Open main menu

Page:Mahabharata - the epic of ancient India.djvu/29

This page has been validated.
15
THE BRIDE'S CHOICE

I

Journey to Panchala

Now the righteous sons of Pandu, wand'ring far from day to day,
Unto South Panchala's country glad and joyful held their way,

For when travelling with their mother, so it chanced by will of fate,
They were met by pious Brahmans bound for South Panchala's State,

And the pure and holy Brahmans hailed the youth of noble fame,
Asked them whither they would journey, from what distant land they came.

"From the land of Ekachakra," good Yudhishthir answered so,
"With our ancient mother travelling unto distant lands we go."

"Heard ye not," the Brahmans questioned, "in Panchala's fair domain,
Drupad, good and gracious monarch, doth a mighty feast ordain?

To that festive land we journey, Drupad's bounteous gifts to share,
And to see the swayamvara of Panchala's princess fair,—

Human mother never bore her, human bosom never fed,
From the Altar sprang the maiden who some noble prince will wed!

Soft her eyes like lotus-petal, sweet her tender jasmine form,
And a maiden's stainless honour doth her gentle soul inform!

And her brother, mailed and arméd with his bow and arrows dire,
Radiant as the blazing altar, sprang from Sacrificial Fire!

Fair the sister slender-waisted, dowered with beauty rich and rare,
And like fragrance of blue lotus, perfumes all the sweetened air!

She will chose from noble suitors gathered from the west and east,
Bright and fair shall be the wedding, rich and bounteous be the feast!

B