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But, best of youths, until thou hence art fled,
Thy sire will neither bathe nor call for bread.”
“Woe! woe !" the monarch murmured, with a groan, Deep 'neath the waves of whelming anguish thrown; Then in exceeding grief he swooned away, And on the gold-wrought couch all senseless lay. Then Rama raised him, while Kaikeyi's tongue Still urged him, like a horse by lashes stung. Unmoved he answered : “Queen, I strive to do My duty only, like the sages true; Nor would I, with a soul athirst for gain, False to my promise, in the world remain. All I can do to please my father, think Already done : from death I would not shrink : One duty, paramount of duties still, Is that a son should do his father's will.
By him unbidden, if the word thou give,
Couldst thou no virtue in my nature see
That thou must crave of him, not ask of me?
And comfort Sita. Thine the charge must rest
That Bharat listen to his sire's behest,
And keep the kingdom happy and secure :
This is the law that ever shall endure.”
In speechless woe the hapless father heard, And wept with bitter cry, but spoke no word. Then bowing at the senseless monarch's feet, And stern Kaikeyi's, for such love unmeet, Once round the pair his circling steps he bent, Then from the bower the glorious exile went. Him followed Lakshman, sweet Sumitra's child, With angry weeping eyes so sad and wild. And Rama saw, nor turned his eyes away, The sacred vessels ranged for that great day; And golden chalices, whose waters poured Upon his head would have ordained him lord. He saw, and round them in due honour paced, His eye po anguish showed, his foot no haste. Still on his brow, with lofty hope o'erthrown, Shone the great glory which was all his own; So doth the moon, through the world's love, retain Delicious splendour in the days of wane,
MOTHER AND SON.
Rama goes from the presence of his afflicted father and exulting stepmother to pay a farewell visit to Kausalya, who is full of joyful anticipations on her son's account.
On to his mother's splendid bower he went,
May all the glories of thy royal line,"
This day thy father's faithful love is shown :
Then answered Rama, “Dearest lady, know
Swift as a Sal branch, by the woodman lopt
Beneath the load she strives in vain to bear.
And Rama raised her
and brusht away
The dust that on her arms and shoulders lay.
What woman's lot can be so hard as mine,
In endless woe and mourning doomed to pine ? Have they not scorned me when my son was near ?
And death will follow when thou art not here.
'Twas ne'er my lot my husband's love to gain,
And all my vows and fasts and prayers were vain !
Hard is my heart; or surely it had burst
When the wild rush of sorrow reacht it first;
As in the Rains no river bank can hold
The headlong torrent from the mountains rolled.