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THE ORIGINAL ITALIAN,
FRENCH OR GERMAN
LIBRETTO WITH A
^CORRECT ENGLISH
\TRANSLATION.,



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS






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LIBRETTO OF THE OPERA



Canterbury pilgrims;



THE TEXT BY

PERCY MACKAYE



THE MUSIC BY

REGINALD DEKOVEN



THE JOHN CHURCH COMPANY

CINCINNATI NEW YORK LONDON



COPYRIGHT, 1903,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

COPYRIGHT, 1915,
BY PERCY MACKAYE.

COPYRIGHT, 1916,
BY PERCY MACKAYE.



This published text of The Canterbury Pilgrims is the property of Percy
MacKaye and The Macmillan Company, owners of the international copy-
right of the text.

The opera. The Canterbury Pilgrims, by Percy MacKaye and Reginald
de Koven, is the copyright property of The John Church Company.

The right publicly to perform this opera, in whole or in part, and the right
to use the same, in whole or in part, for motion picture purposes, is reserved
by the owner of the copyright.

No public reading of this text may be given without the written permission
of the author, and the payment of royalty.

The author should be addressed in care of the publishers.




PROPERTY OF




PREFATORY NOTE

THIS work, which is an operatic version of my text
" The Canterbury Pilgrims " (published in 1903), was put
into its present form by me in the late spring and early
summer of 1914. During the same summer Mr. Regi-
nald de Koven began to compose his music for it at
Vevey, Switzerland, where all of the music was composed
by him and completed, together with the orchestration,
in the autumn of the following year.

In the spring of 1916 the opera was accepted for pro-
duction at the Metropolitan Opera House, .New York,
where its first performance has been announced to take

place during the season of 1916-17.

PERCY MACKAYE.

CORNISH, N. H.,
October, 1916.



Vll



DRAMATIS PERSONS

MEN

GEOFFREY CHAUCER. First Poet Laureate of England.

KNIGHT.

SoriKK, his Son.

FRIAR,

MILLER,

COOK,

Alisoun s Swains.

SlIll'MAN,

SUMMONKK,
PARDONER,

i 1' iST.

MAX OF LAW.

JOANNES, the Prioress' Servitor.

RICHARD II. King of England.

WOMEN

THE WIFE OF BATH (Alisoun).
THE PRIORESS (Madame Eglantin>).
JOHANNA.

CHORUS

Pilgrims, Nobles, Choir-boys, Priests, Prelates, Nuns, Brooch-girls, Serving-
maids, etc.

SCENES

ACT FIRST: The Tabard Inn, at Southwark, near London.
TIME: April 16. 1387. Late afternoon.

ACT SECOND : Garden of the One Nine-Pin Inn, at the little hamlet of

Bob-up-and-down, en route to Canterbury.
TIME: April 19. The afternoon.

ACT THIRD : The hall of the One Nine-Pin Inn.
TIME: Evening of the same day.

ACT FOURTH : Before the west Front of Canterbury Cathedra!.
TIME : The next day.



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

AN OPERA

ACT FIRST

Scene : The Tabard Inn at Southwark, near London.

When the scene opens, PILGRIMS are discovered thronging
the court of the inn, seated at tables drinking, or standing
by the ale-barrels flirting with the tap-maids.

Among them are the MILLER, FRIAR, PARSON, PLOUGH-
MAN, FRANKLIN, DOCTOR, HABERDASHER, CARPENTER,
WEAVER, DYER, TAPICER, and CLERK. The KNIGHT,
SQUIRE, YEOMAN, and others enter soon after, as from
horseback.

At rise of t/ic curtain, the MILLER is raising his tankard, and
leading the others in chorus.

CHO. Oh, good ale under the gable

When the year is young and green,
And a tankard over the table
Is mirth for king and queen !

Then it's whoa ! whoa !
Stirrup go jingle, spur go clink :

Whoa ! whoa !

Come in, lads ! Come drink !
Tap-maid, here ! Come tipple your man
With a kiss on the curve of his can, can, can !



THE CAMERBURY PILGRIMS
[Enter CHAUCER, reading in a great I

MIL. Ho, here's our vintner, ogling on a book !

CHAU. [Looks up, smiling.] A book's a mistress all the

world may love
And none be jilted.
FRIAR. [Poking his nose in the book.] What's the psalm

you read ?
CHAU. [Pointing al the page.] To live a king with kings,

a clod with clods,

To be at heart a bird of every feather,
A fellow of the finch as well as the lark,
The equal of each, brother of every man -

[He chips the cover shut, and laughs at the FRIAR.]
That is my psalm and rosary, sweet Friar !
MIL. [Gruntingly.] Ts that thy song?
CHAU. [Lifting a tankard.} Good ale, and pilgrimage !

[He sings, as the others join in the chorus.]

Ah, God- speed under the rafter

Where the road leads forth to Spring,

With a lass to quicken the laughter'-
Is royal wayfaring !

CHO. Then it's whoa ! whoa !

Sorrow go whistle, care go wink :

Whoa ! whoa !

Come in, lads ! Come drink !
Here, tap-lassie ! Wheedle your man
With a kiss on the curve of his can, can, can !



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 3

[At the conclusion of the chorus, the PILGRIMS break
into groups, converse laughingly, and drink.
The KNIGHT, with the SQUIRE, approaches
CHAUCER, and greets him courteously.]
KNIGHT. I am returning from the Holy Land
And go to pay my vows at Canterbury.
This is my son.

CHAU. Go you to Canterbury

As well, Sir Squire?

[The SQUIRE, turning away with a long-drawn sigh,

lingers a flute in his hand.]
SQUIRE. Ah, me !

KNIGHT. [With a knowing look at CHAUCER.] He is in love 1
[.-Is the SQUIRE plays a few lovelorn notes on his /lute,
CHAUCER follows with a (winkling glance and
addresses him with an air of courtly melancholy.}
CHAU. My dearest heart and best beloved foe.
Why liketh you to do me all this woe ?
What have T done that grieveth you, or said.
Save that I love and serve you, high and low:
SQUIRE. [Staring in astonishment.} Your pardon, sir ; those

verses are not yours.
Chaucer - - our poet laureate - - he wrote them.

[7/c turns away again, hut continues to watch

CHAUCER with curious intent ness.]
MIL. [To the HOST.] Ten gallon ale! God's arms! I

take thee.
FSTAR. What's

The wager ?
HOST. Yonder door ; this Miller here



4 THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

Shall break it, at a running, with his head.
The door is oak. The stakes ten gallon ale.
THE VOICES or NUNS. \Qutside.] Laudate, pueri, Domi-

num ! Laudate nomen Domini !

HOST. [Turning toward the outer door.} Who's coming now?
FRIAR. [Peering forth interestedly.] Grand folk : a Prioress !
[The HOST bows low to greet the PRIORESS, who appears
at the door accompanied by a bevy of Nuns and by
JOANNES, a priest, who carries a little pup in his
arms.]
HOST. Welcome, my lady dear ! Vouchsafe to enter

Poor Kerry Bailey's Tabard Inn.
PRI. [Ignoring him, speaks to the PRIEST.] Where is my

little hound ?

JOAN. 'Tis here, my lady.

PRI. Pray carry him before, and carefully.

[JOANNES goes toward the door, left, which the MILLER

is preparing to ram with his head.]
FRIAR. The door is locked.

JOAN. But, sir, the Prioress -

MIL. Heigh ! Clear the way !

[With clenched fists, and head doubled over, the MIL-
LER runs for the door. The PILGRIMS watch and
shout.]

PILGRIMS. Harroo ! Run, Robin ! Ho !

[With a crash, the MILLER'S head strikes the door
and splits it. At the shock, he rebounds against
JOANNES and, reaching to save himself from falling?
seizes the puppy.]
MIL. A twenty devils damn him !



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 5

FRIAR. Soft ! What ails thee ?

MIL. The priest hath bit my hand.

JOAN. Sweet sir, the puppy

It was the puppy, sir !

MIL. Wring me its neck !

PRI. Help-o ! Alas ! St. Loy ! Will no one help?
CHAU. Madame, what may I do?
PRI. My little hound -

The churl - - My little hound - The churl will hurt it.

If you would fetch to me my little hound -
CHAU. Madame, I'd fetch you Cerberus from Hell.
MIL. Lo, masters ! See a dog's neck wrung !
CHAU. [Breaking through the crowd, seizes the MILLER by the
throat] Which dog's?

MIL. Leave go! - 'Sblood ! Take the whelp, a devil's

name !

CHAU. Kneel ! Ask grace of this lady here.
MIL. [Sullenly.] What lady?

CHAU. Of her whom gentles call St. Charity

In every place and time. -

MIL. [Kneels, morosely] Lady, I axe your pardon.

CHAU. Madame, your little hound is safe.
PRI. [Xestles the little hound with tender e/nshrncss ; then
turns shyly to CHAUCER.] Merci !

My name is Madame Eglantine. [She hurries out, left.]
CHAU. [To himself .} Hold, Geoffrey !

Why beats thy heart to help a little hound ? -

Ah, Madame Eglantine, unless ye be

To me, as well as him, St. Charity !
SQUIRE. Father ! My lord !



6 THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

KNIGHT. Well, son ?

SQTIRE. [Looking at CHAUCER.] Sir, saw you ever

So knightly, sweet and sovereign a man ?
Sir, have you guessed who 'tis ?
KNIGHT. To judge him by his speech -

Some valiant officer.
SQUIRE. Nay, / have guessed !

[Outside is heard the distant voice of the Wife of Bath
-ALISOUN joined in chorus by the PARDONER,
SHIPMAN, and SUMMONER.]

ALIS.

When folk o' Faerie
Are laughing in the laund,
And the nix pipes low in the miller's pond,

Come hither, love, to me !
Clio. With doe and with dove,

Come back to your love ;
Come hither, love, to me !

HOST. [At the door, to FRIAR.] Hist! Who's yon jolly
Nancy riding here,

With them three tapsters tooting up behind ?
FRIAR. [Staring.] By sweet St. Cuthbert !
HOST- Ha ! Ye ken the wench.

FRIAR. The wench? Oho! List, sir: Thy wench hath
been

A five times wedded and five hundred wooed ;

Hath rode alone to sweet Jerusalem

.And back more oft than Dick-the-Lion's-Heart.

She was not born a-yesterday ; yet, by



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 7

The merry mass, when she comes in the door,
She maketh sweet-sixteen as stale as dough.
HOST. She looks a jolly Malkin. What's her name?
FRIAR. Dame Alisoun, a cloth-maker of Bath.

[Outside the song "Come hither, love," bursts into

chorus.

Enter ALISOUX, the Wife of Bath, astride a small
white ass, which is fancifully caparisoned like a
fairy creature. Spurs jingle on the Wife's boots,
and on her head is a great round hat. Followed
by the SUMMONER, PARDONER, and SHIPMAN, she
rides into the middle of the floor and reins up.]
ALIS. Whoa-oop ! - - God save this merry company !

[A commotion. \

By God, I ween ye ken not what I am :
I am the jolly Elf-Queen, and this is
My milk-white doe, whereon I ride as light
As Robin Good-Boy on a bumble-bee.
[Indicating the ass's ears.} These be his wings. - - And

lo my retinue !

These here be choir-boys from Fairyland !
Come, Pardoner, toot up my praise anon.
PARD. & ALIS. [Together.]

When sap runs in the tree,
And the huntsman sings "Halloo!
And the greenwood saith: "Peewit! Cuckoo!
Come hither, love, to me I
With turtle and plover,
Come back to your lover ;
Come hither, love, to me !



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

ALIS. Now, lads, the chorus !

[The SWAINS and ALISOUN, joined by other PIL-
GRIMS, repeat the refrain in chorus.
Re-enter CHAUCER and JOANNES. CHAUCER carries

in his hand a crock.

The MILLER and others of the SWAINS oflcr ALISOUN
their tankards of ale; but, spying CHAUCER,
ALISOUN waves them back.}

ALIS. Nay, Robin, Huberd, back ! Ye are too late,
All o' ye ! The Elf -Queen spies her Oberon !

{Wheeling the ass to confront CHAUCER.]
By God, sir, you're the figure of a man
For me ! - - Give me thy name.

CHAU. [Momentarily taken aback.} My name, your Maj-
esty?

ALIS. Make it a swap, man. Mine is Alisoun,
And lads they ken me as the Wife of Bath.
CHAU. My name is Geoffrey. When the moon is full,

I am an elf, and skip upon the green.

SQUIRE. [To the KNIGHT.] Father, 'tis he : the poet laure-
ate !

SHIP. [Offering his tankard.} Take this, old girl !
ALIS. The devil take a tar !

[Snatches the crock from CHAUCER'S hand.}
I'll take a swig from Geoffrey's. Holy Virgin !
What pap is this here ? Milk and wastel-bread ?
CHAU. Nay, 'tis a kind of brew concocted from

The Milky Way, to nurse unmarried maids.
ALIS. [Hands it back quickly.] Saints ! None o' that for
me !



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 9

CHAU. [Giving it to JOANNES.] Bear it to your mistress.
ALIS. [Winking at the SWAINS.] Mistress ! - - Aha ! A
woman in the case !

[To CHAUCER.] Give us your hand, Sir Elf of the Full-
Moon,

And help me light adown. - - What ! Are ye afeard

To take me in your arms ?
CHAU. Fair Alisoun,

Thou art a vision of the ruddy Venus

Bright pommeled on the unspotted Pegasus,

And I am Ganymede, thy stable-boy !

[He helps her to alight.]

ALIS. Well swung! What think ye of my jolly heft?
CHAU. Thou art a very dandelion seed

And I thy zephyr.

MIL. [To the SWAINS.] 'Sblood ! He steals our wench.
SQUIRE. [Approaching CHAUCER diffidently, speaks low.]

Great Master Chaucer !

CHAU. Hush ! Speak not my name.

I travel here incognito.

[He takes the SQUIRE aside.]
ALIS. Halloa ! What's struck this jolly company?

Ye're flat as stale ale. Master Summoner, what's

The matter now?

SUM. Was it for this I sang " Come hither, love " ?
MIL. Aye, was it for this ? - - A milksop of a man !
ALIS. Geoffrey, ye mean? Ho! Are ye jealous there ?

Hark, lads: Myself have made a vow 'twixt here

And Holy Thomas' shrine to twig a husband ;

But if I like this fellow Geoffrey, can't



io THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

I like ye all ? By God, give me your fists ;
Here's pot-luck to ye all, lads. Fetch some ale !

[.45 they scramble to get ale, ALISOUN turns to CHAU-
CER, who is examining some holy relics shown
him by the PARDONER. She slaps CHAUCER on
the shoulder.}

ALIS. Now, Geoffrey, lad ! Which will ye liever kiss :
A dead saint's bones, or a live lass - - her lips ?

[Re-enter the PRIORESS.]

CHAU. Why, Alisoun, I say all flesh is grave clothes,
And lips the flowers that blossom o'er our bones ;
God planted 'em to bloom in laughter's sunshine
And April kissing-showers. .
[Laughing, he kisses ALISOUX and suddenly sees the

PRIORESS.] St. Charity !
ALIS. Haha ! That time I had thee on the rump.

[Laughing, she joins the SWAINS, where the FRIAR

talks to her.]
PRIORESS. [To CHAUCER, shocked.] And you a gentilhomme

- at least I thought so

When as you saved my little hound. - - Ah, sir !
CHAU. [Penitently.] I will absolve me at St. Thomas'

shrine.

PRI. [Eagerly.] Go you to Canterbury?
CHAU. With the rest.

PRI. Oh, I am glad. - -You see,

[At a sign from ALISOUX, the FRIAR listens behind

them, unobserved]

I go to meet my brother on the road ;
He is returning from the Holy Land ;



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS n

I am to meet him at the One Nine-Pin,

A tavern at Bob-up-and-down. But -
CHAU. But?

PRI. I have not seen him since I was a child.

I have forgotten how he looks.
CHAU. [Glancing toward the KNIGHT.] He is

Returning from the Holy Land?
PRI. And has

His son with him, for squire. He is a knight.
CHAU. [Looking harder at the KNIGHT and SQUIRE.] A

son - - his squire ! Good Lord !
PRI. And so, Monsieur,

I am boldened by your courtesy to ask

Your help to find him at Bob-up-and-down ;

Till when - - your kind protection on the road.
CHAU. Madame, I am honored,

But how am I to recognize your brother?
PRI. He wears a ring, on which is charactered

The letter "A," and after, writ in Latin,

The same inscription as is fashioned here

Upon my brooch. I may not take it off,

For I did promise him to wear it always.

But look, sir, here's the motto. Can you read it?

[She extends her hand, from Hie bracelet of which

dangles a brooch. The FRIAR draws nearer.]
CHAU. I thank you. [Reads.] "Amor vincit omnia."

[Looking at her.] "Love conquers all."
PRI. [With shy embarrassment.]

C'est juste, Monsieur. Adieu!
[She goes out has lily.]



12 THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

FRIAR. [Making off to ALISOUN.] Hist! "Amor vincit

omnia." - Sweet Alis !
[After talking aside with ALISOUN, he goes to the

KNIGHT.]
CHAU. [To himself - looking at the KNIGHT and SQUIRE.]

A morning's canter to Bob-up-and-down !

"Till when, - -my kind protection on the road."

She has not recognized this Knight and Squire.

When last they met she was a little child. -

A morning's canter : April is the time -

Place, Merry England ! Why not Lord Protector

Geoffrey? Her brother - - why should he protect
her?

Nay, that will I, for "Amor vincit omnia !"

[He turns to get his book}
FRIAR. [To the KNIGHT, whose finger-ring he examines]

Your ring - - how quaint, my lord !

A crowned "A" and underneath a motto.
KNIGHT. [Stiffly.] Quite so.
FRIAR. Merci ! [He returns quickly to ALISOUN.]
ALIS. Her brother - - the One Nine-Pin?

FRIAR. Him yonder !
ALIS. Good.

FRIAR. Sweet Alisoun, my pay?

ALIS. Hoot, holy brother Huberd ! Love's reward

Is service.

[Aside, eyeing CHAUCER.] Corpus Venus ! What a
figure !

I'll woo him. Aye ; but tirst to rid me of

These other fellows.



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 13

[Beckoning the FRIAR and the other SWAINS, slie

whispers to them and they go out.
She then comes over to CHAUCER, who sits reading.]
Ho, candle ! Come out from under thy bushel.
CHAU. [Peering over the edge of his book.] Nay,

'Tis a dark world to shine in. I will read.
ALIS. What is't about?
CHAU. The wickedness of woman.

[Reads aloud, imperturbably.}
"A lovely woman, chaste, is like a rose ;
Unchaste, a ring of gold in a sow's nose."
ALIS. Lo, what a pretty preaching pardoner !
Lo, here's bright Alisoun, the Queen o' May,
Blooms like a lily waiting to be plucked,
Yet here thou blinkest on a dusty page !
CHAU. "Better it is to dwell high on the roof

Than down i' the house where woman wields reproof."
O, what a list of ladies ! What a world !
Hark, Alisoun ! and after thou hast heard,
Repent, and cease to be a woman. Hark !
" Who first obeyed the snake's advice, to thieve
The apple from God's Eden ? - - Mother Eve."
ALIS. [Tearing a page out of the book, boxes CHAUCER on the

cheek.] A devil fetch thy drasty book !
CHAU. Hold, hold!

Dame Alis ! gentle Alisoun ! [He recovers the torn page.}
ALIS. You men ! God's arms ! What ken ye of true

women ?
You stuff a doll and name it Modesty.

ik

By corpus bones ! Is not a mare a horse ?



i 4 THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

But no ! Ye sanctify a squeamish mule ;

And when an honest wench that speaks her mind,

Meets a fine lad, and says out plat: "I love thee -

She is a sinner, and your doll a saint.
CIIAU. Alis, you speak like one in jealousy.
ALIS. Why, Geoffrey, so I am. To tell thee flat,

I'm jealous of thy Lady Prioress.

CIIAU. Peace, dame. Speak not her name with mine.
ALIS. Aye, go it:

Miss Innocence and Master Modesty !

How's that ?
CHAL T . [With tone of command.] Dame Alisoun, it is

enough.
ALIS. Why, then, it is enough. Come, lad ; clap hands.

I am a bud of old experience

Whom frost ne'er yet hath nipped. Therefore, sweet
Geoffrey,

This Prioress wears a brooch upon her wrist.
CHAU. Well, what of that?
ALIS. Yea, "What of that ? " Good soul !

She stops this journey at Bob-up-and-down.
CHAU. How knowest thou ?
ALIS. Nay, t'other ear is wise.

At the One Nine-Pin she shall meet -
CHAU. Her brother.

ALIS. What wilt thou bet she goeth not to meet

Her sweetheart - - aye, her lover?
CHAU. Thou art daft.

ALIS. Wilt bet me ?
CHAU. Bet away !



PROPERTY BF CITY OF

'I' IT I.' t ' I ~\ rf r 77 E> O T r V[ r 1




THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 15

ALIS. Ho, then, it is a bet, and this the stakes:
If that my Lad}- Prioress shall give
Yon brooch of gold from off her pretty wrist
Unto the man whom she goes now to meet,
And that same man prove not to be her brother -
Then thou shalt marry me at Canterbury.
CHAU. A twenty of thee, dame. But if thou lose
The stakes, then thou shalt kneel adown and kiss
Yon brooch of gold upon her pretty wrist,
And pray the saints to heal thy jealousy.
ALIS. Aye, man, it is a bet ; and here's my fist.
CHAU. And here's mine, Alis ; thou art a good fellow.
ALIS. Mind ; if I win, right there we'll be betrothed,

And thou must marry me by England's law.
CHAU. [Laughing.] I'll take my chance.
THE SWAINS. [Entering, in uproar.} Come hither, love, to

me !

ALIS. Here come my choir-boys. [Beckoning the SWAINS.]
Come here, sweethearts ! Hark ! I have made a

bet

With goodman Geoffrey yonder. Him as helps
Me best to win my bet, by God ! he shall
Make merry for my marriage. Come, which fellow
Will help me ?
ALL. I!,

ALIS. The best shall make me bride.

[A horn is blown. PILGRIMS come in, dressed for rid-
ing. CHAUCER hails them.\
CHAU. Lordings, who goes to Canterbury ?
ALL. I !



1 6 ////- CANTERBURY PILGRIMS

CIIAU. Ho, horses there! To Canterbury!

ALL. To Canterbury

CHAI*. [Approaching the PRIORESS, offers his arm.] Madame,

will you vouchsafe to me the honor?
PRI. [With stiilely courtesy.} Merci !

ALIS. [Mocking the PRIORESS, takes CHAUCER'S other arm]
Merci !

[With humorous pantomime, CHAUCER escorts them
both toward the door, as all present, preparing to
depart, join in the chorus of Pilgrims.]

CHO. Saint Thomas he is a goodly soul ;

He heals the world and makes it whole ;
He gladdens hearts of every age
And hales them forth on pilgrimage,
Where little larks, as they fly up
To share his holy-water cup,
In Thomas' name this carol sing :

Alleluyah !
Love is lord of Spring !

Saint Thomas' voice is a holy bell ;

It sounds where all sad people dwell ;

And all who hear lay down their load

To ride on Canterbury road,

Where mavis, ouzel, thrush and wren
Mingle their songs in the throats of men

To raise this hymn to his hallowing :

Alleluyah !
Love is lord of Spring !



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 17

Saint Thomas' good and merry voice
The ploughmen hear it and rejoice,
The yeomen harken on the hills
Where April leads the daffodils,

Till lover, leper, knight and thrall

Ride forth together, one and all,
To chant aloud this holy thing:
Alleluyah !

Love is lord of Spring !



ACT SECOND

Scene: Garden of the One Nine-Pin inn, at the little hamlet
of Bob- up- ci iid -down, en route to Canterbury.

Enter CHAUCER and the SQUIRE.

CHAU. Boy, what a ride ! Was ever such a ride

As ours from London ? - - Hillsides newly greened,
Brooks splashing silver in the small sweet grass,
Pelt gusts of rain dark'ning the hills, and then
Wide swallowed up in sunshine ! Hark, hark !

[A cuckoo sounds ; they listen.]
The meadow is the cuckoo's clock, and strikes
The every hour at every minute ; larks run up
And ring its golden chimes against the sun.

SQUIRE. Sir, only lovers count the time in heaven.
Are you in love?

CHAU. Ah, over head and heart.

SQUIRE. And is your lady kind ?

CHAU. As angels are ;

For she is distant as the evening star -
And though I love her, she may never know
Nor I reveal my love.

SQUIRE. Have you no hope ?

Would I might help you, for I am myself
Unhappy in my love.

18



THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS ic

CHAI . Nay, then, let me

Help you. What's wrong?
SQUIRE. Alas, my lady's name !

I cannot tell my love euphoniously.
CHAIT. How so ?
SQUIRE. Her name is not poetical.

Johanna ! Who can sonnetfze Johanna !
CHAU. Invent a name to please you.
SQUIRE. Euphranasia -

I've thought of Euphranasia.
FRIAR. [Pops his head from behind the wall.} Quiestla?

[Dodges down again.}
SQUIRE. How like you Helena ?
PRI. [Sings within.} A solis ortu usque ad occasum,

laudabile nomen Domini !
SQUIRE. Euridice?

CHAU. [Listening to the PRIORESS'S voice, lifts a spray of
honeysuckle on the wall.} No, no ! This spray shall
name her. [The FRIAR peeps over the wall again.}
SQUIRE . Egl antine !

Music itself ! But, sir, I have an aunt named Eglantine.

My father journeys here to meet her now.

What matter ? - Eglantine !
CHAU. Now Eglantine shall be your love's new name

And I will write her verses for you.
SQUIRE. [Joyfully.} You !

Oh. you are kind to serve me so.
CHAU. Nay, lad ;

For, serving so, I solace my own heart.


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Online LibraryReginald De KovenLibretto of the opera The Canterbury pilgrims → online text (page 1 of 3)