Kamanita And Vasitthi
[~By KARL GJELLERUP]
At the same moment a strong odour of the blossoms of the
night‐lotus was wafted towards me from the garden ponds.
I had raised my eyes in order to calculate once more the
hour from the stars, when:— There it was! I beheld, across
the deep blue expanse of the heavens, between the black tree
tops, the softly glowing radiance of the Milky Way.
"The Heavenly Gangā," I murmured involuntarily,
and in a moment it was as if the pressure on my breast
were loosening, were rising in a warm wave within me, to
pour out in a stream of hot tears from my eyes. It is true I
had, a few hours earlier, when my whole life passed in
review before me, thought of Vāsitthī and the brief season
of my love — but then only as of something distant and
strange that seemed to be no more than a foolish dream.
Now, however, I no longer thought of it at all — I lived it
again: I was all at once the self of the past and the self of
the present, and with genuine horror did I become aware
of all the difference. At that time I possessed nothing
except myself and my love; and these — were they not
inseparable? Now — oh what did I not possess now!
Wives and children, servants and slaves, richly filled warehouses,
gold and jewels, a pleasure park and a palace the possession of
which my fellow citizens envied me — but — where was I? As in some
blighted fruit, the kernel had dried up —disappeared — and everything
had turned to empty shell...
Like one awakening, I looked around me.The extensive and beautifully
timbered park lifting its dark tree‐tops against the night sky, sown
with myriads of stars and threaded by the Milky Way, and the proud
hall where the alabaster lamps glowed between the pillars— these suddenly
appeared to me in quite a new light.
Hostile and threatening, they surrounded me like magnificently glistening
vampires which had already drained almost the whole of my heart's blood and
were now gaping greedily for the enjoyment of the last drops, after which
there would remain nothing but the withered corpse of an abortive human life.
Now — at last! No, it was a rustling of the tree‐tops which died away in the
distance, to rise again as before —it sounded as though a great shaggy animal
had shaken itself. Again and again it was repeated, and then theresounded the
shrill cry of some bird. Were not these signs of approaching day?
************to be continued****************
Edited by yawares