« PrécédentContinuer »
With inauspicious thunderings shook heaven,
For other causes I forbore to soothe
Their fury to Favonian gentleness.
I could, and would not.-[Aside] (Thus I wake in him
Thrilling and strange? I am the friendless guest
Of this rude place, I offer thee the fruit
And thenceforth shall so firm an amity
'Twixt thee and me be that neither Fortune,
SCENE III.-The DEMON tempts JUSTINA (who is a Christian).
Abyss of Hell! I call on thee,
Thou wild misrule of thine own anarchy !
From thy prison-house set free
The spirits of voluptuous death,
That with their mighty breath
They may destroy a world of virgin thoughts:
Be peopled from thy shadowy deep,
Till her guiltless fantasy
Full to overflowing be!
And, with sweetest harmony,
Let birds and flowers and leaves and all things move
To love, only to love!
Let nothing meet her eyes
But signs of Love's soft victories;
Let nothing meet her ear
But sounds of Love's sweet sorrow;
So that from faith no succour may she borrow,
But, guided by my spirit blind,
And in a magic snare entwined,
Begin! while I in silence bind
My voice, when thy sweet song thou hast began.
A VOICE WITHIN.
What is the glory far above
All else in human life?
[While these words are sung, the DEMON goes out at one door, and JUSTINA enters at another.
THE FIRST VOICE.
There is no form in which the fire
Of love its traces has impressed not.
Than by life's breath, soon possessed not.
Thou melancholy thought, which art
So flattering and so sweet, to thee
Thus to afflict my heart?
What is the cause of this new power
Which doth my fevered being move, Momently raging more and more? What subtle pain is kindled now, Which from my heart doth overflow
'Tis that enamoured nightingale
Who gives me the reply:
What a man would feel for me!
Art the verdure which embracest,
Restless sunflower, cease to move,—
Justina. It cannot be! Whom have I ever loved?
Trophies of my oblivion and disdain,
Floro and Lelio did I not reject?
And Cyprian?— [She becomes troubled at the name of CYPRIAN. Did I not requite him
With such severity that he has fled
Where none has ever heard of him again?—
Alas! I now begin to fear that this
May be the occasion whence desire grows bold,—
As if there were no danger. From the moment
That I pronounced to my own listening heart
Cyprian is absent," O me miserable!
I know not what I feel!
It must be pity
To think that such a man, whom all the world
And I the cause.
[She again becomes troubled. And yet, if it were pity, Floro and Lelio might have equal share, For they are both imprisoned for my sake. Alas! what reasonings are these? It is
Enough I pity him, and that in vain,
Without this ceremonious subtlety.
Woe is me! I know not where to find him now,
Demon. Follow, and I will lead thee where he is.
Justina. And who art thou who hast found entrance hither Into my chamber, through the doors and locks?
Art thou a monstrous shadow which my madness
No. I am one
Called, by the thought which tyrannizes thee,
From his eternal dwelling; who this day
Is pledged to bear thee unto Cyprian.
Justina. So shall thy promise fail. This agony Of passion which afflicts my heart and soul
May sweep imagination in its storm;
The will is firm.
Already half is done
In the imagination of an act.
The sin incurred, the pleasure then remains ;
Let not the will stop halfway on the road!
Justina. I will not be discouraged, nor despair,
Demon. But a far mightier wisdom than thine own
Compelling thee to that which it inclines
That it shall force thy step; how wilt thou then
It were not free if thou hadst power upon it.
[He draws, but cannot move her.
It were bought
Demon. Come where a pleasure waits thee.