Филип Джеймс Бэйли (Philip James Bailey)
Текст оригинала на английском языке
Festus - 2
From heaven, soul--like, to earth. It is sundown. Mark The heart's state, empty and collapsed, the world's Vain pleasures leave us in, dissatisfied, Distraught, not penitent of them, in ourselves; Youth's natural fitful unavailing struggle Note, 'gainst temptation come unlooked for; power, Love, wisdom; who shall slight the three convened? To know man's future as a race; the soul's Passed, individually; to be beloved By the world's paramount beauty and sit earth's throne? Know yet, to sin is to curse God in deed; The soul, long used to truth, keeps fain, somewhile, Its strength, though plunged on sudden, mid the false, As hands thrust into the dark, a season retain Their sun--lent light. So now with this, the scene Of self--forgetfulness, and of indecision Breaks off, not ends. Wood and Water, lawn and flowering thicket bordering a lakelet. Sunset. Festus, alone; afterwards Lucifer. Festus. This is to be a mortal and immortal! To live within a death--bound circle, and be That dark point where the shades of all things round Meet, mix, and deepen. All things show to me Their dark sides. Somewhere must be truth--light. Where? Oh! I feel like to a seed in the cold earth; Quickening at heart, and pining for the air. Passion is destiny; the heart is its own fate. It is well youth's gold so soon rubs off; for soon The heart gets dizzied with its drunken dance, And life's voluptuous vanities enchain, Enchant, and cheat no more. That spirit's on edge Which nought enjoys sin's honeyed sting not taints; That soothing fret which makes the young untried Unwise, unwarned, swift to forestall all dues, Longing to be beforehand with their nature, In dreams and loneness cry, they die to live; That wanton whetting of the soul which, while It gives a finer, keener edge for pleasure, Wastes more, and dulls the sooner. Rouse thee, heart. Bow of my life, thou yet art full of spring; My quiver still hath many a purpose. Yet, Of all life's aims what's worth the thought we waste on't? How mean, how miserable seems every care; How doubtful, too, the system of the mind; And then, the ceaseless, changeless, hopeless round Of weariness, and heartlessness, and woe, And vice, and vanity! Yet these make life-- The life, at least, I witness, if not feel. No matter, we are immortal. How I wish I could love men, for still, 'mid all life's quests, There seems but worthy one, to do men good. It matters not how long we live, but how. For as the parts of one manhood, while here, We live in every age; we think, and feel, And feed upon the coming and the gone As much as on the now time. Man is one, And he hath one great heart. It is thus we feel, With a gigantic throb athwart the sea, Each other's rights and wrongs. Thus are we men. Let us think less of men--man fills not half The measure of man's mind--and more of God. Sometimes the thought comes swiftening over us Like a stray birdlet winging the still blue air; Again it rises slow, like a cloud which scales Breathless the skies; and, just overhead, upon us Down plunges; we, with excess of witness, stunned. Sometimes we feel the wish across the mind Rush, like a rocket tearing up the sky, That we should join with God, and give the world The slip; but while we wish, the world turns round, And peeps us in the face, the wanton world; We feel it gently pressing down our arm, The arm we had raised to do for truth such wonders; We feel it softly bearing on our side; We feel it touch and thrill us through the body; And we are fools, and there's an end of us. 'Tis a fine thought that sometime end we must. There sets the sun of suns; dies in all fire, Like Asshur's death--great monarch. God of might! It is power we love, and live on. Spirit's end, And reason of being, seems somewhat, if 'tis this. Mind must subdue. To conquer is its life. Why madest thou not one spirit, like the sun, To king the world? And oh! might mine have been That sun--mind, how would I have warmed the world To love, and worship, and bright life! Lucifer, suddenly appearing. Not thou! Hadst thou more power--put case thou hadst thy wish, 'Tis vastly feasible--more wouldst thou misuse. But other matters first. Festus. Who art thou, pray? It seems as thou hadst grown out of the air. Lucifer. Thou knowest me well. If stranger to thine eye, I am not to thine heart. Festus. I know thee not. Lucifer. Come nearer. Look on me. I am above thee, Beneath thee, and around thee, and before thee. Festus. Why, art thou all things, or dost go through all? A spirit, or an embodied blast of air? I feel thou art a spirit. Lucifer. Yea, I am; The creditable presentment of a man, I flatter myself I may be, too. Festus. Thou art spirit. I knew it. I am glad, yet tremble so. What hours, what years, say, have I longed for this, And hoped that thought or prayer of force might win; How oft besought the stars, with tears, to send A power to me, and have set the clouds until I deemed I saw one coming; but ah! too soon The shadowy giant alway thinned away, And I was fated unimmortalised; Unsceptred with the sway I would o'er souls. What shall I do? Oh! let me kneel to thee. Lucifer. Nay, rise! and I'll not say, for thine own sake, That thou dost pray in private to the Devil. Festus. Father of lies, thou liest. Lucifer. I am he; It is enough to make the Devil merry, To think that men, me deeming dungeoned fast Ever in hell, call on me momently; Swearers and swaggerers jeer at my name; And oft indeed it is a special jest With witling gallants. Let me once appear! Woe's me! they faint and shudder; pale and pray; The burning oath which quivered on the lip, Starts back, and sears and blisters up the tongue; Confusion ransacks the abandoned heart; Quells the bold blood; and o'er the vaulted brow Slips the white woman--hand. To judgment, ho! The very pivot of the earth seems snapped; And down they drop, as when, in days of ire, Nations, revoltant at rank juggleries, Their sacred shrines wrack; here, a pillar falls To its fluted knee; a pediment there, that once O'erbrowed the state; and there, some delicate arch, Whose marble arms, as petrified in prayer, Long drew heaven's pitying glance, now rudest earth's, Ruinous, dishallowed lies,--so these, so thou, By anarch fears prostrated--to repent. Such be the bravery of mighty man! Festus. I must be mad; or mine eye cheats my brain And this strange phantom comes from overthought, Like the white lightning from a day too hot. It must be so. But I will pass it. Lucifer. Stay! Festus. O save me, God! He is reality! Lucifer. And now thou kneel'st to heaven. Fye, graceless boy! Mocking thy Maker with a cast--off prayer; For had not I the first--fruits of thy faith? Festus. Tempter, away! From all the crowds of life Why single me? Why score the young green bole For fellage? Go! Am I the youngest, worst? No. Light the fires of hell with other souls; Mine shall not burn with thee. Lucifer. Thou judgest harshly. Can I not touch thee without slaying thee? Festus. Why art thou here? What wouldst thou have with me? Lucifer. 'Fore all I would have gentle words and looks. Festus. I pray thee, go. Lucifer. I cannot quit thee yet. But why so sad? Wilt kneel to me again? This leafy closet is most apt for prayer. Festus. Yes; I will pray for thee, and for myself. Lucifer. Waste not thy prayers; I scatter them: they reach No further than thy breath--a yard or so. And as for me, I heed them, need them, not. My nature God knows and hath fixed; and he Recks little of the manners of the world; Wicked he holdeth it and unrepentant. Festus. Therefore the more some ought to pray. Lucifer. To blow A kiss, a bubble and a prayer, hath like Effect and satisfaction. Festus. Let me hence! Go tell thy blasphemies and lies elsewhere. Thou scatter prayer! Make me thy minister One moment, God! that I may rid the world For ever of its evil. Oh, thine arm! Lucifer. Canst rid thyself? Festus. Alas, no. Get thee gone! Can naught insult thee nor provoke thy flight? Lucifer. I laugh alike at ruin and redemption. I am the one which knows nor hope nor fear; Which ne'er knew good, nor e'er can know the worst. What thinkest thou now can anger me, or harm? Festus. Wherefore didst thou quit hell? to drag me there? Lucifer. Thou wilt not guess mine errand. Deem'st thou aught Which God hath made all evil? Me he made. Oft I do good; and thee to serve I come. Festus. Did I not hear thee boast with thy last breath, Not to have known what good was? Lucifer. From myself I know it not; yet God's will I must work. I come, I say, to serve thee. Festus. Well I would Thou never hadst; but speak thy purpose straight. Lucifer. I heard thy prayer at sunset, scarce yet passed, Where, still, yon dim and filmy cloudlet, drooped Like to God's eyelid, thinned with unshed tears Of watching, over a worthless, faithless world, Screens the orb now vanished. I was there: was here, I saw thy secret longings, unsaid thoughts, Which prey on the breast like night--fires on a heath. I know thy heart by heart. I read the tongue, When still astutely, as well as when it moves. And thou didst pray to God. Did he attend? Or turn his eye from the great glass of things, Wherein he worshippeth eternally Himself, to thee one moment? He did not. I tell thee naught he cares for men. I came; And come to proffer thee the earth; to set Thee on a throne--the throne of will unbound-- To crown thy life with liberty and joy; And make thee free and mighty even as I am. Festus. I would not be as thou art for hell's throne; Add earth's--add heaven's. Lucifer. I knew thy proud high heart. To test its worth and mark I held it brave, In shape and being thus myself I came; Not in disguise of opportunity; Not as some silly toy, which serves for most; Not in the mask of lucre, lust, nor power; Not in a goblin size nor cherub form; But as the soul of hell and evil came I With leave to give the kingdom of the world; The freedom of thyself. Festus. Good; prove thy powers. Lucifer. Do I not prove them? Who but I, that have Immortal might o'er mine own mind, and o'er All hearts and spirits of the living world, Would share it with another, or forego, One hour, the great enjoyment of the whole? And who but I give men what each loves best? Festus. Open the heavens, and let me look on God. Open my heart, and let me see myself. Then I'll believe thee. Lucifer. Thou shalt not believe For that I give thee, but for that I am. Believe me first; then I will prove myself. Though sick I know thee of the joys of sense, Yet those thou lovest most I will make pure, And render worthy of thy love: unfilm them, That so thou mayst not dally with the blind. Thou shalt possess them to their very souls. Pleasure, and love, and unimagined beauty; All, all that be delicious, brilliant, great, Of worldly things are mine, and mine to give. Festus. What can be counted pleasure after love? Like the young lion which hath once lapped blood, The heart can ne'er be coaxed back to aught else. Lucifer. I will sublime it for thee all to bliss: As yet it hath but made thee wretched. Festus. Spirit, It is not bliss I seek: I care not for it. I am above the low delights of life. The life I live is in a dark cold cavern, Where I wander up and down, feeling for something, Which is to be--and must be--what I know not; But the incarnation of my destiny Is nigh. Lucifer. It is thy fate which weighs upon thee. Necessity, like to the world on Atlas' neck, Sits on humanity. It is this; nought more; And the sultry sense of overdrawn life. Festus. True; The worm of the world hath eaten out my heart. Lucifer. I will renew it in thee. It shall be The bosom favourite of every beauty, Even like a rosebud. Thou shalt render happy, By naming who may love thee. Come with me. Festus. Power spiritual forbidden nor lowlier quest Me suiting, soon, as sweep o'er fertile fields Sea--bordering, deathful sands, so waste of life My spirit deformed, until, and I was glad My heart spake in me suddenly, and said Come, let us worship beauty! and I bowed; And went about to find a shrine; but found None that my soul, when seeing, said enough to. Many I met with where I put up prayers, And had them more than answered; some where love Filled the whole place as 'twere oppressed with heaven. And I worshipped, partly because others did; Partly because I could not help myself. But none of these were for me; and away I went, champing and choking in proud pain; In a burning wrath that not a sea could slake. So I betook me to the sounding sea; And overheard its slumberous mutterings Of a revenge on man; whereat almost I gladdened, for I felt savage as the sea. I had only one thing to behold--the sea; I had only one thing to believe--I loved; Until that lonesome sameness grew sublime And darkly beautiful as death, when some Bright soul regains its star--home; or as heaven, Just when the stars falter forth, one by one, Like the first words of love from a maiden's lips. There are points from which we can command our life; When the soul sweeps the future like a glass; And coming things, full--freighted with our fate, Jut out, dark, on the offing of the mind. Let them come! Many will go down in sight; In the billow's joyous dash of death go down. At last came love; not whence I sought nor thought it; As on a ruined and bewildered wight Rises the roof he meant to have lost for ever. On came the living vessel of all love; Terrible in its beauty as a serpent; Rode down upon me like a ship full sail, And, bearing me before it, kept me up, Spite of the drowning speed at which we drave On, on! Was this not love? Lucifer. I know not, I. Is't likely I can tell? I am not in love; But I have ofttimes heard mine angels call Most piteously on their lost loves in heaven; And, as I suffer, I have seen them come; Seen starlike faces peep between the clouds, And hell become a tolerable torment. Some souls lose all things but the love of beauty; And by that love they are redeemable; For in love and beauty they acknowledge good; And good is God--the great Necessity. Festus. I loved her for that she was beautiful; And that to me she seemed to be all nature, And all varieties of things in one: Would set at night in clouds of tears, and rise All light and laughter in the morning: fear No petty customs nor appearances; But think what others only dreamed about; And say what others did but think; and do What others would but say; and glory in What others dared but do; so pure withal In soul: in heart and act such conscious, yet Such careless innocence, she made round her A halo of delight; 'twas these which won me;-- And that she never schooled within her breast One thought or feeling, but gave holiday To all; and that she made all even mine, In the communion of love: and we Grew like each other, for we loved each other; She, mild and generous as the air in spring; And I, like earth, all budding out with love. Lucifer. And then, love's old end, falsehood; nothing worse I hope? Festus. What's worse than falsehood? to deny The god that is within us, and in all Is love? Love hath as many vanities As charms; and this, perchance, the chief of both: To make our young heart's track upon the first, And snowlike fall of feeling which overspreads The bosom of the youthful maiden's mind, More pure and fair than even its outward type. If one did thus, was it from vanity? Or thoughtlessness, or worse? Nay, let it pass, The beautiful are never desolate; But some one alway loves them--God or man. If man abandons, God himself takes them. I know not why love falters. Sense perchance Of other's perfectness discourageth us. However this, there came, between our twin stars, A cloud, and when it lifted, this had set; That, mingled with heaven's day. It was even thus. I said we were to part. She nothing spake. There was no discord; it was music ceased; Life's thrilling, bounding, glorying joy, ceased. Sate Like a house--god, she, her hands fixed on her knee. Her dark hair loose and long, the wild bright eye Of desolation flashed through, lay around her. She spake not, moved not; more than act or speech Her eye I felt. I came and knelt beside her. And my heart shook this building of my breast, Like a live engine booming up and down. It is the saddest and the sorest sight, One's own love weeping. But why call on God This, now, or that decree, crude, as we think, Or cruel, to recast for us, or reverse, But that the feeling of the boundless bounds All feeling as the welkin doth the world? Then first both wept, then closed and clung together. Then, like snow--wreath of peerless purity That upon mountain heights, by daily veer Of just one light--ray, loosening, line by line, Its hiddenest heart--hold, slowly absolves itself From all its haughty coldness, and seeks peace Even at the cliff's foot; so she, white, by mine; Weird, much unchanged, as seemed, in outward cheer, But love's preeminence lost in life, life lost. Never were beauty, love, and woe so wrought Together into madness, as that hour. Then comes the feeling which unmakes, undoes; Which tears up by the roots the sealike soul, And lashes it in scorn against the skies. Twice did I madly swear, hand clenched, to heaven, That not even he nor death should tear her from me. Profane defiance 'twas, 'gainst each. Here, last, Upon this breast, she swooned; here, midst these arms; Here, cloudlike, poured she forth her love which was Her life to freshen this parched heart. In vain. Nor looked I e'er again on her alive. She wished, she said, to die. She wished; she died. The lightning loathes its cloud; such souls their clay. Can I forget that hand I took in mine, Pale as pale violets? that eye where soul And sense met, like divine? Ah no, may God That moment judge me when I do! Oh! fair Was she, her nature once all brightness, spring. And ominous beauty, like a maiden sword, Startlingly beautiful, whose dark flashes hide Deaths many, more triumphs. I see thee now. Whate'er thou art, thy spirit is in my mind; Thy shadow hourly lengthens o'er my brain, And peoples all its pictures with thyself. Gone, not forgot, passed, not lost; thou shalt shine In heaven, as even a bright spot in the sun. And now I am alone. Say on! What more Can tempt save union of love with death? But yester--eve it was she died, and now Scarce hath the spirit yet aspired to heaven. I feel it hovering round me. Let mine eyes But realize their faith, and I am thine. The soul first, then the body and the grave Are welcome or indifferent as may be. Lucifer. With those whom Death hath drawn I meddle not. My part is with the living solely here. I have not told thee half I will do for thee. All secrets thou shalt ken--all mysteries construe; At nothing marvel. All the veins which stretch, Unsearchable by human eyes, of lore Most precious, most profound, to thine shall bare And vulgar lie like dust. The world within, The world above thee, and the dark domain, Mine own thou shalt o'errule; and he alone Who rightly can esteem such high delights, He only merits--he alone shall have. Festus. And if I have, shall I be happier? Say What's pleasure? What is happiness? Lucifer. It is that I vouchsafe to thee. Festus. Am I tempted thus Unto my fall? Lucifer. God wills or lets it be. How thinkest thou? Festus. That I will go with thee. Lucifer. From God I come. Festus. I do believe thee, spirit. He will not let thee harm me. Him I love, And thee I fear not. I obey him. Lucifer. Good. Both time and case are urgent. Come. But see! Nay; night hath one more marvel than the moon. Festus. I glimpse the pale flash of an angel's wing, But whose I see not, nor, though seer--born, know. Lucifer. Spells too have I, thou knowest; and my ring, The round horizon of the visible world, Will hold a ghost or two. But what is this? Superfluous were all evocation here. No interruption, sure; no afterthought? Guardian Angel. Spirit of Ill, who round the spherèd air Roamest, thy interference ratified By God's will, for the time my task annuls; And I, by word supreme my charge resign. Lucifer. Happy relief 'twere, doubtless for thyself, And many a myriad like thee, angel motes! Ye are a race superior far to doves; Whiter in plume, and in the pen--feather More potent, notably. Thy cure be mine. Festus. I hear a mixed sound as of light and night In shadowy conference. Lucifer. It concerneth thee, And yet thou mayst not know. Festus. Be as it may That, canst thou say me truly? Lucifer. Wherefore not? Falsehood and truth to me indifferent be; Nor more than that, this penal. Not to know All things, so much still knowing; to what end The universe is tending, when fulfilled Its spatial orbitation; in what die The metamorphic essence lastly cools; Nor how, in finite creature, good and ill Should infinitely differ, forms the curse And penalty all pay. I, most, whom Fate Aye drives contrarious on the fiery lines I break not, and which cannot bear me down. I grow impatient of this goalless race, Recessions and precessions: and this change Of elemental atoms without end; Of self--paid dues, and plagues the world enjoys; And renovative ruin; swarms of life In the corrupting corse creation seems. It is time that something should begin to end. I have beheld the inflation of the world; And dogged the huge delusion; I await The cloudy wreck, trailed o'er the tract of time. Festus. Where imperfection ceaseth heaven begins. Where sin ends, bliss. Lucifer. To thee mayhap is joy; Or ultimate or immediate, here or there. But I who deathless seem to myself and live With these world--shadowing skies life's primal form, Life's final, like compeer, shall woeful hail Woe's abrogation; for if God saith--threat To me, to all else promise--let all woe Cease, cease I too with woe; my total power O'er being perforce then closed. But as the sun, Opening with fiery key the locks of ice Slow yielding, and from breasts of barrenness A fruitful flood drawing that with new life Redeems creation, endless store still leaves Of frost unloosed, so, if to me, supposed Evict from nature, God shall yet retain The evil of mine own Being, it were enough This sensible to eternize. I, meanwhile, With doom unsure but menacing crowned, the round Termless, of fixed finality to all things, Myself except, and mine own sorrows, tread E'er, and re--tread. To waste, to spoil's to live. Guardian Angel. Do thou thy best, thy worst, thou still art foiled. And while ingriding even thy gravest wound, Losest thine aim; that wound is healed of death. Lucifer. Art thou not hence, celestial sinecure? Instead of lolling on his shoulders, him Thou yet mayst see on mine. Festus. Again I hear, As though some Titan cloud, gold--lipped, at ease Immense, held passing word--play with the sun. Guardian Angel. Yet not in idlesse, holy though it were, Nor marble meditation, nor mere thought Of the supreme perfection,--thought alone Worthy the name of thought in soul create; The river homaging its ocean fount In every whispering wavelet--wrap I me; Far other aim be mine. Yes, he shall know The hidden extremes of nature; earth's, sea's, air's; The central fires; both world and wilderness Like tempting, though with diverse offering; power, Love, knowledge blent; nor--though by Ill devised To obscure God's truth, the consciousness of soul Ever existent; its individual source, Its universal end--shall all things prove But tests and purifiers; nay, thou thyself The evil of all things made, Ill's forceful soul, Naught else than foil of good. Lucifer. Bereaved of thee, We may prepare to see strange sights indeed; Earth's polar linch--pins loosened, and the wheels Of light and dark that the world drags on, smashed. Guardian Angel. I leave him, not desert: for, fortifie With the pure love of one, he God shall love For granting him that blessing. For the rest, In heaven's eternal archives all is writ, Pertaining to the mountain--thronèd end. I will prepare my loved one's destiny; And with my kindred angels smoothen his ways So among men, that he o'er all may cope, Throneworthy through all ages; hallowed, blessed; Born of the lofty lineage of the light, And gifted with the sceptre of a star, In state pre--temporal, fated to earth's end. Prophets shall preach of him, and wise men win, By secret power, the world to choose him chief; The universal faith impersonate. Peace to the soul--world, and the grand belief Wherein are blended truth and bliss, shall he, By aidance of the blessed, install on earth, Calmly at once, as heaven instates its stars. Lucifer. Athwart this web, then, must I throw my warp. Can I not dim the intelligence with eclipse Of sagest--seeming doubt, owl--eyed to mark Small ills, of reason's light--broad world of good, Noteless? With specious theories of the rise Eterne of things, and end of temporal means, His spirit confuse, and ravelling every thought Inexplicably that shows God's simple will Not chance, not mere development as cause Of progress always heightening, better ever, Than stand--point passed, God he may cease to see? Can I not poison all the springs of life And founts of feeling? friendship make a void, And love a golden snare wherein his heart Shall rage like a trapped lion? Hath wit power To satisfy the soul, or power then wit To save the spirit from despair? Guardian Angel. Ordained To nobler ends than aught thou reck'st of, he, As in time passed from all perfective rites, From every test, soul--tried, shall wisdom win, As flowers sweet sustenance from the invisible air, And common elements. Lucifer. I mine own ends seek, Not God's. Ordained or not, means nought to me. Sin and be saved, can God's elect, if he Elect be? Prove it, time. Love, knowledge, power, These are my costliest baits; and on his path Must these be spread. Distracted with delights I know, too, let me fancy he escapes. Guardian Angel. God's servant is man's master. So shall rule, One with heaven's spiritual sun whose light Soul--quickening, Being with truest life impregns, The spirit I have all life tended on, endowed Henceforth with plenar powers of virtual sight, And sense extreme of primitive perfectness, By him, all--ordering, the infinite One. And now, Scion of life eterne, and ward of heaven, Mine earthly charge, for a time farewell! Festus. What's that? I saw a light, like earth--born lightning, shoot Up, through night's infinite sanctuary. Lucifer. It was nothing. Festus. Give me a breathing--time to fortify, Within myself, the promise I have made. Lucifer. Expect me, then, at midnight, here. Remember, That thou canst any time repent. Festus. Ay, true. Lucifer. Repentance never yet did aught on earth. It undoes many good things. Of all men, Heaven shield me from the wretch who can repent!
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