DRAMATIS PERSONAE VENUS ADONIS CUPID FIRST SHEPHERD SECOND SHEPHERD SHEPHERDESS HUNTSMAN SHEPHERDS, SHEPHERDESSES, HUNTSMEN AND GRACES LITTLE CUPIDS OVERTURE (Maestoso, Allegro, Tempo Primo) THE PROLOGUE The curtain is drawn where is discovered Cupid with a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other and arrows by his side and around him Shepherds and Shepherdesses. CUPID'S ENTRY. (Vivace) [Cupid bows and sings:] Behold my arrows and my bow And I desire my art to show: No one bosom shall be found Ere I have done, without a wound, But it would be the greatest art To shoot myself into your heart; Thither with both my wings I move, Pray entertain the God of Love. SHEPHERDESS Come, Shepherds all, let's sing and play, Be willing, lovesome, fond and gay. SHEPHERD She who those soft hours misuses And a begging Swain refuses When she would the time recover May she have a feeble lover. SHEPHERDESS The best of the Celestial Pow'rs Is come to give us happy hours. 2nd SHEPHERD Oh, let him not from hence remove SHEPHERDESS Till ev'ry bosom's full of love. CUPID Courtiers, there is no faith in you, You change as often as you can: Your women they continue true But till they see another man. SHEPHERD Cupid hast thou many found Long in the same fetters bound? CUPID At court I find constant and true Only an aged lord or two SHEPHERD Who do their Empire longest hold CUPID The foolish ugly and the old ... In these sweet groves love is not taught Beauty and pleasure is not bought; To warm desires the women nature moves And ev'ry youthful swain by nature loves ... CHORUS In these sweet groves [etc.] [While this Chorus is singing a Shepherd and Shepherdess dance to it.] CUPID Lovers to the close shades retire, Do what your kindest thoughts inspire. [Exeunt omnes. The Curtain closes.] FIRST ACT THE ACT TUNE. (Lento) The Curtain opens and discovers Venus and Adonis sitting together upon a Couch, embracing one another. ADONIS Venus! VENUS Adonis! ADONIS Venus, when shall I taste soft delights And on thy bosom lie? Let's seek the shadiest covert of this grove And never, never disappoint expecting love. VENUS Adonis, thy delightful youth Is full of beauty and of truth. With thee the Queen of Love employs The hours design'd for softer joys. ADONIS My Venus still has something new Which forces lovers to be true. VENUS Me my lovely youth shall find Always tender, ever kind. HUNTER'S MUSIC [They rise from the Couch when they hear the Music.] VENUS Hark, hark, the rural music sounds, Hark, hark the hunters, hark, hark the hounds! They summon to the chase, haste haste away. ADONIS Adonis will not hunt today. I have already caught the noblest prey. VENUS No, my shepherd, haste away, Absence kindles new desire, I would not have my lover tire ... My shepherd, will you know the art By which I keep a conquer'd heart? I seldom vex a lover's ears With business or with jealous fears. I give him freely all delights With pleasant days and easy nights. ADONIS Yet there is a sort of men Who delight in heavy chains Upon whom ill-usage gains And they never love till then. VENUS Those are fools of mighty leisure Wise men love the easiest pleasure. I give you freely all delights With pleasant days and easy nights. ADONIS Adonis will not hunt today. VENUS No, my shepherd, haste away. [Enter Huntsmen to Adonis, and sing this Chorus.] HUNTSMEN Come follow, follow, follow, Come follow to the noblest game. Here the spritely youth may purchase fame. HUNTSMAN A mighty boar our spear and darts defies, He foams and rages, see, see, he wounds The stoutest of our Cretan hounds, He roars like thunder and he lightens from his eyes. ADONIS You who the slothful joys of city hate And, early up, for rougher pleasures wait, Next the delight which heav'nly beauty yields Nothing, oh nothing is so sweet As for our huntsmen, that do meet With able coursers and good hounds to range the fields. HUNTSMEN Lachne has fastened first but she is old; Bring hither Ladon, he is strong and bold, Heigh Lachne, heigh Melampus; oh, they bleed, Your spears, your spears, Adonis thou shalt lead. [Exeunt singing. Entry: A dance by a Huntsman. The Curtain closes.] SECOND ACT THE ACT TUNE. (Allegretto) The Curtain opens and Venus and Cupid are seen standing with Little Cupids round about them. CUPID You place with such delightful care The fetters which your lovers wear; None can be weary to obey When you their eager wishes bless, [Cupid points to the little Cupids] The crowding Joys each other press And round you smiling Cupids play. VENUS Flattering boy, hast thou been reading Thy lessons and refined arts By which thou may'st set ableeding A-thousand, thousand tender hearts? CUPID Yes, but mother, teach me to destroy All such as scorn your wanton boy. VENUS Fit well your arrows when you strike And choose for all what each may like. But make some love, they know not why, And for the ugly and ill-humour'd die; Such as scorn Love's fire, Force them to admire. THE CUPID'S LESSON [The little Cupids repeat their lesson after Cupid.] CUPID The insolent, the arrogant, The M-E-R-: Mer; C-E: Ce; N-A: Na; R-Y: Ry; The mercenary, the vain and silly. The jealous and uneasy, all such as tease ye ... Choose for the formal fool Who scorns Love's mighty school, One that delights in secret glances And a great reader of romances. For him that's faithless, wild and gay, Who with Love's pain does only play, Take some affected, wanton she, As faithless and as wild as he. VENUS But, Cupid, how shall I make Adonis constant still? CUPID Use him very ill ... [Venus laughs] To play, my Loves, to play; Venus makes it holiday. A DANCE OF CUPIDS. (Allegro Leggiero) After the dance the little Cupids piay together at hide and seek and hot cockles till Cupid frightens them off the stage with a Vizard Mask, and then they come on again, peeping, when Cupid calls the Graces. VENUS Call, call the Graces. CUPID Come, all ye Graces! 'Tis your duty To keep the Magazine of Beauty. [Enter the Graces] GRACES Mortals below, Cupids above, Sing the praises of the Queen of Love. The world for that bright Beauty dies; Sing the triumphs of her conqu'ring eyes. Hark, ev'n Nature sighs. This joyful night She will beget desire and yield delight. THE GRACES' DANCE. (L'istesso tempo) GAVATT. (Allegro) SARABRAND FOR THE GRACES. (Lento) A GROUND. (Maestoso) While the Graces dance, the Cupids dress Venus, one combing her head, another ties a bracelet of pearls round her waist etc. After the dances the Curtain closes upon them. THIRD ACT THE ACT TUNE. (Sostenuto) The Curtain opens and discovers Venus standing in a melancholy posture. A mourning Cupid goes across the stage and shakes an arrow at her. VENUS Adonis, uncall'd-for sighs From my sad bosom rise, And grief has the dominion of my eyes. A mourning Love passed by me now that sung Of tombs and urns and ev'ry mournful thing: Return, Adonis, 'tis for thee I grieve. [Venus leans against the side of the stage and weeps. Adonis is led in wounded.] ADONIS I come, as fast as Death will give me leave. Behold the wound made by th' Aedalian boar; Faithful Adonis now must be no more. VENUS Ah, blood and warm life his rosy cheeks forsake. Alas, Death's sleep thou art too young to take. My groans shall reach the heav'ns; oh, pow'rs above Take pity on the wretched Queen of Love! ADONIS Oh, I could well endure the pointed dart, Did it not make the best of lovers part. VENUS Ye cruel gods, why should not I Have the great privilege to die? ADONIS Love, mighty Love, does my kind bosom fire; Shall I for want of vital heat expire? No, no, warm life returns, and Death's afraid This heart (Love's faithful kingdom) to invade. VENUS No, the grim Monster gains the day; With thy warm blood life steals away. ADONIS I see fate calls; let me on your soft bosom lie. There I did wish to live, and there I beg to die. [Adonis dies.] VENUS Ah, Adonis my love, ah, Adonis ... With solemn pomp let mourning Cupids bear My soft Adonis through the yielding air ... He shall adorn the heav'ns, here I will weep Till I am fall'n into as cold a sleep. OMNES Mourn for thy servant, mighty God of Love, Weep for your huntsman, oh forsaken grove. Mourn, Echo, mourn, thou shalt no more repeat His tender sighs and vows when he did meet With the wretched Queen of Love In this forsaken grove. THE END.