(1752 - 1770 / Bristol / England)

Ælla, A Tragical Interlude - Act Ii

MAGNUS, HURRA, and HIE PREESTE, wyth the ARMIE, neare Watchette.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
Eternalie plagues devour thie baned tyngue!
Myriades of neders pre upponne thie spryte!
Maiest thou fele all the peynes of age whylst yynge,
Unmanned, uneyned, exclooded aie the lyghte,
Thie senses, lyche thieselfe, enwrapped yn nyghte,
A scoff to foemen & to beastes a pheere;
Maie furched levynne onne thie head alyghte,
Maie on thee falle the fhuyr of the unweere;
Fen vaipoures blaste thie everiche manlie powere,
Maie thie bante boddie quycke the wolsome peenes devoure.
Faygne woulde I curse thee further, botte mie tyngue
Denies mie harte the favoure soe toe doe.
Nowe bie the Dacyanne goddes, & Welkyns kynge,
Wythe fhurie, as thou dydste begynne, persue;
Calle on mie heade all tortures that bee rou,
Bane onne, tylle thie owne tongue thie curses fele.
Sende onne mie heade the blyghteynge levynne blewe,
The thonder loude, the swellynge azure rele .
Thie wordes be hie of dynne, botte nete besyde;
Bane on, good chieftayn, fyghte wythe wordes of myckle pryde.
Botte doe notte waste thie breath, lest Ælla come.
Ælla & thee togyder synke toe helle!
Bee youre names blasted from the rolle of dome!
I feere noe Ælla, thatte thou kennest welle.
Unlydgefulle traytoure, wylt thou nowe rebelle?
'Tys knowen, thatte yie menn bee lyncked to myne,
Bothe sente, as troopes of wolves, to sletre felle;
Botte nowe thou lackest hem to be all yyne.
Now; bie the goddes yatte reule the Dccyanne state,
Speacke thou yn rage once moe, I wyll thee dysregate.
I pryze thie threattes joste as I doe thie banes,
The sede of malyce and recendize al.
Thou arte a steyne unto the name of Danes;
Thou alleyne to thie tyngue for proose canst calle.
Thou beest a worme so groffile and so smal,
I wythe thie bloude woulde scorne to foul mie sworde,
Botte wythe thie weaponnes woulde upon thee fall;
Alyche thie owne feare, slea thee wythe a worde
I Hurra amme miesel, & aie wylle bee,
As greate yn valourous actes, & yn commande as thee.

Blynne your contekions chiefs; for, as I stode
Uponne mie watche, I spiede an armie commynge,
Notte lyche ann handfulle of a fremded foe,
Botte blacke wythe armoure, movynge ugsomlie,
Lyche a blacke fulle cloude, thatte dothe goe alonge
To droppe yn hayle, & hele the thonder storme.
Ar there meynte of them?
Thycke as the ante-flyes ynne a sommer's none,
Seemynge as tho' theie stynge as persante too.
Whatte matters thatte? lettes sette oure warr-arraie.
Goe, sounde the beme, lette champyons prepare
Ne doubtynge, we wylle stynghe as faste as heie.
Whatte? doest forgard thie blodde? ys ytte for feare?
Wouldest thou gayne the towne, & castle-stere,
And yette ne byker wythe the soldyer guarde?
Go, hyde thee ynn mie tente annethe the lere;
I of thie boddie wylle keepe watche & warde.
Oure goddes of Denmarke know mie harte ys goode.
For nete uppon the erthe, botte to be choughens foode.

As from mie towre I kende the commynge foe,
I spied the crossed shielde, & bloddie swerde,
The furyous Ælla's banner; wythynne kenne
The armie ys. Dysorder throughe oure hoaste
Is fleynge, borne onne wynges of Ælla's name;
Styr, styr, mie lordes!
What? Ælla? & soe neare?
Thenne Denmarques roiend; oh mie rysynge feare!
What doeste thou mene? thys Ælla's botte a manne.
Nowe bie mie sworde, thou arte a verie berne .
Of late I dyd thie creand valoure scanne,
Whanne thou dydst boaste soe moche of actyon derne.
Botte I toe warr mie doeynges moste atturne,
To cheere the Sabbataneres to deere dede.
I to the knyghtes onne everyche syde wylle burne,
Telleynge 'hem alle to make her foemen blede;
Sythe shame or deathe onne eidher syde wylle bee,
Mie harte I wylle upryse, & inne the battelle slea.

NOW havynge done oure mattynes & oure vowes,
Lette us for the intended fyghte be boune,
And everyche champyone potte the joyous crowne
Of certane masterschyppe upon hys glestreynge browes.
As for mie harte, I owne ytt ys, as ere
Itte has beene ynne the sommer-sheene of fate,
Unknowen to the ugsomme gratche of fere;
Mie blodde emboilen, wythe masterie elate,
Boyles ynne mie veynes, & rolles ynn rapyd state,
Impatyente forr to mete the persante stele,
And telle the worlde, thatte Ælla dyed as greate
As anie knyghte who foughte for Englondes weale.
Friends, kynne, & soldyerres, ynne blacke armore drere,
Mie actyons ymytate, mie presente redynge here.
There ys ne house, athrow thys shap-scurged isle,
Thatte has ne loste a kynne yn these fell fyghtes,
Fatte blodde has sorfeeted the hongerde soyle,
And townes enlowed lemed oppe the nyghtes.
Inne gyte of fyre oure hallie churche dheie dyghtes;
Oure sonnes lie storven ynne theyre smethynge gore;
Oppe bie the rootes oure tree of lyfe dheie pyghtes,
Vexynge oure coaste, as byllowes doe the shore.
Yet menne, gyf ye are menne, displaie yor name,
Ybrende yer tropes, alyche the roarynge tempest flame.
Ye Chrystyans, doe as wordhie of the name;
These roynerres of oure hallie houses slea;
Braste, lyke a cloude, from whence doth come the flame.
Lyche torrentes, gushynge downe the mountaines, bee.
And whanne alonge the grene yer champyons flee,
Swefte as the rodde for-weltrynge levyn-bronde,
Yatte hauntes the flyinge mortherer oere the lea,
Soe flie oponne these royners of the londe.
Lette those yatte are unto yer battayles fledde,
Take slepe eterne uponne a feerie lowynge bedde.
Let cowarde Londonne see herre towne onn fyre,
And strev wythe goulde to staie the royners honde,
Ælla & Brystowe havethe thoughtes thattes hygher,
Wee fyghte notte forr ourselves, botte all the londe.
As Severnes hyger lyghethe banckes of sonde,
Pressynge ytte downe binethe the reynynge streme,
Wythe dreerie dynn enswolters the hyghe stronde,
Beerynge the rockes alonge ynn fhurye breme,
Soe wylle wee beere the Dacyanne armie downe,
And throughe a storme of blodde wyll reache the champyon crowne.
Gyff ynn thys battelle locke ne wayte oure gare,
To Brystowe dheie wylle tourne yeyre fhuyrie dyre;
Brystowe, & alle her joies, wylle synke toe ayre,
Brendeynge perforce wythe unenhantende fyre:
Thenne lette oure safetie doublie moove oure ire,
Lyche wolfyns, rovynge for the evnynge pre,
the lambe & shepsterr nere the brire,
Doth th'one forr safetie, th'one for hongre slea;
Thanne, whanne the ravenne crokes uponne the playne,
Oh! lette ytte bee the knelle to myghtie Dacyanns slayne.
Lyche a rodde gronfer, shalle mie anlace sheene,
Lyche a strynge lyoncelle I'lle bee ynne fyghte,
Lyche fallynge leaves the Dacyannes shalle bee sleene,
loud dynnynge streeme scalle be mie myghte.
Ye menne, who woulde deserve the name of knyghte,
Lette bloddie teares bie all your paves be wepte;
To commynge tymes no poyntelle shalle ywrite,
Whanne Englonde han her foemenn, Brystow slepte.
Yourselfses, youre chyldren, & youre fellowes crie,
Go, fyghte ynne rennomes gare, be brave, & wynne or die.
I saie ne moe; youre spryte the reste wylle saie;
Youre spryte wylle wrynne, thatte Brystow ys yer place;
To honoures house I nede notte marcke the waie;
Inne youre owne hartes you maie the foote-pathe trace.
'Twexte shappe & us there ys botte lyttelle space;
The tyme ys nowe to proove yourselves bee menne;
Drawe forthe the bornyshed bylle wythe fetyve grace,
Rouze, lyche a wolfynne rouzing from hys denne.
Thus I enrone mie anlace; goe thou shethe;
I'lle potte ytt ne ynn place, tyll ytte ys sycke wythe deathe.
Onn, Ælla, onn; we longe for bloddie fraie;
Wee longe to here the raven synge yn vayne;
Onn, Ælla, onn; we certys gayne the daie,
Whanne thou doste leade us to the leathal playne.
Thie speche, O Loverde, fyrethe the whole trayne;
Theie pancte for war, as honted wolves for breathe;
Go, & sytte crowned on corses of the slayne;
Go, & ywielde the massie swerde of deathe.
From thee, O Ælla, alle oure courage reygnes;
Echone yn phantasie do lede the Danes ynne chaynes.
Mie countrymenne, mie friendes, your noble sprytes
Speke yn youre eyne, & doe yer master telle.
Swefte as the rayne-storme toe the erthe alyghtes,
Soe wylle we fall upon these royners felle.
Oure mowynge swerdes shalle plonge hem downe to helle;
Theyre throngynge corses shall onlyghte the starres;
The barrowes brastynge wythe the sleene schall swelle,
Brynnynge to commynge tymes our famous warres;
Inne everie eyne I kenne the lowe of myghte,
Sheenynge abrode, alyche a hylle-fyre ynne the nyghte.
Whanne poyntelles of oure famous fyghte shall saie,
Echone wylle marvelle atte the dernie dede,
Echone wylle wyssen hee hanne seene the daie,
And bravelie holped to make the foemenn blede;
Botte for yer holpe oure battelle wylle notte nede;
Oure force ys force enowe to staie theyre honde;
Wee wylle retourne unto thys grened mede,
Oer corses of the foemen of the londe.
Nowe to the warre lette all the slughornes sounde,
The Dacyanne troopes appere on yinder rysynge grounde.
Chiefes, heade youre bandes, and leade.

DANES flyinge, neare WATCHETTE.
FLY, fly, ye Danes; Magnus, the chiefe, ys sleene;
The Saxonnes comme wythe Ælla atte theyre heade;
Lette's strev to gette awaie to yinder greene;
Flie, flie; thys ys the kyngdomme of the deadde.
O goddes! have thousandes bie mie anlace bledde,
And muste I nowe for safetie flie awaie?
See! farre besprenged alle oure troopes are spreade,
Yette I wylle synglie dare the bloddie fraie.
Botte ne; I'lle flie, & morther yn retrete;
Deathe, blodde, & fyre, scalle marke the goeynge of my feete.
Enthoghteynge forr to scape the brondeynge foe,
As nere unto the byllowd beche I came,
Farr offe I spied a syghte of myckle woe,
Oure spyrynge battayles wrapte ynn sayles of flame.
The burled Dacyannes, who were ynne the same,
Fro syde to syde fledde the pursuyte of deathe;
The swelleynge fyre yer corrage doe enflame,
Theie lepe ynto the sea, & bobbiynge yield yer breathe;
Whylest those thatt bee uponne the bloddie playne,
Bee deathe-doomed captyves taene, or yn the battle slayne.
Nowe bie the goddes, Magnus, dyscourteous knyghte,
Bie cravente havyoure havethe don oure woe,
Dyspendynge all the talle menne yn the fyghte,
And placeyng valourous menne where draffs mote goe.
Sythence oure fourtunie havethe tourned soe,
Gader the souldyers lefte to future shappe,
To somme newe place for safetie wee wylle goe,
Inne future daie wee wylle have better happe.
Sounde the loude slughorne for a quicke forloyne ;
Lette alle the Dacyannes swythe untoe oure banner joyne.
Throw hamlettes wee wylle sprenge sadde dethe & dole,
Bathe yn hotte gore, & wasch oureselves thereynne;
Goddes! here the Saxonnes lyche a byllowe rolle.
I heere the anlacis detested dynne.
Awaie, awaie, ye Danes, to yonder penne;
Wee now wylle make forloyne yn tyme to fyghte agenne.

O forr a spryte al feere! to telle the daie,
The daie whyche scal astounde the herers rede,
Makeynge oure foemennes envyynge hartes to blede,
Ybereynge thro the worlde oure rennomde name for aie.
Bryghte sonne han ynne hys roddie robes byn dyghte,
From the rodde Easte he flytted wythe hys trayne,
The howers drewe awaie the geete of nyghte,
Her sable tapistrie was rente yn twayne.
The dauncynge streakes bedecked heavennes playne,
And on the dewe dyd smyle wythe shemrynge eie,
Lyche gottes of blodde whyche doe blacke armoure steyne,
Sheenynge upon the borne whyche stondeth bie;
The souldyers stoode uponne the hillis syde,
Lyche yonge enlefed trees whyche yn a forreste byde.
Ælla rose lyche the tree besette wyth brieres;
Hys talle speere sheenynge as the starres at nyghte,
Hys eyne ensemeynge as a lowe of fyre;
Whanne he encheered everie manne to fyghte,
Hys gentle wordes dyd moove eche valourous knyghte;
Itte moovethe 'hem, as honterres lyoncelle;
In trebled armoure ys theyre courage dyghte;
Eche warrynge harte forr prayse & rennome swelles;
Lyche slowelie dynnynge of the croucheynge streme,
Syche dyd the mormrynge sounde of the whol armie seme.
Hee ledes 'hem onne to fyghte; oh! thenne to saie
How Ælla loked, and lokyng dyd encheere,
Moovynge alyche a mountayne yn affraie,
Whanne a lowde whyrlevynde doe yttes boesomme tare,
To telle howe everie loke wulde banyshe feere,
Woulde aske an angelles poyntelle or hys tyngue.
Lyche a talle rocke yatte ryseth heaven-were,
Lyche a yonge wolfynne brondeous & strynge,
Soe dydde he goe, & myghtie warriours hedde;
Wythe gore-depycted wynges masterie arounde hym fledde.
The battelle jyned; swerdes uponne swerdes dyd rynge;
Ælla was chafed, as lyonns madded bee;
Lyche fallynge starres, he dydde the javlynn flynge;
Hys mightie anlace mightie menne dyd slea;
Where he dydde comme, the flemed foe dydde flee,
Or felle benethe hys honde, as fallynge rayne,
Wythe sythe a fhuyrie he dydde onn 'hemm dree,
Hylles of yer bowkes dyd ryse opponne the playne;
Ælla, thou arte -- botte staie, mie tynge; saie nee;
Howe greate I hymme maye make, stylle greater hee wylle bee.
Nor dydde hys souldyerres see hys actes yn vayne.
Heere a stoute Dane uponne hys compheere felle;
Heere lorde & hyndlette sonke uponne the playne;
Heere sonne & fadre trembled ynto helle.
Chief Magnus sought hys waie, &, shame to telle!
Hee soughte hys waie for flyghte; botte Ælla's speere
Uponne the flyynge Dacyannes schoulder felle,
Quyte throwe hys boddie, & hys harte ytte tare,
He groned, & sonke uponne the gorie greene,
And wythe hys corse encreased the pyles of Dacyannes sleene.
Spente wythe the fyghte, the Danyshe champyons stonde,
Lyche bulles, whose strengthe & wondrous myghte ys fledde;
Ælla, a javelynne grypped yn eyther honde,
Flyes to the thronge, & doomes two Dacyannes deadde.
After hys acte, the armie all yspedde;
Fromm everich on unmyssynge javlynnes flewe;
Theie straughte yer doughtie swerdes; the foemenn bledde;
Fulle three of foure of myghtie Danes dheie slewe;
The Danes, wythe terroure rulynge att their head,
Threwe downe theyr bannere talle, & lyche a ravenne fledde.
The soldyerres followed wythe a myghtie crie,
Cryes, yatte welle myghte the stouteste hartes affraie.
Swefte, as yer shyppes, the vanquyshed Dacyannes flie;
Swefte, as the rayne uponne an Aprylie daie,
Pressynge behynde, the Englysche soldyerres slaie.
Botte halfe the tythes of Danyshe menne remayne;
Ælla commaundes 'heie thoulde the sleetre staie,
Botte bynde 'hem prysonners on the bloddie playne.
The fyghtynge beynge done, I came awaie,
In odher fieldes to fyghte a moe unequalle fraie.
Mie servant squyre!

Prepare a fleing horse,
Whose feete are wynges, whose pace ys lycke the wynde,
Whoe wylle outestreppe the morneynge lyghte yn course,
Leaveynge the gyttelles of the merke behynde.
Somme hyltren matters doe mie presence fynde.
Gyv oute to alle yatte I was sleene ynne fyghte.
Gyff ynne thys gare thou doest mie order mynde,
Whanne I returne, thou shalte be made a knyghte;
Flie, flie, be gon; an howerre ys a daie;
Quycke dyghte mie best of stedes, and brynge hymm heere -- awaie!
Ælla ys woundedd sore, and ynne the toune
He waytethe, tylle hys woundes be broghte to ethe.
And shalle I from hys browes plocke off the croune,
Makynge the victore yn hys vyctorie blethe?
O no! fulle sooner schulde mie hartes blodde smethe,
Fulle soonere woulde I tortured bee to deathe;
Botte -- Birtha ys the pryze; ahe! ytte were ethe
To gayne so gayne a pryze wythe losse of breathe;
Botte thanne rennome æterne - ytte ys botte ayre;
Bredde ynne the phantasie, and alleyn lyvynge there.
Albeytte everyche thynge yn lyfe conspyre
To telle me of the faulte I nowe schulde doe,
Yette woulde I battentlie assuage mie fyre,
And the same menes, as I scall nowe, pursue.
The qualytyes I fro mie parentes drewe,
Were blodde, & morther, masterie, and warre;
Thie I wylie holde to now, & hede ne moe
A wounde yn rennome, yanne a boddie scarre.
Nowe, Ælla, nowe Ime plantynge of a thorne,
Bie whyche thie peace, thie love, & glorie shall be torne.

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