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The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 88

The Ingudí Tree.
When Bharat with each friend and peer

Had heard that tale so full and clear,

They went together to the tree

The bed which Ráma pressed to see.

Then Bharat to his mothers said:

“Behold the high-souled hero's bed:

These tumbled heaps of grass betray

Where he that night with Sítá lay:

Unmeet, the heir of fortune high

Thus on the cold bare earth should lie,

The monarch's son, in counsel sage,

Of old imperial lineage.

That lion-lord whose noble bed

With finest skins of deer was spread,—

How can he now endure to press

The bare earth, cold and comfortless!

This sudden fall from bliss to grief

Appears untrue, beyond belief:

My senses are distraught: I seem

To view the fancies of a dream.

There is no deity so great,

No power in heaven can master Fate,

If Ráma, Daśaratha's heir,

Lay on the ground and slumbered there;

And lovely Sítá, she who springs

From fair Videha's ancient kings,

Ráma's dear wife, by all adored,

Lay on the earth beside her lord.

Here was his couch, upon this heap

He tossed and turned in restless sleep:

On the hard soil each manly limb

Has stamped the grass with signs of him.

That night, it seems, fair Sítá spent

Arrayed in every ornament,

For here and there my eyes behold

Small particles of glistering gold.

She laid her outer garment here,

For still some silken threads appear,

How dear in her devoted eyes

Must be the bed where Ráma lies,

Where she so tender could repose

And by his side forget her woes.

Alas, unhappy, guilty me!

For whom the prince was forced to flee,

And chief of Raghu's sons and best,

A bed like this with Sítá pressed.

Son of a royal sire whose hand

Ruled paramount o'er every land,

Could he who every joy bestows,

Whose body like the lotus shows,

The friend of all, who charms the sight,

Whose flashing eyes are darkly bright,

Leave the dear kingdom, his by right,

Unmeet for woe, the heir of bliss,

And lie upon a bed like this?

Great joy and happy fate are thine,

O Lakshmaṇ, marked with each fair sign,

Whose faithful footsteps follow still

Thy brother in his hour of ill.

And blest is Sítá, nobly good,

Who dwells with Ráma in the wood.

Ours is, alas, a doubtful fate

Of Ráma reft and desolate.

My royal sire has gained the skies,

In woods the high-souled hero lies;

The state is wrecked and tempest-tossed,

A vessel with her rudder lost.

Yet none in secret thought has planned

With hostile might to seize the land:

Though forced in distant wilds to dwell,

The hero's arm protects it well.

Unguarded, with deserted wall,

No elephant or steed in stall,

My father's royal city shows

Her portals open to her foes,

Of bold protectors reft and bare,

Defenceless in her dark despair:

But still her foes the wish restrain,

As men from poisoned cates refrain.

I from this hour my nights will pass

Couched on the earth or gathered grass,

Eat only fruit and roots, and wear

A coat of bark, and matted hair.

I in the woods will pass, content,

For him the term of banishment;

So shall I still unbroken save

The promise which the hero gave.

While I remain for Ráma there,

Śatrughna will my exile share,

And Ráma in his home again,

With Lakshmaṇ, o'er Ayodhyá reign,

for him, to rule and guard the state,

The twice-born men shall consecrate.

O, may the Gods I serve incline

To grant this earnest wish of mine!

If when I bow before his feet

And with all moving arts entreat,

He still deny my prayer,

Then with my brother will I live:

He must, he must permission give,

Roaming in forests there.”