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Spanish Gypsy 


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Spanish Gypsy 



This work was first written in the winter of 1864-65 ; 
after a visit to Spain in 1867 it was rewritten and amplified. 
The reader conversant with Spanish poetry will see that In 
two of the Lyrics an attempt has been, made to imitate the 
trochaic measure and assonance of the Spanish Ballad. 

May, 1868. 





Tis the warm South, where Europe spreads her lands 

Like fretted leaflets, breathing on the deep : 

Broad-breasted Spain, leaning with equal love 

On the Mid Sea that moans with memories, 

And on the untravelled Ocean's restless tides. 

This river, shadowed by the battlements 

And gleaming silvery toward the northern sky, 

Feeds the famed stream that waters Andalus 

And loiters, amorous of the fragrant air, 

By C6rdova and Seville to the bay 

Fronting Algarva and the wandering flood 

Of Guadiana. This deep mountain gorge 

Slopes widening on the olive plumed plains 

Of fair Granada : one far-stretching arm 

Points to Elvira, one to eastward heights 

Of Alpujarras where the new-bathed Day 

With oriflamme uplifted o'er the peaks 

Saddens the breast of northward-looking snows 

That loved the night, and soared with soaring stars 

Flashing the signals of his nearing swiftness 

From Almeria's purple-shadowed bay 

On to the f ar-off rocks that gaze and glow 

On to Alhambra, strong and ruddy heart 

Of glorious Morisma, gasping now, 

A maimed giant in his agony. 

This town that dips its feet within the stream, 

And seems to sit a tower-crowned Cybele, 

Spreading her ample robe adown the rocks, 

Is rich Bedmar : 'twas Moorish long ago, 

But now the Cross is sparkling on the Mosque^ 

And bells make Catholic the trembling air. 

The fortress gleams in Spanish sunshine now 

('Tis south a mile before the rays are Moorish) 

Hereditary jewel, agraffe bright 


On all the many-titled privilege 

Of young Duke Silva. No Castilian knight 

That serves Queen Isabel has higher charge ; 

For near this frontier sits the Moorish king, 

Not Boabdil the waverer, who usurps 

A throne he trembles in, and fawning licks 

The feet of conquerors, but that fierce lion 

Grisly El Zagal, who has made his lair 

In Guadix' fort, and rushing thence with strength, 

Half his own fierceness, half the untainted heart 

Of mountain bands that fight for holiday, 

Wastes the fair lands that lie by Alcala, 

Wreathing his horse's neck with Christian heads. 

To keep the Christian frontier such high trust 

Is young Duke Silva's : and the time is great. 

(What times are little ? To the sentinel 

That hour is regal when he mounts on guard.) 

The fifteenth century since the Man Divine 

Taught and was hated in Capernaum 

Is near its end is falling as a husk 

Away from all the fruit its years have riped. 

The Moslem faith, now flickering like a torch 

In a night struggle on this shore of Spain, 

Glares a broad column of advancing flame, 

Along the Danube and the Illyrian shore 

Far into Italy, where eager monks, 

Who watch in dreams and dream the while they watch, 

See Christ grow paler in the baleful light, 

Crying again the cry of the forsaken. 

But faith, the stronger for extremity, 

Becomes prophetic, hears the far-off tread 

Of western chivalry, sees downward sweep 

The archangel Michael with the gleaming sword, 

And listens for the shriek of hurrying fiends 

Chased from their revels in God's sanctuary. 

So trusts the monk, and lifts appealing eyes 

To the high dome, the Church's firmament, 

Where the blue-pierced curtain, rolled away, 

Reveals the throne and Him who sits thereon. 

So trust the men whose best hope for the world 

Is ever that the world is near its end : 

Impatient of the stars that keep their course 

And make no pathway for the coming Judge. 


But other futures stir the world's great heart. 

The West now enters on the heritage 

Won from the tombs of mighty ancestors, 

The seeds, the gold, the gems, the silent harps 

That lay deep buried with the memories 

Of old renown. 

No more, as once in sunny Avignon, 

The poet -scholar spreads the Homeric page, 

And gazes sadly, like the deaf at song ; 

For now the old epic voices ring again 

And vibrate with the beat and melody 

Stirred by the warmth of old Ionian days. 

The martyred sage, the Attic orator, 

Immortallity incarnate, like the gods, 

In spiritual bodies, winged words 

Holding a universe impalpable, 

Find a new audience. Forevermore, 

With grander resurrection than was feigned 

Of Attila's fierce Huns, the soul of Greece 

Conquers the bulk of Persia. The maimed form 

Of calmly-joyous beauty, marble-limbed, 

Yet breathing with the thought that shaped its lips 

Looks mild reproach from out its opened grave 

At creeds of terror ; and the vine-wreathed god 

Fronts the pierced Image with the crown of thorns. 

The soul of man is widening toward the past : 

No longer hanging at the breast of life 

Feeding in blindness to his parentage 

Quenching all wonder with Omnipotence, 

Praising a name with indolent piety 

He spells the record of his long descent, 

More largely conscious of the life that was. 

And from the height that shows where morning shone 

On far-off summits pale and gloomy now, 

The horizon widens round him, and the west 

Looks vast with untracked waves whereon his gaze 

Follows the flight of the swift-vanished bird 

That like the sunken sun is mirrored still 

Upon the yearning soul within the eye. 

And so in Cordova through patient nights 

Columbus watches, or he sails in dreams 

Between the setting stars *nd finds new day ; 

Then wakes again to the old weary days, 

Girds on the cord and frock of pale Saint Francis, 


And like him zealous pleads with foolish men. 
' I ask but for a million maravedis : 
Give me three caravels to find a world, 
New shores, new realms, new soldiers for the Cross* 
Son cosas grandest" Thus he pleads in vain ; 
Yet faints not utterly, but pleads anew, 
Thinking, " God means it, and has chosen me." 
For this man is the pulse of all mankind 
Feeding an embryo future, offspring strange 
Of the fond Present, that with mother-prayers 
And mother-fancies looks for championship 
Of all her loved beliefs and old-world ways 
From that young Time she bears within her womb. 
The sacred places shall be purged again, 
The Turk converted, and the Holy Church, 
Like the mild Virgin with the outspread robe, 
Shall fold all tongues and nations lovingly. 

But since God works by armies, who shall be 

The modern Cyrus ? Is it France most Christian, 

Who with his lilies and brocaded knights, 

French oaths, French vices, and the newest style 

Of out-puffed sleeve, shall pass from west to east, 

A winnowing fan to purify the seed 

For fair millennial harvests soon to come ? 

Or is not Spain the land of chosen warriors ? 

Crusaders consecrated from the womb, 

Carrying the sword-cross stamped upon their souls 

By the long yearnings of a nation's life, 

Through all the seven patient centuries 

Since first Pelayo and his resolute band 

Trusted the God within their Gothic hearts 

At Covadunga, and defied Mahound ; 

Beginning so the Holy War of Spain 

That now is panting with the eagerness 

Of labor near its end. The silver cross 

Glitters o'er Malaga and streams dread light 

On Moslem galleys, turning all their stores 

From threats to gifts. What Spanish knight is he 

Who, living now, holds it not shame to live 

Apart from that hereditary battle 

Which needs his sword ? Castilian gentlemen 

Choose not their task they choose to do it well. 

The time is great, and greater no man's trust 


Than his who keeps the fortress for his king. 
Wearing great honors as some delicate robe 
Brocaded o'er with names 'twere sin to tarnish. 
Born de la Cerda, Calatravan knight, 
Count of Segura, fourth duke of Bedmdr, 
Offshoot from that high stock of old Castile 
Whose topmost branch is proud Medina Celi 
Such titles with their blazonry are his 
Who keeps this fortress, its sworn governor, 
Lord of the valley, master of the town, 
Commanding whom he will, himself commanded 
By Christ his Lord who sees him from the Cross 
And from bright heaven where the Mother pleads; 
By good Saint James upon the milk-white steed, 
Who leaves his bliss to fight for chosen Spain ; 
By the dead gaze of all his ancestors : 
And by the mystery of his Spanish blood 
Charged with the awe and glories of the past. 

See now with soldiers in his front and rear 
He winds at evening through the narrow streets 
That toward the Castle gate climb devious : 
His charger, of fine Andalusian stock, 
An Indian beauty, black but delicate, 
Is conscious of the herald trumpet note, 
The gathering glances, and familiar ways 
That lead fast homeward : she forgets fatigue, 
And at the light touch of the master's spur 
Thrills with the zeal to bear him royally, 
Arches her neck and clambers up the stones 
As if disdainful of the difficult steep. 
Night-black the charger, black the rider's plume, 
But all between is bright with morning hues 
Seems ivory and gold and deep blue gems, 
And starry flashing steel and pale vermilion, 
All set in jasper : on his surcoat white 
Glitter the sword-belt and the jewelled hilt, 
Red on the back and breast the holy cross, 
And 'twixt the helmet and the soft-spun white 
Thick tawny wavelets like the lion's mane 
Turn backward from his brow, pale, wide, erect, 
Shadowing blue eyes blue as the rain-washed sky 
That braced the early stem of Gothic kings 
He claims for ancestry. A goodly knight, 


A noble caballero, broad of chest 

And long of limb. So much the August sun, 

Now in the west but shooting half its beams 

Past a dark rocky profile toward the plain, 

At windings of the path across the slope 

Makes suddenly luminous for all who see : 

For women smiling from the terraced roofs ; 

For boys that prone on trucks with head up-propped 

Lazy and curious, stare irreverent ; 

For men who make obeisance with degrees 

Of good-will shading toward servility, 

Where good-will ends and secret fear begins 

And curses, too, low-muttered through the teeth, 

Explanatory to the God of Shem. 

Five, grouped within a whitened tavern court 
Of Moorish fashion, where the trellised vines 
Purpling above their heads make odorous shade, 
Note through the open door the passers-by, 
Getting some rills of novelty to speed 
The lagging stream of talk and help the wine. 
"Tis Christian to drink wine : whoso denies 
His flesh at bidding save of Holy Church, 
Let him beware and take to Christian sins 
Lest he be taxed with Moslem sanctity. 

The souls are five, the talkers only three. 

(No time, most tainted by wrong faith and rule, 

But holds some listeners and dumb animals.) 

MINE HOST is one : he with the well-arched nose, 

Soft-eyed, fat-handed, loving men for nought 

But his own humor, patting old and young 

Upon the back, and mentioning the cost 

With confidential blandness, as a tax 

That he collected much against his will 

From Spaniards who were all his bosom friends : 

Warranted Christian else how keep an inn, 

Which calling asks true faith ? though like his wiC 

Of cheaper sort, a trifle over-new. 

His father was a convert, chose the chrism 

As men choose physic, kept his chimney warm 

With smokiest wood upon a Saturday, 

Counted his gains and grudges on a chaplet, 

And crossed himself asleep for fear of spies ; 

Trusting the God of Israel would see 


'Twas Christian tyranny that made him base. 

Our host his son was born ten years too soon, 

Had heard his mother call him Ephraim. 

Knew holy things from common, thought it sin 

To feast on days when Israel's children mourned, 

So had to be converted with his sire, 

To doff the awe he learned as Ephraim. 

And suit his manners to a Christian name. 

But infant awe, that unborn moving thing, 

Dies with what nourished it, can never rise 

From the dead womb and walk and seek new pasture. 

Thus baptism seemed to him a merry game 

Not tried before, all sacraments a mode 

Of doing homage for one's property, 

And all religions a queer human whim 

Or else a vice, according to degrees : 

Ah, 'tis a whim to like your chestnuts hot, 

Burn your own mouth and draw your face awry, 

A vice to pelt frogs with them animals 

Content to take life coolly. And Lorenzo 

Would have all lives made easy, even lives 

Of spiders and inquisitors, yet still 

Wishing so well to flies and Moors and Jews 

He rather wished the others easy death ; 

For loving all men clearly was deferred 

Till all men loved each other. Such Mine Host, 

With chiselled smile caressing Seneca, 

The solemn mastiff leaning on his knee. 

His right-hand guest is solemn as the dog, 

Square-faced and massive : BLASCO is his name, 

A prosperous silversmith from Aragon : 

In speech not silvery, rather tuned as notes 

From a deep vessel made of plenteous iron, 

Or some great bell of slow but certain swing 

That, if you only wait, will tell the hour 

As well as flippant clocks that strike in haste 

And set off chiming a superfluous tone 

Like JUAN there, the spare man with the lute, 

Who makes you dizzy with his rapid tongue, 

Whirring athwart your mind with comment swift 

On speech you would have finished by-and-by, 

Shooting your bird for you while you were loading, 

Cheapening your wisdom as a pattern known, 


Woven by any shuttle on demand. 

Can never sit quite still, too : sees a wasp 

And kills it with a movement like a flash ; 

Whistles low notes or seems to thrum his lute 

As a mere hyphen 'twixt two syllables 

Of any steadier man ; walks up and down 

And snuffs the orange flowers and shoots a pea 

To hit a streak of light let through the awning. 

Has a queer face : eyes large as plums, a nose 

Small, round, uneven, like a bit of wax 

Melted and cooled by chance. Thin-fingered, lithe, 

And as a squirrel noiseless, startling men 

Only by quickness. In his speech and look 

A touch of graceful wildness, as of things 

Not trained or tamed for uses of the world ; 

Most like the Fauns that roamed in days of old 

About the listening whispering woods, and shared 

The subtler sense of sylvan ears and eyes 

Undulled by scheming thought, yet joined the rout 

Of men and women on the festal days, 

And played the syrinx too, and knew love's pains, 

Turning their anguish into melody. 

For Juan was a minstrel still, in times 

When minstrelsy was held a thing outworn. 

Spirits seemed buried and their epitaph 

Is writ in Latin by severest pens, 

Yet still they flit above the trodden grave 

And find new bodies, animating them 

In quaint and ghostly way with antique souls. 

So Juan was a troubadour revived, 

Freshening life's dusty road with babbling rills 

Of wit and song, living 'mid harnessed men 

With limbs ungalled by armor, ready so 

To soothe them weary, and to cheer them sad. 

Guest at the board, companion in the camp, 

A*crystal mirror to the life around, 

Flashing the comment keen of simple fact 

Defined in words ; lending brief lyric voice 

To grief and sadness ; hardly taking note 

Of difference betwixt his own and others ; 

By rather singing as a listener 

To the deep moans, the cries, the wild strong joys 

Of universal Nature, old yet young. 

Such Juan, the third talker, shimmering bright 


As butterfly or bird with quickest life. 

The silent RQLDAN has his brightness too, 

But only in his spangles and rosettes. 

His parti-colored vest and crimson hose 

Are dulled with old Valencian dust, his eyes 

With straining fifty years at gilded balls 

To catch them dancing, or with brazen looks 

At men and women as he made his jests 

Some thousand times and watched to count the pence 

His wife was gathering. His olive face 

Has an old writing in it, characters 

Stamped deep by grins that had no merriment, 

The soul's rude mark proclaiming all its blank ; 

As on some faces that have long grown old 

In lifting tapers up to forms obscene 

On ancient walls and chuckling with false zest 

To please my lord, who gives the larger fee 

For that hard industry in apishness. 

Roldan would gladly never laugh again ; 

Pensioned, he would be grave as any ox, 

And having beans and crumbs and oil secured 

Would borrow no man's jokes forevermore. 

'Tis harder now because his wife is gone, 

Who had quick feet, and danced to ravishment 

Of every ring jewelled with Spanish eyes, 

But died and left this boy, lame from his birth, 

And sad and obstinate, though when he will 

He sings God-taught such marrow-thrilling strains 

As seem the very voice of dying Spring, 

A flute-like wail that mourns the blossoms gone, 

And sinks, and is not, like their fragrant breath, 

With fine transition on the trembling air. 

He sits as if imprisoned by some fear, 

Motionless, with wide eyes that seem not made 

For hungry glancing of a twelve-year'd boy 

To mark the living thing that he could tease, 

But for the gaze of some primeval sadness 

Dark twin with light in the creative ray. 

This little PABLO has his spangles too, 

And large rosettes to hide his poor left foot 

Rounded like any hoof (his mother thought 

God willed it so to punish all her sine). 

I said the souls were five besides the 


But there was still a sixth, with wrinkled face, 

Grave and disgusted with all merriment 

Not less than Roldan. It is ANNIBAL, 

The experienced monkey who performs the tricks, 

Jumps through the hoops and carries round the hat. 

Once full of sallies and impromptu feats, 

Now cautious not to light on aught that's new, 

Lest he be whipped to do it o'er again 

From A to Z, and make the gentry laugh : 

A misanthropic monkey, gray and grim, 

Bearing a lot that has no remedy 

For want of concert in the monkey tribe. 

We see the company, above their heads 
The braided matting, golden as ripe corn, 
Stretched in a curving strip close by the grapes, 
Elsewhere rolled back to greet the cooler sky ; 
A fountain near, vase-shapen and broad-lipped, 
Where timorous birds alight with tiny feet, 
And hesitate and bend wise listening ears, 
And fly away again with undipped beak. 
On the stone floor the juggler's heaped-up goods, 
Carpet and hoops, viol and tambourine, 
Where Annibal sits perched with brows severe, 
A serious ape whom none take seriously, 
Obliged in this fool's world to earn his nuts 
By hard buffoonery. We see them all, 
And hear their talk the talk of Spanish men, 
With Southern intonation, vowels turned 
Caressingly between the consonants, 
Persuasive, willing, with such intervals 
As music borrows from the wooing birds, 
That plead with subtly curving, sweet descent- 
And yet can quarrel, as these Spaniards can. 

JUAN (near the doorway}. 

You hear the trumpet ? There's old Ramon's blast. 
No bray but his can shake the air so well. 
He takes his trumpeting as solemnly 
As angel charged to wake the dead ; thinks war 
Was made for trumpeters, and their great art 
Made solely for themselves who understand it. 
His features all have shaped themselves to blowing, 
And when his trumpet's bagged or left at home 


He seems a chattel in a broker's booth, 

A spoutless watering-can, a promise to pay 

No sum particular. O fine old Ramon ! 

The blasts get louder and the clattering hoofs ; 

They crack the ear as well as heaven's thunder 

For owls that listen blinking. There's the banner. 

HOST {joining him : the others follow to the door}. 
The Duke has finished reconnoitering, then ? 
We shall hear news. They say he means a sally 
Would strike El Zagal's Moors as they push home 
Like ants with booty heavier than themselves ; 
Then, joined by other nobles with their bands, 
Lay siege to Guadix. Juan, you're a bird 
That nest within the castle. What say you ? 


Naught, I say naught. 'Tis but a toilsome game 
To bet upon that feather Policy, 
And guess where after twice a hundred puffs 
'Twill catch another feather crossing it : 
Guess how the Pope will blow and how the king ; 
What force my lady's fan has ; how a cough 
Seizing the Padre's throat may raise a gust, 
And how the queen may sigh the feather down. 
Such catching at imaginary threads, 
Such spinning twisted air, is not for me. 
If I should want a game, I'll rather bet 
On racing snails, two large, slow, lingering snails- 
No spurring, equal weights a chance sublime, 
Nothing to guess at, pure uncertainty. 
Here comes the Duke. They give but feeble shouts. 
And some look sour. 


That spoils a fair occasion. 
Civility brings no conclusions with it, 
And cheerful Vivas make the moments glide 
Instead of grating like a rusty wheel. 


O they are dullards, kick because they're stung, 
And bruise a friend to show they hate a wasp. 

Best treat your wasp with delicate regard ; 


When the right moment comes say, " By your leave." 
Use your heel so ! and make an end of him. 
That's if we talked of wasps ; but our young Duke- 
Spain holds not a more gallant gentleman. 
Live, live, Duke Silva ! 'Tis a rare smile he has, 
But seldom seen. 


A true hidalgo's smile, 
That gives much favor, but beseeches none. 
His smile is sweetened by his gravity : 
It comes like dawn upon Sierra snows, 
Seeming more generous for the coldness gone ; 
Breaks from the calm a sudden opening flower 
On dark deep waters : now a chalice shut, 
A mystic shrine, the next a full-rayed star, 
Thrilling, pulse-quickening as a living word. 
I'll make a song of that. 


Prithee, not now. 

You'll fall to staring like a wooden saint, 
And wag your head as it were set on wires. 
Here's fresh sherbet. Sit, be good company. 
( To BLASCO) You are a stranger, sir, and cannot know 
How our Duke's nature suits his princely frame. 


Nay, but I marked his spurs chased cunningly t 

A duke should know good gold and silver plate ; 

Then he will know the quality of mine. 

I've ware for tables and for altars too, 

Our Lady in all sizes, crosses, bells : 

He'll need such weapons full as much as swords 

If he would capture any Moorish town. 

For let me tell you, when a mosque is cleansed 


The demons fly so thick from sound of bells 

And smell of incense, you may see the air 

Streaked with them as with smoke. Why, they are 

spirits : 

You may well think how crowded they must be 
To make a sort of haze. 



I knew not that. 

Still, they're of smoky nature, demons are ; 
And since you say so well it proves the more 
The need of bells and censers. Ay, your Duke 
Sat well : a true hidalgo. I can judge 
Of harness especially. I saw the camp, 
The royal camp at Velez Malaga, 
'Twas like the court of heaven such liveries ! 
And torches carried by the score at night 
Before the nobles. Sirs, I made a dish 
To set an emerald in would fit a crown, 
For Don Alonzo, lord of Aguilar. 
Your Duke's no whit behind him in his mien 
Or harness either. But you seem to say 
The people love him not. 


They've naught against him. 
But certain winds will make men's temper bad. 
When the Solano blows hot venomed breath, 
It acts upon men's knives : steel takes to stabbing 
Which else, with cooler winds, were honest steel, 
Cutting but garlic. There's a wind just now 
Blows right from Seville 


Ay, you mean the wind- 
Yes, yes, a wind that's rather hot 


With fagots. 

A wind that suits not with our townsmen's blood. 
Abram, 'tis said, objected to be scorched, 
And, as the learned Arabs vouch, he gave 
The antipathy in full to Ishmael. 
'Tis true, these patriarchs had their oddities. 


Their oddities ? I'm of their mind, I ktiow. 
Though, as to Abraham and Ishmael 
I'm an old Christian, and owe naught to them 
Or any Jew among them. But I know 


We made a stir in Saragossa we : 

The men of Aragon ring hard true metal. 

Sirs, I'm no friend to heresy, but then 

A Christian's money is not safe. As how ? 

A lapsing Jew or any heretic 

May owe me twenty ounces : suddenly 

He's prisoned, suffers penalties 'tis well 

If men will not believe, 'tis good to make them, 

But let the penalties fall on them alone. 

The Jew is stripped, his goods are confiscate ; 

Now, where, I pray you, go my twenty ounces? 

God knows, and perhaps the King may, but not I. 

And more, my son may lose his young wife's dower 

Because 'twas promised since her father's soul 

Fell to wrong thinking. How was I to know ? 

I could but use my sense and cross myself. 

Christian is Christian I give in but still 

Taxing is taxing, though you call it holy. 

We Saragossans liked not this new tax 

They call the nonsense, I'm from Aragon ! 

I speak too bluntly. But, for Holy Church, 

No man believes more. 


Nay, sir, never fea*. 
Good Master Roldan here is no delator. 

ROLDAN {starting from a reverie). 
You speak to me, sirs ? I perform to-night- 
The Plapa Santiago. Twenty tricks, 
All different. I dance, too. And the boy 
Sings like a bird. I crave your patronage. 


Faith, you shall have it, sir. In travelling 
I take a little freedom, and am gay. 
You marked not what I said just now ? 


I? no, 

I pray your pardon. I've a twinging knee, 
That makes it hard to listen. You were saying ? 

Nay, it was nought (Asidf to HOST) Is it his deepness ? 


He's deep in nothing but his poverty. 

But 'twas his poverty that made me think 


His piety might wish to keep the feasts 
As well as fasts. No fear ; he hears not. 



I speak my mind about the penalties, 

But look you, I'm against assassination. 

You know my meaning Master Arbues, 

The grand Inquisitor in Aragon. 

I knew naught paid no copper toward the deed. 

But I was there, at prayers, within the church. 

How could I help it ? Why, the saints were there, 

And looked straight on above the altars. I- 

Looked carefully another way. 


Why, at my beads. 

'Twas after midnight, and the canons all 
Were chanting matins. I was not in church 
To gape and stare. I saw the martyr kneel ; 
I never liked the look of him alive 
He was no martyr then. I thought he made 
An ugly shadow as he crept athwart 
The bands of light, then passed within the gloom 
By the broad pillar. 'Twas in our great Seo, 
At Saragossa. The pillars tower so large 
You cross yourself to see them, lest white Death 
Should hide behind their dark, ^nd so it was. 
I looked away again and told my beads 
Unthinkingly ; but still a man has ears ; 
And right across the chanting came a sound 
As if a tree had crashed above the roar 
Of some great torrent. So it seemed to me ; 
For when you listen long and shut your eyes 
Small sounds get thunderous. He had a shelS 


Like any lobster ; a good iron suit 

From top to toe beneath the innocent serge. 

That made the tell-tale sound. But then came shrieks 

The chanting stopped and turned to rushing feet, 

And in the midst lay Master Arbues, 

Felled like an ox. 'Twas wicked butchery. 

Some honest men had hoped it would have scared 

The Inquisition out of Aragon. 

'Twas money thrown away I would say, crimer 

Clean thrown away. 


That was a pity now 

Next to a missing thrust, what irks me most 
Is a neat well-aimed stroke that kills your man, 
Yet ends in mischief as in Aragon. 
It was a lesson to our people here. 
Else there's a monk within our city walls, 
A holy, high-born, stern Dominican, 
They might have made the great mistake to kill. 


What ! is he ? 


Yes ; a Master Arbue"s 
Of finer quality. The Prior here 
And uncle to our Duke. 


He will want plate ; 
A holy pillar or a crucifix. 
But, did you say, he was like Arbue*s ? 


As a black eagle with gold beak and claws 
Is like a raven. Even in his cowl, 
Covered from head to foot, the Prior is known 
From all the black herd round. When he uncovers 
And stands white-frocked, with ivory face, his eyes 
Black-gleaming, black his coronal of hair 
Like shredded jasper, he seems less a man 
With struggling aims, than pure incarnate Will, 
Fit to subdue rebellious nations, nay, 
That human flesh he breathes in, charged with passion 


Which quivers in his nostril and his lip, 
But disciplined by long in-dwelling will 
To silent labor in the yoke of law. 
A truce to thy comparisons, Lorenzo ! 
Thine is no subtle nose for difference ; 
'Tis dulled by feigning and civility. 


Pooh, thou'rt a poet, crazed with finding words 
May stick to things and seem like qualities. 
No pebble is a pebble in thy hands : 
'Tis a moon out of work, a barren egg, 
Or twenty things that no man sees but thee. 
Our Father Isidor's a living saint, 
And that is heresy, some townsmen think : 
Saints should be dead, according to the Church. 
My mind is this : the Father is so holy 
'Twere sin to wish his soul detained from bliss. 
Easy translation to the realms above, 
The shoxtest journey to the seventh heaven, 
ts what I'd never grudge him. 


Piously said. 

Look you, I'm dutiful, obey the Church 
When there's no help for it : I mean to say, 
When Pope and Bishop and all customers 
Order alike. But there be bishops now, 
And were aforetime, who have held it wrong. 
This hurry to convert the Jews. As how? 
Your Jew pays tribute to the bishop, say. 
That's good, and must please God, to see the Church 
Maintained in ways that ease the Christian's purse. 
Convert the Jew, and where's the tribute, pray ? 
He lapses, too : 'tis slippery work, conversion : 
And then the holy taxing carries off 
His money at one sweep. No tribute more ! 
He's penitent or burned, and there's an end. 
Now guess which pleases God 


Whether he likes 
A well-burned Jew or well-fed bishop best. 

[While Juan put this problem theologic 


Entered, with resonant step, another guest 
A soldier : all his keenness in his sword, 
His eloquence in scars upon his cheek, 
His virtue in much slaying of the Moor ; 
With brow well-creased in horizontal folds 
To save the space, as having nought to do: 
Lips prone to whistle whisperingly no tune, 
But trotting rhythm : meditative eyes, 
Most often fixed upon his legs and spurs: 
Styled Captain Lopez.] 


At your service, sirs. 


Ha, Lopez ? Why, thou hast a face full-charged 
As any herald's. What news of the wars ? 

Such news as is most bitter on my tongue. 

Then spit it forth. 


Sit, Captain : here's a cup^ 
Fresh-filled. What news ? 


Tis bad. We make no sally 
We sit still here and wait whate'er the Moor 
Shall please to do. 

Some townsmen will be glad. 


Glad, will they be ? But I'm not fclad, not I, 
Nor any Spanish soldier of clean blood. 
But the Duke's wisdom is to wait a siege 
Instead of laying one. Therefore meantime 
He will be married straightway. 


Ha, ha, ha ! 

Thy speech is like an hourglass ; turn it down 
The other way, 'twill stand as well, and say 


The Duke will wed, therefore he waits a siege. 
But what says Don Diego and the Prior ? 
The hody uncle and the fiery Don ? 


there be sayings running all abroad 

As thick as nuts o'erturned. No man need lack. 
Some say, 'twas letters changed the Duke's intent : 
From Malaga, says Bias. From Rome, says Quintal. 
From spies at Guadix, says Sebastian. 
Some say 'tis all a pretext say, the Duke 
Is but a lapdog hanging on a skirt, 
Turning his eyeballs upward like a monk : 
Twas Don Diego said that so says Bias ; 
Last week, he said 


O do without the " said ! * 
Open thy mouth and pause in lieu of it. 

1 had as lief be pelted with a pea 
Irregularly in the self-same spot 
As hear such iteration without rule, 
Such torture of uncertain certainty. 


Santiago ! Juan, thou art hard to please. 
I speak not for my own delighting, I. 
I can be silent, I. 


Nay, sir, speak on ! 

I like your matter well. I deal in plate. 
This wedding touches me. Who is the bride ? 


One that some say the Duke does ill to wed. 
One that his mother reared God rest her soul ! 
Duchess Diana she who died last year. 
A bird picked up away from any nest. 
Her name the Duchess gave it is Fedalma. 
No harm in that But the Duke stoops, they say, 
In wedding her. And that's the simple truth. 


Thy simple truth is but a false opinion : 
The simple truth of asses who believe 


Their thistle is the very best of food. 
Fie, Lopez, thou a Spaniard with a sword 
Dreamest a Spanish noble ever stoops 
By doing honor to the maid he loves ! 
He stoops alone when he dishonors her. 

Nay, I said naught against her. 


Better not. 

Else I would challenge thee to fight with wits, 
And spear thee through and through ere thou couldst 


The bluntest word. Yes, yes, consult thy spurs : 
Spurs are a sign of knighthood, and should tell thee 
That knightly love is blent with reverence 
As heavenly air is blent with heavenly blue. 
Don Silva's heart beats to a loyal tune : 
He wills no highest-born Castilian dame, 
Betrothed to highest noble, should be held 
More sacred than Fedalma, He enshrines 
Her virgin image for the general awe 
And for his own will guard her from the world, 
Nay, his profaner self, lest he should lose 
The place of his religion. He does well. 
Nought can come closer to the poet's strain. 


Or farther from his practice, Juan, eh ? 
If thou'rt a sample ? 


Wrong there, my Lorenzo f 
Touching Fedalma the poor poet plays 
A finer part even than the noble Duke. 


By making ditties, singing with round mouth 
Likest a crowing cock ? Thou meanest that ? 


Lopez, take physic, thou art getting ill, 
Growing descriptive ; 'tis unnatural, 
I mean, Don Silva's love expects reward. 
Kneels with a heaven to come ; but the poor poet 


Worships without reward, nor hopes to find 
A heaven save in his worship. He adores 
The sweetest woman for her sweetness' sake, 
Joys in the love that was not born for him, 
Because 'tis lovingness, as beggars joy, 
Warming their naked limbs on wayside walls, 
To hear a tale of princes and their glory. 
There's a poor poet (poor, I mean, in coin) 
Worships Fedalma with so true a love 
That if her silken robe were changed for rags, 
And she were driven out to stony wilds 
Barefoot, a scorned wanderer, he would kiss 
Her ragged garment's edge, and only ask 
For leave to be her slave. Digest that, friend, 
Or let it lie upon thee as a weight 
To check light thinking of Fedalma. 



I think no harm of her ; I thank the saints 
I wear a sword and peddle not in thinking. 
'Tis Father Marcos says she'll not confess 
And loves not holy water ; says her blood 
Is infidel ; says the Duke's wedding her 
Is union of light with darkness. 



[Now Juan who by snatches touched his lute 

With soft arpeggio, like a whispered dream 

Of sleeping music, while he spoke of love 

In jesting anger at the soldier's talk 

Thrummed loud and fast, then faster and more loud, 

Till, as he answered " Tush ! " he struck a chord 

Sudden as whip-crack close by Lopez* ear. 

Mine host and Blasco smiled, the mastiff barked, 

Roldan looked up and Annibal looked down, 

Cautiously neutral in so new a case : 

The boy raised longing, listening eyes that seemed 

An exiled spirit's waiting in strained hope 

Of voices coming from the distant land. 

But Lopez bore the assault like any rock : 

That was not what he drew his sword at he ! 

He spoke with neck erect ] 



If that's a hint 

The company should ask thee for a song, 
Sing, then ! 


Ay, Juan, sing, and jar no more. 

Something brand new. Thou'rt wont to make my esi 
A test of novelties. Hast thou aught fresh ? 


As fresh as rain-drops. Here's a Cancion 
Springs like a tiny mushroom delicate 
Out of the priest's foul scandal of Fedalma. 

[He preluded with querying intervals, 
Rising, then falling just a semitone, 
In minor cadence sound with poised wing 
Hovering and quivering toward the needed fall. 
Then in a voice that shook the willing air 
With masculine vibration sang this song : 

Should I long that dark were fair I 

Say, O Song ! 

Lacks my love aught, that I should long I 

Dark the night with breath all flow 'rs, 
And tender broken voice that fills 
With ravishment the listening hours : 
Whisperings, wooings, 
Liquid ripples and soft ring-dove cooings 
In low -toned rhythm that love's aching stills. 
Dark the night, 
Yet is sfte bright, 

For in her dark she brings the mystic star. 
Trembling yet strong, as is the voice of love t 
from some unknown afar, 
O radiant dark ! O darkly -fostered ray / 
Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow Day. 

While Juan sang, all round the tavern court 

Gathered a constellation of black eyes. 

Fat Lola leaned upon the balcony 

With arms that might have pillowed Hercules 

(Who built, 'tis knowr>, the mightiest Spanish towns); 

Thin Alda's face, sad as a washed passion. 


Leaned o'er the nodding baby's ; 'twixt the rails 

The little Pepe showed his two black beads, 

His flat-ringed hair and small Semitic nose, 

Complete and tiny as a new-born minnow ; 

Patting his head and holding in her arms 

The baby senior, stood Lorenzo's wife 

All negligent, her kerchief discomposed 

By little clutches, woman's coquetry 

Quite turned to mother's cares and sweet content. 

These on the balcony, while at the door 

Gazed the lank boys and lazy-shouldered men. 

'Tis likely too the rats and insects peeped, 

Being southern Spanish ready for a lounge. 

The singer smiled, as doubtless Orpheus smiled, 

To see the animals both great and small, 

The mountainous elephant and scampering mouse, 

Held by the ears in decent audience ; 

Then, when mine host desired the strain once more, 

He fell to preluding with rhythmic change 

Of notes recurrent, soft as pattering drops 

That fall from off the eaves in fancy dance 

When clouds are breaking ; till at measured pause 

He struck with strength, in rare responsive chord*.] 


Come, then, a gayer ballad, if thou wilt : 

I quarrel not with change. What say you, Captain ? 


All's one to me. I note no change of tune, 
Not I, save in the ring of horses' hoofs, 
Or in the drums and trumpets when they call 
To action or retreat. I ne'er could see 
The good of singing. 


Why, it passes time- 
Saves you from getting over-wise : that's good 
For, look you, fools are merry here below, 
Yet they will go to heaven all the same, 
Having the sacraments ; and, look you, heaven 
Is a long holiday, and solid men, 
Used to much business, might be ill at ease 
Not liking play. And GO, in travelling, 


I shape myself betimes to idleness 
And take fools' pleasures 


Hark, the Long begins ! 

JUAN (sings). 

Maiden, crowned with glossy blackness^ 
Lithe as panther forest-roaming, 

Long-armed naiad, when she dances, 
On a stream of ether floating 

Bright, O bright Fedalma I 

form all curves like softness drifted, 
Wave-kissed marble roundly dimpling^ 

Far-off music slowly winged, 
Gently rising, gently sinking 

Bright, O bright Fedalmal 

Pure as rain-tear on a rose-leaf, 
Cloud high-born in noonday spotless^ 

Sudden perfect as the dew-bead, 
Gem of earth and sky begotten 

Bright, O bright Fedalmal 

Beauty has no mortal father, 
Holy light her form engendered 

Out of tremor, yearning, gladness, 
Presage sweet and joy remembered 
Child of Light, Fedalma / 


Faith, a good song, sung to a stirring tune, 
I like the words returning in a round ; 
It gives a sort of sense. Another such ! 

ROLDAN (rising). 

Sirs, you will hear my boy. 'Tis very hard 
When gentles sing for naught to all the town. 
How can a poor man live? And now 'tis time 
I go to the Pla(pa who will give me pence 
When he can hear hidalgos and give nought? 


True, friend. Be pacified. I'll sing no more. 
Go thou, and we wil) follow. Never fear. 

THE sp/.i::3:. GYPSY. . 29 

My voice is common as the ivy-leaves, 

Plucked in all seasons bears no price ; tny coy's 

Is like the almond blossoms. Ah, he's lame ! 


Load him not heavily. Here, Pedro ! help. 
Go with them to the Plafa, take the hoops. 
The sights will pay thee. 


I'll be there anon, 

And set the fashion with a good white coin. 
But let us see as well as hear. 


Ay, prithee, 
Some tricks, a dance. 


Yes, 'tis more rational 

ROLDAN (turning round with the bundle and monkey on kit 


You shall see all, sirs. There's no man in Spain 
Knows his art better. I've a twinging knee 
Oft hinders dancing, and the boy is lame. 
But no man's monkey has more tricks than mine. 

[At this high praise the gloomy Annibal, 

Mournful professor of high drollery, 

Seemed to look gloomier, and the little troop 

Went slowly out, escorted from the door 

By all the idlers. From the balcony 

Slowly subsided the black radiance 

Of agate eyes, and broke in chattering sounds, 

Coaxings and trampings, and the small hoarse squeak 

Of Pepe's reed. And our group talked again.] 


I'll get this juggler, if he quits him well, 
An audience here as choice as can be lured. 
For me, when a poor devil does his best, 
'Tis my delight to soothe his soul with praise. 
What though the best be bad ? remains the good 
Of throwing food to a lean hungry dog. 
I'd give up the best jugglery in life 
To see a miserable jurgler pleased. 


But that's my humor. Crowds are malcontent 

And cruel as the Holy shall we go f 

All of us now together ? 


Well, not I. 

I may be there anon, but first I go 
To the lower prison. There is strict command 
That all our gypsy prisoners shall to-night 
Be lodged within the fort. They've forged enough 
Of balls and bullets used up all the metal 
At morn to-morrow they must carry stones 
Up the south tower. "Tis a fine stalwart band, 
Fit for the hardest tasks. Some say, the queen 
Would have the gypsies banished with the Jews. 
Some say, 'twere better harness them for work. 
They'd feed on any filth and save the Spaniard. 
Some say but I must go. 'Twill soon be time 
To head the escort. We shall meet again. 


Go, sir, with God (exit Lopez). A very proper man, 
And soldierly. But, for this banishment 
Some men are hot on, it ill pleases me. 
The Jews, now (sirs, if any Christian here 
Had Jews for ancestors, I blame him not ; 
We cannot all be Goths of Aragon) 
Jews are not fit for heaven, but on earth 
They are most useful. 'Tis the same with mules, 
Horses, or oxen, or with any pig 
Except St. Anthony's. They are useful here 
(The Jews, I mean) though they may go to hell. 
And, look you, useful sins why Providence 
Sends Jews to do 'em, saving Christian souls. 
The very Gypsies, curbed and harnessed well, 
Would make draft cattle, feed on vermin too, 
Cost less than grazing brutes, and turn bad food 
To handsome carcasses ; sweat at the forge 
For little wages, and well drilled and flogged 
Might work like slaves, some Spaniards looking oa. 
I deal in plate, and am no priest to say 
What God may mean, save when he means plain sense; 
But when he sent the Gypsies wande~ing 
In punishment became they sintered r 


Our Lady and St. Joseph (and no doubt 
Stole the small ass they fled with into Egypt), 
Why send them here ? Tis plain he saw the use 
They'd be to Spaniards. Shall we banish them, 
And tell God we know better ? 'Tis a sin. 
They talk of vermin ; but, sirs ; vermin large 
Were made to eat the small, or else to eat 
The noxious rubbish, and picked Gypsy men 
Might serve in war to climb, be killed, and fall 
To make an easy ladder. Once I saw 
A Gypsy sorcerer, at a spring and grasp 
Kill one who came to seize him : talk of strength ! 
Nay, swiftness too, for while we crossed ourselves 
He vanished like say, like 


A swift black snake, 
Or like a living arrow fledged with will. 

Why, did you see him, pray ? 


Not then, but now, 
As painters see the many in the one. 
We have a Gypsy in Bedmar whose frame 
Nature compacted with such fine selection, 
'Twould yield a dozen types : all Spanish knights, 
From him who slew Rolando at the pass 
Up to the mighty Cid ; all deities, 
Thronging Olympus in fine attitudes : 
Or all hell's heroes whom the poet saw 
Tremble like lions, writhe like demigods. 


Pause not yet, Juan more hyperbole ! 
Shoot upward still and flare in meteors 
Before thou sink to earth in dull brown fact 


Nay, give me fact, high shooting suits not me, 
I never stare to look for soaring larks. 
What is this Gypsy ? 


Chieftain of a band, 
The Moor's allies, whom full a month ago 


Our Duke surprised and brought us captives home. 

He needed smiths, and doubtless the brave Moor 

Has missed some useful scouts and archers too, 

Juan's fantastic pleasure is to watch 

These Gypsies forging, and to hold discourse 

With this great chief, whom he transforms at will 

To sage or warrior, and like the sun 

Plays daily at fallacious alchemy, 

Turns sand to gold and dewy spider-webs 

To myriad rainbows. Still the sand is sand, 

And still in sober shade you see the web. 

'Tis so, I'll wager, with this Gypsy chief 

A piece of stalwart cunning, nothing more. 


No ! My invention has been all too poor 
To frame this Zarca as I saw him first. 
'Twas when they stripped him. In his chieftain's gear, 
Amidst his men he seemed a royal barb 
Followed by wild-maned Andalusian colts. 
He had a necklace of a strange device 
In finest gold of unknown workmanship, 
But delicate as Moorish, fit to kiss 
Fedalma's neck, and play in shadows there. 
He wore fine mail, a rich-wrought sword and belt, 
And on his surcoat black a broidered torch, 
A pine-branch flaming, grasped by two dark hands. 
But when they stripped him of his ornamentsj 
It was the baubles lost their grace, not he. 
His eyes, his mouth, his nostril, all inspired 
With scorn that mastered utterance of scorn, 
With power to check all rage until it turned 
To ordered force, unleashed on chosen prey 
It seemed the soul within him made his limbs 
And made them grand. The baubles were well gone* 
He stood the more a king, when bared to man. 


Maybe. But nakedness is bad for trade. 

And is not decent. Well-wrought metal, sir, 

Is not a bauble. Had you seen the camp, 

The royal camp at Velez Malaga, 

Ponce de Leon and the other dukes, 

The king himself and all his thousand knights 


For body-guard, 'twould not have left you breath 
To praise a Gypsy thus. A man's a man ; 
But when you see a king, you see the work! 
Of many thousand men. King Ferdinand 
Bears a fine presence, and hath proper limbs ; 
But what though he were shrunken as a relic ? 
You'd see the gold and gems that cased him o'er, 
And all the pages round him in brocade, 
And all the lords, themselves a sort of kings, 
Doing him reverence. That strikes an awe 
Into a common man especially 
A judge of plate. 


Faith, very wisely said. 
Purge thy speech, Juan. It is over-full 
Of this same Gypsy. Praise the Catholic King. 
And come now, let us see the juggler's skill 

The Plafa Santiago 

'Tis daylight still, but now the golden cross 
Uplifted by the angel on the dome 
Stands rayless in calm color clear-defined 
Against the northern blue ; from turrets high 
The flitting splendor sinks with folded wing 
Dark-hid till morning, and the battlements 
Wear soft relenting whiteness mellowed o'er 
By summers generous and winters bland. 
Now in the east the distance casts its veil 
And gazes with a deepening earnestness. 
The old rain-fretted mountains in their robes 
Of shadow-broken gray ; the rounded hills 
Reddened with the blood of Titans, whose huge lirab^ 
Entombed within, feed full the hardy flesh 
Of cactus green and blue broad-sworded aloes J 
The cypress soaring black above the lines 
Of white court-walls ; the jointed sugar-canes 
Pale-golden with their feathers motionless 
In the warm quiet : all thought-teaching form 
Utters itself in firm unshimmering hues. 
For the great rock has screened the westering sun 
That still on plains beyond streams vaporous gold 
Among the branches ; and within Bedmdr 
Has come the time of sweet serenity 


When color glows unglittering, and the soul 

Of visible things shows silent happiness, 

As that of lovers trusting though apart. 

The ripe-cheeked fruits, the crimson-petalled flowers ; 

The winged life that pausing seems a gem 

Cunningly carven on the dark green leaf ; 

The face of man with hues supremely blent 

To difference fine as bf a voice 'mid sounds: 

Each lovely light-dipped thing seems to emerge 

Flushed gravely from baptismal sacrament. 

All beauteous existence rests, yet wakes, 

Lies still, yet conscious, with clear open eyes 

And gentle breath and mild suffused joy. 

'Tis day, but day that falls like melody" 

Repeated on a string with graver tones 

Tones such as linger in a long farewell. 

The Pla9a widens in the passive air 

The Placa Santiago, where the church, 

A mosque converted, shows an eyeless face 

Red-checkered, faded, doing penance still 

Bearing with Moorish arch the imaged saint, 

Apostle, baron, Spanish warrior, 

Whose charger's hoofs trample the turbaned dead, 

Whose banner with the Cross, the bloody sword 

Flashes athwart the Moslem's glazing eye, 

And mocks his trust in Allah who forsakes. 

Up to the church the Placa gently slopes, 

In shape most like the pious palmer's- shell, 

Girdled with low white houses ; high above 

Tower the strong fortress and sharp-angled wall 

And well-flanked castle gate. From o'er the roofs, 

And from the shadowed patios cool, there spreads 

The breath of flowers and aromatic leaves 

Soothing the sense with bliss indefinite 

A baseless hope, a glad presentiment, 

That curves the lip more softly, fills the eye 

With more indulgent beam. And so it soothes, 

So gently sways the pulses of the crowd 

Who make a zone about the central spot 

Chosen by Roldan for his theatre. 

Maids with arched eyebrows, delicate-pencilled, dark, 

Fold their round arms below the kerchief full ; 

Men shoulder little girls ; and grandames gray, 


But muscular still, hold babies on their arms ; 
While mothers keep the stout-legged boys in front 
Against their skirts, as old Greek pictures show 
The Glorious Mother with the Boy divine. 
Youths keep the places for themselves, and roll 
Large lazy eyes, and call recumbent dogs 
(For reasons deep below the reach of thought). 
The old men cough with purpose, wish to hint 
Wisdom within that cheapens jugglery, 
Maintain a neutral air, and knit their brows 
In observation. None are quarrelsome. 
Noisy, or very merry ; for their blood 
Moves slowly into fervor they rejoice 
Like those dark birds that sweep with heavy wing, 
Cheering their mates with melancholy cries. 

But now the gilded balls begin to play 

In rhythmic numbers, ruled by practice fine 

Of eye and muscle ; all the juggler's form 

Consents harmonious in swift-gliding change, 

Easily forward stretched or backward bent 

With lightest step and movement circular 

Round a fixed point ; 'tis not the old Roldan now, 

The dull, hard, weary, miserable man, 

The soul all parched to languid appetite 

And memory of desire ; 'tis wondrous force 

That moves in combination multiform 

Toward conscious ends : 'tis Roldan glorious, 

Holding all eyes like any meteor, 

King of the moment save when Annibal 

Divides the scene and plays the comic part, 

Gazing with blinking glances up and down, 

Dancing and throwing nought and catching it, 

With mimicry as merry as the tasks 

Of penance-working shades in Tartarus, 

Pablo stands passive, and a space apart, 
Holding a viol, waiting for command. 
Music must not be wasted, but must rise 
As needed climax ; and the audience 
Is growing with late comers. Juan now, 
And the familiar host, with Blasco broad, 
Find way made gladly to the inmost round 
Studded with heads. Lorenzo knits the crowd 
Into one family by showing all 


Good-will and recognition. Juan casts 
His large and rapid-measuring glance around ; 
But with faint quivering, transient as a breath 
Shaking a flame his eyes make sudden pause 
Where by the jutting angle of a street 
Castle-ward leading, stands a female form, 
A kerchief pale square-drooping o'er the brow, 
About her shoulders dim brown serge in garb 
Most like a peasant woman from the vale, 
Who might have lingered after marketing 
To see the show. What thrill mysterious, 
Ray-borne from orb to orb of conscious eyes, 
The swift observing sweep of Juan's glance 
Arrests an instant, then with prompting fresh 
Diverts it lastingly ? He turns at once 
To watch the gilded balls, and nod and smile 
At little round Pepita, blondest maid 
In all Bedmar Pepita, fair yet necked, 
Saucy of lip and nose, of hair as red 
As breasts of robins stepping on the snow- 
Who stands in front with little tapping feet, 
And baby-dimpled hands that hide enclosed 
Those sleeping crickets, the dark castanets. 
But soon the gilded balls have ceased to play 
And Annibal is leaping through the hoops, 
That turn to twelve, meeting him as he flies 
In the swift circle. Shuddering he leaps, 
But with each spring flies swift and swifter still 
To loud and louder shouts, while the great hoops 
Are changed to smaller. Now the crowd is fired. 
The motion swift, the living victim urged, 
The imminent failure and repeated scape 
Hurry all pulses and intoxicate 
With subtle wine of passion many-mixed. 
'Tis all about a monkf y leaping hard 
Till near to gasping ; but it serves as well 
As the great circus or arena dire, 
Where these are lacking. Roldan cautiously 
Slackens the leaps and lays the hoops to rest, 
And Annibal retires with reeling brain 
And backward stagger pity, he could not smile! 

Now Roldan spreads his carpet, now he shows 
Strange metamorphoses : the pebble black 


Changes to whitest egg within his hand; 

A staring rabbit, with retreating ears, 

Is swallowed by the air and vanishes ; 

He tells men's thoughts about the shaken dice, 

Their secret choosings ; makes the white beans pass 

With causeless act sublime from cup to cup 

Turned empty on the ground diablerie 

That pales the girls and puzzles all the boys : 

These tricks are samples, hinting to the town 

Roldan's great mastery. He tumbles next, 

And Annibal is called to mock each feat 

With arduous comicality and save 

By rule romantic the great public mind 

(And Roldan's body) from too serious strain. 

But with the tumbling, lest the feats should fail 

And so need veiling in a haze of sound, 

Pablo awakes the viol and the bow 

The masculine bow that draws the woman's heart 

From out the strings, and makes them cry, yearn, plead, 

Tremble, exult, with mystic union 

Of joy acute and tender suffering. 

To play the viol and discreetly mix 

Alternate with the bow's keen biting tones 

The throb responsive to the finger's touch, 

Was rarest skill that Pablo half had caught 

From an old blind and wandering Catalan ; 

The other half was rather heritage 

From treasure stored by generations past 

In winding chambers of receptive sense. 

The winged sounds exalt the thick-pressed crowd 

With a new pulse in common, blending all 

The gazing life into one larger soul 

With dimly widened consciousness : as waves 

In heightened movement tell of waves far off. 

And the light changes ; westward stationed clouds, 

The sun's ranged outposts, luminous message spread, 

Rousing quiescent things to doff their shade 

And show themselves as added audience. 

Now Pablo, letting fail the eager bow, 

Solicits softer murmurs from the strings, 

And now above them pours a wondrous voice 

(Such as Greek reapers heard in Sicily) 

With wounding rapture in it, like love's arrows ; 


And clear upon clerj air as colored gems 
Dropped in a crystal cup of water pure, 
Fall words of sadness, simple, lyrical : 

Spring comes hither ', 

Buds the rose ; 
Roses wither, 

Sweet spring goes. 
Ojala, would she carry me / 

Summer soars 

Wide-winged day 
White light pours, 

Flies away. 
Ojala, would he carry me / 

Soft winds blow, 

Westward born, 
Onward go 

Toward the morn. 
Ojala, would they carry me t 

Sweet birds sing 

O'er the graves, 
Then take wing 

O'er the waves. 
Ojala, would they carry me ! 

When the voice paused and left the viol's note 
To plead forsaken, 'twas as when a cloud 
Hiding the sun, makes all the leaves and flowers 
Shiver. But when with measured change the strings 
Had taught regret new longing, clear again, 
Welcome as hope recovered, flowed the voice. 

Warm whispering through the slender olive leave* 

Came to me a gentle sound, 

Whispering of a secret found 
In the clear sunshine 'mid the golden sheaves : 
Said it was sleeping for me in the morn, 

Called it gladness, called it joy, 

Drew me on " Come hither, boy " 
To where the blue wings rested on the corn. 
I thought the gentle som:d had ivhispered 

Thought the little heaven mine, 

Leaned to clutch the thing divine^ 
And saw ike blue wings ?K*:li within the blut. 


The long notes linger on the trembling air, 
With subtle penetration enter all 
The myriad corridors of the passionate soul, 
Message-like spread, and answering action rouse. 
Not angular jigs that warm the chilly limbs 
In hoary northern mists, but action curved 
To soft andante strains pitched plaintively. 
Vibrations sympathetic stir all limbs : 
Old men live backward in their dancing prime, 
And move in memory ; small legs and arms 
With pleasant agitation purposeless 
Go up and down like pretty fruits in gales. 
All long in common for the expressive act 
Yet wait for it ; as in the olden time 
Men waited for the bard to tell their thought. 
"The dance ! the dance ! " is shouted all around. 
Now Pablo lifts the bow, Pepita now, 
Ready as bird that sees the sprinkled corn, 
When Juan nods and smiles, puts forth her foot 
And lifts her arm to wake the castanets. 
Juan advances, too, from out the ring 
And bends to quit his lute ; for now the scene 
Is empty ; Roldan weary, gathers pence, 
Followed by Annibal with purse and stick. 
The carpet lies a colored isle untrod, 
Inviting feet : " The dance, the dance," resounds, 
The bow entreats with slow melodic strain, 
And all the air with expectation yearns. 

Sudden, with gliding motion like a flame 

That through dim vapor makes a path of glory, 

A figure lithe, all white and saffron-robed, 

Flashed right across the circle, and now stood 

With ripened arms uplift and regal head, 

Like some tall flower whose dark and intense heart 

Lies half within a tulip-tinted cup. 

Juan stood fixed and pale ; Pepita stepped 
Backward within the ring : the voices fell 
From shouts insistent to more passive tones 
Half meaning welcome, half astonishment. 
" Lady Fedalma ! will she dance for us ? ** 

But she, sole swayed by impulse passionate. 
Feeling all life was music and all eyes 


The warming quickening light that music makes,, 

Moved as, in dance religious, Miriam, 

When on the Red Sea shore she raised her voice 

And led the chorus of the people's joy ; 

Or as the Trojan maids that reverent sang 

Watching the sorrow-crowned Hecuba : 

Moved in slow curves voluminous, gradual, 

Feeling and action flowing into one, 

In Eden's natural taintless marriage bond ; 

Ardently modest, sensuously pure, 

With young delight that wonders at itself 

And throbs as innocent as opening flowers, 

Knowing not comment soilless, beautiful. 

The spirit in her gravely glowing face 

With sweet community informs her limbs, 

Filling their fine gradation with the breath 

Of virgin majesty ; as full vowelled words 

Are new impregnate with the master's thought. 

Even the chance-strayed delicate tendrils black, 

That backward 'scape from out her wreathing hai 

Even the pliant folds that cling transverse 

When with obliquely soaring bend altern 

She seems a goddess quitting earth again 

Gather expression a soft undertone 

And resonance exquisite from the grand chord 

Of her harmoniously bodied soul. 

At first a reverential silence guards 

The eager senses of the gazing crowd : 

They hold their breath, and live by seeing her. 

But soon the admiring tension finds relief 

Sighs of delight, applausive murmurs low, 

And stirrings gentle as of eared corn 

Or seed-bent grasses, when the ocean's breath 

Spreads landward. Even Juan is impelled 

By the swift-travelling movement : fear and doubt 

Give way before the hurrying energy ; 

He takes his lute and strikes in fellowship, 

Filling more full the rill of melody 

Raised ever and anon to clearest flood 

By Pablo's voice, that dies away too soon, 

Like the sweet blackbird's fragmentary chant, 

Yet wakes again, with varying rise and fall, 

In songs that seem emergent memories 


Prompting brief utterance little cancions 
And villancicos, Andalusia-born. 

PABLO (sings). 

It was in the prime 

Of the sweet Spring-time. 

In the linnefs throat 

Trembled the love-note, 
And the love stirred air 
Thrilled the blossoms there. 

Little shadows danced 
Each a tiny elf, 

Happy in large light 
And the thinnest self. 

It was but a minute 
In a far-off Spring, 
But each gentle thing, 
Sweetly-wooing linnet, 
Soft-thrilled hawthorn tree, 
Happy shadowy elf 
With the thinnest self, 
Live still on in me, 
O the swe;t, sweet prime 
Of the past Spring-time ! 

And still the light is changing : high above 
Float soft pink clouds ; others with deeper flush 
Stretch like flamingos bending toward the south. 
Comes a more solemn brilliance o'er the sky 
A meaning more intense upon the air 
The inspiration of the dying day. 
And Juan now, when Pablo's notes subside, 
Soothes the regretful ear, and breaks the pause 
With masculine voice in deep antiphony. 
JUAN (sings'). 

Day is dying I Float, O song, 
Down the westward river, 

Requiem chanting to the Day 
Day, the mighty Giver. 

Pierced by shafts of Time he bleeds, 

Melted rubies sending 
Through the river and the sky, 

Earth and heaven blending y 


All the long-drawn earthy banks 

Up to cloud-land lifting : 
Slow between them drifts the SWOM^ 

' Twixt two heavens drifting. 

Wings half open, like a flow' r 

Inly deeper flushing, 
Neck and breast as virgin's pure 
Virgin proudly blushing. 

Day is dying ! float, O swan t 

.Down the ruby river ; 
Follow, song, in requiem 

To the mighty Giver. 

The exquisite hour, the ardor of the crowd, 

The strains more plenteous, and the gathering might 

Of action passionate where no effort is, 

But self's poor gates open Crushing power 

That blends the inward ebb and outward vast 

All gathering influences culminate 

And urge Fedalma. Earth and heaven seem one, 

Life a glad trembling on the outer edge 

Of unknown rapture. Swifter now she moves, 

Filling the measure with a double beat 

And widening circle ; now she seems to glow 

With more declared presence, glorified. 

Circling, she lightly bends and lifts on high 

The multitudinous-sounding tambourine, 

And makes it ring and boom, then lifts it higher 

Stretching her left arm beauteous ; now the crowd 

Exultant shouts, forgetting poverty 

In the rich moment of possessing her. 

But sudden, at one point, the exultant throng 
Is pushed and hustled, and then thrust apart; 
Something approaches something cuts the ring 
Of jubilant idlers startling as a streak 
From alien wounds across the blooming flesh 
Of careless sporting childhood. Tis the band 
Of Gypsy prisoners. Soldiers lead the van 
And make sparse flanking guard, aloof surveyed 
By gallant Lopez, stringent in command. 
The Gypsies chained in couples, all save oae, 
Walk in dark file with grand bare legs and arms 
And savage melancholy in their eyes 


That star-like gleam from out black clouds of hair ; 
Now they are full in sight ; and now they stretch 
Right to the centre of the open space. 
Fedalma now, with gentle wheeling sweep 
Returning, like the loveliest of the Hours 
Strayed from her sisters, truant lingering, 
Faces again the centre, swings again 

The unlifted tambourine 

When lo ! with sound 
Stupendous throbbing, solemn as a voice 
Sent by the invisible choir of all the dead, 
Tolls the great passing bell that calls to prayer 
For souls departed : at the mighty beat 
It seems the light sinks awe-struck 'tis the note 
Of the sun's burial ; speech and action pause ; 
Religious silence and the holy sign 
Of everlasting memories (the sign 
Of death that turned to more diffusive life) 
Pass o'er the Playa. Little children gaze 
With lips apart, and feel the unknown god ; 
And the most men and women pray. Not all. 
The soldiers pray ; the Gypsies stand unmoved 
As pagan statues with proud level gaze. 
But he who wears a solitary chain 
Heading the file, has turned to face Fedalma. 
She motionless, with arm uplifted guards 
The tambourine aloft (lest, sudden-lowered, 
Its trivial jingle mar the duteous pause), 
Reveres the general prayer, but prays not, stands 
With level glance meeting the Gypsy's eyes, 
That seem to her the sadness of the world 
Rebuking her, the great bell's hidden thought 
Now first unveiled the sorrows unredeemed 
Of races outcast, scorned, and wandering. 
Why does he look at her ? why she at him ? 
As if the meeting light between their eyes 
Made permanent union ? His deep-knit brow, 
Inflated nostril, scornful lip compressed, 
Seem a dark hieroglyph of coming fate 
Written before her. Father Isidor 
Had terrible eyes and was her enemy ; 
She knew it and defied him ; all her soul 
Rounded and hardened in its separateness 
When they encountered. But this prisoner 


Thi* Gjrpsy, passing, gazing casually 

Was he her enemy too ? She stood all quelled. 

The impetuous joy that hurried in her veins 

Seemed backward rushing turned to chillest awe, 

Uneasy wonder, and a vague self-doubt. 

The minute brief stretched measureless, dream-filled 

By a dilated new-fraught consciousness. 

Now it was gone ; the pious murmur ceased, 
The Gypsies all moved onward at command 
And careless noises blent confusedly. 
But the ring closed again, and many ears 
Waited for Pablo's music, many eyes 
Turned toward the carpet : it lay bare and dim, 
Twilight was there the bright Fedalma gone, 

d handsome room in the Castle. On a table a rich 

Silva had doffed his mail and with it all 

The heavier harness of his warlike cares. 

He had not seen Fedalma ; miser-like 

He hoarded through the hour a costlier joy 

By longing oft-repressed. Now it was earned ; 

And with observance wonted he would send 

To ask admission. Spanish gentlemen 

Who wooed fair dames of noble ancestry 

Did homage with rich tunics and slashed sleeves 

And outward-surging linen's costly snow ; 

With broidered scarf transverse, and rosary 

Handsomely wrought to fit high-blooded prayer; 

So hinting in how deep respect they held 

That self they threw before their lady's feet. 

And Silva that Fedalma's rate should stand 

No jot below the highest, that her love 

Might seem to all the royal gift it was 

Turned every trifle in his mien and garb 

To scrupulous language, uttering to the world 

That since she loved him, he went carefully, 

Bearing a thing so precious in his hand. 

A man of high-wrought strain, fastidious 

In his acceptance, dreading all delight 

That speedy dies and turns to carrion : 

His senses much exacting, deep instilled 

With keen imagination's airy needs : 


Like strong-limbed monsters studded o'er with eyes, 

Their hunger checked by overwhelming vision, 

Or that fierce lion in symbolic dream 

Snatched from the ground by wings and new-endowed 

With a man's thought-propelled relenting heart. 

Silva was both the lion and the man ; 

First hesitating shrank, then fiercely sprang, 

Or having sprung, turned pallid at his deed 

And loosed the prize, paying his blood for nought 

A nature half -transformed, with qualities 

That oft bewrayed each other, elements 

Not blent but struggling, breeding strange effects, 

Passing the reckoning of his friends or foes. 

Haughty and generous, grave and passionate ; 

With tidal moments of devoutest awe, 

Sinking anon to farthest ebb of doubt ; 

Deliberating ever, till the string 

Of a recurrent ardor made him rush 

Right against reasons that himself had drilled 

And marshalled painfully. A spirit framed 

Too proudly special for obedience, 

Too subtly pondering for mastery : 

Born of a goddess with a mortal sire, 

Heir of flesh-fettered, weak divinity, 

Doom-gifted with long resonant consciousness 

And perilous heightening of the sentient soul. 

But look less curiously : life itself 

May not express us all, may leave the worst 

And the best too, like tunes in mechanism 

Never awaked. In various catalogues 

Objects stand variously. Silva stands 

As a young Spaniard, handsome, noble, brave, 

With titles many, high in pedigree ; 

Or, as a nature quiveringly poised 

In reach of storms, whose qualities may turn 

To murdered virtues that still walk as ghosts 

Within the shuddering soul and shriek remorse ; 

Or, as a lover In the screening time 

Of purple blossoms, when the petals crowd 
And softly crush like cherub cheeks in heaven, 
Who thinks of greenly withered fruit and worms ? 
O the warm southern spring is beauteous ! 
And in love's spring all good seems possible : 
No threats, all promise, brooklets ripple full 


And bathe the rushes, vicious crawling things 
Are pretty eggs, the sun shines graciously 
And parches not, the silent rain beats warm 
As childhood's kisses, days are young and grow, 
And earth seems in its sweet beginning time 
Fresh made for two who live in Paradise. 
Silva is in love's spring, its freshness breathed 
Within his soul along the dusty ways 
While marching homeward ; 'tis around him now 
As in a garden fenced in for delight, 
And he may seek delight. Smiling he lifts 
A whistle from his belt, but lets it fall 
Ere it has reached his lips, jarred by the sound 
Of usher's knocking, and a voice that craves 
Admission for the Prior of San Domingo. 

PRIOR (entering). 

You look perturbed, my son. I thrust myself 
Between you and some beckoning intent 
That wears a face more smiling than my own. 


Father, enough that you are here. I wait, 
As always, your commands nay, should have sought 
An early audience. 


To give, I trust, 
Good reasons for your change of policy ? 

Strong reasons, father. 


Ay, but are they good ? 
I have known reasons strong, but strongly eviL 


*Tis possible. I but deliver mine 
To your strict judgment. Late dispatches sent 
With urgence by the Count of Bavien, 
No hint on my part prompting, with besides 
The testified concurrence of the king 
And our Grand Master, have made peremptory 
The course which else had been but rational, 
Without the forces furnished by allies 


The siege of Guadix would be madness. More, 

El Zagal has his eyes upon Bedmar: 

Let him attempt it : in three weeks from hence 

The Master and the Lord of Aguilar 

Will bring their forces. We shall catch the Moors, 

The last gleaned clusters of their bravest men, 

As in a trap. You have my reasons, father. 


And they sound well. But free-tongued rumor adds 

A pregnant supplement in substance this : 

This inclination snatches arguments 

To make indulgence seem judicious choice ; 

That you, commanding in God's Holy War, 

Lift prayers to Satan to retard the fight 

And give you time for feasting wait a siege, 

Call daring enterprise impossible, 

Because you'd marry ! You, a Spanish duke, 

Christ's general, would marry like a clown, 

Who, selling fodder dearer for the war, 

Is all the merrier ; nay, like the brutes, 

Who know no awe to check their appetite, 

Coupling 'mid heaps of slain, while still in front 

The battle rages. 


Rumor on your lips 
Is eloquent, father. 

Is she true ? 



I seek to justify my public acts 
And not my private joy. Before the world 
Enough if I am faithful in command, 
Betray not by my deeds, swerve from no task 
My knightly vows constrain me to : herein 
I ask all men to test me. 


Knightly vows/ 
Is it by their constraint that you must marry ? 


Marriage is not a breach of them. I use 

A sanctioned liberty your pardon, father, 

I need not teach you what the Church decree* 
But facts may weaken texts, and so dry up 
The fount of eloquence. The Church relaxed 
Our Order's rule before I took the vows. 


Ignoble liberty ! you snatch your rule 
From what God tolerates, not what He loves? 
Enquire what lowest offering may suffice, 
Cheapen it meanly to an obolus, 
Buy, and then count the coin left in your purse 
For your debauch ? Measure obedience 
By scantest powers of brethren whose frail flesh 
Our Holy Church indulges ? ask great Law, 
The rightful Sovereign of the human soul, 
For what it pardons, not what it commands ? 

fallen knighthood, penitent of high vows, 
Asking a charter to degrade itself ! 

Such poor apology of rule relaxed 
Blunts not suspicion of that doubleness 
Your enemies tax you with. 


Oh, for the resl* 

Conscience is harder than our enemies, 
Knows more, accuses with more nicety, 
Nor needs to question Rumor if we fall 
Below the perfect model of our thought 

1 fear no outward arbiter. You smile ? 


Ay, at the contrast 'twixt your portraiture 
And the true image of your conscience, shown 
As now I see it in your acts. I see 
A drunken sentinel who gives alarm 
At his own shadow, but when sealers snatch 
His weapon from his hand smiles idiot-like 
At games he's dreaming of. 


A parable ! 
The husk is rough holds something bitter, doubtless. 



Oh, the husk gapes with meaning over-ripe. 
You boast a conscience that controls your deeds, 
Watches your knightly armor, guards your rank 
From stain of treachery you, helpless slave, 
Whose will lies nerveless in the clutch of lust 
Of blind mad passion passion itself most helpless, 
Storm-driven, like the monsters of the sea. 
O famous conscience ! 


Pause there ! Leave unsaid 

Aught that will match that text. More were too muci^ 
Even from holy lips. I own no love 
But such as guards my honor, since it guards 
Hers whom I love ! I suffer no foul words 
To stain the gift I lay before her feet ; 
And, being hers, my honor is more safe. 


Versemakers' talk ! fit for a world of rhymes, 
Where facts are feigned to tickle idle ears, 
Where good and evil play at tournament 
And end in amity a world of lies 
A carnival of words where every year 
Stale falsehoods serve fresh men. Yourjhonor safe? 
What honor has a man with double bonds ? 
Honor is shifting as the shadows are 
To souls that turn their passions into laws. 
A Christian knight who weds an infidel 

DON SILVA (fiercely). 
An infidel ! 


May one day spurn the Cross, 
And call that honor ! one day find his sword 
Stained with his brother's blood, and call that honor '. 
Apostates' honor ? harlots' chastity ! 
Renegades' faithfulness ? Iscariot's ! 


Strong words and burning ; but they scorch not me. 
Fedalma is a daughter of the Church 
Has been baptized and nurtured in the faith. 



Ay, as a thousand Jewesses, who yet 
Are brides of Satan in a robe of flames. 


Fedalma is no Jewess, bears no marks 
That tell of Hebrew blood. 


She bears the marks 
Of races unbaptized, that never bowed 
Before the holy signs, were never moved 
By stirrings of the sacramental gifts. 

DON SILVA (scornfully). 
Holy accusers practice palmistry, 
And, other witness lacking, read the skin. 


I read a deeper record than the skin. 
What ! Shall the trick of nostrils and of lips 
Descend through generations, and the soul 
That moves within our frame like God in worlds- 
Convulsing, urging, melting, withering 
Imprint no record, leave no documents, 
Of her great history ? Shall men bequeath 
The fancies of their palate to their sons, 
And shall the shudder of restraining awe, 
The slow-wept tears of contrite memory. 
Faith's prayerful labor, and the food divine 
Of fasts ecstatic shall these pass away 
Like wind upon the waters, tracklessly ? 
Shall the mere curl of eyelashes remain, 
And god-enshrining symbols leave no trace 
Of tremors reverent ? That maiden's blood 
Is as unchristian as the leopard's. 



Unchristian as the Blessed Virgin's blood 
Before the angel spoke the word, "All hail!*' 

PRIOR (smiling bitterly}. 
Said I not truly ? See, your passion weaves 
Already blasphemies ! 

THE SPAN?:::-: GYPSY, 51 

'Tis you provoke them. 


I strive, as still the Holy Spirit strives, 
To move the will perverse. But, failing this, 
God commands other means to save our blood, 
To save Castilian glory nay, to save 
The name of Christ from blot of traitorous deeds. 


Of traitorous deeds ! Age, kindred, and your cowlj 
Give an ignoble license to your tongue. 
As for your threats, fulfill them at your peril. 
Tis you, not I, will gibbet our great name 
To rot in infamy. If I am strong 
In patience now, trust me, I can be strong 
Then in defiance. 


Miserable man ! 

Your strength will turn to anguish, like the strength 
Of fallen angels. Can you change your blood ? 
You are a Christian, with the Christian awe 
In every vein. A Spanish noble, born 
To serve your people and your people's faith. 
Strong, are you ? Turn your back upon the Cross- 
Its shadow is before you. Leave your place : 
Quit the great ranks of knighthood ; you will waHc 
Forever with a tortured double self, 
A self that will be hungry while you feast, 
Will blush with shame while you are glorified, 
Will feel the ache and chill of desolation, 
Even in the very bosom of your love. 
Mate yourself with this woman, fit for what ? 
To make the sport of Moorish palaces, 
A lewd Herod ias 


Stop! no other man, 

Priest though he were, had had his throat left free 
For passage of those words. I would have clutched 
His serpent's neck, and flung him out to hell ! 
A monk must needs defile the name of love 


He knows it but as tempting devils paint it. 

You think to scare my love from its resolve 

With arbitrary consequences, strained 

By rancorous effort from the thinnest motes 

Of possibility ? cite hideous lists 

Of sins irrelevant, to frighten me 

With bugbears' names, as women fright a child? 

Poor pallid wisdom, taught by inference 

From blood-drained life, where phantom terrors rule 

And all achievement is to leave undone ! 

Paint the day dark, make sunshine cold to me, 

Abolish the earth's fairness, prove it all 

A fiction of my eyes then, after that, 

Profane Fedalma. 


O there is no need : 

She has profaned herself. Go, raving man, 
And see her dancing now. Go, see your bride 
Flaunting her beauties grossly in the gaze 
Of vulgar idlers eking out the show 
Made in the Pla^a by a mountebank. 
I hinder you no farther. 


It is false! 

Go, prove it false, then. 

[Father Isidor 

Drew on his cowl and turned away. The face 
That flashed anathemas, in swift eclipse 
Seemed Silva's vanished confidence. In haste 
He rushed unsignalled through the corridor 
To where the Duchess once, Fedalma now, 
Had residence retired from din of arms 
Knocked, opened, found all empty said 
With muffled voice, " Fedalma ! " called more loud, 
More oft on Inez, the old trusted nurse 
Then searched the terrace-garden, calling still, 
But heard no answering sound, and saw no face 
Save painted faces staring all unmoved 
By agitated tones. He hurried back, 
Giving half-conscious orders as he went 


To page and usher, that they straight should seek 
Lady Fedalma ; then with stinging shame 
Wished himself silent ; reached again the room 
Where still the Father's menace seemed to hang 
Thickening the air ; snatched cloak and plumed hat; 
And grasped, not knowing why, his poniard's hilt ; 
Then checked himself and said : ] 

If he spoke truth ! 

To know were wound enough to see the truth 
Were fire upon the wound. It must be false ! 
His hatred saw amiss, or snatched mistake 
In other men's report. I am a fool ! 
But where can she be gone ? gone secretly ? 
And in my absence ? Oh, she meant no wrong ! 
I am a fool ! But where can she be gone ? 
With only Inez ? Oh, she meant no wrong ! 
I swear she never meant it. There's no wrong 
But she would make it momentary right 
By innocence in doing it 

And yet, 

What is our certainty ? Why, knowing all 
That is not secret. Mighty confidence ! 
One pulse of Time makes the base hollow sends 
The towering certainty we built so high 
Toppling in fragments meaningless. What is 
What will be must be pooh ! they weight the key 
Of that which is not yet ; all other keys 
Are made of our conjectures, take their sense 
From humors fooled by hope, or by despair. 
Know what is good ? O God, we know not yet 
If bliss is not young misery 

With fangs swift growing 

But some outward harm 
May even now be hurting, grieving her. 
Oh ! I must search face shame if shame be there. 
Here, Perez ! hasten to Don Alvar tell him 
Lady Fedalma must be sought is lost 
Has met, I fear, some mischance. He must send 
Toward divers points. I go myself to seek 
First in the town 

[As Perez oped the door 
Then moved aside for passage of the Duke, 


Fedalma entered, cast away the cloud 

Of serge and linen, and out beaming bright, 

Advanced a pace toward Silva but then paused. 

For he had started and retreated ; she, 

Quick and responsive as the subtle air 

To change in him, divined that she must wait 

Until they were alone : they stood and looked. 

Within the Duke was struggling confluence 

Of feelings manifold pride, anger, dread, 

Meeting in stormy rush with sense secure 

That she was present, with the new-stilled thirst 

Of gazing love, with trust inevitable 

As in beneficent virtues of the light 

And all earth's sweetness, that Fedalma's soul 

Was free from blemishing purpose. Yet proud wrath 

Leaped in dark flood above the purer stream 

That strove to drown it : Anger seeks its prey 

Something to tear with sharp-edged tooth and claw. 

Likes not to go off hungry, leaving love 

To feast on milk and honeycomb at will. 

Silva's heart said, he must be happy soon, 

She being there ; but to be happy first 

He must be angry, having cause. Yet love 

Shot like a stifled cry of tenderness 

All through the harshness he would fain hare given 

To the dear word.] 

Fedalma ! 


O my lord ! 
You are come back, and I was wandering J 

DON SILVA (coldly, but with suppressed agitation). 
You meant I should be ignorant. 


Oh, no, 

I should have told you after not before, 
Lest you should hinder me. 


Then my known 
Can make no hindrance ? 


FSDALMA (archly], 

That depends 

On what the wish may be. You wished me once 
Not to uncage the birds. I meant to obey : 
But in a moment something something stronger, 
Forced me to let them out. It did no harm. 
They all came back again the silly birds ! 
I told you, after. 

DON SILVA (with haughty coldness). 

Will you tell me now 

What was the prompting stronger than my wish 
That made you wander ? 

FEDALMA (advancing a step toward him, with a sudden look 
of anxiety). 

Are you angry ? 

DON SILVA (smiling bitterly). 


A man deep wounded may feel too much pain 
To feel much anger. 

FEDALMA (still more anxiously). 
You deep wounded ? 



Have I not made your place and dignity 
The very height of my ambition ? You 
No enemy could do it you alone 
Can strike it mortally. 


Nay, Silva, nay. 

Has some one told you false ? I only went 
To see the world with Inez see the town, 
The people, everything. It was no harm. 
I did not mean to dance : it happened so 

At last 


O God, it's true then ! true that yoo, 
A maiden nurtured as rare flowers are, 
The very air of heaven sifted fine 
Lest any mote should mar your purity, 


Have flung yourself out on the dusty way 
For common eyes to see your beauty soiled ! 
You own it true you danced upon the 

FED ALMA (proudly). 

Yes, it is true. I was not wrong to dance. 
The air was filled with music, with a song 
That seemed the voice of the sweet eventide 
The glowing light entering through eye and ear 
That seemed our love mine, yours they are but< 
Trembling through all my limbs, as fervent words 
Tremble within my soul and must be spoken. 
And all the people felt a common joy 
And shouted for the dance. A brightness soft 
As of the angels moving down to see 
Illumined the broad space. The joy, the life 
Around, within me, were one heaven : I longed 
To blend them visibly : I longed to dance 
Before the people be as mounting flame 
To all that burned within them ! Nay, I danced ; 
There was no longing : I but did the deed 
Being moved to do it. 

(As FEDALMA speaks, she and DON SILVA are gradually 

drawn nearer to each other.) 

Oh ! I seemed new-waked 
To life in unison with a multitude 
Feeling my soul upborne by all their souls, 
Floating within their gladness ! Soon I lost 
All sense of separateness : Fedalma died 
As a star dies, and melts into the light. 
I was not, but joy was, and love and triumph. 
Nay, my dear lord, I never could do aught 
But I must feel you present. And once done, 
Why, you must love it better than your wish. 
I pray you, say so say, it was not wrong ! 

( While FEDALMA has been making this last appeal, they Aavf 
gradually come close together, and at last embrace}. 

DON SILVA (holding her hands) 
Dangerous rebel ! if the world without 
Were pure as that within - but 'tis a book 
Wherein you only read the poesy 
And miss all wicked meanings. Hence the nrrd 


For trust obedience call it what you will 
Toward him whose life will be your guard toward me 
Who now am soon to be your husband. 



That very thing that when I am your wife 
I shall be something different shall be 
I know not what, a Duchess with new thoughts 
For nobles never think like common men, 
Nor wives like maidens (Oh, you wot not yet 
How much I note, with all my ignorance) 
That very thing has made me more resolve 
To have my will before I am your wife. 
How can the Duchess ever satisfy 
Fedalma's unwed eyes ? and so to-day 
I scolded Ifiez till she cried and went 


It was a guilty weakness : she knows well 
That since you pleaded to be left more free 
From tedious tendance and control of dames 
Whose rank matched better with your destiny, 
Her charge my trust was weightier. 


Nay, my loud, 

You must not blame her, dear old nurse. She cried, 
Why, you would have consented too, at last 
I said such things ! I was resolved to go, x 
And see the streets, the sliof s, the men at work, 
The women, little children- -everything. 
Just as it is when nobody Icoks on. 
And I have done it ! We were out for hours. 
I feel so wise. 


Had you but seen the town, 
You innocent naughtiness, not shown yourself- 
Shown yourself dancing you bewilder me ! 
Frusirutc my judgment with strange negatives 
That seem like poverty, and yet are wealth 
In precious womanliness, beyord the dower 
Of other women : wealth in virgin gold, 
Outweighing all their petty currency. 


You daring modesty ! You shrink no more 
From gazing men than from the gazing flowers 
That, dreaming sunshine, open as you pass. 


No, I should like the world to look at me 

With eyes of love that make a second day. 

I think your eyes would keep the life in me 

Though I had naught to feed on else. Their btue 

Is better than the heavens' holds more love 

For me, Fedalma is a little heaven 

For this one little world that looks up now. 


A precious little world ! you make the heavea 
As the earth makes the sky. But, dear, all 676% 
Though looking even on you, have not a glance 
That cherishes 


Ah no, I meant to tell you 
Tell how my dancing ended with a pang. 
There came a man, one among many more, 
JBut he came first, with iron on his limbs. 
And when the bell tolled, and the people prayed, 
And I stood pausing then he looked at me. 
O Silva, such a man ! I thought he rose 
From the dark place of long-imprisoned souls. 
To say that Christ had never come to them, 
It was a look to shame a seraph's joy, 
And make him sad in heaven. It found me thcac 
Seemed to have traveled far to find me there 
And grasp me claim this festal life of mine 
As heritage of sorrow, chill my blood 
With the cold iron of some unknown bonds. 
The gladness hurrying full within my veins 
Was sudden frozen, and I danced no more. 
But seeing you let loose the stream of joy, 
Mingling the present with the sweetest past. 
Yet, Silva, still I see him. Who is he ? 
Who are those prisoners with him? Are they Moors? 


No, they are Gypsies, strong and cunning k 
A double gain ro us by tiv3 Moors' loss : 

.^: GYPSY. 

The man you mean their chief is an ally 
The infidel will miss. His look might chase 
A herd of monks, and n;ake them fly more swift 
Than from St. Jerome's lion. Such vague fear, 
Such bird-like tremors when that savage glance 
Turned full upon you in your height of joy 
Was natural, was not worth emphasis. 
Forget it, dear. This hour is worth whole days 
When we are sundered. Danger urges us 
To quick resolve. 


What danger ? what resolre ? 
I never felt chill shadow in my heart 
Until this sunset. 


A dark enmity 

Plots how to sever us. And our defence 
Is speedy marriage, secretly achieved, 
Then publicly declared. Beseech you, dear, 
Grant me this confidence ; do my will in this, 
Trusting the reasons why I overset 
All my own airy building raised so high 
Of bridal honors, marking when you step 
From off your maiden throne to come to me 
And bear the yoke of love. There is great need. 
I hastened home carrying this prayer to you 
Within my heart. The bishop is my friend, 
Furthers our marriage, holds in enmity 
Some whom we love not and who love not us. 
By this night's moon our priest will be dispatched 
From Jae'n. I shall march an escort strong 
To meet him. Ere a second sun from this 
Has risen you consenting we may wed. 

Nooe knowing that we wed ? 


Beforehand none 

Save Inez and Don Alvar. But the vows 
Once safely binding us, my household all 
Shall know you as their Duchess. No man then 


Can aim a blow at you but through my breast, 
And what stains you must stain our ancient name t, 
If any hate you I will take his hate, 
And wear it as a glove upon my helm ; 
Nay, God himself will never have the power 
To strike you solely and leave me unhurt, 
He having made us one. Now put the seal 
Of your dear lips on that. 


A solemn kiss ? 

Such as I gave you when you came that day 
From Cordova, when first we said we loved ? 
When you had left the ladies of the Court 
For thirst to see me ; and you told me so, 
And then I seemed to know why I had lived. 
I never knew before. A kiss like that ? 


Yes, yes, you face divine 1 When was our kiss 
Like any other ? 


Nay, I cannot tell 

What other kisses are. But that one kiss 
Remains upon my lips. The angels, spirits, 
Creatures with finer senses, may see it there. 
And now another kiss that will not die, 
Saying, To-morrow I shall be your wife ! 

kiss, and pause a moment, looking earnestly in each 
other's eyes. Then FEDALMA, breaking away from DON 
SILVA, stands at a little distance front him with a look of 
roguish delight.} 

Now I am glad I saw the town to-day 
Before I am a Duchess glad I gave 
This poor Fedalma all her wish. For once, 
Long years ago, I cried when Ifiez said, 
* You are no more a little girl " ; I grieved 
To part forever from that little girl 
And all her happy world so near the ground. 
It must be sad to outlive aught we love. 
So I shall grieve a little fcr these days 
Of poor unwed Fedalma. Oh, they are sweet, 


And none will come just like them. Perhaps the wind 
Wails so in winter for the summer's dead, 
And all sad sounds are nature's funeral cries 
For what has been and is not Are they, Silva ? 

(SJte comes nearer to him again, and lays her hand on his arm, 
looking up at him with melancholy?) 


Why, dearest, you began in merriment, 

And end as sadly as a widowed bird. 

Some touch mysterious has new-tuned your soul 

To melancholy sequence. You soared high 

In that wild flight of rapture when you danced, 

And now you droop. Tis arbitrary grief, 

Surfeit of happiness, that mourns for loss 

Of unwed love, which does but die like seed 

For fuller harvest of our tenderness. 

We in our wedded life shall know no loss. 

We shall new-date our years. What went before 

Will be the time of promise, shadows, dreams ; 

But this, full revelation of great love. 

For rivers blent take in a broader heaven, 

And we shall blend our souls. Away with grief ! 

When this dear head shall wear the double crown 

Of wife and duchess spiritually crowned 

With sworn espousal before God and man 

Visibly crowned with jewels that bespeak 

The chosen sharer of my heritage 

My love will gather perfectness, as thoughts 

That nourish us to magnanimity 

Grow perfect with more perfect utterance, 

Gathering full-shapen strength. And then these gems, 

(DON SILVA draws FEDALMA toward the jewel-casket on Mt 

table, and opens it.) 

Helping the utterance of my soul's full choice, 
Will be the words made richer by just use, 
And have new meaning in their lustrousness. 
You know these jewels ; they are precious signs 
Of long-transmitted honor, heightened still 
By worthy wearing ; and I give them you 
Ask you to take them place our house's trust 
In her sure keeping whom my heart has found 


Worthiest, most beauteous. These rubies see 
Were falsely placed if not upon your brow. 

(FED ALMA, while DON SILVA holds open the casket, bend* icer 
it, looking at the jewels -with deligkt.) 


Ah, I remember them. In childish days 
I felt as if they were alive and breathed. 
I used to sit with awe and look at them. 
And now they will be mine ! I'll put them oo. 
Help me, my lord, and you shall see me now 
Somewhat as I shall look at Court with you, 
That we may know if I shall bear them welL 
I have a fear sometimes : I think your love 
Has never paused within your eyes to look, 
And only passes through them into mine. 
But when the Court is looking, and the queen, 
Your eyes will follow theirs. Oh, if you saw 
That I was other than you wished 'twere death ! 

DON SILVA (taking up a Jewel and placing it against her ear\ 

Nay, let us try. Take out your ear-ring, sweet. 
This ruby glows with longing for your ear. 

FEDALMA (taking out her ear-rings, and then liftirg ttp tut 

other jewels, one by one.) 

Pray, fasten in the rubies. 

(DON SILVA begins to put in the ear-ring.) 

I was right ! 

These gems have life in them : their colors speak. 
Say what words fail of. So do many things 
The scent of jasmine, and the fountain's plash, 
The moving shadows on the far-off hills, 
The slanting moonlight, and our clasping hands. 
O Silva, there's an ocean round our words 
That overflows and drowns them. Do you know 
Sometimes when we sit silent, and the air 
Breathes gently on us from the orange trees, 
It seems that with the whisper of a word 
Our souls shrink, get poorer, more apart. 
Is it not true ? 



Yes, dearest, it is true. 
Speech is but broken light upon the depth 
Of the unspoken : even your loved words 
Float in the larger meaning of your voice 
As something dimmer. 

(ffe it still trying in vain to fasten the second ear-ring, while 
she has stooped again over the casket.} 

FEDALMA (raising her head). 

Ah ! your lordly hands 
Will never fix that jewel. Let me try. 
Women's small finger-tips have eyes. 


No, no ! 
I like the task, only you must be still. 

(She stands perfectly still, clasping her hands together while fa 
fastens the second ear-ring. Suddenly a clanking noise is 
heard without. ) 

FEDALMA (starting -with an expression of pain). 
What is that sound ? that jarring cruel sound ? 
'Tis there outside. 

^Ske tries to start away toward the window^ but DON SILVA 

O heed it not, it comes 
From workmen in the outer gallery. 


It is the sound of fetters ; sound of work 
Is not so dismal. Hark, they pass along ! 
I know it is those Gypsy prisoners. 
I saw them, heard their chains. O horrible, 
To be in chains ! Why, I with all my bliss 
Have longed sometimes to fly and be at large ; 
Have felt imprisoned in my luxury 
With servants for my gaolers. O my lord, 
Do you not wish the world were different ? 

It will be different when this war has ceased. 


You, wedding me, will make it different, 
Making one life more perfect. 


That is true ! 

And I shall beg much kindness at your hands 
For those who are less happy than ourselves. 
(Brightening] Oh I shall rule you ! ask for many things 
Before the world, which you will not deny 
For very pride, lest men should say, " The Duke 
Holds lightly by his Duchess ; he repents 
His humble choice." 

(She breaks away from him and returns to the jewels, taking 
up a necklace, and clasping it on her neck, while ht takes a 
circlet of diamonds and rubies and raises it toward her head 
as he speaks.) 


Doubtless, I shall persist : 
In loving you, to disappoint the world 
Out of pure obstinacy feel myself 
Happiest of men. Now, take the coronet. 

(He places the circlet cm her head.) 
The diamonds want more light. See, from this lamp 
I can set tapers burning. 


Tell me, now, 

When all these cruel wars are at an end. 
And when we go to Court at Cdrdova, 
Or Seville, or Toledo wait awhile, 
I must be farther off for you to see 

{SJu retreats to a distance from him, and them advances slowly.) 

Now think (I would the tapers gave more light !) 
If when you show me at the tournaments 
Among the other ladies, they will say, 
M Duke Silva is well matched. His bride was nought, 
Was some poor foster-child, no man knows what ; 
Yet is her carriage noble, all her robes 
Are worn with grace : she might have been well bora." 
Will they say so ? Think now we are at Court, 
And all eyes bent on me. 



Fear not, my Duchess ! 

Some knight who loves may say his lady-love 
Is fairer, being fairest. None can say 
Don Silva's bride might better fit her rank. 
You will make rank seem natural as kind, 
As eagle's plumage or the lion's might. 
A crown upon your brow would seem God-made. 


Then I am glad ! I shall try on to-night 
The other jewels have the tapers lit, 
And see the diamonds sparkle. 

(She goes to the casket again.) 

Here is gold 
A necklace of pure gold most finely wrought 

(She takes out a large gold necklace and holds it up before ker^ 

then turns to DON SILVA.) 
But this is one that you have worn, my lord? 

No, love, I never wore it. Lay it down. 

(He puts the necklace gently out of her hand, then joins both 

her hands and holds them up between his own.) 
You must not look at jewels any more, 
But look at me. 

FEDALMA (looking up at him). 

O you dear heaven ! 

I should see naught if you were gone. 'Tis true 
My mind is too much given to gauds to things 
That fetter thought within this narrow space. 
That comes of fear. 

What fear? 


Fear of myself. 

For when I walk upon the battlements 
And see the river travelling toward the plain, 
The mountains screening all the world beyond, 
A longing comes that haunts me in my dreams 


Dreams where I seem to spring from off the walls, 
And fly far, far away until at last 
I find myself alone among the rocks, 
Remember then that I have left you try 
To fly back to you and my wings are gone ! 


A wicked dream ! If ever I left you, 
Even in dreams, it was some demon dragged me, 
And with fierce struggles I awaked myself. 


It is a hateful dream, and when it comes 
I mean, when in my waking hours there comes 
That longing to be free, 1 am afraid : 
I run down to my chamber, plait my hair, 
Weave colors in it, lay out all my gauds, 
And in my mind make new ones prettier. 
You see I have two minds, and both are foolish 
Sometimes a torrent rushing through my soul 
Escapes in wild strange wishes ; presently, 
It dwindles to a little babbling rill 
And plays among the pebbles and the flowers. 
Ifiez will have it I lack broidery, 
Says nought else gives content to noble maids. 
But I have never broidered never will. 
No, when I am a Duchess and a wife 
I shall ride forth may I not ? by your side. 


Yes, you shall ride upon a palfrey, black 
To match Bavieca. Not Queen Isabel 
Will be a sight more gladdening to men's eyes 
Than my dark queen Fedalma. 


Ah, but yon, 

You are my king, and I shall tremble still 
With some great fear that throbs within my love. 
Does your love fear? 


Ah, yes! all preciousnesB 
To mortal hearts is guarded by a fear. 
All love fears loss, and most that loss supreme, 
Its own perfection seeing, feeling change 


From high to lower, deare- to less dear. 

Can love be careless? If we lost our love 

What should we find ? with this sweet Past torn of 

Our lives deep scarred just where their beauty lay? 

The best we found thenceforth were still a worse: 

The only better is a Past that lives 

On through an added Present, stretching still 

In hope unchecked by shaming memories 

To life's last breath. And so I tremble too 

Before my queen Fedalma. 


That is just. 

'Twere hard of Love to make us women fear 
And leave you bold. Yet love is not quite even. 
For feeble creatures, little birds and fawns, 
Are shaken more by fear, and large strong things 
Can bear it stoutly. So we women still 
Axe not well dealt with. Yet I'd choose to be 
Fedalma loving Silva. You, my lord, 
Hold the worse share, since you must love poor me. 
But is it what we love, or how we love, 
That makes true good ? 


O subtlety ! for me 

Tis what I love determines how I love. 
The goddess with pure rites reveals herself 
And makes pure worship. 


Do you worship me? 


Ay, with that best of worship which adores 
Goodness adorable. 

FEDALMA (archly). 

Goodness obedient, 
Doing your will, devoutest worshipper? 


Yes listening to this prayer. This very night 
I shall go forth. And you will rise with day 
And wait for me ? 




I shall surely come, 

And then we shall be married. Now I go 
To audience fixed in Abderrahman's tower. 
Farewell, love ! 

(They embrace.} 
Some chill dread possesses me ! 


Oh, confidence has oft been evil augury, 
So dread may hold a promise. Sweet, farewell . 
I shall send tendance as I pass, to bear 
This casket to your chamber. One more kiss. 

FEDALMA (when DON SILVA is gone, returning to the casket, 

and looking dreamily at the jewels"). 
Yes, now that good seems less impossible ! 
Now it seems true that I shall be his wife, 
Be ever by his side, and make a part 
In all his purposes 

These rubies greet me Duchess. How they glow! 
Their prisoned souls are throbbing like my own. 
Perchance they loved once, were ambitious, proud ; 
Or do they only dream of wider life, 
Ache from intenseness, yearn to burst the wall 
Compact of crystal splendor, and to flood 
Some wider space with glory ? Poor, poor gems ! 
We must be patient in our prison-house, 
And find our space in loving. Pray you, love me. 
Let us be glad together. And you, gold 

(She takes up the gold necklace?) 

You wondrous necklace will you love me, too, 
And be my amulet to keep me safe 
From eyes that hurt ? 

(She spreads out the necklace, meaning to clasp ,/ on her neck. 
Then pauses, startled, holding it before her.) 
Why, it is magical ] 


He says he never wore it yet these lines 

Nay, if he had, I should remember well 

'Twas he, no other. And these twisted lines 

They seem to speak to me as writing would, 

To bring a message from the dead, dead past 

What is their secret ? Are they characters ? 

I never learned them ; yet they stir some sense 

That once I dreamed 1 have forgotten what. 

Or was it life ? Perhaps I lived before 

In some strange world where first my soul was shaped, 

And all this passionate love, and joy, and pain, 

That come, I know not whence, and sway my deeds, 

Are old imperious memories, blind yet strong, 

That this world stirs within me ; as this chain 

Stirs some strange certainty of visions gone, 

And all my mind is as an eye that stares 

Into the darkness painfully. 

While FED ALMA has been looking at the necklace, JUAN has 
entered, and finding himself unobserved by her, says at 

Senora ! 

(FEDALMA starts, and gathering the necklace together turn* 
Oh, Juan, it is you ! 


I met the Duke 

Had waited long without, no matter why 
And when he ordered one to wait on you 
And carry forth a burden you would give, 
I prayed for leave to be the servitor. 
Don Silva owes me twenty granted wishes 
That I have never tendered, lacking aught 
That I could wish for and a Duke could grant ^ 
But this one wish to serve you, weighs as much 
As twenty other longings. 

FEDALMA (smiling). 

That sounds welL 

You turn your speeches prettily as songs. 
But I will not forget the many days 
You have neglected me. Your pupil learns 
But little from you now. Her studies flag. 
The Duke says, " That is idle Juan's way : 


Poets must rove are honey-sucking birds 
And know not constancy." Said he quite true? 


O lady, constancy has kind and rank. 

One man's is lordly, plump, and bravely clad, 

Holds its head high, and tells the world it's name: 

Another man's is beggared, must go bare, 

And shiver through the world, the jest of all, 

But that it puts the motley on, and plays 

Itself the jester. But I see you hold 

The Gypsy's necklace : it is quaintly wrought. 

The Gypsy's ? Do you know its history ? 


No farther back than when I saw it taken 
From off its wearer's neck the Gypsy chief's. 

FEDALMA (eagerly). 

What ! he who paused, at tolling of the bell, 
Before me in the Plapa ? 


Yes, I saw 
His look fixed on you. 


Know you aught of him F 


Something and nothing as I know the sky, 
Or some great story of the olden time 
That hides a secret. I have oft talked with him. 
He seems to say much, yet is but a wizard 
Who draws down rain by sprinkling ; throws me out 
Some pregnant text that urges comment ; casts 
A sharp-hooked question, baited with such skill 
It needs must catch the answer. 


It is hard 

That such a man should be a prisoner- 
Be chained to work. 



Oh, he is dangerous ! 
Grandda wkh this Zarca for a king 
Might still maim Christendom. He is of those 
Who steal the keys from snoring Destiny 
And make the prophets lie. A Gypsy, too, 
Suckled by hunted beasts, whose mother-milk 
Has filled his veins with hate. 


I thought his eyes 

Spoke not of hatred seemed to say he bore 
The pain of those who never could be saved. 
What if the Gypsies are but savage beasts, 
And must be hunted ? let them be set free, 
Have benefit of chase, or stand at bay 
And fight for life and offspring. Prisoners ! 
Oh ! they have made their fires beside the streams, 
Their walls have been the rocks, the pillared pines, 
Their roof the living sky that breathes with light : 
They may well hate a cage, like strong-winged bird% 
Like me, who have no wings, but only wishes. 
I will beseech the Duke to set them free. 


Pardon me, lady, if I seem to warn, 
Or try to play the sage. What if the Duke 
Loved not to hear of Gypsies ? if their name 
Were poisoned for him once, being used amiss ? 
I speak not as of fact. Our nimble souls 
Can spin an insubstantial universe 
Suiting our mood, and call it possible, 
Sooner than see one grain with eye exact 
And give strict record of it. Yet by chance 
Our fancies may be truth and make us seers. 
'Tis a rare teeming world, so harvest-full, 
Even guessing ignorance may pluck some fruit. 
Note what I say no farther than will stead 
The siege you lay. I would not seem to tell 
Aught that the Duke may think and yet withhold : 
It were a trespass in me. 


Fear not, Juan. 
Your words bring daylieht with them when you speak. 


I understand your care. But I am brave- 
Oh ! and so cunning ! always I prevail. 
Now, honored Troubadour, if you will be 
Your pupil's servant, bear this casket hence. 
Nay, not the necklace : it is hard to place. 
Pray go before me ; Inez will be there. 

(Exit JUAN with the casket.} 
FEDALMA (looking again at the necklace}. 

It is his past clings to you, not my own. 

If we have each our angels, good and bad, 

Fates, separate from ourselves, who act for us 

When we are blind, or sleep, then this man's fate, 

Hovering about the thing he used to wear, 

Has laid its grasp on mine appealingly. 

Dangerous, is he ? well, a Spanish knight 

Would have his enemy strong defy, not bind him. 

I can dare all things when my soul is moved 

By something hidden that possesses me. 

If Silva said this man must keep his chains 

I should find ways to free him disobey 

And free him as I did the birds. But no ! 

As soon as we are wed, I'll put my prayer, 

And he will not deny me : he is good. 

Oh, I shall have much power as well as joy ! 

Duchess Fedalma may do what she will. 

A street by the castle. JUAN leans against a parapet, in 
moonlight, and touches his lute half unconsciously. PEpiTA 
stands on tiptoe watching him, and then advances till her 
shadow falls in front of him. He looks toward her. A piect 
0f white drapery thrown over her head catches the moonlight. 


Ha ! my Peplta ! see how thin and long 
Your shadow is. 'Tis so your ghost will be, 
When you are dead. 

PEPITA (crossing herself}. 

Dead ! O the blessed saints ! 
You would be glad, then, if Pepita died ? 


Glad ! why ? Dead maidens are not merry. Ghosts 
Are doleful company. I like you living. 



1 think you like me not. I wish you did. 
Sometimes you sing to me and make me dance, 
Another time you take no heed of me. 
Not though I kiss my hand to you and smile, 
But Andres would be glad if 1 kissed him. 

My poor Pepfta, I am old. 


No, no. 

You have no wrinkles. 


Yes, I have within ; 
The wrinkles are within, my little bird. 
Why, I have lived through twice a thousand 
And kept the company of men whose bones 
Crumbled before the blessed Virgin lived. 

PEPITA (crossing herself). 

Nay, God defend us, that is wicked talk ! 

You say it but to scorn me. ( With a sob) I will ga 


Stay, little pigeon, I am not unkind. 

Come, sit upon the wall. Nay, never cry. 

Give me your cheek to kiss. There, cry no more ! 

{PEPITA, sitting on the low parapet, puts ttpher cheek to JUAK, 
who kisses it, putting his hand under her chin. She takes 
his hand and kisses it.) 


I like to kiss your hand. It is so good 
So smooth and soft. 


Well, well, I'll sing to you. 
A pretty song, loving and merry ? 




JUAN (sitfgs). 

Tell to me 
What is fair 
Past compare 

In the land of TubcUf 

Is it Spring's 
Lovely things, 
Blossoms white, 
Rosy dight ? 

Then it is Peptta. 

Summer's crest 
Red-gold tressed, 

Corn-flower peeping under ! 
Idle noons, 
Lingering moons, 
Sudden clouds, 
Lightning's shroud, 
Sudden rain, 
Quick again 

Smiles where late was thunder % 
Are all these 
Made to please f 

So too is Pepita. 

Autumn s prime, 
Smooth check round, 
'Heart all sound? 
Js it this 
You would kiss? 
Then it is Pepita. 

You can bring 
No sweet thing, 
ut my mind 
Still shall find 
It is my Pepit* 

Says to me 
It is she 


She is fair 
Past compare 

In the land of Tubal. 

PEP!TA (seizing JUAN'S hand agoing 
Oh, then, do you love me ? 


Yes, in the song. 

PEPITA (sadly). 
Not out of it ? not love me out of it ? 


Only a little out of it, my bird, 
When I was singing I was Andres, say, 
Or one who loves you better still than he. 

Not yourself ? 



PEPITA (throwing his hand down pettishly). 

Then take it back again! 
I will not have it ! 


Listen, little one. 

Juan is not a living man by himself ; 
His life is breathed in him by other men, 
And they speak out of him. He is their voice. 
Juan's own life he gave once quite away. 
Pepita's lover sang that song not Juan. 
We old, old poets, if we kept our hearts, 
Should hardly know them from another man's, 
They shrink to make room for the many more 
We keep within us. There, now one more kiss. 
PEP!TA (a little frightened after letting JUAN kiss her). 

You are not wicked ? 


Ask your confessor tell him what I said. 
(PEPITA goes while JUAN thrums his lute again, and sings). 


Came a pretty maid 

By the moon's pure light. 
Loved me well, she said, 

Eyes with tears all bright^ 
A pretty maid! 

But too late she strayed, 

Moonlight pure ii>as there / 
She ivas naught but sJiade 

Hiding the more fair, 
The heavenly maid ! 

A vaulted room all stone. The light shed from a high lamp. 

Wooden chairs, a desk, book-shelves. The PRIOR in white 

frock, a black rosary with a crucifix of ebony and ivory at 

his side, is walking up and down, holding a written paper in 

his hands, -which are clasped behind him. 

What if this witness lies ? he says he heard her 

Counting her blasphemies on a rosary, 

And in a bold discourse with Salomo, 

Say that the Host was naught but ill-mixed flour, 

That it was mean to pray she never prayed. 

I know the man who wrote this for a cur, 

Who follows Don Diego, sees life's good 

In scraps rny nephew flings to him ! What then? 

Particular lies may speak a general truth. 

I guess him false, but know her heretic 

Know her for Satan's instrument, bedecked 

With heathenish charms, luring the souls of men 

To damning trust in good unsanctified. 

Let her be prisoned questioned she will give 

Witness against herself, that were this false 

(He looks at the paper again and reads, then again thrusts it 
behind him.) 

The matter and the color are not false : 

The form concerns the witness, not the judge; 

For proof is gathered by the sifting mind, 

Not given in crude and formal circumstance. 

Suspicion is a heaven-sent lamp, and I 

I, watchman of the Holy Office, bear 

That lamp in trust. I will keep faithful watch. 

The Holy Inquisition's discipline 

Is mercy, saving her. if penitent 


God grant it ! else root up the poison-plant, 

Though 'twere a lily with a golden heart ! 

This spotless raaiden with her pagan soul 

Is the arch-enemy's trap : he turns his back 

On all the prostitutes, and watches her 

To see her poison men with false belief 

In rebel virtues. She has poisoned Silva ; 

His shifting mind, dangerous in fitfulness, 

Strong in the contradiction of itself, 

Carries his young ambitions wearily, 

As holy vows regretted. Once he seemed 

The fresh-oped flower of Christian knighthood, born 

For feats of holy daring*; and I said : 

That half of life which I, as monk, renounce, 

Shall be fulfilled in him : Silva will be 

That saintly noble, that wise warrior, 

That blameless excellence in worldly gifts 

I would have been, had I not asked to live 

The higher life of man impersonal 

Who reigns o'er all things by refusing all." 

What is his promise now? Aposcasy 

From every high intent languid, nay, gone, 

The prompt devoutness of a generous heart, 

The strong obedience of a reverent will, 

That breathes the Church's air and sees her light 

He peers and strains with feeble questioning, 

Or else he jests. He thinks I know it not 

I who have read the history of his lapse, 

As clear as it is writ in the angel's book. 

He will defy me flings great words at me 

Me who have governed all our house's acts, 

Since I, a stripling, ruled his stripling father. 

This maiden is the cause, and if they wed, 

The Holy War may count a captain lost. 

Far better he were dead than keep his place, 

And fill it infamously : in God's war 

Slackness is infamy. Shall I stand by 

And let the tempter win ? defraud Christ's cause, 

And blot his banner ? all for scruples weak 

Of pity toward their young and frolicsome blood ; 

Or nice discrimination of the tool 

By which my hand shall work a sacred rescue? 

The fence of rules is for the purblind crowd ; 

They walk by averaged precepts : sovereign men. 


Seeing by God's light, see the general 
By seeing all the special own no rule 
But their full vision of the moment's worth. 
'Tis so God governs, using wicked men 
Nay, scheming fiends, to work his purposes. 
Evil that good may come? Measure the good 
Before you say what's evil. Perjury ? 
I scorn the perjurer, but I will use him 
To serve the holy truth. There is no lie 
Save in his soul, and let his soul be judged. 
I know the truth, and act upon the truth. 

O God, thou knowest that my will is pure. 

Thy servant owns naught for himself, his wealth 

Is but obedience. And I have sinned 

In keeping small respects of human love 

Calling it mercy. Mercy ? Where evil is 

True mercy holds a sword. Mercy would save. 

Save whom ? Save serpents, locusts, wolves ? 

Or out of pity let the idiots gorge 

Within a famished town ? Or save the gains 

Of men who trade in poison lest they starve ? 

Save all things mean and foul that clog the earth 

Stifling the better ? Save the fools who cling 

For refuge round their hideous idol's limbs, 

So leave the idol grinning unconsumed, 

And save the fools to breed idolaters ? 

O mercy worthy of the licking hound 

That knows no future but its feeding time ! 

Mercy has eyes that pierce the at^es sees 

From heights divine of the eternal purpose 

Far-scattered consequence in its vast sum ; 

Chooses to save, but with illumined vision 

Sees that to save is greatly to destroy. 

'Tis so the Holy Inquisition sees : its wrath 

Is fed from the strong heart of wisest love. 

For love must needs make hatred. He who loves 

God and his law must hate the foes of God. 

And I have sinned in In-ing merciful : 

Being slack in hate, I have been slack in love. 

(ffe takes the crucifix and holds it up before hint) 

Thou shuddering, bleeding, thirsting, dying God, 
Thou man of sorrows, scourged and bruised ^nd *orn, 


Suffering to save wilt thou not judge the world ? 

This arm which held the children, this pale hand 

That gently touched the eyelids of the blind, 

And opened passive to the cruel nail, 

Shall one day stretch to leftward of thy throne, 

Charged with the power that makes the lightning strong, 

And hurl thy foes to everlasting hell. 

And thou, Immaculate Mother, Virgin mild, 

Thou sevenfold-pierced, thou pitying, pleading Queen, 

Shalt see and smile, while the black filthy souls 

Sink with foul weight to their eternal place, 

Purging the Holy Light. Yea, I have sinned 

And called it mercy. But I shrink no more. 

To-morrow morn this temptress shall be safe 

Under the Holy Inquisition's key. 

He thinks to wed her, and defy me then, 

She being shielded by our house's name. 

But he shall nerer wed her. I have said. 

The time is come. Exurgc, Dominc, 
Judica causam tuam. Let thy foes 
Be driven as the smoke before the wind, 
And melt like wax upon the furnace lip ! 

A large chamber richly furnished opening on a terrace-garden^ 
the trees visible through the window in faint moonlight. 
Flowers hanging about the window, lit up by the tapers. 
The casket of jewels open on a table. The gold necklace 
lying near. FEDALMA, splendidly dressed and adorned with 
pearls and rubies, is walking up and down. 

So soft a night was never made for sleep, 

But for the waking of the finer sense 

To every murmuring and gentle sound, 

To subtlest odors, pulses, visitings 

That touch our frames with wings too delicate 

To be discerned amid ,the glare of day. 

(She pauses near the window to gather some jasmine : then 
walks again.) 

Surely these flowers keep happy watch their breath 

Is their fond memory of the loving light. 

I often rue the hours I lose in sleep : 

It is a bliss too brief, only to see 

This glorious world, to hear the voice of love, 


To feel the touch, the breath of tenderness 
And then to rest as from a spectacle. 
I need the curta'ned stillness of the night 
To live through all my happy hours again 
With more selection cull them quite away 
From blemished moments. Thenin loneliness 
The face that bent before me in the day 
Rises in its own light, more vivid seems 
Painted upon the dark, and ceaseless glows 
With sweet solemnity of gazing love, 
Till like the heavenly blue it seems to grow- 
Nearer, more kindred, and more cherishing, 
Mingling with all my being. Then the words, 
The tender low-toned words come back again, 
With repetition welcome as the chime 
Of softly hurrying brooks " My only love 
My love while life shall last my own Fedalma!** 
Oh, it is mine the joy that once has been ! 
Poor eager hope is but a stammerer, 
Must listen dumbly to great memory, 
Who makes our bliss the sweeter by her telling. 

(She pauses a moment musingly.} 

But that dumb hope is still a sleeping guard 
Whose quiet rhythmic breath saves me from dread 
In this fair paradise. For if the earth 
Broke off with flower-fringed edge, visibly sheer, 
Leaving no footing for my forward step 

But empty blackness 

Nay, there is no fear 

They will renew themselves, day and my joy, 
And all that past which is securely mine, 
Will be the hidden root that nourishes 
Our still unfolding, ever-ripening love ! 

( While she is uttering the last words, a little bird falls softly 
on the floor behind her ; she hears the light sound of its fall 
and turns round.) 

Did something enter ? 

Yes, this little bird 

(She lifts it.) 

Dead and yet warm ; 'twas seeking sanctuary, 
And died, perhaps of fright, at the altar foot. 


Stay, there is something tied beneath the wing ! 
A strip of linen, streaked with blood what blood ? 
The streaks are written words are sent to me 

God, are sent to me ! Dear child, Fedalma, 
Be brave, give no alarm your Father comes ! 

(She lets the bird fall again.") 
My Father comes my Father 

(She turns in quivering expectation toward the window. There 
is perfect stillness a few moments until ZARCA appears at 
the wind&iu. He enters quickly and noiselessly j then stands 
still at his full height, and at a distance from FEDALMA.) 

FEDALMA (in a low distinct tone of terror}. 

It is he ! 

1 said his fate had laid its hold on mine. 

ZARCA (advancing a step or two}. 
You know, then, who I am ? 

The prisoner 
He whom I saw in fetters and this necklace 


Was played with by your fingers when it hung 
About my neck, full fifteen years ago. 

FEDALMA (looking at the necklaie and handling it, then 
ing, as if unconsciously}. 

Full fifteen years ago ! 


The very day 

I lost you, when you wore a tiny gown 
Of scarlet cloth with golden broidery ; 
r Twas clasped in front by coins two golden coins. 
The one upon thaleft was Split in two 
Across the king's head, right from brow to nape. 
A dent i' the middle nicking in the cheek. 
You see I know the little gown by hear'.. 


FEDALMA (growing paler and more tremulous). 
Yes. It is true I have the gown the clasps 
The braid sore tarnished : it is long ago ! 


But yesterday to me ; for till to-day 
I saw you always as that little child. 
And when they took my necklace from me, still 
Your fingers played about it on my neck, 
And still those buds of fingers on your feet 
Caught in its meshes as you seemed to climb 
Up to my shoulder. You were not stolen all. 
You had a double life fed from my heart 

(FEDALMA, letting fall the necklace, makes an impulsive 
movement toward him, with outstretched hands) 
The Gypsy father loves his children well. 

FEDALMA (shrinking, trembling, and letting fall her hands}, 
How came it that you sought me no I mean 
How came it that you knew me that you lost me ? 

ZARCA (standing perfectly still). 
Poor child ! I see your father and his rags 
Are welcome as the piercing wintry wind 
Within this silken chamber. It is well. 
I would not have a child who stooped to feign, 
And aped a sudden love. Better, true hate. 

FEDALMA (raising her eyes toward hint, with a flash ef ad- 
miration, and looking at him fixedly). 
Father, how was it that we lost each other ? 


I lost you as a man may lose a gem 
Wherein he has compressed his total wealth, 
Or the right hand whose cunning makes him great : 
I lost you by a trivial accident. 
Marauding Spaniards, sweeping like a storm 
Over a spot within the Moorish bounds, 
Near where our camp lay, doubtless snatched you lift 
When Zind, your nurse, as she confessed, was urged 
By burning thirst to wander toward the stream, 
And leave you on the sand some paces off 
Playing with pebbles, while she dog-like lapped. 
"Twas so I lost you never saw you more 


Until to-day I saw you dancing ! Saw 
The daughter of the Zincala make sport 
For those who spit upon her people's name. 

FED ALMA (vehemently). 

It was not sport. What if the world looked on ^ 
I danced for joy for love of all the world. 
But when you looked at me my joy was stabbed 
Stabbed with your pain. I wondered - now 

know - 
It was my father's pain. 

uses a moment with eyes bent downward, during which 
ZARCA examines her face. Then she says quickly!) 
How were you sure 
At once I was your child ? 


I had witness strong 
As any Cadi needs, before I saw you ! 
I fitted all my memories with the chat 
Of one named Juan one whose rapid talk 
Showers like the blossoms from a light-twigged shrub, 
If you but cough beside it. I learned all 
The story of your Spanish nurture all 
The promise of your fortune. When at last 
I fronted you, my little maid full-grown; 
Belief was turned to vision : then I saw 
That she whom Spaniards called the bright Fedalma-- 
The little red-frocked foundling three years old 
Grown to such perfectness the Spanish Duke 
Had wooed her for his Duchess was the child, 
Sole offspring of my flesh, that Lambra bore 
One hour before the Christian, hunting us, 
Hurried her on to death. Therefore I sought 
Therefore I come to claim you claim my child, 
Not from the Spaniard, not from him who robbed, 
But from herself. 

'FEDALMA has gradually approached close to ZARCA, andwitk 
a low sob sinks on her knees before him. He stoops to kiss 
her brow, and lays his hands on her head!) 

ZARCA (with solemn tenderness). 
Then my child owns her father? 



Father J yea. 

1 will eat dust before I will deny 
The flesh I spring from. 


There my daughter spoke. 
Away then with these rubies ! 

(He seizes the circlet of rubies and flings it on the ground. 
FEDALMA, starting from the ground with strong emotion, 
shrinks backward.} 

Such a crown 

Is infamy around a Zincala's brow. 
It is her people's blood, decking her shame. 

FEDALMA (after a moment, slowly and distinctly, as if accepting 

a dooni). 
Then 1 was born a Zincala ? 


Of a blood 
Unmixed as virgin wine-juice. 


Of a race 
More outcast and despised than Moor or Jew ? 


Yes : wanderers whom no God took knowledge of 
To give them laws, to fight for them, or blight 
Another race to make them ampler room ; 
Who have no Whence or Whither in their souls, 
No dimmest lore of glorious ancestors 
To make a common hearth for piety. 


A race that lives on prey as foxes do 
With stealthy, petty rapine : so despised, 
It is not persecuted, only spurned, 
Crushed underfoot, warred on by chance like rat% 
Or swarming 3ies, or reptiles of the sea 
Dragged in the net unsought, and flung far off 
To peris'r. as they may ? 



You paint us well. 

So abject are the men whose blood we share : 
Untutored, unbefriended, unendowed ; 
No favorites of heaven or of men. 
Therefore I cling to them ! Therefore no lure 
Shall draw me to disown them, or forsake 
The meagre wandering herd that lows for help 
And needs me for its guide, to seek my pasture 
Among the well-fed beeves that graze at wilL 
Because our race has no great memories, 
I will so live, it shall remember me 
For deeds of such divine beneficence 
As rivers have, that teach men what is good 
By blessing them. I have been schooled have caught 
Lore from the Hebrew, deftness from the Moor 
Know the rich heritage, the milder life, 
Of nations fathered by a mighty Past ; 
But were our race accursed (as they who make 
Good luck a god count all unlucky men) 
I would espouse their curse sooner than take 
My gifts from brethren naked of all good, 
And lend them to the rich for usury. 

[FEDALMA again advances, and putting forth her right hand 
grasps ZARCA'S left. He places his other hand on htr 
shoulder. They stand so, looking at each other.) 


And you, my child ? are you of other mind, 
Choosing forgetfulness, hating the truth 
That says you are akin to needy men ? 
Wishing your father were some Christian Duke, 
Who could hang Gypsies when their task was done, 
While you, his daughter, were not bound to care ? 

FEDALMA (in a troubled eager voice). 

No, I should always care I cared for you 
For all, before I dreamed 


Before you dreamed 

That you were born a Zincala your flesh 
Stamped with your people's faith. 


FEDALMA (bitterly). 

The Gypsies' faith? 
Men say they have none. 


Oh, it is a faith 

Taught by no priest, but by their beating hearts ; 
Faith to each other ; the fidelity 
Of fellow wanderers in a desert place 
Who share the same dire thirst, and therefore share 
The scanty water ; the fidelity 
Of men whose pulses leap with kindred fire, 
Who in the flash of eyes, the clasp of hands, 
The speech that even in lying tells the truth 
Of heritage inevitable as birth, 
Nay, in the silent bodily presence feel 
The mystic stirring of a common life 
Which makes the many one ; fidelity 
To the consecrating oath our sponsor Fate 
Made through our infant breath when we were born 
The fellow-heirs of that small island, Life, 
Where we must dig and sow and reap with brothers. 
Fear thou that oath, my daughter nay, not fear, 
But love it ; for the sanctity of oaths 
Lies not in lightning that avenges them, 
But in the injury wrought by broken bonds 
And in the garnered good of human trust. 
And you have sworn even with your infant breath 

You too were pledged 

JBDALMA (letting go ZARCA'S hand, and sinking backward o+ 

her knees, with bent head, as if before some impending 

(rushing weight). 

To what ? what have I sworn ? 

To take the heirship of the Gypsy's child ; 
The child of him who, being chief, will be 
The saviour of his tribe, or if he fail 
Will choose to fail rather than basely win 
The prize of renegades. Nay will not choose 
Is there a choice for strong couls to be weak? 
For men erect to crawl like hissing snakes ? 
I choose not I am Zarca. Let him choose 
Who halts and wavers, having appetite 


To feed on garbage. You, my child are you 
Halting and wavering ? 

FEDALMA (raising her head). 

Say what is my task. 


To be the angel of a homeless tribe ; 
To help me bless a race taught by no prophet 
And make their name, now but a badge of scorn, 
A glorious banner floating in their midst, 
Stirring the air they breathe with impulses 
Of generous pride, exalting fellowship 
Until it soars to magnanimity. 
I'll guide my brethren forth to their new land, 
Where they shall plant and sow and reap their own, 
Serving each other's needs, and so be spurred 
To skill in all the arts that succor life ; 
Where we may kindle our first altar-fire 
From settled hearths, and call our Holy Place 
The hearth that binds us in one family. 
That land awaits them ; they await their chief 
Me who am prisoned. All depends on you. 

FEDALMA (rising to her full height and looking solemnly at 

Father, your child is ready ! She will not 
Forsake her kindred ; she will brave all scorn 
Sooner than scorn herself. Let Spaniards all 
Christians, Jews, Moors, shoot out the lip and say, 
"Lo, the first hero in a tribe of thieves." 
Is it not written so of them ? They, too, 
Were slaves, lost, wandering, sunk beneath a curse, 
Till Moses, Christ and Mahomet were born, 
Till beings lonely in their greatness lived, 
And lived to save their people. Father, listen. 
The Duke to-morrow weds me secretly ; 
But straight he will present me as his wife 
To all his household, cavaliers and dames 
And noble pages. Then I will declare 
Before them all, "I am his daughter, his, 
The Gipsy's, owner of this golden badge." 
Then I shall win your freedom then the Duke 
Why, he will be your son ! will send you forth 


Witn aid and honors. Then, before all eye*. 
I'll clasp this badge on you, and lift my brow 
For you to kiss it, saying by that sign, 
' I glory in my father.' " This, to-morrow. 


A woman's dream who thinks by smiling well 
To ripen figs in frost. What ! marry first, 
And then proclaim your birth ? Enslave yourself 
To use your freedom ? Share another's name, 
Then treat it as you will ? How will that tune 
Ring in your bridegroom's ears that sudden song 
Of triumph in your Gipsy father ? 

FEDALMA (discouraged). 


I meant not so. We marry hastily 
Yet there is time there will be : in less space 
Than he can take to loojk at me, I'll speak 
And tell him all. Oh, I am not afraid ! 
His love for me is stronger than all hate ; 
Nay, stronger than my love, which cannot s\vay 
Demons that haunt me tempt me to rebel. 
Were he Fedalma and I Silva, he 
Could love confession, prayers and tonsured monks 
If my soul craved them. He will never hate 
The race that bore him what he loves the most. 
I shall but do more strongly what I will, 
Having his will to help me. And to-morrow, 
Father, as surely as this heart shall beat, 
You every Gipsy chained, shall be set free. 

ZARCA (coming nearer to her and laying his hand on her 


Too late, too poor a service that, my child ! 
Not so the woman who would save her tribe 
Must help its heroes not by wordy breath, 
By easy prayers strong in a lover's ear, 
By showering wreaths and sweets, and wafted kisses, 
And then, when all the smiling work is done, 
Turning to rest upon her down again, 
And whisper languid pity for her race 
Upon the bosom of her alien spouse. 
Not to such petty mercies as can fall 
Twtvt stitch and stitch of silken broidery, 


Such miracles of mitred saints who pause 

Beneath their gilded canopy to heal 

A man sun-stricken ; not to such trim merit 

As soils its dainty shoes for charity 

And simpers meekly at the pious stain, 

But never trod with naked bleeding feet 

Where no man praised it, and where no Church blessed; 

Not to such alms-deeds fit for holidays 

Were you, my daughter, consecrated bound 

By laws that, breaking, you will dip your bread 

In murdered brother's blood and call it sweet 

When you were born beneath the dark man's tent, 

And lifted up in sight of all your tribe, 

Who greeted you with shouts of loyal joy, 

Sole offspring of the chief in whom they trust 

As in the oft-tried never-failing flint 

They strike their fire from. Other work is youre. 

What work ? what is it that you ask of me ? 


A work as pregnant as the act of men 
Who set their ships aflame and spring to land. 
A fatal deed 


Stay ! never utter it ! 
If it can part my lot from his whose love 
Has chosen me. Talk not of oaths, of birth, 
Of men as numerous as the dim white stars 
As cold and distant, too, for my heart's pulse. 
No ills on earth, though you should count them up 
With grains to make a mountain, can outweigh 
For me, his ill who is my supreme love. 
All sorrows else are but imagined flames, 
Making me shudder at an unfelt smart ; 
But his imagined sorrow is a fire 
That scorches me. 


I know, I know it well 

The first young passionate wail of spirits called 
To some great destiny. In vain, my daughter ! 
Lav f he young eagle in what nest you will, 


The cry and swoop of eagles overhead 

Vibrate prophetic in its kindred frame, 

And make it spread it wings and poise itself 

For the eagle's flight Hear what you have to do. 

(FEDALMA stands half averted, as if she dreaded the effect of 

his looks and words.} 

My comrades even now file off their chains 

In a low turret by the battlements, 

Where we were locked with slight and sleepy guard 

We who had files hid in our shaggy hair, 

And possible ropes that waited but our will 

In half our garments. Oh, that Moorish blood 

Runs thick and warm to us, though thinned by chrism. 

I found a friend among our gaolers one 

Who loves the Gypsy as the Moor's ally. 

I know the secrets of this fortress. Listen. 

Hard by yon terrace is a narrow stair, 

Cut in the living rock, and at one point 

In its slow straggling course it branches off 

Toward a low wooden door, that art has bossed 

To such unevenness, it seems one piece 

With the rough-hewn rock. Open that door, it leads 

Through a broad passage burrowed under-ground 

A good half mile out to the open plain: 

Made for escape, in dire extremity 

From siege or burning, of the house's wealth 

In women or in gold. To find that door 

Needs one who knows the number of the steps 

Just to the turning-point : to open it, 

Needs one who knows the secret of the bolt. 

You have that secret: you will ope that door, 

And fly with us. 

FEDALMA (receding a little, and gathering herself up in mt 
attitude of resolve opposite to ZARCA.) 

No, I will never fly ! 
Never forsake that chief half of my soul 
Where lies my love. I swear to set you free. 
Ask for no more ; it is not possible. 
Father, my soul is not too base to ring 
At touch of your great thoughts ; nay, in my blood 
There streams the sense unspeakable of kind, 
As leopard feels at ease with leopard. But 


Look at these hands ! You say when they were little 

They played about the gold upon your neck. 

I do believe it, for their tiny pulse 

Made record of it in the inmost coil 

Of growing memory. But see them now ! 

Oh, they have made fresh records; twined themsehriS 

With other throbbing hands whose pulses feed 

Not memories only but a i>K-nded life 

Life that will bleed to death if it be severed. 

Have pity on me, father ! Wait the morning ; 

Say you will wait the morning. I will win 

Your freedom openly: you shall go forth 

With aid and honors. Silva will deny 

Nought to my asking 

ZARCA (with contemptuous decision]. 

Till you ask him aught 

Wherein he is powerless. Soldiers even now 
Murmur against him that he risks the town, 
And forfeits all the prizes of a foray 
To get his bridal pleasure with a bride 
Too low for him. They'll murmur more and louder 
If captives of our pith and sinew, fit 
For all the work the Spaniard hates, are freed 
Now, too, when Spanish hands are scanty. What, 
Turn Gypsies loose instead of hanging them ! 
'Tis flat against the edict. Nay, perchance 
Murmurs aloud may turn to silent threats 
Of some well-sharpened dagger ; for your Duke 
Has to his heir a pious cousin, who deems 
The Cross were better served if he were Duke. 
Such good you'll work your lover by your prayer* 


Then, J will free you now ! You shall be safe, 
Nor he be blamed, save for his love to me. 
I will declare what I have done : the deed 
May put our marriage off 


Ay, till the time 

When you shall be a queen in Africa, 
And he be prince enough to sue for you. 
You cannot free us and come back to him. 


And why ? 


I would compel you to go forth. 

You tell me that? 


Yes, for I'd have you choose ; 
Though, being of the blood you are my blood 
You have no right to choose. 


I only owe 
A daughter's debt ; I was not born a slave. 


No, not a slave ; but you were born to reign. 
Tis a compulsion of a higher sort, 
Whose fetters are the net invisible 
That hold all life together. Royal deeds 
May make long destinies for multitudes, 
And you are called to do them. You belong 
Not to the petty round of circumstance 
That makes a woman's lot, but to your tribe, 
Who trust in me and in my blood with trust 
That men call blind ; but it is only blind 
As unyeaned reason is, that grows and stirs 
Within the womb of superstition. 



I belong to him who loves me whom I love 
Who chose me whom I chose to whom I pledged 
A woman's truth. And that is nature too, 
Issuing a fresher law than laws of birth. 


Unmake yourself, then, from a Zincala 
Unmake yourself from being child of mine ! 
Take holy water, cross your dark skin white ; 
Round your proud eyes to foolish kitten looks ; 
Walk mincingly, and smirk, and twitch your robe : 
Unmake yourself doff all the eagle plumes 
And be a parrot, chained to a ring that slips 


Upon a Spaniard's thumb, at will of his 
That you should prattle o'er his words again) 
Get a small heart that flutters at the smiles 
Of that plump penitent, that greedy saint 
Who breaks all treaties in the name of God. 
Saves souls by confiscation, sends to heaven 
The altar fumes of burning heretics, 
And chaffers with the Levite for the gold ; 
Holds Gypsies beasts unfit for sacrifice, 
So sweeps them out like worms alive or dead. 
Go, trail your gold and velvet in her court ! 
A conscious Zincala, smile at your rare luck, 

While half your brethren 


I am not so vile ! 

It is not to such mockeries that I cling, 
Not to the flaring tow of gala-lights ; 
It is to him my love the face of day. 


What, will you part him from the air he breathes, 
Never inhale with him although you kiss him ? 
Will you adopt a soul without its thoughts, 
Or grasp a life apart from flesh and blood ? 
Till then you cannot wed a Spanish Duke 
And not wed shame at mention of your race, 
And not wed hardness to their miseries 
Nay, not wed murder. Would you save my life 
Yet stab my purpose ? maim my every limb, 
Put out my eyes, and turn me loose to feed? 
Is that salvation ? rather drink my blood. 
That child of mine who weds my enemy 
Adores a God who took no heed of Gypsies 
Forsakes her people, leaves their poverty 
To join the luckier crowd that mocks their woes* 
That child of mine is doubly murderess, 
Murdering her father's hope, her people's trust. 
Such draughts are mingled in your cup of love! 
And when you have become a thing so poor, 
Your life is all a fashion without law 
Save frail conjecture of a changing wish, 
Your worshipped sun, your smiling face of day, 
Will turn to cloudiness, and you will shiver 
In your thin finery of vain desire. 


Men call his passion madness ; and he, too, 
May learn to think it madness : 'tis a thought 
Cf ducal sanity. 


No, he is true ! 

And if I part from him I part from joy. 
Oh, it was morning with us I seemed young. 
But now I know I am an ; ged sorrow 
My people's sorrow. Father, since I am yours 
Since I must walk an unslain sacrifice, 
Carrying the knife within me, quivering 
Put cords upon me, drag me to the doom 
My birth has laid upon me. See, I kneel : 
I cannot will to go. 


Will then to stay ! 

Say you will take your better, painted such 
By blind desire, and choose the hideous worse 
For thousands who were happier but for you. 
My thirty followers are assembled now 
Without this terrace : I your father wait 
That you may lead us forth to liberty 
Restore me to my tribe five hundred men 
Whom I alone can save, alone can rule, 
And plant them as a mighty nation's seed. 
Why, vagabonds who clustered round one man, 
Their voice of God, their prophet and their king, 
Twice grew to empire on the teeming shores 
Of Africa, and sent new royalties 
To feed afresh the Arab sway in Spain. 
My vagabonds are a seed more generous, 
Quick as the serpent, loving as the hound, 
And beautiful as disinherited gods. 
They have a promised land beyond the sea : 
There I may lead them, raise my standard, call 
The wandering Zfncali to that new home, 
And make a nation bring light, order, law, 
Instead of chaos. You, my only heir, 
Are called to reign for me when I am gone. 
Now choose your deed : to save or to destroy. 
You, a born Zincala, you, fortunate 
Above your fellows you who hold a curse 
Or blessing in the hollow of your hand 


Say you will loose that hand from fellowship, 
Let go the rescuing rope, hurl all the tribes, 
Children and countless beings yet to come, 
Down from the upward path of light and joy, 
Back to the dark and marshy wilderness 
Where life is nought but blind tenacity 
Of that which is. Say you will curse your race ! 

FED ALMA (rising and stretching out her arms in deprecation). 

No, no I will not say it I will go ! 
Father, I choose ! I will not take a heaven 
Haunted by shrieks of far-off misery. 
This deed and I have ripened with the hours : 
It is a part of me a wakened thought 
That, rising like a giant, masters me, 
And grows into a doom. O mother life, 
That seemed to nourish me so tenderly, 
Even in the womb you vowed me to the fire, 
Hung on my soul the burden of men's hopes, 
And pledged me to redeem ! I'll pay the debt 
You gave me strength that I should pour it all 
Into this anguish. I can never shrink 
Back into bliss my heart has grown too big 
With things that might be. Father, I will go. 
I will strip off these gems. Some happier bride 
Shall wear them, since Fedalma would be dowered 
With nought but curses, dowered with misery 
Of men of women, who have hearts to bleed 
As hers is bleeding. 

{She sinks on a seat and begins to take off her jewels.) 

Now, good gems, we part. 
Speak of me always tenderly to Silva. 

{She pauses, turning to ZARCA.) 

O father, will the women of our tribe 

Suffer as I do, in the years to come 

When you have made them great in Africa ? 

Redeemed from ignorant ills only to feel 

A conscious woe ? Then is it worth the pains? 

Were it not better when we reach that shore 

To raise a funeral-pile and perish aU- 

So closing up a myriad avenues 

90 THE SPANISH GV, 31', 

To misery yet unwrought ? My soul is faint- 
Will these sharp pangs buy any certain good? 


Nay, never falter : no great deed is done 
By falterers who ask for certainty. 
No good is certain, but the steadfast mind, 
The undivided will to seek the good: 
'Tis that compels the elements, and wrings 
A human music from the indifferent air. 
The greatest gift the hero leaves his race 
Is to have been a hero. Say we fail ! 
We feed the high tradition of the world, 
And leave our spirit in our children's breasts. 

FEDALMA (unclasping her jewelled belt, and throwing it down). 

Yes, say that we shall fail ! I will not count 
On aught but being faithful. I will take 
This yearning self of mine and strangle it. 
I will not be half-hearted : never yet 
Fedalma did aught with a wavering soul. 
Die, my young joy die, all my hungry hopes 
The milk you cry for from the breast of life 
Is thick with curses. Oh, all fatness here 
Snatches its meat from leanness feeds on graves* 
I will seek nothing but to shun base joy. 
The saints were cowards who stood by to see 
Christ crucified : they should have flung themselves 
Upon the Roman spears, and died in vain 
The grandest death, to die in vain for love 
Greater than sways the forces of the world ! 
That death shall be my bridegroom. I will wed 
The curse that blights my people. Father, come ! 


No curse has fallen on us till we cease 
To help each other. You, if you are false 
To that first fellowship, lay on the curse. 
But write now to the Spaniard : briefly say 
That I, your father, came ; that you obeyed 
The fate which made you Zincala, as his fate 
Made him a Spanish cluke and Christian knig'ht 
He must not think 



Yes, I will write, but he 
Oh, he would know it he would never think 
The chain that dragged me from him could be aught 
But scorching iron entering in my soul. 

(She writes.) 

Silva, sole love fa came my father came. 
I am the daughter of the Gypsy chief 

Who means to be the Saviour of our tribe. 
He calls on me to live for his great end. 

To live? nay, die for it. Fedalma dies 
In leaving Silva : all that lives henceforth 
Is the Poor Zincala. 

(She rues.) 

Father, now I go 
To wed my people's lot. 


To wed a crown. 

Our people's lowly lot we will make royal 
Give it a country, homes, and monuments 
Held sacred through the lofty memories 
That we shall leave behind us. Come, my Queen I 


Stay, my betrothal ring ! one kiss farewell ! 
O love, you were my crown. No other crown 
Is aught but thorns on my poor woman's brow. 


SILVA was marching homeward while the moon 
Still shed mild brightness like the far-off hope 
Of those pale virgin lives that wait and pray. 
The stars thin-scattered made the heavens large, 
Bending in slow procession ; in the east 
Emergent from the dark waves of the hills, 
Seeming a little sister of the moon, 
Glowed Venus all unquenched. Silva, in haste, 
Exultant and yet anxious, urged his troop 
To quick and quicker march : he had delight 
In forward stretching shadows, in the gleams 
That travelled on the armor of the van. 


And in the many-hoofed sound : in all that told 

Of hurrying movement to o'ertake his thought 

Already in Bedmar, close to Fedahna, 

Leading her forth a wedded bride, fast vowed, 

Defying Father Isidor. His glance 

Took in with much content the priest who rode 

Firm in his saddle, stalwart and broad-backed, 

Crisp-curled and comfortably secular, 

Right in the front of him. But by degrees 

Stealthily faint, disturbing with slow loss 

That showed not yet full promise of a gain, 

The light was changing, and the watch intense 

Of moon and stars seemed weary, shivering : 

The sharp white brightness passed from off the rocks 

Carrying the shadows : beauteous Night lay dead 

Under the pall of twilight, and the love-star 

Sickened and shrank. The troop was winding now 

Upward to where a pass between the peaks 

Seemed like an opened gate to Silva seemed 

An outer gate of heaven, for through that pass 

They entered his own valley, near Bedmdr. 

Sudden within the pass a horseman rose, 

One instant dark upon the banner pale 

Of rock-cut sky, the next in motion swift 

With hat and plume high-shaken ominous. 

Silva had dreamed his future, and the dream 

Held not this messenger. A minute more 

It was his friend Don Alvar whom he saw 

Reining his horse up, face to face with him, 

Sad as the twilight, all his clothes ill-girt 

As if he had been roused to see one die, 

And brought the news to him whom death had robbed 

Silva believed he saw the worst the town 

Stormed by the infidel or, could it be 

Fedalma dragged ? no, there was not yet time. 

But with a marble face, he only said, 

" What evil, Alvar ? " 

" What this paper speaks." 
It was Fedalma's letter folded close 
And mute as yet for Silva. But his friend 
Keeping it still sharp-pinched against his breast, 

" It will smite hard : a private grief. 
I would not have you pause to read it here. 
Let us ride on we use the moments best, 


Reaching the town with speed. The smaller ill 

Is that our Gypsy prisor ers have escaped." 

No more. Give me the paper nay, I know 

Twill make no difference. Bid them march on faster." 

Silva pushed forward held the paper crushed 

Close in his right. " They have imprisoned her,** 

He said to Alvar in low, hard-cut tones, 

Like a dream-speech of slumbering revenge. 

No when they came to fetch her she was gone.** 

Swift as the right touch on a spring, that word 

Made Silva read the letter. She was gone ! 

But not into locked darkness only gone 

Into free air where he might find her yet 

The bitter loss had triumph in it what! 

They would have seized her with their holy claws, 

The Prior's sweet morsel of despotic hate 

Was snatched from off his lips. This misery 

Had yet a taste of joy. 

But she was gone ! 

The sun had risen, and in the castle walls 
The light grew strong and stronger. Silva walked 
Through the long corridor where dimness yet 
Cherished a lingering, flickering, dying hope : 
Fedalma still was there he could not see 
The vacant place that once her presence filled. 
Can we believe that the dear dead are gone ? 
Love in sad weeds forgets the funeral day, 
Opens the chamber door and almost smiles 
Then sees the sunbeams pierce athwart the bed 
Where the pale face is not. So Silva's joy, 
Like the sweet habit of caressing hands 
That seek the memory of another hand, 
Still lived on fitfully in spite of words, 
And, numbing thoughts with vague illusion, dulled 
The slow and steadfast beat of certainty. 
But in the rooms inexorable light 
Streamed through the open window where she fled. 
Streamed on the belt and coronet thrown down 
Mute witnesses sought out the typic ring 
That sparkled on the crimson, solitary, 
Wounding him like a word. O hateful light ! 
It filled the chambers with her absence, glared 
On all the motionless things her hand had touched, 
Motionless all save where old Inez lay 


Sunk on the floor holding her rosary, 

Making its shadow tremble with her fear. 

And Silva passed her by because she grieved ; 

It was the lute, the gems, the pictured heads, 

He longed to crush, because they made no sign 

But of insistence that she was not there, 

She who had filled his sight and hidden them. 

He went forth on the terrace tow'rd the stairs, 

Saw the rained petals of the cistus flowers 

Crushed by large feet ; but on one shady spot 

Far down the steps, where dampness made a home, 

He saw a footprint delicate-slippered, small, 

So dear to him, he searched for sister-prints, 

Searched in the rock-hewn passage with a lamp 

For other trace of her, and found a glove ; 

But not Fedalma's. It was Juan's glove, 

Tasseled, perfumed, embroidered with his name, 

A gift of dames. Then Juan, too, was gone ? 

Full-mouthed conjecture, hurrying through the town, 

Had spread the tale already ; it was he 

That helped the Gypsies' flight. He talked and sang 

Of nothing but the Gypsies and Fedalma. 

He drew the threads together, wove the plan ; 

Had lingered out by moonlight, had been seen 

Strolling, as was his wont, within the walls, 

Humming his ditties. So Don Alvar told, 

Conveying outside rumor. But the Duke, 

Making of haughtiness a visor closed, 

Would show no agitated front in quest 

Of small disclosures. What her writing bore 

Had been enough. He knew that she was gone, 

Knew why. 

" The Duke," some said, " will send a force, 
Retake the prisoners, and bring back his bride." 
But others, winking, " Nay, her wedding dress 
Would be the san-bfttito. 'Tis a fight 
Between the Duke and Prior. Wise bets will choose 

The churchman ; he's the iron, and the Duke " 

" Is a fine piece of pottery," said mine host, 
Softening the sarcasm with a bland regret. 
There was the thread *hat in the new-made knot 
Of obstinate circumstance seemed hardest drawn, 
Vexed most the sense or Silva, in these hours 
Of fresh and angry pain there, in that fight 


Against a foe whose sword was magical, 
His shield invisible terrors against a foe 
Who stood as if upon the smoking mount 
Ordaining plagues. All else, Fedalma's flight, 
The father's claim, her Gypsy birth disclosed, 
Were momentary crosses, hindrances 
A Spanish noble might despise. This Chief 
Might still be treated with, would not refuse 
A proffered ransom, which would better serve 
Gypsy prosperity, give him more power 
Over his tribe than any fatherhood ; 
Nay, all the father in him must plead loud 
For marriage of his daughter where she loved- 
Her love being placed so high and lustrously. 
The Gypsy chieftain had foreseen a price 
That would be paid him for his daughter's dower- 
Might soon give signs. Oh, all his purpose lay 
Face upward. Silva here felt strong, and smiled. 
What could a Spanish noble not command ? 
He only helped the Queen, because he chose ; 
Could war on Spaniards, and could spare the Moor; 
Buy justice, or defeat it if he would : 
Was loyal, not from weakness but from strength 
Of high resolve to use his birthright well. 
For nobles too are gods, like Emperors, 
Accept perforce their own divinity, 
And wonder at the virtue of their touch 
Till obstinate resistance shakes their creed, 
Shattering that self whose wholeness is not rounded 
Save in the plastic souls of other men. 
Don Silva had been suckled in that creed 
(A high-taught speculative noble else), 
Held it absurd as foolish argument 
If any failed in deference, was too proud 
Not to be courteous to so poor a knave 
As one who knew not necessary truths 
Of birth and dues of rank ; but cross his will, 
The miracle-working will, his rage leaped out 
As by a right divine to rage more fatal 
Than a mere mortal man's. And now that will 
Had met a stronger adversary strong 
As awful ghosts are whom we cannot touch, 
While they clutch us, subtly as poisoned air, 
In deep-laid fibres of inherited fear 
That lie bek>v all cnura?? 


Silva said, 

She is not lost to me, might still be mine 
But for the Inquisition the dire hand 
That waits to clutch tier with a hideous grasp 
Not passionate, human, living, but a grasp 
As in the death-throe when the human soul 
Departs and leaves fore - unrelenting, locked, 
Not to be loosened savt by slow decay 
That frets the universe. Father Isidor 
Has willed it so : his phial dropped the oil 
To catch the air-borne notes of idle slander: 
He fed the fascinated gaze that clung 
Round all her movements, frank as growths of spring, 
With the new hateful interest of suspicion. 
What barrier is this Gypsy ? a mere gate 
I'll find the key for. The one barrier, 
The tightening cord that winds about my limbs, 
Is this kind uncle, this imperious saint, 
He who will save me, guard me from myself. 
And he can work his will : I have no help 
Save reptile secrecy, and no revenge 
Save that I will do what he schemes to hinder. 
Ay, secrecy, and disobedience these 
No tyranny can master. Disobey ! 
You may divide the universe with God, 
Keeping your will unbent, and hold a world 
Where he is not supreme. The Prior shall know it! 
His will shall breed resistance : he shall do 
The thing he would not, further what he hates 
By hardening my resolve." 

But 'neath this speech 
Defiant, hectoring, the more passionate voice 
Of many-blended consciousness there breathed 
Murmurs of doubt, the weakness of a self 
That is not one ; denies and yet believes ; 
Protests with passion, " This is natural" 
Yet owns the other still were truer, better, 
Could nature follow it : a self disturbed 
By budding growths of reason premature 
That breed disease. With all its outflung rage 
Silva half shrank before the steadfast man 
Whose life was one compacted whole, a realm 
Where the rule changed not, and the law was strong. 


Then that reluctant homage stirred new hate, 
And gave rebellion an intenser will. 

But soon this inward strife the slow-paced hours 

Slackened ; and the soul sank with hunger-pangs^ 

Hunger of love. Debate was swept right down 

By certainty of loss intolerable. 

A little loss ! only a dark-tressed maid 

Who had no heritage save her beauteous being! 

But in the candor of her virgin eyes 

Saying, I love ; and in the mystic charm 

Of her dear presence, Silva found a heaven 

Where faith and hop were drowned as stars in day. 

Fedalma there, each momentary Now 

Seemed a whole blest existence, a full cup 

That, flowing over, asked no pouring hand 

From past to future. All the world was hers. 

Splendor was but the herald trumpet-note 

Of her imperial coming, penury 

Vanished before her as before a gem, 

The pledge of treasuries. Fedalma there, 

He thought all loveliness was lovelier, 

She crowning it ; all goodness credible, 

Because of that great trust her goodness bred. 

For the strong current of the passionate love 

Which urged his life tow'rd hers, like urgent floods 

That hurry through the various-mingled earth, 

Carried within its stream all qualities 

Of what it penetrated, and made love 

Only another name, as Silva was, 

For the whole man that breathed within his frame. 

And she was gone. Well, goddesses will go ; 

But for a noble there were mortals left 

Shaped just like goddesses O hateful sweet! 

O impudent pleasure that should dare to front 

With vulgar visage memories divine ! 

The noble's birthright of miraculous will 

Turning I would to must be, spurning all 

Offered as substitute for what it chose, 

Tightened and fixed in strain irrevocable 

The passionate selection of that love 

Which came not first but as all-conquering last 

Great Love has many attributes, and shrines 

For varied worship, but his force divine 


Shows most its many-named fulness in the man 
Whose nature multitudinously mixed 
Each ardent impulse grappling with a thought- 
Resists all easy gladness, all content 
Save mystic rapture, where the questioning soul 
Flooded with consciousness of good that is 
Finds life one bounteous answer. So it was 
In Silva's nature, Love had mastery there, 
Not as a holiday ruler, but as one 
Who quells a tumult in a day of dread, 
A welcomed despot. 

O all comforters, 

All soothing things that bring mild ecstasy, 
Came with her coming, in her presence lived. 
Spring afternoons, when delicate shadows fall 
Pencilled upon the grass ; high summer morns 
When white light rains upon the quiet sea 
And corn-fields flush with ripeness ; odors soft- 
Dumb vagrant bliss that seems to seek a home 
And find it deep within, 'mid stirrings vague 
Of far-off moments when our life was fresh ; 
All sweetly-tempered music, gentle change 
Of sound, form, color, as on wide lagoons 
At sunset when from black far-floating prows 
Comes a clear wafted song : all exquisite joy 
Of a subdued desire, like some strong stream 
Made placid in the fulness of a lake 
All came with her sweet presence, for she brought 
The love supreme which gathers to its realm 
All powers of loving. Subtle nature's hand 
Waked with a touch the far-linked harmonies 
Tn her own manifold work. Fedalma there, 
Fastidiousness became the prelude fine 
For full contentment ; and young melancholy, 
Lost for its origin, seemed but the pain 
Of waiting for that perfect happiness. 
The happiness was gone ! 

He sat alone 

Hating companionship that was not hers ; 
Felt bruised with hopeless longing ; drank, 
Illusions of what had been, would have been ; 
Weary with anger and a strained resolve, 
Sought passive happiness in waking dreams. 
It has been so with rulers, emperors, 


Nay, sages who held secrets of great Time, 
Sharing his hoary and beneficent life 
Men who sat throned among the multitudes 
They have sore sickened at the loss of one. 
Silva sat lonely in her chamber, leaned 
Where she had leaned, to feel the evening breath 
Shed from the orange trees ; when suddenly 
His grief was echoed in a sad young voice 
Far and yet near, brought by aerial wings. 

The world is great ; the birds all fly from me t 
The stars are golden fruit upon a tree 
All out of reach ; my little sister went, 
And I am lonely. 

The world is great ; I tried to mount the hill 
Above the pines, where the light lies so still, 
But it rose higher ; little Lisa went, 
And I am lonely. 

The world is great j the wind comes rushing by, 
I wonder where it comes from j sea-birds cry 
And hurt my heart ; my little sister went, 
And I am lonely. 

The world is great ; the people laugh aad talk, 
And make loud holiday ; how fast they walk ! 
I'm lame, they push me ; little Lisa went, 
And I am lonely. 

Twas Pablo, like the wounded spirit of song 

Pouring melodious pain to cheat the hour 

For idle soldiers in the castle court. 

Dreamily Silva heard and hardly felt 

The song was outward, rather felt it part 

Of his own aching, like the lingering day, 

Or slow and mournful cadence of the bell. 

But when the voice had ceased he longed for it, 

And fretted at the pause, as memory frets 

When words that made its body fall away 

And leave it yearning dumbly. Silva then 

Bethought him whence the voice came, framed perforco 

Some outward image of a life not his 

That made a sorrowful centre to the world : 

A boy lame, melancholy-eyed, who bore 

A viol yes, that very child he saw 

This morning entinji roots by the gateway saw 


As one fresh-ruined sees and spells a name 
And knows not what he does, yet finds it writ 
Full in the inner record. Hark, again ! 
The voice and viol. Silva called his thought 
To guide his ear and track the travelling sound. 

O bird that used to press 
Thy head against my cheek 
With touch that seemed to speak 

And ask a tender "yes " 

Ay de mi, my bird! 

O tender downy breast 

And warmly beating heart, 

That beating seemed a part 
Of me who gave it rest 

Ay de mi y my bird ! 

The western court ! The singer might be seen 

From the upper gallery : quick the Duke was there 

Looking upon the court as on a stage. 

Men eased of armor, stretched upon the ground, 

Gambling by snatches ; shepherds from the hills 

Who brought their bleating friends for slaughter ; 


Shouldering loose harness ; leather-aproned smiths, 
Traders with wares, green-suited serving-men, 
Made round audience ; and in their midst 
Stood little Pablo, pouring forth his song, 
Just as the Duke had pictured. But the song 
Was strangely 'companied by Roldan's play 
With the swift gleaming balls, and now was crushed 
By peals of laughter at grave Annibal, 
Who carrying stick and purse o'erturned the pence^ 
Making mistake by rule. Silva had thought 
To melt hard bitter grief by fellowship 
With the world-sorrow trembling in his ear 
In Pablo's voice ; had meant to give command 
For the boy's presence ; but this company, 
This mountebank and monkey, must be stay ! 
Not be excepted must be ordered too 
Into his private presence ; they had brought 
Suggestion of a ready shapen tool 
To cut a path between his helpless wish 
And what it imaged. A ready shapen tool ! 


A spy, an envoy whom he might despatch 

In unsuspected secrecy, to find 

The Gypsies' refuge so none beside 

Might learn it. And this juggler could be bribed, 

Would have no fear of Moors for who would kill 

Dancers and monkeys ? could pretend a journey 

Back to his home, leaving his boy the while 

To please the Duke with song. Without such chance 

An envoy cheap and secret as a mole 

Who could go scatheless, come back for his pay 

And vanish straight, tied by no neighborhood 

Without such chance as this poor juggler brought, 

Finding Fedalma was betraying her. 

Short interval betwixt the thought and deed. 

Roldan was called to private audience 

With Annibal and Pablo. All the world 

(By which I mean the score or two who heard) 

Shrugged high their shoulders, and supposed the Dnk 

Would fain beguile the evening and replace 

His lacking happiness as was the right 

Of nobles, who could pay for any cure, 

And wore nought broken, save a broken limb. 

In truth, at first, the Duke bade Pablo sing, 

But, while he sang, called Roldan wide apart, 

And told him of a mission secret, brief 

A quest which well performed might earn much gold, 

But, if betrayed, another sort of pay. 

Roldan was ready ; " wished above all for gold 

And never wished to speak ; he had worked enough 

At wagging his old tongue and chiming jokes ; 

Thought it was others turn to play the fool. 

Give him but pence enough, no rabbit, sirs, 

Would eat and stare and be more dumb than he. 

Give him his orders." 

They were given straight ; 
Gold for a journey and to buy a mule 
Outside the gates, through which he was to pass 
Afoot and carelessly. The boy would stay 
Within the castle, at the Duke's command, 
And must have nought but ignorance to betray 
For threats or coaxing. Once the quest performed^ 
The news delivered with some pledge of truth 
Safe to the Duke, the juggler should go forth 


A fortune in his girdle, take his boy 
And settle firm as any planted tree 
In fair Valencia, never more to roam. 
" Good ! Good ! most worthy of a great hidalgo! 
And Roldan was the man ! But Annibal 
A monkey like no other, though morose 
In private character, yet full of tricks 
'Twere hard to carry him, yet harder still 
To leave the boy and him in company 
And free to slip away. The boy was wild 
And shy as mountain kid ; once hid himself 
And tried to run away ; and Annibal, 
Who always took the lad's side (he was small, 
And they were nearer of a size, and, sirs, 
Your monkey has a spite against us men 
For being bigger) Annibal went too. 
Would hardly know himself, were he to lose 
Both boy and monkey and 'twas property, 
The trouble he had put in Annibal. 
He didn't choose another man should beat 
His boy and monkey. If they ran away 
Some man would snap them up, and square hinv ilf 
And say they were his goods he'd taught then; *-no ', 
He, Roldan, had no mind another man 
Should fatten by his monkey, and the boy 
Should not be kicked by any pair of sticks 
Calling himself a juggler " 

But the Duke, 

Tired of that hammering, signed that it should c*ase ; 
Bade Roldan quit all fears the boy and ape 
Should be safe lodged in Abderahman's tower, 
In keeping with the great physician there, 
The Duke's most special confidant and friend, 
One skilled in taming brutes, and always kind. 
The Duke himself this eve would see them lodged. 
Roldan must go spend no more words but go. 

The Astrologer s Study. 

A room high up in Abderahman's tower, 
A window open to the still warm eve, 
And the bright disc of royal Jupiter, 
lamps burning low make little atmospheres 
Of light amid the dimness ; here and there 


Show books and phials, stones and instruments. 

In carved dark-oaken chair, unpillowed, sleeps 

Right in the rays of Jupiter a small man, 

In skull-cap bordered close with crisp gray curls, 

And loose black gown showing a neck and breast 

Protected by a dim-green amulet ; 

Pale-faced, with finest nostril wont to breath 

Ethereal passion in a world of thought ; 

Eye-brows jet-black and firm, yet delicate ; 

Beard scant and grizzled ; mouth shut firm, with curves 

So subtly turned to meanings exquisite, 

You seem to read them as you read a word 

Full-vowelled, long descended, pregnant rich 

With legacies from long, laborious lives. 

Close by him, like a genius of sleep, 

Purs the gray cat, bridling, with snowy breast, 

A loud knock. " Forward ! " in clear vocal ring. 

Enter the Duke, Pablo, and Annibal ; 

Exit the cat, retreating toward the dark, 

You slept, Sephardo. I am come too soon. 


Nay, my lord, it was I who slept too long. 
I go to court among the stars to-night, 
So bathed my soul beforehand in deep sleep. 
But who are these ? 


Small guests, for whom I ask 
Your hospitality. Their owner comes 
Some short time hence to claim them. I am pledged 
To keep them safely ; so I bring them you, 
Trusting your friendship for small animals. 

Yea, am not I too a small animal ? 


I shall be much beholden to your love 
If you will be their guardian. I can trust 
No other man so well as you. The boy 
Will please you with his singing, touches too 
The viol wondrously. 



They are welcome both. 
Their names are ? 


Pablo, this this Annibal, 
And yet, I hope, no warrior. 


We'll make peace. 

Come, Pablo, let us loosen our friend's chain. 
Deign you, my lord, to sit. Here Pablo, thou 
Close to my chair. Now Annibal shall choose. 

[The cautious monkey, in a Moorish dress, 

A tunic white, turban and scimiter, 

Wears these stage garments, nay, his very flesh 

With silent protest ; keeps a neutral air 

As aiming at a metaphysic state 

Twixt " is " and " is not " ; let his chain be loosed j 

By sage Sephardo's hands, sits still at first, 

Then trembles out of his neutrality, 

Looks up and leaps into Sephardo's lap, 

And chatters forth his agitated soul, 

Turning to peep at Pablo on the floor.] 

See, he declares we are at enmity ! 

No brother sage had re?d your nature faster. 


Why, so he is a brother sage. Man thinks 
Brutes have no wisdom, since they know not his: 
Can we divine their world ? the hidden life 
That mirrors us as hideous shapeless power, 
Cruel supremacy of sharp- edged death, 
Or fate that leaves a bleeding mother robbed ? 
Oh, they have long tradition and swift speech, 
Can tell with touches and sharp darting cries 
Whole histories of timid races taught 
To breathe in terror by red-handed man. 

Ah, you denounce my sport w'th hawk and hound. 


I would not have the angel Gabriel 
As hard as you in noting down my sins. 


Nay, they are virtues for you warriors 
Hawking and hunting ! You are merciful 
When you leave killing men to kill the brutes. 
But, for the point of wisdom, I would choose 
To know the mind that stirs between the wings 
Of bees and building wasps, or fills the woods 
With myriad murmurs of responsive sense 
And true-aimed impulse, rather than to know 
The thoughts of warriors. 


Yet they are warriors too 

Your animals. Your judgment limps, Sephardo: 
Death is the king of this world ; 'tis his park 
Where he breeds life to feed him. Cries of pain 
Are music for his banquet ; and the masque 
The last grand masque for his diversion, is 
The Holy Inquisition. 


Ay, anon 

I may chime in with you. But not the less 
My judgment has firm feet. Though death were king, 
And cruelty his right-hand minister, 
Pity insurgent in some human breasts 
Makes spiritual empire, reigns supreme 
As persecuted faith in faithful hearts. 
Your small physician, weighing ninety pounds, 
A petty morsel for a healthy shark, 
Will worship mercy thronged within his soul 
Though all the luminous angels of the stars 
Burst into cruel chorus on his ear, 
Singing, " We know no mercy." He would cry, 
: I know it " still, and soothe the frightened bird 
And feed the child a-hungered, walk abreast 
Of persecuted men, and keep most hate 
For rational torturers. There I stand firm. 
But you are bitter, and my speech rolls on 
Out of your note. 

No, no, I follow you. 


I too have that within which I will worship 

In spite of . Yes, Sephardo, I am bitter. 

I need your counsel, foresight, all your aid. 
Lay these small guests to bed, then we will talk. 


See, they are sleeping now. The boy has made 
My leg his pillow. For my brother sage, 
He'll never heed us ; he knit long ago 
A sound ape-system, wherein men are brutes 
Emitting doubtful noises. Pray, my lord, 
Unlade what burdens you : my ear and hand 
Are servants of a heart much bound to you. 


Yes, yours is love that roots in gifts bestowed 
By you on others, and will thrive the more 
The more it gives. I have a double want : 
First a confessor not a Catholic ; 
A heart without a livery naked manhood. 


My lord, I will be frank ; there's no such thing 
As naked manhood. If the stars look down 
On any mortal of our shape, whose strength 
Is to judge all things without preference, 
He is a monster, not a faithful man. 
While my htart beats, it shall wear livery 
My people's livery, whose yellow badge 
Marks them for Christian scorn. I will not say 
Man is first man to me, then Jew or Gentile : 
That suits the rich marranos ; but to me 
My father is first father and then man. 
So much for frankness' sake. But let that pass. 
'Tis true at least, I am no Catholic 
But Salomo Sephardo, a born Jew, 
Willing to serve Don Silva. 


Oft you sing 

Another strain, and melt distinctions down 
As no more real than the wall of dark 
Seen by small fishes' eyes, that pierce a span 
In the wide ocean. Now you league yoursetf 
To hem me, hold me prisoner in bonds 


Made, say you how ? by God or Demiurge, 
By spirit or flesh I care not ! Love was made 
Stronger than bonds, and where they press must break 


I came to you that I might breathe at large, 
And now you stifle me with talk of birth, 
Of race and livery. Yet you knew Fedalma. 
She was your friend, Sephardo. And you know 
She is gone from me know the hounds are loosed 
To dog me if I seek her. 


Yes, I know. 

Forgive me that I used untimely speech, 
Pressing a bruise. I loved her well, my lord : 
A woman mixed of such fine elements 
That were all virtue and religion dead 
She'd make them newly, being what she was. 


Was f say not was, Sephardo ! She still lives 
Is, and is mine ; and I will not renounce 
What heaven, nay, what she gave me. I will sin, 
If sin I must, to win my life again. 
The i'ault lie with those powers who have embroiled 
The world in hopeless conflict, where all truth 
Fights manacled with falsehood, and all good 
Makes but one palpitating life with ill. 

(DON SILVA pauses. SEPHARDO is silent.) 
Sephardo, speak \ am I not justified ? 
You taught my mind to use the wing that soars 
Above the petty fences of the herd : 
Now, when I heed your doctrine, you are dumb, 


Patience ! Hidalgos want interpreters 
Of untold dreams and riddles ; they insist 
On dateless horoscopes, on formulas 
To raise a possible spirit, nowhere named. 
Science must be their wishing-cap ; the stars 
Speak plainer for high largesse. No, my lord ! 
I cannot counsel you to unknown deeds. 
This much I can divine : you wish to find 
Her whom you love to make a secret search. 



That is begun already : a messenger 
Unknown to all has been despatched this night* 
But forecast must be used, a plan devised, 
Ready for service when my scout returns, 
Bringing the invisible thread to guide my steps 
Toward that lost self my life is aching with. 
Sephardo, I will go : and 1 must go 
Unseen by all save you ; though, at our need, 
We may trust Alvar. 


A grave task, my lord. 
Have you a shapen purpose, or mere will 
That sees the end alone and not the means ? 
Resolve will melt no rocks. 


But it can scale them. 
This fortress has two private issues : one, 
Which served the gypsies' flight to me is closed ; 
Our bands must watch the outlet, now betrayed 
To cunning enemies. Remains one other, 
Known to no man save me ; a secret left 
As heirloom in our house ; a secret safe 
Even from him from Father Isidor. 
'Tis he who forces me to use it he ; 
All's virtue that cheats bloodhounds. Hear, 
Given my scout returns, and brings me news 
I can straight act on I shall want your aid. 
The issue lies below this tower, your fastness, 
Where, by my charter, you rule absolute. 
I shall feign illness ; you with mystic air 
Must speak of treatment asking vigilance 
(Nay I am ill my life has half ebbed out). 
I shall be whimsical, devolve command 
On Don Diego, speak of poisoning, 
Insist on being lodged within this tower, 
And rid myself of tendance save from you 
And perhaps from Alvar. So I shall escape 
Unseen by spies, shall win the days I need 
To ransom her and have her safe enshrined. 
No matter, were my flight disclosed at last ; 
I shall come back as from a duel fought 


Which no man can undo. Now you know all 
Say, can I count on you > 


For faithfulness 

In aught that I may promise, yes, my lord. 
But for a pledge of faithfulness this warning. 
I will betray nought for your personal harm ; 
I love you. But note this I am a Jew; 
And while the Christian persecutes my race, 
I'll turn at need even the Christian's trust 
Into a weapon and a shield for Jews. 
Shall cruelty crowned wielding the savage force 
Of multitudes, and calling savageness God 
Who gives it victory upbraid deceit 
And ask for faithfulness ? I love you well. 
You are my friend. But yet you are a Christian, 
Whose birth has bound you to the Catholic kings. 
There may come moments when to share my joy 
Would make you traitor, when to share your grief 
Would make me other than a Jew 


What need 

To urge that now, Sephardo ? I am one 
Of many Spanish nobles who detest 
The roaring bigotry of the herd, would fain 
Dash from the lips of king and queen the cup 
Filled with besotting venom, half infused 
By avarice and half by priests. And now 
Now when the cruelty you flout me with 
Pierces me too in the apple of my eye, 
Now when my kinship scorches me like hate 
Flashed from a mother's eye, you choose this time 
To talk of birth as of inherited rage 
Deep-down, volcanic, fatal, bursting forth 
From under hard-taught reason ? Wondrous friend! 
My uncle Isidor's echo, mocking me, 
From the opposing quarter of the heavens, 
With iteration of the thing I know, 
That I'm a Christian knight and Spanish duke I 
The consequence ? Why, that I know. It lies 
In my own hands and not on raven tongues. 
The knight and noble shall not wear the chain 
Of false-linked thoughts in brains of other men. 


What question was there 'twixt us two, of angfct 
That makes division ? When I come to you 
I come for other doctrine than the Prior's. 


My lord, you are o'erwrought by pain. My 
That carried innocent meaning, do but float 
Like little emptied cups upon the flood 
Your mind brings with it. I but answered you 
With regular proviso, such as stands 
In testaments and charters, to forefend 
A possible case which none deem likelihood ; 
Just turned my sleeve, and pointed to the brand 
Of brotherhood that limits every pledge. 
Superfluous nicety the student's trick, 
Who will not drink until he can define 
What water is and is not. But enough. 
My will to serve you now knows no division 
Save the alternate beat of love and fear. 
There's danger in this quest name, honor, life 
My lord, the stake is great, and are you sure 


No, I am sure of nought but this, Sephardo, 
That I will go. Prudence is but conceit 
Hoodwinked by ignorance. There's nought exists 
That is not dangerous and holds not death 
For souls or bodies. Prudence turns its helm 
To flee the storm and lands 'mids pestilence. 
Wisdom would end by throwing dice with folly 
But for dire passion which alone makes choice. 
And I have chosen as the lion robbed 
Chooses to turn upon the ravisher. 
If love were slack, the Prior's imperious will 
Would move it to outmatch him. But, Sephardo, 
Were all else mute, all passive as sea-calms, 
My soul is one great hunger I must see her. 
Now you are smiling. Oh, you merciful men 
Pick up coarse griefs and fling them in the face 
Of us whom life with long descent has trained 
To subtler pains, mocking your ready balms. 
You smile at my soul's hunger. 


Science smiles 

And sways our lips in spite of us, my lord, 
When thought weds fact when maiden prophecy 
Waiting, believing, sees the bridal torch. 
I use not vulgar measures for your grief, 
My pity keeps no cruel feasts ; but thought 
Has joys apart, even in blackest woe, 
And seizing some fine thread of verity 
Knows momentary godhead. 


And your thought ? 


Seized on the close agreement of your words 
With what is written in your horoscope. 

Reach it me now. 


By your leave, Annibal. 

(He places ANNIBAL on PABLO'S lap and rises. The boy 
moves without waking, and his head falls on the opposite side. 
SEPHARDO fetches a cushion and lays PABLO'S head gently 
down upon it, then goes to reach the parchment from a cab- 
inet. ANNIBAL, having waked up in alarm, shuts his eye* 
quickly again and pretends to sleep.) 


I wish, by new appliance of your skill, 
Reading afresh the records of the sky, 
You could detect more special augury. 
Such chance oft happens, for all characters 
Must shrink or widen, as our wine skins do, 
For more or less that we can pour in them ; 
And added years give ever a new key 
To fixed prediction. 

SEPHARDO (returning with the parchment and reseating 

True ; our growing thought 
Makes growing revelation. But demand not 
Specific augury, as of sure success 
In meditated projects, or of ends 
To be foreknown by peeping in God's scroll. 
I say nay, Ptolemy said it, but wise books 
For half the truths they hold are honored tomba 


Prediction is contingent, of effects 

Where causes and concomitants are mixed 

To seeming wealth of possibilities 

Beyond our reckoning. Who will pretend 

To tell the adventures of each single fish 

Within the Syrian Sea ? Show me a fish, 

I'll weigh him, tell his kind, what he devoured, 

What would have devoured him but for one Bias 

Who netted him instead ; nay, could I tell 

That had Bias missed him, he would not have died 

Of poisonous mud, and so made carrion, 

Swept off at last by some sea- scavenger ? 


Ay, now you talk of fishes, you get hard. 
I note you merciful men : you can endure 
Torture of fishes and hidalgos. Follows ? 


By how much, then, the fortunes of a man 

Are made of elements refined and mixed 

Beyond a tunny's, what our science tells 

Of the star's influence hath contingency 

In special issues. Thus, the loadstone drawt, 

Acts like a will to make the iron submiss ; 

But garlic rubbing it, that chief effect 

Lies in suspense ; the iron keeps at large, 

And garlic is controller of the stone. 

And so, my lord, your horoscope declares 

Not absolutely of your sequent lot, 

But, by our lore's authentic rules, sets forth 

What gifts, what dispositions, likelihoods 

The aspect of the heavens conspired to fuse 

With your incorporate soul. Aught more than tkis 

Is vulgar doctrine. For the ambient, 

Though a cause regnant, is not absolute, 

But suffers a determining restraint 

From action of the subject qualities 

In proximate motion. 


Yet you smiled just'now 
At some close fitting of my horoscope 
With present fact with this resolve of mine 
To quit the fortress ? 



Nay, not so ; I smiled, 
Observing how the temper of your soul 
Sealed long tradition of the influence shed 
By the heavenly spheres. Here is your horoscope : 
The aspects of the Moon with Mars conjunct, 
Of Venus and the Sun with Saturn, lord 
Of the ascendant, make symbolic speech 
Whereto your words gave running paraphrase. 

DON SILV ^impatiently). 
What did I say ? 


You spoke as oft you did 
When I was schooling you at C6rdova, 
The lessons on the noun and verb were drowned 
With sudden stream of general debate 
On things and actions. Always in ].that stream 
I saw the play of babbling currents, saw 
A nature o'erendowed with opposites 
Making a self alternate, where each hour 
Was critic of the last, each mood too strong 
For tolerance of its fellow in close yoke. 
The ardent planets stationed as supreme, 
Potent in action, suffer in light malign 
From luminaries large and coldly bright 
Inspiring meditative doubt, which straight 
Doubts of itself, by interposing act 
Of Jupiter in the fourth house fortified 
With power ancestral. So. my lord, I read 
The changeless in the changing ; so I read 
The constant action of celestial powers 
Mixed into waywardness of mortal men, 
Whereof no sage's eye can trace the course 
And see the close. 


Fruitful result, O sage ! 
Certain uncertainty. 


Yea, a result 

Fruitful as seeded earth, where certainty 
Would be as barren as a globe of gold. 
I love you, and would serve you well, my lord,, 


Your rashness vindicates itself too much, 
Puts harness on a cobweb theory 
While rushing like a cataract. Be warned. 
Resolve with you is a fire-breathing steed, 
But it sees visions, and may feel the air 
Impassable with thoughts that come too late, 
Rising from out the grave of murdered honor. 
Look at your image in your horoscope : 

{Laying the horoscope before DON SILVA.) 
You are so mixed, my lord, that each to-day 
May seem a maniac to its morrow. 

DON SILVA {pushing away the horoscope, rising and tunn- 
ing to look out at the open window}. 

No morrow e'er will say that I am mad 
Not to renounce her. Risks ! I know them all 
I've dogged each lurking, ambushed consequence. 
I've handled every chance to know its shape 
As blind men handle bolts. Oh, I'm too sane ! 
I see the Prior's nets. He does my deed ; 
For he has narrowed all my life to this 
That I must find her by some hidden means. 

(He turns and stands close in front of SEPH ARDO.) 
One word, Sephardo leave that horoscope, 
Which is but iteration of myself, 
And give me promise. Shall I count on you 
To act upon my signal ? Kings of Spain 
Like me have found their refuge in a Jew. 
And trusted in his counsel. Yon will help me ? 


Yes, my lord, I will help you. Israel 
Is to the nations as the body's heart : 
Thus writes our poet Jehuda. I will act 
So that no man may ever say through me 
' Your Israel is nought," and make my deeds 
The mud they fling upon my brethren. 
I will not fail you, save you know the terms : 
I am a Jew, and not that infamous life 
That takes on bastardy, will know no father, 
So shrouds itself in the pale abstract, Man. 
You should be sacrificed to Israel 
If Israel needed it. 

THE SPAKiGlI G-iT-3:' f( 

I fear not that. 

I am no frind of fines and banishment, 
Or flames that, fed on heretics, still gape, 
And must have heretics made to feed them still. 
I take your terms, and for the rest, your love 
Will not forsake me. 


"Pis hard Roman love, 

That looks away and stretches forth the sword 
Bared for its master's breast to run upon. 
But you will have it so. Love shall obey. 

SILVA turns to the window again, and is silent for of* 
moments, looking at the sky.) 


See now, Sephardo, you would keep no faith 
To smooth the path of cruelty. Confess, 
The deed I would not do, save for the strait 
Another brings me to (quit my command, 
Resign it for brief space, I mean no more) 
Were that deed branded, then the brand should fix 
On him who urged me. 


Will it, though, my lord ? 
I speak not of the fact but of the right 


My lord, you said but now you were resolved. 
Question not if the world will be unjust 
Branding your deed. If conscience has two courts 
With differing verdicts, where shall lie the appeal ? 
Our law must be without us or within. 
The Highest speaks through all our people's voice, 
Custom, tradition, and old sanctities ; 
Or he reveals himself by new decrees 
Of inward certitude. 


My love for her 
Makes highes; law, mv.ct be the voice of God- 



I thought, but now, you seemed to make excuse, 
And plead as in some court where Spanish knights 
Are tried by other laws than those of love, 


'Twas momentary. I shall dare it all. 
How the great planet glows, and looks at me, 
And seems to pierce me with his effluence ! 
Were he a living God, these rays that stir 
In me the pulse of wonder were in him 
Fumess of knowledge. Are you certified, 
Sephardo, that the astral science shrinks 
To such pale ashes, dead symbolic forms 
For that congenital mixture of effects 
Which life declares without the aid of lore ? 
If there are times propitious or malign 
To our first framing, then must all events 
Have favoring periods : you cull your plants 
By signal of the heavens, then why not trace 
As others would by astrologic rule 
Times of good augury for momentous acts, 
As secret journeys ? 


Oh, my lord, the stars 

Act not as witchcraft or as muttered spells. 
I said before they are not absolute, 
And tell no fortunes. I adhere alone 
To such tradition of their agencies 
As reason fortifies. 


A barren science I 

Some argue now 'tis folly. 'Twere as well 
Be of their mind. If those bright stars had will- 
But they are fatal fires, and know no love. 
Of old, I think, the world was happier 
With many gods, who held a struggling life 
As mortals do, and helped men in the straits 
Of forced misdoing. I doubt that horoscope. 

(DoN SILVA turns from the window and reseats himself opposite 


I am most self-contained, and strong to bear. 
No man save you has seen my trembling lip 


Utter her name, since she was lost to me. 
I'll face the progeny of all my deeds. 


May they be fair ! No horoscope makes slaves. 
'Tis but a mirror, shows one image forth, 
And leaves the future dark with endless " ifs.'* 


I marvel, my Sephardo, you can pinch 
With confident selection these few grains, 
And call them verity, from out the dust 
Of crumbling error. Surely such thought creeps. 
With insect exploration of the world. 
Were I a Hebrew, now, I would be bold. 
Why should you fear, not being Catholic ? 


Lo ! you yourself, my lord, mix subtleties 
With gross belief; by momentary lapse 
Conceive, with all the vulgar, that we Jews 
Must hold ourselves God's outlaws, and defy 
All good with blasphemy, because we hold 
Your good is evil ; think we must turn pale 
To see our portraits painted in your hell, 
And sin the more for knowing we are lost. 


Read not my words with malice. I but meant, 
My temper hates an over-cautious march. 


The Unnameable made not the search for truth 
To suit hidalgos' temper. I abide 
By that wise spirit of listening reverence 
Which marks the boldest doctors of our race. 
For Truth, to us, is like a living child 
Born of two parents : if the parents part 
And will divide the child, how shall it live? 
Or, I will rather say : Two angels guide 
The path of man, both aged an yet young, 
As angels are, ripening through endless yean. 
On one he leans : some call her Memory, 
And some Tradition ; and her voice is sweet, 
With deep mysterious accords: the other, 


Floating above, holds down a lamp which streams 

A light divine and searching on the earth, 

Compelling eyes and footsteps. Memory yields, 

Yet clings with loving cheek, and shines anew 

Reflecting all the rays of that bright lamp 

Our angel Reason holds. We had not walked 

But for Tradition ; we walk evermore 

To higher paths, by brightening Reason's lamp. 

Still we are purblind, tottering. I hold less 

Than Aben-Ezra, of that aged lore 

Brought by long centuries from Chaldsean plains ; 

The Jew-taught Florentine rejects it all. 

For still the light is measured by the eye, 

And the weak organ fails. I may see ill ; 

But over all belief is faithfulness, 

Which fulfills vision with obedience. 

So, I must grasp my morsels : truth is oft 

Scattered in fragments round a stately pile 

Built half of error; and the eye's defect 

May breed too much denial. But, my lord, 

I weary your sick soul. Go now with me 

Into the turret. We will watch the spheres, 

And see the constellations bend and plunge 

Into a depth of being where our eyes 

Hold them no more. We'll quit ourselves and be 

The red Aldebaran or bright Sirius, 

And sail as in a solemn voyage, bound 

On some great quest we know not. 


Let us go. 

She may be watching too, and thought of her 
Sways me, as if she knew, to every act 
Of pure allegiance. 


That is love's perfection 
Tuning the soul to all her harmonies 
So that no chord can jar. Now we will mount. 

4 large hall in the castle, of Moorish architecture. On the 
side where the windows are, an outer gallery. Pages and 
other young gentlemen attached to DON SILVA'S household, 
gathered chiefly at one end of the hall. Some are moving 
about ; others re lounging on t'le carved benches ; others, 
half-strrtchfd on pieces of matting and carpet, are gambling. 


ARIAS, a stripling of fifteen, sings by snatches in a boyish 
treble, as he walks up and down, and tosses back the nuts 
which another youth flings toward him. In the middle DON 
AMADOR, a gaunt, gray-haired soldier, in a handsome uni- 
form, sits in a marble red-cushioned chair, with a large 
book spread out on his knees, from which he is reading 
aloud, while his voice is half-drowned by the talk that is go- 
ing on around him, first one voice and then another surging 
above the hum. 

ARIAS (singing]. 
There was a holy hermit 

Who counted all things loss 
For Christ his Master's glory ; 

He made an ivory cross. 
And as he knelt before it 

And wept his murdered Lord, 
The ivory turned to iron, 

The cross became a sword. 

Jos6 (from the floor). 

I say, twenty cruzados ! thy Galician wit can never 

HERNANDO (also from the floor). 
And thy Sevillian wit always counts double 
ARIAS (singing). 

The tears that fell upon it, 

They turned to red, red rust t 
The tears that fell from off it 

Made writing in the dust. 
The holy hermit, gazing, 

Saw words upon the ground : 
" The sword be red forever 

With the blood of false Mahound." 

DON All ADOR (looking up from his book, and raising his voice\ 
What, gentlemen ! Our Glorious Lady defend us ! 

ENRIQUEZ {from the benches). 

Serves the infidels right ! They have sold Christians 
enough to people half the towns in Paradise. If the Queen, 
now, had divided the pretty damsels of Malaga among the 
Castilians who have been helping in the holy war, and not 
sent half of them to Naples 


ARIAS (singing again). 

At the battle of Clavijo 
In the days of King Ramiro, 
Help us, Allah ! cried the Moslem, 
Cried the Spaniard, Heaven's chosen, 

God and Santiago I 

Oh, the very tail of our chance has vanished. The royai 
army is breaking up going home for the winter. The 
Grand Master sticks to his own border. 

ARIAS (singing). 

Straight out- flushing like the rainbow, 
See him come, celestial Baron, 
Mounted knight, with red-crossed banner. 
Plunging earthward to the battle, 

Glorious Santiago! 

Yes, yes, through the pass of By-and-by, you go to the 
valley of Never. We might have done a great feat, if the 

Marquis of Cadiz 

ARIAS (sings). 

As the flame before the swift wind, 
See, he fires us, we burn with him / 
Flash our swords, dash Pagans backward 
Victory he ! pale fear is Allah / 

God with Santiago} 

DON AMADOR (raising his voice to a cry). 
Sangre de Dios, gentlemen ! 

(He shuts the book, and lets it fall with a bang on the floor. 
There is instant silence?) 

To what good end is it that I, who studied at Salamanca, 
andean write verses agreeable to the Glorious Lady, with the 
point of a sword which have done harder service, am read- 
ing aloud in a clerkly manner from a book which hath been 
culled from the flowers of all books, to instruct you in the 
knowledge befitting those who would be knights and worthy 
hidalgos ? I had as lief be reading in a belfry. And gamb- 
ling too ! As if it were a time when we needed not the help 
of God and the saints ! Surely for the space of one hour 
ye might subdue your tongues to your ears, that so your 
tongu^r miight learn somewhat of civility and modesty. 


Wherefore am I master of the Duke's retinue, if my voice is 
to run along like a gutter in a storm ? 

HURTADO (lifting up the book, and respectfully presenting it 

Pardon, Don Amador ! The air is so commoved by your 
voice, that it stirs our tongues in spite of us. 

DON AMADOR (reopening the book). 

Confess, now ; it is a goose-headed trick, that when 
rational sounds are made for your edification, you find 
nought in it but an occasion for purposeless gabble. I will 
report it to the Duke, and the reading-time shall be doubled, 
and my office of reader shall be handed over to Fraj 
( While DON AMADOR had been speaking, DON SILVA with 

DON ALVAR, has appeared walking in the outer gallery on 

-which the windows are opened.') 

ALL (in concert). 
No, no, no. 


Are ye ready, then, to listen, if I finish the wholesome 
extract from the Seven Parts, wherein the wise King Alfonso 
hath set down the reason why knights should be of gentle 
birth ? Will ye now be silent ? 

Yes, silent. 


But when I pause, and look up, I give any leave to speak, 
if he hath aught pertinent to say. 


" And this nobility cometh in three ways ; first, by lin- 
eage, secondly, by science, and thirdly, by valor and worthy 
behavior. Now, although they who gain nobility through 
science or good deeds are rightfully called noble and gentle; 
nevertheless, they are with the highest fitness so called who 
are noble by ancient lineage, and lead a worthy life as by 
inheritance from afar ; and hence are more bound and con- 
strained to act well, and guard themselves from error and 
wrong-doing ; for in their case it is more true that by evil- 
doing they bring injury and shame not only on themselves 
but also on those from whom they are derived " 


DON AM A DOR (placing his forefinger for a mark on the page, 
and looking up, while he keeps his voice raised, as wishing 
DON SILVA to overhear him in the judicious discharge of his 

Hear ye that, young gentlemen ? See ye not that if ye 
have but bad manners even, they disgrace you more than 
gross misdoings disgrace the low-born ? Think you, Arias, 
it becomes the son of your house irreverently to sing and 
fling nuts, to the interruption of your elders ? 

ARIAS (sitting on the floor, and leaning backward on his elbows). 

Nay, Don Amador ; King Alfonso, they say, was a heretic, 
and I think that is not true writing. For noble birth gives 
us more leave to do ill if we like. 

DON AMADOR (lifting his brows]. 
What bold and blasphemous talk is this ? 


Why, nobles are only punished now and then, in a grand 
way, and have their heads cut off, like the Grand Constable. 
I shouldn't mind that. 


Nonsense, Arias ! nobles have their heads cut off because 
their crimes are noble. If they did what was unknightly, 
they would come to shame. Is not that true, Don Amador ? 


Arias is a contumacious puppy, who will bring dishonor 
on his parentage. Pray, sirrah, whom did you ever hear 
speak as you have spoken ? 


Nay, I speak out of my own head. I shall go and ask the 


Now, now ! you are too bold, Arias. 

Oh, he is never angry with me (Dropping his voice) 
because the Lady Fedalmalibed me. She said I was a good 
boy, and pretty, and that is what you are not, Hurtado. 

Girl-face ! See, now, if you dare &sk the Duke, 


(Dow SILVA is just entering the hall from the gallery, with 
DON ALVAR behind him, intending to pass out at the other 
end. All rise with homage. DON SILVA bows coldly and 
abstractedly. ARIAS advances from the group, and goes up 

My lord, is it true that a noble is more dishonored than 

other men if he does aught dishonorable? 

DON SILVA (first blushing deeply, and grasping his sword, 
then raising his hand and giving ARIAS a blow on the ear.) 
Varlet ! 


My lord, I am a gentleman. 

(DON SILVA pushes him away, and passes on hurriedly!) 
DON ALVAR (following and turning to speak}. 

Go, go ! you should not speak to the Duke when you are 
not called upon. He is ill and much distempered. 

(ARIAS retires, flushed, with tears in his eyes. His companions 
look too much surprised to triumph. DON AMADOR remains 
silent and confused} 

The Plafa Santiago during busy market-time. Mules and 
asses laden with fruits and vegetables. Stalls and booths 
filled with wares of all sorts. A crowd of buyers and sellers. 
A stalwart woman, with keen eyes, leaning over the panniers 
of a mule laden with apples, watches LORENZO, who is loung- 
ing through the market. As he approaches her, he is met by 

Well met, friend. 


Ay, for we are soon to part, 
And I would see you at the hostelry, 
To take my reckoning. I go forth to-day. 


'Tis grievous parting with good company. 
I would I had the gold to pay such guesta 
For all my pleasure in their talk. 


Why, yes; 
A solid-headed man of Aragon 


Has matter in him that you Southerners lack. 
You like my company 'tis natural. 
But, look you, I have done my business well, 
Have sold and ta'en commissions. I come straight 
From you know who I like not naming him. 
I'm a thick man ; you reach not my backbone 
With any tooth-pick ; but I tell you this : 
He reached it with his eye, right to the marrow. 
It gave me heart that I had plate to sell, 
For, saint or no saint, a good silversmith 
Is wanted for God's service ; and my plate- 
He judged it well bought nobly. 


A great man, 
And holy ! 


Yes, I'm glad I leave to-day. 
For there are stories give a sort of smell 
One's nose has fancies. A good trader, sir, 
Likes not this plague of lapsing in the air, 
Most caught by men with funds. And they do say 
There's a great terror here in Moors and Jews, 
I would say, Christians of unhappy blood. 
Tis monstrous, sure, that men of substance lapse 
And risk their property. I know I'm sound. 
No heresy was ever bait to me. Whate'er 
Is the right faith, that I believe nought else. 


Ay, truly, for the flavor of true faith 
Once known must sure be sweetest to the taste. 
But an uneasy mood is now abroad 
Within the town ; partly, for that the Duke 
Being sorely sick, has yielded the command 
To Don Diego, a most valiant man, 
More Catholic than the Holy Father's self, 
Half chiding God that He will tolerate 
A Jew or Arab ; though, 'tis plain they're made 
For profit of good Christians. And weak heads 
Panic will knit all disconnected facts 
Draw hence belief in evil auguries, 
Rumors of accusation and arrest. 
All air-begotten. Sir, you need not gcx 


But if it must be so, I'll follow you 
In fifteen minutes finish marketing, 
Then be at home to speed you on your way. 


Do so. I'll back to Saragossa straight. 
The court and nobles are retiring now 
And wending northward. There'll be fresh demand 
For bells and images against the Spring, 
When doubtless our great Catholic sovereigns 
Will move to conquest of these eastern parts, 
And cleanse Granada from the infidel. 
Stay, sir, with God, until we meet again ! 

Go, sir, with God, until I follow you. 

(Exit BLASCO. LORENZO/#W on toward the market-woman 
who, as he approaches, raises herself from her leaning 


Good-day, my mistress. How's your merchandise ? 
Fit for a host to buy ? Your apples now, 
They have fair cheeks ; how are they at the core ? 


Good, good, sir ! Taste and try. See, here is one 
Weighs a man's head. The best are bound with tow : 
They're worth the pains, to keep the peel from splits, 

(She takes out an apple bound with tow, and, as she puts it into 

LORENZO'S hand, speaks in a lower tone) 
'Tis called the Miracle. You open it, 
And find it full of speech. 


Ay, give it me, 

I'll take it to the Doctor in the tower. 
He feeds on fruit, and if he likes the sort 
I'll buy them for him. Meanwhile, drive your ass 
Round to my hostelry. I'll straight be there. 
You'll not refuse some barter ? 


No, not L 
Feathers and skins. 



Good, till we meet again. 

(LORENZO, after smelling at the apple,puts it info a pouch-like 
basket which hangs before him, and walks away. Tht 
woman drives off the mule.) 


"Zarca, the chieftain of the Gypsies, greets 

44 The King El Zagal. Let the force be sent 

"With utmost swiftness to the Pass of Luz. 

** A good five hundred added to my bands 

** Will master all the garrison: the town 

** Is half with us, and will not lift an arm 

* Save on our side. My scouts have found a way 

** Where once we thought the fortress most secure : 

** Spying a man upon the height, they traced, 

" By keen conjecture piercing broken sight, 

** His downward path, and found its issue. There 

41 A file of us can mount, surprise the fort, 

"And give the signal to our friends within 

" To ope the gates for our confederate bands, 

** Who will lie eastward ambushed by the rocks, 

** Waiting the night. Enough: give me command, 

" Bedmar is yours. Chief Ztarca will redeem 

" His pledge of highest service to the Moor: 

** Let the Moor too be faithful and repay 

" The Gypsy with the furtherance he needs 

" To lead his people over Bahr el Scham 

*' And plant them on the shore of Africa. 

*' So may the King El Zagal live as one 

" Who, trusting Allah will be true to him, 

' Maketh himself as Allah true to friends.** 


QUIT now the town, and with a journeying dream 
Swift as the wings of sound yet seeming slow 
Through multitudinous pulsing of stored sense 
And spiritual space, see walls and towers 
Lie in the silent whiteness of a trance, 
Giving no sign of that warm life within 
That moves and murmurs through their hidden heart 
Pass o'er the mountain, wind in sombre shade, 


Then wind into the light and see the town 

Shrunk to white crust upon the darker rock. 

Turn east and south, descend, then rise anew 

'Mid smaller mountains ebbing toward the plain: 

Scent the fresh breath of the height-loving herbs 

That, trodden by the pretty parted hoofs 

Of nimble goats, sigh at the innocent bruise, 

And with a mingled difference exquisite 

Pour a sweet burden on the buoyant air. 

Pause now and be all ear. Far from the south, 

Seeking the listening silence of the heights, 

Comes a slow-dying sound the Moslems' call 

To pray in afternoon. Bright in the sun 

Like tall white sails on a green shadowy sea 

Stand Moorish watch-towers: 'neath that eastern sky 

Couches unseen the strength of Moorish Baza ; 

Where the meridian bends lies Guadix, hold 

Of brave El Zagal. This is Moorish land, 

Where Allah lives unconquered in dark breasts 

And blesses still the many-nourishing earth 

With dark-armed industry. See from the steep 

The scattered olives hurry in gray throngs 

Down toward the valley, where the little stream 

Parts a green hollow 'twixt the gentler slopes ; 

And in that hollow, dwellings : not white homes 

Of building Moors, but little swarthy tents 

Such as of old perhaps on Asian plains, 

Or wending westward past the Caucasus, 

Our fathers raised to rest in. Close they swarm 

About two taller tents, and viewed afar 

Might seem a dark-robed crowd in penitence 

That silent kneel ; but come now in their midst 

And watch a busy, bright-eyed, sportive life ! 

Tall maidens bend to feed the tethered goat, 

The ragged kirtle fringing at the knee 

Above the living curves, the shoulder's smoothness 

Parting the torrent strong of ebon hair. 

Women with babes, the wild and neutral glance 

Swayed now to sweet desire of mothers' eyes, 

Rock their strong cradling arms and chant low strains 

Taught by monotonous and soothing winds 

That fall at night-time en the dozing ear. 

The crones plait reeds, or shred the vivid herbs 

Into the caldron : tiny urchins crawl 


Or sit and gurgle forth their infant joy. 

Lads lying sphynx-like with uplifted breast 

Propped on their elbows, their black manes tossed back, 

Fling up the coin and watch its fatal fall, 

Dispute and scramble, run and wrestle fierce, 

Then fall to play and fellowship again ; 

Or in a thieving swarm they run to plague 

The grandsires, who return with rabbits slung, 

And with the mules fruit-laden from the fields. 

Some striplings choose the smooth stones from the brook 

To serve the slingers, cut the twigs for snares, 

Or trim the hazel-wands, or at the bark 

Of some exploring dog they dart away 

With swift precision toward a moving speck. 

These are the brood of Zarca's Gypsy tribe ; 

Most like an earth-born race bred by the Sun 

On some rich tropic soil, the father's light 

Flashing in coal-black eyes, the mother's Wood 

With bounteous elements feeding their young limbs. 

The stalwart men and youths are at the wars 

Following their chief, all save a trusty band 

Who keep strict watch along the northern heights. 

But see, upon a pleasant spot removed 

From the camp's hubbub, where the thicket strong 

Of huge-eared cactus makes a bordering curve 

And casts a shadow, lies a sleeping man 

With Spanish hat screening his upturned face, 

His doublet loose, his right arm backward flung, 

His left caressing close the long-necked lute 

That seems to sleep too, leaning toward its lord, 

He draws deep breath secure but not unwatched. 

Moving a-tiptoe, silent as the elves, 

As mischievous, too, trip three barefooted girls 

Not opened yet to womanhood dark flowers 

In slim long buds : some paces farther off 

Gathers a little white-teethed shaggy group, 

A grinning chorus to the merry play. 

The tripping girls have robbed the sleeping man 

Of all his ornaments. Hita is decked 

With an embroidered scarf across her rags ; 

Tralla, with thorns for pins, sticks two rosettes 

Upon her threadbare woollen ; Hinda now, 

Prettiest and boldest, tucks her kirtle up 

As wallet for the stolen buttons then 


Bends with her knife to cut from off the hat 
The aigrette and long feather ; deftly cuts, 
Yet wakes the sleeper, who with sudden start 
Shakes off the masking hat and shows the face 
Of Juan : Hinda swift as thought leaps back, 
But carries off the spoil triumphantly, 
And leads the chorus of a happy laugh, 
Running with all the naked-footed imps, 
Till with safe survey all can face about 
And watch for signs of stimulating chase, 
While Hinda ties long grass around her brow 
To stick the feather in with majesty. 
Juan still sits contemplative, with looks 
Alternate at the spoilers and their work. 


Ah, you marauding kite my feather gone ! 
My belt, my scarf, my buttons and rosettes ! 
This is to be a brother of your tribe ! 
The fiery-blooded children of the Sun 
So says chief Zarca children of the Sun ! 
Ay, ay, the black and stinging flies he breeds 
To plague the decent body of mankind. 
* Orpheus, professor of the gat saber, 
Made all the brutes polite by dint of song.** 
Pregnant but as a guide in daily life 
Derusive. For if song and music cure 
The barbarous trick of thieving, 'tis a cure 
That works as slowly as old Doctor Time 
In curing folly. Why, the minxes there 
Have rhythm in their toes, and music rings 
As readily from them as from little bells 
Swung by the breeze. Well, I will try the physic. 

(He touches Jus Adfc.) 

Hem ! taken rightly, any single thing, 
The Rabbis say, implies all other things. 
A knotty task, though, the unravelling 
Meum and Tuum from a saraband : 
It needs a subtle logic, nay, perhaps 
A good large property, to see the thread. 

(He touches the lute again.) 
There's more of odd than even in this world, 
Else pretty sinners would not be let off 


Sooner than ugly ; for if honeycombs 

Are to be got by stealing, they should go 

Where life is bitterest on the tongue. And yet 

Because this minx has pretty ways I wink 

At all her tricks, though if a flat-faced lass, 

With eyes askew, were half as bold as she, 

I should chastise her with a hazel switch. 

I'm a plucked peacock even my voice and wit 

Without a tail ! why, any fool detects 

The absence of your tail, but twenty fools 

May not detect the presence of your wit 

( He touches his lute again.) 

Well, I must coax my tail back cunningly, 
For to run after these brown lizards ah ! 
I think the lizards lift their ears at this. 

(As he thrums his lute the lads and girls gradually approach : 
he touches it more briskly, and HIND A, advancing ; begins to 
move arms and legs with an initiatory dancing movement, 
smiling coaxingly at JUAN. He suddenly stops, lays down 
his lute and folds his arms.) 

What, you expect a tune to dance to, eh ? 

HIND A, HITA, TRALLA, AND THE REST (clapping their 

Yes, yes, a tune, a tune ! 


Bat that is what you cannot have, my sweet brothers and 
sisters. The tunes are all dead dead as the tunes of the 
lark when you have plucked his wings off ; dead as the song 
of the grasshopper when the ass has swallowed him. I can 
play and sing no more. Hinda has killed my tunes. 

(All cry out in consternation. HINDA gives a wail and tries 
to examine the lute.) 

JUAN (waving her oft}. 

Understand, Sefiora Hinda, that the tunes are in me ; 
they are not in the lute till I put them there. And if you 
cross my humor, I shall be as tuneless as a bag of wool. If 
the tunes are to be brought to life again, I must have my 
feather bact 


(HiNDA kisses his hands and feet toaxingly.) 

No, no ! not a note will come for coaxing. The feather, 
I say, the feather ! 

(HINDA sorrowfully takes off the feather, and gives it to 

Ah, now let us see. Perhaps a tune will come, 

(He plays a measure, and the three girls begin to dance j then 
he suddenly stops.) 


No, the tune will not come : it wants the aigrette (jointing 
to it on Hindoos neck). 

(HiNDA, with rather less hesitation, but again sorrowfully, 
takes off the aigrette, and gives it to him.) 


Ha ! (He plays again, but, after rather a longer time, again 
stops.) No, no ; 'tis the buttons are wanting, Hinda, the 
buttons. This tune feeds chiefly on buttons a greedy tune. 
It wants one, two, three, four, five, six. Good ! 
(After HINDA has given up the buttons, and JUAN has laid 
them down one by one, he begins to play again, going on longer 
than before, so that the dancers become excited by the move- 
ment. Then he stops.) 


Ah, Hita, it is the belt, and Tralla, the rosettes both are 
wanting. I see the tune will not go on without them. 

(HiTA and TRALLA take off the belt and rosettes, and lay them 
down quickly r , being fired by the dancing, and eager for the 
music. All the articles lie by JUAN'S side on the ground?) 


Good, good, my docile wild-cats ! Now I think the tunes 
are all alive again. Now you may dance and sing too. 
Hinda, my little screamer, lead off with the song I taught 
you, and let us see if the tune will go right on from begin- 
ning to end. 

(He plays. The dance begins again, HINDA singing. All the 
other boys and girls join in the chorus } and all at last 


All things journey : sun and moon^ 
Morning, noon, and afternoon, 

Night and all her stars : 
'Twixt the east and western ban 

Round they journey ', 
Come and go ! 

We go with them ! 
For to roam and ever roam 
Is the Zincali' s loved home. 

Earth is good, the hillside breaks 
By the ashen roots and makes 

Hungry nostrils glad : 
Then we rttn till we are mad, 

Like tfie horses, 
And we cry, 

None shall catch us ! 
Swift winds wing us we are free 
Drink the air we Zincali ! 

the snow .- the pint-branch split, 
Call the fire out, see it^flit, 

Through the dry leaves run, 
Spread and glow, and make a sum 
In the dark tent : 

O warm dark ! 
Warm as conies ! 

Strong fire loves us, we are warm I 
Who the Zincali shall harm ? 

Onward journey : fires are spent ; 
Sunward, sunward ! lift the tent, 

Run before the rain, 
Through the pass, along the plain, 

Hurry, hurry, 

Lift us, wind I 

Like the horses. 
For to roam and ever roam 
Is the Zincali s loved home. 

{When the dance is at its height, HINDA breaks away from 
the rest, and dances round JUAN, who is now standing. As 
he turns a little to watch her movement, some of the boys 
skip toward the feather, aigrette, etc., snatch them up, and 
run away, swiftly followed by HITA, TRALLA, and the rest. 


HINDA, as she turns again, sees them, screams, and falls in 
her whirling; but immediately gets up, and rushes after them, 
still screaming with rage.) 


Santiago ! these imps get bolder. Ha ha ! Seflora Hinda, 
this finishes your lesson in ethics. You have seen the ad- 
vantage of giving up stolen goods. Now you see the ugli- 
ness of thieving when practiced by others. That fable of 
mine about the tunes was excellently devised. I feel like 
an ancient sage instructing our lisping ancestors. My 
memory will descend as the Orpheus of Gypsies. But I 
must prepare a rod for those rascals. I'll bastinado them 
with prickly pears. It seems to me these needles will have 
a sound moral teaching in them. 

( While JUAN takes a knife from his belt, and surveys a bush 
of the prickly pear, HINDA returns?) 


Pray, Sefiora, why do you fume ? Did you want to steal 
my ornaments again yourself ? 

HINDA (sobbing). 

No ; I thought you would give them me back again. 

What, did you want the tunes to die again ? Do yoa 
like finery better than dancing ? 


Oh, that was a tale ! I shall tell tales, too, when I want to 
get anything I can't steal. And I know what I will do. I 
shall tell the boys I've found some little foxes, and I will 
aever say where they are till they give me back the feather! 

(She runs off again.) 


Hem ! the disciple seems to seize the mode sooner than 
the matter. Teaching virtue with this prickly pear may 
only teach the youngsters to use a new weapon ; as your 
teaching orthodoxy with faggots may only bring up a 
fashion of roasting. Dios ! my remarks grow too pregnant 
my wits get a plethora by solitary feeding on the produce 
of my own wisdom. 


(Af he puts up his knife again, HIND A comes running baek^ 
and crying, " Our Queen 1 our Queen / " JUAN adjusts his 
garments and his lute, while HINDA turns to meet FEDALMA, 
who wears a Moorish dress, her black hair hanging round her 
in plaits, a white turban on her head, a dagger by her side* 
She carries a scarf on tier left arm, which she holds up as a 

FEDALMA (patting HINDA'S head.) 

How now, wild one ? You are hot and panting, Go to 
my tent, and help Nouna to plait reeds. 

(HINDA kisses FEDALMA'S hand and runs off. FEDALMA 
advances toward JUAN, who kneels to take up the edge of her 
cymar, and kisses it.) 


How is it with you, lady ? You look sad. 

Oh, I am sick at heart The eye of day, 

The insistent summer sun, seems pitiless, 

Shining in all the barren crevices 

Of weary life leaving no shade, no dark, 

Where I may dream that hidden waters lie ; 

As pitiless as to some shipwrecked man 

Who gazing from his narrow shoal of sand 

On the wide un specked round of blue and blue 

Sees that full light is errorless despair. 

The insect's hum that slurs the silent dark 

Startles and seems to cheat me, as the tread 

Of coming footsteps cheats the midnight watcher 

Who holds her heart and waits to hear them pause, 

And hears them never pause, but pass and die. 

Music sweeps by me as a messenger 

Carrying a message that is not for me. 

The very sameness of the hills and sky 

Is obduracy, and the lingering hours 

Wait round me dumbly, like superfluous slaves, 

Of whom I want naught but the secret news 

They are forbid to tell. And, Juan, you 

You, too, are cruel would be over- wise 

In judging your friend's needs, and choose to hide 

Something I crave to know. 



I, lady ? 



I never had the virtue to hide aught, 
Save what a man is whipped for publishing. 
I'm no more reticent than the voluble air- 
Dote on disclosure never could contain 
The latter half of all my sentences, 
But for the need to utter the beginning. 
My lust to teil is so importunate 
That it abridges every other vice, 
And makes me temperate for want of time. 
I dull sensation in the haste to say 
Tis this or that, and choke report with surmise. 
Judge, then, dear lady, if I could be mute 
When but a glance of yours had bid me speak. 


Nay, sing such falsities ! you mock me worse 

By speech that gravely seems to ask belief. 

You are but babbling in a part you play 

To please my father. Oh, 'tis well meant, say yoo 

Pity for woman's weakness. Take my thanks. 


Thanks angrily bestowed are red-hot corn 
Burning your servant's palm. 


Deny it not, 

You know how many leagues this camp of ours 
Lies from Bedmar what mountains lie between 
Could tell me if you would about the Duke 
That he is comforted, sees how he gains 
Losing the Zincala, finds now how slight 
The thread Fedalma made in that rich web, 
A Spanish noble's life. No, that is false ! 
He never would think lightly of our love. 
Some evil has befallen him he's slain 
Has sought for danger and has beckoned death 
Because I made all lii'e seem treachery. 
Tell me the worst be merciful no worst, 


Against the hideous painting of my fear, 
Would not show like a better. 


If I speak, 

Will you believe your slave ? For truth is scant ; 
And where the appetite is still to hear 
And not believe, falsehood would stint it less. 
How say you ? Does your hunger's fancy choose 
The meagre fact ? 

FED ALMA {seating herself on the ground). 

Yes, yes, the truth, dear Juan. 
Sit now, and tell me all. 


That all is naught. 
I can unleash my fancy if you wish 
And hunt for phantoms : shoot an airy guess 
And bring down airy likelihood some lie 
Masked cunningly to look like royal truth 
And cheat the shooter, while King Fact goes free ; 
Or else some image of reality 
That doubt will handle and reject as false 
As for conjecture I can tread the sky 
Like any swallow, but, if you insist 
On knowledge that would guide a pair of feet 
Right to Bedmdr, across the Moorish bounds, 
A mule that dreams of stumbling over stones 
Is better stored. 


And you have gathered naught 
About the border wars ? No news, no hint 
Of any rumors that concern the Duke 
Rumors kept from me by my father ? 



Your father trusts no secret to the echoes. 
Of late his movements have been hid from all 
Save those few hundred chosen Gypsy breasts 
He carries with him. Think you he's a man 
To let his projects slip from out his belt, 
Then whisper him who haps to find them strayed 
To be so kind as keep his counsel well? 


Why, if he found me knowing aught too much. 
He would straight gag or strangle me, and say, 
" Poor hound ! it was a pity that his bark 
Could chance to mar my plans : he loved my daughter 
The idle hound had naught to do but love, 
So followed to the battle and got crushed." 

FEDLAMA (holding out her Jiand, which JUAN kisses). 

Good Juan, I could have no nobler friend. 

You'd ope your veins and let your life-blood out 

To save another's pain, yet hide the deed 

With jesting say, 'twas merest accident, 

A sportive scratch that went by chance too deep 

And die content with man's slight thoughts of yoa 

Finding your glory in another's joy. 


Dub not my likings virtues, lest they get 
A drug-like taste, and breed a nausea. 
Honey's not sweet, commended as cathartic. 
Such names are parchment labels upon gems 
Hiding their color. What is lovely seen 
Priced in a tarif ? lapis lazuli, 
Such bulk, so many drachmas : amethysts 
Quoted at so much; sapphires higher still. 
The stone like solid heaven in its blueness 
Is what I care for, not its name or price. 
So, if I live or die to serve my friend, 
'Tis for my love 'tis for my friend alone, 
And not for any rate that friendship bears 
In heaven or on earth. Nay, I romance 
I talk of Roland and the ancient peers. 
In me 'tis hardly friendship, only lack 
Of a substantial self that holds a weight ; 
So I kiss larger things and roll with them. 


Oh, will never hide your soul from me ; 
I've seen the jewel's flash, and know 'tis there, 
Muffle it as you will. That foam-like talk 
Will not wash out a fear which blots the good 
Your presence brings me. Oft I'm pierced afresh 
Through all the pressure of my selfish griefs. 
By thought of you. It was a rash resolve 


Made you disclose youself when you kept watch 
About the terrace wall : your pity leaped, 
Seeing alone my ills and not your loss, 
Self-doomed to exile. Juan, you must repent. 
'Tis not in nature that resolve, which feeds 
On strenuous actions, should not pine and die 
In these long days of empty listlessness. 


Repent ? Not I. Repentance is the weight 
Of indigested meals ta'en yesterday. 
'Tis for large animals that gorge on prey, 
Not for a honey-sipping butterfly. 
I am a thing of rhythm and redodillas 
The momentary rainbow on the spray 
Made by the thundering torrent of men's lives : 
No matter whether I am here or there ; 
I still catch sunbeams. And in Africa, 
Where melons and all fruits, they say, grow large, 
Fables are real, and the apes polite, 
A poet, too, may prosper past belief: 
I shall grow epic, like the Florentine, 
And sing the founding of our infant state, 
Sing the new Gypsy Carthage. 



Would we were there ! Under another heaven. 
In lands where neither love no memory 
Can plant a selfish hope in lands so far 
I should not seem to see the outstretched arms 
That seek me, or to hear the voice that calls. 
I should feel distance only and despair; 
So rest forever from the thought of bliss, 
And wear my weight of life's great chain unstru 
Juan, if I could know he would forget 
Nay, not forget, forgive me be content 
That I forsook him for no joy, but sorrow, 
For sorrow chosen rather than a joy 
That destiny made base ! Then he would taste 
No bitterness in sweet, sad memory, 
And I should live unblemished in his thought 
Hallowed like her who dies an unwed bride. 
Our words have wings, but fly net where we would. 
Could mine but reach him, Juan ! 



Speak the wish- 
My feet have wings I'll be your Mercury. 
I fear no shadowed perils by the way. 
No man will wear the sharpness of his sword 
On me. Nay, I'm a herald of the Muse, 
Sacred for Moors and Spaniards. I will go- 
Will fetch you tidings for an amulet 
But stretch not hope too strongly toward that mark 
As issue of my wandering. Given, I cross 
Safely the Moorish border, reach Bedmar : 
Fresh counsels may prevail there, and the Duke 
Being absent in the field, I may be trapped. 
Men who are sour at missing larger game 
May wing a chattering sparrow for revenge. 
It is a chance no further worth the note 
Than as a warning, lest you feared worse ill 
If my return were stayed. I might be caged ; 
They would not harm me else. Untimely death, 
The red auxiliary of the skeleton, 
Has too much work on hand to think of me ; 
Or, if he cares to slay me, I shall fall 
Choked with a grape-stone for economy. 
The likelier chance is that I go and come, 
Bringing you comfort back. 

FED ALMA (starts from her seat and walks to a little distant* 
standing a few moments with her back toward JUAN, /;**& 
turns round quickly ', and goes toward him), 

No, Juan, no ! 

Those yearning words came from a soul infirm, 
Crying and struggling at the pain of bonds 
Which yet it would not loosen. He knows all 
All that he needs to know : I said farewell : 
I stepped across the cracking earth and knew 
'T would yawn behind me. I must walk right on. 
No, I will not win aught by risking you : 
That risk would poison my poor hope. Besides, 
'Twere treachery in me : my father wills 
That we all here should rest within this camp. 
If I can never live, like him, on faith 
In glorious morrows, I am resolute. 
While he treads painfully with stillest step 
And beady brow, pressed 'neath the weight of arms, 


Shall I, to ease my fevered restlessness, 

Raise peevish moans, shattering that fragile silence ? 

No ! On the close-thronged spaces of the earth 

A battle rages : Fate has carried me 

'Mid the thick arrows : I will keep my stand 

Not shrink and let the shaft pass by my breast 

To pierce another. Oh, 'tis written large 

The thing I have to do. But you, dear Juan, 

Renounce, endure, are brave, unurged by aught 

Save the sweet overflow of your good will. 

(She seats herself again.) 

Nay, I endure naught worse than napping sheep 
When nimble birds uproot a fleecy lock 
To line their nest with. See ! your bondsman, queen, 
The minstrel of your court, is featherless ; 
Deforms your presence by a moulting garb ; 
Shows like a roadside bush culled of its buds. 
Yet, if your graciousness will not disdain 
A poor plucked songster shall he sing to you ? 
Some lay of afternoons some ballad strain 
Of those who ached once but are sleeping now 
Under the sun-warmed flowers ? 'Twill cheat the time. 


Thanks, Juan later, when this hour is passed. 
My soul is clogged with self ; it could not float 
On with the pleasing sadness of your song. 
Leave me in this green spot, but come again 
Come with the lengthening shadows. 


Then your slave 
Will go to chase the robbers. Queen, farewell f 


Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness ! 
[While Juan sped along the stream, there came 
From the dark tents a ringing joyous shout 
That thrilled Fedalma with a summons grave 
Yet welcome, too. Straightway she rose and stood, 
All languor banished, with a soul suspense, 
Like one who waits high presence, listening. 
Was it a message, or her father's self 


That made the camp so glad ? 

It was himself I 

She saw him now advancing, girt with arms 
That seemed like idle trophies hung for show 
Beside the weight and fire of living strength 
That made his fame. He glanced with absent triumph 
As one who conquers in some field afar 
And bears off unseen spoil. But nearing her, 
His terrible eyes intense sent forth new rays 
A sudden sunshine where the lightning was 
Twixt meeting dark. All tenderly he laid 
His hand upon her shoulder ; tenderly, 
His kiss upon her brow.] 


My royal daughter \ 
Father, I joy to see your safe return. 


Nay, I but stole the time, as hungry men 
Steal from the morrow's meal, made a forced march, 
Left Hassan as my watchdog, all to see 
My daughter, and to feed her famished hope 
With news of promise. 


Is the task achieved 
That was to be the herald of our flight ? 


Not outwardly, but to my inward vision 
Things are achieved when they are well begun. 
The perfect archer calls the deer his own 
While yet the shaft is whistling. His keen eye 
Never sees failure, sees the mark alone. 
You have heard naught, then had no messenger? 


I, father ? no : each quiet day has fled 
Like the same moth, returning with slow win& 
And pausing in the sunshine. 

It is well. 
You shall not long count days in weariness. 


Ere the full moon has waned again to new, 
We shall reach Almerfa : Berber ships 
Will take us for their freight, and we shall go 
With plenteous spoil, not stolen, bravely won 
By service done on Spaniards. Do you shrink ? 
Are you aught less than a true Zincala ? 


No ; but I am more. The Spaniards fostered me. 

They stole you first, and reared you for the flamea 
I found you, rescued you, that you might live 
A Zincala's life ; I saved you from their doom. 
Your bridal bed had been the rack. 

FEDALMA (in a low tone). 

They meant 
To seize me ? ere he came ? 


Yes, I know all 

They found your chamber empty. 
FEDALMA (eagerly). 

Then yoti ki 
{Checking herself.} 

Father, my soul would be less laggard, fed 
With fuller trust 


My daughter, I must keep 
The Arab's secret. Arabs are our friends, 
Grappling for life with Christians who lay waste 
Granada's valleys, and with devilish hoofs 
Trample the young green corn, with devilish play 
Fell blossomed trees, and tear up well-pruned vinea : 
Cruel as tigers to the vanquished brave, 
They wring out gold by oaths they mean to break ; 
Take pay for pity and are pitiless ; 
Then tinkle bells above the desolate earth 
And praise their monstrous gods, supposed to lore 
The flattery of liars. I will strike 
The full-gorged dragon. You, my child, must watch 
The battle with a heart, not fluttering 
But duteous, firm-weighted by resolve, 


Choosing between two lives, like hei v\o holds 
A dagger which must pierce one of two breasts, 
And one of them her father's. You divine- 
I speak not closely, but in parables ; 
Put one for many. 

FEDALMA (collecting herself and looking firmly at ZARCA)L 

Then it is your will 
That I ask nothing ? 


You shall know enough 

To trace the sequence of the seed and flower. 
El Zagal trusts me, rates my counsel high : 
He, knowing I have won a grant of lands 
Within the Berber's realm, wills me to be 
The tongue of his good cause in Africa, 
So gives us furtherance in our pilgrimage 
For service hoped, as well as service done 
In that great feat of which I am the eye, 
And my five hundred Gypsies the best arm. 
More, I am charged by other noble Moors 
With messages of weight to Telemsin. 
Ha, your eye flashes. Are you glad ? 


Yes, glad 
That men can greatly trust a Zincala. 


Why, fighting for dear life men choose their swords 
For cutting only, not for ornament. 
What naught but Nature gives, man takes perforce 
Where she bestows it, though in vilest place. 
Can he compress invention out of pride, 
Make heirship do the work of muscle, sail 
Toward great discoveries with a pedigree ? 
Sick men ask cures, and Nature serves not hers 
Daintily as a feast. A blacksmith once 
Founded a dynasty, and raised on high 
The leathern apron over armies spread 
Between the mountains like a lake of steel. 

FEDALMA (bitterly). 

To be contemned, then, is fair augury. 
T^i* oledge of future good at least is ours, 



Let men contemn us : 'tis such blind contempt 
That leaves the winged broods to thrive in warmth 
Unheeded, till they fill the air like storms 
So we shall thrive still darkly shall draw force 
Into a new and multitudinous life 
That likeness fashions to community, 
Mother divine of customs, faith and laws. 
*Tis ripeness, 'tis fame's zenith that kills hope, 
Huge oaks are dying, forests yet to come 
Lie in the twigs and rotten-seeming seeds. 


And our wild Zincali ? 'Neath their rough husk 
Can you discern such seed ? You said our band 
Was the best arm of some hard enterprise ; 
They give out sparks of virtue, then, and show 
There's metal in their earth ? 


Ay, metal fine 

In my brave Gypsies. Not the lithest Moor 
Has lither limbs for scaling, keener eye 
To mark the meaning of the furthest speck 
That tells of change ; and they are disciplined 
By faith in me, to such obedience 
As needs no spy. My sealers and my scouts 
Are to the Moorish force they're leagued withal 
As bow-string to the bow ; while I their chief 
Command the enterprise and guide the will 
Of Moorish captains, as the pilot guides 
With eye-instructed hand the passive helm. 
For high device is still the highest force, 
And he who holds the secret of the wheel 
May make the rivers do what work he would. 
With thoughts impalpable we clutch men's souls, 
Weaken the joints of armies, make them fly 
Like dust and leaves before the viewless wind. 
Tell me what's mirrored in the tiger's- heart, 
I'll rule that too. 

FEDALMA (wrought to a gloiv of admiration). 
O my imperial father ! 

Tis where there breathes a mighty soul like yours 
That men's contempt is of good augury. 


ZARCA (seizing both FEDALMA'S hands, and looking at 
her scarchingly) . 

And you, my daughter, what are you if not 

The Zfncala's child ? Say, does not his great hope 

Thrill in your veins like shouts of victory ? 

'Tis a vile life that like a garden pool 

Lies stagnant in the round of personal loves j 

That has no ear save for the tickling lute 

Set to small measures deaf to all the beats 

Of that large music rolling o'er the world : 

A miserable, petty low-roofed life, 

That knows the mighty orbits of the skies 

Through naught save light or dark in its own cabin. 

The very brutes will feel the force of kind 

And move together, gathering a new soul 

The soul of multitudes. Say now, my child, 

You will not falter, not look back and long 

For unfledged ease in some soft alien nest 

The crane with outstretched wing that heads the file 

Pauses not, feels no backward impulses : 

Behind it summer was, and is no more ; 

Before it lies the summer it will reach 

Or perish in mid-ocean. You no less 

Must feel the force sublime of growing life. 

New thoughts are urgent as the growth of wings 7 

The widening vision is imperious 

As higher members bursting the worm's sheath. 

You cannot grovel in the worm's delights : 

You must take winged pleasures, winged pains. 

Are you not steadfast ? Will you live or die 

For aught below your royal heritage ? 

To him who hold the flickering brief torch 

That lights a beacon for the perishing, 

Aught else is crime. Would you let drop the torch? 


Father, my soul is weak, the mist of tears 
Still rises to my eyes, and hides the goal 
Which to your un dimmed sight is fixed and clear. 
But if I cannot plant resolve on hope, 
It will stand firm on certainty of woe. 
I choose the ill that is most like to end 
With my poor being. Hopes have precarious life. 
They are oft blighted, withered, snapped sheer off 


In vigorous growth and turned to rottenness. 
But faithfulness can feed on suffering, 
And knows no disappointment. Trust in me ! 
If it were needed, this poor trembling hand 
Should grasp the torch strive not to let it fall 
Though it were burning down close to my flesh, 
No beacon lighted yet : through the damp dark 
I should still hear the cry of gasping swimmers. 
Father, I will be true ! 


I trust that word. 

And, for your sadness you are young the bruise 
Will leave no mark. The worst of misery 
Is when a nature framed for noblest things 
Condemns itself in youth to petty joys, 
And, sore athirst for air, breathes scanty life 
Gasping from out the shallows. You are saved 
From such poor doubleness. The life we choose 
Breathes high, and sees a full-arched firmament. 
Our deeds shall speak like rock-hewn messages, 
Teaching great purpose to the distant time. 
Now I must hasten back. I shall but speak 
To Nadar of the order he must keep 
In setting watch and victualing. The stars 
And the young moon must see me at my post 
Nay, rest you here. Farewell, my younger self 
Strong-hearted daughter ! Shall I live in you 
When the earth covers me ? 


My father, death 

Should give your will divineness, make it strong 
With the beseechings of a mighty soul 
That left its work unfinished. Kiss me now : 

( They embarce and she adds tremulously as they tsart?) 

And when you see fair hair, be pitiful. 

(Exit ZARCA.) 

(FEDALMA seats herself on the bank, leans her head forward, 
and covers her face ^vith her drapery. Whiu* she is seated 
thus HIND A comes from the bank, with a branch of musk 
roses in her hand. Seeing FEDALMA with head bent and 
covered, sfo pauses and begins to move on tiptoe.) 



Our Queen ? Can she be crying ? There she sits 
As I did every day when my dog Saad 
Sickened and yelled, and seemed to yell so loud 
After we buried him, I oped his grave. 

(She comes forward on tiptoe, kneels at FLD ALMA'S/^ and 
embraces them. FEDALMA uncovers her head.} 

Hinda ! what is it ? 


Queen, a branch of roses 

So sweet, you'll love to smell them. 'Twas the last. 
I climbed the bank to get it before Tralla. 
And slipped and scratched my arm. But I don't mind. 
You love the roses so do I. I wish 
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain 
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not ? 
Then all the valley would be pink and white 
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light 
As feathers, smelling sweet ; and it would be 
Like sleeping and yet waking all at once ! 
Over the sea, Queen, where we soon shall go^ 
Will it rain roses ? 


No, my prattler, no ! 
It never will rain roses : when we want 
To have more roses we must plant more trees. 
But you want nothing, little one the world 
Just suits you as it suits the tawny squirrels. 
Come, you want nothing. 


Yes, I want more berries- 
Red ones to wind about my neck and arms 
When I am married on my ankles, too, 
I want to wind red berries, and on my head. 

Who is it you are fond of ? Tell me, now. 


O Queen, you know ! It could be no one else 
But Ismael. He catches all the birds, 
Knows where the speckled fish are, scales the rocks, 


And sings and dances with me when I like. 
How should I marry and not marry him ? 


Should you have loved him, had he been a Moor, 
Or white Castilian > 
HDTDA (starting to her feet t then kneeling again\ 

Are you angry Queen ? 

Say why you will think shame of your poor Hinda f 
She'd sooner be a rat and hang on thorns 
To parch until the wind had scattered her, 
Than be an outcast, spit at by her tribe. 


I think no evil am not angry, child. 
But would you part from Ismael ? Leave him now 
If your chief bade you said it was for good 
To all your tribe that you must part from him ? 

HINDA (giving a sharp cry). 
Ah, will he say so ? 

FEDALMA (almost fierce in her earnestness). 
Nay, child answer me. 
Could you leave Ismael ? get into a boat 
And see the waters widen twixt you two 
Till all was water and you saw him not, 
And knew that you would never see him more ? 
If 'twas your chief's command, and if he said 
Your tribe would all be slaughtered, die of plague, 

Of famine madly drink each other's blood 

HINDA (trembling). 

Queen, if it is so, tell Ismael. 

You would obey, then ? part from him forever ? 


How could we live else ? With our brethren lost ? 
No marriage feast ? The day would turn to dark. 
A Zincala cannot live without her tribe. 

1 must obey ! Poor Ismael ! poor Hinda, I 
But will it ever be so cold and dark ? 

Oh, I would sit upon the rocks and cry, 
And cry so long that I could cry no more : 
Then I should go to sleep. 



No, Hinda, no ! 

Thou never shalt be called to part from him. 
I will have berries for thee, red and black, 
And I' will be so glad to see thee glad, 
That earth will seem to hold enough of joy 
To outweigh all the pangs of those who part. 
Be comforted, bright eyes. See, I will tie 
These roses in a crown, for thee to wear. 

HINDA (clapping her hands, while FEDALMA puts the rotes on 
her head). 

Oh, I'm as glad as many little foxes 
I will find Ismael, and tell him all. 

(She runs ojf.) 
FEDALMA (alone.) 

She has the strength I lack. Within her world 
The dial has not stirred since first she woke : 
No changing light has made the shadows die, 
And taught her trusting soul sad difference. 
For her, good, right, and law are all summed up 
In what is possible : life is one web 
Where love, joy, kindred, and obedience 
Lie fast and even, in one warp and woof 
With thirst and drinking, hunger, food, and sleep. 
She knows no struggles, sees no double path : 
Her fate is freedom, for her will is one 
With her own people's law, the only law 
She ever knew. For me I have fire within, 
But on my will there falls the chilling snow 
Of thoughts that come as subtly as soft flakes, 
Yet press at last with hard and icy weight. 
I could be firm, could give myself the wrench 
And walk erect, hiding my life-long wound, 
If I but saw the fruit of all my pain 
With that strong vision which commands the sonl, 
And makes great awe the monarch of desire. 
But now I totter, seeing no far goal : 
I tread the rocky pass, and pause and grasp, 
Guided by flashes. When my father comes, 
And breathes into my soul his generous hope 
By his own greatness making life seem great, 
A3 the clear heavens bring sublimity, 


And show earth larger, spanned by that blue vast- 
Resolve is strong : I can embrace my sorrow, 
Nor nicely weigh the fruit ; possessed with need 
Solely to do the noblest, though it failed 
Though lava streamed upon my breathing deed 
And buried it in night and barrenness. 
But soon the glow dies out, the trumpet strain 
That vibrated as strength through all my limbs 
Is heard no longer ; over the wide scene 
There's naught but chill gray silence, or the hum 
And fitful discord of a vulgar world. 
Then I sink helpless sink into the arms 
Of all sweet memories, and dream of bliss : 
See looks that penetrate like tones ; hear tones 
That flash looks with them. Even now I feel 
Soft airs enwrap me, as if yearning rays 
Of some soft presence touched me with their warmth 
And brought a tender murmuring 

[While she mused, 

A figure came from out the olive trees 
That bent close whispering 'twixt the parted hills 
Beyond the crescent of thick cactus : paused 
At sight of her ; then slowly forward moved 
With careful steps, and gently said, " FEDALMA ! ** 
Fearing lest fancy had enlsaved her sense, 
She quivered, rose, but turned not. Soon again : 
"FEDALMA, it is SILVA ! " Then she turned. 
He, with bared head and arms entreating, beamed 
Like morning on her. Vision held her still 
One moment, then with gliding motion swift, 
Inevitable as the melting stream's, 
She found her rest within his circling arms.] 


O love, you are living, and believe in me ! 

Once more we are together. Wishing dies 
Stifled with bliss. 


You did not hate me, then 
Think me an ingrate think my love was small 
That I forsook you ? 



Dear, I trusted you 

As holy men trust God. You could do naught 
That was not pure and loving though the deed 
Might pierce me unto death. You had less trust, 
Since you suspected mine. 'Twas wicked doubt 


Nay, when I saw you hating me, the fault 
Seemed in my lot my bitter birthright hers 
On whom you lavished all your wealth of love 
As price of naught but sorrow. Then I said, 
'Tis better so. He will be happier ! " 
But soon that thought, struggling to be a hope, 
Would end in tears. 


It was a cruel thought 
Happier ! True misery is not begun 
Until I cease to love thee. 





( They stand a moment or two in silence, 


I thought I had so much to tell you, love 
Long eloquent stories how it all befell 
The solemn message, calling me away 
To awful spousals, where my own dead joy, 
A conscious ghost, looked on and saw me vied. 


Oh, that grave speech would cumber our quick souls 
Like bells that waste the moments with their loudness. 


And if it all were said, 'twould end in this, 
That I still loved you when I fled away. 
Tis no more wisdom than the little birds 
Make known by their soft twitter when they feel 
Each other's heart beat. 



All the deepest things 

We now say with our eyes and meeting pulse ; 
Our voices need but prattle. 


I forget 
All the drear days of thirst in this one draught 

(Again they are silent for a few moments!) 

But tell me how you came ? Where are your guards? 
Is there no risk ? And now I look at you, 
This garb is strange - 


I came alone. 


Yes fled in secret. There was no way else 
To find you safely. 

FEDALMA (letting one hand fall and moving a little from him 
with a look of sudden terror, while he clasps her morefirmfy 
by the other arm). 

Silva ! 

It is naught 

Enough that I am here. Now we will cling. 
What power shall hinder us ? You left me once 
To set your father free. That task is done, 
And you are mine again. I have braved all 
That I might find you, see your father, win 
His furtherance in bearing you away 
To some safe refuge. Are we not betrothed ? 


Oh, I am trembling 'neath the rush of thoughts 
That come like griefs at morning look at me 
With awful faces, from the vanishing haze 
That momently had hidden them. 


What thoughts ? 



Forgotten burials. There lies a grave 
Between this visionary present and the past. 
Our joy is dead, and only smiles on us 
A loving shade from out the place of tombs. 


Your love is faint, else aught that parted us 
Would seem but superstition. Love supreme 
Defies dream-terrors risks avenging fires. 
I have risked all things. But your love is faint. 
FEDALMA (retreating a little, but keeping his hand). 
Silva, if now between us came a sword, 
Severed my arm, and left our two hands clasped, 
This poor maimed arm would feel the clasp till death. 
What parts us is a sword 

(ZARC A has been advancing in the background. He has drawn 
his sword, and now thrusts the naked blade between them. 
DON SILVA lets go FEDALMA'S hand, and grasps his sword. 
FEDALMA, startled at first, stands firmly, as if prepared to 
interpose between her Father and the Duke.) 

Ay, 'tis a sword 

That parts the Spaniard and the Zincala : 
A sword that was baptised in Christian blood, 
When once a band, cloaking with Spanish law 
Their brutal rapine, would have butchered us, 
And outraged then our women. 

(Resting the point of his sword on the ground!) 
My lord Duke, 

I was a guest within your fortress once 
Against my will ; had entertainment too 
Much like a galley-slave's. Pray, have you sought 
The Zincala's camp to find a fit return 
For that Castilian courtesy ? or rather 
To make amends for all our prisoned toil 
By free bestowal of your presence here ? 


Chief, I have brought no scorn to meet your scorn. 
I came because love urged me that deep love 
I bear to her whom you call daughter her 
Whom I reclaim as my betrothed bride. 



Doubtless you bring for final argument 
Your men-at-arms who will escort your bride ? 


I came alone. The only force I bring 
Is tenderness. Nay, I will trust besides 
In all the pleadings of a father's care 
To wed his daughter as her nurture bids. 
And for your tribe whatever purposed good 
Your thoughts may cherish, I will make secure 
With the strong surety of a noble's power : 
My wealth shall be your treasury. 

ZARCA (with irony). 

My thanks I 

To me you offer liberal price ; for her 
Your love's beseeching will be force supreme. 
She will go with you as a willing slave, 
Will give a word of parting to her father, 
Wave farewells to her tribe, then turn and say, 
* Now, my lord, I am nothing but your bride ; 
I am quite culled, have neither root nor trunk, 
Now wear me with your plume ! " 

Yours is the wrong 

Feigning in me one thought of her below 
The highest homage. I would make my rank 
The pedestal of her worth ; a noble's sword, 
A noble's honor, her defense ; his love 
The life-long sanctuary of her womanhood. 


I tell you, were you King of Aragon, 
And won my daughter's hand, your higher rank 
Would blacken her dishonor. Twere excuse 
If you were beggared, homeless, spit upon, 
And so made even with her people's lot ; 
For then she would be lured by want, not wealth,. 
To be a wife amongst an alien race 
To whom her tribes owes curses. 

Such blind hate 
Is fit for beasts of prey, but not for men. 


My hostile acts against you, should but count 
As ignorant strokes against a friend unknown; 
And for the wrongs inflicted on your tribe 
By Spanish edicts or the cruelty 
Of Spanish vassals, am I criminal ? 
Love comes to conceal all ancestral hate, 
Subdues all heritage, proves that in mankind 
Union is deeper than division. 



Such love is common : I have seen it oft 
Seen many women rend the sacred ties 
That bind them in high fellowship with men, 
Making them mothers of a people's virtue : 
Seen them so leveled to a handsome steed 
That yesterday was Moorish property, 
To-day is Christian wears new-fashioned gear, 
Neighs to new feeders, and will prance alike 
Under all banners, so the banner be 
A master's who caresses. Such light change 
You call conversion ; but we Zincali call 
Conversion infamy. Our people's faith 
Is faithfulness ; not the rote-learned belief 
That we are heaven's highest favorites, 
But the resolve that being most forsaken 
Among the sons of men, we will be true 
Each to the other, and our common lot, 
You Christians burn men for their heresy : 
Our vilest heretic is that Zincala 
Who, choosing ease, forsakes her people's woes. 
The dowry of my daughter is to be 
Chief woman of her tribe, and rescue it. 
A bride with such a dowry has no match 
Among the subjects of that Catholic Queen 
Who would have Gypsies swept into the sea 
Or else would have them gibbeted. 


And yon, 

Fedalma's father you who claim the dues 
Of fatherhood will offer up her youth 
To mere grim idols of your phantasy ! 
Worse than all Pagans, with no oracle 
To bid you murder, no sure good to win. 


Will sacrifice your daughter to no god, 

But to a ravenous fire within your soul, 

Mad hopes, blind hate, that like possessing fiends 

Shriek at a name ! This sweetest virgin, reared 

As garden flowers, to give the sordid world 

Glimpses of perfectness, you snatch and thrust 

On dreary wilds ; in visions mad proclaim 

Semiramis of Gypsy wanderers ; 

Doom, with a broken arrow in her heart, 

To wait for death 'mid squalid savages : 

For what? You would be savior of your tribe ; 

So said Fedalma's letter ; rather say, 

You have the will to save by ruling men, 

But first to rule ; and with that flinty will 

You cut your way, though the first cut you give 

Gash your child's bosom. 

( While DON SILVA has been speaking, with growing passion^ 
FED ALMA has placed herself between him and her father?) 

ZARCA (with calm irony). 

You are loud, my lord ! 
You only are the reasonable man : 
You have a heart, I none. Fedalma's good 
Is what you see, you care for ; while I seek 
No good, not even my own, urged on by naught 
But hellish hunger, which must still be fed 
Though in the feeding it I suffer throes. 
Fume at your own opinion as you will : 
I speak not now to you, but to my daughter. 
If she still calls it good to mate with you, 
To be a Spanish duchess, kneel at court, 
And hope her beauty is excuse to men 
When women whisper, " A mere Zincala ! " 
If she still calls it good to take a lot 
That measures joy for her as she forgets 
Her kindred and her kindred's misery. 
Nor feels the softness of her downy couch 
Marred by remembrance that she once forsook 
The place that she was born to let her go ! 
If life for her still lies in alien love, 
That forces her to shut her soul from truth 
As men in shameful pleasures shut out day ; 
And death, for her, is to do rarest deeds, 
Which, even failing, leave new faith to men. 


The faith in human hearts then let her go ! 

She is my only offspring ; in her veins 

She bears the blood her tribe has trusted in ; 

Her heritage is their obedience, 

And if I died she might still lead them forth 

To plant the race her lover now reviles 

Where they may make a nation, and may rise 

To grander manhood than his race can show ; 

Then live a goddess sanctifying oaths, 

Enforcing right, and ruling consciences, 

By law deep-graven in exalting deeds, 

Through the long ages of her people's life. 

If she can leave that lot for silken shame, 

For kisses honeyed by oblivion 

The bliss of drunkards or the blank of fools 

Then let her go ! You Spanish Catholics, 

When you are cruel, base and treacherous, 

For ends not pious, tender gifts to God, 

And for men's wounds offer much oil to churches: 

We have no altars for such healing gifts 

As soothe the heavens for outrage done on earth. 

We have no priesthood and no creed to teach 

That she the Zincala who might save her race 

And yet abandons it, may cleanse that blot, 

And mend the curse her life has been to men, 

By saving her own soul. Her one base choice 

Is wrong unchangeable, is poison shed 

Where men must drink, shed by her poisoning will. 

Now choose, Fedalma ! 

[But her choice was made. 
Slowly, while yet her father spoke, she moved 
From where oblique with deprecating arms 
She stood between the two who swayed her heart : 
Slowly she moved to choose sublimer pain ; 
Yearning, yet shrinking ; wrought upon by awe, 
Her own brief life seeming a little isle 
Remote through visions of a wider world 
With fates close-crowded : firm to slay her joy 
That cut her heart with smiles beneath the knife, 
Like a sweet babe foredoomed by prophecy. 
She stood apart, yet near her father : stood 
Hand clutching hand, her limbs all tense with will 
That strove 'gainst anguish, eyes that seemed a soul 


Yearning in death toward him she loved and left. 
He faced her, pale with passion and a will 
Fierce to resist whatever might seem strong 
And ask him to submit : he saw one end 
He must be conqueror ; monarch of his lot 
And not its tributary. But she spoke 
Tenderly, pleadingly.] 


My lord, farewell! 

Twas well we met once more ; now we must part. 
I think we had the chief of all love's joys 
Only in knowing that we loved each other. 


I thought we loved with love that clings till death. 
Clings as brute mothers bleeding to their young, 
Still sheltering, clutching it, though it were dead ; 
Taking the death-wound sooner than divide. 
I thought we loved so. 


Silva, it is fate. 

Great Fate has made me heiress of this woe. 
You must forgive Fedalma all her debt : 
She is quite beggard : if she gave herself 
'Twould be a self corrupt with stifled thoughts 
Of a forsaken better. It is truth 
My father speaks : the Spanish noble's wife 
Were a false Zincala. No ! I would bear 
The heavy trust of my inheritance. 
See, 'twas my people's life that throbbed in me : 
An unknown need stirred darkly in my soul, 
And made me restless even in my bliss. 
Oh, all my bliss was in our love ; but now 
I may not taste it : some deep energy 
Compels me to choose hunger. Dear, farewell ! 
I must go with my people. 

[She stretched forth 

Her tender hands, that oft had lain in his, 
The hands he knew so well, that sight of them 
Seemed like their touch. But he stood still as death 
Locked motionless by forces opposite : 
His frustrate hopes still battled with despair ; 


His will was prisoner to the double grasp 

Of rage and hesitancy. All the way 

Behind him he had trodden confident, 

Ruling munificently in his thought 

This Gypsy father. Now the father stood 

Present and silent and unchangeable 

As a celestial portent. Backward lay 

The traversed road, the town's forsaken wall 

The risk, the daring ; all around him now 

Was obstacle, save where the rising flood 

Of love close pressed by anguish of denial 

Was sweeping him resistless; save where she 

Gazing stretched forth her tender hands, that hurt 

Like parting kisses. Then at last he spoke.] 


No, I can never take those hands in mine. 
Then let them go forever ! 


It must be. 

We may not make this world a paradise 
By walking it together hand in hand, 
With eyes that meeting feed a double strength 
We must be only joined by pains divine 
Of spirits blent in mutual memories. 
Silva, our joy is dead. 


But love still lives, 

And has a safer guard in wretchedness, 
Fedalma, women know no perfect love : 
Loving the strong, they can forsake the strong ; 
Man clings because the being whom he loves 
Is weak and needs him. I can never turn 
And leave you to your difficult wandering ; 
Know that you tread the desert, bear the storn\ 
Shed tears, see terrors, faint with weariness, 
Yet live away from you. I should feel naught 
But your imagined pains ; in my own steps 
See your feet bleeding, taste your silent tears, 
And feel no presence but your loneliness. 
Nd, I will never leave you ! 

My lord Duke, 


I have been patient, given room for speech, 
Bent not to move my daughter by command, 
Save that of her own faithfulness. But now, 
All further words are idle elegies 
Unfitting times of action. You are here 
With the safe-conduct of that trust you showed 
Coming unguarded to the Gypsy's camp. 
I would fain meet all trust with courtesy 
As well as honor ; but my utmost power 
Is to afford you Gypsy guard to-night 
Within the tents that keep the northward lines 
And for the morrow, escort on your way 
Back to the Moorish bounds. 


What if my words 

Were meant for deeds, decisive as a leap 
Into the current ? It is not my wont 
To utter hollow words, and speak resolves 
Like verses bandied in a madrigal. 
I spoke in action first : I faced all risks 
To find Fedalma. Action speaks again 
When I, a Spanish noble, here declare 
That I abide with her, adopt her lot, 
Claiming alone fulfillment of her vows 
As my betrothed wife. 

FEDALMA (wresting herself from him, and standing opposite 
with a look of terror], 

Nay, Silva, nay ! 
You could not live so spring from your high place 


Yes, I have said it. And you, chief, are bound 
By her strict vows, no stronger fealty 
Being left to cancel them. 


Strong words, my lord ) 

Sounds fatal as the hammer-strokes that shape 
The glowing metal : they must shape your life. 
That you will claim my daughter is to say 
That you will leave your Spanish dignities, 
Your home, your wealth, your people, to become 
Wholly a Zincala : share our wanderings, 


And be a match meet for my daughter's dower 
By living for her tribe ; take the deep oath 
That binds you to us ; rest within our camp, 
Nevermore hold command of Spanish men, 
And keep my orders. See, my lord, you lock 
A many-winding chain a heavy chain. 


I have but one resolve : let the rest follow. 
What is my rank ? To-morrow it will be filled 
By one who eyes it like a carrion bird, 
Waiting for death. I shall be no more missed 
Than waves are missed that leaping on the rock 
Find there a bed and rest. Life's a vast sea 
That does its mighty errand without fail, 
Panting in unchanged strength though waves are chang- 

And I have said it : she shall be my people, 
And where she gives her life I will give mine. 
She shall not live alone, nor die alone. 
I will elect my deeds ! and be the liege 
Not of my birth, but of that good alone 
I have discerned and chosen. 


Our poor faith. 

Allows not rightful choice, save of the right 
Our birth has made for us. And you, my lord, 
Can still defer your choice, for some day's space. 
I march perforce to-night ; you, if you will, 
Under a Gypsy guard, can keep the heights 
With silent Time that slowly opes the scroll 
Of change inevitable take no oath 
Till my accomplished task leave me at large 
To see you keep your purpose or renounce it. 


Chief, do I hear amiss, or does your speech 
Ring with a doubleness which I had held 
Most alien to you ? You would put me off, 
And cloak evasion with allowance ? No ! 
We will complete our pledges. I will take 
That oath which binds not me alone, but you. 
To join my life forever with Fedalma's. 



I wrangle not time presses. But the oath 
Will leave you that same post upon the heights ; 
Pledged to remain there while my absence lasts. 
You are agreed, my lord ? 


Agreed to alL 

Then I will give the summons to our camp. 
We will adopt you as a brother now, 
After our wonted fashion. 

[Exit ZARCA.] 

(SILVA takes FED ALMA'S hands.] 

O my lord ! 

I think the earth is trembling : naught is firm. 
Some terror chills me with a shadowy grasp. 
Am I about to wake, or do you breathe 
Here in this valley ? Did the outer air 
Vibrate to fatal words, or did they shake 
Only my dreaming soul ? You join our tribe? 


Is then your love too faint to raise belief 
Up to that height ? 


Silva, had you but said 
That you would die that were an easy task 
For you who oft have fronted death in war. 
But so to live with me- -you, used to rule 
You could not breathe the air my father breathes : 
His presence is subjection. Go, my lord ! 
Fly, while there yet is time. Wait not to speak. 
I will declare that I refused your love 
Would keep no vows to you 


It is too late. 

You shall not thrust me back to seek a good 
Apart from yau. And what good ? Why, to face 
Your absence all the want that drove me forth 
To work the will of a more tyrannous friend 


Than any uncowled father. Life at least 
Gives choice of ills ; forces me to defy, 
But shall not force me to a weak defiance. 
The power that threatened you, to master me, 
That scorches like a cave-hid dragoon's breath, 
Sure of its victory in spite of hate, 
Is what I last will bend to most defy. 
Your father has a chieftain's ends, befitting 
A soldier's eye and arm : were he as strong 
As the Moor's prophet, yet the prophet too 
Had younger captains of illustrious fame 
Among the infidels. Let him command, 
For when your father speaks, I shall hear you. 
Life were no gain if you were lost to me : 
I would straight go and seek the Moorish walls, 
Challenge their bravest and embrace swift death. 
The Glorious Mother and her pitying Son 
Are not Inquisitors, else their heaven were hell 
Perhaps they hate their cruel worshipers, 
And let them feed on lies. I'll rather trust 
They love you and have sent me to defend you. 


I made my creed so, just to suit my mood 
And smooth all hardship, till my father came 
And taught my soul by ruling it. Since then 
I cannot weave a dreaming happy creed 
Where our love's happiness is not accursed. 
My father shook my soul awake. And you 
The bonds Fedalma may not break for you, 
I cannot joy that you should break for her. 


Oh, Spanish men are not a petty band 
Where one deserter makes a fatal breach. 
Men, even nobles, are more plenteous 
Than steeds and armor ; and my weapons left 
Will find new hands to wield them. Arrogance 
Makes itself champion of mankind, and holds 
God's purpose maimed for one hidalgo lost. 

See where your father comes and brings a crowd 
Of witnesses to hear my oath of love ; 
The low red sun glows on them like a fire. 
This seems a valley in some strange new world, 
Where we have found each other, my Fedalma. 



Now twice the day had sunk from off the hills 

While Silva kept his watch there, with the band 

Of stalwart Gypsies. When the sun was high 

He slept ; then, waking, strained impatient eyes 

To catch the promise of some moving form 

That might be Juan Juan who went and came 

To soothe two hearts, and claimed naught for his own 

Friend more divine than all divinities, 

Quenching his human thirst in others' joy. 

All through the lingering nights and pale chill dawns 

Juan had hovered near ; with delicate sense, 

As of some breath from every changing mood, 

Had spoken or kept silence ; touched his lute 

To hint of melody, or poured brief strains 

That seemed to make all sorrows natural, 

Hardly worth weeping for, since life was short, 

And shared by loving souls. Such pity welled 

Within the minstrel's heart of light-tongued Juan 

For this doomed man, who with dream-shrouded eyes 

Had stepped into a torrent as a brook, 

Thinking to ford it and return at will. 

And now waked helpless in the eddying flood, 

Hemmed by its raging hurry. Once that thought, 

How easy wandering is, how hard and strict 

The homeward way, had slipped from reverie 

Into low-murmured song (brief Spanish song 

'Scaped him as sighs escape from other men) : 

Push off the boat, 
Quit, quit the shore, 

The stars will guide us back : 
O gathering cloud, 
O wide, wide sea, 

O waves that keep no track I 

On through the pines ! 
The pillared woods, 

Where silence breathes sweet breath : 
O labyrinth, 

O sunless gloom, 

The other side of death t 

Such plaintiff song had seemed to please the Duke 
Had seemed to melt all voices of reproach 


To sympathetic sadness ; but his moods 
Had grown more fitful with the growing hours, 
And this soft murmur had the iterant voice 
Of heartless Echo, whom no pain can move 
To say aught else than we have said to her. 
He spoke, impatient : " Juan, cease thy song. 
Our whimpering poesy and small-paced tunes 
Have no more utterance than the cricket's chirp 
For souls that carry heaven and hell within." 
Then Juan, lightly : " True, my lord, I chirp 
For lack of soul ; some hungry poets chirp 
For lack of bread. 'Twere wiser to sit down 
And count the star-seed, till I fell asleep 
With the cheap wine of pure stupidity." 
And Silva checked by courtesy : " Nay, Juan, 
Were speech once good, thy song were best of s 
I meant, all life is but poor mockery ; 
Action, place, power, the visible, wide world 
Are tattered masquerading of this self, 
This pulse of conscious mystery ; all change, 
Whether to high or low, is change of rags. 
But for her love, I would not take a good 
Save to burn out in battle, in a flame 
Of madness that would feel no mangled limbs, 
And die not knowing death, but passing straight 
Well, well, to other flames in purgatory." 
Keen Juan's ear caught the self-discontent 
That vibrated beneath the changing tones 
Of life-contemning scorn. Gently he said : 
" But with her love, my lord, the world deserves 
A higher rate ; were it but masquerade, 
The rags were surely worth the wearing ? " " Yc 
No misery shall force me to repent 
That I have loved her." 

So with willful talk, 

Fencing the wounded soul from beating winds 
Of truth that came unasked, companionship 
Made the hours lighter. And the Gypsy guard, 
Trusting familiar Juan, were content, 
At friendly hint from him, to still their songs 
And busy jargon round the nightly fires. 
Such sounds the quick-conceiving poet knew 
Would strike on Silva's agitated soul 
Like mocking repetition of the oath 


That bound hira in strange clanship with the tribe 
Of human panthers, flame-eyed, lithe-limbed, fierce, 
Unrecking of time-woven subtleties 
And high tribunals of a phantom-world. 

But the third day, though Silva southward gazed 

Till all the shadows slanted toward him, gazed 

Till all the shadows died, no Juan came. 

Now in his stead came loneliness, and Thought 

Inexorable, fastening with firm chain 

What is to what hath been. Now awful Night, 

The prime ancestral mystery, came down 

Past all the generations of the stars, 

And visited his soul with touch more close 

Than when he kept that younger, briefer watch 

Under the church's roof beside his arms, 

And won his knighthood. 

Well, this solitude 

This company with the enduring universe, 
Whose mighty silence carrying all the past 
Absorbs our history as with a breath, 
Should give him more assurance, make him strong 
In all contempt of that poor circumstance 
Called human life customs and bonds and laws 
Wherewith men make a better or a worse, 
Like children playing on a barren mound 
Feigning a thing to strive for or avoid. 
Thus Silva argued with his many-voiced self, 
Whose thwarted needs, like angry multitudes, 
Lured from the home that nurtured them to strength, 
Made loud insurgence. Thus he called on Thought, 
On dexterous Thought, with its swift alchemy 
To change all forms, dissolve all prejudice 
Of man's long heritage, and yield him up 
A crude fused world to fashion as he would. 
Thought played him double ; seemed to wear the yoke 
Of sovereign passion in the noon-day height 
Of passion's prevalence ; but served anon 
As tribune to the larger soul which brought 
Loud-mingled cries from every human need 
That ages had instructed into life. 
He could not grasp Night's black blank mystery 
And wear it for a spiritual garb 
Creed-proof : he shuddered at its passionless touch. 


On solitary souls, the universe 

Looks down inhospitable ; the human heart 

Finds nowhere shelter but in human kind. 

He yearned toward images that had breath in them 

That sprang warm palpitant with memories 

From streets and altars, from ancestral homes 

Banners and trophies and the cherishing rays 

Of shame and honor in the eyes of man. 

These made the speech articulate of his soul, 

That could not move to utterance of scorn 

Save in words bred by fellowship ; could not feel 

Resolve of hardest constancy to love 

The firmer for the sorrows of the loved, 

Save by concurrent energies high-wrought 

To sensibilities transcending sense 

Through close community, and long-shared pains 

Of far-off generations. All in vain 

He sought the outlaw's strength, and made a right 

Contemning that hereditary right 

Which held dim habitations in his frame, 

Mysterious haunts of echoes old and far, 

The voice divine of human loyalty. 

At home, among his people, he had played 

In skeptic ease with saints and litanies, 

And thunders of the church that deadened fell 

Through screens of priests plethoric. Awe, unscathed 

By deeper trespass, slept without a dream. 

But for such trespass as made outcasts, still 

The ancient furies lived with faces new 

And lurked with lighter slumber than of old 

O'er Catholic Spain, the land of sacred oaths 

That might be broken. 

Now the former life 

Of close-linked fellowship, the life that made 
His full-formed self, as the impregnate sap 
Of years successive frames the full-branched tree- 
Was present in one whole ; and that great trust 
His deed had broken turned reproach on him 
From faces of all witnesses who heard 
His uttered pledges ; saw him hold high place 
Centring reliance ; use rich privilege 
That bound him like a victim-nourished god 
By tacit covenant to shield and bless ; 
Assume the cross and take his knightly oath 

174 - CPANiei: GYPSY. 

Mature, deliberate ; faces human all, 
And some divine as well as human ; His 
Who hung supreme, the suffering Man divine 
Above the altar ; Hers, the Mother pure 
Whose glance informed his masculine tenderness 
With deepest reverence ; the archangel armed, 
Trampling man's enemy ; all heroic forms 
That fill the world of faith with voices, hearts, 
And high companionship, to Silva now 
Made but one inward and insistent world 
With faces of his peers, with court and hall 
And deference, and reverent vassalage, 
And filial pieties one current strong, 
The warmly mingled life-blood of his mind, 
Sustaining him even when he idly played 
With rules, beliefs, charges, and ceremonies 
As arbitrary fooling. Such revenge 
Is wrought by the long travail of mankind 
On him who scorns it, and would shape his life 
Without obedience. 

But his warrior's pride 

Would take no wounds save on the breast. He faced 
The fatal crowd : " I never shall repent ! 
If I have sinned, my sin was made for me 
By men's perverseness. There's no blameless life 
Save for the passionless, no sanctities 
But have the self-same roof and props with crime, 
Or have their roots close interlaced with wrong. 
If I had loved her less, been more a craven, 
I had kept my place and won the easy praise 
Of a true Spanish noble. But I loved, 
And, loving, dared not Death the warrior 
But Infamy that binds and strips, and holds 
The brand and lash. I have dared all for her. 
She was my good what othea men call heaven, 
And for the sake of it bear penances ; 
Nay, some of old were baited, tortured, flayed 
To win their heaven. Heaven was their good, 
She, mine. And I have braved for her all fires 
Certained or threatened ; for I go away 
Beyond the reach of expiation far away 
From sacramental blessing. Does God bless 
No outlaw ? Shut his absolution fast 
In human breath ? Is there no God for me 


Save him whose cross I have forsaken ? Well, 

I am forever exiled but with her ! 

She is dragged out into the wilderness ; 

I, with my love, will be her providence. 

I have a right to choose my good or ill, 

A right to damn myself ! The ill is mine. 

I never will repent ! " * * * 

Thus Silva, inwardly debating, all his ear 

Turned into audience of a twofold mind ; 

For even in tumult full-fraught consciousness 

Had plenteous being for a self aloof 

That gazed and listened, like a soul in dreams 

Weaving the wondrous tale it marvels at 

But oft the conflict slackened, oft strong love 

With tidal energy returning laid 

All other restlessness ; Fedalma came, 

And with her wsionary presence brought 

What seemed the waking in the warm spring morn. 

He still was pacing on the stony earth 

Under the deepening night ; the fresh-lit fires 

Were flickering on dark forms and eyes that met 

His forward and his backward tread ; but she, 

She was within him, making his whole self 

Mere correspondence with her image ; sense, 

In all its deep recesses where it keeps 

The mystic stores of ecstasy, was turned 

To memory that killed the hour, like wine. 

Then Silva said, " She, by herself, is life. 

What was my joy before I loved her what 

Shall heaven lure us with, love being lost ? " 

For he was young. 

But now around the fires 
The Gypsy band felt freer; Juan's song 
Was no more there, nor Juan's friendly ways 
For links of amity 'twixt their wild mood 
And this strange brother, this pale Spanish duke, 
Who with their Gypsy badge upon his breast 
Took readier place within their alien hearts 
As a marked captive, who would fain escape. 
And Nadar, who commanded them, had known 
The prison in Bedmar. So now, in talk 
Foreign to Spanish ears, they said their minds, 
Discussed their chief's intent, the lot marked out 
For this new brother. Would he wed their queen ? 


And some denied, saying their queen would wed 
Only a Gypsy duke one who would join 
, Their bands in Telemsan. But others thought 
Young Hassan was to wed her; said their chief 
Would never trust this noble of Castile, 
Who in his very swearing was forsworn. 
And then one fell to chanting, in wild notes 
Recurrent like the moan of outshut winds, 
The adjuration they were wont ;o use 
To any Spaniard who would j-yjn their tribe : 
Words of plain Spanish, lately stirred anew 
And ready at new impulse. Soon the rest, 
Drawing to the stream of sound, made unisoa 
Higher and lower, till the tidal sweep 
Seemed to assail the Duke and close him round 
With force daemonic. All debate till now 
Had wrestled with the urgence of that oath 
Already broken ; now the newer oath 
Thrust its loud presence on him. He stood still, 
Close bated by loud-barking thoughts fierce hounds 
Of that Supreme, the irreversible Past. 

The ZINC A LI sing 

Brother hear and take the curse ^ 

Curse of soul's and body's throes, 

If you hate not all our foes. 

Cling not fast to all our woes, 

Turn false Ztncalo t 

May you be accurst 
By hunger and by thirst 
By spiked pangs ; 
Starvation's fangs 
Clutching you alone 

When none but peering vultures hear your moan. 
Curst by burning hands, 
Curst by aching brow, 
When on sea-wide sands 

fever lays you low j 
By the maddening brain 
When the running waters glistens, 
And the deaf ear listens, listens, 
Prisoned fire within the vein, 
On the tongue and on the lip 
Not a sip 


From the earth or skies ; 
Hot the desert lies 
Pressed into your anguish, 

Narrowing earth and narrowing sky 
Into lonely misery. 
Lonely may you languish 
Through the day and through the nighty 
Hate the darkness , hate the light, 
Pray and find no ear, 
Feel no brother near 
Till on death you cry, 
Death who passes by, 
And anew you groan, 

Scaring the vultures all to leave you living lone: 

Curst by soul's and body's throes 

If you love the dark men's foes, 

Cling not fast to all the dark men's woes, 

Turn false Zincalo! 
Swear to hate the cruel cross, 

The silver cross ! 
Glittering, laughing at the blood 

Shed below it in a flood 
When it glitters over Moorish porches ; 

Laughing at the scent of flesh 
When it glitters where the fagot scorches^ 
Burning life's mysterious mesh : 
Blood of wandering Israel 
Blood of wandering Ismael ; 
Blood, the drink of Christian scorn^ 
Blood of murderers, sons of morn 
Where the life of men began : 
Swear to hate the cross / 
Sign of all the murderers' foes, 
Sign of all the murderers 1 woes 

Else its curse light on you ! 
Else the curse upon you light 
Of its sharp red-sworded might. 
May it lie a blood-red blight 
On all things within your sight: 
On the white haze of the morn, 
On the meadows and the corn. 
On the sun and on the moon, 
On the clearness of the noon, 
On the darkness of the night. 


May it fill your aching sight 
Red-cross sword and sword bl0od-re& 
Till it press upon your head, 
Till it lie within your brain. 
Piercing sharp, a cross of pain, 
Till it tie upon your heart, 

Burning hot, a cross of fire, 
Till from sense in every part 
Pains have clustered like a stinging swarm 

In the cross's form. 

And you see naught but the cross of blood. 
And you feel naught but the cross of fire ; 
Curst by all the cross's throes 
Jf you hate not all our foes, 
Cling not fast to ail our woes, ] 
Turn false Zdncalo ! 

A fierce delight was in the Gypsies' chant ; 
They thought no more of Silva, only felt 
Like those broad-chested rovers of the night 
Who pour exuberant strength upon the air. 
To him it seemed as if the hellish rhythm, 
Revolving in long curves that slackened now, 
Now hurried, sweeping round again to slackness, 
Would cease no more. What use to raise his voioa 
Or grasp his weapon ? He was powerless now, 
With these new comrades of his future he 
Who had been wont to have his wishes feared 
And guessed at as a hidden law for men. 
Even the passive silence of the night 
That left these howlers mastery, even the moon, 
Rising and staring with a helpless face, 
Angered him. He was ready now to fly 
At some loud throat, and give the signal so 
For butchery of himself. 

But suddenly 

The sounds that travelled toward no foreseen close 
Were torn right off and fringed into the night ; 
Sharp Gypsy ears had caught the onward strain 
Of kindred voices joining in the chant. 
All started to their feet and mustered close, 
Auguring long-waited summons. It was come ; 
The summons to set forth and join their chief. 
Fedalma had been called and she was gone 


Under safe escort, Juan following her ; 

The camp the women, children, and old men - 

Were moving slowly southward on the way 

To Almeria. Silva learned no more. 

He marched perforce ; what other goal was his 

Than where Fedalma was ? And so he marched 

Through the dim passes and o'er rising hills, 

Not knowing whither, till the morning came. 

The Moorish hall in the castle at Bedmdr. The morning 
twilight dimly show stains of blood on the white marble 
floor ; yet there has been a careful restoration of order 
among the sparse objects of furniture. Stretched on mats 
lie three corpses, the faces bare, the bodies covered with man- 
tles. A little way off, with rolled matting for a pillow, lies 
ZARCA, sleeping. His chest and arms are bare ; his weap- 
ons, turban, mail-shirt and other upper garments lie on the 
floor beside him. In the outer gallery Zincali are pacing ', at 
intervals, past the arched openings. 

ZARCA (half rising and resting his elbow on the pillow while 

he looks round). 

The morning ! I have slept for full three hours ; 
Slept without dreams, save of my daughter's face. 
Its sadness waked me. Soon she will be here, 
Soon must outlive the worst of all the pains 
Bred by false nurture in an alien home 
As if a lion in fangless infancy 
Learned love of creatures that with fatal growth 
It scents as natural prey, and grasps and tears, 
Yet with heart-hunger yearns for, missing them. 
She is a lioness. And they the race 
That robbed me of her reared her to this pain. 
He will be crushed and torn. There was no help. 
But she, my child, will bear it. For strong souls 
Live like fire-hearted suns to spend their strength 
In farthest striving action ; breathe more free 
In mighty anguish than in trivial ease. 
Her sad face waked me. I shall meet it soon 


(He rises and stands looking at the corpses?) 

As now I look on these pale dead, 
These blossonoing branches crushed beneath the fall 
Of that broad trunk to which I laid my axe 


With fullest foresight. So will I ever face 

In thought beforehand to its utmost reach 

The consequences of my conscious deeds ; 

So face them after, bring them to my bed, 

And never drug my soul to sleep with lies. 

IS they are cruel, they shall be arraigned 

By that true name ; they shall be justified 

By my high purpose, by the clear-seen good 

That grew into my vision as I grew, 

And makes my nature's function, the full pulse 

Of inbred kingship. Catiiolics, 

Arabs and Hebrews, have their god apiece 

To fight and conquer for them, or be bruised, 

Like Allah now, yet keep avenging stores 

Of patient wrath. The Zincali have no god 

Who speaks to them and calls them his, unless 

I, Zarca, carry living in my frame 

The power divine that chooses them and saves. 

Life and more life unto the chosen, death 

To all things living that would stifle them ! " 

So speaks each god that makes a nation strong ; 

Burns trees and brutes and slays all hindering men. 

The Spaniards boast their god the strongest now ; 

They win most towns by treachery, make most slaves, 

Burn the most vines and men, and rob the most 

I fight against that strength, and in my turn 

Slay these brave young who duteously strove. 

Cruel ? aye, it is cruel. But, how else ? 

To save, we kill ; each blow we strike at guilt 

Hurts innocence with its shock. Men might well seek 

For purifying rites ; even pious deeds 

Need washing. But my cleansing waters flow 

Solely from my intent. 

turns away from the bodies to where his garments lie, fart 
does not lift them.) 

And she must suffer ! 

But she has seen the unchangeable and bowed 
Her head beneath the yoke. And she will walk 
No more in chilling twilight, for to-day 
Rises our sun. The difficult night is past ; 
We keep the bridge no more, but cross it ; march 
Forth to a land where all cur wars shall be 
With greedy obstinate plants that will not yield 


Fruit for their nurture. All our race shall come 

From north, west, east, a kindred multitude, 

And make large fellowship, and raise inspired 

The shout divine, the unison of resolve. 

So I, so she, will see our race redeemed. 

And their keen love of family and tribe 

Shall no more thrive on cunning, hide and lurk 

In petty arts of abject hunted life, 

But grow heroic in the sanctioning light, 

And feed with ardent blood a nation's heart 

That is my work ; and it is well begun. 

On to achievement ! 

(He takes up the mail-shirt, and looks at it, then throws if 
down again) 

No, I'll none of you ! 

To-day there'll be no fighting. A few hours, 
And I shall doff these garments of the Moor ; 
Till then I will walk lightly and breathe high. 

SBPHARDO (appearing at the archway leading into the outer 

You bade me wake you 


Welcome, Doctor ; see, 
With that small task I did but beckon you 
To graver work. You know these corpses ? 



I would they were not corpses. Storms will lay 
The fairest trees and leave the withered stumps. 
This Alvar and the Duke were of one age, 
And very loving friends. I minded not 
The sight of Don Diego's corpse, for death 
Gave him some gentleness, and had he lived 
I had still hated him. But this young Alvar 
Was doubly noble, as a gem that holds 
Rare virtues in its lustre ; and his death 
Will pierce Don Silva with a poisoned dart 
This fair and curly youth was Arias, 
A son of the Pachecos : this dark face 

Enough { you know their names. I had divined 



That they were near the Duke, most like had served 
My daughter, were her friends ; so fescued them 
From being flung upon the heap of slain. 
Beseech you, Doctor, if you owe me aught 
As having served your people, take the pains 
To see these bodies buried decently. 
And let their names be writ above their graves, 
As those of brave young Spaniards who died well. 
I needs must bear this womanhood in my heart 
Bearing my daughter there. For once she prayed 
Twas at our parting " When you see fair hair 
Be pitiful." And I am forced to look 
On fair heads living and be pitiless. 
Your service, Doctor, will be done to her. 


A service doubly dear. For these young dead, 
And one less happy Spaniard who still lives, 
Are offerings which I wrenched from out my heart, 
Constrained by cries of Israel : while my hands 
Rendered the victims at command, my eyes 
Closed themselves vainly, as if vision lay 
Through those poor loopholes only. I will go 
And see the graves dug by some cypresses. 

Meanwhile the bodies shall rest here. Farewell 


Nay, 'tis no mockery. She keeps me so 
From hardening with the hardness of my acts. 
This Spaniard shrouded in her love I would 
He lay here too that I might pity him. 

Morning. The Plafa Santiago in Bedmdr. A crowd of 
townsmen forming an outer circle : within, Zincali and 
Afoerish soldiers drawn up round the central space. On the 
higher ground in front of the church a stake with fagots 
heaped, and at a little distance a gibbet. Moorish music. 
ZARCA enter s^ wearing his gold necklace with tJie Gypsy 
badge of the flaming torch over the dress of a Moorish cap- 
tain, accompanied by a small band of armed Zincali, who fall 
aside and range themselves with the other soldiers while he 
takes his stand in front of the stake and gibbet. The music 
4 vases, and there is expectant silence. 



Men of Bedmar, well-wishers, and allies, 

Whether of Moorish or of Hebrew blood, 

Who, being galled by the hard Spaniard's yoke, 

Have welcomed our quick conquest as release, 

I, Zarca, chief of Spanish Gypsies, hold 

By delegation of the Moorish king 

Supreme command within this town and fort. 

Nor will I, with false show of modesty, 

Profess myself unworthy of this post. 

For so I should but tax the giver's choice. 

And, as ye know, while I was prisoner here, 

Forging the bullets meant for Moorish hearts, 

But likely now to reach another mark, 

I learned the secrets of the town's defence, 

Caught the loud whispers of your discontent, 

And so could serve the purpose of the Moor 

As the edge's keenness serves the weapon's weight. 

My Zincali, lynx-eyed and lithe of limb, 

Tracked out the high Sierra's hidden path, 

Guided the hard ascent, and were the first 

To scale the walls and brave the showering stones. 

In brief, I reached this rank through service done 

By thought of mine and valor of my tribe, 

Yet hold it but in trust, with readiness 

To lay it down ; for we the Zincali 

Will never pitch our tents again on land 

The Spaniard grudges us ; we seek a home 

Where we may spread and ripen like the corn 

By blessing of the sun and spacious earth. 

Ye wish us well, I think, and are our friends ? 


Long life to Zarca and his Zincali ! 

Now, for the cause of our assembling here. 

Twas my command that rescued from your hands 

That Spanish prior and inquisitor 

Whom in fierce retribution you had bound 

And meant to burn, tied to a planted cross. 

I rescued him with promise that his death 

Should be more signal in ts justice made 

Public in fullest sense, and orderly. 


Here, then, you see the stake slow death by fire ? 

And there a gibbet swift death by the cord. 

Now hear me, Moors and Hebrews of Bedmar, 

Our kindred by the warmth of eastern blood ! 

Punishing cruel wrong by cruelty 

We copy Christian crime. Vengeance is just ; 

Justly we rid the earth of human fiends 

Who carry hell for pattern in their souls. 

But in high vengeance there is noble scorn ; 

It tortures not the torturer, nor gives 

Iniquitous payment for iniquity. 

The great avenging angel does not crawl 

To kill the serpent with a mimic fang ; 

He stands erect with sword of keenest edge 

That slays like lightning. So, too, we will slay 

The cruel man ; slay him because he works 

Woe to mankind. And I have given command 

To pile these fagots, not to burn quick flesh, 

But for a sign of that dire wrong to men 

Which arms our wrath with justice. While, to show 

This Christian worshipper that we obey 

A better law than his, he shall be led 

Straight to the gibbet and to swiftest death. 

For I, the chieftain of the Gypsies, will, 

My people shed no blood but what is shed 

In heat of battle or in judgment strict 

With calm deliberation on the right. 

Such is my will, and if it pleases you well. 

It pleases us. Long life to Zarca ! 


Hark ! 

The bell is striking, and they bring even now 
The prisoner from the fort. What, Nadar ? 

NADAR (has appeared, cutting the crowd, and advancing 
toward ZARCA till he is near enough to speak in an under- 


I have obeyed your word, have followed it 
As water does the furrow in the rock. 

Your band is here ? 


Yes, and the Spaniard too. 

' Twas so I ordered. 


Ay, but this sleek hound. 
Who slipped his collar off to join the wolves, 
Has still a heart for none but kennelled brutes. 
He rages at the taking of the town, 
Says all his friends are butchered ; and one corpse 
He stumbled on well, I would sooner be 
A murdered Gypsy's dog, and howl for him, 
Than be this Spaniard. Rage has made him whiter. 
One townsman taunted him with his escape, 
And thanked him for so favoring us 



You gave him my command that he should wait 
Within the castle, till I saw him ? 



But he defied me, broke away, ran loose 
I know not whither ; he may soon be here. 
I came to warn you, lest he work us harm. 


Fear not, I know the road I travel by : 
Its turns are no surprises. He who rules 
Must humor full as much as he commands ; 
Must let men vow impossibilities ; 
Grant folly's prayers that hinder folly's wish 
And serve the ends of wisdom. Ah, he comes ! 

[Sweeping like some pale herald from the dead, 
Whose shadow-nurtured eyes, dazed by full light, 
See nought without, but give reverted sense 
To the soul's imagery, Silva came, 
The wondering people parting wide to get 
Continuous sight of him as he passed on 
This high hidalgo, who through blooming years 
Had shone on men with planetary calm, 
Believed-in with all sacred images 
And saints that must be taken as they 


Though rendering meagre service for men's praise : 
Bareheaded now, carrying an unsheathed sword, 
And on his breast, where late he bore the cross, 
Wearing the Gypsy badge ; his form aslant, 
Driven, it seemed, by some invisible chase, 
Right to the front of Zarca. There he paused.] 


Chief, you are treacherous, cruel, devilish 1 
Relentless as a curse that once let loose 
From lips of wrath, lives bodiless to destroy, 
And darkly traps a man in nets of guilt 
Which could not weave themselves in open day 
Before his eyes. Oh, it was bitter wrong 
To hold this knowledge locked within your mind, 
To stand with waking eyes in broadest light, 
And see me, -dreaming, shed my kindred's blood. 
'Tis horrible that men with hearts and hands 
Should smile in silence like the firmament 
And see a fellow-mortal draw a lot 
On which themselves have written agony ! 
Such injury has no redress, no healing 
Save what may lie in stemming further ill. 
Poor balm for maiming ! Yet I come to claim it. 


First prove your wrongs, and I will hear your claim. 

Mind, you are not commander of Bedmar, 

Nor duke, nor knight, nor any thing for me, 

Save a sworn Gypsy, subject with ray tribe, 

Over whose deeds my will is absolute. 

You chose that lot, and would have railed at me 

Had I refused it you : I warned you first 

What oaths you had to take 


You never warned me 

That you had linked yourself with Moorish men 
To take this town and fortress of Bedmar 
Slay my near kinsman, him who held my place, 
Our house's heir and guardian slay my friend. 
My chosen brother desecrate the church 
Where once my mother held 22 in her arras, 
Making the holy chrism b 


With tear of joy that fell upon my brow ! 
You never warned 


I warned you of your oath. 

You shrank not, were resolved, were sure your place 
Would never miss you, and you had your will. 
I am no priest and keep no consciences : 
I keep my own place and my own command. 


I said my place would never miss me yes ! 

A thousand Spaniards died on that same day 

And were not missed; their garments clothed the backs 

That else were bare 


But you were just the one 
Above the thousand, had you known the die 
That fate was throwing then. 


You knew it yon ! 

With fiendish knowledge, smiling at the end. 
You knew what snares had made my flying steps 
Murderous : you let me lock my soul with oaths 
Which your acts made a hellish sacrament 
I say, you knew this as a fiend would know it, 
And let me damn myself. 


The deed was done 

Before you took your oath, or reached our camp, 
Done when you slipped in secret from the post 
'Twas yours to keep, and not to meditate 
If others might not fill it. For your oath, 
What man is he who brandishes a sword 
In darkness, kills his friends, and rages then 
Against the night that kept him ignorant ? 
Should I, for one unstable Spaniard, quit 
My steadfast ends as father and as chief ; 
Renounce my daughter and my people's hope. 
Lest a deserter should be made ashamed ? 

Your daughter O great God ! I vent but madness. 


The past will never change. I come to stem 
Harm that may yet be hindered. Chief this stake- 
Tell me who is to die ! Are you not bound 
Yourself to him you took in fellowship ? 
The town is yours ; let me but save the blood 
That still is warm in men who were my 


Peace ! 

They bring the prisoner. 

[Zarca waved his arm 
With head averse, in peremptory sign 
That 'twixt them now there should be space and silence. 
Most eyes had turned to where the prisoner 
Advanced among his guards ; and Silva too 
Turned eagerly, all other striving quelled 
By striving with the dread lest he should see 
His thought outside him. And he saw it there. 
The prisoner was Father Isidor : 
The man whom once he fiercely had accused 
As author of his misdeeds whose designs 
Had forced him into fatal secrecy. 
The imperious and inexorable Will 
Was yoked, and he who had been pitiless 
To Silva's love, was led to pitiless death. 
O hateful victory of blind wishes prayers 
Which hell had overheard and swift fulfilled ! 
The triumph was a torture, turning all 
The strength of passion into strength of pain. 
Remorse was born within hint, that dire birth 
Which robs all else of nature cancerous, 
Forcing each pulse to feed its anguish, turning 
All sweetest residues of healthy life 
To fibrous clutches of slow misery. 
Silva had but rebelled he was not free ; 
And all the subtle cords that bound his soul 
Were tightened by the strain of one rash leap 
Made in defiance. He accused no more, 
But dumbly shrank before accusing throngs 
Of thoughts, the impetuous recurrent rush 
Of all his past-created, unchanged self. 
The Father came bareheaded, frocked, a rope 
Around his neck, but clad with majesty, 
The strength of resolute undivided souls 


Who, owning law, obey it. In his hand 

He bore a crucifix, and praying, gazed 

Solely on that white image. But his guards 

Parted in front, and paused as they approached 

The centre where the stake was. Isidor 

Lifted his eyes to look around him calm, 

Prepared to speak last words of willingness 

To meet his death last words of faith unchanged, 

That, working for Christ's kingdom, he had wrought 

Righteously. But his glance met Silva's eyes 

And drew him. Even images of stone 

Look living with reproach on him who maims, 

Profanes, defiles them. Silva penitent 

Moves forward, would have knelt before the man 

Who still was one with all the sacred things 

That came back on him in their sacredness, 

Kindred, and oaths, and awe, and mystery. 

But at the sight, the Father thrust the cross 

With deprecating act before him, and his face 

Pale-quivering, flashed out horror like white light 

Flashed from the angel's sword that dooming drave 

The sinner to the wilderness. He spoke.] 


Back from me, traitorous and accursed man ! 

Defile not me, who grasp the holiest, 

With touch or breath ! Thou foulest murderer ! 

Fouler than Cain who struck his brother down 

In jealous rage, thou for thy base delight 

Hast oped the gate for wolves to come and tear 

Uncounted brethren, weak and strong alike, 

The helpless priest, the warrior all unarmed 

Against a faithless leader : on thy head 

Will rest the sacrilege, on thy soul the blood. 

These blind barbarians, misbelievers, Moors, 

Are but as Pilate and his soldiery ; 

Thou, Judas, weighted with that heaviest crime 

Which deepens hell ! I warned you of this end, 

A traitorous leader, false to God and man, 

A knight apostate, you shall soon behold 

Above your people's blood the light of flames 

Kindled by you to burn me burn the flesh 

Twin with your father's. Oh, most wretched man ! 

Whose memory shall be of broken oaths 


Broken for lust I turn away mine eyes 
Forever from you. See, the stake is ready 
And I am ready too. 


It shall not be ! 

(liaising his sword, he rushes in front of the guards who are 
advancing, and impedes them.) 

If you are human, chief, hear my demand ! 
Stretch not my soul upon the endless rack 
Of this man's torture ! 


Stand aside, my lord ! 

Put up your sword. You vowed obedience 
To me, your chief. It was your latest vow. 


No ! hew me from the spot, or fasten me 
Amid the fagots, too, if he must burn. 


What should befall that persecuting monk 

Was fixed before you came ; no cruelty, 

No nicely measured torture, weight for weight 

Of injury, no luscious-toothed revenge 

That justifies the injurer by its joy ; 

I seek but rescue and security 

For harmless men, and such security 

Means death to vipers and inquisitors. 

These fagots shall but innocently blaze 

In sign of gladness, when this man is dead, 

That one more torturer has left the earth. 

'Tis not for infidels to burn live men 

And ape the rules of Christian piety. 

This hard oppressor shall not die by fire ; 

He mounts the gibbet, dies a speedy death, 

That, like a transfixed dragon, he may cease 

To vex mankind. Quick, guards, and clear the path ! 

[As well-trained hounds that hold their fleetness tense 
In watchful, loving fixity of dark eyes, 
And move with movement of their master's will, 
^SP Gypsies with a wavelike swiftness met 


Around the Father, and in wheeling course 
Passed beyond Silva to the gibbet's foot, 
Behind their chieftain. Sudden left alone 
With weapon bare, the multitude aloof, 
Silva was mazed in doubtful consciousness, 
As one who slumbering in the day awakes 
From striving into freedom, and yet feels 
His sense half captive to intangible things ; 
Then with a flush of new decision sheathed 
His futile naked weapon, and strode quick 
To Zarca, speaking with a voice new-toned, 
The struggling soul's hoarse suffocated cry 
Beaeath the grappling anguish of despair.] 


You, Zincalo, devil, blackest infidel ! 

You cannot hate that man as you hate me ! 

Finish your torture take me lift me up 

And let the crowd spit at me every Moor 

Shoot reeds at me, and kill me with slow death 

Beneath the midday fervor of the sun 

Or crucify me with a thieving hound 

Slake your hate so, and I will thank it : spare me 

Only this man ! 


Madman, I hate you not. 
But if I did, my hate were poorly served 
By my device, if I should strive to mix 
A bitterer misery for you than to taste 
With leisure of a soul in unharmed limbs 
The flavor of your folly. For my course, 
It has a goal, and takes no truant path 
Because of you. I am your chief : to me 
You're nought more than a Zincalo in revolt. 


No, I'm no Zfncalo ! I here disown 
The name I took in madness. Here I tear 
This badge away. I am a Catholic knight, 
A Spaniard who will die a Spaniard's death ! 

[Hark ! while he casts the badge upon the ground 

And tramples on it, Silva hears a shout : 

Was it a shout that threatened him ? He looked 


From out the dizzying flames of his own rage 

In hope of adversaries and he saw above 

The form of Father Isidor upswung 

Convulsed with martyr throes ; and knew the shoot 

For wonted exultation of the crowd 

When malefactors die or saints, or heroes. 

And now to him that white-frocked murdered form 

Which hanging judged him as its murderer, 

Turned to a symbol of his guilt, and stirred 

Tremors till then unwaked. With sudden snatch 

At something hidden in his breast, he strode 

Right upon Zarca : at the instant, down 

Fell the great chief, and Silva, staggering back, 

Heard not the Gypsies' shriek, felt not the fangs 

Of their fierce grasp heard, felt but Zarca's words 

Which seemed his soul outleaping in a cry 

And urging men to run like rival waves 

Whose rivalry is but obedience.] 

ZARCA (as he falls). 
My daughter ! call her ! Call my daughter ! 

NADAR (supporting ZARCA and crying to the Gypsies who have 
clutched SILVA). 


Tear not the Spaniard, tie him to the stake : 
Hear what the Chief shall bid us there is time ! 

[Swiftly they tied him, pleasing vengeance so 

With promise that would leave them free to watch 

Their stricken good, their Chief stretched helplessly 

Pillowed upon the strength of loving limbs. 

He heaved low moans, but would not spend his breath 

In useless words : he waited till she came, 

Keeping his life within the citadel 

Of one great hope. And now around him closed 

(But in wide circle, checked by loving fear) 

His people all, holding their wails suppressed 

Lest death believed-in should be over-bold : 

All life hung on their Chief he would not die ; 

His image gone, there were no wholeness left 

To make a world of for the Zincali's thought 

Eager they stood, but hushed ; the outer crowd 

Spoke only in low murmurs, and some climbed 


And clung with legs and arms on perilous coigns, 
Striving to see where that colossal life 
Lay panting lay a Titan struggling still 
To hold and give the precious hidden fire 
Before the stronger grappled him. Above 
The young bright morning cast athwart white walls 
Her shadows blue, and with their clear-cut line, 
Mildly relentless as the dial-hand's, 
Measured the shrinking future of an hour 
Which held a shrinking hope. And all the while 
The silent beat of time in each man's soul 
Made aching pulses. 

But the cry, " She comes ! " 
Parted the crowd like waters : and she came. 
Swiftly as once before, inspired with joy, 
She flashd across the space and made new light, 
Glowing upon the glow of evening, 
So swiftly now she came, inspired with woe, 
Strong with the strength of all her father's pain, 
Thrilling her as with fire of rage divine 
And battling energy. She knew saw all : 
The stake with Silva bound her father pierced 
To this she had been born : a second time 
Her father called her to the task of life. 

She knelt beside him. Then he raised himself, 

And on her face there flashed from his the light 

As of a star that waned, but flames anew 

In mighty dissolution : 'twas the flame 

Of a surviving trust, in agony. 

He spoke the parting prayer that was command, 

Must sway her will, and reign invisibly.] 


My daughter, you have promised you will live 

To save our people. In my garments here 

I carry written pledges from the Moor : 

He will keep faith in Spain and Africa. 

Your weakness may be stronger than my strength, 

Winning more love 1 cannot tell the end. 

I held my people's good within my breast. 
Behold, now I deliver it to you. 
See, it still breathes unstrangled if it dies, 
Let not your failing will be murderer, 

194 '-' ::ii SPANISH GYPSY, 

Rise, tell our people now I wait in pain 
I cannot die until I hear them say 
They will obey you. 

[Meek, she pressed her lips 
With slow solemnity upon his brow, 
Sealing her pledges. Firmly then she rose, 
And met her people's eyes with kindred gaze, 
Dark-flashing, fired by effort strenuous 
Trampling on pain.] 


Ye Zincali, all who hear ! 
Your Chief is dying : I, his daughter live 
To do his dying will. He asks you now 
To promise me obedience as your Queen, 
That we may seek the land he won for us, 
And live the better life for which he toiled. 
Speak now, and fill my father's dying ear 
With promise that you will obey him dead, 
Obeying me his child. 

[Straightway arose 

A shout of promise, sharpening into cries 
That seemed to plead despairingly with death.] 


We will obey ! Our Chief shall never die ! 
We will obey him will obey our Queen [ 

[The shout unanimous, the concurrent rush 

Of many voices, choiring, shook the air 

With multitudinous wave : now rose, now fell, 

Then rose again, the echoes following slow, 

As if the scattered brethren of the tribe 

Had caught afar and joined the ready vow. 

Then some could hold no longer, but must rush 

To kiss his dying feet, and some to kiss 

The hem of their Queen's garment. But she raised 

Her hand to hush them. " Hark ! your Chief may speak 

Another wish." Quickly she kneeled again 

While they upon the ground kept motionless, 

With head outstretched. They heard his words ; for 

Grasping at Nadir's arm, he spoke more loud, 


As one who, having fought and conquered, hurls 
His strength away with hurling off his shield.] 


Let loose the Spaniard ! give him back his sword ; 
He cannot move to any vengeance more 
His soul is locked 'twixt two opposing crimes. 
I charge you to let him go unharmed and free 

Now through your midst. 

[With that he sank again 

His breast heaved strongly tow'rd sharp sudden falls, 
And all his life seemed needed for each breath : 
Yet once he spoke.] 

My daughter, lay your arm 

Beneath my head so bend and breathe on me. 

I cannot see you more the night is come. 

Be strong remember 1 can only die. 

[His voice went into silence, but his breast 

Heaved long and moaned : its broad strength kept a life 

That heard nought, saw nought, save what once had 


And what might be in days and realms afar 
Which now in pale procession faded on 
Toward the thick darkness. And she bent above 
In sacramental watch to see great Death, 
Companion of her future, who would wear 
Forever in her eyes her father's form. 
And yet she knew that hurrying feet had gone 
To do the Chief's behest, and in her soul 
He who was once its lord was being jarred 
With loosening of cords, that would not loose 
The tightening torture of his anguish. This 
Oh. she knew it ! knew it as martyrs knew 
The prongs that tore their flesh, while yet their tongues 
Refused the ease of lies. In moments high 
Space widens in the soul. And so she knelt, 
Clinging with piety and awed resolve 
Beside this altar of her father's life, 
Seeing long travel under solemn suns 
Stretching beyond it ; never turned her eyes, 
Yet felt that Silva passed ; beheld his face 
Pale, vivid, all alone, imploring her 
Across black waters fathomless. 

And he passed 


The Gypsies made wide pathway, shrank aloof 

As those who fear to touch the thing they hate, 

Lest hate triumphant, mastering all the limbs. 

Should tear, bite, crush, in spite of hindering wifl. 

Slowly he walked, reluctant to be safe 

And bear dishonored life which none assailed ; 

Walked hesitatingly, all his frame instinct 

With high-born spirit, never used to dread 

Or crouch for smiles, yet stung, yet quivering 

With helpless strength, and in his soul convulsed 

By visions where pale horror held a lamp 

Over wide-reaching crime. Silence hung round : 

It seemed the ?laa hushed itself to hear 

His footsteps and the Chief's deep-dying breath. 

Eyes quickened in the stillness, and the light 

Seemed one clear gaze upon his misery. 

And yet he could not pass her without pause : 

One instant he must pause and look at her ; 

But with that glance at her averted head, 

New-urged by pain he turned away and went s 

Carrying forever with him what he fled 

Her murdered love her love, a dear wronged ghost, 

Facing him, beauteous, 'mid the throngs of helL 

Oh fallen and forsaken ! were no hearts 

Amid that crowd, mindful of what had been > 

Hearts such as wait on beggared royalty, 

Or silent watch by sinners who despair ? 

Silva had vanished. That dismissed revenge 

Made larger room for sorrow in fierce h-arts ; 

And sorrow filled them. For the chief vas dead. 

The mighty breast subsided slow to ca-rm, 

Slow from the face the ethereal spirit waned, 

As wanes the parting glory from the heights, 

And leaves them in their pallid majesty. 

Fedalma kissed the marble lips, and said, 

" He breathes no more." And then a loud long wail, 

Poured out upon the morning, made her light 

Ghastly as smiles on some fair maniac's face 

Smiling unconscious o'er her bridgroom'c corse. 

The wailing men in eager press closed round, 

And made a shadowing pall beneath the sun. 

They lifted reverent the prostrate strength, 

Sceptred anew by death. Fedalma walked 


Tearless, erect, following the dead her cries 
Deep smothering in her breast, as one who guides 
Her children through the wilds, and sees and knows 
Of danger more than they, and feels more pangs, 
Yet shrinks not, groans not, bearing in her heart 
Their ignorant misery and their trust in her. 


THE eastward rocks of Almeria's bay 

Answer long farewells of the travelling sun 

With softest glow as from an inward pulse 

Changing and flushing : all the Moorish ships 

Seem conscious. too, and shoot out sudden shadows; 

Their black hulls snatch a glory, and their sails 

Show variegated radiance, gently stirred 

Like broad wings poised. Two galleys moored apart 

Show decks as busy as a home of ants 

Storing new forage ; from their sides the boats, 

Slowly pushed off, anon with flashing oar 

Make transit to the quay's smooth-quarried edge, 

Where throngir.g Gypsies are in haste to lade 

Each as it comes with grandames, babes and wives, 

Or with dust-tinted goods, the company 

Of wandering years. Nought seems to lie unmoved, 

For 'mid the throng the lights and shadows play, 

And make all surface eager, while the boats 

Sway restless as a horse that heard the shouts 

And surging hum incessant. Naked limbs 

With beauteous ease bend, lift, and throw, or raise 

High signalling hands. The black-haired mothe rsteps 

Athwart the boat's edge, and with opened arms, 

A wandering Isis outcast from the gods, 

Leans toward her lifted little one. The boat 

Full-laden cuts the waves, and dirge-like cries 

Rise and then fall within it as it moves 

From high to lower and from bright to dark. 

Hither and thither, grave white-turbaned Moors 

Move helpfully, and some bring welcome gifts, 

Bright stuffs and cutlery, and bags of seed 

To make new waving crops in Africa. 

Others aloof with folded arms slow-eyed 

Survey man's labor, saying " Cod is great " ; 

Or seek with question deep the Gypsies' root, 

And whether their false faith, being small, will prove 

Less damning than the copious false creeds 

Of Jews and Christians : Moslem subtlety 

Found balanced reasons, warranting suspense 

As to whose hell was deepest 'twas enough 

That there was room for all. Thus the sedate. 

The younger heads were busy with the tale 

Of that great Chief whose exploits helped the Moor. 

And, talking still, they shouldered past their frwnds 

Following some lure which held their distant gaze 

To eastward of the quay, where yet remained 

A low black tent close guarded all around 

By well-armed Gypsies. Fronting it above, 

Raised by stone steps that sought a jutting strand, 

Fedalma stood and marked with anxious watch 

Each laden boat the remnant lessening 

Of cargo on the shore, or traced the course 

Of Nadar to and fro in hard command 

Of noisy tumult ; imaging oft anew 

How much of labor still deferred the hour 

When they must lift the boat and bear away 

Her father's coffin, and her feet must quit 

This shore forever. Motionless she stood, 

Black-crowned with wreaths of many-shadowed hair ; 

Black-robed, but bearing wide upon her breast 

Her father's golden necklace and his badge. 

Her limbs were motionless, but in her eyes 

And in her breathing lip's soft tremulous curve 

Was intense motion as of prisoned fire 

Escaping subtly in outleaping thought, 

She watches anxiously, and yet she dreams : 
The busy moments now expand, now shrink 
To narrowing ewarms within the refluent space 
Of changeful consciousness. For in her thought 
Already she has left the fading shore, 
Sails with her people, seeks an unknown land, 
And bears the burning length of weary days 
That parching fall upon her father's hope, 
Which she must plant and see it wither only- 
Wither and die. She saw the end begun. 
The Gypsy hearts were not unfaithful : she 
Wa centre to the savag- loyiity 


Which vowed obedience to Zarca dead. 

But soon their natures missed the constant stress 

Of his command, that, while it fired, restrained 

By urgency supreme, and left no play 

To fickle impulse scattering desire. 

They loved their Queen, trusted in Zarca's child, 

Would bear her o'er the desert on their arms 

And think the weight a gladsome victory ; 

But that great force which knit them into one, 

The invisible passion of her father's soul, 

That wrought them visibly into his will, 

And would have bound their lives with permanence, 

Was gone. Already, Hassan and two bands, 

Drawn by fresh baits of gain, had newly SOIG 

Their service to the Moors, despite her call, 

Known as the echo of her father's will, 

To all the tribe, that they should pass with her 

Straightway to Telemsan. They were not moved 

By worse rebellion than the wilful wish 

To fashion their own service ; they still meant 

To come when it should suit them. But she said, 

This is the cloud no bigger than a hand, 

Sure-threatening. In a little while, the tribe 

That was to be the ensign of the race, 

And draw it into conscious union, 

Itself would break in small and scattered bands 

That, living on scant prey, would still disperse 

And propagate forgetf ulness. Brief years, 

And that great purpose fed with vital fire 

That might have glowed for half a century, 

Subduing, quickening, shaping, like a sun 

Would be a faint tradition, flickering low 

In dying memories, fringing with dim light 

The nearer dark. 

Far, far the future stretched 
Beyond that busy present on the quay, 
Far her straight path beyond it. Yet she watched 
To mark the growing hour, and yet in dream 
Alternate she beheld another track, 
And felt herself unseen pursuing it 
Close to a wanderer, who with haggard gaze 
Looked out on loneliness. The backward years 
Oh, she would not forget them would not drink 
Of waters that brought rest, while he far off 


Remembered. " Father, I renounced the joy 
You must forgive the sorrow." 

So she stood, 

Her struggling life compressed into that hour, 
Yearning, resolving, conquering ; though she seemed 
Still as a tutelary image sent 
To guard her people and to be the strength 
Of some rock-citadel. 

Below her sat 

Slim mischievous Hinda, happy, red-bedecked 
With rows of berries, grinning, nodding oft, 
And shaking high her small dark arm and hand 
Responsive to the black-maned Ismael, 
Who held aloft his spoil, and clad in skins 
Seemed the Bay-prophet of the wilderness 
Escaped from tasks prophetic. But anon 
Hinda would backward turn upon her knees. 
And like a pretty loving hound would bend 
To fondle her Queen's feet, then lift her head 
Hoping to feel the gently pressing palm 
Which touched the deeper sense. Fedalma knew 
From out the black robe stretched her speaking hand 
And shared the girl's content. 

So the dire hours 

Burdened with destiny the death of hopes 
Darkening long generations, or the birth 
Of thoughts undying such hours sweep along 
In their aerial ocean measureless 
Myriads of little joys, that ripen sweet 
And soothe the sorrowful spirit of the world, 
Groaning and travailling with the painful birth 
Of slow redemption. 

But emerging now 

From eastward fringing lines of idling men 
Quick Juan lightly sought the upward steps 
Behind Fedalma, and two paces off, 
With head uncovered, said in gentle tones. 
Lady Fedalma ! " (Juan's password now 
Used by no other), and Fedalma turned, 
Knowing who sought her. He advanced a step, 
And meeting straight her large calm questioning gaze, 
Warned her of some grave purport by a face 
Th-?t told of trouble. Lower still he spoke 



Look from me, lady, toward a moving form 
That quits the crowd and seeks the lonelier strand 

A tall and gray-clad pilgrim. 


His low tones fell on her, as if she passed 
Into religious dimness among tombs, 
And trod on names in everlasting rest. 
Lingeringly she looked, and then with voice 
Deep and yet soft, like notes from some long chord 
Responsive to thrilled air, said ] 


It is he! 

[Juan kept silence for a little space, 
With reverent caution, lest his lighter grief 
Might seem a wanton touch upon her pain. 
But time was urging him with visible flight, 
Changing the shadows : he must utter all.J 


That man was young when last I pressed his hand- 
In that dread moment when he left Bedmar. 
He has aged since, the week has made him gray. 
And yet I knew him knew the white-streaked hair 
Before I saw his face, as I should know 
The tear-dimmed writing of a friend. See now 
Does he not linger pause ? perhaps expect 

[Juan pled timidly : Fedalma's eyes 

Flashed ; and through all her frame there ran the shock 

Of some sharp-wounding joy, like his who hastes 

And dreads to come too late, and comes in time 

To press a loved hand dying. She was mute 

And made no gesture : all her being paused 

In resolution, as some leonine wave 

That makes a moment's silence ere it leaps.] 


He came from Carthagena, in a boat 
Too slight for safety ; yon small two-oared boat 
Below the rock ; the fisher-boy within 
Awaits his signal. But the pilgrim waits. 

Yes, I will go ! Father, I owe him this 


For loving me made all his misery. 

And we will look once more will say farewell 

As in a solemn rite to strengthen us 

For our eternal parting. Juan, stay 

Here in my place, to warn me, were there need. 

And, Hinda, follow me ! 

[All men who watched 
Lost her regretfully, then drew content 
From thought that she must quickly come again, 
And filled the time with striving to be near. 

She, down the steps, along the sandy brink 

To where he stood, walked firm ; with quickened step 

The moment when each felt the other saw. 

He moved at sight of her: their glances met ; 

It seemed they could no more remain aloof 

Than nearing waters hurrying into one. 

Yet their steps slackened and they paused apart, 

Pressed backward by the force of memories 

Which reigned supreme as death above desire. 

Two paces off they stood and silently 

Looked at each other. Was it well to speak ? 

Could speech be clearer, stronger, tell them more 

Than that long gaze of their renouncing love ? 

They passed from silence hardly knowing how ; 

It seemed they heard each other's thought before.] 


I go to be absolved, to have my life 

Washed into fitness for an offering 

To injured Spain. But I have nought to give 

For that last injury to her I loved 

Better than I loved Spain. I am accurst 

Above all sinners, being made the curse 

Of her I sinned for. Pardon ? Penitence f 

When they have done their utmost, still beyond 

Out of their reach stands Injury unchanged 

And changeless. I should see it still in heaven 

Out of my reach, forever in my sight : 

Wearing your grief, 'twould hide the smiling seraphs. 

1 bring no puling prayer, Fedalma ask 

No balm of pardon that may soothe my soul 

For others' bleeding wounds : I am not come 

To say, " Forgive me " : you must not forgive. 


For you must see me ever as I am 
Your father's 


Speak it not ! Calamity 
Comes like a dehige and o'erflows our crimes, 
Till sin is hidden in woe. You I we two, 
Grasping we knew not what, that seemed delight, 
Opened the sluices of that deep. 


We two ? 
Fedalma, you were blameless, helpless. 



It shall not be that you did aught alone. 
For when we loved I willed to reign in you, 
And I was jealous even of the day 
If it could gladden you apart from me. 
And so, it must be that I shared each deed 
Our love was root of. 


Dear ! you share the woe 
Nay, the worst dart of vengeance fell on you. 


Vengeance ! She does but sweep us with her skirts 
She takes large space, and lies a baleful light 
Revolving with long years sees children's children, 
Blights them in their prime Oh, if two lovers leaned 
To breathe one air and spread a pestilence, 
They would but lie two livid victims dead 
Amid the city of the dying. We 
With our poor petty lives have strangled one 
That ages watch for vainly. 


Deep despair 

Fills all your tones as with slow agony. 
Speak words that narrow anguish to some shape ; 
Tell me what dread is close before you ? 


No dread, but clear assurance of the end. 


My father held within his mighty frame 
A. people's life : great futures died with him 
Never to rise, until tke time shall ripe 
Some other hero with the will to save 
The outcast ZincalL 


And yet their shout 
1 heard it sounded as the plenteous rush 
Of full-fed sources, shaking their wild souls 
With power that promised sway. 


Ah, yes, that shout 

Came from full hearts : they meant obedience. 
But they are orphaned : their poor childish feet 
Are vagabond in spite of love, and stray 
Forgetful after little lures. For me 
I am but as the funeral urn that bears 
The ashes of a leader. 


great God ! 
What am I but a miserable brand 

Lit by mysterious wrath ? I lie cast down 
A blackened branch upon the desolate ground 
Where once I kindled ruin. I shall drink 
No cup of purest water but will taste 
Bitter with thy lone hopelessness., Fedalma. 


Nay, Silva, think of me as one who sees 
A light serene and strong on one sole path 

Which she will tread till death 

He trusted me, and I will keep his trust: 

My life shall be its temple. I will plant 

His sacred hope within the sanctuary 

And die its priestess though I die alone, 

A hoary woman on the altar-step, 

Cold 'mid cold ashes. That is my chief good. 

The deepest hunger of a faithful heart 

Is faithfulness. Wish me nought else. And you-*-- 

You too will live 


1 go to Rome, to seek 


The right to use my knightly sword again ; 

The right to fill my place and live or die 

So that all Spaniards shall not curse my name. 

I sat one hour upon the barren rock 

And longed to kill myself ; but then I said, 

I will not leave my name in infamy, 

I will not be perpetual rottenness 

Upon the Spaniard's air. If I must sink 

At last to hell, I will not take my stand 

Among the coward crew who could not bear 

The harm themselves had done, which others bore. 

My young life yet may fill some fatal breach, 

And I will take no pardon, not my own, 

Not God^ no pardon idly on my knees : 

But it shall come to me upon my feet 

\nd in the thick of action, and each deed 

That carried shame and wrong shall be the sting 

That drives me higher up the steep of honor 

In deeds of duteous service to that Spain 

Who nourished me on her expectant breast, 

The heir of highest gifts. I will not fling 

My earthly being down for carrion 

To fill the air with loathing : I will be 

The living prey of some fierce noble death 

That leaps upon me while I move. Aloud 

I said, " I will redeem my name," and then 

I know not if aloud : I felt the words 

Drinking up all my senses " She still lives. 

Jt would not quit the dear familiar earth 

Where both of us behold the self-same sun, 

Where there can be no strangeness 'twixt our thoughts 

So deep as their communion." Resolute 

I rose and walked. Fedalma, think of me 

As one who will regain the only life 

IVhere he is other than apostate one 

Who seeks but to renew and keep the vows 

Of Spanish knight and noble. But the breach 

Outside those vows the fatal second breach 

Lies a dark gulf where I have nought to cast, 

Not even expiation poor pretence, 

Which changes nought but what survives the past, 

And raises not the dead. That deep dark gulf 

Divides us. 



Yes, forever. We must walk 
Apart unto the end. Our marriage rite 
Is our resolve that we will each be true 
To high allegiance, higher than our love. 
Our dear young love its breath was happiness ! 
But it had grown upon a larger life 
Which tore its roots asunder. We rebelled 
The larger life subdued us. Yet we are wed ; 
For we shall carry each the pressure deep 
Of the other's soul. I soon shall leave the shore. 
The winds to-night will bear me far away. 
My lord, farewell ! 

He did not say " Farewell." 
But neither knew that he was silent. She, 
For one long moment, moved not. They knew nought 
Save that they parted ; for their mutual gaze 
As with their soul's full speech forbade their hands 
To seek each other those oft-clasping hands 
Which had a memory of their own, and went 
Widowed of one dear touch forevermore. 

At last she turned and with swift movement passed. 
Beckoning to Hinda, who was bending low 
And lingered still to wash her shells, but soon 
Leaping and scampering followed, while her Queen 
Mounted the steps again and took her place, 
Which Juan rendered silently. 

And now 

The press upon the quay was thinned ; the ground 
Was cleared of cumbering heaps, the eager shouts 
Had sunk, and left a murmur more restrained 
By common purpose. All the men ashore 
Were gathering into ordered companies, 
And with less clamor filled the waiting boats 
As if the speaking light commanded them 
To quiet speed : for now the farewell glow 
Was on the topmost heights, and where far ships 
Were southward tending, tranquil, slow, and whitf 
Upon the luminous meadow toward the verge. 
The quay was in still shadow, and the boats 
Went sombrely upon the sombre waves. 
Fedalma watched again : but now her gaze 
Takf><? in the eastward bay, where that small hark 


Which held the fisher-boy floats weightier 
With one more life, that rests upon the oar, 
Watching with her. He would not go away 
Till she was gone ; he would not turn his face 
Away from her at parting : but the sea 
Should widen slowly 'twixt their seeking eyes. 

The time was coming. Nadar had approached. 

Was the Queen ready ? Would she follow now 

Her father's body ? For the largest boat 

Was waiting at the quay, the last strong band 

Of Zincali had ranged themselves in lines 

To guard her passage and to follow her. 

Yes, I am ready " ; and with action prompt 

They cast aside the Gypsy's wandering tomb, 

And fenced the space from curious Moors who pressed 

To see Chief Zarca's coffin as it lay. 

They raised it slowly, holding it aloft 

On shoulders proud to bear the heavy load. 

Bound on the coffin lay the chieftain's arms, 

His Gypsy garments and his coat of mail. 

Fedalma saw the burden lifted high, 

And then descending followed. All was still. 

The Moors aloof could hear the struggling steps 

Beneath the lowered burden at the boat 

The struggling calls subdued, till safe released 

It lay within, the space around it filled 

By black-haired Gypsies. Then Fedalma stepped 

From off the shore and saw it flee away 

The land that bred her helping the resolve 

Which exiled her forever. 

It was night 

Before the ships weighed anchor and gave sail : 
Fresh Night emergent in her clearness, lit 
By the large crescent moon, with Hesperus, 
And those great stars that lead the eager host. 
Fedalma stood and watched the little bark 
Lying jet-black upon moon-whitened waves. 
Silva was standing too. He too divined 
A steadfast form that held him with its thought, 
And eyes that sought him vanishing : he saw 
The waters widen slowly, till at last 
Straining he gazed, and knew not if he gazed 
On aught but blackness overhung by stars. 

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