Again the Vánar chief began
Each chamber, bower, and hall to scan.
In vain: he found not her he sought,
And pondered thus in bitter thought:
"Ah me the Maithil queen is slain:
She, ever true and free from stain,
The fiend's entreaty has denied,
And by his cruel hand has died.
Or has she sunk, by terror killed,
When first she saw the palace filled
With female monsters evil miened
Who wait upon the robber fiend?
No battle fought, no might displayed,
In vain this anxious search is made;
Nor shall my steps, made slow by shame,
Because I failed to find the dame,
Back to our lord the king be bent,
For he is swift to punishment.
In every bower my feet have been,
The dames of Rávan have I seen;
But Ráma's spouse I seek in vain,
And all my toil is fruitless pain.
How shall I meet the Vánar band
I left upon the ocean strand?
How, when they bid me speak, proclaim
These tidings of defeat and shame?
How shall I look on Angad's eye?
What words will Jámbaván reply?
Yet dauntless hearts will never fail
To win success though foes assail,
And I this sorrow will subdue
And search the palace through and through,
Exploring with my cautious tread
Each spot as yet unvisited."
Again he turned him to explore
Each chamber, hall, and corridor,
And arbour bright with scented bloom,
And lodge and cell and picture-room.
With eager eye and noiseless feet
He passed through many a cool retreat
Where women lay in slumber drowned;
But Sítá still was nowhere found.