The Goddess of Reason 19
As far as Vannes I ride beside her coach.
MLLE. DE CHÂTEAU-GUI
Soon or late, she’ll draw you back to Nantes!
Now will she not?
DE VARDES (_smiling_)
Monsieur, if you must go, oh, rest you sure
Jealously will we guard and spotless keep
The soul you stooped and drew from the foul mire!—
Yvette, come make your reverence to your lord!
I kiss your hand, monseigneur!
There will be
A storm to-night!
Come, come, René de Vardes!
I’d see the courier who brought this news!
I’ll follow you, Monsieur le Comte!
[_Exeunt_ COUNT LOUIS, _his daughter_, DE L’ORIENT,
THE ABBÉ, _and the Sisters_.
Wilt thou go?
Why must thou go?
To-day the kingdom fell! Oh, in the dust
Of old things let it rest for evermore!
Take up the Revolution!
The flaming sword before the gates of Eden!
Thou’rt safe within the garden! Go not forth.
Go not to Paris! Stay in Nantes, ah, stay!
Wear the tricolour—
Hark! It is the voice,
The menacing voice of the Republic!
It threatens thee, it threatens all who pass
That flaming sword, to lift the thing that was
And is not any more! Oh, let it lie!—
Thou’lt not to Paris?
Ah, thou art skilful at betraying!
_Enter_ SISTER BENEDICTA.
Monsieur le Baron de Morbec, the page
Of Madame la Marquise de Blanchefôret
Name of a name!
THE ABBÉ (_appearing in the door behind_ _Sister
De Vardes, De Vardes!
You gather the furze while the red rose waits!
At once, my Sister!
(_To_ YVETTE.) Ah, not in anger,
Must thou and I part for this little while!
If I’m in life I will return, be sure,
To Nantes and all this garden loveliness,
Those fruit trees and this fountain!—Fare thee well.
The nuns will care for thee; I’ve ordered all.
Too fierce of aspect is the world without!
Here is fair peace, security, and calm;
Here thou art fenced from storm and violence.
Abide thou here until I come again!
The flaming sword!
Hearest thou not, Yvette,
How sings the lark in Paimpont Wood to-day?
I hear the dirge of the salt sea!
Seest thou not through yonder trees the stone,
The Druid Stone where thou didst lie in sleep?
I see a broken fan!
Abide thou here
And dream of Paimpont Wood until I come.
I too will dream, I too will dream, Yvette!
Is not Clarice a lovely name?
A very lovely name.—Farewell, farewell!
I’ll see thy face, be sure, this very night,
Upon the road before me as I ride.
Oh, fare you well beneath the silver moon
As slow you ride beside a lady’s coach,
Discoursing of the dazzling, snowy heights!
I kiss your hand, monseigneur! Fare you well!
[THE ABBÉ’S _voice is heard from the doorway_.
De Vardes! De Vardes!
The rose awaits!—
It is too much!
Farewell, thou spirit of Paimpont!
Ah, ah! ‘tis worth all else—the Marseillaise!
My Duchess Jeanne—