Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part V — Scene IV >> Page 30

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Page 30

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 30 Michael Bonham ; or, the Fall of Bexar.

Grow darker. What I've pray'd for is at hand—I'm dying ! Who is it that holds my hand ?
W. Harris. 'Tis I—Will Harris.
R. Harris'. Faithful to the last ;
You've clung to me in danger. But it's over;
The victory is ours—that's sure ;—you're safe.
W. Harris. But you!
R. Harris. Will soon be safer still. I'm dying fast ! W. Harris. Oh. God forbid, and spare you!
R. Harris. Wherefore ? I
Have rather need of mercy than of life!
W. Harris. May God have mercy on you ! R. Harris. That's right,
Tray for me. I have need of every prayer.
I've been a cold and cruel criminal
Have spurn'd all natural ties.
W. Hrirris, [sobs convulsively.] Alas! alas!
R. Harris. How is this boy ! You sob—you weep for me,
As if I were some dearest relative.
W. Harris. You are! you are ! Oh, Richard, look upon me ;
Do you know me now ?
[Throws off her cap and lets down her hair.
.R. Harris. My reason's gone, I think—or, is it Ellen?
W. Harris. It is! It is ! She that was once your own, your only !
R. Harris. Is
My own—my only still! Hear me, Ellen,
I'll buy your last forgiveness. In my bosom
Search for the packet. It contains the papers
That prove your marriage—the certificate ;
You'll find it sealed with blood !— from Parson Baker. Believing you had played me false, I slew him,
To hush for ever the last living proof
Of our unhappy union.
W. Harris. Merciful Heaven !
R. Harris. Nor he alone! Your brother John pursued me,
Because of your dishonor—so he deemed it ;
He perish'd by these hands!
W. Harris. Have mercy on him, Heaven!
Let not these murders hang about his soul,
Dragging it downwards.
R. Harris Pray. I'm failing fast.
I loved you all the while—believe me, Ellen ;
And when, at last, I found that you were true,
I would have come to you again, but dared not, Your brother's blood upon my hands and soul.
Come closer—let me hear you ; in my ears
Still tell rue of forgiveness. Christ ! have mercy ! Look down upon rne ! Would that I had time
For pray'r; but no! I cannot. Death is rushing
Fast on my heart. His icy fingers grapple
My throat. I choke ! My dearest Ellen! [Dies.
W. Harris. His lips are cold. He stiffens in my arms.
I hear his voice no more. Have mercy Heaven! Mercy on both ! Oh, take us both together !
[Sinks upon the body as the scene closes.


SCENE IV.

A court of the palace. Pedro and Donna Maria.

Pedro. Art sure of what thou tells't me?
Maria. Ay, as sure,
As pride and hate made jealous of the object Can make eye, ear and spirit. To Laguayra,


I saw them speed together. Seek her there. Clothed in the habit of some fallen Texian
One of your followers. Let him bear a message
As if from Amador. Bid her forth to him,
And take her to herself. Bear her away,
Fast as your love may carry you, to Rosas, There wed her as yon may.
Pedro. The plan's a good one.
Maria. Tis the only plan.
Pedro. I'll do it.
Maria. And do't at once! Or, ere another hour he does it for you, And we are baffled still.
Pedro. I half despond—So oft already baffled !
Maria. Because too slow! You linger now, when on the wings of love, As I on those of hate, your arm should snatch The pride of conquest from the unwilling fortune. Go to ! are you a lover and a man, And talk of being baffled. Man or woman, True to the lordly instincts of their souls, Are never baffled.
Pedro. Yon should have been a man.
Maria. Oh! would I had been. Even now, a woman, Had I but sway'd in counsel—had you listened, This night had never happ'd. Delay no more,
Lest that the grinning fortune mock you still
With baffled love and vengeance, in full cry,
With " Hadst thou been a man !"
Pedro. I am a man!
Maria. Prove it then,
In 'haviour of a bold one.
Pedro. In one hour,
She shall be mine forever.
Maria. Yield no hour,
But take the, fortune in its moment mood,
Or all the golden opportunity
Goes to the common loss. Away with you,
Nor linger at her pleadings. Hearken not
Her cries and supplication. Make your ears
Deaf to all plea, all passion but your own ;
And with most absolute certainty make her yours,
In spite of hell or heaven!
Pedro. By Heaven, I will ! [Exit Pedro.
Maria. Ay ! had I been a man, this night of shame
Had never left such record. I have sunk
Deeper than plummet's cast in the deep sea,
In all that makes the glory of our sex ;—
Its holy calm, its whiteness. purity—
The all, that far beyond its hope's fruition,
Were needful to its life. I cannot live, Unless for vengeance. Vengeance must be mine! And I will have it, if, faithful to his strength, This man obeys my counsel. She shall tall
From her high pride of place. She knows my secret—But shall not gloat, in future state secure, On the possession. And for him !—for him! Alas!! I love him still !—the fatal passion Works quivering in my heart, where still one hope Looks to his passion for the generous sunshine
To gladden it with growth. [Distant cannon is heard.
The battle rages,
And the deep roar of the destroying cannon Proclaim the assault upon the Alamo now. Let them roar on! My soul, in a like tempest, Wads in the echoes that still speak for passions
As terrible as mine own. But hark!—these voices! And he—he here already ! Ile pursues her. Her flight disco'ered ! I must thwart him now—