Scene II

SCENE II

The pleasure-groves of the palace in Ujjayinie.

Gopalaca, Vuthsa, Vicurna; at a distance under the trees Ungarica,

Vasavadutta and Umba.

GOPALACA
Vuthsa, the wine is singing in my brain,
The moonlight floods my soul. These are the hours
When the veil for eye and ear is almost rent
And we can hear wind-haired Gundharvas sing
In a strange luminous ether. Thou art one,
Vuthsa, who has escaped the bars and walks
Smiling and harping to enchanted men.

VUTHSA
It was your earthly moonlight drew me here
And thou, Gopalaca, and Vindhya’s hills
And Vasavadutta. Thou shalt drink with me
In moonlight in Cowsambie.

GOPALACA
Vuthsa, when?
What wild and restless spirit keeps thy feet
Tonight, Vicurna?

VICURNA
‘Tis the wine. I wait.

GOPALACA
For what?

VICURNA with a harsh laugh
Why, for the wine to do its work.

GOPALACA
Where’s Vasavadutta? Call her to us here.
We are not happy if she walks apart.

VICURNA
There with the mother underneath the trees.

GOPALACA
Call them. Thou, Vuthsa, she and I will drink
One cup of love and pledge our hearts in wine
Never to be parted. Thou deceiv’st the days,
O lax and laggard lover.

VUTHSA
‘Tis the last.
Tomorrow lights another scene.

GOPALACA
‘Tis good
That thou inclin’st they heart. My father grows
Stern and impatient. This done, all is well.

VUTHSA
All in this poor world cannot have their will;
Its joys are bounded. I submit, it seems.
Wilt thou incline thy heart, Gopalaca?

GOPALACA
To what?

VUTHSA
To this fair moonlight night’s result
And all that follows after.

GOPALACA
Easily
I promise that.

VUTHSA
All surely will be well.

Munjoolica arrives from the gates; Vicurna returning from the trees
with Ungarica, Vasavadutta and Umba, go forward to meet her.

VICURNA
Is’t done?

MUNJOOLICA
They sprawl half senseless near the gate.

VICURNA
Whole bound and gagged were best. Give Vuthsa word.
He goes towards the gates.

UNGARICA
Munjoolica, is it tonight?

MUNJOOLICA
What, madam?

UNGARICA striking her lightly on the cheek
Vicurna rides tonight?

MUNJOOLICA
He rides tonight.

UNGARICA
Let him not learn, nor any, that I knew.
She returns to the others.

GOPALACA
Come, all you wanderers. Mother, here’s a cup
That thou must bless with thy fair magic hands
Before we drink it.

UNGARICA
May those who drink be one
In heart and great and loving all their days
Favoured by Shiva and by Luxmie blest
Until the end and far beyond.

GOPALACA
Drink, Vuthsa.
Three hearts meet in this cup.

UNGARICA
Who drinks this first,
He shall be first and he shall be the bond.

GOPALACA
Drink, sister Vasavadutta, queen of all.

UNGARICA
Queen thou shalt be, my daughter, as in thy heart,
So in thy love and fortunes.

GOPALACA
Mine the last.

UNGARICA
Thou sayest, my son, yet first mid many men.

GOPALACA
Whatever place, so in this know ’tis found.

UNGARICA embracing Vasavadutta closely
Forget not thy dear mother in thy bliss.
Gopalaca, attend me to the house,
I have a word for thee, my son.

GOPALACA
I come.
They go towards the palace.

VUTHSA
Is it the moment?

MUNJOOLICA
Yonder lies the gate.

VUTHSA
Love! Vasavadutta?

VASAVADUTTA
Vuthsa! Vuthsa! Speak,
What has been quivering in the air this night?
He takes her in his arms.

VUTHSA
Thy rapt and away, O love.
Look farewell to thy father’s halls.

VASAVADUTTA
Alas!
What is this rashness? Thou art unarmed: the guards
Will slay thee.

VUTHSA
Fear not! Thou in my arms,
Our fates a double shield, thou hast no fear,
Not anything this night to think or do
Save in the chariot lie between my knees
And listen to the breezes in thy locks
Whistling to thee of far Cowsambie’s groves.
He bears her towards the gate, Vicurna
Crossing him in his return.

VICURNA
Haste, haste! All’s ready.

MUNJOOLICA
Umba! Umba! Here?

UMBA who comes running up
Oh, what is this?

VICURNA
Should not this girl be bound?

UMBA
Give rather thy commands.

MUNJOOLICA
Thou’lt face the wrath?

UMBA
O, all for my dear mistress. If the King
Slays me, I shall have lived and died for her
For whom I was born.

MUNJOOLICA
Hide in the groves until
Thou hearst a rumour growing from the walls,
Then seek the house and save theyself. Till then
Could you not have trusted me in this?

UMBA
Weep not!
I’ll have thee to Cowsambie if thou live.

VICURNA
Come, follow, follow. He is near the gates.

MUNJOOLICA
I to my freedom, she her royal crown!