Exposed to all that vengeance may invent.
What shall I do, where progress or return
Are fraught alike with guilt or retribution?
Most wretched fate of man, that leadeth him,
Short-sighted, weak and erring, to this world.
And lets each little sin of his become
A mount of woes, that crush him by their weight,
An avalanche of pain, that buries him,
A tangled maze of errors which to tear,
He needs the strength and wisdom of a god !
There spreads the night her spangled canopy,
There goes the moon upon her radiant course.
There move the fleecy clouds in silvery light.
But, stern and mute, they have no heart for me.
No solace for my sorrow, no reply
Unto my question: [Despairingly] "Ah! what shall I do?"
[He sits down to meditate. Then rising energetically, he continues :]
My course is chosen. Come what will ! I must
Redeem my error, if to feel relieved!
Yet she, who innocent, has suffered most
Through me, her father, must not share my fate!
Hence she must first be saved. And here her secret
Comes to my aid, as if thus planned by God.
So hastening to her tent, I will inform her
Of my design, and, oh! [Despairingly] take—leave—from—her.