"Receive," he cried, "this precious ring,(859)
Sure token from thy lord the king:
The golden ring he wont to wear:
See, Ráma's name engraven there."
Then, as she took the ring he showed,
The tears that spring of rapture flowed.
She seemed to touch the hand that sent
The dearly valued ornament,
And with her heart again at ease,
Replied in gentle words like these:
"O thou, whose soul no fears deter,
Wise, brave, and faithful messenger!
And hast thou dared, o'er wave and foam,
To seek me in the giants' home?
In thee, true messenger, I find
The noblest of thy woodland kind.
Who couldst, unmoved by terror, brook
On Rávan, king of fiends, to look.
Now may we commune here as friends,
For he whom royal Ráma sends
Must needs be one in danger tried,
A valiant, wise, and faithful guide.
Say, is it well with Ráma still?
Lives Lakshman yet untouched by ill?
Then why should Ráma's hand be slow
To free his consort from her woe?
Why spare to burn, in search of me,
The land encircled by the sea?
Can Bharat send no army out
With banners, cars and battle shout?
Cannot thy king Sugríva lend
His legions to assist his friend?"
His hands upon his head he laid
And thus again his answer made:
"Not yet has Ráma learnt where lies
His lady of the lotus eyes,
Or he like Indra from the sky
To Sachí's(860) aid, to thee would fly.
Soon will he hear the tale, and then,
Roused to revenge, the lord of men
Will to the giants' island lead
Fierce myriads of the woodland breed,
Bridging his conquering way, and make
The town a ruin for thy sake.
Believe my words, sweet dame; I swear
By roots and fruit, my woodland fare,
By Meru's peak and Vindhva's chain,
And Mandar of the Milky Main,
Soon shalt thou see thy lord, though now
He waits upon Prasravan's(861) brow,
Come glorious as the breaking morn,
Like Indra on Airávat(862) borne.
For thee he looks with longing eyes;
The wood his scanty food supplies.
For thee his brow is pale and worn,
For thee are meat and wine forsworn.
Thine image in his heart he keeps,
For thee by night he wakes and weeps.
Or if perchance his eyes he close
And win brief respite from his woes,
E'en then the name of Sítá slips
In anguish from his murmuring lips.
If lovely flowers or fruit he sees,
Which women love, upon the trees,
To thee, to thee his fancy flies.
And 'Sítá! O my love!' he cries."