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Collected plays and poems (vol. 1) / by Cale Young Rice. Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-251-31802686v1 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Collected plays and poems (vol. 1) / by Cale Young Rice. Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. Doubleday, Page, Garden City, N.Y. : 1915, c1908. 2 v. : port. ; 20 cm. Coleman Microfilm. v. 1-2. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN05059.07 KUK) Printing Master B92-251. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. COLLECTED PLAYS AND POEMS , q, COLLECTED PLAYS AND POEMS BY CALE YOUNG RICE VOLUME ONE GARDEN CITY DOUBLEDAY, NEW YORK PAGE & COMPANY 1915 Copyright, i908, by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY A11 rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian Copyright, 1907, I911, 1912, I913, I914, 1915, by CALE YOUNG RICE To ALL THE WORLD'S POETS FOR WHOM I HAVE FELT ADMURATION AND LOVE This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE lThe present European war, with its heartbreak for humanity, should reveal the spirit of America, with its sources in the ideals of manv nations, as no 'oner narrowly nationai, but definitelyvcosmopolitan. The opening of our doors to every civilization-and the consequent mingling of many racial classes-has made the serious absorption of much the outside world has to offer so easily possible, that even in our reading we have become strongly inclined to prefer the book from abroad to that written at home, though the latter is not infrequently of equal or superior quality. Let this enlarged horizon once be realized by those who are confusedly looking for a point of view from which our writers may achieve an enduring literature that is distinctively "American," and a new era will '-ii viii PREFACE begin. We shall no longer believe that to be authen- tically "national" we must continue to hash up the crude and inconsequential exaggerations character- istic of us in the minds of foreign readers; but by abandoning the impossible attempt to create supreme art out of social materials that are shifting and local, we shall see our way toward a national literature that shall embrace, perhaps for the first time in the history of the world, the universal hopes and im- pulses of humanity. A confirmation of this belief lies in considerations of a more practical nature. The output of books in modern life is so great; translations from writers of large outlook are so many and admirable; and so marvellous are the communications by which the world's best books are brought to our hands, that only the blind can fail to see that lasting literary achievement must concern itself henceforward, as never before, with broadly human vision. Yet this vision will not come, as a few of our more recent poets seem to fancy, from some imaginarily PREFACE ix new technique: for technique does not create vision, but is created by it. The true stylistic corollary of what has been affirmed above is merely, then, that all literary art of the future must adopt a more ab- solute economy of means: which signifies that the poet, naturally spendthrift of his imaginings, must forsake the flowery way of his fancies for a more com- plete concentration of energy on his vision. To embody this vision without any loss of a feel- ing of inspired spontaneity, whose source seems in- finite, will be his tasK. For only by possessing or suggesting some ineffable connection with the infinite will he be able to make a strict art economy seem divine. A preface, whose purpose is to tune the reader's mind to what follows rather than set jangling in him a hundred diverse theories of criticism, should doubt- less say no more. Let the rest, then, be silence. CALE YOUNG RICE. January, I9I5. This page in the original text is blank. CODNTENTS FAR QUESTS The Mystic. The Wife of Judas Iscariot . Star of Achievement. Cloister Lays. Limitations. Highland Joy. To the Spirit of Nature . The Pilgrims of Thibet . Hierantis. La Morgue Litteraire . Philosophies. Love by Traeth-y-daran. A Lvdian Bacchanal.. . Aeschvlus . Cosmism. The Excommunicant . Andre Revine The Crv of the Disillusioned xi PAGE 5 . . . 9 I3 2I 28 30 3 I -- . 34 ... . 38 42 45 .. 47 .. 48 . 55 57 6o ... . 63 ... . 66 CONTENTS The Deserter of Nirvana What More, 0 Sea Oriental Memories Snowdonian Hills To Shelley The Apostate. Spes Mystica . Sea Lure . Biddeford Bay The Fishing of 0-Sushi A Woman's Reply Waters Withheld The Song of a Neophyte Sappho's Death Song The Master . Civil War. Messages What Part The Unknown Shore. Man. Haunted Seas . Convicts Who Rests Not The Unhonoured. At Lincoln, England. Buoys. Voices at the Veil . PAGE .... 68 70 72 . . . 78 8I 84 .... 86 .... 88 go 92 94 . . . 95 .... 96 .... 98 I00 102 I04 I05 io6 107 I09 III 112 I I 3 I I 5 ii6 ..i CONTENTS To Sea!. On Iroquois Hill . Sufficings. Recompense . Vanishings . . . Galileo At the End . PAGE . . . uSII8 . 120 . 122 23 I25 I 26 I30 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON A Night in Avignon, a play. YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda of Cyprus, a play . AT THE WORLD'S HEART At the World's Heart Sea Rhapsody " The Monsoon Breaks:" In an Oriental Harbour. The Thrall of the Dead. The Peasant of Irimachi The Broken Trance . The Peasant of Gotemba Submarine Mountains The Pilgrim. . . ' I35 i63 299 . . . . . 303 . .. . . 305 . 3I3 . .. . . 315 . .. . . 318 ... . . 32I - 324 ... 326 . . . . . 329 . . PAG -. Pageants of the Sea. . . . . . . . 331 The Malay to His Master . . . . . . 335 Nights on the Indian Ocean . . . . . 338 Sighting Arabia. . . . . . . . 340 My Country . . . . . . . . . . 4z The Snail and I. . . . . . . . . 348 Songs to A. H. R. . . . . . . . . 350 Beauty and Stillness. . . . 36I The Contessa to Her Judges . . . . . 365 On the Upward Road . . . . . . . 368 Chartings. . . . . . . . . . . 373 The Four Enchantments . . . . . . 376 The God of Ease. . . . . . . . . 377 By the Ch'en Gate . . . . . . . . 379 A Song for Healing. . . . . . . . 380 The Great Wall . . . . . . . . . 382 Waikiki Beach . . . . . . . . . 8 O-Tsuva Forsaken . . . . . . . . 387 A Chant at Chion-in Temple . . . . . 389 Korean . . . . . . . . . . . 39I Theophilus . . . . . . . . . . 393 Basking. . . . . . . 96 The Ballad of the Maid of Orleans. . . 399 Inlanders. . . . . . . . . . . 404 India . . . . . . . . . . . . 40S The New MIoon . . . . 406 The Shah to His Dead Slave 408 xiv CONTENTS CONTENTS xv PAG E A Parable of Pain. . . . . . . . 410 Erostratus . . . . . . . . . . 4I 2 Aleen . . . . . . . . . . . . 4I5 The Striver . . . . . . . . . . 4I7 -Mysteries. . . . . . . . . . . 4IS The Atheist . . . . . . . . . . 423 Judgment. . . . . . . . . . . 42- A Mariner's MIemory . . . . . . . 426 Under the Sky . . . . . . . . . 427 Losses. . . . . . . . . . . . 428 The Profligate . . . . . . . . . 429 South Seas . . . . . . . . . . 432 Christ or Mahomet . . . . . . . . 433 To Stromboli. . . . . . . . . . 434 In a Greek Tempi(. . . . . . . . 436 The Hidden Foe. . . . . . . . . 438 Telepathy. . . . . . . . . . . 44o The Explorers . . . . . . . . . 442 To a Boy. . . . . . . . . . . 444 Pagans . . . . . . . . . . . 446 Argosies . . . . . . . . . . . 449 To the Younger Gencration. 450 THE IMMORTAL LURE Giorgione, a play Arduin, a play 459 485 xvi CONTENTS PAGE O-Um6's Gods, a play. . . . . . . 509 The Immortal Lure, a play. . . . . . 53I PORZIA Porzia, a play 557 FAR QUESTS FIRST PUBLISHED 19I2 To ANNE CRAWFORD FLEXNER WVHOSE UNFAILING APPRECIATION AND FRIENDSHP ARE HERE GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGED This page in the original text is blank. THE MYSTIC There is a quest that calls me, In nights when I am lone, The need to ride where the ways divide The Known from the Unknown. I mount what thought is near me And soon I reach the place, The tenuous rim where the Seen grown dim And the Sightless hides its face. I have ridden the wind, I have ridden the sea, I have ridden the moon and stars. I have set my feet in the stirrup seat Of a comet coursing Mars. 5 FAR QUESTS A1 nd everywhere Thro the earth and air Ail' thought speeds, lightning-shod, It comes to a place where checking pace It cries, "Beyond lies God!" It calls me out of the darkness, It calls me out of sleep, "Ride! ride! for you must, to the end of Dust"' It bids -and on I sweep To the wide outposts of Being, Where there is Gulf alone- And thro a Vast that was never passed I listen for Life's tone. I have ridden the wind, I have ridden the night, I have ridden the ghosts that flee From the vaults of death like a chilling breath Over eternity. 6 FAR QUESTS A nd everywhere Is the world laid bare- Ether and star and clod - Until I wind to its brink and find But the cry, "Beyond lies Godl" It calls me and ever calls me! And vainly I reply, "Fools only ride where the ways divide What Is from the Whence and Why"' I'm lifted into the saddle Of thoughts too strong to tame, And down the deeps and over the steeps I find . . . ever the Same. I have ridden the wind, I have ridden the stars, I have ridden the force that flies With far intent thro the firmament And each to each allies. 8 FAR QUESTS And everywhere That a thought may dare To gallop, mine has trod - Only to stand at last on the strand Where just beyond lies God. THE WIFE OF JUDAS ISCARIOT The wife of Went out She thought Was it to Judas Iscariot into the night, she heard a voice crying: left or right She went forth to the Joppa Gate, Three crosses hung on high, The one was a thief's, the other a thief's, The third she went not nigh. For still she heard the voice cryring: Was it to right or left Or was it but a wind of fear That blew her on bereft 9 FAR QUESTS She went down from the Joppa Gate Into the black ravine. She climbed up by the rocky path To where a tree was seen. And "What, sooth, do I follow here Is it my own mad mind Judas' Judas Iscariot!" She called upon the wind. "Judas! Judas Iscariot!" She crept beneath the tree. What thing was it that swung there, Hung so dolorously "Judas! Judas Iscariot!" She touched it with her hand. The leaves shivered above her head, To make her understand. 10 FAR QUESTS "Judas! Judas ! my love! my lord!" Her hands wvent o'er it fast, From foot to thigh, from thigh to throat, And stopped - there - at last. "Judas! Judas! what has He done, The Christ you followed so!" More than the silver left on him Made answer to her woe. "Judas! Judas! what has He done! O has it come to this! The Kingdom promised has but proved For you a soul-abyss! "Was He the Christ and let it be" She cut him from the limb, And held him in her arms there And wept over him, II FAR QUESTS "None in the world shall ever know Your doubts of Him but I! 'Traitor! traitor! and only traitor!' Will ever be their cry! "None in the world shall ever know - But I who am your wife! " She flung the silver from his purse: It made a bitter strife. It rattled on the ringing rocks And fell to the ravine. "Was He the Christ and let it be" She moaned, still, between. She held him in her arms there, And kissed his lips aright, The lips of Judas Iscariot, Who hanged himself that night. 12 STAR OF ACHIEVEMENT Star of Achievement! Star that arose when man first rose on the earth And felt within him the Upward Urge ot Being; Star of the ultimate heaven, that of the soul; Wondrous is thy ascension, Wondrous thy lifting up of him, thy chosen - Of man, above all creatures! II The earth was green when he came, The earth with its myriad-teeming mountains and valleys, The earth with its veiling shading clouds and breezes, '3 14 FAR QUESTS The earth that brought to birth all seas and con- tinents. The elder slime had conceived, preparing his way. Its womb impregnate with the command of the Infinite Strove to give birth to a form In whose high-spacious spirit thou shocl(Ist appear. But the travails of it were vain. For not in its winged thing, or its saurian, Or leviathan lashing the sea, Or mastodom shaking the land, Not, not in these, 0 Star, thy light awoke - But mystically in man! III And dim, dim was thy beam, primevally! By it man hoped no more at first than to seize And hold a rude cave in the forest, To shape with a stone a stone for his protection, FAR QUESTS To clothe him with a wild skin and watch with wonder The magic of river and tree and melting mist, Of springing storms that died in dens of thunder. D)im was thy beam, a will-o'-the-wisp that flitted On dreams and vague desires. Yet in his need he sought to see thee clearer. Savage he was, but, in the sky of his soul, Wast thou, a whisperer of aspirations, From age to age leading him, With a little gain upward: From the cave to the hut, his first home upon earth, From enmity with all beasts to toil with some. Savage he was, yet in his vast soul-dark He was not all forsaken, Not left alone in the wilderness of Nature With naught of hope to lead his look above it, With naught to bid him master it. IS5 i6 FAR QUESTS For Star, 0 Star, he ever found thy light In all, as in the hard flint imprisoned fire. And as time sped - Unmeasured but by thee, 0 Shiner on him, But by thy inspiration to his soul, Thy seeds of light quickened in him to knowledge, And knowledge grew to dream and dream to power. Speech did he learn from thy bright. whisperings, And with it moulded winds And the rhythm of wild waters into Song, That grew too precious to trust utterly To lips that perished, So thou, 0 Star, put in his hand the stylus, And lo, ravisht, he wrote! IV But death was ever with him! 0 . . . ! death! . . A little while he counted suns and moons, A little while he slipped amid the seasons, FAR QI!ESTS A little while he gazed upon thy glow - And then was gone! Whither, 0 Star I 7 Thy answer was, Into the invisible, Into the land of spirits. And not since thy first beam, 0 Soul-uplifter, Had any fallen on him like to this, For from it was born worship, from it the gods. In the Unseen they rose, In the place where flesh is not, nor dust that dieth, But only the powers that make all things to be. Yea, yea, the gods were born! And temples towering, 0 Star, and cities, Wherein, reigning above all war and waste, All famine, ill and sin and pestilence, They ever seemed to bid him To fix his eyes upon thee, To sail the centuries by thee - I8 FAR QUESTS Forgetful oft and breaking oft upon shoals, On granite laws and tyrannies, On many a reef of folly, On many a seeming harbour set with ruin - But making many a haven safe at last! V Yea, as the nations know! The nations who send up their praise to thee, Hymning a hundred chartings he has made! India cries, "To AMeditation's Port, O Star, he came by thee and found the Infinite." And Egypt older yet upon the seas, "I launched him first on the known tide of time." Greece chants, "I gave him beauty for the world!" And the Christ-land, "To Beauty I brought Love!" While Rome whose voyage led from Port to Port Gathered all praise of thee, And echoed it from Albion to the Elbe, And southward by Hispania to the Straits, FAR QUESTS '9 Thro which at length it leapt the loth Atlantic, The Vast, the Unsailed, Like luring music, Before the bows of mightiest mariners, And lo, lo, the rounded earth was one! VI And men, 0 fair Effulgence, Men too were one! Bound consciously at last by the deep rays, By thy divine deep rays of brotherhood! For with hands locked around their little planet - Which they had learned was not alone God's care - Locked fast by fear and awe, Or by the gentler bonds of hope and pity, They saw, thro thy revealings, That earth fares in an infinitesimal round Mid infinite sun-spaces, And that upon their littleness and briefness And universal fate hangs fraternity. 20 FAR QUESTS So close they throng together, closer, 0 Star, With every shedding of thy radiance Thro new soul-firmaments of vaster range. For tho thev are finite sparks For ever and ever blown, toward infinite Dark, By the breath of Life - And lonely save for hope of a Rekindling, Or for each other's light along the way, They trust in thee, 0 Star, Star of Achievement, Trust thy ascension, Shining sure ascension, Thro nebulous realms that seem unknowable - Toward constellated Love and Truth and Freedom! Toward zenithed Joy! Toward life's Intent, in the central heaven of all! CLOISTER LAYS I BROTHER GIAN (Of the Benedictines at .11onte Cassino) Circa io8o Dear Jesus Christ, I'm Brother Gian. Within my cell I sit and scratch From pagan parchments words writ on Such vellum as not kings can match. Words, Greek and Latin - all profane. Three Homers I have quite erased And look to see their lies replaced By lives of Saints without a stain. 21 22 FAR QUESTS This Virgil now: I'll do it next. Last night it tempted me to peep A moment at its wicked text, Telling of nymphs . . . I could not sleep. Dear Jesus Christ, I dreamt I was A faun within a Bacchic rout, And one white creature chose me out: I broke with kisses all Thy laws. Here is the place . . . I danced as wild As any bacchant of them all, With ivy-woven tresses whiled Mad hours that maddened at her call. She led me far into the wood Where not a Pan or Satyr leapt. Dear Jesus Christ, 'twas Satan swept Me on - I scarcely understood. Here is the place. . . . For in my dream Each letter trembled and became FAR QUESTS A nymph: the parchment was a stream Of shapes that glimmered without shame. I danced and followed where she fled With lips wine-glad bent back to shout. Dear Jesus Christ, beyond a doubt She rose where "Venus" here I read. So first of all I raze its shame! And pray that in its place may stand Some letter of the Virgin's name Writ by a pure and holy hand, And set about with red and gold And lilies -where my eyes still see But glimmering limbs that tempt and flee, But shimmering arms that would enfold. Dear Jesus Christ, this I confess, And fasting will I toil until The vellum, white as holiness, Shall be fit for an angel's quill! 23 24 FAR QUESTS An angel like the nymph with eyes And body that . . . Dear Jesus Christ, To woman was man sacrificed! From Eve his sins forever rise! II SISTER PAULA (Qf the Benedictine Nuns) I will not shun to touch the poor, Tho loathsome be their bruises, Nor fail to toil, 0 Virgin Pure, On garments for their uses. The sacramental bell I'll tend Unceasing, soon or late, But 0, upon thy image there, That clasps the Babe unto it, fair, I pray, bid me not wait! The holy water I will fetch From Rome, afaint and fasting; FAR QUESTS 25 On the cold chapel-stones I'll stretch Long nights without repasting. Sackcloth I'll bind about my waist, Nor ever will I rest, But, Virgin Mother, let it be That I need not look up and see The child there on thy breast! For seeing it I can but sin, I, ne'er to be a mother, And think of love that might have been, And of one, now Christ's brother, Who tosses in his convent cell On billows of desire, While toiling hours strike on his dreams Stern blows of penitence that seems To shatter them with fire! I can but sin -and cast away All love that is not human, 26 FAR QUESTS That has not mystic joy to sway True-mated man and woman! That does not spring and fill the world With children and with song; With passion, in the summer night, Upon young lips bliss hallows quite, Heart-bliss that is so strong! I can but sin - the while this veil I wear seems but to strangle; The while all vows I follow fail, Vows made but to entangle! The while laud, vesper and compline Sound to my childlessness Like chants the hapless heathen pour On altars of false gods - no more! Such is my wickedness! Therefore, 0 Virgin, set my hands To tasks however lowly, FAR QUESTS 27 To penance only cloister-bands Of Magdalens pay slowly! Let me be less within thy sight Than Heaven's lowest heir, But place me not where I must brood On the lost bliss of motherhood- Before thy image there: LIMITATIONS (Art and the Aan) I am savage for life and the lusts Of beckoning quests I have banished, I am glutted with Beauty's face And the brush that I paint her with, I am sick of the dreams and dusts Of the soul of me - of the vanished Lone years that I spent in chase Of the luring lips of Myth. I was suckled for more than to fling The blood of my heart on a palette. I was given the eye of a god For more than a picture's worth. 28 FAR QUESTS I have felt the ineffable sting Of Life - tho I be Art's valet. I have painted the cloud - or the clod, Who should have possessed the earth. The Caesar in me, and the Christ 29 Cry out to be given power. The Antony in my veins Would waste a world's throne for his queen. And what to Ulysses sufficed - The infinite far foam-flower'- That only would quench the quest Of my soul for worlds unseen. The law of it, God, do I hate, That a man with the might of many AMust hold to the task of one - In the groove of an ancient awe; Or find, if his wvill, o'er great, Denies to be bound by any, The body of him shall break, undone, And Fate appear in the flaw. HIGHLAND JOY (Wales) The blue-bells ring in the bracken, The heather bells on the hill, The gorse is yellow The sunlight mellow With music of wind and rill! Afar the mountains are rising High Snowdon and all his knights, For some fair tourney With clouds that journey Up from the sea's blue bights! O winds, 0 waters, 0 mountains. 0 earth with your singing sod, I'm glad of the weather That brings together My heart and the heart of God! 30 TO THE SPIRIT OF NATURE A myriad years you have led us In adoration on To worship of wind and water, Wood, star and winged dawn. A myriad years you have held us In an ecstasy of trust, But never a thing have told us Of the meaning of life's lust. Your suns and your moons and seasons W'e have hallowed with our praise, With a passion like a lover's Wse have clasped your nights and days. In solitudes we have trysted And in silence, yearning long, And singing, in sooth, it taught us, But not the meaning of song. 3' FAR QUESTS Your flowers we know and name them With breaths of beauty o'er, Your leaves and their million lispings We have treasured more and more. Your clouds we have followed farther Than fancy follows thought, And many a gleam have gathered, But not the gleam we sought. The sea and its soul of power Has had of our hearts full awe And love; tho we know what tribute Has fed its mystic maw. Brave litanies we have lipped it, Brave prayers have we paid, But infinite is its answer - And of that we are afraid! And yet with joy for the jungle, With wonder for the wild, Your lure and delight have led us As the rainbow leads the child. 32 FAR QUESTS Your deserts burning and dewless Have given our spirits drink, But whence it has come we know not, From what Elysian brink. Nor why, on heights of the mountain, In chasms of earth's crust, We feel forever the Presence That is not framed of dust; That is not born of the atoms, Nor by the ether bound; That seeks forever to find us, Yet never can be found. So come but a little nearer - Or farther breathe away. Be more to us than a Presence That says nor yea nor nay. Between the seen and the shadowed Stand not so strangely dumb, Yet if you must, still let us trust The Word at last shall come. 33 THE PILGRIMS OF THIBET Down the road to Llasa, Himalayan and strange, I thought I saw them winding From range to lower range, The seekers after Buddha, Across the ice and cold, And from their lips the mystic phrase Of merit ever tolled: 'Om mane padme, hum!' Life is but a way of lust. Turn the wheel and beat the drum, Till we to Nirvana come. Clothed in rags and turquoise And necklaces of skulls, And shoes of yak worn furless, And fleece the shepherd culls, 3i4 FAR QUESTS 35 With faces like to parchments Whereon alone was writ The repetition of those words Of wonder infinite: 'Om mane padme, hum" Life is but a robe of lust. Turn the wheel and beat the drum Till we to Nirvana come. Down the road ascetic And desert, bleak and drear, I thought I saw them winding To Llasa walls more near; Strong man and maid and mother, Shorn youth and sexless age, That ever to the wind intoned Their one acquitting page: 'Om mane padme, hum!' Grief is but the goal of lust. Turn the wheel and beat the drum, Till we to Nirvana come. FAR QUESTS Past the hermit's cavern - Where he alone drew breath! - Past nunneries where silence Waits, acolyte of death; Past shrines of lesser power, Where smiling idols wear The bliss upon their gilded lips Of the all-granting prayer. 'Om mane padme, hum!' Leave the life of flesh and lust. Turn the wheel and beat the drum, Till we to Nirvana come. Down the road -and down it, I saw them, lama-led, Mid holy lakes and mountains, And monasteries fed W ith endless alms-and measured By slow prostrations round, And by the chanted syllables That sprung as from the ground. 36 FAR QUESTS3 'Om mane padme, humr!' Life is but the lair of lust. Turn the wheel and beat the drum, Till we to Nirvana come. Then at last to Llasa They reach -I see them yet' - And touch the gods on altars Above all others set. Monk, man and maid and mother, Upon the Wheel of Things, From which escape shall come alone To him who ceaseless sings: 'Om mane padme, hum:" End the life of greed and lust. Turn the wheel and beat the drum, Till we to Nirvana come. 3 7 HIERANTIS (The First to see the One God) B. C.- I went out and lay down on the earth. Dawn was not, but the sea and the sky Held an auspice, as dimly my soul Held a vision I strained to descry. Held a vision,that hung below birth In my brain, as the sun in his stole Of imagined and infinite light Was yet hung in the deeps of the night. I went out and lay down on the breast Of the mountain; I clasped it and cried, Let me see what is from me withheld! For the gods I am fain to deride! 38 FAR QUESTS All the temples and groves that are drest In the dream of the Spring have enspelled Mle to reverence, but to no trust: Is all lifting of prayers but a lust" For I knew that men worshipped the sun And the moon and the might of the stars; That on earth were peoples who made Of all things, quick or dead, avatars; Of the tree, of the rivers that run From a source beyond sight; seeking aid Of the wind, or beseeching the seas That no sacrifice e'er can appease. O I knew, and was so at despair Of all altars, all incense and praise' "There is fortune," I said, "there is fate, But they fall in a myriad ways. To no god of one way will I bare And abase me - his rending await: 39 FAR QUESTS Little gods are no gods; give me one In whose hands are all things that are done!" Then I saw' on the soul of me burst Light unbreathable, for I beheld How a thought, that to man was before Never sent, could all Mystery weld! "There is One, there is One God! the First And the Last," did I triumph, "No more! And his throne is the Atom, the Star, Is all things that have been and that are! He is god of the East and the West, He is God of the Night and the Known, He is Sun, he is Storm, he is Shade, He is Strife, he is Dust that is strewn, He is Star, he is Foam on the Crest Of the Wave, he is Wind that is stayed; He is what shall live Ever, or Die, He is Pity and Hope-he is I!" 40 FIAR QUESTS Like delirium thro me it ran, Like divinity, for in a flash Was the universe mine, I had torn The last veil - 0 immortally rash! It was mine! all the vast Caravan Of its Being from bourne unto bourne: For the vision that swept me, a clod, Was His vision, was He - the One God! I arose: the sun stood like a priest In ineffable gladness of gold To embrace me, a proselyte, who Had heard all that to heart can be told. I outreached him my arms, I the least Yet the greatest that dawn ever knew, Then went down, with what rapturous ken, To tell all to the children of men. 4' LA MORGUE LITTERAIRE A house for all dead books Beside Oblivion's River I saw the lone ghosts build With hands Plutonian. Its walls were wan and chilled, And only Time's faint shiver Ran thro it, not the blessed breath of Pan. They built it at the foot Of hoary Charon's ferry. Its gate upon the tide Stood like a mouth of fate. And often to its side, Mid souls death could not bury, He brought within his boat the futile freight. 42 FAR QUESTS 43 Yea, all the futile freight - Of Song that had no pinions, Of Histories by earth Long treasured -fell to him. And tales no Muse gave birth Within her fair dominions He wafted o'er and ranged within it dim. And soon unto its gate From out the fines Lethean Came many a phantom form On foot that hung with dread- Came lips that once were warm And eyes despair made peon When they beheld amid dead tomes their dead. And some their hands would wring - A usage of old sorrow They had forgotten long In that Tartarean vale. 44 FAR QUESTS And some amid the throng In vain would strive to borrow From memory a might to voice their wail. But many merely gazed And went away forgetting To watch with listless tread Old Charon flit and fare. For these found not their dead And knew that life was letting Them still a little bide - but did not care. A house for all dead books Beside Oblivion's River, Built by the barren shades: Alas who shall not find, Brought to him by the raids Of Time, all breath's outliver, What he had held immortal for men's mind. PHILOSOPHIES Dead old Earth, still wrapt in russet, Not a sprig of Spring Not a bird yet to discuss it, From the South a-wing What if buds should never burgeon On your breast again Would it mean God, like a surgeon, Cuts you from his ken Cuts you from his cosmic Being, Sets you free of life Free of His deep overseeing, Of His upward strife Are therc in the great space yonder Millions so set free Dead worlds that o'er dead ways wander, With no destiny 45 46 FAR QUESTS Fie on fancies so unfruitful' Hear that robin fling Laughter at me with his fluteful Messages of Spring. Laughter which is Earth's and Heaven's Best philosophy! Which, divinely ever, leavens Life with sanity! LOVE BY TRAETH-Y-DARAN (Wales) At Traeth-y-daran the laver-weed grows, So take thy creel, 0 Madlen mine, We'll gather it full ere the moon's a-shine And bear it home from the dripping brine. At Traeth-y-daran the laver-weed grows: We'll cook it over the red culm-fire. And I will tell thee my heart's desire, And thou shalt tell me thine. At Traeth-y-daran the laver-weed grows. Thy creel, my lass! to the cliff we'll hie And seek in the clefts where the gulls go by Like dreams of love in a blue, blue eye. At Traeth-y-daran the laver-weed grows - And there each wind that above it wings Shall waft unto us sweet murmurings Of love, that can not die. 47 A LYDIAN BACCHANAL The stag was gone And the hounds that follow; The glade was still, Not a stir around. Not a doe or fawn That had failed to follow, With keenest fear Could have sensed a sound. And yet on the hill There was something hid; In the coppice near Was a presence felt, Of eyes and feet 48 FAR QUESTS That were full of thrill, Of limbs a-quiver To leap and bound. Then sudden the leaves Of a laurel stirred, The branches parted And eyes peered out, With bacchic stealth Of glance that started, Then vanisht as if Pan-hoofs were heard. But not a hoof From the bushes broke; Not a wild-hearted Pipe poured health And happy lust Thro the deep vine-woof, Hung from the trees By the dryad folk. 49 50 FAR QUESTS None: till, again, The eyes! between Leafy fillets Of parted green. And then, with lips Of fear unpursed, Out with a cry The bacchante burst! Out with a cry To the hills about: Out with a cry To the bacchant hid! Out with her cry For the reel and rout - The amorous pipe And the thyrsus-thrid! And swiftly he came, On foot as light As ever the vine-god Wove in dance! FAR QUESTS Swiftly he came With eyes as bright As ever the wine-god Taught to glance' Swiftly he came With fawn-skin tossed Over his shoulder, Ivy-crowned! Myrtle and thyme And reed he crossed, Seized her and whirled her Glorying round! O the dance! Thro the heart of Spring! Bacchus! Bacchus! God of the grape! - The reeling trance And the rapture-fling Of naked limbs - The ravishing! 'I; 52 FAR QUESTS O the dance! In the deeps of May' Bacchus, behold What here is loosed! What mystery, What p)assion-sway, What deity By thee induced! But hist! the call Of their comrade-band! They pause, panting, And parted listen. The flame of love In their hearts is fanned To mad desire, Their eyes glisten. They whisper a tryst In the deeper wood At night - night -- When the stars cover! FAR QUESTS For what is good--- What is divine -- But the clasp of lover Unto lover! A tryst: then lo, Lo, they have kissed. Then she is gone, And he. fleetly. Behind is left In the limpid glade A stir of bliss That has been completely. The silence sings Of the dance but hushed; The trodden thyme And the crocus, bleeding, Seem not to care, But, torn and crushed, Remember only The wild pipe's pleading! .5.3 54 FAR QUESTS Bacchus! Bacchus! This was your way! Close to the seasons, Close to the sod! Close to the welling Of all reasons For our delight, 0 god! AESCHYLUS Ha and did you, people of Greece, Praise the warrior, not the poet "Bravely at Marathon he fought "- That alone on his tomb ye wrought Courage why it is common stuff, Fire of the flesh - a million know it! And did he With the eye to see Prometheus mastering destiny- Did he count it enough Raze the tablet and write again, You by the Styx, who one time heard Orestes rave with immortal word, And (Edipus rock your hearts with pain. 55 56 FAR QUESTS Write: The fire of his flesh burnt true, But out of Olympian skies he drew A flame to kindle The mighty fame Of Greece wherever a tongue shall name High Tragedy - that first he came Immortally to woo! COSMISM The sea asleep like a dreamer sighs; The salt rock-pools lie still in the sun, Except for the sidling crab that creeps Thro the moveless mosses green and dun. The small gray snail clings everywhere, For the tide is out; and the sea-weed dries Its tangled tresses in the warm air, That seems to ooze from the far blue skies, Where not a white gull on white wing flies. The mollusc gleams like a gem amid The scurf and the clustered green sea-grapes, Whose trellis is but the rock's bare side, Whose husbandman but the tide that drapes. 57 58 FAR QUESTS The little sandpiper tilts and picks His food, on the wet sea-marges hid, Till sudden a wave comes in and flicks Him off, then flashes away to bid Another frighten him - as it did. 0 sweet is the world of living things, And sweet are the mingled sea and shore' It seems as if I never again Shall find life ill - as oft before. As if my days should come as the clouds Come yonder -and vanish without wings; As if all sorrow that ever shrouds My soul and darkly about it clings Had lost forever its ravenings. As if I knew with a deeper sense That good alone is ultimate; That never an evil wrought of God Or man came truly out of hate. FAR QUESTS 59 That Better springs from the heart of Worse, As calm from the heaving elements; That all things born to the Universe May suffer and perish utterly hence, But never refute its Innocence. THE EXCOMMUNICANT (In the time of Pope Sixtus V) Praise be, praise be, to printers all! Old Sixtus on his throne Would damn my soul to Hell with a Bull - And now he has damned his own! 'I'll have the Vulgate set," said he, "In type beyond reproof; Without a wicked error -made Tho it be by the Devil's hoof! "It shall surpass in dot and jot All ink has ever etched, For every holy sheet of it Shall 'fore my eye be fetched. 6 o FAR QUESTS "And, in a preface black and clear, I'll excommunicate All who shall dare to change the text But a tittle, by God's hate'" So straight he put his toads to it, His Gregory, Pius, Paul, And not with a pint of Asti let Them wet their wits withal' Each new white sheet he conned himself With care "infallible," Then bound them up - to find them foul With errors, frowsy full! And all the world of heretics Is tittering now - from Thun To Tiber, from the Thames to where The Turk swears by Haroun' , I 62 FAR QUESTS "Papal Infallibility has damned The Pope himself, " they gloat, " For he must paste the errors o'er And be his own scapegoat " Old Sixtus Fifth, who from his throne Would damn my soul to Hell, Shall lick the Devil's presses there And print blasphemies well! ANDRE REVINE "So let it be," You say, and cease, And sit there with seraphic mien, Knowing the rage You rouse in me Is fraught with fate, Andr6 Ravine! Yet as the gulf Between us grows, Perfection lives upon your lips, While mine are flames That burn and tear The ties that wedded us to strips. 63 FAR QUESTS And, did we part, The world would say, "We know which of the twain was true To tortured Love. " The world would say, Andr6 Revine, that it was you. For am I not Unhappy born, A magnet to all floating fates And is it not Unhappiness The world ever suspects and hates And are not you A thing so bright That shadow cannot o'er you fall A thing so glad That guilt, if flung, Would but upon me fix its pall (,4 FAR QUESTS 65 You answer not, Andre Revine, But all-enduring sit and sigh. And yet I see That triumph springs In you at my defeated cry. "So let it be," Then say I too; But this I hold the better part: To let flame break From anguished lips, Than kindle it in any heart! THE CRY OF THE DISILLUSIONED Come back to our hearts, fairies, fairies, Wild little folk Of youth and delight' For time that has driven you from us carries After you ever Our aching sight. Come back and dance in the Place of our Dreams, Empty it lies of your glimmering feet; Come back, for Hope at its portal tarries, Tuning her harp to their beat. Come back and tell us immortally The way of the wind And the way of waters, The way of the gull on the shining sea, And of the sky's cloud-daughters. 66 FAR QUESTS 67 Come back and toil shall again be sweet - And faith shall follow, The fairer, after! o toss to heaven enchantedly Your song and your singing laughter. Come back, 0 come, and the years shall flow Again - and quicken our hearts to see Beauty and love, as once, a-glow Under Spring's witchery! THE DESERTER OF NIRVANA I went into Pagoda-land, Far far it is away, And built me a low hut along the shore. The opiate sea came up the sand And murmured at my door And a wind-bell tinkled on my shrine all day. Between three palms I built the hut, Three bent above the shrine: Gautama in it sat imparting all. I drank the milk of the cocoanut The wonted wind let fall, And watched the lotos-moon bloom o'er the brine. 68 FAR QUESTS 69 And there I lived, and looked to die - And there to live again, And write upon a palm-leaf all day long The sutras that should teach me why Desire of life is wrong Within a world born of Illusion's pain. Aye there I lived, and looked to die - And there to live again, Beside the sea, the shrine, the bending palms - That never cease in me to sigh, Now, of eternal calms That I forsook and nevermore shall gain. WHAT MORE, 0 SEA What more, 0 sea, what more from your mad lips Of mystic and immitigable foam, That hiss and writhe the hungrier, tho brave ships Last night were swallowed in eternal gloam What more now would you, Atheist, whom the wind Wakens to wild anathemas that rise To the universal temple of the skies And in the very ears of God are dinned Have you a blasphemy more bitter still, A curse to hurl yet o'er infinity, A scorn of men who frame with feeble will A phantom which they name Divinity And with it would you shake apart the stars That light His presence with encircling flame 70 FAR QUESTS 71 0 sea, would you wash out His very Name From space's sempiternal calendars Enough! your surging infidelity And stormy mockery reach but as high As do the thoughts of men who strain to see Into time's unimaginable Why. Earth's but a cockle bearing you across A WXider Sea, which is God or is not. Know then, your little lips can ne'er allot Disproof of Him, if needs must come that loss. ORIENTAL MEMORIES I RAIN IN ISE (Japan) The rain is falling upon the fields Of green-tipt rice that grows in Is5. Under the thatch in a cloak of straw The clouted peasant sits. The sea is hidden by mist, that yields And parts and closes again, in fleecy Saddening silence, like a dream That over sorrow flits. The rain is falling upon the fields Of flooded rice: the rain is falling. 72 FAR QUESTS Crossing the dimness like a wraith A lonely 'rickshaw creeps. The rain is falling and strangely wields A power to hush the sea that's calling - Hush the sea and the peasant's heart, Till sorrowless he sleeps. II A CHINESE CITY (At Night) Thro the great wall, and down into the street, Where light and darkness narrowly contend, And teeming yellow faces start or blend In opiate strangeness, sinister or sweet. A joss-house suddenly, and incense vain Against the stench of the strong god of dirt, Whose priest is pestilence that waits inert Till for a million victims death is fain. 7 3 FAR QUESTS III A BTURMESE IDOL The Shwe Dagon, with all its shrines Of twilight-saddened gold and glass. Among the thousand idols one I gaze upon but cannot pass. It sits within a dark retreat - Sits stony white, with painted brows And eyes and smiling lips and hands Laid as Nirvana's law allows. And faded flowers by it lie, Between the flickering candle-flames, That, like to moving lips without, Seem murmuring Siddhartha's names. I gaze and lo a hemisphere Of space and thought slips from me, till . The book I dream o'er falls; I wake - The West within and round me still. 74 FAR QUESTS IV IN CEYLON Tall palms against the tropic sky, The Indian Ocean's karma-beat; A far faint ship that passes by, And Time sick-hearted with the heat. V NORTH INDIA An arid waste, rent by the creak Of wells that toiling oxen drain. Where not the gods themselves can wreak SMore poverty or draw more pain. Where cities to the jackal wide, And cities Caste is ruling still, Seem equally by Fate allied To Superstition's sterile will. 75 FAR QUESTS VI THE KHAMSIN, AT CAIRO A tawny terror in the light That beats against each minaret. Sands that entombed Osiris fight With Allah, and shall vanquish yet. The Sphinx awaits it; and the wvind, Born of the desert, sends a cry Across her lips, lest she rescind Her smile - that says all gods shall die. VII THE JORDAN - AND JERICHO A muddy Serpent sliding thro the sand To the Dead Sea its hole; A Dirt-heap where the German's scholar-hand Sifts from the past some dole. 76 FAR QUESTS 77 A heat-sere hospice set between them, bare But for a garden-side, Where God still walks, upon the scented air, At eventide. SNOWDONIAN HILLS O wild hills of Wales, Hills of whirling rain, Hills of flying mist and haunted moor, You tell your tales Of Arthur and his train To every rivered coombe your crags immure. Grey Merlin moods And meanings o'er you sweep, Enchantments of your spirit sad or glad. And far-famed feuds, A thousand years asleep, Wake in the wind that moans about you mad. 78 FAR QUESTS In cloud-swept mail Old Snowdon, who's your king, The lightning, his Excalibur, whirls white. And that great grail, The sun, a mystic thing, Breaks sudden forth - to vanish into night. From Caerleon's shrine To Mona in the sea, From the Great Orme to Milford of renown, You lift your line: No other hills there be To win from you in Britain's list the crown. But more, oh, more Than old Romance you tell, Than Druid legend hushed in Knighthood's lay. Your wild vales pour From Nature's deeper well The poetry to heal all hearts that pray. 79 80 FAR QUESTS Yea, health-born joy You give to all that come, And chivalry for this - to charge the host Of ills that cloy And bodings that benumb The soul of man, earth cherishes the most! TO SHELLEY (fn Italy) I Shelley, the winds of your song are blowing Over the fields of my heart to-day, Where the wild flowers of Grief are growving Up from the deep World-Soul astray; The winds you gathered from earth to Uranus, From atom to far Arcturus' light, From visible vastitudes that pain us, And vasts invisible to sight. II The winds that ever, with incantation, Evoke you verily for my eyes, 8I Your swift sad form of divine elation Under lone Lerici's blue skies. Your spirit that, like a new Anteus, Touched earth for strength, but to find it pain; That like a pale pitying corypheus Saw tyrant Fate tear Life in twain. III And all the longings that led Alastor, All the long sorrows that Laon bore, The almighty tortures that could not master Prometheus whom Jove's vulture tore, Around you rise as a mist immortal, The mist of a mind no fear e'er reined, Whose steed-like thoughts to the very portal Of Being's boundless abysses gained. IV Till, lo, the sea, that is ever avid, That swept you to death tempestuous, iFAR QUESTS 2 FAR QUESTS Seems now to remember, and with gravid Billowing grieve, as I stand here thus, Feeling your song's wild spirit essence About me still in the earth and sky, As a spaceless and elemental presence That, till the world does, cannot die! THE APOSTATE Julian, the Emperor, enthroned Apostate o'er the East, Swore every Christian of his realm Should die-man, child, or priest. Arming was he for Parthia: Returned, it should be done. Libanus, his rhetorician cried, "Where now's the Carpenter's son" "Making a coffin," bold replied A voice in the throng astir, "Making a coffin, for your lord Of boasts, the Emperor."' 84 FAR QUESTS Julian heard, and Julian went . . . And Julian came not back. What shall we say Christ won the day Or-does the moral lack SPES MYSTICA I heard a voice from out the Future crying, Afar: "Fear not, fear not, ye children of the earth! There is in your desire a dream undying - The Star It steals from ever shines: wage still your war. For Time shall clear at last his whither and whence And when! And all that is dark shall vanish from your Dream. And all that is wide shall narrow to your ken, And then All that is strong, too strong no more shall seem. 86 FAR QUESTS For the great Mystery is only Mist- Not Night! And the great space, a spaceless Spell at last. And the great Power is but your being's Right And Goal: You shall attain triumphant to its Whole. Then will your love be lit with a new flame, Not shame. Then will your trust spring only up from Truth. Then will your courage free of Fear be born, Some Morn' Then will age be indeed the aim of youth! SEA LURE (The M1aine Coast) It is so, 0 sea! wild roses Bloom here in the scent of thy brine. And the juniper round them closes, And the bays amid them twine, To guard and to praise their beauty; And the gulls above them cry, And the stern rocks stand on duty, SXhere the surf beats white and high. It is so, 0 sea' wild roses, With the day-long fog bedrenched, Have come from their inland closes With a thirst for thee unquenched. 88 FAR QUESTS And over thy cliffs they clamber, And over thy vast they gaze; For the tides of thee can enamour Even them with their woodland ways. Yea, the passion of thee and the power And the largeness are a lure To even the heart of a flower, o sea, with a heart unsure! For love is a thing unsated, Nor ever in any breast Has it dwelt, all want abated, At rest. BIDDEFORD BAY (Saco Bay) Biddeford Bay is gold to-night, With the sun going down. The gulls have fled to their island home, Past Biddeford Port and Town. All day they have clamored and swung and cried Like restless spirits born of the tide, That now comes restful in. and wNide, Its last shrill rock to drown. Biddeford Bay is gold to-night, With the sun setting low. The gulls have fled but the pines send yet A proudly solemn crow. 90 FAR QUESTS A warden is he who has waited long The last lone cry of the sea-born throng Ere homeward, too, over marshes strong With the tide, he straggles slow. Biddeford Bay is gold to-night, Till the coast-light flashes red; Then ashen and gray is Biddeford Bay, For the sun's last dream is dead. Yet star over star in the evening sky Comes telling that day - and delight - may die, But never the soul's fair hope to fly To its rest when life is sped. THE FISHING OF O-SUSHI O-Sushi-San in the moonlight fishes, On the Inland Sea. He poles his boat where the soft weed swishes Under its bow and the ebb-tide wishes, 0, with what lone lips again In the Great Deep to be. He poles his boat and desire comes to him Like the tide to go. The moonlight wistfully sad steals thro him, Waking ancestral years that woo him, Back, ah back, to the Timeless Deep From whence he sprung to woe. 92 FAR QUESTS f93 But on he fishes -the moon Ce'r waning - Past the templed gate Of his near isle, whose shadow staining All the still sea around seems straining, As is his soul, afar to slip From its unceasing fate. And tide and shadow and soul together Seem at last to blend WVithin his trance, till he knows not whether Time has not slipped at last its tether, Tether of loneliness and pain - And lives without an end. A WOMAN'S REPLY If he dies whom I love, let n.e be - Tell me not to believe. If he leaves me, I only shall see I am human, and grieve. In the grave do not bid me behold But a God-open door; For to Love it is earth, it is mould - Is the grave and no more! Let me be for a little and then It may chance that the sod Shall become to my vision again As the garment of God. 94 WATERS WITHHELD I hear it again - The falling leaf; The wind that has ailed Overlong with grief; The river run dry, Like a heart I know; But I do not sigh, I arise -and go - And to death I say, And Decay, "Not yet!" To the Wind, "I sway, But my soul is set." To the Waters, "Cease, If you must -but still Will I bide, at peace, Till your floods refill." 95 THE SONG OF A NEOPHYTE (Alexandria, A. D. 500) The body of Christ, where is it now (Winds of the world, tell me') They took it down from the black Hill's brow, Gave it a tomb, as all allow, It rose, as the twelve, and more, avow. (Kyrie eleison') For forty days, and then to the skies - (Winds of the world, hear ye) 'Tis said that it swept, before men's eyes, Up to a bliss called Paradise. But of the gods there are many lies. (Kyrie eleison!) g6 FAR QUESTS 9, Up to the stars they saw it wend. (Winds of the world, did they) Never, I fear, but without end 'Tis blown with all other dust to blend. Let me not tread on it, his friend! (Kyrie eleison!) SAPPHO'S DEATH SONG (On her clif in Leucady) What have I gathered the years did not from me (Swallows, hear, as you fly from the cold! Whom have I bound to me never to break me (Whom, 0 wind of the wold!) Whom, 0 wind! 0 hunter of spirits! (Pierce his spirit whose spear is in mine!) Then let Oblivion loose this ache from me, Proserpine! take from Lyre and the laurel the Muses gave to me, (Why comes summer when winter is nigh!) 98 FAR QUESTS Spent am I now and pain-voices rave to me. (O the sea and its cry!) 0 the sea that has suffered all sorrow! (Sea of the Delphian tongue ever shrill!) Nought from the wreck of love can now save to me Any thrill! Life that we live passes pale or amorous. (Tread, 0 vintagers, grapes in the press;) Mine's but a prey to Erinfyes clamorous. (O for wine that will bless!) Wine that foams, but is free of all madness (Free, 0 Cypris, of fury's breath!) Free as I now shall be, 0 glamorous Queen of Death! 99 THE MASTER The hounds of the sea are baying On the trail, o'er the new moon's tide. Their lips are afoam and swaying, And the winds behind them ride. The quarry is up before them, A ship with her brood of men, And a frenzy rushes o'er them, They bite her again and again. The winter has left them riven, And the winds have sped them hard, But back from her bows they are driven, She scatters them undebarred. For her beams are not wrought of cedar That crushed in their teeth of yore, 100 FAR QUESTS lot But of steel; and strong fires feed her And drive her in to the shore. Yea, man is becoming master o sea; and in vain thy pack Shall hunt one day for disaster And ruin, upon his track: The master of thee and thy hunters - For the sky too does he dare - Supreme o'er all he encounters In the earth, the sea, and the air. CIVIL WAR I loaded my weapon, Aimed it well; I shot and a foe Before me fell. I passed the place When the fight was done, And there lay dead - My mother's son! I buried him deep, But deeper far Was buried in me Belief in war. T02 FAR QUESTS 103 Yet, such is blood! I still fought fast, Till victory came To my cause at last. But now that honours Upon me throng, I know he was right - And I was wrong! MESSAGES We speed them over the land, Illimitably along. We breathe them under the sea, By our cables dark and strong. We hurl them into the air, From shore unto farthest shore, And soon from mind to quivering mind. WVe yet shall wing them o'er' And then shall a thousand miles Indeed be shorn of its strength, And God not seem denied By the breadth of space and the length. For if our spirits may fling Their power and thought afar, His soul, it may be, to infinity May spring, from star to star. 104 WHAT PART In the great drama of the universe What part plays this our world - Of dark impassioned Guilt, to Love a curse Of broken-hearted Fool, beliefless whirled Is it some Hamlet melancholy cast Between the planet powers of right and wrong Some proud pale Prospero who shall at last Regain his empire with an Ariel's song Or is it but a humble Vassal borne Upon the infinite Stage To battle all unhonoured when the horn Sounds the last tourney Life and Death shall wage T05 THE UNKNOWN SHORE Storm on an unknown shore, A light that warns in vain. Nearer we drive and nearer roar The reefs: what port's to gain Dire is the dark, then, lo, Swept on across the foam We lift our eyes at dawn, to know The port we've made-is home. ro6 MAN I woke in the night, silent, troubled, Pained with a sense of near appal. A shot rang out in the darkness -doubled: Swift steps ceased in a groan, a fall. Voices, then, of the Law that serves us. (O what man must do to man!) Night again, and the Power that swerves us On thro Space: 0 by what plan! 107 HAUNTED SEAS A gleaming glassy ocean, Under a sky of gray; A tide that dreams of motion, Or moves, as the dead may; A bird that dips and wavers O'er the lone waters round, Then with a cry that quavers Is gone -a spectral sound. The brown sad sea-weed drifting Far from the land, and lost. The faint warm fog unlifting, The derelict long-tossed, But now at rest - tho haunted By the death-scenting shark, Whose prey no more undaunted Slips from it, spent and stark. rog CONVICTS (In a mine disaster) Down a black hole in the earth they toil - Men like you and me; Prisoners sullen and fierce with soil- Serfs, to keep us free. Down a black hole they dig -and rot: In sunlessness, a swarm forgot. Sudden a flash - and they are not. Now what grief shall be Why, not one, they are convicts, these, Strangled in their stripes. Never a tear for their destinies From an eye love wipes. I09 TIO FAR QUESTS Never a sob - do you hear, 0 God - As they are tumbled under the sod! Prisoners are they now of the clod - That forever gripes! WHO RESTS NOT Peace, hot heart, Lie in your nest! Life's wing breaks if it fails of rest. Work is good, And achievement better - But they too may the soul enfetter. And free, free it should ever be, Free tho its aim be skies immortal. Peace then, heart, And be done with doing: Who rests not but arrives at rueing. III THE UNHONOURED (Int lestminster Abbey) Mothering fane of the great English dead Who lie immortal in thy transept tomb, Where falls upon their fame the gloried gloom Of windows that rain radiance overhead, I would there were no missing presences To grieve me in thy mighty organ's peal- No poets exiled by the tyrant heel Of cursed Custom's blind obduracies. For all too great for littleness thou art, And they who shut from thee a rightful son Shut also out a portion of God's heart, A portion of that Spirit which is one With aspiration, and the world's intent To prize all beauty as divinely sent. 1 12 AT LINCOLN, ENGLAND The swallow and the rook swing About the old cathedral tower: Softly falls the twilight, Softly float the clouds. The chimes above the roof peal The travail of the passing hour, Peal, and then are hushed in silence-shrouds. The glimmerings of pane-lights Are coming fast about the close, Fast about the cloister, Fast about the nave. The hearth-lights, the home-lights, That tell of ancient joys and woes Linked between the cradle and the grave. 113 114 FAR QUESTS The swallow and the rook cease, And swift into the tower throng. Starrily the skies stray, Starry overhead. A husht and solemn peace hangs, A memory of even-song, Sung above the long-enhallowed dead. BUOYS A buoy on the billows A dipping gull, A wind that is glad, A sail that is taut. A sky that is blue And a sea blue-clad- With a tide song-fraught! A tide that shall bring me Upon its flow The breath of all life, Its sweetest boon- The power to hear Above world-deep strife God's growing Tune. "15 VOICES AT THE VEIL I rent the veil that hangs between The living and the dead, And cried aloud, "Why have ye left Us here uncomforted! "Why do ye never speak nor come Again to ease our hearts It were a little thing for love To do, when it departs!" Then thro the veil a voice blew back, "Come we forever come' Scarce have we crossed the Silence ere We hear again time's hum ii6 FAR QUESTS I f 7 "And turn again to enter it; But ye are blind nor see That children come from where we are: Lo, I your child shall be." The veil fell back. And then the child Came and I searched its face, To find -the Mystery again; Of Death no other trace. TO SEA! Give me the tiller! up with the sail! Now let her swing to the breeze. Out to sea with a dripping rail, To sea, with a heart at ease! Out of the Harbour! out of the Bayl Out by the valiant Light, Out by rocks where the young gulls lay - And glad winds teach them flight! Out of the Harbour! out of the Bay! Out to the open sea! O there's not in the world a way To feel so wildly free! uS8 FAR QUESTS I 9 So, let her quiver! So, let her leap! So, let her dance the foam! All life else is a narrow keep, The sea alone is home! ON IROQUOIS HILL (To A. H. R.) The rustling dreams Of the leaves in sleep As the wakeful wind goes by Are like the thoughts That stir in me As you sit by me and sigh. With your hand in mine, And your heart in mine, And the summer moon in heaven, And the whip-poor-will Who is fain to fill The wood with lyric leaven. 120 FAR QUESTS 1 2 [ With your hand in mine. And your heart in mine! And the homeless sea of Night, In which we two Feel time pass thro With universal flight. And follow him To the hither rim Of uncreated space; Where the wind is still, As is God's will, In which our love finds place, SUFFICINGS (To A. H. R.) Day for the mind, But night for the souL Sun for delight, But moon to console. Song for the glad, But silence for rest. God for the world - But you for my breast! 1 22 RECOMPENSE (To A. IL. R.) Not if 1 chose from a world of days Could I find a day like this. The sky is a wreath of azure haze And the sea an azure bliss. The surf runs racing the young salt wind, Shouting without a fear O'er reef and bar, o'er cliff and scaur, Where you and I lie near. O you and I who have watched the sky And sea from many a shore' You, love, and I who will live and die - And watch the sea no more' 1 23 124 FAR QUESTS o joy of the world! Joy of love, Joy that can say to death, " Tho you end all with your wanton pall, We two have had this breath! " VANISHINGS What went from me, As the bird I watched Vanisht in yonder cloud Its flight was fair and swift and free, On the wind that blew aloud. What went from me For my heart hangs now Heavier than the sky. In it gray clouds, as of destiny, Seem driving by and by. What went from me O life! 0 time! O vanishings! 0 pain! O death! 0 breath of eternity, That cannot bring them again! I25 GALILEO (Dying, to his friends -after many penalties under the Inquisition for his astronomical beliefs) So be it, the priest shall come, Since you fear, with the Eucharist! I recant again. I will eat - And drink -of the Bread, the Wine. But then ere the night grows numb, Ere the end draws near me, the Mist Shall enswathe, and I would complete One thought more. Do the stars shine A heretic Well, the Church Has her will. But Copernicus Saw a great truth for all that: And yet I am troubled still! 126 FAR QUESTS 1 27 The sun, that he found, by search, To be lord of our day and us, Is so' but he paused thereat: There's more to be said by who will! There's more to be said by who dares But nay, do not fear, I am old And blind - so others must speak, And suffer the Church's ban. Infinity there unbares; The earth and the planets have told But a word: some braver will seek How the heavens themselves began! A blasphemy, that Not so, For motion and force are God's, Tho in them is hidden the thought That eludes me, even to death. How earth draws the moon I know, And how great Jupiter plods, 1 28 With As if FAR o)v-rs'rs satellites to him caught- by an indrawn breath! That indrawn breath, is it one Between all things cast upon space The stone that I fling and the star Fall yielding alike to its wilI Does the Universe so run God give me a year of grace And yet I shall pierce afar Into that . . . for it needs but skill. The holy Wine and the Bread They are come . . . yea, I In Christ and the Virgin too, So now . . . be ever at ease. In the Church at Pisa o'erhead believe - Swung the pendulous light . . . receive My discoveries, God, thou who Gave the first to me there on my knees! F-AR QUESTS 1T29 For if Thou hast sent thy Word To the Church Thou hast sent us too The heavens and all their scroll For men with their minds to read. So where a truth I averred Of stars is to Thee untrue. Lay it not, 0 God, to my soul That I trusted both in my need! AT THE END When it is done, The laughter and weeping; When the heart hushes, When the brain stills; When I lie down For Silence and Sleeping, O let it be, at last, on the hills' On the high hills Where gladly to wander Is my delight, As the wind knows; Where without tomb For any to ponder I may, still facing the stars, repose. 130 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON PREFACE This play was first published ill I907. For its place in a group of three Renaissance dramas see the preface to " Porzia." C. Y. R. To DONALD ROBERTSON CHARACTERS FRANCESCO PETRARCA . . A Young Poet and Scholar GHERARDO . . . . . His Brother, a Monk LELLO . . . . . . His Friend ORSO . . . . . . His Servant FILIPPA . . . . . .) SANCIA.3. . . . . Ladies of light life in Avignon MADONNA LAURA A NIGHT IN AVIGNON SCENE: A room in the chamnbers of PETRARCA at A ignon. It opens on a loggia overlooking, on higher ground, the spired church of Santa Clara and the gray cloisters of a Carthusian monastery. Beyond lie the city walls under glam- our of the blue Provenfal night. The room, faintly frescoed, is lighted with many candles; some glittering on a wine-table heavy with wines toward the right front. A door on the left leads to other rooms, and an arrased one opposite, down to the street. Bookshelves and a writing-desk strewn with a lute and writ- ings are also on the left; a crimson couch is in the centre; and garlands of myrtle and laurel deck the wine-table. '35 3A NIGHT IN AVIGNON GHERARDO, the mtonk, is seated by the desk, following with severe looks the steps of PETRARCA, who is walking fezverisklv to and fro. Gherardo (after a pause). Listen. Another word, Francesco. Petrarca. Aih! And then another-that will breed another. Gherardo. Dote on this Laura still-if still you must: Woman's your destiny. But quench these lights and set away that wine. Petrarca. And to no other lips turn hers denied me Never, Gherardo Gherardo. Virtue bids you. Petrarca. Vainly! I've borne until I will not . . . For it is Two years now since in the aisles Of Santa Clara yonder my heart first Went from me on mad wing-. I 36 A NIGJTI IN AVIGNON3 Two y'ears this April morning Since it fell fluttering, before her feet As she stood there beside our blessed Lady, Gowned as young Spring in green and violets Giherardo. And these two years have been invio- late; Your life as pure as hers, As virgin- Save for the songs you've sung to her; those songs This idle city echoes with. But now Petrarca. Now I will open all the gates to Pleasure! To rosy Pleasure warm, unspiritual, Ready to spring Into the arms of all Whom bloodless Virtue pales. For, of restraint and hoping, I have drunk But a vintage of tears And what has been my gain Gherardo. Her chastity. Petrarca. A chastity unchallenged of desire- 13 7 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON And therefore none! Aih, none' For, were it other; Could I aver that once, that ever once Her lids had fallen low in fear of love, I'd bid the desert of my heart burn dry- To the last oasis- With resignation! But never have they, never! and I'm mad. [Pours out wine. Gherardo. And you will seek to cure it with more madness To cast the devil of love out of your veins With other love and lower: Petrarca. Yes, yes, yes! [Drinks. With little Sancia's! Whose soul is a sweet sin! Who lives but for this life and asks of Death Only a breath of time before he ends it, To tell three beads and fill her mouth with aves. I38 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Just for enough, she says, "To tell God that He made me "-as He did. Gherardo. And to blaspheme with! 0 obsessed man. [Has risen, flushed. But you will fail! For this vain revelry Will ease not. And I see all love is base- As say the Fathers- All! . . . and the body of woman Is vile from the beginning. Petrarca. Monkish lies! [Drinks again for courage. The body of woman's born of bliss and beauty. Only one thing is fairer-that's her soul. Gkerardo. And is that Word which says thou shalt not look Upon another's wife a monkish lie [Silence. Your Laura is another's. Petrarca (torn). As I found! After my heart became a poison flame- I39 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Within me' A fierce inquisitor against my peace! After I followed her from Santa Clara, That mass-hour, To an escutcheoned door' After and not before . . . And such another's' Ugo di Sade's' A beast whose sullen mind two thoughts would drain; Whose breath is a poltroon's; Who is unkind. . . . I've seen her weep; who loves Her not. . . . And yet the fane of song I frame her, The love I burn on it, she laughs away. To hide her own . . . I will not so believe. Gherardo. -Nor should you. Petrarca. Yet you bid me quarry still The deeps of me to shrine her And be Avignon's laughter A mock, a titter on the tongue of geese 140 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON-14 That gad the city gates A type of fools that sigh while others kiss " Francesco Petrarca! Who never clasped his mistress-but in a son- net! Who fills empty canzone with his passion- But never her ears' Never'-though she was wed against her will To an unlettered boor out bartering- One whom she well could leave'" I'll not, Gherardo' . . . Sonnets [Tears several fromn desk. Vain, all! [Casts theni away. But Lello comes' and brings me Sancia! Filippa' merry Filippa and Sancia' We'll drink'-wine of Rocella! Wine of the Rhine' Bielna I San Porciano'- And kiss! [Throws back his head. Kiss with the lips of life and not of 14 I 4A NIGHT IN AVIGNON [A knell has begun to beat from the church without. lIe hears it, and, awed, sinks, crossing himself, to the couch.] [GHERARDO, exalted, shudders. Gherardo. It is the knell of Matteo Banista, Whose soul is gone for its licentious days Upon steep purgatory. [Prepares to go. Your sin be on you . and it will. Petrarca (fearful). No! . . . no. [Starts up. But hear, Gherardo, hear' [His words come stifled. There in the cloister have you peace-in prayer In visions-penances . . Swear that you have! swear to me' once! but once! And I . . . ! No, never! . . . never' [He wipes his brow. 142 A NIGHT IN AVXJGNON While we are in the world the world's in us. The Holy Church I own- Confess her Heaven's queen; But we are flesh and all things that are fair God made us to enjoy- Or, high in Paradise, we'll know but sorrow. You though would ban earth's beauty, Even the torch of Glory That kindled Italy once and led great Greece- The torch of Plato, Homer, Virgil, all The sacred beards and sages, pagan-born! I love them! they are divine! And so to-night . . . [Voices. They! it is Leilo! Lello! Sancia! [Hears a lute and laughter below, then a call, "Sing, Sancia"; then SANCIA singing: To the maids of Saint Remy All the gallants go for pleasure; To the maids of Saint Remy- Tripping to love's measure! -1.3 '44A NIGHT IN AVIGNON To the dames of Avignon All the masters go for wiving; To the dames of Avignon- That shall be their shriving! [He goes to the loggia as they gayly ap- plaud. T-hen LELLO cries: Lello. Ho-ho' Petrarca! Pagan' are you in What! are you, sonnet-monger Petrarca. Ai, ai, aih! [Motions GHERARDO-who goes. Lello. Come then! Your door is locked' down! let us in! [Rattles it. Petrarca. No, ribald' hold' the key is on the sill' Look for it and ascend' [ORso enters. Stay, here is Orso! [The old servant goes through and down the stairs to meet them. In a moment the tramp of feet is heard and they enter-- LELLO between them-singing: I 44 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Guelph! Guelph! and Ghibbeline! Ehyo! ninni! onni! Znz! I went fishing on All Saints' Day And-caught but human bones! I went fishing on All Saints' Day. The Rhone ran swift, the wind blew black! I went fishing on All Saints' Day But my love called me back! She called me back and she kissed my lips- Oh, my lips! Oh, onni! 6nz! " Better take life than death," said she, Better take love than-bones! bones! [SANCIA kisses PETRARCA. "Better take love than bones." [They scatter with glee and PETRARCA seizes SANCIA to him. Petrarca. Yes, little Sancia! and you, my friends! Warm love is better, better! And braver! Come. Lello! give me your hand! 145 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON And you, Filippa! No, I'll have your lips! Sancia (interposing). Or-less One at a time, Messer Petrarca! You learn too fast. Mine only for to-night. Petrarca. And for a thousand nights, Sancia fair! Sancia. You hear him Santa Madonna! pour us wine, To pledge him in! Petrarca. The tankards bubble o'er! [They go to the table. And see, they are wreathed of April, With loving myrtle and laurel intertwined. We'll hold symposium, as bacchanals! Sancia. And that is-what some dull and silly show Out of your sallow books Petrarca. Those books were writ With ink of the gods, my Sancia, upon Papyri of the stars! Sancia. And-long ago Ha! long ago I146 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Peirarca. Returnless centuries. Sancia (contemptuously). Who loves the past, loves mummies and their dust- And he shall mould! Who loves the future loves what may not be, And feeds on fear. Only one flower has Time-its name is Now! Come, pluck it! pluck it! Lello. Brava, maid! the Now! Sancia (dancing). Come, pluck it! pluck it! Petrarca. By my soul, I will! [Seizes her again. It grows upon these lips-and if to-night They leant out over the brink of Hell, I would. [She breaks from him. Filippa. Enough! the wine! the wine! Sancia. 0 ever-thirsty And ever-thrifty Pippa! Well, pour out! [She lifts a brimming cup. We'll drink to Messer Petrarca- Who's weary of his bed-mate, Solitude. 147 148 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON May he long revel in the courts of Venus! All (drinking). Aih, long! Petrarca. As long as Sancia enchants them! Filippa. I'd trust him not, Sancia. Put him to oath. Sancia. And, to the rack, if faithless This Filippa! Messer Petrarca, should she not be made High Jurisconsult to our lord, the Devil, Whose breath of life is oaths . . . But, swear it! . . . by the Saints! Who were great sinners all' And by the bones of every monk or nun Who ever darkened the world! Lello. Or ever shall! [A pause. Petrarca. I'll swear your eyes are singing Under the shadow of your hair, mad Sancia, Like nightingales in the wood. Sancia. Pah ! Messer Poet . Such words as those you vent without an end- A NIGHT IN AVIGNON4 To the Lady Laura! Petrarca. Stop! [Grows pale. Not her name-here! [All have sat down; he rises. Sancia. O-ho' this air will soil it and it might Not sound so sweet in sonnets ever after [To the rest-rising: Shall we depart, that he may still indite them "To Laura-On the Vanity of Passion'" "To Laura-Unrelenting " "To Laura-Whose Departing Darkens the Sky" [Laughs. "To Laura-Who Deigns Not a Single Tear" [ORso enters. Shall we depart Lello. Peace! Sancia. Sancia. Ah-ha! [MlIoves away. Petrarca (still tensely-to ORSO). Speak. Orso. Sir, you are desired. Petrarca. By whom 149 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Orso. Her veil Was lifted and she told me: Therefore I sav it out-Madonna Laura. [All stare, amazed. Silence. Petrarca (hoarsely). What lie is this! Orso. I am too old to lie. Sancia (laughing). Who was the goddess that his books tell of, The cold one so long chaste, but who at last- Lello. Be silent, Sancia 'Francesco . . . what Petrarca (to ORSO). Lead Monna Laura here- [ORSO goes. If it is she! But you, my friends, must know how strange this is, And how-! . . . I have no words! Wait me, I pray you, yonder, in that chamber. [They go, left, SANCIA shrugging. Then ORSo brings LAURA, whom PETRARCA is helpless to greet, and who falters- yet nobly determining, comes down. 150 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Laura. Messer Petrarca, . . . I have been impelled To come . . . and as the purest should, boldly, With lifted veil, to say Petrarca. Lady! Laura. To say- With gratitude I cannot give another For life to a woman is but resignation, And that at last is shame . . . Petrarca. At last . . . shame Laura. To say-Love is to us as light to the lilies That lean by Mont Ventoux: The love of one pure man for one pure woman. Petrarca (dazed). Lady! Laura. Yes, and-I've been unkind to you. Ungentle ever. [Shakes her head. But there's no other way sometimes for those Who would be wholly true. And yet . . . do I owe any truth to him 1Il 152 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON Petrarca. To-Ugo di Sade Laura (bitterly). Who is called my husband How I was bound to him, you know! and how I've dwelt and have endured more than his bursts Of burning cruelty. For still, I thought, He is my husband ! And still-He is my husband' But now no more I think it-oh: no more! Too visible it is That he belongs to any-who sell love. So I may innocently say to you Who for two years have sung my name and suffered, Yet never once have turned unto another- [PETRARCA pales- I well may say [Stopped by his manner. There's something that you . . . Ah! [Sees, stricken, his grief and shame. Then her glance goes round the room and falls on tIhc wine-table . . . Then SAN- CIA is heard within: A NIGHT IN AVIGNON 153 Sancia. Well, well, Messer Petrarca! How long will You shut us in this dark-that is as black As old Pope John the twenty-second's soul A pretty festa, this! Petrarca (brokenly). Merciless God! [Falls abased before LAURA'S look, tortured iith remorse. 0 lady, what have I done beyond repair! [She gathers her veil. What have I lost within this gulf of shame! For a paltry pleasure have I sold my dream, Whose pinions would have lifted you at last Laura (very pale). I did not know, Messer Pe- trarca, you Had friends awaiting. [Pauses numbly. I came to-night, as first I would have said, With holy gratitude- For a love I thought you gave. With gratitude that honor well could speak, A NIGHT IN AVIGNON I thought, and yet be honor; With gratitude forgetful of all else . . And trusting . . . But no matter: All trust shall be embalmed and laid away. I go with pity; seeing Mly husband-is even as other men. [She passes to the door and out: PETRARCA moans. Then LELLO enters and comes to him anxiously. Lello. Francesco! Petrarca. Lello! [Dazed. Lello! Have I dreamed Did Laura come to me Come as the first voice To one despairing . And was I lifted up to And then . God! am I falling [Rising, with anguish. out of the night- breaking beyond death Heaven's dawn [Reels. . shall I ever . . . r54 A NIGHT IN AVIGNON 155 Down this . . . . . . My friend stay with me, No, go . . . and take them with you-Sancia -all! I have slain the Spring forever' The green of the whole fair world' . . 0 Laura! Laura! [Sinks down on the coich and buries hisface in his arms. LELLO goes sorrowzfully out. CURTAIN This page in the original text is blank. YOLANDA OF CYPRUS FIRST PUBLISHED I908 To IDA M. TARBELL WITH AFFECTIONATE ADMIRATION This page in the original text is blank. ACT I CHARACTERS RENIER LUSIGNAN BERENGERE AMAURY . YOLANDA . CAMARIN . VITTIA PISANI. MORO . . HASSAN . HALIL . . TREMITUS . OLYMPIO . ALESSA. . M AGA . . . CIVA . , NIAURIA . SMARDA . PIETRO . A Descendant of the Luszgnan Kings of Cyprus . hs Wife I/s Son, Commander of Franza- gouste under the Venetians Thc Ward of Berengere, betrothed jo Amaury A Baron of Paphos, Guest in the Luszgnan Castle . A Venetian Lady, also a Guest A Priest I I 'arden of the Castle Iis Son, a Boy A Physician A Greek Boy, serving Amaury Berengere's Women Slave to Vrttia In I Tittia's pay Przests, Acolytes, etc. TIME-The Sixteenth Century PLACE-77e Island of Cyprus YOLANDA OF CYPRUS SCENE: A dim Hall, of blended Gothic and Sara- cenic styles, in the Lusignan Castle, on the island of Cypruts near Famnagouste. Around the walls, above faint frescoes portraying the deliverance of Jerusalenm by the Crusaders, runs a frieze inlaid with the coats-of-arms of former Lusignan kings. On the left, and back, is a door huing with heavy damask, and in the wall opposite, another. Farther down on the right a few steps, whose railing supports a Greek vase with jasmine, lead through a chapel to the sleeping apartments. In the rear, on either side, are guled lattice windows, and in the centre an open grated door, looking upon a loggia, and, across the garden below, over the moonlit sea. Seats are placed about, and, forward, a divan with rich Turkish coverings. i63 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS A table with a lighted cross-shaped candlestick is by the door, left; and a lectern wenth a book on it, to the front, right. As the curtain rises, the Women, except CIVA, lean wearily on the divan, and HALrL near is singing dreamily: Ah, the balm, the balm. And ah, the blessing Of the deep fall of night And of confessing. Of the sick soul made white Of all distressing: Made white! . . . Ah, balm of night And, ah the blessing! [The music falls and all seecn yielding to sleep. Suddcnly thcrc arc hoof-beats and sounds at the gates below. HALIL springs up. Halil. Alessa! Maga! Voices at the gates! [All start up. Some one is come. .L64 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Alessa. Boy, Halil, who Halil. Up, up! Perhaps lord Renier-No: I will learn. [He runs to curtains and looks. It is Olympio! Olympio! From Famagouste and lord Amaury! Mauria. Ah! And comes he here Halil. As he were lord of skies! To lady Yolanda, by my lute! Maga. Where is she Alessa. I do not know; perhaps, her chamber. Mauria. Stay: His word may be of the Saracens. Halil (calling). Oho! [He admits OLYMPIO, who enters insolently doWzn. All press round him gaily. Mauria. Well, what, Olympio, from Fama- gouste What tidings teli us. i65 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Maga. See, his sword! Olympio. Stand off. .M1auria. The tidings, then, the tidings ! Olymnpio. None-for women. Malaria. So-ho, my Cupid None of the Sara- cens Of the squadron huddling yesterday for haven At Keryneia Olympli. Who has told you Mauria. Who A hundred galleys westing up the wind, Scenting the shore, but timorous as hounds. A gale-and twenty down! M1aga. The rest are flown Olympio. Ask Zeus, or ask, to-morrow, lord Amaury, Or, if he comes, to-night. To lady Yolanda I'm sent and not to tattle, silly, here. [He starts off, but is arrested by laughter viithlln. It is CIVA wzho enters, hold- inZg ulp a parchment. 166 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS O! Only Civa. [Starts again with HALIL. Civa. I-low, Olympio! Stay you, and hear!-May never virgin love him! Gone as a thistle! (turns). Ma uria. Pouf! (laughs). Alessa (to CIVA). Now what have you Civa. Verses ! found in the garden. Verses! verses! On papyrus of Paphos. 0, to read! But you, Alessa-! Alessa (takes them). In the garden Civa. By The fountain cypress, at the marble feet Of chaste Diana! Maga. Where Sir Camarin And oft our lady-! Civa. _Maga, will you prattle Read them to us. Alessa, read them, read. They are of love! Maga. No, sorrow. i67 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Civa. 0, as a nun You ever sigh for sorrow !-They are of love! Of princes bursting through enchanted bounds To ladies prisoned in an ogre's keep! Then of the bridals !-O, they are of love! Maga. No, Civa, no !-of sorrow! see, her lips! [She points to ALESSA, who, reading, has paled. See, see ! Civa. Alessa! Alessa. Maga-Civa-Ah! [She rends the parchment. Mauria. What are you doing Alessa. They were writ to her! M1lauria. To her to whom what are you say- ing Read! Read us the verses. Alessa. No. Mauria. Tell then his name Who writes them, and to whom. Alessa. I will not. Mlauria. Then i68 YOLANDA O1 CYPRUS It is some guilt you hide !-And touching her You dote on-lady Yolanda! Alessa. Shamne ! Mauria. Some Of one, then, in this castle !-See, her lips Betray it is. Maga. No, Mauria! no! no! (holds hter) I guilt iush! [Forms appear without. Mauria. 0, loose me. Maga. There. on the loggia! Hush, see- Our lady and Sir Camarin. Alessa (fearful). It is... . They heard us, Maga Maga. No, but- Mauria (to ALESSA). So that mouse Alessa. You know not, Mauria, what thing you say.- He is troubling her; be still. [Stepping out as BERENGERE enters. My lady i6)9 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Berengere (unwt-ilingly). Yes. It is time, now, for your lamps, And for your aves and o'erneeded sleep. But first IPd know if yet lord Renier- [SeCs ALESSA'S face. Why are you pale Alessa. I Berengere. So-and strange. Alessa. We have But put away the distaff and the needle. CAMARIN enters. Berengere. The distaff and the needle-it may be. And yet you do not seem- Alcssa. My lady- Bcren gere. Go. And send me Hassan. [The womncn leave. Camarin-you saw They were not as their wont is. I70 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Camarin. To your eyes, My Berengere, that apprehension haunts. They were as ever. Then be done with fear! Bercncgre. I cannot. Camiarin. To the abyss with it. To-night Is ours-Renier tarries at Famagouste- Ifs ours for love and for a long delight! Berengere. Whose end may he- Camarin. Dawn and the dewy lark! And passing of all presage from you. Berengere (sits). N o: For think, Yolanda's look when by the cypress We read the verses ! And my dream that I Should with a cross-inscrutable is sleep !- Bring her deep bitterness. Camarin. Dreams are a brood Born of the night and not of destinv. She guesses not our guilt, and Renier Clasps to his breast ambition as a bride- Ambition for Amaury. 17 I YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Berengere. None can say. He's much with this Venetian, our guest, Though Venice gyves us more with tyranny Than would the Saracen. Camarin. But through this lady Of the Pisani, powerful in Venice, He hopes to lift again his dynasty Up from decay; and to restore this island, This verdure-dream of the seas, unto his house. 'Tis clear, my Berengere! Berengere. Then, her design And, the requital that entices her [Rises- Evil will come of it, to us some evil, Or to Yolanda and Amaury's love.- But, there: the women. Cainarin. And too brief their stay. What signal for to-night Berengere. Be in the garden. Over the threshold yonder I will wave The candle-sign, when all are passed to sleep. 7 2 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Camarin. And with the beam I shall mount up to you Quicker than ecstasy. Berengere. I am as a leaf Before the wind and raging of your love. Go-go. Canmarin. But to return unto your breast! [lie leaz'cs her by thle div anl. [The women re-cntcr with silver lighted lamps; behind them are HASSA N and the slave SStARDA. ThyC wait for BERENGERE, wLhO hlas stood silent, to speak. Berengere (looking up). Ah. you are come; I had forgotten. And it is time for sleep.-Ilassan, the gates: Close them. Hassan. And chain them, lady Berengere. \Vait no longer. Lord Renier will not come. Hassan. No word of him 1 7.3 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Berengere. None, though he yesterday left Nicosie With the priest Moro. Hassan. Lady- Berengere. Wait no longer. Come, women, with your lamps and light the way. [The women go by the steps. BERENGERE f01- lows. Hassan (staring after her). The reason of this mood in her the reason Something is vile. Lady Yolanda weeps In secret; all for what By God! the Paphian Or she of Venice (sees SMARDA). Now slave! Scythian ! Why do you linger Smarda. I am bidden-(snarls) by My mistress. Hassan. Spa! Thy mistress hath, I think, Something of hell in her and has unpacked A portion in this castle. Is it so Somarda. My lady is of Venice. I174 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Hassan. Strike he Her smirk admits it. Smarda. Touch me not ! Hassan. I'll Your tongue out sudden, if it now has lies. What of your lady and lord Renier Smarda. Off! r, God. wring RENIER enters behind, with MoRo. Hassan. Your lady and lord Renier, I say! What do they purpose Smarda. Fool-born! look arou Hassan. Not till- Smarda. Lord Renier, help. Hassan. What do you sz nd. IV [Turns, and stares amazcd. A fool I am. .. Renier. 'Where is rr Hassan. This slave stung me to pry. Renier. iy wife Why, she. . . Where is my wife 15 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Hassan. A moment since she left-the women with her. She asked for your return. Renier. And wherefore did Hassan. You jeer me. Renier. -Answer. Hassan. Have you not been gone Renier. Not-overfar. \Vhere is Yolanda - Well No matter; find my chamber till I come. Of my arrival, too, no word to any. [HASSAIN goes, confused. You. 'Moro, have deferred me; now, I move. Whether it is suspicion eats in me, Mistrust and fret and doubt-of whom I say not, Or whether desire, and unsubduable, To see Amaury sceptred-I care not. [To SMARDA. Slave, to your lady who awaits me, say I'm here and fiow have chosen. Moro. Do not! YOLANTDA OF CYPRUS 177 Renier. Chosen. [SMARDA goes. None can be great who wvill not hush his heart To hold a sceptre, and Amaury must. He is Lusignan and his lineage Will drown in him Yolanda's loveliness. Moro. It will not. Renier. Then at least I shall uncover What this Venetian hints. Moro. Sir Renier. I must know. Moro. 'Tis of your wife-Y'olanda Renier. Name them not. They've shut me from their souls. Moro. My lord, not so; But you repulse them. Renier. When they pity. No, Something has gone from me or never was Within my breast. I love not-am unlovable. Amaury is not so. And this Venetian Vittia Pisani- YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Moro. Distrust her! Renier. She has power. Moro. But not truth. And yesterday a holy relic scorned. Renier. She loves Amaury. \Ved to her he will Be the elected Governor of Cyprus. The throne, then, but a step. Moro. But all too great. And think; Yolanda is to him as heaven: He will not yield her. Renier. Then he must. And she, The Venetian, has ways to it-a secret To wrench her from his arms. Moro. Sir, sir -of what Renier. I know not, of some shame. Moro. Shame! Renier. Why do you clutch me Moro. I-am a priest-and shame- Renier. You show suspicions. [VITTIA enters unnoted. Of whom-Of whom, and what 178 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia (lightly). MIy lord, of women. [RENIER starts and turns. So does the Holy Church instil him. Renier. You Come softly, lady of Venice. Vittia. Streets of sea In Venice teach us. Renier. Of what women, then My wife Yolanda Vittia. By the freedom due us, What matters it In Venice our lords know That beauty has no master. Renier. Has no . . . That That too has something hid. Vittia. Suspicious lord! Yet Berengere Lusignan is his wife! And soon Yolanda-But for that I'm here. You sent for me. Renier (sullen). I sent. Vittia. To say you've cho! sen 179 t, , I YOLANDA OF CYPRUS And offer me irrevocable aid To win Amaury Renier. All is vain in me Before the fever for it. Vittia. Then, I shall. It must be done. My want is unafraid. Hourly I am expecting out of Venice Letters of power. And what to you I pledge is he shall be Ruler of Cyprus and these Mediterranean Blue seas that rock ever against its coast. That do I pledge . . . but more. Renier. Of rule . .. Then what Vittia (going up to him). Of shame withheld -dishonor unrevealed. [As he recoils. Hush ! there arc steps. [The slave re-enters. Smarda Smarda (qquickly). I80 1My ladsy! YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. Smarda. Vittia. Smarda. Renier. Vittia. Renier. Stay and ( Vittia. Renier. Vittia. Renier. Speak. I've erred; she's not asleep. Who -A_ l ! Yes; she is coming! Yolanda Ha! 'My lord-! I'll stay, confront her. I'll question Ignorantly 'No. her. Blindly, and peril all I will return. You put me off, and off. [By the loggia, with MORO, lie goes; the slave slips out. YOLANXD;k enters, sadly, her gaze Ont the foor. She walks slowly, but becoining conscious starts, sees VITTIA, and turns to with- draw.. Vittia. \our pardon- Yolanda. I can serve you 18I YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. If you seek The women, they are gone. Yolanda. I do not seek them. Vittia. Nor me Yolanda. Nor any.-Yet I would I might With seeking penetrate the labyrinth Of your intent. Vittia. I thank you. And you shall, To-night-if you have love. Yolanda. That thread were vain. Vittia. I say, if you have love. Yolanda. Of guile Vittia. Of her You hold as mother, and who is Amaury's. Yolanda. Were it so simple, all designs that ever Laired in you, would to my eyes have been as clear As shallows under Morpha's crystal wave. Vittia. Unproven you speak so. Yolanda. And proven would. Vittia. If so, then-save her. 182 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. Who What do you- (stops). Vittia (with irony). Mean It is not clear Yolanda. Save her Vittia. The surety flies Out of your cheek and dead upon your heart: Yet you are innocent-oh innocent!- O'er what abyss she hangs! Yolanda. O'er no abyss. Vittia. But to her lord is constant ! Yolanda (desperate). She is constant. Vittia. And to his bed is true ! Yolanda. True. Vittia. And this baron Of Paphos-Camarin-is but her friend, And deeply yours-as oft you feign to shield her Yolanda. He is no more. Vittia. Your heart belies your lips, Knows better than believing what you say. Yolanda. Were, were he then . . . (struggles) lord Renier knows it not! i83 YOLANDAN OF CYPRUS And never must. I have misled his thought From her to me. The danger thus may pass, The open shame. Sir Camarin departed, her release From the remorse and fettering will seem Sweet as a vista into fairyland. For none e'er will betray her. Vittia. 'Nonle Yolanda. Your tone . . . (Realising.) The still insinuation! You would do it! This is the beast then of the labyrinth! And this your heart is! Vittia. No, not ever: no. But now, if you deny me. Yolanda. Speak as a woman, If there is womanhood in you to speak. The name of Berengere Lusignan must Go clean unto the years, fair and unsullied. Nhor must the bloody leap Of death fall on her from lord Reiner's sword, .184 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS A death too ready if he but suspect. No, she is holy !. And holy are my lips Remembering that they may call her mother! All the bright world I breathe because of her, Laughter and roses, day-song of the sea, Not bitterness and loneliness and blight! All the bright world, - Of voices, dear as waking to the dead- Voices of love and tender earthly hopes- 0, all the beauty I was once forbid! For 0!- She lifted me, a lonely convent weed, A cloister thing unvisited of dew, Withering and untended and afar From the remembered ruin of my home, And here has planted me in happiness. Then, for her, all I am! Vittia. Or-hope to be Yolanda. The price, say, of your silence.-I am weary. 18.5 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. And would be rid of me. Yolanda. The price, the price. Vittia. It is (low and ashamed) that you re- nounce Amaury's love. [A pause. Yolanda. Amaury's love. . . . You then would rend me there Where not Eternity could heal the wound Though all the River of God might be for balm! Cruelty like to this you could not do [Wlaits a moment. A swallow on the battlements to-day Fell from the hawk: you soothed and set it free. This, then, you would not-! Vittia. Yes. Yolanda. You cannot! Vittia. Yes. Yolanda (wrung for a moment then calm). I had forgotten, you are of Venice-Venice Whose burdening is vast upon this land. Good-night. iiM YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. And you despise me! Yolanda. More I loathe That love of him has led your thought so low. [Is going. Vittia. Stay! If you leave and do not choose at once- [Sounds are heard at the gates. Who's that . . . (starts). Amaury . You've expected him [The chains fall. Your purpose, then ! Is it now to renounce And force him from you or to have me breathe To Renier Lusignan the one word That will transmute his wrong to madness Say it ! For centuries have stained these walls But never a wife; never- Enter BEREN GERE. Yolanda. Mother . Berengere. Amaury Has spurred to us, Yolanda, from his post, YOLANDA OF CYPRUS And is below. But . . . what has befallen [Looks from one to the other. Yolanda. He comes here, mother Berengere. At once. Yolanda (in dread). Ah! Berengere. Child Vittia (to Yolanda). To-night Must be the end. Yolanda. Go, go. Berengere (as Vittia passes out). W hat thing is this Yolanda. Mother, I cannot have him-here- Amaury! Defer him but a little-till to-morrow. T cannot see him now. Berengere. This is o'erstrange. Yolanda. Help me to think. Go to him, go. and say Some woman thing-that I am ill-that I Am at confession-penance-that-Ah, say But anything! 188 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Berengere. Yolanda! Yolanda. Say . No use. Too late. Berengere. Ilis step Yolanda. ()h, unmistakable; Along the corridor. Go! [The curtains are thrown back. Amnaurv (at the threshold). My Yolanda! [Hastens dowan and takes hcr, passive, in his armis. BERENGERE gocs. Mv, my Yolanda! . . . [Kisses her. To touch you is as triumph to the blood, Is as the boon of battle to the strong ! Yolanda. Amaury, no; release me and say vhy You conic: The Saracens- Antaury. Not of them nlow [Bcnds back her head. But of some tribute incense to this beauty, Dear as the wind wafts from undying shrines I89 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Of mystery and myrrh ! I'd have the eloquence of quickened moons Pouring upon the midnight magicly, To say all I have yearned. Now, with your head pillowed upon my breast! Slow sullen speech, come to my soldier lips, Rough with command, and impotent of softness! Come to my lips! or fill so full my eyes That the unutterable shall seem as sweet To my Yolanda. But . . . how, how now tears [Lifts her face. Yolanda. Amaury- Amaury. What have I done Too pronely pressed You to this coat of steel Yolanda. No, no. Ainaury. SMy words, Or silence, then Yolanda. Amaury, no, but sweet, Sweet as the roses of Damascus crusht, Your silence is! and sweeter than the dream Igo YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Of April nightingale on Troados, Or gushing by the springs of Chitria, Your every word of love! Yet-yet-ah, fold me, Within your arms oblivion and hold me, Fast to your being press me, and there bless me With breathed power of your manhood's might. Amaury ! .. . Amaury. This I cannot understand. Yolanda (freeing herself). Nothing-a folly- groundless frailty. Amaurv. You've been again at some old tale of sorrow, [Goes to the lectern. Pining along the pages of a book- This, telling of that Italy madonna \Xrhose days were sad-I have forgotten how. Is it not so Yolanda. No. no. The tears of women Come as the air and sighing of the night, We know not whence or whv. 191 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury. Often, perhaps. I am not skilled to tell. But never these! They are of trouble known. Yolanda. Yet now forget them. Amaury. It will not leave my heart that some- how-how I cannot fathom-Camarin Yolanda (lightly, to stop him). No farther! Amaury. That Camarin of Paphos is their cause.- Tell me Yolanda. Yes, that I love you! Amatiry. Tell me Yolanda. Love you! As sea the sky! and as the sky the wind! And as the wind the forest ! As the forest- What does the forest love, Amaury I Can think of nothing! Amaury. Tell me then you have Never a moment of you yielded to him, That never he has touched too long this hand- 192 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Till evermore he must, even as I- Nor once into your eyes too deep has gazed! You falter darken Yolanda. Would he ne'er had come Into these halls! that it were beautiful, Holy to hate him as the Lost can hate. Antaury. But 'tis not Yolanda. God shall judge him. Amaurv. And not you Yolanda. Though he is weak, there is within him- AmNaury. That Which women trust and you [BERENGERE enters. He t:urns to her. Mother Berengere. A soldier of your troop within the forts Has come with word. Amaury (starting). Mother! Berengere. It is A runner, ill news 193 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS I've seen that battle-light in you before. 'Tis of the Saracens you ride to-night Into their peril Amaury. Come, the word. the word! Berengere. Only this token. Amaury. The spur the spur (Takes it.) They then Are landing! Yolanda. How, Amaury; tell your meaning! Amaury. The galleys of the Saracens have found Anchor and land to-night near Keryneia. My troops are ready and await me- So I must speed. Yolanda (with strange terror). I pray you, do not go. Amaury. Yolanda! Yolanda. If I am left alone- I Amaury. Yolanda! Yolanda (sinking to a seat). I meant it not-a breath of fear-forget- And go. 194 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury. I know you not to-night. Farewell. [He kisses her and hurries off. A silence. Berengere. Yolanda- Yolanda. Mother, I will go to sleep. [She rises. Berengere. A change has come to you-a dif- ference Drawn as a veil between us. Yolanda. I am weary. Berengere. You love me Yolanda. As, 0 mother, I love him, With love impregnable to every ill, As Paradise is. Berengere. Then- Yolanda. I pray, no more. To-night I am flooded with a deeper tide Than yet has flowed into my life-and through it Sounds premonition: so I must have calm. [She embraces BERENGERE; goes slowly up steps and off. 195 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Bcrengere (chilled). What fear-if it is fear- has so unfixed her Is it suspicion Then I must not ineet Him here to-night-or if to-night, no more. Her premonition !-and my dream that I Should with a cross bring her deep bitterness. [Thinks a moment, then takes the crucifix fromn her neck. Had Renier but come, perhaps I might . . . [Lays it on table. 0 were I dead this sinning would awake me! . . . And yet I care not (dully). . . . No, I will forget. [Goes firmly fromn door to door and looks out each. Then lifts, unnoting, the cross-shaped candlestick; and waving it at the loggia, turns holding it before her. Soon he will come up from the cool, and touch Away my weakness with mad tenderness. Soon he will . . . AM [Has seen with terror the candlestick's struc- ture. 196 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS The cross! . . My dream! . . . Yolanda! [Lets it fall. Mercy of God, move in me! . . .Sacrilege! [Sinks feebly to the divan, and bows, overcome. Camarin (appearing after a pause on the loggia). My Berengere, a moment, and I come! [Enters, locking the grating behind him, Then he harries down and leans to lift her face. Berengere. No, no! nor ever, ever again, for ever! [Shrinks. Go from me and behind leave no farewell. ... Camarin. This is-illusion. In the dew I've waited, And the night's song of you is in my brain- A song that seems- Berengere. Withhold from words. At last Fate is begun! See, with the cross it was 197 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS I waved you hither. Leave me-let me pass Out of this sin-and to repentance-after. Camarin. I cannot, cannot! Berengere. Pity, then, my fear. This moment were it known would end with mur- der, Or did it not, dishonour still would kill! Leave, leave. Camnarin. To-morrow, then; but not to-night! [He goes behind and puts his arms around her. Give me thy being once again, thy beauty. For it I'm mad as bacchanals for wine. [YOLANDA, entering on the balcony, hears, and would retreat, but sees RENIER come to the grating. Once more be to me all that woman may! Let us again take rapture wings and rise Up to our world of love, guilt would unsphere. Let us live over days that passed as streams Limpid by lotus-banks unto the sea, O'er all the whispered nights that we have clasped 98 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Knowing the heights and all the deeps of passion! But speak, and we shall be amid the stars. [RENIER draws a dagger and leaves the grating. With a low cry YOLANDA staggers down: the Two rise, fearful. Berengere. Yolanda! Yolanda. Mother, mother ! . . . Ah, his eyes! Berengere. What brings you here-to spy upon me Yolanda. Listen! Think not of me-no. hush-but of the peril Arisen up . . . Your husband ! Camarin. Renier Yolanda. Was at that grating-heard. And from its sheath Drew forth a dagger !-Ah! Berengere (weakly). WVhat does she say Yolanda. Find calmness now, and some expedi- ent. [She struggles to think. Berengere. I cannot die. I99 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. No, no. Berengere. WMy flesh is weak, Is poor of courage-poverished by guilt, As all my soul is! But, Yolanda, you-! Yolanda. Yes, something must be done-some- thing be done. [CAMARIN goes to the curtains and returns. Bcrcngerc. The shame . . . the shame . . . the shame! Yolanda. There yet is time. Berengere. You can deliver! you are innocent. Yolanda. Perhaps. Let me but think.-He came Bcrengere. You see There is escape a way from it Yolanda. Perhaps. HIe came after your words . . . yes . . . could not see Here in the dimness . . . but has only heard Sir Camarin .. . Bercngerc. I do not know! 200 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. Up to your chamber and t There is a way-I think- Go to your chamber; for Prevention! Berengcre. I-yes, yes. Yolanda. Go, in ... be as asleep. -dim, but a way. there yet may be There is a way. [BERENGERE goes. Strength now to walk it! strength unfaltering. Camarin. What do you purpose Yolanda. Here to take her place, Here at the lowest of her destiny. Cam ari. I do not understand. Yolanda. But wholly shall. Clasp me within your arms; he must believe 'Tis I and not his wife you have unhallowed, Your arms about me, though they burn ! and breathe me Thirst of unbounded love as unto her. [He clasps hcr, and they wait. Ah, it is he! 201 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Camarin. No. Yolanda. Yes, the words; at once! Camarin (hoarsely). With all my body and soul- breath I love you, [RENIER enters with MORO. And all this night is ours for ecstasy. Kiss me with quenchless kisses, and embrace Me with your beauty, till- [YOLANDA with a cry, as of fear, looses herself,pretending to discover RENIER, who is struck rigid. MIoro. My lord, my lord! It is Yolanda. Renier. Then- [The dagger falls front him. Why, then-Amaury! [YOLANDA, realising, stunned, sinks back to the divan. CURTAI N 202 ACT II This page in the original text is blank. SEVERAL DAYS HAVE ELAPSED SCENE: The forecourt of the castle, beyond which is the garden and in the distance the moun- tains, under the deep tropical blue of morning. On the right the wall enclosing the castle grounds runs back and is lost in the foliage of cypress, palm, orange; it is pierced by an arched gate with lifted portcullis. On the left rises the dark front of the castle, its arabesqued doorway open. Across the rear a low arcaded screen of masonry, with an entrance to the right, separates the court from the garden. Before it a fountain, guarded by a statue of a Knight of St. John, falls into a porphyry basin. By the castle door, to the front, and elsewhere, are stone seats. HASSAN is standing moodily by the screen, left, looking out the portcullis. He starts, hearing steps, and as the old leach TREMITUS enters, motions hint silently into the 205 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS castle; then muttering "'the old blood-letter," stands as before, while CIVA, MAGA, and MAURIA are heard in the garden, and enter gaily bearing water-jars to the fountain. CIVA sees his look and breaks into a twitting laugh- ter. The other two join her. Civa. Look at him! Maga! Mauria! behold! Was ever sight so sweet upon the world Is he not very Joy Mauria (critically). Now, is he not With the price of vinegar upon his face. [All laugh. The price of vinegar! who'll buy !-Not I! Not I! Not I! Not I! Hassan. Wench. Civa. Verily! And not a man! he has discovered it! You're not a man, Mauria! we were duped. [MAURIA slaps her playfully. But see him now-a mummy of the Nile! Who died of choler! 200 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS 207 Mauria. Then, a care, he'll bite. He's been in the grave a long while and he's hungry. A barley-loaf, quick, Maga! Civa. To appease him! But s-sh ! beware ! there's something of import. [They stop in snuck awe before him. What does he think of Mfauria. Sphinxes and the sj Civa. Or little ants and gnats that buzz him. Mauria. And how to make them smart for ness. Civa. Or of Alessa! Maga. No, no, Civa! cor Enough of teasing. Civa. Of Alessa! Maga. No. Your pitcher, come. He's troubled by the ta Of lady Yolanda- And waits for lord Amaury from the battle. pheres. about sauci- ne; le YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Civa. The-! heigh! heigh-o! awaits! la, la! he does [HASSAN starts at her tone. For lord Amaury does he so indeed Hassan. What do you know Be silent. Civa. Ho! Hassan. Itch ! would You have lady Yolanda hear She comes Now, as she has this morning thrice, to ask. [YOLANDA appears on the threshold with ALESSA. Lord Renier . . . remember, if she learns! [CIVA flouts hin, but goes to the fountain. The others follow, fill their jars, and, singing, return to the garden. Yo- LANDA then crosses to HASSAN, Whto waits evasive. Yolanda. My want is still the same-words are unneeded. Hassan. To know of lord Amaury 208 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. He has not yet returned Hassan (loathly). Yolanda. Nor heard Hassan. Yolanda. Lord Amaury- I have not seen him. Nothing. I cannot understand. [Goes to the gate, troubled. Hassan (low). Liar Yolanda. that I am to say it! I cannot-cannot I [Returns. The Saracens we know were routed to Their vessels-all the Allah-crying horde. And lord Amaury-said the courier not- Rode in the battle as a seraph might To the Holy Sepulchre's deliverance. And yet no word from him. Hassan. Perhaps-with reason. [She looks at him quickly-he flushes. With reason! , . . knowing, lady, what, here, now, 200 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Is rumoured of a baron And lady Yolanda! . . . Pardon! Yolanda (slowly). Of a baron And lady Yolanda. Hassan. Yes: it is the women Who with their ears ever at secrecy Rumour it. But, lady, it is a lie This Camarin, this prinker, Whose purse is daily loose to us. . . . I curse him! His father . . . Well, my mother's ten years dead, Stained, as you know- And flower-lips breathe innocent above her. But I'll avenge her doom. Yolanda. On-whom Hassan (points castlewards). On him! So you, who do not hush this tale of you, Though it is truthless-hear: I have a stab for Camarin of Paphos Whenever he has lived-but say !-too long. Yolanda (who has listened rigidly. After a pause). 210 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Come here . . . look in my eyes, and-deeper . . . Shame! [Quells him. Pity alone we owe to sin not blame. And they who love may stray, it seems, beyond All justice of our judging.- Is evil mad enchantment come upon The portals of this castle Hassan. I would serve you. Yolanda. With murder no. But if you would indeed, As oft you have Hassan. Lady, I will. Yolanda. Then watch The Venetian, and when Amaury comes Find me at once. What sound was that . . . A bugle It is! it is! Alessa! (Overjoyed.) Do you hear His troop! Amaury's! 0 the silver chime! Again I breathe, I breathe! My heart as a bird of May! 211 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury! ... Come! we'll go to him! we'll go! Before any within Lusignan-! A4essa. Lady! Yolanda. At once! it rings again! again! we'll go! Alessa. And tell him Yolanda. Warn! Warn him a fever's here That he must fend his ear from. 'Twill suffice. And I again shall see him, hear him speak, Hang on his battle-story blessedly! And you, Hassan. . . . But why do you stand stone You know something. . . . He's dead! Hassan. No, lady, no. Yolanda. Not all! . . . then what 'Twas not his trumpet Hassan (after a struggle). No. And I will lie to you no longer; Though for obedience it be or life; And at lord Renier's command. . . . It is 212 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Not true that lord Amaury from the battle Has not returned. Yolanda. But he-you mean-is here [Stands motionless. Hassan. He came . .. on yeste dusk. Was led Up to his chamber . . . So much lord Renier who slipt him in Revealed, that I might guile you. Alessa (sharply). And Hassan. Yes. Alessa. Though you boasted Hassan. N Alessa. Lady, I would have wed hi toad! Who'd kill Hassan. erday.. . at you have love to me ow, woman! rm-wed this [Stingingly. the Paphian, too! Yes ! A lessa. Heeling away from him Worm! with dust 213 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. Be still, be still. [ALESSA turns to her. These words can wait on what may yet be helped. This may undo me! First of all I should Have seen Amaury! Now-! Hassan. The Venetian! [They start. VITTIA enters fromn the castle. Lady, I will go in. Alessa. And I; to wait. Yolanda (suddenly). But Vittia. Yolanda. Vittia Visani, who withholds Who came last night at dusk, [They go. I to see Amaury. What (stops). To see, Amaury- as well you know. [They face, opposed. What have you told him Vittia. Ha! Yolanda. Insolence, false And feigning! But no matter; lies are brief. I'll go myself to him. 2,4 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. To be repelled BERENGERE enters. Yolanda. If he could trust you-but he could not. Vittia. Knowing A Paphian ere this has fondled two Yolanda. You hear, mother (To Vittia). Out of my way at once. Berengere. Stay, stay! She has not told him! nothing! . . . \es, I too have been aware and kept you blind. For he was overwvorn, and still is, much. But now his wound- Yolanda. Wound! he is wounded Berengere. He sleeps. Yolanda. And is in danger-jeopardy Berengere. In none; If the leech Tremitus has any skill; And that you know. Yolanda. I thank .. . Madonna . .. thee! [VITTIA laughs and goes. 2IS 2YOLANDA OF CYPRUS But you, mother, are come at last to say Your promises, broken two days, are kept You've spoken won lord Renier to wisdom Pled him to silence which alone can save us Dear mother- Berengere. Do not call me so again. [Turns away. I have not-and I will not. Yolanda. Oh! Berengere. I cannot. Yolanda. But can leave me so laden here within This gulf's dishonour Never! . . . So return And pledge him but to wait! For this Venetian has now, I bode, Something of evil more, When once Amaury hears all that has passed. Return ! Berengerc. I cannot. Yolanda (stung). Then hear, hear me! I Too am a woman, and the woman wants, The beauty and ache and dream and glow and urge 216 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Of an unreckoned love are mine as yours. I will not lose Anmaury; but will tell him Myself the truth. Berengere. Then-I'll not stay for death, And wait for shame. But now with Camarin Will go from here. Yolanda. 'Mot Berengere. Away! Yolanda. Where still even, I fear, Amaury's- And overtake you though As the sea foams, or past Of stricken Africa It as -er ! To some retreat pursuit would follow ! it were as far the sandvx void ould be vain. Vain, and I cannot have you. -No. but listen- [Breaks off seeing RENIER, oI the castle threshold. His look is on her, but he comes down addressing BERENGERE. Renier. She troubles vou too much. Berengere. IMv lord 217 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Renier. Too much. You cherish her and reap unchastity For gratitude-unchastity against Our very son who was betrothed to her. Yet see her shameless. Berengcrc (dully). No; I think you wrong her. [YOLANDA mozVes apart. Renicr. Nobly you pity! But it will not veil her. Rather the convent and the crucifix, Matin and Vesper in a round remote, And senseless beads, for such.-But what inore now Is she demanding Berengere. Little. Renier. Not the means Still to deceive Amaury Berengere. Renier .. . no. [Spcaks loathly. But I have a request that, if you grant, Will lead peace back to us . . . and from us draw This fang of fate. Renier. Ah. 2 18 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Berengere. Y1 Renier (slowly). As those that wedded love Berentgere. Renier. Then it shall be, at once . Have a confession. Berengere. You Renier. es. And we might be Perhaps. That-love! [A pause. . . But no, I first A pang !-For days, [Takes heer hand. Before I found Yolanda on the breast Of Camarin of Paphos- I suffered in the furnace of suspicion The fume and suffocation of the thought That you were the guilty one-you my own wife. [Sie recoils to YOLANDA, who comnes uip. I did; but rue, rue it! . . . . . .Yet-it is just That you recoil even as now you do From stain upon your wedded constancy. ... 2I9 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS And time that is e'er-pitiful must pass Over it- Before there is forgiveness. And perhaps Then I shall win you as I never have.- Now the request. Berengere. That now . . . I cannot plead. [Sees YOLAND. hatirden. Is impelled. And yet I must . . It is that, till I bid, Amaury may not know of this . . . not know This trouble fallen from a night of evil- Pitiless on us as a meteor's ash. Renier. Not of it he not know Berengere. Trust to me. Renier. How! And to this wanton's perfidy to bind Him witless to her-with a charm perhaps- Or, past releasing, with a philtre She Whom now he holds pure as a spirit sped From immortality, or the fair fields Of the sun, to be his bride Yolanda. Sir, no! .. . She means 220 YOLA.NDA OF CYPRUS Not I shall wed him! (Winningly.) Only that you spare To separate us with this horror, that You trust me to dispel his love, to pall And chill his passion from me. For I crave Only one thing-innocence in his sight. Believe !-believe! Renier. I will-that votn are mad. Yet madder I, if to this murk my brain Were blind. Yolanda. As it will be ! in deadlier dark, If you attend me not! And may have destiny you cannot know. But you will heed For somewhere in you there is tenderness. Once when you chafed in fever and I bore Wihite orange blossoms dewy to your pillow You touched my hand gently, as might a father. [Caresses Ihis. Once on the tower when alone at dusk I sang-I know not why-of lost delights, 22I YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Of vanished roses that are e'er recalling May to the world, you came and suddenly Lifted my brow up silent to your kiss. Ah, you remember; you will hear me Renier. No! 'Though you are cunning.-Thus you wove the mesh About Amaury-till he could not move Beyond you. Yolanda. For his sake I ask it. Renier. For No sake but to o'ersway him with your eyes In secret, thus, and with Your hair that he believes an aureole Brought with you out of Heaven. Berengere. Again-wrong. Renier. So deem you and, my Berengere, I grieve, Desiring much your peace. Berengere. It grieves you not. Renier. Then not! and half I fear-you hear -it should not. 2 2 2 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS There's midnight in this thing and mystery. Does she not love-Camarin Yolanda (trembling). Say no more. Be all-all as you will. Renier. That brings you low: But brings to me no light-only again The stumbling in suspicion. Yolanda. It should not. Renier (with a sudden gleamn). To-morrow then, unless Amaury runs Fitting revenge through Camarin of Paphos, Your lover, you shall clasp him openly Before .all of Lusignan. Yolanda. No; no, no! The thought of it is soil ! . . . Rather . death ! Renier. What, what Berengere. SMy lord, she knows not what says. The unaccustomed wind of these ill hours Has torn tranquillity from her and reason. his she 223 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda (realising). Yes, as she says-tran- quillity and reason. [Strains to smile. These hours of ill! Renier. I'll send her Camarin. [Goes, looking steadfastly back. Yolanda (turning, then, to BERENGERE). His mood and mien-that tremor in his throat, Unfaltering. I fear him. Berengere. Life is fear. No step was ever taken in the world But from a brink of danger, or in flight From happiness whose air is ever sin. It sickens me. Yolanda. Mother! Berengere. Nothing; a pain Here in my breast. [Sits. Yolanda. And it is all through him Who as a guest came pledged into this house. 2 24 YOLANNDA OF CYPRUS 2 Came with the chivalry and mnatily show Of reverence and grace, that he too well Has learnt in cunning lands and used to lure. [CAMARIN appears fromn garden. Ah, and he seeks us now! unwhelmed of it! Ready of step, impassive, cold! And see- [CAMARIN bows forcedly. A flawless courtesy! as of a king! Can he not smile too on his handiwork Our days were merciful and he has made Each moment's beat a blow upon the breast. Honour was here and innocence lies now A sacrifice that pain cannot consume.- Camnarin. Or death. Yolanzda. Then have you not, unshameable! A help for it or healing you who know So well the world and its unwonted ways! A man would have, a man. CanzariM. And I am barren. 2 2,s YOLANDA OF CYPRUS My brain an arid waste under remorse. Only one thing it yields-the love of her My love has made unholy. Yolanda. While to me The shame is left, and silence-no defence, When it is told Amaurv, " See her you Blest with betrothal and the boon of faith, Chose as the planet-mate of your proud star! While, in the battle, You with the weal of Cyprus on your brow Dared momently peril, We found her " . . . Ah, the memory is fire! I wvill not bear it. Camarin. Then how what . . . You must. Though for your suffering I am pitiful, You must! [Takes her wrist. For to one thing, one only now I'm bent- That Berengere be saved. Berengere. To-day . .. no more. 226 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Camarin. Suspicion and the peril-feet of shame I must keep from her still. Yolanda. Though driven o'er My heart they trample the lone flower of hope. [Shaking off his hand, then, unnaturally wzerought up. And even now perhaps Amaury hears And turns away in horror! Camarin. What Come, come. Enough is here without- Yolanda (as before). I'll go to him! Despite of them! in to his side and say That I am innocent-as the first dawn And dew of Eden! . . .Yes! Camarin. A frenzy! MIere Folly! you wander! Yolanda (suddenly). That was anguish whose [Is hauntedly listening. 2.27 YOLANIDA OF CYPRUS Canarin. Amaury still is many leagues away- [HASSAN appears. At Keryneia! Do you hear me Yolanda. Hassan! [Is numb as lie huarries down fromn the cas- tle to her. A pause; then her voice falls hoarsely. I hear you, speak. His wounds I know. The restI They've told him Hassan. The Venetian, who nursed him Last night, pouring his potions- She and lord Renier. They broke his sleep. He listened to them as one in a grave. Then they besought of him Some oath against you, were they right- he would not. N'ow he has risen, Silent and pale and suffering; in leash. He's coming here. Camnarin. W'hy, you are mad! Yolanda. Be still. 2 20 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Camarin. Amaury was not then delayed is- here [Voices are heard perturbed within the castle. Then AMAURY, putting aside RENIER and TREMITUS, followed by VITTIA, and others, enters down. Ainaury. I'll not return unto my couch thou1 twice These wounds and all your wants were urging it! Yolanda! my Yolanda !-Never, never! [Takes her to hi; Until I prove you that a word against Her that I hold here in my arms is more To me than any peril. Trernitus. But, sir-! . .. Aeih! My precious physic wasted! Anzauiry. Till I prove it! For .. . my Yolanda! . You who are purity if Mary still Is mother of God and lighteth Paradise! You in whose presence I am purged as one Mn. 229 lyh YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Bathing a thousand years in angel song! They say, you, who are stainless to my eyes As is the sacring-bell to holy ears, So undefiled even the perfect lily Pendent upon your breast fears to pollute it! Listen, they tell me you-A fool, a fool Would know it unbelievable and laugh. Renier. As now a fool is doing Ainaury. 0, sir, pardon. You are my father, and, I must believe, Mean well this monster breath's unchastity, As does this lady (of _VITTIA) who has gently nursed me. But you were tricked; it was illusion swum Before your sleep. Therefore my purpose is Now to forget it. Treinitdus. Aieh! and to return Now to my drugs. Renier. Stand off !-As dogs forget The !ash in hunger of the wonted bone [Laughs angrily. 230 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury. A poison so incredible and dark You cannot duped inoculate me with. Trust in my veins makes of it but more love. And to dispel your minds (goes to CAMARIN) I'll clasp his hand Whom you have so accused. Vittia. 0 do, my lord! [Smiles disdainfully. And then embrace him in whose arms three Ago she was embraced. Yolanda (to her). Can you so say! Vittia. Yes, and will add Amaury. Lady of Venice, no But this to all, I answer!- There is my mother, see, Wounded with wonder of this plight, and I Yolanda has dwelt by her As the fawn By the white doe on mount Chionodes. I would as quick believe that she had given nights thing! pity. 231 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Her holiness up to contamination As that Yolanda Yolanda. Amaury, enough ! Amnaury. As quickly! Yolanda. Then . . .quell . .. I know! this delirium! [A pause. Out of your thought forever let it fall, Hear no more of it, ever! Be deaf to it as to a taunt of doom, In triple mail to every peaceless word, Granite against even its memory. Say that you will, and now! . . . Rcnicr. So that Allure him yet to wed you Amnaury. Sir! Renicr. She Yolanda. No, no! But let him. will go far Away from here to any alien air, To opiate India, a lost sea-isle! To the last peak of arid Caucasus. you may would. . Then I 232 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Renier. With Camarin of Paphos Yolanda. With whoever Your peace and this compelling pain. . . . Ah no! Renier. With him, with him, I say Amnaury. You drive and drain her. To me her words shall be-me and no other. So my Yolanda now dissolve the cling Of this invisible but heavy hydra; I've striven with it till no more I can. If any tare has been unseemly sown Upon the April vision of our love, Say it at once that I may rend and fling it Away from us. Say it! Renicr. Vainly implored.- Yet ask her this, If she three nights ago- Amaury. I will not so insult her. Tremitus. Aieh Renier. Insult She knows what I would bid and does she hurl Her soul in any disavowal 233 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury. I Will speak to her alone. Go, all of you, There to the fountain. Yolanda. Yes, Amaury, then One searching of my face shall free your fear. Alone, alone. Renier. Still to befool him! Yolanda (warningly). Choose! I cannot suffer more of this. Amaury. N or I To breathe ever the burning of this mist Of anguish and insatiate accusal.- This wound upon my throat, fever it not With longer fire of doubt, Yolanda. Yolanda. Ah! Berengere. I am not well. I will go to my chamber. [Sihe passes into the castle. Renier. But I never until this guiler grants I found her in the arms of Camarin, Drinking the frenzied wine of passion 234 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS He poured from his soul. A inaury. Yolanda Ren ier. Dumb to deny it. Amaury. You've driven her Vittia (lightly). Amaury. Have She is silent; But she will, she wvill. with dread and awe. And truth wounded her. But do not fear, Yolanda; Fiercely disown. Yolanda. Amaury . . . it is true. [He staggers slowly back. No, no; I have not been faithless to you- Even a moment To the divinity of love high-altared Here in my breast! to the immutable Beauty of it! . . . look, look not on me so- As if I had struck, murdered a little child! Or palsied one who put a hand to help me; '23;5 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Or through eternity had desecrated, Vainly, virginity and trust and truth! No, my Amaury! I . . .do you not see [Hysterically. Not faithless, hear! it is not true! not true! But only this- Camarin. Yolanda! Yolanda. Camarin. I- Yolanda! [A moment, then she sinks down, her face in her hands. AMAURY groans; then starting goes fierccly to HASSAN, and taking his sword recrosses trembling to CAMARI N. Amaury. The day you first set step in Lusig- nan An image of the Magdalen within The chapel yonder fell-presaging this. Only your death, your death or mine stands pale 236 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Between us now, awaiting silently. Draw, and at once. Cantarin. Amaury, I will not. Amiaury. Out, quickly. Camnarin. Do your will. I'll put no more To the guilt I bear, or to the misery That guilt has brought upon you. Anmaury. Coward! Canmarin. Strike! Amaury. You play a part! (Razvrs.) And 'tis that you may live Still in the love that you a thief have stolen. So, with your steel-! Camarin. It stays within its sheath. Amaurv. Then I will not be thwarted though I must Crush you as one a viper with his heel, Though I must take your leper throat into My hands and strangle life from it! For the same sky you breathe I will not. The sun that falls upon you shall not foul 2 j 7 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS My being- Though I must go down into hell for it. [He starts, frenzied, to strike, but suddenly staggers; then clasps at his throat, drops the sword, and sinks down moaning. Yolanda. His wound! Tremitus. Yolanda. [Runs to him. Amaury! Amaury! Aeih, aeih ! at last. Aniaury! Oh! He struggles to his feet. Amaury. Stand away from me. [She falls back; he laughs in derision. I to believe her pure as my own mother! Vittia. Had you but trusted me, Amaury. Amaury. You Henceforth I will. Vittia. And wh4 Anmaury (significantly). [Looks long at her olly She . . . shall do it. [Starts into the castle. 2,38 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda (dauntedly). Amaury! what is this Vittia. That, ere a dawn, Guileless Yolanda, you shall wed with him Your paramour of Paphos Yolanda. Camarin Vittia. And from these gates be led wanton away. [YOLANDA, for a moinent echeloned, tries to laugh, scorn; but, turning, her eye meets RENIER'S full of suspicion. He follows ANMAURY ineaningly into the castle. CURTAIN 2.39 This page in the original text is blank. ACT III This page in the original text is blank. THE SAME DAY SCENE: The Hall and loggia of Act I; but toward sunset, and afar, on the flushed sea, are seen the fisher-boats returning pale-winged to shore. In the left distance, also, a portion of Fama- gouste is visible above the waves-its orient walls and tozwers, white domes and houses, interspersed with tall palms. The interior of the Hall is the same; only the divan is placed to the front and left, the lectern near the bal- cony leading to the sleeping apartments and to the chapel. SMARDA is lying lithely on the divan, beguiiled with her charms and amulets, and from, time to time giving a low, sinuous laugh. VITTIA enters, wvatches a moment, thoughtful, then advances. Vittia. Smarda- Sinarda (springing up). Lady . . . your slave! 243 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. I think you are. Think that you are if ever the leopard yields. Smarda. To you, lady A-ha! let him refuse. Command! Vittia. And you will heed it well; I fear not. But first I have thought of requital. Smarda (avidly). Ouie! Vittia. Those amulets you wear, of jade and sard- Smarda (quickly dark). Are for revenge-to bring revenge! Vittia. And from Your Scythian home, over the hated sea, They came with you. Smarda. Yes. Vittia. From the home whence you Were torn by the Moor who was your one-time master. Is it not so Smarda. The spirits strangle him! [Works at the charms. 244 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. Well, if I win to-night what is begun You shall not want, to-morrow, Gold for a weightier witchery upon him. [The slave's eyes gleam. But listen, every sinew will be needed Still to achieve this wedding, though we have Camarin with us, willing. So I've learned A ship has come from Venice. Smarda (quickly). Pietro Vittia. Yes, Pietro, it must be, has arrived With papers that will help. Smarda. Ha! Fortune's touch ! Vittia. It is, but tardy. Therefore I must have Them instantly. Smarda. Ere he has time, lady, To vaunt his loves, in Lusignan, and babble. Vittia. As, wooing dolt, he will. But see to it I shall be in this place with lord Amaury, Whom I must . . . but no matter. He left me suddenly a season since Seeing his father look strangely upon 245 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Ilis mother; for lord Renier's doubt I still Have been compelled to feed-to move Yolanda. Here in this place then I shall be, at need. [She goes engrossedly. Smarda (recalling the pledge; evilly). A-ha! ha-ha! ha-ha! if she but win! A talisman with might upon the Moor! [Begins to dance-a charm held up before her. If she but win! a-ha! a curse on him! [Whirls faster with a wild grace, swaying to and fro, and chanting softly the while, till suddenly a laugh in the cor- ridor stops her, and PIETRO is heard through the curtains adoring CIVA, who pushes him into the Hall, then runs away laughing. Pietro (after her). Hold, fair one! Stay! You look on Pietro Of Venice! Pietro! Smarda (to herself). A-ha . . . ha-ha! 24u YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Pietro (turning). It is the slave! (Grandly.) I greet you, slave. Smarda. Greeting! Pietro. I, Pietro, who, as you know, am sought By all the loveliest Attending on the lords and high of Venice. Smarda. So! . . . So! Pietro. "The gentle Pietro," they say. You may remember. Smarda. So. Pietro. "Proud Pietro!" And then they sigh. Smarda. So. Pietro. Then they weep and pine For Pietro "-until I must console them. Smarda (going to where he poses; contemptu- ously). And for all this, 0 prince of para- mours, [Spurns him. My lady no doubt has bid you to sail from Venice Pietro. Eh 247 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Smarda. Eh! And she will hear no doubt with love That you delay the powers of the Senate Sent in your keeping to her Pictro. Slave! .. . (alarmed) the papers Suiarda. With love and with delight since she awaits them With joy When told your amorous mouthings yonder Pietro. Slave, she must never! You will take them to her! [Fumbles for papers. In to her. . . quickly!. . Dear slave, you will-and That I was led astray By the little Cyprian with Who fell enamoured of me Smarda. Civa! Pietro. The same! say if she inquire guiling eyes at the gate. I sought to run away, [Still searching. 0 slave, say to her, but I could not for- 248 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS For-for a lady by the marble knight, That is, by the fountain, swooned, as I came in. And then- Smarda. Swooned! Pietro. As I came! Sinarda (a-quiver). Beside the fount Who which lady Yolanda lady Berengere [He stares at her ardour. Did no one say . . . My mistress must know this! The papers, quickly! Pietro. Slave, you-! By my sins! [She has seized themr swiftly, and gone. He follows amazed. Then sunset be- gins without, crimson and far; and AMAURY appears from the loggia, reckless and worn. He pauses, looks about him, troubled. Amaury. Not here yet. . . . There is more in this than seems. [Goes to divan and sits. VITTIA enters behind. 249 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS More, Camarin of Paphos, than is clear! [Starts up. And she must tell me! (Sees Vittia.) Lady, you I mean. [VITTIA advances inquiringly. What is beyond this shame upon Yolanda Vittia. My lord Amaury. What! It is moving in me clouded, Deeper than sight but pressing at my peace. My father's look! you saw it! Vittia. Ah! Ainaury. And saw Fear in my mother! Vittia. Yes, implanted deep. Antaurv. And did not wonder Vittia (sits). When I knew its source No need, my lord-though your pang too I marked- For, trust me, ere to-morrow all will cease- If you are firm. Ainaury. I who know nought In what 250 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS 251 Vittia. That do not ask, I pray. (Deftly.) Au-- other could Fitly reply, but I- Arnaury. No other better! Vittia. Then . . . it will cease, my lord- So as a flail of doubt it should not still Beat in you-when Y'olanda Is wed with Camarin . . . no, do not speak; The reason for your sake I must withhold. Amaury. Though as under sirocco I am kept. [Sits. Sirocco! . . . It is unintelligible! [Rises. A pause. Yet you speak gently. Vittia. No; unblushingly! [He looks surprised. Unblushingly to one who knows-though by A chance-my love to him-my lowered love. [ Turns away. And yet I cannot rue That he awaking sudden from the potion YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Surprised yearning and truth upon my lips. No, and I would that gentle words might be As waters of enchantment on his grief.- But of Yolanda- [Rises. Amaury. Still I love her, still! Vittia (strainedly). As well she knows, so may refuse to wed With Camarin. Amaury. She Vittia. Since you are Lusignan, Heir of a sceptred line, And yet may reach-the realm. Amaury (pierced). Which . . . do you mean, She hopes of Vittia. Were it folly to make sure [A pause. Amaury. How speak. Vittia. Again unshameful No; one thing Alone would serve you. That I must not bring My tongue to falter. 25 2 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Ainaury. Be it so. Vittia. And yet . . . [He has turned away. Yet I must bend to! and, my lord, I will! Will . . . for you suffer! Will, though indelicacy seem to soil Whatever bloom I boasted. [Goes to him. It is this: To let her . . . but for to-day . . . Think you . . . for she's aware of my affection ... Have chosen-to wed me. Ainaury. You! Vittia. For to-day. To-morrow I return to Venice, then Denial. Amaury (moved). Lady- Vittia. I will bear it. Anzaury. .. . Thus [Struggles. 253 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Then it shall be. And grateful I'll await The issue's utterance. And stay, wear this- [Takes off a ring. From her dead father's hand- As a proof to her of any tie soever. But now-for the sails make home along the sea- Now of my mother. Vittia. More, my lord [Smarda glides in. Amaury. This only. To-morrow when again she . . . Scythian! [The slave is gleaming strangely. Vittia. Smarda! what do you mean why are you here [Sees papers; takes them. These-but not these alone have brought you! What [Follows SMARDA'S eye. Of lord Amaury Sinarda. Of his mother. Vittia. How! 2S4 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Sinarda. She swooned of terror at the castle gate. She lies in danger. Hear-'twas as she fled The lord of Lusignan. Amaury. My father Smarda. He. And you are sought below, I heard it said: Some officer of Famagouste-and men. [AMAURY turns dazed and goes. Vittia (through a surge of thoughts that have darkened her face). This is again fortune! . . . fortune! Smarda. Lady Vittia. Is ! though an instant since it seemed disaster. Smarda. And how Vittia. Yolanda, does not know nothing Smarda. Nothing. She was returning from the rocks, Where nest the windy gulls, [Gloatingly. 255 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS As I came hither. I stole there at noon To see her suffer. Vittia. Then-I can compel her. She will come here. Go to the curtains, see. If she is near, the Paphian is in The bower by the cypress: there, tell him, The loggia-at once . . . Ah! YOLANDA enters. Yolanda (to herself). " Ah " indeed. [Her look of purpose changes to one of distrust. But she firmly fronts to VIT- TIA, as the slave slips out. Vittia. My gratitude! I wished, and you are here. Yolanda. And-for some reason of less honour -you. Vittia. I, a dear guest fa! Yolanda. Would you were! . . . not one This ne'er-before-envenomed air would banish. [Slowly. 256 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS One whose abiding These walls would loathe aloud-had they a tongue To utter. Vittia. Yet I may be mistress of them, Ere all is done-since still it is my purpose. Yolanda. Gulfs wide as the hate of God for in- famy Would lie preventing; so there is no fear. [Sits. Vittia. A prophesy! Yolanda. A deeper than disdain. Vittia. Or than your love of Camarin of Paphos! Yolanda. Which you would feign, but cannot. Vittia. Still, before Evening is done, you will become his wife. Yolanda. If, ere it come, all under Lusignan Do not look scorn on Vittia Pisani. [Rises. Vittia. What! how 25 7 YOLANJDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. Plentiful scorn! (WVith joy.) A thing may still Be done to lift my hope out of this ruin! To bring Amaury grateful to my feet! And I will do it. Vittia. Tell .. . vowing him first To win his father's lenience . . . No . . . I see! You will when she who's guilty And this enamoured Paphian are fled! [YOLANDA turns pale. 'When they are fled! ha . . . And it is too late. Yolanda. Too- (stunncd). You by a trick- some trick have-! Vittia. Hindered Little I needed . . . Her wiT'gs are flightless. She is ill, Verging-go learn !-to death. Yolanda. Oh . . . Vittia. To the grave. And you alone, she knows, can put it far- Since she is numbed and drained 258 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Momently by the terror of her husband, WVhose every pulse seems to her a suspicion. Yolanda. And it is you . you who have urged again His doubt that would have sunk! Vittia. It was enough Merely to sigh-and fear her innocence Can only seem simple as dew again If you wed freely Camarin of Paphos. Yolanda. And that you could! though in her heart remorse Trampled and tore! Though with the wounds of battle he you " love" Is livid still. Vittia. And grieves -Be comforted! For he is-now security has come. [Shows the ring; YOLANDA falls back. As hle is, do not fear. Yolanda. Amaury! . . . Oh! My father's gift-so desecrated So - Ah, you are merciless! 259 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. Only aware How to compel your pity to my ends; For you will spare his mother. Yolanda. Yielding-still, And past all season of recovery Shattering love for ever at my feet No, you are duped. For empty, cold are the veins Now of submission in me; numb and dead The pleading of it. And upon you, back, I cast the burden of your cruelty. [Slowly. And-if she dies in terror of the lips Of Renier Lusignan-on your peace The guilt be! Vittia. Fa. Yolanda. The heaping mass of horror! Vittia (moved). Liar, on her own; for she has sinned. Yolanda. And suffered! But vou- 26o YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. I say her own. I've done no crime. And you will wed him. Yolanda. Or, .. . Venetian- Wed you to Remorse! For there at the gates that guard your rest you hear Dim now the risen phantom cries of it, The presage beat of them like hungry hands That will o'erwhelm you! All that I could to spare her I have done; All that was duty and of love the most. But you it was who struck and kindled first Within lord Renier fire of suspicion. And you it is- Since in the worst that live there yet is heaven !- Must null his doubt and ease the sobbing ebb And flood of her sick spirit; you who must Go to his fear and with persuasion say That it is folly of him and of you So to suspect her, since in Camarin's Arms I was found. You will! 26i YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vittia. And-then go pray [Draws out the papers scornfully. Rather I'll bring you this:-Authority Sent me of Venice To make Amaury lordly over Cyprus, Or to abase him even of Famagouste; Which I will do- [Goes to her. Unless I have the pledge that you will wed, Though not to be his wife and free to leave him, This Paphian, And with him from Lusignan hence will pass. [CAMARIN appears on loggia. And he has come now for your answer. Yolanda. I In league with you! in this! Vittia. Most loyally And ready skilfully to disavow, With every force, your innocence-if you Attempt betraval !- Hiere ! 262 ,; YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Enter, my lord of Paphos-I have spoken. [CAMARIN enters desperately But she has pledged no further-though the life Of Berengere Lusignan fall for it, And though Amaury . . But you may avail. [Moves off. YOLANDA stands silently be- twcen, themt. CAMARIN looks at her, falters, thcn turns on VITTIA. Camarin. As an anchorite covets. Venetian, Immortal calm, I crave and covet this ! Yet . . . I will not entreat it of her more. Vittia. What! Camzarin. Fate may fall. I swore in dread. but will not! Yolanda (low). Madonna! Iittia. You refuse Yolanda. He does. Vittia. The whole;. Yolanda. Lady of Venice, yes; for very shame! [With deep joy. Bitterly tlio' it be, he must, for shame! 203 I t I YOLANDA OF CYPRUS For though he would waste the air of the world to keep The breath still in the veins Of her his love so wronged, He cannot ask me more than breast can bear- Knowing I have already borne for her Infection worse than fetid marshes send From Mesaoria- Have lost the sky of love that I had arched And all the stars of it. See, he is dumb !- He cannot. Camarin (coldly). No; but to your heart I leave her And to your pity. Yolanda. Say not pity to me! [The word overwhelms her anew. Am I not needy, fain of it, and can Endurance ever dure! What have I left . . . Of joy to ripple in me or of light To sway me to forgetting-I to whom 264 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Dawn was enchanted incense once, and day, The least of earth, an ides of heaven bliss. What to me left! to me! Who shepherded each happy flock of waves Running with silvery foaming there to shore, Who numbered the little leaves with laughing names Out of my love, And quickened the winds with quicker winds of hope, That now are spent . . . as summer waters, Leaving my breast a torrent's barren bed. Pity and pity! ever pity! No. [Enter HASSAN. A nun to pity I will be no more. But you, cruel Venetian . . . Ah, ah, Mother of God! is there no gentleness In thee to move her and dissolve away This jeopardy congealing over us [A pause. Vittia. You see, none. 265 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. Then to compel you. Vittia. Yolanda. Yet could I Hassan. Ah, for sceptre and for might Still, there is none. None [Sinks to a scat in despair. think ! Lady Yolanda- Yolanda. My brain less weary! Hassan. Yolanda. Hassa n. Yolanda. Hassa n. Yola nda. Hassan. Yolanda. Hassan. [Advances. Were Lady Yolanda- Well There is a means-a might. Well [Is half hccdless. To compel her. To .. . what If you will dlare it. Will- [Riscs. r swear. .206 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda. Your thought! I have no fear. Hassan. Then . . . let me but Seize her and shut her fast an hour within The leprous keep, and she shall write whate'er You order; then upon a vessel quick Bie sent to Venice whence she came. Cainarin. MVad ! mad! Venice would rise! Hassan. And Cyprus, to be free !- But 'tis not, lady! and lord Renier Shall have a letter of her guile and flight. Venture it, venture! Yolanda (after a long pause). If it can be done, It shall be. Hassan. Ah! Yolanda. And must be. Vittia. Fools, to me! [She stands defensive, as HASSAN prepares to close in. Yolanda. Quickly, and take her. Hassan. Now. 267 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Caniarin (with sudden horror). No! . . . Sate- less God! [His eyes are fixed on the balcony. All look, appalled. For slowly down the steps comics RENIER following BE- RENGERE, whose eyes turn back in flut- tering trance upon himt. Yolanda. Ah! . . . he will kill her! Stop, my lord! mother! Lord Renier! [Runs; takes BERENGERE in her arms. Cold is she, stony pale, And sinking! . . . Go away from her, go, go ! Renier. No . . . she shall tell me. Yolanda. Mother! . .. Tell you that You are her murderer Renier. Yolanda. The truth ! The truth ! [Laughs bitterly, and at a loss, as if amazed. Then, almost against her will- 268 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS It is suspicion ! is that mad suspicion That you have had of her. Renier. It is! It is! Yolanda. And-all because I have these days delayed To wed with Camarin. Renier. Delayed Yolanda. Because I show befitting shame that I was here Found in his arms . . . when to Amaury I was betrothed! Renier. Power of-!-No! Yolanda. Because I grieve to leave Lusignan, this my home- Where I have dwelt as under tented love- Though I am bidden. Renier. This can be Berengere (faintly). Yolanda! Renier. I say-only delayed and you- Yolanda. Yes, yes. Now I will wed him, heedless, wantless, wild. 269 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Send for the priest and for Amaury, for Laughter and lights and revelry-for all Within this castle. But first to her bed, And to tranquillity, She must be borne, she your cold violence Has driven here. . . . Alessa-Tremitus ! [They have entered. Lead her within. 0 mother! piteous mother !- Ah, it was ruthless, kindless! Renier. We shall see. [To HASSAN. Bid Moro and Amaury.-As for her, I soon may come and seek forgiveness. Berengere. No! [HASSAN goes. My brain and breath! . . the pall . . . where am I. .. how Long must I lie! . Tremnitits. She speaks to visions. So. 270 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS So can the blood do-trick us utterly! [He supports hecr-with ALESSA-SlOWly up steps and off. YOLANDA covers her eyes. HASSAN- returns with MORO, then, and with AMAURY, whose look seeks VITTIA. Yolanda (as all stand silent). Speak, speak, and tell him! Renier. Yes, Amaury. . . you Are sent for to behold Yolanda wed, As you commanded, Ifere unto Carnarin. Shame has till now Withheld her, but . . . what ails you Amaury. On; go on. The sudden blood up to my wounds. Renier. It has, I say, withheld her. But she now has chosen. Anaaury. So; and . . . it is well. And here are her Vows I have kept- [Takes a packet from his breast. 271 272 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Vows and remembrances . . . I shall aspire [Hands it; she lets it fall. Aspire to loathe her not o'ermuch; and to- To keep my sword from him that now she weds. ["is voice breaks tonelessly. Come, let it be. Yolanda. Amaury! Amaury (angrily). Priest, be brief! MORO (before them; as CARAMIN takes Yo- LANDA'S hand). The Church invests me, and the powers of This island, here to make you man and wife. Be joined, ye who have sinned, In soul, peace and repentances for ever. [He signs the cross. YOLANDA stands dazed. A silence. Then a shudder- ing cry and all turn toward the bal- cony, where ALESSA bursts, pale and wild and striving to speak. Yolanda (with dread, awe, premonition). Alessa! Alessa. Lady Yolanda! you have wed him YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Yolanda (pausing). Alessa. Yolanda. Yes. Lady Berengere is dead. No! . .. No! [Chokes rebelliously. It cannot be! mother! cannot! awake her! And tell her I have wed him! mother! cannot! [Goes trembling, belieflessly, up the bal- cony'. A strange doubt seizes AM- AURY. On the rest is silence, conster- nation, and fear. CURTAIN 273 This page in the original text is blank. ACT IV This page in the original text is blank. SCENE: The Chapel of the Castle-or Chapel of the Magdalen-a few hours later. It is of stone, low-arched, gloomy, and adorned with Byzan- tine mosaics of gaunt saints on backgrounds of gold. The altar is in the rear, and above it a large window, through which pours the still moon. In front of it, to either side, rise two pillars supporting the roof, and on one of them, halfway up, stands a stone image of the Magdalen. Forward are two other pillars whose bases formn seats. The right wall has, set midwzay, a large door hung with heavy cur- tains. In the rear are smaller doors leading to a sacristy. The altar lamp and a few tapers burn. ALESSA enters, rubbing her eyes as if to clear them of vision, looks around, then calls uncertainly- 277 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Alessa. Good father! Father Moro! . . . He is not here. [Rubs Jher eves again. The dead are strange ! I knew not of their power. It is as if her spirit still imprisoned Hovered beneath the pallor of her face And strove to speak. Good father! [Enter MORO. Ah, you were There in the sacristy. Moro. Yes. Your desire Alessa. The acolytes summoned from Fama- gouste To aid your rites before her burial Have come, and wait. Moro. Send hither two. [Looks closely at her. Alessa. At once. [Is going. He stops her. 278 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Moro. Woman, this passes silence. There must be Some question. Do you understand this wedding The evil that has risen in this house Do you Alessa. I may not speak. Moro. And wherefore may not Alessa. I may not. It is best. Moro. As says Yolanda, Who is to-day impenetrable in all. But who, now, in a lofty grief above The misery that blasted her, seems calm, And answers only,- " God in His season will, I trust, unfold it soon; I cannot, now!" . And yet by chance I heard Her darkly bid the Paphian be gone- From here-without her. Alessa. And he would not Moro. No. Does she not see Amaury dangerous 279 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS For truth-which you conceal Alessa. The acolytes Are waiting. Mloro. Go . . . But if this hour brings forth What vou shall rue- Alessa. Father! [Goes quickly, troubled. Moro. In blindness still! For Vittia Pisani, who alone Seems with these twain to share this mystery Is silent to all importunity. Oh. Berengere Lusignan !- But, 'tis mine To pray and to prepare. (Listens.) The acolytes. [Two enter, sleek, sanctimonious. (To Them.) Come here . . You're Serlio, Of the Ascension. You 2nd Acolyte. Hilarion. From Santa Maria by the Templars' well, Which God looks on with gratitude, father. For though we're poor and are unworthy servants 2's0 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS \We've given willingly our widow's mite. And now we . . . Moro. You are summoned to this place For ministrations other than the tongue's. Prepare that altar-masses for the dead. Hilarion. Man is as grass that withers! Moro. Kindle all Its tapers. The departed wvill he borne Hither for holy care and sacred rest. So do-then after Look to that image of the Magdalen, Once it has fallen. Serlio. Domine, dirige! [MORO goes. They put off cant and set to work. Hilarion, (insolently, lighting a taper). W\Ve'll have good wine for this! Serlio. The Chian! Hee! None's like the Chian! and to-morrow, meat! Last week old Ugo died and we had pheasant. 281 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS lI/olarion. When we are priests we'll give no comforting To wife or maid-till we have sipped! Scrlic. And supped! Though 'tis a Friday and the Pope is dead! [Silence. They work faster. Hilariont. There, it is done. Now to the image. [Mounts pillar. Serlio. Well, Olympio, the cock who fetched us, said That image fell first on the day- Hilarioni. Tchuck! tchuck! Better no breath about that lord of Paphos, Or any here. For till the dead are three Days gone, you know-! But there's the woman. Feign. [As ALESSA re-enters; hypocritically. The blessed dead! in Purgatory may They briefly bide. Serlio. Aye! aye! Alessa (still troubled). What say you 28 2 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Hilarion. Ah! I lay that it is wiser never to foul The dead, even in thinking, For they may hear us, none can say, and once My mother saw a dead man who had( gone Unshriven start up white and cry out loud When he was curst. Serlio. 0 Lord! Alessa (staring). No! . . . Well, such things There are perchance. And nowv they say that Venus, The Anadyomene, who once ruled this isle, Is come again. . . . But you have finished Soon They bring her body here. Hilarion. Now have I, now! It wvill not totter again. [Descends. Alessa. Would that it might UI)on the head of- (catches herself; calmly) You are awaited There in the sacristy. . . . The chant begins! [The acolytes go. She grows more disquieted. 283 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Begins! and lady Yolanda still awaits Heedless, though Lord Amaury's desperate, As is the Paphian !. hey near! . . . The cur- tains ! [Goes to door and draws them back. As she does so the chant swells louder. Then the cortege citers-MORO, the acolytes with tapers; BERENGERE on a litter, AMAURY, RENIER, VITTIA, the wz0omen, HASSAIN, and last YOLAN-DA. The litter, AMAURY by it, comes to the altar; the chanting ceases. Moro (as AMAURY bowvs. shaken). No moan or any toil of grief be here Where we have brought her for sainted appeal. But in this holy place until the tomb Let her find rest. Anzaury. Set down the bier. [It is placed. Moro. Lone rest! Then bliss Afar for ever! 284 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaurv (riscs). Pc it so! [Tuirning; brokenly. But unto any, mother, wNho have brought thee Lowv to this cotuch, be never ease again. To any who have put thy life out, never ! But in them be the burning that has seemed To shrivel thee-whether with pain or fear! And be appeaseless tears, Salt tears that rust the fountain of the heart. [Sinks to a seat. A pause. Moro. ',y son, relentless words. Amaury (Up again). To the relentless! Moro. God hear you not! ,4maury. Then is He not my God. M1oro. Enough, enough. ( To the rest.) But go and for her soul Freight all of you this tide of night with prayer. Ainaury. Never ! Mloro. I bid. Amuaury. And I iorbid those who Have prized her not ! YOLANDA OF CYPRUS For though nought's in the world but prayer may move, Still but the lips that loved her Should for her any sin beseeching lift. [L They and no other! Yolanda. It is we] Ainaziry. Yolanda. Then, mother- Anzatrv. Yolanda. poking- at YOLANDA. J1. Not one. [Goes to bier. That name again W hile I have breath. [Fixedly. Yes, though you hold me purgeless of that sin Only the pale archangels may endure Trembling to muse on! Or though yon image of the Magdalen, W hose alabaster broke amid her tears And her torn hair, forbade me with a voice. And you, whose heart is shaken As in a tomb a taper's flame, would know 286 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS 287 I speak with love. Camarin. Unswerving! Amaury. Then, by Christ, Aye, and the world that craves His blood, I think She, if she would, or you, could point to me, Or you, Vittia Pisani, The reason of this sudden piteous death Hard on the haunted flight before my father, Whose lips refuse. Camarin. She knows no shred of it. Amaury. You lie to say it. Carnarilt. Then will, still-if there Is need. Anzaury. Because you love her Yolanda. Peace, peace, peace. Arnaury. A hollow word for what had never being. Yolanda. Look on her face and see. Amazirv (at bier). Upon her face! Wphere not oblivion the void of death Has hid away, or can, the agony YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Of her last terror-but it trembles still. I tell you, no. Grief was enough, but now Through it has risen mystery that chokes As a miasma from Iscariot's tomb. And till this pall of dloubt he rent axway No earth shall fall and quicken with her dust But I will search her face . . . till it reveals. Camnarin. He raves. Amaury'. Iscariot yes Yolanda. Again, peace, pea Amaurv. That you may palter! Yolanda ( oent1v). That she mav not grie Ve. [Goes again to bier. For-if her soul is near-it now is wrung. Near! would it were to hear me and impart Its yearning and regret to us who live, Its dim unhappiness and hollow want. Yes, mother, were you now about us, vain, Invisible and without any voice To tell us of you ! Were you and now could hear through what of cold 288 \ Of . ..................................... . _ Lce ! YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Or silence wrap you, oh, so humanly, And seeming but a veil- Then would you hear me say- [Suddenly aghast. Ah, God! A taury. Yolanda! Reniier. Yolanda ! [She starts back from the bier. Girl, what rends you Yolanda. Saw [Rushes to bier and Mother! you hear me mother! Renier. Girl! Volanda. She you not shakes it breathes! [Consternation. Some fall to their knees. Vittia. What what Yolanda. Mother! Her breast! Mother! She moves! Amaurj. God ! God! Yolanda. Stand off from her . . .Mother! Camarin. Her eyes! . . 289 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS They open! open! Yolanda. Mother! A naury. See; They strive to speak! 0 faintly, 0 so I Can you not hear Berengere. Yolanda! Yolanda. Mother! Berengere. Renier. Yes, yes Berengere. \olanda- Renier. Spea Berengere. Christ, save me . Yolanda's innocent, and I . . . 'twas I. Anmaurv. What what is it she says., Bercn gerc. Cama her lips! faint ! Renier! 1; ! . Christ! .rin! Ah! [SIhe shudders and dies, amid low-uttered awe. RENIER bends, lays his hand a mnoncnt on her breast, then, with a cry of rage, springs from her and draws and rushes on CAMARIN, who awaits him, desperate. 290 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury (confused, as they engage). Yolanda; what is this Yolanda. Amaury, in! Compel lord Renier back! he cannot live, You only could against Camarin now! Wtrait not to question, but obey me! if- You ever-! (as he rushes in) Holy Magdalen, defend him! [RENIER falls back. Now, now defend him, if to chastity Thou'rt vowed in heaven. Vittia. Fool! .. Camarin, strike! Yolanda. He's wounded! Carnarin. Oh! . .. Berengere! . . . treachery! [He staggers and sinks back heavily toward the pillar. There is breathless, strained suspense. Then the image above, un- settled and shaken by his fall, sways, totters and crusizes upon him. A cry, "The Mlagdalen!" goes up around. 291 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Hassan (hurrying to him; after awe and silence). He's dead. Alessa. The Magdalen! Hassan. No breath in him. [A pause. Renier (low, harshly). Bear him without then ever from this place, That never more shali know a holy rite- And from these gates, I care not to what tomb. [To AMAURY. Then shall you hear this niysterv's content, That still as a madness measures to your sight. Bear him without. [The limp body is borne aiway. All follow but AMAURY, YOLANDA, RENIER. Now you shall hear, with shame, But with exalted pride and happy tears; Then come obliteration! Speak, girl . . . Nobility Had never better title to its truth. [Kisses her hand and goes. 292 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Amaury. Yolanda ! . . . He . . . This rever- ence as to An angel Speak! Yolanda. Amaury- Amaury. 0 pause not Yolanda. Then-to save her who's dead-from death and shame, I took her place within the Paphian's arms. Amaury. 0! . . . and lby me, driven by me, bore this Overcome. Pure as the rills of Paradise, endured Yolanda. For you !-and her who sleeps for- given there, [Raptlv. Now while her spirit weightless overwingeth Night, to that Throne whose haven heals all shame! For her I did! but oh, for you, whose least Murmur to me is infinite with Spring, Whose smile is light, filling the air with dawn, Whose touch, wafture of immortality 293 294 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS Unto my weariness; and whose eyes, now, Are as the beams God lifted first, they tell us, Over the uncreated, In the far singing mother-dawn of the world !- Come with me then, but tearless, to her side. [They go to the bier and stand as in a dream. A pause; then her lips move, last, as if inspired. While there is sin to sway the soul and sink it, Pity should be as strong as love or death ! [With a cry of joy he enfolds her, and they kneel, wrapped about with the clear moon. AT THE WORLD'S HEART FIRST PUBLISHED 1914 To A. S. H. This page in the original text is blank. AT THE WORLD'S HEART I I leant my ear to the world's heart, (Beat, beat, beat') I leant my ear to the world's heart, Where all its voices meet. I heard them sound together, I heard them surge alone, The far, the near and the nether, The known - and the unknown. From desert they rose and mountain, From city and sea and plain, And the voices, all, to one voice Blent, in the bitter pain: We are the people of Sorrow, Haled from the silent earth, 299 0 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Happy is it, Happy is love - Happier should be birth! We come to the land of the living, We go to the realm of death, We bide for a day An d then . . . a wa! 0 why are we given breath! II I leant my ear to the world's heart, (Leant, more nigh!) A saddened ear to the world's heart, Fain for a sweeter cry. There came the murmur of nations, With languor loud, or need, The sighing of devastations, Of deed and dark misdeed; There came the moan of the millions, Against their tyrant kind, 3 00 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 301 But in it I heard great Hope's word Groping, a way to find: We are the people begotten Between Delight and Pain, Certain is birth, Certain are They To breed our like again. But tho we have filled the valleys And the sea and the hills with death It shattered there Into the prayer, o why are we given breath! III I leant my ear to the world's heart, (Long, then, long!) A closer ear to the world's heart, And lo - it beat more strong! And the building of human beauty, The crushing of human crime, AT THE WORLD'S HEART The music of human duty Outclarioned fate and time. Yea over the cry of sorrow And doubt that is ever brief There rose the lay of a New Day, The high voice of Belief: We are the people of Patience, Who wait - and look before. Silent is birth, Silent the tomb, But silent Life no more! Our gods are becoming One God, And tho there is ever death, We yet shall learn, At some day's turnz, Why - why we are given breath! 302 SEA RHAPSODY (Out of Hongkong) Never again, never again Did I hope to breathe such joy! The sea is blue and the winds halloo Up to the sun "Ahoy!" "Ahoy!" they shout and the mists they rout From the mountain-tops go streaming In happy play where the gulls sway, And a million waves are gleaming! And every wave, billowing brave, Is tipped with a wild delight. A garden of isles around me smiles, Bathed in the blue noon light. 303 304 AT THE WORLD'S HEART The rude brown bunk of the fishing junk Seems fair as a sea-king's palace: O wine of the sky the gods have spilt Out of its crystal chalice! For wine is the wind, wine is the sea, Glad wine for the sinking spirit, To lift it up from the cling of clay Into high Bliss -or near it! So let me drink till I cease to think, And know with a sting of rapture That joy is yet as wide as the world For men at last to capture! "THE MONSOON BREAKS!" (India) I Panting, panting, panting, o the terrible heat! The fields crack And the ryot's back Bursts with the cruel beat. The wells of the land are empty; Six hundred feet, in vain, The oxen lower the buckets o'er And draw them up again. Panting, panting, panting: Parched are the earth and sky. The elephant in the jungle Sucks root and river dry. 305 306 AT THE WORLD'S HEART The tiger, in whose throat The desert seems to burn, Paces the path, The pool path - But only to return. O the terrible heat! O the peacock's cry! The whine of monkeys in the trees, The children crawling on their knees. O the terrible heat! The gods will let us die: Shiva and Parvati and all To whom we beat the drum and call, Vouch to us no reply. II Panting, panting, panting: The plague is drawing near. Hot is the sun, hot is the night, And in the heat is fear. AT THE WORLD'S HEART The plague, of famine mate, Is fumbling at the latch. Soon his step - Death-step! - Listening we shall catch. 0 . . . . soon his step! There's heard the funeral chant; There's smelt the funeral pyre; The ghat is red with fire. o the terrible heat! The gods are adamant. Will the monsoon Let us swoon Unto the last heart-beat III Panting, panting, panting . Go up toward the sea And look again, ye holy men, To learn if clouds may be. 307 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Go up into your temples With sacrifice and song. Call to the gods, The cruel gods, Who beat us down with rays like rods: Say that we wait too long! Say that the wells are dry, Say that our flesh is sand, Say that the mother's milk is pain, The child beats at her breast in vain, Say that we curse the land. O the terrible heat' Say that even the moon In fiery flight Scorches the night. O bring us the monsoon' IV Panting, panting, panting: The nautch-girl cannot sing, .308 AT THE WORLD'S HEART But drops her vina in the dust And sinks, a shrivelled thing. The fakir has acquired No merit for six days, But at the tank, The shrine's tank, That never before of vileness stank, Babbles of water sprays. V o the terrible heat! How long must we endure The holy men have come again, The beating drums are fewer. A cobra in their path Licked out an angry tongue Into the air - o with despair Is even the serpent stung! .39 AT THE WORLD'S HEART VI Panting, panting, panting: The night again, and day; A\nd day again, and night again, Burning their endless way. The furnace sun goes down, The branding stars come out And sear the eves Like fiery flies Settling upon them - 0 ye skies, A drop for us, we pray' But one - upon the tongue: To let us know you care. But one - tho it be wrung Of breath sent up in prayer. O the terrible heat.' Again the beating drums. What do I hear A cry a cheer . 310 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 3 The priests are chanting nearer, near Is it the monsoon comes The priests are chanting! . . . 0, What word is on their lips! " The monsoon breaks! the monsoon breaks!" A darkness sudden grips Miy eyes: is it the shroud Of blindness, or - a cloud The monsoon breaks The rain awakes Out of the darkened sky it shakes - Louder they cry, and loud! O loud! until at last The people hear bedazed; The sick who drank of burning air, The weak, the well, the crazed! The temple's sacred cow Lows gently at the door; The fakir makes his vow 31 Tr TIE WNORLD'S HEART And chants his Vedic lore; But all lift up Their lips' cup And drink more of it, more! And singing fills the air ' And soon the Summer's song Of greenness covers all the -arth, For long the rain is, long' The rice is flooded far; While Shiva, Indra, all The gods, who are the world's laws, Are lulled to sleep, In temples deep, By praises without pause. 3 1 2 IN AN ORIENTAL HARBOUR All the ships of the world come here, Rest a little, then set to sea; Some ride up to the waiting pier, Some drop anchor beyond the quay. Some have funnels of blue and black, (Some come once but come not back!) Some have funnels of red and yellow, Some-O war'-have funnels of gray. All the ships of the world come here, Ships from every billow's foam; Fruiter and oiler, collier drear, Liner and lugger and tramp a-roam. Some are scented of palm and pine, (Some are fain for the Pole's far clime). Some are scented of soy and senna, Some - ah me! - are scented of home. 3 1 3 AT THE WORLD'S HEART All the ships of the xv-orld come here, Day and night there is sound of bells, Seeking the port they calmly steer, Clearing the port they ring farewells. 'Under the sun or under the stars (Under the light of swaying spars), Under the moon or under morning Murmur they, as the tide swells. All the ships of the world come here, Rest a little and then are gone, Over the crystal planet-sphere Swept, thro every season, on. Swept to every cape and isle (Every coast of cloud or smile), Swept till over them sweeps the sorrow Of their last sea-dawn. .314 THE THRALL OF THE DEAD (China) Out of the earth, out of the earth The innumerable dead Thrust forth their phantom hands to seize The living overhead; Ancestral hands from every field, B3 y every hut and hill; Ancestral hands that ever wield Strong Superstition's will; Ancestral hands by every grave, And graves are everywhere, Tho strong sweet grain might grow instead To lighten famine's care. 3r5 s AT THE WORLD'S HEART Out of the earth, out of the earth, North, east and south and west, The souls of father, brother, son, Crave worship, without rest; Claim rites and reverence and fear, For Ill is in their hands; Claim progeny, who too must rear Yet more, for death's demands; Claim sons - and sons - tho millions stare, And millions see no shape But that of Hunger, gaunt and bare, From which is no escape. Out of the earth -the haunted earth I - O is there no surcease Will Custom never loose its clutch Upon this people's peace Must life be ever slave to death - A coolie at the tomb Must it forever draw no breath But where the grave has room 31() AT THE WVORLD'S HEART Must not a fruit or flower spring But they are corpse-begot O shall there be no fair expanse Thie buried do not blot God of the world, God of the world, To carven stick or stone Should all these millions rather pray Than unto rotted bone. O rather to the earth, the moon, To light the warm sun gives, To Spring, to Summer on the hills- To anything that lives' So let the wind of Knowledge sweep From Thibet to the sea And save the living from the dead, Now and eternally. Yea let the cleansing of it flash, Until this land again Shall be no charnel, but the home Of free and living men. 3' 7 THE PEASANT OF IRIMACHI (Japan) At the time of candle-lighting and rest, When the shoji-panes are softly aglow, When the rice within the bowl seems blest By Buddha - and the mists creep low, I sit upon the mats, and you, O-Kuni, from the grave, come back. I hear at the door Your geta on the floor As you slip like a moon thing thro. You have come across the twilit fields, For you know that in the shrine I have set All the offerings the long day yields, And know that I nev-er can forget! 318 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 319 You know that I am lonely and wait From temple bell at night to bell at morn. And so when you glide, A shadow, to my side, All the longings in my heart abate. Yet they say it is not well - the priests, And they bid me let the love-fires die, But I go unto their fanes and feasts And never can they tell me why! Such love is karma-sent, they say, And binds me to a thousand births. But still with the night I set the candle light And you come when the mists creep gray. So I toil: with the yoke upon my brow Bear the burden of the beasts: so poor That the lowliest neglect my bow, And my gifts the very gods scarce endure. 320 AT THE WORLD'S HEART But still I have the thatch and the shrine And night, O-Kuni, for my peace. So till I am flung Under earth, like the dung, I shall set the shoji-light to shine. THE BROKEN TRANCE (Kamakura, Japan) Blue, blue skies above the Great Buddha bend, The crepe-myrtle blooms, The semi sing about, The dragon-fly gleams against the pine-tree glooms, The crows upon the hill In derision shout. "What," they caw, to the worshipers that come, "0 what is your god And Nirvana's empty sleep!" The lotos-throng seated on the pale pool nod, But heed not at all, And to meditation keep. 3 1 322 AT THE WVORLD'S HEART Keep; tho sad, over Shaka's silent calm, A shade creeps strange - 0 is it from the pines Or is it doubting prescience of the peaceless change Enveloping his East That he too dixines Sees he how, since its wedding Desire born anew And Maya shall increase Till all the world's soul again Upon the Wheel of Things With none to release with the West, is bound, past rue, Ay, and how sutra years and centuries Shall fall soon away From peoples that he found And taught, all-compassionate, to live their day In simplest content Till beyond life's bound AT THIE \ WORLD'S HEART 323 Blue, blue skies above the Great Buddha bend, The crepe-myrtle blooms, The semi sing about, The dragon-fly gleams against the pine-tree glooms; But never from His Face Shall be swept that doubt. THE PEASANT OF GOTEMBA (Japan) The scarecrow in the fields Is not so poor as I; Standing amid the rice He makes the crows fly high; But if I stood they only Would pluck me more awry. But him I envy not, For he has never heard Airs in the young bamboo Breathe low the wind-god's word. So deaf is he that Summer Can wake him with no bird. 324 AT TIE WORLD'S HEART 32 And blind he is, as well, Since he has never seen Wild Fujiyama geese, Far up above the green, Flecking the dim white summit Snow covers, ever clean. And he has not a thatch To shelter his torn head, Nor a son's hand to pay Shrine-rites when he is dead. His poor old straw in winter Will to the ox be fed. So poverty alone Is not too dire for those To whom is given a glimpse Behind life's fleeting shows Into the boundless beauty The blessed Buddha knows. SUB MARINE MOUNTAINS Under the sea, which is their sky, they rise To watery altitudes as vast as those Of far Himalayan peaks impent in snows And veils of cloud and sacred deep repose. Under the sea, their flowing firmament, More dark than any ray of sun can pierce, The earthquake thrust them up with mighty tierce And left them to be seen but by the eyes Of awed imagination inward bent. Their vegetation is the viscid ooze, Whose mysteries are past belief or thought. Creation seems around them devil-wrought, Or by some cosmic urgence gone distraught. Adown their precipices chill and dense 3 f26 AT THE WORLD'S HEART With the dank midnight creep or crawl or climb Such tentacled and eyeless things of slime, Such monster shapes as tempt us to accuse Life of a miscreative impotence. About their peaks the shark, their eagle, floats, In the thick azure far beneath the air, Or downward sweeps upon what prey may dare Set forth from any silent weedy lair. But one desire on all their slopes is found, Desire of food, the awful hunger strife; Yet here, it may be, was begun our life Here all the dreams on which our vision dotes In unevolved obscurity were bound. Too strange it is, too terrible' And yet It matters not how we were wrought or whence Life came to us with all its throb intense If in it is a Godly Immanence. It matters not, - if haply we are more .327 328 AT THE WORLD'S HEAR'I Than creatures half-conceived by a blind force That sweeps the universe in a chance course: For only in Unmeaning Might is met The intolerable thought none can ignore. THE PILGRIM (As a temple bell sounds) A temple bell! And lo, to me, Who fare far out at sea, It brings the gloom Of the temple room - And the holy image Of Buddha seated Upon his lotos! And so I pray: 'O Calm One! in The new lives that I win Let me as the sound 329 330 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Of a bell be found To waken worship In souls that wander Toward Nirvana!" PAGEANTS OF THE SEA What memories have I of it, The sea, continent-clasping, The sea whose spirit is a sorcery, The sea whose magic foaming is immortal! What memories have I of it thro the years! What memories of its shores! Its shadowy headlands doomed to stay the storm; Its red cliffs clawing ever into the tides; Its misty moors of royal heather purpling; Its channeled marshes, village-nesting hills; Its crags wind-eaten, homes of hungry gulls; Its bays - With sailless masts that swing to harbour tides Until on wings at last they sweep away. 33I 332 AT THE WORLD'S HEART What memories have I too Of faring out at dawn o'er tameless waters, Upon the infinite wasted yearning of them, While winds, the mystic harp-strings of the world, Were sounding sweet farewells; While coast and lighthouse tower were fading fast, And from me all the world slipped like a garment. What memories of mid-deeps' Of heaving on thro haunted vasts of foam, Thro swaying terrors of tormented tides; While the wind, no more singing, took to raving, In rhythmic infinite words, A chantey ancient and immeasurable Concerning man and God. What memories of fog-spaces - Wide leaden deserts of dim wavelessness, Smooth porpoise-broken glass As gray as a dream upon despair's horizon; .AT THE' WORLD'S I.AR'f . 333 What sailing soft till lo the shroud was lifted And suddenly there came, as a great joy, The blue sublimity of summer skies, The azure mystery of happy heavens, The passionate sweet parley of the breeze, And dancing waves - that lured us on and on Past islands o'er whose verdant mountain-heads Enchanted clouds were hanging, And whence wild spices wandered; Past iridescent reefs and vessels bound For ports unknown: O far, far past, until the sun, in fire, An impotent and shrunken Orb lay dying, On hearing twilight purple gathered round. And then, what nights' The phantom moon in misty resurrection Arising from her sepulchre in the East And sparkling the dark waters - The unremembering moon! And covenants of star to faithful star, 334 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Dewy, like tears of God, across the sky; And under the moon's fair ring Orion running Forever in great war adown the West. The nights, the infinite nights! With cloud-horizons where the lightning slumbered Or wakened once and again with startled watch, Again to fall asleep And leave the moon-path free for ll my thoughts To wander peacefully. The nights, the opiate nights! Until the stars sighed out in dawn's great pallor. Just as the lands of my desire appeared. What memories have I of it! THE MALAY TO HIS MASTER The woman is mine, 0 chief, White chief whom the spirits fear; The woman is mine, I have bought her with blood, My mark is upon her brow. I swept like a shark the sea, O lord of unbelief, I swept with a trusty score to her isle And brought her home in my prau! She lay in her atap-thatch, Clad - ah! - in her red sarong. The cocoanut palms In the wind she heard, 335 336 AT THE WORLD'S HEART But never my paddles near. I seized her with mating arms- o chief, no moon is her match! - She cried to the hunting-men of her tribe, But lo, I carried her clear; And tossed her across the surf! o chief, she is mine not yours! - I bore her away Tho the pearls of her teeth Bit deep and her rage beat blind. A hundred of hissing darts, Each dipt in a venom's scurf, Slid after us like swift asps of air, But ever they sank behind. And so she is mine, twice mine, For when in the jungle here I hid her, 0 lord, And sang to her heart And planted the rubber round, AT THE WORLD'S HEART 3X7 And bought her your rings and silks And bracelets jewel-fine, And swept her with kisses like the sea, At last was her long hate drowned. And so she is mine, is mine! White chief, you must give her back. I 1)ought her with blood, I will keep her with blood, So summon your heart from lust, Or swift, as you say the night Of MIalaya falls, -at a sign, Mfy people, led by the gods, shall fall And make of your passion dust. NIGHTS ON THE INDIAN OCEAN Nights on the Indian Ocean, Long nights of moon and foam, When silvery Venus low in the sky Follows the sun home. Long nights when the mild monsoon Is breaking south-by-west, And when soft clouds and the singing shrouds Make all that is seem best. Nights on the Indian Ocean, Long nights of space and dream, When silent Sirius round the Pole Swings on, with steady gleam; When oft the pushing prow Seems pressing where before 3 3 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 339 No prow has ever pressed - or shall From hence forevermore. Nights on the Indian Ocean, Long nights - with land at last, Dim land, dissolving the long sea-spell Into a sudden past - That seems as far away As this our life shall seem When under the shadow of death's shore We drop its ended dream. SIGHTING ARABIA My heart, that is Arabia, 0 see! That talismanic sweep of sunset coast, Which lies like richly wrought enchant- ment's ghost Before us, bringing back youth's witchery! "Arabian Nights!" At last to us one comes, The crescent moon upon its purple brow. Will not Haroun and Bagdad rise up now There on the shore, to beating of his drums Is not that gull a roc That sail Sindbad's That rocky pinnacle a minaret Does the wind call to prayer from it 0 yet I hear the fancy, fervid as a lad's! 340 AT THE WORL)'S HEART 341 "Allah il Allah," rings it; 0 my heart, Fall prostrate, for to Mecca we are near, That flashing light is but a sign sent clear From her, your houri, as her curtains part! Soon she will lean out from her lattice, soon, And bid you climb up to your Paradise, Which is her panting lips and passion eyes Under the drunken sweetness of the moon! 0 heart, my heart, drink deeply ere they die, The sunset dome, the minaret, the dreams Flashing afar fromyouth's returnless streams: For we, my heart, must grow old, you and I! MY COUNTRY My country, 0 my country, they call you a Market- place, Where only the greed of silver and the gloat of gold are heard, Where men care but for getting - a getting that gives no grace, Where money-right and money-might are the will of you and the word. They call you a land of license -free but to thug and thief! A servile dumping-place for the dirt of the other lands; 342 xr THE WORLD'S HEART A pest-house for their crime and their poverty and grief; A scavenger of nations - diseased in heart and hands. They say you have sons no more -sons native- born and brave; That the blood of the alien - and the mad - is in your veins, And the venom of anarchy, ungovernable and grave,. Is sweeping toward your heart - is gripping about your reins. They say the voice of the people is the voice that sounds your doom - Democracy but a monster with a million heads that rave - Till the wise, the just and the mighty are banished to make more room For the briber and demagogue, for the slanderer and the slave. 343 344 .xTr THE WORLD'S HEART So, Prostitute in your passions, they term you, over the seas, A Gaud specious and shallow, loose, vulgar, cunning and loud; A Lurer away of the soul from its true immensi- ties Into the lies of bigness, into the boasts of the crowd. My country, 0 my country, these are the things they cry, Your sons who are renegade, your troubled friends and foes, And this to them do we answer, who for your fame would die, Your lovers deeplier reading the heart of your weal and woes, - This word to them do we answer: That many a god men serve, And Money you, for a moment: tho a worse per- chance is theirs: AT TILE WORLD'S HEART But that you have worshipped it with a force, a faith and a nerve Betraying the might within you for loftier temple cares. That Money has been your god, your wild Romance of Youth, All pardonable to a land with a virgin hope for the world, But that you have kept o'er all in the pantheon of Truth, One image of endless faith-in a starry flag en- furled; Yea, that, if you worshipped Mammon, 'twas ever because its face Seemed but as the face of Freedom, your starry- clad and strong, And was, to many a million of many a martyred race, Who hungered - or to your shelter fled tyranny and wrong. 34., 346 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Wherefore, for the bread you gave them, we say, they shall pay you strength, For the great and glad asylum, a harvest of hope and song. And out of their shackles broken shall mould for you, at length, Perchance a mightier nation - a manhood yet more strong. For ever the crime they bring you, as wildly they escape, Is but the crime of the ages, that flames in them at last, And kindles you unto pity - and progress from the ape, Who knows not brotherhood - nor the future from the past. So when their cry to the clamour of the Monster million-voiced Is joined, and the vaster chorus ascends toward the Light, AT THE WORLD'S HEART 347 We know, with pride, you will listen -nor fear, but be rejoiced, And hear, down under the tumult, still hear, deep- hid, the Right. And yet - reproach is a warning of a peril that may be. We would not have you niggard of your breasts to human need, But now the withholding season has come - until you see How truly the milk of freedom makes brothers every breed. THE SNAIL AND I The snail and I cling to the rock, We two alone by the glassy sea That under the sun draws silently Its breath, then breaks with spumy shock; We two; for even the briny pool Has not one shambling crab that moves! But in its granite glossy grooves The pent tide-water warms its face And still weeds hang their idle lace On looms of mosses green and cool. The snail and I cling to the rock; The tide is slipping inward slow. Here to our cleft it soon will flow, At his shell-house alone to knock. 348 AT THE WORLD'S HEART The tide that daily comes with food For his dumb small unconscious need That grows no greater: while I bleed With wants no feeding brings content - For dual dreaming man seems meant On what the world has not to brood. The snail and I cling to the rock, Strange comrades whom the sea has cast Together till such hours have passed As at my sadness came to knock. But wherefore did the long day give Me unto him lest some gray gull Should on him gorge a fain crop full Infinity alone knows why: For he was born to live and die, As I perchance to die and live. 349 SONGS TO A. H. R. I MINGLINGS It is the old old vision, The moonlit sea -and you. I cannot make disseverance Between the two. For all the world's wide beauty To me you seem, All that I love in shadow Or glow or gleam. It is the old old murmur, The sea's sound and your voice. 350 AT THE WORL)'S IIEWART God in his Bliss between them Could make no choice. For all the world's deep music In you I hear: Nor shall I ask death, ever, For aught more dear. II FIDES PERENNIS AMORIS Tho God should send me, When I die, To the last star Across His sky, And bid all space between us be Oblivion - one traverseless sea: Tho He should give me, There, a task, Sweeter than any I could ask, AT THE WORLD'S HEART And, with the task, achievement, too, Greater than all I here shall do: Yea, tho He purposed Thus to let Me, severed from you, All forget; Remembrance like a magnet still Would draw my heart to you and will. So I should wander On the marge Of that new world With strangeness large, Leaving my task to turn a face Somehow toward your dwelling-place. And I should listen Thro the stars To silent hintings Of lost bars 3 5 J AT THE WORLD'S HEART Of music that was once your voice: In no dream should I more rejoice. Or I should tremble When the breeze Brought to my cheek Infinities Of dim forgotten touches love Once swept me with, like a wing'd dove. Nor could the presence Of His throng Of noblest spirits Hush, for long, In me the unremembered bliss- The vanished spell of days like this. For in the trysting Of true souls There is no distance That controls: .3 ;.3 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Not space nor God can keep them twain-- Only annihilation's reign. m HOW MANY WAYS How many ways the Infinite has To-night, in earth and sky: A falling star, a rustling leaf, The night-wind ebbing by. How many ways the Infinite has: A fire-fly over the lea, A whippoorwill on the wooded hill, And your dear love to me. How many ways the Infinite has: The moon out of the East; A cloud that waits her shepherding, To wander silver-fleeced. AT THE WORLD'S HEART How many ways the Infinite has: A home-light in the West, And joy deep-glowing in your eyes. Wherein is all my rest. IV LOVE AND INFINITY Across the kindling twilight moon A late gull wings to rest. The sea is murmuring underneath Its vast eternal quest. The coast-light flashes o'er the tide A red and warning eye, And oh the world is very wide, But you are nigh! The stars come out from zone to zone, The wind knows every one And blows their message to my heart, As it has ever done. 355 356 AT THE WORLD'S HEART "They are all God's," it tells me; "all, However huge or high." But ah I could not trust its call - Were you not by! V STAR-WANTDERINGS Adown the paths between the stars Last night we went a-wandering, The sod of space beneath our feet Was soft as violet dreams. Close, close to many a moon that shone We wandered, hand in hand, alone, And everything to us was known - And everything was sweet - For all the world was as it seems When love is made complete. We wandered past Aldebaran And Vega jewelling the Lyre, AT TIHE WVORLD'S hIIEART 357 We lost ourselves in nebulas Of vast Orion's sword. We called to Sirius, the red, And 0 to many a star that's dead, While echoes back to us were shed Of life that glorious was, And while love thro us silent poured Its peace, without a pause. We wandered, wandered, on and on, Thro dwindling shining ways, till space In all its primal pureness lay, A starless reach beyond. And into it we passed to see If God in such a void could be- And still the soul of it was He, As of the starry way. Then, ah, time touched us with his wand And all was yesterday. AT THE WORLD'S HEART VI IN THE NIGHT When I lie unsleeping, When the darkness seems Like a lonely sepulchre Where I'm shut in dreams, I have but to touch you, Reaching thro the night, Then does all the vast tomb change Into living light. Then does space unbounded Fill once more with stars, While my worn and haunted heart Ceases from old wars. Then does rest come to me, And, it may be, sleep: Such infinitude has love - Such watch can it keep. 358 AT THE WORLD'S HEART VII MONITIONS Sad as an inland gull, far from the salt wave winging, Lost or lured from the sea - from all its heart has known, Am I, when I think that death, somewhere, may now be bringing The hour, my love, to sever us, and send each wandering lone! VIII TRANSFUSION A shoal-light flashes East, And livid lightning West, The silvery dark night-sea between, On which we ride at rest, And gaze far, far away Into the fretless skies, 359 360 AT THE WORLD'S HEART World-sadness in our thought - but ah, Content within our eyes. The ship's bell strikes - the sound Floats shrouded to our ears, Then suddenly, as at a touch, The universe appears A Presence Infinite That penetrates our love And makes us one with night and sea And all the stars above. BEAUTY AND STILLNESS (In the ruined Greek Theatre, Taormina, Sicily) How still it is! Between me and the sea, Between me and far Etna's snowy slope, The midges in the sunlight idly move, As if they had of life but drowsy hope. No cock crows, not a bird or wind is singing About this eaglet town whose eyrie hangs Upon a high cliff; not a bell is ringing From church or convent tower The sleepy hour; And not a voice of afternoon comes bringing Amid these ruins joy, or griefs that lower. 36r 36 2 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Thro the rent walls and arches where I lie With silent broken columns basking round, Is framed as radiant a scene as eye May hope to dwell on; yet my heart unbound Is not enthralled - but to the voiceless vision Of villa, castle, sky and sea is cold. And tho their beauties blend, with calm Elysian, Since the bright sunlight's fall Is over all, My thoughts blend not, but brood with indecision, That seems all aspiration to appall. And what is it that so can trouble us Mid scenes so fair and peaceful Is it, here, Times's still destruction striking to the soul The certainty that death is ever near Once there were plaudits where this silence passes, Once there was glory where these ruins reign, Once Greece and Rome sat thralled where now the grasses AT THE WORLD'S HEART Alone are audience Of the intense Lone tragedy that year on year amasses: O is fate's power upon us so immense Or is it that too-beautiful sometimes Will make us sad as too-imperfect can That the Ideal in full bodiment But leaves more bleak the wonted life of man To Etna, poet of the azure heaven, King of myth-makers, does this scene belong; But unto us of lowly mortal leaven, To us who scarce can hope For greater scope On earth than is comprised in seven times seven, Must not a grandeur less immortal ope Ay, and more intimately kin to us! So from snow-summit and the sapphire sea, From plain and promontory do I turn, And distances that dream majestically, 3R6,g 364 AT THE WORLD'S HEART To yon bare ledge of rock, where cactus-pendants In homely and grotesque confusion cling, As to our niches we, who know transcendence Of this our little life With want so rife, But makes us, oft, dissatisfied attendants Upon dull Toil that soon becomes loathed Strife. THE CONTESSA TO HER JUDGES (Palermo) Do not suppose that I confess I sinned - I who have killed him! For did he not go nightly there To her balcony and sing - Until she bade him up to her And in her arms stilled him, Then sent him back with lies of love To me - a shameless thing Do not suppose that I confess: Not unto God, the Father, Sitting, with mercy in His eyes, And ready to shrive all, 365 AT THE WORLD'S HEART And shrinking not away from me, But listening to me nrather, Would I say, "I am on sin's flood, Save me, or I am drowned!" Ah no . . . For had he that I loved But said, "I love her better; You are my wife - but Beauty reigns As mistress of men's soul!" I would have scorned to spill her cup Of joy -but would have let her Clasp it to her and drink of it Whatever he should dole. Yes, had he only dealt me fair, But once, and not pretended, While I with ready doting still Gave all of soul or flesh - To a belief I blush for now, We might at last have ended 366 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 367 Merely as many have before, Not in this bloody mesh! For lox e has too its Holy Ghost To sin against, past pardon; Love too, and I in killing him Have done no more a wrong Than Christ will, when He comes again From Paradise, to harden His heart against all blasphemy That surges from Hell's throng. ON THE UPWARD ROAD Within a city I paused, in pity Of human sorrow and humans wrong; Of bitter toiling, of sad assailing, Of fatal foiling to weak and strong. I paused where centred on sin throngs entered A door of evil and lust and greed. I saw dark faces whereon disgraces Had writ their traces for all to read. I said: It is human, nor man nor woman Is worse or better than men before. Since time's beginning there has been sinning, While time is spinning there shall be more. .368S AT TinLE WORLD)'S HEART I For, spite of sages that search the ages Back to the mammoth and saurian; That find a growing, an upward flowing Of Good all-knowing, man is but man. In spite of heavens, in spite of leavens, Of yeasty yearnings to run and climb, lie is no surer that life is purer, Or that a Juror sits over time. He takes the seasons, each with its treasons Of heat or tempest, of sun or snow, Half doubtful whether a better weather Would work together with one so low. His gods are many, or one, or any: He must have worship to hush his fear. So all the spaces thro which thought races liefills with Faces that hide - yet hear. 3 69 370 AT THE WORDl)S IIIE.ART Or when death sickens his heart it quickens His need, so lonely for love's applause, That of his dreamings - the merest seemings Of deathless gleamings, he makes him Laws. And with repentance will serve their sentence- In hopes of gaining again one breast. The universes that doom disperses His faith immerses in Life all-blest. He is so little that his acquittal, Of all great Nature impels him to, He cries for bravely: yet ever gravely. Or sad, or suavely, the Skies will woo. But doubts while wooing, so keeps pursuing Two roads - one starryd and one of earth. Nor ever clearer seems one, or nearer His goal - or dearer in weal or worth. AT TrHE' WORLI'S HEART'7 Thus, in a city, impellcd by pity More than despair I paused and cried. But in my being a deeper seeing, A truer pleaing to me replied:- J'ou speak in passion - in the dark fashion Of those who sufe r because they grope; To whom despairing seems the true daring W'hen doubt long-faring no door can ope. For 'tis not certain that sin's dark curtain Of imperfection hangs still so black; That man has lifted no edge, or rifted No fold, or sifted ligiht thro no crack. He stumbles ever, in his endeavour, A nd seems no better than he has been. But life is vaster and he more niaster .Nv ow, if no faster he sinks in sin. ., 7 1 AT THE WORLD'S HElART And, too, his duty is not mere beauty Of moral being, he is a Child Of higher station, of all creation- Whose aspiration runs thro him wild. A thousand courses on him life forces, A thousand visions that bring a need To search abysses for all he misses: From all he wisses to frame his creed. So all the wages that thro the ages He, Nature's vassal, with toil has won, All secrets looted, all lies refuted Must be computed as good well done. Praise then be to him that strongly thro him There flows the effort to find his goal, That faith defeated - by false gods cheated, A nd oft unseated, still rules his soul. 372 CHARTINGS There is no moon, only the sea and stars; There is no land, only the vessel's bow On which I stand alone and wonder how Men ever dream of ports beyond the bars Of Finitude that fix the Here and Now. A meteor falls, and foam beneath me breaks; The phosphor fires within it faintly (lie. So soft the sea is that it seems a sky On which eternity to life awakes. The universe is spread before my face, Worlds where perchance a million seas like this Are flowing and where tides of pain and bliss Find, as on earth, so prevalent a place That nothing of their wont we there should miss. 373 . 74 AT THE WORLD'S HEART The Universe, that man has dared to say Is but one Being --- ah, courageous thought! W\hich is so vast that hope itself is fraught With shame, while saying it, and shrinks away. Shrinks, even as now' For clouds sweep up the skies And darken the wide waters circling round, From out whose deep arises the old sound Of Terror unto which no tongue replies But Faith - that nothing ever shall confound. Not only pagan Perseus but the Cross Is shrouded - with wild wind and wilder rain, That on me beat until my soul again Sings unsurrendering to fears of Loss. For this I know, - yea, tho all else lie hid Uncharted on the waters of our fate, All lands of Whence or Whither, whose estate In vain imagination seeks to thrid, Yet cannot, for the fog within Death's gate- AT TilE WORLD'S HEART 375 Thi.s thing I know, that life, whate'er its Source Or Destiny, comes with an upward urge, And that wae cannot thwart its mighty surge, But with a joy in strife must keep the course. THE FOUR ENCHAN-TMIENTS (Of Japan) There is a land I know, where four enchantments ever Enfold the heart with beauty - and strangeness from afar, And fashion all its hours of unhappiest endeavour Into forgotten failure; and these four enchant- ments are: - Ever the sound of water, of rain or rushing river; Ever the wraith of mist, walking the mountain side; And the pines it passes, black; and the temple bells that shiver The deep grey solemn silence in whose soul the gods abide. 376 THE GOD OF EASE (As a prodigal sees him) A temple, now, I know in Yokohama, With carven dragons climbing to the eaves, The god of it the heathen call Gautama, He's fat and calm, and large of feet and sleeves. The faithful come and clang a gong before him, And clap and fling a copper on the floor, And paper lantern shadows swinging o'er him Lull lazy longings in me to the core. I don't know who Gautama is; they tell me He wasn't born a busy Japanee, But likely was a Hindu, and they spell me His other name that sounds like Shak-mou-nee. 377 378 AT TIHE WNORLD'S HEART But he's the god for me - the jolly idol Of all that sit so smug about the East, For in him there's a smiling that can sidle Right into me and quiet there the beast. And that now's what I like - so Yokohama Shall be my berth -- tho I may come to beg Like any yellow-footed holy lama A bowl of rice to keep me on a leg. But if I do -in rags and dirt, and shameless - I'll go at night to see that lantern swing; And doubtless I may die forsook and nameless; But then, such worship is the only thing! For he's the god - Gautama in his shrine there, To make you see no heav'n is reached by work, To make you like a heathen go and twine there A paper prayer, and feel you never shirk. The priests discovered that and I have learned it, I sit and watch the saggy moon go o'er, And "peace,"Isay, and "ease," and Ihave earned it! So add my soul, Gautama, to your store! BY THE CH'EN GATE At dusk as wild geese winged their aery way Upon the sunset over proud Peking, To where, darker than jade, the mountains lay, Set in the misty gold of dying day, I stood upon the mighty Tartar wall By the great-towered gate, the Ch'en, and felt The yellow myriads move to it and melt, As in some opiate sleep's imagining. And slowly thro there came a caravan Of swinging camels out of far Thibet, Upon their tawny flanks the foam still wet And in their eyes the desert's ancient span. What dreams they bore to me I now forget, But thro me rang the name of Kubla Khan. 379 A SONG FOR HEALING (On the South Seas) When I return to the world again, The world of fret and fight, To grapple with godless things and men, And battle, wrong or right, I will remember this -the sea, And the white stars hanging high, And the vessel's bow Where calmly now I gaze to the boundless sky. When I am deaf with the din of strife, And blind amid despair, When I am choked with the dust of life And long for free soul-air, 380 AT THE WORLD'S HEART I will recall this sound - the sea's And the wide horizon's hope, And the wind that blows And the phosphor snows That fall as the cleft waves ope. When I am beaten - when I fall On the bed of black defeat, When I have hungered, and in gall Have got but shame to eat, I will remember this - the sea, And its tide as soft as sleep, And the clear night sky That heals for aye All who will trust its Deep. .33 THE GREAT WALL (China, 1912) Dead Dragon of an empire dead and gone, Whose tail within the sea at Shan-hai-quan Is lashed to pieces, brick and mortised stone; Dead monster lying now in all thy folds Of vast futility, till crumbling moulds Each scaly parapet and watch-tower claw That clutches still up at the sky like bone Whose strength is spent, leaving decay alone, - Thou art the mummy of tyrannic Law. 382 AT T HE WORLD'S HEART II A hundred score of seasons was thy length Stretched over mountain spines with crawling strength To keep the dread barbarian aback; A hundred score of mailed and guarded miles It ruthlessly was reared thro dark defiles And chasms, which to span cost untold lives And filled a million tombs along its track- For despotry begot thee with its rack - And with it such dark issue still contrives. III Wherefore decay and death unto this land Have come, as unto thee, 0 Serpent spanned Across the past so vastly yet so vain! In helpless antiquation now it lies, While vulture nations gather on the skies 83 AT THE WORLD'S HEART To feed upon its huge dismemberment. For, seeing only easy-gotten gain, Heartless to its desire for new birth's pain, They hang above it, with their black intent. IV And what shall be the end, 0 Dragon-Snake, Past symbol of thy people Shall they wake Shall civilization's arteries, that seek To pour into their veins renewing dower, Make them to feel their many-millioned power And rise in wrath from lethargy to war If it shall be, then woe to many a beak That plucks now at thy loins by peace made weak: Their depredations then they shall abhor. 394 WAIKIKI BEACH (Honolulu) Waft me away, 0 sunny winds, Or let me live beside it, Lying upon the lulling sands, Under the high palm shade, Watching the great white comber cream, And the brown surf-boats that ride it And Diamond Head that towers o'er, In azure skies arrayed. Waft me at once away! too strong The spell will be to-morrow; Stronger than spirit will the sense Of tropic sweetness sink. And of the lotos I shall eat Till far away fades sorrow, 385 386 AT THE WORLD'S HEART While of the flower-laden light Thro endless years I drink. Waft me away, away ! 0 let The night and moon not find me, Or stars that hang like golden dates High upon heaven's tree. For if the day can so beguile How will the dusk not bind me Never could other days and nights My yearnings reconcile. Waft me away, 0 swift away, Past reef and bar and harbor. Deck me not in the scarlet lei, To drowse me ever more. Say not again Aloha, but Farewell, 0 fairest arbor That ever the sun and cloud and sea Reared on a magic shore. O-TSUYA FORSAKEN (She tells of following her lover to find him faithless) My geta clacked. A paper lantern moved, led by a hand, before me. The wind moaned. A wet pine struck my face. It seemed as if I heard the river rushing o'er me. I followed. In the tea-house geisha danced The Death of Spring. Their shadows fell like petals on the shoji. . . . I felt a creeping mist about me cling. The bridge was darkly arched. Midway the lan- tern waited. Pale as the hidden moon the band was! . . . his! . . . She came! Will the gods ever know how much I hated! 387 383 AT THEI WORLI)'S HEART They went . . . up thro the torii, by a shrine. Upon the lantern Amida I read. . No more shall Amida be god of mine! It is not far to the river - down to death. The stars swirled -a conflagration. . . . And yet I could not go. - Shall he be mine in no reincar- nation A CHANT AT CHION-IN TEMPLE (Kyoto) All day long on the mokugno The young priest beats, chanting. The incense fumes float to and fro, As from his lips the sutras flow, The altar lights burn pale and low, In the temple dimness panting. All day long in the pines without The semi seem repeating His sutra-penance round about Green tombs of those whom not the shout Of the great bell hanging o'er can rout From silence, with its beating. 389 390 AT THE WORLD'S HEART All day long, and the Buddha hears, Or seems to hear, far inward, The white-clad pilgrim who appears Upon his way, thro holy years, To all the shrines that faith endears, Till no more tempted sinward. All day long, and the moon comes gold Above gray-roofed Kyoto. And then behind a near-by fold Of shoji shutting out the cold A shadow falls and as of old Is heard the tinkling koto. Slow tinkling, till, as from its strings Is poured a girl's heart-haunting, The young priest swept from Buddha-things And all that penance-chanting brings Is lost in love's imaginings, Its sweet eternal wanting. KOREAN With gourd o'ergrown the village thatches Cluster under the mountain side, Like mushrooms that the bright sun matches With the brown soil afar and wide. White-clad the peasant ploughs or wanders Idly or flecks an easy flail, While at her task the woman ponders Thoughts that are empty as her pail. No temple-top, no dream, no vision In any face or shapely thing. Here there is seen life's sad elision From the Illimitable's well-spring. 391 39 2 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Only the rice to grow - sad duty; Only the rice to eat and store. These are divinity and beauty, Nor is there longing after more. THEOPHILUS (In his cell on Mount Athos) Circa A. D. 1450 You hear their blasphemies, 0 God, These helots of Mahomet! Like glutton dogs are they - that turn Again to their own vomit. For Heaven, say they, is a place Of silks and wines and swooning All day on deep divans, while round Are houris, love-lutes tuning. Bright houris - three-score for the couch Of each accurst believer - And all black-eyed and beautiful - The Fiend is their deceiver! 393 9 AT THE WORLD'S HEART They say this in their pride, 0 God, While we dwell on our rock - Which never woman's foot has trod . . Will you still let them mock! They say that Heaven is a place Of riches, slaves and pleasure, Where every soothing thrill of sense Is lengthened - past all measure - Till a full age of easesome bliss Is packed in every second - Only by lips that kiss and hands Caressing to be reckoned! And, in this carnal Paradise, They say Christ dwells, a prophet - But lesser than Mahomet is! - God, is it not but Tophet! They say this in their scorn of us Who shut from out our brain All memory of woman, thus, Upon hard beds of pain. 394 AT THE WORLD'S HEART So curse them, God, in every land - To whom thy Holy Spirit Is but a wind, with frankincense And spices to endear it, Which blows across their Paradise To sweeten the caresses Of every houri who attends Their evil idlenesses. Curse them with barrenness and send Their souls to Hell for ever, With women's souls just opposite, Beyond their want's endeavour. Then in thy Skies - tho Christ saith clear That none sent thither wed - Let each who shunned all women here On one there rest his head! .'s95 BASKING Give me a spot in the sun, With the lizard basking by me, In Sicily, over the sea, Where Winter is sweet as Spring, Where Etna lifts his plume Of curling smoke to try me, But all in vain for I will not climb His height so ravishing. Give me a spot in the sun, So high on a cliff that, under, Far down, the flecking sails Like white moths flit the blue; 396 AT THE WORLD'S HEART That over me on a crag There hangs, 0 aery wonder, A white town drowsing in its nest That cypress-tops peep thro. Give me a spot in the sun, With contadini singing, And a goat-boy at his pipes And donkey bells heard round Upon the mountain paths Where a peasant cart comes swinging Mid joyous hot invectives - that So blameless here abound. Give me a spot in the sun, In a land whose speech is flowers, Whose breath is Hybla-sweet, Whose soul is still a faun's, Whose limbs the sea enlaps, Thro long delicious hours, ,;( 7 AT THE WORLD'S HEART With liquid tenderness and light Sweet as Elysian dawns. Give me a spot in the sun With a view o'er vale and villa, O'er grottoed isle and sea To Italy and the Cape Around whose turning lies Old heathen-hearted Scylla, Whom many an ancient sailor prayed The gods he might escape. Give me a spot in the sun: With sly old Pan as lazy As I, to tempt me flesh and soul To disbelief and doubt Of all gods else, from Jove To Bacchus born wine-crazy. Give me, I say, this spot in the sun, And Realms I'll do without! 398 THE BALLAD OF THE MAID OF ORLEANS Many a man of many a race Has done a deed of shame, But never a worse than this was done O England, in thy name! The Maid of Orleans lay in her cell, Fated and hung with fetters, Ready for burning at the stake, By men - at war her betters. But if they burned her would the might And mystery she wielded Be, by the flaming death of her, Once and forever yielded 399 400 AT THE WORLD'S HEART "By God, it will not!" said a lord Of Albion, her foe; A beast, the vision on whose face Was mixed with patriot glow. "By God, it will not, for her strength Lies in a secret thing - And martyrdom of a virgin maid Thro all this land would ring. "But - - give her body a child," he said, And looked about him hot. Thro every man there coldly ran The serpent of his thought. "Once give her body a child -" He took The keys from the warden's hand. "A maid is a maid, but England's aid By men was ever planned: ATr THEI WORLD'S HEART 401 "A maid is a maid - but all the saints That round about her stir Shall be as whispering fiends, if once Love has had toll of her." He rose; behind him clanged the door; It shuddered in their hearts. He went into her cell, where fear Pale on her cheek upstarts. "The Virgin had a child," he said, "And you have none, my dear." He seized her in his arms: a cry Rang from her pure and clear. lie seized her in his arms: she fought. O brutal hand that rested One moment on her maiden breast Where only God had nested. 402 AT THE WORLD'S HEART O brutal hand, 0 brutal lips, 0 brutal soul that sought To soil virginity as brave As Heaven ever wrought! She beat him from her, bleeding, blind - She but a maid, a woman! She beat him off - with chastity That strove divinely human. He fell, shaken away - with passion Burning still in his eye. "By God, for that one touch," he said, "I'd dare, tho I should die. "And were you but an English wench And I a king," he said. . .. She sank fainting upon the floor, He deemed that she was dead. AT THE WORLD'S HEART ;03 o many a man of many a race Has done a deed of shame. - They took her on the morrow out And burnt her in Christ's name. INLANIDERS (Malaya) So far away from the sea, 0 palm, cocoanut palm So far away in the jungle with the Tamil alone for friend Do you lift your head so high, to gaze at the dark night mountains That hide you from its foam and the cool surf- wind's low sigh So far away from the sea Alas, so must I dwell, I who was given a spirit sea-vision alone can sate' And yet there is still the sky, 0 palm, and the star- tides in it, So let us bide content with our dwellings - you and I! 404 INDIA Strange Pauper among nations, with the rags Of ancient custom on thy wasted limbs; Proud blind Faquir, whom life forsaken drags Along till all desire within thee dims; Cast from thv neck the chain of skulls that seems A type to thee of endless death and birth; Escape from thy vain striving to escape All that life is of worthlessness or worth. Go to the ghat of Freedom and plunge in, Or to the fane of it and cast off Caste. Then out and cry thy right, with hungry din, To all earth has, for breaking of thy fast. Get for thy body food, and then thy soul Cheated with long denial shall resume Its daily love of all that lies between, And not beyond, birth and the bitter tomb. 405 THE NEW MOON (On the Indian Ocean) Can anything so slender and so frail As thee, 0 virgin moon, e'er hope to grow Into the rounded glory that we know A little hence shall fill the world with glow To Jupiter and Venus in rose skies Above thee wedded, thou dost only seem A slim bridemaiden casting a shy gleam Upon the nuptial splendour of their dream. Or as a Hindu girl shrinking away In argent innocence from rites so tense With passion as to quicken all thy sense Too soon with longing's lovely exigence. 406 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 407 So with a blushing veil of cloud to cloak Thy naked modesty, how fair the glide Of thy young body is adown the wide Diwan of sunset towering o'er the tide! flow fair! till in a dark sky-chamber hid Thy sweet shape yields to thoughts I will not thrid. THE SHAH TO HIS DEAD SLAVE I look, Laili, for the star we loved So many moons ago, Upon this sea Of Araby, Where stars love most to glow. I find it not, for Allah has So many stars, that part May well be lost Or from Him tossed, As you were from my heart. And vet I know that it is there, I feel its spirit light, As I feel you, O child of dew, 408 AT THE WVORLD'S HEART 409 Slain by my jealous might! 'Tis there, yet never shall I see Its face again, or find, Even when death Has drained my breath, Your arms about me twinedl A PARABLE OF PAIN My eyes were weary, heavy and red, Pain in my breast had made her bed, Instead of Beauty that I had wed. I said, "Dark concubine of man, Giving him child when none else can, When will he take from thee the ban When will he hold thee to his heart, Sad Hagar, cast from him apart, And know thee for the mate thou art What if thy seed be Ishmael - And not the other loved too well Is it less worthy can he tell 410 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 4LI What if he casts thee and thy child Away from him into the wild Of things sore hated and defiled Equal with Beauty in his house Thou still shalt be to sting and rouse. He shall not wholly break his vows; But oft shall welcome thee, thro time, Back to his heart, and from the chime Of thy lone lips learn things sublime." EROSTRATUS (A fable for all critics) Hear the tale of Erostratus, Born in the city of Ephesus - Tho, forsooth, there is none of us Needs the moral of it! For what one of us cares for fame Till his caring is turned to flame Ready to burn, without a shame, Fairest shrines to win it Ready to shatter or destroy Beauty that is the world's best joy, Art that is pure of all alloy Who of us has done it 412 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Hear the tale of Erostratus, Haunting the streets of Ephesus, Hungering ever thus and thus For renown to take him. Craving to be upon men's lips - Mark of their pointing finger-tips, Till he says - as the passion grips And the madness moves him - "Since Diana is praised by all, Down the temple of her shall fall! And the builder shall feel each wall Battering in upon him!' " Yea," saith he with his heart a-craze, "Unto fame there are manv ways; Who cannot build - then, let him raze, Thus to be immortal!" Slips he then thro the temple door: Soon swift tongues of flame outpour: He it is that has made them roar: Matchless is his chortle! 4r3 414 AT THE WORLD'S HEART For a name does he leave men thus. . E But the moral is not for us Who would doubtless Erostratus Damn, to scrub hell's portal. ALEEN The long line of the foaming coast Is muffled by the fog's gray ghost. I cross the league of sea between And lift the latch and kiss Aleen. She throws a log upon the fire. I draw her to me nigh and nigher. She does not know what a brief time Ago it was my arms held - Crime. The surf is beating on the shore. We hear our own heart-beatings more. She speaks of him and my reply Is silence: does she wonder why 415 ' AT THE WORLD'S HEART "I do not love him: have no fear," Her whisper is, against my ear. At last, "I have no fear," say I. She starts, as at a wild-beast's cry. And then she sees red on my coat. A still-born cry throbs in her throat. The fog sweeps by the window pane Her sight is fixed on one dull stain. I rise and light my pipe and go, Leaving her standing, staring so. The wind means storm, I think, to-night: 'Twill not be that which makes her white, And yet had it been yesterday She said those words, I still could pray. There would be still a God above - As proof of Whom there is but love. 41() THE STRIVER When I struggle, with human hands, The hands of God betray me. When I cry, "I will win or die!" His silences dismay me. Yet, when a victim, low I lie, His victor-wreaths array me. For I have held but one defeat Final and faith-abjuring; Held - when strife at its worst was rife- But this thing past the curing; Failure to see how surely life Grows great with great en:during. 417 MYSTERIES I MOONLTIHG T Since man became man Moonlight on the sea Ne'er rippled and ran But sadly gazed he. Till man is no more Moonlight on the wave Shall lead his thought o'er From life to the grave. 418 AT THE WORLD'S HEART II THE SHADOW On the dim shoji of the universe The Shadow falls Of One who dwells within so vague and vast His Shape appalls. We stand and view it, lonely in the dark, But scarce it comes Ere doubt lest it may be but Aaya-dreams Our sight benumbs. III SUDDEN SIGHT "There is no land," I said, "in all the world, Only this glassy sea!" 4I9 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Then lo, on the horizon hung unfurled As fair a shore as any Spring sets free. "God is there none," I cried, " but only space, Star-built and without Soul!" Then lo I looked and all infinity No more was space, but God who is its Whole. IV NON SUFFICIT Cover it over with lilies, And cover it with green, Yet I know that the awful black Of the coffin lies between. Cover my heart with kindness, With comfort-words and grace, Still it will be a sepulchre For her remembered face. 4.20 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 4 V SIC CITM NOBIS They who are wise in Nature's mysteries Tell us the pearl is but a prison cell Built by the oyster round a preying worm That creeps, a parasite, into its shell. So is it with all beauty that wve build: The worm of longing preys upon our heart Till with fair word or form or music spell We hush it in imperishable Art. VI BIRD-BLISS There is no mountain, here, or sea, Yet do I feel infinity, For there in the top of a tulip-tree A wild wild bird is singing to me! 4 2 1 422 AT THE WORLD'S HEART And full is his throat, at every note, Of God - until my heart's afloat In joy -like every leaf unfurled By May, the sweetheart of the world. VII MAN AND BLRD (A t sea) Thro the deep rifts of dark Atlantic cloud The moonlight breaks and kindles magic foam, On which to-night the petrel peacefully Will make his watery nest - a heaving home. Within his sea-born dreams will there be one Of me who watched him in our seething wake Long hours to-day and when dawn brings the sun Will he fare lonelier for my vanished sake THE ATHEIST Over a scurf of rocks the tide Wanders inward far and wide, Lifting the sea-weed's sloven hair, Filling the pools and foaming there, Sighing, sighing everywhere. Merged are the marshes, merged the sands, Save the dunes with pine-tree hands Stretching upward toward the sky Where the sun, their god, moves high: Would I too had a god - e'en I! For the sea is to me but sea, And the sky but infinity. Tides and times are but some chance Born of a primal atom-dance. All is a mesh of Circumstance. 423 424 AT THE WORLD'S HEART In it there is no Heart - no Soul- No illimitable Goal - Only wild happenings that wont Makes into laws no might can shunt From the deep grooves in which they hunt. Wings of the gull I watch or claws Of the cold crab whose strangeness awes: Faces of men that feel the force Of a hid thing they call life's course: It is their hoping or remorse. Yet it may be that I have missed Something that only they who tryst, Not with the sequence of events But with their viewless Immanence, Find and acclaim with spirit-sense. JUDGMENT Men may say of God Everything but this, That He is guilty of our pain To bring Him bliss. God may say of men Everything but one, That we are penal in His sight When all is done. Each may say of life Everything - and still Know that its primal blot came not Thro any will. 425 A MARINER'S MEMORY An irised coral-reef, A lonely wreck upon it, Scuttled by pirate hands, Washed over by the tide. The blue sea-spaces round, Deep in the sunlight drowned, And in a calm profound, - These and no more beside. No more, but how they haunt me! For still, awake or sleeping, Sudden in trance I see The reef . . . the sky sun-pale. And then, as when marooned So long there I had swooned, I wake with mind untuned, And cry "A sail! a sail!" 42 ( UNDER THE SKY Far out to sea go the fishing junks, With all sails set, The tide swings gray and the clouds sway, The wind blows wet; Blows wet from the long coast lying dim As if mist-born. Far out they sail, as the stars pale, The stars of morn. Far out to sea go the fishing junks, And I who pass Upon a deck that is vaster reck No more, alas, Of all their life, or they of mine, Than comes to this, - That under the sky we live and die, Like all that is. 427 LOSSES To lose the voice of the sea, And hear only its roar, To feel infinity Foam thro it never more, To learn that time means death And not eternity - Is but to draw no free and fearless breath. To watch the slow sun set And, in the roseate pause, No more with wan regret Desire what never was; To find that love, grown pale, Can all its faith forget, - Is but in life's finalities to fail. 428 THE PROFLIGATE Peace! I must go, Tho you are all to me, Comrade and friend, Mistress and wife. Ask me not why - It is life's call to me - Staying I die. Faithless I am: Faithful could never be. Mating with you Should have brought rest. So I believed: But - as 'twill ever be - I was deceived. 429 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Lure of the blood, Whim of perversity, Harries me on - Want of the new; Craving to clasp Tho thro adversity Some one not you. Craving for sin, Craving for punishment - Even for pain, Stinging and wild. Craving to be, Spite of admonishment, Madly defiled. Madly yet free - Tho you are beautiful: None to compare With you I'll find! - 430 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Free to rove on, Basely, undutiful, Cruel, unkind. For I am thus. Nothing for long to me Ever can seem Clear of distaste. Fairest of lips, If they belong to me, Soon become waste. Too many wants God has put into me, Noble and vile, Human, divine. So till life ends It shall bring sin to me - And husks for swine. 431 SOUTH SEAS Softly the ship pushes Over the wide night ocean, Soft her bell rings, The mast-light gleams aloft. The helmsman at his task Steadies her keel's motion. On she sails and on, Soft she sails and soft. Planet and constellation Climb up her shrouds ever, And keep watch after watch Above her, calm, withdrawn. She seems, like all that is, Absolved from all endeavour. Soft she sails and soft, On she sails and on. 4, 2 CHRIST OR MAIAHOMET We came to the Cape as the sun was setting - unto Cape Guardafui, Somaliland's unending sand lay desert dark behind. TI'he crescent moon that is Allah's boon and the Prophet's sign was fretting To silvery foam a few thin clouds its beauty had entwined. We came to the Cape and a star of passion, such as the Magi followed, Hung over it, and the Infinite to star and crescent seemed To murmur: "'Allah' and 'Christ' are names, but empty names ye fashion: I am the Nameless-warring creeds are lies, but lies ye've dreamed." 433 TO STROMBOLI How beautiful from the sea, How beautiful and holy You rise, as if you were a peak Of the gods, engirt with moly! And yet your lava veins but let One little village live Beneath the terror of your brow Where darkly smoke is drifting, now, Down to its villas lowly. How beautiful from the sea, Where high the gulls o'erwander As if upon the strange deep fires Asleep in you to ponder. 434 AT THE WORLD'S HEART And all the isles about you gaze Toward your height -or far To where Sicilia's heart of flame Spells on the sky the Titan's name, Above great Etna yonder. How beautiful, how vast, How linked in ways past knowing To that third fate, Vesuvius, From out whose throat comes flowing, As out of yours, 0 arbitress Of lands that laugh secure, Death's word, when for theThree you choose To say what myriads life shall lose - In awful anguish going. 435 IN A GREEK TEMPLE (During the Balkan Whar, 1912) Between the sea and the mountains, Under the open sky, Blue as of old, 0 Greeks, when you Went forth to bleed and die, It stands, superbly columned, With architrave and frieze That crumble yet speak gloriously Of immortalities. And while to-day there is ringing Over the busy world News of a war which now not Zeus, But a New God has hurled, 436 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 437 While cries that Mitylene Is taken come again, I gaze upon this shrine you reared And think how you were men! Men by the might of beauty, Men by the might of sword, Mlen with the heart and soul to ken Such joys as gods uphoard. Men who could see the perfect That is not taught by pain. o Life, fill up again your cup For such a race to drain! THE HIDDEN FOE There is a foe, Secret and certain, Who hides behind Life's every curtain; Behind each quest And each achieving, Behind all beauty, All believing. And ever ready Is he to thrust His skull-face thro And make all dust. 438 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 4.39 So who would hallow Time's slipping sod, Who still would hearten The world with God, Must shut this foe From all intrusion; This foe, who is- Cold Disillusion. TELEPATHY (le, alone, by the sea) What has become of little Annette Her other name I now forget. The sea recalls her strangely yet. What has become of her brown hair And body slender pure and fair, Given to me without a prayer What has become of her That night I took her all - and loved her quite. Parting I left her strangely white. 440 AT TilE \WORLD'S IIE'ART 44L (She, on the streets) What has become of him -- the first To ask of me what now the worst May have for any coin accursti What has become of him: my name Could he recall if that night came Would he believe who wrought my shame Christ, it was love of him! - I thought That with my body I had bought Bliss for me ever in his thought. THE EXPLORERS (Captain Scott and his comrades) A snow-cairn is their grave, Far in the frozen South. A cross of skis above it, With Christ alone to love it. A snow-cairn is their grave, And never priestly mouth Shall bring it prayer - or holy care, But only wind - the bitter wind And God shall visit there. And see, under the pall - Under the snowy stole - Heroic faces whiling Eternity with smiling. 442 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 443 For so they lie - and all The white peace of the Pole Shall wrap them deep within its sleep Till death no more, wintering o'er, His hoary watch shall keep. TO A BOY (Seen with his mother in a Caft) That is your motiler, bov The woman with wanton eyes And losel lips, whose laughter slips Passion into men's finger-tips, Till they would clasp her as she sips Her wine there, Circe-wise That is your mother she, Who makes of love a disgrace And of desire a shameful fire To burn in the blood and never tire - Till it is quenched for the old hire That women ever face 444 AT THE WORLD'S HEART 445 That is your mother Ah! And you, do you understand So little you are, a scant thirteen, Have you heard of Helen and Egypt's queen, And, guessing at what such glances mean, Are seared, as with a brand Why then, away . . . and weep' Yet 0, that eyes should shed Such tears, such piteous tears, as those That start from the heart of a child who knows The breast that has nursed him can enclose Unchastities so dread. PAGANS I could not pray if I would to-day, For all the world is given to me In one great joy of wind and June, Heaven and earth and heart in tune. I could not pray, and if God be Other than here I feel and see, Naught proves it, so my bliss is full And wanting is unbelievable. So up the hills, to the hill-tops, I go to see where the world stops, The world that leads my eyes on To the rim of the green horizon. O up the hills where white and dim And hazily far the clouds swim 446 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Upon the leafy marge whence leaps The mind, out into azure deeps - Out into vast infinity, As a diver into the sea! For not a valley to-day could hold My heart shod for the heights! The daisies ringed me around with gold - But I escaped their fairy fold And followed the path with a backward laugh Up, where the hawk alights, On the topmost bough touching the brow Of the bending blue where dreams come true, If the dreamer enough delights! Or if he will listen, wait, and gaze, Till the wind on him, chanting, lays The spell of its aery mights! And high I sit - as infinite As the universe that streams 447 440 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Mysteriously and magically And joyous thro my dreams. So why should I pray if I would to-day, Since all the world is given to me In one great joy of early June - God himself thro the whole a-swoon, As pagan as are we! ARGOSIES Dim thoughts are flitting o'er my heart Like sails over the sea. I know not on what wind they come Or to what quest they flee. I only know they leave behind A void of mystery. I watch them setting phantom forth, I see them catch the breeze. They are like winged things whose ports Are God's eternities. Ere Birth I know them - and past Death Shall sight them, on new seas. 44Q TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION We have taught you bridle and saddle; We have given you room to run; Your steeds are bred Of a hope high-fed That we of our fathers won. To us there are still the stirrups Of days that we have know.-in, But soon you will ride, Side by our side, Bidding us hold our own. The reins of the world you will grapple Out of our curbing hands. You will change our goal, And Time, as a foal, 450 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Will guide with new commands. For so we did in our season, And so your sons shall do, Wherefore we pray, As you break away, But this: ride Vision-true. For not in the New lies peril: We fear no youngest dream That ever was Of Utopias Wrapped in supernal gleam. But know, there is goalless running, A spurring, but for speed, With an intense Low love of sense Blind to the world's soul-need. Mount then a reproachless saddle, We have given you room to run. 451 4,,2 AT THE WORLD'S HEART Your steeds are bred Of a hope high-fed; So see, ere the race be done, That you yield the reins to your children More near to the final goal. And if we cry As you pass us by, Heed not - but achieve the Whole. THE IMMORTAL LURE FIRST PUBLISHED I9I1 --INFINITE PASSION AND PAIN OF FINITE HEARTS THAT YEARN This page in the original text is blank. GIORGIONE CHARACTERS VISHWAMYA . . . A Renowned Ascetic RISHYAS. .. i. His Son, a Young Saint SUNANDI .... An Old Woman of the Court of the Rajah of Anga Koi .... A Young Girl of the Court GIORGIONE SCENE: A work-room of GIORGIONE on the edge of the Lagoon in which lie the Campo Santo and Murano. It is littered with brushes, canvases, casts, etc., and its walls are frescoed indiscrimi- nately with saints and bacchantes, satyrs and Madonnas, on backgrounds religious or wood- land. A door is on the right back; and foliate Gothic windows, in the rear, reveal the magic water with its gliding gondolas. On a support toward the centre of the room is a picture - covered, and not far from it, a couch. Late Afternoon. GIORGIONE, who has been sitting anguished on the couch, rises with determined bitterness. As he does so, BELLINI enters anxiously. 459 GIORGIONE Bellini. Giorgione! Giorgione (turning). It is you Bellini. Your word came to me, In San Lazzario where I labored late, And shakes my troubled heart. You will not do this! Giorgione. Yes' Bellini. How, my son! her picture! as a wanton's! Giorgione. Tho it has been till now my adoration! The fairest of my dreams and the most holy! Yes, by the virtue of all honest women, If such there be in Venice, I swear it shall be borne by ribald hands Thro the very streets. Bellini. iMy son! Giorgione. A public thingl [Points to picture. Fit for the most lascivious! who now Shall gaze on what I had beheld alone, On what was purer to me than the Virgin! The very pimps and panders of the Piazza 46o GIORGIONE Shall if they will whet appetite upon it, And smack their losel lips. Bellini. And to what end Giorgionc. Her shame! Bellini. The deeds of wounded pride and love Work not so, but fall back upon the doer- Or on some other. Giorgione. I care not! Bellini. Nor have, Ever, to heed me! as that Aretino, Who turns your praise to Titian, has told. For your wild will runs ever without curb, And I who reared you, as my very own, Must pay the fall. Giorgione. No! Bellini. And the piety I would have won you to in the past days Is wasted. The Madonnas I painted with a heart inspired of Heaven You paint with pride. 46i GIORGIONE Giorgione. But with all gratitude! Ah yes, believe me, And with a rich remembrance! For scarce oblivion could wipe from me How as a wasted lad I came to Venice - A miserable, patched and pallid waif, With but an eye to see and hand to shape! You took me from the streets and taught me all The old can teach the young, until my name Is high in Venice - Linked with that of Beauty:- "Giorgione! our Giorgione!" do they cry On the canals, the very gondoliers. And in a little while it should have glowed Immortal on the breast of Italy, As does Apelles on the page of Greece, For I was half-divine, until- Bellini. Until A girl whom you had fixed your heart upon With boundless folly, you who should have lived 46 2 GIORGIONE With but one passion - that of brain and brush - Until she Giorgione. Say it! Bellini. This Isotta Giorgione. Ai I Whom I had chosen o'er a hundred others To soar with! To soar and then in wedded peace to prize! This false Isotta Whom in poverty I found, as you found me, and loved to madness. This fair Isotta Whom I would have made All Venice to be a halo for - as were Cities of old for queens of sceptred love: Until she leaves, departs, forsakes me, goes Away, worthless away, from my true arms, With Luzzi, a lank boy. Bellini. So. And most strange. Giorgione. No, nothing a woman does is ever strange! 463 464 GIORGIONE Will they not cloak a lie in innocence, A treachery in veiling soft caresses- Tho to the Mass unceasingly they fare And say like her their aves night and noon Have they a want that wantons not with guile, A tear that is not turgid with deceit Are not their passions blown by every wind Have they not all the straying heart of Helen Then why must I, Who had in me a hope That rivalled Raphael's or Leonardo's, Keep, cozened so, that I contemn her shame Bellini. Because she is a woman -whom you tempted, Tho with all trust to wed her - and you know not Whether her going was of shamelessness. Giorgione (laughing bitterly). Or whether she may not yet return, today, And with a heart that is a nymph's, a soul That is a nun's, Beguile me back to doting GIORGIONE 4165 Whether she may not - With that body God Might once, deceived, have moulded angels after- Then flaunt her thralling of me to the world, Whose ready lips should laugh where'er we went And whisper, " Isotta, there! Giorgione's mis- tress! Who makes a mocking of him" Bellini. Never! never! Only your unrelenting brain would think it. For this I know of her, that tho she has Deserted you for what must seem to be Only a new-found passion - Yet is she womanly, and did you give her, As now you mean, to avid lusting eyes, Life would be smitten from her. Giorgione. As it should! Bellini. And then from you, repentant of her fate No, no, my son, I have not seen you rise, A planet from the sea, the world's first painter, GIORGIONE To set in this: You owe my fathering more. And listen, I have brought to you a way Of laurels for forgetting. I have come With a commission from the Signoria, [Takes it from his breast. Which names you the chief glory of this city And votes you proud permission to adorn San Marco's highest altar with perfection. Giorgione. And which I spurn, an insult in its pity! [Flings it from him. As they shall learn - these silk and velvet Signors, Whose condescending ducats buy the dreams Of the immortal' Or no! . . . I meant not that -to wound a kindness. Bellini. Your ways have ever been the ways of wounding. Giorgione. And to the end must be. (Brokenly) For now my hand 466 GIORGIONE Is palsied! I can never paint again. Colour and shaping light turn in my soul To chaos and to blindness - to despair! The brush I lift, to sterile pain more loth! I yearn and impotence alone arises. That picture has dried beauty's vein within me And left me . . . Ah! . . . She shall atone it' (calls) Gigia! Shameless she is and shall be seen it! - Gigia! - [Bitterly. Aretino, who is the tongue of lewdness, And Titian, who trips to it, may gloat, [GIGIA hobbles in. But they- Bellini. Giorgione! you have sent for them Giorgione (to GIGIA). Whoever seeks my door is bidden -all! Gigia. Yes, Messer Giorgio. Giorgione (as she delays). Go. Gigia. Before I speak Giorgione. Of what 467 468 GIORGIONE Gigia. How can I tell you, if I may Not speak And you should hear. . . (Cross- ing herself) It is the plague. A whisper is about That it has broken out at last in Venice. [GIORGIONE staring at her, trembles and seems slowly stricken - while his eyses fill as with some evil irrecoverable remembrance. Bellini (fearing for him). Giorgione! Giorgione. Oh! . . . and yet nothing . . . a dream That came to me last night -as if from death. Bellini. Then, 0 my son, it is a premonition, A pall against this purpose' that you may Not let these ribald two - Aretino, this poet and depraver, And Titian snared within his pagan senses, Enter and gaze upon.... 0 boy, you will not! Despoil the picture, Scatter it to the seas, GIORGIONE And vow never again to paint another, Tho that would break my heart, but promise me [A knocking interrupts, and a voice without calls lustily: Voice: The gods of paint and passion ever gird us! Where's Messer Giorgione Ho! lo, ho! [GIGIA hurries out. Giorgione (after a pause, calling). Aretino! Aretino. Ai, light of ladies' eyes! And with him a better! Shall we sing for entrance (Begins) - A wench I had, But where is she - A-ho! Old Gigia, is it Then we come apace, [Enters leeringly with TITIAN. Like satyrs to the piping of Adonis! [With irony. A health to you, 0 heaven-born of Venice! [To BELLINI. 469 GIORGIONE And to you, glorious dauber of Madonnasl But, bah! the smell of melancholy! Come, What is it The tale is out about the maid And therefore tears [Laughs. Well, by the lids of Venus, Giorgio, It serves you well - or Eve was not a woman! There were too many ripe for your assay. Why, I believe that every damsel's lips On the lagoons were pinched with longing for you! Titian. Or enough, at least, to send spleen. Giorgio, Into my eyes. Giorgione. They will no more, Titian. Aretino. In sooth for since one wench in all the world Prefers another, he will play the monk! Since she, the amorous sun-kissed Isotta, Had charms too fair for one to satisfy! And yet - to choose this Luzzi, This swaddling acolyte of Innocence, 470 GIORGIONE For her new light-o'-love! to choose him out, When, for a whiff, she might have had my arms -- [GIORGIONE quivers. 0, Titian, by the gods! Bellini. Aretino! Giorgione. Stay, let him speak, my master, as he wills. Aretino. I say then, Seraph, of your amorosa, That she deceived me - That I thought her dreams Were chaster than the moon, or by my beard, Which is not born, I should have tricked her senses Away from you . . if lies and treachery And tempting honeyed verses could have done it! For an Elysium like her warm round body I never looked upon. Bellini. Aretino! Giorgione. Peace! he shall speak! for this is what should be. Aretino. Ai, Messer Bellini, and your age for- gets 47TI 42(ORGIONE That he is well consoled with the dear thought That her first joy was his. Bellini. Ah! A retino. And that vision-! Why, I have peeped upon her face, no farther. But to have seen the beauty he has seen, The Aphrodite-dream of loveliness, I would have dared virginity's last door. Giorgione. Then you shall see it. Bellini. Ay sol! Giorgione. Yes, tho I die' Aretino. How, what is this Giorgione (going to picture). Aretino, Titian - You are here, tho there is less than love between us: For, pardon, if I say that you sometimes Have loathed my triumphs. Titian. That is so, Giorgione. But with the brush I yet shall equal them. Giorgione. You shall surpass them. For my last is done. Titian. Come, do you jest 4712 GIORGIONE Giorgione. My last, and it is there! [Points to picture. There that you two whose tongues have been so busy About the streets with laughing and innuendo, From ear to ear with jest and utter joy- You, Titian, a sycophant of Fame, And you, Aretino, who incarnate lust, AMay know that Giorgione is above you. You coveted Isotta with your eyes, Now you shall have her as shall all the world! [Flings the curtain back from the picture then sinks to the couch. As they, gaze on the unclothed form, BELLINI turns away, when he sees ISOTTA enter. She is pale and ill, but moves smilingly down toward GIORGIONE, till happening to see the picture, she gives a deep cry. GIORGIONE, springing to his feet, dazedly beholds her. Bellini (speechless till he sees ISOTTA'S pallor) 4i;1 GIORGIONE Isotta! you are ill! . . . . 0 would my breath Had never lasted to this evil hour -! Shall I not bring the leech (when she does not answer; to GIORGION-E) This price has pride! [He goes: then ARETINO and TITIAN. The curtain falls back. Isotta (whose eyes have closed). The flesh of women is their fate forever' My poor, poor body' all I had to give So desecrated. Giorgione (hoarsely). Why have you come here Isotta. To see Messer Giorgione - who is brave. [Smiles as one shattered. To hear Messer Giorgione - who is gentle And honourable to women who are weak. To -heal Messer Giorgione -then to dieI Giorgione. Rather to kill' Isotta. Why, it may be. If love Still leads me, it were best that it be slain. Giorgione. The love of a wanton Isotta (slowly). Who beholds her body 4,74 GIORGIONE Given . . . to unabated eyes - yet lives I think it must be so. Giorgione. Alluring lies! Out of pale lips of treachery but lies! You have returned to me, whom you have cursed With craving for you, With an immortal love, Because this lisping Luzzi, With whom you fled, weary of falsity, Has cast you off. Isotta (gently). Kind Luzzi! Giorgione. Ah! and blind Not knowing that you now are here again, Where you disrobed to my adoring soul, But thinking that you wait him with fair eyes Of fond expectancy-as once for me! Believing that your breath is beating only With ecstasy for him! Isotta. He is-but Luzzi! Giorgione. And I but Giorgione, smiling quean! [She turns paler. 475 476 GIORGIONE But Giorgione, a vassal to your sway Back to your orgies' and may Venus, goddess Of black adulteries, but not of love, Be with them! May your blood, that I believed Vestal to all but me, run vile with passions As any nymph's of Bacchus! May your body, That I have painted here, be to all time An image of soul-cheating chastity' [His words have struck her down - and over- whelm him. 0, I am lost, lost, lost forevermore. [Falls into a seat. Isotta (at length, from the couch, gathering strength). No, I have come for saving, Giorgione. Now I can speak - but there is little time, (Strangely) For Night is coming. Giorgione (startled to questioning). Isotta Isotta. The still Night, With Death's dark Gondola to waft me o'er. [Then as he realizes. GIORGIONE 47 7 Nay, stay, stay! leave me not. There is no help. For it must be. . . A voice Beyond has said it. And ere I drift out on the darkening ebb Giorgione. Isotta! Isotta. Peace must be Giorgione's too. Giorgione. Speak - yet it cannot be - my heart is dead. Isotta. Then it shall rise again.-O Giorgione, My lover once and lord, could you believe, Even tho I went away from you and with Another, that unchastity could touch This body which had been holy to you Giorgione. Isotta! Isotta. It is true that I deceived you, [With mystic fervor. True that I went away from you and wed Another Giorgione. Ah! Isotta. And yet it was not Luzzi! [As he gazes. GIORGIONE Do you not know you who so oft have told On saintly walls the Magdalen's sad tears Sin, sin had seized me. Sin with you to whom I gave my body and soul unboundedly. We revelled in unwedded ecstasy, Laughed in our love over the starred lagoons. Sang till the lute was like a thing that lived, Danced happy as the fauns and nereids That oft you told me of - And clasped and kissed, O kissed - until I knew that but one way Was left to save my soul, Giorgione, one - To wed me with the vows and veil to Christ. [Gazes at a crucifix Giorgione. Isotta! Isotta. I am His! I fled to Him! The Convent opened its grey arms to take me, Santa Cecilia of the Healing Heart, And Luzzi kindly led me to its door - That you might so be foiled of following. 478 GIORGIONE And with long vigils, fasts and penances And prayers I sought oblivion of your face. Until this illness strangely fell upon me. I could not die until you, shriven too . . . Giorgione. Isotta! My Isotta! [Falls penitent before her, weeping. Isotta (her heart eased). Peace, at last. Giorgione (rising). Ah yes! and I am viler than the vilest ! For who remembers not that purity Is priceless, ends impoverished of honour. And yet . . . there is no wrong irreparable! And you must live tho all the angels die - Live and be loosed from vows too vainly breathed, That wedded we may win again delight! Still I am Giorgione, and the sin That we have sinned shall be painted away With holy pictures . . . Isotta. Only the dead are holy, Or they who die, tho living, to the world. [Sees the picture. 4 79 GIORGIONE And eyes have looked upon me - Hot eyes that burn my body up with shame. Farewell, the tide will cool me, the lone wave That washes in from Lido to my grave. [Looks toward the Campo Santo. Giorgione. Isotta! Isotta (fainter). Night, the Night! . . . Giorgione. 0 stay! Isotta (in a fixed vision) It comes, The Gondola' (as if to an unseen Presence) Row on, row on. [She dies. He sinks beside her stricken and still. GIGIA enters. Gigia. Messer Giorgione, one has come to say [Sees them, goes near and lifts ISOTTA'S hand. Then, dropping it with terror. The plague! the plague! Ah! Giorgione (rising). Woman, is it true (GIGIA fees. 4,8O GIORGIONE 48r (ifortally moved) Isotta, this kiss then of all the kisses That I have slain thee with . . . will God forgive. [He kneels and presses his lips fervently to hers. CURTAIN This page in the original text is blank. ARDUIN CHARACTERS ARDUIN (of Protence) An Alchemist ION . . . . . .His Nephew RHASIS . I . An Arab, his attendant and assistani MYRPRA . . . . A Greek Girl ARDUIN TImE: The Fifteenth Century. PLACE: Egypt. SCENE: The laboratory of ARDUIN in a house on Nile opposite Cairo. It is a large room on the walls of which mystic figures of the Hermetic philosophy are drawn, together with the zodiac and other astronomical signs; and many strange objects, animal and mineral, are to be seen placed about. In the rear centre is a large sarcophagus. On either side broad window openings reveal the Egyp- tian night, and one frames the moonlit Sphinx andPyramids. Toward the right front is afurnace with alembics, retorts, etc.; right and left are doors, and on the left and back another alcove before which hang curtains. Lamps burn. 48-; ARDUIN RHASTS, who is busy about the furnace, in a troubled manner, lifts a skull and is gazing at it, when ION enters suddenly and stops, pale with purpose. Ion. Rhasis -- Rhasis (starting and looking round). Young master Ion' what is this [Drops the skull. Why have you left the city and come here Are you aware what hour you have chosen Ion. That of his dreams. I learned today: yet came. Rhasis. And wherefore Ion. To restrain calamity, Which must await his reasonless belief - And to regain his love that I have lost. Rhasis. And have not pondered what calamity Would fall on you Who would not learn his Art, But from its heritage to penury turned, If here and now he saw you at this hour 486 ARDUIN When he believes that he shall raise the dead Ion. His curse; for he would think me come to thwart him, And that I had forgot whatever wrong, Unexpiated still, my father did him; [Looks at sarcophagus. And yet I will not go, for I have purposed - And you tonight shall help me - (pauses) Rhasis. Unto what Ion. Forgiveness of my disobedience- That may be won from him with Myrrha's face. Rhasis. MNyrrha's' Ion. Which can alone of earthly sights, If what you tell Of his dead wife be true: And well you know it is!-He must behold her- And hear our pleading. Rhasis. At an hour like this! Ion. Let her be placed yonder within those curtains, 487 48S ARDUIN While he is mingling here his mysteries, And when he- Rhasis. By the Prophet who is Allah's, [AMyrrha appears thro door. Myrrha! within this chamber! and tonight! Is there no heed in youth or hesitation, But only hurrying want' Do you not know He is without there, at this moment, saying Unto the seven planets in their spheres, The seven incantations against death And that he-- Ion. I know only he must see her. Rhasis. And of all nights in the world, only tonight! Myrrha. No, Ion' let us go. I fear this place, Its strangeness and that still sarcophagus Appal me. Ion. And make you forget our love, And the long bridal-hope of it deferred Rhasis. Young master, she does not, in pen- ury too! But pleas tonight would ope no nuptial way. Better than you I know it is not wise. For ten years is it I have dwelt with him While he has sought in vain this great Elixir. Ten passings of the pilgrims off to Mecca His wife has lain in that sarcophagus, Embalmed and waiting, as he thinks, to rise. And now, this hour, he hopes that it shall be. Ion. And should it, will he not the more forgive me Or should it not, then seeing Myrrha's face, Myrrha whom you have said is so much like her, Will he not- Myrria. Ion, Ion! no! -I fear! So fond his grief is and unfaceable! Let us return again unto the city And to my kindred who will hold us dear. [Starting. Listen, is it not he (Rhasis goes to window) Take me away! 489 ARDUIN Ion. And have him at the breaking of his dream With none near - and our love's desire be lost Mvrrha. It will not: let us wait another time! Ion. Than this when most your face would deeply move him 1 cannot, and 'twould shame me! for you know How dear to him Is his dead wife who lies there, [Takes her hand. And know our severed days! And shall we bend the knee to cowardice, Which ever has a premonition ready, When vou who are so like her might tonight- tShe starts back, for RnAsIs, exclaiming, leaves the window. Rhasis. He comes. Ion. Now Rhasis. Go: or take this on yourselves. Ion. Upon me be it! Yea, upon me, Myrrha, For now there is no rest Until his pardon weds us - and I pay him. 4(0 ARDITIN ARDUIN Rhasis. Then but a word remains, young mas- ter, more: To tell you - that I fear - lest thro long toil, Hlis mind. Alyrrha. Oh (recoils) Ion. It is not true! . . . No Myrrha! no! [Takes her in his arms. And is ingratitude I scorn to heed. [Turns away. Come then and by your beauty's likeness win him. [He leads her behind the curtains then goes, door left. A moment, which leaves RHAsis distraught, and ARDUIN enters. He pauses, as if at some presence; then, gauzing on the sarcophagus, shudders with hope and comes down. Arduin. The night at last when I again shall clasp her And banish death to biers beyond the stars! Rhasis (kneeling). Master! 4gr Arduin. Rise up and never kneel again! For from henceforth I shall be lord of life, The secret of the phoenix in my hand. [Lifts an alembic. Gray have I grown in quest of it and old, Youthless and as a leper to delight, But it has come at last - at last has come! [Sets vessel down. Rhasis. And I rejoice, master, for I have toiled With you these many years - but is it sure Arduin. As the moon is in heaven! as the skies! [In an ecstasy. For last night I beheld In dreams deeper than day how it must be. I saw a tomb far-hidden in the earth And Life within it Mixing salt and sulphur - Twin elements Of the great trinity. ARDUIN 492 ARDUIN I saw her hands pour out quick mercury Upon a bat's wing wrought with hieroglyphics, And then I saw her cast in gold and silver That melted with strange voice and sudden flame, The while she gazed on me most meaningly. And then . . . when all was done. [T ze vision consuming him. My wife, my Rhea, lit with loveliness And as a spirit clad with resurrection, Rose up within my dream . . fair, young and glad! . . . Rhasis. But, master . . . are dreams true Arduin. Such dreams as these [Kindling. Rhasis. Pardon! I know not -only that you say Some come of Ophiuchus - The demon you have warned me of -who oft With thwarting laugh has struck the secret from you. . Many before have followed the mirage 493 Of dreams -but to more thirst: trust not too much! Arduin. But fear fear you are falling from me too Like Ion the son of him who . . . you you too At the prime moment Rhasis. No, my master, no! But I would spare you pain unbearable. Arduin. Ha! and believe -you do -that all wise men Of all the world could so have been deceived Believe - do, do - that she cannot arise Did not great Hermes say of the Elixir It should be found - And did not Polydos, The Greek, chancing upon it, raise his friends In battle slain . . . Did not the Jew of Galilee, the Christ, Whom even you name Prophet, likewise win it [Peocelessly. AR)UI N 494 Speak! Rhasis. Master, yes! . . . But 0! trust not too much. Wiser, I know, than all Arabia Are you - like to hMahomet - were it not That you have set within your heart a woman. But if, perchance, the Elixir does not prove Arduin. Availing Have not all things pointed to it The day she died Did I not hear a voice That breathed into my brain she should arise And as I waited did a book of wisdom Not chance into my hands to show the way Were the first words I read not, In ten years The miracle shall come - Revealed to you within the land of the Sphinx Rhasis. So read it, so! But -- Arduin. Is this not that land Are not those stones the pyramids that thro The ages have stood waiting for this hour-- 495S ARDUI N When I shall bring her back, 0 unto breath Is not that face the Sphinx, Whose timeless and intemperable meaning No man has read in desert, star, or sea, But which must be the secret I unsphere Rhasis. 0 master' Arduin. Fail, fail, fail now to restore her Who died as you shall know. here ere she rises, Because my brother - aieh' the father of Ion - Who bore as well that name - Desiring her, vilely accused her Mlfvrrha (involuntarily, behind curtains). Oh! Arduin (bewildered). Who spoke It was her voice [Runs to sarcophagus. Rhasis. N o, master, no! Arduin (slowly returning). Fail, fail to bring her fairness from the tomb! Her face which can alone sow finitude's Fell desolation with enverdured dreams And fill the ways of the world again with hope 40( ARDUIN I tell you she eternal must arise - Tho God die for it' [Begins to gird himnself. Must! . . . and the hour is now! - Venus is in the house of ready Taurus, The moon is full, and as I toiled today, [Goes to furnace. From the alembic a strange cloud arose, And once again her face! . . . Prepare! pre- pare! Rhasis. I will do all you say. But, master, if A rduin (imnzitigably). No death-word more of doubt. It is the power W\hich holds us futile from omnipotence. 'Mete out the sulphur Into the alembic Of Cleopatra's crystal.-I must see her! [Rhasis hastens. See her again, my Rhea, as she was, When plucking first the poppies of Provence! And hear flow from her ARDU IN- 41) 7 498 ARDUIN Words sweeter than Memnon's in the wind of dawn! Here's gold and silver (hands them). She shall rise and say: "Years pale you, pale your brow, my Arduin, And touch to gray the treasure of your hair, But not Antinous could be so fair To me - or wonderful: For you have brought me from the cold tomb to life ! The bat's wing then' And to the sarcophagus To lift its lid! for I will wait no longer -- [Takes alembic, as Rhasis obeys, and continues invokingly: But now, vial of immortality' By the presaging of the seven planets, And by the searchless sources of the Nile, And by the prayers of Christian and of Heathen, And by the elements earth, air and fire, That hold within their intermingled veins The secret of illimitable life - By fate and time and God - I here conjure you Bring forth the Elixir which shall make her rise! [lIe pours the ingredients, and quickly fumes arise. They clear and a liquid is seen in the bottom of the glass. With a cry he starts toward the sarcophagus, wshen Myrrha's face - w-hich, excited, has parted the curtains - stops him enspelled. Rhasis, unnerved, quits the room - leaving them agaze. A rduin (at length, as if to a spirit). I do not dream . . . you have arisen Rhea! [Starting toward her. Arisen ere I touched you - 0 fear not' For I am Arduin! do you not know me [She trembles speechless. 0 wonderful awaking! 0 . . . at last! Tho yet the memory of the tomb is on you! This land is Egypt, whither in my grief I brought you, my dead bride! Look on me! see! [Stops quickly. ARDUIN- 499 But no, not yet! until my youth comes back, As now it will, Over the sea from France! Already passion lifts away the years That weight its wings and I am as I was, Now gaze upon me, now' Is it not I Alyrrha. Sir-! Arduin. Sir' 0 quickly see. For to my breast Again has striving brought you, to my bosom! The bitter nights are ended - the blind pits Sleepless and infinite. Awake! stare not So strangely! press your lips in praise to mine, Your breast upon my breast! . . . Delay you still Myrrha. 0 sir - Arduin. See, see! the years have been too long. [Clasps her, dropping alembic. My arms have waited an infinitude. [She struggles. Do you not now remember with my lips ARDUIN- 5 0-1 To yours, the brimming beauty of our youth Alyrrha. Release me! Arduin. Awake and know me! It is I! Your lover Arduin whom once you wooed: Whose every word was to you as a wind o: God' whose every kiss. . . Do you not see MIyrrha. No, no! I'm not your love - Arduin. Not - You uprisen Flas the tomb treachery to change the soul Ye skies, must I go mad now at this moment When I have brought her back from destiny Not mine. Awake! Oblivion enthralls you. [Suddenly starling from her. Or is it that there in the grave, another- Al Arrha. No, no: but- Arduin. Ha, then! if not -if it be not- Is it that here returned you wish another You who so gaze upon my goaded brow 50I ARDUIN ARDUIN And face grown old with toil to conquer death o youth ruthless to age' e'en tho its furrows Were got for your delight' -Ingratitude! - Have I so hungered thro long years to pluck A flower of Hell back to the light! . . . No ! It cannot be' . . . You shall be mine! Myrrha (in terror). Sir, Arduin. Mad will I be, as they have tho mad In holding that which I have given life. Myrrha. But you mistake! . . . I what you think. Hear me, for I love one who Arduin. Is No, sir! ught me, am not not - I [A s to invisible judges. You hear her say it Myrrha. 0, I love but Ion, Your - Arduin. Ion, my brother' Then, God! it was true, 502 ARDUIN- And being true thy Heaven is but a brothel! She was unfaithful to me, as he said' And in the other world has met and clasped him! Mlyrrha. No, let me speak' Arduin. And spurn me more with it Shall I abide mockery like a mummy! hIa-ha' (A laugh that racks him.) Years but to hear her say that she loves him! To see her come back from the grave, where she Has still embraced him, still - and to my face, On which the rage of sleepless toil is wrought, Tell me. . . . [Pauses. She shall die for it' God, whose stars Are vermin, she shall die! Mvrrha. O! Alrduin (frenziedly). Die, die, die! As trustless women should: until no womb Of lies is left in the world' Die, and be shut Again into the curst sarcophagus From whence I brought her . . . MlIyrrha (in his grasp). Sir! - help! - sir! do not! ..o3 ARDUIN 0, I will love you! Arduin. Liar' and turn from him Whom you betrayed me for-and swear again False love to me Then . . . in the tomb do it! [Begins to choke her. Mvrrha. 0! Arduin. Aieh' cry out to him' will he not help you AMyrrha. Ion' Arduin. That word withering in your throat Shall stale you past all hope of resurrection. [Strangles her - and then looks around. So, it is done. . . . And now, back to your tomb, Which I will bury in the desert sands So deep that not eternity can find it. [Begins to draw her toward sarcophagus. And yet (stopping stricken) all is not well I now could weep. tWith lone anguish. ,504 I know not wherefore - only that my heart Is wounded and seems bleeding o'er the hours That I must live! . . . 0 Rhea! . . . 0, my love! [Strangely, kissing her. Do vou not hear the nightingale that sang The song of our betrothal in Provence It sits upon. [Changing again. Accursed face! accurst! forevermore! Within the tomb lie (dragging her) blind, deaf, motionless, Until - [Looking into the coffin becomes transfixed, while MYRRHA'S limp body slips slowly from his arms. He gazes at her, at his wife, and tries to understand. But can- not, and so, standing long troubled, moans: I am not well; perchance Rhasis will come And tell me what it is that I desired. ARDUIN '50, nod, ARDUIN Men should not toil o'ermuch; there's madness in it. [Then seeing MYRRHA'S face and starting from it wildly: Rhasis ! Rhasis! Rhasis' . . . Oh-oh-oh-oh! [Runs madly of right, as ION and RHASIS enter left. They look around, see MYRRHA and rush to her - with a cry. CURTAIN O-UME'S GODS CHARACTERS O-Umi . ........... A Samurai Girl AMA ... . . . Her Servant, an old woman SANKO ... . . A Y'oung Samurai and A YOUNG JESUIT PRIEST O-UME'S GODS TIMfE: The Sixteenth Century. PLACE: Japan. SCENE: A room in the house of O-UmF in a province near the sea. Its shoji, or sliding paper doors, open in the rear upon a wistaria arbor over- hanging a river, upon which lighted lanterns, sent forth on the night of the Feast of the Dead, are dimly floating; while the moon above gleams upon the pale distant snow-cone of Fujiyama. The room with its deep straw mats and walls delicately portrayed wit/h pine and bamboo has a paper-paned door on the right leading to a garden, and is lighted by andon - one beneath a shrine to Buddha on the left wall, and one to the left centre where O-ULL; and AMA are sitting 5 of O-UME,'S GODS on their heels, constrained, foreboding and verg- ing toward inevitable words. Ama (at length). Down to Oh the dead' Do they not seem On the night air to hover There by the lights Are not their spirits present The lights lit for them the sea! the sea! [0-UMi is silent. All our ancestors are they' Fathers and mothers Of many lives back! They hear us speaking, They hear from the Buddha-shrine There on the wall. They see us thinking. [MAeaningly. They see in our hearts! O-Uma (who trembles). Be silent! silent! 510 0-UME:'S GODS 5'' Ama (bowing but continuing). They know if we care for them - Know as the wind That visits all shoji, Know as the night That searches all places. Alas for the son Who does not honor them! And for the daughter Who does not cherish them! They shall-- O-Umt. Be silent! (A pause. Ama. Alas for the daughter! 0- Ume (who rises disturbedly). The lips of the old Are like leaves dying- Leaves of Autumn That ever flutter! [Walks about. Ama. And a girl's mind 512 2J-L.v1r. Is like the dawn mist - Knowing not whither To rest or wander - Until, perchance, It clings to Fuji, To Fuji mountain, Lord of the air' The mind of a girl And what is O-UmC') O-Ume. It is O-Ume's! Ama. Not Sanko's! . . . But were I she, O-Ume the fair, O-Ume the mist Of happy karmas, Sanko should be My Fuji mountain. Him would I cling to, Nor would I hunger To stray far from him kJIJ3 straying! . . . whose Ail fE T -1. . Ig I BLOC-1TL O-Ut:'S GODS With a white priest ! To stray far from him To foreign gods That hang on a cross. [A gain bowing. Is he not strong 0- Ume. Be silent ! [To kerself, troubled. The lips of the old! The lips of the old! Ama. Is he not brave 0- Ume. A samurai is he - One whose sword is his soul. A ma. And should his tongue be Like that of the other, The priest of the pain-god I care not. Is he not kind O-Ume: He is kind. [Immovably. 513 514 O-UMtE'S GODS Ama. Kind! as O-Ume is cruel! O-Um. No, but as men are, Wanting women: Yet not once so was he! For as children We caught together The June-night fire-flies Out by the shrine of j-iso. Ama. And then he loved you, And ever has loved you, And faithful is he! O-U me. Ai, and terrible! Ama. Terrible only Because O-Umr Turns from her fathers And from the gods. She sees their soul-ships Sail to the sea - The lights lit for them, [Aiotions Uwthout. And yet she offers O-UME'S GODS No cakes of welcome - None of farewell! No prayer to Buddha, Lotus-loving, And none to Kwannon Who is all mercy. But inward, inward She turns her eyes To see this stranger, Priest of the Christ-god. Outward, outward, Ever she gazes And ever listens, Ever, for him! . . Oh false, false one! False to the dead - False to Sanko! . . . O-Ume (more distressedly). The words of the old Are like the leaves, [Her voice breaks. Like Autumn leaves 0-UME'S GODS That ever flutter. Ama. And those of the young O-Ume (becoming distraught). Oh will she hush not! Will this servant, Whom my mother Dying left me, Waste my heart so [TWeeps in her sleeve. Sanko I fear, And fears of many Worlds crowd round me - Many karmas Of pain and passion, Births and rebirths. Ama. And 'tis because This evil priest Stands in the door of your heart. O-Umn. Will you revile himl! Ama. Cursed be he! O-Umt. Ama! S rf O-UMIE'S GODS ' 1 7 Ama. I pray it! [Rises slowly. And curst he shall be. [O-Ume stares trembling. For, 0 blind one, By him blinded, Do you not know The people have heard How he has bid you Cast away from you The gods of your house The blessed Buddha And all the tablets Kept, ancestral Ai, they have heard And tonight have risen! This night of the dead They have gone forth, With Sanko to lead them - Gone to tear down The house of the priest! O-UME'S GODS Gone to destroy The image he worships! Gone to 0- Ume (stricken). Ama! [Shrinks from her and then speaks wanly. Never is there Trust in any Only faith that fades This was known - But kept from me, Kept in silence, Kept for Sanko O lord Buddha, Thou, or Christ, Is there peril [Turns on her. You have done ill! Ama. I have done well. O-Um-. Ill' and ill shall come to youl For do you think So to prevent me sz l 8 O-UMt'S GODS From my fate-way No, I will find it! The Buddha and all The tablets ancestral Will I take down from the wall, And from me cast them Into the river. . . They shall float down to the sea. [Turns and goes to shrine. Ama. O-Um6! O-Urmn! [Catching at her kimono. The gods forsaken Will pardon never! The gods - and the people! You will become Eta, an outcast, From them driven away. O-Umr! [The girl takes the shrine. Remember your father Dead, and your mother. 11UI9 2-UME'S GODS They are hovering Rounrd your fingers, Faint, offended! WNill you pause not [When O-Ume continues. Ah for Sanko! for Sanko' [Runs calling to door. Sanko! Sanko! [O-Ume stops motionless. Sanko! O-Ume (after a pause). He waits then there A Voice (without). Ama' (nearer) Ama! . . . [SANKO enters from the garden, dishevelled and breathless, but controlled. As he does so O-UmP, drops the shrine and the image falls out. Sanko. O-Umrn! O-Ume! [Ama goes quickly out. O-Ume (again motionless). Honourable friend! tWith polished anger. You dwell in my garden ,520 0-UME'S GODS And is my house Even as your house Sanko. Be pleased to pardon! . . . O-Ume. And you conspire here With Ama against me Sanko. O-Ume knows The samurai's honour. O-Ume. O-Ume thought so, But does no longer! Sanko. Ah the plum-blossom! Then it too Has thorns and poison O-Ume. Yes, for the hand of Sanko! Knowing the deed From whence he comes. Knowing that . . . [Breaks of, tensely. Where is the priest's house Sanko (angrily). Cast in the riverl O-Ume. Ai, for I see The blood on your hand 5 2 O-UME'S GODS From the torn rafters! Red, red blood Of a deed of fury. So I tell you, Samurai rude, Not for one life, Even for one, Will I be yours. Please . . . to leave me. [He looks at his hand and is going. And yet . . . (as he stops) . not thus! [She struggles. The priest would bid me Bind up your wound. And you were once Sanko my friend! - Put forth your hand! [He does so. The blood -- Sanko (with sudden fierceness). The blood is his! [As she falls back with a cry. 52.2 0-UME S GODS His! I have slain him! [Mockingly. And did his ghost Not come here flitting Coldly flitting Here with moaning Does it not hang Upon the roof-tree Hungering for you He lay in the dark - One lay with him -- One who escaped to the river. But him I slew That you might never Turn from the Buddha And from your fathers; Turn dishonoured Of all who greet you. O-Ume (speech coming at last) Ah' A-hi' Slain! . It cannot be! 5 23 O524 0UME'S GODS Sanko (drawing a bloody sword). And is this wet with dew O-Ume. 0 let it pierce Your own heart, samurai! For you shall never Again know peace. I will pray to The lord of Nippon, To the Shogun - Who gave entrance Here to the Christ-priest; Nay, I will die Myself that ever You may be hated By your own heart. [Starts toward river. I will cast Myself to the soul-world And bid the dead To bring you evil! Then the priest shall. . 5 24 -UNIE'S GODS 5 25 [Breaks of -for standing in the arbour is the priest, pale and spectral. le has come up to the steps from the river. At the sight SANKO plucks her back, as if from a ghost. A pause, then the priest speaks sacro- sanctly. The Priest. The Christ looks on you, [Lifts a crucifix. You, a murderer - Tho it is not I you have murdered. [SANKO gazes. One slept with me, A gentle servant, Slept in my cloak . . . you have slain him. [Steps forward. The Christ looks on you. He will forgive you. [A pause. Sanko (recovering). Priest! GI,-UME'S GODS The Priest. Forgive you. JHolds crucifix toward him. Sanko. By the eight million Gods, he mocks me' [Dashes it to floor. And shall perish Or go from this village! The Priest. Aye . . . but only When goes this maiden Whom you would hold Still to her idols. She must follow The Cross of Heaven. Sanko. She shall follow O priest, but me. The Priest. Murderer, pause! . There is a Hell Where the lost burn Even as say your sutras. [Sanko lifts his sword. Pause' and strike not' 5 z6 O-UME'S GcO)S 527 The smitten Christ No longer holds My hands from strife. [Towers over him. O-Ume, I bid you Now cast away The gilded gods you have worshipped. Sanko. And I forbid O-Ume to move. O-UmE (heedless of either). And I, O-Umr, O'er whom you quarrel, And whom you tear Twxixt Christ and Buddha, I, O-Urmn, will end it. [Lifts the BUDDHA from the floor, and the crucifix, over her head. Be all the gods forsaken - Even as these! [Goes to river and casts them in. Then meets their horror with ever increasing passion. Be all! 0-UME'S GODS And be you gone Forevermore! For if again I see your faces, If again They grieve my hours, If again While Fuji stands there - The river shall gulf me, too. I swear it by the dead. [They look at her awed, then go slowly, silently out. She sinks on her heels, hands folded, and stares before her. The lights on the rivser drift on. CURTAIN S5 2S8 THE IMMORTAL LURE CHARACTERS GIORGIONE . . . . A Yoang Painter ARETINO . . . . A Dissolute Poet TITIAN . . . . . Another Painter BELLINI - . . . . The Former Master of Giorgione and Titian GiGIA . . . . . An old woman serving Giorgione and ISOTTA THE IMMORTAL LURE TIME: The antiquity of India. SCENE: Before the hermitage of VISHWAMYA and RISHYAS, in a forest near the Ganges. It is an open space spread udth kusa-grass and over- hung with trees-the hermitage itself being a cell constructed of earth and of hanging roots of the banyan, and having by it an altar before which lies a deer-skin. Glimmering lights and running water penetrate the shades, whose sacredness is soon disturbed by the appearance Of SUNANDI, wantonly compelling KOIL, with alternate harshness and wheedling, to enter with her. 53f THE TNMMORTAL LURE Sunandi (peering about). The place, my jewel- bird! the place for it' Under these boughs of peepul and asoka The young saint dwells With his restraining sire, Singing the Vedas morning, eve and noon, And they are gone somewhither now in the wood To gather fruit for sacrifice, and flowers. [Wlithz a leer. But he, the boy, will soon return, my pretty. Koil (whom she has released). And you have drawn me from the city here To break into his holy breast with passion To dance and sing and seize him I you have taught the wiles of winning men, As the cobra-charmer teaches, Must lure him from his saintly innocence, And with the beauty I was born unto Must tangle him) . . . You, 0 Sunandi, are an evil woman, To lead me to it' 532 THE IMMORTAL LURE Sunandi. And you talk as flies talk! Who know not that the gods sow food or famine. [Hlarshly. I tell you that great Indra of the skies Is wroth with us And will not send us rain, So wisest Brahmins v-ow - Until this boy, here dwelling, This saintly one, is brought unto the Raja! Are we to die because not otherwise Than with alluring now we can appease them [Leering again. And why are women fair, my cunning Koil, But totempt men then, whentheyseek to take us Kohl. Sunandi! Sunandi. It is so, unwitted girl ! Be silent then And do what I command. f[Wheedling again. _. 7 THE IMMORTAL LURE But it will be sweet doing, sweet, my Koil; For the young saint Is fairer than the god-born, His body like warm gold,and lotos-lithe - Made for the wants that tremble in your heart. And when your eyes rest on him they will kindle Like passion-stars. Koii. And burn away his peace- Which is the pearl Of sainthood thro all worlds! Unless his father, strange and terrible, Aind mighty thro austerities - prevents, With curses heavy as a hundred births-t O let us trust it not! So young a saint Should be the holy mate of solitude. I would not have him gaze upon me so, For he is innocent of love, nor ever As yet has looked upon a woman's face. Sunandi. Then may he loathe you if he does not! for Only in woman's faces is there beauty 534 THE IMMORTAL LURE And who beholds not beauty is as dead. [Starts. But ha 'tis he No, only parakeets- Chattering as you chatter, idle girl! Who ever were resistant to my teachings! I tell you chirp no more these chastities! If you come back to the Raja And without him, Know you what then will happen Koil. I know not. [Hears a voice. Nor care not. I will return. Sunandi. Stop, girl. Koil. I will not. All others will I tempt, but Sunandi (holding her). Him will love! fLooks in her eyes as RISIHYAS approaches, chanting. And you were suckled at the breast of fortune T'o be the first so fair a saint shall look on. 535 536 THE IMMORTAL LURE Use well your charms-and chain him with en- chantment. [Sees the girl is enthralled by the voice and goes into wood. R1ISHYAS then enters opposite, laden and singing: Spirit of the risen sun! Now returns the offering-hour. Fruit I bring to you and flower, . Here receive them, 0 great- [Breaks of, at sight oJ her, and the offerings fall slowly Xfrom his arms. Kod (as they gaze long and tremblinglsv. 0 saint, is it peace with you, and is all well And have you roots and fruit enough for food; And have you joy in singing holy Vedas Here in this leafy-hearted hermitage Rishvas. 0 radiant one, yes - all is godly well. But whence are you And whither do you go I have dwelt only here, and not before Have I beheld so fair a vision fall - THE INIMORTAL LURE Even from skies where wing the Apsaras. Kod. I am not fair, 0 son of Vishwamya, [Timidly. But I have come from very far away. Rishyas (quickly). And I have offered you no laving-water For hands and feet, Nor any fruit and herbs! Will you not sit upon this mat of kusa, Or on this skin of the wild antelope, And let me loose your sandals- 0 sweet saint, For saint so bright an one must be! - it will Be dear to touch and tend you' For in this place I have beheld no other - Only my father, Who is old and mighty In meditations he would have me mind. But you are fair as well. Will you not sit KoMl. No, pious one, it is not meet for me To touch the holy water - yet I thank you. Rissivas. Not meet for you 0, unto one who is 5.37 THE IMMORTAL LURE So beautiful, are not all things most meet Better are you, I know, than all the devas. And tho for but a moment I have seen you, I fain would follow The holy vows you follow. lor you I would do all things. When I gaze Upon you all my body is as fire Upon the altar when I sacrifice. Will you not eat or drink Kod. SNot at your hands. But see, 0 holy one, here are rare cakes, Brought with me from afar, and here is soma, Sparkling and ready with divinity To lift whoever drinks of it to joy. Drink you with me! Rishyas. 0 gladly will I; give it. [Takes the flask; drinks deeply. A wine of wonder is it and of wisdom, For now it makes you seem even more fair Than first you were. 0 let me tend about you, 536 THE IMMORTAL LURE 339 And let me wreathe your brow and limbs with flowers. [Takes some and entwines them over her. Kod (trembling). And you are beautiful. So I will weave Flowers upon you too. And see, and see, 0, Rishyas, see, For I will dance to you- The dance of all the dreamers in the world! [Unbinds her body-clot/h and begins to dance - slowly at first then more alluringly, as he follows her, marvelling. Then at length she stops close uip to him and murmurs: Does it not fill your heart, 0 Rishyas, W\ith longing Rishyas. Yes, yes, yes. And with desire, I know not why, to lay my lips to yours! Then life, it seems, would burst all ill that binds it. [Instinctively; clasping her. Oh this is sweeter than all other joys THE IMMORTAL LURE Of holiness that I have ever known. Your voice is like to piping of the koils That play in spring. Koi. And Koil am I named. Rishyas. And what is this I feel for you, 0 wise one In skies from whence you come, what is its name So pure are you that surely you can tell me Koil. 0 holy one, the people call it love. Rishyas. Then is love better than all other bliss My father's meditations ever bring. And I will seek thro all the lapse of lives To hold you thus, And have your arms about me, As vines about the asoka clingingly. Happy am I that you have found me out, And never shall you leave me. Kod. No-for ever! [More passionately. But unto the city you shall go with me And there with Brahmin rites be made my husband. 540 THE INIMORTAL LURE 541 Rishyas. Which is-I know not what-yet will I be Husband and more to you. For now it seems That not the tiger in his jungle-might, N-or any incarnation terrible, Could tear you from me. Kod. Then come quickly, now, And I will be for you a champa-flower, Swung sweetly and forever to your breast. And often will I dance for you and sing And love you, Rishyas, as a deva-queen! Come quickly, one is waiting in the wood To guide us. Rishyas. Yes, 0 yes! (remembering) But stay! my father! First I will tell him I have won this wisdom. Kodl. No, no! Rishvas. Yes! (calls) Father! father! Kod (in terror). Rishyas, no ! But come, come with me quickly. Rishyas (astonished). Do you fear THE IMMORTAL LURE Koil. He is so old! . . . You guess not what you do. Haste, or he will forbid. Rishyas. You know him not. For I will tell him you are a holier saint To guide my steps, Then will he bid me go. Ho! father' ho: Vishwmvainild (heard of). My son, you call I come. Koil. 0, I must flee- Rishyas (dazedi. I do not understand. Kodl. Sunandi' Speak, Sunandi'- Ah, he comes. [VISHWAMYA enters and seeing her stops amazed. SUNA.NDI enters behind unseen. Deep stispense. Riskyas (uncomprehendingly). Do you see, father, I have found one here Holy, and fairer than the Apsaras. And I shall follow her, she is some goddess. For I desire only to be with her, 542 THE IMMORTAL LURE And she has taught me this desire is love. o and I love her, And tho yet I know Not well what miracle love is in me, Yet it is better than this hermitage. For it has made me seem. . .. B so burns you Vislwamya. My son, you are begui] go her hand ut what led. Let That leads you on to ruin. Do you not Behold what manner of creature you so clasp Rishyas. Yes, yes-a deva' Vishwarnva. Deva ! This is a woman, And women like the wind are full of wiles, And tempt saints to abandon Swerga's rest. He who would rule his mind has naught with them. Let go her hand and send her away. Riskiyas (amazed). Away! Never shall she go from me and without me. If women are evil, as you say, she is not, Therefore she is no woman. 546 344 THE IMMORTAL LURE Vishwamva. 0 vain boy! In passion's jungle' Break from her at once! Rishvas. I will not. Her I worship, holily. And she has given me a drink of heaven That has diffused deitv in mv limbs. Visit"anzya. And death, and an eternity of births! - These flowers . . and her feigning have bewitched you! [Seizes them. I tear them off and trample them to earth. Koil. Rishyas' Rishyas' Rishyas. Be not afraid, my Koil; He is my father And he knows you not, For did he, he would clasp you, as I clasp. Or it may be that he is little pleased Because I find you holier than he. 0 father, peace. Control your mind. Farewell. I go with her. Vishwamya. Beguiled boy! you shall not. THE IMMORTAL LURE Thro all these years I have not, from its lair, Unloosed black anger. But this evil one And your desire to follow ways of flesh Compel me. Come, come from her! Rishyas. I will never. Vishwamva. Then must I drag you - and drive her away. [Strikes KOIL. Away, lust-thing! away! Rishvas. Oh, oh! Oh, oh! [In horror. A demon enters into you and dupes you To strike her thus, a holy one. Restrain! Vishwamya. No, tho I slay her! Rishyas. Slay 0 wickedness! [Seizes up wood of sacrifice. Must I beat off your hands - Touch her no more. Vishwamya. Wild-vaunting boy! the drink and this. vile girl Have maddened you. (To Koil) Away! 545 546 THE IMMORTAL LURE Rishyas. Call her not vile! Vishwamya. Viler is she than sin! [Again strikes her. Rishyas (uncontrollably). You do a death-deed. [Falls on him with the weapon and fells him quickly to the ground - then recoils with a cry. The old man strives vainly to rise. Koil. Oh, oh! - what have you done! Vishwamya (mortally hurt). Slain . . . slain his father! And lost enlightenment . . . and peace forever! [After a struggle, terribly. But not to gorge upon the fruit of sin' [Turning on KOIL. The curse of bitter karmas be upon you! May you be born a worm and crawl in slime, A serpent thro ten score of lives, and slough Your skin in hideousness and hate and horror! Koil. Oh, oh! Vishwamya. At every death may you despair THE IMMORTAL LURE 547 Of ever acquiring merit! Rishyas (terrified). Father! Viskwamya (to him). Aye! [His strength failing. For love, blood-guilty boy, such love as she Has slipped into your heart, is the curse of the world, The immortal lure of all the generations! Your arms have ached with it about her body, But know that in the city whence she came All evil men feel in their hearts this ache. And that you may escape from it, know this: Not your arms, yours alone, have been entwined About this poison-flower - but, perchance, [Sinking back. The arms of many. Riskyas (starting painedlv). What is it he means [With emotions he does not understand. Koil, what has he said Kool. 0 let me go! THE IMMORTAL LURE Rishyas. The arms of many that can not be true [Tortured by half-born thoughts. 0, have I fallen into demon-snares Is beauty not the bloom of piety Speak. Koil. I would go! Rishyas. Pain' only darker pain! Kod (at length overwhelmed). I am not holy- nor am I pollution! But only one sent hither - 0, the gods Bid us to sin, then fell us with calamity! [Hurries weeping oQf with SUNNANDI, who has stood in terror. RISHYAS stands dazed, then comprehension dawns upon him and he falls by his father's body in a storm oj anguish. 548 PORZIA FIRST PUBLISHED 1913 To GILBERT MURRAY POET, DRAMATIST, AND MASTER-INTERPRETER OF A GREAT LITERATURE This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE Some years ago while writing " A Night In Avignon" the thought came to me of framing two other plays that should deal respectively with the Renaissance spirit at its height and decadence, as that play had dealt with it at its beginning. For the great hurman upheaval that came intoxi- catingly to Italy during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is so full of Tsthetic con- trast and glamor as to be peculiarly suitable for the doubly exacting purposes of poetic drama. "Giorgione," the second of these plays to be written, was published in i9ii with three other plays in a volume entitled "The Immortal Lure," and like "A Night In Avignon" was received with such kindness as to encourage me to write the third, here presented under the name of " Porzia. 553 This last play, whose period is that of "deca- dent Humanism," or as Symonds prefers to call it, of "The Catholic Reaction," is laid in Naples, where the passions of men, more than freed from the long domination of the Church and the Here- after, seemed to reach in their grasp at this life almost incredible heights and depths of excess. And yet from amid this excess, as from a rank and unweeded garden, were springing into flower many seeds of modern intellectual enfran- chisement, as the achievements of Bruno and his contemporaries witness. I need only add that I have sought to use materials that would be true to the time of this final portrayal, and that I therefore trust it may 'be understood as an organic member of the group to which it belongs. C. Y. R. PREFACE 554 ACT I CHARACTERS Rizzio Di Rossi . A young Leader of the Literati at Naples, suspected of heresy OsIo . . . . . . His Brother PORZIA . . . . . . His Wife ALOSIWS . . . . . 11cr U7ncle, a Physician BIAN-CA . . . . . Hcr Cousin, a Florentine, once. bcetrothcd to Osio GIORDANO BRUNO A young Dominican, also heretical 'MONSIGNOR QUERIO A n OQicer of the Inquisition TASSO .. A Poet MARI.NA . . . . . A Sicilian serving Porzia MIATTEO . . . . . Serving Rizzio, later Osio Dancers from Capri, Musicians, Guards of the Inquisition, etc. TimE - Abuut 1570 PORZIA SC-ENE: A portion of the house, terrace and garden of Rizzio on his wedding-day at Naples. It is so situated as to command a vicw of the city, the blue Bay with Capri set like a topaz in it, the Vesuvian coast, and the .Mfountain itself - ris- ing like a calm though unappeasable monitor against the land's too sensual enchantment. The house, a white corner of which is visible along the right, has large doors toward the back giving upon the terrace. A vine-clad terrace wall, several feet above the level of the terrace, but much above that of the street without, runs across the rear to a cypress-set gate in the centre, and on into the lustrous Spring foliage of ilex, myrtle and orange. A pedestaled image of the Virgin against tIh house, a statue of Pan before a bower opposite, and several stone seats forward, are decked with orange blossoms that glow in the light of late afternoon. Music, reveling, and laughter are heard, muffled, within. Then amid a louder burst of them Osio strides angrily forth. He is followed in argumentative elation by Rizzio - clothed in Greek raiment, a book in his hand - and by Bruno. Osio (as they come down). Proof from the teeth of aliens and fools And infidels that follow their own reason I want no proof ! your books should burn in Hell! Rizzio (gaily). Because they glorify the stars in heaven Osio. I say they are heresy! Rizzio. And I say truth! [Uplifts volume. That were your ears not stopped with sophistries S58 PORZIA And Jesuitry you would adjudge divine! [Tosses it down. Bruno. Ai, Signor Osio, there's no denying! [Porzia appears anxiously at the door. We need but look, To learn that stars are worlds Swung out upon infinitudes of space. And as for earth - Tho Christ shed blood upon it- 'Tis but a pilgrim flame among them all. [Porzia leaves door. Osio (turning upon him). And you, a monk, will say so to the Church And to the Holy Office Bruno (in humorous alarm). God forbid! Osio. And you, Rizzio, who on your wedding- day, Mid rites of Venus And revels to Apollo, Wear pagan robes - and prink others in them- Rizzio. Ho, others! meaning Porzia PoRzrA 55s Oslo. I say - [Mirth within. Ri.zzio (laughing at him). What, what, my merry raging brother, more That Pan is not your god, whom I but now Besought for inward beauty and truth of soul No, no, he is not, by Vesuvius! Osio. I say - Rizio. That Plato and the ancients are A plague which only the Pope can purge from earth [Again laughing. Ai! to the flames with them, and with all fairness! Osio. I say that you - Rizzio. Hey, yea! that I who fall Not on my knees to mitred villainy - Or cringe to crosiered craft - And yet whose life is lit for truth and freedom - Am viler far than you Who take your pleasure and pay it with confession Who think the Devil with faith would be no Devil [Porzia again appears with Bianca. You hear it, Bruno 560 PORZIA PORZTA Osio. I say there is one thing You shall not do! Rizzio. So-ho! my lordly brother, Mly breaker of betrothals - if not creeds - And that is what Osio. I will protect her from it! Rizzio. Her Osio. Porzia! from the passion of your lies! [A stonishment. Rizzio (stung, staring). By. . all the saints and fiends and incubi That ever infested night and nunneries! What frenzy now is biting at your brain! [Before him. Is she your wife, so to concern your care [They face, pale. Porzia (who sees, and with Bianca comes quickly, winningly down). Heresy' heresy! truth and heresy! Are there no other words in all the world To pour as wine PORZIA Upon a wedding-day! - Are these your ways, my newly wedded lord, To leave me, an hour's bride, away from home - From my dear uncle's home - With but a friend or two for comforting- And bandy words of other stars than those You swear to see when gazing in my eyes! Rizzio (responsively). Mly Porzia! Porzia. No, no! I'll not forgive you! For is it not ill boding to our bridals You quarrel over the heavens - and not me! [As he laughs. My beauty, he says, this husband I have taken, Is life - and yet ere 'tis an hour his Forgets to live on it - and Osio, The brother of him,- E'en Osio there - Rizzio (gay again). Who swears he will protect you! [Osio starts. Porzia. Protect ,56 2 Rizzio. Against the heresy of robes Of pagan fashion - and against your husband' [Constraint. Porzia sees Bianca flush. Porzia. I do not understand - unless you jct, As oft - too oft you do! Or mean perchance Bianca . . . unto whom Ile was betrothed And whom he would, this breath, Be wooing again, were I, not words, your bride! [Then winningly again, as Marina enters But see, here is Marina' the dance awaits! [Music is heard. Let us go in and give ourselves to Joy, For Misery is quick enough to take us, If first we do not wed us to her rival! Is it not so Rizzio (with passion). Or sun has never shone! So in! the tarantelle! (as Tasso enters) And then a song From Messer Tasso, who would be divine, [Greets him. rP0RZTA 6,6 PORZT-N Did he love Venus as he fears the Church, Apollo as he shuns the Inquisition! InI - Osio, will you come Osio. I will not. RizZio. Then Dance with your own mad humors and delusions Here to Vesuvius and to the sea,- Or to Bianca plead your pardon! (To the rest) Come! [Seizes blossoms blithely. For in this world there's but one heresy, Denial of the divinity of Joy' [Throws sprays o-rer Porzia, takes hter hand and they go singing. All follow, but Osio and Bianca. Osio (when their steps hae died; in cold rage). You shall hear more of this, my pretty brother! Prater of pagan doubts! Whom - but that God may use it - I would curse For the resemblance that our mother gave us! For, by the living blood of San Gennaro, 564 PORZIA In yon Duomo, the scoffing siren song Of heresy that swells in you shall cease, Tho it shall take the sweat of the rack to hush it! You shall hear more! Biaizca (who has stood long indignant). And others shall hear more! [Her voice breaking, as she turns on him. Others who fix upon me this affront Of broken and humiliate betrothals! [As kle attempts to speak. Yes! you have made of me a thing of shame Here in the eyes Of those who're alien to me! That you have loved me not - or love me less Than once you did, too well I came to know - I - with the blood in me of the Medici! - And now it is open prate! . . But do you think The women of my city want resentment, Or less than these sun-lusting ones of Naples Know how to cool their wrath ,,'. Osio. I think you mad - In a mad maze - And yield it no concern; Nor shall - (meaningly) until a thing you know is done. As to betrothals, give your memory breath: Ours was agreed to end as either willed. [Goesfrom her to gate and looks expectantly out. Bianca (as he returns). And you, weary of it, have utterly Chosen to end it [Sits. Osio. Have I so affirmed Bianca (springing up). I will not have evasions, Osio! Shiftings and turnings Radiant of hopes That torture expectation till it breaks. [Again sitting. And yet - perchance it is as well they come Now . . . while there yet is time for more with- drawals. 566 PORAZIA Osio (starting). More Bianca. For - I fear all trust in you is folly; And that the heresy of Rizzio Which I agreed with you to take unto Monsignor Querio - Osio (clenching). Shall not be taken [She rises. Not! but you leave the brunt to me alone Bianca. You purpose more, I think, than to restrain him. Osio. And you more than abjuring! You would gaze Upon his godless schisms, Upon the naked luring of his lies! Bianca. No! Tho the beauty of them - Osio. Beauty! beauty! [Striking the Pan near him. That wind of infidelity from Hell He blows out of his lips do you call beauty! No! - and he with his poets and philosophers, His Platos PORZIA 567 And star-mad Copernicas, And that Dominican, Giordano Bruno, For whom the stake to flames will yet be lit, Shall learn you are too late in your relenting! Bianca (stricken). Too . . . late! Osio. His heresies shall reap their due. Bianca (death-pale). Which means - that you already have revealed them! Have sent unto Monsignor Querio To-day - Rizzio's wedding-day! - For that It was you sought out Matteo, who, pledged Unto Marina, As were you to me, Has broke his troth . And now, now you await him -0 was not Your promise to me that a week should pend Ere any step Osio. I will not lose my soul, [Turns away. And dallying is the feebleness of fools. 568 rPoRZIA Bianca. And will lies save it - tho they be for Heaven! - To one who nigh has lost her soul for you [When he does not answer, more penetratively. We have been friends, Osio, long been friends, And, woman that I am, I would 'twere more, But in this I suspect - Osio. Enough! we prate! [Rankling, uneasily. I say enough. Bianca. And I say all too little, [Bitterly. Until I tell you now plain to your face, And to your heart Plunging toward this passion, That not alone a hate of heresy Is haunting you to it, but that the lips And eyes and brows and soul of - Osio. Will you cease! Bianca. I tell you that you love her - Porzia! And veer but to the vision of her face! PORTIA 56o Osio (who after strangling silence finds words). If you say that, Bianca, ever again Or if, by all the demons that Avernus Pours out upon the black Phlegraean fields, You hint it or suggest it to her, till - Bianca. Till you achieve her! and have wrapped the rites Of the Church round your achieving Till you have severed her from Rizzio - Have swept her from perdition - Into your swathing arms! I say you shall not! Me you have set aside, but there an end! [Starts toward door. Osio. Stop! whither do you go Bianca. To call them! call! And to betray your treachery - and mine! [Calling. Rizzio! Porzia! Rizzio! Osio. Maledictions' [Seizing her wrists. Will you become a dagger, and not know, Stiletto that you are, what thing you stab! PORZIA 5 70 Bianca. The infatuation festering within you: Till, deaf with the desire of it and dream, You cannot tell their voice from Deity's. [Calls again. Rizzio! Porzia! Tasso! [The music ceases. Rizzio (within; startled). It was Bianca! [Hastening to door with the rest crowding closely after. How what you called what moves you - Osio [Looks around. Was some one here what is it speak! . . . Bianca What burns you Bianca. You shall hear! It must be told. Yes, yes! . . . (Struggling to say it) . . . And with no leavening delay of words. We . . . I. . . You must be gone from here at once; At once - for there is peril. Rizzio. Pah-ho! peril Now, Scylla and the Sibyl and Charybdis! What megrim have you had PORZIA 571 PORZIA Bianca. None - for doubting; Or any, it matters not, if you will go, And quickly, trusting reason - as you boast to; For I have heard - Rizzio. H1ave heard what and from whom [Again looks around. Bianca. There was one here who said Monsignor Querio Knows of your excommunicant delight In books that are forbid - And . . . of your heresies! Porzia (in quick dismay). The Inquisition! You mean - he may be sought by it and seized, Held in the trammels of it for a truth That . . . ! Do you mean, Bianca, Osio, That now, at any hour- . . . Oh, he must go! [Hears noise at gate. And quickly! In, Rizzio, in, for they -! [The gate opens and Matteo entering stops amazed and alarmed. Rizzio (with laughing rclicf). Now, now, do you not see your apprehension! Is Matteo the Inquisition! Is He then the prison that has come to seize me Fie, fie, Bianca, with your fears that mar Again the bridal beauty of this hour, And crowd with quiverings the bliss of it! No more of them! -(to dancers) Hither! and wind your maze! Again take up the dance! Porzia. No, Rizzio, no! For now delight would die under our feet, And we but trample on it' No! Dismiss them Back now to Capri! .More than the woman fear within me warns it. For you have been o'er bold - not vainly, nay, For truth, I know, must dare - but there may be More in this than you think. Rizzio. And ere it rises I cravenly must quench the altar-fires That I attend -and our half-wedded joys PORZTA .573 No! no! More revels! Till we shall utterly uncloud our bliss And leave remembrance not a stain upon it! A song, Tasso, a song! The taunting one that swept us into laughter! How runs it did it not begin with Naples (Recalls it.) Naples sins and Torre pays, (Torre del Greco') Who fears the earthquake all her days! (Torre del Greco!) Who . . .. [Forgets, Who sits beneath Vesuvius And shrives the castaways of us! Naples sins and Torre pays, (Torre del Greco!) On, on with it! Come Porzia! - On, on! Tasso (who has stood shrinking). AS, Signor, no; I fear; I cannot; pray Your pardon. I must go. POR4ZIA 574 PORZIA 575 Rizzio. Go! Tasso. I would not Offend the Church - who is the Bride of Christ. Rizzio (unaffected). Then off with you, un- worthy follower Of Virgil, And of fire-veined Ariosto, - Of singers who have flung their hearts to courage, As yet we shall fling ours! (Tasso goes.) For even Bianca And Osio Must rue now their alarm, And help us back from it to revelry. [As he turns to them, then to all. What, none of you no heart of joy about me Porzia (striving for abandon). Yes, Rizzio! . . . tho I would have you fly; For bodingly I breathe the breath of evil! [With forced lightness. A dance, then! Again weave its delight! [Dancers show cheer. PORZIA For to your want mine is attuned, and what Is music to it shall o'ermaster me! And not alone my feet shall follow, but The Truth you fly to will I wing to attain!- Tho stars seem to my simple sight but candles Upon the altar of God, I'll think them worlds, If to your soul they seem so; and for the rest - [A knock brings consternation, this time to all. The dancers fall to crossing themselves, some kneeling. As they do so the gale is thrown open and Querio enters; lie is followed by several guards. Querio (advancing; amid awe). In the name of the Vicar of God who sits at Rome, And of the Holy Office, I arrest The giver of these pagan rites and revels. [Guards step to Rizzio's side; he stands speechless. Porzia (stunned). Oh, . Oh! Rizzio (hoarsely). And at whose urgence, my lord Prelate, [Starts forward. ,576 I ask you at whose urgence this is done! This deed of churchly duty! . . . Yes, in justice I seek; for there has been Some traitor and perhaps a liar.- Osio Bianca (fiercely) half, half I believe 't was you! [All are appalled. Porzia. No, no, Rizzio! . . . no . . . what are you saying! [RestraininglIy. Will you requite injustice with a worse [To Querio, who is unmoved. Monsignor, this in truth is hunting haste, To search him out Upon his wedding-day, And bind him with the very wreaths of it! Could you not wait an eve, a night, until To-morrow when his nuptials would be o'er! Querio. Who weds two brides is bigamist, Signora. When he divorces heresy accuse me. But now say your farewells, 5 77 PORZIA And with a moment's privacy: that can I grant, that and no more: the rest's with Rome. [Retires to rear - as do all but the two. Porzia (whom dread now begins to overwhelm). My Rizzio! my own! I cannot bear it! 0 why did you not go, delaying till This fate has fallen Now like a pall upon us! I fear! I fear! . . . To be so wedded, ere I am a wife, Here in this city of dark lawless passions! [Unrestrainedly. Ah, can you not recant Deny at once and so - Rizzio: Porzia! Porzia: Nay! And yet to have you leave me - Ere any nuptial night has hung our couch, Ere I have lain beside you in the dark And like Madonna dreamed of motherhood! Ah, ah, I cannot! . ... .57 8 PORZIA Rizzio (with a thought). Then - listen to me. [Osio starts, watching him. I will return to you! Porzia. Return Rizzio. Perchance. It may be. For with florins to the guard -- With friendly gold - May he not be persuaded To bring me hither to you, for an hour At midnight - tho it be but for an hour [They look at each other. Querio (suspiciously, coming down). Enough, Signor; the hour is running late. And there are here, may be, [Sinisterly. Some who are avid now to be at vespers. Porzia (embracing Rizzio). Then go, my lord; farewell, and fear not for me, Since I shall toil only for your release. [He goes, with Querio and guard. Porzia quails, then lets Marina lead her into PORZIA 5 79 PORZIA the house. Aillfollow but Bianca, Osio, and Matteo at gate. Bianra (as the twilight begins, to Osio). Now that you have achieved so much, what more [lie does Pnot answer: she also turns into house. Osio (whomt a turmzoil of passions is tearing). What more . . . God in His Heaven shall de- cide' Doubts have I had -like swine of hell within me - But now He shall decide - If she's to be the mother of heretics Or if I, who acclaim the Creed, shall have her! [Calls. Mlatteo! 1atifeo. Signor - (advancing) here. Osio. You have done well. And from to-night I take you to my service, With wages that shall gild you from a want, And with the benediction of the Church. But there is one thing more: 580 PORZ A Follow Monsignor Querio to the prisor, Then to Signora Porzia return -- And say her husband sent you To bid her be in the bower there at midnight. Alatteo (staring). But Signor, will she come Osio. Say that she is To speak no word - but keep to silence: go. [With fixed face, when the latch clicks behind him. God shall decide, . . . For if she does not know MIy arms from his, then, it shall be a sign That to them and my bed . . . she was predes- tined. [Tki dark grows. He turns soon to go, and the curtain falls. . . . But rises again at once and it is midnight; with only dim lights from the silent, sleeping city. As it does so Porzia With Harina comes out of the house. Theey pause and listen, AMarina half-anxiously. 582 PORZIA Porzia (drawing free). Return and have no fear, he soon will come, And bade me be alone there in the bower. The night is like a spell to draw him to me. Marina. Signora-! Porzia. Like a spell of living love. [Crosses over, as one in a dream, and enters the bower. Marina goes, the gate opens, and Osio silently enters, coming down into the bower amorously. A long si- lence . . . then slowly the Curtain. ACT II This page in the original text is blank. A YEAR HAS ELAPSED SCENE: A sala, or hall, in the house of Rizzio. Its spacious walls and ceiling are frescoed with 1'ir- gilian scenes of a simpler and more beautiful kind than was usual to the decaying art of the period, and its high-arched open doors in the rear look out upon the terrace of Act 1, toward the city, the Bay, Vesusius - the whole zagic curve of the hauinting coast. Several antique terminal-statues, the bodies of which end strangely in their pedestals, stand on either side these doors, and about the hall a Venus and other rare objects of virtu recovered from the past are mingled with the furnishings of the room, which, arranged for joy and beauty, seems some- how sad when unoccupied, as now, tho the Nea- politan sun is shining brightly infrom the blue. .585 PORZTA An arrased doorway right leads thro a pas- sage to the street gate, and one left to the pene- tralia of the house, from which Marina enters deeply troubled. She looks back, shakes her head, saying, "O my poor lady!" then crosses to door right, listens, and hearing nothing goes slowly to door rear, where she waits, singing sadly: Shepherds down the mountain wind, Wild pipes play in the street. O Sicily, my Sicily, I long for thee, my Sweet! Once a year God takes his joy, And that great joy is Spring, He weds earth clad in blossom-robes, For His enrapturing! [She stops, listening, then resumes: Once a year God takes his joy, And that - 586 PORZIA [She stops again hearing sounds at the gate, then is startled to pale- ness by the voice of Matteo; and as she listens a stern strong determination takes her. Matteo. Basta! am I to pass! son of a dog! Snout of a swine! knave! door-bestriding fool! Have I not matters to her from my master, To the Signora, from her husband's brother [A scuffle. The Devil's scullion feed you On flame, until your liver shrivels black! [He has pushed past and enters the Hall insolently. O-hM! who 's here! I come from Signor Osio! [Sees Marina. The little Sicilian Luck then is my slave! [Going to her. Well, pretty fig! my little red pomegranate! My fair forbidden fruit - pluckt in the moon! I've come . . . (stopped by her mien) But, PORZIA Blood of the Holy Sepulchre! Looks around uncertainly. What thing has happened here larina. That, Matteo, [Speaks solemnly. Which yet I do not know, and which I pray Madonna you may be as ignorant of. Matteo. Eh . . . I, my beauty Marina. You - who left this house A year ago to-night with Signor Osio, Left suddenly, To serve his wealth and pleasure, And who will leave it now as instantly, If he is not in need -of absolution. Mat/co. Of . . . (starting) absolution Body, now, of Bacchus! Does he not go to the Mass -and if he does not Am I a priest To know his need of purging Or if lie sins must I be damned with him Marina. No, so the way from it - Mattco. The way! the way! I want no way, but in unto your mistress. Am I not sent here to her with commands Ecco! and must I turn with them upon me, And say a wench denied me Or that I feared Perchance to catch the fever Of heresy your master's shackled with Pah, but you jest, my ruby rose of Aetna - [Insinuatingly. Whom yet I will not say but I will wed, Tho you are from that Paynim-breeding isle Of Sicily. You jest: so, in with you. I seek your lady. Marina. Seek . . . and shall find more M1atteo. More! (Struck by her tone.) And from what and whom Marina. I wait Aloysius, The leech. Malieo. Aind that is what I am to fear PORZTA 589 PORZIA Marina. The child Matteo (starting). Marina. is ill. The child! My lady's child. [lith tenser solemnity. For there has come of late into her mind A dread that has dried life within her breasts. Matteo (who pales). And am I God, woman, to keep dread from her Marina. Tending to it a strangeness comes upon her, And with the sudden seizure of it, fear - Shudders of horror, instincts of some evil That she somehow has suffered, or committed - [Pauses Matteo (paler). What do you mean! Marina. As one within a trance. Matteo. And do you mean- Marina. A mood seizes her flesh That creeps against her will whene'er unto her The little one is pressed. Matteo (trembling). This is a lie! 590 Marina. She cannot look upon it, but with terror, That brings remorse Awakening more terror' The blight of heresy, she strives to think Of her lord's heresy is sent upon her, Or of her own refusal, it may be, To wed the Convent, not the carnal world. Matteo. To you she said this Marina. Ah! and Madonna! her sleep! She walks with eyes wide open. Matteo. I say you lie. You do! as if Eternity were not,- [Seizes her wrist. To frighten me and Signor Osio! Marina (coldly, stingingly). And yet you under- stand ha, understand And hoarsely stare at words upon my lips That should be meaningless as moony madness You penetrate What not the Pope himself, PORJZIA 59I Nor any could, but with a guilty knowledge There's villainy I say, and you are in it, The tool of a blind villain, who should be Where now his brother rots, but that the Church Is no more Christ's! Ah, ah! my nails could tear Your hated false caresses from my flesh, Your kisses from my memory and fling them Upon your wicked heart. And, for your master, The Virgin strangle him! She - or another! Iffeaningly. Another! Matteo (startled). What what say you Marina. That - one - will! For do not think such sins go unavenged. [Starts to go. Matteo. I say, what do you hint! Stand! there is more! [Seizes her and clasps her to him. More and I'll have it, by the crater of Hell! More - and your lips shall tell it with a kiss. PORZIA S2 Marina. Off me! (Struggling.) And if you do not get from here - [Breaks free. Before Signora Bianca - Matteo. Ah! Ahi! It has to do then with the Florentine Who is as pagan as that devil Venus, [Points to statue. Yet prates to priests as subtly as my master WVho will not play Love with her By the Passion and Blood of God, has she again Gone jealous to Monsignor Querio, To get undone the doors of the Inquisition, So that your master . . . has she Marina. They are open! - O would I who o'erheard might tell my lady!- And Signor Rizzio goes free to-day! Free to return here unto his own home! Free to cast from him a year's ignorance, A year's imprisonment beyond the pale Of any word or message PORZIA 5(1 And learn how on his wedding-day when he Was seized and on his wedding-night when he Expected to return. . . . At that you quail Begone then, or- Matteo (gnashing). The jealousy of women! Their hearts are devil-pots that ever boil.- But this is cud for Signor Osio, So get you in at once unto your mistress And say - Enter BIANCA suddenly in agitation Bianca (looking about, with alarm). Where is my cousin (Calls) Porzia! Porzia! - She must return at once - unto the child: Her mood is perilous and must be pent. [As they stare. Did you not see her (Impatient.) Am I Proser- pine To make such gaping ghosts of you I say, Was she not here Marina. Signora - PORZTA\ .SQ4 ' )RZIA 59 Bianca. She hung, haunted, [Searching again. By the child's cradle -there a little since, But suddenly rose up and fled from it, Saying-she would wed death! Marina. Wed death! Signora! Bianca. Yes; I was near. Her words-that struck me stark. I could not speak. Do you know aught of this, You who have seen these dark distractions in her Or does this . . . drone of Signor Osio [Toward Mfatteo. What brings him here Matlteo. Marina there. Bianca. Ha, yes! [At door rcar. The honey from that flower - but what else [At door right. Marina, yes, for you have been with her Too often under the moon, but there is more Behind you than yourself. Your master has Not sent you Matteo. Yes, Signora. To your beauty He sends salute; and to your lady cousin Who 0 Signora, see! (staring) upon the terrace! [lIe has broken of awestruck. See, see! Oh, in her hand there is . . . Oh! - oh! [They turn and behold Porzia trancedly ap- proaching, a stiletto before her and her lips moving obliviously. Porzia. And should I not, Madonna, if . . 0 should I Would you in heaven not assuage and shrive me Make the wound seem as holy as were Christ's Miraculously make- Bianca. Porzia! Porzia. Make - (dazed) Bianca. Porzia, do you dream! Porzia (startled). Bianca! (dropping blade) You [A pause. Bianca. This speech to weapons ! this distraction. WNrhat And whence and why is it Your child - 5s 6 PORZIAR Porzia (quickly). Yes, yes! [A little incoherent. I went into the garden to wait Aloysius, MNIy uncle Aloysius, who is a leech. I have not slept. . . . What is it I am saying [Seeing Matteo. Is that one come to tell - Bianca. He is Of Osio. Porzia (with recoil). Of the servant - Osio . . . Of Osio [Trembling. M1atteo. Signora, yes. He sends me with a message. He begs that he may see you. Porzia. See Matteo. Implores That this strange shrinking from him and aversion, This pale . . . and unintelligible . . . repulsion You have of late - Porzia. Go back to him! go, go! [Struggling: with solemn abhorrence. PORZIA 5 9 7 PORZIA And say I cannot see him. He is my brother, My husband's brother, Whom I pray to honor. And is much like my husband: A likeness that unreasonably, it may be, I shudder to look upon: and yet - Matteo. Hle bade me To say, Signora, nothing must prevent; That it concerns - Porzia. See him I will not, ever! [With utter repugnance. And cannot and should not tho he sought me in That time which lies beyond eternity, That space which is beyond the brink of all. What thing it is haunting his heart I know not. But in his presence all my flesh becomes A shudder of horror, All my soul a fear. My husband's brother is he, my poor husband's, But he. . . . Go, go' . . . and tell him that strange drawings And strange repulsions pass the hearts of those 5(8 PORZIA .5 )( Whom grief has gathered upon; and that I who Upon my wedding-day had torn from me - [Suddenly, uncontrollably. Say, say I would he were not on the earth! Bianca (amazcd,suspicious). Porzia! what is this! Porzia. I know not: go! [lie goes, then AMarina, fearful. An over- fraught pause. Bianca (at length, jealously). For this there is a reason - and but one. You love, you love him! Porzia. Love . . whom Bianca. Osio! Yet dare not so you draw him with denials, Knowing that to repel is to entrain him. Ls Porzia stares, stupefied. o mockery of it! fools my eyes were, fools, That stood within my head and did not see! To me he spoke of love - yearning for you, And in me heard but echoes of you . . . ever! Yet, since you loved him, Why unto his brother, A heretic o'erturning God xith stars, Did you - Porzia (sinking to a divan). I pray you speak things possible, Tho to your sight I seem and to my own Like one unnatural beyond belief! A child I have whom fevet now is burning A husband all unhallowed in a prison . . . Tho to my dreams last night he seemed to come. [Bianca starts. And so you must forgive me if blind shrinkings, That to your sight seem semblances of love, LUnhelpably o'ertake me. Bianca. Then - confess W\hy Osio seeks you and why so you shun hinm And with the child why are your ways so wild You fear sometimes to touch it, As if it were another's, or at your breast Could only drink of horror. 6oo PORZIA Porzid (rising). Ah! . .. ab, ab! PORZIA Bidnca: Love is it, love, I say, of Osio, That motherhood itself cannot amend, And Rizzio shall hear of it -this day. Porzia. He . . . there in the darkness can hear naught! Leave me, I pray, to wait Aloysius. Why comes he not . . . Ah, and why do you rend me For you would not indeed to Rizzio Add demon doubts . . . Of me who am tq him there in the night Sun, moon and the white galaxy of stars Such as not even Messer Bruno dreams.. For, if you would, are you indeed Bianca Who, as a child, sang with me under the olives And cypresses; or watched with wonder eyes The fisherman draw marvels from the deep, Then homeward wing at eve to Ischia I cannot think it' . . . yet . . . ! [A gain distraught. 0 what is it I dread! what thing has changed 6o, All natural thoughts within me to repugnance, All instincts and desires into terror I cannot touch my flesh, but I turn cold As if I had touched pollution, cannot press My child unto my breasts, but . . . true, Oh, true! . . . A madness whispers in me,"Take it away!" [Staring, hauntcdly. And too, and too . . . in solitude the want Of Rizzio imprisoned comes to me; Yet when I reach for him I seem enclasped By unknown arms . . . in the sere dark, that . . . Oh' Now, now I feel them! off!1 [A knock at the gate. (Starting) Ah, ah, Aloysius! . With healing! he at last! (moving toward door) Uncle, the child - [Stops rooted to the floor for Osio has suddenly entered. He does not speak, nor ske but only Bianca, who looks at them., uttering his name then turning goes. PORZIA (00 Osio (at length, tortured). You shut me from your presence and your doors, My messages return to me unopened, My messengers unhonored - yet I've come, For speak to you I must, and utterly! Porzia (gazing). Lord Jesu! Osio. Ai, Lord Jesu! let Him hear! For if ever He huddled in a Manger, Or hung, a red atonement, on the Cross - If you are not soul-bound to heresy, You must.... Porzia. Oh, oh! why are you here Osio. Why . . . Peace! Can you not listen to me without terror Not look upon me Without eyes where awe Sits like a murdered thing, or without hands That flutter at your heart unfalteringly I am your brother. Porzia. I . .. will hold you so. Osio. But more than sister are you to my breast. 603 PORZIA Porzia. Ah! Osio. More, and I would save you from the flames That bind you to a heretic and Hell. Nay, stay! do not start from me; stay, do not! But hear me, for not that alone has led me, Not that alone, But love unbearable - Such as not any lips in all the world Have sung, or any famed for it have breathed Upon the pagan pages of a book: For they were heathen all, in penance now Upon the sulphur winds that sweep Inferno, While I - Porzia (whose look stops hinm). While, you, you, inordinate, Speak baseness so unto your brother's wife Osio. His, no! no more: no more' for heresy Has rent from him all rights, therefore I dare To hunger for you, and to pledge the Pope Will grant us dispensation - 604 PORZIA Porzia. Oh! Oh, oh! [Overwhelmed with loathing. Osio. You will not heed it, will not come with me Porzia. Madonna, wash his words out of my brain, [1er hands lifted. And from my memory purge their pollution! (To kim) Go, go! . And may the poison of you never pass Across my sight again. Osio. It will - to save you, For mine you are - God wills it! - and . . . have been! Porzia. Oh! Osio. . Have! - it was predestined - by His breath. Was he to see you mate a heretic, Or from your body spring the Anti-Christ A year ago you wedded one, and I Was ready with the hands of the Inquisition. PORZIA do5 They seized him with his pagan pride upon him, And from this house of feasting and of flowers He went. You had a message brought from Matteo Saying he would return to you at midnight. I came, and in the darkness of the bower, Which God made darker, You took my arms for his! - were mine, were mine! Porzia (who has sunk to a seat, rising). Never! - But now I know what I have feared, What dread it is invisibly has bound me - Invisibly, unvariably! . . . I know, And so shall break it' Your thought has been to shadow me about With this unceasing thing, to make me so Believe -and so obtain me! Your voice, eyes, lips and being with this purpose Have held my soul unswervably to fear, But now it is free! free, free! Osio. And will be when Rizzio comes 60(! PORZJ A Porzia. Rizzio Osio. Out of prison [As sihe gazes at himn. I tell you the child is mine! for Rizzio Returned not to you. Mine, mine, and you must Protect it and yourself. Porzia. From - .. . do you mean O do you mean that he may come that you Expect him, 0 and soon and that Bianca - Osio. I mean no mysteries, but that the child Is mine- And you may be - -And all be well. Porzia. But he will come you have some in- timation Some waft of his release, some prescience But say it and I will forgive you all! Say that my arms -once more shall clasp him to met Say that my heart once more shall beat to his! Say that my eyes once more shall drink the dawn From his, and I - PORZIA 60, Osio. Be still. For if you vs-ill not Now, now be mine, one thing must be assured Beyond the sway of peril: It rnust be kept from him there is a child. Porzia. Never' but I will lay it in his arms, Unto the cradle of his bosom bring it - While I have hands of purity to lift it - And - Osio. Have him fling it forth Hush! what is here [A knocking at the gate: annazerd crics: tlxcn Rizzio's voice. Porzia. Rizzio' Rizzio' Rizzio! Rizzio (without). Porzia! Porzia! [lIe enters, weak and worn, in tattered raiment, and comes down to where she gazes too overcome to embrace him. RiJzio. Mly Porzia! (With a clasp.) 0 do I look upon you, Not on some prison vision that will vani.,h iBetween my arms to nothingness of air 608 PO3RZT Some wan and hollow haunting of the night Look up into my soul and speak to me With eyes that are incarnate songs of love! Ah, what, you cannot The swiftness of my coming has undone you Porzia. No, no! Rizzlo. Then give reality to dreams, Linking your lips to mine! . . . Oh, oh! at last! At last I know I live And am more than A madness in miasmic night immured! And that eternity of want can end- UI)on your breast-within this house where- (Seeing Osio) You [With inexplicable antagonism. Osio. I . . . and I have no welcome for you, knowing That heresy is still hot in your heart. Rizzio. For which you with accursed joy are glad. . . [Osio goes rankling into garden. PORZIA f'00 What does he here, my Porzia what does he [Troubled. Has he been much with you Sometimes there in My fetters I have fought strange dreams of him, Battled against him as against a brood Of elemental horrors and contagion. Yet when I would awake - Porzia (clinging fearfully). My Rizzio! Rizzio. Ai, yours! when hope was darkest, when the links Of wolvish steel were feeding on my bone. [Holds out wrists. Or like a python wound me as I slept. Porzia. The pity of my heart and lips shall heal them. [With caresses. Rizzio. They and the passion of you, and the peace And beauty of your body and your soul, That were torn from me at the very altar, But now - purer for waiting - shall be mine. Porzia (trembling). Yes, yes, Rizzio! (6IO PORZIA Rizzio. Say, say it again! For oh, the jealous fears that have defiled me, The visions I have called a lie in vain, The hot hands I have seen laid on your beauty! [To her look of helplessness. 0 say it! for you gaze - as if you could not! As if . . 0 what is wringing you! You can Not say it - that no arms but mine have held you, No lips but mine have ever lingered, ever - [A pitiful cry of distress breaks from within, then a hurry of feet and M3arina rushes on anguished. Marina. My lady! 0 my lady! . . . the child! the child! Porzia (swaying). What is it Speak! Marina. My lady, it is dead! [A wild pause. Porzia. Dead dead my child my little one my own My baby . . . Oh; oh, oh! . . . oh, oh, oh, oh! [She stretches her arms distractedly before her and goes. P'ORZIA I re 612 PORZTA Rizzio (who Aas staggered, dazed, and is frenziedly realizing). God, God, the madness . . . is this theo the madness.... At last! . Her child her child and I - never a husband She has a child and I am childless! I . . . Have I been tricked, beaten, betrayed, undone, Duped by a lie of low inconstancy. [To Marina. Speak, quean! Marina. 0 sir, I know not what to say! Rizzio. Tho truth bays wild, fool-face! Marina. Sir, sir, I cannot! But hold, I pray you! for she is . . . she . . . Ah! WHas cried out, for the curtains have parted and Porzia is entering - the dead child in her arms, her eyes gazing sightlessly. Rizzio (who looks at her, racked, laughs wildly, then rushes to door). At last, at last the here- tic's in Hell! [Breaks past Aloysius entering, and is gone. 1 farina (to the leech). 0 Signor Aloysius, my poor, poor lady! kWeeping. My lady! 0 what now, what now shall heal her! A loysius. Go in, prepare her bed, and I will bring her. In, in, I say' (as she goes; to the mother) Porzia! [Gently. [She does not ans-wer. Come, Porzia! Porzia. Yes, yes; is the grave ready Then let the clod fall softly, and the shroud Not wake him, for he sleeps. And let there be Some orange blossoms too . . . some orange blossoms! [She permits him to lead her in, still gazing before her CURTAIN. PORZIA 0 I.J This page in the original text is blank. ACT III This page in the original text is blank. NIGHT OF THE NEXT DAY SCENE: The terrace of A ct I, but lit wanly now by the moon, whose sheen is cast like a pall over the city and kindles the Bay to quivering silver. Thro the open door of the house and from the window of Porzia's chamber which is just above the image of the Virgin, tight falls streaming toward the Pan and toward the deeply shadowed bower. A stone seat is set to the front centre. Osio, haunted and desperate, stands without the bower, watching ldiateo who is stealthily coming down from the pedestal of the Virgin where he has climbed to listen, and who crosses the terrace to him. Osio. Her words! give me her words - and them alone! What were they MatIeo. I could learn no more, Signor. The fever is tossing her. Osio. To peril of death She is sinking now down into ceaseless Hell, Where he shall follow Is swooning low to it And to eternal flame Malteo. I do not know. But burningly she sleeps. (Uneasily.) Shall we not go [Looks around. For if we here are found - Osio. They have not brought her The Sacrament Matteo. No priest is there, Signor. Osio: The child, she asks for it Matteo. I seemed to hear Signora Bianca say that since the morning When it was borne in secret to the tomb She has not. But still her moan's of Signor Rizzio, Who has not yet returned, tho still they seek him. 618 PORZIA PORZIA Osio (bitterly). Her blood be on his head! upon his head! And not on mine, that has not swayed to schism, If death is calling now for her damnation. No, I am pure of it! Matteo. But should he come [Again looks around. Osio. I'll fear him not. Never! For odium It were to God that I a moment should- Him black with unbelief! But come he will not . . . since he left deluded. Or if he should a voice has pledged to me Full absolution if - Matteo. What, Signor Osio. Peace! He will not. So again mount up' Matteo (unwillingly). Signor! Osio. Mount, mount, and strain the most to get me more. [Matteo loathly crosses and again ascends the pedestal. But scarcely has done 6iq so when a knock comes at the gate. He steps down into the shadow of the image - Osio into bower. Then Mar- ina appears from the house hesitantly. Marina. Who knocks Signor Aloysius, is it you Aloysius. Ai, ai! and weary: open! [Being admitted. This day! this day! The search till he was found; and then the toil- The patient physic poured Vainly it seemed unto the proud or poor. [Taking off medicine pouch. But it at last is done. Now, the relief - He came reluctant and to her outpoured A lava of wild purpose and revenge When he was told Marina. He (staring) Signor Rizzio You have not brought him Aloysius. Brought Is he not here Marina (dismayed). Signor! PORZrA 6 20 Aloysius. But how but how (dropping pouch.) Not he and Bruno Who had been with him, Whom he had but left To search, sudden it seemed, for Osio Not Bruno! whom I pledged to find and lead him Here to her - since we learned that Osio Has fled from Naples Marina. Signor, neither' none! [Involuntarily. 0 he must come, or she will die! Aloysius. . . . Die Marina. New evils gather ever in vendetta! Aloysius. You run from them too rapidly to death, Which comes but when it will - and not from sleep In which I left her. Mlfirina. But her sleep has grown To fever that has flowed into her brain! Her heart is full of moans, Her lips of murmurs! She tore the crucifix from off her neck PORZTA fj2 r And flung it from her, saying that it was The arms of Osio; and then cried out That she was virgin and immaculately Had borne a child, that now was laid in the tomb, But should arise again. Then would she start And say there is no God, but only stars, But stars, a heaven of stars! For which Signora Bianca ignorant arose and chid her. Aloysius. And all unduly did! This must be stayed, Not made immedicable. Go in; prepare the herbs that I left with you. [She goes - as he stands pondering - past Bianca, who enters. Bianca (pausing, then with resolute bitterness). So you have come and have not brought him Well, The insult of this secrecy must end, The shrouding and affronting soil of it. I'll sift in doubt no more, but have the truth. Aloysius. Signora 622 PORZrAN Bianca. 0, fatality's in the world, From atom to infinity it may be, But there is also sinning. Which is this And whence is it If she though sunk in sleep Says ever "I must go into the bower!" And ever with elusive lips " the bower!" Whom would she meet Aloysius. The bower Bianca. Whom! or if No guilt is in her why this grievous haunting Aloysius. I will go to her. Bianca (angrily). So to evade confessing To avoid granting That it is Osio That it is he has been her paramour That he it is has plundered her with passion Whose proof is the child Which Heaven has struck dead Will go Nor first deny That rightly Rizzio has turned from her PORZIA () 2,3 2PORZTIA And now perchance is seeking Osio- ,Breaks off, for the gate opens and Rizzio slowly enters. A deadly purpose is on him as he looks around. Rizzio (at length). You clothe my thought, Bianca, in the flesh Of speech that I have shunned: but we shall know Soon know, for I have tracked him to this gate. [To Aloysius, solemnly. Where is he Aloysius (amazed). He . . . Osio Rizzia. So reveal himr ' Aloysius. But -this is error . . . he is gone from N aples Rizzio. Or wrapped in lies is hidden here for her By the very God of the world, I say (Wdith restraint.) But . . no! Aloysius. And "no" until you trust it! For her fate Is not as you suppose. 6 24 Rizzio. Nor his Nor he! This bigot whose religion's lechery This monk to whom licentiousness is God This monster I illimitably loathe [Searching as he speaks. I say that he is here; that I will find him; That I have tracked him to you, and . . . (sud- denly) AhaI [Discovers H3fatteo under Image. Aha! from Naples he is gone from Naples [Dralw-ing M1atteo forth. But leaves his shadow here Matteo (terrified). Signor' Signor! [Cringes. Rizzio. From Naples he is sped, but at the feet Of the Virgin he adores drops this devotion [Slowly, terribly. Unpitiable toad-of filth begotten! Pander who should go down into the Pit And be the go-between of burning lusts, Where lurks he PO)RZIA 62j Matteo. Signor! (chokes) Signor! I will show. You shall have all; but let me live, Signor. I have a father crippled who would starve But for the gold I get .... And she, Signora Porzia's innocent. Rizzio. And virgin too! with that obliteration You'll clothe her! Heaven's Queen, do I not know What Nature and conception are' Aloysius (trembling). Ai, so! And of them there is no denial here. That she has given birth, herself has told you, Herself . . . . The child was hers, but Rizzio. Born of miracles And of imaginations and of dreams Is this Judea And a day divine, Not Italy and unregeneration, Where God deputes the world to Borgias The father of it was he - he and no other! Aloysius. But in her innocence she - 62f( PORZI.A Rizzio. Yielded' Yielded! And clung to him as the harlot moon to earth. Aloysius. No, no! Rizzio. Thro nights and nights! Aloysius. Never; but duped And unaware she took his arms for yours, Believed, tho by yon moon, I know not how, Unless she was entranced, That you had come to meet her in the bower, And - MARINA enters suddenly terrified Marina. Signor! Signor Aloysius! 0 quick! 0 come to her! She has arisen! Aloysius. Risen! Marina. 0, in her sleep! and will not to her bed Return, but says with eyes empty of sight That it is time Aloysius. For what MI arina (hesitant, distressed). To . . . meet him in The bower! PORZIA 627 PORZTA Aloysius (quickly'). I will come to her. Rizzio (burningly). Ah! ah! [Starts before him. And drug her now with opiates to prevent her Or waken her and bid her to deny Did I not deem it and will you feign further Did I not say that Osio is here There in the bower is he, there! and she Has planned to meet him. Marina. Signor! no! no, no! 'Tis you that she would meet! Rizzio. And not this croucher, [Of Mat/co. Who is alone and purposeless not he Nor him he pledges craven to reveal Marina. 0, Signor, no! Rizzio. Lies! and a world of lies! [His words -writhing. And now you shall not hold her: she shall come: Shall go into the bower. She shall take him Before your very breath unto her breast. PORZTA Marina. Rizzio. Marina. Knows not Rizzio. Marina. But, Signor, she is asleep. Go, lead her. She what she is doing' She shall learn! 0 Signor, no, no, no. Rizzio. I tell you, then, [Starting toward house. That truth is still my star, and that no shrinking Shall stay me, tho all night contains would quench it. [Is near door, when Porzia herself like a wraitht appears-and at the same time Osio is seen in the entrance to bower. Before Porzia's sleep-fixed eyes Rizzio falls back: her somnambulant speech breaks faintly. Porzia. The night is as a spell. No more of physic. Return unto your couch. The Inquisition To take him from his very nuptials take him 6 20 He is no bigamist, Monsignor Querio. [Pauses. Yes, Rizzio, at midnight! . . . Yes. -Ever The arms of Osio round me instead! This choking shroud of fever that defiles! [Moans, trying to throw it off. But, peace; the child will wake. Mly little one, My baby! . . . lift the candle to its face. [A gain moaning. 0 that is Osio, not Rizzio, I see within its eyes! Yet do not kill him, No, Rizzio, do not kill him, tho he is Your brother and has done it: I have borne Too much and they would prison you again. Or if they did not, still the stars we love Must not turn into . . . drops of bloody ven- geance! - But, peace to this! (moves forward) for it is time to meet him. Marina (withholdinglv). Signora! Porzia. Time to meet him in the bower. [Is nearing it. 630 PORZIA For now he is returned and all the night Is like a spell to draw my soul unto him. [With Osio before her. Yes, Rizzio, I come; you see, I . . . I . [Is reaching her arms to him when a shudder lakes her. Her band goes up to her brow and her gaze wanly flutters. Then suddenly her trance breaks and she shrinks screaming: It is not he! not Rizzio! Not he! Marina! Bianca! Help! not he! help, help! [Sinks wildly back to the seat. Marina (who runs to her). Signora, no! not he! not he! but we Are here and he is come and you shall see him. [Kneeling. See, you have dreamed! . . . Aloysius (by her). And have awakened, Por- zia, Awakened from imaginings and terrors; For you are ill. . PORZIA 63i Marina. And knew not what you did! . . . But now look round you and all shall be well. [She looks and, finding Rizzlo, rises again bewildered. Marina (who understands). do not fear. Porzia. Rizzio! Rizzio' Rizzie. It now is he, Signora; Rizzio! Porzia. 0, is it dreams I pray do me. I think that it is he, but 0 so many Porzia! [Ile sobs. not deceive My thoughts have been and full of pain to me That truth shall never more, alas, be true, Or trust be ever utter trust again lTill peace has come to me as pure as that To earth, from the rainbow's woven amulet Upon the brow of God - peace wed to kindness. And to deceive me now were less than kind! Rizzio. My Porzia! (Falls weeping at her feet.) Deceit at last is o'er! PRZI7,A 6i ' 2 And not he, even he, who wrought this wrong And who would forge that rainbow into fetters, Till I could wish The eternal tooth of pain And of remorse should tear him - not he, now, [Rising; to Osio. Shall turn my heart from love unto revenge, But "pagan" tho I be, I bid him go! [Points to gate, and Osio tortured, flings it open - and goes. Then when Matteo has followed, Rizzio turns tenderly to Porzia. The horror falls from her as he folds her finally to him - while the moon that had clouded, shines on them bright and still. THE END PORZIA 6,3, This page in the original text is blank. The Collected Plays and Poems OF CALE YOUNG RICE Mr. Gilbert Murray's Opinion N O0 present-day critical opinion of T J lyric and dramatic poetry is held as being more truly worth while than that of Gilbert Murray. Writing of Cale Young Rice's work Mr. Murray says: " The great quality of Mr. Cale Young Rice's work is that, amid all the distractions and changes of contemporary taste, it remains true to the central drift of great poetry. His in- terests are very wide, his intellect always alert and thoughtful; his books open up a most var- ied world of emotion and romance. But he never tries to force the attention cf the public by violence, by ugliness, by mere oddity, or by any of the hundred devices which are dear to those writers in whom the literary man is stronger than the poet. Mr. Rice seeks poetry and he seeks beauty; and those who care for poetry and beauty will find happiness in read- ing him." AT THE WORLD'S HEART By CALE YOUNG RICE Another collection of lyrics by an American poet and dramatist whose reputation is de- served.-The London Times. It is the best that is offered on this side the Atlantic . . . nearly always the vital, gleaming, burning thought is there, pulsating with keen human sympatlhy and in a dominant masterful key . . . of convincing sin- cerity.-The Philadelphia Nortk American. This new book of Cale Young Rice is a pil- grim scrip for the world wanderer. ... His songs are touched with the passion and emotion of which poetry is made. ... Those to A. H. R. are so perfectly spontaneous that art has no share in them, or their art is subtle and fine enough to make them seem wholly spontaneous.-The London Bookman. Every fresh publication lifts Cale Young Rice a little higher and "At The World's Heart" is an appreciable advance. From first to last the poems are universal in appeal, and all are distinguished by a fine balance of eager emotion and technical finish.-The Chicago Record-Herald. A poet whose sympathies are as broad as the earth and cling close to it, is Cale Young Rice. . . . He has long been recognized as a master of lyrical technique. . . . There is (in this volume) scarcely a superfluous line, as there is not a superfluous poem.-The Louisville Courier-Journal Cale Young Rice is highly esteemed by readers wherever English is the native speech. -The Manchester (England) Guardian. This book justifies the more than trans- atlantic reputation of its author. -The Sheffield (England) Daily Telegraph. Mr. Rice is not merely the vision- seeing dreamer-though to be sure he can weave dreams of beauty and enchantment-but he is the observer of life. . . . Any little chance encounter . . . illumined by his fancy resolves itself into poignant unforget- table drama. . . . One renews acquaint- ance with the spiritual fervor and with a fine rich imagery-which is the gift of only the truly inspired poet.-The Springfield (Mass.) Homestead. Americans of to-day are proud of Cale Young Rice's poems, and lovers of poetry else- where must admire their free play of imagina- tion and their many felicities of lyrical form.- The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Critics on the other side of the Atlantic have always been lavish in their praises of Mr. Rice's work, both for its inherent charm and universality of thought. . . . "Submarine Mountains " is a gem of purest ray, and almost all the other poems are equally good.-The San Francisco Chronicle. Mr. Rice has given us nothing more worth while than this splendid expression of his genius.-The Buffalo (N. Y.) Courier. "At The World's Heart" will ably sustain Mr. Rice's reputation. . . . It is a worthy successor of his former works.-The Boston Times. Mr. Rice has no metred praise for-sensual- ity, quackery, pretence. . . . He seeks the ideas that are eternal and expresses them in faultless language.-The Argonaut (San Francisco). Mr. Rice's freedom and force remain un- abated. . . . Nothing is alien to him. His verse ranges all lands.-The Hart- ford (Conn.) Courant. Mr. Rice's genius and temperament are cosmic and cosmopolitan.-The Rochester (N. Y.) Post-Express. Cale Young Rice has indeed the sympathetic imagination and not infrequently a touch of the sublime-rare in poets of any tongue. Such poems as [several mentioned] cannot I I i I I i I i i t I easilybe matched inEnglish poetry, old or new. -Vogue. Cale Young Rice has captivated the most severe critics of Great Britain as well as in his own land. . .. He is a poet of whom America may well be proud.-Portland (Ore.) Evening Telegram. Some poets can sing of their own land only; others have been content to immortalize a little corner of the wide earth; and a few have been able to wing their way from clime to clime and feel equally at home in the present or the past. In this last mentioned class Mr. Rice naturally finds a place. . . . We dis- cover in him a variety of theme and treatment such as few poets can offer. . .. His verse is as bracing as the sea of which he sings with such fervor and understanding.-The Book News Monthly (Albert S. Henry). Elsewhere Mr. Henry ranks Mr. Rice first of all living poetic dramatists. PORZIA By CALE YOUNG RICE I T PRESENTS a last phase of the Renais- sance with great effect." Sir Sydney Lee. "'Porzia' is a very romantic and beauti- ful thing. After a third reading I enjoy and admire it still more." Gilbert Murray. "There are certain lyrical qualities in the dramas of Cale Young Rice and certain dra- matic qualities in many of his finest lyrics that make it very difficult for the critic to resolve whether he is highest as singer or dramatist. 'Porzia ' is a poetic play in which these two gifts blend with subtle and powerful effectiveness. It is not written in stereotyped heroic verse, but in sensitive metrical lines that vary in beat and measure with the strength, the tenderness, the anguish, bitter- ness and passion of love or hate they have to express. The bizarre and poignant central incident on which the action of 'Porzia' turns is such as would have appealed irresistibly to the imagination and dramatic instincts of the great Elizabethan dramatists, and Mr. Rice has developed it with a force and imagina- tive beauty that they alone could have equaled and with a restraint and delicacy of touch which makes pitiful and beautiful a I I I i i I i i i I I i i I I story they would have clothed in horror. . . . He turns what might have been a tragic close to something that is loftier and more moving. . . . It matters little that we hesitate between ranking Mr. Rice highest as dramatist or lyrist; what matters is that he has the faculty divine beyond any living poet of America; his inspiration is true, and his poetry is the real thing." The London Bookman. "'Porzia' has the swift human movement which Mr. Rice puts into his dramas, and technique of a very high order. . . . The dramatic form is the most difficult to sustain harmoniously and this Mr. Rice always achieves." The Baltimore News. "To the making of 'Porzia' Mr. Rice has summoned all the resources of his dramatic skill. On the constructive side it is particu- larly strong. . . . The opening scene is certainly one of the happiest Mr. Rice has written, while the climaxing third act is a brilliant piece of character study .... The play is rich in poetry; . . in it Mr. Rice has scored another success . . . in a field where work of permanent value is rarely achieved." Albert S. Henry (The Book News Monthly). "Mr. Rice apes neither the high-flown style of the Elizabethans, nor the turgid and cryptic i I I I I I I I I style of Browning . . . 'Porzia' should attract the praise of all who wish to see real literature written in this country again." The Covington (Ky.) Post. "The complete mastery of technique, the dignity and dramatic force of the characters, the beauty of the language and clear directness of the style together with the vivid imagina- tion needed to portray so strikingly the renaissance spirit and atmosphere, make the work one that should last." The Springfield (Mass.) Homestead. "It is not unjust to say that Cale Young Rice holds in America the position that Stephen Phillips holds in England." The Scotsman (Edinburgh). "Had n6 other poetic drama than this been written in America, there would be hope for the future of poetry on the stage." John G. Neihardi (The Minneapolis Journal). "'Porzia' is a very beautiful play. The spiritual uplift at the end thrilled me deeply." Minnie Maddern Fiske. \Net, 1.25 (postage I2C.) - IF- I I I Ii I I I i I I I i i i i I t I FAR QUESTS CALE YOUNG RICE P SHE countrymen of Cale Young Rice 1apparently regard him as the equal of the great American poets of the past. Far Quests is good unquestionably. It shows a wide range of thought, and sympathy, and real skill in workmanship, while occasion- ally it rises to heights of simplicity and truth, that suggest such inspiration as should mean lasting fame.- The Daily Telegraph (London). "Mr. Rice's lyrics are deeply impressive. A large number are complete and full-blooded works of art."--Prof. Wm. Lyon Phelps (Yale University). "Far Quests contains much beautiful work- the work of a real poet in imagination and achievement."-Prof. J. IV. Mackail (Oxford University). "Mr. Rice is determined to get away from local or national limitations and be at what- ever cost universal. . . . These poems are always animated by a force and freshness of feeling rare in work of such high virtu- osity. "-The Scotsman (Edinburgh). "Mr. Cale Young Rice is acknowledged by his countrymen to be one of their great poets. There is great charm in his nature songs (of this volume) and in his songs of the East. Mr. Rice writes with great simplicity and beauty." - The Sphere (London). Mr. Rice's forte is poetic drama. Yet in the act of saying this the critic is confronted by such poems as The Mystic . . . These are the poems of a thinker, a man of large horizons, an optimist profoundly impressed with the pathos of man's quest for happiness in all lands."- The Chicago Record-Herald. " Mr. Rice's latest volume shows no diminu- ition of poetic power. Fecundity is a mark of the genuine poet, and a glance through these pages will demonstrate how rich Mr. Rice is in vitality and variety of thought . . There is too, the unmistakable qual- ity of style. It is spontaneous, flexible, and strong with the strength of simplicity - a style of rare distinction.-A lbert S. Henry, (The Book News Monthly, Philadelphia). Net. 1.25 (postage 12C.) I THE IMMORTAL LURE CALE YOUNG RICE It is great art - with great vitality. James Lane Allen. In the midst of the Spring rush there arrives one book for which all else is pushed aside . . . We have been educated to the belief that a man must be long dead before he can be enrolled with the great ones. Let us forget this cruel teaching . . . This volume contains four poetic dramas all different in setting, and all so beautiful that we cannot choose one more perfect than another. . . . Too extra- vagant praise cannot be given Mr. Rice. The San Francisco Call. Four brief dramas, different from Paola & Francesca, but excelling it-or any other of Mr. Phillips's work, it is safe to say - in a vivid presentment of a supreme moment in the lives of the characters . . . They form excellent examples of the range of Mr. Rice's genius in this field. The New York Times Review. Mr. Rice is quite the most ambitious, and most distinguished of contemporary poetic dramatists in America. The Boston Transcript (W. S. Braithwaite.) The vigor and originality of Mr. Rice's work never outweigh that first qualification, beauty . . . No American writer has so enriched the body of our poetic literature in the past few years. The New Orleans Picayune. Mr. Rice is beyond doubt the most distinguished poetic dramatist America has yet produced. The Detroit Free Press. That in Cale Young Rice a new American poet of great power and originality has arisen cannot be denied. He has somehow discovered the secret of the mystery, wonder and spirituality of human existence, which has been all but lost in our commer- cial civilization. May he succeed in awakening our people from sordid dreams of gain. Rochester (N. V. ) Post Express. No writer in England or America holds himself to higher ideals (than iMr. Rice) and everything he does bears the imprint of exquisite taste and the finest poetic instinct. The Portland Oregonian. In simplicity of art form and sheer mystery of romanticism these poetic dramas embody the new century artistry that is remaking current imaginative literature. The Philadelphia North American. Cale Young Rice is justly regarded as the leading master of the difficult form of poetic drama. Portland (Mle.) Press. Mr. Rice has outlived the prophesy that he would one day rival Stephen Phillips in the poetic drama. As dexterous in the mechanism of his art, the young American is the Englishman's superior in that unforced quality which bespeaks true inspiration, and in a wider variety of manner and theme. San Francisco Chronicle. Mr. Rice's work has often been compared to Stephen Phillips's and there is great resemblance in their ex- pression of high vision. Mlr. Rice's technique is sure . . his knowledge of his settings impeccable, and one feels sincerely the passion, power and sensuous beauty of the whole. "Arduin "(one of the plays) is perfect tragedy; as rounded as a sphere, as terrible as death. Reziew of Reviews. The Immortal Lure is a very beautiful work. The Springfield (Mass.) Republican. The action in Mr. Rice's dramas is invariably compact and powerful, his writing remarkably forcible and clear, with a rare grasp of form. The plays are brief and classic. Baltiniore News. These four dramas, each a separate unit perfect in itself and differing widely in treatment, are yet vitally related by reason of the one central theme, wrought out with rich imagery and with compelling dramatic power. The Louisville Times (U. S.) The literary and poetical merit of these dramas is undeniable, and they are charged with the emotional life and human interest that should, but do not, al- ways go along with those other high gifts. The (London) Bookman. Mr. Rice never [like Stephen Phillips ] mistakes strenuous phrase for strong thought. He makes his blank verse his servant, and it has the stage merit of possessing the freedom of prose while retaining the impassioned movement of poetry. The Glasgow (Scotland) Herald. These firm and vivid pieces of work are truly wel- come as examples of poetic force that succeeds with- out the help of poetic license. The Literary World (London.) We do not possess a living American poet whose utterance is so clear, so felicitous, so free from the inane and meretricious folly of sugared lines. . No one has a better understanding of the development of dramatic action than Mr. Rice. The Book News Month/y (Albert S. Henry.) N et 1.25 (postage I2C.) Cowerr U= TJSsbW==SbX Ik TI GAn IN AMUmc MAPA1GC DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO., GARDEN CIT'Y, N. Y. MANY GODS By CALE YOUNG RICE HESE poems are flashingly, glowingly full of the East. . . . What I am sure of in Mr. Rice is that here we have an American poet whom we may claim as ours." The North American Review (William Dean Howells). "Mr. Rice has the gift of leadership. and he is a force with whom we must reckon." The Boston Transcript. "We find here a poet who strives to reach the goal which marks the best that can be done in poetry." The Book News Monthly (A. S. Henry). "When you hear the pessimists bewailing the good old time when real poets were abroad in the land . . . do not fail to quote them almost anything by Cale Young Rice, a real poet writing to-day. . . . He has done so much splendid work one can scarcely praise him too highly." The San Francisco Call. "'In Many Gods' the scenes are those of the East, and while it is not the East of Loti, Arnold or Hearn, it is still a place of I I i I I I brooding, majesty, mystery and subtle fasci- nation. There is a temptation to quote such verses for their melody, dignity of form, beauty of imagery and height of Inspiration." Ike Chicago Journal. "'Love's Cynic' (a long poem in the vol- ume) might be by Browning at his best." Pittsburg Gazette-Times. "This is a serious, and from any standpoint, a successful piece of work . . . in it are poems that will become classic." Passaic (New Jersey) News. "Mr. Rice must be hailed as one among living masters of his art, one to whom we may look for yet greater things." Presbyterian Advance. "This book is in many respects a remark- able work. The poems are indeed poems." The Nashville Banner. "Mr. Rice's poetical plays reach a high level of achievement. . . . But these poems show a higher vision and surer mastery of expression than ever before." The London Bookman. Net, 1.25 (postage I2C.) I I i i I i I I I NIRVANA DAYS Poems by CALE YOUNG RICE M /[ R. RICE has the technical cunning that makes up almost the entire equipment of many poets nowadays, but human nature is more to him always . . . and he has the feeling and imagina- tive sympathy without which all poetry is but an empty and vain thing." The London Bookman. "Mr. Rice's note is a clarion call, and of his two poems, 'The Strong Man to His Sires' and 'The Young to the Old,' the former will send a thrill to the heart of every man who has the instinct of race in his blood, while the latter should be printed above the desk of every minor poet and pessimist. . . . The son- nets of the sequence, 'Quest and Requital,' have the elements of great poetry in them." The Glasgow (Scotland) Herald. "Mr. Rice's poems are singularly free from affectation, and he seems to have written be- cause of the sincere need of expressing some- thing that had to take art form." The Sun (New York). "The ability to write verse that scans is quite common. . . . But the inspired thought behind the lines is a different I I I thing; and it is this thought untrammeled - the clear vision searching into the deeps of human emotion - which gives the verse of Mr. Rice weight and potency. . . . In the range of his metrical skill he easily stands with the best of living craftsmen . . . and we have in him . . . a poet whose dramas and lyrics will endure." The Book News Monthly (A. S. Henry). "These poems are marked by a breadth of outlook, individuality and beauty of thought. The author reveals deep, sincere feeling on topics which do not readily lend themselves to artistic expression and which he makes eminently worth while." The Buffalo (N. Y.) Courier. "We get throughout the idea of a vast universe and of the soul merging itself in the infinite. . . . The great poem of the volume, however, is 'The Strong Man to His Sires."' The Louisville Post (Margaret S. A nderson). "The poems possess much music . . . and even in the height of intensified feeling the clearness of Mr. Rice's ideas is not dimmed by the obscure haze that too often goes with the divine fire." The Boston Globe. Paper boards. Net, I.25 (postage I2c.) I 4 1 i i I I i II i I i I i I i 1I i I i I i j A NIGHT IN AVIGNON By CALE YOUNG RICE Successfully produced by Donald Robertson T IS as vivid as a page from Browning. T Mr. Rice has the dramatic pulse." James Huneker. "It embraces in small compass all the essentials of the drama. Neuw York Saturday Times Review (Jessie B. Rittenhouse). "It presents one of the most striking situations in dramatic literature and its climax could not be improved." The San Francisco Call. "It has undeniable power, and is a very decided poetic achievement." The Boston Transcript. "It leaves an enduring impression of a soul tragedy." The Churchman. "Since the publication of his 'Charles di Tocca' and other dramas, Cale Young Rice has justly been regarded as a leading Ameri- can master of that difficult form, and many critics have ranked him above Stephen Phillips, at least on the dramatic side of his art. And this judgment is further confirmed by 'A Night in Avignon.' It is almost in- credible that in less than 500 lines Mr. Rice should have been able to create so perfect a I i I I i I I i I I I I I I I II I r i i f I I play with so powerful a dramatic effect." The Chicago Record-Herald (Edwin S. Shuman) "There is poetic richness in this brilliant composition; a beauty of sentiment and grace in every line. It is impressive, metri- cally pleasing and dramatically powerful." The Philadelphia Record. "It offers one of the most striking situa- tions in dramatic literature." The Louisville Courier-Journal. "The publication of a poetic drama of the quality of Mr. Rice's is an important event in the present tendency of American litera- ture. He is a leader in this most significant movement, and 'A Night in Avignon' is marked, like his other plays, by dramatic directness, high poetic fervor, clarity of poetic diction, and felicity of phrasing." The Chicago Journal. "It is a dramatically told episode, and the metre is most effectively handled, making a welcome change for blank verse, and greatly enhancing the interest." Sydney Lee. "Many critics, on hearing Mr. Bryce's prediction that America will one day have a poet, would be tempted to remind him of Mr. Rice." The Hartford (Conn.) Courant. Net 5oc. (postage 5c.) I 6 YOLANDA OF CYPRUS A Poetic Drama by CALE YOUNG RICE IT HAS real life and drama, not merely beautiful words, and so differs from the great mass of poetic plays. Prof. Gilbert Murray. Minnie Maddern Fisk says: "No one can doubt that it is superior poetically and dramatically to Stephen Philiips's work, " and that Mr. Rice ranks with Mr. Phillips at his best has often been reaffirmed. "It is encouraging to the hope of a native drama to know that an American has written a play which is at the same time of decided poetic merit and of decided dramatic power." The New York Times. "The most remarkable quality of the play is its sustained dramatic strength. Poeticaily it is frequently of great beauty. It is also lofty in conception, lucid and felicitous in style, and the dramatic pulse throbs in every line. " The Chicago Record-Herald. "The characters are drawn with force and the play is dignified and powerful," and adds that if it does not succeed on the stage it will be " because of its excellence. " The Springfield Republican. " Mr. Rice is one of the few present-day poets who have the steadiness and weight. for a wvell-sustained drama." The Louisville Post (Margaret Anderson). "It has equal command of imagination, dramatic utterance, picturesque effectiveness and metrical harmony." The London (England) Bookman. T. P.'s Weekly says: "It might well stand the difficult test of production and will be welcomed by all who care for serious verse." The Glasgow (Scotland) Herald says: "Yo- landa of Cyprus is finely constructed; the irregular blank verse admirably adapted for the exigencies of intense emotion; the char- acters firmly drawn; and the climax serves the purpose of good stagecraft and poetic justice. " "It is well constructed and instinct with dramatic power." Sydney Lee. "It is as readable as a novel. " The Pittsburg Post. "Here and there an almost Shakespearean note is struck. In makeup, arrangement, and poetic intensity it ranks with Stephen Phillips's work. " The Book News Mllonthly. (Net, I.25 (postage ioc.) CotwTRr twu ThEMNIORzzSWON ThZGtARDW U. AImER MCGAO M DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO., GARDEN CITY. N. Y. Ii DAVID A Poetic Drama by CALE YOUNG RICE WAS greatly impressed with it and de- rived a sense of personal encouragement from the evidence of so fine and lofty a product for the stage." Richard Mansfield. "It is a powerful piece of dramatic por- traiture in which Cale Young Rice has again demonstrated his insight and power. What he did before in 'Charles di Tocca' he has repeated and improved upon. . . . Not a few instances of his strength might be cited as of almost Shakespearean force. Indeed the strictly literary merit of the tragedy is altogether extraordinary. It is a con- tribution to the drama full of charm and power." The Chicago Tribune. "From the standpoint of poetry, dignity of conception, spiritual elevation and finish and beauty of line, Mr. Rice's 'David' is, perhaps, superior to his 'Yolanda of Cyprus,' but the two can scarcely be compared." The New York Times (Jessie B. Rittenhouse). "Never before has the theme received treat- ment in a manner so worthy of it. " The St. Louis Globe-Democrat. ! II II I I I " It needs but a word, for it has been passed upon and approved by critics all over the country." Book News Monthly. And again: "But few recent writers seem to have found the secret of dramatic blank verse; and of that small number, Mr. Rice is, if not first, at least without superior." "With instinctive dramatic and poetic power, Mr. Rice combines a knowledge of the exigencies of the stage." Harper's Weekly. "It is safe to say that were Mr. Rice an Englishman or a Frenchman, his reputation as his country's most distinguished poetic dramatist would have been assured by a more universal sign of recognition. The Baltimore News (writing of all Mr. Rice's plays). Net, SI.25 (postage 12C.) i iI i I I i I i I i I I I j F I r I I I i I i i i CHARLES DI TOCCA By CALE YOUNG RICE ITAKE play is dignity James Lane off my hat to Mr. Rice. His full of poetry, and the pitch and of the whole are remarkable.'" Allen. " It is a dramatic poem one reads with a heightened sense of its fine quality through- out. It is sincere, strong, finished and noble, and sustains its distinction of manner to the end. . . . The character of Helena is not unworthy of any of the great masters of dramatic utterance." The Chicago Tribune. "The drama is one of the best of the kind ever written by an American author. Its whole tone is masterful, and it must be classed as one of the really literary works of the season." (1903). The Milwaukee Sentinel. "It shows a remarkable sense construction as well as poetic strong characterization." James in Harper's Weekly. of dramatic power and .facA rthur, " This play has many elements of perfection. Its plot is developed with ease and with a large dramatic force; its characters are drawn with sympathy and decision; and its thoughts i I ii i I i i i i I I i rise to a very real beauty. By reason of it the writer has gained an assured place among playwrights who seek to give literary as well as dramatic worth to their plays." The Richmond (Va.) News-Leader. "The action of the play is admirably com- pact and coherent, and it contains tragic situations which will afford pleasure not only to the student, but to the technical reader." The Nation. "It is the most powerful, vital, and truly tragical drama written by an American for some years. There is genuine pathos, mighty yet never repellent passion, great sincerity and penetration and great elevation and beauty of language." The Chicago Post. "Mr. Rice ranks among America's choicest poets on account of his power to turn music into words, his virility, and of the fact that he has something of his own to say." The Boston Globe. "The whole play breathes forth the inde- finable spirit of the Italian renaissance. In poetic style and dramatic treatment it is a work of art." The Baltimore Sun. Paper boards. Net, I.25 (postage, 9c.) I -1 SONG-SURF (Being the Lyrics of Plays and Lyrics) by CALE YOUNG RICE M OR. RICE'S work betrays wide sym- pathies with nature and life, and a welcome originality of sentiment and metrical harmony. " Sydney Lee. "In his lyrics Mr. Rice's imagination works most successfulty. He is an optimist -and in these days an optimist is irresistible - and he can touch delicately things too holy for a rough or violent pathos." The London Star (James Douglas). " Mr. Rice's highest gift is essentially lyrical. His lyrics have a charm and grace of melody distinctively their own." The London Bookman. "Mr. Rice is keenly responsive to the loveliness of the outside world, and he re- veals this beauty in words that sing them- selves." The Boston Transcript. "Mr. Rice's work is everywhere marked by true imaginative power and elevation of feeling." The Scotsman. "Mr. Rice's work would seem to rank with the best of our American poets of to-day." The Atlanta Constitution. i I I I i I I I b ___ _ = R 7 --77 7 i i i i I I i i i I j I I I i i I I I I I "Mr. Rice's poems are touched with the magic of the muse. They have inspiration, grace and true lyric quality." The Book News Monthly. "Mr. Rice's poetry as a whole is both strongly and delicately spiritual. Many of these lyrics have the true romantic mystery and charm. . . . To write thus is no indifferent matter. It indicates not only long work but long brooding on the beauty and mystery of life." The Louisville Post. " Mr. Rice is indisputably one of the greatest poets who have lived in America. ... And some of these (earlier) poems are truly beautiful. The Times- Union (Albany, N. Y." Net, r.25 (postage I2C.) ___ _ __ I I t I i I Ii I I i I I I I i I - THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS GARDEN CITY, N. Y.