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The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 73

Canto LXXIII. 
Kaikeyí Reproached.
But when he heard the queen relate

His brothers' doom, his father's fate,

Thus Bharat to his mother said

With burning grief disquieted:

“Alas, what boots it now to reign,

Struck down by grief and well-nigh slain?

Ah, both are gone, my sire, and he

Who was a second sire to me.

Grief upon grief thy hand has made,

And salt upon gashes laid:

For my dear sire has died through thee,

And Ráma roams a devotee.

Thou camest like the night of Fate

This royal house to devastate.

Unwitting ill, my hapless sire

Placed in his bosom coals of fire,

And through thy crimes his death he met,

O thou whose heart on sin is set.

Shame of thy house! thy senseless deed

Has reft all joy from Raghu's seed.

The truthful monarch, dear to fame,

Received thee as his wedded dame,

And by thy act to misery doomed

Has died by flames of grief consumed.

Kauśalyá and Sumitrá too

The coming of my mother rue,

And if they live oppressed by woe,

For their dear sons their sad tears flow.

Was he not ever good and kind,—

That hero of the duteous mind?

Skilled in all filial duties, he

As a dear mother treated thee.

Kauśalyá too, the eldest queen,

Who far foresees with insight keen,

Did she not ever show thee all

A sister's love at duty's call?

And hast thou from the kingdom chased

Her son, with bark around his waist,

To the wild wood, to dwell therein,

And dost not sorrow for thy sin?

The love I bare to Raghu's son

Thou knewest not, ambitious one,

If thou hast wrought this impious deed

For royal sway, in lawless greed.

With him and Lakshmaṇ far away,

What power have I the realm to sway?

What hope will fire my bosom when

I see no more these lords of men?

The holy king, who loved the right

Relied on Ráma's power and might,

His guardian and his glory, so

Joys Meru in his woods below.

How can I bear, a steer untrained,

The load his mightier strength sustained?

What power have I to brook alone

This weight on feeble shoulders thrown?

But if the needful power were bought

By strength of mind and brooding thought,

No triumph shall attend the dame

Who dooms her son to lasting shame.

Now should no doubt that son prevent

From quitting thee on evil bent.

But Ráma's love o'erpowers my will,

Who holds thee as his mother still.

Whence did the thought, O thou whose eyes

Are turned to sinful deeds, arise—

A plan our ancient sires would hate,

O fallen from thy virtuous state?

For in the line from which we spring

The eldest is anointed king:

No monarchs from the rule decline,

And, least of all, Ikshváku's line.

Our holy sires, to virtue true,

Upon our race a lustre threw,

But with subversive frenzy thou

Hast marred our lineal honour now,

Of lofty birth, a noble line

Of previous kings is also thine:

Then whence this hated folly? whence

This sudden change that steals thy sense?

Thou shalt not gain thine impious will,

O thou whose thoughts are bent on ill,

Thou from whose guilty hand descend

These sinful blows my life to end.

Now to the forest will I go,

Thy cherished plans to overthrow,

And bring my brother, free from stain,

His people's darling, home again.

And Ráma, when again he turns,

Whose glory like a beacon burns,

In me a faithful slave shall find

To serve him with contented mind.”