Scene-11 The Same. Hugo, Agatha and Orion, resting under the trees,
are now gazing at the scene in front of them
before Agatha is left at the Convent.
Our Pontiff to manhood at Englemehr grew,
The priests there are many, the nuns are but few.
I love not the Abbot—‘tis needless to tell
My reason; But all, of the Abbess, speak well.
Through vineyards and cornfields beneath us, the Rhine
Spreads and winds, silver-white, in the merry sunshine;
And the air, overcharged with a subtle perfume,
Grows faint from the essence of manifold bloom.
And the tinkling of bells, and the bleating of sheep,
And the chaunt from the fields, where the labourers reap
The earliest harvest, comes faint on the breeze,
That whispers so faintly in hedgerows and trees.
And a wagon wends slow to those turrets and spires,
To feed the fat monks and the corpulent friars;
It carries the corn, and the oil, and the wine,
The honey and milk from the shores of the Rhine.
The oxen are weary and spent with their load;
They pause, but the driver doth recklessly goad;
Up yon steep, flinty rise they have staggered and reeled,
Even devils may pity dumb beasts of the field.
Adam Lindsay Gordon