The Prologue


Scene: the sea

Phoebus rises in the chariot, over the sea. The Nereids out of the sea.


<- Phoebus, First nereid, Second nereid, Nereids



From Aurora's spicy bed,  

Phoebus rears his sacred head.

His coursers advancing,

curvetting and prancing.


Phoebus strives in vain to tame 'em,

with ambrosia fed too high.


Phebus ought not now to blame 'em,

wild and eager to survey

the fairest pageant of the sea.


Tritons and Nereids come pay your devotion

to the new rising star of ocean.

Venus descends in her chariot, the Tritons out of the sea.

<- Venus, Tritons

The Tritons dance.

Tritons ->



Look down ye orbs and see  

a new divinity.


Whose lustre does out-shine

your fainter beams, and half eclipses mine,

give Phoebus leave to prophecy.

Phoebus all events can see.

Ten thousand thousand harmes,

from such prevailing charmes,

to gods and men must instantly ensue.


And if the deitys above,

are victims of the powers of Love,

what must wretched mortals do.


Fear not, Phoebus, fear not me,

a harmless deity.

These are all my guards ye view,

what can these blind archers do.


Blind they are, but strike the heart.


What Phoebus says is always true,

they wound indeed, but it is a pleasing smart.


Earth and skies address their duty,

to the sovereign queen of beauty.

All resigning,

none repining

at her undisputed sway.


To Phoebus and Venus our homage wee'l pay,

her charmes blest the night, as his beams blest the day.

The Nereids dance.

Nereids, First nereid, Second nereid ->


Scene: the grove

The Spring enters with her Nymphs


<- Spring, Nymphs



See the Spring in all her glory,  


Welcomes Venus to the shore.


Smiling hours are now before you,

hours that may return no more.

[Exit Phoebus, Venus.] Soft musick.

Phoebus, Venus ->



Our youth and form declare,  

for what we were designed.

'Twas nature made us fair,

and you must make us kind.

He that fails of addressing,

'tis but just he shou'd fail of possessing.

The Spring and Nymphs dance.
Enter the country Shepherds and Shepherdesses.

<- Shepherds, Shepherdesses



Jolly shepherds come away,  

to celebrate this genial day,

and take the friendly hours you vow to pay.

Now make trial,

and take no denial.

Now carry your Game, or for ever give o're.

The Shepherds and Shepherdesses dance.


Let us love and happy live,  

possess those smiling hours,

the more auspicious powers,

prepare those soft returns to Meet,

that makes loves torments sweet.

The Nymphs dance.


Tell, tell me, prithee dolly,  

and leave thy melancholy.

Why on the plaines,

the Nymphs and Swaines,

this morning are so jolly.


By zephires gentle blowing.

And Venus graces flowing.

The Sun has bin

to court our queen,

and tired the Spring with wooing.


The Sun does guild our bowers,


the Spring does yield us flowers.

She sends the vine,


he makes the wine,

to charm our happy hours.


She gives our flocks their feeding,


he makes'em fit for breeding.


She decks the plain,


he fills the grain,

and makes it worth the weeding.



But the jolly nymph Thitis that long his love sought,  

has flustred him now with a large mornings draught,

let's go and divert him, whilst he is mellow,

you know in his cups he's a hot-headed fellow.

The country's maids dance.

The end (The Prologue)

The Prologue First Act Second Act Third Act

The sea.

(Phoebus rises in the chariot. The Nereids out of the sea.)

<- Phoebus, First nereid, Second nereid, Nereids
Phoebus, First nereid, Second nereid, Chorus
From Aurora's spicy bed

(Venus descends in her chariot. The Tritons out of the sea)

Phoebus, First nereid, Second nereid, Nereids
<- Venus, Tritons

(The Tritons dance.)

Phoebus, First nereid, Second nereid, Nereids, Venus
Tritons ->

Look down ye orbs and see

(The Nereids dance.)

Phoebus, Venus
Nereids, First nereid, Second nereid ->

The grove

Phoebus, Venus
<- Spring, Nymphs

See the Spring in all her glory

Spring, Nymphs
Phoebus, Venus ->

(Soft musick.)

(The Spring and Nymphs dance)

Spring, Nymphs
<- Shepherds, Shepherdesses

(The Shepherds and Shepherdesses dance)

(The Nymphs dance)

Shepherd, Shepherdess
Tell, tell me, prithee dolly

(The countreys maids dance)

Scene: the sea Scene: the grove
The sea. The grove The palace The baske. The cave The grove. The ships.
[Ouverture] [N. 1 - Scena and Chorus] [N. 2 – Song] [N. 3 - Recitative] [N. 4 - Chorus] [N. 5 - Recitative] [N. 6 - Duet and Chorus] [N. 7 - Recitative] [N. 8 - Chorus] [N. 9 - Recitative] [N. 10 - Air] [N. 11 - Chorus] [N. 12 - The triumphing dance] [N. 13 - Prelude for the witches] [N. 14 - Witches chorus] [N. 15 - Recitative] [N. 16 - Chorus] [N. 17 - Recitative] [N. 18 - Chorus] [N. 19 - Duet] [N. 20 - Chorus] [N. 21 - Echo dance of furies] [N. 22 - Ritornelle] [N. 23 - Song and Chorus] [N. 24 - Song] [N. 25 - Recitative] [N. 26 - Song and Chorus] [N. 27 - Recitative] [N. 28 - Prelude] [N. 29 - The sailors dance] [N. 30 - Recitative] [N. 31 - Chorus] [N. 32 - The witches dance] [N. 33 - Recitative] [N. 34 - Recitative] [N. 35 - Chorus] [N. 36 - Recitative] [N. 37 - Song] [N. 38 - Chorus]
First Act Second Act Third Act

• • •

PDF text Simplified version