« AnteriorContinuar »
I have sworn to do it; And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age would do it:
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears,
And quench its fiery indignation,
Even in the matter of mine innocence:
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron?
An if an angel should have come to me,
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believed no tongue but Hubert's.*
Hub. Come forth.
Re-enter Attendants, with cord, irons, &c. Do as I bid you do.
Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes are out, Even with the fierce looks of the bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas! what need you be so boisterous-rough:
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the irons angerly;
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within; let me alone with him.
1 Atten. I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend:
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:-
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to yours.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy?
Hub. None, but to lose your eyes.
Arth. O heaven! that there were but a mote in yours,
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense!
* The two negatives in this line do not amount to an affirmative: they are used to strengthen the negation :-a solecism, tolerated in the age, and often found in the writings, of Shakspeare.
Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there,
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Hub. Is this your promise? Go to, hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert!
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
So I may keep mine eyes; O, spare mine eyes;
Though to no use, but still to look on you!
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold,
And would not harm me.
I can heat it, boy.
Arth. No, in good sooth, the fire is dead with griefBeing create for comfort to be used
In undeserved extremes: See else yourself:
There is no malice in this burning coal;
The breath of heaven hath blown its spirit out,
And strewed repentant ashes on his head.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert;
Nay, it perchance, will sparkle in your eyes,
And, like a dog, that is compelled to fight,
Snatch at his master that does tarre him on.*
All things, that you should use to do me wrong,
Deny their office; only you do lack
That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends,——
Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes;t
Yet I am sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while
You were disguised.
Peace: no more: Adieu!-
Your uncle must not know but you are dead:
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports.
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
Arth. O heaven!-I thank you, Hubert.
Hub. Silence: no more. Go closely in with me:
Much danger do I undergo for thee.
*Set him on.
The Contrasts of Alpine Scenery.-BYRON.
ADIEU to thee, fair Rhine! how long, delighted,
The stranger fain would linger on his way!
Thine is a scene alike where souls united,
Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray;
And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here,
Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay,
Wild, but not rude, awful, yet not austere,
Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year.
Adieu to thee again! a vain adieu!
There can be no farewell to scenes like thine ;
The mind is coloured by thine every hue;
And if reluctantly the eyes resign
Their cherished gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine! 'Tis with the thankful glance of parting praise:
More mighty spots may rise-more glaring shine,
But none unite, in one attaching maze,
The brilliant, fair, and soft,—the glories of old days.
The negligently grand, the fruitful bloom
Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen, The rolling stream, the précipice's gloom,
The forest's growth, and Gothick walls between, The wild rocks, shaped as they had turrets been, In mockery of man's art; and these withal
A race of faces happy as the scene, Whose fertile bounties here extend to all,
Still springing o'er thy banks, though empires near them fall.
But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps, And throned Eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls The avalanche-the thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit yet appals, Gather around these summits, as to show
How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below,
Lake Leman wooes me with its crystal face,
The mirror, where the stars and mountains view The stillness of their aspect in each trace
Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue. There is too much of man here, to look through, With a fit mind, the might which I behold;
But soon in me shall loneliness renew Thoughts hid, but not less cherished than of old, E'er mingling with the herd had penned me in their fold.
Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake
With the wide world I've dwelt in is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction; once I loved
Torn ocean's roar; but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
It is the hush of night; and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darkened Jura, whose capped heights appear
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grass-hopper one good-night carol more.
He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes,
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill;-
But that is fancy; for the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love distil,
Weeping themselves away till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven,
If, in your bright leaves, we would read the fate
Of men and empires,-'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar,
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.
All heaven and earth are still,-though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep:-
All heaven and earth are still: From the high host
Of stars to the lulled lake, and mountain coast,
All is concentered in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of That which is of all Creator and Defence.
The sky is changed! and such a change! Oh Night,
And Storm, and Darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaps the live thunder!-not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue;
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps who call to her aloud!
And this is in the night :-Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,-
A portion of the tempest and of thee!
How the lit lake shines,-a phosphorick sea-
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black-and now, the glee
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth,
As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.
Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! ye,
⚫ With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul
To make these felt and feeling, well may be
Things that have made me watchful:-the far roll
Of your departing voices is the knoll
Of what in me is sleepless,-if I rest.
But where, of ye, O tempests! is the goal?
Are ye like those within the human breast?
Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest?