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Canto XXIX. Hanumán's Counsel.

No flash of lightning lit the sky,
No cloudlet marred the blue on high.
The Saras(630) missed the welcome rain,
The moon's full beams were bright again.
Sugríva, lapped in bliss, forgot
The claims of faith, or heeded not;
And by alluring joys misled
The path of falsehood learned to tread.
In careless ease he passed each hour,
And dallied in his lady's bower.
Each longing of his heart was stilled,
And every lofty hope fulfilled.
With royal Rumá by his side,
Or Tárá yet a dearer bride,
He spent each joyous day and night
In revelry and wild delight,
Like Indra whom the nymphs entice
To taste the joys of Paradise.
The power to courtiers' hands resigned,
To all their acts his eyes were blind.
All doubt, all fear he cast aside
And lived with pleasure for his guide.
But sage Hanúmán, firm and true,
Whose heart the lore of Scripture knew,
Well trained to meet occasion, trained
In all by duty's law ordained,
Strove with his prudent speech to find
Soft access to the monarch's mind.
He, skilled in every gentle art
Of eloquence that wins the heart,
Sugríva from his trance to wake,
His salutary counsel spake:

"The realm is won, thy name advanced,
The glory of thy house enhanced,
And now thy foremost care should be
To aid the friends who succoured thee.
He who is firm and faithful found
To friendly ties in honour bound,
Will see his name and fame increase
And his blest kingdom thrive in peace.
Wide sway is his who truly boasts
That friends and treasure, self and hosts,
All blent in one harmonious whole,
Are subject to his firm control.
Do thou, whose footsteps never stray
From the clear bounds of duty's way,
Assist, as honour bids thee, now
Thy friends, observant of thy vow.
For if all cares we lay not by,
And to our friend's assistance fly,
We, after, toil in idle haste,
And all the late endeavour waste.
Up! nor the promised help delay
Until the hour have slipped away.
Up! and with Raghu's son renew
The search for Sítá lost to view.
The hour is come: he hears the call,
But not on thee reproaches fall
From him who labours to repress
His eager spirit's restlessness.
Long joined to thee in friendly ties
He made thy fame and fortune rise,
In gentle gifts by none excelled.
In splendid might unparalleled.
Up, to his succour, King! repay
The favour of that prosperous day,
And to thy bravest captains send
Prompt mandates to assist thy friend.
The cry for help thou wilt not spurn
Although no grace demands return:
And wilt thou not thine aid afford
To him who realm and life restored?
Exert thy power, and thou hast won
The love of Dasaratha's son:
And wilt thou for his summons wait,
And, till he call thee, hesitate?
Think not the hero needs thy power
To save him in the desperate hour:
He with his arrows could subdue
The Gods and all the demon crew,
And only waits that he may see
Redeemed the promise made by thee.
For thee he risked his life and fought,
For thee that great deliverance wrought.
Then let us trace through earth and skies
His lady wheresoe'er she lies.
Through realms above, beneath, we flee,
And plant our footsteps on the sea.
Then why, O Lord of Vánars, still
Delay us waiting for thy will?
Give thy commands, O King, and say
What task has each and where the way.
Before thee myriad Vánars stand
To sweep through heaven, o'er seas and land."

Sugríva heard the timely rede
That roused him in the day of need,
And thus to Níla prompt and brave
His hest the imperial Vánar gave:
"Go, Níla, to the distant hosts
That keep in arms their several posts,
And all the armies that protect
The quarters,(631) with their chiefs, collect.
To all the luminaries placed
In intermediate regions haste,
And bid each captain rise and lead
His squadrons to their king with speed.
Do thou meanwhile with strictest care
All that the time requires prepare.
The loitering Vánar who delays
To gather here ere thrice five days,
Shall surely die for his offence,
Condemned for sinful negligence."