The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

I should not merit mine. Besides, you heard
The princely Salemenes.
Sar. This is strange;
The gentle and the austere are both against me,
And urge me to revenge.
Myr. 'T is a Greek virtue.
Sar. But not a kingly one -- I'll none

on 't; or 581
If ever I indulge in't, it shall be
With kings -- my equals.
Myr. These men sought to be so.
Sar. Myrrha, this is too feminine, and springs
From fearMyr.For you.
Sar. No matter, still 't is fear.
I have observed your sex, once roused to wrath,
Are timidly vindictive to a pitch
Of perseverance which I would not copy.
I thought you were exempt from this, as from
The childish helplessness of Asian women.
Myr. My lord, I am no boaster of my
love, 591
Nor of my attributes; I have shared your splendour,
And will partake your fortunes. You may live
To find one slave more true than subject myriads:
But this the gods avert! I am content
To be beloved on trust for what I feel,
Rather than prove it to you in your griefs
Which might not yield to any cares of mine.
Sar. Grief cannot come where perfect love exists,
Except to heighten it, and vanish from 600
That which it could not scare away. Let's in --
The hour approaches, and we must prepare
To meet the invited guests who grace our feast. [Exeunt.


ACT III

SCENE I

The Hall of the Palace illuminated. -- SARDANAPALUS and his Guests at Table. -- A Storm without, and
Thunder occasionally heard during the Banquet.

Sar. Fill full! why this is as it should be: here
Is my true realm, amidst bright eyes and faces
Happy as fair! Here sorrow cannot reach.
Zam. Nor elsewhere; where the king is, pleasure sparkles.
Sar. Is not this better now than Nimrod's huntings,
Or my wild grandam's chase in search of kingdoms
She could not keep when conquer'd?
Alt. Mighty though
They were, as all thy royal line have been,
Yet none of those who went before have reach'd
The acme of Sardanapalus, who
Has placed his joy in peace -- the sole true glory.
Sar. And pleasure, good Altada, to which glory
Is but the path. What is it that we seek?
Enjoyment! 'We have cut the way short to it,
And not gone tracking it through human ashes,
Making a grave with every footstep.
Zam. No;
All hearts are happy, and all voices bless
The king of peace, who holds a world in jubilee.
Sar. Art sure of that? I have heard otherwise;
Some say that there be traitors.
Zam. Traitors they

Who dare to say so! -- 'T is impossible. 21
What cause?
Sar. What cause? true, -- fill the goblet up;
We win not think of them: there are none such,
Or if there be, they are gone.
Alt. Guests, to my pledge!
Down on your knees, and drink a measure to
The safety of the king -- the monarch, say
I?
The god Sardanapalus!
[ZAMES and the Guests kneel, and exclaim-Mightier than
His father Baal, the god Sardanapalus!
(It thunders as they kneel; some start up in confusion.
Zam. Why do you rise, my friends? in that strong peal
His father gods consented.
Myr. Menaced, rather.
King, wilt thou bear this mad impiety? 31
Sar. Impiety! -- nay, if the sires who reign'd

Before me can be gods, I'll not disgrace

-571-

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The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Biographical Sketch xi
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - A Romaunt 1
  • Shorter Poems 83
  • Miscellaneous Poems 139
  • Domestic Pieces 207
  • Hebrew Melodies 216
  • Ephemeral Verses 223
  • Satires 240
  • Tales, Chiefly Oriental 309
  • Italian Poems 436
  • Dramas 477
  • Scene II 481
  • Act II 483
  • Scene I 483
  • Scene II 487
  • Scene IV 488
  • Act III 491
  • Scene I 491
  • Scene II 493
  • Scene III 494
  • Scene IV 495
  • Act I 499
  • Act I 499
  • Scene II 500
  • Act II 509
  • Scene I 509
  • Scene II 516
  • Act III 518
  • Scene I 518
  • Scene II 520
  • Act IV 528
  • Scene I 528
  • Scene II 533
  • Act V 538
  • Act V 538
  • Scene II 546
  • Scenf III 548
  • Scene II 549
  • Sardanapalus 550
  • Scene II 551
  • Act II 561
  • Scene I 561
  • Act III 571
  • Scene I 571
  • Act IV 578
  • Scene I 578
  • Act V 587
  • Scene I 587
  • Act I 595
  • Scene I 595
  • Act II 601
  • Scene I 601
  • Act III 608
  • Scene I 608
  • Act IV 615
  • Scene I 620
  • Scene I 620
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Act II 636
  • Scene I 636
  • Scene II 639
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Scene II 657
  • Scene II 658
  • Werner; Or, the Inheritance 671
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 688
  • Act III 695
  • Scene I 695
  • Scene II 700
  • Scene III 701
  • Scene IV 701
  • Act IV 704
  • Scene I 704
  • Act V 713
  • Scene II 720
  • The Deformed Transformed 722
  • Scene II 723
  • Scene II 730
  • Part II 735
  • Scene I 735
  • Scene II 737
  • Scene III 738
  • Part III 742
  • Scene I 742
  • Don Juan 744
  • Notes 999
  • Indexes 1045
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