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S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 2 Scene 7) lyrics


MAX. enters almost in a state of derangement, from extreme
agitation; his eyes roll wildly, his walk is unsteady, and he
appears not to observe his father, who stands at a distance,
and gazes at him with a countenance expressive of compa**ion.
He paces with long strides through the chamber, then stands still
again, and at last throws himself into a chair, staring vacantly
at the object directly before him.

(advances to him).
I am going off, my son.
  [Receiving no answer, he takes his hands
My son, farewell.


Thou wilt soon follow me?

I follow thee?
Thy way is crooked—it is not my way.
  [OCTAVIO drops his hand and starts back.
Oh, hadst thou been but simple and sincere,
Ne'er had it come to this—all had stood otherwise.
He had not done that foul and horrible deed,
The virtuous had retained their influence over him
He had not fallen into the snares of villains.
Wherefore so like a thief, and thief's accomplice
Didst creep behind him lurking for thy prey!
Oh, unblest falsehood! Mother of all evil!
Thou misery-making demon, it is thou
That sinkest us in perdition. Simple truth,
Sustainer of the world, had saved us all!
Father, I will not, I cannot excuse thee!
Wallenstein has deceived me—oh, most foully!
But thou has acted not much better.

My son, ah! I forgive thy agony!

(rises and contemplates his father with looks of suspicion).
Was't possible? hadst thou the heart, my father,
Hadst thou the heart to drive it to such lengths,
With cold premeditated purpose? Thou—
Hadst thou the heart to wish to see him guilty
Rather than saved? Thou risest by his fall.
Octavio, 'twill not please me.

God in heaven!

Oh, woe is me! sure I have changed my nature.
How comes suspicion here—in the free soul?
Hope, confidence, belief, are gone; for all
Lied to me, all that I e'er loved or honored.
No, no! not all! She—she yet lives for me,
And she is true, and open as the heavens
Deceit is everywhere, hypocrisy,
Murder, and poisoning, treason, perjury:
The single holy spot is our love,
The only unprofaned in human nature.

Max.!—we will go together. 'Twill be better.

What? ere I've taken a last parting leave,
The very last—no, never!

Spare thyself
The pang of necessary separation.
Come with me! Come, my son!

  [Attempts to take him with him.

No! as sure as God lives, no!

(more urgently).
Come with me, I command thee! I, thy father.

[Lyrics from: https:/**h-of-wallenstein-act-2-scene-7.html]
Command me what is human. I stay here.

Max.! in the emperor's name I bid thee come.

No emperor has power to prescribe
Laws to the heart; and wouldst thou wish to rob me
Of the sole blessing which my fate has left me,
Her sympathy? Must then a cruel deed
Be done with cruelty? The unalterable
Shall I perform ignobly—steal away,
With stealthy coward flight forsake her? No!
She shall behold my suffering, my sore anguish,
Hear the complaints of the disparted soul,
And weep tears o'er me. Oh! the human race
Have steely souls—but she is as an angel.
From the black deadly madness of despair
Will she redeem my soul, and in soft words
Of comfort, plaining, loose this pang of d**h!

Thou wilt not tear thyself away; thou canst not.
Oh, come, my son! I bid thee save thy virtue.

Squander not thou thy words in vain.
The heart I follow, for I dare trust to it.

OCTAVIO (trembling, and losing all self-command).
Max.! Max.! if that most damned thing could be,
If thou—my son—my own blood—(dare I think it?)
Do sell thyself to him, the infamous,
Do stamp this brand upon our noble house,
Then shall the world behold the horrible deed,
And in unnatural combat shall the steel
Of the son trickle with the father's blood.

Oh, hadst thou always better thought of men,
Thou hadst then acted better. Curst suspicion,
Unholy, miserable doubt! To him
Nothing on earth remains unwrenched and firm
Who has no faith.

And if I trust thy heart,
Will it be always in thy power to follow it?

The heart's voice thou hast not o'erpowered—as little
Will Wallenstein be able to o'erpower it.

O, Max.! I see thee never more again!

Unworthy of thee wilt thou never see me.

I go to Frauenberg—the Pappenheimers
I leave thee here, the Lothrings too; Tsokana
And Tiefenbach remain here to protect thee.
They love thee, and are faithful to their oath,
And will far rather fall in gallant contest
Than leave their rightful leader and their honor.

Rely on this, I either leave my life
In the struggle, or conduct them out of Pilsen.

Farewell, my son!


How! not one look
Of filial love? No grasp of the hand at parting?
It is a bloody war to which we are going,
And the event uncertain and in darkness.
So used we not to part—it was not so!
Is it then true? I have a son no longer?

  [MAX. falls into his arms, they hold each other for a long time
in a speechless embrace, then go away at different sides.

(The curtain drops.)

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