To him Mahesvar thus replied:
"O strong-armed hero, lotus-eyed,
Thou, best of those who love the right,
Hast nobly fought the wondrous fight.
Dispelled by thee the doom that spread
Through trembling earth and heaven is fled.
The worlds exult in light and bliss,
And praise thy name, O chief, for this.
Now peace to Bharat's heart restore,
And bid Kausalyá weep no more.
Thy face let Queen Kaikeyí see,
Let fond Sumitrá gaze on thee.
The longing of thy friends relieve,
The kingdom of thy sires receive.
Let sons of gentle Sítá born
Ikshváku's ancient line adorn.
Then from all care and foemen freed
Perform the offering of the steed.
In pious gifts thy wealth expend,
Then to the home of Gods ascend,
Thy sire, this glorious king, behold,
Among the blest in heaven enrolled.
He comes from where the Immortals dwell:
Salute him, for he loves thee well."
His mandate Raghu's sons obeyed,
And to their sire obeisance made,
Where high he stood above the car
In wondrous light that shone afar,
His limbs in radiant garments dressed
Whereon no spot of dust might rest.
When on the son he loved so well
The eyes of Dasaratha fell,
He strained the hero to his breast
And thus with gentle words addressed:
"No joy to me is heavenly bliss,
For there these eyes my Ráma miss.
Enrolled on high with saint and sage,
Thy woes, dear son, my thoughts engage.
Kaikeyí's guile I ne'er forget:
Her cruel words will haunt me yet,
Which sent thee forth, my son, to roam
The forest far from me and home.
Now when I look on each dear face,
And hold you both in fond embrace,
My heart is full of joy to see
The sons I love from danger free.
Now know I what the Gods designed,
And how in Ráma's form enshrined
The might of Purushottam lay,
The tyrant of the worlds to slay.
Ah, how Kausalyá will rejoice
To hear again her darling's voice,
And, all thy weary wanderings o'er,
To gaze upon thy face once more.
Ah blest, for ever blest are they
Whose eyes shall see the glorious day
Of thy return in joy at last,
Thy term of toil and exile past.
Ayodhyá's lord, begin thy reign,
And day by day new glory gain."
He ceased: and Ráma thus replied:
"Be not this grace, O sire, denied.
Those hasty words, that curse revoke
Which from thy lips in anger broke:
"Kaikeyí, be no longer mine:
I cast thee off, both thee and thine."
O father, let no sorrow fall
On her or hers: thy curse recall."
"Yea, she shall live, if so thou wilt,"
The sire replied, "absolved from guilt."
Round Lakshman then his arms he threw,
And moved by love began anew:
"Great store of merit shall be thine,
And brightly shall thy glory shine;
Secure on earth thy brother's grace.
And high in heaven shall be thy place.
Thy glorious king obey and fear:
To him the triple world is dear.
God, saint, and sage, by Indra led,
To Ráma bow the reverent head,
Nor from the Lord, the lofty-souled,
Their worship or their praise withhold.
Heart of the Gods, supreme is he,
The One who ne'er shall cease to be."
On Sítá then he looked and smiled;
"List to my words" he said, "dear child,
Let not thy gentle breast retain
One lingering trace of wrath or pain.
When by the fire thy truth be proved,
By love for thee his will was moved.
The furious flame thy faith confessed
Which shrank not from the awful test:
And thou, in every heart enshrined,
Shalt live the best of womankind."
He ceased: he bade the three adieu,
And home to heaven exulting flew.