SCENE -A LAWN before the Cottage.
The two damsels are discovered gathering flowers.
Anusuya: O MY Priyamvada, though our sweet friend has been happily married, according to the rites of Gandharvas, to a bridegroom equal in rank and accomplishments, yet my affectionate heart is not wholly free from care; and one doubt gives me particular uneasiness.
Priyamvada: What doubt, my Anusuya?
Anusuya: This morning the pious prince was dismissed with gratitude by our hermits, who had then completed their mystic rites: he is now gone to his capital, Hastinapura, where, surrounded by a hundred women in the recesses of his palace, it may be doubted whether he will remember his charming bride.
Priyamvada: In that respect you may be quite easy. Men, so well informed and well educated as he, can never be utterly destitute of honour. -We have another thing to consider. When our father Kanva shall return from his pilgrimage, and shall hear what has passed, I cannot tell how he may receive the intelligence.
Anusuya: If you ask my opinion, he will, I think, approve of the marriage.
Priyamvada: Why do you think so?
Anusuya: Because he could desire nothing better, than that a husband so accomplished and so exalted should take Shakuntala by the hand. It was, you know, the declared object of his heart, that she might be suitably married; and, since heaven has done for him what he most wished to do, how can he possibly be dissatisfied?
Priyamvada: You reason well; but -[Looking at her basket.] -My friend, we have plucked a sufficient store of flowers to scatter over the place of sacrifice.
Anusuya: Let us gather more to decorate the temples of the goddess who have procured for Shakuntala so much good fortune.
[They both gather more flowers.]
Behind the scenes. It is I -Hola!
Anusuya: [Listening.] I hear the voice, as it seems, of a guest arrived in the hermitage.
Priyamvada: Let us hasten thither. Shakuntala is now reposing; but though we may, when she wakes, enjoy her presence, yet her mind will all day be absent with her departed lord.
Anusuya: Be it so; but we have occasion, you know, for all these flowers. [They advance.]
Again behind the scenes. How! dost thou show no attention to a guest? Then hear my imprecations – “He on whom thou art meditating, on whom alone thy heart is now fixed, while thou neglectest a pure gem of devotion who demands hospitality, shall forget thee, when thou seeth him next, as a man restored to sobriety forgets the words which he uttered in a state of intoxication.”
[Both damsels look at each other with affliction.]
Priyamvada: Wo is me! Dreadful calamity! Our beloved friend has, through mere absence of mind, provoked by her neglect, some holy man who expected reverence.
Anusuya: [Looking.] It must be so; for the choleric (hot-tempered) Durvasa is going hastily back.
Priyamvada: Who else has power to consume, like raging fire, whatever offends him? Go, my Anusuya fall at his feet, and persuade him, if possible, to return: in the mean time I will prepare water and refreshments for him.
Anusuya: I go with eagerness. [She goes out.]
Priyamvada: [Advancing hastily, her foot slips.] Ah! through my eager haste I have let the basket fall; and my religious duties must not be postponed. [She gathers fresh flowers.]
Anusuya: His wrath, my beloved, passes all bounds. -Who from amongst the living could now appease him by the humblest prostrations or entreaties? yet at last he has a little relented.
Priyamvada: That little is a great deal for him. -But inform me how you soothed him in any degree.
Anusuya: When he positively refused to come back, I threw myself at his feet, and thus addressed him: “Holy sage, forgive, I entreat, the offence of an amiable girl, who has the highest veneration for you, but was ignorant, through distraction of mind, how exalted a personage was calling to her.”
Priyamvada: What then? What said he?
Anusuya: He answered thus: “My word cannot not be recalled; but the spell which it has raised shall be wholly removed when her lord shall see his ring.” Saying this, he disappeared.
Priyamvada: We may now have confidence for before the monarch departed, he fixed with his own hand on the finger of Shakuntala the ring, on which we saw the name Dushyanta engraved, and which he will instantly recognize. On him therefore alone will depend the remedy for our misfortune.
Anusuya: Come, let us now proceed to the shrines of the goddess, and implore their succour. [Both advance.]
Priyamvada: [Looking.] See, my Anus
More Poetry from Kalidasa:Kalidasa Poems based on Topics: Flowers, God, Friendship, Man, Mind, Place, Fire, Name, Doubt & Skepticism, Anger, Listening
- Shakuntala Act 1 (Kalidasa Poems)
- Shakuntala Act III (Kalidasa Poems)
- Shakuntala Act VII (Final Act) (Kalidasa Poems)
- Shakuntala Act V (Kalidasa Poems)
- Shakuntala Act II (Kalidasa Poems)
- Seasonal Cycle - Chapter 02 - Rainy Season (Kalidasa Poems)
Readers Who Like This Poem Also Like:Based on Topics: Man Poems, God Poems, Mind Poems, Friendship Poems, Place Poems, Name Poems, Flowers Poems, Fire Poems, Art Poems, Fate & Destiny Poems, Anger Poems
Based on Keywords: educated, veneration, uneasiness, postponed, refreshments, relented, imprecations, anus, dushyanta, choleric, prostrations