The Ramayana/Book II/Canto XCIV: Chitrakúta

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The Ramayana of Valmiki , translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
Canto XCIV: Chitrakúta

There long the son of Raghu dwelt
And love for hill and wood he felt.
Then his Videhan spouse to please
And his own heart of woe to ease,
Like some Immortal--Indra so
Might Swarga's charms to S'achi show--
Drew her sweet eyes to each delight
Of Chitrakúta's lovely height:
'Though reft of power and kingly sway,
Though friends and home are far away,
I cannot mourn my altered lot,
Enamoured of this charming spot.
Look, darling, on this noble hill
Which sweet birds with their music fill.
Bright with a thousand metal dyes
His lofty summits cleave the skies.
See, there a silvery sheen is spread,
And there like blood the rooks are red.
There shows a streak of emerald green,
And pink and yellow glow between.
There where the higher peaks ascend,
Crystal and flowers and topaz blend.
And others flash their light afar
Like mercury or some fair star:
With such a store of metals dyed
The king of hills is glorified.
There through the wild birds' populous home
The harmless bear and tiger roam:
Hyaenas range the woody slopes
With herds of deer and antelopes.
See, love, the trees that clothe his side
All lovely in their summer pride,
In richest wealth of leaves arrayed,
With flower and fruit and light and shade,
Look where the young Rose-apple glows;
What loaded boughs the Mango shows;
See, waving in the western wind
The light leaves of the Tamarind,
And mark that giant Peepul through
The feathery clump of tall bamboo. [1]
Look, on the level lands above,
Delighting in successful love
In sweet enjoyment many a pair
Of heavenly minstrels revels there,
While overhanging boughs support
Their swords and mantles as they sport:
Then see that pleasant shelter where
Play the bright Daughters of the Air. [2]
The mountain seems with bright cascade
And sweet rill bursting from the shade,
Like some majestic elephant o'er
Whose burning head the torrents pour.
Where breathes the man who would not feel
Delicious languor o'er him steal,
As the young morning breeze that springs
From the cool cave with balmy wings,
Breathes round him laden with the scent
Of bud and blossom dew-besprent?
If many autumns here I spent
With thee, my darling innocent;
And Lakshman, I should never know
The torture of the fires of woe,
This varied scene so charms my sight,
This mount so fills me with delight,
Where flowers in wild profusion spring,
And ripe fruits glow and sweet birds sing.
My beauteous one, a double good
Springs from my dwelling in the wood:
Loosed is the bond my sire that tied
And Bharat too is gratified.
My darling, dost thou feel with me
Delight from every charm we see,
Of which the mind and every sense
Feel the enchanting influence?
My fathers who have passed away,
The royal saints, were wont to say
That life in woodland shades like this
Secures a king immortal bliss.
See, round the hill at random thrown.
Huge masses lie of rugged stone
Of every shape and many a hue,
Yellow and white and red and blue.
But all is fairer still by night:
Each rock reflects a softer light,
When the whole mount from foot to crest
In robes of lambent flame is dressed;
When from a million herbs a blaze
Of their own luminous glory plays,
And clothed in fire each deep ravine,
Each pinnacle and crag is seen.
Some parts the look of mansions wear,
And others are as gardens fair,
While others seem a massive block
Of solid undivided rock.
Behold those pleasant beds o'erlaid
With lotus leaves, for lovers made,
Where mountain birch and *costus throw
Cool shadows on the pair below.
See where the lovers in their play
Have cast their flowery wreaths away,
And fruit and lotus buds that crowned
Their brows lie trodden on the ground.
North Kuru's realm is fair to see,
Vasvaukasárá, [3] Naliní, [4]
But rich in fruit and blossom still
More fair is Chitrakúta's hill.
Here shall the years appointed glide
With thee, my beauty, by my side,
   And Lakshman ever near;
Here shall I live in all delight,
Make my ancestral fame more bright,
Tread in their path who walk aright,
   And to my oath adhere.'


  1. These ten lines are a substitution for, and not a translation of the text which Carey and Marshman thus render: 'This mountain adorned with mango,(1) jumboo,(2) usuna,(3) lodhra, (4) piala, (5) punusa, (6) dhava, (7) p. 203 unkotha, (8) bhuvya,(9) tinisha, (10) vilwa, (11) tindooka, (12) bamboo,(13) kashmaree,(14) urista,(l5) vuruna,(16) madhooka,(17) tilaka, (18) vuduree,(l9) amluka,(20) nipa,(21) vetra,(22) dhunwuna,(23) veejaka,(24) and other trees affording flowers, and fruits, and the most delightful shade, how charming does it appear!'

       1 Mangifera Indica. 2 Eugenia Jambolifera, 3 Terminalialata tomentosa. 4 This tree is not ascertained. 5 Chironjia Sapida. 6 Artocarpus integrifolia. 7 Grislea tomentosa. 8 Allangium hexapetalum. 9 Averrhoa carimbola. 10 Dalbergia Oujeinensis. 11 Ægle marmelos. 12 Diospyrus melanoxylon. 13 Well known. 14 Gmelina Arborea. 15 Sapindus Saponaria. 16 Cratoeva tapia. l7 Bassia la tifolia. 18 Not yet ascertained. 19 Zizyphus jujuba. 20 Phyllanthus emblica. 21 Nauclea Orientalis. 22 Calamusrotang. 23 Echites antidysenterica. 34 The citron tree.'
  2. Vidyadharis, Spirits of Air, sylphs.
  3. A lake attached either to Amaravati the residence of Indra, or Alaká that of Kuvera.
  4. The Ganges of heaven.