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And words of true love pass from tongue to tongue, As singing birds from one bough to another. PRECIOSA.—That were a life indeed to make time envious ! I knew that thou wouldst visit me to-night. I saw thee at the play. VICTORIAN.— Sweet child of airl Never did I behold thee so attired And garmented in beauty, as to-night! What hast thou done to make thee look so fair? PRECIOSA.—Am I not always fair? VICTORIAN.— Ay, and so fair That I am jealous of all eyes that see thee, And wish that they were blind. PRECIOSA.— I heed them not ; When thou art present, I see none but thee! VICTORIAN.—There's nothing fair nor beautiful, but takes Something from thee, that makes it beautiful. PRECIOSA.—And yet thou leavest me for those ~ dusty books. VICTORIAN.—Thou comest between me and those books too often I I see thy face in everything I see! The paintings in the chapel wear thy looks, The canticles are changed to sarabands, And with the learned doctors of the schools I see thee dance cachuchas. PRECIOSA.— In good sooth, I dance with learned doctors of the schools To-morrow morning.
VICTORIAN.— And with whom, I pray ?
PRECIOSA.—It is no jest; indeed it is not.
PRECIOSA.— Why, simply thus.
for alms; With such beseeching eyes, that when I saw thee I gave my heart away! PRECIoSA.— Dost thou remember When first we met 2 VICTORIAN.— It was at Córdova,
In the cathedral garden. Thou wast sitting Under the orange trees beside a fountain, PRECIOSA.—"Twas Easter Sunday. The full-blossomed trees Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy. The priests were singing, and the organ sounded, And then anon the great cathedral bell. It was the elevation of the Host. We both of us fell down upon our knees, Under the orange boughs, and prayed together. I never had been happy till that moment. VICTORIAN.—Thou blessed angel ! PRECIOSA.— And when thou wast gone I felt an aching here. I did not speak
To any one that day. But from that day Bartolomé grew hateful unto me. * VICTORIAN.—Remember him no more. Let not his shadow Come between thee and me. Sweet Preciosal I loved thee even then, though I was silent 1 Preciosa—I thought I ne'er should see thy face
again. Thy farewell had a sound of sorrow in it. VICTORIAN.—That was the first sound in the song of love! Scarce more than silence is, and yet a sound. Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings Of that mysterious instrument, the soul, And play the prelude of our fate. We hear The voice prophetic, and are not alone. PRECIos A.—That is my faith. Dost thou believe these warnings? VICTORIAN.—So far as this. Our feelings and our thoughts Tend ever on, and rest not in the Present. As drops of rain fall into some dark well, And from below comes a scarce audible sound, So fall our thoughts into the dark Hereafter, And their mysterious echo reaches us. Pl:ECros A.—I have felt it so, but found no words to say it! I cannot reason; I can only feel ! But thou hast language for all thoughts and feelings. Thou art a scholar; and sometimes I think We cannot walk together in this world ! The distance that divides us is too great I Henceforth thy pathway lies among the stars; I must not hold thee back.
VICTORIAN.— Thou little sceptic!
Is her affection, not her intellect:
Are infinite, and cannot be exhausted.
PRECIOSA.—Yes, that I love thee, as the good love
But not that I am worthy of that heaven.
VICTORIAN.— Loving more.
PRECIOSA.—I cannot love thee more; my heart is
ull. VICTORIAN.—Thenletitoverflow, and I will drinkit, As in the summer-time the thirsty sands Drink the swift waters of a mountain torrent, And still do thirst for more. A WATCHMAN (in the street).- Ave Maria Purissimal 'Tis milmight, and serenel VICTORIAN.—Hearst t.ou that cry?
PRECIOSA.— It is a hateful sound,
Doth scare the timid stag, or bark of hounds The moor-fowl from his mate. PRECIOSA.— Pray, do not go! VICTORIAN.—I must away to Alcalá to-night. Think of me when I am away. PRECIOSA.— Fear not I have no thoughts that do not think of thee. VICTORIAN (giving her a ring). —And to remind thee of my love, take this; A serpent, emblem of Eternity; A ruby, -say, a drop of my heart's blood.
** PRECIOSA.—It is an ancient saying, that the ruby Brings gladness to the wearer, and preserves The heart pure, and, if laid beneath the pillow, Drives away evil dreams. But then, alas! It was a serpent tempted Eve to sin. VICTORIAN.—What convent of barefooted Carmelites Taught thee so much theology? Precio”,o her hand upon his mouth).-Hush | h
us Goot and may all holy angels guard thee VICTORIAN.—Good-night! good-night! Thou art my guardian angel I have no other saint than thou to pray to
(He descends by the balcony.)
PRECIOSA.—Take care, and do not hurt thee. Art