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Page:Mahabharata - the epic of ancient India.djvu/17

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3
THE TOURNAMENT


Then the good and wise Vidura went unto his duties bound,
Drona, blessed with skill and wisdom, measured out the tourney ground.

Clear of jungle was the meadow, by a crystal fountain graced,
Drona on the lighted altar holy gifts and offerings placed.

Holy was the star auspicious, and the hour was calm and bright.
Men from distant town and hamlet came to view the sacred rite.

Then arose white stately mansions, built by architects of fame.
Decked with arms for Kuru's monarch and for every royal dame.

And the people built their stages circling round the listed green,
And the nobles with their white tents graced the fair and festive scene.

Brightly dawned the festal morning, and the monarch left his hall,
Bhishma and the pious Kripa with the lords and courtiers all,

And they came unto the mansions, gay and glittering, gold-encased.
Decked with gems and rich baidurya, and with strings of pearls be-laced.

Fair Gandhari, queen of Kuru, Pritha, Pandu's widowed dame.
Ladies in their gorgeous garments, maids of beauty and of fame.

Mounted to their glittering mansions where the tints harmonious blend,
As, on Meru's golden mountain, queens of heavenly gods ascend!

And the people of the city, Brahmans, Vaisyas, Kshatras bold,
Men from stall and loom and anvil gathered there, the young and old.

And arose the sound of trumpet and the surging people's cry.
Like the voice of angry ocean, tempest-lashed, sublime and high!

Came the saintly white-robed Drona, white his sacrificial thread,
White his sandal-mark and garlands, white the locks that crowned his head,

With his son renowned for valour walked forth Drona, radiant, high,
So the Moon with Mars conjoinéd walks upon the cloudless sky!