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Page:Mahabharata - the epic of ancient India.djvu/120

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io6 THE EPIC OF ANCIENT INDIA

III Bhishma and Arjun meet Anxious was the proud Duryodhan when the golden morning came, For before the car of Arjun fled each Kuru chief of fame, Brave Duryodhan shook in anger, and a tremor moved his frame, As he spake to ancient Bhishma words of wrath in bitter shame : " Bhishma! dost thou lead the Kurus in this battle's crimson field ? Warlike Drona, doth he guard us like a broad and ample shield ? Wherefore then before yon Arjun do the valiant Kurus fly ? Wherefore doth our leader linger when he hears the battle cry ? Doth a secret love for Panda vs quell our leader's matchless might ? With a halting zeal for Kurus doth the noble Bhishma fight ? Pardon, chief! if for the Panda vs doth thy partial heart incline. Yield thy place! let faithful Kama lead my gallant Kuru line! " Anger flamed on Bhishma's forehead and the tear was in his eye. And in accents few and trembling thus the warrior made reply : " Vain our toil, unwise Duryodhan ! Nor can Bhishma warrior old. Nor can Drona skilled in weapons, Kama archer proud and bold. Wash the stain of deeds unholy and of wrongs and outraged laws, Conquer with a load of cunning 'gainst a right and righteous cause I Deaf to wisdom's voice, Duryodhan! deaf to parents and to kin. Thou shalt perish in thy folly, in thy unrepented sin ! For the wrongs and insults offered unto good Yudhishthir's wife, For the kingdom from him stolen, for the plots against his life. For the dreadful oath of Bhima, for the holy counsel given, Vainly given by saintly Krishna, thou art doomed by righteous Heaven I