The Author William Butler Yeats

Anashuya And Vijaya


A i(little Indian temple) in i(the Golden Age.) Around it i(a garden;)
i(around that the forest. Anashuya, the young priestess, kneelinq)
i(within the temple.)
i(Anashuya.) Send peace on all the lands and flickering
corn. --
O, may tranquillity walk by his elbow
When wandering in the forest, if he love
No other. -- Hear, and may the indolent flocks
Be plentiful. -- And if he love another,
May panthers end him. -- Hear, and load our king
With wisdom hour by hour. -- May we two stand,
When we are dead, beyond the setting suns,
A little from the other shades apart,
With mingling hair, and play upon one lute.
i(Vijaya entering and throwing) a i(lily at her].) Hail! hail, my
i(Anashuya.) No: be still.
I, priestess of this temple, offer up
prayers for the land.
i(Vijaya. I) will wait here, Amrita.
i(Anashuya.) By mighty Brahma's ever-rustling robe,
Who is Amrita? Sorrow of all sorrows!
Another fills your mind.
i(Vijaya.) My mother's name.
i(Anashuya sings, coming out) of i(the temple].)
A sad, sad i(thought went by me slowly:)
i(Sigh,) O i(you little stars.!) O i(sigh and shake your blue)
i(The sad, sad thought) has i(gone from me now wholly:)
i(Sing,) O you i(little stars.!) O i(sing and raise your rapturous)
i(To mighty Brahma,) be i(who made you many) as i(the sands,)
i(And laid you) on i(the gates) of i(evening with his quiet hands.)
i((Sits down on the steps of the temple.j)
Vijaya, I have brought my evening rice;
The sun has laid his chin on the grey wood,
Weary, with all his poppies gathered round him.
i(Vijaya.) The hour when Kama, full of sleepy laughter,
Rises, and showers abroad his fragrant arrows,
Piercing the twilight with their murmuring barbs.
i(Anashuya.) See-how the sacred old flamingoes come.
Painting with shadow all the marble steps:
Aged and wise, they seek their wonted perches
Within the temple, devious walking, made
To wander by their melancholy minds.
Yon tall one eyes my supper; chase him away,
Far, far away. I named him after you.
He is a famous fisher; hour by hour
He ruffles with his bill the minnowed streams.
Ah! there he snaps my rice. I told you so.
Now cuff him off. He's off! A kiss for you,
Because you saved my rice. Have you no thanks?
i(Vijaya sings]. Sing you) of i(her, O first few stars,)
i(Whom Brahma, touching with his finger, praises, for you)
i(The van) of i(wandering quiet; ere you be too calm and old,)
i(Sing, turning in your cars,)
i(Sing, till you raise your hands and sigh, and from your car-)
i(heads peer,)
i(With all your whirling hair, and drop many an azure tear.)
i(Anashuya.) What know the pilots of the stars of tears?
i(Vijaya.) Their faces are all worn, and in their eyes
Flashes the fire of sadness, for they see
The icicles that famish all the North,
Where men lie frozen in the glimmering snow;
And in the flaming forests cower the lion
And lioness, with all their whimpering cubs;
And, ever pacing on the verge of things,
The phantom, Beauty, in a mist of tears;
While we alone have round us woven woods,
And feel the softness of each other's hand,
Amrita, while -- -
i(Anashuya going away from him].)
Ah me! you love another,
i(Bursting into tears.])
And may some sudden dreadful ill befall her!
i(Vijaya. I) loved another; now I love no other.
Among the mouldering of ancient woods
You live, and on the village border she,
With her old father the blind wood-cutter;
I saw her standing in her door but now.
i(Anashuya.) Vijaya, swear to love her never more.
i(Vijaya.) Ay, ay.
i(Anashuya.) Swear by the parents of the gods,
Dread oath, who dwell on sacred Himalay,
On the far Golden peak; enormous shapes,
Who still were old when the great sea was young;
On their vast faces mystery and dreams;
Their hair along the mountains rolled and filled
From year to year by the unnumbered nests
Of aweless birds, and round their stirless feet
The joyous flocks of deer and antelope,
Who never hear the unforgiving hound.
i(Vijaya.) By the parents of the gods, I swear.
i(Anashuya sings].) I i(have forgiven,) O i(new star!)
i(Maybe you have not heard) of i(us, you have come forth) so
You i(hunter) of i(the fields afar!)
i(Ah, you will know my loved one by his hunter's arrows)
i(Shoot on him shafts) of i(quietness, that he may ever keep)
A i(lonely laughter, and may kiss his hands to me in sleep.)
Farewell, Vijaya. Nay, no word, no word;
I, priestess of this temple, offer up
Prayers for the land.
i(Vijaya goes.])
O Brahma, guard in sleep
The merry lambs and the complacent kine,
The flies below the leaves, and the young mice
In the tree roots, and all the sacred flocks
Of red flamingoes; and my love, Vijaya;
And may no restless fay with fidget finger
Trouble his sleeping: give him dreams of me.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Anashuya And Vijaya to your own personal library.

Return to the William Butler Yeats Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; A Nativity

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson