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'Thou bringest me,' she cried again,
'A mingled draught of bliss and pain
Bliss, that he wears me in his heart,
Pain, that he wakes and weeps apart,
O, see how Fate is king of all,
Now lifts us high, now bids us fall,
And leads a captive bound with cord
The meanest slave, the proudest lord,
Thus even now Fate's stern decree
Has struck with grief my lord and me.
Say, how shall Ráma reach the shore
Of sorrow's waves that rise and roar,
A shipwrecked sailor, wellnigh drowned
In the wild sea that foams around?
When will he smite the demon down,
Lay low in dust the giants' town,
And, glorious from his foes' defeat,
His wife, his long-lost Sítá, meet?
Go, bid him speed to smite his foes
Before the year shall reach its close.
Ten months are fled but two remain,
Then Rávan's captive must be slain.
Oft has Vibhíshan,  1b just and wise,
Besought him to restore his prize.
But deaf is Rávan's senseless ear:
His brother's rede he will not hear.
Vibhíshan's daughter  2b loves me well:
From her I learnt the tale I tell,
Avindhva  3b prudent, just, and old,
The giant's fall has oft foretold;
But Fate impels him to despise
His word on whom he most relies.
In Ráma's love I rest secure,
For my fond heart is true and pure,
And him, my noblest lord, I deem
In valour, power, and might supreme.'
   As from her eyes the waters ran,
The Vánar chief again began:
'Yea, Ráma, when he hears my tale,.
Will with our hosts these walls assail,
Or I myself, O Queen, this day
Will bear thee from the fiend away,
Will lift thee up, and take thee hence
To him thy refuge and defence;
Will take thee in my arms, and flee;
To Ráma far beyond the sea;
Will place thee on Prasravan hill
Where Raghu's son is waiting still.'

p. 416

   'How canst thou bear me hence?' she cried,
'The way is long, the sea is wide.
To bear my very weight would be
A task too hard for one like thee.' 1
   Swift rose before her startled eyes
The Vánar in his native size,
Like Mandar's hill or Meru's height,
Encircled with a blaze of light.
'O come,' he cried, 'thy fears dispel,
Nor doubt that I will bear thee well.
Come, in my strength and care confide,
And sit in joy by Ráma's side.'
   Again she spake: 'I know thee now,
Brave, resolute, and strong art thou;
In glory like the Lord of Fire
With storm-swift feet which naught may tire
But yet with thee I may not fly:
For, borne so swiftly through the sky,
Mine eyes would soon grow faint and dim,
My dizzy brain would reel and swim,
My yielding arms relax their hold,
And I in terror uncontrolled
Should fall into the raging sea
Where hungry sharks would feed on me.
Nor can I touch, of free accord,
The limbs of any save my lord.
If, by the giant forced away,
In his enfolding arms I lay,
Not mine, O Vánar, was the blame;
What could I do, a helpless dame?
Go, to my lord my message bear,
And bid him end my long despair.'


415:1b Vibhíshan is the wicked Rávan's good brother.

415:2b Her name is Kalá, or in the Bengal recension Nandá.

415:3b One of Rávan's chief councillors.

Next: Canto XXXVIII.: Sitá's Gem.