Otho The Great - Act V

John Keats 1795 (Moorgate) – 1821 (Rome)

SCENE I.

A part of the Forest.
Enter CONRAD and AURANTHE.
Auranthe. Go no further; not a step more; thou art
A master-plague in the midst of miseries.
Go I fear thee. I tremble every limb,
Who never shook before. There's moody death
In thy resolved looks Yes, I could kneel
To pray thee far away. Conrad, go, go
There! yonder underneath the boughs I see
Our horses!
Conrad. Aye, and the man.
Auranthe. Yes, he is there.
Go, go, no blood, no blood; go, gentle Conrad!
Conrad. Farewell!
Auranthe. Farewell, for this Heaven pardon you.
[Exit AURANTHE,
Conrad. If he survive one hour, then may I die
In unimagined tortures or breathe through
A long life in the foulest sink of the world!
He dies 'tis well she do not advertise
The caitiff of the cold steel at his back.
[Exit CONRAD.
Enter LUDOLPH and PAGE.
Ludolph. Miss'd the way, boy, say not that on your peril!
Page. Indeed, indeed I cannot trace them further.
Ludolph. Must I stop here? Here solitary die?
Stifled beneath the thick oppressive shade
Of these dull boughs, this oven of dark thickets,
Silent, without revenge? pshaw! bitter end,
A bitter death, a suffocating death,
A gnawing silent deadly, quiet death!
Escaped? fled? vanish'd? melted into air?
She's gone! I cannot clutch her! no revenge!
A muffled death, ensnar'd in horrid silence!
Suck'd to my grave amid a dreamy calm!
O, where is that illustrious noise of war,
To smother up this sound of labouring breath,
This rustle of the trees!
[AURANTHE shrieks at a distance.
Page. My Lord, a noise!
This way hark!
Ludolph. Yes, yes! A hope! A music!
A glorious clamour! How I live again! [Exeunt.

SCENE II. Another part of the Forest,
Enter ALBERT (wounded).
Albert. O for enough life to support me on
To Otho's feet
Enter LUDOLPH.
Ludolph. Thrice villainous, stay there
Tell me where that detested woman is
Or this is through thee!
Albert. My good Prince, with me
The sword has done its worst; not without worst
Done to another Conrad has it home
I see you know it all
Ludolph. Where is his sister?
AURANTHE rushes in.
Auranthe. Albert!
Ludolph. Ha! There! there! He is the paramour I
There hug him dying! O, thou innocence,
Shrine him and comfort him at his last gasp,
Kiss down his eyelids! Was he not thy love?
Wilt thou forsake him at his latest hour?
Keep fearful and aloof from his last gaze,
His most uneasy moments, when cold death
Stands with the door ajar to let him in?
Albert. O that that door with hollow slam would close
Upon me sudden, for I cannot meet,
In all the unknown chambers of the dead,
Such horrors
Ludolph. Auranthe! what can he mean?
What horrors? Is it not a joyous time?
Am I not married to a paragon
'Of personal beauty and untainted soul'?
A blushing fair-eyed Purity! A Sylph,
Whose snowy timid hand has never sin'd
Beyond a flower pluck'd, white as itself?
Albert, you do insult my Bride your Mistress
To talk of horrors on our wedding night.
Albert. Alas! poor Prince, I would you knew my heart.
'Tis not so guilty
Ludolph. Hear you he pleads not guilty
You are not? or if so what matters it?
You have escap'd me, free as the dusk air
Hid in the forest safe from my revenge;
I cannot catch you--You should laugh at me,
Poor cheated Ludolph, make the forest hiss
With jeers at me You tremble; faint at once,
You will come to again. O Cockatrice,
I have you. Whither wander those fair eyes
To entice the Devil to your help, that he
May change you to a Spider, so to crawl
Into some cranny to escape my wrath?
Albert. Sometimes the counsel of a dying man
Doth operate quietly when his breath is gone
Disjoin those hands part--part, do not destroy
Each other forget her our miseries
Are equal shar'd, and mercy is
Ludolph. A boon
When one can compass it. Auranthe, try
Your oratory your breath is not so hitch'd
Aye, stare for help
[ALBERT groans and dies.
There goes a spotted soul
Howling in vain along the hollow night
Hear him he calls you Sweet Auranthe, come!
Auranthe. Kill me.
Ludolph. No! What? upon our Marriage-night!
The earth would shudder at so foul a deed
A fair Bride, a sweet Bride, an innocent Bride!
No, we must revel it, as 'tis in use
In times of delicate brilliant ceremony:
Come, let me lead you to our halls again
Nay, linger not make no resistance sweet
Will you Ah wretch, thou canst not, for I have
The strength of twenty lions 'gainst a lamb
Now one adieu for Albert come away.
[Exeunt.

SCENE III.
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Keats

John Keats was an English Romantic poet. more…

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