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from Pinplay

Chorus:
Choral interlude followed by Act IV.
How many pins can dance on the head of a god?
How many kings can you pin to the dance in my head?
How many dances left stains on the woman he was?
How many stains kept him quiet, O Agave!

[enter Agave exultant and covered in blood, carrying the head of Pentheus impaled on a lacuna]

Agave:
O!

Chorus:
Speak, Agave.

Agave:
I’ve come with the pins.

Chorus:
We welcome the pins.

Agave:
I stained them as prizes.

Chorus:
We prize them as kings.

Agave:
How many kings—

Chorus:
did you rip the cheeks off?

Agave:
How many cheeks—

Chorus:
did you pin to the delicate mouth of the mother?

Agave:
How many mouths did she need—

Chorus:
to finish the meat?

Agave:
Not so many.

Chorus:
A happy number?

Agave:
A clever number.

Chorus:
A realistic number?

Agave:
A frolic of a number.

[Agave raises lacuna high in one hand then lowers it gradually as her mood changes]

But then again,
actually, not much of a number.

Chorus:
If you think about it?

Agave:
A dismal little number.

Chorus:
If you study it closely?

Agave:
Just a sob of a number.

Chorus:
O Agave!

Agave:
What?

Chorus:
Your sob has a name.

Agave:
How many names can I pry from the head of a pun?

Chorus:
Just one.

Agave:
O my son!

[Agave tosses lacuna to audience with Pentheus’ head attached]
 

Music

There is music, deep and solemn 
   Floating through the vaulted arch 
When, in many an angry column, 
   Clouds take up their stormy march: 
O’er the ocean billows, heaping 
    Mountains on the sloping sands, 
There are ever wildly sweeping 
    Shapeless and invisible hands. 

Echoes full of truth and feeling 
   From the olden bards sublime, 
Are, like spirits, brightly stealing
   Through the broken walls of time. 
The universe, that glorious palace, 

    Thrills and trembles as they float, 
Like the little blossom’s chalice
     With the humming of the mote. 

On the air, as birds in meadows—
   Sweet embodiments of song—
Leave their bright fantastic shadows 
    Trailing goldenly along. 
Till, aside our armor laying, 
    We like prisoners depart, 
In the soul is music playing 
    To the beating of the heart.