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Ramayana, Epic of Rama, Prince of India

An Abbreviated Translation of the Indian Classic, the Ramayana by Romesh Chundar Dutt in 2,000 verses

IX. The Council

IX. The Council of War - 124 For the Lord of Sky shall tremble when he sees my stature high, And he hears his thunders echoed by my loud and answering cry, Rama armed with ample quiver shall no second arrow send, Ere I slay him in the battle and his limb from limb I rend! Wiser heads than Kumbha-karna right and true from wrong may know, Faithful to his race and monarch he shall face the haughty foe, Joy thee in thy pleasures, Ravan, rule thy realm in regal pride, When I slay the hermit Rama, widowed Sita be thy bride!” VIII. Indrajit’s Assurance [134] Indrajit the son of Ravan then his lofty purpose told, Midst the best and boldest Rakshas none so gallant, none so bold: “Wherefore, noble king and father, pale Bibhishan’s counsel hear, Scion of the race of Rakshas speaks not thus in dastard fear, In this race of valiant Rakshas, known for deeds of glory done, Feeble-hearted, faint in courage, save Bibhishan, there is none! Matched with meanest of the Rakshas what are sons of mortal men, What are homeless human brothers hiding in the hermit’s den, Shall we yield to weary wand’rers, driven from their distant home, Chased from throne and father’s kingdom in the desert woods to roam! Lord of sky and nether regions, INDRA ’neath my weapon fell, Pale Immortals know my valour and my warlike deeds can tell, INDRA’S tusker, huge Airavat, by my prowess overthrown, Trumpeted its anguished accents, shaking sky and earth with groan, Mighty Gods and dauntless Daityas fame of Indrajit may know, And he yields not, king and father, to a homeless human foe!” IX. Ravan’s Decision Anger swelled in Ravan’s bosom as he cast his blood-red eye On Bibhishan calm and fearless, and he spake in accents high: “Rather dwell with open foemen or in homes where cobras haunt, Than with faithless friends who falter and whom fears of danger daunt!

IX. The Council of War - 125 [135] O, the love of near relations! – false and faithless, foil of guile, – How they sorrow at my glory, at my danger how they smile, How they grieve with secret anguish when my loftier virtues shine, How they harbour jealous envy when deserts and fame are mine, How they scan with curious vision every fault that clouds my path, How they wait with eager longing till I fall in Fortune’s wrath! Ask the elephants of jungle how their captors catch and bind, – Not by fire and feeble weapons, but by treason of their kind, Not by javelin or arrow, – little for these arms they care, – But their false and fondling females lead them to the hunter’s snare! Long as nourishment and vigour shall impart the milk of cow, Long as women shall be changeful, hermits holy in their vow, Aye, so long shall near relations hate us in their inner mind, Mark us with a secret envy though their words be ne’er so kind! Rain-drops fall upon the lotus but unmingling hang apart, False relations round us gather but they blend not heart with heart, Winter clouds are big with thunder but they shed no freshening rain, False relations smile and greet us but their soothing words are vain, Bees are tempted by the honey but from flower to flower they range, False relations share our favour but in secret seek a change! Lying is thy speech, Bibhishan, secret envy lurks within, Thou wouldst rule thy elder’s empire, thou wouldst wed thy elder’s queen, Take thy treason to the foemen, – brother’s blood I may not shed,– Other Raksha craven-hearted by my royal hands had bled!” X. Bibhishan’s Departure [136] “This to me!” Bibhishan answered, as with fiery comrades four, Rose in arms the wrathful Raksha and in fury rushed before, “But I spare thee, royal Ravan, angry words thy lips have passed, False and lying and unfounded is the censure thou hast cast! True Bibhishan sought thy safety, strove to save his elder’s reign, – Speed thee now to thy destruction since all counsel is in vain,

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