صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][ocr errors]

My pregnant soul; the mighty plan is forming;
It grows, it labours in my ardent bosom;
It springs to life, and calls for instant action;
Lead on, exert thee, goddess, till the furies,
Which heretofore have thunder'd at thy heels,
Start at the new-born horrors of this night. [Exit.

Ven. Oh! Dumnorix, how virtue hath recoil'd
Upon itselfl my interposing pity,
Thy manly firmness in a gen'rous act
Gave these disasters being.

Dum. I forbid thee
To blame thy virtues, which the gods approve,
And I revere. Now leave me to concert
With our surviving chiefs the means of safety.

Ven. Oh! that, like me, compliant, at thy word
Peace a benign companion would attend,
And moderate thy cares, while I depart.

Dum. Have I been guilty? answer me, my heart,
Who now wouldst burst my agonizing breast,
Hath Dumnorix been guilty: Wilt thou, Britain,
To me impute the horrors of this day?
Perhaps a Roman's policy had yielded,
And to a colleague's cruelty and pride
Had sacrific'd humanity and justice ?
I did not so, and Albion is destroy'd.
Yet, oh, be witness, all ye gen'rous spirits,
So lately breathing in those heaps of death,
That in this day's extremity and peril,
Your Dumnorix was mindful of his charge ;
My shiver'd javelin, my divided shield,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

And blunted sword, be witness for your master,
You were not idle in that dreadful hour;
Nor ev'n amid the carnage pil'd around me,
Will I relinquish my pursuit of hope
Hope may elude me -For myself I fear not-

Venusia -Hal prepare, my soul-
There is thy struggle, on her tender mind
To graft thy firmness, which can welcome death,
And hold it gain, when liberty is lost. [Exeunt.

But my

ACT IV. SCENE I.

Enter DUMNORIX.

Dumnorix. Till good Tenantius and the rest return, I have been led by solitary care To yon dark branches, spreading o'er the brook, Which murmurs through the camp; this mighty

camp, Where once two hundred thousand sons of war With restless dins awak'd the midnight hour. Now horrid stillness in the vacant tents Sits undisturb'd; and these incessant rills, Whose pebbled channel breaks their shallow stream, Fill with their melancholy sound my ears, As if I wander'd like a lonely hind, O'er some dead fallow far from all resort :

Unless that ever and anon a groan
Bursts from a soldier, pillow'd on his shield
In torment, or expiring with his wounds,
And turns my fix'd attention into horror.
Venusia comes The hideous scene around me
Now prompts the hard but necessary duty.-
Yet how to name thee, death, without thy terrors i

Enter VENUSIA.
Ven. Thou didst enjoin my absence. I departed.
With ill-tim'd care if now returning

Dum. No.
Ven. Alas ! deep-plung'd in sadness still I find thee.
Dum. Dost thou? Come nearer. Thou hast seen

this day,
How thy perfidious, thy invet'rate sister
Hath stain’d my glory, and my fortune baffled ;
Thou hast receiv'd me vanquish’d, who before
Was us’d to greet thee with the sound of conquest.
Now tell me truly; am I still the same
In
my

Venusia's Ven. What means my lord ? Dum. Am I still lov'd and honour'd, as before? Ven. Canst thou suspect that fortune rules my

love? Thy pow'r and honours may be snatch'd away, Thy wide possessions pass to other lords, And frowning heav'n resume whate'er it gave, All but my love, which ne'er shall know decay, But ev’n in ruin shall augment its fondness.

Dum. Then will my dictates be regarded still.

eyes ?

Ven. Impart this moment thy rever'd commands; And if it prove within my slender pow'r To ease thy troubles, I will bless the gods, And, unrepining, to our fate submit.

Dum. Think not my own calamities distress me;
I can encounter fortune's utmost malice :
But, Oh! for thee, Venusia-

Ven. Do not fear.
While in these faithful arms I hold my lord,
I never shall complain. Let ev'ry ill,
Let ruin and captivity o'ertake me,
With thee I will be happy.

Dum. Ha! Venusia !
Could thou and I find happiness together,
Depriv'd of freedom? Dost thou mark?

Ven. I do.

Dum. Thou art most fair; but could thy lovely face Make slavery look comely? Could the touch Of that soft hand convey delight to mine With servile fetters on?

Ven. Why dost thou gaze
Thus stedfastly upon me?

Dum. I would have thee
Reflect once more upon the loss of freedom,

Ven. It is the heaviest sure of human woes.
Dum. “ Learn one thing more, and, though re-

lentless Heav'n
“ Its care withdraws from this ill-destin'd isle,
“ Thou, in the fall of nations, shalt be safe.”
Oh! heed, Venusia! never did thy welfare

Raise in my breast such tender cares before;
“ Else from the public danger would I spare
“ These precious moments to assist thy virtue."

Ven. Thou mak'st me all attention.

Dum. Reach thy hand. Now, while I hold thee, do I bless Andate, That this free hand, protected by my sword, Hath not yet known the shameful doom of bondage.

Ven. Nor shall I know it; thy unshaken valour
Will be my safeguard still.

Dum. If fate confounds
My utmost efforts, can I then protect thee?

Ven. Why dost thou lead me to despair? Why fill
My breast with terrors? Never did I see thee,
Till this sad hour, thus hopeless and dejected.
Oh! how shall I, a woman weak and fearful,
Sustain my portion of the gen'ral woe;
If thou, in perils exercis'd and war,
Dost to ill fortune bow thy gallant spirit ?

Dum. Think not, Venusia, I abandon hope. No, on the verge of ruin will I stand, And, dauntless, combat with our evil fate; Nor till its rancour bear me to the bottom, My soul shall ever entertain despair: But as the wisest, and the best resolv'd, Cannot control the doubtful chance of war, I would prepare thee for the worst event. Ven. Fly where thou wilt, my faithful steps shall

follow. “I can pursue thy course with naked feet,

« السابقةمتابعة »