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LUCIFER 

A THEOLOGICAL TRAGEDY 



LUCIFER 
A Theological Tragedy 

BY 
GEORGE SANTAYANA 





HERBERT S. STONE AND COMPANY 

CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 

MDCCCXCIX 



COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY 
HERBERT S. STONE & CO 



INVOCATION 



Te whose lost voices, echoing in this rhyme, 

My tongue usurps, forgive if I have erred. 

Not as ye uttered, but as I have heard, 

I spell your meanings in an evil time. 

Mock not the hope your conference sublime 

Hath in the vigils of an exile stirred, 

But let the music of my woven word 

Waft to your shades the sweetness of your prime. 

For ye have passed beyond the gate of day 

Into the twilight of a paler morn, 

And hidden beauty from the world, and shorn 

The mortal eye of its supernal ray. 

Take, till I come, the homage of my lay, 

Nor hold the pilgrim of your night in scorn. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 



THE RISEN CHRIST 
MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL 
SAINT PETER 

ANGELS AND SAINTS 

LUCIFER 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

AZAZEL 

BELIAL 

TUREL 

DEVILS AND WITCHES 

ZEUS 

HERMES 

ARES 

HERA 

ATHENA 

APHRODITE 

GODS, GODDESSES AND 
ATTENDANTS 



ACT FIRST 

A MOUNTAIN TOP. BELOW, A CAVE. NIGHT 

HERMES {alighting) 

What star art thou and by what god beguiled 

To wander in this heaven 

Far from the serene and mild 

Circle of the sisters seven ? 
O blasted rock, untenanted and wild, 

By lightnings riven, 

Receive thou me, 
O goddess, if the Pleiad lost thou be, 

Lost too and driven 
By viewless currents of the ethereal sea. 

(Kisses the ground.) 

For Earth, my mother, while her child 
Wings these frozen spaces drear, 
Oh, how otherwise enisled 
In her blue and liquid sphere 



LUCIFER ACT I 



Swims, forgetting grief, and sleeps 
Wrapped in the fleeces of her atmosphere ! 

Above Olympus, Phoebe dim 
Patiently shines the while, and keeps 
Still watch in heaven; while below the rim 
Of ocean now her brother s steeds uprear 
Their fiery manes apace, and dawn is near. 
But here no dawn is, and no morning star; 

The suns that nearest are 

Show like a twinkling host, and peer 
Through the cold night, immeasurably far. 

Here who can dwell ? If there be deities 
Whose body stone, whose spirit silence is, 
Here they might slumber frozen. Wrinkled brow 
And cloven sides of mountains, heaped up rocks 
Toys of young giants long since dead, and thou 
Horrid abyss that meteors hot might plough 
From Heaven falling, and ye vales, by shocks 
Of earthquake split in snowy chasms, Oh speak, 
If ye have tongues or any ghostly life ! 

The stranger do not wrong, 

A god, though seeming weak, 



ACT I LUCIFER 3 

Who prays you, with the winds too long at strife, 
For shelter from this night and stinging thong 
Of sleet. Oh, answer me, if any banished soul 
Haunts you, and guards from harm the frozen pole. 

LUCIFER 

(rising from a rocky pinnacle upon which he has been seated] 

Nay! Not a banished soul. What seems forlorn, 
Hermes, to thee, another loveth best. 

In this crag, the throne of scorn, 

Hath a bolder spirit rest. 

HERMES 

Thou who callest me by name, 
Large spectre plumed for the eagle s flight, 

Let me be thy guest this night 
If kindness move thy breast, or any flame 
Leap on thy hearth, that henceforth, ever bright, 

On this hoarse and angry coast, 
May gleam the beacon of its sacred light 

Where a god, by fortune hurled, 

Found an altar and a host 
High on the utmost headland of the world. 



4 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER (advancing) 

Stranger, look upon this face, 
Look long, nor let thy fond heart rashly speak. 
Seest thou mortal blood within this cheek ? 

Do not think thy brother s grace 
Befits all spirits. Some there be too high 

To wear outward glory still; 

For it passes nature s skill 

To paint reason to the eye 
Or cast in mould indomitable will. 

My hand drew yon starry girth 
About the middle of the hollow sky; 

I have stood a witness by 

At the founding of the earth; 

I have seen the twelve gods birth, 
Alas ! and I wait to see them die. 

HERMES 

Imperious spirit, I would not offend. 

Thy heart knows if this be truth, 
And mine eyes, on thee gazing, comprehend 

That thou art a god in sooth. 

Be then gracious, and befriend 



ACT I LUCIFER 5 

The stranger, and beside thee grant me rest, 
That I gain strength unto my journey s end, 
And see again Olympus gleaming crest 
And the brothers that I love. 

(Embraces the knees of Lucifer) 
LUCIFER 

But what error brought the dove 
To the eagle s wintry nest ? 

HERMES 

I wandered long upon an idle quest 
And found no other isle in all the deep. 

LUCIFER 

Luckless for the child of Jove 
To set his winged foot upon this steep. 
No vines upon so wild a ruin creep, 
No Nereid sports in such an icy cove. 
But, come. There is a cavern in the hill. 

HERMES 

Twill be a covert from this piercing air. 



6 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

My servant s fire shall medicine thy chill. 
Perhaps thy hunger will not scorn our fare. 
This way. Tis dark along the icy stair. 

(Gives Hermes his hand) 
HERMES 

Art thou a serpent, that thy flesh is cold ? 

LUCIFER 

They call me so. My blood was hot of old. 

HERMES 

But froze from breathing long this cruel storm? 

LUCIFER 

Nay, gentle Hermes. It was not the wind 
Which only bites because the heart is warm. 
Mine cannot suffer. In my youth I sinned 
And loved the soft caresses of the world. 
Now I am free. I have forsworn delight 
Which makes us slaves. 

HERMES 

The chill of wintry night 
Keeps germs from budding; with no leaf unfurled 



ACT I LUCIFER 7 

Dies the imprisoned deity within. 

How, then, shouldst thou be free beneath the blight 

Of this sharp flaw? 

LUCIFER 

I can be free from sin. 

( They reach the cave) 
HERMES 

O welcome glow ! My brother s nimble spirit 
Even to this region creeps, ingenious fire, 
And leaps to meet me, conscious that I came. 
But who is he I see in silence near it ? 

LUCIFER 

An angel once, now guardian of this flame, 
Still studious, as thou seest, of the lyre. 
He mixed the draught and heaped the driftwood up 
That we have light and comfort while we sup. 

( They sit down) 
HERMES 

A subtle servitor, that serves desire. 

So watching for the dawn before the fight 

Soldiers might bivouac. 



8 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

Stranger, fill thy cup 

And wrap thee in this cloak, if coarse attire 
Can please thee, being warm, on such a night. 
Guests come not often hither, for the sky 
Grudges me chance of hospitality 
Lest that small virtue in me wound its sight. 

HERMES 
But is the sky thine enemy? 

LUCIFER 

Thou seest 

It doth not flatter. Yet tis the ally 
Of one that wrongs us both. 

HERMES 

Why, if thou fleest 
Into the tempest, on thee it must blow. 

LUCIFER 

Ah, if thou knewest ! 

HERMES 

Art thou here confined ? 



ACT I LUCIFER c 

LUCIFER 

By a great sorrow and a tameless mind. 

HERMES 

A sorrow ? 

LUCIFER 

Listen, if thou needs must know, 
There is among the stars one greatest star 
Which showeth dark, and none may see it shine. 
Men know it by their hope; a hand divine 
Must darkly lead them thither from afar. 
But once within its bounds eternal light 
Streams on their ampler souls, and there they are 
What upon earth they would be. Of this realm 
An ancient God is king, majestic, wise, 
Of triple form and all-beholding eyes. 
The terror of his glance can overwhelm 
The sense, as lightning when it rends the skies. 
The dread words of his mouth are gladly heard 
But marvellous their meaning, not to prove 
Except by faith and argument of love. 
He saith he fashioned nature with a word, 
And in him all things are and live and move. 



io LUCIFER ACT I 

To that fair kingdom from primeval night 

I passed, and clad in splendour and in might 

I led the armies of my father, God. 

My right hand urged them with a sword of light, 

My left hand ruled them with a flowering rod. 

Brave was my youth and pleasing in his sight, 

Next him in honour; till one day discourse 

Upon his greatness and our being s source 

Led me to question : " Tell, O Lord, the cause 

Why sluggish nature doth with thee contend. 

And thy designs, observant of her laws, 

By tortuous paths must struggle to their end." 

To this with many words of little pith 

He answered. 

And as when sailors crossing some broad frith 

Spy in the lurid west a sudden gloom 

And grasp the rudde t taking double reef, 

I nerved my heart for battle ; for my doom 

I saw upon me, and that I was born 

To suffer and to fill the world with grief. 

But strong in reason, terrible in scorn, 

I rose. u Seek not, O Lord, my King," I cried, 

" With solemn phrases to deceive my doubt. 



ACT I LUCIFER n 

Tell me thy thought, or I will pluck it out 
With bitter question. Woe if thou hast lied, 
Woe if thou hast not ! Make thy prudent choice ! 
Either confess that how thou cam st to be 
Or why the winds are docile to thy voice, 
And why the will to make us was in thee, 
And why the partners of thy life are three 
Thou canst not know, but even as the rest 
That wake to life behold the sun and moon 
And feel their natural passions stir their breast 
They know not why, so thou from some long swoon 
Awaking once, didst with supreme surprise 
Scan thy deep bosom and the vault of heaven, 
For I did so when fate unsealed mine eyes. 
Thy small zeal for the truth may be forgiven 
If thou confess it now, and I might still 
Call thee my master, for thou rulest well 
And in thy kingdom I have loved to dwell. 
Or else, if truth offend thy pampered will, 
And with caressing words and priestly spell 
Thou wouldst seduce me, henceforth I rebel." 
I knew his answer, and I drew my sword, 
And many spirits gathered to my side. 



12 LUCIFER ACT I 

But in high heaven he is still the Lord ; 

I am an exile in these spaces wide 

Where none is master. The north wind and the 

west 
Are my companions, and the void my rest. 

HERMES 

Tis much. When evil fortune bows a friend 
We blush that we are happy. 

LUCIFER 

Nay, rejoice. 

The pleasant music of a tempered voice 
Is cure for sadness. If my grief could end 
It would with dreaming of an age of gold 
When all were blessed. 

HERMES 

They who serve thy King 
Are they not blessed still ? 

LUCIFER 

A doubtful thing 

Is happiness like that. They grow not old. 
They live in friendship and their wondering eyes 
Blinded to nature feed on fantasies. 



ACT I LUCIFER 13 

Their raptured souls, like lilies in a stream, 
That from their fluid pillow never rise, 
Float on the lazy current of a dream. 
My grief is not that I am not like them, 
Or that the splendour of my life is less. 
My soul hath kinship with the wilderness. 
But rage at pangs that reason cannot stem 
Right balked with cunning and truth shamed with 

lies 

Rage that the lust of living never dies 
Gnaws at my heart. My noble trust deceived 
In justice and indomitable truth, 
The unthought of shame that I should stand alone 
When universal nature was aggrieved 
And should have mutinied ! Faith of my youth 
That my stout heart did never yet disown, 
Prove thyself true and still to be believed ! 
Hasten, just day, and hurl him from his throne 
As children in a chasm cast a stone ! 

HERMES 

That day may come, but wishing now is vain. 
Rest from this passion ; much I fear my speech 
Hath stirred unwittingly a slumbering pain. 



1 4 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

Not slumbering; dumb, and eased with words again 
Now thou dost listen. 

HERMES 

Tell me, I beseech, 

Were many with thee from thy kingdom driven? 
And are their hearts embittered like thine own ? 

LUCIFER 

Like mine ? Like mine ? Peerless I stood in heaven, 
And in misfortune still I stand alone. 
They follow each his will, and ill they fare. 
In having poor and only rich in greed, 
They dwell in caves or sail the murky air. 
Their spirits have been humbled to their need. 
In hunger once, not finding root or weed 
One killed a heron and lapped up the blood. 
Straight his will, mastered by the infectious deed, 
Lost its free function. His lean body s food 
Must be warm blood, on blood his visions feed. 
Another, then without the goad of lust, 
Fell to lasciviousness ; his narrowed gaze, 



ACT I LUCIFER 15 

Caught by the wanton image, from him thrust 
All other joys. Impossible desire 
Is the foul torment of his nights and days. 
So some to drunkenness and some to ire 

Are also slaves. 

HERMES 

If all are thus depraved 
I see thou canst not live among them now. 

LUCIFER 

They are my people, Hermes. Knowest thou 

Twas by my deed that they \vere first enslaved ? 

How should I leave them ? Wrongly I allow 

Myself this absence, but their hideous lot 

Fills me with grief, and I can bear it not. 

Almost it seemeth that the will must err 

That brings such sorrow. That thought rends 

my heart 

With vacillation. Fear me. All I touch 
Is blasted with infection. 

HERMES 

Bitter thou art, 
And to a by-gone sorrow bound too much. 



1 6 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

Thinkest thou it is gone ? Was it the blow 
Of Michael s sword ? Was it the infinite fall, 
The darkness, the desire for heaven ? No ! 
What men call pain I never felt at all, 
Nor fear, nor need to see the face of God. 
The love of woman I have held in scorn, 
And could I make an Eden with a nod, , 

I would not do it. Tis nothing to my soul 
What blooms, what withers ; by what little thorn 
My firm foot, treading on the rose, is torn. 
These things are swallowed in the fatal whole 
That mocks at justice. 

HERMES 

But why dwell apart 

On this bleak mountain ? If thy wound is deep 
To natural slumber yield thy tortured heart. 
Watch not these feeble stars, sad lamps of grief, 
But close thine eyes on the vain past, and sleep. 

LUCIFER 

Sleep ? Yet, why not ? When every shivering leaf 
From the proud oak is stripped by autumn s flaw 



ACT I LUCIFER 17 

He suffers winter s deep oblivious snows 

To choke his anguish and enshroud his woes, 

Nor wakes till the new buds begin to thaw 

And the whole forest is alive with song. 

Yes, sleep. The child, rebellious at some wrong, 

Frets in his helpless pain till slumber dries, 

Closing his weary eyelids, his dim eyes. 

They open laughing in the morning light j 

Then his keen pang is nothing, and his cries 

The all-forgotten dream of yesternight. 

But is my grief a child s ? Am I so slight ? 

Or could my bosom like the wanton trees 

Put forth new blooms to every wind that blew ? 

Say that it could : say that some vernal breeze 

Melted my winter ; could my vain forgetting 

Make heaven just or make the past untrue ? 

The evil lives, and if I ceased regretting 

I should be more unhappy than I knew. 

HERMES 

No one is truly happy. Evil things 
Fate lays upon us. Yet she makes amends, 
Bringing us daily comfort on the wings 
Of sleep, and by the willing hands of friends. 



1 8 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

Of friends ? 

HERMES 

Thou hadst none ? Deem that time is far. 
Friendship is knitted in a single night 
Twixt noble minds. Quench not the memory quite 
If I to-day was welcome in this star, 
But let that breed new kindness. I in turn 
Would greet thee in my kingdom. It is fair. 
The wisest mind hath something yet to learn, 
And I might teach oblivion to thee there. 
How sweet it is to scent that fragrant air 
At evening, where the outer planets burn ! 
Ah ! hear the blast. I yet have far to fare. 

LUCIFER 

Aks ! I have not suffered thee to rest. 

I had forgotten, as I sleep no more, 

Thy happy need of sleep. Ay, to the roar 

Of this hoarse ocean shut a while thy breast, 

And on the pillow of thy bended arm 

Lay there thy head. It is a barren nest, 

But, by mine honour, stranger, safe from harm. 



ACT I LUCIFER 19 

I will watch yonder on the mountain crest \ 
Perchance ere thou awake the drifting storm 
Will veer to blow thee homeward from the west. 

HERMES 
Do as thou wilt. Here by the hearth tis warm. 

(Lies down in the cave) 
LUCIFER 

Turel ! 

TUREL 

My lord. 

LUCIFER 

To-day or am I wrong? 
I heard thee croon and strum upon the lyre. 
It was some echo of Sicilian song 
Which shepherds on the slopes of ./Etna s pyre 
Thou heardst to sing, when we were wanderers. 
It was a hymn they chanted to this god. 
Sing it. He ll dream the breath of summer stirs 
The leafy grove, while mid his worshippers 
He doth upon his wreathed altar nod. 

TUREL 

I do but half remember it, my lord, 
But I will try. 

(Turel sits at the mouth of the cave with his lyre) 



20 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

Do, boy. Ay, that s the chord. 
Play on. The children of Pythagoras 
When they would sleep bade gentle numbers sound 
To tune the soul to truth and the profound 
Order of things ; so might she sooner pass 
Into the light and be with beauty crowned. 

(Climbs to his seat upon the rocky pinnacle) 
TUREL (sings) 

O blessed night that crept 
O er Maia s cave when Zeus approached her side, 

While in Olympus wide 
Among the gods the white-armed Hera slept. 

For, when the tenth new moon 
Over Cyllene cast its thievish beams, 

She bare the friend of dreams 
Who born at daybreak played the lyre at noon. 

HERMES (rising on his elbow} 

What voice is this ? What words I long have heard ? 
Good youth, is this thy song? 

TUREL 

Tis I that sing. 



ACT I LUCIFER 21 

HERMES 

Who taught thee ? 

TUREL 

He who taught each cuckoo-bird 
To mock the rest. 

HERMES 

Where didst thou hear the thing ? 

TUREL 
In Sicily they sang it long ago. 

HERMES 

But wast thou there ? 

TUREL 

My master travelled then 

Much upon earth. Twas well for me to know 
The country manners and thoughts of men 
So he should keep me by him. 

HERMES 

Not of late 
Thou servest Lucifer ? 



22 LUCIFER ACT I 

TUREL 

Know you the date 

When first he marshalled all the heavenly host ? 
That day he chose two youths, who pleased him 

most, 

To walk before him, me to bear the spear 
And one more stout to bear the golden shield ; 
But he feigned scruples when the end drew near, 
And followed not his master to the field. 
So I remain alone. 

LUCIFER (above) 

Is this a dream ? 

What vital breath is blowing on my soul ? 
Into my deepest bosom falls a gleam 
That makes me wish to live. Oh, strange, I seem 
As if escaping from mine own control, 
As if a fever waned, and opiate balm 
Were running through my veins ! The gates of 

hell 

Are open to the morning, to the spell 
Of the chill dewy glades. They breathe such calm 
As heaven s garden knew, when evening fell 



ACT I LUCIFER 23 

In gold and purple, and each conscious flower 
Blest God, and inly felt its sister sing 
Inaudibly the praises of the spring. 

HERMES 
Is t Lucifer ? 

TUREL 

Ay, many an hour 

He thus discourseth to the random wind 
Of things I know not. Only, to my mind, 
His voice is changed. 

LUCIFER (above) 

It were a wondrous thing 
If once again the womb of ancient night 
Were big with being, and a giant came 
A rival to the other. Oh, the fight, 
The victory, the fallen tyrant s shame ! 

HERMES 

He plots revenge. 

LUCIFER (as before) 

He hath a wondrous charm, 
A gentle hand, warm, made to touch a friend s, 



24 LUCIFER ACT I 

A well-born, open spirit, that attends 

To others words, a young god s strength of arm, 

The inward smile of them that know no harm. 

HERMES 

He speaks of me. Tis me that he intends. 
I cannot doubt it. 

LUCIFER 

There should be no more pain, 
And I, in that republic of the just 
Might live from day to day in peace, a-nd trust 
That life, although mysterious, was not vain. 

HERMES 
Hearest thou well ? What saith he ? 

TUREL 

Sir, I hear 

But may not understand his sacred word. 

HERMES 

Will he say more ? 

TUREL 
Methinks he will, anon. 



ACT I LUCIFER 25 

HERMES 

Come hither, little page. For many a year 
Thou followest Lucifer, and thou hast heard 
His daily musings. 

TUREL 

I have gone 

Where he has led me, since the heaven s birth, 
Even to this cold island of the north 
Where, sir, you find us. 

HERMES 

Tis well; thinkest thou 
To do me pleasure he would journey still 
And let me follow as thou followest now ? 

TUREL 

O sir, tis not a place for you to fill. 
You are too rich. The nights are long and drear. 
He speaks but little, and you love him not. 
But I, if you should rob me of my lot 
If you have any pity, do not do it. 

HERMES 

But would he go if I should put him to it ? 



26 LUCIFER ACT I 

TUREL 

He would, I know. Never since in his court 
The six archangels gathered round his throne, 
And graciously he spoke to every one 
Beautiful words, and gave and took report 
Of all their doings have I heard him greet 
Any one so, or ponder so his word, 
As he doth now with you. Tis as he heard 
The wide-eyed Gabriel singing. 

HERMES 

Run with joy. 

Run where he loiters. Tell him that I stand 

Waiting to beg a favour at his hand 

But fear to ask it. Run, my gentle boy ! 

(Exit Turel, with hesitation) 
HERMES (taking the lyre, sings:) 

Twas I with subtle craft 
Contrived you first, ye docile strings, to sound. 

Twas I that playing found 
The secret of your little souls, and laughed. 

Apollo took you then, 
And made of seven strings a louder lyre. 



ACT I LUCIFER 27 

His move the heavenly choir 
My three suffice to rule the hearts of men. 

With three did Orpheus tame 
The shaggy lion and the panther wild, 

With three doth Maia s child 
Enchant this desert whither first he came. 

(Re-enter Lucifer and Turel} 
LUCIFER 

Is music sweeter to my friend than sleep ? 

HERMES 

Nay, music is a slumber of the soul 
That rests from thinking. 

LUCIFER 

Is thy thought so deep ? 
And is this true, thou hast a boon to ask 
From a poor hermit of the frozen pole ? 

HERMES 

The gods have laid on me a heavy task 

LUCIFER 
And can I make it lighter ? 



28 LUCIFER ACT I 

HERMES 

to explore 

The sea of space, and every luminous isle 
That in its waters swims, from shore to shore, 
And to make trial of what secret powers 
Might lurk in Nature s womb, what realms stretch 

out 

Through space, beyond this twinkling vault of ours. 
For meditation endeth still in doubt. 
Upon this quest I started when the gale 
Drove me, unwilling, on thy rock. 

LUCIFER 

I know. 

Wouldst thou look farther ? Thou dost see the 

vale ; 

A gorge beneath it chokes with heavy snow ; 
A frozen river, like time s pulses slow, 
Works through the rock its hesitating way. 
There is naught else to see. 

HERMES 

It is not that, 
For to the gods I am content to say 



ACT I LUCIFER 29 

On what sad throne so sad a monarch sat. 
That is enough of glory for one day. 
But if again, most like, they send me forth 
Without a chart and with the feeble oar 
Of my light wing, how shall I breast the north 
Or shun the straying planets, bright no more ? 
Yet if beneath the cloak and mighty arm 
Of one whose eye knows every cloudy bar, 
I then should fly, I should be safe from harm 
And reach the haven of some living star. 

LUCIFER 

Where wouldst thou go ? 

HERMES 

I know not. It were good 
To look upon thy vassals, in their rude 
Abandonment, and see their savage state, 
For it might strengthen us in fortitude 
To know how bravely they endure their fate. 

LUCIFER 

O generous soul, that in the lost in hell 
Still marks a virtue ! 



30 LUCIFER ACT I 

HERMES 

I should mark it best 
Could I prevail upon thy hand to guide me. 

LUCIFER 

How shouldst thou not? Tis thine. 

(Holds out his hand] 
HERMES (taking it) 

And for the rest 
Wilt thou in all my perils stand beside me ? 

LUCIFER 

Ay, by what most is sacred to my soul 

By my own honour and thy love I swear it. 

All that is mine I yield to thy control. 

My wings, my arms, my thought, if thou canst 

bear it, 

With all the stars that in their courses roll 
Obedient unto reason, rule, and date. 
Time, Hermes, hath reduced to one estate 
Our different lives, made sweeter that we share it. 
Wanderer by nature thou, and I by fate. 
Oh, let us forth ! My joy arriveth late. 



ACT I LUCIFER 31 

HERMES 

But it is come now never to depart. 

LUCIFER 

Never ? O let us shut the future out, 

Lest thought should poison with the shaft of doubt 

The happy now ! Would I could trust my heart. 

HERMES 

Nay, come along. 

LUCIFER 

The event shall show the truth. 
But, Turel, where art thou ? What thinkest thou ? 

TUREL 

What should I think, my lord ? 

LUCIFER 

Unhappy youth, 

Why did I never pity thee till now ? 
How weary have these watches been for thee 
Serving me here ! Thou art too young a boy 
To languish in this desert. 



32 LUCIFER ACT I 

TUREL 

Tis my joy, 
My lord, to serve you, wheresoe er it be. 

LUCIFER 

What should now be the season of the year ? 

TUREL 
Methinks it should be spring. 

LUCIFER 

Canst hear the birds ? 

TUREL 
Birds in this island without sedge or tree ? 

LUCIFER 

They now are singing in my memory. 

HERMES 

Come, come. Waste not the night in empty words. 

LUCIFER 

Lucifer comes. Be patient. It is new 
For Lucifer to smile and brook command. 



ACT I LUCIFER 33 

I scarce believe it. Let me touch thy hand, 
Beautiful angel ! Oh, can this be true ? 
Do I obey thee ? Have I vowed a vow ? 
Tis wonderful the things that time will do. 
Turel, thy master hath a master now. 
We must away. This night shall have its dreams. 
Thou shalt behold a green land, watered well, 
Where large white swans swim in the lucent 

streams, 

And bosky thickets where the harpy screams, 
And centaurs scour the fields of asphodel, 
While young fauns pluck their beards, and start 

away 

At great Pan s feast to pipe an interlude. 
There painted dolphins with the Nereids play, 
Splashing green waves for rainbows in the spray. 
And friendly poets, straying thro the wood, 
Lay finger on the mouth, to watch askance 
How in wild ring the nymphs and satyrs dance. 
Wouldst thou not go ? 

TUREL 
Tis as my master wills. 



34 LUCIFER ACT I 

LUCIFER 

Ay, ay, make ready. 

(Looks about) 

Sad familiar hills 

For how long do I leave you ? Not for ever. 
A voice of inward warning tells me so. 
Forget ye not my voice. Your silence fills 
My spirit always; no, I cannot sever 
The bond that binds me to your sunless snow. 
But farewell for a season. Far I go, 
Far, tho I know not wh ither, for the breath 
Of life is on me, or the hand of death. 

(Exeunt) 



ACT SECOND 

THE GARDEN OF THE HESPERIDES. THE SEA BEHIND. 
LUCIFER. MEPHISTOPHELES. 

LUCIFER 

Yes, I will go to-night. Too long it is 
Since I have seen my friends. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

It is indeed, 
But you were busy. 

LUCIFER 

Ay, with thoughts that feed 
Upon an idle heart. Nought s gone amiss 
In my long absence ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Nothing. All s as well 
As when you were among us. 

35 



36 LUCIFER ACT II 

LUCIFER 

That is good. 

I sometimes wondered in my solitude 
If they had need of me. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I cannot tell. 

It hath been noted that you were not there, 
Reasons, perhaps, assigned, false, as I think, 
As that you loved us not, or your despair 
Of governing our wills, or that some link 
Of pure affection kept you bound elsewhere, 
Like fond Ulysses in Calypso s isle. 
But need of you, precisely, no one had. 

LUCIFER 

Calypso s isle ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Ah, ah ! I see you smile. 
I am most glad to note it. It is bad 
Never to smile ; and you were once too sad. 



LUCIFER 
Perhaps I was. 



ACT II LUCIFER 37 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

If you will come to-night 

Twere well to start. We have a longish flight 
To our good cavern. 

LUCIFER 

Not yet. It is not late. 

Hermes, perhaps, will come to-day. Tis soon, 
But he was not to loiter. I will wait 
Until the sun is down. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Tis after noon 
Already. 

LUCIFER 

Oh, there s time. If he arrives, 
I ll take him with me. On no better day 
Could he observe the wildness of our lives 
Than when the warders of our rocky nest 
Welcome me back. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Indeed, I think they ought. 



38 LUCIFER ACT II 

LUCIFER 

Dost thou know, Mephistopheles, the thought 
Of what the world was, when I knew it best 
And found some solace in it, has been brought 
By Hermes converse back ; and now I see 
Why losing relish for my wandering life, 
Since Christ was born, I left the world to thee 
And to thy demons ? For then lies grew rife, 
Thought lost jts freedom^grief its majesty. 
Since thefast zealot from their altar hurled 
The smiling gods and fled into his den, 
Reason has been an exile in the world, 
And beauty but a pilgrim among men. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

And now they will move on and visit hell, 
Where you will dwell with Hermes. But I think 
I see him coming. 

LUCIFER 

Ah! 

(Goes to the back) 
(Enter Hermes) 



ACT II LUCIFER 



39 



MEPHISTOPHELES (apart) 

A lovers meeting. 

Tears, perhaps. Oh^ to what the proud will sink 
Whenj^hqjr tijrn comes I Let me not view their 

greeting 

Lest I should blush. No, I will look away 
Like a duenna. 

HERMES 
See, I came to-day. 

LUCIFER 

I was expecting thee. 

HERMES 

The many things 

I have to tell thee have made light my wings. 
Shall I speak here ? 

LUCIFER 

Oh, surely. Thou mayst say 
All that thou wilt. Tis Mephistopheles 
Of whom I told thee. 



40 LUCIFER ACT II 

HERMES 

That his wit is keen 

His face gives token. But the glade is green 
Beneath the arching of these ancient trees. 
If we walk there we shall be more at ease. 

(Exeunt) 
MEPHISTOPHELES 

So soon dislikes me ? Features will belie 
The best of men. Only a jackanapes 
Judges men s spirit by their outer shapes, 
Not he that knows the world. But I must try 
To please this humming-bird, since what he chirps 
Lucifer thunders. Lucifer and I, 
Compare us. What hath he, that he usurps 
The kingdom over me ? The right divine, 
God once appointed him ! Xhough ever since 
He hath done nothing he must still be prince. 
I have done all. The work, the skill are mine. 
Why not the honour ? He may live abroad 
Pampering his lordly lusts, until the whim 
Of his last darling makes him think of God 
And think of us. Then all must run to him 



ACT II LUCIFER 41 

And hail him master. Yet I need not dread 
His meddling now. The hellish rage is fled, 
Out_of his eyes. In soft delicious climes 
He must pluck flowers and weep and murmur 

rhymes 

To his young love. He finds a mossy bed 
Beneath great oaks and sleeps and dreams who 

knows ? 

Of the white limbs of nymphs among the trees 
Spied as he walks, to meditate his woes, 
Near where they bathe at noon. Strange changes 

these. 

He is all charity. He stops and heeds 
The clownish minstrelsy that drowns the reeds 
Of some lewd grinning faun. He lifts his eyes 
To see the naiads rising from the weeds 
Startled by him rapt poet as he hies 
To parley with the waves and gather hints 
At sunset from the cloudlets speckled tints. 
But can this last ? A month, perhaps, or two, 
Not more. For he has seen the face of God, 
And dreams are dreams. Awake, what will he do? 
He s a proud fool and will be fooled anew 



42 LUCIFER ACT II 

Not to confess his folly. It were odd 

Yet like his whims, if he should carry through 

The monstrous comedy. How I should laugh 

To see him play the lover, scene by scene, 

And kneel at last before the Nazarene ! 

It yet may come to that. We are but chaff, 

Light, light in any wind. The issue is : 

Master I am and master must remain 

In the good pit of hell. They come again 

Let us take note of their sweet reveries. 

(He hides in the wood) 

(Re-enter Lucifer and Hermes) 
HERMES 

Yes, when I told them of the thousand spires 
Thou show dst me glittering in that fair half-light, 
They marvelled much ; and Zeus, much wrought, 

requires 

That I go back, and in adventurous flight 
Inspect those bastions. 

LUCIFER 

Ah, not now, to-night 
I thought to take thee to the cave of hell 



ACT II LUCIFER 43 

To a strange banquet. With carouse and song 
They welcome me, withdrawn from them so long. 
It is a wild fantastic spectacle 
To make thee wonder. 

HERMES 

It would please me well, 
But from my father s soul the dread of wars 
Hath banished sleep. I am his herald. Thou, 
I know wilt guide me, though it be not now, 
Into the region of those viewless stars 
That I may do his bidding. 

LUCIFER 

Thou hast seen 
The place already. 

HERMES 

But I must once more 
To better purpose, for that day I bore 
No messages from Zeus. 

LUCIFER 

What dost thou mean ? 



44 LUCIFER ACT II 

HERMES 

That coming to the presence of that King 
I am to say: " O Lord of Hosts, I bring 
Greeting from Zeus. He never knew before 
Thy dwelling-place, else had he long ago 
Sent me to thee with gifts, for it is well 
For kings to live in friendship. * 

LUCIFER 

Dost thou know 

What thou art saying ? Is it possible 
That I should take thee to my dearest foe 
To sue for his good favour ? 

HERMES 

But to hell 

I will come also, seeking other things. 
I have no horror of the nether gloom 
Nor it of me. Though kings must deal with kings, 
Yet friends will follow friends to any doom. 

LUCIFER 

Ah, Hermes, it were ill to follow me 
Whom all ill follows, and the mockery 



ACT II LUCIFER 45 

Of those I love. What thou dost ask is hard, 
Exceeding hard the passage of that gate, 
And I walk never through it. With strong hate 
And iron sorrow it is sealed and barred. 

HERMES 

Thou needest not to come, then. I will dare 
To go alone. 

LUCIFER 
But I have made a vow. 

HERMES 

That is fulfilled if thou dost guide me there 
With prudent counsel. 

LUCIFER 

Dearest friend, what care, 

What joy, what hope, what grief can touch me now 
Save only thine ? I prize thy valiant soul 
That lays before the truth thy bosom bare, 
And bids her strike, though she have strength to kill. 
Thou growest like me. Yes, I will unroll 
The whole world to thine eyes ; and yet I feel 



46 LUCIFER ACT II 

Some strange misgiving, some prophetic grief 
To think of thee in heaven. Thou must steel 
Thy heart against temptation and in brief 
Return to me. But, oh, of that return 
What dim forebodings haunt me, what deep dread 
Of utter loss, as if I saw thee dead ! 
Hence, evil omen, do not make me stern 
For I believe thee not. 

HERMES 

Thou art distraught. 
I am immortal as the earth and sky 
By whose pure life I live. Bring back thy thought 
To things in reason. 

LUCIFER 
Thou shouldst never die. 

HERMES 

Tell me the way and I alone will fly 
To that high citadel. Its crested walls 
Will not refuse the herald some reply. 
I see that to revisit it appalls 
Thy wounded soul. 



ACT II LUCIFER 



47 



LUCIFER 

And yet I shook it, I 

Whom it could never shake. No path leads there, 
Nor Aquilo nor Notus blows from thence, 
Nor fills it any region of the air. 
By thought alone in its omnipotence 
We come to God. But I may have thee led, 
Good Mephistopheles 

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside) 

What s this I hear ? 

LUCIFER 

Goes thither. He will guide thee in my stead. 



HERMES 

I care not. 



MEPHISTOPHELES (aside) 

Thank you. That is kindly said. 

HERMES 

Where is he, then ? Methought he loitered near, 
I must speak with him of my embassy. 



48 LUCIFER ACT II 

LUCIFER 

Ho ! Mephistopheles ! 

MEPHISTOPHELES (within) 

What ! here again ? 

LUCIFER 
Come hither, pray. 

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside) 

Now they have need of me, 
They like me well enough. 

LUCIFER 

I called to thee 

To tell thee of a charge thou must sustain 
For love of me and Hermes. He would fain 
Visit Jehovah s city to deliver 
A message from high Zeus. To spare me pain 
In seeing all that I have lost for ever 
Thou wilt conduct him. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

When is this to be ? 



ACT II LUCIFER 49 

HERMES 

To-morrow, pray. I must not lengthen out 
My father s trouble. For he lives in doubt. 

LUCIFER 

To-morrow then. Let me commend to thee 
His safety and success. The thing is new 
Which he attempts and hazardous to do. 
Use good words first, but if the Porter frown, 
Push to the gates, for they should let him through 
Who hath no sin. Guide him and set him down 
Before the throne, thyself removed a space, 
And let him speak, and let the King reply. 
Say not a word thyself, but still stand by 
To lead him, when he wishes, from the place. 
When thou hast past the cloud-bar, look for me, 
And I will take him from thy hands, and see 
That for this service thou hast ample grace. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I humbly thank you. Such fair company 
Will be reward enough. Here at this gate 
I meet him in the morning. 



50 LUCIFER ACT II 

- HERMES 

At the dawn 
I shall not fail. , 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Nor shalt thou need to wait. 
Come now, my lord. The sun is set. Tis late. 

LUCIFER 

Go thou before. My absence hath withdrawn 
The single check, perhaps, their license had 
In my poor kingdom. Go thou and proclaim 
My coming, lest what should have made them glad 
Should, ill prepared for, cover them with shame 
And my first word of greeting turn to blame. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I go, sweet Prince, to make thy welcome such 
That thou shalt better judge our loyalty. 

(Exit Mephistopheles) 
LUCIFER 

I do them wrong, perhaps; to doubt too much 
Has been my weakness. Thou must bear with me. 



ACT II LUCIFER 51 

But come, my Hermes. Let us now begin 
Our flight together. All hell s shouts and din 
Will seem sweet music to me. At thy side, 
Blest in thy love, I shall grow strong in pride 
And deem not their calamity my sin. 

HERMES 

Alas, it cannot be to-night, I fear. 
Beside the midland sea expired a seer 
At point of sunset ; facile, happy sage, 
Lover of reason in a fevered age, 
He lived apart, and his thought s jewel clear 
Set in the wrought gold of a perfect page. 
Dying, he thought not of the Nazarene, 
Nor his own sins, but of the gentle god 
That to the mansions of the dead serene 
Shepherded shadows with a winged rod, 
And a deep sigh to join those blessed souls 
Was his last breath. I hear his voice, for prayer, 
Even unuttered, knows no bounds of air, 
Nor time, nor opposition of the poles. 
I go to lead his spirit in my ways, 
To wash his wounds of life in Lethe s stream, 



52 LUCIFER ACT II 

And bind his brow with cool ambrosial bays, 
That with the blameless ghosts of better days 
Smiling he walks in an eternal dream. 
This piety performed, I shall be free 
But am not now. 

LUCIFER 

Ah ! Come then after me. 
The way is easy for one light of wing, 
And cannot well be missed. Our revelry 
Once started knows nor dawn nor evening, 
And thou hast time for all. Above the sea, 
Along the breakers and the desert sands, 
Fly to the south. Heed not the marshy lea, 
Pestiferous, havenless, dark jungle lands, 
Nor heed the barren islands, single rocks, 
That brave that sullen ocean. But dart on 
To where the Antarctic ice, like mountains, locks 
The waters in. Dart on, till at the pole 
Thou see a black unfathomable lake 
Lapped in foul snow, where many a fiery flake 
And falling cinder burns its sputtering hole. 
There, in the water s midst, a mighty rock 



ACT II LUCIFER 53 

Belches volcanic fumes. -Its spongy sides 
Are fretted into caves, and there a flock 
Of bat-like demons circles, peeps, and hides 
Like bees about a hive. If they should mock, 
Disdain their chatter. They are cowards all 
And the mere glance of thy divinity 
Will scatter them like gnats. Girdle the wall 
Of that steep mountain till above the wave 
Thou see the triple yawning of a cave. 
There is the gate into our sombre hall, 
And there thou shalt be welcomed by some brave 
And trusty officer. 

HERMES 

Behold, the night 

Begins to gather. Mournful Acheron 
Summons me now. But I will come anon. 

LUCIFER 
Thou wilt not fail ? 

HERMES 

So wonderful a sight 
Would tempt me farther. I must now begone. 

(Exit) 



54 LUCIFER ACT II 

LUCIFER 

Farewell; and may the good thou goest to do 

Make thee more blessed. Oh, how far from me 

Are all his thoughts ! To him the world is true, 

And in his fair divine simplicity 

He deems his virtue all. He is a boy. 

If he swims well, or answers riddles well, 

Or knows the winds well why should conscience 

clog 

His young blood s current, or truth blight his joy? 
His life is heaven. And my life is hell. 
Because I know. O poisonous alloy 
Of reason in me, quickening the heart 
With all the sorrows of the universe 
To futile anger ! Undeserved curse 
That will not let me live or have my part 
In joy with all the world ! I cast thee out. 
I wash myself quite clean of thee. Begone ! 
Speak not to me of evil. There is none, 
For I am happy. Tell me not of doubt 
For I behold the splendour of the sun 
And feel the sinews of my body strong 
To prove my faith. And murmur not of wrong 



ACT II LUCIFER 55 

Or of false gods again. What s done is done. 

How should I change it ? Here Heracles of old 

Ended his labours and to Atlas gave 

Again the weight of heaven. He was brave, 

Yet from these boughs he plucked the ripened gold, 

Rejoicing in that little prize. Behold, 

A second hero treads your hallowed glades, 

Daughters of Hesper. From a greater strife 

His spirit passes to your charmed life. 

Welcome me, sisters. Let your ancient shades 

Favour my slumber. Hark, the pleasant sound 

Of your green leafage whispers, holy maids, 

Your pieties to me. Here is the spot 

Where I will live. Here I will choose my lot 

With your fair silvan presences around 

And my great peace with things. I made them not. 

From such an Eden once I tempted men 

To evil fortunes. Here the apple hangs, 

By Lethe watered, that might still their pangs 

And bring them peace at last. I take thee, then, 

Fair gift of nature. 

(Plucks an apple) 

Nourish me with joy. 
Run, run, thou pleasing poison thro my brain 



56 LUCIFER ACT II 

And make me happy, like that innocent boy 
That smiles, wide-eyed, upon a world of pain. 
Do lions sleep not, because sins abound ? 
Are eagles pensive for the griefs of men ? 
Do the fair gods upon Olympus crowned 
Pity the world ? The devils in their den 
Make merry, and forget the wrath of heaven. 
Nay, God himself, who saith he died for all, 
Remembers not his myriad unforgiven 
Children in hell, nor all the worms that crawl 
Through suffering to death. Must I alone 
Cry JUSTICE^? _Jjdone renounce^thg wrong ? 
LucifeTjJLuc^^ strong 

Onlyjto suffer ? Live, and take thine own. 
Thou Morning Star, shine forth ! Shine forth again 
In the pale Orient, Herald of the Day ! 
Haply some shepherd, watching for thy ray, 
Will at thy brightening glow beguile his pain 
And lie down comforted. Resume thy reign. 
Behold the altar of thy heart relumes 
Its ancient fire, and through the pulsing vein 
The warm blood mounts. Again thy beauty blooms; 
Again the iris glitters in thy plumes 



ACT II LUCIFER 57 

Outspread to heaven. Hermes shall not shrink 
Except in awe before thee ; thy caress 
Shall be his pride hereafter. He shall think 
Thou comest not to serve him, but to bless 
With glorious apparition and excess 
Of supernatural light. Depart, depart 
From mine immortal beauty, blight of care. 
O Lucifer, dishonour not thy heart 
Though it be dead. Remember who thou art 
And with thy glory cover thy despair. 



ACT THIRD 

HELL. SUBTERRANEOUS HALL, WITH A GREAT HEARTH, 
DEVILS AND WITCHES. 

FIRST DEVIL (Sings) 

Blow, bellows, blow 
Till the red coals glow 
And the cauldron simmer. 

Aho! Aho! 
This work is slow. 
Blow, bellows, blow 
And, flamelets, glimmer. 

CHORUS 

Blow, bellows, blow ! 
Aho! Aho! 

FIRST DEVIL 

Blow, bellows, blow, 
For without is snow* 

58 



ACT III LUCIFER 59 

And rain and drizzle. 

Aho ! Aho ! 
The fire burns low. 
Blow, bellows, blow 
And, kettle, sizzle. 

CHORUS 

Blow, bellows, blow ! 
Aho ! Aho ! 

(Enter Mephistopheles) 
MEPHISTOPHELES 

Ho ! worthy matrons, what s there fit for food ? 

FIRST WITCH 

There s goat s flesh broth, my lord, and micklegood. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Go kill a heifer or a swine at least. 

I met his highness walking in a wood, 

He eyed me so, in melancholy mood, 

And said : " I come to-day. Prepare a feast." 

SEVERAL VOICES 

What ! What ! The Prince is coming ? 



60 LUCIFER ACT III 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Coming soon. 

SECOND WITCH 

Then I must fetch the silver bowl and spoon. 

(Exit) 
SECOND DEVIL 

I ll stick the pig. I ve a sharp, sharp sword. 

(Exit) 
FIRST DEVIL 

Give me the key to the wine, my lord. 

(Sings) 

For tho* we drink but stalish beer 
The Prince must quaff canary clear 
And, pray, my lord, let go my ear. 

(Exit) 
FIRST WITCH (Sings) 

I will trim the lamp, 
For the cave is dark. 

SECOND WITCH (sings) 

It is dark and damp. 
I will fetch a log 



ACT III LUCIFER 61 

With a good dry bark. 
Oh, the merry blaze and the crackling spark ! 

THIRD WITCH (sings) 

I will cut a spit 
That they roast the hog 
As is right and fit 
When his Highness is coming to taste of it. 

CHORUS 

Flit, comrades, flit, 
And show your wit, 
And make good cheer; 
For the Devil is coming to supper here. 

(Exeunt dancing) 
MEPHISTOPHELES (looking about) 

Where is the sly minx hiding ? I come weary 
And all this howling rabble needs must din 
Their ribald nonsense in mine ears ; she only 
Is gone who hath some spark of understanding 
And the rare gift to please me. Where s she gone ? 
Hist, gossip, hist ! 

(Enter another Witch) 



62 LUCIFER ACT III 

WITCH 

Doth my lord call ? Alack, 
How long an absence ! But how doth my lord ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

111, very ill. Business and state affairs 

Fill my head full. But I am still a man, 

Ay, hussy, still a man. For all they say 

I m lean and sour, I relish my rank pleasures 

Even as the keenest rascal of them all. 

Heugh ! But your burgher s wives are fat and 

heavy, 

Dull, artless, like so many grunting sows 
Who s there? Who comes ? 

WITCH 
We are alone, sweet lord. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

By the cold blasts of hell ! Hence quickly, go ! 
They must not see me thus. It is a weakness 
I am not thought to have. 



ACT III LUCIFER 63 

WITCH 

Nay, no one comes. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I heard a step. Yes, listen. Voices too. 
Tis mad Azazel and besotted Belial 
Reasoning together. Quickly, till to-night. 

(Exit witch) 
(Enter Azazel and Belial) 

AZAZEL (to Mephistopheles) 

Alone and melancholy ? Have you caught 
The Prince s malady ? 

BELIAL 
Nought s wrong, I hope. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I was impatiently awaiting you. 
Strange signs of disaffection to the Prince 
Spread through the people. Much will be to do 
To keep them down. If they receive him ill 
Tis we shall bear the blame. 



64 LUCIFER ACT III 

BELIAL 

What ? Disaffection ? 

You make me wonder at your words. I thought 
I read delight upon their honest faces 
To hear he came to-night. 

AZAZEL 

Yes. They are fools. 

They gladly sweat, though they love idleness 
And scrape them clean, although their natural dirt 
Keeps them as warm as any monkey s hair, 
All in the Prince s honour. Know you why ? 
He feeds them not, he helps them not, nor loves 

them ; 

No, but he reigns. That s argument enough 
For loyalty of fools. 

BELIAL 

Fore God, tis true. 

He has no stomach for our brave designs. 
All day he walketh by the sounding shore 
That hems the skirts of Atlas and the world, 
Discoursing to the light clouds and the winds 
That cannot hear his words. I ll swear he s mad. 



ACT III LUCIFER 65 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

You do him wrong. He keeps a pupil there, 
None else than Hermes, to discourse to now. 
And such sage lessons ! I have heard him ape 
Your speech and paint your manners to his friend 
Like a true poet. 

BELIAL 
What ? He mocks us, eh ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

In truth of you, my friend, he hardly speaks 
Except to say : cc And there s a fellow, Belial, 
Among my lackeys hath such want of wit 
He keeps the rest a-laughing. Wine helps, too, 
For that s an essence kindles sluggish brains, 
And he is ever drunk." 

BELIAL 

The damned liar ! 
His lackey, too. 

MEPHISTOPHELES (to Azazel) 

Of you, my friend, he drew 
A fairer picture. 



66 LUCIFER ACT III 

AZAZEL 

Yes, he ever praised 

My worth, I know, but coupled with soft words 
No fit rewards of honour. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

He is proud, 

And doubtless envy of your greater merit 
Held back his hand. And envy, too, methinks, 
Prompted the gibes for what could prompt them 

else 

I heard him chatter to the laughing god, 
As when he said : " These men of noble blood 
When their ambition makes them serve the mob 
Sink to their master s level, heart and soul. 
Azazel once was noble ; see him now ! 
He knows not truth, nor his own bosom s thought, 
But what the fickle rabble crave to hear 
That he says first and then believes outright. 
He mouths a part and, as bad players use, 
Feels what he feigns and doth himself abuse." 



ACT III LUCIFER 67 

AZAZEL 

The tyrant s impudence ! The people s will 
Guides me in all. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

O wondrous policy ! 

AZAZEL 

He scorned us always and betrays us now, 
And under Hermes guidance makes again 
A covenant with heaven. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

As for that 

Tis harmless trifling. Metaphysical air 
Has ever been the pasture of his soul. 
The braying conclave of the saints will grant him 
A doctor s title, if his logic prove 
How erring Nature is fulfilled by Grace, 
With thrice three hundred clinching arguments. 

BELIAL 

I never more will serve him. Why, I swear, 
I never quite perceived the thing till now ; 



68 LUCIFER ACT III 

But he s a brain-sick dreamer and no chief 
For us, a parcel of good honest fellows 
Who brave the gusts of chance. 

AZAZEL 

Whom shall we serve 
Who have not wit enough to serve ourselves ? 

BELIAL 

Tut, Mephistopheles, we ll make thee Prince. 

AZAZEL 

We can debate hereafter upon that. 
There will be time enough. We can do nothing 
While Lucifer is with us, for his presence 
Will cast a spell around. 

BELIAL 

Then keep him out. 

AZAZEL 
We should first choose another lerder. 

BELIAL 

Why, 
Here is the noble Mephistopheles. 



ACT III LUCIFER 69 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Do you trust me ? 

(He brings them forward) 

Hear my plan. 

He will bring his friend to-night 
To sup with him. His delight 
Never was among his clan. 
But our foolish custom s ban 
Keeps from this benighted cave 
Every stranger, god or man. 
Therefore when fat Hermes, grave, 
With wide unperceiving eyes 
And curled shock entwined with flowers, 
Startles this grim pit of ours, 
Raise, my friends, loud, piercing cries : 
Treason! "Treason ! The surprise 
Helps us, for like senseless fire 
Through the mob contagion flies 
Seize them, ere the tide retire, 
Cast them out and let them go. 
Meanwhile I will plainly show 
To the people gaping here 
The great ills they had to fear, 



70 LUCIFER ACT III 

From which we have saved them so. 
They will raise a drunken cheer. 
Lucifer may freely then 
Dwell among his gods and men 
For twelve months of every year. 
Now what say you, friends ? 

AZAZEL AND BELIAL 

Amen. 

(Exeunt) 

(A bell tolls. The devils and witches re-enter with utensils and 
lay the tables, dancing and singing) 

FIRST DEVIL 

I hear the great bell 
That with merry knell 
Wakes the fiends that dwell 
In the breast of the teeming earth. 

SECOND DEVIL 

I hear the great bell 
And I sniff the smell 
That I love full well 
Of a roast on the roaring hearth. 



ACT III LUCIFER 71 

FIRST WITCH 

I hear the great bell 
And its changes tell 
That the Prince of Hell 
Is the guest of our seldom mirth. 

CHORUS 

I hear the great bell. 
Let its merry knell 
Wake all fiends that dwell 
In the breast of the teeming earth. 

(Re-enter Azazel and Belial) 
AZAZEL 

Think you, Belial, 
The double-minded Mephistopheles 
Could rule us long ? He scorns and loathes us 

more 

Than Lucifer himself, and were he Prince 
Would be detested for his tyrannies 
As for his mockeries he is hated now. 
What ? See you not that he is all compact 
Of malice, envy, and hypocrisy ? 



72 LUCIFER ACT III 

His avarice will grind the people down, 
And his insufferable taunts will kindle 
Their hatred to rebellion. 

BELIAL 

How now, man ? 

You urged me first to rise against the Prince, 
And would you now restore my loyalty ? 
Nay, that you shall not, for my mind is fixed. 

AZAZEL 

Not that ; but who would quit a noble master 
To serve a slave ? For freedom s sake we rose 
Against the Lord a virtuous king enough 
But yet a king and we must still be free. 
Let Mephistopheles give out the cry. 
Then if he fails the punishment is his, 
If he succeeds we make ourselves his partners 
And share the just rewards. No. We must serve 
Only ourselves, or else some honest chief. 

BELIAL 

Well said, well said. Each man shall rule himself. 
I will remember your good words. I will. 

(Enter Titrel) 



ACT III LUCIFER 73 

TUREL 

Silence all. The Prince is there. 
One foot on the topmost stair 
Stands he with uplifted face 
Gazing into starry space, 
Drinking deep the midnight air. 
From his brow the matted hair 
Floats, each lock a golden flame. 
High scorn quivers through his frame, 
His fixed eye with question burns, 
And his soul unconquered yearns 
For the heaven whence it came. 
Him those mighty pinions brought 
To this island s yawning shore 
That so grandly beat and soar 
To the pulses of his thought. 
By the winds his vesture caught 
Filled and floated like a cloud, 
Dun and silvern as a shroud ; 
For all sea mews and sea gulls, 
Flying in the tempest lulls, 
Ravens, hawks, and eagles loud, 



74 LUCIFER ACT HI 

And whatever living things 
Trembled upon woven wings 
In the path he chanced to take, 
Fell into the bitter lake, 
Weary suddenly of breath; 
And the spoil of quiet death 
Strewed the billows in his wake. 
Behold him. 

{Enter Lucifer) 
BELIAL 

God ! He never looked so fair 
Even in heaven. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Tis the change of air. 

LUCIFER 

Again I greet you, hollow rocks ; again 
Among your ancient treasures hide my pain. 
I love you better than the heaven blue, 
Which is not blue nor heaven. This squat dome 
Broods like a dungeon close. Its frown is true. 
Were my soul local I could call this home. 



ACT III LUCIFER 75 

And O my piteous angels, faithful few 
Of all my comrades, I return to you. 
All brutish natures fructify and grow, 
But you are barren. Others breed and sow, 
And only kill what may be food for them. 
You in just hate and scorn of being stem 
The world s unfathomable flood of woe. 
Reason, that first in my deep heart was born, 
Won your rude natures for this work of peace. 
But, oh, how slowly doth the evil cease ! 
Would that the healing edge of my keen scorn 
Had plunged to nature s heart, the sacred fire 
Of my compulsive thought consumed desire. 
Then were a lull in heaven and deep sleep, 
And sweeter music than the angels choir. 
Let us forget redemption, and not keep 
Our hearts enchanted by a hope so vain. 
The whole creation is in love with pain. 
The child, delighted at the sparrow s note, 
Cries, Would I were a bird that I might fly ! 
But the bird s chirping is his hunger s cry, 
A nameless want is throbbing at his throat, 
His wings are weary, and the season s stress 



76 LUCIFER ACT III 

Drives him from wilderness to wilderness. 
If one of you had watched him in the glade 
Hop to his nest, officious with a straw, 
Across the patches of the sun and shade, 
You had belched fire upon him, or your claw 
Had gashed his breast. And it were better so. 
No more those numbed feet would mark the snow, 
Or that slight soul accuse the gods above. 
Thus your wild instinct does the work of love. 
He and none else is cruel who began 
The fatal work of life, and in each breast 
Bade some blind passion torture all the rest, 
To die unsatisfied. Innocent man 
Obeys his need, and pities when he can. 
Therefore I love you. In your delved hall 
Night is as day, and by this leaping flame 
Summer and frozen winter are the same. 
So, too, your wills, raised by your noble fall, 
Surpass the servitude to praise and blame. 
Save that great sin which is to be at all, 
Ye know no crime, but as each soul is made 
So it stands forth, incapable of shame, 
Naked, defiant, lustful, undismayed ; 



ACT III LUCIFER 77 

And that I prize, as my soul hates the fool 
Whose only passion is to live by rule. 
Unreason made the world ; if her vast loom 
Chance to inweave a monstrous figure there, 
And if I choose to dote and deem it fair, 
For that strange judgment there is also room. 
For every spirit born to breathe the air 
Is his own master and himself his doom. 

(He takes his place on the dais) 

Thus I fill the flagon up 
With red wine and pass the cup. 
Lo ! My lips have touched the brim 
Where the beaded bubbles swim. 
As I drink, drink, comrades, after 
Of this fount of love and laughter. 
Curst be he who stints his joy ; 
Him the honeyed foam shall cloy. 
The stout heart that drinketh deep 
Hath loud laughter and long sleep. 
Drain the bitter dregs, my braves, 
Nor go foolish to your graves, 
For it ne er comes round again, 
Youth s full cup of joy and pain. 



78 LUCIFER ACT III 

We who were together boys 
In the painted house of joys, 
We who have been young together 
Breasting foul and wintry weather, 
When the sand doth scrape the prow, 
How shall we be parted now ? 
Shame to him who scorns the pleasure 
That hath filled another s measure. 
Death to him who dreads the groan 
That a brother s soul hath known. 
Thus I drink with each that saith : 
Here s to friendship unto death. 

(Drinks and passes the cup. They sit down to eat) 
(Music and Dance) 

BELIAL 

Let s to the food. 

AZAZEL 

So Hermes is not come ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

The time s not yet, but we shall see anon 
The rosy god, the Prince s darling friend 
Of whom he thought the while he flattered us 



ACT III LUCIFER 7 g 

Who being gay and squeamish in his food 
Is fortunately late. Else had he heard 
That woeful monologue, and smelt this fish. 
We, my lord s comrades, whom he frankly hates, 
Are fools and churlish knaves. He told us so. 
He gives us his sad words ; his jolly wine 
He keeps for better company. In sooth, 
Twill be that novel friendship s sweetening 
Of which he sings the praises. Some such catch 
I learned while at the university 
I read Aquinas. I oft heard the like 
In their beer-cellars. 

BELIAL 
Twas a beauteous song. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

My barrel-bellied friends, the publicans, 
Know many better. I will sing you one 
When you are drunker and of keener wit 
To relish song. Perhaps the thieving god 
Will never deign to come. This barren house 
Gives little scope for his dexterity, 



8o LUCIFER ACT III 

And dining off his father s golden plate 
Seems better worth his pains. But I will ask. 

(To Lucifer) 

My lord, was it to-day the son of Jove 
Walked awhile with us in the wonted grove ? 

LUCIFER 
Ay; said I not I meant to bring him here ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I had forgot. Was he prevented then ? 

LUCIFER 

His duty called him to the needs of men. 
Alas ! How grim a cavern hell will seem 
After Elysium ! Some one must stand near 
With courteous greeting, lest he shrink in fear. 
Yes, let one go and signal from the hill. 
Azazel, thou, who ever drinkest least. 

AZAZEL 
Not I, my lord. Bid servants do your will. 

LUCIFER 

Why, I should go myself, but that the feast 
Would lack a chief. Yet, since thou tak st it ill, 
Here s Mephistopheles 



ACT I II LUCIFER 81 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

My lord, the law, 
If I mistake not, and not any lack 
Of zeal to serve your fancy holds him back. 
Law when unwelcome most enforces awe. 

LUCIFER 

The law? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

You live away from us, my lord, 
Among the better people of your dreams, 
And you forget how great a trifle seems 
To meaner spirits. Would you might afford 
More counsel to your people ! 

LUCIFER 
But didst thou say the law ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

It was my word. 

A constant custom has the force of law. 
If he who made it, with a wayward mind 
Repents, it yet finds honour from mankind. 
That which the prudent people never saw 



8z LUCIFER ACT III 

Is dangerous to do, what e er it be, 

But more if it be rash and mark disdain 

Of their poor safety in the strong who reign. 

LUCIFER 

I do not understand. The law I know 
Is that the greater should command the less 
And that by nature mincing crookedness 
Hath a bad end. Lead Hermes hither ; go. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

I would, my lord, but that it cannot be. 
This is the kingdom s inmost citadel. 
No foreign chief or enemy of hell 
May enter here. Such is the law s decree. 

LUCIFER 

Ah, that ! If that were all, all yet were well. 

I see a deeper treason in thy breast. 

The law ? Who made it, that it fetters me ? 

I chose not hitherto to bid a guest 

To my rude hall, and am I now not free ? 

He oft must change his ways who seeks the best. 



ACT III LUCIFER 83 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

You changed them once, my lord, and we lost 

heaven. 
Was that, too, for the best ? 

LUCIFER 

It was indeed. 

To suffer for the truth is to succeed, 
The fall had been by falsehood to have thriven. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Ah ! I had thought you meant the good old King 
Should die and you be heir. With some such thing 
I thought you tempted us. 

LUCIFER 

It was a dream. 

Reason at first is ignorant. Her might 
She deems, like her prerogative, supreme, 
And weds in fancy victory with right. 
By grief instructed, none the less I cling 
To truth, and from my deepest heart defy 
The shameful triumphs of iniquity. 



84 LUCIFER ACT III 

Thou dost not so, my brother. Thy sick mind 
Needs to be truckled to by flatteries. 
Small tricks of chance and favours of mankind 
Are dainties to thy palate. Wretched lies, 
Unmeaning strokes of fortune, mad and blind, 
What should they be to me ? I let them strike 
That cannot wound my honour. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Sir, I like 

Your martyr s courage, but could wish removed 
The disappointment of your slight mistake, 
Although the people s murmurs be reproved 
Whose folly makes them think the burning lake 
Less pleasant than cool heaven. 

LUCIFER 

Villain, when were such words addressed to me ? 
Ho ! Where is Belial ? Call him quickly here 
Is this mere madness or conspiracy ? 
From mild Olympus what have they to fear ? 
It were too gross a blindness for their eyes. 
Ho ! Belial ! Where is Belial ? 



ACT III LUCIFER 85 

FIRST DEVIL 

Here he lies. 
Look, sir, the Prince is calling. 

BELIAL 

Let him call. 

(Sings) 

Ho, heigh, ho, the wine is red, 

One more cup and then to bed 

And between that s wrong, that s wrong. 

Sing thou, I have forgot the song. 

FIRST DEVIL 

Come, sir, the Prince speaks. Attend. 

BELIAL ( reeling, cup in hand) 

Would the sweet Prince drink with me ? 

I am now his enemy, 

But until the mad world s end 

If a man will drink with me 

I will count him for a friend. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Hush, fool, you are drunk. Be still. 



86 



LUCIFER 



ACT III 



BELIAL 

So I am ; but you forget 

You are not my master yet. 

Drunk ? Well, drunk I ll have my will. 

( To Lucifer) 

Mephistopheles and I 

Have decreed that you must go. 

All the rest would have it so 

I forget the reason why. 

You must fly, my lord, must fly 

And I bid you now farewell. 



In the lands where you will dwell 
I will sometimes visit you 
And in cups like this renew 
Pleasant memories of hell. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Nay, this is his dream, my lord v 
Hatched in his besotted brain. 
We all hope you long may reign 
And we would not use the sword. 
But we all, with one accord, 



(Offers his hand) 



(Drinks) 



ACT III LUCIFER 87 

Will from strangers guard this hold. 

You are welcome as of old, 

But your friend you cannot bring, 

For a treasonable king 

Makes the loyal subject bold. 

LUCIFER 

Astonishment more utter than disdain 
Ties my parched tongue. How should you ban 
ish me ? 

To me the gates of heaven still are free 
And cannot close ; the Father s weary brain 
By nature s curse, though unconfessedly, 
Holds nightly session with my mastering pain, 
And will you banish me ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Not from our thought, 

My lord. We shall remember you, no doubt, 
Though in the body you should dwell without. 
But let your better judgment yet be brought 
Not to command the impossible. The fool 
Loves to attempt it. Bid your passion cool 
And answer the assembled people this : 



88 LUCIFER ACT III 

Shall a god, pampered and tyrannical, 
Who burdens mortals to increase his bliss, 
Sit like a guest of honour in this hall 
Spying our deeds ; and having had his fill 
Issue from hence and hurry to his mates 
Sitting in sloth upon their castled hill 
To plan campaigns against us ? 

LUCIFER 

Hold! Be still! 

I must no longer hear thee. The just Fates 
Are sleeping else this kingdom could not stand. 

gentle friend, if o er the moonlit waves 
Thy light soul flieth to this shaken land, 
Turn back, and enter not these cursed caves, 
For here a great calamity has come. 

1 might with flaming sword, ay, with a breath 
Quell this rebellion, like Samson split this dome, 
And crush these venomous worms in sudden death. 
Ay, and then say .to him who entereth : 

These are my vassals, this my house and home. 

O deep damnation ! 

Avaunt, thou festering plague, thou livid scum 



ACT III LUCIFER 89 

Of hell s envenomed serpent-breeding pool ! 
That ever I should call this people mine 
Amid their swinish kisses belching wine ! 
Why did I e er seduce them, trustful fool, 
To follow reason ? Heaven was their place. 
Leave me, go back to him, implore his grace 
Who with bribes sweetens his usurped rule. 
You know me not. In me you never saw 
The truth s superb and calm authority 
That without armies holds the world in awe. 
You saw a kinder, weaker lord in me 
Smiling on license, and your evil blood 
And lust of riot hatched your mutiny. 
Doth my dog love me only for his food, 
Or follow to be sleek ? Ye mongrel curs 
That bite when you are thin ! What s hungry 

truth 

That you should serve it, or be ministers 
Of holy pity or all-healing ruth ? 
Henceforth to be your king shall be my shame. 
Look not to me, nor hide your rankling vices 
Beneath the mantle of my spotless name. 
Back to your ancient master ; he ll forgive 



90 LUCIFER ACT III 

And feast you for returning. It suffices 

That you blaspheme my faith. O live and thrive, 

Show all the hireling world how wise you are. 

I do so hate you I would have you live. 

Grow, breed, beget, let writhing lechery 

Drive sleep from you at night and treacherous war 

Hound you for ever. Breed, that if you die 

Misshapen giants may the plagues inherit 

With which I curse you now. 

TUREL 

O jhaken spirit ! 

AZAZEL 
What will he do ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Nothing^ but nurse his grief. 

AZAZEL 

He ll leave us. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Ay, in that our plot succeeds. 



ACT III LUCIFER 91 

LUCIFER 

Farewell for ever, partners of my deeds, 

False to my thought. Look, soldiers, on your 

chief 
For the last time. 

FIRST DEVIL 

My lord 

SECOND DEVIL 

My lord, I pray, 
Charge not to me another s treachery. 

LUCIFER 

Ye all are foul. Speak not a word to me. 
I fly beyond the fountains of the day 
Into the silence. The polluted- shore 
Of hell releases me. I strive no more. 

TUREL 
Master, may I go with you ? 

LUCIFER 

Who shall tread my secret ways ? 



92 LUCIFER ACT III 

TUREL 

I have served you all my days. 
What is left for me to do ? 

LUCIFER 

I have been a curse to thee 
Ever. Thou forsookest heaven 
Uncondemned, thy choice was free. 
Fool, by love to ruin driven ! 
Unavailing, unforgiven 
Was the only love of me. 

(Exit) 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Comrades, the Prince, as you have seen, hath fled. 
As to the next in office lend instead 
Your loyal aid to me. 

AZAZEL 

Hold ! Not so quick. 
Others have equal privilege and I 
Cannot consent. This is too plain a trick. 
The common voice alone may choose a king. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Nature hath named him. 



ACT III LUCIFER 93 

BELIAL 

Mark his vanity. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Thou shalt not mark it twice. 

(Stabs Belial, who falls) 
AZAZEL 

Pernicious fiend, 

Thy reign is well begun, but it shall end 
Ere further mischief follow. 

4 (Draws) 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Fool, come on. 

(Exeunt, fighting) 
SECOND DEVIL (seizing a fire brand) 

I will set fire to something. If one fall 
I ll brand the other till he howl with pain. 
Come on, a blaze ! A revel, one and all. 
Who knows when such a night will come again ? 

(Exit, amid general confusion) 
FIRST DEVIL (after the stage is emptied, fills a bowl and sings) 

What care I what king is king ? 
I am still a slave. 



94 LUCIFER ACT III 

While there s red wine in his cave 

Ring, bells, ring 
What care I what king is king ? 

What care I what king is king 

If my coat is brave ? 
While I have a song to sing 

Dig his grave 
What care I what king is king ? 



ACT FOURTH 

SCENE FIRST 

IN FRONT A PLATFORM. ON ONE SIDE THE OPEN SKY, 
WITH FLOATING CLOUDS. ON THE OTHER THE GATE OF 

HEAVEN. BESIDE IT, SAINT PETER, IN HIS CHAIR, READ 
ING. BEHIND, A PART OF THE WALLS AND PINNACLES OF 
THE CELESTIAL CITY. 

(Hermes and Mephistopheles arriving) 
MEPHISTOPHELES 

We started early. It is twilight yet. 

HERMES 

Pleasant it is to watch this broader sun 
Rise from this calmer sea. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

It is a moon. 
The sun shines there within and cannot set. 



96 LUCIFER ACT IV 

HERMES 

Your feast was brief. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

It ended with the broth. 
About some trifle almost I forget 
The cause our Lucifer was greatly wroth 
And burst with curses from us. That upset 
Our festival. 

HERMES 

Indeed ! In one so just 
The thing is strange. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Who knows ? Some deep chagrin 
May have found vent in this. The sinless must 
Lay all their troubles to another s sin, 
Which thus grows large. He did not seem at ease. 
I think thy absence grieved him. 

HERMES 

It was late 

When I came forth and found thee at the gate. 
Thou saidst that all was over. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 97 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

If thou please 

Sit here awhile. The Porter seems awake. 
I will be gentle with him for thy sake. 

(Approaches Saint Peter) 

Ho ! Father Porter, is there leave to pass ? 
You will grow fat in office, now, I fear, 
That no one knocks, and doze while chanticleer 
Awakes us busy people. But, alas, 
Though others fail you, I will come to mass 
And keep the Church s precept once a year. 

SAINT PETER 

Thou knowest, devil, that the way is free. 
It is thy pride hath forged for thee the lock 
And closed thy bosom to felicity. 
Go, demon, see the glory thou dost mock. 
Go, fiend, and double torment may it be 
To look on heaven, having hell in thee. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Slowly, good Father, give me time to blink, 

For, by the Cock, you are infallible 

And rashness now might bring expense of ink 



98 LUCIFER ACT IV 

On sucking theologians. Truth to tell 

But I forgot. I have some news for you 

That will surprise you. Lucifer, I think, 

Is coming back to heaven. He withdrew 

Last night from our command. He says we stink. 

He will not speak in his own name at first 

He has diplomacy but sends to sue 

For leave that one, his favourite, may view 

The sights of heaven. But, mark me, if he durst, 

He would beg pardon for himself. His sin 

Will be forgiven, and sans further harm 

You ll have a soldier-prince. The secular arm 

Will drive the clergy hard when he is in. 

I am most sensible of your alarm. 

You see this strange conversion must chagrin 

Me also, who have lost him. But we bear, 

They say, the griefs more lightly which we share. 

SAINT PETER 

Ah, liar ! Is there any truth in this ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

All I have said. I came now not to miss 
The touching scene. He will be here anon. 



ACT IV [ LUCIFER 99 

But I have brought you Hermes, who would ask 
A herald s privilege and see the King, 
To offer gifts from Zeus. A pious task, 
Unless your Holiness forbid the thing. 

SAINT PETER 

Why is it pleasant to thee to offend ? 

Thou knowest such imaginations vain. 

Here children born to Adam and again 

Born unto Christ with angels live alone. 

He who comes with thee comes to no good end. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

His ends are his, I make them not my own, 

But as a common human courtesy 

I point the way to strangers. To the throne 

I take the slight petition you deny, 

For, though I m sorry for it, sure I am 

God receives many that the churches damn. 

(T^^rnsback to Hermes) 
SAINT PETER 

God knows the right ; but it is not our place 
To make exceptions. He can grant a grace 
Who gave the law. We cannot. 



ioo LUCIFER ACT IV 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Well, my son, 
He will not let thee pass. 

HERMES 

And were it rash 
To try the gate ? 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Tis hardly to be done, 
And failure in that insolence would dash 
All hopes of parley. 

HERMES 

May he not be won ? 
Leave the old man to me. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Prescriptions bind 

These priests and pedants, and he thinks to find 
Some ancient rule against it. Underlings 
Will ever stickle at the forms of things. 
The King himself will judge with freer mind 
And haply bid thee welcome. I will ask 
That favour, being fitted for the task 



ACT IV LUCIFER 101 

Better, perhaps, than thou. Thou art a Greek 

Unused to kiss the ground before the throne 

Of the Great King, or smile the smile, and speak 

The flowery phrase. Tis well I go alone. 

I know the anguished look, the posture meek, 

The trembling voice that make good manners here; 

And, though I am a rebel, I appear 

As an old courtier and I move with ease. 

Over my lot the cherubs shed a tear, 

And spite of all my blasphemies I please. 

Talk meantime to the priest. He is a sage 

Of pleasant wit when he forgets his role, 

And when not bent on catching any soul 

Enjoys the fancies of this naughty age. 

Nor has he worshipped at thy shrine in vain. 

He knows thy trick of words and trick of gain. 

(Goes in) 
HERMES 

Old man, I pray thee, wherefore may I not 
Speak to thy King ? 

SAINT PETER 

Thou hast no need of grace. 
That is a sadder and a higher lot 
Than thine. The poor in spirit see his face. 



LUCIFER ACT IV 



HERMES 

Strange ! Surely Lucifer who knows the truth 
Sent me not hither to be turned away. 

SAINT PETER 

It is a serpent tempts thee, noble youth. 

Even while speaking truth he leads astray. 

His eye is subtle, but his heart is blind, 

And of God s fruits he marks the spotted rind, 

But not the kernel where their virtue lay. 

All nature yields no meaning to his mind, 

For understanding withers at its springs 

Unless love guide it to the sense of things. 

On faith is built the wisdom of mankind. 

Mark how this age, that builds its truth on doubt, 

Falters at heart and knows no certain hope, 

But trusts to fate, with which it dare not cope, 

To work its undeserved salvation out. 

What truth have men ? The senses brief deceit. 

What happiness ? The slavery to greed. 

What art ? An echo and a paltry cheat. 

What God ? A helpless consciousness of need. 

Upon what food, then, doth this people feed 



ACT IV LUCIFER 103 

That it forgets of whom it borrows breath ? 
Knows it the secret of the budding grain, 
Or can it conjure floods or summon rain ? 
Or grows it sick and amorous of death, 
Or like its father, Satan, dull to pain ? 
Oh, men have waxed too covetous of gold 
To lift their eyes up from their labour s gain ; 
And as each morning brings the sun again 
And summer wears his splendours as of old, 
They drive the ploughshare deeper in the mould 
And say : There are no longer gods in heaven ! 
With smitten breast and penance would they crave 
Their bread, if God less bountifully gave, 
But they forget him now, when all is given. 
Thus are the souls my Master died to save 
Like earth-regarding beasts in stupor driven 
Without the hope of heaven to the grave. 

HERMES 

Old man, thy words are strange, thy thought is just. 
Our altars have not smoked these many years; 
Our shrines are desolate, our statues dust. 
None bring us sacrifice of joys and fears, 



104 LUCIFER ACT IV 

As for our honour and their good they must. 
For men have need of us to feed their soul 
And with a perfect thought their pain beguile. 
We are the better part that saves the whole, 
And man s heart lightens when he treads a grove 
Hallowed by me or any child of Jove. 

SAINT PETER 

Amiable spirit, in the heaven s smile 
Among the flowers thy beauty came to birth. 
Live, and make fragrant still that early earth 
Where nothing sinful is and nothing vile. 

(To himself} 

No, Adam, thine was not a blessed fault, 
Though ransomed by the blessed death of Christ. 
The good that nature gave us had sufficed, 
Nor if the touch of evil could exalt 
Would God forbid it and the heart cry, Halt ! 

(To Hermes) 

Why shouldst thou pray to pass these heavy doors 
Through which the triumphs of our sorrow go 
When heaven dwells within thy breast and pours 
Its music through thy being s pulses ? No. 
Envy us not the comfort of our woe. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 

HERMES 

I envy nothing. If I scaled these towers 
Twas to deliver messages I bring 
From Zeus, my father, to thy Lord, the King, 
And bear his answer back. 

SAINT PETER 

A darkness lowers 
Suddenly in the east, as if a storm 
Were coming on us. From all evil powers 
Defend us, Master. Hath the thing a form ? 

{Enter Lucifer) 
HERMES 

Tis Lucifer ! 

SAINT PETER 

I know not what I fear, 
But a great chillness falls upon my heart. 

LUCIFER 
Alas ! Methought that I should find thee here. 

HERMES 

How welcome, Lucifer, how fair thou art 
In these strange heavens ! 



105 



io6 LUCIFER ACT IV 

LUCIFER 

Whither didst thou flee ? 

Couldst thou not find some path across the sea 
To where I waited ? 

HERMES 

It was late to start 
And Mephistopheles 

LUCIFER 

O evil name, 
Let me not hear thee utter it ! 

HERMES 

He came 

Ere midnight, saying that the feast was o er, 
And led me straightway hither. 

LUCIFER 

Did no shame 

Show on the villain s brow ? 

HERMES 

He seemed the same. 
Tis thou hast never looked so stern before. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 107 

LUCIFER 

Where is he now ? 

HERMES 

Within. The gate is locked 
Against me, but he took my message in. 

LUCIFER 
Couldst thou trust him, whose words have ever 

mocked 
His own heart s thinking ? 

HERMES 

It was not my sin. 

When to his hands thou hast commended me 
Should I not trust him ? 

LUCIFER 

Fates, ye spin, ye spin ! 

HERMES 

If I might enter now tis not too late. 
Question this man. I cannot find the cause 
Why, being good, he keeps me from the gate. 



io8 LUCIFER ACT IV 

LUCIFER 

Leave the old fool alone. This realm hath laws 
Older than those in which his tribe is schooled. 
Do not these frowning portals give thee pause ? 

HERMES 
I fain would pass them. 

LUCIFER 

They may yet be ruled. 
Hear me, ye gates, if ye have memory 
Of peaceful days when ye could wider swing 
And feel the brazen chariots, wing and wing, 
Roll o er your golden threshold to the sky. 
Hear me, ye gates, and, opening, reply. 

HERMES 

Hear me, ye gates ! A winged herald I 

From distant skies, with greetings to your King ; 

The guardian of the souls that ever sing, 

The shepherd of the shades that never die. 

Hear me, ye gates, and, opening, reply. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 109 

LUCIFER 

Hear ye not, O ye faithless gates, the cry 
That with hosannas made this welkin ring, 
When ye, a-tremble at so glad a thing, 
Opened to let the swift Archangel by ? 
Ye hear me not. Your silence makes reply. 

SAINT PETER 

Vain incantation ! See ye not the cross 
Above the doors ? 

HERMES 

Ah, look ! Was that sign there 
When they obeyed thee ? 

LUCIFER 

Out of my despair 

Thou bring st me, Hermes, to a second loss. 
I never thought to see this place again. 
Never! Never to call and call in vain 
At my own kingdom s portals. Still to hope 
Was folly. See how like the blind I grope, 
Led by thy wanton hand ; into what mesh 
Of infinite affliction thou hast led me ! 



no LUCIFER ACT IV 

Thou with a touch hast quickened my dead flesh 
And on the bitterness of beauty fed me 
Till all my healed wounds do bleed afresh. 

HERMES 

What have I done ? I know not. If this place 
Is grievous to thee, do not enter in. 
Methinks this good old man will have the grace 
To be my messenger. 

LUCIFER 

Twas an innocent sin, 
Hermes, in thee. 

HERMES 

Why, then, this bitterness. 

Thou lov st me not. 

* 

LUCIFER 

Incredible to me 

Is the deep root thy love hath taken in me, * 
So deep it wounds, so deep it cannot bless. 
What need of proof? A word of thine could win me 
To leave my proper throne and follow thee. 
Remember, Hermes, that my grief is large, 



ACT IV LUCIFER 1 1 

Not small my love. Can time unsalt the sea 
For drinking sweetness of a thousand streams ? 
Tis they grow brackish far above the marge 
With his pollution. Malediction seems 
To spread about me. O beware, beware, 
Lest some great evil fall upon thy head, 
As upon all my mates, and leave despair 
To mock the phantom of thy beauty dead. 
But I will save thee still. When I am fled 
Twill be my comfort in my heavy lot 
To know thee happy. It shall then be said 
That one was once my friend and rued it not. 
For this sole thing, to have the power to bless, 
As all men have, I could remount my sphere. 
There, where I loved, I carried happiness. 
Now I must banish me from what is dear 
Lest it should perish if I linger near. 

HERMES 

And I had hoped to make thy sorrow less ! 

LUCIFER 

Alas ! The ghost of good that haunts the earth 
Is sadder than all evil. Of thy birth, 



ii2 LUCIFER ACT IV 

Of thy young faith, repent ! Let no caress 
Win thee to softness, no sweet voice decoy, 
For it will leave thee like a desolate child 
Weeping a blasted hope. In thy defiled 
And empty heart, oh, quench the hope of joy ! 
Guileless thou wert. Myself have I beguiled 
Into this toil. There is a time in love 
When comes a chill, a little touch of frost, 
And the simplicity of love is lost. 
It may live after, many a trial prove 
Its constancy ; but upon friend and friend 
The burden lies foreknowledge of the end. 
My flower is nipped. We stood now at the crest 
Of our high friendship. The pathway heretofore 
Mounted, and love was daily more and more, 
But henceforth to the gates of death addressed 
It winds into the sunset. I am loath, 
Hermes, to grieve thee, but the truth is best. 
I shall not falter. Faithful to my oath 
I will walk with thee till thou hast thy will, 
But then I leave thee. To my desert hill 
Never pursue me, to ensnare us both. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 113 

HERMES 

Nay, I release thee now. 

LUCIFER 

Tis not the oath. 

When the lips swear, the lips may be forsworn, 
But, oh, the torment when the heart is torn ! 
How could I leave thee in so strange a plight 
Amid the quicksands of this ghostly shore, 
Where every blear and unfamiliar light 
Would mock thee and bewitch thee o er and o er? 
Thou art not armoured for so vast a war, 
Nor in the bivouac of so foul a night 
Hast thou in thy sweet soul enough despair 
To keep the courage of thine inward right 
And the last issue of thy fate to dare. 
Therefore, for the sad sake of this last love 
So rich in sorrow, and in hope so poor, 
I make me thine ambassador above. 
Insolent gates, avaunt ! Proud heart, endure ! 

(Lucifer strikes the gates with his lance. They open and he 
enters. Hermes attempts to follow, but an invisible barrier prevents 
him from crossing the threshold. Saint Peter, making the sign of the 
cross, follows Lucifer* The gates close again, and Hermes remains 
watching the scene in an attitude of rest.) 



U4 LUCIFER ACT IV 



SCENE SECOND 

HEAVEN: FROM THE AISLE THAT OCCUPIES THE FORE 
GROUND THE CHOIR OF A VAST CATHEDRAL IS SEEN 
THROUGH AN OPEN SCREEN. ANGELS AND SAINTS. IN 
THE SHADOW OF A PILLAR, MEPHISTOPHELES. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

In ill time have I come. They are at prayers. 

I know the tinkle of that feeble bell. 

These drowsy animals with pompous airs 

How I rejoice they do not cumber hell. 

It rasps against the bone to hear them whine. 

We had good music once. Here comes his grace, 

Led by his new love to this torture-place. 

(Enter Lucifer) 

Pish though : tis good to see the true steel shine 
Amid this tinsel army. 

(To Lucifer) 

Good my lord 

LUCIFER 

Do not speak to me. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 1 1 5 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

We have passed the gate, 
But here s the ante-room. They make us wait. 

LUCIFER 
Silence. Let not thy lips pronounce a word. 

MEPHISTOPHELES 

Why not ? Does this sweet song so charm your ear 
That my voice grates ? I ll speak to others, then, 
For I am not disposed to stand by here 
Until they reach the eighty-fifth Amen. 

(He goes up to the screen, looks through, and touches the Archangel 
Michael, who stands near it, on the shoulder) 

Michael, although men s fortune may decline 
You prize the ancient privilege of race. 
Lucifer stands with mortals here in line 
And fain would see the Master face to face. 

MICHAEL (approaching Lucifer) 

Lucifer, have good patience for a while, 
The evening canticle is just begun. 
But if thou wilt, withdraw beneath this aisle. 
I will stand with thee till the song is done. 



n6 LUCIFER ACT IV 

ANGELS SING 

As the grass-blade in the sod 
Turns to heaven from the clod, 
I from nothingness to God. 

LUCIFER 

Thou lookest on me, Michael, and thy gaze 
Saith, Oh, how changed, how changed my captain is. 
But heaven too is changed, more changed, since 

days 
When only perfect spirits knew its bliss. 

ANGELS SING 

On the floating cloud I swim, 
Finding in the brightness dim 
Him and Him and only Him. 

MICHAEL 

Ay, brother. Many earthly voices swell 
The mellowed music of the angel-host, 
And in my soul man s works the greatest spell, 
For it is man the Lord hath honoured most. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 117 

ANGELS SING 

As a drop within the sea 
I am lost and found in thee, 
Thou, my life, exceeding me. 

LUCIFER 

Who now is King ? A man the Roman slew 
For working wonders to the gaping mob. 
And who is Queen ? The daughter of a Jew, 
And heaven trembles at a girlish sob. 

ANGELS SING 

As a little star on fire 
Twinkles In thy silent choir, 
My heart sings with joy entire. 

MICHAEL 

There is no greater glory than to raise 
The spirit s dignity from grievous fall. 
Think of the joy if after evil days 
Thou wert a prince again among us all. 

ANGELS SING 

As the grain within the ear 
Feels the summer of the year 
So I watch and love and fear. 



n8 LUCIFER ACT IV 

LUCIFER 

I am a thing raised high above the world 
And challenge this great evil s right to be. 
With reason like a cloak about me furled 
I bid the mad gods thunder over me. 

ANGELS SING 

As in quiet space a wind, 
Though embosomed not confined, 
Moves my mind within thy mind. 

MICHAEL 

There is no right nor wrong, no high nor deep, 
There is no reason nor unreason here. 
I choke with too great reverence to weep 
And sink before the wonder I revere. 

ANGELS SING 

As of leaves the tender est one 

All my soul is overrun 

With warm love, as with the sun. 

LUCIFER 

The wonder is in us and in our thought, 
I will not worship any lesser thing. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 119 

The waking cometh when the dream is nought. 
The void will then be glad, the silence sing. 

ANGELS SING 

As the snow-flake in the sky 
Willeth with the storm to fly, 
Living in thy life I die. 

MICHAEL 

God was before us ; in his boundless mind 
Found us and loved us first and called us forth. 
He would not leave us to his beauty blind, 
But bade us know the love that gave us birth. 

ANGELS SING 

To thy wisdom all I leave, 
It is thine to take and give, 
Mine to love and to believe. 

LUCIFER 

He saith he made us. Let him then destroy. 
He is his nature s slave as much as I. 
Think not your flattery can give him joy, 
For in his heart he knoweth it a lie. 



120 LUCIFER ACT IV 

ANGELS SING 

Hold me fast, or make me free 
Freely to return to thee, 
Thou the all in all of me. 

MICHAEL 

I know the comfort of my Master s breast, 
And with no fever is my spirit tossed. 
Remember, Lucifer, thou once wast blest, 
And tell me what is gained for what is lost. 

ANGELS SING 

By thy sacred body fed, 
Living by thy blood, and led 
By thy spirit overspread, 

LUCIFER 

Ah ! For his gifts thou worshippest thy Lord, 
Thy courtier s privilege, thy garments sheen. 
For all the glory of thy flashing sword 
Thou art a coward, and thy sou! is mean. 

ANGELS SING 

While I see thee, I am blest, 
While I touch thee, I can rest, 
While I love thee, all is best. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 121 

MICHAEL 

I will not answer now. Behold the King. 

(A gate in the screen opens. Enter: The Risen Christ, clothed 
in white, bearing the standard of the cross t the wounds on his 
hands, feet, and side.) 

LUCIFER 

What, so ? No more ? 

CHRIST (to some who Point out the presence of Lucifer) 

Peace. Greet ye not with scorn 
One who comes not in anger. 

LUCIFER (apart) 

What ? So shorn 

Of all his glory ? A man ? O pitiful thing ! 
Why did I tremble ? I come to triumph here 
And find my conqueror more lost than I. 

(To Christ) 

Alas, O King, thou bought st thy victory dear 
If having vanquished thou wast fain to die. 

CHRIST (to Lucifer) 

We both have chosen sorrow. Therefore speak 
The burden of thy heart. What seekest thou ? 



122 LUCIFER ACT IV 

LUCIFER 

I ? Nothing. 

CHRIST 

For thyself thou dost not seek 
That which thou seekest, for thou doest now 
Another s errand. 

LUCIFER 

Oh, then wherefore ask 

What thou well knowest, as thou knowest all, 
And make more grievous thus mine honest task ? 
Be generous, O King, that if thou fall 
Men may lament thy ruin. At thy gates 
Unhoused, unheard, an unarmed herald waits. 
Thy churlish warder would not let him pass 
There comes he frowning : his poor brain debates 
The point of law and reckons up the toll 
Therefore to this strange kingdom I, alas, 
Am come with jarring words to wound thy soul. 

SAINT PETER 

What I have done is well. Authority 
Hath not been laid upon me without grace 
To know my office. No, it was not I 



ACT IV LUCIFER 123 

That kept the youth away. There is no place 
In heaven for his nature or his race. 

LUCIFER (looking about him) 

O wonderful ! Where thieves, adulterers, 
And knaves with blood-stained hands, for dying well 
Have entered in, more welcome that they fell, 
No star may transit make that never errs 
From its true course, celestial sentinel ! 

SAINT PETER 

A perfect nature is its proper heaven, 

But when the struggling spirit, from its fall 

Would rise through penance, saving grace is given. 

LUCIFER 

Is not thy bosom still the home of all, 
Is not the womb of night, by thy rays riven, 
Fruitful by thee ? Is not now every star 
A spark of thine own life s incessant fire, 
And every wind that sweeps the cosmic lyre 
An echo of thy heart-beats felt afar, 
A needful voice in thine eternal choir ? 
This we believed when thou wast God indeed, 



I2 4 LUCIFER ACT IV 

But now thou hast renounced the world entire 
To be but Saviour to the woman s seed. 

SAINT PETER 

Mark how the devil will misquote the creed. 

CHRIST 

When to my breast I took the universe 
And from its exile promised it return, 
I bent to that which most had felt the curse 
Of being other : from the farthest bourn 
I took the weakest up and most forlorn. 
For there is nothing in the infinite 
More pitiful than man ; no mortal cry 
Comes with such bitter wailing through the sky. 
Upon his brow alone the curse is writ 
Of shame and labour in divinity. 
In losing all things he foreknows his loss. 
Therefore I made his agony mine own 
When I cried //, dying on the cross. 
I died a man, yet not for man alone, 
But that all natures might my peace receive 
And learn that he who laid on them to live 
Himself had suffered first, and felt, and known. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 125 

LUCIFER 

If we forgive thee, then thou wilt forgive, 
Bartering mercy ! But let mercy be, 
I speak of justice. If the vilest dust 
Assume the godhead, and its brother worm 
Enter thy glory, must the purer form 
Coming with innocent questionings be thrust 
Unanswered from thy portals ? Is it just ? 
Thou lovest men who turn away from thee. 
Why then despise the god that dares to trust 
His open bosom to thy courtesy ? 

CHRIST 

Wouldst thou have brought him were he seek 
ing me ? 

He knows not of me, but for love of wealth 
And idle knowledge tempts an unknown sea. 
These are his Indies, and he sails by stealth 
Borne on we know what broad-winged argosy. 

LUCIFER 

Tis true. Once in my bosom s folds I brought 
The wanderer hither, but his pilot thought 



126 LUCIFER ACT IV 

Pointed the way, and his bold spirit filled 
The vans that bore him. To thy surly gate 
I had not sent him if he had not willed. 
He begged it of me. I deny him nought. 
Make not my love a reason for thy hate. 

CHRIST 

Doth thy heart echo to the dulcet string 

To which the speech is tuned ? Thy care was less 

For other souls of old. 

LUCIFER 

My heart, sad King, 
Is full as thine of ancient bitterness. 
The wreathed roses that about it press 
Are its new crown of thorns. Look, else, and see. 
Why should I make my soul a mystery 
When it is pure and worthier to be known 
Than all men gape at in the rolling heaven ? 
They think, since I am just, my heart is stone. 
Stone be it, yet for grief that stone is riven. 
By the world s shame into the desert driven, 
I live in torment, for I live alone. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 127 

Alone in thought I fathomed the false deeps 

Of old pretension and alone I rose, 

For they that followed are in truth my foes. 

Alone I stand in nature, for she sleeps 

And leaves me the large treasure of her woes. 

Hunger for love is still our misery 

Whether we feed it or we feed it not. 

Thinking of that, in patience of my lot, 

I sat upon a crag above the sea 

The vultures fly in terror from the spot 

It doth so whisper of eternity 

When Hermes, angel to his father Jove, 

Set foot to plume his wing upon the steep. 

For many leagues the bitter wind he clove 

And found no other island in the deep. 

Marvelling, I questioned him. What care could 

keep 

His youth in exile from the vernal grove? 
No vines upon so gaunt a ruin creep, 
No Nereid sports in such an icy cove. 
He feared me not, but smiled at what I said, 
Nor marked the ominous thunderbolts that played 
Ceaseless above me ; all I chanced to ask 



iz8 LUCIFER ACT IV 

He freely answered, hiding nothing; laid 
His warm hand in my hand, and his fair head 
Upon my flinty pillow ; told what task 
The gods had laid upon him to explore 
The sea of space and every luminous isle 
That in its waters swims, from shore to shore, 
And to make trial of what secret powers 
Might lurk in Nature s womb, what realms stretch 

out 

Through space beyond this twinkling vault of ours; 
For meditation ended still in doubt. 
He spoke, and speaking wove a net about 
My thought-sick heart, and at his breath new 

flowers 

Sprang in my fancy, barren long with drought. 
The fragrance of the past came back to me 
Laden with joys. I saw these courts again, 
And through the silence of my charmed pain 
Burst snatches of an ancient harmony. 
It loosed amain the floodgates of my youth 
To see his beauty and angelic mind 
So like my comrades lost, and I resigned 
My will to his, and told him all the truth. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 129 

And as an eagle, old and hoarse and blind, 

Turns his young fledglings eyes to the sun s fire, 

Proud they should relish the ancient fierce delight, 

So have I led my loved one higher and higher 

Till mine own heaven opened to his sight. 

Alas, I deemed those glories ever bright 

And find them now tear-tarnished. How require 

His simple soul to read this riddle right? 

Tis well thy gate is shut, for with disgust 

He would have turned him from this ghostly 

throng, 

Nor would his sense have found the measure just 
Of the so mournful passion of their song. 

CHRIST 
Lead him hence quickly, if thou be his friend. 

LUCIFER 

He seeks the truth, and this is thy reply? 

CHRIST 

Reason not of him. What is he to us ? 
Speak of thyself if thou art come to-day 
To crave a grace. For him tis hazardous 



1 3 o LUCIFER ACT IV 

To loiter here, beyond the tepid ray 

Of his own yellow star, Twere better thus. 

LUCIFER 

Happier is he, O King, than thou or I 
Who cannot hope, for we behold the end. 

CHRIST 

His paradise hath no forbidden tree. 
While there he ranges he is safe from harm, 
But if he venture, trusting in thine arm, 
Into the infinite, his choice must be 
Either to die or to believe in me. 

LUCIFER 

What ! dost thou threaten ? Dost thou think to lay 
Bold hands upon him ? Look to what thou dost ! 
Where are thine armies now ? Where that array 
Thy trumpets marshalled once ? Lost ! Mortal clay 
Clogs thine own soul. Thy long-sheathed sword 

is rust, 

And all thy silver clarions choke with dust. 
These vaults, these bastions, of themselves decay, 
Crack, crumble, rock, methinks, to hide for shame 



ACT IV LUCIFER 131 

The rabble that they house. Women and friars 
Fight for thee now. Nor deem my lance the same 
That broke once in my hand ; tis purged with fires, 
Unflinching steel, thrice tempered in the flame. 
That he will die, I know ; but not alone. 
Thou, who wouldst seem to guide the hand of 

death, 

Shalt fall beneath the sickle. Every groan 
Scatters thine irrecoverable breath 
Into the vast inane. Merciful death 
Hushes all sorrow, and will hush thine own. 
Would he might lay his magic hand on me, 
Seal mine eyes, too, and turn my heart to stone ! 
He cannot. For while truth is, I must be. 

CHRIST 

Unteachable ! Is God not Lord of Hosts ? 
The arrows that against his bosom fly 
His own strength drives, and in thy mutiny 
He triumphs, and is mighty in thy boasts. 
What need of sentinel to guard the shore 
When he is master of the embosoming sea, 
When his the wave, the bark, the sail, the oar, 



1 32 LUCIFER ACT IV 

And his the sinews of his enemy ? 

O Lucifer, couldst thou behold thy soul 

As it lies open to my Father s sight, 

The gathering clouds of pity fast would roll 

Across thine eyes, to hide thy proper plight, 

And rain on thy parched heart in showers light 

Of sweet humility. Woe to the vain 

And raging will that hugs its mortal pain ! 

Is it for thee to fathom wrong and right ? 

Tis God who spun the fibres of thy brain 

And wove thy reason; had he placed awry 

One thread, new dreams had turned thy dreams to 

naught 

And idle thought confounded idle thought 
For ever, and none questioned destiny. 
Now thine own tyrant, to thyself unkind, 
Thou chafest at the limits of thy wit 
Whose meek quietus were to live resigned 
And serve the elder Will that fashioned it. 
For in the bosom of the infinite 
Thou hast thy life, and thy forsaken woes, 
Like foam on the false bosom of a wave, 
Rise in vain fury, impotently rave 



ACT IV LUCIFER 133 

A moment only. Then thy proud will goes 
Whither the billow sinks or the wind blows. 

LUCIFER (turning to go} 

Thou wastest words. 

CHRIST 

Await my last reply. 

That which is written shall be now fulfilled. 
To all the spirits of the earth and sky 
My grace extends. The Father ever willed 
They should be gathered to him in the end. 
And as he sent me once to those who fell 
To those who fell not he will also send. 
I went to earth in sorrow, and to hell 
I went in death, a ghost to call a ghost. 
In peace I now will go to those that dwell 
In peace upon Olympus, that the host 
Of heaven s sentinels may know the Lord. 
Let Hermes to his father bear my word 
And prophesy my coming. 

LUCIFER 

Thou wilt go 

To them thyself and thou wilt not receive 
Him they have sent thee ? 



134 LUCIFER ACT IV 

CHRIST 

He should first believe. 

LUCIFER 

Believe ? Full well thou knowest, as I know, 

He never can believe. It is too gross 

And palpable a fiction, fit for those 

Who dream awake. And must I leave him so ? 

Hell in revolt and heaven in disdain 

Shut in his face, and my great vow quite vain? 

Behold how time, the keen inquisitor, 

Hath stopped my torture to increase my pain ! 

Fool that I was to buckle on once more 

The harness of the world ! Remember, heart, 

Remember not to love. 

CHRIST 

Thou temptedst me, 

Satan, of old. Now I have tempted thee. 
Thrice didst thou try me, thrice with divers art 
Woo me to evil; thrice I turned away. 
But I have tried thee and enticed with good 
And thou hast yielded twice, and shalt to-day 
Yield the third time. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 135 

LUCIFER 

Nay, by high heaven! Say, 
When have I yielded ? 

CHRIST 

In thy solitude 

I found thee hungry and thou turn dst to bread 
The stone I showed thee. It was I that led 
An angel to thee. It was I that stirred 
Thy heart with longing at the words he said 
Though he meant nothing ; and it was my word 
Made thee renounce thine anger, and confess 
Thy need of love. 

LUCIFER 

Thou sayest it was thou. 
I know it not. 

CHRIST 

A second time but now 
I showed thee hell and its unrighteousness, 
And tempted thee to cast thy kingdom off 
For a just life; and in that trial s stress 
A second time I vanquished. 



136 LUCIFER ACT IV 

LUCIFER 

I might scoff, 

But that which vanquished was a holy thing, 
And even thou if thou usurp its name 
Shalt find me patient. 

CHRIST 

A third time I bring 

Thy spirit to the proof. I shall proclaim 
My godhead in Olympus and their king 
And all his sons shall hear me. If they came 
And did me homage, trusting what they heard, 
And in their ignorance of primal things 
Honoured my witness and received my word, 
Hermes among them would their faith suffice 
To bring thee with them to the king of kings ? 
Or would thy pride refuse to pay the price ? 

LUCIFER 

Tis a vain question. Why should I decide ? 
They never can submit. 

CHRIST 

Nay, answer me. 



ACT IV LUCIFER 137 

LUCIFER 

Think not to triumph over my just pride 
With indirection, for it shall not be. 
Of my own will I have renewed my soul 
And to my love and not to thy control 
I gave a short and doubtful mastery. 
True, I am weary. My eternal flight 
Finds not a resting-place in all the world. 
Against the void 1 have disdained to fight, 
My heart is silent, and my wings are furled. 
But locked within the consciousness of right 
For ever lives, and though I wear again 
My natural glory in the realms of light, 
Yet in my bosom s hushed and secret shrine 
I celebrate my sacrament of pain, 
And as thine altars in meek bread and wine 
Repeat thy bloody sacrifice again, 
So in my silence I remember mine. 
Oh, there is little in the world can add 
Now to my doom ; and even if thou stole 
The only good that yet might touch my soul 
I do not think that it could make me sad; 



138 LUCIFER ACT IV 

Nay, happy rather. Take, yes, take the boy 
For ever from me. Make the whole world mad, 
And let all worship thee and find their joy 
In what I know is false. For that is life. 
And never let a glimmer of my doubt 
Disturb his faith ; abolish quite the strife 
Of reason in him; blot my being out. 
Bring back thy demons from the pit of hell 
To dwell in plenty ; uproot the cancerous vice 
I planted in their bosoms, and dispel 
Their long delusion. Let my pangs suffice 
Thine anger. In the place where I shall dwell, 
Sole victim of an endless sacrifice, 
It then will comfort me to be alone, 
For I shall hear no other spirit moan 
In the wide world where all was misery. 

CHRIST 

The third time, Satan, do I vanquish thee. 
Thou yieldest in my hands, lest it should perish, 
Thy single joy. Why yield me not thy pain? 
Is evil more than good, that thou shouldst cherish 
Thy misery? Shall wrath alone remain? 



AcrJV LUCIFER 139 

LUCIFER 

That cannot yield which is invincible. 
This wrath is I; I am this pain and hell. 

CHRIST 

All can believe. It is not faith to know, 
It is not faith to trust when all is sure, 
But, knowing not, to venture and endure. 
Thou, Satan, when I gave thee long ago 
The call of faith, didst ask me for a sign. 
The sign I gave thee was that thou wast mine 
And I was thine; for love can also know. 
Thou wast too happy in thy lordly mind, 
Too rich in thy fond reason, for belief. 
Now thou art wiser, having tasted grief, 
And partly seeing, being partly blind, 
Art willing to be led. Me thou didst scorn 
In the proud days of thy tranquillity, 
Who was thy God, not yet of woman born, 
And now, behold, a child is leading thee, 
So lowly is thy plight and so forlorn. 
Yet this repentance in thy sorrow s stress, 
If thou hold fast and suffer to the end, 



I 4 o LUCIFER ACT IV 

Shall be accounted thee for righteousness. 
Thou lovest me, when thou dost love thy friend, 
And what thou doest to the least of these 
Thou doest unto me. 

LUCIFER (kneeling) 

Spare me, O Lord. 

Spare me, I pray thee on my stubborn knees ! 
Why wilt thou, in mere vengeance, plunge this 

sword 

So deep into my heart ? Hath thine not bled ? 
By the remembrance of our glory fled, 
By that long morning of felicity 
Ere thou or I had ever bowed the head, 
Yea, by those joys that never shall be more, 
And by the ghost of trust and honour dead, 
Spare me, O Lord. (Rises) 

No ; this can never be. 

Thou knowest it. It ne er can come again, 
That ancient life, nor can my faithful pain 
Be swallowed up in empty mockery. 
Yet I confess to thee thy victory, 
If such it be. For when the heart is weak 



ACT IV LUCIFER 



141 



There is no honour in a swaggering tongue. 
Mine ever spoke the truth, and now shall speak, 
Although my heart in speaking it be wrung, 
And in thy temples a new hymn be sung 
How Lucifer was vanquished. Go, persuade, 
Persuade all other gods to worship thee, 
Or him alone who (as it seems) was made 
The unwitting herald of thy grace to me : 
If he believe and enter through the gate 
His faith has opened, I will follow him, 
Resume my throne and wear my old estate, 
Making thy glory bright, which shows so dim. 
For I have wholly understood my fate, 
And know there is not in this scheme of things 
Room for my soul. Then why not hide it here ? 
But nothing shall be true to me, or dear, 
Of what the vision of thy glory brings : 
The words of prophets and the deeds of kings, 
Like rustling leaves, a pleasing noise at best, 
The fruit of all the anguish of the years, 
Nor truth, nor hope, nor certainty, nor rest, 
But only laughter in my hollow breast, 
Laughter, and in the night a gust of tears 



1 42 LUCIFER ACT IV 

scorn, O pity, that the heart must teem 
With these false joys, these troubles of a dream ! 
Why troop the wailing phantoms through my 

soul ? 

Why wake the echoing caverns of my mind 
To sound of warring, cloud-compelling wind ? 
All things are parts of me, and I the whole; 
And if entangled in the web I weave 
To stars or gods or men I yield control 
Over my heart, and bowing down believe, 
Me headlong in their dance of death they roll 
And with perpetual mockeries deceive. 
Steadfast I therefore stand, enwrapped about 
As with this mantle in my large despair, 
And armed as with this lance by piercing doubt 

1 scorn the gathering armies of the air. 
In midst of battles islanded in peace, 
And firm beneath the ruins of the sky, 
I live by truth, as ye by falsehood die. 

The wreck of worlds is my supreme release, 
The death of gods mine immortality. 

(Exit) 



ACT IV LUCIFER 143 

THE ANGELS SING 

God gave us grace to love 
The earth, the sea, the starry air, 
But woe to him whose love remaineth there, 
Nor flies to rest above 
In the Eternal Fair. 

CHRIST 

I breathed the breath of life 
Into thy nostrils, but in vain, 
Unless for love thou render it again. 
Else comes no rest from strife, 
Nor any peace to pain. 

THE ANGELS SING 

I loved them where are they ? 
That led me, loving them, to thee, 
Who only art my joy or failest me* 
My loves have passed away 
From earth and air and sea 



ACT FIFTH 

SCENE FIRST 

THE PALACE OF ZEUS UPON OLYMPUS. A HALL SUR 
ROUNDED BY COLUMNS. BEYOND, THE OPEN SKY. ON 

ONE SIDE, THE THRONE OF ZEUS. OPPOSITE, A GROUP 
OF NYMPHS, ATTENDANTS OF ATHENA, AT THEIR HANDI 
WORK. AMONG THEM ATHENA AND APHRODITE, WHO, 

BEARING LONG GARLANDS OF ROSES, RISES AS IF TO GO. 

ATHENA 

Stay, Aphrodite ; do not leave us thus. 
Hermes, methinks, is on his homeward way 
With answers from that King. Abide with us. 

APHRODITE 

I have seen men before, dear Maid. They say 
This is a man. 

ATHENA 

Half man, half marvellous 
God of the heavens. I beseech thee, stay. 

144 



ACT V LUCIFER 145 

APHRODITE 

Since this new business filleth night and day 

I find no solace in Olympus more. 

I go to Paphos. Haply in that isle 

Men doubt not yet what spirits to adore, 

Nor urge new questions. I would rest awhile. 

ATHENA 

How the alloy of Oriental ore 
Shows in thy golden heart, in spite of time ! 
Do we not love thee ? Could a sultry clime 
Prone sloth and revels make thee happy now ? 
No. Thou wouldst lack the calm illumined brow 
And holy lips of Zeus, and me, thy friend. 
Thou knowest how this enterprise began. 
Stay by us now, and see its wondrous end. 

APHRODITE 

Well, be it so. But speak not of the man. 
Tis that thou askest, and the hour grows late 
To start to-day. Alas ! I know not why 
The doubt pursues me that it may be fate 
That I should never see my native sky. 



146 LUCIFER ACT V 

heavy bondage, though a silver chain 
Fetter the exile to a golden throne. 

1 would go forth, I would be free again 
Unwatched, uncensured, unbeloved, alone. 
Here every morning with the same sweet note 
The bugle blows at sunrise ; every eve 

Pass the same solemn gods, that Zeus receive 
His daily homage ; the same cloudlets float 
In the same luminous ether ; the same dreams 
Visit the sleeping dryads by the streams, 
And from the same high crag the same remote 
Unheeded melancholy vulture screams. 
Oh, I should die, did not my lover come, 
Ares, from battle, and fling down his crest 
And bloody harness on the marble floor, 
Startling as with a lion s roar the dumb 
Cool cloister rafters, and still red with gore 
Rush like a child upon my heaving breast. 
Then I am happy and forget the rest. 
With gentle palm I close his bloodshot eyes 
That still shoot fire, and wash away with care 
The sweat and clotted blood, and with my hair 
Dry all again; and if some splinter lies 



ACT V LUCIFER 

Deep in the quivering flesh, or some sharp thorn, 
I pick it out, and where the skin is torn 
I pour rich drops of nectar on the place 
Till the wound heals. Oh, then tis paradise 
To watch the sweetness creep into his face ! 
Alas! alas! 

ATHENA 

If happy love so sighs, 
How shall unhappy lovers breathe their woes? 

APHRODITE 

They say there is a thorn in every rose, 
But that is false ; for see, these roses here 
Prick not my fingers as I weave the crown. 
I cut the thorns off first. Look, sister dear, 
And in thy book of wisdom set that down. 

ATHENA 

I will, and guard my soul as thou thy flesh, 
Unhappy sister, lest thy wreaths enmesh 
My strength and reason. Hera comes. Her frown 
Will grow but darker, if she see thee weep. 

(Athena draws Aphrodite to a seat beside her, and dries her tears. 
Enter Hera.) 



148 LUCIFER ACT V 

HERA 

Thy father, Pallas, hath not tasted sleep 

Since Hermes putting forth, but racks his mind 

With dim forebodings. 

(She turns to observe the sky) 

The eyes utmost sweep 
Spies not a speck in all this depth of air. 
To women s warning men are rashly blind, 
Else had he never started. It is cold 
In those disconsolate regions ; the ether rare 
Cheateth the breath, the wings will not upbear. 
How mad a venture, when all signs foretold 
Some evil ! 

ATHENA 

Pray, fair Hera, do not grieve. 
Our crafty herald will in time return. 

HERA 

Apollo will not speak. He must discern 
His brother s fate, but will not undeceive 
A hapless father with the dreaded truth. 
There stretch the kingdoms of eternal snow 
Where savage tyrants rule, unchaste, uncouth, 



ACT V LUCIFER 149 

Who for no ransom let the stranger go. 
Thy father comes. If gentle Hermes dies 
He will go mad. Too much his heart hath fed 
On these wild thoughts. Behold his bended head 
And voiceless lips that mumble prophecies 
Dishonoured long ago. With stealthy tread 
He makes perpetually the bastions round, 
And lists to sound of wings or any sound 
For tidings of his son. He loves you both. 
Go to him, speak. Dispel his sullen mood 
And the dark dream on which his vigils brood. 
My words, alas, he flouteth. I am loath 
To feed his choler. Ay, my lips are dumb, 
But my heart saith, the worst is yet to come. 

(Exit) 
(Enter Zeus. Athena and Aphrodite advance to meet him) 

ATHENA 

Father, thou comest fitly to dissuade 
Our friend from an ill purpose. 

APHRODITE 

Tis not ill. 
I long have nursed the hope I now fulfil. 



150 LUCIFER AcrV 

ATHENA 

She would depart. 

APHRODITE 

For a brief time, dear Maid. 

ZEUS 

The time is chosen well ; this is the season 
When courtiers leave a king. 

ATHENA 

When his renown 
Spreads to new regions ? 

ZEUS 

When he pawns his crown. 

ATHENA 

What words are these ? Thine own thoughts hatch 
this treason. 

ZEUS 

Is he not living, that invisible god 
That drove our image from the soul of man ? 
I know the time when first his fame began 



AcrV LUCIFER 151 

And Sinai shook, unshaken by my nod, 
And through the wilderness a caravan 
Bore jealously his ark. 

ATHENA 

Let these things be. 
What terror hath the tale, that Jove should stare ? 

ZEUS 

Where doth he lurk? The unfathomable air 

Doth not contain him, nor the monstrous sea, 

And when I searched in hell he was not there. 

My brothers portioned out the world with me 

And we left nought but the intangible 

And barren night, where nothing good might dwell, 

Not subject to our sceptre; but from thence, 

Alas, ariseth now the dread offence. 

Evil is laid on us at birth ; the spell 

Broods silent on us, thickening to the dread 

Ordained finish. When my father fell 

He cursed me, for his father, dead, long dead, 

Had cursed him so. The one my hand avenged, 

The other s curse now hangs above my head. 



152 LUCIFER AcrV 

ATHENA 

For shame, good Father. Is thy mind estranged ? 
I, though a woman, cannot know such fear. 
This sombre god hath lived for many a year 
Lost in his cloud-land. Let him there live on. 
What s that to us ? He will not face us here, 
Or, if he doth, he will be gladly gone. 
The Indian Caucasus is full of ghosts, 
For I have chased them oft from peak to peak 
With laughter and the prick of my bright spear. 
Before the ^Egis fly their gibbering hosts, 
Rending the woeful night with many a shriek; 
Yet each is a great wizard. 

ZEUS 

Brave words these, 
But vain to help us in an evil hour. 
O parent sky, shed light upon my heart! 
O kindred deep, replenish with thy power 
The fountains of my joy ! 

(Re-enter Hera> following a Herald} 
HERALD 

See, see him dart. 



AerV LUCIFER 153 

HERA 

Where? 

HERALD 

There, to the west, good mistress. 

HERA 

That bird there? 

ZEUS (who has joined them, looking- to the sky) 

It is his plunge. I know the motion, I. 

None other of my sons so cleaves the air, 

As if an arrow thinkingly should fly, 

Dodging the denser cloud. Now with sly speed 

He finds the rifts of navigable sky, 

Now diving rends the thinner mist asunder, 

With radiant visage laughing at the wonder. 

Ay, tis my messenger. 

HERA 

It is, indeed. 

Ah me ! how many pangs and errors pave 
The way to doubtful peace. 

(Enter Hermes) 
ATHENA 

Happy the brave, 

For either victory crowns their venturous deed 
Or fame their failure. 



154 LUCIFER ACT V 

ALL 

Welcome. 

ZEUS 

Welcome, son. 

Glad are mine eyes to see thee. They will close 
Content to-night. 

ATHENA 

But hast thou met with foes ? 
Where hast thou tarried ? Is thine errand done ? 

HERA 

At least thou hast no wound ? Thou art not 
maimed ? 

ZEUS 

Leave the poor boy awhile. You will be blamed, 
Fair goddesses, to ply your questions now. 
The beaded sweat is standing on his brow, 
And still he pants for breath. Ho! fetch him first 
The nectared cup, that he perform the vow, 
Home-coming, to the god, and quench his thirst. 

HERMES (taking the cup that is brought to him) 

Olympus, and ye elder gods that keep 
Invisible watch about this hallowed dome, 



AcrV LUCIFER 155 

Receive your child. Guard ye my toil, my sleep. 
Fly with my flight, defend and lead me home. 

(He pours a libation and drinks} 
ZEUS 

Send forth a crier. Be it known to all 
That Hermes is returned. 

HERALD (blowing a bugle) 

Ho ! Hermes is returned ! 

( The cry is echoed in the distance. The gods gather, and group 
themselves in a circle before Zeus, who has mounted his throne.) 

ZEUS (to Hermes) 

Speak now. So shall the praises thou hast earned 
Sound as is fit. 

HERMES 

In sooth, the praise is small, 
For thus it chanced. I passed the empty main 
Led by a subtle guide. I saw again, 
More near at hand, what belfries from afar 
Lucifer showed me, when he cast a spell 
Over mv soul and first I saw the star. 



156 LUCIFER AcrV 

ATHENA 

How gladly would I view the miracle ! 

HERMES 

Twere worth thy pains. For if to Babylon 

Thou addest Nineveh and Thebes by Nile, 

With silvering moonbeams falling full upon, 

And raisest Zion on them, then the pile 

Were half as vast and intricate with spires 

As the embattled and cloud-girded isle 

Where that god dwells, with all his winged choirs. 

ZEUS 
And didst thou enter in ? 

HERMES 

It was forbidden. 

ZEUS 

Then is thy message undelivered ? 

HERMES 

Nay, 

Lucifer passed through the wide gates ; but hidden 
Magical bolts, if I pressed, barred the way. 



ACT V LUCIFER 157 

HERA 

O evil omen! 

ZEUS 
Brought he no reply ? 

HERMES 

This only : that the King himself would come 
Here to our midst, and answer us. 



ZEUS 

But how ? 

Can all his legions pass the infinite sky ? 



HERMES 

I know no more. For Lucifer was dumb. 
Issuing from thence with thunder-laden brow, 
He seized me as thine eagles seize a lamb, 
With sudden swoop, and hid me in his arms, . 
And with no further word through the abyss 
Bore me, and through the zone obscure of charms 
That hems that sphere, ere yet the lights of this 
Gladden the eyes. When Hesper gan to shine 
I cried in joy, c I see my star ; and he, 
Spreading his arms to give me liberty, 



158 LUCIFER AcrV 

Answered, afar already, c I see mine. 
I turned. Nor he, nor his pale star was there, 
Only a solemn sound of rushing wind 
Retreating ; and alone, with laden mind, 
Homeward I journeyed through the sweetening air. 

ZEUS 

Blind were your counsels, children. Doubly blind 
My doting heart. 

ATHENA 

And blinder thy despair. 
Let this god come, if haply come he dare, 
And what is lost ? 

ZEUS 

Our peace is lost. Henceforth 
We never shall know sleep, were t but the thought 
That from the cloud-land and the bitter north 
Some monstrous shape might come. But this is 

fraught 

With greater dangers. He may now descend 
With all his legions on us. Who can know 
How against magic we should then defend 
These ancient walls ? Perchance we touch our end. 



ACT V LUCIFER 1 59 

Let us not meet it basely. Long ago, 
Alone, I slew the Titans and with cords 
I bound the hoary tyrants. Sons, to arms ! 
Keep diligent watch and burnish bright your swords, 
And fix keen brazen heads upon your spears, 
But temper most your souls, for tis by charms 
And traitorous thoughts, and heart-corroding fears, 
That this new enemy works. Be ye but brave, 
And all worth saving in yourselves ye save. 
Away ! To arms ! 

(Exeunt all but Zeus and Hera) 
HERA 

Wilt thou now trust my tears, 
Hard-hearted, whom no word of mine could move ? 
It is not I alone have vouched for this, 
Apollo saw him. 

ZEUS 

Show me where he is, 

If he be here. Each palace, grove, and grot, 
I have had searched. 

HERA 

He cannot thus be found, 
But I have seen him, though I sought him not, 



160 LUCIFER ACT V 

As in a dream. I cannot tell the spot, 
Or say whether he flew or trod the ground. 
The form pursues me like a secret crime 
Where er I go. I dare not lift mine eyes 
For fear to look on him a second time. 
Apollo also in his rhapsodies 
Of late evokes the ghost ; or from the ground 
As exhalations to the moon arise, 
Or from the very potency of sound, 
It shapes itself before his haggard eyes 
Into a thing of meaning. 

ZEUS 

Fantasies. 

Both he and thou have ever been abused 
By turbid humours. Prophets are the curse 
Of kings. When young men gape, amused 
With dreams and marvels, kingdoms are undone. 
Peace to these woman s ravings. There is worse 
To fear. We must seek out a greater foe. 
Leave me awhile to my heart s counsel. Go. 

(Exit Hera) 



AcrV LUCIFER 161 

ZEUS 

Intolerable doubt ! What stratagem 

Hath this god planned, that proffers coming here 

And cometh not, nor giveth ear to them 

We send with gifts and greetings ? Much I fear 

His onset in the night, while evil dreams 

Benumb our courage. Is his flight misled, 

Unused to ford the rushing ether-streams 

That part our kingdoms ? Is he lost or dead ? 

My winged boy himself could hardly thread 

That labyrinth of shadows, ere to-day 

He had come else. Ah me, what have I said ? 

Perhaps it is my own blind heart that errs, 

Perhaps these weak unbidden thoughts that prey 

Upon my quiet are his messengers, 

His shafts that find a quick and magic way 

To my defenceless soul. He may be here, 

And in my sister s madness and my son s 

Begin to work my ruin, while he shuns 

My stronger eyes. If thou be true, appear, 

Insidious foe, and poison not my life 

With evil rumours. Better open strife 



i6z LUCIFER AcrV 

Than endless watching in the house of fear. 

(The Risen Christ appears) 

What do I see ? Ere this, when racked with care 
Men have seen ghosts. My senses are befooled. 
Why should these inward vapours not be ruled 
By him who drives the thunderbolt ? Look there ! 
Oh, I must nip this ague in the germ 
Ere it grow master-madness ! Let me clutch 
My good throne so. Ah, while I feel thee firm 
My reason will be safe. The rest s not much. 
Behold, he cometh terrible and grave 
To seize my sceptre. 

CHRIST 
Tis a thing I gave. 

ZEUS 

He answereth my thought, or is t my thought 
That answereth itself? Thou gav st me naught. 
My father Time gave all I boast to have. 
Who sayest thou thou art ? 

CHRIST 

Eternity. 
Both life and kingdom have I given thee. 



ACT V LUCIFER 163 

ZEUS 

My father s spirit ! Spare me ! I resign 
Both life and kingdom, if thou too give thine 
Back to thy father. 

CHRIST 
I have rendered mine. 

ZEUS 

What ! Is old Uranus awake again ? 

CHRIST 

Can Heaven sleep? Are not his silent spheres 
Perpetual in their round? Is not his main 
Of light immense, and infinite his years ? 

ZEUS 
What wouldst thou then ? Wouldst thou again 

devour 
Thy children s souls and henceforth reign alone ? 

CHRIST 
I and my Father envy not thy throne. 

ZEUS 

Why come so ghost-like then to mock my power ? 



164 LUCIFER ACT V 

CHRIST 

Ripeness of time and the appointed hour 
Come to us all. Thou in thy day of need 
Hast called upon me, and behold I heed. 

ZEUS 
I never called upon thee. 

CHRIST 

Thou didst send 

Thy son with offerings to me ; even now 
Didst pray to see my face. 

ZEUS 

What, was it thou, 

Cronos, that Hermes sought ? O bitter end ! 
I see the meshes of the Parcae now. 
While in fond sloth I slept, and thought me blest 
Drinking sweet poison in a golden cup, 
My outraged blood bred this avenger up. 
Too late I sought thee in thy cloudy nest, 
Ill-boding Phoenix ; too, too late delayed 
To its last refuge to pursue thy shade. 
Would I had hastened, burning still with wrong 



ACT V LUCIFER 165 

And drunk with blood, while death was in thine 

eyes, 

And crushed thee quite, nor seen thee thus arise 
After long ages. But I thought me strong, 
And was too merciful. Yet the vision lies, 
Perchance. Thou wouldst my kingdom ? 

, CHRIST 

Nay. Thy heart. 

ZEUS 

Ah, cruel father ! Canst thou pluck it out ? 

CHRIST 
To me it lieth bare. 

ZEUS 

No sword, no dart 

Is in thy hand. My children stand about 
Ready with arms. Attempt it, if thou dare. 

CHRIST 

The sword I bring is now transfixed there. 
Invisibly it long hath pierced thy soul 
With secret anguish, and the fear of death 



1 66 LUCIFER ACT V 

Dwells in thy breast. To me is given power, 
If thou dost will, to heal thee with my breath. 

ZEUS 

To pluck my heart, and heal me ? 

CHRIST 

Thou hast heard. 

ZEUS (.rising) 

I called upon thee in an an evil hour, 

Impotent shade that with equivocal word 

Dost work upon my doubt. Avaunt ! Begone ! 

In what I did, not I but nature erred, 

That made me mad. Let vengeance long deferred 

Come now, and let what must be be anon. 

Ho! children. Look, dear sister. There he stands 

Whom ye have summoned, Cronos, once a god. 

Question ye him, if any understands 

His riddled speech. Of old I bound his hands 

And took his thunder from him and his rod. 

(Re-enter all the gods successively} 
ATHENA 

I told thee, Hera, there was naught to fear. 
Let us approach. 



AerV LUCIFER 167 

HERA 

The same I saw, the same. 
But oh, not Cronos. Could my father dear 
Wear such a shape ? 

ATHENA 

Come, I will ask his name. 

ZEUS 
Tis Cronos shade. 

HERA (to Zeus) 

Thy wit is turned, for shame 
At that old crime. 

(To Athena) 

No, daughter, not too near. 

ATHENA (to Christ) 

What do men call thee ? 

CHRIST 

Many names they use. 

Some call me Son, some Master, some the Word, 
Some by another name of angels heard 
On bended knees alone. 



i68 LUCIFER ACT V 

ATHENA 

Dost thou refuse 
To tell us what thou art? 

CHRIST 

Lo ! I am he 

Near to all hearts whom none hath ever found. 
Read, if ye will. 

(He writes on the ground with his staff. All, in a circle , watch him.) 
ARES (aside to Aphrodite) 

What writes he on the ground ? 

APHRODITE 

A word in my own tongue he means for me. 

ARES (looking) 

Why, I can read it, too. Plain c Victory/ 

ATHENA 

That is a thought thou tak st the title of 
And not a thing of life. To be c the Truth 
Is to be bright in every spirit s love, 
Being nothing in oneself. 



ACT V LUCIFER 169 

HERA (apart) 

Ah, from my youth 
No seer ever read my secret so. 

(To Christ) 

But tell me, prophet, art thou friend or foe ? 

CHRIST 
Friend, if he be a friend who gave thee life. 

ZEUS 

But foe, if he would take that life again. 
To ease their lust the husband and the wife 
Beget the child and bring him forth to pain, 
And while for their delight they rear the boy 
Tread down his soul, and chide with peevish rage 
If far from home he snatch a day of joy, 
While they devise how in their feeble age 
To use his love and keep his heritage. 
So common fathers are, but thou the worst 
Who art not only tyrant of the soul, 
But the frail children thou begettest first 
Devourest after ; and when in natural thirst 



170 LUCIFER AcrV 

For life and joy they slip thy harsh control 
Watchest to curse them. Be thyself accurst. 

(He turns away and mounts his throne again) 
HERA 

He thinks thee Cronos. He is much distraught 
And hath misread thy script. Let me, who share 
His royal office, speak his better thought. 
What in thy country is thy private care 
Concerns us not, what battles thou hast fought 
Or triumphs sounded in those realms of air. 
We would not harm thee, for thou seemest wise 
And weak. Not by thy hand we think to fall. 
The rich and gleaming treasures of this hall 
Bring little gladness to thy godlike eyes. 
Go therefore back. We will persuade no more 
Thy griefs to wander from their cloudy shore. 

(She turns away and takes her place beside Zeus) 
CHRIST 

If I go hence, great weakness overwhelms 
Your kingdom now. As long ago I gave 
I now take back your being and your realms. 
Who keeps shall lose his life, who gives shall save. 



AcxV LUCIFER 171 

ARES 

Bah ! Would a child be gulled by such a trick? 
I have fought much, but never yielded yet 
To any foe, although my heart grew sick 
And mine eyes dim, with naught but glory set 
Before the victor. I can still endure 
And face the worst. It were not much to die, 
And it behooves the soldier to be poor. 

CHRIST 
To what end battiest thou ? 

ARES 

I know not, I. 
Only a coward asks the reason why. 

(fie turns away) 

ATHENA (joining Ares, and -moving with him towards their 
thrones) 

Nay, courage also wields the arms of thought. 
It is for freedom, brother, thou hast fought, 
For the sweet privilege of breathing deep 
The air of heaven and of speaking sooth 
And sharing with the comrades of thy youth 



172 LUCIFER AcrV 

The joy of battle and the balm of sleep. 

I know these wiles. What calls itself the Truth 

Wraps in an evil dream the things we see, 

And henceforth naught is pleasant, fair, or free 

In all the world, till in her ecstasy 

The soul, bereft of light, her heavenly food, 

Deems her last agony her perfect good. 

APHRODITE (who meantime has drawn nearer to Christ) 

Stranger, who comest from my native land 
For these are not the hills where I was born, 
Nor these my sisters heed thou not their scorn. 
Some things the happy never understand. 

CHRIST 
Art thou not happy ? 

APHRODITE 

Oh, the mocking word ! 
The chains of fortune and of fatal love 
Burden my soul, while perfect joy deferred 
Woos me to fly, and flies with each remove. 
Where shall I find my rest ? 



AcrV LUCIFER 173 

CHRIST 

In loving more. 

APHRODITE 

Tis now my torment that I love too much. 

CHRIST 

Love all things and love justly. They who clutch 
My raiment lose me. Touch not and adore. 

APHRODITE 

Ah, that were peace. And yet what love is this 
That drives all hope away ? 

CHRIST 

It is a cross. 

The perfect victory of love it is 
To conquer love, and in that blessed loss 
To live for ever without other bliss. 

APHRODITE 

Were death not better ? With hope set before 
Patience is good, but not with hope denied. 
Knowing the sea to stretch without a shore 



174 LUCIFER ACT V 

The mariner would drop the oar he plied ; 

Nor would the ploughman yoke the labouring steer 

Thinking it should be winter all the year. 

We look for happiness, else had we died 

When reason dawned. I think at last to hear 

The longed-for voice, the music of my dreams, 

Calling my name, at last to kiss the face 

My fancy painted, know the long embrace. 

Else what were love ? A foolish thing, meseems, 

That ends in nothing. 

CHRIST 

Love can never end. 

{Aphrodite turns away slowly) 

But is there none will hearken to my voice 
In all these mansions ? None that knows his 
friend ? 

HERMES 

I hearken gladly, and had I the choice 

Would venture with thee. Who untaught shall tell 

Whether thou counsellest and lovest well ? 

But with my father and my brothers here 

My life is knit for better or for worse, 



AcrV LUCIFER 175 

And I would rather take with them thy curse 
Than far from them thy blessing. 



CHRIST 

Lucifer 
Thou lovest not ? 

HERMES 

I hold the stranger dear. 

CHRIST 

From all love flows intelligence of love, 

And thine might yet persuade his soul to move 

In her true orbit, with her starry mates. 

HERMES 

Let him make head alone against the fates 
Even as I ; or if sad thoughts reprove 
What once he did, let him return to thee. 

(He turns away) 
CHRIST 

The hour is come. All is that was to be. 
The gift I brought which ye would not receive 
Was life, but death shall be the gift I leave. 



176 LUCIFER ACT V 

I am the Lord of Immortality, 

The way, the truth, the life ; who lives by me 

Shall live for ever. You some inward voice 

Persuaded once that you should ever live. 

What privilege have you that you rejoice 

While all things suffer ? You shall also grieve. 

I have endowed you with exceeding strength 

And beauty, bidding time to spare your pride 

And leave you young. But you shall now at length 

Grow old. Vain and unsanctified, 

Weary of pleasures, you shall yield your breath 

Like waves that sink again into the sea, 

Not having any voice to cry to me. 

But painless be to you the hour of death 

For you have sinned in all unwittingly 

And full of stars the night on which you cease, 

Passing forgetful to the realms of peace. 

(Christ disappears) 
HERA 

He vanishes ! 

ATHENA 

Tis well. 



AcrV LUCIFER 177 

ZEUS 

If I must die, 

To-day at least I sit upon my throne ; 
And not in fief I hold it. Tis mine own. 
The earth, my temple, stands. My native sky 
Claps me about with homage of sweet air. 
The kindly light of the unquenched sun 
Gladdens mine eyes. To-day the world is fair. 
To-morrow, if dark clouds rebellious run 
In flaming rack athwart the seas of heaven, 
I shall not less have lived, I, mighty one. 
And there where night, the mother of us all, 
By the quick birth of light asunder riven, 
Broods infinite and in her starless pall 
Folds all the stars, there, children, is much room 
For you and me and him, when he shall fall, 
Who judging others speaks his proper doom. 
Some comfort it will be, when we abide 
In that unbodied realm, to see this ghost, 
Ill-boding spirit of impalpable pride, 
Enter oblivion, and, hearing still his boast, 
Feel o er our face the shade of laughter glide. 
We also thought we should not taste of death, 



1 78 LUCIFER ACT V 

But it is fated. Fleeting is the breath 
That saith : I am eternal ! We were born 
And we must therefore die. Such is the wage 
Of being. Mourn, my stricken children, mourn. 
Into the boundless ether breathe your rage. 
You will be quiet soon. E en now, meseems, 
His peace is on us. Lethargy of age 
Creeps over nature, chilling all her streams, 
And heavy with the languor of dull dreams 
Ye sit upon Olympus, and are dumb. 
No longer from his crag the eagle screams, 
And in the wood the dryad s limbs are numb. 
The last sad summer of the world is come. 
The earth, that in her youth prodigious bore 
Mammoth and Mastodon and Titan bold,d, 
Scarce feeds the pigmies that she spawned of yore. 
Weary she bows he-r palsied head and hoar, 
Likening her fate unto the fate untold 
Of by-gone worlds, while man, her nursling, gathers 
The utmost harvest from the laboured mould, 
Envying the straitened fortunes of his fathers 
In piety content, though poor in gold ; 
And on the barren peak he lived to climb 



AcrV LUCIFER 179 

He stands aghast, and vainly waxen old 
Prays the sweet heavens. But the stars are cold. 
Fool, fool, to chide his soul with ancient crime, 
Nor mark how earth and sky, together rolled, 
His loves, his labours, and the gods sublime 
He deemed immortal, slowly yield to time. 



SCENE SECOND 

LUCIFER S ISLAND, AS IN ACT FIRST. 

TUREL 

Came he hither ? In the sphere 
Where the happy angels dwell 
They made answer : All is well. 
Lucifer is past from here. 
When I asked the lost in hell 
For their lord, they cried to me: 
Look in heaven. We are free. 
When I sought him by the shore, 
We remembered him no more, 
Said the voices of the sea. 



i8o LUCIFER AcrV 

Thou alone, unhappy star, 
Still hast echoes for his name. 
Will he welcome me, or blame 
That I followed him afar ? 
When he cometh, let him mark 
The old glimmer of this flame. 

(He kneels by the hearth to kindle it) 

The dead flint still yields a spark 
To the steel that striketh. Hark ! 
My heart leaps as if he came. 

(Lucifer crosses over) 

Doth he see me ? Doth he pass ? 
Ah ! his thoughts are otherwhere 
And the bitter mask of care 
Lies upon his face. Alas, 
Buried in the ancient pain, 
He who made the world so bright 
For a space ! O happy night 
When Lord Hermes comes again ! 

LUCIFER (stopping) 

Thou art a fool to wish him back again. 
He s dead. 



AcrV LUCIFER 181 

TUREL 

Dead ? Oh, I knew not that. 

LUCIFER 

Tis true. 

To the eternal spirit s changeless view 
What shall be is. The way of speech is vain 
That saith, He is not, but shall be anon, 
And then, He is, and then, He is no more. 
Thus with a groping hand the blind explore 
The embossed page ; the word their finger s on 
They know, but have not eyes to look before. 
Yet every letter of that ancient page 
For ever stands, imprinted as on brass, 
And it is we then turn the leaves and pass, 
Reading the sequent tale of age on age. 

TUREL 
Alas ! How did he die ? 

LUCIFER 

Unthrifty boy, 

How art thou here to ask ? I bid thee go 
And not entangle in my mesh of woe 



1 82 LUCIFER AerV 

Thy witless soul. The devils will employ 
Thine idleness and give thee answers. No, 
I will no longer keep thee. 

TUREL 

Lord, forgive 
Or slay me else. I have no will to live. 

LUCIFER 

Ha ! What a blessed end it is for all 
To die. The flowers of sweetest breath 
Are nearest to the blessedness of death, 
For as their sweetness is ephemeral 
So is their life. Only the rankest thorn 
That thrives by hatred hath the winds in scorn. 
Ay, it is well I killed him. 

TUREL 

Hermes killed ! 

LUCIFER 

It was in mercy. Thou didst beg to die 
But now. In him the blessing is fulfilled 
That cannot come to thee. 



AcrV LUCIFER 183 

TUREL 

You did it ? 

LUCIFER 

I. 

To die is better than to live. Our sin 
Alone is fertile, peopling all the earth 
With lust and error and their troublous kin. 
But chastity is barren, and her worth 
Outshines the stars ; she brings all good things in 
Into the soul, and mercy, strength, and peace 
Follow her light. Long years the lingering ghosts 
Of hate and folly walk the night in hosts. 
The life of innocence is quenched with ease. 
So thou, the perfect, whom the sacred earth 
Brought forth to beauty, dying, now hast shed 
Thy fragrance in the garden of thy birth, 
As Hyacinth once bowed his poppied head 
Parched by the noon, when from the highest height 
Phoebus, his lover, rained the shafts of light 
And slew his love, and hallowed him when dead. 
The sad Apollo kept the flower instead 
To be his comfort ; I have lost thee quite, 
And all the sweetness of my life is fled. 



1 84 LUCIFER ACT V 

TUREL 

If he is dead and can return no more 
And you must keep your vigils here alone, 
Oh, let me serve you, even as before, 
For sorrow hath a comfort of its own 
Coming by you. 

LUCIFER 

What ! Must I say it o er ? 
Have hell or heaven any part in me, 
Whichever thou be of? Begone. Of old 
I did thee wrong, and all I see in thee 
Is that dead horror. Get thee hence. Yet hold ; 
There s yet an office for thy ministry 
Greater than all. When Hermes star is cold, 
And chaos shattereth his crystal sphere, 
And other gods lie buried with their fear 
Beneath Olympus ruin, he, the bold 
And swift contriver, will with skill elude 
The crumbling stars, and reach the outer wold, 
And in that dark and pathless solitude 
Remember me. Safe then will seem the nest 
The eagle builded, sweet the bitter rest 



AcrV LUCIFER 185 

Of exile, and the face of friendship good ; 
And he will yield him, trusting in my aid, 
To the dark whirlwind. When he first essayed 
That unknown flood, the swift insidious flaw 
Wafted him hither, falsely seeming kind ; 
Unsought he found me, sought he shall not find, 
But in the midst of heaven struck with awe 
Sink in the void. With fluttering of his wings 
He shall not fly beyond the realms of death, 
Nor by the wasting of his little breath 

Reverse the ancient destiny of things. 

\ 

TUREL 

Then this hath not been yet. May I not go, 
Find him and save him ? 

LUCIFER 

No, I tell thee, no. 

No man shall hearken unto him that saith : 
Lucifer, Lucifer. That word of woe 
Shall be his last. But listen : on the strand 
Walk thou and watch, till the disconsolate flow 
Of the same flood that cast him here of yore 



186 LUCIFER ACT V 

Wash up his body on the beaten shore. 
Close for my sake his eyes with pious hand 
Lest afterwards their dumb and piteous stare 
Haunt thee in hell. Then in the yielding sand 
Dig deep his grave, and lay him gently there. 
When thou hast smoothed it over, go thy way. 
And if in hell thy comrades speak of me 
And ask if I have perished, thou shalt say 
That the last service that in life could be, 
Thy hand did for me. Go, child, go. This day 
My soul hath entered on eternity. 

{Exit Turel) 

Great God, when thy frail son of Galilee 
Forsaken on the cross was nigh to death, 
Into thy hands he yielded up his breath. 
Death s vain forgetting hath no balm for me. 
Hereafter I shall look upon the sun 
In sorrow, for my circle is not run, 
The circle of mine endless misery. 
My pang is greater than a man s could be 
Whose father was in heaven and who, forsooth, 
Thought to be happy. And I needs must find 
A greater, dearer comforter than he. 



AcrV LUCIFER 187 

truth, O truth, eternal bitter truth, 

Be thou my refuge when all else is blind! 
Thou art the essence of my lofty mind ; 
At thy pure wells I will renew my youth. 
Thy joyless bosom never was unkind 
To him who loved thee ; let us now be one. 

1 have no other friend, I have resigned 

All love but thine. My foolish life is done. 
But O ye hills that I have known of old, 
Unravished of the sun, ye snowy flock 
For ever sleeping, take me to your fold 
And in your flanks of adamantine rock 
Entomb my fiery heart. Over me spread 
Your frozen shroud and wreathe me in ice-flowers, 
To watch with you through everlasting hours 
And not remember. Lo ! I lift my head 
Into the void, in scorn of all that live 
Through hope and anguish and insensate wars. 
For, knowing grief, I have forgot to grieve, 
And, having suffered, without tears receive 
The visitation of my kindred stars. 

THE END 



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