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But haughty Kumbhakarna spurned
His counsel, and to Rávan turned:
'Thy life from peril will I free
And slay the foe who threatens thee.
A hero never vaunts in vain,
Like bellowing clouds devoid of rain,
Nor, Monarch, be thine ear inclined
To counsellors of slavish kind,
Who with mean arts their king mislead
And mar each gallant plan and deed.
O, let not words like his beguile
The glorious king of Lanka's isle.'
   Thus scornful Kumbhakarna cried,
And Rávan with a laugh replied:
'Mahodar fears and fain would shun
The battle with Ikshvaku's son.
Of all my giant warriors, who
Is strong as thou, and brave and true?
Ride, conqueror, to the battle ride,
And tame the foeman's senseless pride.
Go forth like Yama to the field,
And let thine arm thy trident wield.
Scared by the lightning of thine eye
The Vanar hosts will turn and fly;
And Rama, when he sees thee near,
With trembling heart will own his fear.'
   The champion heard, and, well content,
Forth from the hall his footsteps bent.
He grasped his spear, the foeman's dread,
Black iron all, both shaft and head.
Which, dyed in many a battle, bore
Great spots of slaughtered victims' gore.
The king upon his neck had thrown
The jewelled chain which graced his own.
And garlands of delicious scent
About his limbs for ornament.
Around his arms gay bracelets clung,
And pendants in his ears were hung.
Adorned with gold, about his waist
His coat of mail was firmly braced,
And like Náráyan  1b or the God
Who rules the sky he proudly trod.
Behind him went a mighty throng
Of giant warriors tall and strong,

p. 477

On elephants of noblest breeds.
With cars, with camels, and with steeds:
And, armed with spear and axe and sword
Were fain to battle for their lord.  1


476:1b A name of Vishn'u.

Next: Canto LXVI.: Kombhakarna's Sally.