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7
THE TOURNAMENT


Towering high or lowly bending, on the turf or on his car,
With his bow and glist'ning arrows Arjun waged the mimic war,

Targets on the wide arena, mighty tough or wondrous small,
With his arrows bright, unfailing, Arjun pierced them one and all!

Wild-boar shaped of solid iron coursed the wide-extending field,
In its jaws five glist'ning arrows sent the archer wondrous-skilled,

Cow-horn by a thread suspended, and by winds unceasing swayed,
One and twenty well-aimed arrows on this moving mark he laid,

And with equal skill his rapier did the godlike Arjun wield,
Whirling round the mace of battle ranged the spacious tourney field!

V

The Advent of Karna

Now the feats of arms are ended, and the closing hour draws nigh,
Music's voice is hushed in silence, and dispersing crowds pass by,

Hark! Like welkin-shaking thunder wakes a deep and deadly sound,
Clank and din of warlike weapons burst upon the tented ground!

Are the solid mountains splitting, is it bursting of the earth,
Is it tempest's pealing accent whence the lightning takes its birth?

Thoughts like these alarm the people for the sound is dread and high,
To the gaze of the arena turns the crowd with anxious eye!

Gathered round preceptor Drona, Pandu's sons in armour bright,
Like the five-starred constellation round the radiant Queen of Night,

Gathered round the proud Duryodhan, dreaded for his exploits done,
All his brave and warlike brothers and preceptor Drona's son,