The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

Mar. This means that you are more
Doge than father.

Doge. It means, I am more citizen than either.
If we had not for many centuries
Had thousands of such citizens, and shall,
I trust, have still such, Venice were no city.

Mar. Accursèd be the city where the laws
Would stifle nature's!

Doge. Had I as many sons
As I have years, I would have given them

all, 421
Not without feeling, but I would have given them
To the state's service, to fulfil her wishes
On the flood, in the field, or, if it must be,
As it, alas! has been, to ostracism,
Exile, or chains, or whatsoever worse
She might decree.

Mar. And this is patriotism?
To me it seems the worst barbarity.
Let me seek out my husband: the sage
'Ten,'

With all its jealousy, will hardly war 430
So far with a weak woman as deny me
A moment's access to his dungeon.

Doge. I'll
So far take on myself, as order that
You may be admitted.

Mar. And what shall I say
To Foscari from his father?

Doge. That he obey
The laws.

Mar. And nothing more? Will you not see him
Ere he depart? It may be the last time.

Doge. The last! -- my boy! -- the last time I shall see
My last of children! Tell him I will come. [Exeunt.


ACT III

SCENE I

The prison of JACOPO FOSCARI.

Jac. Fos. (solus). No light, save yon faint gleam which shows me walls
Which never echo'd but to sorrow's sounds,
The sigh of long imprisonment, the step
Of feet on which the iron clank'd, the groan
Of death, the imprecation of despair!
And yet for this I have return'd to Venice,
With some faint hope, 't is true, that time, which wears
The marble down, had worn away the hate
Of men's hearts; but I knew them not, and here
Must I consume my own, which never beat

For Venice but with such a yearning as 11

The dove has for her distant nest, when wheeling
High in the air on her return to greet
Her callow brood. What letters are these which [Approaching the wall.
Are scrawl'd along the inexorable wall?
Will the gleam let me trace them? Ah! the names
Of my sad predecessors in this place,
The dates of their despair, the brief words of
A grief too great for many. This stone page
Holds like an epitaph their history; 20
And the poor captive's tale is graven on
His dungeon barrier, like the lover's record
Upon the bark of some tall tree, which bears
His own and his beloved's name. Alas!
I recognise some names familiar to me,
And blighted like to mine, which I will add
Fittest for such a chronicle as this
Which only can be read, as writ, by wretches. [He engraves his name.

Enter a Familiar of 'the Ten.'

Fam. I bring you food.

Jac. Fos. I pray you set it down;
I am past hunger: but my lips are

parch'd -- 30
The water!

Fam. There.

Jac. Fos. (after drinking). I thank you:
I am better.

Fam. I am commanded to inform you that
Your further trial is postponed.

Jac. Fos. Till when?

Fam. I know not. -- It is also in my orders
That your illustrious lady be admitted.

Jac. Fos. Ah! they relent, then -- I had ceased to hope it: 'T was time.

Enter MARINA.

Mar. My best beloved!

Jac. Fos. (embracing her). My true wife,
And only friend! What happiness!

Mar. We'll part
No more.

-608-

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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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