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An Arthurian Miscellany at




Dramatis Personae --

MERLIN, an Enchanter .
ALPHONSO, lover of Elmira .
MARCUS, his friend .
ELMIRA. Spirits, Furies, &c.


ACT I.--SCENE i.-- An uninhabited country at the mouth of a Cave--Enter Merlin.

From the caverns of the earth
I, Merlin, have derived my birth;
All the elves that flit in air,
Or skim the wave, my livery wear--
The spirits of the misty deep,
Come at my call, my mandates keep;
I can the nimble lightning bind,
And chain the sharp and whistling wind:
Or call from out the stormy north,
The fell Borean tempests forth.
To me futurity unveils,
And destiny submits her scales:
The gloomy caves of hell I tread,
And hold dire converse with the dead!
Along the dread Erebian coasts,
I've wandered with the gleeting ghosts;
Or mounted on the winged blast,
Thro' heaven's etherial arch I've past.
Hither, spirits, hither fly,
From the portals of the sky:
From the surface of the deep,
Where the frothy waves ye sweep;
From the intermediate air,
Hither at my call repair.
Ye who on mankind attend,
Hither your swift pinions bend,
For human weal, I call you here,
On the confines of this sphere.

Enter Spirits.

Spir. --We are here.
1st Spir. --What to do?
Mer. --I call you from the regions of the air,
By the soft influence of a virgin's prayer--
For on the flowery margent of that stream
That glows and sparkles in the solar beam,
A hapless maiden kneels with grief opprest,
And tears her golden hair and beats her breast.
As mounted on an airy courser, I
Roam'd in the precincts of the lower sky,
I saw the damsel, like a lovely flower,
Drooping and drown'd beneath an April shower.
All pitying I, lent a propitious ear,
And so attending heard the damsel's pray'r,
And hence I learn'd a lover she deplores,
Condemn'd to visit India's burning shores;
What dangers wait him on the watery way,
Her love and fears alternately pourtray,
And fill her breast with many soft alarms,
Lest fate should not restore him to her arms.
The young Alphonso wooed the charming fair,
Whose father turned aversely from his prayer,
And bids him seek for wealth in foreign lands,
Where India spreads her coasts of burning sands;
But when the smiles of fortune he shall gain,
The sire's consent Alphonso shall obtain.
Twelve times the moon her crescent hath display'd
And Titan's annual cycle hath been made,
Since the fond lovers parted on that spot,
Where still she lingers to deplore her lot.
But now returning to his native shore,
Alphonso cuts the foaming brine once more.
And, if no envious power forbids, twelve hours
Shall land him safe on Hudson's bank of flowers.
Haste then o'er ocean, on the winged gale,
Or, in a sea-shell on the surface sail,--
Or let the nimblest and most airy spright,
Encourser'd on a beam of golden light,
Seek out the object of the maiden's prayer,
And him in safety o'er the salt sea bear.
1st Spir. --'Tis done. [Exit.]
Merlin --You take the figure of a female friend,
And on the love-lorn damsel's steps attend:
Whisper soft consolation in her ear,
And bid her bosom banish every fear.
2d Spir. --I'll take the form of Clementine her friend,
And on the love-lorn damsel's steps attend [Exit.]
Mer .--Hence to your several tasks etherial band,
Brought hither by the waving of this wand!
Lo, I dismiss you to the air again,
Or to the bosom of the beating main;
Spread your light pinions, and with viewless flight,
Swift as the arrows of the god of light.
Haste to those regions subject to your sway,
The purple ether,--and the watery way,
Till on the surface of this mundane ball,
Again I summons;--then obey my call.
Ex. Spir. & Mer. severally.

SCENE II.-- the Sea-shore--Thunder--Enter three furies, Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone--They perform a mystic dance. Song, by the three.

Now the sea-mew spreads her wing,
And from her sandy bed doth spring,
Mounting in the murky air,
While the vivid lightning's glare.
Now the sea-mew screaming flies,
While the thunders shake the skies;
Sisters, hither have ye come,
From the black Tartarean gloom,
To work our spite in human woe,
And bid the tears of sorrow flow--
By the livid lightning's flash,
By the thunder's solemn crash,
By the terrors of the wave,
(Full many a human wnad'rer's grave)--
By all the trembling ghosts that glide
On Lethe's dark and weedy side,--
Let the foaming billows rise,
Till yonder ship in ruins lies.
Alec. --See,--she tosses on the billow,
Soon to be the sailor's pillow!
Blow ye tempests, roll thou thunder,--
Lightnings rend the gloom asunder,--
Bursting in the dusky air,
See the lurid meteor's glare:--
Blacker still the clouds appear,
Tremble mortals,--men must fear.
Meg. --Ah, now she founders on a fatal rock,
Hark!--all the shores resound with th' dire shock.
I hear the hapless wretches groans arise,
With stifled screams, thick sobs, and bitter sighs.
Sisters, well done, Alphonso sees no more,
The fair Elmira, and his native shore,--
For in the bottom of that ship he lies,
And if no power forbid, Alphonso dies.
Tis. --Wretched mortals, doomed to death,
Ah, how fleeting is your breath,
Ah, how frail is human kind,
Senseless, thoughtless, weak and blind.
Sisters, let us haste from hence,
O'er the watery space immense,
And seek againour silent caves,
Beneath old ocean's dark blue waves--
Quickly, quickly let's descend,
Pluto's summons to attend. [ Exeunt .]

SCENE III.-- The Banks of the Hudson

Elm. --Even here beneath this lofty spreading oak,
Blasted and withering with the lightning's stroke,
fit emblem of my fortunes, I will wait
The final doom that shall pronounce my fate.
Ye pitying heav'ns, if such a wretch as I,
May call upon the mercy of the sky,
O let me be by hopes no more misled,
but your red lightnings give me to the dead.
This is Elmira's last and latest prayer,
Robb'd of all joy, and sentenced to despair.

[ Enter 2d Spir. in form of Clementine. ]

Spir. --Be comforted my friend, good omens bring
A store of consolation on their wing.
I saw two ring-doves from the green-wood fly,
And Jove's bright bow suspended in the sky.
These signs to you glad tidings do portend,
Then cease your tears, and bid your sorrows end;
And here I promise that another wane,
Shall give Alphonso to your arms again.
Elm. --What pity such sweet friendship want the pow'r
To cure those griefs it hath the will to heal.
Spir. --Let not my good intentions fail, Elmira,
And trust my prophecy shall be fulfill'd.
Before another moon fades by degrees,
From midst yonconcourse of attending stars,
Alphonso shall return.
Elm. -- Hope I have banished--
Alphonso never can to me return:
A cruel father's harsh command forbids it. [ Sings. ]
Ah, wretched is the maiden's lot,
Who loves a wand'rer of the sea,
In foreign climes by him forgot,
What shall her consolation be.
Or if his love indeed be true,
Alas, a thousand griefs arise,
Eternal perils him pursue,
And she in sadness pines and dies.
Spir. --Elmira, I have tidings of Alphonso!--
Elm. --O, Clementine, you are my friend indeed.
Is he alive and well?
Spir. -- He is, Elmira,
And homeward bopund, and if I judge aright,
He will be with you e're another night.
Elm. --Farewell to grief, now joy supreme be mine,
Come let us away, my faithful Clementine. [ Exeunt .]

SCENE IV.-- The Sea-shore -- Enter Alphonso.

Alp. --I only 'scap'd the perils of the wave,
And cast upon a barren savage shore,
Thrice happy they who find a watery grave,
For they are safe, and tempest-tost no more.
My brave companions rest you there in peace:
Death bids your cank'ring sorrows all to cease.
Me fate severe condemns to live in woe!
But hold my tongue, let silent sorrows flow.

[ Enter Marcus at a distance. ]

Mar. --The storm hath ceased, lo! in the silv'ry clouds,
The bow of Iris spreads its welcome round,
Embracing the glad earth.--What see I here!
Another person scap'd the wreck!--thank heaven
It is Alphonso--Poor unhappy youth,
Thou wilt not thank thy stars for preservation.
thou oft hast wish'd to die, but death flies from thee,
(Like some coquette that will not, when she's wooed)
And now, when he no doubt would be most welcome,
When thou hast lost the all thy toil has gain'd,
Like other friends he leaves thee in thy need.
Alphonso, ho!--
Alp. --Who calls Alphonso!
Why make these rocks to echo to a name
That fate but sports with; leave me all alone.
Mar. --How now my friend,--is this a place to show
Such humours to a friend so lately found!
Alp. --I know no friend but death--
Mar. -- And he deserts you.
Alp. --I will fly to him.
Mar. --Forbear,--he is a monster,--
A savage tyrant, whose unfathomed maw
Feeds indiscriminately on friends and foes.
Come, let us seek some place to find repose.
Alp. --Ay, in the grave,--no other place is given.
For man to rest beneath the arch of heaven.--[ aside .]
My friend, I am but faint--leave me awhile--
Seek you some cave where we may rest outselves,
Then bring me word, and I will hence with you. [ Exit Mar.
Now since my ticket in this lottery
Of man's existence hath come up a blank,
I will expunge my number from life's book.
I will not be a minion on this earth,
To curse my fate, and quarrel with my stars,
But from the summit of yon promontary,
That juts its brown head o'er the swelling surge,
I'll cast myself into the deep below!--
Forgive me heaven if I act wrong in this!
I toil'd beneath the burning influence,
Of suns that shot their perpendicular ray
Upon my fated head,--to gain that wealth
Which now the envious se hath swallowed up!
And now Elmira never can be mine.
Then welcome friendly death;--to thee I fly,
And beg forgiveness from the power on high. [ Exit. ]

ACT II.--SCENE I-- The Coast near Merlin's Cave.

Enter Merlin.

What adverse power hath call'd this tempest up?
While in the dark, dank caverns that extend
From yonder rocky hill, to this sea-shore,
I sat upon a block of polished steel,
And muttered charms to sprights and bat-like elves,
That flitted by me in the sullen gloom,--
I heard the tempest shake the cavern'd rock,
And ocean dash'd his salt-spray to my feet--
Yea, penetrated to that deep recess,
And, but for my forbidding wand, had whelmed
Me in its foaming surge.--I'll see anon,
Who dares to check me in my forceful spells.
None but the Omnipotent alone hath power,
Who rules the highest hierarchs of heaven.
If all the powers of hell and earth combine,
Their force united cannot equal mine.
I'll call my spirits, and the cause explore,
That made the winds arise, and billows roar.
Hither, spirits, hither haste,
O'er the wild and watery waste,
Through the fields of purple air,
Hither at my call repair.--[ Waves his wand .]

Enter Spirits.

Have you perform'd all that I have enjoin'd?
1st Spir. --I have performed it well.
2d Spir. --And I.
Mer. --Mark'd you who was the mover of this storm?
1st Spir. --I saw the triple sisters who delight
On human kind to vent their bitter spite:
who bring war, tempest, pestilence and flame,
And all woes else, hence furies is their name:
Like winged harpies, I beheld them fly,
While horrid darkness followed thro' the sky,
And lighting on the margent of the deep,
They bade the winds arise and tempests sweep.
While I the charge you gave me did attend,
On all the ship sulphurious fires dewscend;--
Around the masts the thick'ning vapours clung,
And all the shrouds in dripping tatters hung.
And now the vessel mounts a dizzy height,
Now in the sea-trough seems to sink outright;
At length she dashes with a shivering shock,
Upon the pointed shelving of a rock--
Alphonso scap'd, and one companion more,
Unseen, I brought them safely to the shore;--
The rest to death the furies have consigned,
And in the deep one common cerement find.
And now, obedient to your call I come.--
Mer. --Well done, my spirit.--What success had'st thou?
2d Spir. --I found the fair Elmira in tears,
And left her smiling in renovate joy.
Mer. --Likewise well done--But I must hence away,
To Lapland's freezing clime, to bring a root,
None but myself doth know:--Till I return,
Which shall be e're the evedning sun descends,
Each to his task.--Invisible remain,
And guard the youth and maiden from all harm.
[ Ex. Spirits. ]
I must annul the fatal sisters' charm.

SCENE II.-- Discovers Alphonso preparing to cast himself from a rock.

Alp .--That man alone is free who fears not death.
This world is but a prison hours, from which
Millions of doors stand open;--who will then
Groan in captivity, and in willing bondage
Spin out a life of weariness and woe,
Cross'd and defeated in his warmest hopes,
The sport of fortune and the mark of fate,
Whose arrows fall with far more virulence
Than the Indian's venom'd shaft.
Who would dwell
Among a race that prey upon each other?
I'd rather house me with a host of fiends--
Demons have mercy , human kind have none
But malice, envy, interest--blacker fiends
Hell never in its utmost hate brought forth!--
These take possession of our earthly hell,
and banish pity from the human breast.
O tyrant gold,--the rankest curse that Jove
E'er in his vengeance sent upon mankind:
Parent of human ills, war, rapine, murder,
Are still attendant on thee. One more sin
I add to they account,--it is self-slaughter.--
I have determined--
O Elmira!
The strongest tie that links me to this earth,
Might I but send this parting breath to thee,
Which, like a useless thing, I cast away,
It should inform thee of a mine of love
(Richer than all that wealth the sea hath swallowed,)
Which now has residence within my breast,
But soon must be dislodged from thence by death.
Farewell--I go--forgive me gracious Heaven!--

[ Enter Marcus and seizes him. ]

Mar. --What means this fury--wretched man forbear!
Art thou so quit with Heav'n, to draw so much
Upon its mercy,--See the gulf before thee,
Nor trifle on the brink of an abyss,
That swallows, but ne'er renders back again.
Eternity!--say hath that word no terrors?
Rash man, wilt thou the almighty vengeance dare,
And hurl defiance to the throne of God.

[ Enter Spir. invis. ]

Nay, Struggle not,--you shall not do a deed
In this wild fit of mementary passion,
A deed that ages never can undo.
Thou'lt thank me for preventing thee hereafter.
Come to the cave,--be calm, your crime is great,
May heaven's forgiveness on repentance wait.
1st Spir. --I'll take a human form, and follow them. [ ex.

SCENE III.-- A Wood -- Enter Furies.

Alec .We the human breast control,
Pour dark passions in the soul,
We mankind to sin incite:--
Envy, jealousy, and spite,--
All the fiends that vex the race
Of mortals us their rulers place.
Sisters, whither shall we fly,
Through the earth, or thro' the sky,
All our aim and object still,
To do mankind the greatest ill.
Meg. --Alphonso hath escaped our rage,
Merlin war with us doth wage--
Merlin's all-controlling wand,
Sisters, how shall we withstand.
Tis. --Merlin's wand cannot disarm,
This our last most potent charm,
But the lovers both shall fall,
Victims to our ireful gall;
Nought can save them from our wrath
But a root that Lapland hath;
Buried in the earth it lie,
Hidden from all human eyes,
Sisters, fear not Merlin's wand,
We his fury can withstand.

SCENE IV.-- Merlin's Cave on the sea-shore.

Mar. --Think what a precipice you have escap'd!
Alp. --Ay, as a wretch 'scapes drowning to be hung.
Mar. --Heav'n yet hath happiness in store for you.
Alp. --Heav'n husbands well. No doubt I'll die its debtor.
Mar. --Think on its mercies, O Alphonso.
Alp. --Ay, so I did--I thought upon my death.
Mar. --How could you bear the idea of self-murder!
Alp. --Better than I could bear life's burden.--
Mar. --Than black ingratitude, a deadlier sin
Ne'er stained the catalogues of human crime,
And yours is worst,--ingratitude to Heaven.
Alp. --Not so,--I wish'd to pay the debt I owe it,
The debt of nature--even before 'tis due.
Mar. --This is but mochery; heav'n yokes thee with existence,
And darest thou cast it off, and say to heaven
I will not bear thy burden? This is madness!
No more--here comes a person to the cave--
He seems a laboring peasant by his dress.

[ Enter 1st Spirit. ]

Hail, friend, whence came you, and for what intent.
Spir. --I chanced to see you enter in this cave,
And curiosity hath brought me hither,
To know what men you be; can I do aught
To give you pleasure,--I am at your service.
Mar. --We are two mariners escaped from shipwreck,
And seek a shelter in this silent cave--
Can you procure us food.
Spir. -- I can and will.--
But why art thou, young man, so much cast down.
Hast thou lost some dear friend in this sas wreck.--[ To A.
Mar. --Ay, he has lost his wealth.
Spir. -- Of what description?
Alp. --A wooden casket, interlaid with gold,
In which I had deposited some stones,
Gems of high value, and som precious pearls.
Spir. --I can procure it.
Alp. Go, you mock us,
'Tis buried in the bosom of the deep,
Beyond all chance and hope of a recovery.
Spir. --Stay you but here awhile, and I will bring it;
Nay, do not follow me, I must alone.--
Mar. --Come back, Alphonso, better here remain,--
This man perhaps can bring the casket to us.
Alp. --Tell me--have you seen it--have some pity,
And do not keep me in suspense, I pray you.
Spir. --If you will stay I'll bring the casket to you--
But if you follow me, I must not get it.--[ Exit.
Alp. --Hope shines not here, or if it deigns to shine,
'Tis like the gleamings of a winter's sun,
Through leafless trees, upon the frozen ground.
Mar. --I feel a goodly boding; sure this man
Will restore your casket to you--I perceived
From the expression of his countenance
He meant not to amuse him with your sorrow.
Alp. --I have been tutored to adversity:
Misfortune still attends me from my cradle,
And aught of good seems supernatural;
I can't give credence to it.--Mark you this,
We shall be disappointed,--I know well.
Tut, think you I should meet with such good luck
To find the casket, with my buried hopes!
Why all the miracles upon record,--
The loaves and fishes, healing blind and lame,
Could never equal that.
Mar. -- You are too desponding;
There still should be a medium, twixt despair
And hopes too sanguine:--both alike mislead,
Tho' in a different way. Some men would seem
Never to keep the true and mediate path,
But wander on this side to seek for flowers
Or on that side to stumble in the ditch.
If hope seduces, with a harlot's wile--
Despair enslaves us, with an iron grasp.
Then rouse and shake this bold intruder off,
Nor let your manhood be ta'en prisoner
By sour-eyed despondency; let sighs and tears
Be still the love-sick virgin's last resource,
But men should be above such female weakness.

[ Re-enter Spir. with casket. ]

Alp. --[ Running to him. ]--It is,--it is my casket,--
Oh God!--my friend,--I never can repay you;
Thanks are too poor to speak my gratitude.
Spir. --Come with me hence, I'll lead you to a cottage
That's seated on the green declivity
Of yonder hill.
Mar. --We will follow you.--
Learn hence, Alphonso, never to complain
Of Fortune's gifts,--and ne'er despond again.
Heav'n holds the scale, and justice guides the beam.
We rise and fall by turns at each extreme.

ACT III.--SCENE I.-- Elmira's dwelling, near the banks of the Hudson --
Enter Elmira, weeping

Elm. --Now be the sun for-evermore obscured;
And blotted from the pages of the sky;
Be all those adverse stars the characters
Of my unhappy fate:--Thick and unwholesome mists
Wrap the green earth, that nature's self may sicken,
And with one deep and mighty groan expire.
Alphonso, buried in the whelming wave!
Are these the joyful tidings that portend:
O Clementine thou has deceived thy friend,
With false, deceitful hopes--what have I now
To live for,--since Alphonso is no more.
But I will not survive him,--love forbid it--
I will not live,--my plighted faith forbid it.
Alphonso,-- Death shall not dissolve our vows,
Elmira follows thee--this very night!--
Yea, ere the sun, with his descending beams
Plays on the turrets of the city spires,
This vial shall unite us yet once more:
I'll keep thy counsel;--her comes Clementine.

Enter 2d Spir. in form of Clemnentine.

Spir. --How fares my gentle friend?--
Elm. --Why--so--I have received some tidings.
Spir. --What are they, sweet Elmira?
Elm. --Have you heard nothing lately of importance
That much concerns me?
Spir. -- Why nothing,
But that Alphonso shortly will return.
Elm. --Clementine, thou knowest
How long I mourn'd his absence;--daily I
To yonder tree, where often we have met
And interchanged our vows of mutual love:
thither I would repair, and think on him,
And thinking so, the summer's day seem'd short.
O Clementine, I ne'er shall see him more!
Spir. --This is self-tormenting:
Ideal fears that haunt the sick man's breast,
And rob the tender virgin of her rest.
Art thou not well my friend?--
Elm. --I shall be better shortly.
Spir. --Sweet I hope so.
Elm. --Leave me Clementine.--[ Ex. Clem.
I will not burden thee with my afflication.
This certainty is easier to be borne
Than, that suspense with which my breast was torn.
Now I'm resolved. [ Exit.

SCENE II.-- A Wood -- Ent. Furies.

Alec. --Soon shall titan's car descend
To where the sky and ocean blend,
And with blushing beauty greet,
Each the other when they meet:
I the fatal letter bore,
To the fair on Hudson's shore--
With the tidings of her grief,
From which in death she seeks relief.
Meg. --And now the charm is almost done,
'Tis finished with the setting sun:
On yon glimmering star I sate,
The star that rules these lovers' fate.
And their mischief there I plann'd
Safe from force of merlin's wand.
Tis. --Who can 'scape the furies' ire,
Arm'd with pestilence and fire,
Sword, and tempest,--who shall dare
With the furies to wage war.

[ Enter Merlin. ]

Mer. --Hence, ye black fiends, to your infernal home
In hell's deep arches, fill'd with damps and gloom!
Hence, know 'tis Merlin gives you this command,
And dread the waving of this potent wand.
Fur. --Merlin, the sisters heed not your command,
Nor dread the waving of your forceful wand.
Mer. --By the pale spectres, and the shades below,
By the thrice-triple streams that round them flow,
By earth's green bosom, and the heaving main,
I charge you hence.
Fur. --That charge is also vain.
Mer. --By the blest mansions, and the courts above,
By the almighty name of deathless Jove,
Go hence!--
Fur. --Great Magus, we cannot be driven
From hence, by earth, by ocean, hell or heaven.
Mer. --Yet mark this root of a peculiar worth,
Born in the bosom of the frozen north,
By this I charge you to your depths again,
Your charms annul'd--your machinations vain.
[ Furies vanish.
Now will I haste these lovers to unite,
Thus free'd forever from the sisters' spite.-- Exit.

SCENE III.-- Elmira's dwelling. -- Elmira, sola.

Elm. --O ever thus may joy succeed to grief,
A change so sudden taxes my belief.
Even in the hour I had resolved to die,
Alphonso's letter met my joyful eye.
By this I learn'd he had escaped with life,
Love saved him in the elemental strife.
This night we meet on the accustomed spot
Beneath the oak--Propitious heav'n befriend,
Nor let thy boundless goodness be restrain'd.
O Time be quick--anoint thy chariot wheels,
That they may sleekly roll away the space
That separates Alphonso and Elmira.
O may kind Heaven smile on our interview,
And may we never, never part again.--[ Sings.

In the desert of life tho' thorny the way,
In pity kind Heaven hath lent
One charm to beguile it and make it look gay,
And give the poor trav'ler content.

O what is that charm--such a path to beguile,
With thorns and with thistles o'erspread,
O say what can make such a sesert to smile,
As thro' its dark shadows we tread!

'Tis klove hath the power to soften each woe,
That a man in the wilderness meet,
What a ray of beatitude love can bestow,
The poor forlorn wand'rer to greet.

Love is the sweet solace of each earthly care,
By Jove in his pity 'twas given,
To be our balm in adversity here,
And prepare us for joys of heaven.

SCENE IV.-- Banks of the Hudson -- Enter Alphonso.

Alp. --If there's a joy that human kind can feel
And angels envy,--'tis when the banish'd wretch
Returns to his own home--to life and love.
Methinks Dame Nature never look'd so gay,--
The trees, the fields, the stream all seem to smile
In sympathy with my unspeakable joy.
Soon, soon Elmira, we shall meet again,
And heaven to compensate for all the woes
I have endured, shall give me thee, Elmira--
O rich reward,--a maiden all unmatch'd,
In mind and person; whose beauty raises wishes
Her virtue awes, with sense of sacrilege.
A mind as far superior to the crowd's
Love, grovelling thoughts, as her celestial mould
Is to the grossness of their sordid clay.--[ Enter Elm.
She comes, O Heaven!--this moment pays for all.
[ They embrace.
Elm. --Alphonso!--in that name there is a charm
That could not be forgotten for a moment.
Daily have I resorted to this spot,
And wrote Alphonso in the yellow sand,
Which, when the rising tide would wash away,
I turn'd to read it printed in my breast,
From whence nought could it banish or expunge,
But it stood firm as sculptured adamant.
Alp. --Dear maiden, let us bury sad remembrances
Of troubles past in dark oblivion's grave,
And now to bliss our future life consign,
And heaven smiling on our vows shall give
Long years of gladness--Come away with me.--[ Exe't.

Enter Spirits -- Song.

Spir. --While the shadows of evening
Are gathering around,
Still loving to linger
On this holy ground,

The spirits that wander
O'er ocean, through air,
By the soft rays of moonshine
Do hither repair.

United by marriage,
The bridegroom and bride,
Have all the enjoyment
To virtue allied.

And O thus forever
Shall true love be blest,
Then lovers be constant,
And fear not the rest.

Tho' clouds of misfortune
May threaten awhile,
Be patient and trust that
Kind Heaven will smile.

Like the pale lamp of Phoebe,
Your pleasures may wane,
But short is the season
Ere relumined again.

Then spirits with gladness
Your voices all raise,
Singing peace to the lovers
And Merlin's great praise.

Enter Merlin.

Mer. --To Maridunum's caverns, dark, profound,
Which walls of polished ebony surround
With mystic characters engrav'd--and signs
Of constellations,--every star that shines,--
I go,--and midst those spectral glooms I'll call
To that enchanted, subterranean hall,
A multitude of fiends from Orcus' shore
Or those compel to labour till the sun
Nine times thro' heav'e his annual orb shall run.
with charms of force, a brazen wall I'll rear
Around Cairmardin,--that in future there
Unharm'd lby foes, I may prusue that lore
Which erst hath been the source of all my power.
Those dark, mysterious volumes that contain
The scrolls of fate, I will peruse again;--
And still to human kind a friend I'll prove,
Man the chief object of my care and love!--
So hushed and still all nature seems to lie,
We almost hear the choristers on high,
The bands angelic, whose nocturnal flight,
And songs seraphic sanctify the night.
When morn shall call you to your tasks again,
Spirits that wander o'er the earth and main,
Guard well your sacred trust!--If hostile powers
Oppose their charms malevolent to ours,
Swiftly the tidings to my cell convey
and their designs in ruil will I lay.--[ Exeunt.


Next: Ballad of Sir Launcelot, by John Grosvenor Wilson [1886]