Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 182 pages of information about Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works.

Cas. (letting fall his sword and recoiling to the extremity of the
         stage
.)
                  Of Lalage! 
                  Hold off—­thy sacred hand!—­avaunt, I say! 
                  Avaunt—­I will not fight thee—­indeed I dare not.

Pol.  Thou wilt not fight with me didst say, Sir Count? 
                  Shall I be baffled thus?—­now this is well;
                  Didst say thou darest not?  Ha!

Cas.  I dare not—­dare not—­
                  Hold off thy hand—­with that beloved name
                  So fresh upon thy lips I will not fight thee—­
                  I cannot—­dare not.

Pol.  Now, by my halidom,
                  I do believe thee!—­coward, I do believe thee!

Cas.  Ha!—­coward!—­this may not be!
(clutches his sword and staggers towards Politian, but his purpose is
changed before reaching him, and he falls upon hia knee at the feet of
the Earl.
)
                  Alas! my lord,
                  It is—­it is—­most true.  In such a cause
                  I am the veriest coward.  Oh, pity me!

Pol. (greatly softened).  Alas!—­I do—­indeed I pity thee.

Cas.  And Lalage—­

Pol. Scoundrel!—­arise and die!

Cas.  It needeth not be—­thus—­thus—­Oh, let me die
                  Thus on my bended knee.  It were most fitting
                  That in this deep humiliation I perish. 
                  For in the fight I will not raise a hand
                  Against thee, Earl of Leicester.  Strike thou home—­
               (baring his bosom.)
                  Here is no let or hindrance to thy weapon—­
                  Strike home.  I will not fight thee.

Pol.  Now’s Death and Hell! 
                  Am I not—­am I not sorely—­grievously tempted
                  To take thee at thy word?  But mark me, sir: 
                  Think not to fly me thus.  Do thou prepare
                  For public insult in the streets—­before
                  The eyes of the citizens.  I’ll follow thee—­
                  Like an avenging spirit I’ll follow thee
                  Even unto death.  Before those whom thou lovest—­
                  Before all Rome I’ll taunt thee, villain,—­I’ll taunt
                    thee,
                  Dost hear? with cowardice—­thou wilt not fight me? 
                  Thou liest! thou shalt!

(Exit.)

Cas.  Now this indeed is just! 
                  Most righteous, and most just, avenging Heaven!

[Footnote 1:  By Sir Thomas Wyatt.—­Ed.]

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Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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