« EelmineJätka »
Beyond what we expected, fair and noble; Tum. Spare the remembrance ; ''tis an useless
The revolution of a day may bring
Such turns, as Heaven itself could scarce have
Honour and arms, now summon thy attendance.
Thy cause, the cause of Heaven and injured
Grant that my sword, assisted by thy power,
[Ereunt Tamerlane,- Moneses, Stratocles, I could as well restore that fair one's freedom,
Prince of Tanais, Zama, Mirvan, and
Oh, Selima —but let destruction wait.
Are there not hours enough for blood and slaugh(Though in the justest cause) is ever doubtful,
For thy forgetful coldness; even at Birza,
When in thy father's court my eyes first owned
Even then thou wert not thus.
Sel. Art not thou changed,
Those were the gentle hours of peace, and thou
Its mighty masters in harmonious friendship:
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 faine and forYou named the bridegroom of your beauteous tune, sister.
My laurel wreaths, and all the glorious trophies,
For which the valiant bleed—Oh, thou unjust
For all the pains, for all the sleepless nights,
That cry absence brings?
Sel. Away, deceiver !
That Christian lovers prove the faith they swear?
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 laws, Betwixt the armies.
she had vowed my ruin! What conquest ? Swear then to perform it, What joy bave I from that, but to behold thee, Which way 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,
Ar. 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; I will part with Heaven's,
thee, Makes 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.] Ilark, Then, then she was not sworn the foe of love;
I am summoned, When, as my 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.
Ar. Give it way.
Forbids not pity
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
flame, 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 Apd 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 incrcase,' and doubly press me That charms my fierce resentments, and presents
I charge thee, if thy sword comes cross my faNot as thou art, mine and my father's foe,
Even dearer than my own-
Ar. Let me be still the same! I am, I must be. Ar. O, Selima! thou hast restored my quiet.
And bids me be secure of all hereafter. Sel. Where is my boasted resolution now? So cheers some pious saint a dying sinner
(Sinking into his arms. (Who trembled at the thought of pains to come) Oh, yes ! thou art the same ; iny 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 inagic numbers rouse our sleeping passions, Guides, and protects him like a guardian god. And force us to confess our grief and pleasure.
[Erit. Alas! Asalla, say— dost thou not pity
Sel. In vain all arts a love-sick virgin tries, My artless innocence, and easy tondness? 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 roses it 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
[Erit Selima, Guards following:
SCENE I.-Tamerlane's Cump. When, by permission from the prince Axalla,
I mixt among the tumult of the warriors
Returning from 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
And lowness of a slave: but, oh! to speak
The rage, the fierceness, and the indignation ! Enter STRATOCLES.
It bars all words, and cuts description short.
Mion. Then he is fallen! that comet which on My Stratocles !
high Most happily returned, might I believe Poștended 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 pasy day, sunk to the western ocean, At the approach of somewhat mortal to me.
But say, my friend, what hear’st thou of Arpasia? | And arrogate á praise which is not ours. For there my thoughts, my every care is cen- Ar. With such unshaken temper of the soul tered.
To bear the swelling tide of prosperous fortune, Stra. Though on that purpose still I bent my Is to deserve that fortune: in adversity search,
The mind grows tough by buffetting the tempest, Yet nothing certain could I gain, but this; Which, in success dissolving, sinks to ease, That in the pillage of the sultan's tent
And loses all her firmness. Some women were made prisoners, who this Tam. Oh, Axalla! morning
Could I forget I am a man as thou art, Were to be offered to the emperor's view: Would not the winter's cold, or summer's heat, Their names and qualities, though oft enquiring, Sickness, or thirst, and hunger, all the train I could not learn.
Of nature's clamorous appetites, asserting Rion. Then must my soul still labour An equal right in kings and common men, Beneath uncertainty and anxious doubt, Reprove me daily?-No-If I boast of aught, The mind's worst state. The tyrant's ruin gives Be it to have been Heaven's happy instrument,
The means of good to all my fellow-creatures : But a half ease.
This is a king's best praise.
For erer wait the emperor! May our prophet Shall we not meet? Why hangs my heart thus Give him ten thousand thousand days of life, heavy,
And every day like this! The captive sultan, Like death, within my bosom? Oh ! 'tis well, Fierce in his bonds, and at his fate repining, The joy of meeting pays pangs
of absence, Attends your sacred will. Else who could bear it?
Tam. Let him approach. When thy loved sight shall bless my eyes again, Enter BAJAzer, and other Turkish Prisoners in Then I will own I ought not to complain, Since that sweet hour is worth whole years of
chains, with a guard of Soldiers. pain. [Exeunt Moneses and Stratocles. When I survey the ruins of this field,
The wild destruction which thy fierce ambition SCENE II.- The inside of a magnificent Tent. Has dealt among mankind (so many widows Symphony of Warlike. Music.
And helpless orphans has thy battle made,
That half our eastern world this day are mouritEnter TAMERLANE, AXALLA, PRINCE OF TA
ers), NAIS, ZAMA, Mirvan, Soldiers, and other At- Well may Í, in behalf of heaven and earth, tendants.
Demand from thee atonement for this wrong. Ar. From this auspicious day the Parthian Baj. Make thy demand to those that own thy
power! Shall date its birth of empire, and extend Know, I am still beyond it; and though Fortune Even from the dawning east to utmost Thule, (Curse on that changeling deity of fools !) The limits of its sway.
Has stript me of the train and pomp of greatPr. Nations unknown,
Is ever free and royal, and even now,
And dare thee to the use on't. This vile speechTam. It is too much: you dress me
ing, Like an usurper, in the borrowed attributes This after-game of words, is what most irks me; Of injured Heaven. Can we call conquest ours? Spare that, and for the rest 'tis equal all Shall man, this pigmy, with a giant's pride,
Be it as it may. Vaunt of himself, and say, “Thus have I done Tam. Well was it for the world, this?
When on their borders neighbouring princes Oh, vain pretence to greatness ! Like the moon,
met, We borrow all the brightness which we boast, Frequent in friendly parle, by cool debates Dark in ourselves, and useless. If that hand, Preventing wasteful war : such should our meetThat rules the fate of battles, strike for us,
ing Crown us with fame, and gild our clay with ho- Have been, hadst thou but held in just regard nour,
The sanctity of leagues so often sworn to. 'Twere most ungrateful to disown the benefit, Canst thou believe thy prophet, or, what's more,
That power supreme, which made thee and thy | My angry thunder on the frighted world. prophet,
Tam. The world !-'twould be too little for thy Will, with impunity, let pass that breach
pride : Of sacred faith given to the royal Greek? Thou wouldst scale heaven
Baj. Thou pedant talker! ha! art thou a king, Baj. I would :-Away! my soul Possest of sacred power, Heaven's darling attri- Disdains thy conference. bute,
Tam. Thou vain, rash ing, And dost thou prate of leagues, and oaths, and That, with gigantic insolence, hast dared prophets !
To lift thy wretched self above the stars, I hate the Greek (perdition on his name !) And mate with power Almighty-thou art fallen! As I do thee, and would have met you both, Baj. 'Tis false! I am not fallen from 'aught I As death does human nature, for destruction.
have been; Tam. Causeless to hate, is not of human kind: At least my soul resolves to keep her state, The savage brute, that haunts in woods remote And scorns to take acquaintance with ill-fortune. And desart wilds, tears not the fearful traveller, Tam. Almost beneath my pity art thou fallen; If hunger, or some injury, provoke not. Since, while the avenging hand of Heaven is on Baj. Can a king want a cause, when empire thee, bids
And presses to the dust thy swelling soul, Go on? What is he born for, but ambition? Fool-hardy, with the stronger thou contendest. It is his hunger, 'tis his call of nature,
To what vast heights had thy tumultuous temper The noble appetite which will be satisfied, Been hurried, if success had crowned thy wishes! And, like the food of gods, makes him immortal. Say, what had I to expect, if thou hadst conTam. Henceforth I will not wonder we were quered? foes,
Baj. Oh, glorious thought! By Heaven I will Since souls, that differ so, by nature hate,
enjoy it, And strong antipathy forbids their union. Though but in fancy; imagination shall Baj. The noble fire, that warms me, does in- Make room to entertain the vast idea. deed
Oh! had I been the master but of yesterday, Transcend thy coldness. I am pleased we differ, The world, the world had felt me ; and for thee, Nor think alike.
I had used thee, as thou art to mema dog, Tam. No-for I think like man;
The object of my scorn and mortal hatred : Thou, like a monster, from whose baneful pre- I would have taught thy neck to know my weight,
And mounted from that footstool to my saddle : Nature starts back; and though she fixed her Then, when thy daily servile task was done, stamp
I would have caged ihee, for the scorn of slaves, On thy rough mass, and marked thee for man, Till thou hadst begged to die; and even that Now, conscious of her error, she disclaims thée, As formed for her destruction.
I had denied thee. Now thou know'st my mind, 'Tis true, I am a king, as thou hast been : And question me no farther. Honour and glory, too, have been my aim;
Tam. Well dost thou teach me, But, though I dare face death, and all the dan- What justice should exact from thee. Mankind, gers
With one consent, cry out for vengeance on thee; Which furious war wears in its bloody front, Loudly they call, to cut off this league-breaker, Yet would I chuse to fix my name by peace, This wild destroyer, from the face of earth. By justice, and by mercy, and to raise
Baj. Do it, and rid thy shaking soul at once My trophies on the blessings of mankind; Of its worst fear. Nor would I buy the empire of the world Tam. Why slept the thunder, With ruin of the people whom I sway,
That should have armed the idol deity, Or forfeit of my honour.
And given thee power, ere yester sun was set, Baj. Prophet, I thank thee.
To shake the soul of Tamerlane? Hadst thou an Damnation ?--Couldst thou rob me of my glory, To dress up this tame king, this preaching der- To make thee feared, thou shouldst have proved vise?
it on me, Unfit for war, thou shouldst have lived secure Amidst the sweat and blood of yonder field, In lazy peace, and, with debating senates, When, through the tumult of the war, I sought Shared a precarious sceptre, sat tamely still,
thee, And let bold factions canton out thy power, Fenced in with nations. And wrangle for the spoils they robbed thee of; Baj. Curse upon the stars, Whilst I (curse on the power that stops my ar- That fated us to different scenes of slaughter! dour!)
Oh! could my sword have met thee ! Would, like a tempest, rush amidst the nations, Tam. Thou hadst then, Be greatly terrible, and deal, like Alla, As now, been in my power, and held thy life