The monster ceased: the princely pair
Heard great Kabandha's eager prayer.
Within a mountain cave they sped,
Where kindled fire with care they fed.
Then Lakshman in his mighty hands
Brought ample store of lighted brands,
And to a pile of logs applied
The flame that ran from side to side.
The spreading glow with gentle force
Consumed Kabundha's mighty corse,
Till the unresting flames had drunk
The marrow of the monstrous trunk,
As balls of butter melt away
Amid the fires that o'er them play.
Then from the pyre, like flame that glows
Undimmed by cloudy smoke, he rose,
In garments pure of spot or speck,
A heavenly wreath about his neck.
Resplendent in his bright attire
He sprang exultant from the pyre.
While from neck, arm, and foot was sent
The flash of gold and ornament.
High on a chariot, bright of hue,
Which swans of fairest pinion drew,
He filled each region of the air
With splendid glow reflected there,
Then in the sky he stayed his car
And called to Ráma from afar:
'Hear, chieftain, while my lips explain
The means to win thy spouse again.
Six plans, O prince, the wise pursue
To reach the aims we hold in view. 1
When evils ripening sorely press,
They load the wretch with new distress.
So thou and Lakshman, tried by woe,
Have felt at last a fiercer blow,
And plunged in bitterest grief to-day
Lament thy consort torn away.
There is no course but this: attend;
Make, best of friends, that chief thy friend.
Unless his prospering help thou gain
Thy plans and hopes must all be vain.
O Ráma, hear my words, and seek,
Sugríva, for of him I speak.
His brother Báli, Indra's son,
Expelled him when the fight was won.
With four great chieftains, faithful still,
He dwells on Rishyamúka's hill.--
Fair mountain, lovely with the flow
Of Pampá's waves that glide below,--
Lord of the Vánars 1b just and true,
Strong, very glorious, bright to view,
Unmatched in counsel, firm and meek,
Bound by each word his lips may speak,
Good, splendid, mighty, bold and brave,
Wise in each plan to guide and save,
His brother, fired by lust of sway,
Drove forth the prince in woods to stray.
In all thy search for Sítá he
Thy ready friend and help will be.
With him to aid thee in thy quest
Dismiss all sorrow from thy breast.
Time is a mighty power, and none
His fixed decree can change or shun.
So rich reward thy toil shall bless,
And naught can stay thy sure success.
Speed hence, O chief, without delay,
To strong Sugríva take thy way.
This hour thy footsteps onward bend,
And make that mighty prince thy friend.
With him before the attesting flame
In solemn truth alliance frame.
Nor wilt thou, if thy heart be wise,
Sugríva, Vánar king, despise.
Of boundless strength, all shapes he wears,
He hearkens to a suppliant's prayers,
And, grateful for each kindly deed,
Will help and save in hour of need,
And you, I ween, the power possess
To aid his hopes and give redress.
He, let his cause succeed or fail,
Will help you, and you must prevail.
A banished prince, in fear and woe
He roams where Pampá's waters flow,
True offspring of the Lord of Light
Expelled by Báli's conquering might.
Go, Raghu's son, that chieftain seek
Who dwells on Rishyamúka's peak.
Before the flame thy weapons cast
And bind the bonds of friendship fast.
For, prince of all the Vánar race,
He in his wisdom knows each place
Where dwell the fierce gigantic brood
Who make the flesh of man their food.
To him, O Raghu's son, to him
Naught in the world is dark or dim,
Where'er the mighty Day-God gleams
Resplendent with a thousand beams.
He over rocky height and hill,
Through gloomy cave, by lake and rill,
Will with his Vánars seek the prize,
And tell thee where thy lady lies.
And he will send great chieftains forth
To east and west and south and north,
To seek the distant spot where she
All desolate laments for thee.
He even in Rávan's halls would find
Thy Sítá, gem of womankind.
Yea, if the blameless lady lay
On Meru's loftiest steep.
Or, far removed from light of day,
Where hell is dark and deep,
That chief of all the Vánar race
His way would still explore,
Meet the cowed giants face to face
And thy dear spouse restore."
314:1 Peace, war, marching, halting, sowing dissensions, and seeking protection.
314:1b See Book I. Canto XVI.