(SOG): Scenes 13-18

SCENE 13: The Turkish Camp

Sinan Pasha, Dragut & Salah Rais are watching Bartolomeo Bonavia being lowered in a basket form the Citadella.

Salah Rais
Who could fathom this comical moment
As in a basket conical descends
A man who represents their able minds
But seems as frighten’d a little mouse
Under the harvest blade, but we shall hear
His offers of surrender, as is due
Defenders of a siege in these rich days –
We are not savages, but men of God
That is of course our God, for theirs is false
Despite his cross, his crucifix, his hymns

Dragut
I recognize that man, his face has sear’d
Fierce imprints on my mind, he stood among
Those who saw me plead my brother’s body
Beslain by Giovanni Ximones
& gunfire underneath those tragic stones
After his body appropriated
I begg’d it back, but they laugh’d in my face
Stake-burnt upon the bastion behind
But I swore on the day I left Gozo
Such dastard derring shall their downfall bring

Enter Bartolomeo Bonavia

Bartolomeo Bonavia
Commanders of the Ottoman Enpire
I, Bartolomeo Bonavia
Of the Augustine Order on Gozo
Emissarize on our Noble’s behalf
Educated men, well-bred for wisdom,
& masters in the world of wealth acrued
Who state it might be better if they stay’d
Two hundred of them, organise ransoms
For all the others Gozitans enslaved

Sinan Pasha
You ask a lot considering your plight
The breach I’d say a day or two away
& not a whimper of help from your Knights
But there is something in the offer made
Alas, two hundred? too many… forty
Could serve the transactions so suggested
If this is found acceptable, the gates
Shall opened be with only one delay
That is the emptying of treasure vaults
Of gold & grain, of silver & of salt

Bartolomeo Bonavia
Your graciousness our consolation, sir
& on your kindness we can but concur
& of your temper none could criticise
Await the white flag rising on the skies
This is the signal that the citadel
Has opened its great gates, & has yielded
Before the forces of your awesome fleet
& forty nobles shall be there to meet
Yourselves on your victorious entrance
With all their treasures piled in riches there


Scene 14: The Citadella

Fredericus & Ioanna are alone on the battlements

Fredericus
O ! what a beautiful moonrise
For loved ones in the evening
My heart so glad I married thee
& to my wear my husband’s ring

Your eyes are luke ruby jewels
In silvery caskets lain
As sweet as raisins taste your lips
& your tongue like sugar cane

Ioanna
O ! what a beautiful evening
Calm ocean’s hugging the shore
Please never part from me either
For I love you even more

Fredericus
Your face is like a rose in bloom
Your lips like a juicy peach
Each night I sleep thinking of you
When I wake, for you I reach

Fredericus & Ioanna
Like twinking stars & winking moon
Paint the canvas of the night
O ! what a beautiful evening
When spirits as one unite

Enter Bongibino

Leonardus Bongibino
Ioanna, Fredericus, listen, please,
Our elders flap about like flightless birds
& some of us, about three hundred strong,
Unwilling to capitulate our lives,
Shall risk the ropes, the Citadel this side
Sees not one Turkish tent, Fredericus, help,
Secure the ropes, in fifteen forty-eight
I left the Hell on Earth that is a slave
Under the Ottomans – never again!

Enter Andreotto

Andreotto
Ioanna, Fredericus, my old friends
Let us go together into the night
& find a place to hide as we did once
When we were children, in the rubble walls
Scampering paths thro’ crevices & shrubs
There’ll be bushes to hide in, there’ll be shacks
Ten thousand Turks could never search them all
The most important moment of our lives
Has come; to stay is folly, to go life

Fredericus
But what is life, & moreso what’s the source
But family, closest of them the pair
Of lovemates your parental spirit join’d,
The day our human destinies met God,
& so I must remain beside the hearth
While they yet live there – they protected me
When I was but a stripling yelp of bones
& so I shall protect them both in turn
Such is the way of life, those who bore us
We shall bare back when infirm or afear’d

Ioanna
If Fredericus stays, than so stay I
A wife’s place is beside her husband fix’d
Cemented by the marital conjoin
For where such love is strong, no storm, no strain,
No spite nor spike could ever seperate
My love for Fredericus shines the same
& I intend to stay here come what may
To put myself first is most ignoble
For I am a true Gozitan woman
But wish you well, goodbye, old friend, farewell

Andreotto
Old friend ! Old friend ! we were much more than that
As well you know, the love we shar’d did seem
Imperil’d only by Apocalypse
But as I was born Gozitan also
We must respect all wishes lady-wrought
Tho’ fill’d with calamaties & sorrow
As if Death had come to haul me away –
Beloved, I am about to leave you
May God preserve you, but grant me one wish
Let me look upon your face… it… is… so…

Exit Barnardo via the rope over the battlement

Ioanna & Fredericus
Like twinking stars & winking moon
Paint the canvas of the night
O ! what a beautiful evening
Two spirits as one unite


Scene 15: The Citadella

De Sesse & Nicoletti are waiting with the nobles of Gozo / the gates to the citadella are opend / enter Sinan Pasha. Dragut & Salah Rais with guards

Galaziano
Sinan Pasha, Salah Rais, Dragut
On the day of this solemn surrender
Our ancient fortress to your forces falls
With all these heap’d up jewelries & chests
Fill’d with silver scudi & talents
& platters etch’d with Viking runerie,
I am Galaziano de Sesse
The Governor, with forty hope to go
With honour for to quantify our lands
& raise whatever ransoms you require

Sinan Pasha
I never stipulated who shall stay
Not you, or these, no, he’s not even grey
I meant forty elders most decrepit
Old men doddering who can barely perch
Up in bed, it is these who shall remain
The dribbling dregs of your island race
Their mourning time shall nature fizzle short
When all Gozitans shall be forgotten
Else for the shadow-walkers on the hills
Who’ll wail your names in hours of savage storms

Castelletti
What is this? We are Gozo’s noblest lords
Men of most ancient names & families
& each one of us at one time has been rank’d
Hakem & Juror, why let this happen?
This wealth you see a fraction we could get
If we were free… if worship Mahomet
& Holy Allah, thro’ our conversion
Is what you want, I will do it gladly
What are you doing, unhand me at once!!
Tis folly to enact so foul a deed

Salah Rais
Folly! it was but folly to resist
Chain him, & everyone, down to the ships
Make them carry all these treasures with them
Annhialate this island of its host
If it burns set alight, smash the churches
Trash the palaces, rage like a torrent
Devastates woodland thro’ wild floodwaters
Deplete the people of all possessions
Set every annal’d document ablaze
Of those destin’d to lie in nameless graves

Sinan Pasha
Brother Bonavia, as custom deigns
To those brave enough to negotiate
With armies victorious, your fair fate
Is to remain at perfect liberty
To remember in the name of Allah,
To the prophet Muhammad propitious,
Your conquerors remain’d magnaminous –
Now hoist the Crescent from teh highest point
So any ship that sails about these shores
Can celebrate our victory with song!


Scene 16: The House of Barnardo D’Opua

Enter Barnardo, wounded. His wife, Betta, & their two teenage daughters are in fear.

Betta
Darling, darling, you bleed, your wounds
Let me dress them, Peruna
A pan of water boil at once
Sonia prepare the dressing

Barnardo
There is no time, the Turks are here
& mean to turn enslaver
& you, my girls, I must protect
From deed that must not waiver

I will not see my darling ones
Before me violated
By such impious infidels
The heathen ever-hated

Your face a fate for worse than death
Of rapes in lightless prison
Far better now to end your lives
Slain by a painless poison

Come here my wife, my daughters too
Come bite a sprig of hemlock
You’ll meet again at Heaven’s gates
Where the holy angels flock

& I will join you soon enough
But while blood thro’ me will flow
I’ll kill an Ottoman or two
For Christendom & Gozo

Barnardo gives his family a sprig of hemlock each – which they take in solemn silence

Barnardo
Goodbye my darling princesses
Goodbye my beautiful wife
Farewell to happinessess sweet
Which enrich a married life

As his family lies dying Barnardo loads an iron crossbow and an arquebus / the Turks arrive at the door – Barnardo fires his weapons, slaying two – more enemy rush in & in the fighting Barnardo is killed


Scene 17: The Garigue of Gozo

The Gozitans are in chains, carrying treasures to the shore

Fredericus
Over garigue I go, Gozo
I love you so, with a wrench
Of breaking heart I must depart
By the tall cliffs of Ta Cenc

Farewell ye perfume-heavy trees
Goodbye Sicilian shrew
To all you rock roses abloom
Saddest farewells bidden too

Farewell to ruby tiger moths
To swallowtails & lizards
No more shall Gozo’s sorceries
Enchant us like wild wizards

To my olive-leaf germander,
My orchids, my narcissi
My spiderfly, my Maltese spurge
You are gorgeous, all, goodbye

& I shall miss you St John’s Bread
Asparagus, Bear’s Breeches
I’ll miss the Ceifa on these cliffs
The Petrels by the beaches

Goodbye, farewell, my darling Isle
Goodbye dear, darling Gozo
When shall I see your face again
Only God above does know


Scene 18: Mgarr Ix-Xini

Rowing boats are ferrying the Gozitans to the Turkish galleys at the ras in-Newwiela promontory.

Sinan Pasha
Children of Gozo, you are faceless now
This is the place of your handing over
In this increasing pile leave your riches
It is time to forget about your lives
Your families, your animals, your fields
This inlet puncture’d by Titan’s dagger
The place you’ll ever leave your past behind
You are to spend indefinite futures
In service to our Sultan, Sulamein,
Seraglios & galley-slaves you’ll go

Dragut
There is a satisfaction in this scene
My brother was a good man to his core
Who died in heat of battle with honour
But did this cursed people recognize
The cool integrities of martial death
The ancient rights of noble burials
Awarded to a warrior in arms?
No ! this they did not do,& for that day
All here shall suffer the retribution
I swore that day upon the Rock Of Vows

Salah Rais
Consider this the gateway to empire
& we torchbearers of resplendent beams
Think not this is your catastrophic fall
But more your soul salvation, you might see
Tripoli, Callipolis, Sofia,
Algiers, Odessa, Damietta,
Atranto, Sarajevo, Trebizond,
Pristina, Damascus, Ioaninna,
Jerusalem & Azov, & of course
For the luckiest, holiest Mecca

Franciscus Frantino
Goodbye my lovely island, til the day
I’ll sit again high over Ramla Bay
& on my jangling tanbur there compose
A tender ghana slender as a rose
Before it blooms, then to fair Angela
I’ll tie our sighing heartbeats together
By letting petals open on the notes
I’ll sing upon the pleasant breeze that floats
In from the seas, & hear her song reply
Of love bonded forever, she & I

Sinan Pasha
& so the Siege of Gozo is ending
We to our lands & families return
But unfinish’d business is portending
Still in our Sultan vengeant spirits burn
Tho’ Gozo has been render’d desolate
Depopulated, made a burning waste,
For to honour the brother of Dragut,
The isle of Malta’s as yet undefaced
Unwither’d yon that slither of water
When back we come it shall sink in slaughter…

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