The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 93 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 93

Canto XCIII. 
Chitrakúta In Sight.
As through the woods its way pursued

That mighty bannered multitude,

Wild elephants in terror fled

With all the startled herds they led,

And bears and deer were seen on hill,

In forest glade, by every rill.

Wide as the sea from coast to coast,

The high-souled Bharat's mighty host

Covered the earth as cloudy trains

Obscure the sky when fall the rains.

The stately elephants he led,

And countless steeds the land o'erspread,

So closely crowded that between

Their serried ranks no ground was seen.

Then when the host had travelled far,

And steeds were worn who drew the car,

The glorious Bharat thus addressed

Vaśishṭha, of his lords the best:

“The spot, methinks, we now behold

Of which the holy hermit told,

For, as his words described, I trace

Each several feature of the place:

Before us Chitrakúṭa shows,

Mandákiní beside us flows:

Afar umbrageous woods arise

Like darksome clouds that veil the skies.

Now tread these mountain-beasts of mine

On Chitrakúṭa's fair incline.

The trees their rain of blossoms shed

On table-lands beneath them spread,

As from black clouds the floods descend

When the hot days of summer end.

Śatrughna, look, the mountain see

Where heavenly minstrels wander free,

And horses browse beneath the steep,

Countless as monsters in the deep.

Scared by my host the mountain deer

Starting with tempest speed appear

Like the long lines of cloud that fly

In autumn through the windy sky.

See, every warrior shows his head

With fragrant blooms engarlanded;

All look like southern soldiers who

Lift up their shields of azure hue.

This lonely wood beneath the hill,

That was so dark and drear and still,

Covered with men in endless streams

Now like Ayodhyá's city seems.

The dust which countless hoofs excite

Obscures the sky and veils the light;

But see, swift winds those clouds dispel

As if they strove to please me well.

See, guided in their swift career

By many a skilful charioteer,

Those cars by fleetest coursers drawn

Race onward over glade and lawn.

Look, startled as the host comes near

The lovely peacocks fly in fear,

Gorgeous as if the fairest blooms

Of earth had glorified their plumes.

Look where the sheltering covert shows

The trooping deer, both bucks and does,

That occupy in countless herds

This mountain populous with birds.

Most lovely to my mind appears

This place which every charm endears:

Fair as the road where tread the Blest;

Here holy hermits take their rest.

Then let the army onward press

And duly search each green recess

For the two lion-lords, till we

Ráma once more and Lakshmaṇ see.”

Thus Bharat spoke: and hero bands

Of men with weapons in their hands

Entered the tangled forest: then

A spire of smoke appeared in ken.

Soon as they saw the rising smoke

To Bharat they returned and spoke:

“No fire where men are not: 'tis clear

That Raghu's sons are dwelling here.

Or if not here those heroes dwell

Whose mighty arms their foeman quell,

Still other hermits here must be

Like Ráma, true and good as he.”

His ears attentive Bharat lent

To their resistless argument,

Then to his troops the chief who broke

His foe's embattled armies spoke:

“Here let the troops in silence stay;

One step beyond they must not stray.

Come Dhrishṭi and Sumantra, you

With me alone the path pursue.”

Their leader's speech the warriors heard,

And from his place no soldier stirred,

And Bharat bent his eager eyes

Where curling smoke was seen to rise.

The host his order well obeyed,

And halting there in silence stayed

Watching where from the thicket's shade

They saw the smoke appear.

And joy through all the army ran,

“Soon shall we meet,” thought every man,

“The prince we hold so dear.”