Pierrot, no polite Clitandre,
in the flask leaves no remainder,
and, practical fellow, cuts a pie.
Cassandre down the avenue,
having cast off his nephew,
sheds a teardrop on the sly.
That scoundrel Harlequin designs
the kidnapping of Columbine
and makes four pirouettes with art.
Columbine dreams, surprised to find
she feels a heart along the wind
and hears strange voices in her heart.
Scaramouche has come to plot
with Pulchinella: a bad lot,
they make black shadows on the moon.
The doctor from Bologna picks
herbs to medicine the sick
in the grasses sere and brown.
But his daughter with piquant eye
to the arbor, on the sly,
glides half-naked on a quest
for her fine buccaneer of Spain,
whose anguish cries in the loud pain
the nightingale pours from his breast.
Leandre is simple,
Pierrot with nimble
leaps the brushwood,
Cassandre with hood
on his top,
wag but no fool
is dressed for the show —
and his eyes glow
through his mask.
Do, mi, sol, do!
See everyone go
with a laugh and a ditty;
dancing they whirl
before a bad girl
whose eyes, green
as a cat’s and obscene
(she has cause
to guard her full blown
charms), cry: “Keep down
–Forever they go!
Stars who foreknow,
say, to what
this implacable flirt,
lifting her skirt,
rose in hair,
misleads her troupes,
poor gulls and dupes,
This is no moonstruck dreamer from the play
who jeered at pictures of his dead grandsires;
his light heart, like his candle, has lost its fire —
his thin transparent ghost haunts us today.
See, in the terror of the lightening flash
his pale blouse, on the cold wind, has the shape
of a long winding sheet, his mouth’s agape
and seems to howl while worms gnaw his flesh.
With the sound of wing-flaps of some bird at night,
his white sleeves signal foolishly through space
to someone unknown who does not reply.
His eyes are holes of phosphorescent light,
and the flour makes more awful the bloodless face
with the pointed nose of one about to die.