Page:Iolanthe lib.djvu/19

This page has been validated.

19

Chorus of Fairies.

Tripping hither, tripping thither,
Nobody knows why or whither;
Why you want us we don't know,
But you've summoned us, and so
Enter all the little fairies
To their usual tripping measure!
To oblige you all our care is—
Tell us, pray, what is your pleasure!

Streph.

The lady of my love has caught me talking to another—

All.

Oh, fie! Strephon is a rogue!

Streph.

I tell her very plainly that the lady is my mother—

All.

Taradiddle, taradiddle, tol lol lay!

Streph.

She won't believe my statement, and declares we must be parted,
Because on a career of double dealing I have started,
Then gives her hand to one of these, and leaves me broken-hearted—

All.

Taradiddle, taradiddle, tol lol lay!

Queen.

Ah, cruel ones, to part two faithful lovers from each other!

All.

Oh, fie! Strephon is a rogue!

Queen.

You've done him an injustice, for the lady is his mother!

All.

Taradiddle, taradiddle, tol lol lay!

Lord Ch. (aside.)

That fable perhaps may serve his turn as well as any other.
I didn't see her face, but if they fondled one another,
And she's but seventeen—I don't believe it was his mother!

All.

Taradiddle, taradiddle, tol lol lay!

Lord Toll.

I've often had a use
For a thorough-bred excuse
Of a sudden (which is English for "repentè")
But of all I ever heard
This is much the most absurd,
For she's seventeen and he is five-and-twenty!

All.

He says she is his mother, and he's four or five-and-twenty!
Oh, fie, Strephon is a rogue!

Lord Mount.

Now listen, pray, to me,
For this paradox will be
Carried nobody at all contradicente.
Her age, upon the date
Of his birth, was minus eight,
If she's seventeen, and he is five-and-twenty!

All.

To say she is his mother is an utter bit of folly!
Oh, fie, Strephon is a rogue!
Perhaps his brain is addled, and it's very melancholy!
Taradiddle, taradiddle, tol lol lay!