Cyrano de Bergerac

by Edmund Rostand
The unwary eye that sees
Her smile sees pearled perfection.  She can knit
Grace from a twine of air.  The heavens sit
In every gesture.  Of divinities
She’s most divine.  O Venus, amorous queen,
You never stepped into your shell; Dian-
You never glided through the summer’s green
As she steps into her chair and then is seen
Gliding through Paris-but this-(pointing to his nose)
This-gross protuberance.
Look at it, and tell me what exuberance
Of hope can swell the rest of me.  I’m under
No illusion.  Oh sometimes, bemused by the wonder
Of a blue evening, a garden of lilac and rose,
Letting this wretched devil of a nose
Breathe in the perfume, I follow with my eye-
Under that silver glory in the sky-
Some woman on the arm of a cavalier,
And dream that I too could be strolling there,
With such a girl on my arm, under the moon.
My heart lifts, I forget my curse, but soon,
Suddenly, I perceive what kills it all-
My profile shadowed on the garden wall.
Me? Crying? Oh, never, never that.  To see
A long tear straggling along this nose would be
Intolerably ugly.  I wouldn’t permit
A crystal tear fraught with such exquisite
Limpidity to be defiled by my
Gross snout.  Tears are sublime things, and I,
Wedding a nymph to a rhinoceros,
Would render the sublime ridiculous.
Speak to her?  Now?  Why?
So she can laugh at this?  Why, man, there’s nothing that I fear
More in this world

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s