The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 17 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 17

17
Canto XVII. 
Ráma's Approach.
As Ráma, rendering blithe and gay

His loving friends, pursued his way,

He saw on either hand a press

Of mingled people numberless.

The royal street he traversed, where

Incense of aloe filled the air,

Where rose high palaces, that vied

With paly clouds, on either side;

With flowers of myriad colours graced.

And food for every varied taste,

Bright as the glowing path o'erhead

Which feet of Gods celestial tread,

Loud benedictions, sweet to hear,

From countless voices soothed his ear.

While he to each gave due salute

His place and dignity to suit:

“Be thou,” the joyful people cried,

“Be thou our guardian, lord and guide.

Throned and anointed king to-day,

Thy feet set forth upon the way

Wherein, each honoured as a God,

Thy fathers and forefathers trod.

Thy sire and his have graced the throne,

And loving care to us have shown:

Thus blest shall we and ours remain,

Yea still more blest in Ráma's reign.

No more of dainty fare we need,

And but one cherished object heed,

That we may see our prince today

Invested with imperial sway.”

Such were the words and pleasant speech

That Ráma heard, unmoved, from each

Of the dear friends around him spread,

As onward through the street he sped,

For none could turn his eye or thought

From the dear form his glances sought,

With fruitless ardour forward cast

Even when Raghu's son had past.

And he who saw not Ráma nigh,

Nor caught a look from Ráma's eye,

A mark for scorn and general blame,

Reproached himself in bitter shame.

For to each class his equal mind

With sympathy and love inclined

Most fully of the princely four,

So greatest love to him they bore.

His circling course the hero bent

Round shrine and altar, reverent,

Round homes of Gods, where cross-roads met,

Where many a sacred tree was set.

Near to his father's house he drew

Like Indra's beautiful to view,

And with the light his glory gave

Within the royal palace drave.

Through three broad courts, where bowmen kept

Their watch and ward, his coursers swept,

Then through the two remaining went

On foot the prince preëminent.

Through all the courts the hero passed,

And gained the ladies' bower at last;

Then through the door alone withdrew,

And left without his retinue.

When thus the monarch's noble boy

Had gone his sire to meet,

The multitude, elate with joy,

Stood watching in the street,

And his return with eager eyes

Expected at the gates,

As for his darling moon to rise

The King of Rivers285 waits.