Puslapio vaizdai
[blocks in formation]

Ah, I remember now, too much remember; But I am better: still methinks I fainted; Or was the whole a fearful, nightmare dream?

Nay, am I yet not dreaming? No; I wake: And, as from dream or as from being born, Without the outery of a mother's travail; Or, as if waking from a revery,

I to myself am ushered by strange music, That, in its solemn gentleness, falls on me Like a superior's blessing. Give me more Of this sweet benefit.

[After having listened again. Who is this stranger? Yes, I know him


"T is not a heavenly spirit, though so like one,
With curving arms encompassing the harp,
As clasps the landscape the aërial bow :
It is the minstrel youth from Bethlehem;
In form, indeed, surpassing beautiful.
Methinks he doth address himself to sing:
I'll listen, for I love him as he sits

Rapt, like a statue conjured from the air.

David. [Sings, accompanying himself on his harp.]

O Lord, have mercy on the king;
The evil spirit from him take;
His soul from its sore suffering
Deliver, for thy goodness' sake.

Saul. [Aside.] He for me prays.

O, heal thine own Anointed's hurt;
Let evil from his thoughts be driven;
And breathe upon his troubled heart
The balmy sense of fault forgiven.

Saul. [Aside.] I would not hide my faults; amen.

Great God, thou art within this place;
The universe is filled with thee:
To all thou givest strength and grace;
O, give the king thy grace to see.

Saul. [Aside.] What have I done deserved the loss of grace? I cannot say 66 amen";- and if I did, My feeble amen would be blown away Before it had reached heaven. I cannot

say it :

There disbelief takes prisoner my tongue!

As after winter cometh spring,
Make joy unto his soul return;
And me, in thy good pleasure, bring
To tend my flock where I was born.

Saul. [Aside.] So able, yet so humble ! [Aloud.] David, no; Thou shalt remain and be mine armorbearer.

What, wouldst thou seek again the idle downs,

'Midst senseless sheep, to spend the listless day,

Watching the doings of thy ewes and rams!
Thou shalt go with me to the martial field
And see great deeds thereon.

Myself will teach thee military lessons;
To tell the enemy's numbers; to discover
His vulnerable points; by stratagem
To draw him from his posts of vantage;

Swift to advance; how to surprise the foe;

And how to leaven others with thy courage;
How win from Ammon and the strong

And how at last to drink triumphantly,
From goblet of victorious return,
The blood-red wine of war.

Meantime, thy lyric pleasures need not end;
For the fair maidens of the court affect
Music and song. Go now and tell the

All the advantage thou hast been to me.
[Exit David.
How potent is the voice of music! stronger
Even than is a king's command. How oft
In vain have I adjured this demon hence!
O Music, thou art a magician! Strange,
Most strange, we did not sooner think of

And charm us with thy gentle sorcery.


Malzah. Music, music hath its sway; Music's order I obey :

I have unwound myself at sound
From off Saul's heart, where coiled I lay.
'Tis true, awhile I've lost the game;
Let fate and me divide the blame.
And now away, away; but whither,
Whither, meantime, shall I go?
Erelong I must returned be hither.
There's Jordan, Danube, and the Po,
And Western rivers huge, I know :
There's Ganges, and the Euphrates,
Nilus and the stretching seas:
There's many a lake and many a glen
To rest me, as in heaven, again;
With Alps, and the Himalayan range : —
And there's the Desert for a change.
Whither shall I go?

I'll sit i' the sky,
And laugh at mortals and at care;
(Not soaring, as before, too high,
And bring upon myself a snare ;)
But out my motley fancies spin
Like cobwebs on the yellow air;
Laugh bright with joy, or dusky grin
In changeful mood of seance there.
The yellow air! the yellow air!
He's great who's happy anywhere.

[blocks in formation]

Or swell and fill whom from the harmonious lyre,

And man may lead them wheresoe'er he wills,

And stare to see the nude demoniac

Sit clothed and void of frenzy. I'll be


And take a posy with me from Saul's garden. [Exit; and soon re-enters, bearing a huge nosegay, and thereat snuffing.

Shall I fling it in the earth's face, whence I took it!

Albeit I've seen, perhaps, flowers as mean in heaven.

Well, I will think that these are heaven's.

This is a poor excuse for asphodel;
And yet it has the true divine aroma.
Here's ladslove, and the flower which even

Cannot unscent, the all-transcending rose.
Here's gilly-flower, and violets dark as eyes
Of Hebrew maidens. There's convolvulus,
That sickens ere noon and dies ere evening.
Here's monkey's-cap. - Egad! 't would
cap a monkey

To say what I have gathered; for I spread

[blocks in formation]

I could compare to other trifling things, But shall not. Ah, here's head-hangingdown narcissus,

A true and perfect emblem of myself. I'll count it my own likeness; and so leave it

For delectation of my radiant mistress,

[blocks in formation]


SCENE. The Alps. Time, night, with stars.
Enter MALZAH, walking slowly.
Malzah. So, so; I feel the signal.
It seems to reach me through the air,
To Saul it prompts me to repair.

I wish 't would cease; it doth not please
Me now to terminate my leisure.
I was alone; and here to groan
At present is my greatest pleasure.
I'll come anon; I say begone;
What is the wayward King to me?
I say begone; I'll come anon.
O, thou art strong; I'll follow thee.

[Exit, and enter the angel Zelehtha. Zelehtha. He flees, he flees, across the


That eastward lead to Canaan's land;
And Heaven commands me not to cease
To urge, yet guide, his hand.

[Looking upwards. How every star reminds me of my lover! When we did part, he on me cast his eyes, Bright as those orbs. Yet over them


Came like the mists o'er evening, as he

charged me

Still to him to return (if so I might
Return afresh to him, my home and goal),
What time the earth returned day's light
to heaven.

So would I now swift soar unto his bosom,
But I must not abandon this foul fiend,
Until his work is done. Hence do I follow
Him through the spaces of the universe,
Still tracking him in silence, as I track
Him now across these heaven-piercing

O'er which the quiet, congregated stars Dance, twinkling-footed, and, in gladness,


Mute immemorial measure, without song. Yet hearken; the immeasurable yawn Methinks awakens, and, by me evoked, This grave of silence gives a ghost of sound. What song is that which wanders hitherward,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

2d Sold. Clean-limbed.

3d Sold.

4th Sold.

5th Sold.



And lithe and lissome.

6th Sold. Like a Provençale in her mum

ming garb

On Pope Unreason's day. But where 's her dog?

7th Sold. I saw one like that one in


A statue like her as two peas. They called her

Bronze something, I forget. They dug her up,

And polished her, and set her up on end. 1st Sold. Hi! graven image, hast thou ne'er a tongue?

2d Sold. How should she speak but as a magpie chatters, Chat, chat! pretty Mag!

3d Sold. Leave her alone, now. 4th Sold. Lay hold on her and see if she feels warm.

[OHNAWA draws a knife. All. Aha! well done! encore the scene! well played!

[ROBERVAL approaches; she advances to

wards him.

[blocks in formation]

A live pawn for thy people? Then I hope 'T will be long time ere they make mat

ters up,

So that we still may keep thee hostage


But say, do practised warriors, shrewd and cunning,

Send such bright eyes as thine to armèd


To glancing catch full note of our weak points

[blocks in formation]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »