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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 - 48 [44] “Part we then from loving kinsmen, arms and mighty weapons bring, Bows of war which Lord VARUNA rendered to Videha’s king, Coats of mail to sword impervious, quivers which can never fail, And the rapiers bright as sunshine, golden-hilted, tempered well, Safely rest these goodly weapons in our great preceptor’s hall, Seek and bring them, faithful brother, for methinks we need them all!” Rama spake; his valiant brother then the wondrous weapons brought, Wreathed with fresh and fragrant garlands and with gold and jewels wrought, “Welcome, brother,” uttered Rama, “stronger thus to woods we go, Wealth and gold and useless treasure to the holy priests bestow, To the son of saint Vasishtha, to each sage is honour due, Then we leave our father’s mansions, to our father’s mandate true!” III. Mother’s Blessings Tears of sorrow and of suffering flowed from Queen Kausalya’s eye, As she saw departing Sita for her blessings drawing nigh, And she clasped the gentle Sita and she kissed her moistened head, And her tears like summer tempest choked the loving words she said: “Part we, dear devoted daughter, to thy husband ever true, With a woman’s whole affection render love to husband’s due! False are women loved and cherished, gentle in their speech and word, When misfortune’s shadows gather, who are faithless to their lord, Who through years of sunny splendour smile and pass the livelong day, When misfortune’s darkness thickens, from their husband turn away, [45] Who with changeful fortune changing oft ignore the plighted word, And forget a woman’s duty, woman’s faith to wedded lord, Who to holy love inconstant from their wedded consort part, Manly deed nor manly virtue wins the changeful woman’s heart! But the true and righteous woman, loving spouse and changeless wife, Faithful to her lord and consort holds him dearer than her life,

III. The Death of the King - 49 Ever true and righteous Sita, follow still my godlike son, Like a God to thee is Rama in the woods or on the throne!” “I shall do my duty, mother,” said the wife with wifely pride, “Like a God to me is Rama, Sita shall not leave his side, From the Moon will part his lustre ere I part from wedded lord, Ere from faithful wife’s devotion falter in my deed or word, For the stringless lute is silent, idle is the wheel-less car, And no wife the loveless consort, inauspicious is her star! Small the measure of affection which the sire and brother prove, Measureless to wedded woman is her lord and husband’s love, True to Law and true to Scriptures, true to woman’s plighted word, Can I ever be, my mother, faithless, loveless to my lord?” Tears of joy and mingled sorrow filled the Queen Kausalya’s eye, As she marked the faithful Sita true in heart, in virtue high, And she wept the tears of sadness when with sweet obeisance due, Spake with hands in meekness folded Rama ever good and true: “Sorrow not, my loving mother, trust in virtue’s changeless beam, Swift will fly the years of exile like a brief and transient dream, Girt by faithful friends and forces, blest by righteous Gods above, Thou shalt see thy son returning to thy bosom and thy love!” [46] Unto all the royal ladies Rama his obeisance paid, For his failings unremembered, blessings and forgiveness prayed, And his words were soft and gentle, and they wept to see him go, Like the piercing cry of curlew rose the piercing voice of woe, And in halls where drum and tabor rose in joy and regal pride, Voice of grief and lamentation sounded far and sounded wide! Then the true and faithful Lakshman parted from each weeping dame, And to sorrowing Queen Sumitra with his due obeisance came, And he bowed to Queen Sumitra and his mother kissed his head, Stilled her anguish-laden bosom and in trembling accents said:

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