QUEEN . The assembly is over and my servants are all gone. Why do you come at his late hour?
SERVANT . When you have finished with others, that is my time.
I come to ask what remains for your last servant to do.
QUEEN . What can you expect when it is too late ?
SERVANT . Make me the gardener of you flower garden.
QUEEN . What folly is this ?
SERVANT . I will give up my other work.
I throw my swords and lances down in the dust. Do not send me to distant courts; do not bid me undertake new conquests. But make me the gardener of you flower garden.
QUEEN . What will you duties be ?
SERVANT . The service of you idle days.
I will keep fresh the grassy path where you walk in the morning, where your feet will be greeted with praise at every step by the flowers eager for death.
I will swing you in a swing among the branches of the saptaparna, where the early evening moon will struggle to kiss your skirt through the leaves.
I will replenish with scented oil the lamp that burns by your bedside, and decorate your footstool with sandal and saffron paste in wondrous designs.
QUEEN . What will you have for your reward ?
SERVANT . To be allowed to hold your little fists like tender lotus-buds and slip flower chains over your wrists; to tinge the soles of your feet with the red juice of ashoka petals and kiss away the speck of dust that may chance to linger there.
QUEEN . Your prayers are granted, my servant, you will be the gardener of my flower garden.