The Poet's Princess

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The pain of absence

Singing for Phyllis you remain faithful to Sylvie. Changing a name doesn’t mean betraying a woman. After all, this little play with words is so refreshing! Especially if one is sad.

She is gone. She followed her husband. That’s life.

To be or not to be with Anne, is not THE question for the Duke. For you it’s a question without an answer. She is the apple of your eye! What would YOU give for a day with her? An hour? A minute? A mere second? Her absence demolishes you so completely that you are unable to publicise your misery.

Jean-François, for Heaven’s sake! Don’t let the “précieux” catch you! Isn’t their Divine Oracle and Mastermind, Mademoiselle de Scudéry, shouting from the rooftops that “the pain of absence shall not impair the pleasure of conversation?” That “the mind is stronger than the heart?” Is that how you learned your lesson?

The behaviour of a poor forlorn lover is incompatible with your reputation of a “précieux”. Be outspoken! You are hurt! You suffer! Let it be known! Sob! Scream! Bemoan your agony! Don’t betray words for sentimental reasons! Even with his last breath a poet should master of his misery!

Sorrow must be allowed free expression, you’ll be relieved, and the world will praise your talent. Nothing heals the pain as fast as fame. When Anne comes back, she will be told about the depths of your sorrow. Even if I can’t swear that she will reciprocate your feelings, you’ll get “a little something” for your pains. She will bask in the sunshine of your glory, proud to have cut to the quick a poet’s heart and... Jean -François, listen to me! You frighten me! Your blank eyes stare into void. I suppress a sneaky suspicion: what a disaster for both of us if you have really lost your heart to Anne!

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