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Apu Ollantay, by Clements Markham, [1910], at


A great hall in the Colcampata, then the palace of the Queen or Ccoya Anahuarqui. In the centre of the back scene a doorway, and seen through it gardens with the snowy peak of Vilcañota in the distance. Walls covered with golden slabs. On either side of the doorway three recesses, with household gods in the shape of maize-cobs and llamas, and gold vases in them. On R. a golden tiana or throne. On L. two lower seats covered with cushions of fine woollen cloth.

(ANAHUARQUI, the Queen or Ccoya (in blue chucu, white cotton bodice, and red mantle secured by a golden topu or pin, set with emeralds, and a blue skirt), and the princess CUSI COYLLUR (in a chucu, with feathers of the tunqui, white bodice and skirt, and grey mantle with topu, set with pearls) discovered seated.)

  Anahuarqui. Since when art thou feeling so sad,
Cusi Coyllur! great Inti's prunelle? 1
Since when hast thou lost all thy joy,
Thy smile and thy once merry laugh?

p. 351

Tears of grief now pour down my face,
As I watch and mourn over my child;
Thy grief makes me ready to die.
Thy union filled thee with joy,
Already you're really his wife.
Is he not the man of thy choice?
O daughter, devotedly loved,
Why plunged in such terrible grief?

(Cusi Coyllur has had her face hidden in the pillows. She now rises to her feet, throwing up her arms.)

  Cusi Coyllur. O my mother! O most gracious Queen!
How can my tears o'er cease to flow,
How can my bitter sighs surcease,
While the valiant Chief I worship
For many days and sleepless nights,
All heedless of my tender years,
Seems quite to have forgotten me?
He has turned his regard from his wife
And no longer seeks for his love.
O my mother! O most gracious Queen!
O my husband so beloved!
Since the day when I last saw my love
The moon has been hidden from view;
The sun shines no more as of old,
In rising it rolls among mist;
At night the stars are all dim,
All nature seems sad and distressed
The comet with fiery tail,
Announces my sorrow and grief
Surrounded by darkness and tears,
Evil auguries fill me with fears.
O my mother! O most gracious Queen!
O my husband so beloved!

p. 352

  Anahuarqui. Compose thyself and dry thine eyes,
The King, thy father, has arrived.
Thou lovest Ollantay, my child?

(Enter the INCA PACHACUTI. On his head the mascapaycha, with the llautu or imperial fringe. A tunic of cotton embroidered with gold; on his breast the golden breastplate representing the sun, surrounded by the calendar of months. Round his waist the fourfold belt of tocapu. A crimson mantle of fine vicuña wool, fastened on his shoulders by golden puma's heads. Shoes of cloth of gold. He sits down on the golden tiana.)

  Inca Pachacuti. Cusi Coyllur! Star of joy,
Most lovely of my progeny!
Thou symbol of parental love--
Thy lips are like the huayruru1
Rest upon thy father's breast,
Repose, my child, within mine arms.

(Cusi Coyllur comes across. They embrace.)

Unwind thyself, my precious one,
A thread of gold within the woof.
All my happiness rests upon thee,
Thou art my greatest delight.
Thine eyes are lovely and bright,
As the rays of my father the Sun.
When thy lips are moving to speak,
When thine eyelids are raised with a smile,
The wide world is fairly entranced.
Thy breathing embalms the fresh air;

p. 353

Without thee thy father would pine,
Life to him would be dreary and waste.
He seeks for thy happiness, child,
Thy welfare is ever his care.

(Cusi Coyllur throws herself at his feet.)

  Cusi Coyllur. O father, thy kindness to me
I feel; and embracing thy knees
All the grief of thy daughter will cease,
At peace when protected by thee.
  Pachacuti. How is this! my daughter before me
On knees at my feet, and in tears?
I fear some evil is near--
Such emotion must needs be explained.
  Cusi Coyllur. The star does weep before Inti,
The limpid tears wash grief away.
  Pachacuti. Rise, my beloved, my star,
Thy place is on thy dear father's knee.

(Cusi Coyllur rises and sits on a stool by her father. An attendant approaches.)

  Attendant. O King! thy servants come to please thee.
  Pachacuti. Let them all enter.

(Boys and girls enter dancing. After the dance they sing a harvest song.)

Thou must not feed,
         O Tuyallay1
In Ñusta's field,
         O Tuyallay.
Thou must not rob,
         O Tuyallay,
The harvest maize,
         O Tuyallay.

p. 354

The grains are white,
         O Tuyallay,
So sweet for food,
         O Tuyallay.
The fruit is sweet,
         O Tuyallay,
The leaves are green
         O Tuyallay;
But the trap is set,
         O Tuyallay.
The lime is there,
         O Tuyallay.
We'll cut thy claws,
         O Tuyallay,
To seize thee quick,
         O Tuyallay.
Ask Piscaca1
         O Tuyallay,
Nailed on a branch,
         O Tuyallay.
Where is her heart,
         O Tuyallay?
Where her plumes,
         O Tuyallay?
She is cut up,
         O Tuyallay,
For stealing grain,
         O Tuyallay.
See the fate,
         O Tuyallay,
Of robber birds,
         O Tuyallay.

p. 355

  Pachacuti. Cusi Coyllur, remain thou here,
Thy mother's palace is thy home
Fail not to amuse thyself,
Surrounded by thy maiden friends.

[Exeunt the Inca Pachacuti, the Ccoya Anahuarqui, and attendants.

  Cusi Coyllur. I should better like a sadder song.
My dearest friends, the last you sang
To me foreshadowed evil things; 1
You who sang it leave me now.

[Exeunt boys and girls, except one girl who sings.

Two loving birds are in despair, 2
  They moan, they weep, they sigh;
For snow has fallen on the pair,
  To hollow tree they fly.

But lo! one dove is left alone
  And mourns her cruel fate;
She makes a sad and piteous moan,
  Alone without a mate.

She fears her friend is dead and gone--
  Confirmed in her belief,
Her sorrow finds relief in song,
  And thus she tells her grief.

'Sweet mate! Alas, where art thou now?
  I miss thine eyes so bright,
Thy feet upon the tender bough,
  Thy breast so pure and bright.'

p. 356

She wanders forth from stone to stone,
  She seeks her mate in vain;
'My love! my love!' she makes her moan,
  She falls, she dies in pain.

  Cusi Coyllur. That yarahui is too sad,
Leave me alone.

[Exit the girl who sang the yarahui.

Now my tears can freely flow.


350:1 Intip llirpun, 'apple of the sun's eye.' There is no English equivalent that is suitable.

352:1 Huayruru is the seed of a thorny bush, erythrina rubra, of a bright red colour. Zegarra has coral as the equivalent for huayruru.

353:1 The tuya (coccoborus chrysogaster) is a small finch, and tuyallay means 'my little tuya.'

354:1 The piscaca is a much larger bird than the tuya. These piscacas (coccoborus torridus) are nailed to trees as a warning to other birds. They are black, with white breasts.

355:1 In the tuya she sees her husband Ollantay, while the poor princess herself is the forbidden grain.

355:2 This is a yarahui or mournful elegy, of which there are so many in the Quichua language. The singers of them were known as yarahuec.

Next: Scene 3