Their threats unfeared, their counsel spurned,
The demons' breasts with fury burned.
Some sought the giant king to bear
The tale of Sítá's fixt despair.
With threats and taunts renewed the rest
Around the weeping lady pressed.
But Trijatá, of softer mould,
A Rákshas matron wise and old,
With pity for the captive moved,
In words like these the fiends reproved:
"Me, me," she cried, "eat me, but spare
The spouse of Dasaratha's heir.
Last night I dreamt a dream; and still
The fear and awe my bosom chill;
For in that dream I saw foreshown
Our race by Ráma's hand o'erthrown.
I saw a chariot high in air,
Of ivory exceeding fair.
A hundred steeds that chariot drew
As swiftly through the clouds it flew,
And, clothed in white, with wreaths that shone,
The sons of Raghu rode thereon.
I looked and saw this lady here,
Clad in the purest white, appear
High on the snow white hill whose feet
The angry waves of ocean beat.
And she and Ráma met at last
Like light and sun when night is past.
Again I saw them side by side.
On Rávan's car they seemed to ride,
And with the princely Lakshman flee
To northern realms beyond the sea.
Then Rávan, shaved and shorn, besmeared
With oil from head to foot, appeared.
He quaffed, he raved: his robes were red:
Fierce was his eye, and bare his head.
I saw him from his chariot thrust;
I saw him rolling in the dust.
A woman came and dragged away
The stricken giant where he lay,
And on a car which asses drew
The monarch of our race she threw.
He rose erect, he danced and laughed,
With thirsty lips the oil he quaffed,
Then with wild eyes and streaming mouth
Sped on the chariot to the south.(844)
Then, dropping oil from every limb,
His sons the princes followed him,
And Kumbhakarna,(845) shaved and shorn,
Was southward on a camel borne.
Then royal Lanká reeled and fell
With gate and tower and citadel.
This ancient city, far-renowned:
All life within her walls was drowned;
And the wild waves of ocean rolled
O'er Lanká and her streets of gold.
Warned by these signs I bid you fly;
Or by the hand of Ráma die,
Whose vengeance will not spare the life
Of one who vexed his faithful wife.
Your bitter taunts and threats forgo:
Comfort the lady in her woe,
And humbly pray her to forgive;
For so you may be spared and live."
[I omit the 28th and 29th Cantos as an unmistakeable interpolation.
Instead of advancing the story it goes back to Canto XVII, containing a
lamentation of Sítá after Rávan has left her, and describes the the
auspicious signs sent to cheer her, the throbbing of her left eye, arm,
and side. The Canto is found in the Bengal recension. Gorresio translates
it. and observes: "I think that Chapter XXVIII.--The Auspicious Signs--is an
addition, a later interpolation by the Rhapsodists. It has no bond of
connexion either with what precedes or follows it, and may be struck out
not only without injury to, but positively to the advantage of the poem.
The metre in which this chapter is written differs from that which is
generally adopted in the course of the poem."]