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DUKE.

PHILARIO.

Ay, sir,

DUKE

BIANCA.

To the Duke.

If that I did ; but all my pain 's within (with her hana I tell thee, that rich woman -she My liege,

to her bosom).
I'll speak anon my lips do cling together - It will not break, it will not break — 't is iron.
There's dust about my tongue - I cannot move it
DUKE.

If this be true
Ho, there!— some wine!
BIANCA.

My liege, it is the tale
Thank thee, 'l is moist — I thank thee; That Fazio told me ere he died.
(As she raises the goblet to her lips, she sees ALDABELLA,

BIANCA.
and dashes it away.)
Her lips have been upon it - I'll have none on't.

The dying lie not-he, a dying man,
ALDABELLA

Lied not — and I, a dying woman, lie not:
My liege, thou wilt not hearken to the tale

For I shall die, spite of this iron here, Of a mad woman, venting her sick fancies

DURE (to ALDABELLA). Upon a lady of my state and honour !

There is confession in thy guilty cheeks.

Thou high-born baseness! beautiful deformity! Lady, there is one state alone, that holds

Dishonour'd honour! - How hast thou discredited Above the rapge of plumed and restless Justice All that doth fetter admiration's eye, Her throned majesty – the state of Virtue. — And made us out of love with loveliness! Poor sad distraught, speak on.

I do condemn thee, woman, by the warrant

Of this my ducal diadem, to put on thee
I am not mad,

The rigid convent vows: there bleach anew Thou smooth-lipp'd standerer! – I have been mad, Thy sullied breast; there temper thy rank blood; And then my words came vague, and loose, and Lay ashes to thy soul; swathe thy hot skin broken;

In sackcloth ; and God give thee length of days, But now, there's mode and measure in my speech. T'atone, by this world's misery, this world's sin. I'll hold my brain; and then I 'll tell my tale

[Erit ALDABELLA Simply and clearly. — Fazio, my poor Fazio — He murder'd not — he found Bartolo dead.

Bless thee, Heaven bless thee! - Yet it must not be.
The wealth did shine in his eyes, and he was dazzled. My Fazio said we must forgive her — Fazio
And when that he was gaily gilded up,

Said so; and all he said is best and wisest
She, she, I say (nay, keep away from her,
For she hath witchcraft all around her), she

She shall have her desert: aught more to ask of us! Did take him to her chamber Fie, my liege!

BIANCA. What should my husband in her chamber? — Then, My children-thou ’lt protect them—Oh, my liege, Ay then, I madden'd. — Hark! hark! hark! — the Make them not rich: let them be poor and honest.

bell, The bell that I set knolling-hark!- Here, here, I will, I will. Massy and cold it strikes-Here, here. (Clasping her

BIANCA
forehead.)

Why then 't is time, 't is time.
GONSALVO.

And thou believest he is no murderer? (Duke beans
Sad woman!

assent.) Tear not so piteously disorde

Thou 'lt lay me near him, and keep her away from us BIANCA.

It breaks, it breaks, it breaks - it is not iron. I do not tear my hair : there should be pain

(Dies 270

BIANCA.

DUKE.

DUKE.

Samor, Lord of the Bright City.

AN HEROIC POEM.

et o! modo spiritus adsit, Frangam Saxonicas Britonum sub Marte phalanges.

MILTON, Mansus.

the better fortitude or patience and heroic martyrdom.

MILTON'S Par. Lost, Book IX.

PREFACE.

association to recommend them. I have frequently, on

the authority of Camden and others, translated them. The Historians of the Empire, near the period of Thus the Saxon Gloucester, called by the Britons Caer time at which this Poem commences, make mention Gloew, is the Bright City. The Dobuni, the inhabitof a Constantine, who assumed the purple of the

ants of the Vales, are called by that name. Some western empire, gained possession of Gaul and Spain, few sanctioned by old usages of Poetry and Romance but was defeated and slain at the battle of Arles. He I retain, as Kent, Thanet, Cornwall. London is Troyhad a son named Constans, who became a monk, and novant, as the City of the Trinobantes. was put to death at Vienne.

Some passages in the Poem will be easily traced to About the same time a Constantine appears in the their acknowledged sources, the Poets of Greece and relations of the old British Chronicles and Romances. Italy; one, however, in the third book, relating to the He was brother of the king of Armorien, and became Northern mythology, has been remarkably anticipated himself King, or rather an elected sovereign of the in a modern Poem. The honourable Author may be petty Kings of Britain,t who continued their succession assured that the coincidence is unintentional, as that under the Roman dominion. He was called Vendi- part of this Poem was the earliest written, and pregard i and Waredur, the Defender and Deliverer. He

vious to the appearance of his production.
had three sons, Constans, who became a hermit, and
was murdered, either (for the traditions vary) by the

SAMOR.
Piets, by Vortigern, or by the Saxons; Emrys, called
by the Latin writers Aurelius Ambrosius; and Uther
Pendragon, the father of Arthur. These two Con-

BOOK I.
stantines are here identified, and Vortigern supposed Land of my birth, O Britain ! and my love ;
to have been named King of Britain, as the person

Whose air I breathe, whose earth I tread, whose of greatest authority and conduct in the wreck of the

tongue British army, defeated at Arles. Many, however, of the chiefs in the Island advancing the hereditary Most proud, if I abase not. Beauteous Isle,

My song would speak, its strong and solemn tones right, before formally settled on the sons of Constantine, Vortigern, mistrusting the Britons, and prest by Float not the taintless luxury of light,

And plenteons! what though in thy atmosphere invasions of the Caledonians, introduced the Saxons to check the barbarians and strengthen his own sove

The dazzling azure of the Southern skies; reignty.

Around thee the rich orb of thy renown The Hero of the Poem is an historical character, as

Spreads stainless and unsullied by a cloud. far as such legends can be called History. He appears And softer climes excel thee in the hue

Though thy hills blush not with the purple vine, in most of the Chronicles, as Edol, or Eldol, but the fullest account of his exploits is in Dugdule's Baron. And fragrance of thy summer fruits and flowers, age under his title of Earl of Gloucester. William Nor flow thy rivers over golden beds ; Harrison, however, in the description of Britain pre

Thou in the soul of man, thy better wealth, fixed to Holinshed, calls him Eldulph de Samor. But Art richest : nature's noblest produce thou, all concur in ascribing to him the acts which make the immortal Mind in perfect height and strength, the chief subject of the fifth and last Books of this Bear'st with a prodigal opulence; this thy right, Poem.

Thy privilege of climate and of soil, Most of our present names of places being purely Or Nymph, or Muse, that oft't was dream'd of old

Would I assert: nor, save thy fame, invoke, Saron, and the old British having little of harmony or

By falls of waters under haunted shades,

Her ecstasy of inspiration pour'd Gibbon, Chap. 31. Whitaker, Hist. of Manchester.

O'er Poet's soul, and flooded all his powers 1 Lewis, Hist. of Britain.

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With liquid glory: so may thy renown

Shower'd prodigal her duinties, poisons sweet, Burn in my heart, and give to thought and word And baleiul splendour. Fierce the Saxon gazed The aspiring and the radiant hue of fire.

On goblei, and huge charger carved with gold,

Contemptuous wonder. But the Monarch's brow Forth from the gates of Troynovant hath pass'd

'Gan lighten, as with greedy joy he quaff d King Vortigern; the Princes of the Isle

Oblivious bliss ; thus ever guilty soul Around him; on the walls, for then (though now

Woos frenzy, and, voluptuous from desmir, Scorn bounds her mighty wilderness of streets,

Forgets itself to pleasure. High aloof,
And in magnificence of multitude

Each in his azure robe, the band of Bards
Spread, and illimitable grandeur), walls
With jealous circuit and embattled range

Mingled the wanton luxuries of sound ;

Gentle melodious languor, melting fall, Girt Britain's narrow Capital; where swarm'd

With faint efleminate flattery the soul Eager her wondering citizens to see

Guiling of manhood. Silent veild his harp The Monarch. Him the Saxon Hengist met,

White-hair'd Aneurin, and indignant lears And Horsa, with their bands in triumph led,

Slood in the old man's eye, for wrathful shame As from a recent victory; their blue eyes

To hear his god-like and heaven-breathing art Sparkled, and proud they shook their saffron hair;

Pampering loose revels with officious chime. And in the bicker of their spears, the loss

Then rose the glorious madness; forth he sprung of ponderous mallets, the quick flash of swords, Thi emblazon'd White Horse on their banners waved, Won silence det:p as of a summer eve

With one rude siroke along the clashing chords
Was triumph. Thus King Vorrigern began:

After a noontide storm ; his silver locks
“Welcome, Deliverers of our kingdom's foes, Waved proud, the kindling frenzy of his eye
Welcome, thrice-honour'd Conquerors ! never more Flash'd triumph, as the song of Chariots rose.
Shall painted Caledonian o'er our realm

The song that o'er the van of battle shower'd
The chariots of his rapine wheel, so full

Pale horror, when that scourged Icenian Queen The desolation, havoc so complete

Through the square legions drove her car; were heard Hath smote and blasted in Erle Hengist's path. Her brazen wheels to maduen, the keen scythes The mouldering ruins of our Roman wall,

Gride through their iron harvest; then rush'd rout, Leagued with the terror of the Saxon name,

Wail'd havoc; seem'd Bonduca fiercer urged
Shall be defence more mighly, than when soard The trampling steeds ; behind her silence sank
Its battlements unbroken, and above

Along the dreary path of her revenge.
The imperial Eagle shook its wings of gold.
Oh, toild with victory, burthen'd with renown,

Ceased the bold strain, then deep the Saxon drain'd For ye our baths float cool and clear, our air

The ruddy cup, and savage joy uncouth Is redolent with garland wreathes, and rich

Lit his blue gleaming eyes: nor sale unmoved Within our royal citadel is crown'd

The Briton Chiefs ; fierce thoughts began to rise For ye the banquet; welcome once again,

Of ancient wars, and high ancestral fame. Mighty to save, and potent to defend !"

Sudden came floating through the ball an air A faint acclaim, a feeble sullen din

So strangely sueet, the o'erwrought sense scarce felt Ensued, with less of gladness than fierce grief,

Its rich excess of pleasure; sutter sounds And wrath ill stified. Seeming all unmoved,

Melt never on the enchanted midnight cool, Elate the Monarch onward led the way ;

By haunted spring, where elsin dancers trace Slow follow'd Saxon Hengist's martial train,

Green circlets on the moonlight dews; por lull Clashing their arinour loud, as they would daunt

Becalmed mariner from rocks, where basks All Britain with the clamour: march'd behind

At summer noon the Sea-maid ; he his oar The island Nobles, save some restless hands

Breathless suspends, and motionless his bark Were busy with their sheathed swords, they moved

Sleeps on the sleeping waters. Now the notes Silent, and cold, and gloomy, as a range

So gently died away, the silence seem'd Of mountain pines, when cloudy lowers the storm.

Melodious; merry now and light and blithe

They danced on air: anon came tripping forth Upon the azure bosom of the Thames

In frolic grace a maiden troop, their locks Reclining, with its ponderous mass of shade,

Flower-wreath'd, their snowy robes from clasped zone A rose the royal Citadel, the work

Fell careless drooping, quick their glittering feet Of the great Cæsar. Danger he and dread

Glanced o'er the pavement. Then the pomp of sound Of Rome and Pompey; yet 'gainst savage foes

Swell’d up, and mounted; as the stately swan, Vantage of trench and tower and massy wall

Her milk-white neck embower'd in arching spray, Scorn'd not, so swift, so perilous, so fierce

Queens it along the waters, entered in Cassivelan his painted charioteers

The lofty hall a shape so fair, it lullid Whirl'd to the frantic onset, standing forth

The music into silence, yet itself
Portent of freedom 'mid a world enslaved.

Pour'd out, prolonging the soft ecstasy,
They pass'd the portal arch; the sumptuous hall The trembling and the touching of sweet sound.
Flung back its gates ; around the banquet board Her grace of motion and of look, the smooth
Ranged Prince and Chieftain, where luxurious art And swimming majesty of step and tread,

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The symmetry of form and feature, set

King Vortigern, and from his brow transferr'd
The soul afloat, even like delicious airs

A coronet of radiant Eastern gems
Of Aute or harp: as though she trud from earth, To the white hair of Hengist, and drank off
And round her wore an emanating cloud

A brimming cup, and cried, " To Kent's high King, Of harmony, the Lady moved. T'oo proud

A health, a health to Vortigern's fair bride, For less than absolute command, 100 soft

The golden-hair'd Rowena.” – Seized at once For aught but gentle amorous thought: her hair Each Saxon the exulting strain, and struck Cluster d, as from an orb of gold cast out

The wine-drain'd goblet down, " Health, King of A dazzling and o'erpowering radiance, save

Kent!"
Here and there on her snowy neck reposed
In a soothed brilliance some thin wandering tress.

As 'mid the fabled Libyan bridal stood
The azure flashing of her eye was fringed

Perseus, in stern tranquillity of wrath,
With virgin meekness, and her tread, that seem'd Half stood, half floated on his ancle plumes
Earth to disdain, as softly fell on it

Out-swelling, while the bright face on his shield
As the light dew-shower on a tuft of flowers. Look'd into stone the raging fray ; 80 rose,
The soul within seem'd feasting on high thoughts, But with no magic arms, wearing alone
That to the outward form and feature gave

Th' appalling and control of his firm look, A loveliness of scorn, scorn that to feel

The solemn indignation of his brow, Was bliss, was sweet indulgence. Fast sank back

The Briton Samor; at his rising, awe Those he. fair harbingers, their modest eyes,

Went abroad, and the riotous hall was mute ; Downcast, and drooping low their slender necks But like unruffled summer waters flow'd In graceful reverence; she, by wond'ring gaze His speech, and courtly reverence smoothed its tone. l'nmoved, and stifled murmurs of applause, Nor yet unconscious, slowly won her way

“Sovereign of Britain's Sovereigns! of our crowns To where the King, amid the festal pomp,

The highest! in our realm of many thrones Sate loftiest; as she raised a fair-chased cup,

Enthroned the loftiest ! mighty as thou art, Something of sweet confusion overspread

Thou dost outstep thy amplitude of sway; Her features ; something tremulous broke in

Thine is our isle to govern, not to give; On her half-failing accents as she said,

A free and sacred property hast thou ** Health to the King!" – the sparkling wine laugh'd In our allegiance; for a master's right up,

Over our lives, our princedoms, and our souls, As eager 't were to touch so fair a lip.

King Vortigern, as well may’st thou presume

To a dominion o'er our winds, to set A moment, and the apparition bright

Thy stamp and impress on our light from heaven. Had paried ; as before the sound of harps

Thi Britain cannot rest beneath the shade Was wanioning about the festive hall.

Of Saxon empire, this our Christian soil

The harvest of obedience will not bear
As one just waking from a blissful dream To Heathen sway; and hear me, Vortigern,
Nor moves, nor breathes, lest breath or motion break The golden image that thou settest up,
The beauteous tissue of fine form woven o'er

Like the pride-drunken Babylonian king,
His fancy, sate King Vortigern. Whence came,

Though dulcimer and psaltery soothe us down And whither went she? of what race and stem

To the soft humour of submission tame, Sprang this bright wonder of our earth, that leaves We will not worship.” -- From the ball he past, The rapture of her presence in our hall,

Thus saying. Him the Island's brave and proud Though parted thence too swiftly ?"—“ King (replied Follow'd, the high and fame-enamour'd souls, Erle Hengist) - in our ancient Saxon faith,

Never to Britain wanting, though in hours III bodes the joyless feast, where maiden's lips

Loosest of revels soft, and wanton ease. Pledge not the wassail goblet.” — “ By my soul,”

But Vortigern, more largely pouring in Cried Vortigern. “a gallant faith! and I

The vine's delicious poison, sate, and cried, Omen so sweet discredit not; the health

Whom the flax binds not, must the iron gyve, Those smooth lips wish'd me, well those lips might | Whom sceptres daunt not, must the sword control.”

give, A fragrance and a sparkling have they left

Evening fell gentle, and the brilliant sun Even on the wine they touch'd." He said, and prest Was going down into the waveless Thames, The goblet to his own. “A father's ear,

As bearing light and warmth to her cold Nymphs King Vortigern, must love the flattering tongue Within their crystal chambers, when the King That descants lavish on his daughter's praise.” Left the hall of banquet. Lofty and alone, ** Thy daughter? Saxon !" – "Mine, though vaunt Even as the Pillar great Alcides sel, not I

The limit of the world and his renown, Her beauty, many a German Erle and King On Calpe, round whose shalt the daylight wreathed Hath vowd at his life's peril to proclaim

Its last empurpling, on the battlements Her far-surpassing comeliness." — None heard Stood Samor in the amethystine light, The secret converse that ensued. Lo, rose

And “Go to darkness, thou majestic orb!

60

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To-morrow shall the nations bask again

He the Deliverer, the Defender named,
In thy full glory."-Thus he said, and turn'd So Constantine had done, had the high Soul's bane
To where the King went rapid past.—“And thou, Ambition, never madden'd him to wear
Thou to thy setting hastest, never more

The purple, madly worn, yet nobly lost
Thou thy benighted splendour to renew ;

On the sad plain by Arles.”—“I knew, I knew Late at thy noon of pride, now sunk, declined "T would come to this, that Constantine would end For ever from thy fair meridian, go

The high-wrought orat'ry. This too I know,
Into thy cloudy rest!”—The solemn tone

And this I tell thee, Samor! nor yet add
Of his deep voice seized on the King, as frosts Rebel! thy secret commerce with his sons,
Arrest the rapid flowing stream—“ What means To undermine my stately throne ; the right,
The Sovereign of the Vales, even in my halls, So babble ye in your licentious phrase,
And on my castle battlements, to cast

Conferrid by our assembled British Kings
Bold scorn on Britain's King? Ingrate and blind, On Constantine for ever and his heirs."-
When I the valiant Saxon bave brought in

“Alas! how better were it to know nought, To check the Caledonian, through your isle

Than, like kings, darkly. Constantine's brave sons Marching by wild light of your burning towns ;

And Samor oft have met, have met to wail Ye, wedded to your sorrow and your shame,

The hazard of their native land, to swear Mock at the safety my free love provides."

Before the altar of the eternal God, “Ah, provident! ab, sage! ah, generous King !

Never, amid these rude and perilous times,
That sets the emaciate wolf to dog the flock;

To blow the trump of civil strise, to prop
The hawk to guard the dovecote.”—“Wise-lipp'd chief, with their allegiance Britain's throne, though fill'd
I thank thee for thy phrase : doves are ye, doves

By one they deem usurping. Vortigern!
That fly with piteous and most delicate speed

I am upon the string that jars thy soul, Before the Scottish kites, that swoop your nests

And it must vibrate to its highest pitch. And flesh their greedy talons in your young."

Oh what a royal madness, that might build "Monarch! the eaglet, were it smoothly nurst

Upon the strong rock of a people's love,
In the dove's downy nest, at its first flight

Yet chooseth the Joose quicksand of distrust,
Would shrink down dazzled from the morning sun;
But with strong plumes refresh'd, anon 't would claim with a rude Saxon buttress, whose stern weight

And overlays the palace of his pride
Its old aspiring birthright, and unblench'd

Must crush it. Thou dost fear thy subjects arm'd, Bathe in the bickering of the noontide car.

Fear, lest the old valiance in their hearts inure, Oh, we have slumber'd on soft luxury's lap

And therefore fight'st their wars with foreign steel; To her loose tabret; but, misjudging King !

And is this he, the noble and the wise, Britain is like her soil; above the turf

The Vortigern, that Britain on the plain Lies velvet smooth, hard iron lurks beneath.

Of Arles, that fatal plain, haild Captain, King ? I know the northern Pagans waste our land,

Arise, be King, be Captain, be thyself! And the tame mission to the Roman sent

And we will stand around thy throne, and mock I know: The fierce Barbarian to the sea

The ruinous fashion of the times."—"Away! Drives us, the sea to the Barbarian back

My royal word is to the Saxon given." Merciless :' so ran the plaintive legend. True!

“0, Vortigern! this knee hath never bow'd, But soldiers would it cast us back; despair

Save to the King of kings, thus low on earth Hath its own valour; war makes warriors. King !

I sue thee, cast the Saxon off.”— At once Calamities are on us, evil days

The swift contagious grandeur set on fire O'er our isle darken, but the noble wear

The Monarch —"I am thine, am Britain's all : Disaster, as an Angel wears his wings.

Now by my throne, thus, thus I have not felt, To elevate and glorify. Nor us

Since first this circling gold eat in my brow, Shroudeth alone the enveloping gloom, the frame

So free, so upright, and so kingly, chains
And fabric of our world is breaking up.

Fall from me, mists are curling off my soul."
Rome's dome of empire, that o'ervaulted earth
With its capacions shadow, rent and split,

Like two bold venturers, silently they stand,
Disorders the smooth course of human things,

Launching amid the sun-light their rich bark Leaving confusion lord of this wide ball,

O'er glassy waters to the summer air : While to and fro the Nations sway perplex'd,

Their solemn pondering hath the losiy look Like a tempestuous sea. Oh, 'mid such wreck, Of vaunting, over each high brow flames out Our Britain in lone safety to uphold,

A noble rivalry of hope and pride. On every side 'gainst gathering foes present

The sound of wheels, lo, sliding came and smooth A rampire of hard steel, or firmer far,

A car, wherein, like some fair idol led The bulwark of a haughty spirit pour'd

Through the mute tumult of adoring streets,
From the throned Sovereign through her sons, were Bright-haird Rowena pass'd the portal arch.

pride,
Were honour, might arrest Heaven's plumed hosts, Have ye a sense, ye gales, a conscious joy
And in their sphere-born music win renown. In beauty, that with such an artful touch
So He whose sceptre glitters in thy grasp,

And light ye float about her garment folds,

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