take vengeance for the slain.'

Next: Canto XXXV.: Rávan's Journey.