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A Long Time Ago: A Tragic Fantasy
by [?]

So you said. But you haven’t finished telling me about that girl. Her eyes were blue, you said.

Blue, yes. If I said blue, then blue it was. Or maybe green, or grey. Maybe I’m. thinking of the hussy back in the last port we stopped at. It’s all the same. Reminds me of a little song. Shall I sing you a little song?

Another song? Sing away then.

First another drink from this flagon.
Ah! Now I’m ready. I’ve often been complimented on my voice. ( Sings )

We’ll go no more a-roving-

No, that’s not the one. Let me see. Ah, now I’ve got it. Listen.

( Sings )

Blue eyes, grey eyes, green-and-gold eyes,
Eyes that question, doubt, deny,
Sudden-flashing, cold, hard, bold eyes,
Here’s your answer: I am I!

Not for you, and not for any,
Came I into this man’s town–
Barkeep, here’s my golden penny,
Come who will and drink it down!

I’m not one to lend and borrow,
I’m not one to overstay–
I shall go alone tomorrow
Whistling, as I came today.

Leave my sword alone, you hussy!
There is blood upon the blade–
Dragon-slaying is a messy
Sort of trade. Put back the blade!

Take my knee and–O you darling!
A man forgets how sweet you are!
Snarling dragons–flowing flagons–
Devil take the morning star!


And there you are! If I do say it myself, I have as good a time as the Prince does. One girl’s as nice as another–and maybe nicer, at that. What’s a Queen? Can she kiss better than any other girl? I’ve wondered a bit about it. And the conclusion I’ve come to is… the conclusion I’ve come to…

The conclusion you’ve come to is–?

Right you are. Give me that flagon. That’s the stuff. What was I saying? The conclusion I’ve come to is that the Prince can’t have any more fun in three days than any other man. Queen or no Queen. Am I right? Tell me, am I right?

I wouldn’t contradict you….

No. Of course you wouldn’t. You’re a good fellow. You’re my friend. Where’s that flagon? Ah! And now it’s your turn to sing. Sing that little song you sang a while ago. That was a good one. You sing almost as well as I do.

( chants )

In this harsh world and old
Why must we cherish
Fires that grow not cold
In hearts that perish?

With the strong floods of hate
I cleansed my bosom,
But springeth soon and late
The fiery blossom.

What though some lying tale
The mind dissembles?
The scarlet lip turns pale,
The strong hand trembles….

No, no, not that one! That one hasn’t any tune to it, and it isn’t about girls. It’s no song at all. I meant the one–you know– about the young widow. How did it go? ( He swigs from the flagon.) But I mustn’t forget the Prince. Where’s that Prince?

Oh, yes, the Prince. Of course. We mustn’t forget the Prince. Come along with me. ( He leads the sailor off through the rose-arbour. The door of the palace opens, disclosing the Prince and the Queen .)