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6
THE EPIC OF ANCIENT INDIA

IV

The Advent of Arjun

Gauntleted and jewel-girdled, with his bow of ample height,
Archer Arjun pious-hearted to the gods performed a rite,

Then he stepped forth proud and stately in his golden mail encased,
Like the sunlit cloud of evening with the golden rainbow graced!

And a gladness stirred the people all around the listed plain,
Voice of drum and blare of trumpet rose with sankha's festive strain!

"Mark! the gallant son of Pandu, whom the happy Pritha bore,
Mark! the heir of Indra's valour, matchless in his arms and lore,

Mark! the warrior young and valiant, peerless in his skill of arms,
Mark! the pure-souled, pious chieftain, decked with grace and varied charms!"

Pritha heard such grateful voices borne aloft unto the sky,
Milk of love suffused her bosom, tear of joy was in her eye!

And where rested Kuru's monarch, joyous accents struck his ear,
And he turned to wise Vidura seeking for the cause to hear:

"Wherefore like the voice of ocean, when the tempest winds prevail,
Rise the voices of the people and the spacious skies assail?"

Answered him the wise Vidura, "It is Pritha's gallant boy,
Godlike moves in golden armour, and the people shout for joy!"

"Pleased am I," so spake the monarch, "and I bless my happy fate,
Pritha's sons like fires of yajna sanctify this mighty State!"

Now the voices of the people died away and all was still,
Arjun to his proud preceptor showed his might and matchless skill,