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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 3, scene 2

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SCENE II. - A DISTANT VIEW OF THE SEA

Enter AURELIUS and UTER, (with the Scottish army,) as
just
disembarked, habited as Britons.

Aur. 0, dearest soil! bless'd mother earth! hail to thee!
Fain would my feet play wanton on thy breast,
And skip with joy to tread thee once again.
"Tis
not to wound thee that I thus do come,
In glitt'ring steel, and dire array of war,
But as my right to claim thee for mine own.

Uter. Brother, each lip for thee sends forth a blessing;
And, with the smile that buds on ev'ry face,
Alike expands a ray of happiness.
Never did I before blame nature's work;
But now I fain would quarrel with her hosts,
For that in me she caus'd a lack of years;
Else had these prayers, these blessings all been mine!
To have a crown and kingdom at command
Is but as dross; but thus to have them come,
Might from their airy beds the angels draw
To taste the joys of this our mortal earth.
Throughout the camp now all is hush'd in silence,
And Morpheus, with his leaden wings outspread,
Hath on each eyelid laid the weight of slumber. [Exit

Aur. Then, as the general, the task is mine
To thank that mighty God, whose name alone
Doth carry awe, and strikes the soul with fear.
Here prostrate, then, I fall before thy face;
And, tho' unworthy of thy mercy, pray: -
If giant form doth more enlarge the mind,
Would that my front did with the mountains vie;
That so my heat-amazed brain might work
Thoughts suiting more this vast immensity!
0! most expanded - O! most fertile mind!
When thou wouldst copulate with thoughts like this,
Thou art mere nothingness; or when the lips
Do pour forth boisterous and high sounding words,
They back again to the poor mortal brain,
And scoff at thy presumption.
" 0, God! why should I, a mere speck on earth,
" Tear thousands from their wives, children, and homes !
" 0! wherefore, from this transitory sleep,
" That now doth steal from them their inward cares,
" Should I send thousands to cold, dreary death?
" 'Tis true, I am a king, and what of that?
" Is not life dear to them, as 'tis to me?
" 0! peasant, envy not the prince's lot;
" Thy page in life's great book is not foul charg'd,
" And like to ours besmear'd with dying breaths.
" 0! had I lives myself enough to answer
" The ravenous and greedy jaws of death,
" That will on these, my friends, my soldiers,
" Such havoc make, and wanton gluttony!
" Father of mercy, spare, 0! spare this blood!
" And if I must alone receive the crown,
" Bedeck'd with purple gore, I here resign it." [Exit.

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