(after a pause). And—he—shall—die!—alas!
Castiglione die? Who spoke the words?
Where am I?—what was it he said?—Politian!
Thou art not gone—thou art not gone, Politian!
I feel thou art not gone—yet dare not look,
Lest I behold thee not—thou couldst not go
With those words upon thy lips—oh, speak to me!
And let me hear thy voice—one word—one word,
To say thou art not gone,—one little sentence,
To say how thou dost scorn—how thou dost hate
My womanly weakness. Ha! ha! thou art not gone—
Oh, speak to me! I knew thou wouldst not go!
I knew thou wouldst not, couldst not, durst not go.
Villain, thou art not gone—thou mockest me!
And thus I clutch thee—thus!—He is gone, he is gone—
Gone—gone. Where am I?—’tis well—’tis very well!
So that the blade be keen—the blow be sure,
’Tis well, ’tis very well—alas! alas!
The Suburbs. POLITIAN alone.
Politian. This weakness grows upon
me. I am fain
And much I fear me ill—it will not do
To die ere I have lived!—Stay—stay thy hand,
O Azrael, yet awhile!—Prince of the Powers
Of Darkness and the Tomb, oh, pity me!
Oh, pity me! let me not perish now,
In the budding of my Paradisal Hope!
Give me to live yet—yet a little while:
’Tis I who pray for life—I who so late
Demanded but to die!—What sayeth the Count?
Baldazzar. That, knowing no cause
of quarrel or of feud
Between the Earl Politian and himself,
He doth decline your cartel.
Pol. What didst thou say?
What answer was it you brought me, good Baldazzar?
With what excessive fragrance the zephyr comes
Laden from yonder bowers!—a fairer day,
Or one more worthy Italy, methinks
No mortal eyes have seen!—what said the Count?
Bal. That he, Castiglione,
not being aware
Of any feud existing, or any cause
Of quarrel between your lordship and himself,
Cannot accept the challenge.