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

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NEUFCH!TEL, MARSHAL BESSI&RES, DUROC Marshal of the Palace, and CAULAINCOURT Master of the Horse. The EMPEROR looks well, but is growing fat. They embark on an ornamental barge in front of them, which immediately puts off. It is now apparent to the watchers that a precisely similar enactment has simultaneously taken place on the opposite or Russian bank, the chief figure being the EMPEROR ALEXANDER—a graceful, flexible man of thirty, with a courteous manner and good-natured face. He has come out from an inn on that side, accompanied by the GRAND-DUKE CONSTANTINE, GENERAL BENNIGSEN, GENERAL OUWAROFF, PRINCE LABANOFF, and ADJUTANT-GENERAL COUNT LIEVEN.
The two barges draw towards the raft, reaching the opposite sides of it about the same time, amidst discharges of cannon. Each Emperor enters the door that faces him, and meeting in the centre of the pavilion they formally embrace each other. They retire together to the screened interior, the suite of each remaining in the outer half of the pavilion.
More than an hour passes while they are thus invisible. The French officers who have observed the scene from the lodging of NAPOLEON walk about idly, and ever and anon go curiously to the windows, again to watch the raft.
CHORUS OF THE YEARS (aerial music)
The prelude to this smooth scene—mark well!—were
the shocks whereof the times gave token Vaguely to us ere last years snows had greyed Lithuan
pine and pool, Which we told at the fall of the faded leaf, when the
pride of Prussia was bruised and broken. And the Man of Adventure sat in the seat of the Man
of Method and rigid Rule.
Snows incarnadined were thine, 0 Eylau, field of the
wide white spaces, And frozen lakes, and frozen limbs, and blood iced hard
as it left the veins: Steel-cased squadrons swathed in cloud-drift, plunging
to doom through pathless places, And forty thousand dead and nigh dead, strewing the
early-nighted plains.