Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 


Then rapid as the lightning's flame
From Rávan's halls the Vánar came
Each lingering hope was cold and dead,
And thus within his heart he said:
'Alas, my fruitless search is done:
Long have I toiled for Raghu's son;
And yet with all my care have seen
No traces of the ravished queen.
It may be, while the giant through
The lone air with his captive flew,
The Maithil lady, tender-souled,
Slipped struggling from the robber's hold,
And the wild sea is rolling now
O'er Sítá of the beauteous brow.
Or did she perish of alarm
When circled by the monster's arm?
Or crushed, unable to withstand
The pressure of that monstrous hand?
Or when she spurned his suit with scorn,
Her tender limbs were rent and torn.
And she, her virtue unsubdued,
Was slaughtered for the giant's food.
Shall I to Raghu's son relate
His well-beloved consort's fate,
My crime the same if I reveal
The mournful story or conceal?
If with no happier tale to tell
I seek our mountain citadel,
How shall I face our lord the king,
And meet his angry questioning?
How shall I greet my friends, and brook
The muttered taunt, the scornful look?
How to the son of Raghu go
And kill him with my tale of woe?
For sure the mournful tale I bear
Will strike him dead with wild despair.
And Lakshman ever fond and true,
Will, undivided, perish too.
Bharat will learn his brother's fate,
And die of grief disconsolate,
And sad Satrughna with a cry
Of anguish on his corpse will die.
Our king Sugrívar found;
True to each bond in honour bound.
Will mourn the pledge he vainly gave,
And die with him he could not save.
Then Rumá his devoted wife
For her dead lord will leave her life,
And Tára, widowed and forlorn,
Will die in anguish, sorrow-worn.

On Angad too the blow will fall
Killing the hope and joy of all.
The ruin of their prince and king
The Vánarsls with woe will wring,
And each, overwhelmed with dark despair,
Will beat his head and rend his hair.
Each, graced and honoured long, will miss
His careless life of easy bliss,
In happy troops will play no more
On breezy rock and shady shore,
But with his darling wife and child
Will seek the mountain top, and wild
With hopeless desolation, throw
Himself, his wife, and babe, below.
All no: unless the dame I find
I ne'er will meet my Vánar,
Here rather in some distant dell
A lonely hermit will I dwell,
Where roots and berries will supply
My humble wants until I die;
Or on the shore will raise a pyre
And perish in the kindled fire.
Or I will strictly fast until
With slow decay my life I kill,
And ravening dogs and birds of air
The limbs of Hanumánl tear.
Here will I die, but never bring
Destruction on my race and king.
But still unsearched one grove I see
With many a bright As'oka tree.
There will I enter in, and through
The tangled shade my search renew.
Be glory to the host on high,
The Sun and Moon who light the sky,
The Vasus  1 and the Maruts'  2 train,
Ádityas  3 and the As'vins  4 twain.
So may I win success, and bring
The lady back with triumphing,'

Next: Canto XIV.: The As'oka Grove.