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My way of life leads me but rarely down
To bask by the huge hearths of those old halls,
Carousing with the vassals; but the paths,
Which step from out our mountains to their doors,
I know from childhood—which of these is thine ?
Man. No matter.
Well, sir, pardon me the question, And be of better cheer. Come, taste my wine; 'Tis of an ancient vintage ; many a day "T has thaw'd my veins among our glaciers, now Let it do thus for thineCome, pledge me fairly.
Man. Away, away! there's blood upon the brim ! Will it then never-never sink in the earth ? C: Hun. What dost thou mean? thy senses wander
from thee. Man. I say 'tis blood-my blood! the pure warm
Which ran in the veins of my fathers, and in ours
When we were in our youth, and had one heart,
And loved each other as we should not love,
And this was shed: but still it rises up,
Colouring the clouds, that shut me out from heaven,
Where thou art not-and I shall never be.
C. Hun. Man of strange words, and some half-mad
Which makes thee people vacancy, whate’er
Thy dread and sufferance be, there's comfort yet-
The aid of holy men, and heavenly patience-
Man. Patience and patience! Hence that word was
For brutes of burthen, not for birds of prey;
Preach it to mortals of a dust like thine,-
I am not of thine order.
Thanks to heaven!
I would not be of thine for the free fame
Of William Tell; but whatsoe'er thine ill,
It must be borne, and these wild starts are useless.
Max. Do I not bear it ?-Look on me- -I live.
C. Hun. This is convulsion, and no healthful life.
MAN. I tell thee, man! I have lived many years,
Many long years, but they are nothing now
To those which I must number: ages-ages-
Space and eternity—and consciousness,
With the fierce thirst of death and still unslaked!
C. Hun. Why, on thy brow the seal of middle
age Hath scarce been set; I am thine elder far.
Man. Think'st thou existence doth depend on time?
It doth; but actions are our epochs: mine
Have made my days and nights imperishable,
Endless, and all alike, as sands on the shore,
Innumerable atoms; and one desert,
Barren and cold, on which the wild waves break,
But nothing rests, save carcases and wrecks,
Rocks, and the salt-surf weeds of bitterness.
C. Hun. Alas! he's mad—but yet I must not leave
Man. I would I were—for then the things I see
Would be but a distemper'd dream.
What is it
That thou dost see, or think thou look'st upon ?
Man. Myself, and thee-a peasant of the Alps-
Thy humble virtues, hospitable home,
And spirit patient, pious, proud and free;
Thy self-respect, grafted on innocent thoughts ;
Thy days of health, and nights of sleep; thy toils,
By danger dignified, yet guiltless; hopes
Of cheerful old age and a quiet grave,
With cross and garland over its green turf,
And thy grandchildren's love for epitaph;
This do I see and then I look within
It matters not—my soul was scorch'd already!
C. Hun. And wouldst thou then exchange thy lot for
mine? Man. No, friend! I would not wrong thee, nor ex
My lot with living being: I can bear-
However wretchedly, 'tis still to bear-
In life what others could not brook to dream,
But perish in their slumber.
And with this
This cautious feeling for another's pain,
Canst thou be black with evil ?—say not so.
Can one of gentle thoughts have wreak'd revenge
Upon his enemies ?
Oh! no, no, no!
My injuries came down on those who loved mem
On those whom I best loved : I never quell'd
An enemy, save in my just defence-
But my embrace was fatal.
Heaven give thee rest!
And penitence restore thee to thyself;
My prayers shall be for thee.
I need them not, But can endure thy pity. I depart'Tis time-farewell !-Here's gold, and thanks for theeNo words—it is thy due.-
Follow me notI know my path—the mountain peril's past :And once again, I charge thee, follow not !
A lower Valley in the Alps. A Cataract.
It is not noon-the sunbow's
(1) still arch
The torrent with the many hues of heaven,
And roll the sheeted silver's waving column
O'er the crag's headlong perpendicular,
And fling its lines of foaming light along,
And to and fro, like the pale courser's tail,
The Giant steed, to be bestrode by Death,
As told in the Apocalypse. No eyes
But mine now drink this sight of loveliness ;
I should be sole in this sweet solitude,