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An Arthurian Miscellany at




A Dramatic Romance in Three Acts


ROWENNA, Queen of Britain; a Sorceress.
EDELTHRED, and Agga, Her attendants
ALWIN, a Saxon Chief .
A BRITISH NOBLE, attendant on the Court of Vortigern .
SAXON NOBLES, Soldiers, and other attendants.

ARTHUR, the British Champion .
TRISTRAM, his Esquire .
SCOUT, another Esquire .
TALIESSIN, Chief of the Bards .
GUENEVER, Daughter of Vortigern, betrothed to Arthur .
BARDS, Knights of the Round Table, Nobles, Maskers, &c.

THE FAIRY (or Lady) of The Lake.
SEVERAL FAIRIES, &c. her attendants.

HELA, Queen of the Infernal Regions .
INCUBUS, a frozen demon .

The Fatal Sisters Presiding Over
URD, the past.
VERANDI, the present.
SCHULDA, the future.

Regions; Demons of the Noon, &c. &c.


A Stately Appartment in one of the Palaces of Vortigern.

Rowenna reclining in a disconsolate attitude .
Edelthred, Agga, and other Attendants sleeping .

Chorus of Invisible Spirits.

Rowenna rise! Thy beauteous eyes
From clouds of sorrow clear;
With Runic spell Each woe repel,
And dry the falling tear.
Semi cho . Rowenna! pride of Woden's race!
With sovran power, with beauty's grace,
And magic numbers blest!
The impassive spirits of the air
Obedient round thy couch repair,
To sooth the troubled breast.
Cho . Rowenna rise! &c.
Semi cho . Thee, Chauntress of the Runic song!
The misty Realms of Frost among,
The shuddering ghosts obey.
Sem . cho . Thy power the Fatal Sisters own,
And Hela, trembling on her throne,
Admits thy potent sway.
Cho . Rowenna, rise, &c.
Sem . cho . For thee Valhalla's halls are mute;
Nor Wassail bowl, nor dire dispute
The warrior chiefs employ.
Sem. cho . While Frea, from Asgardian bowers,
No more among her votaries showers
The genial shafts of joy.
Cho . Rowenna rise! Thy beauteous eyes
From clouds of sorrow clear:
With Runic spell Each woe repel,
And dry the falling tear.

Rowenna ( rushing forward with great emotion .)
Arthur!--Arthur!--Hence, away,
Intrusive spirits of the air;
Nor, with officious zeal, display
How impotent immortal care.
Sem. cho . Hear, Rowenna!--Mistress hear!
Row . Arthur!--Arthur!--In my heart
I feel--I feel the festering dart:
'Tis Arthur!--Arthur! all.
In vain Asgardia's sacred bowers,
In vain Valhalla's shield-built towers,
Asori's gods, and Hela's powers
Their mission'd daughter call.
Sem . cho . Hear, Rowenna!--Mistress, Hear!
Sem . cho . Still thy bosom. Dry the tear.
Sem . cho . Snatch thy wand!--
Sem . cho . Exert thy power!
Sem . cho . O'er Asgard's foes triumphant tower,
And chace the troubled tear.
Cho . And chace the troubled tear.
Row . Arthur!--Arthur!--Hence--away,
Intrusive spirits of the air,
Nor mock me with officious care.
In vain did Frea charms bestow,
And Schulda o'er the realms below
To rule with runic spell.
In vain with Braga I repeat,
In mystic rhyme, Asamael sweet,
And tune the immortal shell.
In vain by me the Saxon name
O'er prostrate Britain towers to fame.
Myself inglorious fall.
The conquering sword--the magic art
Are baffled by the apostate heart.
'Tis Arthur!--Arthur all.

Yes--yes--'tis fruitless. Minister no more,
Ye ever-hovering spirits! 'tis in vain,
To sooth this storm-toss'd bosom. Earth and Air,
And the deep-bosom'd waters, to this wand,
Indeed, pay homage; and the elfin train
That round the harp of Braga, echoing, throng
(Swelling his magic numbers) on my steps
Wait warbling; and with minstrelsey and voice,
Obedient to my wishes, fill the air
With choral melodies. My wiley arts
Have thrall'd the soul of Vortigern; in whom
Britain, my foe, lies prostrate; and the gods
Of Scandinavia in my witching smiles
Build their ensanguin'd altars. Cambria's sons,
And all the Brutean race, already feel
The woman victor. Even the nether world,
Seasons, and circling Elements obey
My potent biddings. Cloud-compelling Thor
Must wield his thundering Gauntlet, or controul,
With lifted Mace, the Giants of the Frost
If I but chaunt The Rhyme. Yet what avails?
Arthur disdains my charms; and o'er his heart,
My spells are powerless. Yet once more I'll try.
Once more the secret dwellings of The Fates
This ken shall pierce. These feet again shall thrid
The abodes of Hela. Rife, ye ministering maids,
Shake from your slothful lids the charmed sleep,
And do your wakeful service. [ They come forward .
Hast thou heard aught of strange or terrible
Marring thy midnight slumber?
Edelthred . Nothing, Madam.
My sleep was sweet and tranquil.
Row . Well--and yours?
Agga . Full of sweet visions--gentle and serene.
Row . 'Twas as I wish'd. Oh! impotence of power!
Terrestrial, or supernal! To each eye--
All but mine own--to every wearied sense
Or Mara from some brief imperfect dream
Wakes me, delirious, on her phantom'd forms
To gaze with poweless horror. 'Tis too much.
Hell, give me more: or take the power ye gave.
Give me to triumph o'er my Arthur's heart,
And in these arms enfold him! or my spells,
Hence I forswear, this gifted wand I break,
Nor at the altars of Asgardian Gods
Chaunt hence the Runic rhyme.
Haste Edelthred;
Bring here my mystic robes: the same that erst
(While the dire Sisters join'd the fearful chaunt)
I wove in Cimbrian groves.

Air by an invisible Spirit .

Magic Woof, in Cimbrian shade
Woven by the gifted maid,
While the Raven-voice of Fate
Croak'd of slaughters, fears, and hate,
Sem cho . Shuddering Horror listning near.
Row . Tis the fame. Go: bring it here.
Air as before .
There, beneath the blasted yew,
Where reptiles lap the poisonous dew,
While the bird who shuns the day
Hooted loud, and tore his prey--
Semi cho . There 'twas wove--a webb of fear!
Row . Its die it drank from infant gore,
And tears of mothers blotch it o'er;
It is a mystic webb of fear.
Haste my virgins: bring it here.

Ed . Hertha defend! What means our troubled Queen?
Row . Again, in that terrific pall, to thrid
The maze of Hela; and with potent rhyme,
Extort a boon from Fate. Can I controul
The tempest-heaving Nocca? at my will
Brandish the Thunderer's gauntlet? rend the air
With bidden storms? and from the shades of night
Evoke the wandering spirit? yet not quench,
With its desir'd fruition, the fierce flame
That preys upon my vitals? Does the power
Of magic numbers not extend to Love?
Or are our gods fastidious, to deny
An unbelieving paramour?--save such
Whom Weakness to uxorious faith may bow:
Pageants! and Vortigerns! My Pall! My Pall!
By that dread Fiend Unutterable! whose frown
Makes Nature sterrile, I will know my doom.
The Fatal Sisters, who, in Hela's shade,
Weave the dark woof, shall tell me all they know,
And with their magic aid me. Yet--forbear!
Earth and the shuddering elements confess
The approach of feet profane.
Edel . The bugle (hark!)
Wakening the echoes, thro the distant courts
Sounds in the hurried blast.
Row . Some voice, assured,
Of evil omen seeks my wounded ear,
Big with a tale of horrors. Let it come.
What worse can greet Rowenna than the news
That Arthur scorns her passion?

Enter Alwin.
Well: how now?
Thy dark portentous brow and hurried eye
Outstrip thy tongue's intelligence, and make
Thy silence eloquent. Thou hast some tale
Of horrors and disasters. Give it breath.
I have a heart prepar'd for all the worst:
A soul that shall not falter. I forgive
Thy evil tidings, tho they should import
My father's death, the Saxon overthrow,
And Cambria's triumph.
Alwin . Prophetess inspired!
Thy words prevent my message. Such my news.
Hengist, indeed, is fallen: The Saxon power
Crouches to Britain. To the conflict led
By fierce Ambrosius, with Armoric aids,
Sudden they burst upon us, near the towers
Of Connisburg. Arthur's enchanted sword
Gleam'd like a pestilence; and thro' our ranks
Scatter'd dismay and death. His dragon crest
Belch'd streams of living fire; and on his breath
The dread Valkyries hung; where'er he bad,
Singling their victims.
Row . Arthur? Arthur?
Alw . He--
Pendragon's fiercer son. In horrid grace,
Wrathful he strode the field. His glittering mail
And youthful limbs, besmear'd with Saxon blood,
Daz'd every sense. With awful wonder fill'd,
Our hearts were palsy'd: as tho Woden's self,
Fresh from Iduna's banquet, came renew'd,
To ply the work of Fate, and his own race
Whelm in one general wreck. Meantime the king,
Your royal father--
Row . Met his arm; and died?--
By Arthur died?
Alw . Not so--that fatal deed
Ambrosius boasts--who, hoary in his hate,
And full of guile, engorg'd with treacherous wound
The elfe-engaged Hengist: and he fell--
Fell by the Briton!--while our scatter'd ranks
Fled o'er the plain for safety--vainly sought.
Row . Frea! I thank thee. Genial Goddess! hail!
Hail the propitious omen! 'Twas thy care
That Hengist's blood stained not the hand of Arthur.
Pursue thy tale. Some other hour, more fit,
We will select for tears. Occasions press;
And we must find prompt councils. Whether fled
The abject Vortigern?
Alw . From bourg to bourg
(By all alike rejected) with his suit,
Westward he fled, towards his Cambrian wilds,
A hunted fugitive: till join'd, at last,
By those who 'scap'd the slaughter, he attain'd
The heights of bleak Farinioch. There he lurks,
Hem'd by Gwrtheyrnion's towers, whose giant strength
Frowns o'er the midway steep. Thither he bore
(From his incestuos passion unestrang'd)
His fair, reluctant daughter, Guenever.
Row . She scap'd not then into the arms of Arthur?
She is secure. Revenge at least is sure:
And Love has hope! Say, hast thou aught beside
That may import my hearing?
Alw. Sovereign! nought:
But that the exulting victor, to destroy
The Saxon hope, has purpose to depose
Our pageant Vortigern; and, in his place,
Crown the new idol, Arthur.
Row . ( aside ) Arthur crown'd?
And so he shall be. But not crown'd by them.
That is Rowenna's Dower: the dower confirm'd
By the three Fatal Sisters.--While I live,
Thy empire, Albion, waits my spousal love:
And Arthur, if he reigns, must reign by me.
Alwin, what else?
Alw . Your royal will. Beside
Nought now remains untold.
Row . Then, Alwin, thus--
Haste to Gwrtheyrnion with what scatter'd powers
Your speed may gather. See the gates secur'd
Against my soon arrival. I shall bring
Such powerful succours as may best defend
The alpine fortress, should the victors dare
To press us to a siege. Away. Begone. [ Exit Alw .
O Edelthred! O Agga! why should thus
My heart beat lighter, and the breath more free
Distend my sportive bosom? Hengist slain--
The Saxon routed!--Here is the cause of grief
For Nature and Ambition. But my soul
Is full of Love and Arthur. Frea smiles
To my best hopes propitious; and, amidst
The storms of adverse destiny, my heart
Finds anchor in her aid.

Goddess of the genial hour!
Hear, O! hear my votive sigh;
And, tho' adverse Fortune lour,
Fear and Sorrow I defy,
Goddess of the genial hour!
Grief may drop the transient tear,
Wild Ambition heave the breast;
But, if thou in smiles appear,
All is tranquil--all is blest,
Goddess of the genial hour!
Fear and Sorrow I defy,
Tho my adverse fortune lour,
Hear but thou my votive sigh,
Goddess of the genial hour!

Edel . And she will hear it--if we aught may judge
The future by the present. Could we hope
A fairer pledge of promise? Arthur's hand
Slew not your father.--Arthur's conquering aid
Could not redeem his Guenever.
Row . 'Tis there
My fondest hopes are fix'd--Still, still she pines
In hostile bonds--still hears with steadfast hate
(Would it were not so steadfast!) the foul suit
Of that incestuous Vortigern: or writhes,
Perchance, subjected to his foul embrace,
Calling, in vain, on Arthur. I will aid
The lawless passion of this monster king,
Goading his vile desires, and urging on
To their impell'd fruition. Haply so
(For man, with sickly appetite, abhors
Oft from the trick of Fancy) Arthur hence
Shall loath her rifled beauties: She no more
Shall seem or chaste or lovely; and his eyes
Confess superiour merit. Then shall soon
Adultrous Vortigern my vengeance feel;
And his polluted paramour: This hand
Shall lift my Arthur to an envied throne,
And our united sceptres blend the tribes
Of Cimbria and of Britain. Say I well?
Agga . Well: if The Fates ordain.
Row . We will enquire.
And for such purpose in The Secret Grove
Chant we the spell. My double-visag'd Fate
(Ghastly at once and jocund) goads me on
Amidst a storm of passions. To The Grove
Initiate Virgins, and the haunted cave;
There join the fearful chaunt. And ye, unseen--
Ye shapeless spirits of the impassive air,
Lend me your minstrelsey. Yet first evoke
The oafish Incubus. While yet the bat,
Beneath the ominous mantle of the night,
Follows the beetles hum, be it his talk
To scout the country round; if chance he learn
Tidings of Arthur; who, at once impell'd
By love and by ambition, will pursue
The steps of Guenever. Him should he find,
Upon the attendant train let him essay
His numbing tricks: that while they, shivering, sink
In senseless torpor, Arthur, all alone
These eyes once more may meet. Evoke the fiend.
What further I design the mystic grove
And secret cave shall witness. Join me there
Where, in my Cimbrian pall and snaky tire,
I chaunt the spell to Hertha.

Howl of wolves, and ghosts of night,
In the fearful chorus join,
While The Moon withdraws his light,
And the stars, in dim afright,
Veil their orbs, and fear to shine.
Hark!--they wait to swell the rite--
Howl of wolves and ghosts of night!
[ Exeunt Row. Edel. &c.

Scene II. Manet Agga.
Agga . Incubus! Incubus!
Incubus, (below.) Whu-u-u! Whe-e-ether now?
Who-o-o calls so loud?
Agga . You know, I trow.
Incubus! Incubus!
Did you not your mistress hear?
Incub . Ye-e-e-e-yes--
Behold your shivering devil here.

The ground uncloses, and thro the chasm rises a meagre spectre, with a blue and frosty
countenance, sunken eyes, frozen locks and beard, and garments covered with icicles.

Incub . ( Shaking the snow from his sides. ) Whu-u-u-u!
What's the business pr'ythee now?
Agga . Son of Frost! you know I trow.
Did you not your Mistress hear?
Incub . Hear? O yes; there's no fear of that, I
assure you. When 'tis a woman we serve, our orders
are sure to be sufficiently audible! The frosts of Hela
cannot plug up one's ears against the clear tones of
the feminine organ. But pr'ythee now, leave off your
rhyming and your incantations, and blow my fingers
for me a little.--It is half a century since I have
been able to breathe any thing but sleet and hailstones
upon them myself.
Agga . Really I have no warm breath to spare upon so
cold a subject.
Incub . Why I suppose, indeed, I am not very engaging.
Some thousand years hence, when ice-creams are
predestined to become an article of luxury,
some lady of honour, may chance to take a liking to a joint or
two, by way of stomachic: But at present, I believe,
there is no great danger of my being devour'd by
the fair sex.
Agga . Not if they are of my taste, at least.
Incub . But pray, good Mrs. Journeywoman Sorceress!
have you any further instructions? Any snug little
commission for yourself?
Agga . Good Mr. Journeyman Devil! no.--If ever
I admit any of your infernal train into my service, it
shall be a devil of better quality.
Incub . Aye! aye! Mrs. you are for a good plump
roasting devil I suppose. This essence of snow and
icicles might melt before the blaze of your beauty.
Agga. What, you think I have some attractions then?
Incub . Attractions! Before I descended into the
regions of Hela, to have my blood converted into icicles,
I should have been ready to die for you any half hour
of my existience.
Ag . Were you such a Dragon amongst us in your
life time?--Come, come; I suspect it was not for this
you were sent to The Frozen Regions
Inc . Why, no: offences of that sort are punished
in a Hell of a very different description. In short, there
is no dissembling. You know the mysteries of our
faith; and the thing speaks for itself. Our fisticuff
Divinities and I happened not to set up our horses
together on the subject of the exquisite delight of being
hacked and hewed into a thousand pieces. Not
but that I could be valiant enough in my own way:
for my mouth was full of big oaths; and my brow
seemed as dark with danger as a thunder-cloud: till a
disastrous coincidence took the sword of my renown
out of my mouth, and placed it in my hand.
Ag . Ha! ha! poor Incubus! And then I suppose
it was perfectly out of its element.
Inc . In short, the signal for battle was given; when
suddenly a cold sweat coming over me, I slunk from
the ranks; hid myself in a house of conveniency; died
of apprehension, before the conflict was decided; was
conveyed immediately to the Realms of Mist and Frost,
and hung up for an icicle upon the eaves of Hela's
palace; where I might right ruefully have remained,
without remission or intermission, hope or holiday, the
whole predestinated period of my purgation.--
Agga . Purgation? What, then, you do not expect
to await The Twilight of the Gods in your present frozen
Incub . Schulda forbid! Let me see: according to
my calculation, I have now--But if your invisible
musicians will help me out with an accompaniment, I
will describe, in a song, the year of my regeneration.

When the twelvemonth's contention of Cent'ries is done,
Whether eighteen be ended, and nineteen begun,
And Learning and Science their optics shall strain
To find some new nothing to puzzle the brain;
Then the Fates to this world shall my essence restore,
To shudder in Regions of Hela no more.

O! how different the race that my eyes shall behold!
For a soul of my kidney a true age of Gold!
Since none for his fears can be look'd on the worse,
Where they count for their fame not their fears but their purse
Then the Fates to this World, &c.

Then The Fair--Oh! how fair their sweet persons will shine,
When our helmets and scull-caps to them we resign,
When no grace of the form shall in vain be bestow'd,
And nakedness self be the tip of the mode.

Then their motions so easy, their manners so free!
In ferae naturae you'd deem them to be;
And Miss just in her teens, from all bashfulness freed,
Shall now skip o'er the rope, and now skip o'er the tweed:

O! how gay then I'll flirt and I'll flutter around,
Where the belles of the young 19th Cent'ry are found!
Their charms so obtrusive shall kindle a flame;
Shall melt all the ice that now stiffens my frame;
And I'll think, while Love's ardour shall glow in each pore,
Of the Regions of Frost and of Hela no more.
[ Exeunt .

Scene III. The Magic Grove; with the entrance of
the Cave of Incantations--a rude and rocky chasm,
overhung with shattered yew trees, and every species
of gloomy and noxious vegetation. The darkness of
the scene is only imperfectly interruupted by the transient
glare of meteors from above, and the blue vapours,or
fen damps, that play about the Magic Circle described
at the entrance of the Cave. Shrieks and groans, and
bellowing noises, heard occasionally in the air; &c.

Rowenna is discovered, arrayed in her Pall and snaky
hair dishevelled, and intermixed with Ivy, Hemlock,
Nightshade, &c. A
Female Child accompanies
them, bearing the Pictured Drum and Double Ham-
mer, with a rosary of Brazen Rings, and images of
serpents, frogs, toads, and other obscene reptiles, used
in the mysteries of Northern Magic.

. Strike, strike, The mystic Drum, virgin yet pure
Of passion's secret wish! from sacred folds
Of chill equatic Loomskin, lift on high
The awful Hammer, while the Brazen Ring,
Viper, and venom'd Toad, and Frog that croaks
In pools obscene, and Newt of mouldering wall
Dance o'er the pictur'd surface, and in reel
Prophetic of our wavering destinies,
Lead up The Rites.
Ye Demons of the Storm!
Who thro the mirky clouds with transient glare
Stoop to our incantations, or, appall'd,
Shriek in the midnight blast, with yell or groan
Swelling the chorus of the shuddering Grove,
While growls the distant bear, and in his den
The hungry wold barks fear-chain'd!--it is well;
Ye feel my power, and own it. Aid me then
If these mysterious Rites--or ye who rive
With Thor's own bolts the groaning earth, or ye
Who to the labouring mine's combustion'd womb
Dart the contagious spark, whence Earthquake rends,
Or pent Volcano spits his sulphurous fires,
Wide wafting! for to Hela's misty realms
I force my way, and to The Fatal Three
Who weave the Webb of Destiny. [ Enter Agga.
How now?--
Tardy and shuddering? Hast thou in thy way
Gather'd the spume-froth'd drugs, on which, o'ertoil'd,
The Bat hath crouch'd, and the Night-Swallow drop'd
Her half-churn'd morsels?--
Agga . Mistress, they are here:--
But, use them not! Some hostile star prevails--
Our Gods forsake us. Never, since the hour
When, with initiate feet, I first approach'd
This mystic Circle, felt my soul such horror.
At ever and anon, as, from my speed
Pausing, I stoop'd, some ominous shriek was heard,
Or deathlier groan:--the herbs, o'erconscious, shrunk
My trembling touch; the glare of fiery eyes
Peep'd from the unhallow'd turf; and up mine arm
Darts the benumbing shock--as lighning struck!--
That three-times thrice (while shook the earth beneath)
From my full apron drop'd the unwilling store--
With shuddering toil replac'd. Forbear! forbear
The ill-omen'd spell!
Row . Mere womanish fear. Away!
My soul is all on fire, and I must seek
The quenching stream, or perish. Come: draw near.
Give me The Drugs. Thus from my bruising hands
I press the powerful dews. Now, strike again
The spheric Drum, and in the fawn's warm blood
Stoop, stoop and wash--'Tis done. Begin the chaunt.
Chorus . Hela! hear!
Edel . Queen of Niflheim's misty shade
Agga . Frozen Hela! ghastly maid!
Row . From thy Throne of Horrors--hear!
Edel . By the Giants of the Frost!
Agga . By Ising's fury-beaten coast!
Row . By the Dome of Anguish--hear!
Edel . By thy Table, Famine-spread!
Agga . By thy lean unshelter'd Bed!
Row . Threshold bleak and Chasm dread!
Chorus . Hela! hear!
Edel . Furies dread of Woden's hall!
Agga . By whom the fated heroes fall--
Row . Dread Valkyries!--bend and hear!
Edel . And ye Nornies--fearful three!
Who thro Fate's dark workings see--
Weaving the Webb that mortals fear--
Chorus . Fatal Sisters! list, and hear!

Row. bending towards the earth, with her Wand up-
lifted, as in act to strike
Hertha! ope thy rock-rib'd side--
Ribs of Ymer's giant pride!
Ribs by Odin, Vile, and Ve--
Awful Godhead! mystic Three!
From Ymer torn, and giv'n to thee.
Adel. and Agga . Hertha! ope thy rock-rib'd side--
Ribs of Ymer's giant pride!
Chorus . Hertha! hear! [ A groan below.
Edel . Hertha labours. Soon the spell
Shall her reluctant womb compel.
Agga . Soon the once-tried depths below
Again their gates shall open throw.

Row . Cease, ye maidens--cease your strains:
Mine the talk that yet remains.
Hertha's rock-rib'd side uncloses;
Hell its hideous womb exposes;
Groans, and shrieks, and plaints of woe
Roar in troubled floods below.
Fly ye maids! To me alone
Hertha's secret ways are known.

Subterranean thunder . Edelthred, Agga, &c. dis-
appear. The cavern bursts open. A swarm of hideous

Phantoms rush, with great clamour, from the cleft;
thro whom
Rowenna rushes, and descends. The
Phantoms form themselves into groups, some of
which join in a sort of fantastic and conflicting dance,
striking at each other, and buffetting the air; while
others join in discordant chaunt.

Chorus . Fell enchantress! hold! forbear!
1. Phantom . 'Tis in vain. We beat the air.
2. Ph. Phantom'd Terrors glare in vain.
3. Ph . Nature's laws no more restrain.
All three . Desperate Magic bursts the chain.
Cho . Hertha groans in terrene thunder:
Ribs of Rock are burst asunder.
1. Ph . Sulphur! 2. Ph . Nitre! 3.Ph. Miner's damp,
Fatal to the vital lamp--
All . Thro the cavern'd entrails fume:
2. Ph . And the Wolf-like Serpent's spume.
Chorus Midgard's Serpent, fierce and dread,
Lifts his all-devouring head.
1. Ph . Fiercely writhes his scaly zone.
2. Ph . Nature trembles on her throne.
Cho . Gods and Hela join the groan.
1. Ph . Hark! the Hell-dog's tripple growl!
2. Ph . Rafaen's scream! 3. Ph . And Fenrir's howl!
Cho . Thrillling shriek! and deaf'ning growl!
1. Ph . Fell enchantress! 2. Ph . On she goes--
3. Ph . Eager of impending woes.
All . To the nine-fold realm she goes!
Chorus .
Hertha's rock-rib'd side uncloses;
Niflheim's gloom in vain opposes;
Groans, and shrieks, and plaints of woe
Roar, in bootless floods, below.
They rush into the chasm, and it closes.

Scene IV. The Abodes of Hela.
The stage, at first, appears involoved in darkness and mist,
so that the objects at the back part of the scene are not dis-
cernable. Thunder and occasional flashes of Lightning.

. ( without .) Hela!--Hela!--Hela!
Hela . What mortal organs thus aloud proclaim,
With triple invocation, Hela's name?
Row . ( entering ) Regent of the nine-fold shade!
Shuddering Hela! Ghastly Maid!
Bid the mists of darkness fly
Scattering from the nether sky!

Hela . Say who art thou who thus, with daring tread,
Invad'st the dreary mansions of the dead?

Fear! presumptuous mortal! fear!
Draw not to my threshold near.
Draw not near! Confess thy fear!
And shun my fury ere too late.
Row . Hela! no:--I cannot fear;
Tho the Furies all appear,
Sprung from Lok's prolific hate.
Hela . Draw not near. Learn to fear
Fenrir's howl, and Hela's hate.
Row . Hela, no: I cannot fear
Fenrir's howl, or Niflheim's hate.

By the channels twelve that drank
Hevergelmer's vapours dank,
Where the direful rivers flow,
Streams of horror, plaint, and woe!
I have travers'd, void of fear,
To seek the Fatal Sisters here.

Cho . Regent of the nine-fold shade!
Shuddering Hela! Ghastly Maid!
Bid the mists of darkness fly.

Row . O'er the Bridge where Giö rolls--
Fearful pass to dastard souls!
By The Dog of hideous yell,
By the iron grate of Hell,
Ghastly Hela! I have come
To tax The Fates, and know my doom.

Cho . Regent of the nine-fold shade!
Shuddering Hela! ghastly Maid!
Bid the mists of darkness fly.

Trio, and Chorus, by The Fatal Sisters, &c.
Urd and
Who art thou who thus presume
Schulda . To tax the Fatal Sisters o'er their loom?
Verandi . Fly! daring mortal!
Urd . Daring mortal! fly.
Schulda . Fly! nor urge thy instant doom.
Cho . Fly, daring mortal! fly: nor urge thy instant doom!

Row . Hela! from thy nether sky
Bid the mists of darkness fly:
Soon shall to your eyes appear
One your shuddering spectres fear.
Soon The Sisters o'er the loom
The shuttled hand shall check, and tell my doom.

Hela! from thy nether sky
Bid the mists of darkness fly,
Ere the looud resistless spell
Shake the dire abodes of Hell--
Ere this wand's terrific stroke
The Unutterable Fiend evoke.

Hela . Fly! ye mists of Nörver--fly!--
Dager claims our nether sky.
Dread Enchantress! stop the spell.
Rowenna!!!-------Now I know thee well.

The mists dispersing,
Hela is discovered; a meagre
ghastly spectre, seated on a throne of Ice, on the pre-
cipitous threshold of a palace of the same material:
the whole scene exhibiting a dreary spectacle of Rock,
and Ice, and Snow.
Her Throne is guarded by
The Giants of Frost,
a race of deformed and enormous monsters, whose
heads reaching the top of the stage, are involved in
clouds and vapours. Their hair and beards formed
of icicles: their Garments of Snow: their complexions
livid, and their forms mishapen. Meteors play around
their heads; and snow and hailstones issue from their
mouths and nostrils. A throng of shuddering spectres
around; some sauntering about; others root-bound;
and all covered with snow and icicles
. The Demons
of Storm and Tempest wait behind the Chair.

On the other side, in a cave apart, are seen
The Fatal
Sisters at their loom. Sculls are fixed to the beams
instead of weights; the chamber is lighted by a Lamp
and a blazing Cauldron.
Rafaen, i.e. the Raven
of Schulda hovers over their heads.

Trio. Urd, Verandi, Schulda.

Weave The Webb--the webb of Fate!
Ply it early--ply it late!
Fates of falling empires weave!
Woes that suffering mortals grieve!
Spindles turn; the shuttle throw;
Treacherous joys, and lasting woe,
In the fatal texture grow.
Weave the Woof--the woof of Fate!
Ply it early--ply it late!
Urd . Take the sample from the past.
Verandi . Present sorrows thicken fast.
Schulda . But the worst shall come at last,
All . Weave The Woof--the woof of Fate!
Ply it early--ply it late!
Fates of falling empires weave!
Woes that suffering mortals grieve!
Spindles turn--the shuttle throw;
Treacherous joys and lasting woe
In the fatal texture grow.
Chorus . Weave The Webb--the webb of Fate!
Ply it early--ply it late

Row . Cease, fatal hags! the ill-omen'd yell forego.
Speak: for ye can. I come my fate to know.

Schul . Sorceress, yet in early bloom!
Tax us not, but wait thy doom.
Soon enough thy woe shall come.

Row . Whate'er the will of changeful Fortune be,
I murmur not, nor question HER decree.
Weave close the secret woof, ye baleful three.
Not for the gauds of empire now I seek:
Crowns ye may give, and settled sceptres break.
I fathom not, in this, your dire decree:
For what are crowns and sceptres now to me?
But of Arthur I must know--
Doom of joy?--or Doom of Woe?
Urd . When first the fatal bowl you gave,
And Vortigern became your slave,
Then for sovran power you pray'd;
And Fatal Sisters lent their aid.
All . Then for sovran power you pray'd;
And Fatal Sisters lent their aid.
Row Sisters thanks: but this I know.
Veran . But now no more ambition swells:
Thy secret soul on Arthur dwells:
Arthur, who, in Lunvey's groves,
Ev'n now, in wildering anguish, roves.
All . Arthur now, in Lunvey's groves,
In heart-consuming anguish roves.
Row . Sisters thanks that this I know.
But yet a further boon bestow.
Past and present ye have shown:
Make, O! make the future known.
Schulda! say what you decree?
Direfull'st of the direful three!
Quick: divine: Is Arthur mine?
Schulda! say what you decree?
Shul . Woden fits on Asgard hills;
Where Hydrassil's Ash distills
Nectar'd drafts of dew divine.
There alone, in accents clear,
My Raven whispers in His ear,
What the future Fates design.

Row . But I in lore of mystic arts excel,
And Fate's ambiguous book with ease can spell.
Speak, Fatal Sister! speak; and I'll explain:
Tho mystery involve the strain.
Sch . Sister--ere the memory dye,
Speak again of things gone by.
Urd . Once, to snare a monarch's soul,
Fair Rowenna drugg'd a bowl.
Row . I did--I did. Upon my knee,
Vortigern! I gave it thee.
Sch . When the bowl again goes round,
And Vortigern his sleep profound
Heedless quaffs--
Row . Hela laughs!--
Plain the drift my sense descries.
Sisters thanks.---He dies! he dies!
Hela . Wide my iron portals throw:
Perjur'd ghosts descend below.
Open throw. To realms of woe,
Perjur'd ghosts descend below.
Row . Plain the drift my sense descries.
Hela thanks.-------He dies! He dies!
Sch . Then shall close Thy jealous woes,
Arthur's hand shall light the fire
In which thy sorrows all expire.
Row . Propitious Schulda! thanks. But what of her--
The Cambrian viper! hateful Guenever?
Sch . More thy rival to confound,
Fire and Water shall surround;
Ruthless flames, and waves profound.
Arthur's hand no help shall lend,
No mortal arm the maid befriend,
Nor aid from pitying Heaven descend.
Row . Schulda thanks. Enough of her
My hated rival Guenever.
Hela . Wide my iron portals throw:
Perjur'd Ghosts descend below.
Open--open--open throw!
To realms of woe,
Perjur'd ghosts descend below.
Row . Plain the drift my soul descries.
Vortigern---------He dies!--He dies!
Arthur's hand shall light the fire
In which my sorrows all expire.
Hela's ghosts the joy shall feel
Joining in the giddy reel!
Look for Fenrir say me nay:
'Tis Rowenna's holyday.

She waves her wand; and instantly the whole train of
frozen spectres rush to the middle of the stage, and
join in a fantastic dance; while all the vocal characters repeat in

Grand Chorus
Wide the iron portals throw.
Perjur'd ghosts descend below.
Hela's sons the triumph feel,
Joining in the giddy reel.--
Lok nor Fenrir say us nay:
'Tis Rowenna's Holiday.

End of the First Act.

Act II. Scene I.

Lynn Savadan; or, Langorfe Pool; by Moonlight.

A Dance of

1. Fairy . While the Moon with silver sheen
Spangles o'er Savadan's Lake,
Fairies to the margent green
Haste from grotto, bower, and brake,
And in our lunar rites partake.
Chorus . Elves from grotto, bower, and brake,
1. Fa . Frisk it! 2. Fa . Frisk it! 3. Fa . Frisk it!
Ch . Frisk it round the silver lake.
1. Fa . Nor ye who, in your golden boat,
The water lily, love to float.
Chacing oft, with merry Lay,
The beams that o'er the rippling surface play,
These our lunar rites forsake.
Sem. cho . Elves from grotto, bower, and brake--
Fays that skim Savadan's lake--
1. Fa . Ever gay 2. Fa . While ye may.
1. Fa . Trip it. 2. Fa . Trip it! 3. Fa . Trip away!
Cho . Join the dance, and join the lay.
2. Fa . Flowers opprest by noontide heat
Let the breath of Fragrance cheer;
And as we brush with nimble feet,
Blights and Mildews disappear,
And all that taint the vernal year.
Sem. cho . Disappear!--Disappear!--Disappear!--
1. Fa . As we whisk it! 2. Fa . Frisk it! 3. Fa . Whisk it!
1. Fa . Whisk it! frisk it! Frisk it! whisk it!
Cho . Let the breath of Fragrance cheer
The vernal year.

The Lady of the Lake rises on a Throne of Spars
and Coral, in a car, or water chariot, drawn by

Lady . Enough, ye elves and fairies!--ye who ride
The lunar beam, or on the surface skim,
Buoyant, of lake or rill, or thro mid air
Bestride the gossamer; and ye who lurk
Beneath my bordering flow'rets, or the leaves
Of pensile shrubs, that from Savadan's marge
Inhale their freshness. Well have ye preform'd
Your modest funtions, from the irriguous haunts,
Chacing the Sterrile Fiend, and all the rout
That hurt with anguish spells, that neither blight,
Canker, nor smut, thro all my favourite bowers,
Insect nor worm appears, of power to mar
The buds of vernal promise. Tis enough.
Now other cares invite; and other fears
Swell in my anxious bosom. Arthur's fate
Hangs on the tremulous balance.

From coral groves and spar-encrusted dome,
Where, enthron'd in virgin pride,
O'er their secret urns preside
The sedg'd-crown'd sisters fair,
Who make the sylvan lakes their care,
I come.
For deep in that sequester'd home
The voice of Anguish pierc'd my ear,
From Lunvey's echoing groves.
There where hostile spells surrounding
(All his rising hopes confounding)
Rack his soul with pangs severe--
There--ah! there--
Every blissful thought resigning--
There bewilder'd Arthur roves.
For him I grieve,
For him my coral grots I leave,
Yoke my white swans, and breathe this terrene air.
Haste ye Fairies, haste ye then--
Search the woodland, search the glen.
For deeds of love forego your vagrant sport,
And in my secret grotto make report.

Cho . Mistress, you shall be obey'd.
1. Fa . Sisters each your province take:
Mount the breeze, or skim the lake:
Thrid with care the leafy shade.
2.F . Frisk it! 3.F . Whisk it! 4.F. Trip it! 5.F . Flit it!
Cho . Mistress you shall be obey'd. [ They vanish .

The Lady returns to her Car, and the scene closes.

Scene II. A hanging Wood on the borders of a little

Incubus, shaking his fingers and rubbing
his hands.

Who-o-o-o! what a poor undone devil am I! When
I am freezing and dangling on the eves of Hela's palace,
I do nothing but sigh and pray that my nechromantic
mistress, here, or some other of my terrestrial employers
would be kind enough to stand in need on my assistance,
and give me a blind-man's holiday, in this warmer atmos-
phere; yet here have I been wandering only two or
three hours, and the frost in my joints is converted into
so horrible a hot-ache, that I begin to wish my icicle-
ship had remained undisturbed, in the pure state of sub-
terranean congelation, where the Giants of Frost had
fixed me. But the worst is, the night is almost spent,
and my task not completed. A precious cataplasm will
be clapped to my sores, I'll warrant, if I descend to
Niflheim again with an imperfect account of my mission.
A plague o'that drunken desperado, Tristam! one
by one, I have nabbed all the reft; and laid the whole
Round Table (knights, squires, and all) as quiet as
Mead and Wassail ever laid them at high festival: but
Lok himself (the father of all mischief) cannot get that
dragon-eater out of the reach of Arthur's enchanted
sword: to hazard the vengeance of which requires a
little more of the fool-valiant than belongs to any devil
of my kidney.---But behold!-----A plague on all blun-
derers! How came I not to think of that before?
What sort of an angler, for a devil, must I be, when a
Welchman was to be caught, not to think of Cwrw?
-----Cwrw!! Cwrw!!!--------Cwrw!!!!!!-----But here
they come. Bo-peep's the word, and then to my last
shift. [ Exit.

Enter Arthur; and Tristram, drunk, with a cag .

Arthur . Distraction! furies! whether do we rove?
On what enchanted region have we trod,
Beset with hellish fiends? Mine eyes deceive--
This is not Lunvey. These are not the groves
Where once, with songs prophetic, o'er my head
The ministering fairies danc d, touching my lips
With charm of sweetest numbers, and my limbs
(Yet in their infant swathes) with iron force
Nerving resistless. Or, if such it be,
The Saxon Demons o'er the Isle prevail,
And our Good Spirits leave us.
Tristram ( turning up his cag .) Spirits! O, yes, your
honour's highness!--our spirits are all gone; that's certain.
Here it is, your honour's highness! Round and sleek;
----just the same big belly it set out with. But it's de-
livered your honour's highness! fairly delivered; and so
there's an end to our deliverance.
Hollow! hollow! ( knocking against it with his
)--Hollow as a false friend, who preaches and
moralises when Necessity is at the door: and then he
rings, just like this--all his swelling words being nothing
but emptiness!
Ar . Oh! Guenever! Guenever! At such a time!
They could not all desert me. Dastards all!
Chieftains renown'd for hardiest enterprise
Turn dastards on the spur?--------I'll not believe it.
Trist . No, your honour's highness! nor little Tristram
neither: any more than he'll believe his costrel is a
perpetual spring: and that it is not, there is heavy proof
in all this lightness. ( Throwing it up and catching it.)
Light! light!--Light as a Courtier's promise--or a Court
Lady's morals.---O that a light costrel and a dark destiny
should go thus together.----( As he is tossing the Costrel
about he tumbles
.) Seated your honour's highness!--
Seated!--But what signifies seating now? The round
table ( Placing the cag before him )--ah! your honour's
highness! The round table is quite empty.
Ar . Significant drunkard! dost thou make a scoff
And jest of my afflictions?
Trist . O Lord! your honour's highness! quite the
contrary. Moralising, your honour--moralising. Inspi-
red!--spiritualised!--What were good liquor good for,
if it did not put good thoughts into one's head?
Ar . It is enchantment all. Demoniac spells
Have snar'd their feet, and Hell's suborned fiends
Have with incestuous Vortigern conspir'd
To mock my high rais'd hopes. Oh! sacred wax!
( pulling out a pair of Tablets and pressing them to his lips )
Grav'd with the sweetest words, by fairest hands---
And yet how terrible!------Dear, direful proof
Of chastest constancy!----This night----this night----
With such a cause to charm them to their oaths
Could they have fled, like recreants?
Trist . Fl-e-ed! O yes, your honour's highness; flown,
I'll answer for them: but it was at second hand; as they
trot when they ride o' cockhorse. I'll swear by a full
costrel--(for it would be but an empty oath to swear by
a costrel that was not full--and would shew me, as it
were, to be but a 'squire of hollow faith) I saw the
Devil fly away with half a dozen of them. I sup-
pose if it had not been for my Guardian Spirit ( lifting
up the cag
) I should have known myself what sort of a
poney His Devilship is. And then---ha! ha! ha! ha!
Ar . Peace, babbling Jester! Art thou too possest?
Trist . Ho! ho! ho! I beg pardon, your honour's
highness--but i'faith I can't help laughing, to think--
ha! ha! ha! if the devil had laid hold of me, what a
figure I should have made, charioteering between a pair
of sooty wings, with two great horns in my hands, by
way of reins, and a huge pair of saucer eyes before me,
for lanthorns.---Ho! ho! ho!---What a dash!
Ar . ( still grasping The Tablets, and gazing upon them
with encreased emotion
.) This night--this night--
The last permitted to the anxious calm
Of Innocence unviolate!--This Night
That, midst the curtain'd silence, still shall talk
Of its successor's horrors--of the hour
When the soul father lover (so decreed)
Flush'd from the riotous banquet--lust enflam'd!--
Inebriate to incest!---------Hell is there!--
He walks, distractedly several times, to and fro; then
pauses--opens the tablets again, and reads
"This night, this night!--all means of death remov'd,
"(The last poor respite tears and prayers could gain)
"I give to thoughts of Thee, and to those vows
"Of chastest love inviolate we pledg'd
"On Usk's remember'd banks. This night (yet pure)
"I dare to think I am Arthur's. All beyond--
"All if Gwrtheyrnion's walls----------But haste and save!
"Haste with thy Warrior Knights--Oh! that this breath,
"That never flows but to wing prayers to Heaven
"For thee and for thy safety--that this breath--------
"But worse impends---Worse to thy heart--to mine!
"---To mine! Oh! persecuting Heaven! that aught
"Than Arthur's safety--Arthur's sacred life
"Can be more precious to the shuddering heart
"Of his disastrous Guenever!"
"But haste and save! Haste with thy warrior knights!"
Alas! where are they? Ho! ye recreants, ho!---
Follow me. Once again, with hopeless search,
Thro the night-thickened labyrinths let us wind,
Wakening the sullen Echoes; if perforce,
With their reverberate aid, our shouts may reach
The chance-bewilder'd straglers---if but Chance,
Not Hell, or fouler Treachery, have sapt
Their faith till now undoubted.----Ho! what ho!
My Guenever!--disastrous guenever! [ Exit .
Trist . Oh! my Costrel!----my sweet, lovely------
poor, miserable, empty Costrel!
Aye---Theres' the Devil! But for that, the adven-
ture would not be desperate. There would still be
three of us--the redoubtable Tristram, the pussiant Ar-
thur, and the all-conquering Cwrw: and what could stand
before us?--Caer Gwrtheyrnion?--Pho! nor all the
Cares in the universe. Why we shouldn't care for Pan-
demonium itself. We'd storm old Belzebub in his
grand keep; and make a rareeshow of all his family.
Send us, ye Guardian Angels! send us but a costrel
of Cwrw! of C-W-R-W. Fal de rol de rol, de ra ra,
lol lol! ( Sings .)
A large cask rises out of the ground, against which
Tristram runs his nose as he is reeling out
Bawh! What have we here? Ho! ho! a cask! a
cask.--The prayers of the drunken shall be heard; for
they pray in The Spirit. But what is this?--Some magical
inscription I suppose. O thou universal lamplightress,--
thou that see'st many a thing that thy elder brother, the
Sun, never dreamt of!--lend me thy spectacles awhile,
that I may spell. C-W-R-W- Cwrw!!---Spell,
indeed--What are your Runic Rhymes, your Riddles,
your Pharmaceutrias--your Cabals, your Abracadaberas,
to the magical combination of C--W--R--W? (Sings .

Of spells you may talk,
Writ in ink, blood, or chalk,
With which Wizzard and Witch have to do;
But each Welchman can tell
That there never was spell
Like C--W--R--W! Fal de rol. &c.

With this spell, I'll be bound
To make Nature spin round,
As our boys with their whip-tops can do;
And the world all so scurvy
I'd turn topsyturvy
With C--W--R--W. Fal de rol! &c.

Inspir'd--Inspir'd! If it be but as potent to valour as
to verse, the business is done.--And where's the doubt?
What but Cwrw was it, that produced so many famous
heroes of antiquity, from Nimrod to Jack the Giant
Killer. ( Sings .)

O, ye heroes renown'd
Who fought all the world round--
O! ye Cæsars, and fam'd Alexanders!
Pray how had ye thriv'd,
If of Cwrw depriv'd?
Faith you'ad been just as valiant as ganders.
Fal de rol! &c.

If a second you want,
Then, each foeman to daunt,
Then, I'll tell you, my boy, what to do;
Never fear to depend
On the Welchman's best friend,
On C--W--R--W. Fal de rol! &c.

Bravo! bravo, little Tristram! One draught of this
genuine water of the muses, and thou wilt eclipse all the
Knights of the Round Table, and bear away the prize,
in the bardic circles, from Taliessin himself. But how
to get at it? Oh! A spile!---A spile!---I'll answer for
it then it shall not be spoiled. ( Pulls out the spile, and
the ale begins to run
.) Genuine! genuine! entire! I'll
be sworn. A choice drop out of the celestial cellar;
brewed by my Guardian Angel for his own private
drinking. Let me take it devoutly. ( Kneeling ) Now,
now shall I be famous, or the devil is in it. ( Drinks.
The head of the cask flies off, out of which
rises, and seizes him by the ears .)
Inc . Aye, and in it he is: little as you might expect it.
( The cask sinks down and leaves Tristram in the
clutches of
Trist . ( Shivering .) Who-o-o who are you, and be-e
hanged to you?
Inc . A devil!
Trist. The-e-e devil you are. Wha-a-at the devil
makes my teeth chatter so then? In such hands, I should
have expected to be frying in my own grease.
Inc . Aye, that's because you don't know what sort of
devil you have to deal with, my little Tristram. I am
none of your bon-fire devils come to entertain you
with squibs and crackers, and birth-day rockets and illu-
minations: but a good thorough icicle devil, from the
regions of Hela: where I have been freezing, under
the North Pole, for more than half a century.
Trist . Fre-e-e-ezing with a ve-e-e-engeance!
Zounds I am fro-o-o-o-ozen too. I-i-i-i----can't
get to my sw-o-o-o-ord.

Ar-r-r r-Arthur!
Inc . Vainly you for Arthur call:
Your very words are frozen all:
They shall never reach his ear.
Trist . Ar-r-r-r Arthur! Arthur! co-o-o-ome away.
I am lo-o-o-o-lost if yo-u-u-u delay.
Inc . Trust me he shall never hear.
Your words are frozen.
Trist . So-o-o-o I-----fear.
Inc . Thus upon my prey I seize.
Trist . I freeze----I freeze----I freeze!
Ar-r-r Arthur!---Ar-r-r Arthur.
Inc . 'Tis in vain Your lungs you strain.
Trist . I-i-i-i---I see it plain.
Inc . Vassal hind! Your voice I bind--
Trist . S o-o-o I find---
Inc . In Vindsualer's icy chain
Trist . W-w-w-w-wind! wind swallow!
Cold and hollow!
Inc . Grim Vindsualer! Winter's fire!
Trist . Ar-r-r-r Arthur! Arthur! O-o-o-oh! a fire!
Inc . 'Tis in vain; Fruitless pain; Thus to strain.
Arthur, Arthur cannot hear.
Trist . So-o-o-o-o I fear. Inc . It is clear.
So, little Tristram? come you here.
My potent mistress thus to please,
Upon my shivering prey I seize!
Trist . I fre-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-eze!
Cho. of Knights without . We fre-e-e-e-e-e-eze!
Tristram sinks down in a state of torpor; over-
powered by the benumbing influence of the Demon;
Incubus drags him off the stage.

Re-enter Arthur.

Tristram! Tristram!--Art thou also gone?
Vanish'd thro air? or swallow'd by the earth?
The last of all my host! Infernal fiends!
Are there no means to reach ye? Out good sword!
Whose tenfold temper, steep'd in mystic dews
By the fair regent of Savadan's lake,
No goblin spell resists. On stocks and stones,
And each ambiguous thing my eyes shall meet,
I'll try its force. If chance some lurking fiend
Start up reveal'd; ere now this arm, unstaid,
Hath tam'd such foes, and to their hostile hell
Dismiss'd them howling. Nerve it now, ye powers
Who smile on virgin innocence. I strike
In Nature's cause; for love and Guenever! [ Exit .

SCENE III. Enter Fairies .

1.Fa . Sisters! Sisters! 2.Fa . Whist ye! Whist!
1.Fa . Tell me---tell me what ye list.
3.Fa . Things of moment hover nigh.
1.Fa. Who can read them. 2.Fa. I. 3.Fa. And I.
Cho . Things of moment hover nigh.
1.Fa. Sisters! Sisters! 2.Fa. List ye! List!
3.Fa. Tell me fairies what ye wist?
1.Fa. Tell me what ye read on high?
2.Fa. Fading stars, 3.Fa. And morning nigh.
1.Fa. Who can see it? 2.Fa. I. 3.Fa. And I.
Cho. To the Grotto----haste away.
4.Fa. You have seen it? 1.F. Aye! 2.F. Aye! 3.F. Aye!
Cho . To the Grotto whisp away.
1.Fa. Frisk it! 2.Fa. Whisk it!
4.Fa. Trip it! 1.F. Whip it.
4.Fa. To the Grotto---flit away!
Cho . What we've witness'd there display. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. The Lake, seen in a new aspect. The Sun
rising above the neighbouring mountains

Enter Rowenna [ attended .]

The shades of night disperse, and o'er the hills
(The Eastern bound of Cambria) Balder's steed
Rushes with reinless neck, and to the winds
Gives his bright mane of orient, streaming far
Thro the illumin'd sky. The dazzling ray,
With tint reflective, over stream and lake,
Plays with the morning breeze; and leaf and flow'r,
Moist with the tears of evening, bend surcharg'd
With mimic radiance: every crystal sphere
Each with its fairy fun--a fairy world.
Pencil'd with rays minute--as tho instinct
'Tis splendour all, and gladness--All but here,
Where one lov'd object, filling every thought,
Blots out Creation. Sound nor sight can please,
But what relates to Arthur: and this hope
Of quick possession, from the Fatal maids,
With poignant expectation but enflames
The frenzy it should sooth.

In vain empassion'd Hope I feed
With promis'd boons of hovering joy:
The expected bliss, by Fate decreed,
Doubts and chilling fears annoy.

In vain the empassion'd heart to ease,
The splendid scences of morn I trace:
Whate'er the raptur'd eye should please,
Doubts and chilling fears deface.

Distracting doubts, and chilling fears
What touch of sense can charm away?
A blank the smiling dawn appears:
And mute to me the vernal lay.

Propitious Goddess! hear my pray'r!
Nor long the promis'd bliss delay:
The smiling morn shall then be fair,
And Rapture tune the vernal lay.

Near to this spot, among the bordering woods--
So sung the Fatal Sisters (and the song
But now the oafish Incubus confirm'd)
My Arthur roves, now isolate. O guide
His steps, benignant Frea! that mine eyes
May gaze to fulness, and my pleaded love
Essay his secret heart. 'Tis heard. He comes:
With what a tempest gathering on his brow!
Yet lovely in his anger. We'll observe
A while, unnoted, till the storm is spent:
Then, o'er the waves subsiding, Love shall smile;
And woo The Bird of Peace. [ They retire .

Enter Arthur.

Arth. 'Tis fruitless search--
I toil myself in vain. Enchantment here
Dwells not--or dwells beyond the boasted reach
Of gifted countercharm. And, lo! the Sun,
Climbing his southering arch, with gilded smile,
Mocks at my bootless rage; while grove and vale,
Mountain, and headlong stream, and placid lake
Shine in the record of my baffled hopes,
My shame, and my distraction.
Row . Queen of smiles!
Who blend'st consenting hearts in mutual bliss,
Be it my talk to sooth him,
Arth . Ye twin heights
Of bleak Farinioch!--Ye whose alpine heads
Catch the first rays of Morning! I had hopes,
Ere down your sloping sides encroaching light
Had chac'd the lingering shadows, o'er your brow
(Girt with my warrior knights in firm array)
To have pour'd the shout of battle; on the walls
Of doom'd Gwrtheyrnion, like the vollying cloud,
To have burst in direful thunders; broke the chains
Of Saxon usurpation; from the rape
Of threaten'd incest snatch'd the weeping maid,
And hung the wreaths of Love on Glory's fane.
Row . Empire, and Love, and Glory! Frea, hear--
Make them the three-fold dower, "When Authur's hand
"Shall light the flame in which my woes expire!"
I feel consenting Heav'n. Some whispered voice
Tells me the prayer is heard:--perchance the maid
Whom frequent The Propitious Goddess sends
To cheer the love-lorn votary. ( She comes forward .)
Arthur, hail!
One not to Grief unknown your grief's would heal.
Arth . ( wrapt in soliloquy, and not observing her .)
Sweet bud of virgin innocence! shall he,
The incestuous father, blast thy opening charms,
And rifle thy pure fragrance? while mine arm
(Awful in foriegn conflict) here, at home,
Sinks palfied, and, in Love's,--in Nature's cause,
Hangs powerless by my side!-------Oh Guenever!
Soul of my soul!--Oh charms, above all charm!
Trancendent in their loveliness! once deem'd
My sole sequester'd treasure!--Paradise
Of all my thoughts! and of my nightly dreams
Sole visitant--when, pure as winnow'd snows,
That from the peaky Vans, till spring matures,
Gleam on the dazzled traveller, thou cam'st,
With funny smiles of sanctity and love,
Blessing my pillow'd slumber.---Guenever!
Hope's vital fountain!--
Row . ( aside ) Progeny of Lok!
Does Fenrir howl this discord in mine ear?
Or charnel Grymer bark?--What sounds are these?
Where is thy promise, Frea?----Schulda, where
Thy hopes oracular?
Arth . Oh! Sweet of Sweets!
Personified perfection!--tint! and form!
And types of inward excellence! that shines
Thro the transparent veil. Eyes! lips! and cheeks
Vermeil'd with angel modesty! and swell
Of soft ingenuous bosom, yet unsunn'd
By Love's presumptuous gaze!--all Vortigerns?--
Incestuous Vortigerns!
Row . Can I bear this?
Furies of Hela's shades! Ye Fiends of storm!
What are your tempests to the tempest here?
Are these my hopes? Down, down, my struggling soul,
And trust The Fates. Be calm, or thou art lost.
[ She retires .
Arth . With what a lengthen'd stride the lustful Sun
Hastens the hour of horrors; towards the couch
Of western Thetis straining, ere as yet
The blush of parting from her orient cheek
The winnowing winds have brush'd.
Check, check thy speed!
Restrain thy bridegroom haste: awhile forego
The fiery track, 'till pitying heav'n afford
Means of preventive vengeance: from the clouds
That curtain thy repose, lest Hesper thrust
His guilty lamp, to mark the fated hour,
And light the tyrant Vortigern to deeds
That make Hell tremble.

Rowenna ( re-entering, with Edelthred, at a
distance .) Passion shakes him still:
But I am calm, in confidence renew'd,
And wait predicted bliss.
Arth . My pray'rs are vain.
I war with woman's weapons: fall'n--reduc'd
To woman's impotence: with senseless brawl
Disturbing the calm elements, that laugh
My rage to scorn. Come then, thou sullen Calm
Of concious desperation, thro my soul
Breathe thy narcotic influence--steep each nerve
In opiate dews, and o'er each maddening sense,
Bewilder'd, from their chilling urns pour forth
Thy inanescent torpors, till no more
Reflection wakes, and dull Oblivion drop
The vail by Fancy lifted.
Row . ( aside .) Be it so,
Benignant Frea! then to other scenes,
Joyous, awake reviving Consciousness,
Made happy in the change!
Arthur . Hear, hear them not--
Hear not the shrieks, my soul, that, thro the gloom,
Rending Gwrtheyrnion's towers, with vain appeal,
Call on the name of Arthur.---Rest thou here,
My wearied soul--rest here; even on this oak,
Which, ere matur'd, the lightning's fork hath scath'd,
Or Whirlwind's arm lopt brief:--here sit and muse
In moralising vacancy, abridg'd
Of vital virtue; like this sapless trunk,
To lift no more the flourishing head to heaven,
Or spread the arms of shelter.
Row . Edelthred,
The storm is past.--List how to murmurs soft,
And wailings inarticulate, subsides
The roaring surge of passion. Shall I speak;
Or wait the heavings of these waves, that yet
Would lash themselves to stilness?
Arth . You, ye Pomps
Of unavailing war--fire-plumed helm,
And burnish'd shield emblazon'd; and thou gift
Of her my sometime guardian, lie ye there,
Till the slow rust consumes; or o'er your fame
The monumental weed, with unshorn head,
Bends vailing: for no more shall Arthur's arm,
That fail'd to rescue Guenever, descend
On dint of meaner argument to try
Your charmed temper.

He throws away his helmet, his shield, and his en-
chanted sword; and, seating himself in a disconsolate
attitude, upon the shattered Oak, continues to pore upon
the ground, in vacant agony.

Row . Past my best hopes!--
Propitious Frea! now the webb untwines
Spun by The Destinies. The magic sword
Falls from his grasp, unconcious:--now no more
From power of Runic verse, or magic spell,
Or from Rowenna's charmed wand exempt.
My Fates prevail. Agga! my rod--my rod!

[ Enter Agga, with the wand . Rowenna waves it
over the head of Arthur; and he sleeps .]
Sleep on his troubled lids awhile descend,
Till we the charm of Runic numbers end.

Elves who shun the chilly moon!
Demons of the sultry noon!
Response Whose the voice that now ascends
of Spirits The abodes of Alfheim?
Edel . Hers who rends
With spells the pitchy vail of Night--
Agg . And blots the fetttled orbs of light.
Row . Demons of the sultry noon!
My call attend.
Resp. Soon we greet thee--mistress, soon.
Row . But not in gorgon pomp descend.
Edel . Far hence, ye haggard forms of Fear!
Horror, vail'd in mirky brow,
Rage, that scorns the Pitying tear,
Griefs, that low to Hertha bow.
Other forms than these must move
Soft content, Sweet content---
Soft content and mutual love!
Resp . Other forms than these shall move
Soft content and mutual love.

Agg . Haste in dimpled smiles array'd
Such as sport in Frea's train,
When she tempts the blushing maid,
Half afraid, To the shade,
Sighing, dying, where the swain
Fears the promis'd bliss delay'd.
Resp . Such the smiling forms that move
Soft content, and mutual love.

Row . Thus, to weave the mystic chain,
Demons of the Noon repair:
But to vulgar eyes remain
Viewless as impassive air.

A troop of Demons rush on the stage, in the semblance
of winged boys, crowned with wreaths of flowers, and
arrayed in effeminate apparel.--Strings of roses in
their hands; with which they link themselves together,
in intricate circles, and dance round
Arthur , as
he sleeps. Others play with his armour, and one, of supe-
rior size and appearance, takes possession of his sword.

Row . The charm of Runic numbers now complete--
From Arthur's eyes ye drowsy fumes retreat.
Awake to Joy--for every joy is here
To charm the eye and sooth the listening ear.

Cho . Joy sincere Hovers near;
Wake to see; and wake to hear.

Arth . What antic troop are ye, whose mid-day dreams
Disturb a wretch's slumbers? Hence! Avaunt!

He endeavours to disentangle himself. They encircle him
with their fillets, &c. Singing the following Glee.

Doughty hero! lay aside
Sullen looks and martial pride:
Love and Pleasure wait you here.
Love and Pleasure,
Without measure,
Ope their treasure:
Melting Love, and Joy sincere!
Cho . Love and Pleasure revel here.

Arth . My sword! My sword!

They laugh and dance around him; twining their fillets
closer and closer: and repeating, in chorus.

Doughty hero! lay aside
Sullen looks and martial pride:
Love and Pleasure revel here.

Arth . Distraction! Infamy! insnar'd! inthrall'd!
Bound in a fillet, like some harlot's toy!
This --only this, was wanting to complete
My sum of wretchedness.
Row . Of rapture say:
For such I come to offer. Generous Arthur!
Too long by an unworthy flame inthrall'd
To an incestuous wanton: lo! my Charm
Shall set you free: and on a worthier choice
Empire and Love await, and deathless Fame.

In the bosom of youth say what wishes can glow
That my power cannot grant, or my favour bestow?
These beauties that monarchs have struggled to gain,
I offer unask'd.--Shall I offer in vain?
No; heart with heart meeting, and clasp'd in these arms,
Your bosom shall throb to soft passion's alarms.
Heart to heart fondly beating!
Our vows still repeating!
Reclining! Resigning To passions alarms--
Our bosoms still throbbing!--enfolding our arms!

Then the sceptre of Britain, by Schulda decreed
To await on my love, I present as thy meed.
These beauties that monarches have struggled to gain,
I offer thus dower'd.--Can I offer in vain?
While thus, with heart meeting, I stretch forth my arms,
Ambition and Beauty uniting their charms,
Can your heart coldly beating,
From Rapture retreating,
Disdaining! Refraining From passions alarms,
An Empire relinquish, and fly from these arms?
Then my magic shall aid, and my verse shall record
All the deathless exploits of your lance, and your sword;
And the glory that heroes have struggled to gain
I offer secure.--Shall I offer in vain?
No; heart to heart beating, and clasp'd in these arms
Love, Glory, and Empire shall mingle their charms.
Heart to heart fondly beating!
Our vows still repeating!
Reclining! Resigning To passions alarms
Our bosoms still throbbing!--enfolding our arms!

Arth . Sorceress of Elb! devoted Britain's curse!
Hence with thy wanton chant. Tho thus inthrall'd--
Betray'd by Love's affliction (sentient there
Beyond a maiden's softness) in these bonds
Powerless I stand, yet can my soul disdain
Thy blandish'd witcheries. A Crown from thee?
Love, Glory, and Ambition! Are they things
Of such abhor'd conjunction as to blend
With thy pollutions?--I'd abjure them, then--
Flee to some hermit's cave--unsex myself,
And, in the mirkiest mine, drudge out, in toil
Obscene, and servile bonds, the dregs of life
Dishonour'd. For the World to Chaos runs--
The blessed Sun no more his lustrous beam
Sheds on created order, if such gifts
Depend upon such givers.
Row . Down my heart!--
Injurious Arthur! even this from thee,
Rowenna's love can pardon.
Arth . Love!--Thy Love?
The love of Vortigern's polluted wife?
Row . The love of her who was, erewhile, the wife
Of the polluted Vortigern. But crimes
Like his dissolve the settled charities
Of conjugal affiance.
Arth . O! no doubt
With Purity like thine. And he who (urg'd
By lures, by incantations, and the bowl
Spic'd with lascivious philters) made thee room
For royal spousals in a murderer's bed--
He who, seduc'd by thy idolatrous faith,
Forgot the chaste affinities that link
The social frame of Nature--
Row .----Speak--Speak out.
Why does thy struggling soul forbear to name
What yet it dwells on most?--He whose vile lust
Makes wanton revel in a daughter's arms--
(The arms of Guenever!) deserves to pay
The destin'd forfeit of his crime, and hers.
Arth . His crime and Hers! Makes wanton revel! Hers?
He has not sure-----------------
Row . No sure. The diligent speed
With which she scap'd his custody, what time
(Dreadful Saxon slaughter) you pursu'd
This father lover headlong thwart the realm,
Proves with what fix'd abhorrence she regards
His lawless love, and how prepar'd she stands
To Act the virgin coyness she professes.
Arth . Distraction! Furies!
Row . What if now my art
Should stretch thy vision thro intruding space--
Rendering the opaque of matter to thy sight
Pervious and clear (for so by spells I can,)
And shew thee thy delusion--shew, reveal'd,
Their present act! and in what amorous folds
They wanton, shameless?
Arth . Give me first my sword;
Touch'd by whose virtue each delusive birth
Of magic dies--abortive: elfe thy spell,
Mocking the couzen'd senses, might betray,
And damn me with illusion. Easier far
To clothe some air-drawn phantom in the form
Of her thy hate calumniates, than to pierce
With stretch of human ken (however sharpen'd)
Yon mountain's, peaky mass, that bars the fight
Towards Gwrtheyrnion.
Sorceress! dost thou blench
The late-flushed cheek, and, with abated eye,
Admit detection? Yes; thou stand'st reveal'd.
Henceforth thy arts at lower quarry fly;
Nor think to taint, with nechromantic frauds,
The fame of Guenever, whose virtue towers,
(Transcendent, like her beauty) far above
Thy foul contaminations: like the orb
That rules the tranquil night--lustrous and pure!--
That on the wolfish howl of Calumny
Smiles, and shines on, unalter'd.
Row . Death to Hope!
This constancy appals me: and my soul
Scarce in The Fatal Sisters more confides,
Or Frea's whisper'd promise. Yet remains
One only effort. Bind him fast, ye elves,
With your enchanted braids. His eyes shall see
Within Gwrtheyrnion's walls--his ears shall hear
What distant he regards not.
Yes, by Hela! ( aside .)
Charm-bound from voice or motion, he shall view
The consummated rape; and his sick soul,
Loathing what now he dotes on, shall resign
To her predestin'd fate this hated she--
This vaunted Paragon. Then, Vortigern,
Thy Cup awaits thee; and my Arthur's hand
Shall light the flame in which my woes expire.

My Fate is in my hand.
I feel my kindling passions move,
Great with Vengeance, great with Love!
Prophetic scenes of promis'd rapture rise;
Doubts disperse, and hopes expand.
Away with suppliant sighs!
Hope returns: Dejection flies:
I feel the kindling passions rise:
My Fate is in my hand.

As they are binding Arthur , a symphony of soft mu-
sic is heard from the lake.
The Lady rises in her
Car. The Demons drop the sword, &c. in great
consternation; and dispersing, are seen flying thro the
air, in their proper appearances of deformity; with a
confused and fearful clamour.
Rowenna and her
Attendants run out on the opposite side.

. Goblins avaunt! nor impious, thus profane
My sylvan confines and irriguous reign.
And thou, brave Prince! behold again restor'd
Thy ravish'd freedom, and thy magic sword:
For; not forgetful of my former love,
Your griefs afflict me, and your dangers move.
Your weak despair yourself will freely blame:
Go,--force your pardon in the field of fame.
Your Knights and Squires already marshall'd stand,
By me redeem'd, and wait for your command.
Refresh'd and vigorous from the genial right,
They burn impatient, and demand the fight;
Not far remote from yon embowering screen.
My instant power shall waft you to the scene.

SCENE V. She waves her trident; and the SCENE instant-
ly changes to a thicket at the foot of The Beacons

The Knights of the Round Table appear as
just rising from their repast.--
Taliessin and other
Bards --playing on their harps. Horses ranged on
each side of the stage, and the 'Squires holding them.
As the
Knights perceive Arthur , they flock
around him; and
Taliessin sings the following
Arthur comes, to Britain dear:
Bid the brazen trumpets blow.
Led by him, we cannot fear
Civil rage or foreign foe.

Chorus of Bards and Knights .

Arthur hail! to Britain dear:
Loud ye brazen trumpets blow.
Led by Thee, we cannot fear
Civil rage, or foreign foe. [ Flourish .

Arth . No thanks, my gallant comrades! 'Tis no time
For verbiage now. We'll write our courtesies
Deep on the foemen's backs. Gwrtheyrnion falls.
My sword is out. The word is--Guenever.
[ They draw . Flourish .

Tal . Let the streaming banner fly.
Wave your flaming falchions high.
Guenever, and Victory!

Cho . See the streaming banner fly.
See our falchions flaming high.
Guenever, and Victory!

Lady . Go, friends of Virtue, Honour, Justice, Love!
Confirm your glory, and your worth approve.
To higher powers I now resign my care,
Then seek my sparry Grot and coral Chair.
Thee--fire-eye'd Seraph!--thee,
That, on thy saphir throne,
Among The Spheres,
With ever-wakeful ministry,
Brac'd in adamantine zone,
Mak'st sea-girt Albion's cause thy own--
Thee, whom the Warrior Host reveres!
Thee, whom the bleeding Battle fears!
On thee I call.
As oft thy guardian care hath spread
The shield of safety o'er the Patriot's head,
Bidding the iron tempest vainly fall,
Propitious now on Arthur smile,
And guard the warrior boast of Britain's isle.
From Foes uplifted mace, and Treason's secret thrall.
Cho . Thee! whom the warrior host reveres--
Thee! whom the bleeding Battle fears--
On thee we call!

Tal . Spread the fervour--spread the song,
Spread the martial flame along,
Rush to fight with loud acclaim;
Warm'd by that Seraphic Power
Who, high-enthron'd in empyrean bower,
Watchful for Albion, joys to wield
The sword of flame;
And the adamantine shield,
Amid'st the direful conflict, spreads
O'er the consecrated heads
Of chiefs devote to patriot fame.
Chorus . Spread the fervour--spread the song--
Spread the martial flame along.

Ar . Sound drums and trumpets.--Bid the martial fife
Pierce the charm'd ear of Valour. Sound the charge.
The cause is Freedom, Love, and Guenever!

Chorus . Wave the falchion--couch the spear--
Blow the brazen trumpet, blow.--
Arthur leads: we cannot fear
Civil rage, or foreign foe.

The Lady of the Lake descends, while The
Knights march across the stage in order of attack,
amidst a flourish of martial instruments

End of the Second Act


The inside of the Castle Gwrtheyrnion. Several servants
cross the stage; bearing boughs and strings of flowers,
dishes, Goblets, &c. as in preparation for a sumptuous
Enter Tristram and Scout.
Trist . Well, here we are, Scout, sound wind and
limb, within the Castle. Our adventure begins under
most happy auspices. Our tale of desertion passes
muster, without suspicion. Our proffered assistance
seems to be very acceptable: and these preparations be-
token no meagre reception. One would think we had
followed the heel of Victory, rather than trod on the
toe of approaching Action.
Scout . Toe! brother Tristram! why 'tis the very
corn we have trod on, to tell my mind o' the matter.
Would we were well thro with it. It is a project big
with dangers.
Trist . Big with water, like a dropsy, you well-hunter!
You swill your coward Fears with the draught of Tem-
perance, as you call it, till every kilderkin of apprehen-
sion becomes a butt; while I, with more inebriate wis-
dom, never fee dangers, but by reflection, on the out-
side of a goblet, or at the bottom of a well polished
tankard; where the convexity of the medium diminishes
their proportions and shrinks them into insignificance.
But away to your task. There is no time to lose.
And as Providence has blest thee with a fine lying face of
thy own, honour thy creator by making the most of it.
Scout . Never fear me. Remember but your own
part as stoutly.
Trist . Mine. Pho! my memory is on the edge of
my sword:--keen and durable. Do you but lie and
wriggle and intrigue through the first part of the busi-
ness--if I do not fight thro the other, may I never be
drunk again with the 'Squires of the Round Table. So
away to your quirks and your quibbles, and contrive to
give the princess Guenever an item of what is in agitation.
Remember--the lone tower is the place. You will find
my Sword and me at the draw bridge, at the time ap-
pointed. [ Exit Scout.
In the mean time, as I am no dab at intrigue, I will
endeavour to kill time, till the time of killing arrives,
with some fool's sport among these scullions. [ Exit .

SCENE II. The Servants, &c. still continue crossing
the Stage.

Rowenna, musing .

"When the bowl again goes round,
"And Vortigern his sleep profound
"Heedless quaffs!"--
O! impotence of memory! to o'erlook
The fated sign, and, with disordered speed,
Anticipate my destinies! For this
My Gods forsake me: to the adverse power
Of dull Savadan's elfin regent elfe
Not obvious. But with happier omens now,
And preordain'd progression, I advance
The twofold work of Fate. Why aye--proceed
Ye menial herd--Mechanic instruments--
Unconcious pivots in the state machine
With which the powerful work!--prepare the feast--
Dress up the joyous hall, with boughs, and braids
Of flaunting fragrance--hung be every feat
With sweets coronal; and the banquet heap
To feign'd Conciliation: nor suspect
What Fate and I determine. Vortigern!
Now feed thy soul voluptuous. Haste--prepare
To revel out thy last: for, even now,
The bowl is pregnant; and the ambrosial draught
Teems with thy fate matur'd. Soon--soon he quaffs--
Quaffs his last sleep profound. Then comes the crown
Of all my feverish hopes; and Arthur's hand
Lights up the flame in which my woes expire.

But, lo! the Banquet waits. I go to greet
At once the nuptial, and funereal treat.
Yet, ere on Frea's name I dare to call,
Descend ye handmaids of the shield-roof'd hall.

Sisters three, in fearful state,
Who at Valhalla's banquet wait,
Watching the nod
Of him, supreme, The Warrior God,
Who, midst the genial rite,
While blithe the amber goblet circles round,
Thro you, inflicts the destin'd wound,
And thins the ranks of fight!--
On you, who wait by Woden's side,
(The dastard's dread, the warrior's pride)
I call--
To hover round Gwrtheyrnion's hall,
And o'er the funeral--nuptial feast preside. [ Exit .

SCENE III . Enter Tristram, armed with sword and
Target; The
Seneschal, and a Sewer.

Trist . And so we are to have feasting before fighting?
master Seneschal!
Seneschal . Aye--and good reasons there be, master
Trist . Aye--I hope the Raisins are good, master
Seneschal, or they will make an ill part of the desert.
But, for reasons less eatable, which be they?
Sen . They be three in number, master Newcomer.
Trist . Hem!--Three!--But three is a favourite
number, I believe, among you Scandinavians.
Sen . True, master Newcomer--and for good reason.
It is mystical and sacred. For example--there be three
sons of Beör (Woden, Vile, and Ve) who knock'd the
giant Ymer o' the head, created the world out of his
carcase, and set his brains a flying thro the air for clouds.
Trist . Hum!--A hum! I can smell it. ( Aside .)--
A pretty piece of flesh, at this rate, your Ymer must
have been, master Seneschal.--And yet, upon second
thoughts, he was but a moody, muddy, addle-headed
sort of a giant, either; or his brains could not have
been converted to such a use.
Sen . Then there be three Fatal Sisters.
Trist . Aye--three Witches, as one might say, master
Seneschal! the eldest of which, by the way, is no
Witch, i'my way of thinking; for she only fortells
what is past: carrying her eyes behind her, as it were.
Strait forward she cannot see so far as her nose. And,
as for the second, (by your account of her) she has no
more foresight than a hare: and yet, she seems more in-
debted to her eyes than her understanding for her repu-
tation in the world. Her glances go, bolt shot, in all di-
rections, thro all impediments of space and matter: like
a lance thro a battered buckler. She can see all the ble-
mishes that a maid hides with her mantle, or a batchelor
under his gabardine, as plain as a carbuncle on a nose
of four inches; but as for how long the batchelor shall re-
main a batchelor, or the maid a maid, master Seneschal!--
Sen . Why for that, master Newcomer, she refers you
to her younger sister. And this, by the way, brings me,
pat, to three other Sisters, of a very different description,
(not but they, also, have something to do with our des-
tinies, master Newcomer!) I mean the three smirking
damsels, that wait on The Propitious Goddess, to whom
the aforesaid maids and batchelors offer up their vows,
when they wish to be maids and batchelors no longer.
And then there be three Giants of Frost; three War-
hounds, that guard the Gates of Hela; and three Valky-
ries, that wait on the banquet of Woden, in Valhalla.
Sewer . Very true, master Seneschal: but what has
all this to do with the reasons for our banquet?
Sen . Why much, master Sewer:--much.
Trist . Aye, very much, master Sewer: for a Ban-
quet is a Banquet, whether in Valhalla or Gwrtheyrnion:
Is it not? master Seneschal! There's affinity, for you,
imprimus. Then, in the second place--for we can find
three affinities, or similitudes, in this case, also--Can we
not? master Seneschal!--In the second place, a full sto-
mach is better than an empty one, in Gwrtheyrnion as well
as in Valhalla--Is it not, master Seneschal? There's af-
finity for you, again, or the devil's in it. And then, in
the third place, (which brings us to our point;) there are
three reasons for the banquet, in one place, as well as the
other--videlicit--there be victuals to eat--there be people
to eat them--and there is a place in which they may be
eaten. Which, also, may in three diverse ways be
stated--to wit, Imprimus, The passivity, or the victuals
eatable--the locality, or the place of eating--and the
agency, or the persons to eat. Secundo, The prompti-
tude, or or desire of eating--the aptitude, or convenience
of a place to eat in--and the plentitude, or abundance
of things eatable. Tertio, Yearning of the bowels, or
the hungering after--temptation to the eye, or the pre-
sence of the things whereafter we hunger--and ministra-
tion copulative; or the tables and benches, in the great
hall; whereby the parties are enabled to approximate, the
come-at-ability of the desired is facilitated, and the desirers
are fundamentally accommodated.
Sen . Right! right! master Newcomer! Truly, for
all thou beest a Welchman, and I a Saxon, I desire thy
further acquaintance; for thou seemest learned in these
matters, and of an excellent wit.
Sew . Why now, by your leave, master Seneschal, all
these be good reasons for banqueting at all times--but
they be no reasons for banqueting before battle.
Sen . Short--short, master Sewer. If they be good
reasons for banqueting at all times, then be they good
reasons for banqueting before, as well as after.
Sew . Aye; but the specific, master Seneschal! the
Trist . Why the specifics be three, also, master Sewer.
Imprimus--there is fish to be eaten; and they are best
to be eaten fresh--Secundo, fighting is hard work; and
good eating and drinking minister to strength--Tertio, it
is thought best to eat first, lest a part of the guests should
get their bellies so full of fighting, as to have no appetite
left for any thing else.
Sen . And, if these tripple reasons satisfy not the tender
conscience, there is yet behind, a reason omnipotent,
which is one and indivisible, namely, that The Fates
would have it so.
Trist . The Fates! How so? master Seneschal.
Sen . Why, to tell you a secret--our mistress has been
making a journey into hell.
Trist . ( aside .) Aye, aye, to bespeak apartments I sup-
Sen . And, as she reports it, The Fatal Sisters or-
dered this banquet.
Trist . Did they so? Faith I shall have a better opi-
nion of them, for the future, than I used to have.
Sew . Aye, and so shall I. Od zookers! I cared not
if our Mistress went to hell every day, at this rate.
Sen . It is necessary, it seems, that the reconciliation be-
tween her and the King should be thus celebrated; and
that, in token of their re-union, she should present him
with a Cup of her own mixing; as she did at their first
meeting; and then all is to go well.
Sew . Good! master Seneschal. And yet our priests
will have it that it is not orthodox: because, in Valhalla,
Woden and his Monoheroes always fight first, and ban-
quet afterwards.
Trist . Aye, aye!--they want one half of us to get
a quietus before the banquet, that there may be a double
share of the baked and boiled for them. But as for
those Monoheroes, I have a song about them: and, if the
harpers and trumpeters will bear me out with an accom-
paniment, I care not if I sing it to you.

O! your joys of Valhalla to me they are all mere
Greek, Sirs,
Where you fight till you are kill'd--
[Kill'd?--well: and what of that? If it were but once,
and away, one would not mind it--(&c. &c. ad
.) But there--why
There you're kill'd and kill'd again, every day of the
Week, Sirs!
And after that, you get so drunk that you scarcely can
speak, Sirs!
And these are the joys of Valhalla!

There ten-hundred-times ten-thousand, Sirs, as I am
a sinner,
Hack, and hew, and thrust, for fun--
[O very pretty fun, to be sure--Here a leg, and
there an arm; and there a little scratch; just thro
the scull to the chin; and there a head off, whisp!
--(&c. &c.) for thus
They hack, and hew, and thrust, for fun; and both
the loser and the winner
Are cut up just like pork, ere they set them down
to dinner.
These, these are the joys of Valhalla!

Then for knives they use their swords, and for forks
they use their lances,
And their shields are turned to platters--
[Aye, leave them alone for good spacious trenchers.
Their hacking and hewing, and cutting and thrust-
ing, get them a good appetite, I'll warrant--A
chine of beef, a goose, and a turkey, are nothing
under a Monohero's doublet--and so

Their shields are turn'd to platters; and a thousand
such like fancies,
And a Death's head, for a goblet, their drink very much
These, these are the joys of Valhalla!

Now your eating I have some, and your drinking
much delight in;
And I've no great objection to your tilting and
your fighting---
[No, it shall be seen, by-and-by, that, sword and
target, cut and thrust, hack and hew, here a
head, and there a limb, (&c. &c.) little Tristram
will play his part with the best of you:

For I've no great objection to your tilting and your
But as to getting drunk after being kill'd,--
Why, that I think, they're not right in.
Altho 'tis the joy of Valhalla!

Then their modus bibendi , to me, it is mightily
droll, Sirs--
And the scull of a foe, is a very strange sort of a
wassail-bowl, Sirs--
[O, lud! I'm all in the horrors to think of it.
Who the devil could set himself soberly to work
to get drunk, with a death's head in his hand? Be-
sides how the devil do they manage it?

For the scull of a foe is such a very strange sort of a
bowl, Sirs,
That I am very sure I should spill--out at either
eye-hole, Sirs,
Ere it got to my mouth in Valhalla!

Then give me still a banquet of your mere mortal cooking--

[Nay, no cooking at all--Radishes and raw turnips;
an apple, and an onion--or a good Welch leek
(&c. &c.) in a thatched cottage, rather than chines
and turkies, in your Hall of Shields--

Yes, give me still a dinner of such plain vulgar cooking;
And ere ale in a scull, I'll drink Adam's ale the brooke in:
And, if there's any other heaven I can find a fly nook in,
I'll be damn'd if I'll go to Valhalla!
[ Exeunt .

SCENE IV. A confused and tumultuous noise within.
Shrieks, and a cry for help.--A deep groan is heard.
Enter several
guests and servants, flying, to and fro,
across the stage, in terror and astonishment.
Dirgeful music, from the Harps, within.

Enter Rowenna, in a great agitation. Edelthred.
Agga, &c. following .

Row . 'Tis done!--'Tis done!--The charm is bound:
Vortigern his sleep profound
Has quaft. ( A groan within. )
He dies! ( a groan. ) He dies! ( a groan .) He dies!
For this below ( with half-thaw'd eyes )
Icy Hela, shouting, laught. ( Groan again .)
He dies! He dies!
To the Nine-fold Realm he hies--
Misty region!--cold, and dark!
Grymer leads the tripple growl.
Now they open. Now they howl. ( Barking below .)
Hark! ( Barking ) Hark! ( Barking ) Hark!
Loud the ravening hell-dogs bark.
Fenrir shakes his chains below:
They yell!--the Giant Sons of Woe!--
And wide the creeking portals throw.
Clank of chains, and growl, and bark----
Hideous discord! ( Clank of chains ) Hark! ( A deep
) Hark! ( barking ) Hark!-----
Ed. Ag. &c . Hideous discord! Hark! hark! hark!

Accompaniments of barking, howling, &c. Then, a
solemn pause; and a sudden transition to soft and me-
lancholy music; principally of Harps and Flutes.
body of Vortigern is carried across the stage,
accompanied by
Courtiers, Domestics, Sol-
diers, &c. &c. while the Bards sing the follow-
in dirge.

Mourn, Britons, mourn the mighty fall'n:
The sceptred hand is cold.
The imperial brow in dust lies low,
By sudden Fate controll'd
Mourn, Britons, mourn the mighty fall'n:
The sceptred hand is cold!
[ Exeunt with the Body .

Rowenna ( after a pause .)
Why should this moody dirge, these solemn sounds
Of grief-full mockery, and this apish train,
That mourn but by contagion from the harps
Of hireling choristers, infect my eyes,
Or chill my veins with horror?--Up! to arms,
Ye firm Resolves! and fortify my soul
Against invading Conscience. True, he sleeps--
Sleeps with the dead!--my some-time plighted lord--
By me, he sleeps his death. But Fate's, not mine,
Is all the guilt--if guilt. The Fates decreed,
And I but did their biddings.--But a wife?---
A wife!--Away: I never was the wife
Of such a thing as Vortigern. My soul
(That scorns affiance with the low and vile)
Wedded not him, but Empire; and to that
I still am true and loyal: making way,
By this predestin'd act, for happier rule,
And a more worthy master. Arthur's hand
Shall heal thy griefs, and mine--Heav'n-favour'd Isle!
And congregated Britain bless the deed.

Join, then, the chaunt to Frea. Frea now,
Propitious Goddess! may accept the vow;
To her, and Gna, swell soft the melting strains--
For theirs what yet of destiny remains.

Queen of Pleasures! Queen of Smiles!
Goddess of resistless wiles,
And Love's extatic glow!
Thou, who, erst, the golden tear
Shed'st o'er Balder's early bier,
And felt'st the touch of tender woe--
Propitious Goddess! hear.
Ed.Ag.&c . Queen of Love's extatic glow--
Propitious Goddess! hear.

Row . O! send the herald of thy will,
The throbbings of the heart to still,
And whisper Peace and Love!
The imperfect work of Fate complete,
Till sigh with sigh, responsive, meet:
O! first of genial powers above!
Propitious Goddess! hear.
Ed. Ag. &c . First of genial powers above!
Propitious Goddess! hear.

Trumpets, without, and a cry of The foe! The foe!
Alwin enters, with great precipitation .

Alw . Most noble Queen! Arthur has gain'd the heights.
His trumpet sounds defiance at our gates;
And down the steep, to this our mid-way strand,
His shouting legion pours: their banner'd vans
Chiding, with fluttering speed, the buoyant air;
Like wings of eagles, when they downward rush
To pounce their shrieking prey.
Row . Hang out the flag
Of friendly parley. This is welcome news.
The tyrant's death makes way for gentler warfare--
More mild arbitriment than flings and darts:
And this shall first be tried.

Enter a second Messenger.

Messenger . Revolt! revolt!
Treason is in our walls; a treacherous band
Of lawless Britons, headed by the twain,
Who, with their proffer'd service, late arriv'd,
Have borne the Princess to the lonely tower,
By sudden inroad seiz'd, and now maintain'd
In Arthur's hostile name.
Row . ( eagerly .) The lonely tower?
Mes . The same that, circled by the deep-delv'd moat,
Stands insulated: less by tactic art,
Than by the never-ceasing spring, that laves
Its circular base, defended.
Row . Fire the bridge!--
This news is welcome too. My fates prevail!
No weapons use but fire.--Propitious powers!
Ye faithful Fatal Sisters!--Shaft and fling
Were sacrilegious here; were impotent.
Fire, fire, I say. The first that brings me word
The turrets flame (be he the meanest drudge
That ever pioneer'd before a host)
Shall rank, for wealth and power, with Woden's line.
Exeunt Alw. and Mes.
Yes!----"My rival to confound,
"Fire and water shall surround--
"Ruthless flames, and waves profound!"

Sweet Hope my heart beguiles:
My bosom swells--my pulse beat high;
And softer heaves the fluttering sigh.
Propitious Frea smiles! Exeunt .

SCENE V. The outside of the Castle, situated half way
up the Beacons; at that part now occupied by the Lake
back ground. The Keep, or round Tower, appears
detached from the rest of the fortification; and sur-
rounded by a wide moat. The drawbridge, between it
and the Castle is drawn up; and
Tristram and
Guenever are seen upon the Walls. The other
parts of the Castle are, also, defended by a moat; the
drawbridge being up. A perpetual shower of fire-
brands is discharged, from the Castle, upon the Keep.

( hurling back the brands, as they are thrown .)
Fire for your fire, ye Salamanders! if that's your game.
But here comes one will fire you prettily; I'll warrant.

Trumpet-chorus of Bards and Knights, as Arthur,
and his Train are entering.

Trumpets sounding, falchions flaming!
Rush, ye chiefs to glorious fight:
Fame, the while, your worth proclaiming---

Arth . Destraction!--See upon the keep (surpris'd
By Tristram's politic valour, to secure,
During our fierce assault, from chance of war,
Or worse internal treason, the fair prize
Of all our sleepless perils) what fierce shower
Of hellish engin'ry, incessant, hails,
Threat'ning a fate of horrors. Sound the trump--
The trump of parley.---Guenever!

Guenever . Oh! heav'n!
Arthur! my lord! my hero!--in thy fight---
O! cruel destiny!
Arth . The trumpet sound. [ A parley sounded .
If maid, or child, or matron they would save
From retributive vengeance, let them cease
This war of fire;

(Rowenna, attended by Alwin, and several Saxon
and British Nobles, &c. appears on the walls .)
or, by the Eternal Truth,
Whom my soul worships! soon Gwrtheyrnion's walls,
Prostrate on earth, shall form one common tomb
For every Saxon thing that breathes within;
And these my gallant knights, horribly smear'd
With your idolatrous blood, shall, o'er the heap
Of mingled wreck and carnage, wave their swords,
And shout "Extermination!"
Row . Angry prince!
Why to our flag of conference answer you
With such ungentle outrage? Were we bent
On hostile fury, we have means within
To battle this gay phalanx; tho renown'd,
(As frankly we admit) for warlike deeds,
Thro all the peopled earth. But, in our hears,
The touch humane of cordial sympathy
Is now more vital than revengeful wrath
And national aversions; which too long
Have thin'd our rival tribes. Therefore we arm
Our tongues with gentle courtesies, not hands
With weapons of destruction; and invite
To equal brotherhood your warrior Knights--
Yourself, to equal empire.
Arth . Empire, shar'd
With Vortigern and thee?
Row . That Vortigern
No more presents a barrier to the hopes
Of Anglia and of Britain; cold he lies
Beneath the fresh-laid turf; and, with his sleep,
The bleeding realm is pacified.
Arth . How?---How?---
Did I then prophecy? Most murderous fiend!
Thy husband, and thy sovereign!
Row . Why on me
(Injurious!) charge the sure decrees of Fate?
Arth . Fate, that would deal in murders and in crimes,
Shall never want (while thou infest'st the earth)
A ready instrument. No more. Break off
The impious parle. The martial chorus raise;
And let our battering enginery upheap,
Of these polluted stones, a monument
To Britain's murder'd King: foul tho he were,
Of these, not meriting so foul an end.

Cho . Trumpets sounding, falchions flaming,
Rush, ye Chiefs, to glorious fight---

A Briton ( from the Walls .)
A while forbear!--For what do we contend?
For what deform the enamell'd turf of peace
With our unnatural slaughters? Arthur, hear--
Rowenna, and the undisputed crown
Of Britain and the auxilliar tribes of Elb,
Are thine, without a crime.
Arth . Without a crime,
Vile Briton!--This from thee, whose King, even now
(Your own elected King!) in death lies low
By her abhor'd contrivance!--Without crime?
Is it no crime to league with Murder, then--
Domestic Murder, Witchcraft, and the rage
Of foul adultrous Lust, and all the swarm
Of most abhor'd pollutions, that combine
In her detested nature, and infect
The very air she breathes in?--making all
That come within thy atmosphere of crimes,
As hateful as thyself--thou, World of Sins!
Guilt's fair, yet foul epitome!
Row . Ye Gods
Of Asgard and of Niflheim! is it thus
Ye cheat my hopes?
Yet, fair! He owns me fair!
That's something. And, perchance, when yonder witch
No more with philtering charms can drug the sense,
I may seem fair alone; and, rivalry
No more obtruding, the impassion'd touch
Of Nature's strong propension may subdue
This pride of ethic reason. The loos'd eye
Of youthful appetite, that, 'mong the forms
Of soft obstrusive beauty, somewhere must
Dwell with more ardent gaze, from mine, perchance,
May catch contagious fire; and Arthur yet
Light up the flame in which my woes expire. ( Aside .)
Why cease the brands, ye tardy ministers
Of our imperial mandate? Who again,
(Command who will) till yonder turrets flame,
Does in the fiery warfare but relax,
The pains of Treason wait him.
( The assault on the Keep is renewed .)
Arthur ( who, during the foregoing soliloquy, had
conversed with
Guenever, across the moat, in
dumb show
.) Quick---repeal
That hideous mandate; or, by utmost hell,
Whate'er of torment human wit can frame--
Whate'er of ignominy (torturous more
To thy imperious spirit) shall avenge
The damned deed.
What? ha! No respite? Fiends!
Sound--sound the trumpet. Peal the assailing hymn,
Ye bards, and rush to combat. ( The assault begins ).

Chorus . Trumpets sounding, falchions flaming,
Rush, ye chiefs! to glorious fight:
Fame, the while, your worth proclaiming,
Thro the nations wings her flight.
Rush to conquest! rush to glory!
Like the brave of ancient story.
Trumpets sounding, falchions flaming,
Rush to conquest--rush to glory!

The Bards join in the conflict. The drawbridge of the
Castle falls; and that of the Keep, together with the
Keep itself, is fired, at the same time. Shouts and
flourish, as of triumph, from both parties.

Arth . The drawbridge falls. Assail! assail the gates.
Guenever . Oh, Arthur! Arthur!
They reach--they scorch me. O, the flames! the flames!
Arth . My arm avails not. Conquest is in vain!
Distraction! vengeance!--O, some vast revenge!
Some mighty ruin!--that the world might crack,
And Universal Nature, with her wreck,
Hood yon devouring flames!
Row . The Phoenix burns!
And, from the odorous ruin, mine the love,
With renovated wing, shall soar aloft,
Gorgeous in natal triumph.-----'Tis complete. ( Aside .)

Schulda, thanks! The charm is bound.
Now, my rival to confound,
Fire and water both surround.

Arthur's arm no help shall lend,
No mortal power the Maid befriend,
Nor aid from pitying heaven descend.

Schulda thanks! My doubts retire.
Arthur soon shall light the fire
In which my sorrows all expire.

Arth . A brand! A brand! Hell-hag--thy prophecy
(Whatever juggling demon gave it shape)
Soon I fulfil. Tristram, a brand! a brand!

Tristram throws several brands to Arthur and
Knights: Rowenna starts, with a terrific
shriek, as they seize, and brandish them on high.

Row . Furies of Hela's shades! Is this the flame?
Arth . Oh! Guenever! thus at thy funeral pyre,
I offer up thy hecatombs. Come on,
If not for preservation, we are arm'd
At least for vengeance. Hell-hag! thus I light
The fated flame in which thy woes expire.

He fires the Gates; and presently the whole castle ap
pears to be in flames, in the midst of which
and her partizans sink. In the mean time, the flames
make a more feeble progress in the Keep; where
Guenever and Tristram stand .

Air and chorus of unseen Spirts .
She shrieks!--She dies!--Our mistress dies!
Spirits--Spirits!--haste away:
Scatter thro the lurid skies.
Asi's Gods in pow'r decay.
Demon Gods confess, with fear,
Their fated twilight hovering near.

Ar . Vengeance! thy dues are paid. But Love! O, Love!
Hast thou no interest at The Mercy Seat?--
Nor suffering Innocence?-------My Guenever!
( She disappears and Tristram follows .)
Oh! torment!---torment! Thus, before mine eyes!--
Not even the wretched privilege resev'd
To perish with her--in one dear embrace
Forget the searching fury of the flames,
And mix our wedded ashes! Might one not,
Of desperate resolution, make a bridge
Enough substantial for a lover's weight,
Buoy'd by such dire extremity? At least,
We'll try the hazard. Ho! for Guenever!

[ He runs towards the moat, which he is about to leap;
when suddenly the whole pile of building, Castle and
Keep together, and all the ground they occupied, sink
down. The space becomes filled by a pool of Water.
In the place where the round tower stood,
The Lady
of the Lake appears in her chariot, with Guen-
ever seated by her side, and Tristram behind .
The Chariot and, &c approaches the shore. Scout comes
swimming after.
Arthur and Guenever rush into
each other's arms.
. All-gracious powers!
Guen . My hero!
Arth . O! My Love!
Trist . ( springing upon land ) Huzza! Huzza! Didn't
I tell you little Tristram would fight his way thro it.
If there was no help from Heaven above, or the Earth
beneath, there was some in the Waters that are under
the earth, my blinking prophetess!
Why, how now, Scout?--What, my amphibious! my
water-spaniel! You've had enough of the draught of tem-
perance, I hope. This comes of your fears and pre-
cautions. If you had drank valiant Cwrw, as I do, and
stood, to the last, at the post of danger--why you had
arrived on Terra Firma, with dry breeches, my boy.
Arth . And is it realis'd?--And art thou safe?--
Safe and unhurt, from those devouring flames
That threaten'd thy chaste beauties?
Guen . Free! Unhurt!--
Save in thy frantic terrors!--There I bleed--
Here--in this storm-rent bosom. ( Laying her hand upon
his heart
.) Arth . 'Tis at rest:
If blessedness be rest.-- O, sacred power
Of flame-defying Chastity!--And thou! ( To the Fairy .
Lady . See, Arthur, see! to crown your matchless worth,
Nature relents, and miracles have birth,
The tribute spring that wont its course to take,
Thro secret veins, to feed my broader Lake,
A lake itself now spreads at my command,
And long, an emblem of your Fame, shall stand,
An alpine wonder in the Cambrian land.
Meantime accept, from two-fold dangers freed,
This beauteous maid, your Valour's noblest meed.

Beauty, Truth, and Innocence,
Sweetly blending all their charms,
Valour's guerdon, I dispense:
Take them, Hero, to thy arms.
Virtue with such Graces blending,
'Twas a prize well worth contending:
Worth thy perils, toils, alarms:
Take her, hero, to thy arms:--
Feast of Reason! feast of Sense!
Beauty, Truth, and Innocence.

Chorus . Valour true to Virtue's side,
Worth, by sharp affliction tried,
Merit well the blooming bride
On whom propitious Fates dispense
Beauty, Truth, and Innocence.

Arth . O! sacred Guardian!--But all words are weak:
I can but sigh my raptures; gaze my thanks,
And, in the precious gift, the giver prize.

Tali . Trumpet's clangors, Arms that rattle,
Dreadful thro the bleeding battle,
Now, a while,
For kindling Beauty's roseate smile--
Soothing softness! we forego.
Haste Thee, Love! the wreath bestow.
Witching smile
And sportive wile
That sense of wearied worth beguile;
And Stelth, that love's coy nectar sips;
And tilt and toy of parrying lips;
Eyes that swim; and hearts that glow;
And parly with the yielding foe;--
These, for laurels, Love! bestow;
And we again will fight thy battle.

Bard . Haste thee, Boy! But wing thy arrows
With the dove's plume; not the sparrow's:
Turtle, that, in thickest grove,
Guards the nest of absent love.
And still, as Valour's meed, dispense
Beauty, Truth, and Innocence.
So, when storms of danger rattle,
We again will fight thy battle.

Chorus . Beauty, Truth, and Innocence
Still, as Valour's meed dispense;
And, when storms of danger rattle,
Valour's sons shall fight thy battle.

Lady . But see below, how from the misty vale
The day retires, and twilight shades prevail.
Soon shall those shadows up the mountain spread,
And Night involve Farinioch's peaky head.
One thing remains: to wast my chosen son
To Ca&emul;r Leon: then my talk is done.
There Britain's chiefs assembled, even now,
Prepare the regal fillet for thy brow.
Ye sightless agents of the charmed air!
Sustain our weight. Behold: for we are there.

Scene VI. She waves her silver Trident, and the
scene changes to Caer-Leon, in all its fabled grandeur;
splendidly illuminated, and decorated with martial
trophies, banners, wreaths, and braids of flowers,
and other sumptuous preparations for the coronation of
Arthur. Nobles, Bards, Ladies, Youths,
and Maidens with baskets of Flowers, Maskers,
Revellers, &c.

La . Here youths and maids your gather'd fragrance fling:
Behold your promis'd Chief--your patriot King.

The Youths and Maidens strew their flowers; and the
Chiefs, &c. prevent the regal fillet to
Arthur, who
binds it on the brow of

Tal . Hail Britian's pride! immortal Arthur hail!
Thy honour, name, and praise shall never fail!
Cho . Hail Britain's pride! immortal Arthur hail!
Thy honour, name, and praise shall never fail!
Lady . Thus cover'd with glory, thus blest in thy love,
To empire promoted, thy virtue to prove,
Forget not that worth, in the sunshine of joy,
That griefs could not quench, or afflictions annoy.
Let your valour protect, but not ravage the state;
And cherish the Low, while you rule o'er the great;
So the bard, yet unborn, shall your triumphs proclaim,
And the nations around thus re-echo your Fame--
"Hail Britain's pride! immortal Arthur, hail!
"Your honour, name, and praise shall never fail."
Chorus . Hail Britain's pride! &c.--

Talies . Wake the Harp to strains of pleasure!
Let the sportive train advance:
Ring of shields, and pyrrhic measure!
Warriors, lead the nuptial dance.

A Dance of Warriors .

War and Toil have done their duty:
Let your weary'd worth repose.
Love succeeds; and smiling Beauty,
With our laurel twines the rose.

A Dance of Virgins who crown Arthur and his
Knights with chaplets.

Chorus . Love and Glory, thus uniting,
All their mingled boons confer.
Arthur, lo! thy worth requiting,
Empire, Fame, and Guenever.
Lady . Now, my talk perform'd, I fly
To my secret bowers, that lie
Where the Day-Star never came,
With his searching eye of flame.
There, in virgin state, I rove
Thro' sparry dome, and coral grove,
Self-illum'd with many a Gem
Might grace a monarch's diadem.
Response below, as the Chariot rises .
Lady! Lady! haste to rove
Thro' sparry dome and coral grove.
See your Swans their traces shake,
Regent of the silver lake!

Lady . There, where bubbling fonts arise
And the blue-eye'd Naides
Thro the chinks, in many a rill,
Their salubrius boons distill--
There I join the virgin throng,
Warbling oft the choral song
That brooks and echoing falls repeat,
To Fancy's ear, in numbers sweet.
Response of Nymphs below .
Lady! Lady! haste along:
Join the Choir, and join the song;
Sadly sweet, the rocks among.

Lady, as she seats herself in the Chariot .
Sisters, I the call obey,
Seek the Grot, and join the lay;
Where the chrystal fountains,
From their mountains,
To their vallies haste away.

May those fountains, Lady kind!
Still their wonted channels find,
Nor ever water-nymph neglect
The silent tribute of respect,
But, thro many a secret vein,
Still the purer essence strain,
And thy mystic urn supply;
Never turbid, never dry:--
Urn so pure, that Lunvey's tide,
Thro its waters doom'd to glide,
Silent, with unmingling wave,
Hastes the wooddy glen to lave,
And there, to list'ning groves, complains
Of Love o'erawed, and stifled pains;
With virgin beauties aye embrac'd
Which yet he must not hope to taste.
May ever on thy brink appear
The earliest fragrance of the year,
And lingering Autumn in thy face
Reflected see his latest grace;
While still, as circling hours prevail,
The matin Lark and Nightingale
The song of lengthen'd rapture wake
To hail the Lady of the Lake.

Blow the martial trump again,
Give to Fame the closing strain--
Fame, that shall her wreaths confer
On Arthur and on Guenever;
And bid her loudest clarion wake,
To hail the Lady of the Lake.

The Curtain Drops.

Next: Kathanal, by Katrina Trask [1892]