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tila, asoka, palm, rose-apple, cassia, jasmine, mango, and sal, are all interrogated, but in vain. He then asks the deer, the elephant, and the tiger, but with no better success :

“Thus' as he cried in wild lament,
From grove to grove the mourner went,
Here for a moment sank to rest,
Then started up and onward pressed.
Thus roaming on like one distraught,
Still for his vanished love he sought.
He searched in wood and hill and glade,
By rock and brook and wild cascade.
Through groves with restless step he sped,
And left no spot un visited.
Through lawns and woods of vast extent
Still searching for his love he went

With eager steps and fast.
For many a weary hour he toiled,
Still in his fond endeavor foiled,

Yet hoping to the last."-Book III, Canto lxi.

As before stated, Hanuman, the monkey-god, (who changed his size to suit his convenience, went to Ceylon to find Sita. After slaying the warriors he set fire to the city :


" What further deed remains to do
To vex the Raksha's king anew ?
The beauty of his grove is marred,
Killed are the bravest of his giard.
The captains of his host are slain,
But forts and palaces remain.
Swift is the work and light the toil
Each fortress of the foe to spoil.'
Reflecting thus, his tail ablaze
As through the cloud red lightning plays,
He scaled the palaces, and spread
The conflagration where he sped.
From house to house he hurried on,
And the wild flames behind him shone.
Each mansion of the foe he scaled,
And furious fire its roof assailed,
Till all the common ruin shared :
Vibhishan's house alone was spared.
From blazing pile to pile he sprang,
And loud his shout of triumph rang,
As roars the doomsday cloud when all
The worlds in dissolution fall.

The friendly wind conspired to fan
The hungry flames that leapt and ran,
And, spreading in their fury caught.
The gilded walls with pearls inwrought,
Till each proud palace reeled and fell
As falls a heavenly citadel.

Loud was the roar the demons raised
'Mid walls that split and beams that blazed,
As each with vain endeavor strove
To stay the flames in house or grove.
The women, with disheveled bair,
Flocked to the roofs in wild despair,
Shrieked out for succor, wept aloud,
And fell like lightning from a cloud.
He saw the flame ascend and curl
Round turkis, diamond, and pearl,
While silver floods and molten gold
From ruined wall and lattice rolled.
As fire grows fiercer as he feeds
On wood and grass and crackling weeds,
So Hanuman the ruin eyed

With fury still unsatisfied."— Book V, Canto liv.
The conflict between the opposing armies of Rama and Ra-
van was long continued, and the description fills several cantos.
The following is one of the closing scenes :

“With wondrous power and might and skill

The giant fought with Rama still.
Each at his foe his chariot drove,
And still for death or victory strove.
The warriors' steeds together dashed,
And pole with pole re-echoing clashed.
Then Rama, launching dart on dart,
Made Ravan's coursers swerve and start.
Nor was the lord of Lanka slow
To rain his arrows on his foe,
Who showed, by fiery points assailed,
No trace of pain, nor shook nor quailed.
Dense clouds of arrows Rama shot
With that strong arm which rested not,
And spear and mace and club and brand
Fell in dire rain from Ravan's hand.
The storm of missiles fiercely cast
Stirred up the oceans with its blast,
And serpent-gods and fiends who dwell
Below were troubled by the swell.
The earth with hill and plain and brook
And grove and garden reeled and shook :
The very sun grew cold and pale,
And horror stilled the rising gale. ...

Then to his deadly string the pride
Of Raghu's race a shaft applied.
Sharp as a serpent's venomed fang
Straight to its mark the arrow sprang.
And from the giant's body shred
With trenchant steel the monstrous head.
There might the triple world behold
That severed head adorned with gold.
But when all eyes were bent to view,
Swift in its stead another grew.
Again the shaft was pointed well ;
Again the head divided fell.
But still as each to earth was cast
Another head succeeded fast.
A hundred, bright with fiery flame
Fell low before the victor's aim,
Yet Ravan by no sign betrayed
That death was near or strength decayed.
The doubtful fight he still maintained,
And on his foe bis missiles rained.
In air, on earth, on plain, on hill,
With awful might he battled still;
And through the hours of night and day
The conflict knew no pause or stay.”—Book VI, Canto ciz

But at last Rama was victorious, and the poet tells of

RAVAN'S DEATH. “ Then Matali to Rama cried :

*Let other arms the day decide.
Why wilt thou strive with useless toil,
And see his might thy efforts foil ?
Launch at the foe thy dart whose fire
Was kindled by the Almighty Sire.'
He ceased : and Raghu's son obeyed :
Upon his string the hero laid
An arrow, like a snake that hissed,
Whose fiery flight had never missed :
The arrow Saint Agastya gave
And blessed the chieftain's life to save;
That dart the Eternal Father made
The monarch of the gods to aid ;
By Brahma's self on him bestowed
When forth to fight Lord Indra rode.
'Twas feathered with the rushing wind;
The glowing sun and fire combined
To the keen point their splendor lent;
The shaft, ethereal element,
By Meru's hill and Mandar pride
Of mountains, had its weight supplied.

He laid it on the twisted cord,
He turned the point at Lanka's lord,
And swift the limb-dividing dart
Pierced the huge chest and cleft the heart,
And dead he fell upon the plain
Like Vritra by the Thunderer slain.
The Raksha's host when Ravan fell
Sent forth a wild terrific yell,
Then turned and fled, all hope resigned,
Through Lanka's gates, nor looked behind.
His voice each joyous Vanar raised,
And Rami, conquering Rama, praised.
Soft from celestial minstrels came
The sound of music and acclaim.
Soft, fresh, and cool, a rising brecze
Brought odors from the heavenly trees,
And, ravishing the sight and smell,
A wondrous rain of blossoms fell ;
And voices breathed round Raghu's son:
'Champion of gods, well done, well done.''

-Book VI, Canto ct.

One of the most striking passages in the poem is Sita’s reply to Rama when he had charged her with infidelity :

“Struck down with overwhelming shame,
She shrank within her trembling frame.
Each word of Rama's like a dart
Had pierced the lady to the heart;
And from her sweet eyes unrestrained
The torrent of her sorrows rained.
Her weeping eyes at length she dried,
And thus 'mid choking sobs replied :

'Canst thou, a high-born prince, dismiss
A high-born dame with speech like this?
Such words befit the meanest hind,
Not princely birth and generous mind.
By all my virtuous life I swear
I am not what thy words declare.
If some are faithless, wilt thou find
No love and truth in womankind ?
Doubt others if thou wilt, but own
The truth which all my life has shown.
If, when the giant seized his prey,
Within his hated arms I lay,
And felt the grasp I dreaded, blame
Fate and the robber, not thy dame.
What could a helpless woman do?
My heart was mine and still was true.

Is all forgotten, all ? my birth,
Named Janak's child from fostering earth!
That day of triumph when, a maid,
My trembling hand in thine I laid ?
My meek obedience to thy will,
My faithful love through joy and ill,
That never failed at duty's call-

O king, is all forgotten, all !'
“To Lakshman then she turned and spoke,
While sobs and sighs her utterance broke :
•Sumitra's son, a pile prepare,
My refuge in my dark despair.
I will not live to bear this weight
Of shame, forlorn and desolate.
The kindled fire my woes shall end,
And be my best and surest friend.'

His mournful eyes the hero raised,
And wistfully on Rama gazed,
In whose stern look no ruth was seen,
No mercy for the weeping queen.
No chieftain dared to meet those eyes,
To pray, to question, or advise.

The word was passed, the wood was piled,
And fain to die stood Janak's child.
She slowly paced around her lord,
The gods with reverent act adored,
Then, raising suppliant hands, the dame
Prayed humbly to the Lord of Flame:
* As this fond heart by virtue swayed
From Raghu's son has never strayed,
So, universal witness, Fire
Protect my body on the pyre.
As Raghu's son has idly laid
This charge on Sita, hear and aid.'

She ceased: and, fearless to the last,
Within the flame's wild fury passed.
Then rose a piercing cry from all,
Dames, children, men, who saw her fall,
Adorned with gems and gay attire,

Beneath the fury of the fire."-Book VI, Canto cxvii. The Lord of Fire rescues the faithful dame, and bris:gs her forth unscathed :

“Fair as the morning was her sheen,
And gold and gems adorned the queen.
Her form in crimson robes arrayed,
Her hair was bound in glossy braid.
Her wreath was fresh and sweet of scent;
Undimmed was every ornament.

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