The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 26 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 26

26
Canto XXVI. 
Alone With Sítá.
So Ráma, to his purpose true,

To Queen Kauśalyá bade adieu,

Received the benison she gave,

And to the path of duty clave.

As through the crowded street he passed,

A radiance on the way he cast,

And each fair grace, by all approved,

The bosoms of the people moved.

Now of the woeful change no word

The fair Videhan bride had heard;

The thought of that imperial rite

Still filled her bosom with delight.

With grateful heart and joyful thought

The Gods in worship she had sought,

And, well in royal duties learned,

Sat longing till her lord returned,

Not all unmarked by grief and shame

Within his sumptuous home he came,

And hurried through the happy crowd

With eye dejected, gloomy-browed.

Up Sítá sprang, and every limb

Trembled with fear at sight of him.

She marked that cheek where anguish fed,

Those senses care-disquieted.

For, when he looked on her, no more

Could his heart hide the load it bore,

Nor could the pious chief control

The paleness o'er his cheek that stole.

His altered cheer, his brow bedewed

With clammy drops, his grief she viewed,

And cried, consumed with fires of woe,

“What, O my lord, has changed thee so?

Vrihaspati looks down benign,

And the moon rests in Pushya's sign,

As Bráhmans sage this day declare:

Then whence, my lord, this grief and care?

Why does no canopy, like foam

For its white beauty, shade thee home,

Its hundred ribs spread wide to throw

Splendour on thy fair head below?

Where are the royal fans, to grace

The lotus beauty of thy face,

Fair as the moon or wild-swan's wing,

And waving round the new-made king?

Why do no sweet-toned bards rejoice

To hail thee with triumphant voice?

No tuneful heralds love to raise

Loud music in their monarch's praise?

Why do no Bráhmans, Scripture-read,

Pour curds and honey on thy head,

Anointed, as the laws ordain,

With holy rites, supreme to reign?

Where are the chiefs of every guild?

Where are the myriads should have filled

The streets, and followed home their king

With merry noise and triumphing?

Why does no gold-wrought chariot lead

With four brave horses, best for speed?

No elephant precede the crowd

Like a huge hill or thunder cloud,

Marked from his birth for happy fate,

Whom signs auspicious decorate?

Why does no henchman, young and fair,

Precede thee, and delight to bear

Entrusted to his reverent hold

The burthen of thy throne of gold?

Why, if the consecrating rite

Be ready, why this mournful plight?

Why do I see this sudden change,

This altered mien so sad and strange?”

To her, as thus she weeping cried,

Raghu's illustrious son replied:

“Sítá, my honoured sire's decree

Commands me to the woods to flee.

O high-born lady, nobly bred

In the good paths thy footsteps tread,

Hear, Janak's daughter, while I tell

The story as it all befell.

Of old my father true and brave

Two boons to Queen Kaikeyí gave.

Through these the preparations made

For me to-day by her are stayed,

For he is bound to disallow

This promise by that earlier vow.

In Daṇḍak forest wild and vast

Must fourteen years by me be passed.

My father's will makes Bharat heir,

The kingdom and the throne to share.

Now, ere the lonely wild I seek,

I come once more with thee to speak.

In Bharat's presence, O my dame,

Ne'er speak with pride of Ráma's name:

Another's eulogy to hear

Is hateful to a monarch's ear.

Thou must with love his rule obey

To whom my father yields the sway.

With love and sweet observance learn

His grace, and more the king's, to earn.

Now, that my father may not break

The words of promise that he spake,

To the drear wood my steps are bent:

Be firm, good Sítá, and content.

Through all that time, my blameless spouse,

Keep well thy fasts and holy vows.

Rise from thy bed at break of day,

And to the Gods due worship pay.

With meek and lowly love revere

The lord of men, my father dear,

And reverence to Kauśalyá show,

My mother, worn with eld and woe:

By duty's law, O best of dames,

High worship from thy love she claims,

Nor to the other queens refuse

Observance, rendering each her dues:

By love and fond attention shown

They are my mothers like mine own.

Let Bharat and Śatrughna bear

In thy sweet love a special share:

Dear as my life, O let them be

Like brother and like son to thee.

In every word and deed refrain

From aught that Bharat's soul may pain:

He is Ayodhyá's king and mine,

The head and lord of all our line.

For those who serve and love them much

With weariless endeavour, touch

And win the gracious hearts of kings.

While wrath from disobedience springs.

Great monarchs from their presence send

Their lawful sons who still offend,

And welcome to the vacant place

Good children of an alien race.

Then, best of women, rest thou here,

And Bharat's will with love revere.

Obedient to thy king remain,

And still thy vows of truth maintain.

To the wide wood my steps I bend:

Make thou thy dwelling here;

See that thy conduct ne'er offend,

And keep my words, my dear.”