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My Adriana! victim that thou art !
Thy lover should have been some gentle youth
In gay attire, with laughter on his lips,
Who'd nestle in thy bosom all night long,
And ne'er let harness clink
Save only in romaunt and roundelay.
Such is what should be, and behold what is !
A man of many cares new taken up,
To whom there's nothing more can come in life
But what is serious and solicitous :
One who betakes him to his nuptial bed,
His thoughts still busy with the watch and ward,
And if his love breathe louder than her wont,
Starts from his sleep, and thinks the bells ring backwards:
A man begirt with eighty thousand swords,
Scarce knowing which are in the hands of friends
And which against him; such a sort of man
Thy lover is—his fate for life or death
Link'd to a cause which some deem desperate.
Such is Van Artevelde, for he is now
Chief Captain of the White-Hoods and of Ghent.
And thou art captain of these savages !
And thou wilt trample with them through the blood
Of fellow-men, alas it may be, too,
Of fellow-citizens—for what care they ?
And thou who wert a gentle-hearted man,
Must lead these monsters where they will !
I purpose but to lead them where I will.
Then they will turn upon thee; never yet
Would they endure a chief that cross'd their humour.
That is the patience they've to learn from me.
The times have tamed them, and mischance of late
Has forced an iron bit between their teeth,
By help whereof I hope to rein them round.
Oh, they will murder thee !
But I hope better things—yet this is sure,
That they shall murder me ere make me go
way that is not my way for an inch.
Alas! and is it come to this !-Oh God!
This I foresaw, and things have fallen out
No worse than I forwarn’d thee that they might.
What must be, must. My course hath been appointed ;
For I feel that within me which accords
With what I have to do. The field is fair,
And I have no perplexity or cloud
Upon my vision. Every thing is clear.
And take this with thee for thy comfort too-
That man is not the most in tribulation
Who, resolute of mind, walks his own way,
With answerable skill to plant his steps.
Men in their places are the men that stand,
And I am strong and stable on my legs ;
For though full many a care from this time forth
Must harbour in my head, my heart is fresh,
And there is but one trouble touches it,
That this portends a troubled fate for thee.
For me?-Oh never vex thy heart for that ;
Nor think of me so all unworthily,
Nor fancy for me fears I have not—No,
I'll follow thee through sunshine and through storm ;
I will be with thee in thy weal and woe,
In thy afflictions, should they fall upon thee,
In thy temptations when bad men beset thee,
In all the perils which must now press round thee,
And, should they crush thee, in the hour of death.
If thy ambition, late aroused, was that
Which push'd thee on this perilous adventure,
Then I will be ambitious too,-if not,
And it was thy ill-fortune drove thee to it,
Then I will be unfortunate no less.
I will resemble thee in that and all things
Wherein a woman may; grave will I be
And thoughtful, for already it is gone-
God's blessing on my earlier years bestowed,
The clear contentment of a heart at ease.
All will I part with to partake thy cares,
Let but thy love my lesser joys outlast.
The last of love for thee were last of all
That through this passage of mortality
Lights on my soul to heaven. All will be well.
Much happiness shall be thy portion yet.
Love will be with thee, breathing his native air,
peace around thee, thro' the power of love.
But bring me through the business of this day-
My lord, your pardon; we consume your time,
Which, I'm constrain'd to say, is short in Ghent.
I hitherto have welcomed you amongst us,
And kept the secret of your sojourns here;
So doing, partly for respect to you,
And partly for her sake, this foolish girl's,
My pretty Clara's, who will let me say
I had not pleased her else; but now, my lord,
As you have heard, I hold an office here
With duties appertaining, and must needs
(With sorrow for your sudden going hence)
Make offer of my passport,-good till sunset.
If no discourtesy is meant by this
I have but to depart.
There's nothing meant but honour, nothing else, Howe'er to rude appearances
enforced. When there is peace between the Earl and Ghent 'Twill be a joy to me to see again The gallant Lord of Arlon ; till that time We meet not, save in hostile ranks opposed, Or captive, I in Bruges or he in Ghent. .
depreciation: What TICE.
C. do us