or VikramorvasieNOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Hero and the Nymph. Trans.
Sri Aurobindo. Hyderabad: Government Central Press, 1911. PURURAVAS: Halt, ruffian, halt! Thou in thy giant armsBearest away my Urvasie! He hasSoared up from a great crag in the skyAnd wars me, hurling downward bitter rainOf arrows. With this thunderbolt I smite thee. I am deceived! This was a cloudEquipped for rain, no proud and lustful fiend,The rainbow, not a weapon drawn to kill,Quick-driving showers are these, not sleety rainOf arrows; and that brilliant line like streakOf gold upon a touchstone, cloud-inarmed,I saw, was lightning, not my Urvasie.
Where shall I find her now? Where clasp those thighsSwelling and smooth and white?This grove, this grove should find her. And here, O here is something to enrage my resolution. Red-tinged, expanding, wet and full of rain,These blossom-cups recall to me her eyesBrimming with angry tears. How shall I trace her,Or what thing tells me “Here and here she wandered?”If she had touched with her beloved feetThe rain-drenched forest-sands, there were a lineOf little gracious footprints seen, with lacEnvermeilled, sinking deeper towards the heelBecause o’erburdened by her hips’ large glories. I see a hint of her! This wayThen went her angry beauty! Lo, her bodiceBright green as is a parrot’s belly, smittenWith crimson drops. It once veiled in her bosomAnd paused to show her naval deep as love.
These are her tears that from those angry eyesWent trickling, stealing scarlet from her lipsTo spangle all this green. Doubtless her heavingTumult of breasts broke its dear hold and, sheStumbling in anger, from my Heaven it drifted. I’ll gather it to my kisses. O my heart!Only green grass with dragon-wings enamelled!From whom shall I in all the desolate forestHave tidings of her, or what creature help me?Lo, in yon waste of crags the peacock! heUpon a cool moist rock that breathes of rainExults, aspires, his gorgeous mass of plumesSeized, blown and scattered by the roaring gusts. Pregnant of shrillness is his outstretched throat,His look is with the clouds. Him I will question:Have the bright corners of thine eyes beheld,O sapphire-throated bird, her, my delight,My wife, my passion, my sweet grief? YieldingNo answer, he begins his gorgeous dance.
Why should he be so glad of my heart’s woe?I know thee, peacock. Since my cruel lossThy plumes that stream in splendour on the wind,Have not one rival left. For when her heavyDark wave of tresses over all the bedIn softness wide magnificently collapsedOn her smooth shoulders massing purple gloryAnd bright with flowers, she passioning in my arms,Who then was ravished with thy brilliant plumes,Vain bird? I question thee not, heartless thing,That joyest in others’ pain.