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.

What Say you?—­that [S’]akoontala is suffering from fever produced by exposure to the sun, and that this ointment is to cool her burning frame?  Nurse her with care, then, Priyamvada, for she is cherished by our reverend Superior as the very breath of his nostrils[46].  I, for my part, will contrive that soothing waters, hallowed in the sacrifice, he administered to her by the hands of Gautami.

[Exit.

ACT III.

SCENE.—­The Sacred Grove.

Enter KING DUSHYANTA, with the air of one in love.

KING. [Sighing thoughtfully.

  The holy sage possesses magic power
  In virtue of his penance; she, his ward,
  Under the shadow of his tutelage,
  Rests in security, I know it well;
  Yet sooner shall the rushing cataract
  In foaming eddies re-ascend the steep,
  Than my fond heart turn back from its pursuit.

God of love!  God of the flowery shafts [47]! we lovers are cruelly deceived by thee, and by the Moon, however deserving of confidence you may both appear.

  For not to us do these thine arrows seem
  Pointed with tender flowerets; not to us
  Doth the pale Moon irradiate the earth
  With beams of silver fraught with cooling dews;
  But on our fevered frames the moon-beams fall
  Like darts of fire, and every flower-tipt shaft
  Of Kama[47], as it probes our throbbing hearts,
  Seems to be barbed with hardest adamant.

Adorable god of love! hast thou no pity for me?

[In a tone of anguish.]

How can thy arrows be so sharp when they are pointed with flowers?  Ah!  I know the reason: 

  E’en now in thine unbodied essence lurks
  The fire of [S’]iva’s anger[48], like the flame
  That ever hidden in the secret depths
  Of ocean, smoulders there unseen[49].  How else
  Could’st thou, all immaterial as thou art,
  Inflame our hearts thus fiercely?—­thou, whose form
  Was scorched to ashes by a sudden flash
  From the offended god’s terrific eye.

Yet, methinks,

  Welcome this anguish, welcome to my heart
  These rankling wounds inflicted by the god,
  Who on his scutcheon bears the monster-fish[50]
  Slain by his prowess; welcome death itself,
  So that, commissioned by the lord of love,
  This fair one be my executioner. 
  Adorable divinity!  Can I by no reproaches excite your commiseration? 
  Have I not daily offered at thy shrine
  Innumerable vows, the only food
  Of thine ethereal essence?  Are my prayers
  Thus to be slighted?  Is it meet that thou
  Should’st aim thy shafts at thy true votary’s heart,
  Drawing thy bow-string even to thy ear?

[Pacing up and down in a melancholy manner.]

Now that the holy men have completed their rites, and have no more need of my services, how shall I dispel my melancholy?

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