Angad and Tára by his side,
Again rose Hanumántried
Each mountain cavern, dark and deep,
And stony pass and wooded steep,
The lion's and the tiger's home,
By rushing torrents white with foam.
Then with new ardour, south and west,
O'er Vindhya's height the search they pressed.
The day prescribed was near and they
Still wandered on their weary way.
They reached the southern land beset
With woody mountains like a net.
At length a mighty cave they spied
That opened in a mountain's side.
Where many a verdant creeper grew
And o'er the mouth its tendrils threw.
Thence issued crane, and swan, and drake,
And trooping birds that love the lake.
The Vánarsed within to cool
Their fevered lips in spring or pool.
Vast was the cavern dark and dread,
Where not a ray of light was shed;
Yet not the more their eyesight failed,
Their courage sank or valour quailed.
On through the gloom the Vánarssed
With hunger, thirst, and toil distressed,
Poor helpless wanderers, sad, forlorn,
With wasted faces wan and worn.
At length, when life seemed lost for aye,
They saw a splendour as of day,
A wondrous forest, fair and bright,
Where golden trees shot flamy light.
And lotus-covered pools were there
With pleasant waters fresh and fair,
And streams their rippling currents rolled
By seats of silver and of gold.
Fair houses reared their stately height
Of burnished gold and lazulite,
And glorious was the lustre thrown
Through lattices of precious stone.
And there were flowers and fruit on stems
Of coral decked with rarest gems,
And emerald leaves on silver trees,
And honeycomb and golden bees.
Then as the Vánarser drew,
A holy woman met their view.
Around her form was duly tied
A garment of the blackdeer's hide. 1
Pure votaress she shone with light
Of fervent zeal and holy rite.
Then Hanumánre the rest
With reverent words the dame addressed:
'Who art thou? say: and who is lord
Of this vast cave with treasures stored?'