Peter Hammill - A Chronic Catalepsy lyrics
MONTRESOR Stop, Madeline, look at me!
My god, man, what is wrong with her?
USHER Yes, it's right you should know,
She is dying!
I have not dared to speak of it.
A chronic catalepsy had drained her of her youth.
I have watched her waste away and could do nothing!
A period of health is followed by sudden coma,
It can last a full day or more,
no movement, no colour, no flame in the cheeks.
MONTRESOR What, then of these dreaming visions?
USHER The recovery, ah, this is even worse!
She rises and moves about the house
but her mind still sleeps...
You see her now a mindless ghost:
Beautiful, dead eyes stare in sleep, unrecognising.
She speaks in dreams, sees only dreams,
she haunts the house in hideous sleepwalking
and may not be restrained, for like some automaton
she tirelessly thrusts and tears herself
against her fetters,
heedless of injury.
And so she walks and then she wakes,
remembering nothing, so week that she can
barely build up strength before she is struck down again.
Month after month each attack worse than the last.
Death will not wait long.
Her final days are flickering past.
MONTRESOR But what is the word from her doctors?
Do they hold out no hope, nor offer any treatment?
USHER MONTRESOR CHORUS
They do not understand
and cannot treat a case
they do not understand
He does not understand
You're dealing with a case
Who is her doctor,
a specialist I trust?
Yes indeed, one of
the foremost rank
with a case
Then he will help her,
Montresor oh, yes,
no more of this he surely must You do not understand
no more talk He does not
of cures, please, understand
Or of doctor.
I bless you concern,
but know that she
will walk no more tonight.
When she wakes soon
she will need my care.
I must be there, so,
dear friend, goodnight.