A SPACIOUS HALL
With adjoining apartments decorated and adorned, for a
Herald. Don't think ye'll here see German revels,
A Dance of Death, of Fools and Devils!
A cheerful festival awaits you here.
Our ruler, when to Rome he went campaigning,
His profit and your pleasure gaining,
The perils of the Alps disdaining,
Won for himself a realm of cheer.
First, at the holy feet bowed down,
A grant of power he besought,
And when he went to fetch his crown,
The fool's-cap too for us he brought.
Now we are all new-born in years,
And every well-sophisticated man
Happily draws it over head and ears.
Akin to crazy fools he now appears,
Under it acting wisely as he can.
I see the crowds are coming yonder,
Some pair in love, some swing asunder,
Crowd presses crowd, like youth let of school.
Come in or out, let naught be daunting!
Now too as ever holds the rule:
A hundred thousand follies vaunting,
The world remains one great, big fool!
Flower Girls [song accompanied by mandolins].
That ye may approval tender
We're adorned tonight in sport;
Florentines, we joined the splendour
Of this festive German court.
Flowers in our chestnut tresses
We are wearing gay and bright,
Silken threads and silken jesses
Also play their part tonight;
For we think we are deserving
All your praises full and clear.
See the flowers we made, preserving
All their bloom throughout the year.
Scraps of every tint we've taken,
Each with due symmetric form;
Though each may your wit awaken,
See the whole and feel its charm.
Fair are we in every feature,
Flower maidens gay of heart;
For the ways of women's nature
Are so near akin to art.
Let us see your baskets' riches;
Head and arms bear lovely treasure,
Bear gay beauty that bewitches.
Let each choose what gives him pleasure.
Hasten till we see appearing
Gardens in each nook and alley.
Pedlars, wares, such beauty bearing,
Well the throng may round them rally.
Barter in these cheery places,
But don't haggle as ye go!
And in brief and pithy phrases,
What he has, let each one know.
An Olive Branch with Fruits.
Flowery sprays I do not covet,
Strife I shun, I am above it;
To my nature it is strange.
Yet I am the nation's marrow,
Pledge secure 'gainst spear and arrow,
Sign of peace where men may range.
And today I'm hoping, fleetly
To adorn a fair head meetly.
A Wreath of Golden Ears.
To bedeck you, gifts of Ceres
Will be lovely, sweet, and rare;
What for us most wished and dear is
Be for your adornment fair.
A Fancy Wreath.
Mallow-like, these gay-hued flowers,
From the moss, a wondrous bloom!
They are rare, in Nature's bowers,
But Dame Fashion gives them room.
A Fancy Nosegay.
Name me? Theophrastus never
Would a name for me assever!
If to some scarce worth a penny,
Still I hope I may please many
If she'll take whom she possesses,
If she'll twine me in her tresses,
Or the fairest fate deciding,
On her heart grant me abiding.
Rosebuds, a Challenge.
Let fantastic gaudy flowers
Bloom as Fashion oft empowers
Wondrous- strange and finely moulded,
Such as Nature ne'er unfolded.
Green stalks, gold bells, look entrancing
From rich locks, their charm enhancing!
But we hide from mortal eyes.
Happy he who us espies?
When anew the summer beameth
As the rosebud, kindling, gleameth,
From such bliss who'd be abstaining?
Sweet the promise and attaining
Which in Flora's fair domain
Rule over vision, heart, and brain.
Under green, leafy arcades the FLOWER GIRLS adorn their wares
Gardeners [song accompanied by theorbos].
See the flowers sprout unhasting,
Charms around your head they're weaving?
Fruits lead not astray, deceiving;
One enjoys them in the tasting.
Sun-burnt faces offer gladly
Cherries, royal plums, and peaches.
Buy! The tongue, the palate, teaches
That your eye can judge but badly.
Come! The ripest fruit entices,
Eat it, with glad relish smitten;
Over a rose one poetizes,
But an apple must be bitten.
Grant us, prithee, to be mated
With your youth so flowery-fair!
Neighbourly so decorated
Be our plenteous ripe ware.
Under garlands gay that wind them
In adorned and leafy bowers,
All are here for you to find them:
Buds and leaves and fruit and flowers.
Midst alternating songs, accompanied by guitars and theorbos,
both choruses continue to set their wares out attractively in
tiers and to offer them for sale.
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER.
Maiden, when thou cam'st to light,
Little caps I wove thee:
Body tender, face so bright,
How they made me love thee!
Thought of thee as quickly won,
Wedded to the richest son,
Thought as wife wouldst prove thee.
Ah, already many a year
Hence, unused, has fleeted;
Motley host of wooers here
Swiftly past has speeded.
With the one didst nimbly dance,
Gav'st the other nudge and glance
Which he might have heeded.
Every fete that we might plan,
Vain it was to match one;
Forfeit games and "Hindmost Man,"
Naught availed to snatch one.
Each fool wears today his cap;
Darling, open now thy lap,
Haply wilt thou catch one.
Girl playmates, young and fair, join the group; a confidential
chatter is heard. Fishers and fowlers with nets, fishing-rods,
limed twigs, and other gear enter and mingle with the pretty
girls. Reciprocal attempts to win, catch, escape, and hold
fast give opportunity for the most agreeable dialogues.
Woodcutters [enter boisterously and boorishly].
Make room! A clearing!
Spaces for revel!
Trees that we level
Crash in their falling;
And when we're hauling,
We hit what's nearing.
Our praises grudge not,
This truth pray nourish:
Did rough folk drudge not
In every county,
Could fine folk flourish,
Come by their bounty,
However they fretted?
Learn this in season!
For ye'd be freezing,
Had we not sweated.
Pulcinelli [awkward, almost silly].
Oh, fools that ye are,
Born bent, and we are
The really clever,
Loads bearing never.
Our caps and jackets
And rags are packets
Quite light to carry.
And we are merry,
In slippers easy,
In them to shuffle
Through market and scuffle,
To gape at the pother,
Croak at each other.
Heeding the racket,
Through crowds that pack it,
Like eels we're slipping,
All mad together.
We care not whether
Ye blame or praise us,
Nothing can faze us.
Parasites [fawningly lustful].
Of you, stout porters,
And your supporters,
We are not spurners.
For all the bending
And nods assenting,
Phrases too flowing,
And two-ways blowing,
They're warming and chilling
Just as one's feeling,
Yet what the profit?
Heaven might send fire,
But, then, what of it,
Were there no billets
Or coal in barrows
To grill your skillets
Through to their marrows?
There's sizzling, broiling,
There's bubbling, boiling.
True taster, picker,
He smells the roasting,
He sniffs the fishes,
With gusto accosting
His patron's dishes.
A Drunken Man [maudlin].
'Sdeath today to all my worry!
For I feel so frank and free;
Fresh delight and ditties merry,
These I brought along with me.
So I'm drinking, drink ye, drink ye!
Clink your glasses, clink ye, clink ye!
Ye behind there, now come on!
Clink your glasses, so it's done.
Angrily my wife shrieked loudly,
Sneering at my piebald suit,
And although I swaggered proudly,
"Scarecrow, scarecrow!" did she hoot.
Yet I'm drinking, drink ye, drink ye!
Clink your glasses, cling ye, clink ye!
Clink them, scarecrows, every one!
Clinking, clinking, so it's done.
Say not that my way I'm losing,
I am where my worries fade.
If mine host lend not, refusing,
Hostess lends, or eke the maid.
Still I drink on! Drink ye, drink ye!
Up, ye others! Clink ye, clink ye!
Each to each! Thus on and on!
Now methinks that it is done.
How and where I'm pleasure plying,
Still may it always be at hand.
Let me lie where I am lying,
For I can no longer stand.
Brothers all, now drink ye, drink ye!
Toast ye gaily, clink ye, clink ye!
Sit ye firm on bench and board!
Under the table lies one floored.