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She ceased: and Lakshman gave assent,
Won by her gentle argument.
So Tárá's pleading, just and mild,
His softening heart had reconciled.
His altered mood Sugríva saw,
And cast aside the fear and awe
Like raiment heavy with the rain
Which on his troubled soul had lain.
Then quickly to the ground he threw
His flowery garland, bright of hue,
Which round his royal neck he wore,
And, sobered, was himself once more.
Then turning to the princely man
In soothing words the king began:
'My glory, wealth, and royal sway
To other hands had passed away:
But Ráma to my rescue came,
And gave me back my power and fame.
O Lakshman, say, whose grateful heart

p. 368

Could nurse the hope to pay in part,
By service of a life, the deed
Of Ráma sprung of heavenly seed?
His foeman Rávan shall be slain,
And Sítá shall be his again.
The hero's side I will not leave,
But he the conquest shall achieve.
What need of help has he who drew
His bow, and one great arrow flew
Trough seven tall trees, a mountain rent,
And cleft the earth with force unspent?
What aid needs he who shook his bow,
And at the sound the earth below
With hill and wood and rooted rock
Quaked feverous with the thunder shock?
Yet all my legions will I bring.
And follow close the warrior king
Marching on his impetuous way
Fierce Rávan and his hosts to slay.
If I be guilty of offence,
Careless through love or negligence,
Let him his loyal slave forgive;
For error cleaves to all who live.'
   Thus king Sugriva, good and brave,
In humble words his answer gave,
Softened was Lakshman's angry mood
Who thus his friendly speech renewed:
'My brother, Vánar King, will see
A champion and a friend in thee.
So strong art thou, so brave and bold,
So pure in thought, so humble-souled,
That thou deservest well to reign
And all a monarch's bliss to gain.
Lend thou my brother aid, and all
His foes beneath his arm will fall.
Full well the words thou speakest suit
A chieftain wise and resolute.
With grateful heart that loves the right,
And foot that never yields in tight.
O come, and my sad brother cheer
Who mourns the wife he holds so dear.
O pardon, friend, my harsh address,
And Ráma's frantic bitterness.'


367:1b Rohiní is the name of the ninth Nakshatra or lunar asterism personified as a daughter of Daksha, and the favourite wife of the Moon.

    Aldebaran is the principal star in the constellation.

Next: Canto XXXVII.: The Gathering.