Straightway depending from a neighbouring
Appeared a robe of linen tissue, pure
And spotless as a moonbeam—mystic pledge
Of bridal happiness; another tree
Distilled a roseate dye wherewith to stain
The lady’s feet ; and other branches near
Glistened with rare and costly ornaments.
While, ’mid the leaves, the hands of forest-nymphs,
Vying in beauty with the opening buds,
Presented us with sylvan offerings.
PRIYAMVADA. [Looking at [S’]AKOONTALA.
The wood-nymphs have done you honour, indeed. This favour doubtless signifies that you are soon to be received as a happy wife into your husband’s house, and are from this time forward to become the partner of his royal fortunes.
[[S’]AKOONTALA appears abashed.
Come, Gautama; Father Kanwa has finished his ablutions. Let us go and inform him of the favour we have received from the deities who preside over our trees.
By all means.
Alas! what are we to do? We are unused to such splendid decorations, and are at a loss how to arrange them. Our knowledge of painting must be our guide. We will dispose the ornaments as we have seen them in pictures.
Whatever pleases you, dear girls, will please me. I have perfect confidence In your taste.
[They commence dressing her.
Enter KANWA, having just finished his ablutions.
This day my loved one leaves me, and my
Is heavy with its grief; the streams of sorrow,
Choked at the source, repress my faltering voice,
I have no words to speak; mine eyes are dimmed
By the dark shadows of the thoughts that rise
Within my soul. If such the force of grief
In an old hermit parted from his nursling,
What anguish must the stricken parent feel—
Bereft for ever of an only daughter.
[Advances towards [S’]AKOONTALA
PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA.
Now, dearest [S’]akoontala, we have finished decorating you. You have only to put on the two linen mantles.
[[S’]AKOONTALA rises and puts them on.
Daughter, see, here comes thy foster-father; he is eager to fold thee in his arms; his eyes swim with tears of joy. Hasten to do him reverence.
My father, I salute you.
May’st thou be highly honoured by
E’en as Yayati [S’]armishtha adored!
And, as she bore him Puru, so may’st thou
Bring forth a son to whom the world shall bow!