S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 4 Scene 9) lyrics
[A gothic and gloomy apartment at the DUCHESS FRIEDLAND's.
THEKLA on a seat, pale, her eyes closed. The DUCHESS and LADY NEUBRUNN busied about her. WALLENSTEIN and the COUNTESS in conversation.
How knew she it so soon?
She seems to have
Foreboded some misfortune. The report
Of an engagement, in which had fallen
A colonel of the imperial army, frightened her.
I saw it instantly. She flew to meet
The Swedish courier, and with sudden questioning,
Soon wrested from him the disastrous secret.
Too late we missed her, hastened after her,
We found her lying in his arms, all pale,
And in a swoon.
A heavy, heavy blow!
And she so unprepared! Poor child! how is it?
[Turning to the DUCHESS.
Is she coming to herself?
Her eyes are opening——
(looking around her).
Where am I?
(steps to her, raising her up in his arms).
Come, cheerly, Thekla! be my own brave girl!
See, there's thy loving mother. Thou art in
Thy father's arms.
Where is he? Is he gone?
Who gone, my daughter?
He—the man who uttered
That word of misery.
Oh, think not of it!
Give her sorrow leave to talk!
Let her complain—mingle your tears with hers,
For she hath suffered a deep anguish; but
She'll rise superior to it, for my Thekla
Hath all her father's unsubdued heart.
I am not ill. See, I have power to stand.
Why does my mother weep? Have I alarmed her?
It is gone by—I recollect myself.
[She casts her eyes round the room, as seeking some one.
Where is he? Please you, do not hide him from me.
You see I have strength enough: now I will hear him.
No; never shall this messenger of evil
Enter again into thy presence, Thekla!
I'm not weak.
Shortly I shall be quite myself again.
You'll grant me one request?
Name it, my daughter.
Permit the stranger to be called to me,
And grant me leave, that by myself I may
Hear his report and question him.
'Tis not advisable—a**ent not to it.
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Hush! Wherefore wouldst thou speak with him, my daughter?
Knowing the whole, I shall be more collected;
I will not be deceived. My mother wishes
Only to spare me. I will not be spared—
The worst is said already: I can hear
Nothing of deeper anguish!
COUNTESS and DUCHESS.
Do it not.
The horror overpowered me by surprise,
My heart betrayed me in the stranger's presence:
He was a witness of my weakness, yea,
I sank into his arms; and that has shamed me.
I must replace myself in his esteem,
And I must speak with him, perforce, that he,
The stranger, may not think ungently of me.
I see she is in the right, and am inclined
To grant her this request of hers. Go, call him.
[LADY NEUBRUNN goes to call him.
But I, thy mother, will be present——
More pleasing to me if alone I saw him;
Trust me, I shall behave myself the more
Permit her her own will.
Leave her alone with him: for there are sorrows,
Where of necessity the soul must be
Its own support. A strong heart will rely
On its own strength alone. In her own bosom,
Not in her mother's arms, must she collect
The strength to rise superior to this blow.
It is mine own brave girl. I'll have her treated
Not as the woman, but the h**ne.
Where art thou going? I heard Terzky say
That 'tis thy purpose to depart from hence
To-morrow early, but to leave us here.
Yes, ye stay here, placed under the protection
Of gallant men.
Oh, take us with you, brother.
Leave us not in this gloomy solitude.
To brood o'er anxious thoughts. The mists of doubt
Magnify evils to a shape of horror.
Who speaks of evil? I entreat you, sister,
Use words of better omen.
Then take us with you.
Oh leave us not behind you in a place
That forces us to such sad omens. Heavy
And sick within me is my heart—
These walls breathe on me like a churchyard vault.
I cannot tell you, brother, how this place
Doth go against my nature. Take us with you.
Come, sister, join you your entreaty! Niece,
Yours too. We all entreat you, take us with you!
The place's evil omens will I change,
Making it that which shields and shelters for me
My best beloved.
The Swedish officer.
Leave her alone with me.
(to THEKLA, who starts and shivers).
There—pale as d**h! Child, 'tis impossible
That thou shouldst speak with him. Follow thy mother.
The Lady Neubrunn then may stay with me.
[Exeunt DUCHESS and COUNTESS.