S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 3 Scene 3) lyrics
To them enter the DUCHESS.
(to the COUNTESS).
Who was here, sister? I heard some one talking,
And pa**ionately, too.
Nay! there was no one.
I am growing so timorous, every trifling noise
Scatters my spirits, and announces to me
The footstep of some messenger of evil.
And you can tell me, sister, what the event is?
Will he agree to do the emperor's pleasure,
And send the horse regiments to the cardinal?
Tell me, has he dismissed von Questenberg
With a favorable answer?
No, he has not.
Alas! then all is lost! I see it coming,
The worst that can come! Yes, they will depose him;
The accursed business of the Regensburg diet
Will all be acted o'er again!
Make your heart easy, sister, as to that.
[THEKLA, in extreme agitation, throws herself upon her mother,
and enfolds her in her arms, weeping.
Yes, my poor child!
Thou too hast lost a most affectionate godmother
In the empress. Oh, that stern, unbending man!
In this unhappy marriage what have I
Not suffered, not endured? For even as if
I had been linked on to some wheel of fire
That restless, ceaseless, whirls impetuous onward,
I have pa**ed a life of frights and horrors with him,
And ever to the brink of some abyss
With dizzy headlong violence he bears me.
Nay, do not weep, my child. Let not my sufferings
Presignify unhappiness to thee,
Nor blacken with their shade the fate that waits thee.
There lives no second Friedland; thou, my child,
Hast not to fear thy mother's destiny.
Oh, let us supplicate him, dearest mother!
Quick! quick! here's no abiding-place for us.
Here every coming hour broods into life
Some new affrightful monster.
Thou wilt share
An easier, calmer lot, my child! We, too,
I and thy father, witnessed happy days.
Still think I with delight of those first years,
When he was making progress with glad effort,
When his ambition was a genial fire,
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Not that consuming flame which now it is.
The emperor loved him, trusted him; and all
He undertook could not but be successful.
But since that ill-starred day at Regensburg,
Which plunged him headlong from his dignity,
A gloomy, uncompanionable spirit,
Unsteady and suspicious, has possessed him.
His quiet mind forsook him, and no longer
Did he yield up himself in joy and faith
To his old luck and individual power;
But thenceforth turned his heart and best affections
All to those cloudy sciences which never
Have yet made happy him who followed them.
You see it, sister! as your eyes permit you,
But surely this is not the conversation
To pa** the time in which we are waiting for him.
You know he will be soon here. Would you have him
Find her in this condition?
Come, my child!
Come, wipe away thy tears, and show thy father
A cheerful countenance. See, the tie-knot here
Is off; this hair must not hang so dishevelled.
Come, dearest! dry thy tears up. They deform
Thy gentle eye. Well, now—what was I saying?
Yes, in good truth, this Piccolomini
Is a most noble and deserving gentleman.
That is he, sister!
(to the COUNTESS, with narks of great oppression of spirits).
Aunt, you will excuse me?
But, whither? See, your father comes!
I cannot see him now.
Nay, but bethink you.
Believe me, I cannot sustain his presence.
But he will miss you, will ask after you.
What, now? Why is she going?
She's not well.
What ails, then, my beloved child?
[Both follow the PRINCESS, and endeavor to detain her. During
this WALLENSTEIN appears, engaged in conversation with ILLO.