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Cyrano de Bergerac
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Act III, Scene ix

Cyrano, Christian, Roxane.
ROXANE (coming out on the balcony):
Still there?
We spoke of a. . .
CYRANO:
A kiss! The word is sweet.
I see not why your lip should shrink from it;
If the word burns it,—what would the kiss do?
Oh! let it not your bashfulness affright;
Have you not, all this time, insensibly,
Left badinage aside, and unalarmed
Glided from smile to sigh,—from sigh to weeping?
Glide gently, imperceptibly, still onward—
From tear to kiss,—a moment's thrill!—a heartbeat!
ROXANE:
Hush! hush!
CYRANO:
A kiss, when all is said,—what is it?
An oath that's ratified,—a sealed promise,
A heart's avowal claiming confirmation,—
A rose-dot on the 'i' of 'adoration,'—
A secret that to mouth, not ear, is whispered,—
Brush of a bee's wing, that makes time eternal,—
Communion perfumed like the spring's wild flowers,—
The heart's relieving in the heart's outbreathing,
When to the lips the soul's flood rises, brimming!
ROXANE:
Hush! hush!
CYRANO:
A kiss, Madame, is honorable:
The Queen of France, to a most favored lord
Did grant a kiss—the Queen herself!
ROXANE:
What then?
CYRANO (speaking more warmly):
Buckingham suffered dumbly,—so have I,—
Adored his Queen, as loyally as I,—
Was sad, but faithful,—so am I. . .
ROXANE:
And you
Are fair as Buckingham!
CYRANO (aside—suddenly cooled):
True,—I forgot!
ROXANE:
Must I then bid thee mount to cull this flower?
CYRANO (pushing Christian toward the balcony):
Mount!
ROXANE:
This heart-breathing!. . .
CYRANO:
Mount!
ROXANE:
This brush of bee's wing!. . .
CYRANO:
Mount!
CHRISTIAN (hesitating):
But I feel now, as though 'twere ill done!
ROXANE:
This moment infinite!. . .
CYRANO (still pushing him):
Come, blockhead, mount!
(Christian springs forward, and by means of the bench, the branches, and the
pillars, climbs to the balcony and strides over it.)
CHRISTIAN:
Ah, Roxane!
(He takes her in his arms, and bends over her lips.)
CYRANO:
Aie! Strange pain that wrings my heart!
The kiss, love's feast, so near! I, Lazarus,
Lie at the gate in darkness. Yet to me
Falls still a crumb or two from the rich man's board—
Ay, 'tis my heart receives thee, Roxane—mine!
For on the lips you press you kiss as well
The words I spoke just now!—my words—my words!
(The lutes play):
A sad air,—a gay air: the monk!
(He begins to run as if he came from a long way off, and cries out):
Hola!
ROXANE:
Who is it?
CYRANO:
I—I was but passing by. . .
Is Christian there?
CHRISTIAN (astonished):
Cyrano!
ROXANE:
Good-day, cousin!
CYRANO:
Cousin, good-day!
ROXANE:
I'm coming!
(She disappears into the house. At the back re-enter the friar.)
CHRISTIAN (seeing him):
Back again!
(He follows Roxane.)
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