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


Great hall in the palace of Pachacuti. The INCA, as before, discovered seated on a golden tiana L. Enter to him R. OLLANTAY and RUMI-ÑAUI.

  Pachacuti. The time has arrived, O great Chiefs,
To decide on the coming campaign.
The spring is approaching us now,
And our army must start for the war.
To the province of Colla 1 we march--
There is news of Chayanta's 2 advance.
The enemies muster in strength,
They sharpen their arrows and spears.
  Ollantay. O King, that wild rabble untaught
Can never resist thine array;
Cuzco alone with its height
Is a barrier that cannot be stormed.
Twenty four thousand of mine,
With their champis 3 selected with care,
Impatiently wait for the sign,

p. 357

The sound of the beat of my drums, 1
The strains of my clarion and fife.
Pachacuti. Strive then to stir them to fight,
Arouse them to join in the fray,
Lest some should desire to yield,
To escape the effusion of blood.
  Rumi-ñaui. The enemies gather in force,
The Yuncas 2 are called to their aid;
They have put on their garbs for the war,
And have stopped up the principal roads.
All this is to hide their defects--
The men of Chayanta are base.
We hear they're destroying the roads,
But we can force open the way;
Our llamas are laden with food--
We are ready to traverse the wilds.
Pachacuti. Are you really ready to start
To punish those angry snakes?
But first you must give them a chance
To surrender, retiring in peace,
So that blood may not flow without cause,
That no deaths of my soldiers befall.
  Ollantay. I am ready to march with my men,
Every detail prepared and in place,
But alas! I am heavy with care,
Almost mad with anxious suspense.
  Pachacuti. Speak, Ollantay. Tell thy wish--
'Tis granted, e'en my royal fringe.
  Ollantay. Hear me in secret, O King.
  Pachacuti (to Rumi-ñaui). Noble Chief of Colla, retire;
Seek repose in thy house for a time.
I will call thee before very long,

p. 358

Having need of thy valour and skill.
  Rumi-ñaui. With respect I obey thy command.

[Exit Rumi-ñaui.

  Ollantay. Thou knowest, O most gracious Lord,
That I have served thee from a youth,
Have worked with fortitude and truth,
Thy treasured praise was my reward. 1

All dangers I have gladly met,
For thee I always watched by night,
For thee was forward in the fight,
My forehead ever bathed in sweat.

For thee I've been a savage foe,
Urging my Antis 2 not to spare,
But kill and fill the land with fear,
And make the blood of conquered flow.

My name is as a dreaded rope, 3
I've made the hardy Yuncas 4 yield,
By me the fate of Chancas 5 sealed,
They are thy thralls without a hope.

p. 359

'Twas I who struck the fatal blow,
When warlike Huancavilca 1 rose,
Disturbing thy august repose,
And laid the mighty traitor low.

Ollantay ever led the van,
Wherever men were doomed to die;
When stubborn foes were forced to fly,
Ollantay ever was the man.

Now every tribe bows down to thee--
Some nations peacefully were led,
Those that resist their blood is shed--
But all, O King, was due to me.

O Sovereign Inca, great and brave,
Rewards I know were also mine,
My gratitude and thanks are thine,
To me the golden axe you gave.

Inca! thou gavest me command
And rule o'er all the Anti race,
To me they ever yield with grace,
And thine, great King, is all their land

My deeds, my merits are thine own
To thee alone my work is due.
For one more favour I would sue,
My faithful service--thy renown.

(Ollantay kneels before the Inca.)

p. 360

Thy thrall: I bow to thy behest,
Thy fiat now will seal my fate.
O King, my services are great,
I pray thee grant one last request.

I ask for Cusi Coyllur's hand
If the Ñusta's 1 love I've won.
O King! you'll have a faithful son,
Fearless, well tried, at thy command.

  Pachacuti. Ollantay, thou dost now presume.
Thou art a subject, nothing more.
Remember, bold one, who thou art,
And learn to keep thy proper place.
  Ollantay. Strike me to the heart.
  Pachacuti. 'Tis for me to see to that,
And not for thee to choose.
Thy presumption is absurd.
Be gone!

[Ollantay rises and exit R.


356:1 Colla-suyu, the basin of lake Titicaca.

356:2 Chayanta, a tribe in the montaña south of the Collas.

356:3 Champi, a one-handed battle-axe.

357:1 Huancar, a drum; pututu, fife.

357:2 Yunca, inhabitant of warm valley. Here it refers to the wild tribes of the montaña.

358:1 In the original Quichua, Ollantay makes his appeal to the Inca in quatrains of octosyllabic verses, the first line rhyming with the last, and the second with the third. Garcilasso de la Vega and others testify to the proficiency of the Incas in this form of composition.

358:2 Ollantay was Viceroy of Anti-suyu.

358:3 Chahuar, a rope of aloe fibre. A curb or restraint.

358:4 Raprancutan cuchurcani: literally, 'I have clipped their wings.' Rapra, a wing.

358:5 The powerful nation of Chancas, with their chief, Huancavilca, inhabited the great valley of Andahuaylas and were formidable rivals of the Incas. But they were subdued by Pachacuti long before Ollantay can have been born. An allowable dramatic anachronism.

359:1 Huancavilca was chief of the powerful nation of Chancas.

360:1 Ñusta, Princess.

Next: Scene 4