Page images

c!v R. If time to come .d prove as ineffectual, yet, my lord, 1 cans't not blame me. When our Scottish

youth with each other for my luckless love, besought them, I implor'd them all jassail me with my father's aid, lend their better destiny with mine. - lancholy had congeal'd my blood, Deze affection in my chilly breast. imy Sire, rous'd with the base attempt te me from him, which thou rend'red'st vain, own daughter bow'd his hoary head,

ht me to commiserate his age, vw'd he should not, could not die in peace,

he saw me wedded, and secur'd violence and outrage. Then, my

lord! extreme distress I call’d on thee, I bespake, profess'd my strong desire d a single, solitary life, *g'd thy Nobleness, not to demand r a wife whose heart was dead to love. ou persisted'st after this, thou know'st, :'1st confess that I am not unjust, pre to thee than to myself injurious. R. That I confess; yet ever must regret of I cannot cure." Would thou wert not :of grief and tenderness alone, i’st a spark of other passions in thee, will ger, vanity, the



“ 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


“ Its transient calm, a calm I envy not.”
Lord R. Sure thon art not the daughter of Sir Mal-'

Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment:
For when thy brother fell, he smild 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 Compellid, 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 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!
And every soldier of both hosts return

peace and safety to his pleasant home!
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
Immovéable in Caledonia's strand !
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 conflict. “ 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; Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light.



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 ?

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


240 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.
I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be
Henceforth th' instructed partner of

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

If I in early youth had lost a husband :-
In the cold bosom of the earth is lodg’d,
Mangld with wounds, the husband of my youth;
And in some cavern of the ocean lies
My child and his.-

260 Anna. Oh! Lady most rever'd!


« EelmineJätka »