Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/341

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The subject-matter of the later Kāvyas, which is derived from the two great epics, becomes more and more mixed up with lyric, erotic, and didactic elements. It is increasingly regarded as a means for the display of elaborate conceits, till at last nothing remains but bombast and verbal jugglery. The Bhaṭṭi-kāvya, written in Valabhī under King Çrīdharasena, probably in the seventh century, and ascribed by various commentators to the poet and grammarian Bhartṛihari (died 651 A.D.), deals in 22 cantos with the story of Rāma, but only with the object of illustrating the forms of Sanskrit grammar.

The Kirātārjunīya describes, in eighteen cantos, the combat, first narrated in the Mahābhārata, between Çiva, in the guise of a Kirāta or mountaineer, and Arjuna. It cannot have been composed later than the sixth century, as its author, Bhāravi, is mentioned in an inscription of 634 A.D. The fifteenth canto of this poem contains a number of stanzas illustrating all kinds of verbal tricks like those described in Daṇḍin's Kāvyādarça. Thus one stanza (14) contains no consonant but n (excepting a t at the end)[1]; while each half-line in a subsequent one (25), if its syllables be read backwards, is identical with the other half.[2]

The Çiçupāla-vadha, or "Death of Çiçupāla," describes, in twenty cantos, how that prince, son of a king of Chedi, and cousin of Kṛishṇa, was slain by Vishṇu. Having been composed by the poet Māgha, it also goes by the name of Māgha-kāvya. It probably dates from the ninth, and must undoubtedly have been composed before the end of the tenth century. The nineteenth canto is full

  1. Na nonanunno nunnono nānā nānānanā nanu
    Nunno 'nunno nanunneno nānenā nunnanunnanut.
  2. Devākānini kāvāde, &c.