« EelmineJätka »
Unwearied, through the numerous host he past, Oh, thou fell monster, War! that in a moment Viewing, with careful eye, each several quarter; Layest waste the noblest part of the creation, Whilst from his looks, as from divinity,
The boast and masterpiece of the great Maker, The soldiers took presage, and cried, "Lead on, That wears, in vain, the impression of his image, Great Alla, and our emperor; lead on
Unprivileged from thee. To victory, and everlasting fame.'
Health to our friends, and to our arms success, Mir. Hear you of Bajazet?
[To the Prince, Zama, and Mirvan. Pr. Late in the evening
Such as the cause for which we fight deserves ! A slave, of near attendance on his person,
Pr. Nor can we ask beyond what Heaveu be'Scaped to our camp. From him we learned, the stows, tyrant,
Preventing still our wishes. See, great sir, With rage redoubled, for the fight prepares; The universal joy your soldiers wear, Soine accidental passion fires his breast,
Omen of prosperous battle. (Love, as 'tis thought, for a fair Grecian captive) Impatient of the tedious night, in arms And adds new horror to his native fury.
Watchful they stood, expecting opening day; For five returning suns, scarce was he seen And now are hardly by their leaders held By any, the most favoured of his court,
From darting on the foe. Like a hot courser, But in lascivious ease, among his women, That bounding paws the mouldering soil, disLived, from the war retired; or else alone,
daining In sulien mood, sat meditating plagues
The rein that checks him, eager for the race. And ruin to the world ; till yester morn,
Tam. Yes, prince, I mean to give a loose to Like fire, that, labouring upwards, rends the earth, He burst with fury from his tent, commanding This morn Axalla, with my Parthian horse, All should be ready for the fight this day. Arrives to join me. He, who, like a storm,
Zam. I know his temper well, since in his court, Swept, with his flying squadrons, all the plain Companion of the brave Axalla's embassy, Between Angoria's walls and yon tall mountains, I oft observed him proud, impatient
That seem to reach the clouds; and now he Of aught superior, e'en of Heaven, that made him;
comes, Fond of false glory, of the savage power
Loaden with spoils and conquest, to my aid. Of ruling without reason, of confounding
(Flourish of Trumpets. Just and unjust, by an unbounded will;
Zam. These trumpets speak his presenceBy whom religion, honour, all the bands That ought to hold the jarring world in peace,
Enter Axalla, who kneels to TAMERLANE, Were held the tricks of state, snares of wise Tam. Welcome ! thou worthy partner of my princes,
laurels, To draw their easy neighbours to destruction. Thou brother of my choice, a band more sacred Mir. Thrice, by our law and prophet, has he Than nature's brittle tie. By holy friendship, sworn,
Glory and fame stood still for thy arrival ! By the world's lord and maker, lasting peace, My soul seemed wanting in its better half, With our great master, and his royal friend, And languished for thy absence; like a prophct, The Grecian emperor; as oft, regardless That waits the inspiration of his god. Of plighted faith, with inost unkingly baseness, Ar. My emperor! My ever royal master ! Has ta'en the advantage of their absent arms, To whom my secret soul more lowly bends, Without a war proclaimed, or cause pretended, Than forms of outward worship can express; To waste, with sword and fire, their fruitful fields; How poorly does your soldier pay this goodness, Like some accursed fiend, who, 'scaped from hell, Who wears his every hour of life out for you! Poisons the balmy air through which he flies, Yet 'tis his all, and what he has, he offers; He blasts the bearded corn, and loaded branches, Nor now disdain to accept the gift he brings, The labouring hind's best hopes, and marks his
Enter SELIMA, MON ESES, STRATOCLES, Prisonway with ruin. Pr. But see his fate! The nighty Tamerlane
ers; Guards, Mutes, &c. Comes, like the proxy of inquiring Heaven, This earnest of your fortune. See, my lord, To judge, and to redress. (Flourish of trumpets. The noblest prize that ever graced my arius !
Approach, my fair-
And well to be rewarded for thy conquest;
And looks like nature in the world's first spring. Pass but an hour, which stands betwixt the lives But say, AxallaOf thousands and eternity. What change
Sel. Most renowned in war, Shall hasty death make in yon glittering plain !
[Kneeling to Tum.
Look with compassion on a captive maid, Why art thou, then, a friend to Bajazet?
Mon. If human wisdom
And say, 'Let it be thus, in spite of fate
The wretch I am. On either side claims privilege of safety.
Tam. The brave meet every accident Tam. (raising her.] Rise, royal maid! the pride With equal minds. Think nobler of thy foes, of haughty power
Than to account thy chance in war an evil. Pays homage, not receives it, from the fair. Mon. Far, far froin that: I rather hold it Thy angry father fiercely calls me forth,
grievous, And urges me, unwillingly, to arms.
That I was forced even but to seem your enemy; Yet, though our frowning battles menace death, Nor think the baseness of a vanquished slave And mortal conflict, think not that we hold Moves me to flatter for precarious life, Thy innocence and virtue as our foe.
Or ill-bought freedom, when I swear, by Heaven ! Here, till the fate of Asia is decided,
Were I to chuse, from all mankind, a master, In safety stay. To-morrow is your own.
It should be Tamerlane. Nor grieve for who may conquer, or who lose; Tam. A noble freedom Fortune on either side shall wait thy wishes. Dwells with the brave, unknown to fawning sycoSel. Where shall my wonder and my praise phants, begin?
And claims a privilege of being believed. From the successful labours of thy arms, I take thy praise as earnest of thy friendship. Or from a theme more soft, and full of peace, Mon. Still you prevent the homage I should offer. Thy mercy and thy gentleness? Oh, Tamerlane ! O, royal sir ! let my misfortunes plead, What can I pay thee for this noble usage, And wipe away the hostile mark I wore. But grateful praise ? So Heaven itself is paid. I was, when, not long since, my fortune hailed me, Give peace, ye powers above, peace to mankind; Blessed to my wish, I was the prince Moneses; Nor let my father wage unequal war,
Born, and bred up to greatness: witness the blood, Against the force of such united virtues ! Which, through successive heroes' veins, allied Tam. Heaven hear thy pious wish !—But since To our Greek emperors, rolled down to me, our prospect
Feeds the bright fame of glory in my heart. Looks darkly on futurity, till fate
Tam. Even that, that princely tie should bind Determine for us, let thy beauty's safety
thee to me, Be my Axalla's care; in whose glad eyes,
If virtue were not more than all alliance. I read what joy the pleasing service gives him. Mon. I have a sister, oh, severe remembrance! Is there amongst thy other prisoners aught Our noble house's, nay, her sex's pride;
[To Ax. Nor think my tongue too lavish, if I speak her Worthy our knowledge ?
Fair as the fame of virtue, and yet chaste Ar. This brave man, my lord,
As its cold precepts; wise beyond her sex
[Pointing to Mon. And blooming youth; soft as forgiving mercy, With long resistance held the combat doubtful. Yet greatly brave, and jealous for her honour : His party, prest with numbers, soon grew faint, Such as she was, to say I barely loved her, And would have left their charge an easy prey; Is poor to my soul's meaning. From our infancy, Whilst he alone, undaunted at the odds,
There grew a mutual tenderness between us, Though hopeless to escape, fought well and Till
, not long since, her vows were kindly plighted firmly;
To a young lord, the equal of her birth Nor yielded, till, o'ermatched by many hands, The happy day was fixed, and now approaching, He seemed to shame our conquest, whilst he When faithless Bajazet (upon whose honour, owned it.
In solcmn treaty given, the Greeks depended) Tam. Thou speak’st him as a soldier should a With sudden war, broke in upon the country, soldier,
Secure of peace, and for defence unready. Just to the worth he finds. I would not war Tam. Let majesty no more be held divine,
[To Mon. Since kings, who are called gods, profane themWith aught that wears thy virtuous stamp of selves. greatness.
Mon. Among the wretches, whom that deluge Thy habit speaks thee Christian-Nay, yet more, swept My soul seems pleased to take acquaintance with Away to slavery, myself and sister, thee,
Then passing near the frontiers to the court, As if allied to thine : perhaps 'tis sympathy (Which waited for her nuptials) were surprised, Of honest minds; like strings wound up in music, And made the captives of the tyrant's power. Where, by one touch, both utter the same harmony. Soon as we reached his court, we found our usage
Beyond what we expected, fair and noble; Tum. Spare the remembrance ; 'tis an useless 'Twas then the storm of your victorious arms
grief, Looked black, and seemed to threaten, when he and adds to the misfortune by repeating. prest me
The revolution of a day may bring (By oft repeating instances) to draw
Such turns, as Heaven itself could scarce have My sword for him : But when he found my soul promised, Disdained his purpose, he more fiercely told me, Far, far beyond thy wish: let that hope cheer That my Arpasia, my loved sister's fate,
thee. Depended on my courage shewn for him. Haste, my Axalla, to dispose with safety I had long learnt to hold myself at nothing; Thy beauteous charge, and on the foe revenge But for her sake, to ward the blow from her, The pain which absence gives; thy other care, I bound my service to the man I hated,
Honour and arms, now summon thy attendance. Six days are past, since, by the sultan's order, Now do thy office well, my soul! Remember I left the pledge of my return behind,
Thy cause, the cause of Heaven and injured And went to guard this princess to his camp:
earth. The rest the brave Axalla's fortune tells you. O thou Supreme! if thy great spirit warms Tum. Wisely the tyrant strove to prop his My glowing breast, and fires my soul to arms, cause,
Grant that my sword, assisted by thy power, By leaguing with thy virtue; but just Heaven This day may peace and happiness restore, Has torn thee from his side, and left him naked That war and lawless rage nay vex the world no To the avenging bolt, that driycs upon him. Forget the name of captive, and I wish
[Ereunt Tamerlane,- Moneses, Stratocles, I could as well restore that fair one's freedom,
Prince of Tanais, Zama, Mirvan, and Whose loss hangs heavy on thee: yet ere night,
Attendants. Perhaps, we may deserve thy friendship nobler; Ar. The battle calls, and bids me haste to leave The approaching storm mạy cast the shipwrecked thee; wealth
Oh, Selima !—but let destruction wait. Back to thy arms: till that be past, since war Are there not hours enough for blood and slaugh(Though in the justest cause) is ever doubtful,
ter? I will not ask thy sword to aid my victory, This moment shall be love's, and I will waste it Lest it should hurt that hostage of thy valour, In soft complainings, for thy sighs and coldness, Our cominon foe detains.
For thy forgetful coldness ; even at Birza, Mon. Let Bajazet
When in thy father's court my eyes first owned Bend to his yoke repining slaves by force ;
thee, You, sir, have found a nobler way to empire, Fairer than light, the joy of their beholding, Lord of the willing world.
Even then thou wert not thus. Tam. Oh, my A xalla!
Sel. Art not thou changed, Thou hast a tender soul, apt for compassion,
Christian Axalla? Art thou still the same? And art thyself a lover and a friend.
Those were the gentle hours of peace, and thou Does not this prince's fortune move thy temper? The world's good angel, that didst kindly join
Ar. Yes, sir, I mourn the brave Moneses' fate, Its mighty masters in harmonious friendship; The merit of his virtue hardly matched
But since those joys that once were ours are lost, With disadventurous chance: yet, prince, allow Forbear to mention them, and talk of war; me,
Talk of thy conquests and my chains, Axalla. Allow me, from the experience of a lover, Ar. Yet I will listen, fair, unkind upbraider ! To say, one person, whom your story mentioned, Yet I will listen to thy charming accents, (If he survive) is far beyond you wretched : Although they make me curse my fame and forYou named the bridegroom of your beauteous tune, sister.
My laurel wreaths, and all the glorious trophies, Mon. I did. Oh, most accurst!
For which the valiant bleed—Oh, thou unjust Ar. Think what he feels,
one! Dashed in the fierceness of his expectation : Dost thou then envy me this small return Then, when the approaching minute of possession My niggard fate has made, for all the mournings, Had wound imagination to the height- For all the pains, for all the sleepless nights, Think, if he lives!
That cruel absence brings?
Sel. Away, deceiver !
That Christian lovers prove the faith they swear?
mire? Whilst his misfortunes press him to disgorge it. 'Twas well my heart was cautious of believing Vol. I.
Thy vows, and thy protesting. Know, my con- Sel. Forego your right of war, queror,
And render me this instant to my father. Thy sword has vanquished but the half of Selima; Ar. Impossible ! The tumult of the battle, Her soul disdains thy victory.
That hastes to join, cuts off all means of comAr. Hear, sweet heaven! Hear the fair tyrant, how she wrests love's law's, Betwixt the armies. As she had vowed my ruin! What is conquest?' Sel. Swear then to perform it, What joy bave I from that, but to behold thee, Which
soe'er the chance of war determines, To kneel before thee, and, with lifted eyes, On my first instance. To view thee, as devotion does a saint,
Ari By the sacred majesty With awful, trembling pleasure; then to swear Of heaven, to whom we kneel, I will obey thee! Thou art the queen and mistress of my
soul ? Yes, I will give thee this severest proof Has not even Tamerlane (whose word, next Of my soul's vowed devotion; will part with Heaven's,
thee, Makcs fate at second-hand) bid thee disclaim (Thou cruel, to command it!) I will part with Thy fears? And dost thou call thyself a slave,
thee, Only to try how far the sad impression
As wretches, that are doubtful of hereafter, Can sink into Axalla?
Part with their lives, unwilling, loth, and fearful, Sel. Oh, Axalla!
And trembling at futurity. But is there nothing, Ought I to hear you?
No small return that honour can afford, Ar. Come back, ye hours,
For all this waste of love? And tell my Selima what she has done!
Sel. The gifts of captives Bring back the time, when to her father's court Wear somewhat of constraint; and generous I came, ambassador of peace from Tamerlane;
minds When, hid by conscious darkness and disguise, Disdain to give, where freedom of the choice I past the dangers of the watchful guards, Does but seem wanting. Bold as the youth who nightly swam the Helles- dr. What! not one kind look? pont:
Then thou art changed indeed. [Trumpets.] Hark, Then, then she was not sworn the foe of love;
I am summoned, When, as iny soul confest its flame, and sued And thou wilt send me forth like one unblessed, In moving sounds for pity, she frowned rarely, Whom fortune has forsaken, and ill fate But, blushing, heard me tell the gentle tale ; Marked for destruction. Thy surprising coldNay, even confest, and told me, softly sighing, She thought there was no guilt in love like mine. Hangs on my soul, and weighs my courage down; Sel. Young, and unskilful in the world's false And the first feeble blow I meet shall raze me arts,
From all remembrance: nor is life or fame I suffered love to steal upon my softness, Worthy my care, since I am lost to thee. (Going. And warm me with a lambent guiltless flame : Sel. Ha! goest thou to the fight ?Yes, I have heard thee swear a thousand times, Ar. I do. -Farewell!And call the conscious powers of heaven to wit- Sel. What! and no more! A sigh heaves in
my breast, The tenderest, truest, everlasting passion. And stops the struggling accents on my tongue, But, oh! 'tis past; and I will charge remem- Else, sure, I should have added something more, brance
And made our parting softer. To banish the fond image from my
Ar. Give it way. Since thou art sworn the foe of royal Bajazet, The niggard honour, that affords not love, I have resolved to hate thee.
Forbids not pity Ar. Is it possible !
Sel. Fate perhaps has set Hate is not in thy nature; thy whole frame This day, the period of thy life and conquests; Is barmony, without one jarring atom.
And I shall see thee, borne at evening back, Why dost thou force thy eyes to wear this cold- A breathless corse.“ -Oh! can I think on that, ness?
And hide my sorrows ?-No-they will have way, It damps the springs of life. Oh! bid me die; And all the vital air, that life draws in, Much rather bid me die, if it be true
Is rendered back in sighs. That thou hast sworn to hate ine!
Ar. The murmuring gale revives the drooping Sel. Let life and death
fame, Wait the decision of the bloody field;
That at thy coldness languished in my breast : Nor can thy fate, my conqueror, depend So breathe the gentle zephyrs on the spring, Upon a woman's hate. Yet, since you urge And waken every plant, and odorous flower, A power, which once perhaps I had, there is Which winter frost had blasted, to new life. But one request that I can make with honour. Sel. To see thee for this moment, and no Ar. Oh, name it! say!
Oh! help me to resolve against this tenderness, Sel. My fears increase, and doubly press me That charms my fierce resentments, and presents thee,
I charge thee, if thy sword comes cross my faNot as thou art, mine and my father's foe,
ther, But as thou wert, when first thy moving accents Stop for a moment, and remember me. Won me to hear; when, as I listened to thee, A.r. Oh, doubt not but his life shall be my care; The happy hours past by us unperceived, Even dearer than my own So was my soul fixed to the soft enchantinent. Sel. Guard that for me too.
Ar. Let me be still the same! I am, I must be. Ar. O, Selima! thou hast restored my quiet. If it were possible iny heart could stray, The noble ardour of the war, with love One look from thee would call it back again, Returning, brightly burns within my breast, And fix the wanderer for ever thine.
And bids me be secure of all hereafter. Sel. Where is any boasted resolution now? So cheers some pious saint a dying sinner
(Sinking into his urms. (Who trembled at the thought of pains to come) Oh, yes ! thou art the same; my heart joins with With Heaven's forgiveness, and the hopes of thee,
mercy: And, to betray me, will believe thee still : At length, the tumult of his soul appeased, It dances to the sounds that moved it first, And every doubt and anxious scruple eased, And owns at once the weakness of my soul. Boldly he proves the dark, uncertain road; So, when some skilful artist strikes the strings, The
peace, his holy comforter bestowed, The magic numbers rouse our sleeping passions, Guides, and protects him like a guardian god. And force wj to confess our grief and pleasure.
. Alas! Axalla, say— dost thou not pity
Sel. In vain all arts a love-sick virgin tries, My artless innocence, and easy fondness? Affects to frown, and seem severely wise, Oh! turn thee from me, or I die with blushing. In hopes to cheat the wary lover's eyes.
Ar. No, let me rather gaze, for ever gaze, If the dear youth her pity strives to move, And bless the new-born glories that adorn thee! And pleads with tenderness, the cause of love, From every blush, that kindles in thy cheeks, Nature asserts her empire in her heart, Ten thousand little loves and graces spring, And kindly takes the faithful lover's part. To revel in the rosesmit will not be,
By love herself, and nature, thus betrayed,
[Trumpets. No more she trusts in pride's fantastic aid, This envious trumpet calls, and tears me from But bids her eyes confess the yielding maid. thee
[Exit Selima, Guards following:
SCENE I.—Tamerlane's Cump. When, by permission from the prince Axalla,
I mixt among the tumult of the warriors
Returning froin the battle : here, a troop Mon. The dreadful business of the war is of hardy Parthians, red with honest wounds,
Confest the conquest they had well deserved: And Slaughter, that, from yester morn 'till even, There, a dejected crew of wretched captives, With giant steps, past striding o'er the field, Sore with unprofitable hurts, and groaning Besmeared and horrid with the blood of nations, Under new bondage, followed sadly after Now weary, sits among the mangled heaps, The haughty victor's heels. But that, which fully And slumbers o'er her prey; while from this Crowned the success of Tamerlane, was Bajazei, camp
Fallen, like the proud archangel, from the The chearful sounds of victory and Tamerlane
height Beat the high arch of heaven. Deciding Fate, Where once (even next to majesty divine) That crowns him with the spoils of such a day, Enthroned he sat, down to the vile descent Has given it as an earnest of the world,
And lowness of a slave: but, oh! to speak That shortly shall be his.
The rage, the fierceness, and the indignation !
It bars all words, and cuts description short. Enter STRATOCLES.
Mon. Then he is fallen! that comet which on My Stratocles !
high Most happily returned, might I believe Portended ruin; he has spent his blaze, Thou bring'st me any joy?
And shall distract the world with fears no more. Ștra. With my best diligence,
Sure it must bode me well; for oft my soul This night I have enquired of what concerns you. Has started into tumult at his name, Scarce was the sun, who shone upon the horror As if my guardian angel took the alarm, Of the pasg day, sunk to the western ocean, At the approach of somewhat mortal to me.