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His arm shrinks wither'd, his heart melts Maurice. I seek a dear friend, whom for away,
aught I know And his bones soften !
The son of Velez hath hired one of you Naomi.
Where is Ferdinand ? To murder! Say, do ye know aught of Alhadra (in a deep low voice). This
Albert ? night I went from forth my house, Alhadra (starting). Albert?-three years and left
ago I heard that name His children all asleep; and he was living ! Murmur'd in sleep! High-minded forAnd I return'd, and found them still
eigner ! asleep
Mix thy revenge with mine, and stand But he had perish'd.
370 All. Perished?
[MAURICE stands among the Morescoes. Alhadra.
He had perish'd ! Alhadra. Was not Osorio my husband's Sleep on, poor babes! not one of you doth
349 Old Nlan. He kill'd my son in battle ; That he is fatherless, a desolate orphan !
yet our chieftain Why should we wake them? Can an in- Forced me to sheathe my dagger. Seefant's arm
the point Revenge his murder ?
Is bright, unrusted with the villain's blood ! One to Another. Did she say his murder? Alhadra. He is your chieftain's murNaomi. Murder'd ? Not murder'd?
derer ! Alhadra. Murder'd by a Christian ! Naomi. He dies by Alla !
[They all, at once, draw their sabres. All (dropping on one knee). By Alla ! Alhadra (to Naomi, who on being ad- Alhadra. This night a reeking slave dressed again advances from the
came with loud pant, circle). Brother of Zagri! fling Gave Ferdinand a letter, and departed, away thy sword :
Swift as he came. Pale, with unquiet looks, This is thy chieftain's !
He read the scroll.
Yes, I ask'd it. For I have sworn by Alla and the He answer'd me, "Alhadra ! thou art prophet,
380 No tear shall dim these eyes, this woman's A nobler secret ; but I have been faithful heart
To this bad man, and faithful I will be.' Shall heave no groan, till I have seen that He said, and arm’d himself, and lit a torch ; sword
Then kiss'd his children, each one on its Wet with the blood of all the house of
pillow, Velez !
359 And hurried from me. But I follow'd him Enter MAURICE.
At distance, till I saw him enter there. All. A spy! a spy !
Naomi. The cavern ?
They seise him. Alhadra. Yes—the mouth of yonder Mlaurice. Off ! off! unhand me, slaves !
gages himself and draws his Rush by with flaring torch; he likewise
enter'd Naomi (to Alhadra). Speak! shall we There was another and a longer pausekill him ?
And once, methought, I heard the clash of Maurice. Yes ! ye can kill a man,
391 Some twenty of you! But ye are Spanish | And soon the son of Velez reappear’d. slaves !
He flung his torch towards the moon in And slaves are always cruel, always cow
And seem'd as he were mirthful! I stood Alhadra. That man has spoken truth.
listening Whence and who art thou ?
Impatient for the footsteps of my husband !
ACT THE FIFTH
SCENE THE FIRST. — The Sea Shore.
NAOMI and a Moresco.
And yet another groan—which guided me Into a strange recess—and there was light, A hideous light ! his torch lay on the
groundIts flame burnt dimly o'er a chasm's brink. I spake—and while I spake, a feeble groan Came from that chasm! It was his last !
his death groan ! Maurice, Comfort her, comfort her, Almighty Father !
409 Alhadra. I stood in unimaginable trance And agony, that cannot be remember'd, Listening with horrid hope to hear a groan ! But I had heard his last—my husband's
Alhadra. I look'd far down the pit. My sight was bounded by a jutting frag
ment, And it was stain'd with blood ! Then first
I shriek'd ! My eyeballs burnt ! my brain grew hot as
fire ! And all the hanging drops of the wet roof Turn'd into blood. I saw them turn to blood !
419 And I was leaping wildly down the chasm When on the further brink I saw his sword, And it said, Vengeance! Curses on my
tongue ! The moon hath moved in heaven, and I
am here, And he hath not had vengeance ! Fer
dinand ! Spirit of Ferdinand ! thy murderer lives ! Away ! away!
[She rushes off, all following:
Moresco. This was no time for freaks of
useless vengeance. Naomi. True! but Francesco, the
Inquisitor, Thou know'st the bloodhound — twas a
strong temptation. And when they pass'd within a mile of his
house, We could not curb them in. They swore
by Mahomet, It were a deed of treachery to their
brethren To sail from Spain and leave that man
alive. Iloresco. Where is Alhadra ? Naomi.
She moved steadily on Unswerving from the path of her resolve. Yet each strange object fix'd her eye : for
grief Doth love to dally with fantastic shapes, And smiling, like a sickley moralist, Gives some resemblance of her own con
cerns To the straws of chance, and things inani
mate. I seek her here; stand thou upon the watch.
[Exit Moresco. Vaomi (looking wistfully to the distance).
Stretch'd on the rock! It must be
advances slowly, as if musing. Naomi. Once more, well met! what
ponder'st thou so deeply? Alhadra. I scarce can tell thee! For
my many thoughts Troubled me, till with blank and naked
mind I only listen'd to the dashing billows. It seems to me, I could have closed my
eyes And wak'd without a dream of what has
'Tis thus by nature Wisely ordain'd, that so excess of sorrow Might ng its own cure with it.
END OF THE FOURTH ACT.
[A pause-then fiercely. That it had brought its last and certain
Son of Velez, cure !
This hath new-strung my arm ! Thou That ruin in the wood.
It is a place To stupify a woman's heart with anguish, Of ominous fame; but 'twas the shortest Till she forgot even that she was a mother! road,
[- noise -- enter a part of the Nor could we else have kept clear of the
Morescoes ; and from the village.
opposite side of the stage a Yet some among us, as they scal'd the
Moorish Seaman. wall,
lloorish Seaman. The boat is on the Mutter'd old rhyming prayers.
shore, the vessel waits. Alhadra.
On that broad wall Your wives and children are already stow'd; I saw a skull; a poppy grew beside it, I left them prattling of the Barbary coast, There was a ghastly solace in the sight! Of Mosks, and minarets, and golden Naomi. I mark'd it not, and in good
crescents. truth the night-bird
Each had her separate dream; but all Curdled my blood, even till it prick'd the
were gay, heart.
Dancing, in thought to finger - beaten Its note comes dreariest in the fall of the
timbrels ! year :
[Enter MAURICE and the rest of [Looking round impatiently.
the Morescoes dragging in Why don't they come? I will go forth and
FRANCESCO. meet them.
[Exit NAOMI. Francesco. O spare me, spare me ! only Alhadra (alone). The hanging woods,
spare my life! that touch'd by autumn seem'd
An Old Man, All hail, Alhadra ! O As they were blossoming hues of fire and
that thou hadst heard him
40 When first we dragg’d 'him forth ! The hanging woods, most lovely in decay,
[Then turning to the band. The many clouds, the sea, the rock, the
Here! in her presencesands,
[He advances with his sword as Lay in the silent moonshine; and the
about to kill him. MAURICE owl,
leaps in and stands with his (Strange! very strange !) the scritch owl
drawn sword between FRANonly wak’d,
CESCO and the Morescoes. Sole voice, sole eye of all that world of llaurice.
Nay, but ye shall not ! beauty !
Old Man. Shall not ? Hah? Shall Why such a thing am I! Where are these
not? men ?
Maurice. What, an unarm'd man? I need the sympathy of human faces A man that never wore a sword ? A To beat away this deep contempt for all
It is unsoldierly! I say, ye shall not ! Which quenches my revenge.
Oh ! Old Man (turning to the bands). He would to Alla
bears himself most like an insolent The raven and the sea-mew were appointed
Spaniard ! To bring me food, or rather that my soul llaurice. And ye like slaves, that have Could drink in life from the universal air !
destroy'd their master, It were a lot divine in some small skiff, But know not yet what freedom means ; Along some ocean's boundless solitude,
how holy To float for ever with a careless course, And just a thing it is ! He's a fall'n foe! And think myself the only being alive! Come, come, forgive him ! NAOMI re-enters. All.
No, by Mahomet ! Naomi. Thy children
Francesco. O mercy, mercy! talk to Alhadra. Children ? Whose children?
them of mercy !
SCENE.- A Dungeon. ALBERT (alone) rises slowly from a bed
of reeds. Albert. And this place my forefathers
made for men ! This is the process of our love and wisdom To each poor brother who offends against
Old Man. Mercy to thee! No, no, by
Mahomet ! Maurice. Nay, Mahomet taught mercy
and forgiveness. I am sure he did ! Old jlan. Ha ! Ha ! Forgiveness
Mercy ! llaurice. If he did not, he needs it for
himself! Alhadra. Blaspheming fool! the law of
Mahomet Was given by him, who framed the soul
of man. This the best proof-it fits the soul of
man ! Ambition, glory, thirst of enterprize, The deep and stubborn
stubborn purpose of revenge,
89 With all the boiling revelries of pleasureThese grow in the heart, yea, intertwine
their roots With its minutest fibres ! And that Being Who made us, laughs to scorn the lying
faith, Whose puny precepts, like a wall of sand, Would stem the full tide of predestined
with his sword). Speak !
Speak! Alhadra. Is the murderer of your chief
tain dead? Now as God liveth, who hath suffer'd
him To make my children orphans, none shall
die · Till I have seen his blood !
Off with him to the vessel ! [A part of the Morescoes hurry
him off Alhadra. The Tyger, that with un
quench'd cruelty, Still thirsts for blood, leaps on the hunter's
spear With prodigal courage. 'Tis not so with
man. Maurice. It is not so, remember that,
my friends! Cowards are cruel, and the cruel cowards. Alhadra. Scatter yourselves, take each
a separate way, And move in silence to the house of Velez.
Most innocent, perhaps -- and what if
guilty ? Is this the only cure ? Merciful God ! Each pore and natural outlet shrivell'd
up By ignorance and parching poverty, His energies roll back upon his heart, And stagnate and corrupt till changed to
poison, They break out on him like a loathsome
plague-spot ! Then we call in our pamper'd mounte
banks-And this is their best cure ! uncomforted And friendless solitude, groaning and
tears, And savage faces at the clanking hour Seen thro' the steaming vapours of his dungeon
I21 By the lamp's dismal twilight ! So he
lies Circled with evil, till his very soul Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deform'd By sights of ever more deformity ! With other ministrations thou, O Nature ! Healest thy wandering and distemper'd
child : Thou pourest on him thy soft influences, Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing
sweets, Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters,
130 Till he relent, and can no more endure To be a jarring and a dissonant thing Amid this general dance and minstrelsy ; But bursting into tears wins back his way, His angry spirit heal'd and harmoniz'd By the benignant touch of love and beauty.1
[A noise at the dungeon-door. It
opens, and OSORIO enters with
a goblet in his hand. i The above soliloquy was published in the Lyrical Ballads (1798, pp. 139, 140), under the title of The Dungeon. Vide p. 85.
I pour'd forth a libation to old Pluto;
thee! Albert (in a low voice). I have not
summon’d up my heart to give 140 That pang, which I must give thee, son of
conspired against my life and
honour, Häst trick'd me foully ; yet I hate thee
not ! Why should I hate thee? This same world
of oursIt is a puddle in a storm of rain, And we the air-bladders, that course up and
down, And joust and tilt in merry tournament, And when one bubble runs foul of another,
[Waving his hand at ALBERT. The lesser must needs break! Albert.
I see thy heart ! There is a frightful glitter in thine eye, Which doth betray thee. Crazy-conscienc'd man,
151 This is the gaiety of drunken anguish, Which fain would scoff away the pang of
guilt, And quell each human feeling! Osorio.
Feeling ! feeling! The death of a man—the breaking of a
bubble. 'Tis true, I cannot sob for such misfortunes ! But faintness, cold, and hunger--curses on
me If willingly I e'er inflicted them ! Come, share the beverage-this chill place
demands it. Friendship and wine !
[Osorio proffers him the goblet. Albert.
Yon insect on the wall, Which moves this way and that its hundred legs,
Osoriv. What meanest thou ?
171 Shall we throw dice, which of us two shall
drink it ? For one of us must die !
Albert. Whom dost thou think me? Osorio. The accomplice and sworn
friend of Ferdinand. Albert. Ferdinand ! Ferdinand ! 'tis a
name I know not. Osorio, Good ! good! that lie! by
Heaven ! it has restor'd me. Now I am thy master! Villain, thou shalt
drink it, Or die a bitterer death. Albert.
What strange solution Hast thou found out to satisfy thy fears, And drug them to unnatural sleep?
[ALBERT takes the goblet, and with a sigh throws it on the ground.
lly master! 180 Osorio. Thou mountebank ! Albert.
Mountebank and villain ! What then art thou ? For shame, put up
thy sword ! What boots a weapon in a wither'd arm? I fix mine eye upon thee, and thou
tremblest ! I speak--and fear and wonder crush thy
rage, And turn it to a motionless distraction ! Thou blind self-worshipper ! thy pride, thy
cunning, Thy faith in universal villainy, Thy shallow sophisms, thy pretended scorn For all thy human brethren--out upon them !
190 What have they done for thee? Have
they given thee peace? Cured thee of starting in thy sleep? or made The darkness pleasant, when thou wakest
at midnight? Art happy when alone? canst walk by thy
Saved ? saved ?
One pangCould I call up one pang of true remorse! Osorio. He told me of the babe, that
prattled to him,