Scene IV

SCENE IV

The Avunthian forests; moonlight.

Vuthsa, Vasavadutta, Munjoolica.

VUTHSA
Thou hast held the reins divinely. We approach
Our kingdom’s border.

MUNJOOLICA
But the foe surround.

VUTHSA
We will through as twice now we have done.

Vicurna comes.

Vicurna arrives ascending.

VICURNA
Vuthsa, yon Rebha asks
For parley; is it given? I’ld hold him here
While by a long masked woodland breach I know
Silent we pass their cordon.

VUTHSA
Force is best.

VICURNA
Vuthsa, to my mind more; but I would spare
Our Vasavadutta’s heart these fierce alarms.
Though she breathes nothing, yet she suffers.

VUTHSA
Good!
We’ll choose they peaceful breach.

Vicurna descends.

VASAVADUTTA
Vuthsa, if I
Stood forth and bade their leader cease pursuit,
Since of my will I go, he must desist.

VUTHSA
It would diminish, love my victory
And triumph which are thine.

VASAVADUTTA
Then let it go.
I would not stain the fame arms, though over
My house’s head its wheels go trampling.

MUNJOOLICA yawning
Ough!
If we could parley a truce for sleep. This fighting
Makes very drowsy.

Vicurna returns with Rebha.

VUTHSA
Well, captain, thy demand!

REBHA
Vuthsa, thou art environed. Dost thou yield?

VUTHSA
Thou mock’st! return; we’ll break the third last time
Thy fragile chain. Are thy dead counted?

REBHA
The living
Outnumber their first strength; more force comes on
Fast from Ujjayinie. Therefore yield the princess.
Thyself depart a freeman to thy realms.

VUTHSA
Know’st thou offer is an insolence?

REBHA
Then, prince, await the worst. Living and bound
Or else a corpse we’ll bring thee back to our city.
Three times around thee is my cordon passed,
Thy steeds are spent, nor hast thou Urjoon’s quiver.
The dawn prepares; think it thy last.

VUTHSA
At noon
I give thee tryst within my borders.

Rebha goes.

VICURNA
Swift!
Before he reach his men and back ascend,
We must be far. Munjoolica, mount my horse,
Ride to Yougundharayan, bid him bring on
His numbers; for I see armies thundering towards us
With angry speed o’er the Avunthian plains.
I’ll guide the car.

MUNJOOLICA
The horse?

VICURNA
Bound in yon grove.
Rein lightly; he’s high-mettled.

MUNJOOLICA
Teach me not.
There is no horse yet foaled I cannot ride.
Which is my way thorugh all this leafy tangle?
She goes towards the grove.

VICURNA
Thou canst not miss it; for yon path leads only
To Lokanatha’s hill beyond our borders.
Now on!

VUTHSA
The moonlight and the glad night-winds
Have rustled luminously among the leaves
And sung me wordless paeans while I fought,
Now let them fall into a rapturous strain
Of silence, while I ride with thee safe clasped
Upon my bosom.

VASAVADUTTA
If I could hold thee safe at last!