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S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 5 Scene 5) lyrics

To these enter SENI.

Is not that Seni! and beside himself,
If one can trust his looks? What brings thee hither
At this late hour, Baptista?

Terror, duke!
On thy account.

What now?

Flee ere the day break!
Trust not thy person to the Swedes!

What now
Is in thy thoughts?

(with louder voice).
Trust not thy person to the Swedes.

What is it, then?

(still more urgently).
Oh, wait not the arrival of these Swedes!
An evil near at hand is threatening thee
From false friends. All the signs stand full of horror!
Near, near at hand the net-work of perdition—
Yea, even now 'tis being cast around thee!

Baptista, thou art dreaming!—fear befools thee.

Believe not that an empty fear deludes me.
Come, read it in the planetary aspects;
Read it thyself, that ruin threatens thee
From false friends.

From the falseness of my friends
Has risen the whole of my unprosperous fortunes.
The warning should have come before! At present
I need no revelation from the stars
To know that.

Come and see! trust thine own eyes.
A fearful sign stands in the house of life—
An enemy; a fiend lurks close behind
The radiance of thy planet. Oh, be warned!
Deliver not up thyself to these heathens,
To wage a war against our holy church.

(laughing gently).
The oracle rails that way! Yes, yes! Now
I recollect. This junction with the Swedes
Did never please thee—lay thyself to sleep,
Baptista! Signs like these I do not fear.

(who during the whole of this dialogue has shown marks
of extreme agitation, and now turns to WALLENSTEIN).
My duke and general! May I dare presume?

Speak freely.

What if 'twere no mere creation
Of fear, if God's high providence vouchsafed
To interpose its aid for your deliverance,
And made that mouth its organ?
[Lyrics from: https:/**h-of-wallenstein-act-5-scene-5.html]

Ye're both feverish!
How can mishap come to me from the Swedes?
They sought this junction with me—'tis their interest.

(with difficulty suppressing his emotion).
But what if the arrival of these Swedes—
What if this were the very thing that winged
The ruin that is flying to your temples?

[Flings himself at his feet.

There is yet time, my prince.

Oh hear him! hear him!

The Rhinegrave's still far off. Give but the orders,
This citadel shall close its gates upon him.
If then he will besiege us, let him try it.
But this I say; he'll find his own destruction,
With his whole force before these ramparts, sooner
Than weary down the valor of our spirit.
He shall experience what a band of heroes,
Inspirited by an heroic leader,
Is able to perform. And if indeed
It be thy serious wish to make amend
For that which thou hast done amiss,—this, this
Will touch and reconcile the emperor,
Who gladly turns his heart to thoughts of mercy;
And Friedland, who returns repentant to him,
Will stand yet higher in his emperor's favor
Then e'er he stood when he had never fallen.

(contemplates him with surprise, remains silent a while,
betraying strong emotion).
Gordon—your zeal and fervor lead you far.
Well, well—an old friend has a privilege.
Blood, Gordon, has been flowing. Never, never
Can the emperor pardon me: and if he could,
Yet I—I ne'er could let myself be pardoned.
Had I foreknown what now has taken place,
That he, my dearest friend, would fall for me,
My first d**h offering; and had the heart
Spoken to me, as now it has done—Gordon,
It may be, I might have bethought myself.
It may be too, I might not. Might or might not
Is now an idle question. All too seriously
Has it begun to end in nothing, Gordon!
Let it then have its course.
[Stepping to the window.
All dark and silent—at the castle too
All is now hushed. Light me, chamberlain?

[The GROOM OF THE CHAMBER, who had entered during the last dialogue,and had been standing at a distance and listening to it with
visible expressions of the deepest interest, advances in extreme
agitation and throws himself at the DUKE's feet.

And thou too! But I know why thou dost wish
My reconcilement with the emperor.
Poor man! he hath a small estate in Carinthia,
And fears it will be forfeited because
He's in my service. Am I then so poor
That I no longer can indemnify
My servants? Well! to no one I employ
Means of compulsion. If 'tis thy belief
That fortune has fled from me, go! forsake me.
This night for the last time mayst thou unrobe me,
And then go over to the emperor.
Gordon, good-night! I think to make a long
Sleep of it: for the struggle and the turmoil
Of this last day or two was great. May't please you
Take care that they awake me not too early.

[Exit WALLENSTEIN, the GROOM OF THE CHAMBER lighting him. SENI follows, GORDON remains on the darkened stage, following
the DUKE with his eye, till he disappears at the further end of the
gallery: then by his gestures the old man expresses the depth of his anguish, and stands leaning against a pillar.

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