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Ramayana, Epic of Rama, Prince of India

An Abbreviated Translation of the Indian Classic, the Ramayana by Romesh Chundar Dutt in 2,000 verses

X. The War in Ceylon -

X. The War in Ceylon - 132 Speaking thus the wrathful Ravan mounted on his thundering car, Flame-resplendent was the chariot drawn by matchless steeds of war! Beat of drum and voice of sankha and the Raksha’s battle cry, Song of triumph, chanted mantra, smote the echoing vault of sky, And the troops like cloudy masses with their eyes of lightning fire Girt their monarch, as his legions girdle RUDRA in his ire! Rolled the car with peal of thunder through the city’s lofty gate, And each fierce and fiery Raksha charged with warrior’s deathless hate, And the vigour of the onset cleft the stunned, and scattered foe, As a strong bark cleaves the billows riding on the ocean’s brow! Brave Sugriva king of Vanars met the foeman fierce and strong, And a rock with mighty effort on the startled Ravan flung, Vain the toil, disdainful Ravan dashed aside the flying rock, Brave Sugriva pierced by arrows fainted neath the furious shock, Next Susena chief and elder, Nala and Gavaksha bold, Hurled them on the path of Ravan speeding in his car of gold, Vainly heaved the rock and missile, vainly did with trees assail, Onward sped the conquering Ravan, pierced the fainting Vanars fell, Hanuman the son of MARUT next against the Raksha came, Fierce and strong as stormy MARUT, warrior of unrivalled fame, But the Raksha’s mighty onset gods nor mortals might sustain, Hanuman in red blood welt’ring rolled upon the gory plain. Onward rolled the car of Ravan, where the dauntless Nila stood, Armed with rock and tree and missile, thirsting for the Raksha’s blood, [144] Vainly fought the valiant Nila, pierced by Ravan’s pointed dart, On the gory field of battle poured the red blood of his heart. Onward through the scattered forces Ravan’s conquering chariot came, Where in pride and dauntless valour Lakshman stood of warlike fame, Calm and proud the gallant Lakshman marked the all-resistless foe, Boldly challenged Lanka’s monarch as he held aloft his bow:

X. The War in Ceylon - 133 Welcome, mighty Lord of Lanka! wage with me an equal strife, Wherefore with thy royal prowess seek the humble Vanars’ life?” “Hath thy fate,” soanswered Ravan, “brought thee to thy deadly foe, Welcome, valiant son of Raghu! Ravan longs to lay thee low!” Then they closed in dubious battle, Lanka’s Lord his weapon bent, Seven bright arrows, keen and whistling, on the gallant Lakshman sent, Vain the toil, for watchful Lakshman stout of heart and true of aim, With his darts like shooting sunbeams cleft each arrow as it came. Bleeding from the darts of Lakshman, pale with anger, wounded sore, Ravan drew at last his Sakti, gift of Gods in days of yore, Javelin of flaming splendour, deadly like the shaft of Fate, Ravan hurled on dauntless Lakshman in his fierce and furious hate. Vain were Lakshman’s human weapons aimed with skill directed well, Pierced by Sakti, gallant Lakshman in his red blood fainting fell, Wrathful Rama saw the combat and arose in godlike might, Bleeding Ravan turned to Lanka, sought his safety in his flight. IV. Fall of Kumbha-karna [145] Once more healed and strong and valiant, Lakshman in his arms arose, Safe behind the gates of Lanka humbled Ravan shunned his foes, Till the stalwart Kumbha-karna from his wonted slumbers woke, Mightiest he of all the Rakshas: – Ravan thus unto him spoke: “Thou alone, O Kumbha-karna, can the Raksha’s honour save, Strongest of the Raksha warriors, stoutest-hearted midst the brave, Speed thee like the Dread Destroyer to the dark and dubious fray, Cleave through Rama’s girdling forces, chase the scattered foe away!” Like a mountain’s beetling turret Kumbha-karna stout and tall, Passed the city’s lofty portals and the city’s girdling wall, And he raised his voice in battle, sent his cry from shore to shore, Solid mountains shook and trembled and the sea returned the roar!

Mahabharata, Epic of the Bharatas