THE RAINS IN THE NILGIRI MOUNTAINS
"Mark the shadowing rain and tempest," Rama to his
As on Nalya's cloud-capped ranges in their hermit-guise they strayed,
Massive clouds like rolling mountains gather thick and gather high,
Lurid lightnings glint and sparkle, pealing thunders shake the sky,
Pregnant with the ocean moisture by the solar ray instilled,
Now the skies like fruitful mothers are with grateful waters filled!
Mark the folds of cloudy masses, ladder-like of smooth ascent,
One could almost reach the Sun-god, wreath him with a wreath of scent,
And when glow these heavy masses red and white with evening's glow,
One could almost deem them sword-cuts branded by some heavenly fire!
Mark the streaks of golden lustre fighting up the checkered sky,
Like a lover chandan-painted in each breeze it heaves a sigh,
And the earth is hot and feverish, moistened with the tears of
Sighing like my anguished Sita when she wept in woe and pain!
Fresh and sweet like draught of nectar is the rain -besprinkled
Fragrant with the ketak blossom, scented by the camphor trees,
Fresh and bold each peak and mountain bathed in soft descending
So they sprinkle holy water when they bless a monarch's reign!
Fair and tall as holy hermits, stand yon shadow-mantled hills,
Murmuring mantras with the zephyr, robed in threads of sparking
Fair and young as gallant coursers neighing forth their thunder
Lashed by golden whips of lightning are the dappled sunlit skies!
Ah, my lost and loving Sita! writhing in a Raksha's power,
As the lightning shakes and quivers in this dark tempestuous shower,
Shadows thicken on the prospect, flower and leaf are wet with rain,
And each passing object, Lakshman, wakes in me a thought of pain!
Joyously from throne and empire with my Sita I could part,
As the stream erodes its margin, Sita's absence breaks my heart,
Rain and tempest cloud the prospect as they cloud my onward path,
Dubious is my darksome future, mighty is my foeman's wrath!
Ravan monarch of the Rakshas,-so Jataya said and died,--
In some unknown forest fastness doth my sorrowing Sita bide,
But Sugriva true and faithful seeks the Raksha's secret hold,
Firm in faith and fixed in purpose we will face our foeman bold
THE QUEST FOR SITA
Past the rains, the marshalled Vanars gathered round Sugriva bold,
And unto a gallant chieftain thus the king his purpose told:
"Brave in war and wise in counsel! take ten thousand of my
Seek the hiding-place of Ravan in the regions of the East.
Seek each ravine rock and forest and each shadowy hill and cave,
Far where bright Sarayu's waters mix with Ganga's ruddy wave,
And where Jumna's dark blue waters ceaseless roll in regal pride,
And the Sone through leagues of country spreads its torrents far and
Seek where in Videha's empire castled towns and hamlets shine,
In Kosala and in Malwa and by Kasi's sacred shrine,
Magadh rich in peopled centres, Pundra region of the brave,
Anga rich in corn and cattle on the eastern ocean wave.
Seek where clans of skilful weavers dwell upon the eastern shore,
And from virgin mines of silver miners work the sparkling ore.
In the realms of uncouth nations, in the islets of the sea,
In the mountains of the ocean, wander far and wander free!"
Next to Nila son of AGNI, Jambaman VIDHATA'S son,
Hanuman the son of MARUT, famed for deeds of valour done,
Unto Gaya and Gavaksha, Gandha-madan true and tried,
Unto Angad prince and regent, thus the brave Sugriva cried:
"Noblest, bravest of our chieftains, greatest of our race are
Seek and search the Southern regions, rock and ravine, wood and tree,
Search the thousand peaks of Vindhya lifting high its misty head,
Through the gorges of Narmada rolling o'er its rocky bed,
By the gloomy Godavari and by Krishna's wooded stream,
Through Utkala's sea-girt forests tinged by morning's early gleam.
Search the towns of famed Dasarna and Avanti's rocky shore,
And the uplands of Vidarbha and the mountains of Mysore,
Land of Matsyas and Kalingas and Kausika's regions fair,
Trackless wilderness of Dandak seek with anxious toil and care.
Search the empire of the Andhras, of the sister-nations three,--
Cholas, Cheras and the Pandyas dwelling by the southern sea,
Pass Kaveri's spreading waters, Malya's mountains towering brave,
Seek the isle of Tamra-parni, gemmed upon the ocean wave!"
To Susena chief and elder,--Tara's noble sire was he,--
Spake Sugriva with obeisance and in accents bold and free:
"Take my lord, a countless army of the bravest and the best,
Search where beats the sleepless ocean on the regions of the West.
Search the country of Saurashtras, of Bahlikas strong and brave,
And each busy mart and seaport on the western ocean wave,
Castles girt by barren mountains, deserts by the sandy sea,
Forests of the fragrant ketak, regions of the tamal tree!
Search the ocean port of Pattan shaded by its fruitful trees,
Where the feathery groves of cocoa court the balmy western breeze,
Where on peaks of Soma-giri lordly lions wander free,
Where the waters of the Indus mingle with the mighty sea!"
Lastly to the valiant chieftain Satavala strong and brave,
For the quest of saintly Sita, thus his mighty mandate gave:
"Hie thee, gallant Satavala, with thy forces wander forth,
To the peaks of Himalaya, to the regions of the North!
Mlechchas and the wild Pulindas in the rocky regions dwell,
Madra chiefs and mighty Kurus live within each fertile vale,
Wild Kambojas of the mountains, Yavanas of wondrous skill,
Sakas swooping from their gorges, Pattanas of iron will!
Search the woods of devadaru mantling Himalaya's side,
And the forests of the lodhra spreading in their darksome
Search the land of Soma-srama where the gay Gandharvas dwell
In the tableland of Kala search each rock and ravine well!
Cross the snowy Himalaya, and Sudarsan's holy peak,
Deva-sakha's wooded ranges which the feathered songsters seek,
Cross the vast and dreary region void of stream or wooded bill,
Till, you reach the white Kailasa, home of Gods, serene and still!
Pass Kuvera's pleasant regions, search the Krauncha mountain well,
And the land where warlike females and the horse-faced women dwell,
Halt not till you reach the country where the -Northern Kurus rest,
Utmost confines of the wide earth, home of Gods and Spirits
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