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Canto XX. Rávan's Wooing.

With amorous look and soft address
The fiend began his suit to press:
"Why wouldst thou, lady lotus-eyed,
From my fond glance those beauties hide?
Mine eager suit no more repel:
But love me, for I love thee well.
Dismiss, sweet dame, dismiss thy fear;
No giant and no man is near.
Ours is the right by force to seize
What dames soe'er our fancy please.(828)
But I with rude hands will not touch
A lady whom I love so much.
Fear not, dear queen: no fear is nigh:
Come, on thy lover's love rely,
Some little sign of favor show,
Nor lie enamoured of thy woe.
Those limbs upon that cold earth laid,
Those tresses twined in single braid,(829)
The fast and woe that wear thy frame,
Beseem not thee, O beauteous dame.
For thee the fairest wreaths were meant,
The sandal and the aloe's scent,
Rich ornaments and pearls of price,
And vesture meet for Paradise.
With dainty cates shouldst thou be fed,
And rest upon a sumptuous bed.
And festive joys to thee belong,
The music, and the dance and song.
Rise, pearl of women, rise and deck
With gems and chains thine arms and neck.
Shall not the dame I love be seen
In vesture worthy of a queen?
Methinks when thy sweet form was made
His hand the wise Creator stayed;
For never more did he design
A beauty meet to rival thine.
Come, let us love while yet we may,
For youth will fly and charms decay,
Come cast thy grief and fear aside,
And be my love, my chosen bride.
The gems and jewels that my hand
Has reft from every plundered land,--
To thee I give them all this day,
And at thy feet my kingdom lay.
The broad rich earth will I o'errun,
And leave no town unconquered, none;
Then of the whole an offering make
To Janak,(830) dear, for thy sweet sake.
In all the world no power I see
Of God or man can strive with me.
Of old the Gods and Asurs set
In terrible array I met:
Their scattered hosts to earth I beat,
And trod their flags beneath my feet.
Come, taste of bliss and drink thy fill,
And rule the slave who serves thy will.
Think not of wretched Ráma: he
Is less than nothing now to thee.
Stript of his glory, poor, dethroned,
A wanderer by his friends disowned,
On the cold earth he lays his head,
Or is with toil and misery dead.
And if perchance he lingers yet,
His eyes on thee shall ne'er be set.
Could he, that mighty monarch, who
Was named Hiranyakasipu,
Could he who wore the garb of gold
Win Glory back from Indra's hold?(831)
O lady of the lovely smile,
Whose eyes the sternest heart beguile,
In all thy radiant beauty dressed
My heart and soul thou ravishest.
What though thy robe is soiled and worn,
And no bright gems thy limbs adorn,
Thou unadorned art dearer far
Than all my loveliest consorts are.
My royal home is bright and fair;
A thousand beauties meet me there,
But come, my glorious love, and be
The queen of all those dames and me."