Thy hands have yet no cunning with the strings.
‘Tis not the touch alone but manner of the touch
That call the murmuring spirit forth, – as thus.
I cannot manage it; my hand rebels.
I will compel it then.
He takes her hand in his.
Thou dost not chide.
I am weary of chiding; and how rule a boyWho takes delight in being chidden? And then
‘Twas only my hand. What dost thou?
Vuthsa takes her by the arms and
Draws her towards him.
What thy eyes
Commanded me and what for many days
My heart has clamoured for in hungry pain.
Presumptuous! Wilt thou not immediately
Not till thy heart’s will is done.
He draws her down on his knees, resisting.
What will? I did not bid. What will? Vuthsa!
Vuthsa! I did not bid. This is not well.
He masters her and holds her on his bosom.
Her head falls on his shoulder.
O my desire, why should we still deny
Delight that calls to us? Strive not with joy,
But yield me the sweet mortal privilege
That makes me equal with the happiest god
In all the heavens of fulfilled desire.
O on thy sweet averted cheek! My queen,
My wilful empress, all in vain thou striv’st
To keep from me the treasure of thy lips
I have deserved so long.
He forces her lips up to his and kisses her.
O honey of thy mouth! The joy, the joy
Was sweeter. I have drunk in heaven at last,
Let what will happen.
Vasavadutta escapes and stands
Quivering at a distance.
Stand there! Approach me not.
I thought ‘twould be enough for many ages;
But ’tis not so.
Go from me, seek thy room.
Have I so much offended? I will go.
He pretends to go.
Vuthsa, I am not angry; do not go.
Sit; I must chide thee. Was this well to abuse
My kindness, to mistake indulgence? – No,
I am not angry; thou art only a boy.
I have permitted thee to love because
Thou sadist thou couldst not help it. This again
Thou must not do, – not thus.
Then teach me how.
VASAVADUTTA with a troubled smile
I never had so importunate a slave.
I must think out some punishment for thee.
She comes to him suddenly, takes him to her
Bosom and kisses him with passion.
O if ’tis this, I will again offend.
She clings to him, kisses him again,
then puts him away from her.
Go from me, go. Wilt thou me not go? Munjoolica!
She is not here to help thee against thy heart.
But I will go; thou willst it.
Wilt thou leave me?
Never! thus, thus into my bosom grow,
O my happiness!
O Vuthsa, only name that’s sweet on earth
I have murmured to the silence of the hours,
Give me delight, let me endure thy clasp
For ever. O loveliest head on all the earth!
If we could thus remain through many ages,
Nor Time grow weary ever of such bliss,
I have loved thee always
Even when I knew it not. Was’t not the love
Secret between us, drew thee here by force,
Thou wilt not now refuse thy lips?
Nothing to thee.
Yes, thou shalt be my queen
Surrendered henceforth, I thy slave enthroned.
Give me the largess of thyself that I may be
The constant vassal of thy tyrant eyes
And captive of thy beauty all my days
And homage pay to thy sweet sovereign soul.
Thus, thus accept me.
I accept, my king,
Thy service and thy homage and thy love.
If in return the bounty of myself
I lavish on thee, will it be enough?
Can it hold thy life as thou wilt fill all mine?
Weave thyself into morn and noon and eve.
We will not be as man and woman are
Who are with partial oneness satisfied,
Divided in our works, but one large soul
Parted in two dear bodies for more bliss.
For all my occupations thou shalt rule,
And those that take me from thy blissful shadow
Still with thy sweet remembrance shall inspired
Be done by thee.
If thy heart strays from me, –
Never my heart . . .
If thy eyes stray from me,
O Vuthsa, –
If I view all beautiful things
With natural delight, thou wilt pardon that,
Because thou wilt share the joy.
Then must I find
Thy beauty there.
Tonight, my love, my love,
Shall we not linger heart on heart tonight?
Ah, Vuthsa, no.
Does not thy heart cry, Yes?
Are we not wedded? Shall we dally, love,
Upon heaven’s outskirts, nor all Paradise
This hour compel?
Beloved, thy eyes
Beseech me to overcome thee with my will.
Munjoolica entering, Vuthsa releases Vasavadutta.
Munjoolica! Why camest thou?
Calledst thou not?
‘Tis forgotten. Oh, I remember.
‘Twas to lead Vuthsa to his prison.
And I will beat thee! It was all thy fault.
Oh, very little, Come, the hour is late;
The Princess’ maidens will come trooping in.
Turn not reluctant eyes behind but come.
She takes Vuthsa by both wrist
And leads him out.
There is a fire within me and a cry.
My longings have all broken in a flood
And I am the tossed spray! O my desire
That criest for the beauty of his limbs
And to feel all his body wit thyself
And lose thy soul in his sweet answering soul,
Wilt thou not all this night be silent? I
Will walk upon the terrace in moonlight;
Perhaps the large, silent night will give me peace
For now ’twere vain to sleep. O in his arms!
His arms about me and the world expunged!