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Anger swelled in Ravan's bosom as he cast his blood-red eye
On Bibhishan calm and fearless, and he spake in accents high:
"Rather dwell with open foemen or in homes where cobras haunt,
Than with faithless friends who falter and whom fears of danger daunt!
O, the love of near relations!-false and faithless, full of guile,
How they sorrow at my glory, at my danger how they smile,
How they grieve with secret anguish when my loftier virtues shine,
How they harbour jealous envy when deserts and fame are mine,
How they scan with curious vision every fault that clouds my path,
How they wait with eager longing till I fall in Fortune's wrath
Ask the elephants of jungle how their captors catch and bind.--
Not by fire and feeble weapons, but by treason of their kind,
Not by javelin or arrow,--little for these arms they care,--
But their false and fondling females lead them to the hunter's snare!
Long as nourishment and vigour shall impart the milk of cow,
Long as woman shall be changeful, hermits holy in their vow,
Ave. so long shall near relations bate us in their inner mind,
Mark us with a secret envy though their words be ne'er so kind!
Rain-drops fall upon the lotus but unmingling hang apart,
False relations round us gather but they blend not heart with heart,
Winter clouds are big with thunder but they shed no freshening rain,
False relations smile and greet us but their soothing words are vain,
Bees are tempted by the honey but from flower to flower they range,
False relations share our favour but in secret seek a change!
Lying is thy speech, Bibhishan, secret envy hirks within,
Thou wouldst rule thy elder's empire, thou wouldst wed thy elder's queen,
Take thy treason to the foemen,--brother's blood I may not shed,--
Other Raksha craven-hearted by my royal hands had bled!"