He ceased: and Tárá starry-eyed
Thus to the angry prince replied:
'Not to my lord shouldst thou address
A speech so fraught with bitterness:
Not thus reproached my lord should be,
And least of all, O Prince, by thee.
He is no thankless coward--no--
With spirit dead to valour's glow.
From paths of truth he never strays,
Nor wanders in forbidden ways.
Ne'er will Sugríva's heart forget,
By Ráma saved, the lasting debt.
Still in his grateful breast will live
The succour none but he could give.
Restored to fame by Ráma's grace,
To empire o'er the Vánar race,
From ceaseless dread and toil set free,
Restored to Rumá and to me:
By grief and care and exile tried,
New to the bliss so long denied,
Like Visvámitra once, alas,
He marks not how the seasons pass.
That saint ten thousand years remained,
By sweet Ghritáchís 1 love enchained,
And deemed those years, that flew away
So lightly, but a single day.
O, if those years unheeded flew
By him who times and seasons knew,
Unequalled for his lofty mind.
What marvel meaner eyes are blind?
Then be not angry, Raghu's son,
And let thy brother feel for one
Who many a weary year has spent
Stranger to love and blandishment.
Let not this wrath thy soul inflame,
Like some mean wretch unknown to fame:
For high and noble hearts like thine
Love mercy and to truth incline,
Calm and deliberate, and slow
With anger's raging fire to glow.
At length, O righteous prince, relent,
Nor let my words in vain be spent.
This sudden blaze of fury slake,
I pray thee for Sugríva's sake.
He would renounce at Ráma's call
Rumá and Angad, me and all
Who call him lord: his gold and grain,
The favour of his friend to gain.
His arm shall slay the fiend more base
In soul than all his impious race,
And happy Ráma reunite
To Sitá, rival in delight
Of the triumphant Moon when he
Rejoins his darling Rohiní. 1b
Ten million million demons guard
The gates of Lanká firmly barred.
All hope until that host be slain,
To smite the robber king is vain.
Nor with Sugríva's aid alone
May king and host be overthrown.
Thus ere he died--for well he knew--
Spake Báli, and his words are true.
I know not what his proofs might be,
But speak the words he spake to me.
Hence far and wide our lords are sent
To raise the mightiest armament.
For their return Sugríva waits
Ere he can sally from his gates.
Still is the oath Sugríva swore
Kept firmly even as before:
And the great host this day will be
Assembled by the king's decree,
Ten thousand thousand troops, who wear
The form of monkey and of bear,
Prepared for thee the war to wage:
Then let thy wrath no longer rage.
The matrons of the Vánar race
See marks of fury in thy face;
They see thine eyes like blood are red,
And will not yet be comforted.'
367:1 The story is told in Book 1. Canto LXIII., but the charmer there is called Menaká.