poem – sita lost

Morning dawned; and with Valmiki, Sita to the gathering came,
Banished wife and weeping mother, sorrow-stricken, suffering dame,

Pure in thought and deed, Valmiki gave his troth and plighted word,-
Faithful still the banished Sita, in her bosom held her lord!

Mighty Saint,’ so Rama answered as he bowed his humble head,
‘Listening world will hear thy mandate and the word that thou hast said,

Never in his bosom Rama questioned Sita’s faithful love,
And the God of Fire incarnate did her stainless virtue prove!

Pardon, if the voice of rumour drove me to a deed of shame,
Bowing to my people’s wishes I disowned my sinless dame,

Pardon, if to please my subjects I have bade my Sita, roam,
Tore her from my throne and empire, tore her from my heart and home!

In the dark and dreary forest was my Sita left to mourn,
In the lone and gloomy jungle were my royal children born,

Help me, Gods, to wipe this error and this deed of sinful pride,
May my Sita prove her virtue, be again my loving bride!’

Gods and Spirits, bright Immortals to that royal Yajna came,
Hen of every race and nation, kings and chiefs of righteous fame,

Softly through the halls of splendour cool and scented breezes blew,
Fragrance of celestial blossoms o’er the royal chambers flew.

Sita, saw the bright Celestials, monarchs gathered from afar,
Saw her royal lord and husband bright as heaven-ascending star,

Saw her sons as hermit-minstrels beaming with a radiance high,
Milk of love suffused her bosom, tear of sorrow filled her eye!

Rama’s queen and Janak’s daughter, will she stoop her cause to plead,
Witness of her truth and virtue can a loving woman need?

Oh! her woman~s heart is bursting, and her day on earth is done,
And she pressed her heaving bosom, slow and sadly thus begun:

‘If unstained in thought and action I have lived from day of birth,
Spare a daughter’s shame and anguish and receive her, Mother Earth!

If in duty and devotion I have laboured undefiled,
After Earth I who bore this woman, once again, receive thy child!

If in truth unto my husband I have proved a faithful wife,
Mother Earth I relieve thy Sita from the burden of this life!’

Then the earth was rent and parted, and a golden throne arose,
Held aloft by jewelled Nagas as the leaves enfold the rose,

And the Mother in embraces held her spotless sinless Child,
Saintly Janak’s saintly daughter, pure and true and undefiled,

Gods and men proclaim her virtue! But fair Sita is no more,
Lone is Rama’s loveless bosom and his days of bliss are o’er!

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