You have said, but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
All right, you’ve had your say, but we’ll let the forest judge whether or not you spoke wisely.
Enter CELIA, with a writing
CELIA enters with a piece of paper.
Peace. Here comes my sister reading. Stand aside.
Quiet! Here comes my cousin, reading something; step aside.
(as Aliena, reads) Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No.
Tongues I’ll hang on every tree
115That shall civil sayings show.
Some how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
That the stretching of a span
Buckles in his sum of age;
120Some of violated vows
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend.
But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence end,
Will I “Rosalinda” write,
125Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore heaven nature charged
That one body should be filled
130With all graces wide-enlarged.
Nature presently distilled
Helen’s cheek, but not her heart,
Atalanta’s better part,
135Sad Lucretia’s modesty.
(reading, as Aliena) Why should this place be a desert
Just because there are no people in it? No,
I’ll hang these poems on every tree,
And they will voice the thoughts of a city.
Some will be about how man’s brief life
is spent in wandering,
his entire life contained
in the width of an open hand.
Some poems will be about betrayals
Committed by friends.
But on the prettiest branches
Or at the end of every sentence
I’ll write “Rosalinda,”
Teaching everyone who can read
that the essence of every spirit
Is contained in this one woman.
Heaven commanded Nature
To fill her one body
With all the graces that women contain.
Helen, Cleopatra, Atalanta, and Lucretia are beautiful women featured in Greek and Roman mythology.beautiful face, but not her fickle heart;
The best of Atalanta,
And unhappy Lucretia’s modesty.