Found favour in her father’s sight.
(He looks about.)
Ah, I have come into the open air.
and retraces his steps.)
Shakuntala (takes a step, then turns with an eager gesture).
O King, I cannot
do as you would have me. You hardly know me after this short talk. But
oh, do not forget me.
When evening comes, the shadow of the tree
Is cast far forward, yet does not depart;
Even so, belovèd, wheresoe’er you be,
The thought of you can never leave my heart.
Shakuntala (takes a few steps. To herself).
Oh, oh! When I hear him speak
so, my feet will not move away. I will hide in this amaranth hedge and
see how long his love lasts.
(She hides and waits.)
Oh, my belovèd, my love for you is my whole life, yet you leave
me and go away without a thought.
Your body, soft as siris-flowers,
Engages passion’s utmost powers;
How comes it that your heart is hard
As stalks that siris-blossoms guard?
When I hear this, I have no power to go.
What have I to do here, where she is not?
(He gazes on the
Ah, I cannot go.
The perfumed lotus-chain
That once was worn by her
Fetters and keeps my heart
A hopeless prisoner.
(He lifts it reverently.)
Shakuntala (looking at her arm).
Why, I was so weak and ill that when
the lotus-bracelet fell off, I did not even notice it.
King (laying the lotus-bracelet on his heart).
Once, dear, on your sweet arm it lay,
And on my heart shall ever stay;
Though you disdain to give me joy,
I find it in a lifeless toy.
I cannot hold back after that. I will use the bracelet as an
excuse for my coming.
WHEN FIRST I LOVED
Taj Mohammad Amrothi
WHEN first I loved, I gave my very soul
Utterly unreserved to Love's control,
But Love deceived me, wrenched my youth away
And made the gold of life for ever grey.
Long I lived lonely, yet I tried in vain
With any other Joy to stifle pain;
There is no other joy, I learned to know,
And so returned to Love, as long ago.
Yet I, this little while ere I go hence,
Love very lightly now, in self-defence.
REQUEST Laurence Hope (1865-1904)
IVE me yourself one hour; I do not crave
For any love, or even thought of me.
Come, as a Sultan may caress a slave
And then forget for ever, utterly.
Come! as west winds, that passing, cool and wet,
O'er desert places, leave them fields in flower.
And all my life, for I shall not forget,
Will keep the fragrance of that perfect hour