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Canto XLII. The Army Of The West.

Then to Sushen Sugríva bent,
And thus addressed him reverent:
"Two hundred thousand of our best
With thee, my lord, shall seek the west.
Explore Suráshtra's(714)] distant plain,
Explore Váhlíka's(715) wild domain,
And all the pleasant brooks that flee
Through mountains to the western sea.
Search clustering groves on mountain heights,
And woods the home of anchorites.
Search where the breezy hills are high,
Search where the desert regions lie.
Search all the western land beset
With woody mountains like a net.
The country's farthest limit reach,
And stand upon the ocean beach.
There wander through the groves of palm
Where the soft air is full of balm.
Through grassy dell and dark ravine
Seek Rávan and the Maithil queen.
Go visit Somagiri's(716) steep
Where Sindhu(717) mingles with the deep.
There lions, borne on swift wings, roam
The levels of their mountain home,
And elephants and monsters bear,
Caught from the ocean, to their lair.
You Vánars, changing forms at will,
With rapid search must scour the hill,
And his sky-kissing peak of gold
Where loveliest trees their blooms unfold.
There golden-peaked, ablaze with light,
Uprises Páriyátra's(718) height
Where wild Gandharvas, fierce and fell,
In bands of countless myriads dwell.
Pluck ye no fruit within the wood;
Beware the impious neighbourhood,
Where, very mighty, strong, and hard
To overcome, the fruit they guard.
Yet search for Janak's daughter still,
For Vánars there need fear no ill.
Near, bright as turkis, Vajra(719) named,
There stands a hill of diamond framed.
Soaring a hundred leagues in pride,
With trees and creepers glorified.
Search there each cave and dark abyss
By waterfall and precipice.
Far in that sea the wild waves beat
On Chakraván's(720) firm-rooted feet.
Where the great discus,(721) thousand rayed,
By Vísvakarmá's(722) art was made.
When Panchajan(723) the fiend was slain.
And Hayagríva,(724) fierce in vain,
Thence taking shell and discus went
Lord Vishnu, God preëminent.
On! sixty thousand hills of gold
With wondering eyes shall ye behold,
Where in his glory every one
Is brilliant as the morning sun.
Full in the midst King Meru,(725) best
Of mountains, lifts his lofty crest,
On whom of yore, as all have heard,
The sun well-pleased this boon conferred:
"On thee, O King, on thee and thine
Light, day and night, shall ever shine.
Gandharvas, Gods who love thee well
And on thy sacred summits dwell,
Undimmed in lustre, bright and fair,
The golden sheen shall ever share."
The Visvas,(726) Vasus,(727) they who ride
The tempest,(728) every God beside,
Draw nigh to Meru's lofty crest
When evening darkens in the west,
And to the parting Lord of Day
The homage of their worship pay,
Ere yet a while, unseen of all,
Behind Mount Asta's(729) peaks he fall.
Wrought by the heavenly artist's care
A glorious palace glitters there,
And round about it sweet birds sing
Where the gay trees are blossoming:
The home of Varun(730) high-souled lord,
Wrist-girded with his deadly cord.(731)
With ten tall stems, a palm between
Meru and Asta's hill is seen:
Pure silver from the base it springs,
And far and wide its lustre flings.
Seek Rávan and the dame by brook,
In pathless glen, in leafy nook
On Meru's crest a hermit lives
Bright with the light that penance gives:
Sávarni(732) is he named, renowned
As Brahmá's peer, with glory crowned.
There bowing down in reverence speak
And ask him of the dame you seek.
Thus far the splendid Lord of Day
Pursues through heaven his ceaseless way,
Shedding on every spot his light;
Then sinks behind Mount Asta's height,
Thus far advance: the sunless sea
Beyond is all unknown to me.
Sushen of mighty arm, long tried
In peril, shall your legions guide.
Receive his words with high respect,
And ne'er his lightest wish neglect.
He is my consort's sire, and hence
Deserves the utmost reverence."