"Hear me, Márícha, while I speak,
And tell thee why thy home I seek.
Sick and distressed am I, and see
My surest hope and help in thee.
Of Janasthán I need not tell,
Where Súrpanakhá, Khara, dwell,
And Dúshan with the arm of might,
And Trisirás, the fierce in fight,
Who feeds on human flesh and gore,
And many noble giants more,
Who roam in dark of midnight through
The forest, brave and strong and true.
By my command they live at ease
And slaughter saints and devotees.
Those twice seven thousand giants, all
Obedient to their captain's call,
Joying in war and ruthless deeds
Follow where mighty Khara leads.
Those fearless warrior bands who roam
Through Janasthán their forest home,
In all their terrible array
Met Ráma in the battle fray.
Girt with all weapons forth they sped
With Khara at the army's head.
The front of battle Ráma held:
With furious wrath his bosom swelled.
Without a word his hate to show
He launched the arrows from his bow.
On the fierce hosts the missiles came,
Each burning with destructive flame,
The twice seven thousand fell o'erthrown
By him, a man, on foot, alone.
Khara the army's chief and pride,
And Dúshan, fearless warrior, died,
And Trisirás the fierce was slain,
And Dandak wood was free again.
He, banished by his angry sire,
Roams with his wife in mean attire.
This wretch, his Warrior tribe's disgrace
Has slain the best of giant race.
Harsh, wicked, fierce and greedy-souled,
A fool, with senses uncontrolled,
No thought of duty stirs his breast:
He joys to see the world distressed.
He sought the wood with fair pretence
Of truthful life and innocence,
But his false hand my sister left
Mangled, of nose and ears bereft.
This Ráma's wife who bears the name
Of Sítá, in her face and frame
Fair as a daughter of the skies,--
Her will I seize and bring the prize
Triumphant from the forest shade:
For this I seek thy willing aid.
If thou, O mighty one, wilt lend
Thy help and stand beside thy friend,
I with my brothers may defy
All Gods embattled in the sky.
Come, aid me now, for thine the power
To succour in the doubtful hour.
Thou art in war and time of fear,
For heart and hand, without a peer.
For thou art skilled in art and wile,
A warrior brave and trained in guile.
With this one hope, this only aim,
O Rover of the Night, I came.
Now let me tell what aid I ask
To back me in my purposed task.
In semblance of a golden deer
Adorned with silver spots appear.
Go, seek his dwelling: in the way
Of Ráma and his consort stray.
Doubt not the lady, when she sees
The wondrous deer amid the trees,
Will bid her lord and Lakshman take
The creature for its beauty's sake.
Then when the chiefs have parted thence,
And left her lone, without defence,
As Ráhu storms the moonlight, I
Will seize the lovely dame and fly.
Her lord will waste away and weep
For her his valour could not keep.
Then boldly will I strike the blow
And wreak my vengeance on the foe."
When wise Márícha heard the tale
His heart grew faint, his cheek was pale,
He stared with open orbs, and tried
To moisten lips which terror dried,
And grief, like death, his bosom rent
As on the king his look he bent.
The monarch's will he strove to stay,
Distracted with alarm,
For well he knew the might that lay
In Ráma's matchless arm.
With suppliant hands Márícha stood
And thus began to tell
His counsel for the tyrant's good,
And for his own as well: