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Second Pea. I doubt if it be earthly, brother-hush!
There was a wildness in those notes that-hark! The voice is heard again—it becomes gradually more audible—the following words are distinguished:
The moon looked pale as the Baron passed,
The storm grew still while his wild-wood blast
Rung thro' the forest-the maiden sighed,
And left the mountains to be his bride.-
The infant was rocked on the ocean's breast,
The tempest was hanging o'er it
A curse was on it's hour of rest,
And a long, long dream before it.
I've heard a tone like that
It is the maniac's
Whom yesterday we saw upon yon cliff,
A dizzy height !-Her eye was fixed and stern,
Upon the edge she stood, and seemed to gaze
Fearless and pleased upon the waves below—
What a proud soul she has!-when we beheld,
We waved our hats and handkerchiefs, and hoped
To warn her of her danger-still she stood,
Unmindful of our signs, and when we shouted,
Disturbing the deep echoes of the shores,
And partly climbed the precipice to render
Our voices more distinct and audible,
She raised her wasted arms, and looked at us
Some moments with a scornful smile-at length
As if in mockery of our earth-born terrors,
She flung her heedless form into a glen
That lay behind the rocks-
Know you her story?
Nothing more than this.
Some secret guilt, perhaps,
Or shame, or grief, weighs on her soul- 'twere well
To follow her-
What shall we glean by that?
The true condition of her mind; if crime,
Like a foul, festering canker rankles there,
Or some deep sorrow swells her breaking heart,
We will console her wretched state by kindness,
And win her into calm forgetfulness.
I go with you-
Did you not hear her now?
Second Pea. This way the voice was-
Let us follow it.
Scene II. The entrance of a wood.-A chain of high rocks are discernible through the trees:-at intervals a waterfall breaks over them.— At the back a cottage partly concealed by the foliage. A voice at a distance, occasionally interrupted by the dashing of the water.
Elements of Earth
Mingle and meet,
Destruction and death,
Certain and fleet,
Fall-fall on the world,
'Till wild dismay,
Like a wild curse hurled,
Waste all away!-
Thus-thus it has been
What her eyes have seen
No tongue may tell-
Thus-thus it shall be
'Till withering dearth,
O'er land and o'er sea,
Waste-waste the earth.
Let the ruined souls
That wandered there,
When the last bell tolls
Be found in air-
Like stars condemned-lone-
By that blight unknown,
Isabel appears at the bank-her dress wild and tattered.
Beautiful moon!-I've worshipped thee 'till love
Of thy pale light has made my heart and brain
Confused and 'wildered. Oh! thou art the likeness
Of the Eternal.-Beautiful moon!-thy throne
Is on the rocking clouds; the stars about thee
Crowd, like the servile things of this base world
Around their Deity-there are no hymns
For thee in Heaven, but all is mute and silent,
As if no echo even of praise and prayer
Should break upon the stillness of thy course.
Such-such it should be at the midnight hour,
For man is resting now-the deeds of evil
Are slumbering with him, and his heart of guilt
Sleeps in suspension of it's office—such-
Such it should be-no tongue should lisp-no breath
Should wake a sound-but in the awful pause
All Nature should be wrapt.
Here make thy bed,
Desolate one!-here lay thy fainting limbs,
And as thy last breath shrinks away, command
Enough of courage to despise this world,
Man-man-thou art the lord and slave of passion-
How my heart hates thee, from the meekest blood
Amongst you to the hottest. Have I cause?—
Let me not ask that question lest my wrong
Drive me to guilt and make my wretchedness
More criminal than it is.
How these old trees
Are bound with ivy-but the upper boughs
Peep forth decayed and rotten-
Thus it is-
Thus man entwines his victim, thus he clasps,
Constrictor-like, the creature he destroys!
Am I not blasted thus ?-the forest stands,
Giving an echo to my misery,
But no reply-am I not like a worm
That crawls upon the earth, sullying its track?
A reptile?—and a foul, dishonoured thing,
Whom none will see bit those whose trampling tread
Feels something writhe beneath? Then let me die-
Receive me to thy bosom, mother earth,
Thou art the parent and the sepulchre
Of human things-full oft you've lodged me thus-
Full oft I've slept within thy kindred arms,
And blest my safety, for in thy embrace
There was no danger.
She lies down-a pause-steps are heard behind.
Hark! I heard a foot-
Have I pursuers in this trackless wood?
Or was it but the rushing of the wind?
I would not meet the eye of man-
The two Peasants are distinguished amongst the trees.
They come-I will evade them-yonder height-
That cottage may protect me-have I strength?
Preserve me-but I will evade them still-
Exit towards the Cottage.
The two Peasants come forward-they point after her, and exeunt.
Interior of the Cottage. Agatha and Marinette discovered. Agatha. Yesterday? Marinette.
And then he looked so wild, mother-
But he meant perhaps to bless me-
Why does he wander
At midnight through the forest, and desert
The sleepless couch of his proud castle's mistress?
Why does he mutter to himself such sounds,
As if his heart were full of guilt and crime?
Oh! I do much mistrust these things-last night
I chanced to walk alone to that sad spot
Where his late lady lies interred-just then,
A hollow and unearthly voice—I shudder
When I think of it-the baron stood-
(A step is heard outside and a faint moan.)
That was a groan !-Saint Martin to my aid!
A knocking at the door.
Who can it be at such a time of night?
Isabel. (outside) If ye are human save me-
Do not fear,
It is a female voice.
opens the door-Isabel rushes in, and falls on the ground.
Poor wretched one!
We will protect her! raise her from the ground
There-there-speak to us, for we would serve you.
Isabel. Would ye serve me? then close-close up your doors,
Shut out all kindred from your walls: admit
None-none. I have escaped-they lost my track-
Ha ha ha! Think ye I am nad?-the moon
Can tell ye I am not, for it has been
My sole companion many years,
She looks attentively at Marinette.
That deep blue eye-and those long flaxen locks-
Are you the offspring of these wilds?-your name?
He could not bless a human being-no-
His heart-(aside) I am betraying him.-My child!
The Baron has been kind to us-most kind-
His young bride-Agnes-excellent as fair,
Deserves our gratitude.
I do beguile myself-but
You will not banish me for that?-Nature
Is subject to strange workings, or my senses
Are bewildered.-How old are you ?
Unsearchable decrees of mighty fate,
I do not challenge you-but-just so long-
Oh! 'twas her eye, her hair.Shew me your hand-
She examines Marinette's hand.
The Toper and Resolution.
O Heaven! there is a mark on it
She sinks back.
You have not closed the door-and I hear stepsAre my pursuers come? -Hark!At this moment the door at the back opens, and Lindenberg appears— Isabel utters a frantic laugh, and exclaims
and falls into the arms of Marinette.- Lindenberg stands gazing intently on the group.The scene closes,
(To be continued.)