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Scene, Lord Randolph's Castle at Balarmo in Scotland,
on the banks of the Carron.
Time, a day and part of the night.
DOU G L A S.
SCENE, The Court of a Castle surrounded
Enter Lady RANDOLPH.
Enter Lord RANDOLPH.
do'st thou well To feed a passion which consumes thy life? The living claim some duty; vainly thou Bestow'st thy cares upon the silent dead.
Lady Rand. Silent, alas! is he for whom I mourn: Childless, without memorial of his name, He only now in my remembrance lives. *6 This fatal day stirs my time-settled 'sorrow, 6 Troubles afresh the fountain of my heart.' Lord Rand. When was it pure of sadness! These
6 black weeds « Express the wonted colour of thy mind, (For ever dark and dismal. Seven long years
Are passid, since we were join'd by sacred ties: • Clouds all the while have hung upon thy brow,
Nor broke nor parted by one gleam of joy.' Time, that wears out the trace of deepest anguish,
As the sea smooths the prints made in the sand,' Ilas past o'er thee in vain.
I Lady Rand. If time to come
Should prove as ineffectual, yet, my Lord, ( Thou canst not blame me. When our Scottish youth Vy'd with each other for my
luckless love, Oft I besought them, I implor'd them all ( Not to assail me with my father's aid, 6 Nor weakly blend their better hopes with mine,
For melancholy had congeat'd my blood,
And froze affection in my chilly breast. • At last my Sire, rous'd with the base attempt
To force me from him, which thou rend'red'st vain, 6 To his own daughter bow'd his hoary head, 6 Besought me to commiserate his age, 6 And vow'd he should not, could not die in peace, « Unless he saw me wedded and secur'd ( From violence and outrage. Then, my Lord! ' In my extreme distress I call’d on thee, « Thee I bespake, profess'd my strong desire « To lead a single solitary life,
And begg'd thy Nobleness not to demand ? Her for a wife whose heart was dead to love.
How thou persisted’st after this thou know'st,
* The forty-four following lines, except the three not printed between inverted commas, are not in the 8vo. edition of 1757, but are added from the 12mo.
• And must confess that I am not unjust,
• Lord Rand. That I confess; yet ever must regret The grief I cannot cure.' Would thou wert not Compos'd of grief and tenderness alone, • But hadst a spark of other passions in thee,
Pride, anger, vanity, the strong desire « Of admiration, dear to woman-kind; • These might contend with, and allay thy grief, • As meeting tides and currents smooth our firth.
" Lady Rand. To such a cause the human mind oft Its transient calm, a calm I envy not.' [owęs Lord Rand. Sure thou art not the daughter of Sir
Lady Rand. Oh!" rake not up the ashes of my fathers !
words. I never ask'd of thee that ardent love, Which in the breasts of fancy's children burns. Decent affection, and complacent kindness, Were all I wish'd for; but I wish'd in vain : Hence with the less regret my eyes
behold The storm of war that gathers o'er this land; If I should perish by the Danish sword, Matilda would not shed one tear the more.
Lady Rund. Thou do'st not think so: woeful as I am
Lord Rand. Strait to the camp,
Of expectation, and impatient asks
Lady Rand. O, may adverse winds,
rior's wish :
Lady Rand. War I detest: but war with foreign foes,
Lord Rand. I'll hear no more: this melody would
* Cowper, at the beginning of the second book of the Task, has a very beautiful passage somewhat similar to this:
"Lands intersected by a narrow frith