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ACT IV. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 3 (Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia in Tauris, Tarquato Tasso, etc) 
Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 3.
Part of: Goethe’s Works, 5 vols.
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(Alone.) Art thou awaken’d from a dream, and is
The fair delusion suddenly dissolv’d?
Thee, in fruition of the highest joy,
Hath sleep o’ermaster’d, and now holds thy soul
Tortur’d and bound with heavy fetters? Ay,
Thou art awake, and dreamest? Where the hours
That round thy head with flowery garlands play’d?
The days, when unrestrain’d thy yearning soul
Freely explor’d the heaven’s o’erarching blue?
Thou’rt living still, art sensible to touch,
Feelest, yet know’st not if thou livest still.
Say, for mine own, or for another’s fault,
Am I, as criminal, thus captive here?
Have I been guilty that I suffer thus?
Is not my fancied crime a merit rather?
With kindly feeling I encounter’d him,
Persuaded, by the heart’s delusive hope,
He must be man who bears a mortal form:
With open arms I sped to his embrace,
And felt no human breast, but bolts and bars.
Oh, had I but with prudent forecast weigh’d.
How I most fitly could receive the man.
Who from the first inspir’d me with mistrust!
Let me, however, whatsoe’er betide,
Forever to this one assurance cling:—
’Twas she herself! She stood before my view!
She spoke to me! I hearken’d to her voice!
Her look, her tone, her words’ sweet import, these,
These are forever mine; nor time nor fate,
Nor ruthless chance can plunder me of these!
And if my spirit hath too swiftly soar’d,
If all too promptiv in my breast I gave
Vent to the flame, which now consumes my heart,
So let it be,—I never can repeat,
E’en though my fortune were forever wreck’d
To her devoted, I obey’d with joy
The hand that beckon’d me to ruin’s brink.
So let it be! Thus have I prov’d myself
Deserving of the precious confidence
That cheers my soul,—ay, cheers it in this hour,
When cruel fate unlocks the sable gates
Of long-protracted woe.—Yes, now ’tis done!
For me the sun of gracious favor sets,
Never to rise again; his glance benign
The prince withdraws, and leaves me standing here,
Abandon’d on this narrow, gloomy path.
The bateful and ill-boding feather’d throng,
Obscene attendants upon ancient night,
Swarm forth and whirl round my devoted head.
Whither, oh, whither, shall I bend my steps,
To shun the loathsome brood that round me flit,
And ’scape the dread abyss that yawns before?
Dear Tasso, what hath chanc’d? Hath passion’s glow,
Hath thy suspicious temper urg’d thee thus?
How hath it happen’d? We are all amaz’d.
Where now thy gentleness, thy suavity,
Thy rapid insight, thy discernment just,
Which doth award to every man his due;
Thine even mind, which beareth, what to bear
The wise are prompt, the vain are slow, to learn;
The prudent mastery over lip and tongue?
I scarcely recognize thee now, dear friend.
And what if all were gone, forever gone!
If as a beggar thou should’st meet the friend
Whom just before thou hadst deem’d opulent!
Thou speakest truth, I am no more myself.
Yet am I now as much so as I was.
It seems a riddle, yet it is not one.
The tranquil moon, that cheers thee through the night,
Whose gentle radiance, with resistless power,
Allures thine eye, thy soul, doth float by day
An insignificant and pallid cloud.
In the bright glare of daylight I am lost,
Ye know me not, I scarcely know myself.
Such words, dear friend, as thou hast utter’d them,
I cannot comprehend. Explain thyself.
Say, hath that rugged man’s offensive speech
So deeply wounded thee, that now thou dost
Misjudge thyself and us? Confide in me.
I’m not the one offended. Me thou seest
Thus punish’d here because I gave offence.
The knot of many words the sword would loose
With promptitude and ease, but I’m not free.
Thou’rt scarce aware,—nay, start not, gentle friend,—
’Tis in a prison thou dost meet me here.
Me, as a schoolboy, doth the prince chastise.—
His right I neither can, nor will dispute.
Thou seemest mov’d beyond what reason warrants.
Dost deem me then so weak, so much a child,
That this occurrence could o’erwhelm me thus?
Not what has happen’d wounds me to the quick,
’Tis what it doth portend that troubles me.
Now let my foes conspire! The field is clear.
Many thou holdest falsely in suspect;
Of this, dear friend, I have convinc’d myself.
Even Antonio bears thee no ill-will,
As thou presum’st. The quarrel of to-day—
Let that be set aside: I only view
Antonio as he was and yet remains.
Still hath his formal prudence fretted me,
His proud assumption of the master’s tone.
Careless to learn whether the listener’s mind
Doth not itself the better track pursue,
He tutors thee in much which thou thyself
More truly, deeply feelest; gives no heed
To what thou sayest, and perverts thy words.
Misconstru’d thus, by a proud man, forsooth,
Who smiles superior from his fancied height!
I am not yet or old or wise enough
To answer meekly with a patient smile.
It could not hold, we must at last have broken;
The evil greater had it been postpon’d.
One lord I recognize, who fosters me,
Him I obey, but own no master else.
In poesy and thought I will be free,
In act the world doth limit us enough.
Yet often with respect he speaks of thee.
Thou meanest with forbearance, prudent, subtle.
’Tis that annoys me; for he knows to use
Language so smooth and so conditional,
That seeming praise from him is actual blame,
And there is nothing so offends my soul,
As words of commendation from his lip.
Thou should’st have heard but lately how he spoke
Of thee and of the gift which bounteous nature
So largely hath conferr’d on thee. He feels
Thy genius, Tasso, and esteems thy worth.
Trust me, no selfish spirit can escape
The torment of base envy. Such a man
Pardons in others honor, rank and wealth;
For thus he argues, these thou hast thyself,
Or thou canst have them, if thou persevere,
Or if propitious fortune smile on thee.
But that which Nature can alone bestow,
Which aye remaineth inaccessible
To toil and patient effort, which nor gold,
Nor yet the sword, nor stern persistency
Hath power to wrest,—that he will ne’er forgive.
Not envy me? The pedant who aspires
To seize by force the favor of the muse?
Who, when he strings the thoughts of other bards,
Fondly presumes he is a bard himself?
The prince’s favor he would rather yield,
Though that he fain would limit to himself,
Than the rare gift which the celestial powers
Have granted to the poor, the orphan’d youth.
Oh, that thy vision were as clear as mine!
Thou read’st him wrongly, thou’rt deceiv’d in him.
And if I err, I err with right good will!
I count him for my most inveterate foe,
And should be inconsolable, were I
Compell’d to think of him more leniently.
’Tis foolish in all cases to be just;
It is to wrong one’s self. Are other men
Towards us so equitable? No, ah, no!
Man’s nature, in its narrow scope, demands
The twofold sentiment of love and hate.
Requires he not the grateful interchange
Of day and night, of wakefulness and sleep?
No, from henceforward I do hold this man
The object of my direst enmity;
And naught can snatch from me the cherish’d joy
Of thinking of him ever worse and worse.
Dear friend, I see not if this feeling last,
How thou canst longer tarry at the court.
Thou know’st the just esteem in which he’s held.
I’m fully sensible, fair friend, how long
I have already been superfluous here.
That thou art not, that thou canst never be!
Thou rather knowest how both prince and princess
Rejoice to have thee in their company.
The sister of Urbino, comes she not,
As much for thine as for her kindred’s sake?
They all esteem thee, recognize thy worth.
And each confides in thee without reserve.
O Leonora! Call that confidence!
Of state affairs has he one single word.
One earnest word, vouchsaf’d to speak with me?
In special cases, when he has advis’d
Both with the princess, and with others too,
To me, though present, no appeal was made.
The cry was ever then. Antonio comes!
Consult Antonio! To Antonio write!
Thanks here, methinks, were juster than complaint.
Thus in unchalleng’d freedom leaving thee,
He to thy genius fitting homage pays.
He lets me rest, because he deems me useless.
Thou art not useless, e’en because thou restest.
Care and vexation, like a child belov’d.
Thou still dost cherish, Tasso, in thy breast.
It oft has struck me, and the more I think,
The more convinc’d I feel: on this fair soil,
Where fate auspicious seem’d to plant thy lot,
Thou dost not flourish.—May I speak, my friend?
May I advise thee?—Thou should’st hence depart.
Spare not thy patient, gentle leech! Extend
The draught medicinal, nor think thereon
If it is bitier.—This consider well,
Kind, prudent friend, if he can yet be cur’d!
I see it all myself, ’tis over now!
Him I indeed could pardon, he not me;
He’s needful to them, I, alas! am not.
And he has prudence, I, alas! have none.
He worketh to my injury, and I
Cannot and will not counterwork. My friends
Leave things to chance, they see things otherwise,
They scarcely struggle, who should stoutly fight.
Thou think’st I should depart, I think so too:—
Then farewell, friends!—This, too, I must endure.
You’re parted from me.—Oh, to me be given
The courage and the strength to part from you!
Seen from a distance things show less confus’d,
That in the present serve but to perplex.
Perchance, when absent, thou wilt recognize
The love which here environs thee, wilt learn
The worth of friends, and feel how the wide world
Cannot replace those dearest to the heart.
I shall experience this! Alas! I’ve known,
The world from early youth, how, pressing on,
She lightly leaves us, helpless and forlorn,
Like sun and moon and other deities.
Dear friend, if thou wilt lend an ear to me,
This sad experience thou wilt not repeat.
If I may counsel thee, thou wilt at first
Repair to Florence,—there thou’lt find a friend
Will cherish thee most kindly—’tis myself!
Thither I travel soon to meet my lord,
And there is nothing would afford us, Tasso,
A richer pleasure than thy company.
I need not tell thee, for thyself dost know,
How noble is the prince who ruleth there;
What men, what women, too, our favor’d town
Doth cherish in her bosom. Thou art silent!
Consider well my counsel, and resolve!
Full of sweet promise are thy words, dear friend,
And in accordance with my secret wish.
But ’tis too sudden; let me pause awhile,—
Let me consider! I will soon resolve!
I leave thee now, and with the fairest hope
For thee, for us, and also for this house.
Only reflect, and weigh the matter well;
Thou scarcely wilt devise a better plan.
Yet one thing more, tell me, beloved friend,
How is the princess minded towards me? Speak!
Was she displeas’d with me? Give me her words.—
Hath she severely blam’d me? Tell me all!
She knows thee well, and therefore has excus’d thee.
Say, have I lost her friendship? Flatter not.
A woman’s friendship is not lightly lost.
Without reluctance will she let me go?
If ’twill promote thy welfare, certainly.
Shall I not lose the favor of the prince?
His nature’s noble, thou may’st trust in him.
And shall we leave the princess all alone?
Thou leavest her; and though perhaps not much,
I know full well that I was something to her.
An absent friend is sweet society,
When of his welfare we are well assur’d.
My plan succeeds, I see thee happy now;
Thou wilt not hence depart unsatisfied.
The prince commands; Antonio seeks thee, Tasso.
He censures in himself the bitterness
With which he wounded thee. I do entreat.
Receive him with forbearance, when he comes.
I have no cause to shun the interview.
And oh! dear friend, that Heaven would grant me this:
To make it clear to thee ere thou departest.
That in thy fatherland there is not one
Pursues thee, hates, or covertly molests.
Thou art deceiv’d, and as for others’ pleasure
Wont art thou still to poetize, alas!
Thou in this case dost weave a cunning web
To blind thyself, the which to rend asunder,
I’ll do mine utmost, that with vision clear
Thou may’st pursue life’s glad career untrammel’d.
Farewell! I hope for happy words ere long.
(Alone.) I must believe, forsooth, that no one hates me,—
That no one persecutes, that all the guile,
The subtle malice that environs me,
Is but the coinage of my own sick brain!
I must acknowledge that myself am wrong!
And am unjust to many, who in sooth
Deserve it not! What! This confess e’en now,
When clearly in the open face of day
Appear their malice and my rectitude!
I ought to feel most deeply, how the prince
To me with generous breast his grace imparts.
And in rich measure loads me with his gifts,
E’en at the time when he is weak enough
To let his eyes be blinded by my foes,
Yea, doubtless, and his hand be fetter’d too!
His own delusion he cannot perceive,
That they deluders are, I may not prove;
And that uncheck’d he may delude himself.
And they delude him whensoe’er they please,
I still must hold my peace,—must yield forsooth!
And who thus counsels me? With prudent zeal.
And thoughtful kindness, who doth urge me thus?
Leonora’s self, Leonora Santivale.
Considerate friend! Ha, ha, I know thee now!
Oh, wherefore did I ever trust her words?
She was not honest, when she utter’d forth
To me her favor and her tenderness,
With honey’d words! No, hers hath ever been
And still remains a crafty heart, she turns
With cautious, prudent step where fortune smiles.
How often have I willingly deceiv’d
Myself, in her! And yet it was in truth
But mine own vanity deluded me!
I knew her, but self-flatter’d, argu’d thus:—
True, she is so towards others, but towards thee
Her heart is honest, her intention pure.
Mine eyes are open now,—alas, too late!
I was in favor—on the favorite
How tenderly she fawn’d! I’m fallen now,
And she, like fortune, turns her back on me.
Yes, now she comes, the agent of my foe,
She glides along, the little artful snake,
Hissing, with slipp’ry tongue, her magic tones.
How gracious seem’d she! More than ever gracious!
How soothingly her honey’d accents flow’d!
Yet could the flattery not long conceal
The false intention; on her brow appear’d
Too legibly inscrib’d the opposite
Of all she utter’d. Quick I am to feel
Whene’er the entrance to my heart is sought
With a dishonest purpose. I should hence!
Should hie to Florence, with convenient speed.
And why to Florence? Ah, I see it all,
There reigns the rising house of Medici;
True, with Ferrara not in open feud,
But secret rivalry, with chilling hand,
Doth hold asunder e’en the noblest hearts.
If from those noble princes I should reap
Distinguish’d marks of favor, as indeed
I may anticipate, the courtier here
Would soon impugn my gratitude and truth;
And would, with easy wile, achieve his purpose.
Yes, I will go, but not as ye desire;
I will away, and farther than ye think.
Why should I linger? Who detains me here?
Too well I understood each several word
That I drew forth from Leonora’s lips!
With anxious heed each syllable I caught;
And now I fully know the princess’ mind—
That too is certain; let me not despair!
“Without reluctance she will let me go,
If it promote my welfare.” Would her heart
Were master’d by a passion that would whelm
Me and my welfare! Oh, more welcome far
The grasp of death than of the frigid hand
That passively resigns me!—Yes, I go!—
Now be upon thy guard, and let no show
Of love or friendship bind thee! None hath power
Now to deceive thee, if not self-deceiv’d.
Tasso, I come to say a word to thee,
If thou’rt dispos’d to hear me tranquilly.
I am denied, thou know’st, the power to act;
It well becomes me to attend and listen.
Tranquil I find thee, as I hop’d to find,
And speak to thee in all sincerity.
But in the prince’s name I first dissolve
The slender band, that seem’d to fetter thee.
Caprice dissolves it, as caprice impos’d;
I yield, and no judicial sentence claim.
Next, Tasso, on my own behalf I speak.
I have, it seems, more deeply wounded thee,
Than I,—myself by divers passions mov’d,—
Was conscious of. But no insulting word
Hath from my lip incautiously escap’d.
Naught hast thou, as a noble, to avenge,
And, as a man, wilt not refuse thy pardon.
Whether contempt or insult galls the most,
I will not now determine; that doth pierce
The inmost marrow, this but frets the skin.
The shaft of insult back returns to him
Who wing’d the missile, and the practis’d sword
Soon reconciles the opinion of the world—
A wounded heart is difficult to cure.
’Tis now my turn to press thee urgently;
Oh, step not back, yield to mine earnest wish,
The prince’s wish, who sends me unto thee.
I know the claims of duty, and submit.
Be it, as far as possible, forgiven!
The poets tell us of a magic spear,
Which could a wound, inflicted by itself
Through friendly contact, once again restore,
The human tongue hath also such a power;
I will not peevishly resist it now.
I thank thee, and desire that thou at once
Would’st put my wish to serve thee to the proof.
Then say if I in aught can pleasure thee;—
Most gladly will I do so; therefore speak.
Thine offer tallies with my secret wish.
But now thou hast restor’d my liberty,
Procure for me, I pray, the use of it.
What meanest thou? More plainly state thy wish.
My poem, as thou knowest, I have ended;
Yet much it wants to render it complete.
To-day I gave it to the prince, and hop’d
At the same time to proffer my request.
Full many of my friends I now should find
In Rome assembled; they have writ to me
Their judgments touching divers passages;
By many I could profit; others still
Require consideration; and some lines
I should be loath to alter, till at least
My judgment has been better satisfied.
All this by letter cannot be arrang’d,
While intercourse would soon untie the knots.
I thought myself to ask the prince to-day:
Th’ occasion fail’d; I dare not venture now,
And must for this permission trust to thee.
It seems imprudent to absent thyself
Just at the moment when thy finish’d work
Commends thee to the princess and the prince.
A day of favor is a day of harvest:
We should be busy when the corn is ripe.
Naught wilt thou win if thou departest hence,
Perchance thou’lt lose what thou hast won already.
Presence is still a powerful deity,—
Learn to respect her influence,—tarry here!
I nothing have to fear; Alphons is noble,
Such hath he always prov’d himself tow’rds me;—
To his heart only will I owe the boon
Which now I crave. By no mean, servile arts
Will I obtain his favor. Naught will I receive
Which it can e’er repent him to have given.
Then do not now solicit leave to go;
He will not willingly accord thy suit,
And much I fear he will reject it, Tasso.
Duly entreated, he will grant my prayer;
Thou hast the power to move him, if thou wilt.
But what sufficient reason shall I urge?
Let every stanza of my poem speak!
The scope was lofty that I aim’d to reach,
Though to my genius inaccessible.
Labor and strenuous effort have not fail’d;
The cheerful stroll of many a lovely day,
The silent watch of many a solemn night,
Have to this pious lay been consecrate.
With modest daring I aspir’d to near
The mighty masters of the olden time;
With lofty courage plann’d to rouse our age
From lengthen’d sleep to deeds of high emprise;
Then with a Christian host I hop’d to share
The toil and glory of a holy war,
And that my song may rouse the noblest men
It must be worthy of its lofty aim.
What worth it hath is to Alphonso due;
For its completion I would owe him thanks.
The prince himself is here, with other men,
Able as those of Rome to be thy guides.
Here is thy station, here complete thy work;
Then haste to Rome to carry out thy plan.
Alphonso first inspir’d my muse, and he
Will be the list to counsel me. Thy judgment,
The judgment also of the learned men
Assembled at our court, I highly value;
Ye shall determine when my friends at Rome
Fail to produce conviction in my mind.
But them I must consult. Gonzaga there
Hath summon’d a tribunal before which
I must present myself. I scarce can wait.
Flaminio de’ Nobili, Angelio
Da Barga, Antoniano, and Speron Speroni!
To thee they must be known.—What names they are!
They in my soul, to worth which gladly yields,
Inspire at once both confidence and fear.
Self-occupied, thou think’st not of the prince.
I tell thee that he will not let thee go;
And if he does, ’twill be against his wish.
Thou wilt not surely urge what he to thee
Unwillingly would grant. And shall I here
Still mediate what I cannot approve?
Dost thou refuse me then my first request
When I would put thy friendship to the proof?
Timely denial is the surest test
Of genuine friendship; love doth oft confer
A baneful good when it consults the wish,
And not the happiness of him who sues.
Thou in this moment dost appear to me
To overprize the object of thy wish,
Which, on the instant, thou would’st have fulfill’d.
The erring man would oft by vehemence
Compensate what he lacks in truth and power.
Duty enjoins me now, with all my might,
To check the rashness that would lead thee wrong.
I long have known this tyranny of friendship,
Which of all tyrannies appears to me
The least endurable. Because forsooth
Our judgments differ, thine must needs be right.
I gladly own that thou dost wish my welfare;
Require me not to seek it in thy way.
And would’st thou have me, Tasso, in cold blood,
With full and clear conviction, injure thee?
I will at once absolve thee from this care!
Thou hast no power to hold me with thy words.
Thou hast declar’d me free; these doors, which lead
Straight to the prince, stand open to me now.
The choice I leave to thee. Or thou or I!
The prince goes forth, no time is to be lost;
Determine promptly! Dost thou still refuse,
I go myself, let come of it what will.
A little respite grant me; not to-day;
Wait, I beseech thee, till the prince returns!
If it were possible, this very hour!
My soles are scorch’d upon this marble floor,
Nor can my spirit rest until the dust
Of the free highway shrouds the fugitive.
I do not entreat thee! How unfit I am
Now to appear before the prince, thou seest,
And thou must see, how can I hide from thee,
That I’m no longer master of myself;
No power on earth can sway my energies;
Fetters alone can hold me in control!
No tyrant is the prince; he spake me free.
Once to his words how gladly I gave ear!
To-day to hearken is impossible.
Oh, let me have my freedom but to-day,
That my vex’d spirit may regain its peace!
Back to my duty I will soon return.
Thou mak’st me dubious. How shall I resolve?
That error is contagious, I perceive.
If thy professions I’m to count sincere,
Perform what I desire, as well as thou canst.
Then will the prince release me; and I lose
Neither his favor nor his gracious aid.
For that I’ll thank thee, ay, with cordial thanks.
But if thy bosom bear an ancient grudge,
Would’st thou forever banish me this court,
Forever would’st thou mar my destiny,
And drive me friendless forth into the world,
Then hold thy purpose and resist my prayer!
O Tasso!—for I’m doom’d to injure thee—
I choose the way which thou thyself dost choose;
The issue will determine who doth err!
Thou wilt away! I warn thee ere thou goest:
Scarce shalt thou turn thy back upon this house,
Ere thou shalt yearn in spirit to return,
While wilful humor still shall urge thee on.
Sorrow, distraction and desponding gloom
In Rome await thee. There as well as here
Thou’lt miss thine aim. But this I do not say
To counsel thee. Alas! I but predict
What soon will happen, and invite thee, Tasso,
In the worst exigence to trust to me.
I now, at thy desire, will seek the prince.
(Alone.) Ay, go, and in the fond assurance go,
That thou hast power to bend me to thy will.
I learn dissimulation, for thou art
An able master, and I prompt to learn.
Thus life full oft compels us to appear,
Yea, e’en to be like those, whom in our hearts
We haughtily despise. How clearly now
I see the subtle web of court intrigue!
Antonio desires to drive me hence,
Yet would not seem to drive me. He doth play
The kind, considerate friend, that I may seem
Incapable and weak; installs himself
My guardian too, degrading to a child,
Him whom he could not bend to be a slave.
With clouds of error thus he darkens truth,
And blinds alike the princess and the prince.
They should indeed retain me, so he counsels,
For with fair talents Nature has endow’d me;
Although, alas, she has accompanied
Her lofty gifts with many weaknesses,
With a foreboding spirit, boundless pride,
And sensibility too exquisite.
It cannot now be otherwise, since Fate,
In her caprice, has fashion’d such a man;
We must consent to take him as he is,
Be patient, bear with him, and then, perchance,
On days auspicious, as an unsought good,
Find pleasure in his joy-diffusing gift;
While for the rest, why e’en as he was born,
He must have license both to live and die.
Where now Alphonso’s firm and constant mind?
The man who braves his foe, who shields his friend,
In him who treats me thus can I discover?
Now I discern the measure of my woe!
This is my destiny,—towards me alone
All change their nature,—ay, the very men,
Who are with others steadfast, firm and true,
In one brief moment, for an idle breath,
Swerve lightly from their constant quality.
Has not this man’s arrival here, alone,
And in a single hour, my fortune marr’d?
Has he not, even to its very base,
Laid low the structure of my happiness?
This, too, must I endure,—even to-day!
Yea, as before all press’d around me, now
I am by all abandon’d; as before
Each strove to seize, to win me for himself,
All thrust me from them, and avoid me now.
And wherefore? My desert and all the love,
Wherewith I was so bounteously endow’d,
Does he alone in equal balance weigh?
Yes! all forsake me now. Thou too! Thou too!
Beloved princess, thou too leavest me!
Hath she, to cheer me in this dismal hour,
A single token of her favor sent?
Have I deserv’d this from her?—Thou, poor heart,
Whose very nature was to honor her!—
How, when her gentle accents touch’d mine ear,
Feelings unutterable thrill’d my breast!
When she appear’d, a more ethereal light
Outshone the light of day. Her eyes, her lips
Drew me resistlessly, my very knees
Trembled beneath me, and my spirit’s strength
Was all requir’d to hold myself erect
And curb the strong desire to throw myself
Prostrate before her. Scarcely could I quell
The giddy rapture. Be thou firm, my heart
No cloud obscure thee, thou clear mind! She, too,
Dare I pronounce what yet I scarce believe?
I must believe, yet dread to utter it.
She too! She too! Think not the slightest blame,
Only conceal it not. She too! She too!
Alas! This word, whose truth I ought to doubt
Long as a breath of faith sarviv’d in me;
This word, like fate’s decree, doth now at last.
Engrave itself upon the brazen rim
That rounds the full-scroll’d tablet of my woe
Now first, mine enemies are strong indeed;
Forever now I am of strength bereft.
How shall I combat when she stands oppos’d
Amidst the hostile army? How endure
If she no more reach forth her hand to me?
If her kind glance the suppliant meet no more?
Ay, thou hast dar’d to think, to utter it,
And ere thou could’st have fear’d,—behold ’tis true!
And now, ere yet despair, with brazen talons,
Doth rend asunder thy bewilder’d brain,
Lament thy bitter doom, and utter torth
The unavailing cry—She too! She too!