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To scour the plains and search the cottages.
Cry a reward, to him who shall first bring
News of that vanished Arabian,
A full-heap'd helmet of the purest gold.
More thanks, good Conrad; for, except my son's,
There is no face I rather would behold
Than that same quick-ey'd pagan's. By the saints,
This coming night of banquets must not light
Her dazzling torches; nor the music breathe
Smooth, without clashing cymbal, tones of peace
And in-door melodies; nor the ruddy wine
Ebb spouting to the lees; if I pledge not,
In my first cup, that Arab!
I wonder not this stranger's victor-deeds
So hang upon your spirit. Twice in the fight
It was my chance to meet his olive brow,
Triumphant in the enemy's shatter'd rhomb;
And, to say truth, in any Christian arm
I never saw such prowess.
Did you ever?
O, 'tis a noble boy!-tut!-what do I say?
I mean a triple Saladin, whose eyes,
When in the glorious scuffle they met mine,
Seem'd to say-" Sleep, old man, in safety sleep;
I am the victory!'
And my son too, pity he is not here.
Lady Auranthe, I would not make you blush,
But can you give a guess where Ludolph is?
Know you not of him?
Indeed, my liege, no secret
Nay, nay, without more words, dost know of him?
I would I were so over-fortunate,
Both for his sake and mine, and to make glad
A father's ears with tidings of his son.
I see 'tis like to be a tedious day.
Were Theodore and Gonfrid and the rest
Sent forth with my commands?
And no news! No news! 'Faith! 'tis very strange
He thus avoids us. Lady, is 't not strange?
Will he be truant to you too? It is a shame.
Wil't please your highness enter, and accept
The unworthy welcome of your servant's house?
(73) It is possible that some such word as good before lord has dropped out accidentally.
Leaving your cares to one whose diligence
May in few hours make pleasures of them all.
Not so tedious, Conrad. No, no, no,-
I must see Ludolph or the-What's that shout?
Huzza! huzza! Long live the Emperor !
It is young Gersa, the Hungarian prince,
Pick'd like a red stag from the fallow herd
Of prisoners. Poor prince, forlorn he steps,
Slow, and demure, and proud in his despair.
If I may judge by his so tragic bearing,
His eye not downcast, and his folded arm,
He doth this moment wish himself asleep
Among his fallen captains on yon plains.
Say, what noise is that? [ALBERT advancing from the back of the Stage, whither he had hastened on hearing the cheers of the soldiery.
Enter GERSA, in chains, and guarded.
Not a word of greeting,
No welcome to a princely visitor,
Most mighty Otho? Will not my great host
Vouchsafe a syllable, before he bids
His gentlemen conduct me with all care
To some securest lodging-cold perhaps !
O kings and princes of this fev'rous world,
What abject things, what mockeries must ye be,
What nerveless minions of safe palaces!
When here, a monarch, whose proud foot is used
To fallen princes' necks, as to his stirrup,
Must needs exclaim that I am mad forsooth,
Because I cannot flatter with bent knees
My conqueror !
What mood is this? Hath fortune touch'd thy brain?
Gersa, I think you wrong me: I think I have a better fame abroad.
I prythee mock me not with gentle speech,
But, as a favour, bid me from thy presence;
Let me no longer be the wondering food
Of all these eyes; prythee command me hence!
Do not mistake me, Gersa. That you may not,
Come, fair Auranthe, try if your soft hands
Can manage those hard rivets to set free
So brave a prince and soldier.
AURANTHE (sets him free).
I am wound up in deep astonishment!
Thank you, fair lady. Otho! emperor !
You rob me of myself; my dignity
Is now your infant; I am a weak child.
Give me your hand, and let this kindly grasp
Live in our memories.
In mine it will.
I blush to think of my unchasten'd tongue;
But I was haunted by the monstrous ghost
Of all our slain battalions. Sire, reflect,
And pardon you will grant, that, at this hour,
The bruised remnants of our stricken camp
Are huddling undistinguish'd my dear friends,
With common thousands, into shallow graves.
Enough, most noble Gersa. You are free
To cheer the brave remainder of your host
By your own healing presence, and that too,
Not as their leader merely, but their king;
For, as I hear, the wily enemy,
Who eas'd the crownet from your infant brows,
Bloody Taraxa, is among the dead.
Then I retire, so generous Otho please,
Bearing with me a weight of benefits
Too heavy to be borne.