Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENES FROM THE MAGICO PRODIGIOSO OF CALDERON. - Posthumous Poems
SCENES FROM THE “MAGICO PRODIGIOSO” OF CALDERON. - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Posthumous Poems 
Posthumous Poems (London: John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824).
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FROM THE “MAGICO PRODIGIOSO” OF CALDERON.
Cyprianas a Student;ClarinandMosconas poor Scholars, with books.
- In the sweet solitude of this calm place,
- This intricate wild wilderness of trees
- And flowers and undergrowth of odorous plants,
- Leave me; the books you brought out of the house
- To me are ever best society.
- And whilst with glorious festival and song
- Antioch now celebrates the consecration
- Of a proud temple to great Jupiter,
- And bears his image in loud jubilee
- To its new shrine, I would consume what still
- Lives of the dying day, in studious thought,
- Far from the throng and turmoil. You, my friends,
- Go and enjoy the festival; it will
- Be worth the labour, and return for me
- When the sun seeks its grave among the billows,
- Which among dim grey clouds on the horizon
- Dance like white plumes upon a hearse;—and here
- I shall expect you.
- I cannot bring my mind,
- Great as my haste to see the festival
- Certainly is, to leave you, Sir, without
- Just saying some three or four hundred words.
- How is it possible that on a day
- Of such festivity, you can bring your mind
- To come forth to a solitary country
- With three or four old books, and turn your back
- On all this mirth?
- My master’s in the right;
- There is not any thing more tiresome
- Than a procession day, with troops of men,
- And dances, and all that.
- From first to last,
- Clarin, you are a temporizing flatterer;
- You praise not what you feel but what he does;—
- You lie—under a mistake—
- For this is the most civil sort of lie
- That can be given to a man’s face. I now
- Say what I think.
- Enough, you foolish fellows.
- Puffed up with your own doting ignorance,
- You always take the two sides of one question.
- Now go, and as I said, return for me
- When night falls, veiling in its shadows wide
- This glorious fabric of the universe.
- How happens it, although you can maintain
- The folly of enjoying festivals,
- That yet you go there?
- Nay, the consequence
- Is clear:—who ever did what he advises
- Others to do?—
- Would that my feet were wings,
- So would I fly to Livia. [Exit.
- To speak truth,
- Livia is she who has surprised my heart;
- But he is more than half way there.—Soho!
- Livia, I come; good sport, Livia, Soho! [Exit.
- Now, since I am alone, let me examine
- The question which has long disturbed my mind
- With doubt; since first I read in Plinius
- The words of mystic import and deep sense
- In which he defines God. My intellect
- Can find no God with whom these marks and signs
- Fitly agree. It is a hidden truth
- Which I must fathom. [Reads.
Enter theDevil,as a fine Gentleman.
- Search even as thou wilt,
- But thou shalt never find what I can hide.
- What noise is that among the boughs? Who moves?
- What art thou?—
- ’Tis a foreign gentleman.
- Even from this morning I have lost my way
- In this wild place, and my poor horse at last
- Quite overcome, has stretched himself upon
- The enamelled tapestry of this mossy mountain,
- And feeds and rests at the same time. I was
- Upon my way to Antioch upon business
- Of some importance, but wrapt up in cares
- (Who is exempt from this inheritance)
- I parted from my company, and lost
- My way, and lost my servants and my comrades.
- ’Tis singular, that even within the sight
- Of the high towers of Antioch, you could lose
- Your way. Of all the avenues and green paths
- Of this wild wood there is not one but leads
- As to its centre, to the walls of Antioch;
- Take which you will you cannot miss your road.
- And such is ignorance! Even in the sight
- Of knowledge it can draw no profit from it.
- But as it still is early, and as I
- Have no acquaintances in Antioch,
- Being a stranger there, I will even wait
- The few surviving hours of the day,
- Until the night shall conquer it. I see
- Both by your dress and by the books in which
- You find delight and company, that you
- Are a great student;—for my part, I feel
- Much sympathy with such pursuits.
- No,—and yet I know enough
- Not to be wholly ignorant.
- Pray, Sir,
- What science may you know?—
- Much pains must we expend on one alone,
- And even then attain it not;—but you
- Have the presumption to assert that you
- Know many without study.
- And with truth.
- For in the country whence I come, sciences
- Require no learning,—they are known.
- Oh, would
- I were of that bright country! for in this
- The more we study, we the more discover
- Our ignorance.
- It is so true that I
- Had so much arrogance as to oppose
- The chair of the most high Professorship,
- And obtained many votes, and though I lost,
- The attempt was still more glorious, than the failure
- Could be dishonourable: if you believe not,
- Let us refer it to dispute respecting
- That which you know best, and although I
- Know not the opinion you maintain, and though
- It be the true one, I will take the contrary.
- The offer gives me pleasure. I am now
- Debating with myself upon a passage
- Of Plinius, and my mind is racked with doubt
- To understand and know who is the God
- Of whom he speaks.
- It is a passage, if
- I recollect it right, couched in these words:
- “God is one supreme goodness, one pure essence,
- One substance, and one sense, all sight, all hands.”
- What difficulty find you here?
- I do not recognise among the Gods
- The God defined by Plinius; if he must
- Be supreme goodness, even Jupiter
- Is not supremely good; because we see
- His deeds are evil, and his attributes
- Tainted with mortal weakness; in what manner
- Can supreme goodness be consistent with
- The passions of humanity?
- The wisdom
- Of the old world masked with the names of Gods,
- The attributes of Nature and of Man;
- A sort of popular philosophy.
- This reply will not satisfy me, for
- Such awe is due to the high name of God
- That ill should never be imputed. Then,
- Examining the question with more care,
- It follows, that the gods should always will
- That which is best, were they supremely good.
- How then does one will one thing—one another?
- And you may not say that I allege
- Poetical or philosophic learning:—
- Consider the ambiguous responses
- Of their oracular statues; from two shrines
- Two armies shall obtain the assurance of
- One victory. Is it not indisputable
- That two contending wills can never lead
- To the same end? And being opposite,
- If one be good is not the other evil?
- Evil in God is inconceivable;
- But supreme goodness fails among the gods
- Without their union.
- I deny your major.
- These responses are means towards some end
- Unfathomed by our intellectual beam.
- They are the work of providence, and more
- The battle’s loss may profit those who lose,
- Than victory advantage those who win.
- That I admit, and yet that God should not
- (Falsehood is incompatible with deity)
- Assure the victory; it would be enough
- To have permitted the defeat; if God
- Be all sight,—God, who beheld the truth,
- Would not have given assurance of an end
- Never to be accomplished; thus, although
- The Deity may according to his attributes
- Be well distinguished into persons, yet,
- Even in the minutest circumstance,
- His essence must be one.
- To attain the end
- The affections of the actors in the scene
- Must have been thus influenced by his voice.
- But for a purpose thus subordinate
- He might have employed genii, good or evil,—
- A sort of spirits called so by the learned,
- Who roam about inspiring good or evil,
- And from whose influence and existence we
- May well infer our immortality:—
- Thus God might easily, without descending
- To a gross falsehood in his proper person,
- Have moved the affections by this mediation
- To the just point.
- These trifling contradictions
- Do not suffice to impugn the unity
- Of the high gods; in things of great importance
- They still appear unanimous; consider
- That glorious fabric—man,—his workmanship,
- Is stamped with one conception.
- Who made man
- Must have, methinks, the advantage of the others.
- If they are equal, might they not have risen
- In opposition to the work, and being
- All hands, according to our author here,
- Have still destroyed even as the other made?
- If equal in their power, and only unequal
- In opportunity, which of the two
- Will remain conqueror?
- On impossible
- And false hypothesis there can be built
- No argument. Say, what do you infer
- From this?
- That there must be a mighty God
- Of supreme goodness and of highest grace,
- All sight, all hands, all truth, infallible,
- Without an equal and without a rival;
- The cause of all things and the effect of nothing,
- One power, one will, one substance, and one essence.
- And in whatever persons, one or two,
- His attributes may be distinguished, one
- Sovereign power, one solitary essence,
- One cause of all cause. [They rise.
- How can I impugn
- So clear a consequence?
- Who but regrets a check
- In rivalry of wit? I could reply
- And urge new difficulties, but will now
- Depart, for I hear steps of men approaching,
- And it is time that I should now pursue
- My journey to the city.
- Remain in peace! Since thus it profits him
- To study, I will wrap his senses up
- In sweet oblivion of all thought, but of
- A piece of excellent beauty; and as I
- Have power given me to wage enmity
- Against Justina’s soul, I will extract
- From one effect two vengeances. [Exit.
- I never
- Met a more learned person. Let me now
- Revolve this doubt again with careful mind. [He reads.
- Here stop. These toppling rocks and tangled boughs,
- Impenetrable by the noonday beam,
- Shall be sole witnesses of what we —
- If there were words, here is the place for deeds.
- Thou needest not instruct me; well I know
- That in the field the silent tongue of steel
- Speaks thus. [They fight.
- Ha! what is this? Lelio, Floro,
- Be it enough that Cyprian stands between you,
- Although unarmed.
- Whence comest thou, to stand
- Between me and my vengeance?
- From what rocks
- And desart cells?
- Run, run! for where we left my master
- We hear the clash of swords.
- I never
- Run to approach things of this sort, but only
- To avoid them. Sir! Cyprian! sir!
- Be silent, fellows! What! two friends who are
- In blood and fame the eyes and hope of Antioch;
- One of the noble men of the Colatti,
- The other son of the Governor, adventure
- And cast away, on some slight cause no doubt,
- Two lives the honour of their country?
- Although my high respect towards your person
- Holds now my sword suspended, thou canst not
- Restore it to the slumber of its scabbard.
- Thou knowest more of science than the duel;
- For when two men of honour take the field,
- No [[ ]] or respect can make them friends,
- But one must die in the pursuit.
- I pray
- That you depart hence with your people, and
- Leave us to finish what we have begun
- Without advantage.
- Though you may imagine
- That I know little of the laws of duel,
- Which vanity and valour instituted,
- You are in error. By my birth I am
- Held no less than yourselves to know the limits
- Of honour and of infamy, nor has study
- Quenched the free spirit which first ordered them;
- And thus to me, as one well experienced
- In the false quicksands of the sea of honour,
- You may refer the merits of the case;
- And if I should perceive in your relation
- That either has the right to satisfaction
- From the other, I give you my word of honour
- To leave you.
- Under this condition then
- I will relate the cause, and you will cede
- And must confess th’ impossibility
- Of compromise; for the same lady is
- Beloved by Floro and myself.
- It seems
- Much to me that the light of day should look
- Upon that idol of my heart—but he—
- Leave us to fight, according to thy word.
- Permit one question further: is the lady
- Impossible to hope or not?
- She is
- So excellent, that if the light of day
- Should excite Floro’s jealousy, it were
- Without just cause, for even the light of day
- Trembles to gaze on her.
- Would you for your
- Part marry her?
- O, would that I could lift my hope
- So high? for though she is extremely poor,
- Her virtue is her dowry.
- And if you both
- Would marry her, is it not weak and vain,
- Culpable and unworthy, thus beforehand
- To slur her honour. What would the world say
- If one should slay the other, and if she
- Should afterwards espouse the murderer?
[The rivals agree to refer their quarrel toCyprian;who in consequence visitsJustina,and becomes enamoured of her: she disdains him, and he retires to a solitary sea-shore.
- Oh, memory! permit it not
- That the tyrant of my thought
- Be another soul that still
- Holds dominion o’er the will,
- That would refuse, but can no more,
- To bend, to tremble, and adore.
- Vain idolatry!—I saw,
- And gazing, became blind with error;
- Weak ambition, which the awe
- Of her presence bound to terror!
- So beautiful she was—and I,
- Between my love and jealousy,
- Am so convulsed with hope and fear,
- Unworthy as it may appear;—
- So bitter is the life I live,
- That, hear me, Hell! I now would give
- To thy most detested spirit
- My soul, for ever to inherit,
- To suffer punishment and pine,
- So this woman may be mine.
- Hear’st thou, Hell! dost thou reject it?
- My soul is offered!
[Tempest, with thunder and lightning.
- What is this? ye heavens for ever pure,
- At once intensely radiant and obscure!
- Athwart the etherial halls
- The lightning’s arrow and the thunder-balls
- The day affright.
- As from the horizon round,
- Burst with earthquake sound,
- In mighty torrents the electric fountains;—
- Clouds quench the sun, and thunder smoke
- Strangles the air, and fire eclipses heaven.
- Philosophy, thou canst not even
- Compel their causes underneath thy yoke,
- From yonder clouds even to the waves below
- The fragments of a single ruin choke
- Imagination’s flight;
- For, on flakes of surge, like feathers light,
- The ashes of the desolation cast
- Upon the gloomy blast,
- Tell of the footsteps of the storm.
- And nearer see the melancholy form
- Of a great ship, the outcast of the sea,
- Drives miserably!
- And it must fly the pity of the port,
- Or perish, and its last and sole resort
- Is its own raging enemy.
- The terror of the thrilling cry
- Was a fatal prophesy
- Of coming death, who hovers now
- Upon that shattered prow,
- That they who die not may be dying still.
- And not alone the insane elements
- Are populous with wild portents,
- But that sad ship is as a miracle
- Of sudden ruin, for it drives so fast
- It seems as if it had arrayed its form
- With the headlong storm.
- It strikes—I almost feel the shock,—
- It stumbles on a jagged rock,—
- Sparkles of blood on the white foam are cast.
A Tempest—All exclaim within,
- Now from this plank will I
- Pass to the land and thus fulfil my scheme.
- As in contempt of the elemental rage
- A man comes forth in safety, while the ship’s
- Great form is in a watery eclipse
- Obliterated from the Ocean’s page,
- And round its wreck the huge sea-monsters sit,
- A horrid conclave, and the whistling wave
- Are heaped over its carcase, like a grave.
TheDæmonenters, as escaped from the sea.
- It was essential to my purposes
- To wake a tumult on the sapphire ocean,
- That in this unknown form I might at length
- Wipe out the blot of the discomfiture
- Sustained upon the mountain, and assail
- With a new war the soul of Cyprian,
- Forging the instruments of his destruction
- Even from his love and from his wisdom.—Oh!
- Beloved earth, dear mother, in thy bosom
- I seek a refuge from the monster who
- Precipitates itself upon me.
- Collect thyself; and be the memory
- Of thy late suffering, and thy greatest sorrow
- But as a shadow of the past,—for nothing
- Beneath the circle of the moon, but flows
- And changes, and can never know repose.
- And who art thou, before whose feet my fate
- Has prostrated me?
- One who moved with pity,
- Would soothe its stings.
- Oh! that can never be!
- No solace can my lasting sorrows find.
- Because my happiness is lost.
- Yet I lament what has long ceased to be
- The object of desire or memory,
- And my life is not life.
- Now, since the fury
- Of this earthquaking hurricane is still,
- And the crystalline heaven has reassumed
- Its windless calm so quickly, that it seems
- As if its heavy wrath had been awakened
- Only to overwhelm that vessel,—speak,
- Who art thou, and whence comest thou?
- Far more
- My coming hither cost, than thou hast seen
- Or I can tell. Among my misadventures
- This shipwreck is the least. Wilt thou hear?
- Since thou desirest, I will then unveil
- Myself to thee;—for in myself I am
- A world of happiness and misery;
- This I have lost, and that I must lament
- For ever. In my attributes I stood
- So high and so heroically great,
- In lineage so supreme, and with a genius
- Which penetrated with a glance the world
- Beneath my feet, that won by my high merit
- A king—whom I may call the king of kings,
- Because all others tremble in their pride
- Before the terrors of his countenance,
- In his high palace roofed with brightest gems
- Of living light—call them the stars of Heaven—
- Named me his counsellor. But the high praise
- Stung me with pride and envy, and I rose
- In mighty competition, to ascend
- His seat and place my foot triumphantly
- Upon his subject thrones. Chastised, I know
- The depth to which ambition falls; too mad
- Was the attempt, and yet more mad were now
- Repentance of the irrevocable deed:—
- Therefore I chose this ruin with the glory
- Of not to be subdued, before the shame
- Of reconciling me with him who reigns
- By coward cession.—Nor was I alone,
- Nor am I now, nor shall I be alone;
- And there was hope, and there may still be hope,
- For many suffrages among his vassals
- Hailed me their lord and king, and many still
- Are mine, and many more, perchance shall be.
- Thus vanquished, though in fact victorious,
- I left his seat of empire, from mine eye
- Shooting forth poisonous lightning, while my words
- With inauspicious thunderings shook Heaven,
- Proclaiming vengeance, public as my wrong,
- And imprecating on his prostrate slaves
- Rapine, and death, and outrage. Then I sailed
- Over the mighty fabric of the world,
- A pirate ambushed in its pathless sands,
- A lynx crouched watchfully among its caves
- And craggy shores; and I have wandered over
- The expanse of these wide wildernesses
- In this great ship, whose bulk is now dissolved
- In the light breathings of the invisible wind,
- And which the sea has made a dustless ruin,
- Seeking ever a mountain, through whose forests
- I seek a man, whom I must now compel
- To keep his word with me. I came arrayed
- In tempest, and although my power could well
- Bridle the forest winds in their career,
- For other causes I forbore to soothe
- Their fury to Favonian gentleness,
- I could and would not; (thus I wake in him [Aside.
- A love of magic art.) Let not this tempest,
- Nor the succeeding calm excite thy wonder;
- For by my art the sun would turn as pale
- As his weak sister with unwonted fear.
- And in my wisdom are the orbs of Heaven
- Written as in a record; I have pierced
- The flaming circles of their wondrous spheres
- And know them as thou knowest every corner
- Of this dim spot. Let it not seem to thee
- That I boast vainly; wouldst thou that I work
- A charm over this waste and savage wood,
- This Babylon of crags and aged trees,
- Filling its leafy coverts with a horror
- Thrilling and strange? I am the friendless guest
- Of these wild oaks and pines—and as from thee
- I have received the hospitality
- Of this rude place, I offer thee the fruit
- Of years of toil in recompense; whate’er
- Thy wildest dream presented to thy thought
- As object of desire, that shall be thine.
- * * * *
- And thenceforth shall so firm an amity
- ’Twixt thou and me be, that neither fortune,
- The monstrous phantom which pursues success,
- That careful miser, that free prodigal,
- Who ever alternates with changeful hand,
- Evil and good, reproach and fame; nor Time,
- That loadstar of the ages, to whose beam
- The winged years speed o’er the intervals
- Of their unequal revolutions; nor
- Heaven itself, whose beautiful bright stars
- Rule and adorn the world, can ever make
- The least division between thee and me,
- Since now I find a refuge in thy favour.
TheDæmontemptsJustina,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;
- Let her chaste mind with fancies thick as motes
- Be peopled from thy shadowy deep,
- Till her guiltless phantasy
- 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 she may borrow,
- But, guided by my spirit blind
- And in a magic snare entwined,
- She may now seek Cyprian.
- 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, theDæmongoes out at one door, andJustinaenters at another.
the first voice.
- There is no form in which the fire
- Of love its traces has impressed not.
- Man lives far more in love’s desire
- Than by life’s breath, soon possessed not.
- If all that lives must love or die,
- All shapes on earth, or sea, or sky,
- With one consent to Heaven cry
- That the glory far above
- All else in life is—
- Thou melancholy thought which art
- So fluttering and so sweet, to thee
- When did I give the liberty
- 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
- Into my senses?—
- ’Tis that enamoured nightingale
- Who gives me the reply;
- He ever tells the same soft tale
- Of passion and of constancy
- To his mate, who rapt and fond
- Listening sits, a bough beyond.
- Be silent, Nightingale—no more
- Make me think, in hearing thee
- Thus tenderly thy love deplore,
- If a bird can feel his so,
- What a man would feel for me.
- And, voluptuous vine, O thou
- Who seekest most when least pursuing,—
- To the trunk thou interlacest
- Art the verdure which embracest,
- And the weight which is its ruin,—
- No more, with green embraces, vine,
- Make me think on what thou lovest,—
- For whilst thou thus thy boughs entwine,
- I fear lest thou should’st teach me, sophist,
- How arms might be entangled too.
- Light-enchanted sunflower, thou
- Who gazest ever true and tender
- On the sun’s revolving splendour!
- Follow not his faithless glance
- With thy faded countenance,
- Nor teach my beating heart to fear,
- If leaves can mourn without a tear,
- How eyes must weep! O Nightingale,
- Cease from thy enamoured tale,—
- Leafy vine, unwreathe thy bower,
- Restless sunflower, cease to move,—
- Or tell me all, what poisonous power
- Ye use against me—
- 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! [More calmly.
- It must be pity
- To think that such a man, whom all the world
- Admired, should be forgot by 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. [Calmly.
- Alas! what reasonings are these? it is
- Enough I pity him, and that, in vain,
- Without this ceremonious subtlety.
- And woe is me! I know not where to find him now,
- Even should I seek him through this wide world.
- Follow, and I will lead thee where he is.
- 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
- Has formed in the idle air?
- 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.
- 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 half-way on the road.
- I will not be discouraged, nor despair,
- Although I thought it, and although ’tis true,
- That thought is but a prelude to the deed:—
- Thought is not in my power, but action is:
- I will not move my foot to follow thee.
- But far a mightier wisdom than thine own
- Exerts itself within thee, with such power
- Compelling thee to that which it inclines
- That it shall force thy step; how wilt thou then
- Resist, Justina?
- It is invincible;
- It were not free if thou hadst power upon it.
[He draws, but cannot move her.
- Come, where a pleasure waits thee.
- ’Twill soothe thy heart to softest peace.
- ’Tis shame, ’tis torment, ’tis despair.
- But how
- Canst thou defend thyself from that or me,
- If my power drags thee onward?
- My defence
- Consists in God.
[He vainly endeavours to force her, and at last releases her.
- Woman, thou hast subdued me,
- Only by not owning thyself subdued.
- But since thou thus findest defence in God,
- I will assume a feigned form, and thus
- Make thee a victim of my baffled rage.
- For I will mask a spirit in thy form
- Who will betray thy name to infamy,
- And doubly shall I triumph in thy loss,
- First by dishonouring thee, and then by turning
- False pleasure to true ignominy. [Exit.
- Appeal to Heaven against thee; so that Heaven
- May scatter thy delusions, and the blot
- Upon my fame vanish in idle thought,
- Even as flame dies in the envious air,
- And as the flowret wanes at morning frost,
- And thou shouldst never—But, alas! to whom
- Do I still speak?—Did not a man but now
- Stand here before me?—No, I am alone,
- And yet I saw him. Is he gone so quickly?
- Or can the heated mind engender shapes
- From its own fear? Some terrible and strange
- Peril is near. Lisander! father! lord!
- Saw you
- A man go forth from my apartment now?—
- I scarce sustain myself!
- ’Tis impossible; the doors
- Which led to this apartment were all locked.
- I dare say it was Moscon whom she saw,
- For he was locked up in my room.
- It must
- Have been some image of thy phantasy.
- Such melancholy as thou feedest, is
- Skilful in forming such in the vain air
- Out of the motes and atoms of the day.
- My master’s in the right.
- O, would it were
- Delusion; but I fear some greater ill.
- I feel as if out of my bleeding bosom
- My heart were torn in fragments; aye,
- Some mortal spell is wrought against my frame;
- So potent was the charm, that had not God
- Shielded my humble innocence from wrong,
- I should have sought my sorrow and my shame
- With willing steps.—Livia, quick bring my cloak,
- For I must seek refuge from these extremes
- Even in the temple of the highest God
- Which secretly the faithful worship.
justina(putting on her cloak).
- In this, as in a shroud of snow, may I
- Quench the consuming fire in which I burn,
- Wasting away!
- When I once see them safe out of the house
- I shall breathe freely.
- So do I confide
- In thy just favour, Heaven!
- Thine is the cause, great God! turn for my sake,
- And for thine own, mercifully to me!