The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 41 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 41

41
Canto XLI. 
The Citizens' Lament.
The lion chief with hands upraised

Was born from eyes that fondly gazed.

But then the ladies' bower was rent

With cries of weeping and lament:

“Where goes he now, our lord, the sure

Protector of the friendless poor,

In whom the wretched and the weak

Defence and aid were wont to seek?

All words of wrath he turned aside,

And ne'er, when cursed, in ire replied.

He shared his people's woe, and stilled

The troubled breast which rage had filled.

Our chief, on lofty thoughts intent,

In glorious fame preëminent:

As on his own dear mother, thus

He ever looked on each of us.

Where goes he now? His sire's behest,

By Queen Kaikeyí's guile distressed,

Has banished to the forest hence

Him who was all the world's defence.

Ah, senseless King, to drive away

The hope of men, their guard and stay,

To banish to the distant wood

Ráma the duteous, true, and good!”

The royal dames, like cows bereaved

Of their young calves, thus sadly grieved.

The monarch heard them as they wailed,

And by the fire of grief assailed

For his dear son, he bowed his head,

And all his sense and memory fled.

Then were no fires of worship fed,

Thick darkness o'er the sun was spread.

The cows their thirsty calves denied,

And elephants flung their food aside.

Triśanku, Jupiter looked dread,

And Mercury and Mars the red,

In direful opposition met,

The glory of the moon beset.

The lunar stars withheld their light,

The planets were no longer bright,

But meteors with their horrid glare,

And dire Viśákhás lit the air.

As troubled Ocean heaves and raves

When Doom's wild tempest sweeps the waves,

Thus all Ayodhyá reeled and bent

When Ráma to the forest went.

And chilling grief and dark despair

Fell suddenly on all men there.

Their wonted pastime all forgot,

Nor thought of food, or touched it not.

Crowds in the royal street were seen

With weeping eye and troubled mien:

No more a people gay and glad,

Each head and heart was sick and sad.

No more the cool wind softly blew,

The moon no more was fair to view,

No more the sun with genial glow

Cherished the world now plunged in woe.

Sons, brothers, husbands, wedded wives

Forgot the ties that joined their lives;

No thought for kith and kin was spared,

But all for only Ráma cared.

And Ráma's friends who loved him best,

Their minds disordered and distressed.

By the great burthen of their woes

Turned not to slumber or repose.

Like Earth with all her hills bereft

Of Indra's guiding care.

Ayodhyá in her sorrow left

By him, the high souled heir,

Was bowed by fear and sorrow's force,

And shook with many a throe,

While warrior, elephant, and horse

Sent up the cry of woe.