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- Aria da Capo - 1/6 -



Copyright, 1920

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Printed in the U. S. A.




Cothurnus, Masque of Tragedy

Thyrsis -\ Shepherds Corydon -/

[Scene: A stage]

[The curtain rises on a stage set for a Harlequinade, a merry black and white interior. Directly behind the footlights, and running parallel with them, is a long table, covered with a gay black and white cloth, on which is spread a banquet. At the opposite ends of this table, seated on delicate thin-legged chairs with high backs, are Pierrot and Columbine, dressed according to the tradition, excepting that Pierrot is in lilac, and Columbine in pink. They are dining.]

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, a macaroon! I cannot _live_ without a macaroon!

PIERROT: My only love, You are _so_ intense! . . . Is it Tuesday, Columbine?-- I'll kiss you if it's Tuesday.

COLUMBINE: It is Wednesday, If you must know . . . . Is this my artichoke, Or yours?

PIERROT: Ah, Columbine,--as if it mattered! Wednesday . . . . Will it be Tuesday, then, to-morrow, By any chance?

COLUMBINE: To-morrow will be--Pierrot, That isn't funny!

PIERROT: I thought it rather nice. Well, let us drink some wine and lose our heads And love each other.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, don't you love Me now?

PIERROT: La, what a woman!--how should I know? Pour me some wine: I'll tell you presently.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, do you know, I think you drink too much.

PIERROT: Yes, I dare say I do. . . . Or else too little. It's hard to tell. You see, I am always wanting A little more than what I have,--or else A little less. There's something wrong. My dear, How many fingers have you?

COLUMBINE: La, indeed, How should I know?--It always takes me one hand To count the other with. It's too confusing. Why?

PIERROT: Why?--I am a student, Columbine; And search into all matters.

COLUMBINE: La, indeed?-- Count them yourself, then!

PIERROT: No. Or, rather, nay. 'Tis of no consequence. . . . I am become A painter, suddenly,--and you impress me-- Ah, yes!--six orange bull's-eyes, four green pin-wheels, And one magenta jelly-roll,--the title As follows: Woman Taking in Cheese from Fire-Escape.

COLUMBINE: Well, I like that! So that is all I've meant To you!

PIERROT: Hush! All at once I am become A pianist. I will image you in sound. . . . On a new scale. . . , Without tonality. . . Vivace senza tempo senza tutto. . . . Title: Uptown Express at Six O'Clock. Pour me a drink.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, you work too hard. You need a rest. Come on out into the garden, And sing me something sad.

PIERROT: Don't stand so near me! I am become a socialist. I love Humanity; but I hate people. Columbine, Put on your mittens, child; your hands are cold.

COLUMBINE: My hands are _not_ cold!

PIERROT: Oh, I am sure they are. And you must have a shawl to wrap about you, And sit by the fire.

COLUMBINE: Why, I'll do no such thing! I'm hot as a spoon in a teacup!

PIERROT: Columbine, I'm a philanthropist. I know I am, Because I feel so restless. Do not scream, Or it will be the worse for you!

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, My vinaigrette! I cannot _live_ without My vinaigrette!

PIERROT: My only love, you are _So_ fundamental! . . . How would you like to be An actress, Columbine?--I am become Your manager.

COLUMBINE: Why, Pierrot, _I_ can't act.

PIERROT: Can't act! Can't act! La, listen to the woman! What's that to do with the price of furs?--You're blonde, Are you not?--you have no education, have you?-- Can't act! You underrate yourself, my dear!

COLUMBINE: Yes, I suppose I do.

PIERROT: As for the rest, I'll teach you how to cry, and how to die, And other little tricks; and the house will love you. You'll be a star by five o'clock . . . that is, If you will let me pay for your apartment.

COLUMBINE: _Let_ you?--well, that's a good one! Ha! Ha! Ha! But why?

PIERROT: But why?--well, as to that, my dear, I cannot say. It's just a matter of form.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, I'm getting tired of caviar And peacocks' livers. Isn't there something else That people eat?--some humble vegetable, That grows in the ground?

PIERROT: Well, there are mushrooms.

COLUMBINE: Mushrooms! That's so! I had forgotten . . . mushrooms . . . mushrooms. . . . I cannot _live_ with . . . How do you like this gown?

PIERROT: Not much. I'm tired of gowns that have the waist-line About the waist, and the hem around the bottom,-- And women with their breasts in front of them!-- Zut and ehe! Where does one go from here!

COLUMBINE: Here's a persimmon, love. You always liked them.

PIERROT: I am become a critic; there is nothing I can enjoy. . . . However, set it aside; I'll eat it between meals.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, do you know, Sometimes I think you're making fun of me.

PIERROT: My love, by yon black moon, you wrong us both.

COLUMBINE: There isn't a sign of a moon, Pierrot.

PIERROT: Of course not. There never was. "Moon's" just a word to swear by. "Mutton!"--now _there's_ a thing you can lay the hands on, And set the tooth in! Listen, Columbine: I always lied about the moon and you. Food is my only lust.

COLUMBINE: Well, eat it, then, For Heaven's sake, and stop your silly noise! I haven't heard the clock tick for an hour.

PIERROT: It's ticking all the same. If you were a fly, You would be dead by now. And if I were a parrot, I could be talking for a thousand years!


Aria da Capo - 1/6

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