Dido and Aeneas Libretto
DIDO or Elissa, Queen of Carthage (Soprano)
BELINDA, her sister (Soprano)
SECOND WOMAN (Soprano)
FIRST WITCH (Soprano)
SECOND WITCH (Soprano)
AENEAS, a Trojan Prince (Tenor)
SAILOR (Soprano or Tenor)
Dido's train, Aeneas' train, Fairies, Sailors
[The music to the prologue is lost]Phoebus Rises in the Chariot.
Over the Sea, The Nereids out of the Sea.
From Aurora's Spicy Bed,
Phoebus rears his Sacred Head.
His Coursers Advancing,
Curvetting and Prancing.
Phoebus strives in vain to Tame'em,
With Ambrosia Fed too high.
Phoebus ought not now to blame'em,
Wild and eager to Survey
The fairest Pageant of the Sea.
Tritons and Nereids come pay your Devotion
To the New rising Star of the Ocean.
Venus Descends in her Chariot,
The Tritons out of the Sea.The Tritons Dance
Look down ye Orbs and See
A New Divinity.
Whose Lustre does Out-Shine
Your fainter Beams, and half Eclipses mine,
Give Phoebus leave to Prophecy.
Phoebus all Events can see.
Ten Thousand Thousand Harmes.
From such prevailing Charmes,
To Gods and Men must instantly Ensue.
And if the Deity's above,
Are Victims of the powers of Love,
What must wretched Mortals do.
Fear not Phoebus, fear not me,
A harmless Deity.
These are all my Guards ye View,
What can these blind Archers do.
Blind they are, but strike the Heart,
What Phoebus say's is alwayes true.
They Wound indeed, but 'tis a pleasing smart.
Earth and Skies address their Duty,
To the Sovereign Queen of Beauty.
At her undisputed Sway.
To Phoebus and Venus our Homage wee'l pay,
Her Charmes blest the Night, as his Beams blest the day.The Nereids Dance.Exit.
The Spring Enters with her Nymphs.
SCENE IThe Grove.
See the Spring in all her Glory,
Welcomes Venus to the Shore.
Smiling Hours are now before you,
Hours that may return no more.Exit, Soft Musick.
Our Youth and Form declare,
For what we were designed.
'Twas Nature made us Fair,
And you must make us kind.
He that fails of Addressing,
'Tis but Just he shou'd fail of Possessing.The Spring and Nymphs Dance
Jolly Shepherds come away,
To Celebrate this Genial Day,
And take the Friendly Hours you vow to pay.
Now make Trial,
And take no Denial.
Now carry your Game, or for ever give o're.The Shepherds and Shepherdesses Dance
Let us Love and happy Live,
Possess those smiling Hours,
The more auspicious Powers,
And gentle Planets give.
Prepare those soft returns to Meet,
That makes Loves Torments Sweet.The Nymphs DanceEnter the Country Shepherds and Shepherdesses.
Tell, Tell me, prithee Dolly,
And leave thy Melancholy.
Why on the Plaines, the Nymphs and Swaines,
This Morning are so Jolly.
By Zephires gentle Blowing.
And Venus Graces Flowing.
The Sun has bin to Court our Queen,
And Tired the Spring with wooing.
The Sun does guild our Bowers,
The Spring does yield us Flowers.
She sends the Vine,
He makes the Wine,
To Charm our happy Hours.
She gives our Flocks their Feeding,
He makes'em fit for Breeding.
She decks the Plain,
He fills the Grain,
And makes it worth the Weeding.
But the Jolly Nymph Thitis that long his Love sought,
Has Flustred him now with a large Mornings draught,
Let's go and divert him, whilst he is Mellow,
You know in his Cups he's a Hot-Headed Fellow.The Countreys Maids DanceExit
ACT THE FIRSTOvertureThe Palace
Enter Dido, Belinda and train
Shake the cloud from off your brow,
Fate your wishes does allow;
Empire growing, pleasures flowing,
Fortune smiles and so should you.
Banish sorrow, banish care,
Grief should ne'er approach the fair.
Ah! Belinda, I am press'd
With torment not to be confess'd,
Peace and I are strangers grown.
I languish till my grief is known,
Yet would not have it guess'd.
Grief increases by concealing,
Mine admits of no revealing.
Then let me speak; the Trojan guest
Into your tender thoughts has press'd;
The greatest blessing Fate can give
Our Carthage to secure and Troy revive.
When monarchs unite, how happy their state,
They triumph at once o'er their foes and their fate.
Whence could so much virtue spring?
What storms, what battles did he sing?
Anchises' valour mix'd with Venus' charms
How soft in peace, and yet how fierce in arms!
A tale so strong and full of woe
Might melt the rocks as well as you.
What stubborn heart unmov'd could see
Such distress, such piety?
Mine with storms of care oppress'd
Is taught to pity the distress'd.
Mean wretches' grief can touch,
So soft, so sensible my breast;
But ah! I fear, I pity his too much.
BELINDA AND SECOND WOMANrepeated by Chorus
Fear no danger to ensue,
The Hero loves as well as you,
Ever gentle, ever smiling,
And the cares of life beguiling,
Cupid strew your path with flowers
Gather'd from Elysian bowers.Dance this ChorusThe BaskeAeneas enters with his train
See, your Royal Guest appears;
How Godlike is the form he bears!
When, Royal Fair, shall I be bless'd
With cares of love and state distress'd?
Fate forbids what you pursue.
Aeneas has no fate but you!
Let Dido smile and I'll defy
The feeble stroke of Destiny.
Cupid only throws the dart
That's dreadful to a warrior's heart,
And she that wounds can only cure the smart.
If not for mine, for Empire's sake,
Some pity on your lover take;
Ah! make not, in a hopeless fire
A hero fall, and Troy once more expire.
Pursue thy conquest, Love; her eyes
Confess the flame her tongue denies.A Dance. Gittars Chacony
To the hills and the vales, to the rocks and the mountains,
To the musical groves and the cool shady fountains.
Let the triumphs of love and of beauty be shown.
Go revel, ye Cupids, the day is your own.The Triumphing Dance
ACT THE SECOND
SCENE IThe Cave
Enter SorceressPrelude for the Witches
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.
Say, Beldame, 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!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
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.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!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.
CHORUSin 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 IIThe Grove
Enter Aeneas, Dido, Belinda, and their trainRitornelle
BELINDArepeated 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.Gitter Ground A Dance
Oft she visits this lone 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.
BELINDArepeated 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.
CHORUSThe Sorceress and her Enchantresses
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.The Groves Dance
ACT THE THIRD
SCENE IThe Ships
Enter the SailorsPrelude
FIRST SAILORrepeated by Chorus
Come away, fellow sailors, your anchors be weighing,
Time and tide will admit no delaying.
Take a boozy short leave of your nymphs on the shore,
And silence their mourning
With vows of returning
But never intending to visit them more.The Sailors' DanceEnter the Sorceress, and her Enchantresses
See the flags and streamers curling
Anchors weighing, sails unfurling.
Phoebe's pale deluding beams
Gilding o'er deceitful streams.
Our plot has took,
The Queen's forsook.
Elissa's ruin'd, ho, ho!
Our plot has took,
The Queen's forsook, ho, ho!
Our next Motion
Must be to storm her lover on the ocean!
From the ruin of others our pleasures we borrow;
Elissa bleeds tonight, and Carthage flames tomorrow.
Destruction's our delight
Delight our greatest sorrow!
Elissa dies tonight,
And Carthage flames tomorrow. Ha, ha!The Witches' DanceJack of the the Lanthorn leads the sailors out of their way among the Enchantresses.
SCENE IIThe palace
Enter Dido, Belinda and train
Your counsel all is urg'd in vain,
To Earth and Heaven I will complain!
To Earth and Heaven why do I call?
Earth and Heaven conspire my fall.
To Fate I sue, of other means bereft,
The only refuge for the wretched left.Enter Aeneas
See, Madam, see where the Prince appears;
Such sorrow in his look he bears
As would convince you still he's true.
What shall lost Aeneas do?
How, Royal Fair, shall I impart
The God's decree, and tell you we must part?
Thus on the fatal Banks of Nile,
Weeps the deceitful crocodile;
Thus hypocrites, that murder act,
Make Heaven and Gods the authors of the Fact.
By all that's good ...
By all that's good, no more!
All that's good you have forswore.
To your promis'd empire fly
And let forsaken Dido die.
In spite of Jove's command, I'll stay,
Offend the Gods, and Love obey.
No, faithless man, thy course pursue;
I'm now resolv'd as well as you.
No repentance shall reclaim
The injur'd Dido's slighted flame.
For 'tis enough, whate'er you now decree,
That you had once a thought of leaving me.
Let Jove say
what he will: I'll stay!
Away, away! No, no, away!
No, no, I'll stay, and Love obey!
To Death I'll fly
If longer you delay;
Away, away!.....Exit Aeneas
But Death, alas! I cannot shun;
Death must come when he is gone.
Great minds against themselves conspire
And shun the cure they most desire.
Thy hand, Belinda; darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.
When I am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create
No trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.Cupids appear in the clouds o'er her tomb
With drooping wings you Cupids come,
And scatter roses on her tomb.
Soft and gentle as her heart
Keep here your watch, and never part.Cupids Dance