The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 43 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 43

43
Canto XLIII. 
Kausalyá's Lament.
Kauśalyá saw the monarch lie

With drooping frame and failing eye,

And for her banished son distressed

With these sad words her lord addressed:

“Kaikeyí, cruel, false, and vile

Has cast the venom of her guile

On Ráma lord of men, and she

Will ravage like a snake set free;

And more and more my soul alarm,

Like a dire serpent bent on harm,

For triumph crowns each dark intent,

And Ráma to the wild is sent.

Ah, were he doomed but here to stray

Begging his food from day to day,

Or do, enslaved, Kaikeyí's will,

This were a boon, a comfort still.

But she, as chose her cruel hate,

Has hurled him from his high estate,

As Bráhmans when the moon is new

Cast to the ground the demons' due.318

The long-armed hero, like the lord

Of Nágas, with his bow and sword

Begins, I ween, his forest life

With Lakshmaṇ and his faithful wife.

Ah, how will fare the exiles now,

Whom, moved by Queen Kaikeyí, thou

Hast sent in forests to abide,

Bred in delights, by woe untried?

Far banished when their lives are young,

With the fair fruit before them hung,

Deprived of all their rank that suits,

How will they live on grain and roots?

O, that my years of woe were passed,

And the glad hour were come at last

When I shall see my children dear,

Ráma, his wife, and Lakshmaṇ here!

When shall Ayodhyá, wild with glee,

Again those mighty heroes see,

And decked with wreaths her banners wave

To welcome home the true and brave?

When will the beautiful city view

With happy eyes the lordly two

Returning, joyful as the main

When the dear moon is full again?

When, like some mighty bull who leads

The cow exulting through the meads,

Will Ráma through the city ride,

Strong-armed, with Sítá at his side?

When will ten thousand thousand meet

And crowd Ayodhyá's royal street,

And grain in joyous welcome throw

Upon my sons who tame the foe?

When with delight shall youthful bands

Of Bráhman maidens in their hands

Bear fruit and flowers in goodly show,

And circling round Ayodhyá go?

With ripened judgment of a sage,

And godlike in his blooming age,

When shall my virtuous son appear,

Like kindly rain, our hearts to cheer?

Ah, in a former life, I ween,

This hand of mine, most base and mean,

Has dried the udders of the kine

And left the thirsty calves to pine.

Hence, as the lion robs the cow,

Kaikeyí makes me childless now,

Exulting from her feebler foe

To rend the son she cherished so.

I had but him, in Scripture skilled,

With every grace his soul was filled.

Now not a joy has life to give,

And robbed of him I would not live:

Yea, all my days are dark and drear

If he, my darling, be not near,

And Lakshmaṇ brave, my heart to cheer.

As for my son I mourn and yearn,

The quenchless flames of anguish burn

And kill me with the pain,

As in the summer's noontide blaze

The glorious Day-God with his rays

Consumes the parching plain.”