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Page:Mahabharata - the epic of ancient India.djvu/32

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THE EPIC OF ANCIENT INDIA


Royal guests and princely suitors came in pomp of wealth and pride,
Car-borne chiefs and mailéd warriors came to win the beauteous bride!

North-east of the festive city they enclosed a level ground,
Many a dome and stately palace cunning builders built around,

And by moat and wall surrounded, pierced by gate and archéd door,
By a canopy of splendour was the red field covered o'er!

Now the festive trumpets sounded and the censer fragrance lent,
Sprinkled chandan spread its coolness, wreaths were hung of sweetest scent,

All around were swan-white mansions, lofty domes and turrets high,
Like the peaks of white Kailasa cleaving through the azure sky!

Sparkling gems the chambers lighted, golden nets the windows laced,
Spacious stairs so wide and lofty were with beauteous carpets graced,

Rich festoons and graceful garlands gently waved like streamers gay,
And the swan-like silver mansions glinted in the light of day,

Gates below were thronged with people, far above the chambers lay,
With their lofty gilded turrets like the peaks of Himalay!

In these halls in pride and splendour dwelt each rich and royal guest,
Fired by mutual emulation, and in costly jewels drest,

Decked and perfumed sat these rulers, mighty-arméd, rich in fame
Lion-monarchs, noble-destined, chiefs of pure and spotless name,

Pious to the mighty Brahma, and their subjects' hope and stay,
Loved of all for noble actions, kind and virtuous in their sway.

Now the festal day approacheth! like the heaving of the main,
Surge the ranks of gathered nations o'er the wide and spacious plain,