"What further deed remains to do
To vex the Rákshas king anew?
The beauty of his grove is marred,
Killed are the bravest of his guard.
The captains of his host are slain;
But forts and palaces remain,
Swift is the work and light the toil
Each fortress of the foe to spoil."
Reflecting thus, his tail ablaze
As through the cloud red lightning plays,
He scaled the palaces and spread
The conflagration where he sped.
From house to house he hurried on,
And the wild flames behind him shone.
Each mansion of the foe he scaled,
And furious fire its roof assailed
Till all the common ruin shared:
Vibhishan's house alone was spared.
From blazing pile to pile he sprang,
And loud his shout of triumph rang,
As roars the doomsday cloud when all
The worlds in dissolution fall.
The friendly wind conspired to fan
The hungry flames that leapt and ran,
And spreading in their fury caught
The gilded walls with pearls inwrought,
Till each proud palace reeled and fell
As falls a heavenly citadel.
Loud was the roar the demons raised
Mid walls that split and beams that blazed,
As each with vain endeavour strove
To stay the flames in house or grove.
The women, with dishevelled hair,
Flocked to the roofs in wild despair,
Shrieked out for succour, wept aloud,
And fell, like lightning from a cloud.
He saw the flames ascend and curl
Round turkis, diamond, and pearl,
While silver floods and molten gold
From ruined wall and latice rolled.
As fire grows fiercer as he feeds
On wood and grass and crackling reeds,
So Hanúmán the ruin eyed
With fury still unsatisfied.