GIRL and ATTENDANT.
dewdrops are our lives that
I am Hitomaru. I live in the valley of Kamegaye. My father Kagekiyo the Passionate fought for the House of Hei 1, and for this was hated by the Genji. 2 I am told they have banished him to Miyazaki in the country of Hyūga, and there in changed estate he passes the months and years. I must not be downcast at the toil of the journey; 3 for hardship is the lot of all that travel on unfamiliar roads, and I must bear it for my father's sake.
GIRL and ATTENDANT.
double-wet our sleeves
We have journeyed so fast that I think we must already have come to Miyazaki in the country of Hyūga. It is here you should ask for your father.
(The voice of KAGEKIYO is heard from within his hut.)
CHORUS (speaking for KAGEKIYO).
had I left the world,
How strange! That hut is so old, I cannot think that any one can live there. Yet I heard a voice speaking within. Perhaps some beggar lodges there; I will not go nearer. (She steps back.)
eyes see not autumn
Of one who
For in the
Three Worlds of Being
ATTENDANT (going up to KAGEKIYO'S hut).
I have come to your cottage to ask you something.
What is it you want?
Can you tell me where the exile lives?
The exile? What exile do you mean? Tell me his name.
We are looking for Kagekiyo the Passionate who fought for the Taira.
I have heard of him indeed. But I am blind, and have not seen him. I have heard such sad tales of his plight that I needs must pity him.
Go further; ask elsewhere.
ATTENDANT (to GIRL, who has been waiting).
It does not seem that we shall find him here. Let us go further and ask again. (They pass on.)
Who can it be that is asking for me? What if it should be the child of this blind man? For long ago when I was at Atsuta in Owari I courted a woman and had a child by her. But since the child was a girl, I thought I would get no good of her and left her with the head. man of the valley of Kamegaye. But she was not content to stay with her foster-parents and has come all this way to meet her true father.
To hear a
ATTENDANT (calling into the side-bridge).
Hie! Is there any villager about?
VILLAGER (raising the curtain that divides the side-bridge from the stage).
What do you want with me?
Do you know where the exile lives?
The exile? What exile is it you are asking for?
One called Kagekiyo the Passionate who fought for the Taira.
Did you not see some one in a thatched but under the hillside as you came along?
Why, we saw a blind beggar in a thatched hut.
That blind beggar is your man. He is Kagekiyo.
(The GIRL starts and trembles.)
But why does your lady tremble when I tell you that he is Kagekiyo? What is amiss with her?
No wonder that you ask. I will tell you at once; this lady is Kagekiyo's daughter. She has borne the toil of this journey because she longed to meet her father face to face. Please take her to him.
She is Kagekiyo's daughter? How strange, how strange! But, lady, calm yourself and listen.
Kagekiyo went blind in both his eyes, and finding himself helpless, shaved his head and called himself the beggar of Hyūga. He begs a little from travellers; and we villagers are sorry for him and see to it that he does not starve. Perhaps he would not tell you his name because he was ashamed of what he has become. But if you will come with me I will shout "Kagekiyo" at him. He will surely answer to his own name. Then you shall go to him and talk of what you will, old times or now. Please come this way.
(They go towards the hut.)
Hie, Kagekiyo, Kagekiyo! Are you there, Kagekiyo the Passionate?
KAGEKIYO (stopping his ears with his hands, irritably).
Silence! I was vexed already. For a while ago there came travellers from my home! Do you think I let them stay? No, no. I could not show them my loathsomeness. . . . It was hard to let them go,--not tell them my name!
rivers of tears
soften my sleeve!
"In Hyūga sunward-facing
(While the CHORUS speaks his thought KAGEKIYO mimes their words, waving his stick and finally beating it against his thigh in a crescendo of rage.)
KAGEKIYO (suddenly lowering his voice, gently).
But while I dwell here
I dwell here
For though my eyes be darkened
eyes be darkened
(KAGEKIYO fumbles for his staff and rises, coming just outside the hut. The mention of "waves," "shore," "tide," has reminded him of the great shore-battle at Yashima in which the Tairas triumphed.)
"I was one of them, of those Tairas. If you will listen, I will tell you the tale . . ."
KAGEKIYO (to the VILLAGER).
There was a weight on my mind when I spoke to you so harshly. Pray forgive me.
No, no! you are always so! I do not heed you. But tell me, did not some one come before, asking for Kagekiyo?
No,--you are the only one who has asked.
It is not true. Some one came here saying that she was Kagekiyo's daughter. Why did you not tell her? I was sorry for her and have brought her back with me.
(To the GIRL.)
Come now, speak with your father.
GIRL (going to KAGEKIYO'S side and touching his sleeve).
It is I who
have come to you.
till now I thought to
(He gropes falteringly with his right hand and touches her sleeve.)
VILLAGER (seeing the GIRL standing sadly apart).
Poor child, come back again.
(She comes back to her father's side.)
Listen, Kagekiyo, there is something your daughter wants of you.
What is it she wants?
She tells me that she longs to bear the story of your high deeds at Yashima. Could you not tell us the tale?
That is a strange thing for a girl to ask. Yet since kind love brought her this long, long way to visit me, I cannot but tell her the tale. Promise me that when it is finished you will send her back again to her home.
I will. So soon as your tale is finished, I will send her home.
It was in
the third year of
And when he
KAGEKIYO (breaking in excitedly).
Cowards, cowards all of you!
all of you!
(KAGEKIYO, who has been miming the battle, breaks off abruptly and turns to the VILLAGER. The CHORUS speaks for him.)
"I am old:
I have forgotten--things
(He rises to his feet groping with his stick, comes to the GIRL, and gently pushes her before him towards the wing.)
he said; and
she "I go."