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The Spanish Student - ACT III - SCENE I Post by :sweetkidsmom Category :Plays Author :Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Date :June 2011 Read :943

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The Spanish Student - ACT III - SCENE I

ACT III: SCENE I

SCENE I: A cross-road through a wood. In the background a
distant village spire. VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO, as travelling
students, with guitars, sitting under the trees. HYPOLITO plays
and sings.

SONG.

Ah, Love!
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!
Enemy
Of all that mankind may not rue!
Most untrue
To him who keeps most faith with thee.
Woe is me!
The falcon has the eyes of the dove.
Ah, Love!
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!

VICTORIAN. Yes, Love is ever busy with his shuttle,
Is ever weaving into life's dull warp
Bright, gorgeous flowers and scenes Arcadian;
Hanging our gloomy prison-house about
With tapestries, that make its walls dilate
In never-ending vistas of delight.

HYPOLITO. Thinking to walk in those Arcadian pastures,
Thou hast run thy noble head against the wall.

SONG (continued).

Thy deceits
Give us clearly to comprehend,
Whither tend
All thy pleasures, all thy sweets!
They are cheats,
Thorns below and flowers above.
Ah, Love!
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!

VICTORIAN. A very pretty song. I thank thee for it.

HYPOLITO. It suits thy case.

VICTORIAN. Indeed, I think it does.
What wise man wrote it?

HYPOLITO. Lopez Maldonado.

VICTORIAN. In truth, a pretty song.

HYPOLITO. With much truth in it.
I hope thou wilt profit by it; and in earnest
Try to forget this lady of thy love.

VICTORIAN. I will forget her! All dear recollections
Pressed in my heart, like flowers within a book,
Shall be torn out, and scattered to the winds!
I will forget her! But perhaps hereafter,
When she shall learn how heartless is the world,
A voice within her will repeat my name,
And she will say, "He was indeed my friend!"
O, would I were a soldier, not a scholar,
That the loud march, the deafening beat of drums,
The shattering blast of the brass-throated trumpet,
The din of arms, the onslaught and the storm,
And a swift death, might make me deaf forever
To the upbraidings of this foolish heart!

HYPOLITO. Then let that foolish heart upbraid no more!
To conquer love, one need but will to conquer.

VICTORIAN. Yet, good Hypolito, it is in vain
I throw into Oblivion's sea the sword
That pierces me; for, like Excalibar,
With gemmed and flashing hilt, it will not sink.
There rises from below a hand that grasp it,
And waves it in the air; and wailing voices
Are heard along the shore.

HYPOLITO. And yet at last
Down sank Excalibar to rise no more.
This is not well. In truth, it vexes me.
Instead of whistling to the steeds of Time,
To make them jog on merrily with life's burden,
Like a dead weight thou hangest on the wheels.
Thou art too young, too full of lusty health
To talk of dying.

VICTORIAN. Yet I fain would die!
To go through life, unloving and unloved;
To feel that thirst and hunger of the soul
We cannot still; that longing, that wild impulse,
And struggle after something we have not
And cannot have; the effort to be strong
And, like the Spartan boy, to smile, and smile,
While secret wounds do bleed beneath our cloaks
All this the dead feel not,--the dead alone!
Would I were with them!

HYPOLITO. We shall all be soon.

VICTORIAN. It cannot be too soon; for I am weary
Of the bewildering masquerade of Life,
Where strangers walk as friends, and friends as strangers;
Where whispers overheard betray false hearts;
And through the mazes of the crowd we chase
Some form of loveliness, that smiles, and beckons,
And cheats us with fair words, only to leave us
A mockery and a jest; maddened,--confused,--
Not knowing friend from foe.

HYPOLITO. Why seek to know?
Enjoy the merry shrove-tide of thy youth!
Take each fair mask for what it gives itself,
Nor strive to look beneath it.

VICTORIAN. I confess,
That were the wiser part. But Hope no longer
Comforts my soul. I am a wretched man,
Much like a poor and shipwrecked mariner,
Who, struggling to climb up into the boat,
Has both his bruised and bleeding hands cut off,
And sinks again into the weltering sea,
Helpless and hopeless!

HYPOLITO. Yet thou shalt not perish.
The strength of thine own arm is thy salvation.
Above thy head, through rifted clouds, there shines
A glorious star. Be patient. Trust thy star!

(Sound of a village belt in the distance.)

VICTORIAN. Ave Maria! I hear the sacristan
Ringing the chimes from yonder village belfry!
A solemn sound, that echoes far and wide
Over the red roofs of the cottages,
And bids the laboring hind a-field, the shepherd,
Guarding his flock, the lonely muleteer,
And all the crowd in village streets, stand still,
And breathe a prayer unto the blessed Virgin!

HYPOLITO. Amen! amen! Not half a league from hence
The village lies.

VICTORIAN. This path will lead us to it,
Over the wheat-fields, where the shadows sail
Across the running sea, now green, now blue,
And, like an idle mariner on the main,
Whistles the quail. Come, let us hasten on.

(Exeunt.)

Content of ACT III: SCENE I (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's play/drama: The Spanish Student)

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