The Poet's Princess

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Vapid shadows

Time: 1633 AD

Dramatis personae:
Vauquelin des Yvetaux and his guests.

Metamorphosed into Monsieur’s des Yvetaux vapid shadows, we are floating in his misty glance. Its fascination is fatal.

I lay my head upon my poet’s knees, basking in the warmth of his affection.

“Aren’t they lovely, our turtledoves?” Whispers Monsieur des Yvetaux into the ear of his Galatea. Satisfied with his magic influence, he enlaces his sweetheart’s waspwaisted body and leads her away.

In the twinkling of an eye, a grand ball will open by the lakeside. The sound of a suave sonatina weaves a rainbow-coloured garland over the lake. We rise to follow its call.

A dance is announced. I take Jean-François’s arm. Beautiful as peacocks at their love-games, we flutter about in a white-rose-petals whirl while the shepherds and the shepherdesses entangle us in a golden net.

At nightfall the dance is still in full swing. The moonshine changes us into silvery shades. We shall fade away at dawn.

“How do you intend paying for this feast?” Queries the first beam of the rising sun.

“We turn our pockets inside out. Mine is empty. A sonnet falls out from my poet’s pocket: FOR KING LOUIS XIII WHOSE COACH WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

“Whom do you take me for to pay with bogus money?” The first beam of the rising sun cries out indignantly and chases us away like a false note from a pastoral.

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