You have found an item located in the Kentuckiana Digital Library.
David : a tragedy / 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 b92-272-32006999 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. David : a tragedy / by Cale Young Rice. Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. McClure, Phillips, New York : 1904. 116 p. ; 29 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN05117.02 KUK) Printing Master B92-272. 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. David, King of Israel Drama. D A V I D A TRAGEDY BY CALE YOUNG RICE BY THE SAME AUTHOR Charles Di Tocca D A V A T R A G BY CALE YOUNG I D E D Y RICE NEW YORK MC CLURE, PHILLIPS & CO. M C M I V Two hundred and fifty copies of this book have been puinted at the McClure Press of which this is No. Copyright, 1904, by MCCLURE, Par-LLIS I CO. Puh61td May, 1904. N. AFFECTIONATELY TO MY BROTHER LACY L. RICE This page in the original text is blank. ACT I SAUL . JONATHAN ISHUI . SAMUEL ABNER DOEG . ADRIEL DAVID ABISHAI ABIATHAR A PHILISTINE AHINOAM MERAB MICHAL MIRIAM CHARACTERS . . King of Israel. . . Heir to the throne. . . His brother. The Prophet of Israel. Captain of the Host of Israel. An Edomite; Chief Servant of Saul, and suitor for Michal. A lord of Meholah, suitor for Merab. A Shepherd, secretly anointed King. A follower of David. A Priest and follower of David. SPY. The Queen. ) I. Daughters of Saul and Ahinoam. A blind Prophetess, and later "Witch of Endor." the JUDITH . LEAH . . ZILLA . . ADAH A Chorus t Timbrel-players of the King. . . . .. Handmaiden to Merab. )f Women. A Band of Prophets. Followers of David. Soldiers of Saul. People of the Court, etc. I vi 1 DAVID ACT I SCENE: A Hall of judgment in the palace of Saul at Gibeah. The walls, pillars and ceiling are of cedar richly carven with images of serpents, pomegranates and cherubim in gold. The floors are of bright marble; the throne of ivory, hbng with a lion's skin whose head is its footstool. On the right and left, doors, draped with finely woven curtains of purple and white, lead to other portions of tt, Ibalzce. Seats rowara' the front. Lamps burn low. The Hall, supported on piiiars, is oben aionzg the lack, where a Porch, surrounding the Co,; of tMe palace, crossei. Through the Porch, on the environing hipls, glow the camp-.fres of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. JfUDITH, LEAH and ZILLA are reclining restively on the floor of the Hall. JUDITH [Springing to herfeet impatiently.] O for a feast! pomegranate wine and song! LEAH Oh! oh! ZILLA A feast indeed! the men in camp! [ I ] DAVID 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. ZI LLA 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 prepares to dance.] LEAH No, Judith, I'll put henna on my nails, And mend mv anklet. [She sits t douz.] ZILLA [Aft the curtains.] Oh! oh, oh! JUDITH Now hear her! Who, who, now who, who is it dog, fox, devil ZILLA All! JUDITH Then 'tis Ishui! [Bounding to curtains.] Yes, Ishui! And fury in him, sallow, sour fury! A jackal were his mate! Come, come, we'll plague him. [ 2 ] DAVID ZILLA And too-with David whom he hates! JUDITH Aie, David! A joy to rouse men up to jealousy! LEAH Why hates he David, Zilla ZILLA Stupid Leah! JUDITH Hush, hush, be meet and ready now; he's near. Look as for silly visions and for dreams! [They pose themselves. Ishui enters-sees them. /Iudiih sighs.] ISHUI Now timbrel-gaud, why gaping here! JUDITH O! 'tis Prince Ishui ! ZILLA Prince Ishui! Then he Will tell us! he will tell us! LEAH Yes! JUDITH Of David! O 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! ISHUI Low thing!  DAVID Chaff of the king! 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 hisface.I Aie! [He thrusts her 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. [ 4 1 DAVID ADRIEL What was the offence ISHUI Turn from it.-I have not Bidden you here for vapours; yet they had Substance as well for you! ADRIEL For me ISHUI Who likes Laughter against him! ADRIEL I was laughed at ISHUI Why, It is this shepherd! ADRIEL David ISHUI With his harp! Flinging enchantment on the palace air Till he impassions to him all who breathe. ADRIEL What sting from that He's lovable and brave. ISHUI Lovable Lovable ADRIEL I do not see. ISHUI This then: you've hither come with gifts and gold, [ 5 ] DAVID Dream-bringing amethyst and weft of Ind, To wed my sister, Merab ADRIEL It is so. ISHUI And you've the king's consent; but she denies ADRIEL 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 not clear; And least unto themselves. ISHU1 Or to their fools. [He goes to curtains and draws out Adah.] Your mistress, Merab, girl, whom does she love Unclench your hands. ADAH I hate her. ISHUT Insolent! Answer; I am not milky Jonathan. Answer; and for the rest-You hear ADAH She loves The shepherd David! [ 6] DAVID ADRIEL Who, girl ADAH 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; now off- [Makes to strikes her.] ADRIEL Ishui, no. [APAH goes.] ISHUI And see you now how I lovable' he is! I tell you that he stands athwart us all ! The heart of Merab swung 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. ADRIEL Hush. Enter MICHAL passing with MIRIAM. Michal, delay. Whom lead you MICHAL Miriam, [7 1 DAVID A prophetess. ADRIEL 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 anger's this ISHUI 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, [ 8 ] DAVID Or must this shepherd put upon us more ADRIEL But has he not dealt honorably ISHUI No. ADRIEL Why do you urge it ISHUI Why have senses. He With Samuel the prophet fast enshrouds Some secret, and has Samuel not told The kingdom from my father shall be rent And fall unto another ADRIEL You are certain ISHUI As granite. LVoices are heard in altercation.] Yonder! ADRIEL The king ISHUI And Samuel With prophecy or some refusal tears him! [They step aside. SAuLfollo'wed by SAMUEL strides in and mounts the throne.] SAUL You threat, and ever thunder threatening! Pour seething prophesy into my veins, Till a simoon of madness in me moves. [ 9 ] DAVID Am I not king, the king chosen and sealed Who'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 Do I forbid! A champion must rise To level this Goliath. Thus may we Loose on them pest of panic and of fear. 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 mozves to go.] SAUL The sceptre.... [IO] DAVID SAMUEL To another! SAUL 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 [SAMUEL goes slowly out, SAUL sinks back.] ISHUI Oh,-subtle! SAUL Thus he sways me. ISHUI Subtle !-sub-le! And yet I must not speak; come, Adriel, No use of us here. [He makes as ifto go] SAUL Use subtle Stand! ISHUI No, father, no. SAUL What mean you ISHUI Do not ask.... Yet how it creeps, and how! LI I'1 DAVID SAUL Unveil your words. ISHUT 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 I have seen Your David with him. SAUL Death! if-Come here: David ISHUI In secret. SAUL Say you ISHUI Yes, [ 12] DAVID 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 forever. I'll hear no more against him-Abner-No. [To ABNER, who enters.] David, and with his harp. ABNER My lord- SAUL Not come He is not come And never! but delays. ABNER Time's yet 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! [ 13 ] DAVID [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 drops to his knee, amid praise, before the throne.] SAUL [Darkening] Forego this praise and stand Away from him; 'tis overmuch. [To DAVID] Why have 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 swirling 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. [He motions. A11 go but DAVID, whom he comes down toward, indeterminately.] You have dallied. [ 14] DAVID DAVID Deep in the king I see a darkness foam And sheeted passion, as a lightning gust. Shall I not play to him SAUL You shall not, no. [Slowly draws a dagger.] I'll not be lulled. DAVID Is it a tiger gleam, Terrible fury stealing from the heart And crouching cold within the eye of Saul SAUL I'll not endure. They say that you- DAVID They say What is this ravage in you. Does the truth So limpid overflow in palaces Never an enemy to venom it 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! [' 5s DAVID 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 "1 this David !" DAVID Ah, my harp! SAU L 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! [ i6] DAVID SAUL You swear DAVID But words, Foolishly from the heart; a shepherd speech 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. [ 17] DAVID DAVID Peace, peace! Enter MICHAL joyously. MICHAL O 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 -Why 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 So piteous are you suddenly so numb [ 18] DAVID And you are faint 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 MICHAL 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 Hath told me that he is a- [She stops in realizing horror.] SAUL Now you cease Sudden and senseless! MICHAL David -No! [' 9] DAVID SAUL God! God! Have I not bidden swiftly! Ever then Vexation ! I could-No. Will she not speak MICHAL I cannot. SAUL Cannot! Are you 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 A B N ER hurriedly. ABNER Pardon, 0 king. At once! SAUL I will not. Do you come with vexing too ABNER The Philistines-some fury is afoot. A spy within our gates and scorns to speak. SAUL Conspiracy of silence! . . . Back to him. [ABNER goes.]  DAVID [To DAVID and MICHAL.] But you-I'll not forget. I'll not forget. [SAUL goes.] DAVID Forget! anointing ! peril ! what are they all Michal -for me you have done this, for me [She stands immovable.] I am swung with joy, as palms of Abila! [Goe: to her.] A princess, you, and the veins of you live warm With sympathy and 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! DAVID Yet reaches not my love to Jonathan [21 ] DAVID 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 As dawn or a drift of dreaming in the night! Knows it unsought-outof the skies supernal- From the inspirdd 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 moon-lit 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 DAV ID Restrain! 0 do notweep! Upon my heart each tear were as a sea Flooding it from all duty but the course Of thy delight! MICHAL 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! Yes, Utterly false and full of wounding! [Struggling, then with control.] Yet, Forgive that even when thy arrows drive 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! [Moves to go.] MICHAL David ! DAVID Farewell! MICHAL . You must not! [ 23 1 DAVID DAVID Peace to you-peace and joy! MICHAL You must not go ! [He turns. She sways, then reaches out her arms. As irresistih/y they mov e toward each other, DOEG and MERAB appear through the curtains. MICHAL utters a low cry. They vcanish.] MICHAL [In numh ajb-ight] Merab and Doeg! DAVID Yet what matter, now! Were it the driven night-unshrouded dead! Under the firmament is but one need, That you will understand! MICHAL ButMerab! 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 Be it, 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! Hear, hear me ! for the kingdom, tho 't may come, I yearn not, but for you MICHAL No, no !  DAVID 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 molded light and fragrant miracle, Body of you and soul, lifted me till When you departed- MICHAL No, you rend me! DAVID 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- [ 25 ] DAVID MICHAL David! DAVID Strung me tense, I waited, shepherd-timid, and you came, You for the king to try my skill ! you, you 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 [Springing up the throne.] Hath told I shall be queen of Israel! [ 26 ] DAVID DAVID Michal, the queen the queen ! We two are then Yoked of eternity unto this end ! MICHAL [Shrinking 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! MICHAL 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 I f! " not "1 if." Surrender this anointing! Spurn it, say You never will be king though Israel Kingless go mad for it DAVID I cannot. MICHAL Guile! DAVID I cannot-and I must not. It is holy MICHAL Then must I hate you-scorn you- DAVID Michal! [27 ] DAVID MICHAL And will. But to reign over Israel you care, Not for the peace of it I 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 yon Philistine bold fires Lapping the night with bloody tongue-look out! [A commotion is heard within.] As God has swung the world and hung forever The infinite in awe, to-morrow 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 turns to go. Enter JONATHAN eagerly.] JONATHAN David!  DAVID DAVID My friend-my Jonathan! 'Tis you [They embrace. MICHAL goes.] JONATHAN Great heart, I've heard how yesterday before The soldiers you . . . But Michal 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.] And all this 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 I must strike. JONATHAN David .... DAVID Tell me, And do not bring dissuasion more, or pause. JONATHAN The king comes here. [ 29] DAVID DAVID Now J ONATHAN With a spy who keeps Fiercely to silence. DAVID Then is peril up Jonathan-! JONATHAN 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. 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 I must. JONATHAN 'Twere futile DAVID Hear; the king I JONATHAN The madness of it I DAVID No, and see; they come. [ 30] DAVID 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. SAUL [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 thy 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. Numberless; more than peaks of Arabah. [General movement of uneasiness.] [ 31] DAVID 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 be put to sword! [A movement of horror.] AHINOAM All Gibeah! A WOMAN My little ones No, no! [She rushesfrantically 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! [A silence.] See you now. SAMUEL You, Abner, will not ABNER It were death and vain. SAMUEL Doeg, chief servant of the king [ 32 ] DAVID DOEG Why me Had I a mother out of Israel I am an alien, an Edomite. DAVID My lord, this is no more endurable! 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 rou JONATHAN No, David! SAUL rou DAVID Sudden you hound about me ravenous Have I thrown doom not daring to your feet, [ 33 ] DAVID 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 and a bravery from God! MICHAL [Behindthe throng.] Open, and let me enter! Open She enters. Father, It is not false but now, the uttermost To-morrow, if Goliath still exult, There's peril of desolation, bloody ruin SAMUEL I answer for him; MICHAL Then to your will, 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, see, my lord! Do you not understand ISHUI It is another coiling of their plot! [ 34 ] DAVID MICHAL Coiling of plot What mean you MERAB Ah You know Not it is David offers against Goliath MICHAL David [Shrinking] David [A4 low tumult is heard without. Enter a Captain hurriedly.] 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! [To ABNER] Let him, to morrow! Go, prepare the host. [ 35 1 DAVID Yet-I am king, remember! I am king! [SAUL goes; there is a murmur of relief. All except MICHALfoiow, with various expres- sions of joy or hate toward DAVID.] DAVID Michal! [She looks at him; struggles against tears, and turning, goes. DAVID stands gazing sadly after her. Then a trumpet sounds, and sol- diers shouting exultantly without, throng to the porch.] DAVID [Thrilled; his hand on his sling] For Israel ! For Israel! [He goes, toward the soldiers.] [CURTAIN.] [361 ACT II This page in the original text is blank. DAVID ACT II SCENE: The royal tent of Saul pitched on one hill ofthe battle-field of Ephes-Dammin. The tent is of black embroidered with va- rious warlike designs. To one side on a dais are the chairs of SAUL and AHINOAM; also DAVID'S harp. On the other side, toward the front, is a table with wine and wine-cups. The tent wall is 4ifted along the back, revealing on the oppo- site hill, across a deep narrow valley, the routed camp of the Philistines: before it in gleaming brazen armor lies GO IATH slain. Other hills beyond, and the sky above. By the wine table, her back to the battle-field, sits MERAB in cold anger. AHINOAM and several women look out in ecstasy toward DAVID, SA UL, JONATHAN and the army, returning victorious and shouting. FIRST WOMAN See, see, at last! SECOND WOMAN They come! THIRD WOMAN An avalanche. Over the brook and bright amid hosannas! [ 39 1 DAVID SECOND WOMAN And now amid the rushes! FIRST WOMAN And the servants! Goliath's head high-borne upon a charger! The rocks that cry reverberant and vast! The people and the palms! THIRD WOMAN Yea all the branches Torn from the trees! The waving of them-O! SECOND WOMAN 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! A sea of shouting !- 0 queen! AHINOAM You yearn for it Then go and lave you in this tide of joy. [The women go rapturously. AHINOAM turns.] MERAB Mother! AHINOAM MERAB My daughter Well AHINOAM They all are gone. [40 ] DAVID MERAB And Michal, where AHINOAM I do not know, my child. MERAB Why did my father pledge her to him! you Not hindering! AHINOAM She is your sister. You Are 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! AHINOAM But for the kingdom. MERAB For my torture! What Kingdom is to a woman as her love! 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-day, unless AHINOAM Merab, a care! Too near in you were ever love and hate, [The tumult nears. AHINOAM goes to look out]. DOEG enters to MERAB [41 I DAVID DOEG [low] News, Merab! MERAB Well- DOEG A triumph o'er him, yet! The king is worn, as a leopard pent, between Wonder of David and quick jealousy Because of praise this whelming of Goliath Wakes in the people. MERAB Then the triumph DOEG This. [The tumult, nearer.] I've skilfully disposed the women To coldly sing of Saul, but of our David With lavish of ecstasy as to a king. [He watches her.] MERAB Then I will praise him DOEG David you MERAB As he Was never-and shalt never be again,- DOEG But- MERAB Give me the phial.  DAVID DOEG The poison MERAB Come; At once DOEG What will you do MERAB At once with it! [He hands it to her. She dips the point of her dag- ger in it.] DOEG To stab him MERAB As any fool Wait.-And the rest now, quick. This timbrel-player, Judith DOEG She is ready And ravishing! MERAB Well, well ; then- DOEG We 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- MERAB Will- yes- [43 1 DAVID DOEG On him burst [laughs] And as a fury. MERAB May it be their rending! [The tumult, near.] Come, we must see. [They go to look out. Shouts of "David!" "d David!" arise, and a band of timbrel-play- ers, dancing and singing, followed by a band of priests bearing the ark with its cherubim of gold, pass the tent opening. DAVID, SAUL, JONATHAN, ISHUI and the Court then enter amid acclamations; before them servants, bear- ing the head of Goliatb on a charger under a napkin. SAUL darkly mounts the throne with AHINOAM, to waving of palms and to 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 I While life has any love, know mine for you. JONATHAN Then am I friended as no man was ever! [ 44 1 DAVID And though my soul were morning wide it were Helpless to hold my wonder and delight ! 0 people, look upon him! THE PEOPLE David ! David! JONATHAN Never before in Israel rose beauty Up to this glory! DAVID Jonathan, nay- JONATHAN Never [Loosing his robe and girdle.] Therefore I pour him splendor passionate. In gold and purple, this my own, I clothe him. David, my brother! SAUL [Afngered.] Brother! AHINOAM Saul SAUL Thou fool! JONATHAN Father AHINOAM My lord SAUL Thou full-of-lauding fool Of breath and ravishment unceasing! AHINOAM Saul! [45 ] DAVID 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 [Derisi-vely.] 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!  DAVID A WOMAN [Without.] King Saul has slain his thousands! "Why," my lord THE WOMAN But David his ten thousands DOEG Do you hear King Saul has slain his thousands, David ten! Thy servant is he servant DAVID [To SAUL.] Shall thy sceptre Be wielded by this venom-word, as is A weed under the wind SAUL 'Tis overmuch I'll burst all bond of priest or prophecy. Nor cringe to threatening and fondle fear. [He seizes a javelin.] I'll smite where'er I will. DAVID No! JONATHAN Father! DAVID Shall A rapid palsy now come on thy hand, Awful and sceptre-ruined lord of men An impotence, a shriveling to fear, Avenging ere thou shed offenceless blood [SAUL's hand drops.] l 47] DAVID 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, silent, rises slowly and goes, entreated of JONATHAN. Many follow in doubt, whis- pering.] DOEG [To DAVID.] This is not all, boy out of Bethlehem. Goliath's dead- DAVID But not all villainy [DOEG goes, ftushing,-and all follow, except MICHAL, and MERAB, who moves cunningly forward as if incensed.] MERAB I burn for it! DAVID For what, and suddenly MERAB My father so ungenerously wroth! And wrought away from recompense so right; Can you forgive him [48 1 DAVID 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 exaltation and aglow To wreathe you for this might to Israel, Beautiful, unbelievable and bright! Noble the dawn of it within 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 forever, In priceless covenant of peace between us, A drop of it- [She draws her dagger and offers it to him.] Upon this sacred blade. DAVID Such kindness, in all honor MERAB To one whose greatness humbles Poor requital me from hate. DAVID Then of my veins whatever drop you will, Were it the very dwelling of my soul. [ 49 ] DAVID [He takes the dagger and makes as f to prick himself. ] Ah, but you do not mock me MERAB Rather upon Its edge one vein of you-than priceless nard. DAVID And perfume out of India jewel poured [He searches her eyes.] Or than-I may believe -a miracle Of dew, were you a traveller and lost Upon the illimitable desert's thirst Or than- [He draws his own dagger, pricks his wrist with it, and hands it to her] than this MERAB Under MICHAL Shepherd! a sham of tribute, poison Treachery, then Poison DAVID And I of vanity should prick it in I a mere shepherd innocent of wile! A singer music-maudled and no more. [As she goes, stung with chagrin.] The daughter of king Saul has yet to learn. [From looking after her, he turns towardM ic HAL, and, sighing, slowly approaches her.] [ so 1 DAVID 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, for you Who were about me, in me, as a mist Of armed mighty angels triumphing. MICHAL Yes It was well. DAVID To you no more to you Whom not a slave can serve unhonored MICHAL [Struggling.] Nothing. DAVID Empty of glow then seems it, impotent, A shrivelled hallowing.... Ashes of ecstasy that burned in vain. MICHAL No, no ! I- DAVID Michal MICHAL No, divine it was! And had I cried my praise the ground had broke To Eden under me with blossoming. Where was so wonderful a deed as this, So fair a springing of salvation up [ Si I DAVID Glory above star-soaring could I sieze, Auras of dawn and loveliness unfading, To crown you with and crown! [)AVID 0 lips! MTICHAL With but A sling, a shepherd's sling, you sped the brook, IDrew from its bed a stone, and up the hill Where the great Philistine contemning cried, Mounted and flung it deep upon his brain DAXVI D 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! Too much of waiting and of severance ! Of dread and distance and the deep of doubt. 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! immortal kisses MIICHAL A frenzy, 'tis a frenzy! From me! see! [ 52 ] DAVID This irremediable victory Over Goliath severs us the more. [The tutmult breaks 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 o 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. MICHAL All, all DAVID That for thee reverently may. MICH EL The 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 I 53t1 DAVID DAVID And provoke Murder in him, insatiable though I fled upon the wilderness and famine MICHAL He would not! DAVID Nay. MICH AL I'll plead with him. DAVID In vain! MICHAL Then [coldly] 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 thro' me as The tread and tremble of immortal song Along the infinite. MICHAL You use me! DAVID Use MICHAL A step to rise and riot in ambition! DAVID So bitter are you, blind [ 54] DAVID MICHAL It was a trick ! You snared me to you. DAVI I) Michal! MICHAL 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. [le movesfrom her.] MICHAL As if it were Enchantment dead. Ah, then 'tis true-there is Another-is another DAVID Now what fever A gentleness clad once your every grace. MICHAL There is some other that you lure and love. DAVID It is not Michal speaking; so I wait. MICHAL Then- [551 DAVID [J UDITH glides suddenly in wit/i a low laugh and kneelsbhfore DAVID. MICHAL standsamazed.] JUDITH 1,4s 1f with amorous admiration.] 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 him.] Take away your flesh. [Free] Take it away, the heat and myrrh of it. JUDITH So cold DAVID Away. JUDITH And 'tis no longer fair [Wantonly] Oh! Ah! I understand ! the princess - DAVID Go. [JUDITH obeys, laughing and shaking her timbrel.] MICHAL A dancer then, a very timbrel player! 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! [S6] DAVID MICHAL And loving 0, I will- Now that I know what should be done. Be sure. DAVID You mean, that Saul P-you would not, no ! MICHAL [A! hand is seen at the tent. AHINOAM David, the king-But DAVID It is but life. AHINOAM Rest sure. AHINOAM enters.] what is this [M ICH E: L gres. I 0 queen- Nay. DAVID Life that ever strings Our hearts, so pitifully prone for it, To ecstasy-then snaps. AHINOAM I love thee, David. DAVID Then gracious be, and question here no more. Where words are futile for an utterance. But of the king-the king AHINOAM He's driven still. And hither comes, and soon, and must be calmed. Thy harp take, winds of beauty from it bring, And consolation-as of valley-eves [ 57 ] DAVID When there is ebb of sorrow and of toil, 0 could you heal him and forever heal. DAVID Then would I be-! [He breaks of with a gesture of great desire, takes the harp and seats himself] AHINOAM At once, for he will come. [DAVID begins; a strain of wild sadness. SAUL enters and with him DOEG, ISHUI, JONA- THAN-others. He pauses, his hand to his brow, and goes slowly, enspelled of DAVID'S playing, up the dais.] AH INOAM 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 the bitterness of need [Plays.] 0 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.] [58 ] DAVID o days of life, Days that are driven swift and wild from the womb [P/ays.] o days so rife- Days that are torn of trouble, trod of doom! [Plays.] MICHAL enters. o days of strife, Days of desire on deserts spread unending, The burning blue o'erbending, 0 days, our peace, our victory is the tomb! [He plays to a close that dies in anguished silence.] SAUL [Riling in tears] David! DAVID My lord SAUL Thy breathing! beauteous Stilling to sorrow ! 0 my friend, my son! DAVID To me is this I dream it not The king Again is kind and soft his spirit moves SAUL 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, /  DAVID And singing weary madness from my brain. I D AV I D starts toward him.] Hoow I have wronged thee! MICHAL Wronged him [In fuwy. DAVID Michal! SAUL Girl MIC'HAL You have not wronged him! DAVID Michal! MICHAL No, but he Is jeopardy and fate about you ! drive Him from you utterly and now away [Murmurs of astonishment.] SAUL What mean you ISHUI Speak. SAUL What mean you MICHAL This! DAVID No word! MICHAL I'll not be kept- [6oJ DAVID DAVID But shall be; for to tell Would rend silence forever 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. I-I myself will save your lips the words Of this betrayal leaping from your heart. [Nobly, before Saul.] You seek, my lord, you seek whom Samuel Anointed. SAUL Yes. DAVID Then know that it is I. SAUL 'Tis- DAVID I. SAUL You! DAVID I. And guiltless I, no other. I, though I sought it not and suffer, though I would it had not come and fast am sworn Never against you to lift up- MERAB Hear, hear Now he will cozen 161] DAVID DOEG He, "thy servant!" ISHUI Hear! A VOICE [Without.] A thousand Saul hath slain! But David ten! SAUL [Choking.] Omnipotence shall not withhold me more. [He lifts a javelin.] DAVID Murderous king afoam with murder-heat! [He avoids fronm side to side.] Monarch of misery-of might-of rage So fell that lightning were not dread enough Were it thy bolt! To-day you will destroy me [GOLIATH's head overturned, rolls on thejloor.] Upon this day will slay me innocent SAUL Die, die! JONATHAN No, father, hold [SAUL flings the javelin.] MICHAL [Reeling.] What have I done JONATHAN David, unhurt Away, the wilderness. [Thrusts a sword on him.] SAUL He shall not! no. [Seizes another javelin.] [ 621 DAVID DAVID [Afjlame.] Then, king of Israel, strike! Strike me to darkness and the waiting worm! Into the Pit and to the hopeless gloom. But, after, be your every breathing blood, Remorse and riving bitterness and fear, Be guilt and all the hideous choke of horror! SAUL trembling at the curse lets the javelin fall from his hand. DAVID breaking through DOEG and ISHUi escapesbythedoor. MICHAL sinks to her knees, her face buried in her hands. CURTAIN. [631 This page in the original text is blank. ACT III This page in the original text is blank. ACT III. SCENE: A savage mountain-cl in the wilderness of Efngeddi. On either side gray crags rise rugged, sinking away precipi- tously across the back. Cut into each is a cave. Th.e he'g ht is reached by clefts fromn all sides. Between the crags to the East is the far blue of the Dea d Sea; and still beyond, bathed in the waning afternoon, stretch the purple shores of Moab. During the act the scene grows criz- son with sunset and a thunder-cloud rises over the sea. Lying on a pallet of skins near the cliFs verge, DA4VID tosses feverishly. Three of his followers and a lad, who ser-ces hi,,1, are gathered toward thefront, ragged, hungry, and hu.,zted, in altercation over a barley-cake. DAVID Water! the fever fills me, and I thirst. Water FIRST FOLLOWER Listen. SECOND FOLLOWER 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. [ 67] DAVID I'll run and in the valley brim it soon. [He goes. DAVID sinks hack.] SECOND FOLLOWER [7o FIRST.] rou drank it then. FIRST FOLLOWER And should I thirst, not he Give me the bread. SECOND FOLLOWER If it would strangle you. FIRST FOLLOWER I'll have it. SECOND FOLLOWER Or betray him spitingly It is the last. Already you have eat. And we are here within a wilderness. FIRST FOLLOWER Be it, but I'll not starve. THIRD FOLLOWER He utters right. Why should we but to follow a mere shepherd Famish and o'er 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 FOLLOWER Nor I. THIRD FOLLOWER 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 [ 68 ] DAVID Thought but of Michal, not of smiting him And, with a host, of leaping to the kingdom [DAVID stirs to rise.] FIRST FOLLOWER He moves; peace! THIRD FOLLOWER Let him. SECOND FOLLOWER Peace. THIRD FOLLOWER And fawning too DAVID [S'fferingly] Men-men, we must have news. Perpetual, Implacable they stare unto each other. This rock and stony sky. [Rises and comes down to them.] We must have news. [They are silent.] Longer is death. 'Tis overmany days Of sighing and remembered verdancy; Nor any dew or upward odor comes. Who will go now and bring us word of Saul THIRD FOLLOWER Have not Abishai, Abiathar, And others gone DAVID Bravely. THIRD FOLLOWER And none returned! DAVID Not one of all. [ 69] DAVID THIRD FOLLOWER Well, then, we are not swine, And life's but once. DAVI D So THIRD FOLLOWER We will follow you No longer hungered and rewarded never, But perilously ever. DAVID It is well. [lIe looses a bracelet from his armn.] This was a gift from Saul. In it is ease. [Gibes it to THIRD FOLLOWER, ,who 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 wve leapt Deeper than friends nto each other's love. [Gives it to FIRST FOLLOWER, Rwho goes.] This chain SECOND FOLLOWER I want it not. DAVID You have not thought; 'Tis riches such as Sidon marts and Tyre Would covet. SECOND FOLLOWER I care not. DAVID None else is left. [70 1 DAVID SECOND FOLLOWER No matter. DAVID Then SECOND FOLLOWER There was of Gibeah A woman-dear to me. Her face at night Weeping among my dreams.... The prophecy Is unfulfilled, and vain DAVID And you would go SECOND FOLLOWER The suffering-this cliff. DAVID I understand. [Motions.] So, without any blame, and to content. [The SECOND FOLLOwER filters, then goes.] [Quietly.] A desolation left, of rock and air, Of barren sea and bitterness as vast. Thou hast bereft me, Saul ! thou hast bereft! [He mores up the clif, gazes sadlly away, then krneels by a stone, 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. l 71 ] DAVID As pants the heart for the water-brook, so I! [He bows his head. MICHAL in rags that disguise, enters with the LAD, unseen.] Her lips it was that hurled me unto this! Yet, yet not violence on him and blood! I must revenge's call within me quell, Though righteously it quivers and aflame. [He goes slowly into the cave, Right.] MICHAL This is the place, then, this LAD Yes, princess. MICHAL Here 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. [DAVID plays within.] But oh! It is his harp. [72 DAVID MICHAL And strains that weep o'er me! I'll speak to him . . . and yet must be unknown! A leper as a leper could I . . . LAD Why Must he not know you MICHAL Ask me not, lad, now; But go a little. LAD Yes. [He sets down the water-skin and goes.] MICHAL [Delaying, then in a loud voice.] Unclean! Unclean! [Conceals her face in her hair.] DAVID Who crieth here MICHAL Unclean! DAVID [A4ppearing.] Who cries unclean Poor leper in these wilds, who art thou MICHAL 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. [73 ] DAVID Who has no ease but cave or shading rock, Or the still moon, or stars that glide the night. One over whom- MICHAL Yet, pityX 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 was it 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 Link upon link her MI CHAL Oh, do not ! DAVID And from me fall loveliness that bound. Woman . .. MICHAL Nothing. A chain like this I once beheld wind undulantly bright O'er Michal, the king's daughter. [ 74 ] DAVID DAVID Woman, the king's MI CHAL Pity! DAVID Who are you MICHAL Stay ! Unclean DAVID A spy A spy of Saul and hypocrite have crept Hither to learn . . . MICHAL Have heed-unclean! DAVID How then Wandering come you here MICHAL Unclean! Unclean! DAVID My brain is overfull of fever, mad. Almost and I had touched thy peril, held Thy hideous contagion. MICHAL Wrong! DAVID Then who Art thou to know and speak of her, of Michal MICHAL One who has served the king. [ 75] DAVID DAVID And you have seen Michal, you have beheld her MICHAL Once, when she In face was fairer and in heart than now They say she is. DAVID And heard her speak MICHAL A night Under the leaves of 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. DAVID 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 DAVID Leper, no more. [ 76 ] DAVID [At moment; then a jackal's cry shrills to them. DAVID starts.] The signal. [He listens.] Thrice repeated Word at last [To MICHAL.] He who is near may prove to thee less kind. [She goes. He springs to look down the cliy] Abishai Abiathar It is! But staggering and wounded breathless torn [He watches, then turns to meet them. They enter-ABI- ATHAR with bloody ephod and broken breastplate- and sink in panting exhaustion.] Abishai, what is it that you bring Abiathar, up ! answer! ABIATHAR Water ! DAVID Up! [He brings the water-skin. They drain itfiercelyij What is it now so fevered from you stares And breathing too abhorrence Gasp it out. ABI ATHAR I stifle-in a universe-he still- Has breath in. DAVID Saul ABIATHAR I'll scathe him! Scorpions Of terror and remorse sting in his soul DAVID If you have tidings, not in words so wild. [ 77 1 DAVID ABIATHAR Then ask and hate shall calm me. DAVID Ask ABIATHAR On, on! Seek if he lives! DAVID Who ABIATHAR Seek if prophecy Founts yet in Judah! DAVID Samuel. .. A BIATHAR Is dead! Dead-and of tidings more calamitous. [A pause.] DAVID [Hoarsely.] Tell on. I hear. ABIATHAR Saul gloating to believe The priests, assembled sacredly at BNob, Plotted assisting you, hath had them- DAVID No . . . ABIATHAR Slain at the hands of Doeg-murdered, all! DAVID But he-your father  DAVID ABIATHAR Was among them; fell. [He stands motionless.] DAVID [ Gently.] Abiathar, my friend! . . . Appeaseless Saul! ABIATHAR 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 desert pard, With Merab, whelp of him, and many armed, Is near us now-aquiver 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- and mount 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. [ 79] DAVID DAVID Your look belies. ABIATHAR Perhaps: As did her love. DAVID That is for me. ABIATHAR Well, what A woman who betrays DAVID Speak, not evade; And judge her when earth has no mystery. ABIATHAR 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 . . . ABIATHA R Saul Has given her-and she will wed him, aye- To Phalti, a new lord. DAVID Untrue of her! ABIATHAR Cry. Yet you will believe it. DAVID Not until [ 8o ] DAVID The verdant parable of 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 [Looking up he falters, breaks off, and is strangely moo'ed at something beheld.] ABIATHAR What, what alarm ABISHAI What stare you on ABIATHAR He's mad [DAVID points. They look up.] ABIATHAR An eaglet!. . . ABISHAI Eaglet ABIATHAR Pierct! ABISHAI Pierct . DAVID Falling here. And beating against death unbuoyantly. [The bird, an arrow through it, drops in throes at their feet.] A destiny, a fate in this is hidden! [He bends over it, then quickly back.] ABIATHAR A destiny, how, how [ 8I ] DAVID DAVID The arrow !-His! His, and no other's. Quick, then, no delay. ABIATHAR Be clear, clearer. 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. ABIATHAR Saul's But how, was any here DAVID To-day, to-day. A leper wandering. A BIATHAR We are betrayed. [ABISHAI with the water-skin hastens into the ca-ve, Right. DAVID and ABIATHAR stand listening. Noise of approach is heard.] DAVID They near. ABIATHAR And many. DAVID King of Israel Inexorable! ABIATHAR 0, rebuke him, do! [ 82 ] DAVID 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. Hardly have they done lo when at a shout, SAUL, bloodthirsty, wit/h DOEG, ABNER, ISHUI, and soldiers, pour in from all sides, with drawn weapons.] SAUL On, to him ! search the caves! In, in, and bring Him to my sword, and Michal with him. [Pacing terrible the -while.] They Shall couch upon eternity and dust. [Weakly.] 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-entering from one cave.] Where is he Bring him. SOLDIER 0 King- SAUL You've slain him and you tremble! Say it. SOLDIER No. SAUL Then hither with him; hither! [ 83] DAVID SOLDIER He's not here. SAUL A treachery ! You cunningly contrive To aid him, so . . . [To a SOLDIER re-entering fearfully from Bring me his head. SOLDIER the other cave.] 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. [Into one cave, then another hle rushes, then out among them furious.] From me, ill-fruited ineffectual herd! Away from me, he's fled and none of you Is servant and will find and for me seize him From me-I'll sleep-I'll rest-and then- [411 begin to cro-wd out, overawed, but DOEG andABNER.] I'll sleep. [Slowly he mo'Les into the cave, Left, and lies down.] ABN ER [To DOEG, significantly.] The evil spirit. DOEG Yes; is on him swift As never before, and as a drunkenness. A BNER Then, safe to leave him [ 84 ] DAVID 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 to SAUL'S cave and returns.] Already he sleeps. [Turning they encounter MICHAL entering, She quails.] Woman, who are you, who MICHAL still .'isguised. Unclean ! away! DOEG 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 goes quickly; then they. A space. Then she returns trembling, fearful.] I'll call him! I will save him !-David! David!- I his discomfiture and ruin !-David! David ! hear me! David! [Searching, she approaches the cave where SAUL lies, but recoils terrjfed.] The king! my father! [ 85 1 DAVID I cannot-am not-whither shall 1, whither [Confused she flees, as scufing is heard, and ABISHAI and ABIATHAR, struggling with DAVID, appear.] DAVID Loose me, I say. 'Twas Michal and she called. [Breakingfree.] I say that it was she ABIATHAR Foolhardy, no. Return into the cave, and ere too late! MERAB, ceiled, enters behind them. DAVID 'Twas Michal and no other. A BIATHAR You are duped. DAVID The breathing of archangels could not so Have swung the burden from me as her call. [Searching, he faces-and beholds MERAB. His look growes to coldness.] MERAB It is not Michal. DAVID No-it is not Michal. [He motions ABIATHAR and ABISHAI aside.1 MERAB Yet it is one who- DAVID Need not lift her veil Or longer stay. The path she came is open. [ 86 ] DAVID 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 not. More all-devouring than a Moloch is This love within me- DAVID Love and you are twain, As sun and Sheol. 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. 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... [ 87 ] DAVID DAVID This is not true. MERAB To-morrow must my father From hunting you return and arm for battle. But-many would that you were king. DAVID Were .. . MERAB King I 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 you to the kingdom. DAVID To the-stay I 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.] [ 88 1 DAVID 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! Morning would move with horror of it, noon A livid sepulchre of shame span o'er, And night shrink to remember day had been! MERAB You scorn-you scorn me DAVID Jonathan ! your sister! .MERAB Then Saul shall rend you dead. And Jonathan! . . . [She laughs shrilly.] Perchance you have 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 given to the embraces of another [DAVID shrinks.] You desperately breathe and pale at last [She laughs more hitterly.] To me for aid, to me, you yet shall come. [She goes. DAVID slowly lifts his hand to his brow in heasty pain. ABIATHAR-and soon ABISHAI-abrupt- ly descends from the cave to him.] l 89 1 DAVID A BIATHAR David- DAVID Leave me. ABIATHAR 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 [His sword quickly out, struggling.] This throb and wounds that wring me ! and this wvail Under the deeps of me against his wrongs, Awakening remembrance that with burst And burn of pain. . . . 0, never-ceasing ill [Flings the sword down, anguished.] ABIATHAR You will not come DAVID The sun is set. ABIATHAR Has Saul Hunted you to this desert's verge- DAVID Enough! [9o ] DAVID ABIATHAR Has he pursued you, all his hate unleashed Is Samuel not slain the priests my father The kingdom is not in decay, and falls You are not prophecy's anointed one Seize up the sword and strike-or I myself! DAVID Or . . . you yourself. [Silently he puts them aside, takes up the goes into SAUL'S caffe.] ABISHAI ABIATHAI If Saul ABISHAI MICHAL What will he do Listen! MICHAL enters unseen. t cries out.... Be ready. [To them.] What is this! [DAVID, haggard, with drawn sword and a piece 9f SAUL'S cloak in his hand, re-enters from the cave. He sees MICHAL, pauses, and gazes upon her, as she on him, with rising emotion.] MICHAL [Inarticulate. Then.] Have slain him! And sleeping as he was DAVID In lying rags Ah, you have slain- Wretch ! thou wretch! Then it was you [ 9I ] sword, and slowly DAVID MICHAL Have struck him in his sleep! And merciless !-And now will kill me, too DAVID In faithless rags You are the leper Who [Growing frenzied.1 Drove me a prey unto this wilderness! Upon the blot of it and death and sear! The silence, burning, and relentless 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 herfeet.] 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! [ 92 ] DAVID Have slain have slain him ! I have slain him! Ah M Ah, that I had thy falseness and could slay him! 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 ! [In agony he goes, ABIATHAR and ABISHA] after. MICHAL stands gazing tearless4l before her, as SAUL, awakened, slowly comesfrom the mouth of the cane down toward her.] CURTAIN. [ 93 1 This page in the original text is blank. ACT IV This page in the original text is blank. ACT IV. SCENE: The House of MIRIAM, the "x Witch of Endor," by Mount Gilboa-where Saul is encamped against the Philistines. 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; befjre one of these, a lattice. On the left is the gate opening to the street. In the back to one side, the teraphim, or image of divination; on the other side a stairway mounts to the roof. A4hrce is the night, and 'vague lightning amid a moan of wind. During the act comes dawn. Forward on a divan sits MIRLAM alone, in blind restless- ness. MIRIAM Adah! The child is sunken in a sleep. Yet would I have her near me 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. Girl ! Adah! girl! [The windpasses. ADAH entersfrom a chamber, rubbing her eyes.] Thou art awake [ 97 1 DAVI D ADAH I slumbered. MIRIAM Stand you where Fathoming I may feel within you. Now, Again-you've hither fled your mistress Merab, In fear of her ADAH Yes. MIRIAM At Engeddi Michal By Saul was apprehended Merab now Plotteth against her-she and Doeg ADAH Still. MtIRIAM And 'twas in Merab's tent Despairing of to-morrow's Hither to-night to bid me Of Samuel out of the dead The issue A[)AH Doeg said it. MIRIAM you heard, the king battle, comes lift the spirit and learn And-you hear - Many within the army urge for David, Would cry him king, if Saul were slain ADAH 0 many. [A knock at the gate. They start up fearful.] [ 98 ] DAVID MIRIAM 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! [Breathless she opens the gate. DAVID and ABi ATHAR enter cloaked.] Thy voice again!-this blindness of 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 my 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- DAVID I know-that Saul would rather O'ertrample me than a multitude of foes. [ 99 1 DAVID 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 She is in Some peril. MIRIAM You, in more! And must from here Swiftly away, for Saul is DAVI D I must see her. MIRIAM Unholy! DAVID Yet unholier were flight. MIRIAM You are the anointed! [A hea-cy knock at the gate.] Ah, calamity! You would not heed-'tis Saul! [ IOO ] DAVID DAVID Here MIRIAM He is come That I shall call up Samuel. DAVID You, you- The awful dead SAUL [Calls.] Woman of Endor! MIRIAM Hide! The lattice yonder! SAUL Woman of Endor! woman ! [DAVID and ABIATHAR conceal themnseltes behind the lat- tice. The knocking, hastier.] Woman of Endor! Woman of Endor! Woman! MIRIAM Who crieth at my gate SAUL Unbar and learn. MIRIAM To danger SAUL None. MIRIAM To thieves SAUL To rueing if C101 1 DAVID You tarry ! [Shze opens the gate. ADAH cowers down. SAUL, ISHUI, and ADRIEL enter.] 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 lift 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! SAUL Prepare Before thy teraphim. No harm, I swear, [ 102 ] DAVID 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 prophecy and dream, Of voices and of priest and oracle, To augur it. MIRIAM A doom in this! SAUL He must Hold comfort, and the torrent of despair Within me stay and hush. MIRIAM Then must it be. [Turning towards the terap/zim amid wind and pallid light- ning, and prostrating herself before it.] 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 ta/e gust. Then springing up and stretching wide her arms with wild, blind eyes. Prophet of Israel, arise! Not in The name of Baal, Amon, Ashtoreth, Dagon or all the deities that dream I03 1 DAVID In trembling temples of Idolatry, But of Jehovah ! of Jehovah! rise! [Aln elemental cry is heard. Then vast wavering forms rise out of the earth, in continuous stream. MIRIAM, - with a long 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 saw 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 Samuel! MIRIAM Who looketh with Omniscience in his mien, and all the 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. [I104] DAVID 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! ISHUI 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 ISHUI 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. [ISHU1 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! [ IOg ] DAVID [ADRIEL goes.] The quivering Quicksands of destiny beneath her stir. Is heaven a mocking shield which ever keeps God from our prayers MIRIAM David, contain thy heart. [A faint uproar begins ajfzr; and dawn.] DAVID The battle! on the wind. Abiathar, Speed out upon the mountain-side and cull All that befalls. [ADAH opens the gate. ABIATHAR goes.] ADAH [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 [MERAB throws open the gate and enters.] ADAH Oh! L io6] DAVID MERAB Woman and witch, did Adriel, my husband, Come to you with the king [She sees DAVID and shrinks.] DAVID Unnatural, Unkind, most cruel sister! MERAB You are here DAVID Once me you would have poisoned, but the coil 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! [ 107 DAVID ADRIEL Ope! open you! DAVID At last the word. MERAB Girl, Adah, draw the bar. [DAVID throws a cloak over hii face. ADAH obeys. ADRIEL enters, and DOEG, who pauses in yuick 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 his cloak.] DOEG Lured I am snared a trap DAVID Where have you Michal DOEG [Drawing.] No closer! DAVID If she is an atom harmed-! Where is she DOEG I was the servant of the king, I but obeyed him. DAVID And thy horrible heart. Then speak, or unto frenzy I am driven. 1 Io8 ] DAVID DOEG I'll drive you there with [Breaks of 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 pouring 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 MIRIAM I see her eyes! [All 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. [ 109 I DAVID DOEG Not If this DAVID [Lunges at her.] shall reach you. Ah, to pierce a woman! [MIRIAM finds her way out.] You've plotted, false have been 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, Till even the stars of truest ray seem tares Sown hostile o'er the nightly vale of heaven. [Drawing firmly, he coldly, ski/fully approaches for attack.] [Retreating.] No further! TID Unto the end! [He rushes in, they engage. DOEG is wounded, recovers, defends furiously, then is disarmed andforced under.] Thy villainy is done. [The gate opens and ABIATHAR hurries in.] ABIATHAR [He DAVID Fetter him. David, the battle- sees DOEG and stops.] [ 110 I DOI DAI DAVID ABIATHAR Only fetter [His dagger out.] the murderer Of priestly sanctity and of my father DAVID Abiathar! You know obedience [ABIATHAR sullenly sheathes his weapon and binds DOEG. A dim panic is heard afar, and a lament without. DAVID, who has sunk to a seat, springs anxiously up.] Listen ! that cry THE 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 DOEGJ.] Otr with his armor for me, I will go Forth and perchance may backward bend defeat. Duty to Saul is over. ADRIEL You must not. A fruitless intrepidity it were. [I II I DAVID ABIATHAR Remember your anointing! ADRIEL The prophesy! [MIRIAM enters leading MICHAL. A moment'ssuspense.] MERAB See! ADRIEL See! MERAB She liveth! MIRIAM David-- MICHAL [Pleading to him.] It is I. MIRIAM The cords were cruel, hungrily sank in Her wrists and ankles. MICHAL David, look on me. DAVID My words must be alone with her-alone. ADRIEL Come, all of you-the battle. [They go out the gate. DAVID stands speechless.] MICHAL David-my lord! I ask not anything but to be heard- Though once I would not hear. Has all of life No glow for me! [1 12] DAVID 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! MICHAL 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 And Phalti MICHAL 'Twas wedding him I loathed. DAVID Say true! ['3 ] DAVID MICHAL This knife Unfailingly into my breast had spared Me from him, had not flight. DAVID This-this can be [A great joy dawning in him.] Beyond all hope is it, even as day's Wide empery outspans our littleness. [Goes toward her.] A tithing of thy loveliness were beauty Enough for earth. Yet it is mine, is mine MICHIAL David-forever! long as odorous Cooling o'er Lebanon shall blow, long as The swinging sapphire of the sea shall flash Up to the sun: until the soul no more Is soul, but vapor! DAVID Michal! MICHAL Evermore! [She sinks into his arms, and there is a pause. But a sud- den confusion of cries is heard and they start apart. The gate is flung back and ADRIEL enters, shaken Iwith awe. He looksfrom one to the other, silent.] DAVID [At last.] Adriel! What have you! ADRIEL Saul . . . is slain [ I 14 1 DAVID 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 miraclc Alone bring joy again untc my paii [The wailing again swithiwut, a2nd deeper ig roans. O Israel, the Infinite has touched Thy glory and it changes to a s;'.oud; Thy splendor 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. [He bows his head in tears.] o kingly Jonathan, would I might give The beating of my life into your veins- Willing for it would I be drouth and die. How are the mighty fallen and the fair [With lifted arm, deeply moved.] [ IISI DAVID 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 him and takes his hand. He folds her in his 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 not be our agony. Hush now thy woundedness, my Michal, now. See, o'er the East the lifted wings of dawn. [SIrlwv thy e. imb tie stair to the house-top. As they look away toward thre hattle's rout the clouds part, and the full hrighnss of zte siUm breaks over them.] CUR TA IN. [I 16 ]