those clocks in your attic... or?
Go on, try it - I dare you!
THE PAGE OF HERODIAS: Do not look at her. I pray you not to look at her.
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: She is like a dove that has strayed .... She is like a narcissus trembling in the wind ... She is like a silver flower.
SALOMÉ: I will not stay. I cannot stay. Why does the Tetrarch look at me all the while with his mole's eyes under his shaking eyelids? It is strange that the husband of my mother looks at me like that. I know not what it means. In truth, yes I know it.
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: You have just left the feast, Princess?
SALOMÉ: How sweet the air is here! I can breathe here! Within there are Jews from Jerusalem who are tearing each other in pieces over their foolish ceremonies, and barbarians who drink and drink, and spill their wine on the pavement, and Greeks from Smyrna with painted eyes and painted cheeks, and frizzed hair curled in twisted coils, and silent, subtle Egyptians, with long nails of jade and russett cloaks, and Romans brutal and coarse, with their uncouth jargon. Ah! how I loathe the Romans! They are rough and common, and they give themselves the airs of noble lords.
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: Will you be seated, Princess?
THE PAGE OF HERODIAS: Why do you speak to her? Why do you look at her? Oh! something terrible will happen.
SALOMÉ: How good to see the moon. She is like a little piece of money, you would think she was a little silver flower. The Moon is cold and chaste. I am sure she is a virgin, she has a virgin's beauty. Yes, she is a virgin. She has never defiled herself. She has never abandoned herself to men like the other goddesses.
THE VOICE OF JOKANAAN: The Lord hath come. The son of man hath come. The centaurs have hidden themselves in the rivers, and the sirens have left the rivers, and are lying beneath the leaves of the forest.
SALOMÉ: Who was that who cried out?
SECOND SOLDIER: The prophet, Princess.
SALOMÉ: Ah, the prophet! He of whom the Tetrarch is afraid?
SECOND SOLDIER: We know nothing of that, Princess. It was the prophet Jokanaan who cried out.
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: Is it your pleasure that I bid them bring your litter, Princess? The night is fair in the garden.
SALOMÉ: He says terrible things about my mother, does he not!
SECOND SOLDIER: We never understand what he says, Princess.
SALOMÉ: Yes, he says terrible things about her.
JOKANAAN: Back! Daughter of Babylon! By woman came evil into the world. Speak not to me. I will not listen to thee. I listen but to the voice of the Lord God.
SALOMÉ: Thy body is hideous. It is like the body of a leper. It is like a plastered wall where vipers have crawled; like a plastered wall where the scorpions have made their nest. It is like a whitened sepulchre full of loathsome things. It is horrible, thy body is horrible. It is of thy hair that I am enamoured, Jokanaan. Thy hair is like a cluster of grapes, like the clusters of black grapes that hang from the vine-trees of Edom in the land of the Edomites. Thy hair is like the cedars of Lebanon, like the great cedars of Lebanon that give their shade to the lions and to the robbers who would hide themselves by day. The long black nights, when the moon hides her face, when the stars are afraid, are not so black. The silence that dwells in the forest is not so black. There is nothing in the world so black as thy hair .... Let me touch thy hair.
JOKANAAN: Back, daughter of Sodom! Touch me not. Profane not the temple of the Lord God.
SALOMÉ: Thy hair is horrible. It is covered with mire and dust. It is like a crown of thorns which they have placed on thy forehead. It is like a knot of black serpents writhing round thy neck. I love not thy hair .... It is thy mouth that I desire, Jokanaan. Thy mouth is like a band of scarlet on a tower of ivory. It is like a pomegranate cut with a knife of ivory. The pomegranate-flowers that blossom in the garden of Tyre, and are redder than roses, are not so red. The red blasts of trumpets, that herald the approach of kings, and make afraid the enemy, are not so red. Thy mouth is redder than the feet of those who tread the wine in the wine-press. Thy mouth is redder than the feet of the doves who haunt the temples and are fed by the priests. It is redder than the feet of him who cometh from a forest where he hath slain a lion, and seen gilded tigers. Thy mouth is like a branch of coral that fishers have found in the twilight of the sea, the coral that they keep for kings ...! It is like the vermilion that the Moabites find in the mines of Moab, the vermilion that the kings take from them. It is like the bow of the King of Persians, that is painted with vermilion, and is tipped with coral. There is nothing in the world so red as thy mouth .... Let me kiss thy mouth.
JOKANAAN: Never, daughter of Babylon! Daughter of Sodom! Never.
SALOMÉ: I will kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan. I will kiss thy mouth.
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: Princess, Princess, thou art like a garden of myrrh, thou who art the dove of all doves, look not at this man, look not at him! Do not speak such words to him. I cannot suffer them .... Princess, Princess, do not speak these things.