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PROCIDA.

Thou, too, come forth,
From thine own halls an exile !-Dost thou make
The mountain-fastnesses thy dwelling still,
While hostile banners, o'er thy rampart walls,
Wave their proud blazonry?

FIRST SICILIAN.

Even so. I stood
Last night before my own ancestral towers
An unknown outcast, while the tempest beat
On
my

bare head—what reck'd it ?- There was joy
Within, and revelry; the festive lamps
Were streaming from each turret, and gay songs,
l' th’ stranger's tongue, made mirth. They little deem'd
Who heard their melodies !-but there are thoughts
Best nurtured in the wild ; there are dread vows
Known to the mountain-echoes.-Procida !
Call on the outcast when revenge is nigh.

PROCIDA.

I knew a young Sicilian, one whose heart
Should be all fire. On that most guilty day,
When, with our martyr'd Conradin, the flower
Of the land's knighthood perishd; he, of whom
I speak, a weeping boy, whose innocent tears

Melted a thousand hearts that dared not aid,
Stood by the scaffold, with extended arms,
Calling upon his father, whose last look
Turn'd full on him its parting agony.
That father's blood gush'd o'er him !-and the boy
Then dried his tears, and, with a kindling eye,
And a proud Alush on his young cheek, look’d up
To the bright heaven.-Doth he remember still
That bitter hour ?

SECOND SICILIAN.

He bears a sheathless sword ! - Call on the orphan when revenge is nigh.

PROCIDA.

Our band shows gallantly—but there are men
Who should be with us now, had they not dared
In some wild moment of festivity
To give their full hearts way, and breathe a wishi
For freedom !-and some traitor-it might be
A breeze perchance-bore the forbidden sound
To Eribert :so they must die—unless
Fate (who at times is wayward) should select
Some other victim first !-But have they not
Brothers or sons amongst us?

GUIDO.

Look on me! I have a brother, a young high-sould boy, And beautiful as a sculptor's dream, with brow That wears, amidst its dark rich curls, the stamp Of inborn nobleness. In truth, he is A glorious creature !-But his doom is seal'd With theirs of whom you spoke ; and I have knelt-Aye, scorn me not ! 'twas for his life-I knelt E’en at the viceroy's feet, and he put on That heartless laugh of cold malignity We know so well, and spurn’d me. But the stain Or shame like this, takes blood to wash it off, And thus it shall be cancell'd !-Call on me, When the stern moment of revenge is nigh.

PROCIDA.

I call upon thee now! The land's high soul
Is roused, and moving onward, like a breeze
Or a swift sunbeam, kindling nature's hues
To deeper life before it. In his chains,
The peasant dreams of freedom !-aye, 'tis thus
Oppression fans th' imperishable flame
With most unconscious hands.—No praise be her's
For what she blindly works !When slavery's cup

O'erflows its bounds, the creeping poison, meant
To dull our senses, through each burning vein
Pours fever, lending a delirious strength
To burst man's fetters and they shall be burst !
I have hoped, when hope seem'd frenzy ; but a power
Abides in human will, when bent with strong
Unswerving energy on one great aim,
To make and rule its, fortunes I have been
A wanderer in the fulness of my years,
A restless pilgrim of the earth and seas,
Gathering the generous thoughts of other lands,
To aid our holy cause.

And aid is near :
But we must give the signal. Now, before
The majesty of yon pure Heaven, whose eye
Is on our hearts, whose righteous arm befriends
The arm that strikes for freedom; speak! decree
The fate of our oppressors.

MONTALBA.

Let them fall

When dreaming least of peril !—When the heart,
Basking in sunny pleasure, doth forget
That hate may smile, but sleeps not.-Hide the sword
With a thick veil of myrtle, and in halls
Of banqueting, where the full wine-cup shines

Red in the festal torch-light; meet we there,
And bid them welcome to the feast of death.

PROCIDA.

Thy voice is low and broken, and thy words
Scarce meet our ears.

MONTALBA.

Why, then, I thus repeat
Their import. Let th' avenging sword burst forth
In some free festal hour, and woe to him
Who first shall spare !

RAIMOND.

Must innocence and guilt Perish alike?

MONTALBA.

Who talks of innocence ? When hath their hand been stay'd for innocence ? Let them all perish!-Heaven will choose its own. Why should their children live ? -The earthquake whelms Its undistinguish'd thousands, making graves Of peopled cities in its path—and this Is Heaven's dread justice-aye, and it is well ! Why then should we be tender, when the skies Deal thus with man ?-What, if the infant bleed ? Is there not power to hush the mother's pangs?

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