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The guardian goddess thus subdued.
The Vanar chief his way pursued,
And reached the broad imperial street
Where fresh-blown flowers were bright and sweet.
The city seemed a fairer sky
Where cloud-like houses rose on high,
Whence the soft sound of tabors came
Through many a latticed window frame,
And ever and anon rang out
The merry laugh and joyous shout.
From house to house the Vanar went
And marked each varied ornament,
Where leaves aud blossoms deftly strung
About the crystal columns hung.
Then soft and full and sweet and clear
The song of women charmed his ear,
And, blending with their dulcet tones,
Their anklets' chime and tinkling zones.
He heard the Rakshas minstrel sing
The praises of their matchless king;
And softly through the evening air
Came murmurings of text and prayer,
Here moved a priest with tonsured head,
And there an eager envoy sped,
Mid crowds with hair in matted twine
Clothed in the skins of deer and kine,--
Whose only arms, which none might blame,
Were blades of grass and holy flame  1b
There savage warriors roamed in bands
With clubs and maces in their bauds,
Some dwarfish forms, some huge of size.
With single ears and single eyes.
Some shone in glittering mail arrayed
With bow and mace and flashing blade;
Fiends of all shapes and every hue,
Some fierce and foul, some fair to view.

p. 399

He saw the grisly legions wait
In strictest watch at Rávan's gate,
Whose palace on the mountain crest
Rose proudly towering o'er the rest,
Fenced with high ramparts from the foe,
And lotus-covered moats below.
But Hanuman, unhindered, found
Quick passage through the guarded bound,
Mid elephants of noblest breed,
And gilded car and neighing steed.


398:1b Priests who fought only with the weapons of religion, the sacred grass used like the verbena of the Romans at sacred rites and the consecrated fire to consume the offering of ghee.

Next: Canto VI. : The Court.