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Thou false fiend, thou liest !
My life is in its last hour,—that I know,
Nor would redeem a moment of that hour;
I do not combat against death, but thee
And thy surrounding angels ; my past power
Was purchased by no compact with thy crew,
But by superior science-penance—daring-
And length of watching—strength of mind—and skill
In knowledge of our fathers—when the earth
Saw men and spirits walking side by side,
And gave ye no supremacy : I stand
Upon my strength–I do defy-deny-
Spurn back, and scorn ye!-
But thy many crimes
Have made thee-
What are they to such as thee?
Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes,
And greater criminals ?—Back to thy hell !
Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel ;
Thou never shalt possess me, that I know :
What I have done is done; I bear within
A torture which could nothing gain from thine :
The mind which is immortal makes itself
Requital for its good or evil thoughts-
Is its own origin of ill and end —
And its own place and time—its innate sense,
When stripp'd of this mortality, derives
No colour from the fleeting things without ;
But is absorb’d in sufferance or in joy,
Born from the knowledge of its own desert.
Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not tempt me;
I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy prey-
But was my own destroyer, and will be
My own hereafter. --Back, ye baffled fiends !
The hand of death is on me—but not yours !
[The Demons disappear.
Abbot. Alas ! how pale thou art—thy lips are white
And thy breast heaves—and in thy gasping throat
The accents rattle.—Give thy prayers to Heaven-
Pray—albeit but in thought,-but die not thus.
Man. 'Tis over—my dull eyes can fix thee not ;
But all things swim around me, and the earth
Heaves as it were beneath me. Fare thee well-
Give me thy hand.
Cold-cold-even to the heart-
But yet one prayer—Alas ! how fares it with thee ?
Man. Old man ! 'tis not so difficult to die.
DYING SPEECH OF THE DOGE OF
(MARINO FALIERO, Act v. Scene 3.)
I SPEAK to Time and to Eternity,
Of which I grow a portion, not to man.
Ye elements ! in which to be resolved
I hasten, let my voice be as a spirit
Upon you! Ye blue waves! which bore my banner,
Ye winds ! which flutter'd o'er as if you loved it,
And fill'd my swelling sails as they were wafted
To many a triumph! Thou, my native earth,
Which I have bled for, and thou foreign earth,
Which drank this willing blood from many a wound !
Ye stones, in which my gore will not sink, but
Reek up to Heaven ! Ye skies, which will receive it!
Thou sun ! which shinest on these things, and Thou !
Who kindlest and who quenchest suns !-Attest !
I am not innocent—but are these guiltless ?
I perish, but not unavenged ; far ages
Float up from the abyss of time to be,
And show these eyes, before they close, the doom
Of this proud city, and I leave my curse
On her and hers for ever !-
-Yes, the hours
Are silently engendering of the day,
When she, who built 'gainst Attila a bulwark,
Shall yield, and bloodlessly and basely yield
Unto a bastard Attila, without
Shedding so much blood in her last defence
As these old veins, oft drain'd in shielding her,
Shall pour in sacrifice. “She shall be bought
And sold, and be an appanage to those
Who shall despise her !—She shall stoop to be
A province for an empire, petty town
In lieu of capital, with slaves for senates,
Beggars for nobles, panders for a people!
Then when the Hebrew's in thy palaces,
The Hun in thy high places, and the Greek
Walks o'er thy mart, and smiles on it for his !
When thy patricians beg their bitter bread
In narrow streets, and in their shameful need
Make their nobility a plea for pity!
Then, when the few who still retain a wreck
Of their great fathers' heritage shall fawn
Round a barbarian Vice of Kings' Vice-gerent,
Even in the palace where they sway'd as sovereigns,
Even in the palace where they slew their sovereign,
Proud of some name they have disgraced, or sprung
From an adulteress boastful of her guilt
With some large gondolier or foreign soldier,
Shall bear about their bastardy in triumph
To the third spurious generation ;—when
Thy sons are in the lowest scale of being,
Slaves turn'd o'er to the vanquish'd by the victors,
Despised by cowards for greater cowardice,
And scorn'd even by the vicious for such vices
As in the monstrous grasp of their conception
Defy all codes to image or to name them ;
When all the ills of conquer'd states shall cling thee,
Vice without splendour, sin without relief
Even from the gloss of love to smooth it o'er,
But in its stead, coarse lusts of habitude,
Prurient yet passionless, cold studied lewdness,
Depraving nature's frailty to an art ;-
When these and more are heavy on thee, when
Smiles without mirth, and pastimes without pleasure,
Youth without honour, age without respect,
Meanness and weakness, and a sense of woe
'Gainst which thou wilt not strive, and dar'st not murmur,
Have made thee last and worst of peopled deserts—
Then, in the last gasp of thine agony,
Amidst thy many murders, think of mine!
Thou den of drunkards with the blood of princes !
Gehenna of the waters ! thou sea Sodom !
Thus I devote thee to the infernal gods !
Thee and thy serpent seed !
(SARDANAPALUS, Act v. Scene 1.)
To MYRRHA and BALEA, enter Soldiers, bearing in SALE
MENES wounded, with a broken Javelin in his Side : they seat him upon one of the Couches which furnish the Apartment. Myr, Oh, Jove ! Bal.
Then all is over. Sal.
That is false. Hew down the slave who says so, if a soldier.
Myr. Spare him-he's none : a mere court butterfly, That flutters in the pageant of a monarch.
Sal. Let him live on, then.
So wilt thou, I trust. Sal. I fain would live this hour out, and the event, But doubt it. Wherefore did ye bear me here?
Sol. By the king's order. When the javelin struck you,
You fell and fainted : 'twas his strict command
To bear you to this hall.
'Twas not ill done :
For seeming slain in that cold dizzy trance,
The sight might shake our soldiers—but—'tis vain,
I feel it ebbing !
Let me see the wound;
I am not quite skilless : in my native land
'Tis part of our instruction. War being constant,
We are nerved to look on such things.