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Full text of "Festus : a poem"

ftEtKElET 

LIdRARY : 

UNIVERSITY Of 
CALIFORNIA 




F E S T U S 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

fn 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/festuspoennOObailrich 




From the ^ast hy Johrh fi. (P. ]V[(^Q ^rids, 1^46. 



FESTUS 

A POEM BY 

PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 



LONDON: 
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS, LIMITED 
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL, E.G. 
MDCCCCL 



LONDON : 

PUIKTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, 

STAMFOUD BrEi:Er AND CUAELXG CilOSo. 



753 



DEDICATION, 

ilY Father 1 unto thee to whom I owe 
All that I am, all that I have and can ; 

Who madest me in thyself the sum of man 
In all his generous aims and powers to know, 

These first-fruits bring I ; nor do thou forego 
Marking when I the feat thus closed, began, 

"WTiich numbers now near three years from its plan. 
Not twenty summers had embrowned my brow. 

Life is at blood-heat every page doth prove. 
Bear with it. Nature means Necessity. 

If here be aught which thou canst love, it springs 
Out of the hope that I may earn that love. 

More unto me than iramoi-tality ; 
Or to have strung my harp with golden strings, 

1839. 



170 



PKEFACE. 



The author, in preparing, on the fiftieth anniversary of its publication, 
a final revision of this poem, has been advised by friends whose opinions 
he much esteems, to foresay to a risinjj generation of students, a few 
words indicative briefly of certain leading- features which have, more or 
less from the beginnintr, (as illustrating the ultimate triumph of good 
over evil), distinguished the work, from others conversant with a like 
class of topics ; and to make some alterations in the current issue which, 
it is believed, will recommend themselves to the judgment of the ob- 
servant reader. 

The poem has been taken to be a sketch of world-life, and is a summary 
of its combined moral and physical conditions, estimated on a theory of 
spiritual things, opposed as far as possible to that of the partialist, pessi- 
mist and despairing sceptic, the belief of the misbeliever, so prevalent in 
our time ; not only in regard to the creation, government and administra- 
tion of the world by divine providence, but in its views as to the origin of 
the so-called mystery of moral evil ; and in its general positions known as 
universalist, illustrative of the highest aspirations and the happiest future, 
liere and hereafter of humanity. Here, however, it may be as well to 
premise that, substantially, the poem stands now, and indeed in most of its 
chief respects remains, imchanged ; and it does so for the reason more 
especially, that very soon after its first appearance, the author perceived 
the original outline to be suflBciently extensive and elastic to admit almost 
every variety of classifiable thought, and reasonable enlargement of pur- 
pose ui)on such matters as human faith, morals and progress could not fail 
to present to the ripening experiences of life. In the course, however, of 
years, it becomes almost inevitable, in the case of a living writer, that 
Home things shall have been added, some things, for sundry reasons, 
varied, and some things taken away. 

To begin, for instance, with what has been varied; it maybe stated that 
in compliance with the representations already made public, of more than 
one notable writer and fully competent critic, and in accord with conclu- 
sions of the author's more matured thought, aU the utterances ascribed in 
previous editions of the poem to various divine interlocutors are now 
assigned solely to one uni-personal Deity, being more suitable, we are led to 
believe, to the pur]X)8e and position of poetry generally, among the arts, in 
modern monotheistic times, during which the expansion of the horizon of 
the moral universe has at,deast equalled that of the material ; and certainly 
a« being more congruous with the philosophic tendencies, at the present 
day, of religious thought, in which the unity and infinity, alike insepar- 
able from each other, and in themselves indivisible even in conception, of 
the Divine Nature, is unquestionably, and for ever established. 

The parts that have been taken away are several passages of an almost 
exclusively theological cast that bore but a distant relation to the ruling 



3 PREFACE. 

motives of the invention, as a whole, and a few songs and lyrical effusions, 
tome of them pretty general favourites, which though missing from their 
accustomed place will be found comprised more appropriately it is thought 
in a collection of minor miscellaneous verse intended presently to see the 
light. 

In regard to additional matter admitted into the text ; the Angel- 
world, the Star-flight of Luniel and Festus, and considerable portions of 
the Spiritual Legend, the first for sometime Avithdrawn, have now been all 
re-adjusted and brought more palpably into parallel with the progressive 
action of the story ; while, along with the closing war of good and ill, in 
which the souls of that generation are represented as determining by their 
own free choice of sides, their future spiritual destiny ; the blending 
of sacred millennial aspirations forenoted of old to be ultimately verified, 
as well as the conjecturally realized triumphs of humanitary theories, 
secular but not irrational ; and the happy results of pious and inspired 
clvarity in the treatment of subdued evilhood, takes each its place as an 
integral segment of the circle to which all belong. 

Certain changes less or more oi-ganic, in the constitution of the poem 
as at this moment it presents itself, being thus accounted for, the writer far 
from seeking to apply to it any formal or minute analysis, but being desirous 
merely to supply the unaccustomed reader with a brief prescript, regarding 
its primary and more prominent objects and aspects, trusts confidently 
that upon a few such heads as construction, characterization, main spope 
or tendency, and special note of dift'erence from other works occupied witli 
similar, if not equally comprehensive, schemes, and which not many of 
I he criticisms likely to fall into a stranger's hands have grasped very 
cflfectively, the following remarks may sulfice to prepossess the reader 
with a serviceable summary of the work now in his hands. 

Viewed structurally then, the poem will be found through all its semi- 
century or so of scenes, one continuous whole ; resolving itself, upon 
examination, not into books, or acts, but into twelve or more groups, 
celestial, astral, interstellar and terrestrial, solar, planetary, and one otlier, 
the sphere of the Internals ; that is to say, into so many clusters of 
sections subordinated into seven classes, finally reducible into three, 
ileavcnly, finnamental, earthly ; throughout variously distributed. 

With regard, for example, to the celestial scenes, three in number, 
v/ith two of which the poem opens and terminates ; the first shadowing 
forth predictively the fore warnings and decrees of divine providence, 
afterwards to be embodied in the action of the story ; the last, which 
JM completive, s1io\n ing wherein the main issues are summed up and 
justified ; while botli are seen to be divided centrally by a mid heavenly 
section, judicial and punitive in character, of the same elevation as the 
others, and which, wliile securing a symmetrical arrangement of the 
interjacent portions, reflects equally upon the preceding and succeeding 
developmentg of the narrative. 

Of the terrestrial scenes, more numerous, as might be expected, than 
those of any other class, devoted to the earthly experiences of the hero, 
bin loyos, his friends, his companions, his adventures, the temptations 
ind trials by which he is tested, and the offences of pride and passion by 
which he is temporarily overcome, his aspirations and shortcomings, his 
penitences and griefs, his voluntary self -demission of the surpassing and 
60 to spi.ak mu-aculous gifts and privileges with which he has been 



P&EPAdS. n 

f^ndowed, and his gfradual advance morally and spiritually from the 
world chaos of conflicting partialist and imperfect beliefs to the sufficing 
system of simple and philosophic truth to which he at last attains, it is 
at this time unnecessary to speak. Tlie story, which as a whole more 
regards the future than the passed or the present, comprises and con- 
nects all these particulars, having, besides a plan overt, what may be 
called an under plan ; the latter mainly concerned with the initiation and 
perfection of a social but secret agency of the world's wisest well-wishers, 
who are supposed in every state and country throughout the globe to be 
actively engaged in the removal of every cause of national animosity in 
men's hearts, preparatory' to such a condition of things as can only morally 
issue in the establishment of imiversal peace among all peoples ; the 
culmination of which imaginary i)olicy proving precisely coincident, in 
point of time, with the openly announced impending end of the world aa 
told in the very first scene, and towards the conclusion shown realized ; 
and coincident, in point of fact, with the covert but philanthropic action of 
the sages of all lands in elevating to a throne of universal peace, a single 
sovereign soul, both are shown ultimately to convene, and make one. 

Interspersed with these, the several clusters of the supramundane scenes 
wUl be found to be occupied chiefly with the assertion and illustration of 
the unity of God's moral law, in analogy with that of the physical, aa 
alike universal, eternal and all suflScient, in contrast with the views of 
a late eminent but eccentric metaphysician, which amount, it cannot be 
denied, to hypothetical polytheism. Here and there, and among the 
interspaces between star and star, where almost nothing more is brought 
forward scenically than what the simple ideas of duration, extension, 
distance and magnitude abstractedly imply ; and not all inaptly therefore 
perhaps dedicated to legendary narrative, with divers moral and meta- 
physical speculations will be found, such as those connected with spiritual 
pre-existence, soul discipline throughout all spheres, the eflScacy of prayer, 
and the everlasting validity of the prophet-preached principle of peni- 
tence ; topics in themselves neither uninteresting nor unimportant, nor 
in their high and comprehensive scope, inai^propriate to those rare and 
rarely reachable regions in which they are represented to occur. 

Further, in relation with matters such as those pertaining to that 
mysterious spiritual future, which, dependent as it is upon action, 
may be said to be in a certain sense, always with us, the enlai'ge- 
ment, will possibly be noted, since its first appearance, of The Star- 
flight of Festus and the angel Luniel, which traversing the astral signs 
of the sun's annual course, present a fair field for the indulgence of 
conjecture upon those theories of preparatory ghostly purification proper 
to brighter spheres, with which such bards and seers as have elected or 
aspired to present in their works any passable rationale of the moral 
universe, have from time to time familiarized the world, before the 
divinely conceded entrance of human spirits even those of the great and 
good, patriots and sages of old, as recorded for us by some of their " least 
earthly minds," upon the full fruition of their predestined heritage. These 
may be taken, though in ever so inadequate a degree, not only to typify to 
the ardent aspirant after eternal perfections the many glorious species of 
possible felicity in a future state so, figuratively, conveyed ; but also, a 
novelty in serious verse, to indicate a boundless variety of directions 
In which, besides the soul-exalting worship of Deity, the highest hopes, 

B 2 



4 pRiaFAc:^ 

the largct^t life, the broadest extension of faculties, and the noblest 
exercise of human duties, not less than spiritual prerogatives, may be 
looked forward to, and enjoyed. 

Turning, in the meantime, in order to complete and conclude OCT brief 
inspection of this class of scenes, the supernatural, which forms an essential 
clement of the fiction, to the instance, exceptional in its nature, of the 
sphere of the Infernals, or Hell Purgatorial, answering morally to that 
jintichthonal and hypothetical sphere, though invisible in the physical 
order of things, which early Greek phHosophy found herself at the^ very 
outset of her career constrained to demand as a necessary counterpoise to 
the insoluble diflBculties and rampant anomalies sensible throughout the 
actual system of things, and in default of which exemplification of God's 
severe but rational equity, the teaching as a whole embodied in the work 
were manifestly imperfect, it will be seen, nevertheless, that this judicial 
section has designedly features of a remedial and ameliorative quality, 
analogous to those shown during the current period, by civilized society, 
in the treatment of its criminal law-breakers ; which strongly and 
pointedly differentiate the story from all preceding poetical adumbrations 
of the place of so-called endless and hopeless torment. In this condition 
or position, place or state, necessarily abides the obstinate and unrepentant 
simier of all worlds ; but whence, by ministiy of the angelic and com- 
passionate sons of God, divine clemency has provided, as in more than one 
instance exampled, a means, if availed of duly, of self -deliverance ; and it 
is in the collation and adaptation of these two sections just passed under 
notice, in which soul is represented as undergoing in due order, the just 
judgment of heaven, because of offence, and the self imposed penalties of 
l)enitent conscience, prior to that loftier and happier course of self 
craendative discipline, and spiritual advancement symbolized by the varied 
experiences recounted in The Star-flight ; and which enure according to 
the poet's creation, and his conception of the moral world, untU, con- 
sistently with its plan, final felicity is universally won ; and the charactef 
of Deity vindicated, as one who having righteously made man respon- 
sible for his deeds will stni not render a creature of finite faculties, 
whether as regards active forces or powers of passion, amenable to fines, 
infinite, and out of all proportion possible to their causes. Thus Ms 
nature and essence, as a Being of unassailable sovereignty and con- 
sequently imi)ei-turbable equity is demonstrated ; and one of the implicit 
but cardinal purports of the poem plenarily achieved. 

Passing on therefore from these and like aboriginal rudiments of a 
fable not indebted for its peculiarities to the somewhat newly-rationalized 
divinity of the day, to the next head, that of characterization which 
appears naturally to express itself in a few primary and typical concep- 
tions, such as, first, that of Deity which has already been touched upon 
as above, reveiently; and which will be found represented, and in 
opposition to the pantheism, the nature- worship, and the man- worship, 
all equally idolatrous, of our times, as a personal Infinite ; one whose 
infinitude, if personality signifies, in any sense, those attributes or 
qualities which distinguish one individual entity from all others, con- 
stitutes his personality ; an affirmation which may doubtless sui-priso 
certain censors who ignorantly or unfairly have accused of Pantheism 
a work that from its first page to its last, abounds with witness to the 
existence of the one and sole Infinite, the eternal, almighty, and 



PREFACE. 5 

▼oluntary creator of tlie world, who containing in himself, and per- 
vading-, the universe, and existing in a manner which to us incom- 
prehensible, is still not wholly by finite intelligence inapprehensible; 
but, in a like sense to that which Pauline Pantheism, as it has been 
called, presents to us, namely that of the Great Spirit in whom we live 
and move and have our being, as an Infinite, always and everywhere 
present to us ; a universal conscience cognizant of our every act, per- 
fectly and convincingly knowable ; we, in the meantime seeing and 
knowing that all the acts of a finite being, along with tlie being itself, 
are alike commensui-ables ; but that the eternity which pertains only to 
Deity, is with aught, or with all, created, incommensurable and incomma- 
nicable ; and that whatever dogma or decree is metaphysically inconsistent 
with reason's demonstrable conclusions, can never be theologically, nor 
scientifically, tenable. 

Next, in accord with all sacred traditions, ancient and orient, that of 
angelhood in its double capacity, on the one hand of a mighty hierarchy, 
loyal naturally and by all-sufficient reason, to its bounteous Creator, a 
world of holy ministrant intelligences, guardians of orbs, of n itions, of 
souls, shown in vital and beneficent relations with various personages of 
the poem, the main events connected with which, such as the destruction 
and re-creation of the earth, the visitations extended to other spheres, the 
Initiations, the foundation of a world-wide empire, and many other in- 
stances of the marvellous, being, it is taken for granted, of sufficient 
dignity to justify, assthetically, the invoked presence or aid of superior 
powers ; — and, on the other, of that false, fallen, and as yet impenitent 
host, of whom the head, the tempter, the flatterer, the deluder of men, 
the Lucifer of the story, stands intended to represent our generalized or 
abstract idea of evil as a principle, if we may so speak, temporally imper- 
sonate ; endowed with certain almost spatial dignities tliat serve, at lease 
from a poetical point of view, to individualize a character, which in 
its prospective rehabilitation yields only in the interest it attracts to that 
inspired by the position of the protagonist. 

And lastly, of Humanity generally, imder its twofold aspect, primarily, 
spiritual, exemplified in two instances ; one recently released from bodily 
bonds, and passing through the process of probational purification ; another, 
rejoicing in assured beatitude ; secondarily, as outlined in the person and 
career of the hero and his companion characters, with such x>eculiarities 
and qualifications of gift and temperament as pertain to their chief, and 
the various members of the poetical circle alluded to, as suffice to vitalize 
the framework of the pageant, and demai-k it from the range of simple 
allegory. 

Of the general scope and nature of the story, the reader, even if it be 
his first essay, keeping in mind what he may have already gathered from 
the foregoing remarks ; from the spirit of the teachings they convey 
indirectly, or more directly illustrate, from the general reputation of the 
work, such as that expressed in the words of one of its critics intimating 
the aim of the poem to be the exhibition of " a soul gifted, tried, buffeted, 
beguiled, stricken, purified, redeemed, pardoned and triumphant : " of a 
Boul, it may be added, passing through and from knowledge, to wisdom ; 
from passion and worldly and frivolous pleasures, to heart pinity and 
spiritual happiness, a philosiophic creed and a comprehensive calm of 
mind ; from the tyranny of doubt and the benumbing influence of conti-a- 



6 PREFACE. 

dictory and incredible beliefs, to the certainty of assured faith in simplest 
and amplest truth ; from voluntary humiliation and self-denudation of all 
temporal and extrinsic gifts and privilepres, to the enjoyment of perfect 
and unlimited power, accomplished on the appointed day, when mankind, 
by enlightened self -development, and the prevenient will of God, shall 
have anived at absolute and universal sovereignty over the powers of 
nature, and have rendered subservient to common use, all the conquests and 
the treasures of science, all the best institutions and safeguards of civil 
society ; — the reader, being thus informed, it is the author's impression, 
will scarcely require any further details before commencing his perusal 
of the pages before him. 

Upon the execution of the poem, which has been called by some of its 
censors an epic drama, and wliich certainly belongs rather to the order of 
the many-stringed harp than lo the lyre, it docs not become the author to 
speak. Criticism, which has not) been lacking either in the old world or 
the new, may be sa'.d, with a few minor exceptions, to have faiily enough 
and even generously discharged its always honourable functions. And if 
not any poem, — ajifreeably with the somewhat denunciatory decree of one 
of themediasval councils, omnia poeniata Jia;retica mnt, — precisely satisfies 
a rigidly orthodox pietist, it is some consolation to a delinquent of this class 
if, in his choice of heresies, he thinks he has done his best to favour a simple 
creed which comprises in its consecrated elements a belief in the benignant 
providence of God, in the immortality of the soul, in the harmonized 
gospel of reason and faith combined, in the just, discriminative and 
equitable judgment of the spirit after death by Deity, and in the delight- 
some duty of aiding upon earth the peaceful, morally progressive and 
voluntary self -evolution of Humanity as one brotherhood — an eclectic and 
philosophic symbol anticipated towards the end of the worJc as destined 
eventually to be everywhere on earth welcomed and established, and one 
which, however much in some quarters misunderstood, yet in its original 
inception and design spaciously and presciently conceived, has since been 
not inconsistently nor immethodically carried cut, to the ultimate achieve- 
ment of all that from the first wr<* promised or predicted, 

Blackhlath. 
May, 188», 



CONTENTS. 



SCEKB 


PROEM . . . . 




PAOK 
9 


I. 


HEAVEN . . : . . 




. 20 


11. 


WOOD AND WATER— SUNSET 




. 8S 


III. 


WATER AND WOOD— MIDNIGHT 




01 


IV. 


A MOUNTAIN 




r,9 


V. 


A COUNTRY TOWN . , . 




. CD 


VI. 


LAWN AND PARTERRE . 




96 


VII. 


A MOUNTAIN PRECIPICE . 




109 


VIII. 


LAWN AND PARTERRE . . . . 




114 


IX. 


HEATH AND SANDS BY THE SEA 




125 


X. 


EARTH'S SURFACE 




128 


XI. 


A VILLAGE FEAST .... 




lo3 


XII. 


EARTH— THE CENTRE . . . . 




175 


XIII. 


A CHURCHYARD 




179 


XIV. 


A METROPOLIS; PUBLIC PLACE . 




183 


XV. 


THE INTERSTELLAR SPACE 




195 


XVI. 


THE HESPERIAN SPHERE 




206 


XVII. 


THE MOON ... . . 




221 


XVIII. 


CLOUDLAND ...... 




281 


XIX. 


PARTY AND ENTERTAINMENT . 




251 


XX. 


A LAKE ISLET 




277 


XXI. 


INTERSTELLAR SPACE 




322 


XXII. 


THE CENTRAL SUN . . . . 




3.37 


XXIII. 


THE WORLD'S OUTERMOST OR P. 




3r.9 


XXIV. 


HEAVEN . . . . . 




302 


XXV. 


THE MARTIAN SPHERE 




389 


XXVI. 


SI-MMER-HOUSE AND PLEASirRE r;T:cr> 


E^ . 


398 


XXVII. 


HOUSE BY A RIVER .... 




420 


XXVIII. 


HOME ; AN INTERIOR .... 




4C9 


XXIX. 


APARTMENT IN MANSION . 




478 


3LXX. 


A ROCKY PROMONTORY OVEUEANGING 


THE SEA . 


482 



CONTENTS. 



8CEKB 
XXXI, 

XXXIT. 

XXXIII. 

XXXIV. 

XXXV. 

XXXVI. 

XXXVII. 

XXXVIII. 

XXSIX. 

XL. 

XLI, 

XLII. 

XLIII. 

XLIV. 
XLV, 

XL VI. 

XLVII. 

XLVIII. 

XLIX. 

L. 

LI. 

LII. 



rAOE 

GAEDEN AND BOWEE BY THE SEA . . .506 

MANSION OVEELOOKING THE SEA . . . , 522 
EOCKS AND SANDS BY THE SEA-SHOEE . . .541 

INTEESTELLAE SPACE 545 

HELL PUEGATOIttAL 556 

THE SUN 57'J 

GAEDEN AND BOWER BY THE SEA. . . . 589 

A EUINED TEMPLE, SUEEOUNDED BY SANDS . . 596 

A LIBEAEY AND BALCONY, OVEEHANGING A EIVEE 606 

COLONNADE AND LAWN .... 618 

AN OEATOEY 637 

GAEDEN AND GEOVE BY THE SEA , . . .640 
A LONELY LODGE AMONG THE SNOWY MOUN- 
TAINS 662 

GAEDEN TEEEACE, BY THE SEA .... 672 
A LONELY LODGE AMONG THE SNOWY MOUN- 
TAINS 695 

A GATHERING OP KINGS AND PEOPLES . . .703 

THE SKIES . . 720 

EAETH MILLENNIAL . 742 

HADES 754 

PAEADISAL EAETH . . .... 765 

THE JUDGMENT OF EAETH 7(]9 

HEAVEN 773 

L'ENVOX . » . 794 



F E S T U S 



PROEM. 

Eabtu's and time's end, man's rifje progressive, add 
His happier reascent and great return 
Godwards ; and freely chosen of spirit delapsed ; 
Happier in reascent, than in his fall 
Mournful, and througfh all puiifying spheres 
Perfective, let the bard his harp restrung, 
Chaunt ; and prophetic faith in union meet 
"With philosophic reason charm the ear ; 
One law of penitent self amendment, due 
From faultful conscience, the whole moral world, 
(As Natui-e's gravitative, cohesive, force 
This sensible) binding ; evil's source and cause, 
And reason of being ; mystery none; its fine; 
Add, self discrowned its end ; good's fail/hiul war 
Fatef raught 'gainst ill ; ill how o'ercome in orbs 
Angelic, how in ours ; time's tidal hour 
Obliterative of Bjing, when most at one, 
Man's universal soul, thus ait wise typed 
In individual guise ; man, joyful man, 
In moral i3omp enthroned, shall all things king, 
All natural powers, all social states, in peace. 
Sing we then, now, of restitutive times ; 
Of confidence in God, and good ; for know, 
This time is equal to all time that's gone, 
Of like extent ; not, as in grave regard, 
Ilecognizant of the passed, ashamed to weigh 
Its wisdom with our forbears ; nor its face 
Hide 'fore the future ; each is missioned here 
To ends like worthy of its sender, God. 
Him therefore let us bless too, and take heart ; 
All ages aie his offspring, and all worlda 
Form f lom his breath like dewurops out of air ; 
He life in all infusing. Nor is earth's orb 
Outlawed or excommunicate. This our God 
Is still as kind, his gifts like wondrous fair, 
Unlimited, even as when the wind first blew. 
Still shiue^ his sun on the gvej rotting rock, 



B8 



10 FE8TUS. 

Keen, pure, as o'er the primal matter once, 

Ere floods, mannoreal now, had smoothed their couch 

Of perdurable snow, or granite wrought 

Its skyward impulse from earth's hearth of fire, 

Up to insanest heights ; or thunder oped 

His cloudy lips, and spake. Immutable he, 

All things to himwards, spiritual, natural, show 

Unvaryingly of change. God, nature, man, 

Life's universal threelihood, man perceives 

E'er to each other that they have been ; and soula, 

Like in the mass, but differenced in themselves, 

With special gifts, duties and joys, he makes, 

In such wise, blesses and inspires, that each, 

Teaching themselves and others, him may learn. 

To those come gifts to enjoy the world, to gain, 

To cultivate, amuse, adorn ; to these, 

Who live alone with God and nature ; smile 

With the sun for mirth, or sadden with the moon, 

And the elements and their spirits our kin, as men ; 

Boons too unasked, unmeasured as the light 

Which lights at countless points the formless whole. 

Such now. Heaven's seers, in things eternal taught, 
Skilled soulwise to lay bare the heart of the world, 
Know that while elemental change, locked round 
In self succedent course, may nature serve 
As God, in spirit, progress alone of soul 
Is to him dear as its existence ; know 
The moral realm in us expansible, ever 
Greatening with speed accumulative, the rays 
Of Heaven's authentic sphere pierce more and more 
The obstructive dark of ignorance ; know, in fine, 
This age, ours, happier, amiabler than all 
Passed, in that God who witness lacks not ever 
His ways to vindicate, now breathes among men 
More of his own humanity ; and earth, 
Mellowed by wer-tering suns, her t^iachers teach 
A broader, kindlier message ; show how need 
(vored in om- nature for divine commune. 
Trust in a holy future, largelier planned 
Than doubtful pride deems safe ; makes strong the strings 
Of man's heart to endure. Nay, should all schemes 
By angel, and angalic soul, here sown ' 

In love's behalf, for human fellowship. 
Of loftiest scope, fail time by time, to fruit ; 
Yet social life grown peoccful, grown sereno, 
Grown saintly sweet and pure, as th' orb, in meek 
Enthusiasts' dream conceived, by art refined 
To gas ; and seas dried up to a vaporous film, 
flight fitly seem to seek ; a future filled 
By faith ; supplanter not of reason she 
But Bupplementer ; proves, to eyes which view 
ITiins^s coming as things present, and things passed, 



FESTUS, U 



Man's powers adjustible with God's ends designed, 
And being: perfected. Souls such, content 
^\'■ith simplest fare ; (for Wisdom's board rejects 
Mere dainties ; nor to any sets she forth 
More than her homely bread, sweet olives, mead, 
Cheer hospitable, and sacred salt, a meal 
This with God's grace,) feast and felicitate each 
The other, on like aims, means ; they her thanks 
Most winning-, and her stateliest smile, who spread 
The mystic welcome of her heavenly house 
Stintless ; and standing by her gates invite 
All blameless spirits to share the feast of God. 

Each race hath had its revelation, all 
Diversely imperfect ; and though rational light 
Imparting plenteously, light yet bedimmed 
By mean less luminous passed through, prophet soul 
Bard, sovereign, saint or lawgiver, all heaven moved. 
Better is yet to come ; completive, clear, 
Eclect, refined. Man once in spirit one, 
His primal thought of worship, sacrifice 
Of guilty life or innocent, shadowy type 
Of that to be, self-saciifice, through life 
Of animal passions, lower cravings, self's 
Un worthier ends, to truth's great cause, pro^id true 
But more effectually, sincerely proved, 
Shall, in the spirit, the only true receive. 
Who now the world's wide scripture, God writ, best 
Interpret, the interlinear version use 
Of spiritual light authentic as the first 
Of reason's utterances, which to us shows 
The bearing, meaning, and intent of things, 
And God's eternal purpose perfected 
In them, and all spheres like compacted, tuned 
To heavenly lyrings foreconceived of old. 
Which tell of their great author, tell in joy. 
Tor ix)esie being a thing divine of God, 
Who made his prophets poets, and the more 
We feel of poesie we become like God, 
In love and power creative ; under-makers : 
So, song being of the supernatural thouglit 
Connatural utterance, solely can the worJd's 
Unbounded beauty speak, tixe unceasing sonl'g 
Perfective fall, terrestrial tests, re-rise ; 
And the premortal concords of pure mind, 
Made and creative, show at last resumed. 

True fiction hath a higher end, and scope 
Wider than fact ; it is nature's possible, 
Contrasted with life's actual mean ; and gives 
To the conceptive k)u1 an inner world, 
A loftier, ampler, heaven than that wherein 
The nations sun themselves. In that bri^H. sphere, 
Behold the mental creatures of the met 



IS FESTU8, 

Whose nampR are writ highest on the rounded crciyn 

Of fame's triumphal tu'ch ; the shining shapea 

AMiich star the skies of that invisible land. 

Where earthly immortality dwells, with sage 

Hero and seer, her sceptred lieges, bard, 

And all souls vowed to truth. Among such, let oum, 

Whom fabulous wars, nor wai-s too true, nor rise 

Of realms or fall, nor tjirones o'erthroAvn allure, 

Like that interior empire in our own 

One spirit ; as with the elements of mind's orb, 

Stem quatrain of the moral world, good, ill, 

Choice and necessity, struggling, sing, the field, 

(And what we are deepliest mixed v/ith, God and man 

Boots most to know ;) where God the all good ; the world's 

Evil ; and man wherein are both ; all said 

Of Deity's said in reverence and in love, 

Deploy their forces. These, thought's ultimate forma, 

In mutual bearings traced, all teach us, good 

Immortal, as of God, for God to know 

In nature ; nature know in God, unites 

Both reason and faitli ; teach evil here latent, there 

Patent, but all- where tevst of spirits ; choice, need» 

Like light's electric force twin poled in us. 

And all soul ; teach, that we our being have, 

We of this mortal mixture, in the same law, 

(God-given, to prove by arbitrary grace 

Him free of all necessity in his act) 

As heaven's intelligences of all ill pure ; 

And the dread Hadcan shades, endangering space 

Between astral worlds, and interceptive ; teach 

Virtue and reason attributes divine. 

Deathless, (not finite qualities, though to us 

Seeming by causal distance from their source. 

The absolute, dwindled,) changeless ; justest proof 

Of soul, the outbreath of Deity. But whilst 

To man for wilful wrong meet reccmpense 

Be due, the right renewal of pure will 

And self amendment his approof so wins 

As to involve houl safety to all time. 

Souls virtuous, know, the souls eclect of God; 

Albeit souls sinless not may aid his ends. 

Now that the aU-wise Infinite, when free 
He made soul finite, should soul's choice preview, 
Needs all must judge ; such forecast act nor thought 
Forced upon us implying at his hands 
Which framed and laiow our mutable life ; who viewa 
Reverently. God's nature in itself will o^vn 
He sole hath full free will whose will is fate ; 
Knows too, that in humanity Godwise weighed 
Freewill is but necessity in play, 
T)ie clattering of the golden reins which guide 
The thundcrl'ootcd coursers of the suo. 



FESTUS. 

But introspective man . while ne'er in truth 

Of more than limited freedom seized, in will. 

Word, deed, yet knows himself throug-liout his life, 

This petty coig-n and se^'ii^eiit of the etenie, 

As virtually choice-free ; nor more would ask ; 

He gladdening that God only knows all fates. 

Even, as contrariwise the ship. infonne<l 

With serviceable fire, obeying nought, 

As seems, but her own and iron-hearted force ; 

To flowing tide, tide ebbing, or adverse 

IndiflFereut ; reckless or of storm, or breeze 

Weak as ba)je's parting breath too faint to stir 

The feather held to it ; yet her secret self 

Knows liege with Nature's elements, and as much 

Thrall, thrice disfranchised of all liberties, 

As the white-boomed barque that woos tlie wind 

With welcoming arms, and to each whispering gust 

Yields, murmurously assent. For either s course 

He only answerable whose choice of times 

.Ajid freights is such as shipment shows of goods 

Xot incommerciable in that high haven 

Man's spiritual craft is bound to. But who, bccans© 

Men unf ore wistful, eye not act's last end. 

How should they till they see with God ? deems man, 

Set he his heart contrarious as he may 

'Gainst God, can nought do but work out His wiU, 

Though at an infinite angle, for life's use 

Tlierefore responsible not ; confounding laws 

Of being and of doing, deepliest errs. 

Laws there are twain man serves ; the law of law, 
Race, custom, creed, time, conscience, circumstance, 
Chance ; law superficial this ; who breathe the light 
Of spiritual virtue, know God's will towards good 
Of all He hath made, dii-ected ever ; (such 
Summed ultimately in this. Himself to know ;) 
ITie law of laws, all central, vital. These 
To imblend, by holy art, to cultured man 
All excellence and all blessing means. Who join 
With love sincere of truth, good act, good will. 
Just life, pure conscience, 'scaping so the world's 
Self -sentenced servitude to fond desires 
Inequitable, and selfish pride to outvie. 
And not by bettering serve, men, reunite 
In free perfection with Divinity, here. 
Such are heaven's secret heirs, the adopt of God, 
Pure souls of astral and asonian strain. 
Unknown, imnamed, unblazoned. These be they 
Whose souls though chastened here, yet cho5*en from first, 
Bom of the eternal seed of heavenly life. 
Light's golden genemtion into time 
Breathed Godwise, He translates to bliss divine, 
The primal final total state of Heaven, 



14 FE8TVS. 

And normal pcrfectness in Him. But whilst 

God's boundless love predestinative, and shown 

In soul from the world outchosen, his power displa7» 

Preroxative and freedom, His great end, 

Toucliing: all moral Being, its progress just 

In virtue and judgment, by the pure plain law 

Of right and truth like needful seems, to prove 

Heaven's equity, and to difference good from ill. 

^Vhat's done, or ill or good, not earth nor heaven 

Can all undo ; but wilful ill done, soul 

Self -humbled for tlie pride which thereby God 

Challenged, such ill confessed, how grievous ! may 

Be of God absolved ; and earnest will and act 

The balance to restore, and more, of good. 

Unsettled by Sin's liand, much expiate, due 

To justice mo'?t, if mercifully construed, 

As promised by the all-faithful, a,nd man needs, 

Kvil and good are God's right hand and left. 
Iliere is but one great right and good ; ill, wron^ 
Dense, vast howbeit to finite mind, to him 
Omniscient, shadovrs show, not substances. 
Nothing can be antagonist to God ; 
(Let contest be 'twixt equals,) in pure power, 
Nor right, against the All-just One ; Him, who all 
Controlling, sanctions trial-tests, wliich minds 
Feeble and i)ifciable, temptations call. 
"While even to some of lijnited powers confessed, 
But strong in stem resolve, so, heaven sustained, 
By ministry of evil, whose reason sole 
Of being, is that it prove, conscious or not, 
Promoter of God's ends in sifting souls 
Finite, but free, for good, good stands forth clear. 
Who reads aright God's world-book thiswise learns, 
He ever makes for bliss twofold, His own. 
And theirs he hath made, all life ; (no meaner end 
Worthy of him can be, nor just toward them :) 

Who read not in the blessed belief that souls 
All may be saved, read, wretched to no end ; 
Made were we to be saved ; to live in love, 
Peace, holy joy of spirit, and in the light 
Of his pure all-presence ; we are of God. 
That godlike man, for this cause, should, like God 
Show somewhat, strikes not strangelier than that earth 
Favours her sun-sire. All her elements 
Are his ; his, more ; more perfect. This, flings off 
A planet aeriform ; by twin laws ruled ; 
Of self -impelling force within, the one ; 
And one the ambient power necessitous, 
Star crushing, limitary of act, which cui-ves 
Ambition's course ; and that, a creature, man ; 
Say, rather, a creation, God breathes forth. 
Time conquering, conquering space ; dependent ; ftco. 



FE8TUS. Ifi 

Swaj-fid by these truths, and compassed, as by stars 
Earth in her course, our story, mingling life, 
Not cursorily, with things on high, but scenes 
Showing of heaven and earth as body and soul 
In our humanity linked, we thankful, learn 
How God by e'er creating and His own 
One Being imbrea thing through the sentient whole ; 
How too by ruin of evil, and good's great field 
Uy finite force for God won ; for that cause 
Assorted, and when failing, made in the end 
Just, pure ; He doth eternize joy ; and make 
Good infinite by remaking all in Him. 
(Dur thoughts are bounded but by the infinite. 
"What comes before and after the great world, 
Beep in light's secretest abyss, and life's 
Immensity most reserved is ours to muse, 
Xot to declare ; where finite reason ends, 
Faith leaps ; and finds firm ground in the divine. 
God, thus, our Savioiu*, still with spirit humane, 
Communes ; with some in lifelong sacrament, 
Faithwise ; which, rounding all activities 
Of Boul, a higher faculty than reason 
Shows, though of brightest revelative power, 
As the snowheaded mountain riseth o'er 
The lightning, and applies itself to heaven ; 
A faculty which meaning gives to time ; 
Sanctity to man's kingly blood ; and like, 
And equal interest in God's bounteous ends. 

AVherefore the world, of mean believings sick, 
Of partial creedlets, most in mysteries rich, 
And sophistries, waits wearying for the trutli, 
Now, like an angel on the wing from Heaven. 
For, as when, stonns gone, each cloud-ghost, vapoury, yasfc, 
Each shape, sky-menacing, the unetemal brood 
Of misconceptions fear, by ministering wind 
Routed, and hurled to absolute void ; we, strewn 
Luxurious, on the crag's crown, nought thence seen 
Save ocean's quivering outline, sharp as death, 
Cutting the horizon of the after world ; 
'ITie welkin's luminous and exhilarant blue, 
Eternity made visible, which o'erhangs 
Changeless, this changeful sphere ; complacent, eye 
Tliose unimagined heights, aerial, calm. 
Of tempests hidden, not touched ; so earth's mis-faitha, 
Seedlings of death and superstition, foul, 
Or foolish, or of mountiainous falsehood, fled 
From off the face of never mutable truth, 
One, indivisible, sole, we feel in this 
Like verity, God's infinite fatherhoo<l ; 
A faith if formless, boimdless ; man's broad soul 
All satisfying with permanent peace. The world 
Ib God's great will in act, heaven in repose ; 



l« PESTU8. 

Earth is Ileaven's floor ; and as of time's vast showi 

Or email, our God, the omnipotent operative, 

"World-sire, the all-parent, first and last of Being ; 

Whose eye-blink kindles suns, whose glacial breatli 

In sad reproof congeals ; imbreasts, doubt not, of all 

The eternal image ; and, as in temporal wise, 

The sun, sole habitant of the tsnted sky, 

The enlightener of all jDlanets, weld adored ; 

Who yet with minute beauty all life's fields 

Impearls, and things most momentary sublimes ; 

►Still in each fairy orblet of the dew 

Housed, ere to his breast assumed ; so, too, the bard, 

"Who heavenly objects owns with earth's, while light 

And beauty scattering over all he loves. 

And feels with, tmsts but to himself all hopes 

Artwise of lasting record in man's mind ; 

He from all else thus varying, that alone 

"While lightening all soul with the inner light 

Conscious in him, in others he calls forth 

Like powers by them undreamed of ; and all life 

Sentient, (where ends, begins it ?) with bright touch 

Illuminant, handling, shows how art confirms 

Nature in him, whot-e wont it is to achieve 

The impossible ; as, while all common fowl 

Once launched, must on, or drop, one is, who heir 

To powers incommunable, his wheeling flight 

At will halts ; eyes o'erhead the storm-thinned rack ; 

Beneath, the streamlet gliding ; round his feet, 

Moveless, as clamped to some invisible rock, 

Shadowy, aerial, the impertinent rout 

Of birdlings flout ; he, poised on equal wing, 

Through every plume, breath delicate and intense 

PtCfcpiring free, his place in spatial air 

Ponders at ease ; nor acts, till, self -inclined, 

He circumscribes the sphere, and coasts the skies. 

Art is man's nature ; nature is God's art. 
All nature in the poet's heart is limned 
In little ; as now in landscape stones, we see 
The swell of ground, green groves, and running streami 
Fresh from the wolds of Chaos ; hints of life 
Foreworldly, pencilled by pre-solar light. 
Or paradisal sun ; so in his mind 
Ingrained in primal purity, know, life's main 
And simple elements marshalled 'neath one law. 
Harmonic and continuous ; God to know 
The heavenly glory of ; and of doing good, 
And being man ; the pride of serving truth ; 
The joy of furthering reason's Cause, and right's, 
The cause of freedom, virtue, peace ; nor these 
For mean or easeful ends alone ; but brave 
To bear, as blessed to be, he wisdom seeks, 
Aiid eacred rites participates in, which give 



FESTUS. 17 



To souls like-willed, the privilege he hath e<amed, 
And all prepared makes partners of his light. 
'Twixt priestly powers and laic stands the bard, 
A living- link ; now chanting odea divine ; 
Now holy, and austere, with sacred spell 
Inviting angels ; with fine magic, fiends 
Evoking, whiles in festive guise, his brow 
With golden fillet bounden, earnest alone 
The throng to charm, that f^eeks, or celebrates, 
The games here, there, the mysteries of life, 
"With truths ornate, and pleasure's choicest plea, 

Man's minion tlius and monitor, though all else 
Be mute, he, armed with the instinct both of rule 
And right, in privilege only ix)tent, speaks 
His spirit in self -rewarding song, nor asks 
For the world's luxuries, nor gifts. So, ours 
Who, his first feat conceived in flowering youth, 
And after through all ripening lustres made. 
His life's chief business, mission, end ; with all 
Fair addings, summed ; and save with these, and just 
Rc-orderings, and adomings, all time brought. 
Brooked as but aidant to his soul's intent, 
Knew, else, scant jo^'- ; but this achieved, enough ; 
Even as the ormer, pearly ear o' the sea, 
AMiose aim nor tide nor tempest shakes, but ehapes | 
Who, taught by orient suns and vesper skies, 
ASTiere steers the crescent star her silvery ark 
O'er azure deeps, gold rippled, many a year 
Splendidly toiling, his mysterious shell. 
Bom of himself, a life-long miracle, gifts 
Daily, with goodlier dyes and tenderer hues ; 
In bulk, in beauty vastening e'er ; he now 
The quivering rose-blush kindles, now the blue 
Haunts as with memory of some flame-plumed wave 
Horsing adventurously the seas by night, 
Lone, errant : or of ruddiest lightning snatched 
While diving ; now with prismy pencil fires 
Finelier the gieen of travelled seas surcharged 
With tropic sunsets ; now the Iceberg's spell. 
Which binds the enchanted rainbow in its breast, 
Steals holily ; but chastened every gleam, 
Each soft ubiquitous flash fused flickering ; whilst 
Vanishing fixed ; till at last one master tint. 
Thinned to a thought, all hues commuting, shot 
Quick through the whole, his lonely life-work h« 
Indifferently perfects ; and moon by moon. 
Known but to silence and the all-aidant God, 
Lives self-imparadised. So tasked, his time 
Our bard, like minded nature's ends, and hearven's, 
To accomplish, passed ; for man and nature e.^ich 
Give signals of perfections, not this hour 
In them inherent : part passed, part to come ; 



M FE8TU8. 

Bliud nidimeuts, hap of qualities divine, 

Gone, or to be ; our poor mean force, of power 

Boundless ; our cunning- and coarse art, of skill 

Heaven's plenary iubreatli fills and fines ; our ends 

Finite, of his, the gieat first Cause, in whom 

We, as like lustred with the elements 

Fixed, and in nature bom of sun and sea, 

Light's golden generation, not alone 

Patterned according to his Being show, 

But emulous of his operations, act 

To life enlightening ends, like-motived. Think I 

God worketh slowly, yea, a thousand years 

He takes to lift his hand off that he hath made, 

When seemingly most finished. Layer on layer, 

liaid as by fingers skilled in length's extremes, 

And thrilled progressive through all elements, 

He framed earth ; fashioned, balled and hardened it 

Into the great, bright, useful thing it is ; 

Water he heired with marl ; flame stilled by stone ; 

Its seas life crowded, and soul hallowed lands 

He with the sun's broad girdle that sets ag-Iow, 

Tiike love's embrace, close clinging as for life, 

]]arth's orbed breast, girt ; fanned with tempests ; veiled 

With nebulous ocean clouds, now bright, now dark ; 

With virgin gold veined ; dusted thick with gems ; 

Lined it with fire ; and round its heart-fire bowed 

Hock-ribs unbreakable ; until, whole at last, 

ICarth took her shining station as a star. 

In heaven's dark hall, high up the throng of worlds. 

All this and thus did God. Nor meanly blame 
Man, mediator betwixt the whole and Crod, 
"\Vho causes like in essence, if diverse 
In value, would collate ; nor this conceive 
l^xtem to that most in us, the divine 
.\nd universal reason of things ; but own 
'J'hat even as when in summer's sultriest heats, 
At night, o'er heaven the hannless flash looms wide, 
With faint far fulminings, and we learn, all day 
We have breathed invisible lightnings, and our breast* 
Arched on unvolumed thunder ; so, once taught 
(Jlearly in spirit to realize our own 
TJncredited divinity, we first feel 
True consciousness of life, as iill«d, sphered, skied 
With Deity. Be it aye so. For aught else, 
Most rests with those who read. A work, a thought, 
Is that each makes it to himself, of great 
Dark meanings capable, rushing like the sea, 
In life-shoals measurelessly ; may be, as air 
By the wild doves' wing beclouded, while they sweep, 
Miles broad, o'er western woods, with glimpses vast 
Here, there, of firmamental light ; or, nothing ; 
Bodiless, spiritless. Be but ours conceived 



FESTU8. 19 

With adequate force, and lo ! we add a star 

To thought's bright hemisphere. And for man's soul, 

As shown in actual, and in ultimate times 

Foreshadowable, the test of virtue tried, 

Temptation, and its workings in the heart ; 

Ambition, thirst of secret lore, 307, love ; 

Riverlike, sometimes doubling on itself ; 

Adventure ; travel heavenly, and of earth ; 

Friendship and pleasure, passion, poesie, 

Viewed ever in their spiritual end and power : 

Bliss heavenly ; evil, of God annihilate ; 

The angels lost, restored, by him all mace ; 

Life pre-existent ; and like marvels, much 

Unnamed ; one visible remnant of pure faith 

The soul-incoronating, when most eclipse d ; 

Most nigh gone ; these the mainland of our orb 

Might form ; its isles, its seas. But if less vast 

Our soul-grasp, be content : the whole a fane 

Intelligible conceive spire, tower and crypt ; 

Dome, sanctuary, and shrine, the spirit which holds, 

To whom, and his by whom, it is consecrate; 

From whose porch, now passed through, is something soow, 

As in saintly shrine by Seine's blue wave, the shell 

Colossal, from seas southern shipped, since filled 

With waters purificative, immirroring, shows, 

The main pile's pillared vast beyond of what 

At large succeeds ; the all-intempling law 

Of moral being answerable for act, 

Self -testing choice of good or ill ; faith's course, 

And scope, in chosen, and world-ensampling soul ; 

With time's distractions, with the world's deceits 

Contestant, ere yet gained celestial life. 



20 FE8TVS, 



I. 



Behold us spHt^so in IleaTSTi , units 
In jingel worship of the infinite God, 
AVorld dpstinative. Evil all tempting, maTi 
]\ra]igncd, God vindicates Himseu, and proves 
Earth bettering through all ages ; best tne last , 
Ill's double attack permits, and names the strif* 
Testful of evil and good that all shall close. 
The kind sv/'eet oflSces hear of angel guard ; 
The privileged joys of chosen souls which choose 
Themselves in God, all goodness; how perdures 
The s|iirit premortal, and perfectible ; awed, 
The tinal doom of things terrestrial learn. 
Yet while from time's broad chart the accumulate du«t 
Sweeping of years unnumbered, and to heaven 
Opening His boon design, God all foreshows 
Accomplished, grieves one angel still ; 'tis Earth's. 
An outline this of world-life, which, begun. 
Will end, and rightly, in Heaven, and witli God ; 
God, too i' the midst, substantive of the whole. 

Heaven, Deity, The Angelic Hierarchy, Beniel, Guaedxam 
Angel, Angel of Earth, Lucifer. 

God. Eternity hatli snowed its years upon tliem ; 
And the white winter of their age is come, 
The world, and all its worlds ; and all shall end. 
Seraphim (jn'orshij)pi7ir/). God 1 God 1 God 1 
As flames in skies we bum and rise 

And lose ourselves in Thee. 
Years on years. And nought appears 

Save God to be. 
To us no thought Hath Being brought 

Toward thee that doth not move ; 
Years on years, And nought appears 

Save God to love. 
All thou dost make, Lies like a lake 

Below thine infinite eye j 
Years on years. And all appears 
Save God to die. 
Cherubim. As sun and star, how high or far, 
Shew but a boundless sky ; 
So creature mind Is all confined 

To shew Thee God Most High. 
The sun still turns, the sun still bums 

Round, round himself and round ; 
So creature mind To self's confined ; 
But thou, God ! hast no bound. 
Systems arise, or a world dies, 

Each constant hour in air ; 
But creature mind, with Heaven afiined| 
Lives in thy love, God, there. 



FESTU8. 21 

See. AKD Cue. (tofjcther). Thou fill'st our eyes, as were the skies, 
One buminji: boundless sun ; 
"Wliile creature mind in path confined, 
Passetli, a six>t thereon. 

The Elect Spiuit?^. The voices of our brethren, cry, Lord ! 
Still 'gainst the ills, the wrong-s, the cruelties, 
Peoples and kings of earth, tyrants alike 
O'er othera, slaves of self, each heap on them, 
Imiwii-tial in injustice, war or peace. 
Say, rather, war exhausted, equal grief 
Bring-s to thy friends, thy chosen ; for whose just sake 
I'larth, thou hast said, not less, alone survives. 
It may be these, full soon, shall have borne enough. 

UoD. Know, all ye angels, who these heavens make glad 
In the utterance of e'erduring truth, with bliss 
Divine preharmonizod ; nor yet the less 
AVith total Being's joys and woes ; commoved ; 
You. too, blessed spirits, on earth regenerate, here 
Before the sun, conceived, souls highest bom. 
But humble each as high ; sage, simple, pure ; 
(iod loving, and all good ; with mine own will 
Eternal, your immortal aspirance, oned. 
Angels and saints, hear ; from the depths of space 
And out of earth's broad heart, as from all spheres, 
Now and again, the patient cry I hear 
Of mine elect beloved ; hopeful soon 
To know earth's hot probation passed ; to seek 
The great reality they so long have longed 
To embrace, of Deity ; you and tliem, and all 
Of every age, clime, race, faith chosen, it now 
Behoves to learn your wish, ^\ith my will summed. 
All truths your sacredest traditions teach 
On the end of worlds, are trembling to be bom. 
Conceived, once dubious ; now in perfect stage 
For ever crystalled ; not as natural things, 
Which, consummate, decline to their last pitch ; 
But once evolved for ever perfected. 
What prophecy inspired and science sage. 
Predictive from jjassed record of lost lights 
Ethereal, hath, oracular, tougued, henceforth, 
On earth, hastes to fulfilment. Faith's long roll 
Of numbered spirits, but one of perfect lacks ; 
Lacks but the seal now fixed of breathful life ; 
Life natural ; end and ebb of Being's tide ; 
Foremost of all, earth's end, 
Akgels. Earth's end is sealed. 

Anqel op Eahth. I, Lord, who with the luminous seven wUich 
lamp 
Thy sun-throne, and with light thence filled, had he&nl 
Some flying fame of swiftly destined close 
Common to every orb ; and seeing that mine 
Had barely touched tne verge of betteraess, 



23 FESTU8. 

Though ready, ripe in sooth, for happier things, 
Long hoped for by its best and worthiest ; both 
That threatened doom, bnt dubiously, mcseemed, 
Preached, to believe ; and which if true or else, 
To learn, me hither brings, learn now, alas ! 
Too true, the fateful fact. 

God. Perfection reached. 

In spiritual things, lives self -perpetuate, aye ; 
In mortal or dissoluble things, in states 
Of social growth, or race-wise, rests not long ; 
But fleetly runs, or suddenly, to fall, 
Even as yon great galactic ring mid space, 
Turns and returns, succedent to itself, 
Till all succumb, world after world, to fate. 

Angel of Earth. To hear this and to bear, yet know all doom 
Proves just, is mine ordeal. But v/hat is this ? 
I hear the beat of a strange, strong wing in heaven ; 
Irregulate, wild. It makes towards the throne. 
It is the Spirit of Evil. Woe is me I 
Woe to the earth ; to man. What seeks he here ? 

LuciFEE. Ye thrones of Heaven, how bright ye are, how piire t 
How have ye brightened since I saw ye first ! 
How have I darkened since ye saw me last ! 
WTiat 'vails Hell's murk abyss of fire, that cave 
Loathsome of falsest oracles, M-here Ill's host 
Endure, inflict, or plot perdition ; what 
Air's ravenous helglits I reign over and roam 
Wreckful, tempestuous, with all lackeying plagues 
Vaporously impomped ; on self -wrought rack the while, 
Maddening me, 'gainst these seats serene, on good 
I:!ternal based ; with the incense canopied o'er 
Of universal worship, echoing, round 
Heaven's templed dome, God's sun-woi-ds, great with life ? 
Yet must I v/ork through ^vorld and life my fate ; 
And winding through the wards of human hearts. 
Steal their incarnate strength. Death doth his work 
In secret and in joy intense, untold : 
As though an ecrtli-quake smacked its mumbling \i\y» 
O'er some thick-peopled city. But for me, 
Exists nor peace nor pleasure, even here, 
MTiere all beside, the very faintest thought. 
Is rapture. I will speak to God, as erst ; 
If wrong, no matter ; wrong's mine instinct now. 
But so for ever ? Shall all 111 and I 
Stand, like eternal with Him, in God's face ? 
It means not. Let my pre:sent plot proceed. 
Father of Spirits as is the sun of air. 
Who, self-sufficing, willing things to be. 
All hallowedst by thy world-effecting word ; 
Afl in him seen, the vast world creature, man, 
Primal humanity of the Deity self 
Jmiolding, emanant first of natures pure, 



FUSTUS. 

As man hnmortal, angel spread through space ; 
As mortal, sensuous, earthy, through all sphereo ; 
With \\'hom, participant of thy spirit, the soul 
U!ifall<;:i, or soul restorable, in commune 
Joys fii-stly, lastly and for ever ; hear, 
God one and sole ; who, all where in thy law8, 
Almighty art in their effects ; all good 
In thy designs ; and in thyself, all wise ; 
Whoroe word onmific forms the way the world 
Proceeds on temporally ; and whence to thee, 
Etonial, in theo reborn, it returns ; 
Before all light's material ray ; all ray 
Extcmt, intelligible ; all time, change, law ; 
Thou, sole unchangeable, seest me once again ; 
Still sunlike, though eclipsed, of blinding power j 
And fiery cause, and evemess of ill ; 
l^eliold I bow before thee. Hear thou me. 

(tOD. "What would'st thou Lucifer ? 

Lucifer. The world-apple 

Shows dead ripe. It wants plucking. Touch it thou, 
Or I, and lo 1 the poor perfection falls. 

God. "\Miat may to thee seem perfect, oft in heaven 
Far other sheweth. 

LuciFKR. Man, through ignorance first 

And need of knowing, fell : now, grown so wise, 
He thinks he lacketh nothing ; not even God. 
Science so self-sufficient shews ; she makes 
Each day such vast advances through the world, 
Inly and outwardly, that even now she aims 
Tliee to dethrone ; and, miracles aU disproved, 
As fabulous ])rcaches of eternal law, 
Not now, nor ever possible, men to teach 
Her own more marv'ellous mysteries, and thenceforth 
Herself e'er deify. 

Goj), All tilings to know 

Subordinate even to law, precludes not faith 
Towards one who every law first made, first willed. 

liUCiFEU. Faith I have missed from earth this many an agpe ; 
Faith, is she here .' 

God. Faith is both there and here ; 

Particij)ant of divine ubiquity. 
Thy knowledge is defective. Still on earth 
Ai-e those who knowing mo>-t, tlie most believe, 

Lucifer, More like myself, who knowing much, most doubt 
Lives not the soul on earth who seeks not self 
lu love ; in knowledge ; most of all in power ; 
Xor would not sacrifice to self the world. 
Self is the god men worship, more than thee. 

God. Perfected from the first by grace divin?, 
Tlie heavenborn spirit and pre-immortal, fraught 
V/ith luminous fulness, tliough a moment dimmed 
Dy r*iu, not perished. knowle<lge conciliates 



H FESTU8. 

With wisdom, both with faith ; and faith is wis© ; 
Or ignorant ; as may be. Were I, once more 
Future to test, as in the passed, by proof 
Of many, or one, as erst, thou would'st fail. 

Lucifer. How, fail? 

I deemed me passably successful there, 
In Eden once ; and everywhere, since then. 
^Vhere'er man's heart hath planned its Paradise. 

God. To finite mind divergent from the light 
Etenae, it doubtless seems so ; but in view 
Of spirits who stand concentric with all truth, 
Howbeit of bounded gaze, liko these thy peers. 
Who loved thee once, loved, monished, mourned in vaiilf 
Thy failure shows fore-ordered and complete. 
The imperfect needs nmbt err, meted by scale 
Of the ungraded absolute ; but return, 
According to conviction of what's good, 
Goodwards, is alway possible, and to all. 

LuciFEH. God I oppose ; must. Can opposal fail, 
If foreordained ? Then he in mine his own 
Failure appoints. Such failure seems success. 
Nought see I more. Can any further see ? 
Let me accept the test. Or blessed, or cursed, 
All seems indiflerent now, with thirst of powei", 
Love, lore divine and human of all time. 
Been, being or to be, nought made can quench, 
8ave waters of celestial life which flow 
■y^ence, sunwards ever, among the sons of men 
A youth Ihere is, I fain would have, given up 
Wholly to me. 

God, I know hira. He is thine 

To tempt. Him richen with what gifts thou wilt, 
What might, what faculty. He'll still own grace 
Not thine. Ujwu his soul no absolute power 
Hast thou. All souls be mine ; and mine for aye. 

Lucifer. Thanks, God I This means still, I may so torment 
With dubiety his conscience, ruining all 
Assurance God wards ; t;o with pleasures ply, 
Passions and creatural vanities, his heart 
Trained downv/ards, with world wisdom, and profound 
Knowledge of surfaces, so his spirit, corrupt ; 
Make proud with gifts stupendous ; with all use 
Of mundane power inordinate, and forepledge 
Of superhuman privilege taint his soul, 
Tliat ; — be it ! I leave to thee ths absolute. 

God. And I give thee leave to this, that man may know 
My love than all his sin more ; and to himself 
While proving nought save God can satisfy 
The soul he maketh great, prove both to thee 
And to the v/orld, faith peer of knowledge. 

GuAiM)iAN Angel. Thanks, 

Vut Uii*. Loril, endless thanks and ceaseless praise, 



FESTUS. iB 

Both from the world, and me, and Angels all. 
To know at hand truth's trial, trust in thee 
Strengtheneth ; and proof of principle perfects 
Man's noblest resolutions for liis own. 
Or the world's weal, here blessedly at one. 

Lucifer. Thou God art all in one. Thine infinite 
Bounds being. Thou hast said the world shall end. 
"Wandering through space and yond purlieus of heaven, 
Such words mothinks, chanced I, but now, to o'erhear ; 
And earth, I take it, man's peculiar plot, 
'Voids not the general doom. 

God. The earth whereon 

lilan lives, dies with him : Lo 1 its hastening end 
Hangs imminent o'er it. 

LuciFEB. Due, I not deny. 

The world is perfect as concerns itself, 
And all its parts and ends ; not as towards tliee. 
So man, imlikest, likest God of all 
F.xi.-<tence, thee resembleth as act, mind. 
In him of whom I ask, I seek once more 
To tempt the living world ; and then depart. 

God. Time ceaseth. All ye thousands of the chosen. 
Thousands of God, the innumerous hosts of souls 
Forecalled, forecounted, since the world began, 
All ages passed, your self -conditioned doom 
Fulfilling, hear ye heavenly, on earth's end 
And man's, ray judgment. Mark this mortal soul, 
Many a long lustre working out his own 
Elcxition, with tuccess right variable 
As seems ; all souls else struggling in the flesh 
Alike with him, shall, by one choiceful act, 
Contemporary with Nature's end, their fate 
Freely decide ; and in faith's final fight. 
Spiritual, sole blessed, their meet reward attain ; 
Who fail, fail not to expiate pains most just. 
Be sure, ere I, long suffering too, forgive. 
■\VTio rightly choose, and bravely war, make lioaven ; 
Bliss instant theirs, bliss ever. So shall not 
Mercy tax justice witli o'erjust extremes : 
Nor justice mercy lawless call, e'ermore. 

Guardian Angel. Oh who hath joy like mine ? joy first by me 
Felt, when in dim eternity, far back. 
From out thy boundless bosom, as a star 
In the air, that soul was kindled, Lord ! and given 
To me, througli every age of world-life gone. 
To guard and guide ; the wliile by spheral strains 
Hailed, from Heaven's depths, we botli at thy feet fell 
In worship ; joy of joys, now, e'er assured. 

LuciFEE. Vaunt not thyself, nor aught too hastily. 

Guardian Anoel. Peace I 

To you, ye Saints and Angels, let me speak ; 
For you I see rejoice with me, ve know 



26 FE8TU8. 

What 'tis to triumph o'er temptation ; what 

To fall before it ; how the young spirit fainta ; 

The virgin tremor ; the blood's ehh and flow, 

Exagitated by hearfc-quakes, out of wont ; 

When first some vast temptation calmly comes, 

And states itself before the imequal soul, 

For conflict unprepared ; prepared not even 

Semblance to own of conflict ; as the sun 

Low looming in the west startles the wave 

Of whimpling brook, which yet, its waters grown 

Aortal 'mongst earth's veins, shall mainward pour 

The riverine flood ; full many a broadening league 

Of land o'ermantling. Than the Tempter's self 

Can be no greater peril. Less the shame 

Of yielding ; more the glory of conquering, 

In him this soul elect, of ill so sought, 

Expert of time's accumulated tests, 

Till now, earth given, his crowning trial comes ; 

With mine, I trust, his triumph. Know, ye Saints, 

From infancy through childhood, up to youth 

Have I this soul attended ; marked him blessed 

With all life's sweet and sacred ties ; the love 

Prayerful of jiarents ; pride of friends ; health, eava. 

Prosperity ; social converse with the good, 

The gifted ; and a heart all lit with love. 

Like a summer sea aflow with living light. 

Hopeful and generous and earnest ; rich 

In commerce with high spirits of all time ; 

Knowledge and truth for their own divinest selve» 

Loving ; earth's deeds of glory tracking now ; 

Now conning wisdom's words, as, heaven inspired 

In bright effectual ray the mind they tinge 

Of sage, or bard ; nor he himself to strain 

Creative, serious, all inapt, nor all 

Unpredisposed ; but as some Hermit rock 

All earth's lone outguard, daily of the sea 

Takes baptism, and, in the elemental rite, 

WTiile o'er its head the tidal function pours, 

Full-handed, gladdens ; so he in prayer and praise, 

Morning and evening constant, for good asked, 

Or blessing granted ; affluences of thought, 

Such as might string his own to noblest aims 

Of bettering man ; or kindred soul arouse 

To meet conception of sumatural things ; 

Or fancy's feats, wrought deftest ; he with Heaven 

Joyed in commune. Fraught thus with peace his Caya 

And studious nights star-armied, or moon crowned. 

In good, in joy, all radiantly elapsed ; 

His grateful heart opening to the Lord of Life, 

Our spiritual sun, flower-wise. All this, while long 

I marked, a slow but at length a palpable change 

Hid spirit eclipsed ; from what o'ershadowing sphere 



FE8TUS. 27 

Showed not to me ; and I a full from good 
Fatal and final feared. 

Lucifer. Regard me, friend ; 

Deerast thou I roam the earth for nothing now f 
Tliou art scarce a competent soul-guard. Pleased to see 
Doubtless such rare simplicity, know thou well 
It is this same candour lures us ; habits these 
Which tempt the very Tempter ; tempt even me. 
The expansive spirit which feels all bounds a bond, 
Though of remotest space, attracts ; aught free 
A natural foe that must be mediatized. 

God. Too well divinest thou the soul's weakness. Oft 
The o'er dominating spirit less jirompt to learn 
Self-rule, than to command another, falls 
Off guard, into undreamed of pains and fines. 

Guardian Angel. An aching wish to know the world, I knew 
Lorded late while his spirit. Ambition, love 
Eldest of things, that dawn-life of the soul ; 
Youth's passionate pleasures and frivolities, all 
Had thrown cross-lights, and dazed his once so clear 
Purview of life. Life's^simpler aims lacked zest. 
God's love seemed lost upon him. Oh ! he grew 
Heart-deadened ; watching, warning vain, I fled 
Hither, to intercede with God our Lord, 
To bless him with salvation, suddenly. 
Such things have been. 

Lucifer. And are not. 

Guardian Angel. Plead we may 

Always for those we love, by leave divine. 
And now thou summ'st all iDounties, Lord ! in him 
Choosing as t«st of human faithfulness, 
]My ward, my charge. But thou God knowest the mould 
Of mortals, and the infinite end the souls 
Thou savest are all predestined to in heaven. 
So be thy mercy mighty to this spirit 
Fiend-threatened, nor permit him who presides 
O'er hell's eternal holocaust, too far 
To tempt or tamper with man's mutable heart. 

God. ^ly mercy doth all outstretch the universe; 
Shall it suffice not for one soul ? 

Li'CiFER. God's wrath 

Am I to myself ; and for that wrath inheres 
In evil as sin, am bound to do my part. 
Angel, do thou thine. They be far enough 
Asunder. 

Guardian Angel. Are the heaven-strung chords of irnn's; 
Immortal spirit for thee to wreck at will ? 
Bear witness all ye blessed to the word ! 
Angels, intelligences, the sons of God ; 
Ye who know nought but truth, nought feel but love ; 
Will nought but bliss, nought do save righteousness : 
Whose life was ere the heavens were yet conceived. 



U FESTUS. 

The stars begotten, or eldest ages bom ; 

Ye first who crown all heavens ; in whose great namoi 

God's name is deepliest rooted, though it live 

Germwise in all these hierarchies of light, 

Or spiritual or spheral ; ye who move 

Restless amidst the peace profound of heaven, 

And watchful round the throne ; ye all who rule 

Regions, states, kingdoms, races, families, tribes, 

Times, ages, epochs, cycles ; ye who souls 

From heaven bear earthwra'ds, and from earth, enriched 

With aspiration and good deeds, towards Heaven, 

Traverse the starry circlets of all skies ; 

Or ye whose life it is to present all souls 

Reborn to their Creator ; or through space 

Golden globed, search for junctures grace may bless ; 

Ye through whose ministry of mercy all 

His delegate spirits, now strengthening prophets, now 

The patriot 'gainst vindictive power ; the snge 

Toiling for crowds his toils who scorn which yet 

May gladden a hemisphere : ye, who, the throne 

Sought, stirless stand round, tranced ; and on your Lord 

Gaze, and in gazing, gain divinity ; high 

Tenants, all ye, of the archetypal worlds 

From whose celestial patterns all things be, 

Become, or are created ; and you ye spirits 

Fr.ed once on earth into Heaven's privilege^!, 

Yours are the multitudes of testf ul stars ; 

Yours, power for ever, all instructive peace, 

Yours, pei-manent and progressive joy, who work 

And live with God ; bear witness all, that not 

More surely bliss with godliness dwells, and one.s, 

Than that, even spite of sin, man's purblind race 

Might, and they would, with you, Heaven's denizens. 

Recognize in time's scenes, though cloud-belts bar, 

In provident mystery, half its burning disk, 

The o'emiling power thiough miracle tempering law, 

Which by our creature purposes worketh out 

Its deeds ; and by our own deeds its purposes. 

Angels. Devoted spirit, proceed ; bloom forth in act. 
Heaven's help, time's ripening forces are thine own ; 
Nature's best, holiest influences ; and all, 
AVith vast assent, confirm thy just appeal. 

LuciFEE. Still, Lord, this tyrant patron. Soul to soul 
I with this mortal battle. 

GuABDiAN Angel. Be the end, 

God ! for thy gloiy only ; and evil's act 
Make for thy creature's good. 

Lucifer. if lightnings smite not 

Straight to its end this goodly world-frame, 'lilre 
in all the stars ; nor writhing nature yield, 
All severally, her elemental limbs 
To common death ; nor serpent armies, winged 



PE8TU8. m 

To fang man's race, outnumbered, and bo wreak 
Heaven's doubtless bounteous dooms, to myself I eeem 
To have lost, since here, the clue of things. Meanwhile, 
ITic more of death-chilled venom one can pom-, 
Since all tilings, 'tis adjudged, right soon shall cease, 
Transfusive, Lord, into blind Nature's veins 
The more mayhap, God would ; the more at least 
Seem I to anear success. When creatures stray 
I'arthest from thee, then warmest towards them bums 
Thy love, even as yon sun- star hotlicst beams 
On earth, when distant most ; or seems. 

Guardian Angel. The earth, 

Tliis soul indwells, thia gmin chose from life's sanda, 
Die^ with him ; fine and sum of miracles, 
That spiiit the most incredulous, demon, man, 
May know, who all doth, all sustains, can all 
Unmake ; and every law, sphere-based, withdra'wn. 
The whole may wholly cease. 

Lucifer. Lord, now go I 

Thy will to do, for once, which being herein 
Desirably destructive, I to aid 
Will, too. So, he I have lighted on would seem 
Of the forechosen. But will their happy fate 
All men's involve ? And if all men's, all mind's ? 
( !an state of aught create immutable be, 
Even by sin 1 Knew I but this, not thwart 
God's purix)ses would I, nor seek to wage 
"War bootless with the eternal of the Heavens. 

Guardian Angel. Spuit depart ; the secrets of the skies. 
God's counsels, angels proximate to the throne 
Dare but enquire, 'tis meet not thou shouldst share. 

God. Hearing he undei-stands not that he hears, 
Nor seeing, sees. Nought wists he perfectly 
^Vho loves not God. 

LuciFEE. Heaven's oracles in Heaven 
Speecliless, still doubt I. 

God. "Who doubts only, exists 

Vainliest. Thou, too, who watchest o'er the world, 
Whose end I fix, prepare to have it judged. 

Angel of Earth. Lord ! let me not then have watched o'tr it in 
vain. 
From age to age I have hoped, from hour to hour 
It would better grow, grow holier ; hope so still ; 
Better it is than once ; hath knowledge more : 
More freedom, more goodwill ; man more aspires 
To attain a high humanity now, akin 
To Heaven's divine IdoaL This orblet, Lord I 
More love I now than ever, as the seat, 
With many another star, of spiritual life, 
Whereby the etemai Reason, with all made 
Commimes, as born of Deity, and all 
Makes eye this orb as altar, whence praise, prayer, 



m PESTUS. 

The soul's pure flame of sacrifice, to thee 

From all creation soareth. Me ttou gav'st it 

As a child-ward. To me earth is as even 

To thee the boundless universe ; nay, more ; 

For thou conldst other make. It is my world. 

Take it not, Lord ; but rather let it be 

Immortal as thy love ; and altars are 

Holy ; and angel brethren, sister orbs, 

Hail it afar, so titled. Oh I I have seen 

World questioned, comforting world, yes seen them "Weef 

Each otlier, if but for one red hour eclipsed ; 

Or, as when, but now, Jove's giant orb, obscured 

By blood- wet clouds, dread proof of deadly strife 

In his breast, disruptive, if subdued ; immoved 

His sun-sired kin look on him, and pass by ; 

Earth only pitiful of the idol sphere, 

Sore struggling with his foes, herself unfree 

From violent ill-wishers, waves many a mist, 

Anxious upon her mountain crests, in sign 

Of astral sympathy ; so warmly true 

To nature's touch the star-grain of her mould ; 

Earth of all worlds most generous ; of all stars 

Earth, fairest, tenderest. 

LuciFEB. Know'st thou not, or bound 

Hast been for aye to thy false, thy faithless world. 
As foolish, too, as false, nor yet divined, 
How hard it proves to fight 'gainst fate / 

AifGEL OF Eaeth. I kuovr 

Fate is God's word ; his mediatorial means 
Spheres, angels, men ; his act the infinite whole ; 
Nor fear tliee, and thy forces aught. 

Bej^iel. Leave thou 

All gainsaying to the accusant spirit, and know 
Divine Humanity 'tvvixt the world and God 
Of intermediate essence, in all orbs 
Implanted by the maker, for his joy. 
Their good ; pretemporal, only not eteme, 
Is subjected to evil in time ; bears pain, 
(Jrief, changefulness ; and so by commune shares 
The weakness of all worlds it dwells within, 
Angelic, not than human less ; partakes. 
Brother and friend of spirit everywhere 
The sorrows of the world God made, God loved. 

God. a truth thou, Beniel, chief of all heaven's hosta 
Loyal, star-bright, all sons, with thee, of God, 
All angels, still imperfect, suffering thence 
111, and succumbing to the Tempter ; choice 
Blinded by motives meaner than the highest ; 
Not than man less, canst prove ; and late returned 
Hither, from such high service, knowest fuU well 
A world destroyed means oft a world renewed 
In holier beauty ; and each act divine 



Revised perfective, broader deeps of love. 

LuciFEE. I. too, doubt not, could tell thee much beside ; 
Angel of earth, behoves thee lay to heart, 
Feared I not greatlier some might learn too much 
For their bouVs peace. 

Angel of Earth. Hence I Me thou daunt'st no more. 

Beniel. Star unto star, upon its pilgrim course 
Speaks light authentic or reflective ; world 
To world rccognizant of its source, its end 
Achieved, foreshows ; and grateful to its Lord, 
Implores the password of the great return 
Of Being create, made pure, to God, whose name 
In us. or with us shared, the word imparts 
To Deity re-vmitive, worth all tongues 
In earth or heaven. In neither, other name 
Thau this avails ; the sire's, who all that is 
Hath made so sweetly reasonable, that soul, 
By love enlight-ened, eying God's intent 
Expanded through all Nature, and itself, 
Must coincide with heaven ; and to heaven's ends, 
By voluntary contract impledged, and force 
Of ever aspiring purity, adheres 
Self -consecrate, Godrhallowed. Every orb. 
Nay, every soul its wilful act abides 
As angel- world hath late due witness borne, 
lliou sole, in making and unmaking worlds. 
Canst rule. Lord 1 or preserve to highcvst ends 
By precreative right all life ; but makest 
For us and our behalf, in teaching worlds, 
Worlds rectifying, judging, saving worlds, consisti 
Thine everlasting Being. One world frame tread* 
In other's footsteps ; each, by limited mind, 
Eternal thought, to thee, infinite One, 
Changeless, a pause progressive. 

Lucifer. Earth he next 

Will judge ; for so saith God. 

Angel of Earth. Be it not, Lord I 

Thou art all love, all goodness. He, the foe. 
The evil of the universe, loves not earth. 
Nor, man, thy son, nor thee. 

LuciFEB. Love I not earth, 

Fair earth, well zoned ? 

Angel of Earth. Thou knowest best the allwise. 

Lucifer. Behold now, all you worlds 1 The space each fills 
Shall be right soon its successor. Accept 
The trivial consolation. 

Angel of Earth. Earth ! oh earth ! 

Lucifer. It is earth shall head destruction. She shall end. 
The worlds shall wonder why she comes no more 
On her accustomed orbit ; and the sun 
Miss one of his Apostle lights ; the moon, 
An orphaned orb, shall seek for earth for aye, 



32 Fmrus. 

Through time's untrodden depths, and find her nofc, 

No more shall mom, out of the holy east 

Stream o'er the amber air her level light ; 

Nor evening, with the spectral fingers, draw 

Her fr-tar-sprent cui-tain round the head of earth. 

Her footsteps never thence again shall grace 

Heavens blue, sublime. Her grave, Deatli's now at work, 

Gaps deep in space. See, tombwards gathering, all 

Her kindred stars in long process, night-clad ; 

Each lights his funeral brand, and ranks him round. 

And one by one, shall all your wandering worlds, 

"Whether in orbed path they roll, or trail 

(lold-tressed, in length inestimable of light, 

Their train, retamless from extreme space, cease ; 

The sun, bright keystone of Heaven's world-built arch 

Be left in burning solitude ; the stars 

As dewdrops countless on the aetherial fields 

Of the skies, and all they comprehend shall pass ; 

The spirits of all worlds shall all depart 

To their great destinies ; and thou and I, 

Greater in grief than worlds, shall live, as now. 

Beniel, But shall it be as now like-mi^ -i<J}kI, say ? 

LuciFEE. Thou'dst know how far I can the coming sound. 
This learn at least ; and 'mongst thy chiefest things 
Not yet achieved, account ; that could even Power 
All ill annul, it would not, nor would glad 
Made mind with the announcement. It is more 
To strive 'gainst some things than all else possess. 
Nor yet the issue is complete that ill 
Were better not to have been. Is good made worse 
By evil's being ? Is it I disfavour thee ? 
Or shinest not clearlier thou on my black ground ? 

Beniel. Time yet may be, O fallen ! when Satael, thou, 
And all thy peers conjured 'gainst heavenly good, 
True, thou art more of evil than all they, 
May cease from act ; no longer to infect 
With deathf ul respiration the sweet air, 
Vital and virtuous, of the all-betterinjr world ; 
But seeking light, health find. 

LuciFEB. It may be so ; 

Time was, time ia ; it seems not like ttt \te ; 
Or I could scarce myself Identify. 

Beniel. Likelier it show? /» some, from age to age. 

Angel of Earth. Thou fi-^-nd, canst know not the to come. 

Lucifee. It is safe 

For all that, to predict woe. Woe impends 
Always. 

Beniel. In hell's dark future that is writ 
Shall amaze man yet, fiend, angel. 

Angel of Earth. Spirit, hear ; 

All heavens at thee shall peer. 

LuciFKB. There, to thy earth. 



FESTUS, SS 

Angel of Earth. Think not thy ways so secret, nor thy craft 
So inconceivable ; but thou art tracked. I know 
Where a blind world dislurained late of God, 
Smote into blackness thrice of darkness, such 
As spreads where light, God's shadow, is not ; by storme 
Of stars meteoric wrecked ; of ruins built 
From depths of mined systems ; by base force 
Invert of dissolute elements dragged to the verge 
Of chaos, rolling round space utmost, lies. 
There, the outcast of all Being, orderless, 
Good only lacking from all rudiments ; 
Reigns ruin permanently ; disaster sows, 
Decay reaps ; naught aught fits ; that, fit for thee, 
Be thy world. Leave, leave me the lifeful earth ; 
Green, fertile, flowery, fruitsome, full of men ; 
It« orderly elements graduated ; its wants 
Prelusive of perfections yet to be ; 
Home-shrine of every virtue, every law 
Spatial or spiritual, God hath given the world. 
Stretch forth thy shining shield, God I the heavens, 
Over the prostrate earth, an armed friend, 
And save her from the swift and violent hell 
Her beauty hath enchanted ; from the woe 
Of love like his, oh 1 save her though by death. 

LuciFEB. Go, tell the earth I come. 

Angel op Eakth. Tidings of ill 

Announce thyself, be thine own fiendspel, thou. 

God. Who of all here, ye sons of God, empowered 
By my sole will, and missioned to fulfil 
My word, will range him 'gainst this wily force 
Nor dread, Heaven's fixed executant, his arms. 
Or of sheer might, or craft ? 

Sons of God. That, Lord, our chief. 

Our prince, will. 

Beniel. Of such task if worthy deemed ; 

The more, as of our order, some, ere earth 
Flood covered, like a cofiin 'neath its pall 
Of waters, not a little, by their fault 
Helped man to that dire ruin. 

God. So let it be. 

Take. Kosmiel, thou his seat, when Beniel serves 
Elsewhere, Heaven's purpose ; be it an age or hour. 

Kosmiel. Joyed in the world's great order to await 
Thy ripening plans, while soul create, and soul 
Self-expiative with judgment, or redeemed 
Work out good's happy course, from first designed, 
It is cither's bliss to aid. Lord I thine intents. 

Beniel. O'er all things are eternity and change, 
And special predilection of our God, 
Particular functions of set soul to achieve. 
Thou, Lord 1 who souls creat'st as the sun clouds 
From the tea of spirit, sire thoa of man thy son's 

o 



84 FMTUS. 

Spii-itual and bodfly essence, both, in wliom 

God's holy spirit imbreathed gonphip conferred, 

Equal with ours ; made mediative ; and since, 

Now, and in all worlde;, his creator's laws. 

And privilege of free choice enjoying, pays 

Justly, free spii'it's contingent fines ; to know, 

And feel the scope and pride of ]ioblest powers, 

Yet court full oft the grossest meanest proof 

Of ignorance, imperfection and all sins 

Such weakness leads to, and the original lack 

Of Being's highest qualities, yet in all 

Is heir of God and Nature ; and in Thee 

Attempering Deity ■with humanity, law 

With mercy's equity, as these sainted, shew, 

Live ever, and Heaven's most pure equality cluira, 

With angelhood divine, each thrice made pure ; 

And you, blessed saints, i-egencrate, now from taint 

Of choice too oft deflectible, freed ; and whom 

God, self -exempted arbitrarily from law, 

Himself to prove supreme o'er all he had made, 

Lawed, willed, first chose ; and you, thronged countless, last 

To be in the infinite proof of spiritual life's 

Probational advance all time ; for whom 

All Heaven the fulness of its bliss reserves ; 

Creator and created, witness both 

How even if earth and eveiy orb fire-fraught, 

Of space, enkindled luminously, should cease ; 

Perish materially ; while spirit create 

Imperfect, and so fallible, lasteth, fall 

Always maybe ; and strife twixt ill and good 

Will be ; 'gamst thee Creation's evil, prince 

Of the world, nsurpative oft of seat not thine, 

In all spheres ; be it mine, at God's behest, 

These universal heavens concurrence, add 

Mine own soul's call, to strive, for aye ; and though 

Nor I, nor Nature, neitlier, wholly void 

Of the holy gift prophetic, wist the end 

Of Being, yet fear not I for good's success 

Final ; or in the skies ; or earth's broad field ; 

Or in these lists delimited of one soul. 

God. Earth when her Sabbath ends, m the high close 
Of order, shall not be. 

LuciFEB. Now, Heaven, farewell. 

Hell is more bearable than nothingness. 
Too terrible that. To soul which sees one end 
Only, destruction, it is enougli to have 'scaped 
Even as I have. To eai-th and action, now. 
Outfly me an' thou canst, old Time, I am gone. 

God. Destruction and Salvation are two hands 
Upon Being's face. When both unite at close 
Of time's course hourf ul, death's dark day begins, 
Dawna^ noons unseen. Each, orb to its forefixed end 



fSSTUS, 

Exists ; and earth my crcatnro, pre-elect 

Of worlds, ere all death-stricken, but passed through fire 

Renewed, made pure past primal innocence, 

Is saved. The world shall perish like a worm 

Upon destruction's path ; the universe 

Evanish as a ghost that scents the sun ; 

Yea like a doubt before God's truth ; yet nought 

More than death then shall perish ; for then dawns 

The Sabbath of Salvation, ne'er to end. 

Joy, then, ye souls of God regenerated, 

Ye indwellers divine of Deity, know 

In Him ye are immortal as himself. 

Angels. So shall the All in all be All in one. 

God. Know, angel-guard, thy charge, from first ordained 
To prove his faith in God, that widening fields 
Of blessed Salvation, which is God to know 
And his will do, shall with time's broadening bounds 
Of knowledge equalled, match ; and both be reaped. 
Together. Be heaven's secret, this, reserved 
Even from himself, he of man's ra^e the last. 
And lo ! I hallow him to the ends of heaven, 
That though he plunge his soul in sin, like a sword 
In water, it shall no wise cling to him 
For ever. 111 so holds not to aught made 
Of love divine ; but reason of being shews 
Subservient to the loftier brighter life, 
Souls are of God, All ends are known in Heaven 
Ere aimed at upon earth. The child is chosen. 

Saints. Another soul the all-holy one 

Hath chosen out of perishing earth : 
And when is done the life begun, 
Throughout the whole shall Heaven see none 
More joyful of the immortal birth. 

God. Let now you ening spirit, in act as doom 
Precipitate, there by angel eyeable, scarce. 
So sviaftlier than the wind hath he downsped, 
By me e'er seen through ; who deformity being 
Good distort ; every fount of life, with death 
Embittereth ; taints each separate birth with siu ; 
And the soul world fouls with self ; so prompt to aid 
Creation's foes, destmction, death ; his worst 
Dare ; yet shall God, before even thought create. 
Shew just ; and sin's sire, false and faithless, learn 
Soul progress due to strife against his strife ; 
CJontention 'gainst himself, good's second source ; 
He, too, of men the tested soul and chosen, 
Chosen from first, to the last tested ; soul 
In faith unfaltering as the pole-star, fixed 
Emblem to earth of this Heaven's restful throne 
Of light, immutable, shall God confess. 

Beniel. Father of men and angels, Sons of God 
Coth. by thy holy spirit so named, thy will 

09 



8d PESW8. 

Accompllshetli itself. Be it ours to adore. 

Thrones. Thou God, art Lord of Being ; and thy just thoughts 
Are high above the star-dust of the world ; 
The spheres themselves are but as glittering noughts 
Upon these imperial robes, thy skies, impearled. 
Life's countless thrones, yon orbs, 'mid spaces infinite 
Beam joyous 'neath love's universal sight ; 
We, who Thine ordered Thearchy divine 
Set forth, who with thy glow effluxive shine, 
We, angel raylets gladden in thine interior light. 

Dominations. Between creation and destruction, now 
The lull of creatural action iutervenes ; 
God rests ; and the world is working out its week. 
His hand is in his bosom, and at peace. 
But what was gradually create, shall be 
Most suddenly unmade ; that arm which now 
Slumbers upon his breast, shall yet wave forth ; 
And from the lightning patliway of his feet, 
The aethereal web world-studded of the skiei?, 
Like to the gossamer waof , beaded with dew, 
Stretched o'er the morning traveller's walk, shall pass, 
Annihilate, and for ever. For, behold I 
His oath uncancellable on heaven's altar rests ; 
The whole shall end. All matter, erst conceived 
Of God the Eternal and the Virgin void. 
The firmament of material worlds shall cease ; 
By spheres, may be, replaced of spiritual light ; 
But Thee, who holds't ia thine all-moulding hand 
The infinite as a ball, all worlds, or gross 
With elements, or to spirit refined, shall serv^e ; 
Yea, o'er the universe aye omnipotent, thou 
As over meanest atomie reignest Lord. 

PowEKS, Thy might, God, self -creative is, thy works 
Immortal, temporal or destructible, all 
Ever in thy sight are blessed there. The heavens, 
Thy bosom, o'er all existence stoops thine eye ; 
U'he worlds thy shining footprints shew in space. 

Princedoms. Eternal Lord ; thy strength compels the worlds. 
And bows the heads of ages ; at thy voice 
Tlieir insubstantial essence wears away. 

Virtues. All-favouring God, we glory but in Thee, 
Ye heavens, exalt, expand yourselves. They come. 
The infinite generations, all divine. 
Of Deity come, our brethren, come om- friends. 

Archangels. Thou who hast thousand names, as night hath stars, 
Which light thee up to mind finite, yet scarce 
Thy limitlessness illume, nor tliat abyss 
Of Being, wherein thy wondrous attributes 
Themselves constellate, Lord I thy light, the light 
Wh dwell in, shall at last, all times consummed, »- 

Fulfil the universe, and all be bliaa 



FE8TU3. 87 

Anqels. Thee, God of Heaven, of all, we praise ; 
Through our ne'er sun setting days, 

And thy just ways, divine ; 
In thine hand is every spirit ; 
Cleansing pam and meed of merit ; 
All things souls and worlds inherit, 

Of thee all bora, are thine. 
Not unto creatui-es is it given 
To scan the purposes of Heaven, 

Alway just and kind ; 
But before thy holy breath, 
All quickening where it operateth, 
Life and spirit, dust and death, 
The boundless all is driven. 
As clouds by wind. 
Saints. Thousands of Angels, Lord, around thee stand, 
Thousands of worlds ; all counted without pause, 
Or end : each joys, his quest at thy command 
Fulfilling, true to thy soul-quickening laws. 
So place US, God, where all may serve thy will 
Beneficent ; and free reason guide us still. 
Angel or Earth. Woe, woe at last in Heaven ; 
Earth to death is given. 
The ends of things hang still 
Over them as a sky. 
Do what, do how we will. 
All's for Eternity. 
Saints. Reject not, Lord 1 thine angel's innocent prayer ; 
Her golden charity, without all alloy ; 
Look on her drooping wing, her troubled air ; 
Pity her hopeless plaint, her lost employ, 

God. Fate, learn to reconcile thyself with joy. 
Earth's angel-warden, lift thine head. Thy prayers, 
Ungranted wholly, graceless fall not yet 
Back to their generous source. Thy love-task once 
Achieved, to guide that sphere's tempestuous life 
Through all vicissitudes, this reward be thine ; 
Thy ultimate hopes to know made truths ; its mien 
Of beauty purified, she shall be known 'mong stars, 
By the name of Peace ; true end to godly strife 
'Gainst evil, of good ; which heaven with joy shall fiU ; 
And calm delights inviolable of love. 
Eternal, spiritual ; love divine of God. 

Guardian Angel. Accessible, Lord ! as air to drops of de^w 
That blend them in the blue serene of even, 
We, in thy peace approach thee, and, submiss, 
Thy will would seek. 

God. Thy charge for a time resigned. 

Warn thou, and take thy leave. He shall not faint. 
Strengthen bim will I, as with a belt of stars. 
Guardian Axgel. But when he ncccb me most! 
Goo. It is as I will. 



88 FESTUS. 

I am the Guardian Angel of the world 
Of spirits not less than spheres. 

Guardian Angel. Lord of all Being, 

Be it as thou wilt ; thy might, will, way, are one. 



11. 

From Heayen soul-like to earth. It is sundown ; tvp« 

Of the approaching end of earth's day. Mark 

The heart's state, oni])ty and collapsetl the world's 

Vain pleasures leave- u.- in, if penitoit uot 

For wasted gifts and hou; s dissatisfied, 

Distraught. The Power, ;:I1 ill, his Ivu-es deploys. 

Youth's natural fitful, unavailing struggle 

Xote, 'gainst temptation corae unlocked for; power, 

Ix)ve, knowledge ; who shall slight the three convened, 

Like llie Ideean goddesses of old ; 

Nor yet as these, compctitiTe, but combined ? 

To know the future of man's race ; the soul's 

Passed, individually ; to be beloved 

By the world's paramount beauty, and sit earth's t hron# ? 

Reft of heaven's generous help, how soon we fail ! 

Know yet, to sin is to curse God, in deed. 

The soul long used to truth still keeps its strength 

Though plunged upon a sudden 'mid the IVlse, 

As hands thrust into a dark room retain 

Their sun-lent light, a season. So now here. 

The scene of indecision, and of self 

ForgetXukiess breaks off, not ends. 

Wood and Water — Park — MoTisUm in Distance — La^vn — J lower- 
garden lordcring a laliclet — Siuvht. 

LuciPEE, Festus, Guardian Angel. 

Lucifer. Time was, I said above there, time may be, 
Kven for me, though he flies me pretty close. 
The threat to undo this fine old time-piece chills 
One's blood. Besides, the key once lost miyht not 
Be again found. Meanwhile, the whole be<?ins 
To cease : the great phenomenon disappears. 
No time was lost at the beginning, true. 
Though it takes one back a crowd of years to think 
Of our first conscious day dawn. After all, 
One's not so old but we may like one last 
Adventure in the Fair, this show of shows. 
The scenery round recalls, to pensive mijid, 
Faintly, a rather vivid passed, wherein 
Some good beginnings came to a 8pee<ly end ; 
And endings now are just beginning. Still, 
It is somethi:ig to have 'scaj^ed a long-feared end. 
Fore Heaven ! I had rather do my worst and live, 
Than do my best, and die. I and my task 
Seem both at least permissible. So, to act. 



FESTUa. 89 

The spot is chosen for me, here it is 

I make the experiment ; and here, relieved 

For (i^ood, I trust, of angel watch and %vard, 

The man sought, he whose desultory step 

Rustling 'mong fallen leaves I hear. Ee speaka. 

I thought 'twas only serpents like myself, 

Bom double-tongued, addressed their proper ears, 

For lack of livelier audience. One must hearken. 

I make mj-self for the nonce invisible ; 

A precious privilege that, shared with most ghosts, 

And spectres of much eminence. So ; I listen I 

Festus (advancing^ This is to be a mortal, and immortal. 
To live within a death-bound circle, and be 
That dark point where the shades of all things round 
Meet, mix, and deepen, Somewhere's truth light. "Where 1 
0\\ ! I feel like to a seed in the cold earth, 
Quickening at heart, and pining for the air. 
Passion is destiny ; the heart is its own fate. 
It is well youth's gold rubs off so soon ; for soon 
llie heart gets dizzied with its drunken dance ; 
And life's voluptuous vanities enchain, 
r]n chant, and cheat no more. That spirit's on edge, 
Which nought enjoys sin's honeyed sting not taints ; 
That soothing fret which makes the young untried, 
Unwise, unwarned, swift to forestal its dues, 
Thonging to be beforehand with their nature, 
In dreams and loneness cry they die to live ; 
That wanton whetting of the soul, which wliile 
It gives a finer, keener edge for pleasure, 
Wastes more, and dulls the sooner. Rouse thee, heart* 
Bow of my life, thou yet art full of spring. 
My quiver still hath many a purpose. Yet 
(^f all life's aims what's worth the thought we waste on't ? 
IIow mean, how miscitible seems every care ; 
How doubtful, too, the system of the mind. 
And then, the ceaseless, changeless, hopeless round 
Of weariness and heartlecsness and woe ; 
And vice and vanity. Yet these make life ; 
The life at le^st I witness, if not feel. 
No matter, we are immortal. How I wish 
I could love men ; for still, mid all life's quests 
There seems but worthy one ; to do men good. 
It matters not how long we live, but how. 
For as the pai-ts of one manhood, while here, 
We live in every age ; we think, and feel, 
And feed upon the coming and the gone 
As much as on the now time. Man is one ; 
And he hath one great heart. It is thus we fed 
With a gigantic throb athwart the sea 
Each other's rights and wrongs. Thus are we men. 
Let us think less of men ; man fills not half 
The measure of man's mind ; and more of God, 



40 FESTUS. 

Sometimes the thought comes swiftening over ii3, 

Like a stray birdlet winging the still blue air ; 

Again it rises slow, like a cloud which scales 

Breathless the skies ; and just overhead upon us 

Down plunges ; we, with excess of witness stunned. 

Sometimes we feel the wish across the mind 

Rush, like a rocket tearing up the sky 

That we should join with God, and give the world 

The slip ; but while we wish, the world turns round, 

And peeps us in the face ; the wanton world ; 

We feel it gently pressing down our arm. 

The arm we had raised to do for truth such wonders ; 

Wa feel it softly bearing on our side ; 

We fee) it touch and thrill us through the body ; 

And we are fools ; and there's an end of us. 

Tis a fine thought that sometime end we must. 

There sets the sun of suns ; dies in all fire. 

Like Asshur's death*great monarch. God of might t 

It is X)Ower we love, and live on. Spirit's end, 

And reason of being, seems somewhat, if 'tis this. 

Mind must subdue. To conquer is its life. 

AVhy madest thou not one spirit, like the sun, 

To king the world ? And oh might mine have been 

That sun-mind, how would I have warmed the world 

To love and worship and bright life ! 

LuciFEE {suddenly appearing). Not thou. 

Hadst thou more power — put case thou hadst thy wish, 
It is vastly feasible — more wouldgt thou misuse. 
But other matters first. 

Festus. Who art thou, pray ? 

It seems, as thou hadst grown out of the air. 

LuciFEB. Thou knowest me well. If stranger to thine ca ( 
I am not to thy heart. 

FESTU8. I know thee not. 

Lucifer. Come nearer. Look on me. I am above thee, 
Beneath thee, and around thee, and before thee. 

Festus. Why, art thou all things, or dost go through all 
A spirit 7 or an embodied bla.st of air ? 
I feel thou art a spirit. 

LuciFEE. Yea, I am ; 

The creditable presentment of a man, 
I flatter myself I may be too. 

Festus. Thou art spirit. 

I knew it. I am glad, yet tremble, too. 
What hours, what years, say, have I longed for this, 
..Vnd hoped that thought or prayer of force mio-ht yna ; 
How oft besought the stars, with tears, to send 
A power to me, and have set the clouds until 
I deemed I saw one coming ; but ah, too soon. 
The shadowy giant alway thinned away, 
And I was fated luiimmorcolised ; 



FE8TUS. 41 

Unsccptrcd with the sway I would o'er sonla; 
What shall I do 7 Oh let me kneel to thee 1 

Lucifer. Nay, rise ; and I'll not say, for thine ovvn sake, 
That thou dost pray in private to the Devil. 

Festus. Father of lies, thou liest. 

Lucifer. I am he. 

It is enough to make the Devil merry, 
To think that men deeming me dungeoned fast 
Ever in hell, call on me momently ; 
Swearers and swaggerers jeer at my name ; 
And oft indeed it is a special jest 
With witling gallant"?. Let me once apijear, 
Woe's me I they faint and shudder, pale and pray : 
The burning oath which quivered on the lip 
Starts back, and sears and blisters up the tongue ; 
Confusion ransacks the abandoned heart ; 
Quells the bold blood ; and o'er the vaulted brow 
Slips the white woman hand. To judgment, ho I 
The very pivot of the earth seems snapped ; 
And down they drop like ruins, (even as drop, 
In days of national ire, once sacred shrines, 
Scenes of rank jugglery ; here a pillar falls 
To its fluted knee ; a pediment there, that once 
O'er-browed the state ; and there, some delicate arch, 
Wliose marble arms as petrified in prayer 
Long drew Heaven's pitying glance, now rude earth's prey, 
Ruinous, dishallowed lies ; so these, so thou 
By anarch fears prostrated,) to repent. 
Such be the bravery of mighty man 1 

FestCci. I must be mad ; or mine eye cheats my brain. 
And this strange phantom comes from overthought, 
Like the white lightning from a day too hot. 
It must be so. But I will pass it. 

LuciPEB, Stay ! 

Festus. save me, God 1 He is reality, 

Lucifer. And now thou kneelst to Heaven. Fye, graceless boy 1 
Mocking thy Maker with a cast-off prayer ; 
For had not I the first fruits of thy faith / 

Festus. Tempter, away 1 From all tlie crowds of life 
Why single me ? Why score the yomig green bole 
For fellage ? Go ! Am I, the youngest, worst 2 
No. Light the fires of hell with other souls ; 
Mine shall not bum with thee. 

Lucifer. Tliou jndgcst harshly. 

Can I not touch thee without slaying thee ? 

Festus. Why here ? What wouldat with me ? 

Lucifer. 'Fore all I'd have 

Looks and words gentle. 

Festus. Go I 

Lucifer. I cannot yet. 

But why so sad ? Wilt kneel to me again ? 
This leafy clonet is most apt for prayer. 

OS 



43 FESTVS. 

Festus. Yes, I will pray for thee and for myself. 

Lucifer. "Waste not thy prayers : I scatter them ; they rise 
Xo farther than thy breath ; a yard or so. 
jind as for me, I heed them, need them, not. 
My nature God knows, and hath fixed ; and he 
Kecks little of the manners of the world ; 
Wicked he holdeth it, and unrepentant. 

Festus. Therefore the more some oug-ht to pray. 

Lucifi':e. To blow 

A kiss, a bubble, a prayer, hath like effect 
And satisfaction. 

Festus. Let me hence ; or thou, 

Go tell thy blasphemies and lies elsewhere. 
Thou scatter prayer I Make me thy minister 
One moment, God, that I may rid the world 
For ever of its evil. Oh, Thine arm. 

Lucifer. Canst rid thyself I 

Festus. Alas, no. Get thee gone. 

Can naught insult thee, nor provoke thy flight ? 

Lucifer. I laugh alike at ruin and redemption ; 
I am the one which knows nor hope nor fear ; 
Which ne'er knew good, nor e'er can know the worst. 
What thinkest thou now can anger me, or harm ? 

Festus. Wherefore didst thou quit hell ? to drag me thither ? 

Lucifer. Thou wilt not guess mine errand. Deernest thou 
aught 
Which God hath made all evil ? Me he made. 
Oft I do good ; and thee to serve I come. 

Festus. Did I not hear thee boast with thy laf*t breath 
Not to have knovra what good was ? 

Lucifer. From myself 

I know it not ; yet God's will I must work. 
I come, I say, to serve thee. 

Festus. Well, I would 

Thou never hadst come ; but speak thy purpose straight. 

Lucifer. I heard thy prayer at sunset, scarce yet pasr-ed, 
W^here still yon dim and filmy cloudlet, drooped 
Like to God's eyelid, thinned with unshed tears 
Of watching, over a worthless, faithless world, 
Skreens the orb, now vanished. I was there ; Ma 3 iiere, 
I saw tliy secret longings, unsaid thoughts, 
Which prey on the breast like night-fires on a heath, 
I know thy lieart by heart. I read the tongue. 
When still astutely, as well as when it moves. 
And thou didst pray to God. Did he attend ? 
Or turn his eye from the great glass of things, 
Wlierein he worshippeth eternally 
Himself, to thee one moment ? He did not. 
I tell thee naught he cares for men. I cama. 
And come to profiler thee the earth ; to set thee 
Upon a thi-one, the throne of will unbound ; 
To crown thy life with liberty and joy ; 



FS8TU8. 

And make the« free and mig-hty, even as I am. 

Festus. I would not be aa thou art for hell's throne, 
Great fiend ; add earth's. 

Lucifer. I knew thy proud hijfh heart. 

To test its worth and mark I deemed it brave, 
In shape and bein^ thus myself I came ; 
Not in disgfuise of opportunity ; 
Not as some silly toy, which serves for most ; 
Not in the masque of lucre, lust nor power ; 
Not in a goblin size, nor cherub form ; 
But as the soul of hell and evil came I, 
With leave to give the kingdom of the world 
The freedom of thyself. 

Festus. Good ! Prove thy powers. 

LuciFEE. Do I not prove them ? Who but I that hold 
Immortal might o'er mine own mind, and o'er 
All hearts and spu-its of the living world, 
Would share it with another, or forego 
One hour the great enjoyment of the whole? 
And who but I give men what each best loves ? 

Festus. Open the heavens, and let me look on God ; 
Open my heart, and let me see myself, 
Then, 111 believe thee. 

Lucifee. Thou shalt not believe 

For that I give thee ; but for that I am. 
Believe me fiist ; then will I prove myself. 
Though sick I know thee of the joys of sense, 
Yet those thou lovest most I will make pure. 
And render worthy of thy love ; unfilm them, 
That so thou mayst not dally with the blind. 
Thou shalt possess them to their very souls ; 
Pleasure and love and unimaqrined beauty ; 
All, all that be delicious, brilliant, great 
Of worldly things are mine, and mine to give. 

Festus. What can be counted pleasure after love f 
Like the young lion which hath once lapped blood, 
The heart can ne'er be coaxed back to aught else. 

Lucifer. As yet, methinks. love hath but made thee, — else 
Why now sad / — wretched I But if I for thee 
Sublime it to all bliss 

Festus. Hold, loveless spirit ; 

It is not bliss I seek. I care not for it. 
I am above the low delights of life. 
The life I live is in a cold dark cavern 
WTiere I wander up and down, feeling for something 
'Which is to be, and must be ; what, I know not ; 
But some event, incarnate destiny, 
Is nigh. 

Lucifek. It is that I put before thee now. 
To choose. Confess thy fate, which weighs upon thee. 
Necessity, like to the world on Atlas' neck, 
3its ou humanity. It is this, nought more ; 



U FESTUS. 

And the sultry sense of overdrawn life. 

Festus. True. 

The worm of the world hath eaten out mine heaxt 

Lucifer. I will renew it in thee. It shall be 
The bosom favourite of every beauty, 
Even like a rosebud. Thou shalt render happy. 
By naming who may love thee. Come with me. 

Festus. Power spiritual forbidden, nor lowlier quetit 
Me suiting soon, as sweep o'er grain-fraught fields 
Sea-bordering, deathful sands, so waste of life, 
My spirit deformed, until, — and I was glad, 
My heart spake in me suddenly, and said 
Come, let us worship beauty ; and I bowed ; 
And went about to find a shrine ; but found 
None that ray soul when see'ng said to, enough. 
Many I met witii where I put up prayers, 
And had them more than answered ; some, whera love 
Filled the whole place as 'twere oppresses! with heavexi, 
And I worshipped partly because others did, 
Partly because I could not help. But none 
Of these t^o me assigned, away I went 
Champing and choking in proud cherished pain ; 
And a burning wrath that not a sea could slake. 
So I betook me to the all-sounding sea 
And mocked its bitterness ; and said unwise. 
Mine heart had more of it than his ; whereby. 
In slumberous mutterings I o'erheard, it moaned 
Of a revenge to come, which me well nigh 
Life-reckless, gladdened, savage as the sea. 
At last, came love ; not whence I sought, nor thought it, 
Nor hoped. But I grew friendly with the maiu. 
I had only one thing to behold, the sea ; 
I had only one thing to believe ; I loved : 
Until that lonesome sameliness of thought 
To the eye of mind grown all absorbing, grew 
Like darkly beautiful as death, when some 
Bright soul regains its star-home ; or as heaven 
Just when the stars falter forth, one by one. 
Like the first words of love from a maiden's lip«. 
There are points from which we can command our life ; 
When the soul sweeps the future like a glass ; 
And coming things, full freighted with our fate, 
Jut out dark on the offing of the mind. 
Let them come : many will go down in sight ; 
[n the billow's joyous dash of death go dowTi. 
And we foresee the crash, the wreck ; nor yield 
One point to fate, as though self -sworn to doom. 
On came the living vessel of all love ; 
Terrible in its beauty as a serpent ; 
Rode down upon me, like a ship full sailed, 
And bearing me before it, kept me up 
Spite of the dro^Tiing speed we drave at. 



PXSTV8. 

Lucifer. Much 

It was like Death's craft 

Festus. It was Love's. 

LuciFEiL It may be. How 

Is't likely I can tell, who am scantwisc skilled 
In allegories, nor am as yet in love. 
But oft times I have heard mine angels call 
On their lost loves and amiablest compeers 
In Heaven ; and, as I suffer, seen them come ; 
Seen starlike face* peep between the clouds, 
And hell become a tolerable torment. 
8ome souls lose all things but the love of beauty ; 
And by that love they are redeemable ; 
For in love and beauty they acknowledge good 
And good is God, the great Necessity. 

Festus. Whoso would reconcile Time's claim and Fate's, 
Is coheir with unwisdom in all ends 
Of disappointment and defeat. The fair 
"WTio thralled me held me by more potent charms 
Than wiles could feign, or spells could implicate. 
I loved her for that she was beautiful, 
And that to me she seemed to be all nature, 
And all varieties of things in one. 
As many charmf ul changes had in thought 
And sweet caprice as the opal hath of hues ; 
Would set at night in clouds of tears, and rise 
All light and laughter in the morning : fear 
No petty customs nor appearances ; 
But think what others only dreamed about ; 
And say what others did but think ; and do 
What others would but say ; and glory in 
What others dared but do ; so pure withal 
In soul : in heart and act such conscious, yet 
Such careless innocence, she made round her 
A halo of delight ; 'twas these that won me ; 
iVnd that she never schooled within her breast 
One thought or feeling, but gave holiday 
To all ; and that she made all even mine. 
In the communion of love : and we 
Grew like each other, for we loved each other ; 
She, mild and generous as the air in spring ; 
vVnd I, like earth, all budding out with love. 

LuciFEK. And then, love's old end, falsehood ; nothing irore© 
I hope ? 

Festus. What's worse than falsehood ? to deny 
The god that is within us, and in all 
Is love ? Love hath as many vanities 
As charms ; and this, perchance, the chief of both : 
To make our young heart's track upon the first, 
And snowlike fall of feeling which overspreads 
The bosom of the youthful maiden's mind, 



46 FESTUS. 

More pure aud fair than even its outward type. 

If one did thus, was it frota vanitj ? 

Or thoughtlessness, or worse ? Nay, let it pass, 

The beautiful are never desolate ; 

But some one always loves them — God or man. 

If man abandons, God himself takes them. 

I know not why love falters. Sense perchance 

Of other's perfectness discourageth us. 

Rather than spurs one to the like. Such doubt 

Howe'er resolved, there rose between her star 

And mine a cloud ; which, lifted, showed this set. 

That, mingled with Heaven's day. It was even tliiia, 

I said we were to part. She nothing spake. 

There was no discord ; it was music ceased ; 

Life's thrilling, bounding, glorying joy, ceased. 8tt6 

Like a house-god, she, her hands fixed on her knee. 

Her dark hair loose and long, the wild bright eye 

Of desolation flashed through, lay around her. 

vShe spake not, moved not ; more than act or sx^eech 

Her eye I felt. I came and knelt beside her. 

And my heart shook this building of my breast, 

Like a live engine booming up and down. 

It is the saddest and the sorest sight, 

One's own love weeping. But why call on God 

This, now, or that decree, crude, as we think. 

Or cruel, to recast for us, or reverse, 

But that the feeling of the boundless bounds 

All feeling as the welkin doth the world ? 

Then first both wept, then closed and clung together. 

Then, like snow-wreath of peerless purity 

That upon mountain heights, by daily veer 

Of just one light-ray, loosening, line by line. 

Its hiddenest heart-hold, slowly absolves itself 

From all its haughty coldness, and seeks p^^ace 

Even at the cliil s foot ; so she, white, by mine ,* 

Weird, much unchanged, as seemed, in outward cheer, 

But love's preeminence lost in life, life lost. 

Never were beauty, love, and woe so wrought 

Together into madness, as that hour. 

Then comes the feeling which unmakes, undoes ; 

Which tears up by the roots the sealike soul, 

And lashes it in scoin against the skies. 

Twice did I madly swear, hand clenched, to heaven, 

That not even he nor death should tear her from me. 

Profane defiance 'twas, 'gainst each. Here, last. 

Upon this breast, she swooned ; here, midst these arms ; 

Here, cloudlike, poured she forth her love which was 

Her life to freshen this parched heait. In vain. 

Nor looked I e'er again on her alive. 

She wished, she said, to die. She wished ; she died. 

The lightning loathes its cloud ; such souls their clay. 

Can I forget that hand I took in mine, 



FESTU8. Iflr 

Pale as pale violets ? tJiat eye where soul 
And sense met, like divine ? Ah no, may God 
That moment judg-e me when I do ! Oh ! fair 
Was she, her nature once all brightness, spring. 
^Vnd ominous beauty, like a maiden sword, 
Startlingly beautiiul, whose dark flashes hide 
Deaths many, more triumphs. I see thee now, 
Whate'er thou art, thy spirit is in my mind ; 
Thy shadow hourly lengthens o'er my brain, 
And peoples all its pictures with thyself. 
Grone, not forgot, passed, not lost ; thou shalt shine 
In heaven, as even a bright spot in the sun. 
And now I am alone. Say on 1 What more 
Can tempt save union of love with death ? 
But y ester-eve it was she died, and now 
Scarce hath the spmt yet aspii-ed to heaven. 
I feel it hovering round me. Let mine eyes 
But realize their faith, and I am thine. 
The soul first, then the body and the grave 
^Vre welcome or indifferent as may be. 

Lucifer, With tho**e whom Deatli hath drawn I meddlo not. 
My part is with the living solely here. 
I have not told thee half I will do for thee. 
All secrets thou shalt ken — all mysteries construe ; 
At nothing marvel. All the veins which stretch, 
Unsearchable by human eyes, of lore 
Most precious, most profound, to thine shall bare 
And vulgar lie like dust. The world within, 
The world above thee, and the dark domain, 
Mine own thou shalt o'errule ; and he alone 
WTio rightly can esteem such high delights, 
He only merits — he alone shall have. 

Festus. And if I have, shall I be happier ? Saj 
What's pleasui'e ? What is happiness ? 

Lucifer. It is that 

I vouchsafe to thee. 

Festus. Am I tempted thus 

Unto my fall ? 

Lucifer. God wills or lets it be. 

How thinkest thou ? 

Festus. That I will go with thee. 

Lucifer. From God I come. 

Festus. I do believe thee, spirit 

He will not let thee harm me. Ilim I love, 
And thee I fear not. I obey him. 

LuciFEB. Good. 

Both time and case are urgent. Come. But see 1 
Xay ; night hath one more marvel than the moon. 

Festus. I glimpse the pale flash of an angel's wing, 
But whose I see not, nor, though seer-bom, know. 

Lucifer. Spells too have I, thou knoweat ; and my ring, 
The round horizon of the visible world. 



tt FJE8TU8. 

Will hold a ghost or two. But what is this ? 

Superfluous were all evocation here. 

No interruption, sure ; no afterthoug'lit ? 

Guardian Angel. Spirit of 111. who round the ^pher6cl air 
Boamest, thy interference ratified 
By God's will, for the time my task annuls ; 
And I, by word supreme, my charge resign. 

Lucifer. Happy relief 'twere, doubtless for thyself, 
And many a myriad like thee, ang-el motes I 
Te are a race superior far to doves ; 
Whiter in plume, and in the pen-feather 
More potent, notably. Thy cure be mine. 

Festus. I hear a mixed soimd as of liglit and night 
In shadowy conference. 

Lucifer. It concerneth thee, 

And yet thou mayst not know. 

Festus. Be as it may 

That, canst thou say me truly ? 

Lucifer. WTieref ore not ? 

Falsehood and truth to me indifferent be : 
N"or more than that, this penal. Not to know 
All things, so much ^•till knowinj^ : to what end 
The universe is tending, when fulfilled 
Its spatial orbitation ; in what die 
The metamorphic essence lastly cools ; 
Nor how, in finite creature, good and ill 
Should infinitely diflcer. fonns the curse 
And penalty all pay. I, most, whom Fate 
Aye drives contrarious on the fiery lines 
I break not, and which cannot bear me down. 
I grow impatient of this goalless race, 
"Recessions and precessions : and this change 
Of elemental atoms without end ; 
Of self -paid dues, and plagues the world enjoys f 
And renovative ruin ; swarms of life 
In the corrupting corse creation seems. 
It is time that something should begin to end. 
I have beheld the inflation of the world ; 
-\nd dogged the huge delusion ; I await 
The cloudy wreck, trailed o'er the tract of time. 

Festus. Where imperfection ceaseth heaven begica 
Where sin ends, bliss. 

Lucifer. To thee mayhap is joy ; 

Or ultimate or immediate, here or there. 
But I who deathless seem to myself and live 
With these world-shadowing skies life's primal form, 
Life's final, like compeer, shall woeful hail 
Woe's abrogation ; for if God said — threat 
To me, to all else promise — let all woe 
Cease, cease I too with woe ; my total power 
O'er being perforce then closed. But a.s the sun, 
Opening with fiery key the locks of ioe 



FBSTUS. 48 

Blow yielding, and from breasts of barreiincsB 

A fruitful flood drawing tliat with new life 

K-edecms creation, endless store still leaves 

O^ "iOst unloosed, so, if to me, supposed 

Evict from nature, God shall yet retain 

The evil of mine own Bein?-, it were enough 

This sensible to eteniize. I, meanwhile, 

With doom unsure but menacing crowned, the round 

Termless, of fixed fniality to all things, 

Myself except, and mine own sorrows, tread 

E'er, and re- tread. To waste, to spoil's to live. 

Guardian Angcl. Do thou thy best, thy worst, thou still art 
foiled. 
And while iugiidiijg even tliy gravest wound, 
Losest thine aim : that wound is healed of death. 

Lucifer. Art thou not hence, celestial sinecure ? 
Instead of lolling ou his shoulders, him 
Thou yet mayst see on mine. 

Festus. Again I hear, 

-\b thougli some Titan cloud, gold-lipped, at ease 
Immense, held passing word-play with the sun. 

Guardian Axcjel. Yet not in idlesse. holy though it were, 
Nor marble meditation, nor mere thought 
Of the supreme perfection, thought alone 
Worthy the name of thought in soul create ; 
The river homaging its ocean fount 
In every whispering wavelet, wrap I me ; 
Far other aim be mine. Yes, he shall know 
The hidden extremes of nature ; earth's, sea's, air's ; 
The central fires ; both world and wilderness 
Like tempting, though with diverse offering ; power, 
Love, knowledge blent ; nor — though by 111 devised 
To obscure God's truth, the consciousness of soul 
Ever existent ; its individual source. 
Its universal end — shall all things prove 
But tests and purifiers ; nay, thou thyself 
The evil of all things made. Ill's forceful soul, 
Naught else than foil of good. 

Lucifer. Bereaved of thee 

We may prepai-e to see strange sights indeed ; 
Karth's polar linch-pins loosened, and the wheels 
Of light and dark that the world drags on, smashed. 

Guardian Angel. I leave him, not desert : for, fortifiod 
With the pure love of one, he God shall love 
For granting him that blens-'ng. For the rest. 
In heaven's eternal archives all is writ. 
Pertaining to the mountain-throned end. 
I will prepare my loved one's destiny ; 
And with ray kindred angels smoothen his ways 
So among men, that he o'er all may cope, 
Throneworthy through all ages ; hallowed, blessed ; 
Bom of the lofty lineage of the light, 



^^ FESTUS. 

And gifted with the sceptre of a star, 

In state pre-temporal, fated to earth's end. 

Prophets shall preach of him, and wise men win, 

By secret power, the world to choose him chief ; 

The universal faith impersonate. 

Peace to the soul- world, and the grand belief 

Wherein are blended truth and bliss, shall he, 

By aidance of the blessed, install on earth, 

Calmly at once, as heaven instates its stars. 

LuciFEE. Athwart this v/eb, then, must I throw my warp. 
Can I not dim the intellig-ence with eclipse 
Of sagfest-seeming doubt, owl-eyed to mark 
Small ills, of reason's light-broad world of good, 
Noteless ? With specious theories of the rise 
Eterne of things, and end of temporal means, 
His spirit confuse, and ravelling every thought 
Inexplicably that shows God's simple will 
Not chance, not mere development as cause 
Of progress always heightening, better ever. 
Than stand -point passed, God he may cease to see T 
Can I not poison all the springs of life 
And founts of feeling ? friendship make a void, 
And love a golden snare wherein his heart 
►Shall rage like a trapped lion ? Hath wit pow er 
To satisfy the soul, or power then wit 
To save the spirit from despair ? 

GuABDiAN Angel. Ordained 

To nobler ends than aught thou reck'st of, he, 
As in time passed from all perfective rites, 
From every test, soul-tried, shall wisdom win, 
As flowers sweet sustenance from the invisible air ? 
And common elements. 

Lucifer. I mine own ends seek, 

Not God's. Ordained or not, means nought to me. 
Sin and be saved, can God's elect, if he 
Elect be ? Prove it, time. Love, knowledge, power, 
These are my costliest baits ; and on his path 
Must these be spread. Distracted with delights 
I know, too, let me fancy he escapes. 

GuABDiAX Angel. God's servant is man's master. So shall rule, 
One with heaven's spiritual sun whose light 
Soul-quickening, Being with truest life impregns, 
The spirit I have all life tended on, endowed 
Henceforth with plenar powers of virtual sight. 
And sense extreme of primitive perfectness. 
By him, all-ordering, the infinite One. And now, 
Scion of life eterne, and ward of heaven, 
Mine earthly charge, for a time farewell ! 

Festus. What's that I 

I saw a light, like earth-bom lightning, shoot 
Up, through night's infinite sanctuary. 

LcciPEB. It was nothing 



TZISTUS. SI 

>ESTt7S. Give mc a breathing-time to fortifr, 
Within myself, the promine I have made. 

LuciFEB, Kxpect me, then, at midnight, here. Rememlscr 
That thou canst any time repent. 

FESTUij. Ay, true. 

LuciFEU. Kepentance never yet did aught on earth« 
It undoes many g^ood things. Of all men, 
Heaven sliield me from the wretch who can repent I 



III. 

Follows a starry night 
Wliere in the talk of man and spirit we see 
Foreproven, the all-grasping njind's iuordinitte iov« 
For marvels, mysteries, than for goodness more 
"Say even for greatness. Miracles we must hare. 
Wlience comes this dream of immortality 
And the resurgent essence ? Death is change. 
But spirit's return, allowed of heaven, is now 
To strengthen a fiue but fuintmg faith, and sliovr 
Such change for better. Soul reborn, we see, 
Stalls not in death ; but like the polar sun, 
One moment balanced on life's infinite verge. 
Rises in roseate splendour to renew 
Always a mightier day. The spell, as pledge 
Of gifts to come and prouder privilege, works. 
Man and his foe shake hands upon their bargain. 

WaUr and Wood — Midnight. 
Festus, alone. 

All tilings are calm, and fair, and passive. Earth 

Lookrj as if lulled upon an angel's lap, 

Into a breathless dewy sleep : so still 

That we can only say of things, they be. 

The lakelet now, no longer vexed with gusts, 

Replaces on her breast the pictured moon. 

Pearled round with stars. Sweet imaged scene of time 

To come, perchance, when, this vain life o'erspent, 

Earth may some purer beings' presence bear ; 

Mayhap even God may walk among his saints. 

In eminence and brightness? like yon moon, 

Mildly outbeaming all the beads of light 

►Strung o'er Night's proud dark brow. How strangely fair 

Yon round still star, which looks half suffering from, 

And half rejoicing in its ovm. strong fire ; 

Making itself a lonelihood of light, 

Like Deity, where'er in heaven it dwells. 

How can the beauty of material things 

So win the heart and work upon the mind, 

Unless like-naturcd with thera ? Are great thing^s 



Bf PESTU3. 

And thoughts of the same blood ? They have like effect. 
Would one were here who could these knots unloose ! 

Lucifer. Why doubt on mind ? Wh&t matter how we call 
That which all feel to be their noblest part ? 
Even spirits have a better and a worse : 
For every thing created must have form ; 
Form meaning limitation. God, alone, 
Is formless and illimitable mind. 
Passions they have, somewhat like thine ; but leas 
Of grossness and that downwardness of soul 
Men boast of. It is true they have no earth ; 
For what they live on is above themselves. 

Festus. There seems a sameness among things ; for mind 
And matter speak, in causes, of one God. 
The inward and the outward worlds are like ; 
The pure and gross but differ in degree. 
Tears, feeling's bright embodied form, are not 
More pure than dewdrops, nature's tears, which she 
Sheds in her o-wti breast for the fair which die. 
The sun insists on gladness ; but at night, 
When he is gone, poor nature loves to weep. 

Lucifer. Less real difference is there among things 
Than men imagine. They overlook the mass, 
But fasten each on some particular crumb, 
Because they feel that they can equal that. 
Of doctrine, or belief, or party cause. 

Festus. That is the madness of the world — and that 
Would I remove. 

Lucifer, It is imbecility, 

Not madness. 

Festus. Oh 1 the brave and good who serve 
A worthy cause can only one way fail ; 
By perishing therein. Is it to fail ? 
No ; evei'y great or good man's death is a step 
Firm set towards their end, the end of being ; 
The good of all, and love of God. The world 
Must have great minds, even as great spheres or sunf, 
To govern lesser restless minds, while they 
Stand still and burn with life ; to keep in place, 
Light, heat them. Life immortal do I seek, 
For aught, it were most to learn mind's mystery, 
And somewhat more of God. Let others rule 
Systems or succour saints, if such things please ; 
To live like light, or die in light like dew ; 
Either, I should be blessed. 

Lucifer. It may not be. 

For as not the sun himself thou viewest, but only 
The light about him, like the glory ringed 
Round a saint's brow ; so, God thou wilt never see, 
Darkness of light eradiative. Nor seek. 
His naked love were terrible. Saints dread more 
To be forgiven than sinners do to die. 



PESTU8, n 

Flstus. Men have a claim on God ; and none who hath 
A heart of kindness, reverence, and love, 
lint dare look God in the face and ask his smile. 
He dwells in no fierce light — no cloud of flame ; 
And if it were, Faith's eye can look throug-h hell. 
And through the solid world. We must all think 
On Crod. Yon water must reflect the sky. 
Midnight 1 Day hath too much of light for us, 
To see thingn spiritually. Mind and Night 
Will meet, though in silence, like forbidden love; f?, 
With whom to see each other's sacred form 
Must satisfy. The stillness of deep bliss, 
Sound as the silence of the high hill-top, 
Where thunder finds no echo — like God's voice 
Upon the worldling's proud, cold, rocky heart — 
Fills full the sky ; and the eye shares witli hea"S'en 
That look, so like to feeling, nature's bright 
And glorious things aye wear. There's much to thmk 
And feel of things beyond this earth ; which lie. 
As we deem, upwards, far from the day's glare 
And riot. They are Night's. Oh ! could we lift 
Tlie future's sa)>le shroud ! 

Lucifer. Behind a shroud 

What should'st thou see but death ? 

Festus. Spirit ; the thre^i 

Sightless, whereon are strung life's world-great beads. 
It may be here, I shall live again ; or there, 
In yon strange world whose long nights know no star ; 
But seven fair maidlike moons attending him 
Perfect his sky ; perchance in one of those ; 
But live again I shall, wherever it be. 
We long to learn the future ; love to guess. 

Lucifer. The science of the future were to man 
What the wind's shadow might be, sought he screen 
From fire or flood. Save in the effect of act. 
And the interlinked sequences of things, 
Whereby to ourselves we make passed, present, coming', 
There is no future. WTiy so fret this string ? 
Such thoughts are vain and useless. 

Festus. Forced on us. 

Lucifer. All things are of necessity. 

Festus. Then best. 

But the good are never fatalists. The bad 
Alone act by necessity, they say. 

Lucifer. It matters not what men assume to be 
Or good or bad, they are but what they are. 

Festus. WTiat ia necessity ? Are we, and tliou. 
And all the worlds, and the whole infinite 
We cannot see, but working out God's thoughts 1 
And have we no self-action ? Are all God / 

Lucifer. Then hath he sin and all absui-dity. 

Festus, Yet, if created Being have free-will 



&4 FE8TU8. 

Is it not wrong to judge it may traverse 
God'B o^vn high will ; and yet impossible 
To think on't otherwise ? 

Lucifer. It may be so. 

All creature wills, and all their ends and powert 
Must come within the boundless scope of God's. 

Festus. And all our powers are but weaknesses 
To what we shall have, and to that God hath. 
Doth not the wi.sh, too, point the likelihood, 
Of life to come ? 

LuciFEB. Boys wish that they were kings, 

And so with thee. A deathless spirit's state. 
Freed from gross form and bodily weightiness, 
Seems kingly by the side of souls like thine. 
And boys and men will likely both be balked. 
What if, — death after — spirit were loosed, like flesh, 
Into its elements ? Hold yon worlds, man maps 
Constellate, fellowship in nature ? Life, 
Mind, soul, as he hath planned, perchance no more. 
But sooth to say, I know not aught of thia. 
I have no kind. No nature like to me 
Exists ; and human spirits must at least 
Sleep till the day of doom — if ever it be. 

Festus. Hast never known one free from body ? 

Lucifer. Xone, 

Festus. Why seek then to destroy them ? 

Lucifer. It is my paiu 

Let ruin bury ruin. Let it be 
Woe here, woe there, woe, woe be everywhere. 
It is not for me to know, nor thee, the end 
Of evil. I inflict ; and thou must bear. 
The arrow knoweth not its end nor aim. 
And I keep rushing, ruining along, 
Like a great river rich with dead men's soula^ 
For if I knew, I might rejoice ; and that 
To me by nature is forbidden. I know 
Nor joy in ill's success, such as elates 
Lesser malevolences ; nor sorrow sours 
My soul at sight of heaven's unwearying love 
Manwards. With me through time, a changeless tone 
Of sadness like the nightwind's is the strain 
Of what I have of feeling. T am not 
As other spirits, — but a solitude 
Even to myself ; I the sole spirit, sole. 

Festus. Can none of thine immortals answer me ? 

LuciFEE. None, mortal 1 

Festus. Where then is thy vaunted power? 

LuciPEE. It is better seen as thus I stand apart 
From all. Mortality is mine — the green 
Unripened universe. But as the fruit 
Matures, and world by world drops mellowed oflE 
The wxinklin^r stalk of Time, ae thine own race 



FESTUS, 

Hath seen of stars now vanished, all is hid 
From me. My part is done. WTiat aft«r cornea, 
I know not more than thou. 

FKSTUri. Raise me a spirit I 

Lucifer. Command o'er natural essence, space, time, matter, 
I yield thee. Can I give thee power o'er soul i 

Festus. Awake, ye dead ! out with the secret, death ; 
The grave hath no pride, nor the rise-again, 
Let each one bring the bane whereof he died. 
Bring the man his, the maiden hers ! Oh ! half 
!\Iankind are murderers of themselves or souls. 
Yea, what is life but lingering suicide ? 
Wake, dead 1 Ye know the truth ; yet there ye lie 
All rangling, mouldering, perishing tocrether, 
Like run sand in the hour-glass of old Time. 
Death is the mad world's asylum. There is peace : 
Destruction's quiet and equality. 
Night brings out stars as sorrow shows us truths : 
Though many, yet they help not ; bright, they light not. 
They are too late to serve us ; and sad thmgs 
Are aye too true. We never see the stars 
Till we can see nought but them. So with truth. 
And yet if one would look down a deep well, 
Even at noon, we might see those same stars 
Far fairer than the blinding blue— the truth. 
Probe the profound of thine own nature, man I 
And thou mayst see reflected, e'en in life. 
The worlds, the heavens, the ages ; by and by, 
The coming come. Then welcome, world-eyed Truth I 
But there are other eyes men better love 
Than Truth's : for when we have her she is so cold, 
And proud, we know not what to do with her. 
We cannot understand her, cannot teach ; 
She makes us love her, but she loves not us ; 
And quits us as she came and looks back never. 
Wherefore we fly to Fiction's wann embrace, 
With her to relax and bask ourselves at ease ; 
And, in her loving and unhindering lap 
^'■oluptuously lulled, we dream at most 
On death and truth ; she knows them, loves them not ; 
Therefore we hate them and deny them both. 

LuciFEE. But could I make that visible always there ? 

FESTU8. Call up the dead. 

Lucifer. Let rest while rest they maj. 

For free from pain and from this world's weai- and tear, 
It may be a relief to them to rot ; 
And it must be that at the day of doom, 
If mortals should take up immortal life. 
They will curse me with a thunder which .shall shake 
The sun from out the socket of his sphere. 
The curse of all created. Tliink ou it- 



86 FESTUS. 

Festus. Those souls thou meanest, whom thou hast ruined, 
damned, 

Lucifer. Nor only those ; when once the virgin bloom 
Of soul is soiled ; and rudely hath my hand 
Swept o'er the swelling clusters of all life ; 
Little it matters whether crushed or touched 
Scarcely : each speaks the spoiler hath been theie. 
The saved, the lost, shall curse me both alike : 
Ood t/)0 shall curse me, and I, I, myself. 
That curse is ever greatening, quick with hell ; 
The comiag consummation of all woe. 

Festus. O man, be happy. Die and cease for ever. 
Why v.ear we not the shroud alway, that robe 
Which speaks our rank on earth, our privilege ? 
To know I have a deathless soul I would lose it. 

Lucifer. Believest thou all I tell thee ? 

Festus. All, I do. 

Stringing the stars at random round her head, 
Like a pearl network, there she sits, bright Night 1 
I love night more than day, she is so lovely. 
But I love night the most because she brings 
My love to me in dreams which scarcely lie ; 
Oh, all but truth and lovelier oft than truth ; 
Let me have dreams like these, sweet night, for ever, 
WTien I shall wake no more ; an endless dream 
Of love and holy beauty amid the stars ; 
And earth and heaven for me may share between them 
The rough realities of other bliss, 

Lucifer. I see thy heart, and I will grant thy wish 
I have lied to thee. I have command over spirits ; 
And e'er behold them, bodiless as space. 
Whom wilt thou that I call ? 

Festus. Mine Angela ! 

Lucifer. There is an Angel ever by thine hand. 
What seest thou ? 

Festus. It is my love. It is she 1 

My glory, spirit, beauty 1 let me touch thee. 
Nay do not shrink back ; well then I am wrong : 
Thou wert not wont to shrink from me, my lovo, 
Angela ! dost thou hear me ? Speak to me. 
And thou art there ; looking alive and dead. 
Tliy beauty is then incorruptible. 
I thought so, oft as I have looked upon thee. 
Thou art too much even now for me as once. 
I cannot gather what I raved to say ; 
Nor why I had thee hither. Stay, sweet sprite 1 
Dear art thou to me now, as in that hour 
When first love's wave of feeliag, spray-like, broke 
Into bright utterance, and we said we loved. 
Yea, but I must come to thee. Move no more. 
Art thou in death or heaven, or from the stars? 
She speaks not, 'Tis ^ phantom maybe, only. 



FESTUS. 

Have I done wrong in calling- for thee thus f 

What art thou 7 Say, love ; whisper me as wont, 

In the dear times gone by ; or durst not here. 

Unfold the mystery of thine own bright being. 

And mine ? Was't meddling death who hushed thy lipi 1 

Is his cold finger there still ? Let me come I 

She is not ! 

LuciFKB. And thou canst not bring her bad:. 

Festus. I will not, cannot be without her. CaU her. 

LuciPEB. I call on spirits and I make them come : 
But they depart according to their own will. 
Another time and she shall speak with thee. 
For, of thy state no more, to know her thou 
Into her sphere must rise. 

Festus. What most I'd know 

Is how soul acts, how suffers ; how the God 
Treats, death achieved, man's mind. 

LuciPER. She of tlie pas-'^ed 

Shall there fulfil thy spirit ; and, holding forth 
The bright clue, which like lightning's friendly flaah 
Before one, night-lost in a wood, shall guide 
The soul its path through life's retumless maze, 
And teach the mystery of thyself. All this, 
Ere long ; and she shall show thee where she dwells, 
And how doth pass her immortality ; 
If lengthening decay can so be called. 
Can lines finite one way be infinite 
Another ? And yet such is deathlessness. 

Festus. It is hard to deem that spirits cease, that thought 
And feeling flesh-like perish in the dust. 
Shall we know those again in a future state 
^^llom we have known and loved on earth ? Say yes 1 

Lucipeb. The mind hath features as the body hath. 

Festus. But is it mind which shall revive ? 

Lucipeb. :\[an were 

Not man without the mind he had in life. 
But, think. When dead and buried what remains, 
That such an obscure, contradictory thing 
Should be perpetuated anywhere ? 

Festus. Oh ! if God hates the flesh, why made he it 
So beautiful that e'en its semblance maddens? 
Am I to credit what I think I have seen ? 
Or am I suffering some deceit of thine ? 

Lucipeb. I am explaining, not deluding. 

Festus. True. 

Defining night by darkness, death by dust. 
I run the gaimtlot of a file of doubts. 
Each one of which down hurls me to the ground. 
I ask a hundred reasons what they mean. 
And every one points gravely to the ground 
With one hand, and to heaven with the other. 
In vain I shut mine eyes. Truth's burning befira 



iS8 FE8TU8. 

Forces them open ; and when open, blinds them. 

LuciPEB. Doubly unhappy ! 

Festus. I am too unhapi)y . 

To die ; as some too way-worn cannot sleep. 
Planets and suns, that set themselves on fire 
By their own rapid self -revolvements, arc 
But like some hearts. Existence I despise. 
The shape of man is wearisome ; a bird's ; 
A worm's ; a whirlwind's ; I would chang-e with aught. 
Time I dash thine hour-glass down. Have done with this. 
The course of nature seems a course of death ; 
The prize of life's brief race, to cease to run : 
The sole substantial thing, death's nothingness. 

Lucifer. Corruption springs from light ; 'tis one same iiower 
Creates, preserves, destroys ; matter whereon 
It works, one e'er self-transmutative form. 
Common to now the living, now the dead. 

Festus. I'll not believe a thing which I have known. 
Hell was made hell for me, and I am mad. 

LuorPER. True venom churns the froth out of the lips ; 
It works, and works, like any waterwheel. 
And she then was the maiden of thy heart. 
Well, I have promised. Ye shall meet again. 
But stay ; take this, a final warning. Aught 
Thou hast seen, hold not too sure. Ofttimes the brain 
Breams waking ; with vitality endows 
Its own creations ; argues ; thought's best proofs, 
Things spiiitual projecting on gross sense, 
As shadows upon boards, refutes. 

Festus. What, all 

Illusion, vision, sleight of touch, or tongue ? 

LuciFEK. I say not so. This, that is probable. 
Now, shall we go ? 

Festus. This moment. I am ready ; 

Farewell ye dear old walks and trees ; farewell 
Ye waters ; I have loved ye well. In youth 
And childhood it hath been my life to drift 
Across ye liglitly as a leaf ; or skim 
Your waves in yon skiff, swallowlike ; or lie 
Like a loved locket on your sunny bosom. 
Could I, like you, by looking in myself. 
Find mine own heaven — farewell 1 Immortal, come 1 
The morning peeps her blue eye on the east. 

Lucifer. Think not .so fondly as thy foolish race, 
Imagining a heaven from things without ; 
Tlie picture on the passing wave call heaven ; 
The wavelet, life ; the sands beneath it, death ; 
Daily more seen till, lo 1 the bed is bare. 
This fancy fools the world. 

Festus. Let us away t 

LuciFEfi, Wings of the wind, be ours ! once, twice, ."-way J 



FE8TU8. 60 



IV 



NoTT sets the jouth out for joy, the city of joy, 
Whose walls illuminated with all-hued spheres 
Ueacon the immense of life. lie, 'neath the cure 
Of his kindly enemy, begins his course ; 
Eacli aiding other ; all beside abused. 
Heaven, hell, life pre-exiettnt, things not yet, 
Things passed, immemoi-able, foreshadowy, show 
liricfwise before the all-quest ful s]urit, intent 
To prove its dominance o er the vorld, till taught 
Earth, air, nor fire, nor all the elements fused 
Into one subtlest essence, aught avail 
The soul to assist or to divert, once charged 
God's mighty but mysterious ends to achieve ; 
Ends more substantial than all solidest things. 

.1 Mountain. Sunrise. 
Festus and LuciFER. 

Festus. Mom on the mountains I Mai-k her lifening glow, 
IJg-ht's blessed advent prophesying" ; and now 
The awful signals, sensible, but scarce seen. 
Of the under-welkin'd sun. Here, midft this fr.ne, 
With the awe of space domed, let me, sole with God, 
In privacy of his omnipresence, pray ; 
And while the unboundedness of earth and sky 
Seizes in silence all the spirit, let me, 
With nature one, for like dependent life, 
Grateful, adore. 

LuciPEB. Oh, pray adore : I'm dumb. 

Festus. In cilence soul most nears the Infinite. 
Hail beauteous Earth I Gazing o'er thee, I all 
Forget the bounds of being ; and I long 
To fill thee, as a lover pines to blend 
Soul, passion, yea, existence, with the fair 
Creature he calls his own. I ask for nought 
Before or after death but this — to lie. 
And look, and live, and bask, and bless myself 
Upon thy broad bright bosom. 

Lucifer. Earth's the Lord's, 

Festus. True ; I should be more reverent. Thou hast all 
Nature's supremest sanctities, earth. From thee 
Sprang I, to thee I turn, heart, arm, and brain. 
Yes, I am all thine own. Thou art the sole 
Parent. To rock and river, plain and wood, 
I cry. ye are my kin. While I, O earth I 
Am but of thee an atom, and a breath, 
Passing unseen and unrecorded, like 
The tiny throb here in my temple's pulse. 
Thon art for ever ; and the sacred bride 
Of heaven ; worthy the passion of our Qod, 



60 FESTUa, 

Oh I full of liglit, love, grrace ; the grace of all 

Who owe to thee their life ; thy maker's love ; 

His face's light. All thine rejoice in thee ; 

Thou in thyself for aye ; rolling through air, 

As seraph's song, out of their trumpet lips, 

Bolls round the skies of heaven. But who is this, 

Burning the clouds before him ; the round world 

Apt to his golden gi-asp ? his fingers all 

Streaming with light effectual to impart 

Full fellowship of illuminate life ; from out 

The depths extreme, who comes, of orient space T 

Undo those gilded bars : fling wide yon gates 

Eastwards, of changeful pearl ; wide o'er his ways, 

Strew palms, as 'fore heaven's conqueror, and the night" i 

Flying hosts, star-standarded ; make pure his paths 

With rain of liquid crystal. He shall see 

How earth can put on majesty, to meet 

The king in her own mansion. Let the mom 

Pour, penitent for the passed, o'er all his head, 

Her wealthful waste of perfumed sweets ; his feet 

Let kiss, with all her dews. It i'? he, the sun ( 

God's crest upon his azure shield the heavens. 

Canst thou, a spirit, look upon him ? 

Lucifer. Ay. 

1 led him from the void, where he was wrought, 
By this right hand, up to the glorious seat 
His brightness overshadows ; laid on piles 
Of gold his chambers, and upon beams of gold 
His throne built ; flung a fire- veil round his face ; 
Crowned him with rays reverberant from all clouds : 
And bade him reign, and bum, like me. Like me 
Pall, too, he must. I have done, do, nought else 
Prom my first thought to this and to my last. 
Xo matter ; it is beneath this mind of mine 
To reck of aught, I bear, have borne the ill 
Of ages, of infinities ; and must. 
I care not. I shall sway the world as now ; 
Which worse and worse sinks with me as I sink. 
Till finite souls evanish as a vapour ; 
Till immortality, the proud thing, perish ; 
And God alone be and eternity. 
Then will I clap my hands and cry to him, 
I have done : have thy will now, there is none but thee. 
I am the fiist created being (ceased 
Necessity and nature and with them 
The strain of imperfection) : I the last 
Will be for ever to perish and to die. 

Festxjs. Thou art a fit monitor, methinks, of pleasure. 

LuciPKE. To the high air, sunshine and cloud are one ; 
Pleasure and pain to me. Thou and the earth 
Alone feel these as different ; for ye 
Are under them ; the heavens and I above. 



FesttJS. But tell me have ye scenes like this in hell f 

Ldcifeb. Nay, not in heaven. 

Festus. What is heaven ? not the toy» 

Of singing, love and music I Such a place 
Were fit for glee-maids only. 

Lucifer. Heaven is no placa 

Unless a place with God. all- where ; no more 
Therefore conceivably to come, than now. 
It is the being good ; the knowing God ; 
The consciousness of happiness and power. 
With knowledge which no spirit e'er can lose, 
But doth increase in every state ; and aught 
It most delights in, the full leave to do. 
But why consume me with such questions ? Why 
Add earth to hell in the great chain of worlds 
God in his wrath has bound about me ? 

Festus. Why ? 

It was therefore that I closed with thee, great Fiend 
That thou mightst answer all things I proposed, 
Or bring me those who would. 

Lucifeb. But all these things 

Thou wilt know sometime, when to see and know 
Are one ; to see a thing and comprehend 
The nature of it esvsentially ; perceive 
The reason of its being ; its inner laws 
.\nd outer, all convergent goodwards ; trace 
All science upmost through va«t nature's plan ; 
And their relations with the whole, of things 
(.Contingent, willed, done, sensible, spiritual, gross. 
This, when the spirit is made free of heaven, 
la the divine result : proportioned still 
To the intelligence as finite ; for grades 
There are in heaven as all- where, in all things, 
By God's wiU. Unimaginable space. 
As full of suns as is earth's sun of atoms, 
Faileth to match his boundless variousness ; 
And ever must, albeit a thousand worlds, 
As diverse from each other as is thine 
From any of thy system's, were elanced 
Kaoh minute into life unendingly. 
AU of yon worlds and all who dwell in them 
fStand in diverse degrees of bliss, and being ; 
Of bliss ; grades countless o'er this world's, and man's 
Ability to conceive or feel ; of being ; 
A world- wheel of all varying aims and ends 
Bettering the soul's best cherished powers, and fixed 
Never, but ever orderly, self -placed 
In such progressive and up-trending ways 
As Deity must approve, must bless ; the soul 
3Iay soar through searchful ; yet of heaven nought know, 
More than a dim and miniature reflection, 
Of ita most bright infinity ; for God 



63 FESTTTS, 

Makes to each spirit its peculiar heaven. 

These thou mayst yet not miss ; intent to learn 

Mere exigencies of being ; nor seek to know 

Beyond what bears on judgment, be'est thou wise ; 

For I no further tempt thee to a risk 

That might ensure all ruin ere thy time. 

And yet is heaven a bright reality, 

As this, or any of yon worlds ; a state 

AVhere all is loveliness, and power, and love ; 

Where all sublimest qualities of mind, 

Not infinite ; are limited alone 

By the all-sunounding godhood ; and where nought 

But what createth glory and delight 

To creature and Creator is ; where all 

"Enjoy entire dominion o'er themselves, 

Acts, feelings, thoughts, conditions, qualities, 

Spirit and soul and mind ; all under God ; 

For spirit is soul deified ; while earth, 

To the immortal, vast, god-natured spirit 

Is but a spell, vrhich having served to light 

^ lamp, is cast into consuming fire. 

Such, and so sweet is memory to the eage 

Expert of good and evil. But, enough. 

Festus. And hell ? Is it nought but pits, and chaiuG, and flames f 

Lucifer. An ever greatening sense of ill and woe, 
The exhausted soul down-crushing, filling never 
Its infinite capacity of pain. 

Festus. But human is not infinite, 
And cannot, therefore, suffer endlessly. 

Lucifer. God may create in time what shall endure 
Unto eternity. With him is none 
Distinction, nor in that which is of him. 

Festus. Then is not scul of God, but man and earth. 
8oul when made spirit is of earth no more, 
Xor time, but of eternity and heaven. 
It is but when in the body aiul bent down 
To worldly ends that human souls become 
Objects of time, as most are, till the hour 
Comes, when the soul of man shall be made one 
With God's spirit ; made eternal, made divine ; 
And where shall woe be then ? sin ? suft'ering .' 

Lucifer. How- 

Shall soul thus favoured, then, predestined thus. 
To glory afore all worlds, be deemed of earth 
Earthy ? 

Festus. Tilings spiritual as belonging God, 
Are to and from eternity, by him 
Predestined, known ; nor these alone ; but fle^<h 
Forms not, nor doth it need the care of fate. 

Lucifer. The object of eternal knowledge must 
Have like existence. 

Ffi3TU8. Tlien it cannot bo 



r£8TU8. «S 

Bound unto torment, that would dreadlj' bring 
Torture on godlike essence. 

LuciFEE, "What if thine 

litiBtenoe on this sphere were but, em told, 
In mystic talea of old spread over eartli. 
The dark and narrow section of a life 
Which was with God, long- ere the sun was lit : 
And shall be yet, when all the bold bright stars 
Are dark as death«duflt ; Immortality 
And Wisdom tending tliee on either hand, 
Thy divine sisters ? What if earth-Ufe prove. 
Of thee and thy conceptions head and end. 
Who were to blame ? Thou canst not surely expecfc 
Me to know all things. 

Festus. Truly, I have heard 

Sometimes, or deemed, what deepest musings failed 
To explain, or render more than dubious, lips, 
Uncorporal lips, ai-tlculate in mine ear, 
Lessons, long ages back learned ; deemed I have felt 
Oft-times a shadowiest conception seize 
My spirit, as though the echo of a life 
Far passed, rang through one's being, and thrilled the heart 
With sense of joys requickened, of thought rethought, 
Of difEculties fore-vanquished, and of truth 
Taught by a sacred death regenerative, 
AMiich, justified from sin, as though were mine 
A life half conscious of sublimer spheres, 
A mind transessenced through all faiths, refined 
Through ends divine fulfiJied. 

Lucifer. Ends thou mayst yet 

Clear from the tangled passed, if one sole clue 
Thou gloriest in. 

Festus. Could thought but realize ! — 

No, it is incredible. 

Lucifer. Well, do thou Ixilieve 

Even as thou wilt. The science of the passed, 
The science of the future, lack them both. 
Why seek such ? Seize the present. 

Festub. 'Tis all doubt. 

Lucifer. Doubt's ail-where, doubtless, but in heaven. 

Festus. And thou 

Whose life shows, catanict-likc, one cea.seless fall, 
Mayst match it I But if doubt bide not in heaven, 
Neither dwells certainty upon earth. But say, 
Is it the nature or the deed of God, 
To render finite follies infinite, 
Or to eternize sin and death in fire ? 
For so long as the punishment endures. 
Tlie crime lasts. Were it not for thy presence, 
Spirit 1 I would not deem hell were. 

Lucifer. Let not 

iiy presence pass for more than it is worth, 



6i FS8TU8. 

I pray, nor yet my absence. Trust me, I 
Could wish, with thee, that hell were blotted out 
Of utmost space. 'Tis man himself e'er makes 
His own God, and his hell. But this is truth. 

Festus. The truth is perilous never to the true, 
Nor knowledge to the wise ; and to the fool, 
And to the false, error and truth alike. 
Error is worse than ignorance. But say : 
How can eternal punishment be due 
To temporal offences, to a pulse 
Of momentary madness ? 

Lucifer. Pause and think. 

Sin is not temporary. Nothing is, 
Of spiritual nature, but hath cause 
Premortal and immortal end in all, 
As spirits. Therefore till the soul shall be 
By grace redeified, as is the soul, 
So is the sin, for ever before God. 

Festus. Sin is not of the spirit, but of that 
Which blindeth spirit, heart and brain. 

Lucifer. Believe s<x 

The law of all the worlds is retribution. 

Festus. But is it so of God ? 

Lucifer. The laws of heaven 

Are not of earth ; there law is liberty. 

Festus. Thou thundercloud of spirits, darkening 
The skies and wrecking earth ! Could I hate men 
How I should joy with thee, even as an eagle. 
Nigh famished, in the fellowship of storms ; 
But I still love them. What will come of men ? 

Lucifer. Whatever may, perdition is their meed. 
Were heaven dispeopled for a ministry, 
To warn them of their ways ; were thou and I 
To monish them ; were heaven, and eai-th, and hell 
To preach at once, they still would mock and jeer 
As now ; but never repent until too late ; 
Until the everlaating hour had struck. 

Festus. Men might be better if we better deemed 
Of them. The worst way to improve the world 
Is to condemn it. Men may overget 
Delusion ; not despair. 

Lucifer. WTiy love mankind ? 

The affections are thy system's weaknesses ; 
The wasteful outlets of self -maintenance. 

Festus. The wild flower's tendril, proof of feebleness, 
Proves strength ; and so we fling our feelings out, 
The tendrils of the heart, to bear us up. 
O earth 1 how drear to think to tear oneself, 
}ilven for an hour, from looks like this of thine ; 
From features, oh ! so fair ; to quit for aye 
The luxury of thy side. Why, why art thou 
Thus glorious, an "twere not to sat« the soul, 



FESTU8. 61? 

And chide us for the senseless dream of heaven ? 

The still strong stream sweeps seaward to its end, 

Unrestful, unrestrainable, like one 

Of God's great purposes ; or like may be, 

A soul that seeks the Eternal ; like mine own. 

Along yon deep blue vein upon thy bosom, 

Earth ! I could float for ever. See it there, 

Winding among its green and smiling isles, 

Like charity amidst her children dear ; 

Or peace, rejoicing in her olive wreaths, 

And gladdening as she glides along the lands. 

Lucifer. And yet all this must end ; must pass ; drop down 
Oblivion, like a pebble in a pit : 
For God shall lay his hand upon the earth. 
And crush it up like a red leaf. 

Festus. Not be ? 

I cannot root the thought, nor hold it firm. 

Lucifer. This same sweet world which thou would'st fondly 
deem 
Eternal, may be ; which I soon shall see 
Destruction suck back as the tide a shell. 

Festus. It will not be yet. I'll woo thee, world, again ; 
And revel in thy loveliness and love. 
I have a heart with room for every joy : 
And since we must part sometime, while I may, 
I'll quaff the nectar in thy flowers, and press 
The richest clusters of thy luscious fruit 
Into the cup of my desires. But who 
Would care to live unless he loved, and were loved ; 
Unless he had all things young and beautiful. 
Bound up like pictures in his book of life ? 
It is vanity, of all things most, makes bear 
With life. Some live like unenlightened stars 
Of the first darkness ; lifeless, timeless, useless ; 
With nothing but a cold night air about them ; 
Not Sims ; not planets ; blankness, limbed and framed ; 
Orbs of a desert gloom : with not one soul 
To light its watch-fire in their waste of being ; 
Or seem so, miserably ; but how or why 
They live I know not. This to me is life ; 
That if life be a burden, I will join 
To make it but the burden of a song : 
I hate the world's coai-se thought. And this is lire ; 
To watch young beauty's budlike feelings burst. 
And load the soul with love ; as that pale flower 
Which opes at eve, spreads sudden on the dark 
Its yellow bloom, and sinks the air down with sweets. 
Let heaven take all that's good — hell all that's foul ; 
Leave us the lovely, and we will ask no more. 

Lucipeb. To me it seems time aU should end. The sky 
Grows grey. It is not so bright nor blue as once. 
Well I remember, as it were yesterday, 

D 




mtiievoEid^ 

Orr 

ia holy Iribrity Imgliwl ooi^ 
.Aad cried, Bor I, like God, I neramfc. 

nBRvaGodlnliiHiira^eadiilieaL Let loe Ix:iT>e 
Tot floit I look OR tiiee, fiur fleeae, again, 
Ewldepart. The gloqr of liie vodd 
boaalllMida, Iai 
I gaae on river, sea, iaiie, 

vood, and wild, and ficeJiiiped hm. 



Irifl^htfy die. iHnoe dMik ia d^. 
d^ aad port aad palaee, ddfB aad toite, 
laeaMMdaadBuvpedbefonflML All« 
Ihe ekflKBla of Ike wodd aae at nj feefe, 
Above we and alioat omu Sow weald I 
Be and do aoMeeiiai beaide tiiat 1 am. 
Gaaafc Ikon not fire BM 
Of <ke pne cMOMse of an . 
flneh aa n^ boodlew bcain iMdL ofttimea dcawB, 
In ibe dtvttie inamitj of dteama ; 
Toytmd heton me^ and obey ne, apitit f 

CUl oat. and aee if ao^ axise to tliee. 
Green dewj eactii, who etandfwt at mj feel 
Wnging, and poaring eonrfifBO on thj bead, 
Ai naiiid nalive water; ipeak to me 1 
I am tl^ eon. Omat tfaon not now, aa onoe, 
Brin^ fortii aome being desm^ liker to tiiee 
la my ttPf titan or Unj fay, 
or woodrUjuidi f 

I^icnrEB. She hath oeaced to speak, 

like God, caEoept in thunder ; or to look, 
Unleae hi lightomg. JGndea, with earth. 
Axe oat of faahion, aa with heaven ; and morels 
The pity. GaU daewheaeu Old earth is hard 
Of hearing, nu^be. 

FEeroi. I beseedi thee, sea ! 

Teasing thy wavy locks in spadding play, 
Like a dUkl ewakening with the waoithfnl light 
To laqghtv; eaaat not thoa disgnlph for me, 
Trom tiqr deep bosom, deep mb bMuren is hig^ 
Of an tt^ ae»-fodi one, or aeMMUi f 



FB8TV8. 



None! 
Cmak not from mA tliat palpdhl^ rmpaar raOed 



iiaare;, 



of Mufcoraid? 



IliilfdeBpuc Fireilkafcat 
lun flOiBB fltant 'vamor IB Ins lodpf £art^ 
Aftor ike ^aok m¥aai<m Off liie viadd. 

Of eBffjnn deoMnt, wlio boOi knows 
Bf nntanl Yiifae, of euWs eental Toid, 
Bmn^ bekm, tiie swdbIb, and U^ BBH^vcnli, 
Onfc of vkoM aieiy fim eome angei focBtt, 
ill, ■mwiihlf an to pmrer? 
■eafckandiodoBBjrladdiB^? Game! 

Hot of otamgtii destraotive, hat of finest Cosee ; 
aa fiaaMi fartii in flowcRta : aetey in ^pniB^, 
wHk gone^ighfc, and vitb pyni* 

Tb be vi& nw alviT* «■ » Aand, n «U ; 

lOCDSB. AHi 
laMfctlMinfeof 

dnfaeOonboHli^ofaa; 
Mlkintntl^antUB 

or 




»1 



68 FE8TU8. 

In maze concentric, intercycling, vast ; 
And all are known, their laws and libertiea. 
But no man can foreset thy coming, none 
Reason against thy going ; thou art free, 
The type impalpable of spirit, thou, 
God's vital breath, great purifier of earth. 
Thunder is but a momentary thing, 
Like a world's death-rattle, and is like death ; 
And lightning, like the blaze of sin, can blind 
Only and slay. But what are these to thee, 
In thine all-present variousness ? So light 
As not to awaken, now, the snowiest down 
Upon the dove's breast, winning her bright way, 
Calm and sublime as grace to suffering soul, 
Towards her far native grove ; now, stem and strong 
As ordnance, overturning tree and tower ; 
Cooling the white brows of the peaks of fire ; 
Turning the sea's broad furrows like a plough ; 
Fanning the fruitening plains ; breathing the sweets 
Of meadows ; wandering over blinding snows ; 
And sands like sea-beds ; and the streets of cities, 
Where men as garnered grain lie heaped together ; 
Freshening the cheeks, and mingling oft the locks 
Of youth and beauty 'neath star-speaking eve ; 
Swelling the pride of canvas, or, in wrath. 
Scattering the fleets of nations like dead leaves ; 
In all, the same o'ermastering sightless force ; 
Bowing the highest things of earth to earth, 
And lifting up the dust to the stars ; fatelike. 
Confounding finite reason, and like God's spirit, 
Regenerative, life breathing o'er the world ; 
Midst all corruption incorruptible ; 
Monarch of all the elements, earth's broad bounds 
Rounding invisibly, hast not one 'mong aU 
Sylph-kind, with voluntary but viewless wing, 
To spare thy suppliant for a season ? 

LuciPBB. Hold 1 

All nature knows intuitive, I am here, 
With thee ; and as with desert lion, sense, 
Full strange of his proud presence, seems to o'erspread 
Saudworld, and life suspend ; so thriUs, instinct 
With its fierce secret, the whole frame of things ; 
Which feels, with me, no minor minister, 
Thou needst. To thee I personate the world, 
Its faiths ; half doubt, half truth ; its practices^. 
Just, surface-wise ; its powers ; all mine, at least, 
Will serve thee most intelligently. Fail these. 
Indeed, let fail success itself. 

Festus. Are all 

Mine invocations fruitless then 1 

LiJCiFEE. They are. 

Let ns enjoy earth. 



FESTUa, 

Pestus. It were well. 

LuciFEB. 'Tis time, 

As when in boreal climes the southening sun, 
One hour on heaven's aerial rood suspense, 
The ecliptic cleared, thereafter, east and west 
More liberal day flings round ; pleased earth responds ; 
And the ice-fettered rivulet, joyed, breaks up, 
Clattering, in fluvial freedom ; thenceforth flowing 
Deeplier and more impulsive ; so thy heart, 
For a season chilled, contracted, in unseen 
Currents constrained, shall now its course resume, 
Leaping with life redundant. 

Festus. Wer't God's will 

That thou shouldst visit me, he shall not send 
Temptation to my heart in vain. Sweet world ! 
We aU stiU cling to thee. Though thou thyself 
Passest away, yet men will hanker about thee, 
Like mad ones by their moping haunts. Men pass, 
Cleaving to things themselves which pass away 
Like leaves on waves. Thus all things pass for ever, 
Save mind, and the mind's meed. 

LuciPEB. Let us too pass. 



Soul solemnized by dear ones' death, belief 

In heavenlv life confirmed of reason finds. 

Here roimd her bier they meet who several rvile 

After the heart to each in turn their fate. 

"World knowledge, fruit both sweet and bitter, shows 

Its green and ruddy sides, mean, generous thought. 

Trial alone of ill and folly gives 

Clear proof of the world's vanities ; best right 

To warn, denounce. Too oft but Httle good 

Of sermons comes, of prophecies, and warnings. 

Though one most apt to admonish of man's end, 

And from the steps of an old gray market cross, 

The Devil is holding forth to the faithless. There, 

Gravest predictions slighted most, not less, 

The spirit of truth impartial mav provide 

Conviction just, fit utterance. So to God 

A social prayer is offered up for man 

Of all strains, countries, poUcies, creeds. 

A Coimtry Toum — Market Place — JVoon, 

LuciFEB and Festus. 

Lucifer. These be the toils and cares of mighty men* 
Earth's vermin are as fit to fill her thiones. 
As these high heaven's bright seats. 



70 FESTU8. 

Festus. Men's callings all 

Are mean and vain, their wishes more so ; oft 
The man is bettered by his part, or place. 
How slight a chance may raise, or sink a soul, 

LuciFEB. What men call accident is Grid's own paiii. 
He lets ye work yonr will, He wills ye will. 
But that ye meant not, know not, do not, he doth. 

Festus. Wliat is life worth without a heart to feel 
The great and lovely harmonies which time 
And nature change responsive, all writ out 
By preconcertive hand which swells the strain 
To divine fulness ; feel the poetry, 
The soothing rhythm of life's fore-ordered lay, 
As planned from first by its great maker ; feel 
The aim and joy of things whose inner laws 
Are present witnesses of God ; and once 
Conform with His intent, thrice holy ; sin, 
Though rebel, ne'er beyond his sceptre's length, 
But sadly privileged yet by destiny 
To compulsory service. Oh ! to stand 
Soul raptured, on some lofty mountain thought, 
And feel the spirit expand into a view 
Millennial, life-exalting, of a day 
When earth shall have all leisure for high ends 
Of social culture ; ends a liberal law 
And common peace of nations, blent with charge 
Divine, shall win for man, were joy indeed ; 
Nor greatly less to know what might be now, 
Worked will for good with power, for one brief hour. 
But look at these, these individual souls ; 
How sadly men show out of joint with man. 
There are millions never think a noble thought. 
But with brute hate of brightness bay a mind 
Which drives the darkness out of them, like hounds. 
Throw but a false glare round them, and in shoals 
They rush upon perdition ; that's the race. 
What charm is in tliis world-scene to such minds 
Blinded by dust ? What can they do in heaven : 
A state of spiritual means, and ends ? 

Lucifer. Who knows ? 

What hinders, not the less, if, these betwixt 
And that pure heaven thou dreamst of, some broad zono 
Of mild a)therial order, spread, where souls. 
Tempered prospectively, through dateless years, 
And lustral, fit themselves to loftier life. 
And ends more estimable than these we see ? 

Festus. Such- state were not unreasonable ; but who 
Unless in dreams or visions, knows the like '/ 
Thus must I doubt ; perpetually, I doubt. 

LuciPEB. Who never doubted never half believed ; 
Where doubt, there truth is ; 'tis her shadow, I 
Declare to thee the passed is not. All life 



FESTUB, H- 

I have looked o'er, yet never seen the age 
That had been, nor to be. Why dread or dream 
About the future ? Nothing but what is, is, 
Else God were not the maker that he seems, 
Like constant in creating as in being. 
Embrace the present. Let the coming pass. 

Festus. Thou windest and unwindest faith at will, 
AVhat am I to believe ? 

Lucifer. I am allowed 

By common law to instigate. Not even thou 
Wouldst wish me more. Know then thou mayest believe 
But that thou art forced to. 

Festus. Then I feel perforce 

That instinct of immortal life in me 
Which prompts me to provide for it. 

Luctfer. Perhaps. 

Festus. There shall be no nncertainty with me, 
Ere yet we part. 

Lucifer. The prospect pleases still, 

Festus. Man hath a knowledge of a time to come ; 
His most important knowledge ; the weight lie>i 
Nearest the short end, this life ; and the world 
Depends on what's to be. I would deny 
The present, if the futui-e. Oh 1 there is 
A life to come, or all's a dream. 

Lucifer. And all 

May be a dream. Thou seest in thine, men. deeds, 
Clear, moving, full of speech and order. Why 
May not, then, all this world be but a dream 
Of God's ? Fear not. Some morning G od may waken. 

Festus. I would it were so. This life's a mystery. 
The value of a thought cannot be told ; 
But it is clearly woi-th a thousand lives 
Like many men's. And yet men love to live, 
As if mere life were worth the living for. 

Lucifer. AVhat but perdition will it be to most ? 

Festus. Life's more than breath and the quick round of 
blood ; 
It is a great spirit and a busy heart. 
The coward and the small in soul scarce do live. 
One generous feeling, one great thought, one deed 
Of good, ere night would make life longer seem 
Than if each year might number a thousand days, 
Spent as is this by nations of mankind. 
We live in deeds, not years ; in thoughts, not breaths ; 
In feelings ; not in figures on a diaL 
We should count time by heart-throbs, lie most lives 
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. 
Life's but a means imto an end ; that end, 
To those who dwell in Him, He most in them, 
Beginning, mean and end to all things, God. 
The dead have all the glory of the world. 



W FESTU8. 

Why will we live, and not be glorious ? 

We never can be deathless till we die. 

It is the dead win battles ; and the breath 

Of those who through the world drive like a wedge 

Tearing earth's empires up, nears death so close, 

It dims his well-worn scythe. But no ! the brave 

Die never. Being deathless, they but change 

Their country's arras, for more, their country's heart. 

Give then the dead their due ; it is they who saved us; 

Saved us from woe and want and servitude. 

The rapid and the deep ; the fall, the gulph, 

Have likenesses in feeling, and in life ; 

And life so varied hath more loveliness 

In one day, than a creeping century 

Of sameness. But youth loves and lives on change, 

Till the soul sighs for sameness ; which at last 

Becomes variety, and takes its place. 

Yet some will last to die out thought by thought 

And power by power, and limb of mind by limb, 

Like lamps upon a gay device of glass, 

Till all of soul that's left be dark and diy ; 

Till even the burden of some ninety years 

Hath crashed into them like a rock ; shattered 

Their system, as if ninety suns had rushed 

To ruin earth, or heaven had rained its stars ; 

TUl they become, like scrolls, unreadable, 

Through dust and mould. Can they be cleaned and read ? 

Do human spirits wax and wane like moons ? 

Lucifer. The eye dims and the heart gets old and slow ; 
The lithe limbs stiffen, and the sun-hued locks 
Thin themselves off, or whitely wither ; still, 
Ages not spirit, even in one point. 
Immeasurably minute ; from orb to orb, 
Eising in radiance ever like the sun 
Shining upon the thousand lands of earth. 
Look at the medley, motley throng we meet ; 
Some smiling, frowning some ; their cares and joys 
Alike not worth a thought ; some sauntering slowly, 
As if destruction never could overtake them ; 
Some hurrying on, as fearing judgment swift 
Should trip the heels of death, and seize them living. 

Festus. Grief hallows hearts even while it ages heads ; 
And much hot grief, in youth, forces up life 
With power which too soon ripens and which drops. 

[J. funeral passes. 
Ah ! what is this 1 A mystery sure resolved. 
I felt as fascinated towards this spot. 
Meseemed I saw a beckoning, as of bright 
Invisible hands I could not choose but follow. 
•Twas for this, doubtless. 

LuciFEB. strange coincidence J 

I0 this the funeral of the fair defunct 



FESTU8, 78 

Thou told'st me of somewhile, with tears ? 

Festus. The same. 

Lucifer. Behold those three fair maiden mourners. "Well, 
It is something, in default of other means, 
To leave fair friends behind one. Speak to them. 

Festus. That were I nowise loth to do. But stay ; 
My heart is not an anvil ; and the blow 
>Vhich grief hath struck me, needs not to be paired ; 
Or they might breed for ever. 

Lucifer. Speak to them. 

Festus. Why, yes, I'll speak to them ; I know them r.ll, 
As they know her they follow. Yet, methinks, 
All knowing, to ask curiously seems ill. 

Lucifer. To leam what others know seems only well. 

Festus. Whose funeral is this ye follow, friends ? 

Lucifer. Would ye have grief, let me come. I am woe. 

Mourner. We want no grief, Festus 1 she died of grief. 

Festus. Said'st thou she died ? Oh, then, I knew her. 

Mourner. True. 

Festus. Set down the body ; I would look yet on her. 
Not lovelier now than ever, only not. 
And garlanded, as for bridals. 

Mourner. True. What then? 

Say not thou knew'st not, thou, this crownM maid, 
Willed as death's bride, not thine, to be thus interred. 

Festus. Her hopes knew I too well. Oh, no 1 I nought 
Deny. I am doomed too many to offend, 
To prove the end of. Not the less, let be. 
When died she 1 

Mourner. But the o'er-last night when the sun 

His purple sea-couch pressed, and high in air 
Heaven glorified itself with every hue 
The world holds loveliest. 'Twas to those who watched 
That death-bed as if nature yearned to express 
By all tints gorgeousest her inmost joy 
To know this soul's reunion with its God. 

Festus. I mind the hour, the moment. 'Twas the breath 
As of a thousand lilies, witness pure 
Of her spirit's sanctity, lingering by this bier, 
Still, compassed me unconscious of the event, 
And marvelling of the miracle. Let me look 1 

Mourner. In sooth, a piteous sight. 

Festus. A heavenly sight I 

Now, sons of God, what do ye now in heaven, 
\\hile one so fair, so good, lies earthening here 1 
"Why not translate these holy relics hence 
To your unperishing precincts, to be shrined 
There fitliest ; or reanimate these as once ? 
X will give up the future for the passed ; 
The winged spirit and the starry home. 
Would heaven but let her live, and make me love. 

Clara. I feel as though her spirit hovered near • 

D 3 



74 PE8TU8. 

Holy and pure, it wafts me with its wing-s. 

Elissa. Their shadows strike across me. Let us move. 
Friends wait us sorrowing where, hard by, her sires 
Sleep in the marbled minster. 

Festus. Heed them not ; 

Our duty, this day, waits on destiny. Stay. 

Lucifer. Canst thou not spare to these her sister friends, 
Whose eyes with grief's salt baptism run o'er ; 
And who, like mourning- starlets, weep the end 
Of their once brightest, one consoling word ? 

Festus. Their solace mine ; her, sometime, to rejoin, 
Yv'ere ye not with her when she died ? 

Helen. We were. 

She left us a bequest I dared not then 
Accept, nor now name, which from our torn hearts 
A promise drew, as steel magnetic draws 
Stilly, from out a wound the painful speck. 
Sometime thou may'st be told ; not now ; not here. 

Festus. For me to know might haply both console. 

Clara. But never wilt thou know it from my lips, 

Helen. She bade all cherish thee for her dear sake 
And gave thee her forgiveness. 

Festus. Shade divine 1 

Spirit immortal and immaculate, hear I 
Speak ! 

Elissa. What ! Art mad ? Wouldst have a spirit here ; 
And in the day's broad eye ? 

Lucifer. Why not ? 

Elissa. Grant, heaven I 

I only swoon. 

Festus. Swoon not, but brace thy heart 

To its true tension. It may have yet to bear 
Unheard-of woes. Speak, spirit, that our poor ears 
May grow rich treasuries of thy golden words. 

Elissa. Nay, wish not back from her paternal heavena 
The pure ghost, self-congratulative ere now, 
Of its translated life. 

Festus. She comes no more, 

Clara. Nor would she, save by night, when her fair feet, 
Threading the shiny mazes of the stars, 
May bring us helpful hope, by grace divine ; 
Or us perchance premonish. 

Lucifer. Voice is none. 

Festus. No, all is still ; and still right well I know, 
If aught behoves me learn by token, dream, 
Vision, or sign, or visitation, I 
Shall learn it ; and like truly do ye know, 
Ye heedful, faithful, faultless few, her friends, 
Where'er her spirit dwells, she dwells in full 
Regality of nature ; crowned with power, 
With purity clothed and girt with grace. Her ail 
Was an immortal's always, I have seen 



FE8TU8. 76 

Stars look upon't kinwise, with sympathy. 

Mourner. She was a love-gift heaven once gave to earth, 
And took again, because unworthy of her. 

Festus. And will ye gaze again upon her face ? 
Draw nigh. But knee the majesty of death. 

Helen. Speak, thou beloved sister of my heart ! 
Death shall bo loyal to thee ; nought shall change 
Thy form's marmoreal loveliness. All truth 
Thou boldest now, all knowledge. Speak to us ! 

Clara. No : she is silent in the hand of death ; 
Soothed by his touch perchance, like a young bird, 
Dreadless ; incredulous of cruel fate. 

Festus. Soul of my spirit 1 

Clara. Oh, ne'er could she have dreamed 

This wrong from thee 1 

Festus. This wrong 1 Hear, Clara, thou 

Whose name stands first in memory, even ere hers, 
Nor know I when I loved not thee. 

Clara. Be dumb. 

Never until we have mourned for mourning ceased, 
Shall hope herself have hope to exculpate one. 
Would dim thy name, sweet spirit, with even a plaint. 
Thou didst but dip thy wing in life's dark stream. 
And then away. We, wondering, watched thee whilst. 

Elissa. How hath the white rose conquered on this cheek I 
This fair and final field of death and life. 
Life is no match for death, since thou art fled ; 
The balance of existence is no more. 
Let us begone, where thou art gone, to heaven. 

Mourner. And yet we weep thee, weep thee, all of us, 

Festus. How could I be so ciniel ? Who but I ? 
O faithful as the moon-crowned night to heaven, 
In pure recurrent beauty, is then this 
Saddest of trysts our last ; or do we yet 
Meet in the far-off future ? 

Lucifer. Much depends. 

Elissa. And is there no remorse ? 

Clara. No blame ? 

Helen. No wrong ? 

Festus. Why are ye troubled thus, and your clear souls 
Made for a moment turbid ? Can ye grieve 
As I grieve ; ye, as I be wretched ? No 1 
But though it claim no pre-established course. 
Yet give a torrent place ; 'twere wise ; 'twere wise. 

Mourner. The moment after thou desertedst her, 
A cloud oame over the prospect of her life ; 
And I foresaw how evening would set in, 
Early, and dark and deadly. She was true. 

Festus. Did I not love thee, too ? pure perfect thing ; 
This is a soul I see and not a body. 
Gk), beauty, rest for aye ; go, starry eyes. 
And lips like rose-buds peeping out of eugw ; 



70 FE8TU8. 

Go, breast love-filled as a boat's sail with wind, 

Leaping from wave to wave, as leaps a child 

Thoughtless, o'er grassy graves ; go, locks which have 

The golden embrownment of a lion's eye. 

Yet one more look ; farewell and fair I 

All who but loved thee shall be deathless ; nought 

Named, if with thee, can perish. Thou and death 

Have made each other purer, lovelier seem, 

Like snow and moonlight. Never more for thee 

Let eyes be swollen, like streams with latter rains. 

To die were rapture, having lived with thee. 

Thy soul hath passed out of a bodily heaven 

Into a spiritual. Kest 1 pure after love ; 

In love pmre ; pure before. The dead are holy. 

I would I were among them. 

Elissa. Let us hence. 

Festus. Nay, not so soon shalt thou unbless mine eyeSL 
I turn, and turn, to tread the round of fate. 
As worshippers of old their templed tombs ; 
And lo 1 thy tomb, thy temple is my heart. 

Claea, She is no more in man's hand ; but in Gods. 

Festus. So young, so lovely, so adored. Thy years 
The moon's sweet cycle scarce had run ; and now, 
Oh I recommence in heaven thy dateless course. 
Our souls were so, so delicately attuned, 
A scarce discernible discord, a lapsed word, 
An inconsiderate eye-glance, thrilled through both, 
With well-nigh fatal jar. But here, this hour, 
"What is there I'd not give, again to know 
That bosom's lightest swell, which once, 'gainst mine, 
For pardon craved, or granted, a mere thought, 
Beat like the billows of the sea of life ? 
And now corruption, come ; sit, sate thyself. 
This is thy choicest revel. Thou hast been 
Mine only, if my happier rival, thou 
Who takest love from the living ; life from beauty ; 
Beauty from death ; whole robber of the world. 

Helen. Oh, heaven is happier, now that thou art there. 
Sweetest of human spirits ; and for us 
Enough, the blessing to have known thee here. 

Festus. It is so. All life's blessings, hope and peace ; 
And innocence of youth's prime, seem sweeping past, 
As with the footfall of a cataract, 
Deathwards, precipitately ; and, fled with these. 
Thou, happy spirit, f erene, seraphic 1 Yes 1 
Thou, too, art gone. Upon thy brow, no more 
Fair seer of lucent eye shall see ray forth 
The inborn crownlet ; crown of light, or fire. 
All wear, all work, unweeting, for themselves ; 
Dew-bright was thine. Closed are thine eyes for aye. 
Those deep dark jets of light ; that pearly hand, 
Gifted with whitest witchery to convoke 



FE8TU3. n 

Pure beings that oft beset our simshot path, 

Gleams with the seal of power no more. No more 

The star-throned rulers of the spheral heavens 

Obey thy bidding- here. On other shores 

The kings of thought salute thee. Thou hast passed 

The river of judgment ; and the saintly land 

Of the elect immortals guests thee now. 

Wait thou awhile to welcome me : not long ; 

For thought's substantive shadows, things create 

Of our own mind vivific, me forewarn, 

Like eastern slaves, lip-fingered, menacing mutes ; 

Death is at hand. O injudicious judge 1 

Justice unjust ; what though the world must die, 

Was this her time ? What more can time unrol 1 

Can life replevy upon the house of death ? 

Can truth unteach the promise of the passed ? 

Can earth remass the wealth of worship thou 

Outpouredst at my feet, more than numb age. 

That feast of lips, that banquet of the breast, 

Which Paradisal youth yields yet to all ? 

No I thou art gone. Oh, never till the hour 

AVlien the great Gatherer, with his spirit hand. 

Hath cuUed the ripe worlds from the tree of life, 

Shall, sunlike, set in its illumined grave, 

Another head, sacred as thine. Farewell, 

Thou fair perfection of the universe ; 

I turn to thee, the prayer-point of my soul ; 

And swear, by all the hopes I have of death, 

I had more prized all wretchedness with thee. 

Than joy with others. Fate, fulfil thy scheme. 

Demand thy fee. There's nought worth reckoning left. 

The fair configurations of my life 

Are passed away. Lingers alone in air 

One pale malignant star ; that star, mine own. 

LuciFEB. Oh, we'll think better sometime of our stars. 
Myself, by fits, feel faintly saturnine ; 
Given to low spirits, and so forth. But have care, 
Or thou wilt drain these lovely eyes of tears 
That may be wanted yet. 

Festus. This in thine ear. 

Blood is more easily shed than tears, by men ; 
And I would spare some heart-drops from their founts 
When every drop were worth a year of life, 
Bather than now these glittering traitors fell. 
But not less be thou silent. Let these weep. 
It is well that I have mingled tears with theirs. 
Fair Eden's rivers had one only head, 
And flowed into one outfall : our great dole. 
Like vent. And now though I wander round the world, 
Each step but brings me neai-er to the grave ; 
Her grave. 

EussA. Perchance, there, we may meet again 



78 FESTUa. 

LuciPEB. Lovely lamenters I We again will meet. 

Festus. Peace, soulless spirit. 

LuciPEE. Peace is all I ask. 

Festus. Let Tis rejoice for her ; for ourselves mourn 
Wholly and separately. Art thou, say, blithe 1 
Remember whom we grieve for now ; art sad 2 
Reflect that she is bliss. Mere happiness 
la of ourselves ; but blessedness, of God. 
And so, rejoice, fair mourners, and farewell. 

Lucifer. O ignorance sublime 1 innocence I 
What would I risk to know ye, and believe 1 

Festus. Behold them slowly westering on their way, 
Like those bright lights that head heaven's starry bier. 

Lucifer. Each hath a special grace. 

Festus. But as I live-~ 

Lucifer. Come, that is cheering ; not a minute since 
At the last gasp I deemed thee. 

Festus. I marked not 

Their several charms, opponent or in trine. 

Lucifer. Thou shalt love aU at will. 

Festus. I hear thee not. 

Suffer my silence. One thing seems. Henceforth 
I have a love on earth and one in heaven. 

Lucifer. That I misdoubt not. This is somewhat dull. 
There is a mean with him as all : and now, 
Ere my free promises too soon condense 
Into more gross utilities, it were well 
I from this sacred and supernal love 
His heart should alienate ; and, time by time. 
With some calm passion, or — I have them yet 
Before me in mine eye, with rival fair 
Not frivolous, oh no, spiritual, scarce less 
Serious this next than her late canonized ; 
More provident of the future, may be, vowed 
To active piety more, — assort him, till 
Aweary of all these animate ice-maidens 
Dolorous, he seek life's luxuries, in despair, 
And youth's gay converse ; shallow joys, but still 
Quite deep enough to drown. I'll think on't. 

Festus. Hope I 

Where dwells she ? 

Lucifer. Hope? In dreamland. Sometine soon 

Or never, at the furthest, we'll hie thither, 
I have seen her house by moonlight, travelling once 
Nigh Ouranus sixth satellite. Much I fear 
It is mostly moonshine there, by tremulous wastes 
Of darkness intervalled. Sweet spot, Hope's home I 
Grounds ? What it stands on, true ; but everywhere 
Vast outlooks. All well fenced about with towers, 
Planned to reach heaven, but failing that, doubt not 
They touch the feet of clouds. Her closeless gates 
No janitor haunts, suspicious, souring air 



FESTUS. ^ 

^ith his writhed countenance ; fact, to me, who own 
A key that opens walls, let alone doors, 
Less than to some momentous. Strange to note, 
The house will show all sizes ; now a dwarf 
Might fork it ; now 'twould guest a giant. 

Festus. Good. 

Perhaps we both may lodge there some fine day. 

LuciPEB. But in the meanwhile more substantial euda 
Will better suit us. Life hath claims on thee. 

Festus. Living is but a habit ; and I mean 
To break myself of it soon. 

Lucifer. Too soon thou canst not, 
When that is preappointed stands achieved. 
Meantime I half think with thee ; and much grieve 
Men heed not of the day, how nigh none knows, 
"Which brings the consummation of the world. 
But in mine ear the old machine already 
Begins to grate. They would not credit warning-, 
Or I would up and cry, repent I I will. 
Here's a fair gathering and I feel moved. 
Mortals, repent I the world is nigh to its end ; 
On its last legs, and desperately sick. 
See ye not how it reels round all day long ? 

Boys. Oh ; here's a ranter. Come, here's fun. Amen* 
I know the church service by heart. 

Bystander. Be off ! 

You'll serve the church by keeping out of it. 

Lucifer. I am a preacher come to tell ye truth. 
I tell ye too there is no time to be lost ; 
So fold your souls up neatly, while ye may ; 
Direct to God in heaven ; or some one else 
May seize them, seal them, send them — you know whcret 
The world must end. I weep to think of it. 
But you, you laugh 1 I knew ye would. I know 
Men never will be wise till they are fools 
For ever. Laugh away ! The time will come, 
When tears of fire are trickling from your eyes. 
You will blame yourselves for having laughed at rac, 
I warn ye, men : prepare ; repent ; be saved. 
I warn ye, not because I love, but know ye. 
God will dissolve the world, as she of old 
Her pearl, within his cup, and swallow ye 
In wrath ; although to taste ye would be poison, 
And death and suicide to aught but God. 
Again I warn ye. Save himself who can I 
Do ye not oft begin to seek salvation ? 
Yon ? you ? and fail, as oft, to find ? Sink ? Co.cim 7 
And shall I tell ye, brethren, why ye fail 
Once and for ever ? why, there is no passed ; 
And the future is the fiction of a fiction ; 
The present moment is etemity. 
It is that ye have sucked corruption from the worhi. 



80 FESTU8, 

Like milk from yonr own mothers ; it is in 

Your soul-blood and your soul-bones. Scarcely earth, 

Out of a thousand sons, weans one to heaven. 

Beginnings are alike : it is ends which differ. 

One drop falls, lasts, and dries up, but a drop ; 

Another begins a river : and one thought 

Settles a life, an immortality : 

And that one thought ye will not take to good. 

Now will I tell ye just one other truth : 

Ye hate the truth as snails salt, it dissolves ye, 

Body and soul ; but I don't mind. So, now : 

Up to this moment ye are all, each, what ? 

Suppose I leave you to infer, 'Twill be 

The same, we know, the next day — and the next i 

Till some fine morning, ye will wake in fire. 

Observe, I mince not, I, the truth for ye. 

Belike you think your lives will dribble out, 

As brooks in summer dry up. Let us see I 

Try ; dike them u^ ; they stagnate ; thicken ; scum. 

That would make life worse than death. Well, let go f 

Where are ye then ? for life, like water, will 

Find its last level ; what level ? The grave. 

It is but a fall of five feet after all ; 

That cannot hurt ye ; it is but just enough 

To work the wheel of life ; so work away 1 

Ye may think that I do not know the teims 

And treasures whereupon ye live so high. 

But I know more than most men, modestly 

Speaking. I know I am lost, you too I fear. 

Could God, save by destroying me, me save, 

I ofttimes ask myself, self -tormenting. So, 

With none advantage over you, I have thought 

Rather ye might, perhaps, the f reelier bear 

One in your own state to advise for ye. 

Now don't you envy me, good folks, I pray ; 

Envy's a coal comes hissing hot from hell. 

'Twill be such coals will bum ye, by the way. 

Your other preachers first think they are safe. 

Then run they to and fro to serve ye ; slave, 

Slay themselves well nigh ; sweating like a bone 

TJnburied, alway. I, too, for your sakes. 

But I, alas 1 boast no such perf ectness. 

Nay, I say broadly I am the worst among ye ; 

And God knows I have no need to wrong myself, 

Nor you. I boast not of it, but as truth ; 

It is little to be proud of, credit me. 

What is salvation ? What is safety ? Think ! 

Who wants to know ? Does any 1 

The Ceowd. All of us. 

LuciFEB. Then I will not tell ye. You shall wait until 
Some angel come and stir your stagnant pouls ; 
Then plunge into yourselves, and rise redeemed. 



FE8TU8, 81 

Oh I bat say you, we are redeemed, long since. 

Our faults condoned, debts cancelled, all. God ran 

One winter eve, the yuletide holidays. 

His pen right down the black accompt, choke full 

Of columned figures, row on row, and smiled ; 

Passed your poor pot-hooks palliative of play ; 

Your sham excuses of mistaken feasts ; 

Sick headaches, paltiy truantries, what not ? 

And ticked ofE all, bills, extras, dues, as paid. 

So ye are new men, you ; most, at least. Look to it ? 

But don't take rights for granted ; nor all said 

Of gospel, gospel : nor because one dies. 

How miserably defunct you would fain not know, 

But a would-be friend, and leaves you all he had, 

His charity, think you e'er forsooth must live 

In lack-nought ease, and unconditioned joy. 

There's not much logic, I can tell ye, there. 

A Voice. You look quite fresh from college. "Who's your coach ? 
Do spend your long vacation here. 

Lucifer. Our term's 

Not jet quite over. Make the most of chance. 
Think, lucky for your sakes I'm here. But here 
Nought tempts my stay. You are unjust. Could I see 
One hoised for my offence, nor cry, Let go I 
I did it : punish me ? Indeed not, I. 
Play fair, now : don't be always crying " Kings I " 
And think to sneak, unnoted, to the goal. 
Some odd day, mark me, you'll be caught ; and then — 
Why then, so much precisely as you have shirked 
Your proper share, you'll earn worse buffetings, 
Quit your own forfeits. Sin like demi-gods. 
If sin ye will ; but pay your scot, like men. 
Don't run up a huge score, and leave a friend, 
A mere acquaintance, rather, of whose name 
You have taken advantage, to pay for you. Tush 1 
You know heaven's terms, and right and wrong, both know 
As well as up and down, or north and south. 
Heed, then, which way you wend. If that way, sure 
You will one day knock the pole. Don't say, you thought 
It only led to Babylon ; led to Rome ; 
Geneva, Jericho, or where not ? please don't. 
I hate such wriggling fibs. Due north, the pole I 
Sin leads, as straight, — make no mistake, — to helL 
Well, come ; you never held that you were saints ; 
Not even angels, fallen or otherwise ; 
But, reckoned generally, the race looks up. 
You improve, you'll swear : advance ; march ; grow less bad ; 
Less fatuous, less ferocious, every day ; 
Grind out old flaws in ye ; don't, you say, as once, 
Roast all who differ from you. Good, but listen. 
As when some shore-bred urchin, spit o' the brine, 
Hatched just above high- watermark, first quits 



82 FE8TU8. 

His boulder-cumber'd beach, to earn hard bread 

From harder hands ; and eyes, as slips the coast 

From sight, clifP, jetty, his dad's nets, and cot ; 

And, last thing marked, the out-beetling village crag", 

Capped, — ^no, not quite, — with granate toad, or eft 

Hugeous, that creeps, creeps, but ne'er crowns the top ; 

Or stone-struck hag, still irritable, her spell 

Tempestuous muttering o'er rock-chaldron ; years, 

Long years lapsed, he returns : within himself 

All changed ; enriched, mature ; and nearing, views, 

Through something bitterer than the blinding spray, 

Or is't a sudden spume-drift blurrs his sight? 

The unbettered spot : — a few deciduous huts, 

Replaced by sundry of like leaf ; the same, 

Surely the same, wild tangled knot of brats, 

Sun-coiffed, sand-shod ; one missing, who ? the same 

Witch-pot, that never boils, nor will, till earth 

Spouts up again her molten slag ; the same 

Unspeakable monster scaling aye the height 

It fails, footetalled, to reach. So you ; you are. 

Just what you were, just where, as once when I 

First saw ye forty years since ; and next week. 

Or fifty centuries hence, 'twould be all one. 

You are quite the same, in bulk ; a trivial law, 

A surface custom varied, here, as there 

A moss-patch more, or less ; but oh 1 the back 

O' the creature ; oh, the fissurous grin ; the crawl ; 

Identic ; unmistakeable. Zounds I I know ye. 

The Ceowd. And if ye know, what then ? 

LuciFEE. ^YhJ, I'll not say. 

Come, I'll unroll your hearts and read them to ye. 
'Tis a long strip, Death's ritual. Hear not less. 
To say ye live is but to say ye have souls. 
That ye have paid for them and mean to play them, 
Till some brave pleasure wins the golden stake, 
And rakes it up to death, as to a bank. 
Ye live and die on what your souls will fetch ; 
And all are of different prices ; therefore hell 
Cannot well bargain for mankind in gross ; 
But each soul must be purchased, one by one. 
This it is makes men rate themselves so high : 
"While truly ye are worth little ; but to God, 
Ye are worth more than to yourselves. By sin 
Ye wreak your spite against God ; that ye know ; 
And knowing, will it. But I pray, I beg. 
Act with some smack of justice to your Maker, 
If not unto yourselves. Do 1 It is enough 
To make the very Devil chide mankind ; 
Such baseness, such unthankfulness 1 Why he 
Thanks God he is no worse. You don't do that. 
I say be just to God. Leave off these airs : 
Know your place ; speak to God ; and say, for once. 



FE8TU8. 

Go first, Lord : take your finger off your eye. 

It blocks the universe and Grod from sight. 

Think ye your souls are worth nothing to God ? 

Are they so small ? What can be great with God f 

The sun and moon he wears on either arm, 

Seals of his sovereignty. "What now, huge men ! 

WTiat will ye weigh against the Lord 1 Youvselves ? 

Bring out your balance : get in, man by man : 

Add earth, heaven, hell, the universe ; that's all, 

God puts his finger in the other scale, 

And up we bounce, a bubble. Nought is great 

Nor small, with God ; for none but he can make 

The atom imperceptible, and none 

But he can make a world : he counts the orbs, 

He counts the atoms of the universe. 

And makes both equal ; both are infinite. 

Giving God honour, never underrate 

Yourselves : after him ye are everything. 

But mind 1 God's more than everything ; he is God. 

And what of me ? No, us ? no 1 I mean the Devil ? 

Why see ye not he goes before both you 

And God ? Men say, as proud as Lucifer ; 

Pray who would not be proud with such a train ? 

Hath he not all the honour of the earth ? 

WTiy Mammon sits before a million hearths, 

"NVhere God is bolted out from every house. 

He'll not forget that. Some day there'll be haply, 

A pretty general eviction. Then, 

Mind me, he'll break your bars and burst your doors, 

Which slammed against him once, and turn ye out, 

Koofless and shivering, 'neath the doom-storm ; heaven 

Shall crack above ye like a bell in fire, 

And bury all beneath its shining shards. 

He calls, ye hear not 1 Lo ! he comes — ye see not. 

No ; ye are deaf as a dead adder's ear : 

No ; ye are blind as never bat was blind. 

With a burning, bloodshot blindness of the heart : 

A swimming, swollen, senselessness of soul. 

Listen. Whom love ye most ? Why, him to whom 

Ye in your turn are dearest. Need I name ? 

Oh no ! But all are devils to themselves ; 

And every man his own great foe. Hell gets 

Only the gleanings ; earth hath the full wain ; 

And hell is merry at its harvest home. 

But ye are generous to sin, and grudge 

The gleaners nothing ; ask them, push them in. 

Let not an ear, a grain of sin be lost ; 

Gather it, grind it up ; it is our bread : 

We should be ashamed to waste the gifts of God, 

Why is the world so mad ? Why runs it thus 

Baving and howling round the imiverse 1 

Because the Devil bit it from the birth I 



»* FU8TU8. 

The fault is all with him. Fear nothing-, friends ; 

It is fear which beds the far to-come with fire, 

As the sun does the west : but the sun sets ; 

Well : still ye tremble— tremble, first at light, 

Then darkness. Tremble 1 ye dare not believe. 

No, cowards 1 sooner than believe ye would die ; 

Die with the black lie flapping on your lips, 

Like the soot-flake upon a burning bar. 

Be merry, happy if ye can : think never 

Of him who slays your souls nor him who saves. 

There is time enough for that when ye are a-dying. 

Keep your old ways ; it matters not this once. 

Be brave ; ye are not men whom meat and wine 

Serve to remind but of the sacrament ; 

To whom sweet shapes and tantalizing smiles 

Bring up the Devil and the ten commandments ; 

And so on. But I said the world must end. 

I see some old men 'mong ye, and they know, 

Discomfortably enough, the heart in age. 

Lower and lower, like the wintering sun, 

Sets daily, and is troubled more to rise. 

Let them be rather gay to miss earth's end. 

I am sorry ; it is such a pleasant world ; 

With all its faults it is perfect — to a fault ; 

And you, of course, end with it. Now how long 

Will the world take to die ? I know ye place 

Great faith upon death-bed repentances ; 

The suddener the better. I know ye often 

Begin to think of praying and repenting ; 

But second thoughts come, and ye are worse than ever ; 

As over new white snow a filthy thaw. 

Ye do amaze me verily. How long 

Will ye take heart on your own wickedness, 

And God's forbearance 1 Have ye cast it up ? 

Come, now ; the year, and month, day, hour, and minute, 

Sin's golden cycle ? Know ye, pray, how long 

Exactly, heaven will grant ye ; how long God, 

Who when he had slain the world and wasted it, 

Hung up his bow in heaven, as in his hall 

A warrior after battle, will yet bear 

Your contumely and scorn of his best gifts ; 

Man's mockery of man ? But never mind ! 

Some of us are magnificently good, 

And hold the head up high, like a giraffe : 

You, in particular, and you ; and you. 

Good men are here and there, I know ; but then 

You must excuse me if I mention this. 

My duty is to tell it you ; the world, 

Like a black block of marble, jagged v^ith white. 

As with a vein of lightning petrified, 

Looks blacker than without such ; looks, in truth, 

So gross the heathen, gross the Christian too, j*jj^.w4i 



FESTUS. 85 



Like the original darkness of void space, 

Hardened. Instead of justice, love, and grace, 

Each worth to man the mission of a God, 

Injustice, hate, uncharitableness, 

Triequal reign round earth, hell's trinity, sure. 

Ye think ye never can be bad enough ; 

Nay, as ye sink in sin ye rise in hope. 

And let the worst come to the worst, you say, 

There always will be time to turn ourselves, 

And cry for half an hour or so, to (Jod : 

Salvation, sure, is not so very hard ; 

It need not take one long ; and half an hour 

Is quite as much as we can spare for it. 

We have no time for pleasui'es. Business ! business ! 

No ! ye shall perish suddenly and unsaved. 

The world shall stand still with a rending jar, 

As though it struck at sea ; or, as when once. 

An arm Titanian, say not whose, but jogged 

By earthquakes, wryed the pole, and o'er the dry 

Poured competitive mains. The nnsleepful sea, 

Moaning and bellowing now round caverned coasts ; 

Now, drawing hard through thirty thousand teeth, 

Upon the shingly shore, his pauseful breath. 

Like some monogamous monster which hath lost, 

Poor fool 1 his mate ; and every rock-hole searched 

By torch of foam-light, dogs her steps with sad, 

Superfluous faithfulness, shall rest at last. 

Nor wist which way to turn him ; ebb nor flow 

No more to choose. All elements as though smote 

With reasonablest disloyalty to man's 

TJsurpful claim, their constrained suit shall cease, 

And natural service ; men their mightiest wont, 

Their meanest use and craft. The halls where parle 

The heads of nations, shall be dumb with death. 

The priest shall dipping, die ; can man save man ? 

Is water God ? The counsellor, wise fool, 

Drop down amid his quirks and sacred lies. 

The judge, while dooming unto death some wretch, 

Shall meet at once his own death, doom and judge. 

The doctor, watch in hand and patient's pulse, 

Shall feel his own heart cease its beats, and fall. 

Professors shall spin out, and students strain 

Their brains no more. Art, science, toil, shall cease, 

Commerce. The ship shall her own plummet seek, 

And sound the sea herself and depths of death. 

At the first turn, Death shall cut off the thief. 

And dash the gold-bag in his yellow brain. 

The gambler, reckoning gains, shall drop a piece : 

Stoop down, and there see death ; look up, there God. 

rhe wanton, temporising with decay. 

And qualifying every line which vice 

Write? bluntly on the brow, inviting scorn, 



86 FESTUa. 

Shall pale through plastered red ; and the loose low sot 

See clear, for once, through his misty, o'erbrimmed eye. 

The just, if there be any, die in prayer. 

Death shall be everywhere among your marts ; 

And giving bills which no man may decline, 

Drafts upon heU one moment after date. 

Then shall your outcries tremble amid the stars : 

Terrors shall be about ye like a wind ; 

And fears fall down upon ye like four walls. 

Festus. Yon man looks frightened. 

Lucifer. Then it is time to stop. 

I hope I have done no good. He will soon forget 
His soul. Flesh soaks it up, as sponge does water. 

The Chowd. He's a mad ranter ; down with him. 

Festus. Let him be 1 

Lucifer. Stand by me, Festus ! and I will by thee. 
Said I not what they were ? When am I wrong ! 
Why, heaven and earth ! this is the second time 
I have run for my life. 

Festus. Nay, nay, come back I I'll see 

These rustics harm thee not : they would chair thee round 
The market-place, knew they but whom thou art. 
I'll make it mine to soothe them for a space. 
Peace, there, my friends ! one minute ; let us pray. 
Grant us, O God ; that in thy holy love 
The universal people of the world 
May grow more great and happy every day ; 
Mightier, wiser, humbler, too, towards thee. 
And that all ranks, all classes, callings, states 
Of life, so far as such seem right to thee, 
May mingle into one, like sister trees. 
And so in one stem flourish ; that all laws 
And powers of government be based and used 
In good, and for the people's sake ; that each 
May feel himself of consequence to all, 
And act as though all saw him ; that the whole, 
The mass of every nation, may so do 
As is most worthy of the next to God ; 
For a whole people's souls, each one worth more 
Than a mere world of matter, make, combined, 
A something godlike, something like to thee. 
We pray thee for the welfare of all men. 
Let monarchs who love truth and freedom feel 
The happiness of safety, and respect 
From those they rule, and guardianship from th66k 
Let them remember they are set on thrones 
As representatives, not as substitutes. 
Of nations, to implead with God and man. 
Let tyrants who hate truth, or fear the free, 
Know that to rule in slavery and error, 
For the mere ends of personal pomp and power, 
Is such a Bin as doth deseirre a hell 



PESTUS, 87 

To itself sole. Let both remember, Lord I 

They are but things like-natured with all nations j 

That mountains issue out of plains, and not 

Plains out of mountoins, and bo likewise kingB 

Are of the people, not the people of kings. 

And let all feel, the rulers and the ruled, 

All classes and all countries, that the world 

Is thy great halidom ; that thou art king, 

Lord, only owner and possessor. Grant 

That nations may now see, it is not kings, 

Nor priests, they need fear so much as themselves ; 

That if tliey keep but true to themselves, and free 

Sober, enlightened, godly ; mortal men 

Become impassible as air ; one great 

And indestructible substance as the sea. 

Let all on thrones and judgment-seats reflect 

How dreadful thy revenge through nations is 

On those who wrong them ; but do thou grant, Lord, 

"When wrong shall be redressed, such change be wrought, 

With clemency judicial, not with hate, 

Nor criminous violence, whereby one wrong 

Translates another ; both to thee abhoiTent, 

The bells of time are ringing changes fast. 

Grant, Lord I that each fresh peal may usher in 

An era of advancement ; that each change 

Prove an effectual, lasting, happy gain. 

And we beseech thee, overrule, God I 

All civil contests to the good of all ; 

All party and religious differences 

To honourable ends, whether secured 

Or lost ; and let all strife, political 

Or social, spring from conscientious aims, 

And have a generous, self -ennobling end, 

Man's good, and thine own glory in view always* 

The best may then fail, and the worst succeed. 

Alike with honour. We beseech thee. Lord 1 

For bodily strength, but more especially 

For the soul's health and safety. We entreat thee 

In thy great mercy to decrease our wants, 

And add autumnal increase to the comforts 

Which tend to keep men innocent, and load 

Their hearts with thanks to thee, as trees in bearing j 

The blessings of friends, families and homes, 

And kindnesses of kindred. And we pray 

That men may rule themselves in faith in God 

In charity to each other, and in hope 

Of their own soul's salvation : that the mass, 

The millions in all nations, may be trained, 

From their youth upwards, in a nobler mode, 

To loftier and more liberal ends. We pray 

Above all things, Lord I that all men be free 

From bondage, whether of the mind or body j 



&i^ FEUTU8. 

The bondasfe of religious big-otry, 

And bald antiquity ; servility 

Of thoug-ht or speech to rank and power ; be all 

Free as they ought to be in mind and soul, 

As well as by state-birth right ; and that Mind, 

Time's giant pupil, may right soon attain 

Majority, and speak and act for himself. 

Incline thou to our prayers, and grant, Lord I 

That all may have enough, and some safe mean 

Of worldly goods and honours, by degrees, 

Take place, if practicable, in the fitness 

And fulness of thy time. And we beseech thee 

That truth no more be gagged, nor conscience dungeoned. 

Nor science be impeached of godlessness ; 

Nor faith be circumscribed, which as to thee, 

And the soul's self affairs, is infinite ; 

But that all men may have due liberty 

To speak an honest mind, in every land ; 

Encouragement to study, leave to act 

As conscience orders. We entreat thee. Lord ; 

For man, thy son's divine humanity's sake. 

With all his faults and errors total man's. 

In whose cause all thy prophets, from the first 

Speak, to this last, to take away reproach 

Of aU kinds from thy church ; and all temptation 

Of pomp or power political, that none 

May err in the end wheref or they were appointed 

To any of its orders, low or high ; 

And no ambition, of a worldly cast, 

Leaven the love of souls unto whose care 

They feel propelled by thy most holy spirit. 

Be every church established, Lord 1 in truth. 

Let all who preach the word, by the word live, 

In moderate estate ; and in thy church, 

One, imiversal, and invisible, 

World-wards, yet manifest unto itself, 

May it seem good, dear Saviour, in thy sight, 

That orders be distinguished, not by wealth. 

But piety and power of teaching souls. 

Equalize labour. Lord ! and recompense. 

Let not a hundred humble pastors starve, 

Though true humility now and then may rein 

Power's praacing steed, and churl-bom pride ride down 

Rough-shod, an innocent group, while one or two, 

Throned, mitred, palaced, banquetted, burlesque, 

With worldliest gifts, the holy penury. 

The fastings, the foot- wanderings and the preaching 

Of Christ and his first followers ; such the lot 

Mostly, thy wisdom casts for every son 

Of man, whose soul thou first regeneratest, 

To illume, with light prophetic of the heavens, 

Time's slothful generations. Wake them, Lord I ^- 



FESTU8, 

So sanctify man's science that its touch 

Shall all disease cure ; so with truth sincere 

Empower faith's prayer, that rightly made on terms 

By heaven long- since conditioned, at a word, 

Bread may be given for millions at a time. 

Would heaven, thou God ! might'st come again ; earth's life, 

And man's race, of thy spirit reborn, renew ; 

And fixed in air for aye thy cloud of peace. 

"War should be then no more, wrong, want, nor woe. 

But till that perfect advent, grant us. Lord 1 

That all good institutions, orders, claims 

"NVL'^ely and chaiitably proposed, in aid 

Of social, moral betterment and mind's 

World-wide conversion to the eternal truth, 

On thy divine foundation built, of love 

Towards fellow man, of universal peace, 

And service to thee sole, may thiough all lands 

Speed prosperous, and fit daily many a soul 

Humbly to earn its restful seat in heaven : 

May more of such be raised and nobly filled ; 

That thy word may be taught throughout all landa ; 

Thy saving spirit rejoice in all souls saved. 

In virtue of that spirit we dare to name, 

And by that spirit made bold, we ask for good 

And peace to all who peace desire, or seek ; 

We dare to pray for all that live, or die. 

Man dies to man ; but all to thee, God, live. 

We therefore pray thee for these dead to us, 

Man's xmiversal race, in flesh extinct ; 

In spirit immortal, our forbears ; not those 

Alone who died unwitting of all truth, 

But whose souls opening after, like a flower 

In finer air, may compass more than we ; 

Not only for the sage, saint, seer of old 

"WTio saw thy truth but darkly, felt thy light 

But feebly, yet, unfaltering, held the faith. 

That the good God who made all, all decrees, 

Allots and blesses all, in this life, man 

May trust like lovingly for life to come. 

Not only for those faithful wise of yore. 

But for the mass unwise of all times ; now, 

Passed and to come ; who boast not of thy love, 

Nor glory in thy name ; but spurn thy law, 

Nor keep thy precepts ; for the wicked wight 

Who hates thy righteousness ; and for the good 

Who his own preacheth ; for the scomer who 

Despiseth thy humility, most high I 

The ignorant who thy providence misdoubts ; 

The dark inverted soul who sees not thee ; 

The bigot who maligns thee, Lord 1 for all, 

Quick, dead, we ask thy boundless mercy, more 

Than all sin, all defect, as infinite 



90 FESTU8. 

O'erlaps all finites. But by us be none 

Condemned ; save those -who, self -condemned, reject 

Thy law ; shall culprits take the judge's seat ? 

Christ's lesson of forgiveness mote not we 

Forget. If they who wrought earth's crov/ning crime 

Were of his intercession worthy. Lord ! 

Of whom shall fellow -sinners, like ourselves, 

Despair? To whom shall mercy hope deny ? 

And we entreat thee, that all men whom thou 

Hast gifted with great minds may love thee well, 

And praise thee, for their powers, and use them moet 

Humbly and holily, and, lever-like. 

Act but in lifting up the mass of mind 

About them ; knowing well that they shall be 

Questioned by thee of deeds the pen hath done. 

Or caused, or glozed ; inspire them with delight 

And power to treat of noble themes and aims, 

"Worthily, and to leave things low and mean ; 

Of vice and day-lifed folly bom, to die 

Of their own native baseness ; make them know 

Fine thoughts are wealth, for the right use of which 

Men are and ought to be accountable ; 

If not to thee, to those they influence. 

Grant this, we pray thee, and that all who read, 

Or utter, noble thoughts may make them theirs, 

And thank God for them, to the betterment 

Of their succeeding life ; that all who lead 

The general sense and taste, too apt, perchance, 

To be led, keep in mind the mighty good 

They may achieve, and are in conscience bound, 

And duty, to attempt unceasingly 

To compass. Grant us, all -maintaining sire f 

That all the great mechanic aids to toil 

Man's skill hath formed, found, rendered, whether used 

In multiplying works of mind, or aught 

Life's thousand wants to obviate, may avail 

Much to mankind's progressive welfare, now ; 

And in all ages henceforth and for ever. 

Let their effect be, Lord 1 to lighten labour. 

And give more room to mind ; and leave the poor 

Some time for self -improvement. Let not these 

Be forced to grind the bones out of their arms 

For bread, but have some space to think and feel 

Like moral and immortal creatures. God I 

Have mercy on them till such time shall come. 

Look thou with pity on all lesser crimes. 

Thrust on men almost when devoured by want. 

Wretchedness, ignorance, and outcast life. 

Have mercy on the rich, too, who pass by 

The means they hold at hand to fill their minds 

With serviceable knowledge for themselves, 

And fellows j and support not the good cause 



FE8TUS, 91 

Of the world's better future. Oh, rewaxd 

All such who do, with peace of heart, and power 

For greater good. Have mercy, Lord ! on each 

And all, for all men need it equally. 

May peace, and industry, and commerce, weld 

Into one land all nations of the world, 

R^kinning those the deluge once estranged. 

Oh 1 may all help each other in good things, 

Mental and moral, and of bodily kind. 

Vouchsafe, kind God ; thy blessing to this isle, 

Speciallj;. May our country ever lead 

The world, for she is worthiest ; and may all 

Profit by her example, and adopt 

Her course, wherever great, or free, or just. 

May all her subject colonies and powers 

Have of her freedom freely, as a child 

Receiveth of its parents. Let not rights 

Be wrested from us, to our own reproach, 

But granted. We may make the whole world free, 

And be as free ourselves as ever, more ! 

If policy or self-defence call forth 

Our forces to the field, let us in thee 

First trust, and in thy name we shall o'ercome ; 

For we will only wage the righteous cause. 

Let us not conquer nations for ourselves, 

But for thee. Lord, who hast predestined us 

To fight the battles of our future age, 

Age to be then of peace, now ; and forestalled 

All meaner aims of victory ; so subdued 

All thought of barbarous glory gained by blood 

Shed, to have done with war before thou comest. 

Or thy dread whisper throug]i the o'erconscious eariih 

Thrilled, stuns all living, and makes live the dead. 

Till then. Lord God of armies, not of stars 

Only, which midst obstructive darkness, man 

Their luminous forts, and so establish Light's 

Dynastic order, self equate with space. 

But wheresoe'er law is ; we, aiming. Lord ! 

Like force of moral rule, and mental trutli, 

And soul-enlightening knowledge, to maintain 

'Gainst freedom's foes, and ignorance, tool and dupe 

Of warful tyranny ; let our foes if such, 

Foes too of marching manhood, before ours 

Have their swords broken, and their cannon burst, 

And their strong cities levelled ; and while we 

War faithfully and righteously, to raise, 

lilake free the peoples we subject and train 

To self -dominion ; dower with law our faith ; 

Civilise, humanize the lands we win 

From savage or from nature, every soul 

Taught truthfully to know thee ; thou, God I 

Wilt aid and hallow conquest, aa of old 



d8 FE8TUb. 

Thine own immediate nation's, when it spoiled 

At thy command, the idolatrous realms of earth 

And sacrilegious lands of unbeing gods. 

It may be yet some world-dividing war 

For liberty 'gainst despotry, for truth 

'Gainst falsehood, virtue against vice, shall ask 

And task our forces. But 'fore all we pray 

That all mankind may make one brotherhood, 

And love and serve each other ; that all wars 

And feuds die out of nations ; whether those 

Whom the sun's hot light darkens, or ourselves 

Whom he treats fairly, or the northern tribes 

Whom ceaseless snows and starry winters blench ; 

Savage or civilised, let every race 

Red, black, or white, olive, or tawny-skinned, 

Settle in peace and swell the gathering hosts 

Of souls which worship peace. Oh ! may the hour 

Soon come when all false gods, false creeds, false prophets, 

Allowed in thy good purpose for a time, 

Demolished, the great world shall be at last 

God's mercy-seat, the heritage of a pure 

Humanity, made divine, and the possession 

Of the spirit of comfort and wisdom ; shall all be 

One land, one home, one friend, one faith, one law ; 

Its ruler God, its practice righteousness, 

Its life peace. For the one true faith we pray ; 

There is but one in heaven, and there shall be 

Seeing thou hast said all soul shall know thee one, 

But one on earth, the same which is in heaven. 

Prophesy is more true than history. 

Grant us our prayers, we pray. Lord 1 in the name 

And for the sake of universal man. 

Who thee like Saviour as Creator, holds, 

Over all worlds, one Holy Spirit, God. 

The Ceowd. Amen ! 

Lucifer. Well, friends, we'll sing a hymn ; then part. 
I give it out, and you sing — all of you. 

Oh ! earth is cheating earth 

From age to age for ever ; 
She laughs at faith and worth. 

And dreams she shall die never ; 
Never, never, never ! 

And dreams she shall die never. 

And hell is cursing hell 

From age to age for ever; 
Its groans ring out the knell 

Of souls that may die never ; 
Never, never, never ! 

Of souls that may die uci er. 

My bless-ng be upon ye all ; now go ! 



FESTU8. 9S 

Festus. Now I propose to Bing another stave, 
Nor with that demonish malediction end. 

But heaven is blessing heaven 

rrom age to age for ever ; 
And its thanks to God are given 

For bless that can die never ! 
Never, never, never ! 

For bless that can die never. 

I wonder what these people make of thee. 

Lucifer. Ay, manner's a great matter, 

Festus. They deserve 

All the rebnke thon gavest them, and more. 
What mountains of delusion men have reared 1 
How every age hath bustled on to build 
Its shadowy mole — its monumental dream 1 
How faith and fancy, in the mind of man. 
Have spuriously immingled, and how much 
Shall pass away for aye, as before yon sun, 
Lord, he alike, of steadfastness and change, 
The visionary landscapes of the skies ; 
The golden capes far stretching into heaven ; 
The snow-piled cloud crags ; the bright wingM isles, 
Which dot the deep impassive ocean air, 
Like a disbanded rainbow, of all hues, 
Fit for translated fairy's Paradise ; 
Or as before the eye of musing child, 
The faces fancy forms in clouds, or fire, 
Of glowing angel, now ; now, darkening fiend's. 
Arts, superstition, creeds, philosophy ; this 
Called natural as material, and so deemed 
Extrusive of design and God's great ends, 
Have held in turn man's mind, betrayed and mocked ; 
Thou, too, vain science, who wouldst level man, 
Ajid all create with God, thine hour is come ; 
Thy lips were lined with the immortal lie, 
And, dyed, with all the look of truth ; men saw, 
Believed, embraced, detested, cast thee off. 
Thou wouldst not take in vain God's name. Wouldst take 
His being into thine apprehension ? No 1 
Those lights the mom of truth's immortal day, 
As thou didst falsely swear them, have not all 
Vanished, the mere auroras of an hour ? 
Yet didst thou vow to gather up, clear again, 
The fallen waters of humanity, smoothe 
The flaw from an eye ; piece even a pounded pearl. 

LuciFEB. I bet she failed. 

Festus. Thank God, I am a man, 

Not a philosopher. 

LuciFEE. Of that brand, oh no : 
Not a materialist. Another cast, -.s^ 

Science may yet succeed. 

Febtus. She never can. -.^^--j 



W FBSTUS. 

Rivers may rot the root of oak fire-bolted ; 
Revive it, never. 

LuciPEB. True ; for once be gay. 

Festus. Oh, let me to the hills, where none but God 
Can overlook us ; for I hate to breathe 
The breaths, and think the thoughts, of other men, 
In close and crowded cities where the skies 
Frown like an angry father, mournfully. 
Oh, but I love the hills ; love loneliness, 
AUwhere of desert shore, or wold scant-lifed. 
Where there is nothing else, there is always God, 
Yes, wearied soon of borough crowds, I love 
My fellows most at arm's length, not too near ; 
In the mid distance, somewhat, — nature seems 
A holier mediatress 'tween God and man. 
Mean mightier than aught else. But when alone. 
Braced by life-searching thought, and with the lOTt 
Of his creations filled, I go to meet 
Heaven on the hills, my soul I feel expand 
In sensefulness of Deity, and amidst 
Star-mimicked snows, indigenous of the skies, 
Conscious of spirit made capable to accept 
Celestial hints, and in dim depths of thought, 
Implunged, of God's perfections infinite, 
His simple ways I muse, all kind ; him, soul 
Substantial of the universe, and his ends, 
Divining better from those goodliest acts 
In world foundations traceable, than in tomes 
Named revelative, too oft to his nature false. 
His boundless bounteousness. And, wotting well, 
How to be sought he loves, not only in prayer 
And praise, not only in virtue helped, wrong crushed, 
But for himself essential, seek betimes, 
Softly and solitary, nor deem to miss 
Always the spot surpriseful, where he might 
Have hidden himself secretive ; there no less 
Conceivably, than in columned temples ; now, 
In sea-halls echoing tidal thunders, walled 
With wave-scooped rock, piled mightily crag on crag. 
Like masonry of gods ; in chasmy caves, 
Cool, oozy, unsuspect of brangling crowds, 
Where ocean oft his white steeds stalls ; impaved 
With gore-dyed granite, as though God, concern sd 
For private weal and suffering, had in wrath 
And very truth, for ravaged lands, and fields 
Dejwpulated, some pest enorme, hide- winged, 
Horn-lidded as to his eyes, trode down to death, 
And drowned in his own poisonous blood, gall-greened i 
Then, 'neath earth's threshold buried, hot ;— and now 
Midst woods, O awful woods, ye natural fanes, 
Whose very air is holy, and we breathe 
Of God ; he, while we worship, there for us. 



FESTUa, S5 

Lucifer. All this done leisurely, and come other thing-s 
Of like necessity, say, and a green old a^e 
Waits sweetly both. Had I more faults than one, 
My favourite failing would be found, I fear, 
In fondness for society. Much beside 
Mountains and groves me lure. 

Festus. Ah true ; there's man, 

So rich in wants. 

Lucifer. And woman, wealthier still 

In that particular, seeing she wants just now, 
To want her master. There are maids I know 
Look to be asked for yet, ere they grow grey. 

Festus. Oh, but I am put to the ban, this day. 

Lucifer. Let grief 

Weep her eyes dry to their last tear, to-night ; 
She hath a trick of brightening up, ere morn, 
Would startle many a ghost, could he but wait. 
Exile mayhap, who knows ? commute, our time. 
With such accomplishments as I to thee 
Own owed, such gifts and potencies as erst 
Were promised, will be well filled up. Meanwhile 
It is fit that something more were done for man, 
By those who aim to benefit him, than aught 
He now enjoys. Some social Paradise, 
Some practicable Elysium, canst not plan. 
Devise, imagine, scheme ? It is scarce my cue. 

Festus. Long have I pondered such. But ne'er while earth's 
Incongruous nations each, as now, its end 
Selfish would gain by force or fraud, exists 
One chance that good men's dreams be verified. 
Never till peace one-minded sway the whole. 

Lucifer. The sole equality now on earth is death • 
The rich have ne er enough of everything ; 
The poor have never enough of anything. 
I am for judgment : that will settle all. 
Nothing is to be done without destruction, 
Death is the universal salt of states ; 
And blood the base of all things, law and war. 
Society broken up and well ground down ; 
The world in short macadamised, might serve ; — 
The road to hell wants mending. Come away ! 

Festus. But can such peace be attained without all war ? 

Lucifer. Think eo. 

Festus. Who lives to see were surely blessed. 

And now, take note, I climb yon hills. 

Lucifer. Yon hiUs ? 

There's no one, sure, lives there, who — 

Festus. When shall I 

Betnm? 

Lucifeb. ril think. When gone, say's, out of bloom. 



FE8TU8. 



YT. 

Our next 
Adventure seems fair promising, for if be 
One scene in life whence evil may be ruled 
Absent, 'tis sure pure early love. But not 
Love sole, with the world untried before one's eye 
Eager to search all being, though of gross cares 
Freed, and in easefullest obscurity lapped 
Can make soul happy. Doubts of thmgs divine, 
Generate sponts«->W)usly, or thought inborne 
By rumour of thv -ft^orld, a& pestful seeds 
Mist sown, or of spirit in sell forced fellowship 
From eviller sphere conveyed ; as dominant soul 
Seer's tranced intelligence shakes, the mind distract. 
But see love's star now rise, which ere it set. 
Shall, many a mischance bettered, perfect life 
And lead to heavenward ; hear of holy ends ; 
Goaded into man's heart ; and worth of faith. 

Lawn and Parterre — Bridge — Village Church in Diitance — 
Festus and Clara — Evening. 

Clara. Time ever on the wing, an age it seems, 
Though but few moons have passed, since here we met. 

Festus. Oh happy are those hills which long, to me, 
Showed as stem barriers, 'twixt this hapless heart, 
These hopeless feet, and joy's sojourn ; but cleared 
Behold. I have found the sacred trust these guards 
Had to their vales remote, conveyed, thyself. 
And could the sight of blessedness make blessed, 
Then were I truly fortunatest of men. 
As one elect by lightning, consecrate 
Deathwise to God, true chooser of the slain. 
Slain, but for ever living with life's lord. 
I, gladdening in thy dear companionship, 
All do I can to exalt my soul as thine. 
To holiest ends and missions thou dost seal, 
"With force persistent mine much lacks. Too oft 
There comes the doubt that palters with all faith, 
And palsies aspiration ; act, nor aim, 
Nor earnest end in life, which leaves to enjoy. 
Days are to me of light when I rejoice 
In earth, man, all things round, and strong belief 
Rules, as a prevalent wind the world, my mind. 
The stars instil their virtues in the schemes 
I muse, so much doth generous reason joy 
In rich forecasts of full-orbed happiness ; 
And the all fatherly Deity smiles. Anon, 
Come surging from afar, dark doubts like wrecks 
Of forespent storms we deemed we had done with. Wave 
On wave of darkness, like the shadowy tides 
Of that tenebrous sea which billowing breaks 
Boundless on lunar promontories, my soul 



FESTUa 97 

O'erfloods ; nought satisfies. All ends seem mixed 
With means that make for evil ; and if I see 
God's hand, it is everywhere distinct from things 
Moulding them not, nor guiding ; least of all 
The errant soul I know me. 

Clara. How I life's goods, 

Heaven's gifts, health, beauty ; earth's, wealth, culture, love, 
Are means, not ends. A mind absorbed in means, 
Means but a mind that's mean, which endless errs. 

Festus. It may be ; nay, 'tis probable. Say, it's true. 

Clara. Let us do more than this. Have noblest ends, 
Ends which will bear the eye of God, nor flinch. 

Festus. But this means strife. Why should I strive with 
men? 
No ends have I to gain that man can give ; 
Save one ; and that not for myself, but them. 

Clara. But thou I thought hadst highest intents, and these 
It was that drew my soul to thine, resolved, 
I deemed, to head the advance of men. And now, 
Wouldst note at ease the bubble of fountains rise t 
Number the daisies on the lamb-cropped green ? 
Or count the maythom's bloomlets as they fall 
Fragrant in faery showers ? Shall I attune 
Mine harpstrings, strained into their subtense beam, 
Luminous and hollow as is a golden flame, 
To songs commemorate of perfect bliss, 
Earth now enjoys ; of war, of woe, extinct. 
Sin, ignorance, penury ? Or, are all these 
Ills, yet to be o'ermastered ? 

Festus. These be thoughts 

Do scare the spirit that rouses them. 

Clara. May be. 

And sometimes self-love scared, is self-love cured. 

Festus. To know the truth I seek ; self-love's best aim 
Or soul's worst, know I not. 

Clara. An aim, perchance, 

Attainable, not at once ; but if pursued 
With single and earnest gaze not doubtful. Men, 
By bent of spirit or dint of labouring limbs 
Only their ends gain, or their means to live, 
None other mean save inspiration is 
Which coming from above no labour asks 
Nor can be earned by merit, nor set wilL 

Festus. Perish the thought 1 

Clara. And if earth's inborn strength 

Could e'er unhelped relift her to the stars 
She left ; it takes a mightier hand than man's 
Soul to resphere on earth ; yet could she ne'er 
By native worth claim Heaven as birthright, more 
Than man make cloudland home. 

Festus. The inheritance 

pf soul, its birth-plac^ death-place may be earth. 

1 



88 FE8TU8. 

Our present is doubt's veriest sphere. Who knows 
With certainty what is ? 

Claea. This know. What comes 

Direct from God, his spirit, allwhere, alway, 
Is deathless, tireless ; working good for all, 
In ways unnumbered Souls that luxury love 
And labour loathe are on their grief ward way. 
Nature without all effort gravitates. 
Men worsen naturally. As falls a star 
Earthwards, so deathwards falls the inactive soul, 
Or indevote to good, Heaven's counterfoil. 
Some generous thoughts thou hadst of serving man 
And aiding higher causes, happier ends. 
Than all the ages yet had sought, or given. 

Festus. I had, I am cooler. 

Clara. 'Tis my grief. 

Festus. Enough I 

Turn we to things that leave us not in the end 
Inconsolable. It is joy to know the day 
Is filling up with feelings that will last 
Memorially, all life. 

Claea. All time, we hope. 

Festus. Hope, and its lunes, its tides, to their very heaifc, 
Ebbed out, with me are at dead water. Come 1 
Let us consider deeplier, things that be. 
What happy things to wit, are youth, love, sunshine. 
How sweet to feel the sun upon the heart. 
And know it is lighting up the rosy blood. 
How sweeter still, that sun within the soul. 
The consciousness of mutual love returned. 
And with all joyous feelings making shine 
The dark breast, like a grot with prismy spar. 
We walk among the sunbeams as with angels, 

Claea. Yes, there are feelings so serene and sweet, 
Coming and going as with a musical lightness. 
They more than make amends for their passingness, 
And balance God's condition to decay ; 
As yon light fleecy cloudlet floating along. 
Like golden down from some high angel's wing, 
So breaks and beautifies the blue, we lose 
Just reckoning of its imminent end. And love 
Hath some such very semblance, or I err 
At large. I wonder if ever I could love 
Another. How I should start to see on the sward 
A shadow iwit thine own, arm-linked with mine. 

Festus. Thou art happy, I doubt not. I, if nothing else, 
I have renewed my youth. 

Clara. When wert thou deemed 

Aged? 

Festus. Oh, thou know'st not then, how old I am ? 
Know, in my brain I hear each several age 
Whose gpirit I have by study absorbed, and so 



TE8TU8. 

Aisimaated, that morally we are one. 

If not yet accurately defined my years, 

I am of full age ; I have come into mine own, 

By grief -right. Take me, peer of want and woe ; 

Proud thrall of doubt, my liege. 

Claba. Be not so sad, 

Festus. How not be sad, whene'er the astounded mind 
A moment muses upon the future scope, 
How vast, of human woe ; to sensitive soul, 
Enquiring novice of that mapped-out state. 
Enough to make all thought of Heaven a guile. 
Here, a few blessM, who have pre-empt all joy, 
There a mass on mass, in boundless, pauseless pain. 
It shakes all thought of God, as being just. 

Claba. It shakes our trust in our own reason. Here, 
We may not know all elements of a sum. 
Untold, intangible, only partly worked, 
Unseen, be thou content with proffered heaven. 

Festus. How trust a future so woe- weighted ? 

Claba. Trust 1 

See, here's a garland I have bound for thee. 
Let me but twine it round thy brow. There, know, 
Many be kings of men ; rule but thyself, 
Thou art king of man. 

Festus. The augury I accept. 

Claba. Eagles thou doubtless see'st by flocks. 

Festus. Not so. 

Nay, crown thyself ; it will suit thee better, love. 
Place wreaths of everlasting flowers on tombs, 
And deck with fading beauties forms that fade. 
Put it away, I will no crown save this ; 
And could the line of dust which here I trace 
Upon my brow, but warrant dust beneath, 
Nor more, for aye ; or could this bubble frame 
Informed with soul, lashed from the stream of life 
By its own impetus, but burst at once 
Aiid vanish, part on high and part below, 
I would be happy, nor would envy death : 
Could I, like heaven's bolt, earthing, quench myself, 
This moment would I bum me out a grave. 

Claba. What canst thou mean ? 

Festus. Mean, is there not a fu'-urs 

Passed, present, coming, be accursed, each ? 

Claba. Oh say not so. The future sure is filled 
With promises. Are not even promises sweet 
From one we love and trust, of bliss ? And we. 
Shall we not ever live and love, as now ? 

Festus. For love, I know not : live, I fear we must. 

Claba, And love, because we then are happiest, love ; 
We shall lack nothing having love ; and we, 
We must be happy everywhere, we twain, 
life Bpiritual changeless even as is the sea 

S2 



100 FE8TU8, 

In essence, tlioug-h of variablest aspect, 

Rolling the same througli all earth's ages, now 

O'er mountain tops where only snow abides, 

And the sunbeam hurries coldly by, or o'er 

The vales, ship guesting now, of some old world, 

Older than ancient man's, — is ever great. 

Clear, self-continuative, reflecting heaven : 

So then with us. Our natures raised, refined 

From these poor forms, our days shall pass in peace, 

And love ; no thought of human littleness 

Shall cross our high calm souls, shining and pure 

As the gold gates of heaven. Like some deep lake, 

Upon a mountain summit, they shall rest, 

High above cloud and storm of life like this ; 

All peace and power and passionless purity. 

Or, if a thought of other troublous times 

Life niffle f cr a moment, it shall pass 

Like a chance raindrop on its heavenward face, 

Regardless, recordless. 

Festus. Oh I who so wise 

As thou in things incredible, things unknown ? 

Claea. I love to meditate upon bliss to come. 
Not that I am unhappy here, but given 
To hope more perfect bliss may rectify 
The lowlier feeling we enjoy now. Earth, 
This world, this life is not enough for us ; 
They are nothing to the measure of our mind ; 
For place we must have space, for time must have 
Eternity, and for a spirit godhood. 

Festus. Mind means not happiness ; power not goOcU 

Clara. True bliss 
Seek thou in holy life ; in charity ; 
Not the mere passive charity which gives, 
When asked for, coin ; but, active towards mankind, 
Embraces every good ; in love to God. 
"Why should such duties cease, such powers decay ? 
Being of nature spiritual, boundless scope. 
And worthy of high uplifted life for ever ? 
Man, like the airbom eagle who remains 
On earth only to feed and sleep and die ; 
But whose delight is on his lonely wing, 
Y/ide-sweeping as a mind, to force the skies 
High as the light-fall, ere, begirt with clouda 
It dash this nether world, immortal man, 
If measuring not with equal mind the All, 
His aspirations yet by nought below 
Divinity coped, up rushes, aye, towards heaven, 
As his essential home. faith ! most pure 
Of things ; the world's sole honour 1 

Festus. Come, what's faith ? 

Let us make believe like diildren ; faith ? A tower 
Beared of rotmd boulders on f ear*s quakef ul bo^ ; 



FESTU8. 101 

A belfry built of dominoes on the palm 

A pulse's throb o'erthrows ; — that's my faith. Thine ? 

Proceed ; past doubt thy faith works miracles. 

Work one in me now. Granted I have sinned, 

Sin would I not for ever, I repent. 

I would again be blameless, Heajr, Lord. Speak 

To me thy child in thine invisible likeness, 

The wind, as once of yore. Let me be pure ; 

Let me be once more as an innocent child 1 

As ere the clear could trouble me ; when life 

Was sweet and calm as is a sister's kiss ; 

And not the wild and whiiiwind touch of passion 

Which though it scarcely 'light upon the lips, 

With breathless swiftness sucks the soul out of sight. 

So that we lose all thought of it Speaks he ? No 1 

Though meanest of all possible miracles, 

The vast inviolate silence answers, No. 

Claka. Dost thou dictate to God ? 

Festus. Now God forbid ; 

But faith and all its promises and forms. 
And, save religion's forms what know men, show 
On heaven's part, most divine indifference. 

Claea. True faith nor biddeth nor abideth form. 
Knee bended, eye uplift, with heart prostrate ; 
Is all man need to render, all God asks. 
"What to the faith are forms ? A passing speck, 
A crow upon the sky. God's worship is 
That only he inspires 1 and his bright words 
Writ in the red-leaved volume of the heart. 
Return to him in prayer, as dew to heaven. 
We quit the right way wantonly, and life 
Call error : truth we shun, coiirt soulless wit ; 
And say it is ignorance to adore. Our peace, 
Our proper good we rarely seek or make, 
Mindless of soul's beneficent powers and end 
Immortal, as the pearl is of its worth. 
The rose its scent, the wave its puiity. 

Festus. My soul is like to die of unproved ends. 
Quit we these saddening themes. My mind too long 
Hath been begloomed by them. Sing then ; for I love 
Thy singing, sacred as the sound of hymns. 
On some bright sabbath morning, 'mid the moor, 
Where all is still save praise, of ru.stic saints 
Gathered beneath some wide-branched oak ; high heaven 
Sheds on the spirit its kindred cabn ; hard by, 
The ripening grain its bright beard shakes i' the sun ; 
The wild bee hums more solemnly ; the deep sky, 
The fresh green grass, the sunny brook, the sun, 
All look as if they knew the day, the hour. 
And felt with man the need and joy of thanks. 

Claba. I cannot sing love's lightsome lays ; thou knowst 
Who can ; but none who love as I ; for I 



102 FESTU8. 

Thy sonl love, and would save it, Festus. Listen : 

Is heaven a place where pearly streams 

Glide over silver sand ? 
Like childhood's rosy dazzling dreams 

Of some far faery land ? 
Is heaven a clime where diamond dews 

Glitter on fadeless flowers ? 
And mirth and music ring aloud 

From amaranthine bowers ? 

Ah no ; not such, not such is heaven ! 

Surpassing far all these ; 
Such cannot he the guerdon given 

Man's wearied soul to please. 
For saint and sinner here below 

Such vain to be have proved : 
And the pure spirit will despise 

Whate'er the sense hath loved. 

There we shall dwell with Sire and Son 

And with the mother-maid, 
And with the Holy Spirit, one ! 

In glory like arrayed : 
And not to one created thing 

Shall our embrace be given ; 
But all our joy shall be in God: 

For only God is heaven, 

Festus. Albeit God only, and our soul, the soul 
Can save, I know thou lov'st me. I, in vain 
Strive to love aught of earth or heaven but thee, 
My first, last, only love : nor shall another 
Tempt even my steadfast heart. Like far-off stars, 
A thousand, sweet and bright and wondrous fair, 
A thousand deathless miracles of beauty, 
They shall e'er pass at all but eyeless distance, 
And never mix with thy love, but be lost. 
All meanly in its moonlight lustrousness. 

Claba. How still the air : the tree-tops stir no leaf 
But stand and peer on heaven's bright face as though 
It slept, and they were loving it : they would not 
Have the skies see them move, for summers, would they ? 
See that sweet cloud. It is watching us I am certain. 
What have we here to make thee stay one second 2 
Away 1 thy sisters wait thee in the west, 
The blushing bridesmaids of the sun and sea. 
Would I were like thee, little cloud, to live 
Ever in heaven ; or, seeking earth, let faU 
My spirit down only in droplets bright of love ; 
Sleep on night's dewy lap ; and the next dawn, 
Back with the sun to heaven ; and so for aye. 
Sweet cloudlet ! Senseless seeming things there are, 
One must, almost, count happy. Oft have I watched 
A gossamer line sighing itself along 
The air, as it seemed, and so thin, thin and bright, 
Like a stray threadlet woven in light's gay loom, 



FE8TUS. 103 

I have envied it, a moment, followed : oft 

Eye-tracked the sea-bird's down, blown o'er the wave, 

Now touching it, spirited again, aloft. 

Now out of sight, now nigh, till in some bright fringe 

Of streamy foam, as in a cage, at last, 

A playful death it dies ; — and mourned its death. 

Festus. Surely thou earnest straightwise from the stars. 
And instantly from heaven : thy calm bright thought, 
Pure as the roseate snow on polar plains, 
In starlike flakelets falling, stamped with proof 
Of its high geniture, suits and soothes my mind. 
O well thou deemest of celestial things. 
And high-bom duties dedicate to earth. 
To dignify the day with deeds of good, 
And eve constellate with all holy thoughts, 
This is to live, and let our lives narrate, 
In a new version, solemn and sublime. 
The grand old legend of humanity. 
But think'st thou now the futui-e is a state 
Like positive with this, or e'er can be aught 
Than another present, toilsome, full of cares, 
Duties, perhaps ; that soul will e'er be nigher 
To God than now, save as may seem by mind's 
Debility, as from weakness of the eye, 
And the illusions matter forms, j'on sun 
Shows, hot and wearied, resting upon the hill? 
It would be well I think to live as though 
Nought more were to be looked for ; to be good 
Because it is best here ; and leave hope and fear 
For lives below ourselves. If earth persuades not 
That I owe prayer and praise and love to God 
"VVTiile all I have he gives, will heaven ? will hell f 
No, neither, never. 

Clara. I think not all with thee. 

Festus. And how, unless worst ills revive, how live ? 
Shall all defects of mind and fallacies 
Of feeling be immortalised ? All needs, 
All joys, all sorrows, be again gone through ? 
Shall heaven but be old earth created new / 
Or earth, tree-like, transplanted into heaven, 
To flourish by the waters of life ; we, still. 
Within its shade cropping the fruit life-cored ? 

Claea. Not so I Man's nature bodily, soul-wise, both, 
Shall be changed throughout, exalted, glorified ; 
And all shall be alike, like God ; and all 
Unlike each other, and themselves. The earth 
Shall vanish from the thoughts of those she bore. 
As have the idols of the olden time 
From men's hearts of the present. All delight 
And all desire shall be with heavenly things. 
And the new nature God bestowed on man. 

Festus. Then man shall be no more man ; but an angel. 



10* FESTU8. 

Clara. Have I not heard thee hint of spirit friends, 
Other than him thou spakest of now 1 

Festus. Thou hast heard. 

Clara. Where are they now ? 

Festus. Ah close, mayhap, at hand. 
And since now other miracles lack, observe ! 
I have a might immortal, and can ken 
"Vl^th angels. Neither sky, nor night, nor earth, 
Hindors me. Through the forms of things I see 
Their essences ; and thus, even now, behold, 
But where I cannot show to thee, far round, 
Nature herself, the whole effect of God. 
Mind, matter, motion, heat, time, love, and life, 
And death, and immortality, those chief 
And first-born giants all are there, all parts, 
All limbs of her their mother ; she is all. 

Clara. And what does she ? 

Festus. Produce ; it is her life. 

The three I named last, life, death, deathlessness, 
Glide in elliptic path round all things made ; 
For none save God can fill the perfect whole ; 
And are but to eternity as is 
The horizon to the world. At certain points 
Each seems the other ; now the three are one ; 
Kow, all invisible ; and now, as first, 
Moving in measured round. To me there seems 
A mocking, flickering likeness in their mien, 
To some I know. Not seldom all I see. 
Or mix with, seems a fleeting masque prepared 
By some obsequious tyrant, bent on fraud ; 
Some despot servile to necessity ; who, 
For his own ends, plants before our inward eyes, 
TTie eternal phantom of the universe. 
And bids us call it real. 

Clara. How look these beings ? 

Festus. Ah 1 Life looks gaily and gloomily in turns ; 
With a brow chequered like the sward, by leaves, 
Between which the light glints ; and she, careless wears 
A wreath of flowers ; part faded and part fresh. 
And death is beautiful ; and sad ; and still. 
She seems too happy ; happier far than life. 
In but one feeling, apathy ; and on 
Her chill white brow frosts bright a braid of snow, 

Clara. And immortality ? 

Festus. She looks alone ; 

As though she would not know her sisterhood. 
And on her brow a diadem of fire, 
Matched by the conflagration of her eye, 
Outflaming even that eye which in my sleep 
Beams close upon me till it bursts from sheer 
O'erstrainedness of sight, burns. 

Clara. What do thej t 



FE8TU8. 105 

Festub. Each strives to win me to herself. 

Clara. How ? 

Festus. Death 

Opens her sweet white arms and whispers, peace 1 
Come say thy sorrows in this bosom 1 This 
Will never close against thee ; and my heart, 
Though cold, cannot be colder much than man's. 
Come ! All this soon must end ; and soon the world 
Shall perish leaf by leaf, and land by land ; 
Flower by flower ; flood by flood ; and hill 
By hill away. Oh I come, come ! Let us die. 

Clara. Say that thou vnlt not die 1 

Festus. Nay, I love death. 
But Immortality, with finger spired, 
Points to a distant, giant world, and says 
There, there is my home. Live along with me I 

Clara. Canst see that world ? 

Festus. Just ; a huge shadowy shape . 

It looks a disembodied orb ; the ghost 
Of some great sphere which God hath stricken dead. 
Or like a world which God hath thought — not made. 

Clara. Follow her, Festus 1 Does she speak again ? 

Festus. She never speaks but once : and now, in scorn. 
Points to this dim, dwarfed, misbegotten sphere. 

Clara. Why let her pass ? 

Festus. That is the great world-question. 
Life would not part with me ; and from her brow 
Tearing her wreath of passion flowers, she flung it 
Around my neck, and dared me struggle then. 
I never could destroy a flower ; and none 
But fairest hands like thine grace even with me 
The culling of a rose. And Life, sweet Life, 
Vowed she would crop the world for me, and lay it 
Herself before my feet even as a flower. 
And when I felt that flower contained thyself, 
One drop within its nectary kept for me, 
I lost all count of those strange sisters three ; 
And where they be, I know not. But I see 
One who is more to me. 

Clara. I know not how 

Thou hast this power and knowledge ; I but hope 
It comes from good hands, be it not thine own 
Force, simply of mind. 

Festus. Consider man's employ 

So many years, and his few minutes' thought 
On heaven, and own 'tis less even, what we do, 
Than what we think, that fits us for the future. 

Clara. I would we had a little world to ourselvee 
With none but we two on it. 

Festus. And if God 

Gave us a star, what could we do with it 
But what we can, without it ? Wish it not. 

s8 



106 FESTUa. 

Clara. I'll not wish then for stars ; but I could lore 
Some peaceful spot where we might dwell unknown ; 
Where home-bom joys might nestle round our hearts, 
As swallows 'neath our roofs ; and rustic peace, 
With blessings of the lowly, innocent aims, 
And kindliest neighbour charities, blend their sweets, 
As dewy tangled flowerets midst one bed, 
In pure and unimpassioned life. 

Festus. a cot 

I know, rose-roofed, by myrtle masked, with porch 
'Twixt vine and honeysuckle embowered ; near by, 
A rill, heath-braided, crowned with flowering fern, 
Repeats the silvery tattle of the hills 
To rocks, less garrulous, maybe ; pleasance, grove. 
Silent, while song-birds sleep, with pensive gloom, 
With florid gaiety, each in turn lure. There, 
Summer's wild roselet scents the unthoughtf ul step 
That stills its pleading fragrance ; see, the head 
Pardoning, peeps up, unharmed The comfortiug hum 
Of bees is always audible ; allwhere seen 
Fruit sweetly eagering, that not cloys. There, backed 
By every sunset, ocean, in his heart, 
Changeful, but charmful aye, heaven's glories now 
Liberally redoubles ; now conceals in's breast, 
Eivallous and agitated. There, friendliest mom 
Wakes you through latticed jasmtu ; eve, retiring, 
Breathes of dew-beaded eglantine ; and night 
Her luminous forces, starwise, oft deploys, 
To unveil, for sage, so much as sage to unveil 
3Iay list, the fates premonitory of men. 

Clara. That spot thou knowest ? 

Festus. Oh, yes, my feet could find it, 

Eyes had I none. Sometime, when leisure calls, 
In virtue's vacancies, we will search it out. 

Clara. Sometime may never come. But know, friend, this I 
Virtue hath never vacancies. Her hours 
Have far too solid use to need such strength 
As any gaps can give. But look ! Day dies 
Surely, of too much beauty, which becomes 
In its intensity holy ; and we fear. 
See how yon cloudlet climbs the welkin, lone, 
Like lambling strayed from some gold-fleeced flock 
Low folded by the sun ; now, dimmer grown 
Upon the aery movmtain's side, and now. 
High in the infinite heavens, it disappears. 
Saintlike, updrawn to God's invisible breast, 
Wherein is rest for all things : thunder, there, 
Nor the blue flashing levin, dread seraphim 
And cherubim of storms, complain no more ; 
But hushed to silence, and their eyes tearblind. 
Crushed to his fatherly bosom, who now bids forth 
The elements, now recalls them, sleep in peace ; . .. 



FESTU3. 107 

Peace, how divine ; peace love I more than love. 

Festus. The sweetest joy, the wildest woe is lore. 
Earth's taints, the odours of the skies are in it. 
"Would man were aught but that he seems, the mean 
Of all extremes. Brute's death, the deathlessness 
Of fiend or angel better shows than all 
Tlie doubtful proj^pects of our painted dust. 
And all morality can teach is, bear ; 
And all religion can inspire is, hope. 

Clara. It is enough. Fruition of the fruit 
Of the great tree of life, is not for earth. 
Stars are its fruit ; its lightest leaf is life. 
The heart hatli many a sorrow beside love ; 
Yea, many as are the veins which visit it. 
The love of aught on earth is not its chief ; 
Nor should be. 

Festus. True : inclusive of them all 

There is the one main sorrow, life ; for what 
Can spirit, dissevered from the great one, God, 
Feel but a grievous longing to rejoin 
Its infinite, its author, and its end ? 

Claba, And yet is life a thing to be beloved, 
And honoured holily, and bravely borne. 
A man's life may be all ease, and his death, 
By some dark chance, unthought of agony ; 
Or, life may be all suffering, and decease 
A flowerlike sleep ; or, both be full of woe ; 
Or painless each. Kind as inscrutable. Heaven 
Blame not for inequalities like these ; 
They may be justified ; how canst thou know T 
They may be only seeming ; canst thou judge? 
They may be done away with utterly 
By loving, knowing, fearing God the truth. 
Nor should love's self be grievous ; but though blent 
With the world's dues, life's future, nature's claims, 
And though all woes their dolorous kinship prove 
With it, deem not aught ill, remediless. 
In aU distress of spirit, grief of heart, 
In bodily agony or in mental woe, 
Think thou on God, how patiently, how long, 
Rebuffs and vain assumptions of the world, 
He bears with disobedience of his law, 
Or the poor spite of weak and wicked souls, 
With men's contempt, their thanklessness, their hate ; 
Joy even in thine own anguish, suffering 
Assimilates thee to Him, not less than good, 
Think upon what thou shalt be. Think on God. 
Then ask thyself what is the world ? What time ? 
And all their mountainous inequalities, what ? 
Are not all equal as dust atomies strown 
On heaven's bright concave ? 

Festus. What is» thou canst not 



108 FE8TU3, 

Persuade me of, to my mucli betterment! 
As ocean languishing 'neath half-lifed tides, 
Aroused at length, by kindly urgent gales, 
His clay clogged deep, root upward, eyes distraught ; 
Let now some snow-wind, bound to thaw his v/ing 
Frost feathered, mid more genial climes, but skim 
The fractious waves ; these, (like to seething glass 
Glittering, planed down 'neath artist hand) by touch 
Perfective smoothed, roll lucid ; so my mind, 
By doubts and passions to its depths perturbed, 
Thy luminous thought pure, piercing as the breeze 
From polar stars breathed, calms and clarifies. 

Claea. Farewell ; night darkens fast ; and dewfall chilla. 
Remember what thou saidst about the stars. 

Festus. Oh, yes ; I of ttimes think of them and thee, 
Together. 

Claea. True ? 

Festus. Star art not of my life ? 

Claea. Another night, and thou wilt t«ll me more 
Of wonders thou canst see ? 

Festus. Ay, thou shalt view 

Fearless, celestial marvels. 

Claea. Nay, I dread. 

But hap me weal or woe, I am thine. 

Festus. Farewell ! 

Claea, But helps not now in all those sad extremei 
Of thought thou feel'st the stranger friend I once 
One day of grievous memory, met ; expert 
Of spirit, thou say'st, and other spheres, to arm 
Thy soul with faultless proofs of God's good rule, 
Life deathless ? Conquered ill ? 

Festus. With proof of nothing. 

He hath a dispensation, but of doubt ; 
Which umbers all my days. Spheres are, he avers. 
To have fared through, but in vision, dream, concept, 
I say not whether, but where nought which is 
Shows like conditioned with our earth state ; form, 
Number, nor colour, are, nor sense, nor time ; 
But souls migrate in death or life, at will, 
To vaster firmaments, or orbs minute ; 
Where odd from equal differs not in kind ; 
Nor contraries exist ; where well's not ill's 
Foe ; nor wrong, right's ; as suits us here to hold, 
And verity proves not proveable. 

Claea. The false one 1 

Truth's one and same in Heaven and every world, 
Even as on earth ; and good, ill, false and true, 
All where, as here, opposed ; just and unjust. 
Earth's moral law, like great, like grave, with those 
Which sway the spheres, space circling, know imbased 
On the attributes of God, whose onemostnesfl 
Essential )uAds the unbounded, which if not 



FE8TU8, 109 

All compassablo, yet plainly, by tho soul 
Using such reason alone as He hath given, 
Inapprehensible not. Such craze as this, 
Thy friend's, so contrary to reason shocks 
The mind, as base and perilous. 

Festus. Not always 

He judges like irrationally. 

Clara. Some day 

Thou wilt regret such teachings as confuse 
Things foulest with things loveliest. Much I fear 
Thou wilt have full soon to choose between him and me. 



VII. 

Humanity first must expiate in fit mode 

Proportionate all its sins and shortcoming's, 

Ita mark luissings perverse ; which, conscious of, 

And self convict, the soul its prime step takes 

Towards truth aud goodness absolute, which but found 

Free, if self-pushed, to fall ; if fallen, free 

To rise, in Deity, makes man's last, best joy ; 

Union with God, absorption meaning not ; 

As through death's law, in Deity, soul by soul 

Like stars to the sun's bosom ; till our God, 

Maker and sire of all, becomes, himself. 

The sum of soul and aggregate of things 

Imperfect, mutually opposed, world-soiled, 

By him create ; but, union with his law, 

And pure acceptance on God's part of man's 

Service devout to good, conceived at large, 

Divine love's vast intents elect to share ; 

And help evolve Heaven's grand and pure designs. 

A Mountain Precipice, overlooking a Lake, 
Festus and Lucifee, 

Festcs. Dark, wretched thoughts, like ice-isles in a stream 
Clashing, choke np my mind ; and to none end. 
In spite of all we suffer, and enjoy, 
AH we believe we know, and deem to have proved, 
There comes this question, over and over again. 
Driven into the brain as a pile is driven, 
"What shall become of us hereafter ? What 
Id't we shall do ? how Uve ? how feel ? how be ? 
For, granting us not perfect here, nor ill 
AMiolly, shall soul be moveless after death ? 
Progressless / or, self -lured from sphere to sphere ? 
Or, shall 't be aH one dread remembrance crushed 
Into a being, unfutured save of woe ? 
And so conserved by burning memory, poured 
In on the mind, that wrecking we would save, 



110 FESTU8. 

That saving, we -would lose ; life's pettinesses ; 
Errors, futilities, foibles, trivial caces. 
That, like the lava-floods which choked of yore 
The Cyclopgean city, brimming up 
As with torrent brass, its mighty mould, our own 
Annoy we perpetuate ? And shall the passed, 
Thus ruinously perfected, e'er remain ; 
Our being's grandest moiety, our soul's 
Capacities for more good and greater power 
Than life allows, unused ? Or ends death all 
With his despiteful trick ? Like snow which lies 
Down wreathed round the lips of some black pit, 
Thoughts which obscure the truth, accumulate ; 
"Which solve it, in it lose themselves. There's none 
True knowledge till descent ; nor then, till after. 

LuciFEE. What shall invert the world's vast order ? bring 
The future backward on the present ? make, 
To the finite, visible, truth as 'tis in God ? 
Men glimpse the light through medium dense or clear, 
As reason rarifies, and yet so distort 
That through the smoky glass of sense, the sun. 
All-blessing, scarce would know himself. So with truth. 

Festus. The truth is known through reason, not through sense. 

Lucifer. What's truth to thee ? 

Festus. Truth's more than all things else 

Beside itself. 

LuciFEE. To every separate soul 
All men agree 'tis something like diverse. 

Festus. What differences exist are theirs who see ; 
Not his, at whom they glance. Truth's one and same. 
As the sun, viewed at sea by thousand eyes. 
The one same orb shows ; yet no twain of men 
The identic image gaze, nor the gold waved path. 
Between ; but every soul a different sight ; 
Thus, too, each heart turned Godward, shapes its own 
Divine ideal, and its way towards Him, 
The infinite light, to each true, but to all 
Diverse the mean betwixt ; which mean to know, 
Is truth to question and to answer ; God 
To hold commune with by ourselves, and feel 
As power and knowledge summed, united, crowned. 
For God is truth. 

LuciFEE. Truth question, then, no more. 

Festus. I will not. But the cause I love is truth's j 
And in it I will fight till death my soul 
Seize, to embrace it in another world 
If aid it need. 

LuciFEE. It may be thou shalt faint 
From weakness on thy way ; thy purpose change ; 
Or, tempting things, how grievously 1 divert. 

Festus. I boast me not. Grant even thy kind conceit. 
Still trust I so to profit by earth's act, 



FE8TU8, 111 

Thafc, though our sphere, and we (each round himself, 
His special interests, feelings, hopes) revolve 
Daily, on our own axis ; and yet earth 
Just progress makes 'mid space ; so soul behoves, 
Through life's broad orbit, to advance in light 
Of moral, spiritual perfectness, towards Govi, 
Whose shadow upon Heaven's dial falls not back 
Ever ; nor slacks ; for lo I that shadow is truth. 
Be it therefore, that I somewhakiSy a^ thou fear'st, 
Fail on my way ; yet mine intent is firm. 
Since from the chaos of false faiths my soul 
Rose, soared to light, and ordered freedom knew, 
I have a perfect passion for the truth 
As 'tis, and only is, in God ; the one. 
Sole infinite ; sole saviour, maker, judge. 
This faith I live for, for this truth, I trust 
To hail triumphant round the earth, I'd draw 
The brand of fate, which reaps, through all the orbs. 
Their final field. My sword, 'tis true, may burst, 
Right in mine hand ; my lance snap ; my brave bow 
Rend in the midst, with life-lorn shriek ; this faith 
Quit will I ne'er, though elsewise tried, I fell 
From sphere to sphere, and, mortal sin incurred. 
Died penally through every star in heaven. 

LuciFEa Mark me, I have a theory, too. But now, 
One universal scheme of the moral world 
SuflBces, at a time, i)erchance. Meanwhile 
Know thou, God trieth all ; he tempteth none. 
Nor acts without just motive, nor just end. 

Festus. Be it I I am not one who holds his life 
A conscious crime 'gainst God . he flagrant deed 
Of others, whose like sin was t^t of being. 
Nor hold I as a truth all gracious Heaven 
Gave its own breath to man more sure to make 
His deperdition in the end. Let life 
Of life be judge, and its many staged career, 
And state to be ; till justest mercy draw 
Towards the eternal good, the errant soul. 

Lucifer. That were to start full fair ; and now, start we 1 
Life is the one great truth ; the fiction death. 
Arc never satisfied ? Must thou still and aye 
Kevel in bootless questings ? 

Festus. Lo 1 I speak 

To heaven, and hell makes bold to answer me. 
It is better too than silence. What if stars 
Invoking, earth now, in forbiddance stem, 
Rumbles her cavemed threatenings at my feet ; 
Or midnight clouds low muttering in long lines 
Uncomprehended thunders stun mine ear ? 
Call'st thou this power ? 

Lucifer. Ton pretty little star 

Shines, methinks on a vasty falsehood. Power 



112 FE8TUB. 

Thou hast, o'er finite ag-encies ; but none 
I tell thee, over the infinite. Confess, 
Therefore, unjust presumption, and receive 
Obediently, meet means. What would'st thou do ? 

Festus. I sicken of this mean and shadowy nature, 
And shallow life ? 

Lucifer, Well, is death deep enough ? 

Festus. Life unetemal's nought. All life's in God« 
My heart's blood is ia ebb. Not rarely I think 
The sameness it is, and tameness, of the times 
Prostrates my spirit. I want an upward change. 
What do they in the asteroids ? the orb 
Whose months are years of earth ? But more, I'd see 
The roots of Ilanokh. earth's metropolis 
Cain built in Nodland ; see the fanes and tombs 
Of buried states ; cities of wicked gods. 
Clouded with profane incense once ; 'neath sea 
Wlielmed now, washed out, 

LuciFEE, Be it as thou wilt. In time 

Thou shalt know many a mystery, 

Festus. This I know. 

I have been told, and taught, and trained, to pray. 
I pray ; and have no answer ; may, as well 
Wrestle with the wind. I feel as might a cloud, 
Which, on the golden threshold of the skies, 
Halting and faltering, glancing towards the sea, 
Fearing to rise, and fainting, men suspect 
As a spy of night ; when it had but to soar, 
And with its excellent beauty ravish earth, 

Lucifer, There's reason now and then in similea. 
Souls are like clouds bom of the infinite stock 
Of ever-formless essence ; and their race 
In bounteous beauty run, or ruinous storm ; 
Objects of love and gladness, or of ill, 
And wrong and wrath, as nature predicates ; 
Which having blessed or blasted in their life, 
Die, and rejoin the universe, to rise 
Like emanant dew on earth, in future forms 
Of retributive nature ; she herself, 
All being, doing, and enduring all. 

Festus. This life is as a question, to which comes 
No audible answer, save an echo, 

Lucifer. Hark I 

Festus. Where thou art, all is dumb, I would repent. 
What shall be done to expiate offence ? 

Lucifer. Well ; sacrifice a butterfly to the wind. 
As soon expect thy lif eflood tide to rise 
Out of death's baseless depths, depths yet by me 
Tin plumbed, as look to be wise and innocent both. 
Heart up ! If virtue loses, wisdom wins. 
And evil and good, like the light's rays traversed 
By bandlets black, or chequered chart of old 



FE8TU8, . lia 

Soil dedicate, show, originally, immixed. 
Oh ! I have a long antiquity at my back. 

Festus. Good to extract from evil were not hard, 
Even to God's limited creatures ; and to wring 
Out of good, ill, we know thy proper life ; 
But to transmute all evil into all good, 
That were the cross of science, and the crown. 
Such crown I would were mine. 

LuciFEB. It is not in man. 

Set clouds on fire ; go, sow the sea with sand ; 
Then reap your crop of foam, and gamer it. 

Festus. The time shall come when every evil thing 
From being and remembrance both shall die, 
The world one solid temple of pure good, 
Up-towering, star-crowned, to the feet of God. 

LuciFEE. Never, while thou art conscious of thyself. 
Never, till from that shining sheaf of days 
Behind him, God, the annihilator, such name 
I deepliest in me consecrate, shall pluck 
Earth's death-day ; and his wrath bum white for aya 

Festus. Let all the air be lightning ; earth, dissolved 
Through flames aithereal, and the twice-passed gates 
Of nebular pertransition, back to void. 
Vanish ; and yet Heaven's ends are still achieved ; 
God still is good ; still tends o'er those he loves. 

Lucifer. Why, therefore, comes no answer to thy prayers'* 

Festus. It may be, silence is the voice of God. 

LuciFEB. Assent, or dissent ; whether of the twain ? 



U4 FESTUS. 



VIII. 

A man in love sees wonders naturally 

Ours, sole, endowed with gifts abnormal, sLows 

But gradually, his powers, and other makes 

Participable of starry views and scenes, 

And intuitions spiritual, instilled, 

May be, by angel kind, of lovelier worlds 

An ominous parable told by his love, endured, 

Heart-faltenng, he his constancy asserts ; 

Suspectible, so affirmed ; but wait the end. 

And who can thought control ? the wish who shun 

One may not all avert, nor, vexed, evade. 

But Kke a stranger in the street, we meet, 

Nor can aside from, haunts us, that we work 

Our selfish will, and yet please God too ? See 

The first leaf falls of heart's bloom. Discontent 

With nature ; strong desire ; implanted how ? 

Springs up to know all Ufe; the secrets learn 

Of science, and time's truths arcane ; projects 

Evil would fulfil, that this forebusied, soul 

All virtue of self ascription to its lord 

Might lose. The heart, doubt-torn disposed to death, 

End, if e'er writ 'mong possible things, erased. 

Latvn and Parterre; Bridge, and Village Churclu in distance, 
Evening. Festus and Claba. 

Festus. My soul's orb darkens, as a sudden star 
Which, heaven and earth of wonder emptied, vranes ; 
Passes for aye ; eclipsed not ; self -consumed ; 
All but a cloudy vapour, dimming there 
The spot in space it once illumed. To myself 
Once seemed as I a mount of light ; but novsr, 
A pit of night. I dare no more of this. 
For like a shipwrecked stranger in a lighthouse 
I have looked down on the dark and utter side 
Of such thoughts, from the leeming room of reason, 
And beheld all beyond black, roaring madness. 
As earth through all her polar midnight feels 
The o'erbearing strain which warps her toward the sun, 
That know I, I mayn't rid me of : the sense 
Of late success disastrous to be gained 
At price of present happiness. It is done. 
Being due but to its end, makes wretched mo 
Untimely while assured the world itself 
Shall reconcile to virtue ere I part 
Unsatiate of the world. Fate 1 ask not sole 
One sacrifice this heart faithful to me, 
Nearer which ought to be each hour ; but asked 
By natural augury or mute charm, no sign 
To me the incommunicant future yields. 
More than the silvery mirror of the main 
Mist veiled, aU imagery of clouds ; nor more 
Though sought with prayers, foretells me Heaven through those 



FESTUa. 115 

Lights and perfections of our nature, God 
Hath in our faculties spiritually enshrined. 
But for the day. It is by events we live. 
Anticipations fool us to the quick. 
Conjecture, oh prediction, out on ye I 
Come nearlier to me, Clara, where hast been 
This long, long hour ? 

Clara. I have been but here, hard by, 
Planting these flowerets by the brook, that they, 
Not of felicitous feeling void, their own 
Or other's, beauties might reflective note 
In the swift sparkling wave : and odorous gifts 
Uncustomary, exchange. 

Festus. Ah happy flowers I 

^Vlien shall I know such calm ? But I have vowed 
To be joyous in myself, I will be ! See, 
Here have I lain all day in this green nook, 
Shaded by larch and hornbeam, ash and yew ; 
A living well and runnel at my feet ; 
And wild flowers dancing to some delicate air ; 
An urn-topped column, and its ivy wreath. 
Skirting my sight, as thus I lie and look 
Upon the blue, unchanging, sacred skies ; 
And thou too, gentle Clara, by my side. 
With lightsome brow and beaming eye, and bright 
Long glorious locks which drop upon thy cheek, 
Like gold-hued cloudflakes on the rosy mom. 
Oh 1 when the heart is full of sweets to o'erflowiuff, 
And ringing to the music of its love, 
Who, not an angel, nor a hypocrite, 
Could speak or think of happier states? 

Clara. In truth 

I know not ; but a sadness that to me 
Feels moi-tally prophetic, charged with threats 
Of severance, coldness, fears of possible death, 
Change in the faith may be of one of us. 
And such like sad contingencies, weighs down 
At times, my heart much ; sadly more than all, 
Life's promises seem to lighten or lift. 

Festus. Away 

With baleful thoughts ; let joyaunce be our life. 
Well art thou Clara hight, for soul more bright. 
More lovely, lives not out of Paradise. 

Clara. I have another name whose element 
Is tears, they tell me. In the coming time, 
Who knows ? it may become me more than this. 

Festus. 'Gainst that sad augury set thou my resolve ; 
And be it fordone for ever. 

Clara. Fate will prove. 

But oh 1 I dread estrangement, dread to dream ; 
Lest even dreams should wrong thee, and thou act 
As in time's great betrothals legends tell 



116 FE8TU8. 

Man brake his vows, and Nature's holy hearfc 

So suffered, that the wound scarce yet is healed. 

For I have heard how once in the head of days 

Man lived with Nature as his sacred bride 

In union pure and perfect. All her wealth, 

Which God had dowered her with, from the ricli genu 

That starred her sandals, and so lit her path, 

To the predominant virtues of the spheres, 

And latent life of elements, she to him 

For that her lord was poor though potent, gava 

He too with ampler thought and vital truths, 

Strewn in divine disorder like the stars 

"Which to the ignorant mean nought, but to the eye 

Instructed, oft configure boundless good ; 

With deep conceit of mysteries, than all rocks 

Fire-grained, or sea-couched, and all stories fraught 

With wisdom, though in earliest fable penned, 

Elder ; aught worthy knowing was soon known ; 

So sanctified her spirit that she became 

Like a created goddess. Her he taught 

The life in life of faith ; and what on earth 

Was powerfuUest of things, the bended knee 

Which can prevail o'er God ; and how, all years, 

For one clear hour, earth hath the option now 

To rest, and rain all things, but renew 

Her maiden splendour and primeval bliss ; 

Or, bearing fate, like chance of equal meed, 

Secure the starry skies. These mark her thread, 

Amid the hush of heaven, their thronging spheres, 

And her light footsteps, lauding, breathless wait 

Her choice in charmed silence ; she sweeps on ; 

Such holy confidence hath earth in heaven, 

Her surety, that though favourite, nay elect 

Herself now, all shall ultimately be blessed. 

Thus intimate with time's deep things and high 

They reigned like regal angels. To his kin 

All powers and pleasures he promulged ; and rites 

Omen and augury hallowing, rayed round shrines 

Where gods might worship ; and beyond this, fed 

His soul on secret wisdom, as on fasts 

The spirit thriveth. These espoused, inspired 

With their thus harmonized perfections, lived 

Long while in bliss and honour, each content 

With faith-hfe, mythic, vast ; all arts to them, 

All science ancillary. But ah 1 in fine. 

And in the heel of time which treads us down, 

There came a change. The wrong was surely man 'a { 

For nature fails not ; but how none hath shown, 

Whether a too approving smile misled, 

Dim her ascent but brilliant in her fall. 

Some emulative handmaid ; and what first 

Seemed zeal to serve grew rivalry to please ; 



Or fair confederates, faultless till they fell, 

Made strength vaunt of his failure ; this we know } 

Imperfect wearieth of perfection sole. 

So he, the keystone loosed of loyalty, 

Lapsed from his liege love, warps his heart from her, 

Beauteous and bounteous as a sovereign saint ; 

And to a thousand lax and painted arts, 

Of barren glitter and unholy wiles. 

Like sultan flaunting through his gay hareem. 

Flowered with the carnal beauties of all climes, 

Vows the idolatrous homage of his lips. 

His home he left, and leaving, lost his rights 

O'er nature's secret treasures ; for in belief 

Walking no more ; nor with the miracles 

Himself of old, divine magician, wrought, 

Faith instigating, and storied in the stars. 

Earth's holy primer, versant ; he, in art's 

Sensuous conceits, or idol imagery. 

Lewd solace seeks ; or else with science, guide 

Guideless, self -nominated, through life's wide maw 

Roams with no saving clue. Keys all in vain, 

He forges ; locks he forces : nought is there. 

In vain conjures the elements ; these are bom 

Of nature's household, and are sworn to her ; 

Ko mysteries, now, soul- thrilling, prodigies all 

Repressed or ridiculed, faith made thrall to fact, 

And life, well nigh sabbatic wholly, once, 

With scarce one hour left of a holy day. 

His tongue hath lost the simple spell of truth. 

Neither believing nor believed, he roams, 

Peaceless and powerless, round his forfeit realm, 

Free, though as outcast. Yea, till he redeem 

His troth to nature, she who was his queen. 

Ere consort, and at her immaculate feet. 

Whiter than moonlit water, shall lay down 

For aye his falsehoods, brave through penitence, rest 

Nor holy home, shall ever again be man's. 

Festus. Neither was nature perfect, as I thought. 

Claba. Oh, is it possible thou hast never known 
How both derived tiieir fates ? Wilt hear ? 

FESTua Proceed. 

Clara. Yon sun, just set, all seeing, all beseen, 
Filling the sacred seven and urns of fire, 
Had, time unlimited, lived debarred of life 
Soul-hallowed ; when our God, his kind intent 
Now agefully matured, all things prepared, 
Incorporated its spirit, and for mate 
Made him the lucid moon, now rolling round 
His disk immense, at fatal distance doomed. 
O Sun, O Moon, king of the skies and queen ; 
Hero and heroine of the universe, ye ; 
Lovers divine., daughter and son of God.- 



118 FE8TU8. 

How shall a feeble, humble tongue like mine 

Your fall sublime, sad but illustrious lapse, 

To mortal mind convey ? Free were they both 

To roam the skies ; or, if forbidden aught 

Were named in heaven's infinitude, so vast 

Their spatial liberty, no laws they knew. 

But written within the book divine of fate 

One law there was. For ages unconceived, 

They nothing knew but light unshadowed, life, 

Love, liberty, all unbaunted, undeformed 

By one divisive moment, or mere fear ; 

Till, in the plains celestial wandering once. 

And heaven till then no happier orbs embraced, 

A radiant path as though by feet of gods 

Trodden, star-littered, as eai-th with golden seed 

Autumnal, on the gleaner's yellow road, 

They neared ; and where it brightly branched in twain 

One listless moment separated. 

Festus. Alas 1 

Thenceforth one sole tradition streaks time's stream, 
From the dumb ages of the passed, to truth's 
Eternal future. Ah yes, I see the sun 
Unguarded, now betrayed, incarcerate, bound, 
Blinded, insulted, mocked, to incessant toil 
Doomed, wageless ; bound ; now, ready to be slain 
In bonds on heaven's high hill ; yea, see him at last, 
Smote by the star-bear's wide and wintry woimd, 
To yearly death, set 'neath the snake-wreathed pole, 
Hiding in Hadean tomb, his disrayed crown. 
Tales though traditionary, still hopeless not. 
For again I see him, majestic and serene, 
Though suffering from the unkindly detriment 
Which earthly nature treacherous him hath wrought. 
He quits the aerial desert ; lifts his head 
Glad, like wrecked swimmer, shorewards, and salutes. 
As with a kiss of fire our hallowed earth, 
The threshold of his old abode the heavens. 
Once more in heaven, the reascendent light 
Beams from the burning cross which marks his conrse 
Triumphant over lessening night ; once more 
The lord of nature lifts his conquering brow 
As though from death eteme. 

Claea. These lovers twain 
For a space though separated, I said, full soon 
Their spheral courses recombining, came 
To the vast portal of a luminous fane 
Guarded by living forms of shapes unknown, 
But void within. A vacant throne was all 
The dome sublime contained ; upon whose steps 
A star-scaled serpent slumbered. Boused 

Festus, No more ! 

If only aa some cloud-giant burled from heaTen^ 



FE8TU8, 119 

And vapouring as he falls, thy words to me 
Seem throatful of time future, and my mind 
Give sensible unease. Peace will lastly come, 
Howe'er disseverance loving souls may grieve. 
The wise well know true union is in heaven, 
And there alone. 

Claba. It may be. 

Festds. Types of tmth, 

These pressed upon creation through all spheres 
Material, mental, by God's hand and seal : 
Truths which time's ear for ages hears with awe 
Servile, nor knows their meaning ; as earth stunned 
With thunders, said, of gods ; till some sage earns 
Heaven's humble secret ; and from man's freed mind 
The fieiy fiction fades. Think thou »o more 
On ill-houred apologue or of man or star. 
Hear rather thou what glads me to have seen 
Trance-wise, a bright miraculous mystery 
Of God ; a vision worth all sequels lost 
Of love estranged. The great reunion hear : 
The divine marriage of the moon and sun. 
The sun was flaming high in heaven ; the moon 
Mighty though mild, and all the saintly stars 
Beaming at once in grandeur and grave joy. 
'Twas the world's All-Sire gave the bride. The Hooii^ 
C!ompanions of her course, f orewrit on high. 
And all its sevenfold Sanctities, virgin peers, 
Were her immortal bridemaidens ; and strewed 
On her white way, by many a mansion lamped 
With festive radiance, astral wreath, and robe, 
Girdle, and palm-branch, — palm, sole tree that greena 
Both heaven and earth, to where in dayless time, 
Degreeless space, her absolute home, prepared 
Nigh to the infinite, stood. Struck loud their lyres 
Of light, the angels ; and to the feet of those 
Divine ones bowed them, as to spirit and soul 
Conjoined, of things celestial ; with acclaim 
Ecstatic, far off hailing each and crying, 
Welcome thou lord, thou bride of light ; all joy 
In everlasting being be yours ; and all 
The universal blesser, God, can give. 
Choicest of all the chosen, thy love is more 
To the soul delicious than, to scent, the rose, 
Purer than is the lily or is the light. 
Lord of the dawn, thee now the wearied world 
Awaits ; earth's eyes with watching for this day 
Fail. The bread's broken and the wine is inured, 
And all the guests are gathered, from the bounds 
Of heaven's imperial horizon, to this, 
Our bright palatial centre. All things serve 
The hallowing rite, which nature owns with God, 
And BO they became o&e. la golden ho. 



120 FSSTnS 

In silver car came she, down the blue skies. 
But on return they clomb the clouds in one 
And vanished in their snow. The marriage feast 
Was held, throughout the intelligible world, 
An universal holiday ; all now lumed 
With light than sunlight softer, than the moon's. 
Mightier and more intense ; nor since have ceased 
The great congratulations. Peace and love 
Pervade the perfect state, and all is bliss. 

Claea. True prophet mayst thou be. But list ; that soimd, 
The passing-bell, the spirit should solemnise ; 
For, while on its emancipate path, the soul 
Still waves its upward wings, and we still hear 
The warning note, it is known, we well may pray. 
Festus. But pray for whom ? 
Claea. it means not. Pray for alL 

Pray for the good man's soul 

He is leaving earth for heaven, 

And it soothes us to feel that the best 

May be forgiven. 
Festus. Pray for the sinful soul ; 

It fleeth, we know not where ; 

But wherever ib be, let us hope ; 

For God is there. 
Claea. Pray for the rich man's soul ; 

Not all be unjust, nor vain ; 

The wise he consoled ; and he saved 

The poor from pain. 
Festus. Pray for the poor man's soul ; 

The death of this life of ours 

He hath shook from his feet ; he is one 

Of the heavenly powers. 

Pray for the old man's soul ; 

He hath laboured long ; throug-h life 

It was battle or march. He hath ceased, 

Serene, from strife. 
Claea. Pray for the infant's soul ; 

With its spirit crown unsoiled. 

He hath won, without war, a realm ; 

Gained all, nor toiled. 
Festus. Pray for the struggling soul ; 

The mists of the straits of death 

Clear off ; in some bright star-isle 

It anchoreth. 

Pray for the soul assured ; 

Though it wrought in a gloomy mine, 

Yet the gems it earned were its own, 

That soul's divine. 
Claba. Pray for the simple soul ; 

For it loved, and therein was wise ; 

Though itself knew not, but ^-ith heaven 

Confused the skie* 



FESTUa. 121 

PestUS. Pray for the sage's soul ; 

'Neath his welkin wide of mind 
Lay the central thought of God, 
Thought undefined. 
Pray for the souls of all 
To our God that all may be, 
"With forgiveness crowned, and joy 
Eternally. 
Claba. Hush I for the bell hath cer.sed ; 
And the spirit's fate is sealed ; 
To the angels known ; to man 
Best unrevealed. 
Festus. Stay ; what wouldst say, yet ? Something, surely, sad 
Barkens thy mind's disk. Speak it. 

Claba. Nay, not sad. 
Some other time. 
Festus. Why now, love. 

Glasa. Well then thus. 

These vast unearthly powers thou hast, thou saidst 
I should myself for once partake. Let me 
Assure my own heart they be innocent. 
Refused, I judge them evil ; if harmless they, 
Thou wilt permit me share, or view, the means. 
This ask I therefore, not from vain desire 
Of prying into mysteries, nor as test 
Of words of thine ; for thee believe I truly : 
But as a proof of love and harmlessness, 
To view with these same marvelling eyes of mine, 
The sensible form of some obedient sprite. 
Or invocable angel. Wilt thou ? 

Festus. Ay. 

Wouldst parley Luniel on her silvery seat, 
Or the star-tiared Ourania ? for the night 
Deepens in heaven ; and even now I see 
Earth's cardinal world-watchers, each prepare 
His wing to poise for paradisal flight. 
Relieved by darker angel. 

Glaea. None of these. 

Behold yon star just trembling into light. 
Hath it a tutelar spirit ? 
Festus. Yea, every star. 

Glara. Prepare thy spell then. I would see its form ; 
And hear its voice. 

Festus. Weird charm nor spell I use ; 

Nor incantation. My sole magic, might. 
Mine only sign, this ; this my spirit ring. 
Prayer, faith, and a pure heart can draw down heaven. 
Most surely then one star. Kneel thou with me. 
Spirit of yon star, that now 
Peer'st through God's all-clothing sky, 
List, we need thee here below ; 
Leave thy mystic light on high, . 



122 FE8TUS, 

By the all-compelling name, 

Thought alone, but uttered never ; 

Word in heaven and earth tlie same. 

Come thou now, and come thou ever. 

\Vhat seest thou ? 
Claea. I perceive a lustrous form, 

Led by a loftier one, of mien serene, 
The first, as timid, and to earth strange, last 
Of heavenlies, seems as with a message charged 
I might be fain to hear. 

Festus. This, luminous soul. 

Reflective, makes as venturing towards myself. 

Claea. Well doth each grace thy potent word. For me, 
I feel a light, a voiceable power. 

Festus. Arise 1 

What wilt thou oft? 
Claea. Nought will I. Let it speak. 

Stae Spieit. Man's vital frame of the elements is ta'en 
And when by sacred energy of mind. 
He nature's robe can thread by thread unwind. 
Till death's proved nothingness, show sunwise plain 
Life's allness ; heaven's true science then ye gain ; 
Learn how God yearns all souls in bliss to bind ; 
How, too, through heaven and angels, stars and earth, 
He, All-Sire, bounteous, wise as just, through light. 
Light natural and intelligible which springs 
From Deity, both, eternal outflowings. 
Spread through the universe of death and birth, 
Sweet surety of immortal essence brings 
To spirit advised of reason infinite, 
And, with the powers, ends, place to it assigned, 
The ultimate content of all living things. 
For as even all mere existence hath due worth, 
End justified by God, who caused to be ; 
So, knit together by wisest amity. 
Plant, planet, star, gem, life instinctive, life 
Angelic ; all, man's soul, by like decree, 
Teach, each through noble or virtuous quality, 
The whole with order, goodness, happiness rife, 
His being and progress through eternity, 
Know mortal, then, that with or gem or flower. 
Love's glance, or eai-th-lent ray of farthest star. 
To such as, faith-led, seek in doubt's dark hour 
Truth, holiest influences may be, yea are ; 
And gracious interchange of special power. 
Claea. Star Spirit, it is so. 

Stae Spieit. Who his soul-path knowi 

To the one universal Spirit, and rightly seeks 
How long or sore soe'er his struggles, falls, 
Eelapses, shall, by penitent labour nerved. 
And in spirit refreshed by heavenly counsels brought 
By the angel of the day. who gives to God 



FE8TU8. 123 

His hourly record of men's deeds, at last, 
Soul-perfectness enjoy ; his life's long course, 
With all best purposes strengthened, — as a stream 
Sea-bound, that with a thousand rills empowered 
No meet recipient save the main knows ; summed 
In the eternal Good. 

Festus. So be it with alL 

Claba. Oh I have gazed on spiritual beauty, known 
Till now, by none. 

Festus. Let both rejoice in truths 

We may hold, loyally, supreme. As when 
Before some mighty suzerain, crowned of God, 
A vassal sultan, tribute to discharge, 
Or homage yield, kneels, resolutely content ; 
Nations kneel with him, and in his prostrate brow, 
A peopl:^ of pride kiss dust ; so, I, with all 
Truth-lovers, though a half-tribe scarce of man, 
And dizzied yet with soul-light. Spirit, to thee. 
Thy starry name ? 

Stab Spieit. Pneumaster. 

Claba. Where dost dwell ? 

Stab Spieit. I in my star abide, yet oft in heaven. 
Not where the precreated seraphs beam. 
Nor cherubim with countenance winged ; who round 
Heaven circling, as with whirlwind wings of light, 
A holy and living throne for the Spirit, form, 
AU-haUowing ; but where sainted souls attain, 
Heroical ; chanting now, God's mercy thrice 
Victorious o'er all worlds sin-treasoned, sworn . 

To evil and vanity ; who the mysteries now 
Of wisdom hymn, the holy inspiring light 
Which Deity sows in nature and in stars. 
Sows, reaps, and in men's souls replants, blessed heirs 
Of either world, above beloved, below 
Accepted ; now, with guardian spirits of spheres, 
Angelical and elect, mixed, I, too, serve ; 
All orders of each other inpenetrant, now ; 
For, by the fall of Lucifer, pride's no more. 
If e'er in heaven ; in heaven, as now on earth, 
Humility, highest of all virtues, known. 
I thus at thy behest, immortal, come 
To obey a mortal's will, thine own, whose sleep 
The angels guard, with dreams bestarred, of heaven ; 
Dreams that oft check, with suspensory charm. 
The wing of wandering heavenly ; dreams I ask 
To inspire, then, on mine own bright ray return. 

Claba. Holy and lovely sprite, be thou with God. 

Stab Spibit. Cherished of heaven, earth's choicest souls, farewell I 

Claba. Farewell, too, thou. 

LuNiKL. From yon high astral arch 

Gliding, and wide white halo, I and this 
Bright virtue, holy guardian of an orb, 



124 FE8TU8. 

But lately psirented of skies and splieres 
Me visiting, heard the call ; and prompt to instil 
In this thy loved one's heart the hallowing truth 
That life's best chann is brave content with life, 
Continuously progressive, see us here 
Such aim, such life be hers, not spare of grief ; 
Thou man hast mightier ends to attain and serve. 
But scarce yet ripe for conversance with spheres 
Not always to be deemed as distant. Know, 
Means amplest by God's will around thee placed ; 
Mine own, in time first, haste the hour to attend 
Thee thither, and the searchful soul to assist 
By voluntary commission of divine 
Helps, to conceive the plan of God's great whole ; 
The reason of its existence ; all its aids 
Immediate, goodwards tending, and the spread 
Of sequent joy substantial through all worlds. 

Claka. Gone, gone that star-pure spirit. 

Festus. And, following then, 

Sweet compeer of such astral guests. May night, 
Earth's healing shadow, from her sphere-bright form 
Unfolded virtuously, thy soul release 
From all ill, all defect ; that so through dreams 
Thou mayst in spiritual Edens taste the joys 
Anticipative, thou hopest, and feel the sense 
Of heavenly patterned powers, whereof day owns 
But a mean, blenched, copy. Go ; I do commend thee 
To aU good angels, maiden ; and if so much 
I love thee, yet I dare not as I would. 
For all the heart most longs for, most deserves, 
Passes the soonest and most utterly. 
The moral of the world's great fable, life. 
All we enjoy seems given but to deceive. 
Or, may be, undeceive us ; and when done 
The sum and proved, why work it over again 1 
They are gone, the heavenly and the earthly. I, 
As a lone column, cold in sunshine, stand 
Projecting darkness only, — around me cast 
Soul-saddening shadows. What indeed is life, 
This life-world, Lord, wherein thou hast founded me 
But a bright wheel which bums itself away, 
Benighting even night with its grim limbs, 
When it hath done, and fainted into darkness ? 
For say, we are promised life immortal, how 
Even then shall we exist ? Hath soul a soul 
Grosser without and spiritual fine within ? 
Are grades in deathlessness, and bounds which mark 
From existence essence, as in our bodily frame 
Flesh seems but fiction, for it flies away ; 
While this the gaunt and ghastly thing we bear 
In us, and hate and fear to look upon. 
Is truth, in death's dark likeness limned, No more t 



FE8TUS, 125 



IX. 



To choose we are forced, but what to choose is ours, 

How providently, how happil}'^ time will prove. 

Comes on a quarrel stormy and stem, if brief, 

'Tween the two foe friends, this, demanding what 

Cannot be ; who immunity shall secure 

'Gainst self-sought evil ? that, safe grants withholding 

And easily made ; their taunts recriminative 

Resultless proven ; as when some summer eve 

Two emulous youths from strict scholastic toil 

Set free by holy night, looser of bonds, 

Rush bounding to the main slumliering hard by, 

With latent light inly aflame, and quick 

Implunged, rise gameful, glittering like star-gods 

Lean arrogant on the lightning wave ; launch each 

'Gainst other, liquid meteors thunderless. 

The foam handsmote in showerlets archwise falls 

Flashing, about them ; neither gains ; so part 

Our disputants ; one, separative, and one 

Adherent more to pact implied, the attack 

On faith contrives through sadd'st inconstancy. 

Heath and Sands hj the Sea. 
Festus ; and afterivards Lucifer. 

Festus. Love's heart is right, how prescient of all tnith 
To come, it needs ; nor long my choice o'erdue, 
'Tween angel incomplete and finished fiend. 
Say, I have chosen, and freely. What results f 
I am no mightier master than erewhile ; 
JiTor favoured more of Heaven, so lavish long 
Of most oracular promises. I pray ; 
Pray, only, to be made child-pure. 

LuciFEB. Child-pure I 

A simple enough request I 

Festus. And lo 1 as far 

As infinite silence makes, I learn but this ; 
God hath refused me. Wilt thou do it for me ? 
Or shall I end with both ? Remake myself 1 

Lucifer. Remake I Do, if thou canst and wilt. But know 
It is the one thing I cannot do for thee. 
Am I not open with thee ? Why choose that ? 

Festus. Because I will it. Thou art bound to obey. 

Lucifer. The world bears marks of mine obedience. 
Well, 'tis a judgment doubtless. Heaven is just. 
And justly asking faith of all that all 
Even ill, served ultimately His own wise ends ; 
He all disposing, I rebel : and now. 
In my turn asking nothing but belief 
Unfaltering, in oneself, say ; I foresee 
Thou wilt bring to an end the whole, ere well begun, 

Festus. My heart, like an insurgent king no more 
Brooks the accnstoined tribute. 



126 FE8TU8. 

Lucifer. Well, I waive it 

Festus. OfiE 1 I am torn to pieces. Let me try, 
And gather up myself into a man, 
As once I was. I cannot live, and live 
In endless doubt. The day hath lost its charm, 
The night its holy beauty, when from heart. 
Even if not whole with God, faith fled, hope fails 
In warrantable prediction, or conceit 
Of better things. 

LuciFEK. Oh, if thou lov'st a creed, 

Be pessimist, nihilist, an' thou wilt. There are 
Who deify the Devil in their own hearts, 
In dreams of everlasting nothingness. 

Festus. Be what I may, I have done with thee. Dost hear ? 

Lucifer. Thou canst not mean this ? 

Festus. Once for all, I do. 

Lucifer. It is men who are deceivers, not the devil. 
The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat 
Oneself. All sin is easy after that. 

Festus. I feel that we must part ; part now or never. 
And I had rather of the two 'twere now, 

Lucifer. This ie my last walk through my favourite world, 
And I had hoped, with thee to have enjoyed it. 
For thee I quitted hell ; for thee my soul 
Shrivelled and warped into a man ; for thee 
Shed I my shining wings ; for thee, this mask 
Of flesh put on, and seeming shape like thine ; 
This moveless mockery of mere motion, brooked ; 
And now, by my woe I swear, that were I now, 
For thy false heart to give my spirit spring, 
I would scatter soul and body both to hell, 
And let one bum the other. 

Festus. If thou darest 

Lift but the finger of a thought of ill 
Against me, and — thou durst not ; mark, we part. 

Lucifer. Well, as thou wilt. Remember soon thy heart 
Will shed its pleasures, as thine eye its tears ; 
And both leave loathsome furrows. 

Festus. Thinkest thou 

I will have no pleasures without thee, vain fiend, 
Who marrest all thou makest, and even more ? 

Lucifer. Thou canst not, save indeed some poor trite thing 
Called moderation, every one can have. 
And modesty, heaven knows, is suffering. 

Festus. Now will I prove thee liar, for that word ; 
And that the very vastest out of hell. 
With perfect condemnation I abjure 
My soul ; my nature doth abhor itself 
For giving thee one moment's right to touch me. 
Hence, let me pass. I have a soul to spare. 

Lucifer. A hundred, I. He is gone ; though but for a time, 
He braves me, he 1 even as, on cave-rent coast, 



FESTU8. 199 

Hard driven by hurricane blast, the mounting tide 

Like a white wild beast, chased, flashes into its den. 

The assault turns ; heads the attack ; the slackening wave 

Overtakes, and raging, quells for a moment ; soon 

The flood, inveterate victor, rising swift 

With grave equality, smoothens all ; cave, crag. 

Torrent ; who knows strife was, or where ? Meanwhile, 

I have him yet ; for he is mine to tempt. 

Beside the greed of power, and rage to know 

All knowable, there's much magic in life's waste 

On abstruse studies that can benefit none ; 

Ignoring wilfully, so, men's proper end 

Of mutual good. Of such I know, and may, 

Him stimulating with somewhat of all lures, 

Perchance, in time, take due avail. It may be, 

Gold ; gold hath the hue of hell-flames ; but for him 

I will lay some brilliant and delicious lure 

Shall be worth perdition to a seraph. Only, 

Consider beauty's argument, how it tells ; 

Her eye's close reasoning glance ; delicious proof. 

Her fingers clasp ; her lip's soft summing up ; 

The delicate peroration of her sigh ; 

Scarce audible ; visible rather ; oh, I know ; 

Passion, thou exquisite spirit, now's thy turn. 

And if he love not now, while woman is 

All bosom to the young, when shall he love ? 

VTho ever paused on passion's fiery wheel ? 

Or trembling by the side of her he loved, 

Whose lightest touch brings rapture, e'er stopped shOTt 

His eloquent speech, to reckon up his pulse ? 

The car comes ; and they lie and let it come, 

Triumphant. See, it crushes, kills. What then ? 

It holds their god, their idol ; so they die ; 

Doubtless, of joy. And he, he looks not one 

Enough shall fool : but sick of skill in foils 

He flings away, risks ne'er aught less than life. 

Nay, let him look on aught which casts the shadow 

Of a royal pleasure, and methinks he'd dare 

Embrace a bride of flre. Such love is. Arms ! 

To arms ; so, beauty they be thine. For love 

Like nature, is war ; sweet, sensible war. And now, 

Pleasure, shall any part thee from my use 2 

Let wring God's l^htnings from the grasp of God. 

But who his tactics blabs ? Or I an end 

More summary might f orefix. One beauty may 

Be played against other ; and faith, once uncaged, 

Whistles with oh 1 such sweetness, from the bough. 

Most men glide quietly and deeply down. 

Some, and 'tis passion plunges fierceliest men 

Into mine arms, as find they will who will 

Seek hell's abysses like to cataracts I 

And he shall sometime, seek it how he may. 



138 FB8TU8. 

But it matters not ; hell bums before them all. 

It is by hell-light which throug^h their life's thick fog 

Glares red and round ; which gone, would leave to grope 

In utter dark these heirs of heaven, they shine 

To each other ; and their chief est deeds achieve. 

The thought revives one. I felt ohilled ; but now, 

Oh for a fan ! all Ophir for a fan. 



X. 

Meanwhile, as nought 
Had passed, we see them presently, meet. Who knowt 
How 'tis we reconcile ourselves to evil ? 
But in this bird's-eye view of earth, and track 
Of dust stirred through all nations, note we whilst 
His friend malevolent triumphs by control 
Of superficial miracles, compassing 
With him, as day and night, together, earth, 
Man, shown all forms and fanes of faith as vain 
Alike, in God's esteem, knows, in truth's light 
Her total season, sunlight, blossoming here, 
Here ripening, God his secret will, well-pleased, 
Sees gradually mature ; domes old or new 
Misdedicate, or mean, with his presence filled, 
To himself, the all-shrined One reserves ; \mtil. 
In all earth's living tabernacles, each land 
Him worship, God, the untempled, whom all creeds 
Concelebrate. 

EarWs Surface — An Hour's Ride* 
LuciPEB and Festus. 

Lucifer. Wilt ride? 

Festus. I'll have an hour's ride. 

LuciFEB. Be mine the r*-eeds ; be me the guide. 
I something know of alnb^t every land. 
Their features, products, legends. Understand 
My lot has been to know men's sagest teachers ; 
Their prophets, patriots ; and, go to 1— their preachers. 
Apart from any prejudice, let me add. 
They are, most of them, indifiEerently bad. 

Festus. Quick 1 I'll not question what you say. 

Lucifer. It's odd I never make a call 
But it's — Long looked for, after all I 

Festus. Come, call your hacks. 

Lucifer. Oh, they'll not stay. 

It may not be with me as some ; 
What I invoke is pretty safe to come. 
Come hither, come hither, my brave black steed ; 
And thou too, his fellow, hither with speed ; 
Though not so fleet as the steeds of death. 
Your feet ftre as sure ; ye have longer breath j 



PE8TU8. 129 

Ye have drawn the world without wind or bait, 
Six thousand years, and it waxeth late ; 
So take me this once, and again to my home ; 
And rest ye, and feast ye. 

Festus. They come, they come. 

Tossing- their manes like 
Pitchy or snowy surge ; and lashing 
Their tails into a tempest ; their eyes flashing 
Like shooting thunderbolts. 

LuciFEB. So I know your masters, coltB. 
Choose. 

Festus. The white one. 

LuciPEE. Be it so, 

Mourning suits me best, we know. 
Up and away. 

Festus. Hurrah 1 hurrah 1 

Tlie noblest pace the world e'er saw. 
I swear by heaven, we'll beat the sun, 
In the longest heat that ever was run, 
If we keep it up, as we've begun. 

Lucifer. I told thee my steeds were a gallant pair, 

Festus. And they were not thine, they might be divii c. 

Lucifer. Thine is named Ruin, and Darkness mine. 

Festus. Like all of thy deeds, now, that's unfair. 

Lucifer. A civiller and gentler beast 
Than thine, thou hast never crossed, at least. 
Now, look around. 

Festus. Why, this is France I 

Nature is here like a living romance. 
Look at its vines, and streams, and skies ; 
Its glancing feet, and dancing eyes. 

Lucifer. Well worth no doubt a second glance. 
But now, one glimpse with nie, from Alp to main I 
See its wide glebe, with rooted seas of grain 
Billowing ; its cities bowered mid fruit-groves, here, 
Such an by Adour, or Dordogne, a life 
Flowerful all years enjoy ; there, heights cave crowned 
"Where lordly savage, long ere time could count 
How many his fingers, or his horn-book knew, 
Warf ul 'gainst the elements, pampered babe and mate. 
On the pink silvered pith of fawnling's limbs, 
And marrow of all he slew ; and there, liis life's 
Last chase achieved, to the end superb, his neck 
With rough red amber gorgeous, greatly died. 

Festus. Now, Europe's head, all others scorning ; 
Model of states, now ; then, their warning ; 
Strangest of nations, light yet strong. 
Fierce of heart, and blithe of tongue, 
Prone to change, so fond of blood, 
She wounds herself to quaff her own, 
Shows, aye, a brave, bright, lovely land j 
And well deserving every good 

1 



130 FE8TUS. 

"Whicli others wisli themselves alone ; 
Could she but herself command. 

LuciFEE. On, on, no more delay 
Or we'll not ride round the world, all day. 

Festus. Good horse get off the ground. 

LuciFEE. Sit firm ; and if our coursers please 
We'll take at once the Pyrenees. 
'Twas bravely leapt. 

Festus. Ay, this is Spain ; 

Europe's last land 'twill e'er remain. 
Last in the progress of the eai-th 
To moral light, and liberty ; 
In all things last, to prove how bigotry 
Can v/aste all wealth, and banish worth. 
Studded with many a gloomy shrine 
\liat is't men worship here, I pray ? 

LuciFEE. This fane, once Moslem, Christian now, 
Refuses obstinately to say. 

Festus. But mean not men to one, the same, divine, 
However rites may vary, e'er to bow 1 

Lucifer. Away, nor loiter now for pictured art, 
Or natural scene by miracle consecrate 
Or patriot wa'-, mock chivalry or true ; 

Festus. Not where the rivulets flow of life, and death, 
Nor Tayo's wave gold-footed ? Not even to spy 
The Iberian vault, where, sire of swords. Tubal 
Abode, first ; great Alcides, after, famed 
For magic, marvels necromantic, v/ealth 
Untold, unhallowed ? 

Lucifer. Not an instant. Come I 

Turn th}^ steed, and slacken rein ; 
Quick, we must be back again ; 
O'er the vale hid in the mountain ; 
O'er the merry forest fountain ; 
Ruin and Darkness, we must fly 
O'er crag and rift, swift, swift, swift 
As the glance of an eye. 

Festus. See here is Italy, the grave 
Of freedom slaughtered once ; who now 
Accomplishing her prophet's vow, 
In resurrection from the dead 
Uplifts her pure and graceful head. 
Content to keep her wise and brave. 

Lucifer. Oh, yes ; and here where Alp and Alp Pennine 
Force, snowy-tented, heaven : shall many a hill. 
His head with olive wreathed, and his foot bathed 
In fat of flour, and milk, ring loud with joy, 
O'er superstition's end. 

Festus. Be not so sad. 

Since worse may happen, even here ; where Tiber, stream 
Cloud-bom, of empire, rolls ; and that, the Hun, 
God's scourge, lies coffined under j may so sleep 



FESTU8. 131 

One time, all evil beneath love's covering flood I 

Lucifer, And there lies Greece, -whose soul, men say, hafch fled. 

Fkstds. Some god perhaps may come and raise the dead. 
For birthplace once of gods ; — such, ancient Time, 
Lord of the golden age ; and he, self-styled, 
Monarch of space, and all celestial orbs, 
Heaven, fount of light ; such Zeus the All-living One 
Hight Saviour ; such the Titan sage and good, 
Who upon Caucasus sulTered ; birth-place, too, 
Of something more than gods, philosophy ; 
Art, science, polity ; what yet thence may come, 
Wlio knows ? 

LuciFEB. Not I. Time nip3 us. 

Festus. Athens, home 

Of heroes, and of gods Olympus, not 
To stay our steps, one instant ; not to see 
Parnassus, heaven of bards, nor Delphi ? 

Lucifer. No I 

What hours have we to waste on gods, or, worse 
By one degree, — on bards ? let heroes be. 
Not he of hyperborean fame who earth 
Rounded, on golden arrow, white winged, was like 
To sleep more on his path. But see, the isles ; 
The starry islet wandering with the wind 
Once, rooted now, the cradle of twins divine ; 
The Rhodian, sovereign of the sacred sea ; 
God-nui-sing isles, isles god-entombing ; graves 
Of demigods who made believe to die. 

Festus. Legends like these, once pleased. 

Lucifer. But now, 

Through yonder dark and winding rift, 
Pass we, where Mounts Kropakhian lift. 
Each one, his lightning-scarred, but dauntless brow ; 
Hard by the sensitive fount, whose wave obeys. 
With an obsequious volume, the moon's wane. 
Or increment ; and that funereal spur 
Of night-hued marble, that round beglooms the air, 
Lo I there the unpeaceful Euxine, womb and tomb 
By turns, of many nations ; nor far off 
Twin cities, keys of empire, mark, blood-dyed, 
Matched but by Troy of host devouring fame. 
The pool Ma3otic here, worshipped as god 
By Scythian, and the Amazon, militant dame. 
Jealous of the archer breast. 

Festus. Away 1 away I 

From Pesth to Worms seems but a trot. This day 
I feel the gad. 

Lucifer, But first, a double, I pray, 
Norward, a time, we'll hold our cours^ 
Thine I think is the bolder horse. 
But bear him up with a harder hand ; 
Eough riding this o'er Swisserlaci. 

% 2 



13a FE8TUS. 

Festus. So all have found it, who have tried ; 
High as their Alps the people's pride, 
Never to have bowed before 
The tyrant, or the conqueror. 
One glance. 

Lucifer. Oh two I'd have thee take. 

Festus. 'Tis Leman ; freedom's sacred lake 
"Whose shores by genius hallowed, stand 
Its Eden, and its holy land. 

Lucifer. Away, away ; before thee lie 
The fields and floods of Germany ; 
From legendary Rhine, whose bed's 
The crypt of goblin gold ; hills bare, 
The Demon Shadow seems to stride ; 
Demon indeed, a man self magnified ; 
Hills, forested to their crown ; and where. 
By virgins' bones and magians' heads, 
'Gainst harm foref ended, who would dare 
Attempt it, even of fiendish foes ? 
To steep Schaffhausen's seething snows. 
That know not, more than time, repose, 
To founts Danubian, and their fall 
Through the Iron Gates, behold it all ! 

Festus. Well I love thee, fatherland ; 
Sire of Europe as thou art ; 
Be free, and crouch no more, but stand ; 
Thy noblest son will take thy part. 
Oh sooner let the mountains bend 
Beneath the clouds, when tempests lower, 
Than nations stoop their sky-corapeering heads 
In homage to some petty despot's power. 
The worm which suffers mincing into parts 
May sprout forth heads and tails, but grows no heart* 

Lucifer. There lies Austria, famous land 
For fiddlesticks and sword-in-hand. 

Festus. And Poland whom truly unhappy we call j 
Unable to stand, unwilluig to fall. 
Forge into swords thy feudal chain ; 
Smite even the souls of foes in twain ; 
The shackles have been bound in vain 
Round England's arms, and we are free, 
As the souls of our sires in heaven which he. 
That earth should have so few 
Men, fathers ! like to you I 

Lucifer. What matter who be free, or slaves 1 
For all there is one tyranny, the grave's ; — 
Or freedom, may be. On, on, haste ! 

Festus. What land is yonder wide, white, waste ? 

Lucifer. Ha ! 'tis Russia's gentle realm ; 
Whose sceptre is the sword, whose crown the helm. 
Wouldst know the difference 'twixt the bond and free ? 
'Tis that these will, those will not, liberty. 



FESTU8. 133 

Festus. Truly, though strange it sound to some, 
All government's by rule of thumb. 

LuciFKB. Thou seest, mid air, that darling little cloud ? 
To us, I think, 'twill be allowed 
To pass beyond, above, that we may spy 
Rightly, the things which round us lie ; 
From Zemlia, and the sistering islets seven. 
And Thul^ ultimate hiding-place of man, 
By the hill Altaic, named, in the age of mounds, 
The Almighty Grod, by Tchudic tribelets, now 
In the book of nations known no more ; there, still, 
Higher than lark soars, cloudlet scuds, it stands ; 
To Volga, holy Boug, and warlike Don ; 
Divine Alborz, the sacred mountain, site 
Of the Promethean agony, where he spilled 
His blood, who, a god, the end of gods foretold ; 
And Caspian, 'neath whose shallowing wavelets hides 
God's Eden. 

Festus. rich in secrets I 

Lucifer. See, where towers 

Baghavan upon whose brow the holy flame 
Incessant bums to Aurmazda, lord of light. 

Festus. I swear by every atom that exists 
I better love this reckless ride 
O'er hill and forest, lake and river wide. 
O'er sunlit plain and through the mountain mist, 
Than aught thou hast given to mo beside. 

LuciFEK. Kei-man's sands, salt- white, swept by torrid wind,. 
Plague-breath'd, there, see ; which, roused the desert dust, 
Blinds man's bright eye, and mummifies his frame. 
There oft, in arid dell, the cool suhrab 
Calm mockery of sweet waters, overhung 
With green and succulent shrubs, you seem to hear 
The ripple of the waves, delusive lurks ; 
Shamo and Koom and Kobi, Heraut ; and Balkh, 
Mother of cities, murally encrowned. 
Mourning mid endless ruins, but hiding yet 
His marble thi-one, milkwhite, who of mortals king 
First reigned : — shall we seek, and fit it for the last ? 
Now from our Moimt of prospect to descend. 
Our gryphon flight 'twere better here to end, 
And solid earth reseek. Bear, downwards, friend. 

Festus. Look, my way I can only read 
By the sparks from the hoof of my giant steed. 

Lucifer. There, by the gilded roof, which from afar, 
Gleams o'er the desert like an earth-propped stai', 
Observe Thibetian L'haysa, templed seat 
Of an incarnate Deity, where still 
Mix Shamans and the Lama's lieges ; those 
Urging the stars, and with sublime deceit 
Announcing fate ; these, with machine-made prayers. 
Their transmigrative God, who immanent aye 



134 FESTUa 

In your humanity leaps from frame to frame, 
Deathless, nor ever fails, 

Festus. Still eastwards, ho ! 

See what a long, long track 
Of dust and fire behind ; 
For leagues and leagues aback ; 
And shrill and strong, as we shoot along, 
Whistles and whirrs, like a forest of firs 
Falling, the cold north wind. 

Lucifer. "Where art thou now ? 

Festus. In Tartar land ; 

I know by the deserts of salt and sand. 
Nor aim nor end hath the wandering life, 
Rest reaps but rest, and strife but strife ; 
With the nations round they ne'er have mixed, 
For good or for ill, they stand all still, 
Their bodies but rove, their minds are fixed. 

LuciFEE. Miss not the chance, Manswara's lake I 
The sight alone, some pilgrims say, 
Immortally blessed the soul will make. 
There, feast thine eyes with it, and away ! 

Festus. Father of fables, much I fear 
Thy creed more liberal than sincere. 

Lucifer. Pray fancy not what I repeat 
I have any faith in ; men will cheat 
Their souls with legends in all ages ; 
And I, — I'm only eighth of all the sages. 
Start not, we are on earth's roof ridge here, 
The watershed of nations, old Pamir. 
Courage, we need not fall. There, Kokonoor, 
Sea subterranean, once, of wandering fame ; 
Here Baikal, holy lake, of mountain meres 
Vastest ; and those twin pools, named eyes of heaven ; 
Shelinga, there I 

Festus. Ancestral seat, first home 

Of perfected humanity, ice-chill now. 
But glowing once with the heart-heat of new earth I 
Haunt of the young immortal's golden years. 
Ere nations boasted names, base wile ; 'twas here 
The primal people of angel seed outlined 
All human knowledge, taught with difference fine 
Tongues of diverse roots ; wise, themselves, and free, 
While culturing earth they charactered the skies ; 
Their veritable divinity penned in signs 
Celestial ; and in heaven's constellate lights 
One natural creed eternized. 

Lucifer. So ? 

Festus. Are these 

The hills sepulchral talked of, sodden with blood 
Of slaughtered henchman, slave or steed ; far round 
Earth heaves with tomblets, as the sea with waves ; 
These old, old wilds Kathayan ; graves as yet 



FESTUa 135 

By art or avarice nnprofaned, where lie 
Kings fameless, of unstoried states, entombed, 
Forgot, together ? 

LuciPEB. These I And there, not far, 

Lo I mounds even mightier, where two summer days. 
The shepherd sheik, as a lion of the sands 
Loan, keen, brown-maned, shall mark both herd and flock 
Content, depasture ; underfoot, the Khan, 
God's shadow ; brother, may be, of the moon ; 
Sole refuge of a wretched world, the whiles 
He plundered, and to those who asked, gave bread. 
Sceptred, and swathed within his leaf -gold shroud. 
Sleeps, doubtless, sound ; though o'er that gacred head 
Shrill sings the boor ; who, striding round the base. 
In meditative measurement, and round, 
Twirls his long lance, contemptuous of the time 
He lives in ; which but likes great things, not makes. 

Festus. And yonder see old China's wall I 
Where gods of gold men's minds enthral ; 
Gods whose gold's their only worth. 

Lucifer. Well, is not gold the god of earth ? 

Festus. Whate'er, meseems, men's gifts ; their clime, 
Their race, their ends, their lore, their time ; 
Round earth one universal instinct reigns ; 
Hear allwhere talked of, gods ; see allwhere fanes. 

Lucifer. True ; here men worship mighty Brahma ; there, 
Pure Buddh alone is named in prayer ; 
And yonder, nought save heaven ; 
Far round, Islam hath conqueror been ; 
And Moses, and the holy Nazarene, 
O'er half the world hath driven. 

Festus. I doubt not ; each of variant rite, 
But all concerned with the Infinite ; 
The one, the sole ; in whose kind hand 
Lie all things by him formed or planned, 
All orbs, all souls ; to none denied. 
Save hearts of prejudice and pride, 
Grace, whereby each is sanctified. 
O'er all the world one faith I deem, 
Howe'er unlike the expression be, 
In type, tradition, liturgic. 
The life immortal, God supreme. 

Lucifer. True ; and to such conclusions como, 
One might almost have stayed at home. 

Festus. A moment breathe we. Every land, 
Beside the sacred trivialities 
Which most the unthinking millions please, 
Hath its own sanctity. 

Lucifer. Oh, I understand. 

Festus, Here Konfuts6, pure sovereign sage, who realm 
By realm, truth-seeking, knew but, named but God, 
Tlae great one, ere all nature, ere all law ; 



186 FE8TU8. 

The eternal reason that had arched the heavens ; 

The universal essence ; here Meng-tse 

Superbly taught all acts, — the human soul 

Not self -condemned by inborn pravity, 

To ever-deepening sin, — essays towards good, 

As water aye its level seeks ; here, son 

Of truth, self-styled but truthless, Lao, preached 

Of deathly souls, and pleasure's quest, life's end ; 

And, head of earthly immortals, held that God, 

From whom the world, as life from light, in death 

His gift supreme, eternal life, resumes. 

LuciFEB. But now for time's sake, let us rise 
A thought superior, towards the skies ; 
We have but to reach a certain height, 
And everything appears in sight. 
See there ; one instant cast thine eye 
Where, on the world's edge, isle-crowds lie ; 
Massed nebulous ; great, small, rich in gold, spice, gems ; 
From far Niphon, where, shrined, the bull of light 
Butts first, with fiery horn, the egg mundane ; 
And Miako's gilded idol, hugest he 
Of hand-wrought gods, sits placid, to the isle 
Earth's equatorial scores as with a sword, 
Midstwise, Sumatra, hundred-citied ; seats 
Palatial boasting built by gods ; to that 
Irnmensest isle, gold-grounded, whose least rill 
Outbids Pactolus ; where the tameless tribes 

Witch-queened, who the boomerang hurl, dwell ; and, food-pined, 
Do mess on their own blood, disseised of sense ; 
And Tonboro, neighbour dread to the Khersonnese 
Aureate, there lying like some rich reprobate. 
With ashes strewn by stern and dominant priest, 
Ere absolutive of sin : which seen, and cooled 
Our horses' feet in freshening clouds, away 1 

Festus. Lo I southwards, hey for Hindustan ; 
The sun beats down both beast and man ; 
Herb, insect, tree, for life do gasp ; 
The river reeks, and faints the asp. 
But blithe are we, and our steeds, I trow, 
And the mane of mine yet bears the snow 
Which fell on us, by Caucasus. 
By the four beasts, but this is warm. 

Lucifer. Away, away, nor stint nor stay, 
We'll reach the sea before yon storm. 

Festus. Wilt take the sea ? 

LuciFEE. Ay, that will we 

And swim as we ride oirr steeds astride ; 
Come leap, leap off with me. 

Festus. What 1 from this steep, a mile above the sea ? 

LuoiFEE. Check not thy steed one pace, but patsng glimpse 
Dhawalageri's pinnacle, earth's supreme, 
Kailas, Merou, celestial mounts, mid-sky 



FE8TU8. 137 

Dazzling their divine denizens ; Ganges, dropped, 
Tradition tme, from Siva's solar eye ; 
And Chandra-bagha, holy to the moon ; 
But not for these, nor where earth's loftiest leap 
Of waters lights the forest gloom, stay wo 
Our horse-flight : nay, nor for the Edenic isle. 
And peak, where foot of Buddh, the last of gods, 
Or Adam's first of men, impressed, the land 
Hallows to pilgrims desperate, of all creeds. 

Festus. There is a rapture in the headlong leap, 
The wedge-like cleaving of the closing deep, 
A feeling full of hardihood and of power. 
With which we court the waters that devour. 
Oh 1 'tis a feeling great, sublime, supreme, 
Like the ecstatic influence of a dream, 
To speed one's way, thus, o'er the sliding plain, 
And make a kindred being with the main. 

LuciFEB. By Chaos, this is gallant sporty 
A league at every breath ; 
Methinks if I ever should have to die, 
I'll ride this rate to death. 

Festus, Away, away upon the whitening tide, 
Like lover hastening to embrace his bride. 
We hurry faster than the foam we ride ; 
Dashing aside the waves which round us cling, 
With strength liks that which lifts an eagle's wing 
WTiere the stars dazzle and the angels sing. 

Lucifer. We scatter the spray, and break through the billows, 
As the wind makes way through the leaves of willows. 

Festus. In vain they urge their armies to the fight ; 
Their surge-crests crumble 'neath our strokes of might. 
We meet, fear not, we mount ; now rise, now fall ; 
And dare with full-nerved arm the rage of all. 
Through anger-swollen wave, or sparkling spray, 
Nothing it recks ; we hold our perilous way 
Right onward till we feel the whirling brain 
Ring with the maddening music of the main ; 
Till the fixed eyeball strives and strains to ken, 
Yet loathes to see the shore and haunts of men ; 
And the blood lialf starting through each ridgy vein 
In the unwieldy hand, sets, black with pain. 
Then let the storm-king, cloud o'er cloud disspread, 
Tear the tempestuous terrors of his head : 
Let the wild sea-bird wheel around my brow. 
And shriek, and swoop, and flap her wing, as now ; 
It gladdens. On, ye boisterous billows, roll ; 
And keep my body, ye have ta'en my soul. 
Thou element, the type which God hath given 
For eyes and hearts too earthy, of his heaven ; 
Were heaven a mockery never I would mourn 
While o'er thy billows I might still be borne ; 
While yet to me the power and joy were given 

F 3 



138 FE8TUS, 

To fling my breast on thine and mingle earth with heaven. 

LuciFEE. 'Twas always one of my profoundest wishes, 
The sea to study, and consider fishes. 
And now that, well ; behold us come ; 
Nor e'er before could I the time 
Spare to such end, though so sublime 
Let us explore the great aquarium. 
Soon shall we see the denizens of the deep 
Dart by us ; shapes primceval claimed by gods 
Vishnu, and mixed Oannes ; ork, and whale. 
The oceanic beast, whose jaws like hell's gates onco 
Yawned to ingulph the recreant prophet, cast 
By crew f oref ated in the ravening deep ; 
Sea-horse and seal, old ocean's flocks ; and all 
That flout the whirlpool, down whose swirling maw 
Voracious of all life, the shrieking ship 
Plungeth ; bright dolphin, lover of the lyre, 
For more than one sublime adventure starred ; 
And, dubious those, behold, whom air and sea 
Alternate please, now fly with fins, and now 
With wings swim ; lords of richest wrecks be these ; 
All who, or lonely and deathful, haunt the deeps ; 
All that by coast, by firth, in endless shoal, 
Vanwise, or rear, heave shoreward ; all who glide 
Through streets of submerged cities, weed-draped, thronged 
With waves, where, once, as in sumptuous Valipur, 
Fluctuated the courtier crowd ; through magic Ys ; 
By its silver flood-gates lost ; or gilded marts 
Of Vinborg, greed-fouled, — spitefully content, 
Nor wink their cold white eye ; clang may the bells 
Still pendulous in those tide-swept towers, as though 
In calm, for prayer ; storm-clashed, for victory ; they 
Reck not, nor death-peal heed ; through marble grove 
Of pillars, once impalaced, as through copse 
Of coralline branchery, they their wavy way 
Fan flexuously ; uncharmed, unhindered, fan. 

Festus. Land I this the island supplement 
To Africa's great continent ? 

LuciFEE. Not here, not here, nor yet we land ; 
Though grateful doubtless were the strand 
Where nature's alms, we might the traveller's tree 
Meet, in whose veins condensed the essential dew 
Flows f ontal ; while its flowerets, lamp-like, light 
To its restful tent of leaves, the wayfarer. 
One minute more. We quit the main ; 
We make the shore. Here's land again ; 
The Cape I now scour o'er Afric's plain, 
From the head of storms, and lion by the sea 
High couchant ; and God's table, draped with clouds ; 
By stream Kafifrarian, endless called, and that 
Rock-brinked. which through Mataman, townless land, 
B^^s ; where, too, flourishes first and best of things, 



FE8TU8. 18S 

So by Damaras deemed, the all-froctaous tree 
From whose far-shadowing limb- wood, human fmit 
Kipe, deathless dropped ; where, half by gumwoods girt, 
And palm, barbarian Quorra steals ; there, men. 
In ivory, gold, blood, trade ; nor, far remote, 
"Who the divine child, babe eterne, adore ; 
Unconscious Deity ; haste we, haste we, on. 

Festus. Away, away, on either hand, 
Nor town nor tower, nor shade nor shower, 
Nothing save sun and sand. 

Lucifer. But here, see many a treeful tract with wood 
Well seasoned, as to feed the final fires ; 
Here, there, a naked rcahnlet, centred round 
Some vast baobab, like aged with ocean's tides ; 
Within whose cavernous and sepulchral trunk, 
Meet village senates, lawing peace, war, now, 
To dusky clans ; now, in its templed bole, 
The idol gods adoring of the land ; 
Arboreal fane ; some dragon-blooded tree, 
Like-yeared with the cloud-bow, or one eve, one mom. 
Than the stai-s younger ; ranged wherewith the stock 
That, willowy, waves above the ruined wreck 
Of Babylon, or even that, nigh Memphian well. 
Rifted yet vital, 'neath whose honoured boughs 
Paused once the sainted pair, who, angel- warned, 
Bare in their bosom o'er Zin's isthmian sands. 
An unweaned child-god, but a sapling seems 
Of yesterday. 

Festus. What are these hills we have just 

O'ervaulted ? 

Lucifer. These, Lupata, spine o' the world 
Kumara, there, the emerald mount ; and there, 
See, there they are, I knew right soon 
We'd light on the Mountains of the Moon. 
Over them, over ; nought forbids. 

Festus. Yonder the Nile and the Pyramids ? 

Lucifer. Nay, we can't stay to search them. Rise, good steo^Js 
Let us enjoy another earthscape. See 
Louqusor, Medina Thabou ; all that rests 
Of hundred-palaced Thebes, where, shrineless, dwelt 
One who supreme, the unknown, the invisible reigned 
'Midst many idolatrous, o'er one tribe devout, 
Grodwise ; and long ere cometary earth 
The stars disturbed, with presages of woe 
To heaven's great family, in herself to be 
Concentrate, and accomplished to the death, 
As in a fiery vortex, himself named 
To worshipping worlds, as here, the imageless, 
The infinite, the eternal. There, behold, 
O'er the Erythraean gulf dyed red with blood 
Of Pharaoh's hosts, the free, wide sandy wastes 
Of kingless Arabie ; Mecca, seat of power 



140 FE8TU8. 

Prophetic, and the city of the tomb, 
By angels haunted. 

Festus. And thy sacred well, 

Seem I to recognise from storying pens, 
Divine Zemzem, from founts celestial strained 
Through astral strata, and the musky loam 
Of Paradise ; whence moonbrowed maids of light, 
Fearless, their life-cups fill with bliss. 

LucTFEB. And there, 

El Kodsh, and substitutive mosque, rock-based, 
Upon whose crest, intempled now, shall stand 
The archangel stern, when he, by judgment trump 
All souls shall summon ; and with fate-fraught rod 
Inevitable, call forth what Hades holds. 
Here, well-walled Joppa, towered before the flood ; 
There, Tyre, where once Astarte, round the earth 
Pacing, moonlike, a star, picked up new fallen, 
Which she, at her own altar, stretching out 
Her sceptral cross, to herself hallowed. There, 
Once, Olybama rose ; there, CEnosli ; home 
Of the giant race, earth dominating, sites now 
Sightless to all save eyes endowed like thine. 
Here, Byblos, Orchoe there ; Bab-El, God's gate, 
Where hides mayhap 'neath thunder-thwarted pile, 
With archives of mid earth's initial throne. 
The foreworld's infant speech ; here Nin-evech, 
There Arach, Arkite city of the moon ; 
Whose golden-crowned shades shall all precede 
Kingly, at doom ; though Persargadss's graves, 
Roman, and Russ, and Norman's castled tomb 
Yield up their tyrannous ghosts ; his even who yet 
In sepulchre secrete still lies ; and once. 
Mid alabastrine halls, approached through forms 
Cherubic, of ubiquitous wing, now, see. 
In unearthed sculpture, leagues a thousand hence, 
Divining 'fore his gods, with wine ; or, now 
Immingling arrows, mark him draw, perchance, 
Self -sought, his fiery fate ; and if, more near. 
Thine eye still keep its edge, that wandering vill, 
Builded, men say, in test of faith, times passed. 
Mid Arab wilds, by great Shedaad, whose walls 
In tiers alternate towered of silver and gold ; 
Invisible since to dulled belief. Dost see it ? 

Festus. Is't now a structural mass, dream-like out-drawn 
In vanishing perspective, with pillars winged, 
Translucent, quivering up like columned air 
Of resurrective dew, sunfired ; dim domes, 
And spacious sanctuaries ? Or, plainer now, 
Is it like a shadowy palace, rich in rest. 
The feverous brain of worn-out traveller draws 
Upon the heatful noon, that as with glimpse 
Of comforting things allures, but while we move 



FESTUS. 141 

Nearer, retreats ? 

Lucifer. Ah, good ; thou seest it not. 

Tarn, sudden now, and coast this midland sea, 
By Carthage, Barca, Tripoli ; 
Crete, there, Jove's grave ; there, Sicily, 
Isle of the sun, whence Hades' equal bride ; 
And 'twixt whose templed cliffs and us, that barque, 
Laden with the sack of Rome, tyrannic queen 
Of bonded nations — the tile-gilded roof 
Of Jove's high capitol ; the seven-starred lamp 
And golden table of God's own temple, won 
By Vandal king self-crowned of earth and sea. 
And their affiliate iles, — storm-sunk, but served, 
With ivory thrones, and busts marmoreal, gems 
And jewelled caskets, armlets, torques, and lings. 
And carquanets impearled, and coffered coin 
Of conquered states, to startle, or to adorn 
Sicilian sea-nymphs in their billowy plt.y. 
By Syrts Cyrenean now we hie, 
By Atlas range and Barbary ; 
By the desert heart of slave-land ; waterless sea, 
Where tide once haply broke tempestuous, now 
Heaves, ponderous, the slow sand-wave, stormy dust 
Scattering in poisonous clouds. 

Festus. Not far I deem 

The Hesperidean gardens, serpent-watched 
Once, watched ia vain. The honeyed opiate, there. 
Was quite too much. 

LuciFEE. The land of serpents this ; 

Haunted by adder, cockatrice, those the Moor 
Wreathes round his limbs, or, in his bosom, curled 
Confederate, cades ; those that, by glistering glance. 
Charmed song-birds to their death transfix ; or those 
IMore fascinative, that oft the innocent breath 
Of babes, suck, viperously, away ; and once, 
By him enormous, on these banks, just cleared. 
Of Bagi-adas ; who, memorable worm, 
Rome's hosts braved singly ; singly suffered siege ; 
War waged ; till by arblast and by catapult, 
And burning darts, self-firing as they flew. 
Quelled, he at last capitulates with death ; 
His shining slough to swell the conqueror's pomp. 

Festus. a learned demon past all contradiction. 

Lucifer. Why, look ; I'm naturally strong in fiction. 
And then it rather piques one to describe 
The triumphs of the serpent tribe ; 
Whether of cobras, god-kinned, thought to have missad 
Their way from heaven ; or crowned basilisk, type 
Of demon good, and mundane genius ; such 
As round his healthful staff Asclepios twined, 
And saviour named ; or such, perchance, as now 
Mid Caesarean isle, 'neath mound tower-topped, 



142 FE8TU8. 

Lies tombed, redoubtable dragon ; be tbe tale 
Not rather told of ethnic faith, o'erthrown 
By conquering- cross. 

Festus. Their crown is, to have striven. 

Lucifer. See Mong Msesoba, Mount of God, first marked 
Of Punic mariner, when from seas unkeeled 
Since Argo, or dark diluvian barge, as car 
Of gods he hailed it, once fire-ringed ; of flame, 
Of fume, even, naked nov/. And now still on 1 

Festus. Hurrah I by my soul at every bound, 
I feel, I see the earth rush round ; 
I see the mountains slide away, 
That side night, and this side, day. 

Lucifer. Wilt see the New "World ? 

Festus. Well ; a peep. 

Lucifer, One dainty run, then ; one more leap 
And lo I we quit this lion ground, 
Plunging from palmy steep, once more into the deep. 

Festus. To cross indeed the Atlantic tide, 
And far as southmost Fire-land ride, 
Would I, if time be ours. 

Lucifer. Oh, plenty ; 

Be there, too, ere we reckon twenty. 

Festus. The sea again, the swift bright sea 1 

Lucifer. Hold hard ; give rein ; and follow me. 
See there, the Elysian islets, of eld thought 
Home for the heroic blessed, who years divine 
Enjoyed, and life eternal as of heaven ; 
Now, only fortunate deemed, their mountlets crovnied 
By that beneficent stem, whose top, with clouds 
Nightly encompassed, soon as morning beams. 
From leaf and ramage sheddeth cool bright showers, 
Freshening the fountless soil ; matron and maid, 
God thanking for his daily boon, with joy 
Brim high their globular gourds from every bough. 

Festus. It is somewhere hereabouts I count to have heard 
Of other happy spots being found. 

Lucifer. No lack 

Of such demesnes ; the winged isle, to wit. 
Walled high with gold- bright crystal, giant kinged, 
Bound the world flying, oft-sighted, good ; but found ? 

Festus. And Bolotoo, joint paradise of gods 
And men, 'mid ocean isolate, land of shades ; 
Where, to chance wanderer for the future bound, 
And for lost secrets searching, all spent thought 
There hoarded, temple, tower, and grove-clad hill 
Show but forms permeable ; through all he stalks 
As through a solid vision ; wall, cliff, bark. 
Close round him, as over diving gull the main. 
Lucifer. 'Tis odds we have gone thi-ough it, and not known. 
Festus. Look ; listen. There is music in the cave 
Where ocean sleeps, and brightness in the wave 



FE8TU8. 148 

The sea-bird makes its pillow, and the star, 
Last bom of heaven, its azure mirror ; far 
And wide, the pale, fine gleam of sea-fire glows, 
Softly sublime, like lightnings in repose ; 
Till roused anon, afar its flaming spray it throws. 

Lucifer. Well, now we have travelled above the waves, 
Wilt travel a time beneath ? 
And visit the sea-born in their caves ; 
And look on the rainbow -tinted wreath. 
Of weed ; pearl-starred, and gemmed, wherewith 
The mermaid binds her long, green hair ? 
Or rouse the sea-snake from his lair 1 
See where he gambols for us there 1 

Festus. Ay, ay ; down let us dive. 

LuciFEE. Look up ; we lack not stars, I swear ; 
And every star thou seest's alive ; 
A little globe of life, light, love ; 
"VSTiose every atom is a living being, 
Each into other's bosom seeing ; 
Each enlightening the other. 

Festus. Oh iiow unlike man's world above, 
Where mainly, vainly, each must strive 
To dim, or to outshine his brother. 
Would only I were ocean's son, 
The solitary brave, 
Like yon sea-snake, — no end hath he 
To fear because his soul is free. 
No future heaven to crave, 
Whose life's but to sun all his folds upon 
Tlie crest of the highest wave. 

LuciFEE. Yon reptile men call serpent of the sea. 
Eldritch, huge, ocean-churner, hight in Ind, 
In Norland, world- circler ; whose hoary mane 
And visage, sadly human, reared mast-high. 
Till suddenly down implunged, it disappearing. 
Appals the homebound mariner, as at eve 
Roimding his last of headlands blue, he weens 
In its eye to have hailed some Pharos, newly erect, 
May be less caitiflc than he looks. 

Festus. Enough 

I have seen of him ; some fathoms. 

LuciPEB. Know this soil 

Thou treadst, the continent, once, in ages passed, 
Neptunian, where the sea-god righteous ruled, 
And his sons ten ; here, trace the beds of streams 
Foreworldly, such as with voluminous surge 
Atlantis cantoned, and, in main long lost. 
Their tusky spoil disbogued ; or, swollen with doom 
Of yearly freshet, scared the rock-scooped booths 
Of savage tribelets trembling ; there, the bounds 
Mark, once of jealous states war-mad, all stilled 
By watery and necessitous peace, unhoped, 



144 FE8TUB. 

Unlooked for ; here, the isle Triphylian Jove 
Judged from his imminent chair. 

Festus. And now behold 

Drowned lands and verdurous meadows submarine, 
Where water turtles wander, pasturing free. 

LuciFEE, Come on, come on ; the dew, last night 
Was heavy. 

Festus. Are those spars, so bright. 
Or eyes of things which ne'er forgive 
That seem to play on us, and glare 
With rage, that we so far should dare 
To search the hidden depths 
Where tide, the moon-slave, sleeps ; 
And ork, and ki-aken, world-forgotten, live ? 
Where the wind breathes not, and the wave 
Walks Eof tly, as above a grave ; 
Where coral worms, in countless nations, 
Build rocks up from the sea's foundations ; 
Where the islands strike their roots 
Far from the old main-land ; 
.And spring like desert fruits. 
Shook off by God's strong hand, 
Up from their bed of sand. 

LuciFEE. There ; now we stand on the world a end land ; 
Over the hills, away we go ; 
Through fire and snow, and rivers whereto 
All others are rills. 

Festus. Through the lands of silver, the lands of gold ; 
Through lands untrodden, and lands untold ; 
Lands where his age-long skirmish still maintains 
The conquering Araucanian ; who from his bounds 
The pale face waiving aye, still, manly, serves 
The world's essential Spirit ; and on whose shore 
The mount of thunder, o'er the orb-wi-ecking flood 
Soul buoyant of all things, self -steered, in times 
Long gone, first grounding, paused ; then ceased, content ; 
Ceased, from its world-wide wanderings ; lands where trined 
With sun and moon eterne, the rainbow, dream 
Of the elements, was adored. Near by, of old, 
A marvellous hill towered ; is't, I wonder, now ? 
That crystal mount, cloud-crested, once which stood 
In western Tucuman, with acute reply 
Answering the solar messages of light, 
As equal, equal? deep below its base, 
O'erarched, a river navigable will run. 

LuciFEE. Nay, if 'twas ever here, it is here, this hour 
Lo 1 Andes, outer wall of earth ; and here 
Light-wise, in pardonable idolatry. 
Pure Pachacamac, lord of the universe, 
By kingly Yngas was adored, and choirs 
Sun-dedicated, of virgins ; fairer they 
Than all the flowers their golden gardens grew ; 



FE8TU8. i4fi 

Or silvern shrubs scarce imitative, and gemmed 

With ruby bud or beryl, could show. And now. 

Nor mine, nor mountain lake though choked with gold, 

Like Titicaca, from whose sacred shores 

Long ages lapsed ; the scions of the sun, 

Mango Capac and Mama Ocllo, stepped 

Ancestral, to the sceptre of Berou, 

Om- course must stay ; nor yet, though nigh, the spot 

Where that unbearded brood, — whose gnarled knees 

Ranked level with the poll of general men ; 

"Whose eyen glared like shields rimmed round with brass ; 

\Miere fell their shadow grass nor floweret grew ; 

At sight of whom men swooned and women died ; 

Debarked ; whence God best knoweth, here at foot 

Of Andes' highest ; but them, his vengeance roused 

For vast offence — a fieiy falchion quelled ; 

Sudden it swept from heaven, and in one Bwathe 

Laid all their giant trunks. 

Festus. What sin was theirs ? 

LuciFEB. The story's quite apocryphal, I admit ; 
'Tis nothing, maybe, but a round, sound, lie ; 
Who told it first, is answerable. 

Festus. Thou, too. 

Words are deeds spoken. Aught we do is writ 
Brief -wise in God's eternal diary. 
All acts seem echoed to the skies. We live 
As in a bell. 

LuciFEB. Meanwhile, be it ours to hie 
Unstayed by aught above earth, or beneath, 
Not even by bass of rivers subterrene, 
Booming through caves, each with his several roar, 
I hear them plain, down to earth's focal fires, 
Still inextinct, and flaming floods ; whence dashed, 
They reascend volcanic, melled with ice, 
Lava, and fishy mud, and so explode 
Vaporous, the solid hills ; by the mount of stars ; 
By Chuquibamba's cone of carmined snow ; 
And Rupurini's demon cliff, dark browed 
With wood self -procreate, must we swiften on, 
To the equatorial groves that mat the shores 
Of Maracaybo, and Maragnon's tide, 
The sea's tide mastering ; Temi, gold-dyed stream, 
And falls of Tequendama ; rent ere yet 
The moon rode, aery. 

Festus. Haste we I 

LuciFEB. Nature, here. 

Of life like lavish as the sun of light. 
Leaves all this foodful paradise unbarred. 
Ungated even ; while almost every tree 
Hangs heavy with vital bread, man's simplest board ; 
Or fruit lactifluous, from whose flower-tipped stem. 
High trembling, the earth-gorged Indian, thirstf ul, drains 



146 FE8TU8, 

At sundown, creamy draughts ; to all his kin 
Dispensing, patriarchal, bowl on bowl. 

Festus. Our high road narrows shrewdly, here ; 
A stumble might — 

Lucifer. Bah ! what a tale 1 

Thy pad is surefoot, past all fear ; 
And mine ; well, when shall Darkness fail 1 
But see ; not oft the eye comprises. 
Not even when quickened to embrace 
A circle wish-wide of pure space. 
View fairer than upon our vision rises. 
Behold the isle-gemmed western sea ; 
Black Hayti, once the imperial negro's throne ; 
Bahamas, and the Virgins, those to lee ; 
And that, of all earth's westlands earliest known. 

Festus. This road's a trifle rugged. 

LuciFEE. On I 

We have far to prance ere the hour is gone. 
By strait and bay, by swamp and plain 
Through torrent flood ; through hurricane ; 
Have we our pathless course to find. 

Festus. As quick we ride, on either side, 
Atlantic or Pacific tide. 
Thoughts legendary of spots where hide 
The Aztek's mythic realms, come o'er the mind ; 
Coy Iximaya, and the precipitous gates 
Of that recondite capital, mountain scarped, 
Of sacred dwarf -kings, haply, with all theirs 
To vanish into cloudland, doomed ; thenceforth 
With ghosts, of fabulous crowns, such ghosts as haunt, 
Baseless, the cots of nations, walk for aye. 

LuciFEE. So many rarities will be lost, one day, 
Ko need to moan for a trinket like a town. 
See here, Copan's, Uxmal's insculptured domes, 
Mysterious, tombed alive in matted woods, 
Buried erect, unruinous : here, the toils 
Combined of royal patriots, and leal crowds, 
All limbs who strained to upbuild, and their throats bore 
To applaud, complete, what now the bat, the snake. 
The wight who hath lost his way, alone know ; there, 
Serf -reared, the fire fanes of Palenque, cross-famed. 
And towers she-eagles nest on imperturbed ; 
Cholula's terraced pyramid, and those vast. 
Mid pathway of the dead, to sun and moon 
Hallowed, o'er minor mounds more mean than stars 
Which rise, supreme ; Subtiaba's palaces ; 
Cities and holds of dynasties unknown ; 
Less glorious, may be, than the soldans named 
By proud Fardusi, paradisal bard ; 
Less numerous, not ; who natural signs here graven, 
Charged with intensest meaning, now all lost ; 
Wrecked on some rock unchaarted in time's flood, 



FESTUa. 147 

No ebb sball e'er dismask. 

Festus. But little seems 

To hinder, or to attract. 

LuciFEB. Wood, river, lake, 

Earth's widest, mightiest, spread around, 
Beset in vain the path we take, 
Intent alone to gain our starting ground. 
Some pools, indeed, we'll pass, ere the hoar woods 
Of growth eternal, continental reach, 
That all enclose, — from florid lands which seas 
Columbian lave, to gold-rocked Labrador ; 
From ocean's gilded sands, by Kalamath, 
To silveriest Secklong, we have overswept. 

Festus. There's a dark cloud of slaves, which mars ; 
But look 1 it lifts beneath one's eyes, 
The fairest views that round us rise ; 
Though nought shall blot the bannered stars, 
From freedom's skies. 

LuciFEB. Here the Aztek's, bowered with floating pleasances 
Where sailed the swans of sway symbolic ; see. 
There Yutah's lake, where the polygamous crew, — 
Misled by one self-unctioned, not anoint 
Of genius, nor from world-life spiritual, strained ; 
Who from the brook, the lines of lacquered lead 
Sham angel forged, dug out ; who, after, fell 
Death-shotten, with Caesar's trickling wounds thrice told ; 
111 doer he, ill done by, — their starred hour 
Dreadless abide, of doom. Here note these hills 
With cedars prediluvian, towerlike, crowTied ; 
And yon demarking gap, far blazed through woods, 
AVhere day begins, and east from west divides. 

Festus. I would yon shining chain of waters, now 
Slave, Athabascan, down to the Huron, coast. 

LuciFEB. Mark, too, those mightiest rivers, tributaries 
From Firm-land to their Sea-lord ; there, not far, 
Ohio broadens ; here, gross Missouri dims 
The deepening sire of floods, aye tiding on 
His cun-ent deluge to the ingulphing breast 
Of central seas ; he, clearing oft his banks 
Of secular secrets, too long kept, strange frames 
Of mammoth shows, or kindi'ed monster ; brutes 
Dreadest, whose teeth might nigh with tombstones match • 
Limbed, like an oak ; but all swept off by heaven. 
Creation at the flood revising : such 
Burial made they and osseous monument. 
To themselves, 'mid riverine swamps ; swamps, too, tlie snakr 
By red men hallo\/ed, haunts, which multiplies 
Annual, its rattling rings ; and once, which hid 
Nigh sacred well, by priestly craft, the man 
Divine, to all of irksome sanctity, f anged 
To the death ; and so, held amiablest of worms, 
And kin, by common treachery, to mankind. 



148 FE8TU8. 

Festus. What mean these mounds we skim shaped animal-wise, 
Turtle's, wolf's, serpent's, favouring, or uncouth. 
The vulture's wide- winged brotherhood of death ? 

LuciFEE. Clan-roots of nations these, one common source 
Shadowing, and, reared ere all imburghing walls,| 
By stalwarth savages, in arts of life 
Less skilled than feats of death, and who, where now 
State-capitals stand, hounded the hills ; as, far 
Eastwards, in older sphere, and stony shape 
Snake-headed, volumed over downs, and piled, 
Progressive, from the Aleutians to the Basque, 
Dracontian fanes, oracular logan, cirque 
Slab-pillared, tell one vast and simple faith. 
Rudely divine ; perchance, from heaven. But now, 
To reach where Erie through Niagara hurls 
Precipitant all her thunderous waters down 
His crescent steep, and so to Ontario breaks 
A continent's discontent which else, bulged up, 
Might the whole Firm-land flood. 

Festus. One sound all drowns : 

'Tis as Earth's tongue. 

Lucifer. Away ! Ice now and snow 

And frozen firth our echoing hoofs invite 
Towards the sacred grove to Esquimo known. 
Whence, chipped by giant woodman, man and brute 
Fell earthwards, upwards, birds, in sea dropped, fish f 
So fable Arctic folk, tribes sparse and spare ; 
Whose crooked crones, in glittering huts of ice, 
When the vivific sun, world conqueror, ends 
Yearly his serpent path, in silent snow 
His thunder hiding, — to their home-cloyed youth, 
Sharpening the bone-tipped shaft for morse, or seal, 
Quaint legends gabble of primal Eld. But see ! 
Here we are not sole travellers. 

Festus. Ah 1 yon sledge. 

Half hound's land this ; brave hound ; of souls creato 
Sub-human gifted highliest , most to man 
Faithful, — both where the auroral arch o'eibroods 
Graves lost, unsearched for not, and the city's heart, 
Through life to his last sigh ; and so, worthy judged 
Such skiey deathlessness as men can give, 
Or dogs divine, of Dian's nebulous chase. 
Can joy in, led by their leash of light ; or he. 
Staunch grew, man-hearted, starred in holiest writ, 
Who, burning, bays Orion's spacious steps ; 
Or good DheiTeem, sung in the mighty war, 
'Twixt chiefs of lunar lineage, and the sun's, 
For the empery of Ind ; — four-footed friend 
To righteous rajah ; he, that kingly kin 
All blessed and deified, — lonely left, at last 
Shakes off, disgaiseful test, the shape canine, 
And shines heaven's primal virtue, peer of gods. 



FE8TU8. 149 

LuciPEB. Take credit for quite candid praise : 
Nor dogs need we, nor sluggard sleighs. 

Festus. I feel the iron in ray blood 
Drawn curiously towards the Pole ; 
But oh this cold congeals me ; and 'twere good, 
All said and done, to make our goal. 

Lucifer. Tliou care^t not, then, to tread the terrible ways 
Which lead to nature's mightiest mysteries, down 
To the humming axis of these surface lands. 
Where, earth-guiding, the magnet mountain stands, 
Brainlike, ensconced beneath her snowy crown. 

Festus. Not now ; as yet, enough to view 
Earth's outward. 

LuciPEB. So then, hence ! 

Festus. Adieu 

America, thou, half-brother of the world ; 
With something good and bad of every land ; 
Greater than thee have lost their seat ; 
Greater scarce none can stand. 

LuciFEB. Just touch the Arctic ring will we ; 
For our horses snort and snuff the sea. 
And pant for where they ought to be. 

Festus. Well, here's the sea ; and as we flew iu, 
I said, let Darkness follow Ruin. 

LuciFEB, 'Twas right, spur on. Come, Darkness, come. 
Think of thy well-strown stall. 

Festus. And Ruin 1 

Lucifer. Oh yes ; there's a stable-home 
For Ruin, too, after all. 

Festus. For me, I fear no fate to come, 
Not that which bids me fall. 
Oh happy, if at last I lie 
Within some pearled and coralled cave ; 
Where high o'erhead the booming surge. 
And moaning billow, shall chant my dirge ; 
And the storm-blast, as it hurrieth by. 
Shall, answering, howl to the mermaid's sigh, 
And the nightwind's mournful minstrelsy, 
Their requiem over my grave. 

LuciFEB. Through mom and midnight, sunset and high noon. 
One hour hath ta'en us ; o'er all land and sea, 
O'er earthquake opening, and iceberg have we 
Swept in swift safety. 

Festus. Hour, o'er now, too soon. 

Greenland and Iceland far a-lee ; 
The crests of mountains now I see 
Through rolling mists, grey-gilded, burst ; 
And islands still beloved by me ; 
Ben Loda, mount of God, and Nevis, first 
Saluted of the sun ; and, Erin's Me 
Westmost whereon day's lord his parting smile 
Through groves of worship, dedicate to fate, 



150 FE8TU8. 

Utters, ere yet, kinglike, in fickle state 
He turns to flatterers of his greeting ray. 

Lucifer. There, see the causeway, we'll not foot, to-day, 
Of giants, who from lerne through deep sea, 
By long columnar jetty, and pillared pier 
Basaltic, crystal-capped, and close as canes 
In Javan jungle, treacherous access sought 
To Albyn's kingly clans, and fate-stoned throne ; 
'Twixt Erin, thence, and Cambria steer 
The lands are close, but be it known 
I have been in sharper straits ere now. 

Festus. Bee Snowdou's bossy back, and moro 
Remote, in ice, and snow-light hoar 
Plinlimmon's ravine- wrinkled brow. 

Lucifer. By Severn's sea our sinuous course now bonds ; 
Yon windy cliff, your isle of isles that ends ; 
And Lizard porphyry caved. 

Festus. 'Twas here of old, 

And old world tales the air load, gods uncouth, 
Ogres iniquitous, dv/elled, whom Corin, proud 
Of Tyrrhene monsters slain, slew, and at once 
Sheer o'er the crags dashed ; Cormoran, and those vilo, 
Whose far descendant Rhytho, Uther's son 
Brained with red brand on the high Comubian mount 
That still o'erpeers the Atlantic ; once, as well, 
The Llionnese viewed, and all the Armor ic shore 
Inundate now for aye, but haunt of brood 
Like these enorme, in lays chivalric famed ; 
"Who in towers of brass abode, or burnished steel, 
That all the region round imblazed ; with throng 
Of damsels dungeoned, and brave knights unhorse-l j 
Fire-breathing dragons, guardians of their gates ; 
IJut all, in tine, by some proud paladin 
Of table round, or peer imperial quelled. 

Lucifer. Behold the common narrow sea, 
Which like a strong man's arm, 
Keeps back two foes whose lips, wrath- white, 
Prove hearts with rage oft warm. 
It is very sure, this land we near 
Should all things take their natural course, 
Sometime in sea will disappear. 

Festus. And if they do, it might be worse j 
In peace and war she is with the sea, 
By fate conjoined inseparably. 
How shall my country fight. 
When her foes rise against her ; 
But with thine arm, sea, 
The arm which thou lentst her ? 
"Where shall my country be buried, 
When bounden to die ? 
Let her choose out her place in the sphere, 
Where she shall lie. 



FE8TU8. 151 

She hath brethren more than a hundred, 

And they all crave room ; 

They may die, and may lie where they live ; 

They shall not mix with her doom. 

AMiere, but within thine arms, O sea, O sea ? 

"\^'herein slie hath lived and gloried, let her rest be. 

"When we dream of her end, and her tomb, 

We will rise, and will say to the sea. Flow over her ; 

We will cry to the death of the deep, Cover lier. 

England, my country, great and free, 

Heart of the world, I leap to thee. 

Lucifer. It's land ; and that's enough for me. 

Festus. What were the world's without thine history ? 
Let faith her rites, her creeds to Israel trace ; 
Earth 8 lore, earth's art, let flow from Gnecla's race ; 
Owe Christendom to Rome its states, its laws ; 
The freedom of mankind is England's cause. 
To science, learning, law, religion, she 
Adds nature's grace supreme, of liberty. 
Mother of empire, native to command, — 
WTiose stem self-rule to fickler realms makes known 
A love which serves, but serving, awes, the throne ; 
Hope, yet, and aid, of thrall, in every land ; 
She first refused with slavery to defile 
Her shores ; and God looked do wn, and blessed the Isle j 
Saying : — In this cause, Albion, fare thou forth ; 
Thy fleets, thy hosts, thy peoples, round the earth ; 
Elect of powers 1 be first in wealth, as worth ; 
To lands less blessed teach thou fair freedom's charms ; 
Fear not the snares of peace ; nor war's alarms ; 
And leave with heaven the issue of Our arms. 

LuciFEK, 'Tis not for that, she is dear to me. 
What I admire is her humility. 

Festus. Sanctuary of peace and song ; of toil coUeagned 
With science, ever largening this, like the orb 
Loaded with golden rain of annual stars, 
Preponderative, prolific ; kingly wealth 
Bringing to many a black mechanic burgh 
Gas-breath'd, steam-pulsed ; and which, by day obscure, 
Strangely at night, bright, oft to star-seer skilled, 
Who in neighbouring planet notes, maybe, with lens 
Than ours more potent, earth's pale spherelet, gives 
Sore brain-ache to divine ; — isle, with aU charms 
Natural and social blessed : here, cultured plain, 
Green hill, there ; grainy level, and fruit-fraught vale ; 
Downs, dear to freedom ; dim and misty moor, 
Where aches the eye with objectless survey ; 
And long dun moss, by cairn or comlech crowned ; 
Or lithic dance of giants, 'neath the moon ; 
Hurlers, or wrestlers, who by sport profaned 
Hours holy ; or bridal revellers, like beguiled, 
That, scornful of Sabbatic peace, till primes, 



152 FE8TU8. 

Footed their fool's reel ; and so, fitly earned 
Their stony transformation ; days of rest 
Are theirs, now, unpervert ; now, o'er their ears, 
The gold-stacked thunder-pipes grave anthems drone, 
And voluntaries, in vain ; in vain to them 
Church-chimes, for aye. 

Lucifer. Indeed 'tis very sad. 

Legends are these quite touching in their tone : 
Instructive, too, remark, when left alone. 
Kow get on land ; quick, hie along ; 
O'er forest, copse, and glade ; 
We have but a league or two more to go, 
Before our journey's made ; 
With speed that flings the sun into the shade. 

Festus. See the gold sunshine, patching, 
And streaming and streaking across 
The grey-green oaks ; and catching. 
By its long brown beard, the moss. 

Lucifer. I have shown thee as I promised, eartJi. 
That rightly thou mightst count its worth, 
To have and hold. To me it seems 
Like valuable with last month's dreams. 

Festus. It favours virtue to have been 
But witness of a glorious scene, 
Where truth hath taught, and wisclom dwelt ; 
Where freedom fought, and faith aspired 
To earn the love her soul desired ; 
Where right hath triumphed, wrong hath knelt { 
And peace the heaven diffused she felt. 

Lucifer. It may be. Should I find it so, 
Another time, and elsewhere, thou shalt know. 
But now ; ah, here's an open plain ; 
Here, we'll get down. 
Away, good steeds : be off, again. 

Festus. We must be near to town, 
I am bound to thee for ever 
By the pleasure of this day ; 
Henceforth let us never sever, 
Come what come may. 



FE8TU3. 153 



XL 



After travel, homelier life, 
A country tnorry-making, a village feast 
May even please, where, with the local world 
We' mix in private ; seriously converse 
Of light things, lightly enough of serious. Skilled 
To revive dead lore, and magnify extinct 
Arts, and extol sjTnbolic wisdom, here 
The world-man in the student finds a friend. 
Henceforth a power in life, or open, or hid. 
The new star mounts the mid-sky ; from his stance 
Acts fateful ; now opposing, now conjoined. 
Record of strange spheres hear, scarce stranger still 
Than ours. Let hope just thought of deathless soul 
Kind Deity, and tho dole which aye itself 
Recrowns from ruin's fruit, form. Spirit is here 
As at dead water balanced : back no more 
Can it ; advance 'twill not. How ends the strife? 
Weight well with worlds the star-scale, and with ends 
Incompassable of man unhelped, who'd win 
This soul. 

A Village Feast. Evening Twilight, 
Festus and Lucifer. Afterwards Others. 

Festus. It is getting- dark. One has to walk quite close 
To see the pretty faces that we meet. 

Lucifer. A disagreeable necessity, most 
Truly. 

Festus. We'll rest upon this bridge. I'm tired. 
Yon tall slim tree I does it not seem as made 
For its place just there, a kind of natural maypole ? 
Beyond, tlie lighted stalls with the good things stored 
Of childhood's simple world : and behind them 
The shouting showman, and the clashing cymbal ; 
The open-doored cottages and blazing hearths ; 
The little ones running up with naked feet. 
And cake in either hand, to their mother's lap ; 
Old and young laughing ; schoolboys with their playthings 
Clowns cracking jokes ; and lasses with sly eyes. 
And the smile settling on their sun-flecked cheek, 
Like noon upon the mellow apricot ; 
Make up a scene I can for once give in to ; 
It must please all, the social and the selfish. 
Are they not happy ? 

Lucii'ER. "Why, what matters it ? 

They seem so : that's enough. 

Festus. But not the same. 

Lucifer. Yet truth and falsehood meet in seeming, like 
The falling leaf and shadow on the pool's face. 
And these are joys like beauty, but skin deep. 

Festus. Remove all such, and what's the joy of earth ? 
It is they create the appetite for life ; 



164 FESTUa. 

Give zest and relish to the lot of millions. 
And take the gust for them away, what's left ? 
A. skeleton of existence, soulless, mean, 

Lucifer, It is pleasure men prefer to power. To stoop 
Is easier than to climb ; and power's above, 
Pleasure, below the soul. They are but few 
Who feel not, this, a weakness, that a woe. 
(^Children at play.') 

Fbstus. Play away, good ones. I could romp with you. 
To look, sometimes, upon a child's fair face 
Such innocence, outward and intense, of life, 
Is resurrection to the heart ; and oft. 
To those who mole-like grope through an earthy life, 
What know they else so indicative of heaven, 
So vast in blessing, as these god-sent kings 
And queens, according to love's dynasties ? 
The might and the delight of nations lies 
In them, and 'tis for them earth's what it is. 

Lucifer. Another row of dragon's teeth, a row 
Of grinders, look ye. 

An Old Man. Pity the poor blind man. 

Festus. Here is substantial pity. 

Old Man. Heaven reward yon. 

Festus. Blind as the blue skies after sunset 1 Blind ! 
Well I too tire of looking upon what is. 
One might as well see beauty never more. 
As view with empty eye. Would all were over ! 
Our pleasures leave us, as sighs leave the heart, 
Though each sigh leaves it lower ; still relieved. 
Nought happens but what happens to oneself. 
It is sad to think how few life's pleasures are, 
Wheref or men risk eternal good. What else, 
One's self except, one's self can satisfy ? 

Lucifer. Too much, soon tells its tale. I quite feel for you. 

Festus. It is sad success, to antedate life, and reap 
'Gainst rule, one's field, ere noon. For what results 
But laborous restitution, sowing, reaping, 
Losing again ? Such toil, such gain alike. 
Tire. Live too slowly, can we, to be good, 
And happy 1 

Lucifer. Nay, how suddenly wise 1 

Festus. But youth, 

Burning to forestall nature, will not wait Time, 
Stern sculls-man with his barge, to ferry it o'er 
Life's stream, but flings itself into the flood, 
Intolerantly, and perisheth. Well, what charm's 
In time, as time, what good ? Are longest days 
Happier than short ones ? What then can age offer ? 
It is sometime now since I was here. We leave 
Our home in youth — no matter to what end ; 
Study — or strife — or pleasure, or what not ; 
And coming back in few short years, wc find 



FE8TU8. 155 

All as we left ifc, outside ; the old elms, 

The house, grass, gates, and latchet's self-same click ; 

But lift that latchet,— all is changed as doom : . 

The servants have forgotten our step, and more 

Than half of those who knew us know us not. 

Advei-sity, prosperity, the grave, 

Play a round game with friends. On some the world 

Hath shot its evil eye, and they are passed 

From honour and remembrance ; and a stare 

Is all the mention of their names receives ; 

And people know no more of them than they know 

The shapes of clouds at midnight, a year hence. 

Lucifer. Let us move on to where the dancing is ; 
"We soon shall see how happy they all are. 
Here is a loving couple quarrelling ; 
And there, another. It is quite distressing. 
See yonder. Two men fighting ! 

Festus. What avail 

These vile exceptions to the rule of joy ? 

LuciFEB. Behold the happiness of which thou spakest ! 
The highest hills are miles below the sky ; , 
And so far is the lightest heart below 
True happiness. 

Festus. To one who knows so well 

What that is, doubtless 'tis a snake-like world, 
Tail aye in mouth, as if it ate itself. 
And moralled time. To others kindlier masked, 
A make-believing cheat, it shows ; to me, 
The world seems like yon children's meny-go-round j 
What men admire are caiTiages and hobbies, 
Which the exalted manikins enjoy. 
There is a noisy ragged crowd below 
Of urchins drives it round, who only get 
The excitement for their pains — best gain perhaps ; 
For it is not they who labour that grow dizzy 
Nor sick ; that's for the idle proud, above ; 
Who soon dismount, more weary of enjoying, 
Than those below of working ; and but fair. 
It is wretchedness or recklessness alone 
Keeps us alive. Were we happy we should die. 
Yet what is death ? I like to think on death : 
It is but the appearance of an apparition. 
One ought to tremble ; but oughts stand for nothing. 
I hate the thought of wrinkling up to rest ; 
The toothlike, aching, ruin of the body. 
With the heart all out, and nothing left but edge. 
Give me the long high boimding sense of life, 
WTiich cries, let me but leap into my grave, 
And I'll not mind the when, nor where. We never 
Care less for life than when enjoying it. 
Youth, youth, shrink not to die. What is, to die ? 
I cannot grasp the meaning more than can 



156 FE8TU8. 

An oak's arms clasp the blast that blows upon it. 
There is an air-like something- which must be, 
And yet not to be seen, nor to be touched. 
I am bound to die ; for having been to myself 
Every thing, there is nothing left but nothing", 
To be again. 

LuciFEE. Hark 1 here's a ballad-singer. 

Ballad-Singek. All of my own composing ! 

Festus. Yes, yes— we know. 

Faemer, The Grypsy maid I We have had that, ten times over. 
She is gone. Glad were we, would the whole tribe follow, 
Nor come again. 

Girl. I mind it well ; and oft 

I wonder if the tale it tells be true. 

Ballad- Singer. Every man's life hath its apocrypha. 
Mine has, at least. I have said more than need be. 
It happened too when I was very young. 
We never meet such gipsies when we are old. 
And yet we more complain of age than youth. 

Lucifer. Another, please, not quite so gloomy, friend ; 
I dare say, you have ditties by the score. 

Ballad-Singer. I dare say, but you want a merrier ? 

Lucifer. Yes, 

We can't be always in canonicals. 
Nor always sermonising'. 

Ballad-Singer. True, for you. 

Now, make a ring, good people. Let me breathe. 



lSlngs» 



Oh ! the Tvce green neuk, the sly green neuk, 

Tlie wee sly neuk, for me ! 
Whare the wheat is wavin' bright and brown, 

And the wind is fresh and free. 
Whare I weave wild weeds, and out o' reeds 

Kerye whissles as I lay ; 
And a douce low voice is murmuriu' by, 

Through the lee-lang simmer day. 
Oh ! the wee green neuk, &c. 

And where a' things luik as though they lo'ed 

To languish in the sun ; 
And that if they feed the fire they dree, 

They wadna ae pang were gone. 
Whare the lift aboon is still as death, 

And bright as life can be ; 
While the douce low voice says, na, na, na ! 

But ye mauna luik sae at me. 
Oh ! the wee green neuk, &c. 

Whare the lang rank bent is saft and cule, 

And freshenin' till the feet ; 
And the spot is sly, and the spinnie high, 

Whare my love and I mak' seat : 
And I teaze her till she rins, and then, 

I catch her roun' the tree ; 
While the poppies shak' their heids and blush : 

Let them blush till they drap, for me ! 
Oh ! the wee green neuk, &c. 



FE8TU8, 157 

pESTUS, And all who know such feeling's and such scenes 
Will, I am sure, reward you. Here — take this. 

Others. And this, and this — too I 

Singer. Thank ye all, good friends I 

Festus. There's much that hath no merit but its truth, 
And no excuse but nature. Nature does 
Never wrong : it is society which sins. 
Look at the bee upon the wing among flowers ; 
How brave, how bright his life. Then mark him hived, 
Cramped, cringing in his self -built social cell. 
Thus is it in the world-hive : most where men 
Lie deep in cities as in drifts, death drifts ; 
Nosing each other like a flock of sheep ; 
Not knowing and not caring whence nor whither 
They come or go, so that they fool together. 

Lucifer. It is quite fair to halve these lives, and say 
This life is nature's, that society's, 
■\Mien both are side-views only of one thing. 

Farmer. Here comes his reverence. Sir, it does one good 
To see you come among us, in these days. 

Parson. Why, I have but little comfort in these pastimes ; 
And any heart, turned Godwards, feels more joy 
Li one short hour of prayer, than e'er was raised 
By all the feasts on earth, since their foundation. 
But no one will believe us ; as if we 
Had never known the vain things of the world] 
Nor lain and slept in sin's seducing shade. 
Listless, imtil God woke us ; made us feel 
We should be up and stirring in the sun; 
For everything had to be done ere night^ 
Wliat is all this joy and jollity about ? 
Grant there may be no sin. What good is it ? 

Fabmer. I can't defend these feasts, sir, and can't blame. 

Parson. Good evening, friends ! Why, Festus I I rejoice 
We meet again. I have a young friend here, 
A student — who hath stayed with us of late. 
You would be glad I know to know each other ; 
Therefore be known so. 

Festus. You arc a student, sir. 

Student. I profess little. But it is a title 
A man may claim perhaps with modesty. 

Festus. True. All mankind are students. How to live 
And how to die forms the great lesson still. 
I know what study is : it is to toil 
Hard, through the hours of the sad midnight watch, 
At tasks which seem a systematic curse, 
And course of bootless penance. Night by night. 
To trace one's thought as if on iron leaves ; 
And sorrowful as though it were the mode 
And date of death we wrote on our own tombs : 
Wring a slight sleep out of the couch, and see 
The self -same moon which lit us to our rest, 



158 FE8TU8. 

Her place scarce changed perceptibly in heaven, 

Now light us to renewal of our toils. 

This, to the young mind, wild and all in leaf. 

Which knowledge, grafting, paineth. Fruit soon comes ; 

And more than all our' troubles pays us powers ; 

So that we joy to have endured so much : 

Slaved, slain ourselves, almost. More ; it is to strive 

To bring the mind up to one's own esteem : 

Who but the generous fail ? It is to think, 

While thought is standing thick upon the brain, 

As dew upon the brow — for thought is brain-sweat — 

And gathering quick and dark, like storms in summer, 

Until convulsed, condensed, in lightning sport, 

It plays upon the heavens of the mind ; 

Opens the hemisphered abysses here, 

And we become revealers to ourselves. 

Student. When night hath set her silver lamp on high, 
Then is the time for study : when heaven's light 
Pours itself on the page, like prophesy 
On time, unglooming all its mighty meanings ; 
It is then we feel the sweet strength of the stars. 
And magic of the moon. 

LuciFEK. It's a bad habit. 

Student. And wisdom dwells in secret, and on high. 
As do the stars. The sun's diurnal glare 
Is for the worldly herd ; but for the wise. 
The cold pure radiance of the night -bom light. 
Wherewith is inspiration of the truth. 
Time was, I ne'er sought rest before the sun 
Rose broad ; and, maybe, for that sacrifice, 
Through a like length of time as that now gone, 
The world shall speak of me six thousand years hence 

LuciFEE. How know you that the world won't end to-morrow ? 

Paeson. I, now, an early riser, love to hail 
The dreamy struggles of the stars with light. 
And the recovering breath of earth, sleep drowned, 
Awakening to the wisdom of the sun, 
And life of light within the tent of heaven ; 
To kiss the feet of Morning as she walks 
In dewy light along the hills, while they, 
All-odorous as an angel's fresh-culled crown. 
Unveil to her their bounteous loveliness. 

Student. I am devote to study. Worthy books 
Are not companions ; they are solitudes ; 
We lose ourselves in them and all our cares. 
The further back we search the human mind, 
Mean in the mass, but in the instance great ; 
Which starting first with deities, and stars. 
And broods of beings earth-born, heaven-begot, 
And all the bright side of the broad world, now 
Boats upon dreams and dim atomic truths ; 
Is all for comfort and no more for glory » 



FE8TUB. 159 

The nobler and more marvellous it shows. 
Trilles like these make up the present time ; 
llie Iliad and the Pyramids the past. 

Festus. The future will have glory not the less. 
I can conceive a time when the world shall be 
Much better visibly, and when, as far 
As social life and its relations tend, 
Men, morals, manners shall be lifted up 
To a pure height we know not of nor dream ; 
When all men's rights and duties shall be clear, 
And charitably exercised and borne ; 
When education, conscience, and good deeds 
Shall have just equal sway, and civil claims ; 
Great crimes shall be cast out, as were of old 
Devils possessing madmen ; truth shall reign, 
Nature shall be rethroned, and man sublimed. 

Student. Oh I then may heaven come down again to earth ; 
And dwell with her, as once, like to a friend. 

LuciFEB. As like each other as a sword and scythe. 
Oh I then shall lions mew and lambkins roar. 

Festus. And having studied — what next ? 

Student. Much I long 

To view tlie capital city of the world. 
The mountains, the great cities, and the sea, 
Are each an era in the life of youth, 

Festus. There to get worldly ways, and thoughts, and schemes ; 
To learn to detect, distrust, despise mankind ; 
To ken a false factitious glare amid much 
That shines with seeming saintlike purity ; 
To gloss misdeeds ; to trifle with great truths ; 
To pit the brain against the heart, and plead 
Wit before wisdom ; these are the world's ways : 
It learns us to lose that in crowds, which we 
Must after seek alone, our innocence ; 
And when the crowd is gone. 

Student. Not only that : 

There, all great things are round one. Interests 
Mighty and mountainous even of estimate. 
Are daily heaped or scattered 'neath the eye. 
Great deeds, great thoughts, great schemes, world-bettering, all 
In practice possible, or in purpose great, 
Of human nature, there, are common things. 
Men make themselves be deathless as in spite ; 
As if they waged some lineal feud with time ; 
As though their fathers were immortal, too ; 
And immortality an every-day 
Accomplishment. 

Festus. Fie 1 fie I it is more for this : 

Amid gayer x)eople, and more wanton ways, 
To give a loose to all the lists of youth ; 
To train your passion flowers high ahead, 
And bind them on your brow as others do. 



led PMTus. 

The momlit revel and the shameless mate ; 
The tabled hues of darkness and of blood ; 
The published bosom and the crowning' smile ; 
The cup excessive ; and if aught there be 
More vain than these or wanton, — that to have- 
Have all but always in intent, effect, 
Or fact. Nay, nay, deny it not : I know. 
Youth hath a strange and strong desire to try 
All feelings on the heart : it is very wrong. 
And dangerous, and deadly : strive against it ! 

Student. It might be some old sage was warning us. 

Festus. Youth might be wise. We suffer less from paina 
Than pleasures. 

Student. I should like to see the world, 

And gain that knowledge which i* — 

Festus. Barrener 

Than ice ; possessing and producing nought 
But means and forms of death or vanity. 
The world is just as hollow as an eggshell. 
It is a surface, not a solid, mind : 
And all this boasted knowledge of the world 
Means but acquaintance with low things, it seems 
To me, things evil, or things indifferent. 

Faemer. Much more is said of knowledge than its worth. 
A man may gain all knowledge here, and yet 
Be, after death, as much in the dark as I. 

Lucifer. What makes you know of living after death ? 

Farmer. Why, nothing that I know, and there it is ! — 
But something I am told has told me so. 
No angel ever came to me to prove it ; 
And all my friends have died and left no ghosts. 

Festus. All that is good a man may learn from himself ; 
And much, too, that is bad. 

Parson. Nay, let me speak I 

Aught that is good the soul receives of God, 
When he hath made it his ; and until then, 
Man cannot know, nor do, nor be, aught good. 
Oh I there is nought on earth worth being known 
But God and our own souls — the God we have 
Within our hearts ; for it is not the hope. 
Nor faith, nor fear, nor notions others have 
Of God can serve us, but the sense and soul 
We have of him within us ; and, for men, 
God loves us men each individually. 
And deals with us in order, soul by soul. 

Lucifer. But this is not the place for sermons. 

Parson. True 

We heard once, Festus, you were travelling : 
Pray, in what parts ? 

Festus. Among the outer orbs. 

PARSOif. Nay, surely not so far ; except in thought, 
Perchance, or calculation. 



FESTU8. 161 

Festus. a month back 

I was in giant land. 

Parson. Ah ! fee-faw-fum ? — 

They did not eat you, there ? 

Festus. Oh 1 no. They much 

Preferred their usual fare. 

Parson. "VMiat might it be ? 

Not Englishmen and hasty pudding, eh ? 

Festus. They are no more cannibals than you or 1 ; 
But are of various tastes, and patronize, 
I know, rich diet. 

Parson. It's excusable. 

And they are great consumers, I dare say. 

Festus. A wheat-stack of our friend's here would but make 
One loaf of bread for them. Oak trees they use 
As pickles, and tall pines as toothpicks ; whales. 
In their own blubber fried, serve as mere fish 
To bait their appetites. Boiled elephants, 
Rhinoceroses, and roasted crocodiles — 
Every thing dished up whole — with lions stewed, 
Shark sauce, and eagle pie, and young giraffes, 
Make up a potluck dinner, — if there's plenty. 
Then as for game, the pterodactyles 
And ichthyosauri are great dainties there, 
Coming in season only once an age. 
They reckon there by ages, not by years. 

Student. And as to beverage ? 

Festus. Oh ; if thirsty, they 

Will lay them down and drink a river dry, 
Nor once draw breath. 

Parson. Ah 1 camel, gnat, and all. 

Festus. Others are more abstemious, and consume 
Egg-broth and simples chiefly. There was one 
Who when I saw him first sat by a fire : 
An egg, an hour-glass, and a water bowl 
Being before him. All he said was this : — 
WTien the sand is run 
The egg is done. 
This he first boiled, then roasted, and then ate. 

Student. What soi-t of one ? Perhaps an ostrich egg 1 

Festus. Much larger. Here is nothing of the kind. 
The yolk was like the sun seen in a fog ; 
The white was thin and clouded, and the shell. 
Heavy and hard, as is our earth-pie crust. 

Lucifer. What kind of bird it was that laid it — guess I 

Parson. Continue. You have travelled in the dark ; 
But wisdom sometimes inns with ignorance. 
"What of their persons, habits, language, creed 1 

Festus. Huger than Xapheleim of old, whose bulk 
Cast cloudlike shadows on the eclipsed caxth. ; 
Huger than those our childhood's chap-books brand ; 
Or all whose deeds till now defile romance ; 



162 FE8TU8. 

Albadan, and those monstrous, sire and son, 

Wh.oni Amadis, the flower of knights, o'erthrew, 

Not counting- much of giants — so to win 

His Oriana bright at Miraflor ; 

In form and stature, these, as mountain -sized, 

Could walk through woods like ours as through long grass. 

They live seven thousand years of years like man's, 

And then die suddenly ; when death takes place 

Tliey bu;in the bodies always in a lake, 

The spray whereof is ashes, and its depths 

Unfathomable fire ; and never mourn ; 

Use little verbal language, but express 

All thouglit by action, and oracular use 

Of eye or hand. Their chief religion seems 

Self punishment by sin and rites of fire. 

'Twould do the godless good to visit once, 

One of this awful race whom late I saw ; 

And who, were time and place more fitting — 

Student. Kny, 

We are apart from others. Nothing sa-^^e 
Yon heavenly ark which floats among the stars, 
Now resting on an Ararat of clouds, 
Hath leave to overlook us. 

Parson. Pray proceed. 

Festus. Once I had travelled through a weary world, 
Than all in heaven more barren and forlorn ; 
Dark as the wild heart of a thunder-cloud ; 
Strewn with the wrecks and ashes of all orbs, 
Firestranded, rolling in quick agony ; 
Peopled with burning ghosts dislimbed and chaired ; 
And in the midst a giant, by a fire, 
Kindled of burning passions, and full fed 
With sins long seasoned ; at whose feet there stood 
A crystal cistern, brimmed with human tears, 
Which sprinkled but inflamed the fire withal ; 
The giant all while watching with stem mien. 
And ruthless interest the w-hole. Dread sir 1 
Said I, as I drew near, what angers thee ? 
He answered not, but pointed ; and I saw, 
Full in the midst of that infernal fire, 
Blazing aghast in solar solitude, 
A panting shadow, which, with skeleton eyes. 
And woe-gouged countenance, whereon was hung 
A white eclipse, like darkness pale with pain, — 
Watched for the disappearance of the heavens 
With a despairing hope : entranced it lay 
In palpitant torments self -perpetuate, racked 
Ever ; anon turned restlessly, and cried 
Woe, woe is me 1 Eternal Spirit God 1 
Thy wrath is heaviest when made bearable. 
Put forth thy strength and sweep the universe. 
With me, into the night of nothingness, 



FESTU8. 168 

Thafc sin and soul may perish. Woe is me f 

Still shine the blessed heavens, and still, like ice 

By art fire-frozen, my dole my dole renews. 

And the giant laughed, glad in his ministery 

Of scathe ; and blew, with all his breath, his hell, 

Still fiercer — till it bellowetl, and the orb 

Beneath my foot sole seared, and I took leave ; 

For there was somewhat in the giant's air, 

And his huge balefii-e, and the naked plain — 

Bald as the scalp of Time — which caused me 4read. 

Parson. I doubt not all you say is memory's birth. 
Conceived of fiction. Never mortal man 
Hath travelled in another sphere than this. 
It was a vision, Festus, say, a dream. 

Festus. Say as you will, is not a dream a fact ? 

Parson. Dreams you have dreamed till you believe in them ; 
But such as these are awesome. Not the less 
View them vouchsafed as warnings. Oft the mind, 
Freed by angelic sleep from bodily bonds, 

Knows ucenes and themes like these you have named, which tend 
To edifying much. Such travel is 
Like mine, the travail simply of the brain. 

Festus. It is pure reaKty. 

Parson. Well, say no more. 

We may pursue the sense of things too far. 
True travellers they through all the lands of life, 
Moral, emotional, or love's sunny zone ; 
The palm-graced pilgrims of truth's holy land, 
Who, all experienced, reason, wisdom find, 
And virtue less without than in themselves. 
So through all moral schools, the cold, stern porch, 
Divine, impassive ; garden gay, where still 
Dwelled pleasure scarce than vii'tue less severe 
And stately grove of lofty lore select ; 
The truth sought soul progresses, till we find 
Our home is where she leads ; and we are guests 
But of our guide ; the shrine she shows, herself. 
The golden side of heaven's great shield is faith ; 
The silver, reason. You see this, I that ; 
The junction is invisible to both. 

Student. One thing is sometimes said, another meant. 

Lucifer. "What ai-e your politics ? 

Farmer. I have none. 

Lucifer. Good. 

Farmer. I have my thoughts. I am no party man. 
I cai'e for measures more than men, but tliink 
Some little may depend upon the men ; 
Something in fires depends upon the grate. 

First Boy. What are your colours ? 

Second. Blue as heaven. 

Third. And mine 

Are yellow as the sun, 

o 2 



164 FE8TUS. 

FiEST. Mine, green as grass. 

Second. Green's forsaken, and yellow's forsworn ; 
And blue's the colour that shall be worn. 

Student. As to religion, politics, law, and war, 
But little need be said. All are required, 
And all are well enough. Of liberty, 
And slavery, and tyranny we hear 
Much ; but the human mind affects extremes. 
The heart is in the middle of the system ; 
And all affections gather round the truth, 
The moderated joys and woes of life. 
I love my God, my country, kind and kin ; 
Nor would I see a dog wronged of his bone. 
My country ! if a wretch should e'er arise, 
Out of thy countless sons, who would curtail 
Thy freedom, dim thy glory, — while he lives 
May all earth's peoples curse him — for of all 
Hast thou secured the blessing ; and if one 
Exist who would not arm for liberty. 
Be he, too, cursed living : and when dead, 
Let him be buried downwards, with his face 
Looking to hell ; and o'er his coward grave 
The hare skulk, in her form. 

Lucifer. Nay, gently, friend. 

Curse nothing, not the Devil. He's beside you — 
For aught you know. 

Student. I neither know nor care. 

{They 2>ass some card-players.^ 

FESTUa Kings, queens, knaves, tens, would trick the world away, 
And it were not now and then for some brave ace. 

Student. You see yon wretched starved old man ; his brow 
Grooved out with wrinkles like the brown dry sand 
The tide of life is leaving ? 

Lucifer. Yes, I see him. 

Student. Last week he thought he was about to die : 
So he bade gold be strewn beneath his pillow, 
Gold on a chest that he might lie and see, 
And gold put in a basin on his bed, 
That he might dabble with his fingers in. 
He's going now to grope for pence or pins. 
He never gave a pin's worth in his life. 
What would you do to him ? 

Lucifer. I would have him wrought 

Into a living wire, which beaten out. 
Might make a golden network for the world ; 
Then melt him inch by inch, and hell by hell, 
"Where is the law of wrath. 

Student. Oh, charity 1 

It is a thought the Devil might be proud of — 
Once and away. Misers and spendthrifts may 
Torment each other in the world to come. 

Lucifer. And thus do men apportion their own lot j 



FESTU3. 165 

A j»Tain ot comfoi-t and a sack of sin. 

Festus. Men look on death as lightning, always far 
Off, or in heaven. They know not it is in 
Themselves, a strong and inward tendency, 
Tlio soul of eveiy atom, every hair : 
That nature's infinite electric life, 
Escaping from each isolated frame, 
Up out of earth, or down from heaven, becomes 
To each its proper death, and adds itself 
Thus to the great reunion of the whole. 
There is a man in mourning 1 What does he here ? 

Student. He has just buried the only friend he had, 
And now comes hither to enjoy himself. 

Festus. Why will we dedicate the dead to God, 
And not om-selves the living ? Oft we speak, 
With tears of joy and trust, of some dear friend 
As surely up in heaven ; while that same soul, 
For aught we know, may be shuddering even in hell 
To hear his name named ; or a wandering ghost, 
lyioon-eyed, which gasps to read on marble slab 
His virtue-lauding epitaph ; or there may be 
No soul i' the case, and the fat icy worm. 
Give him a tongue, can tell us all about him. 

Student. Here is music. Stay. That simple melody 
Comes on the heart like infant innocence, 
Pure feeling pure ; while yet the new-bodied soul 
Is swinging to the motion of the heavens, 
And scarce hath caught, as yet, earth's backening course. 

Festus. The heart is formed as earth was — its first age 
Formless and void, and fit but for itself ; 
TTien feelings half alive, just organized. 
Come next, — then creeping sports and purposes ; 
Then animal desires, delights, and loves — 
For love is the first and granite-like effect 
Of things — the longest and the highest : next 
The wild and winged desires, youth's saurian schemes, 
Which creep and fly by turns ; which kill and eat, 
And do disgorge each other ; comes at length 
Humanity to perfect life, and divide. 
By woman. Great their bliss, but ill arrives. 
Or the insipidity of an innocent soul 
Palls : or some fatal act, a curse, a death, 
An exile's laid upon it, and it goes — 
Quits its green Eden for the sandy world, 
"VMiere it works out its nature, as it may ; 
In sweat, smiles, blood, tears, cursings, and what not. 
And giant sins jwssess it ; and it worships 
Works of the hand, head, heart — its own or others — 
A creature worship, which excludeth God's : 
The less thrusts out the greater. Warning comes, 
But the heart fears not — feels not ; till at last 
Down comes the flood from heaven ; and that heart, 



166 FESTU8. 

Broken inwards, eartlilike, to its central hell : 

Or like the bright and burning- eye we see 

Inly, when pressed hard backwards on the brain, 

Ends and begins again — destroyed, is saved. 

Every man is the first man to himself, 

And Eves are just as plentiful as apples ; 

Nor do we fall, nor are we saved, by proxy. 

The Eden we live in is our own heart ; 

And the first thing we do, of our free choice, 

Is sure and necessary to be sin. 

Each to himself is also the last man, 

And with him bears and earns the world's vast doom. 

LuciFEE. The only right men have is to be damned. 
What is the good of music, or the beauty ? 
Music tells no tmths. 

Festus. True ; but it suggests 

And illustrates the highest of all truths, 
The harmony of all things — even of earth. 
With its great Author. Oh ! there is nought so sweet 
As lying and listening music from the hands. 
And singing from the lips, of one we love ; 
Lips that all others should be tuned to. Then 
The world would all be love and song ; heaven's harps 
And orbs join in ; the whole be harmony ; 
Distinct, yet blended — blending all in one 
Long and delicious tremble like a chord. 
But to thee, God 1 all being is a harp 
Whereon thou makest mightiest melody. 

Lucifer. Hast ever been in love, friend ? 

Student. Never, T 

Festus. Spite of morality or of mystery, love 
It is, which mostly destinates our life. 
What makes the world in after life I know not ; 
For our horizon alters as we age : 
Power only can make up for the lack of love ; 
Bower of some sort. The mind at one time grows 
So fast, it fails ; and then its stretch is more 
Than its strength ; but, as it opes, love fills it up, 
Like to the stamen in the flower of life. 
Till for the time we well-nigh grow aU love ; 
And soon we feel the want of one kind heart 
To love what's well, and to forgive what's ill, 
In us, — that heart we play for at all risks. 

Student. How can the heart, which lies embodied deep, 
In blood and bone, set like a ruby eye 
Into the breast, be made a toy for beauty, 
And, vane-like, blown about by every wanton sigh ? 
How can the soul, the rich star- travelled stranger. 
Who here sojourneth only for a purchase, 
Eisk all the riches of his years of toil, 
And his God-vouched inheritance of heaven, 
For one light taste of love 2 which makes forget 



FE8TU8. 167 

By force of juice Lethean all beside 
Of lore, or studious gain, or so I have heard ; 
Love being itself most perishable of things, 
A vanishing quantity, at the best. 

Lucifer. No matter I 

It is so ; and when once you know the sport, 
The crowded pack of passions in full cry, 
The sweet deceits, the tempting obstacles, 
The smile, the sigh, the tear, and the embrace, 
With kisses close as stars in the Milky Way, 
In at the death, you cry, though 'twere your own ; 
Or, so I have heard. 

Student. Most sound morality ! 

Nothing is thought of virtue, then, nor judgment ? 

Lucifer. Oh ! everything Ls thought of — but not then. 
And — judgment — no ! it is nowhere in the field. 

Student. Slow-paced and late arriving, still it comes. 
I cannot understand this love ; I hear 
Of its idolatry, more than its respect. 

Festus. Respect is what we owe ; love what we give. 
And men would mostly rather give than pay. 
Meanwhile let no vain teachings lead aside : 
Morality's the sole right rule for all. 
Nor could society cohere without 
Virtue were loved ; there are whose spirits walk 
Abreast of angels and the future, here. 
Respect and love thou such. 

Lucifer. Of course you wish 

Women to love you rather than love them. 
Well, mind 1 it is folly to tell women truth ! 
They would rather live on lies so they be sweet. 
Never be long in one mmd to one love. 
You change your practice with your subject. All 
Differ. But yet, who knows one woman well 
By heart, knows all. It is my experience ; 
And I advise on good authority. 

Festus. Time laughs at love. It is a hateful sight, 
That bald old grey-beard jeering the boy. Love. 
Passion is from affection ; and there is nought 
So maddening and so lowering as to have 
The worse in passion. Thhik, when one by one, 
Pride, love, and jealousy, and fifty more 
Great feelings column up to force a heart. 
And all are beaten back, — all fail— all fall : 
The tower intact ; but risk it : we must learn. 
To know the world, be wise and be a fool. 
The heart will have its swing — the world its way : 
Who seeks to stop them, only throws himself down. 
We must take as we find : go as they go, 
Or stand aside. Let the world have the wall. 
How do you think, pray, to get tlirough the world ? 

Student. I mean not to get thi'ough the world at all 



168 fESTUS 

But over it. 

Festus. Aspiring I you will find 
The world is all up-hill when we would do ; 
All down-hill when we suffer. Nay, it will part 
Like the Eed Sea, so that the poor may pass. 
We make oar compliments to wretchedness, 
And hope the poor want nothing-, and are well. 
But I mean, what profession will you choose ? 
Purely you will do something- for a name. 

Student. Names are of much more consequence than things. 

Festus. Vv^ell ; here's our honest, all-exhorting- friend, 
The parson — liere the doctor. I am sure 
The Devil might act as moderator there, 
And do mankind some service. 

Lucifer. In his way. 

Student. But I care neither for men's souls nor bodies. 

Festus. What say you to the law ? Are you ambitious ? 

Student. Nor do I mind for other people's business, 
I have no heart for their predicaments : 
I am for myself. I measure everything 
By, what is it to me ? from which I find 
I have but little in common with the mass, 
Except my meals and so forth ; dress and sleep. 
I have that within me I can live upon : 
Spider-like, spin my place out anywhere. 

LuciEHE. This youth I have long observed as one most apt 
By virtue of like studies to thine own ; 
(And to meet two such wizards in one night 
Seems a delight scarce credible,) to form 
A future friend. Not had it been so planned 
By subtlest wit, could our rencounter here 
More fortunate be, more opportune. 

Festus. Agreed. 

I think I see in him a want supplied 
Of life doomed lonely enough. Nor seems he lured 
By traits of popular art or mercenary : 
But more through intellectual penance given 
To obsolescent quests than feastful crafts. 
To none of all the sciences, nor arts. 
Astral, or earthy, you feel your mind, then, drawn ! 

Student. Why no ; there are so many rise and fail and fall, 
One knows not which to choose. 

Festus. True ; for as for the stars, 

I never lock on them without dismay. 
Earth hath outrun them in our modem mind 
By worlds of odds. We have lost all sympathies 
With the e'er moving skies, and seem, ourselves, 
To the eternal less, and less concerned 
In act and use of heavenly things, than when 
Poor earth was almost all. Enough for us 
It seems, and our cold reckoners to jot down 
Their revolutions, distances, and squares ; 



FESTUa. 169 

While the bright laws which stars and spirits rule, 

From deep-toned Saturn ; from the sea-god's stai-, 

And thunderous bass of heaven's immediate orb, 

WTiose inefficient ray, or good or ill 

Fails to decide here, to the shrill-voiced moon, 

Are buried, grave on grave. Who now will care 

To learn of things more spiritual than facts 

Totalled up, day by day ? Who now aspires, 

Aweful, to attain the spells of secret power. 

And safety, say, 'gainst spirits supernal, taught 

By ancient seers and sages ? Who now knows 

Of fourfold worlds and elemental spheres 

Concentric, like the ring the wizard draws 

Round him, which lord our earth ; yet in such wise 

That still, through them, we may conjoin our souls 

To the starry guardians of all worlds, beyond 

Moon-mansions, and heaven's burning heart, where dwell 

Celestial spirits all-knowing, and divine 

Demons ? All, infinitely unsought, are deemed 

Doubtless, extinct. No danger now of aught 

Knowing, which ought not justly to be known. 

And you, ye planetary sons of light. 

Your aspects, dignities, gifts, and detriments, 

And all your heavenly houses and effects. 

Unknown to shallow sciolists, shall no more 

Meet here, devout expounders. Ye shall shine 

Henceforth, in vain, to man ; cease to reward, 

Or instigate ; and you, too, ye juried signs, 

Earth's sun-surrounding path illuming, mind 

Move ye no more ; nought more of faith feel men 

In the eternal order, Grod was deemed 

To have made common once 'tween heaven and earth ; 

But all the starry inclusions of all signs 

Shall rise, and rule and pass, and no one know 

There are worlds whose spirit-rulers fraternize 

With ours ; and unsuspect, high commune hold. 

In the shining voices of the spheres, with souls 

Of astral purity. The mystic charm 

In numbers, and the all-various unity 

Of being, repetitive, which ones with God 

The whole, and coming from, to him returns. 

Allures no more man's mind, debased ; nor, now, 

The mysteries of names ; yet wot we well 

That natural perfection multiplied 

By spiritual, on monadic deity based, 

God's names, as known to men and angels, gives ; 

And how thus Fate rules, really all, by means 

Mediate, and nominal. 

Student. Take, too, chemic art ; 

What do men now ? Weigh atoms ; count them ; rate 
Their mean affinities, laws. The starry stone, 
Golden, invisible, principle of life, 

o3 



15rd FE8TU8. 

Fine quintessence of all the elements, 

Is still unbouglit ; still flows the stream of pearl 

Beneath the magic mountain ; still the scent 

As of thousand amaranth wreaths, all life which lures, 

Though vainly, unto its sweetness, floats around 

Mistlike, the sliining bath where Luna laves, 

Or Sol, bright brother of that mooned maid, 

Triumphs. The earth celestial, the live land, 

Still is, though veiled ; still breathe for those who will, 

The airs of Paradise. The watery fire, 

Destructive, recreative, impalpable. 

The initial and conclusion of the world, 

The secret of creation shared 'tween God 

And man, now nature's only, timewise, still 

"Waits man's deific choice ; soul's simple light 

Divine, wherein all rudiments blend, still bums 

Our spirits within. The snowy gold, the seed 

Nucleate of star, — by wind impiegned, of God, 

If arbitrary of favour, — bound, being tracked, 

Dismasked, to render rich and deathless all, 

Hides not. The water of deathless life still flows ; 

Still bounds through nature's veins the sanative juice 

Absolvent of disease ; and still, in fine, 

The secrets only to be told by fire. 

Starry, or beamless, central and extreme. 

Bum to be bom. And other natures may 

Use them, and do. In Demogorgon's hall 

Still sits the universal mystery, life 

Hidden in itself, but cognizable in cause. 

By its own willing members : of man, sole. 

The recreant spirit of the world ignored. 

He surface-knowledge loves ; the crimes of crowds 

Calls virtue ; adores the useful vices ; licks 

The gory dust from off the feet of war. 

And swears it food for gods, though fit for fiends 

Only ; reversing, in his own vile plight. 

The Devil's, when first he boarded this our orb, 

A fallen angel's form, a reptile's soul. 

Lucifer. Oh I this is libellous to man and fiend 
And brute together. 

Student. All are ai-t and part 

Of the same mystic treason. But enough 1 
I have seen the end of all earth's loftier lore. 
There shall be no more cabala, nor magic ; 
Nor Rosicrucian nor alchymic skill ; 
Nor fairy fantasies : no more hobgoblins, 
Nor ghosts, nor imps, nor demons. Conjurors, 
Enchanters, witches, wizards, shall all die 
Hopeless, and heirless ; tteir divining arts 
Supernal or infernal, dead, with them. 
And so it will doubtless be with other things 
Jn time ; therefore will I my brain commit 



FE8TU8. 171 

To none of them. 

FE3TU8. Perchance ifc were wiser not : 

Man's heart hath not half uttered itself yet, 
And much remains to do as well as say. 
The heart is some time ere it finds its focus. 
And found, with the whole light of nature strained 
To a hair's-breadth through it, oft, the things it bums 
To search, it lights, oblivious, to their death. 
I had not thought the world within its walls 
Held one so versed in ignorance, so expert 
In things impracticable. You must have lived 
So centrally apart as not to know 
That studies once perchance thought loftiest, since, 
Have lost their footing by proved uselessness ; 
WTiile lowlier ones, which merely better man, 
Bring him more near his Maker. 

Student. I believe 

The world will neither better end nor worse 
For aught I do, or wish to do, or mean. 

Lucifer. Signs of a conscientious recklessness, 
Such thoughts, as touch me and attract, I never 

So fortunate seem as in 'lighting upon friends 
Bent on their own ends, openly. Gcod ; be wise. 

Student. Wisdom is not to know what others know. 

For pTiu.v science patent to mankind 

I reck nought. Secret truth is that I seek. 
Lucifer. And rightly. Pure intelligence alone, 

Unmixed with moral aims, is truly wise. 

To cheapen truth that every one may buy, 

You must so thin the gold as makes it worthless. 

Festus. Nay, but contrariwise ; the more you spread 

Tlie more you emulate truth's deity, 

In his best attribute, the gift of bliss 

To others. Truth for its own sake's worth little ; 

Communicated, priceless. Mix with men; 

Not slavewise to the mass ; but having gained 

In secret freedom, truth, that moral gold 

\\Tiich mind transmutes, perfective from all thought, 

And hath in noblest souls most potent rule, 

Impart to all prepared. 
Student. This alchemy 

How shall I learn, whereby thought truth becomes. 

And knowledge, wisdom ; — raagistery divine ? 

Lucifer. We'll speak of this sometime at leisure. I 

Know one, who could unseal this hidden lore ; 

And hold the wine of wisdom to their lips, 

Who can appreciate her divinest draught. 

Kay, more ; perchance can reconcile the aims 

Of both ; and knowledge supplement with power. 
Festus. Well, farewell, Mr. Student. May you never 

Regret those hours which make the mind, if they 

Unmake the body j for the sooner we 



iH 



FE8TU8. 



Are fit to be all mind, tlie better. Blessed 

Is lie whose heart is the home of the great dead, 

And their great thoughts. Who can mistake great thoughts f 

They seize upon the mind ; arrest and search, 

And shake it ; bow the tall soul as by wind ; 

Rush over it like a river over reeds, 

Which quaver in the current ; turn us cold, 

And pale, and voiceless ; leaving in the brain 

A rocking and a ringing ; glorious. 

But momentary, madness might it last. 

And close the soul with heaven as with a seal 1 

In lieu of all these things whose loss thou moumest; 

If earnestly or not I know not, use 

The great and good and true which ever live ; 

And are all common to pure eyes and true. 

Upon the summit of each mountain-thought 

Worship thou God, with heaven uplifted head 

And arms horizon stretched ; for deity is seen 

From every elevation of the soul. 

Study the light ; attempt the high ; seek out 

The soul's bright path ; and since the soul is fire, 

Of heat intelligential, turn it aye 

To the all-Fatherly source of light and lif o : 

Piety purifies the soul to see 

Visions, perpetually, of grace and power. 

Which, to their sight who in ignorant sin abide, 

Are now as e'er incognizable. Obey 

Thy genius, for a minister it is 

TJnto the throne of Fate. Draw towards thy soul, 

And centralize, the rays which are around 

Of the divinity. Keep thy spirit pure 

From worldly taint, by the repellant strength 

Of virtue. Think on noble thoughts and deeds, 

Ever. Count o'er the rosaiy of truth ; 

And practise precepts which are proven wise. 

It matters not then what thou fearest. Walk 

Boldly and wisely in that light thou hast j — 

There is a hand above will help thee on. 

I am an omnist, and believe in all 

Keligions ; fragments of one golden world 

To be relit yet, and take its place in heaven. 

Where is the whole, sole truth, in deity. 

Meanwhile, his word, his law, writ soulwise here, 

Study ; its truths love ; practise its behests. 

They will be with thee when all else have gone. 

Mind, body, passion all wear out ; not faith 

Nor truth. Keep thy heart cool, or rule its heat 

To fixed enda ; waste it not upon itself. 

Not all the agony maybe of the damned 

Fused in one pang, vies with that earthquake throb 

Which wakens soul from life-waste, to let see 

The world rolled by for aye, and we must wait 



FU8TU8. 1^3 

For onr next chance the nigh eternity ; 
WTiether it be in heaven or elsewhere. 

Student. Sir, 

I will remember this most grave advice 
And think of you with all respect. 

Festus. Well, mind, 

The worst of men may give the best advice. 
Our deeds sometimes are better than our thoughts. 
Commend me, friend, to everyone you meet. 
I am an universal favourite. 
All turn to me whenever I speak, full-faced, 
As planets to the sun, or owls to a rushlight. 
Farewell. 

Student. I hope to meet again. 

Festus. And I. 

LuciFEB. Fear not. Chance favours like recurrences. 

Festus. Tender's a woman singing. Let us hear her. 

Singer. In the grey church tower 

Were the clear bells ringing, 
"When a maiden sat in her lonely bower 

Sadly and lowly singing ; 
And thus she sang, that maiden fair 
Of the soft blue eyes and the long light hair. 

This hand hath oft been held by one 

Who now is far away ; 
And here I sit and sigh alone 

Through all the weary day : 
Oh when will he I love return ? 
And when shall I forget to mourn ? 

Along the dark and dizzy path 

Ambition madly runs, 
'Tis there they say his course he hath, 

And therefore love he shuns ; 
Oh fame and honour crown his brow. 
For 80 he would be with me now. 

In th» grey church tower 

Kept the clear bolls ringing, 
"When a bounding step in that lonely bower 

Broke on the maiden singing ; 
She turned, she saw ; oh happy fair ! 
For her love who loved her bo well was there. 

LuciPEE. And we might trust these youths and maidens fair. 
The world was made for nothing but love, love. 
Now I think it was made most to be burned. 

Festus. The night is glooming on us. It is the hour 
When lovers will speak lowly, for the sake 
Of being nigh each other ; and when love 
Shoots up the eye, like morning on the east, 
Making amends for the long northern night 
They passed, ere either knew the other loved ; 
The hour of hearts ! Say grey-beards what they please, 
The heart of age is like an emptied wine-cup ; 
Its life lies in a heel-tap : how can age judge 1 



Vri FE8TU8. 

'Twere a waste of time to ask how they wasted theirs ; 

But while the blood is bright, breath sweet, skin smooth, 

And limbs all made to minister delight ; 

Ere yet we have shed our locks, like trees their leaves, 

And we stand staring bare into the air ; 

He is a fool who is not for love and beauty. 

It is I, the young, to the young speak, I am of them ; 

And always shall be. "What are years to me f 

You traitor years, that fang the hands ye have licked, 

Vicelike ; henceforth your venom-sacs are gone. 

I have conquered. Ye shall perish : yea, shall fall 

Like birdlets \)eaten by some resistless storm 

'Gainst a dead wall, dead. I pity ye, that such 

Mean things should have raised, in man, or hope or fear ; 

Those Titans of the heart that fight at heaven. 

And sleep, by fits, on fire, whose slightest stir's 

An earthquake. I am bound and blessed to youth. 

None but the brave and beautiful can love. 

Oh give me to the young, the fair, the free. 

The brave, who would breast a rushing, burning world 

Which came between him and his heart's delight. 

Mad must I be, and what's the world ? Like mad 

For itself. And I to myself am all things, too. 

If my heart thundered would the world rock ? Well 

Then let the mad world fight its shadow down. 

Soon there may be nor sun, nor world, nor shadow. 

But thou, my blood, my bright red running soul, 

Eejoice thou, like a river in thy rapids. 

Rejoice, thou wilt never pale with age, nor thin ; 

But in thy full dark beauty, vein by vein 

Serpent- wise, me encircling, shalt, to the end, 

Throb, bubble, sparkle, laugh, and leap along. 

Make merry, heart, while the holidays shall last. 

Better than daily dwine, break sharp with life ; 

Like a stag, sunstruck, top thy bounds, and die. 

Heart, I could tear thee out, thou fool, thou fool ; 

And strip thee into shreds upon the wind. 

What have I done that thou shouldst maze me thus ? 

Lucifer. Let us away ; we have had enough of hearts. 

Festus. Oh for the young heart like a fountain playing 
Flinging its bright fresh feelings up to the skies 
It loves and strives to reach ; strives, loves in vain. 
It is of earth, and never meant for heaven. 
Let us love both and die. The sphinx-like heart 
Loathes life the moment that life's riddle is read. 
The knot of our existence solved, all things 
Loose-ended lie, and useless. Life is had, 
And lo ! we sigh, and say, can this be all ? 
It is not what we thought ; it is very well. 
But we want something more. There is but death. 
Aud when we have said and seen, done, had, enjoyed 
And suffered, maybe, all we have wished, or feared, 



FE8TU8, 175 



From fame to rain, and from love to loathing", 

There can come but one more change — try it— death. 

Oh it is g-reat to feel that nought of earth, 

Hope, love, nor dread, nor care for what's to come, 

Can check the royal lavishment of life ; 

But, like a streamer strown upon the wind, 

"We fling- ourselves to fate and to the future. 

For to die young is youth's divinest gift ; 

To pass from one world fresh into another, 

I>e change hath lost the charm of soft regret ; 

And feel the immortal impulse from within 

"Wliich makes the coming, life, cry alway, on I 

And follow it while strong, is heaven's last mercy. 

There is a fire-fly in the south, but shines 

When on the wing. So is't with mind. When once 

We rest, we darken. On I saith God to the soul, 

As unto the earth for ever. On it goes, 

A rejoicing native of the infinite. 

As is a bu-d, of air ; an orb, of heaven. 



XII. 

That aery lodestone, operant still. 
The love of boundless knowledge, leads us down 
DeepUer than ever leadlin* went, to search 
The central rayless light we have within, 
And learn, that, touched albeit all mysteries, traced 
Orb-foundang theories sagest, handled fire 
Defthest, unfit, as discontent, to abide 
Longwhile by nature's hearth, 'twere better seek 
Our proper good in act. Such hght to love, 
To hope for, strive for, hve for, as best shows 
Our Maker, fellow laboiner for man's good, 
"Working, within us charitably ; and shows, 
To souls, high aimed, who others claim to serve 
Supremely, they themselves need, lowliest rule, 
Life makes most blessed. Even science finds in God 
Its ultimate form, the unknown ; all utmost truth 
To inmost faith, responds ; aU heavens exteme, 
Arcbed, sphere o'er sphere conformably, to soul's 
Interior hues. It is from research like this, 
True aspiration riseth. 

Earth — The Centre, 

LuciPEE and Festus. 

Lucifer. Behold ns in the fije-crypts of the world ; 
Through seas and buried mountains, tomb-like tracts 
Fit to receive Death's skeleton when he is dead ; 
Through earthquakes and the once proud structured bones 
Of earthquake-swallowed cities, have we wormed, 
Down to fire's ever-burning forge, whence breathes 
That fluent life-heat, nenetrative. which clothes 



1^6 FE8TU8. 

Itself in lightnings, scaping hence tlirough air, 

And pierces to the last and loftiest pore 

Of earth's snow-mantled mountains. In these vaults 

Are hidden the archives of the universe. 

There screened, in awful and omnipotent ease, 

Nature, the delegate of God, brings forth 

Her everlasting elements ; and here, 

The reverend ashes of all ages gone 

See, finally inurned. 

Festus. All solid now 

"Was fluid once, air, water, fire, or some 
Vast, permeant, element ; communal, all in one ; 
As in this focal, world-evolving heat ; 
Moisture all mothering ; or the vacuous power 
We are based on, I must deem. 

Lucifer. The original 

Of all things, all existence being one 
Derivative whole, is one. The differences 
Seen, show diverse but to the finite mind. 

Festus. This marble-walled immensity, overroofed 
"With pendant mountains glittering, awes my soul. 

Lucifeb. Here mayst thou lay thine hand on nature's Lcart. 
And feel its thousand yeared throbbings beat, 
As through a sea-strait, till to beat, it cease. 
High overhead, and deep below our feet. 
The sea's broad thunder booms, scarce heard ; bowed round, 
Yon arches, like to suspended contiuents 
Of starry matter burning inwardly, stand : 
Hard by, earth's gleaming axle sleeps, unmovei. 
All movement centering. 

Festus. Age, here, on age 

Lie heaped like withered leaves. And must it end ? 

Lucifee. All here hath holden fellowship with gods, 
With eldest time and primal matter, space. 
Stars, air, and all inherent fire, the abyss 
Unluminous, chaos, night. These rocks retain 
Proof of those times, earth's ancient youth, when she 
With heaven had holy bridals ; royal gods. 
If turbulent, combative, discontent, nathless 
Their bright, immortal issue ; when, too, lived, 
Prehuman and heroic, the broad-eyed race. 
Whose science, as these rocks the seas sustain. 
Hath formed the base of the world's fluctuous lore ; 
When, too, by mountainous travail, human thought 
Sought to obtain the untouched heavens, by right 
Of lineal virtue ; when the artful powers, 
Forecounsel and experience, by meet aid 
Of wisdom, teachers of all social good, 
With godhead strove ; and gloriously they failed } 
In failure half successful ; when even men's 
Minds were as continents vast, and not, as now, 
Beed-plota minute, with acres, here and there, 



FESTUa, 177 

Of brains untilled. 

FESTU& Minds still which know by proof 

What those could but assume, that all these rocks, 
Hand- wrought of One, these solid fires ; the air 
Nebulous, commixed with starry spore, and earth's 
Waters, with unborn continents heavy, all 
The rude original seen of nature, mate 
With heaven, all procreant parents they of forma 
Fate-ordered, crude products of matter, once 
Like firstlings on the axis, altarwise, 
Laid, of the globe, earth's testimony still stand 
To her creative God ; who, in the heart 
Of nethermost darkness, his miraculous name 
Scores legible, as upon the sun's broad brow, 
Mid blaze chaotic, and liquescent plains 
Of ever-seething flame, where sink and rise 
Alp-blebs of fire, vast, vagrant ; name which reads 
Perfection infinite in all ways ; all names 
Other of gods, obliterates. 

LuciFEB. How but one ? 

Each star, canst tell ? may its divinity boast. 

Festus. God's hand hath scooped the hollow of this world ; 
His, sole, who all doth, and remembereth all 1 
Or aim, or deed ; nor, like an atomic dropped 
Of meteoric light, some star, in's lightning rush. 
Hath brushed off, which is quenched in last night's dew ; 
Nor as, when fiery monarch, ireful, starts 
In jewelled arms war- wards, a sudden gem 
Falls, and, 'neath tramp of shouting hosts, is lost 
Am I, even I, forgotten. Ere blended, here, 
As in a bowl, the spheral rudiments lay ; 
WTience all elaborated in turn, and raised 
From shining star-seed into embryon orbs 
And germs gigantic of the universe ; 
Each mighty change a thought of God, each thought 
An act substantial of perfective power, 
Leaving at last prolific earth life-stored 
With light impregned, I know right well 'twas planned 
For me, for man, his favourite. Even here, 
These blasts that tear tempestuous from the deep ; 
These throes that rack the centre, nature's wail 
For her directing lord, this many an age 
Missed from her midst, these elemental hells, 
Conflictive, earth's upheavals, founts of fire. 
And island vomitings, fail the sense to quench 
Of divine wardship ; nought permitting he, 
Though for a time self -hidden, and changeless laws, 
In mutable types, through ever- varying forms, 
Dispensing, proof of one continuous end. 
To happen his beloved of harm ; and this 
As holiest truth I hold. Didst bring me hither, 
Trusting to lose God's track ? 



178 FE8TU8, 

Lucifer. Nay, but to show 

How things begin to end. Why, then, e'er made ? 
This ball so rolled and rounded, melts away 
Even now, to its constituent atoms. See, 
This weary axis wavers in its end ; 
It will sometime snap. 

Festus. Though here were posited 

All secrets of existence, natural those. 
These supernatural, dwell not here would I, 
Not science' founts profoundest even, to drain. 
I long to know again the fresh green earth. 
Breeze life-breath'd ; sea, and sacred stars ; and feel 
In active comity with the world's wide powers. 
These recollections crowd upon my mind, 
Like constellations on the evening skies, 
And will not be forbidden. Oh 1 let us leave. 

LuciFEE, Aught that reminds an exile of his homo 
Is surely pleasant. I, friend, am content. 

Festus. I cannot be content with less than heaven j 
Living, and comprehensive of all life. 
Thee, universal heaven, celestial all ; 
Thee, sacred seat of intellective time ; 
Field of the soul's best wisdom : home of truth. 
Star-throned ; by whom, and old oracular night. 
Our spirit compeers in every orb are taught ; 
Who can but love ? To me, by night, by day. 
Thou art, thou must be reverend, world-whole sphere I 
Whether the sun all light thee, or the moon, 
In clouds embayed, mid astral islets, air 
With beauty inundate ; or some god-star, sole, 
As a great drop of light, shed tremulously 
Out of her full flowing urn ; yea, tearlike, fallen 
From her, Night's eye, o'er nature's tome, as she 
Reads, softening so our present fates ; or when 
In radiant thousands, each star reigns, unshared 
His royalty, and leaderless, uncontrast 
With the light their light is lost in, sons of fire, 
Arch element of the heavens ; thee, even, when storm 
And rack, our vision from thy threshold bar, 
More love I, thinking upon the splendid calm 
Which bounds the deadly fever of these days, 
The higher, holier, spiritual heaven wherein 
Soul, predisposed to expatiate, shall start forth 
On joy's relapseless course ; and such progress 
As counts the infinite only in its midst. 
Felicitously partake. Come, let us rise ; 
Nay, quit this world, within whose heartstrings still 
I know me encoiled. The deeplier I descend. 
The higher rise, the nearer seem I God. 

Lucifer. It is knowledge only makes thee near to aught, 
Whence ignorance most eloigns. These rocks, which hold 
Time's cavernous footsteps printed in raw fire 



FESTUa. 179 



Detain thee, then, no more ? 

Festi;3. I would be ^ne. 

Tlie world hath made such comet-like advance, 
Lately on science, men may almost hope 
Before it die of sheer decay, to learn 
Something about their infancy, as this day 
I have taught me of earth's original. 

Lucifer. True ; but me 

This troubles not. 

Festus. Were all earth's mountain chains 

To utter fire at once, what a grand show 
Of fireworks for our neighbour moon. 

LuciFEB. The passed 

Hath seen such sights ; and I ; seen grander. Rise 1 
Let us ascend. 

Festus. But not through the charred throat 

Of an extinct volcano. 

Lucifeb. This way ; down ; 

So thread we at once the world-bead. 

Festus. Haste, away. 

Life is too brittle, time too brief to waste. 



XIII. 

All man's acts, 
Serious or trivial, all man's thoughts perchanoe 
Pass not unmarked of angel eye, or God's. 
We know in daytime there are stars about us, 
Just as at night, and name them what and where, 
Bv sight of science ; so by faith we know, 
Though till our night we see them not, that spirits 
Are round us, and believe heaven may be fuU 
Of angels, as of star-motes night's white zone. 
A brief but solemn parley o'er a gi-ave, 
Earth's hollow threshold of futurity. 
Observed by spirit invisible, aptly heads 
Hohest resolves ; and, be they kept, enough 
To assure the heart of peace. Each soul must tread 
Singly his doubt-press. Time too soon fulfilled, 
Leads to a pi-omised proof of progress gained 
liy spirit on high, late loved, enlightening thus, 
Premonstrative, our end. 

A Clivrch-Yard. 
Festus and Lucifer leside a Tomb. 
Festus, It is not Crod we doubt of : it is one's self. 
How can the separate soul, and most, if pure, 
Exist distinct from God ; if perfect not, — 
As who shall vaunt, even hers ? how re-unite ? 
Is he the perfect, the defectible, too ? 
Here, everywhere, the spirit one holy word, 
Preacheth, in multitudinous tongues ; in birth. 



180 FE8TTTS. 

Growth, blossom, fruit, collapse of life, and rise 

Regenerative of being ; the saving truth. 

Congruous with man's first faith, world-wide, in God 

And in the soul-adjusting future, shown 

Resurgent by these grave-sprung flowers. For grant 

We die, nor nature cherish more man's frame, 

Than her dead leaflets, still to have lived conform 

With reason's law, and virtue's fine delights j 

To have kept intact the spirit's purity ; 

To have revered, believed in others ; hoped 

And suffered for, in pains we would not lack ; 

The soul's inborn religion, dear to God, 

And those who nature love ; while but to have dreamed 

Of one great Being, the absolute good ; who joys, 

And waits, to impart to spirit, duly afiined. 

Reunion with himself, true bliss ; the just ; 

The supreme virtue ; whose immense repose, 

Actful, not idle, while to him vast scope 

Leaving administrative, to us reserves 

Deliberate choice ; our fleeting, cloudlike lives, 

Of his persistent firmamental soul. 

Contrast and like ; seems in itself to assure 

Our being of permanency , and well nigh provea 

Not immortality only, but cognate 

Divinity, that such vast and godlike dreams 

Man's brain could sanely guest. 

Lucifer. How sanely, friend ? 

Festus. Oh yes, this sense of the infinite, bom in man, 
Cultured or wild, of one sole essence, God, 
The governing conscience of all spirit, the same, 
Continuous, his and ours ; salvation seems ; 
A rock sethereal, this, sky-based, which shows 
Us, like originate with the eteme of heaven. 
For, as who the leaflets of the aye-moving plant. 
Though of proportions delicatest, first eyes, 
Instinct with circular freedom, even of spheres 
Suggestive, ultimately, and heaven ; and, awed, 
Marks, as in preference moved, this frond or that. 
By some sufficing motive, if to us. 
Occult ; so shapes mysteriously, through ghost 
Or natural spirit of earth and air, man's mind 
As out of self -necessity, to pursue 
This grandest and most perfect mould of thought, 
The thought of deity ; man's best good, of all 
Rich, poor, participable. 

Lucifer. Good ; let the world 

Work out its mingled fates, closed thus, or thus. 
'Twere well, not grow too heavenly, all at once. 

Festus. When life is most about one, power and proof 
Of human foresight ; some new conquest won 
By science from the vast unknown ; some gift 
Ol! wt, which shall outworth a nation's debt, 



PJB8TUB. 181 

Heirloom of agfes, sealed to earth for good ; 

And through all lands, one smile man's general face 

Lights up, self -glorifying ; oft, then, I feel 

Sunkenest in soul, most faltering in the sense 

Of spiritual reality : and, in turn 

•Midst base coiruption's trophies mazed, as here, 

And stony tablets dropped from Death's grim tome ; 

Even in the marble palmed and cavernous grasp, 

His hollow hand arched like a charnel house, 

Holds, never slackening, of its prey, once won ; 

Most hopeful, most assured of being. 

LuciFEB. To see 

Nature's sad wreck, on this, life's undercoast, 
Cast, and to deem still, something, somewhere, 'scapes 
By salvage, speaks strong faith. 

Festus. How is't I lovo 

The spirit of this fair creature, earthening here, 
If not in nature ? 

LuciFEB. May it not be, thou lov'st 

Her memory, less herself ? 

Festus. Nay, hear, sweet spirife t 

Let years crowd in, and age bow down 
My bosom to the earth, which gave ; 
As yon grey, worn out, crumbling stone 
Dips o'er the grave ; 

Though passion me no more should thrill, 
Nor pleasure please, nor beauty move ; 
Though the heart stiffen, and waxed still, 
No more make love ; 
Still, in my breast, like river gold. 
Imbedded bright, thy love shall lie ; 
Sun-grains, that with the sands are rolled 
Of memory. 

Still, let me hold what bliss the spirit enjoys 
Is that thou hopedst here, couldst ne'er forget. 

LuciPEE. It may be that death's dewy slumber cloya 
The soul, as yet. 

Festus. Surely, that soul hath burst the tomb, 
Long while, enrobed in living light ; 
Not being accursed, wormlike, to eat the gloom 
And dust of night. 

LuciFEB. Oh surely life, in sporting on eaith, lies 
Till death share up the rich green sod ; 
But soul ! if there it lives, or here it dies, 
Why try ye God ? 

What should it never smile nor sigh 
From cheeks or lips but those beneath ? 
Outweighs not love the world's vast lie. 
Bests life not death ? 

Festus. I ask why man should suffer death ? 

LuciFEB. Answer, what right to life hath he ? 
God gives, and takes away, your breath. 



182 FE8TU8, 

What more liave ye ? 

Breath is your life, and life your soul ; 

Ye have it warm from his kind hands ; 

Then yield it back to the great Whole, 

^Vhen he demands. 

Why, deathling-, wilt thou long for heaven ? 

Why seek a bright, but blinding way ? 

Go, thank thy God that he hath given 

Night upon day. 

Festus. It may be but illusion, then, the all 
Of marvels thou hast shown ? 
It may be that the wreath-tricked, trailing pall 
Closes all known ? 

LuciFEE. Go, thank thy God, that thou hast lived j 
And ask no more. 'Tis all he gave ; 
'Tis all he wills, to be believed ; 
God and the grave. 

Festus. For thee, God, will I save my heart 
For thee my nature's honour keep ; 
Then, soul and body, all or part, 
Eest, wake, or sleep. 

Yet, might it be, a strange deeire my breast 
Hath seized, I know not how ; it is as though 
A meteor of the night had there sought rest. 
And burns within me, her to view once more 
Whose form here lies. 

LuciFEE. In sooth, I saw a light 

But now, to thee, it may be, invisible. 
Which showed me here her spirit, close urging on 
Its moonbeamed path, some sister soul to impress 
With the arms of fortitude, or widowed heart 
Perchance, with patience' humbler crest. Perchance, 
We are like to have enough of that. 

Festus. There are, 

Who her help merit and need ; and doubtless have, 
Should others justly lack. 

LuciPEE. If, once for all 

To gorge thy passion for the unknown, I show 
Herself to thee, with clear sight in her own. 
Blessed home, thou wilt aid me first to other ends 
More pressantly required. 

Festus. More than to view 

Goodness perfected ? 

Lucifer. Yea, even power assured. 

Festus. Command. Thou art ambitious for me. 

Lucifer. Good, 

The inevitable sequences of things 
Like an art-ordeied torrent, made to amuse, 
Eun themselves dry. 

Festus. Heaven speed the time with me. 

The sun of life shall mount the skies no more, 
It is one eternal setting. My burden is 



FE8TU8, 183 



Henceforth, the spirit. 

Lucifer. Nay, divers quests be ours ; 

And at the occnrrent season each shall claim 
Of us, due recognition. 

Festus, Be it. Away 1 



XIY. 

In one of earth's 
Head cities, awaiting this, the effect unknown, 
Of evil, not, truly, all- wise, we towerlike rise ; 
With eminent but indifferent eye survey, 
Bubdue, in thought, society, now in all 
Its greater grades seen. Secret science, since 
Divert to aims of power mysterious, schemes 
For freedom, wealth, airs; war's surcease; and spread 
Of mind-light, social virtue. Here the germ 
Of universal sway, sought from the first. 
See posited, striking, round an inner world, 
Its roots intelligible, but not till the end 
Destined to fruit; love, friendship, faith, all things 
Ministrant. Plans all feasible, shadowed out, 
Of one sublime humanity purified, 
"Warm even the civic air. And shall not God's 
Own peace crown man pacific ? 

A Metropolis ; Public Place. 
Festus and Lucifer, Student, and Others. 

Festus. My thoughts go, cloudlike, round the world, nor rest. 
I am on fire to realize the fate 

Which darkly, in the future's depths, thou hast shown ; 
Or else am with the mightiest folly mocked 
E'er imped a soul to madness ? How, meanwhile 
Our ends differ ? Can we for mellowing suns 
Wait ? When shall earth acknowledge me ? 

Lucifer. Not now 

Never, till self -compelled. The time will come. 
Have patience. It is the blessing of the angels. 

Festus. Patience 1 say slow self-murder. 

Lucifer. Wait for what 

Is on the wing already, or reach the end 
As of an aimless lunge i' the empty air. 
Knowledge, love, power, are thrones thy soul shall sit 
In order due as promised. Patience, man I 
We are as yet but minors, both of us. 

Festus. Of pleasure one has hardly had a glimpse. 

Lucifer. Each pleasure hastes thee to thine end, and man's. 
Each new sought joy, each freshly proven power, 
But draws the end of all things like a hood, 
Around thy fated head the closer. Come. 
Bethink thee of thy pact. 



184 FESTUS. 

FestuS. I do ; a pact 

Where abstinence only serves to quicken pain ; 
Indulgence, shorten pleasure. Which, to choose, 
To let alone, which, wiser ? 

LuciFEE. In them both 

Is reason : but all- wise, man will never be. 

Festus. Nay, come then, pretty patience. Sand by sane 
The world is worn away ; the sea hath sapped, 
How oft 1 earth's vaulted base ; times countless whelmed, 
'Neath his abysmal bowl, the mountain tops. 
'Tis but a matter of days. Most greatest things 
Are gradual. Star on star, the heavens fulj&l 
Their issue ; and truth quickens here the soul, 
Dipped in substantial lightning of the sun 
Spiritual, and with the eternal saving saved, 
By every breath inspired of God. I yield. 
Let us to that near hand : the end, deferred. 
Life to enjoy, not only one must conform 
To the world's laws, but bye-laws, customs, moods. 
What can be done here ? 

LuciFEE. Oh, a thousand things 

As well as elsewhere. 

Festus. True ; it is a place 

Where passion, occupation, or reflection, 
May find fit food or field. 

LuciFEE. Take we our ease 

Beside this feathery fountain. It is cool. 
And pleasant ; and the people, passing by. 
Fit subjects for twin moralists like us. 
Here, we can speculate freely on policy ; 
On social manners, fashions, and the news. 
Now the political aspect of the world 
At present, is most cheerful. To begin. 
Like charity, at home. Out of all wrongs 
The most atrocious ; the most righteous ends 
Are happiest wrought. 

Festus. Ofttimcs it chances so. 

LuciFEE. Take of the blood of martyrs, tears of slaves, 
The groans of prisoned patriots, and the sweat 
Wrung from the bones of famine, like parts ; add 
The stifled breath of man's free natural thought ; 
The tyrant's lies, the curses of the meek ; 
Vapour of orphan's sigh, and wail of all 
Whom war hath spoiled, or law first fanged, then gorged; 
The usurpations of the lawful heir. 
The common weal, which comes to its own, all done ; 
The treasonous rebellions of the wise ; 
The poor man's patient prayers ; and let all these 
Simmer some centuries, o'er the slow red fire 
Of human wrath, and there results at last, 
A glorious constitution, and a grand 
Totality of nothings ; for what's all 



FESTUa. 185 

Weighed with man's destiny ? 

Festus. Of recipes 

Enoug-h. That man's a warful animal, [^Soldiers 2>ass ; music. 

Glories in gunpowder, and loves pai-ade, 
Trefers them to all things, see present proof. 
Life's but a Kword's length at the best. 

LutiFER. Past doubt. 

Bar-ii-on, duly smelted, niles the world. 

Festus. How many tilings want remedying. What next ? 

LuciFEK. Well, in this scat of empire, by this head, 
And nucleus of a nation world-famed, sit 
And name your remedies ; for, sick to death 
Well-nigh, and perishing of rank rotting sores. 
That gilded plasters hide, are all these burghs ; 
Huge populous solitudes, where penury pines 
Mid havoc of excess; while guileful wealth 
Serves, tremblingly, behind the public board, 
Pale want, his stomach stiff from sheer default 
Of exercise, is pressed to join, and thank 
Compulsory charity, interested to give ; 
Or, back to shadowy feasts where all things lack ; 
Save appetite to destroy. What's wanted here ? 

Festus. Nought but a total chnnge ; true, honest, life, 
Holy and simple ; peace ; a cheerful faith 
In God ; and nothing spent not purely earned. 

Lucifer. Utopian, I much fear. But look here comes 
A man thou knowest. 

Festus. I do. Stop, friend, of late 

I have not seen thee. W^hither goest thou now ? 

Student. I am upon my business, and in haste. 

Festus. Business 1 I thought thou wast a simple schemer ; 
A theorist of most nebulous mark and views ; 
Founder of many imaginary states ; 
And student of all arts impracticable. 

Student. Mayhap, I am. There is a visionary 
Business, as well as visionary faith. 
My nature is more to sympathize vnth men. 
Than in their actual aims participate. 
What these by traffic strive to attain for themselv^, 
I seek, by the hidden mastery, to achieve 
For others. Let but fruit my next thought, — then. 
Bid me compete with states, and wateh who wins. 

Festus. And holdst thou faith in the art alchemic still ' 
Still seekst secluded in the ravenous search 
For gold to verify thine earlier hopes ? 

Student. Though mingling more with men, my mind is yet 
Leased to the great invention. I, in sooth. 
Have all my life been living in a mine. 
Lancing the world for gold. I have not yet 
Fingered the right vein. Oh ! how oft I wish 
The time might come again, pert science prates of, 
When earth's bright veins ran ruddy vix^n gold. 



186 FE8TU8. 

Lucifer. When next the world's gold melts 'twill run, I fear, 
A pretty steep course towards its natural end. 

Student. Oh 1 I am not without my moderate hopes. 
When in earth's first foundation as an orb, 
Her giant elements held, like god-kings, sway 
Free, and successive heritage, each his gift 
Made earth, to mark his long illustrious reign. 
Air, water, with prolific forms and fair, 
Their realms made vital ; with grain, herb, the mould ; 
With tall trees towering cloudwards, thousand yeared ; 
Fire, with all ore, gem, marble, stained with dyes 
Stolen from the infant sun, when feeble he lay. 
In the orient cradled ; and that earth might not, 
Mid the first passion of her golden prime, 
Exhaust all joy, each power some art arcane 
Penned for the cherished future ; and to Time, 
Earth's scribe and heaven's remembrancer, consigned 
The opening of their treasured archives. These, 
We, who now hold the keys of wisdom, read ; 
Translate the fiery tongues of obelisks ; 
Revive the blackened brain-craft of old scrolls, 
A score of centuries tombed ; light's radiant chords 
Peel naked to the stars ; weigh air, theirs, ours ; 
Count off the sun's vast rudiments, and his brow 
With vaporous iron crown ; apt compliment 
To our own stern age. One secret only, still. 
Of moment, lacks ; and this found, eai-th may rest, 
And reap unusual joy. It is my main hope. 

Festus. Were all rich, nothing left but gems and gold, 
All things less pure, less precious, all beside 
Were worthless, penniless. But what crowds of things 
Life hath, more worth than wealth 1 When, viev/ed the A\orld, 
We mark the mighty ignorance of the mass, 
In all lands, their huge servitude of mind, 
And think, what sometime it would be, to see 
Freedom and wisdom substituted, thought 
Fails ; and the heart faints at the vast conceipt. 

Student. Truly ; but not for gold, as ore, I slave. 
As means subservient only to some end, 
Great and beneficent, world-wide ; end I scarce 
Thus casually can name, but holy, high, 
And in the face of all earth's worn-out frames 
Of civil power, dynastic, popular, all 
Alike effete, right justified. 

Festus. So ? I hear. 

Lucifee. For this end, gold is needed. 

Festus. I perceive. 

Student. For universal liberty, gold, and more, 
Wrongs must be rectified, rights established. 

Festus. True ; 

Where'er a wrong exists, a right is quelled ; 
And wrongs seem everywhere. Serfs I despise, 



FESTU8 187 

For nations, if so, must so be, by choice. 
TjTante, or many or one, elect or bom, 
I hate. But how will justice-loving time 
Reckon with all the despots, many and mean, 
NVho falsify, by weight of brands and chains, 
The balance civil hath over savage life ; 
Who knows ? That Mercy may be satisfied 
By so much Justice sweeps, with level hand, 
From off the measure's head, we'll hope. 

Lucifer. Yes, hope. 

Festus. Hope retributive Mercy may succeed 
Her sterner sister Justice, and aye reign 
In parity with love. For know, while God 
Sits, judging 'mid the heavens, and all things made 
Governs by infinite laws, each several sphere 
Ovras yet his special equity. Even on earth, 
A vast invisible seat he hath, like aged 
With the unwandering hills. In every soul's 
Instinct of right ; in all just sympathies ; 
In every conscience, sensitive to the truth. 
As skies to light ; in every innocent heart, 
Whose strings, like angel lyres, are tuned in heaven ; 
Built into being, as though its comer-stone, 
Towers, core of rule, this seat ; and when, crushed down 
By popular ^\'rong of kings, or tyrannous crime 
Of crowds, man's prayer, to him appealing, steals 
Skywards, a shock convictive through all hearts 
Shoots : and men's eyes, disfilmed, strange sense receive 
Undreamed of : view, there, in their veriest midst. 
The eternal Presence, throned. His judgments, there, 
Be very sure are executed : his fines 
To the last blood drop paid. Oh may at last 
Earth's Lord to all be merciful ; but now. 
Let God be just ; 'tis all we need. I hear. 
As faith his gifts recounts, by man misused, 
Heaven's reasonable demands withstood, the groans, 
Like to an earthquake thundering underground, 
That shake, tempestuous. Time's repentant breast. 

Student. Wait, wait ; not long. The Rectifier will rise ; 
A purer and more righteous aera come. 
The crowd of kings, the sovereignty of crowds. 
Shall alike pass, and perish. Time shall be, 
^Vhen earth one state, the lord of peace rules all. 
Deep in earth's cavemed heart, self -hidden, I see, 
Her loms with wisdom's silver serpents girt. 
The Nemesis of nations. Stem she sits 
Her monumental throne. The hush of death 
Spreads round her, halo-like. Even Hope, her friend. 
Oft deems her dead. Yet lives she ; live she will. 
She hath a vital secret in her breast, 
As though she nui-sed a god Avliich scarcely breathes, 
Ihe freedom of the future. To all else 



188 FESTU8 

Superior, in that secret, nought beside 

Heeds she : but hears indifferent o'er her head, 

The ebb, or flow, of empire, and the march 

Of militant generations ; and but smiles, 

And rocks her foot, contemptuous. Not for these 

Moves she, nor is she moved ; nor cares she watch. 

Wordless of joy or woe, say why is she 

Incarcerate ? why abandoned ? why suspect 

Even of the pure ? why in her cell by all 

Her lover kings forgot, — could one who hath eyed 

Her pale and dominant brow, and mounded breast 

Elate with life, nor sliuddering shrunk to meet 

That stately stare, ever forgot ? Away ! 

Name not old wrongs. If wrongs have been, be sure 

Some day will right them. Know, she hath never been 

Save by her own serene assent, exiled 

From the upper earth's face. What then doth she there, 

Darkling in central solitudes ? Alas I 

Of her divine prevision all devoid, 

Unwelcome and unworthy suitors she 

Hath, many an one, who her to rash attempt 

Of empery would entice, and so secure 

Her forfeit royalty ; wicked these nor reck 

God's patience, or her own, prayer- wrung, to abide 

The hour of destiny, and the award of love, 

The liberator, fore-chosen. For when the dew 

Now wet, hath ripened into the thunder- cloud. 

And man's breath made God's lightning, one shall come 

Who, of things passed intolerant, but divine 

In mercifulness, and prompt ere all to free 

The captive, and, to the exiled, home restore, 

Shall ope her scaled hand ; tear out the spell 

Of silence' self invoked eclipse, for ends 

Then gained ; and give a spear ; her queenly brow, 

Which ne'er hath stooped before, shall sanctify 

With a crown, more holy than the wall-culled wreaths 

Of cities sieged, saved by their sons ; and, SC; 

Lead her compassionate forth with him to head 

Revived, regenerate manhood. Speed it heaven 1 

That we the dawn of that great day may see, 

If not for all its mightiest outcomes spared. 

Lucifer. This is the spirit I want to see abroad. 
V/e two can aid each other. Spread these views. 

Student. The wise and good wish well to liberty, 
Throughout all lands ; but aim to win her cause 
By some bold movement, from the heart of all 
United nations. Generous souls all joy 
To see man's serf, risen up, a prince with God. 

Lucifer. The movement might be secret, nor its end 
Till finally, divulged. 

Festus. Be it a? je will. 

Not, e'er, by war. 



FESTU8. 189 

LuciFEB. From age to age old Time 

Hath washed his hands in the heart's blood of earth. 
It's rather late to speak against it, now. 

Student. If without war the world could live one year 
•Twere well. Yet fields of death, ye are earth's pride, 
For what is life to freedom ? War must be 
While men are what they are ; while they have bad 
Passions to be roused up : while ruled by men ; 
While all the powers and treasures of a land 
At beck of the ambitious, wrongs may be 
Offered, with insult ; yea, while rights are worth 
Maintaining; freedom keeping, or life having, 
So long dread I, the sword shall shine. 

Festus. Yet war, 

All save the spiritual war we wage within, 
Shall cease. Thy next thought ? 

Student. Ah, the crowning schemo 

I hinted ? 

Festus. Yes, this golden badge ; what may it 
Imply, so patently concealed, displayed 
So critically ? 

Student. It means, I have joined myself 
To certain circles of the wise ; a new 
Consociate power, intrinsic to all states, 
Self vowed in sacred bonds to holiest ends ; 
Who, worshipping one sole Lord in heaven, would choose 
One sole on earth, peace thus ensured ; mankind's 
Free brotherhood, and whole unity. To this end 
What want we ? Wealth, time, numbers, secresy. 
For this, all powers subordinate of the earth. 
All social schemes, all frames of govemmenii 
Are now essayed, tried, treated with ; all wealth 
Sought variously ; all wisdom of the passed, 
All faiths that move men's souls, and dominate still ; 
Convergent forces, are folded one by one 
Within our politic plan ; plan which, at last, 
By virtue of rational necessity, must 
Make sure, God aidant, earth's whole common-weaL 
But how this unity to achieve of choice ; 
And how, by act, inaugurate and complete 
This grand concerted good, seems yet a knot 
Time's wearied fingers work at till they bleed. 
And baflfled races vainly pray for. Such 
Our failure. 

LuciFEE. Such shall be no more. My plans 
Are ripening faster than I thought, than need. 

Student. Wilt come with me and join this lordly host 
Of brethren, friends of Grod, to whom pertains 
The gift of the world's future ? 

Lucifer. Well, we have plans. 

Our auricrucian friend could doubtless make 
Ilia banded brotherhoods well subservient here, 



190 FESTUS. 

To views, but latcliest treated, of our own. 

Festus. True, if a few, illumined with all truth, 
Initiate in all wisdom, hidden and open, 
Armed with all wealth, could but forefit the world 
For perfect freedom, Man might wish no more 
Than add to freedom, peace ; and to peace, power. 

Student. Be ours. 

Festus. I love the initiates wise ; but doubt 

If freedom e'er, with wisdom, prove the lot 
Of all, or most. 

Lucifer. Hands seem for manacles made : 

And feet for fetters. 

Student. Join with us. 

Festus. I'll think. 

Student. Teachers of base societies still abound. 
But we and all our ends are peaceful, pure, 
To dignify the mass, refine the race ; 
To make man lord not slave of all the means 
Mechanic science owns, and give each child 
Of earth a tangible share in all his age 
Inherits, or of mind, or aids of life 
Material, grounded all on God's just laws. 
This is what knowledge ought to bring mankind ; 
Not ceaseless toil, strife, war, nor want ; but life's 
Free use and reasonablest enjoyment ; peace 
Unanimous 'neath one head the wise and good 
Of nations shall elect ; who knows, one day, 
Who shall be chosen ? 

LucirES. The end we now foreglimpsa 

And in the flow of this one stealthy vein 
Through the vast body of man, the use can trace 
Of all our future means. 

Student. 'Tis gold we want ; 

Not men to bribe, but honourably repay 
Pure life's, and thought's expenditure ; to spread 
'Mong men, due knowledge of all bettering truth. 
And found the kingdom of perpetual peace, 
Sole base of perfect life. 

Festus. To such good ends 

Means henceforth I can promise shall not lack. 

Student. Who can foresee the future, helps forecast. 
A peaceful revolution through all lands 
Shall course ; and seizing all state powers, to one 
Sole hand transfer them ; universal peace 
So settled for all years. War's armaments. 
War's waste of wealth, time, thought, and life ; its griefs, 
Its pains, its wounds immedicable ; its woes. 
Gone, how the world shall prosper, and attain 
All proper perfectness. Join thou with us 
And we'll together preach these sageet plans. 

Festus. I have passed through all the elements of the world ; 
Sea'a depths, air's heights, the central fires, while 'neath 



FESTU8. 191 

"My feet antijioclal thunders pealed ; round earth, 

Coast, continent, desert, isle, and fruit- fraught plain, 

In all their various vastness ; and have viewed 

Nought venerable in them, of source, nor force, 

Self-aiusative or diviiie ; save vassal powers, 

Obsequious to the ends designed of God, 

Coherent made, and vivified, by laws 

Inborn -with them, imbreathed, nought. Ocean's tides 

Poured o'er my head, in seas, for ages, never 

My spirit to meaner faith could disbaptize 

Than God's most proveable fatherhood of the world, 

Material, mental, spiritual ; his just 

Rule oft, and loveful care ; himself the soul's 

Sole trust, judge, savioui*. meed. In this faith firm. 

Can any truer be ? no tests I dread. 

Student. Nor needst, 

Thy creed, as ours, hallows, enshrines 
The essential truths of all ; these brief ; these few. 
How vast ! Thus minded thou art most meet to join 
Our rational rites, and sacred feasts, truth holds ; 
Orgies divine. 

Festus. Of God, or nature ? Comes 

Of this, a sorrow unfruitful, and woe-filled. 
Her mysteries teem with shrieks of struggling souls. 
Doubt's cavernous darkness, and remorseful fires, 
I'd not endure for worlds. But heaven's bring bliss ; 
Light, peace, and soul- joy, such as he the sun, 
Felicitative, instils in all that live. 

Student. Fear nought, but prove them. Elf-e am I losing time. 

LuciFEB. Nay, time is never lost, if friends are made. 
Promise. They all shall aid in our great aim. 

Festus. I will advise me. And when next we meet. 
What my resolve, without all fail, expect. 

Student. We surely all again meet. 

LuciFEE. Haply not. 

For me I am but poor company. Deem me, rather, 
As some retumless meteor, from all ties 
Of amity or obedience loosed, that flings, 
Careless, his starry store mid space's fields ; 
Nor, in revisited spheres, dreams e'er to reap 
I'he harvest of his hand. But, touching gold 
I have a secret I would fain impart 
To one who would make right use of it. Now, mark. 
There are fifty elements, chemists say, and more. 
Get, then, these fifty principles, or what not. 
Mix up together : put to the question, all. 
Teaze well with vapour, fire ; much triturate. 
Add the right quantity of lunar rays. 
Boil whole, and let it cool ; and watch what come??. 

Student. Thrice greatest Hermes ! but it must be. Yes I 
I'll go and get them ; good day, — instantly. 

LuciFEB. He'll be astonished probably. 



VS% FE8TU8. 

Festus. He wQf ? 

In any issue of the experiment. 
The nostrum may perhaps explode, and — 

LuciPEE. Nonsense. 

Festus. There needs no satire on men's rage for gold, 
Their nature is the best ; and best excuse. 
But what for aims like these our friend intends, 
Seeing they march with ours, we will provide. 
Fear not ; our mint not all man can exhaust. 
Some news seems stirring. 

LuciFEE. One of Saturn's moons, 

I heard, had flown on his face, and blinded him. 
It was also said, in circles I, at times. 
Enter, his outer ring was falling off. 
If I should find, I'll keep it. It might fit 
A little finger such as mine. I doubt 
Poor Saturn's breaking up. But for these news ; 
Some one perhaps has lit on a new vein 
Of stars in the far void, or made out at last, 
The circulation of the light ; or what 
Think'st thou ? 

Festus. I know not. Ask 1 

LuciFEE. Sir, what's the news ? 

Passer-by. The news are good news, being none at all. 

Lucifer. Your goodness, su*, I deem of like extent. 
We heard the Great Bear was confined of twins. 

Stranger. It is not unlikely ; stars do propagate. 

Festus. And so much for civility and news. 
This city is one of the world's social poles, 
Round which events revolve ; here, dial-like. 
Time makes no movement but is registered. 

Lucifer. Yon gaudy equipage 1 hast ever seen 
A drowning dragon-fly, floating down a brook, 
Topping the sunny ripples as they rise ; 
Till, in some ambushed eddy, it is sucked down, 
By something underneath ? Thus with the rich I 
Their gilding makes their death conspicuous. 

Festus. This man is nobly rich, that, nobly poor ; 
These, the reverse. Rank makes no difference. 

Lucifer. The poor may die in swarms, unheeded. They 
But swell the mass of columned ciphers earth 
Runs up without a thought. Oh wretched poor. 
Woe-bowed, thank God for something, though but this, 
He fire, ye ashes 1 

Festus. Thou art surely mad. 

Lucifer. I meant to moralize. I cannot see 
A crowd, and not think on the fate of man j 
Clinging to error, as a dormant bat 
To a dead bough. Well, 'tis his own affair. 

Festus. All homilies, on the sorts and lot of men, 
Are vain and wearisome. I desire to know 
No more of human nature. As it is, 



• FE8TU8. 103 

1 honour it, and liate it. Let that do. 

Lucifer. Here is a statue to some miglity man, 
"NMio beat his name on the drum of the world's ear, 
Till it was stupefied ; and, I suppose, 
Kot knowing what it was about, reared up 
This marble mockeiy of mortality ; 
"VVTiich shall outlive the memory of the man, 
And all like him, who water earth with blood, 
And sow with bones, or any good he did, 
As eagles, gnats. But failures why indict ? 
"Wliy carp at insect sins, or crumb-like crimes ? 
The world, the great imposture, still succeeds ; 
Rtill, in Titanic immortality, writhes 
Beneath the burning mountain of its sins. 

Festus. There's an old adage about sin and some one. 
The world is not exactly what I thought it, 
But pretty nearly so ; and after all, 
It is not so bad as good men make it out, 
Nor such a hopeless wretch. 

LuciFEE. For all the world 

Not I would slander it. Dear world, thou art 
Of all things under heaven by me most loved ; 
The most consistent, the least fallible. 
Believe me ever thine affectioiiate 
Lucifer. P.S. Sweet, remember me ! 

Festus. Wilt go to the cathedral ? 

LuciFEB. No, indeed ; 

I have just confessed. 

Festus. "Well, to the concert, then ? 

Lucifer. Some fifteen hundred thousand million years 
Have passed since last I heard a chorus. How ? 
In sooth, can I time calculate ? seras none 
Are in the eternal. Time is as the body ; 
Eternity, the spirit, of existence, 

Festus. That would I learn and prove. 

Lucifer. The finite soul 

Can never learn the infinite, nor may be 
Informed by it, unaided. 

FtSTUS. Be it so. 

What shall we do ? 

Lucifer. I put myself in your hands. 

Festus. Wilt go on 'Change ? 

Lucifer. I rarely speculate. 

Steady receipts are mostly to my taste. 

Festus. But something must be done to pass the time. 

Lucifer, Let us, then, pass all time. 

Festus. Good I pass ; but how ? 

Lucifer, I have the power to make thy spirit free 
Of its poor frame of flesh, yet not by death ; 
And reunite them afterwards. Wilt thou, think, 
Entrust thyself to me ? 

Festus. In God I trust. 



IM FE8TU8. 

And in his word of safety. Have thy will. 
Where shall it be effected ? 

Lucifer. Here and now. 

Festus. What of this heap of accidents, properties, 
This mock essential, shade on shade impinged, 
Redoubled to the likeness of a form, 
Tliis outward humanhood ? 

Lucifer. Oh heed not that. 

Body may like a shadow wait on thee, 
And thou not know it. Soul may be so fine. 
Recline thou calmly upon yon marble slab, 
As thoug-h asleep. The world will miss thee not ; 
Its complement is perfect. I will mind, 
Tliat no impertinent meddler troubles there. 
Thy tranced frame. The brain shall cease its life 
EngTossing- business ; and the living blood. 
The wine of life, which malceth drunk the soul, 
Sleep in the sacred vessels of the heart. 
Three steps the sun hatli taken from his throne. 
Already dowmwards, and ere he hath gone. 
Who calmeth tempests with his mighty light, 
We will return ; and until then, the bright rain 
Of yonder fountain fails not. 

Festus. Thus be it. 

Lucifer. One of my minor failings is, I fear, 
I am too indulgent. I make pets of men ; 
And they fool me. The eastern sage of old, 
Who for each fancied privilege paid by stress 
Of strange austerities gained not half what thou 
Only of will canst compass. Will and rise. 

Festus. Come ; we are wasting moments here that no"^ 
Belong, of right, to immortality, 
And to another world. 

Lucifer. Prepare ! — 

Festus. And thou ? 

Lucifer. I vanish altogether. 

Festus. Excellent I 

Lucifer. Body and spirit part. J — 



FESTUS. 195 



XV. 



Even wliile a star 
Might twinkle twice, or calm, retiring sea, 
Irresolute yet to leave, his moonlit kiss 
Shimmering repeat upon the impassive shore. 
The arch-tiend and youth, bound skyward, soaring hold 
Darkly, commune, like twilight and midnight, 
Of being and things to be, 'mid intei-space 
Of worlds. The angelic fall is touched on. Soul 
Imperfect, mixed, not seeing how deity could, 
Pure spirit, by act of will aught earthy, gross 
Frame ; nor ill's source, end, understand ; mistaught 
By adulterate truth which poisons more than pure 
Falsehood, hears how, of angels made, not God 
Who would not with the earthy soil his hand, our orb 
Had all its parts constituent cast by palms 
Depute, tale told to mislead perchance. Yet who 
Heaven granting place and means of penitence, 
Irrestorable shall name the angelic race ? 
Who fiction blame, mother of fairest hope ? 

T/te Interstellar Sj)ace. 

Festus a7ld LUCIPEE. 

Fkstus. ^\ hero, where am I ? 

LuciFEB. We are in space and time, just as we were 
Some half a second since ; where wouldst thou be ? 

Festus. I would be in eternity and heaven ; 
The spirit, and the spirit made blessed, of all 
Existence. 

Lucifer. And thou shalt be, and shalt pass 
All secondary nature ; all the rules 
And the results of time. Upon thy spirit 
These things shall act no more ; their hand shall be 
Withered upon thee ; in thee they shall cease. 
Like lightnings in the deadening sea. Not now. 
We have worlds to go through first. But see, just turn 
Thy face, see earth. 

Festus. How beauteous, brighter thrioa 

Than e'er our lamp to man ; just mean 'twixt sun 
And moon, its mighty members, sea and lan(i, 
Shining, in revelry of light. 

Lucifer. Cleared now, 

All atmosphere terrene, and meteor zones, 
Into this darkening azure, deeper aye 
At every breath, where reig-ns eternal night. 
Haste we ; thy longings shall be satiate soon : 
For see, we rise, ever rise ; ana 1, as m. (iientoa. 
Incorporal, like an echo of oneself. 
Float on the inscrutable aether ; or from here, 
Springing the arch of space to yon extreme. 
With absolute levity seem as I might to bound. 

Festus. Ah I many have been my longings, many and deep, 
To leai-n the mysteries of creation ; things 

H 2 



196 VESTUa. 

Not publislied on earth's surface. 

LuciFEE. Sucli as, say, 

Festus. Thou first didst promise me to unfold ; and now 
Our time, and this vast progress, seeming smooth, 
Continuous, e'er without end converse invites. 

Lucifer. Speak confidently. 

Festus. Before man's fall I'd know 

How was't the angels fell ? 

Lucifer. Nor all by one 

Ilevolt, nor one decline. 

Festus. Say how. 

Lucifer. Time was, 

"When God, one, sole, in ancientry eteme, 
In essence, inconceivable, all extent 
A luminous fulness filling, willed to make ; 
Withdrew a portion of his essence ; breathed 
The angels into being ; and in that space. 
Girt by the infinite, the world became; 
Near to him, spirit, life ; matter, last of all. 
And farthest from him ; willed, still. With this rose 
The evil of life create, all possible sin. 
The happy angels, to enlarge God's reign 
Thinking, besought his leave to make a world, 
From matter's vast residuous mass. Time was, 
Earth beamed heaven's youngest orb ; which granted, they, 
Armed with imputed deity, began 
Instant the work orbific ; fire and all 
The elements freed, the land from sea demarked, 
Rock igneous from aquatic, clay from ooze ; 
The continents made, the isles, the mountains, streams, 
Lakes, fountains, plains, tree, herb and flower, all life 
Vegetive, in fine, and brutish ; all that wings 
Air, or swims sea, or treads, four-footed, earth ; 
Or creeps, or glides. These giants made, these elves. 
Apes, pygmies, such, the tall indignant cranes, 
Angered by broken treaties, drave and drowned 
In sea-pools, first of victories hight marine. 
Those, (Emim and Zamzummim of old v/rit ; 
And those Hrymthursar called, who norwards held 
Frore Jotunheim, fleering oft at gods and men ; 
Vain rivals of one heaven-planned shape, of man 
By God in just majestic medium made. 
And this, accepted, they with all gifts decked. 
God taking thought, himself, of sun and star, 
With whom to think indeed is to create, 
He, to the formative angels gave the world 
They had thus wrought out of chaos, and adorned 
With every living miracle, and man 
As head and end of all its dignities. 
In delegate royalty to rule. Thus earth, 
Thine earth, embraced of heaven, and core of space, 
Was plenished, furnished, finished. The angels now 



FE8TUS, 197 

Longing to instruct man's mind, a chosen band, 

Out of their fair fraternity, depute, 

Who straight ascending, quit for heaven. So all, 

Bright and more bright, while starward they progressed, 

And touched the invisible threshold of the skies, 

These angels grew ; till as they neared the seat 

"Where, close below the throne, bright Nature sits, 

Perpetual maid, perpetual mother-bride ; 

Sits, gladdening in her splendid offspring, spread 

Through space, star-spirits of seed divine, blessed heirs 

Of deity ; sits, serene ; — they, pondering, paused, 

AVho seemed a constellation, all of suns. 

Tempting the zenith. Here, their quest resigned 

To God's sole will, 'twas here, accordant Fate 

Tlie predetermined boon they asked, due powers 

Of God to perfect, that they loved conveyed ; 

And more, he, hearkening to such fervent prayer, 

Grants ; but ere yet dismissed, to them, to all 

In heaven assembled, speaks thus : Spirits divine, 

Immortals, hear ; go rule each one his lot, 

3elf -sought, of grace appointed. To all tribes 

Of men shall prophets speak, and holiest souls 

Heaven-seeking ; heed they be of you truth taught. 

So teach them, that however with faith and truth 

Inspired, they serve God only ; reverence due 

Pay you, pay all ; but adoration sole 

To him who all things made, and sole, can save. 

Angels and spirit-hosts of prehuman strain, 

Levies of light divine innumerous, rapt 

All, sate in still assent, until one soul, 

Interpretant of heaven, and mind create, 

Tuneful and luminous as a singing star, 

Stepped into light, and in the immarbled ear 

Of the convergent infinite, sang to God 

Larklike, his lone lay, gratulant, worshipful 

Of him All- Wise. A cherub- choir the same 

In stateliest revolution, traced, tmth-taught. 

Of power project through all effluxive spheres. 

Returning fined, exalted, perfected, 

In a perduring emblem all the heavens 

Still study, and with their centre- searching eyes. 

These things, though wholly comprehending not, 

Tilings passed, things coming, God the angels showed ; 

Mliereat they trembled, and were troubled. Some, 

In place of proffering lowliest praise to God, 

And holiest thanks for leave to do his will. 

In those harmonious lauds the hosts had sung, 

Pleased with their works, cried. These created wo. 

Sudden, the stars stood silent. Every sphere 

Ceased its divine accord. The sun paled. All, 

That proud presumptuous vaunt, shuddered to hear. 

Divisions reigned. There were, who Godwards kept 



198 FE8TU8. 

Due loyalty ; and these withdrew to heaven, 

The wAjigel of Salvation, Phanuel pure ; 

Sun-ruling Ouriel, Luniel, and the rest. 

Peers of the fallen, once, and holy seven, 

Supplanted, round the throne, their brethren. These, 

For some were more sin-tainted, others less ; 

Earthwards rewinding, in prospective pride 

Enriched it thousand-fold with all delights. 

For men they sowed herb, spice, grain ; planted flower ; 

Fruits luscious graffed on trees ; silver and gold 

Bight earth with, ore, and marble, and every gem ; 

Gems larger lovelier these, than all now known ; 

And that smaragdine mirror, their chief toy. 

Which all the angels wrought, each gifting it 

With some unique perfection, after owned 

By Israel's wisest, who the tongues of bird, 

Brute, angel, men, all, knew ; and who therein 

Looking, the wished-for passed, of any age, 

Beheld apparent, as in the instant fact ; — 

And when, solicitous of the future, he 

Had breathed thereon, with the evanishing reek 

From its talismanic disk, limned clear, he saw, 

And all the coming conned. For men they chose 

The sites of cities, after, seats of power, 

Wealth, law, religion, learning, freedom ; one. 

The city of the dead, men for themselves 

Founded in ominous haste, and fast bestrewed 

With skeleton foliage of the tree of life. 

God made man free. He fell. His freedom seen, 

The angels asked allegiance of man's race. 

And while some mixed with carnal follies drift 

llellwards, on storms of passionate covetise ; ' 

By rank and vile inventions, to man's ill, 

Earn othersome God's wrath ; no few through pride 

In their first formative privileges ; in thought 

Keigning triumphant, independent gods. 

O'er men, shared sept and tribe among them ; each, 

Launched on his own wild will ; and thus they ceased, 

Those once most virtuous angels, that pure choice, 

And grateful excellence the first had, to own ; 

Seeking at first their names, each to his clan 

To magnify, and so become, by aid 

Of mean, or monstrous, miracle, their gods ; 

In lieu of teaching men, the One Supreme 

To worship, God. Fell many an angel thn^. 

The fall is universal in all spheres. 

For finite spirit, wherever tasked to keep 

The counsels of divine perfection fails. 

The starry story of one primal pair. 

Twin pillars to the portals of life's fane, 

Or free-born deities, free as stars are fixed 

And the celestial serpei»t, sun-conceived, 



FESTUB. 199 

Invader of heaven's annual paradise, 

Wants not, where'er is life ; but graved in rocks, 

Rude missals of millennial patriarchs, 

Incised in arrowy Zend, on tabled clay — 

On i>alm foil penned, or purple pulp of flowers 

Illumed with every literal g-race, or writ 

On vii^in vellum rose-e:ilded and perfumed, 

Shrined in the bosom of some cloistered saint, 

The same sad tale perpetually commands 

The astral annals of the universe. 

A separate interest 'twixt themselves and God 

Insinuate once, like conflicts 'monf^ themselves, 

And schemes of empire basely politic, sprang:. 

One name of God each took, or masculine 

Or feminine, deity having justly both, 

"Who Father is, and bringer-forth of all ; 

Some title of divinity, none save God 

Could equitably assume, that so they, vain, 

Blight, as lords substitute, the rights receive 

Due to the alone Eternal, and his name 

Blot from the hearts and memories of mankind. 

Such were Baal Semim, Lord of heaven, whom old 

Phoenicia worshipped ; such too, league-invoked 

In Syria as the lord of waters, he 

Whose covenant witness was the e'erlasting well ; 

He, such, by Nile, Ilephaistos, father of fire ; 

Aurmazd or Ilus, such ; who when he had bade 

The Persian bow before his so-called throne, 

The sun, and claimed, phanta.^tic, to have made 

Espendcrmad, earth's fair tutelar, bright Khourdad, 

And all the seven great angels, lit the stars, 

Father himself of light ; his strength reserved, 

So feigned he to his prophet, for that strife 

Final and all composing, 'gainst his power 

I name not, lord of evil, but in Yezd 

Prudentially still worshipped, from the world 

Kouted, to be, with three-fold thunder fires, 

As chiselled glorious on the Assyrian slab ; 

Vain boasters all these mock divinities ; such 

A\Tiom Asian tribes hailed, dove-bom, mother of heavcBj 

And 'mong their mingled gods the Nasaiiy claimed, 

Lady of light ; those who in sequent years 

In the holy and lovely island of the west, 

As lords of light, of fate, of wealth, of power, 

Gifts, glories were adored ; such, latelier known, 

Mid deeps Pacific isled, Muooi, stretched 

Full length, gigantic shorer-up of earth ; 

High title his, Sustainer of the world. 

But soon in angel breasts, ill passions bred, 

And multiplied to wrongs ; developed ill 

Evolved more perfect sin, till, frantic stricken, 

Men cursed their benefactors, cursed and Bcomed, 



200 FE8TU8. 

These, fabling- of the future, bade their seera 

Read signs in moving spheres, coin chanted lies 

"Which, doubly feigned, deceivers self -deceived, 

From tripod trolled, or maundered from dim shrineB, 

And brazen idols, inwardly excavate, 

"Whereby false faith, or rich voluptuous fraud. 

Might in murk night self -satiate, triumph. Thus, 

Contentious 'mong themselves who most should reap 

From man's credulity, allwhere triumphed wrong. 

Oppression followed rivalry ; full soon 

Symbols and signs of terror were, in place 

Of love, God's own and holiest title, ta'en ; 

And the divine to finite passion changed. 

Then first the primal lamb whom spring's warm breezb, 

Its pearly flowers and brooldets bubbling clear, 

Welcome, newborn, 'neatli sign connate in heaven ; 

Next, human victims bled ; and passed the babe 

Through baptistry of blood or fire, to peace. 

Such offerings, loathed by heaven ; while stoimiest wn.rg; 

Each striving most to widen his domain, 

Propelling his adorers to invade. 

Root out, and ruin all of faith opposed, 

Angel with angel waged, and god 'gainst god. 

The heavens were rent with lightnings, raid the fields 

Of interjacent space, as the high powers, 

Now heated to malignity, oft closed 

In thunderous conflict, till the fire breath'd hills 

Grew iced with foar ; and qunking earth beneath 

Reeked with the gore of brethren, brethren slain. 

So, while 'gainst heathen, heathen, kin 'gainst kin 

Streamed foe -wise in embattled war- waves ; mowed, 

With scythed cars, earth's man-eai-ed crops ; of wealth, 

Peace, culture, states despoiled ; while every land 

Red rapine reaped, and idiot famine fed ; 

"While maid and mother, eld and childhood, ate 

Grief's heart, and drank the tears of woe, hell, know, 

Agape for pitiless spirits, and o'er men's wrongs 

Retaliative, content, groaned deep delight. 

The angel of the ocean-flowing Nile, 

And he who Hermon's heights and Lebanon held ; 

These, who the honours of the plains, and those 

Who river, sea, or several planet claimed ; 

And he who, where Hiddekel gulphward darts, 

Ruled with an absolute crown, for ages, strove, 

With changeablest success, but changeless woe. 

So, too, the Median angel and the Greek, 

Contending, fanes and altars were o'erthrov/n, 

Defiled ; and myriads, militant devotees. 

Through vain ambition of immortals, slain. 

One thing was common to all nations, woe. 

Sin, vice and luxury, with their flower- wreathed rods, 

Ruled and chastised the nations ; race by race, 



FESTU8, 201 

Slaughtered, made, like that cruel tower Shirauz 
Once held, of bodies breathful, limed with blood, 
Time's generations, layers of death. 

Festus. Not all : — 

Or vainly read I earth's recorded passed. 
Was surely bale, nor with life blight ; to man 
One sweet exemption, by God's grace, pertained ; 
One gift diviner than the angels gave. 
Or took away, by them o'erlooked, but given 
From heaven's own treasury, all their mutual ire 
Could ruin not, nor pervert ; love, nought but love ; 
Parental, filial, conjugal, and divine. 
Life's armies were recruited still by love ; 
Fond hearts still grew affection, as fields gi-ain ; 
Still bloomed and fruited with an inward life, 
And vintage of delight ; still youthful breasts, 
Ileciprocally fired, imparted joy, 
Imported rapture ; tenderest converse, still, 
Sweet as the whisperings of imblossomed trees, 
Or the low lispings of night's silvery main. 
Lived on the lips of lovers, then as now, 
By fount or mead, or wandering, moon beguiled, 
'Neath tall white cliffs, along the unshadowed shore. 

LuciPEB. In sooth not aU was sorrow, nor all sin ; 
Many too reckless lived to grieve ; who died 
Early, died guiltless of much crime ; not all 
Was ill, then. Not the less, priest, bard, nor mage, 
From oracles, nor from mystic orgies ; none 
From secret source, nor patent ; ghostliest runes, 
Nor rolls of birchen bark, with mighty lay 
Of divination, graven in branched signs, 
Ere dim tradition ; not from tablets rich 
With Auscan god-lore, and augurial rites 
Of volant fowl ; from cane, nor palm-leaf, drenched 
With sacred scents, in gilded Pali penned, 
Could whisper to the world one saving spell ; 
One sacred secret snatched from jealous heaven ; 
That might the house of death illame ; nor aught 
From oracles Sibylline ; Klarian fane ; nor cave 
Delphic, of holiest ambiguity, sought ; 
Not Rabbin versed in Kabalistic lore. 
Nor echoing daughter of the spirit voice ; 
Nor spheral talismans, nor star-graved seals, 
Whose influences, worlds, elements, all pervade 
Could raise in life one soul to peaceful hope. 
Death -passed, of ultimate union with the Light 
Intelligible, of being. Nought hence could save, 
lletrack their steps the angels scorned ; nor deigned, 
From holiest truths eliminating all false. 
To help reharmonize with God, man's mind ; 
But, as misplaced of purpose, blent their rites. 
That so from mystery mystery still might come, 

k3 



202 FESTUS, 

And no solutioB, no salvation, soul 
Sufficing-, issue. Virtue, without end 
Was preached of, taug-ht, discussed, belauded, sungf ; 
But as in theories of best life, men grew 
More skilled and perfect, so in practice worse. 
Nor all philosophies, nor their devotees, 
'Vailed aught ; not his, who held the all was God ; 
Not his who first from heaven to earth deduced 
Philosophy, and then from earth to heaven 
Retraced the soul's path by immortality ; 
Nor his, the sometime slave's, sumamed divine, 
Eich in Egyptian wisdom, and all lore 
Hellenic, who in Academe taught, well pleased, 
The teacher of earth's conqueror, and the hearts 
Of tyrant kings softened by gratitude ; 
Not they who, in the Porch, oft dreamed aloud 
Their passionless figment of humanity ; 
Nor he who, in the Garden, vainly taught 
Pure pleasure as man's truest mark and end ; 
The pleasure of just virtue, one with God's ; 
Whose words the hearts corrupt corrupted they 
Aimed but to purify ; not he who scorned 
All things, nor he, all doubting ; not even they, 
Manly and moderate, honest friends of truth, 
Who all the tenable jioints of others chose, 
And in one system starred. Nor better fared 
The dubious mind, elsewhere, intent on truth. 
To some, in every land, of soul reborn. 
The gifts pertained of wisdom, life and peace ; 
But who the multitudinous mass should teach ; 
What truths unfold, and what more shrewd reserve, 
The wisest men were doubtfullest, and believed 
The ultimate indifference of all deeds, 
All thoughts, all motives, all intents ; the best 
Were erring guides ; to most man's life but showed 
A bridge of groans across a stream of tears. 
Again the giant world-sphinx, winged with air. 
Sun -faced, star-maned, tailed with the rolling sea. 
And breasted as beseems the dam of all ; 
AVho nourisheth men and beasts ; her riddle reads. 
And this time, she the knot divine propounds, 
Of how may man with God be reconciled ? 
Who solves, earns well the purple ; and thenceforth, 
With ominous and curse- worthiest glory, wears 
His gold-spiked crown. But ah 1 his end is woe. 
He to his fate uneyes himself in vain ; 
His tomb is in Time's chasm ; and all along, 
Oracular thunders further quest forefend. 
In every generation of his kind, 
Hero, or priest, or bard, or sage, or king, 
There lives but one can solve. 
Festus. And all were dumb I 



FESTU8, 203 

Lucifer. But now that times, of old foretold, drew nigh, 
God, the most highest, compassionating? the plight 
Of wretched mortals, thus with reason blessed 
But with material nature cursed, devoid 
Of guide infallible, or of standard puie, 
And ground beneath the crushing rivalries 
Of disobedient angels, sent on earth 
His spirit-anointed prophet, soul heaven-bom. 
To preach true knowledge of heaven's Lord, that faith 
In him alone supreme, he might retrieve 
To earth's bewildered nations, and the reign 
O'erthrow of angel-kings who thralled the world 
With their most false misrule ; and, in their front. 
The haughty and presumptuous spirit-chief, 
^^^lo, one stem family of Semitic seed 
Choosing, inhibiting brotherhood from the hour 
"When out of Nembrod's wi'ath, and Assur's land, 
The idolatrous Chaldees' demoniac fires. 
And city, itself a realm, of Nin-Evech, 
He brought the father of the faithful ; ruled 
His wayward chosen in all their wanderings. 
Rebellions, servitudes ; and, by him led forth 
Lateliest from Goschen, in K'naan now 'bode : 
He, boasting God to teach, the sole, most high. 
But elsewhere with the unequal angels linked. 
Confused of doctrine : — tremble not, but hear. 
IMen cried aloud to God, God, pitying man, 
Eyes, in sublime compassion, man belov.r ; 
And mercy, unto the semi- angel, man, 
Flows from the vision. God, long-suffering, acts. 

Festus. At length we touch the hem of history's robe. 

Lucifer. The chosen and some even gentUe tribes at one 
In this fanatic craze like treacherous gusts 
Inflated with, and all delusive all 
Blew rivalrou-s from their lips of prophecy. 
"What, then was so predicted, could but coma 
Comes now the liberator of soul, the saint 
Of saints ; the preacher of forgiven sin ; 
On due repentance between eai-th and heaven ; 
The great Pacificator. 

Festus. Went not wild 

The world with joy ? 

Lucifer. Indeed not. 

Festus. Was no claah 

Of aword on shield, hence useless but for hive 
Of swarmful bees ? No bruit of brazen trump, 
Pealing its joyous requiem o'er dead war ? 
No world-wide murmurs of expectant joy, 
Too mighty to be uttered, or repressed, 
From myriads heard ? No arch triumphal reared ? 
Earth's cities showed no revelry ? No domes, 
Nor Parian pillars chapiter'd with flam© 



204 FJE8TU8 

Of flower-wreathed lamps, respiring odorous oils ? 

Ko festal halls with floral rainbows spanned, 

And bannered silks with silvery ciphers wrought 1 

No gilded car ? No team of creamwhite steeds, 

In housings pranked of purple and pearl ? Came forth 

No mitred priest, his path of peace to charm 

With benedictions, pouring at his feet 

Long-templed treasures, ransom of a race ? 

Their trenchant trade nor smith, nor armourer, ceased ? 

Seemed there no universal pause from pain ; 

War ; now of heaven discountensuuced, and God's truce 

Of promise, made perpetual ? 

LuciFEE. Since that day 

The world hath made more war than e'en before ; 
And this man's followers, mad to prove him prince 
Of peace, have soaked, and still steep, earth in blood. 

Festus. In grace of such high advent, figured forth, 
By sagest seer, in sacred dance and game, 
Showed not the sphered skies their mysteries, then, 
In honour of God's fatherhood first preached 
Of all men, and man's brotherhood ? 

LuciFEE. Nay, thou dreamest. 

Festus. Glared not the hills with joy-fires ? Made the kings 
No feast imperial ? Bled not fountains wine, 
With gush luxurious into marble meres ? 
Nor prince nor kingling largesse gave to churl. 
Nor freedom to those bond ? No ? Loosed not heaven, 
When, masked in manhood, earth he dignified 
By touching with his feet, as once the wave 
While he to faith a golden pathway showed, 
Self-interested, from out its depths, some noon 
Eclipsing orb, that missioned thus of God 
Man's spirit to purify, and exalt with proof 
Of immortality, all earth's souls might learn 
His entrance into life ? 

Lucifer. Thou knowst the tale. 

So it was not. 

Festus. No, thus : One pale pure star, 

Fresh coined of God, like that which on the lap 
Of astral queen, sphere-throned, for later worlds 
Leapt forth ; this, marked of none but three ; through air 
Glode slowly ; and towards a newborn babe, so came 
Earth's prince of prophets lowlily, that night 
Of wintry snows, by her who bare cave-cribbed, 
'Mid lowing oxen and adoring herds, 
Pointed with rayonnant finger, and retired. 

LuciFEE. Foretold or not by stars, or winged suns, 
This seer of seers who humbliest lived, his words 
Well-like profoundly clear, and, deeplier drawn. 
The purer showing, his entire life one long 
Perpetual miracle, who to preach the truth 
And men buy back to true faith in one God, 



1 



FESTU8. 205 

Lived solely, was by treachery base, inspired 

Of tb' apostate angels colleagued, seized and slain. 

Thousands revered and loved him ; one betrayed. 

For this, for man's own sake, and for the ills 

Strife rivalrous 'mong these celestial powers 

Caused, God deposed the angels ; and, their seals 

Of sovereignty annulled, they cast, as bidden, 

All, into black oblivion ; even as since 

In mountain tarn volcanic, throne and crown, 

Sceptre, and all regalia, golden gauds. 

The imperial pagan of the west, though he 

Justly, to baulk his conquerors base, — implunged ; 

In time to come, some needy fisherman, 

At close of day, with his last throw, perchance, 

Shall joyful net, a mass, if weed-webbed, foul, 

And once a despot's diadem, may yet 

Burnish to brightness fit for holiest shrhief^. 

Festus. Thus, too, may it be with the angels, once consigned 
To purifying penance, loth henceforth 
Even in thought, God's unity, like intense, 
Like infinite with this onemost heaven, to break. 
Is there for such no hope 1 None ? Nay, I see 
Hope's dawn in far-off skies. 

Lucifer. Keen-eyed one, cease. 

■\Mien spirit that springs from Being's eternal fount 
Led down through all life's elements, lapse of time 
And tact of sense concurring, hath at last 
Its earthlier dross precipitated, and again 
Bound lightwards, in its course self -clarified, 
Reflecting God, as ocean in his breast. 
Booklike, the starry transcript of the skies 
Holds, so all virtuous and celestial powers 
]\Iay look for like communion ; but so long 
As separateness of self, and turbid touch 
Of world-love or of passion, dim the soul. 
Never ; be it theirs or thine. But thine, even now, 
Bears the design of earthliest discontent, 
Not sacred satisfaction. Now to him. 
■\\Tiose soul is saved all things are clear as stars, 
And to the chosen is sense of safety : this 
None else, nor cold insurgent heart, nor mind 
Menial, can compass. It is the way of God, 
The starry path none treaxi but spirits heaven-high, 
Who were of him before all worlds, and ai-e 
Beloved and saved for ever, while they live. 
Thou of the world art yet, with motives, means 
And ends, as others. 

Festus. I will no more of it. 

Lucifer. Oh dream not that. Thou knowest not the depth 
Of nature's dark abyss, thyself, nor God. 
Thou mayst yet rise and fall oft as the sea. 

Festus. And those thou tell'st of 2 



206 FE8TU8. 

Lucifer. It may be with them, 

Light overstrong- and darkness overlong', 
As with thyself, blind alike eye and mind, 

Festus. But I foresee. 

Lucifer. At least, thou dost forejudg-e. 

Festus. How comes it then, being spirit, I see not all 
As spirit should ? 

Lucifer. Thou lackest both life and death ; 

Earth's death, heaven's life. Then wouldst thou see with God, 
And know creation's strife in harmony 
With him, and 'mong its separate parts, how raised, 
And ordered why. 

Festus. Death alters not the spirit. 

LuciFBE. Death must be undergone ere understood. 

Festus. One world is as another. Rest we here. 

Lucifer. See,, thus men count of destiny. All is chance. 



XVI. 

Thence to a happier planet — ^for 'twas his, 

Whose soul, streamUke, the images of stars 

Immirrored in its surface, stealing, while 

At its boldness trembling, knowledge of all spheres 

Predisciplinary, to reap ; — ^where, blessed, we meet 

The spirit just glimpsed the first night of temptation ; 

Thenceforth the soul's instructress. The prime steps 

See, of the angel spirit, earth -trained to good ; 

Lnmortal, self-perfectible ; whose deep thoughts 

And lofty musings sow in us the seeds 

Of higher nature, brighter being. The muse, 

Especial faculties raised and vivified, there. 

Hail ; heavenly poesie hail ; all mental powers 

Outlustring, even as this, eve's dewy star, 

All worlds. The searchful soul, bent to evoke 

From all intelligence its especial spell 

Of union with truth universal, seeks, 

Earth meditating, and in the future plunged 

Of mind's advance, our nearest, saddest Ught, 

Tlie Hesperian Sphere. Another and a tetter World. 

Festus, Lucifer, Angela. 

Festus. Sweetest of worlds 1 which, Lucifer, is this f 
Lucifer. This is the star of evening and of beauty, 
Festus. Otherwise Hesper. I will stay here. 
Lucifer. Nay : 

It is but a visit. As the morning star 
Some know it, too ; but these, a wakeful few. 
I have no interest in it. 

Festus. Let us look 

About us. Heaven, it is, it must be I Aught 
So beauteous, must have feeling. Cannot worlds live ? 
Least things have life : why not things greatest, too ? 



I 



FE8TU3. 207 

An ntomic is a world, a woiid an atom, 
Seen relatively ; and death an act of life. 

Lucii'EK. This is a world where every loveliest thing 
Lasts lonjJTCst ; where decay lifts never hc^d 
Above the grossest forms, and matter here, 
Is all transi)arent substance ; the flower fades not ; 
liut every eve {jives forth a fragrant ]i«,'ht ; 
Till, by degrees, the spirit of each flower 
Essentially consuming it, ilio fair frame 
Refines itself to air ; rejoining thus 
Its archetype, and preiixistent. Here, 
The beautiful die not ever. Death lies all 
Adreaming ; he hath nought to do : the babe 
Plays with his darts. Nought dies but what should die. 
Here are no earthquakes, storms nor plagues ; no hell 
At heart ; no floating flood on high. The soil 
Is ever fresh, and fragrant as a rose ; 
The skies, like one wide rainbow, stand on gold ; 
The clouds are light as rose leaves, and the dew. 
It is of the tears which stars weep, sweet with joy. 
The air is softer than a loved one's sigh ; 
The ground is glowing with all priceless ore. 
And glistening with gems, like a bride's bosom ; 
The trees have silver stems and emerald leaves ; 
The fountains bubble nectar ; and the hills 
Are half alive with light. 

Festus. The very blush 

Of being ; it is surely too a maiden world, 
Unmarred by thee. Touch it not, Lucifer. 

LuciFEE. It is too bright to tarnish. 

Festus. Didst thou fail ? 

Lucifer. I cannot fail. Success with me is nature, 
I who am cause, means, consequence of ill. 
Yet is't not heaven. 

Festus. Oh, no. And would I change 

Earth, with her desert breast, and wood -wavy brow, 
Fickle though oft, even fatal, for this round 
Of delicatest realities ? Nay, I love 
Earth's woods to haunt when the storm bends his bow, 
And volleys all his arrows ofl: at once ; 
And when the dead brown branch conies crashing close 
To my feet, to tread it down, because I feel 
Decay my foe ; and not to triumph's worse 
Than not to win. It is wrong to think on earth ; 
But terror hath a beauty, even as mildness. 
And I have felt more rapture even on earth 
When, like a lion, or a day of battle. 
The storm rose, roared, shook out its shaggy mane, 
And leapt abroad on the world, and lay down red. 
Licking himself to sleep, as it got light ; 
Ay, in the cataract-like tread of a crowd, 
AJid its irresistible rush, flooding the green, 



208 FESTU8. 

As thongL. it came to doom, than ever I could 
Feel in tMs faery orb of show and shine. 
I love earth I 

LuciFEE. Thou art mad to dote on earth, 
"When with this sphere of beauty. Nay, conceive. 
Thou canst not yet enjoy a sensuous world, 
Eefined though ne'er so little o'er thine own, 
And still wouldst enter heaven. "Valhalla's halls, 
And skulls o'erbrimmed with mead ; cities of gold, 
Cities of silver ; temples roofed with light ; 
God-home and glory-land ; Elysian plains, 
Where peace and pleasure, endless, cloudless joy, 
And ever-ripening bliss, enrapture all ; 
The Buddhist's blessed Nirvana, half between 
What is, and what is not ; the Chaldee's orbs 
Of gold, where wons the primal light intense ; 
The high celestial mountains, bright with hues 
Spiritual of heaven, Brahm loves, and Siva holds, 
So pure that snow would stain, and dew defile ; 
Where music, and her sister beauty, song, 
Each, time by time on other leaning, haunt 
The waters of immortal life, which flow 
So fables feign in everlasting lapse ; 
Nor other sustenance need, nor can endure ; 
The pearly palaces and odorous groves ; 
Forms heavenly, infinite brightness, and of souls 
The starry transmigrations, they who home 
By the amber main, believe their lot, past death ; 
The Aztec's burning heaven, where living clouds 
By warrior souls infoi-med, sweep round the sun 
Ceaseless ; rise, fall, at will ; an earth-life now. 
Or heaven-life had, in turn ; whose sword-play make* 
Lightning, whose voice in battle, thunder, they 
Warring on high ; the Moslem's love-bowers, streams 
Of wine, and tents palatial, gem illumed ; 
Where dark-eyed houris with the endearing arms 
White, ever virgin, woo and welcome ye ; 
Eden, where life, toilless, at least, gave man 
All things to live with, nothing to live for ; 
Were, all, too pure for thee. Yet shalt thou be 
Surely in heaven, ere death unlock the heart. 

Festus. Lo, here are spirits, denizens of the sphere, 
I doubt not, fitly fair ; and, strange 1 all seem 
To love each other. 

LuciPEE. He hath but half a heart 

Who loves not all. 

Festus. Speak for me to some angeL 

See, here is one, a very soul of beauty. 
Nay, 'tis the Muse. I know her by the lyre 
Hung on her arm, and eye like fount of fire. 

Muse. Mortal, approach. I am the holy Muse, 
Wiom earth's best spirits adore ; her chosen choose. 



FE8TUB. 200 

It is I "who imbreatho my soul into the lips 

Of those great lights whom death nor time eclipse , 

It is I who wing the loving heart with song, 

And set its sighs to music on the tongue ; 

It is I who watch, and with high thoughts reward, 

For every thing I love that's pure and bright, 

The holy aspirings of the youthful bard. 

•Twas but tliis mom, with the first wink of light, 

A sunbeam left the sun ; and as it sped, 

I followed, watched, and listened, what it said : — 

' Straight from the sun I part ; and though have passed 

Since bidden of God, and in heaven's centre cast, 

Worlds, ages, dooms, yet I am light to the last. 

And though, foreseen, the world's air warps our way, 

And crops the roses from the cheek of day ; 

As some false fiiend who holds man's all in trust, 

Oils his decline, and hands him to the dust, 

Yet all our God shall once bend to his will, 

Is sacred, to be loved, or borne with, still ; 

"We know not what may be ; we bide what must. 

If such then fate, to speed unwavering on 

My path, be mine ; though fate and fall be one. 

For what's this swift, this bright, but downward being, 

Too burning to be borne, too brief for seeing ? 

What is mine aim, mine end? Would I expire 

Grovelling in common dust, in sea, air, fire ? 

Help avarice pelf to heap, war wreak his ire. 

Or light the loveless to their low desire ? 

No ; but if favouring fate which, urged from God, 

Here vivifies a heaven, and there a clod, 

Grant me but this request, death's pang to assuage, 

'Twould be to perish on the poet's page, 

Where, kissing from his beauty's brow all age, 

Bespelled for ever fair, and wrinkle scorning, 

As when first that brow brake on him like a morning, 

He, with adoring spirit, creates the line 

Which leads, by mortal beauty to divine, 

Man's soul. For this end, earthbound though, I come, 

I'd live, die, go down gladdening, to my doom.' 

It said ; and saw earth 1 and one moment more 

Fell bright beside a vine-shadowed cottage door. 

In it came ; glanced above a glowing page 

Where youth foreshortening and forestalling age, 

Weak with the work of thought a boyish bard 

Sato suing night and stars for his reward ; 

The unwrought crownlets which to bards belong, 

And bloom perennial in their sacred song. 

The sunbeam swerved and grew, a breathing, dim. 

For the first time, as it lit and looked on him ; 

His forehead faded, pale his lip, and dry ; 

Hollow his cheek, and fever fed his eye ; 

Doubt-clouds lay round his brain, as on a hill 



210 FE8TU8. 

Broods the incipient storm, unvoiced ; and still, 

Quick with the thunder thought, and lightning- will. 

His clenched hand shook from its more than midnight clasp ; 

And his pen fluttered like a winged asp ; 

Save that no deadly venom blacked its lips ; 

'Twas his to enlighten life, and not eclipse, 

Nor would he shade one merit owned hy other, 

To have a sphere his slave, a god his brother. 

Still sate he, though his lamp sunk : still he strained 

His eyes to work the nightness which remained. 

Vain pain 1 he could not make the light he wanted ; 

And soon thought's wizard ring gets disenchanted. 

When earth was dayed, was morrowed ; the first ray 

Perched on his pen, and diamonded its way ; 

Tlxe sunray that I watched, which, proud to cease 

Mid some fair line, inspu-ed of love and peace, 

Died, in the only path it would have trod, 

WtJire there as many ways, as worlds, to God ; 

Died ; in his eye again to live and burn. 

As aature's gloiy all to heaven's shall turn, 

When truth's immortal sunbeams guide his pen. 

And love his heart who, God-taught, teaches men 

They may be all they most aspire to be, 

Their longed-for end, their earliest destiny, 

Whose aim in life is truth and sanctity. 

For earth-life is but being's dawning ray ; 

And hadst thou suns in day as stars in night, 

And each, of heaven perfective, towards God's day 

Thy soul brought, still, its highest, truest right 

Were, luminous, to rejoin his full- sphered light. 

Before whose face creations pass away. 

As cloudlets pass before the steadfast sky, 

Or as years, time's arrows 'fore eternity. 

Festus. Thanks I With the Muse is always love and light, 
And self-swom loyalty to truth. For know. 
Poets are all who love, who feel, great truths, 
And tell them : and the truth of truths is love. 
There was a time — oh, I remember well 1 
When, like a sea-shell with its sea-bom strain, 
My soul aye rang with music of the lyre ; 
And my heart shed its lore as leaves their dew, 
A honey dew, and throve on what it shed. 
All things I loved ; but song I loved in chief. 
Imagination is the air of mind ; 
Judgment its earth and memory its main ; 
Passion its fire. I was at home in heaven. 
Swiftlike, I lived above ; once touching earth, 
The meanest thing might master me : long wings 
"But bafiied. StiU and still I harped on song. 
Oh 1 to create within the mind is bliss ; 
And, shaping forth the lofty thought, or lovely, 
We seek not, need not heaven : and when the thought, 



T'ESTUS. 211 

Clondy and ehapclcFfi, fiift forms on the mind, 

Slow darkening into some gigantic make, 

How tlie heart shakes with pride and fear, as heaven 

Quakes under its own thunder ; or as might, 

Of old, the mortal mother of a god, 

When first phe saw him lessening up the skies. 

And I began the toil divine of verse, 

Which, like a burning bush, doth guest a god. 

But this was only wing-ilapping — not flight ; 

The pawing of the courser ere he win ; 

Till by degrees, from wrestling with my soul, 

I gathered strength to keep the fleet thoughts fas',. 

And made them bless roe. Yes, there was a time 

When tomes of ancient song held eye and heart ; 

Were the sole lore I recked of : the great bards 

Of Greece, of Home, and mine own master land. 

And they who in the holy book are deathless ; 

Men who have vulgarized sublimity ; 

And bought up truth for the nations ; held it whole ; 

Men who have forged gods — uttered — made them pass : 

Sons of the sons of God, who, in olden days, 

Did leave their passionless heaven for earth and woman ; 

Brought an immortal to a mortal breast, 

And, clasping rainbowlike sweet earth, here left 

A bright precipitate of soul, which lives 

Ever ; and through the lines of sullen men, 

The dumb array of ages, speaks for all ; 

Flashing by fits, like fire from an enemy's front ; 

Whose thoughts, like bars of sunshine in shut rooms, 

Mid gloom, all glory, win the world to light ; 

Who make their very follies like their souls ; 

And like the young moon with a ragged edge, 

Still, in their imperfection, beautiful ; 

Whose weaknesses are lovely as their strengths, 

Like the white nebulous matter between stars, 

Which, if not light, at least is likest light ; 

Men whom we build our love round like an arch 

Of triumph, as they pass us on their way 

To glory, and to immortality ; 

Men whose great thoughts possess us like a passion, 

'Rirough every limb and the whole heart ; whose words 

Haunt us, as eagles haunt the mountain air ; 

WTiose thoughts command all coming times and minds, 

As from a tower, a warden ; fix themselves 

Deep in the heart as meteor stones in earth. 

Dropped from some higher sphere ; the words of gods, 

And fragments of the undeemed tongues of heaven ; 

Men who walk up to fame as to a friend, 

Or their own house, which from the wrongful heir 

They have wrested, from the world's hard hand and gripe ; 

Men who, like death, all bone but all unarmed, 

Have ta'en the giant world by the throat, and thrown him ; 



212 FE8TU5, 

And made him swear to maintain their name and fame 

At peril of his life ; who shed great thoughts 

As easily as an oak looseneth its golden leaves 

In a kindly largesse to the soil it grew on ; 

Whose names are ever on the world's broad tongue, 

Like sound upon the falling of a force ; 

Whose words, if winged, are with angels' wings ; 

Who play upon the heart as on a harp, 

And make our eyes bright as we speak of them ; 

Whose hearts have a look southwards, and are open 

To the whole noon of nature ; these I have waked, 

And wept o'er, night by night ; oft pondering thus : 

Homer is gone : and where is Jove ? and where 

The rival cities seven ? His song outlives 

Time, tower, and god — all that then was, save heaven. 

Muse. Yea, but the poor perfections of thine earth 
Shall be as little as nothing to thee hero. 

Festus. God must be happy, who aye makes ; and since 
Mind's first of things, who makes from mind is blessed 
O'er men. Thus saith the bard to his work : — Thy god 
Am I ; and bid thee live as my God me. 
Soul of my soul 1 thou camest and went'st, sunlike, 
From mom to eve ; fire-smiling on this heart, 
Aforetime calm, until by passion's tides, 
Roused, and ambition's tyrannous gales it rose, 
And dashed about its house all might and mirth, 
Like ocean's tongue in Staffa's stormy cave. 
But wert thou fragile as the reed once filched, 
From heaven, in theft heroic, and with gifts 
Of world-vast change charged, still I hail thee fraught, 
With deathless fire, immortal as the breath 
Of God's lips, every breath, a soul. 

Muse. It is welL 

Mortal, the Muse is with thee : leave her not. 

Festus. Once my ambition to another end 
Stirred, stretched itself, but slept again. I rose 
And dashed on earth the harp, mine other heart, 
Which ringing, brake ; its discord ruinous 
Harmony still ; and coldly I rejoiced 
No other joy I had, wormlike, to feed 
Upon my ripe resolve. It might not be : 
The more I strove against, the more I loved it. 

LuciFEE. Come, let us walk along. So say f arewelL 

Festus. I will not. 

Muse. No : my greeting is for ever. 

LuciFEE. Well, well, come on 1 

Festus. Oh 1 show me that sweet soul 
Thou brought'st to me the first night that we met. 
She must be here, where all are good and fair : 
And thou didst promise me. 

LuciPEB. Is that not she 

Walking" alone, up-looking to thine earth 1 



I'HSl^Ua. 213 

For, lo I it Bhinetli through the mid-day air. 

Festus. It is, it is 1 

LuciFEB. Well, I will come again. 

The more he views, the more 'tween God and him. 

Festus. Knowest thou me, mine ovni immortal love f 
How shall I call thee ? 

AiJGELA. Soul, I know thee well. 
I am a spirit, Festus ; and I love 
Thy spirit, and shall love, when once like mine. 
More than we ever did or can even now. 
Pure spirits are of heaven all heavenly. 
Yet marvel not to meet me in this guise, 
All radiant like a diamond as it is. 
We wander in what way we will through all. 
Or any of these worlds, and wheresoe'er 
We are, there heaven is ; there, and here too, God. 
Nor deem still less thou art unwatched on earth. 
Even when I saw thee by the grave, and knew 
I was purely in thy thoughts, 'twas my soul's prayer 
To God, who o'erorders all things in unseen 
C!ontrol, and bends to his praise what hates him most, 
As what most loves, thou mightst, sometime with me 
Here meet, and quit thy mind of doubts. For here 
Bwell many and wisest angels, many souls 
Who have run pure through earth, or been made pure 
By their salvation since. It is a mart 
Where all the holy spirits of the world 
Effect sweet interchange of knowledge ; truth 
Barter for love, for love truth ; each enriched, 

Festus. Thou dost remember me ? 

Angela. Ay, every thought 

And look of love which thou hast lent to me, 
Comes daily through my memory as stars 
Wear through the dark. 

Festus. And thou art happy, love f 

Angela. Yes : I am happy when I can do good. 

Festus. To be good is to do good. Who dwell here ? 
Are they all deathless — happy ? 

Angela. All are not : 

Some err, though rarely, slightly. Spirits sin 
Only in thought ; and they are of a race 
Higher than thine ; have fewer wants and less 
Temptations, more joys, greater powers. They need 
No civil sway ; each rules, obeys, himself. 
All as they choose, live ; choose but good. Who have come 
From earti, or other orb, use the same powers, 
Passions, and pui-poses, they had ere death ; 
Although enlarged and freed, to nobler ends, 
With better means. Here the hard warrior whets 
The sword of truth, and steels his soul against sin. 
The fierce and lawless wills which trooped it over 
flis breast ; the siieared desires that overran 



214 FE8TU8, 

The fairest fields of virtue, sleep and lie 

Like a slain host 'neath snow ; he dyes his hand 

Deep in the blood of evil passions. Mind I 

There is no passion evil in itself ; 

In heaven we shall enjoy all to right ends. 

There sit the perfect women, perfect men ; 

Minds which control themselves, hearts which indulge 

Designs of wondrous goodness, but so far 

Only as soul extolled to bliss and power 

Most high sees fit for each, divinely. Here, 

Tlie statesman makes new laws for growing worlds, 

Through their forefated ages. Here, the sage 

Masters all mysteries, more and more, from day 

To day, watching the thoughts of men and angels 

Through moral microscopes ; or hails afar, 

By some vast intellectual instrument. 

The mighty spirits, good or bad, which range 

The space of mind ; some spreading death and woe 

On far off worlds ; some great with good and life. 

And here the poet, like that wall of fire 

In ancient song, towers o'er the universe ; 

Lighting himself, where'er he soars or dives. 

With his own bright brain : this is the poet's heaven. 

Here he may realize each form or scene 

He e'er on earth imagined ; or bid drer^ms 

Stand fast, and faery palaces appear. 

Here he hath heaven to hear him ; to whose love, 

Which lent him his whole strength, with mainlike voice, 

And song he thankful sings as is the wont 

Of all great spirits and good throughout the world. 

Oh I happiest of the happy is the bard 1 

Here, too, some pluck the branch of peace to greet 

A suffering saint with, and foreshow his flood 

Of woe hath sunken : this I love to do ; 

Who, late on Mercy's mission charged, thee heard ; 

Kow, here ; but wherefore ask not : thou sometime, 

Shalt know, and known, and loving me, approve ; 

Rejoice in knowing. 

Festus. Be it, loved one, as thou wilt. 

Angela. My love, we shall be happy here. 

Festus. Shall I 

Ever come here ? 

Angela. Thou mayst. I will pray for thee, 

And watch thee. 

Festus. Thou wilt have, then, need to weep. 

This heart must run its orbit. Pardon thou 
Its many sad deflections. It -vvill return 
To thee and to the primal goal of heaven. 

Angela. Practise thy spirit to great thoughts and things, 
That thou mayst start, when here, from vantage ground. 
By ceasing to be little on earth, a soul 
Effectually, grows here, half boundless, where 



FESTU8. 215 



Knowledf^c of that wo would , in bcinpr, ends. 

Our spirits what there tlicy know and love, of things 

Divine, here greaten to ; for their final cause 

Their inmost end, their hig:hci?t source in us 

Being God, soul-consciousness of wliom is blisa, 

This, our celestial aptness for high ends ; 

World-lording will, ceaseless progress of mind, 

Ambition to do good, the mastery, sought 

With tears, of mysteries, and the exalting love 

Of all perfections, virtuous and divine, 

Our birth, our worth, proves ; and the rational soul's 

Most choice endowment shows ; whereby, demarked 

From lower intelligence, and with heavenly life 

Collate, we test the future as of God, 

Whose sealed recognizance we embosom here. 

For his eternal knowledge, rounding time. 

And all things in it happening, makes the world, 

To us one vast contingency, to him 

All certainty appear, whose note of things 

Their actual being precedes, as being, with us, 

Its noteableness ; who in himself all cause 

Or absolute or conditioned holds, and knows 

Of all his works by him begun, by man 

Continued, or let lapse, which sole shall end 

In sanctified perfection. If by us 

Conceived, accordant wdth his pure design, 

O happy we 1 our life-leaf beams in heaven's 

Br'ght archives ; but time's parable misjudged, 

Misonstrued wilfully, defiled, distort 

To ends of him and us unworthy, find 

We may, to our cost, or blotted out, erased, 

Or, shrieking, from the eternal volume, torn. 

Thus, while each fateful only is to himself. 

We can foretell our future ; we foremake. 

Festus. Speak to me of the future. 

Angela. Wliy alone 

Of the to come ? 

Festus. Because I love and dread, 

As might a vessel laden o'er-deep with gold, 
To cross a stream upon whose further side 
Safety allures, but in whose midst is death, 
The untold pleasures of the life my soul 
Is richliest freighted with. 

Angela. God's supreme gift, 

Whereby all beings gauge their high advance 
In heaven, to perfect joy, is this ; to learn 
The everlasting future. Less or more. 
All happy spirits can, as one with him. 
The more their power their longing is the less ; 
Contented with divinity ; but I 
Am only at his feet, not yet his breast. 
A. natural sadness bom, Festus, bom 



216 FE8TU8, 

ff 
Of the sad passed ; though passed, though sad, still deat ; 
Clouds yet my vision of eternal things ; 
And human love yet more than nothing seems. 
Oh 1 speak not of the future. Speak to me 
Thou, of the passed. 

Festus. Immortal I from thine eye 

Wipe out the tear of time. The gates of hell 
Are barred upon the passed. Their hold is like 
The grasp of gravitation. Shall the passed 
Ever evade the death-clutch of the world ? 
No, they shall, like two cars, wheel locked in wheel, 
Roll down together to destruction's depths. 
Nay, rede me of the future what thou canst, 
Divine one 1 heaven is in the possible. 

Angela. Oh, once ere now I cast my spirit sight 
Into the orient future, to preview 
The features of thy lif elot ; but, alas ! 
I saw what I were fain to have remained 
Unweeting of for ever. Now, once more, 
Thou wouldst revive my woe. 

Festus. Nay, if it grieve thee, 

I will not wake the future. Let it sleep 
Till its time come. 

Angela. Yet with that woe I saw 

A web of joy was woven for thyself, 
For me, for many, by the love of God ; 
Who, granting his own spirit to the form 
Of divinized humanity, unbuilds 
The superseded soul, and making all 
Spirits anew in him, doth make all one. 
This is the infinite calm which circumscribes 
All local lifestorms ; this the law of peace 
Constrains all strife ; the rule of bliss all woe 
Which disannuls. Haste, haste, thou blessed hour, 
To the divine fulfilment of the end 
Of total being. 

Festus. Thus serened, speak on ; 

And with the sequence of my life forearm 
The soul that is within me. Angel, speak 1 

Angela. Nay, I am no celestial, worthy yet 
Of so high title as messenger of God ; 
But in the fire of love's refining flame, 
The love of God and good, with all these souls 
Around, self elevating, the great return 
Of made intelligence in high increment 
Of purity, towards its source most high, enjoy, 
And aid ; our being's aim ; of every scope 
Divine, the crowning reason ; gracious love 
Granting with joy each spirit's advised request. 
Hence at my prayer 'twas given me, as I said, 
The future to foresee ; and I beheld 
A vision of thyself begirt with forms, 



FESTU3. 217 

Nay, more than one, of beauty ; though to one 

Lovely and pure aa loving, I thy heart 

Had trustfully bequeathed ; but sad was this ; 

And that was blithe of blee ; and that ; enough 1 

I cannot all denote them ; but I know 

l^Talign I felt at first to see the heart 

I loved, by them usurjied. But when I thought 

From these calm heights, of all earth's cares and woes, 

And life's brief paradise, the hour of love, 

And knew it aye a failure, as of old, 

Though a divine experiment, I wept, 

And prayed, and found forgiveness for my fault. 

Seek to them ; choose. They all are in thy life 

Blent, and as elements mingled in the cup 

Creative of thy world. These twain are bound, 

One, with temptations which the soul divert 

Creature- wards from its Maker, not of need. 

Not wisely, but too oft ; one, with the charms 

I f not forbidden, of secret loiowledge, hidden 

As harmful, to the spirit that seeks not truth 

For herself sole. This dearest, first and last. 

Shall teach thee perfectness, and guide thy mind 

On earth, from truth to truth, as I from star 

To star unseen, shall have led thee through the skies. 

With her be happy. And as I looked, I found 

Though 'fore each one, successive, as the fates, 

Thy spirit did bow ; and none but in hert;elf 

Chastened, than I was happier ; yet in the end 

All formed one family spiritual of love. 

I^Ty soul then gladden e<^l, and I knew that joy 

The seal of my salvation. I beheld 

All things rejoice beneath the light of love, 

Vrbich seemed to bum within me, and beam thi-ough, 

Lost in the boundless loneliness of God. 

I saw earth's war-scarred countenance sweetly glide 

Into the angel lineaments of peace ; 

And gentlest sorrow dream herself to joy. 

Tears shed on earth were reaped in heaven in smiles, 

And what was sown in sighs was raised in songs. 

Hapt iu this vision with ecstatJc bliss, 

Myself secure from all external chance. 

As though the one pure atomic of light 

Impounded in the centre of the sun, 

Ere yet the end of all, m.ethought I saw 

Each beauty gathered by the careful hand 

Of the great gatherer, who f orgetteth none. 

I felt my being brightened and made fit 

For heavenly regions, gladdening in their glee, 

And grieving in their grief ; as, with thine own, 

One blessed fate I viewed involving all, 

One everlasting end. All earthly love 

Consunun'd with thine, I saw, made love dirine. 



218 FESTU8. 

For as the countless globelets of the dew 

Image each one the sun, so, in the dawn 

Of heaven's great day, the seed of God shall shine 

Each with his golden likeness in his breast. 

Thus far my vision. May the all-kind God, 

Who crowns creation with o'erflowing love, 

Bless it to thee 1 And wouldst thou further know, 

Or of the passed, or the calm coming time. 

Seek yonder sphere serene ; for changeless there, 

In lofty and in lonely light sedate, 

The sibyl angel sits, star studying ; 

Two only things before her — heaven and earth. 

Her ask, and she will answer all ; nay, show 

Sometime, if friendliest trust mayhap, prevail, 

A wider scope of things, than spirit like mine 

Of heaven's novitiate, can control. And this, 

Albeit thyself to know is most of all. 

To know, yet soul-world it behoves thee search 

Ere called on high thou dream'st of entering Heaven. 

Festus. Bound am I by the promised boon of one 
Who holds his spirit in fealty to his word 
To cross celestial thresholds, and the gates 
Pass of the invisible land. 

Angela. That may not he. 

For lo I there is written in the book of God 
This fate ; no soul on earth which lives, of Him 
Unbidden, unproved of justifying spheres 
Spiritual, can enter Heaven, or eye the light 
Intelligible of Deity, and not die. 

Festus. It may be, I am bidden. 

Angela. It may. And now, 

By me forebode, by sweetest Luniel there. 
Forewarned, foretaught, and fortilied in soul, 
Retrieve thou the terrene. Endure, enjoy. 
Who rightly all conditions of life's law 
Fulfils, from death to happiest deathlessness, 
Proceeds, divinized. Mayst thou in holy joy. 
Thy spiritual birthright here reclaimed, aye live ! 

Festus. So shall it be : thy will and my deed, one, 
I do not fear to die ; for though I change 
The mode of being, I shall ever be. 
World after world shall fall at my right hand ; 
The glorious future be the passed despised : 
All now that seemeth bright will soon seem dim, 
And darker grow, like earth, as we approach it ; 
While I shall stand upon yon heaven which now 
Hangs over me. If aught can make me seek 
Other to be than that lost soul I fear me, 
It is that thou lovest me. Heaven were not heaven 
Without thee. 

Lucipee. I am here now. Art thou ready 2 
Let us go. 



FESTU8. 219 

• 

Angela. Well — farewell. It makes me grieve 
To bid a loved one back to you false world ; 
To give up even a mortal unto death. 
Thou wilt forget me soon, or seek to do. 

Festus. "When I forget that the stars shine in air ; 
When I forget that beauty is in stars ; 
"When I forget that love with beauty is ; 
"Will I forget thee : till then, all things else. 
Thy love to me was perfect from the first, 
Even as the rainbow in its native skies : 
It did not grow ; let meaner things mature. 

Angela. The rainbow dies in heaven and not on earth ; 
But love can never die : from world to world, 
Up the high wheel of heaven, it lives for aye. 
Remember that I wait thee, hoping here. 
Life is the brief disunion of that nature 
WTiich hath been one and same in heaven ere now, 
And shaU be yet again, renewed by death. 
Come to me, when thou diest 1 

Festus. I will, I will, 

Angela. Then, in each other's anus, we will waft through space, 
Spirit in spirit, one ; or, grateful, dwell 
Among these immortal groves ; watching new worlds, 
As, like the great thoughts of a Maker-mind, 
They are rounded out of chaos : w^ill be oft. 
On earth with those w^e have loft and love, and help them ; 
For God hatli made it lawful for good souls 
To make souls good ; and saints, to lielp the saintly. 
That thou right soon raayst fold unto thy heart 
The blissful consciousness of separate 
Oneness with God, in whom alone the saved 
Are holy and deathless, shall become, for thee, 
My earliest, earnest, and most constant prayer. 
Oh I what is dear to creatures of the earth ? 
Life, love, light, liberty ? But dearer far 
Than aU, and oh 1 an universe more divine. 
The gift, God crowns his chosen with, of heaven's 
Unimageable glory, ere all worlds. 
And after all reserved for those he loves. 
As when the eye first views some Andean chain 
Of shadowy rolling cloud-crags, air-based, height 
On height, in sunny snowshcen. up the skies 
'Spiring, like angels' pinions, when heaven's host 
Self-hushed, God's utterance listens, nor can tell 
Which loftiest, nor which loveliest, be ; as when 
An anny awakening with the sun, all hope, 
Starts to its feet, spear answering spear, line, lino 
Reundulative ; white plumes, like war-foam, wave 
Far round ; the light of sword-bom lightning gleams 
Generously ; while reek themselves away, unwatched, 
Night's watchfires dull : so feels the spirit when first 
Doubt quelled, faith's conquering arms flash certainty 



220 FESTU8. 

9 

On reason's field ; so, too, when now the soul, 
God's bright and mountainous mysteries receives, 
Containing heaven ; moving themselves towards us. 
In their free greatness, as, by ships at sea, 
Come icebergs, imminently upon their base 
Heaving, poised ; pure and pointed as a star, 
Afar off glittering, of invisible depth, 
And in the light above, dissolving. 

Festus. Dear one I 

My prayer shall be, that thy prayer be fulfilled. 
And now, to earth again. Farewell, sweet soul. 

Angela. Farewell. I will be oft with thee if maj'be. 
But if, as fate may order, me thou mect'st 
Elsewhere than hc7'e, demand of me no word, 
But imitative of virtues not yet thine, 
Thou shalt learn sometime, why, where silence is 
Worthless ; and reticence only hath wise praise. 

LuciFEK. Earth like I more than this : I rather love 
A splendid failing than a petty good ; 
Even as the lightning's bolt, whose course is downwards, 
Is nobler still than any fire which soars. 
I scarce can say wherefore I had thee hither, 
It was wrong, I fear. 

Festus. Mayhap 'twas destiny, 

Life's special charm. 

Lucifer. Go to — reasons are plenty, 

Nor ever absent, but when wanted. Come 1 

Festus. I am determined to be good again. 
Again ? When was I otherwise than ill / 
Both not sin pour from my soul like dew from earth, 
And, vapouring up before the face of God, 
Congregate there, in clouds, between heaven and me ? 
What wonder that I lack delight of life ? 
For it is thus — when amid the world's delights, 
How warm soe'er we feel a moment among them — 
We find ourselves, when the hot blast hath blown, 
Prostrate, and weak, and wretched, even as I am. 

Lucifer. I have done nothing for thee yet. Thou heaven 
Shalt see, and hell, and all the sights of space, 
Whene'er thou choosest. 

Festus. Kot then now. 

Lucifer. L^p 1 rise I 

Festus. No ; I'll be good ; and will see none of them. 

Lucifer. Kemember, there's the moon. 

Festus. My memory 

Is most tenacious of the things of light, 
And the commands of love. 

Lucifer. Oh, happy thought I 



FE8TU8. 221 



XVII. 



Charged by the spirit e'er upwards ripening, man 
And evil, nis mightier minister, invade 
P<?aceful, that sacred sphere, the queen of heaven, 
Whose passive utterances of light reveal 
The birth of things, their subjectness to soul, 
Spiritual and human ; sin's source, and the means 
Whereby perfection reuttained, and men 
And angels joined in bliss with God, all good 
Shall be at full ; and Time, his crown resigned 
After his day's reign, to Eternity, — 
Mother of him, and of ages all, cease. Here, 
Inspired by love of soul-life progressive, 
Though for a season thwarted the daring spirit 
Promise exacts unforfeitable, from one 
"Who can fulfil vow made to test the skies 
Perfective, elevative of life. 

The Momi. 

Festup, Lucifer, and Luniel. 

Festus. Thus far along these silenfc wastes of light 
Have we, unseeing and unseen, held on. 
Time's sands seem turned to seed-pearl as they glide. 
In luminous slumber, through his shadowy glass, 
To glorified repose ; while snowy Peace 
Hushes the infant soul, here bom again. 
To wonder and delight. And yet these rocks, 
^MlOse flames once flourished in the face of heaven. 
Like burning banners o'er a fiend host, there 
Arrested in ignition, fire made stone. 
Speak out of other state than quiet once. 
Not Chaos when in travail of the earth. 
And groaning with the birth-pang, nor the sun's 
Deserts of fire, sea-deep with drifting flame ; 
Nor all contortions of the solemn clouds. 
Can match the immarbled madness of this orb : 
As though some vast wild passionate soul, ablaze 
Through all its nature with volcanic sin. 
By God's one word translated into light. 
And the pure beauty of celestial peace, 
"With adamantine silence seized, had coma 
That instant changeless, deathless and divine. 
Still meet we not what in this sphere we seek. 
Methinks my mission here may fail, and might. 
Were not my soul by force of faith in her 
Assured, who urged our hither steps, mine most 
Investigative, as like to light on truth 
Here hidden ; and though long bafiled, as to me 
Seems, who from sea-bed dry to hill-top have sought 
Vainly, the angel virtue of this orb, 
StiU trust I to behold her, not as yet 
Eightly, perhaps, invoked. Or shall I call 



222 FE8TUS, 

Her aid, who -willed us here ? 

Lucifer. And if I knew nofc 

To an ace our whereabouts, though groping-, now 
And then, through manifold darkness, as we have done ; 
And of our failui'es, quite enough I I, too. 
Might deem this changeful spherelet just the spot, — 
It is bounded, west by light, and east by night, 
And north and south by nothing and the wind, 
For all poetic possibles, and believe 
Truth captured, might romance to us all the night, 
Two sennights long, in allegories. At last ! 

Festus. Lo now the angel, as foretold. She makes 
Hither. beauty, holy and divine, 
Life-eyed, soul-crowned, illuminated with truth. 
Mark how unearthly fair and pure ; her air 
Of sad felicity, and her mingled mien 
Of innocent life and knowledge absolute. 

Lucifer. Ere Time had whet his infant scythe, or left 
His cradling clouds, or yon pale watery star, 
Heaven's giant tear, first cast its shade o'er space, 
That angel knew I well ; but now, no more. 
Nor wished I here to meet, nor thou with her. 

Festus. Mind's silent invocacy hath oft such end. 

LuNiEL. Earth-child, behold the angel of this orb. 
Long have I marked thy wonder at these scenes. 
Thy search for me ; this ceased, that satiate now. 
Much of the passed thou 'mindst me, and the race 
These hills and plains, once populous, teemed with, theo 
Not wholly like ; of purer strain than thine. 
Aerial more, meseems ; for virtue, hence, 
Translate, entire to heaven. I, thus, charge-freed. 
Rejoice to bid thee welcome, from what orb 
So e'er thou hailest, the sun, which, day by day, 
All forces of the world converts to light, 
Exhaustless, and the hoards he spends, renews ; 
Or further star ; thrice welcome ; whencesoe'er, 
Welcome 1 What tidings bringst thou ? say, art thou 
The earnest of the line to come, foretold 
By skiey spirits and friendliest, as once more 
Soul- wise, to people these silvery solitudes 
Of light, whose advent I these ages wait ? 

Festus. O holy and divine one. I am man. 
And not the hero of the destined race 
Thou hopest ; not here inducted ; yet allowed 
Latewhile, by leave divine, I, touching thus 
At yon bright wanderer of the sun's broad realm 
Stem king and lawgiver of stars the sphere 
Hesperian, like thyself of crescent brow, 
Nigher the sun one grade than we, where now 
Aspirant of heaven, a spMt blessed of God, 
A sweet and sacred sister of my soul, 
Sojourns ; and, tending thence, towards earth mine own, 



FE8TU8. 223 

Am by her hither bidden, that I might learn 
From thee, lone watcher of the skies, and solb 
Mediatress 'tween the sun and earth, the fates 
Spiritual to be fulfilled of those we love, 
And mighty-minded man. And such we hold 
Thy sanctity of nature, thine unweighed 
Largesse of light intelligible, and calm 
Control of ill, thou wilt for me unseal 
The fountain of tlie future, and charm forth 
Wave after wave of wonder. 

LuNiEL. Thou, too, who ? 

LuciFEB. Master and servant am I here of him ; 
Thine equal, more and less. But come not I 
Inquiring or desiring aught of thee. 
The future is to me mere nothingness ; 
The passed but as a dream ; the present is 
My portion ; therein only do I live. 
Among these soulless solitudes, in sootli, 
Seems little call for me. But here I am. 

LuNiEL. Oh well, I ween, do we each other know ; 
For all things, soul or spirit, here show clear. 
Within the radiant region of this orb, 
As light transpicuous, neither mist nor cloud 
The unconditioned vision dims ; and thou, 
Tempter of life, to me art throughly known. 
I know thee as the evil spirit of time. 
But mystery is there in thine origin, 
Thy ministry, thy fall, which, none create, 
Not even thou thyself canst fathom. Grod 
Only can read what he hath written there 
In hieroglyphic darkness, and he will ; 
That his great works may know themselves and Lim, 
Ere all the ages end. From God I own 
Power to foretell what only he foreknows ; 
And ye are both predestined beings. Such 
His pleasurable will, that they who serve 
Rule with him ; who obey not, serve him still, 

LuciFEE. It is even so ; thou sayest truth. 

Festus. Thy words. 

More precious to mine ear than seaborn pearls, 
Pierce me with light. Speak on, pray. 

LuxiEL. Mortal, know 

Our spirits are the keys to all we see ; 
And whoso, first permitted and inspired 
Of heaven, but pondereth well the page of life 
Before him, shall unlock at last the store 
Hid in it and all others. To predict 
The coming it is needf ullest to con 
The passed and present. As to things of time, 
Time is divisional ; eternity 
All unitive. Perfection is to come. 
I thus the mutual destinies have learned 



224 FESTU8, 

Of thine orb and mine own. 

Festus. Inform me, then, 

O holy and divine one I wlio now tread, 
On this sole purpose bent, these shores of light, 
Silently shining-, by thy spirit graced, 
The god-state of the future. 

LuNiEL. Be it so 

Attend ye ; for ye witnesses are both 
To wisdom, of her world-comprising plan. 
One is the end and origin of all. 
God, from the first, was solely in himself ; 
Nor aught was in existence. God except : 
Nor time, nor world, life, flesh, sense, soul, nor sla, 
Nay, there was no negation ; God sole all. 
But willing to create, his hands he spread 
From east to west, and constituted space ; 
From north to south he planned the boundless map^ 
And consecrated it. The universe 
Is but a state of being, and a life 
And time condition of the will divine ; 
A veil whose web is light embossed with stars ; 
Through which the eternal essence kindly deigns 
To manifest itself ; and all he makes, 
As buds and tender branches bourgeoning, 
From Being's sacred stem, making to bless. 
Deep in the universal centre of things. 
Infixed the Infinite, for gods God made. 
Therefore, the heavens ; and dark asthereal space, 
For the immortal angels, love sustained, 
Which occupy with him eternity. 
And sin not, err not, doubt not. Next he made, 
By might omnific and deific love. 
Matter, for beings of a nature mixed, 
Whose forms should be material, blessed with lifo^ 
Vegetive, fleshly ; these instinctive, those 
Unconscious ; and for these and him to come, 
With starry globes innumerable, suns. 
Planets, and moons, and meteors, circumvolved 
Each round the other, round their central sun, 
In countless clouds and firmamental wholes. 
Whose orbits scarce demean infinitude, 
Bid he the void impeople ; he the suns 
Of self -genetic, space-creating light. 
As types and tokens of his heavenly love 
And beatific power, with spirits vast 
And world ordained intelligences, fined 
From all creation, through its thousand gradea. 
For man, the mighty earth, and all the orbs 
Revolving round the middle thrones of fire. 
Compacted of the elements, wherein 
Dwell separately all less perfect souls ; 
For him the moon, reflective, ministrant. 



FESTUS. 225 



Of all he cliose one system as a law, 
The great ensample of his starry scheme, 
One smi, one earth, one moon, one : ace, one tribe. 
He rules by choice the universal whole. 
All that are angels, therefore, held, or gods. 
And worshipped by the ignorant soul, are man ; 
Man, self -inclusive of all lower forms. 
All higher natures less than the Most High, 
For angelhood and manhood (doubly branched 
Offspring of Deity) each one glorified 
By freest choice of good o'er ill, and life 
In consonance with His universal law. 
Is homed and heavened within the embrace of God, 
The final sum that science crowns her with, 
This ; between God and nature, man alone ; 
However various his conditions be, 
Through space's universal round, and all 
The countless orbs of viewless skies, exists ; 
Nature's essential summit he and God's 
Deific incarnation : this weigh well ; 
For spirit is refracted in the flesh. 
And shows as crooked what is straightness' self. 
Call all not God nor nature, man ; nor fiend 
Nor angel but his kin ; God, thus, the world. 
And man, are all : man midst, the third great form, 
Wherein unite the two divine extremes, 
In vital essence. Partly viewed, to each 
His double nature is allied ; conjoined 
They embrace themselves in him, compact effect 
Of God and the lone universe ; he the mean 
Immortal, vital, of all things, brute life, 
And heaven's divine eternity. In man 
Do God and nature reconcile themselves ; 
God's image he, and the world's. In mental kind, 
In moral and spiritual his sire's ; in frame. 
This elemental and transitional shape. 
His mighty mother Nature's favourite son. 
9oul, quintessential element, unto her 
Heaven's love-gift he alone heirs of her fruit ; 
She, perfected in him most ; of her line, 
Head-glory. As man the quality of all life 
Thus shares above, below, and matter inert, 
So, in his nature sanctified, all things back 
To their final origin return, in round 
Totality of life. For our dear sakes, 
Life mortal is exalt to life eteme, 
And God with justest love still saves from death, 
To heaven's divinest destinies, the son 
Of his ete:nal bridals. 
Festus. "Whence are we 1 

LiTNiEL. Child of the royal blood of man redeemed, 
The starry strain of spirit elect, create 



226 FESTUS 

Before all worlds, all ages, thence we are. 

This, therefore, be thy future and thy fate. 

As water putrefied and purified, 

Seven times by turns, will never more corrupt ; 

So thou and thine whole race, all change endured, 

Through doubt, sin, knowledge, faith, love, power, and bliss, 

Shall practise every note of Being's scale, 

Till the whole orblet harmonized with heaven, 

Peace, pure imperial peace, rule all below ; 

Till, star by star, these bright and sacred seats, 

Whose ancestry of sempiternal suns 

Comes of the vast and universal void. 

And in whose lineage of light yon earth 

Seems but a new possession, scarcely worth 

Accepting or rejecting, shall at last 

Into primordial nothtagness relapse ; 

And man, the universal son of God, 

Who occupied in time those starry spheres. 

Regenerate and redeemed shall live for aye, 

Made one with deity ; all evil gone, 

Dispersed as by a thunderclap of light. 

LuciFEE. Spirit serene 1 Hath evil no effect ? 

LuNiEL. Timeous it hath, being the shadow of good. 
With man all good hath evil, or may have ; 
Evil, of Boul test, it seems good to God 
To bear with, pending time ; for how, unless 
Contingent, were free choice ? Thus may with God 
Evil itself prove possible good. 

Festus. And sin ? 

LuNiEL. Evil and sin are twin with time and man. 
Sin from a selfish, sensual, source sprung, seeks 
An individual end ; whereby we stand 
Opposing deity, and the great commonwealth 
Of worldly life ; sin voluntary evil ; 
But good, wherein with God we concentrate, 
Though bound on Being's very utmost verge, 
Unites us with the infinite, and rules 
Right through us, as a radius of the law 
Eternal of intelligence which bounds, 
Quickens, upholds, and rectifies all things. 
Sin is the birth of evil ; hell, of sin ; 
Destruction of corruption forms the end. 
Heat is not in the sun, nor wrath in God, 
Who, though our faith may waver, still is love. 
Sense of his terrible justice makes it wrath 
To soul that sins : He judging, alway mild. 
'Tis the eye twinkles, not the star. When him 
We spurn we suffer : suffer and inflict. 
On him our suffering, gracious he, all time. 
Revenge, wrath, judgment, all are names of love 
The crowned effect of being, and therein 
Result Such retribution is our God's : 



FESTU8. 

Such glorious retribution as the sun 
Inflicts on fogs and shadows. Hell is part 
Of nature. Human retribution stands 
Divine in ordination ; but divine 
Judgment on human souls by torturing fires, 
In everlasting blast, a blind reproach 
To the pure God, who blesseth all he makes. 

LuciPEB. Destruction I believe in. Mercy may 
What it once made, unmake ; scarce re-create 
Into its opposite. Between man and man 
Justice is sacred, and 'tween man and God, 
^V^lose equity all embraces, mercy is sure. 
But between God and fiend no middle power 
Exists, save man, and no creator he. 

LuNiEL, Thee God I all creatural nature more or lesa 
Denies ; but thou, above all contraries, 
All lovest, all affirmest, as of thee. 

Festus. As when two clouds, such differences delight, 
By controvertive currents blown of air, 
Each other's path cross, vast in seeming grace. 
As knowing heaven both ample and apt enough 
Even opposites to tolerate ; each to me 
Truth's footsteps seems to track. From both I learn, 
Scanning the depths of Deity, what fate 
Inexplicable judgment first pronounced, 
By arbitrary rule, in reason's light 
Shows righteous, shows humane, shows worthy God, 
Yea even here as everywhere, let man 
Worship his Recreator, and the world's, 
Made perfect blissward, by preparative fire. 
In this aspect or that, life nourishing, life 
Refining, not of life destructive sole. 
O thou, who holdst the universe in thyself, 
Not only as we may mentally, but in act ; 
Cause uncontaminate by effect, all else 
Effect with cause creatively connexed ; 
WTio in Being's inaccessible depths dost dwell 
Central, thence self -diffused through all ; whose course 
Through space uncomprehended, we but track 
By the evanishing star-dust of thy feet 
Left on heaven's roads ; from world nathless to world. 
From firmament to firmament can we trace 
Each soul his individual link with thee ; 
The pure invisible touch which makes us thine ; 
The something more substantial than the sun, 
More general than the void, yet nested here ; 
As through the aery silence of the soul. 
Swifter than eagle rushing upon the wind, 
Thou sweepst into possession, when thou wilt. 
So many are thy mercies, what is left 
Save this, to ask ? continue to us that 
Thou givest. To cease pertaiueth not to thee, 

12 



228 FE8TU8, 

The elements may all confusedly fail ; 
Systems, now burning-, stiffen corselike ; or slide 
Into their graves of darkness and decay ; 
The sun at length exhausted in the strife 
For fiery aliment from the self -thinned air, 
With his aithereal victor, sleep, and die ; 
And firmaments conglobe them, till at last 
Tlie universe in one orb concentrate, fit. 
Then, for thy footstool only. Change like this 
Ten thousand times may happen, until it fall 
To the observant spirits at thy right hand 
Noteless, by reoccurrence ; man, the while, 
Restored to the essential whence he came 
Consorting but with the infinite, nor knowing 
To utter what is not divine and true. 
Shall ripen in thy bosom, till he grow 
Through endless heavens, triumphant and serene, 
Into the throned god thou badst him be. 

LuNiEL. Depart. Thou knowest all things, knowing this. 
The world is God's broad word, whose sense is heaven, 
To those who wisely read ; time's trilogy, 
The mighty drama of the Lord ; the rest 
Man, angels, act and hymn. To him devote 
Be all the paradisal world to come ; 
Each hill an altar named to God, where man 
Saintly, may pray and praise ; a covenant heap 
Of witnessed commune 'tween th'^m ; oh, may earth 
Sea-like, but render back the heaven she nears ; 
Be every flower a censer of delight 
Spiritual ; each wing an augury of the skies. 

Festus. a future this, to live for. 

Lucifer. I abhor 

The self-delusions men affect. With them 
The future is a god-king, bom in heaven, 
Rich with hereditary royalties, 
And entail of interminable times. 

Mom's roseate breath, fresh blown o'er night's bright dew, 
Is foul before this urchin's, as a sough ; 
His hand is like the lily's fragrant snow ; 
And he is robed in weeds of whitest sheen ; 
Pet godling of the world 1 The present, what ? 
A ragged, beggared dotard, sick to death 
Of the grey years, and round returning skies. 
But what's the truth ? Nor passed, nor future, is ; 
The present only is all time. 

Festus. Too much 

Thou hast taught me, spirit, of the passed, to shun 
The surety 'tis in me, for good or ill ; 
And thou, too much, sweet angel, not to feel 
The hopes first planted in my mind by her 
Who bade me here, of commune blessed to come, 
Make henceforth life's best part, that I the more 



FESTUa. 

CJoncede me tx) the future. 

LuNiEL. Know, then, friend 

Of her I love with thee, that limited though 
In sphere, each spuit celestial, yet the extent 
To all seems well nigh vergeless ; and if thou, 
Prepared, wouldst ken what more of human fates, 
Even of the individual spirits that star 
Earth's pat^t^ed, renowned ; and how the eternal years 
Find them and leave ; or lapped in thought, as these, 
Or fired to act, as those, perpetual, say 1 

Festus. Dear angel ! If through all these radiant sphere.- 
Thou show'st, 80 stimulant to the inquisitive mind. 
Of dreams of miracles wrought, mayhap, by son, 
Prophet, or saint of the Supreme ; not masked 
In mean or stable state, but as a god, 
Canying his kingdom with him, and his court, 
His converts, and his heaven ; that so, though plunged 
In death's abyss, death passed, it is in his train's 
Triumph, and the effluence of his conquering light, 
They enter deity ; if, nay, trust me, e'er 
Mine it might be, more proofs of God's just love 
Than ever earth sliows, to learn, such would I rather 
In thy care tutelar, than 'neath other wing 
Angelic, these mine eyes have yet beheld. 

LuNiEL. God's are the ultimate ends of life ; but these, 
Sun, planet, satellite, heaven's all-typed spheres, 
Of evervariant being, it is mine to search, 
Sojourn in, pass through ; if abide in not. 
Mean mundane these, and just remedial spheres, 
Heedful, preliminary, where meet, death passed, 
Men's spirits ; for whose can His pure eyeli«ls. heaven's 
Passive rebuke, sustain ? Such hovering search 
Our possible privilege, leave being had, to enrich 
The spirit with royal liberties but fulfilled 
In thy kind, deathwise ; and thus the freed soul fit 
For truth, orbed perfectly in heaven alone ; 
High thought and pure, it is mine to hallow aye, 
And guide through heaven the meditative sonl, 
Slightful of luxuries. Let not world-life warp 
Tliy heart from its strain upwards. Shun, severe, 
Seclusive, youth's frivolities and deceits. 

LuciFETi. Oh yes, I'll help in all austerities. 
There's nothing like extremes. The mean's too good. 

Festus. Earth was my future once, but now 'tis heaven. 

LuxiEL. Earth is the emerald tablet, by God's throne, 
He writes his laws upon, and his open fates ; 
That all the heavens his starry rede may learn. 
Even to the end. Thither ye therefore hie. 
Earth's angel waits thee next, estranged by woe 
From all her kindred world- wardens, she weeps 
The impending end of things, nor ceases haunt 
Heaven with thrice deprecated prayer. FarewelL 



230 FE8TUS. 

LuciPEB, Come then, since earth and heaven have willed it thus. 
Let us fare forth ; our mutual destinies 
Coeval, and concurrent with the world. 
This life thou findst not, saj, a thoug-ht too g-rave ? 
Who seeks creation's mysterios ; — well, a change, 
Now and again, seems reasonable, I own. 

Festus. How can the aspii-ing spirit, whose faith is sure, 
"Whose aims, experiences like these, converse 
With pure intelligence, and advance in paths 
Heavenward, divine, prove reach their mark, e'er change 
Its end, and change for meaner ? 

Lucifer. Pleasure, love, 

And mirth, ye graces three, make up for this, 
Bight soon, or something will, I fear, go wrong. 
We want some merry chirrupping friends, that's clear. 
There is one I have marked in secret for some time, 
Of that inamorato triad once I met, 
Following a bridelike funeral, if not vowed 
Wholly to mirth, yet one who for a while 
Might brighten up his path, and aid such aims 
As mine be ; nor much miss the mark. But wait. 
A sunny pool 'mid life's brief stream, I seem 
To see, where glides, scarce sensible of the flow, 
Youth's gilded shallop calmed 'mong lilies ; seem 
To catch a song ; quaff wine. 

Festus. What sayst ? 

Lucifer. I say, 

Me unconditioned being charms not ; nor things 
Certain ; contingencies are enough for me ; 
And serve me passing well. 

Festus. Farewell, sweet orb. 

Earth draws us like a lodestone. See, we are coming;. 



FESTU8. 231 



XVIII. 



Say not of God. as intinite, we nought know ; 

For His esseutial, rayed through attributes 

Adding not to, nor borrowing trom, the whole, 

Like to some beamy crystal which in light 

SeLf-emanative, iraparadised, all round 

Yields many and mighty facets, than man's eye 

Each vastier ; this as not from that distinct ; 

But as our self-delimiting vision seeks 

Ends such, or such aids ; justice, mercy, love, 

Like powers, one variant perfect, one divine 

Substantive ; us illuminant as with act 

And proof reflex of one same moral law. 

Operant through every grade of spiritual life ; 

As gravity, of a like material scope 

Through all creation, shews ; but know, our thought, 

If incapacious of the unbounded mind ; 

And a mere match for time and space, things made 

Of like span with our fellow world ; yet not 

Inapprehensible wholly, even of God, 

As out of these His vast perfections flow 

To limited spirit however potent, pure 

Or fallen, the moral law oi every sphere ; 

All angel tribes ; human ; fallible all, 

All even though fallen perfectible ; back to Him, 

In seK-redemption voluntary, and heart 

Obedient, to the law of penitence, called. 

Cloudland. Festus, Lucifer, after Angel op Earth. Cloudi 
and Mountains seen — Sunset. 

Festus. We are nearing, I perceive the earth. Less clear 
This region respirable than midmost space 
We late have transited. And nigher now 
The cumulous waves of vapour which, o'erhang 
The heads of mortals heave in view. Behold 
Yonder earth's angel guardian, pensive sad 
Below eve's gold-fringed cloudlet, faithful e'er 
To her spheral charge. She marks, and seems to await. 
Our coming. 

Lucifer. Go 1 accost her. 

Festus. Angel guide, 

For such I feel I err not, naming thee, 
Of this fair orb, my natal star, while thus 
Eying this harp still resonant ; and these tears. 
Sad witness of a heart with grief o'erflowed, 
Say what thou friendly meditatest, and how, 
If any wise, he who speaks now, may thy soul 
One sigh's weight lighten ; or how elsewise aid 
One wish thou wouldst see fulfilled, I, and my peer. 

Angel op Earth. Both know I : him as cause of world-wide woe, 
And thee, as earth's last hope, and mine, so view 
Thy kindly promise given unasked, to aid 
In aught I had at heart, strong trust in me. 
So waked, that this decree for earth's surcease, 
Which crushes down the essential in my soul 



232 FE8TU8. 

Of deathless life may be, since God is kDown 

In Heaven, as answerer prompt of prayer, for aye 

Cancelled, should man and angel both beseech. 

Let us then both to Heaven. 'Twas but even now, 

So fruitful is my memory of sad things, 

Which always first are found, if turned at last, 

And mellowed to a happier end, I mused 

On what had once befallen in ages gone 

A sister sphere, (was nought more sad to see 

In all God's world) and wept, as thou beheld'st, 

O'er the remembered woe ; till later thought 

Like to a sunset gleam that lightens up 

Creation with a prophet's glance, assuaged 

My spirit, suggestive of a morrowing joy 

Divine, the effect of prayer accorded. 

Festus. Speak, 

Angel revered ! thy story I would leam. 
Be it of grief or gladness ; to thy mind 
Becalled, it may be, for some holy end 
Heaven would through us, work out. 

Angel of Eaeth. Wouldst thou then now^ 

Elect to hear, and he thy foe-like friend, 
He, primal culprit of the first, and now 
Mask'd instigator of evil in this last ; 
Albeit too wary oft to show himself 
Among the wrecks he hath wrought ; if he, soul-steeled, 
Can hear the shame of passed deceit revived 
And told, not I will shrink the auspicious task. 

LuciPEE. I will bear with all I can. If smote too sore 
"Why, I'll go hunt with Nimrod, or the moon, 
Orion's shootress ; pitiless punisher 
Of misdemeanant giants ; she who joys 
To chase the clouds brute-shaped, chat with her light 
But threatened, scud, nor wait the maddening dart. 

Angel of Eabth. And if to know how various, sudden, »low. 
Or ceaseless, are the courses God elects 
To conquer evil ; slowly erasing, now 
Its fatal features, line by line ; and now, 
By one annihilant word, destroying it, 
For aye ; how amiably redemption fills 
Vv'^ith souls reclaimed the bosom of our God 
In countless wise ; in every separate sphere 
Thou, mortal, wilt at least rejoice to learn 
TTie triumphs of eternal good ; and thou 
Immortal, be forewarned to dread just dooms. 

Festus. holy angel, warden of the world, 
Who guidedst its first footsteps o'er the paths, 
Untried, of newest space, well plodded now. 
Which round the sun it circleth, do thou speak 
Who sweetliest can ; whose long experience tends 
Far past the immediate parentage of Time, 
Into ages precreate, what may thou dejm'at. 



PESTU8, 283 

To man, through me, God blessed instruction prove, 
And wisdom of the Heavens ; these, gate and goal 
Of that true life the inviolate purity 
Of yonder sky but shadows. So that we, 
Like self -obedient elements which contain 
Their total laws, and partial liberties, 
God's rule may trace more readily in all spheres, 
AJid more condignly weigh. 

Angel op Earth. Immortals, hear. 

Lucifer. We wait. 

Angel op Earth. In one of those pure, happy stars which claim 
Like peace with Heaven ; what time mine orb, yon earth, * 
Weltering beneath her waste and watery shroud. 
And, judgment executed, all care, all cause 
All office lost, of lesser kind, like ours, 
Create, had forfeit paid ; one cell-like speck, 
Tilting the waves, un whelmed, unhelmed, within 
Whose wood-bowed womb all life that globe could boast, 
Lay saved miraculously ; I, thus released 
From duties superseded ; to such sphere. 
Invisible oft to all but art-armed eye, 
Self relegate, had withdrawn to ponder fate 
And seek that clue of equity hidden of God 
In time's unravelling ball ; and there received 
Companionably, some lustres, not a few. 
Passed among saintliest friends ; with whom, one daj, 
'Twas holy festival in Heaven ; the close 
Of time's divinest epoch, from of old 
Commemorate of soul's advent to the world ; 
Joy satisfied, a feast of souls devout, 
Serenely celebrated by souls of Light, 
Spread through that happiest orb ; and, evening come, 
Was on the point to join the eternal passed ; 
Far round the infinite extremes of space, 
Star spake to star rejoicing, as each sped 
His splendid way, and a rekindling smile 
High on the countenance of Heaven's central sun 
Thrilled to the heart of nature ; while there rose 
Expressive of felicity pure and whole, 
A clear bright strain of music, like a braid 
Of silver round a maiden's raiment, all 
The sweet solemnity imbounding. There, 
Each lofty sjiirit luminous with delight. 
Sate these, of God's selectest angels ; here 
Sate others, in their grade less high ; but all 
Like humble spiritually ; of one bright seat 
I, transient tenant for that deathless hour 
Of the great year celestial ; gathered round 
The golden board of this palatial orb. 
In spheral order. All of fruitage known 
To their unvanishing Eden, and the land 
Of everlasting light, to pl«ft» the sense, 

l& 



2S4 FESTUa. 

AJid satisfy tlie soul, the tree of life 

In all its bright varieties could yield 

Was lavished ; and its fragrance filled the skies. 

The bright blue wine as though expressed from Heaven 

Glittering with life, went moonlike round and round, 

Times sacredly repeated, 'mong the gods 

And spirits who had earned, each one, his star, 

In that immortal conclave, as they held, 

Deep commune on the wondrous end imposed 

By the Eternal, Saviour of the world. 

Not less than Sovereign, Maker, and just Judge, 

Upon his infinite work ; and all the harps 

Intwined about with nectar-dropping flowers, 

Which wither not though culled, but on the brow 

Or mid the bosom, bloom as in their fields. 

Were trembling into silence, when there stepped, 

Unseen before (as some Diviner's rod 

Had smitten aside a viewless veil, and shown 

Him always there) into the joyous midst 

Of that bright throng, surprised in holy ease, 

A young and shining Angel. In his air 

Sat kingly sweetness, kind and calm command, 

Yet with long suffering, and a conscious wealth 

Of inexhaustible patience, yet to be 

To the utmost proved, imlslended ; for the soil 

Of dust was on his garb and sandalled sole ; 

Dust on the locks of undulant gold which flowed 

From his fair forehead rippling round his neck ; 

Bedropped, defiled with cold and cavelike dew. 

One hand a staff sustained of greenest growth, 

As 'twere a sapling of the tree of life ; 

And one smoothed in his breast, a radiant dove. 

Fluttering its wings in lightnings rainbow-hued, 

The sole companion of his pilgrimage. 

Bilent he stood and gazed. The angels straight 

Rose from their pearly seats, in wreathed with gema 

And priceless azurine from the morning's mine. 

And bowed the head, and stretched the hand ere yet 

One welcoming word were uttered. Wine and bread, 

Bread made of golden wheat, and wine of life, 

Such only as immortal Virtues use 

Before the guest were set ; and cool white robes, 

The angels gave him, floating halo-like 

With fleecy glistening round his fainting limbs. 

Twain of the Thrones at once their seats resigned ; 

Ministrant Princedoms sang again the strain 

Which fills the halls of hospitable Heaven 

When that the holy enter, or the Sons 

Of Light hold high and hallowed festival. 

Then spake the cherub, chief est of us all ; 

Bright Angel 1 from whatever sphere arrived 

Supernal and celestial, or some orb 



FE8TU8. 236 

Far off, of starry nature ; for the toil, 

Mcthiiiks, of travel weighed upon ye erst ; 

"While signs of mortal struggle, as to us 

Seemed, graved thy brow, and bent a famished frame, 

Now cheerily relieved ; instruct us, pray. 

Who here assembled sit to celebrate. 

By kind commission of our Lord, his love, 

If we in aught thine ends can further aid, 

Or, thine intents, good as those only thou, 

We are sure, couldst plan, serve ; even as fain we would ; 

For all we know is holy enters here. 

By virtue of our King's set law ; and we 

Prepared for sacred action, instant are. 

Thus he, his seat resuming, while a glance 

Of bland appi'oval beamed from eveiy eye, 

Wise reticence still reining in each tongue. 

Answered the stranger Angel rising slow 

Sunlike, from out his seat of clouded gold ; 

kind, noble natures ; well ye work 

Your ministry of love, who thus pour forth. 

Unmeasured, unconditioned, your divine 

Riches of deed and word, that all who come 

Whether by invitation, or by need 

May of the Sovereign's bounty whom ye serve, 

Like honour with his chosen friends receive ; 

Accept these thanks, this blessing. As he ceased, 

The air became all incense ; and the skies, 

Aj8 though endowed with native sunlife, showered 

Around on all their iridescent smiles. 

Oh not to us, said I, in name of all, 

Be gratitude for duty barely done ; 

All honour is our Lord's, To him we owe 

This gracious exaltation o'er the world 

Wherein his love sustains us ; his, who first 

By one omnipotent Fiat breathed us forth ; 

WTio, out of awful non-existence us 

Translated into life, and turned our souls 

To angel constellaHons, ranging free 

Through all the eternal liberties of light. 

But if thou wilt, say, oh most holy guest, 

Whom we account us blessed to receive. 

While yet the day doth solemnize the skies, 

Wherefore thou hither comest ; how treated else 

In other worlds, and whither now ; so we, 

Ilaply may gather wisdom from thy words, 

Or help afford by deeds. Then once again, 

That radiant youth immortal as the mom, 

Hose from the crown of Heaven, and bending low 

Spake with a soft bright utterance, like the voice 

Of very silence musing : so serene 

His parlance ; all attent his audience round. 

happy angels, heavenly and divine, 



23« FE8TU8. 

To whom nor sin, nor sigh, nor tear, nor woe, 

Not even in thought imaginary may come ; 

And whose free lives in blessed obedience pass 

To one law pure and sole, the law of love ; 

How shall ye hear, or I relate, the griefs 

Of orbs disrupted, and of spirits dyed 

In blackest sin ; of God's high rule reject ; 

His own deputed, exiled ; rudely thrust 

From ancient throne, and old dynastic calm 

Thought steadfast and eteme, and through the blank 

Of lifeless night compelled to wander ; where 

But that afar he caught the friendly glance 

Of your extreme and most felicitous star, 

He might perchance have ever strayed ; but since 

A gracious ear to stranger's plaint be yours, 

Let me, in briefest wise recount the events, 

Mid worlds far distant, some few deeds of mine 

Blent with, not wholly dimly, part concern : 

That ye in joy thus fortified, may thanks 

Give for your peaceful lot, and further bless 

God, who hath put it in your hearts to share 

Those bounties with the stranger, ye enjoy. 

To Him be praise and worship in all worlds. 

Passed even the ken of angels, in the midst 

Of a bright ring of worlds, the central void 

By luminous circlet compassed, which so hides 

Its proper firmament ; with that flaming belt 

Self cycling, moveable, of galactic suns 

Tempering the outer infinite ; an orb 

There is, ah me ! there was, an orb of light ; 

Once all mine own. In Heaven, my Angel Sire. 

Such blessed relations are, ye know, in Heaven, 

Abode, and ruled in glory many a tribe 

Elect, of choicest virtues ; Abiel he, 

Sovereign of all intelligences, all spheres ; 

Beniel, my name ; and sons are we all, of God. 

This orb I, trusted with supremest powers. 

Paternal love could lend, myself had framed ; 

Myself with life endowed, all ordering ; all 

Adorning ; only not creating ; that, 

Asks the Omnipotent hand, and loveful life. 

All life is sacred in its kind, to Heaven ; 

And all things holy, beautiful, and good. 

There angels, marking it enriched with gifts 

Of marvellous virtue ; and observant souls. 

From all spheres, dwelled as in the bosom of bliss. 

Piety, innocence, peace, and joy made up 

The sum of being. Worship was the air 

They breathed, and lived by ; lowliest righteousness 

The ground they trode, wrought, builded on. A land 

It showed of fountains, flowers, and honeyed fruits ; 

Of coo] green umbrage, and incessant sun, 



FESTU8. 237 



Temperate of light, exhilarant ; rainbows there, 

In permanent splendour, spanned the skies, by cloud 

Sterner than amber breath-dimmed, undeformed ; 

Here clear blue streams singing and sparkling ran 

The bloomy meads to fertilize ; there, some 

With honey, nectar, manna, milk or wine, 

Fit for angelic sustenance, slow flowed, 

'Tween palaces and cities, midst of groves, 

Like giant jewels, set in emerald rings ; 

Ail-where, the bowery coverture of woods 

Ancient and dense, laced with all tinted flowers ; 

Peaceful sojourn, for shade or rest, of lamb, 

Lion, ox, eagle, dove or serpent, goat 

And snow-white hart ; each sacred animal 

Cleansed from all evil quality, sin instilled. 

Speaking one common tongue, and gathered oft 

In wisest parley 'neath some hallowed tree, 

Centring each mazy pleasance, intersect 

With an invisible bound ; so sweet the force 

Of nature, heavenly sanctioned : such the charm 

Life paradisal and palatial opes 

To the heirs of worlds and ages. All went well 

Full many a sunny cycle ; and year by year 

The souls of that blessed orblet ripening rose 

Spirit- wise to perfection ; day by day 

Grew spirithood to deathless angel-kind ; 

Angelic nature to Divine estate ; 

Gracious and happy emulance which of all 

Should happiest be. Among that heavenly race 

Abode two angel sisters, nymphs divine. 

The daughters of the Lord of gods and men ; 

Star-dowered ; inheritresses of heavenly light ; 

Conspicuous 'midst their holy kin, though all 

Of eminent virtue, moved the sisters, each 

As in finite form a vision verified 

Of the eternal beauty. Yet how unlike 

Their nature and their loveliness ; in one 

A soul of lofty clearness, like a night 

Of stars, wherein the memory of the day 

Seems trembling through the meditative air ; 

In whose proud eye one fixed and ark-like thought 

Held only sway ; that thought a mystery : 

In one, a golden aspect like the dawn. 

Beaming perennial in the heavenly east, 

Of paly light ; she ever brightening looked 

As with the boundless promise unfulfilled 

Of some supreme perfection ; in her heart 

That promise e'er predestinate, alway sure, 

Her breast with joy suffusing ; and so wrought, 

Her sigh seemed happier than her sister's smile ; 

Yet patient she and humble. Of these twain 

The elder my betrothed was ; to me, 



238 FESTU8. 

From antemundane ages, by my sire, 

As of like royal issue with myself, 

Of spirit divine reserved ; yet so disposed 

The triple inheritance stood of this bright orb, 

That ere the elder entered on her dower, 

The whole, well-nigh, the younger should a fair 

Domain, to her accruing, first enjoy : 

Of her own choosing, sacred to herself. 

Sequestrate ; so forefixed of old ; until. 

Some secular times accomplished, both should lapse 

Into mine own pretemporal, crowning, rights. 

Who shall gainsay the will supreme of God? 

For both He loved right well ; but, for my sake, 

The first the best, with whom was most secured 

The bliss of all. The younger now had ruled 

Moonlike, in meekest wise, 'neath Truth's inspired 

Instruction, and divine faith's, many an age 

O'er her select dominion ; and delight 

Leapt up its highest, when the news, made known 

By Wisdom, their high governante, spread abroad, 

Of nuptials nearing celebration. Vast 

And rich in festive splendour, were commenced 

The s. i cred preparations ; every heart 

Impatient for the hour when dominant stars 

Immingling cogent rays, should, said the seers, 

Propitious prove for such world touching rites 

As gave the biide-queen of their angel race 

With me enthroned to sit, and with me rule. 

Deceptive predication 1 Whence ? Ah me 1 

For lo ! in lieu of orbs conjoined, eclipse, 

Black, and of both I The very night, sky-scanned 

By thousand eyes for the expected sign, 

(So Fate, which none save God who uttered, knowo, 

Had ordered) suddenly a stranger star. 

Shaped swordlike, and self -wielded, as it seemed, 

Or by invisible hand brandished on high. 

Far ofl: in space appeared, out dazzling swift 

All lesser, nearer, lights which nature showed. 

So rapidly from end to end it fiew 

Of Heaven's horizon, even as though it scorned 

The quiet skies of that ecstatic sphere. 

That the third night gone its threatful place in air 

It left for the unknown infinite below. 

When to their wondering eyes the morrow mom 

A marvel mightier than the sworded star, 

I sole perceived the Evil One (disguised 

In aery outline hovering, high behind) 

Had there unsheathed in heaven, where late it flamed, 

Behold, was present. Bands of angels, whence 

Was known not, thronged the groves and palaces 

Which decked our paradisal world, in air 

And aspect, fair yet foreign, and distinct 



FE8TU8. 289 



Their every action with a shining grace 

Which like a lodestar chained, unfelt, the eye ; 

And made their charm fulness, exceeding far 

The solemn beauty of the original tribes, 

Erstwhile so happy, fatal. For these first 

The heart divided, once entirely God's, 

Whole, and without a flaw ; first tuned their lyres 

To angel love alone, but half divine ; 

First taught to separate self from Deity ; 

Yet seemed they nought to teach, but rather fled 

All serious converse and ini>truction, soon 

Curtailing worship and prolonging rest ; 

As though true worship were not union high 

Repose inagitable of soul, and rest 

In him. the immutable good, of all that live. 

These after mingling, now as though by chance, 

Now choice, in holy celebrations, asked 

Their rank to name and order, made reply 

They were the youngest offspring of the Heavens, 

Children of bliss and knowledge, richly dowered 

With singular joys and rare immunities ; 

That they were spirits of freedom, and their suit 

And servage voluntaiy, whence only germed 

Wliat small, if any, merit, they might claim ; 

As else, their gracious Lord, they said, were mocked 

With none save forced compliance ; that all good 

Sprang from the natural impulse of their souls 

Arid the proud pleasure of pure liberty ; 

Which claims, self -laudatory, and unlawed power, 

Proved they the measure of the skies fulfilled, 

Held in duality with Him who made ; 

The complement of all extremes of light 

Begun, and closed ; of all celestial kind 

The essential flower ; that after them was nothing ; 

With them, perfection finished ; — which to preach 

Of their own selves, and teach the truths consigned 

To their sole hands, their only purpose there ; 

Wandering where'er to wander pleased them best. 

Like, but unequal, as the eye to heaven, 

EiTors the shape of truths put on, as clouds 

The forms of isle and continent whence they sprac;?, 

Suspended in the skies. With such like words, 

So falsely seeming true, and ofttimes urged 

Were sundry led aside to question, doubt, 

Deny, at last cast off, the holy law 

Ordained of Deity which makes his love 

Sustaining spirit, with virtue straitly yoked 

The soul's true faith and motive of all just 

Practice ; true reason and cause of righteous life, 

Peace, bliss. To those who mocked the modest truth 

And knew but this or that extreme of thought. 

Free-will but signified the idolatry 



240 FE8TU8. 

Of selfisli nature, as opposed to God ; 

Blown up with, self-conceived deserts, and proud 

To prove its own an independent power, 

Held in like absolute estate with Heaven's. 

Vain, impious thought, begone, and cease for aye. 

So these, divine permission to myself 

Such secret straight entrusting, to what end 

Ye shall ere long be 'ware of, presently 

Seceded ; yet remained, on outward terms, 

As heretofore, with their unshaken kin. 

But oh 1 the absolute excellence was no more. 

The plane of pure perfection broken through, 

It was as though some galaxy of stars 

Had sunken, and left a horrid rent in heaven ; 

A ragged flaw athwart the sapphirine floor ; 

A foul chaotic chasm. Still further spread 

As from some central and impulsive point, 

In ceaseless radiation, day and night, 

Fresh errors, and reiterate wrongs and jars. 

In vain I throned myself in judgment hall, 

Uttering decrees predestined as of yore ; 

In vain I walked among them, beckoning back 

Such as in false society had strayed ; 

In vain, I warned of evil ; showed them all 

How God's exterminating judgments fell 

Ever on sin, with woe to whom they came. 

The testimony came to all in vain. 

The disaffection spread. Oh 1 still I weep. 

Recalling that declension, sad and wide. 

By frankness unsuspect, and free access 

Gained to the imperial nymph, the strangers next 

Base hints insinuate of self-seeking power 

Sowed widely against the holy guide and nurse, 

Celestial wisdom, 'neath whose bounteous care 

Had grown those angel sisters since their rise 

Starlike, responsive to God's wUl and word. 

In the arcanest heavens. Her soon alas 1 

The wily wanderers whispered first away, 

From wonted inculcation of deep lore, 

And holy truths, as narrowing down the soul, 

And marring the free actions and intents 

Of the angelic pair ; to which, mean charge 

The elder, not the wiser, won too well 

By much and false persuasion, at the last 

Gave in, nor rued till after ; so mistaught 

To gladden at lack of all, even mild, restraint, 

Upon the natural world commanding will. 

Not so the younger ; who with tears profuse 

Grieved at the doom of parting with her guide ; 

Severance from holy tutelage, and loss 

Of the words of love, inspiring and inspired. 

She might from one so sagely instructive reap 



FE8TUS. 241 

Tlirough life to come, who from the first instilled 

Into their souls the sacred elements 

Of heavenly tiiith ; and gave them each to taste, 

In prelibation of suprcmest bliss, 

The perfect sum of knowledge. God, she taught, 

Is truth most pure, and justice, good, and love ; 

To all His creatures, infinitely made known 

By these, and such like attributes, though to none 

In essence wholly cognizable ; He more 

Than all capacity of created mind, 

Through aU time strained were equal to conceive. 

Yet all His virtues imitable, He, man 

And angel, so to image Him designed, 

As far as pure Humanity could, that all 

In righteousness and holiness and peace 

And purity, joy might compass, justly earned, 

And happiest self -content. From His right hand 

Necessitative, sprang all existence ; sprang. 

All various forms and spheres of spatial life, 

Innumerous as the atomies of the light, 

Or as the sands Time's mighty year-glass holds, 

Though it comprise all deserts ; nature's vast 

And elemental limbs, of His great wiU 

The organs ; He above all form, all bound. 

All Being ; whose every act is free ; whose word 

Is fate ; with whom alone, and with His will 

Concurrent was there peace. The bliss of Being 

Is to be loved of God, sole source and end 

Of rational beauty, and the eternal joy 

Life echoes f aintliest from all orbs in sign 

Recognizant of His will that all create, 

Not selfishly, nor slavishly, but moved 

Freely to compass universal good. 

Shall His own aims promote ; ill, God's great way 

Obstructing but for a time, diverting not ; 

And good triumphant ultimately, the peace, 

All-harmonizing, secure, which rules in Heaven, 

Peace, victress of all war. So wisdom made 

Her favourite wise of heart, and led the one 

Beloved thiough all the virtuous spheres and homes 

Of perfect pleasure to the chequered globes 

Which spirits aspirant, or, to grosser ends 

Of sin and error, prone, commingling haunt ; 

And as the Sun, through gilded waters, massed 

Vaporous, of the upper firmament climbs ; then steep, 

Down to the lowliest nook of farthest space, 

"Where earth like clay upon the potter's wheel, 

Spins, day and night, descends ; they passed, to where 

The last of happy creatures, and the first 

Of wretched beings, semi-moital man, 

Bides : who, his clay though tempered with the flow 

Fourfold of Paradisal wave, and warmed 



242 FE8TU8. 

With breath of Deity, yet so self-bedimmed 

Of soul-sight rests, that, duped by dullest seers, 

VHio, with earth-pent vapours blown, and reek of tims, 

Falsely oracular sit and agonize, 

Preaching perdition endless, though in Heaven 

Tlae sunsmile of Salvation on God's face, 

To soul assurant of bli?s ultimate, beam 

Unrecognized, unrecked of, undivined, 

He all his rise ignores and glorious end. 

Still, after all these wanderings, wotting well, 

One single soul more wondrous than all worlds 

WTiich mass the skies with miracles of light ; 

They joyaunce most and rapt contentment found 

Coolly triumphant, as the restful stars 

Shall shew in heaven when time's hot day is done, 

Each in their proper orb and common sphere ; 

To meditations on futurity most 

Devote, and scrutiny of both act and aim 

Self -writ, indelible, on the inner tome 

Each soul imbreasts ; one day to be collate 

With the pretemporal volume graven of God, 

In tablets adamantine, high in heaven 

Treasured, the true Originals of fate. 

The Elder Excellence, meanwhile, who longed 

For more, and mere autocracy, unchecked, 

Unled, unwarned, ruled with a random hand, 

And an occasional sovereignty, the all 

But full totality to herself assigned 

Of the allegiant myriads of her race. 

These loved her well, and willingly themselves 

Ascribed to her for ever ; for that she 

Gave them all freedom ; wherefore in return 

They were her slaves by gratitude ; and ripe 

Any desire to grant or scheme abet 

Which pleased herself, or those intent to please ; 

Counsel however sage, and precept fair 

Savouring of better will, or end than theirs. 

Were treason named ; and Wisdom's words, at last* 

Bewrayed by guile, into a net were wrought 

For her own shining feet ; alas, the day ! 

Long was a pretext sought, and baffled oft ; 

But never failure followed ill intent : 

And base success still sealed each fatal plot : 

The hour of parting came, and Wisdom wrung 

Her high uplifted hands ; nor breathed, unless 

To her she loved, that youthful saint, farewell ; 

Which elsewhere given, were but a mock to make 

Of valediction. How could that she left 

By any chance fare well ? Yet still she stayed 

Lingering around that once supremest sphere 

"V^Tiere, with the angel sisters of her care, 

She was of Eld so happy. Oft she made 



FE8TU8. 243 



For fLight ; but pausing, her reluctant wing 
"VVTieeled pityingly again ; and thus consumed 
Her last night there, till every star had waned 
Into the coming light ; then took her way 
Upon her own bright plumed arms to Heaven. 
The vanishing flash of her asonian wing 
Long hoped by those insinuant tempters, oft 
In deep divan met, they triumphant, marked ; 
And toward the elder of the imperial twain 
Those regal nymphs, inheritors of heaven, 
Laden with crown and robe and sceptre, rushed 
Tumultuous ; and applausive, hailed her thus ; 

lofty Angel fair, be thou our Queen ; 
Worthy the sole and unobstructive rule 
Of every sphere, and every spirit-race ; 
Heart-honom*ed, heaven-ordained, predestined heL' 
Of the bright line of ages numberless. 

Since God creating atomies first began, 
And ended with the universal world. 
Thou hast beheld no equal, nay, no like. 
Thee only we acknowledge ; and for this 
Hold our arrival blessed. Empress, hail ! 
Then she elate, and with pride-blinded soul. 
Culpably tolerant of blasphemous praise. 
The towering seat prepared for her assumed. 
And sat a sceptred traitress ; by that act 
Her sister's previous right not only balked, 
And mine succedent challenged, but of all 
The promised privileges devised to accrue. 
On my accession, to the race, the loss 
Inexorably involved. Far, now, and wide, 
The tidings flew that I and all my rule 
Were virtually annulled ; abolished ; left 
Exsiccate even of hope. The judgment seat 

1 sat, and none attended ; or but came 
With false, fictitious cause, to scoff and jeer. 
Then came an edict of perpetual ban 

And forcible exile 'gainst myself, and all 
Who dared the fallen fortunes to support, 
Or but to name as lawful. Thus the sword, 
WTiose fiery emblem glared at first in air. 
Reigned, and divided all things. Every gate 
Of every temple straight was closed ; and lo I 
Each high and heaven allusive dome was fiUed 
With hollow-sounding emptiness alone. 
Once, in the midst of their assembly high, 
Met to discuss mean only and secular things, 
Such as had ne'er before moved angel minds ; 
And in the palace hall, where erst were held 
Full courts of joy, sweet audiences of love ; 
Skilled plans and choice designs of future good, 
Told, put to proof, improved, or perfected ; 



244 FESTUa, 

And messages and missions sent, of grace, 
Or publicly received ; hall, temple, court, 
Built of immarbled air, essential stone, 
Transpicuous, fictile, workable by thought ; 
Once I essayed to speak, and hearing hoped ; 
But ere a word, they bound me by the hands 
And drave me out with curses, taunts and gibes 
Passing, thus manacled, the new-made throne 
Where sat the crowned traitress, of her crime 
Conscious, and trembling mid the array of state 
That girt her in brightly, I spake ; but not 
In anger nor revenge ; for I foresaw 
The wretched end of all such mortal sin. 
And knew Heaven's holy purposes alone. 
Eternal and substantial, stand for good : 
Behold me thus ; I quit thee ; 'tis thy will. 
Me thou f orswearest, who had loved thee more 
Than all the tribes of angels, love thee still, 
Despite the evil flatteries now thy soul 
Is darkened with, degraded. Know me true. 
The hour will come when thou shalt hold me yet 
Dearer, than now detested. But 'tis thou 
Shalt change ; not I. Watch ; for I come again. 
She answered with a smile, a wretched smile 
I could but pity her for ; but trembled, mute : 
And I departed that dishallowed hall. 
In this, too, God permitted them success, 
And in far more that at the close he might 
Their highest height o'ertop, and with the arms 
Of love all conquering fling forth more supreme 
His thrice victorious standard. Such his will ; 
Such even in exile, now, the due, the dear 
Obedience of my heart ; for well I knew, 
To change or re-create, with Him perdured 
As facile as to make. The younger angel maid 
Who dauntless kept her faith, and still with me 
Held sad and sacred commune, though by stealth, 
Was suffered to remain, close cloistered first, 
In solitude religious, for that they 
The empress' mind who swayed, dared not advise 
To put her quite to death ; and that the tie, 
And natural sympathy of sisterhood, 
Sweet memory of the excellent times of old, 
And flickering purpofjes for future years. 
Which played about the heart of her enthroned. 
Together, wrought to spare her and preserve. 
Anon, though bidden to busy herself alone 
With her own matters, and those mixed with them, 
She, at convenient times, permission wrung 
To walk abroad and tend her charities ; 
But only in the humblest, homeliest guise. 
And, as the Queen had shrunk not to abjure 



FE8TUS. 246 



Love passed, love present, and all future love 

Between her and myself, her whilome Lord, 

The younger, in derision, they who mocked 

Both, called the bride expectant, and the spouse. 

Now, what a change came o'er that orb serene ! 

Through all the day was revelry and mirth ; 

Nor respite knew the night, till no one recked 

Of natural order, or of dues divine. 

While the neglected damsel, at the gates 

Of her imperious sister, at whose beck 

All luxuries started into life and use. 

In servile garb, and oft with ashea crowned 

As in contempt, sate outcast and forlorn. 

royal menial, imperial thrall 1 

Companion once of angels in their height, 

How lowly art thou fallen ; and yet how pure, 

Seen in the sin-consuming light of God ; 

How meek, how perfect, in true servitude. 

These contumelies and worse, unvexed, she borOj 

Unheeding, uncomplaining. Day by day, 

Her to impresss with due sense of disgrace. 

Was she led in, before the obsequious crowd, 

In sackcloth clad, to make obeisance meet 

To the sisterly majesty, which she, at first. 

Abashed, for peace-sake, coldly made ; nor lacked 

AU hope, some gold-grains Time might number still 

Among the barren sands he measui'ed forth ; 

That wisdom yet might home with them again ; 

And her usurping sister, still beloved, 

Though for this deed condemned, her diadem 

Yield to its rightful lord, and heir. In this 

Hope she survived, nor wholly stood alone. 

■\Vhile all, almost, in that strange change of rule 

And law agreed, a certain few there were 

Nathless, within whose hearts the echoes stayed 

Of those last words I uttered ; and these found 

Joy unconceived in trusting still they might 

In act be verified ; and oft, as best 

They could, they comforted the angel child. 

Daily and nightly, she upon her knees 

Besought God to rekindle, in the hot 

And blinding darkness of her heart who ruled, 

The lovelight of His presence ; and to quench 

Sin's ruins as lava torrent, trained and led 

With desolating prevision, through that once 

Fair gardened world, fertile of joy, by those 

Who first impoi-ted it with evil ends. 

At night, too, in the wilderness wo met ; 

For what erewhile a pleasaunce showed, was now 

A drear and desert sphere ; and there from her. 

I, banished, learned what things and how befell ; 

Nor left she e'er without one asked for boon, 



246 FESTUS. 

Despite the wrongs I suffered with herself, 

Wrongs which too many loudly joyed to hear, 

That I for all would pray and intercede. 

There were who spared not breath to show, though One 

Who knew her well knew better, that she strove 

Her sister in my heart's love to supplant ; 

And for that she herself kept faith, would bound 

To herself all favour ; and so circumscribe. 

Through infidelity forfeited of one. 

The promise made to both, of highest bliss, 

Which on thek birth- day had to each been given, 

And, writ in silvery phylacteries, strung 

Around their brows ; by the younger openly, 

Not proudly ; by the tj'ranness hid, as though 

Ashamed of, or indifferent to, God's gifts. 

So like, yet how diverse, those twins divine ; 

The daughters of the Most High God. To each, 

As creatural spirit was trial still decreed 

That they might know to approve the power devolved 

From Heaven, of perfect choice ; know good, know woo j 

The woe, to this, of saintliest innocence 

Falsely traduced ; the purifjing pain, 

To that, of sin repented of, abjured, 

Atoned for • though they knew not that all grief 

Should vanish, and good only and pure joy 

Soul sifted justifiably by times, 

Encrown each other finally. In all orbs. 

Are secret truths, known but to Him who laid 

Their sui-e foundations, trembling though they stand 

Upon the countless columns of the air. 

By secret instigation thus the heart 

Was poisoned, of the Angel Queen to shun 

And doubt her innocent sister. Time by time 

Such imputations cast failed not to work 

Wrath in the royal breast ; but rarely now 

Of former love, or possible future, touched. 

Enough such proud jiresumption, as inferred 

By slander's lying tongue, were whispered round ; 

Thus visited. Within the central square. 

Fronting the glittering palace, stood the throne 

Which changed so much the aspect of that orb. 

And which I told of first ; whereon each day 

She, ministering blind justice, sat, absorbed 

In love of her own empery ; rapt to hear 

The adulation of her foreign train ; 

To trifle with her sceptre as a toy, 

And court the rainbow flashes, startling bright 

Of the star-gemmed tiara ; to her eyes 

Jewels well worth the satrapies of Heaven ; 

Rich in all fancied virtues to attract 

Good, or from evil fend ; the which same gems 

She oft would deftly moralize, and prove 



FUSTUS. 217 



To the 8ubs'>rviont glozers, round, how well 

Their comeliness became her ; how much stead 

The brow, the bosom where they dazzlinp: lay ; 

Now gleaming forth defiant, now reposed 

In silent capabilities of light. 

lliere, in her radiant siege, that Angel Queen, 

(What time the sister, so abased as wont, 

Meekly came forth, in pale humility, 

Low bending like the creaceut moon, when first 

Born of the golden calm the western sky 

Joys in prophetic, duly to perform 

Set reverence,) sat, and eyed askance ; then spake j 

"\\Tiile o'er her head r.ttendant3 from behind 

Pavonian canopy of azure held 

In manner of a sunshr.de, this to screen 

From that one's gloiy, which might else have smote 

Harmful ; " Fair seeming sisterling, is't that thou, 

In my default, aspirest to espouse 

The angel prince, my sometime lover-lord, 

He exiled, thou in bonds ? If so, content : 

Ye well befit each other ; and so far 

As merits make, are equal in my mind." 

Answered the younger ; "01 affianced bride 

Of God's own issue, be, betwixt us twain. 

Nor struggle, nor misdoubt. They both malign 

Who sow the seeds of discord broad-cast here. 

We each have our fore-noted lot. Be mine 

The power, the privilege say, of servitude ; 

Be thine command. My faith can never change. 

But thou hast fallen from service, to a throne. 

Though he who ever loves, nor swerves from that 

His heart hath fixed on once, with me consort, 

It is but for a season ; and all our talk 

Is of thee always. Countless prayers are thine." 

'* I too have my devotions, and serve God, 

Doubtless, although I worshir) not with thee," 

Replied the elder ; bowing f i om her throne ; 

" We worship each our star ; out all in Heaven." 

"We may not worship but th-i Invisible," 

Answered the younger, firm. " No matter, now," 

Rejoined the angel monarch (smiling bright 

On her confederated beguilers, round, 

"Who smoothly sanctioned every pearly word 

That beauteous and imperial rebel breathed), 

" My temple is my heart. My seat is fixed 

Here in the midst of friends ; and by this crown, 

Each gem a sacred talisman of power ; 

Or amulet protective from all harm. 

Wrought by the spirit of friendly elements. 

And wondrously endowed, I swear, and be 

The oath as death irrevocable, the dull 

Alliance, once for me designed, by me, 



248 FESTU8, 

I shrink not to confess, desired, I now 

Abjure for ever. Go, dear sister, meet 

Our would-be friend, once more, tliis once for me ; 

And let him know our fixed resolve ; nor Lord, 

Nor living- equal is, nor shall be, mine." 

Incipient murmurs of applause ran round 

The lustrous throng-, when lo I an omen strange. 

While yet she spake, the jewels of her crown. 

But now obtested, in the sight of all 

Dropped, several, down ; a sadly splendid lapse, 

Like meteor showers, autumnal, in earth's sky, 

Whose fancied virtues, in her false esteem, 

Were that which made her queenly ; down they fell, 

And but enriched the dust. With deep dismay, 

She eyed the empty sockets, and was still. 

Shame-stricken, slowly slid from her away, 

The parasitic court, which had supplied 

That mockery of a crown. The younger, then, 

Who at her sister's feet her seat still sought ; 

" sister 1 divine one, most dear I 

There is a jewel more than worth all these, 

These, virtue's shining semblances ; nought else : 

Wilt thou not seek it ? 'Tis for asking, thine. 

A friend there is ; a lover ; one most true ; 

Who would not thus desert thee, though it had been 

Thyself, by judgment, hurled into the dust ; 

But there he would have comforted thee." " No more,* 

Said the haught Empress ; " I have cast my lot : " 

Then hurried from her throne, and disappeared. 

Next came the crime of crimes, with curses crowned. 

Staggering precipitate. No lack was there 

Of direful sign and portent ; chief was this ; 

Each day grew murker ; for the light of truth. 

Suns those serenest firmaments ; and all 

The falsehoods each one uttered, lie by lie 

Rolled into rings of darkness round their heads, 

Till the conglomerate gloom obscured the day ; 

And each one so infringed the other's view 

That contact in collision ceased. And still, 

With gathering shades the stranger spirits shoAved 

Still seemlier, and like light outletting flowers, 

Glowed in the lengthening eve ; and oft at night, 

As the stars streamed their silvery radiance forth. 

Their rosy bowers they trimmed ; and training low 

The honeyed wreaths, heavy with odorous dew, 

Warbled a vesper song, inviting mirth, 

And amicablest converse in the shade. 

There likewise, they averred, to serve their God ; 

AVhose living image dwelled, they said, among them ; 

With natural worship and symbolic rites 

Of souls regenerate ; there, would seek to impart 

The esoteric truths which nature veiled, 



FESTU8, W» 



Of the one triplicative essence ; there, 

All cosmogonic and theurgic lore 

Make free to ravished vision ; and for one 

Prostration of the spirit duly made, 

The sacred fire, and secrets of the stars. 

Nightly, these boastful proffers were proclaimed, 

And mysteries more enchanting still, with smiles 

Hinting of happier revelations yet, 

AVhcn those they loved were perfected in faith. 

These smiles at first were answered but by t^miles 

Incredulous, dissident. And yet, see, said they, 

(In impious invocation of that doom, 

Concuning figure, which their criminous aim 

Exactly covered, not long time postponed) ; 

I low the night lengthens we have brought with ua ; 

Permitted to this end. that out of night 

And preternatural darkness such as this, 

-tlay spring that luminous vision we enjoy, 

And in ourselves create, of things divine. 

Partake ye with us. Thus they tempted on. 

Wonder at last awoke desire. Among 

The original race angelic was a sage 

Of dominant lineage, for undated years 

Prime Counsellor he of good, who oft had urged 

Obedience to old law ; reproved who ened, 

In listening to these promissory guests 

One wasted atomic even of an hour. 

And most deplored their advent. Him it seemed 

Good to the Great One who all life controls, 

And circumscribes all action, so to prove 

His further ends superior, to permit 

One heedless moment's converse with the spirit, 

Chief of these voluntary visitants, 

"Who lay 'mid fragrant flowers reclined, as though 

Dreaming ; all sense yet but half solved in sleep. 

The rafliant chaplet drooping, and the zone 

Cerulean, featly tricked with semblant stars, 

Unloosened for repose. Arise, he cried. 

Sternly ; and work some good, while liaply light 

Shall last. And wherefore ? said the angel guest ; 

In wise and happy idlesse, half divine, 

Those live who how to spend their life know best. 

Our life is contemplation : our sole work 

Is worship. 'Tis the weak who ceaseless act. 

We mightiest are in rest. This eve return ; 

And I will show thee that we worship here. 

What more, in speech hath never been di\'ulgod ; 

But whatso'er, his first reproof's bright edge 

Seemed blunted, to the sage ; who went his way, 

Wordless ; his heart a sudden storm of thought, 

Assaulting. Day, in musing passed and prayer, 

Eepeated, but not satisfied, At night, 



250 FE8TU8. 

When all the stars burned brightliest, and the bowers' 
Of song were silent, he in stealth returned ; 
And lo ! the spirit slumbering- as before. 

sweet and soft salute of sacred sleep, 
The starry eyes and lightning- lids of earth 
And evening slowly sealing, and the cheek 
Of angel painting with a pearlier calm, 

How wert thou mocked then ! Morn came, and he 

Returned not, poor apostate. Soul by soul 

Who went to seek him, stayed ; so strong the spell 

One dread defection cast. In every bower 

But that wherein he was, 'twas said he hid ; 

And soon each flowery canopy one concealed, 

Of self -idolaters sought, but never found. 

Pity them now, ye angels ; for like you 

Equal, almost, in favour of their Lord, 

Were once those lapsed ones. These are heart-wrung tears. 

At these words sympathetic tears swam o'er 

For the first time, from each celestial eye. 

As trees autumnal shed their leafy griefs 

In golden showers, shaken by sudden gust ; 

Tears not to be forbid ; tears, too, I see, 

Which, mortal ! cloud thine eyes. 

LuciFEE. Let us depart. 

Festus. What, now so sensitive I 

Lucifer. List, earth is calling. 
The voice of her enchantments fills the sky ; 
The fragrance of her young and innocent breath ; 
The odours of her bosom, banked with flowers, 
As with the o'ermuch perfume of lilies closed 
And clustered in scant room, quite conquer me. 
There's more attraction in them than this tale 
Of ruinous success, soon to my disgust 
Re-righted. But no matter. Let us hence. 

Angel of Eabth. What urged thee. Lord of ill, this ill to wreak? 

Lucifer. Was't not enough for me, that passing by 
An orb, not bulkier much than thine, and seeing 
The confident, reckless, virtue of all soul, 

1 should have risked its ruin ; riskea, and won. 
For a time at least. Eternity's not mine. 

I brook no more. 

Festus. So, angel, part we now. 

Angel of Earth. If this must be, enough, When next we meet 
Thou, child of earth, shalt cease to mourn, those tears 
Attesting pity for lost gods ; and both 
Make glad in the holy and unlooked for end, 
The good event, the joyful issue vouched 
To fervent prayer, of our late told of star 
So suddenly unblessed ; whose final fate 
Recorded, beams the one conciliant ray 
To me, of Being. 

Festus. May wo meet then, soon. 



1 



FESTU8. 261 

For much I long, though now frustrate, to learn, 
So much as we may di-aw the future's veil, 
The sequent state of angel world. 

LuciFEB. Away 1 

Earth's more to me than all earth's angel dreams. 

Festds. 'Tis strange, 'tis beautiful but to meet with these 
Sweet spii-its as here abound, each personal soul 
In form aerial, framed distinct, like wind 
Passive, not senseless, but selfmoveable, fills 
With rapturous hope my heart, and bids rejoice 
That we like stationary stars may pause 
Awhile upon our course. 

Guardian Angel, Pause, and proceed. 



XIX. 

But dimmed, 
Drowned, lost all this, like an eye in tears of mirth, 
Like a Btar setting in a twinkling sea, 
Mid revellings, song and dance, wild glee and wine, 
"Where beauty's orb rules, lady of the hour, 
More astral than terrene, o'er lovelorn youth, 
And damsels on whose lily necks the blue 
Veins branch themselves m hidden luxury. 
Hues of the heaven they seem to have vanished from. 
By new loves lured, by life's sheer levities, swift 
The tempted takes his leap, as cloud -lapped stream 
Vaults o'er its crags, self-aissipative in an-, 
To end in watery dust without all end ; 
Mere spells the spirit's eye to daze 'gainst needs 
Of nobler being ; mock substitutes for aims 
Truth asks ; but saddened penitently, at close. 
By sweet remembrance of tne sainted soul 
Once loved, aye hallowed ; still a force on high, 
Beart-purifying. Oh! still in scenes like this, 
Touth lingers longest, drawing out his time 
As goldbeater his wire attenuates, till 
It would reach round earth, and be of no use, then. 

Party and Entertainment. — Garden: JPonntains. 

Festus, Helen, Lucifeb, Charles, Lucy, and Others. 

Festus. My Helen, let us rest awhile, 
For most I love thy calmer smile ; 
We'll not be missed from yon gay throng. 
They dance so eagerly and long ; 
And were one half to go away, 
I'll bet the rest would scarce perceive it. 

Helen. With thee I either go or stay, 
Prepared, the same, to like or leave it ; 
These two perhaps will take our places ; 



252 FE8TU8. 

They seem to stand with longing faces. 

Festus. Tlien sit we, love, and sip with me, 
And I will teach thyself to thee. 
Thy nature is so pure and fine, 
'Tis most like wine ; 

Thy blood, which blushes through each vein, 
Rosy champagne ; 

And the fair skin which o'er it grows, 
Bright as its snows. 

Thy wit, which thou dost work so well, 
Is like cool moselle ; 
Like madeira, bright and warm, 
Is thy smile's charm ; 
Claret's glory hath thine eye, 
Or mine must lie ; 
But nought can like thy lips possess 
Deliciousness ; 

And now that thou'rt divinely merry, 
I'll kiss and call thee spaikling sherry. 

Helen. I sometimes dream that thou wilt leave me 
Without thy love, even me, lonely ; 
And oft I think, though oft it grieve me, 
That I am not thy one love only : 
But I shall alway love thee till 
This heart like earth in death, stand still. 

Festus. I love thee, and will leave thee neveTj 
Until my soul leave life for ever. 
If earth can from her children run. 
And leave the seasons, leave the sun ; 
If yonder stars can leave the sky, 
Bright truants from their home in heaven ; 
Immortals who deserve to die, 
Were death not too good to be given ; 
If heaven can leave and live from God, 
And man tread off his cradle clod ; 
If God can leave the world he sowed, 
Right in the heart of space to fade ; 
Soul, earth, star, heaven, man, world, and God 
May part ; not I from thee, sweet maid. 
Ah, see again my favourite dance, 
Bee the wavelike line advance ; 
And now in circles break, 
Like raindrops on a lake : 
Now it opens, now it closes, 
Like a wreath dropping into roses. 

Helen. It is a lovely scene, 
Fair as aught on earth ; 
And we feel, when it hath been, 
At heart a dearth ; 

As from the breaking up of some bright dream ; 
The failing of a fountain's spray-topped stream. 

IVlLL. Ladies, your leave ; we'll choose a queen. 



FESTUa. 258 

To mle this fair and festive scene. 

Charles. And it were best to choose by lot 
So none can hold herself forgot. 

[T/iey draw lots : it falls to Helen. 

Festus. I knew, my love, how this would be ; 
I knew that fate must favour thee. 

All. Lady fair ! we throne thee queen : 
Be thy sway as thou hast been, 
Light, and lovely, and serene. 

Festus. Here, wear this wreath. No ruder crown 
Should deck that dazzling brow ; 
Or ask yon halo from the moon. ; 
'Twould well beseem thee now. 
I crown thee, love ; I crown thee, \xiWB ; 
I crown thee queen of me ; 
And oh 1 but I am a happy land, 
And a loyal land to thee. 
I crown thee, love ; I crown thee, love ; 
Thou art queen in thine own right : 
Feel ! my heai-t is as full as a town of joy ; 
Look I I've crowded mine eyes with light. 
I crown thee, love ; I crown thee, love ; 
Thou art queen by right divine ; 
And thy love shall set, neither night nor day, 
O'er this subject heart of mine. 
I crown thee, love ; I crown thee, love ; 
Thou art queen by the right of the strong; 
And thou didst but win where thou mightst have slain, 
Or have bounden in thraldom long. 
I cro\\'n thee, love ; I crown thee, love ; 
Thou art my queen for aye ; 
As the moon doth queen the night, my love ; 
As the night doth crown the day. 
I crown thee, love ; I crown thee, lovo ; 
Queen of the brave and free ; 
For I'm brave to all beauty but thine, my love ; 
And free to all b*»Auty by thee. 

Helen. Here, in this court of pleasure, blessed to reign, 
If not the loveliest, where all are fair, 
We still, one hour, our royalty retain. 
To out-queen all in kindness and in care. 
Love, beauty, honour, bravery, and wit ; 
Was ever queen served by such noble slaves ? 
The peerage of the heart — for heaven's court fit : 
We'll dream no more that earth hath ills or graves. 
With mirth and melody, and love we reign : 
Begin we, then, our sweet and pleasurous sway ; 
And here, though light, so strong is beauty's chain, 
That none shall know how blindly they obey. 
We have but to lay on one light command ; 
That all shall do the most what best they love j 
And Pleasure hath her punishments at hand 



254 FE8TU8. 

For all who will not pleasure's rule approve. 
But no 1 there's none of us can disobey, 
Since, by our one command, we free ye thus ; 
And, as our powers must on your pleasures stay- 
Support — and you will reig'n along with us. 

Festus. Ha I Lucifer I How now ? 

Lucifer. I come in sooth to keep my vow. 

Festus. Thy vow ? 

Lucifer. To revel in earth's pleasure*, 

And tire down mirth in her own measures. 

Festus. Go thy ways : I shrink and tremble 
To think how deep thou canst dissemble ; 
For who would dream that in yon breast 
The heart of hell was burning ? 
Or deem that strange and listless guest 
Some priceless spirit earning ? 
I hear methinks from every footstep rise 
A trampled spirit's smothered cries. 

Lucifer. But for yon jocund wight, I feo-r ; 
Just in the nick of time wo met ; 
I stopped, and asked him where you were ; 
His kindness I shall ne'er forget 
Small chance had I of being here. 
I think it quite ungenerous in you, 
At such gay gatherings as the present, 
My once-loved converse to eschew, 
Just as I meant to make things pleasant. 
It's rather hard when one has called 
The club, to be yourself black-balled. 

Charles. Fest, engage fair Marian's hand. 

Festus. Pass me ; she is free no less 
Than I, who by my queen will stand ; 
May it please her loveliness 1 

Helen. Festus, we know the love, and sec. 
Which was with Marian and thee, 
Our early friend, once Clara called, 
But now from us long while estranged ; 
In all, except her hopeless love 
For thee, her faithless lover, changed ; 
And we would see ye once again, 
I nothing doubt, resume. 

Marian. In vain, 

I wish it not. I do but strive, 
A love though buried still alive, 
To hallow with the dearer name 
That sheltered its first flickering flame. 
He seeks another. Though he range 
From heart to heart, not I shall change. 
Love veered unbidden ; he yet may learn 
Unsought, unsolaced, to return. 

Helen. I hold him not against his will ; 
Thine he may be, thine only still. 



FE8TUS, U$ 

LUCJIFEB. Well-rooted plants soon fruit. A lighter love 
Will lighter instincts in him move. 
These joys, these raptures of mere sense, 
Senseless, enjoyment's pure pretence, 
Must surely cloud all innocence. 
And as he gains in knowledge high 
Of spirit, nature, destiny. 
Faith, fostered by yon faithful soul, 
So ripe in love, so rich in dole, 
Faith must as surely in him die. 

Festus. I marvel at myself. There seems 
A power within me bids me claim 
A freedom like space-filling dreams, 
AVhich are, and are not, but in name ; 
A fateful freedom, all the same ; 
Wheref rom I vainly try to shape 
Some way of conquest or escape. 

Lucifer. My schemes succeed as soon as planned ; 
Needs must, if so and so but drive ; 
AVTien once you know your neighbour's hand, 
It's wondrous how your game will thrive. 

Charles. Of freedom we'll have no abuse. 
Dance with your royal fair. 

Lucifer. Make no excuse. 

Festus. Rebellion pleases most, though little use. 
I will not dance to-night again, 
Though bid by all the queens that reign. 

Helen. What, Festus 1 treason and disloyalty 
Already to our gentle royalty ? 

Festus. No — I was wrong — but to forgive 
Be thy sublime prerogative I 

Helen. Most amply, then, I pardon thee ; 
In proof whereof, come dance with me. [^A dance» 

Laurence. How sweetly Marian sweeps alon^ ; 
Hor step is music, and her voice is song. 
Silver-sandalled foot I how blest 
To bear the breathing heaven above, 
"Which on thee, Atlas-like, doth rest, 
And round thee move. 
Ah I that sweet little foot : I swear 
I could kneel down and kiss it there. 
I should not mind if she were Pope ; 
I would change my faith. 

Charles. Works, too, we hope. 

Laurence. Ah ! smile on me again with that sweet smile, 
Which could from heaven my soul to thee beguile ; 
As I mine eye would turn from awful skies 
To hail the child of sun and storm arise ; 
Or, from eve's holy azure, to the star 
Which beams and becks the spirit from afar ; 
For fair as yon star- wreath which high doth shine, 
And worthy but to deck a brow like thine ; 



256 FE8TU8. 

Pure as the 'Light from orbs whicli ne'er 
Hath, blessed us yet in this far sphere 
As eyes of seraphs lift alone, 
Through ag-es on the holy throne ; 
So brig-ht, so fair, so free from guile. 
And freshening- to my heart thy smile ; 
Ay, passing all things here, and all above. 
To me, thy look of beauty, truth, and love. 

Mauian. Pray, heed me not. 'Twere vain to me 
To pay thy heart's lost fealty. 

Haeey. Thy friend hath led his lady out. 

Festus. He looks most wickedly devout. 

Fan^sty. When introduced, he said he knew her, 
And had been long devoted to her. 

Emma. Indeed — but he is too gallant, 
And serves me far more than I want. 
He vows that he could worship me ; 
Why, look 1 he is now upon his knee. 

Lucifer. I quaff to thee this cup of wine, 
And would, though men had nought but brine ; 
E'en the brine of their own tears. 
To cool those lying lips of theirs ; 
And were it all one molten pearl, 
I would drain it to thee, girl ; 
Ay, though each drop were worth of gold 
Too many pieces to be sold ; 
And though for each I drank to thee, 
Fate add an age of misery : 
For thou canst conjure up my spirit 
To aught immortals may inherit ; 
To good or evil, woe or weal. 
To all that fiends or angels feel ; 
And wert thou to perdition given, 
I'd join thee, in the scorn of heaven f 

Emma. Oh fy 1 to only think of such a fate I 

Lucifer. Better than not to think on't till too late. 
They'd not believe me, Festus, if I told them, 
That hell, and all its hosts, this hour behold them. 

Festus. Scarcely ; that demon here again 1 
But though my heart biurst in the strain 
I will be happy might and main 1 
So wreathe my brow with flowers, 
Aud pour me purple wine. 
And make the meny hours 
Dance, dance with glee like thine. 
While thus enraptured, I and thou, 
Love crowns the heart, as flowers the brow. 
The rosy garland twine 
Around the noble bowl. 
Like laughing loves that shine 
Upon the generous soul ; 
Be mine, dear maid, the loves, and thou 



VESTua, m 

Shalt ever bosom them as now. 

Then plungre the blushing wreath 

Deep in the ruddy wine ; 

As the love of thee till death 

Is deep in heart of mine ; 

While both are blooming on my brow 

I cannot be more blessed than now. 

Lucifer. Thou talkst of hearts in style to me quite freeh : 
The human heart's about a pound of flesh. 

Festus. Forgive him, love, and aught he says. 

Helen. What is that trickling down thy face ? 

Festus. Oh, love, that is only wine, 
From the wreath which thou didst twine ; 
And, casting in the bowl, I bound, 
For coolness' sake, my temples round. 

Helen. I thought 'twas a thorn which was tearing thy brow ; 
And if it were only a rose-thorn was tearing, 
"VMiy, whether of gold or of roses, as now, 
A crown, if it hurt us, is hardly worth wearing. 

Lucy. From what fair maid hadst thou that flower ? 
It came not from my wreath, nor me. 

Charles. Love lives in thee as in a bower, 
And sure this must have dropped from thee ; 
From thy lip, or from thy cheek : 
See, its sister blushes speak. 
Nay, never harm the harmless rose, 
Though given by a stranger maid ; 
'Tis sad enough to feel that flower 
Feels it must fade. 
And trouble not the transient love, 
Though by another's side I sigh ; 
It is enough to feel the flame 
Flicker and die. 

And thou to me art flame and flower, 
Of rosier body, brighter breath ; 
But softer, warmer than the truth ; 
As sleep than death. 

Festus. The dead of night : earth seems but seeming ; 
The soul seems but a something dreaming. 
The bird is dreaming in its nest, 
Of song, and sky, and loved one's breast ; 
The lap-dog dreams, as round he lies, 
In moonshine, of his mistress' eyes : 
The steed is dreaming, in his stall, 
Of one long breathless leap and fall : 
The hawk hath dreamed him thrice of wings 
Wide as the skies he may not cleave ; 
But waking, feels them clipped, and clings 
Mad to the perch 'twere mad to leave : 
The child is dreaming of its toys ; 
The murderer, of calm home joys ; 
The weak ma dreaming endless f ears j 



258 PmTUS. 

The proud of how their pride appears 

The poor enthusiast who dies, 

Of his life-dreams the sacrifice, 

Sees, as enthusiast only can, 

The truth that made him more than man ; 

And hears once more, in visioned trance. 

That voice commanding to advance, 

"Where wealth is gained ; love, wisdom won ; 

Or deeds of danger dared and done. 

The mother dreameth of her child ; 

The maid of him who hath beguiled ; 

The youth of her he loves too well ; 

The good of God ; the ill of hell ; 

Who live of death ; of life who die ; 

The dead of immortality. 

The earth is dreaming back her youth ; 

Hell never dreams, for woe is truth ; 

And heaven is dreaming o'er her prime, 

Long ere the morning stars of time ; 

And dream of heaven alone can I, 

My lovely one, when thou art nigh. 

Helen. Let some one sing. Love, mirth, and son^, 
The graces of this life of ours. 
Go ever hand in hand along, 
And ask alike each other's powers. 

Lucy (sings). For every leaf the loveliest flower 
Wliich beauty sighs for from her bower ; 
For every star a drop of dew : 
For every sun a sky of blue ; 
For every heart a heart as true. 

For every tear by pity shed 

Upon a fellow-sufferer's head, 

On ! be a crown of glory given ; 

Such crowns as saints to gain have striven, 

Such crowns as seraphs wear in heaven. 

For all who toil at honest fame, 
A proud, a pure, a deathless name ; 
For all who love, who loving bless, 
He life one long, kind, close caress ; 
Be life all love, all happiness. 

Will. How can we better time employ. 
Than celebrate, with every breath, 
Through hours that laugh themselves to death, 
This bridal feast of love and joy ? 

Festus. That song reminds me, but it may not be j 
No I I am sailing on another sea. 

Lucifer. Tell me what's the chiefest pleasure 
In this world's high heaped measure I 

All. Power, beauty, love, wealth, wine 1 

Lucifer. All different votes 1 

Fanny. Come, Frederici thine 

What may thy joy-judgment be ? 

Feederic. I scarce know how to answer thee ; 



FESTUa. 259 

Each, apart, too soon will tire ; 

Alto{?ether slake desire. 

So ask not of me the one chief joy of earth, 

For that I'm unable to say ; 

But here is a wreath that will lose its chief worth, 

If ye pluck but one flower away. 

Then these are the joys which should never dispart — 

The joys that are dearest to me : 

As the song, and the dance, and the laugh of the heart, 

Thou, girl, and the goblet, be. 

Lucifer, Oh, excellent 1 the truth is clear ; 
The one opinion, too, I love to hear. 

Helen. Is this a queen's fate, to be left alone ? 
I wish another had the throne. 
Festus I why art thou not here. 
Beside thy Hege and lady dear ? 

Festus. My thoughts are happier oft than I, 
For they are ever, love, with thee ; 
And thine, I know, as frequent fly 
O'er all that severs us, to me : 
Like rays of stars, that meet in space, 
And mingle in a bright embrace. 
Never load thy locks with flowers. 
For thy cheek hath a richer flush ; 
And than wine, or the sunset hourj 
Or the ripe yew-berry's blush. 
Never braid thy brow with lights, 
Like the sun, on his golden way 
To the neck and the locks of night, 
From the forehead fair of day. 
Never star thy hand with stones, 
For, for every dead light there, 
Is a living glory gone. 
Than the brilliant far more fair. 
Nay, nay ; wear thy buds, braids, gems ; 
Let the lovely never part ; 
Thou alone canst rival them. 
Or in nature, or in art. 
Be not sad ; thou shalt not be : 
Why wilt mourn, love, when with me ? 
One tear that in thine eye could start 
Could wash all purpose from my heart 
But that of loving thee ; 
If I could ever think to wrong 
A love so riverlike, deep, pure, and long. 

Helen. I cast mine eyes around, and feel 
There is a blessing wanting ; 
Too soon our hearts the truth reveal. 
That joy is disenchanting. 

Festus. I am a wizard, love ; and I 
A new enchantment will supply 5 

K2 



260 FEBTUa* 

And tlie cliarm of tHne own smile 
Shall thine own heart of grief beguile 
Smile, I do command thee, rise 
From the bright depths of those eyes ; 
By the bloom wherein thou dwellest, 
As in a rose-leaved nest ; 
By the pleasure which thou tellest, 
And the bosom which thou swellest, 
I bid thee rise from rest ; 
By the rapture which thou causest. 
And the bliss while e'er thou pausest, 
Obey my high behest. 

Helen. Dread magician 1 cease thy spell ; 
It hath wrought both quick and well. 

Festus. Ah 1 thou hast dissolved the charm ; 
Ah 1 thou hast outstepped the ring ; 
■\Vho shall answer for the harm 
Beauty on herself will bring ? 
Come, I will conjure up again that smile, 
The scarce departed spirit. There it is ! 
Settling and hovering round thy lips the while. 
Like some bright angel o'er the gates of bliss. 
And I could sit and set that rose-bright smile, 
Until it seemed to grow immortal there ; 
A something abstract even of all beauty, 
As though 'twere in the eye, or in the air. 
Ah ! never may a heavier shadow rest 
Than thine own ringlets' on that brow so fair ; 
Nor sob, nor sorrow, shake the perfect breast 
^Vhich looks for love, as doth for death despair. 
And now the smile, the sigh, the blush, the tear, 
Lo ! all the elements of love are here. 
Nay, wither not, with doubt's mistrustful sigh, 
Love's tender, ah 1 too quickly perishing leaf : 
Nor let one briny tearlet beauty's eye 
O'ercloud with life embittering grief. 
Oh 1 weep not, sigh not ; woe, nor mortal wrath, 
Should taint with sad defect a soul like thine ; 
Say, is it given the rule-less lightning's path 
Earth-blinding, e'er to strike the stars divine ? 
Sing, then, while thy lover sips, 
And hear the truth that wine discloses ; 
Music lives within thy lips. 
Like a nightingale in roses. 

Helen («tw^«). Oh ! love is like the rose, 

And a month it may not see, ^ 

Ere it withers where it grows ; 
Kosalie ! 

I loved thee from afar ; 

Oh ! my heart was lift to thee, 
Like a glaas up to a star ; 
BosaUel 



J 



FE8TU8, 261 

TJiine eye was glassed in mine, 

As the moon is in the sea : 
And its shine was on the brine ; 
Rosalie! 

The rose hath lost its red ; 

And the star is in the sea ; 
And the briny tear is shed ; 
Kosalie ! 

Festus. What the atars are to the night, my love, 
"What its pearls are to the sea ; 
What the dew is to the day, my love, 
Thy beauty is to me. 

Helen. I am but here the under-queen of beauty, 
For yonder hangs the likeness of the goddess ; 
And so to worship her is our first duty. 
The heavenly mmds of old first taught the heavenly bodies 
Were to be worshipped ; and the idolatry 
Holds to this hour ; though, Beauty 1 but of thine. 
I am thy priestess, and will worship thee, 
With all this brave and lovely train of mine ; 
Lo 1 we all kneel to thee before thy pictured shrine. 
Yes, there, thou goddess of the heart. 
Immortal beauty, there 1 
Thou glory of Jove's free-love skies. 
E'en like thyself too fair. 
Too bright, too sweet for mortal eyes, 
For earthly hearts too strong ; 
Thy golden girdle liftst, and drawest 
The heavens and earth along. 
Oh I thou art as the cloudless moon, 
Undimmed and unarrayed ; 
No robe hast thou, no crown save yon, 
Goddess I thy long locks' soft and sunbright braid. 
And there's thy son. Love, beauty's child, 
World-known for strangest powers ; 
Boy-god 1 thy place is blest o'er all ; 
Smil'st thou at thoughts of ours 2 
And there, by thy luxurious side, 
The queen of heaven and Jove 
Stands ; and the deep delirious draught 
Drinks, from thy looks, of love, 
And lips, which oft have kissed away 
The thunders from his brow, 
"VVho ruled, men say, the world of worlds. 
As God our God rules now. 
And thou art yet as great o'er this. 
As erst o'er olden sky ; 
Of all heaven's darkened deities. 
The last live light on high. 
God after god hath left thee lone. 
Which lived on human breath ; 



262 FE8TUS. 

When prayers were breathed to them no more, 

The false ones pined to death. 

But in the service of young hearts 

To loveliness and love, 

Live thou shalt, while yon wandering world, 

Named unto thee, shall move. 

Ko fabled dream art thou ; all god, 

Our souls acknowledge thee ; 

For what would life, from love, be worth, 

Or love from beauty be ? 

Come, universal beauty, then. 

Thou apple of God's eye. 

To and through which all things were made, 

Things deathless, things that die ; 

Oh 1 lighten, live before us there ; 

Leap in yon lovely form, 

And give a soul. She comes 1 It breathes ; 

So bright, so sweet, so warm. 

Our sacrifice is over ; let us rise ; 

Tor we have worshipped acceptably here ; 

And let our glowing hearts and glimmering eyes, 

O'erstrained with gazing on thy light too near. 

Prove that our worship, goddess, was sincere. 

Festus. I read that we are answered. The soft air 
Doubles its sweetness ; and the fainting flowers, 
Down hanging on the walls in wreaths so fair. 
Bud forth afresh, as in. their birth-day bowers. 
Dew-laden, as oppressed with love and shame. 
The rose-bud drops upon the lily's breast ; 
Brighter the wine, the lamps have softer flame ; 
Thy kiss flows f reelier than the grape first pressed. 
Life lightly lies on us, as in time's first hours, 
Olympian, when the immortals went and came, 
And skies crystalline heaven and earth both blessed. 

Will. A dance, a dance 1 

Helen. Let us remain. 

Festus. We will not tempt your sport again. 

Helen. Behold where Marian sits alone. 
The dance all sweeping round, 
Like to some goddess hewn in stone, 
With blooming garlands bound. 

Festus. Tell me, Marian, what those eyes 
Can discover in the skies, 
Whereon thou gazest with such ecstasies ? 

Marian. For earth my soul hath lost all love, 
But heaven still loves and watches o'er me ; 
Why should I not, then, look above. 
And pass, and pity all before me ? 

Festus. Oh ! if yon worlds that shine o'er this, 
Have more of joy, of passion less, 
I would not change earth's chequered bliss 
For thrice the joy those orbs possess ; 



FE8TU8. ! 

"Which seem, so stirange their nature is, 
Faint with excess of happiness. 

Marian. Thy heart with others hath its rest, 
And it shall wake with me ; 
And if within another breast 
That heart hath made itself a nest, 
Mine is no more for thee. 
Heart-breaker, go ! I cannot choose 
But love thee, and thy love refuse ; 
And if my brow grow lined while young, 
And youth fly cheated from my cheek, 
'Tis that there lies below my tongue 
A word I will not speak : 
For I would rather die than deem 
Thou art not the glory thou didst seem. 
But if engirt by flood or fire, 
Who would live that could expire ? 
Who would not dream, and dreaming die, 
If to wake were misery ? 

Festus. Whose woes are like to my woes ? ^^^^at, is madn8'?s 
The mind exalted to a sense of ill 
Soon sinks beyond it into utter sadness, 
And sees its grief before it like a hill. 
Oh ! I have suffered till my brain became 
Distinct with woe, as is the skeleton leaf 
WTiose green hath fretted off its fibrous frame, 
And bare to our immortality of grief. 
Deep in my heart there lies, as in truth's well. 
The image of thy soul ; 

But ah 1 that fountain once so sweet, by spell 
Of power is sealed, beyond my will's control. 

Mabian. Like the light line that laughter leaves 
One moment on a bright young brow, 
So truth is lost ere love believes 
There can be aught save truth below. 

Festus. But as the eye aye brightlier beams 
For every fall the lid lets on it. 
So oft the fond heart happier dreams 
For the soft cheats love puts upon it. 

Marian. I never dreamed of wretchedness ; 
I thought to love meant but to bless. 

Festus. It once was bliss to me to watch 
Thy passing smile, and sit and catch 
The sweet contagion of thy breath. 
For love is catching, from such teeth ; 
Delicate little pearl-white wedges, 
All transparent at the edges. 

Marian. False flatterer, cease. 

Festus. It is my fa':e 

To love, and make who love me hate. 

Marian. No ! 'tis to sue, to gain, deceive ; 
To tire of, to neglect, and leave. 



264 FE8TU8, 

The desolation of tlie Boul 

Is what I feel ; 

A sense of lostness that leaves death 

But little to reveal ; 

For death is nothing- but the thought 

Of something being again nought. 

Helen. Cease, lady, cease those aching sigha, 
"Which shake the tear-drops from thine eyes, 
As morning wind, with wing fresh wet, 
Shakes dew out of the violet. 
Forgive me if the love once thine 
Hath changed itself unsought to me ; 
I did not tempt it from thy heart, 
I planned no treason against thee ; 
And soon, perchance, 'twill be my part 
As thou now art, to be. 

Marian. I blame no heart, no love, no fate ; 
And I have nothing to forgive : 
I wish for nought, repent of nought, 
Regret nought, but to live. 

Helen. Nay, sing ; it will relieve thy heart. 

Mabian. I cannot sing a mirthful strain ; 
And feel too much to act my part. 
E'en of an ebbing vein. 

Festus. Our hearts are not in our own hands ; 
Why wilt thou make me say, 
I cannot love as once I loved ? 

Mabian. Hear 1 'tis for this I stay ; 
To say we part, for ever part ; 
But oh 1 how wide the line 
Between thy Marian's bursting heart, 
And that proud heart of thine. 
For thou wilt wander here and there, 
Ever the gay and free ; 
To other maids wilt fondly swear, 
As thou hast sworn to me ; 
And I, oh I I shall but retire 
Into my grief alone ; 
And kindle there the hidden fire, 
That bums, that wastes unknown. 
And love and life shall find their tomb 
In that sepulchral fiame ; 
Be happy ; none shall know for whom ; 
I will not dream thy name. 

Festus. As sings the swan with parting breatb, 
So I to thee ; 

While love is leaving, worse than life, 
Forewarningly. 

Speak not, nor think thou any ill of me, 
The son of destiny, the crown of fate. 
The pen of power which writes earth's future state, 
If thou wouldst not die soon, and wretchedly, 



FE8TU8. 365 



t 



Oppressed with sense of passed felicity ; 
Passed yet perchance to davm again on thee. 
Behold me bound beneath the threefold spell, 
Which heaven hath laid upon me, earth, and helL 
It may be that I love thee even now 
More than my tortured spirit dare avow ; 
It may be that the clouds which dim my gaze, 
Though rich with roseate gold, are full of scath, 
And may disperse 'neath thy soul's purer rays ; 
But now I cannot waver on my path ; 
Nor condescend the world to undeceive, 
"Which doth delight in error and believe. 
Time will unfold whate'er we have of truth, 
As ripening years the greener growth of youth. 
Thus then, farewell, dear maiden, ere I go ; 
Thus dearly have I earned my rightful woe. 

Oh ! if we e'er have loved, lady, 

We must forego it now ; 
Though sore the heart be moved, lady, 

"When bound to break its vow. 

I'll always think on thee, 
And thou sometimes — on whom, lady } 

And yet those thoughts must be 
Like flowers flung on the tomb, ladv. 
Then think that I am blest, lady, 

Though aye for thee I sigh ; 
In peace and beauty rest, ladv, 

Nor momn, and mourn, as 1. 

From one we love to part, lady, 

Is harder than to die ; 
I see it by thy heart, lady, 

I feel it by thine eye. 

Thy Hghtest look can tell 
Thv heaviest thought to me, lady ; 

Oh ! I have loved thee well, 
But well seems ill with thee, lady ! 
Though sore the heart be movedj^ lady, 

"When boimd to break its vow. 
Yet if we ever loved, lady, 

"We must forego it now. 



Mabian. "Whate'er thou dost, where'er thou goest 
My heart is only thine, thou knowest. 

LuciFEB. CJome, I must separate you two ; 
Such wretchedness will never do. 
The little cloud of grief which just appears, 

I If left to spread, will drown us all in tears. 
Emma. Oblige us, pray, then, with a song. 
Chaeles. I'm sure he has a singing face. 
Will. At church I heard him loud and long-. 
LuciPEE. Pardon ; but you are doubly wrong. 
Helen. Obey, I beg. Here, give him place. 
LuciFEE. I have not sung for ages, mina : 
So you must take me as you find. 
This is a song supposed of one, 
A fallen spirit, name unknown, 
X s 



FESTUa. 



Fettered upon his fiery throne ; 
Calling- on his once ang-el-love, 
Who still remaineth true above. 

Thou hast more music ia thy voice 

Than to the spheres is given, 
And more temptations on thy lips 

Than lost the angels heaven. 
Thou hast more brightness in thine eyes 

Than all the stars which bum, 
More dazzling art thou than the throne 

We fallen dared to spuni. 

Go search through heaven ; the sweetest smile 

That lightens there is thine ; 
And through hell's burning darkness breaks 

No frown so fell as mine. 
One smile, 'twill light, one tear, 'twill cool ; 

These will be more to me 
Than all the wealth of aU the worlds, 

Or boundless power could be. 

Helen. Entreat him, pray, to sing again. 
LuciFEE. Any thing any one desires. 
Festus. Your loveliness hath but to deign 
To will, and he'll do all that will requires. 

LuciFEB. («i«^s). Oh ! many a cloud 

Hath lift its wing ; 
And many a leaf 

Hath clad the spring ; 
But there shall be thrice 

The leaf and cloud, 
And thrice shall the world 

Have worn her shroud ; 
Ere there's any like thee, 
But where thou wilt be. 

Oh ! many a storm 

Hath drenched the sun ; 
And manv a stream 

To sea nath run ; 
But there shall be thrice 

The storm and stream, 
Ere there's any like thee, 

But in angel's dream ; 
Or in look, or in love. 
But in heaven above. 

Lucy. What is love ? Oh 1 I wonder so : 
Do tell me ; who pretends to know ? 

Frank. Ask not of me, love, what is lovo ! 
Ask what is good of Grod above ; 
Ask of the great sun what is light ; 
Ask what is darkness of the night ; 
Ask sin of what may be forgiven ; 
Ask what is happiness of heaven ; 
Ask what is folly of the crowd ; 
Ask what is fashion of the shroud ; 
Ask what is sweetness of thy kiss ; 
Ask of thyself what beauty is ; 



FE8TU8. 267 



And if they each should answer, 1 1 
Let me, too, join them, with a sigh. 
Oh 1 let me pray my life may prove, 
When thus, with thee, that I am love. 

Festus. I cannot love as I have loved, 
And yet I know not why ; 
It is the one great woe of life 
To feel all feelinpr die : 
And one by one the heartstringfs snap 
As ajjfe comes on so chill : 
And hope seems left that hope may cease, 
And all will soon be still. 
And the strong passions, like to storms, 
Soon rajre themselves to rest ; 
Or leave a desolated calm, 
A worn and wasted breast ; 
A heart that like the Geyser spring", 
Amidst its bosomed snows, 
May shrink, not rest ; but with its blood 
Boils even in repose. 

And yet the things one might have loved 
Remain as they have been ; 
Truth ever lovely, and one heart 
Still sacred and serene ; 
But lower, less, and grosser things 
Eclipse the world-like mind ; 
And leave their cold dark shadow whora 
Most to the light inclined. 
And then it ends as it began. 
The orbit of our race. 
In pains and tears, and fears of life, 
And the new dwelling place. 
From life to death, from death to life, 
We hurry round to God ; 
And leave behind us nothing save 
The path that we have trod. 

Helen. In vain I try to lure thy heart 
From grief to mirth ; 
It were as easy to ward off 
Night from the earth. 

Festus. Fill I I'll drink it till I die, 
Helen's lip and Helen's eye 1 
An eye which outsparkles 
The beads of the wine, 
With a hue which outdarkles 
The deeps where they shine. 
Come ! with that lightly flushing brow, 
And darkly splendid eye ; 
And white and wavy arms which now, 
Like snow-wreaths on the dark brown bough. 
So softly on me lie. 
Come ! let us love, while love we may, 



268 FE8TUS. 

Ere youth's bright sands be run ; 
The hour is nigh when every soul, 
Which 'scapeth evil's dread control, 
Nor drains the furies' fiery bowl, 
Shall into heaven for aye, 
And love its God alone. 

Helen. Now let me leave my throne ; and if the hours 
Have measured every moment by a kiss, 
As I do think, since first ye gave these flowers, 
It was to teach us how to dial bliss. 
Farewell, dear crown, thy mistress will not wear, 
Save when she sitteth royally alone. 
Farewell, too, throne ! not quickly wilt thou bear 
A happier form, if fairer than mine own. 

Will. The ladies leave us 1 

Lucifer. Oh ; by all means let them ; 

But say, for heaven itself, we'll not forget them ; 
Say we will pledge them to the top of breath, 
As loud as thunder, and as deep as death. 

Festus (apart). Methinks I hear in every sigh 
Of wind, that stirs the illumined bowers, 
A whisper of the immortal powers 
Reproachful, from death's spoils that lie, 
In happiest alchemy, 
Transfiguring themselves to flowers. 
Oh ! for thy grave, my love I 
I want to weep. 

High as thou art this earth above, 
My woe is deep ; 

And cold my heart is as thy grave, 
Where I can neither soothe nor save. 
Whate'er I say, or do, or see, 
I think and feel, alone to thee. 
Oh 1 can it, can it be forgiven. 
That I forget thou art in heaven ? 
Thou wilt forgive me this, and more : 
Love spends his all, and still hath store. 
Thou wilt forgive, if beauty's wile 
Should win, perforce, one glance from me ; 
When they whose art it is to smile 
Can never smile my heart from thee ; 
And if with them I chance to be. 
And srive mine ear up to their singing, 
It, windlike, only wakes the sea, 
In all its mad monotony, 
Of memory forth thy music ringing 
Thou wilt forgive, if, now and then, 
I link with hands less loved than thine, 
Whose goldlike touch makes kings of men 
But wakes no will in blood of mine ; 
And if with them I toss the wine, 
And set my soul in love's rip© riot, 



\ 



FESTUS. 269 

It echoes not, this desert shrine, 

Where still thy love from heaven doth shine, 

Moon-like, across some ruin's quiet. 

Thou wilt forgive me, if my feet 

Should move to music with the fair ; 

When, at each turn, I bum to meet 

Thy stream-like step, and aery air ; 

And if before some beauty there. 

Mine eye may forge one glance of gladness, 

It is but the ripple of despair 

That shows the bed is all but bare, 

And nought scarce left but stony sadness. 

Thou wilt forgive, if e'er my heart 

Err from the orbit of its love ; 

"VThen even the bliss-bright stars will start 

Earthwards, some lower sphere to prove. 

And if these lips but rarely pine 

In the pale abstinence of sorrow, 

It is, that nightly I divine. 

As I this world-sick soul recline, 

I shall be with thee ere the morrow. 

Thou wilt forgive, if once with thee 

I limned the outline of a heaven ; 

But go and tell our God, from me, 

He must forgive what he hath given ; 

And if we be by passion driven 

To love, and all its natural madness, 

Tell him that man by love hath thriven, 

And that by love he shall be shriven ; 

For God is love, where love is gladness. 

Perchance thy spirit still stays in j^on mild star, 

In i)eace and flame-like purity, and prayer ; 

And, oh ! when mine shall fly from earth afar, 

I will pray God that it may join thine there ; 

'Twere doubling heaven, that heaven with thee to share. 

And while thou leadest music and her lyre, 

Like a sunbeam holden by its golden hair. 

May I, too, mingling with the immortal choir. 

Love thee, and worship God I what more may soul desire ? 

Enough for me ; but if there be 

More, it shall be left for thee. 

Walter. If anything I love in chief, 
It is that flowery rich relief 
That wine doth chase on mortal metal 
Before good wine begins to settle ; 
But all seem smilingly, serenely dull. 
And melancholy as the moon at full. 
Quenched by their company they seem, 
Like sparks of fire in clouds of steam. 

Charles. They who mourn the lack of wit, 
Show, at least, no more of it. 

Festus. I cannot bear to be alone. 



270 FE8TUSL 

I liate to mix -witli men ; 

To me there's torture in the tone 

Which bids me talk again. 

Like silly nestlings, warned in vain, 

My heart's young joys have flown ; 

While singing to them, even then, 

They left me, one by one. 

I envy every soul that dies 

Out of this world of care ; 

I envy e'en the lifeless skies, 

That they enshrine thee there ; 

And would I were the bright blue air 

Which doth insphere thine eyes. 

That thou mightst meet me everywhere^ 

And feel these faithful sighs. 

E'en as the bubble that is mixed 

Of air and wine right red, 

So my heart's love is shared betwixt 

The living and the dead. 

If on her breast I lay my head, 

My heait on thine is fixed : — 

Wilt thou I loose, as I have said. 

Or keep the soul thou seekst ? 

From me thou canst not pass away 

While I have soul or sight ; 

I see thee on my waking way, 

And in my dreams thee bright ; 

I see thee in the dead of night, 

And the full life of day ; 

I know thee by a sudden light ; 

It is thy soul, I say. 

If yonder stars be filled with forms 

Of breathing clay like ours, 

Perchance the space that spreads between 

Is for a spirit's powers ; 

And loving as we two have loved, 

In spirit and in heart, 

Whether to space or star removed, 

God will not bid us part. 

Festus. How sweetly shine the steadfast stan^ 
Each eyeing, sister-like, the earth : 
And softly chiding scenes like this, 
Of senseless and profaning mirth. 

LUCIFEK. Thou art ever prating of the stars, 
Like an old soldier of his scars : 
Thou shouldst have been a starling, friend, 
And not an earthling : end 1 

Festus. And could I speak as many times 
Of each as there are stars in heaven, 
I could not utter half the thoughts — 
The sweet thoughts one to me hath given. 
The holy quiet of the skies 



FE8TU8. ta 



May waken well the blush ot shame, 
"Whene'er we think that thither lies 
The heaven we heed not, ought not name. 
Oh, heaven I let down thy cloudy lids, 
And close thy thousand eyes ; 
For each, in burning glances, bids 
The wicked fool be wise. 

LuciPEB. I can interpret well the stars. 

Chables. Indeed, they need interpreters j 
And once, myself, I own, desired 
To cast their meanings into verse ; 
But found the feelings so inspired, 
Inapt, as sunshine on a hearse : 
And you no doubt will find it worse. 

Lucifer. Then thus, in their eternal tongue, 
And musical thunders, all have sung, 
To every ear which ear hath given. 
From birth to death, this note of heaven : 
Deathlings I on earth drink, laugh, and love : 
Ye mayn't hereafter, under or above. 
Yes, this the tale they all have told 
Since first they made old Chaos shrink ; 
Since first they flocked creation's fold, 
And filled all air as flakes of gold 
Bedrop yon royal drink. 
For as the moon doth madmen rule. 
It is, that near and few they are : 
And so in heaven each single star 
Doth sway some reasonable fool. 
Whether on earth or other sphere ; 
For what's above is what is here. 
Moons and madmen only change ; 
What can truth or stars derange ? 

Edward. Brave stars, bright monitors of joy 
Right well ye time your hours of warning ; 
For, Booth to say, the eve's employ 
Doth wax less lovely towards the iromin^t 
So push the goblet gaily round ; 
Drink deep of its wealth, drink on ; 
Our earthly joy too soon doth cloy, 
Our life is all but gone ; 
And, not enjoy yon glorious cup, 
And all the sweets which lie, 
Like pearls within its purple well. 
Who would not hate to die ? 

Will. And who, without the cheering glance 
Of woman's witching eye, 
Could stand against the storms of fate. 
Or cankering care defy ? 
It addt fresh brightness to the bowl ; 
Then why will men repine ? 
Content we'll live with heavem'a best gifts, 



272 fESTUS. 

With woman, and with wine. 

Hakry. Cnps while they sparkle, 
Maids while they sigh ; 
Bright eyes will darkle, 
Lips grow dry. 
Cheek while the dew-drops 
Water its rose ; 
Life's fount hath few drops 
Dear as those. 
Arms while they tighten ; 
Hearts as they heave ; 
Love cannot brighten 
Life's dark eve. 

George. Oh 1 the wine is like life ; 
And the sparkles that play, 
By the lips of the bowl, 
Are the loves of the day. 
Then kiss the bright bubble 
That breaks in its rise ; 
Let love be a trouble 
As light, when it dies. 

Festus. Well might the thoughtful race of oM 
With ivy twine the head 
Of him they hailed their god of wine 
Thank God ! the lie is dead ; 
For ivy climbs the crumbling haU 
To decorate decay, 
And spreads its dark deceitful pall 
To hide what wastes away ; 
And wine will circle round the brai:i, 
As ivy o'er the brow. 
Till what could once see far as stars, 
Is dark as death's eye now. 
Then dash the cup down 1 'tis not worth 
A soul's great sacrifice : 
The wine will sink into the earth ; 
The soul, the soul — must rise. 

Charles. A toast I 

Frederic. Here's beauty's fairest flower, 
The maiden of our own birth-land 1 

Harry. Pale face 1 — oh for one happy hour 
To hold my splendid Spaniard's hand I 

Kestus. Why differ on which is the fairest fonCp 
When all are the same the heart to warm ? 
Although by different charms they strike. 
Their power is equal and alike. 
Ye bigots of beauty 1 behold I stand forth. 
And driuk to the lovely all over the earth. 
Come, fill to the girl by the Tagus' waves 1 
Wherever she lives there's a land of slaves. 
And here's to the Spaniard 1 that warm blooming maii^, 
With her step superb, and her black locks' braid. 



FE8TU8. 273 



To her of dear Paris ! with soul-spending glance, 
"VVTiose feet, as she's sleeping, look dreaming a dance. 
To the Norman 1 so noble, and stately and tall ; 
Whose charms, ever changing, can please as they pall ; 
Two bowls in a breath I here's to each and to all 1 
C!ome, fill to the English ; whose eloquent brow 
Says, pleasure is passing, but coming, and now ; 
Oh 1 her eyes o'er the wine are like stars o'er the sea, 
And her face is the face of all heaven to me. 
And here's to the Scot I with her deep blue eye, 
Like the far-off lochs 'neath her liill-propped sky. 
To her of the green isle ! whose tyrants deform 
The land, where »he beams like the bow in the storm. 
To the maiden whose lip like a rose-leaf is curled, 
And her eye like the star-flag above it unfurled ; 
Here's to beauty, young beauty, all over the world I 

Will. Hurrah I a glorious toast ; 
'Twould warm a ghost. 

Festus. It moves not me. I cannot drink 
The toast I have given. 
There I — Earth may pledge it, and she wilL 
Herself and her beauty to heaven. 
Drink to the dead, youth's feelings vain 
Drink to the heart, the battered wreck, 
Hurled from all passions' stormy main ; 
Though aye the billows o'er it break, 
The ruin rots, nor rides again. 

Chaeles. Friend of my heart 1 away ^ith care, 
And sing, and dance, and laugh ; 
To love, and to the favourite fair, 
The wine-cup ever quaff. 
Oh 1 drink to the lovely 1 or near, or far, 
Though fair as snow, as light ; 
For whether or falling or fixed the star, 
They both are heavenly bright 
Out upon Care 1 he shall not stay 
Within a heart like thine ; 
There's nought in heaven or earth can weigh 
Down youth, and love, and wine. 
Then drink with the merry 1 though we must die, 
Like beauty's tear we'll fall ; 
We have lived in the light of a loved one's eye. 
And to live, love, and die is alL 

Festus. Vain is the world and all it boasts ; 
How brief love's, pleasure's, date I 
We turn the bowl, and all forget 
The bias of our fate. 

Chaeles. We who have higher things to do, 
Might well-nigh feel ashamed 
Our faces in these founts to view. 

Festus. Of conscience I, unblamed. 
The passing hour enjoy, with all 



2n FE8TU8, 

Delights tliat youthful hearts enthral ; 
Enough to know that grief and care, 
Remorse, regret, will soon their share 
Of life assert. 

Chables. Meantime, to loftier ends, 
I would mine own, and friends, 
Might timefuUy revert. 
High aims have we to gain ; 
Behoves us sure, refrain 
From follies such as these. 

Festus. To-night it irks me not 
That fate to us allot 
Some passing hours that please. 
Ne'er can we all evade 
The future's saddening shade, 
Our own fate, nor the passed, 
With us, from first, forecast. 

Chaeles. Some other I must try persuade. 
List, stranger guest. Within thine ear, 
One word, apart. 

Lucifer. We are private, now, 

Beside this fountain falling clear. 

Charles. With aims so vast and bold which thou 
Hast for our friend, thou'lt scarce allow 
Others, I doubt, to interfere. 
But though, 'neath love's and beauty's spell, 
Youth lacks true wisdom's just control, 
Yet from our merry gatherings here 
Comes nought of evil to the soul. 

Lucifer. 'Tis more than thou, maybe, canst tell. 

Charles. It means not. What I would with thee, 
Is to contrive with me, how best 
May he, our friend, the verity 
Of verities, — such through time confessed, 
The truth which men of every rite 
Have held in secretest delight — 
Acquire. 

Lucifer. I'll see to it some day ; 
And when my plans are fully laid 
Will ask your good advice, and aid 
In such designs as, need I say, 
Will smooth combinedly the way 
To ends each have in separate view 
For mutual good. 

Charles. Agreed. Good friends, adieu 1 

Lucifer. As proverbs say of every land, in time, 
A twig for that bird, too, I'll lime. 

Festus. Stay, Charles : so rarely have we met 
Of late, from thee I fain would learn 
How speeds the scheme whereon thou hast set 
Thy heart, thy mind, life, sole concern. 

Charles. With those whose life is given to aught 



FESTUS, 175 

That claims a worthful kind, or end, 

How all beside appears but nought ; 

How little else can truth commend. 

Nor can I force myself to feel, 

'Twere rigrhtly to have lived one day 

I've scored nought for the general weal, 

The world's great cause. If e'en the api)eal 

Strike now an unawakened ear. 

Success may sometime crown the essay, 

And, with accordant voice, all here 

Help round our grandly vastening spliere. 

This night too, here, as everywhere, 

Where chance or choice my lot may lay, 

To all, ere each his homeward way 

Sought, I had made our scheme right clear, 

Which, should not all this hour who hear 

Justly conceive, truth still may hold 

The wisest league earth's annals e'er have told : 

Our holy conclave, oathed to free 

Man from false faith, and murderous swordlawry 

Festus. Cause worthy, noble, it shows to me, 
Our ultimate times to liberate 
From deathly war, from patriot hate. 
And all the ills with these that mate, 
Prolific of life's evillest fate. 
Nor could they but be charmed to know 
The world-wide good for all in store. 

Chables. And grant them shocked ; 'twere better so, 
"Would each but lend his several weight 
To instruct, make pure, and elevate, 
The earth war-cursed, and ignorant evermore. 
List to our brethrens' sacred strain, 
Breathed in low tone through every clime ; 
Soon over mountain, sea and plain 
Resounding, till in the end of time, 
Man's wise and happy sanction it shall gain. 

Earth is growing 1 Lay your chains 

Tyrants, as ye list, or can ; 
Measurement of all your reigns 

Proves the greatening mind of man. 
vainly lay ye load on him. 

Vainly rivet throne to throne ; 

Freedom, with a threatening groan, 
Shakes off her shackles, limb by limb. 
Earth is growing 1 Chain the seas ; 

Chain the lightning, chain the wind. 
Nation now by nation frees. 

Frees itself in heart and mind. 
Behold the sovereign states expand, 

Law their strength, from hour to hour, 

Toil in quiet earns the power 
To d9 what justice may command. 



276 FESTUa. 

Earth is growing 1 Burst your bonds, 

Ye that bide in bigot fear ; 
Lo 1 the world's belief responds 

To your Lord, all kind, all dear. 
The truth is peaceful ; man's great soul 

Daily mounts a mightier sphere ; 

Creeds are widening ; year by year. 
Fall off the bonds which faith control. 
Earth is growing 1 Nations, ope 

Your arms to embrace your brother man ; 
Peace is now within your scope, 

Peace and plenty, Nature's plan. 
Fling aside all feud and hate 

Learn each other's life to love ; 

And truth, all other things above, 
With godliest virtue cultivate. 
Earth is growing ! future doom. 

Endless woe, of old conceived. 
Truth shall vanquish ; life to come 

Lovelier prove than love believed. 
"Whose aim is godlike to be just ; 

To greaten with true hope life's whole, 

Is ours ; and helps man's heavenly soul 
To exalt, above his natal dust. 
Earth is growing I Bound to march. 

Stand ye liberators forth ; 
Wide as Heaven's God-builded arch, 

Freedom claims her rule on earth. 
O never may the Immortal rest. 

Never shall her triumph cease, 

Till, with justice, power and peace. 
Fair freedom home in every breast. 
Earth is growing 1 Let the world 

Hail with joy the advancing time ; 
War shall into night be hurled ; 

Peace shall conquer every clime. 
One in faith, in virtue one, 

Man shall yet be good and great ; 

Nations form one only state ; 
Heir of earth, ascend thy throne. 
Festus. It is enough. 
Chaeles. Farewell. 

Festus. The Dawn is here. 

Geoege. How goes the enemy ? 
LuciFEB. What can he mean f 

Festus. He asks the hour. 
Lucifer. Aha ! then I 

Advise, if Time thy foe hath been. 
Be quick ; shake hands, man, with Eternity. 



FESTU8. til 



XX. 



Graced by sweet promise pliglit on lunar plains, 
Ajid 'gainst all iU annoured by spirit divine, 
Our seeker of soul's holy mysteries, lift 
By spiritual hand from earth's gross vanities ; 
From cruel lies of false creeds ; from all taint 
Of treason truth wards, which God's love most just 
Towards beings, create ave capable to advance 
Bv self amendment, would impugn, and faiu 
The fountain of futurity to foretaste, 
Dares, angel-led, by God's behest, to trace 
Soul, in its reascendant course through all 
Heaven's spheres probational, of varied fates, 
Essential man, self purifying, must pass ; 
Views gradually perfectible life's vast whole ; 
Tells, joyful, wisdom's grand and gracious plan. 

A Lahe-iilet ; Lawn ; Garden ; Grove, — Mountains, Waterfall, 
and Mainland in the Distance. 

Helen, Maeiax, Student, afterwards Festus. 

Helen. (Jone? whither? 

Student. Know not I. He and his friend 

Tramp earth untii-ed, or rather seem on wing 
Trackless to travel, he, not unlikely even 
His steed sidereal steers where Cepheus sits 
Footing the pole ; or where the grim ore, long 
Death-stiffened into stoniest stars extends 
His spatial bulk, who once to engorge the sun 
Three days continuously his jaws stretched. 

Helen. Peace 1 

I prithee, or we, like maxillary feat 
From thee, may have like cause to rue. 

Student. I'm mute. 

Helen. Let me propitiate one who half, I fear, 
Distrusts my love. Dear Marian, hate me not. 

Marian. Nay, I would love thee as of old. Cause none 
Have I to 'plain me of thee. With lighter heart 
How marvel that thou his love attracted more, 
His we both mind us of ? than mine, grief fraught, 
Of woe to all presagef ul ? If I change, 
*Twill be to one who changes not. 

Helen. I know 

Thy fine and eminent nature, nor believe 
Thou wouldst deign to conquer, more than court, tlie crowd ; 
As a sacred river, purified of earth, 
Albeit bepraised, beprayed, encrowned with flowers, 
Ingratiate even by living sacrifice. 
Scarce noting its own bounties ripples along, 
Reckless of adoration most, so thou, 
Calm in life's onflow, towards its endless end. 

Student. Good, were life being only ; but to knew 
To act, with some, seems scarce less than to be. 



278 FESTUa. 

Helen. True, 'tis witli me a passion all to learn 
Sainted in sacred song of eld, or proved 
By science now ; but fear, too much, to attain. 

Marian. And when attained, how cheerless 1 

Helen. Say not so. 

To fill the soul with knowledg"e hidden and high 
I would brave death this night. Maid, dame of old 
Partook all mysteries with the crowned crowd 
Of happy initiates. We yet — 

Maeian. See, yon skiff 

Nearing the shore, makes, with recursant wing, 
Surely, some sign recognizant. 

Student. Wait. But how 

Unless we forcibly and of purpose raise 
O'er life's low meannesses the mind, shall we 
Fit us for loftier being, powers more intense 
Of soul, and mental act ; how brook the laws 
Compressed into necessities which both rule 
And serve the spirit world, we hardily trust 
To view, nay sometime gain ? To reach and grasp 
Mind's rational solidity, to construe 
The equivocal oracles of life, our frames 
With lives extern conjoined, our spirits with God, 
Perplexes most, the clearest. 

Marian. Dark howe'er 

Time now, like ocean's broadblazed rim of light 
Mid-heaven by clouds o'erpent, the future glows 
With glory. 

Helen. It may. To me, creation's passed, 
Thought's ray re-scaled towards light, howe'er far back, 
Seems, than the nearest future, less remote. 

Marian. See now, it is no stranger. Yes, we all, 
I think, that footstep welcome, Festus, thine. 

Student. It is he, not undesired. The time draws nigh 
For our most cherished projects wide to spread 
Their world roots, ramifying, of vastest change. 
Thy presence was well due. 

Festus. I knew it. This 

Fair company, one eve at least, shall well 
Compensate us for time devote to ends 
Eyed stemlier. Yes, it glads me still to meet 
Dear Marian, and thee Helen always. 

Helen. But thou I 

Whence com'st thou ? We were wondering whether earth 
Held thee, or some more brilliant sphere had lured. 

Festus. Too wondrous and too various charms are earth's^ 
For other star to stay me long. But now 
Let me not serious converse hinder. While 
My foot, this fair pavilion's shadow touched 
Entering, I heard in musical challenge charged 
Of passed o'er all the future : nearer, more 
Momentous, was't. 



FESTUa. 2H9 

Helen. 'Twas mine. Sours link with God 

Shows clearlier in its rise than end. Nor seems 
The reason of soul's continuance, of like weight 
With that of primal being. 

Festus. Seems not ? I've seen. 

Helen. Nay, let us know. Thy strange friend's stranger creed 
Though simple, of death and God, suflBced not thee ? 

Festus. It could not. 

Helen. Oft I think of earth being made ; 

And here, throned solitary, and face to face, 
With the broad universe, I can dream" I see 
God's very primal act, when earth first showed, 
In sudden answer to his thought. Here heaped he 
Green hillocks gently uprearing like young colts, 
Playful in sunny pastures ; mountains, there. 
Like hoary spectres in the fabulous glass 
Of world-famed wizard, eyed their shadowy shapes 
Slow lengthening in the lake, nor guessed how high 
Their predeterminate heads would rise, but rose 
Responsive, stilly, to his rational word 
First uttered then, commensurative of form 
Fairest, most high ; here, echoing rock and crag, 
There, the wild waste, voiced with articulate falls, 
A.nd winds, all variable of tone : — there, see 
In yon disrupted cone the visible stress 
Of his vast all-mastering hand ; — by bloomy meada 
Blue streams he drew life-teeming, lakes like this, 
With baby Edens isled ; traced out the bounds 
Of nations, radiate from their shelving shores ; 
Parted earth's hemispheres ; round land the aeas 
Sateless, unsociable as death, rolled ; last, 
Savage and sacred in all innocence, man 
Sowed broad-cast o'er his fields, he, sole. 

Student. Nor I 

Think otherwise, albeit there are who hold 
Unmade, self-made, this world, or made by hands 
Of angels, 'mongst whose thrust the devil his own, 
So questionable seem some things in their cause, 
Their end, their workings. Why are scorpions, snakes, 
And poison flowers ? 

Marian. Be glad we are bid, forewarned, 

isot aU things inexplicit, to reject. 

Festus. It was God from the beginning framed the whole, 
Earth, heaven, and into being the angels breathed. 

Helen. This, and that all souls made, him reverence owe 
For their existence, thanks for life, and hope, 
We, duteous, learn from priest and primer ; learn 
Faith's sacredest traditions, gratefully. 
Of life to come ; but what's their sum ? I'd know 
O'er all things, this : how mind's survivable strength 
To its elements resublimed, loosed from this build 
Organic, lives, acts ; how it is soul sobslBts 



280 FE8TU8, 

Separate ; how this that influences, works out 
Its kind, here inchoate, in loftier states 
Of being". Not all mankind are heroes, saints 
Nor predicable angels. Are then the worlds 
Peopled by pure intellig-ences, with one 
Sole, fixed idea ; one changeless habit ; one 
Act, mental and eternal ? May not some 
Fall back even in existence, to low ranks 
And lower still ? 

Festus. Progress is life's great law ; 

And expiatory penitence if a state 
Timely retardant is of higher growth 
The root. Some late experiences of mine 
Would please you, doubt I not, to hear. 

Student. We all 

Long much to hear. Not given up all to gold, 
Nor merely frivolous, now thou knowst me, not 
To lore mysterious only given, if far 
From gabble of popular creeds, in one ear droned 
By science, in the other by sheer ignorance. 
The masses too, I'd serve, and loyally ; 
And serve them most by ruling them. 

Helen. And I, 

All natures I would know ; with all I feel 
Compassionately ; in every generous aim 
Join ; prize each pure design art, science, owns 
As elevative of mind ; all projects faith. 
Though secularized, can prove of likely good 
I love ; would further ; pray for. 

Student. Make us free 

Therefore of these pure mysteries of true life 
To come, authentic, spiritual, as I thee 
Have helped to learn those truths sublime, chief lights 
The passed from all her firmament holds towards us. 
Of sensible use, soul-gladdening. 

Festus. Not in vain 

Shall any truthwards tending, self impelled 
Towards wisdom, test of earnest heart, from me 
Ask glorious knowledge, most of all ye, who 
With me, like meditant on fates coming, now 
Upon mine assured experience shall believe 
Soul aye regenerate, progressive, all time 
Self sifted upwards ; which transmuting fires 
Spiritual, intelligible pass through that make fit 
For states more eminent than their last, till each 
Achieve perfection ; each in order due. 

Maeian. That every soul, by penitence hath power 
To raise itself to bliss, were joy to know. 

Helen. Sit, let us hear. This verdurous dell flower rimmed 
Like a green bowl o'errunning at the brim. 
In blooms ; yon woods thick darkening, Avhere of old 
Lean solitary bark-clad, his soul from sins 



FE8TU8, 281 

Of pomp, from luxury, his heart, assoiled, 
Prayerwise ; and knight by faintest footsteps, tracked 
To the hermit's cell his love lorn fair ; still stream, 
And sultry sky, aU suit. Yon mountain, draped 
To the foot, in purple mists, whereto the clouds, 
Their awful gift, as to an altar, bring 
Of thunder sealed, seems hearkening ; we, with ear 
To nature's melodies tuned, the vesper chant 
Of birds in blosmy brake ; the solemn lapse 
Of yon white waterfall just seen, just heard ; 
And most one voice, if with the silvery tone 
Resonant of stars, not I should wonder, — wait. 
All harmonising. 

Mabian. We listen. 

Student. Soul oppressed 

With sense of high experiences, so all 
Transcendant, well may pause. For who feels not, 
Eyeing as we now heaven's expanse, and this. 
Accomplished daylight, lit by one, Hoi)e's star, 
A sense in him of like infinity, fill 
His being, and speak of equal future ? 

Festub. Tes. 

Who in clear midnight's starry hush shall stand, 
On high and heathery peak o'erpeering sea and land ; 
The ocean glassed immensity of sky 
Wooing the spirit to inspect its near futurity ; 
Or who when spring's faint crescent in the skies 
Folds to her breast her burthening world of mysteries, 
Pacing some gardened height or tomb-towned hill, 
A capital at his feet, moon-haunted, noiseless, chill ; 
Ponders those holiest shades earth still reveres, 
That have earned each one his star ; 'mid yon soul-ripening 

spheres, 
The heavenly state perceptible, powers may feel 
In him expanding, vie with all the heavens reveal ; 
Mind's vast innate capacities, which thus 
Bind in one common chain the world, our God, and us. 
While lowly faith unfalteringly refers 
To treasures keyless knowledge vainly vaunts as hers ; 
Man still with decent pride may claim to trace 
The grounds whereon his rule of all things God doth base ; 
Whose justice is our justice, and whose powers. 
His infinite, love and truth, are attributes of ours ; 
With whom we have communion, and enjoy. 
Through rational light, what age nor death can e'er destroy ; 
For soul, with Deity consubstantial, feels 
All nature does or bears, each mystery fate conceals ; 
Which, though it wind a thousand different ways, 
Points ultimately towards God, 'midst of all being's maze. 
If in yon boundless vault we therefore see 
Proofs of an aU adapting, governing. Deity ; 
Gracious in heart, and bounteous ; greatening man 



282 FE8TU8. 

Witli sacred gifts to enjoy, and glory in, all lie can ; 

Ourselves even here, considerate of times passed, 

And future, from earth's prime heroical to her last ; 

May, communing with all, unblamed, conceive 

What godlike ghosts of all shall joy in, or achieve ; 

May, justly speculative, man's coming state, 

With heaven's most perfect gifts, to him, while earth's, collate ; 

And meditating the great and reverend names. 

Time's luminous roll within its world-wide margin claims 

Deem how perchance their spirits, in spheres refined, 

W^alk kingly, self -subject ; or, with excursive mind, 

Where some felicitous sun serenely reigns, 

Lead large sethereal lives 'mid paradisal plains. 

I, musing thus, fair Luniel from her sphere 

CoUucent, which completes twelve times its monthly year 

In ours, with the sun conjoined, and yet once more ; 

'Lighted on spiry crag, riven from the rocky shore, 

Saw sudden stand before me ; all her charms 

By her own light chastened, stand ; with welcome waving arms. 

For this with spirit friends ; one agef ul hour 

Brings to perfection fruit earth scarce had riped to flower. 

She, skilled my bosom's inmost thought to tell. 

Called, questioning, " Wouldst thou where those spirits thou deem'st 

of, dwell ? " 
" Gladly," I answered, " Angel 1 would I wend 
The world throughout with thee, searching from end to end 
Tho bounds of being." " Wouldst thou life's issues trace 
'Tween God and Nature lawed ? " she said, " To man's vast race. 
Earth's mediatised divinity, and learn 
By how steep gradients soul may still to heaven return ? " 
" Liefer than aught on earth," I answered, " Lo 1 " 
Said Luniel then, " what thou from him wouldst never know. 
Who tempts thy heart with boons of feebler worth, 
I am from God empowered to show thee, son of earth. 
Eemember thou no more when once are known 
These mysteries of the world progressive round God's throne, 
Canst stoop to trifle with life's vanities, now 
Henceforth abjured to be ? " "I solemnize the vow," 
Said L Each silent knelt. " In times to be, 
Full soon," said Luniel, " thou perchance mayst fitly see 
This vow to mind ; and, alway, to recall 
The promise plight." " Forbear the future to forestall," 
Said I, disgracious. " Shun, then, soul of light 1 
Shun passion's pits obscure, whose depths bemock the sight. 
And for that I, who hold thee free to take. 
Or to refuse, the boon I offer for thy sake. 
Nor would one hour enforce the divine will 
Under pretext of fate, his word made to fulfil. 
Would war 'gainst self-love only, which would bind. 
Even in hallowing bonds, free choice of other's mind." 
" heavenly spirit," I said, " O taught of heaven, 
Tears more than dew-drops I would weep were to me given 



FE8TJJS. 283 

Much to fore-know. But I abide the event." 

It is well, said the Ang^el ; fate befriends the reticent. 

Now mainland-ward the rift she crossed between 

Our rocks, in ebon shade half, half in argent sheen, 

Saying", " Eye well yon starry arch on high, 

Wiierein the eternal scales of justice cope the sky. 

Lo I there the lists of trial ; there the fields 

Of triumph, God to souls in good persistent, yields. 

Thousands of years, souls preexistent may. 

In line with laws celestial, take earth's downward way ; 

"Who take, death-freed, the ascent towards heavenly life. 

Through tests perfective, tests wherewith all worlds are rife, 

Are blessed ; and these it is mine to mix with ; mine 

To encourage, to sanctify, in striving for divine 

Communion ; and the spirit eclect prepare 

Heaven's feast intelligible, boundless, of truth to share.** 

" All this," said I, " I bum to learn ; my breath 

Seems worthless, all not known, even parenthetic death." 

Tranced while I stood thus 'neath her fixed eye, 

My spirit stole softly forth towards hers, as midst the sky 

Steals forth a starlet in the gloaming, none 

Wist how, " Behold me, I ; space hungering to be gone. 

So clear, so penetrant, so pervasive, grew 

Her luminous presence there, that, him except, who knew 

Her orb's vast absence in the depths of space, 

One might have deemed such light forth issuant from its face. 

" Rise," said the Angel, flashing forth her hand. 

Which, touchless, mine sustained, as doth the invisible band 

Betwixt the aerial fish stretched, both uphold. 

Swifter than happiest hours winged we, where meteors rolled ; 

Passed blank vacuity, passed where air most thin 

Nought leaves for light's relays to range or revel in, 

Far, as in space, mom's first faint beamlets shine, 

From those still steeps of heaven where evening's shade decline, 

Rose we, each breath ; and ere the sunken sun, 

Gloomed by earth's westward limb, our mounting eye might shun 

One glimpse we caught, our last, of the sea-flood broad, 

Edged with extremest light, like the hem of the garment of God ; 

Passed all the erratic spheres where penitent kings, 

'Mid soul-crowds, conscience touched, all grades, all shades, of 

things, 
Terrestrial, sensual, sinful, learn to eschew ; 
Here, grouped for mutual strength, here sparse, a loftier few ; 
But each their elevance to the all pure most high, 
Outworking ; passed the solar orb, which drawing nigh 
" If," Luniel said, " thy questioning eye, aright 
I read, thou wouldst know why we, so near, the source of light 
Avoid ? " "I would." " Not thus, may we the sphere 
Accost, which rules, know thou, time's great celestial year, 
Not yet, the mighty spirit who there controls, 
Loyal alway to Heaven, the group which round him rolls. 
Of various worlds, even thine ; and not by way 



284 FESTUa. 

Of passing guest, but bound on some supreme essay ; 

Not now ; the day is kalendared on high, 

Both shall ; and there, surprised to find thee, thither hia 

One other ; passed all orbs' sun-circling speed. 

Where the equidialled points no further may recede ; 

And the whole space our petty system spanned. 

Showed like the scattered nest of ostrich in the sand. 

Still soaring in wide circlets towards the sign, 

The sun's bright gates, so called by the angelhood benign 

Of these sethereal regions, coped by stars ; 

The jambs of those vast ports, nought mean nor mortal mars, 

We, hailing, touch ; heaven's holy angel guard, 

Us answering, spake and said, thus proving watch and ward, 

' Queen of the Night I whatever fate thee brings 

Unwont, be welcome still ; thy silvery shadowing wings 

Part hiding, somewhat show, as on thy breast 

Incumbent, which hath quelled thine interlunar rest.' 

Said Luniel, " Well it is, whate'er God's will. 

Each should his ought discharge, his primary due fulfil. 

Know then, that I who, heaven-deputed, range 

These wonted space-realms, come, charged to let interchange 

Notes of all life, all being, among these spheres. 

By the earth-born mortal who beneath this wing appears ; 

And who, it was long fore-wi'itten in rolls of fate, 

Premundane, long ere light the void might animate ; 

Some genius of the stars his hand should seize. 

And guide complacent through the untold eternities ; 

And whom, precognizant of the aspiring soul 

I, from mine own bright orb, would oft on earth control.** 

" Seems he to hold the seeds within his breast 

Of citizenship eterne, heaven's franchise prepossessed." 

" Though erring, though imperfect, he the claim 

Of brotherhood owns, to aid all who the Eternal's name 

Trust ; who on right's success o'er wrong rely ; 

O'er evil, good's ; and soul's last rest in God, on high ; 

On virtue's world-wide triumph ; truth's increase ; 

Heaven's doom, humane and just ; and earth's perpetual peace, 

" Continue," said that world-ward, soul benign ; 

" What nobler man can do, man's spirit can scarce divine.*' 

We, urging thence our way, the adits vast, 

Repellent, hollow, mark, now entered, and now passed 

Of those sidereal realms which Luniel knew 

So well, and I so longed but to conceive as true ; 

The abodes of life e'er brightening, where earth's souls. 

Their sterner fates consummed, scale the bright ring which roUd 

Soul clarifying, through heaven ; and which to ascend 

As bidden by holiest word, our spirits we now commend ; 

Intent to aid the aspirant mind, from earth 

And bodily bondage freed, into a loftier birth. 

While poised now on the belted clouds we stood, 

Of a giant sun, and all its marks, its movements, viewed ; 

♦' Boundless as are God's works in all these spheres. 



FESTUa. 285 

One mediate spirit," I said, " manliko throughout appears ; 

With whom I see, commingling free, the soul 

Humane, now learns to obey, now teaches to control ; 

Thy word in all confirmed, which first I learned, 

In yon orb, hence with earth, as double star discerned ! " 

" Worlds variable and changeful," spake my guide, 

Meet for terrestrial spirits are found, sin-purified, 

Self -shriven. Who certain bliss, bliss-sealed, have gained, 

Bide in yon highmost suns, unaltering, unconstrained. 

All, planets, satellites, spheres, but as a base 

Serve for the g^eatening powers of man's divinized race ; 

Imi)erf ect, but aspiring through all time, 

Up to the highest heaven ambition's star may climb. 

For, as a lightning thought, a glint o' the eye, 

Will fruit through dreams into a life's eternity, 

Ro all mind's varied faculties which now 

Nor time's demands nor bodily needs due scope allow 

Shall, 'neath God's hallowing eye matured, expand, 

Those happiest ends to attain he from all time hath planned ; 

And sanctify the simplest soul, their shrine. 

Brightening from world to world, through every sacred sign. 

Fleet, but as drowning thought which crowds all time 

Into one instant's act from now to Nature's prime ; 

Swifter than spear spear seconds of the light 

Polar, which archwise crowns our earth-sphere's arctic night, 

My guide in God I following, we from sign 

Soaring to sign, first light where night and day combine. 

In equal shares. His righteousness to show, 

"Whose equity rules all worlds in Heaven, as earth below. 

So symboUed to creation by yon scales, 

Inskied on high, whose poise sin vainly countervails. 

Here, 'midst a bright celestial group we stood 

High 'mongst star-magnates, first of the solar brotherhood. 

Where astral spirits, in long progression tried. 

Upon perfection's path, well nigh so deified ; 

With variant angel tribes in ordered grades 

Of social mind, I marked, God's law o'er forms or aids. 

Here, Solon, prince of the proverbial seven, 

Heads his constellate seers, the lawgivers, whose heaven 

It is to interpret God's divine decrees 

To worlds his justice binds, to souls his mercy frees. 

3Ianou, there, Konfutsze, new codes dictate 

Of equity, and between vexed orblets arbitrate ; 

For worlds may in thought each other wrong, as ours 

Far spheres, with doubt that them God fills with sentient powers, 

But leaves their home in space, a soulless blank, 

Mindless their own to enjoy, and reasonless to thank. 

Here, Minos lord of those who, east and west, 

Soul continents judged of old, presides as justice' best 

Interpreter, in all things true, but named 

Descent from fabulous gods, and for all virtues famed, 

Karth owns ; and, with him, Numa, laws decree, 



286 FE8TU8. 

Faiths, morals, rights, that now with truth alone agree, 

Humanity, and pure right. Zaleucus, there, 

Fresh laws like those which even while drawing earthly ail 

He knew of God, prepares ; and justice proves 

One with the beauteous spirit which all things makes and moves, 

Lycurgus, here, his soul realm arms ; and trains 

The militant spirit to live on good alone it gains 

Victorious, from each vanquished vice ; and life, 

From luxury freed, ordains, with sin unceasing strife. 

Pythagoras, there, convokes with potent sign 

Of discipline perfect, pure societies, proved divine 

By silent concord ; love of mental light, 

And aim to serve by good, the all good infinite. 

There, Plato's soul full orbed, the good, the true, 

Enjoys, the absolute fair ; there, labouring to renew 

Some holier commonwealth, a crown obtains 

Kingly, in the very stars where Justice banished, reigns, 

God's delegate. Here, too, pointing to the scroll 

Where prime of men, the words, immortal is man's soul, 

He penned, and where its first and starry state 

Viewing restored, he dared inspired to predicate. 

Not without leave divine, the gladdening throng 

His sacred hand salute ; him hailed in grateful song, 

Noblest of men. Euhemerus, here, there, More, 

Found in Eutopian worlds the states they feigned before ; 

Here, Omar, God's great unity end and cause 

Boasts of one conquering faith, sole base of rights, dues, laws. 

Here, Zenghis, here, Akhbar, God law proclaim ; 

Fuse and imblend all faiths 'neath one all conquering name. 

Meet, -.iElfrid, Ina here, kingwise arrayed ; 

State-rules, and codes confer ; and now, a mightier shade, 

Self -crowned, and matched with great Justinian's fame, 

These orbs with heartiest trust, welcome, and shrewd acclaim, 

Who conquering first all vanquished, then his realm 

Inmost bequeathed of law ; force none could overwhelm. 

Here, he who first the state's true form conceived^ 

Wisdom, wealth, numbers (these by their chosen), all inweaved 

Into one whole ; and dared so concentrate 

Men's energies as to make a land into a state, 

Which should forget not others, and their good. 

But, slavery's chain broke, hold all freemen of one blood ; 

By patriots circled of all times, now plans 

With them, all polity proved to accord with spiritual man's. 

Papinian, Ulpian, Scsevola, here, unite 

To assure the spirit severe of its prescriptive right 

To freeest choice, as fits intelligence, 

Of Deity sired, and heired with conscience, reason, sense 

Of citizenship on high, the heavenly state. 

All conquering, freeing all ; intangible, even, of fate. 

And now through soundless space, windlike through light. 

Successive bars we pierced and passed of day and night ; 



FESTU3. 287 

The way combust, wliich, from the sacred seats 

Of legislature, to worlds where warrior warrior meets, 

Leads, where the glowing spherelots of the sign 

Sequent, we resting prove now wrongly deemed malign. 

" Herein," said Luniel, " view to whom heaven's lord 

The privileges of power, soul dominance, doth accord. 

Here in, elevated, inspired, and purified, 

By conscience, man's inventive mind, so closely allied 

To God's creative spirit, revises, mends 

Its projects, and passed feats remoulds to worthier ends. 

So here, all features of man's personal mind. 

Made beauteous, magnified, and meliorate we find. 

Kings, patriots, heroes, here, and potentates, 

Found empires day-broad, march to achieve supremest fates ; 

Here, conquerors haste with armies of the light, 

The cloud-topped towers to o'erturn of evil's tyrant might ; 

"Wage truceless war 'gainst cruelty, and advance 

Their fiery hosts to invade thy realms, black Ignorance ; 

To invade and free ; not basely subjugate, 

For their own selfish ends, the bond they liberate. 

There, just usurpers humiliate, dethrone 

Huge errors that devour souls ; sins demoniac grown 

By pamperings unrestrained ; demurest vice 

Idolatrous ; and false faiths that souls from God entice. 

Look, and well weigh, what time thou wilt ; this hour 

Give I to thee." I looked, and grateful blessed the Power. 

Nimrod, here, haughty now no more, unless 

Gainst pride, pursued, we viewed, through the obscure wilderness, 

Of worldly Ufe, almost like this of ours, 

Monsters, but now of sin, and so to virtuous powers 

Self -thralled, that fearing most, fair freedom's frown, 

He flings in Hadean deeps his loved star-patterned crown. 

Sesostris, there, war's patriarch, seeks his place 

Lowliest 'mong kings, with joy, captive of conquering grace. 

Here, violated states and murdered kings 

Nave's stern son now counts vilest ; counts worst of things, 

Kingdoms to seize by force, strongholds or lands. 

For other ends than right or self defence commands ; 

Sacked cities ; and such wrongs to cause to cease. 

Leads he God's chosen hosts, to \'ietories won of peace 

Persuadent ; which nor woe nor wound e'er leave ; 

No hate burned heart for theft of throne or state to grieve ; 

Nor deems now God, the all-pitying, could dictate 

Horrors that merciless fiends would shrink to perpetrate ; 

But, foe to all false gods and idol sins, 

Arms his elect with powers omnipotent to convince. 

And with heaven's saving help 'mong those who have erred, 

Makes for his chosen, way by one conversive word, 

Miraculous. Cyrus, there, of life assured 

Deathless, forenamed of God, by carnal bribe unlured, 

Vast tracts subdues, huge zones, of doubt and sin 

The infinite of defect we feel our souls within j 



288 FE8TU8. 

Tlie immortal life lie credited wMle on earth 

He here enjoys, of innocence loved, and faithful worth. 

Here Xerxes to his will all elements binds 

Serve they but plans to enlarge, or to enlighten minds. 

The youth Pelleean, here, who at Babel died. 

And since through many a sphere hath expiated his pride, 

For spirits in every rank def ectible made, 

Gain but through time and test and proof, perfection's grade ; 

Seeks now, in virtue's cause, new worlds to win. 

That he may aid to assoil from soul debauching sin. 

Here, too, Assyria's last of tyrants, taught 

Wisdom from just revolt for ills by luxuiy wrought, 

Salutes the rebel friend, as right to assay 

His rule, his fate, who built two cities in one day ; 

Yet lost his life through idling 'mong slave-queens ; 

The ambition now of each, blessed, both in ends and means ; 

His who loved peace, but now with active aim ; 

His, who risked death for right ; true patriot's proudest claim ? 

There, Bayazet and Timur rush to embrace 

Mutual, and every cause of enmity to efface, 

As subjects each of other, strive to extend 

Art's empire, learning's, faith's, true brother, and true friend. 

Alaric here his lightning legions leads 

Of virtuous spirits 'gainst vice ; the sphere o'erruns ; nor dreadf 

To attack the dominant sins that e'er have ruled 

Earth-life, intemperance, pride, attacks, subdues ; self -schooled. 

Here, Brutus, Cassar, there, firm friends enrolled ; 

Bom social order this, that, sense of rights to uphold, 

With Pericles now unite, and Charlemagne, 

Soul freedom and states' peace imperial to maintain ; 

Shadow of peace celestial, which attends 

Alway perfected power ; peace, which all crowns and ends. 

Swiftlier through shining gether than the ray 

Darts forth of boreal morn, we spirits our spacious way 

Seize, till we 'light amidst his lustrous reign, 

Who deathless life abjured such star-life but to gain. 

And worlds where spirits acute, of keenest cast. 

And lowliest wisdom life in love and worship passed. 

" Start not," said Luniel, " in this gracious land. 

Where wider ends than earth's, and loftier heavens expand. 

Time's grandest, holiest, worthiest souls, to view, 

^till speculative of truths that variously the true 

Invariable, concern ; (for not alone 

Does certainty all suffice ; man's spirit adores the unknown ;) 

Nor paradise deem to one scant spot confined ; 

But walled once, now world-wide, spreads various as man's mind 

As bidden, I look ; and every soul-king see. 

Like level suns aglow with glad solemnity. 

There, Verulam's spirit, from Natui-e's upmost height. 

Serves, ministrant with herself, the lowliness infinite ; 

The immeasurable humility which filled 

The world creative mind, when man to make He willed i 



FE8TU3. 289 

Wisdom all potent, preaches ; and proclaims 

Omniscience crown of all the Self-Existent's names j 

Knowledge applied, is power ; not knowledge void 

Of act, he adds ; and good, when but for good employed. 

Great Albert and Erigena truths exchange 

Current 'mong gods ; with reach half heavenly prearrange 

The philosophic schools of youthening spheres. 

Pire-sainted Bruno, there, freed now from ignorant fears 

Of blind fanatic priests, who shamed the creed 

They vainly mouthed, aflarms Grod all in thought and deed ; 

The world an emanation of his mind ; 

And man's free spirit in God dilate, not undefined. 

The shade Cartesian, here, with thought supreme 

Pregnant, still broods on Being's one all comprising theme, 

Still seeks of every spirit from stranger star 

The inborn truth all hold, " because God is, we are." 

Malebranche, his quest for tnith, there, aye renews ; 

And verifies, but in God, the vision he pursues ; 

In him, the sovereign truth, the essential whole. 

Sees all things through the mean of the universal Soul. 

Here, Berkeley's genius quickening all his dreams, 

In sense supernal blends what is with all that seems ; 

And showing naked mind the synonym 

Of all perfections makes it God, or equals him ; 

Mind, and mind's acts, the base of aU things ; sense 

Time, science, matter, space, cause of the whole immense. 

Here, blessed Spinoza's spirit, as heaven sublime. 

In G<xi finds all extent, all thought, all place, all time ; 

But elsewise than on earth he deemed ; not these 

With Deity one and same, he now enlightened sees ; 

Nor, inf erentially, 'mong things finite, 

The spiritual God with vice confused, and wrong with right ; 

But as a skiff, wind driven 'gainst stream, to mount, 

Flies, filled with breath divine, to truth's eternal fount. 

Clarke's soul triumphant, here, to all create 

God's unity, central truth, inspired to demonstrate, 

On high, persists adoringly to prove 

Him through all attributes one, the world — constructive love. 

Fore-tuned on earth, there, Leibnitz' spirit still hears 

The harmonies of mental mixed with material spheres, 

Sees the sufficing reason of the whole 

In that beneficent will that makes, guides, owns, the soul, 

With all perfections filled of their due grade, 

Not absolute like to God's, but congruous with mind made ; 

And hails, with righteous and regenerate zest. 

The eternal heavens as still most perfect, happiest, best. 

Ah 1 paint who can, the sweet and rapturous fire 

Which thrills the praisef ul souls of that God hallowing choir, 

Locke, here, and analytic Kant, man's mind, 

Though limited by defect yet virtually undefined, 

Search with deliberate piety, test. cor!:pcre 

With demons, angels, cr intelligences more raro ; 



290 FE8TU8. 

Nor fixedness find in creatural knowledge ; nought 

Certain in scope or grasp of man's most serious tlionglit, 

Save, base and sum of purest reason, this ; 

God only is true being, and being, true, only, bliss. 

There, the great Swede, ascetic seer, God graced. 

With conscious speech of spirit, acts, monitor wise, so placed 

That conversant whilst with deathless minds afar. 

He scrutinizes all souls, from earth's sea-glittering star, 

Launched hourly, fore-ordained to segregate 

All spirits whose lot is lawed by their interior state, 

Each to its self -judged circle of joy or pain ; 

For just proportion e'er, through heaven as earth, must reign, 

And correlate spheres agree ; with patient zeal 

"Proving to each whence flowed life's sequent woe or weal, 

He, with poetic justice, which is God's, 

Deals to the pure, palms, peace ; deals to the unrighteous, rods. 

Here, they who followed once the chase on earth, 

Yield now their souls to aims of truer, weightier, worth ; 

Not now the shades of hapless beasts pursue ; 

But faults and errors hasfce to exterminate from the view 

Of spirits susceptible of some meaner end 

Than nature points as best, or virtue might commend. 

Swift as the lord of light's resiu-gent ray 

Shoots o'er expectant earth the warm delights of day ; 

Instant as flies man's thought from earth to heaven, 

When, peace imploring, God his pardoning grace hath given, 

To penitent soul, a world we make whence streamed 

Light soothing, strengthening light, the gates of Heaven it seemed ; 

Here, those who on earth would draw from darkest mine 

The gold that witches man, or gems that brightliest shine 

Seek now for truths enlightening, truths arcane. 

Thought-gems, his brow to illume who worthiest still shall reign 

In lowliest tasks for others' weal, to seek 

Power which makes rich the poor, and wealth which kings the 

weak. 
Lo 1 here the pious priests of every creed, 

Who the Pure one served, and pure themselves would intercede, 
For man, as race, as people, as tribe, as soul. 
" No fanes here," Luniel said ; " all heaven one temple whole." 
" Nor more need we, dear Spirit," said I, " below ; 
Were purity but a plant, earth freelier learned to grow. 
For not in priestly vestments, broidered bright. 
And various as the hues wherewith rich autumn dight, 
Blazons inbred decadence ; not in pile 

Of plate, nor treasurous chests ; high arch, nor dim-roofed aisle ; 
Nor victim crowned with flowers, whose fragrant breath 
Blends with his last low moan in commonalty of death. 
Lies our acceptableness, nor ever lay : 
'Tis to man's spirit and heart God sole regard doth pay. 
The prayer inspired's prayer granted. This alone 
Know we ; we give thee thine ; thou tak'st but that's thine own. 
Hox can our limited foresight swerve thee, Lord, 



TESTUS, 291 

Nor wanderings, from aught planned, or penned, in fate's record. 

Nought can we lend thee, Lord ! that's first not thine ; 

Nought add by deed to thy felicitousness divine, 

Save this ; to serve our fellow men ; who thus 

Serve man, serve God. Nought less, 'tid all he asks from us." 

Said Luniel, " hour hour urgeth. Ears and eyes 

More than lips use." Abashed, I strove for silence' prize. 

Towering 'mid saintliest throngs from every clime. 

From all spheres called, from the midst, the end, the bii-th, of time, 

Great Oiigen here I viewed, and heard rehearse 

God's love, sire, saviour, soul of the rational universe. 

No longer heretic deemed, to all he proves 

That all God makes for good, essentially, he loves ; 

If erring, pities ; and, while worlds endure. 

Awaits their reasonable assent to just and pure 

Service of truth ; in charity, sage, now sees 

Secured, the first fruits there, of God's great victories 

O'er rebel evil, through convincing grace 

Which, infinite, must at last all finite foes efface. 

There, Anius, Melchizedek, in one rite 

Of thanks to God most highest, the infin'te one, unite ; 

In spiritual faith now oned, their simple creed 

Confess, sufficing men, and all that angels need. 

Here, Miiiam, Deborah and the matron sage 

Lastitia like inspired, to teach a later age. 

Read, vsTrit in nobler spheres, the Eternal's name 

Irradiating all skies, the one the sole, the same ; 

The name on earth most honoured, first in heaven, 

Known all where, His to whom all love, all praise, be given. 

Theano, here, Sibyl, and holy maid. 

Virgin of sun, or moon, in dazzling forms arrayed ; 

Their crowns inscrutable with sublime device. 

And garlands wove from flowers fadeless of paradise ; 

Serve now the Fatherly Spirit, whose every beam 

Is lifelight to the soul, inspired by love supreme. 

" So spii-itual," said Luniel, " all things here, 

That many a sight thou seest more strange may seem than clear ; 

But know, wherever the divine desire 

Of good bums ; heart-bom flame conceived of heavenly fire ; 

Where'er celestial youth may yet be taught 

Wisdom, or deeds devout of virtuous valour wrought ; 

Where purity of thought may yet be instilled. 

Or breast with high resolves, beneficent, be fulfilled ; 

A longing like intense to assure mankind 

Some moral boon ; or save from fall some doubt-poised mind ; 

"Where holy unsuccess, sustaining grace 

3Iay ask, receive ; there view, be sure, each angel face, 

In-beaming strength ; there, every holy muse, 

Her art now hallowed, learns through all spheres to diffuse. 

For God all various beings both can make, 

And sanctifying can bless, for his dear creature's sake ; 

For theii sake, no one's else ; their food, their life, 

l2 



292 t^ESTUS. 

Their soul's imbounded peace, with hope celestial rife. 

Of fleshly gods, of man-made idol's meed, 

Of intercessory saints 'tween sire and son, what need ? 

Sole to himself, from all that He creates, 

Angel or man, the appeal, the Eternal consecrates." 

" Kindly as God may act, I said, to one 

The spirit elect, imjust can justice be to none. 

This, favoured by priority and degree ; 

Of bliss ; yet all at last shall taste his clemency." 

Quick as the leap thou gav'st, obedient light 1 

In response to the word of God's omnific might, 

Through many an interstellar space, thought-winged 

Glide we, where broods of nebulous stars their sires enringed ; 

Heat lavishing these, those elemental light 

Hoarding, ere on the void, though eager, loosed for flight ; 

To orbs where dominate strange new forms of truth ; 

"Where age heart-ripening melts in soul-perfective youth ; 

WTiere demi-gods of science faith befriend ; 

And seek, their theories proved, God's purpose to commend ; 

Tracing in Him not mists, not mites, the rise 

Of man's life and the world's, lost in archaic skies. 

With the Phoenician priest, here, deep discourse 

On Chaos, vital winds, and nature's plasmal force 

Holds Thales ; here, his crude imaginings 

On mundane forces mends, and primal seeds of things ; 

Here, Euclid his indevious problems frames 

For nascent orbs, and proves, by Bpace-dra\\Ti diagrams, 

Tri'ths spiritual, eteme ; of import vast 

More even than all, not slight, time 'neath his name hath massed 

There, Meton, through recurrent cycles, trains 

Star-spirits to union, earth's scarce yet with Heaven's attains, 

Though urged through many an age. The golden prime 

Was before gold was known ; when all the souls of time 

Reunion sought with God, the spiritual sun 

Of Heaven's eternal whole, world-hallowing one by one, 

The starry hosts, how joyed. The Assyrian seer 

Nameless, who named the stars, pre-nominating each sphere 

'Neath skies here thicklier lamped ; with Egypt's priest 

By Nile celestial, hails, delighted, fields increased 

For astral parables, wherein sagest mind. 

Quick with mysterious truth, can loose the heavens, or bind ; 

Can track the travelling pole-star, as it goes 

Through constellations all unfined, ere Nile-land rose ; 

Or, allegorized the star-book's dazzling page. 

Trace, through all desert skies, soul's sacred pilgrimage. 

There, Archimedes finds the point he would 

Of leverage, to uplift all worlds, even this, towards good ; 

Finds, in God's infinite will all souls to bless. 

The stand-point whence to start ; — the goal, his righteousness. 

No more, here, Ptolemy courtly celebrates 

Feats fabulous of dim stars, but judges rational fates 

By virtuous influences of holier spheres, 



FE8TU8. a 

Souled with the grreat and good of Heaven's all-hallowing years. 

There, many a special group of souls I viewed, 

In majesty of man and saintliest sisterhood, 

Whose least divine ambition was to expend 

Life in enlarging good, and blessing without end. 

" ye benevolent spirits," I said, " on earth 

Who soothed with brotherly love and aidance, suffering worth ; 

Ye holy of all ages, of all creeds, 

Truth-taught, and prompters sage of kindliest, justest deeds, 

Who fed the poor, the ignorant taught, the weak 

Strengthened to do their best ; truth gain, and gained, to speak ; 

Your prisoning frames exchanged for the opening sky, 

Continuing still to bless, seek self in Deity ; 

One thing I would entreat of ye, impelled 

By anxious thoughts oft risen from scenes mine eye beheld ; 

O seek, guard the death-born soul, when first 

Naked, sin-stained it stands 'fore God, and fears the worst ; 

And the clear spirit, calm ! that eased from breath 

With just one pitying smile salutes and passes death. 

Such generous cares God will repay." Eeplied 

One spirit I knew on earth and reverenced, to my side 

Approached ; " This needs not. Who on earth the state 

Of heaven's lost heir have toiled to amend, to show how great 

The space just right like his aspires to span ; 

l^Iore venerable to prove the mind and soul of man ; 

Make worthier of his end ; to achieve the sum 

Of social right ; found faith's pure simple creed to come ; — 

For in all worlds the growth of general mind 

Like treatment needs, that law by free rights stand defined ; 

Rights, asking not as earth's the patriot's blood 

Ever, yet everywhere that ill succumb to good ; — 

All who have laboured upwards toward the light, 

Intelligible, divine, since man in lowliest plight, 

Of glacial age or stone, first crouched the knee 

To some lone crag, his rock of help, his deity. 

Till now, when soul, of all idolatry shriven, 

Thine infinite unity, Lord 1 sees symbolled best by heaven ; 

Have earned unconscious, God's approving glance, 

And now within the map of his broad countenance 

Exceed in joy unutterable, and trace 

Their destiny in the calm most-high of his embrace ; 

Where worshipper with worshipped, once made one. 

Live perfect, live divine in heavenliest union." 

" Live ye e'er thus," said Limiel ; " and because 

Ye have sought not to divide his own from Nature's laws ; 

But striven to spread his realm, the heaven within 

Man's mind ; loved good, and done ; shunned ill ; detested sin ; 

Because not alone ye have loved, but still the aims 

Dear to all heavenlies helped ; still toiled, may be, like n.ameS; 

To earn, though humbler, blessed the more, their weal 

Considering who themselves, the excellences they feel 

Lacking, or to theirs strange, most wanting, each 



294 FE8TU8. 

Favouring the other's need, to learn this, that to teach ; 

Meet now for final union with the soul 

Felicitative of life, that sums and saints the whole ; 

God, to his snowiest heights of spiritual rest, 

Translates ye, heavening- all in his soul-hallowing breast." 

Swifter than sun-ray when from star to star, 

World wakening, space it leaps, thought scarce can feign how far 

Quicklier than pulsings of Heaven's firiest light. 

Each wave of Luniel's wing new systems brought in sight. 

Discoverers, here, of all earth's liberal arts, 

Reign midst their several crafts ; skill each to each imparts 

Soul-generous. There, explorers search fresh fields, 

Of thought, to invade new worlds ; each hint sage legend yields 

Of holy commerce with more genial spheres, 

Richer perchance in grace, globe so to globe appears 

Near-eyed, and ignorant of the countless plans 

God hath to increase the bliss of worlds ; the angel man's 

Powers to communicate, haste such means to use 

As dropped on distant orbs may boundless good diffuse. 

Here, Colon wings his thoughts to far-off spheres. 

Hid in the viewless deeps of nature's earliest years ; 

And musing on such hints as tragic sage 

Of Cordova let fall to his beliefless age. 

His soul, here, feeds on sparse prophetic strains, 

Collate of sundry suns ; oft eloquently sustains 

His justly-reasoned hope, that, there, 'mid space, 

One ultimate earth must be, soul's happier dwelling place ; 

In virtues, blessings rich ; in gold and gems 

Intelligible, that deck angelic diadems. 

There, too, his hero followers, pleased, equip 

'Neath their high ensigned dove, the spirit's celestial ship, 

Manned by their holy and apostolic crew, 

Peace-minded, who with love all worlds, all souLs subdue. 

Here, in his Argosy embarked, we steer, 

Bright Luniel's hand on the helm which lights the hemisphere, 

Till, duly sailed, an outpost orb of space 

We near ; and landing, view invention's trysting place. 

Here, daughter of necessity 1 abide 

Thy patient sons, till by success indemnified 

For all their toil ; and hallowing every aim 

To God's great ends, they graff on his, the creature's claim 

Ingenuous, to go forth to happier stars, 

Where time all- just intents matures, ill's only mars ; 

Gives to oblivion folly, and records 

Imperishably all deeds of good ; all wisdom's words ; 

All truth's bright thoughts ; that inlight to us given, 

When God first breathed in man the luminous breath of Heaven ; 

And so endowed with reason's testful ray, 

As makes, self -cloaked, sin's night ; self-oped, man's moral day. 

" TTiough various here," I said, " these spheres of mind, 

Nor soul to each inapt, well pleased its like to find ; 

Xet, through th^ ripening ages, as time runsf. 



FESTU8. 106 

Some diflferences will rise to rend the soundest suns." 

" Each soul," said Luniel, " every other prroup 

Of stars, than that its wont, is free to ; nor need coop 

In its o\sTi cares its energies, unconfined 

Of dominant kindred ; all immixed of divers kind, 

Kind Heaven secures ; but lest even one just end 

The soul allure past bounds pure equity may intend 

Like worthy dues to g-uard, in every sphere, 

Spirits of variant aims, but all like just, appear. 

Here, ail-where, too, meet spirits of diverse strain, 

Searchf ul of others' fates, good bent to impart or gain ; 

Renew, enhance, their love of those on earth 

Held admirable or dear for truth's sake, or just worth. 

Here, patriot monarchs hating tyrant's throne, 

Deem despotry pertains not to bom kings alone ; 

Despots confess of all ranks worst of things. 

Save sovereign mobs ; for crowds may sin not less than kings ; 

States 'gainst one soul sin even as one 'gainst all ; 

To each now Godward turned, earth's crowns how dim, how smaU ! 

Here, Phocion, Regulus, where'er is heard 

One rational voice, set up and magnify man's word ; 

Word, worthy in all worlds of truest fame. 

Self love, nor popular wrong, nor dread of death can shame ; 

Well knowing, Death nor Hades e'er can be 

Rival or foe to truth and manly integrity. 

There, Aristides, Cato, Howard, bless 

Worlds with one stringent law tempered by tenderness ; 

Law, which to break in thought, is sin ; in act, 

Death ; and salvation sole to ensue and keep intact ; 

The law divine of being and doing good, 

Wherein we are one with God ; the act He wills, we would. 

Here, too, sit they who kings and peoples both 

Rate equitably ; and keep to God and man their troth. 

Here, Tacitus, sage of incorruptible pen, 

Worthiest Heaven's deeds divine, of all the sons of men, 

To enregister ; with stem but equalled stress 

Of judgment, judges kings, eternal righteousness 

As 'tis in heaven, his breast-law ; here, ordains 

States their amercement vast of pride-subjecting pains ; 

Due penitence for war's brutal gust ; Rome's first 

Of glories once ; now felt with shame and misery cursed ; 

Of luxury each convicts, and wanton wrong ; 

Fore all, the exemplar sets of virtue's children ; strong 

In justice, purity, pious innocence 

Unbarterable, and sweet soul-ignorance of offence." 

Fleetlier than those incessant beams which dart 
To circumscriptive skies from Nature's central heart, 
Mine angel guide and I. our wingM way 
Renewed, intent to pierce in peace heaven's bright array, 
Shoot, both in mortal's and immortal's view, 
Like silvery flames serene, through Night's aerial blue, 
To worlds where spirits unrestf ul, soon or late, 



296 FE8TU8, 

Meet from all bounds of space ; and, friendly congregate, 

Are by intuitive caution led to choose 

Travel in orbs remote where they may most diffuse 

Of good, joy, wisdom, to less favoured spheres, 

Of undeveloped light, prerogative of years. 

Here, missioners such of truth their stores congest, 

Accumulative of powers to aid their holy quest ; 

That, winged with light, they may the grace impart 

Of that impartial love which wins creation's heart ; 

There, souls of broadest thought, intent humane, 

Self dedicate to the toil sublime for others' gain. 

Plan their bright way from sphere to sphere, of soul 

Convertive, till to good, returns the unbounded whole. 

" With these, if any," Luniel said, " to cast 

Mine ultimate lot would I, with rapture join at last." 

For she foreknew, not stamped in seals of clay. 

But in the indelible passed, her orb should pass away. 

" True through all life, thy Maker so conceived." 

Said I, " thy lot, by change thou now wouldst sore be grieved, 

Whose changes show but seeming ; in thine own 

Essential, thou in heaven unchangeful wouldst be known." 

** So was it," Luniel answered, " so shall he, 

Unalterable, God 1 thy law of destiny ; 

Who all worlds rulest to that righteous end, 

Their good and thine own joy, thou didst from first perpend. 

Here, marked I many a spirit who made all thought 

Subordonnant to the intent humane for which he wrought. 

The Coan sage, here, head of that high clan. 

On earth devote to learn the bodily frame of man ; 

To heal, support, restore ; to lighten pain ; 

Now seeks how most to teach the immortal how to gain 

Kriowledge of man as spirit, elect to live 

Invulnerable of years, of strength self generative ; 

Whom nor decay can dull, nor feebling age 

Disable, or check i' th' midst his skiey pilgrimage ; 

Set towards that boundless goal, that spiritual fine 

Infinite, who best knows, death fleshly, life divine. 

There, Galen's soul devout, life's mysteries 

Mid spheral forms more fair than human, loves to ceize ; 

Life's motives analyse, life's ends detect, 

All harmonized in design, in reason and in eilect. 

Harvey, Buffon, there, Cuvier, all renew, 

Self vowed to God, their worship of the all-good and true ; 

Still study as once on earth life's laws ; still prove 

With how methodic grace God regulates his love 

Toward creatures of aU grades ; still strive to show 

How, circling through all worlds, one vital truth doth flow ; 

One quickening, soul sustaining, governing force. 

Which animating all form, derives from God its source ; 

To this gives reason, rule ; foreknowledge gives 

O'er the to-come ; to this, instinct whereby it lives. 

Here, by mean thoughts, transmute through virtuous mould, 



FESTU8. 297 

(Wise adept's tliirsb for truth converts to moral gold, 

Soul-richening verities, of a rational creed 

Heaven asks of earth, and earth fails never yet to need,) 

And natural alchemy of generous mind, 

We saw pour forth at will its treasures unconfintKl, 

Unperishing, which, evoked by art sublime, 

Shall sunlike gild the tomb of predeceaseful time. 

Lavoisier, there, the elements of all things 

Solves, and at will compacts, and their constituent .springs 

From form crystalline and uimiattered force. 

With delicacy divine tracks to its parent source. 

Linne, here, proven in vegetive life, still sees 

Mind ; and in moss minute ; even as in mightiest trees. 

Whose growth is as an empire's ; marks one soul 

Of ever-developing perfection guide the whole. 

Lieuweuhoeck, here, in life invisible learns 

The infinite hidden, and still that God revealed, discenw 

"NVho covenants but with life create by laws 

Inviolable, himself their substance, sum, end, cause. 

Swift as the mindful glance, night come, each star 
Sends to his brother spheres, familiar, though afar ; 
Measure to us, how from its centering place 
To orbit scarce seen light can, leaping, conquer space, 
The angelic wing unwearied rapt our flight 
Through rings of dazzling air, walled by untempered night, 
To spheres where those of soil once, now of soul 
Culturers, where'er new starfields stretch, or streamlets roll 
Of orbs, like those which, from diluvian urn. 
Pour down the skiey steep, plains spiritual now leara 
With vital virtues sown to reap ; the increase 
Of that rich glebe whose roots are joy, whose fruits are peace 
" Here realised," the angel said, " time's dreams behold, 
And that celestial life these happier worlds unfold. 
The denizens of these orbs Being's proper ends 
As pure intelligences seek, God's and Nature's friends ; 
Prompt here, now there, in shrewd and resolute band, 
The whole, depth, height, to explore the all parent love hath plannod. 
And so in spheres diverse his tracks pursue, 
Old as prenatural Night, as day's spring ever new. 
Ofttimea, the humble seer, who nature's laws 
Loves and reveres, and aims to ally with goodness' cause, 
Shows natural rights in virtues all converge 
Conservant of true force, and so in Deity merge 
Whence first they rayed ; oft, hopeful, here contrives 
Subsidiary designs, whence nature, pleased, derives 
Kew modes of self enchantment ; oft combines 
With God's great plans, all good faith ancillary divines ; 
Thence issuant glories in truth's flight sublime 
And modes exhaustless joys to avail of hallowing time ; 
The evolvement watching of each special race 
Exaggerative of good. The inferior to displace 
By better, nature progressive, fails not ; 

L 8 



298 FE8TU8. 

But ynila. the coming kind casts e'er her fateful lot ; 

Secreting instinct first as base of mind, 

Affection, passion, next, as wheels in motion wind ; 

Till, with demonstrant reason summed, the soul, 

Fit to conceive God's being, symmetric stands, and whole." 

" Woe's me," I said, " for souls that when they die 

Have failed the exacting- tests of God to satisfy." 

" Not aught create, nor all, nor lapse of time 

Immeasurable, with God can palliate one crime ; 

But mercifulness toward soul of limited force 

In virtue and foresight both, hath like and equal course ; " 

Adds Luniel ; " Who in life's allotted tests 

Fail, and by penitent griefs have soothed the righteous breasts 

Of those they have wronged on earth ; who self convict 

Of sin, abjured and mourned through law divinely strict, 

Mount to this upper life, these holier skies. 

Of purity progressive, till power be theirs to rise, 

Through vh-tuous means, the inspiring hope, to employ 

Their faculties to the ends that yield their Maker joy ; 

Who all the heights and deptiis of soul commands, 

And weighs men's motived lives in the hollow of his hands ; 

Whose spirit, incarnate alway m man's race. 

Angel and mortal both doth in one zone embrace. 

Behold, my guide said, "here, where now we stand, 

This roseate shadowed sphere where spirits of grace, once banned 

Basely, by man's spite, dwell ; that to this shore 

Of bliss, have passed through straits of rolling flame and gore ; 

Souls, loved by God and men ; and some not less 

By immolant zealots, now, heart-changed, by conscience' stress ; 

For not alone are wrongs corrected, here ; 

But hate, pride, envy changed to feelings pure, and clear 

From every taint of self that might have bred 

In friendship, rivallous thought ; thought, now which leads instead, 

Envy to emulation ; hate, to love 

Of good ; and pride, to pride that souls in G^ which move 

And live, and have their essence, to forgive, 

Know better than huge lengths of vengeful days to live. 

Here, those who once, from purpose misconceived, 

Tracked to their death some foe, or friend, who yet believed 

Haply, one ampler tenet than their own 

Curt creed contained, now gladden in spirit to make known 

Their sympathies with all who hold the true. 

Here opening on their minds, the infinite good which view. 

There, saints and martyrs all their memory lose 

Of wrongs and deaths ; each prompt ripe blessings to diffuse 

Full-handed, on faith's friends wherever tried ; 

And with their bright examples adorn religion's side. 

For means of well-doing lost, for sad neglect 

Of blessings, erring souls had lost all right to expect, 

These waste no time, I saw, in vain lament ; 

But henceforth haste to achieve alway God's wise intent ; 

Each acting as with Deity inspired, 



FESTUa. »0 

And con scions of the end by wariest love desired. 

There, he of Tarsus, 'mong apostles least, 

Self noted, but by men, Christ's best and noblest priest^ 

Holds it not impious now that man should learn 

Evil to know from good ; good, godlike and eterne ; 

All e\'il perishable ; but vaunts his own 

Life ta'en at last by taste of tools to him weU known j 

And, all existence ranged in one supreme 

Trine ; and so summed, views God, man, nature, as they seem 

To mind imperfect, but expanding ever. 

In moral might and worth, by pure and high endeavour. 

Savonarola, Huss, Joan, Jerome, here, 

For human ignorance shed the condonative tear ; 

O'er man's malig^nance mourn : not long 1 with joy, 

Teresa, Gersen, teach how spirits most rapt, employ, 

In wholesome change, renewed life's total round ; 

And with high ecstasy blend experience like profound." 

" To souls," I said, " of such transcendent strain. 

Heaven seems an easy prize to win, and won, retain ; 

'Tis but to live as ye were wont below, 

Add but reward to worth ; say for ' I trust,' ' I know.' " 

Guyon there, here, Hypatia, Bourignon, 

High confidences exchange, each vowed to God alone ; 

Here, Calvin, there, Servetus, side by side 

God one the same confess ; and, in spirit clarified, 

This, by repentance fires, and that, by grace 

Exalted to forgive, in mutual love embrace ; 

The unity, that, of Godhood hailing, now ; 

And this the elect one's bliss. Heaven's first end, fain to avow 

Here, Crysostom and Luther find new fields 

To expatiate in, of truth ; of all that freedom yields 

For spirit to glory humbly in ; of care 

The chastened soul now gives to truths essential. Prayer 

Voiceless, Boehm's and Helmont's shades, combined, 

For soul illumining gifts, breathe to their Lord all-kind. 

That lead to primal light, the plenar sense 

Of life supreme, and love of Deity more intense. 

Swift faring as an eye-blink of the sun, 
Which, when some envious cloud, its course abortive run, 
Heat-molten, evanisheth ; shows to wakeful eye. 
Star-studying, isle or hill snowswathed, 'neath Martian sky ; 
In just such time as thought's from thought discerned. 
We arrived, where but to attain, my mind once strongliest yearned ; 
Where nature's realms with spirits sublimest teemed, 
Elysian realms, most meet for shadowy gods, meseemed. 
There, many a bard and prophet prone to stray 
Mid stars, rejoice to enjoy perfection's widening way ; 
The liberties extreme, God e'er appends 
To rational souls, self -vowed to high and virtuous ends. 
Here, Israel's seer, Xile cradled, he, who led 
God's chosen through the sea, and in all people's stead, 
The graven stones of Law received, and took 



800 FESTUS. 

On man's behalf the oath to obey the eternal book ; 

Daoud, here, and Ayub blend songs ; while round 

Concordant, angel strings, as mountains light, the sound, 

Snatch ; and with choicer art, zeal more ablaze, 

World broad benevolence blend with those thrice blessed l&ys. 

They in all lands, all worlds, are Heaven's elect 

Who him best honouring, strive most good for man to effect. 

The prophet choir, and he who heads their van 

Pre-ominous of the fate, how blessed ! of future man. 

On scrolls abestine scored with fiery pens 

Soothly forebodes all worlds, as once this world of men's, 

Of divinized humanity, the state 

E'en lowliest, that o'er death shall yet predominate ; 

Of nature heavenly bride and mother — may, 

By holiest spiiit impregned, pure e'er as dawning day, 

Man's universal sonship breathing through 

The spell predictive, once incredible, now known true. 

Valmiki, here, to crowds, with curious awe 

Astound, delights to show how fancy, skilled to draw 

Her visions once upon the illumined page. 

Limns fables now on the air, for audiences more sage ; 

Shows, whilst with billowy grandeur sweeps along 

In strains of tidal strength his stream of patriot song 

Fore orbs, how he his hero-godlings leads 

Through huge emprises ; chaunts their world enlightening deeds ; 

How mythic llama his generous battle forms ; 

Routs every demon foe, wrong's every fastness storms. 

That might sin's purpose serve, or to constrain 

The innocent 'gainst their will ; to ratify the reign 

Of evil, Heaven's rebel, or help defile 

The soul serenely chaste which lives but for his smile, 

Her husband's, lover's, lord's, and grown more pure 

Through suffering and suspense, love's union makes more sure. 

Vyasa, here, no more the peril sings 

Of crownlets lost by cruel jest of kindred kings, 

Lunar and solar, demon-driven to wage 

War, who to wile truced time in forced companionage 

This, realm by realm his empire diced away, 

And the world's sceptre that, impledged in paltry play ; 

But rating regal power in sacred awe 

Hails sovereign sway as aid to Heaven's divinest law. 

Never again those bards the authentic force 

Of elements hail but hymn their sole creative source ; 

All nature still participant shown with man, 

And animal life revered, completes heaven's kindliest plan. 

Orpheus anew there, hai-ps the adventurous strain 

And starry voyage of soul athwart the aerial main ; 

Founds later rites ; and to perfection brings 

The spirit, self-chastened, trained to gaze but heavenly things ; 

Nor, in pursuit of soul's salvation brook 

One moment's backward glance, though life were in the look, 

Here Olen, Linus there, the omnipotent ease 

Sings of creative power and justice' stem decrees. 



FESTua. vn 

There, haply Homer's awful shade amends 

His lay, and powers divine and human smgB as friends. 

Pure and impartial ; not contestf ul ; urged 

By fate to fraud, or strife, prayer-bribed these, those sin-scourged- 

Seeks Hesiod there in heaven's exterior stars 

Virtue's abode ; views pleased, all time's Titanic wars 

Of g^od gainst evil, vile Typhonian power 

Not unforedoomed, nor yet slain in its culminant hour ; 

Renewed to happier issue. JEschylus, here 

Still thunders in his clouds, the same oracular seer 

As erst in Greece, his parables of man. 

Sin-shackled, God-loosed ; throned ; Heaven's vast triadic plan, 

For teachable soul ; the secret now dares tell 

How every untrue god should learn before he fell 

To Hadean pains, remorseful there to lie. 

The one sole name in heaven they all should deify, 

And should all theirs displace. There, Sophocles, 

Heart-racked no more by sense of man's mean destinies, 

(Sorrow for even involuntary sin 

No need for hallowing there, no risk of perishing in) 

His lyre with joy- wreaths crowns, to extol the worth 

Of immortality's new career, the spirit's rebirth ; 

Euripides, there, greets from earth's orbed tomb 

Redeemed man's faithful soul, greets, and now knows by whom. 

In raptured views, here, Pindar knows his isles 

Elysian. of the blessed, which sin nor death defiles, 

To spheres of light expanded, where the soul 

Rosponsible, age by age tried, as time's cycles roll, 

All stain lost, quits all faults, and virtue -crowned 

Those spiritual gold-flowers culls, which strew that starry ground, 

Alceeus, Sappho, here, their vows renew 

By each other sworn, those twain, towards love divine and true, 

Kleanthes and the Pleiad bardlets, now, 

Their mutual love, and ends self -less, heart-oned, avow ; 

In God's perpetual lauds, in justice praise. 

Conspire they, both to show and waDc in virtue's ways. 

The star they serve, is that majestic lyre. 

Type of each grateful soul that hymns his heavenly sire, 

Eternal, infinite, without all change, 

In essence, passed all thought of bounded Being's range. 

Korinna, here, the prize of that pure strife 

'Gainst sin, Olympian souls are crowned with, heavenly life, 

Wins, strives for. Bion, Moschus, there, sustain 

With hymnists of all time a loftier, holier, strain ; 

Soul's death, by the Eternal Love deplored. 

These sing, and those, Heaven's joy on godlike life restored. 

Here, learns Lucretius' master mind to see 

Amidst Heaven's seminal orbs the indwelling Deity ; 

Not beauty sole ; not crowds of gods ; but one 

Equal and apt to all the world-machine needs done ; 

And Tartarus' pains remedial proved, direct 

To riifhteousnesB and joy, joys in the glad prospect. 



802 fESTUS. 

Joy, Maro's heart, there, rays forth, as he sees 

The blessed results of soul's abstergent penalties, 

And righteous meeds of justice, most divine 

When moderatest, her beam, towards mercy shows incline. 

To worlds, here, Ovid still their birth chants ; strives 

Their tribes to instruct with truth ; the purity of their lives 

Counts man's best faith ; best worship, this, to instill 

In all souls love of good, souls self transformed from ill. 

There, Lucan views with philosophic soul, 

One Deity who creates, contains, rules, loves the whole ; 

Here, Terence, proud of fellowship intense 

With man's vicarious power, which sways, 'neath Providence, 

Each sphere, and suffers through its regal will. 

And mortal pains, the dues its fate is to fulfill, 

Joys ail-where that to all create, may be 

Soul freedom, and His love, who made man's spirit free, 

Manilius, there, who, scrupulous from afar. 

Would moralize once the aspects of moon or planet ; star 

Or group of stars constellate, " such as these " 

Said Luniel, " here, to expound man's mortal destinies ; 

His thought, space scanning, rather bends to assign 

To reason's ultimate spheres, (that universe of divine 

Perfections, which, as virtue, power, and love, 

Star Heavens interior skies, all skies, all orbs, above,) 

Those fateful influences o'er soul which stand 

High'st ; and show, God to obey, the world is to command. 

Boethius, here, Synesius, sing and teach, 

Altem, in heartiest hymns, the God all natures preach ; 

The simple, infinite, Deity ; world-adored. 

By man, by angel ; man's, creation's, heavenly Lord ; 

With force resistless, science summed, both prove 

How boundless reason rules the world, and rules through love. 

Fardusi, there, of angel spirit foresent 

By God, 'gainst evil sworn to wreck the firmament, 

Vaunts gloriously the triumph ; and of good 

O'er sin the enchantress vile, and all her hellish brood. 

Here, Zardusht, owns his error ; and conceives 

How evil annulled, perforce, God good sole conqueror leaves. 

There, Saadi, Djami here, God's mystic love 

Whisper to skiey saints, their secret lore to prove, 

Sign oral of the Ineffable ; or show 

'Neath word-veils truths half -hid, souls dread yet seek to know. 

Meet ^sop, Bidpai, Phaedrus ; one main tongue 

Like construable, man's tribes and lowlier lives among. 

Nature's, they interpret to the sweet surprise 

Of angel-souls ; tongue rife with rational thought and wise. 

Join Babrius, Lokman ; teach all in one school 

How kings may best serve men ; and sages learn to rule 

He here the Eddaic lay who grimly penned. 

Graved in dark lurid runes creation's awful end ; 

Prophetic ; and from Hades called the ghost 

Of buried god ; learns how, of all things, Deity most, 



FE8TUB, m 

Hath calm, hath peace ; foreboding all intent, 

No dissidence in decrees, no surprise at event ; 

Dubiety nor debate, can ever be ; 

Nor divine subterfuge, the all fatherly equity 

Sate ; shows how not in twilight strife Heaven's powers 

'Mid themselves war, as men, blind, on this earth of ours, 

But 'gainst unholy acts and wicked will 

Battling, contrive at last good's triumph o'er all ill. 

Ossian, there, hails the Eternal spirit sun, 

The Deity who to all gives life-light, takes of none. 

Ilere, Kaedmon hymns, to listening orbs, the mind 

All formative, infinite, yet, which, finite form defined 

In nature, in the soul, in sacred life. 

Fills, and each force sustains wherewith the whole is rife. 

Du Bartas, there, here, Groot, no more, the fall 

Of man and nature sing ; but this, the rebirth of all 

And self recovery, with divine consent. 

Of soul, create to obey, and love, the Omnipotent ; 

That, the benignant advent of each star 

New birthed which draws his eye, light sensitive, from afar 

Its elements recounts, to souls select, 

Its character, its course, its destiny, and aspect, 

Here, Milton soars and sings ; there, Dante steers 

His spectral barque, night-sailed, o'er time's unfathomed yeara 

Though neither happily finds, by God's good will, 

Room in his boundless world for endless woe, nor ill ; 

"While both with penitent majesty confess 

God everywhere ; and where He lives, He lives to bless. 

Here, Shakespeare's spirit, conceptual of the passed, 

Sweeps space, a giant ghost ; and leaning upon the blast, 

Rounds many a sphere ; notes all things, and surveys 

Sad, penetrative, benign, life's least and largest ways ; 

And more of things to come contemplant, now. 

Life's intricate ends toward good all tending, seeks to avow. 

Boiardo, Geoffrey, and, of many a lay 

The weird inventors, there, all natuie's hidden array 

Of magical miracles revel in, nor find 

Proof but of generous power, where'er creative, kind. 

Here, Spenser's spirit directs, nor bids one rest, 

All virtues, sunbright band, howbeit on several quest, 

With steadfast will, each, active, haste to prove 

Its title to enjoy that meed Celestial love 

Immutable, shall yield to souls who have striven, 

And, through the unlooked for test, the approval won, of Heaven. 

Here, Camoens and Ercilla, warlike strains 

Alternating with high deeds of couiage, which disdains 

To compass less than conquest of a state ; 

Some world-realm thralled of sin, truth would emancipate, 

Him join, who Salem Liberate sang ; and now 

The blessed assault repeats, and leads, 'neath saintly vow 

Of hosts who time's long battailous jxith have trod. 

To win aa victors, heaven perforce, the peace of God. 



801 FESTU8. 

There, Pope's, Young's, Thomson's shades, devout, sublime, 

Good in all nature trace, trace in the Eternal, time. 

Here, Blackmore's rational soul, from every sphere 

Fresh proofs draws of Grod's love and equity, and as here, 

Inconfutable in song, the applause secures 

Of each majestic judge whose favour fame ensures. 

Here, Rowley's spirit superb, self-humbled, seeks 

Sin's forged delights to expose ; here, virtue's champion, speaks 

'Mid young enthusiasts for the all true and pure ; 

His love, and allows how faith most tried, is brave to endure. 

There, Maddalo's sensitive soul, of stainless birth, 

Springs to embrace in Heaven, the God he mit-sed on earth ; 

There, Julian's, with his friend's (from thoughts how vain, 

How reasonless, of chance, world-gendering of the inane, 

Cleared, or of paired Creators, foes in will, 

This, lord of good and light, that, lord of dark and ill), 

Twin spirits whose brilliant bale, lilce stars malign 

In the void ascendant, long drew tears from Mercy's eyne ; 

Now, both rejoicing in redemptive light 

Of reason, adore and prove one sole good infinite. 

Here, Adonais, blessed by all above. 

The Soul Eternal hymns, God, Lord of light and love ; 

The universal Deity, in all spheres 

"Worshipped, and in all souls, like countless as His yeai-s.** 

As when in line exorbitant has been cast 
Around two focal lights an ellipse just and vast, 
Surrounded by a fair and stately throng. 
Whose rapt acclaim revived tones of pre-earthly song, 
Each, 'mid a satellite ring which round them paced, 
A pair I knew, I marked, and to accost them haste. 
Each separate light, of like, and liberal, flame ; 
Me they at once salute, and welcome by my name ; 
As when with binary movement far in space 
Twin stars each other round, and both, alternant, face j 
Advance, salute, withdraw, and restant, gaze 
Voiceless on their beloved, the lode- star of their days, 
So these conccptive each of other's views. 
Communicative of truth, seek truth but to diffuse ; 
And I, who hailed at sight, right many a pair 
Angelic while on earth joined them, benefic, there. 
Here, reunite, aU gladden ; and all dilate 
On the blessed theme, to all true spirit and elevate. 
Common and dear ; soul's progress through the passed, ' 
The future's heavenly gates, and faith's reward, at last. 
Here, or in kindred clustering starlets dwell 
"Who best have fret the lute, or tuned the sounding shell. 
Arion, there, Jubal, Terpander, lead 
Some vestal orb to obey the air their lyre or reed 
Charms worlds with ; here, Amphion (prompt to raise, 
On spiritual harmonies, cities whose walls are praise ; 
"Whose streets are thanksgiving ; whose gates are prayer : 
"Whose denizen souls ai' quq with Heaven's intents), bids share 



FESTU8. i»6 

Their kindliest homes with those whose sentient breath, 

Breathed even through brazen tubes, things dead redeems from death, 

Earth's mightier melodists, all in one sweet strain. 

That peace to express man's soul is maddening yet to attain, 

Joined ; nor shall such for e'er be foiled, who wait 

His all-sway, which at last true world-peace shall instat-e. 

Quick as the scintillant shafts which towering rise 
Up from the sun's broad orb to pierce the enringing skies, 
Pa«s we to stars, where arts of old that graced 
Earthlife, or dignified by memory now replaced, 
Still honoured, flourish ; doubtless, of the twain 
Best pleased I, who of art knew most the stem and strain. 
To Pheidias, here, no more the form divine 
Of Deity Bf-ems to man permissible to design ; 
Sufficient be it his essence to conceivo 
Unimageable, whose life it is soul-life to believe. 
To Zeuxis, there, Parrhasius, here, is given 
New skill to grace all truth with use sanctioned of heaven, 
The soul's most sacred dreams to actualize, 
In every shape and sense joy blameless can devise. 
Here, Angelo's great spirit, on vastier bounds 
Than Sistine shrine presents, his potent thought expounds 
With sceptral pencil, on the aerial domes 
High soaring into space which stud those starry homes. 
And if earth's rise i)Ourtraying, and the doom 
WTiich recusant soul awaits in worldstates yet to come ; 
Not now, in fulminant wrath m.akes God remove 
His creatures from his sight ; but judging all in love, 
Kxults in legislative calm, in peace, 
All conquering, and the reign of justice ne'er to cease ; 
So here, who the awe-inspiring scene first drew 
Of God's last judgment, now with false contrasts the true ; 
Deems fallible fancy's fault too harsh ; nor feigns 
Joy felt, to meet one skilled to sketch the Edenic plains, 
Fair match for sterner scheme ; and so diffuse 
O'er time's remembered scenes heaven's own more glorious hues : 
Earth-scopes at will recalled ; and studies made 
To illustrate saintliest life. Beato's, Raphael's aid 
Guide, Murillo, Blake, invoke ; their powers 
Used to adorn such lays as charm the immortal's hours, 
And happily leisured gods, who press to hear 
Prophet or bard his song recite ; or, tome of seer 
Turn, marvelling, leaf by leaf, with love imbued 
Of mind's miraculous gifts, in solemn solitude. 
Here, founders of all crafts, all science, meet 
Their perfectors ; and both their marvellous ends complete. 
This one, with fanes of every form, to show 
One spirit alone divine as God's, made mind could know ; 
That every plan of sacred cast, ornate 
Or simple, or vast or small, true faith shall consecrate ; 
These, Him would honour sole in unity ; these, 
In countless forms of life, and all life's energies. 



306 FE8TU8. 

Here, they who temples built by Nile, or pitched 

'Mid desert sands, grey booths, by badg-er's hides enriched ; 

They who together Oman's threshing floor 

Hallowed, and all to God who built, or rich or poor ; 

Hophra, Bezaleel, Hiram ; who, where smiles 

Ocean on Attic shores, Rhodian or Delian isles, 

Their snow white shrines and fluted shafts combined, 

As purity's sign, the soul to raise, and charm the mind ; 

Hold now, all worlds as temples : every soul 

A festive fane to Him devote, who framed the whole. 

Cadmus here, Faustus there, new modes devise 

Of symbolling thought unfixed ; scheme how, to distant skies 

To impart intelligence ; while Franklin binds 

With tameable lightnings spheres, as serpent charmer winds 

Worms wise but fangless round his breast, and plans 

With Watts, new forms of force, for mightier worlds than man's. 

Here, souls with gifts engraffed that 'neath the chill 

Pressure of want, drear lack of culture, or sage will, 

Bloomed not on earth, in this expand ; their prime 

Of nature but deferred to heaven's more genial clime. 

There, innocent souls, foes but to wrong, hate, strife. 

Speak with God's special voice, sparing all breathful life. 

The patriarchs of all arts, all sacred, there, 

Aim steeplier, more sublime discoveries make and share, 

As worlds and elements, there, more grand than ours, 

Fields vaster, more diverse, yield, claim, superior powers. 

New solar laws, here, Kepler, and the Pole, 

Wisest of all who watched the worlds round night that roll. 

Interpret spiritually ; with finest skill 

Showing how all results must gravitate towards God's will ; 

How his attractive love unites and binds 

Godwards, time's general soul, earth's Individual minds ; 

And how all heavenly systems men devise. 

Hath each true archetype in God's eternal skies. 

Pride of his age, his orb, Kopemik, here, 

Motives of moral act, not in man's vital sphere, 

Selfish, necessitate, shrinks not now to show 

How, from one central truth, for truth is God, there flow 

Essential verities, through all worlds, that fill 

All time, attracting good, repulsive of all ill. 

And for that God is truth, lo 1 Kepler, here 

Unveiling heaven -wide laws, proves, yet, with holy fear, 

How mazy schemes, of credence intricate, 

Fail 'fore that faith in God which nerves soul as with fate 

All conquering, to avow the immutable one. 

And indivisible, God, all wise, all-good ; who none 

Equal, or like, or second e'er hath known ; 

The holy spirit, all-sire, all present, aU in one : 

Proves, how from out one central force enianes 

The life which makes alive all souls, and all sustains ; 

The imsleepful Judge who wields the whole at will, 

The establisher of right, the exterminator of ill. 



FESTU8. 807 

There, Galilei shows how truest creeds 

Truth warmliest welcome, such so proved by kindliest deeds. 

His soul no more by dubious friends perplexed, 

Nor treacherous priests ; no more with persecutions vexed, 

Shows to admiring orbs with joy elate, 

The sky-scheme, and how simple its unexceptive state, 

That every sphere, so willed iiie intelligent cause, 

Hound other, or itself, revolve by fated laws ; 

Each orbital movement of Heaven's world-thronged whole 

One incoUieive plan speaking, one master soul. 

Learns Newton here new laws orbicular ; bides 

The age long lapse of years eternity divides 

With time in conning new organic frames 

Of mundane being ; life, here, from ignorance reclaima 

Heavenwards ; and loyal to His gracious force 

WTio to all things prescribes their interactive course, 

Now, this world shows how truth with science sides ; 

Now, that ; and like a god, in passing, times their tides. 

There, Flamsteed, and Laplace, through fineless space, 

Detect in mightiest ease the sunstar's nebulous race, 

Through all its varied vastness, and combine 

More marvellous proofs to adduce of mechanism divine ; 

Proofs, too, of how from one chief truth made known, 

Light-wise, all worship spreads concentric round God's throne. 

And how all natural systems reason views 

Based on one variant plan, congruous, one end pursues. 

Here, Dalton, pious, venerable, contrasts 

As framed by God's good will which all precedes, outlasts, 

The primary motes of spheres ; nor e'er to chance 

Compellant. prone to ascribe their world genetic dance 

Twin atomies meets with anywhere ; but finds 

In God's minutest acts studies for vastest minds. 

Swift as the impetuous messages of light 
Hurled from the sun's hot heart, which daze Heaven's spatial night ; 
Fleet as the healing angel's arrows fly, 
When he his golden quiver is emptying o'er the sky, 
Intent to slay some vast and viperous pest 
An ignorant city clasps, delirious to her breast ; 
The Leonine sign we reach, where, poised in space, 
In kinglihood of light, one star holds sovran place. 
" Mark thou these generous souls," said Luniel, " round 
"WTio all the more they give, in their own gifts abound ; 
Worlds grratefuUer for good on them bestowed 
By lowliest spirits, who know the boon they bare a load, 
Howbeit by love imposed ; and humbly sought 
But to be loved by those whose every life they had bought 
At their own life's cost ; souls which perceive all time 
As men a passing storm in some precarious clime ; 
Or an impermanent star, which peers through space. 
And comes and goes, nor knows one fixed abiding place." 

From orblet on to orb, we winged. " Behold," 



SOB FESTU8. 

Said I, " how warmer stars hope's livelier buds unfold." 

Here, many a troop of joy-eyed souls, we viewed, 

Glad to rejoin hope ; those to g-lad the multitude, 

Telling" how they on earth, despairing, died ; 

And wakening- here, hope, first of forms before them eyed. 

Souls, innocent in God's eye of all offence. 

If being bom were none, nor dying in defence 

Of virtue, piety, or their sacred breath 

Who had given them to the light, and hallowed so their death ; 

Now, circling reverent round their guide, the more 

Their trust, so much her power showed mightier than before. 

"Souls these," said Luniel, "time's millennial course 

Sixfold repeated, shows with ever greatening force, 

Convictive, teaching virtue as the test 

Of earthlif e, temperance, truth, and Heaven's perfective rest ; 

For blameless spirits enough. Let sin sustain 

Just discipline ; and false gods disproved, of angel strain, 

All error bounden at last to disappear 

One holiest faith shall yet fill earth's e'er-bettering sphere ; 

Hosts spiritual of truth shall yet o'errun, 

Unconquerable, the orb, from rise to set of sun. 

Souls such as they are these, who from the first 

Have combated that deceit which conscience, sin accursed, 

Dreads of a vengeful Power whose posthumous wrath 

Bums, passed the tomb, to bar soul from its upward path. 

Through penitence, towards that peace which fills Heaven's sky, 

The balmy air saints breathe of boundless charity ; 

The great return of spirit created, led 

Star by star, life by life, back to all Being's head, 

The vital fulness of divinity, there 

Concentrate, to complete, and Heaven's perfection share. 

Consummate spirits are these who time by time 

Offer themselves to God, to work his will sublime ; 

On his fixed word, as on an altar, lay 

The life He lent, to plead to soul- worlds, wiled astray, 

The rectifying truth, regenerant, pure, 

Remedial, which alone, through all the ages, sure, 

And through all worlds sufficient, serves to save, 

By brotherly help, the gift their provident Father gave ; 

And so conserve, to their enduring good. 

Who else might alway err in trackless dubietude. 

Souls such as these, the simple truth attest 

Of Him the one, the sole, the mercifullest, the best. 

Who feels, with all He hath made, their faults, their needs, 

Their weaknesses, defects ; and 'gainst imperfect deeds. 

Or blameable acts, sets justice, less severe 

Than infinite right might claim ; for, finite, who could bear ? 

Here, noting, too, soul's fall perpetual, due 

To faculties imperfect, incompetent to fore view 

Act's sequence ; yet, in man's elastic strain. 

Rise, grand if gradual, hail, towards Heaven's perfective plane ; 



FE8TU8. S09 

Embodying thus, its last and best event, 

The great Designer's vast and primariest intent. 

Here Vico, awed, learns how, in the Heavenly mind, 

Not only all advanoe of human soul designed. 

But all the orbs of universal space, 

In God's infinite plan have each progressive place. 

There, Campanella, soaring on the wings 

Of the world's giant soul, up to the source of things, 

Finds it the end ; and spirit's heavenly rest, 

Immortal and divine, in God's all-hallowing breast ; 

Knows etJsence and existence, in things made. 

Variant, and sole in God identic ; so displayed 

The world's base spiritual ; in meet degree 

AU things as they respect the love of Deity, 

Within their natures shrined. Here, Cardan finds, 

Not proved by stars self -lit, but by truths only, minds 

Illumed in the Heaven God lights, life boons dispense 

Reflective of His power, His truth, His all-presence ; 

His, who endowed the moral world with one 

Chief gift of freest choice in Him, of union 

With good eternal, or of ill's forlorn 

Estate, foredoomed to cease, of imperfection borne. 

Agrippa, here, who to all occult lore 

Gave method, meaning, place in science, now, no more 

With vanity vexed, makes boast o' the shadowy show 

Of dread and secret craft ; nor longer longs to know 

The inmost spirits of all material things. 

Of elements and of stars, nor through enchanter's rings 

Raise ghosts, or fabulous demons ; but each thought 

Bends now to augment the sense of wonders truth hath wrought ; 

Nor 80 much what is penetrable, to soul 

Searchful of truth, as what's permissible to the whole. 

Here Lully, more successful than of old 

In one great art combines, resolves, and seeks to unfold, 

The mysteries of all science, so to bind 

In one regenerate shape all instruments of mind, 

"Moral and rational, which to soul shall show 

True certitude in all things men think, wish, feel, or know. 

This, found in Deity only, which enfolds 

All perfect infinites, and deploys the truths it holds, 

To mind observant of God's works and ways. 

As, to some sun-seer, night unveils her starry maze ; 

Shows all laws, rays from His eternal sphere, 

And boundless, issuant ; loveful these, and those severe ; 

Unvarying all, conti-olling all events. 

All equal to the ends of infinite firmaments. 

And, if created mind, affecting what 

Passes comprise, part fail ; yet all inadequate not 

The infinite to appraise ; nor ours to clutch 

Sj)ace boundless, as a whole, yet of that whole how much 

Man's common reason grasps, as when one sees 

Space opt'uing up to space its i>^rry immensities j 



810 FE8TU8. 

So, though in reason limited, in belief 

Illimitable, of God we hold and haye in chief. 

Hutton, De Luc, there, Werner, many a globe 

Fire cored, rock-girdered, search ; bent reverently to probe, 

In emulous love of sacred knowledge, all 

The secrets God hath shrined in every heavenly ball ; 

And primary elements sought no more, all teach, 

God's plastic hand imparts vu*tue no natures reach. 

Here, Huyghens, oft, his preconceptive lines 

Of worlds and souls, compares : and vastening all, refines 

To more majestic purports, and to ends 

Nobler than charmed of old, on earth, his noblest friends. 

Swift as on time's first day, Heaven's thought-made light, 
With one meek glance, dispelled the inconspicuous night, 
Pretemporal, like extensive with all space ; 
And spheres surprised first eyed each other's stonied face ; 
Fleetlier through shining aether than the ray 
Darts forth of polar light ; we spirits, our spacious way 
Cleave, to seats loveliest, where the ripened fruits 
Of wise Humanity glow ; the errors faith transmutes 
To judgments generous, just ; the loves and hates. 
Like holy, righteous heaven adopts, reciprocates : 
Farther than those bright sparklings of his crown 
Through space interminable, our sun sends ceaseless down, 
To the watchful world ; in an eye's glance, we passed, 
Commoved in spirit, and sad, and reached, descending, last, 
Those clear and fortunate stars, where many wise. 
Earnest in good ; for good, prompt all to sacrifice, 
Dwell ; and ^^dth sight far bent towards the end of things, 
Live righteously, and leave to Heaven all orderings ; 
Who all things view, with reverent trust, as weighed 
On God's determinaait beam ; and Heaven's broad future laid 
On such foundations as love, joyed, may see ; 
And Justice, to all souls commend, as yet to be. 
Here, Henoch, joined with Atlas, walks the sky, 
Translated, one, to an ever-brightening destiny ; 
One, God to praise, for every new-bom star 
Which decks heaven's coasts where His beloved Immortals are. 
There, too, the throned three, who, long through Heaven, 
Followed the star of God when Christ to earth was given, 
The Eternal Love pursue ; and through aU skies 
Humanity sole proclaim the spirit God deifies. 
Here, many a soul all creatural virtues graced, 
Of aU. earth's faiths, I saw, high in God's favour placed ; 
Buddhist and Brahman, Mazdyan, Moslem, Jew. 
Shaman's, Sikh's, Christ's ; of all the world's beliefs no few, 
Gladdening ; yet griefful that so oft man's mind 
Will God's salvation deem to faith or form confined. 
Church, temple, ritual password, sect, or creed. 
While all God asks from men, is pure thought, righteous deed. 
And love of Him, sole : truth this, one and same, 
Clommon, to earth and heaven, heaven's saints and earth's conclaim. 



FESTUa. 811 

Here, Socrates, humane and humbly wise. 

Inspired, immortal, death, life's fugitive foe defies ; 

And knowing now man's thought the measuring rod 

Of all things, all things knows, and knows things all in God, 

There, Zeno learns how all-compelling fate 

Hangs on free choice ; free choice alone necessitate 

Of €rod, resolved that privileged rank to ensure 

And range, to soul, He had made immortal to endure ; 

Made, and foreseeing how men choose to live, 

Their right saved, and secured His own prerogative. 

Here, Epicurus, sanguine, now, no more 

Creation's seeds to assort, but greatlier far to adore 

The star-sower of all space, fails not to find 

Fit spheres to sway, wherein to mould the ductile mind 

Of fallible cast, to wisdom ; and incite 

Souls purified to aid the all-active Infinite ; 

Who, joy eternal not in stirless rest 

Seeks, but in soul redeemed, and worlds by kindness blessed. 

Stilpon the blessings shows of chastened mind. 

In harmony with the laws of Nature pure and kind ; 

No more, here, Pyrrho doubts ; but certified 

Of Deity, in his soul contemns all thought beside ; 

There, D'Hobach, Volney, Hume, while scanning spheres, 

And time's concentric course 'midst Heaven's all-bounding years, 

Find law itself miraculous ; truth imbase 

On outward knowledge ; faith in the inmost conscience place ; 

Science supreme of things known, things believed. 

And, faith conceded, show truth as in God conceived. 

Kebes the tablet, here, of life mimdane 

Unrolls, and pious troops leads toward the Eternal's fane ; 

Truth's temple on virtue's golden strata based 

And with the o'ersheltering roof of faith celestial graced. 

Prodicus, there, the path of righteous choice 

Points, manly, and confirms industrious virtue's voice, 

Fame promising 'gainst the lures of pleasurous vice, 

And treacherous indolence, perdition's normal price. 

Here, Aristotle's keen discursive sense. 

Ranging from tiniest life to pure omnipotence, 

All things defines, demonstrates Being's cause ; 

New moral rules propounds ; plans new illative laws. 

Here, to all wisdom's inexhaustible spring, 

His thirst for truth unslaked, brings, and e'er longs to bring, 

Tully, his mind receptive ; sifts his store ; 

Fines and refines, till all ho owns is purest ore, 

Of polity, probity, right ; the chief est good 

Soul can embrace, where'er in life, in death pursued. 

'* Clear patriot shade," I said, " to the end of days, 

Thy land's applause, God's calm approof, hear, all men's praise." 

His dream august, here, Scipio verifies, 

And with star-ruling spirits resumes life's happiest ties 

Eternized ; oft from Cirque galactic led 

Hither, where patriot souls, one brotherly fellowhead, 



812 FESTU8, 

Meet from all spheres. There, the lame Gyaran slave 

Basks before God, and bids, in face of fate, be brave, 

Earth's trembling orb ; basks, in the beam of God, 

Heaven's light intelligible, Himself his own abode ; 

Of his own law, Lord ; on Nature's ends relies. 

Truth, conscious rectitude ; still liolds those only v/ise. 

Free, who, prepared alike to live or die, 

Their natural will with God's, so fate's, identify. 

Heaven's thrall, ere man's. With him, the imperial sage 

Joins hands ; man's inborn sense of God ix> every age 

Revealing ; our own b(;ing, misconceived, 

By us, asserts divine and proves what he believed. 

There, world-wise Seneca to shining throngs, 

God's presence shows by right to sinless soul belongs ; 

Still holds eternal bliss their boon, their prize, 

That love God, souls divine, their virtue deifies ; 

Proves coarsest passions maj'-, by tact refined. 

Of duteousness and faith, broaden and exalt the mind ; 

And avarice even, by wondrous holihood 

Of spirit, be changed to greed of truth for all men's good j 

Nor, from all error free, shall fallible mind, 

In any imperfect soul, howe'er towards God inclined. 

Avail all truth to compass, in whose view 

Man's best perfection is, perfection to pursue. 

Here, Apuleius, from sin's gross disguise 

Freed, shows now, hierophant of purest mysteries ; 

How soul, reborn, attains, despite its fall. 

Through self -wrought rise, a blessed reunion with tlie All 

Essential one. Plotinus, there, disrates 

His spirit no more, but oned with that he contemplates, 

In thought ecstatic, aims to sum the whole ; 

Man's vast particular, God's the universal soul. 

Here, Proclus glorying in all bliss to be. 

His spirit imbathes in deeps of f ontal divinity. 

Eucleides there, Ammonius, and a band 

Self -culled from various faiths, for one belief demand 

Access, in Heaven's wide temple, where all creeds 

Have each their separate shrine ; beneficence in deeds 

And love of God, the sole conditions claimed 

By that Immutable saint to whom the whole is named ; 

Who, all good, holds no rival foe in kind. 

But evil, a moral myth, impersonate of man's mind. 

Crowned with original innocence, never lost, 
A youthful spii-it that late death's refluent tide had crossed, 
There, marked I, as through many a tempering sphere, 
Though scarcely changed, or made more spiritually clear, 
More amiable, she, with the immortal blessed, 
Up to serenest heights of pure perfection pressed. 
We both, in silent awe, as on they swept 
Upward, that band behold, who Heaven's immense e'er kept ; 
Their kindred's good, immortal in all spheres, 
Bent to achieve, where'er ill, transient even, appears ; 



FB8TUS. 813 

And as when dove or sea fowl o'er the sky 

Crossing, in myriads massed, show oft, to watchful eye, 

The shape each singly owns ; the living cloud. 

Its flightful shadow upon the sea, eyed, cries aloud ; 

So, but in guise angelic, and with song, 

Not less than that which soars sweet from the seraph throng, 

That host of light rejoiced as on they flew 

Upon their love-fraught quest ; and so, like-joyed, we knew 

Tliat, as some relieving force, the pride of kings. 

Makes towards its aim, nor rests its city rescuing wings, 

Vast, incontractile, till it gain its end ; 

Routs the beleaguering foe ; and makes a state its friend ; 

Firm through all time ; this mission, too, on high, 

Charged with God's grace, and urged by dear Humanity, 

Must, lastly, triumph. I, meantime (one glance 

Caught of a rayonnant form, which bent its countenance 

That moment towards us) following the angel's eye, 

Mark, as from bosom dropped of that bright host draw nigh 

Within our vision, every feature clear, 

The spirit all we have known, and of all known most dear. 

Drawn nigh, she vanished voiceless ; if to impose 

Upon remembrance reticence, Heaven only knows, 

And she, in this. Heaven's confidant. Not one glance 

Strayed from that mien, till gone ; when, first, I brake the trance ; 

And cried, " Blessed spirit from first of sinless strain. 

Time's dimming dust shook off, gladden in thy source again ; 

Clear, incontaminate flower of life, there live, 

Stem but towards self thou wouldst all others' faults forgive, 

As on earth, so in Heaven ; there now, in right 

Of primitive purity, rise ; rejoin thine Infinite." 

" Our finite ends," said Luniel, " we, meanwhile 

Had best prove ; and rejoin Earth's far off spatial isle. 

Rejoice thou, too, companion through these skies, 

In glories ne'er before unveiled to mortal eyes. 

Of love, soul-educative ; who sole hast viewed 

With what all various joys God hath these worlds endued ; 

Which proved, prepare man's upward battling mind 

For nobler, loftier, bliss by the All- just designed." 

** Enough ; " I answered. " All I have seen, and now. 

As a bird, that travelling far, yet still, his native bough 

Musing, 'mid Oran's palms, or Thracian plains, 

Towards Albion's lowliest eaves his sight instinctive strains, 

Some rustic cot to view, less fair than bowers. 

Where he with Spring might spend her borrowed summer hours ; 

But ah 1 his birth-place ; I, with all her woes. 

Her griefs, her faults, ask earth." " Be it," the angel said ; " here 

close 
The sights thou hast glimpsed of spheral life. Alway 
Ponder the truths these scenes mysteriously convey ; 
And as each separate star, by fine degiees. 
Nature from taint chaotic and blind, wild, motion frees ; 
80 spirits dowered with virtuous sense of strife 



8U FESTU8. 

tJpwarda, through all the ranks of firmamental life. 

Their faculties requicken at His great will, 

Who, schooling all in love, bids all His thoughts fulfil ; 

While these, in Heaven's new orders taught and trained, 

Their best reward e'er reap in duties love-constrained. 

For, not on stools of stateliest idleness, 

Shall God the immortal soul magnificently distress ; 

Nor, with monotonous viollings, disarrange 

Glad Nature's genial course of ever freshening change ; 

Not He shall doom man's everduring days 

To raptures dumb, nor thoughts unutterable of praise ; 

Nor dazzle with one ecstatic blaze the mind 

That bums, in active good, man's worthiest end to find ; 

God's loftiest love ; nor craves for ampler rest 

Than Virtue's meed demands, God in the heart possessed ; 

But progress, to the blessed, shall bliss contain, 

And, to the worst, give hope, through purifying pain, 

Remorse, repentance, self -regenerate will, 

Of good gained, virtue loved, loathed vice, abandoned ill. 

For, being is probation. Soul, on earth. 

In every testful sphere, must prove to God its worth, 

Its use of privileged powers ; and, free create, 

By its own act works out its ever instant fate ; 

And evil's darkness, what but possible light ? 

The field where conquering Truth wages her gracious fight.'* 

" Life, fire-chordlike," I said, " at once, both ways. 

Truth between God and man, and man and God conveys. 

And, as in class, some teacher when he gains 

Full seizure of the minds he elevates while he trains ; 

And hurrying to impart the final word. 

Which shall to each convey ripe meaning of all heard, 

Hears, intercepted from his lips, let fall 

His own conclusive proof, conceived, expressed by all ; 

So man, long taught of Heaven through wisest strain, 

Speaks in one word his soul, 'tis life he would maintain ; 

Eternal life ; which worlds here, worlds on high 

Alike fail space for spirits' due expanse to supply ; 

All ours ; wherein through Nature's infinite years, 

Successive world-lives sloughed, the immortal reappears ; 

Man, finite deity ; who in meet employ 

God's will fulfils ; and so, all duty with all joy 

Blends, that in every sphere the spirit may see 

Clearlier, why being once regenerate, still should be 

Enamoured of perfection," " Do thou, then. 

Remembering God is God, and angels heavenly men. 

Men, earthly angels ; messengers, 'like sent 

His aims to enact, throughout the all lif eful firmament, 

Each like empowered, like missioned, His wise will 

In their divinest ends and noblest aims, fulfil 

Both, lif eful ; and all scare of death apart, 

Said Luniel, trust God's love ; trust wholly, and take heait ; 

Paul, Plato, seest not, live ; and Christ the skies 



FESTU8. 816 

Crowns ; dread not thon. dear soul, to join the all good and wise. 

Whose end is so to assimilate to His own 

All spirits, that Love- in spired, they share His boundless throne. 

Now must we hence. I know thou wilt forget 

Too much thou hast learned ; 'tis thus men ag-grandise the debt 

How needlessly, to God's good grace they owe 

Eagering this, that, to leani, then that they learn, unknow. 

This, and thou dost, so keenlier shalt thou feel 

The oblivious art God's pity alone avails to heal, 

\Miat anguish, shame and honor shall be thine 

To have hooded thine own eyes to hide the light divine 

The law of conscious freedom, every breast 

Holds from God's hallowing hands ; Fate bids me spare the rest. 

But Heaven may aid, enhance ; nor shall the care 

Of one sweet spirit thou least dreamst of, forsake thee, there." 

" "VVhate'er the ill I do, the dread to dree 

These ills foretold, I said, may haply advantage me. 

So would I urge once more, ere yet I lose 

All touch, all sight of these, these bright soul-gladdening views." 

" Look, then, once more ; behold these happier spheres, 

Where soul grown strong by lapse of ever lengthening years, 

All sin and sin's punition, every trace 

Of trespass in the spirit, permitted such to efface, 

Effectually erased, the enfranchised force. 

Rejoicing to renew its upward, heavenward, course 

With faculties refined, sublimed, made pure. 

And glad no more the scorns of Ignorance to endure. 

While wink the fates ; He lingering to fulfil 

His ends, 'gainst all who mock, or trust to balk his will ; 

WTio drew from out the depths of His delight 

All Being, to make and share His pleasure infinite ; 

Who gave the key of law ; law is but love 

Directed and defined to ends all law above, 

He only can ensure, who, rational soul. 

Makes answerable to Him whose love inarms the whole ; 

The law of truth, right, virtue ; means are these 

Life's loftiest aims to achieve, soul's happiest potencies. 

When in the lapse of ages, time's great year 

Fulfilled, the disciplined soul shows perfect, peaceful, clear, 

All life shall be renewed, and man's great race 

Transfigured, bide in Heaven, God's spiritual embrace." 

" But say," said I, " what loftiest end is ours, 

Angel's or man's ; does soul attain celestial powers ? " 

" What end at last the principle divine 

Shall win, like regal heir exiled, until combine. 

Through depurative tests, life's every end 

Perfective ; and, tiU proved God's champion, liege, and friend. 

The inmost heavens it gain, where, time by time, 

Convoked, the hierarchies of blessed souls sublime. 

Rule and sustain, with Him who willed, the whole ; 

God will, himself, impart to man's affiliate souL 

We now address us to depart ; and I, 



316 FE8TU8, 

Contempling with dismay the black and vacuous sky 

Below our feet, held back, till half compelled 

By the angel Power ; when, high before us, I beheld, 

Not marked till then, a tower broad based, sublime 

Ten-staged, each stage a star. *' Lo 1 this the tower of Time," 

Said the Angel, " which to ascend and gain one view 

Encyclic, of the spheres, we have light-borne, lightened through, 

Thy soul may strengthen for the nearing strife 

Never to close till Heaven gives rest to spiritual life." 

This climbing, sphere by sphere, on the upmost stance 

Old Time we viewed who thence his worlds in one broad glance, 

All in his ken, surveyed ; and though to few 

Orbs, and those aged, he speaks, yet he the angel knew ; 

The angel, him. Still wist not I their tongue ; 

Preglacial, it might be, when moons were alway young. 

But Luniel says, he moaned that while his head 

And feet felt frore as ice, his heart was molten lead ; 

And that, she told him, never since the hour 

He first the heavens convinced of his rapacious power. 

When, from the breast of earth's maternal orb. 

The spherelet, whose pure paths her guiding cares absorb. 

Was rudely wrung ; and, (but that ruth divine. 

All bettering, bade the lost upon the loser shine, 

To cheer her night ; there had been sore discontent. 

With Time's remorseless rule, through all the firmament) 

His cruel act she never had forgot, 

Howbeit all holy G-od had sanctified her lot." 

To which he answered, " He no vain regret 

Feigned for aught crook'd of course. God all would straighten 

yet; 
And now that doom's long reign had once begun, 
Few were the hours ere night should fold all, sun by sun ; 
Eternity resume creative right, 

And stud all heaven with stars intelligible of light." 
Then, bidding Time farewell, which he, meseemed. 
Took ill, as from his eyen a piteous malice gleamed ; 
And marking where the welkin-cleaving ring 
Our sunpath meets ; and all earth destined spirits doth bring, 
(In their prejudged descent to assume the cloak 
Of body, wherein abide all who endure life's yoke,) 
To the fields they dwell in many a year, the gates 
We neared, where sunlifed soul fulfils and earns its fates, 
Through vast futurity; and towards the same 
Star-chapiter'd pointing, I, " behold our way," exclaim. 
" Not by G-od's gates," said the Angel, " we depart ; 
We, mean and shadowy things, as I am, and thou art ; 
Not as reborn, assured ; nor pure, untried ; 
Nor as on His palms our names God's hands bare sanctified ; 
But, as beseems us more, through yon bright valves 
The southening sun's broad gates, who space's splendid halves 
Distinguishing, in one sole service binds, 
With his and angel's, man's, all ancillary minds ; 



FE8TU3, 817 

Servants, but elevated, the laws, the ways 

Of His great house to enforce, all rational life obeys." 

Her loveable teaching, full of hope and awe, 

(Completing, as our feet fast towards those portals draw, 

Paused Luniel ; and descending, hand in hand. 

Our starry quests we cease, quit that setherial land ; 

As when with instant impulse down the sky 

Shoot, on November's eve, twin meteors from on high. 

'• G-rant me," said I, as on our swiftening course 

We sped, like lightning rays shot from some sunny source ; 

'* One boon, dear spirit ; if, as to me appears 

These souls I have seen have ages, long since lived, or years 

Full many ; and many a hopeful lustre passed, 

As deathless, wise, all sense of grosser sins have cast ; 

And purifying penance, with one pang, 

Ix)ng drawn, hath 'scaped, unscathed, from error's fatal fang. 

Into these homes of truth and holy joy, 

Perfective, apt henceforth times endless to employ ; 

Souls, glorying now in liberty of state, 

Freed from the bonds of sin, of law the irrational hate, 

Of conscious conflict 'gainst God's love, the strong 

Wrestler who throws all ill, and slays the giant, wrong ; 

Yet wouldst assent now, I their state would view, 

('Neath thy world-shadowing wing) who live but life to rue ; 

By error yet so g^iiled, and by the event 

Of selfish sin unchanged, impure, impenitent." 

'* This may not be, I know not why, as yet 

Know but it is forbid ; nor do, nor dare forget 

^Vhat were to brave prohibitive law, replied 

In tenderest tone, (earth glimpsed that moment,) the angel guide. 

Beings and scenes less blessed than these be, I 

Love not. With other aid tempt thou earth's nether sky, 

Dimmed by one world, I know ; where spirits accursed 

By their own acts or lusts, manfiend or demon erst, 

God's justice satiate through the burning sense 

Of his pure law contemned, due penitence for offence 

Needing, ere, lifed again with freedom, light 

Intelligible, with love and conscious sense of right, 

r»Ian, Heaven may face, or any spheral kind 

Blessed with belief in God, and crowned with reasoning mind ; 

This, kno'W'ing still, life's future end, far less 

To expiate evil passed, than e'er in good progress. 

For the rational world God made his mirror first ; 

And his own image 'twas, till man by sin self -cursed, 

Shattering in countless selfs the semblance fine. 

Made unreflective dust of once one whole divine. 

Souls that love God, His heaven our hearts within. 

That here by love and good towards man, and hate of sin. 

Most thrive, are they for whom His heavenly rest 

On high He saves, atnd folds in his eternal breast. 

But thou, to earth returned, forget not there. 

What here thou hast seen, though store of sorrow be thy aharo. 



318 FE8TU8. 

Speak to thy fellow souls all hope, all joy ; 

Seek life's most pure delights in mercy's mild employ. 

The lapsing tear slight not ; nor penitent sigh 

Check, earnest of the intent to turn to him most high ; 

The orgies of false faith forsake, false life, 

For spiritual commune with heaven, of rapture rife ; 

Forswear life's follies for man's bettering cause ; 

And learn, by practice stern, soul's self redemptive laws. 

For, not in spatial acts of earth and main ; 

Not in the vaulted dome of heaven's star-lighted fane, 

Not in the spring-tide breath of buds and flowers. 

Nor growth of grain or fruit, sense we the All-holy's powers ; 

Not in the rise of dews, nor suns that shine 

Glimpse we the escapef ul proof of cause, or will, divine ; 

But know, it is in the laws of things which bound 

Our thoughts of time, space, earth, His all-presence is found ; 

Laws moral and material, which through space, 

Binding all earthlike spheres have each like needful place ; 

G-ood, thus, o'er ill, o'er wrong right, God's great cause, 

One with himself, dispread essential through all laws, 

Of sensible Nature ; measure, number, weight. 

Identic in all orbs, one mind must predicate ; 

One nature argue : acting towards one end, 

From a like motived cause all worlds may apprehend ; 

That motive, good and joy : His own and theirs 

He hath made, as he with all the bliss of Being shares j 

God uncomprised of soul, yet in all hearts ; 

Immeasurable ; without all sign, all form, all parts ; 

TJnsearched for, unknown ; till besought, severe ; 

To penitent soul, sin stained, pure love without all fear. 

And his redemptive process, one and same. 

Self betterment, in all worlds, trust in his only name ; 

Such, too, the workful fellowship he asks 

Of soul create, in this its holiest of all tasks. 

Behold, then, spread through universal space. 

One rational world, finite, reflective of God's face, 

Though in limited guise : His consciousness like vast 

With all made, things to come, things present and things passed, 

Still proves demonstrable to reasoning powers. 

Free, fraught with love of truth, and sense of fact, like ours ; 

For, as by sense, like man's, though finer far, 

The astherial tribes commune, each in its native star, 

While time's essential truths, whate'er their range 

Established, absolute are, and can nor cease, nor change ; 

And spatial objects, various guised, pure mind. 

Though bounded, all- where sees, consimilar in kind ; 

If, simply one, say, gravity's, law, but show, 

Then number, measure, light, night, time and distance, know ; 

Then, moral pressure, truth, eternal law. 

Immortal life, man's mind, is justified to draw ; 

And reason, compass-like, through all the skies, 

Points to His work, one whole- through countless ministries, 



FE8TVB. 819 

Moral, material, spiritual, divine. 

Our substance is His shadow." " Oh 1 be it ever mine, 

This track of light thou hast traced amidst the sky, 

Prophetic of life's fate, and human destiny ; 

This starry clue, to steer by, through the maze 

Of unconclusive time, innumerable of days." 

Nay, not innumerable. Impends from birth, 

Said the Angel guide, " the fate which hounds thee into eartn ; 

Yet not therefore with death terrestrial ends 

The testing time of souls, wherein may make amends 

Sin for its -v^Trong, as urged by justest doom, 

Or blameworthy neglect find fitting time, and room 

World-wide, to improve. To foster gifts Grod-given, 

To all, spare not ; but train Despair's own soul towards Heaven ; 

As some kind hand the storm-dashed rose bids rise ; 

Face sunward, and recalls to live with winds and skies ; 

While morrowing heaven, resprinkling with the dews | 

Baptismal of the stars, regenerate life renews. 

Go, now, compeer of all we have seen and passed. 

That spirit may serve to expand, and, wisely brace, at last, 

The soul to arm for that aneaiing strife, 

Never to close, till Heaven gives rest to pilgrim life ; 

As, through the skiey wilderness, wandering aye, 

Mine all enlightening orb ; thou, on thy worldly way ; 

Go, now, expert of all the all teaching skies. 

Veil or unveil, of mind's immortal mysteries ; 

Initiate, go, consummate in all tests 

Divinest love demands, and rational faith suggests ; 

Go, aspirant of perfection ; and, in earth, 

And in thine own heart, seek all Heaven prescribes of worth ; 

Know virtue always loved of God ; all where, 

Truth and good, one and same, in Heaven, as earth. Whate'er 

Is good and true with man, earth, angel soul, 

True is and good, to God, and where Heaven's last orbs roll ; 

Know conscious wrong too, sin ; and evil will. 

And evil act, in all God's moral world, 'like ill. 

But go ; thou never, till life's space be passed, 

Wilt 'vail to trace God's plan divine, from first to last. 

Plan which created mind's whole thought transcends. 

Source of its every power, sum endless of all ends." 

This said, she, poising her space-cheering wings. 

Earth touched, there left me, where first on celestial things 

Musing, I, questioned, asked her aid ; and where 

She first had bid me breathe, with her, celestial air ; 

Left me, in sacred silence more endowed 

With meaning than all words could tell, though thunder-loud. 

Helen. Silence may be best speaks experience. 

Student. Yes, 

Experience of an age may yield an hour's 
Contentment ; of an hour, an age's awe. 

Festds. It is nature's silent miracles most convince, 
Most bless, most elevate the soul. 



S20 FESTV8. 

Helen. And yet 

While doubtless these experiences the passed 
And present, tend tx) reconcile with ends 
Future, still much inexplicable remains, 
Of ordinary existence, and the fates 
Suffered in soul, in person here. 

Student. Perchance 

We expiate here in pains faults of passed lives ; 
And all our joys are but rewards. 

Festus. It may be, 

We meet with mysteries everywhere in life. 
That, could we solve ! — ^As oft, 'mid ruflaing- seas, 
A wave path, clear, scarce tremulous, we discern, 
Seeming sig-nificative ; which neither knows 
Begfinning of extension, nor fixed end ; 
Which marches not with cliff on high, nor reef 
Below ; to no cloud answers ; no vague keel 
Cut accidently ; nor desultory gust 
Scored ; but e'er exquisite to the wondering eye, 
Searchful of all substantive cause, so close 
To the secret truth we bum once, keeps in calm 
Tenacity, its unf athomed force of form ; 
Until, the gaze glanced off, tired, or divert 
Casually, we miss, nor ever can regrasp 
The grand identity ; so, too, 'mid the world. 
We trace, we think, at times, God's ways, the more 
Pondered, the plainlier manifest ; but through 
Fatuity, or mere mutable conceit. 
Faith's failure, or what not ? we lose in life's 
Wide weltering waste, the track, which f oUowea, iii.ght 
Have led, if not to perfectness, to peace. 

Helen. Methinks, I, too, have missed this perfect way, 
Else wherefore am I troubled this to know 
Or that, when knowing is so vastlier less 
Than being ? And can it be, I am being here 
Tested and proved through life ? Cares great, cares small, 
Indifferent, trusted to me hour by hour, 
And note of treatment taken ? It cannot be, 
And yet it may. One's faith indeed so warns 
It is. Who sins against his better light 
Sins sadly. Still the sense oppresses one 
Of life BO cast. 

Student. Nay, here are twain will vouch 
Thy perfectness, at least ; and 'gainst all comers. 

Helen. Hush 1 Seest thou none beside thee ? 

Festus. Who is here f 

I parted from thee, but an hour ago. 

Student. I left thee but an hour since. 

Festus. Why so soon ? 

Lucifer. So soon ? I have traversed earth. 

Festus. Aii, good ! no more,^ 

Let us within, friends. Soon the stars and dews 



FE8TU8. 821 

Will take our places. Pray, precede, dear Helen 
Enchant, thou canst — thy company ; so that me 
They miss not for an hour, or twain. 

Hemjn. But how 

Deceive myself ? 

Festus. Forget me, too. 

Helex. That word 

Deserves no answer. 

Student. None ? 

Festus. Adieu ! 

Helen. Be sure, 

When next we meet, we'll be less grave. 

Student. Meanwhile, 

To tasks beneficent, Festus, we, reserved, 
Let haste. Earth's hopes at length are rii)ening fast. 
If hiddenly, to happier ends than bard, 
Saint, social seer, or politic sage e'er dreamed. 
One brief creed, simple and of necessity true ; 
One moral code, in every land the same ; 
Which, justice realized, shall be each man's good, 
And all men's joy ; one law ; one general rule ; 
The world one state, and peace perpetuaL 

Mahian. Heaven 

Grant it may be ! 

Festub. I come. Good friend, do thou 

The requisite dispositions to these ends 
Prepare. I follow. 

Student. I obey. 

Festub. And now 

Wherefore hast sought me here ? 

Lucifer. But this to say 

Summoned to farthest space for a time, I come 
Hail, and f areweU to bid thee. 

Festus. Nay, not thus 

Part we. I would with thee. 

Lucifer. Reflect. 

Festus. I do. 

I would see Heaven. 

Lucifer. Behold ! 

Festus. I would enter Heaven. 

Lucifer. Retire into thyself ; heart consecrate 
And sanctified in soul. 

Festus. I would see God. 

Lucifer. He is the Invisible. 

Festus. And I ? 

Lucifer. Thou art 

The Insatiable. Arise with me. 

Festub. I rise. 



PE8TU8, 



XXI. 

Law moral one and eame all being imbounds, 

Compresses, animates, even as natural law 

The orb, of light and gravity. Where is soul. 

There fallibility, choice, ana righteous doom, 

Following, of deity. To the bodiless realms 

Such abstracts apt, sights spiritually recalled 

Our travellers tell ; of visioned miracles, this, 

All parent nature sees through, not as God 

Eternal, but aye immanent in his thought, 

Whole impress of the all- creative cause ; 

Of world-faiths that, each, in itself all truth 

Boasting, truth sole ; its practices foul or vain. 

Declaring heaven-imposed, to heaven unknown, 

Save by its wrath. Good will, good deed, towards man, 

To none confined, in all, like blessed of God, 

Like honoured know. To man a prescient view 

Of what is true repentance, to the soul 

Yet to be realized, spirit-informed, expands. 

Heaven's judgments are the spiritual harmonies 

On virtues based, the same with earth's, which show 

To creatures God's great sceptre justified, 

In every sphere. The penitence for sin 

God loves, ia after hohness of life. 

Interstellar Space. 

Festus aTld LUCIFBB. 

Lucifer. Mark'st thou this vast half -luminous orb we coast, 
Not sun, not star ? 

Festus. I note it, and so much 

Admire I would see more of 't. 

LuciPEB. It is a world 

God is in act of making-. Life not yet 
Lifts up her head. Sole, order, first of things, 
Begins to arrange the elements. 

Festus. There are signs 

'Twill be a world where all felicitous ends 
Designed by God may be fulfilled ; a sphere 
Midway 'twixt earth and heaven ; a common ground 
Where deity and humanity may unite 
Forces, and more effect than either 'lone. 

LuciFEE. Theories so many, and like this, I have seen 
Fall through sheer lack of base, one might despair 
Less sanguine than myself. Meanwhile though swift 
Our transit, time is ours to hold converse. 
Hast aught upon thy mind to impart, or ask ? 

J^ESTUS. My life is massed with miracles. Wheresoe'er 
I b^, visions are mine ; and late entranced 
Some angel surely, upon mine inner eyne, 
Life's chart preliminary unrolled, at last, 
Ended with painting heaven. 

LuciFEB. Ere yet expert, 



FESTUa, 323 

Repeat, 'twere doubtless curious, false or true. 

Festus. Right veritable it is, I trust, if peace 
And love and charity are where most God is. 

Lucifer. Say on. It will while our way through this extense, 
Dreamlike, itself. 

Festus. Many, the greatest, truths 

Man hath acquired in visions, or in dreams. 
For then it is the soul recalls the spheres 
Of pre-existent nature, and evokes 
The ghosts of coming ages, or, unites 
Passed, present, future by one windlike touch, 
'Which loosens the world's zone, and renders mind 
The master of creation. So with me 
Once proved it, in a vision ; for the crown 
Of nature is passivity, and man's 
Best mood the pure recipient ; in a state 
Of twilight-like existence, as when light, 
Darkness, sun, moon, earth, sky were nigh all one 
Universal substance ; nought distinct save souls. 
Echoes of light intelligible, towards heaven 
Reacting. Matter, mind the All now comprise 
In contrary perfections, as the twin 
IHde-wave inarms the world ; the total round 
Of effluent life, or influent ; this eteme. 
That, temporal ; known to some, vsdth power and meane 
Commemorative, of old, endowed, and now. 
To him who words the wonders ho hath seen. 
It was the spirit of the universe 
In whose deep breast as on twin founts of life 
The worlds of heaven were nourished, I beheld. 
The fragrance of heaven's fadeless fields, her breath, 
The endless blessings of an act of grace, 
Or mercy's matron bosom, filled her words : 
And each articulate syllable she expired. 
Seemed with the lore of ages laden, as earth 
O'erheavily with her old baptismal flood. 
Her eye profound, which dazed so mine at first, 
I scarce might see, immortal quiet homed ; 
As though all heaven had settled upon one star. 
She spake, and I regarded with such awe 
As eaglet, when he first beholds the sun : 
And though what I recall be true, so far 
As worded, it is less than truth ; for how 
Can a spar utter how it was crystallized ? 
She spake, I said, the spirit, and at her word, 
Behold the heavens were opened as a book, 
• I am the world soul, nature's spirit am I. 
Ere universe was or constellation, space, 
System, or sun, or orb, or element. 
Darkness, or light, or atomic, I first lived j 
I and necessity, though twain in life, 
Yet one in essence. God ia men exist. 

M 2 



824 FE8TU8. 

Man and all finite natures among themselvea 

Act freely ; between Grod, and man and all 

Nature finite, to this unknown, is fate : 

"What is divine is of necessity free.' 

I heard and I received ; and from my soul 

Intense in quiet, perfect in repose, 

Like sleep's fantastic frostwork, all the sense 

Melted of death ; and the heaven-surrounding state 

Entering-, of pure existence among gods, 

It grew ignited with divinity. 

Again the world-soul voiced itself ; and I 

Indrank the fruitful glories of her words. 

As earth consumes the golden skiey clouds. 

' Two books there are which must be read ; the one, 

The elements exist as leaves in ; worlds 

As symbols ; earth, thus, of humanity ; 

Water of spirit, fire of divinity, 

And air of all things ; stars the truths of heaven. 

Water and fire are elements divine ; 

Earth and air, human ; heaven and the soul 

From one proceed, and the blue-heated skies ; 

Out of the other bodihood and abode. 

Judge doubtful things by certainest ; things dark 

By what is clear, and dangerous by safe ; 

And prophesy to all which live of God, 

Their aboriginal heaven, and total end 

Of spirit in his just love. Of soul, believe, 

The other tome I spake of, that man's flesh 

His spirit not trulier holds, than in divine 

Nature, its contrary, God's infinite soul 

Imbounds the universe : thine infinite work 

But infinitely less than thee, O God I 

The universe is simple ; God and I. 

Cause and effect are all that in it is, 

And more ; for cause containeth its effect. 

Cause, operation and effect are God, 

Nature and man ; which both partake of one. 

Through error human souls accept the truth, 

As through distorting air the light whereby 

They live, of sun or starlet. Through the world 

The soul receives God, but from God the soul 

Receives the spirit, the chosen thus, thus the world j 

The cloud-led many, the star-guided wise. 

For spirit it is makes times and nature clear. 

As of old water purified by fire.' 

Methought I answered, as it might be, thus : 

* Life, like a floating islet, comes and goes, 

We know not, mean not how. From heaven a star 

Falls, and we track a cold dark somethingness. 

In our conception as unlike all birth 

Celestial, astral issue even, as wind 

Is unlike wisdom, thunder unlilje snow. 



FESTUa, 825 

We know but that we are, not how, not why, 

The distance between finite, howsoe'er 

Great, and the infinite being infinite, 

Our life shows incomplete and sectional ; 

And the large unity of the whole, while sought 

From mom all musical to blank starred night. 

In mind to realize, soon, too soon we see 

The wolf -like shadow of death which shameless haunts 

With 8i)ectre-like eclipse the vital orb, 

Creep o'er life's path, and threatening total dark 

The fiery marrow freeze of the vauntful world.* 

While yet these words were vibrant on my tongue, 

I saw the sun-god stall his flamy steeds 

In customary splendour ; these, in turn, 

Shaking their lightning trappings off to earth, 

And snatching a few golden grains of sleep, 

Solaced them with their corner in the west ; 

Towards where earth uplifts her crystal crown, 

White with all yeared snows and radiant rime ; 

While, ever and again, the dancing mom. 

Even in the mid abyss of solar night, 

With roseate blaze impowers the shining skies, 

And pure prismatic fire that lights the stars. 

Stretching her hand into the nebulous depths 

Of space eteme, again the spirit spake. 

' As the aethereal essence of the world, 
Matter thereof mere increment, I of earth 

Speak to thee now ; for, as one Father is 

Of all things, and of spirit all act is bom. 

So, of one substance is all nature made. 

Begard not earth as the whole universe ; 

Nor minify yet the orb into a point 

Where all relations vanish. Earth receives 

In an immortal influence, from the stars. 

And out of her bright and generative heart. 

To all conceived and bom therefrom, gives back 

The vital virtues of the potent heavens. 

With their invisible radiance filling up 

The interspatial skies. To all the forms 

Of plant, fish, brute, bird, insect he who made 

Gives, from life's infinite estate, renewal 

Ceaseless in mass ; to man, soul-crowned, alone 

Revival personal ; 'mong each other ; all 

Differing in eminence. Some excel ; the rest 

Suffer not therefore. Wrong to none is wrought 

By honour to a high peculiar few, 

Self-meritless, whose sole position stands 

By themselves ingenerable. Exists this class 

Eclect in all things living ; best in man ; 

In whom heaven's motional harmonies, the world's 

Elemental workings, nay the spirit pure 

Of fire impassible, and aethereal, all 



326 FESTU8. 

Incorporate are, in sunlike excellency. 

All men, as sons of man, be sons of Gk)d ; 

Yet all like portion nor position have, 

In earth, nor heaven : of common promises 

Heirs, not like perf ectness, nor privilege. 

Change arts of earth ; the science of the skies, 

Immutable, the first man learned of God, 

Is elder than the sun ; hath hallowed aU 

Successive firmaments ; revealed to man, 

Whose soul-star inly bums with living light, 

Who holds the constellations in his hand, 

Sign manual of his God, and brief of fate, 

Truth highest speaks, and certainties most blessed. 

Souls these of luminous birth who penetrate 

The core of all best wisdom, know all truth 

Hath central commune with the infinite ; 

All faith with truth ; thus kingly, till with God 

United, and the heavenly fulness shared. 

With carnal minds to outward worship prone 

And ordinances the spirit race of light. 

Consummate in truth's secret discipline, use 

But saintly silence, knowing all, of all 

Themselves incognizable, but souls who love 

Virtue and God. Souls conscious, self convict, 

Of wrong and ill ; through trial, to be proved ; 

Through peril, purified from inbred sin ; 

From surface righteousness ; from faith in gods 

Many and false ; from scorn of the one true ; 

From gross and giant passions ; souls who roam 

Life's wilderness, idolatrous, and believe 

Their record of perfective life their proof 

Of power to save themselves ; but these the elect 

Of nature, peers of paradise, pitying, serve. 

Men are of one kind, therefore, two sorts. All 

Shall find desire unite with destiny. 

For those, as said ; for these, though all the powers 

Of air array themselves in lines of fixe. 

And arm them with death's armoury ; though hell's 

Hosts camp them, high as tented mountains round ; 

Yet, at a wave of his hand, like to slaves, 

They vanish from the assiegement of the saints ; 

Spirits which, dominations incarnate. 

And sons of stars that darting out of heaven, 

Made themselves mortal for the mother's sake ; 

Here, with original motion, fling off truths 

Of perfect light, oracular even of God ; 

Truths in their minds who worthily receive, 

Of inborn virtue full, accompletive 

Of wisdom ; and like heaven's luminous rudiments, 

Which gradually may gravitate to worlds, 

Corroborate their nature, and make free 

Their souls to course through the blank void of time, 



FE8TU8. 827 



To the bright fulness of eternity. 

Beyond, too, souls unnumberable, unnamed, 

And orbs all named, all numbered, mortal, know 

These be the great initials of the world : 

Being is one, the central infinite, cause 

Common to both creator and create, 

The great substantive essence of the whole. 

Knowing and doing and the fact of form, 

Laws co-existent of its modal life. 

The natural creation ended, first 

Commenced the spiritual, which in Gk>d ever 

Aforetime lived, thus time unfolds the seed 

Sown in eternity, and reaped therein : — 

The great paternal and invisible fire 

Which eateth that it issueth, and wherein, 

Being an infinite means as well as end, 

All filiated nature ceaseth work. 

Now matter makes not one continuous o^^ 

Nor is light ail-where massed alike : the stars, 

Like thunderbolts perradiate, clustered stand 

Or, separative, seek systems omniform. 

God is the sole and self-subsistent one ; 

From him, the sun-creator, nature was ; 

-Ethereal essences, all elements, 

The souls therein indigenous, and man 

Symbolic of all being. Out of earth 

The matron moon was moulded, and the sea 

Filled up the shining chasm : both now fulfil 

One orbit and one nature, and all orbs 

With them one fate, one universal end. 

From light's projective moment, in the earth 

The moon was, even as earth i' the sun ; the sun 

A fiery incarnation of the heavens. 

When sun, earth, moon again make one, resumes 

Nature her heavenly state ; is glorified.' 

As, to the sleepless eye, form forth, at last, 

The long immeasurable layers of light, 

And beams of fire enormous in the east, 

The broad foundations of the heaven domed day 

All fineless as the future, so uprose 

On mine the great celestial certainty. 

The mask of matter fell off, I beheld, 

Void of all seeming, the sole substance mind, 

The actualized ideal of the world. 

An absolutest essence filled my soul ; 

And superseding all its modes and powers, 

Gave to the spirit a conBciousness divine ; 

A sense of vast existence in the skies ; 

Boundless commune with spiritual light, and proof 

Self -shown, of heaven commensurate with all life. 

And I to the light of the great spirit's eyes 

Mine hungry eyes returucu which, past Iho ilrst 



828 FE8TU8, 

Intensifying blindness, clearlier saw 

The words she uttered of trimnpliant truth. 

For truly, and as my vision heightened, lo I 

The universal volume of the heavens. 

Star-lettered in (jelestial characters. 

Moved musically into words her breath framed forth 

And varied momently ; and I perceived 

That thus she spake of God : I silent still 

And hearkening to the sea-swell of her voice. 

' From one divine, all permanent unity comes 

The many and the infinite ; from God all just 

To himself and others, who to all is love, 

Earth and the moon, like syllables of light. 

Uttered by him, were with all creatures blessed 

By him, and with a sevenfold blessing sealed 

To perfect rest, celestial order ; all 

The double tabled book of heaven and earth, 

Despite such due deficiency as cleaves 

Inevitably to soul, till God resume. 

Progressive aye, possessing too all bliss 

Elect and universal in the heavens.' 

And silence settled on me deeplier still, 

Like a snow-muffled statue. 

LuciPEE. Need was none 

To speak. 

Festus. Again, as a gale of light, the spirit 
Me wholly in her assumed, so that the words 
I heard, like cloudless thunder, wrought in me 
Meet apperception of the source of things. 
* God, first and last of being, from out whose hand 
Came all things sensible and eternal, all 
Forth flowing from, and ebbing back to, him. 
Creation's God, regeneration's lord ; 
And holy recognizance of their sum and end. 
Man's Saviour, like his Maker, must be God. 
And, all effect commensurate with its cause, 
Each infinite, creation stands redeemed 
By him first, last, and mediate, God in all. 
Full in the bosom of humanity, he 
As on the waters of the imperfect world, 
Came down, the God-spirit, thus in soul uniting 
The mortal and eteme, and in one word, 
Foreuttered ere all time, which legendwise 
Still rounds the world, though nigh obliterate now 
The best part, — immortality, — gave the key 
All mansions opening of paternal heaven.' 
' Thy name, O Immortality,' here, I said, 
' Sounds clear essential music, through the soul 
Thrilling, as through the heartstrings of a star. 
In air and sphere-form yet inconsummate, 
Its tidal pulses and dim throbs of light, 
Ere fraternized in heaven, yet presage sure 



FESTUa. 829 

In hope, of state to come ; yea, round that hope 

So vast yet vagrue, which, like the northern morn, 

One hour usurps the mid-sky, and the next 

Lies buried 'neath the pole, are gathered thoughts 

Ajid truths whose gravity oft determine life ; 

As motion in an atomic leads at last 

To a world's orbit, mote and motion given. 

For spirit, self-conscious of its inner life, 

Makes all externals subject, and o'er thoughts 

And things, maintains that rule which in itself, 

Is present proof of what the soul most seeks ; 

Its boundless union with its God.' Then she, 

The world-divining spirit, even as a star 

O'erflows with light, still spake of deity. * Gkxl, 

Untermable in essence, being unnamed, 

lyien grasping ever at his love, his name 

Man-given, in pious perpetuity breathe, 

And strive to throw thought-light by act reflex 

On being, originative of life and thought, 

In hope to know the great unknowable, 

In fulness ; he in mercifulness known 

Only to spirit create in any sphere ; 

The all prothetic universal I. 

Substantive of all being ; whose sole word 

Will infinite expressing, all effect, 

Within whose ample essence all conceipt 

Respecting it, as good, intelligence, life, 

Man bom, or angel-mind can frame, is lost 

Like a stray gust, which from some aery height, 

Soars, suicidal, up the dark inane. 

LuciFEE. Pardon ; but say, this speaking vision, how long 
Endured it ? 

Festus. Nay, I know not ; hours, it may be. 
Moments, perhaps. I was, in truth, entranced. 

LuciFEB. Ne'er had I one but once. Ask not, in turn, 
How long mine lasted ; mine hath lasted me 
Thousands of years, in sooth ; — I need but shut 
Mine eyes, and see it now — and then, I saw 
Looking as might be casually towards earth, 
Man's sphere, the horizon black with numberless crowds. 
Midst these uprose a mountainous altar, shaped 
Like a vast inverted pyramid, whereby stood 
Four forms stem, solemn : one arrayed in white, 
And one in unif ormal black ; in green, 
The third, and of all hues the f ouith. And most 
I marked at first, the two first named. All bliss 
Each claimed, as hig alone, denouncing one 
The other ; both all warning that fierce fire 
Burned for their sake who sware not by a creed 
Garbled, patched up, and contradictory ; text 
Confounding oft with comment ; by no rule 
Interpretative bound j as literal, now. 



830 FESTU8, 

Now figurative, construing laws like plain. 

Love, said tMs pair, nathless, from first to last, 

Its author's nature being-, infinite love 

To mortal man, his motive sole ; their creeds 

And deeds, as arctic from antarctic wide. 

At either side they stood, and pressed the world ; 

And honestly and right earnestly prayed all men 

To serve G-od ; their incongruous laws obey ; 

Accept of heaven's free grace ; and something do 

To help the Omnipotent how to save a souL 

And myriads sought their several priestly sides, 

And did as was enjoined them, and rejoiced. 

Then something passed between them ; and the twain, 

Ceasing opponent duarchy, atoned 

In friendship for past enmity, and straight 

Culling all contraries from holy grounds, 

Built up an idol, of all elements. 

Most disaccordant. Thus, his deathly feet 

They framed of fire, of earth his lower limbs. 

His breast of mass terraqueous ; his head, air ; 

Varying with strange and mutable-featured clouds. 

Round him, enthroned on the broad and upturned base 

Of that earth-piercing altar-pyramid. 

They reared at last, earth aiding in all modes, 

A circular temple, patent to the sun ; 

Sea-lavered ; mountain-columned ; kingdom-paved. 

When as he sat his throne, there rose a shout 

From the foregathered multitudes, which caused 

The circumspatial skies shake, cold with dread, 

And to her inmost base earth vibrate. He 

In his right hand held the sun and moon, close-linked • 

And in his left a winged orb cross-crowned ; 

By his side hung down, curved comet-wise, a sword 

Of fire ; a rosary of unluminous stars 

Decked either wrist. With stars his breast was mailed 

Like to a knight's of old, with scales steel-gilt ; 

Or like an ice-plant with perpetual dew ; 

Or diamond beetle, round beglobed with light : 

And the unsphered skies darkened momently. 

To him was brought, bound hand and foot, the world, 

Which more intensely worshipped than the poor 

Bewildered devotee in eastern lands 

His golden squatting idols, diamond-eyed, 

WTiose car grinds human dust. The monarch, there. 

Upon that central shrine where sate the god. 

Laid down his crown ; the warrior cast his sword ; 

The peer, his glittering badge; the merchant prince, 

His hoarded coffer. There, the statesman placed 

His seal of power ; the priest, his robe ; the bard, 

And the harmonious master, lyre, and pen. 

Who soar, or mine, in science, or in art, 



FE8TU8. B31 

Their elements and implements and gifts ; 

The scribe, and the physician, and the wrig-ht, 

His several offering. Thither hied the crowds 

Of mediate millions between gain and toil ; 

Thither the brawny-armed and brown-browed hind 

"Whose wealth was in his will and daily work. 

Repaired ; and earth's luxurious, toilless, tribes 

Followed ; each with his hand full of good things, 

And felt tJheir conscience lightened ; blessed their lot ; 

And all went well, and ended happily. 

Round that great altar, thousand lesser were, 

With crowds ringed each, though each the hate and scorn 

Of the majestic pair who served the highest, 

And sware to make all souls believe alike, 

In clockwork-like content. Yet might they not 

The many most succeed. The great few fail. 

Some of belief thought most, of practice some, 

Some thought of God as darkness, some as light 

And worshipped each ; some held that space was God ; 

"VSTiile others said, and wiselier, God is what ? 

Some held that deity, and all heavenly powers 

Were of one essence like divine and high. 

Even as the starry commonwealth of heaven. 

These deemed that, wholly contemplating God, 

The soul, suffused in deity, required 

No active virtue, but on God's own breast 

Lay lulled in glory and in communitive 

Life with divinity, its best end fulfilled. 

These deemed whate'er is done by men is done 

By God's spirit, and they thence conclude no sin 

Exists, unless to those who so esteem ; 

-A ad that to live without all doubt or dread 

Were to restore to life the paradise 

Initiate of the soul, that pleasant place 

Erst disafforested, and so realize 

The catholic salvation of the world. 

Some held that, now and then, there speaks in all 

The word of God, his light enlightening all, 

If not resisted carnally. Some adjudged 

The evil of sin and punishment alike 

Reflected, if eteme, on rule divine. 

Some that man's spirit had once forelived in heaven, 

A holy creature, but that sinning, earth 

Was its amercement made, its prison, flesh ; 

Emerging whence, it shall by grace resume 

Its pre-existence and high powers. 

Festus. In dreams 

Doubtless, and reveries, oft, sublimed by faith, 
Dim glimpses come, I know, of blessed states. 
And shadowings of power passed, which to the soul 
Seem inborn and accustomed, as a star 



83a FESTU3. 

To liglit, when, late immersed it leaves the sun. 

Lucifer. Some thouglit perfection gainable still on earth 
By their own mean life and efforts, as in heaven ; 
And that with man it rests to reinstate 
The Adamic Eden ; and, by converse pure 
And holy life, redeem the sacred day 
When nature's every work was miracle ; 
When man, brute, angel, all in happy ease 
Communed, and fruits throat-slaking made good, wise ; 
As ere the immortal seraph- serpent, hid 
By the sunset side of earth, stole forth and stung 
Heaven's virgin star ; brake nature's innocent seal. 
And left his lightning trail through all divine 
Traditions. Some, strange speculatists thought he 
And Other, were two lower powers, whom God 
Had pitted in broad duel during time ; 
But that the final victory would be heaven's ; 
Not knowing evil's might. A countless train 
Of misbeliefs like pure parhelia, these 
Which come and vanish and return, new lifed, 
With men unstable ; unhinderable of priest ; 
Some grains of truth-gold starring here and there 
The vast formations of the false. Meanwhile, 
For meddling with such mysteries unmeant 
Surely by heaven to bo cleared up on earth, 
Who have eyes trained to pierce the dark, outtaken, 
These twin compellers of conformity, 
Erst marked, condemned from time to time to hell, 
Rack, massacre and fire, each bubble sect 
That in full-blown emptiness rose, to show their own 
Familiar, brotherly, charity, and so prove 
The inspiration theirs they claim of God, 
Who tells all, he is love. Those sects themselves, 
Full of molecular motion, fought like mitea 
Which fill a water-drop, and day by day 
Cursed or consumed each other. For the rest, 
Who stood round the great altar muttering creeds, 
And each had his dissenting heretics, 
The third smote simply by the sword who dared 
His chequered tale, not wholly truth nor lie, 
Doubt, but suspended 'twixt, as utter void 
Baseless. The fourth, more meek in general mood, 
Willed ignorantly, both true and false, 'like scorned, 
To tolerate. Now and then he closed his eyes 
VVrathf ul, and slew promiscuously all round. 

Festus. Much doubtless may be meant in that thou hast seen* 
A sacred side there is to everything, 
As given or else forbidden, as false or true, 
According to the greater truth involved ; 
One side is always bright, one always dark, 
Ijeaflike and moonlike j and each separate lif o 



FE8TU3. 333 

Is as a leaf which waits the quickening" breath 

Of nature, our mysterious prophetess, 

To give it due place and order in the world. 

Heights too there are profound, and depths sublime 

Of thought, faith sole can deal with ; for as God's 

True name, if known, is uttered not in heaven 

Highest, nor on earth, so deeps unnameable are 

"Which cannot be revealed of human life. 

And ought not if they could ; the elements 

Of the premortal manhood which inhered 

In the conception of creative mind, 

Since shown to few, and only dimly known. 

LuciFEB. The spirit thou namest, then, showed thee not these 
things ? 

Festds. Continue ; if thy vision more unveiled 
Thou wouldst impart, or me behoves to know. 

Lucifer. Modes next I marked of practice, rite and form, 
Strangest of human trusts : here, some would bum, 
There, others, drown, these maim, those clamm themselves 
Or fellows, all in proof of piety ; 
Some sacrificed their children, some their sires ; 
Some fruits, some flowers ; beasts and the young of beasts, 
In honest obstinate hope of earning heaven. 
Others heaped stone on stone, shrine piled on shrine, 
In emulous mimicry of the threefold heavens ; 
Silver inlaid with gold, gold decked with gem ; 
Others dug out the earth and worshipped fumes, 
Or paid respect to vapours which inhaled 
Bred holiest inspiration ; some in warm 
And reeking entrails read the signs of God, 
Or deemed they did, prophetic : others sun, 
Moon, stars, those fixed or wandering those, — adored, 
For spiritual good thence down-drawn ; earth-bom fire 
Or sun-bom ; rivers, mountains, seas, stones, herbs, 
Brute, insect, bird, fish ; earth and air and man ; 
All these were sworn by, prayed to, in the wild 
Sad faith that man's humanity, by them, 
Could gain some earnest of divinity. 
Some only ate of certain meats, or laid 
Under dread ban, all flesh and milk and wine ; 
Extolling green food and the sparkling spring, 
As though brutes only spiritually lived, 
And virtue were a vegetable thing. 
Others wore iron spikes around their waists, 
Burned fire in their bosoms ; with their bread 
Mixed dust and filth, ate grass, and naked lived ; 
Or crawled for leagues like serpents in the dust 
In sign of self abasement ; sign indeed 
Not lacked, where proof of fact much overabounds, 
Btill, for I hasten now to close the tale 
Of those who thus believed, thus acted, still. 



834 t'ESTUa. 

Whene'er I looked around me, hour by hour, 
The multitudes departed, yet increased. 
But one way came they ; countless ways they went 
Through age, birth, pestilence, vice, folly, and war. 
Disease, excess, want, famine, woe, sin, fate. 
The city of life twelve-gated ; gazing thus, 
Priest, altar, crowd, god ; all I seem to have seen, 
Vanish, and are no more ; till some near day 
When I would see again the earth, and lo I 
The vision all in orderly lapse, recurs 
From end to end, parts special only changed. 

Festus. 'Tis strange, 'tis sad ; and if I now with man 
Conversed, I'd say that spirit and nature known 
To act contrarious, yet by God's grace, tend 
To ultimate harmony, seeming being opposed 
to being in seeming only. Rises earth 
Sunwards, not sun on earth ; yet let not man 
Deem creatural elevance into Heaven his right 
By force of reason, or end necessitate 
Of natural virtue ; for in moral spheres 
All action is of God, so willed, or wrought 
By his direct permission ; and when through life 
Ceaselessly sought, he, too, the world of soul, 
By act divinely voluntary, illumes. 
Sunwise, and quickens 1 Even here, in the pure 
Blaclj;, unbeing void, where but for light of stars 
Lit by God's vital hand, the brightest star 
But blackest dust illumined from without ; 
Their central fires their death source sole ; not life 
Could be, nor mutual influence, until hailed 
From ours, or their own ambient ; so with man ; 
It is only through their sensuous atmospheres 
Spirits can behold C'ach other, or that soul. 
Born in itself to realize all time, 
Dowered inly with all varieties of belief, 
As light all colourless all colours holds ; 
By search of Being's supremest spheres of thought 
Spiritual and moral, which man's nature rule, 
Can, by that axfc sublime, the scheme conceive 
Whereby the vital whole, from God outrayed 
His impress takes, and about his feet revolves 
On everlasting period ; and the world 
Spiritual, enlightened inly, orbitates 
By sweet attraction towards its source, His love. 
Propelled by upward gravity of the whole 
Towards his divine perfections ; he himself 
Conceiving, hearing, suffering, ending all, 
AflQiliates finally, and inheavena For thus 
To me appeared the sign the spirit now gave. 

LuciFEE. But though not absolutely at large man knows 
His God, nor many have been in spirit rapt 
To Heaven ; yet hell to outdo in mutual hate, 



FE8TU8. 835 

And threats reciprocal of quenchless fire. 
For speculative beliefs, earth's foulest crimes 
Held easily expiable, seems prross misprise 
Of heavenly justice and God's tolerance. 

Festus. Seems 1 

But 'tis not of man's conduct here I doubt 
Nor seek to know his errors. I seek God. 
All heavens exterior passed, the seats of soul 
Self-purificativo and probational, me 
Heaven's threshold now ; even where yon radiant sun, 
Of suns, sphere central and supreme of space, 
The aspirant soul forewarns of holier life, 

And aims more spiritual that mixed earth needs, y 

Immediate most to Deity ; mo attracts > 

With irresistible force. 

LuciFEK. Thereto we tend, 

Festub. And now my vision seemed passed end, to expand ; 
Behold now heaven, the spirit exclaimed, and straight 
One vast and universal heaven, I view ; 

God's world-pervading-, soul-sustaining smile 

Towards good and holiness, for aye realized ; 

And which all just ends harmonizing in spheres 

Of mind and space, all hallows and makes glad. 

There every thing hath life ; the elements 

Made vital, glorified fourfold, and named 

Love, wisdom, strength and beauty ; every huQ 

"Which nature owns, from earth's original blush 

To heaven's eternal azure, holy caused ; 

There sentient cloudlets, delicate chariots oft 

Of journeying souls, inspired by musical winds, 

Winds fragrant as the breath of deity, shed 

Grateful, their choicest effluence round the skies. 

There, spirit exalting joys abide ; there flow 

The fountains of eternal life and streams j^ 

Of perfect virtue for soul-baptism ; there, r 

Roll faith's abysmal mysteries, darkly clear ; 

Though soundless, shoreless, luminous with life 

Tempting to be explored. There grow the groves 

Whose trees of golden bolls and pearly fruits 

Breathe, as wind moved, the harmonious lauds of souls 

And spiritual ; from illusory matter freed ; 

Cities and fanes of diamonds crown the hills, 

Bright with the sole companionship of heaven, 

In this pre-earthly paradise, wherein 

Who enter are by kindliest angels clad 

In garments wrought of rainbows ; and in robes 

Woven as of sunset clouds ; while viny wreaths 

G^m berries bearing, form their coronals, 

Exuberant of all fruitage. Food they need not 

Who live on life, and quaff eternal joy. 

And rest in peace as in the down of doves. 

There many pass all time, the hour of God, 



335 FE8TU8, 

In pure and still contentment. Others, yet, 

In ceaseless, boundless, progress, as from stai 

To star, from bliss to bliss pass, until all. 

Like rays of ligbt, light all attractive, all 

Deligbtful light, redeemed up to the sun, 

Betum to God renewed. In one band, there 

Souls of all faiths, earth-holden, gracious live, 

In mutual forgiveness, blessing each 

The other ; what too in their several creeds 

Showed unproved, disproved, arrogant or unwise 

Or needless, each casts off ; what true, all keep, 

Uniting and amending ; for in all 

"Was truth, if most in one. Thy soul it joys, 

She said, the spirit, to see this. Search thy heart ; 

Search, wouldst thou enter these abodes, and know 

There is a secret sign whereby the soul 

Feels certainty of safety and of power 

Imparted, public to the universe. 

By a single world unwist of, but to one 

Conscious of soul's divinity, a sign 

Infallible of the life immortal ; sign 

Stamped in the spirit as is the gleaming seal 

Thou sawest on brows of those imparadised 

The true triliteral monogram of God. 

I searched ; and in my vision deemed I found, 

But what imports it now ? 

LuciFEB. Aught said she more ? 

Festus. What needs the spirit more speak ? No more I heard. 

She ceased ; the All-Create ; and gazing down, deep I 

As into her own vast breast, o'er that abyss 

Her life-embracing arms she crossed in peace. 

She ceased ; and all was silence. Earth and heaven, 

Like solar seas unf athomably bright 

Rolled forth their inmost radiance in twin tides 

Immeasurable. Since time's first begotten day, 

Until the last bom eve, when all shall end ; 

And life's great vein within the embosoming skies 

Be utterly dried up ; till night, as some 

Cloud-monster eats up star on star, shall whelm, 

In her intransitory darkness, all 

The children of the light ; till breath no more 

Shall freshen earth's lip nor breeze her breast, hath been 

Beheld such glory, nor shall be, nor may. 

Of nature serving God ; she, sibyl-like. 

Instinct with inspiration, and He her 

Endowing with all bliss unendingly. 
LuciFEB. Approach we now the boundary of Heaven's sphere, 

The footstool of the Eternal. 
Festus, We draw nigh. 



FESTUS. 837 



XXII. 

One mediate being is, through all worlds, man ; 
One natural compass ; one sole moral scheme 
Pervades all worlds ; truth, reason, virtue, love 
And wisdom, sisterly hierarchy in God, 
Of divine attributes, the bounds embrace 
Of infinite life ; and, as in spirit, one 
Space-travelling, views suns other than our own. 
Of mightier light ; see stars constellate take 
New shapes ; and, recombined in alien forms, 
Beam grandlier now, now dimlier ; but the same 
Their astral elements ; so, the more is seen 
Of soul-life universal, mind, the more 
Rejoicing in the original bright of things, 
The luminous plan adaptible to all change, 
Knows it shall recognize in after worlds, 
How variouslv soe'er thought 'guise its form, 
The base of all, the Immutable. Here, too, deems 
Eccentric science, systems, conglobate. 
May mass them finally ; sun crushed on sun ; 
The ultimate form of all phenomenal life. 
Inapposite not such judgment to our strain. 

The Central Sun ; Festus ; Lucipeb ; Angel op Earth ; who 
continues, and concludes, the story of The Angel-Wobld. 
Festus and Lucifer approaching. 

Festus. Space-centering sun ; of science new conceived, 
But eldest of all worlds ; parental mass, 
Midmost of all repose ; vast counterpoise 
Of Being's total movement ; point, all act 
Tends to ; outcome of all accomplished Time's 
Countless activities ; here extinguished ; base 
E'er broadening of the o'erthrown whole ; sad tomb 
Of all intent ; and cope-stone of all deed. 
Here Science sums her speculative career ; 
Who in the immense prediction of this orb 
Unseen, and hearted in all boundlessness ; 
Knowing the g^eat necessity in the close 
Of things ; foretold this mean 'tween all and nought, 
Type of the infinite oneness whence were fonned 
All world-diversities, once ; and now recast 
In composite unity, of life's end divine. 
Seat of original silence and the crown 
Of final harmonies, whereto all these 
Thy nursling worlds, by Being's broadest law 
Material gravitate ; thyself not all 
To him irresoluble, whose cogent word 
From spatial others, and all void, bade Be. 

Lucifer. Go where we will, 'tis very sad, we meet 
With ruins, as a rule. These world- wrecks, see 
Once, doubtless, floating gallantly enough. 

Festus. But one word, and the whole unsubstanced show 
Of things once made shall cease and disappear. 
The ruins even shall perish. 



838 FE8TU3. 

LuciFEB. Good. But now 

Behold earth's Angel ; more than hoped for this. 

Festus. Angel benign ; to meet thee, sums the joys, 
To greet thee, heals the pains, of many a year. 

Angel of Earth. Once named between us, never lost I sight 
Of this our possible meeting-place, and here. 
If each pause on our course, 'tis upward, still, 
And nearer, so, to God. The expanding soul 
Vast world-life here enjoys, and to its field 
Scaled meetly of free act and duty, bends 
Its whole force to ends finest ; and so earns 
Rewards condign of God, howbeit unsought. 
Here all the tribes of universal man 
Human, angelic, mingle ; here convene ; 
Are hence distribute, and example aU. 
These to their natal orb true ; those to spheres 
Various, as Heaven ordains, need, choice, demands. 

Festus. These, not unlike to men in guise and air 
But of an ampler presence and more bright 
Within, as though an inward star, the heart 
Elanced its penetrable light through all, 
And on all round ; not elsewise than a soul 
Met sometime on the earth, egregious, pure 
In honour, radiant minded, not than men 
Less cognisant of science, lore mundane. 
Or truth divine ; but simpler, and with more 
Constant essay to attain life's loftier aims ; 
Reached rarely, hardly, even here, with proof 
Trebled of single-hearted faith. Ail-where, 
Nature like selfish as on earth, like check 
In good things, like negation of things ill, 
Like training towards things better needs, as all 
Who would their soul's perfection. 

LuciFEB. All- where ? 

AifGEL OF Eabth. Yes, 

Here, then, as elsewhere, spirit is tempted, tried, 
Fails, too, in men and angels, one in fount, 
In end, one ; purifies its mediate path 
Back to its lifeful source first, last and best 
Of Being ; infinite ; and so, distinct, 
By boundless variance, from all soul create 
Man, mean of all things, bodily, spiritual, shaped 
Diversely ; one substantially in frame. 
In faculties, elsewise, and in mental powers, 
Finite and free essentially ; of good 
111, right and wrong, true, false, expertly wise. 
Responsible ; with Divinity and the world 
One mighty triad. To each separate sphere, 
Its thought, its lore, its proof of God, by law 
Based on the immutable One's perfections ; based 
On rational science, general in all orbs. 
Deductive of one common moral rule ; 



FE8TU8. 83d 

So, franchised by its maker ; through all worlds. 
By angel dominated, or man, free choice 
And just obedience or revolt 'gainst law, 
Pertains as here ; for liberty, divine 
Prerogrative of will, man shares with Heaven ; 
To know this, is to know the world no more 
A mystery, or false maze which baffles mind. 
But progress constant, self-perfective life. 
And this for man's whole race, not only such 
As earth breeds of red-hearted souls, but lives, 
Mid spaces passed all angels' ken, that range 
Life's limits boundless. 

Festus. Gladly I thy words 

Grave on my heart. 

Angel op Eaeth. But now, since retrospect 
More fruitful oft of wisdom proves than act 
Scarce conscious ; and reflection's side-ray cast 
Shows clearlier where we stand than the foot tells ; 
So, by thought, musing o'er the passed, not less 
Than plans for time to come, the soul grows wise. 

Festus. Rest me then here, and if the tale of worlds 
And acts transcending earth's, lead not too far 
From present purjKJses, do thou resume, 
Compassionate spirit, the story of the star 
Whose act revoltant, earlier told, thou saidst 
To thrones and virtues, caused celestial tears, 
Till then to them unknown ; to me mayhap 
By right more 'customed, apt enough. 

Angel op Earth. Not once 

Forgetful of our purpose the sad theme 
Suits me not ill, who look with vesper choirs 
To chant life's dirge. 

LuciPER. I steel me to endure. 

These lachrymatory ducts, perchance, are dry, 
Doubtless adust ; or from excess or lack 
Of ocular lymph ; but hold thou to thy text, 
Not I will interrupt. 

Angel op Earth. Those tears thou hast named, 
Complaisant fiend 1 I not invoke, nor need ; 
My mission not of punishment ; yet well 
The tale to be recounted may thee shake 
With dread, anticipative of doom. And thou. 
As some proud pine uneasily from his crag. 
Scanning the horizon, eyes a long low cloud, 
Premonitory of thunder and the shock 
Of griding lightning through his van ward limb, 
Hadst best prepare for that may come ; and now 
Those tears recorded shed in saddest tone. 
Resumed the Heavenly stranger his discourse. 
* Ne'er to be found,' I said ; but who can find 
A limit to Grod's mercy ? In like estate. 
They never may, nor shall be ; still, for all 



840 FE8TU3. 

Is hope ; the inalienable resource of soul. 

But let the time-glass of their sins run down, 

Whose recollection whelms me still with woe. 

Not many darkening days had passed away, 

Before the mighty mysteries stood revealed ; 

And strangest vanishings one by one of those 

Once loved and honoured most, made sadly clear 

Beneath the shade delicious of a wood, 

In whose Elysian glades those strangers fixed 

At first their dwelling, and therein prepared 

Their secret rites and sacred mysteries, 

Skirting the gold sands of the sapphire sea 

Were those deceived assembled ; so deceived 

The day they weened was longer, brighter, now ; 

And each the other hailed as happier then, 

Than in the ages passed. Forth flashed the song, 

Upwards, like earth-bom lightning, and the dance, 

Of crystalltrie symmetry, skimmed around the shore 

In vortices of light ; the world-queen there 

Now mingling with the mirthful throng ; now sole^ 

Seeking in thought repose. Oh this, they cried, 

Is joy, the bliss of liberty. At once. 

That senseless dream to dissipate, lo 1 there rushed, 

Out of a cave with toppling crags o'erhung, 

A hugeous monster, such as never night 

With murderer's mind engendered, when his heart 

Lay panting underneath the conscience pang 

Like fawn beneath a wolf's jaw. Dragonlike 

In lengthening volumes stretched his further part, 

Incalculably curled, but in the front, 

On one wide neck a hundred heads he reared. 

Which spake with every mouth a hundred tongues. 

Through teeth of serried daggers, black with blood. 

The breath he drew in day, he breathed out night. 

Descending to the sea to drink, though close 

By his cave a cool bright river mn, 'twas thirst 

The monster showed he better loved than aught 

More pure, that thirst could quench. The abhorrent 

Shrank backwards tide by tide ; but he pursued 

Triumphing in its fascinating fear 

Into the very midst ; then gorged, returned 

Soul-sodden to the shore ; where prone he lay 

Before his horrid hold ; with stormy joy. 

Gnashing his steely teeth, and with his tail. 

Now close contorted, and now far out launched, 

Sweeping the shiny slime of the wide sea-sands. 

Awe stricken stood the duped allies, fear-grouped, 

Of the delusive strangers. Ceased, at once. 

The dance's moving labyrinth ; shouts of joy ; 

And whispered gratulation. First to speak 

Was one, the last who lapsed from pure estate, 

Be this the god you serve ? the god ye swar© 



FE8TU8, 841 

We too should this day, see ? Our god, said they. 

And are we bound to adore him, who have passed 

Through your mysterious rites, and on us ta'en 

His worship, by the oath of fire? Ye are bound, 

In tones of hate replied the spirit chief, 

By whom that wise one told of first was lost, 

Tliere standing as the hierophant of hell ; 

Behold ye are before him ; bow the knee. 

Ilim then I bow not to, nor worship, said 

The recusant convert ; but recant, abjure 

Now and for ever. Ne'er would I have dreamed 

To exchange the one true for a hundred false ; 

Death, be my witness. Be his witness, death ; 

All cried aloud ; and knee'd their idol fiend. 

And the vast monster smiled ; on every head 

(Each head a half -face shewed of one same god ; 

A half-face of a century more of such. 

Demoniac ; as thine earth itself once served ; ) 

A hot and lurid smile, like the red light, 

Which hovereth o'er the earth-quake yet unborn, 

Though quickening. Woe I "NVTien all, such answer made, 

Were, with remorse smit, penitent, and aside 

Turned them to go, the hierophant exclaimed, 

Give to the mighty one his victim due ; 

The angel youth then who had just recalled 

His oath accursed, the fell destroyers seized 

And cast before their false, foul god, which cried. 

No more of these ignoble victims ; hence, 

Bring me the royal sisterling, and I ask 

None else ere I depart. These fearful words 

Heard, consternation and lament the minds 

Filled of all present, and most base resolve 

The hearts of some, like molten lead. And now. 

Their cruel purpose when the sister queen 

Saw, to that living idol, fierce and foul. 

She kneeled ; and touched with natural sorrow, him 

Besought the child to spare. Take what, she said. 

Take all thou will'st, but leave alone this one, 

My sweet and sacred sister. She with me 

Once in the happy passed, and innocent, lived, 

A pure perpetual blessing ; from her hand 

Came boundless bounties ; not a word she spake 

But seemed a benediction ; her bright heart 

With lovelight glowed, for ever at the full. 

In days of old, o'er all the orb she ranged, 

And wheresoe'er she ranged, reigned. AU that felt 

The 8i)ell of her resplendent presence, joyed 

In her ecstatic advent, as the waves 

Leap into light to meet the increscent moon. 

But now, because of deeds thou know'st too well, 

Deeds, it were better, may be had not been, 

Immured, she lives the life of charity, 



8^ FESTU8, 

In the still precincts of her holy home, 

With many a pious handmaiden around, 

In starry palace templed, till the hour 

Of once predestined nuptials, as she deems. 

If sorrow have not wrecked her reason, come, 

I, her rebukes of love have of ttimes borne, 

Scornful, and heaped on her indignities. 

Things, peradventure, for repentance meet, 

She hath thrice forgiven ; but spai-e her life, we pray 

And I for all speak thou wouldst count thine own ; 

So good ; to all so aidf ul ; so beloved. 

Thou speakest as the she-fool only can, 

Retorted then the angry terror. Rise. 

The reasons thou dost urge for life are those 

I hate her for, to death. Go ; thou thyself 

Shalt bind her to yon rock, or both I slay. 

Ceased then his tongue its frightful thunder clang. 

Meanwhile those basest few who thought to win 

The tyrant monster's favour, and preserve 

Themselves from fatal end, death-threatened now, 

Sought out the sorrowing maiden, and disguised 

In borrowed robes of cheerful thanksgiving, 

Entered the heavenly sanctuary wherein, 

At the high altar ministering she stood, 

Angelic priestess rapt in rites divine ; 

Presaging sorrows soon to be fulfilled ; 

Predicting woes accomplished while foretold. 

These, in mock worship mingling with the rest 

Yea, even in mine own presence ; for in her. 

Midst all these woes did I sole solace find. 

Her, sudden seized, and bound ; and hurrying off 

To a lone sea-crag, circled by the sea, 

There, for the monster's evening victim, left. 

Then vowed I to deliver her from her foes. 

And for the rescue armed. The lightning steed. 

On air which pastures, the pre-ultimate sign 

Of the divine destruction of all worlds ; 

The sparkles of whose hoofs in falling stars. 

Struck from the adamantine course of space. 

Stream o'er the skies, in swift and solemn joy 

Came trembling at my call. A lance of light, 

A sunbeam tempered in eternal fire, 

I in mine hand assumed, and forth we fared. 

Wide o'er the waters ro^e a wail of woe, 

With a crowd's fierce shout of exultation twined ; 

For, chained to a dark rock, rough and high, the sea 

Was loathly yielding back to land, there stood. 

Arrayed in Paradisal purity 

Alone, that meek and innocent angel maid ; 

The monster wading greedily through the waves, 

Her to devour ; the angels, some aghast; 

Exulting some j her sister as half dead, 



FESTVa. 843 

Fell fainting from her seat ; the only light 

Of falling stars, with blinks of lightning mixed, 

Lamping the red horizon fitfully. 

Midway 'tween rock and sea, we met ; and though 

The creature bellowing would have fled, nor more 

Light's eye with mock divinity defiled ; 

Yet was I there to slay as weU. as save. 

The lance of light I couched ; and straight my steed 

Who knew, instinctive, all his dread devoir ; 

Drove on, like an inevitable storm, 

Through the whole monstrous mass, till in the heart, 

Quivering it stood, triumphant. Down then dropped 

The soulless corpse. The beauteous captive's bonds 

I, instant, burst ; and wrapped her sacred limbs 

In the like robes I wore, of golden web 

And azure wove ; for forth I sped at first. 

Of conquest confident, mine armour dight 

With trophies rich, beseeming such event. 

And on the rock where long she swooning lay, 

Though conscious she was saved from direst death, 

I placed her, perfect in pure loveliness, 

And in that garb of glory. Then there came 

A voice, as of a star-cloud in the sky, 

Approving all I had done, and blessing. Formed 

I saw, too, 'neath the cloud a rainbow bright. 

From whose arch, falling as in circular gust. 

And minishing spires, this wing&d thing of light, 

Sign augural of divine and holy peace, 

God-missioned, hovered round me for a time, 

Then nestled in my bosom, as ye see. 

But not 80 from the orb, where still remained 

Those recreant spirits who with loud lament 

Wept their extinguished god ; him to revive 

Striving with all their strength. In vain they strove. 

Now, lest the venomous vapours of his corpse 

Might the whole sphere impost, it was decreed. 

By crown alike and lieges, all alarmed, 

To offer to the soul of the dead beast. 

His body as a solemn holocaust, 

Each of the other worthiest. This achieved, 

With a vast mass of pompous rites, the Queen, 

In sordid weeds of false humility, 

And all her proudest subjects, head declined, 

In mournful train, upon a mighty mound 

Upreared by the seaside, the heapy corse 

Of the terrific slain laid out ; and balked 

In their last complot, lo I another seized 

Their souls, instinct with hate more murderous still ; 

Mine own destruction. Me, where I remained 

Protecting her I honoured, they approached, 

Beseeching I would witness the last rites 

And public incremation of the dead, 



846 FE8TU8, 

All that he gladdeneth over, as his own ; 

Nor aught made more than he can deal with ; turn 

Towards its own profit, and his joy ; though oft, 

In travail of its proper end, made mind 

Dole measureless endures, constrained to learn 

The rule, that in made mind, the divine is born 

Of bitterness ; and where sacrifice is not, 

Is never fire ; the fire which sanctifies. 

One thought now lightened in my mind ; one hope 

My spirit possessed ; one vast desire my soul. 

I claimed to suffer for her, in her stead, 

So she might be absolved. But Heaven refused 

The substitute injustice. Think, said God, 

Have I not said for ages, every soul 

Should its own burden bear, and every son 

Of man, his own feet from the snare release 

He had himself entangled in ? Think not. 

One soul, however high can other free 

From sin or sin's due doom. Just Heaven forbids 

All misconceived presentment of the good 

For ill, and innocence for guilt ; nor needs ; 

He who is more, and higher, than all laws 

He hath made, as merciful as just, can aught 

He will, of leviable fine, remit. 

The death-mulct, therefore of offencef ul soul, 

On its own penitence forgiven ; and each 

Its arbitrary act must bide. No more 

Misconstrue equity divine, but bid 

The penitent sinner trust in God, and live. 

But still no sign of soul repentant showed ; 

And judgment took her unobstructed way. 

More solid grew the darkness, night by night ; 

The sacred groves were fired, and every tree. 

Charred into naked blackness ; day by day. 

City and temple, hallowed once, were razed, 

And their foundations rooted up, to find 

Some light to see to live by, or invent 

Haply ; in vain. The soil they stood on, self 

Consumed, gave grisly ashes at the last, 

Only ; un juiced, unvital. Day and night, 

Kang with the cries of myriad woes, the skies, 

Till the stars shuddered ; and the orb I watched 

The awakening of the Angel Maid in, shook. 

Close by her feet, insculptured, on the couch 

Her light form, lightlier than a folded flower 

Impressed, a child cherubic showed, which held 

An hour-glass in his hand. Ten times it turned, 

Upwards and downwards ; at the twelfth it fell ; 

And falling, broke ; and as it fell, she rose ; 

Rose, like a lily bending o'er its stem, 

Gently until she stood. And, hark, she cried, 

Beloved, hear'st thou not that wail of woe ? 



FUSTUS. 347 

I know it, whence it comes. Oh let ns henoe 

Hasten, and Heaven beseech to save ; to save. 

Then stirred the dove divine imbosomed here. 

And I obeyed its impulse, as of God, 

From whom it came ; and calling to my side 

A cloudlet like a silver swan that sailed 

The deeps of air, we clasped its snowy down, 

And swiftly winged our way ; till, di*awing near 

Again, that dark apostate orb, our tears, 

But most my loved one's, fell like raindrops down. 

Thus moved, I said, unto the air, be fire ; 

And to the waters, be ye flames ; (but flames 

Celestial, purifying ; not gross like those 

I have told of, all destroying, which far off 

Showed, on the horizon, the unbroken ring 

Of round beleaguering fire, that, swift as thought 

The angelic nations all in one doomed flock 

Relentless, closed), I said, and straight, in sooth 

It was so ; for it seemed but meet to purge 

The sanctuary in this wise, so defiled. 

From side to side, from end to end, it burned ; 

From pole to pole it blazed, from sea to sea ; 

All cleansing it consumed ; till in the heart 

Of that bright city, central to the sphere, 

Now shining ruins only, o'er the height 

Of one immovable mountain monument, 

(Forked like a double pyramid which sole 

Survived the splendid wreck) we stood on ; lo 1 

Struck suddenly as from vertical space, what seemed 

To fear's rash eye once more Heaven's fiery glaive 

All 'stonying, burned ; some dreading it, if waved 

By the same hand as first, would cleave in twain 

Their self accursed sphere, and hurl its dust, 

With them, for ever into the deathly void. 

Near and more near on waves of light it rode 

Swiftly triumphant, and with blinding beam ; 

Till o'er the orb's full centre, all its fires 

Conflagrant, mutually pernicious, quelled, 

As in presence of a mightier power, at last, 

By slow descent alighting, still it stood ; 

Stood upright ; not, as deemed, a flaming brand, 

But sceptral olive staff ; the original rod 

Our pilgrim angel's copied ; this with light 

Liquid and lif ef ul sapped ; distilling peace 

On such as, Heaven's true seed, light love ; there standfl ; 

Symbol of peace and power supreme ; which all 

Who seek God's sceptral righteousness, Heaven's scale 

And measure of immortal bliss, may touch. 

And touching live. Who toucheth magnetwise 

That luminous pale, no longer gropes in dark 

Of his own Being, but all things sees through ; 

And in, and to himself authentic light. 



846 FE8TU8. 

All that he gladdeneth over, as his own ; 

Nor aught made more than he can deal with ; turn 

Towards its own profit, and his joy ; though oft, 

In travail of its proper end, made mind 

Dole measureless endures, constrained to learn 

The rule, that in made mind, the divine is born 

Of bitterness ; and where sacrifice is not, 

Is never fire ; the fire which sanctifies. 

One thought now lightened in my mind ; one hopo 

My spirit possessed ; one vast desire my soul. 

I claimed to suffer for her, in her stead, 

So she might be absolved. But Heaven refused 

The substitute injustice. Think, said God, 

Have I not said for ages, every soul 

Should its own burden bear, and every son 

Of man, his own feet from the snare release 

He had himself entangled in ? Think not. 

One soul, however high can other free 

From sin or sin's due doom. Just Heaven forbids 

All misconceived presentment of the good 

For ill, and innocence for guilt ; nor needs ; 

He who is more, and higher, than all laws 

He hath made, as merciful as just, can aught 

He will, of leviable fine, remit, 

The death-mulct, therefore of offencef ul soul, 

On its own penitence forgiven ; and each 

Its arbitrary act must bide. No more 

Misconstrue equity divine, but bid 

The penitent sinner trust in God, and live. 

But still no sign of soul repentant showed ; 

And judgment took her unobstructed way. 

More solid grew the darkness, night by night ; 

The sacred groves were fired, and every tree. 

Charred into naked blackness ; day by day. 

City and temple, hallowed once, were razed, 

And their foundations rooted up, to find 

Some light to see to live by, or invent 

Haply ; in vain. The soil they stood on, self 

Consumed, gave grisly ashes at the last, 

Only ; un juiced, unvital. Day and night. 

Rang with the cries of myriad woes, the skies, 

Till the stars shuddered ; and the orb I watched 

The awakening of the J\ngel Maid in, shook. 

Close by her feet, insculptured, on the couch 

Her light form, lightlier than a folded flower 

Impressed, a child cherubic showed, which held 

An hour-glass in his hand. Ten times it turned. 

Upwards and downwards ; at the twelfth it fell ; 

And falling, broke ; and as it fell, she rose ; 

Rose, like a lily bending o'er its stem. 

Gently until she stood. And, hark, she cried, 

Beloved, hear'st thou not that wail of woe ? 



FESTUS. 347 

I know it, whence it comes. Oh let ub henoe 

Hasten, and Heaven beseech to save ; to save. 

Then stirred the dove divine imbosomed here. 

And I obeyed its impnlse, as of God, 

From whom it came ; and calling to my side 

A cloudlet like a silver swan that sailed 

The deeps of air, we clasped its snowy down, 

And swiftly winged our way ; till, di-awing near 

Again, that dark apostate orb, our tears, 

But most my loved one's, fell like raindrops down. 

Thus moved, I said, unto the air, be fire ; 

And to the waters, be ye flames ; (but flames 

Celestial, purifying ; not gross like those 

I have told of, all destroying, which far off 

Showed, on the horizon, the unbroken ring 

Of round beleaguering fire, that, swift as thought 

The angelic nations all in one doomed flock 

Relentless, closed), I said, and straight, in sooth 

It was so ; for it seemed but meet to purge 

The sanctuary in this wise, so defiled. 

From side to side, from end to end, it burned ; 

From pole to pole it blazed, from sea to sea ; 

All cleansing it consumed ; till in the heart 

Of that bright city, central to the sphere, 

Now shining ruins only, o'er the height 

Of one immovable mountain monument, 

(Forked like a double pyramid which sole 

Survived the splendid wreck) we stood on ; lo 1 

Struck suddenly as from vertical space, what seemed 

To fear's rash eye once more Heaven's fiery glaive 

All 'stonying, burned ; some dreading it, if waved 

By the same hand as first, would cleave in twain 

Their self accursed sphere, and hurl its dust, 

With them, for ever into the deathly void. 

Near and more near on waves of light it rode 

Swiftly triumphant, and with blinding beam ; 

Till o'er the orb's full centre, all its fires 

Conflagrant, mutually pernicious, quelled, 

As in presence of a mightier power, at last, 

By slow descent alighting, still it stood ; 

Stood upright ; not, as deemed, a flaming brand, 

But sceptral olive staff ; the original rod 

Our pilgrim angel's copied ; this with light 

Liquid and lifeful sapped ; distilling peace 

On such as. Heaven's true seed, light love ; there standa ; 

Symbol of peace and power supreme ; which all 

Who seek God's sceptral righteousness, Heaven's scale 

And measure of immortal bliss, may touch, 

And touching live. Who toucheth magnetwise 

That luminous pale, no longer gropes in dark 

Of his own Being, but all things sees through ; 

And in, and to himself authentic light, 



348 FESTU8, 

To all gives light. Alas for creature will ! 
If here some seek, more there the truth eschew. 
Darkness and light still stand at war, as good 
And ill, which lose and win in turn, while stars, 
Vivific globelets roll them through the veins 
Galactic of the heavens ; so long as lasts 
Creation ; nor our prescient Lord the weight 
Casts in life's scale of his all-conquering word, 
And good, for good, prevails. But now, I said. 
Go thou poor selfless soul ; this golden key- 
True, triple, take which life, death, life divine. 
Eternal emblems ; master-key of all 
Time's mysteries in all worlds ; which nought may let ; 
Which Heaven's own gates unlocks of solid light, 
The portals of the palace of that Sun 
No eye create shall else behold ; which, said, 
I from my breast the sacred symbol drew, 
And in her pure palm placed. This, said I, take 
And ope the prison our exile moans in, nigh 
To death. Restore to life's sweet light, strike off 
The manacles from her hands, and from her feet 
Loosen the insultant fetters. In her wounds 
Pour thou the oil of peace, and wash with streams 
Of living waters. Clothe her with thyself 
As thou art clothed. O cheer her heart with hope 
And inspiration of thy faith, and say 
I sent thee to redeem her. Tell her, still 
My love hath never altered ; not in grief. 
In passion not, not in disgrace, nor guilt ; 
Howe'er inconstant her heart, or opposed. 
Her love I with an everlasting love ; 
The One am I unchanging ; what beside 
Thou wilt ; for thou canst only utter truth. 
Go ; and may He who over-orders all 
Speed thee upon thy quest. She, wordless, went, 
But looked her thanks ; which seemed to promise full 
Discharge of precept ; on a wished-f or wind 
Wafting herself away. I, who, while aU 
This dark defection reigned in Angel world, 
Had warned in vain 'gainst error, seeing now, 
Heaven's own eternal standard planted there, 
Perpetual in its mild appeal to all. 
Even souls sin smirched, for life and choice renewed, 
Predestinately triumphant ; and once more. 
By this dear monitor, this God-gift, moved 
That sphere to quit ; first in myself resolved 
Time's mighty stream to pass, which bounds the realms 
Of sense and soul, and either separates 
From Heaven's eternal spirit land, that I 
Might to the sire of all present for all 
My heart's entreaties ; and the prayerful love 
Of that bright maid, for her sister, penitent now, 



FE8TU8. B40 



The Eternnrs f^^rcat forgiveness mifxht receive 

And sin o'erlapping pardon. On this high 

And arduousost emprise, behold me bound ; 

Yet ere I left my cloudlet car, whence late 

I marked that world-wreck, once again I gazed 

Thitherward, and beheld before the gates 

Of a half -buried palace, black as death. 

Its marble portals, locked in blessed embrace, 

The well-belovM twain. A voice then spake, 

The voice of one joy-hearted, soft and clear 

As bells at early morn, on that blessed day 

Named in the breast-laws of each starry orb, 

Wherein eternity entwines with time 

Its golden strands, and weds the world to Heaven ; 

Arise, stand forth, beloved sister, rise ; 

How blessed am I to serve thee, to release. 

The faintest sigh of penitence faith's fine ear 

Hears through a dungeon's walls ; and this we heard j 

Heaven heard it, and rejoiced. And longer, now, 

Nor doubt, nor wait. Behold thy handmaid, me. 

Gifts bring I for thee ; gifts of countless cost ; 

Of priceless worth. Thy lover Lord commands 

Array thee for the bridals. Lo, the new 

And shining robes by heavenly fingers wrought 

Fit for her form divine whose happy love 

Is hallowed in the eternal rites of Heaven. 

So shall we dwell together here in bliss. 

Till he shall come who ever comes to all 

His promise sanctifies. Use well the hour 

Which yet remains, in all obedience clear ; 

And deck thyself in weeds of righteousness, 

With jewels of good deeds adorned, and clad 

In radiant raiment redolent of praise. 

For infinite is every gift of His 

Divine bestowing ; and Salvation's cup, 

As Nature's, He to overflowing fills. 

With joy I heard, I saw. Nor longer then 

Awaited, but where most the starlands crowd 

The potent North, my way sped, space on space 

Leaving in turn behind ; passing unharmed 

Upon the verge of Being, where the path 

Narrows to almost nothing ; the monsters foul, 

Grave-dust, and death-night, things ye know not of, 

Yet fatal beasts to all who, me before, 

That way had urged. But God hath favoured me. 

And nigh thereto, the Golgotha of worlds. 

Time's chamel house, where, skuJl-like, giant orbs 

Extinct of life, with rotting, sickly light 

Defiled the purview, and advance delayed ; 

Yet shrinking nought, though shuddering, passed I on, 

Through all uncleanness clean, all foulness, pure. 

Fasting, athirst and faint with travail, still 



850 FE8TU8, 

My purposed way I have held, till, bright afar, 

The kindly radiance of this angel world 

Beaconed me hither, and I came. Ye now. 

Thanks for your welcome, holy and hospitable, 

Behold me journeying to the City of God, 

There to prefer my prayers, and plead for those 

Whom still I love, though drawn aside to trust 

The natural strength allotted them, and not, 

With first and just reliance, as befits 

All soul created, God ; who thus to all 

By failure even of angels, when He wills, 

The perfect path points out ; and to all spirit, 

Sin's sequence, and the mean to escape from sin, 

Asserting, shows His righteousness and grace. 

Let whoso feels in holy will inspired 

Me to accompany, speak, to that bright throne 

Where God our Father in all glory sits, 

The world in holy audience at His feet ; 

And there, with me, while giving praise for all 

His word hath made and saved, for those not yet 

Redeemed, pray ceaselessly. Uprist, as 'twere 

A living constellation, suddenly, 

Seven of those angels, I one, pressed around, 

By impulse each, and like instinctive, urged, 

Eager for friendly escort ; when the chief 

Cherub who welcomed first that pilgrim bright, 

Thus said ; Another holy day, made blessed 

By our dear guest ; how different he from those 

Deceptive friends he tells of ; hath now slid 

Into the passive, strength recruiting, night ; 

Rest also ye. Such is mine own intent. 

Replied the eloquent guest ; and less for that 

These life-tried limbs have gone through, than their sakea, 

Who know not half the flight they meditate. 

Then, worship before rest ; the changeless wont 

Of all, ere act, refreshment, or repose. 

Last, on their happy couches, odorous all 

Of flowery incense, lay the angels down. 

Shading their faces with the plumy gold 

Of their space -searching pinions ; sacred sleep 

Stealing the starry wonders of their eyes, 

And with divinest visions hallowing all. 

Morn, like a maiden o'er her pearls, a gift 

Unhoped, mysteriously conveyed by night. 

Glanced o'er the manna dew, as though the ground 

Were sown with starseed ; and the angels rose, 

Each from his hallowed couch, and, duly made. 

The soul's oblation Godwards, took their leave. 

For a brief space, of their beloved compeers ; 

With many an ardent longing for the way. 

As yet untried, 'neath such sweet leadership. 

Exchanged, at length, the last embrace, last look. 



FESTU8. 851 

High npward, the bright bevy, like to light 

Out of the crownM North, shot ; on and on, 

Through firmamental fields of farthest space, 

Till, at the brink of a broad river arrived, 

Swift as a cataract, but unbroken, still. 

And level as is the mean line of the sea. 

Which seemingly pervaded heaven, they halt. 

Thick with chaotic matter and unformed. 

Like the volcanic blood unseen which bounds, 

In veins of lightning, through earth's cavernous heart ; 

With ruined orbs, like broken ice lumps, rolled 

Melting and crumbling, from the ocean deeps 

Of passed eternity, dense, it rashed, to meet 

The infinite to come ; and while its depths 

Were darkness self, yet every surface wave 

Which curled out of the mass, seemed light alive, 

Though but an instant. On an eminent height, 

\Miich overpeered the stream, the angels sate. 

Then said our Angel leader to the rest, 

*' What see ye past the river ? " And they said, 

*' We nothing see beyond. Athwart this stream. 

If stream it be, and not a shoreless main. 

Is more than we can ken." " But I," returned 

The questioner, " see beyond, the clear bright land 

Of heavenly immortality ; mine own 

By birthright, earned, and given ; and thither, we, 

Descending to the shore," he stooped, and dipped 

Into the stream his hand ; which filling full, 

He tasted, and thus spake : " Ye waters, once 

Of death, but now of life percipient, take 

Back the libation I of ye have made. 

And be ye changed for ever." Uttering this, 

He cast the dark remainder in the flood, 

Which was, of being, but that instant changed 

Into the tide of conscious life, with light 

Celestial, flashing to its soundless deeps. 

Grasping the branch then of an olive tree. 

Which bowered with verdant gold the peaceful shore, 

He therewith sprinkled, one by one, the band 

Who him accompanied ; with these pure rites 

Making them free, initiate into heaven, 

And death the lesser mysteries of life. 

Joy, self -evolving now each heart lit up 

With solemn marvel at these gladsome deeds ; 

And round him all stood linked in one embrace. 

** Behold," he said ; " for fit it is that now 

We keep our course ;" and just below, there lay. 

Moored but a little distance from the side, 

A crescent boat, translucent as a star, 

We all embarked in, paled with godly dread ; 

/"or one, I said, 'mong that self -chosen seven, 

Who had, in duteous care, succeeded once. 



S52 FESTUS. 

Long since the primal hoptarchs expianti now 

Of their false claims to Divinity, sin superb, 

Was I ; my fellow angels, of all g-rades ; 

One only in their holy fear of God. 

If lightning- were the gross corporeal frame 

Of some seraphic essence, whose bright thoughts 

As far surpassed, in keen rapidity, 

The lagging action of his limbs, as mind 

Man's clay ; so, too, with like excess in speed, 

O'er animated thought of lightning, flew 

That moon horned vessel o'er life's upmost deeps. 

Passed memory's golden isles, where things are not, 

And only names exist, cloud counterparts. 

Around whose reefs the bright seductive sea 

Smiles wreckf ul, and sincerest smoothness feigns. 

We went, we knew not how. It was as though 

Finite with infinite mingling, rapture wrought 

Of o'er abundant reason. At the last 

Heaven's azure shores we made, and leaped on land. 

Scarce had we touched that land all life, when lo I 

From every footfall, like soft waves of light, 

A murmurous music sprang, as if its own 

Its bosom welcomed, with serenest joy 

Eejoicing inwardly. The sacred soil, 

To these premundane harmonies vibrating. 

The same which faith hears in the still of time. 

Our chief saluted ; kneeling, likewise we. 

Then he, embracing all, each soul in turn. 

Said, build we now a column here of light, 

That all upon the further side may know 

We have in safety crossed the flood, and see 

What perils, 'mid stream, to avoid. Himself 

Placed the foundation stone ; and one by one, 

Masses of dazzling adamant, which starred 

The shining shore, like flowers that fringe the banks 

Of woodland brook, we piled up altar- wise. 

At his command. On every ewne was graved. 

In gleamy dark, some name of God ; each name, 

A separate title symbolizing truth. 

A sheaf of lightnings on the head he placed, 

Which with the skies intense communion held, 

And burned in correspondence : all thus crowned 

With heartiest love, soul beaconing, warning soul. 

Our journey called us on : and pleased we trode 

That land of solid concord ; yet not long 

The lower line of progress kept. Aloft 

Once more we stretched the light related wing. 

High in the face of Heaven's eternal towers. 

Immeasurably, as seemed at first, remote ; 

And of sight-quelling brilliance, more almost 

Than enough to quench our lesser beam. But this. 

As we approached them, strengthened and enlarged. 



FESTUS. 

lu heart and effluence. WMlst we happy seven 

"Were marvelling at such change, enrapt in thought, 

Lost in the labyrinth of a boundless love, 

Self -humbled by the glory upon us poured, 

Heaven was, we felt, close to us ; and wo had reached 

The baeement of that shining city's walls. 

Celestial, which enclosed the essential world, 

Or might, expansible ; and standing by 

Prayer's glowing gate, about to enter, missed 

Our stranger friend, our angel leader. Lost 

In holy wonder, greater now, each turned 

To other, yet none spake. But straight on high, 

A voice spake for us, saying. Enter ye ; 

For I am he who led ye hither ; still 

Lead ye ; your guest ; your guide. Then rushed on all. 

Like eagre swallowing up its streamy way, 

The whole mysterious truth. And we obeyed 

The word magnetic ; the divine constraint. 

We entered. All was silent. One sole voice 

The extatic stillness brake, at last ; and toned 

With Heaven's serene eternity, streamed up 

Towards the Ineffable One ; nor harp, nor hymn 

Ear caught, nor breath beside ; nor thought, nor hope 

Of aU creation, but therein was bound. 

Father, he said, in union with all souls 

Thou hast into being breathed, for all I pray ; 

I, son of thine humanity, through the worlds 

Kow, wandering ; now, if proximate to thy throne, 

Never to thee ; to thee nought made is near, 

Nor can be ; thou thyself being nigh to all. 

For us thy creatures thus imperfect, yet 

So perfect made, that tempted by the sense 

Of their own excellence, trusting in themselves, 

More than in thee, presumptuously, and apt 

Therefore to fall ; for those now fallen we pray, 

Thy mercy, Lord 1 Let not the imperfect, tried 

By thy perfection ; nor the fallible, weighed 

Against omniscience, prove such failure fixed 

For creatures' total ruin ; nor just pain, 

For ever operative, wear out at last 

Power limited of endu^nce ; for the strength 

Of all create, would rend beneath the strain 

Like a bow o'erstrung, contending. Lord I 'gainst thee. 

Puither let all corrected, chastened, fined 

By thy just law, their reason self -convict 

Constraining them, recoveringly partake 

Truth's sacred light ; that so the soul relumed 

And strengthened 'gainst the darkness self -invoked. 

Of spirits or false, or faultily unforeseeing, 

Which shrouds their world, its lover Lord may seek ; 

That Heaven's pure light the darkness of that world 

May clarify ; that soul, by thy pure spirit 



354 FESTUa, 

Impregned, bring* forth divine f elicitousness ; 

And, passed death's bitter flood, the just may see 

Life's pure regeneration come, in fine, 

To all soul, saved and sanctified to thee. 

He ceased ; and issuant from the eternal throne, 

Came, like a cloud of light, the bright response. 

The Godhead in expression ; love through law 

Uttering, more broad than light, thus published ; son ! 

Be ever answered, soon as made, thy prayers. 

Out of that love which stablished first the stars, 

And with pure Nature's holy Spirit conjoined, 

Brought forth divine humanity, through all spheres. 

Free as a God to choose in error's spite. 

In sin's, in ill's, in imperfection's, lo I 

I make the world mine own, and take again, 

For its own sake rehallowed, and in me 

Redeemed, all spirit life ; this to my will, 

Free, fateful, due, from first ; redemption, not 

Than all creation less embodying, love. 

Shall see no bound, and so be satisfied 

With everlasting ingrowth. Finite mind 

Can err no more than boundedness involves, 

And the Infinite concedes. World after world, 

The illuminated missal of the skies. 

Which leaf by leaf thou tum'st, shall close ; the spheres 

Of shining sadness, man ubiquitous owns 

Thou once, and that but late thou pray'dst for, erst 

Apostate, now to bliss restored and grace. 

Shall, as thou wouldst, retrack the paths of life. 

And as in this orb, now, grace divine hath blessed, 

They who love God, see truly ; so, removed 

For a space, the angels reprobate which sought 

To wreck the innocence of all ; even now 

Conscious of wrong, and so redeemable 

By self -exactive discipline of years, 

Full many, and remorseful, yet to be. 

Shall see in the end how reason, of process pure 

And irresistible, shows their former act 

Both sin, and sin to be abjured and mourned. 

Which done, and mercy, chief of acts divine 

In their conception, manifested to them, 

Behold the world I gave thee, sinless first, 

Then recreant, last, to bliss restored and grace. 

Made happier and more amiable than first, 

The earnest of the harvest of the skies, 

Behold it at thy feet. The creature lures, 

Snares, both, of mystery and idolatry, 

Shall yet, transformed, rejoice before all life, 

As simple worship, perfect truth, pure faith. 

Law is the first of tilings, and form is law. 

As light create is night destroyed, so changed 

Shall every sensible organ be to force 



FE8TU8, 86S 

Fpiritnal and form ; all power to faculty 

Divine ; each fault a pure perfection made. 

God said ; responsive silence caught the words. 

And hid them in her breast, as night the stars. 

Glowing and sparkling in the life-rayed sun 

Of the celestial firmament, glided up 

On pinions wide of playful lightnings poised 

That sphere Elysian ; by the angels eyed 

(As stars in nightly council watch the earth,) 

^Vho gladdening saw, three paces from the light, 

Midst of that pure and renovared orb 

Covering with evening cope a wearied head, 

Beside the gardened bank of a bright stream, 

A fair and lofty lady, clad in robes 

Of sea-green hue, girdled with golden zone 

All variously begemmed ; and round her brow, 

Encrowned with peaks of quivering light, a veil 

Of heavenly azure : In this hand a tower. 

In that, a tree. Sate at her feet a maid. 

Pale perfect and serene. 'Tween both there passed, 

With many a reassurant word of love, 

A mutual smile of sympathy and trust. 

As though their lot were linked ; yet knew they scaroe 

How, nor the invisible witness of the Heavens. 

These, while each viewed intently, as though felt 

Close by, the waft of angel's wing, at last 

The younger whispering spake ; Sweet sister mine. 

Sleep thou, and me let wait his coming sole. 

Me he expects to watch ; but would not thou. 

Thereon, reluctant but persuasible still, 

That elder Excellence, laid her down, below 

A rock, in woods, and scented blooms embowered, 

The river flowed by ; watch ; her latest word ; 

Watch, an' thou wilt , in sooth, he will not come. 

Or not to me, who wrought him so much bale. 

And eve set in : still watched the maiden meek. 

And at midnight she prayed. Be thine, O God, 

The spirit which commands and smiles ; which bids 

And blesses ; promises and fulfils ; be ours 

The soul which serves and suffers ; thine the stars 

Tabled upon thy bosom like the stones 

Oracular of light, on the priest's breast ; 

Thine the minutest mote the moonbeams show. 

Come true thy veriest word, and all are blessed. 

Be but thine infinite intents fulfilled. 

And what shall foil the covenanted oath 

The spiritual earth is based on, and behold 1 

The whole at last redeemed and glorified. 

Bid thou thine Angel, Lord I of all thy Song 

Observant most, to whom this orb was given 

To guard and guide, and all its indwellers 

Obediently to thee ; but once sin-lapsed, 

N 3 



856 FE8TU8, 

Now part restx)red, to ua descending, bring 

The comfort of thy pardon, and pure bliss. 

Thus praying. Heaven siill looking on, (and know 

When Deity would reveal Himself in soul 

Or mission, He an effluence f ulmines forth, 

A flash of His self-luminous plenitude ; 

Into an angel form, instinct with life 

Immortal as His Thought, and so assumes 

An essence apprehensible,) came down, 

His robe of light, sun-brooched made round them day ; 

Our angel guide, great Beniel, whom myself, 

And all my bright companions cognizant now 

Of his beneficent history and his world's, 

Alike eventful, knew well ; and he stood. 

Shone on his breast sublime a meteor sun, 

The sisterly twain between : The elder rose, 

Full pale ; leapt up the younger, blithe at heart : 

Whom, by the hand, the angel softly took ; 

And said, O thou, who watchedst, and hadst faith. 

What shall be thy reward ? If I, she said, 

Have done well, 'twas from reverence of our God, 

And love of His divine love ; this thy bride, 

Predestined from the first to thy bright breast, 

Being infinitely more worthy of thy love. 

Than I, his handmaid, to proclaim the names 

Only of countless virtuous attributes 

Which own him Lord for ever. What though sin 

Serpent-like f anged her, and she fell, I knew 

Thou, God 1 couldst touching heal her ; and thy power 

To do good, equalled by thy will, whose love's 

World wide. Were aught to me of guerdon due, 

It were, to serve, love her, and dwell with both. 

Be then to her the vow first promised, now 

Performed ; and troth-plight in espousals end. 

With penitent gratitude then the royal bride 

Who had once so tormented the younger, then, 

In all her queenly beauty cast her down, 

And clasped her handmaid's knees, her sister's knees, 

And wept amain. But her the Angel raised, 

And with bland smiles saluting each, both blessed. 

Come ye with me, he said, beloved, come ; 

Be one my sister and be one my bride, 

Each as the other dear, each like divine. 

The handmaid's faith hath saved the mistress' throne. 

The world's wide doomring ours, shall neither this 

XJsurpful of sway premature ; nor this 

With less than all content, lack claim to use 

Equal and just regality ; one with mine, 

Of God predestinate ; and or there, or here, 

Our spuits' home be Heaven ; and Heaven is where 

We best can serve the All-father and our kind. 

Then one by either hand he led them up, 



FE8TU8, 857 

This with the holy presence and august, 

Most like the mother goddess, city crowned, 

Now tiar'd as with the towers of Paradise ; 

That, with the lucid crescent on her brow, 

To the high seats of old prepared for both 

Beneath God's footstool, which all things create 

And temporal, subdivides from His, eteme ; 

And all the Angels and the Spirits blessed, 

Who, wise and pure, temptation had withstood, 

Yet wiser, humbler now, for victory won. 

Awaiting hopeful their return who erred. 

And theirs who had taught to err, serenely dwelled 

Around the sisterly twain in Angel world, 

Concentric with the Spiritual Sun, which rules 

Those skies supernal ; and the orb whose face 

To its original brightness now relumed. 

Shone gloriously. And Wisdom, like of old, 

From one to other, as a holy thought 

Pervades a gladsome circle, praising God 

Profoundly filled and happily every soul. 

Smiled the aU-gracious God ; and Heaven then saw 

Reflected in the universal face 

Divine humanity lifts, all sphered, and bom 

As of eye, eye-glance, the undeemed similitude 

It bears the unlikenable ; as sky and sea. 

This bosoming but an imaged infinite, 

Unimageable, embraces all finite. 

The Eternal all sire smiled ; and from his throne 

Stretched out the hand of blessing o'er the world ; 

And blessed it was, for ever, blesse 1 it is. 

Festus. God's justice done, the faultful Angels lost 
Deceivers and deceived were ; speak 1 

Angel op Ra.rth. Condemned. 

Doubtless to punishment and fine condign. 
Thenceforth to mourn their sin and expiate best 
They may, their foul idolatrousness of soul, 
And mysteries of o'er many godded faith, 
By sad self cure, stem penitence and return 
To truth (by them long honoured, spiritual truth 
Celestial known) though f alseliest derelict ; 
We know, as Grod is just ; but what their end. 
He sole who made them pure, with mental force 
Enough to have quelled all reason's paltry foes ; 
Knows, and deliberates ; but who pitying all. 
All to punition just ; perdition not 
Endless, assigned ; with hope of ultimate grace, 
By proof of penitent self lustration, sense 
Of culpable pride, and wrong of violate law. 
Lightened ; which sole, hell's adamantine chain 
Solves ; and time's irons acetouswise eats through ; 
Nor less knows he, and more, what each deserves, 
Who started first their fall ; nor boldly showed 



859 fESTUB. 

His hand of guile as once, but skilled adept 

In ruinous art, taught basely to prefer 

To the highest, their nature's meanest principles ; 

Their love of ease, power, luxury. Spirit of 111 1 

Why lo ! the Evil one hath evanished. Much 

I marked him writhing with remorse and shame 

As to me seemed, the while that woe I limned, 

Complex and ever deepening, sin had burned 

Into our orb's breast ; and that but to evade 

Looked half impossible, memory keenly traced 

What oft I have viewed, when facing north, nor far 

From where the sun's broad scales gan night to o'erbow 

With half the day's weight due ; and cottier lude 

Of ruder glen, upon the steep hill side, 

Huge heap of weed and haulm of summer, raked 

From lands discropped now, fires ; the pale blue fume 

Soars bulkily ; and in wreathed volume asks, 

From every jutting turn of the glen, escape, 

Ere miserably dispersed in air ; so sought, 

With each fresli incident of the varied tale, 

Plainly but vainly, too, our Spirit of 111, 

Retreat with forces whole. 

Festus. Nor only such. 

So far as no disturbing speech, his word 
He hath saved to thee, intact ; but less perchance 
The exposure pained him of defeated scheme. 
Than the tmtroublous end of one who had erred, 
And been forgiven, his pride disgusted. 

Angel op Earth. Know 

Hope for one world, one soul, is hope for all, 
Crown thou thy heart with that imperial truth. 
And now away, Him track we by the bounds 
Of furthest space. 

Festus. Be with mc to the end. 



FESTUa. 859 



XXII. 

Material masses these, which, to the soul 
Of reason assured that all things made, finite, 
Imperfect, and distinguishable from God, 
Contained in Him, not he in them, good end, 
As bound serve, and commensurable of thought, 
Whir.h Him, the sole inmieasurable, dcmark 
From that he hath made, and spiritual contrast 
'Gainst aught material though it overpeer 
The edge of night and nothingness. Nor yet 
Inevitably, in prayers of prostrate crowds. 
Vows of embattled nations, on their knees 
Each thirsting for the other's blood, on plea 
Of coveted territory, or boundary, scored 
On mountain tops or river-beds, such gusts 
Thick, selfish, sottish, pierce the heavenly air 
Like one pure soul's intaminate breath, to God. 
"With whom rests all decree for world or soul 
For angel or for nation. 

T?ie World's OvterTiiost Orl. 
Festus, Angel of Eaeth, Lucifeb. 

Angel of Eaeth. Here, upon the ntter verge of infinite space, 
Lo, Koemiel, Heaven's great centinel, whose eye 
Subservient, scans creation ; and for aid 
To soul finite, memorially preserves 
The records of existence ; all the growth 
Maturity and age of systems ; ends, 
Sudden or gradual, of air's errant orbs, 
The advance of mind, and gain of absolute gooi, 
O'er sin and ignorance, in the eternal sphere. 
Great, and in duty great, o'er all preferred, 
All serves he strictly, strictliest serving God ; 
He, longing most to mark the end of Time, 
Who now, as the abdicating Sun lays down 
His sceptre golden shafted, and resigns. 
At eve, to ocean's mutinous rout of waves, 
All kingsliip, rounds him towards his western gates, 
The gates of exile, never to return ; 
He sees us ; and our volatile rest, not mean 
To him, nor meaningless, be sure, wiU note. 
But speak to hirn no word. 

Festus. His look restrains. 

Angel of Eaeth. God's speechless intermediary, twixt Him 
And his intelligent universe ; angel he 
Of silence, who the unworded prayer collects, 
"Which rises, hour by hour, through the broad whole, 
From angel, man, sphere, soul, and suffering life 
Ail-where ; intelligent, but to higher, oft 



360 FESTU8. 

Eeckless, or arrogant, subject ; and presents 
Before the throne ; presents ; his heart too full 
Of creatures' self-inflicted woes, and sense 
Of virtue's best aims lost, unblessed, to voice 
Articulately one plaint before the Power, 
Incognizant not of aug-ht that haps ; but pledge 
To the angel of pure duty. Pass we on 1 
The universe is but the gate of Heaven. 
See from this highest orb, the crown of space. 
And footstool to the Infinite, thou mayst gain 
Already, a glimpse of glory unconceived. 

Festus. See, how yon angels stretch their shining arms, 
Wave their star-haunting wings, which gleam like glass, 
And locks, that look like morning's, when she comes, 
Triumphant, in the East. Is this their joy 
O'er some world-penitent ? 

Angel op Earth. Lo, there it rides ; 

Blessed to discharge on Heaven's all peaceful shores 
Its long accumulate load of thinking life ; 
Its deathless freight of souls, long tested, tried ; 
Pilgrims of time and space, freed, perfected. 

Lucifer. Yon guilty orb, of hesitating light, 
Slow looming there on its dark path, goes up, 
At the hour forewritten, as do all worlds, to God, 
To judgment : and the earthquake groans we hear, 
Which rend its adamantine breast, and mar 
Silence and symphony alike, forebode 
Its agonizing doom. 

Festus. And grieves not Heaven 

With world, or soul, lost, as with saved, it joys ? 

Angel op Earth, How may immortals mourn at the decree 
Of righteous wisdom, in itself to them 
A bliss to view, being proof of the divine 
And infinite perfections. Is't not just 
Justice be realized, if late ; and there. 
See one example in the skies prepared 
To admonish and remind of that to come. 

Festus. But why repented it not in time ? 

Lucipee. Perchance, 

It held not penitence needed. What, if proud, 
It recked nought ? Time, may be, is for it yet. 
Ask of the Angel, who is angel both, 
Of the great world and silence. He for once, 
Much time is on his hands, might reel you off 
A skein of fine advice. 

Festus. I dare not. 

Angel op Earth. Know 

What unto us is time stands before God 
Eternity ; though concurrent act and doom, 
Each claim, yet intermediate of effect, 
Is equity. This for deed irrevocable 
Eepeutance substitutes, self-condemuative, 



FESTU8. Wl 

And expiative remorse. 

Lucifer. And more than this, 

They keenliest know who most repudiate good, 
And for ill strive. Repentance is the grief 
For, and effectual abstinence from sin 
Creature can scarce attain to without God ; 
But with Him, allis feasible. 

Festus. Cloudy and clear 

By turns thy words, as heaven, I know not what 
To think, nor how to act. 

Lucifer. It is natural. Who 

Can hit, but as appointed him ? Who aim 
But as permitted ? God gives all their ground, 
Bow, arrow, mark, prize, eye and arm, and all ; 
All life's conditions, origin, mean and end. 
Forefixed of God, His fates revealed, as hid 
In words till now concealed of prophet truth, 
Under the buried basements of the skies. 
Shall yet, I have heard, o'er thrown these, reappear. 

Angel of Earth. AU God hath said shall take effect, whose 
words 
Are lifeful forces, causal potencies 
Of that they foredetermine ; so, soul. 
Not difficultly, for thus thy mute reserve 
Of speech divine, I, as half absorbed in doubt, 
Conceive ; and thou celestial scenes, and tongues, 
Shalt learn, not ineffective to express. 
Enough, Be of good courage. That we know 
Than men more, tell we not, unbid ; and thee 
Behoves use all free will ; whose holy cause 
Mind thou at heart revere, in earth, as Heaven. 

Lucifer. Meanwhile, glance downwards from this copiug 
world. 
Ere higher risen, and know to the extreme 
Of utter space, where not an atomic mars 
The void invisible, easier 'twere to cast 
A lead, and total its velocity ; pierce 
All space, nor cross light's path, than fatliom man's 
Dark heart, or sound the hollows of his soul. 

Festus. Whether the greater sinner that mean nature 
All these life spheres which dominates, or thou 
World-spirit of evil, arch foe of God, and doomed 
One day to perish in the eternal lire 
Of His wrath, wrath of Deity thus, in whom 
As they begin, may all things end, I know not ; 
I only feel God loves but perfectly. 
Nor can love, but his own ; the spirit of good. 
Listen ; I hear the harmonies of Heaven, 
From sphere to sphere, and from the boundless round 
Re-echoing bliss to those serenest heights 
Where angels sit, and strike their emulous harps. 
Wreathed round with flowers, and diamonded with dew ; 

N 3 



862 FE8TU8. 

Such dew as gemmed tlie ever-during blooma 
Of Eden winterless, or, as night by night, 
The tree of life wept, from its every leaf, 
Unwithering. Now, in solemn lapse I hear 
The music of the murmur of the stream 
WTiich through the bridal city of the Lord 
Floweth all life, for ever ; nay, catch the breath, 
Through its star-shadowing branches, of that tree, 
Transplanted now to Heaven, but once on earth, 
Whose fruit is for all beings, breathed of G-od, 
Oh 1 breathe on me, inspiring spirit breath. 
Oh 1 flow to me ye soul-reviving waves ; 
Freshen the faded soul that droops and dies, 
Lucifer. It is plain that here what man craves, God hath 
willed. 



XXIV. 

Enter now Heaven. Even man's deathly life 

May be there, by God's leave. Once brought to God 

The soul's probation and foredoom, and heaven's 

Designs towards man, whole, individual, shew 

Fuller by light, of love parental. There, 

God's will shall be our own ; all spirits be his. 

A lightning revelation of the heavens 

And heavenly hfe, to spirit whose highest aim 

AVas lowliest to adore the All-good, mistold 

Of old, and much too oft by truthless tongues ; 

To adore the unity essential, sole, 

Of God the All- Sire of Being ; source and end ; 

And though less hard to shape, o'er air's bright heights, 

The wide -winged wind, He will forgive who owns 

Names like the Zealous, like the merciful ; we 

This moment, and all life, all spirit, all soul. 

Mind, matter, being as much within His presence, 

And known through, like a glass film in the sun, 

As though we stood upon the star- stoned courts 

Of his celestial city. Where He is 

He is all ; one, infinite, personal Deity. 

Earth's final doom, man's triumph, peace supreme, 

Foreshewn ; illative each of other's end. 

Heaven. The Deity, Angels, Guardian Angel. Festus a7id 
Lucifer entering. Angel of Earth, ARCHANGELa 

AbchaNGELS. Infinite G-od, thy will is done ; 

The world's last sand is all but run ; 
The Night is feasting on the Sun, 



FESTU8. 868 



LuciPEB, All-being God, I come to thee again ; 
Nor come alone. Mortality is here. 
Thou badest me do my will, and I have dared 
To do it. I have brought him up to Heaven, 
Assigned for a time to mine indulgent hand, 
That thou, just judge, mayst judge 'twixt him and me. 

God. Thou canst not do what is willed not to be. 
Suns are made up of atoms ; heaven of souls. 
And souls and suns are but the atomies 
Of the body I God indwell ; the natural form 
Of mine infinite essence. 

LuciFEB. Mortal, here 

Await, the while I parley fate. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. 'Why, now, 

Spirit of ill, mfflest heaven's calm ? 

Lucifer. I will say. 

Is not this creature, by successful wile 
Yet mine ? Have I not caused him waste his yeara 
In search of lore forbidden, forgotten ? in chase 
Of intermittent dreams philosophy gives 
Brief brain life to, and vague, of wisdom housed 
'Mong men, and virtue homed ; realities vain 
Such as the eye, true key of heaven, shapes forth 
Imaginative, from clou(^ ; in stem essays 
Futile, to o'erflesh with sense the iron limbs 
Cold science moulds of some mechanic thing 
She calls man Godless, in persuading wealth, 
Of leave to toil most liberal, to impart 
Of his hoards, or lands some share (what right have 
One element more than other to f orestal ?) 
To the unmonopolist mass ? And sins not one 
Who God's best gift, life, in irrational plans, 
Immoderately benevolent, wastes, though fair 
His final aims, like grossly, even as wight 
Who from air's aureate mists would wring out gold, 
Or from seas silver, and his charity stake 
On success, clammed meanwhile his poor 1 All this, 
In secret conclave with aspiring friends. 
To work men's welfare in their own despite, 
He wish-content, by act not, not even will, 
(To wish is weakness, mind's strength is to will,) 
Schemes such designs to realize ; but blends, 
Alternate now, with aims of meanest range, 
With luxaries, beauty's charms, love's witcheries ; 
As well may be, thou absent. 

GuABDiAN Angel. Wish and will 

Are his, I know, for good, yet ; and of good's 
Least sparkle Heaven is thrifty ; ends, too, these 
Solid enough, beget sometimes in deeds. 

LuciPEB. Solidity alas, thou and thy charge 
Alike lack. Prime in the precipitate reel 
Poor Pleasure, (nought more sadly frivoloua 



364 FE8TU8, 

On earth) leadfi, headlong whirls this wilful soul j 

Or, as trim craft, with lights at mast and bow. 

Lured on by fraudulent torch ; of flattering shoal 

Suspectless ; heedful nought of sunken reef, 

Or monitory wave, here bright, there dark, 

Comes dancing, to perdition ; ^vTeckers laugh ; 

Rich, saidst thou, in time's coming honours ; grave 

That should be, with predestined empire's trust ; 

Earth's hope ? Pleasure's, my pampered slave's, arch-drud<je. 

Behold him, he is here. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Know, sophist fiend I 
Life's happier gifts, youth's privileges, the heart's 
Spring growth of love, joy-fraught, may e'er be used, 
And innocently ; even not with views forestrained 
To the end of being. Man's pleasure in the world, 
His nature made to each fit, theirs except 
Who twilight sense of future heaven command. 
And promissory perfection unfulfilled ; 
Yet, in its union with Divinity, sense 
Still glorious judged 'gainst theirs who see will not ; 
Is bom of socialty ; but in the eteme, 
Such joys as vanities smirch not ; love of self 
Degrades not ; folly fouls not, spirit disclaims, 
For trivial things writes venial ; to all soul 
Yields grace, which more than covering all offence 
Defective, keeps them sealike incorrupt, 
While those of pure and godly will, whose souls 
yelf bound are to divine ends, pleasurous life 
Know in that only wherein God's delight 
Consists ; and man's with His, unites and ends 
In self, in Deity ; who nor motive, good, 
Nor end knows, other than Himself. Thou errest, 
If therefore him thou deem'st almost thine, thine 
By weight accumulate of mere levities. These 
Ruin not for aye. God hath not so aspersed 
The nature He ennobled as to charge 
Its shield with sable simply. Even now, 
This soul, mine erewhile ward, hath haply learned 
Revulsive, to hate vanity, shun the show 
Of luxury, idlesse, and life's glittering baits 
Thou lurest with. Pause, and see I In yon star-scales 
Pendent in heaven, whose weights are worlds, one soul 
Outworths, this one life's well and ill, at large. 
Show thus far, level balance. What as yet 
Imponderable, but all decisive, life's 
Brief lapse may add, thou knowest not. 

Lucifer. This I know : 

Wide fields be mine yet, many a vowed ally ; 
Aids inesistible. Hdldom's strength I'll stretch, 
To touch mine end. Power's trustiest aids to leam 
Is now his aim ; doubtless, that he may best 
Cozen and cajole those smootheners of his way 



FESTUa. 366 

Throne wards, he most concerts with. Can such eads 

Be innocent, of themselves ? Nor this alone. 

He may not doubt God's Being, he being here ; 

But he hath heard earth's sag-est sophists doubt 

If God's eternity soul's deathlessness 

Could warrant, or the world's ; and hold the whole, 

God, and his throne, the firmament, and all, 

Might some day topple o'er into the abyss 

Of absolute nothing ; he in truth's bright track 

Treading, he thinks, who such instructors seeks. 

Guardian Angel. Truth's veriest shrine, f elicitative of soul 
He seeks, I know. Nor public rite, belief, 
Nor tenet utterable shall all content 
The aspiring spirit, earth's farthest bent to explore, 
Truth's ti-uest, space's highest. 

LuciPEE. Who lives to beg 

Alway of woods their shade, may live to lose, 
In them, himself. Let well be ; 'tis enough, 
Crood things will rightly rule their own progress, 
Let iU be, and it gallops towards its end ; 
Grows, shadow like, at once enormous, bred 
Of kindred darknesses. The heart inane 
Of mystery let him pierce ; the maze where eld's 
Misfaiths, with heresies new in endless round 
Err ; pride demure falls quickliest. 

Guardian Angel. Falls he not. 

LuciFEE. Oh, he is bound to falL 

Guardian Aitgel. Not boimd, but free. 

Lucifer. I know him free to doubt not only men 
Are free ; but free to attempt to efforce the will 
Of other. 

Guardian Angel. That were sin indeed. 

Lucifer. Indeed ! 

Oh trust me I foresee results, if cause 
Mine be not to control. 

Guardian Angel. For that may Heaven 
Be thanked by all, by none more than thyself. 
God through me speaks. 

God. What wouldst thou, Lucifer, 

With him thou hast brought here with thee ? 

Lucifer, Show him God. 

God. No being, on part of whom death's curse through faith 
Transfigured into blessing, rests were it only 
Upon his shadow, looks on God and lives, 
Save by divine permission. 

Lucifer, Look and live. 

Look, Festus ! look. 

Festus. God, sole and onemost ; God, 

Eternal fountain of the infinite, thou 
On whose life tide the stars seem strown like bubbles, 
Forgive me that an atomic of being 
Hath sought to see its Maker face to face. 



866 . FE8TU8. 

I have viewed all thy works, thy wonders ; passed 

From star to star ; from space to space, and feel. 

That to see all which can be seen is nothing- ; 

And not to look upon thee, the Invisible. 

The Spirits I met all seemed to say, as on, 

Starwards, they sped, their lightning wings o'er mo 

One moment slackening, with superior glance, 

I might not look, whate'er I were, on G-od. 

But thou this spirit beside me didst empower 

To make me more than them with gifts immortal. 

So when we had winged through thy wide world of things, 

And marked stars made and saved, destroyed and judged, 

I said, and trembled lest thou heardst me not, 

And madest thyself right ready to forgive, 

I would see God ere yet, I died, in Heaven, 

Searcher of hearts, and quickener I I am here, 

Forgive, Lord I 

God. Mortal, rise. Look on me. 

Festus. Nought 

Unless like dazzling darkness, see I. 

LuciPEB. Good I 

I foreknew how it would be. I am away. 
If living, I await thee in the sun. 

Festus. Thy creature, God 1 am I' Oh, slay me not, 
But bid some angel take me ; or I die. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Come hither, Festus. 

Festus. Who art thou ? 

GuAEDiAN Angel. I am one 
"Who have e'er, till late, been by thee, from thy birth. 
Thy guardian genius, thy good angel, I ; 
Eestrict somewhile to Heaven, at his demand, 
Who feared my warnings weighed more than his lures. 

Festus. Till now, I knew thee not. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. I am never seen 

In the earth's low thick light, but here in heaven 
And in the air God breathes, I too am clear. 
From wonted charge on earth withheld, that God's 
Ends, by yon spirit late challenged, might shew plain 
In his own eyes, I have here sojourned, and now 
Leave asked of God, in view of all to come, 
And separation's aims attained, I seek, 
Him telling nightly thy day's thoughts and deeds, 
And watching o'er thee on earth, as here, again 
To attend thee through thy lifetime, I await 
God's fateful word permissive. Pray for me, 
As I for thee pray daily, and intercede. 

Festus. Hear. Lord, the prayers of man and angel oned. 

Angel of Eaeth. Earth's guardian angel's hear for man's ; and 
man's 
For earth's ; and bless the united orison. 
Thou knowest. All- wise 1 my life one ceaseless prayer ; 
Let me yet hope that prayer, that life, to thee 



FESTUa. M 

Prove acceptable ; and earth's dread end adjudged 
Once, rest deferred. 

Guardian Angel. Not always kindliest prayer 
Breathed even for other's joy is blessed ; but oft 
Not granted, better shows ; or, but in part. 

God. Not all Heaven's prayers, nor earth's combined, 'gainst Fate, 
Whose reasons are breast-laws hidden in Deity, 
Can of themselves prevail to supersede 
His wise benevolence ; nor the sense of grief, 
From curt experience sprung, with facile flow 
Of tears, suffice to stay stem justice' hand, 
All satisfying ; yet stretched not e'er to check 
Pity's deep founts of their abstergent flow. 
But fate's decree, ye angels, which concerns 
Both, with yon Spirit of Evil's sequent course, 
Howbeit to him unknown, ye yet shall learn 
Irrevocable, as just. For though, all time. 
By meanest spite impelled, 111 war 'gainst Heaven, 
Other than this shows preferable to us. 
Who measure not, 'gainst force finite, our strength ; 
And, preferable, so best. 

Festus. Rest can I none 
Until Heaven's peace I know. Will God forgive 
That I did long to look on Him ? 

GuAEDiAN Angel. He may ; 

It is the strain of all high spirits towards him. 

Festus. Creator of the vast yet fallible soul 
Of all imperfect nature ; of all wrong 
Cleanser not justifier ; dread trampler out 
Of evil ; of sin presumptuous which could bring 
Unbidden to thee the spirit while yet uncleansed 
Of death's deep flood ; death- worthiest me of men, 
Bid live ; that I to all thy love may teach, 
Mighty in founding worlds, in making man, 
Mightier in pardoning evil, and in sin 
Annihilating for ever. 

GuABDiAN Angel. Lord I thine eye 
A moment fixed on sin, the culprit blot, 
As a sun-shot cloud, incontinently, exhales ; 
And destiny's page, once more reopened fair, 
Looms in unwonted white. 

Angel of Earth. Do thou, O Lord? 
Whose couchant power than Nature's active, more, 
Awes into silence aU these orbs, these hosts, 
Forgave 1 

Guardian Angel. It is felt thou art forgiven. Through all 
The conscious infinite of celestial life, 
A sense of the Eternal thought, inspired 
By pure humanity of the Deity, fills. 
And mediatizes all things. Thou couldst not 
Even if thou wouldst, behold God ; masked in dust, 
Thine eye on darkness lights ; but when flesh-freed, 



868 FE8TU8, 

And the dust shaken off the shining essence 

God shall glow through thee as through living glass, 

And every thought and atom of thy being 

Shall guest his glory, be o'erbright with God. 

Hadst thou not been by faith immortal made 

For the instant, know, thine eye had been thy death. 

Festus. And this is Heaven ! Lead on 1 the Heaven all souls 
In all the spheres most long for ? 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Yea, for this ; 

The state of holiness with bliss of life 
Mortal to life angelic raised ; made one. 
Nor marvel heaven hath marvels ; such as now 
I come to show thee, and with God's blessed aids, 
The angels of His presence make acquaint. 
Not that He needeth aid ; but life to endow 
With virtue and use and joy is His delight. 

Festus. And this is Heaven 1 I knew it. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. It may well l^, 

Thou hast been here in the spirit. For, mortal, know 
Heaven is interior to all spheres, all souls. 
The secret chamber 'mid creation's breast. 
Where alway may be found Life's master, used 
That viewless key thou knowest of. 

Festus. I believe. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Lo 1 the recording angel ! 

Festus. Him I see 

High seated there, the pen within his hand 
Plumed like a storm portending cloudlet, curved 
Half over heaven, and swift in use divine, 
As is a warrior's spear ? 

Guaedian Angel. Mark now the book 
Wherein are written the records of all worlds. 
Which, jfixed, collate with wandering, 'neath his eye 
Previsive, that illumining it construes ; 
Contrast with thoughts of deeds to come in spheres 
Once solar, nebulous now, make glad or grave ; 
Time's tidings to confirm, or sum the charm 
Of self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Recobding Angel. And here, 

Thine orb's end, mortal, mark thou nigh. 

Festus. Ah me I 

The end of that, Heaven once held Heaven's ally ! 

Guaedian Angel. Turn then the leaf. 

Recobding Angel. Yet is't not every world 
Laid open to its axis thus by stroke 
Of death, hath fate like hopeful. 

Festus. It is man's joy ; 
And not to us without cause special. See 
Earth's angel guardian, gladdening in the thought. 

Guaedian Angel. There too, see mighty Michael, dight not now 
In panoply sun blinding, nor on war 
Exterminant bent, though looking towards a field 



FE8TU8. 809 

Of thunderous battle to be fought yet, big 

With creatural fates, pacific, joys to scan 

At God's behest, the book of life where beam 

The names in starry brilliants of God's sons ; 

Names long- enrolled, foregiven, which angels learn 

By heart of those predestined chiefs to be, 

Of battailous hosts in that soul hallowing war. 

Deadly and everlasting, waged by good 

'Gainst evil. And if within that scroll of life 

Thy name inscribed for good were, wouldst thou see it? 

Recording Angel. As leader, or as follower, it is writ, 
As victor, or 

GuABDiAN Angel. Enough 1 It cannot be 
As vanquished. Search for such the files of death. 

Festus. And if it be, not I dare look ; though, seen, 
Henceforth to me were that constellate word 
More, brighter, clearer, than all stars. 

Recording Angel. To Heaven, 

It is bright or dim as actions cause. 

GuAJBDiAJi Angel. Raise still 

Thine eyes. Lo 1 Midst yon nebulous cloud of thrones 
Rayed inwards brightlier than withoutwards, one 
Expectant waits its occupant ; the chosen 
All round, their gleaming thronelets, from that mount 
Of light hewn, which ere light create, or night 
Never create, was, heaven's eternal base 
Whereon God's throne is 'stablished, gladdening, prsBS. 
For whomso kept, the invited rest is sweet ; 
Were grateful ; and 'tis vacant. Sit on it. 

Festus. Nay, nothing more than sight will I forestall. 

Recording Angel. Good. Brighter seat than that thou ey'st, 
I have seen 
Hurled, like a star deject o'er being's brink, 
To pre-etemal nothing, unconceived. 

Guajrdian Angel. Speak, angel of salvation, is this well f 

Phanuel. It is well. God rejoiceth mightily, 
In silence, as of unextended space. 
In his forechosen ; and Heaven's love-speechless choirs 
In his elect one's choice. 

Guardian Angel. Turn now and view 

"WTiere spirits redeemed, beside the nver of God, 
Quaff everlasting peace ; hence joy profound 
The Heavenlies draw, withdrawn ; preparing aye 
For higher and intenser Being ; and here, 
Heaven's upper fountains spiritual, see, where flow 
Life's waters soul-regenerative, like aged 
With those eternal emanations shown 
To saintliest sage alone, which hang suspense 
High o'er the firmament of created things, 
Pretemporal, swiftening towards the abyss of time } 
Founts, Raphael, healing angel, once of eyes 
tiarthly, the vision purger, bidden of God, 



870 FE8TU8. 

Presides o'er ; laved wherewith the immortals cleanse 

Their sight to penetrate the essential light 

In all things hidden ; and, visible but on earth 

To eyes oped inmostly, (even as that stone, 

Of fabulous function, with the adept renowned. 

Seed of the sun, through filial fire turned all 

It touched to solar gold,) the spirit beloved 

Informs with godlihood impute ; all soul 

To the great soul thus uniting. Such the bliss, 

The power vouchsafed to man, such faculties. 

Yet but the surface shadow canst thou see ; 

The substance is to be. There Gabriel, chief 

Of messengers evangelist to worlds. 

Of good nigh hopeless, proud, or, self condemned, 

Declares God's warnings ; or, predictive, charged 

With tidings gracious, to the spirits around 

Expounds His promises. Nor vastier boon 

To angel world, or man-world, Deity gives 

Than prophet soul, in divers tongues foretold, 

May be, in sundry lands and ages, life 

To enlighten and to judge. Behold yon group 

Of blessed ones. In their docile mien and eyes 

Grateful, the spirit shows how all ill, all doubt 

With them, hath ceased, as death hath ceased. 

Festus. But SCO, 

Hither they come rejoicing, marvelling. Mark 
How all with kindliest wonder look on me. 
Mayhap to their pure sense I tell of earth. 
Some seem as though they knew me, I know none. 
But how claim kinship witli the glorified, 
Unless with them like glorified ; nay, first 
With them f orehallowed, even if chose ? Yet, yes I 
It is, it must be, that angelic spirit. 
By some miraculous power, addressing me 
Draws me towards her, speechless, gestureless ; 
My heart outruns me ; mother I See thy son. 

Angel Mothee. Child, how art thou here ? 

Festus. God hath let me come. 

Angel Motheb. Art thou not come unbidden, and unpre- 
pared 1 

Festus. Forgive me, if it be so. I am come, 
And ever have I said, do aught I might ; 
And ever have I hoped, say, aught I would, 
There are two who will forgive me, God and thou. 

Angel Mother. As reason bids, forbids, or dubious deems. 
Do I. Heaven's great parental heart, more wise, 
More cognizant, of his creatures than ourselves 
Of ourselves are, more merciful may show 
Than even a mother's. It is for him alone 
To say, I all forgive, may he, I pray. 

Festus. Dear angel mother, thou art blessed, and blessed 
I, too, thee knowing kindliest of all kin, 



FE8TU8. 871 

Uplift for mere humility to God's feet. 

Angel Mother. Son of my hopes on earth, and prayers in 
heaven, 
€k>d's love is infinite infinitely even more 
Than is our imperfection. Promise, child, 
To love him for this privileg-e, more than ever. 
And for his boundless kindness shewn towards me. 
Now my son hear me ; for heaven's hours are not 
As earth's ; all's all but lost not given to God. 
Oft have I seen with joy thy thoughts of heaven, 
And holy hopes, which track the soul with light. 
Rise from dead doubts within thy troubled breast, 
As souls of drowned bodies from the sea. 
Upwards to Grod, and marked them so received 
That oh my soul hath overflowed with rapture. 
As now thine eye with tears. But fear, my son 
Beloved, fear thou ever for thy soul ; 
It yet hath to be saved. Nor can I hold 
Myself or thee secure of that desired, 
Till time be passed and gone. Nought perfect stands, 
But what's in Heaven. All kind, God long hath caused thee 
Think upon him. Think alway. Ere I left 
Earth, with the last breath air would spare for me, 
The last look life would bless me with, I prayed, 
And half the prayer I brought myself to God, 
Thou mightst be wise and happy ; and now, behold, 
Thou art unhappy and unwise. 

Festus. Beloved 

And blessed one, I rejoice that thou art clear. 
And all who have cared for me, of my misdeeds. 
Thy spirit was on those who nurtured me. 
All word and practice that could be of good. 
Was to me given ; so that my sin is splendid. 

Angel Mothee. Thou mockest reason. 

Festus. Know, then, if I have sinned, 
I have sinned sublimely. 

Angel Mothee. Such nor better makes 
Nor less, sin's self. Who sins sublimely, sins 
Profoundly : and so suffers. 

Festus. Be it so. 

Angel Mothee. Splendour is none in agony, nor in sense 
Of conscience pitiless morsure, which assaults, 
And so devastates soul's substantial force. 
Hope scarce can find a hope whereon to build. 

Festus. Nay, I am glad I suffer for my faults. 
I would not, if I might, be evil and happy. 

Angel Mother. God laughs at evil by man made, and 
allows it. 
In common with all free life, scope to act : 
The vaunt of mountainous evil, and the power 
To challenge Heaven as from a molehill, child 1 

Festus. Few better hearts than mine hath God e'er made, 



S72 FE8TU8. 

However much one fail of their sage craft, 
Who in the world's long-, duU, dark, streets of forms, 
By towering- follies varied, brick themselves, 
And call their dreary existence, social life. 

Angel Mother. Heart goodness shows its truth in self- 
restraint, 
In acts of peace and kindness. Hand and heart 
Are one thing with the good, as thou shouldst be. 
Corruption's splendour hath no vital power. 
Content in sin shews apathy, not peace. 
Do my words trouble thee ? Then, treasure them. 
Pain overgot gives peace ; as martyr's death 
Earns heaven. All things that speak of heaven speak peace. 
Peace hath more might than war. High brows are calm. 
The host of stars is stiU. Their silence weighs 
More mightily with the mind than though they spake 
Thousand tongued, musically; and truths like suns 
Stir not ; though systems round them come and go. 
Mind's step is still as death's ; and all great things 
Which cannot be controlled, whose end is good. 
This peace, God's peace, seek thou ; and learn to love. 
Behold yon throne ; there, love, faith, hope are one : 
There, judgment, righteousness and mercy work 
One and same end. Salvation. Vengeance such 
Worthy of God 1 How else should He, all-good, 
Treat evil, unless by bettering, or due means 
Granting it to ameliorate ? himself 
Avenge how, but by right for wrong 1 how wrath, 
Rejoice in, save by ill slain ? As on earth 
Destruction restoration means to the pure 
Of elements world corrupted ; so, by death. 
From bodily bonds and the repugnant sense 
Of merited limitation freed, the soul's 
Humanity most is perfected in Heaven. 

Festus. Myself I did not make, nor plan my soul. 
I am no angel nursed in the lap of light. 
Nor fed on milk immortal of the stars, 
Nor golden fruit grown in the summery suns. 
How am I answerable for this my soul ? 
My master, free with me, as fixed with fate? 
As a star which moves a certain course in mode 
Certain, its liberties are laws, its laws 
Tyrannic, under God. All that we do 
Or bear, is settled from eternity 
Endless, beginningless. To act is ours. 
Quite sure, not less, aU done, or good or ill. 
Is for God's glory alway, and is ordered. 

Angel Mother. If soul were but an organ, and no power 
Of good or evil had haply within itself, 
More than the eye hath power of light or dark, 
God fitting it for good, and evil being 
Good in another way we are not skilled in ; 



PE8TU8. Vri 

The good we do of his own good will ; the ill 

Of his own letting ; man were simply slave 

Choiceless, of dignity void, nor grandly impowercd 

To make law, as to obey ; a lustrous blank, 

A perfect imperfection ; even as nature, 

All light in life, shines marshlike too in death ; 

With vagrant fires that haunt even rottenness. 

But worse with souls, that, wilfully unjust, 

We see reject their privileged walk with God ; 

Their source of true vitality lost ; and given 

So to degenerate life that all their powers, 

And splendid faculties, but decaying seem 

In sin, and flying off by elements ; 

Like wandering worlds which scare the extremes of space, 

With fiery visitation, or in black 

Abyss of preordained destruction, slow 

Perish, self dissipative ; a continent, now 

Sloughiag, a climate, oh 1 to such, woe worth ! 

What shall be done to them ? 

Festus. Probational life 

Doubtless endures as long as justice claims. 
All may not live again, but all which do. 
Must change perpetually, even in heaven ; 
And not by death to death, but life to life. 

Angel Mother. No ; step by step, and throne by throne, we rise 
Continually towards the Infinite ; 
And ever nearer, never near, to God. 

Festus. To foUow towards perfection man's best end 
And happiest makes ; who deem they have attained, 
Are nowise nigh. Our merit is to have served 
On earth the cause of good, peace, freedom, truth ; 
Each ultimately Him. That God enjoins, 
That God permits, twain wheels are, the world-car 
Runs upon glibly enough, and will, to the end. 
Law moral bars all wrong ; law spiritual all 
Affirms of right ; free choice, our fate decides. 
All right is right divine. A worm hath rights, 
Kings leagued cannot despoil him of, nor sin ; 
The light to be treated with humanity. 
Yet wrongs, of privatives produced, themselves 
Serve, sometimes men ; their use have ; and, like wants, 
Are ofttimes well permitted to best ends. 
A double error sometimes sets us right. 

Angel Mother. Not in sphere spiritual, nor books of doom. 
But if in man no absolute rule inhere. 
Of right and wrong, his God given conscience then 
Were of aU things most base, which vacillant, acts. 
Sin palliating, condemning, pardoning sin. 
To serve is not to deserve. Who can claim 
Merit for weU doing ; for exceeding not 
What's equitable ? Soul, be virtuous, just, 
Truthful, benevolent holy. WTiat reward 



374 FE8TU8, 

Owes God, who made all rational, to thee 

For acting reasonably ? Is virtue more 

Than moral reason ? Thy reward be this ; 

To know that G-od approves thy deeds, which done, 

Contribute to the unbounded joy He grants 

The Saints in Heaven ; and this, too, from his own 

Joy o'erabounding. Tliey have earned it not, 

Nor merited aught. 

Festus. Demerit, then at least. 

In not being as we might be good, is all 
We can insist on, that is surely ours ; 
Ours, by all titles ; by escheat ; default 
Of nearer kindred ; and so inheritance ; 
But though dismeritous thus, and fully equipped 
Our cause to implead, we are not, for that, all wise. 
Perplexed we oft see God's best purposes 
And kindliest, brought about by dreadest sins ; 
Time's triumphs, through wrongs deadliest, oft transpire. 
Twin nations struggle ; and the earth sweats blood ; 
A current generation is wiped off 
Like to an enemy's life from a sword's blade ; 
And lo 1 Death's children from their hillocky homes 
Send forth a race to freedom sworn and peace. 
So in our passions waywardest, our best 
Affections ; how predict their distant end ? 

Angel Mothee. Learn thus how wisdom oft corrects man's 
wrong. 

Festus. We note co-incidents. We lack a rule 
Persistently corrective of all ill. 
Whereby effect and cause, are alike good. 
Is thunder evil ? It may fright from sin ; 
Or dew divine ? It may undo a realm. 
Oft, men for innocent beauty's sake, their souls 
Deform ; and for the high their thoughts debase. 
Does virtue lie in sunshine ? sin, in storm ? 
Or, is not each one natural, needful, best ? 
How know we good from evil ? How demark 
Essential this from that ? And may not this 
Immediate, be that finally ? We know 
Wrath and revenge God claimeth as His own. 
And yet men speculate upon right, wrong ; ill, 
And well, as each of each annihilative. 
Like day and night, forgetting both one cause, 
The same original boast, of God's good will ; 
Active, or passive as permission, claim. 
Sin's complice, traitor, judge and headsman, all. 

Angel Mothee. But conscience knows her mission ; and tho' 
cowed 
And crushed, her lineage ; and her watchful seat 
Once from her stolen, but through sense of guilt, 
Eestored, still claims as hers, God's assessor ; 
Nor this sole, but through penitence due for sin, 



FESTUa, 876 

And her self-purifying intent achieved, 
She soars, transfigured, glorified to Heaven. 

Festus. Or falls ; for ages lost ; perhaps, for ever. 

Angel Mother. Nothing is lost in nature, least of all 
The immortal spirit to deity ; proof and pledge 
Triumphant, of his kiadliest attributes ; 
His will to uplift, advance, expand, perfect 
Each individual soul, and all unite 
In one supreme perfection, of himself 
The essential image ; every state and sphere 
Of universal nature, a holy stage 
Of purified amendment for the next 
Creative birth, and graduatsd ascent. 
Towards this celestial ; summing, centering all, 
The excellences of being. Nay, no soul 
Though in sin's lowest, blackest depth implunged, 
Lost to the world, to angels, to itself, 
Is lost to Grod ; but there it works his wiLL 
Patient, and bums conform with justice. Sin 
Convinced bears penitence ; and from ignorant vice 
Converted, springs wise virtue ; from mean greed, 
Active beneficence never satiate, save 
With welfare of some rational soul, secured, 
Or compassed, charitably ; all virtues, means 
To yet diviner ends, attainable still 
By man, majestic in progression. Grace, 
Knowledge and love, the sense of harmony, 
And beauty of form, used rightly by the spirit 
Studious of truth, are purifying powers ; 
So, all things that to order and perf ectness 
Of nature tend ; the culture of pure thought, and art 
Idolatrous not ; the sacred liberty of other's will. 
Oh mayst thou never plot to infringe such right I 
The politic freedom of earth's thousand states. 
And all life's social blessings, crowned with peacei 
And as earth's elements, not disunitive, pass 
Each into other, wavelike, and possess ; 
And as mind's powers, by thoughts perfective rules, 
More eminently capacious show ; so range 
Symmetric, our emotions with God's law, 
Of highest good : and such is nature's crown. 
But limiting not the Deity thus, him know 
In such wise operative, that while in all 
Projwrtion he delights, with mind create, 
In rhythmic undulations of the light, 
Commeasurable with space, even weakest things 
Are yet to be made examples of his might ; 
The most defective, of his perfect grace. 
Whene'er he thinketh well ; so rounding all 
Extremes in one complete simplicity 
Of motive, mean intent. 

Festus, Oh, everything 



876 FESTUa. 

To me seems good and lovely and immortal. 

The whole is beautiful ; nor can I see 

Aught wrong in man nor nature, aught not meant, 

As from his hands it comes who fashions all ; 

Holy as his formative word, the world itself 

His mightier revelation ; to whose sense 

All writ must be attuned ; all miracles made 

Like broadly just. He breathes himself upon us, 

Before our birth, as o'er the formless void 

He moved at first, and we with his spirit are all 

Livingly inspired. All things are God, or of God. 

For the whole is in God's mind what is a thought 

In ours. All that is good belongs to God ; 

And good and God are all things ; or shall be. 

Angel Mother. God, in his own parental nature, knows 
All creatures and their possible powers ; for he 
By universal essence is ; and through 
His attribates, by limited mind alone 
Distinguished from his substance, to all made 
Imparts his virtues, and with reason impowers 
The creatures he, their author, throughlier knows. 
Than they themselves ; their course, their every lapse 
Exorbitant from the right, and glad return 
From firmamental exile, back to him ; 
Who mercifully forgiving sin, foreseen 
By precreative eye, yet not approves 
111, fruit of imperfection, save as test 
Of vital faith and patience in pure hearts. 
Thus all created good, or to good ends, 
Or sanctified, conduce. Man's highest bliss. 
In union with his source and crowning end, 
Is serving man and loving God ; his root 
And finial flower, is when to vast surview, 
Baised of God's kingdom, the soul straitening bounds 
Of race, creed, temperament, o'ertopped, the spirit, 
All covetings, vain distinctions, aims, desires, 
To God surrendering, abnegates ; to him 
Being of beings, who all things vivifies ; 
Who his own goodness in his creatures seeks. 
He had already willed there modified ; 
His own intense perfection ; his divine 
Beauty and purity, as the sun in dew 
His reflex glory. So too the liberate soul, 
Rapt in the extatic gaze of joy he grants. 
And into commune raised with its cause, partakes 
Thought's freedom, truth's necessity, like divine ; 
Nay, questioning of eternity, fore-reads 
With angels, on God's face, the thoughts of peace 
And miracles of benevolence he conceives 
To enrich and bless all life with. But there lacks 
In souls like thine unsaved, and unexalted, 
The light within, the light of perf ectness, 



FE8TUS» 877 

As 'tis iu heaven. Here, time expert, all's seen, 
How oft the soul even strong, if tempted, falls. 
As some rock-towering lighthouse, which long years. 
Rolls its ubiquitous eye, cyclopic, vast, 
Sea-searching ; but to time's slow sap and siege 
At last consentful, leaves a gap, by groans 
Greeted from ruinous bajques ; and 'neath the sea 
Lurking, exasperates every peril that once 
It luminously forbade ; so, stable and stem 
The virtuous soul I have seen long whiles command 
The future, marked and thanked by thousands saved 
Gloriously ; but fallen, lie hopeless now as thine 
O'ersurged, alas, by life's allurements. Pray, 
Such end be not thine ; for if thine, on earth, 
God only, it is, can raise it, and rebuild. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. And his, thy son's, he will yet raise. Siiico 
with me 
I have shown him infinite wonders. We have oped 
And scanned fate's golden scroll wherein are writ 
In Truth's own hand all things to be, time's long 
Array of serried worlds, and all the fruit 
Of all their peopling occupants; have seen 
The records of his being ; passed and to come, 
His long temptation, sin and suffering. 

Festus. And hear it, beloved and blessed, mine own 
Salvation. 

Angel Mothee. God, how great is He, in being, 
I nfini te infinitely, in power and grace. 
But oh ! transcendent truth, when thus to one 
Poor spirit he gives his hand in love, he seems 
To impart his own unboundedness of bliss. 
Scarce worth destroying, one thinks ; less saving ; each 
Loves he, as all his equals were. 

Festus. I know 

All I must henceforth go through, the doubts, woes, 
Passions of life ; which knowing, hinders not, 
Purificative trials by whose stern aid 
The spirit achieves perfection, sloughing off 
Snakewise, constraint of narrower being ; the world's 
Entanglements ; the snares of youth, I bear 
Obeyingly ; nor repine as when I erst 

Looked back, and saw how life had balked, foiled, fooled me. 
Fresh as a spouting spring upon the hills. 
My heart leapt out to lif ewards ; little it thought 
Of all the vile cares that would rill into it ; 
The mean, low places it must coast ; the falls, 
The drains, the crossings, and the mill- work after 
God hath endowed me with a soul scorns life ; 
Not that he gave, but that I live ; and graced 
With an element over and above the world. 
Mixed in its masque, I find nor harm nor charm, 
Enough to attract to folly this, nor warp 



378 FESTU8. 

From Wisdom, that. IndifEerence serves and saves. 
But the price one pays for pride is mountain hig^h. 
There is a curse beyond death's rack ; a woe 
God hath put forth his strength in ; a pain past 
All our mad wretchedness, when some sacred secret 
Hath flown from out the encaging- heart, care-closed 
Vainly ; the curse of a high spirit famishing, 
Because all earth but sickens it. 

Angel Mothee. Nay, confirm 

Thy spirit with godlier, say, with manlier thoughts. 
Contrast not earth-life with celestial ; both 
Variants of one existence deem ; the same 
This, but immutable save to happier ends. 
Here, as the general air, respired of all, 
All speak the mind of God whose world-Hke thoughts 
Heaven's multitudinous being suffuse, as beams, 
To one who curious treads the wavy panes 
Of ocean's floor gold-framed, through myriad squares 
Tempered, the sun, quickening the expanse with light. 
Here, all in all, we live ; the weakliest soul 
His solar spirit partaking, as need bids. 
He not alone of things the conscious f orco. 
But conscience of all spirits who to heaven's 
Perfective science man's nature so adapts 
By gradual growth of virtue to attain 
Divinity, that he may the whole fulfil. 
These excellences of godhood are the modes 
Whereby, to us create, he makes himself 
Known, truth's source, end and centre, which supply 
With perfect sustenance each benevolent vow ; 
Each virtuous aim earth owns ; as justly fixed 
Towards the perpetual betterment of things, 
And reascension sourcewards of all souls ; 
Heaven's sole aim foreign to itself, which earth's 
Wisest and holiest spirits, truth-freed, that all 
May reach, none lost, together toil for ; here 
Only, perfection realized, where law 
Nature and liberty trined, are blessed. Nor doubt, 
If, as thou sayest, thy future life thou knowest 
And but its rudiments, surely, limned, perchance 
By eye imaginative, as yet in block 
Unhewn, the pillars of Time's temple ; still, 
In all things seek, and that sole, perf ectness 
In nature, virtue, reason, faith ; which, used 
Rightly, to €rod unite the spirit outrayed 
From Him, and with essential Deity tinged. 
For while by various faults and flaws each soul 
Falls from that plane of perfectness ordained 
Comparative by its Lord, this, thoughtlessly 
That passionately, irrevocably none 
It may be ; not the less, God's saving love. 
By discipline drawn, by penitence, by pure life, 



FE8TU8. 879 

The spirit, self-starained from guile, illumes ; in time 

Relamps ; helps on its upward way ; dark, oft, 

Oft devious, painful ; now with word, sign, cheers ; 

And, not by wilful wrong persistent, stained, 

The pilgrim soul receives ; redeems ; restores, 

Redeifies. Hither come they from all orbs 

Perfective, souls perfectible, those except 

Who, loved with love eternal, of God called 

Spring to His breast. Here the hopes of earth's best hoortB, 

The master aims of ages, for man's good. 

All nature's properties perfected, man's mind 

In God, the rational imity of the whole 

Embraces, and in meditating, grows blessed. 

Festus. How radiant shew yon blessed souls. 

Angel Mother. Knov.-, child, 

Each faithful thought of God, each saintly hope, 
Clear aspiration for earth's weal ; pure aim ; 
Beneficent deed ; each reverent service shewn 
To man's majestic nature, as to a pure 
Abstraction of Humanity deified ; 
Each generous thought that warms the social breast ; 
Hei-e beams a ray of life divine, the frame 
Fills with e'er heightening beauty, and the whole 
Being perradiates with celestial light, 
Transfigurative ; which known, all choice of good 
The soul is capable of, will heaven foretel 
In us ; and His assured acceptance shew 
Token of the spirits' birth in man, whose mind 
Progressive, suffering, perfected, with peace 
Divine crowned, in itself all things made good, 
Thus harmonizes with other, and with God. 

Festus. Behold the ebb of the life-tide of the world. 

Angel Mother. It grieves not me. We sooner meet. Go, 
child; 
Fulfil thy fate. Be, do, bear ; and thank God. 
Be good, do good ; bear pains heaven-sent, resigned 
To God's corrective love ; and in the light. 
Soul ripening of his law, for the end prepare. 
To me it seems as I had lived all ages, 
Since leaving earth, and thou art yet scarce man 
Matured ; than that more, thou wilt never be. 

Festus. It was not, mother, that I knew thy face ; 
The luminous eclipse that is on it now. 
Though it was fair on earth, would have made it strange 
Even to one who knew as well as he loved thee. 
And if these time -tired eyes ever imaged thine, 
It was but for a moment, and the sight 
Passed ; and my life was broken like a line 
At the first word ; but my heart cried out in me. 

Angel Mother. Thee knew I weU ; and now again to earth, 

Festus. Yet, ere I hence, one dear embrace vouchsafe 
That like to him of old who but by touch 



380 FE8TU8. 

Of mothering earth stood unsubdued ; I, too 
By spiritual salute of thine, may thrive 
Stoutlier in worthiest matters, through all lifo 
For virtue haply so conveyed. 

Angel Mothee. As yet, 

Thy forward foot forbear. Not all thy steps 
In life, have been by me approved ; nor all 
Have tended upwards. Sifted from all sin 
Self-will and self-deceit, when next thou comest, 
Oh may I say but when, shalt thou from me 
Win the asked-for blessing, still suspended hope. 

Festus. Just be thy words, Farewell. 

Angel Mothee. If well thou dost, 

Well wilt thou fare ; and I, in thee made glad. 
G-o, son ; and say to all who once were mine, 
I love them, and expect them. 

Festus. Blessed one, 

I go. 

Angel Mothee. I charge thee, G-enius, bear him safely. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Through light, and night, and all the powers 
of air 
I have a passport. 

Angel Mother. God be with thee, child. 

Festus. Where, guardian, is the Spirit induced me here ? 

Guardian Angel. That Spirit is no more here. Behold him 
gone 
Like a spent thunder-cloud which, rolled away, 
Bears in its shapes chaotic, visible proof 
Of the distracting fires that rent its breast 
Of force self-dissipative. Not long can he 
Heaven's light, foretaste permitted thee, abide, 
Thus eminently, wherein all these exult 
From saint to seraph, hierarchies of bliss. 
For known to all ye Angels is the good 
God hath eternally decreed to man ; 
The secrets of perfection yours ; but heaven's 
High whispers and intense, the soul of 111 
Knows not, nor can know ; in the source of light 
Sightless ; and means for ends misplacing ever, 
Of his own acts incomprehensive, he 
Glutting life's passionatest desires at full 
And instigating soul's vainest aims, misdeems 
To cause thee, spirit of earth, God lost, thyself 
Forfeit to him ; albeit God all o'errules 
To his own great ends in manner none forecasts. 
But this know ; and, as spherelet nigh the sun. 
Revels in lightful secrecy, my soul, 
With heavenly insight penetrate, perceives 
Dowji broadening vistas of futurity, how, 
Him shall God's Angel, archetypal power 
Of Heaven's divine humanity, now at hand, 
Revisiting misreported hell, endure 



FE8TU8. 881 

To meet, and all his hosts with hope inspire 

To earn, repentant, pride subject, heaven's peace, 

Pardon and restoration. 

Angels. Joyed we hear. 

Guardian Angel. For lo 1 it is written in the Book of God, 
Where spirits may learn aforetime what is fate, 
In endless prescience of world-winning love. 
That, as by angel man through woman fell, 
Through her, shall this first-fallen again too rise ; 
All life in ultimate perfection linked 
By him who oft-times chooseth meanest means 
To compass world- vast purposes, whereby 
God vindicates himself. Nay, thine own sphere, 
The first fruits of the great destruction, earth, 
Bom of the mother night of ages once 
Into a sad and struggling life, at last 
Shall be most blessed hailed among the worlds. 

Angels. All time, all place, is consecrate to God. 
Man may do despite, but the ill redounds 
To himself only. The world is holy still. 
God's fane is unprof aned. Some graceless wretch 
Blasphemes a holy sage. What harm ? The throat 
Filled with scurrility only is defiled ; 
Not seer, nor his pure word. So, too, all means 
Have majesty, if used of God ; all ends 
By him who made, ordaine*!, are sanctified. 

Guardian Angel. Come ; all is heaven before us. 

Festus. And I feel 

Now happier, bett-er, nobler for the words 
Taught me of truth by one whom fate forbade 
Beneath the sun, to teach. 'Tis, doubtless, best. 

Guardian Angel. See now where, like a journeying beam of 
light 
From the sun's arched crown, she moves, each orblet passed. 
Enveloping in her shadow aureole-wise ; 
Mark, too, where 'midst those radiant rounds, well nigh 
With spirits elect replete, few void ; in sooth 
One only primary, and its satellite seats. 
All welcome her return. Soul, what seest thou 
'Mid that celestial session ? 

Festus. Her I see 

Revered, beloved, smile now, who here but late 
Me counselled somewhat sadly, sagely still ; 
And, usward pointing, with that finger used 
God's gracious deeds to trace, her lowliest seat. 
At feet of twain above who sit serene, 
Brow-mitred with aerial gold, assumes. 
Who be they ? 

Guardian Angel. That, mankind's First mother ; this 
His, who mankind with loftiest creed enriched 
Of divine Sonship, in God's spirit renewed ; 
By virtue and repentance justified, 



382 FESTUa. 

Act godlike imitate, and self -betterment ; 
Sucli, soul's sole way from earth, to G-od the Truth ; 
And, nestling at their feet, she whom thou own'st 
Mother ; of mankind's last ; for thou art he. 

Festus. Am I ? It is enough. I have seen God. 

Guardian Angel. True ; and hast passed all limits of all thirga 
So doing. Such a miracle in itself 's 
A dispensation. That thou hast dared, and done ; 
Stood on the step which life eternal parts 
From instant nothing ; and like proofs of God's 
Tolerance divine towards man, and man's bold glance 
Inquisitive, proud, yet worshipful towards Him, 
Ilold glad ; and be to thee such daring blessed. 
As when in actual space, here, 'neath our feet, 
Some new fired cometary we see, compact 
Of Heaven's selectest elements, ere yet made 
His first excentric orbit, haste to accost 
With homage and oblation due of light, 
The solar majesty ; till, hour by hour. 
The luminous throne, all false and fulsome dread 
Repudiating, approached, in flame-floods plunged, 
Long lost to ken he seems ; but soon emerged, 
A pure aetherial virtue of the void, 
Proud of persistent substance ; not absorbed ; 
Not in vacuity spent ; his beamy locks 
He shakes abroad illimitable ; nor stoops 
Life's vast ellipse to recognise, or trace 
The curve of his return. Let fixM stars 
Their firmamental years ; their spatial range, 
And course recurrent, let the wandering worlds 
Vaunt henceforth, an' they will ; he, more than aught, 
'Mid things create, glorying as incombust. 
So thou, expert of Being, hast now beheld 
Its source and end, the Infinite One ; and liv'st. 
God and his great idea, the universe. 
His one and infinite thought aye being evolved, 
Are over and about us ; be the one. 
Being of beings, as thou hast known, in whiom 
The spirits create of all essential spheres, 
Progressive and self purificative, work out 
Their ever bettering end, — God, only God, 
Worshipped ; be the other reverently proved. 

Festus. Surely, there's rest in Heaven. 

Guardian Angel. As thou, ere now 

Hast seen, the spirits of men, the wise, brave, just, 
Daring and charitable, in those strange orbs. 
The angel of thy satellite crescent showed 
Their guerdon of self completive perf ectness 
Taken at God's hand, through, dateless terms of time. 
Triumphs of passed and future, not without 
Toil spiritual achieved and earnest deed ; 
So here behold bow holy is well- won rest ; 



FE8TUS. 

And how tho soul finite, by endless life 
Enriched, God crowns, betimes, with ease intense 
And renovative repose. The heart of heaven 
This, which in silent movement, like the soul's 
In spiritual commune with God, e'er lives. 

God. Hear heaven, and earth, hear. Not in vain shall all 
My prophet-sons, inspired, through time, have preached 
Of justice, and Heaven's peace with man to come. 
The latter days shall yet their glory see. 
Let therefore peace and charity upon earth 
Start forth, as from the tender herb, the dew, 
'Mong all mankind one-minded. Let pure schemes 
Just and benevolent souls of ages gone 
Have nursed, mature ; let hopes sincere of all 
World-patriots, earth's best spirits for nature's weal, 
Fulfil themselves ; all godly plans bear fruit 
Of laudable profit ; freedom and the use 
Temperate of all Heaven's blessings, with just sense 
Of mutual rights, and service due 'mong all 
Brethren ; heart-purity ; holy life prevail 
Most presently earth over. 

Febtus. Peace, thon saidst, 

Lord? 

God. Peace, I say. Be war henceforth reserved 
To spiritual ends, and strife of virtuous soul 
'Gainst soul ill-willed, 'gainst evil ; and which if not, 
All limited life were aimless, fruitless ; lost 
All fitting use of powers ; all choice, all worth ; 
Such conflict holy, such war, war divine, 
Emancipative of spirit, as in accord 
With fate long uttered, shall the close of things 
Terrestrial, mark decisive, to the amaze 
Of all participant in the final field 
Of evil and good. Be thou right strong to bear 
Therein thy part. 

Festus. Thine, Lord, the cause, the praise. 

God. This contest we remit to man's last race 
And generation, that, by choice of good, 
Eejected sin, soul purity, preferred 
As dear to God whose breath is holiness. 
That fight, aforetime fought in each one's breast, 
But once for all fought now at large, may prove 
Heaven gives and makes cause conunon witk all souls, 
For the good, militant. For the time enough. 
Guard- Angel, let this soul, thy charge, to earth 
Returned, fate's first-fruits cull. Nor go unwarned* 
Let him self satiate of all knowledge, learn 
The world's sage untruths ; yea, how idol gods, 
All alike false, into each other fallen, 
At last fall into nothing ; one alone, 
All time's most secret verity and overt, 
Vouched for by all j to him not only known 



884 FE8TU8. 

By reason, and inspiration, but pure grace. 

Let sacred rites, deific called by those 

Seeking- in vain 'mong many gods, the one 

Who knows none save himself, so aid that while 

Those aims, high, holy, for man's weal, he seeks, 

Reached to and realised in earth's harvest age ; 

These, scions of the seers of old, inflamed 

With love of guerdon due to worthiest work ; 

And gaining hiddenly their great effects, 

As nature hers, in silence and unseen ; 

They may his faithful aspirations make 

Accord with their decrees ; man's perfectness 

Concurrent with earth's tale of days, by us 

Assigned first. Thou, too, angel of the reed 

Of record, quick Cherubiel, of truths to me 

Transcriptive, trace from Heaven's original tonguo 

Into this man's, of world-speech what to know 

Him most behoves, the sum of wisdom's lore. 

Apt volume found, and fitting shrine to hold 

Truth's treasures freely worded, take thou heed 

That Evil's plot, by us o'erruled, this man 

Of fate may view in every test to come. 

The infinite providence controlling life, 

Life hallowing, if to good trained ; and the curse 

Of coveted power the soul to intercept 

Upon its way, to G-od and judgment ; good 

Ruling, and in the end, good crowning all. 

Men know not, nor can know, the day, which, reached. 

Their kind's perfection, marches on fate's page 

With earth destroyed, peace crowned ; from birth of things 

An end f orefixed, which so long while delayed 

By tyrannous superstitions, wars, and wrongs 

Of every dye, reduces to a day 

What might have been enjoyed a thousand years. 

Let not man therefore deem himself aggrieved 

By destiny ; but the day thy charge, elect 

Of universal man, shall, choosing power 

World wide, decide he most can serve his kind 

By ruling, and so rendering general choice 

Of peace infrangible ; so ensured as then 

Shall patiently appear, the day of days 

To thee will prove, Guard Angel, nor to thee, 

Angel of earth, less. 

G-UAEDiAN Angel. I then may this man 
Accompany as of old. 

G-OD. Thou hadst need. 

G-UARDiAN Angel. O joy ! 

G-OD. Him failing, thou mayest strengthen to all good ; 
Him sin-bound, check ; him sinning, see thou show, 
With the spirit who tempts, so prompt to avile him, hell ; 
And so with pains premonitory of proof 
His soul chastise j that he the fines may feel, 



FESTU8, 8»6 

Of obstinate fault and purposeful offence. 

Though warnings may have useless proved, fail not 

To meet this mortal equitably adjudged 

Hell's fiendly prison to pass through, he to bear, 

As through a burning tent an arrow shot 

Bears on its wingM heel the scent of fire, 

Thereafter, speechless griefs ; for though by fate, 

Soul chartered to console mankind, and thence 

Hell's animate flames evading ; yet no day 

Shall pass without its retributive tear 

For sin conceived if not achieved ; and earth 

Revisiting through all lands, remorseful ; preach 

The spirit's thrice holy freedom, sought by him, 

Thrall of imperious passion for the hour, 

To invade, to desecrate ; (how many a time 

To be repented of) and the verity tell, 

Long lost to man, of justly apportioned doom 

In realms, whence self -recuperative, the soul 

May diffidently again seek to behold 

My face ; and rightliest balanced equity 

Prove by strict mercy administered, that the heart 

Of the broad world may gladden in its God. 

Salsts. So from all ill thou. Lord 1 bring'st ever good : 
Be all things thus o'erruled to work thine ends 
Self-satisfactive ; Being's boundless good, 
And everlasting bliss made one with thine. 

God. Know, all souls shall be judged ; commended all 
Bather to self -amendment ; and condemned 
None without end : those cradled through all streams 
Of time, all spheres : these by me chosen to prove 
To creature mind my sovereign freedom ; those 
By virtue's law adjudged, and natural light 
Of conscious right and wrong, the just, so taught 
Of heaven's eternal equity, proclaim 
In God and man one common righteousness, 
One sole ; man justified to God, by sense 
Of love's, truth's, piety's laws innate, obeyed ; 
Or violate, self-condemned ; and God, free choice 
By his own free will who gave, like cleared, to man. 
Thou, Beniel, who beheld'st the angelic fall 
Primal, and in this last, of Angel-world, 
With holiest love, wroughtst, earnest to retrieve 
To truth and good all who, for such soul gifts, 
Most harmed, most hated thee, go teach those same, 
Self -trammelled in sin's sequences, and now 
In hell imperilled, how to meet, how scape. 
Of every age and sphere. 

Angel op Eabth. Haste, soul-guard thou, 
The impending ruin of man's orb, long doomed, 
To o'ertake, and Time's slow step slip swiftly by, 
Make much of every moment, ere it pass. 

GuABDIA^' AxGEL. Sire of ail spirits celestial, and of eart'j, 



386 FESTU8. 

"We live but in tlie well-doing of thy wilL 
Thrice holy Lord, predestinator of all 
Thy creatures' lives and duties, thy behests 
I joy to obey, and visit Hell's blind world 
And donjon orb of judgment, at thy word 
Whose thought is destiny, and justest law. 

G-OD. Let him not doubt of liberty there, nor deem 
Here only, angels free. All spirits live 
In order's law, the law of sequent times, 
Passed, present, and to be ; which, operant not, 
The world, nor aught that is, were what it is ; 
Law, which sane soul could no more hate, disown, 
Evade, or seek to annul, than it could blot 
Its being from God's knowledge. Learn, too, this ; 
Too long hath earth misdeemed of hell. It is just 
Since reason's self is foiled in her own words, 
By bigots caught, and twisted as they fell. 
The truth were yet unveiled. This soul's offence, 
Thought only, fit occasion gives to learn. 

And thence, like apt, for him to announce to man, , 

Hell's predetermined scope, its temporal use, 
Its equity, and its unetemal end. 

Him, angels, free through fiend- world ; and while there. 
Its nature marked, and true contrition's fruits, 
Bid him, to man returned, throughout all lands, 
The justifying truth, so learned, proclaim ; 
My name revindicate from the evil charge, 
Sad misconceit, of sin's perpetuator. 
And infinite torturer of soul finite, made 
For ends far other : Heaven's remission, there 
Even, to be earned by just remorse ; return 
To truer life, with law concordant ; hate 
Of good and order, sin being ; life untrue. 

Festus. angel 1 let me welcome thee. 

Guardian Angel. Nay, name me, 

For by thy lips invoked at mom and eve, 
My name I love. 

Festus. Return we now ? 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Return. 

Festus. How vast it seems, this deep abyss of space 
World-studded, 'neath our feet. 

GuAEDLAN Angel. Stars stranger stiU, 

Nobler than those late visited we may find. 
Wnt sojourn for a time among these spheres, 
And test their natures ? 

Festus. Gladly. 

Guardian Angel. Seek we then. 

All rareness and variety these bright globes 
Can offer ere we reach thine orb. Descend. 
Now is the age of worlds. Another comes. 

God. This weigh thou, mortal, thoughtful. Ere thou findest 
Again thy star, lo 1 Ouriel of the Sun 



FE8TUS. 387 

Hath it in charge to show thee, of the passed 

The spirit's sacred liberty ; and prove, 

As, in that primest privilege of God's soul, 

Thou hast thyself demeaned, so care thou most 

Not to infract another's right, or dread 

Just vengeance and severe, on wilful wrong. 

Thou, angel, this ; — the wonders of all worlds, 

While thus unfolded to the sateless eye 

His dateless passed, and all himself, he cons ; 

And how the spirit from age to age may fall 

From birth-star down to death- star through all sphere ; 

Show him how yet, by rational rites, by life. 

Sweet, holy, penitent for the passed ; by firm 

And pure aspirings for the future, soul 

Eternal union with its Lord may win. 

For, know all Angels. I have so made man, 

That his original excellence shall defeat 

All he hath ill ; his inborn goodness, sin 

So outweigh finally, his soul shall live 

By royal right of virtue in itself 

Immortal, and here reign with us in heaven. 

Nor be ye astound that Evil, by me permit, 

By me commissioned, to himself unknown. 

Life, more than one imperishable, to loose 

From body ; and who so acting deems himself 

But by his own vain ends, inspired, should feel 

False impulse to triumph ; all souls, be sure. 

Have their appointed season, and just reward. 

One law there is ye angels know, to all 

Intelligences, alike responsible made 

Through starry space, through spheres probational ; spheres 

DiscipUnant ; for breach of law divine, 

Man's good which underlies in all the worlds, 

Confession of Heaven's code as just ; and fines 

Depurative, self -fixed for trespass, (priced 

By death's enlightening judgment in such orbs 

As death, life's mightiest change, affects ; in those 

Death haunts not, by disseverance from Grod's love,) 

For ill, if e'er, to other selfishly 

Done or devised, while lasts to wronged soul 

Or wronger, memory of the inflicted wrong. 

Lest passion or more treacherous fault revived. 

The like offence perpetuate each in turn, 

Retaliative for ever ; ill so shown 

Attempered 'mid yon orbs sin-cleansing, where 

Justice nor claims, nor equity tasks enjoins, 

Of restitutive service feasible not ; 

But good-will more than equal, for all time, 

With the ill passed, adds beneficent acts ; the souls 

Meanwhile of both, f orgiver and forgiven. 

In high and ever heavenward harmony 

Progressive, each, with variant grades of good, 

02 



888 FESTUS. 

The other bettering, the whole righteous law 

Of practical penitence for offence, to improve 

In active virtue, this ; and thus fulfilled. 

Know too all thoughts just holy, high, the mind's 

Divine ideals, which the aspiring soul 

Longs, and would joy to verify, are, here, 

Or, in surrounding spheres, the aptest sites 

For such celestial seed, implanted, nursed. 

And to full fruitage brought ; and they who bear, 

Beget, or guest such thoughts in these high spheres, 

Their starry destinies enjoy, or change 

For that alone they better love, or feel 

They can make others happier by. 

Angels. Laws, Lord ! 

We live by, and do worship thee, in them, 
Like patent, all comprising, operative. 
Throughout Heaven's moral commonweath, as those 
Through space unseen, yet strong, that soul its own 
Redemption earns, and carries in itself. 
Wrought under thee, God 1 not more life's lord 
Thou, than soul's confessor, who dost absolve 
By righteousness divine, which all things weighs 
Justly, earth's self -caused ills, man's mark missings, 
Life's errors ; and, dues equitably repaid ; 
And, heart amendment proved, of guilt wilt clear 
All nature, made defectible, and its best 
Aspired to, sought and wrought, at last wilt bless. 
Behold, God maketh earth and soul anew ; 
The one like heaven, the other like himself j 
So shall the new Creation come at once ; 
Sin, the dead branch upon the tree of life, 
Shall be cut off for ever, and all soul 
Concluded in his boundless amnesty. 

God. Nor err ye, nor be ignorant as to sin. 
To bridge the intransmeable void that gaps 
*Tween thought and act, alike free, instant that. 
This, fixed for aye, were both to annul ; were right 
And wrong, and good with evil, to confound. 
Ill done, is treatable but one only way ; 
It must be rectified ; not execute, 
See it by conscience self condemned, soul roused, 
Soul saved. Yet cognizant of the law it half 
Infringed, divinely operant, justly smote 
With foresight realized of age-long remorse, 
And fiery wrath indignant, of all Heaven. 

Angels. Even as in one, so be it. Lord, in all ; 
Be it ever as thou. Lord I wilt. Thy word is fate. 
O 1 haste, ye times, when universal man 
All narrower creeds abandoned, in one faith. 
Thee sole shall worship rationally, the eteme, 
The personal infinite, the All-one, who makes, 
Sustains, all things comprises, and all souls, 



FE8TU8. 839 



Self purified, by the truth made free, redeems. 

Aechangel. All are but particles of one divine 
And never can in holy gladness shine 
Till builded all into one common shrine 
Which Grod shall make His temple. As tho woo 
Each human heart on earth doth undergo, 
Shall be the calm immeasurable flow 
Of joy, united man in Heaven shall know. 



XXV. 

Divine humanity, HwLxt the world and God, 
Of intermediate essence in all spherei, 
Inseminate by the Maker, for tneir good, 
Angelic, not than human less, exists 
In both imperfect, differing in degree, 
In each perfectible ; and if here to die, 
Be to depart to other spheres less harsh, 
Less rudimentary than our own ; as faith 
Refined and rationalized persuades, and proof 
Here absolute shews ; and if from other worlds, 
By Heaven's aU-knowing soul e'er sent where most 
]S ceded for purity, force or ampler Kfe, 
More varied culture ; higher grace, or growth, 
Expanse of natural powers, or kindlier mien 
And bearing of Humanity towards itself, 
And all creation's lowlier ranks ; enough 
Is graspable by the finite spirit, of God's 
All present governance, reason to convince 
He all things made for their commutual good, 
And in their joy His own to realize. 

The Martian Sphere. Festus, Guardian Angel, Lucipeb. 

GuABDiAN Angel. Regained the sun's bright precincts, rest ^ 
here. 
Almost thou mayst believe thyself at home. 
Another star-step down our steep descent, 
And we are there. 

Festus. See here, fire, water, snow : 

These truly are family features of a sphere 
Akin to earth. 

Guardian Angel. Akin, but not too well 
Affected ; say the star-seers of all time ; 
Dread sign of strife and woe ; by Pagan faith 
To the war-god dedicate. Twin moonlets, bright 
And crescent, one ; one, wan and waning, wait 
Close on his thunderous tread, as who should bear 
His godship's spear and shield ; and heaven's steep hill 
Ascending, cheer him on his reddening way, 
Hot with reflected flames. But lo I the arch fiend, 
Come so far forth to welcome thy return, 
Doubtless. 



890 FE8TU8. 

FESTua He intercepts, but not disputes, 
Our path. 

Lucifer. Impatience brought me here. I feared 
Thou hadst been lost, or dissipated in air, 
As meteor, may be. But now, fear, avaunt ! 
Like some explorer of far isles, returned 
Homewards, in spoil of all the elements. 
Rich, in tree-corallery and pendent pearl, 
And odorous woods and gnms, and jewelled gold ; 
Thou comest with mindful stores of starlif e rife, 
And legends stretching back to time's pale dawn. 
We wait to join thee earthwards. 

Festus. Be it so. 

Why see we not the angel of this orb ? 

LuciPEE. Though much my friend he is this hour away ; 
He knows where war most thrives ; so him I made 
My deputy for the nonce. 

^UAEDiAN Angel. He might have learned 

If here, how near to a total end all war, 
In any sphere. 

Festus. How old this thought of war ; 

Indigenous in the elements, nay, in Heaven. 
These very heavens, how old, whose starry forms 
Of ancient legend sired, still keeping shape 
Traditionary, from hence seen, largelier loom, 
Answering their names more pertinently. See there, 
Sirius, bright measurer of the heroic years, 
Primaeval ; and, more vast than viewed from earth, 
The huge Orion, standing, arm uplift, 
(As we thee, rebel Evil of the world. 
Sublimely impious, threatening so God's throne, 
Might image,) and his mighty mace on high 
Whirling, conceive, all trace of some bright star 
Lost from a glorious seat, for ages held, 
Dropping its fruit of many a shining orb 
Crushed, shattered, down the abyss. 

Lucifer. Nay, rather,. say 

An image of the Almighty error, man, 
Banished and banned to heaven, by a weak world 
Which makes the minds it cannot master, gods. 

Festus. Orion ! belted giant of the skies. 
Whose head is lost in heights of heaven ; whose belt, 
Embossed with kingly stars, thee mightiest shows, 
And first 'mongst half gods ; they, sage seers of Eld, 
Who nationalized the skies, and, wondrous men. 
Ere history graved her slab, or fame crowned song. 
Forestalling heaven by ages, gave all stars 
To the spirits of the good and brave, once earth's, 
Believed thou wast a giant, bulked of worlds ; 
Nor wholly ill believed ; if thus they typed 
The immortal mind ; for it hath starlike beauty, 
And world-like might, and is as high above 



FE8TU8, 391 

The things it Booms ; and thoug-h He gave it earth, 
And heaven, and arms to win them both, will war 
Vainly with God, nor seek His gifts to earn. 

Guardian Angel. To aflSx fictitious meanings to conceits 
Dream-limned, and fabled acts, hath e'er been man's. 

Festus. Yea, and if such their fateful prescience, thou 
Brave star, great victim of mean victors, once 
Beguiled by wiles thou wouldst not stoop to meet, 
Of poison impested wine, and a drunken sleep, 
Like to high noon in the midst of all his might ; 
And unremembering of all good, one hour, 
Allegiance to pure laws, and just renown, 
Thou, on the brink of immortality 
Won worthily, didst abjure thy claim, and sin 
Through forceful passion, foullier than all seas, 
Thou walkest o'er, nor wet'st thy glittering feet, 
The deep dominions of thiue ocean-sire, 
Could cleanse ; and losedst so, thine inborn light, 

By rude revenge of kings, who hate the great, 

Thou f earedst not to reseek Heaven's light supreme, 

Renovative ; and upstanding towards the sun, 

Didst gain again thine eyes. So the great king, 

The world, the tyrant we elect, in vain 

Puts out the eyes of mind ; miud looks to God, 

And reaps once more its light. And now thy soul, 

O flood-borne king, informs yon hundred stars, 

As mine my limbs. Well, 'tis a noble end. 

What now to thee be mortal maid, or goddess ? 

Look ; she who fled thee once, now loves, and longs 

To clasp thee to her cold and beamy breast. 

Pine, moon ; thou art as far below him, now 

As once she was above thee, thou of the world-belt. 

Who called thee hers, and knew thee demi-god. 

Died of her boast, andMies in her own dust ; 

And she who loved thee, the young blushy Morning, 

The mighty, the invincible maid of ligJit, 

Who caught thee in her arms, and bore thee off. 

Far o'er the lashing seas to a lonely isle, 

Where she might pleasure longer and in secret, 

That love undid thee ; and it is so now, 

Whether the beauty seek, or flee, or have, 

'Tis a like ill ; this beauty, doubly mortal. 

What though death-f anged by creeping things thou scomd'st ; 

Or, that the moon with madness slew thee there ; 

Let us believe 'twas yet within the arms 

Which loved thee, even in the stroke of death ; 

And that there snapped the lightning link of life. 

Kill, but not conquer man nor mind, may gods. 

Wherefore, revenge, thou who so much hast borne, 
From man's deceit, and treachery of false gods. 
And woman's love, and mean contempt of kings, 
Out with the sword ; the world will run before thee. 



392 FE8TU8. 

Thou with fhe treble strain of g'odhood in thee, 
March 1 there is nought to hinder thee in heaven, 

LuciFEB. Nor us in air. But doubt not he will march, 
When word to march is given. From head to foot, 
Your giant shall collapse. His sword, his mace, 
Staff, kingly girdle, and the radiant sheath 
Lit inly with dim nebulous lights, shall join 
All discreate things. Yon foot that spumed the main, 
Shall heel the void. Those stem and stormy stars, 
On his broad shoulders blazoned, that o'er fleets 
Glared preaccepted ruin, and to all crews 
Tempestuous death, shall shine no more, but seek 
A sudden nothingness. Would I might end 
Like wholly and for ever. 

Festus. Hope not that : 

Hope aught else better, Spirit 1 

Lucifer. No more ! What else 

Of marvellous thou hast seen I'U doubtless learn 
Some later day. 

Festus. It is all one miracle. 

The world I live in, and the life I breathe. 

GuAEDiAiT Angel. 'Twere well the militant spirit who under 
God, 
This spherelet guides, misdeemed of old by earth's 
Lost ages, lord of battles, should have heard 
The heavenly word, seal up war's blood- writ rolL 

LuciFEB. He'll hear it soon enough. 

Festus. What mean those clouds 

Explosive seeming, close to earth, that blotch, 
Gore-dyed, her face ? 

Guardian Angel. War, war, continuous war ; 
Preparatory, or suffering from, our earth. 
Self desecrative of habit, breeds. 

Festus. Enough ; 

A spirit is abroad that act to annul ; 
That self-dt«m to undoom. 

Lucifer. 'Tis the sole way 

I know to ensure the end of earth. Give peace ; 
She'll die for want of violent deaths. But see, 
Quite apt to our discourse, our angel guide, 
Good Martiel, faithful to his orb, nor yet 
So very long away, wars now are brief. 
If not less frequent ; 'companied by a troop 
Of spirits as though in earth-life bred. 

Guardian Angel. Too true. 

Such have I oft seen rush from battle fields, 
Like storm-clouds, nor, till now, knew whither. Hail, 
Angel, be welcome home. 

Martiel. Be welcome, you 

Celestial spirits, or earthly ; one I see, 
Plainly, of earth. 

LuciFEB. Another, thou wouldst say. 



FESTU8. 393 

As plainly, — well, I grant it, more or less ; 
I am quite ubiquitous. 

Festus. How, and wherefore here 

It haps we meet, hear briefly, angel friend. 

GuABDiAN Angel. And you, ye stranger souls, all dumb, here 
rest, 
And, teachable, hearken a brother spirit, of man, 
Forethoughtful of these outer spheres, on whose 
Thresholds, as now on this, ye some day stand, 
His visits among them tell ; which so may prove 
To you no detriment, but the inexpert 
Arm with forecast of spiritual change, once missed 
By them on earth, but verified to be 
In every spirit sustained, ere holy peace 
Accept the adventurous hand. 

Festus. They speak not, these, 

Maetiel. Nor marvel not their voice is but a ghost, 
Whose whisper rather strikes the heart than ear. 
The astoimding step from death, to life renewed, 
Still holds them mute ; but they will yet bless God. 

Festus. Not now I tell of those resplendent spheres 
First passed through nigh to Heaven, whence self-dismissed 
Thy going, Lucifer, mine forewent ; and thence, 
Through spatial tracts, to man or angel known 
Never before, glide ; I and mine, dear guard ; 
But only of those hard by, of solar strain, 
And outer globelets of our system ; hear 
What therefore I of late have seen, where been. 
All things permitted, or enjoined of God, 
By us enjoyed, accomplished, knowing all 
Material spheres made but as fields to test 
The erring, yet refinable spirit ; God's act 
It is, which, unknown, tries through time, the soul's 
Fidelity, asks its free response ; our course 
Through space, star-peopled, checked by many a world, 
Of bright enchantments, singing as they sped, 
We oft delayed to search their wonders wild. 
Stranger than e'er of wizard wrought, or feigned 
By wild romancer in his lunes, till reached. 
These twelvefold mansion-spheres perfective ; first. 
Entering as nature needs, the outmost round 
Of solar generation, all unnamed, 
Where bide, in merit and misdeed like poised, 
Those souls indifferently on earth, self -steered. 
Self -compassed, who nor hit the white, nor miss 
The targe ; the crowd whose deeds were good enough. 
Examples blameless, but who sought not truth, 
The insuperable and all-suflacing truth ; 
Their spiritual ingrowth stinting thus ; and here, 
Who wise to teach, by deeds, denied their faith, 
Both ardent now to teach the true, and join 
With it all good in act consistent, seek 



394 FESTU8. 

Souls such as those in life they failed to serve, 

And ofttimes absent upon earth ; and load 

With treblest gifts, with benefits thousandfold 

To bless whom they had wronged ; so pure the sense 

Of divine retribution to the soul 

Death hath enskied ; so plain. Thence, sunward still, 

To a vast crystalline orb, where innocent sprites 

And amiable, who God in life adored 

Lukewarmly ; kept but formally His law. 

Loved only cursorily their race, nor lacked 

Of good life aught save credence in its worth ; 

Enlightened now from their great life-fount, draw 

In earnest commune joy unhoped, unthought, 

Undreamed of raptures in imparting good. 

Anon to satellite orbs, where gentlest shades, 

Of ill incapable only seeming, learned, 

In more robust activity, to achieve 

For others worthier weal than aught they deemed 

Their own strength capable of ; to themselves peace. 

To all varieties known, of deathless race. 

As though on separate special mission bound, 

Urged by desire insatiable to know 

These star-dwellers of ampler skies, we passed 

Through darknesses ethereal, lamped with gleams 

Of servant meteors, waved by friendliest hands, 

Commanded to that end, to a mightier star, 

Where sultans of the fore-flood age, allies 

Of godly realms, but peccant in themselves. 

And baser royalties of succeedent times. 

To purify from sin their gold-bound brows. 

Have opposite places changed with those they held 

Their slaves on earth ; these, wistful now of truth 

Their despot drudge control to worthiest tasks, 

Self evident for the general good, ordained 

Of Grod, who all, the least as greatest, rules. 

The orb of virtues this, glowing, self -lit 

With spiritual excellences, like jewels mined 

By humblest labour, each one for himself. 

But in the crowned insignia of God's saints, 

Unalterably the best for others' use. 

Here, jubilant choirs of righteous souls convene. 

This teaching, that one taught ; and all of Heaven. 

Here, meditation sums God's laws ; the code 

Spatial, that binds life's universal realm. 

Not to be broken, ne'er evaded : here. 

And all- where, one same equity. This quit, 

Mine angel guard, his wings across his breast 

Folding, me closely clasped ; and as a star ; 

From the immoveable loosed, in one bright line 

Of light continuous, darts, till these calm plains 

Of roseate snow sighted, he, opening wide 

His gradual wings, as her eye wonder, (viewed 



FE8TU8. 895 

Some new made world, where lately all was void) 
Let fall hi8 foot, mine following, where we stand. 

GuABDiAN A^'GEL. Well may one wonder who hath seen, and more 
Who hath not seen, worlds made or unmade ; for Icnow, 
God alway is creating ; earth by earth, 
And heaven with heaven concentric ; and the whole 
Framed, into being all spirits, all angels, breathes. 
And as some youthful Mage, full oft in tale 
Pictured of arrant wizardry, from night 
Calling the first time to him powers he knows not, 
Nor how the spirits, huge, welkin-winged, that throng 
To kiss the evocative hand, may show ; 
So God ; tut so, unlike ; ancient, ere time 
Existed ; He, all knowing, passed, to come ; 
Wistful of all capacities of all things ; 
All being, root and ramage, to his eye 
Precognizant, ever clear ; His own vast thoughts 
Evokes, all generative, and gives them life, 
Life spheral, spiritual life. He now, by name 
The elements calls, which, each one in its place, 
And in its turn, obedient comes to the word 
Oinnific, of the infinite soul ; now, orbs 
From inorganic shapelessness, bids forth, 
Revolving, radiative, whose glowing globes, 
In Ri'-her cooled, their eddying course contract 
In less exorbitant bounds ; and lull to rest 
Their flaming hearts within them ; now conceives 
In h! wide counselling mind, an order blessed 
Of angelhood ; and lo 1 firmaments over abound 
With the new hierarchy. 

Festus. What mean yon souls. 

Inquisitive as they seem of every breath 
They breathe ; though more asthereal than the exhaled 
Filmlet of birdling's bill, on wintry mom ? 
I, on behalf of those even since arrived, 
Not less than mine own curiousness, would ask 
Of thee, kind sphere interpreter, for time 
All further search of mine forbids, what aim 
The various acts of these so various groups, 
Busied, we see, with every root of life, 
And inquest so profound, as seems, of all 
They live by, and upon, regard ; and thence, 
Upon what after upwar<l shelving plane 
Such life, progressive here, wends, and its end. 

Martiel. Where'er is man, he eveiywhere, behold 
There too delusion. In each rudiment 
Of natural world-life he perfection seeks, 
Not finds ; the search yet bettering him ; here, see 
Who dig the earth for bubbles, wring the cloud 
Of sunset for its rubied gold ; who strain 
The snow to win its whiteness, and the lake 
Moonlit, will cradle oft, for shadowy bars 



898 • FESTU8. 

Of argent ore. In all worlds man's pursuits 

Are like in spirit, if bodily diverse, 

Here, some devote to public good will serve 

Themselves tlie last ; self being in itself 

Not culpable, but as illy placed or used. 

Who looks up Heavenward, in what lawful quest 

Soe'er, the gaze attracts of angels ; these 

His spirit's proper force, and strength of will 

Persistent, which through mountains thrills, and finds 

No durable check to its adamantine neb, 

Well- weighed, instruct, oft help. So here, we see 

The death-proof soul, impatient now of wrong, 

As reckless once of right, makes good his hours 

Once in vain idlesse waste, mean aims, base arts ; 

And raised o'er tyrant trivialties of sect, 

Custom and habit, modish servitudes, 

And of transparent honesty proud, now learns 

All sensuous motives, such as ruled too much 

His course on earth, to hate ; to abhor the thirst 

For carnage, and the lust for city, or, soil, 

Contermiaous this, that neighbouring, not his own, 

For ever ; the sole strife become, with such, 

Is, who shall better other most, most load 

With boons of peace ? Life-lovers these, who haste 

To expiate every needless death on earth, 

By them caused wantonly, and now awaked 

To righteous sense of their own wrongfulness, 

With compensative care, life's every kind 

Tend round them, like, yet different ; to abjure, 

With passionate tears of joy their misbeliefs ; 

Misdeeds ; and, save 'gainst evil, shun aU strife, 

Somewhile to be fordone. The end of all. 

When spiritual betterment shews full aptness here, 

To be trans-sphered, earth's globe expert, passed by, 

The westering star thou knowest, the Hesperian orb, 

Admits the spirit aggrandized and made pure, 

Joy positive to partake. 

Festus. With rest refreshed. 

And how much who can say, save one who feels. 
The cup of sleep drained to its last sweet lees. 
Awaked to ends more thoughtful ; or, as might 
Of old have felt the mythical islet king, 
Lord of the vengeful bow, when he, footswoUen 
With travel, many a steep and jagged brow 
O'ertopped, his bath takes at the observant hands 
Of nursing Night farshining, who had erst 
Cherished his youth, and all his venturous life's 
Toilful beneficence known ; his heart the while 
For weightier works ennerved, and graver acts. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. My guidance as from first prepared, accept, 

Lucifer. Why now resumed thy charge ? 

Guardian Angel. By God replaced, 



FE8TUS, 397 

Whose is all place. 

LuciPEB. But why ; the All-present One, 

As easily as an angel or a saint 
Invoked, nor, called, less like to aid, being nigfh 
Ever, to all, I know not. 

Guardian Angel. Thou mayst learn, 
Sometime, if patient. 

LuciPEB. Oh I if not till then, 

That stoiy may, perchance, have lost its charm. 
Him therefore let impart to whom he wills. 
And it concerns, his reason. But for ourselves, 
Not patient only, cautious must we be. 
False spirits I hear are much about ; and some 
No little in vogue. Have I not heard invoked 
In splendid privacy with prayer untongued, 
Joined hands, and incense improvised in air, 
The astral ghost irradiate with soft light 
Intelligible, not sensible ; seen him come 
Self shapening into vision ('gainst all law 
Of metaphysic) mage, meanwhile, or maid, 
Still resolute to wring forth the hidden spell 
Shall urge indifferent beauty lovewards ; snatch 
Life's revocative charm, or seek the oath 
Obligeant which the star-bound spirit shall stay 
Upon that un winged way no eaglet knows, 
Nor mom's, nor evening's golden parallels 
Illume ; no lengths, nor latitudes of light ; 
No angel blabs ; the session with a seal 
Of mutual grace closed, sweeter from some lips 
Than nectarous drop, pellucid, self -distilled 
From the hearts of flowers ; so cautious must we be, 

Festus. Oh, we'll be very cautious, on my word. 

GuAEDiAN Angel. Let then that evil spirit depart.' 

Festus. Make not 

Thy stay, if elsewhere called, depend on ours, 
"Who linger here, e'er wistful of new sights. 

LuciFEB. It is well, I go. 

GuABDiAN Angel. Thou go'st ; 'tis well. 

LuciPEB. Our paths 

Bifurcate here. 

Festus. So, we shall meet again. 

LuciPEB. Fear not ; quite soon. 

GuAEDiv^ Angel. For earth's great common wca', 

And wealth of good, would it were not so. 

LuciPEB. Ha 1 

I overheard that. There's a wormy spoke 
In that same wheel of good, rots the whole tyre, 
Or much I err. 

Festus. Here wait we yet awhile. 



39S FE8TUS, 



XXYI. 



Time's lapse who notes mid flights Kke this ? Once mere 

In merry medley mixed, youth's liberal mirth, 

Disport we ; now the natural luxuries taste 

Of love, trust, amity, un-Circa^an cups 

Which chang-e to loftier life, by virtuous channs, 

The spirit, of joy enchanted ; still unmasked 

Worldwards, in frivolous plciisures. These, one hour, 

Our world-seer joins, soul solemnized, to renounce: 

And as of old, when in some sainted shrine, 

By secular license, antic play perturbed 

Time and again, the dim roofed vastnesses, 

And dominant sanctities of the place, but passed 

Harmless and soon ; the hallowed solitude 

Leaving, when gone, more grave ; so here, meanwhile, 

Deserted long, it may be, the only love 

Life sanctifying ; let wit adora, or grace 

Charm, as they may ; too sensitive sliows, to abide 

Constant estrangement, and aye failing faith. 

Summer-liouse, and Pleasure-grounds ; Groves; Walkg ; Fovntalns. 
Maeian, Helen, Edward, Charles, Sophia, and Others. 

Edward. Again we meet in this fair scene ; 
Ah I might we be but ever young. 

Harry. We pray thee, Helen, be again our queen, 

Helen. I prithee hold thy tongue. 
A royal revolution 'twere indeed 
That I should twice reign, and myself succeed. 

Charles. Kg nay, no nay I it must be so ; 
Permit me. 

Helen. Well, there needs no show 
Of more reluctance than I feel ; 
Both kings and queens must court the commonweal. 

Harry. A bumper at meeting, a bumper at parting ; 
As many you like be between ; 

But we will have a right ruddy brimmer at starting ; 
A health to our beautiful queen. 

Long long may she reign in our hearts and right arms, 
And her all but omnipotence last ; 

She shall fear nothing rougher than love's light alarms : 
There is nought in the coming can darken her charms j 
There is nought can eclipse in the past, 
A brimmer at sitting, a brimmer at starting. 
As many you like be between ; 
But we will have a right ruddy bumper at parting, 
A health to our beautiful queen, 
Oh ! while beauty shall live in the form of the fair, 
And love in the heart of the brave, 
The queen of our souls, she shall never despair, 
For our hearts we would drain, and our deaths we would dare. 
To avenge whom we love, or to savo. 



FE8TU8. 

Helen. Bom to exert the powers of my state, 
Charles, I have named thee poet-laureate. 

Harry. Kiss hands upon appointment. 

Charles. Sovereign fair 1 

Behold thy grateful servant. 

Helen. Sit thou there, 

In all but fuU equality with me ; 
Love rules the heart, and the mind poesie : 
In youth at least, and when in hours like this, 
The rule is pleasure, the exception bliss. 

Laurence. But where is Festus? 

Helen. 'Tis to him we owe 

The repetition of this scene of joy. 
He bids me say he loves ye all ye know, 
But deems his presence less attraction than annoy. 
Whatever ye can name, and I command, 
Is by his bidding welcome thus to all ; 
But pardon craves ; high quests he hath in hand, 
"Which wait not on his own nor pleasure's call. 
And though to me his presence be a power, 
His every word with love's bright magic rife. 
Yet he — nor him from that height would I lower — 
Lives in the upper hemisphere of life ; 
Where angel thoughts and spiritual orbs 
Roll in the majesty of mind profound ; 
Where Truth's bright disk, all doubt spots dark absorbs), 
And inspiration's lightning beams abound. 
Whether he e'er return to scenes like this, 
I know not — much I question' — but can trace 
The tone, methinks, of that sad soul of his 
Roll ever deepening down an endless bass, 
Like an abyss of thunder. But, away I 
These tears mine eyes have haunted all the day ; 
Now they are vanished. Let us change, I pray. 
The matter of our converse. 

Sophia. Ay, be gay I 

Helen. Come, we will consecrate the passing hour, 
With songs of love, and lays of beauty's power ; 
For when the tale of Time hath told 
A thousand thousand years. 
His purple pinions staiTed with gold, 
Wherewith he doth the world enfold, 
Will still be stained with dust, and tears ; 
And still life's sole brief Paradise, in sooth. 
Be love and beauty in the hour of youth. 
A song, a dance, one cup to beauty's name ; 
Music, a jest, or pleasant tale in rhyme ; 
BuflBcient these, with mirth and gentle game, 
Alternate with repose, to fill our time. 
And first, a dance 1 for earth and heaven 
Are both to choral influence given. 



400 FESTUS, 

All things their nature that fulfil, 

In harmlessness and joy, his will 

Worship and do ; though dumb and still ; 

For noteless, countless are the ways 

Of nature practising his praise ; 

And dancing hath a sacred birth 

Like all the happiest customs of the earth. 

Charles. The sun in the centre turns solemnly round, 
And the pale god of shades, the conductor of souls, 
Seems to warm as he circles the gloiy profound, 
Where the goddess of beauty all beamingly rolls ; 
While earth, with her sister, floats brilliantly by. 
Her heart towards the sun, and her love in her eye. 
Then Mars, like a warrior gloomy and red. 
Impetuous wheels, ever glancing at one ; 
While nine sister goddesses mazily tread. 
In the midst of a nonade each heavenly head. 
The bright fields of air which encircle the sun ; 
And Jove the majestic, serene in his might. 
Sweeps cloudy and thunderous aye to the light. 
Then Saturn, old grey-bearded emblem of time, 
Comes slowly and chilly to join with the rest ; 
And Ouranus next with young Eros sublime, 
Move slowly as though they partook with the blest ; 
And each, his bright bevy of sei-vitors round, 
Complete the vast figure with harmony crowned. 

HJELEN. This, Sir, is your inaugural ode ? 

Chaeles. If you, fair lady, think it so. 
Your word imposes the sole code 
Of truth, law, or justice, we may know. 

Helen. Then my authority is absolute. 

Edwaed. As truth's my liege. 

Helen. We'll soon see if it suit 

So like the stars which circle through the skies, 
As Charles hath sung, 

Let us too dance with choral harmonies, •• 

Ourselves among. 

Marian {apart). Again that name hath knelled upon mine ear, 
Though I have never voiced it. 'Tis to me 
Too deeply, yea unutterably dear. 
How warmly too she loves him 1 Let it be. 
Who most enjoy the light may best endure. 
When come, the darkness ; as it now is here. 
Whatever his, may my troth-plight keep sure ! 
I have turned to thee, moon, from the glance 
That in triumphing coldness was given ; 
And rejoiced, as I viewed thee all lonely advance, 
There was something was lonely in heaven. 
I have turned to thee, moon, as I lay 
In thy silent and saddening brightness ; 
And rejoiced, as high heaven went shining away, 



FESTU8. 401 

That the heart had its desolate lightness. 

I have turned to thee, moon, from my love, 

And from all that once blessed me, in sadness ; 

And can marvel no more that, abandoned above, 

Thou should'st lend thy bright face to make madness. 

I have turned to thee, moon, from my heart, 

That in love hath long laboured and sorrowed ; 

And have hoped it might mix, as I watched thee depart^ 

Like thyself, with the mom which had morrowed. 

Laueence. Can I behold the lady of my love 
Mourning alone, from pleasure all apart ? 
Again I seek thee, though it be to hear 
The sentence of destruction to my heart. 
Yet if it be so, still one moment stay ; 
For so it haps whene'er I think of thee, 
So blent is thought with love's anxiety, 
My spirit doth invariably pray. 
Any blessing God can give 
Never be withheld from thee ; 
Nor will I desire to live 
If that prayer be lost to me ; 
Else I were unworthy thee. 
If e'er my hand doth aught of good 
I do it in thy name ; 
For well I know thy kind heart would, 
If with me, bid the same. 
All mirth I check, for well I know 
It is not meet for me ; 
No smile shall ever light this brow, 
Nor ought, away from thee. 

Maeian. I thank thee, Laurence, and believe ; 
But this ifl all I can for thee, 
Save grieve that thou should'st vainly grieve, 
I to another am as thou to me ; 
In this strange passion which pain sanctifies ; 
This folly sorrow makes sublime and wise. 

Laueence, Oh 1 there is nothing in this world of outb 
So sad to see. 

As the dark worm which dwells wherever flowers 
Our destiny ; 

Eating the heart out of youth's budding houra 
Of glee. 

Not oft in sunny beds, nor sheltered bowers. 
Life's lot is cast ; 

But chiefly lost in shade, and chilled by showers, 
Or the rude blast ; 

Till all its delicate and wholesome powers 
Are past. 

And this then is the end of all the bliss 
Which love and beauty offered, and my soul 
Made certain of in natural triumph ; this 



402 FESTUS. 

The heritage of life ; and this, love's goal. 

Maeian. Peace 1 there is one I name not, came not hera 
Partly because of me. But think'st thou I 
Came to indulge a wretched vanity 
With thee, or pry into another's sphere ? 
With whom I grieve too ; which is more unblest, 
Whose love is shunned or sought, let time attest I 

Lucy. In his thou lovest we see thy heart, 
Engrossed exists but as a part 
Of one essential ; and there be 
Who deem not that too wise in thee ; 
But as some unwary serpent who her soul's 
Pride hath paid down for sweet sounds, and unrolls, 
Or intertwines, her body's shining rings. 
At his mere will who, touched the silver keys 
Of ivory flutelet, opes and seals joy's springs 
Within her ; gently irritates at ease, 
Or soothes ; but charms her, wheresoe'er he please ; 
Until, translated for obedient skill, 
Into his breast she, nestling there, lies still, 
Pleased, nigh to death, with such dear harmonies ; — 
So we, more free, thy love confess 
Ilath more of faith than hopefulness, 
Maeian. It may be ; mine it is, no less. 
Helen. And now, for pastime, some one tell a tele ; 
Come, an adventure, Charles. 

Chaeles. Oh, pray dispense 

With my devoirs this time. I fain would try 
If any wit be in the company ; 
By observation, not experience. 
Of course I judge : for of my own 
The world and I are cognizant alone. 

Emma. Fatigued, no doubt, with over-admiration 
Of your sweet self. 

Helen. Well, all then, in rotation. 
Walter. Now I know a delicious tale 
Will suit you, Carrie, to a T. 

Caroline. Do tell me then, and I'll believe 
It more than truth, if need should be. 

Walter. Well ; Love is the child of bliss and woe j 
So, from his parents dear. 
One eye is blinded with a smile. 
One drowned in a tear. 
And on one lip there drops a kiss, 
Like honey from the wild woodbine ; 
And that's the lip he had from bliss — 
And that's the lip I will have mine ; 
But on the other hangs a lie, 
And that — but that's 'tween you and I. 
Caroline. How very odd I 
Walter. Why, it's a fact. 

And therefore needs no illustration ; 



FESTU8, 403 

But if yon think its principle abstract 
It is easily shown in operation. 

Caroline. Oh dear 1 no, no I I'll vow it's true, 
Rather than have it proved by you. 

Lucy. How aught than truth can e'er be truer, 
Is news than e'en the newest newer. 

Edward. Who thinks to sever life's delights 
From happiest duty, woe invites ; 
A facrt which minstrels of all times 
Have sanctioned, listen ! in their rhymes : 

Lucy (sing.t). 

As I stood by the lakelet of love, to my view, 
Mid the moon's fairy glow, shone a soul- charming scene ; 
The clouds were all silver, the skies were all blue. 
And the shores were all waving with woodlands of green. 
In R boat-shell of pearl sailed a maid and a youth. 
And the song that she sang sounded sweeter than truth ; 
But the youth sjit all silent ; and soon to my sight, 
They sped thi'ough the gathering shadows of night. 

"While I watched them departing, the waves seemed to sigli, 
And the faintest of halos encircled the moon ; 
And though love-light the gale, ever feigning to die, 
There were signs of a change coming sudden and soon. _ 
But the skies were still beaming, the stars were still bright, 
And the lovers still steering their course of delight, 
When the sound of the song on mine ear died away, 
And the seal of sweet silence concluded the day. 

When the sun to its woes first awakened the world, 
What a scene ! the tall forests lay prostrate and bare ; 
While the love-freighted bark into fragments was hurled. 
And the youth and the maiden, alas ! they were — where ? 
'Gainst the tempest that raged they had struggled in vain ; 
And the lake rolling wroth as the storm-stricken main ; 
Then the voice that was silent had shrieked round the shore; 
And the song that seemed sweeter than truth was no more. 

William. With poets everything must deathless be ; 
Now, it's the passingness of things that gives 
Their most exciting charm to me ; 
Life has less beauty if it ever lives. 
All loveliest things pass soonest ; clouds and flowers, 
Rainbows, heart-kindling glances, the sweet smile. 
Because brief, we admire, or make them ours ; 
But we should slight them lived they longer while. 

Charles. It is sweet to dream we are blessed at last with her 
Who first made rapture in our bosom stir ; 
Who.^e heart was fiction's home, while pure romance 
Came purer from her lips ; or was't, perchance, 
Her soul was music's shrine, whence with skilled key, 
Each clear delicious tone the world of sound 
Owns, as akin to airs celestial, she 
At will drew forth, and radiated around 1 
Though fairer, kinder since we may have known , 
That first most innocent vision sits her throne ; 
Still in our sleep plays o'er young passion's part; 



404 FESTUS 

As pleasure's ghost still haunts the ruined heart ; 

Where lie the buried loves of younger years, 

Whose rites and requiems are as sighs and tears. 

Sleep on, ye living dead, in day, nor rise. 

But in night's shadowy shapes and dreamy eyes. 

Then, fade not, stir not till the imagined scene. 

Brain- wrought, with earliest joy the soul possess : 

'Tis bliss to have known the vision that hath been ; 

To dream of happiness is happiness. 

But dearer than that tone, and than the dream 

Sweeter, of bliss, or long-remembered love, 

It is to feel we shall be deathless, here ; 

That earth will speak of us, when gone above. 

Geoege. Sweeter and dearer still than all before, 
Would be to hear some say, I'll say no more : 
A blessing I can scarce expect to be 
From those who are more near than dear to me ; 
You, Charles, for instance. 

Charles. Why, you greedy elf, 

Would you have all the nonsense to yourself ? 

Helen. Now let us have no argument, I pray. 

Feank. Suppose we have a pretty lively song. 

Emma. Suppose you sing it, then. 

Feank. Well, never say 

I don't intend to help you, right or wrong. 
Will no one sing ? then I'll essay 
A song I learned but yesterday. 

Oh gaze on her beautiful soft rolling eye, 
And revel with bliss in its languishing love ; 
Oh gaze on its darkness and brightness, and sigh 
That truth from that heaven should ever remove. 
Oh gaze on her ringlets of raven black hair ; 
And her delicate eyebrow's soft pencilly Hne ; 
Would her heart were but true as her bosom is fair ; 
That the saint were as worthy of love as the shrino. 

I have gazed, I have loved, I have worshipped ; but fain 
I now would declare it, my madness is past ; 
But pleasure no more in my heart will remain 
Than the sparkle of spray on the sand -beach cast. 
I loathe her, and love her ; I never can rail ; 
It is passed, and I reck not ; my fortune I dare : 
Henceforward, the shroud of my hopes is my sail ; 
And the peace which I sought, I have found — in despair 

Lauea. Hast thou got anything there for me ? 
For surely thou never shouldst bring me near thee, 
Unless thou hast some gift with thee. 
To bribe me to hear thee. 

Edwaed. I bring thee neither bribe nor boon, 
I offer only flowers. 
Which gathered thus the hope devise 
Each other's hearts are ours. 
Receive them lady, in that breast 
With peace and purity to rest • 



FESTUa. 405 

And oh, if not too much for prayer, 
With them, my life my love be there. 

Laura. Thou mayst be happy if thou wilt, 
Nor envy these poor flowers their spot ; 
For close as in a clenched hand 
Thy love within my heart hath lot. 

Fanny. "WTio mentioned ghosts ? In nothing I so glory 
As a right thrilling, chilling, good ghost story. 

Edwabd. But on a soft and fragrant summer eve, 
With glistening flowers and flashing waters by, 
One lacks the proper impulse to believe : 
But then, — I don't believe them. 

Will. Oh 1 nor I. 

Lucy. They want a fireside and a howling storm ; 
Summer time seems too sensuous and warm. 

Frederic. Oh 1 you are a parlous little infidel, 
Or I could tell a tale ; but I am not well. 
My head seems wrong, and somehow, altogether, 
Feels like a bullet on a peacock's feather. 

Walter. Do you believe that spirits interfere 
With men, events, or actions anywhere ? 

Charles. Let gold bagged priests, from Ganges to Bermudas, 
The gospel preach, according to St. Judas ; 
It is my opinion, if the truth were known, 
That earth pertains to man and beast alone ; 
And neither saint, nor fiend, nor bright nor dark angel, 
Between the south pole and the port of Archangel, 
Have any call, or leave, or will, or power 
To meddle with a mortal for an hour. 

Fanny. Oh 1 you're an unbeliever. 

Charles. That is true. 

So far as I may not believe in you. 

Helen. Sir, you are rude. But since my faith's attacked^ 
WTiat of immortals ? Is it not a fact 
That saints and demons of ttimes interact ? 
Such the belief at least in times of yore. 
Which, if we share not, our disgrace is more. 
Things sacred and supernal did we mind 
More, and omit the meaner cares of life, 
Our souls would grow like holy, like refined, 
With loftier thoughts and nobler actions rife. 
There is an ancient legend I have heard 
About a saint, a demon, and a stone, 
Which bears upon this matter word for word ; 
A marvel I myself have seen and known. 

Harry. Enchant us, pray, still further. We will be 
Moveless and mute to meet your wishes ; 
Yours the sole speech, your awful audience we ; 
Between us, Saint Antonio, and the fishes. 

Charles. I beg you will not. I neither wish 
To be mistaken for a saint nor fish. 

Sophia. A spuit speaking as is writ, 



406 FE8TU8, 

Mig-lit yet convert you. 

Charles. Not a whit : 

I'd not believe a word I heard of it. 
Nor yet of summer fairies, winter ghosts, 
Nor any other spiritual hosts. 

Helen. As true as 'tis, the great earth knoweth not 
That it is part of heaven, and God's own lot, 
Though some there are who know it ; so there be 
Bards who affect much infidelity ; 
Although they never can abandon quite 
Their loyal love to the pure Infinite. 
Meantime, you speak more laxly, Charles, than prudent, 
And quite forget your recent life as student. 

Charles. But students, whatsoe'er their kind, 
Must now and then unstring the mind. 
In years gone by I have believed so much, 
My liege imperial knows I don't deceive her, 
That as infinity does on nothing touch. 
My next door neighbour's now an unbeliever ; 
And no one can imagine who has not 
Tried incredulity, how blessed his lot. 

Eaima. Just now, Charles, you uncourteously named 
The fairies. 

Charles. I confess. 

Emma. Then I propose, 

Of your impiety are we so ashamed, 
A solemn censure on such loose opinions ; 
And strict expulsion from these free dominions. 

Caroline. Have mercy 1 

Helen. What can be too bad for those 

Who trust but their own senses ? I suppose 
All here have seen the rings the fairies track 
In dancing on the mead ; and he must lack 
Mere sense who doubts of their existence, when 
Their footsteps are as marked as those of men ? 

Charles. Commandress of the beautiful 1 of these tlironea 
Supreme disposer 1 star incarnate, hear I 
Thy sceptral lily no companion knows ; 
Thy flowery crown no rival in our sphere. 
And though we all have doubtless, curious, viewed. 
While large o'erloaded wealthy looking wains, 
Quietly swaggering home through leafy lanes, 
In autumn evening's shadowy solitude. 
Leaving on all low branches, as they come. 
Straws for the birds, ears of the harvest home, 
Those dark green rings where fairies sit and sup, 
Crushing the roseate dew in the acorn cup ; 
Where by his new made bride, the bridegroom sips, 
The white round moon upon his longing lips 
Shimmering ; yet know, 'tis only by report, 
By fiction, legend, by mistake, in short, 
yfe smiling tell the old tradition j 



FE8TU8. m 

And half affect to understand. 
But while I g^ant your loftier position, 
Ask any fiery proof which may demand 
The fateful service of this loyal hand ; 
I'll not be reasoned into superstition. 

Laura. We know what sufferings you have undergone. 

Charles. Could I but say how I've been treated 
How sadly I've been jilted, cheated ; 
It would move the passion of a stone ; 
And yet when not with ladies I'm alone. 
I like the company of women most, 
And after theirs my own : 
Among men I feel always lost. 
Ladies' society for me, or none. 

Helen. Peace 1 say no more. We all agree in part. 
This court thinks fit to confiscate your heart ; 
And, till the fine be paid, to one at least — 
Some lady here — you cannot be released. 
Begone I thank us that you escape so well 
From what it is impossible to tell. 

Charles. Oh ! I appeal against my fate. 

Helen. Just as a cur a coach may bait. 
It nought avails. 

Charles. But what am I to do ? 

The puzzling power of a pair of eyes ! 
One pair is black, one grey, another blue : 
I am a sacrifice 1 

They are three — the sweet sisters I love in my heart, 
And all so unlike and so fair ; 
When with all, I am longing to love them apart. 
And apart, I would all of them there. 
By the world, I dare say, I shall greedy be reckoned, 
But my wish I can name in a word : 
I would live with the first, I would die with the second, 
And immortal I'd be with the third. 

Helen. Go : we have pardoned you with like contrition. 
As we condemned — without condition ; 
This point excepted — that you sing a song 
In token your deliverance is wrong, 
Though just my judgment. Pray don't keep us long ; 
Or banishment perhaps may be your lot. 

Charles. Oh 1 I protest against it. 

OTHERa Despot fair, 

Your sentence is too cruel. 

Helen. Hold slaves, what ? 

Dispute 1 I fine you each. So now, despair. 
Thus We adopt first the most stringent measure ; 
Our taxes are your songs, your fines our pleasura 
These ladies will assist you now and then. 

Emma. Behave yourselves like men. 

Charles. There's no escaping, it appears to me, 
However nod and wink, etc., be. 



40S FE8TUS, 

I look on thee while singing, 

Thou bright- eyed love of mine, 
As misers while they're ringing 

The gold they love to shine. 

Then while on this poor earth, 
Where pain and sorrow bound us, 

"We'll quaff the wine in mirth, 
And music make aroiind us ; 

"We'll drink the wine-god, Bacchus, 

And all our merry friends, 
And if old Death attack us, 

Why, then, the frolic ends. 

Laueence. Pray, is that all ? The moral, to my thought, 
Is yet to come, as certainly it ought. 

Feank. When a man asks for morals, it's a sign 
That he is wanting either them or wine. 

Chaeles. Let the young be glad ! though cares in crowd* 
Leave scarce a break of blue, 
Yet hope gives wings to morning clouds ; 
And while their shade the sky enshrouds — 
By love and wine which through them shine, 
They are turned to a golden hue. 
Then give us wine, for we ought to shine 
In the hour of dark and dew. 

Helen. A broad hint truly. Pay the bard his foe, 
I dare say he is thirsty. 

Feank and Othees. So are we 1 

Chaeles. What ho 1 a butt of sack 1 

Helen. But no butt here 

Or sack you'll get another way I fear. 
Bemember that, within our sacred sight. 
You should continue abstinent, to-night. 
Indeed I don't approve that sort of song ; 
And think it very rude and rather wrong. 
To make my subjects good, is my main plan ; 
Let them be merry with it, if they can. 
Mind, as it is, I am resolved almost. 
To make you forfeit your important post. 

Edwaed. Freedom, authority, — twin poles 
Bound which revolve all human souls, — 
The many choose that easier state 
Where others for them arbitrate j 
These, stronger, liberty prefer. 
With livelier pleasure, power to err ; 
But lest rebellion dare dispute the helm 
With her, appointed over us, to be 
The crowned mistress of our joyous realm, 
I here maintain her sacred sovereignty. 
Firm to her throne, her crown, I stand. 
And vouch her irresponsible command. 

Helen. Thanks, Edward ; I would knight yon on the spot> 
But, really, I'm afraid my sword's forgot. 



FESTUa 400 

However, take my rerbal accolade I 
Imagine I embrace you ; and in proof 
Of your high act of fealty just made, 
Sing, sir, I charge you, on your own behoof. 

Edward. Sing I cannot ; but if you please to list 
A fable, from a fine old moralist. 
Whose name I have forgotten — but no matter — 
^sop, or some one ; probably the latter — 

Helen. I am sorry, Edward, we're not able 
Your song to commute for a fable ; 
Because in that delicious time 
When gods and nymphs were in their prime, 
Brutes spoke, the poets all allow, 
As sensibly as men do now. 

Edwaed. If all said, square not wholly with the time 
Firstly laid down, it matters not in rhyme ; 
Which, with an all-controlling care of things, 
Gives its own laws to chaos, or to kings. 

Frank. A heart full of feeling, a cup full of wine ; 
Come — sip, love ; come — sip, love ; 
There's nothing I lack but that sweet lip of thine ; 
Thy lip, love — thy lip. love. 
Thine eyes are like two romping stars, 
That look as they had drank of wine ; 
And flying from nignt's brow, had brought 
Their liquid love to thine. 
But I forget ; they're not the words I mean. 

Helen. Wilt sing, Sophia ? 

Sophia. I obey thee, queen. 

Of knight and lady to each other true, 
I sing the generous lay, their due. 

Yes, lady dear, for aye — adieu ! 

The false world I defy, lady ; 
But thou, sweet soul, so fair, so true, 

I would thou couldst not sigh, lady. 
Oh ! mind thee not of me when gone, 

But lay thy memory by, lady : 
In light and J03auuce live thou on ; 

Leave me, leave me to sigh, lady ! 

fair ! true ! for aye I go ; 
From thee, from thee I hie, lady : 

1 must not yield me to thy woe, 
I dare not list thee sigh, lady. 

Yonder thou seest my father's hall, 

"Whose turrets pierce the sky, lady ; 
Ah ! rather migb't they on me fall, 

Than I would hear thee sigh, lady ! 

To far-off lands now wends his way ; 

And, if he there should die, lady, 
Oh ! let thy true love, happy, say 

He never caused thee sigh, lady. 
Farewell for aye ! It wrings thy heart, 

It drowns thy darkening eye, lady. 
Farewell ! I feel what 'tis to part ; 

But say thon wilt not sigh, lady ! 



410 FESTUa. 

Will. May none here ever know as true 
The false cold lover's last adieu I 
But yet to show things as they be, 
The false maid thus ye all may see. 

Thou lov'st another, maiden ! 

And I am free as thou ; 
My heart with scorn is laden, 

To speak but with thee now. 
Though through thy glossy ringlets 

My hand hath often played, 
Here — take it back ! 1 loathe it — 

The long unbosomed braid. 
Away, away ! no more with thee. 

Thou falsest, fairest maid ! 

One heart is ripe and laden 

"With love for me e'en now ; 
I'll woo me then the maiden 

More kind, more true than thou. 
Then give it to my rival, 

The black and glossy braid ; 
And give the hand which twined it, 

The cheek whereon it played. 
Away, away ! no more with thee, 

Thou fairest, falsest maid ! 

Helek. There beams, methinks, a story in those eycSj 
Lucy, of thine, of faithfulness to death, 
Unlike the desolate discords which now rise 
So oft 'tween hearts love stiU companioneth. 

Lucy. Most gentle sovereign 1 sacred be thy hest ; 
Would the light levy yet were worthier thee. 
My lay belongs then to the city bright, 
Which, goddess-like, sprang sparkling from the sea. 

Thus to a fair Venetian maid. 

The proudest of the train, 
With which the Doge went forth arrayed 

To wed his vassal main : 

* This very day,' her lover said, 

* Will Venice go the sea to wed.* 

* Say, dearest, how thy knight so true 

Shall win this longed for hand; 

What deed of daring, valour's due. 

Shall honour love's command ? ' 

* I'll have the bridal ring,' said she, 

* Wherewith the Doge will wed the sea ! • 

Came forth the Doge and aU his train, 

And sailed upon the sea ; ^ 
The banners waved, and music's strain 

Eose soft and heavenwardly ; 
And blue waves raced to seize the ring 
Which ghded through them gUttering, 

The lover through the bright array 

Eushed by the Doge's side : 
A plunge — and plxune and mantle gay 

Lay lashing on the tide ; 
He heard a shriek, but down he dived, 
To follow where the ring arrived. 



FESTUS. 411 

He BOTight 80 long, that all above 

Believed him gone for aye ; 
Nor knew they 'twas his haughty love 

Who shrieked and swooned away. 
At length he rose to light— half dead — 
But held the ring above his head. 

The lady wept — the lover smiled — 

She had not deemed he would 
Have dared it, — was a foolish child— 

And loved as none else could. 
* Take it, and be a faithful bride 
To death,* the lover said, and died. 

The lady to a convent hied, 

And took the holy vows ; 
And was till death a faithful bride 

To her eternal spouse. 
And then the ring her lover gave 
They buried with her in her grave. 

Walteb. a gem may have a hundred sides, 
And glitter bright in each : 
Where true philosophy presides 
Pleasure it is to teach ; 

I therefore choose the charms of happy faith. 
Secure in love's all present joy ; 
From aught that might e'en dreams alloy, 
With dread of future skaith, 

I dreamed of thee, love, in the eve, 
And I lay among bright blushing flowers ; 
I awoke — and, ^ ! how could I grieve, 
If the blooms hurried back to their bowers ? 

I dreamed of thee, love, in the night, 
And the stars stood around by my head ; 
I awoke to thv beauty so bright, 
And the stars "hid their faces and fled. 

I dreamed of thee, love, in the mom, 
And a poet's bright dreamings drew nigh ; 
I awoke, and I laughed them to scorn : 
They were black by the blink of thine eye. 

I dreamed of thee, love, in the day. 
And I wept, as I slept, o'er thy charms ; 
I awoke, as my dream went away, 
And my tears were all wet on thine arms. 

Helen. Ah I who would long for bliss above, 
That tastes the joys below ? 
Or, hanging on the lips of Love, 
Would seek to kiss his brow ? 
Unless to change and clear the taste, 
Lest sweets iu sameness run to waste. 

George. C!ome, do you dance 7 

Laubence. No ; we two here remain, 

Mabian. But why indulge in mutual sorrows vain ? 
And if I grant this one request — 

Laubence. It is the last time I shall be bo blessed. 
Oh I thou art kind, and I will tbintc 



413 FESTUS 

This wine to be thy love I drink ; 

Blood my heart would gladly miss, 

Could it BO be filled with this ; 

And each pulse would madlier move, 

Warm with wine, alive with love. 

Look upon it, love, and weep 

Thine eyelight o'er its purple deep ; 

So each luminous glance shall be 

Like phosphor globelet in the sea. 

Other lovers soon will sue thee — 

Let them — they will ne'er possess 

More than I enjoy who view the 

Lightning of thy loveliness. 

It may be love and light in heaven, 

But here on earth such love is death ; 

And such light is blindness driven, 

Lance-like, through the breast and breath. 

All who love thee sure will die : 

Thy beauty hath fatality. 

For now is near my heart's last hour ; 

I feel it fading like a flower, 

When folding up its leaves to rest, 

And narrowing in its own sweet breast. 

I mean not that I die to-day, 

But that my spirit wears away. 

And, save thyself, see nought to lure it 

Back to earth's falsehoods which immure it. 

Makian. Thou wilt live yet many happy yean^ 
Far more in number than the tears 
Men shed o'er broken hearts, if not 
When first forsaken, aye forgot ; 
While we, according to old fashion. 
With our own tears must slake our passion ; 
Or weeping in our bosoms lorn and lone, 
Try if tears cannot turn the heart to stone. 

Laurence. Promise, dearest, when I die. 

Marian. Such phrase can scarce to me apply. 

Laurence. Not to mourn, nor weep, nor sigh ; 
Eyes like thine should never weep, 
Nor sweet bosom sorrow keep. 
Let nor stone, nor verse, nor aught, 
Mark where rests — what loved and thought ; 
If they ask thee where I lie, 
Say, within thy memory. 
Weep not thou o'er grave of mine ; 
Sprinkle on it sparkling wine ; 
That shall keep the grass all new 
Like to an immortal dew ; 
And some fallen star shall stay, 
Watching, while thou art away„ 
Scatter rose and ivy wreath 
On the turf I rest beneath ; 



FE8TU8. 413 

Murmur low my favourite song, 
Through the deep blue twilight long ; 
In that soft and soothing tone, 
Heaven to thee, love, lends alone. 
When I'm gone, then, come again ; 
Talk to me in lightsome strain ; 
Should I answer, start not thou ! 
I'll but say I'm blessed as now ; 
Should no sound the silence break, 
Think me, oh I too blessed to speak. 
Let me lie till angels say. 
Wake 1 the world's long week is passed : 
Spirit 1 this is holy-day ; 
This is God's — the best and last. 

Marian. Well were such feeling, such request, 
To any save to me addressed. 

Helen. Come, Marian, having finished our parade, 
We have leisure now to list another lay : 
But since you have not been dancing, I'm afraid 
Laurence and you are idle, love-sick, say ? 

Mabian. Could I comply I'd not remain thus mute. 

Fbbdebic, Shall I sing for you as a substitute ? 

I saw a rose was fading — 

Fading 'neath mine eye ; 
"When thus, with love's upbraiding, 

I heard that passed one sigh : — 
Oh ! give me back one blush — • 

But one from out the many 
1 loved to give to thee 

Ere other I knew any — 

Liked or looked on any. 

For I am sad and lonely — 

Lone and Uke to die ; 
Oh ! give me back one only, 

I am too weak to cry. 
The beam, the breeze, the dew, 

Shun now my shrinking bosom ; 
Tears I hare need but few, 

Their brine can bring no blossom— 

Me, nor bhght nor blossom. 

Then to that rose was failing — 

Failing 'neath mine eye, 
I said, 'tis useless wailing ; 

Forget, forgive, and die. 
One look to heaven in prayer. 

And one to me in kindness ; 
The deathwind shook its leaves. 

And I was one with blindness — 

Lone in burning blindness. 

Habby. Although I would not needlessly intrude — 
Fanny. To sing, not being asked, is rude, 
Habby. To cease with such a dull down-hearted ditty, 
Would be a wrong, I think, as well as pity. 
Lucy. Pray, sing us something livelier, then. 



414 FE8TU8. 

Sophia. And don't be personal again. 

Annie's eyes are like the night, 
Nell's are like the morning gray; 
Fanny's like the gloaming light, 
Hal's are sunny as the day : 

Bright — dark — blue — gray, 
I could kiss them night and day : 

Grey — blue — dark — bright — 
Morning, evening, noon, and night. . 

Annie's brow's arched like the sky, 
Nell's is white without a spot ; 
Hal's is as a palace high, 
Fanny's lowly like a cot : 

High — arched — low — white, 
I could kiss them day and night ; 

White — low — arched — high , 
Kiss them night and day could I. 

Annie's lips are warm and bright, 
Fanny's free and full of play ; 
Hal's are sweetest out of sight, 
Nell's are always in the way : 

Bright — warm— sweet— play, 
I could kiss them night and day ; 

Play — sweet — warm — ^bright, 
All the day and all the night. 

Lucy. Had I a little sister 
Just a fairy, six years old ; 
And with eyes of grey or blue. 
Or of dark, or sunny hue. 
Why, I think I might have kissed her, 
In the way that you have told. 
But for sake of sleep and quiet, 
'Twould be mad, I think, to try it. 

Will. Mulcted in song I hasten to discharge 
The debt I owe, and pay it thus in large. 

Oh ! Love's a bold pirate — ^the soul of the sea ! 
He impresses the proud, and he fetters the free ; 
His flag's a red heart, in the bows are his guns, 
And the wind's always with him — the foe ever runs. 

Oh ! Love's a bold pirate — the son of the sea ! 

The winds are his laws, and his laws make him free. 

The star that he steers by, her eye he adores. 

And the haven he's bound for, earth's infinite shores. 

Oh ! Love's a bold pirate — the sword of the sea ! 

For the poor he hatn plunder, and fame for the free ; 

At home in a chase, he nor spares foe nor friend ; 

Though a stem chase, and long chase, the longest must end. 

Oh ! Love's a bold pirate — the pet of the sea ! 
He will do all, and dare all, 'gainst all that may be ; 
He haUs her all fair, just before they fall to't, 
And his foe makes his prize and his consort to boot. 

Helen. Were Festus here, and his strange friend, 
Who like his shadow, follows him. 
We should not feel so lost, nor lend 
One's heart to mirth I scarce commend 



FESTUa, 4SB 

Mirth, whose hot breath pure soul will dim. 
For he whom all here present, love, 
And I adore, fails ne'er to move 
Our hearts to dwell on loftier themes 
Than pleasure's chase, or joy's vain dreams. 

Charles. Your loveliness is always right, 
In fallibility's despite. 
Though now as fond of harmless mirth, 
As any faithless miscreant on the earth ; 
Yet cultured mind it scarce beseems, 
All art's achievements, wisdom's gains, 
And truths, which knowledge justly deems 
Outbalance conquest's costliest pains, 
For youth's vain joys to sacrifice ; 
And mute but bright applause of beauty's eyes. 

Helen. Witness, ye stars 1 the vow to you addressed j 
Shall never more such thoughtless hours be given 
By me to merest pleasures I Thus confessed, 
Behold this starlet, from its velvet rest. 
Like birdling bright, from mother's nest 
Snatched, I have placed upon my breast ; 
Sign that for higher aims my soul hath striven ; 
You, Charles, have seen me, and shall know the rest. 

Chakles. I marked a constellation rise in heaven. 

Marian. And what remains for me but rest, 
Acceptance, and a soul to peace resigned ? 
Let me not heaven's decrees contest, 
Nor scan with carping mind. 
Life to lay down, as love to leave. 
If called. I ought without regret ; 
Comes not the beauty of the eve 
Till all the sun be set. 
And though they last not quite an hour, 
Yet have the vespers more 
Of holy evercoming power. 
Than all day-rites before. 
If soon the sunshine of my day 
Hath grown beclouded, who shall say 
Life's woise probation is not o'er ? 

Helejt. Be it, for mercy's sake, I pray. 
And now that we enough have laughed and mourned, 
This house of kings and queens must stand adjourned. 
The day hath darkened into twilight, night 
Hath glittered into starlight, since we met ; 
The restorative dew hangs thick and bright 
On herb and tree and flower ; yon foamy jet 
Flings up its bubbling music chillier now ; 
And droop the blooms that long have wreathed the brow. 
Ladies, and you bold serfs I I now propose 
To bring this joyous vigil to a close ; 
And as aU bidden have now paid their fine, 
To leave these heroes to their fate — their wine. 



<16 FE8TU8. 

Chables. Except yourself, dear despot, all 
Have done their best to hum or squall ; 
But if your beautyship would condescend 
To teach us what true melody might be, 
There's not a creature present but would lend 
His ears to listen for a century. 

Helen. Sir, I respect you for your flattery ; 
All compliments of course are strange to me ; 
The moral strength required for flattery now, 
To a fair young queen is great you must allow : 
I only envy you the power to make them. 

Charles. 'Tis sure the better part to take them. 

Helen. We don't believe them when you pay them, 

Charles. Nor we when we say them. 
No longer then, ladies, I pray, 
At our flattery or fickleness grieve ; 
If you never believe what we say, 
"We never say what we believe. 

Helen. From our rule and example, gentles, learn, 
And lay this to your hearts each one in turn : 
Pay compliments, pay visits, pay respects, 
But pay your just debts first. 

Harry. Our whole effects I 

Helen. The royal rule of pure equality. 
In complaisance and kindness, still shall ba 
Confided in, and reverenced by me : 
So shall my deed of abdication make 
My queendom lost to me, another's gain ; 
And so may all who here successive reign. 
Nor think themselves too witty, wise nor plain, 
Be loved, as loser, for the losing's sake. 
Let me a moment's study take. 

Lucy. Poor Marian, much I grieve for her j 
Her glorious promise unfulfilled. 
Now, nought but love's remembrancer ; 
As woods, with sport and music gay, 
In dumbness dark, by sunset stilled. 

Helen. She too lives much within my mind j 
And if by her loss I have gained, 
In her I honour unrestrained. 
That faithfulness she failed to find. 
Attend 1 my song the constancy discovers 
Of a right royal pair of lovers 
Whom never thought nor wish to part, 
One moment crossed, in mind or heart. 

Come, beloved, let us roam 

Forth into the golden fields ; 
Ton high palace marks our hoire, 

Ours is all that nature yields : 
Come, betrothed and espoused, 

Earth is rising towards the sun^ 
And -with hght and joy aroused. 

Meets the love witmn us one. 



1 



FJSSTU8. 417 

Open now thy sleep -dewed eyes, 

Show the subject soul its queen ; 
Brierhter than the newborn sides 

Their delicious depths I ween. 
Don thee, love, thy royal white ; 

Needs no more divine array; 
Fairer than the morning light, 

Eule thou ever with the day. 

Come tlie morrow, day divine, 

AH shall wake and bless the sun ; 
Those thou lovest shall be mine, 

They and thou and I be one : 
Crown and throne the world shall gain, 

Thou the universal state ; 
Bride and beauty, rise and reign, 

Love thy life, and heaven thy fate. 

FbanK. The meaning whereof as I take it, — 

Helen. True ; it's exactly what you make it. 

Charles. A right royal riddle, the more I revolve it, 
The greater the mystery to me appears. 
As I don't think on earth there's a soul that can solve it, 
I vote to discuss it some day 'mid the spheres. 

Geobge. There's only one thing wanting that could mend 
That song ; — a blaze of fireworks at the end. 

Helen. I'll not have aught I sing, or say, 
Discussed, or carped at, anyway. 
Farewell, friends 1 let us hope to meet again 
When others may be present whom we know. 

Edwaed. Go, semi-demi deities, in vain 
True faith the polytheist scouts ; 
No soul that's sane 'mong either doubts 
The world will worship idols still. 

Geoege. Pray, go 1 — 

Walteb. At last the so-called soulless have departed. 
Leaving sundry broken-hearted. 

Fbedebic. To make the life of perfect mould, 
Like that in Paradise of old, 
Each must give their better part ; 
We our soul and they their heart. 

Laurence. The night hath gone, and all the stars 
Have vanished at the sun's bright warning ; 
Still the moon, ghostlike, haunts the heaven, 
As though she deemed to her 'twas given : 
What hath the moon to do with morning ? 
So love is fled, and all the fair 
Gone ; some with smiling, some with scorning, 
Save one, the fairest far above : 
But what have I to do with love, 
More than the moon hath with the morning ? 
The moon hath lost her light, and seems 
To dim the scene she was once adorning : 
So my poor heart, its lovelight gone, 
StiU in the heavens where late it shone. 
Lags like the moon upon the morning. 



418 FJE8TU8. 

But I am likest to that moon in tMs, 
That I am brightest when my love's away ; 
For when with her my borrowed light is lost 
As is the moon's amid the dazzling day. 

Charles. I hear a step ; 'tis his I am sure 
By those most wished who forced to endure 
These mumbled monologues disdain, 
Justly, I think, their selfish strain. 

Will. Friends it becomes friends' trust to 
And social, 'mid such themes as these, 
Fit matters fitly treat ; nor speak 
Of aught not apt to mirth and ease. 
Feank. 'Tis Festus 1 welcome. 
Festus. Glad am I 

To light on guests so well disposed, 
So well engaged. 

George. One beaker try 

Ere yet this flask's account be closed. 

Harry. Good 1 pass the ruby round. There's nought so dttll 
As to behold a noble vessel full 
Of radiant blessings, halt upon its way ; 
So fairly give and fairly take, I say. 
Progress is nature's unexcepted law ; 
'Twere better e'en to go from bad to worse, 
Than 'tween two like degrees of Ul see-saw ; 
Stagnation is an universal curse. 
There is nothing stands still — so old sages declare, 
But the world's ever changing in earth, sea, and air ; 
All the powers of nature, in truth if we trace, 
What are they ? — what are they, but running a race ? 
The winds from all quarters career through the sky ; 
They blow hot, they blow cold, they blow swift, they blow high j 
They follow, they flank, and they fly in our face ; 
What are they ? — what are they, but running a race ? 
The rivers that run to the ends of the earth, 
Flow thousands of miles from the place of their birth ; 
From the old and the new world they pour out apace j 
What are they ? — what are they but running a race ? 
The worlds they call wanderers, rolling on high, 
That enlighten the earth and enliven the sky ; 
Going hundreds of miles in a minute through space ; 
What are they ? — what are they, but running a race ? 
Then with goblets before us, whatever they hold, 
Let the hue of the nectar be pui-ple, be gold, — 
Let us say as we sit among friends, face to face, 
What are they ? — what are they, but running a race ? 

Frederic. Thou'rt scarcely, Festus, quite so gay 
As when, long since, thou went'st away. 

Festus. I've seen, — what now I cannot say ; 
But things that tend the mind to free — 

Frederic. From what, we'll not discuss. I see I 
No more of all our old hilarity 1 



FESTU3, 419 

Latjrencte. All this is lively. Beauty, love, and mirth 
Might seem to flavour even vapid earth 
To a pure spirit's lips. For my own part, 
I own it sinks life deeper in my heart, 
At every fresh recurrence : but at times 
A thought comes tolling o'er the darkened soul 
Which we dare hardly guest ; but ill it chimes 
"With scenes of joy like this, which from the roll 
Of memory we too oft would fain erase. 

George. Not I, one jot, save your ill-omened face. 

Walter. For sacred riddles this is neither time nor place. 

Laurence. No : but of earth some sacred writings tell 
Its flower was paradise, its fruit was hell. 
Such is the fruit of worldly pleasure now ; 
And thus perhaps my meaning you may trace. 

Harry. We do ; but think it useless to avow 
Such views at festive moments like the present. 

Charles. Indeed they call up notions quite unpleasant. 
So, let us rout them by another draught. 
And thoughts bright as the beverage quaffed. 

Harry. The future is the world of youth — 
The future is our joy ; 
We dream of honour, love, and truth, 
And bliss without alloy. 
But harp not now on lore or truth, 
Forget your dreams of glory ; 
The wine will double us our youth ; 
To-morrow dream again of sooth ; 
But now to what's before ye. 

Charles. Some say Truth lies in water, some in wine ; 
Suppose I mix them ; now she must be mine. 

Frank. Nothing again will serve to make us merry. 

Frederic. 'Twas stupid in you, Laurence. 

Laurence. Was it ? 

Will. Very. 

Edward. Infernal cant you'll always find 
Upsets all pleasant parties of this kind. 

George. He has put the company, 'tis plain, to flight*. 

Walter. And so I say — 

Charles. I'm going, too. 

All. Good night ! 

Festus. Now and again, earth's scenes to mo 
Grow dearer, as I rarelier see. 
So whilst yon streak of lowliest light 
Steals, as to kiss the upward steps of night, 
Wait I, to watch, alone the birth 
Sublime of morning on the earth. 
She comes 1 how beauteous are her smiles, 
The ever glorious mom ; 
Up from old ocean and his isles. 
Her car of radiance borne 
B^ the winged steeds of light, 

I k 



420 FESTUS. 

Spuming far the shades of night ; 

While darkness gathers round her head, 

Her heavy wings that late lay spread 

Wide o'er the sleeping world ; 

She quits her home, she flies away ; 

Abandons her usurped sway ; 

To shame and exile hurled ; 

Thus falsehood fly, in that blessed hour, 

When truth for aye resumes her long lost right and power 



XXVII. 

Not all regardless, meanwhile, for dear heart 

So lost, but elsewhere bent, through many a sphere, 

Celestial precincts quit, our venturous soul. 

Heaven's varied vast of worlds having long essayed, 

Of spirits sublime consociate, now returned, 

To his life's new liege ;— and joyously they greet 

As boat by breeze, and billow, backed by tide. 

His bright experience he of heavenly homes 

Kelates, where spiritual natures kind and high, 

Light-bom, which can divine eternal things, 

Passed and to come, dwell ; of the friendly fiend, 

Tells ominously, — xmeyeable of the mass. 

Strange forms will show ; — and something comforting speaks, 

From angel lips learned, of lost Eden's crown. 

The walls of Paradise are built up of stones, 

All virtues. Help we God to edify 

Within ourselves, his spiritual temple here. 

House, Garden, and Terrace, ly a River, 

Festus and Helen : afterwards Lucifeb. 

Helen. Come to the light, love ! Let me look on thee 
Let me make sure I have thee. Is it thou ? 
Is this thy hand ? Are these thy velvet lips, — 
Thy lips so lovable ? Nay, speak not yet I 
For oft as I have dreamed of thee, it was 
Thy speaking woke me. I will dream no more. 
Am I alive ? And do I really look 
Upon these soft and sea-blue eyes of thine, 
Wherein I half believe I can espy 
The riches of the sea ? Nay, heavenly hued 
As though they had gained from gazing on the skies 
Their high and starry beauty. These dark rolled locks 
Oh G-od 1 art thou not glad, too, he is here 1 — 
Where hast thou been so long ? Never to hear, 
Never to see, nor see one who had seen thee — 
Come now, confess it was not kind to treat 
Me in this manner. 



FESTUS. 421 

Festub. I confess, my love. 

But there I have been whence tongue, nor pen, ncr hand, 
Could token thee ; and seen, — enough I It is thee 
I see now, and thy shadow to me more 
Than all above essential. 

Helen. Where hast been ? 

Pestus. Say, am I altered ? 

Helen. Nowise. 

Festus. It ia well. 

Then, in the resurrection we may know 
Each other. I have been among- the worlds ; 
Angels, and spirits bodiless. 

Helen. Is this true ? 

Can it be so ? 

Pestus. It is : — and that both here. 
And elsewhere. When the stars come, thou shalt seo 
The track I have travelled through the light of night ; 
Where I have been, and whence my visitors. 

Helen. And thou hast been with angels all the while. 
And still dost love me 1 

Pestus. Constantly as now. 

But for the time I did devote my soul 
To their divine society, I knew 
Thou wouldst forgive ; yet dared not trust myself 
To see thee, or to wing one word, for fear 
Thy love should overpower the plan conceived, 
And acting, in my mind, of visiting 
The spirits in their space-embosomed homes. 

Helen. Porgive thee 1 'tis a deed which merits lova. 
And should I not be proud, too, who can say. 
For me he left all angels ? 

Pestus. I forethought 

So thou wouldst say ; but with an offering 
Came I provided, even with a trophy 
Of love angelic, given me for thee ; 
For angel bosoms know no jealousy. 

Helen. Show me. 

Pestus. It is of jewels I received 

From one who snatched them from the richest wrcc!s ^ 

Of matter ever made, the holiest, "*S 

And most resplendent. 

Helen. Why, what could it be ? 

Jewels are baubles only ; whether pearls 
Prom the sea's lightless depths, or diamonds 
Culled from the mountain's crown, or chrysolith, 
Cat's eye or moonstone ; or hot carbuncle. 
That from the bed of Eden's sunniest stream 
Extracted, lamped the ark, what time the roar 
Of lions pining for their free sands, smote 
The hungry darkness ; toys are they at test. '- 

Jewels are not of all things in my sight 
Most precious. 



422 FESTUS. 

Festits. Nor in mine. It is in their use 

Their value lies, the pure thoughts they call up 
Of beauty unearthly, and the qualities high, 
"Virtuous, each emblems. For as diamonds show 
Purest of things, light densed, which fire restores 
To air, nought left, so these let sign to thee 
The faith we need, all purity, all light. 
Through fervency resolving into heaven. 
Each bears his cross ; may thine ne'er heavier be, 
Nor darker, than the jewel which there illumes 
Thy bosom, as even to wanderer southward bound, 
Rises, how lovelily 1 o'er the calm blue wave. 
The star-cross of the skies, so light, so bright. 

Helen. I thank thee for that wish, and for the love 
AVhich prompts it — the immeasurable love 
I know is mine, and I with none would share. 
Forgive me ; I have not yet felt my wings. 
Now have I not been patient ? Let me see 
My promised present. 

Festus. Look, then — ^they are here ; 

Bracelets of chrysoprase. 

Helen. Most beautiful 1 

Henceforth to me these gems more dear shall be, 
More sacred, than to followers of Islam, 
The diamond star, where, under golden pall, 
The prophet lies of kingless Arabic ; 
Than that mysterious stone which Japhet's son 
Stole from his grandsire, weather foul and fair 
Buling, the tempest-generating gem ; 
Than the green brilliance of that luminous throne. 
Carved from an emerald block, where once sat young 
Vieija, king of solar blood, 'mid towers 
Palatial, by Serendib's pearly seas, 
Reared airily ; topped now by swart diver's heel ; 
Than those which decked the standard lost for aye 
To Persia, and the proud Iranian line. 
At Kadesieh, where Khaled, sword of God, 
The victory gained of victories ; and those gems 
Doled to his hosts, for every warrior one ; 
Though these more numerous than the winged cloud, 
"Which flays a province of its greenery ; 
Yea, than that solar jewel, one solid spark 
Erupted from the sun^ which rife with all 
Mysterious powers and virtues, Krishna sought 
I' the north's bear-guarded cavern, and one long moon 
Fought for, both night and day ere he could gain 
Triumphant ; — gem divine ; their every gleam, 
When I speak not, shall thank thee, they are mine. 

Festus. Come, let me clasp them, dearest, on thine arms ; 
For these of those are worthy, and are named 
In the foundation stones of the bright city, 
Built, blessed abode I f cr the immortal saved ; 



FESTU8, 423 



And snch their hue, the golden' green of plains 
Paradisal stretched about it boundlessly ; 
Tinted intenselier with the burning beauty 
Of God's eye, which alone doth light that land, 
Than our earth's cold grass garment with the sun ; 
Though even in the bright, hot, blue-skied east, 
Where he doth live the life of light and heaven ; 
Where, o'er the mountains, at midday is seen 
The morning star ; and the moon tans, at night, 
The cheek of careless sleeper. Take them, love. 
There are no nobler earthly ornaments 
Than jewels of the city of the saved. 

Helen. But how are these of that bright city 2 I 
Am eager for their history. 

Festus. They are 

Thereof prophetically. 

Helen. To me they seem 

Like glittering remnants of a ruinate star, 
Bather than aught of earth. 

FESTua But earth's they are, 

And Eden's too, whose rich oracular soil 
Grave birth to things which happily now f oreshew 
In dumb but radiant prophecy both type 
And substance of true soul-life virtue, all 
Our coming Paradise demands ; which told, 
As told to me by an angel thou wilt learn 
Whence and how came to thy fair arms, these gems. 

Helen. Well ; I will wait till then ; it is enough 
That I believe thee always ; — but would know. 
If not in me too curious to enquire, 
How came about these miracles 1 Hast thou raised 
The fiend of fiends, and made a compact dark, 
Sealed with thy blood, symbolic of the soul, 
Whereby all power is given thee for a time. 
All means, all knowledge, to make more secure 
Thy spirit's dread perdition at the end ? 
I of such awful stories oft have heard. 
And lore, soul-jeopardying ; nor know not whither 
Conceit like f ascinative might lead even me. 
Myself have charms ; foresee events in dreams ; 
Can prophesy ; and not unskilled to tell 
The secret ties between many a magic herb 
And mortal feeling, faculty, scarce myself 
Condemn for arts so innocent ; but thou ! 
Thy helps are mightier far, and more obscure. 
Was it with wand and circle, book and skull. 
With rites forbid, and backward-jabbered prayers, 
In cross-roads, or in churchyard, at full moon, 
By strange instruction of the ghostly dead. 
Thou hast achieved these wonders, and attained 
Buch high transcendent powers and secrets ? Speak- 
i Or is man's mastery over spirits not 



424 FE8TU8 f 

Of Bucli a vile and vulgar consequence ? 

Festus. Were not my heart as guiltless of all mirth, 
As is the oracle of an extinct god 
Of its priest-prompted answer, I might smile 
To list such askings. Mind's command o'er mind, 
Spirit's o'er spirit, is the clear effect 
And natural action of an inward gift, 
God-given, whereby the incarnate soul hath power 
To pass free out of earth and death to heaven 
And immortality, and with beings mate. 
Diverse of kind, lot, state. This mastery 
Means but communion ; means but power to quit 
Life's little globule here, and coalesce 
With the great mass about us. For the rest, 
To raise the devil were an infant's task, 
To that of raising man. Why, every one 
Conjures the fiend from heU into himself. 
When passion chokes or blinds him. Sin is hell. 

Helen. How bring'st a spirit to thee ? 

Festus. It is my will 

Makes visible. 

Helen. Shape me one in words. 

Festus. They come, 

The denizens of other worlds, arrayed 
In diverse form and feature, mostly lovely ; 
In limb and wing ethereal, finer far 
Than an ephemeris' pinion ; others, armed 
With gleaming plumes, void-conquering, pranked with fire. 
These of like offices, and unlike strengths, 
Powers, orders, tendencies, in such degrees 
As men, with even more variety, show 
Glories dissimilar, duties, and delights. 
Even as the ray of meteor, satellite. 
Planet and comet, nebula, sun, or star, 
Differ, and nature also, so do theirs. 
With them is neither need, nor sex, nor age, 
Nor generation, growth, decay, nor death ; 
Or none I have known ; such may be ; each mature, 
Created, and complete with all required 
Experience, seems. Perfect from God they come. 
Yet have they different degrees of beauty, 
Even as of strength and holy excellence. 
Sexless, I said, are angels, but the seals 
Mental of either holy kind, in all 
Prevail. Of milder and more f emiuine strain 
Than others seem some, beauty's proper sex, 
Shown but by softer qualities of soul. 
More lovable than awful ; more devote 
To deeds of individual piety, such, 
And grace, than mighty missions fit to task 
Sublimest spirits ; the toil, intense and vast, ^. - ' 

Of cultivatiopr nations of their kind ; 



FESTU8, 42B 

Of -vrorkmef out from the problem of the world, 
The great results of God, — result, sum, cause. 
These, ofttimes, charged with delegated powers, 
Formative or destructive ; those, in chief, 
Ordained to better, and skilled to beautify 
Existence as it is ; with careful love 
To tend upon particular worlds or souls ; 
Warning and training whom they love, to tread 
The soft and blossom-bordered, silvery paths, 
Which lead and lure the soul to paradise ; 
Making the feet shine which do walk on them ; 
While each doth Grod's great will alike, and both, 
With their whole nature's fulness, love his works. 
To love them, lifts the soul to heaven. 

Helen. Let me, then ! 

"VMience come they ? 

Festus. Some from orbs whose rudest mould's 

More worth, more fair, than queenly gem ; the dust 
Dullest they foot, is rosy diamond : — 
Others from heaven immediate ; but in high 
And serious love towards those they come to, all. 
Free be the blessed, none else, to visit whom. 
And where they choose : the lost, slaves ever ; here, 
Never but on their Master's merciless 
Business, nor elsewhere. Still -with these dark spirits 
Have I conversed, and in their soul's gross shade, 
That, like a mountain cavern of the moon, 
To fixed sight, deepening seems the more we gaze, 
Searched them, and wormed from them the gnawing truth 
Of their extreme perdition ; marking oft 
Nature revealed by torture, as a leaf 
Unfolds in fire, writhes, bums, yet unconsumed : 
Spirits who devastative of weaker soul. 
And fighting obstinately the glad belief, 
God's foresight and disposure of the world. 
Hold all hap-hazard come ; from bad to worst 
Led mainly ; self -tempested. Others are. 
Who garlanded with flowers unwithering, come, 
Or crouTied with sunny jewels, clad in light, 
And girded with the lightning ; in their hands 
Wands of pure rays or arrowy starbeams ; some 
Bright as the sun self-lit, in stature tall, 
Strong, straight, and splendid as the golden reed 
Which, heaven's all mothering city, seat of saints, 
Descendible, God shall sometime tread with man, 
Was measured with by the angel ; reed that found 
Aforetime by that angel, nigh the cross, 
And on high taken. God made gold, and now 
Stretched sceptrewise o'er all the skies, the scale 
It is held of power and glory infinite. 
Some gorgeous and gigantic, who with wings, 
Wide as the wings of armies in the field, 

P3 



426 PE8TUS, 

Drawn out for death, sweep over heaven ; and eyes 

Deep, dark as sea- worn caverns, with a torch 

Glaring at the end far back. "With pinions some 

Like an unfainting rainbow, studded round 

With stones of every hue and excellence, 

Writ o'er with mystic words which none may read, 

But those to whom their spiritual state 

Gives correlate meaning. Me do some in dreams 

Visit ; with some in visions 'mid their own 

Abodes of brightness, bliss, and power, have I 

Made one ; and know full well I shall joy with them 

Ere long their sacred guest, through ages yet 

To come, in worlds not now perhaps create. 

As they have been mine here : and some of them, 

Have walked with, through their winged worlds of light, 

Double and triple particoloured suns, 

And systems circling each the other, clad 

In tints of light and air, earth knows not of, 

Nor man ; orbs heaped with mountains, ours to theirs, 

Mere grave-mounds ; and their concave flowered with stare, 

All-hued ; their light now blent, now variant ; moons 

Many, and planets crescent, waning, full, 

In periodic change and intricate beauty. 

At once those strange and most felicitous skies, 

Illumining. As the nature of those spheres 

Their natives are ; some human-like, and some 

Of great gigantic grace and happiest air. 

Yet solemn as the sun ; they walk like winds, 

Whose dwelling is all immaterial space. 

And vanish slowly in the hollow heavens. 

Some of still vaster size and mightier mien, 

Whose movement is as thunder in a cloud. 

Devouring space ; some, like to flickering ghosts 

Of fire, while underneath their every step 

Spring perfumes up and flowers ; bedight in rays 

Aerial of the purest, brightest skies ; 

Others, of sanguine hue, whose step is like 

An instantaneous trembling of the heavens ; 

Others, again, whose forms for utter bright 

Are indefiuable ; from place to place 

Their feet pass like the twinklings of the stars j 

Some of a cold, pure bodily rayonnance 

As is the moon's of naked light, ungarbed 

In circumspheral au', who glide like clouds ; 

And some in bands, some singly, some in groups ; 

For all perchance is starlif e after death ; 

While others sworded, sceptred, crowned, and robed. 

Spirits of power who rule each one his star. 

Whose form is fire, whose life strength, and as storma 

Precipitate, come, and go ; nor e'er all known. 

For angels can assume the form they please, 

And transform things inanimate, 'is ono« 



FE8TU8. 427 

With earth's angeKc watcher I beheld ; 
The lonely diamond which bedecked her pale 
llansparent brow, was oh I so pure and clear ; 
Like one lar^e drop of paradisal dew, 
Immortalized, it shone ; and such, she said, 
It was ; from a leaflet gathered of the tree 
Of perfect life, on Eden's natal mom. 

Helen. I would it were mine to visit other worlds, 
Or see an angel. 

Festus. Wilt thou now ? 

Helen. I dare not. 

Not now, at least. I am not in the mood. 
Ere I behold a spirit, methinks, I'd pray. 
Yet if to orbs far off, one may not wend 
Like thee, nor note their natives on the spot ; 
That there's a short if steep way from the stars 
Their lords may come to us by, has been held 
By men for many an age, and held is still. 

Festus. Light as a leaf they step, or the arrowy 
Footing of breeze, upon a waveless pooL 
Sudden and soft, too, like a waft of light. 
The beautiful inmiortals come to me. 

Helen. But why art thou of all men favoured thus t 
To say there is a mystery in this, 
Or aught, is only to confess G-od, Speak 1 

Festus. It is God's will that I possess this power 
Thus to attract to mine great spirits, as steel 
Magnetically charged, steel diaws ; himself 
The magnet of the whole, round and towards whom 
All spirits do tremblingly tend. 

Helen. If, as thou sayest, 

'Tis good, be it to thee good, perduring ever. 

Festus. He hath no power who hath not power to use. 
Spirit's to soul, as wind to air ; and those 
Livelier, think less of earth, these duller, more : 
Such give me all I seek ; at an unsaid wish 
"Would furnish treasures, thrones, or palaces. 
But all these things have I eschewed, and chosen 
Command of mind alone, and of the world 
Unbodied, and all lovely. 

Helen. Is not this 

Pleasure too much for mortal to be good ? 

Festus. All pleasure is with thee, God ; elsewhere, none. 
Not silver ceilM haU, nor golden throne. 
Set thick with priceless gems as heaven with stars ; 
Or the high heart of youth with its bright hopes ; 
Nor marble gleaming like the white moonlight, 
As 'twere an apparition of a palace ; 
Inlaid with light, as is a waterfall ; 
Not angel pinions coloured like yon cloud 
Bannering the sun's broad evening tent, can match 
Child-musings on life's glorious years to come ; 



428 FESTU8. 

How, then, his faith to whom the All-kind vouchsafes 

The heaven of his own bosom ? What can tempt 

In its performance, equal to that promise ? 

My soul stands fast to heaven, as doth a star, 

And only God can move it, who moves all. 

There are who might have soared to what I spumed ; 

And like to heavenly orders human souls : 

Some fitted most for contemplation, some 

For action ; those for thrones, and these for wheels. 
Helen. Tell me what they discourse upon, these angels, 
Festus. Much speak they of what's passed, or coming ; less 

Of present things and actions. These most tell 

Of heavenly histories, rich in vast events ; 

God's dealings with especial worlds ; of tests 

Pending, to come, those ; others of the gone, 

The dim traditions of eternity, 

Or time's first golden moments. One there was, 

From whose sweet lips elapsed, as from a well. 

Continuous, truths, which my soul fertilized 

With richest thoughts, spake to me oft of heaven, 

Salvation, immortality, angels, God. 

Our talk was of divine things alway : soul, 

The diverse states of spirit ; time's testing grades ; 

Truth's, faith's progressive steps ; the varied kinds 

Of Being in different spheres, these physical, 

Those intellectual most. I never tired 

Preferring questions, but at each response, 

My soul drew backwards, sealike, into its depths, 

To urge another charge on him. This spirit 

Long time came to me daily, and whene'er 

I prayed his presence. Many a world he knew 

Right well, eye ne'er hath marked on earth, nor may ; 

Yet perfect variedly. Still more, each time 

He came, had grown his knowledge on mind's truths, 

Inmost, and spirit's sublimest themes. His thoughts, 

Like the immensest features of an orb. 

Whose eyes are blue seas, and whose clear broad brow 

Some cultured continent, showed from time to time. 

Revolved, some mightiest truth. Interpretant, he. 

Teaching divine things by analogy, oft. 

With mortal and material, showed of God, 

Forbidding even, as soul-idolatry. 

To shape a mental image of the one 

TJnlikenabie, and though the natural mind, 

Skimming the abyss of Being, like a bird, 

Which with its wing's tip thinks to sound the sea, ■;• 

Sevenfold, Divinity, might to eye create. 

Awed 'neath its many titles, show ; or, now. 

Godhead, triune,— as through three primal rays, 

None without other, beams the heavenly light ; *' 

So, virtually inseverable ; so, one ; 

The spirit enlightened inly sees through both, ^ 



FESTU8 429 

And of all tentative and devout desire, 

To sum and shape Divinity, bans the essay ; 

The clear white light of Deity, one and sole, 

Infinite, indivisible, being in thought. 

Another, ministrant of salvation, sent 

All where on Mercy's quests, by Nature's lord ; 

Whose thoughts ubiquitous round time's starf old, beat ; 

Bent on the good of being ; life's great laws 

Dictate of wisdom and pure science, peered 

With virtue and verity and reason, right, 

Free choice and conscience keen ; the law for sin 

'Gainst God, emendative, of repentance, head 

Of every moral charter, in all worlds 

Identic, aid of sad and searchf ul soul, 

Where'er expatiating, who kindred proofs 

Of beauty and stability, like signs 

To those he in his own breast bears of truth, 

Wisdom and love, shows, whereby denizen, 

Of starlet most remote, may recognize 

In earthly visitant, liegeman like himself 

Of the same kindly Deity, whose acts 

And attributes must all where harmonize. 

And one of all I knew most, yet the least 

Can I of him speak adequately ; for oft 

Our thoughts drown speech, like to a foaming force. 

Which thunders down the echo it creates. 

Yet must I somewhat tell of him, the world's 

Spirit evil, impersonate ; strange and wild to know. 

Perdition and destruction in him dwelled 

Like to a pair of eagles in one nest. 

Hollow and wasteful, whirlwindlike, his soul ; 

Now, in mysterious grandeur, wasting heaven ; 

Contracted, now, to human littleness 

And most minute malevolence, as though God 

In life reversing, wrecking one poor soul. 

The sphere which met, aside rolled, him to let 

Pass on his piercing path, whose space-spread winff-s. 

Wide as the wings of darkness when she rose 

Scowling and backing upwards, as the sun, 

Giant of light, first donned his burning crown, 

Gladdening all heaven with his inaugural smile, 

Make sad creation. Mightiest in this sphere, 

He stood a match for mountains. Ocean's depths 

He clave to their rock-bed, as a sword to bone, 

With one swoop of his arm. As falls on face 

Of some fair planet, lapped in heaven, eclipse 

Intimidative, his thought fell on the heart 

Shuddering, like angel, who, the thunder curse 

O'er-hears, of demon foe. His voice, oppressed 

With desolateness, not otherwise than gust 

Autumnal, strewing earth with leafy death, 

Words bore of fatal cast, both heart and ear 



430 FE8TU8, 

Startling ; words harsh, words heavy, like the first 
Handfuls of mould, cast on the coffined dead 
Whose end we see for good. 

LuciFEE {entering). Dost recognize 

The portrait, lady ? 

Helen. Festus, who is this ? — 

What portrait ? 

Festus. Wherefore comest thou ? Did I not 

Claim privacy, one evening ? 

LuciFEE. Why, I called 

To keep the proverbs simply in countenance. 

Festus. Dost not remember, loveliest, some few moono 
Agone, and he, who — 

Helen. Surely, I recall 

His presence now. Where all were, he was, too, 
Welcome. Bright hours, now faded. 

LuciFEE. Queen of joy I 

Thy soul-thought, like the fragrance of a flower, 
Speaks the bright essence whence it emanates. 
Unwelcome I should not be, I felt sure. 
Pardon my abrupt entrance ; and believe, 
If for those hours' contentment, it were e'er 
Mine to do thanks, in place of uttering, what 
More than that crown of knowledge, high minds like thine 
Affect, and if world-hidden, the more, could I 
Proffer, as now ? 

Helen. And I, could I aught do, 

Say, think, were worth reward, would nought else choose. 

Festus. Like the bright fish sphered southwards, fed from age 
To age, on midnight's luminous food, and still 
Of the starry streamlet unreplete, man's mind, 
Insaturable of knowledge seems, though bound 
To use secrete, most selfish. 

Helen. Be it. For me, 

To know more is to live more. 

LuciFEE. Both are ripe 

For truth's reception. Wherefore not be sealed 
With wisdom's sacred St;al ? One is, I know. 
Who underneath the sun nought better loves 
Than heaven- aspiring souls to initiate here. 
Into those solemn mysteries, which, once proved, 
Stretch through death's sea of shadows, and the world 
Of mortal and immortal life make one ; 
Illuminative rites, all times maligned 
By shallow wits, which yet, inscribed in stars 
Aiid skiey legends, overtopped the flood ; 
Known but to the white-souled race of light, who born 
In heaven, may insight claim of solar truth, 
And evermore receive ? 

Helen. Thou givest me 

Somewhat to look for, live for, die for, now. 
I feel the Sibylline nature in my soul 



FESTU3. 431 

TTncofl its secret stren^h. I long to act. 

Lucifer. Who loves or -would achieve perfection here, 
Lives, like the sun, in restful action, best ; 
Imparting light, disclosing not its source. 
The sage I mean, full well I know, have known 
Long, and ye him shall know. Our student friend 
Bring with ye, for his earnest soul, athirst 
For the pure draught from wisdom's pearl- lipped bowl 
And keen with wholesome hunger for the truth, 
Shall chant its thankful compline with your own. 
The more so as I doubt not tliat he hath done 
In furtherance of our ends is all he can 
Accomplish ; and 'tis fit he have his meed 
Prepare him secretly for our emprise. 
Trust everything to me, and at the hour 
And spot, hereafter to be named, we meet ; 
All eager to enjoy the feast of light. 

Festus. Faith sometimes more expects than truth can grant 
And brings a jar for what scarce fills a pliial. 
But faith, not knowledge, mates with bliss. To some 
Not matters, how much knowing, or unknown. 
I have seen a grisly bedesman, in the porch 
Of a church he'd weep to enter, all aflaunt 
With tatters, — like a tree which sheds its bark, 
And begs its way to ruin, up and down, — 
^Vhose starry -headed sceptre, warded, watched 
By angels under oath, waits but in heaven 
His regal hand ; hand here outstretched for alms. 
The more I know, the quicklier comes the sum 
Of all things. Therefore urge me not ; nor tho'i. 
Charm of my being, haste me to forego 
For even divine accomplishments, this life 
In love now lapsing as a summer stream 
In the sun, of nought reflective save of heaven. 
Rather forgive me, both ; if, dreading change, 
I feel an ominous instinct to avoid, 
Though now might be fulfilled my once best aim*^ 
The mystic science proflfered. 

Helen. Nay, I pray, 

Beseech, command thee on thine allegiane;o ; 
Force me not to compel thee. 

Festus. Still, content 

With present drift, I would not. 

Helen. Alas 1 that i 

Should live at once to beg of thee, and spurn 
That unaccustomed dulness which slow creeps, 
And mosses o'er the marble of thy clear mind. 
We yet will gain our point. 

Lucifer. I trust so. Me 

yt much concerns, for I have ends in view 
I cannot yet accomplish, this undone. 
There are, whose curiousness were quite enough 



432 FESTU8, 

To ruin half a galaxy of eartlis, 
Let each but have his, her, bent. Seems to me, 
They scent their self-destruction from afar, 
And hound themselves to their own stark end. 

Helen. While thus my suzerain balances in mind 
His reasons for and 'gainst our plans, take note 
I for myself would learn, as longs one more 
I know, our student friend, what likeliest thou 
Know'st only, and mightst tell ; a secret held 
Profane to search into by those who deem 
The spirit life in God's own hand when once 
From body separated ; albeit we learn 
Ghosts come right willingly, of no offence 
Conscious, from being entreated thus by man. 
But this, and what the immortal sprite first learns 
As truth, and thinks most urgent to impart 
To others, friends or kindred, at all risk, 
I burn to acquire. Wilt aid me in this dear quest ? 

LuciFEB. Gladly. 

Helen. Not we on acts or rights rely ; 

But simply upon the true desire to gain 
Eight knowledge of the coming time. And now, 
How early and how easily these effects 
To realize, let our friend with thee devize, 
I have it much at heart. 

LuciFEB. Be thine content. 

All things shall be provided, as thou wouldst. 

Festus. This way and that way swayed, but guide^ess still, 
Like to a sunk skiff, lurching in the ooze, 
My heart lies ; ana the sport of every wave 
Of feeling, once contemptuously it keeled, 
Kor floats, nor falls. Time must 1 have to think. 

Lucifer. Then time be thou, as heretofore, my friend. 
But what shall I do, ail tbis wretched while, 
Thou art engrossed thus i 

Festus. Do as I ; make love. 

LuciFEB. But tnat were to fall up. Well, I'll think, too 
For now, as I remember, and to learn 
Of equal beauty, doubtle^^s, pleases all ; 
Last night, not far from bence, a form I marked 
Of queenly beauty seated by the sea 
As eyeing heaven, the birthland of her soul ; 
What time the weltering sun, magician-like 
His golden wand had levelled on the main 
And soothed it into silence ; face and form 
Once seen before by me in saddest wise. 
Beside the bier of one, fame held like fair. 

Festus. Name it not now : the harvest of my heart 
Is always woe, whate'er the joy of bloom ; 
Nor raise the ghost of grief to haunt henceforth 
Life's desolate tenement. 

HfliiEN. Oh ! I know her weU, 



FE8TU3. 433 

She is the occultation of my soul 
Prospective ; for I dread lest we should meet. 
It is Elissa. Friendship's favourites once 
Were we, till lordlier likings since, made us 
Distant and cold as earth's opposing- poles. 
Seek her, sue if thou carest. I wish her much 
Too well to wish her here. She makes my dreams 
Ghastly. 

LuciPEB. Nay, dread her not. 

Helen. Away I 'Twere well. 

LuciFEB. As rival elements that strive to impress 
Their power on mountains, lower and lessen them, 
Nor can aught else ; so peradventure, these. 
One talks of science, one of knowledge. What's 
All science but the last vague certainty, 
Safe to be superseded ? Soon, in sooth, 
We shall have done with knowledge, and their help 
Who have best served us ; all in time, and turn. 
But as I am nothing, if not complaisant, 
Thou, lady, shalt have that thou seekest, speech 
Of an immortal ghost. 

Helen. Account us there. 

Lucifer. To know all magic, all divinities, 
The studies of so many fruitful years 
Have led, or leaned to, what should sum but this, 
The essential knowledge, of all time ? 

Festus. To me 

Such needs not. Even as with our friend his art 
Of would-be gold-making, before thy boons 
Abounding, did abandon, needful not 
Longer to him ; so, I who now enjoy 
All spiritual privileges, this one, forbid, 
Repudiate and abjure. No art he needs 
Thou f avourest ; nor is lawful this to me. 

Helen. We will so order matters each shall come. 
And go, content. I promise for our friend. 

Festus. Not me thou drawesfc into that path proscribed. 

Helen. If now, for ill or good, who knows ? Be it tried 
Whether for good or ill. 

LuciPEE. I think I know. 

The wise foresee things which, — let fools foretell ; 
With me it is enough to act. And now ; 
Any commands for our planetary friends ? 
I go, make my excuses. 

Festus. A mistake, 

Dearest, but rectified, 

Helen. Will he return T 

Festus. No. 

Helen. Thou art troubled. 

Festus. Truly. I, far off 

Feel the perturbing influence of his star, 
Ere visible : knew him coming, not yet come. 



434 VE8TU8, 

Helen. Let us rejoice together, and both hope 
Such strange effects may cease, or I shall dread 
Him to accompany elsewhere, or to meet 
As predisposed, but now — 

Festtts. And he is gone ! 

Hell hath its own again. Some sorrow chills 
Ever the spirit, like to a cloudlet nursed 
In the star-giant's bosom. 

Helen. Tell me, love, 

More of these angels. 

Festus. One there was I loved 

Of these immortals of a lofty air, 
Dimly divine and sad ; and side by side 
Him I first spake of, she, with me, would stand^ 
Listing his converse, shadow illuminate. 
Like to the old moon in the young one's arms. 
She murmured never at the doom which made 
Her sorrow, all enfolding, as air earth ; 
But God's will alway named as good and wise. 
Pleasure but little was hers ; that, all in plana 
Devising of a bliss to come, and tales 
Untold of time, or the sweet early earth. 
While Eden's dews yet glistened upon her feet. 
She was, in truth, our earth's own angel. Oft 
In long and luminous sweetness would she treat 
These themes, unwearying, pauseless, as a world. 
Rise would the sim, and set ; the soul-like moon, 
In passive beauty, light from him absorbing, 
As prophet inspiration aye from God, 
Would set, and rise ; and the far stars, the third 
Estate of light, complete day's round divine. 
Still spake our angel ; still to the eloquent tongue 
On earth heaven's tones retaining, lent I ear. 
The shadow of a cloudlet on a lake 
The wind is holding now his breath o'er, shows 
Not calmlier, fairlier not, than thy dear face, 
Consoling spirit, when summing even earth's end 1 
Save that her eye grew darker, and her brow 
Brighter with thought as with galactic light 
Mid-heaven when clearest, at such times, not I 
Had known our earth meant more, or deaier were 
To her, than other visitants divine 
Which hallow oft mine hours ; — save too that then 
As but to touch that chord, numbed icily, thought, 
She would cease converse, suddenly ; kneeling, pray 
In silent earnestness ; and, anon, rise 
And vanish into heaven. My mind is full 
Of stories she hath told me of our world. 
No word an angel utters lose I ever. 
One I will tell thee, now. 

Helen. Do ; let me hear. 

Thy talk is the sweet extract of all speech, 



FE8TUS. 435 

And holds mine ear in blissful slavery. 

Festus. It was on a golden summer afternoon 
Close by the grassy marge of a deep tarn, 
Nigh half way up a mountain, that we stood, 
I and the angel, when she told me this. 
Above us rose the grey rocks, by our side 
Forests of pines ; and the bright breaking wavelets 
Came crowding dancing to the brink, like thoughts 
To our nps. Before us shone the sun. We, peaked 
As on some finial of the templed earth, 
Peer round the infinite, far and near. Then I, 
In ecstasy of thought : What need hath man 
Of Eden passed, or Paradise to come, 
When heaven is round us and within ourselves ? 
God's peace, if anywhere, is surely here. 
So boundless, so intense this sensible awe 
Of nature 'neath his eye ; my soul, with thine, 
With all, this hour consentient. Need, the world 
Hath always, said Earth's Spirit, of loftier ends, 
And meanings, than men's daily duties raise, 
Howe'er well done ; of something holier, more 
Akin with perfect, or to be, or gone. 
To live by, as a pattern. Speak, I said. 
The angel waved her hand e'er she began, 
As bidding earth be still. The birds ceased singing ; 
The trees scarce breathing : and the lake smoothed down 
Each shining wrinklet ; and the wind drew off. 
Time leaned him o'er his scythe, and listening, wept. 
The circling sphere reined in her lightning pace 
A moment. Ocean hushed his snow-maned steeds, 
And a cloud hid the sun, as hides the face 
A meditative hand. Then spake she thus. 
Scarce had the sweet song of the morning stars. 
Which rang through space at the first sign of life 
Our earth gave, springing from the lap of God 
On to her orbit ended, when from heaven 
Came down a white-winged host, and eastwards, where 
Lay Eden's pleasaunce, first their pinions furled, 
Alighting reverently. There, marked whate'er 
Could be of good, as seemed, for man secured 
By care divine, one brief debate in vow 
Ended, that they on his behalf should build 
Out of the riches of the soil around 
A house to God. Here were the ruby rocks ; 
And there in blocks the unquarried diamond lay ; 
Topaz and emerald mountain, chrysoprase, 
Sardonyx, sunstone, crystal, jacinth, stood 
All light, with the stilly action of a star. 
Or sea-based iceberg, blinding, to such sight 
As men now boast, degenerate. These with tools 
Tempered in heaven, the band angelic wrought, 
Raised, fitted, polished, aptly imbedding first 



436 FU8TU3, 

The deep foundations of tlie holy dome 

On bright and beaten gold. And all the while, 

Songs to God's glory hovered around the work, 

Like rainbows round a fountain. Day and night, 

Went on the hallowed labour till 'twas done : 

And yet but thrice the sun set ; more than thrice 

Eose not the moon ; so quick is work divine. 

Tower all, and roof and pinnacle, without. 

Were solid diamond. Based on chrysoprase, 

Gold-green, of meek humility sign, the wall 

Opalline, emblem of all virtues ; soared 

Lustrous, with amethystine fruitage topped, 

Of temperance type ; — expressive these to man 

Of loftiest excellences and deepest needs 

In edifying his soul, the angels strove 

Symbolically to show how best, by these 

Of earthly things transpicuousest, men might 

The beauty of purity learn, the joy of peace 

With God, and bliss of perfectness in him. 

Sole source, sole end of worship, or iu heaven 

Or earth, to all intelligences. Within, 

The dome was eye-blue sapphire, truth supreme, 

God's infinite unity, shadowing, — sown with stars 

And glittering spheres constellate. The wide floor, 

One emerald, earthlike, veined with silver and gold. 

Marble and mineral, glowed, of every hue 

And marvellous quality. There, the meanest thing 

Earth's most magnificent now, was gold, to God 

First due, to him sole. Of one ruby shaped 

Stood the high altar, heartwise. Columned round 

With alabaster pure was all. And now. 

So high and bright it shone in the midday light, 

It could be seen from heaven. Upon their thrones 

The sun-eyed angels hailed it ; and there rose 

In heaven, a hurricane shout of angel-joy 

Which echoed for a thousand years. One dark, 

One solitary, and far-foreseeing thought 

Passed, like a planet's transit o'er the sun, 

A.cros8 the brow of God. But soon he smiles 

Earthwards on the angels, and that smile, to himself 

The temple consecrates. And they who built 

Bowed themselves down, and worshipped in its walla. 

High on the front were writ these words : — To God ; 

The heavenlies built this for the earthly ones, 

That in his worship both might mix on earth, 

As afterwards they hope to do in heaven. 

Had man stood good in Eden this had been. 

He fell, and Eden vanished. The shining shrine, 

Piled by the angels of all precious things. 

For the joint worship of heaven's sons and earth's, 

Fell with him, on the fixed and looked-for day 

He should have met God and hia angels, there : 



FESTUa. 437 

The very day he disobeyed, and joined 

Death's host black-bannered. Man felL Eden fell. 

The groves and grounds which God the Lord's own feet 

Had hallowed ; the all-hned and odorous bowers 

Where angels wandered, wishing- them in heaven ; 

The trees of life and knowledge, trees of death 

And madness as they proved to man, all fell ; 

And that bright fane fell first. No death-doomed eye 

Gazed on its glory. Earthquakes gulped it down. 

Long, to the world unknown, and half forgotten 

In heaven, the angels' temple, reared to embrace 

All nations, with God's hosts, in saintliest rites 

Ceaseless of sequence worshipping, at once, — 

Lay in its grave, the cherubs' flaming swords 

The sole sad torches of its funeral ; till, 

When the just flood sin 'venging, pure itself 

And purifying, came, doomed, earth's giant heart 

Burst shell-like, and so scattered far and wide 

The fragments of that angel-builded fane, 

High, holy, happy, stainless, as a star. 

In Eden once, — whereof all gems men still 

Deem precious, are ; and yet may find imbased 

Potentially in those pure walls whose towers 

Of light, the extense of space o'erawing, bar 

From ill or false, the abode to be of saints. 

Glorious. For they who, truth-taught, now, the right 

Significance of things, — more worthful far 

Than the things themselves, can recognize — all gems 

Perceive, in their best use, but mystic signs 

And types of virtue, tests foundational 

Of spirit reborn on high, and proofs of soul's 

Most perfect qualities : love's deep rubied glow, 

Of charity towards mankind ; hope's emerald gleam, 

Of ultimate grace ; faith's adamantine flame, 

Godwards ; crown these of spiritual life ; these, base ; 

These, 'midst ; of the celestial city of God, 

And capital of his kingdom, state divine, 

Star-mansioned ; state imperishable, of heaven. 

The angel ended : and the winds, waves, clouds, 

Woods undulative, and merry birds went on 

As theretofore in iDrightness, strength, and music. 

One scarce could think that earth at all had fallen, 

To see her beauty. If sin's errless brand 

Dimmed her predestined brow, 'twas surely hid 

In natural art, from every eye but God's. 

All things seemed innocence and happiness. 

I was all thanks. And look i tne angei said ; 

Take these, and give to one thou lovest best. 

Mine own hands saved them from the shining mip 

I late have told thee of ; and me she gave 

What now are greenly glowing upon thine armja. 

Ere I could answer, she was up, star-high, 



438 fE8TU8. 

Winning her way through heaven. 

Helen. How shall I thank thee 

Enough, or that kind angel, who hath made 
The gift to me dear doubly, by the advice 
Hidden in the present ? 'Tis that, humility, 
Doubtless I lack. We'll see to it. I shall be 
Afraid almost to wear ; but part with them 
I would not, for the treasures of all stars. 
How show my thanks ? 

Festus. Love me as now, dear beauty, 

Present or absent, always, and 'twill be 
More than enough for me, of recompense. 

Helen. Hast met our angel latewhile ? 

Festus. I have not. 

Yet oft methinks I see her ; catch a glimpse 
Of her sun-circling pinions or bright feet 
Which, than for earth, for rainbows fitter seem. 
Or heaven's triumphal arch more firm and pure 
Than whitest marble ; see her, seated oft 
On some high snowy cloud-cliff, harp in hand, 
Singing the sun to sleep, as down he lays 
His head of glory upon the rocking deep. 
And so sing thou to me. 

Helen. There, rest thy brow. 

Bow thyself down, before my feet. Rest ! rest 1 

Oh not the diamond starry bright 

Can so delight my view, 
As doth the moonstone's changing light, 

And gleamy glowing hue : 
Now blue as heaven, and then anon. 

As golden as the sun ; 
It hath a charm in every change ; 

In brightening, darkening one. 
And so with beauty, so with love, 

And everlasting mind ; 
Each takes its tint from things above, 

And shines as it's inclined, 
Or from, or towards, celestial truth, 

With blind, or brilliant, eye ; 
And only lights as it reflects 

The life-light of the sky. 

He sleeps 1 the fate of many a gracious moral 
This I to be stranded on a di-owsy ear. 



FE8TU8, 439 



XXVIII. 



Life's gaudier vanities shunned, or banned, the world 

Escaped from ; passion dignified ; some talk 

Of faole and of cabala, mystic lore ; 

War, actual earth regarded, heaven's reproach 

Unanswerable, 'gainst man ; the finiitful claims 

Of friendship in abeyance long, restored ; 

Pauses, reposeful, for a time the strain. 

In memory we, passed life, passed feat of bard, 

Bards best interpretera of life's sad dream. 

Review ; and plans for peaceful progress aid. 

Note, nathless, change impending, schemes conceived 

By help of evil, that in dismay will end 

Undreamed of, but all innocently ensured 

By beauty and hero and friend ; marking, who knows } 

Heart, soul, and intellect, homed in tranquil ease. 

AVho mind's interior realm, life's outer treat ; 

Things passed, to come ; — secret in secret cased, 

Like oatls of ivory carven, enclosing, each, 

One than itself less, than itself one more ; 

And, like life's double enigma, so involved, 

The sole solution makes the mystery. 

Home ; an interior, Festus, Helen at her piano. — Afterwards, 
the Student. Evening. 

Helen. I cannot live away from thee. How can 
A floweret live without its root 1 Attend 1 
I am to say and do just as I please. 
That's my great charter, is't not ? Thou art king" ; 
I am to command thee ? May I ? That I will. 

Festus. I love to be enslaved. Oh 1 I would rather 
Obey thee, beauty, than rule men by millions. 

Helen. Near, as afar, I will have love the same. 
"With a bright sameness like this diamond, 
Which, wheresoe'er the light, 'lite brilliant shines, 
Ajid thou shalt say all manner of pretty things 
To me ; mind, to me only ; write love-songs 
About me ; and I will sing them to myself ; 
Perhaps to thee, sometimes, as it were now ; 
If I should happen to feel very kind. 

Festus. Sing now. 

Helen. No 1 

Festus. Tyrant, I will banish thee. 

Knowst thou what comes of tyrants, in the main 1 

Helen. Oh 1 though an absolutist, I'm bound by laws 
Of my own making. 

Festus. Laws that can be sung ? 

Helen. Nay, if to sing and play please, I would die 
To music. Wrong 'twas to deny thee aught. 
But be not anger'd with me, for though heaven 
Forgave, I'd ne'er forgive myself if I 
Brought sorrow on thee. 

FfiSTua, Thou wouldst not, I belieye. 



440 FE8TV8. 

Helen. Nought fear I but an unkind word from tliee. 
Dark death may frighten children, hell, the wretch 
Who feels that he deserves it, but for me, 
I do, nor say, aught worthy the pure pain 
Thy frown can give, or a cold careless look. 
If I do wrong, forgive me, or I die. 
And thou wilt then than I be wretcheder ; 
The unforgiving, than the unf orgiven. 

Festus. I do absolve thee beauty of all faults 
Passed, present, and to come. Thy sole defects 
Like unformed stars, inconstellate in heaven, 
Are but perfection incognized, whose worth 
I'd match against the forces of five spheres 
By happiest apparitions manned. 

Helen. Enough. 

What was I saying ? I love this instrument ; 
It speaks ; it thinks 1 nay, I could kiss it. Look ! 
Jealous ? three things love I, half killingly : 
Thee lastly ; and this, next ; and myself first. 

Festus. Thou art a teazeful, tiresome thing ; and yat 
Do I weary of thee ? Never ; but could gaze, 
Faint from delight, upon thy countenance, 
In the serious joy with which we eye and eye 
Space boundless, visible attribute of God, 
Who all things making in himself, makes thus 
And there, the heaven we hope for ; and can find 
No point wherefrom to take its altitude ; 
For the infinite is upwards, and above 
Aught highest create, conceivable ; so I, 
Musing upon thy face, expression like 
Heavenly, and heightening e'er the more I muse, 
Believe. 

Helen. I am happy now with thee. 

Festus. And I. 

Steeped in the still sweet dew of thy soft beauty, 
Like earth at day-dawn lifting up her head 
Out of her sleep, star- watched, to face the sun ; 
So I to front the world on leaving thee. 
Oh, there is inspiration in thy look, 
Poesie, prophecy. Come thou hither, love. 
This evening air, how sweet. 

Helen. It breathes on us, 

Fresher and clearer through these dewy vine-leaves, 
Fit for the forehead of the young wine-god. 

Festus. A large red egg of light the moon lies like, 
On the dark moor-hill ; and now, rising slow, 
Beams on the clear flood, smilingly intent, 
Like a fair face which loves to look on itself, 
Saying, " There is no wonder that men love me. 
For I am beautiful." 

Helen. Well, I don't mind 

Others first told me. 



FESTU8. 441 

Pesi'US. Now were soon enough. 

Helen. Nay, nothing comes to us too soon but sorrow. 

Festus. For all were happiness, if all might live 
Long, or die soon enough ; for even us. 
Virtue they tell us lives in self-denial ; 
My virtue is indulgence. I was bom 
To gratify myself unboundedly, 

So that I wronged none else. These arms were given me 
To clasp the beautiful, cleave the wave, or, branched 
In tenfold perfectness, prove how supreme 
O'er nature, man ; these limbs to wander where 
I will ; these eyes to view all fair or grand. 
Earth claims ; these ears to list my loved one's voice ; 
These lips to be divinized by her kiss ; 
And every sense, pulse, passion, power, to be 
Efpened into perfect life. 

Helen. True virtue is one 

With nature, or 'tis nothing. It is love. 
Remember'st not when, the other eve, thy friend, 
The Student called, a tale was on thy tongue, 
Out of the poets, about love, and sonow. 
And happiness and such things, — he interrupted ? 

Festus. But I forget such tales when thou art by. 
Besides I asked him here again to-night, 
Here, at this hour, and he is punctual. 

Helen. In truth then I despair of hearing it. 
He keeps his word relentlessly ; with not 
More pride an Indian shows his foeman's scalp, 
Than he his watch for punctuality. 

Festus. But tales of love are far more readily made, 
Than made, remembered. 

Helen. TeU-tale, make one then. 

Festus. Well then my story says there was a pair 
Of lovers, once — 

Helen. Once 1 nay, how singular I 

Festus. But where they lived, indeed, I quite forget : 
Say, anywhere ; say here : their names were, — I 
Forget those too. Say, anyone's ; say ours. 

Helen. So far 'tis not improbable ; pertinent, too. 
No wild vagaries ; quite in bounds. I hear. 

Festus. The lady was, of course, most beautiful. 
And made her lover do just as she pleased ; 
He therefore doing unwisely, doing wrong ; 
Neglecting all in heaven and earth, but her. 
They met, sang, walked, talked folly, just as aU 
Such couples do ; adored each other ; thought, 
Spoke, wrote, dreamed of and for, nought else in life 
Than their sweet selves. And so on. 

Helen. Pray proceed. 

Festus. That's all. 

Helen. Oh no 1 

Fbstus. Well, thus the tale ends, stay 1 



442 FESTU8. 

No, I cannot remember, nor invent. 

Helen. Do think. 

Festus. I can't. 

Helen. Oli, then I don't like that. 
It is not in earnest. 

Festus. Well, in earnest then. 

She did but look upon him, and his blood 
Pulsed stronglier from his heart her gaze to meet ; 
For at each glance of those sweet eyes, a soul 
Looked forth as from the azure gates of heaven ; 
She laid her finger on him, and he felt, 
As might a formless mass of marble feel, 
While feature after feature of a god 
Were being wrought from out of it. She spake ; 
And his love-wildered and idolatrous soul 
Clung to the aery music of her words. 
Like a bird on a bough, high swaying in the wind. 
Even as a storm-charged cloud that in the night, 
Will have wept itself away, unseen, nor made 
Earth thankless 'ware of its self sacrifice. 
That it might richen