Obrazy na stronie


Were found these scandalous and seditious

letters Sent from one Osbaldistone, who is fled ? I speak it not as touching this poor person; 50 But of the office which should make it holy, Were it as vile as it was ever spotless. Mark too, my lord, that this expression strikes His Majesty, if I misinterpret not.

Enter BISHOP WILLIAMS guarded.

STRAFFORD. 'Twere politic and just that Williams taste The bitter fruit of his connexion with The schismatics. But you, my Lord Arch

bishop, Who owed your first promotion to his favour, Who grew beneath his smile


Would therefore beg The office of his judge from this High Court, That it shall seem, even as it is, that I, 61 In my assumption of this sacred robe, Have put aside all worldly preference, All sense of all distinction of all persons, All thoughts but of the service of the Church.Bishop of Lincoln !


Peace, proud hierarch!
I know my sentence, and I own it just.
Thou wilt repay me less than I deserve,
In stretching to the utmost

SCENE IV.—HAMPDEN, PYM, CROMWELL, his Daughter, and young Sir HARRY VANE.

HAMPDEN. England, farewell! thou who hast been my

cradle, Shalt never be my dungeon or my grave! I held what I inherited in thee, As pawn for that inheritance of freedom Which thou hast sold for thy despoiler's smile: How can I call thee England, or my country ? Does the wind hold ?


The vanes sit steady Upon the Abbey towers. The silver lightnings Of the evening star, spite of the city's smoke, Tell that the north wind reigns in the upper

air. Mark too that flock of fleecy-winged clouds Sailing athwart St. Margaret's.



Hail, fleet herald Of tempest! that rude pilot who shall guide Hearts free as his, to realms as pure as thee, Beyond the shot of tyranny, Beyond the webs of that swoln spider ... Beyond the curses, calumnies, and lies Of atheist priests!

And thou Fair star, whose beam lies on the wide Atlantic, Athwart its zones of tempest and of calm, 20 Bright as the path to a beloved home, Oh light us to the isles of the evening land ! Like floating Edens cradled in the glimmer Of sunset, through the distant mist of years

Touched by departing hope, they gleam ! lone

regions, Where power's poor dupes and victims yet have

never Propitiated the savage fear of kings With purest blood of noblest hearts; whose

dew Is yet unstained with tears of those who wake To weep each day the wrongs on which it dawns;

30 Whose sacred silent air owns yet no echo Of formal blasphemies; nor impious rites Wrest man's free worship, from the God who

loves, To the poor worm who envies us his love! Receive, thou young

of Paradise, These exiles from the old and sinful world!

This glorious clime, this firmament, whose

lights Dart mitigated influence through their veil Of pale blue atmosphere; whose tears keep

green The pavement of this moist all-feeding earth; This vaporous horizon, whose dim round 41 Is bastioned by the circumfluous sea, Repelling invasion from the sacred towers, Presses upon me like a dungeon's grate, A low dark roof, a damp and narrow wall. The boundless universe Becomes a cell too narrow for the soul That owns no master; while the loathliest

ward Of this wide prison, England, is a nest Of cradling peace built on the mountain tops, To which the eagle spirits of the free,

[ocr errors]

Which range through heaven and earth, and

scorn the storm Of time, and gaze upon the light of truth, Return to brood on thoughts that cannot die And cannot be repelled. Like eaglets floating in the heaven of time, They soar above their quarry, and shall stoop Through palaces and temples thunderproof.


ARCHY. I'll go live under the ivy that overgrows the terrace, and court the tears shed on its old roots (?), as the (wind?] plays the song of

“A widow bird sate mourning
Upon a wintry bough.”

(Sings) Heigho! the lark and the owl! One flies the morning, and one lulls the

night:Only the nightingale, poor fond soul, Sings like the fool through darkness and

light. A widow bird sate mourning for her love 10

Upon a wintry bough;
The frozen wind crept on above,

The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,

No flower upon the ground, And little motion in the air

Except the mill-wheel's sound.”


SWIFT as a spirit hastening to his task
Of glory and of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, and the mask

Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth-
The smokeless altars of the mountain snows
Flamed above crimson clouds, and at the birth

Of light, the Ocean's orison arose,
To which the birds tempered their matin lay.
All flowers in field or forest which unclose


Their trembling eyelids to the kiss of day,
Swinging their censers in the element,
With orient incense lit by the new ray

Burned slow and inconsumably, and sent
Their odorous sighs up to the smiling air;
And, in succession due, did continent,

Isle, ocean, and all things that in them wear The form and character of mortal mould, Rise as the Sun their father rose, to bear

1 It was on this poem that Shelley was engaged at the time of his death. See vol. i, pages lx and lxi. -ED.

« PoprzedniaDalej »