A monologue from the play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Eight Dramas of Calderon. Trans. Edward Fitzgerald. London: Macmillan & Co., 1906.
  • SEGISMUND: Once more the storm has roar'd itself away,
    Splitting the crags of God as it retires;
    But sparing still what it should only blast,
    This guilty piece of human handiwork,
    And all that are within it. Oh, how oft,
    How oft, within or here abroad, have I
    Waited, and in the whisper of my heart
    Pray'd for the slanting hand of heaven to strike
    The blow myself I dared not, out of fear
    Of that Hereafter, worse, they say, than here,
    Plunged headlong in, but, till dismissal waited,
    To wipe at last all sorrow from men's eyes,
    And make this heavy dispensation clear.
    Thus have I borne till now, and still endure,
    Crouching in sullen impotence day by day,
    Till some such out-burst of the elements
    Like this rouses the sleeping fire within;
    And standing thus upon the threshold of
    Another night about to close the door
    Upon one wretched day to open it
    On one yet wretcheder because one more;--
    Once more, you savage heavens, I ask of you--
    I, looking up to those relentless eyes
    That, now the greater lamp is gone below,
    Begin to muster in the listening skies;
    In all the shining circuits you have gone
    About this theatre of human woe,
    What greater sorrow have you gazed upon
    Than down this narrow chink you witness still;
    And which, did you yourselves not fore-devise,
    You register'd for others to fulfil!