The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview
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ACT V

SCENE I

A large and magnificent Gothic Hall in the Castle of Siegendorf, decorated with Trophies, Banners, and Arms of that Family.

EnterARNHEIMandMEISTER, attendants of COUNT SIEGENDORF.

Arn. Be quick! the count will soon return: the ladies Already are at the portal. Have you sent The messengers in search of him he seeks for?

Meis. I have, in all directions, over Prague, As far as the man's dress and figure could By your description track him. The devil take These revels and processions! All the pleasure (If such there be) must fall to the spectators. I'm sure none doth to us who make the show.

Arn. Go to! my lady countess comes.

Meis. I 'd rather 10

Ride a day's hunting on an outworn jade,
Than follow in the train of a great man
In these dull pageantries.

Arn. Begone! and rail Within. [Exeunt.

Enter the COUNTESS JOSEPHINE SIEGENDORF and IDA STRALENHEIM.

Jos. Well, Heaven be praised, the show is over!

Ida. How can you say so! never have I dreamt
Of aught so beautiful. The flowers, the boughs,
The banners, and the nobles, and the knights,
The gems, the robes, the plumes, the happy faces,
The coursers, and the incense, and the sun
Streaming through the stain'd windows,

even the tombs20

Which look'd so calm, and the celestial hymns,
Which seem'd as if they rather came from heaven
Than mounted there, the bursting organ's peal
Rolling on high like an harmonious thun-der,
The white robes and the lifted eyes, the world
At peace! and all at peace with one another!
Oh, my sweet mother! [Embracing JOSEPHINE.

Jos. My beloved child! For such, I trust, thou shalt be shortly.

Ida. Oh! I am so already. Feel how my heart beats!

Jos. It does, my love; and never may it

throb 30
With aught more bitter.

Ida. Never shall it do so! How should it? What should make us grieve? I hate To hear of sorrow: how can we be sad, Who love each other so entirely? You, The count, and Ulric, and your daughter Ida.

Jos. Poor child!

Ida. Do you pity me? Jos. No; I but envy, And that in sorrow, not in the world's sense Of the universal vice, if one vice be More general than another.

Ida. I 'll not hear
A word against a world which still con

tains 40
You and my Ulric. Did you ever see
Aught like him? How he tower'd amongst them all!
How all eyes follow'd him! The flowers fell faster --
Rain'd from each lattice at his feet, me-thought --
Than before all the rest; and where he trod
I dare be sworn that they grow still, nor e'er
Will wither.

Jos. You will spoil him, little flatterer, If he should hear you.

Ida. But he never will. I dare not say so much to him -- I fear him.

Jos. Why so? he loves you well.

Ida. But I can never 50

Shape my thoughts of him into words to him.
Besides, he sometimes frightens me.

Jos. How so?

Ida. A cloud comes o'er his blue eyes suddenly, Yet he says nothing.

Jos. It is nothing: all men, Especially in these dark troublous times, Have much to think of.

Ida. But I cannot think Of aught save him.

-713-

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