Sugríva heard, and, trained and tried
In counsel, to his lords replied:
'No deed of mine, no hasty word
The anger of the prince has stirred.
But haply some who hate me still
And watch their time to work me ill,
Have slandered me to Raghu's son,
Accused of deeds I ne'er have done.
Now, O my lords--for you are wise--
Speak truly what your hearts advise.
And, pondering each event, inquire
The reason of the prince's ire.
No fear have I of Lakshman: none:
No dread of Raghu's mightier son.
But wrath, that fires a friendly breast
Without due cause, distrubs my rest.
With labour light is friendship gained.
But with severest toil maintained.
And doubt is strong, and faith is weak,
And friendship dies when traitors speak.
Hence is my troubled bosom cold
With fear of Rama lofty-souled;
For heavy on my spirit weigh
His favours I can ne'er repay.'
He ceased: and Hanuman of all
The Vánars in the council hall
In wisdom first, and rank, expressed
The thoughts that filled his prudent breast:
'No marvel thou rememberest yet
The service thou shouldst ne'er forget,
How the brave prince of Raghu'a seed
Thy days from fear and peril freed;
And Báli for thy sake o'erthrew,
Whom Indra's self might scarce subdue.
I doubt not Ráma's anger burns
For the scant love thy heart returns.
For this he sends his brother, him
Whose glory never waxes dim.
Sunk in repose thy careless eye
Marks not the seasons as they fly,
Nor sees that autumn has begun
With dark blooms opening to the sun.
Clear is the sky no cloudlet mars
The splendour of the shining stars.
The balmy air is soft and still,
And clear and bright are lake and rill.
Thou heedest not with blinded eyes
The hour for warlike enterprise.
Hence Lakshman hither comes to break
Thy slothful trance and bid thee wake.
Then, Monarch, with a patient ear
The high-souled Ráma's message hear,
Which, reft of wife and realm and friends,
Thus by another's mouth he sends.
Thou, Vánar King, hast done amiss:
And now I see no way but this;
Before his envoy humbly stand
And sue for peace with suppliant hand.
High duty bids a courtier seek
His master's weal, and freely speak.
So by no thought of fear controlled
My speech, O King, is free and bold,
For Ráma, if his anger glow,
Can, with the terrors of his bow.
This earth with all the Gods subdue,
Gandharvas, 1 and the demon crew.
Unwise to stir his wrathful mood
Whose favour must again be wooed.
And, most of all, unwise for one
Grateful like thee for service done.
Go with thy son and kinsmen: bend
Thy humble head and greet thy friend.
And, like a fond obedient spouse,
Be faithful to thy plighted vows.
363:1 In a note on the corresponding passage in the Bengal recension Gorresio says: 'The text here makes use of a strange and something more than bold metaphor which I have sought to modify. The text says: "Here is Lakshman the charioteer of words who by the orders of Rama has come hither upon the ear of resolution." In his Italian translation he renders the passage: "Here is Laksh- man, the brother of Rama who by his orders comes hither the determined bearer of words."
364:1 Indra's associates in arms, and musicians of his heaven.