11 months ago

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 - 142 For his great and gallant brother, for his brave and beauteous son, Ravan seeks a fitting vengeance, Rakshas be your duty done!” House to house, in Lanka’s city, Ravan’s royal hest was heard, Street and lane poured forth their warriors by a mighty passion stirred, With their javelin and sabre, mace and club and axe and pike, Sataghni and bhindipala, quoit and discus quick to strike. And they formed the line of tuskers and the line of battle car, Mule and camel fit for burden and the fiery steed of war, Serried ranks of armed soldiers shook the earth beneath their tread, Horsemen that on wings of lightning o’er the field of battle spread. [155] Drum and conch and sounding trumpet waked the echoes of the sky, Pataha and loud mridanga and the people’s maddening cry, Thundering through the gates of Lanka, Ravan’s lofty chariot passed, Destined by his fortune, Ravan ne’er again those portals crost! And the sun was dim and clouded and a sudden darkness fell, Birds gave forth their boding voices and the earth confessed a spell, Gouts of blood in rain descended, startled coursers turned to fly, Vultures swooped upon the banner, jackals yelled their doleful cry, Omens of a dark disaster mantled o’er the vale and rock, And the ocean heaved in billows, nations felt the earthquake’s shock! Darkly closed the fatal battle, sturdy Vanars fell in light, Warlike leaders of the Rakshas perished neath the foeman’s might, Mahodhar and Virupaksha were by bold Sugriva slain, Crushed by Angad, Mahaparshwa slumbered lifeless on the plain, But with more than mortal valour Ravan swept the ranks of war, Warriors fell beneath his prowess, fled before his mighty car, Cleaving through the Vanar forces, filled with vengeance deep and dire, Ravan marked the gallant Lakshman flaming like a crimson fire! Like the tempest cloud of summer Ravan’s wingéd coursers flew, But Bibhishan in his prowess soon the gallant chargers slew,

X. The War in Ceylon - 143 Dashing from his useless chariot Ravan leaped upon the ground, And his false and traitor brother by his dearest foeman found! Wrathful Ravan marked Bibhishan battling by the foeman’s side And he hurled his pond’rous weapon for to slay him in his pride, Lakshman marked the mighty jav’lin as it winged its whizzing flight, Cleft it in its onward passage, saved Bibhishan by his might! Grimly smiled the angry Ravan gloating in his vengeful wrath, Spake to young and dauntless Lakshman daring thus to cross his path: [156] “Welcome, Lakshman! thee I battle for thy deed of darkness done, Face the anger of a father, cruel slayer of the son, By thy skill and by thy valour, false Bibhishan thou hast saved, Save thyself! Deep in this bosom is a cruel grief engraved!” Father’s grief and sad remembrance urged the lightning-wingéd dart, Ravan’s Sakti fell resistless on the senseless Lakshman’s heart, Wrathful Rama saw the combat and arose in godlike might, Carless, steedless, wounded Ravan sought his safety in his flight. IX. Rama’s Lament “Art thou fallen,” sorrowed Rama, “weary of this endless strife, Lakshman, if thy days are ended, Rama recks not for his life, Gone is Rama’s wonted valour, weapons leave his nerveless hand, Drop his bow and shining arrows, useless hangs his sheathéd brand! Art thou fallen, gallant Lakshman, death and faintness on me creep, Weary of this fatal contest let me by my brother sleep, Weary of the strife and triumph, since my faithful friend is gone, Rama follows in his footsteps and his task on earth is done! Thou hast from the far Ayodhya, followed me in deepest wood, In the thickest of the battle thou hast by thy elder stood, Love of woman, love of comrade, trite is love of kith and kind, Love like thine, true-hearted brother, not on earth we often find!

Mahabharata, Epic of the Bharatas