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Oh hide it from his eye! O let thy joy
Flow in unmingled stream through thy first blessing.
[both kneel to Valdez. Val. My son! my Alvar! bless, O bless him,
heaven! Ter. Me too, my father? Val.
Bless, O, bless
Alv. Delights so full, if unalloyed with grief,
Were ominous. In these strange dread events
Just heaven instructs us with an awful voice,
That Conscience rules us e'en against our choice.
Our inward monitress to guide or warn,
If listened to; but if repelled with scorn,
At length as dire Remorse, she reappears,
Works in our guilty hopes, and selfish fears!
Still bids, remember! and still cries, Too late!
And while she scares us, goads us to our fate.
· The following Scene, as unfit for the stage, was taken
from the tragedy, in the year 1797, and published in
the Lyrical Ballads.
Enter Teresa and Selma.
Ter. 'Tis said he spake of you familiarly,
As mine and Alyar's common foster-mother.
Sel. Now blessings on the man, whoe'er he be
That joined your names with mine! O my sweet lady,
As often as I think of those dear times,
When you two little ones would stand, at eve,
On each side of my chair, and make me learn
you had learnt in the day; and how to talk
In gentle phrase ; then bid me sing to you-
'Tis more like heaven to come, than what has been !
Ter. But that entrance, Selma ?
Can no one hear? It is a perilous tale !
Ter. No one.
Poor old Sesina-angels rest his soul;
My husband's father told it me,
He was a woodman, and could fell and saw
You know that huge round beam Which props the hanging wall of the old chapel ? Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree, He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined With thistle-beards, and such small locks of wool As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home, And reared him at the then Lord Valdez' cost. And so the babe grew up a pretty boy,
A pretty boy, but most unteachable-
And never learn'd a prayer, nor told a bead,
But knew the names of birds, and mocked their notes,
And whistled, as he were a bird himself.
And all the autumn 'twas his only play
To gather seeds of wild flowers, and to plant them
With earth and water on the stumps of trees.
A friar, who gathered simples in the wood,
A gray-haired man, he loved this little boy :
The boy loved him, and, when the friar taught him,
He soon could write with the pen; and from that time
Lived chiefly at the convent or the castle.
So he became a rare and learned youth :
But O! poor wretch ! he read, and read, and read,
Till his brain turned; and ere his twentieth year
He had unlawful thoughts of many things:
And though he prayed, he never loved to pray
With holy men, nor in a holy place.
But yet his speech, it was so soft and sweet,
The late Lord Valdez ne'er was wearied with him.
And once, as by the north side of the chapel
They stood together chained in deep discourse,
The earth heaved under them with such a groan,
That the wall tottered, and had well nigh fallen
Right on their heads. My lord was sorely frightened
A fever seized him, and he made confession
Of all the heretical and lawless talk
Which brought this judgment: so the youth was seized,
And cast into that hole. My husband's father
Sobbed like a child-it almost broke his heart:
And once as he was working near this dungeon,
He heard a voice distinctly ; 'twas the youth's,
Who sung a doleful song about green fields,
How sweet it were on lake or wide savanna
To hunt for food, and be a naked man,
And wander up and down at liberty.
He always doted on the youth, and now
His love grew desperate ; and defying death,
He made that cunning entrance I described,
And the young man escaped.
'Tis a sweet tale ;
Such as would lull a listening child to sleep,
His rosy face besoiled with unwiped tears.
And what became of him?
He went on shipboard
With those bold voyagers who made discovery
Of golden lands. Sesina's younger brother
Went likewise, and when he returned to Spain,
He told Sesina, that the poor
Soon after they arrived in that new world,
In spite of his dissuasion, seized a boat,
And all alone set sail by silent moonlight
Up a great river, great as any sea,
And ne'er was heard of more : but ’tis supposed,
He lived and died among the savage men.
Note to the words “You are a painter,” p. 184, Scene II. Act II.
The following lines I have preserved in this place, not so much as explanatory of the picture of the assassination, as to gratify my own feelings, the passage being mere fancy portrait ; but a slight, yet not unfaithful, profile of the late Sir George Beaumont.
Zul. (speaking of Altar in the third person.) Such
was the noble Spaniard's own relation.
He told me, too, how in his early youth,
And his first travels, 'twas his choice or chance
To make long sojourn in sea-wedded Venice;
There won the love of that divine old man,
Courted by mightiest kings, the famous Titian !
Who, like a second and more lovely Nature,
By the sweet mystery of lines and colours
Changed the blank canvass to a magic mirror,
That made the absent present; and to shadows
Gave light, depth, substance, bloom, yea, thought and
He loved the old man, and revered his art :
And though of noblest birth and ample fortune,
The young enthusiast thought it no scorn
But an inalienable ornament,
To be his pupil, and with filial zeal
By practice to appropriate the sage lessons,
Which the gay, smiling old man gladly gave.
The art, he honoured thus, requited him :
And in the following and calamitous years
Beguiled the hours of his captivity.
Alh. And then he framed this picture ? and unaided By arts unlawful, spell, or talisman !
Alo. A potent spell, a mighty talisman ! The imperishable memory of the deed, Sustained by love, and grief, and indignation ! So vivid were the forms within his brain, His very eyes, when shut, made pictures of them!