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- POEMS - 50/52 -
paint--Karl wrote the word--and Karl shall DIE!
KARL (draws his dagger.) But not unavenged! (He darts toward SOPHIA, and makes an attempt to stab her. SOPHIA shrieks, and runs to LANISKA. All the CHARACTERS rise, greatly excited, and watch the scene with deep interest. The GUARDS present their pikes to the breast of KARL, who is seized by HAROLD and CORPORAL--in the brief struggle with whom, KARL's shirt-sleeve is torn open, and the felon's brand is discovered on his arm. To this ALBERT points in triumph--Tableau.--The whole action is instantaneous.)
HAROLD (with great eagerness.) Behold, my liege, the felon's brand! (Presto!--all start with astonishment.)
CHORUS. Now, who's the traitor?
[The JURYMEN rise.
QUITETTE and CHORUS.
KARL. The javelin from an unseen hand Was sent that laid me low!-- Behold exposed the felon's brand Unto my mortal foe!
CHORUS. Who's now the traitor? etc.
JUDGE (promptly.) What say the jury?
FOREMAN (promptly.) The prisoners are innocent! (Presto!--all start with joy.)
CHORUS. The prisoners are innocent! etc.
(Some of the CHARACTERS clasp their hands--others embrace. SOPHIA and LANISKA turn to ALBERT, and the COUNTESS and FREDERICA to the KING, in gratitude.)
KARL. Oh, rage and fury! (KARL is secured by HAROLD and CORPORAL.)
CHORUS. Rejoice! our loyal hearts we bring As free-will offerings to the king!
SOLO--SOPHIA and KING. Oh, let me to thy ermine cling. In gratitude, (kneels,) God bless the king!
CHORUS. God save the king! Long live the king! etc.
(The WORKMEN and GIRLS of the Factory, ADVOCATES, OFFICERS, SOLDIERS, LADIES, and GENTLEMEN, SPECTATORS, and all the CHARACTERS on the stage, indicate by appropriate and spontaneous action the deep and intense interest they take in the verdict.--KARL gasps and faints, and is supported by HAROLD and CORPORAL.--WEDGEWOOD notices the tableau with great self-complacency--[The whole action is simultaneous]--KARL is borne off by HAROLD and CORPORAL. All the CHARACTERS then turn, and by looks and actions congratulate each other, and the scene instantly becomes one of general joy.)
KING. This court is now dissolved. (The principal CHARACTERS leave their stations; and all the PARTIES, except the JUDGES and those in the gallery, come upon the stage.--To the JUDGES.) Your lordships must pardon all irregularities. This is the first trial by jury that ever took place in Prussia. Hereafter, no human power shall interrupt your grave deliberations. (To COUNT LANISKA.) Count Laniska, I took your sword from you this morning: I here present you mine. (COUNT kneels, and receives it.)
COUNT. This, with my life, I dedicate to Your Majesty's service!
KING (to ALBERT.) As for you, sir, the sword, is not your weapon. (HAROLD advances with a golden pen upon a velvet cushion. ALBERT kneels.) Receive this emblem of far greater power than all the implements of war, and wield it for the benefit of mankind. Rise, Baron--
ALBERT. Mansfield, Your Majesty--
KING (with surprise.) Mansfield?
SOPHIA. My heart was not deceived! My long-lost brother!
ALBERT (ALBERT and SOPHIA rush into each other's arms.) My dear, dear sister!
KING (looking at them.) So, so, so! Oh, what an old fool I have been! (Looking around.) Come hither, Sophia. (She advances; the KING takes her hand.) I owe you some amends for your long and patient suffering on my account (taking the COUNT's hand)--and thus I make them. (SOPHIA and LANISKA join hands joyfully.) How well the criminals understand each other! (Rubbing his hands, and walking joyfully about the stage.) Ah, Mr. Wedgewood, I don't care if I take a pinch of snuff out of that same box I gave you the other day.
WEDGEWOOD (presenting box.) Your Majesty has added to its value a diamond worth all the rest, in finding it is large enough for two of us.
KING. Good! (Notices FREDERICA.) What! Frederica, my fair namesake and little god-daughter--in the dumps? (Looking at ALBERT.) Oh, I understand. (To COUNTESS.) By your leave madam. (Hands FREDERICA to ALBERT.) You perceive, Mr. Wedgewood, that I have a large family to look after and provide for; but I am a happy father, sir--mine are good children, very good children! I wish I had more like these.
WEDGEWOOD (significantly.) If Your Majesty goes on in this way, there'll be plenty more--IN TIME.
KING. All are now satisfied--at least I hope all are so here. (To the audience.) If, as a king, I may, on another occasion, command an audience--
WEDGEWOOD (forgetting himself, lifting his mallet and flourishing it like an auctioneer.) Going! (Recollecting himself.)--I mean--(slowly and with gravity)--s-i-l-e-n-c-e i-n t-h-e c-o-u-r-t! (meaning the audience.)
KING. These witnesses will, I am sure, attend the next trial of The Maid of Saxony--
WEDGEWOOD. If it is convenient.
FINALE. Our hearts are bounding with delight! 'Tis Freedom's jubilee! For right has triumphed over might-- The bond again are free! Hurrah!--hurrah! Let the welkin ring To Justice and Liberty Paeans we sing!
End of the Maid of Saxony.
The Deserted Bride (page 51.)
This poem was written after seeing Miss Fanny Kemble, for the first time, in one scene of "The Hunchback."
The Croton Ode (page 57.)
Written at the request of the Corporation of the city of New York, and sung near the Park Fountain by the members of the New York Sacred Music Society, on the completion of the Croton Aqueduct, October, 14, 1842.
Woodman, Spare That Tree! (page 64.)
Riding out of town a few days since, in company with a friend, who was once the expectant heir of the largest estate in America, but over whose worldly prospects a blight has recently come, he invited me to turn down a little romantic woodland pass not far from Bloomingdale. "Your object?" inquired I. "Merely to look once more at an old tree planted by my grandfather, near a cottage that was once my father's."--"The place is yours, then?" said I. "No, my poor mother sold it;" and I observed a slight quiver of the lip, at the recollection of that circumstance. "Dear mother!" resumed my companion, "we passed many happy, HAPPY days, in that old cottage; but it is nothing to me now--father, mother, sisters, cottage--all are gone!"--and a paleness over-spread his fine countenance, and a moisture came to his eyes, as he spoke. After a moment's pause, he added: "Don't think me foolish. I don't know how it is, I never ride out but I turn down this lane to look at that old tree. I have a thousand recollections about it, and I always greet it as a familiar and well-remembered friend. In the by-gone summer-time it was a friend indeed. Under its branches I often listened to the good counsel of my parents, and had SUCH gambols with my sisters! Its leaves are all off now, so you won't see it to advantage, for it is a glorious old fellow in summer; but I like it full as well in winter-time." These words were scarcely uttered, when my companion cried out, "There it is?" Near the tree stood an old man, with his coat off, sharpening an ax. He was the occupant of the cottage. "What do you intend doing?" asked my friend with great anxiety. "What is that to you?" was the blunt reply. "You are not going to cut that tree down, surely?"--"Yes, but I am though," said the woodman. "What for?" inquired my companion, almost choked with emotion. "What for? Why, because I think proper to do so. What for? I like that! Well, I'll tell you what for. This tree makes my dwelling unhealthy; it stands too near the house: prevents the moisture from exhaling, and renders us liable to fever-and-ague."--"Who told you that?"--"Dr. S---."--"Have you any other reason for wishing to cut it down?"--"Yes, I am getting old; the woods are a great way off, and this tree is of some value to me to burn."
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