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The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 70

Canto LXX. 
Bharat's Departure.
While thus he spoke, the envoys borne

On horses faint and travel-worn

Had gained the city fenced around

With a deep moat's protecting bound.

An audience of the king they gained,

And honours from the prince obtained;

The monarch's feet they humbly pressed,

To Bharat next these words addressed:

“The household priest and peers by us

Send health to thee and greet thee thus:

“Come to thy father's house with haste:

Thine absent time no longer waste.”

Receive these vestures rich and rare,

These costly gems and jewels fair,

And to thy uncle here present

Each precious robe and ornament.

These for the king and him suffice—

Two hundred millions is their price—

These, worth a hundred millions, be

Reserved, O large-eyed Prince, for thee.”

Loving his friends with heart and soul,

The joyful prince received the whole,

Due honour to the envoys paid,

And thus in turn his answer made:

“Of Daśaratha tidings tell:

Is the old king my father well?

Is Ráma, and is Lakshmaṇ, he

Of the high-soul, from sickness free?

And she who walks where duty leads,

Kauśalyá, known for gracious deeds,

Mother of Ráma, loving spouse,

Bound to her lord by well kept vows?

And Lakshmaṇ's mother too, the dame

Sumitrá skilled in duty's claim,

Who brave Śatrughna also bare,

Second in age,—her health declare.

And she, in self-conceit most sage,

With selfish heart most prone to rage,

My mother, fares she well? has she

Sent message or command to me?”

Thus Bharat spake, the mighty-souled,

And they in brief their tidings told:

“All they of whom thou askest dwell,

O lion lord, secure and well:

Thine all the smiles of fortune are:

Make ready; let them yoke the car.”

Thus by the royal envoys pressed,

Bharat again the band addressed:

“I go with you: no long delay,

A single hour I bid you stay.”

Thus Bharat, son of him who swayed

Ayodhyás realm, his answer made,

And then bespoke, his heart to please,

His mother's sire in words like these:

“I go to see my father, King,

Urged by the envoys' summoning;

And when thy soul desires to see

Thy grandson, will return to thee.”

The king his grandsire kissed his head,

And in reply to Bharat said:

“Go forth, dear child: how blest is she,

The mother of a son like thee!

Greet well thy sire, thy mother greet,

O thou whose arms the foe defeat;

The household priest, and all the rest

Amid the Twice-born chief and best;

And Ráma and brave Lakshmaṇ, who

Shoot the long shaft with aim so true.”

To him the king high honour showed,

And store of wealth and gifts bestowed,

The choicest elephants to ride,

And skins and blankets deftly dyed,

A thousand strings of golden beads,

And sixteen hundred mettled steeds:

And boundless wealth before him piled

Gave Kekaya to Kaikeyí's child.

And men of counsel, good and tried,

On whose firm truth he aye relied,

King Aśvapati gave with speed

Prince Bharat on his way to lead.

And noble elephants, strong and young,

From sires of Indraśira sprung,

And others tall and fair to view

Of great Airávat's lineage true:

And well yoked asses fleet of limb

The prince his uncle gave to him.

And dogs within the palace bred,

Of body vast and massive head,

With mighty fangs for battle, brave,

The tiger's match in strength, he gave.

Yet Bharat's bosom hardly glowed

To see the wealth the king bestowed;

For he would speed that hour away,

Such care upon his bosom lay:

Those eager envoys urged him thence,

And that sad vision's influence.

He left his court-yard, crowded then

With elephants and steeds and men,

And, peerless in immortal fame,

To the great royal street he came.

He saw, as farther still he went,

The inner rooms most excellent,

And passed the doors, to him unclosed,

Where check nor bar his way oppossd.

There Bharat stayed to bid adieu

To grandsire and to uncle too,

Then, with Śatrughna by his side,

Mounting his car, away he hied.

The strong-wheeled cars were yoked, and they

More than a hundred, rolled away:

Servants, with horses, asses, kine,

Followed their lord in endless line.

So, guarded by his own right hand,

Forth high-souled Bharat hied,

Surrounded by a lordly band

On whom the king relied.

Beside him sat Śatrughna dear,

The scourge of trembling foes:

Thus from the light of Indra's sphere

A saint made perfect goes.