Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

The helmless dromedary!-and 17 bear

Rise to your dutyThe fiendish sarcasm with a saintly patience.

This is the hour! Stran, I will.

Walk lovely and pliant
Arn. (with surprise.] Thou canst ?

From the depth of this fountain,
Stran.
Perhaps. Would you aught else?

As the cloud-shapen giant
Arn. Thou mockest ms.

Bestrides the Hariz Mountain.
Stran.
Not I. Why should I mock

Come as ye were,
What all are mocking ? That's poor sport, me.

That our eyes may behold To talk to thee in human language (for (thinks.

The model in air Thou canst not yet speak mine), the forester

Of the form I will mould, Hunts not the wretched coney, but the boar,

Bright as the Iris Or wolf, or lion, leaving paltry game

When ether is spann'd; To petty burghers, who leave once a year

Such his desire is, (Pointing to Arnold. Their walls, to fill their household cauldrons with

Such my command ! Such scullion prey. The meanest gibe at thee,

Demons heroic-
Now I can mock the mightiest.

Demons who wore
Arn,
Then waste not

The form of the stoic
Thy time on me: I seek thee not.

Or sophist of yoreStran.

Your thoughts

Or the shape of each victor, Are not far from me. Do not send me back:

From Macedon's boy, I'm not so easily recall d to do

To each high Roman's picture,
Good service.

Who breathed to destroy-
Arn.
What wilt thou do for me?

Shadows of beauty!
Stran.

Change

Shadows of power! Shapes with you. if you will, since yours so irks you;

Up to your dutyOr form you to your wish in any shape.

This is the hour ! Arn. Oh! then you are indeed the demon, for

(Various phantoms arise from the waters, and Nought else would wittingly wear mine.

pass in succession before the Stranger and Stran.

I'll show thee

Arnold.
The brightest which the world e'er bore, and give dru. What do I see?
Thy choice.

(thee Stran,

The black-eyed Roman, with Arni. On what condition ?

The eagle's beak between those eyes which ne'er Stran.

There's a question! Beheld a conqueror, or look'd along An hour ago you would have given your soul

The land he made not Rome's, while Rome became To look like other men, and now you pause

His, and all those who heir'd his very name. To wear the form of heroes.

Arn. The phantom's bald; my quest is beauty. dru.

No; I will not.

Inherit but his fame with his defects ! [Could I I must not compromise my soul.

Stran. His brow was girt with laurels more than Stran.

What soul,

You see his aspect-choose it, or reject. (hairs. Worth naming so, would dwell in such a carcass? I can but promise you his form ; his fame

Arn. 'Tis an aspiring one, whate'er the tenement Must be long sought and fought for. In which it is mislodg'd. But name your compact:

Arn.

I will fight too, Must it be sign'd in blood ?

But not as a mock Cæsar. Let him pass; Stran.

Not in your own. His aspect may be fair, but suits me not. Arn. Whose blood then?

Stran. Then you are far more difficult to please Stran.

We will talk of that hereafter. Than Cato's sister, or than Brutus's inother,
But I'll be moderate with you, for I see

Or Cleopatra at sixteen-an age
Great things within you. You shall have no bond When love is not less in the eye than heart.
But your own will, no contract save your deeds. But be it so! Shadow, pass on!
Are you content?

[The phantom of Julius Caesar disappears. Arn. I take thee at thy word.

Arn.

And can it Stran. Now then!

Be, that the man who shook the earth is gone, | The Stranger approaches the fountain, and And left no footstep? turns to Arnold.

Stran.

There you err. His substance A little of your blood.

Left graves enough, and woes enough, and fame Arn.

For what? More than enough to track his memory;
Stran. To mingle with the magic of the waters, But for his shadow, 'tis no more than yours,
And make the charm effective.

Except a little longer and less crook'd
Arn. (holding out his wounded arm). Take it all. 1' the sun. Behold another !
Stran. Not now. A few drops will suffice for this

(A second phantom passes. (The Stranger takes some of Arnold's blood in his hand, and casts it into the fountain.

* This is a well known German superstitionShadows of beauty!

gigantic shadow produced by reflection on the Shadows of power!

Brocken

1».

Who his he?

If there be atoms of him left, or even Strant. He was the fairest and the bravest of Of the more solid gold that form d his urn. Athenians. Look upon him well,

Arn. Who was this glory of mankind ?
Arn.

He is
Stran.

The shame More lovely than the last. How beautiful!

Of Greece in peace, her thunderbolt in war-
Stran. Such was the curled son of Clinias ;- Demetrius the Macedonian, and
Wouldst thou

Taker of cities.
Invest thee with his form ?

Arni.

Yet one shadow more.
Aru.
Would that I had

Stran. (addressing the shadow.] Get thee to
Been born with it! But since I may choose further Lamia's lap!
I will look further.

[The shade of Demetrius Poliorcetes vanishes: [The shade of Alcibiades disappears.

another rises. Stron. Lo! behold again!

I'll fit you still, Am. What! that low, swarthy, short-nosed, Fear not, my hunchback : if the shadows of round-eyed satyr,

That which existed please not your nice taste,
With the wide nostrils and Silenus' aspect,

I'll animate the ideal marble, till
The splay feet and low stature! I had better Your soul be reconciled to her new garment.
Remain that which I am.

Arn. Content! I will fix here,
Stan.
And yet he was
Stran,

I must commend The carth's perfection of all mental beauty,

Your choice. The god-like son of the sea-goddess, Anil personification of all virtue.

The unshorn boy of Peleus, with his locks But you reject him?

As beautiful and clear as the amber waves Arn.

If his form could bring me Of rich Pactolus, roll'd o'er sands of gold,
That which redeem'd it-no.

Soften'd by intervening crystal, and
Stron.
I have no power

Rippled like flowing waters by the wind,
To promise that ; but you may try, and find it All vow'd to Sperchius as they were-behold them!
Easier in such a form, or in your own.

And him-as he stood by Polixena,
Arn. No. I was not born for philosophy,

With sanction'd and with soften'd love, before
Th I have that about me which has need on't. The altar, gazing on his Trojan bride,
Let him fleet on.

With some remorse within for Hector slain
Stran.

Be air, thou hemlock-drinker! And Priam weeping, mingled with deep passion [The shadow of Socrates disappears: another rises. For the sweet downcast virgin, whose young hand! Arn. What's here? whose broad brow and whose Trembled in his who slew her brother. So curly beard

He stood i' the temple! Look upon him as And manly aspect look like Hercules,

Greece look'd her last upon her best, the instant Save that his jocund eye hath more of Bacchus Ere Paris' arrow flew. Than the sad purger of the infernal world,

Aru.

I gaze upon him Leaning dejected on his club of conquest,

As if I were his soul, whose form shall soon As if he knew the worthlessness of those

Envelope mine. For whom he had fought.

Stran.. You have done well. The greatest Stran.

It was the man who lost Deformity should only barter with The ancient world for love.

The extremest beauty, if the proverb's true Arn.

I cannot blame him, Of mortals, that extremes meet. Since I have risk'd iny soul because I find not

Arn.

Come! Be quick! That which he exchanged the earth for.

I am impatient. Stran.

Since so far Stran.

As a youthful beauty
You seem congenial, will you wear his features? Before her glass. You both see what is not,

Arn. No. As you leave me choice, I am difficult, But dream it is what must be.
If but to see the heroes I should ne'er

Arn.

Must I wait ? Have seen else on this side of the dim shore

Stran. No; that were a pity. But a word or two: Whence they fioat back before us.

His stature is twelve cubits; would you so far Stran.

Hence, triumvir, Outstep these times, and be a Titan? Or Thy Cleopatra's waiting.

(To talk canonically) wax a son [The shade of Antony disappears: another rises. Of Anak? Arn. Who is this?

Arn. Why not? Who truly looketh like a demigod,

Stran.

Glorious ambition !
Blooming and bright, with golden hair, and stature, I love thee most in dwarfs ! A mortal of
If not more high than mortal, yet inmortal

Philistine stature would have gladly pared
In all that nameless bearing of his limbs,

His own Goliath down to a slight David : Which he wears as the sun his rays-a something But thou, my manikin, wouldst soar a show Which shines from hiin, and yet is but the flashing Rather than hero. Thou shalt be indulged, Emanation of a thing more glorious still.

If such be thy desire; and yet, by being Was he e'er human only ?

A little less removed from present men Stran.

Let the earth speak, In figure, thou canst sway them more; for all

Would rise against thee now, as if to hunt

A choice of forms, I take the one I view.
A new-found mammoth : and their cursed engines, Haste! haste!
Their culverins, and so forth, would find way

Stran.

And what shall I wear Through our friend's armour there, with greater ease Arn.

Surely, he Than the adulterer's arrow through his heel

Who can command all forms will choose the highWhich Thetis had forgotten to baptize

est, In Styx.

Something superior even to that which was Arn. Then let it be as thou deein'st best. Pelides now before us. Perhaps his

Strin. Thou shalt be beauteous as the thing thou Who slew him, that of Paris : or-still higherAnd strong as what it was, and

(seest, The poet's god, clothed in such limbs as are Arn.

I ask not

Themselves a poetry. For valour, since deformity is daring.

Stran.

Less will content me; It is its essence to o'ertake mankind

For I, too, love a change. By heart and soul, and make itself the equal

Arn.

Your aspect Ay, the superior of the rest. There is

Dusky, but not uncomely. A spur in its halt movements, to become

Stran.

If I chose, All that the others cannot, in such things

I might be whiter; but I have a penchant As still are free to both, to compensate

For black-it is so honest, and besides For stepdame Nature's avarice at first.

Can neither blush with shame nor pale with fear They woo with fearless deeds the smiles of fortune, But I have worn it long enough of late, And oft, like Timour the lame Tartar, win them. And now I'll take your figure. Stran. Well spoken! and thou doubtless wilt re- dr.

Mine ! main

Stran,

Yes. You Form'd as thou art. I may dismiss the mould Shall change with Thetis' son, and I with Bertha, Of shadow, which must turn to flesh, to incase Your mother's offspring. People have their tastes: This daring soul, which could achieve no less You have yours- I mine. Without it.

Arn.

Despatch ! Despatch! Arn. Had no power presented me

Stran.

Even so. The possibility of change, I would

[The Stranger takes some earth and moulds it Have done the best which spirit may to make

along the turf, and then addresses the Its way with all deformity's dull, deadly

phantom of Achilles. Discouraging weight upon me, like a mountain,

Beautiful shadow In feeling, on my heart as on my shoulders

Of Thetis's boy! A hateful and unsightly molehill, to

Who sleeps in the meadow The eyes of happier men. I would have look'd

Whose grass grows o'er Troy: On beauty in that sex which is the type

From the red earth, like Adam, Of all we know or dream of beautiful

Thy likeness I shape, Beyond the world they brighten, with a sigh

As the being who made him, Not of love, but despair; nor sought to win,

Whose actions I ape. Though to a heart all love, what could not love me

Thou clay, be all glowing, In turn, because of this vile crooked clog,

Till the rose in his cheek Which makes me lonely. Nay, I could have borne

Be as fair as, when blowing, It all, had not my mother spurn'd me from her

It wears its first streak! The she-bear licks her cubs into a sort

Ye violets, I scatter, Of shape ;-my dam beheld my shape was hopeless.

Now turn into eyes! Had she exposed me, like the Spartan, ere

And thou, sunshiny water, I knew the passionate part of life, I had

Of blood take the guise ! Been a clod of the valley, -happier nothing

Let these hyacinth boughs Than what I am. But even thus, the lowest,

Be his long flowing hair, Ugliest, and ineanest of mankind, what courage

And wave o'er his brows And perseverance could have done, perchance

As thou wavest in air ! Had made me something-as it has made heroes

Let his heart be this marble Of the same mould as mine. You lately saw me

I tear from the rock ! Master of my own life, and quick to quit it;

But his voice as the warble And he who is so is the master of

Of birds on yon oak !
Whatever dreads to die.

Let his flesh be the purest
Stran,
Decide between

of mould, in which grew What you have been, or will be.

The lily-root surest,
Arn.
I have done so.

And drank the best dew!
You have open'd brighter prospects to my eyes,

Let his limbs be the lightest
And sweeter to my heart. As I am now,

Which clay can compound,
I might be fear'd, admired, respected, loved
Of all save those next to me, of whom I

. Adam means 'red earth,' from which the firs Would be loved. As thou showest me

Iman was formed.

And luis aspect the brightest

An immortal no less
On earth to be found !

Deigns not to refuse thee.
Elements, near me,

Clay thou art; and unto spirit
Be mingled and stirr’d,

All clay is of equal merit.
Know me, and hear me,

Fire! without which nought can live ;
And leap to my word!

Fire! but in which nought can live,
Sunbeams, awaken

Save the falled salamander,
This earth's animation!

Or immortal souls which wander,
'Tis done! He hath taken

Praying what doth not forgive,
His stand in creation !

Howling for a drop of water, [Arnold falls senseless; his soul passes into the

Burning in a quenchless lot shape of Achilles, which rises from the

Fire! the only element ground; while the phantom has disap.

Where nor fish, beast, bird, nor worm, peared, part by part, as the figure was

Save the worm which dieth not, formed from the earth.

Can preserve a moment's form, Arn. (in his new form.j I love, and I shall be

But must with thyself be blent: beloved! Oh, life!

Fire I man's safeguard and his slaughter: At last I feel thce! Glorious spirit !

Fire! Creation's first-born daughter, Stran,

Stop!

And Destruction's threaten'd son, What shall become of your abandon'd garment,

When heaven with the world hath dore: Yon hump, and lump, and clod of ugliness,

Fire! assist me to renew
Which late you wore, or were?

Life in what lies in my view
Arn.
Who cares? Let wolves

Stiff and cold !
And vultures take it, if they will.

His resurrection rests with me and you ! Stran.

And if

One little, marshy spark of flameThey do, and are not scared by it, you'll say

And he again shall seem the same; It must be peace-time, and no better fare

But I his spirit's place shall hold! Abroad i' the fields.

(An ignis fatuus flits through the wood, and Arn. Let us but leave it there;

rests on the brow of the body. The Stranger No matter what becomes on't.

disappears : he body rises. Stran.

That's ungracious,

Arn. [in his new form.) Oh! horrible ! If not ungrateful. Whatsoe'er it be,

Stran. (in Arnold's late shape.) What! trem. It hath sustain'd your soul full many a day.

blest thou? Arn. Ay, as the dunghill may conceal a gem

Arn.

Not so Which is now set in gold, as jewels should be.

I merely shudder. Where is fed the shape Stran. But if I give another form, it must be

Thou lately worest ? By fair exchange, not robbery. For they

Stran.

To the world of shadows. Who inake men without women's aid have long

But let us thread the present. Whither wilt thou ?

Arn. Must thou be my companion ?
Had patents for the same, and do not love
Your interlopers. The devil may take men,

Stran.

Wherefore not! Not make them,-though he reap the benefit

Your betters keep worse company.

Arn. Of the original workmanship :-and therefore

My betters! Some one must be found to assume the shape

Stran. Oh! you wax proud, I see, of your new You have quitted.

form: Aru. Who would do so:

I'm glad of that. Ungrateful too! That's well; Stran.

That I know not,

You improve apace;-two changes in an instant, And herefore I must.

And you are old in the world's ways already.
Aru.
You!

But bear with me: indeed you'll find ine useful Stran.

I said it ere

Upon your pilgrimage. But come, pronounce You inhabited your present dome of beauty.

Where shall we now be errant? Arn. True. I forget all things in the new joy

Arn,

Where the world of this immortal change.

Is thickest, that I may behold it in
Stran.
In a few moments

Its workings.
I will be as you were, and you shall see

Stran. That's to say, where there is war Yourself for ever by you, as your shadow

And woman in activity. Let's see! Arn. I would be spared this

Spain-Italy--the new Atlantic worldStrin.

But it cannot be. Afric, with all its Moors. In very truth, What! shrink already, being what you are,

There is small choice: the whole race are just how From seeing what you were ?

Tugging as usual at each o:her's hearts. Arn.

Do as tliou wilt.

Arn. I have heard great things of Rome. Stran. (to the late form of Arnold, extended on Stran.

A goodly choicethe carth.)

And scarce a better to be found on earth,
Clay: not dead, but soulless!

Since Sodom was put out. The field is wide too;
Though no man would choose thee,

l'or now the Frank, and Hun, and Spanish scion

of thc old Vandals, are at play along

On the hill he will not tire, The sunny shores of the world's garden.

Swifter as it waxes higher ; Arn.

How

In the marsh he will not slacken, Shal' we proceed!

On the plain be overtaken ;
Stran.

Like gallants, on good coursers. In the wave he will not sink,
What, ho! my chargers! Never yet were better, Nor pause at the brook's side to drink ;
Since Phaeton was upset into the Po

In the race he will not pant,
Our pages too!

In the combat he'll not faint;
Enter two Pages, with your coal-black horses.

On the stones he will not stumble,
Arn.
A noble sight!

Time nor toil shall make him humble;
Stran.

And of

In the stall he will not stiffen, A nobler breed. Match me in Barbary,

But be winged as a griffin, Or your Kochlini race of Araby.

Only flying with his feet; With these !

And will not such a voyage be sweet! Arn. The mighty steam, which volumes high

Merrily ! merrily! never unsound, Iground! From their proud nostrils, burns the very air;

Shall our bonny black horses skim over the And sparks of flame, like dancing fire-flies, wheel

From the Alps to the Caucasus, ride we, or fly! Around their manes, as common insects swarm

For we'll leave them behind in the glance of an eye. Round common steeds towards sunset.

(They mount their horses, and disappear, Stran.

Mount, my lord:

SCENE II.- A Camp before the walls of Rome. They and I are your servitors. Arn. And these

Arnold and Cæsar Our dark-eyed pages-what may be their names? Cæs. You are well enter'd now, Stran. You shall baptize them.

Arn.

Ay; but my path Arn.

What! in holy water? Has been o'er carcases; mine eyes are full Stran. Why not? The deeper sinner, better saint,

Of blood. Arn. They are beautiful, and cannot, sure, te

Cas.

Then wipe them, and see clearly. Why! demons.

Thou art a conqueror; the chosen knight Stran. True; the devil's always ugly ; and your And free companion of the gallant Bourbon, Is never diabolical.

(beauty Late constable of France: and now to be
Arn.
I'll call him

Lord of the city which hath been earth's lord
Who bears the golden horn, and wears such bright Under its emperors, and-changing sex,
And blooming aspect, Huon; for he looks

Not sceptre, an hermaphrodite of empire-
Like to the lovely boy lost in the forest.

Lady of the old world. Aud never found till now. And for the other

Arn.

How old ? What! are there And darker, and more thoughtful, who smiles not, New worlds ? But looks as serious though serene as night,

Cas. To yon. You'll find there are such shortly. He shall be Memnon, from the Ethiop king

By its rich harvests, new disease, and gold; Whose statue turns a harper once a day.

From one-half of the world named a whole new one, And you !

Because you know no better than the dull Stran. I have ten thousand names, and twice And dubious notice of your eyes and ears. As many attributes: but as I wear

Arn. I'll trust them. A human shape, will take a human name.

Cas. Do! They will deceive you sweetly, Arn. More human than the shape (though it was And that is better than the bitter truth. I trust.

[mine once) Arn. Dog! Stran. Then call me Cæsar.

Man!
Why, that naine Arn.

Devil !
Belongs to empires, and has been but borne

Cas.

Your obedient humble servant, By the world's lords.

Arn. Say master rather. Thou hast lured me on, Stran.

And therefore fittest for Through scenes of blood and lust, till I am here. The devil in disguise-since so deem me,

Cæs. And where wouldst thou be? Unless you call me pope instead.

Arn.

Oh, at peace-in peace. Arn.

Well, then,

Cas. And where is that which is so? From the star Caesar thou shalt be. For myself, my name

To the winding worm, all life is motion; and
Shall be plain Arnold still.

In life commotion is the extrémest point
Cæs.
We'll add a title-

Of life. The planet wheels till it becomes
Count Arnold :' it hath no ungracious sound, A comet, and destroying as it sweeps
And will look well upon a billet-doux.

The stars, goes out. The poor worm winds its way, Arn. Or in an order for a battle-field.

Living upon the death of other things, Cas. (sings.] To horse! to horse ! my coal-black But still, like them, must live and die, the subject steed

Of something which has made it live and lie.
Paws the ground and snuffs the air!

You must obey what all obey, the rule
There's not a foal of Arab's breed

Of fix'd necessity: against her edict
More knows whom he must bear;

Rebellion prospers not.

Cæs.

« AnteriorContinuar »