(1752 - 1770 / Bristol / England)

Ælla, A Tragical Interlude - Act Iv

TYS nowe fulle morne; I thoughten, bie laste nyghte
To have been heere; mie stede han notte mie love;
Thys ys mie pallace; lette mie hyndes alyghte,
Whylste I goe oppe, & wake mie slepeynge dove.
Staie here, mie hyndlettes; I shal goe above.
Nowe, Birtha, wyll thie loke enhele mie spryte,
Thie smyles unto mie woundes a baulme wylle prove;
Mie ledanne boddie wylle bee sette aryghte.
Egwina, haste, & ope the portalle door;
Yatte I on Birtha's breste maie thynke of ware nemore.

Oh Ælla!
Ah! that semmlykeene to mee
Speeketh a legendary tale of woe.
Birtha is --
Whatt? where? how? saie, whatte of shee?
Gone --
Gone! ye goddes!
Alas! ytte ys toe true.
Yee seynctes, hee dies awaie wythe myckle woe!
Ælla! what? Ælla! oh! hee lyves agen.
Cal mee notte Ælla; I am hymme ne moe.
Where ys shee gon awaie? ah! speake! how? when?
I will.
Caparyson a score of stedes; flie, flie.
Where ys shee? swythynne speeke, or instante thou shalte die.
Stylle thie loud rage, & here thou whatte I knowe.
Oh! speek.
Lyche prymrose, droopynge wythe the heavie rayne,
Laste nyghte I lefte her, droopynge wythe her wiere,
Her love the gare, thatte gave her harte syke peyne --
Her love! to whomme?
To thee, her spouse alleyne .
As ys mie hentylle everyche morne to goe,
I wente, and oped her chamber doore ynn twayne,
Botte found her notte, as I was wont to doe;
Thanne alle arounde the pallace I dyd seere
Botte culde (to mie hartes woe) ne fynde her aniewheere.
Thou lyest, foul hagge! thou lyest; thou art her ayde
To chere her louste; -- botte noe; ytte cannotte bee.
Gyff trouthe appear notte inne whatte I have sayde,
Drawe forthe thie anlace swythyn, thanne mee slea.
Botte yette ytte muste, ytte muste bee soe; I see,
Shee wythe somme loustie paramoure ys gone;
Itte moste bee soe -- oh! how ytte wracketh mee!
Mie race of love, mie race of lyfe ys ronne;
Nowe rage, & brondeous storm, & tempeste comme;
Nete lyvynge upon erthe can now enswote mie domme.

Loverde! I am aboute the trouthe to saie.
Laste nyghte, fulle late I dydde retourne to reste.
As to mie chamber I dydde betide mie waie,
To Birtha onne hys name and place addreste;
Downe to hym camme shee; butte thereof the reste
I ken ne matter; so, mie hommage made--
O! speake ne moe; mie harte flames yn yttes heste;
I once was Ælla; nowe bee notte yttes shade.
Hanne alle the fuirie of mysfortunes wylle
Fallen mine mie benned headde I hanne been Ælla stylle.
Thys alleyn was unburled of alle mie spryte;
Mie honnoure, honnoure, frownd on the dolce wynde,
Thatte steeked on ytte; nowe wyth rage Im pyghte;
A brondeous unweere ys mie engyned mynde.
Mie hommeur yette somme drybblet joie maie fynde,
To the Danes woundes I wylle another yeve;
Whanne thos mie rennome and mie peace ys rynde,
Itte were a recrandize to thyncke toe live;
Mie huscarles, untoe everie asker telle,
Gyffe noblie Ælla lyved, as noblie Ælla felle.

Ælla ys sleene; the flower of Englond's marrde!
Be stylle; stythe lette the chyrches rynge mie knelle.
Call hyther brave Coernyke; he, as warde
Of thys mie Brystowe castle, wyll doe welle.

Thee I ordeyne the warde; so alle maie telle.
I have botte lyttel tym to dragge thys lyfe;
Mie lethal tale, alyche a lethalle belle,
Dynne yn the eares of her I wyschd mie wyfe!
Botte ah! shee maie be fayre.
Yatte shee moste bee.
Ah! saie notte soe; yatte worde woulde Ælla dobblie slee.

Ah! Birtha here!
Whatte dynne ys thys? Whatte merits yis leathalle knelle?
Where ys mie Ælla? speeke; where? howe ys hee?
Oh Ælla! art thou yanne alyve and well!
I lyve yndeed; botte doe notte lyve for thee.
Whatte menes mie Ælla?
Here mie meneynge see.
Thie foulness urged mie honde to gyve thys wounde,
Ytte mee unsprytes.
Ytte hathe unspryted mee.
Ah heavens! mie Birtha fallethe to the grounde!
Botte yette I am a manne, and so wylle bee.
Ælla! I amme a Dane; botte yette a friende to thee.
Thys damoyselle I founde wythynne a woode,
Strevynge fulle harde anenste a burled swayne;
I sente hym myrynge ynne mie compheeres blodde,
Celmonde hys name, chief of thie warrynge trayne.
Yis damoiselle soughte to be here agayne;
The whyche, albeytte foemen, wee dydd wylle;
So here wee broughte her wythe you to remayne.
Yee nobyile Danes! wythe goulde I wyll you fylle.
Birtha, mie lyfe! mie love! oh! she ys fayre.
Whatte faultes could Birtha have, whatte faultes could Ælla feare?
Amm I yenne thyne? I cannotte blame thie feere.
Botte doe reste mee uponne mie Ælla's breaste;
I wylle to thee bewryen the woefulle gare.
Celmonde dyd comme to mee at tyme of reste,
Wordeynge for mee to flie, att your requeste,
To Watchette towne, where you deceasynge laie;
I wyth hym fledde; thro' a murke wode we preste,
Where hee foule love unto mie eares dyd saie;
The Danes --
Oh! I die content. --

Oh! ys mie Ælla dedde?
O! I will make hys grave mie vyrgyn spousal bedde.

Whatt? Ælla deadde! and Birtha dyynge toe!
Soe falles the fayrest flourettes of the playne.
Who canne unplyte the wurchys heaven can doe?
Or who untweste the role of shappe yn twayne?
Ælla, the rennome was thie onlie gayne;
For yatte, thie pleasaunce, & thie joie was loste.
Thie countrymen shall rere thee, on the playne,
A pyle of carnes, as anie grave can boaste;
Further, a just amede to thee to bee,
Inne heaven thou synge of Godde, on erthe we'lle synge of thee.
The Ende.

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