Scenes from the Magico Prodigioso
From the spanish of Calderon.
Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824; dated March, 1822. There is a transcript of Scene 1 among the Hunt manuscripts, which has been collated by Mr. Buxton Forman.
ENTER CYPRIAN, DRESSED AS A STUDENT;
CLARIN AND MOSCON AS POOR SCHOLARS, WITH BOOKS.
In the sweet solitude of this calm place,
This intricate wild wilderness of trees
And flowers and undergrowth of odorous plants,
Leave me; the books you brought out of the house
To me are ever best society.
And while with glorious festival and song,
Antioch now celebrates the consecration
Of a proud temple to great Jupiter,
And bears his image in loud jubilee
To its new shrine, I would consume what still
Lives of the dying day in studious thought,
Far from the throng and turmoil. You, my friends,
Go, and enjoy the festival; it will
Be worth your pains. You may return for me
When the sun seeks its grave among the billows
Which, among dim gray clouds on the horizon,
Dance like white plumes upon a hearse;— and here
I shall expect you.
_14 So transcr.; Be worth the labour, and return for me 1824.
_16, _17 So 1824;
Hid among dim gray clouds on the horizon
Which dance like plumes—transcr., Forman.
I cannot bring my mind,
Great as my haste to see the festival
Certainly is, to leave you, Sir, without
Just saying some three or four thousand words.
How is it possible that on a day
Of such festivity, you can be content
To come forth to a solitary country
With three or four old books, and turn your back
On all this mirth?
_21 thousand transcr.; hundred 1824.
_23 be content transcr.; bring your mind 1824.
My master's in the right;
There is not anything more tiresome
Than a procession day, with troops, and priests,
And dances, and all that.
_28 and priests transcr.; of men 1824.
From first to last,
Clarin, you are a temporizing flatterer;
You praise not what you feel but what he does;—
You lie—under a mistake—
For this is the most civil sort of lie
That can be given to a man's face. I now
Say what I think.
Enough, you foolish fellows!
Puffed up with your own doting ignorance,
You always take the two sides of one question.
Now go; and as I said, return for me
When night falls, veiling in its shadows wide
This glorious fabric of the universe.
_36 doting ignorance transcr.; ignorance and pride 1824.
How happens it, although you can maintain
The folly of enjoying festivals,
That yet you go there?
Nay, the consequence
Is clear:—who ever did what he advises
Others to do?—
Would that my feet were wings,
So would I fly to Livia.
To speak truth,
Livia is she who has surprised my heart;
But he is more than half-way there.—Soho!
Livia, I come; good sport, Livia, soho!
Now, since I am alone, let me examine
The question which has long disturbed my mind
With doubt, since first I read in Plinius
The words of mystic import and deep sense
In which he defines God. My intellect
Can find no God with whom these marks and signs
Fitly agree. It is a hidden truth
Which I must fathom.
CYPRIAN READS; THE DAEMON, DRESSED IN A COURT DRESS, ENTERS.
_57 Stage Direction: So transcr. Reads. Enter the Devil as a fine
Search even as thou wilt,
But thou shalt never find what I can hide.
What noise is that among the boughs? Who moves?
What art thou?—
'Tis a foreign gentleman.
Even from this morning I have lost my way
In this wild place; and my poor horse at last,
Quite overcome, has stretched himself upon
The enamelled tapestry of this mossy mountain,
And feeds and rests at the same time. I was
Upon my way to Antioch upon business
Of some importance, but wrapped up in cares
(Who is exempt from this inheritance?)
I parted from my company, and lost
My way, and lost my servants and my comrades.
'Tis singular that even within the sight
Of the high towers of Antioch you could lose
Your way. Of all the avenues and green paths
Of this wild wood there is not one but leads,
As to its centre, to the walls of Antioch;
Take which you will, you cannot miss your road.
And such is ignorance! Even in the sight
Of knowledge, it can draw no profit from it.
But as it still is early, and as I
Have no acquaintances in Antioch,
Being a stranger there, I will even wait
The few surviving hours of the day,
Until the night shall conquer it. I see
Both by your dress and by the books in which
You find delight and company, that you
Are a great student;—for my part, I feel
Much sympathy in such pursuits.
_87 in transcr.; with 1824.
No,—and yet I know enough
Not to be wholly ignorant.
What science may you know?—
Much pains must we expend on one alone,
And even then attain it not;—but you
Have the presumption to assert that you
Know many without study.
And with truth.
For in the country whence I come the sciences
Require no learning,—they are known.
_95 come the sciences]come sciences 1824.
I were of that bright country! for in this
The more we study, we the more discover
It is so true, that I
Had so much arrogance as to oppose
The chair of the most high Professorship,
And obtained many votes, and, though I lost,
The attempt was still more glorious, than the failure
Could be dishonourable. If you believe not,
Let us refer it to dispute respecting
That which you know the best, and although I
Know not the opinion you maintain, and though
It be the true one, I will take the contrary.
_106 the transcr.; wanting, 1824.
The offer gives me pleasure. I am now
Debating with myself upon a passage
Of Plinius, and my mind is racked with doubt
To understand and know who is the God
Of whom he speaks.
It is a passage, if
I recollect it right, couched in these words
'God is one supreme goodness, one pure essence,
One substance, and one sense, all sight, all hands.'
What difficulty find you here?
I do not recognize among the Gods
The God defined by Plinius; if he must
Be supreme goodness, even Jupiter
Is not supremely good; because we see
His deeds are evil, and his attributes
Tainted with mortal weakness; in what manner
Can supreme goodness be consistent with
The passions of humanity?
Of the old world masked with the names of Gods
The attributes of Nature and of Man;
A sort of popular philosophy.
This reply will not satisfy me, for
Such awe is due to the high name of God
That ill should never be imputed. Then,
Examining the question with more care,
It follows, that the Gods would always will
That which is best, were they supremely good.
How then does one will one thing, one another?
And that you may not say that I allege
Poetical or philosophic learning:—
Consider the ambiguous responses
Of their oracular statues; from two shrines
Two armies shall obtain the assurance of
One victory. Is it not indisputable
That two contending wills can never lead
To the same end? And, being opposite,
If one be good, is not the other evil?
Evil in God is inconceivable;
But supreme goodness fails among the Gods
Without their union.
_133 would transcr.; should 1824.
I deny your major.
These responses are means towards some end
Unfathomed by our intellectual beam.
They are the work of Providence, and more
The battle's loss may profit those who lose,
Than victory advantage those who win.
That I admit; and yet that God should not
(Falsehood is incompatible with deity)
Assure the victory; it would be enough
To have permitted the defeat. If God
Be all sight,—God, who had beheld the truth,
Would not have given assurance of an end
Never to be accomplished: thus, although
The Deity may according to his attributes
Be well distinguished into persons, yet
Even in the minutest circumstance
His essence must be one.
_157 had transcr.; wanting, 1824.
To attain the end
The affections of the actors in the scene
Must have been thus influenced by his voice.
But for a purpose thus subordinate
He might have employed Genii, good or evil,—
A sort of spirits called so by the learned,
Who roam about inspiring good or evil,
And from whose influence and existence we
May well infer our immortality.
Thus God might easily, without descent
To a gross falsehood in his proper person,
Have moved the affections by this mediation
To the just point.
_172 descent transcr.; descending 1824.
These trifling contradictions
Do not suffice to impugn the unity
Of the high Gods; in things of great importance
They still appear unanimous; consider
That glorious fabric, man,—his workmanship
Is stamped with one conception.
Who made man
Must have, methinks, the advantage of the others.
If they are equal, might they not have risen
In opposition to the work, and being
All hands, according to our author here,
Have still destroyed even as the other made?
If equal in their power, unequal only
In opportunity, which of the two
Will remain conqueror?
_186 unequal only transcr.; and only unequal 1824.
And false hypothesis there can be built
No argument. Say, what do you infer
That there must be a mighty God
Of supreme goodness and of highest grace,
All sight, all hands, all truth, infallible,
Without an equal and without a rival,
The cause of all things and the effect of nothing,
One power, one will, one substance, and one essence.
And, in whatever persons, one or two,
His attributes may be distinguished, one
Sovereign power, one solitary essence,
One cause of all cause.
_197 And]query, Ay?
How can I impugn
So clear a consequence?
_200 all cause 1824; all things transcr.
Do you regret
Who but regrets a check
In rivalry of wit? I could reply
And urge new difficulties, but will now
Depart, for I hear steps of men approaching,
And it is time that I should now pursue
My journey to the city.
Go in peace!
Remain in peace!—Since thus it profits him
To study, I will wrap his senses up
In sweet oblivion of all thought but of
A piece of excellent beauty; and, as I
Have power given me to wage enmity
Against Justina's soul, I will extract
From one effect two vengeances.
ASIDE AND EXIT.
_214 Stage direction So transcr.; Exit 1824.
Met a more learned person. Let me now
Revolve this doubt again with careful mind.
FLORO AND LELIO ENTER.
Here stop. These toppling rocks and tangled boughs,
Impenetrable by the noonday beam,
Shall be sole witnesses of what we—
If there were words, here is the place for deeds.
Thou needest not instruct me; well I know
That in the field, the silent tongue of steel
Ha! what is this? Lelio,—Floro,
Be it enough that Cyprian stands between you,
Whence comest thou, to stand
Between me and my vengeance?
From what rocks
And desert cells?
ENTER MOSCON AND CLARIN.
Run! run! for where we left
My master. I now hear the clash of swords.
_228 I now hear transcr.; we hear 1824.
_227-_229 lines of otherwise arranged, 1824.
I never run to approach things of this sort
But only to avoid them. Sir! Cyprian! sir!
Be silent, fellows! What! two friends who are
In blood and fame the eyes and hope of Antioch,
One of the noble race of the Colalti,
The other son o' the Governor, adventure
And cast away, on some slight cause no doubt,
Two lives, the honour of their country?
_233 race transcr.; men 1824. Colalti]Colatti 1824.
Although my high respect towards your person
Holds now my sword suspended, thou canst not
Restore it to the slumber of the scabbard:
Thou knowest more of science than the duel;
For when two men of honour take the field,
No counsel nor respect can make them friends
But one must die in the dispute.
_239 of the transcr.; of its 1824.
_242 No counsel nor 1839, 1st edition;
No [...] or 1824; No reasoning or transcr.
_243 dispute transcr. pursuit 1824.
That you depart hence with your people, and
Leave us to finish what we have begun
Though you may imagine
That I know little of the laws of duel,
Which vanity and valour instituted,
You are in error. By my birth I am
Held no less than yourselves to know the limits
Of honour and of infamy, nor has study
Quenched the free spirit which first ordered them;
And thus to me, as one well experienced
In the false quicksands of the sea of honour,
You may refer the merits of the case;
And if I should perceive in your relation
That either has the right to satisfaction
From the other, I give you my word of honour
To leave you.
_253 well omit, cj. Forman.
Under this condition then
I will relate the cause, and you will cede
And must confess the impossibility
Of compromise; for the same lady is
Beloved by Floro and myself.
Much to me that the light of day should look
Upon that idol of my heart—but he—
Leave us to fight, according to thy word.
Permit one question further: is the lady
Impossible to hope or not?
So excellent, that if the light of day
Should excite Floro's jealousy, it were
Without just cause, for even the light of day
Trembles to gaze on her.
Would you for your
Part, marry her?
Such is my confidence.
Oh! would that I could lift my hope
So high, for though she is extremely poor,
Her virtue is her dowry.
And if you both
Would marry her, is it not weak and vain,
Culpable and unworthy, thus beforehand
To slur her honour? What would the world say
If one should slay the other, and if she
Should afterwards espouse the murderer?
THE RIVALS AGREE TO REFER THEIR QUARREL TO CYPRIAN; WHO IN CONSEQUENCE VISITS JUSTINA, AND BECOMES ENAMOURED OF HER; SHE DISDAINS HIM, AND HE RETIRES TO A SOLITARY SEA-SHORE.
O memory! permit it not
That the tyrant of my thought
Be another soul that still
Holds dominion o'er the will,
That would refuse, but can no more,
To bend, to tremble, and adore.
Vain idolatry!—I saw,
And gazing, became blind with error;
Weak ambition, which the awe
Of her presence bound to terror!
So beautiful she was—and I,
Between my love and jealousy,
Am so convulsed with hope and fear,
Unworthy as it may appear;—
So bitter is the life I live,
That, hear me, Hell! I now would give
To thy most detested spirit
My soul, for ever to inherit,
To suffer punishment and pine,
So this woman may be mine.
Hear'st thou, Hell! dost thou reject it?
My soul is offered!
I accept it.
TEMPEST, WITH THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.
What is this? ye heavens for ever pure,
At once intensely radiant and obscure!
Athwart the aethereal halls
The lightning's arrow and the thunder-balls
The day affright,
As from the horizon round,
Burst with earthquake sound,
In mighty torrents the electric fountains;—
Clouds quench the sun, and thunder-smoke
Strangles the air, and fire eclipses Heaven.
Philosophy, thou canst not even
Compel their causes underneath thy yoke:
From yonder clouds even to the waves below
The fragments of a single ruin choke
For, on flakes of surge, like feathers light,
The ashes of the desolation, cast
Upon the gloomy blast,
Tell of the footsteps of the storm;
And nearer, see, the melancholy form
Of a great ship, the outcast of the sea,
And it must fly the pity of the port,
Or perish, and its last and sole resort
Is its own raging enemy.
The terror of the thrilling cry
Was a fatal prophecy
Of coming death, who hovers now
Upon that shattered prow,
That they who die not may be dying still.
And not alone the insane elements
Are populous with wild portents,
But that sad ship is as a miracle
Of sudden ruin, for it drives so fast
It seems as if it had arrayed its form
With the headlong storm.
It strikes—I almost feel the shock,—
It stumbles on a jagged rock,—
Sparkles of blood on the white foam are cast.
ALL EXCLAIM [WITHIN]:
We are all lost!
Now from this plank will I
Pass to the land and thus fulfil my scheme.
As in contempt of the elemental rage
A man comes forth in safety, while the ship's
Great form is in a watery eclipse
Obliterated from the Oceans page,
And round its wreck the huge sea-monsters sit,
A horrid conclave, and the whistling wave
Is heaped over its carcase, like a grave.
THE DAEMON ENTERS, AS ESCAPED FROM THE SEA.
It was essential to my purposes
To wake a tumult on the sapphire ocean,
That in this unknown form I might at length
Wipe out the blot of the discomfiture
Sustained upon the mountain, and assail
With a new war the soul of Cyprian,
Forging the instruments of his destruction
Even from his love and from his wisdom.—O
Beloved earth, dear mother, in thy bosom
I seek a refuge from the monster who
Precipitates itself upon me.
Collect thyself; and be the memory
Of thy late suffering, and thy greatest sorrow
But as a shadow of the past,—for nothing
Beneath the circle of the moon, but flows
And changes, and can never know repose.
And who art thou, before whose feet my fate
Has prostrated me?
One who, moved with pity,
Would soothe its stings.
Oh, that can never be!
No solace can my lasting sorrows find.
Because my happiness is lost.
Yet I lament what has long ceased to be
The object of desire or memory,
And my life is not life.
Now, since the fury
Of this earthquaking hurricane is still,
And the crystalline Heaven has reassumed
Its windless calm so quickly, that it seems
As if its heavy wrath had been awakened
Only to overwhelm that vessel,—speak,
Who art thou, and whence comest thou?
My coming hither cost, than thou hast seen
Or I can tell. Among my misadventures
This shipwreck is the least. Wilt thou hear?
Since thou desirest, I will then unveil
Myself to thee;—for in myself I am
A world of happiness and misery;
This I have lost, and that I must lament
Forever. In my attributes I stood
So high and so heroically great,
In lineage so supreme, and with a genius
Which penetrated with a glance the world
Beneath my feet, that, won by my high merit,
A king—whom I may call the King of kings,
Because all others tremble in their pride
Before the terrors of His countenance,
In His high palace roofed with brightest gems
Of living light—call them the stars of Heaven—
Named me His counsellor. But the high praise
Stung me with pride and envy, and I rose
In mighty competition, to ascend
His seat and place my foot triumphantly
Upon His subject thrones. Chastised, I know
The depth to which ambition falls; too mad
Was the attempt, and yet more mad were now
Repentance of the irrevocable deed:—
Therefore I chose this ruin, with the glory
Of not to be subdued, before the shame
Of reconciling me with Him who reigns
By coward cession.—Nor was I alone,
Nor am I now, nor shall I be alone;
And there was hope, and there may still be hope,
For many suffrages among His vassals
Hailed me their lord and king, and many still
Are mine, and many more, perchance shall be.
Thus vanquished, though in fact victorious,
I left His seat of empire, from mine eye
Shooting forth poisonous lightning, while my words
With inauspicious thunderings shook Heaven,
Proclaiming vengeance, public as my wrong,
And imprecating on His prostrate slaves
Rapine, and death, and outrage. Then I sailed
Over the mighty fabric of the world,—
A pirate ambushed in its pathless sands,
A lynx crouched watchfully among its caves
And craggy shores; and I have wandered over
The expanse of these wide wildernesses
In this great ship, whose bulk is now dissolved
In the light breathings of the invisible wind,
And which the sea has made a dustless ruin,
Seeking ever a mountain, through whose forests
I seek a man, whom I must now compel
To keep his word with me. I came arrayed
In tempest, and although my power could well
Bridle the forest winds in their career,
For other causes I forbore to soothe
Their fury to Favonian gentleness;
I could and would not;
(thus I wake in him
A love of magic art). Let not this tempest,
Nor the succeeding calm excite thy wonder;
For by my art the sun would turn as pale
As his weak sister with unwonted fear;
And in my wisdom are the orbs of Heaven
Written as in a record; I have pierced
The flaming circles of their wondrous spheres
And know them as thou knowest every corner
Of this dim spot. Let it not seem to thee
That I boast vainly; wouldst thou that I work
A charm over this waste and savage wood,
This Babylon of crags and aged trees,
Filling its leafy coverts with a horror
Thrilling and strange? I am the friendless guest
Of these wild oaks and pines—and as from thee
I have received the hospitality
Of this rude place, I offer thee the fruit
Of years of toil in recompense; whate'er
Thy wildest dream presented to thy thought
As object of desire, that shall be thine.
And thenceforth shall so firm an amity
'Twixt thee and me be, that neither Fortune,
The monstrous phantom which pursues success,
That careful miser, that free prodigal,
Who ever alternates, with changeful hand,
Evil and good, reproach and fame; nor Time,
That lodestar of the ages, to whose beam
The winged years speed o'er the intervals
Of their unequal revolutions; nor
Heaven itself, whose beautiful bright stars
Rule and adorn the world, can ever make
The least division between thee and me,
Since now I find a refuge in thy favour.
_146 wide glassy wildernesses Rossetti.
_150 Seeking forever cj. Forman.
_154 forest]fiercest cj. Rossetti.
THE DAEMON TEMPTS JUSTINA, WHO IS A CHRISTIAN.
Abyss of Hell! I call on thee,
Thou wild misrule of thine own anarchy!
From thy prison-house set free
The spirits of voluptuous death,
That with their mighty breath
They may destroy a world of virgin thoughts;
Let her chaste mind with fancies thick as motes
Be peopled from thy shadowy deep,
Till her guiltless fantasy
Full to overflowing be!
And with sweetest harmony,
Let birds, and flowers, and leaves, and all things move
To love, only to love.
Let nothing meet her eyes
But signs of Love's soft victories;
Let nothing meet her ear
But sounds of Love's sweet sorrow,
So that from faith no succour she may borrow,
But, guided by my spirit blind
And in a magic snare entwined,
She may now seek Cyprian.
Begin, while I in silence bind
My voice, when thy sweet song thou hast began.
_18 she may]may she 1824.
A VOICE [WITHIN]:
What is the glory far above
All else in human life?
WHILE THESE WORDS ARE SUNG, THE DAEMON GOES OUT AT ONE DOOR, AND JUSTINA ENTERS AT ANOTHER.
THE FIRST VOICE:
There is no form in which the fire
Of love its traces has impressed not.
Man lives far more in love's desire
Than by life's breath, soon possessed not.
If all that lives must love or die,
All shapes on earth, or sea, or sky,
With one consent to Heaven cry
That the glory far above
All else in life is—
Love! oh, Love!
Thou melancholy Thought which art
So flattering and so sweet, to thee
When did I give the liberty
Thus to afflict my heart?
What is the cause of this new Power
Which doth my fevered being move,
Momently raging more and more?
What subtle Pain is kindled now
Which from my heart doth overflow
Into my senses?—
_36 flattering Boscombe manuscript; fluttering 1824.
Love! oh, Love!
'Tis that enamoured Nightingale
Who gives me the reply;
He ever tells the same soft tale
Of passion and of constancy
To his mate, who rapt and fond,
Listening sits, a bough beyond.
Be silent, Nightingale—no more
Make me think, in hearing thee
Thus tenderly thy love deplore,
If a bird can feel his so,
What a man would feel for me.
And, voluptuous Vine, O thou
Who seekest most when least pursuing,—
To the trunk thou interlacest
Art the verdure which embracest,
And the weight which is its ruin,—
No more, with green embraces, Vine,
Make me think on what thou lovest,—
For whilst thus thy boughs entwine
I fear lest thou shouldst teach me, sophist,
How arms might be entangled too.
Light-enchanted Sunflower, thou
Who gazest ever true and tender
On the sun's revolving splendour!
Follow not his faithless glance
With thy faded countenance,
Nor teach my beating heart to fear,
If leaves can mourn without a tear,
How eyes must weep! O Nightingale,
Cease from thy enamoured tale,—
Leafy Vine, unwreathe thy bower,
Restless Sunflower, cease to move,—
Or tell me all, what poisonous Power
Ye use against me—
_58 To]Who to cj. Rossetti.
_63 whilst thus Rossetti, Forman, Dowden; whilst thou thus 1824.
Love! Love! Love!
It cannot be!—Whom have I ever loved?
Trophies of my oblivion and disdain,
Floro and Lelio did I not reject?
[SHE BECOMES TROUBLED AT THE NAME OF CYPRIAN.]
Did I not requite him
With such severity, that he has fled
Where none has ever heard of him again?—
Alas! I now begin to fear that this
May be the occasion whence desire grows bold,
As if there were no danger. From the moment
That I pronounced to my own listening heart,
'Cyprian is absent!'—O me miserable!
I know not what I feel!
It must be pity
To think that such a man, whom all the world
Admired, should be forgot by all the world,
And I the cause.
[SHE AGAIN BECOMES TROUBLED.]
And yet if it were pity,
Floro and Lelio might have equal share,
For they are both imprisoned for my sake.
Alas! what reasonings are these? it is
Enough I pity him, and that, in vain,
Without this ceremonious subtlety.
And, woe is me! I know not where to find him now,
Even should I seek him through this wide world.
_89 me miserable]miserable me editions 1839.
Follow, and I will lead thee where he is.
And who art thou, who hast found entrance hither,
Into my chamber through the doors and locks?
Art thou a monstrous shadow which my madness
Has formed in the idle air?
No. I am one
Called by the Thought which tyrannizes thee
From his eternal dwelling; who this day
Is pledged to bear thee unto Cyprian.
So shall thy promise fail. This agony
Of passion which afflicts my heart and soul
May sweep imagination in its storm;
The will is firm.
Already half is done
In the imagination of an act.
The sin incurred, the pleasure then remains;
Let not the will stop half-way on the road.
I will not be discouraged, nor despair,
Although I thought it, and although 'tis true
That thought is but a prelude to the deed:—
Thought is not in my power, but action is:
I will not move my foot to follow thee.
But a far mightier wisdom than thine own
Exerts itself within thee, with such power
Compelling thee to that which it inclines
That it shall force thy step; how wilt thou then
_123 inclines]inclines to cj. Rossetti.
By my free-will.
Must force thy will.
It is invincible;
It were not free if thou hadst power upon it.
HE DRAWS, BUT CANNOT MOVE HER.
Come, where a pleasure waits thee.
It were bought
'Twill soothe thy heart to softest peace.
'Tis dread captivity.
'Tis joy, 'tis glory.
'Tis shame, 'tis torment, 'tis despair.
Canst thou defend thyself from that or me,
If my power drags thee onward?
Consists in God.
HE VAINLY ENDEAVOURS TO FORCE HER, AND AT LAST RELEASES HER.
Woman, thou hast subdued me,
Only by not owning thyself subdued.
But since thou thus findest defence in God,
I will assume a feigned form, and thus
Make thee a victim of my baffled rage.
For I will mask a spirit in thy form
Who will betray thy name to infamy,
And doubly shall I triumph in thy loss,
First by dishonouring thee, and then by turning
False pleasure to true ignominy.
Appeal to Heaven against thee; so that Heaven
May scatter thy delusions, and the blot
Upon my fame vanish in idle thought,
Even as flame dies in the envious air,
And as the floweret wanes at morning frost;
And thou shouldst never—But, alas! to whom
Do I still speak?—Did not a man but now
Stand here before me?—No, I am alone,
And yet I saw him. Is he gone so quickly?
Or can the heated mind engender shapes
From its own fear? Some terrible and strange
Peril is near. Lisander! father! lord!
ENTER LISANDER AND LIVIA.
Oh, my daughter! What?
A man go forth from my apartment now?—
I scarce contain myself!
A man here!
Have you not seen him?
JUSTINA: I saw him.
LISANDER: 'Tis impossible; the doors
Which led to this apartment were all locked.
I daresay it was Moscon whom she saw,
For he was locked up in my room.
Have been some image of thy fantasy.
Such melancholy as thou feedest is
Skilful in forming such in the vain air
Out of the motes and atoms of the day.
My master's in the right.
Oh, would it were
Delusion; but I fear some greater ill.
I feel as if out of my bleeding bosom
My heart was torn in fragments; ay,
Some mortal spell is wrought against my frame;
So potent was the charm that, had not God
Shielded my humble innocence from wrong,
I should have sought my sorrow and my shame
With willing steps.—Livia, quick, bring my cloak,
For I must seek refuge from these extremes
Even in the temple of the highest God
Where secretly the faithful worship.
_179 Where Rossetti; Which 1824.
JUSTINA [PUTTING ON HER CLOAK]:
In this, as in a shroud of snow, may I
Quench the consuming fire in which I burn,
And I will go with thee.
When I once see them safe out of the house
I shall breathe freely.
So do I confide
In thy just favour, Heaven!
Let us go.
Thine is the cause, great God! turn for my sake,
And for Thine own, mercifully to me!