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Plays and lyrics / 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 b92-261-31826018 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. Plays and lyrics / by Cale Young Rice. Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. Hodder and Stoughton ; McClure, Phillips, London : New York : 1906. xv, 317 p. ; 22 cm. Coleman "This volume contains 0Yolanda of Cyprus, a hitherto unpublished play; many new lyrics; some others that appeared in 0Song-Surf ... and 0David'."--Preface. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN05064.04 KUK) Printing Master B92-261. 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. P L A Y S AND LYRICS This page in the original text is blank. P L A Y S AND LYRICS by CALE YOUNG RICE LONDON HODDER AND STOUGHTON 27 PATERNOSTER ROW NEW YORK: McCLURE PHILLIPS & CO. 44 EAST TWENTY-THIRD STREET 1906 LI-, ROT1IRS LIMITEfl, PRINTERS, WOflJG AND LON. ON. go IDA M. TARBELL WITH FAITHFUL FRIENDSHIP This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE Thi; volume contains " rolanda of Cyprus," a hitherto unpublished play; many new lyrics ; some others that appeared in " Song-Surf," a volume whose publishers failed before it reached the public; and " David," which came out in America in 1904. The author's desire has been to include only his best work. This page in the original text is blank. CONTENTS PAGE YOLANDA OF CYPRUS I LYRICS-DRAMATIC:- JAEL 91 MARY AT NAZARETH 96 OUTCAST 98 ADELIL 100 THE DYING POET 102 ON THE MOOR 105 HUMAN LOVE 107 O GO NOT OUT lo8 CALL TO YOUR MATE, BOB-WHITE 110 TRANSCENDED 112 xii CONTENTS PAGE THE CRY OF EVE . . . . . 113 THE CHILD GOD GAVE . . . ii6 MOTHER-LOVE . . . . . . 118 ASHORE . . 120 LOVE S WAY TO CHILDHOOD . . . . 122 LISSETTE . . . . . I23 TEARLESS . . . . . 125 THE LIGHTHOUSEMAN . . . 126 BY THE INDUS . . .- 128 FROM ONE BLIND. . . . 130 AT THE FALL OF ROME, A.D. 455. . 131 PEACELESS LOVE. . . . . . 133 SUNDERED . . . . . . 134 WITH OMAR . . . . . . 135 A JAPANESE MOTHER (IN TIME OF WAR) . 144 LYRICS-NON-DRAMATIC:- SHINTO (.MIYAJIMA, JAPAN, 1905) . 146 EVOCATION (NIKKO, JAPAN, 1905) . . 8 rHE ATONER . . 150 CONTENTS xiii INTIMATION I. . . 151 IN JULY . . . . 152 FROM ABOVE . . . . . . 154 SONGS TO A. H. R. 1. THE WORLD'S AND MINE . . , 155 11. LOVE-CALL IN SPRING . . . 56 Ill. MATING. . . . . . 157 IV. UNTOLD. . . . . . 158 V. LOVE-WATCH . . . 159 VI. AS YOU ARE . . . . i6o VII. AT AMALFI . . . .6 VIII. ON THE PACIFIC . . . 163 THE WINDS . . . . . . 165 THE DAY-MOON . . . . . 167 TO A SINGING WARBLER . . 169 TO THE SEA 1.. . . 70 THE DEAD GODS . . . . . 172 AT WINTER'S END . . 175 APRIL . . . . . . 176 AUGUST GUESTS . . . . 77 AUTUMN . . . . 178 xiv CONTENTS PAGE THE WORLD 179 TO THE DOVE .8o AT TINTERN ABBEY 182 THE VICTORY I84 SEARCHING DEATH S DARK 185 SERENITY 187 TO THE SPRING WIND I88 THE RAMBLE I89 RETURN 192 THE EMPTY CROSS 194 SUNSET-LOVERS . I96 TO A ROSE (IN A HOSPITAL) I98 UNBURTHENED 199 WHERE PEACE IS DUTY 201 WANTON JUNE . 202 AUTUMN AT THE BRIDGE 204 SONG - - - 205 TO HER WHO SHALL COME 2o6 AVOWAL TO THE NIGHTINGALE 208 STORM-EBB . . . 210 SLAVES 212 CONTENTS xv PAGE WAKING 213 FAUN-CALL 214 LINGERING 216 STORM-TWILIGHT 217 WILDNESS .28 BEFORE AUTUMN 219 FULFILMENT 221 TO THE FALLEN LEAVES 223 MAYA (HIROSHIMO, JAPAN, 1905) 224 SPIRIT OF RAIN (MIANOSHITA, JAPAN, 1905) 226 THE NYMPH AND THE GOD 227 A SEA-GHOST 228 LAST SIGHT OF LAND 230 SILENCE 231 DAVID 233 This page in the original text is blank. YOLANDA OF CYPRUS 2 This page in the original text is blank. CHARACTERS RENIER LUSIGNAN . .A decemdant of tie Lusignan king, of Cyprus. BERENGERE . . . His wife. AMAURY . . . . His Son, Commander of Famagouste under the Venetians. YOLANDA . . . Ti;e ['ard of Berengere, betrothed to Amaury. CAMARIN . Baron of Paphos, guest in t/e Lusignan Castle. VITrIA PISANI . . A Venetian Lady, a/lo a guest. MORO . . . Priest. HASSAN . . . . Warden of the Castle. HALII . . . . His So, a boy. TREMITUS . . A Physiciaoo. (JLYMP10 . . . A Greek boy, servingAmaury. ALESSA INIAGA . . 1 Berengere's Women. CIYA . ' , MAURIA . . . . SMARDA . . . . Slare to Vittia. PIETRO . . . . In Vittia' pay. P-riests acolytes, etc. TIME-Tie sixteenth centurv. PLACE-Tre island of Cypruj. This page in the original text is blank. ACT I SCENE: A dim Ha/e, of bended Gothic and Saracenic styles, in the Lusignan Castle, on the island of C prus near Fame- gouste. Around the walls, above faint frescoes portraying the deliverance of 7erusalem by the Crusaders, runs a frieze in/aid with the coats-of-arms of former Lusignan kings. On the left, and back, is a door hung with heavy damask, and in the wa/l opposite, another. Farther down on the right a few steps, whose railing supports a Greek vase with jasmine, lead through a chapei 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. A table with a lighted cross-shaped candle-stick is by the door, left; and a lectern with a book on it, to the front, right. As the curtain rises, the Jfomen, except CIVA, lean wearily on the divan, and HALIL near is singing dreamily, Ali, the balm, the balm, And ah, the blessing YOLANDA 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 alt seem yielding to sleep. Suddenly there are hoof-beats and sounds at the gates below. HALIL springs up. Hail. Alessa ! Maga! Stirrings at the gates (X11 start up.) Some one is come. flessa. 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 he comes 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, 6 l1alil (calling). Oho! (He admits OLYMPXO, who enters insolently down. 11 press around him gaily.) Mauria. Well what, Olympio, from Famagouste XVhat tidings tell us. 'ifaga. See, his sword! Olympi. Stand ofF. Mauria. The tidings, then, the tidings Olyrnpio. None-for women. Mauria. So, so, my Cupid None of the Saracens Of the squadron huddling yesterday for haven At Keryneia Olympis. Who has told you Manria. Who A hundred galleys westing up the wind, Scenting the shore, but timorous as hounds. A gale-and twenty down ! Maga. 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 of, but is arrested by laughter within. It is CIVA who enters, holding up a parchment.) O ! Only Civa. (Starts again with HALIL.) Civa. How, Olympio! Stay you, and hear !-May never virgin love him! Gone as a thistle ! (Turns.) Mauria. Pouf! Xlessa (to CIVA). Now, what have you 7 YOLANDA YOLANDA Civa. Verses! found in the garden. Verses ! verses ! On papyrus of Paphos. 0, to read ! But you, Alessa-! /essa (takes them). In the garden C6va. By The fountain cypress at the marble feet Of chaste Diana I 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. Civa. 0, as a nun You ever sigh for sorrow !-They are of love! Of valour 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! ,lessa. Maga-Civa-Ah! (She rends the parchment.) Mauria. What are you doing Alessa. They were writ to her! Mauria. To her to whom what are you saying Read! Read us the verses. Mega. Xlessa. No. YOLANDA Mauria. Tell then his name Who writes them, and to whom. ,flessa. I will not. Afauria. It is some guilt you hide !-And touching her You dote on-lady Yolanda ! Then Alessa. Shame ! Mauria. Some guilt Of one, then, in this castle !-See, her lips Betray it is. Mazga. No, Mauria ! no! (holds her) hush (Forsns appear without.) Alaursi. 0, loose me. ,VIaga. There, on the loggia ! Hush, see- Our lads and Sir Camarin. ,4qessa (ftarjul). It is. They heard us, Maga Maga. No, but AL'uria (to ALESSA). So that mouse, Alessa. You know not, Mauria, what 'tis you say. (BERENGERE coldly, as if consenting to it, enters.) She is seeking us; be still. (Stepping out.) My lady Berengere. Yes. Your lamps; for it is time Now for your aves and o'erneeded sleep. But first I'd know if yet lord Renier- (Sees their disquiet-starts.) Why are you pale 9 YOLANDA ,lessa. I Berengere. So-and strange. A/lessa. 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- Alessa. My ladv- Berengere. Go; And send me Hassan. (The women leave.) Camarin-vou saw Thev were not as their wont is. &eanarin. To your eyes, My Berengere, that apprehension haunts. They were as ever. Then be done with fear Berengere. I cannot. Camarin. To the abyss with it. To-night Is ours-Renier tarries at Famagouste- Is ours for love and for a long delight! Berengere. Whose end may be- Camarin. Dawn and the dewy lark And passing of all presage from you. Berengere (sits). No: 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 lo YOLANDA Born of the night and not of destiny. She guesses not our guilt, and Renier Clasps to his breast ambition as a bride- Ambition for Amaury. Berengere. None can say. He's much with this Venetian, our guest, Though Venice gyves us more with tyranny Than would the Saracen. Carn'rin. 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 venture-dream of the seas, unto his house. 'Tis clear, my Berengere ! Berengere. Then, her design And what 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. Camarin. 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. 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. I I YOLANDA Go-go. Gamarin. But to return unto your breast! (He leaves her by the divan.) (The women re-enter with silver lighted lamps; behina them are HASSAN and the slave SMARDA. They wait for BERENGERE, who has stood silent, to speak.) Berengere (looking up). Ah, you are come; I had forgotten. And it is time for sleep.-Hassan, the gates: Close them. Hassan. And chain them, lady Berengere. Lord Renier will not come. Wait no longer. Hassan. No word of him 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 follows.) Hassan (staring after her). The reason of this mood in her the reason Something is vile. Lady Yolanda weeps In secret; all for what -unless because Of the Paphian-or this Venetian. (Seeing SMARDA.) NOW, Slave ! Scythian ! You linger Smarda. I am bidden- My mistress. Hassan. Spa! Thy mistress hath, I think, 12 YOLANDA Something of hell in her and has unpacked A portion in this castle. Is it so Smarda. My lady is of Venice. Hassan. Strike her, Gc Her smirk admits it. Smarda. Touch me ilot! Hassan. I'l Thy tongue out sudden, if it now has lies. What of thy lady and lord Renier Smarda. Off! RENIER enters behind, with MORO. Hassan. Thy lady and lord Renier, I say I What do they purpose Smarda. - Fool-born ! look Hassan. Not till- Smarda. Lord Renier, help. Hassan. What (Turns, and stares amazes A fool I am . . . Renier. Where is my wife Hassan. This slave stung me to pry. Al. l wring around. do you say d'.) Why, she ... Renier. Where is my wife Hassan. A moment since, was here-the women with her. She asked for your return. Renier. Hassan. You jeer me. Renier. Hasssan. And wherefore did Answer. Have you not been gone 13 Reniter. Not-overfar. Where is Yolanda -Well No matter; find my chamber till I come. Of my arrival, too, no word to any. (HASSAN goes, canfused.) You, Moro, have deferred me ; now, no more. 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 now have chosen. Moro. Do not! Renier. Chosen. (SMARDA goes.) None can be great who will 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. Hints Renier. I must know. A'loro. 'Tis of your wife -Yolanda Renier. Name them not. They've shut from me their souls. Mors. My lord, not so; But you repulse them. 14 YOLANDA YOLANDA 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 Moro. Distrust her! Renier. She has power. Moro. But not truth. And yesterday a holy relic scorned. Renier. She loves Amaury. Wed to her he will Be the elected Governor of Cyprus. The throne, then, but a step. Mors. But all too great. And think; Yolanda is to him as heaven He will not yield her. Raenier. Then he must. The Venetian, has ways to it-a secret To pierce her from his arms. And she, Moro. Sir, sir -of what Renier. I know not, of some shame. Moro. Shame Renier. Why do you clutch me, More. I-am a priest-and shame Renier. You have suspicion (VirrTIA enters unnoted.) Of whom -Of whom, and what F'ittia (lightly). My lord, of women. (RENIE R starts and turns .) So does the Holy Church instil him. I15 i6 5YOLANDA Renier. You Come softly, lady of Venice. flittia. Streets of sea In Venice teach us. Renier. Of what women, then My wife Yolanda Pittia. 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. Fittia. 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. Jittia. To say you've chosen And offer me irrevocable aid To win Amaury Renier. All is vain in me Before the fever for it. Jittia. 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. YOLANDA 17 Renier Of rule . . . Then what kVittia (going up to hem). Of shame withheld-dishoniour un- revealed. (He ha/f recoils and stands. SMARDA enters hastily to them.) Smarda. My lady- Iittia. Speak. Smarda. She! Jittia. Who Yolanda comes She's not asleep as you averred to me, Was not asleep, but comes . . . My lord-! Renier. I'll stay, Stay and confront her. Jittia. Renier. I'll question her. Vittia. Renier. (By Vittia. rolanda. Vittia. Ignorantly No. Blindly, and peril all I I will return. You put me off, and off. I the loggia, with MORO, he goes; the s/ave slips out. YOLANDA enters, sadly, her gaze on the floor. S/se walks slowly, but becoming conscious starts, sees VsrrlA, and turns to withdraw.) Your pardon- I can serve you If you seek The women, they are gone. Yolanda. I do not seek them, Fittia. Nor me rolanda. Nor any.-Yet I would I might With seeking penetrate the labyrinth Of your intent. 3 YOLANDA Jittia. I thank you. And you shall, To-night-if you have love. Yolanda. That thread were vain. Vittia. I say, if you have love. rolanda. Of guile 1ittia. Of her You hold as mother, and who is Amauryvs. rolanda. Were it so simple, no design had ever Laired darkly in you, but to my eyes been clear As shallows under Morpha's crystal wave. Fittia. Unproven you speak so. rolanda. And proven would. Vittia. If so, then-save her. rolanda. Who What do you- Fittia (with irony). It is not clear rolanda. Save her; f'ittia. The surety flies Out of your cheek and dead upon your heart: Yet you are innocent-oh innocent - O'er what abyss she hangs ! rolanda. 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 ba Mean f .ron Of Paphos-Camarin-is but her friend, And deeply yours-as oft you feign to shield her YOLANDA 19 relanda. He is no more. Vittia. Your heart belies your lips, Knows better than believing what you say. ro/anda. Were, were he then . . . (struggles) lord Reniicr knows it not ! 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. JVittia. None rolanda. Your tone (Realising with gradual horror.) The still insinuation You would do it ! This is the beast then of the labyrinth And this your heart is No, not ever: no. But now, if you deny me. relanda. 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. Nor must the bloody leap Of death fall on her from lord Renier's sword, A death too ready if he but suspect. No, she is holy ! And holy are my lips Vittia. YOLANDA 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! Yes, yes!- 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 rolanda. The price, say, of your silence.-I am weary. ('ittia. And would be rid of me. rolanda. The price, the price. JAIttia. It is (low and ashamed) that you renounce 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 (Jaits a moment.) A swallow on the battlements to-day 20 YOLANDA Fell from the hawk: you soothed and set it free. This, then, you would not-! JVittia. Yes. Yolanda. You cannot! JVittia. rolanda (wrung for a moment then calm). I had forgotten, you are of Venice-Venice Whose burdening is vast upon this land. Good-night. IVittia. And you despise me ! rolanda. More am sick That love of him has led your thought so low. To-morrow- Vittia. Not to-morrow ! But you must Choose and at once. Yolanda. Then- 21 Yes. (Ther start and listen. Approaching hoofs are heard.) Pittia. Ah ! Amaurv -It is His speed upon the road now at the gates (T'he fall of chains is heard.) What then, what is your purpose-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 quickly. Centuries have stained these walls, But never a wife; never- Enter BERENGERE. Mother . . . Amaurv rolanda. Berengere. YOLANDA Has spurred to us, Yolanda, from his post, Secret and sudden. But . . . what has befallen (Looks from one to the other.) rolanda. He comes here, mother Berengere. At once. Polanda. No! Vittia. (coldly, to YOLANDA). Then to-night Must be the end. rolanda. Go, go. Berengere (as Vittia passes out). What thing is this rolanda. Mother, I cannot have him-here-Amaury! Defer him but a little-till to-morrow. I 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 anythintr ! Berengere. Yolanda! Yolanda. Say. . .. No use. Too late. Berengere. His step o landa. Oh, unmistakable; Along the corridor. There ! (The curtains are thrown back.) ifmaury (at the threshold). My Yolanda! (Hastens down and takes her, passive, into his arms. BERENGERE goes.) My, my Yolanda! 22 YOLANDA To touch you is as triumph to the blood, Is as the boon of battle to the strong! rolanda. Amaury, no; release me and say why You come: The Saracens- ifmaurv. Not of them now! (Bends back her head.) But of some tribute incense to this beautv Dear as the wind wafts from undying shrines Of mystery and myrrh! I'd have the eloquence of quickened moons Pouring upon the midnight magiclv, To say all I have yearncd, Now, with vour hcad pillowed upon my breast! Slow sullen speech come to my soldier lips, Rough with command, and impotent of softness! Come to my lips ! or f 11 so full my eyes That the unutterable .hall seem as sweet To my Yolanda. (ifting her face, with surprise.) But how now tears t rolanda. Amaury .dmaury. What have I done Too pitiless have pressed You to this coat of steel rolanda. No, no. Amaury. My words, Or silence, then rolanda. Amaurv, no, but sweet, Sweet as the roses of Damascus crusht, Your silence is ! and sweeter than the dream Of April nightingale on Troados, 23 24 YOLANDA 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. Amau.ry! Amaury. This I cannot understand. rolanda (freeing herself). Nothing-a folly-groundless frailty. 1tnaury. 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 Whose 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 why. 4maury. Often, perhaps. I am not skilled to tell. But these-not these! They are of trouble known. Yolanda. Yet now forget them. Amaury. It will not leave my heart that somehow-how I cannot fathom-Camarin- Yolanda. (lightly, to stop him). No farther Imaury. That Camarin of Paphos is their cause. Tell me- rolanda. Yes, that I love thee dmaury. Tell me- 2 ;lanndl. Love thee! YOLANDA 25 As sea the sky ! and as the sky the wind ! Anid as the wind the forest! As the forest- What does the forest love, Amaury I Can think of nothing ! ifrnaury. Tell ein then vou have Never a moment of you yielded to him, That never he has touched too long this hand- 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. Ifnmaury. But 'tis not Yolanda. God shall judge him. Ifmaurv. And not you Fo/anda. Though he is weak, there is within him- t4mnaur. That Which women trust and you (BERENGERE enters. He turns to her.) Mother Berengere. A runner, A soldier of your troop within the forts Has come with word. Amaury (starting). Mother! Berengere. It is ill news I've seen that battle-light in you before. 'Tis of the Saracens you ride to-night Into their peril YOLANDA Aimaury. Come, the word, the word Berengere. Only this token. 1Anaury. The spur the spur (Takes it.) They then Are landing! rolanda. How, Amaury; tell your meaning! Amaurl'. The galleys of the Saracens have found Anchor and land to-night near Keryneia. My troops are ready and await me- So, no delay. Yslanda. I pray you (strangely, with terror) do not go. 1fnaury. Yolanda! Yolanda. If I am left alone- lfmaury. Yolanda! rolanda (sinking to a seat). I meant it not-a breath of fear -no more. Go, go. Amaury. I know you not to-night. Farewell. (He kisses her and hurries of. . . . X silence.) Berengere. Yolanda- rolanda. Mother, I will go to sleep. (She rises.) Berengere. A change is over you-a difference Drawn as a veil between us. rolanda. I am weary. Btrengere. You love me Yolanda. As, 0 mother, I love him, With love impregnable to every ill, As Paradise is. 26 YOLANDA 27 BIrtngere. Then- rolanda. 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 rmiraces BERENGERE; goes slowly up steps and ofl) Berengere (chilled). What fear-if it is fear-has so unfixed her It is suspicion-Then I must not meet 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. ( 'Yinks a moment, then takes the crucifix from her neck.) Had Renier but come, perhaps I might . . . (Lays it on table.) 0 were I dead this sinlnin, would awake me And yet I care not (dully.) . . . No, I will forget. (Goes firmly from door to door and looks out each. Then lifts, unnoting, the cross-shaped candlestick; and waving it at the loggia, turns holding it belore her.) Soon he will come up from the cool, and touch Away my weakness with mad tenderness. Soon he will . . . Ah t (Has seen with terror the candlestick's structure.) The cross ! . . . My dream ! . . . Yolanda (Lets it fall.) Mercy of God, move in me! . . . Sacrilege (Sinks feebly to the divan, and bows, oruercome.) 28 YOLANDA Camarin (appearing after a pause on the loggia). My Berengere, a moment, and I come (Enters, locking the grating behind him. Then he hurries 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.... Camnarin. This is-illusion. In the dew I've waited, And the night's song of you is in my brain- A song that seems fBerengere. Withhold from words. At last Fate is begun ! See, with the cross it was 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 murder, Or did it not, dishonour still would kill Leave, leave. Camarin. 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, ana 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 YOLANDA 29 Limpid by lotus-banks unto the sea, O'er all the whispered nights that we have clasped 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. W'ith a low cry YOLANDA staggers down: the Two rise, tearful.) Berengere. Yolanda rolaniai. Mother, mother . .. Ah, his eves! Berengere. What brings you here-to spy upon me liolanda. Listen ! Think not of me-no, hush-but of the peril Arisen up . . . Your husband ! CGnmarin. Renier Yoland,. Was at that grating-heard. Arid from its sheath, A dagger-! Ah, he will come. 1erengere (weakly). What does she sav I 0landa. Find calmness now, and some expedient. (She struggles to think.) Berangere. I cannot die. Yolanda. No, no. Besengere. My flesh is weak, Is poor of courage-poverished by guilt, As all my soul is ! But, Yolanda, you-! oKsanda. Yes, something must be done-something be done. (CAMARIN goes to the curtains and returns.) Berengere. The shame . . . the shame . . . the shame E:-panda. There yet is time. Beenrere. You can deliver ! you are innocent. Kolanda. Perhaps. Let me but think.-He came- Berengere. You see There is escape a way from it Yolanda. Perhaps. He came after vour words . . . yes . . could not see Here in the dimness . . . but has only heard Sir Camarin Berengere. I do not know rolanda. Go, go, Up to your chamber and be as asleep. There is a way-I think-dim, but a way. Go to your chamber; for there vet may be Prevention Berengere. I-yes, yes. rolanda. There is a way. (I3ERENGERE goes.) Strength now to walk it ! strength unfaltering. Camarin. What do you purpose rolanda. Here to take her place, Here at the lowest of her destiny. Camarin. 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 her, and they wait.) Ah, it is he ! 6amarin. No. rolanda. Yes, the words; at once! 30 YOLANDA YOLANDA 31 Camnarin (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 fiar, looses herself, pretending to discover RENIER, who is struck rigid.) Moro. My lord, my lord! It is Yolanda. R.nier. Thcn- (The dagger falls from him.) Why, then-Amaury! (YOLANDA, realising, stunned, sinks back to the divan.) CURTAIN. ACT IJ SEVERAL DAYS HAVE ELAPSED. SCENeE: The forecourt of the castle, beyond which is the garden and in the distance the mountains, 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 liftea 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. 7ohn, 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, osotions him silently into the 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 laughter. The other two join her. YOLANDA Civa. Look at him! Maga ! Mauria! behold Was ever sight so sweet upon the world His eyes ! his lips ! a prince Mauria (critically). Now, is he not P With the price of vinegar upon his face. ,All laugh.) The price of vinegar ! who'll buy !-Not I! Not I 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! 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 ssh ! beware ! there's something of import. (They stop in snock awe before him.) What does he think of Mauria. Sphinxes and the spheres. Giva. Or little ants and gnats that buzz about him. Mauria. And how to make them smart for sauciness. Civa. Or of Alessa ! Maga. No, no, Civa ! come; Enough of teasing. Of Alessa ! 4 33 Ovra. Maga. No. Your pitcher, come. He's troubled by the talc Of lady Yolanda- And waits for lord Amaury from the battle. Ciza. 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's gall, remember, if she learns. (CIVA flouts him, but goes to the fountain. The others follow, fill their jfirs, and, singing, return to the garden. YOLANDA then crosses to HASSAN, who waits evasive.) rolanda. My want is still the same-words are unneeded. Hassan. To know of lord Amaury rolanda. He has not yet returned Hassan (loathly). Kolanda. Nor heard Hassan. Nothing. Yolanda. Hassan (low). rolanda. Lord Amaury- I have not seen him. I cannot understand. (Goes to the gate, troubled.) Liar that I am to say it ! I cannot-cannot I (Returns.) 34 YOLANDA The Saracens we know were routed to Their vessels-all the Allah-crying horde. And lord Amaury-said the courier riot 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-hr dushes.) With reason ! . . . knowing, lady, what, here, flow, Is rumoured of a baron And lady Yolanda ! . . . Pardon Ys/anda (slowly). Of a baron And lady Yolanda. Hassan. Yes: it is the women Who with their ears ever at secresv Rumour it. But, lady, it is a lic This Camarin, this prinker, Whose purse is daily loose to us. . . . I curse him His father . . . Well, my mother's ten years dead And flower lips breathe innocent above her. But I'll avenge her shame. Yalanda. On-hiin Hassan. On him! And-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. Alfter a pause). Come here . . . look in my eyes, and-deepcr . Shame! 3 5 YOLANDA YOLANDA (He is quelled.) 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. rolanda. With murder no. But if you would indeed, As oft you have- Hassan. Lady, I will. rolanida. 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's in May Amaury! . . . Come! we'll go to him ! we'll go! Before any within Lusignan-! if/esia. Lady! Folanda. At once ! it rings again ! again ! we'll go Xlessa. And tell him rolanda. 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. 36 rolanda. Not ah ! . . . then what 'Twas not his trumpet Hassan (after a struggle). No. And I will lie to you no longer. rolanda. You Hassan. Though for obedience it be or life And at lord Renier's command. . . . It is Not true that lord Amaury from the battle Has not returned. relanda. But he-you mean-is here (Stands motionless.) Hassan. Here: came on vesterday at dusk. Was led Up to his chamber . . . So much lord Renier who slipt him in Revealed, that I might guile you. /eissa (sharply). And you have Hassan. Yes. A/essa. Though you boasted love to me Hassan. Now, woman ,A/eisa. Lady, I would have wed him-wed this toad Who'd kill the Paphian, too Hassan. Yes A/essa. Worm ! with dust Heeling away from him rolanda. Be still, be still. (ALESSA turns to her.) These words can wait on what may yet be helped. This mav undo me! First of all I should Have seen Amaurv ! Now-! YOLANDA 37 38 YOLANDA Hassan. The Venetian ! (They start. VIrrIA enters from castle.) Lady, I will go in. Siesia. And I; to wait. [7they go. Yolanda (suddenly). But I to see Amaury. I'ittia. What (Stops.) Iolanda. To see, Vittia Visani, who withholds Amaury- Who came last night at dusk, as well you know. (They fare, opposed.) What have you told him 1ittia. Hah rolanda. Insolence, false And feigning ! But no matter; lies are brief. I'll go myself to him. 'ittia. To be repelled BERENGERE enters. Yolanda. If he could trust you-but he could not. Iittia. Knowing A Paphian ere this has fondled two Folanda. You hear, mother (To Jittia.) Out of my way at once. Btrtngere. Stay, stay ! She has not told him ! nothing ! ... Yes, I too have been aware and kept you blind. But, nothing ! for he still is overworn. And now his wound- YOLANDA rolanda. Wound ! Berengere. Yolanda. And is in danger-jeopardy Berengere. I If the leech Tremitus has any skill; And that you know. 39 he is wounded He sleeps. n none; rolanda. I thank . . . Madonna (VITTIA laughs and goes.) 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- . . thee ! Bertngtre. Do not call me so again. (Turns away.) I have not-and I will not. Yolanda. Oh 1 Berengere. 1 cannot. Folanda. 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 ! Berengere. I cannot. rolanda (proudly). Then hear, hear me! I Too am a woman, and the woman wants, The beauty and ache and dream and glow and urge YOLANDA Of an unreckoned love are mine as yours. I will not lose Amaury; 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. Mother! Berengere. To some retreat Away! ro/anda. Where still pursuit would follow ! even, I fear, Amaury's !- And overtake you though it were as far As the sea foams, or past the sandy void Of stricken Africa. It would be vain. Vain, and I cannot have you. No, but listen- (Breaks off seeing RENIER, on the castle threshold. His look is on her, but he comes down addressing BERENGERE.) Renier. She troubles you too much. Berengere. My lord 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. Berengere ('u/llv). No; I think you wrong her. (YOLANDA moves apart.) Renier. Nobly you pity ! But it will not veil her. Rather the convent and the crucifix, Matin and Vesper in a round remote, 40 YOLANDA And senseless beads, for such.-But what more now Is she demanding Rerengere. Little. Renier. Not the means Still to deceive Ainaury Brrengere. Renier . . . no. (Speaks 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. Berengere. Ye Renier (slowly). As those that wedded love Berengere. Renier. s. And we might be Perhaps. That-love ! (A pause.) Then it shall be, at once . . . But no, I first Have a confession. Berengere. You Renier. A pang !-For days (Takes her 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. (She recoils te YOLANDA, who comes up. I did; but rue, rue it ! . 41 YOLANDA . . . Yet-it is just 'T'hat you recoil even as now you do From stain upon your wedded constancy.... But Time that is e'er-pitiful may pass Soon over it- And leave only forgiveness. And perhaps Then 1 shall win you as I never have.- Now the request. Berengere. That now . . . I cannot plead. (Sees YOLANDA harden. Is impel/edl.) And yet I must . . . It is that, till I bid Amaury may not know of this . . . not know This trouble fallen from a night or 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 rolanda. Sir, no ! . . . She means 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. 4.2 YOLANDA Believe !-believe ! Renier. I will-that you are mad. Yet madder I, if to this coil my brain Were blind. rolanda. As it will be ! with 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 White orange blossoms dewy to your pillow You touched mv hand gently, as might a father. (Caresses his.) Once on the tower when alone at dusk I sang-I know not why-of lost delights, Of vanished roses that are ere recalling May to the world, you came and suddenly Lifted my brow up silent to your kiss. Ah, vou 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. ro/anda. For his sake I ask it. Renier. For No sake but to o'erswav him with your eyes In secret, thus, and with Your hair that he believes an aureole Brought with you out of Heaven. 43 44 YOLANDA 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 here -it should not. There's midnight in this thing and mystery. Does she not love-Camarin rolanda (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. Volanda. It should not. Renier (with a sudden gleam). To-morrow then, unless Amaury runs Fitting revenge through Camarin of Paphos, Your lover, you shall clasp him openly Before all of Lusigman. rolanda. No; no, no! The thought of it is soil ! . . . Rather . . . his death Renier. What, what Berengere. My lord, she knows not what she says. The unaccustomed wind of these ill hours Has torn tranquillity from her and reason. rolanda (realising). Yes, as she says-tranquillity and reason. (Strains to smile.) These hours of ill ! Renier. I'll send her Camarin. [Goes, looking steadfastly back. YOLANDA 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. Kolanda. Mother Berengere. Nothing ; a pain Here in my breast. (Sits.) rolanda. And it is all through him Who as a guest came pledged into this house. Came with the chivalry and manly show Of reverence and grace, and on his lips Lore of the east and wonders of the west. (CAMARIN appears from garden.) Alh, and he seeks us now ! unwhelmed of it Ready of step, impassive, cold ! And see- (He bows, then listens rigid/l.) A flawless courtesy ! as 'twere a king's. 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. (Pauses.) Camarin. Or death. rolanda. Then have you not, unshameable 45 YOLANDA A help for it or healing you who know So well the world and its unwonted ways! A man would have, a man. Camarin. And I am barren. My brain an arid waste under remorse. Only-one thing it yields-the love of her My love has made unholy. 1-canda. While to me The shame is left, and silence-no defence, When it is told Amaury, "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 will not bear it. Camarin. Then how what . . . You must. Though for your suffering I am pitiful. You must 7 (Takes her wrist.) For to one thing, one only now I'm bent- That Berengere be saved. Berengere. To-day . . . no more. Camarin. Suspicion and the peril-feet of shame I must keep from her still. rolanda. Though driven o'er My heart they trample the lone flower of hope. (Shaking of his hand, then, unnaturally wrought zip.) And even now perhaps Amaury hears 46 YOLANDA And turns away in horror! (Gssnarin. What Come, Enough is here without- Kolanda (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 ! Camnarin. A frenzy! Folly ! you wander Yslanda (listening). Whose that anguish whose Camarin. Amaury still is many leagues away- (Hassssn appears.) 47 come. Mere At Keryneia ! Do you hear me Yolanda. Hassan (Is nuinh as he hurries down frsz thse castle to her. ! pause; then her voice falls hoarsely.) I hear you, speak. His wounds I know. The rest They've told him Hassan. The Venetian, who nurst him Last night, pouring his potions- She and lord Renier. They broke his sleep. He listened to them as one in a grave. Thenr they besought of him Some oath against you, were they right: he would not. Now he has risen, Silent and pale and suffering in leash. He's corning here. Camarin. Why, you are mad rolanda. Be still. YOLANDA Camarin. Amaury was not then delayed is -here (Voices are heard perturbed within the castle. Then AMAURY, putting aside REeiER and TREMITrUS, followed by VIrTIA and others, enters down.) 4inaury. I'll not return unto my couch though twice These wounds and all your wants were urging it Yolanda ! my Yolanda !-Never, never ( akjs her to hin.) Until I prove you that a word against Her that I hold here in my arms is more To me than any peril. Treznitus. But, sir-! . . . Aei My precious physic wasted! Arnaury. 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 Bathing a thousand years in angel song They say, you, who are stainless to my eves As is the sacring-bell to holy ears, So undefiled even the perfect lily Pendant 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 A4maury. 0, sir, pardon. You are my father, and, I must believe, Mean well this monster breath's unchastity, h ! 48 As does this lady (of VirriA) who has gently nursed mc. But you were tricked; it was illusion swum Before your sleep. Therefore my purpose is Now to forget it. Tremitfus. Aieh ! and to return Now to my drugs. Renier. Stand off !-As dogs forget The lash in hunger of the wonted bone (Laughs angrily.) A'naury. A poison so incredible and dark You cannot duped innoculate me with. Trust in my veins makes of it but more lo ve. And to dispel your minds (goes to CAMARIN) I'll clasp his hand Whom you have so accused. Yittia. 0 do, my lord! (Smiles dlisdainful/y.) And then embrace him in whose arms three nights Ago she was embraced. Yalanda (to her). Can you so say Jittia. Yes, and will add- Amaury. Lady of Venice, nothing But this to all, I answer There is my mother, see, Wounded with wonder of this plight, and pity. Yolanda has dwelt by her As the fawn By the white doe on mount Chionodes. I would as quick believe that she had given S 49 YOLANDA Her holiness up to contamination As that Yolanda Kolanda. Amaury, e ilmaury. As quickly ! Fola !nough ! . . . I know! nda. Then . . . quell 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 ! . . . Rewier. So that you may Allure him yet to wed you dmaury. Sir Renier. She would. Y..'anda. No, no ! But let him. . . . Then I will go far Away from here to any alien air, To opiate India, a lost sea-isle ! To the last peak of arid Caucasus. Renier. With Camarin of Paphos Yolanda. With whoever Your peace and this compelling pain . . . Ah no! Renier. With him, with him, I say ; . Am1aur-y. 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. so YOLANDA YOLANDA 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 ! Renier. Vainly implored.--- Yet ask her this, If she three nights ago- Armaury. I will not so insult her- Trern;tus. Aieh- Renier. Insult She knows what I would bid and does she hurl Her soul in any disavowal Araury. I Will speak to her alone. Go all of you There to the fountain. 2olanda. 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. Amaurv. Nor 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. (She pa;ses into the castle.) Renier. But I never until this guiler grants SI YOLANDA I found her in the arms of Camarin, Drinking the frenzied wine of passion he Poured from his soul. bnaury. Yolanda Renier. She is silent Dumb to deny it. nmaury. But she will, she will. You've driven her with dread and awe. Vittia (lightly). And truth Irniaury. Have 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 I had struck, murdered a little child ! Or palsied one who put a hand to help me Or through eternity had desecrated, Vainiiv, 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. I 5 2 Camarin. Yolanda ! (A moment, then she sinks lown, her fisce in her hands. AMAURY groans; then starting goes fiercely to HASSAN, and taking his sword recrosfes trembling to CAMARIN.) elmaury. The day you first set step in Lusignan An image of the Magdalen within The chapel yonder fell-presaging this. Only your death, your death or mine stands pale Between us now, awaiting silently. Draw, and at once. Camarin. Amaury, I will not. Amaury. Out, quickly. Camarin. Do your will. I'll put no more To the guilt I bear, or to the misery That guilt has brought upon you. Amaury. Coward! Camarin. Strike Amaury. You play a part ! (Raves.) 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. elmaury. 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 My being- 53 YOLANDA YOLANDA Though I must go down into hell for it. (lHe starts, frenzied, to strike, but suddenly staggers; then clasps at his throat, drops the sword, and sinks down moaning.) nda. His wound! Aeih, aeih ! at last. rolanda. Amaury ! (Runs to him,. He struggles to his feet.) Amaury I Amaury! A4maurv. Stand away from me. (She falls back; he laughs in derisisn.) I to believe her pure as my own mother ' Vittia. Had you but trusted me, Amaury. ,sisaury. You Henceforth I wili. flittia. Amaury (significantly). Looks long at her.) And wholly She . . . shall do it. (Starts into the castle.) Yolanda (dauntedly). Amaury ! what is this 1ittia. That, ere a dawn, Guileless Yolanda, you shall wed with him Your paramour of Paphos- Yolanda. Camarin Iittiu. And from these gates be led wanton away. (YOLANDA, for a moment whelmed, tries to laugh scorn; but, turning, her eye meets RENIER'S full of suspicion. He follows AMAURY meaningly into the castle.) CURTAIN. rYsa Tremitus. Oh! 54 ACT III THE SAME DAY. SCENE: The Hall and loggia of Act 1.; but toward sunset, and afar, on the Jfushed sea, are seen the fisher-boats returning pale-winged to shore. In the left distance, also, a portion ;/' Famagouste is visible above the waves-its orient walls anwd towers, 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 balcony leading to the sleeping apartments and to the chapdl. SMARDA is lying lithely on the divan, beguiled with hcr charms and amulets, and from time to time giving a low, sinuous laugh. VITTIA enters, watches a moment, thoughtfuls then advances. Fittia. Smarda Smarda (springing up). Lady . . . your slave! littia. I think you are. Think that you are-if ever the leopard yields. Smarda. To you, lady A-ha I let him refuse. Command! YOLANDA IVittia. And you will heed it well; I fear not. But first I have thought of requital. Smarda (avidly). Ouie 1 k'ittia. Those amulets- - Smarda. Of jade-and sard Vittia. And which You prize so- Smarda. From my home in Scythia Across the sea (darkening) they came with me. IVittif. The home Whence you were torn by the Moor who was your master. (Sees SMARDA snarl.) Is it not so Smarda. The spirits strangle him ! (Works lividly at the charms.) 1/ittia. Well, if I win to-night what is begun You shall not want, I think, Of gold for 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 i'ittia. Yes, Pietro, it must be, has arrived With papers that will help. Smarda. Ha ! Fortune's touch ! 1Vittia. It is, but tardy. Therefore I must have YOLANDA Them instantly. Smarda. Ere he has time, lady, To vaunt of love in Lusignan and babble. Jittia. A wooing dolt ! btut safe-because he fears.- 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's look Strangely upon his mother: for that doubt, His father's, still I've been compelled to feed, To move Yolanda.- Here I shall be, then, here within this place. [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 ! (WFhirls faster with a wild grace, swaying to and fro, and chanting ioftly the while, till suddenly a laugh in the corridor stops her, and PIETRO is heard through the curtains adoring CIVA, who pushes him into the Hall, then runs away laughing.) Pietro (aufter her). Hold, fair one ! Stay (lurns.) Smarda. Pietro ! Pietro. Slave ! (Vainly). I greet you. (Bows grandly.) 57 YOLANDA Smarda. A-ha! . . . So! Pietro. I, Pietro, as you see, Who, you're aware, am sought Of all the loveliest Attendant on the lords and high of Venice. Smarda. Yes . . . Ha! Pietro. "The gentle Pietro," they say. You may remember. Smarda. Pietro. And then they sigh. Smarda. Pietro. Ha! " Proud Pietro ! " Sigh. But you've papers- Then- They weep and pine-until I must console them. Smnarda (going to where lhe poses; contemptuously). And for all this, 0 prince of paramours, (lHe is startled.) M'vIy lady has no doubt bid you to sail From Venice. Pietro. Slave Smnarda. And she will hear with love That you delay the powers of the Senate Sent in your keeping to her. She ! Pietro. Smarda. Oh, with (As he twitches.) Love and delight-for urgently she waits them ! And then-then of your amorous mouthings yonder ! Pietro. You will not, slave ! but quickly take them to her, YOLANDA The papers . quickly! (Fumbles Jor them.) Dear slave, you will-and say if she inquire That I was led astray By the little Cyprian with guiling eyes Who fell enamoured of me at the gate. Smarda. Civa ! Pietrs. The same ! I sought to run away, (Still searching.) o slave, say to her, but I could not for- For-for a lady by the marble knight, That is, by the fountain, swooned, as- Smarda. Pietro. Swooned! She did. Out by the fountain. Smards. As you came who which Lady Yolanda lady Berengere (He stares at her ardour.) Did no one say . . . My mistress must know this ! The papers, quickly ! Slave, you -! By my sins ! (She has seized them, and is gone. He follows amazed. Sunset begins without, crimson and far. ANMAURY appears from the loggia, reckless, -worn. He pauses, looks about him, troubled.) Amaury. Not here yet. . . . There is more in this than seems. Pietro. S9 YOLANDA (Goes to divan and sits. VrrlIA enters behind.) 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- kmaury. What ! It is moving in me clouded, Deeper than sight but pressing at my peace. My father's look ! vou saw it Vittia. Ah! Amaury. And saw Fear in my mother Vittia. Yes, implanted deep. .dmaury. And did not wonder Vittie (sits). When I knew its source No need, my lord-though your pang too I marked- For, trust me, ere to-morrow it will cease- If you are firm. Amaury. I who know nought In what I'ittia. That do not ask, I pray. (Deftly.) Another could Fitly reply, but I--- A maury. No other better! 1ittia. Then . . . it will cease, my lord- So as a flail of doubt it should not still Beat in you-when Yolanda Is wed with Camarin . . . no, do not speak; The reason for your sake I must withhold. 60 YOLANDA 6I dtmaury. Though as under sirocco I am kept. (Sits.) Sirocco (Rises. a pause.) Yet you speak gently. JVittia. No ; unblushingly I (He looks surprise.) Unblushingly to one who knows-though by A chance-my love to him. (Turns away.) And yet I cannot rue That he awaking sudden from the potion Surprised the dew of it upon my lips. No, and I would that gentle words might be As waters of enchantment on his grief-- But of Yolanda- (Rises.) Asmaury. Still I love her, still Vittia (strainedly). As well she knows, so may refuse to wed With Camarin. Amaury. She Fittia. Since you are Lusignan, Heir of a sceptred line, And yet may reach-the realm. Amaury (pierced). No . . . not for that Her hope was; [ittia. Were it folly to make sure (f pause.) inaury. How speak. Vittia. Again unshameful No; one thing Alone would serve you. That I must not bring My tongue to falter. Amaury. Be it so. Vittia. And yet . . . (He has turned away.) My lord, my lord, I will Will . . . for you suffer Will, though indelicacy seem to soil What bloom I boasted. Let her think . . let her, But for to-day, That you, for she's aware of my affection, Have chosen-to wed me. A4maury. You! Vittia. For to-day. To-morrow I return to Venice, then- Denial. Amaury (moved). Lady- Vittia. Yes. Amaury. This is most kind. (She waits repressed-as he struggles.) Kind ; I will do it. J/ittia. Will Amaury. Grateful, intent For the issue's utterance. And this wear you, This token of our race, ( Takes of his ring.) For a proof to her of any tie soever. (He puts it on VITTIA'S finger.) 62 YOLANTDA YOLANDA 63 But now-for the sails make home along the sea- Now of my mother. J/ittia. More, my lord if maury. This only; (SM ARDA glides in.) To-morrow . . . Scythian ! Vittia. Who ! my lord . . . (Sees the ilasve's look, which stirs himi.) Smarda! Why are you here . . . Those papers-but your lips! (Takes the papers.) Not these alone have brought you thus ; then what (Follozus SMARDA'S eye.) Of lord Amaury Smarda. Of his mother. Vittia. How! Smarda. She swooned of terror at the castle gate. She lies in danger. Hear-'twas as she fled The lord of Lusignan. dfmaury. My father Smarda. He. And you are sought below, I heard it said Some officer of Famagouste-and men. (AMAURY turns dazed and goes.) 1ittia (with Je/rvour, then-yet awed). This is again fortune . . fortune Smarda. Lady Vittia. Is ! though an instant since it seemed disaster. Smarda. And how 6 YOLANDA Jlittia. Yolanda, does she know, Smarda. Nothing. Nothing. She was returning from the rocks Where nest the windy gulls (gloating4') 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: go, tell him, The loggia-at once . . . Ah YOLANDA enters. Yolanda (to hersel]). " Ah " indeed. (Her look sf purpose changes to one of distrust. But she firnmly fronts to VITTIA, as the slave slips out.) 1ittia. My gratitude ! I wished, and you are here. rolanda. And-for some reason of less honour-you. Vittia. 1, a dear guest fa rolanda. Were you ! and not one This ne'er-before-envenomed air would banish. (Slowly) 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 infamy Would lie preventing; so there is no fear. (Sits.) J;iwtia. A prophesy ' 64 YOLANDA rolanda. A deeper than disdain. Vittia. Or than your love of Camarin of Paphos ! Yolanda. Which you would feign, but cannot. Vittia. Still, before Eveninrg is done, you will become his wife 17 landa. If, ere it come, all under Lusignan Do not look scorn on Vittia Pisani. (Rises.) Jittia. What! how Kd anda. Plentiful scorn I (Wish joy.) A thing may stul 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 would when she who's guilty And this enamoured Paphian are fled (YOLANDA turns page,.) When they are fled I ha . . . And it is too late. la n da. Too- You by some trick-a trick have- fittia. Hindered Little I needed . . Her wings are flightless. Verging-go learn '-to death. roianda. No! ('ittia. She is ill, To the grave. And you alone, she knows, can put it far- Since she is numbed and drained Momently by the terror of her husband, Whose every pulse seems to her a suspicion. 6 YOLANDA rolanda. 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 again as dew If you wed freely Camarin of Paphos. olan(la. And that, you could! though in her heart remorse Trampled and tore ! Though with the wounds of battle he you "love" Is livid still. Ilittia. And grieves -Be comforted For he is-now security has come. (Shows ring; YOLANDA falls back.) As he is, do not fear. rolanda. Amaury ! . . . Oh! He is not ! no, Amaury ! . . . He so soon Ah, you are nserciless ! 1ittia. Only aware How to compel your pity to my ends; For you will spare his mother. rYlanda. Yielding-still, And past all season of recovery Shattering love for ever at my feet No, you are duped. For empty, cold arc 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. (S/lwly.) And-if she dies in terror of the lips 66 YOLANDA Of Renier Lusignani-on your peace The guilt be! Jittia. No. rlandla. The heaping mass of horror itti'a (msived). No, on her own; for she has sinned. Yolanda. And s But you-- Vittia. I say her own. I've done no crime. Anid you will wed him. Eolanda. Were I Venetian But am nlot; so remorse has come in you There at the gates that guard your jest 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. Then yours the penance Jittia. Liar !. . . ah . .e (R'covers herself) A babe I am so to be fed with fright. You-well I know-will not desert her thus To . . . the medusa of his doubt. Yolanda. I will nrot. (JVith exultance.) Will, will not, will not, will not But von it is-- uffered ! iough. 67 YOLANDA For in the worst that live there still 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 ! Vzttia. And-then go pray (1)raws 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. lc/anda. Here In league with you I in this ! l'irtia. Most loyally And ready skilfully to disavow, With every force, your innocence-if you Attempt betrayal !- Enter, my lord of Paphos- (CAMARI N enters f!s-ernte;. j 68 YOLANDA I have spoken. She has not pledged to wed you-though the life Of Berengere Lusignan fall for it, And though Amaury . . . But you may avail. (Moves of: YOLANDA stands silentlybetween them. CAMARIN looks at her, filters, then turns on VIT'rIA.) Caimarin. As an anchorite for immortality, Venetian, I covet this-covet ! Yet . . . I will not entreat it of her. Vittia. Caonarin. I swore in dread, but will not ! Fittia. Folanla (low). JVitria. Now you refuse Yolanda. He does-he doi Vittia. Isleo ns What ! Now ! Madonna ! The whole nda. Lady of Venice, yes; for very shame (With grave joy.) Bitterly tho' it be, he must, for shame 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. 69 YOLANDA 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 Tia sway me to forgetting-I to whom 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 or 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. Fola nda. Ah, for sceptre and for might 70 Then to compel you. Jittia. Still, there is none. rolanda. None . . . (Sinks to a seat in despair.) Yet could I think ! Hassan. Lady Yolanda- (dfdvances.) ro/anda. Were My brain less weary Hassan. Lady Yolanda- Yo/andea. Well Hassan. There is a means-a might. rolanda. Well (Is half heedless.) Hassan. To compel her. rolanda. To . . . what Hassan. If you will dare it. rolanda. Will- Hassan. I swear. Ko/anda (rising). 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 Be sent to Venice whence she came. Camarin. Mad ! inad ! Venice would rise Hassan. And Cyprus, to be free But 'tis not, lady ! and lord Renier 7 1 YOLANDA YOLANDA 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! roianda. And must be. Vittia. Fools, to me (She stands defensive, a's HASSAN prepares to close in.) rolanda. Quickly, and take her. Hassan. Now. Camssrin (with sudden horror). No ! . . . Sateless God (Ilis eyes are fixed on the balcony.) See, see I . . . Berengere ! Oh ' fury of hell (Thee look and fa/I back appalled. For slowly down the steps comeis RENIER following BERENGERE, whose eyes turn back in fluttering trance upon him.) 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 frorm her, go go! Renier. No . . . she shall tell me. Luanda. Mother! . . . Tell you that You are her murderer , Renier. rola The truth I nda. The truth I (Laughs bitterly, and at a loSs, as if amazed. Then, aslwasst against her will, led, to the end-) YOANDA 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 l oIanda. Because I show befitting shame that I was here Found in his arms . . . when to Amaurv I was betrothed Renier. Power of-! No! Y-landa. 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 Berengtre (faintly). Yolanda Renier. I say-only delayed and you- rolanda. Yes, yes. Now I will wed him, heedless, wantless, wild. 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 73 YOLANDA We shall see. (To HASSAN.) Bid Moro and Amaury.-As for her, I soon mav come and seek forgiveness. Berengere. (HASSAN goes.) No! MV brain and breath ! . . . the pall . . . where am I .. .how Long must I lie! Tremnitus. She speaks to visions. So, So can the blood do-trick us utterly ! (He supports her-with ALESSA--S/OW/y up steps and ox. YOLANDA covers her eves. HASSAN returns with MORO, then, and AMAURY, whose look seeks VITTZA.) rosandlO (as a// stand silent). Speak, speak, and tell him Renier. Yes, Amaury . . . you Are sent for to behold Yolanda wed, As you commanded, Here unto Camarin. Shame has till now Withheld her, but . . . what ails you d4haury. On; go on. The sudden blood tip to my wounds. Renier. It has, I say, withheld her. But she now has chosen. 'Imaury. So; and . . . it is well. And here are her Vows I have kept- STakes a packet from his breast.) '74 Renier. YOLANDA 75 Vows and remembrances . . . I shall aspire-- (Hands it; she lets it fall.) rhat I may loathe her not o'ermuch; and to Muffle my sword from him that now she weds. (His voice breaks tonelessly.) Come, let it be. rolanda. Amaury! .4maury (angrily.) Priest, be brief! /l's (before them; as CARAMIN takes YOLANDA'S hand). The Church invests me and the powers of 'I'his 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. YOLASDA stands dazed. A silence. Then a shuddering cry and all turn toward the balcony, where ALESSA bursts, pale, wild, and striving to speak. Yolanda (with dread, awe, premonition). Alessa ! ,lessa. Lady Yolanda ! you have wed him rolanda (pausing.) Yes. Alessn. Lady Berengere is dead. rolanda. No! . . . No (Chokes rebelliously.) It cannot be ! mother ! cannot ! awake her! And tell her I have wed him ! mother ! cannot! (Goes trembling, beliefiessly, up the balcony. A strange doubt seizes A MAURY. On the rest is silence, consternation, and fear.) CURTAIN. ACT IV 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 Byzantine mosaics of gaunt saints on back- grounds of gold. The altar is in the rear, and abov 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 MIagdalen. Forward are two other pillars whose bases form seats. 'l le right wall has, set midway, a large door hung with heavy curtains. 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, loosks around, then calls uncertainly- Alessa. Good father ! Father Moro ! . . . He is not here. (Rubs her eyes again.) The dead are strange ! I knew not all their power. It is as if her spirit still imprisoned Hovered beneath the pallor of her face And strove to speak. Good father I YOLANDA Enter MORO. Ah, you were There in the sacristv. Moro. Yes. Your desire .l/essa. The acolytes summoned from Famagouste To aid your rites before her burial Have come, and wait. Send hither two. (Looks closely at her .) At once. (Is going. He stops her.) Moro. Woman, this passes silence. There must be Some question. Do you understand this wedding The evil that has risen in this house Speak. X/essa. I may not. Moro. As says Yolanda, who Has been 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 I heard Her darkly bid the Paphian be gone- From here-without her. And he would not No. (A pause.) 77 Moro. ,4les sa. Atessa. Moro. Does she nsot see lightinings now in Amaury, Plunging for truth What is't Ale ssa. The acolytes Are waiting. Moro. Go . . . But if this hour bring forth What you shall rue- Alessa. Father [Gocs 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. (TIwo enter, sleek, sanctimonious.) (7Is First.) Come here . . . You're Serlio, Of the Ascension. You 2nd Acolyte. Hilarion. Fromn Santa Maria by the Templars' well, Which God looks on with gratitude, father. For though we're poor and are unworthy servants 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! Msro. Kindle all 78 YOLANDA YOLANDA Its tapers. The departed will be 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. 7Yiey put off cant and set to work.) Hilarion (insolently, lighting a taper). We'll have good wine for this! Serlio. The Chian ! Hee! None's like the Chian ! and to-morrow, meat I Last week old Ugo died and we had pheasant. Flilarion. When we are priests we'll give no comforting To wife or maid-till we have sipped! Serlio. And supped Though 'tis a Friday and the Pope is dead (Silence. They work faster.) Hilarion. There, it is done. Now to the image. Serlio. Well, Olympio, the cock who fetched us, said That image fell first on the day-- Hilarnon. 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. (Xs ALESSA re-enters; hypocriticaliy.) The blessed dead ! in Purgatory may They briefly bide. 79 Se rlio. Aye ! aye ! Xlessa (still trsubled). What say you Hilarion. I lay that it is wise 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. Ah I Serlio. 0 Lord ! diessa (staring). No ! . . . Well, such things There are perchance. And now 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 1, now It will not totter again. (Descends.) ,Ilessa. Would that it might Upon the head of- (catches herself; calmly) You are awaited There in the sacristy. . . . The chant begins (Ihe acolytes go. She grows more disquieted.) Begins ! and lady Yolanda still awaits Heedless, though Lord Amaury's desperate As is the Paphian ! . . . They near ! . . . The curtains (Goes to them and draws them back. Is she does so the chant swells louder. Then the cortdge enters-MORO, the acolytes with tapers ; BERENGERE on a litter, AMAURY, RENIER, VIrrIA, the women, HASSAN, and 80 YOLANDA YOLANDA last YOLANDA. The litter, ANIAURY by it, comes to the a/tar; the chanting ceases.) AIoro (as AMAURY bows, 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. sfmaury. Set down the bier. (It is placed.) Aioro. Then bliss Afar for ever ! Jina Mor dIma Ador Lone rest ! ury (rises). Be it so! ( 1urning; brokenly.) But unto any, mother, who have brought thee Low to this couch, 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 tg a seat. A pause.) o. My son, relentless words. ury (up again). To the relentles a. God hear you not I kItnaury. Then is He not nmy God. 4'oro. Enough, enough. (To the rest.) But go and for her soul Freight all of you this tide of night with prayer. .'lmaury. Never ! 7 5s ! 82 YOLANDA Mlqsr I bid. Ainaury. And I forbid those who Have prized her not ! Fr thouzh nought's in the world but prayer may move, Still but the lips that loved her Should for her any sin beseeching lift. (Lv-sking at YOLANDA.) They and no other Yolanda. And, you mean-- A4maury. Not one. rolandla. Then, mother-- (Goes to bier.) //anaury. That name again f2lan da. While I have breath. (,Ns5bly.) Yes, thoucrh you hold me purgeless of that sin Only the pale arch-angels may endure Trembling to muse on (Or though yon image of the Magdalen, Whose 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 I speak with love. Canarin. Unswerving love. /banaury. Then, by Christ, and the world that craves His blood, I think She, if she would, or you, could point to me, (Jr you, Vittia Pisani, The reason of this sudden piteous death YOLANDA Hard on the haunted flight before my father. Whose lips refuse. (Caiari`. She knows no shred of it. /Imnaury. You lie to sax it. (fmarnain. IThen will, still-if ther Is need. Sinaury. Because vou love her r lan da. Peace, peace, peace. /linaury. A hollow word for what had never being. Yolanda. Look on her face and see. Amaurv (at ber). Upon her face Where not oblivion the void of death Has hid away, or can, the agony 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 doubt be rent away No earth shall fall andi quicken with her dust But I will search her face . . . till it reveals. Camarin. He raves. Anmaury. Iscariot ! yes rolanda. Again, peace, pI Amauty. That you may palter ! Ys/anda (gently). That she may not (Goes again to iier.) For-if 'tis near-her soul with this is wrung. Near ! would it were to hear me and impart Its yearning and regret to us who live, C ,ace ! griese. 8 3 ! YOLANDA 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 Or silence wrap you, oh, so humanly And seeming but a veil- Theis would you hear me say-(suddenly aghast) Ah, God ! Yolanda ! (She starts back f-om the bier.) Yolanda I Renier. rola Remt Girl, what rends you ida. Saw you not (Rushes to bier and shakes it.) Mother ! you hear me mother ! er. Girl ! Ylaandia. She breathes (Consternation. Some fall to their knes.) fittia. What what Yslan(la. Mother ! Her breast ! Mother ! She moves ! rimaury. God! God! Yolan;(a. Stand off from her . .. Mother! Casarin. Her eyes . They open ! open I Yolanda. Mother ! . ,1maury. See; her lips ! They strive to speak ! 0 faintly, 0 so faint 84 4maury. YOLANDA Can you not hear Berengere. Yolanda! rolanda. Berengere. Renier. Yes, yes Berengere. Yolanda- Renier. Sp, Berengere. Ci Yolanda's innocent, and I . . . Amaury. What what is it she sa) Berengere. Mother ! Renier ! eak ! trist, save .twas I. rs me ... Christ ! Camarin ! Ah I (She shudders and dies, amid /ow-uttered awe. RENDER bends, lays his hand a moment on her breast, then, with a cry of rage, springs from her and draws, and rushes on CANIARIN, who awaits him, desperate.) Anmaury (confused, as they engage). Yolanda; what is this Yoalen da. Amaury, in Compel lord Renier back ! he cannot live, You only could against Camarin now Wait 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. rs/anda. He's wounded ! Fool !-Camarin, strike ! 85 YOLANDA Camarin. Oh! . . . Berengere ! . . . treachery ! (He stagger, and sinks back heavily toward the pillar. There is breathless, strained suspense. Then he strikes the sacred column, and as he does so the image above sways, totters and crushes upsn hin. A cry, " The Magdalen !" goes up around.) Hassan (hurrying to hmirn; after awe and silence). He's dead. AIcssa. The Magdalen Hassan. No breath in him. (A pause.) Renier (low, harshly). Bear him without then ever from this place, That never more shall know a holy rite-- And from these gates, I care not to what tomb. (iO AMACRY.) Then shall vou hear this mystery's content, That still as a madness measures to your sight. Bear him without. ('Ilse limp body is borne away. A1 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. timaury. Yolanda ! . . . he ! . . . this reverence as to An angel Speak 86 Yotanda. Amaury- Amaury. 0 pause not rolanda. Then-to save her who's dead-from death and shame, I took her place within the Paphian's arms. Imaury. 0 ! . . . and by me, driven by me, bore this (Overcome) Pure as the rills of Paradise, endured ro/anda. For you !-and her who sleeps forgiven there, (WVith deep abandon.) Now while her spirit weightless overwingeth Night, to that Throne whose seeing 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 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 stands 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 jay he enfoldi her, and they kneel, wrapped about with the cL/ar snson.) THE END. YOLANDA 8 7 This page in the original text is blank. LYRICS This page in the original text is blank. JAEL JEHOVAH ! Jehovah ! art Thou not stronger than gods of the heathen I slew him, that Sisera, prince of the host Thou dost hate. Butt fear of his blood is upon me, about me is breathen His spirit-by night and by day come voices that wait. Athirst and affrightened he fled from the star-wrought waters of Kishon. His face was as wool when he swooied at the door of my tent. The Lord hath given him into the hand of perdition, I smiled-but he saw not the face of my cunning intent. He thirsted for water: I fed him the curdless milk of the cattle. JAEL He lay in the tent under purple and crimson of Tyre. He slept and he dreamt of the surge and storming of battle. Ah ha! but he woke not to waken Jehovah's ire. He slept as he were a chosen of Israel's God Almighty. A dog out of Canaan !-thought he I was woman alone I slipt like an asp to his ear and laughed for the sight he Would give when the carrion kites should tear to his bone. I smote thro' his temple the nail, to the dust a worm did I bind him. My heart was a-leap with rage and a-quiver with scorn. And I danced with a holy delight before and behind him- I that am called blessed o'er all who're of Judah born. " Aye, come, I will show thee, 0 Barak, a woman is more than a warrior," I cried as I lifted the door wherein Sisera lay. 92 JAEL "To me did he fly and I shall be called his destroyer- I, Jael, who am subtle to find for the Lord a way ! " "Above all the daughters of men be blest-of Gilead or Asshur," Sang Deborah, prophetess, under her waving palm. "Behold her, ye people, behold her the heathen's abasher; Behold her the Lord hath uplifted- behold and be calm. "'[he mother of him at the window looks out thro' the lattice to listen- XVhy roll not the wheels of his chariot whv does he stay Shall he not return with the booty of battle, and glisten In songs of his triumph--ye women, why do ye not say," And I was as she who danced when the Seas were rendered asunder And stood, until Egypt pressed in to be drowned unto death. Mv breasts were as fire with the glory, the rocks that were under 93 JAEL My feet grew quick with the gloating that beat in my breath. At night I stole out where they cast him, a sop to the jackal and raven. But his bones stood up in the moon and I shook with affright. The strength shrank out of my limbs and I fell a craven Before him-the nail in his temple gleamed bloodily bright. Jehovah ! Jehovah ! art Thou not stronger than gods of the heathen I slew him, that Sisera, prince of the host Thou dost hate. But fear of his blood is upon me, about me is breathen His spirit-by day and by night come voices that wait. I fly to the desert, I fly to the mountain-but they will not hide me. His gods haunt the winds and the caves with vengeance that cries For judgment upon me; the stars in their courses deride me- The stars Thou hast hung with a breath in the wandering skies. 94 JAEL 95 Jehovah ! Jehovah ! I slew him the scourge and sting of Thy Nation. Take from me his spirit, take from me the voice of his blood. With madness I rave-by day and by night, defamation Jehovah, release me ! Jehovah if still Thou art God ! MARY AT NAZARETH I KNOW, Lord, Thou hast sent Him- Thou art so good to me '- But Thou hast only lent Him, His heart's for Thee! I dared-Thy poor hand-maiden- Not ask a prophet-child Only a boy-babe laden For earth-and mild. But this one Thou hast given Seems not for earth-or me ! His lips flame truth from heaven, And vanity Seem all my thoughts and prayers When He but speaks Thy Law Out of my heart the tares Are torn by awe MARY AT NAZARETH I cannot look upon Him So strangely burn His eyes- Hath not some grieving drawn Him From Paradise For Thee, for Thee I'd live, Lord Yet oft I almost fall Before Him-Oh, forgive, Lord, Mv sinful thrall! But e'en when He was nursing, A baby at my breast, It seemed He was dispersing The world's unrest. Thou bad'st me call Him "Jesus" And from our heavy sin I know He shall release us, From Sheol win. But, Lord, forgive! the yearning That He may sometimes be Like other children, learning Beside my knee, Or playing, prattling, seeking For help,-comes to my heart.... Ah sinful, Lord, I'm speaking- How good Thou art! 8 9 7 OUTCAST I DID not fear, But crept close up to Christ and said, "Is He not here " They drew me back- The seraphs who had never bled Of weary lack- But still I cried, With torn robe, clutching at His feet, "Dear Christ! He died So long ago ! Is He not here Three days, unfleet As mortal flow Of time I've sought- Till Heaven's amaranthine ways Seem as sere nought!" A grieving stole Up from His heart and waned the gaze Of His clear soul OUTCAST Into my eyes. "He is not here," troubled He sighed. "For none who dies Beliefless may Bend lips to this sil-healing Tide, And live alway." Then darkness rose Within me, and drear bitterness. Out of its throes I moaned, at last, " Let me go hence ! Take off the dress, The charms Thou hast Around me strown ! Beliefless too am I without His love-and lone Unto the Gate They led me, tho' with pitying doubt. I did not wait But stepped across Its portal, turned not once to heed Or know my loss. Then my dream broke, And with it every loveless creed- Beneath love's stroke. 99 ADELIL PROUD Adelil ! Proud AdelilI Why does she lie so cold (I made her shrink, I made her reel, I made her white lids fold.) We sat at banquet, many maids, She like a Valkyr free. (I hated the glitter of her braids, I hated her blue eye's glee !) In emerald cups was poured the mead; Icily blew the night. (But tears unshed and woes that bleed Brew bitterness and spite.) "A goblet to my love !" she cried, "Prince where the sea-winds fly !" (Her love !-it was for that he died, And for it she should die.) ADELIL 101 She lifted the cup and drank-she saw A heart within its lees. (I laughed like the dead who feel the thaw Of summer in the breeze.) They looked upon her stricken still, And sudden they grew appalled. (" It is thy lover's heart !" I shrill As the sea-crow to her called.) Palely she took it-did it give Ease there against her breast (Dead-dead she swooned, but I cannot live, And dead I shall not rest.) THE DYING POET SWING in thy splendour, 0 silent sun, Drawing my heart with thee over the west Done is its day as thy day is done, Fallen its quest ! Swoon into purple and rose-then sink, Tho' to arise again out of the dawn. Sink while I praise thee, ere thro' the dark link Of death I am drawn ! Sunk art thou sunken how great was life I like a child could cry for it again- Cry for its beauty, pang, fleeting and strife, Its women, its men ! For, how I drained it with love and delight Opened its heart with the magic of grief! Reaped every season-its day and its night! Loved every sheaf! THE DYING POET Aye, not a meadow my step has trod, Never a flower swung sweet to my face, Never a heart that was touched of God, But taught me its grace. Off, from my lids then a moment yet, Fingering Death, for again I must see Miraged by memory all that I met Under Time's lee. There ! . . . I'm a child again-fair, so fair Under the eyes does a marvel not burn Speak they not vision, song, frenzy to dare, That still in me yearn . . . Youth ! my wild youth !-O, blood of my heart, Still you can answer with whirling the thought Still like the mountain-born rapid can dart, Joyous, distraught !. Love, and her face again ! there by the wood !- Come thou invisible Dark with thy mask Shall I not learn if she lives and could I more of thee ask . . . Turn me away from the ashen west, Where love's sad planet unveils to the dusk. Something is stealing like light from my breast- Soul from its husk . . . I03 104 THE DYING POET Soft! ... Where the dead feel the buried dead, Where the high hermit-bell hourly tolls, Bury me, near to the haunting tread Of life that o'errolls. ON THE MOOR I MET a child upon the moor A-wading down the heather; She put her hand into my own, We crossed the fields together. I led her to her father's door- A cottage mid the clover. I left her-arid the world grew poor To me, a childless rover. 2 I met a maid upon the moor, The morrow was her wedding. Love lit her eyes with lovelier hues Than the eve-star was shedding. She looked a sweet goodbye to me, And o'er the stile went singing. Down all the lonely night I heard But bridal bells a-ringing. Io6 ON THE MOOR 3 I met a mother on the moor, By a new grave a-praying. The happy swallows in the blue Upon the winds were playing. "Would I were in his grave," I said, "And he beside her standing!" There was no heart to break if death For me had made demanding. HUMAN LOVE WE spoke of God and Fate, And of that Life-which some await- Beyond the grave. "It will be fair," she said, "But love is here ! I only crave thy breast Not God's when I am dead. For He nor wants nor needs My little love. But it may be, if I love thee And those whose sorrow daily bleeds, He knows-and somehow heeds! " OH, GO NOT OUT OH, go not out upon the storm, Go not, my sweet, to Swalchie pool A witch tho' she be dead may charm Thee and befool. A wild night 'tis! her lover's moan, Down under ooze and salty weed, She'll make thee hear-and then her own Till thou shalt heed. And it will suck upon thy heart- The sorcery within her cry- Till madness out of thee upstart, And rage to die. For him she loved, she laughed to death I And as afloat his chill hand lay, " Ha, ha ! to hell I sent his wraith Did she not say OH, GO NOT OUT lo0 And from his finger strive to draw The ring that bound him to her spell But on her closed his hand-she saw Oh, who can tell For tho' she strove-tho' she did wail, The dead hand held her cold and fast The tide crawled in o'er rock and swale, To her at last ! Down in the pool where she was swept He holds her-Oh, go not a-near ! For none has heard her cry but wept And died that year. CALL TO YOUR MATE, BOB-WHITE o CALL to your mate, bob-white, bob-white, And I will call to mine. Call to her by the meadow-gate, And I will call by the pine. Tell her the sun is hid, bob-white, The windy wheat sways west. Whistle again, call clear and run To lure her out of her nest. For when to the copse she comes, shy bird, With Mary down the lane I'll walk, in the dusk of locust tops, And be her lover again. Ay, we will forget our hearts are old, And that our hair is gray. We'll kiss as we kissed at pale sunset One summer's halcyon day. CALL TO YOUR MATE, BOB-WHITE i i i That day, can it fade, . . . ah, bob, bob-white, Still calling-calling still We're coming-a-coming, bent and weighed, But glad with the old love's thrill ! TRANSCENDED I wHo was learned in death's lore Oft held her to my heart And spoke of days when we should love no more- In the long dust, apart. " Immortal " No-it could not be, Spirit with flesh must die. Tho' heart should pray and hope make endless plea, Reason would still outcry. She died. They wrapped her in the dust- I heard the dull clod's dole, And then I knew she lived-that death's dark lust Could never touch her soul ! THE CRY OF EVE DowN the palm-way from Eden in the moist Midnight lay Eve by her outdriven mate, Pillowed on lilies that still told the sweet Of birth within the Garden's ecstasy. Pitiful round her face that could not lose Its memory of God's perfecting was strewn Her troubled hair, and sigh grieved after sigh Along her loveliness in the white mooni. Sudden her dream, too cruelly impent WVith pain, broke and a cry fled shudderin[m Into the wounded stillness from her lips. Then, cold, she fearfully felt for his hand, While tears, that had before ne'er visited Her lids with anguish, stinging traced her cheeks. ")Oh, Adam ! " then as a wild shadow burst Her moan on the pale air, " What have I dreamed Now do I understand His words, so dim To creatures that had quivered brat with blis Since at the dusk thy kiss to me, and I Wept at caresses that were onice all joy, 9 THE CRY OF EVE I have slept, seeing through Futurity The uncreated ages visibly ! Foresuffering phantoms crowded in the womb Of Time, and all with lamentable mien Accusing thee and me And some were far From birth, without a name, but others near- Sodom and dark Gomorrah . . . from whose flames Fleeing one turned . . . how like her look to mine When the tree's horror trembled on mv taste And Nineveh, a city sinking slow Under a shroud of sandy centuries That hid me not from the buried cursing eyes Of women who gave birth ! And Babylon, Upbuilded on our sin but for a day! Ah, to be mother of all misery ! To be first-called cut of the earth and fail For a whole world! To shame maternity For women evermore-women whose tears Flooding the night, no hope can wipe away To see the wings of Death, as, Adam, thou Hast not, endlessly beating, and to hear The swooning ages suffer up to God! And 0 that birth-cry of a guiltless child In it are sounding of our sin and woe, With prophesy of ill beyond all years! Yearning for beauty never to be seen- Beatitude redeemless evermore ! 1 '4 THE CRY OF EVE And I whose dream mourned with all motherhood Must hear it soon ! Already do soft skill, Low-babbled lulls, enticings and quick tones Of tenderness-that will like light awake The folded memory children shall bring Out of the dark-move in me longingly. Yet thou, Adam, dear fallen thought of God, Thou, when thou too shalt hear humanity Cry in thy child, wilt groaning wish the world Back in unsummoned Void ! and, woe ! wilt fill God's ear with troubled wonder and unrest ! ' Softlv he soothed her straying hair, and kissed The fever from her lips. Over the palms The sad moon poured her peace into their eyes, Till Sleep, the angel of forgetfulness, Folded again her wings above their rest. THE CHILD GOD GAVE "GIVE me a little child To draw this dreary want out of my breast," I cried to God. "Give, for my days beat wild With loneliness that will not rest But under the still sod v " It came-with groping lips And little fingers stealing aimlessly About mv heart. I was like one who slips A-sudden into Ecstasv And thinks ne'er to depart. "Soon he will smile," I said, "And babble baby love into my ears- How it will thrill ! " I waited-Oh, the dread, The clutching agony, the fears He was so strange and still. THE CHILD GOD GAVE I1 7 Did I curse God and rave When they came shrinkingly to tell me 'twas A witless child No . ..If . . I only gave One cry . ..just one. . .I think. . because . . . You know . . .he never smiled. MOTHER-LOVE THE seraphs would sing to her And from the River Dip her cool grails of radiant Life. The angels would bring to her, Sadly a-quiver, Laurels she never had won in carth-strife. And often they'd fly with her O'er the star-spaces- Silent by worlds where mortals are pent. Yea, even would sigh with her, Sigh with wan faces! When she sat weeping of strange discontent. But one said, " Why weepest thou Here in God's heaven- Is it not fairer than soul can see " 'Tis fair, ah !-but keepest thou Not me depriven Of some one-somewhere-who needeth most me MOTHER-LOVE I19 For tho' the day never fades Over these meadows, Tho' He has robed me and crowned-set, yet ! Some love-fear for ever shades All with sere shadows- Had I no child thrre-whom I forget " ASHORE WHrnAT are the heaths and hills to me I'm a-longing for the sea! What are the flowers that dapple the dell, And the ripple of swallow-wings over the dusk; What are the church and the folk who tell Their hearts to God -mv heart is a husk (I'm a-longing for the sea Aye ! for there is no peace to me- But on the peaceless sea Never a child was glad at my knee, And the soul of a woman has never been mine. What can a woman's kisses be - I fear to think how her arms would twine, (I'm a-longing for the sea !) So, not a home and ease for me- But still the homeless sea! Where I may swing my sorrow to sleep In a hammock hung o'er the voice of the waves, ASHORE 1 2 1 Where I man wake when the tempests heap And hurl their hate-and a brave ship saves. (I'm a-longing for the sea !) Then when I die, a grave for me- But in the graveless sea I Where is no stone for an eve to spell Thro' the lichen a name, a date and a verse. Let me be laid in the deeps that swell And sigh and wander--an ocean hearse (I'm a-longing for the sea !) LOVE'S WAY TO CHILDHOOD WE are not lovers, you and I, Upon this sunny lane, But children who have never known Love's joy or pain. The flowers we pass, the summer brook, The bird that o'er us darts- We do not know 'tis they that thrill Our childish hearts. The earth-things have no name for us, The ploughing means no more Than that they like to walk the fields Who plough them o'er. The road, the wood, the heaven, the hills Are not a World to-day- But just a place God's made for us In which to play. LISSETTE OH . . . there was love in her heart-no doubt of it- Under the anger. But see what came out of it Not a knave, he !-A Romeo rhyme-smatterer, Cloaking in languor And heartache to flatter her. And just as a woman will-even the best of them- She yielded-brittle. God spare me the rest of them Aye ! though 'twas but kisses-she swore !-he had of her. For, was it little She thought 'twas not bad of her, Said I would lavish a burning hour full On any grissette. A parry !-and powerful 124 LISSETTE But-" You are mine, and blood is inflammable, Flaunty Lissette ! " My rage was undammable. ... Could a stilletto's one prick be prettier Look at the gaping. No -then you're her pitier Pah ! she's the better, and I . . . I'm your prisoner. Loose me the strapping- I'll lay one more kiss on her. TEARLESS Do women weep when men have died It cannot be ! For I have sat here by his side, Breathing dear names against his face, That he must list to were his place Over God's throne- Yet have I wept no tear and made no moan. No ! but to lids, that gaze stone-wide, Grief seems in vain. Do women weep -I was his bride- They brought him to me cold and pale- Upon his lids I saw the trail Of deathly pain. Trhey said, " Her tears will fall like Autumn raini." I cannot weep ! Not if hot tears, Dropped on his lips, Might burn him back to life and years Of yearning love, would any rise To flood the anguish from my eves- And I'm his bride! Ah me, do women weep when men have died THE LIGHTHOUSEMAN WHEN at evening smothered lightnings Burn the clouds with opal fires; When the stars forget to glisten, And the winds refuse to listen To the song of my desires, Oh, my love, unto thee! When the livid breakers angered Churn against my stormy tower; When the petrel flying faster Brings an omen to the master Of his vessel's fated hour- Oh, the reefs ! ah, the sea! Then I climb the climbing stairway, Turn the light across the storm You are watching, fisher-maiden, For the token flashes laden With a love death could not harm- Lo, they come, swift and free ! THE LIGHTHOUSEMAN I27 One-that means, "I think of thee!" 'Two-" I swear me thine!" Three-Ah, hear me tho' you sleep !- Is, " Love, I know thee mine!" Thro' the darkness, One, Two, Three, All the night they sweep: Thro' razing darkness o'er the deep, One--and Two-and Three. BY THE iNDUS THou art late, 0 Moon, Late, I have waited thee long. The nightingale's flown to her nest, Sated with song. The champak hath no odour more To pour on the wind as he passeth o'er- But my heart it will not rest. Thou art late, 0 Love, Late, For the moon is a-wane. The kusa-grass sighs with my sighs, Burns with my pain. The lotus leans her head on the stream- Shall I not lean to thy breast and dream, Dream ere the night-cool dies BY THE INDUS Thou art late, 0 Death, Late, For he did not come A pariah is my heart, Cast from him-dumb! I cannot cry in the jungle's deep- Is it not time for Nirvana's sleep 0 Death, strike with thy dart 10 1 29 FROM ONE BLIND I CANNOT say thy cheek is like the rose, Thy hair ripple of sunbeams, and thine eyes Violets, April-rich and sprung of God. My barren gaze can never know what throes Such boons of beauty waken, tho' I rise Each day a-tremble with the ruthless hope That light will pierce my useless lids-then grope Till night, blind as the worm within his clod. Yet unto me thou art not less divine, I touch thy cheek-and know the mystery hid Within the twilight breeze ; I smoothe thy hair And understand how slipping hours may twine Themselves into eternity: yea, rid Of all but love, I kiss thine eyes and seem To see all beauty God Himself may dream. Why then should I o'ermuch for earth-sight care AT THE FALL OF ROME A.D- 455 DRINK to Death, drink! He's god o' the world. Up with the cup- Let no man shiver! Up with the cup- Let no man shrink! Drink to death, He's lord o' the breath Of mortals hurled from the world Into Oblivion's river Drink to Death, aye! And then-to the dust Fill with a will- And quaff like a lover Fill with a will- Who dares a Nay Drink to Death ! . . He lies who saith That life is just-'tis a crust Tossed to a slave in his hover! 13 2 AT THE FALL OF ROME Drink to Death !-So! Who recks for the rest Love is above- Or Hate, what matter Love is above- Or Hell below. Drink to Death, For vile is the peth Of Rome, and Shame is her name! Then drink, and the goblet shatter! PEACELESS LOVE I SAY unto all hearts that cannot rest For want of love, for beating loud and lonely, Pray the great Mercy-God to give you only Love that is passionless within the breast. Pray that it may not be a haunting fire, A vision that shall steal insatiably All beauteous content, all sweet desire, From faith and dream, star, flower, and song, and sea. But seek that soul and soul may meet together, Knowing they have for ever been but one- Meet and be surest when ill's chartless weather Drives blinding gales of doubt across their sun. Pray-pray ! lest love uptorn shall seem as nether Hell-hate and rage beyond oblivion. SUNDERED GOD who can bind the stars eternally With but a breath of spirit speech, a thought Who can within earth's arms lay the mad sea Unserverably, and count it as sheer nought- With His All-might can bind not you and me. For though he pressed us heart to burning heart, Knowing this fatal spell that so enthralls, Still would our souls, unhelpably apart, Stand aliens-beating fierce against the walls Of dark unsympathies that 'tween us start. Stands aliens, aye, and would ! tho' we should meet Beyond the oblivion of unnumbered births- Upon some world where Time cannot repeat The feeblest syllable that once was earth's. WITH OMAR I SAT with Omar by the Tavern door Musing the mystery of mortals o'er, And soon with answers alternate we strove Whether, beyond death, Life hath any shore. "Came, fill the cup," said he. " In the fire of Spring rour Wfinter-garment of Repentance Jling. 7 he Bird of Time has but a little way To flutter-and the Bird is on the [Ving." "The Bird of Time" I answered. "Then have I No heart for Wine. Must we not cross the Sky Unto Eternity upon his wings- Or, failing, fall into the Gulf and die" "So some for the Glories of this lWorld; and some Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come; But you, Friend, take the Cash-the Credit leave, Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum !" WITH OMAR "What, take the Cash and let the Credit go Spend all upon the Wine the while I know A possible To-morrow may bring thirst For Drink but Credit then shall cause to flow," "Yea, make the most of what you yet may spend, Before we too into the Dust descend; Dust unto Dust, and under Dust, to lie, Sans [Vine, sans Song, sans Singer, and-sans End!" "Into the Dust we shall descend-we must. But can the soul not break the crumbling Crust In which he is encaged To hope or to Despair he will-which is more wise or just ;" "The worldly hope men set their hearts upon Turns Ashes-or it prospers: and anon, Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face, Lighting a little hour or two-is gone." "Like Snow it comes-to cool one burning Day; And like it goes-for all our plea or sway. But flooding tears nor Wine can ever purge The Vision it has brought to us away." "But to this world we come and Why not knowing Nor (f/hence, like water willy-nilly flowing; A4nd out of it, as WFind along the waste, We know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing." 136 WITH OMAR " True, little do we know of WIhy or Whence. But is forsooth our Darkness evidence There is no Light -the worm may see no star Tho' heaven with myriad multitudes be dense." "But, all unasked, we're hither hurried Whence And, all unasked, we're Whither hurried hence 0, many a cup of this forbidden [Fine Must drown the memory of that insolence." "Yet can not-ever ! For it is forbid Still by that quenchless soul within us hid, Which cries, 'Feed-feed me not on Wine alone, For to Immortal Banquets I am bid."' " JPell oft I think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled: That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her lap from some once lovely Head." "Then if, trom the dull Clay thro' with Life's throes, More beautiful spring Hyacinth and Rose, Will the great Gard'ner for the uprooted soul Find Use no sweeter than-useless Repose" " We cannot know-so fill the cup that clears To-day of past regret and future fears: To-morrow!-Why, To-morrow we may be Ourselves with yesterday's sev'n thousand rears." I3 7 WITH OMAR "No Cup there is to bring oblivion More during than Regret and Fear-no, none! For Wine that's Wine to-day may change and be Marah before to-morrow's Sands have run." "Myself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument About it and about: but evermore Came out by the same door wherein I went." "The doors of Argument may lead Nowhither, Reason become a Prison where may wither From sunless eyes the Infinite, from hearts All Hope, when their sojourn too long is thither." "Up from Earth's Centre thro' the Seventh Gate I rose, and on the throne of Saturn sate, Ind many a Knot unravelled by the Road- But not the Master-knot of Human fate." The Master-knot knows but the Master-hand That scattered Saturn and his countless Band Like seeds upon the unplanted heaven's Air: The Truth we reap from them is Chaff thrice fanned. "d ret if the Soul can fling the Dust aside And naked on the air of Heaven ride, Ber't not a shame-wer't not a shame for him In this clay carcass crippled to abide" 1 38 WITH OMAR "No, for a day bound in this Dust may teach More of the Saki's Mind than we can reach Through aeons mounting still from Sky to Sky- May open through all Mystery a breach." " You speak as if Existence closing your Account and mine should know the like no more; The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has poured Al'illions of bubbles like us, and will pour." "Bubbles we are, pricked by the point of Death. But, in each bubble, hope there dwells a Breath That lifts it and at last to Freedom flies, And o'er all heights of Heaven wandereth." ",A moment's halt-a momentary taste Of Being from the Well amid the Waste- sAnd Lo !-the phantom Caravan has reached The Nothing it set out from-Oh, snake haste!" "And yet it should be-it should be that we Who drink shall drink of Immortality. The Master of the Well has much to spare Will He say, 'Taste'-then shall we no more be" " The Moving Finger writes; and having writ, Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it." 139 WITH OMAR " And-were it otherwise, . . . We might erase The Letter of some Sorrow in whose place No other sounding, we should fail to spell The Heart which yearns behind the mock-world's face." " Welt, this I know; whether the one True Light Kindle to Love, or JWrath-consume me quite, One flash of it within the Tavern caught Better than in the Temple lost outright." " In Temple or in Tavern 't may be lost. And everywhere that Love hath any Cost It may be found; the Wrath it seems is but A Cloud whose Dew should make its power most." " But see His Presence thro' Creation's veins, Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains; Taking all shapes from Mah to Mahi; and They change and perish all-but He remains." " All-it may be. Yet lie to sleep, and lo, The soul seems quenched in Darkness-is it so Rather believe what seemeth not than seems Of Death-until we know-until we know." " So wastes the Hour-gone in the vain pursuit Of This and That we strive o'er and dispute. Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape Than sadden after none, or bitter Fruit." 140 WITH OMAR 14' " Better-unless we hope the Shadow 's thrown Across our Path by glories of the Unknown Lest we may think we have no more to live And bide content with dim-lit Earth alone." " Then, strange, is't not that of the myriads who Before us passed the door of Darkness through Not one returns to tell us of the Road, Which to discover we must travel too" "Such is the ban! but even though we heard Love in Life's All we still should crave the word Of one returned. Yet none is sure, we know, Though they lie deep, they are by Death deterred." "Send then thy Soul through the Invisible Some letter o] the After-life to spell: And by and by thy Soul returned to thee But answers, 'I myself am Heaven and Hell.'" "From the Invisible, he does. But sent Through Earth where living Goodness though 'tis blent With Evil dures, may he not read the Voice, 'To make thee but for Death were toil ill-spent ' " ' 'Vell, when the Angel of the darker drink At last shall find us by the river-brink, And offering his Cup invite our souls Forth to our lips to quaff, we shall not shrink." WITH OMAR " No. But if in the sable Cup we knew Death without waking were the fateful brew, Nobler it were to curse as Coward Him Who roused us into light-then light withdrew." "Then thou who didst with pitfall and with gin Beset the Road I was to wander in, Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round Enmesh, and then impute my fall to sin." "He will not. If one evil we endure To ultimate Debasing, oh, be sure 'Tis not of Him predestined, and the sin Not His nor ours-but fate's He could not cure." "Yet, ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!' That routh's sweet-scented Manuscript should close ! The Nightingale that on the branches sang- Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows" "So does it seem-no other joys like these! Yet Summer comes, and Autumn's honoured ease; And wintry Age, is't ever whisperless Of that Last Spring, whose Verdure may not cease" "Still, would some winged Snge l ere too late Arrest the yst unfolded roll of Fate, And make the stern Recorder otherwise Enregister or quite obliterate! I42 WITH OMAR 143 "To otherwise enregister believe He toils eternally, nor asks Reprieve. And could Creation perfect from his hands Have come at Dawn, none overmuch should grieve." So till the wan and early scene of day We strove, and silent turned at last away, Thinking how men in ages yet unborn Would ask and answer-trust and doubt and pray. A JAPANESE MOTHER (IN TiNiE OF WAR) THE young stork sleeps in the pine-tree tops, Down on the brink of the river. My baby sleeps by the bamboo copse- The bamboo copse where the rice field stops: The bamboos sigh and shiver. The white fox creeps from his hole in the hill I must pray to Inarn. I hear her calling me low and chill- Low and chill when the wind is still At night and the skies are starry. And ever she says, " He's dead ! he's dead Your lord who went to battle. How shall your baby now be fed, Ukibo fed, with rice and bread- What if I hush his prattle ; " A JAPANESE MOTHER The red moon rises as I slip back, And the bamboo stems are swaying. Inari was deaf-and yet the lack, The fear and lack, are gone, and the rack, I know not why-with praying. For though Inari cared not at all, Some other god was kinder. I wonder why he has heard my call, My giftless call-and what shall befall . . . Hope has but left me blinder ! I I 145 SHINTO (MIYAJIMA, JAPAN, 1905) LOWLY temple and torii, Shrine where the spirits of wind and wave Find the worship and glory we Give to the one God great and grave- Lowly temple and torii, Shrine of the dead, I hang my prayer Here on your gates-the story see And answer out of the earth and air. For I am Nature's child, and you Were by the children of Nature built. Ages have on you smiled-and dew On you for ages has been spilt- Till you are beautiful as Time Mossy and mellowing ever makes: Wrapped as you are in lull-or rhyme Of sounding drum that sudden breaks. SHINTO 147 This is my prayer then, this, that I Too may reverence all of life, Beauty, and power and miss no high Awe of a world with wonder rife. That I may build in spirit fair Temples and torii on each place That I have loved-O hear it, Air, Ocean and Earth, and grant your grace EVOCATION (NIKKO, JAPAN, 1905) WEIRD thro' the mist and cryptomeria Booms the temple bell, Down from the tomb of Ieyasu Yearning, as a knell. Down from the tomb where many an aeon Silently has knelt, Many a pilgrimage of millions- Still about it felt. Still, for see them gather ghostly Now, as the numb sound Floats as unearthly necromancy From the past's dead ground. See the invisible vast millions, Hear their soundless feet Climbing the shrine-ways to the gilded Carven temple's seat. EVOCATION [49 And, one among them-pale among them- Passes waning by. What is it tells me mystically That strange one was I . . . Weird thro' the mist and cryptomeria Dies the bell-'tis dumb. After how many lives returning Shall I hither come Hither again ! and climb the votive Ever mossy ways Who shall the gods be then, the millions, Meek, entreat or praise THE ATONER WINTER has come in sackcloth and ashes (Penance for Summer's enverdured sheaves). Bitterly, cruelly, bleakly he lashes His limbs that are naked of grass and leaves. He moans in the torest for sins unforgiven (Sins of the revelrous days of June)- Moans while the sun drifts dull from the heaven, Giftless of heat's beshriving boon. Long must he mourn, and long be his scourging, (Long will the day-god aloof frown cold), Long will earth listen the rue of his dirging- Till the dark beads of his days are told. INTIMATION ALL night I smiled as I slept, For I heard the March-wind feel Blindly about in the trees without For buds to heal. All night in dreams, for I smelt, In the rain-wet woods and fields, The coming flowers and the glad green hours That summer yields. And when at dawn I awoke, At the blue-bird's wooing cheep, Winter with all its chill and pall Seemed but a sleep. IN JULY THIS path will tell me where dark daisies dance To the white sycamores that dell them in Where crow and flicker cry melodious din, And blackberries in ebon ripeness glance Luscious enticings under briery green. It will slip under coppice limbs that lean Brushingly as the slow-belled heifer pants Toward weedy water-plants That shade the pool-sunk creek's reluctant trance. I shall find bell-flower spires beside the gap And lady phlox within the hollow's cool; Cedar with sudden memories of Yule Above the tangle tipped with blue skullcap. The high hot mullein fond of the full sun Will watch and tell the low mint when I've won The hither wheat where idle breezes nap, And fluffy quails entrap Me from their brood that crouch to escape mishap. IN JULY I53 Then I shall reach the mossy water-way That gullies the dense hill up to its peak, There dally listening to the eerie eke Of drops into cool chalices of clay. Then on, for elders odorously will steal My senses till I climb up where they heal The livid heat of its malingering ray, And wooingly betray To memory many a lonig-forgotten day. There I shall rest within the woody peace Of afternoon. The bending azure frothed WVith silveryness, the sunny pastures swathed, Fragrant with morn-mown clover and seed-fleece The hills where hung mists muse, and Silence calls To Solitude thro' aged forest halls, Will waft into me their mysterious ease, And in the wind's soft cease I shall hear hintings of eternities. FROM ABOVE WHAT do I care if the trees are bare And the hills are dark And the skies are gray. What do I care for chill in the air, For crows that cark At the rough wind's way. What do I care for the dead leaves there-- Or the sullen road By the sullen wood. There's heart in my heart To bear my load ! So enough, the day is good SONGS TO A. H. R. I. THE WORLD'S, AND MINE THE world may hear The wind at his trees, The lark in her skies, The sea on his leas; May hear the song rise From the breast of a woman And think it as dear As heaven tho' human. But I have a music they can never know- The touch of you, soul of you, heart of you. Oh All else that is said or sung 's but a part of you- Ever to me 'tis so ! II. LOVE-CALL IN SPRING No'r only the lark but the robin too (Oh, heart o' my heart, come into the wood!) Is singing the air to gladness new As the breaking bud And the freshet's flood Not only the peeping grass and the scent- (Oh, love o' my life, fly unto me here !) Of violets coming ere April's spent- But the frog's shrill cheer And the crow's wild jeer ! Not only the blue, not only the breeze, (Oh, soul o' my heart, why tarry so long!) But sun that is sweeter upon the trees Than rills that throng To the brooklet's song! Oh, heart o' my heart, oh, heart o' my love, (Oh soul o' my soul, haste unto me, haste !) For spring is below and God is above- But all is a waste Without thee-Haste III. MATING THE bliss of the wind in the redbud ringing! What shall we do with the April days Kingcups soon will be up and swinging- What shall we do with May's! The cardinal flings, "They are made for mating!" Out on the bough he flutters, a flame. Thrush-flutes echo "For mating's elating Love is its other name ! " They know ! know it ! but better, oh, better, Dearest, than ever a bird in Spring, Know we to make each moment a debtor Unto love's burgeoning ! IV. UNTOLD COULD 1, a poet, Implant the truth of you, Seize it and sow it As Spring on the world. There were no need To fling (forsooth) of you Fancies that only lovers heed No, but unfurled, The bloom, the sweet of you, (As unto me they are opened oft) Would with their beauty's breath repeat of you All that my heart breathes loud or soft! V. LOVE-WATCH MY love's a guardian-angel Who camps about thy heart, Never to flee thine enemy, Nor from thee turn apart. Whatever dark may shroud thee And hide thy stars away, With vigil sweet his wings shall beat About thee till the day. VI AS YOU ARE DARK hair-dark eves- But heart of sun, Pity and hope That rill and run With flowing fleet To heal the defeat Of all Life has undone. Dark hair-dark eves- But soul as clear, Trusty and fair As e'er drew near To clasp its mate And enter the gate Of Love that casts out fear. Dark hair-dark eyes- But, there is seen In them the most That earth can mean; The most that death Can bring-or breath There-in the bright Unseen ViI AT AMALFI COME to the window, you who are inine. Waken ! the night is calling. Sit by me here-with the moon's fair shine Into your deep eyes falling. The sea afar is a fearful gloom Lean from the casement, listen Anear, it breaks with a faery spume, Spraying the moon-path's glisten. The little white town below lies deep As eternity in slumber. 0, you who are mine, how a glance can reap Beauties beyond all number "Amalfi !" say it-as the stars set O'er von fat promontorsy. "Amalfi " . . Shall we ever forget Even Above this glory 12 162 AT AMALFI No ; as twin sails at anchor ride, Our spirits rock together On a sea of love-lit as this tide With tenderest star-weather ! And the quick ecstasy within Your breast is against me beating. Amalfi ! . . . Never a night shall win From God again such fleeting. Ah-but the dawn is redd'ning up Over the moon low-dying. Come, come away-we have drunk the cup: Ours is the dream undying ! VIIl ON THE PACIFIC A STORM broods far on the foam of the deep; The moon-path gleams before. A day and a night, a night and a day, And the way, love, will be o'er. Six thousand wandering miles we have come And never a sail have seen. The sky above and the sea below And the drifting clouds between. Yet in our hearts unheaving hope And light and joy have slept. Nor ever lonely has seemed the wave Tho' heaving wild it leapt. For there is talismanic might Within our vows of love To breathe us over all seas of life- On to that Port above 164 ON THE PACIFIC Where the great Captain of all ships Shall anchor them or send Them forth on a vaster Voyage, yea, On one that shall not end. And upon that we two, I think, 'I'ogcther still shall sail. O may it be, my own, or may We perish in death's gale! THE WINDS THE East Wind is a Bedouin, And Nimbus is his steed; Out of the dusk with the lightning's thin Blue scimitar he flies afar, Whither his rovings lead. The Dead Sea waves And Egypt caves Of mummied silence laugh When he mounts to quench the Siroc's stench, And to wrench From his clutch the tyrant's staff. The West Wind is an Indian brave Who scours the Autumn's crest. Dashing the forest down as a slave He tears the leaves from its limbs and weaves A maelstrom for his breast. Out of the night Crying to fright THE WINDS The earth he swoops to spoil- There is furious scathe in the whirl of his wrath, In his path There is misery and moil. The North Wind is a Viking-cold And cruel, armed with death ! Born in the doomful deep of the old Ice Sea that froze ere Ymir rose From Niflheim's ebon breath. And with him sail Snow, Frost, and Hail, Thanes mighty as their lord, To plunder the shores of Summer's stores- And his roar's Like the sound of Chaos' horde. The South Wind is a Troubadour; The Spring, his serenade. Over the mountain, over the moor, He blows to bloom from the winter's tomb Blossom and leaf and blade. He ripples the throat Of the lark with a note Of lilting love and bliss, And the sun and the moon, the night and the noon, Are a-swoon- When he woos them with his kiss. x66 THE DAY-MOON So wan, so unavailing, Across the vacant day-blue dimly trailing Last night, sphered in thy shining, A Circe--mvstic destinies divining To-day but as a feather Torn from a seraph's wing in sinful weather, Down-drifting from the portals Of Paradise, unto the land of mortals. Yet do I feel thee awing My heart with mystery, as thy updrawing Moves thro' the tides of Ocean And leaves lorn beaches barren of its motion; Or strands upon near shallows The wreck whose weirded form at night unhallows i68 THE DAY-MOON The fisher maiden's prayers- "For him !-that storms may take not unawares!" So wan, so unavailing, Across the vacant day-blue dimly trailing! But Night shall come atoning Thy phantom life thro' day, and high enthroning Thee in her chambers arrassed XVith star-hieroglyphs, leave thee unharassed To glide with silvery passion, Till in carth's shadow swept thy glowings ashen. TO A SINGING WARBLER " BEAUTY ! all-all-is beauty , Was ever a bird so wrong "No young in the nest, no mate, no duty ' Ribald ! is this your song "Glad it is ended," are you The Spring and its nuptial fear " Freedom is better than love ' beware you There will be May next year "Beauty ! " again still " beauty Wait till the winter comes! Till kestrel and hungry kite seek booty And there are so few crumbs! Wait nay, fling it unbidden, The false little song you prate Too sweet are its fancies to be chidden, E'en of the rudest fate ! TO THE SEA ART thou enraged, 0 sea, with the blue peace Of heaven, so to uplift thine armed waves, Thy billowing rebellion 'gainst its ease, And with Tartarean mutter from cold caves, From shuddering profundities where shapes Of awe glide through entangled leagues of ooze, To hoot thy watery omens evermore, And evermore thy moanings interfuse With seething necromancy and mad lore Or, dost thou labour with the drifting bones Of countless dead, thou mighty Alchemist, Within whose stormy crucible the stones Of sunk primordial shores, granite and schist, Are crumbled by thine all-abrasive beat With immemorial chanting to the moon, Arnd cosmic incantation dost thou crave Rest to be found not till thy wild be strewn Frigid and desert over earth's last grave TO THE SEA Thou seemest with immensity mad, blind- With raving deaf, with wandering forlorn Parent of Demogorgon whose dire mind Is night and earthquake, shapeless shame and scorn Of the o'ermounting birth of Harmony. Bound in thy briny bed and gnawing earth With foamy writhing and fierce-panted tides, Thou art as Fate in torment of a dearth Of black disaster and destruction's strides. And how thou dost drive silence from the world, Incarnate Motion of all mystery Whose waves are fury-wings, whose winds are hurled Whither thy Ghost tempestuous can see A desolate apocalypse of death. Oh, how thou dost drive silence from the world, With emerald overflowing, waste on waste Of flashing susurration, dashed and swirled 'Gainst isles and continents and airs o'erspaced! Nay, frustrate Hope art thou of the Unknown, Gathered from primal mist and firmament A surging shape of Life's unfathomed moan, Whelming humanity with fears unmeant. Yet do I love thee, 0, above all fear, And loving thee unconquerably trust The runes that from thy ageless surfing start Would read, were they revealed, gust upon gust, That Immortality is might of heart ! 17 1 THE DEAD GODS I THOUGHT I plunged into that dire Abyss Which is Oblivion, the house of Death. I thought there blew upon my soul the breath Of time that was but never more can be. Ten thousand years I thought I lay within Its Void, blind, deaf, and motionless, untii- Though with no eve nor ear-I felt the thrill Of seeing, heard its phantoms move and sigh. First one beside me spoke, in tones that told He once had been a god,-" Persephone, Tear from thy brow its withered crown, for we Are king and queen of Tartarus no more; And that wan, shrivelled sceptre in thy hand, Why dost thou clasp it still Cast it away, For now it hath no virtue that can sway Dull shades or drive the Furies to their spoil. THIE DEAD GODS 173 Cast it away, and give thy palm to mine Perchance some unobliterated spark Of memory shall warm this dismal Dark. Perchance-vain ! vain ! love could not light such gloom." He sank. . . . Then in great ruin by him moved Another as in travail of some thought Near unto birth ; and soon from lips distraught By aged silence, fell, with hollow woe: "Ah, Pluto, dost thou, one time lord of Styx And Acheron make moan of night and cold XV'ere we upon Olympus as of old Laughter of thee would rock its festal height. But think, think thee of me, to whom or gloom Or cold were more unknown than impotence See the unhurlkd thunderbolt brought hence To mock me when I dream I still am Jove! Too much it was: I withered in the breath And lay again ten thousand lifeless years; And then my soul shook, woke-and saw three biers Chiselled of solid night majestically. The formns outlaid upon them were unwound As with the silence of eternity. Numbing repose dwelt o'er them like a sea, That long hath lost tide, wave and roar, in death. 74 THE DEAD GODS " Ptah, Ammon, and Osiris are their names," A spirit hieroglyphed unto my soul, "Ptah, Ammon, and Osiris-they who stole The heart of Egypt from the God of gods: "Aye, they ! and these ;" pointing to many wraiths That stood around-Baal, Ormuzd, Indra, all Whom frightened ignorance and sin's appall Had given birth, close-huddled in despair. Their eyes were fixed upon a cloven slope Down whose descent still other forms a-fresh From earth were drawn, by the unceasing mesh Of Time to their irrevocable end. "They are the gods," one said-" the gods whom men Still taunt with wails for help."-Then a deep light Upbore me from the Gulf, and thro' its might I heard the worlds cry, "God alone is God ! " AT WINTER'S END THE weedy fallows winter-worn, Where cattle shiver under sodden hay. The plough-lands long and lorn- The fading day. The sullen shudder of the brook, And winds that wring the writhen trees in vain For drearier sound or look- The lonely rain. The crows that train o'er desert skies In endless caravans that have no goal But flight-where darkness flies- From Pole to Pole. The sombre zone of hills around That shrink in misty mournfulness from sight, With sunset aureoles crowned- Before the night. APRIL A LAUGH rER of wind and a leaping of cloud, And April, oh, out tinder the blue! The brook is awake and the blackbird loud In the dew ! But how does the robin high in the beech, Beside the wood with its shake and toss, Know it-the frenzy of bluets to reach Thro' the moss ! And where did the lark ever learn his speech Up wildly sweet he's over the mead ! Is more than the rapture of earth can teach In its creed I never shall know-I never shall care 'Fis, oh, enough to live and to love To laugh and warble and dream and dare Are to prove ! AUGUST GUESTS THE wind slipt over the hill And down the valley. He dimpled the cheek of the rill With a cooling kiss. Then hid on the bank a-glee And began to rally The rushes-Oh, I love the wind for this! A cloud blew out of the west And spilt his shower Upon the lily-bud crest And the clematis. Then over the virgin corn Besprinkled a dower Of dew-gems-And, I love the cloud for this 13 AUTUMN I KNOW her not by fallen leaves Or resting heaps of hay; Or by the sheathing mists of mauve That soothe the fiery day. I know her not by plumping nuts, By redded hips and haws, Or by the silence hanging sad Under the wind's sere pause. But by her sighs I know her well- They are like Sorrow's breath; And by this longing, strangely still, For something after death. THE WORLD 1ox desperans-. THE World is a wind-on which are blown All mysteries that are. Out of a Void it sprang-and to A Void shall spring, afar. Vex sperans. The World is Visible God-who is Its Soul invisible. There is no Void beyond that He Abiding fills not full. TO THE DOVE THY mellow passioniing amid the leaves Trembles around me in the summer dusk That falls along the oatlands' sallow sheaves And haunts above the runnel's voice a-husk With plashy willow and bold-wading reed. The solitude's dim spell it breaketh not, But softer mourns unto me from the mead Than airs within the dead primrose's heart, Or breath of silences in dells begot To soothe some grief-wan maid with love a-mort. 2 On many sylvan eves of childhood thou Didst woo my homeward path with tenderness, Woo till the awing owlet ceased to cow With his chill screech of quavering distress. At phantom midnight wakened I have heard Thy mated dreams from the wind-eerie elm, TO THE DOVE And as a potion medicined and myrrhed, As an enchantment's runic utterance, It would draw sleep back to her lulling realm Over my lids till day should disentrance. 3 A priestess art thou of Simplicity, Who hath one fane-the heaven above thy nest; One incense-love; one stealing litany Of peace from rivered vale and upland crest. Yea, thou art Hers, who makes prayer of the breeze, Hope of the cool upwelling from sweet soils, Faith of the dark'ning distance, charities Of vesper scents, and of the glow-worm's throb Joy whose first leaping rends the care-wound coils That would earth of its heavenliness rob. 4 But few, how few her worshippers ! For we Cast at a myriad shrines our souls, to rise Beliefless, unanointed, bound not free, To sacrificing a vain sacrifice ! Let thy lone innocence then quickly null Within our veins doubt-led and wrong desire Or drugging knowledge that but fills o'erfull Of feverous mystery the days we drain Be thy warm notes like an Orphean lyre To lead us to life's Arcady again ! AT TINTERN ABBEY (JUNE, 1903) 0 TINTERN, Tintern! evermore my dreams Troubled of thy grave beauty shall be born; Thy crumbling loveliness and ivy streams Shall speak to me for ever, from this morn The wind-wild daws about thy arches drifting, Clouds sweeping o'er thy ruin to the sea, Gray Tintern, all the hills about thee, lifting Their misty waving woodland verdancy! The centuries that draw thee to the earth In envy of thy desolated charm, The summers and the winters, the sky's girth Of sunny blue or bleakness, seek thy harm. But would that I were Time, then only tender Touch upon thee should fall as on I sped Of every pillar would I be defender, Of every mossy window-of thy dead ! AT TINTERN ABBEY I83 Thy dead beneath obliterated stones Upon the sod that is at last thy floor, Who list the Wve not as it lonely moans Nor heed thy Gothic shadows grieving o'er. o Tintern, Tintern ! trysting-place, where never Is wanting mysteries that move the breast, I'll hear thy beauty calling, ah, for ever- Till sinks within me the last voice to rest THE VICTORY SEE, see !-the blows at his breast, Abyss at his back, The peril of dark that pressed, The doubts in a pack, That hunted to drag him down Have triumphed and now He sinks who climbed for the crown To the Summit's brow No !-though at the foot he lies, Fallen and vain, With gaze to the peak whose skies, He could not attain, The victory is, with strength- No matter the past !- He'd dare it again, the dark length, And the fall at last ! SEARCHING DEATH'S DARK WHEN Autumn's melancholy robes the land With silence and sad fadings mystical Of other years move thro' the mellow fields, I turn unto this meadow of the dead Strewn with the leaves stormed from October trees, And wonder if my resting shall be dug Here by this cedar's moan or under the sway Of yonder cypress-lair of winds that rove As Valkyries from Valhalla's court In search of worthy slain. And sundry times with questioning I tease The entombed of their estate-seeking to know Whether 'tis sweeter in the grave to feel The oblivion of Nature's flow, or here Wander as gleam and shadow flit her face. Whether the harvesting of pain and joy Ends with the ivied slab, or whether death Pours the warm chrism of Immortality Into each human heart whose glow is spent. i86 SEARCHING DEATH'S DARK Nor do my askings fall on the chill voids Of unavailing silence. For a voice Of sighing wind may answer, or it leaps, Though wordless, from a marble seraph's face. Or sometimes from unspeakable deeps of gold That ebb along the west revealings wing And tremor, like etherial swift tongues Unskilled of human speech, about my heart- Till, youth, age, death . . . even earth's all, it seems, Are but wild moments wakened in that Soul, To whom infinities are as a span, Eternities as bird-flights o'er the sun, And worlds as sands blown from Sahara's wilds Into the sea. . .. Then twilight bells ring back My wandered spirit from the wilderness Of Mystery, whence none may find a path To the Unknown, and like one who upborne Has steered the unmeasured summer skies until Their calm seems God, I turn transfigured home. SERENITY AND could I love it more-this simple scene Of cot-strewn hills and fields long-harvested, That lie as if forgotten were all green, So bare, so dead Or could my gaze more tenderly entwine Each pallid beech or silvery sycamore, Outreaching arms in patience to divine If winter's o'er Ah no, the wind has blown into my veins The blue infinity of sky, the sense Of meadows free to-day from icy pains- From wintry vents. And sunny peace more virgin than the glow Falling from eve's first star into the night, Brings hope believing what it ne'er can know With mortal sight. TO THE SPRING WIND AH, what a changeling! Yester you dashed from the west, Altho' it is Spring, And scattered the hail with maniac zest Thro' the shivering corn-in scorn For the labour of God and man. And now from the plentiful South you haste, With lovingest fingers, To ruefully lift and wooingly fan The lily that lingers a-faint on the stalk As if the chill waste Of the earth's May-dreams, The flowers so full of her joy, Were not-as it seems- A wanton attempt to destroy. THE RAMBLE DowN the road Which asters tangle, Thro' the gap Where green-briar twines, By the path Where dry leaves dangle Down from the ivy vines, We go- By sedgy fallows And along The stifled brook, Till it stops In lushy mallows Just at the bridge's crook. Then, again, O'er fence, thro' thicket, To the mouth Of the rough ravine- THE RAMBLE Where the weird Leaf-hidden cricket Chirrs thro' the weirder green- There's a way O'er rocks-but quicker Is the best Of heart and foot, As the beams Above us flicker Sun upon moss and root! And we leap- As wildness tingles From the air Into our blood- With a cry Thro' golden dingles Hid in the heart of the wood. Oh, the wood With winds a-wrestle With the nut And acorn strown! Oh, the wood Where creepers trestle, Tree unto tree o'ergrown 190 THE RAMBLE With a climb The ledging summit Of the hill Is reached in glee. For an hour We gaze off from it Into the sky's blue sea. But a bell And sunset's crimson Soon recall The homeward path. And we turn As the glory dims on The hay-fields' mounded math. Thro' the soft And silent twilight We come, To the stile at last, As the clear Undying eyelight Of the stars tells day is past. '91 RETURN AH, it was here-September And silence filled the air- I came last year to remember, And muse, hid away from care. It was here I came-the thistle Was trusting her seed to the wind; The quail in the croft gave whistle As now-and the fields lay thinned. I know how the hay was steeping, Brown mows under mellow haze; How a frail cloud-flock was creeping As now over lone sky-ways. Just there where the cat-bird's calling Her mock-hurt note by the shed, The use-worn wain was stalling In the weedy brook's dry bed. RETURN And the cricket, lone little chimer Of day-long dreams in the vines, Chirred on like a doting rhymer O'er-vain of his firstling lines. He's near me now by the aster, Beneath whose shadowy spray A sultry bee seeps faster As the sun slips down the day. And there are the tall primroses Like maidens waiting to dance. They stood in the same shy poses Last year, as if to entrance The stately mulleins to waken From death and lead them around And still they will stand untaken, Till drops their gold to the ground. Yes, it was here-September And silence round me yearned. Again I've come to remember, Again for musing returned To thc searing fields assuaging, And the falling leaves' sad balm: Away from the world's keen wagI'1 '- To harvest and hills and calm. 14 193 THE EMPTY CROSS THE eve of Golgotha had come, And Christ lay shrouded in the garden's tomb: Among the olives, Oh, how dumb, How sad the sun incarnadined the gloom I The hill grew dim-the pleading cross Reached empty arms toward the closing gate. Jerusalem, oh, count thy loss ! Oh, hear ye ! hear ye! ere it be too late! Reached bleeding arms-but how in vain The murmurous multitude within the wall Already had forgot His pain- To-morrow would forget the cross-and all They knew not Rome before its sign, Bending her brow bound with the nations' threne, Would sweep all lands from Nile to Rhine In servitude unto the Nazarene. THE EMPTY CROSS r 9 5 Nor knew that millions would forsake Ancestral shrines great with the glow of time, And lifting up its token shake Aeons with thrill of love or battle's crime. With empty arms aloft it stood: Ah, Scribe and Pharisee, ye builded well The cross emblotted with His blood Mounts, highest Hope of men against earth's hell ! SUNSET-LOVERS UPON how many a hill, Across how many a field, Beside how many a river's whispery flowing, They stand, with eyes a-thrill, And hearts of day-rue healed, Gazing, 0 wistful sun, upon thy going They have forgotten life, Forgotten sunless death; Desire is gone-is it not gone for ever No memory of strife Have they, or pain-sick breath, No hopes to fear or fears hope cannot sever. Silent the gold steals down The west, and mystery Moves deeper in their hearts and settles darker. 'Tis faded-the day's crown But strange and shadowy They see the Unseen as night falls stark and starker. SUNSET-LOVERS 197 Like priests whose altar fires Are spent, immovable They stand, in awful ecstasy uplifted. Zephyrs awake tree-lyres, The starry deeps are full, Earth with a mystic majesty is gifted. Ah, sunset-lovers, though Time were but pulsing pairn, And death no more than its eternal ceasinL,, Would you not choose the throe, Hold the oblivion vain, To have beheld so many days releaiing TO A ROSE (IN' A HOSPITAL) WHY do I love thee- Not because thy wak'ning lips Were wooed to bloom by minstrel wind Of Araby or Ind. Not because thy fragrance slips Into my soul-as if thou must Be sprung of a mother's dust. Not because she gave her breast To thee for one long night-she whose Pure heart I ne'er shall lose. But when I lay in sick unrest Afar from those who are my own, Thou camest from hands unknown Therefore I love thee ! UNBURTHENED Nor pain nor the sunny wine Of gladness steepeth my still spirit as I lift my gaze across the winter meads Engarmented in stubble robes of brown. For, as those solitary trees afar Have reached unbudding boughs To the dim warmth of the February sun, And melted on the infinite calm of space, So I have reached-and am no more distraught With the quivering pangs of memory's yesterday. But the boon of blue skies deeper than despair, Of rests that rise As tides of sleep, And care borne on the plumes Of swan-swift clouds away to the sullen shades Of quelled snow-storms low-lying in the west, Have lulled my soul with soft infinitude. And now . . . down sinks the sun, Until, half-arched above the marge of earth, It hangs, a golden door, Through which effulgent Paradise beyond 200 UNBURTHENED Burns seeming forth along the path of those Who, crowned by Death with Life, pass to its portal. How soon 'tis closed-how soon ! The trumpetings Of seraphs whose gold blasts of light break o'er Purplescent passing battlements of cloud, Sound clear . . . then comes the dusk ! WHERE PEACE IS DUTY DIMMING in sunniness, aerily distant, Valley and hillside float; Up to me wavering, softly insistent, Wanders the wood-brook's note. Anchored beyond in azure unending Cloud-sails await wind-tide. Oh, for the skylands where soon they'll be wending- And, unabiding, bide. Where Time aflow thro' infinite spaces Stays for no throttle of pain Where the stars go at eve to their places; Where silence never shall wane! Where there's no sense but of beauty's wild sweetness, Thought but of sweetening beauty ! Where wanting's stilled in unwanting's completeness- Where peace is duty ! WANTON JUNE I KNEW she would come! Sarcastic November Laughed cold and glum On the last red ember Of forest leaves. He was laughing, the scorner, At me forlorner Than any that grieves- Because I asked him if June would come! But I knew she would come! When snow-hearted winter Gripped river and loam, And the wind sped flinter On icy heel, I was chafing my sorrow And yearning to borrow A hope that would steal Across the hours-till June should come. WANTON JUNE 203 And now she is here.- The wanton !-I follow Her steps, ever near, To the shade of the hollow Where violets blow: And chide her for leaving, Tho' half, still, believing She taunted me so, To make her abided return more dear. AUTUMN AT THE BRIDGE BROWNV dropping of leaves, Soft rush of the wind, Slow searing of sheaves On the hill; Green plunging of frogs, Cool lisp of the brook, Far barking of dogs At the mill; Hot hanging of clouds, High poise of the hawk, Flush laughter of crowds From the Ridge; Nut-falling, quail-calling, Wheel-rumbling, bee-mumbling- Oh, sadness, gladness, madness, Of an autumn day at the bridge SONG HER voice is vibrant beauty dipt In dreams of infinite sorrow and delight. Thro' an awaiting soul 'tis slipt And lo, words spring that breathe immortal might. TO HER WHO SHALL, COME OUT of the night of lovelessness I call Thee, as, in a chill chamber where no ray Of unbelievable light and freedom fall, Might cry one manacled ! And tho' the way Thou'lt come I cannot see; tho' my heart's sore With emptiness when morning's silent gray Wakes me to long aloneness; yet I know Thou hast been with me, who like dawn wilt go Beside me, when I have found thee, evermore 2 So in the garden of my heart each day I plant thee a flower. Now the pansy, peace, And now the lily, faith-or now a spray Of the climbing ivy, hope. And they ne'er cease Around the still unblossoming rose of love To bend in fragrant tribute to her sway. Then-for thy shelter from life's sultrier suns, The oak of strength I set o'er joy that runs With brooklet glee from winds that grieve above. TO HER WHO SHALL COME 207 3 But where now art thou; Watching with love's eye The eve-star wander Listening through dim trees Some thrilled muezzin of the forest cry From his leafy minaret Or by the sea's Blue brim, while the spectral moon half o'er it hangs Like the faery isle of Avalon, do these My yearnings speak to thee of days thy feet Have never trod -Sweet, sweet, oh, sealing sweet, My own, must be our meeting's mystic pangs. 4 And will be soon I For last night near to day, Dreaming, God called me thro' the space-built sphere Of heaven and said, "Come, waiting one, and lay Thine ear unto my Heart-there thou shalt hear The secrets of this world where evils war." Such things I heard as must rend mortal clay To tell, and trembled-till God, pitying, Said, "Listen" . . Oh, my love, I heard thee sing Out of thy window to the morning star! AVOWAL TO THE NIGHTINGALE THOUGH thou hast ne'er unpent thy pain's delight Upon these airs, bird of the poet's love, Yet must I sing thy singing ! for the Night Has poured her jewels o'er the lap of heaven As they who've heard thee say thou dost above The wood such ecstasies as were not given By nestling breasts of Venus to the dove. Oft I have watched the moon orb her fair gold, Still clung to by the tattered mists of day And look for thee. Then has my hope grown bold Till almost I could see how the near laurels Would tremble with thy trembling: but the sway Of bards who've wreathed thee with unfading chorals Has held my longing lips from this poor lay. None but the sky-hid lark whose spirit is Too high for earth may vie for praise with thee In aery rhapsody. And since tis' his To sing of day and joy as thou of sorrow AVOWAL TO THE NIGHTINGALE 209 And night o'erhovering singest, thou'lt e'er be More dear than he-till hearts shall cease to borrow From grief the healing for life's mystery. Then loose thy song ! Though no grave ear may list Its lyric trouble, still 'tis soothing sweet To know that songs unheard and graces missed By every eye melt on the skies that nourish Us with immortal blue; and, changed, repeat Their protean loveliness in all we cherish. For beauty cannot die, howe'er 'tmay fleet. I5 STORM-EBB DUSKING amber dimly creeps Over the vale, Lit by the kildee's silver sweeps, Sad with his wail. Eastward swing the silent clouds Into the night. Burdens of day they seem-in crowds Hurled from earth's sight. Tilting gulls whip whitely far Over the lake, Tirelessly on o'er buoy and spar Till thev o'ertake Shadow and mingled mist-and then Vanish to wing Still the bewildering night-fen, Where the waves ring. STORM-EBB 211 Dusking amber dimly dies Out of the vale. Dead from the dunes the winds arise-- Ghosts of the gale. SLAVES A HOST of bloody centuries lie prone Upon the fields of Time-but still the wake Of Progress loud is haunted with the groan Of myriads, from whose peaceful veins, to slake His scarlet thirst, has War, fierce Polypheme Of fate, insatiately drunk Life's stream. We bid the courier lightning leap along Its metal path with spaceless speed-command Stars lost in night-eternity to throng Before the magnet eye of Science-stand On Glory's peak and triumphingly cry Out mastery of earth and sea and air. But unto WVar's necessity we bare Our piteous breasts-and impotently die. WAKING OH, the long dawn, the weary, endless dawn, When sleep's oblivion is torn away From love that died with dying yesterday But still unburied in the heart lies on! Oh, the sick gray, the twitter in the trees, The sense of human waking o'er the earth The quivering memories of love's fair birth Now strown as deathless flowers o'er its decease Oh, the regret, and oh, regretlessness, Striving for sovranty within the soul ! Oh, fear that life shall never more be whole, And immortality but make it less! FAUN-CALL OH, who is he will follow me With a singing, Down sunny roads where windy odes Of the woods are ringing Where leaves are tossed from branches lost In a tangle Of vines that vie to clamber high- But to vault and dangle Oh, who is he -His eye must be As a lover's To leap and woo the chicory's hue In the hazel-hovers ! His hope must dance like radiance O'er the shadows Of clouds that fling their threatening On the stubbly meadows FAUN-CALL 2 15 And he must see that Autumn's glee And her laughter From his lips and heart will quell all smart- Of before and after ! LINGERING I LINGERED still when you were gone, When tryst and trust were o'er, While memory like a wounded swan In sorrow sung love's lore. I lingered till the whippoorwill Had cried delicious pain Over the wild-wood-in its thrill I heard your voice again. I lingered and the mellow breeze Blew to me sweetly dewed- Its touch awoke the sorceries Your last caresses brewed. But when the night with silent start Had sown her starry seed, The harvest which sprang in my heart Was loneliness and need. STORM-TWILIGHT TosSING, swirling, swept by the wind, Beaten abaft by the rain, The swallows high in the sodden sky Circle oft and again. They rise and sink and drift and swing, Twitterless in the chill; A-haste, for stark is the coming dark Over the wet of the hill. Wildly, swiftly, at last they stream Into their chimney home. A livid gash in the west, a crash- Then silence, sadness, gloam. WILDNESS To drift with the drifting clouds, And blow with the blow of breezes, To ripple with waves and murmur with caves, To soar, as the sea-mew pleases To dip with the dipping sails, And burn with the burning heaven- MV life ! my soul ! for the infinite roll Of a day to wildness given BEFORE AUTUMN SUM.MiER'S last moon has waned- Waned As amber fires Of an Aztec shrine. The invisible breath of coming death has stained The withering leaves with its nepenthean wine- Autumn's near. Winds in the woodland mioan -- Moan As memories Of a chilling yore. Magnolia seeds like Indian beads are strewn From crimson pods along the earth's sere floor- Autumn's near. Solitude slowly steals, Steals Her silent way By the songless brook. At the gnarly yoke of a solemn oak she kneels, The musing joy of sadness in her look- Autumn's near. 220 BEFORE AUTUMN Yes, with her golden days- Days When hope and toil Are at peace and rest- Autumn is near, and the tired year 'mid praise Lies down with leaf and blossom on her breast- Autumn's near. FULFILMENT A-BASK in the mellow beauty of the ripening sun, Sad with the lingering sense of summer's purpose done, The cut and searing fields stretch from me one by one Along the creek. TIhe corn-stooks drop their shadows down the fallow hill Wearing autumnal warmth the farm sleeps by the mill, Around each heavy eave low smoke hangs blue and still- Life's flow is weak. Along the weedy roads and lanes I walk-or pause- Ponder a fallen nut or quirking crow whose caws Seem with prehuman hintings fraught or ancient awes Of forest-deeps. Of forest deeps the pale-face hunter never trod, Nor Indian, with the silent stealth of Nature shod Deeps tense with the timelessness and solitude of God Who never sleeps. 222 FULFILMENT And many times has Autumn, on her harvest way, Gathered again into the earth leaf, fruit, and spray; Here manv times dwelt rueful as she dwells to-day, The while she reaps. TO THE FALLEN LEAVES I HEAR the moaning rains beat on your rest In the long nights of Winter and his wind- And Death, the woeful, guilty of your fall, Crving that he has sinned. MAYA (HIROSHIMA, JAPAN, 1905) PALE sampans up the river glide With set sails vanishing and slow In the blue west the mountains hide As visions that too soon will go. Across the rice-lands flooded deep The peasant peacefully wades on- As in unfurrowed vales of sleep, A phantom out of voidness drawn. Over the temple cawing flies The crow with carrion in his beak. Buddha within lifts not his eyes In pity or reproval meek; Nor, in the bamboos, where they bow A respite from the blinding sun, The old priest-dreaming painless how Nirvana's calm will come when won. MAYA 2 2 5 "All is allusion, Maya, all The world of will," the spent East seems Whispering in me, "Arid the call Of Life is but a call of dreams." SPIRIT OF RAIN (MIYANOSHITA, JAPAN, 1905) SPIRIT of rain- With all thy ghosts of mist about the mountain, lonely As a gray train Of souls ncwlv discarnate seeking new life only! Spirit of rain Leadinz them thro' dim torii, up fane-ways onward 'fill not in Vain They tremble upon the peaks and plunge rejoicing dawn ward. Spirit of rain So would I lead mv dead thoughts high and higher, 'Fill they regain Birth and the beauty of a new life's fire. THE NYMPH AND THE GOD SHE lay by the river dead, A broken reed in her hand, The nymph whom an idle god had wed And led from her maidenland. The god was the great god, Jove. Two notes would the bent reed blow, The one was sorrow, the other love, Enwove with a woman's woe. She lay by the river dead, And he at feasting forgot. The gods, shall they be disquieted By dread of a mortal's lot A SEA-GHOST OH, fisher-fleet, go in from the sea And furl your wings. The bay is gray with the twilit spray And the loud surf springs. The chill buoy-bell is rung by the hands Of all the drowned, Who know the woe of the wind and tow Of the tides around. Go in, go in ! 0 haste from the sea, And let them rest- A son and one who was wed and one Who went down unblest. Aye, even as I whose hands at the bell Now labour most. The tomb has gloom, but 0 the doom Of the drear sea-ghost A SEA-GHOST 2 2 9 He evermore must wander the ooze Beneath the wave, Forlorn-to warn of the tempest born, And to save-to save ! Then go, go in ! and leave us the sea, For only so Can peace release us and give us ease Of our salty woe. LAST SIGHT OF LAND THE clouds in woe hang far and dim I look again and lo Only a faint and shadow line Of shore--I watch it go. The gulls have lceft the ship and wheel Back to the cliff's gray wraith. Will it be so of all our thoughts When we set sail on Death And what will the last sight be of life As lone we fare and fast Grief and the face we love in mist- Then night and awe too vast Or the dear light of Hope-like that, O see, from the lost shore Kindling and calling "Onward, you Shall reach the Evermore ! " SILENCE SILENCE is song unheard, Is beauty never born, Is light forgotten-left unstirred Upon Creation's morn. This page in the original text is blank. DAVID This page in the original text is blank. CHARACTERS King of Israel. .Heir to the throne. His brother. The Prophet of Israel. Captain of the Hoat of Israel. An Edomite; chief servant of Saul, and stuitor Jor Michal. A Lord of Mehola, suitor for Merab. .A shepherd, secretly anointed King. A follower of David. . A priest and fl/lower o/ David. NE SPI eC. The Queen. Daughters of Saul and Akinoam. A blind prophetefs, and later the " Witch of Endor." Timbrel-players of the Kirog. . . . Ihandomaiden to Merab. oyWoomen. A Band of Priests. Fo!liwerr oj David. Soldiers of Saul. People of the Court, &j. SAUL . JONATHAN ISHUI . SAMUEL . ABNER DOEG . ADRIEL . DAVID ABISHAI ABIATHAR A PHILISTI AHINOAM MERAB MICHAL MIRIAM . JUDITH LEAH . ZILLA A DA., H . A Choruj . This page in the original text is blank. DAVID ACT I SCENE: X Hall of judgment in the pa/ace of SAUL at Gibeah. The walls and pillars of ce/ar are richly carven-with serpents, poenegranates, and cherubim in gold. The fioors are of bright marble; the throne of ivory hung with a lion's skin whose head is its footstool. On the right, by the throne, and on the left are doors to other portions of the palace; they are draped with woven curtains of purple and white. In the rear, which is open and supportedi on pillars, a porch crosses a court. Through the porch, on the environing hills, glow the camp-fires of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. Lamps in the Hall busn low, and on the floor JUDITH, LEAH and ZILLA are reclining rcstive/y. j udith (springing to her feet impatiently). 0 for a feast, pomegranate wine and song! Leah. Oh! Oh! Ziala. A feast indeed ! the men in camp When was a laugh or any leaping here Never; and none to charm with timbreling! (She goes to the porch.) Leah. What shall we do Judith. I'll dance. ZilIla. Until you're dead. Judith. Or till a youth wed Zilla for her beauty I'll not soil mine with sullen fear all day Because these Philistines press round. As well Be wenches gathering grapes or wool ! Come, Leah. (She prepare; to dance.) Leah. No, Judith, I'll put henna on my nails, (Sits down.) And mend my anklet. Zi/la (at the curtains). Oh ! Oh ! Oh Judith. Now, hear her! Who, who, now who, who is it dog, fox, devil ZiIla. All! Judith. Then 'tis Ishui ! (Bounding to curtains.) Yes, Ishui And fury in him, sallow, souring fury ! A jackal were his mate ! Come, come, we'll plague him. Zilla. Shall we-with David whom he hates Judith. Aie, David! The joy of rousing men to jealousy! Leah. Why hates he David, Zilla Zilla. Stupid Leah! J7udith. Hush, hush, be meet and ready now; he's near. Look as for silly visions and for dreams ! (They pose. ISHUI entering sees them. JUDITH sighs.) DAVID 2 38 DAVID Ishui. Now, timbrel-gaud, why gape you here 7udith. Prince Ishui ! Zilla. Prince Ishui ! Then he Will tell us ! he will tell us ! 239 0 ! 'tis Leah. Yes ! Judith. Of David ! 0, is he come when, where -quick, quick. And will He pluck us ecstasies out of his harp, Winning until we're wanton for him, mad, And sigh and laugh and weep to the moon Is1ui. Chaff of the king ! Low thing Judith. The king ! I had not thought David a king ! how beauteous would he be Ishui. David Judith. Turban of sapphire ! robe of gold Ishui. A king o'er Israel Judith. Who, who can tell Have you not heard Yesterday in the camp, Among war-old but fearful men, he offered Kingly to meet Goliath-great Goliath Ishui. What do you say to meet Goliath Judith (laughing in his face). Aie (Thrust from him, she goes, dancing with ZILLA and LEAH.) Adriel (who has entered). Ishui, in a rage Ishui. Should I not be Adriel. Not would you be yourself. Ishui. Not (Deftly.) You say well. I should not, no. Pardon then, Adriel. Adriel. What was the offence Ishui. Turn from it: I have not Bidden you here for vapours . . . tho' they had Substance as well for you ! A.driel. Ishui. Laughter against him" Adriel. Ishui. It is this shepherd ! For me Who likes I was laughed at Why, Adriel. David Ishui. With his harp Flinging enchantment on the palace air Till he impassions to him all who breathe. Alriel. What sting from that He's lovable and brave. Llhui. Lovable lovable ' Adriel. I do not see. Ishui. This, then: you've hither come with gifts and gold, Dream-bringing amethyst and weft of Ind, To wed my sister, Merab Adriel. It is so. Llhui. And you've the king's consent; but she denies A driel. As every wind, you know it. Ishui. Still denies And you, lost in the maze of her, fare on Blindly and find no reason for it! Adriel. How What reason can be women are riot clear; DAVID 240 DAVID 241 And least unto themselves. Ishui. Or to their fools. (Goes to curtain, draws out ADAH.) Your mistress, Merab, girl, whom does she love Unclench your hands. 1dah. I hate her. !ohui. Insolent! Answer; I am not milky Jonathan, Answer; and for the rest-You hear Adah. She loves- The shepherd David! Adriel. Who, girle 4dah. I care not She is unkind; I will not spy for her On Michal, and I'll tell her secrets all And David does not love her-and she raves. Ishui. Off to your sleep; be off- (Makes to strike her.) Adriel. Ishui, no. [ADAH goes. Ishui. (gnashingly). Then see you now how "lovable" he is I tell you that he stands athwart us all ! The heart of Merab swung as a censer to him, My seat at table with the king usurped ! Mildew and mocking to the harp of Doeg As it were any slave's; the while we all Are lepered with suspicion. Adriel. Of the king Ishui. Ah ! and of Jonathan and Michal. I7 242 DAVID ddriel. Hush. Enter MICHAL, pasiing, with MIRIAM. Michal, delay. Whom lead you MichaL. Miriam, A prophetess. cIdriel. How of the king to-night Michal. He's not at rest; dreads Samuel's prophecy The throne shall pass from him, and darkens more Against this boundless Philistine Goliath Who dares at Israel daily on the hills, As we were dogs ! Adriel. Is David with him Michal. No; But he is sent for-and will ease him-Ah ! He's wonderful to heal the king with his harp A waft, a sunny leap of melody, And swift the hovering mad shadow's gone- As magic ! Ishui. Michal.. . Curst Michal. What znger's this Lshui. Disdaining Doeg and his plea to dust, His waiting and the winning o'er of Edom, You are enamoured of this David too Michal. I think my brother Ishui hath a fever. (She goes, calmly, with MIRIAM.) Ishui. Now are you kindled-are you quivering, Or must this shepherd put upon us more Atdriel. But has he not dealt honourably Ishai. No. DAVID 243 ddriel. Why do you urge it Ishui. Why have senses. He XWith Samuel the prophet fast enshrouds Some secret, and has Samuel not told The kingdom from my father shall be rent And fall unto one another ldriel. You are certain Ishui. As granite. (FVices are heard in altercation.) Yonder ! Adriel. The king Ishui. And Samuel WVith prophecy or some refusal tears him ! (They step aside. SAUL, followed by SAMUEL, Strides in and mnounts the throne.) Saul. You threat, and ever thunder threatening! Pour seething prophecy into my veins, Till a simoon of madness in me moves. Am I not king, the king chosen and scaled WSho've been anathema and have been bane Unto the foes of Israel, and filled The earth with death of them And do you still forbid that I bear gold And bribe away this Philistine array Folded about us, fettering with flame Samuel. Yes,-yes! While there is air-and awe of Heaven I)o I forbid ! A champion must rise To level this Goliath. Thus may we Loose on them pest of panic and of fear. 244 DAVID Saul. Are forty days not dead A champion ! None will arise-'tis vain. And I'll not wait On miracle. Samuel. Offer thy daughter, then, Michal, thy fairest, to whoever shall. Saul. Demand and drain for more ! without an end. Ever vexation ! No; I will not. Samuel. Then, Out of Jehovah and a vast foreseen I tell thee again, thou perilous proud king, The sceptre shall slip from thee to another (He moves to go.) Saul. The sceptre.... Samuel. To another ! Sauw. From me ! No ! You rouse afar the billowing of ill. I grant-go not !-I grovel to your will, Fear it and fawn as to omnipotence, (Snatching at SAMUEL'S mantle.) And vow to all its divination-all ! Samuel. Then, Saul of Israel, the hour is near, When shall arise one, and Goliath fall ! (Goes slowly out by the porch, Saul sinks back.) Ishui (after a pause, keenly). Oh,-subtle ! Saul. Thus he sways me. Ishui. Subtle !-subtle And yet I must not speak ; come, Adriel, (as if going.) No use of us is here. DAVID Sauw. Ishui. No, father, no. Saul. Ishui. 245 Use subtle Stand! What mean you Do not ask. Yet how it creeps, and how ! Saul. Unveil your words. Ishui. Do you not see it crawl, this serpent scheme Goliath slain-the people mad with praise, Then fallen from you-Michal the victor's wife. Saul. Say on, say on. Ishui. Or else the champion slain- Fear on the people-panic-the kingdom's ruin Saul. Now do the folds slip from me. Ishui. And you see Ah, then, if one arise If one arise Saul. Death, death ! If he hath touched this prophet-if Merely a little moment!- Ishui. Your David with him. Saul. Ishui. In secret. Saul. Ishui. I have seen Death ! if- Come here: David Say you Yes. Saul. The folds slip further; To this you lead me-hatred against David ! To this with supple envy's easy glide! Ishui. I have but told- Saul. You have but builded lies, As ever you are building and for ever. 246 DAVID I'll hear no more against him-Abner !-no. (To ABuNER, who enters.) David, and with his harp. Abner. My lord- Saul. Not come He is not come Forever he delays! (Remounts throne.) dbner. Time's vet to pass. Saul. There is not. Am I king (A harp is heard.) See you, 'tis he! 'Tis David ! . . . And he sings David (bravely, within). Smiter of Hosts, Terrible Saul ! Vile on the hills shall he laugh who boasts None is among Great Israel's all Fearless for Saul, King Saul (Entering with people of the palace.) Aye, is there none Galled of the sting, Will at the soul of Goliath run Wring it and up To his false gods fling . None for the king, the king (He drrps to his knee, amid praise, before the throne.) Saul (darkening). Forego this praise and stand Away from him; 'tis overmuch. (To DAVID.) Why have DAVID 247 You dallied and delayed David. My lord, delayed Saul. Do not smile wonder, mocking! David. Why, my lord, I do not mock. Only the birds have wings. Yet on the vales behind me I have left Haste and a swirl, a wonderment of air, And in the torrent's troubled vein amaze, So swift I hurried hither at your urgence Out of the fields and folding the far sheep Saul. You have not; you have dallied. (Afotions rest out.) You have dallied. (Comes down ineleterminately.) And now- Davia. And now the king with darkness foams, With sheeted passions like to lightning gusts. (Ifil have gone.) Shall I not play to him' You shall not, no. (Slowly draws a dagger.) I'll not be lulled. David. But show a tiger gleam Terrible fury stealing from the heart And crouching cold within the eye, 0 Saul Saul. I'll not endure. They say that you- David. Thev sav What is this ravage in you Does the truth So limpid overflow in palaces Neves an enemy to venom it Saul. 248 DAVID Am I not David, faithful, and thy friend Saul. I'll slay you and regretless. David (unmoving). Slay, my lord Saul. Do you not fear And brave me to my breast David. Have I done wrong that I should fear the king Reed as I am, could he not breathe and break And I should be oblivion at a word ! But under the terror of his might have I Not seen his heart beat justice and beat love See, even now ! . Saul. I will not listen to them David. To whom, my lord, and what Saul. Ever they say, " This David," and " This David ! " David. Ah, my harp! Saul. But think you, David, I shall lose the kingdom David (starting). My lord ! . Saul. Pain in your eyes you think it Deem I cannot overleap this destiny David. To that let us not verge ; it has but ill. Deeper the future gulf is for our fears. Forget it. Forget the brink may ever gape, And wield the throne so well that God Himself Must not unking you, more than He would cry The morning star from Heaven ! Then, I swear it, None else will ! Saul. Swear David. Nay, nay! Saul. You swear DAVID 249 David. But words, Foolishly from the heart ; a shepherd speech I Give them no mood; but see, see yonder fires Camping upon the peace of Israel, As we were carrion beneath the sun Let us conceive annihilation on them, Hurricane rush and deluging and ruin. Saul. Ah, but the prophecy ! the prophecy! It eats in me the food of rest and ease. And David, nearer: Samuel in my stead Another hath anointed. David. Saul, not this! This should not fall to me, my lord; no more! You cannot understand ; it pains beyond All duty and enduring! Saul. Pains beyond . . . Who is he know you of him do you know you You sup the confidence of Samuel I'll search from Nile to Nineveh David. My lord! Saul. Mountain and desert, wilderness and sea, Under and over, search-and find. Davia. Peace, peace Enter MICHAL joyously. Afichal. 0 father, father ! David ! Listen ! . . . Why All here is dark and quivering as pain, And a foreboding binds me ere I breathe David, you have not been as sun to him! David. But Michal will be now. Saul. Child, well, what then Michal. Father, a secret! Oh, and it will make Dawn and delight in you ! Saul. Perhaps; then, well MichaL Oh, I have heard . . . ! Saul. Have heard !-Whv do you pale (She stands unaccountably moved.) Now are you Baal-bit David. Michal Michal (in terror). David ! . . . the dread What does it mean I cannot speak ! It shrinks Shivering down upon my heart in awe ! David. And numbs you so -Let it rush from your lips Can any moving in the world so bring Terror upon you ! Speak, what is it Michal. Ah! I know not; danger rising and its wing Sudden against my lips ! David. To warn Afichal. It shall not There-now again flows joy: I think it flows. Saul. Then-you have heard . . . Michal Yes, father, yes ! Have you Not much desired discovery of whom Samuel hath anointed Saul. Well Michal. I've found (DAVID blenches.) Almost have found ! A prophetess to-day DAVID 250o DAVID 25I Hath told me that he is a- (Realises.) Sauw. Now you cease (She stands horrified.) Sudden and senseless ! .Wichal. David !-No! Saul. God I God! Have I not bidden swiftly !Ever then Vexation I could-Ah. Will she not speak Michal. I cannot. Saul. Cannot! Are vou flesh of me David. My lord, not anger Hear me . . . Saul. Cannot David. Hear! Her lips could never seal upon a wrong. Sudden divinity is on them, silence Sent for the benison of Israel, Else were it shattered by her love to you Believe, in all the riven realm of duty There's no obedience from thee she would hold. If it seem other- Enter ABNER hurriedly. Afbner. Pardon, 0 king. A word. Saul. I will not. Do you come with vexing too finer. The Philistines-some fury is afoot A spy's within our gates-and scorns to speak. Saul. Conspiracy of silence ! . . . Back to him. [ABNER goes. (70 DAVID and MICHAL.) But you-I'll not forget. 252 DAVID I'll not forget. (Goes trembling, his look bent backward still upon them.) David (casting off gloom, then joyful). Forget ! anointing peril ! What are they all Michal !-for me you have done this, for me (She stands immovable.) I'm swung with joy as palms of Abila! (Goes to her.) A princess, you ! and warm within your veins Live sympathy and all love unto your father, Yet you have shielded me Michal. You are the anointed David. I am-oh, do not flint your loveliness!- I am the anointed, but all innocent In will or hope of any envious wrong, As lily blowing of blasphemy ! as dew Upon it is of enmity ! Michal. Anointed You whom the king uplifted from the fields! David. And who am ever faithful to him! Michal. You, Whom Jonathan loves more than women love! Davia. Yet reaches not my love to Jonathan Michal. You-you ! David. But, hear me! Michal. You, of all! David. 0 hear! Of my anointing Jonathan is 'ware, Knows it is holy, helpless, innocent DAVID 253 As dawn or a drift of dreaming in the night! Knows it unsought-out of the skies-supernal- From the inspired cruse of Samuel For Israel it dripped upon me, and For Israel must drip until I die ! Or till high Gath and Askalon are blown Dust on the wind, and all Philistia Lie peopleless and still under the stars! . . . Goliath, then, a laughter evermore ! . Still, still you shrink do you not see, not feel Michal. So have you breathed yourself about my heart, Even as moonlit incense, spirit flame Burning away all barrier ! David. But see! Michal. And all the world has streamed a rapture in, Till even now my lids from anger falter And the dew falls ! David. Restrain! 0 do not weep! Upon my heart each tear were as a sea Flooding it from all duty but the course Of thy delight ! AMichaL. Poor, that I should have tears! Fury were better, tempest ! 0 weak eyes, When 'tis my father, and with Samuel You creep to steal his kingdom David. Michal! . . . God! Michal. Yes, steal it ! David. Cruel ! fell accusal ! Yea, Utterly false and full of wounding! (Struggling, then with control.) Yet, Forgive that even when thy arrows sink Deeper than all the skill of time can draw, I spare thee not the furrowed face of pain Delirious wings of hope that fluttered up, At last to fall I (Moves to go.) Michal. David! David. Farewell! Michal. . .. You must not! David. Peace to you, peace and joy ! Michal. You must not go! (He turns. Shel sways and reaches to him her arms. A4s they move together DOEG and M\ERAB appeal, but vanish from the curtains as MICHAL utters dismay.) Michal. Merab and Doeg! David (has sprung to her). Yet what matter, now Were it the driven night-unshrouded dead I Under the firmament is but one need, That you will understand ! MAichal. But Merab ! ah, She's cunning, cold and cruel, and she loves thee Hath told her love to Ahinoam the queen ! And Doeg hates thee-since for me he's mad David. Then be his hate as wild, as wide as winds That gather up the desert for their blast, Be it as Sheol deep, stronger than stars That fling fate on us, and I care not, care not, If I am trusted and to Michal truth I DAVID 2S4 Hear, hear me! for the kingdom, tho 't may come, I yearn not; but for you ! Michal No, no! David. For you! Since I a shepherd o'er a wild of hills First beheld you the daughter of the king Amid his servants, leaning, still with noon, Beautiful under a tamarisk, until All beauty else is dead- Michal. Ah, cease ! David. Since then I have been wonder, ecstasy and dream ! The moulded light and fragrant miracle, Body of you and soul, lifted me till When you departed- Michal. No, you rend me! David. I Fell thro' infinity of void ! Michal. No more! David. Then came the prophet Samuel with anointing! My hope sprung as the sun Michal. I must not hear! David. Then was I called to play before the king. Here in this hall where cherubim shine out, Where the night silence- Michal. David David. Strung me tense, I waited, shepherd-timid, and you came, You for the king to try my skill ! you, you ! DAVID 25 5 Michal. Leave me, ah leave! I yield! David. And often since Have we not swayed and swept thro' happy hours, Far from the birth unto the bourne of bliss Michal. And I- David. To-night you did not to the king Reveal my helpless chrism, give me to peril. Say but the reason ! Michal. David David. Speak, 0 speak! Michal. And shall I, shall I how this prophetess Miriam hath foretold- David. Some wonder speak Michal (springs up the throne, then down). No, no! horror in me moans out against it. Wed me with destiny against my father Dethrone my mother Ah ! David. Not that-no wrong! Mi chal. Then swear conspiracy upon its tide Never shall lift you ! David. Deeper than soul or sea, Deep as divinity is deep, I swear. If it shall come, the kingdom- Michal. "If!" not "if." Surrender this anointing! Spurn it, say You never will be king though Israel Kingless go mad for it! David. I cannot. Michal. Guile! 2 56 DAVID DAVID 2S7 David. I cannot-and I must not. It is holy ! Michal. Then must I hate you-scorn you- David. Michal! Michal. And will. But to reign over Israel you care, Not for the peace of it David. Thus all is vain A seething on the lips, I'll say no more. Care but to reign and not for Israel's calm I who am wounded with her every wound Look out upon von Philistine bold fires lapping the night with bloody tongue-look out! ( 1 commotion is heard within.) As God has swung the world and hung for ever The infinite in awe, tomorrow night Not one of them shall burn ! Michal. You pall me! David. None Michal. What is this strength ! It seizes on me! No, I'll not believe; no, no, more than I would From a boy's breath or the mere sling you wear A multitude should flee ! And you shall learn A daughter to a father may be true Tho' paleness be her doom until she die! (She turni to go. Enter JONATHAN eagerly.) Jonathan. David ! David. My friend-my Jonathan ! 'Tis you (They embrace. MICHAL goes.) Jonathan. Great heart, I've heard how yesterday before is The soldiers you . . . But Michal's gone ! No word David. The anointing. Jonathan. Ah, she knows David. All. Jonathan. And disdains Believing tell me. David. No, not now-not now. Let me forget it in a leap of deeds. (The commotion sounds again.) For there is murmur misty of distress, What is it sprung of the Philistines new terror This sounding giant flings again his foam Jonathan, I am flame that will not wait. What is it P I must strike. Jonathan. David . . . David. Tell me, And do not bring dissuasion more, or pause. Jonathan. The king comes here. David. Now Jonathan. With a spy who keeps Fiercely to silence. David. Then is peril up! Jonathan. . . ! 7onathan. David, you must cool from this. Determination surges you o'erfar. I will not see you rush on perishing, Not though it be the aid of Israel. David. I must. . . . I will not let them ever throng, Staining the hills, and starving us from peace. DAVID '2 58 Rather the last ray living in me, rather Death and the desecration of the worm. Bid me not back with love, nor plea; I must Jonathan. But think- David. No thought! Jonathan. 'Twere futile- David. Hear; the king! Jonathan. The madness of it ! David. No, and see; they come. Jonathan. Strangely my father is unstrung. David. They come. Enter SAUL with SAMUEL ; Soldiers with the spy; AHINOAM with ABNER; and all the court in suppressed dread. Saus (to SAMUEL). He will not speak, but scorns me, and his lips Bitterly curve and grapple. But he shall Learn there is torture to it ! Set him forth. (The spy is thrust forward.) Tighten his bonds up till he moan. (It is done.) Aye, gasp, Accursed Philistine ! Now wilt thou tell The plan and passion of the people 'gainst us Spy. Baal! Saul. -Tighten the torture more. . . . Now will you Spy (in agony). Yea! Saul. On, then, reveal. Spy. New forces have arrived, DAVID '259 260 DAVID Numberless; more than peaks of Arabah. (General movement of uneasiness.) Unless before to-morrow's moon one's sent To overthrow Goliath . . . Gods ! the pain Saul. Well Well Spy. Then Gibeah attacked, and all, Even to sucking babes, they'll put to sword (.' movement of horror.) Ahinoam. All Gibeah ! X WVoman. My little ones No, no (She rushes frantically out.) Samuel. Then, Saul of Gibeah, one thing and one Alone is to be done. A champion, To break this beetling giant down to death Saul. There is none. Samuel. Is none ' Call ! I order it. Saul. Then who will dare against him (,' silence.) See you now. Samuel. You, Abner, will not Abner. Samuel. Doeg. It were death and vain. Doeg, chiet servant of the king Why me Had I a mother out of Israel I am an alien, an Edomite. David. My lord, this is no more endurable ! (Steps forth.) Futile and death Alien Edomite , Has not this Philistine before the gates, With insult and illimitable breath Vaunting of vanity and smiting laughter, Boasted and braved and threatened up to Baal And now unless one slay him, Israel From babe to age must bleed and be no more! I am a shepherd, have but seized the lion And throttled the bleating kid out of his throat Little it then beseems that I thrust in Where battle captains pale and falter off; But this is past all carp of rank or station. One must go out-Goliath must have end. Doeg. Ah, ah ! and you will ! Ishui. You 7onathan. No, David I Saul. rou David. Sudden you hound about me ravenous Have I thrown doom not daring to your feet, Ruler of Israel, that you rise wild, Livid above me as an avalanche Doeg. A plot ! it is a plot ! He will be slain- From you, my lord, dominion then will fall Or should it not . . . Samuel. Liar! it is no plot. But courage sprung seraphic out of night, Beautiful, yea, a bravery from God ! Micha! (behind the throng). Open ! and let me enter Open (She enters.) Father! It is not false but now, the uttermost To-morrow, if Goliath still exult, DAVID ,26 There's peril of desolation, bloody ruin Samuel. I answer for him; yea. Michal. Then to your Father, unto will of yesterday I bend me now with sacrificial joy. Unto Goliath's slayer is the hand Of Michal, the king's daughter ! David (joyously). Michal ! Michal! Doeg. See you, my lord Do you not understand Ishui. It is another coiling of their plot I michal. Coiling of plot What mean you Merab. Ah! You will, know Not it is David offers against Goliath Michal. I)avid (Shrinking.) David (1 low tumult is heard without. Enter a Captain hurriealy.) Captain. 0 King, bid me to speak Saul. Then speak ! Captain. Fear is upon the host. There will Be mutiny unless, Goliath slain, Courage spring up anew. David. My lord, then, choose Ere longer waiting fester to disaster. Samuel. Yea, king of Gibeah, and bid him go, And Michal for his meed! or evermore Evil be on you and the sear of shame- And haunting memory beyond the tomb Saul. Then let him-let him. And upon the field Of Ephes-Dammin. But I am not blind ! 262 DAVID DAVID 263 (To ABNER.) Let him, to-morrow ! Go prepare the host. Yet-I am king, remember ! I am king! (SAUL goes; murmurs of relief . . . 411 follow, but MICHAL, past DAVID Wit/h isy or hate.) David. Michal! (She struggles against tears, but, turning, goes. He stands and gazes after her. Then a trumpet sounds ainl soldiers throng to the porch.) David (thrilled, his hand on his sling). For Israel ! For Israel [Goes towLardl thent. CURTAIN. ACT II SCENE.-The royal tent of SAUL pitched on one hill of the battle- field of Ephes-Damnmin. The tent is of black embroidered with various warlike designs. To one side osn a dais are the chairs OJ SAUL and AHI:OA.M; also DAVID's harp. On the other side, toward the front, is a table with weapons. The tent wall is lifted along the back, revealing on the opposite hill, across a deep narrow valley, the routed camp of the Philistincs; before it in gleaming brazen armour lies GOLIATH slain. Other hills beyond, and the sky above. By the small table, her hack to the battlefield, sits MISRAB in cold anger. AHINOA.M and several women look out in ecstasy toward DAVID, SAUL, JONATHAN, and the army, returning victorious, and shouting. First W1oman. See, see, at last Second WPoman. They come Third Iroman. An avalanche! Over the brook and bright amid hosannas Second Woman. And now amid the rushes ! First WJsman. And the servants Goliath's head high-borne upon a charger! The rocks that cry reverberant and vast The people and the palms Third IYoman. Yea, all the branches Torn from the trees ! The waving of them-O! Second HXoman. And David, see! triumphant, calm, between The king and Jonathan ! . . . His glory All the wild generations of the wind Ever shall utter ! Hear them- (The tumult ascends afar.) ' David ! David 0 queen ! a sea of shooting 'hinsoan. Which vou crave, Then go and lave you in this tide ot joy. (The women go rapturowuly. AHINOAM turns.) Ifr-ab. Mother I iA/;in.n My daughter .Werab. Well Jhi'noam. They all are gone. Mferab. And Michal, where Ahlinsainz. I do not know, my child. Merab. Why did my father pledge her to him you Not hindering lfhinoam. She is your sister. You Arc pledged to Adriel. Merab. And as a slave And if I do not love him there is-riches If he is Sodom-bitter to me-riches! ihinoam. But for the kingdom. Merar. For my torture! What Kinfgdiom is to a woman as her love DAVID 26S Ahinoam. And David still enthralls you Merab. Though he never Sought me with any murmur or desire ! Though he is Michal's for Goliath's death ! Michal's to-dav, unless-- Ahinoam. Merab, a care I Too near in you were ever love and hate. (The tumult nears. AHINOAM goes to look out. DOEG enters to MERAB.) Doeg (low). News, Merab! ilerab. Well P A triumph o'er him, yet ! The king is worn, as a leper pent, between Wonder of David and quick jealousy Because of praise this whelming of Goliath Wakes in the people. Then the triumph This. (The tumult, nearer.) I've skilfully disposed the women To coldly sing of Saul, but of our David (WVatches her.) With lavish of ecstasy as to a king. Merab (springing up). Then I will praise him Doeg. David you Merab. As he Was never--and shall never be again. (Takes a dagger.) Doeg. But- I)oeg Merab. Doeg. 266 DAVID DAVID Merab. Give me the phial. Doeg. The 1 Merab. Doeg. What will you do .Aerab (seizes phial). At once with it. (Dips dagger in.) Doe,. Merab. As any fool Wait. And the This timnbrel-plaver, Judith Doeg. And ravishing ! Merab. Doeg. She is poison Come-at once ! You'll stab him rest now, quick. ready Well, well; then- 'Se will send her Sudden, as Michal is alone with David, To seize him with insinuative kisses, And arms that wind as they were wonted to him. Michal once jealous-and already I Have sowed suspicions (Laughs.) Merab. May it be their rending. (The tumult near.) But come, come, we must see; and show no frown. (They go to Zosk out. Shouts of " David ! David! " arise, and timbrelers, dancing and singing, pass the tent opening; then priests with the i1rk and its cherubim oJ gold. DAVID, SAUL, JONATHAN, IsHUI, and the court then enter amid acclamsttisns. Before themis the head of Goliath iS borne on a charger, under a napkin. ,26 7 268 DAVID SAUL darkly mounts the throne with AHINOAM, to waving of palmi and praise.) A' Woman (breaking from the throng). Our little ones are saved ! Hosannah ! joy ! (She kisses DAVID'S hand.) Jonathan. Woman, thy tongue should know an angel-word, Or seraph syllables new-sung to God Earth has not any rapture well for this David, my brother! David. Jonathan, my friend! While life has any love, know mine for you. Jonathan. Then am I friended as no man was ever And though my soul were morning wide it were Helpless to hold my wonder and delight O people, look upon him ! People. David ! David Jonathan. Never before in Israel rose beauty Up to this glory ! David. Jonathan, nay- Jonathan. Never (Looses his robe and girdle.) Therefore I pour him splendour passionate. In gold and purple, this my own, I clothe him. David, my brother ! Saul (livid). Brother Ahinoamn. Saul Saul. Thou fool! Jonathan. Father Ahinoam. My lord Saul. Thou full-of-lauding fool Of breath and ravishment unceasing ! Ahinoam. Saul Saul. Is it not praise enough, has he not reached The skies on it David. 0 king, my lord- Saul. Had Saul Ever so rich a rapture from his son Ever this worshipping of utterance David. My lord, my lord, this should not fret you. Doeg (derisively). Nay David. 'Tis only that the soul of Jonathan, Brimmed by the Philistines with bitterness, Sudden is joy and overfloweth- Doeg. Fast- David. Upon his friend, thy servant, David. Doeg. Aie (He turns away laughing.) Saul. Why do you laugh Doeg. "Thy servant David Saul. Why! X loman (without). King Saul has slain his thousands ! Doeg. Why, my lord fVsanan. But David his ten thousands! DTeg. Do you hear King Saul has slain his thousands, David tell Thy servant, is he servant David. Yea, 0 king! Therefore be wielded by no venom-word, DAVID 269 As a weed under the wind ! Saul. 'Tis overmuch! I'll burst all bond of priest or prophesy. Nor cringe to threatening and fondle fear. (He seizes a javelin.) I'll smite where'er I will. David. No! Jonathan. Father David. No! For rapid palsy would come on thy hand, Awful and sceptre-ruined lord of men, An impotence, a shrivelling with fear, Avenging ere thou shed offenceless blood (Saul's hand drops.) Is this thy love, the love of Saul the king, Who once was kindlier than kindest are For but a woman's wantonness of word And idle air, my life Ahinoam. Saul, Saul Jonathan. The shame! David. Some enemy-does Doeg curve his lip Hath put into her mouth this stratagem Of fevered, false-impassioned overpraise. (SAUL, twtured, sweeps from the tent, entreated of JONArHAN. Many follow in doubt, whispering.) Doeg (at door, to DAVID). This is not all, boy out of Bethlehem. Goliath's dead- DAVID 270 IDavid. But not all villainy ; (Only .MICHAL and MERAB are left with DAVID; he waits.) Merab (after a pause, then as if in shame). I burn for it David. For what, and suddenly 4erab. My father so ungenerously wroth And wrought away from recompense so right. Can you forgive him David. Merab Merab. Is it strange That even I now ask it David. Merab's self Merab. Herself and not to-day your friend; but now Conquered to exultation and aglow To wreathe vou for this might to Israel, Beautiful, unbelievable and bright! Noble the dawn of it was in your dream, Noble the lightning of it in your arm, And noble in your veins the fearless flow And dare of blood !-so noble that I ask As a remembrance and bequest for ever, In priceless covenant of peace between us, A drop of it- (She draws dagger ana ofiers it to him.) Upon this sacred blade . David. Such kindness in all honour AIerab. Poor requital To one whose greatness humbles me from hate. David (slowly). Then of my veins whatever drop you will But, no . . . (Pauses.) You do not mock me DAV ID 2 71 Merab. Rather upon Its edge one vein of you-than priceless nard. David. Or perfume out of India jewel poured (He searches her eyes.) Or than-I may believe -a miracle Of dew, were you a traveller upon The illimitable desert's thirst Or than- (He draws his own dagger, pricks his wrist, and hands it her.) Than this Merab. Shepherd David (quickly). Treachery ; treachery, then Under a sham of tribute poison Michal. Poison David. And I of vanity should prick it in I a mere shepherd innocent of wile ! A singer music-maudled and no more . . . The daughter of King Saul has vet to learn. (She goes. He turns to MICHAL.) But you, fairest of all my hopes, what word The vaunting of this victory is done. We are alone at last. Michal. Yes. David. That is all For Israel I've wrought to-day-and for You, ever round about me as a mist Of armed mighty angels triumphinrJ. Michal. Yes: It was well. David. To you no more to you DAVID 2 72 Whom not a siavc can serve unhonoured J'iicha1/ (struggling). Nothing. David. Empty of giow then seems it, impotent, A shrivelled hallowing Ashes of ecstasy that burned in vain. Michal. No, no! I- David. Michal Mlichal. No, divine it was ! And had I cried my praise the ground had broke lTo Eden under me with blossoming. Where was so wonderful a deed as this, So fair a springing of salvation up Glory above the heavens could I seize, Vreathing of dawn and loveliness unfading, To crown you with and crown ! David. 0 lips! llichal. With but A sling, a shepherd's sling, you sped the brook, Drew from its bed a stone, and up the hill Where the great Philistine contemning cried, Mounted and flung it deep upon his brain Da'vid. This is the victory and not his death ! Tell, tell thy joy with kisses on my lips Thy mouth ! thy arms ! thy breast Michal. No no David. Thy soul ! ((HI ps itr.) Too much of waiting and of severance, Of dread .,and distance and the deep of doubt 19 DAVID 2 73 Now must I fold you, falter all my love And triumph on your senses till they burn Beautiful to eternity with bliss. Michal. Loose, loose me! David. Nay, again v immortal kisses! Michal. A frenzy, 'tis a frenzy ! From me ! see ! This irremediable victory Over Goliath severs us the more. (The tumult, again, afar.) Hear how the people lift you limitless Almost to-day and in my father's room They would that you were king. David. But ere to-morrow Dim shall I be, and ere the harvest bend Less than a gleam in their forgotten peril! Michal. 0 were it, were it ! But all silently Jehovah fast is beckoning the realm Into thy hands. David. Then futile to resist The gliding on of firm divinity. And yet whatever may be shall be done. Michai. All, all ; David. That for thee reverently may. Michal. That anointing, then- David. Of that! . . . not that! Michal. Yet grant It may be told my father; that I may Say to him all the secret DAV ID 274 David. And provoke Murder in him, insatiable though I lied upon the wilderness and famine Michal. He would not! David. Nay. Michal. I'll plead with him. David. In vain. Michat (coldly). Then . . . it is as I thought. David. You are distraught. Michal. This stroke to-day (pointing to GOLIATH'S head) no love of me had in it. David. A love, a passion fervid through me as The tread and tremble of seraphic song Along the infinite. Michal. You use me I David. Use Michal. A step to rise and riot in ambition David. So bitter are you, blind even in all Michal. You snared me to you ! David. Michal Michai. Cunningly With Samuel netted fears about my father, Till I am paltrily unto you pledged. David. Enough. Michal. Too much. David. No more: the pledge I fling Out of my heart, as 'twere enchantment dead, And free you; but no more. (He moves from her.) AIichal. As if it were DAVID 27 5 Enchantment dead . . . Ah then 'tis true-there is Another-is another ' David. Now, what fever A gentleness clad once your esery grace. Michal. There is some other that you lure and love. David. It is not Michal speaking; so I wait. Michal. Then vou will learn . . . Who's that (JUDITH glides in.) ('Io her.) Why are you here Judith (to I)AVIn, with a laugh, as if with azmorous joy). Brave, it was brave, my love ! beauteous ! brave David. Woman Judith. The Philistine, a brazen tower, A bastion of strength, fell to the earth David. Woman, who are you (She clasps and kisses hirn.) Take away your flesh. (Free.) Take it away, the heat and myrrh of it. Judith. So cold David. Hireling _7udith. It is no longer fair (JI/antonly.) Oh ! Ah ! I understand ! the princess ! Oh I (Goes laughing and shaking her timbrel wickedly.) Michal. A dancer, then, a very timbrel-plaver David. Until this hour I never looked upon her. It is chicanery of chance or craft. You who are noble, though in doubt adrift, Be noble now ! Michael. And loving Oh, I will- 276 DAVID Now that I know what should be done. Be sure ! David. You mean . . . that Saul-- You would not, no 4'Iichal. Rest sure. (KI hand is seen at the a'lar. AHIXOAl inters.) ,ihinsoan. David, the king . . . But what is this [MICHAL goes. I)Dvid. 0 queen It is but life. A'hinoarz. Nay. David. Life that ever strings Our hearts, so pitifully prone for it, To ecstasy--then snaps. Ahinsam. I love thee, David. I)avid. Then gracious be, and question here no more, Where words are futile for an utterance. But of the king-the king- .'hinso'n. He's driven still. And hither comes again, and must be calmed. The harp take You, and winds of beauty bring, And consolation, as of valley eves WVhen there is ebb of sorrow and of toil. Oh, could you heal him and for ever heal Daivid. Then would I be- ' (Bre.a;s oj with great desire. Takes the harp and seats himself:) ,ihinoarn. At once, for he will come. (1 Atrain of wild sadness brings SAUL, and miany, within. He pauses, his hand to his brew, enspelled lof the play- ing thsen slowly goes up the aesis.) D)AVID 2 77 ,4hinoam. MY lord, shall David sing-to ease us Saul. Let him. David (with high sorrow). o heart of woe, Heart of unrest and broken as a reed ! (Plays.) o heart whose flow Is anguish and all bitterness of need ! (Plays.) o heart as a roe, Heart as a hind upon the mountain fleeing The arrow-wounds of being, Be still, 0 heart, and rest and do not bleed (Plays longer with bowed head.) o days of life, Days that are driven swift and wild from the womb (Plays.) o days so rife- Days that are torn of trouble, trod of doom! (Plays. MICHAL enters.) o days of strife- Days ot desire on deserts spread unending, The burning blue o'erbending, 0 days, our peace, our victory is the tomb! (lHe plays to a close that dies in anguished silence.) Saul (rising in tears). David ! David. My lord Saul. Thy song is beauteous! Stilling to sorrow ! . . . Oh, my friend, my son! David. To me is this I do not dream The king Again is kind and soft his spirit moves 278 DAVID DAVID Sauw. To you ! David. How shelter o'er me then will spring And safety covering! Saul. It ever shall. Loveliest have you been among my days, And singing weary madness from my brain. (DAVID starts toward him.) How I have wronged thee ! Michal. Wronged David. Saul. Michal. You have not wronged him! David. Mi( Michal. Is jeopardy and fate about you ! drive Him from you utterly and now away! (Murmurs of astonishment.) Saul. What mean you Ishui. Speak. Saul. Michal. David. Michal. I'll not be kept ! Day him (in fury). Michal! Girl :hal ! No! but he What mean you This! No word ! id. But shall be; for to tell Would rend silence for ever from you-pale Your flesh with haunting of it evermore ! All, all your being would become a hiss, A memory of syllables that sear, A living iteration of remorse. '279 280 DAVID I-I myself will save your lips the words Of this betrayal leaping from your heart. (Nobly before SAUL.) You seek, my lord . . . vou seek whom Samuel Anointed. Saul. Yes. David. Then know that it is I. (Consternation.) Saul. You ! David. Guiltless I, no other! I, though I sought it not and sufer, though- 'SAUL seizes a javelin.) I would it had not come and fast am sworn Never against you to lift up- Merab. Hear, hear Now he will cozen Doeg. He, " thy servant Ishui. Hear! (GOLIATH'S heaa is upset.) X Voice. A thousand Saul hath slain ! but David ten Saul (choking). Omnipotence shall not withhold me more. (Lifts javelin.) Die, die ' Jonathan. No, father . . . hold Michal (as SAUL /li-gs). What have I done (Reels.) ionathan. David, unhurt Away, the wilderness Saul (with another javelin). He shall not, no DAVID 28I David (aflame). Strike, strike, then ! strike, strike, strike, (Rushes up throne.) Murderous king, afoam with murder-heat. Strike me to darkness and the waiting worm But after be your every breathing blood! Remorse and riving bitterness and fear ! Be guilt and all the hideous choke of horror! (SAUL trembling cowers5, the ]avelin filling from him. DAVID breaiks through DOEG and ISHuI and escapes by the door. MICHAL sinks to her knees, her fiBce buried in her hands.) CURTAI N. ACT III SCENE X savage mountain-cliff in the wilderness of Engeddi. On either side grey crags rise rugged, sinking away precipitously across the back. Cut into each is a cave. The height is reached by clefts from all sides. Between the crags to the East is the far blue of the Dead Sea; and still beyond, bathed in the waning afternoon, stretch the purple shores of Moab. During the act the scene grows crimson with sunset and a thundercloud arises over the sea. Lying on a pallet of skins near the cliffs verge, DAVID tosses feverishly. Three of his followers and a lad, who serves him, are gathered toward the front, ragged, hungry, and hunted, in altercation over a barley cake. David. Water! the fever fills me, and I thirst. Water 7 First Fol. Listen. Second Fol. He calls. David. Water! I thirst. The Lad. Yes, yes, my lord. (Takes up a water-skin.) Ah empty, not a quaff! They've drunk it all from him ! My lord, none's left. I DAVID 283 I'll run and in the valley brim it soon. (He goes. DAVID sinks back.) Second Fol. (to FIRST). rou drank it, then. First Fol. And should I thirst, not he Give me the bread. Second Fol. If it would strangle you. First Fol. I'll have it. Second Fol. Or betray him spitingly It is the last. Already you have eat. And we are here within a wilderness. First Fol. Be it, but I'll not starve. Third Fsl. He utters right. Why should we but to follow a mere shepherd Famish-over a hundred desert hills The prophecy portending him the throne- Folly, not fate ! though it is Samuel's. I'll trust in it no more. First Fol. Nor I. Third Fol. And Saul Has driven us from waste to waste-pressed us Even unto the Philistines for shelter, And now unto this crag. And is not David's Thought but of Michal, not of smiting him And, with a host, of leaping to the kingdom (DAVID stirs to rise.) First Fol. He moves; peace! Third Es!. Let him. Second Fol. Peace. Third Fol. And fawning too David (sufferingly). Men-men, we must have news. Per- petual, Implacable they stare unto each other, This rock and stony sky. . . . We must have news. (Rises and comnes down to them. Thev are silent.) Longer is death. 'Tis over many days Of sighing-and remembered verdancy; Nor any dew comes here or odour up. Who will go now and bring us word of Saul Thira Fol. Have not Abishai, Abiathar, And others gone David. Bravely. Third Fol. And none returned David. Not one of all. Thiod Fol. Well, then, we are not swine; And life's but once. . . . So we will follow you No longer hungered and rewarded never, But perilously ever. David. It is well. (Hle looses a braceiet from his area.) This was a gift from Saul. In it is ease. (Gives it THIRD FOLLOWER, Jvho goes.) This ring was Jonathan's. The jewel tells Still of the sunny haven of his heart. Upon my hand he pressed it-the day we leapt Deeper than friends into each other's love. (Gives it to FIRST, who goes.) This chain- 284 DAVID Second Fol. I want it not. David. You have not thought; 'Tis riches-such as Sidon mnarts and Tyre Would covet. Second Fol. I care not. David. None else is left. Second Foi. No matter. David. Then-r Second Fsl. There was of Gibeah A woman-dear to me. Her face at night Weeping among my dreams . . . The prophesy Is unfulfilled and vain David. And you would go; S-cond Es!. The suffering-this cliff. David. I understand. (istions.) So, without any blame, go-to content. (The SECOND, filterin,,, gses.) (Quietlv.) A desolation left, of rock and air, Of barren sea and bitterness as vast. Thou hast bereft me, Saul ! . . . and .1lichal, thou ([e mnoves Up clify gazes oJ, then kneels as to pray.) My flesh cries for oblivion-to sink Unwaking away into the night . . . where is No tears, but only tides of sleep. No, crieth Not for oblivion and night, but for Rage and revenge ! Saul ! Saul ! . . . My spirit, peace. I must revenge's call within me quell DAV ID 28 5 Though righteously it quivers and aflame. As pants the hart for the water-brook, so I ! (He bows his head. . . . MICHAL enters in rags with the lad. She sees DAVID rise and wander into cave, right.) Michal. This is the place, then, this Lad. Yes, princess. Michal. So long in want and sickness he hath hid Under the livid day and lonelier night Lad. I brought him water, often. Michal. Little lad But he has heard no word from me -not how My father, Saul, frantic of my repentance, Had unto Phalti, a new lord, betrothed me, How then I fled to win unto these wilds Lad. He heard not anything-only the tales I told of Moab, my own land. ... But, oh! (DAVID plays within.) It is his harp. Michap. And strains that weep o'er me ! . . . I'll speak to him . . . and yet must be unknown ! A leper as a leper could I . . . Why Here Must he not know you Michap. But go a little. Lad. Ask me not, lad, now; Yes. [He sets down t/.s water-skin and goes. Lad. 2 86 DAVID Alichal (delaying, then in a loud voice). Unclean ! Unclean (Conceals her face in her hair.) David. Who crieth here Michal. Unclean David (appearing). Who cries unclean Poor leper in these wilds, who art thcu Miic/1al. One Outcast and faint, forlorn David. Then you have come To one more bitter outcast than yourself- One who has less than this lone void to give, This sterile solitude and sun, this scene Of leaden desolation that makes mad; Who has no ease but cave or shading rock, Or the still moon, or stars that glide the night. One over whom Michal. Yet, pity! David. The pale hours Flow dead into eternity. Michal. Ah, yet . . . David. My cloak, then, for thy tattered limbs. Or, no- This chain of Ophir for thy every need. Once it was dear, but should be so no more. (Flinging it to her). Have it, and with it vanish memory Out of my breast Michal. No, no. David. And from me tall Link upon link her loveliness that bound. Michal. Oh, do not! DAVID 2 87 David. Woman . . . Michal. Nothing. A chain like this I once beheld wind undulantly bright O'er Michal the king's daughter. David. Woman, the king's Michal. Pity' David. Michal. David. Who are you Stay ! Unclean I A spy A spy of Saul and hypocrite have crept Hither to learn . . . Michal. Have heed-ut David. icE Wandering came you here, Michal. Unclean! U David. Mv brain is overfull of fever, mad. Almost and I had touched thy peril, held Thy hideous contagion. Michal. ean ! How, then nclean ! Wrong I Wavid. Then who Art thou to know and speak of her, of Michal Michal. One who has served the king. Dav'id. And you ha Michal, you have beheld her Micy Davy Mic, ve seen t/I. Once, when she In face was fairer and in heart than now They say she is. id. And heard her speak DAVID 2 88 hag. A night Under the leaves ot Gibeah-when she Sang with another-David. David. Say no more. Michal. And from afar, under the moon, blew faint The treading of the wine-presses with song. David she loved, but anger-torn betrayed, Unworthy of him. Davia. Speak of her no more, Nor of her cruelty, unless to pray He she has ruined may forget her. Michal. Yet If deep she should repent -if deep she should (d cry interrupts. They start.) Davia. A jackal (Listens.) No, the signal ! Word at last (To MICHAL). He who is near may prove to thee less kind. (She goes. He leaps up the cliff) Abishai Abiathar . . . It is ! But staggering and wounded breathless torn The priest with bloody ephod, too, and wild (Watching, then springing to meet them as they reel in.) Abishai, what is it that you bring Abiathar, up ! answer ! Abiathar. Water David. Up! (He brings the water-skin. They drain it fiercely.) What is it now so fevered from you stares, And breathing, too, abhorrence Gasp it out. 20 DAVID 2 89 290 DAVID Abiathar. I stifle-in a universe-he still- Has breath in. David. Saul dbiathar. III scathe him ! Scorpions Of terror and remorse sting in his soul ! David. If you have tidings, not in words so wild. dbiathar. Then ask, and hate shall calm me. David. Aski Abiathar. On, on! Seek if he lives! David. Whoe Ibiathar. Seek if prophecy Founts yet in Judah ! David. Samuel . . .4biathar. Is dead Dead-and of tidings more calamitous. (A pause.) David (hoarsely ). Tell on. I hear. Abiathar. Saul gloating to believe The priests who gathered sacredly at Nob, Plotted assisting you, hath had them-- David. No ,Aiathar. Slain at the hands of Doeg-murdered, all David. But he-your father Abiathar. Was among them ; fell. (lHe stands motionless.) David (gently). Abiathar, my friend ! . . . Appeaseless Saul A4biathar. Hear all, hear all! Thy father, too, and mother, Even thy kindred, out of Israel Are driven into Moab ; and this king, Delirious still for blood as a desert pard, With Merab, whelp of him, and many armed, Is near us now-a-quiver at Engeddi For your destruction: (DAVID struggles for control.) And yet you will not strike. David (low). No, but of Michal, tell me good at once, Lest unendurable this lot, I may- Mounting o'er every oath into revenge. Abiathar. Ha-Michal David. She withholds her father's wrath Abiathar. She's well. David. Not if you say no more. Abiathar. I know Nothing of her. David. Your look belies. AIbiathar. Perhaps: As did her love. David. That is for me. A'biathar. Well, what A woman who betrays , David. Speak, not evade And judge her when earth has no mystery. ,'biathar. Then from your craving put her-wide; she is Unworthy any tremor of your veins. David. Dawn-lilies under dew are then unworthy, And nesting doves are horrible to heaven. I will not so believe. Your reason DAVID 2 9I Ibiathar. Saul Has given her-and she will wed him, aye- To Phalti, a new lord. David. Untrue of her! dbiathar. Cry. Yet you will believe it. David. Not until The parable of verdant spring is hushed Ever of bloom, to prove it. Never till Hermon is swung into the sea! until The last void of the everlasting sky- (Losking up, falters, breaks osf and is strangely nved.) .4biathar. Now what alarm Abishai. What stare you on Abiathar. He's mad (Then, suddenly seeing.) No, no! . . . an eaglet! David. Pierct ! Abishai. Pierct David. Falling here.. . And beating against death unbuoyantly. (The bird drops at their fret.) A destiny, a fate in this is hidden (Bends to it.) Abiathar. And-why David. The arrow !-His ! (Starts back.) His and no other's ! Quick, no delay. Efface all trace of us. (Takes water-skin.) Abiathar. Be clear, clearer. DAVID 2 92 DAVID 293 David. We are discovered-near On us is death. Open the secret chamber Within the cave, for from the bow of Saul Is yonder bleeding-from no other. dbiathar. Saul's But how; was any here i David. To-day, to-dav. A leper wandering. Abiathar. We are betrayed. (ABISHAI hastes to cave, right, DAVID and ABIATHAR listen. Noise of approach is heard.) David. Thev near. A4biathar. And many. David. King of Israel! Inexorable! Abiathar. 0, rebuke him, do! David. Almost I am beyond this tolerance. Abiathar. In truth. Therefore it is you rise and shake Out of his power the sceptre David. Tempt me not! Mercy and memory almost are dead, And craving birth in me is fateful ire. (They follow into the cave: but hardly have done so when, at a shout, pour in SAUL and his men, bloodthirstily, from all sides, DOEc and ABNER leading.) Saul. On, to him ! search the caves ! in, in, and bring Him to my sword and Michal with him. (Pacing.) They 294 DAVID Shall couch upon eternity and dust. (Wreakly.) I am the king and Israel is mine. I'll sleep upon their grave, I'll sleep upon it, And hear the worm.... ! (To a soldier re-enteringfrom one cave.) Where is he Brin'g him. Soldier. 0 king- Saul. You've slain him and you tremble! Say it. Soldier. No. Saul. Then hither with him; hither! Soldier. He's not here. Saul. A treachery ! You cunningly contrive To aid him, so. (To a soldier Jrom the other cave.) Bring me his head. Soldier (fearfully). My lord, He is not there.... Saul. I tell you it is lies- Because you deem that he shall be the king, And treasure up reward and amnesty. (Rushes wildly to caves in turn, then out among them.) From me ill-fruited ineffectual herd ! Away from me, he's fled and none of you Is servant and will find and ror me seize him! From me-I'll sleep-I'll rest-and then- (.1s they cringe, going.) I'll sleep. (ABNER and DoEG remain. SAUL enters cave, left.) 1bner (to DOEG, significantly). The Evil Spirit. Doeg. Yes; upon him swift It came as never before-as drunkenness. Abner. Then-safe to leave him Doeg. Will he brook denial Abner. And Merab, too, will soon be here. Doeg. Well, come. Abner. I'll go and look upon him. (Goes.) (Returning.) Already he sleeps. So we may seek us water; (then suddenly) no, abide (Is held by MICHAL entering.) Woman, who are you, who M41ichal (quaking). Unclean ! away D)oeg. Unclean a leper in this place Are there No stones to stone you Hence ! And had I not A brother such as thou- Michal. Pity ! Unclean! (She quickly goes, then they. A space; then she returns, trembling and fearful.) I'll call him ! I will save him ! David ! David I his discomfiture and ruin !-David! (Searches.) Hear, David ! hear me! David! (Sees SAUL.) The king ! My father! I cannot-am not-whither shall I, whither. . (Flees, as a scuffing is heard and DAVID's voice.) David. Loose me, I say. 'Twas Michal, and she called (Appears, withheld by ABIATHAR.) DAVID '2 95 296 DAVID (Breaking free.) I say that it was she! Abiathar. Foolhardy, no Return into the cave, and ere too late ! MERAB, veiled, enters behind them. David. 'Twas Michal and no other. Abiathar. You are duped. David. (searching). The breathing of archangels could not so Have swung the burden from me as her . . . Ha! (Sees MERAB ; slowly recoils.) Merab. It is not Michal. David. No-it is not Michal. Merab. (Motions the priest aside.) Yet it is one who- David. Need not lift her veil, Or longer stay. The path she came is open. Merab. I'm here-and here will speak ! I've hither stolen, Yearning-I say it-yearning-and I will. David. These words I do not know. Merab. Because you will no More all-devouring than a Moloch is This love within me- David. As sun and Sheol. t. Love and you are twain, Merab. False. I am become For want of you as famine-wind, a wave In the mid-tempest, with no rest, no shore. David. I do not hear the unashamed words Of one who has but recently another, Adriel, wedded. DAVID 297 Merab. You refuse me, then David. I beg you but to cease. Merab. Goaded, chagrined No, but this will I do. The Philistines, For long at rioting within their walls, Gather again and break toward Gilboa.... David. Merab of Saul ! Merab. To.morrow must my father Return from hunting you and arm for battle. But-many would that you were king. David. Were. . Merab. King! David. I do not understand your eyes. Merab. I will For love of you arouse rebellion up, Murmur about the host your heaven-call, And lift vou to the kingdom. David. To the- Stay! Your words again. Merab. The kingdom. David. Awful God! Merab. What is your mien you will not David. Twice the words- Full from her lips-and to betray her father. (ABIATHAR discovers SAUL.) Merab. You will not answer ! David. Odious utterly! As yonder sea of death and bitter salt As foam-girt Joppa of idolatry, As Memphian fane of all abhorrencies! (d pause.) Morning would move with horror of it, noon A livid sepulchre of shame span o'er, And night shrink to remember day had been! Mirab. You scorn-you scorn me David. Jonathan ! your sister! Merab. Then Saul shall rend you dead. And Jonathan (She laugh; shrilly.) Perchance you had not heard that Jonathan Knows to the Philistines you fled-and loathes you David. I have not heard. Merab. Nor have not, ah how Michal Is ziven to the embraces of another (DAVID shrinks.) You desperately breathe and pale at last (She laughs more bitterly.) To me for aid, to me you yet shall come. (She goes. DAVID lifts his hand to his brow in pain. Then ABIATHAR abruptly descends from SAUL'S cave to him.) Abiathar. David- David. Leave me. A'biathar. Not till you know-and strike David. I tell you, go. Abiathar. I tell you 'tis the king. David. Who breaks forbearance-yes. Abiathar. Who lieth yonder. And sleeping lieth-for a thrust to end. DAVID 298 DAVID David (his sword quickly out-struggling). Then shall there be an ending-of these wounds That wring me-of this wail Under the deeps of me against his wrongs. Saul, Saul ! . . . Michal! . . . Oh, never-ceasing ill ! (Flings down the sword in anguish.) Abiathar. You will not come David. The s Abiathar. Hunted you to this desert's verge un is set. Has Saul David. Enough ! 9biathar. Has he pursued you, all his hate unleashed Are Samuel-the priests, not slain my father Tfhe kingdom is not in decav, and rails You are not prophesy's anointed one Seize up the sword and strike-or I myself! David. Or-you yourself . . . (Puts them aside, takes sword, and goes to SAUL'S cave.) Ibishai. What will he do ; . . . listen MICHAL enters unseen. Abiathar. If Saul cries out- lAbishal. Be ready. Michal (to thesn). What is this, (DAVID re-enters-haggard ana wSorn-frSm t/c cave, a piece of SAUL'S cloak and the swsrd still in his hand. . . . The pause is tense with esnmtion.) Michal (at last, with a cry, as Dcsvid clenches). Ah, you have slain-have slain him Wretch ! thou wretch 299 300 DAVID And sleeping as he was ! David. And it was you. (Rage takes him.) In lying rags Michal. Have struck him in his sleep! And merciless! And now will kill me, too David. The leper, you ! The faithless leper, you, (Grows frenzied.) Who drove me a prey upon this wilderness Upon the blot of it and death and sear ! The silence and relentless burning swoon You are the leper, who have broken troth And shut the cry of justice from your breast Who've stifled me with desolation's woe, Who've followed still and still have me betrayed Michal. Betrayed No, loose me ! David. Slain thy father slain (Flinging the piece of SAUL'S cloak at her feet.) See how I might-see, see you, yonder he lies, A king who quits the kingdom, though a cloud Of Philistines is foaming toward Gilboa; Jeoparded leaves it, undefended, for Pursuit of me and pitiless harrying! A king who murders priests. . . Michal. Priests David. Stifles God With penitence that He has shaped the world ! Have slain have slain him ! I have slain him ! Ah Ah, that I had thy falseness and could slay him! DAVID 301 Michal. David ... ! David. Nevermore near me ! never with That quivering and tenderness of lure. Those eyes that hold infinity of fate, That breathing cassia-sweet, but sorcery Michal. Oh David. Never thy presence pouring beauty, swift, And seething in the brain as frantic wine! I'll be no more enspelled of thee-Never! I will not hear thee and be wound by words Into thy wile as wide as Ashtoreth's, Back into hope, eternity of pain ! (He goes in agony-the priest and ABISHAI after. MICHAL stands gazing tearless be/ore her as SAUL, awakened, comes slowly from the mouth of the cave down toward her.) CURTAIN. ACT IV SCENE: The house of MIRIAM, the " Witch of Endsr," by Mount Gilboa-where SAUL is encaimped against the Philis- tines. It is of one story, built rectangularly about an inner court, which is dimly lighted. Under the gallery which ranges around the court are doors leading to the sleeping and other apartments; before one of these a lattice. On the left is the gate opening to the street. St the back to one side, the teraphim, or image oy divination; on the other side a stairway mounts to the roof Above is the night and vague lightning amid a moan of wind. During the act comes dawn. Forward on a divan sits MIRIAM alonc, in blind restlessness. Miriam. Adah' . . . The child is sunken in a sleep. Yet would I have her near mae in this night, And hear again the boding of her tale. Unto the blind the vision and the awe Of the invisible sway ever in, The shadow of nativities that lead Upon fatality. DAVID 303 Girl! Adah ! girl! (The wind passes. ADAH enters fism a chamber, rubbing her eyes.) Thou art awake ,Ydah. I slumbered. Miriam. Stand vou where Fathoming I may feel within you. Now, Again-you've hither fled your mistress Merab, In fear of her Adah. Yes. tisiiam. At Engeddi Michal By Saul was apprehended Merab now Plotteth against her-she and Doeg ,Idah. Still. Miriam. And 'twas in Merab's tent you heard, the king Despairing of to-morrow's battle, comes Hither to-night to bid me lift the spirit Of Samuel out of the dead and learn The issue Adah. Doeg said it. Miriam. And-you hear Many within the army urge for David, Would cry him king, if Saul were slain Adah. 0 many. (, knock at the gate. They start up Jiefaul.) ,Iiriam. Who seeks blind Miriam of Endor's roof, Under the night and unextinguished storm Come you a friend David (without). A friend. Miriam. As knows my soul! (Throws open the gate. DAVID enters and ABIATHAR cloaked.) Thy voice again !-this blindness or my eyes- If it be David, speak. David. Yes, Miriam. Miriam. David of Jesse, Israel's desire Let me behold thee (her hands go over him) with i fingers' sight, And gather in them touch of thee again Thy voice is as dream-dulcimers that stir Quivering myrrh of memory and joy. But, aie ! why are you here You have been there David. Yes-in the camp of Saul. Miriam. In spite of Death Do you not know- mny David. I know-that Saul would rather O'er-tramble me than a multitude of foes. That it is told him I who shun his ire- Though death were easier, if dutiful- Am come up with the Philistines to win The kingdom. That he would slay me though I fought For Israel !-But, Michal!- Miriam. Aie- David What brews She was not in the camp. Miriam. Men all are mad And you who should be never. DAVID 304 David. She is in DAVID 305 Some peril. Miriam. You, in more ! And must from here Swiftly away, for Saul is- David. I must see her. Miriam. Unholy ! David. Yet unholier were flight. Mirianm. You are the anointed ! (1 heavy knock at the gate.) Ah, calamity I You would not heed-'tis Saul David. Here Miriam. He is come That I shall call up Samuel. David. You, you- The awful dead Saul (calls). Woman of Endor! Mi4riam. Hide! The lattice yonder Saul. Woman of Endor! woman (DAVID and ABIATHAR withdraw. The knocking hastier.) Woman of Endor! Woman of Endor! Woman Mirianm. Who crieth at my gate Saul. Unbar and learn. Miriam. To danger ' Saul. None. Miriam. To thieves, Saul. To rueing it You tarry (She lets him in, with IsHui and ADRIEL.) 21 306 DAVID Miriam. Whom seek you Saul. Witch of Endor, you, Who of the fate-revealing dead divine. Out of the Pit you call them ! Miriam. What is this Saul. I say that you can raise them ! Miriam. You are come With snaring! knowing well that Saul the king Is woe and bitterness to all who move With incantation. Saul. He is not. Miriam. Depart ! Saul. I must have up out of the Awfulness Him I would question. Miriam. Perilous! Sauw. Prepare Before thy teraphim. No harm, I swear, Shall come of it. Bid Samuel appear. The battle ! its event ! Miriam (with a cry). I know thee now! Saul ! thou art Saul ! the Terror ! Saul. Call him up. Ready is it, the battle-but I am Forsaken of all prophesy and dream, Of voices and of priest and oracle, To augur it. Miriam. A doom's in this! Saul. He must Hold comfort, and the torrent of despair DAVID 307 Within me stay and hush. Miriam. Then must it be. (She turns to the teraPhim, amid wind and pallid lightning prostrating herself) Prophet of Israel, who art beyond The troubling and the terrifying grave, Th' immeasurable moan and melancholy Of ways that win to Sheol-Rise ! Arise (She waits . . . Only the wind gust. Then springing up, with wiae arms, and wild blind eyes.) Prophet of Israel, arise ! Not in The name of Baal, Amon, Ashtoreth, Dagon or all the deities that dream In trembling temples of Idolatry, But of Jehovah ! of Jehovah ! rise! (tin elemental cry is heard. Then wavering forms rise, vast, out gf the earth, in continuous stream. MIRIAM, with a curdling shriek, sinks moaning to her knees.) Saul. Woman, I cannot-dare not-look upon it. Utter thy sight. (The Spirit of SAMUEL begins to take shape through the phantoms.) Miriam. I see .. . ascending Forms as of gods in swaying ghostliness, Dim apparitions of a dismal might, And now is one within a mantle clad, Who looketh- Saul. Miriam. Samuel ! Who looketh with Omniscience in his mien, and there is chill And cling about him of eternity His eyes impale me! Saul. Spirit, give me word ! (He falls heavily to the ground.) Samuel (as afar). 0 evil king! and wretched king! why hast Thou brought me from the quietness and rest Saul. The battle on the morrow- Samuel. Evil thou art For underneath this night thou hast conspired Death to thy daughter Michal-if at dawn The battle shall be lost-lest she may fall Into the hands of David- David (in horror). 0 Ishul. Whose cry Samuel. I tell thee, Saul, thy sceptre shrivels fast. The battle shall be lost-it shall be lost. (The Spirit of SAMUEL disappears. At wail of wind.) Adriel. Ishui, true ; Is Michal to be slain Lhui. This is no hour for fools and questioning. Saul. (struggling up). The battle, Ishui, at once command It shall begin ! To Jonathan and say it. (ISHUI goes.) No prophecy shall sink me and no shade. I am the king, and Israel, my own. (Frenzied he goes. A silence.) David (breaking forth). Michal to die and Israel to fall Prophet of prophets, Samuel, return! 308 DAVID Out of the Shadow and the Sleep, return, Compassionate, and tell me where she is That I may save. Again appear and say That Israel to-morrow may not fall- Not fall on ruin I Adriel. David is it thou David. Meholah's Adriel, your conscience asks. Adriel. You were concealed David. And I have heard. Cry then Out unto Saul ! Betray me, cry you out ,4driel. Betray David. Is the word honey Is it balm AdrieI. David, I've wronged you- David. Haply ,ldrie. Jealously. And ask now no forgiveness-not until Michal is won from peril ! David. Do you know More of her still ,lariel. Saul- David. Saul Adriel Has given Doeg Power of this. . . . And to some spot of Endor Here he has brought her. David. God! Idriel. And now himself, David, himself cannot be far away. David. Ahaste, and bring him then by force or guile, In any way, that we may from him win DAVID 309 DAVID Where she is prisoned. (ADRIEL goes.) The quivering Quicksands of destiny beneath her stir. Is heaven a mocking shield that ever keeps God from our prayers Miriam. David, contain thy heart. (A faint uproar begins afar; and dawn.) David. The battle ! on the wind. Abiathar, Speed out upon the mountain-side and cull All that befalls. (ADAH opens the gate. The priest goes.) ddah (springing back). Oh ! David. Child, why do you quail Adah. My mistress, Merab ! David. Girl Adah. I saw her-she- Is coming hither ! Do not let her-she- I fear-I fear her ! David. Hither coming Adah. She ! (The gate is thrown open fiercely.) Merab (entering). Woman and witch, did Adriel, my husband, (Sees DAVID.) Come to you with the king David. Unnatural, Unkind, most cruel sister ! Merab (shrinks). You are here David. Once me you would have poisoned, but the coil 310 Within your bosom I beheld. And now Michal your sister is the victim. Merab. I- Know not your meaning. David. The battle burning yonder, If it adversely veers, the king has planned Michal is not to live lest she may hap Unto my arms. Merab. That Michal shall be slain (The tumult again.) David. Almighty, smite, and save to Thee thy people! And save Thy altars unto Israel ! (He bows his head. a stir comes at the gate.) Merab. David, 'tis Adriel ! .4driel. Ope! open, you! David. At last the word. Merab. Girl, Adah, draw the bar. (DAVID throws a cloak to his face, as ADAH obeys. ADRIEL enters, and DOEG, who pauses in quick alarm, as DAVID goes between him and the gate.) Doeg. What place is this Why do you bar that gate Merab, 'tis you Why do you gaze, rigid And this is the blind witch, Miriam David. It is. (He throws off the c/oak.) Doeg. Lured I am snared a trap David. Where have you Michal Doeg (drawing). No closer! DAVID 3 I I 312 DAVID David. If she is an atom harmed--! Where is she Doeg. I was the servant of the king, I but obey him. David. And thy horrible heart. Then speak, or unto frenzy I am driven. Dotg. I'll drive you there with- (Breaks sff with low laugh.) David. Tell it! Doeg. Unto your Soft sympathy-and passion (Laughs.) She is dead. David (immovable, then repressed). If it is so, the lightning, that is wrath Within the veins of God, should sink its fang Into thy bosom and sear out thy heart. If it is so, this momentary calm, This silence p curing overfull the world, Would rush and in thee cry until thy bones Broken of guilt are crumbled in thy groans. Dead, she is dead ; Miriam. No, David, my lord, he lies! (Strangely, as in a trance.) To wound you, lies! David. Not dead M4'iriam. I see her eyes! (A11 listen amazed.) I see her in a vision. She is near Is in a cave-is bound-and is alone. I will go to her-quickly bring her. Doeg. Not (Linges at her-.) If this shall reach you. David. Ah, to pierce a woman! (MIRIAM finds her way out.) You've plotted, have been false and bloody, foul, And as a pestilence of midnight marsh Have oozed corruption into all around you. The kingdom thro' you is in brokenness, Within its arteries you flow, poison, Incentive of irruption and unrest, Of treachery and disaffection's sore, Tiil even the stars that light it seem as tares Sown hostile o'er the nightly vale of heaven. (Draws firnmv. Godily, skil/jllyv approaecles for attack.) IDosg (ettr'ating). No farther! David. Unto the end! unto the end (He rushes in; they engage; DOEG is wounded.) Your villainv is done. (Quickly forces himn under. The gate then opens and ABIA- THAR hurries in.) dbiathar. David, the battle---! (Sees DOEG and stops, pale.) David. Fetter him. dbiathar. Only fetter (His dagger out) the murderer Of priestly sanctity and of my father Dajid. Abiathar! You know obedience DAVID .313 (DOEG is sullenly bound and led aside. Then a panic is heard afar, and dim laments. DAVID, who has sunk to a seat, springs anxiously up.) Listen! that cry! X Voice. Woe ! woe! David. What is its wail The Voice. The battle's lost ! David. Abiathar- The Voice. Saul flees David. Abiathar, is lost Abiathar. I fear it. David. Then (pointing to DoEG) Off with his armour for me, I will go Forth and may backward, backward bend defeat. Duty to Saul is over. Adriel. You must not. A fruitless intrepidity it were. Abiathar. Remember your anointing! Abishai. The prophesy! And Michal ! (The gate opens.) Michal who lives ! who lives ! who lives! (DAVID has turned and sees her enter with MIRIAM.) Hosanna! . ddriel. Ever! . Miriam. David- Michal (pleading, to him). It is 1. Miriam. The cords were cruel, hungrily sank in Her wrists and ankles. DAVID 314 Michal. David ! look on me. DAVID 315 David. My words must be alone with her-alone. zidriel. Come, all of you-the battle. [They go out the gate. Michal. My lord! . . . my lord! (Hle is silent.) I ask not anything but to be heard- Though once I would not hear. Has all of life No glow for me David. Betrayers should have none. Michal. I was a woman-the entanglement Of duty amid love we have no skill To loosen, but with passion. David. You too late Remember it is so. Michal. Nobility All unbelievable it seemed that you Could innocently wait on time to tide You to the kingdom. Then forgive, I plead. David. But in the wilderness, your perfidy! ,lAichal. Doubt of it welleth thro' your voice. No, no, To save you strove I ! David. Michal Michal. Not to betray! From Saul, my father, penitent I fled, Seeking you in Engeddi's wild. David. Ar Michal. 'Twas wedding him I loathed. David. Aiichal. id Phalti Say true ! This knife 3I6 DAVID Unfailingly into my breast had sunk And spared me, had not flight. David. This-this can be (a great joy dawning in him.) Beyond all hope it is, even as day's Wide empery outspans our littleness. A tithing of thy loveliness were beauty Enough for earth, Yet it is mine, is mine Michal. David-for ever ! (She starts toward his arms. But cries and confusion of cries beat back their joy. Then the gate is flung open and ADRIEL enters, shaken. He looks from one to the other.) David (at last). Adriel ! Adriel What have you 1driel. Saul-is slain Michal. My father Adriel. Slain And Jonathan- David. No! Adriel. Fell beside him down. . . The fray was fast-Israel fled-the foe Fierce after Saul, whom Jonathan defended. Michal. My father! David. And my brother Jonathan! If I believe it will not miracle Alone bring joy again unto my pain (The wailing again, and deeper groans.) 0 Israel, the Infinite has touched DAVID 317 Thy glory and it changes to a shroud ! Thy splendour is as vintage overspilt, For Saul upon the mountains low is lying, And Jonathan beside him, beautiful Beyond the mar of battle and of death. Yea, kingly Jonathan ! And I would give The beating of my life into his veins. Willing for it would I be drouth and die . (,Is the wails re-arise.) Peaks, mountains of Gilboa ! let no more Dew be upon you, and as sackcloth let Clouds cover you, and ashes be your soil, Until I bring upon Philistia And Gath and Askalon extinguishing, And sorrow-and immensity of tears! (MICHAL goes to hiim. He folds her in hi's arms.) But we must calm the flowing of this grief. Though yet we cannot mind us to remember, Love will as sandal-breath and trickling balm O'erheal us in the unbegotten years, Too headlong must riot be our agony. Hush now thy woundedrness, my Michal, tiow. See, o'er the East the lifted wings of Dawn. (They climb the stair to the house-top. fs they look away toward the battle's rout the clouds part, and over them breaks the full brightness oj the sun. . ..) THE END. tbc tiresbam Dress, UNWIN BROTHERS. LIITME WOKING AND LWNDON.