Where breathes the man can listen to the strain
That flows in music from Válmíki’s tongue,
Nor feel his feet the path of bliss attain
When Ráma’s glory by the saint is sung!
Hail, arch-ascetic, pious, good, and kind!
Hail, Saint Válmíki, lord of every lore!
Hail, holy Hermit, calm and pure of mind!
Hail, First of Bards, Válmíki, hail once more!
To sainted Nárad, prince of those
Whose lore in words of wisdom flows.
Whose constant care and chief delight
Were Scripture and ascetic rite,
The good Válmíki, first and best
Of hermit saints, these words addressed:
‘In all this world, I pray thee, who
Is virtuous, heroic, true?
Firm in his vows, of grateful mind,
To every creature good and kind?
Bounteous, and holy, just, and wise,
Alone most fair to all men’s eyes?
Devoid of envy, firm, and sage,
Whose tranquil soul ne’er yields to rage?
Whom, when his warrior wrath is high,
Do Gods embattled fear and fly?
Whose noble might and gentle skill
The triple world can guard from ill?
Who is the best of princes, he
Who loves his people’s good to see?
The store of bliss, the living mine
Where brightest joys and virtues shine?
Queen Fortune’s best and dearest friend,
Whose steps her choicest gifts attend?
Who may with Sun and Moon compare,
With Indra, Vishnu, Fire, and Air?
Grant, Saint divine, the boon I ask,
For thee, I ween, an easy task,
To whom the power is given to know
If such a man breathe here below.’