The repeated phrase of the song first sung by Robert on the boat and later by Edna—“Ah! Si tu savais”—emphasizes the dramatic irony of the plot: neither character is aware of what will come to pass. First, they have both repressed their desire for one another. The song will also come to refer to Edna’s naïveté regarding the impossibility of her union with Robert. Robert’s adherence to societal conventions here, despite and in contrast to Edna’s own eagerness, foreshadows his similar inability to commit to her at the end of the novel.