Act I, Scene 2: an unknown shore
(Enter Wakamatsu , stage left. A storm is raging, the shore is almost completely obscured by mist. A grouping of rocks sits on the right, a woman is seated on the largest one. She begins to sing as Wakamatsu slowly approaches, and her voice is unmistakable: it’s Lorelei )
Lorelei: “Long afloat on shipless oceans,
Thou did all thy best to smile,
'Til mine singing eyes and fingers,
Drew thee loving to mine isle,
And I sang,
‘Sail to me,
Sail to me,
Let me enfold you,
Here I am,
Here I am,
Waiting to hold you…’”
“Did you dream I dreamed about thee?
Were I here when thou was forced out?
Now thy foolish boat is leaning,
Broken lovelorn on yon rocks,
For I sing, ‘Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow,
Oh my heart, Oh my heart, shies from the sorrow’”
“Well I'm as puzzled as the newborn child
I'm as riddled as the tide
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or should I lie with death, my bride?
Hear me sing, ‘Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you
Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you…’” *
(A bolt of lightning illuminates the stage, revealing Lorelei’s face: it’s Seo)
Seo/Lorelei: (maniacal laughter)
(fade to Wakamatsu’s house interior )
Nozaki : My lord, is it thy aim to wake the dead!?!
Wakamatsu: Forgive, I pray, forgive! I hath been met,
By a vision in my sleep most awful.
Nozaki: Tell me, then, what did thou see?
Wakamatsu: In my dream, I was lost on distant shore,.
A voice called out to me from in the mist,
I followed to the shore, and there was she:
Sweet Lorelei, and then she sang to me,
But lo! With but a bolt from midst the storm,
At long last was her face made to be seen,
But to mine horror, ‘twas Seo instead!
Nozaki: So it was Lorelei.
Wakamatsu: So had I thought, but I tell thee, ‘twas Seo!
Nozaki: Again, I say, so it was Lorelei,
After all, they are one and the same .
Wakamatsu: Nozaki, you indulge this madness too?
Just like those fools in the village square,
To think, that woman could be Lorelei!
Never have I heard such wild tales.
She is a...a...brute! A beast! A nightmare!
Nozaki: She is downstairs.
Nozaki: Should...I let her in?
‘Tis unbecoming to not hold decorum,
Even for one unbecoming as her.
It is only polite to let her in,
Tho she must wait till I am finished here.
( Fade to Wakamatsu’s house exterior )
( Enter Chiyo and Mikorin , disguised as couriers )
Chiyo: So tell me once more what thou hast devised?
Mikorin: We pass along this letter I have wrote,
But say it’s from his lady, yet unseen,
“I heard tell of thy brav’ry in the square,
I wish to meet thee at Midsummer's Eve.”
Then send him off to prepare with our “friend”.
Meanwhile we meet in secret with this Seo,
And tell her that which we have set in motion.
And last, the King of Fae who I have told,
Of a lady with a voice like none before,
And called on her to grace the Summer Stage,
That night, when ‘Lorelei’ does not appear,
Seo then, shall make her grand debut,
The gentleman will thus be aptly weakened,
And have no choice but to accept the truth.
Chiyo : I still say this is ill advised at best,
Twice have I heard it, yet I’m not convinced.
You’re sure the girl will not catch wind of this,
Before we can bring her into the fold?
Mikorin: Will thou not hold even a spot of faith?
E’er have I given reason for your doubt?
Chiyo: Let’s see, there was that time in Padua-
Mikorin: Hush, hush! We need not further visit then!
‘Tis time that we must set our plan in motion.
(He knocks, Enter Nozaki through the door)
Nozaki: I suppose hail and well met is due then Se-
Oh, you are not she. Announce thyself, then!
Mikorin: We are but humble couriers good sir,
Carrying a missive most important,
Meant for the master of this lovely home.
Nozaki: You’re not the normal courier,
What is the meaning of this?
Mikorin: Truly, thou art as sharp as thou are broad,
We are hired, at no small expense,
To carry missives of utmost importance.
Most often for the lords in this kingdom.
Nozaki: Well, if thou art trusted amongst the lords,
I’d think I ought to trust your word in turn,
Come in, and you can meet him for yourself.
(Exit Nozaki , Chiyo and Mikorin )
(Enter Seo )
Seo: Wakamatsu! I must speak with thee!
( Fade to Wakamatsu’s house exterior )
Nozaki: Sir, these two come carrying a message.
Wakamatsu: Why is it not the normal courier?
Mikorin: Good gentlemen, allow me to explain,
We are a pair of elite couriers,
Renowned for our discretion and our speed,
Both of which, the lady did implore.
Wakamatsu: A lady?! Who was she?!
Mikorin: Alas, I did see nothing of her face,
She said you would know her by name alone,
Perhaps you’ll understand once you have read.
(Mikorin hands the message to Wakamatsu, who reads it with Nozaki)
Wakamatsu: “...I pray this reaches you, signed...Lorelei!”
Nozaki, do you hear that!?! Lorelei!
Nozaki: ...Surely, you cannot believe this drivel,
Someone means but to take you for a fool!
Wakamatsu: Who could it be but her?
Such words that make a page feel like it sings,
Just reading it calls forth her voice to me,
Every note sung from her heart to mine.
I tell you, these are Lorelei’s own words,
Mine own heart tells me that it must be true,
And I will thus hear nothing of your doubts.
(Enter Seo )
Seo: What sort of man are thou, to leave a lady at your door!?!
Wakamatsu: What sort of lady enters uninvited?
I’d think myself no less a man in measure,
Then thou in turn, would call yourself a lady.
Seo: In measure, I’d be twice the man as thee,
But nonetheless, I must speak to you now,
‘Tis time you knew the truth of Lorelei.
Wakamatsu: I’d say I know far more of her than thee,
These couriers have brought to me her letter,
Confessing her love, writ in her own hand.
Seo: Let me see that! ( She reads the message )
Nozaki: Surely, you can see through this trick, Seo.
And help to bring him out of this madness!
Seo: Wakamatsu, thou art my closest friend,
I would not wish to see thee trick’d or hurt,
If this Lorelei wishes to meet you,
Then I will join thee at Midsummer's Eve,
So that I may meet Lorelei myself,
And have assurance that her heart is true.
Chiyo (aside to Mikorin ): This was not the plan, what should we do?!?
Mikorin (aside to Chiyo ): We will just have to accompany them,
We can tell Seo of our plan along the way.
Wakamatsu: Alas, while I often love from afar,
I fear I lack what I need to romance,
And may have but one chance to win her heart.
Mikorin: Good sir,
If thou will take my counsel, there is one,
Among the lords known as the ‘Maiden Prince’,
With unmatched knowledge of the maiden heart,
They happen to be an old friend of mine,
If anyone can aid you, it’s the prince.
Wakamatsu : Good friends, you have brought joy to me this day,
‘Tis surely destiny that brought you here.
Lead me to this prince, and I will follow,
Let us prepare to journey there with haste!
( Exit Wakamatsu , Mikorin , and Chiyo )
Nozaki: Why do you, of all, indulge him, Seo?
You know perfectly well that letter’s false!
Seo: If one out there claims to be Lorelei,
Then as I said I must meet them myself,
And whoever they are, I’ll set them straight.