The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 97 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 97

Canto XCVII. 
Lakshman's Anger.
Thus Ráma showed his love the rill

Whose waters ran beneath the hill,

Then resting on his mountain seat

Refreshed her with the choicest meat.

So there reposed the happy two:

Then Bharat's army nearer drew:

Rose to the skies a dusty cloud,

The sound of trampling feet was loud.

The swelling roar of marching men

Drove the roused tiger from his den,

And scared amain the serpent race

Flying to hole and hiding-place.

The herds of deer in terror fled,

The air was filled with birds o'erhead,

The bear began to leave his tree,

The monkey to the cave to flee.

Wild elephants were all amazed

As though the wood around them blazed.

The lion oped his ponderous jaw,

The buffalo looked round in awe.

The prince, who heard the deafening sound,

And saw the silvan creatures round

Fly wildly startled from their rest,

The glorious Lakshmaṇ thus addressed:

“Sumitrá's noble son most dear,

Hark, Lakshmaṇ, what a roar I hear,

The tumult of a coming crowd,

Appalling, deafening, deep, and loud!

The din that yet more fearful grows

Scares elephants and buffaloes,

Or frightened by the lions, deer

Are flying through the wood in fear.

I fain would know who seeks this place

Comes prince or monarch for the chase?

Or does some mighty beast of prey

Frighten the silvan herds away?

'Tis hard to reach this mountain height,

Yea, e'en for birds in airy flight.

Then fain, O Lakshmaṇ, would I know

What cause disturbs the forest so.”

Lakshmaṇ in haste, the wood to view,

Climbed a high Sál that near him grew,

The forest all around he eyed,

First gazing on the eastern side.

Then northward when his eyes he bent

He saw a mighty armament

Of elephants, and cars, and horse,

And men on foot, a mingled force,

And banners waving in the breeze,

And spoke to Ráma words like these:

“Quick, quick, my lord, put out the fire,

Let Sítá to the cave retire.

Thy coat of mail around thee throw,

Prepare thine arrows and thy bow.”

In eager haste thus Lakshmaṇ cried,

And Ráma, lion lord, replied:

“Still closer be the army scanned,

And say who leads the warlike band.”

Lakshmaṇ his answer thus returned,

As furious rage within him burned,

Exciting him like kindled fire

To scorch the army in his ire:

“'Tis Bharat: he has made the throne

By consecrating rites his own:

To gain the whole dominion thus

He comes in arms to slaughter us.

I mark tree-high upon his car

His flagstaff of the Kovidár,

I see his glittering banner glance,

I see his chivalry advance:

I see his eager warriors shine

On elephants in lengthened line.

Now grasp we each the shafts and bow,

And higher up the mountain go.

Or in this place, O hero, stand

With weapons in each ready hand.

Perhaps beneath our might may fall

This leader of the standard tall,

And Bharat I this day may see

Who brought this mighty woe on thee,

Sítá, and me, who drove away

My brother from the royal sway.

Bharat our foe at length is nigh,

And by this hand shall surely die:

Brother, I see no sin at all

If Bharat by my weapon fall.

No fault is his who slays the foe

Whose hand was first to strike the blow:

With Bharat now the crime begins

Who against thee and duty sins.

The queen athirst for royal sway

Will see her darling son to-day

Fall by this hand, like some fair tree

Struck by an elephant, slain by me.

Kaikeyí's self shall perish too

With kith and kin and retinue,

And earth by my avenging deed

Shall from this mass of sin be freed.

This day my wrath, too long restrained,

Shall fall upon the foe, unchained,

Mad as the kindled flame that speeds

Destroying through the grass and reeds.

This day mine arrows keen and fierce

The bodies of the foe shall pierce:

The woods on Chitrakúṭa's side

Shall run with torrents crimson-dyed.

The wandering beasts of prey shall feed

On heart-cleft elephant and steed,

And drag to mountain caves away

The bodies that my arrows slay.

Doubt not that Bharat and his train

Shall in this mighty wood be slain:

So shall I pay the debt my bow

And these my deadly arrows owe.”