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She ceased. The lady of the glorious eyes

Rose from her couch as Manthara bade her rise ;

And sought the mourner's cell, in beauty's pride
Sure of his love who gave and ne'er denied.
There on the ground, obedient to the girl,
She threw her necklace and each peerless pearl,
And all the lustre to her beauty lent
By sparkling chain and golden ornament.
Like a fair nymph upon the ground she fell;
And, “Soon,” she cried, “thy task will be to tell
That Bharat rules as heir in Rama's stead,
Or that the monarch's darling queen is dead.”

DASARATHA'S OATH.

“ Unfortunately Dasaratha had once given a promise to Bharat's mother that he would grant any two boons she pleased to ask. The promise had been made in years gone by, when he had been dangerously wounded in battle, and carefully attended by this wife, Kaikeyi ; and amongst Hindus a promise was irrevocable, and therefore the wretched King felt compelled to yield, although the first boon required was to banish Rama for a period of fourteen years, and the second to declare Bharat the heir-apparent.” Life in Ancient India.

1

Slow and majestic, as the Lord of Night,
When his full glory fears the Dragon’s” might,
Glides through the calm fields of the autumn sky,
Where clouds with fleecy skirts are floating by,
So to Kaikeyi's palace, rich and vast,
King Dasaratha in his glory past.
There stalked flamingoes mixt with swans and cranes,
And gorgeous peacocks spread their jewelled trains ;

| The moon, with the Hindus, is masculine.

2 Rahu, the ascending node, is in mythology a demon with the tail of a dragon whose head was severed from his body by Vishnu, but being immortal the head and tail retained their separate existence, and being transferred to the stellar sphere, became the authors of eclipses ; the first especially by endeavouring to swallow the sun and moon,

There screamed the parrot in his home of wire,
There breathed the music of the flute and lyre.
There many a damsel waited in the shade,

Here sat a dwarf, and there a crook-backt maid

Lay in the shadow of the woven bower
Where glowed the Champac' and Asoca' flower.
There many a porch, above the waving wood,
On ivory columns wrought with silver, stood.
There trees that aye with fruit and blossom glowed
O'er limpid waters hung their tempting load.
Here seats of silver and of gold were placed,
Here cates and viands lured the dainty taste.
Not e'en the Gods who dwell at ease, I ween,
Could boast a brighter home than that fair queen.

With longing eyes the monarch looked around,
But no Kaikeyi in her bower he found;
Yet 'twas the time at which the royal dame
Was ever there to greet him as he came.

A tree that bears yellow flowers of delicious fragrance :

“ The maid of India, blest again to hold

In her full lap the Champac's leaves of gold.”Lalla Rookh. 2 The Jonesia Asoca, one of the loveliest trees of India, and perhaps of the whole world.

Then, moved by love and vext with anxious thought,
News of his darling from her maids he sought.
“My lord,” a trembling damsel thus replied,
“The queen in anger to the cell has hied.”
Then sick at heart, his senses all astray,
The monarch hastened where the lady lay
Upon the cold bare ground, in mean attire,
While grief consumed her as a burning fire.
Prostrate and speechless, lovely and forlorn,
Like a sweet creeper by the roots uptorn,
Or a frail nymph of heaven, or Goddess, hurled
From glorious Swarga' to this nether world,

As bends an elephant to heal the smart

Of his mate wounded by a venomed dart;
Soothes her with tender touch, and tries in vain
To check the flowing blood and stay her pain ;
So the sad husband tried each kind caress

To still the fury of the queen's distress :

I know not, darling,” thus he spake, with sighs, To the fair lady of the lotus eyes,

1 Indra's Paradise.

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