An excerpt from Ramayana of Valmiki byRalph Thomas Griffith, Principal of Benares College(1870-1874) This is the first complete public domain translation of the Ramayana to be placed online.
CANTO XXXVIII.: SITÁ’S GEM.
Again the Vánar chief replied,
With her wise answer satisfied:
‘Well hast thou said: thou canst not brave
The rushing wind, the roaring wave.
Thy woman’s heart would sink with fear
Before the ocean shore were near.
And for thy dread lest limb of thine
Should for a while be touched by mine,
The modest fear is worthy one
Whose cherished lord is Raghu’s son.
Yet when I sought to bear thee hence
I spoke the words of innocence,
Impelled to set the captive free
By friendship for thy lord and thee.
But if with me thou wilt not try
The passage of the windy sky,
Give me a gem that I may show,
Some token which thy lord may know.’
Again the Maithil lady spoke,
While tears and sobs her utterance broke:
‘The surest of all signs is this,
To tell the tale of vanished bliss.
Thus in my name to Ráma speak:
‘Remember Chitrakúta’s peak.
And the green margin of the rill 1b
That flows beside that pleasant hill,
Where thou and I together strayed
Delighting in the tangled shade.
There on the grass I sat with thee
And laid my head upon thy knee.
There came a greedy crow and pecked
The meat I waitd to protect
And, heedless of the clods I threw,
About my head in circles flew,
Until by darling hunger pressed
He boldly pecked me on the breast.
I ran to thee in rage and grief
And prayed for vengeance on the thief.
Then Ráma 2b from his slumber rose
And smiled with pity at my woes.
Upon my bleeding breast he saw
The scratches made by beak and claw.
He laid an arrow on his bow.
And launched it at the shameless crow.
That shaft, with magic power endued,
The bird, where’er he flew, pursued,
Till back to Raghu’s son he fled
And bent at Ráma’s feet his head. 3b
Couldst thou for me with anger stirred
Launch that dire shaft upon a bird,
And yet canst pardon him who stole
The darling of thy heart and soul?
Rise up, O bravest of the brave.
And come in all thy might to save.
Come with the thunders of thy bow,
And smite to earth the Rakshas foe.’
She ceased; and from her glorious hair
She took a gem that sparkled there
A token which her husband’s eyes
With eager love would recognize.
His head the Vánar envoy bent
In low obeisance reverent.
And on his finger bound the gem
She loosened from her diadem.
416:1 Hanumán when he entered the city had in order to escape observation condensed himself to the size of a cat.
416:1b The brook Mandákiní, not far from Chitrakúta where Ráma sojourned for a time.
416:2b The poet here changes from the second person to the third.
416:3b The whole long story is repeated with some slight variations and additions from Book II. Canto XCVI. I give here only the outline.
Ralph Thomas Griffith (1826-1906), scholar of Indology, B.A. of Queen’s College was elected to the Vedic Sanskrit Scholarship on Nov 24, 1849. He translated the Vedic scriptures into English. He also produced translations of other Sanskrit literature, including a verse version of the Ramayana and the Kumara Sambhava of Kalidasa.
To read more of Griffith’s translation http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rama/ry000.htm