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But Rávan soorned the rede he gave
In timely words to warn and save,
E'en as the wretch who hates to live
Rejects the herb the leeches give.
By fate to sin and ruin spurred,
That sage advice the giant heard,
Then in reproaches hard and stern
Thus to Márícha spoke in turn:
   'Is this thy counsel, weak and base,
Unworthy of thy giant race?
Thy speech is fruitless, vain, thy toil
Like casting seed on barren soil.
No words of thine shall drive me back
From Ráma and the swift attack.
A fool is he, inured to sin.
And more, of human origin.
The craven, at a woman's call
To leave his sire, his mother, all
The friends he loved, the power and sway.
And hasten to the woods away!
But now his anger will I rouse,
Stealing away his darling spouse.
I in thy sight will ravish her
From Khara's cruel murderer.
Upon this plan my soul is bent,
And naught shall move my firm intent,
Not if the way through demons led
And Gods with Indra at their head.
'Tis thine, when questioned, to explain
The hope and fear, the loss and gain,
And, when thy king thy thoughts would know,
The triumph or the danger show.
A prudent counsellor should wait,
And speak when ordered in debate,
With hands uplifted, calm and meek,
If honour and reward he seek.
Or, when some prudent course he sees
Which, spoken, may his king displease

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He should by hints of dexterous art
His counsel to his lord impart.
But prudent words are said in vain
When the blunt speech brings grief and pain.
A high-souled king will scarcely thank
The man who shames his royal rank.
Five are the shapes that kings assume,
Of majesty, of grace, and gloom:
Like Indra now, or Agni, now
Like the dear Moon, with placid brow:
Like mighty Varun now they show,
Now fierce as He who rules below.
O giant, monarchs lofty-souled
Are kind and gentle, stern and bold,
With gracious love their gifts dispense
And swiftly punish each offence.
Thus subjects should their rulers view
With all respect and honour due.
But folly leads thy heart to slight
Thy monarch and neglect his right.
Thou hast in lawless pride addressed
With bitter words thy royal guest.
I asked thee not my strength to scan,
Or [*} and profit in the plan.
I only spoke to tell the deed
O mighty one, by me decreed,
And bid thee in the peril lend
Thy succour in support thy friend.
Hear me again, and I will tell
How thou canst aid my venture well.
In semblance of a golden deer
Adorned with silver drops, appear:
And near the cottage in the way
Of Ráma and his consort stray.
Draw nigh, and wandering through the brake
With thy strange form her fancy take.
The Maithil dame with wondering eyes
Will took upon thy fair disguise,
And quickly bid her husband go
And bring the deer that charms her so,
When Raghu's son has left the place,
Still pressing onward in the chase,
Cry out, 'O Lakshman! Ah, mine own!'
With voice resembling Ráma's tone.
When Lakshman hears his brother's cry,
Impelled by Sitá he will fly,
Restless with eager love, to aid
The hunter in the distant shade.
When both her guards have left her side,
Even as Indra, thousand-eyed,
Clasps Sachi, will I bear away
The Maithil dame an easy prey.
When thou, my friend, this aid hast lent,
Go where thou wilt and live content.
True servant, faithful to thy vow,
With [*half?} my realm I thee endow.
Go forth, may luck thy way attend
That leads thee to the happy end.
[I:ii m.,ir v}, will quickly be

In Dandak wood, and follow thee.
So will I cheat this Ráma's eyes
And win without a blow the prize;
And safe return to Lanká's town
With thee, my friend, this day shall crown.
But if thou wilt not aid my will,
My band this day thy blood shall spill.
Yea, thou must share the destined task,
For force will take the help I ask.
No bliss that rebel's life attends
Whose stubborn will his lord offends.
   Thy life, if thou the task assay,
     jeopardy may stand;
   Oppose me, and this very day
     Thou diest by this hand.
   Now ponder all that thou hast heard
     Within thy prudent breast:
   Reflect with care on every word,
     And do what seems the best.'

Next: Canto XLI.: Márícha's Reply.