Friday, March 30, 2007

Sydney Dobell—Balder: Scene XXXVIII

The Hill-side. Enter

I that walked
All this long night upon the bare hill-top
Grow heavy in the sunshine and would sleep.
[He lies down and sleeps—after a while starts up.
This dream! why I came leaping out of it
Half-witted and half-dead as one escapes
From dungeons into air. I must have wept, too,
The grass below my face is all bedewed,—
[Turns and sleeps—Leaps up with disordered looks.
No, no, it cannot be, it must not be,
It shall not be!—Amy!—
[Looking up, his eye catches the clouds.
You white full heavens!
You crowded heavens that mine eyes left but now
Shining and void and azure!—
Ah! ah! ah!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!
By Satan! this is well. What! am I judged?
You ponderous and slow-moving ministers,
Are you already met? Are crimes begot
Above? And do we sin to give the train
And hungry following of the stately gods
An office? Doth their pastime tarry there
Because I lag? Is it to be endured
That while I sleep the ready forum forms
About me, and the conscript fathers wait
The unaccomplished wrong? Hence! clear the heavens!
Break up! What! can I not so much as dream
But your substantial thunders must surround
The ghostly fault, and with material towers
And bodily environment hem in
The thin unflesh'd commission? Do you close
Upon me like a weary prey run down,
Stalked to the final onset? But I live!
Will you sit at the board while the meal walks?
How if you are too soon? Who sees the game?
Look down upon us here—which is your man?
What have I done? My hands are white—behold!
You solemn imperturbable o'er-high
All-seeing and prededicate avengers,
For once ye sit in vain! My will is not
Yours; nor shall any terrors of your loud
Discomfiture, nor any warning sign—
No, tho' the rocked right half of heaven rolled o'er
And stood at heaps on the sinister side—
Unplant my fixed resolve. Mine eyes do pierce
The lower ostentations of your brief
And temporary royalty to reach
A Paramount Supreme.


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