Филип Джеймс Бэйли (Philip James Bailey)
Текст оригинала на английском языке
Festus - 7
A man in love sees wonders naturally. Ours sole,--abnormal gifts but gradual given, Can make participable his starry views, And intuitions spiritual instilled, May be, by angel kind of other worlds. An ominous parable told by his love, endured, Heart--faltering, he his constancy asserts: Still, who can thought control? Who shun one wish, That, like a stranger in the street, we meet But can't aside from, dreamwise, haunts us;--see; The first leaf falls of heart's bloom. Discontent With nature, strong desire, implanted how? Springs up to know all life, the secrets learn Of science and time's truths arcane; projects Evil would fulfil, that thus forebusied, soul, All virtue of self--ascription to its Lord Might lose. The heart, doubt--torn, disposed to death; End, if e'er written within Fate's book, erased. Lawn and Parterre--Bridge; and Village Church in distance. Evening. Festus and Clara. Festus. My soul's orb darkens, as a sudden star Which, heaven and earth of wonder emptied, wanes; Passes for aye; eclipsed not; self--consumed: All but a cloudy vapour, dimming there, The spot in space it once illumed. To myself Once seemed I as a mount of light; but now A pit of night. I dare no more of this. For, like a shipwrecked stranger in a lighthouse, I have looked down upon the utter side Of such thoughts, from the leeming room of reason, And beheld all beyond black roaring madness. Meanwhile, have done with this or that; between This angel incomplete, and finished fiend, Choose I must. Say, I have chosen. What, if still, As earth through all her polar midnight feels The o'erbearing strain which warps her sunwards, I That know I may not rid me of; the sense Of late success, disastrous, to be gained At price of present happiness. It is done. I am due but to mine end. The world itself Shall reconcile to virtue, ere I part Unsatiate of the world. Fate! ask not, sole, One sacrifice, this heart faithful to me, Nearer which ought to be each hour; but, asked, The incommunicant future yields no sign, More than the silvery mirror of the sea Mist--veiled, all imagery, of hers; nor more, Though sought with prayers, foretells me heaven through those Lights and perfections of our nature, God Hath shrined in us. It is by events we live. Come nearlier to me, Clara. Where hast been This long, long hour? Clara. I have been but here, hard by; Planting these flowerets by the brook, that they, Not of felicitous feeling void, their own, Or other's beauties might, reflective, note In the swift sparkling wave; and odorous gifts Uncustomary, exchange. Festus. Ah happy flowers! When shall I know such calm? But I have vowed To be joyous in myself. I will be. See! Here have I lain all day in this green nook, Shaded by larch and hornbeam, ash and yew, A living well and runnel at my feet; And wild flowers dancing to some delicate air: An urn--topped column, and its ivy wreath, Skirting my sight, as thus I lie and look Upon the blue unchanging sacred skies; And thou too, gentle Clara by my side, With lightsome brow and beaming eye, and bright, Long glorious locks which drop upon thy cheek Like gold--hued cloudflakes on the rosy morn. Oh when the heart is full of sweets to o'erflowing, And ringing to the music of its love, Who not an angel, nor a hypocrite, Could speak or think of happier states? Clara. In truth I know not; but a sadness that to me Feels mortally prophetic, charged with threats Of severance, coldness, fears of possible death, Change in the faith maybe of one of us, And suchlike sad contingencies, weighs down At times, my heart much; sadlier more than all Life's promises seem to lighten or lift. Festus. Away With baleful thoughts; let joyaunce be our life. Well art thou Clara hight, for soul more bright, More lovely, lives not out of Paradise. Clara. I have another name whose element Is tears, they tell me. In the coming time, Who knows? it may become me more than this. Festus. 'Gainst that sad augury set thou my resolve; And be it fordone for ever. Clara. Fate will prove. But oh! I dread estrangement, dread to dream; Lest even dreams should wrong thee, and thou act As in time's great betrothals, legends tell, Man brake his vows, and nature's holy heart. For I have heard how once in the head of days Man lived with nature as his sacred bride, In union pure and perfect. All her wealth, Which God had dowered her with, from the rich gems Which starred her sandals, and so lit her path, To the predominant virtues of the spheres, And latent life of elements, she to him, For that her lord was poor though potent, gave. He too with ampler thought and vital truths, Strewn in divine disorder like the stars Which to the ignorant mean nought, but to the eye Instructed, oft configure boundless good; With deep conceit of mysteries, than all rocks Fire--grained, sea--couched, elder, and stories fraught With wisdom, in eternal fable penned; Aught worthy knowing was right early known; So sanctified her spirit, that she became Like a created goddess. Her he taught The life in life of faith, and what on earth Was powerfullest of things, the bended knee, Which can prevail o'er God; and how, all years, For one clear hour, earth hath the option now To rest and ruin all things, but renew Her maiden splendour and primaeval bliss; Or, bearing fate, like chance of equal meed Secure the starry skies. These mark her thread, Amid the hush of heaven, their thronging spheres, And her light footsteps lauding, breathless wait Her choice in charmèd silence; she sweeps on. Such holy confidence hath earth in heaven, Her surety, that though favourite nay elect Herself, now, all shall ultimately be blessed. Thus intimate with time's deep things and high They reigned, like regal angels. To his kin All powers and pleasures he promulged; and rites, Omen and augury hallowing, rayed round shrines Where gods might worship; and beyond this, fed His soul on secret wisdom, as on fasts The spirit thriveth. These espoused, inspired With their own harmonised perfections, lived Long while in bliss and honour, each content With faith--life, mythic, vast; all arts to them, All science ancillary. But ah! in fine, And in the heel of time which treads us down, There came a change. The wrong was surely man's; For nature fails not; but how none hath shown. Whether a too approving smile misled, Dim her ascent but brilliant in her fall, Some emulative handmaid; and what first Seemed zeal to serve grew rivalry to please; Or fair confederates, faultless till they fell, Made strength vaunt of his failure; this we know; Imperfect wearieth of perfection sole. So he, the keystone loosed of loyalty, Lapsed from his liege love, warps his heart from her, Beauteous and bounteous as a sovereign saint; And to a thousand lax and painted arts, Of barren glitter and unholy wiles, Like sultan flaunting through his gay hareem, Flowered with the carnal beauties of all climes, Vows the idolatrous homage of his lips. His home he left, and leaving, lost his rights O'er nature's secret treasures; for in belief Walking no more; nor with the miracles Himself of old, divine magician, wrought, Faith instigating, and storied in the stars, Earth's holy primer, versant; he, in art's Sensuous conceits, or idol imagery, Lewd solace seeks; or else with science, guide Guideless, self--nominated, through life's wide maze Roams with no saving clue. Keys all in vain, He forges; locks he forces; nought is there. In vain conjures the elements; these are born Of nature's household, and are sworn to her; No mysteries, now, soul--thrilling, prodigies all Repressed or ridiculed, faith made thrall to fact, And life, well nigh sabbatic wholly, once, With scarce one hour left of a holy day. His tongue hath lost the simple spell of truth. Neither believing nor believed, he roams, Peaceless and powerless, round his forfeit realm, Free, though as outcast. Yea, till he redeem His troth to nature, she who was his queen, Ere consort, and at her immaculate feet, Whiter than moonlit water, shall lay down For aye his falsehoods, brave through penitence, rest, Nor holy home, shall ever again be man's. Festus. Neither was nature perfect, as I thought. Clara. Oh, is it possible thou hast never known How both derived their fates? Wilt hear? Festus. Proceed. Clara. Yon sun, just set, all seeing, all beseen, Filling the sacred seven and urns of fire, Had, time unlimited, lived debarred of life Soul--hallowed; when our God, his kind intent Now agefully matured, all things prepared, Incorporated its spirit, and for mate Made him the lucid moon, now rolling round His disk immense, at fatal distance doomed. O Sun, O Moon, king of the skies and queen; Hero and heroine of the universe, ye; Lovers divine, daughter and son of God, How shall a feeble, humble tongue like mine Your fall sublime, sad but illustrious lapse, To mortal mind convey? Free were they both To roam the skies; or, if forbidden aught Were named in heaven's infinitude, so vast Their spatial liberty, no laws they knew. But written within the book divine of fate One law there was. For ages unconceived, They nothing knew but light unshadowed, life, Love, liberty, all unhaunted, undeformed By one divisive moment, or mere fear; Till, in the plains celestial wandering once, And heaven till then no happier orbs embraced, A radiant path as though by feet of gods Trodden, star--littered, as earth with golden seed Autumnal, on the gleaner's yellow road, They neared; and where it brightly branched in twain, One listless moment separated. Festus. Alas! Thenceforth one sole tradition streaks time's stream, From the dumb ages of the passed, to truth's Eternal future. Ah yes, I see the sun Unguarded, now betrayed, incarcerate, bound, Blinded, insulted, mocked, to incessant toil Doomed, wageless; bound; now, ready to be slain In bonds on heaven's high hill; yea, see him at last, Smote by the star--bear's wide and wintry wound, To yearly death, set 'neath the snake--wreathed pole, Hiding in Hadean tomb, his disrayed crown. Tales though traditionary, still hopeless not. For again I see him majestic and serene, Though suffering from the unkindly detriment Which earthly nature treacherous him hath wrought. He quits the aërial desert; lifts his head Glad, like wrecked swimmer, shorewards, and salutes, As with a kiss of fire our hallowed earth, The threshold of his old abode the heavens. Once more in heaven, the reascendent light Beams from the burning cross which marks his course Triumphant over lessening night; once more The lord of nature lifts his conquering brow As though from death eterne. Clara. These lovers twain For a space though separated, I said, full soon Their spheral courses recombining, came To the vast portal of a luminous fane Guarded by living forms of shapes unknown, But void within. A vacant throne was all The dome sublime contained; upon whose steps A star--scaled serpent slumbered. Roused-- Festus. No more! If only as some cloud--giant hurled from heaven, And vapouring as he falls, thy words to me Seem threatful of time future, and my mind Give sensible unease. Peace will lastly come, Howe'er disseverance loving souls may grieve. The wise well know true union is in heaven, And there alone. Clara. It may be. Festus. Types of truth, These pressed upon creation through all spheres Material, mental, by God's hand and seal: Truths which time's ear for ages hears with awe Servile, nor knows their meaning; as earth stunned With thunders, said, of gods; till some sage earns Heaven's humble secret; and from man's freed mind The fiery fiction fades. Think thou no more On ill--houred apologue or of man or star. Hear rather thou what glads me to have seen Trance--wise, a bright miraculous mystery Of God; a vision worth all sequels lost Of love estranged. The great reunion hear: The divine marriage of the moon and sun. The sun was flaming high in heaven; the moon Mighty though mild, and all the saintly stars Beaming at once in grandeur and grave joy. 'Twas the world's All--Sire gave the bride. The Hours, Companions of her course, forewrit on high, And all its sevenfold Sanctities, virgin peers, Were her immortal bridemaidens; and strewed On her white way, by many a mansion lamped With festive radiance, astral wreath, and robe, Girdle, and palm--branch,--palm, sole tree that greens Both heaven and earth, to where in dayless time, Degreeless space, her absolute home, prepared Nigh to the infinite, stood. Struck loud their lyres Of light, the angels; and to the feet of those Divine ones bowed them, as to spirit and soul Conjoined, of things celestial; with acclaim Ecstatic, far off hailing each and crying, Welcome thou lord, thou bride of light; all joy In everlasting being be yours; and all The universal blesser, God, can give. Choicest of all the chosen, thy love is more To the soul delicious than, to scent, the rose, Purer than is the lily or is the light. Lord of the dawn, thee now the wearied world Awaits; earth's eyes with watching for this day Fail. The bread's broken and the wine is poured, And all the guests are gathered, from the bounds Of heaven's imperial horizon, to this, Our bright palatial centre. All things serve The hallowing rite, which nature owns with God. And so they became one. In golden he, In silver car came she, down the blue skies. But on return they clomb the clouds in one; And vanished in their snow. The marriage feast Was held, throughout the intelligible world, An universal holiday; all now 'lumed With light than sunlight softer, than the moon's, Mightier and more intense; nor since have ceased The great congratulations. Peace and love Pervade the perfect state, and all is bliss. Clara. True prophet mayst thou be. But list; that sound The passing--bell the spirit should solemnise; For, while on its emancipate path, the soul Still waves its upward wings, and we still hear The warning sound, it is known, we well may pray. Festus. But pray for whom? Clara. It means not. Pray for all. Pray for the good man's soul He is leaving earth for heaven, And it soothes us to feel that the best May be forgiven. Festus. Pray for the sinful soul; It flëeth, we know not where; But wherever it be let us hope; For God is there. Clara. Pray for the rich man's soul; Not all be unjust, nor vain; The wise he consoled; and he saved The poor from pain. Festus. Pray for the poor man's soul; The death of this life of ours He hath shook from his feet; he is one Of the heavenly powers. Pray for the old man's soul; He hath laboured long; through life It was battle or march. He hath ceased, Serene, from strife. Clara. Pray for the infant's soul; With its spirit crown unsoiled, He hath won, without war, a realm; Gained all, nor toiled. Festus. Pray for the struggling soul; The mists of the straits of death Clear off; in some bright star--isle It anchoreth. Pray for the soul assured; Though it wrought in a gloomy mine, Yet the gems it earned were its own That soul's divine. Clara. Pray for the simple soul; For it loved, and therein was wise; Though itself knew not, but with heaven Confused the skies. Festus. Pray for the sage's soul; 'Neath his welkin wide of mind Lay the central thought of God, Thought undefined. Pray for the souls of all To our God that all may be, With forgiveness crowned, and joy Eternally. Clara. Hush! for the bell hath ceased; And the spirit's fate is sealed; To the angels known; to man Best unrevealed. Festus. Stay; what wouldst say, yet? Something, surely, sad Darkens thy mind's disk. Speak it. Clara. Nay, not sad. Some other time. Festus. Why now, love. Clara. Well then thus. These vast unearthly powers thou hast, thou saidst I should myself for once partake. Let me Assure mine own heart they be innocent. Refused, I judge them evil; if harmless they, Thou wilt permit me share, or view, the means. This ask I therefore, not from vain desire Of prying into mysteries, nor as test Of words of thine; for thee believe I truly: But as a proof of love and harmlessness, To view with these same marvelling eyes of mine, The sensible form of some obedient sprite, Or invocable angel. Wilt thou? Festus. Ay. Wouldst parley Luniel on her silvery seat, Or the star--tiared Ourania? for the night Deepens in heaven; and even now I see Earth's cardinal world--watchers, each prepare His wing to poise for paradisal flight, Relieved by darker angel. Clara. None of these. Behold yon star just trembling into light. Hath it a tutelar spirit? Festus. Yea, every star. Clara. Prepare thy spell then. I would see its form; And hear its voice. Festus. Weird charm nor spell I use; Nor incantation. My sole magic, might. Mine only sign, this; this my spirit ring. Prayer, faith, and a pure heart can draw down heaven. Most surely then one star. Kneel thou with me. Spirit of yon star, that now Peer'st through God's all--clothing sky, List, we need thee here below; Leave thy mystic light on high. By the all--compelling name, Thought alone, but uttered never; Word in heaven and earth the same, Come thou now, and come thou ever. Clara. I feel a light, a voiceable power. Festus. Arise! What wilt thou of't? Clara. Nought. Let it speak. Festus. Attend. Star Spirit. Man's vital frame of the elements is ta'en; And when by sacred energy of mind, He nature's robe can thread by thread unwind, Till death's proved nothingness, show sunwise plain Life's allness; heaven's true science then ye gain; Learn how God yearns all souls in bliss to bind; How, too, through heaven and angels, stars and earth, He, All--Sire, bounteous, wise as just, through light, Light natural and intelligible which springs From Deity, both, eternal outflowings, Spread through the universe of death and birth, Sweet surety of immortal essence brings To spirit advised of reason infinite, And ultimate content of all living things. For as even all mere existence hath due worth, End justified by God, who caused to be; So, knit together by wisest amity, Plant, planet, star, gem, life instinctive, life Angelic; all, man's soul, by like decree, Teach, each through noble or virtuous quality, The whole with order, goodness, happiness rife, His being and progress through eternity. Know mortal, then, that with or gem or flower, Love's glance, or earth--lent ray of farthest star, To such as, faith--led, seek in doubt's dark hour Truth, holiest influences may be, yea are; And gracious interchange of special power. Clara. Star--spirit, it is so. Star Spirit. Who his soul--path knows To the one universal Spirit, and rightly seeks How long or sore soe'er his struggles, falls, Relapses, shall, by penitent labour nerved, And in spirit refreshed by heavenly counsels brought By the angel of the day, who gives to God His hourly record of men's deeds, at last, Soul--perfectness enjoy; his life's long course, With all best purposes strengthened,--as a stream Sea--bound, that with a thousand rills empowered No meet recipient save the main knows; summed In the eternal Good. Festus. So be it with all. Clara. Oh I have gazed on spiritual beauty, known Till now, by none. Festus. Let both rejoice in truths We may hold, loyally, supreme. As when Before some mighty suzerain, crowned of God, A vassal sultan, tribute to discharge, Or homage yield, kneels, resolutely content; Nations kneel with him, and in his prostrate brow, A people of pride kiss dust; so I, with all Truth--lovers, though a half--tribe scarce of man, And dizzied yet with soul--light, Spirit, to thee. Thy starry name? Star Spirit. Pneumaster. Clara. Where dost dwell? Star Spirit. I in my star abide, yet oft in heaven. Not where the ante--formal seraphs beam, Nor cherubim with countenance winged; who round Heaven circling, as with whirlwind wings of light, A holy and living throne for the Spirit, form, All--hallowing; but where sainted souls attain, Heroical; chanting now, God's mercy thrice Victorious o'er all worlds sin--treasoned, sworn To evil and vanity; who the mysteries now Of wisdom hymn, the holy inspiring light Which Deity sows in nature and in stars, Sows, reaps, and in men's souls replants, blessed heirs Of either world, above beloved, below Accepted; now, with guardian spirits of spheres, Angelical and elect, mixed, I, too, serve; All orders of each other inpenetrant, now; For, by the fall of Lucifer, pride's no more, If e'er in heaven; in heaven, as now on earth, Humility, highest of all virtues, known. I thus at thy behest, immortal, come To obey a mortal's will, thine own, whose sleep The angels guard, with dreams bestarred, of heaven; Dreams that oft check, with suspensory charm, The wing of wandering heavenly; dreams I ask To inspire, then, on mine own bright ray return. Clara. Holy and lovely sprite, be thou with God. Star Spirit. Cherished of heaven, earth's choicest souls, farewell! Clara. Farewell, too, thou. Festus. Adieu, sweet soul; may night, Earth's healing shadow, from her sphere--bright form Unfolded virtuously, thy soul release From all ill, all defect; that so through dreams Thou mayst in spiritual Edens taste the joys Anticipative, thou hopest, and feel the sense Of heavenly patterned powers, whereof day owns But a mean, blenched, copy. Go; I do commend thee To all good angels, maiden; and if so much I love thee, yet I dare not as I would. For all the heart most longs for, most deserves, Passes the soonest and most utterly. The moral of the world's great fable, life. All we enjoy seems given but to deceive, Or, may be, undeceive us; and when done The sum and proved, why work it over again? They are gone, the heavenly and the earthly. I, As a lone column, cold in sunshine, stands Projecting darkness only,--around me cast Soul--saddening shadows. What, indeed, is life, This life--world, Lord! wherein thou hast founded me, But a bright wheel which burns itself away, Benighting even night with its grim limbs When it hath done and fainted into darkness? For say we are promised life immortal, how Even then shall we exist? Hath soul a soul Grosser without, and spiritual fine within? Are grades in deathlessness, and bounds which mark From existence essence, as in our bodily frame Flesh seems but fiction, for it flies away; While this, the gaunt and ghastly thing we bear In us, and hate, and fear to look upon Is truth;--in death's dark likeness limned, truth sole? Both perishable, impermanent both. No more! Dark, wretched thoughts, like ice--isles in a stream, Choke up my mind, and clash; and to no end. In spite of all we suffer and do enjoy, All we believe we know, and deem we have proved, There comes this question, over and over again; Driven into the brain as a pile is driven; What shall become of us hereafter? What Is't we shall do? how live; how feel; how be? For granting us not perfect here, nor ill Wholly, shall soul be moveless after death? Or shall't be all one dread remembrance crushed Into a being, unfutured save of woe? And so conserved by burning memory, poured In on the mind, that saving we would lose; Life's pettinesses, futilities, trivial cares, That, like the lava--floods which choked of yore The city Cyclopaean, brimming up, As with torrent brass its mighty mould, our own Annoy we perpetuate? And shall the passed Thus ruinously perfected e'er remain; Our grandest moiety of being, our soul's Capacities for more good and greater power, Than life allows, unused? Or ends death all, With his despiteful trick? Like snow which lies Down wreathed round the lips of some black pit, Thoughts, which obscure the truth, accumulate; Which solve it, in it lose themselves. There's no True knowledge till descent; nor then, till after. What shall make visible truth as 'tis in God? We glimpse the light through medium dense or clear, As reason rarifies, and yet so distort That through the smoky glass of sense, the sun All--blessing, scarce would know himself. So with truth. Lucifer. Life is the one great truth; the fiction, death. Art never satisfied? Must thou still, and aye, Revel in bootless questings? Festus. Lo, I speak To heaven, and earth makes bold to answer me. It is better, too, than silence. What, if stars Invoking, earth now, in forbiddance stern, Rumbles her caverned threatenings at my feet! Or midnight clouds low muttering in long lines Uncomprehended thunders, stun mine ear? Call'st thou this power? Lucifer. Yon pretty little star Shines, methinks, on a vasty falsehood. Power Thou hast o'er finite agencies, but none, I tell thee, over the infinite. Confess Therefore unjust presumption, and receive Obediently meet means. What wouldst thou do? Festus. I sicken of this mean and shadowy nature And shallow life. Lucifer. Well; is death deep enough? Festus. Life uneternal's nought. All life's in God. My heart's blood is in ebb. Not rarely I think, The sameness 'tis, and tameness of the times, Prostrates my spirit. I want an upward change. What do they in the asteroids? What in the orb, Whose months are years of earth? But more, I'd see The roots of Hanokh, earth's metropolis Cain built in Nodland; see the fanes and tombs Of buried states; cities of wicked gods, Clouded with profane incense, now 'neath sea, Whelmed, and washed out. Lucifer. Be it as thou wilt. In time Thou shalt know many a mystery. Festus. This I know; I have been told, and taught, and trained to pray. I pray, and have no answer: may, as well Wrestle with the wind. I feel as might a cloud, Which, on the golden threshold of the skies, Fearing to rise, and fainting, men suspect As a spy of night; when it had but to soar, And with its excellent beauty ravish earth. Lucifer. There's reason now and then in similes. Souls are like clouds, born of the infinite stock Of ever formless essence, and their race In bounteous beauty run, or ruinous storm; Objects of love and gladness, or of ill, And wrong and wrath, as nature predicates; Which, having blessed or blasted in their life, Die, and rejoin the universe, to rise Like emanant dew on earth, in future forms Of retributive nature; she herself Being, and doing, and enduring, all. Festus. This life is as a question, to which comes No audible answer, save an echo. Lucifer. Hark! Festus. Where thou art all is dumb. I would repent. What shall be done to expiate offence? Lucifer. Well, sacrifice a butterfly to the wind. As soon expect thy life's flood--tide to rise Out of death's baseless depths, depths yet by me Unplumbed, as look to be wise and innocent, both. Heart up! If virtue loses, wisdom wins. And evil and good, like the light's rays traversed By bandlets black, or chequered chart of old Sun dedicate, show originally immixed. Festus. Good to extract from evil were not hard; Ill transmute into good, were science, cross And crown. Such would I mine. Lucifer. It is not in man. Set clouds on fire; go sow the sea with sand; Then reap your crop of foam, and harvest it. Festus. The time shall come when every evil thing From being and remembrance both shall die; The world one solid temple of pure good. Lucifer. Never, while thou art conscious of thyself. Never till from that shining sheaf of days, Behind him, God the annihilator shall pluck Earth's death--day, and his wrath burns white for aye. Festus. Let all the earth be lightning, the dark blue Of ever--stretching space substantial fire; Still God is good; still tends o'er those he loves. Lucifer. Why therefore comes no answer to thy prayer? Festus. It may be silence is the voice of God. Lucifer. Assent, or dissent; whether of the twain?
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