Scene VI

SCENE VI

Near the edge of the forest in Avunthie.

Roomunwath, Yougundharayan, Alurca, Munjoolica, forces.

ROOMUNWATH
Stay, stay our march; ’tis Vuthsa’s car arrives.
The tired horses stumble as they pause.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
There is a noise of armies close behind
And out of woods the Avunthian wheels emerge.
There arrive Vuthsa, Vicurna, Vasavadutta.

VUTHSA
My father, all things to their hour are true
And I bring back my venture. Am I pardoned
Its secrecy?

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
My pupil and son no more,
But hero and monarch! Thou hast set thy foot
Upon Avunthie’s head.

VUTHSA
Yet still thy son.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
Hail, Vasavadutta, great Cowsambie’s queen.

VASAVADUTTA smiling happily on Vuthsa
My crown was won by desperate alarms.

VUTHSA
It was a perilous race and in the end
Fate won by a head. Were it not the difficult paths
Baffled their numbers, we were hardly here,
So oft we had to pause and rest our steeds.
But in less strength they dared not venture on.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
They range their battle now.

VUTHSA
Speak thou to them.
War must not break.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
Demand a parley there.

VUTHSA
If we must fight, it shall be for defence
Retreating while we war unless they urge
Too far their violent trespass.

VICURNA
Rebha comes.

Rebha arrives.

REBHA
Ye are suitors for a parley?

VICURNA
Rebha, with beaten men.

REBHA
Because you had your sister in the car
Our shafts were hampered.

VICURNA
Nor could with swords prevail
Against two boys so many hundred men.

REBHA
O Prince Vicurna, what thou hast done today
Against thy name and nation, I forbear
To value. ‘Tis thy first essay of arms.

VICURNA
Well dost thou not to weigh thy better’s deeds.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
Rebha, wilt thou urge vainly yet this strife?
What hitherto was done, was private act
And duel; now if thou insist on fight,
Two nations are embroiled; and to what end?

REBHA
I will take Vuthsa and the Princess back.
It is my king’s command.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
The impossible
No man is bound to endeavour. While we fight,
King Vuthsa with the captive Princess bounds
Unhindered to his high-walled capital.

REBHA
It is my king’s command. I am his arm
And not his counsellor; nor to use my brain
Have any right, save for the swift way to fulfil
His proud and absolute mandate.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
If there came
Word from Ujjayinie, the pursuit must cease?

REBHA
Then truly.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
Send a horseman, Rebha, ask,
All meanwhile shall remain as now it stands.

REBHA
I’ll send no horseman; I will fight.

YOUGUNDHARAYAN
Then war!

REBHA
We fear it not. This is strange insolence
To stand in arms upon Avunthian ground
And issue mandates to the country’s lords.
He is going

ROOMUNWATH
Rebha, yet pause! No messenger thou needst.
Look where you chariot furious bounding comes
And over it streams Avunthie’s royal flag.

REBHA
It is the prince Gopalaca. Of this I am glad.

VASAVADUTTA
O if brother comes, then all is well.

VUTHSA
For thou art Luxmie. Thou beside me, fate
And Fortune, peace and battle must obey
The vagrant lightest-winged of my desires.

Gopalaca arrives; with him Umba.

GOPALACA
Hail, Vuthsa! Peace and love between our lands!

VUTHSA
I hold them here incarnate. Welcome thou
Their strong achiever.

GOPALACA
As earnest and as proof
Receive this fair accomplice of thy flight
Unpunished. Sister, take her to thy arms.

VASAVADUTTA
O Umba, thou com’st safe to me!

GOPALACA
And all
My sister’s household and her wealth comes fast
Behind me. Only one claim Avunthie keeps;
My sister shall sit throned thy only queen, -
Which, pardon me, my eyes must witness done
With honour to our name.

VUTHSA
Cowsambie’s majesty
Will brook not even in this Gopalaca,
A foreign summons. Surely my will and love
Shall throne most high, not strong Avunthie’s child
And mine, the nation and the kingdom’s good
Consenting shall decide. Therefore this claim
Urge not, my brother.

GOPALACA
Let not this divide us.
The present’s gladness is enough; the future’s hers
And thine, Udayan, nor shall any man
Compel thee. Boy, thy revolt was rash and fierce
Wronging thy house and thy high father’s will.
Exiled must thou in far Cowsambie dwell
Until his wrath is dead.

VICURNA
I care not, brother.
I have done my will, I have observed the right.
Near Vuthsa and my sister’s home enough
And I shall see new countries.

VUTHSA
Follow behind,
Gopalaca; thy sister’s household bring
And all the force thou wilt. We speed in front.
Ride thou. Alurca, near us; let thy harp
Speak of love’s anthems and her golden life
To Vasavadutta. Love, the storm is past,
The peril o’er. Now we shall glide, my queen,
Through green-gold woods and between golden fields
To float for ever in a golden dream,
O earth’s gold Luxmie, till the shining gates
Eternal open to us thy heavenly home.

Curtain