The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 10 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 10

Canto X. 
Dasaratha's Speech.
As Queen Kaikeyí thus obeyed

The sinful counsel of her maid

She sank upon the chamber floor,

As sinks in anguish, wounded sore,

An elephant beneath the smart

Of the wild hunter's venomed dart.

The lovely lady in her mind

Revolved the plot her maid designed,

And prompt the gain and risk to scan

She step by step approved the plan.

Misguided by the hump-back's guile

She pondered her resolve awhile,

As the fair path that bliss secured

The miserable lady lured,

Devoted to her queen, and swayed

By hopes of gain and bliss, the maid

Rejoiced, her lady's purpose known,

And deemed the prize she sought her own.

Then bent upon her purpose dire,

Kaikeyí with her soul on fire,

Upon the floor lay, languid, down,

Her brows contracted in a frown.

The bright-hued wreath that bound her hair,

Chains, necklets, jewels rich and rare,

Stripped off by her own fingers lay

Spread on the ground in disarray,

And to the floor a lustre lent

As stars light up the firmament.

Thus prostrate in the mourner's cell,

In garb of woe the lady fell,

Her long hair in a single braid,

Like some fair nymph of heaven dismayed.272

The monarch, Ráma to install,

With thoughtful care had ordered all,

And now within his home withdrew,

Dismissing first his retinue.

Now all the town has heard, thought he,

What joyful rite the morn will see.

So turned he to her bower to cheer

With the glad news his darling's ear.

Majestic, as the Lord of Night,

When threatened by the Dragon's might,

Bursts radiant on the evening sky

Pale with the clouds that wander by,

So Daśaratha, great in fame,

To Queen Kaikeyí's palace came.

There parrots flew from tree to tree,

And gorgeous peacocks wandered free,

While ever and anon was heard

The note of some glad water-bird.

Here loitered dwarf and hump-backed maid,

There lute and lyre sweet music played.

Here, rich in blossom, creepers twined

O'er grots with wondrous art designed,

There Champac and Aśoka flowers

Hung glorious o'er the summer bowers,

And mid the waving verdure rose

Gold, silver, ivory porticoes.

Through all the months in ceaseless store

The trees both fruit and blossom bore.

With many a lake the grounds were graced;

Seats gold and silver, here were placed;

Here every viand wooed the taste,

It was a garden meet to vie

E'en with the home of Gods on high.

Within the mansion rich and vast

The mighty Daśaratha passed:

Not there was his beloved queen

On her fair couch reclining seen.

With love his eager pulses beat

For the dear wife he came to meet,

And in his blissful hopes deceived,

He sought his absent love and grieved.

For never had she missed the hour

Of meeting in her sumptuous bower,

And never had the king of men

Entered the empty room till then.

Still urged by love and anxious thought

News of his favourite queen he sought,

For never had his loving eyes

Found her or selfish or unwise.

Then spoke at length the warder maid,

With hands upraised and sore afraid:

“My Lord and King, the queen has sought

The mourner's cell with rage distraught.”

The words the warder maiden said

He heard with soul disquieted,

And thus as fiercer grief assailed,

His troubled senses wellnigh failed.

Consumed by torturing fires of grief

The king, the world's imperial chief,

His lady lying on the ground

In most unqueenly posture, found.

The aged king, all pure within,

Saw the young queen resolved on sin,

Low on the ground, his own sweet wife,

To him far dearer than his life,

Like some fair creeping plant uptorn,

Or like a maid of heaven forlorn,

A nymph of air or Goddess sent

From Swarga down in banishment.

As some wild elephant who tries

To soothe his consort as she lies

Struck by the hunter's venomed dart,

So the great king disturbed in heart,

Strove with soft hand and fond caress

To soothe his darling queen's distress,

And in his love addressed with sighs

The lady of the lotus eyes:

“I know not, Queen, why thou shouldst be

Thus angered to the heart with me.

Say, who has slighted thee, or whence

Has come the cause of such offence

That in the dust thou liest low,

And rendest my fond heart with woe,

As if some goblin of the night

Had struck thee with a deadly blight,

And cast foul influence on her

Whose spells my loving bosom stir?

I have Physicians famed for skill,

Each trained to cure some special ill:

My sweetest lady, tell thy pain,

And they shall make thee well again.

Whom, darling, wouldst thou punished see?

Or whom enriched with lordly fee?

Weep not, my lovely Queen, and stay

This grief that wears thy frame away;

Speak, and the guilty shall be freed.

The guiltless be condemned to bleed,

The poor enriched, the rich abased,

The low set high, the proud disgraced.

My lords and I thy will obey,

All slaves who own thy sovereign sway;

And I can ne'er my heart incline

To check in aught one wish of thine.

Now by my life I pray thee tell

The thoughts that in thy bosom dwell.

The power and might thou knowest well,

Should from thy breast all doubt expel.

I swear by all my merit won,

Speak, and thy pleasure shall be done.

Far as the world's wide bounds extend

My glorious empire knows no end.

Mine are the tribes in eastern lands,

And those who dwell on Sindhu's sands:

Mine is Suráshṭra, far away,

Suvíra's realm admits my sway.

My best the southern nations fear,

The Angas and the Vangas hear.

And as lord paramount I reign

O'er Magadh and the Matsyas' plain,

Kośal, and Káśi's wide domain:273

All rich in treasures of the mine,

In golden corn, sheep, goats, and kine.

Choose what thou wilt. Kaikeyí, thence:

But tell me, O my darling, whence

Arose thy grief, and it shall fly

Like hoar-frost when the sun is high.”

She, by his loving words consoled,

Longed her dire purpose to unfold,

And sought with sharper pangs to wring

The bosom of her lord the king.