The pleasure-groves of the palace in Ujjayinie.
Gopalaca, Vuthsa, Vicurna; at a distance under the trees Ungarica,
Vasavadutta and Umba.
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.
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.
What wild and restless spirit keeps thy feet
‘Tis the wine. I wait.
VICURNA with a harsh laugh
Why, for the wine to do its work.
Where’s Vasavadutta? Call her to us here.
We are not happy if she walks apart.
There with the mother underneath the trees.
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.
‘Tis the last.
Tomorrow lights another scene.
That thou inclin’st they heart. My father grows
Stern and impatient. This done, all is well.
All in this poor world cannot have their will;
Its joys are bounded. I submit, it seems.
Wilt thou incline thy heart, Gopalaca?
To this fair moonlight night’s result
And all that follows after.
I promise that.
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.
They sprawl half senseless near the gate.
Whole bound and gagged were best. Give Vuthsa word.
He goes towards the gates.
Munjoolica, is it tonight?
UNGARICA striking her lightly on the cheek
Vicurna rides tonight?
He rides tonight.
Let him not learn, nor any, that I knew.
She returns to the others.
Come, all you wanderers. Mother, here’s a cup
That thou must bless with thy fair magic hands
Before we drink it.
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.
Three hearts meet in this cup.
Who drinks this first,
He shall be first and he shall be the bond.
Drink, sister Vasavadutta, queen of all.
Queen thou shalt be, my daughter, as in thy heart,
So in thy love and fortunes.
Mine the last.
Thou sayest, my son, yet first mid many men.
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.
They go towards the palace.
Is it the moment?
Yonder lies the gate.
Vuthsa! Vuthsa! Speak,
What has been quivering in the air this night?
He takes her in his arms.
Thy rapt and away, O love.
Look farewell to thy father’s halls.
What is this rashness? Thou art unarmed: the guards
Will slay thee.
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.
Haste, haste! All’s ready.
Umba! Umba! Here?
UMBA who comes running up
Oh, what is this?
Should not this girl be bound?
Give rather thy commands.
Thou’lt face the wrath?
O, all for my dear mistress. If the King
Slays me, I shall have lived and died for her
For whom I was born.
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?
I’ll have thee to Cowsambie if thou live.
Come, follow, follow. He is near the gates.
I to my freedom, she her royal crown!