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Ælla, A Tragical Interlude - Act II

Thomas Chatterton 1752 (Bristol) – 1770 (Holborn)

SCENE I
MAGNUS, HURRA, and HIE PREESTE, wyth the ARMIE, neare Watchette.
MAGNUS.
Swythe lette the offrendes to the Goddes begynne,
To knowe of hem the issue of the fyghte.
Potte the blodde-steyned sword and pavyes ynne;
Spreade swythyn all arounde the hallie lyghte.
HIE PREESTE syngeth.
Yee, who hie yn mokie ayre
Delethe seasonnes foule or fayre,
Yee, who, whanne yee weere agguylte,
The mone yn bloddie gytelles hylte,
Mooved the starres, and dyd unbynde
Everyche barriere to the wynde;
Whanne the oundynge waves dystreste,
Storven to be overest,
Sockeynge yn the spyre-gyrte towne,
Swolterynge wole natyons down;
Sendynge dethe, on plagues astrodde,
Moovynge lyke the erthys Godde;
To mee send your heste dyvyne,
Lyghte eletten all myne eyne,
Thatt I maie now undevyse
All the actyonnes of th'emprize.

Thus sayethe the Goddes; goe, yssue to the playne;
Forr there shall meynte of mytte menn be slayne.
MAGNUS.
Whie, soe there evere was, whanne Magnus foughte.
Efte have I treynted noyance throughe the hoaste,
Athorowe swerdes, alyche the Queed dystraughte,
Have Magnus pressynge wroghte hys foemen loaste.
As whanne a tempeste vexethe soare the coaste,
The dyngeynge ounde the sandeie stronde doe tare,
So dyd I inne the warre the javlynne toste,
Full meynte a champyonnes breaste received mie spear.
Mie sheelde, lyche sommere morie gronfer droke,
Mie lethalle speere, alych a levyn-mylted oke.
Thus sayethe the Goddes; goe, yssue to the playne;
Forr there shall meynte of mytte menn be slayne.
MAGNUS.
Whie, soe there evere was, whanne Magnus foughte.
Efte have I treynted noyance throughe the hoaste,
Athorowe swerdes, alyche the Queed dystraughte,
Have Magnus pressynge wroghte hys foemen loaste.
As whanne a tempeste vexethe soare the coaste,
The dyngeynge ounde the sandeie stronde doe tare,
So dyd I inne the warre the javlynne toste,
Full meynte a champyonnes breaste received mie spear.
Mie sheelde, lyche sommere morie gronfer droke,
Mie lethalle speere, alych a levyn-mylted oke.
HURRA.
Thie wordes are greate, full of hyghe sound, and eeke
Lyche thonderre, to the whych dothe comme no rayne.
Itte lacketh notte a doughtie honde to speke;
The cocke saiethe drefte , yett armed ys he alleyne.
Certis thie wordes maie, thou motest have sayne
Of mee, and meynte of woe, who eke canne fyghte,
Who haveth trodden downe the adventayle,
And tore the heaulmes from heades of myckle myghte.
Sythence syke myghte ys placed yn thie honde,
Lette blowes thie actyons speeke, and bie thie corrage stonde.
MAGNUS.
Thou are a warrioure, Hurra, thatte I kenne,
And myckle famed for thie handie dede.
Thou fyghtest anente maydens and ne menne,
Nor aie thou makest armed hartes to blede.
Efte I, caparyson'd on bloddie stede,
Havethe thee seene binethe mee ynn the fyghte,
Wythe corses I investynge everich mede,
And thou aston, and wondrynge at mie myghte.
Thanne wouldest thou comme yn for mie renome,
Albeytte thou wouldst reyne awaie from bloddie dome?
HURRA.
How! butte bee bourne mie rage. I kenne aryghte
Bothe thee and thyne maie ne bee wordhye peene.
Eftsoones I hope wee scalle engage yn fyghte;
Thanne to the souldyers all thou wylte bewreene.
I'll prove mie courage onne the burled greene;
Tys there alleyne I'll telle thee whatte I bee.
Gyf I weelde notte the deadlie sphere adeene,
Thanne lett mie name be fulle as lowe as thee.
Thys mie adented shielde, thys mie warre-speare,
Schalle telle the falleynge foe gyf Hurra's harte can feare.
MAGNUS.
Magnus woulde speke, butte thatte hys noble spryte
Dothe soe enrage, he knowes notte whatte to saie.
He'dde speke yn blowes, yn gottes of blodde he'd wryte,
And on thie heafod peyncte hys myghte for aie
Gyf thou anent an wolfynnes rage wouldest staie,
'Tys here to meet ytt; botte gyff nott, bee goe;
Lest I in furrie shulde mie armes dysplaie,
Whyche to thie boddie wylle wurche myckle woe.
Oh! I bee madde, dystraughte wyth brendyng rage;
Ne seas of smethynge gore wylle mie chafed harte asswage.
HURRA.
I kenne thee, Magnus, welle; a wyghte thou art
That doest aslee alonge ynn doled dystresse,
Strynge bulle yn boddie, lyoncelle yn harte,
I almost wysche thie prowes were made lesse.
Whan Ælla (name drest uppe yn ugsomness
To thee and recreandes ) thondered on the playne,
Howe dydste thou thorowe fyrste of fleers presse!
Swefter thanne federed takelle dydste thou reyne.
A ronnynge pryze onn seyncte daie to ordayne,
Magnus, and none botte hee, the ronnynge pryze wylle gayne.
MAGNUS.
Etern
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:44 min read
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Thomas Chatterton

Thomas Chatterton was an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He committed suicide, dying of arsenic poisoning. His works and death were much discussed posthumously and had an influence on the Romantic movement. more…

All Thomas Chatterton poems | Thomas Chatterton Books

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