Ælla, A Tragical Interlude - Act III

Thomas Chatterton 1752 (Bristol) – 1770 (Holborn)

SCENE I.
BRISTOWE.
BIRTHA.
Gentle Egwina, do notte preche me joie;
I cannotte joie ynne anie thynge botte weere .
Oh! yatte aughte schulde oure selynesse destroie,
Floddynge the face wythe woe, and brynie teare!
EGWINA.
You muste, you muste endeavour for to cheere
Youre harte unto somme cherisaunied reste.
Youre loverde from the battelle wylle appere,
Ynne honnoure, and a greater love, be dreste:
Botte I wylle call the mynstrelles roundelaie;
Perchaunce the swotie sounde maie chase your wiere awaie.

MYNSTRELLES SONGE.
O! synge untoe mie roundelaie,
O! droppe the blynie teare wythe mee,
Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie,
Lycke a reyneynge ryver bee;
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Blacke hys cryne as the wynter nyghte,
Whyte hys rode as the sommer snowe,
Rodde hys face as the morning lyghte,
Cale he lyes ynne the grave belowe;
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Swote hys tynge as the throstles note,
Quycke ynn daunce as thoughte canne bee,
Defte hys taboure, codgelle stote,
O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree:
Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
Alle underre the wyllowe tree.
Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge,
In the briered delle belowe;
Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge,
To the nyghte-mares as heie goe;
Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie;
Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude;
Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie,
Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude;
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Here, uponne mie true loves grave,
Schalle the baren fleurs be layde,
Nee one hallie Seyncte to save
Al the celness of a mayde.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys death-bedde,
Alle under the wyllowe tree.
Wythe mie hondes I'lle dente the brieres
Rounde his hallie corse to gre,
Ouphante fairie, lyghte youre fyres,
Heere mie boddie stylle schalle bee.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne,
Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie;
Lyfe and all yttes goode I scorne,
Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie.
My love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes,
Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde.
I die; I comme; mie true love waytes.
Thos the damselle spake, and dyed.
BIRTHA.
Thys syngeyng haveth whatte coulde make ytte please;
Butte mie uncourtlie shappe benymmes mee of all ease.

SCENE II.
ÆLLA, atte WATCHETTE.
CURSE onne mie tardie woundes! brynge mee a stede!
I wylle awaie to Birtha bie thys nyghte;
Albeytte fro mie woundes mie soul doe blede,
I wylle awaie, & die wythynne her syghte.
Brynge mee a stede, wythe eagle-wynges for flyghte;
Swefte as mie wyshe, &, as mie love ys, stronge.
The Danes have wroughte mee myckle woe ynne fyghte,
Inne kepeynge mee from Birtha's armes so longe.
O! whatte a dome was myne, sythe masterie
Canne yeve ne pleasaunce, nor mie londes goode leme myne eie!
Yee goddes, howe ys a loverres temper formed!
Sometymes the samme thynge wylle bothe bane, & blesse;
On tyme encalede yanne bie the same thynge warmd,
Estroughted foorthe, and yanne ybrogten less.
'Tys Birtha's loss whyche doe mie thoughtes possesse;
I wylle, I muste awaie: whie staies mie stede?
Mie huscarles, hyther haste; prepare a dresse,
Whyche couracyers yn hastie journies nede.
O heavens! I I moste awaie to Byrtha eyne,
For yn her lookes I fynde mie beynge doe entwyne.

SCENE III.
CELMONDE, atte BRYSTOWE.
The worlde ys darke wythe nyghte; the wyndes are stylle;
Fayntelie the mone her palyde lyght makes gleme;
The upryste sprytes the sylente letten fylle,
Wythe ouphant faeryes joynyng ynne the dreme;
The forreste sheenethe wythe the sylver leme;
Now maie mie love be sated ynn yttes treate;
Uponne the lynche of somme swefte reynyng streme,
Att the swote banquette I wylle swotelie eate.
Thys ys the howse; yee hyndes, swythyn appere.

CELMONDE.
Go telle to Birtha strayte, a straungerr waytethe here.

BIRTHA.
Celmonde! yee seynctes! I hope thou haste goode newes.
CELMONDE.
The hope ys loste; for heavie newes prepare.
BIRTHA.
Is Ælla welle?
CELMONDE.
Hee lyves; and stylle maie use
The behylte blessynges of a future yeare.
BIRTHA.
Whatte heavie tydynge thenne have I to feare?
Of whatte mischaunce dydste thou so
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Chatterton

Thomas Chatterton was an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He committed suicide, dying of arsenic poisoning. His works and death were much discussed posthumously and had an influence on the Romantic movement. more…

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