With longing love and woe oppressed
The Vánar chief he thus addressed:
And he, while sobs his utterance broke,
Raised up his reverent hands and spoke:
"O Raghu's son, I cannot tell
Where now that cruel fiend may dwell,
Declare his power and might, or trace
The author of his cursed race.
Still trust the promise that I make
And let thy breast no longer ache.
So will I toil, nor toil in vain,
That thou thy consort mayst regain.
So will I work with might and skill
That joy anew thy heart shall fill:
The valour of my soul display,
And Rávan and his legions slay.
Awake, awake! unmanned no more
Recall the strength was thine of yore.
Beseems not men like thee to wear
A weak heart yielding to despair.
Like troubles, too, mine eyes have seen,
Lamenting for a long-lost queen;
But, by despair unconquered yet,
My strength of mind I ne'er forget.
Far more shouldst thou of lofty soul
Thy passion and thy tears control,
When I, of Vánar's humbler strain,
Weep not for her in ceaseless pain.
Be firm, be patient, nor forget
The bounds the brave of heart have set
In loss, in woe, in strife, in fear,
When the dark hour of death is near.
Up! with thine own brave heart advise:
Not thus despond the firm and wise.
But he who gives his childish heart
To choose the coward's weakling part,
Sinks, like a foundered vessel, deep
In waves of woe that o'er him sweep.
See, suppliant hand to hand I lay,
And, moved by faithful love, I pray.
Give way no more to grief and gloom,
But all thy native strength resume.
No joy on earth, I ween, have they
Who yield their souls to sorrow's sway.
Their glory fades in slow decline:
'Tis not for thee to grieve and pine.
I do but hint with friendly speech
The wiser part I dare not teach.
This better path, dear friend, pursue,
And let not grief thy soul subdue."
Sugríva thus with gentle art
And sweet words soothed the mourner's heart,
Who brushed off with his mantle's hem
Tears from the eyes bedewed with them.
Sugríva's words were not in vain,
And Ráma was himself again,
Around the king his arms he threw
And thus began his speech anew:
"Whate'er a friend most wise and true,
Who counsels for the best, should do,
Whate'er his gentle part should be,
Has been performed, dear friend, by thee.
Taught by thy counsel, O my lord,
I feel my native strength restored.
A friend like thee is hard to gain,
Most rare in time of grief and pain.
Now strain thine utmost power to trace
The Maithil lady's dwelling place,
And aid me in my search to find
Fierce Rávan of the impious mind.
Trust thou, in turn, thy loyal friend,
And say what aid this arm can lend
To speed thy hopes, as fostering rain
Quickens in earth the scattered grain.
Deem not those words, that seemed to spring
From pride, are false, O Vánar King.
None from these lips has ever heard,
None e'er shall hear, one lying word.
Again I promise and declare,
Yea, by my truth, dear friend, I swear."
Then glad was King Sugríva's breast,
And all his lords their joy confessed,
Stirred by sure hope of Ráma's aid,
And promise which the prince had made.