페이지 이미지
PDF

“Lady R. If time to come “Should prove as ineffectual, yet, my lord, “Thou cans’t not blame me. When our Scottish youth “Wy'd with each other for my luckless love, “Oft I besought them, I implor'd them all “Not to assail me with my father's aid, “Nor blend their better destiny with mine. “For melancholy had congeal’d my blood, “And froze affection in my chilly breast. “At last my Sire, rous'd with the base attempt “To force me from him, which thou rend’red'st vain, “To his own daughter bow’d his hoary head, “Besought me to commiserate his age, “And vow’d he should not, could not die in peace, “ Unless he saw me wedded, and secur'd “From violence and outrage. Then, my lord l “In my extreme distress I call'd on thee, “Thee I bespake, profess'd my strong desire “To lead a single, solitary life, “And begg'd thy Nobleness, not to demand “Her for a wife whose heart was dead to love. “How thou persisted'st after this, thou know'st, “And must confess that I am not unjust, “Nor more to thee than to myself injurious. “Lord R. That I confess; yet ever must regret “The grief I cannot cure.” Would thou wert not Compos'd of grief and tenderness alone, “But had'st a spark of other passions in thee, “Pride, anger, vanity, the strong desire C is .

“Of admiration, dear to woman-kind;
“These might contend with, and allay thy grief,
“As meeting tides and currents smooth our firth.
“Lady R. To such a cause the human mind oft
OWes
“Its transient calm, a calm I envy not.”
Lord R. Sure thou art not the daughter of Sir Mal-
colm :
Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment:
For when thy brother fell, he smil'd to hear
That Douglas' son in the same field was slain.
Lady R. Oh! rake not up the ashes of my fathers:
Implacable resentment was their crime, 81
And grievous has the expiation been.
Contending with the Douglas, gallant lives
Of either house were lost; my ancestors
Compell’d, at last, to leave their ancient seat
On Tiviot's pleasant banks; and now, of them
No heir is left. Had they not been so stern,
I had not been the last of all my race.
Lord R. Thy grief wrests to its purposes my words.
I never ask'd of thee that ardent love
Which in the breasts of fancy’s children burns.
Decent affection and complacent kindness
Were all I wish’d for; but I wish’d in vain.
Hence with the less regret my eyes behold
The storm of war that gathers o'er this land :
If I should perish by the Danish sword,
Matilda would not shed one tear the more.
Lady R. Thou dost not think so: woeful as I am,

I

I love thy merit, and esteem thy virtues.
But whither go'st thou now
Lord R. Straight to the camp,
Where every warrior on the tip-toe stands
Of expectation, and impatient asks
Each who arrives, if he is come to tell
The Danes are landed.
Lady R. O, may adverse winds,
Far from the coast of Scotland, drive their fleet 1
And every soldier of both hosts return
In peace and safety to his pleasant home 1
Lord R. Thou speak'st a woman's, hear a warrior's
wish :
Right from their native land, the stormy north,
May the wind blow, till every keel is fix’d
Immoveable in Caledonia's strand 1 -
Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion,
And roving armies shun the fatal shore.
Lady R. “War I detest: but war with foreign foes,
“Whose manners, language, and whose looks are
strange,
‘‘Is not so horrid, nor to me so hateful,
“As that which with our neighbours oft we wage.
“A river here, there an ideal line,
“By fancy drawn, divide the sister kingdoms.
“On each side dwells a people similar,
“As twins are to each other; valiant both;
“Both for their valour famous thro’ the world.
“Yet will they not unite their kindred arms,
“And, if they must have war, wage distant war,

“But with each other fight in cruel conflićt.
“ Gallant in strife, and noble in their ire,
“The battle is their pastime. They go forth
“Gay in the morning, as to summer sport;
“When ev’ning comes, the glory of the morn,
“The youthful warrior is a clod of clay.
“Thus fall the prime of either hapless land;
“And such the fruit of Scotch and English wars.
“Lord R. I’ll hear no more: this melody would make
“A soldier drop his sword, and doff his arms,
“Sit down and weep the conquests he has made;
“Yea, (like a monk), sing rest and peace in heav'n
“To souls of warriors in his battles slain.”
Lady, farewel: I leave thee not alone; 22d
Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light.
[Exit.

Enter ANNA.

Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's love :
Urg’d by affection, I have thus presum'd
To interrupt your solitary thoughts;
And warn you of the hours that you neglect,
And lose in sadness.

Lady R. So to lose my hours
Is all the use I wish to make of time.

Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my state:

But sure I am, since death first prey’d on man,
Never did sister thus a brother mourn.
what had your sorrows been if you had lost,
In early youth, the husband of your heart

I

Lady R. Oh!
Anna. Have I distress'd you with officious love,
And ill-tim'd mention of your brother’s fate
Forgive me, Lady: humble though I am,
The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune :
So fervently I love you, that to dry

These piteous tears, I'd throw my life away. 24o Lady R. What power directed thy unconscious tongue

To speak as thou hast done to name— Anna. I know not : But since my words have made my mistress tremble, I will speak so no more: but silent mix My tears with hers. Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent. | A'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be | | Henceforth th' instructed partner of my woes. But what avails it Can thy feeble pity Roll back the flood of never-ebbing time Compel the earth and ocean to give up Their dead alive Anna. What means my noble mistress Lady R. Did'st thou not ask what had my sorrows been, If I in early youth had lost a husband — In the cold bosom of the earth is lodg’d, ; Mangl’d with wounds, the husband of my youth; And in some cavern of the ocean lies My child and his. Anna. Oh! Lady most rever'd 1

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »