ACT V - Scene 1: THE TRAGI-COMICAL TALE OF NARCISSUS, ECHO AND OTHERS

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The lights increase over the entire stage in such a way to indicate sunrise.


ENTER Liriope and Nymphs 1-3.


LIRIOPE
Narcissus! Son of mine, where can you be?
Narcissus, Oh Narcissus! Come to me!


NYMPH 1
I saw him over there only last week
I didn’t know to whom, but heard him speak.


NYMPH 2
It looked like he was lost inside his head
And sadly now, I fear he must be dead


ECHO
Dead!


LIRIOPE
Don’t say that! He’s too young and cannot die.
It can’t be true – it has to be a lie!


NYMPH 3
He lay right here the last time that I looked
For many weeks not moving – he was hooked
On staring at the shadow of his face
See? Here there is an indent in his place.


LIRIOPE
If he were dead we’d surely find his corpse
A body doesn’t disappear – it warps
And decomposes… needs a burial
These are facts that are quite actuarial.


NYMPH 2
Oh Liriope, we know that you are grieving.
The truth is that he’s gone and you’re deceiving
Yourself from what is obvious to us:
You must accept the death of Narcissus


ECHO
The death of Narcissus!


Liriope kneels down and sobs.


LIRIOPE
It’s true, he’s gone beyond this mortal world.
I see here where he at the end had curled
Into the shape he held while he developed…
The only time I ever had enveloped


Him in my arms was when he first was born
And, Oh! How after that day I would mourn!
To never be allowed to hold your son!
But touching made him scream – I was undone


And though I know you’ll think I am unkind,
Somehow I always held it in my mind
That if he ever died before I did
That I would finally get to hold my kid!
Liriope cries harder.


NYMPH 1
We do not find that mean at all, now do we?
A mother wants and needs to hold her baby
I’m sorry that in death Narcissus still
Denies his mother’s touch against her will


NYMPH 3
But look, right there, what is this mighty power?
Before us grows a white and yellow flower!


A Narcissus flower rapidly emerges about 3 inches from the pond on the upstage side (assisted in its growth by a member of the crew in the trap space beneath the stage).


LIRIOPE
It’s him, I know it ‘cause it is beautiful
As lovely as him and far more dutiful!
See how he beckons to his mother’s call?


Liriope picks the flower and caresses it. Another one grows instantly in its place.


NYMPH 1
And still another grows as if in thrall.


NYMPH 2
A loving son, devoted to his mom


NYMPH 3
He’ll always be here growing for your calm.


ECHO
Calm.


Liriope stands. The four of them begin CROSSING to UR, but Liriope stops them as she turns around, still caressing the flower.


She looks like she’s going to say something, but then just turns around.


All four EXIT SR.

Created: Aug 14, 2012

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