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Michel più che mortal, Angel divino.

ARIOSTO.

Similameate operando all' artista
Ch' a l'abito dell' arte e man che trema.

Dante, Par. xiii. sl. 77.

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I.

PROLOGUE AT ISCHIA.

The Castle Terrace. VITTORIA COLONNA and JULIA

GONZAGA.

VITTORIA.

Will you

then leave me, Julia, and so soon, To pace alone this terrace like a ghost ?

The good Vespasian, an old man, who seemed
A father to you rather than a husband,
Died in your arms; but mine, in all the flower
And promise of his youth, was taken from

me
As by a rushing wind. The breath of battle
Breathed on him, and I saw his face no more,
Save as in dreams it haunts me. As our love
Was for these men, so is our sorrow for them.
Yours a child's sorrow, smiling through its

tears ; But mine the grief of an impassioned woman, Who drank her life up in one draught of love.

JULIA.

To-morrow, dearest.

VITTORIA.

Do not say to-morrow. A whole month of to-morrows were too soon. You must not go. You are a part of me.

JULIA.

JULIA.

I must return to Fondi.

Behold this locket. This is the white hair
Of my Vespasian. This is the flower-of-love,
This amaranth, and beneath it the device
Non moritura. Thus my heart remains
True to his memory; and the ancient castle,
Where we have lived together, where he died,
Is dear to me as Ischia is to you.

VITTORIA.

VITTORIA.

I did not mean to chide you.

The old castle Needs not your presence.

No one waits for you. Stay one day longer with me. They who go Feel not the pain of parting; it is they Who stay behind that suffer. I was thinking But yesterday how like and how unlike Have been, and are, our destinies. Your hus

band,

JULIA.

Let your heart Find, if it can, some poor apology For one who is too young, and feels too keenly

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