Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Scenes from Politian” (Study Text - RAOP-JLG)


Texts Represented:


[page 31:]





{{1845-01: ROME. }} A Lady's apartment, with a window open and looking into a garden. Lalage, in deep mourning, reading at a table on which lie some books and a hand mirror. In the back ground [[background]] Jacinta (a servant maid) leans carelessly upon a chair.

Line-01-001 [[indent]] {{1845-01: Lal. //1849-02: Lalage. }} Jacinta! is it thou?

Line-01-002 [[indent]] {{1845-01: Jac. //1849-02: Jacinta. }} (pertly.) Yes, Ma’am, I’m here.

Line-01-003 [[indent]] Lal.   I did not know, Jacinta, you were in waiting.

Line-01-004 Sit down! — let not my presence trouble you —

Line-01-005 Sit down! — for I am humble, most humble.

Line-01-006 [[indent]] Jac. (aside.) ’Tis time.

Line-01-007 (Jacinta seats herself in a side-long manner upon the chair, resting her elbows upon the back, and regarding her mistress with a contemptuous look. Lalage continues to read.)

Line-01-008 [[indent]] Lal.  “It in another climate, so he said,

Line-01-009 “Bore a bright golden flower, but not i’ [[in]] this soil!”

Line-01-010 (pauses — turns over some leaves, and resumes.)

Line-01-011 “No lingering winters there, nor snow, nor shower —

Line-01-012 “But Ocean ever to refresh mankind

Line-01-013 “Breathes the shrill spirit of the western wind.”

Line-01-014 Oh, beautiful! — most beautiful! — how like

Line-01-015 To what my fevered soul doth dream of Heaven!

Line-01-016 O happy land! (pauses.) She died! — the maiden died!

Line-01-017 O still more happy maiden who couldst die!

Line-01-018 Jacinta!

Line-01-019 (Jacinta returns no answer, and Lalage presently resumes.)

Line-01-020 Again! — a similar tale

Line-01-021 Told of a beauteous dame beyond the sea! [page 35:]

Line-01-022 Thus speaketh one Ferdinand in the words of the play —

Line-01-023 “She died full young” — one Bossola answers him —

Line-01-024 “I think not so — her infelicity

Line-01-025 “Seemed to have years too many” — Ah luckless lady!

Line-01-026 Jacinta! (still no answer.)

Line-01-027 [[indent]] Here's a far sterner story

Line-01-028 But like — oh, very like in its despair —

Line-01-029 Of that Egyptian queen, winning so easily

Line-01-030 A thousand hearts — losing at length her own.

Line-01-031 She died. Thus endeth the history — and her maids

Line-01-032 Lean over and weep — two gentle maids

Line-01-033 With gentle names — Eiros and Charmion!

Line-01-034 Rainbow and Dove! —— Jacinta!

Line-01-035 [[indent]] Jac. (pettishly.) Madam, what is it?

Line-01-036 [[indent]] Lal.  Wilt thou, my good Jacinta, be so kind

Line-01-037 As go down in the library and bring me

Line-01-038 The Holy Evangelists.

Line-01-039 [[indent]] Jac. Pshaw!   (exit.)

Line-01-040 [[indent]] Lal. If there be balm

Line-01-041 For the wounded spirit in Gilead it is there!

Line-01-042 Dew in the night time of my bitter trouble

Line-01-043 Will there be found — “dew sweeter far than that

Line-01-044 Which hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill.”

Line-01-045 (re-enter Jacinta, and throws a volume on the table.)

Line-01-046 There, ma’am, 's the book. Indeed she is very troublesome.   (aside.)

Line-01-047 [[indent]] Lal. (astonished.)  What didst thou say, Jacinta? Have I done aught

Line-01-048 To grieve thee or to vex thee? — I am sorry.

Line-01-049 For thou hast served me long and ever been

Line-01-050 Trust-worthy and respectful.

Line-01-051 [[indent]]

Line-01-052 [[indent]] (resumes her reading.)

Line-01-053 [[indent]] Jac. I can’t believe

Line-01-054 She has any more jewels — no — no — she gave me all.

Line-01-055 [[indent]] (aside.) [page 36:]

Line-01-056 [[indent]] Lal. What didst thou say, Jacinta? Now I bethink me

Line-01-057 Thou hast not spoken lately of thy wedding.

Line-01-058 How fares good Ugo? — and when is it to be?

Line-01-059 Can I do aught? — is there no farther aid

Line-01-060 Thou needest, Jacinta?

Line-01-061 [[indent]] Jac. Is there no farther aid!

Line-01-062 That's meant for me. (aside) I’m sure, Madam, you need not

Line-01-063 Be always throwing those jewels in my teeth.

Line-01-064 [[indent]] Lal. Jewels! Jacinta, — now indeed, Jacinta,

Line-01-065 I thought not of the jewels.

Line-01-066 [[indent]] Jac. Oh! perhaps not!

Line-01-067 But then I might have sworn it. After all,

Line-01-068 There's Ugo says the ring is only paste,

Line-01-069 For he's sure the Count Castiglione never

Line-01-070 Would have given a real diamond to such as you;

Line-01-071 And at the best I’m certain, Madam, you cannot

Line-01-072 Have use for jewels now. But I might have sworn it.

Line-01-073 [[indent]] (exit.)

Line-01-074 (Lalage bursts into tears and leans her head upon the table — after a short pause raises it.)

Line-01-075 [[indent]] Lal.  Poor Lalage! — and is it come to this?

Line-01-076 Thy servant maid! — but courage! — 'tis but a viper

Line-01-077 Whom thou hast cherished to sting thee to the soul!

Line-01-078 (taking up the mirror)

Line-01-079 Ha! here at least's a friend — too much a friend

Line-01-080 In earlier days — a friend will not deceive thee.

Line-01-081 Fair mirror and true! now tell me (for thou canst)

Line-01-082 A tale — a pretty tale — and heed thou not

Line-01-083 Though it be rife with woe. It answers me.

Line-01-084 It speaks of sunken eyes, and wasted cheeks,

Line-01-085 And Beauty long deceased — remembers me

Line-01-086 Of Joy departed — Hope, the Seraph Hope,

Line-01-087 Inurned and entombed! — now, in a tone

Line-01-088 Low, sad, and solemn, but most audible, [page 37:]

Line-01-089 Whispers of early grave untimely yawning

Line-01-090 For ruined maid. Fair mirror and true! — thou liest not!

Line-01-091 Thou hast no end to gain — no heart to break —

Line-01-092 Castiglione lied who said he loved ——

Line-01-093 Thou true — he false! — false! — false!

Line-01-094 (while she speaks, a monk enters her apartment, and approaches unobserved.)

Line-01-095 [[indent]] Monk.  Refuge thou hast,

Line-01-096 Sweet daughter! in Heaven. Think of eternal things!

Line-01-097 Give up thy soul to penitence, and pray!

Line-01-098 [[indent]] Lal. (arising hurriedly.)  I cannot pray! — My soul is at war with God!

Line-01-099 The frightful sounds of merriment below

Line-01-100 Disturb my senses — go! I cannot pray —

Line-01-101 The sweet airs from the garden worry me!

Line-01-102 Thy presence grieves me — go! — thy priestly raiment

Line-01-103 Fills me with dread — thy ebony crucifix

Line-01-104 With horror and awe!

Line-01-105 [[indent]] Monk.  Think of thy precious soul!

Line-01-106 [[indent]] Lal.  Think of my early days! — think of my father

Line-01-107 And mother in Heaven! think of our quiet home,

Line-01-108 And the rivulet that ran before the door!

Line-01-109 Think of my little sisters! — think of them!

Line-01-110 And think of me! — think of my trusting love

Line-01-111 And confidence — his vows — my ruin — think — think

Line-01-112 Of my unspeakable misery! —— begone!

Line-01-113 Yet stay! yet stay! — what was it thou saidst of prayer

Line-01-114 And penitence? Didst thou not speak of faith

Line-01-115 And vows before the throne?

Line-01-116 [[indent]] Monk.  I did.

Line-01-117 [[indent]] Lal. ’Tis well.

Line-01-118 There is a vow were fitting should be made — [page 38:]

Line-01-119 A sacred vow, imperative, and urgent,

Line-01-120 A solemn vow!

Line-01-121 [[indent]] Monk.  Daughter, this zeal is well!

Line-01-122 [[indent]] Lal.  Father, this zeal is anything but well!

Line-01-123 Hast thou a crucifix fit for this thing?

Line-01-124 A crucifix whereon to register

Line-01-125 This sacred vow?

Line-01-126 [[indent]]

Line-01-127 [[indent]] (he hands her his own.)

Line-01-128 Not that — Oh! no! — no! — no!

Line-01-129 [[indent]]

Line-01-130 [[indent]] (shuddering.)

Line-01-131 Not that! Not that! — I tell thee, holy man,

Line-01-132 Thy raiments and thy ebony cross affright me!

Line-01-133 Stand back! I have a crucifix myself, —

Line-01-134 I have a crucifix! Methinks ’twere fitting

Line-01-135 The deed — the vow — the symbol of the deed —

Line-01-136 And the deed's register should tally, father!

Line-01-137 (draws a cross-handled dagger and raises it on high.)

Line-01-138 Behold the cross wherewith a vow like mine

Line-01-139 Is written in Heaven!

Line-01-140 [[indent]] Monk.  Thy words are madness, daughter,

Line-01-141 And speak a purpose unholy — thy lips are livid —

Line-01-142 Thine eyes are wild — tempt not the wrath divine!

Line-01-143 Pause ere too late! — oh be not — be not rash!

Line-01-144 Swear not the oath — oh swear it not!

Line-01-145 [[indent]] Lal.  ’Tis sworn! [page 39:]



[[Alternate persentation giving the text as originally printed, with indications for Poe's changes]]

[page 31:]





>>ROME.<< A Lady's apartment, with a window open and looking into a garden. Lalage, in deep mourning, reading at a table on which lie some books and a hand mirror. In the background Jacinta (a servant maid) leans carelessly upon a chair.

Lal<age>. Jacinta! is it thou?

Jac<inta>. (pertly.) Yes, Ma’am, I’m here.

Lal.   I did not know, Jacinta, you were in waiting.

Sit down! — Let not my presence trouble you —

Sit down! — for I am humble, most humble.




For an explanation of the formatting used in this Study Text, see editorial policies and methods. This format is very much an experiment, particularly for poetry. For the version with changes applied, see the full poem.

Because Poe's changes here are made in his own copy of The Raven and other Poems, the pagination of that edition has been retained in the present text.


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