Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors]

The SCENE is a Temple adorn'd according

to the Superftition of the Antient Saxons ;
in the Middle are plac'd their three princi-
pal Idols, Thor, Woden, and Freya.

Mufick is heard at a Distance, as of the Priests

preparing for the Sacrifice. Then

[ocr errors]

Enter Aribert.

Ari.

A
LL Night the bloody. Priests, ia dreadful Band,

Have watch'd intent upon their horrid Rites,
with many a dire and execrable Pray'r,
Calling the Fiends beneath, the fullen Demons
That dwell in Darkness, deep, and Foc to Man,
Delight in recking Streams of human Gore,
Now huddled on a Heap, they murmurd hoarse,
And hiffing whilper'd round their mystick Charms;
And now, as if by sudden Madness ftruck,
With Screamings Ahrill they fhook the vaulted Roof,
and vex'd the still, the filent folema Midnight.
Such sure in everlasting Flames below,
Such are the Groans of poor lamenting Ghosts,
And fuch the Howlings of the last Despair,
Anon to Sounds of Woe and magick Strings,
They danc'd in wild fantastick Measures round;
Thea all at once they bent their ghaftly Visages

On

:

On me, and yelling, thrice they cry'd out, Aribert !
I have endur'd their Horrors And at length
See! the Night wears away, and chearful Morn,
All sweet and fresh, spreads from the rosie Eaft:
Fair Nature seems reviv'd, and ev’n my Heart
Sits light and jocund at the Day's Return,
And fearless waits an End of all its Sufferings.
Enter one of the Guards, be delivers a Letter to

Aribert.
Guar. From Oswald this, on Peril of my

Lifo
I have engag’d to render to your Hands.

[Exit. Ari. reads.] Seofrid has been juft to his Word; be has

deliver'd the fair Ethelinda to my Charge: we haze happily past all she Guards, and hope in two Hours 10reach the Briton's Campo

From your faithful Ofwald.
Then thou hast nothing left on Earth, my Soul,
Worthy thy farther Care. Why do I stay,
Whiy linger then, and want my Heav'n so long?
To live is to continue to be wretched,
And robs me of a great and glorious Death.
Enter Rodogune with an Officer, he speaks to her

entring.
Offic. Thus Offa to his beauteous Sister sends;
Depend upon a Brother's Love and Care,
To further all

you

wila. Rode. 'Tis well ! be near,

[Exit Officer And wait my farther Order. See! my Heart, See there thy dearest Choice, thy fond Delire. See with how clear a Brow, what chearful Grace, With all its native Sweetness undisturbid, The noble Youth attends his harder Fate.

I camo

CA

[ocr errors]

I came to join my friendly Grief with yours, (To Arib.
To curse your Tyrant Brother, and deplore
Your youthful Hopes, thus all untimely blasted:
But
you,

I fee, have learn’d to scorn your Danger;
You wear a Face of Triumph, not of Mourning:
Has Death so little in it?

Ari. Oh! 'tis nothing,
To Minds that weigh it well: The Vulgar fear it,
And yet they know not why. Since never any
Did from that dark and doubtful Land as yet
Turn back again to tell us 'tis a Pain.
To me it seems like a long wifh'd for Happiness,
· Beyond what ev'n our Expectation paints ;
'Tis Comfort to the Soul, 'tis Peace, 'tis Rest;
It comes like Slumber to the fick Man's Eyes.
Burning and restless with a Feaver's Rage,
All Night he toffes on his weary Bed;
He tells the tedious Minutes as they pass,
And, turns, and turns, and seeks for ease in vain ;
But if, at Morning's Dawn, sweet Sleep falls on him,
Think with what Pleasure he resigns his Senses,
Sinks to his Pillow, and forgets his Pain.

Rodo. Perhaps it may be such a State of Indolence;
But sure the active Soul should therefore fear it.
The Gods have dealt unjustly with their Creatures,
If barely they bestow a wretched Being,
And scatter not fome Pleasures with the Pain,
To make it worth their keeping. Is there nothing
Could make you wish to live ?

Ari. Oh! yes, there is;
There is a Blessing I could wish to live for,
To live, for Years, for Ages to enjoy it.
But far, alas! divided from
my Arms,

It

It leaves the World á Wilderness before me,
With nothing worth desiring.

Rodo. Dull and cold!
Or cold at least to me, dull, dull Indifference. [Aside.
What if some pitying Pow'r look down from Heav'n,
And kindly visit your afflicted Fortunes!
What if it send some unexpected Aid,
Some generous Heart, and some prevailing Hand,
Willing to save, and mighty to defend,
Who from the gloomy Confines of the Grave,
Timely mall snatch, fhall bring you back to Life,
And raise you up to Empire and to Love?
Ari. The wretched have few Friends, at least on

Earth:
Then what have I to hope?

Rodo. Hope every thing,
Hope all that Merit, fuch as yours; may claim,
Such as commands the World, exacts their Homage, 1
And makes ev'n all the Good and Brave your Friends.

Ari. And can you then vouchsafe to Aatter Misery?
T'enrich fo fall’n, so lost a thing as I am,
With the sweet Breath of Praise ? So pious Virgins
Rob the whole Spring to make their Garlands fine,
Then hang 'em on a senseless Marble Tomb...

Rodo. A burning Purple Aushes o'er my Face,"
And Shame forbids my Tongue, or I would say,
That I----Oh Aribert ! ----I am thy Friend.
Yet w.berefore should I blush to own the Thought?
· For who !----who would not be the Friend of Aribert!

Ari. Why is this wondrous Goodness loft upon me? Why is this Bounty lavish'd on a Bankrupt, Who has not left another Hour of Life To pay the mighty Debt?

Rodo.

C5

Rodo. Oh! let me yet, Yet add to it, and swell the Sum yet higher; Nor doubt but Fate Of all find the Means to pay it.. Know then that I have pasa'd this. live-long Night, Sleepless and anxious with my Cares for thee; The Gods have fure approv'd the pious Thought, And crown'd it with Succefs. Since I have gaind: Alfred, the Chief of mighty Woden's Priests, To find a certain Way for thy Escape. One of the facred Habits is at Hand Prepar'd for thy Disguise, the holy Man Attends to guide thee to my Brother's Camp: My felf----Oh! yet lie ftill, my beating Heart-- [4 de. Whatever Dangers chance, my self will be The Partner and the Guardian of thy Flight.

Ari. Now what Return to make...Oh let me fink, With all thefe warring Thoughts together in me, Blushing to Earth, and hide the valt Confufion.

Rodo. Ye Gods!: he anfwers not, but hangs his Head: In füllen Silence; see! he turas away, And bends his gloomy Visage to the Earth. To what am I betray'd ! Oh Shame! Dishonour! And more than Woman's Weakness!. He has seen me,

fond Heart, and fcorns the easie Prize.j Blaft me, ye Lightnings, Atrike me to the Centre, Drive, drive me down, down to the Depths bencatha Let me not live, nor think----let me not think, For I have been despis'd--ten thousand thousand, And yet ten thousand CursesOh my Folly !! Ari. Thus let me fall, thus lowly to the Earth,

[Kneeling In humble Adoration of your Goodness; Thus with my latest Accents breathe your Name .

And

Seen my

« ZurückWeiter »