Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE SPANISH STUDENT.

AN EXTRACT.(a)

VICTORIAN.

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.

PRECIOSA.

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!
Henceforth thy pathway lies among the stars ;
I must not hold thee back.

VICTORIAN.

Thou little skeptic! Dost thou still doubt? What I most prize in woman Is her affections, not her intellect!

The intellect is finite; but the affections
Are infinite, and cannot be exhausted.
Compare me with the great men of the earth;
What am I? Why, a pigmy among giants !
But if thou lovest, — mark me! I say lovest,
The greatest of th ysex excels thee not!
The world of affections is thy world,
Not that of man's ambition. In that stillness
Which most becomes a woman, calm and holy,
Thou sittest by the fireside of the heart,
Feeding its flame. The element of fire
Is pure. It cannot change nor hide its nature,
But burns as brightly in a Gipsy camp
As in a palace hall. Art thou convinced ?

PRECIOSA.

Yes, that I love thee, as the good love heaven;
But not that I am worthy of that heaven.
How shall I more deserve it!

VICTORIAN.

By loving more.

PRECIOSA.

I cannot love thee more; my heart is full.

VICTORIAN.

Then let it overflow, and I will drink it,
As in the summer-time the thirsty sands
Drink the swift waters of the Manganares,
And still do thirst for more.

VICTORIAN.

She lies asleep, And from her parted lips, her gentle breath Comes like the fragrance from the lips of flowers. Her tender limbs are still, and on her breast The cross she prayed to, e'er she fell asleep, Rises and falls with the soft tide of dreams, Like a light barque safe moored.

HIYPOLITO.

Which means, in prose, She's sleeping with her mouth a little open!

VICTORIAN.

o, would I had the old magician's glass To see her as she lives in child-like sleep!

HYPOLITO.

And wouldst thou venture ?

VICTORIAN,

Ay, indeed I would !

HYPOLITO.

Thou art courageous.

Hast thou e'er reflected How much lies hidden in that one word, now ?

VICTORIAN.

Yes; all the awful history of Life!
I oft have thought, my dear Hypolito,
That could we, by some spell of magic, change
The world and its inhabitants to stone,
In the same attitudes they now are in,
What fearful glances downward might we cast
Into the hollow chasms of human life!
What groups hould we behold about the death-bed,
Putting to shame the group of Niobe !
What joyful welcomes, and what sad farewells !
What stony tears in those congealed eyes!
What visible joy or anguish on those cheeks !
What bridal pomps, and what funeral shows !
What foes, like gladiators, fierce and struggling!
What lovers with their marble lips together!

HYPOLITO.

Ay, there it is! and, if I were in love,
That is the very point I most should dread.
This magic glass, these magic spells of thine,
Might tell a tale 't were better left untold.

HYPOLITO.

With much truth in it.
I hope thou wilt profit by it; and in earnest
Try to forget this lady of thy love.

VICTORIAN.

I will forget her! All dear recollections
Pressed in my heart like flowers within a book,
Shall be torn out, and scattered to the winds !
I will forget her! But perhaps hereafter,
When she shall learn how heartless is this world,
And she will say, 'He was indeed my friend !'
O, would I were a soldier, not a scholar,
That the loud march, the deafening beat of drums,
The shattering blast of the brass-throated trumpet,
The din of arms, the onslaught and the storm,
And a swift death might make me deaf forever
To the upbraidings of this foolish heart!

HYPOLITO.

Then let that foolish heart upbraid no more!
To conquer love, one need but will to conquer.

VICTORIAN.

Yet good Hypolito, it is in vain
I throw into Oblivion's sea the sword
That pierces me ; for, like Excalibar,
With gemmed and flushing hilt, it will not sink.
There rises from below a hand that giasps it,
And waves it in the air; and wailing voices
Are heard along the shore.

HYPOLITO.

And yet at last Down sank Excalibar to rise no more. This is not well. In truth it vexes me.

« AnteriorContinuar »