The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview
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Ida. Oh, great God! 550

And I have loved this man!
[IDA falls senseless; JOSEPHINE stands speechless with horror.Sieg. The wretch hath slain
Them both! -- My Josephine! we are now alone!
Would we had ever been so! -- All is over
For me! Now open wide, my sire, thy grave;
Thy curse hath dug it deeper for thy son
In mine! The race of Siegendorf is past.
This production is founded partly on the story of a novel called The Three Brothers, published many years ago, from which M. G. Lewis's Wood Demon was also taken -- ana partly on the Faust of the great Goethe. The present publication contains the two first Parts only, and the opening chorus of the third. The rest may, perhaps, appear hereafter.
STRANGER, afterwards CÆSAR.

Spirits, Soldiers, Citizens of Rome, Priests, Peasants, etc.



A Forest.

Enter ARNOLDand his mother BERTHA.

Bert. OUT, hunchback!

Arn. I was born so, mother!

Bert. Out,
Thou incubus! Thou nightmare! Of seven sons,
The sole abortion!

Arn. Would that I had been so,
And never seen the light!

Bert. I would so too!
But as thou hast -- hence, hence -- and do thy best!
That back of thine may bear its burthen 't is
More high, if not so broad as that of others.

Arn. It bears its burthen; -- but my heart!
Will it
Sustain that which you lay upon it, mother?
I love, or, at the least, I loved you: no

thing 10
Save you, in nature, can love aught like me.

You nursed me -- do not kill me!

Bert. Yes -- I nursed thee,
Because thou wert my first-born, and I knew not
If there would be another unlike thee,
That monstrous sport of nature. But get hence,
And gather wood!

Arn. I will: but when I bring it,
Speak to me kindly. Though my brothers are
So beautiful and lusty, and as free
As the free chase they follow, do not spurn me:
Our milk has been the same.

Bert. As is the hedgehog's
Which sucks at midnight from the whole-some dam
Of the young bull, until the milkmaid finds
The nipple next day sore and udder dry.

Call not thy brothers brethren! Call me not
Mother; for if I brought thee forth, it was
As foolish hens at times hatch vipers, by
Sitting upon strange eggs. Out, urchin, out! [Exit BERTHA.

Arn. (solus). Oh, mother! -- She is gone, and I must do
Her bidding; wearily but willingly

I would fulfil it, could I only hope 30
A kind word in return. What shall I do?
[ARNOLD begins to cut wood: in doing this he wounds one of his hands.

My labour for the day is over now.

Accurséd be this blood that flows so fast;
For double curses will be my meed now
At home -- What home? I have no home, no kin,
No kind -- not made like other creatures, or
To share their sports or pleasures. Must I bleed too
Like them? Oh that each drop which falls to earth
Would rise a snake to sting them, as they have stung me!

Or that the devil, to whom they liken me, 40


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