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SCENE III

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On the road to Salerno. Prince Henry, Elsie and their attendants.

Elsie
 
Onward and onward the highway runs to the distant city, impatiently bearing
Tidings of human joy and disaster, of love and hate, of doing and daring!
Prince Henry
  This life of ours is a wild Æolian harp of many a joyous strain,
But under them all there runs a loud perpetual wail, as of souls in pain.
Elsie
  All the hedges are are white with dust, while onward the horses toil and strain.
Prince Henry
  Now they stop at the wayside inn, and the waggoner laughs with the landlord's daughter.
Elsie
  All through life there are wayside inns, where man may refresh his soul with love;
Even the lowest may quench his thirst at rivulets fed by springs from above.

They turn down a green lane.

Elsie & Prince Henry
 

Sweet is the air with budding haws,
And the valley stretching for miles below
Is white with blossoming cherry trees,
White with blossoming cherry trees,
As if just covered with lightest snow,
Just covered with lightest snow,
Sweet is the air, sweet is the air.

Tenors ( Pilgrims in the distance)
  Cujus clavis lingua Petri,
Cujus cives semper læti.
Prince Henry
  Hark, what sweet sounds are those, whose accents       holy
Fill the warm noon with music sad and sweet?
Basses
  Cujus faber auctor lucis.
Elsie
  It is a band of pilgrims moving slowly
On their long journey, with uncovered feet.
Pilgrims (Chanting the Hymn of St. Hildebert.)
  Me receptet Sion illa,
Sion David, urbs tranquilla,
Cujus faber auctor lucis,
Cujus portæ lignum crucis,
Cujus clavis lingua Petri,
Cujus cives semper læti,
Cujus muri lapis vivus,
Cujus custos Rex festivus!
Lucifer (as a Friar in the procession) Tenors
  Here am I, too in the pious band,    
  The soles of my feet are hard and    
 
tanned.
  In hâc urbe lux solennis,
  There is my German Prince    
 
again,
  Ver æternum,
  Thus far on his journey to  
pax perennis;
 
Salern, And the love-sick girl 
  In hâc odor implens
  whose heated brain  
cœlos,
  Is sowing the cloud to reap the rain,   In hâc semper
  Is sowing the cloud to reap the rain,  
festum melos!
Lucifer
  But it's a long road that has no turn!
Let them quietly hold their way,
I have also a part in the play.
But first I must act to my heart's content
This mummery and this merriment,
And drive this motley flock of sheep
Into the fold where drink and sleep
The jolly old friars of Benevent.
Of a truth, it often provokes me to laugh,
To see these beggars hobble along,
Lamed and maimed and fed upon chaff,
Chanting their wonderful piff and paff,
Their wonderful piff and paff,
And, to make up for not understanding the song,
Singing it fiercely, and wild, and strong,
Wild and strong!
Lucifer Tenors
  First I must act to my heart's content   Cujus faber auctor
  This mummery and this merriment,  
lucis,
  And drive this motley flock of sheep   Cujus portæ
  Into the fold where drink and sleep  
lignum crucis,
 
The jolly old friars of Benevent.
  Cujus
  Of a truth, it often provokes me to laugh,  
clavis lingua Petri,
  To see these beggars hobble along,    Cujus
  Lamed and maimed and fed upon chaff,  
cives semper læti.
  Chanting their wonderful piff and paff,
Their wonderful piff and paff,
   
  Singing it fiercely, and wild, and strong, Tenors & Basses
  Urbs cœlestis, urbs beata,   Urbs cœlestis, urbs beata,
  Supra petram collocata,   Supra petram collocata,
      Urbs in portu satis tuto,
      De longinquo saluto,
      Te saluto, tesuspiro,
Elsie   Te affecto, terequiro.
  Hark! those sounds whose accents holy    
  Fill the warm noon with music,   Te saluto,
  With music sad and sweet,   te requiro, te saluto!

Prince Henry, Elsie and attendants journey on.
They reach a height overlooking the sea, and encamp. Evening.

Prince Henry
  It is the sea, it is the sea,
In all its vague immensity,
Fading and darkening in the distance,
Fading and darkening in the distance!
Silent, majestical and slow
The white ships haunt it to and fro,
With all their ghostly sails unfurled,
As phantoms from another world
Haunt the dim confines of existence,
It is the sea, it is the sea,
In all its vague immensity,
Silent, majestical and slow,
Silent, majestical and slow,
Magestical, and slow.

Elsie
  The night is calm and cloudless,
And still as still can be,
The stars come forth to listen,
Come forth to listen
To the music of the sea;
In snow white robes uprising
The ghostly choirs respond,
And sadly and unceasing
The mournful voice sings on,
And the snow white choirs still answer,
Still answer
Christe eleison,
Christe eleison,
Christe eleison.
Chorus
  The night is calm and cloudless,
And still as still can be,
The stars come forth to listen,
Come forth to listen
To the music of the sea;
In snow white robes uprising
The ghostly choirs respond,
And sadly and unceasing
The mournful voice sings on,
Elsie Chorus
      The mournful voice sings on,
  The snow white choirs still answer,    
      The snow white choirs still answer,
  Christe eleison,    
      Christe eleison,
  Christe eleison, eleison,   Christe eleison, eleison,
  Christe eleison!   Christe eleison!

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Date modified 29 May 2010 Copyright © 2010 The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive All Rights Reserved