« AnteriorContinuar »
And I did never ask it you again ;
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time,
Saying, What lack you ? and, Where lies your grief?
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you, at your sick service, had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning. Do, an' if you will ;
If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
Why, then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall,
So much as frown on you ?
Hub. I have sworn to do it,
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Arth. Ah! none but in this iron age would do it.
The iron of itself, though heat red hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears,
And quench his fiery indignation,
Even in the matter of mine innocence.
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron ?
An' if an angel should have come to me,
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believed no tongue but Hubert's.
Hub. Come forth!
Re-enter ATTENDANTS, with cords, irons, etc.
Do as I bid you. · Arth. Oh! save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes
are out Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas! what need you be so boisterous rough? I will not struggle, I will stand stone still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound !
Nay, hear me, Hubert; drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the iron angerly.
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you
Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within; let me alone with him.
First Attendant. I am best pleased to be from such a
Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend !
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart.
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to yours.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy ?
None but to lose your eyes. Arth. Oh! heaven! that there were but a mote in
yours, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hairAny annoyance to that precious sense; Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there, Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Hub. Is this your promise ? Go to! hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes. Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert. Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, So I may keep mine eyes. Oh; spare mine eyes ! Though to no use, but still to look on you! Lo! by my troth! the instrument is cold, And would not harm me. Hub.
I can heat it, boy. Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief, Being create for comfort, to be used In undeserv'd extremes. See else yourself; There is no malice in this burning coal; The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, And strewed repentant ashes on his head.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert. Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes, And, like a dog that is compelled to fight, Snatch at his master, that doth tarre him on. All things that you should use to do me wrong, Deny their office; only you do lack That mercy which fierce fire and iron extend, Creatures of note for mercy lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes For all the treasure that thine uncle owes. Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy, With this same very iron to burn them out. Arth. Oh! now you look like Hubert! All this
You were disguis’d.
Peace! no more. Adieu !
Your uncle must not know but you are dead;
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports.
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure,
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
Oh ! heaven. I thank you, Hubert ! Hub. Silence ! no more. Go closely in with me. Much danger do I undergo for thee.
THROUGH Gotham, famed in days of yore
For Wits and Sages, green and hoar,
There flowed a river, dull or clear,
Has never reached the Muse's ear;
But this she knows, two banks it had,
With trees and various herbage clad,
On which was built a bridge of stone,
That man and beast might pass upon.
Two clowns from home, one April day,
The genial sun induced to stray,
And on this bridge the waggish Fates
Together knocked their empty pates.
From Gotham each derived his birth,
The genuine sons of parent earth.
Their early youth they'd passed together,
Staunch friends thro' every work and weather,
Till, by his prudent sire's command,
Young Simkin sought a distant land,
There to acquire, in mart and fair,
The art of vending crockery ware ;
Since when, in wintery white arrayed,
Nine times had Nature shivering laid,
And now in robes of vernal green
The tenth revolving year was seen.
What bows, what shrugs, what kind grimaces,
How long close locked in warm embraces,
They stood, of these there needs no pother,
For they displayed not one nor t’other;
Their blood so heavy, thick and cold,
In brisker measures scarcely rolled,
Their joy a phrase no finer knew,
Than " How d'ye, Sim ?” “Thanks, how do you ?"
Then questions followed, pro and con,
Of friends alive, or dead and gone;
Of Cousin Sue, and Jane, and Harry,
Of Uncle John and Sister Mary,
How many daughters Simkin had,
How many boys called Roger dad ;
And fifty idle things, of old
By Sim and Roger done and told.
Their greetings o'er, they turned aside,
And gazed upon the passing tide;
When honest Sim, a prudent blade,
And practised in the arts of trade,
Cried, “What a noble bridge you've got."
“Aye, Sim," cried Roger, “Have we not?
The Lord that owns these wide domains,
Built this brave bridge and still maintains."
“Oh! that this princely bridge were mine,"
Cried crafty Sin,-quoth Roger, “ Thine !"
“Oh! were it mine, just here I'd stand,
A turnpike-man, with ready hand,
And every chariot, coach, and berlin,
Should pay to pass a shilling sterling;
And every whiskey, cart, or chair,
Each ox and donkey, horse and mare,
The toll my will decreed should pay,
Or cross the stream some other way.
From thee," and here he smartly laid
His palm on Roger's shoulder blade,
“From thee, friend Hodge, I'll take no more
For sheep than three good groats a score ;
From every other hand I'll sweep
Just twenty pence for twenty sheep."
“ Thank you for nothing," Hodge exclaims,
While anger all his face inflames;
“ Ne'er did my sheep one farthing pay,
Nor shall they to my dying day.”
66 And do you, fool! my kindness scorn ?".
Quoth Simkin; “With your sheep return,
Not one untolled shall pass.” “They shall,”
Quoth Hodge, “I tell you, one and all.”
Then over head their cudgels rose,
And down they fell in heavy blows
That rattled on the flinty ground,
And echoed from the hills around,
As they with arms extended wide,
And bodies bent and legs astride,
Leaped to and fro, from left to right,
In boisterous, but in bloodless fight;