The Ramayana/Book I/Canto LXXII: The Gift of Kine
When royal Janak's words were done,
Joined with Vas'ishtha Kus'ik's son,
The mighty sage began his speech:
'No mind may soar, no thought can reach
The glories of Ikshváku's line,
Or, great Videha's King, of thine:
None in the whole wide world may vie
With them in fame and honours high.
Well matched, I ween, in holy bands,
These peerless pairs will join their hands.
But hear me as I speak once more;
Thy brother, skilled in duty's lore,
Has at his home a royal pair
Of daughters most divinely fair.
I for the hands of these sweet two
For Bharat and S'atrughna sue,
Both princes of heroic mould,
Wise, fair of form, and lofty-souled.
All Das'aratha's sons, I ween,
Own each young grace of form and mien:
Brave as the Gods are they, nor yield
To the great Lords the worlds who shield.
By these, good Prince of merits high,
Ikshváku's house with thine ally.'
The suit the holy sage preferred,
With willing ear the monarch heard:
Vas'ishtha's lips the counsel praised:
Then spake the king with hands upraised:
'Now blest indeed my race I deem,
Which your high will, O Saints supreme,
With Das'aratha's house unites
In bonds of love and marriage rites.
So be it done. My nieces twain
Let Bharat and S'atrughna gain,
And the four youths the selfsame day
Four maiden hands in theirs shall lay.
No day so lucky may compare,
For marriage--so the wise declare--
With the last day of Phálguni
Ruled by the genial deity.'
Then with raised hands in reverence due
To those arch-saints he spoke anew:
'I am your pupil, ever true:
To me high favour have ye shown;
Come, sit ye on my royal throne,
For Das'aratha rules these towers
E'en as Ayodhyá now is ours.
Do with your own whate'er ye choose:
Your lordship here will none refuse.'
He spoke, and to Videha's king
Thus Das'aratha, answering:
'Boundless your virtues, lords, wbose sway
The realms of Mithilá obey.
With honouring care you entertain.
Both holy sage and royal train.
Now to my house my steps I bend--
May blessings still on you at end--
Due offerings to the shades to pay.'
Thus spoke the king, and turned away:
To Janak first he bade adieu,
Then followed fast those holy two.
The monarch reached his palace where
The rites were paid with solemn care.
When the next sun began to shine
He rose and made his gift of kine.
A bundled thousand cows prepared
For each young prince the Bráhmans shared.
Each had her horns adorned with gold;
And duly was the number told,
Four hundred thousand perfect tale:
Each brought a calf, each filled a pail.
And when that glorious task was o'er,
The monarch with his children four,
Showed like the Lord of Life divine
When the worlds' guardians round him shine.