Edna St.Vincent Millay: Aria del Capo, A Play in one Act, 1919


Pierrot, Columbine, Cothurnus, Masque of Tragedy, Thyrsis -
 – Corydon

Scene: A Stage – The curtain rises on a stage set for a Harlequinade, a merry
  black and white interior. Directly behind the footlights, and
  running parallel with them, is a long table, covered with a gay
  black and white cloth, on which is spread a banquet. At the
  opposite ends of this table, seated on delicate thin-legged
  chairs with high backs, are Pierrot and Columbine, dressed
  according to the tradition, excepting that Pierrot is in lilac,
 and Columbine in pink. They are dining.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, a macaroon! I cannot _live_ without a macaroon!

PIERROT: My only love,
 you are _so_ intense! . . . Is it Tuesday, Columbine? — 
I’ll kiss you if it’s Tuesday.

COLUMBINE: It is Wednesday, iIf you must know . . . . Is this my artichoke,
 or yours?

PIERROT: Ah, Columbine, — as if it mattered!
 Wednesday . . . . Will it be Tuesday, then, to-morrow, by any chance?

COLUMBINE: To-morrow will be — Pierrot,
 that isn’t funny!

PIERROT: I thought it rather nice.
 Well, let us drink some wine and lose our heads 
and love each other.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, don’t you love
 me now?

PIERROT: La, what a woman!–how should I know? 
Pour me some wine: I’ll tell you presently.

COLUMBINE: Pierrot, do you know, I think you drink too much.

PIERROT: Yes, I dare say I do. . . . or else too little. 
It’s hard to tell. You see, I am always wanting
 a little more than what I have, — or else 
a little less. There’s something wrong. My dear,
 how many fingers have you?

COLUMBINE: La, indeed, how should I know? — It always takes me one hand
 to count the other with. It’s too confusing.

PIERROT: Why? — I am a student, Columbine;
 and search into all matters.

COLUMBINE: La, indeed?  –
 Count them yourself, then!

PIERROT: No. Or, rather, nay.
 ‘Tis of no consequence. . . . I am become
 a painter, suddenly, — and you impress me — 
Ah, yes! — six orange bull’s-eyes, four green pin-wheels, and one magenta jelly-roll, — the title 
as follows: Woman Taking in Cheese from Fire-Escape.

COLUMBINE: Well, I like that! So that is all I’ve meant
 to you!

PIERROT: Hush! All at once I am become
 a pianist. I will image you in sound. . . .
On a new scale. . . , Without tonality. . .
 Vivace senza tempo senza tutto. . . .
 Title: Uptown Express at Six O’Clock. 
Pour me a drink.Thomas

Edna St.Vincent Millay, 1892-1950

Title: Aria del Capo, A Play in one Act, 1919

Image:  Giovanni Domenico Ferretti, 1692-1768.  Arlecchino und Colombina

Author: jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space

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