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Then Raghu's son forgot his woe;
Again he grasped his fallen bow
And hurled at Lanká's lord amain
The tempest of his arrowy rain.

p. 491

Drawn by the steeds his lords had brought,
Again the giant turned and fought.
And drove his glittering chariot nigh
As springs the Day-God through the sky.
Then, as his sounding bow he bent,
Like thunderbolts his shafts were sent,
As when dark clouds in rain time shed
Fierce torrents on a mountain's head.
High on his car the giant rode,
On foot the son of Raghu strode.
The Gods from their celestial height
Indignant saw the unequal fight.
Then he whom heavenly hosts revere,
Lord Indra, called his charioteer:

'Haste, Matali,' he cried,'descend;
To Raghu's son my chariot lend.
With cheering words the chief address;
And all the Gods thy deed will bless.'

He bowed; he brought the glorious car
Whose tinkling bells were heard afar;
Fair as the sun of morning, bright
With gold and pearl and lazulite
He yoked the steeds of tawny hue
That swifter than the tempest flew.
Then down the slope of heaven he hied
And stayed the car by Ráma's side.
'Ascend, O Chief.' he humbly cried,
'The chariot which the Gods provide.
The mighty bow of Indra see,
Sent by the Gods who favour thee;
Behold this coat of glittering mail,
And spear and shafts which never fail.'

Cheered by the grace the Immortals showed
The chieftain on the chariot rode.
Then as the car-borne warriors met
The awful fight raged fiercer yet.
Each shaft that Rávan shot became
A serpent red with kindled flame,
And round the limbs of Ráma hung
With fiery jaws and quivering tongue.
But every serpent fled dismayed
When Raghu's valiant son displayed
The weapon of the Feathered King,  1
And loosed his arrows from the string.
But Rávan armed his bow anew,
And showers of shafts at Ráma flew,
While the fierce king in swift career
Smote with a dart the charioteer.
An arrow shot by Rávan's hand
Laid the proud banner on the sand,
And Indra's steeds of heavenly strain
Fell by the iron tempest slain.
On Gods and spirits of the air
Fell terror, trembling, and despair.
The sea's white billows mounted high

With froth and foam to drench the sky.
The sun by lurid clouds was veiled,
The friendly lights of heaven were paled;
And, fiercely gleaming, fiery Mars
Opposed the beams of gentler stars.

Then Ráma's eyes with fury blazed
As Indra's heavenly spear he raised.
Loud rang the bells: the glistering head
Bright flashes through the region shed.
Down came the spear in swift descent:
The giant's lance was crushed and bent.
Then Rávan's horses brave and fleet
Fell dead beneath his arrowy sleet.
Fierce on his foeman Ráma pressed,
And gored with shafts his mighty breast.
And spouting streams of crimson dyed
The weary giant's limbs and side.  1b


490:1 Apparently a peak of the Himalaya chain.

490:2 This exploit of Hanumán is related with inordinate prolixity in the Bengal recension (Gortesio's text) Among other adventures he narrowly escapes being shot by Bharat as he passes over Nandigrama near Ayodhyá. Hanumán stays Bharat in time, and gives him an account of what has befallen Ráma and Sitá in the forest and in Lanká.

491:1 As Garud the king of birds is the mortal enemy of serpents the weapon sacred to him is of course best calculated to destroy the serpent arrows of Rávan.

Next: Canto CVI.: Glory To The Sun.