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Opera Libretti

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Dido and Aeneas
Act I
Act II
     Scene [I]: The Cave
     [enter Sorceress]
     Wayward sisters, you that fright
     The lonely traveller by night
     Who, like dismal ravens crying,
     Beat the windows of the dying,
     Appear! Appear at my call, and share in the fame
     Of a mischief shall make all Carthage flame.
     [enter Enchantresses]
     Say, Beldam, say what's thy will.
     Harm's our delight and mischief all our skill.
     The Queen of Carthage, whom we hate,
     As we do all in prosp'rous state,
     Ere sunset, shall most wretched prove,
     Depriv'd of fame, of life and love!
     Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho! [etc.]
     Ruin'd ere the set of sun?
     Tell us, how shall this be done?
     The Trojan Prince, you know, is bound
     By Fate to seek Italian ground;
     The Queen and he are now in chase.
     Hark! Hark! the cry comes on apace.
     But, when they've done, my trusty Elf
     In form of Mercury himself
     As sent from Jove shall chide his stay,
     And charge him sail tonight with all his fleet away.
     Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho! [etc.]
     [Enter a Drunken Sailor; a dance]
     But ere we this perform,
     We'll conjure for a storm
     To mar their hunting sport
     And drive 'em back to court.
     CHORUS [in the manner of an echo.]
     In our deep vaulted cell the charm we'll prepare, 
     Too dreadful a practice for this open air.
     ECHO DANCE [Enchantresses and Fairies]
     Scene [II]: The Grove
     [enter Aeneas, Dido, Belinda, and their train]
     RITORNELLE [Orchestra]
     BELINDA [Repeated by Chorus]
     Thanks to these lovesome vales,
     These desert hills and dales, 
     So fair the game, so rich the sport, 
     Diana's self might to these woods resort.
     Oft she visits this lov'd mountain,
     Oft she bathes her in this fountain; 
        Here Actaeon met his fate, 
     Pursued by his own hounds, 
     And after mortal wounds 
        Discover'd, discover'd too late.
     [A Dance to entertain Aeneas by Dido's women]
     Behold, upon my bending spear
     A monster's head stands bleeding, 
     With tushes far exceeding 
     Those did Venus' huntsman tear.
     The skies are clouded, hark! how thunder
     Rends the mountain oaks a sunder.
     BELINDA [Repeated by Chorus]
     Haste, haste to town, this open field 
     No shelter from the storm can yield.
     [exeunt Dido and Belinda and train]
     [The Spirit of the Sorceress descends to Aeneas in the 
     likeness of Mercury] 
     Stay, Prince and hear great Jove's command; 
     He summons thee this Night away.
     Tonight thou must forsake this land, 
     The Angry God will brook no longer stay. 
     Jove commands thee, waste no more 
     In Love's delights, those precious hours, 
     Allow'd by th'Almighty Powers 
     To gain th' Hesperian shore 
     And ruined Troy restore.
     Jove's commands shall be obey'd,
     Tonight our anchors shall be weighed.
     [Exit Spirit.]
     But ah! what language can I try 
     My injur'd Queen to Pacify: 
     No sooner she resigns her heart,
     But from her arms I'm forc'd to part. 
     How can so hard a fate be took?
     One night enjoy'd, the next forsook. 
     Yours be the blame, ye gods! For I 
     Obey your will, but with more ease could die.
     Then since our Charmes have sped, 
     A Merry Dance be led 
     By the Nymphs of Carthage to please us. 
     They shall all Dance to ease us,
     A Dance that shall make the Spheres to wonder,
     Rending those fair Groves asunder.


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12:12:54 AM, 2 December 2015
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