A room in Vasavadutta’s apartment.
Vasavadutta, Munjoolica, Umba.
Thou hast seen him?
Then speak, thou perverse silence,
Thou canst chatter when thou wilt.
What shall I say
Except that thou art always fortunate
Since first thy soft feet moved upon our earth,
O living Luxmie, beauty, wealth and joy
Run overpacked into thy days, and grandeurs
Unmeasured. Now the greatest king on earth
Is given thy servant.
That’s the greatest king’s
High fortune and not mine. For nothing now
Can raise me higher than I am whose father
Is sovereign over greatest kings. Nothing are these
And what I long to know thou wilt not tell.
What is he like?
I have seen the god of love
Wearing a golden human body.
VASAVADUTTA with a pleased smile
As thou art and even more.
Cry not out.
His eyes are proud and smiling like the gods’,
His voice is like the sudden call of Spring.
O dear to me even as myself, wear this.
She puts her own chain round her neck.
That is my happiness; keep thy gifts.
My love around thy neck. Thou hast seen truly?
It was not spoken to beguile my mind?
Then tell me all you saw there, dearest one;
Not that these things I care for, but would know.
showing Gopalaca and Vuthsa who enter
Let thy eyes care not then, yet see.
Long wast thou far from me.
For thy sake I was far.
Much have I flung, my sister, at thy feet
Nor thought my gifts were worthy of thy smile,
Not even Sourashtra’s conquered daughter here,
But now I give indeed. This is that famous
Vuthsa Udayan, great Cowsambie’s king,
Brought here by me to serve thee as thy slave,
Thy royal serf, musician, singer, page.
Look on him, tell me if I have deserved.
Much love, dear brother, not that any prize
I value as of worth for such as we,
But thy love gives it price.
My love for both.
My gift is precious to me, for my heart
Possessed him long before my hands have seized.
Then love him well, for so thou lov’st me twice.
VASAVADUTTA looking covertly at Vuthsa
Although my slave, dear then and prized.
Are we not all
Thy servants? The wide costly world is less,
My sister, than thy noble charm and grace
And beauty and the sweetness of thy soul
Deserve, O Vasavadutta.
Is it so?
My sister, thou wast born from Luxmie’s heart.
And we thy brothers feel in thee, not us,
Our father’s lordly star inherited
And in thy gridle all the conquered earth/
I know it, brother.
From thy childhood, yes,
Thou seemdst to know, thou heldst rule carelessly;
But since thou knowest, queen, assume thy fiefs,
Cowsambie and Ayodhya, for thy house!
glancing at Vuthsa and avoiding his gaze
Since he’s my slave, they are already mine.
Nay, understand me, sister: make them thine.
Thou, Vuthsa, serve thy mistress and obey.
He goes out.
He is a boy, a golden marvellous boy.
I am surely older! I can play with him.
There is no fear, no difficulty at all.
What is thy name? I’ll hear it from thy lips.
Thou shudderest, Vuthsa; dost thou fear?
Perhaps; there is a fear in too much joy.
I did not hear. My brother loves thee well.
Take comfort. If thou server me faithfully,
Thou hast no cause for any grief at all.
Thou art Cowsambie’s king, –
Men call me so.
And now my servant.
That my heart repeats.
I did not hear, Cowsambie’s king, my slave,
What canst thou do to please me?
Dost thou choose
To know the songs that shake the tranquil gods
Or hear on earth the harps of heaven? Dost thou
Desire the line and hue of living truth
That makes earth’s shadows pale? Or wilt thou have
The infinite abysmal silences
Made vocal, clothed with form? These things at birth
The Kinnarie, Vidyadhar and Gundharva
Around me crowding on Himaloy dumb
Gave to the silent god that smiled in me
Before my outer mind held thought. All these
I can make thine.
Vuthsa, I take all these,
All thy life’s ornaments that thou wearst, for mine
And am not satisfied.
Dost thou desire
The earth made thine by my victorious bow?
Send me then forth to battle; earth is thine.
I take the earth and am not satisfied.
Say thou what thing shall please thee in thy slave,
What thou desir’st from Vuthsa?
Do I know?
Not less than all thou hast and all thou canst
And all thou art.
I speak and hear,
And know not what I say nor what thou meanst.
The deepest things are those thought seizes not;
Our spirits live their hidden meaning out.
after a troubled silence in which she tries to recover herself
I know not how we passed into this strain.
Such words are troubling to the mind and heart;
They have been spoken.
Let them rest.
Vuthsa, my slave, who promisest me much,
Great things thou offerest, small things I’ll demand
From thee, yet hard. Since he’s my prisoner,
Munjoolica and Umba, guard this boy;
You are his jailors. When I have need of him,
Then bring him to me. Go, Vuthsa, to thy room.
Vuthsa makes an obeisance and touches her feet.
What dost thou? It is not permitted thee.
VUTHSA letting his touch linger
Not this? `Tis hard.
Thou art too bold a slave.
Let me be earth beneath thy tread at least.
Oh, take him from me; I have enough of him!
Thou, Umba, see he bribes thee not or worse.
I will be bribed to make thee smart for that.
Where shall we put him? In the tower-room
Closing the terrace where thou walkst when moonlight
Sleeps on the sward?
There; ’tis the nearest.
UMBA taking Vuthsa’s hand
They go out with Vuthsa.
Will he charm me from my purpose with a smile?
How beautiful he is, how beautiful!
There is a fear, there is a happy fear.
But he is mine, his eyes confessed my sway;
Surely I shall do all my will with him.
I sent him from me, for his words troubled me
And still delighted. They have a witchery, –
No, not his words, but voice. ‘Tis not his voice,
Nor yet his smile, his face, his flower-soft eyes
And yet it is all these and something more.
shaking his head
I fear it will be difficult after all.