Page:Iolanthe lib.djvu/5

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Queen. Loved her? What was your love to mine? Why she was invaluable to me! Who taught me to curl myself inside a buttercup? Iolanthe! Who taught me to swing upon a cobweb? Iolanthe! Who taught me to dive into a dewdrop—to nestle in a nutshell—to gambol upon gossamer? Iolanthe!
Leila. She certainly did surprising things!
Fleta. Oh give her back to us, great Queen, for your sake if not for ours! (all kneel in supplication.)
Queen (irresolute). Oh, I should be strong, but I am weak! I should be marble, but I am clay! Her punishment has been heavier than I intended. I did not mean that she should live among the frogs—and—well, well, it shall be as you wish—it shall be as you wish!



From thy dark exile thou art summoned!
Come to our call—
Come, Iolanthe!






Come to our call,
Come, Iolanthe!

Iolanthe rises from the water. She is clad in water-weeds. She approaches the queen with head bent and arms crossed.


With humbled breast
And every hope laid low,
To thy behest,
Offended queen, I bow!

Queen. For a dark sin against our fairy laws,

We sent thee into life-long banishment;
But mercy holds her sway within our hearts—
Rise—thou art pardoned!

Iol. Rise—thou art pardoned!Pardoned!
All. Rise—thou art pardoned! Pardoned!Pardoned!
Iol. Ah!

Her weeds fall from her, and she appears clothed as a fairy. The Queen places a diamond coronet on her head, and embraces her. The others also embrace her.


Welcome to our hearts again,
Iolanthe! Iolanthe!
We have shared thy bitter pain,
Iolanthe! Iolanthe!
Every heart and every hand
In our loving little band
Welcome thee to fairy land,