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S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 3 Scene 21) lyrics

COUNTESS, DUCHESS, MAX., and THEKLA.

COUNTESS
(to the DUCHESS).
Let them but see him—there is hope still, sister.

DUCHESS.
Hope! I have none!

MAX.
(who during the last scene has been standing at a distance, in a
visible struggle of feelings advances).
This can I not endure.
With most determined soul did I come hither;
My purposed action seemed unblamable
To my own conscience—and I must stand here
Like one abhorred, a hard, inhuman being:
Yea, loaded with the curse of all I love!
Must see all whom I love in this sore anguish,
Whom I with one word can make happy—O!
My heart revolts within me, and two voices
Make themselves audible within my bosom.
My soul's benighted; I no longer can
Distinguish the right track. Oh, well and truly
Didst thou say, father, I relied too much
On my own heart. My mind moves to and fro—
I know not what to do.

COUNTESS.
What! you know not?
Does not your own heart tell you? Oh! then I
Will tell it you. Your father is a traitor,
A frightful traitor to us—he has plotted
Against our general's life, has plunged us all
In misery—and you're his son! 'Tis yours
To make the amends. Make you the son's fidelity
Outweigh the father's treason, that the name
Of Piccolomini be not a proverb
Of infamy, a common form of cursing
To the posterity of Wallenstein.

MAX.
Where is that voice of truth which I dare follow!
It speaks no longer in my heart. We all
But utter what our pa**ionate wishes dictate:
Oh that an angel would descend from heaven,
And scoop for me the right, the uncorrupted,
With a pure hand from the pure Fount of light.
[His eyes glance on THEKLA.
What other angel seek I? To this heart,
To this unerring heart, will I submit it;
Will ask thy love, which has the power to bless
The happy man alone, averted ever
From the disquieted and guilty—canst thou
Still love me, if I stay? Say that thou canst,
And I am the duke's——

COUNTESS.
Think, niece——

MAX.
Think nothing, Thekla!
Speak what thou feelest.

COUNTESS.
Think upon your father.

MAX.
I did not question thee, as Friedland's daughter.
Thee, the beloved and the unerring God
Within thy heart, I question. What's at stake?
Not whether diadem of royalty
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/s-t-coleridge/-/the-d**h-of-wallenstein-act-3-scene-21.html]
Be to be won or not—that mightest thou think on.
Thy friend, and his soul's quiet are at stake:
The fortune of a thousand gallant men,
Who will all follow me; shall I forswear
My oath and duty to the emperor?
Say, shall I send into Octavio's camp
The parricidal ball? For when the ball
Has left its cannon, and is on its flight,
It is no longer a dead instrument!
It lives, a spirit pa**es into it;
The avenging furies seize possession of it,
And with sure malice, guide it the worst way.

THEKLA.
Oh! Max.——

MAX.
(interrupting her).
Nay, not precipitately either, Thekla.
I understand thee. To thy noble heart
The hardest duty might appear the highest.
The human, not the great part, would I act.
Even from my childhood to this present hour,
Think what the duke has done for me, how loved me
And think, too, how my father has repaid him.
Oh likewise the free lovely impulses
Of hospitality, the pious friend's
Faithful attachment, these, too, are a holy
Religion to the heart; and heavily
The shudderings of nature do avenge
Themselves on the barbarian that insults them.
Lay all upon the balance, all—then speak,
And let thy heart decide it.

THEKLA.
Oh, thy own
Hath long ago decided. Follow thou
Thy heart's first feeling——

COUNTESS.
Oh! ill-fated woman!

THEKLA.
Is it possible, that that can be the right,
The which thy tender heart did not at first
Detect and seize with instant impulse? Go,
Fulfil thy duty! I should ever love thee.
Whate'er thou hast chosen, thou wouldst still have acted
Nobly and worthy of thee—but repentance
Shall ne'er disturb thy soul's fair peace.

MAX.
Then I
Must leave thee, must part from thee!

THEKLA.
Being faithful
To thine own self, thou art faithful, too, to me:
If our fates part, our hearts remain united.
A bloody hatred will divide forever
The houses Piccolomini and Friedland;
But we belong not to our houses. Go!
Quick! quick! and separate thy righteous cause
From our unholy and unblessed one!
The curse of heaven lies upon our head:
'Tis dedicate to ruin. Even me
My father's guilt drags with it to perdition.
Mourn not for me:
My destiny will quickly be decided.

[MAX. clasps her in his arms in extreme emotion. There is heard
from behind the scene a loud, wild, long-continued cry, Vivat
Ferdinandus! accompanied by warlike instruments. MAX. and THEKLA remain without motion in each other's embraces.

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