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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).
If this be true
My liege, it is the tale
The dying lie not-he, a dying man,
Lied not — and I, a dying woman, lie not:
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
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.
Said so; and all he said is best and wisest
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
Why then 't is time, 't is time.
And thou believest he is no murderer? (Duke beans
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
Samor, Lord of the Bright City.
AN HEROIC POEM.
et o! modo spiritus adsit, Frangam Saxonicas Britonum sub Marte phalanges.
the better fortitude or patience and heroic martyrdom.
MILTON'S Par. Lost, Book IX.
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.
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.
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,
Each in his azure robe, the band of Bards
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
After a noontide storm ; his silver locks
The song that o'er the van of battle shower'd
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
Along the dreary path of her revenge.
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
Pour'd out, prolonging the soft ecstasy,
The symmetry of form and feature, set
King Vortigern, and from his brow transferr'd
A coronet of radiant Eastern gems
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
As 'mid the fabled Libyan bridal stood
Perseus, in stern tranquillity of wrath,
Out-swelling, while the bright face on his shield
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
Like the pride-drunken Babylonian king,
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!
To-morrow shall the nations bask again
He the Deliverer, the Defender named,
The purple, madly worn, yet nobly lost
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,
And this I tell thee, Samor! nor yet add
Conferrid by our assembled British Kings
“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,
To blow the trump of civil strise, to prop
By one they deem usurping. Vortigern!
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,
Yet chooseth the Joose quicksand of distrust,
And overlays the palace of his pride
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
Fall from me, mists are curling off my soul."
Like two bold venturers, silently they stand,
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,
And light ye float about her garment folds,