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Thou melancholy thought, which art
So fluttering and so sweet, to thee
When did I give the liberty
Thus to afflict
What is the cause of this new power
Which doth my fevered being move,
Momently raging more and more ?
What subtle pain is kindled now
Which from my heart doth overflow
Into my senses ?-
"Tis that enamoured nightingale
Who gives me the reply:
He ever tells the same soft tale
Of passion and of constancy
To his mate, who, rapt and fond,
Listening sits, a bough beyond.
Be silent, Nightingale !—No more
Make me think, in hearing thee
Thus tenderly thy love deplore,
If a bird can feel his
What a man would feel for me.
And, voluptuous vine, O thou
Who seekest most when least pursuing,-
To the trunk thou interlacest
Art the verdure which embracest,
And the weight which is its ruin,-
No more, with green embraces, vine,
Make me think on what thou lovest,
For whilst thou thus thy boughs entwine,
I fear lest thou shouldst teach me, sophist,
How arms might be entangled too.
Light-enchanted sunflower, thou
Who gazest ever true and tender
On the sun's revolving splendour,
Follow not his faithless glance
With thy faded countenance,
Nor teach my beating heart to fear,
If leaves can mourn without a tear,
How eyes must weep! 0 Nightingale,
Cease from thy enamoured tale,
Leafy vine, unwreath thy bower,
Restless sunflower, cease to move,
Or tell me all, what poisonous power
Ye use against me.-
It cannot be! Whom have I ever loved ?
Trophies of my oblivion and disdain,
Floro and Lelio did I not reject ?
And Cyprian ? [She becomes troubled at the name of CYPRIAN.
Did I not requite him
With such severity, that he has fled
Where none has ever heard of him again ?-
Alas! I now begin to fear that this
May be the occasion whence desire grows bold,
As if there were no danger. From the moment
That I pronounced to my own listening heart,
Cyprian is absent, O miserable me!
I know not what I feel !
It must be pity
To think that such a man, whom all the world
Admired, should be forgot by all the world,
And I the cause.
[She again becomes troubled.
And yet if it were pity, Floro and Lelio might have equal share, For they are both imprisoned for my sake. [Calmly. Alas! what reasonings are these? It is Enough I pity him, and that, in vain, Without this ceremonious subtlety. And woe is me! I know not where to find him now, Even should I seek him through this wide world.
Follow, and I will lead thee where he is.
And who art thou, who hast found entrance hither,
my chamber through the doors and locks ? Art thou a monstrous shadow which my madness Has formed in the idle air ?
No. I am one
Called by the thought which tyrannises thee
From his eternal dwelling; who this day
Is pledged to bear thee unto Cyprian.
So shall thy promise fail. This agony
Of passion which afflicts my heart and soul
May sweep imagination in its storm;
The will is firm.
Already half is done
In the imagination of an act.
The sin incurred, the pleasure then remains ;
Let not the will stop half-way on the road.
I will not be discouraged, nor despair,
Although I thought it, and although 'tis true
That thought is but a prelude to the deed :-
Thought is not in my power, but action is :
I will not move my foot to follow thee.
But a far mightier wisdom than thine own
Exerts itself within thee, with such power
Compelling thee to that which it inclines
That it shall force thy step; how wilt thou then
Resist, Justina ?
It is invincible;
It were not free if thou hadst power upon
[He draws, but cannot move her.
Come, where a pleasure waits thee.
'Twill soothe thy heart to softest peace.
'Tis shame, 'tis torment, 'tis despair.
Canst thou defend thyself from that or me,
If my power drags thee onward ?
My defence Consists in God.
[He vainly endeavours to force her, and at last releases her.
Woman, thou hast subdued me,
Only by not owning thyself subdued.
But since thou thus findest defence in God,
I will assume a feigned form, and thus
Make thee a victim of my baffled
For I will mask a spirit in thy form
Who will betray thy name to infamy,
And doubly shall I triumph in thy loss,
First by dishonouring thee, and then by turning
False pleasure to true ignominy.
Appeal to Heaven against thee! so that Heaven
May scatter thy delusions, and the blot