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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

III. The Death

III. The Death of the King - 44 I. Woman’s Love “Dearly loved, devoted Sita! daughter of a royal line, Part we now, for years of wand’ring in the pathless woods is mine, For my father, promise-fettered, to Kaikeyi yields the sway, And she wills her son anointed, – fourteen years doth Rama stray, But before I leave thee, Sita, in the wilderness to rove, Yield me one more tender token of thy true and trustful love! Serve my crowned brother, Sita, as a faithful, duteous dame, Tell him not of Rama’s virtues, tell him not of Rama’s claim, Since my royal father willeth, – Bharat shall be regent-heir, Serve him with a loyal duty, serve him with obeisance fair, Since my royal father willeth, – years of banishment be mine, Brave in sorrow and in suffering, woman’s brightest fame be thine! Keep thy fasts and vigils, Sita, while thy Rama is away, Faith in Gods and faith in virtue on thy bosom hold their sway, [40] In the early watch of morning to the Gods for blessings pray, To my father Dasa-ratha honour and obeisance pay, To my mother, Queen Kausalya, is thy dearest tendance due, Offer her thy consolation, be a daughter fond and true! Queen Kaikeyi and Sumitra equal love and honour claim, With a soothing soft endearment sweetly serve each royal dame, Cherish Bharat and Satrughna with a sister’s watchful love, And a mother’s true affection and a mother’s kindness prove! Listen, Sita, unto Bharat speak no heedless angry word, He is monarch of Kosala and of Raghu’s race is lord, Crowned kings our willing service and our faithful duty own, Dearest sons they disinherit, cherish strangers near the throne! Bharat’s will with deep devotion and with faultless faith obey, Truth and virtue on thy bosom ever hold their gentle sway,

III. The Death of the King - 45 And to please each dear relation, gentle Sita, be it thine, Part we love! for years of wand’ ring in the pathless woods is mine!” Rama spake, and soft-eyed Sita, ever sweet in speech and word, Stirred by loving woman’s passion boldly answered thus her lord: “Do I hear my husband rightly, are these words my Rama spake, And her banished lord and husband will the wedded wife forsake, Lightly I dismiss the counsel which my lord hath lightly said, For it ill beseems a warrior and my husband’s princely grade! For the faithful woman follows where her wedded lord may lead, In the banishment of Rama, Sita’s exile is decreed, Sire nor son nor loving brother rules the wedded woman’s state, With her lord she falls or rises, with her consort courts her fate, If the righteous son of Raghu wends to forests dark and drear, Sita steps before her husband wild and thorny paths to clear! [41] Like the tasted refuse water cast thy timid thoughts aside, Take me to the pathless jungle, bid me by my lord abide, Car and steed and gilded palace, vain are these to woman’s life, Dearer is her husband’s shadow to the loved and loving wife! For my mother often taught me and my father often spake, That her home the wedded woman doth beside her husband make, As the shadow to the substance, to her lord is faithful wife, And she parts not from her consort till she parts with fleeting life! Therefore bid me seek the jungle and in pathless forests roam, Where the wild deer freely ranges and the tiger makes his home, Happier than in father’s mansions in the woods will Sita rove, Waste no thought on home or kindred, nestling in her husband’s love! World-renowned is Rama’s valour, fearless by her Rama’s side, Sita still will live and wander with a faithful woman’s pride, And the wild fruit she will gather from the fresh and fragrant wood, And the food by Rama tasted shall be Sita’s cherished food!

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