Scene from 'Tasso'

Composed, 1818. Published by Dr. Garnett, "Relics of Shelley", 1862.

 Maddalo, a courtier. Malpiglio, a poet. Pigna, a minister. Albano, an usher. 
 MADDALO: No access to the Duke! You have not said That the Count Maddalo would speak with him? 
 PIGNA: Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna Waits with state papers for his signature? 
 MALPIGLIO: The Lady Leonora cannot know  That I have written a sonnet to her fame, In which I ... Venus and Adonis. You should not take my gold and serve me not. 
 ALBANO: In truth I told her, and she smiled and said, 'If I am Venus, thou, coy Poesy,  Art the Adonis whom I love, and he The Erymanthian boar that wounded him.' O trust to me, Signor Malpiglio, Those nods and smiles were favours worth the zechin. 
 MALPIGLIO: The words are twisted in some double sense  That I reach not: the smiles fell not on me. 
 PIGNA: How are the Duke and Duchess occupied? 
 ALBANO: Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was leaning, His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed. The Princess sate within the window-seat,  And so her face was hid; but on her knee Her hands were clasped, veined, and pale as snow, And quivering-young Tasso, too, was there. 
 MADDALO: Thou seest on whom from thine own worshipped heaven Thou drawest down smiles-they did not rain on thee.  
 MALPIGLIO: Would they were parching lightnings for his sake On whom they fell!