Sakoontala or the Lost Ring eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Sakoontala or the Lost Ring.

CHARIOTEER.

I observe it all.

KING. [Advancing a little further.

The inhabitants of this sacred retreat must not be disturbed. 
Stay the chariot, that I may alight.

CHARIOTEER.

The reins are held in.  Your Majesty may descend.

KING. [Alighting.

Charioteer, groves devoted to penance must be entered in humble attire.  Take these ornaments.

[Delivers his ornaments and bow to CHARIOTEER.]

Charioteer, see that the horses are watered, and attend to them until I return from visiting the inhabitants of the hermitage.

CHARIOTEER.

I Will.

[Exit.

KING. [Walking and looking about.

Here is the entrance to the hermitage.  I will now go in.

[Entering and feeling a throbbing sensation in his arm.

Serenest peace is in this calm retreat,
By passion’s breath unruffled; what portends
My throbbing arm[18]?  Why should it whisper here
Of happy love?  Yet everywhere around us
Stand the closed portals of events unknown.

A VOICE BEHIND THE SCENES.

This way, my dear companions; this way.

KING. [Listening.

Hark!  I hear voices to the right of yonder grove
of trees.  I will walk in that direction.

[Walking and looking about.]

Ah! here are the maidens of the hermitage coming this way to water the shrubs, carrying water-pots proportioned to their strength.

[Gazing at them.]

How graceful they look!

In palaces such charms are rarely ours;
The woodland plants outshine the garden flowers.

I will conceal myself in this shade and watch them.

[Stands gazing at them.

Enter [S’]AKOONTALA, with her two female companions, employed in the manner described.

[S’]AKOONTALA

This way, my dear companions; this way.

ANASUYA.

Dear [S’]akoontala, one would think that father Kanwa had more affection for the shrubs of the hermitage even than for you, seeing he assigns to you, who are yourself as delicate as the fresh-blown jasmine, the task of filling with water the trenches which encircle their roots.

[S’]AKOONTALA.

Dear Anasuya, although I am charged by my good father with this duty, yet I cannot regard it as a task.  I really feel a sisterly love for these plants.

[Continues watering the shrubs.

KING.

Can this be the daughter of Kanwa?  The saintly man, though descended from the great Kasyapa, must be very deficient in judgment to habituate such a maiden to the life of a recluse.

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Sakoontala or the Lost Ring from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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