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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

VI. Sita Lost - 90

VI. Sita Lost - 90 Fawn-eyed Sita fell in terror as the Raksha rose to slay, So beneath the flaming meteor sinks Rohini’s softer ray, [92] And like Demon of Destruction furious Surpa-nakha came, Rama rose to stop the slaughter and protect his helpless dame. “Brother, we have acted wrongly, for with those of savage breed, Word in jest is courting danger, – this the penance of our deed, Death perchance or death-like stupor hovers o’er my lovéd dame, Let me wake to life my Sita, chase this female void of shame!” Lakshman’s anger leaped like lightning as the female hovered near, With his sword the wrathful warrior cleft her nose and either ear, Surpa-nakha in her anguish raised her accents shrill and high, And the rocks and wooded valleys answered back the dismal cry, Khara and the doughty Dushan heard the far-resounding wail, Saw her red disfigured visage, heard her sad and woeful tale! III. Rama’s Departure Vainly fought the vengeful Khara, doughty Dushan vainly bled, Rama and the valiant Lakshman strewed the forest with the dead, Till the humbled Surpa-nakha to her royal brother hied, Spake her sorrows unto Ravan and Maricha true and tried. Shape of deer unmatched in beauty now the deep Maricha wore, Golden tints upon his haunches, sapphire on his antlers bore, Till the woodland-wand’ ring Sita marked the creature in his pride, Golden was his neck of beauty, silver white his flank and side! “Come, my lord and gallant Lakshman,” thus the raptur’d Sita spake, “Mark the deer of wondrous radiance browsing by the forest brake!” “Much my heart misgives me, sister,” Lakshman hesitated still, “ ’Tis some deep deceitful Raksha wearing every shape at will, [93] Monarchs wandering in this forest, hunting in this lonely glen, Oft waylaid by artful Rakshas are by deep devices slain,

VI. Sita Lost - 91 Bright as day-god or Gandharva, woodland scenes they love to stray, Till they fall upon the heedless, quick to slaughter and to slay, Trust me, not in jewelled lustre forest creatures haunt the green, “Tis some maya and illusion, trust not what thy eyes have seen!” Vainly spake the watchful Lakshman in the arts of Rakshas skilled, For with forceful fascination Sita’s inmost heart was thrilled, “Husband, good and ever gracious,” sweetly thus implored the wife, “I would tend this thing of beauty, – sharer of my forest life! I have witnessed in this jungle graceful creatures passing fair, Chowri and the gentle roebuck, antelope of beauty rare, I have seen the lithesome monkey sporting in the branches’ shade, Grizzly bear that feeds on Mahua, and the deer that crops the blade, 1 have marked the stately wild bull dash into the deepest wood, And the Kinnar strange and wondrous as in sylvan wilds he stood, But these eyes have never rested on a form so wondrous fair, On a shape so full of beauty, decked with tints so rich and rare! Bright his bosom gem-bespangled, soft the lustre of his eye, Lighting up the gloomy jungle as the Moon lights up the sky, And his gentle voice and glances and his graceful steps and light, Fill my heart with eager longing and my soul with soft delight! If alive that beauteous object thou canst capture in thy way, As thy Sita’s sweet companion in these woodlands he will stay, And when done our days of exile, to Ayodhya will repair, Dwell in Sita’s palace chamber nursed by Sita’s tender care, And our royal brother Bharat oft will praise his strength and speed, And the queens and royal mothers pause the gentle thing to feed! [94] If alive this wary creature be it, husband, hard to take, Slay him and his skin of lustre cherish for thy Sita’s sake, I will as a golden carpet spread the skin upon the grass, Sweet memento of this forest when our forest days will pass!

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