The Emperor’s Aria


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“Heavenly bird, blessed creature, thank you! Once, I banished you from my kingdom. Yet still you returned and chased away the evil faces from my bed. You whom I banished have now banished Death from my heart with your sweet song. How can I reward you? Stay, stay. You must always remain with me. You shall sing only when it pleases you. Look, I will break the artificial bird into a thousand pieces.”