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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

X. The War in Ceylon -

X. The War in Ceylon - 146 And a cry of pain and terror from the Raksha ranks arose, And a shout from joying Vanars as they smote their fleeing foes! Heavenly flowers in rain descended on the red and gory plain, And from unseen harps and timbrels rose a soft celestial strain, And the ocean heaved in gladness, brighter shone the sunlit sky, Soft and cool the gentle zephyrs through the forest murmured by, Sweetest scent and fragrant odours wafted from celestial trees, Fell upon the earth and ocean, rode upon the laden breeze! Voice of blessing from the bright shy fell on Raghus’ valiant son, – “Champion of the true and righteous! now thy noble task is done!” XII. Mandodari’s Lament and the Funerals “Hast thou fallen,” wept in anguish Ravan’s first and eldest bride, Mandodari, slender-waisted, Queen of Lanka’s state and pride, “Hast thou fallen, king and consort, more than Gods in warlike might, Slain by man, whom bright Immortals feared to face in dubious fight? Not a man! – the Dark Destroyer came to thee in mortal form, Or the heaven-traversing VISHNU, INDRA ruler of the storm, [160] Gods of sky in shape of Vanars helped the dark and cruel deed, Girdling round the Discus-Wielder in the battle’s direst need! Well I knew, – when Khara, Dushan, were by Rama’s prowess slain, Rama was no earthly mortal, he who crossed the mighty main, Well I knew, – when with his army he invested Lanka’s gate, Rama was no earthly mortal but the messenger of Fate, And I prayed, – the faithful Sita might unto her consort go, For ’tis writ that nations perish for a righteous woman’s woe, But for impious lust of woman, – all forgetful of thy wife, Thou hast lost thy crown and kingdom, thou hast lost thy fated life! Woe to me! the sad remembrance haunts my tortured bosom still, Of our days on famed Kailasa or on Meru’s golden hill,

X. The War in Ceylon - 147 Gone the days of joy and gladness, Mandodari’s days are done, Since her lord and king and husband from her dear embrace is gone!” Sorely wept the Queen of Lanka; Rama, tender, tearful, true, Bade the funeral rites and honours to a fallen foeman due, And they heaped the wood of Chandan and the fragrant garland laid, On the pyre they lifted Ravan in the richest robes arrayed, Weeping queens and sorrowing Rakshas round their fallen leader stood, Brahmans with their chaunted mantra piled the dry and scented wood, Oil and cords and sacred offerings were upon the altar laid, And a goat of inky darkness as a sacrifice was slayed. Piously the good Bibhishan lighted Ravan’s funeral pyre, And the zephyrs gently blowing fanned the bright and blazing fire, Slow and sad with due ablutions mourners left the funeral site, Rama then unstrung his weapon, laid aside his arms of might.

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