Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

ADELE.

Yet ask me not to raise my voice in song;
Your words, they are such music to my soul,
1 fear me of succeeding. Thy very face
Breathes harmony ;-yes, sweetest music!

MARGARET.

Didst learn this in a hedge ?

ADELE.

Yes; from the quickset of that lady's eyes.

[blocks in formation]

Pretty gipsy, my heart is very sad ;-
Wilt lighten it? Methinks, within thine eyes
There is a merry joyousness; a light
That can, on my unhappy life,
Throw rays to guide me unto happiness.
Wilt please thee tell my fortune ?

ADELE.

Give me thy hand. Oh, thou most beautiful!

(Iola gives her hand-Adele fixes her gaze

on Iola-Iola looks on the ground.)

IOLA,

Oh, fie!
I cannot look on thy dark eyes.

ADELE ( takes Iola's hand).
What have we here? I would I held it not !
I'd swear 't was chiselled snow,—so dazzling
In its whiteness is thy lovely hand,
But that its vital warmth belies my sight !
How beautiful, and soft, and small it is!
Oh, let me worship it!

IOLA.

How you tremble, flatterer?

ADELE.

Tremble !

Like as a harp-string at a master's touch,
Even so feel I at thy sweet presence !
What have we here ? A cross-bar through thy hand!

[blocks in formation]

Misfortune. Yet never shall misfortune touch
One who is so fairly bright and brightly fair.
Listen, lady!

There is an eye above shall light thee;

A hand most mighty that will save !
That eye will light, that hand defend thee,

Which stamps the bound'ries of the wave.
Then do not sigh, my gentle one,

But dry the tear which dims your eye;
For though bright days are fled and gone,

We must not CHERISH MISERY !

IOLA.

We must;—we must! On me will never shine
Those happy days I pictured as divine !

MARGARET.

Heyday! What's this?—what's this ?

ADELE.

Thou lovest one who once to thee has spoken:
One worships thee who knows not of thy love:
Another seeks thy hand, but no love-token
Given by him shall e'er your fixed heart move.

IOLA. 'Tis true,—'tis true! Oh, let me weep, I pray! (Sobs.)

MARGARET. You silly child! Gipsy, you must go. (To Adele.)

IOLA (starting, and running to Adele). She SHALL NOT ! That is, I pray you, dear, kind nurse,

To let her stay. What is thy name, my pretty girl ?

(Margaret retires to flat.)

ADELE.

They call me Adele.

IOLA (giving her hand). There is my hand ;-speak,-speak again !

( Adele takes Iola's hand and kisses it.)

ADELE.

Behold!
A sea-girt coast, with wild breakers dashing
Over a long-extended plain of sand;
And by the splashing spray a figure stands:
A world he is creating in his mind;
That world art thou !
Behold, with tearful eye he wanders o'er
The shining ocean-sands in dreamy state,
And fancies every bird which skims the sea
Bears on its wings the spirit of his love!

IOLA (with impassioned eagerness ).
Ah, let me fly unto him!

MARGARET.
I do not understand a word of this.

ADELE.

I'm only telling how some lovesick swain
Fell ill, and died, because the one he loved
Said yes with eyes and hand, but no with lips.

MARGARET.

'Tis very true, no doubt. I do bethink
'Tis forty year ago, come Christmas tide,
How one Josias Sniggs did die of love
Because I did such things. Ah, me!

ADELE.

The very thought does make your heart grow sad.
But cheer thee, dame; this ribbon is for thee.

(Showing a pink ribbon.) I would be sworn that once it matched thy cheek ! And here a book, with all the days o' th' year : It tells thee what to do, and how to do it; What days are lucky, what misfortunate; How that some day good folks will onward go, From one end to the other of the world, By means of boiling water !-a thing which cannot be. How, at that time, a lady, fair and young, Twin-sister of a morning born in May, Shall sit on Albion's throne ! Her sceptre shall be changed by her touch; The lustrous purity of her blue eyes Shall make it glow with life,-an olive branch It is within her royal hands !

MARGARET.

My pretty maid, what says it more ?

ADELE. The four divisions of the orbed world Shall bow their glittering heads, and own its power; And from the branch she bids the dove go forth, And bear a living leaf to every man ! Take it, good Margaret. ( Margaret takes the book, and

retires to window in flat.)

IOLA.

Will't bring a leaf to me?

ADELE.

He, whom we saw pacing the golden sands
(Like mate-bereaved bird), with downcast eye,
May bring thee one; but that it bears thee peace
I dare not say !

IOLA.
Ah, yes, it must bring peace !

ADELE. He sends to thee this ring.

[blocks in formation]

It is from one who's dying for thy love;
One who has seen thee, gentlest, at the mass;
One who beheld thee gazing on the waves !

IOLA.
Ah, speak, -speak !

ADELE.

She loves me (aside). I told his fate this morn :
It was a happy one.

IOLA.

And what said he ?

ADELE.

Give her this ring, and bid her, if she love
To heal the deep wounds of a breaking heart,
To wear it for me. (Puts ring on lola's finger-Mar-

garet comes down to the parties.)

MARGARET.
Ha, ha! what words—what words are these?
That ring,-it is an emerald !-didst come
By it right honestly?

IOLA.

See, how her heart is speaking in her cheek !
Pray, heed her not; nurses are sometimes cross.
Fie, Margaret !

ADELE.

Margaret, thou dost not know me.

Sweet lady, By that love I bear thee (for thy sorrows Are the causes of that love); by this heart, Which beats but for thee; by these aching eyes, Which from this hour have sight for naught save thee; And by my sacred faith, which here I pledge To thee;—that ring was honestly obtained !

IOLA.

I doubt thee not, sweet Adele.

« AnteriorContinuar »