And clasps her Lord unto the breast
Which pants for one away:
And he to that embrace awakes,
And, happy in the thought, mistakes
That dreaming sigh, and warm caress,
For such as he was wont to bless;
And could in very fondness weep
O'er her who loves him even in sleep.80
He clasped her sleeping to his heart,
And listened to each broken word:
He hears—Why doth Prince Azo start,
As if the Archangel's voice he heard?
And well he may—a deeper doom
Could scarcely thunder o'er his tomb,
When he shall wake to sleep no more,
And stand the eternal throne before.
And well he may—his earthly peace
Upon that sound is doomed to cease.90
That sleeping whisper of a name
Bespeaks her guilt and Azo's shame.
Putting Lady Macbeth out of the question, the situation may be traced to a passage in Henry Mackenzie's Julia de Roubigné (1777, ii. lOl: "Montauban to Segarva," Letter xxxv.):—
"I was last night abroad at supper; Julia was a-bed before my return. I found her lute lying on the table, and a music-book open by it. I could perceive the marks of tears shed on the paper, and the air was such as might encourage their falling. Sleep, however, had overcome her sadness, and she did not awake when I opened the curtain to look on her. When I had stood some moments, I heard her sigh strongly through her sleep, and presently she muttered some words, I know not of what import. I had sometimes heard her do so before, without regarding it much; but there was something that roused my attention now. I listened; she sighed again, and again spoke a few broken words. At last I heard her plainly pronounce the name Savillon two or three times, and each time it was accompanied with sighs so deep that her heart seemed bursting as it heaved them."]