O'erwhelmed with rapture Bharat heard
The tale that all his being stirred,
And, heralding the glad event,
This order to Satrughna sent:
"Let every shrine with flowers be gay
Let incense burn and music play.
Go forth, go forth to meet your king,
Let tabours sound and minstrels sing,
Let bards swell high the note of praise
Skilled in the lore of ancient days,
Call forth the royal matrons: call
Each noble from the council hall.
Send all we love and honour most,
Send Bráhmans and the warrior host,
A glorious company to bring
In triumph home our lord the king."
Great rapture filled Satrughna's breast,
Obedient to his brother's hest.
"Send forth ten thousand men" he cried,
"Let brawny arms be stoutly plied,
And, smoothing all with skilful care,
The road for Kosal's king prepare.
Then o'er the earth let thousands throw
Fresh showers of water cool as snow,
And others strew with garlands gay
With loveliest blooms our monarch's way.
On tower and temple porch and gate
Let banners wave in royal state,
And be each roof and terrace lined
With blossoms loose and chaplets twined."
The nobles hasting forth fulfilled
His order as Satrughna willed.
Sublime on elephants they rode
Whose gilded girths with jewels glowed.
Attended close by thousands more
Gay with the gear and flags they bore.
A thousand chiefs their steeds bestrode,
Their glittering cars a thousand showed.
And countless hosts in rich array
Pursued on foot their eager way.
Veiled from the air with silken screens
In litters rode the widowed queens.
Kausalyá first, acknowledged head
And sovereign of the household, led:
Sumitrá next, and after, dames
Of lower rank and humbler names.
Then compassed by a white-robed throng
Of Bráhmans, heralded with song,
With shouts of joy from countless throats,
And shells' and tambours' mingled notes,
And drums resounding long and loud,
Exulting Bharat joined the crowd.
Still on his head, well-trained in lore
Of duty, Ráma's shoes he bore.
The moon-white canopy was spread
With flowery twine engarlanded,
And jewelled cheuries, meet to hold
O'er Ráma's brow, shone bright with gold,
Though Nandigráma's town they neared,
Of Ráma yet no sign appeared.
Then Bharat called the Vánar chief
And questioned thus in doubt and grief:
"Hast thou uncertain, like thy kind,
A sweet delusive guile designed?
Where, where is royal Ráma? show
The hero, victor of the foe.
I gaze, but see no Vánars still
Who wear each varied shape at will."
In eager love thus Bharat cried,
And thus the Wind-God's son replied:
"Look, Bharat, on those laden trees
That murmur with the song of bees;
For Ráma's sake the saint has made
Untimely fruits, unwonted shade.
Such power in ages long ago
Could Indra's gracious boon bestow.
O, hear the Vánars' voices, hear
The shouting which proclaims them near.
E'en now about to cross they seem
Sweet Gomatí's delightful stream.
I see, I see the car designed
By Brahmá's own creative mind,
The car which, radiant as the moon,
Moves at the will by Brahmá's boon;
The car which once was Rávan's pride,
The victor's spoil when Rávan died.
Look, there are Raghu's sons: between
The brothers stands the rescued queen.
There is Vibhishan full in view,
Sugríva and his retinue."
He ceased: then rapture loosed each tongue:
From men and dames, from old and young,
One long, one universal cry,
'Tis he, 'tis Ráma, smote the sky.
All lighted down with eager speed
From elephant and car and steed,
And every joyful eye intent
On Ráma's moonbright face was bent.
Entranced a moment Bharat gazed:
Then reverential hands he raised,
And on his brother humbly pressed
The honours due to welcome guest.
Then Bharat clomb the car to greet
His king and bowed him at his feet,
Till Ráma raised him face to face
And held him in a close embrace.
Then Lakshman and the Maithil dame
He greeted as he spoke his name(1026)
He greeted next, supreme in place,
The sovereign of the Vánar race,
And Jámbaván and Báli's son,
And lords and chiefs, omitting none.(1027)
Sugríva to his heart he pressed
And thus with grateful words addressed:
"Four brothers, Vánar king, were we,
And now we boast a fifth in thee.
By kindly acts a friend we know:
Offence and wrong proclaim the foe."
To King Vibhishan then he spake:
"Well hast thou fought for Ráma's sake."
Nor was the brave Satrughna slow
His reverential love to show
To both his brothers, as was meet,
And venerate the lady's feet.
Then Ráma to his mother came,
Saw her pale cheek and wasted frame,
With gentle words her heart consoled,
And clasped her feet with loving hold.
Then at Sumitrá's feet he bent,
And fair Kaikeyí's, reverent,
Greeted each dame from chief to least,
And bowed him to the household priest.
Up rose a shout from all the throng:
"O welcome, Ráma, mourned so long.
Welcome, Kausalyá's joy and pride,"
Ten hundred thousand voices cried.
Then Bharat placed, in duty taught,
On Ráma's feet the shoes he brought:
"My King," he cried, "receive again
The pledge preserved through years of pain,
The rule and lordship of the land
Entrusted to my weaker hand.
No more I sigh o'er sorrows past,
My birth and life are blest at last
In the glad sight this day has shown,
When Ráma comes to rule his own."
He ceased: the faithful love that moved
The prince's soul each heart approved;
Nor could the Vánar chiefs refrain
From tender tears that fell like rain.
Then Ráma, stirred with joy anew,
His arms about his brother threw,
And to the grove his course he bent
Where Bharat's hermit days were spent.
Alighting in that pure retreat
He pressed the earth with eager feet.
Then, at his hest, the car rose high
And sailing through the northern sky
Sped homeward to the Lord of Gold
Who owned the wondrous prize of old.(1028)