SALOMÉ (cont...): Well, Jokanaan, I still live,
but thou, thou art dead, and thy head belongs to me. I can do
with it what I will. I can throw it to the dogs and to the birds
of the air. That which the dogs leave, the birds of the air shall
devour .... Ah, Jokanaan, Jokanaan, thou wert the only man that
I have loved. All other men are hateful to me. But thou, thou
wert beautiful! Thy body was a column of ivory set on a silver
socket. It was a garden full of doves and of silver lilies. It
was a tower of silver decked with shields of ivory. There was
nothing in the world so white as thy body. There was nothing
in the world so black as thy hair. In the whole world there was
nothing so red as thy mouth. Thy voice was a censer that scattered
strange perfumes, and when I looked on thee I heard a strange
music. Ah! wherefore didst thou not look at me, Jokanaan? Behind
thine hands and thy curses thou didst hide thy face. Thou didst
put upon thine eyes the covering of him who would see his God.
Well, thou has seen thy God, Jokanaan, but me, me, thou didst
never see. If thou hadst seen me thou wouldst have loved me.
I saw thee, Jokanaan, and I loved thee. Oh, how I loved thee!
I loved thee yet, Jokanaan, I love thee only .... I am athirst
for thy beauty; I am hungry for thy body; and neither wine nor
fruits can appease my desire. What shall I do now, Jokanaan?
Neither the floods nor the great waters can quench my passion.
I was a princess, and thou didst scorn me. I was a virgin, and
thou didst take my virginity from me. I was chaste, and thou
didst fill my veins with fire .... Ah! ah! wherefore didst thou
not look at me, Jokanaan? If thou hadst looked at me thou hadst
loved me. Well I know that thou wouldst have loved me, and the
mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death. Love only
should one consider.
HEROD: She is monstrous, thy daughter, she is altogether monstrous.
In truth, what she has done is a great crime. I am sure that
it was a crime against an unknown God.
HERODIAS: I approve of what my daughter has done. And I will
stay here now.
HEROD (rising): Ah! There speaks the incestuous wife!
Come! I will not stay here. Come, I tell thee. Surely some terrible
thing will befall. Masasseth, Issachar, Ozias, put out the torches.
I will not look at things, I will not suffer things to look at
me. Put out the torches! Hide the moon! Hide the stars! Let us
hide ourselves in our palace, Herodias. I begin to be afraid.
The slaves put out the torches. The stars disappear. The
great black cloud crosses the moon and conceals it completely.
The stage becomes very dark. The TETRARCH begins to climb the
THE VOICE OF SALOMÉ: Ah! I have kissed thy mouth, Jokanaan.
I have kissed thy mouth. There was a bitter taste on thy lips.
Was it the taste of blood ...? But perchance it is the taste
of love .... They say that love hath a bitter taste .... But
what of that? What of that? I have kissed thy mouth, Jokanaan.
A moonbeam falls on SALOMÉ, covering her with light.
HEROD (turning round and seeing SALOMÉ): Kill
The soldiers rush forward and crush beneath their shields
SALOMÉ, daughter of HERODIAS, Princess of Judæa.
- Purchase SALOMÉ
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