Rich in blossoms many tinted, grateful to the ravished eye,
Gay and green and glorious Kanka was like garden of the sky,
Rich in fruit and laden creeper and in beauteous bush and trep.
Flower-bespangled golden Lanka was like gem-bespangled sea!
Rose a palace in the woodlands girt by pillars strong and high.
Snowy-white like fair Kailasa cleaving through the azure sky,
And its steps were ocean coral and its pavement yellow gold .
White and gay and heaven-aspiring rose the structure high and bold!
By the rich and royal mansion Hanuman his eyes did rest,
On a woman sad and sorrowing in her sylvan garments drest,
Like the moon obscured and clouded, dim with shadows deep and dark,
Like the smoke-enshrouded red fire, dying with a feeble spark,
Like the tempest-pelted lotus by the wind and torrent shaken,
Like the beauteous star Rohini by a graha overtaken!
Fasts and vigils paled her beauty, tears bedimmed her tender grace,
Anguish dwelt within her bosom, sorrow darkened on her face,
And she lived by Rakshas guarded, as a faint and timid deer,
Severed from her herd and kindred when the prowling wolves are near,
And her raven locks ungathered hung behind in single braid,
And her gentle eye was lightless, and her brow was hid in shade!
“This is she! the peerless princess, Rama’s consort loved and lost,
This is she! the saintly Sita, by a cruel fortune crost,”
Hanuman thus thought and pondered: “On her graceful form I spy,
Gems and gold by sorrowing Rama oft depicted with it sigh,
On her ears the golden pendants and the tiger’s sharpened tooth,
On her arms the jewelled bracelets, tokens of unchanging truth,
On her pallid brow and bosom still the radiant jewels shine,
Rama with a sweet affection did in early days entwine!
Hermit’s garments clothe her person, braided is her raven hair,
Matted bark of trees of forest drape her neck and bosom fair,
And a dower of dazzling beauty still bedecks her peerless face.
Though the shadowing tinge of sorrow darkens all her earlier grace!
This is she! the soft-eyed Sita, wept with unavailing tear,
This is she! the faithful consort, unto Rama ever dear,
Unforgetting and unchanging, truthful still in deed and word,
Sita, in her silent suffering sorrows for her absent lord,
Still for Rama lost but cherished, Sita heaves the choking sigh,
Sita lives for righteous Rama, for her Rama she would die!”