Web Opera

A Greek Slave
We are noble Roman ladies

Song No. 6

Oracle Scene and Quartette—Licinia, Tullia, Flavia, Cornelia, Circe, Maia and Chorus of Slaves

Play MIDI File MIDI File 27K, 4 min. 27 seconds.


(Slow and solem introductory music while Oracle is brought into position)


When blanched is every cheek,
And bent is every head,
The Oracle will speak
In acents deep and dread!

The Oracle will speak
In acents deep and dread!
Roman Ladies (Licinia, Tullia, Flavia, Cornelia):
We are noble Roman ladies,
As one glance discovers,
And not one of us afraid is
Of lacking for lovers.

We're as charming and insidious,
The poets all say so,
As the beauties of Ovidius,
Ovidius Naso.
Each of us have slaves in plenty,
For our hair is done by twenty;
Ten to put the pins in places,
Four apiece to rouge our faces;
Half a dozen each for swathing
Us in towels after bathing;
Eight to strum or sing a ballad
Six to mix a Roman salad.
Seven to anoint our shoulders,
And a dozen tunic folders;
Note and invitation writers,
And professional reciters.
Lyricists, dancing girls and pipers,
Manicures and sandal wipers,
And a thousand ordinary
Slaves apiece to fetch and carry.
Roman Ladies (Licinia, Tullia, Flavia, Cornelia):
We have birth and wealth and fashion
Disputed by no man,
But we cherish each a passion
For some noble Roman.

So reply in style punctilious,
O! Image of Pharaoh!
Like the Sibyl of Vergilius,
Vergilius Maro.
Circe: (Recit)
Oh, mighty Oracle, to whom the age beyond
Is but a span,
Behold from ladies, each extremely fond
Of one young man!
You know the secret future fate in store
For every dame;
You know their lovers two or three or more,
Or all the same!
Speak, Oracle, the fortune of the four
In song proclaim.

Maia: (As Oracle)
Daughters of Rome this is your future lot;
You shall be loved of him that loves you not,
And you shall love in love's despite perforce,
And you shall marry him, and you divorce;
You shall be wretched, you be duly blest;
The Oracle has spoken— Actum est!
Roman Ladies (Licinia, Tullia, Flavia, Cornelia):
That's a rather doubtful answer
For a famous necromancer,
Like a puzzle or a riddle
Inside out and down the middle.

Thought our noble opulence is
Far to great to reck expenses,

Roman Ladies:
We account it hardly funny
Getting nothing for our money
This is nice, and this is proper!
Not a single bit of copper!

(Exit Roman Ladies)


Well, for stinginess that's shady,
Nothing beats a noble lady!
Nothing beats a noble lady!
(Exit Roman Chorus)

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Page created 14 October 2001