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Aria da Capo   By: (1892-1950)

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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... Continue reading book >>

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