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Page:Mahabharata - the epic of ancient India.djvu/119

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105
FALL OF BHISHMA

Onward came Kalinga warriors with the dark tornado's might,
Dusky chiefs, Nishada warriors, gloomy as the sable night!

Rose the shout of warring nations surging to the battle's fore,
Like the angry voice of tempest and the ocean's troubled roar!

And like darkly rolling breakers ranks of serried warriors flew,
Scarcely in the thickening darkness friends and kin from foemen knew!

Fell the young prince of Kalinga by the wrathful Bhima slain,
But against Kalinga' s monarch baffled Bhima fought in vain,

Safely sat the eastern monarch on his howda's lofty seat,
Till upon the giant tusker Bhima sprang with agile feet,

Then he struck with fatal fury, brave Kalinga fell in twain,
Scattered fled his countless forces, when they saw their leader slain!

Darkly rolled the tide of battle where Duryodhan's valiant son
Strove against the son of Arjun famed for deeds of valour done,

Proud Duryodhan marked the contest with a father's anxious heart,
Came to save his gallant Lakshman from brave Abhimanyu's dart,

And the helmet-wearing Arjun marked his son among his foes,
Wheeled from far his battle-chariot and in wrath terrific rose!

“Arjun!” “Arjun!” cried the Kurus, and in panic broke and fled,
Steed and tusker turned from battle, soldiers fell among the dead!

Godlike Krishna drove the coursers of resistless Arjun's car,
And the sound of Arjun's sankha rose above the cry of war!

And the voice of his gandiva spread a terror far and near.
Crushed and broken, faint and frightened, fled the Kurus in their fear!

Onward still through scattered foemen conquering Arjun held his way.
Till the evening's gathering darkness closed the action of the day.