xt751c1tf67b https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt751c1tf67b/data/mets.xml Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. 1911  books b92-245-31687604 English Doubleday, Page, : Garden City, N.Y. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Immortal lure  / by Cale Young Rice. text Immortal lure  / by Cale Young Rice. 1911 2002 true xt751c1tf67b section xt751c1tf67b 







THE IMMORTAL LURE

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THE



IMMORTAL LURE



              BY
      CALE YOUNG RICE



            AUTHOR OF
A NIGHT IN AVIGNON YOLANDA or CwnRUS, CHAELE. DI
  TOCCA, DAVID, MANY GODS NOiWANA DAYS, ETC.



GARDEN CTyr



NEW YORK



DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
         MCMXI

 




















ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCUDflG THAT OF TRANSLATION

INTO JOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN



       COPYRIGHT, 111, BY CALL YOUNG RICZ

            PUBLISHED, FELRUARY, 1911



THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK

 













-infinite passion and pain
Of finite hearts that yearn

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             CONTENTS

                                 PAGE
GIORGIONE .......................................  I

A    R    D     U IN...........................................27

O-UME'S GODS..............          SI

TEI IMMORTAL LUE .............................. 73

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GIORGIONE

 
















                 CHARACTERS

GIORGIONE . . . . A Young Painter
Asrno     . . . . A Dissolute Poce
TITIAN . . . . . Another Painter
BELLII . . . . . The Former Master of Giorgione and
                      Titian
GIGIA .  .  .  . . An old woman serving Giorgione
          and
ISOTTA

 










               GIORGIONE


SCENE: A work-room of GIORGIONE on the edge of
    the Lagoon in which lie the Cmnpo Santo and
    Murano. It is littered with brushes, canvases,
    casts, etc., and its walls are frescoed indiscrimi-
    nately with saints and bacchantes, satyrs and
    Madonnas, on backgrounds religious or wood-
    land. A door is on the right back; and foliate
    Gothic windows, in the rear, reveal the magic
    water with its gliding gondolas. On a support
    toward the centre of the room is a picture -
    covered; and not far from it, a couch.
      Late Afternoon.
      GIORGIONE, who has been s'4ti;zg anguished on
    the couch, rises with determined bitterness. As he
    does so, BELLINI enters anxiously.
                        3

 





  Bellini. Giorgione !
  Giorgione (turning). It is you
  Bellini.          Your word came to me,
In San Lazzario where I labored late,
And shakes my troubled heart. You will not do this!
  Giorgione. Yes!
  Bellini.      H-ow  my son! her picture! as
    a, wanton's:
  Giorgione. The it has been till now my adoration'
The fairest of my dreams and the most holy!
Yes, by the virtue of all honest women,
If such there be in Venice,
I swear it shall be borne by ribald hands
Thro the very streets.
  Bellini.                 My son!
  Giorgione.                   A public thingl



                              [Points to
Fit for the most lascivious! who now
Shall gaze on what I had beheld alone,
On what was purer to me than the Virgin!
The very pimps and panders of the Piazza



picture.



GIORGIONE



4

 




GIORGIONE



Shall if they will whet appetite upon it,
And smack their losel lips.
  Bellini.            And to what end
  Giorgione. Her shame!
  Bellini.        The deeds of wounded pride
    and love
Work not so, but fall back upon the doer -
Or on some other.
  Giorgione.    I care not!
  Bellini.                        Nor have,
Ever, to heed me! as Aretino,
Who turns your praise to Titian, has told.
For your wild will runs ever without curb,
And I who reared you, as my very own,
Must pay the fall.
  Giorgione.    No!
  Bellini.                    And the piety
I would have won you to in the past days
Is wasted. The Madonnas
I painted with a heart inspired of Heaven
You paint with pride.



5

 



GIORGIONE



  Giorgionie.   But with all gratitude!
Ah yes, believe me,
And with a rich remembrance!
For scarce oblivion could wipe from me
How as a wasted lad I came to Venice -
A miserable, patched and pallid waif,
With but an eye to see and hand to shape!
You took me from the streets and taught me all
The old can teach the young, until my name
Is high in Venice -
Linked with that of Beauty-
"Giorgione! our Giorgione!" do they cry
On the canals, the very gondoliers.
And in a little while it should have glowed
Immortal on the breast of Italy,
As does Apelles on the page of Greece,
For I was half-divine, until --
  Bellini.               Until
A girl whom you had fixed your heart upon
With boundless folly, you who should have
  lived



6

 



GIORGIONE



With but one passion - that of brain and brush --



Until she --
  Giorgione. Say it!
  Bellini.        This Isotta --
  Giorgione.                          Aif
Whom I had chosen o'er a hundred others
To soar with!
To soar and then in wedded peace to prizel
This false Isotta
Whom in poverty
I found, as you found me, and loved to madn4
This fair Isotta
Whom I would have made
All Venice to be a halo for - as were
Cities of old for queens of sceptred love:
Until she leaves, departs, forsakes me, goes
Away, worthless away, from my true arms,
With Luzzi, a lank boy.
  Bellini.    So. And most strange.
  Giorgione. No, nothing a woman does is
    strange!



Iess.



ever



7

 



GIORGIONE



Will they not cloak a lie in innocence,
A treachery in veiling soft caresses-
Tho to the Mass unceasingly they fare
And say like her their aves night and noon
Have they a want that wantons not with guile,
A tear that is not turgid with deceit
Are not their passions blown by every wind
Have they not all the straying heart of Helen
Then why must I,
Who had in me a hope
That rivalled Raphael's or Leonardo's,
Keep, cozened so, that I contemn her shame
  Bellini. Because she is a woman -whom you
    tempted,
Tho with all trust to wed her - and you know not
Whether her going was of shamelessness.
  Giorgione (laughing bitterly). Or whether she
    may not yet return, today,
And with a heart that is a nymph's, a soul
That is a nun's,
Beguile me back to doting



8

 



GIORGIONE



Whether she may not -
With that body God
Might once, deceived, have moulded angels after-I
Then flaunt her thralling of me to the world,
Whose ready lips should laugh where'er we went
And whisper, "Isotta, there! Giorgione's mis-
    tress!
Who makes a mocking of him"
  Bellini.                  Never! never I
Only your unrelenting brain would think it.
For this I know of her, that tho she has
Deserted you for what must seem to be
Only a new-found passion-
Yet is she womanly, and did you give her,
As now you mean, to avid lusting eyes,
Life would be smitten from her.
  Giorgione.                 As it should!
  Bellini. And then from you, repentant of her
    fate
No, no, my son, I have not seen you rise,
A planet from the sea, the world's first painter,



9

 



GIORGIONE



To set in this:
You owe my fathering more.
And listen, I have brought to you a way
Of laurels for forgetting. I have come
With a commission from the Signoria,

                        [Takes it from his breast.
Which names you the chief glory of this city
And votes you proud permission to adorn
Sarn Marco's highest altar with perfection.
  Giorgione. And which I spurn, an insult in its
    pity!
                           [Flings it from him.
As they shall learn - these silk and velvet Signors,
Whose condescending ducats buy the dreams
Of the immortal!
Or no! . . . I meant not that -to wound
    a kindness.
  Bellini. Your ways have ever been the ways of
    wounding.
  Giorgione. And to the end must be. (Brokenly)
    For now my hand



IO

 



GIORGIONE



Is palsied! I can never paint again.
Colour and shaping light turn in my soul
To chaos and to blindness - to despair!
The brush I lift, to sterile pain more loth!
I yearn and impotence alone arises.
That picture has dried beauty's vein within me
And left me   . . . Ah! . . . She shall
    atone it! (calls) Gigia!
Shameless she is and shall be seen it! - Gigia! -
                                        [Bitterly.
Aretino, who is the tongue of lewdness,
And Titian, who trips to it, may gloat,
                               [GIGIA bobbles in.
But they
  Bellini. Giorgione! you have sent for them
  Giorgione (to GIGIA). Whoever seeks my door
    is bidden -all!
 Gigia. Yes, Messer Giorgio.
 Giorgione (as she delays). Go.
 Gigia.                    Before I speak
 Giorgione. Of what



ItI

 



GIORGIONE



  Gigia.       How can I tell you, if I may
Not speak   And you should hear. . . (Cross-
    ing herself) It is the plague.
A whisper is about
That it has broken out at last in Venice.
      [GIORGIONE staring at her, trembles and seems
         slowly stricken - while his eyes fill as
         with some evil irrecoverable remembrance.
  Bellini (fearing for him). Giorgione!
  Giorgione.      Oh! . . . and yet
    nothing  . . . a dream
That came to me last night - as if from death.
  Bellini. Then, 0 my son, it is a premonition,
A pall against this purpose! that you may
Not let these ribald two --
Aretino, this poet and depraver,
And Titian snared within his pagan senses,
Enter and gaze upon. . . . 0 boy, you will
    not!
Despoil the picture,
Scatter it to the seas,



12

 




GIORGIONE



And vow never again to paint another,
Tho that would break my heart, but promise me--
    [A knocking interrupts, and a voice without cad'ls
      lustily:
  Voice: The gods of paint and passion ever gird
    us!
Where's Messer Giorgione Ho! Ho, ho!

                              [GIGiA harries out.

  Giorgione (after a pause, calling). Aretino!
  A retino.          Ai, light of ladies' eyes!
And with him a better! Shall we sing for entrance
(Begins) - A wench I had,
          But where is she -
                     A-ho!
Old Gigia, is it Then we come apace,

                    [Enters leeringly with TITIAN.

Like satyrs to the piping of Adonis!
                                   [With irony.
A health to you, 0 heaven-born of Venice!

                                    [To BELLINI.



'3

 





And to you, glorious dauber of Madonnasl
But, bah! the smell of melancholy! Come,
What is it The tale is out about the maid
And therefore tears
                                        [Laughs.
Well, by the lids of Venus, Giorgio,
It serves you well - or Eve was not a woman!
There were too many ripe for your assay.
Why, I believe that every damsel's lips
On the lagoons were pinched with longing for you!
  Titian. Or enough, at least, to send spleen,
    Giorgio,
Into my eyes.
  Giorgione.      They will no more, Titian.
  Arelino. In sooth! for since one wench in all the
    world
Prefers another, he will play the monk!
Since she, the amorous sun-kissed Isotta,
Had charms too fair for one to satisfy!
And yet - to choose this Luzzi,
This swaddling acolyte of Innocence,



GIORGIONE



14

 



GIORGIONE



For her new light-o'-love! to choose him out,
When, for a whiff, she might have had my arms
                            [GIORGIONE quivers.
0, Titian, by the gods!
  Bellini.          Aretino!
  Giorgione. Stay, let him speak, my master, as
    he wills.
  Aretino. I say then, Seraph, of your amorosa,
That she deceived me -
That I thought her dreams
Were chaster than the moon, or by my beard,
Which is not born, I should have tricked her senses
Away from you . . . if lies and treachery
And tempting honeyed verses could have done it!
For an Elysium like her warm round body
I never looked upon.
  Bellini.               Aretino!
  Giorgione. Peace! he shall speak! for this is
    what should be.
  Arelino. Ai, Messer Bellini, and your age for-
    gets



I5

 



i6                GIORGIONE

That he is well consoled with the dear thought
That her first joy was his.
  Bellini.             Ah!
  Aretino.                   And that vision-!
Why, I have peeped upon her face, no farther.
But to have seen the beauty he has seen,
The Aphrodite-dream of loveliness,
I would have dared virginity's last door.
  Giorgione. Then you shall see it.
  Bellini.                 My son!
  Giorgione.                     Yes, tho I die!
  Aretino. How, what is this
  Giorgione (going to picture).  Aretino, Titian -
You are here, tho there is less than love between us:
For, pardon, if I say that you sometimes
Have loathed my triumphs.
  Titian.         That is so, Giorgione.
But with the brush I yet shall equal them.
  Giorgione. You shall surpass them. For my
    last is done.
  Titian. Come, do you jest

 



GIORGIONE



  Giorgione.        My last, and it is there!
                               [Points to picture.
There that you two whose tongues have been so
  busy
About the streets with laughing and innuendo,
From ear to ear with jest and utter joy -
You, Titian, a sycophant of Fame,
And you, Aretino, who incarnate lust,
May know that Giorgione is above you.
You coveted Isotta with your eyes,
Now you shall have her as shall all the world!
      [Flings the curtain back from the picture itien
         sinks to the couch.
         As they gaze on the unclothed form, BELL [NI
         turns away, when he sees ISOTTA enter.
         She is pale and ill, but moves smilingly
         down toward GIORGIONE, till happening
         to see the picture, she gives a deep cry.
         GIORGIONE, springing to his feet, dazedly
         beholds her.
  Bellini (speechless till he sees ISOTTA'S pallor).



17

 



GIORGIONE



Isotta! you are ill! . . . . 0 would my breath
Had never lasted to this evil hour -!
Shall I not bring the leech (when she does not
    answer; to GIORGIONE)   This price has pride!
      [He goes: then ARETINO and TITIAN. The
         curtain falls back.
  Isotta (whose eyes have closed). The flesh of
    women is their fate forever!
My poor, poor bodzy! all I had to give
So desecrated.
  Giorgione (hoarsely). Why have you come here
  Isotta. To see Messer Giorgione - who is brave.
                          [Smiles as one shattered.
To hear Messer Giorgione - who is gentle
And honourable to women who are weak.
To - heal Messer Giorgione - then to die'
  Giorgione. Rather to kill!
  Isotta.      Why, it may be. If love
Still leads me, it were best that it be slain.
  Giorgione. The love of a wanton
  Isotta (slowly).     Who beholds her body



x8

 



GIORGIONE



Given  . . . to unabated eyes - yet lives
I think it must be so.
  Giorgione.             Alluring lies!
Out of pale lips of treachery but lies!
You have returned to me, whom you have cursed
With craving for you,
With an immortal love,
Because this lisping Luzzi,
With whom you fled, weary of falsity,
Has cast you off.
  Isotta (gently).  Kind Luzzi!
  Giorgione.                 Ah! and blind
Not knowing that you now are here again,
Where you disrobed to my adoring soul,
But thinking that you wait him with fair eyes
Of fond expectancy-as once for me!
Believing that your breath is beating only
With ecstasy for him!
  Isotta.           He is-but Luzzi!
  Giorgione. And I but Giorgione, smiling quean!
                                [She turns paler.



19

 



GIORGIONE



But Giorgione, a vassal to your sway
Back to your orgies' and may Venus, goddess
Of black adulteries, but not of love,
Be with them! May your blood, that I believed
Vestal to all but me, run vile with passions
As any nymph's of Bacchus!
Mlay your body,
That I have painted here, be to all time
An image of soul-cheating chastity!
      [His words have struck her down - and over-
         whelm him.
0, I am lost, lost, lost forevermore.
                               [Falls into a seat.
  Isotta (at length, from the couch, gathering strength).
No, I have come for saving, Giorgione.
Now I can speak - but there is little time,
(Strangely) For Night is coming.
  Giorgione (startled to questioning). Isotta
  Isotta.                   The still Night,
With Death's dark Gondola to waft me o'er.
                            [Then as he realizes.



20

 



GIORGIONE



Nay, stay, stay! leave me not. There is no help.
For it must be. . . A voice Beyond has said it.
And ere I drift out on the darkenino ebb
  Giorgione. Isotta!
  Isolta.        Peace must be Giorgione's too.
  Giorgione. Speak - yet it cannot be - my heart
    is dead.
  Isotta. Then it shall rise again.- 0 Giorgione,
My lover once and lord, could you believe,
Even tho I went away from you and with
Another, that unchastity could touch
This body which had been holy to you
  Giorgione. Isotta!
  Isotta.          It is true that I deceived you,

                             [With mystic fervor.

True that I went away from you and wed
Another
  Giorgione.  Ah!
  Isotta.           And yet it was not Luzzi'



[As he gazes.



2 1

 



GIORGIONE



Do you not know you who so oft have told
On saintly walls the Magdalen's sad tears
Sin, sin had seized me!
Sin with you to whom
I gave my body and soul unboundedly.
We revelled in unwedded ecstasy,
Laughed in our love over the starred lagoons.
Sang till the lute was like a thing that lived,
Danced happy as the fauns and nereids
That oft you told me of -
And clasped and kissed,
O kissed - until I knew that but one way
Was left to save my soul, Giorgione, one -
To wed me with the vows and veil to Christ.
                            [Gazes at a crucifix
  Giorgione. Isotta!
  Isolta.             I am His! I fled to Him!
The Convent opened its grey arms to take me,
Santa Cecilia of the Healing Heart,
And Luzzi kindly led me to its door -
That you might so be foiled of following.



22

 



GIORGIONE



And with long vigils, fasts and penances
And prayers I sought oblivion of your face.
Until this illness strangely fell upon me.
I could not die until you, shriven too  .
  Giorgione. Isotta! My Isotta!
                [Falls penitent before her, weeping.
  Isotta (her heart eased). Peace, at last.
  Giorgione (rising). Ah yes! and I am viler than
    the vilest!
For who remembers not that purity
Is priceless, ends impoverished of honour.
And yet . . . there is no wrong irreparable!
And you must live tho all the angels die -
Live and be loosed from vows too vainly breathed,
That wedded we may win again delight!
Still I am Giorgione, and the sin
That we have sinned shall be painted away
With holy pictures   . .
  Isotta.          Only the dead are holy,
Or they who die, tho living, to the world.
                                [Sees the picture.



23

 



GIORGIONE



And eyes have looked upon me -
Hot eyes that burn my body up with shame.
Farewell, the tide will cool me, the lone wave
That washes in from Lido to my grave.

                 [Looks toward the Campo Santo.

  Giorgione. Isotta!
  Isolta (fainter).  Night, the Night!
  Giorgione.               0  stay !
  Isotta (in a fixed vision).         It comes,
The Gondola! (as if to an unseen Presenre) Row on,
    row on.

      [Sihe dies. lie sinks beside her stricken and still.

         GIGIA enters.
  Gigia. Messer Giorgione, one has come to say---
      [Sees them, goes near and lifts ISOTTA'S hand.
         Then, dropping it with terror.

The plague! the plague! Ah!
  Giorgione (rising).        Woman, is it true



[GIGIA flees.



24

 



                  GIORGIONE                    25

(Mortally moved)
Isotta, this kiss then of all the kisses
That I have slain thee with will God who dwells
In universal chastity forgive.

      [He kneels and presses his lips fervently to hers.



                    CURTAIN

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ARDUIN

 















                 CHARACTERS

ARDUTN (of Provence)   An Alchemnist
ION  . . . . . . His Nephew
RHASIS   . . . . . An Arab, his attendant and assistant
MYRREA . . . . A Greek Girl

 










                  ARDUIN


TIME: The Fifteenth Century.
PLACE: Eg)ypt.

SCENE: The laboratory of ARDUIN in a house on Nile
    opposite Cairo. It is a large room on the walls
    of which mystic figures of the Jiermetic philosophy
    are drawn, together with the zodiac and otker
    astronomical signs; and many strange objects,
    animal and mineral, are to be seen placed about.
    In the rear centre is a large sarcophagus.  On
    either side broad window openings reveal the Egy p-
    tian night, and one frames the moonlit Sphinx
    and Pyramids. Toward tee right front is a fiurna e
    with alembics, retorts, etc.; right and left a; e
    doors, and on the left and back another alco e
    before which hang curtains. Lamps burn.
                        29

 



ARDUIN



      RHASIS, Who is busy about the furnace, in a
    troubled manner, lifts a skull and is gazing at
    i/, wzhen IoN- enters suddenly and stops, pale
    with purpose.
  Ion. Rhasis --
  Rhasis (starting and looking round). Young master
    Ion! what is this
                                [Drops the skull.
Why have you left the city and come here
Are you aware what hour you have chosen
  Ion. That of his dreams. I learned today: yet
    came.
  Rhasis. And wherefore)
  Ion.                   To restrain calamity,
Which must await his reasonless belief -
And to regain his love that I have lost.
  Rhasis. And have not pondered what calamity
Would fall on you
Who would not learn his Art,
But from its heritage to penury turned,
If here and now he saw you

 




ARDUIN



At this hour
When he believes that he shall raise the dead
  Ion. His curse; for he would think me come
    to thwart him,
And that I had forgot whatever wrong,
Unexpiated still, my father did him;
                          [Looks at sarcophagus.
And yet I will not go, for I have purposed -
And you tonight shall help me - (pauses)
  Rhasis.                         Unto whall  
  Ion. Forgiveness of my disobedience-
That may be won from him with Myrrha's face,
  Rhasis. Myrrha's!
  Ion.             W'hich can alone of earthly
      sights,
If what you tell of his dead wife be true:
And well you know it is! - He must behold her-
And hear our pleading.
  Rhasis.               At an hour like this!
  Ion. Let her be placed yonder within those
    curtains,



3I

 



ARDUIN



While he is mingling here his mysteries,
And when he -
  Rhasis. By the Prophet who is Allah's,
Myrrha! Within this chamber! and tonight!
      [Ion goes to the door and leads Myrrha in.
Is there no heed in youth or hesitation,
But only hurrying want! Do you not know
He is without there, at this moment, saying
Unto the seven planets in their spheres,
The seven incantations against death
And that he -
  Ion.           I know only he must see her.
  Rhasis. And of all nights in the world, only
    tonight!
  Myrrha. No, Ion' let us go. I fear this place,
Its strangeness and that still sarcophagus
Appal me.
  Ion.       And make you forget our love,
And the long bridal-hope of it deferred
  Rhasis. Young master, she does not, in pen-
    ury too I



3 2

 






But pleas tonight would ope no nuptial way.
Better than you I know it is not wise.
For ten years is it
I have dwelt with him
While he has sought in vain this great Elixir.
Ten passings of the pilgrims off to Mecca
His wife has lain in that sarcophagus,
Embalmed and waiting, as he thinks, to rise.
And now, this hour, he hopes that it shall be.
  Ion. And should it, will he not the more forgive
    me
Or should it not, then seeing Myrrha's face,
Myrrha whom you have said is so much like her,
XVill he not -
  Myrrha.   Ion, no! but might - I fear!
So fond his grief is and unfaceable!
Let us return again unto the city
And to my kindred who will hold us dear.
                                     [Starting.
Listen, is it not he (Rhasis goes to window)
    Take me away!



ARDUIN



33

 




  Ion. And have him at the breaking of his dream
With none near - and our love's desire be lost
  AMyrrha. It will not: let us wait another time!
  Ion. Than this when most your face would
    deeply move him
I cannot, and 'twould shame me! for you know
How dear to him is his dead wife who lies there,

                                jT-kes her hand.

And know our severed days!
And shall we bend the knee to cowardice,
Which ever has a premonition ready,
When you who are so like her might tonight-

      [She starts back, for RHAsIS, exclaiming,
         leaves the window.

  RFasis. He comes.
  Ion.              Now
  Rhasis.                 Go: or take this on
    yourselves.
  Ion. Upon me be it! For there is no rest
Until his pardon weds us - and I pay him.



34



ARMINN

 


ARDUIN



  Rhasis. Then but a word remains, young mas-
    ter, more:
To tell you - that I fear - lest thro long toil,
His mind.
  Myrrha. Oh! (recoils)
  Ion.   It is not true!  .  .  No Myrrha! no!
                         [Takes her in his arms.

And is ingratitude I scorn to heed.
                                   [Turns away.
Come then and by your beauty's likeness win him.

      [He leads her behind the curtains then goes,
         door left. A moment, which leaves Rmksis
         distraught, and ARDUIN enters. He pauses,
         as if at some presence; then, gazing on the
         sarcophagus, shudders with hope and comes
         down.

  Arduin. The night at last when I again shall
    clasp her
And banish death to biers beyond the stars!
  Rhasis (kneeling). Master!



3 5

 


ARDUIN



  A rduin.                  Rise up and never
    kneel again!
For from henceforth
I shall be lord of life,
The secret of the phoenix in my hand.
                                 [Lifts an alembic.
Gray have I grown in quest of it and old,
Youthless and as a leper to delight,
But it has come at last - at last has come!
                               [Sets vessel down.
  Rhasis. And I rejoice, master, for I have toiled
With you these many years - but is it sure
  Arduin. As the moon is in heaven! as the skies!
                                  [In an ecstasy.
For last night I beheld
In dreams deeper than day how it must be.
I saw a tomb far-hidden in the earth
And Life within it
Mixing salt and sulphur-
Twin elements
Of the great trinity.



36

 





I saw her hands pour out quick mercury
Upon a bat's wing wrought with hieroglyphics,
And then I saw her cast in gold and silver
That melted with strange voice and sudden flame,
The while she gazed on me most meaningly.
And then   ...     when all was done.   ...
                      [The vision consuming him.
MIy wife, my Rhea, lit with loveliness
And as a spirit clad with resurrection,
Rose up within my dream    . . . fair, young
    and glad! . . .
  Rhasis. But, master . . . are dreams true
  Arduin.                  Such drcams as these
                                     [Kindling.
  Rhasis. Pardon! I know not -only that you
    say
Some come of Ophiuchus -
The demon you have warned me of -who oft
With thwarting laugh has struck the secret frcm
    you.
Many before have followed the mirage



ARDUIN



37

 



Of dreams -but to more thirst: trust not too
    much!
  A rduin. But fear fear you are falling from
    me too
Like Ion the son of him who  . . . you you
    too
At the prime moment
  Rhasis.                 No, my master, no!
But I would spare you pain unbearable.
  Arduin. Ha! and believe -you do -that all
    wise men
Of all the world could so have been deceived
Believe - do, do - that she cannot arise
Did not great Hermes say of the Elixir
It should be found-
And did not Polydos,
The Greek, chancing upon it, raise his friends
In battle slain . . .
Did not the Jew of Galilee, the Christ,
Whom even you name Prophet, likewise win it
                                    [Peacelessly.



ARDUIN



38

 


                   ARDUIN                   39

Speak!
  Rhasis. Master, yes! . . . But O! trus:
    not too much.
Wiser, I know, than all Arabia
Are you - like to Mahornet - were it not
That you have set within your heart a woman.
But if, perchance, the Elixir does not prove --
  Arduin. Availing Have not all things pointed
    to it
The day she died
Did I not hear a voice
That breathed into my brain she should arise
And as I waited did a book of wisdom
Not chance into my hands to show the way
Were the first words I read not, In ten years
The miracle shall come -
Revealed to you within the land of the Sphinx
  Rhasis. So read it, so! But
  Arduin.              Is this not that land
Are not those stones the pyramids that thro
The ages have stood waiting for this hour-

 




When I shall bring her beauty back, today
Is not that face the Sphinx,
Whose timeless and intemperable meaning
No man has read in desert, star, or sea,
But which must be the secret I unsphere
  Rhasis. 0 master!
  Arduin.   Fail, fail, fail now to restore her
Who died as you shall know, here ere she rises,
Because my brother - aieh! the father of Ion -
Who bore as well that name -
Desiring her, vilely accused her
  Mlyrrha (involuntarily, behind cuertains). Oh!
  Arduin (bewildered). Who spoke   It was her
    voice
                           [Runs to sarcophagus.
  Rhasis.          No, master, no !
  Arduin (slowly returning). Fail, fail to bring
    her fairness from the tomb!
Her face which can alone sow finitude's
Fell desolation with enverdured dreams
And fill the ways of the world again with hope



ARDUTTN



40

 


ARDUIN



I tell you she eternal must arise -
Tho God die for it!
                         [Begins to gird himself.
Mustl . . . and the hour is now!-
Venus is in the house of ready Taurus,
The moon is full, and as I toiled today,
                                [Goes to furnace.
From the alembic a strange cloud arose,
And once again her face! . .      Prepare! pre-
    pare!
  Rhasis. I will do all you say. But, master, if --
  Arduin (immitigably). No death-word more of
    doubt. It is the power
Which holds us futile from omnipotence.
Mete out the sulphur
Into the alembic
Of Cleopatra's crystal.-I must see her!
                                 [Riasis hastens.
See her again, my Rhea, as she was,
When plucking first the poppies of Provence!
And hear flow from her



41

 


ARDUIN



Words sweeter than Memnon's in the wind of dawn!
Here's gold and silver (hands them). She shall rise
    and say:
"Years pale you, pale your brow, my Arduin,
And touch to gray the treasure of your hair,
But not Antinous could be so fair
To me - or wonderful:
For you have brought me from the cold tomb to
    life!   .
The bat's wing then! And to the sarcophagus
To lift its lid! for I will wait no longer--
      [Takes alembic, as Rhasis obeys, and continues
         invokingly:
But now, vial of immortality!
By the presaging of the seven planets,
And by the searchless sources of the Nile,
And by the prayers of Christian and of Heathen,
And by the elements earth, air and fire,
That hold within their intermingled veins
The secret of illimitable life -
By fate and time and God - I here conjure you



42

 





Bring forth the Elixir which shall make her rise!
      [He pours the ingredients, and quickly fumes
         arise. They clear and a liquid is seen i:n
         the bottom of the glass. With a cry he
         starts toward  the  sarcophagus,  when
         Myrrha's face - which, excited, has parted
         the curtains - stops kim enspelled. Rhasis,
         unnerved, quits the room - leaving them
         agaze.
  A rduin (at length, as if to a spirit).
I do not dream  . .    you have arisen
    Rhea !
                              [Starting toward her.
Arisen ere I touched you - 0 fear not!
For I am Arduin! do you not know me
                          [She trembles speechless.
o wonderful awaking! 0       . . . at last!
Tho yet the memory of the tomb is on you! .
This land is Egypt, whither in my grief
I brought you, my dead bride! Look on me! see!
                                    [Stops quickly.



ARDUIN,



43

 




But no, not yet! until my youth comes back,
As now it will,
Over the sea from France'
Already passion lifts away the years
That weight its wings and I am as I was.
-Now gaze upon me, now:' Is it not I
  Afyrrha. Sir-!
  Arduin.   Sir! 0 quickly see. For to my breast
Again has striving brought you, to my bosom!
'the bitter nights are ended - the blind pits
Sleepless and infinite. Awake! stare not
So strangely! press your lips in praise to mine,
Your breast upon my breast! . . . Delay you
    still
  M vrrha. 0 sir -
  Arduin.  See, see! the years have been too long.

                   [Clasps her, dropping alembic.

My arms have waited an infinitude.

                                  [She struggles.



Do you uot now remember with my lips



ARDUIN



44

 




To yours, the brimming beauty