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Scene I.-Apartment in a Palace.
WiTTORi.A. Speak not of love—it is a word with deep, Strange magic in its melancholy sound, To summon up the dead; and they should rest, At such an hour, forgotten. There are things We must throw from us, when the heart would gather Strength to fulfil its settled purposes: Therefore, no more of love —But, if to robe This form in bridal ornaments, to smile (I can smile yet) at thy gay feast, and stand At th' altar by thy side; if this be deem'd Enough, it shall be done.
Doth rule th' ascendant still! (Apart.)—If not of love,
Then pardon, lady, that I speak of joy,
And with exulting heart
There is no joy!
—Who shall look through the far futurity,
And, as the shadowy visions of events
Develope on his gaze, 'midst their dim throng,
Dare, with oracular mien, to point, and say,
“This will bring happiness?”—Who shall do this?
—Why, thou, and I, and all !—There's Une, who sits
In his own bright tranquillity enthroned,
High o'er all storms, and looking far beyond
Their thickest clouds; but we, from whose dull eyes
A grain of dust hides the great sun, e'en we
Usurp his attributes, and talk, as seers,
Of future joy and grief!
Thy words are strange.
Yet will I hope that peace at length shall settle
Upon thy troubled heart, and add soft grace
To thy majestic beauty.—Fair Vittorial
I know a day shall come
Of peace to all. Ev’n from my darken'd spirit
Soon shall each restless wish be exorcised,
Which haunts it now, and I shall then lie down
Serenely to repose. Of this no more.
—I have a boon to ask.
Command my power,
And deem it thus most honour’d.
Have I then
Soar'd such an eagle-pitch, as to command
The mighty Eribert?—And yet 'tis meet;
For I bethink me now, I should have worn
A crown upon this forehead.-Generous lord '
Since thus you give me freedom, know, there is
An hour I have loved from childhood, and a sound,
Whose tones, o'er earth and ocean sweetly bearing
A sense of deep repose, have lull'd me oft
To peace—which is forgetfulness: I mean
The Vesper-bell. I pray you, let it be
The summons to our bridal—Hear you not?
To our fair bridal
Lady, let your will
Appoint each circumstance. I am but too bless'd
Proving my homage thus.
Why, then, 'tis mine
To rule the glorious fortunes of the day,
And I may be content. Yet much remains
For thought to brood on, and I would be left
Alone with my resolves. Kind Eribert
(Whom I command so absolutely) now
Part we a few brief hours; and doubt not, when
I am at thy side once more, but I shall stand
There—to the last.
Your smiles are troubled, lady;
May they ere long be brighter —Time will seem
Slow till the vesper-bell.
'Tis lovers’ phrase
To say—time lags; and therefore meet for you :
But with an equal pace the hours move on,
Whether they bear, on their swift silent wing,
Be not so full of thought
On such a day.—Behold, the skies themselves
Look on my joy with a triumphant smile,
Unshadow’d by a cloud.
'Tis very meet
That Heaven (which loves the just) should wear a smile
In honour of his fortunes.—Now, my lord,
Forgive me if I say, farewell, until
Th' appointed hour.
Lady, a brief farewell.
Scene II.-The Sea-shore.
And dost thou still refuse to share the glory
Of this, our daring enterprise