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There ceased the Vánar: Ráma pressed
The treasured jewel to his breast,
And from his eyes the waters broke
As to the Vánar king he spoke:
'As o'er her babe the mother weeps,
This flood of tears the jewel steeps.
This gem that shone on Sítá's head
Was Janak'a gift when we were wed,
And the pure brow that wore it lent
New splendour to the ornament.
This gem, bright offspring of the wave,
The King of Heaven to Janak gave,
Whose noble sacrificial rite
Had filled the God with new delight.
Now, as I gaze upon the prize,
Methinks I see my father's eyes.
Methinks I see before me stand
The ruler of Videha's land. 1
Methinks mine arms are folded now
Round her who wore it on her brow.
Speak, Hanumán, O say, dear friend,
What message did my darling send?
O speak, and let thy words impart
Their gentle dew to cool my heart.
Ah, 'tis the crown of woe to see
This gem and ask 'Where, where is she?'
If for one month her heart be strong,
Her days of life will yet be long.
But I, with naught to lend relief,
This very day must die of grief.
Come, Hanumán, and quickly guide
The mourner to his darling's side.
O lead me--thou hast learnt the way--
I cannot and I will not stay.
How can my gentle love endure,
So timid, delicate, and pure,
The dreadful demons fierce and vile
Who watch her in the guarded isle?
No more the light of beauty shines
From Sítá as she weeps and pines.
But pain and sorrow, cloud on cloud.
Her moonlight glory dim and shroud.
O speak, dear Hanumán, and tell
Each word that from her sweet lips fell,
Her words, her words alone can give
The healing balm to make me live.' 2


427:1 Janak was king of Videha or Mithilá in Behar.

427:2 The original contains two more Cantos which end the Book, Canto LXVII begins thus: 'Hanumán thus addressed by the great-souled son of Raghu related to the son of Raghu all that Sítá had said.' And the two Cantos contain nothing but Hanumán's account of his interview with Sítá, and the report of his own speeches as well as of hers.

Next: Book VI