Symphonie Fantastique

FOURTH MOVEMENT — FINAL ACT

(C) Coda Pacatamente

THE dawn broke to a cleaner day, and with it commenced the Golden Age in all its bliss and beauty; but mankind was quite unaware of what had happened in the night and of the future. For is not almost every man and woman blind to all that dwells within the air above, around, and deep below their wandering feet, with few exceptions? And as the sun rose up, there lay the smiling world beneath him, as fair as Aphrodite's Garden at Kyrene on Libya's plain in times of ancient fame; a delightful garden of the Fays, where elves and spirits dwell in happiness in early dawn, which, like a limpid airy tune, breathed through the reeds beside the stream and sang within the trees like a scampanio, or chiming forth of a melodious musette, pealed on little silver bells, or as a short and simple cabaletta, similar to matinatas or aubades, lipped upon Euterpe's flute . . . . thus did the dawn sing its Æolian tunes amidst the forest trees.

From nearby hills there sounds the shepherd's horn, intoning the Ranz des Vaches, and nixes and kobolds, gruagachs and ourisks, kelpies and nornas, leap and dance to the villanella, or eclogue, a nearby herdsman plays on his calamaulos.

And beneath the ancient oak sits old Mizella, the Gipsy Queen, chuckling softly to herself as she looks at the sleeping children below the ruined stairs; and now they awaken and stare around in surprise.

DOLCE: OOOH! It is morning, Farni; whatever will mother say when I get home!

FARNI: Oh, don't you worry about that. They'll be only too glad to see us safe and sound after that storm last night. I'll tell her that we had to take shelter, and then everything will be all right.

(They see Mizella.)

DOLCE: Oh, Farni, there is the old Gipsy—still beneath her tree!

MIZELLA: Yes, my dears; I'm still here. When you are both as old as I, a little bit of rain and thunder does not worry any more. Come ye both here before you go home, and have a cup of tea with the old Gipsy woman.

(Both walk up to her.)

MIZELLA (to Farni): Here is the kebaubi, brave little chal (she hands him a kettle). Go and fill it for old Mizella, whose bones are not so young these days.

(He goes to the river, fills it, and hands the kettle back.)

MIZELLA: Parracrow tute—I thank you, son.

(She strikes a flint, and lights a fire between some stones and places the kettle on the stones.)

FARNI: Did you have a good night, mother?

MIZELLA: Oh, yes, a wonderful night, full of lovely dreams.

DOLCE: I never dreamt at all.

FARNI: Nor I! What did you dream, Gipsy Queen?

MIZELLA: Oh, I dreamt of a Soul that lost its course like a wandering ship, without compass or rudder under gale-swept skies.

DOLCE: Poor Soul!

FARNI: What else, mother?

MIZELLA: I dreamt that the envious fight an ever-losing battle with Prosperity and Power.

FARNI: I shall be prosperous one day, and powerful!

MIZELLA: You will, good chal; I, Mizella, say so. But you will also be kind and tender, and your little sweetheart will inspire you.

DOLCE: Did you dream anything else, dear Mizella?

(Mizella pours the now boiling water into a teapot and hands the children a cup of tea each.)

MIZELLA (as the children drink) I also dreamt of him whose lightning splendour now lies shattered in the nether Deep.

DOLCE: Was he very splendid?

MIZELLA: Yes! He had a splendour and a beauty all his own, but lost it by becoming filled with pride. He was as beautiful as a poem, a rima, verse or song, but envy destroyed his God-like Harmony, and the Song of White Glory became a Black Canticle of Death; its tune did sound as if a rustic lout blew on a broken Fistola, or reedy pipe, a mangled madrialetto.

DOLCE: I do not understand such words.

MIZELLA: Never mind; off you go! Think sometimes of old Mizella, and remember her in your prayers.

DOLCE: We shall, dear mother; goodbye!

FARNI: Goodbye, Gipsy Queen; I hope you will be here when we come again. (To Dolce): Now let us go, as old Mizella says. And as for you, cry-baby, did I not tell you that we should be quite safe in the silly old ruins? What were you afraid of? Nothing has happened . . . nothing at all!!

(They disappear between the trees, while Mizella sits under the oak, chuckling to herself and smoking an old little black pipe.)

Narrator:

And the planets still resound with tales of valiant deeds performed that night, after Madelon and Sebastiano had called upon the Spirit of our Cosmos, and the two children slept amidst the turmoil of battle; unconscious of the great conflict that waged around them. And on the morning of that splendid day the Angels and the Powers of the Lord and his Creation called out Blessings.

The heavens, and the waters of Life therein, the dew and the showers, the winds and the weather, the clouds and the raindrops, the earth and all the living things thereon, the mountains, hills and dunes, the wells and fountains, the seas and rivers, the birds on the wing and the moles and worms in their tunnels, the fish in the sea and the snakes in the grass, and all the spirits of the unborn and of those who do no more return, the keen and the still . . . they BLESSED the Name of the Lord and the New Day that had risen to shine upon man for ever and for ever in that New Age of Happiness, when Night was no more and the times and tribulations and the tests were done with for aye.

And Earth—the Great Green One—that was shaken by wars and alarms for aeons of time in the now dead past, is girt afresh with the everlasting Joys of Peace and Splendour, Wisdom and Love, and the Golden Age commences.

CURTAIN.

 

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