The Duchess Of Padua Monologue
|The Duchess Of Padua Monologue by Oscar Wilde|
- DUCHESS: Better for me I had not seen your face.
- O think it was for you I killed this man.
- GUIDO recoils: she seizes his hands as she kneels.
- Nay, Guido, listen for a while:
- Until you came to Padua I lived
- Wretched indeed, but with no murderous thought,
- Very submissive to a cruel Lord,
- Very obedient to unjust commands,
- As pure I think as any gentle girl
- Who now would turn in horror from my hands--
- You came: ah! Guido, the first kindly words
- I ever heard since I had come from France
- Were from your lips: well, well, that is no matter.
- You came, and in the passion of your eyes
- I read love's meaning, everything you said
- Touched my dumb soul to music, and you seemed
- Fair as that young Saint Michael on the wall
- In Santa Croce, where we go and pray.
- I wonder will I ever pray again?
- Well, you were fair, and in your boyish face
- The morning light seemed to lighten, so I loved you.
- And yet I did not tell you of my love.
- 'Twas you who sought me out, knelt at my feet
- As I kneel now at yours, and with sweet vows,
- Whose music seems to linger in my ears,
- Swore that you loved me, and I trusted you.
- I think there are many women in the world
- Who had they been unti this vile Duke mated,
- Chained to his side, as the poor galley slave
- Is to a leper chained,--ay! many women
- Who would have tempted you to kill the man.
- I did not. Yet I know that had I done so,
- I had not been thus humbled in the dust.
- Stands up.
- But you have loved me very faithfully.
- After a pause approaches him timidly.
- I do not think you understand me, Guido:
- It was for your sake that I wrought this deed
- Whose horror now chills my young blood to ice,
- For your sake only.
- Stretching out her arm.
- Will you not speak to me?
- Love me a little: in my girlish life
- I have been starved for love, and kindliness
- Has passed me by.
Credits: Reprinted from The Duchess of Padua and Salome. Oscar Wilde. New York: F. M. Buckles & Company, 1906.