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'Not if the Gods in heaven who dwell,
Gandharvas, and the fiends of hell
In banded opposition rise
Against me, will I yield my prize.
Still trembling from the ungentle toucb
Of Vánar hands ye fear too much,
And bid me, heedless of the shame,
Give to her lord the Maithil dame.'
   Thus spoke the king in stern reproof;
Then mounted to his palace roof
Aloft o'er many a story raised,
And on the lands beneath him gazed.
There by his faithful spies he stood
And looked on sea and hill and wood.
There stretched before him far away
The Vánars' numberless array:
Scarce could the meadows' tender green
Beneath their trampling feet be seen.
He looked a while with furious eye,
Then questioned thus the nearer spy:
'Bend, Sáran, bend thy gaze, and show
The leaders of the Vánar foe
Tell me their heroes' names, and teach
The valour, power and might of each.'

Obedient Sáran eyed the van,
The leaders marked, and thus began:
That chief conspicuous at the head
Of warriors in the forest bred,
Who hither bends his ruthless eye
And shouts his fearful battle cry:

p. 448

Whose voice with pealing thunder shakes
All Lanká, with the groves and lakes
And hills that tremble at the sound,
Is Nila, for his might renowned:
First of the Vánar lords controlled
By King Sugríva lofty-souled.
He who his mighty arm extends,
And his fierce eye on Lanká bends,
In stature like a stately tower,
In colour like a lotus flower,
Who with his wild earth-shaking cries
Thee, Rávan, to the field defies,
Is Angad, by Sugríva's care
Anointed his imperial heir:
In wondrous strength, in martial fire
Peer of King Bali's self, his sire;
For Ráma's sake in arms arrayed
Like Varun called to S'akra's aid.
Behind him, girt by warlike bands,
Nala the mighty Vánar stands,
The son of Vis'vakarmá, he
Who built the bridge athwart the sea.
Look farther yet, O King, and mark
That chieftain clothed in Sandal bark.
'Tis S'weta, famed among his peers,
A sage whom all his race reveres.
See, in Sugríva's ear he speaks,
Then, hasting back, his post reseeks,
And turns his practised eye to view
The squadrons he has formed anew.
Next Kumud stands who roamed of yore
On Gomati's  1 delightful shore,
Feared where the waving woods invest
His seat on Mount Sanrochan's crest.
Next him a chieftain strong and dread,
Comes Chanda at his legions' head;
Exulting in his warrior might
He hastens, burning for the fight.
And boasts that his unaided powers
Shall cast to earth thy walls and towers.
Mark, mark that chief of lion gait,
Who views thee with a glance of hate
As though his very eyes would burn
The city walls to which they turn:
'Tis Rambha, Vánar king; he dwells
In Krishnagiri's tangled dells,
Where Vindhya's pleasant slopes are spread
And fair Sudars'an lifts his head.
There, listening with erected ears,
S'arabha, mighty chief, appears.
His soul is burning for the strife,
Nor dreads the jeopardy of life.
He trembles as he moves, for ire,
And bends around his glance of fire.
Next, like a cloud that veils the sides,
A chieftain of terrific size,
Conspicuous mid the Vánars, comes
With battle shout like rolling drums,
'Tis Panas, trained in war and tried,

Who dwells on Páriyátra's side.
He, far away, the chief who throws
A glory o'er the marshalled rows
That ranged behind their captain stand
Exulting on the ocean strand,
Is Vinata the fierce in fight.
Preëminent like Dardur's height.
That chieftain bending down to drink
On lovely Vená's verdant brink,
Is Krathan; now he lifts his eyes
And thee to mortal fray defies.
Next Gavaya comes, whose haughty mind
Scorns all the warriors of his kind.
He comes to trample - such his boast -
On Lanká with his single host.'


448:1 The Goomtee.

Next: Canto XXVII.: The Vánar Chiefs.