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Canto XIV. Jatáyus.

Then as the son of Raghu made
His way to Panchavatí's shade,
A mighty vulture he beheld
Of size and strength unparalleled.
The princes, when the bird they saw,
Approached with reverence and awe,
And as his giant form they eyed,
"Tell who thou art," in wonder cried.
The bird, as though their hearts to gain,
Addressed them thus in gentlest strain;
"In me, dear sons, the friend behold
Your royal father loved of old."

He spoke: nor long did Ráma wait
His sire's dear friend to venerate:
He bade the bird declare his name
And the high race of which he came.
When Raghu's son had spoken, he
Declared his name and pedigree,
His words prolonging to disclose
How all the things that be arose:

"List while I tell, O Raghu's son,
The first-born Fathers, one by one,
Great Lords of Life, whence all in earth
And all in heaven derive their birth.
First Kardam heads the glorious race
Where Vikrit holds the second place,
With Sesha, Sansray next in line,
And Bahuputra's might divine.
Then Sthánu and Maríchi came,
Atri, and Kratu's forceful frame.
Pulastya followed, next to him
Angiras' name shall ne'er be dim.
Prachetas, Pulah next, and then
Daksha, Vivasvat praised of men:
Aríshtanemi next, and last
Kasyap in glory unsurpassed.
From Daksha,--fame the tale has told--:
Three-score bright daughters sprang of old.
Of these fair-waisted nymphs the great
Lord Kasyap sought and wedded eight,
Aditi, Diti, Kálaká,
Támrá, Danú, and Analá,
And Krodhavasá swift to ire,
And Manu(443) glorious as her sire.
Then when the mighty Kasyap cried
Delighted to each tender bride:
"Sons shalt thou bear, to rule the three
Great worlds, in might resembling me."
Aditi, Diti, and Danú
Obeyed his will as consorts true,
And Kálaká; but all the rest
Refused to hear their lord's behest.
First Aditi conceived, and she,
Mother of thirty Gods and three,
The Vasus and Ádityas bare,
Rudras, and Asvins, heavenly pair.
Of Diti sprang the Daityas: fame
Delights to laud their ancient name.
In days of yore their empire dread
O'er earth and woods and ocean spread.
Danú was mother of a child,
O hero, Asvagríva styled,
And Narak next and Kálak came
Of Kálaká, celestial dame.
Of Támrá, too, five daughters bright
In deathless glory sprang to light.
Ennobling fame still keeps alive
The titles of the lovely five:
Immortal honour still she claims
For Kraunchí, Bhasí, Syení's names.
And wills not that the world forget
Sukí or Dhritaráshtrí yet.
Then Kraunchí bare the crane and owl,
And Bhásí tribes of water fowl:
Vultures and hawks that race through air
With storm-fleet pinions Syení bare.
All swans and geese on mere and brook
Their birth from Dhritaráshtrí took,
And all the river-haunting brood
Of ducks, a countless multitude.
From Sukí Nalá sprang, who bare
Dame Vinatá surpassing fair.
From fiery Krodhavasá, ten
Bright daughters sprang, O King of men:
Mrigí and Mrigamandá named,
Hari and Bhadramadá famed,
Sárdúlí, Svetá fair to see,
Mátangí bright, and Surabhí,
Surasá marked with each fair sign,
And Kadrumá, all maids divine.
Mrigí, O Prince without a peer,
Was mother of the herds of deer,
The bear, the yak, the mountain roe
Their birth to Mrigamandá owe;
And Bhadramadá joyed to be
Mother of fair Irávatí,
Who bare Airávat,(444) huge of mould,
Mid warders of the earth enrolled,
From Harí lordly lions trace,
With monkeys of the wild, their race.
From the great dame Sárdúlí styled
Sprung pards, Lángúrs,(445) and tigers wild.
Mátangí, Prince, gave birth to all
Mátangas, elephants strong and tall,
And Svetá bore the beasts who stand
One at each wind, earth's warder band.(446)
Next Surabhí the Goddess bore
Two heavenly maids, O Prince, of yore,
Gandharví--dear to fame is she--
And her sweet sister Rohiní.
With kine this daughter filled each mead,
And bright Gandharví bore the steed.(447)
Surasá bore the serpents:(448) all
The snakes Kadrú their mother call.
Then Manu, high-souled Kasyap's(449) wife,
To all the race of men gave life,
The Bráhmans first, the Kshatriya caste,
Then Vaisyas, and the Súdras last.
Sprang from her mouth the Bráhman race;
Her chest the Kshatriyas' natal place:
The Vaisyas from her thighs, 'tis said,
The Súdras from her feet were bred.
From Analá all trees that hang
Their fair fruit-laden branches sprang.
The child of beauteous Sukí bore
Vinatá, as I taught before:
And Surasá and Kadrú were
Born of one dame, a noble pair.
Kadrú gave birth to countless snakes
That roam the earth in woods and brakes.
Arun and Garud swift of flight
By Vinatá were given to light,
And sons of Arun red as morn
Sampati first, then I was born,
Me then, O tamer of the foe,
Jatáyus, son of Syení, know.
Thy ready helper will I be,
And guard thy house, if thou agree:
When thou and Lakshman urge the chase
By Sítá's side shall be my place."
With courteous thanks for promised aid,
The prince, to rapture stirred,
Bent low, and due obeisance paid,
Embraced the royal bird.
He often in the days gone by
Had heard his father tell
How, linked with him in friendship's tie,
He loved Jatáyus well.
He hastened to his trusted friend
His darling to confide,
And through the wood his steps to bend
By strong Jatáyus' side.
On to the grove, with Lakshman near,
The prince his way pursued
To free those pleasant shades from fear
And slay the giant brood.