By all means.
* * * * *
SCENE.—The Garden of a Palace.
The nymph_ SANUMATI is seen descending in a celestial car.
Behold me just arrived from attending in my proper turn at the nymph’s pool, where I have left the other nymphs to perform their ablutions, whilst I seek to ascertain, with my own eyes, how it fares with King Dushyanta. My connexion with the nymph Menaka has made her daughter [S’]akoontala dearer to me than my own flesh and blood; and Menaka it was who charged me with this errand on her daughter’s behalf.
[Looking round in all directions.]
How is it that I see no preparations in the King’s household for celebrating the great vernal festival? I could easily discover the reason by my divine faculty of meditation; but respect must be shown to the wishes of my friend. How then shall I arrive at the truth? I know what I will do. I will become invisible, and place myself near those two maidens who are tending the plants in the garden.
[Descends and takes her station.
Enter a MAIDEN, who stops in front of a mango-tree, and gazes at the blossom. Another MAIDEN is seen behind her.
Hail to thee, lovely harbinger of spring! The varied radiance of thy opening flowers Is welcome to my sight. I bid thee hail, Sweet mango, soul of this enchanting season.
Parabhritika, what are you saying there to yourself?
Dear Madhukarika, am I not named after the Koil? and does not the Koil sing for joy at the first appearance of the mango-blossom?
SECOND MAIDEN. [Approaching hastily, with transport.
What! is spring really come?
Yes, indeed, Madhukarika, and with it the season of joy, love, and song.
Let me lean upon you, dear, while I stead on tiptoe and pluck a blossom, of the mango, that I may present it as an offering to the god of love.
Provided you let me have half the reward which the god will bestow in return.
To be sure you shall, and that without asking. Are we not one in heart and soul, though divided in body?
[Leans on her friend and plucks a mango-blossom.]
Ah! here is a bud just bursting into flower. It diffuses a delicious perfume, though not yet quite expanded.
[Joining her hands reverentially.]
God of the bow, who with spring’s choicest flowers
Dost point thy five unerring shafts; to thee
I dedicate this blossom; let it serve
To barb thy truest arrow; be its mark
Some youthful heart that pines to be beloved.