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To gush in foaming torrents. Dost thou forget
The Spaniard lifts the sword, and almost wishes
That we should give pretence to tyrar ny?
Look on yon gloomy towers; e'en now we stand
Within the shadows of the Inquisition.
Mal. Art thou afraid ? look at yon gloomy towers !
Has thy fair union told thee to beware
Of damps and rheums, caught in the dungeon's vapours?
Or has she said those dainty limbs of thine
Were only made for love? Look on yon towers !
Ay, I will look upon them; not to fear,
But deeply curse them! There ye stand aloft,
Frowning in all your black and dreary pride,
Monastic monuments of human misery,
Houses of torment, palaces of horror!
Oft have you echoed to the lengthened shriek
Of midnight murder; often have you heard
The deep-choked groan of stifled agony
Burst in its dying whisper; curses on ye!
Curse on the tyrant that sustains you, too!
Oh! may ye one day, from your tow'ring height
Fall on the wretches that uphold your domes,
And crush them in your ruins! Oh, Hemeya!
Look there, Hemeya! think how many Moors,
How many of our wretched countrymen,
Are doomed to perish there, unless
Hem. By heavens !
Thy burning front, thy flaming eyes, proclaim it!
Some glorious thought is lab'ring :-speak !-what mean'st
I feel thy spirit's mastery; my soul
Fires in the glowing contact! Malec, speak!
Tell me, what can we do?
Mal. What can men do
groan beneath the lash of tyranny, And feel the strength of madnes:s ? Have we nea cime
ters? 'Twas not in vain I sought those rugged heignus Nor vainly do I now again return; Amid the Alpuxerra's cragged cliffs, Are there not myriads of high-hearted Moors, That only need a leader to be free?
Thy voice would be a trumpet in the moʻintains,
That from their snow-crowned tops and I öllow vales,
Would echo back the blast of liberty !
Dost thou not understand me?
Hem. Speak! can I free my people ? can I rend
Our shameful bonds asunder, and revenge?
Mal. Canst thou ?
Hem. Do not command me not to love ;
But, if there be a road to liberty,
Provided death, with his uplifted dart,
Stand at its entrance—speak! is there a way?
Mal. And, were there not a way,
We'd hew one in the rock !—there is a way. (Crosses, L.
Hem. My soul hangs in thy lips-
Mal. I fear thee still. I fear thy wav'ring nature.
Hem. No, you wrong me; by heaven, you wrong me!
Mal. Fall upon the earth,
And by thy father's sacred memory.
By all thy people's wrongs—by Allah's name-
Enter FLORINDA, R.
Flor. (Interrupting him.] Hold! what is it that I seu!
Hem. A wretch !
Mal. Swear! quickly swear, before a woman's art
Turns thee to that a woman's self should spurn.
Flor. What should he swear ?
Mal. Forever to renounce thee !
Flor. Ay! let him, if he will; let him renounce me.
I will not say that I am hardly used,
Nor load him with my love! I can bear all,
Except to see him perish.
Mål. Swear, Hemeya, never to be a Christian !
Flor. Hold, for heaven's mercy!
Hem. Bright angel, art thou come to save, or damn me?
Flor. I'm come to tell the perils that surround thee.
Cruel, unkind Hemeya! I perceive
The power that Malec holds upon thy soul.
But yesterday, e'en at the cloister's gates,
You vowed you would renounce the world for me.
Mal. Ay! what is worth much more than all the world More than the crescent diadem that shines On Selim's turbaned brow ! more than the heaven
The prophet's eye beheld; nay, more th
His honour and his truth! Rightly thri
'Tis I who snatch him from thee.
Flor. Not from me--
It is from life you snatch him! Let him ea
Never behold me more !
Hem. Can I do that?
Flor. Do anything but perish.
I reck not of myself; but I have heard,
Since last we parted, more than first I feared;
The King's decree hath armed Pescara's hand
With power omnipotent against the Moore.
Death hovers over thy head! Gomez, Pescara,
Are crouched to leap upon thee.
Hemeya, be a Christian, or you perish!
Hem. It is not hard to die; thou, thou alone
Art all that makes life worth the keeping to me.
Mal. I will not think a well-wrought tear or two Can make thee base again.
Hem. [To Malec. Within thy bosom
I'll bury all my face; for, if I dare
To gaze upon her charms, they will unman me.
Flor. And dost thou scorn to look
Florinda And am I spurned so far? once 'twas otherwise ; Now I am fit for scorn!
Mal. Hold !
Weigh not your country with a woman's tears.
Flor. I am, indeed, a woman ; and I feel
My sex's cruel portion, to be wooed,
And flattered, and adored, until at last
We own our nature's folly ;-then you spurn,
Who wept and sighed before. You then pull down
The idol that you worshipped, and you doem,
Because a woman loves, she should be scorned !
I should not weep, and you would not despise me !
Hem. Malec ! Mal. Are you a man? are you his son Whose heart ne'er felt a throb but for his country?
Fiem. Look here, and pity me! behold this face, Where shines a soul so pure, so sweet a spirit Can I renounce her? tell me if I can !
Look on him, my Florinda ! lift those eyes,
So full of light, and purity, and love;
Look on him, and he'll pity me.
Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live ?
Hem. Stay near my heart, and, as I press thee bus,
I shall no longer feel this agony:
I never can resign thee.
Mal. Worthless Moor!
Why does my poniard tremble in my grasp?
Flor. You shall not tear him into death. Crosses, c.
Mal. [Aside.] I cannot do it-yet, must I behold
The son of Moorish kings a woman's slave ?
I'll try to rouse him still. Perfidious traitor!
Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,
A postate !
Flor. Spare him, spare him! dost thou see
How his frame trembles, and what agony
Is stamped upon his face ? Oh, pity him!
Mal. I do, indeed, I spurn him for his weakness;
But, woman, have a care-leave him, renounce him,
Flor. I can resign Hemeya's heart, But cannot give his life; nay, tell me, Malec, You who have loved him, watched his tenderest youth, And hold him in
heart-would To yield him up to burning martyrdom, And cast him in the raging furnace l'hat persecution lights with blasts of hell ?
Mal. Better that he should perish
Flor. Dost thou say so?
Wouldst plunge him in destruction ? wouldst thou see
In all the torments of a ling'ring death,
While Gomez and Pescara stood beside,
To glut themselves upon his agonies ?
Mal. Woman, thou hast employed thy sex's cunning, To make my
Flor. I will renounce him! you, perchance, desire,
That from your prophet's votaries he should choose
One fairer and more happy than Florinda!
Let him but speak it, and a cloister's cell
Shall be the refuge of her misery.
I ask for nothing but Hemeya's safety,
And that's too dear to part with.
Hem. Leave me! never!
Mal. [Draws his dagger.] Then it is done! prophet,
behold the deed!
Strengthen my trembling hand; it is for freedorn,
It is for Heaven I strike!
[He pauses for an instant, and, after a struggle, ex
claims, I cannot do it! I am myself a coward.
(Lets the dagger fall.--Hemeya and Florinda start. Hem. Abhorred, detested villain ! [Crosses, c.
Mal. Call me coward,
For that I feel I am ; 'twas Heaven itself
That bade me strike, and nature conquered me.
Hem. Cursed be the creed that can make murder
Thee! thee! Florinda-here, within my arms!
Ha! was it here thou would'st have plunged the poniard ?
Fear not, sweet trembler! Shelter thee, my love!
Harm shall ne'er reach thee here. Avoid my sight!
Fanatic, hence! in him I once revered,
I see the reeking murderer
Mal. Do not think
The blow was destined for her heart alone
If, in obedience to the prophet's law,
I had been brave enough to do the deed
That Mahomet had sanctioned, from her heart
I would have drawn the steel to plunge it here,
And, as the life flowed forth, have told thee that
Which thou shalt never hear. I leave thee now,
But thou art sunk so deep, that 'twere in vain
To pluck thee from thy shame. I go to seek
Grenada's Moors, met for a noble purpose.
Know, thou hast lost a crown! Farewell forever!
Homeya! Oh, Hemeya !