Skip to main content

Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

See other formats

SCENE v                  PART SECOND
Swore he would not survive ; and, pressing on,
He, too, was slaughtered.    Patriotic rage
Brimmed  marshals*  breasts  and men's.    The   King
Fought like the commonest.    But nothing served. His horse is slain ; his own doom yet unknown. Prince William, too, is wounded.    Brave Schmettau Is broke ; himself disabled.    All give way, And regiments crash like trees at felling-time!
No more.    We match it here.    The yielding lines Still sweep us backward.    Backward we must go!
[Exeunt HOHENLOHE, Staff, stragglers, etc.
The Prussian retreat from Jena quickens to a rout, many thousands being taken prisoners by MURAT, who pursues them to Weimar, where the inhabitants fly shrieking through the streets.
The October day closes in to evening. By this time the troops retiring with the King of Prussia from the second battlefield of Auerstadt have intersected RUCHEL'S and HOHENLOHE'S flying battalions from Jena. The crossing streams of fugitives strike panic into each other, and the tumult increases with the thickening darkness till night renders the scene invisible, and nothing remains but a confused diminishing noise, and fitful lights here and there.
The fog of the morning returns, and curtains all.
A fluttering group of ladies is gathered at the window, gazing out and conversing anxiously. The time draws towards noon, when the clatter of a galloping horse's hoofs is heard echoing up the long Potsdamer-Strasse, and presently turning into the Leipziger-Strasse reaches the open space commanded by the ladies' outlook. It ceases before a Government building opposite them, and the rider disappears into the courtyard.