ACT V.
SCENE. The same as the last; the arched Door nearly closed. Annabel. Annabel. I cannot rest. I wander to and fro Within my dreary prison, as to seek For comfort and find none. Each hour hath killed A hope that seemed the last. The shadows point Upward. The sun is sinking. Guard me, heaven, Through this dread night! A gun is heard without. What evil sound--All sounds Are evil here! Is there some murder doing? Or wantonly in sport. Enter Julian through the arched Door. Julian. Annabel! Anna. Julian! Julian. My wife! Art thou still mine? Anna. Thine own. Julian. She smiles! She clings to me! Her eyes are fixed on mine With the old love, the old divinest look Of innocence! It is yet time. She's pure! She's undefiled!--Speak to me, Annabel. Tremble not so. Anna. 'Tis joy. Oh I have been So wretched! And to see thee when I thought We ne'er should meet again! How didst thou find me? Julian. The rosary! the blessed rosary Shone in the sun-beam, like a beacon fire, A guiding star! Thrice holy was its light That led me here to save-- Anna. Oh blessings on thee! How? Where? what way? The iron door is barred! Where didst thou enter Julian! Julian. Through the casement Of yonder chamber. Anna. What? that grim ascent! That awful depth! Didst thou dare this for me? And must I?--But I fear not. I'll go with thee. I'm safe of foot, and light. I'll go. Julian. Thou canst not. Anna. Then go thyself, or he will find thee here, He and his ruffian band. Let us part now. Kiss me again. Fly, fly from Sicily!-- That fearful man--but he is all one lie-- Told me thy life was forfeited. Julian. He told thee A truth. Anna. Oh fly! fly! fly; Julian. My Annabel The bloodhounds that he laid upon the scent Have tracked me hither. Didst thou hear a gun? For once the ball passed harmless. Anna. Art thou hurt? Art sure thou art not? Julian. Yes. But they who aimed That death are on the watch. Their quarry's lodged. We can escape them--one way--only one! Anna. How? What way? Julian. Ask not. Anna. Whither? Julian. To--my father. Anna. Then he's alive--Oh happiness! They told me That he was dead. Why do we loiter here? Let's join him now. Julian. Not yet. Anna. Now! now! Thou know'st not How horribly these walls do picture to me The several agonies whereof my soul Hath drunk to day. I have been tempted, Julian, By one--a fiend! tempted till I almost thought God had forsaken me. But thou art here To save me, and my pulse beats high again With love and hope. I am light-hearted now, And could laugh like a child--only these walls Do crowd around me with a visible weight, A palpable pressure; giving back the forms Of wildest thoughts that wandered through my brain Bright chattering Madness, and sedate Despair, And fear the Great Unreal!--Take me hence! Take me away with thee! Julian. Not yet, not yet. Thou sweetest wretch! I cannot--Dotard! Fool! I must. Not yet! not yet!--Talk to me, Annabel; This is the hour when thou wast wont to make Earth Heaven with lovely words; the sun-set hour, That woke thy spirit into joy. Once more Talk to me, Annabel. Anna. Aye, all day long, When we are free. Thy voice is choked; thy looks Are not on me; thy hand doth catch and twitch And grasp mine painfully,--that gentle hand! Julian. O God! O God! that right hand!--kiss it not! Take thy lips from it! Anna. Canst thou save me, Julian? Thou always dost speak truth. Canst save thyself? Shall we go hence together? Julian. Aye, one fate-- One home. Anna. Why that is bliss. We shall be poor-- Shall we not, Julian? I shall have a joy I never looked for; I shall work for thee, Shall tend thee, be thy Page, thy 'Squire, thy all,-- Shall I not, Julian. Julian. Annabel, look forth Upon this glorious world! Look once again On our fair Sicily, lit by that sun Whose level beams do cast a golden shine On sea, and shore, and city, on the pride Of bowery groves; on Etna's smouldering top;-- Oh bright and glorious world! and thou of all Created things most glorious, tricked in light, As the stars that live in Heaven! Anna. Why dost thou gaze So sadly on me. Julian. The bright stars, how oft They fall, or seem to fall! The Sun--look! look! He sinks, he sets in glory. Blessed orb, Like thee--like thee--Dost thou remember once We sate by the sea shore when all the Heaven And all the ocean seemed one glow of fire Red, purple, saffron, melted into one Intense and ardent flame, the doubtful line Where sea and sky should meet was lost in that Continuous brightness; there we sate and talked Of the mysterious union that blessed orb Wrought between earth and heaven, of life and death-- High mysteries!--and thou didst wish thyself A spirit sailing in that flood of light Straight to the Eternal Gates, didt pray to pass Away in such a glory. Annabel! Look out upon the burning sky, the sea One lucid ruby--'tis the very hour! Thou'lt be a Seraph at the Fount of Light Before-- Anna. What must I die? And wilt thou kill me? Canst thou? Thou cam'st to save-- Julian. To save thy honour! I shall die with thee. Anna. Oh, no! no! live! live! If I must die--Oh it is sweet to live, To breathe, to move, to feel the throbbing blood Beat in the veins,--to look on such an earth On such a Heaven,--to look on thee! Young life Is very dear. Julian. Would'st live for D'Alba? Anna. No! I had forgot. I'll die. Quick! Quick! Julian. One kiss! Angel, dost thou forgive me? Anna. Yes. Julian. My sword!-- I cannot draw it. Anna. Now! I'm ready. Enter Bertone, and two Murderers. Bert. Seize him! Yield thee, Prince Julian! Yield thee! Seize the lady. Julian. Oh fatal, fond delay! Dare not come near us! Stand off! I'll guard thee, sweet. But when I fall Let him not triumph. Bertone. Yield thee! Strike him down. Jul. Thou canst die then, my fairest. The two murderers have now advanced close to Julian. Bertone. Now! One of the murderers strikes at Julian with his sword; Annabel rushes before him, receives the wound aimed at him, and falls at his feet. Anna. (before she is wounded). For thee! Then after. For thee. 'Tis sweet! dies. Anna. Julian. Fiend, hast thou slain her? Die! die! die! Come on. fights and kills him. Bertone. Call instant help! Hasten the Count! Exit the other murderer. Julian & Bertone fight, and Julian kills him. Julian. My wife! My murdered wife! Doth she not breathe? I thought-- My sight is dim--Oh no!she's pale! she's cold! She's still!--If she were living she would speak To comfort me. She's mute! she's stiff! she's--dead! Why do I shiver at the word, that am Death's factor, peopler of unhallowed graves, Slayer of all my race! not thee! not thee! God, in his mercy, guided the keen sword To thy white bosom.--I could not. Lie there. I'll shroud thee in my mantle. covering her with it. The rude earth Will veil thy beauty next. One kiss!--She died To save me!--One kiss, Annabel! I slew The slave that killed thee,--but the fiend--the cause-- Is he not coming?--I will chain in life Till I've avenged thee; I could slay an army Now, in my strong despair. But that were mercy. He must wear daggers in his heart. He loved her;-- I'll feed his hopes, and then--Aye--ha! ha! ha! That will be a revenge to make the fiends Laugh--ha! ha! ha! I'll wrap me in this cloak taking one belonging to the dead bravo. And in the twilight--So!--He will not know My voice--it frightens me!--I have not hidden Thee quite, my Annabel! There is one tress Floating in springy grace--as if--she's dead! She's dead! I must not gaze, for then my heart Will break before its time. He comes. The stairs Groan at his pressure. Enter D'Alba. D'Alba. entering to an Attendant Back, and watch the gate!-- All's tranquil. Where's the traitor? Julian. Dead. D'Alba. Who slew him? Julian. I. D'Alba. And the lady,--where is she? Julian. At rest. D'Alba. Fair Gentleness! After this perilous storm She needs must lack repose.I'll wait her here. Friend! thou hast done good service to the state And me; we're not ungrateful. Julian's sword Fails him not often; and the slave who fled Proclaimed him Victor. Julian. He slew two. D'Alba. And thou Slew'st him? Aye there he lies in the ermined cloak Of royalty, his haughty shroud! Six ells Of rude uncostly linen serves to wrap Your common corse; but this man was born swathed In regal purple; lived so; and so died. So be he buried. Let not mine enemy Call me ungenerous. Roll him in his ermine And dig a hole without the city gate For him and the proud Regent. Quick! I'd have The funeral speedy. Ah! the slaughtering sword Lies by him, brown with clotted gore. Hence! hence! And drag the carrion with thee. Julian. Wilt thou not Look on the corse? D'Alba. I cannot wait her waking. I must go feast my eyes on her fair looks-- Divinest Annabel! My widowed bride!-- Where is she? Julian. uncovering the body There. Now gaze thyself to Hell! Gloat with hot love upon that beauteous dust!-- She's safe! She's dead! D'Alba. Julian! Julian. But touch her not She's mine. D'Alba. Oh perfectest and loveliest thing! Eternal curses rest upon his head Who murdered thee! Julian. Off! off! Pollute her not! She's white! She's pure!--Curses! Now curse for curse On the foul murderer! On him who turned The sweet soul from her home, who slew her father, Hunted her husband as a beast of prey, Pursued, imprisoned, lusted, left no gate Open save that to Heaven!--Off! gaze not on her! Thy look is profanation! Enter Alfonso, Leanti, Valore, &c. Alfon. Entering. Here, Leanti! This way! Oh sight of horror! Julian! Julian! Valore. The Princess dead! Why D'Alba-- Leanti. Seize him guards. Lead him before the States. This bloody scene Calls for deep vengeance. D'Alba. If I were not weary Of a world that sweats under a load of fools-- Old creaking vanes that turn as the wind changes-- Lords, I'd defy ye! I'd live on for ever! And I defy ye now. For she is gone-- The glorious vision!--and the Patriarch's years Were valueless. Do with me as ye will;-- Ye cannot call back her. Leanti. Off with him! Exit D'Alba guarded. Alfon. Julian! Wilt thou not speak? Julian. I have been thanking heaven That she is dead. Valore. His wits are gone. Alfon. My Julian Look on me. Dost thou know me? I'm thy Cousin, Thy comforter. Julian. She was my Comforter! And now--But I do know thee; thou'rt the King; The pretty boy I loved--She loved thee too! I'm glad thou'rt come to close my eyes. Draw nearer That I may see thy face. Where art thou? Alfon. Here! Julian. Poor child he weeps! Send for the honoured dead Beside the city gate,--he pardoned me! Bury us in one grave,--all in one grave! I did not kill herStrew her with white flowers, For she was innocent. Leanti. Cheer thee! Take hope! Valore. Raise up his head. Alfon. My Julian! Julian. He forgave me,-- Thou know'st he did.--White flowers! Nothing but white! Dies. Leanti. He's gone! Alfon. And I am left in the wide world Alone. My Julian! THE END.