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With happier light for thee the planets shine!
Thou shalt not fear, by guardian angels screened,
The savage giant or night-roving fiend.
Before thy steps let cruel tigers flee,
Let bears and lions never injure thee,
And mighty elephants that wander wild
Forbear to touch thy life, my noble child.
May all thy ways be happy! may success
With golden fruit thy hope and labour bless !
Loved by all Gods around, above, below,
Go forth, my son, my pride and glory, go!"

Then on his knees before her Rama fell, Prest her dear feet and said his last farewell ;

And, radiant with the light her blessings lent,
To Sita's home his anxious steps he bent.

I

THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE.

But Rama's hardest trial yet remains, the parting from Sita his lovely and beloved wife. He briefly tells her of his altered lot, and bids her in his absence carefully discharge her duties to the Gods, his father, the three queens, the new King Bharat and his brothers. She tells him that man and wife are pot thus to be parted, and declares that whithersoever he goes she will go

also. In vain he sets before her the dangers and miseries that wait on banishment. Truth smiles at fear; and Love sees a Paradise in the wild with him. Rama yields to the passionate prayers of his devoted wife, and allows her to accompany him to the forest. 1

As through his stately halls the hero past,
His eye was drooping and his brow o'ercast.
And Sita rose and trembled, quick to trace
The thought and sorrow on his darkened face;
For his strong bosom could no longer bear
The load of anguish that was heavy there.
Soon as she markt the clammy drops that hung
On his pale cheek, she cried, with faltering tongue :

* A version of part of this scene, from Gorresio's edition of the Bengal recension of the Ramayana, has appeared, under the title of “ Sita,” in Idylls from the Sanskrit. The main features are the same in both, but the details slightly differ.

“What ails thee, O my lord ? This happy day
Should see thee joyful: all but thou are gay.
Why does no royal canopy, like foam
For its white beauty, shade thee to thy home?
Where are the tuneful bards, thy deeds to sing ?
Where are the fans that wave before the king?
Why doth the city send no merry throng
To bring thee home with melody and song ?
Why doth no gilded car thy triumph lead,
With four brave horses of the swiftest breed ?

No favoured elephant precede the crowd,
Like a black mountain or a thunder-cloud ?

No herald march in front of thee to hold

The precious burthen of thy throne of gold ?
If thou be king, ordained this day, then why
This sorry plight, pale cheek, and gloomy eye?"

Thus Sita questioned in her wild suspense. And Rama said : “My father sends me hence

An exile to the forest : hear me tell

The story, Sita, as it all befell.
Of old, to queen Kaikeyi, bound by oath,

And now,

Two boons he granted : now she claims them both.
All was prepared for me: my father now
Is forced by Duty's mightier law to bow;
So Bharat sits upon the throne, and I
For twice seven years to distant forests fly.
Only to see thee ere we part, I came.

dear Sita, never praise my name
In Bharat's presence: others' praise to hear
Is never welcome to a monarch's ear.
To him my father gives divided sway:
Do thou with willing love his rule obey.
With tender care the king's desire prevent;
Be ever gentle, humble, and content.
I go: be firm and strong, my noble spouse,
Keep well thy fasts and guard thy holy vows.
Rise from thy bed when day begins to break,
And to the Gods thy constant offerings make.
Then let the king thy duteous thoughts engage,
And cheer Kausalya worn with woe and age.
Then to the consort-queens thy love be shown :
They are my mothers even as mine own.
And O, forget not, Rama's brothers claim,

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