The Impresario: an alphabet (part twenty-three)

Part Twenty-Three

 

Part Twenty-Three

 

A laughing cadre of three…Pierre, the Dauphin

Enter with the ease of welcome guests

They, and the young man, Renald

Pass in chatter the vintner’s threshold

Pierre notes Tortu waits them by the hearth, alone.

Forcing a smile, he says, “Renald.

You must join our guild, and leave your fields to seed.

You showed a face last night…an actor’s turn

So grim as made me doubt my eyes.”

Flattered, as he has been many times, shy…and drunk

Madame’s son stumbles to his feet with thanks,

And bids them all bonne chance

Tortu cracks hazelnuts and tosses these

Into the Dauphin’s mouth

And when they have refreshed themselves, the Dauphin says,

“But, Pierre, you have made ashes of our master’s mermaid!

You will owe him…” His voice dies, on the R of recompense

He softly adds, “I wonder how he does?”

“I suppose”—Pierre says this instead—“again she is at her prayers.

Where is our host? I’ll beg his leave to stay with him ’til morn.

Tomorrow I must step into the lists…and then no more.”

“Pierre, walk out with me.”

Regalus speaks from the stairs.

 

“You understand,” she tells him. “You have gifts and I have none.

He has a will for you, yet unfulfilled…but as for me—

He has made his will known.”

“No, I don’t understand you. No,” he stops her speaking.

“I don’t know why you come with me, so trusting.

You take my hand, and so we part.

As from unwelcome wooers maidens must.

I find that He instructs me; that His mind is clear enough.

Devil take Pierre the Seer! Even you, sweet Regalus,

Will spare him not the pains of Hell.

Then farewell. You would be wise to take advice.

Was it not his wish for you?

That he would die…and know you safe.”

“Oh, Pierre…oh, I pity you, at least. I say to you, my dear

There is a thing above trust.

And I have prayed on it, as you have not. And if I die,

or if my love and I, should die together

That is just.”

 

Part Twenty-Four

 

(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)

 

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