Sacred Texts  Native American  Inca  Index  Previous  Next 

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


The great terrace entrance to Ollantay-tampu. On R. a long masonry wall with recesses at intervals. At back a great entrance doorway. On L. terraces descend, with view of valley and mountains.

(Guards discovered at entrance doorway. To them enter RUMI-ÑAUI in rags, his face cut and slashed with wounds, and covered with blood.)

  Rumi-ñaui. Will no one here have pity on me?
  One of the Guards. Who art thou, man?
Who has ill-treated thee?
Thou comest in a frightful state,
Covered with blood and gaping wounds.
  Rumi-ñaui. Go quickly to thy king and say
That one he loves has come to him.
  One of the Guards. Thy name?
  Rumi-ñaui. There is no need to give a name.
  One of the Guards. Wait here.

[Exit one of the guards.

p. 385

(Enter OLLANTAY with guards, R. front.)

  Rumi-ñaui. A thousand times I thee salute,
Ollantay, great and puissant king!
Have pity on a fugitive
Who seeks a refuge here with thee.
  Ollantay. Who art thou, man? Approach nearer.
Who has thus ill-treated thee?
Were such deep and fearful wounds
Caused by a fall, or what mishap?
  Rumi-ñaui. Thou knowest me, O mighty chief.
I am that stone that fell down once,
But now I fall before thy feet;
O Inca! mercy! Raise me up!


  Ollantay. Art thou the noble Rumi-ñaui,
Great Chief and Lord of Hanan-suyu?
  Rumi-ñaui. Yes, I was that well-known Chief--
A bleeding fugitive to-day.
  Ollantay. Rise, comrade mine. Let us embrace.


Who has dared to treat thee thus,
And who has brought thee here to me
Within my fortress, on my hearth?

(To attendants.)

Bring new clothes for my oldest friend.

[Exit an attendant.

How is it that thou art alone?
Camest thou not fearing death?
  Rumi-ñaui. A new king reigns in Cuzco now--
Tupac Yupanqui is installed.
Against the universal wish,
He rose upon a wave of blood;
Safety he sees in headless trunks,

p. 386

The sunchu 1 and the nucchu 2 red
Are sent to all he would destroy.
Doubtless you have not forgot
That I was Hanan-suyu's Chief.
Yupanqui ordered me to come;
Arrived, I came before the king,
And as he has a cruel heart,
He had me wounded as you see;
And now thou knowest, king and friend,
How this new Inca treated me.
  Ollantay. Grieve not, old friend Rumi-ñaui,
Thy wounds before all must be cured;
I see in thee th' avenging knife,
To use against the tyrant's heart.
At Tampu now we celebrate
The Sun's great Raymi festival;
On that day all who love my name,
Throughout my realms hold festival.
  Rumi-ñaui. Those three days of festival
To me will be a time of joy,
Perhaps I may be healed by then,
So that my heart may pleasure seek.
  Ollantay. It will be so. For three whole nights
We drink and feast, to praise the Sun,
The better to cast all care aside
We shall be shut in Tampu fort.
  Rumi-ñaui. The youths, as is their wont, will find
Their great delight in those three nights,
Then will they rest from all their toils,
And carry off the willing girls.


386:1 Sunchu, a very large composita with a yellow flower, growing round Cuzco. It was one of those which were used on sacred festivals.

386:2 Nucchu is a salvia, also considered sacred. A red flower. Perhaps these flowers were sent as a summons from the Inca, but I have not seen the custom mentioned elsewhere.

Next: Scene 4