Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Of these cursed white men, such a whoop of war,
As shall be both a warning and a knell;
And like a frightful dream, whose end is death,
They shall awake to look upon their graves :
Our foolish snake foretells his foe's destruction,
The omen of his own – we, like the adder,
Both hiss and bite at once, secure of vengeance.

.. . . (Exeunt.

ACT II.

Scene, the Spanish Prison.

RAYMOND followed by an Officer. .
Raym. Your business is dispatch’d, sir.
Offi.

I was bid To wait upon you.

Raym. I want no attendance : When I am bed-rid, I will send for you. I would be left alone: it is your business To see I do not starve, the rest is mine. (Exit Officer.) These Spaniards have me in the toil, and think To shape my spirit to their purposes. First they would soothe me: if that fails, 'tis like I shall have stripes anon; just so they use A beast, by pampering his appetite. By violence they think to paralyse The holy powers of nature, but they shall find That food, nor blows, caress, nor chastisement, Shall bury in oblivion the foul wrong By which I'm here.

(Enter ABDALLAH.) Which of the devils art thou ?

Abd. The slave Abdallah.
Raym. What the governor sent thee?
Abd. Yes.

Raym. For what purpose ?

Abd. To be your slave too,
To dance or sing to you, to bring you food
Or drink, to watch you fearfully whilst sleeping,
That I may fly, when you awake, to serve you.

Raym. Away, I have no appetites that need
A slave — for I am master of myself.
Thy dance or song may soothe me, and I thank thee;
But for the other offices thou nam’st,
Wert thou a dog, of but an hour's acquaintance,
I would not so degrade thee. Hark! :
(The sound of a guitar without.)

What's that
Abd. 'Tis my young mistress.
Raym. What Almanza ?
Abd. Yes.
Ray. Hark!

(She sings to the guitare)

[ocr errors]

The sun is sunk beneath the wave,
The moon-beams twinkle on his grave,
Oh whither does my hunter roam,
When shadowy twilight calls thee home.
No rustling brake betrays the deer,
Couch'd in his covert sleeps the bear,
The star of morning bade thee rove,
But yon pale star does light to love.

II.

Does tangling forest yex thy way?
Or reedy swamp thy foot betray ?
Or has the twang of hostile bow,
My gallant warrior, laid thee low?
Hark! 'tis his voice, he comes with speed,
I knew the neighing of his steed;
Safe in my arms, you shall not rove,
Until the morning dawns, my love,

Raym. What can this mean? Is it her custom

thus,
Like Philomela, chusing solitude,
To soothe the house of mourning.
Abd.

No, her father, He bad her come and sing.

Raym. Sits the wind so ?
Abd. She comes this way
Raym. I will be frank with her.

Enter ALMANZA.
Alm. My father bids me tell you, that till

sunset,
Passing your honour you will then return,
You are at liberty.
Raym.

I thank you, lady,
For being freedom's hand-maid. Is that all?

[ocr errors]

Was there no further purport in your visit ?
Did not your father bid you practise, lady,
Whilst with your hands you took my fetters off,
T'enthrall me with your eyes ? Be honest now,
And I'll be plain with you.
Alm.

You have guess'd well
My father's purpose, but these blushes, sir
Are for his thoughts, not mine. I came, believe me,
But by command.

Raym. Hear then a simple tale, That to the purpose shall speak plain and full: Some years are past (no matter now the cause) Like jarring friends, I and my country parted; I sought my fortune 'midst the Indian creeks, 'Twas at the close of a long sultry day, Upon a wild savanna, faint with hunger, Shook with a fever, I look'd round in vain, For trace of living object, man or beast : But all was horrid stillness - on the ground I lay me down in absolute despair, So very sick at heart, that when at last My jaded senses dropt into oblivion, I car'd not, if mine eye-lids, as they clos'd, Should ever open on another dawn.' But long I slept not; sudden in mine ear These accents softly whisper'dWake, poor man.

« AnteriorContinuar »