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Title: Virginia, A Tragedy - And Other Poems
Author: Gilmore, Marion Forster
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Virginia, A Tragedy - And Other Poems" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)

  A Tragedy




  A Tragedy










  Years can not cloud the light of your clear eyes,
  Steadfast and bright with high integrity;
  Nor rob your spirit of the strength that lies
  On those firm lips; nor dim the purity
  Of a high soul, which bears the shield of Love
  Untarnished, as it was upon the day
  When One, with tender faith, desired to prove
  Her "Royal Knight," and gave her heart away.
  Bear her bright shield, and smile, as years roll by--
  Years that have crowned you with the priceless crown
  Of steadfast faith and worldwide charity--
  Until you reap the joy that you have sown,
  In that near land, where, with a light divine,
  The eyes you love through all the ages shine.

[Thanks are due to the proprietors of The Cosmopolitan Magazine and
Leslie's Weekly, for their courtesy in allowing the republication herein
of a number of poems which have previously appeared in issues of their
copyrighted magazines.]



  VIRGINIA                                  1

  Stewardship                              61

  The Sea Gull                             62

  Mt. Vernon                               63

  My Mother                                64

  The Cradle Song                          64

  Out of the Dark                          65

  Niobe                                    66

  To the Genius of Death, by Canova        66

  To the Winged Victory of Samothrace      67

  Beatrice Triumphant                      68

  The Call of the Irish Sea                68

  The Lion of Lucerne                      69

  Sonnet to Niagara Falls                  70

  The Lost Heart                           70

  Is He Not Mine?                          71

  Two Gifts                                71

  The Moonflower                           72

  Three Kisses                             72

  A Song of the West                       73

  To Esther                                74

  The Thrush                               75

  The Light of the Star                    76

  The Message of the Pines                 77

  The Lost Sunbeam                         78

  Heritage                                 79


A Tragedy


  Chief of the Ten and lawgiver of the Romans.

  His client.

  One of the Ten.

  A Roman centurion; a plebeian.

  A tribune of the commons and lover to Virginia.

  A plebeian soldier and an enemy of the Decemvirs.

  Four Roman citizens.

  A boy of noble birth; brother to Cornelia.



  Daughter of Virginius.

  A patrician lady, secretly betrothed to Sicinius.

  Nurse to Virginia.

  A maid.




  _Setting--Rome._ _Time--During Supremacy of the Decemvirs._

    ACT I--Scene I--The Forum. Scene II--A Street in Rome.

    ACT II--Scene I--The House of Appius. Scene II--Women's
    Apartments in the House of Virginius. Scene III--Garden in House
    of Virginius. Scene IV--Home of Cornelia.

    ACT III--Scene I--The Forum. Scene II--Home of Virginius. Scene
    III--The Forum.


A Tragedy


Scene I--The Forum.

    _A multitude of citizens gathered therein. Disturbance shown
      among them by sullen looks and murmurings. Four citizens, two in
      patrician and two in plebeian garments, confer together._

  _1st Cit._ Enough, enough! I see we all agree
  Upon this common cause of our grievance;
  Our ranks, our unmixed blood, our differences,
  Are all forgotten--nay, methinks they shall
  In time together mingle when our blood
  Shall be poured forth in this most righteous cause.

  _2nd Cit._ As ever art thou eloquent, O Marius,
  And just; Brutus himself were not more so.
  Patrician and plebeian, equalized
  By common woe, together whisper menace
  To those who work such havoc as, indeed,
  Was never known in Rome until to-day.

  _3rd Cit._ Ye two are nobles; we, the commons are;
  Yet all are leveled by the grief we feel
  For Rome, our mother city, who so low
  Hath fall'n. Hark! the multitude itself
  Is wroth as we, yet, e'en as we, it lacks
  The courage needful for this fierce occasion.

  _4th Cit._ Ay, list indeed! Mark how the murmur swells!

    [_They turn, and follow with their eyes the gaze of the Roman

  _Voices of lictors_ (_without_). Make way, ye Romans, way for the
    noble Ten!

  _3rd Cit._ Pah! they announce them like to royal kings!

  _1st Cit._ Tyrants are ceremonious to the letter.

  _Multitude._ All hail to the lawgivers! Life and peace
  Unto the Ten!

  _2nd Cit._ Jove's lightning strike them down,
  The turncoats! Ah, the cowards and the curs!
  Perfidious gang of fawners! Do they thus
  Forget their wrongs in the wrongdoer's presence,
  Or veil them with that slime, false loyalty?

    [_Enter the Ten Decemvirs, each preceded by twelve lictors armed
      with fasces._

  _4th Cit._ Lo! the presumption! How each lictor bears
  Amongst his rods an axe to indicate
  That life and death lie in his master's word.
  Once was each tyrant pleased with one attendant
  The way to clear--now must they number twelve.

    [_The Decemvirs pause a space, the while their leader, Appius
      Claudius, addresses the assembled citizens._

  _Appius._ Ye Roman citizens! Unto our ears
  Murmurings hath arrived laden with strife;
  And though this day ye have protested loud
  Your loyalty, and hailed us with acclaim,
  Ye seem but ill-content. This must not be.
  We have been lenient to every class--
  What ye demand in reason ye receive.
  Ye called for written laws, and lo! they hang
  Within the Forum that all eyes may read.
  Yet, mark ye! Read not only, but obey,
  Else blood shall pour in torrents on these stones.

    [_Low, angry murmur._

  What! would ye show your teeth, ye nobles brave,
  Would bare your fangs, O ye plebeian dogs!
  Your teeth are drawn, patricians, and your fangs
  Are dull, indeed, ye curs!      [_A hissing protest._
  What, open schism?
  Ho, lictors, strike! Ah! would ye calmer grow?
  Lictors, enough! Now must we on. Our time
  Is pressing.

    [_As he is on the point of departing with his colleagues, his
      gaze is arrested by the passing of a girl, clad all in white,
      attended by her nurse, through the Forum._

  (_To a companion._) Now, by the ghost of Ixion, behold
  Yon perfect vision of most perfect beauty.
  Enchanting grace! Exquisite featuring!
  Youth lightly shadowed by young womanhood!
  My passions, Oppius, are all awake.
  Aflame and spreading fast! Why, I would burn
  All Rome to own her, touch her, feel her near;
  I would receive the curses of the gods,
  Be hurled to lowest Hades, and endure
  The tortures set for Tantalus himself
  If I might call her mine. Her kiss would prove
  Sufficient food for me, her liquid eyes
  Would quench my thirst if I should look within
  And see the tears or draw the starry light
  Into my soul! O, Appius, ye are stricken!

  _Oppius._ Peace, peace, mine Appius, the maid is gone--
  Thy looks are wild, thy features are convulsed
  With passion.

  _1st Cit._ See, Hortensius, yon man?
  What ails him? Like a madman is his gaze,
  And horrid is his flaming countenance.

  _Oppius._ Come, brother, come, my colleague, let's away.

  _Appius._ Hands off, O, foolish man, for I am dead
  To protest. I have been by lightning stricken.

  _Oppius._         It is, indeed, too passionate to be
  The wound from Eros' feathered shaft.

  _Appius_ (_groaning_).         Ah! God!
  Where has she gone? I can not see her face
  Nor matchless form within the dreary crowd,
  Women I spy in plenty. What a mob
  Of uncouth shapes and homely featuring
  These females are! She was a Cynthia,
  And all beside her, hideous and bold
  Bacchantes. I'll a lictor straight despatch,
  To seize on her, for she belongs to me.

  _Oppius._ Nay, fool! Rash fool! Thou art not Jupiter
  In power, that thou darest thus to seize,
  In open daylight, objects of thy lust,
  When they are daughters of free citizens.
  Some shadow of excuse must herald such
  Bold actions, lest the rabble rise in arms,
  As in the days of fair Lucretia!
  Thou canst presume, and yet in thy presumption
  Play the sly part of virtue, ay, and justice,
  Nor seem a mad and bigoted abductor.
  I know the maid; a blameless child of one
  Virginius, a soldier and a pleb.
  Wait, wait, and on the morrow form thy plans,
  But for this moment let the matter rest,
  If thou art prudent. Come, let's on; the mob
  Follows thy gaze, noting thy steadfast look.

  _Appius._ Speed morrow then. For I am now no better
  Than madman; I, who hold the whole of Rome
  Under my thumb, am raving only for
  Nor heaven nor earth, nor power, nay, nor fame,
  But for the captivation of a maid--
  But for Virginia. Onward, let us on!
  I'll march into the grim, gray gates of eve
  And meet the morrow ere it hath arisen,
  Tear down the portals of the night and force
  My way into the chamber where the morn
  Dozes, a lovely slothful soul of hope,
  And seizing on her, madly I'll demand
  Virginia!      [_Exeunt._


    _Enter Marius and Horatius, two patricians._

  _Marius._ He dared! he dared! he dared!

  _Horatius._                 And will dare more,
  Until Rome wakens from her lethargy
  And is herself again.

  _Marius._             Till then we wait,
  Enduring insult, tyranny, from him,
  The common enemy of nobleman
  And pleb.

  _Horatius._ Alas! once was he common friend
  To both--our lawgiver; what changed him so?

  _Marius._ A worm of pride that gnawed into his heart,
  A blast of fiery desert wind that dried,
  Withered and seared his noble disposition.
  To-day he is a monster, where he was
  But yesterday a leader and a god.

  _Horatius._ He angered the patricians by his show
  Of democratic policy; the plebs
  By barring intermarriage 'twixt the two
  Opposing classes!      [_Enter Virginius and Icilius._

  _Virginius._ Blessings, health to you!
  Good wishes of a Roman unto Romans.

  _Horatius_ (_bitterly_). Say rather, helpless, sullen, brooding curs!
  We are no more--methinks _thou_ art no more;
  Nor even thou, Icilius, our tribune.
  There are no free, courageous sons of Rome,
  But victims only, cowed beneath the lash
  Of the Decemvirs--curses on their heads!

  _Virginius._ Methinks I'm not the dog that thou hast said,
  For 'tis my part and wish to play the man.
  The name of Appius I do despise,
  And only bide my time to bury it
  Deep in the soil, along with him who bears
  Its weight. Although I will not fling myself
  Upon the altar of Unreason as
  A bootless sacrifice, yet am I still
  Nor dog, nor worm, but one who waits and prays,
  Nor prays alone, but puzzles out his plan
  Of action. No, nor plans alone, but strives;
  And striving, must achieve, unless the hand
  Of sudden Death come in to tear the web.
  Friends, we are hard pressed and we pant in pain,
  Yet tyrants, howsoever strong, are still
  Weaker than Justice and are shorter-lived
  Than Liberty, the queen whom Justice serves.
  Because our wrongs are heavy must we brood,
  And chafe, and curse our stars and Appius?
  What war was ever closed successfully
  With sullen warriors and men untrained,
  Unready or undone by foul Despair?

  _Icilius._ Thou hast inspired me and curbed my wrath,
  Which held in it no reason, all unbound,
  Ready to leap a lion on its prey.
  Ay, there's a time for all things. I shall wait,
  Knowing, Virginius, that thy words are true.
  Wisdom, the gods be thanked, hath never flowed
  Forth from thy lips in words of honeyed sounds,
  Nor yet in pompous phrases burdened down
  With ponderous eloquence, but bold and frank,
  Shining as bright and ringing forth as true
  As thy good sword that thou hast borne so well
  In camp, palestra, or in battle-field.

  _Virginius._ My words are bold, for I am full of grief
  At men's delinquency and heavy souls;
  Frank--ay; because 'tis late to talk in riddles
  Or metaphors, that veil the precious truth
  Within; shining with fervor, ringing true,
  Because the cause I do uphold is true
  As life and death is real.

  _Horatius._         Thine eloquence
  Is worthy of a better hearing than
  This little company. I would that thou
  Wouldst lead us into action, noble pleb.

  _Virginius._ My duties are at present with mine own--
  With her, my fair ewe-lamb; when she becomes
  The spouse of this our friend and our tribune,
  Virginius shall owe himself to none,
  But feel compelled the Commonwealth alone
  To serve. And here's my hand in oath that I
  Shall serve it well! The gods help Appius!

    [_Enter Sicinius, in civilian garments._

  _Marius._ Greetings, Sicinius, and health to thee!

  _Sic._ And Heaven's favor unto you, my friends.
  How now! All deep in sombre conference?

  _Icilius_ (_impetuously_). Sicinius! What curse hath come to Rome,
  That bends her proud and regal head beneath
  The yoke of shame? The collar of the serf
  Hangs heavy round her haughty neck. Ye gods!
  The mightly Romulus, methinks, must find
  The grave a cell that keeps him from his Rome;
  How must his mighty spirit chafe when he
  Receiveth tidings from the newly dead,
  Concerning this, his city, now so low
  Amid the dust of Wrong and Bigotry!
  Tell us, thou man of action, what bold move
  We needs must make. Oh! be our OEdipus!

  _Horatius._ Hist, noble tribune! Favor silence. These
  Are times of peril; cast thou Caution's die.

  _Icilius_ (_amazed_). What! knowest thou not this man, Sicinius?
  He who has bearded all the noble Ten,
  He whose brave words of indignation ring
  From hill to hill of Rome? Sicinius!

  _Horatius_ (_sullenly_). I have been absent from the town these twelve
  Long moons, nor know I all that thou dost know.

  _Icilius._ Why, man, look not so sour and so sad.

  _Virginius._ Peace, youths! Sicinius hath but little chance
  To speak his mind. I beg of thee that thou,
  Good friend, expound thy views as to these days
  Of tyranny, for Romans are at bay.

  _Sic._ If I should speak, then would I speak myself
  Into my grave; so twist mine earnest tongue
  As soon would wring it from its fevered roots,
  Mine eyeballs blind themselves with fiery tears
  Of love for Rome; my life would withered be
  With all the curses breathing forth, aflame
  With hate for Appius! Oh, ye gods! in what
  Have we outraged you that we now are cursed
  With such a blight as Famine never cast
  Over the fields of plenty, withering
  Alike the grain and the wild wayside bloom,
  Sweeping across the vast, bright lands of peace,
  And leaving staring Ruin in its way?
  Oh! Rome, thou much-wronged child of Romulus,
  That I might break the seals from off thine eyes,
  And place a flaming sword within thy hand,
  A watchword in thine ear--"Endure for her
  Who is thy rightful mistress, Liberty."
  A battle-cry upon thy glowing lips,
  "Onward!" A prayer within thy mighty heart,
  And prophecy to stir thy godlike soul
  To action. But the times are ripening!      [_A pause._
  Could I relate thy wrongs, I would not cease,
  Nor spare myself, but speaking, sink to earth,
  Worn with the task. Yet who can number them
  That are as numberless as Heaven's stars?
  I say, as I have said to you before,
  We Romans will again secede, again
  March, in a body, to the Sacred Mount,
  And threaten as of old another Rome,
  A nobler Rome, a Rome unbound and free,
  To found thereon, or else a revolution,
  Bloody and merciless and full of horrors,
  Shall ravage Rome, but we be satisfied.
  The fire and the sword hath ready tongues;
  They fawn not to the great, nor spare the high,
  They lick and bite nor fail in eloquence.
  So, to the fire and the sword must we
  Resort; for city, home, and cherished ones
  Demand that guilty blood, as a libation,
  Be poured in answer to the blood of Rome,
  Which crieth to her children from the ground!




    _The curtain, rising, discovers a bondmaid in the center of a
      spacious court, filling her pitcher at the fountain. It is
      midday, and the light streams down from above, flooding the
      entire space with radiance. The woman sings in an undertone, as
      she turns to water the roses twined around the columns in the
      background. Enter Marcus Claudius. He approaches the maiden,

  _Marc._ Ah! pretty one! Fortune has favored me!
  I enter in due time to proffer aid.

  _Slave._ Nay, shame on thee, a man free-born, to thus
  Address a bondmaid, when there is no need.

  _Marc._ Thy humble mien is fitting, girl, but I
  Am modest, and, thus far, will graciously
  Demean myself.

  _Slave._      Demean thyself, indeed!
  I only mocked thee, fool; thy proffered aid
  I scorn. Low-born plebeian, who art thou,
  To set thyself above a child of kings?

  _Marc._ (_angrily_). Ha! Have a care! Take heed! Thy saucy tongue
  Eludes thee, mischief hungry. Fairest slave,
  But for that very fairness which is thine,
  I'd have thee lashed by him who favors me!

  _Slave_ (_wheeling about in scorn_). Who shelters, who
    supports, who uses thee,
  And for his own vile ends! Lends thee his brains,
  His power and knowledge for thy petty, sly
  Returns. He, fierce and false; thou, mean and small;
  He, merciless; thou, only Marcus' friend--
  And both unscrupulous as Mercury.

  _Marc._ (_furiously_). Thou art too scathing in thy judgment, damsel!

  _Slave._ Nay, I am mild to what thou dost deserve.

  _Marc._ How darest thou, a slave, to judge me so?

  _Slave._ King Tarquin, called Superbus, or the Proud,
  He was mine ancestor. And I, alone
  Left of his line, in bondage languish. _Thou_,--
  What canst thou boast of? Of the blood of plebs,
  Yet lower e'en than they who gave thee birth;
  Despised of all, for thou art neither slave,
  Nor free; thou hangest slothlike on the skirts
  Of mighty men, that they may represent
  Thy cause--support, succor, and plead for thee,
  In gratitude for thy poor services.
  Avaunt! Fawner and client, touch me not!

    [_She spurns him when he would approach her, and haughtily departs._

  _Marc._ (_gazing after her_). Adieu, thou helpless
    scorner, chained despiser,
  Thy tongue hath sought to whip me sore--in vain.
  A client knows not shame nor injured pride.
  Nor is he haughty, for the blood of kings
  Heats not his veins. So Marcus, too, is low,
  Ready to stoop to aught, however base,
  To gain his ends. But triumph over triumphs!
  Marcus will issue forth the conqueror.
  Flushed with his victory, while other men
  Lie low and bite the dust because they clung
  To honor! He, clean void of conscience, sucks
  The sweets of life down to their sweetest dregs.      [_Pauses._
  Ha! who is that? My master hath returned!

    [_Peers through a curtained doorway on the right. As he
      retreats, Appius Claudius enters hurriedly. His toga is
      disordered, his countenance aflame with wine and passion. He
      throws himself heavily upon a couch._

  _Appius._ Wine, fetch some wine! At once, with no delay!

  _Marc._ (_aside_). And drunk as Bacchus at his wedding-feast!
  (_Aloud._) Which kind, my lord?

  _Appius._ Falernian! Mark ye, dilute it not!

  _Marc._ (_aside_). I need no prophet's eyes to see his end.
  To Bacchus I assign him with due care.      [_Exit._

  _Appius_ (_in hoarse undertone_). I looked but once,
    and, looking, she was gone,
  Leaving me reeling, drunk with loveliness.
  I have imbibed deeply this day in wine,
  Yet hath it less intoxicating power
  Than hath a tremor of her lashes or
  A flutter of her garments! I am struck,
  And heavily!      [_He groans and clasps his head with his hands._
              Virginia! Elements
  Are in thy name--tempest and burning flame!
  My soul is tossed as though it were at sea,
  My brain is floating on the vacant air,
  My heart consumed in everlasting fire!

    [_Enter Marcus, bearing a goblet and an amphora._

  _Marc._ Thy rare Falernian.

  _Appius._     Fill me the cup.      [_Drinks._
  Sweet solace and indulgence of the gods,
  Unequaled nectar, give me satisfaction!
  Better to me this pleasure than the sight
  Of fair Elysium. Such ecstasy
  As is the privilege and portion of
  Souls freed from Hades and its rack and wheel
  And snatched to Heaven, can no sweeter be
  Than is mine ecstasy, when wafted on
  The summer zephyr, comes this breath, divine,
  Of nectar and ambrosia in one.
  Virginia, to myself, to thee, to Love,
  I drink! And now, my Marcus, sit thee down!
  I would confer with thee.

  _Marc._ (_seats himself_). What is thy will?

  _Appius._ Marcus, this morn I made my way in state
  Through Rome--and, in the market-place, beheld
  A sight that hath undone me for this day.
  My heart hath slipped its leash and now is set
  Hard on the trail, not to be turned aside.

  _Marc._ What vision hath the gods vouchsafed thee, then?

  _Appius._'Twas more than vision, thanks to Vulcan be,
  Who did create that mortal styled a woman,
  At once a snare, at once a perfect boon;
  At once a curse, at once a lasting blessing.
  It was a maid, a lowly, mortal maid,
  A maid of mean plebeian birth as well,
  Yet beautiful as though she had arisen
  From out the golden heart of some fair rose,
  Or drowsy, dreamy, tempting, fresh and fair,
  Had issued, shyly, from the troubled depths
  Of rock-bound spring, a nymph but newly born,
  And shrinking from the glances of the morn.
  Virginia, child of one Virginius,
  Centurion of courage and renown,
  She burst upon me like a revelation
  Unto a prophet. She is mine as sure
  As are the stars possessions of the Night.
  She'll have no will but mine, no choice but mine;
  She'll yield her body unto me, until
  I find the chance to win her heart and soul.
  I'll hold her and I'll kiss her heart away;
  I'll chain her soul to mine with links of gold.
  But whether she shall ever love me true
  I little care, so that her lips are mine.
  So that I daily touch her hands and feel
  Her dusky hair blow cloudlike 'gainst my cheek.
  Marcus, thou art the man to work my weal,
  By aiding me in this, mine enterprise.

  _Marc._ What! Shall I play the game and thou receive
  The winnings?

  _Appius_ (_haughtily_). Ay, assuredly. O, pause,
  And pausing, see thyself in honest light.
  Thou art my client; thou to _me_ dost owe
  Thy safety, standing, possibly thy life.
  I know the law--I _made_, the law, the while
  Thou canst not read a letter; as a pleb
  Few rights are thine--those few I gave thy class
  At the expense of the patrician favor.
  Break with me, and thou'lt break thy fortunes, ope
  Thy chest of troubles, like the silly maid
  Who brought untold misfortunes on herself
  And on the world. Assist me and thou'lt gain
  My favor, keep my needful, strong protection.

  _Marc._ Enough! I follow thee and will obey.

  _Appius._ E'en to the letter?

  _Marc._            To the letter, lord.

  _Appius._ Then hearken. Choose some morning, soon or late,
  And hasten to the market-place. The maid
  Receiveth schooling there. When she appears,
  Spring forward boldly, seize her by the arm,
  (And yet be not too rude in thy demeanor);
  When all the multitude around demand
  An explanation, say to them that she
  Was born of a slave-woman in thy house,
  Ere thou a client had become. And add
  That she had been in secret borne away,
  And, by the wife of one Virginius,
  Claimed as a child; her own at birth had died,
  And he, Virginius, kept in ignorance,
  Grossly deceived, believeth it his flesh
  And blood. The tale is wild; no proof hast thou,
  Nor witnesses; and yet it is enough
  Seeing that I control the Romans as
  The Fates control the lives of mortal men,
  And need the barest shadow of excuse
  To work my will--I, who am autocrat!
  Assume a righteous air, if that doth lie
  Within the limits of thy doubtful, rare
  Accomplishments. When they protest, then say
  "To Appius for justice I will go,"
  And leave the rest to me.

  _Marcus._                Ay, leave to thee
  The cowing of the Roman mob, for that
  Lieth within the limits of _thy_ rare,
  Doubtful accomplishments. So let it be.
  I'll serve thee well--will my returns be worthy
  The peril of my venture?

  _Appius._               Also leave
  That matter unto me.


    _Style of ornaments and hangings very simple. Virginia, bending
      over her nurse, who is seated in a chair, appears to have just
      completed the arrangement of the latter's hair._

  _Virg._ Nay, now, let be! 'Tis most becoming so.
  What! would'st thou call't presumptious to assume
  The style of headdress worn by noble ladies?
  Foolish Camilla! Thou art nobler far
  Than many score fine dames, however high
  They hold their heads or wear their tresses--so!
  Oh, 'tis entrancing! Stay, I have not done.

  _Camilla_ (_groaning in mock despair_). Alack! was
    ever nurse so harried by
  A maid as silly and as sweet as thou!

  _Virg._ No, never! for I'm sweet because I've kissed
  Thy kind old cheek so oft and have imbibed
  Therefrom the sweetness only found in thee.
  And I am silly--I suppose, because
  The gods have made me so. Now, turn about
  Thy head. How white thy hair of late hath grown!

  _Camilla._ Alack! mine age is on me!

  _Virg._ (_passionately caressing her_). Nay, not so!
  Or if 'tis so, I love each silver thread.
  Kiss me, Camilla--but I must proceed
  With this thy toilet. Now is it complete.
  Oh, Jupiter! it is a work of art!
  Sweet nurse, thou wilt amaze my father when
  He catches sight of thee.      [_Seizes a mirror._
                           Come, view thyself.
  'Tis not ill-done, for I have marked the style.
  Shake not thy head at me, I prithee now.
  I only sport with thee. Look not so grave.

  _Camilla._ Sweet one, because thou art so gay to-day,
  I fear to-morrow thou wilt be in tears.
  Excess of spirits bears excess of grief.
  Thou'rt young and fair as Hero; but to her
  Misfortune came and loss and heavy woe!

  _Virg._ Now, thou remindest me of Wisdom's owl--
  Croak not so somberly. Thou who art one
  Whose heart is ever genial with mirth,
  Wrong'st Nature to cast shadows over youth.

  _Camilla_ (_drawing Virginia to her tenderly_). My little love,
    I would not seem to sigh;
  Ever have I despised a sorry face,
  A gloomy or foreboding disposition.
  Thou hast most aptly said that I to-day
  Belie my character. Forgive! Forget!

  _Virg._ (_pouting_). Forget, thou croaking raven of despair?
  Thou dost expect too much. I may forgive,
  But not forget. What ailest thee to-day?
  Art thou not ill or weary with thy tasks?
  We'll make thy labor lighter, and thy cares
  As to the household now shall rest on me.

  _Camilla._ Not so, sweet child. There is no need for that.
  I am not ill nor weary, nay, nor sad,
  But fearful and in dread of hidden woe.
  What may the morrow bring to thee, my babe,
  Or to thy father, or thy lover? What,
  I can not see, but only feel and dread.

  _Virg._ Camilla! Something surely ails thee now.
  Oh! I am mystified and overcome
  By thy prophetic words, thy drear address,
  And I would probe thy meaning deeply, lest
  A vision should have warned thee of a flood
  Of coming tribulation. Gentle nurse,
  Hast visited of late the oracle?
  Speak! Speak to me! Speak to Virginia! Say!
  Tell me, nor torture me upon the rack
  Of fear and dread prolonged.

  _Camilla_ (_slowly_).       If it were aught
  That I might put to thee or e'en myself
  In syllables, I'd speak. But syllables
  Are clumsy things. Words are inanimate,
  Dull, helpless weapons, powerless unless
  The thoughts are present skillfully to wield
  The blades. Then cut and thrust they mightily,
  Ready to wound, or e'en with menace kill.
  I know not what I fear. I know not why
  Nor wherefore. Has the gift of second-sight
  Been by the gods this day on me bestowed?      [_A pause._
  I seem to see great sorrow brought about
  By shameless wrong; I seem to see a cloud,
  Laden with anguish which may soon descend
  In burning drops on Rome, where'er I turn.
  Who are the victims I can not discover,
  But when I close mine eyes from out the black
  That blinds them, lo! a knife like lightning sent
  By Jove flashes upon me--and is gone!

  _Virg._ (_sobbing_). Alas! My joy is fled and all is gloom.
  Sure 'tis some peril scowling o'er my father.
  Mayhap e'en now he lieth in the camp,
  Struck down by men who envy him his fame!
  Oh! horrid thought! most dread, most cruel thought!

  _Camilla_ (_arousing herself with effort_). Nay, weep not, my
    Virginia; I regret
  Those vague emotions which are doubtless false
  Deceiving dreams, sent me by Mercury,
  Who oft delights in filling mortal minds
  With gray forebodings, as thou art aware.
  Quick! Kiss me, child, and dry those silly tears.
  Lo! now methinks I hear thy father's step.

  _Virg._ (_joyously_). Father! mine own dear father!

  (_Voice of Virginius without._) Little one!
  No welcome at the door?

    [_Virginia runs to the curtained doorway, through which her
      father enters, and flings her arms in tearful ecstasy around his

  _Virginius._ What! tears, dear heart?

  _Virg._ But smiles will clear them soon. I feared for thee--
  Most foolishly, yet ne'ertheless, I feared.

  _Virginius._ Most foolishly, indeed, my dark-haired Psyche,
  Thou pure-embodied soul, my spirit's light.
  Look up, dear child, and kiss thy father fond.
  He's wearied and he needs his heart's restorer.

    [_The two come forward, he in his shining armor, she nestling
      birdlike in the shelter of his arm._

  My daughter, I have seen Icilius.

  _Virg._ Ah! Father!

  _Virginius_ (_mockingly_). "Ah! Father!" Ay, I saw him. Me he held
  Firmly, besieging me with queries, all
  Concerning thee. How had Virginia fared
  While he was absent?--the presumptious boy!
  Couldst thou fare otherwise than well with me?
  And then with eager eyes he questioned as
  To thy remarks, thy thoughts concerning him,
  Thy attitude to things in general.
  Where did Virginia spend her days? In school?
  Was she by chance affrighted at the state
  Of Rome since he had left her? Like unto
  A feverish flame, he reached on every side,
  Hungry for news of his Virginia.

  _Virg._ (_dreamily_). My Love! My Love! Mine own Icilius!
  Oh! gentle gods, my happiness exceeds
  My worth. But yet, amen! So let it be.      [_Exeunt._


    _Enter Virginia and Icilius. Twilight deepening into night._

  _Icilius._ This is an eve of witchery, an hour
  Alluring, swelled with love and weighted down
  With dreams.

  _Virg._ A time when all our best ideals
  Are perfected. Reality is dead,
  Deep-buried in her grave, and Heaven and Earth,
  Swayed by the wand of sweet Imagination,
  Languish beneath the velvet robes of Night.

  _Icilius_. And 'tis a night more fair than when Dian
  Cast lustre on the young, unwitting face
  Of that deep-slumbering boy, Endymion.

  _Virg._ Oh! happy boy! a goddess kissed thy hair,
  Mused o'er thy brows, and sighed above thy lips.

  _Icilius_. Thrice happy man, who treasures human love,
  And humbly may accept that precious gift,
  A mortal maiden's heart, nor sigh for more.
  There is no more, nor anything so fair,
  As such a dear possession. Happy he,
  Who can, though but one instant, close and warm,
  Hold woman's form, or kiss the starry light
  Into her eyes, the blood into her cheeks!
  And such a man, Virginia, am I.

  _Virg._ (_shyly_). Not once in life, dear Love, but many times.

  _Icilius._ Not once, not twice, not thrice, but many times.

  _Virg._ What might lies in the warmth of kisses given!
  Like wine they strengthen, quicken, stimulate,
  Like flame they warm, like moonlight satisfy.
  Like stars uplift above the common world.
  Dear Love, I am a weak and fearful child
  And need my wine, my flame, my moon and stars,
  To fit me for the years that lie ahead.

  _Icilius._ Thou lookest pale, in need of stimulant--

    [_Kisses her._

  Once more, sweetheart! Nay, wouldst thou draw away?

  _Virg._ Not so. Mine ears deceived me, hearing sounds
  Of stealthy listeners.

  _Icilius._            Virginia,
  Rest here upon this bed of roses. They
  Are "red with anguish for Adonis' death,"
  That mortal love of Venus. Dear, recline,
  And let thy tresses, darker than the night,
  In the breeze fluttering, caress my cheek,
  Breathing thy love for me.

  _Virg._                   Icilius,
  'Twas only yestereve I wandered here.
  The sun was casting forth his fading beams
  In final efforts most supreme; my thoughts
  Were full of peace and thee. And in the light
  Shed by the homing sun--the purple, red,
  And gold--I dreamed fair dreams, imagined visions.
  Methought I saw the coming years of bliss,
  Deepened with sorrow, lined with simple care;
  The sorrow of a mortal, and the care
  Of wife and mother. Then, at once, arose
  Longings that I might always worthy be,
  As was Eurydice of Orpheus.
  Never to falter, howsoe'er I feared,
  Turn not, stay not, fail not; a woman in
  My services and steadfast faith, as well
  As my most passionate love. My thoughts are grave;
  Perchance they do accord not with thy mood?

  _Icilius._ Not so, thou spirit of sweet harmony,
  My life and soul, my one bright guiding star.
  Thy lover is a rude and careless man,
  A Roman tribune, weighted with affairs,
  Stern to my fellows, tender but to thee.
  Yet when I look on thy beloved form
  And perfect face, my sins are swept away,
  As is the unclean wrack, upon the shore,
  Swept by the ocean. Ay! and in its place
  Are left pure pearls and shells and wonders such
  As only dwell where man can never go--
  Thy thoughts, Virginia, pure as virgin snow.

  _Virg._ Last night I lay awake amid the dark,
  Hearing the music of the fount without
  My window; sharply, trebly sweet it broke
  The heavy, voiceless gloom of slumbering
  Nature and sleeping men. Awake, I dreamed
  Of all the bliss the gentle gods have placed
  Within my hold. Then, like a swelling sea,
  High in my bosom rose the newborn love.
  I thought of how it grew, so shy, so slow,
  At first like faltering breeze that lightly stirs
  And lifts the tiny feather o'er the heart
  Of nesting bird, then gaming courage, grows
  Into a gentle wind until the soul
  Within leaps up, and mighty, strong, and free,
  Soars on celestial wings above the raving sea.

    [_A silence falls, during which a light begins to break in the
      eastern sky._

  _Icilius._ We have outsighed the day; the rising moon
  Her benediction smiles upon this spot,
  Where breathes and hopes and loves Virginia.

  _Virg._ She signals faintly, from the brightening east,
  To thee, my hero and my love.

  _Icilius._ One kiss,
  One kiss in honor of fair Cynthia.
  May blessings come to thee with every ray
  From yonder orb which rises o'er the hills
  Of Rome and lights a glory in thy hair.
  Elusive soul! this moment dost thou seem
  A chaste, pale spirit of the lonely moon,
  A white Diana of nocturnal glades,
  Yet in the magic of the ardent sun
  I've seen thee flame into an Aphrodite,
  A glowing type of passion and desire.
  My love, my full and perfected ideal,
  My Helen and my delicate Ænone.
  My nymph and my incomparable queen
  In one. Come closer to my arms, beloved!
  I would not lose in any sense or thought
  A moment spent with thee, Virginia.

  _Virg._ (_in his arms_). Closer, ay, closer, as the days go by,
  Deeper and deeper, stronger and more strong,
  Each in the other till we are not two,
  A man and maid, but one, but one. Oh! say
  How close I am to thee, Icilius?

  _Icilius._ As close as vein to leaf, or leaf to stem;
  As close as is the rose-flush in the heart
  Of ocean's shell unto the shell itself;
  Close as the star is to its atmosphere;
  Wedded as day and night, no break, no void
  Between, but only faintest change and lights,
  Born of a higher world, a purer sphere,
  Heaven-conceived, begotten of the sky.

    [_The light visibly brightens, shining down upon the two. After
      a silence they stir and slowly walk apart, watching the sky.
      Icilius presently rejoins Virginia._

  Love, thou art weary. Come within and sleep.

  _Virg._ Nay, I could never weary in thy sight.
  Have I not called thy kisses and embrace
  My wine, my flame, my moonlight and my stars?
  I am not weary. But I'll come within--
  The morrow brings a fresh Elysium.

  _Icilius._ Oh! but the night is fair; behold each rose,
  How tenderly preserves and cups its dew,
  Barely awakened, lifting up its head
  And smiling at the moon. One kiss before
  We go within. And now, farewell, thou rose;
  Farewell, thou garden of nocturnal dreams
  And noon-day musings. Come, Virginia,
  Let us within.


    _Apartment spacious and luxurious, with hangings of various
      kinds. Cornelia, who is reclining in an arm chair, occupies the
      center of the room; a female stands behind her in the act of
      arranging her hair. On the left is a boy in rich patrician
      dress, seated beside an oblong bath, engaged in sailing a tiny
      fleet of vessels on the surface of the water. On the right are a
      number of attendants, conversing in undertones._

  _Cor._ Ah, gods! I am most sad and most aweary
  Of this routine of state, unrestful splendor.
  My lovers love not me but my possessions,
  My friends are envious of my delights.
  Wretched aristocrats! Unhappy we
  Who call ourselves patricians, and who swear
  Our race is blessed of the most blessed gods!
  Say rather cursed, and with a heavy curse!
  How can I give my heart to those who are
  By _noble_ blood worthy and eligible,
  After the Roman laws, to sue for it?
  Eros with them is but an empty name;
  Passion and lust and horrible ambition
  Form the emotions of these "blessed" ones.
  And I, unhappy, love with pure desire
  Sicinius, a soldier and a pleb!
  Yet hath the Ten forbidden intermarriage,
  Just when those bars of difference were about
  To fall away and Heaven ope for me.       [_To the attendant._
  Sufficient, Julia.

  _Julia._ Nay, a few light touches
  And thou wilt shine more fair, my lovely mistress,
  Than heavenly Venus in her myrtle bower.

  _Cor._ (_smilingly_). But I am dark as night; she as the day,
  Thou foolish maid.

  _Julia._ Believe me, thou in thy
  Rich, languid charm would cast enchantment o'er
  Adonis, as would keep him from the chase
  Where Venus pled in vain.

  _Cor._ Tut, flatterer!

  _Julia_ (_slyly_). Methinks I'd make a model lover then
  If I do flatter. Is't not so, sweet lady?

  _Cor._ (_bitterly_). Lovers are mockeries in this blackened age.
  A maid may wed the low-souled fool so long
  As he's high-born! The man of noble mind
  Is numbered, if a common, 'mongst the dead.

  _Julia_ (_idly_). Methinks Sicinius comes here anon?

  _Cor._ (_in displeasure_). What! Insolent! Who bade thee speak,
    I pray?

  _Julia_ (_softly_). Lady, mine eyes are clear and quick to see,
  And thy heart's sentinels are slumbering.
  I mean no insolence, by all the gods!
  My motive only love and sympathy.
  I, too, am a plebeian, and rejoice
  To see thy gracious, noble condescension.
  Yet in my joy I well could weep with pain,
  Seeing the darkness of thy doubtful future.

  _Cor._ Darkness! It is a void as empty as
  My heart this day is full. Begone, I pray,
  Each one of you; nay, thou, my Julia, stay
  And bid the bards perform a soothing lay.

    [_Exeunt maids. Sounds of a harp without in soft accompaniment._

  _Cor._ Tiberius, come hither unto me.

    [_The boy approaches her._

  Now kiss me, child, and talk a space with me.

  _Tib._ What melancholy broods upon thy brow,
  Curves thy dear lips, and glooms within thine eyes?

  _Cor._ Brother, thou art too young to comprehend.

  _Tib._ Mayhap, for I am only twelve years old;
  Yet I'm no dullard, sister, and I weep
  Because I see thee sad. Methinks Sicinius
  Would weep for thee as well.

  _Cor._ (_starting in dismay_). Ye gods of love!
  Does all Italia observe my heart,
  Which I had deemed secure within my breast?
  Or possibly (although the gods forbid!)
  My maidens have been gossiping to thee?

  _Tib._ (_disdainfully_). No, never; gossip reacheth not mine ears.
  But oft I hear thee sigh and then, within
  The selfsame breath, breathe forth a name I know;
  A name all Romans know--Sicinius.
  Ay, and I oft have heard thee sob, although
  I fain had heard it not, since thou desirest
  Thy grief held secret. Sister mine, how canst
  Thou hope to wed a soldier and a pleb?

  _Cor._ Alas! Alas! Mine own Tiberius!
  No hope have I, and yet I love my strength
  Away--my heart and soul are all aflame
  With a wild conflagration. Boy, thou seemest
  Inclined to comprehend my fierce emotions,
  Bitter despair and strange besieging hope,
  That scarce is conscious hope, but mocked and crushed
  By the stern laws of Rome and tyranny
  Of the false Ten, since ever it was born.
  Thy bright brown eyes are luminous with soul;
  Wise, gentle brother, dost thou weep for me?

  _Tib._ (_sobbing passionately_). A curse upon those false and
    dreadful Ten!
  Cornelia, would that I might succor thee!

  _Cor._ Most dear, my brother, weep no more for me;
  The gods, who love true lovers, do despise
  Tyrants and murderers, and sure will aid
  Our cause if we be patient to the end.
  Time is a greybeard, and he will not haste
  At any whim, and Fate, a bigot stern,
  Who acts according to his quick desire;
  He preys on Innocence as well as Guilt,
  And none can change the fashion of his ways.      [_A pause._
  Now, tell me, wast thou playing mariner,
  But now, and was yon bath a mighty sea?

  _Tib._ (_brightly_). I was Æneas, our great forefather,
  And I was sailing from our ancient Troy.
  Oft Juno dashed our ships against the rocks
  In spite, because the Trojans she abhorred;
  Yet, by a miracle, lo! I was saved.

  _Cor._ And didst thou then encounter and escape
  Scylla's dread arms, Charybdis' frightful jaws?

  _Tib._ Ay, and therefrom lost I three goodly men--
  Two oarsmen and my helmsman.

  _Cor._                  Cruel fate!
  Perchance thou hast survived these perils, so
  Thou mayst give comfort to thy troubled sister.
  Methinks--but what familiar sound is that?
  Surely his voice dismissing his attendant--
  And now a knocking on the outer door!
  The porter cometh nigh. Tiberius,
  'Tis he! I dreamed not he could come this day!

  _Tib._ Then I'll begone, sister; give me a kiss;
  I'll seek thee later and relate my voyage.      [_Exit._

  _Cor._ Ah! gods! I feel as fluttered as a maid
  Of the plebeians might. Thus do I share
  The simple nature of his simple class,
  Through my deep love for him. My haughty mien,
  Patrician dignity, desert me when
  Mine own beloved cometh unto me.

  (_Voice of porter without._) Most gracious mistress,
    I await thy pleasure,
  To usher in a visitor to thee.

  _Cor._ (_aside_). I must not seem too eager, comprehensive,
  Lest e'en my faithful porter, noting it,
  Let slip without my doors some foolish scandal.      [_To porter._
  Who is the visitor?

  _Porter._          Sicinius.

  _Cor._ Admit Sicinius into my presence.  [_Enter Sicinius and porter._

  (_Aside._) Dear Heaven! My Love! (_Aloud._) Thou Gaius, to thy post
  Begone! And Julia, do thou too withdraw.

    [_Exeunt the two. A silence falls. Cornelia remains seated, a
      still form, most beautiful, endeavoring to calm her loving
      passion, one hand upon her bosom and her eyes fixed on the face
      of Sicinius, who stands motionless with admiration._


  _Sic._ What can I say, oh, God!
  Thou art too fair, thou art too wondrous fair
  For me to break the spell. Awake! Awake!
  Dreamer I am not wont to be, save when
  Thy beauty casts a web of visions o'er me.

  _Cor._ My beauty paleth in the greater light,
  O my Sicinius, of thy manhood's worth.
  Awake, indeed, and greet me. I can face
  Thy gaze no longer; art thou turned to stone?

  _Sic._ (_advancing, with his arm outstretched in a sudden
    warmth of passion_). I turn to stone only upon the day
  When I can neither claim nor clasp my love.
  Till then mine arms continue flesh and blood,
  My lips as warm as thine; thou radiant Soul! (_Embracing her._)

  _Cor._ Oh! stay a space! Is every curtain drawn?

  _Sic._ I do not know, for thou hast dazzled quite
  My goodly eyesight, and I only see
  Cornelia here and there and everywhere.

  _Cor._ Alas! I fear so greatly for our love;
  Pray Heaven thou lose me not entirely!

  _Sic._ Nay, rest thee, rest thee, tremble not, beloved.
  The life of Appius will soon be spanned,
  And a great wave of revolution shake
  Rome's center; soon I drop a mighty pebble
  On her dark surface, and the rings therefrom
  Into a rush of water thence shall widen.

  _Cor._ (_partly rising from her chair, her eyes alight_).
  The Fates be thanked that now the foul stagnation
  Of Rome, enslaved, is stirring into life;
  And _thine_ the hand! Thou'rt worthy of the cause,
  Thou patriot and model of a man!

  _Sic._ Oh! but I love my city and my race!
  Thank God that my stern duty lieth on
  The selfsame path as love for thee, my sweet.
  My conscience and my happiness alike
  Demand that I should aim to liberate
  Rome and the Romans from the yoke of men
  Who are defiling and defiled--the Ten!      [_Starts suddenly._
  I came, that I might steal one glimpse of thee.
  The sun is high--I may not tarry more.

  _Cor._ So soon departing? Whither wouldst thou go?

  _Sic._ Straight to the Forum--then unto the camp.
  The movements of our foemen, the Sabines,
  Are grave. Methinks I'll soon be called upon
  To enter into active services.
  Farewell, Cornelia! kiss me once again!
  Sweet mistress, noble lady! fare thee well!      [_Exit swiftly._

  _Cor._ Gone! Gone! So swiftly, like an eager shaft
  From Roman bow. Vanished, my gallant love!
  Where shall I see him when he doth return
  To me? May Mars attend and favor him,
  And Victory with laurel wreath adorn
  His earnest brows. Sicinius, farewell!



    _Busy passing to and fro of citizens. Enter Cornelia and
      Tiberius, attended by two slaves. The former appears
      embarrassed, fluttered, and distressed, the latter troubled and

  _Cor._ Gods! How the people stare upon me, brother!
  Alas! They reek not of a woman's heart,
  But judge me bold and courting their attention,
  I who am hungry for one gaze alone,
  Yet can not find. So many days have passed,
  No tidings from my love hath reached mine ears,
  And rumors that he's dead hath driven me
  Close unto madness. All my slaves have sought,
  But failed to find him. I am desperate!
  Surely the ears of one who loves will hear,
  Surely the eyes of one who loves will see,
  And learn his fate, whether for good or ill.
  He will forgive me for exposing her
  He loveth to the gaze of multitudes!

  _Tib._ Ay, but most likely he was called to serve
  Rome in the latest skirmish with her foes.
  Thy fear it is unfounded.

  _Cor._ Nay, my child,
  The skirmishing they say is discontinued,
  And all who fought therein returned unto
  The camp, save only those who fell beneath
  The Sabine spears. My Love hath not been seen,
  And I can rest no longer in my house.

    [_While they speak, the already clouded sky darkens so rapidly
      that all start and look out across the populated hills. A
      distant peal of thunder is heard, followed by a second, greater
      in volume. All press together, then a cry arises:_ "Way, make
      way! The sibyl of the vale would speak! She is inspired!" _The
      dense crowd parts and all swing backward in confusion. A flash
      of lightning breaks the heavy gloom, followed by a muttering of
      thunder. A few large raindrops fall. The sibyl enters through
      the multitude, a weird, mad form, with tossing hair and wild,
      disheveled garments._

  _Sibyl._ Wail, walls of Rome, and weep, ye tender vales
  Of sweet Italia!

    [_A murmur and a swaying. Voices contend for silence._

             Oh! day of dole!
  Oh, day of perfect woe! Oh, Furies' day
  Of fever and of tears! Oh, black despair!
  The night of tyranny hath settled o'er
  Our city, roof-like shuts her from the air
  Of Heaven! And the hollow, brazen dome
  Of despotism closes o'er our heads;
  Black tyranny and red-hot despotism!
  Had I hands long enough and nails as sharp
  As Hate, I'd tear in shreds the infernal web!

    [_Another peal of thunder resounds. She points toward the heavy

  My tongue is laden with the vast commands
  Of Jove, to-day. But Rome is deaf and mad.
  The gods cry out upon this tyranny,
  The heavens in thunder clap their wrathful hands!
  Yet Rome, the Rome of Romulus, the Rome
  Of Numa and the martial kings of old,
  Is deaf--is deaf and mad! Oh! woe, woe, woe!

    [_With a prolonged, shrill wail of despair she vanishes amid the
      crowd. Great agitation now displayed by the majority of
      citizens. Enter a runner._

  _Run._ Ye men of Rome, I bear ill news with me!

  _The Cit._ What is't? Out with it! Dally not at all!

  _Run._ Sicinius, our leader, he is dead!

    [_A murmur of horror._

  _Cor._ (_starting wildly forward_). Sicinius? Sicinius, the pleb?
  Oh! gods of Heaven! Ye have struck me hard!

    [_She sinks insensible upon the ground. Her slaves bend over
      her. Tiberius kneels beside her, sobbing bitterly._

  _The Cit._ How died he?

  _Run._ It is said by some that he,
  Being sent by the Decemvirs to select
  A spot most suitable whereon to camp,
  Fell into ambuscade and died along
  With several comrades.

  _The Cit._ Slaughtered by the foe?

  _Run._ So it hath been reported by the few
  That did escape.         [_He pauses, then proceeds._
                  But hearken, citizens!
  The bodies lay unspoil'd, with faces turned
  All toward one--that one, Sicinius.
  The Ten hath hated and hath feared this man!
  No more. Construe the meaning as ye list;
  I must away.

    [_Exit runner. The four citizens, Horatius, Galba, Marius, and
      Hortensius, approach the prone form of Cornelia._

  _Hor._ A lady of patrician birth! Good slaves,
  Can we assist thy mistress, who appears
  In such a piteous and hapless plight?

  _Slave_ (_sobbing_). Alas! Alas! I know not what to do,
  Or what hath come upon her suddenly.
  Ah! see, she stirs! Lady, awake! awake!

  _Cor._ (_opening her eyes, but making no attempt to raise herself_).
  Those words he used when last he came to me.
  Oh! bitter, bitter fate! Say not awake,
  But sleep eternally! Sicinius!

  _Galba._ It doth appear affection did exist
  Betwixt Rome's great plebeian and this lady.

  _Tib._ Ay, sir, she loved him e'en as he loved her;
  But naught was said because they feared the Ten.
  Nay, I was wrong! Sicinius and fear
  Are alien the one unto the other!
  But rather did he bide his time until
  These men should be o'erthrown and Rome be freed
  From their most hateful laws and government.

  _One of the multitude._ Hark to the boy! He is a demagogue.

  _Another._ Nay, he is innocent, and therefore bold.
  Parroting sentiments that are not his own.

  _A third._ And yet he speaks the truth, the naked truth.
  See how this woman hath been sadly wronged,
  And how her life is marred by these Decemvirs;
  For surely they gave orders for the death
  Of him who was a leader and a man!
  Have they not feared him for these many months,
  Because his tongue is sharper than a sword?
  And these two, a patrician and a pleb,
  Each representing classes now united
  By common misery, are foully hurt,
  And scarred by fierce injustice from the Ten.
  Vengeance! The time is ripe for vengeance. Rome
  Can bear no more. Sicinius is dead!

    [_Murmurs of_ "Sicinius is dead!"

  _Cor._ (_moaning as in pain_). Sicinius is dead!

    [_Enter Virginia, followed by Camilla. She espies Cornelia and
      at once approaches._

  _Virg._ Kind citizens, let me to her, I pray.

    [_She kneels beside the fainting girl._

  Oh, tearful sight! Ah me, most sorrowful!
  Thou art Cornelia, whom I oft have seen,
  Of whom I've heard from thy dear lover's lips.
  I knew him well; he waits for thee beyond
  The sea, in the broad Islands of the Blest,
  Where heroes find a haven and a rest.

    [_She smooths the other's brow in silence for a space, and then

  Look up, poor broken spirit, and discern
  A friendly face and weep upon my heart.
  She will not rouse herself! Good people, pray,
  Press not upon her. Bring a car, O slave,
  The lady is unable to return
  On foot. The carriage waits without the place?
  'Tis well. And now to bring her to herself!
  Cornelia, waken! But look not so cold.
  Thou gentle heart! relieve the strain of grief
  With tears of passion. Then come home, come home.

  _Cor._ (_rousing herself_). Tell me, who art thou, O thou noble maid?

  _Virg._ I am Virginia, whom thou knowest not.

  _Cor._ Canst thou not take me from this staring crowd?
  Their eyes are knives; the very air is poison.
  Oh, God! He is not dead?

  _Virg._ (_assisting her to her feet_). Come home, sweet sister.

  _Tib._ (_sobbing_). Cornelia, my Cornelia! Speak to me!

  _Virg._ Art thou Tiberius, thou tender child?
  Weep not; assist me with thy stricken sister.

    [_As the three, the slaves in close attendance, are about to
      make their way through the multitude, there comes a sudden
      disturbance, and Marcus Claudius springs forward._

  _Marc._ Ho! stay a bit, my servant; stay with me!

    [_He seizes rude hold on Virginia, who shrieks aloud in terror.
      At once the four citizens make their way to her side._

  Now by the gods! I only take mine own.

  _Virg._ Aid me, in Heaven's name, ye citizens!
  Deliver me from shame! Icilius!
  Icilius, my love, where art thou now?

  _Marc._ (_in undertone_). Thy struggles, maid, succeed in binding thee
  But closer in mine arms. Hast thou a lover?
  He hears thee not, and thou art my possession.
  Now, still thyself. Gods! Proserpine, thou art
  As strong as is Cybele's lioness!

  _Marius._ Foul slave! Loose thou the maid! Oh, insolence!

  _Hor._ Beast! I will kill thee, maim thee like a dog,
  Unless thou takest thy hand from off the maid!

  _Marc._ (_panting_). Reserve thy threats and play thou warily,
  Justice upholds me!

  _The multitude._   Justice!

  _Marc._ (_coolly_).     Shout less loud,
  Look not aghast, my masters. I will take
  This girl by law--she is my rightful slave.

  _Hor._ 'Tis false!

  _Marc._ Soft, friend, be calm, hold off, I pray!
  Hark! she was born a slave within my house,
  And thence was stolen and declared to be
  The offspring of the man Virginius,
  Whose wife had borne an infant at the time,
  Which on the moment of its birth had died.
  Virginius himself was then away,
  And on returning deemed it was his babe,
  And deems so to this day. I waited long,
  And now have found in this Virginia
  My property. A woman hath confessed;
  The one who stole her thence and fled away,
  Returning but to die within the house
  Of Appius, my patron, whom I serve.

  _Cam._ Oh, liar! I first clasped her in mine arms
  When she was born! Remove thine impious hand!
  In childhood and in girlhood I have watched
  Her growth, and guarded her from shame or harm.

  _Multitude._ Ay, ay! She speaks the truth! Loose thou the maid!
  She is no slave. We know Virginius.

  _Marc._ Now, I'll have justice, though it cost me e'en
  My life, itself.

  _Hor._ Which it is like to, dog!

    [_He strikes him boldly with, clenched fist. The client
      staggers, losing his hold on Virginia, who takes refuge with the
      three citizens._

  _Hortensius._ Where is thine evidence?

  _Galba_ (_ironically_). Ay, e'en thy word
  Weighs naught with us free citizens of Rome.

  _Marc._ (_hissing between his teeth_). My word _shall_ weigh with you,
    ye coward curs!
  For lo! My word is--Appius! Ah--so!

    [_The mob shrinks backward at the name, and Marcus laughs in

  (_Vindictively._) I see it hath a little weight with you?
  "Free citizens of Rome!" Ye make me laugh.
  Oh! ay, I know ye'd mob me joyously,
  Stone me, or cast me from Tarpeian Rock,
  Save that--save that--ye _dare_ not! Appius
  Would leave not one small particle of this,
  His client, unavenged. Back, all of you!
  The maid is mine! Ye can not say me nay.

  _One of the multitude._ But if we threaten thee, or bear her off,
  And save her from thy most illegal movements,
  What then?

  _Marc._   What then? To Appius Claudius
  For justice I would go!

    [_Murmurs of fear are heard on every side._

  (_With mocking smile_). Lo! now he comes
  Within the Forum.

    [_Even as he speaks the Chief of the Decemvirs enters. He is
      seated in a chair which is borne by four slaves._

  _Appius_ (_frowning sombrely_). What bodes this tumult?
    Who, yon lovely girl?

  _Multitude._ Justice! We would see justice, Appius!

  _Appius._ Silence! and let me hear one voice alone.
  Marcus, my client, speak, for I would have
  An explanation of this strange disturbance.

  _Marc._ Most noble Appius, I owned this girl,
  Born in my house full sixteen years ago,
  Of my slave-woman.

  _Cam._ (_boldly_).   Liar! All men know
  Her mother was free-born and wedded to
  Virginius, centurion and pleb.

  _Appius._ Gag yonder hag, or drag her hence--I'll have
  No withered woman's voice of spite exclaiming.

  _Cam._ Thy lictor shall not lay his hands upon me!
  My place is here. My voice shall speak for her,
  Nor fear thee, king of tyrants and despoilers!
  Long have I inwardly foreseen this day,
  And prayed the gods to change the hand of Fate.
  It seems my prayers are valueless. But still,
  Still there does yet remain to me--my _curse_!
  And all shall feel its potency who dare
  To lay a finger on Virginia.

    [_She faces Marcus Claudius with her arm extended and her manner

  Thou, fool of fools, who ventured to pollute
  The purest virgin breathing in this land,
  Because thou placed thy hand upon her flesh,
  Which is as perfect as her perfect soul,
  I curse thee--ay, and with a heavy curse,
  For that which thou hast done! Thy misery
  Shall soon exceed even thy trespasses,
  Which in themselves are countless as the stars.
  Be cursed, and live accursed and die accursed!
  And be my witnesses, O, all ye gods!

    [_She turns toward Appius--her attitude becomes calm, and

  And as for thee--I fear thee not. My curse
  Shall rest on thee according to thine actions.
  This much I have to say--thy tyranny
  And rule of blood is waning to its close.
  Beware, nor haste thy doom before its time.

  _Marc._ (_trembling_). Seize on her, some of you, for she is mad.

  _One of the multitude._ Nay, she is gifted with strange prophecy.
  She voices Jove.

    [_A tumult now arises in the background. Icilius springs forward
      with a cry._

  _Icilius._ Virginia! Turn to me!

    [_He faces Marcus Claudius, and with one blow strikes him down,
       then clasps Virginia in his arms._

  _Virginia_ (_sobbing wildly_). And hast thou come at last?

  _Icilius_ (_tenderly to her_). Courage, dear heart!

    [_To Appius._

  Now, as a free-born Roman, I demand
  An explanation and a satisfaction!

    [_To Marcus, who essays to speak._

  Silence, thou hound, ere I forget myself
  And murder thee! Thine answer, Appius?

  _Appius._ Lictor, part thou the twain.

  _Icilius._ Thou canst not, lictor!
  In common manhood and as her betrothed,
  Thus do I hold to her against the world.

  _Appius._ Then, lictor, strike!

  _Virginia._ Now, intervene, ye gods!
  Icilius, my love! Oh! men of Rome,
  Have ye indeed forgot Lucretia?

    [_Swaying of the multitude. Appius Claudius rises in his car._

  _Appius._ Be prudent, ye who do desire to see
  Full justice. We must hark to every plea,
  And will to-morrow judge the case. Till then,
  Thou, Marcus, guard the maiden, since the man
  Virginius is absent from the town.

    [_A hissing protest from the multitude and a cry from Virginia
      follows this announcement. Icilius faces the Chief Decemvir with
      blazing eyes, and draws Virginia closer._

  _Icilius._ Over my body only shall yon hound
  Of Hell seize on her. I am yet a man
  With strength to shield or life to sacrifice
  For that which is mine own. Sleep 'neath his roof?
  I'd sooner see her cold upon her bier,
  Or bound upon the wheel of Ixion,
  Enduring tortures of the damned themselves!
  With him? I'd rather cast her to a wolf,
  Who, merciful, would tear her into shreds
  And leave her pure, or o'er Tarpeia's Rock,
  And with mine eyes behold her perfect form
  Shattered upon the kindly stones below,
  Ere Marcus Claudius lay hands on her.

  _Marius._ Ay, he is right; the maiden yet is free.
  The charge hath not been proven, Appius!

  _Appius._ So be it. We will acquiesce thus far,
  But lictors must be stationed as a guard
  About the house wherein she spends the night,
  Lest she escape and law be unfulfilled.

  _Cor._ (_coming forward_). I will go thither and attend this night
  Upon her. Thou, Tiberius, return
  Home with the slaves. To-morrow meet me here.

  _Slave._ Lady, thy lips are white and thou art ill.
  See, thou dost tremble.

  _Cor._ Woman, what of that?
  How canst thou weigh my pallor with her pain--
  The anguish in her eyes? What though I shake
  As with an ague? She herself is turned
  To stone with horror deeper than mine own.
  A living sorrow doth exceed a dead;
  Death to dishonor seemeth merciful.
  _Her_ blow is heavy with the weight of dread,
  _Mine_ light with hope. Did she not succor me?
  How can I fail her in her time of need?

  _Appius._ Lictors, take into custody yon man.
  Lest he do mischief.

  _Icilius._ By the almighty gods!
  Unhand me! I will kill thee, as a man
  Would kill a beast. Ah! foulest trick to seize
  Upon me from the rear. Oh, God! Oh, God!

    [_He sinks helpless upon the stones at Virginia's feet, two
      lictors binding him firmly with cords. The storm now breaks,
      shrieking in maddest fury, the lightning playing over the hills
      of Rome._


    _Midnight and darkness, save where the moonlight shimmers
      through the columns on the left. Virginia is discovered kneeling
      in the sea of radiance as though in prayer. A silence follows
      the rise of the curtain; then, low at first, but louder,
      clearer, gradually increasing in volume, a hymn breaks from her
      lips, she kneeling still._


  O, thou virgin-goddess fair,
  Look upon me in my sorrow;
  Hear, oh, hear mine earnest prayer!
  Guard me from the fatal morrow!
  Purity is in thy breast
  With thy silver moonbeams drest.

  Still my cheek is hot with shame,
  And my heart in anguish crying;
  Let me keep my spotless name,
  Waking, sleeping, living, dying!
  Chaste Dian, thy stainless glory
  Still resounds in song and story.

  Mount thy ear within the blue,
  Waft a whisper to me only!
  Thou a heart hast, strong and true,
  Think upon the maiden lonely.
  Without thee it now would seem
  Love were nothing but a dream.

    [_Cornelia suddenly appears from out the gloom behind and puts
      her arms about Virginia's neck._

  _Cor._ Love but a dream? Ah, no! The gods forfend!

  _Virginia._ Ah! Thou!      [_Turns and embraces her._

  _Cor._ No other than this broken heart;
  Yet is my soul untouched by human woe,
  As thine shall be untouched by human sin.

  _Virginia._ I see the face, with passion fiery,
  The full voluptuous lips and greedy eyes,
  I see and shudder.

  _Cor._ Marcus Claudius?

  _Virginia._ Nay, but the other.

  _Cor._ I am mystified.

  _Virginia._ None saw as I saw! He alone I fear,
  Who on the morrow will decide, dear God!--
  For Marcus--yet not Marcus--but himself;
  Allot _me_ as his own. (_Wildly._) I saw his look,
  And felt his power! Marcus is the paw
  Wherewith great Appius will seize his prey.
  (_Laughs._) Virginia, his prey! He leered on me,
  And in the whitening of his clenchéd hand
  I marked the clash and clangor of his soul.
  Dear gods! The feet of Night are leaden shod,
  And yet the precious moments speed too fast.
  Oh, Death! had I the courage that thou dost
  Demand, I'd summon thee. Methinks I hear
  E'en now the distant rustle of thy wings.
  And yet--thou tarriest--thou tarriest.

  _Cor._ Would Death might choose me out as willing prey!

  _Virginia._ Dear one, thy voice is weary like the world,
  Which is so old and heavy with its years;
  And yet thine eyes are bright, undimmed by tears.

  _Cor._ Bright with the pain that kills by slow degrees.
  Ah! for Apollo's pestilential dart,
  Or but to see the shears of Atropos
  Flash in Diana's beams.

  _Virginia_ (_softly_). We loved her light,
  Thou--thou and I, when love was all in life,
  And those, our own, the twain, Icilius
  And brave Sicinius--"Ah, God! Ah, God!"
  Thus cried he, my beloved, as he sank
  Prone at my feet, a tyrant's prisoner.

    [_Breaks from Cornelia's grasp and glides in anguish to the
      curtained doorway on the right._

  Icilius! Icilius! Come to me!

    [_Enter a lictor--she shrinks back terrified._

  _Lictor._ Lady, I must exhort thee to be prudent;
  Such cries will but confine thee e'en more strait
  Than thou art now confined. Silence is best.
  So ordered Appius, our gracious lord.      [_Exit lictor._

  _Virginia_ (_sobbing softly_). I will be still! But I am so afraid,
  I, innocent, know nothing of the world.
  Life-bondage? Nay, methinks I am but mad.
  Severed from _him_! Ah! lay me in my grave,
  Rather than have my heart torn from my breast.

    [_Music is distantly heard._

  Oh! If to pass in moonbeams from this life
  Mid the pure notes of music stealing on
  Into my brain and sinking in my breast,
  Enveloping my soul; or to the sound
  Of rushing wind--that music of the gods
  Swept by Apollo's hand, or harking to
  The distant murmur of the restless sea,
  Striking its pearly harp of mystic sounds,
  Echoed within the caves where maidens dwell,
  Nereides and Oceanides,
  With faces like the sheen of moonbeams, forms
  Like the white foam their sire, Neptune, makes
  When angered, with his trident! If to sleep,
  Sleeping, to dream, and dreaming, live again
  The years that now lie white upon their bier.

    [_The moon vanishes behind a cloud._

  Ah, me! I am so utterly alone!
  The moon hath veiled herself, the silence drear
  Knocks on my heart, unhidden enters in,
  Where once love and sweet innocence, in peace
  Dwelt, all unscarred by a despoiler's hand.
  It is grown cold! What was that sound I heard?
  I am so sunk in solitude, so wrapped
  In vacant space, so chilled, I gasp for breath,
  Like drowning mariner; but for a hand
  Warm, loving, to uplift me from this death
  Among the living, life among the dead!

  _Cor._ Virginia! Weep or pray, but do not so!
  Alas, Virginia, art thou turned to stone?

    [_Virginia, all unhearing, turns once more toward the columns
      where the moon again shines through._

  _Virginia_ (_singing_).
  "In the deep dream-light thy bark thou art guiding,
  Shifting thy garments, the clouds, as a sail.
  Rocked o'er celestial waves thou art riding,
  Hiding thy features behind a light veil.

  Dian, the spell of thy muteness cast o'er me.
  Calm the wild tumult which wars in my brain,
  E'er through my life may thine image, before me.
  Shining and constant as ever remain."

    [_A silence falls. Virginia steals up to Cornelia, who stands
      weeping alone._

  My comfort hath not been denied me--see,
  The moonbeams bear the message from the sky.
  I hear a song which issues from the stars,
  A song of love and hope for a reunion;
  Re-born, we, who have loved and lost, shall live
  Afar from sin amid the Blessed Isles,
  And walk together, soul with soul, and heart
  With heart; no drop of passionate blood shall be
  Lost in our death, but we shall throb with love,
  And laugh amid the light of suns to be.

    [_A pause. Softly a dim gray light steals through the columns;
      the moon is sinking slowly. Cornelia turns in sudden terror._

  Farewell, immortal friend, go to thy rest;
  Thy kindly watch is o'er.

  _Cor._ Virginia, see!
  Now dawns the cruel day when thou--when thou--
  Ye gods have mercy on us twain this day!

    [_Sobs wildly._

  _Virginia_ (_pointing to the east_). It steals with
    faltering steps and blushing cheeks.
  Call it not cruel; it has wept for me.
  The dew is heavy.

  (_Voice of lictor without._) See, it is the dawn.
  Look, comrades!

  _Virginia_ (_starting as from out a dream_).
                 Ah, Cornelia! Sure, I sleep.
  Is this my father's house? This four-walled cell,
  This prison, and am I Virginia?
  Could it have been but yesterday I woke
  Within this chamber from a happy dream.
  I dreamed of _him_, my love, Icilius,
  And woke still with his kiss upon my lips.
  I can recall the flood of morning light,
  A billowed sea of light upon the wall.
  I watched the changing pools and shifting waves,
  And smiled; the music of the fount without,
  In rising cadence, played within mine ears,
  And presently the stirring of the maids
  And hum of spinning reached me and I rose,
  Glad, with the day. And now--Cornelia, touch
  My cheek lest I be vanishing to air;
  Feel if my heart yet beats. Methinks I'm dead;
  Even this moment but a roving ghost.

  _Cor._ Courage, Virginia. Why, much hope is left!
  To-day thy father will return, and he
  Would place his soul in jeopardy for thee.

  _Virginia._ Courage, ay, courage! I am brave again.
  It is the dawn. Cornelia, we will seek
  The outer court and wash our tears away
  In the cool fountain. Once again my cheek
  Is hot with spirit and my heart beats swift
  With hope and newborn trust in those I love.

    [_Exeunt the two, their arms wound round each other and
      Cornelia's lips pressed to Virginia's cheek._


    _A multitude has gathered. Appius is in the judgment seat, with
      Marcus Claudius stationed beside him. Many women are weeping and
      the men appear silent and angry. Appius is surrounded by a guard
      of lictors. Cornelia and Tiberius are seated on the left in a
      car drawn by slaves. Near the center are gathered Galba,
      Hortensius, Horatius, and Marius._

  _Marius._ This vast suspense weighs on me heavily;
  I would not see that gentle maiden wronged
  For all my world possessions! E'en the gods
  Would shriek with horror if yon slave of Dis,
  Young Marcus Claudius, should seize on her.
  Why doth she not appear?

  _Hort._ She and her father,
  Who hath returned, hot-foot, from camp to her,
  Tarry about the town, and every man
  They meet they do address with exhortations
  And prayers for justice and for witnesses,
  That this gross tale which men do know is false
  Shall be so proven. Yet all Rome is prone
  Beneath the foot of Appius and his nine
  Vile colleagues. Fear is most tyrannical,
  Justice is dying, Mercy now is dead.

  _Marius._ Then God alone can help the wretched maid!

  _Hor._ (_hotly_). Nay, shall she be defiled and made a slave?
  Not while my hands are free, my body quick
  With lifeblood, and my heart a man's. Why she
  Is pure and frail as is the mountain snow.
  Happy the man who stands her champion.
  Happy Icilius, our young tribune!

    [_Enter Virginius in mean, plebeian garments and Virginia simply
      clothed in white, her dark hair loose. A murmur of sympathy and
      admiration greet their appearance, quickly suppressed. Enter
      from the other side Icilius, vainly struggling in the hands of
      armored soldiers. His hair is wild and greatly disheveled, his
      features white and drawn with agony._

  _Icilius._ Virginia! Ah, my God! Virginia!

  _Virginia._ My Love! My Love! My Love!

    [_He stretches out his bound arms toward her, and in a moment
      with a cry she runs to him, regardless of the gazing world, and
      kneeling at his feet kisses with fervor the hands in bondage for
      her sake. Murmurs from the multitude._

  _Appius_ (_rising to his feet, his face aflame_). Back, girl! Back
    from him! Lictor, part the twain!

    [_Lictor unwillingly obeys, whereat Virginia rising slips away
    from him to her father's side. Virginius advances, with his hand
    uplifted, toward the judgment seat._

  _Virginius._ Delay no longer in the trial of
  This matter. We demand in common justice
  A hearing, and at once, O, Appius!

  _Galba_ (_aside to his friends_). Mark yonder man upon the
  Methinks 'tis he who coveteth the virgin,
  And Marcus but his instrument. Ah, see!
  The Chief is moved to acquiesce. Methinks
  He fears this pleb as he once feared Sicinius.

  _Appius_ (_haughtily_). And now begins the judgment. Silence, all!
  My client, Marcus Claudius, step forth.

    [_The man obeys. Virginia, shuddering, looks only at her

  _Appius._ Repeat thy statement, Claudius, we wait.

  _Marc._ O, noble Chief, and all ye men of Rome,
  I but reiterate my words to-day
  Spoken in explanation of my course
  Of action yesternoon. A woman came
  Unto the house of Appius, one moon
  Ago, and came to perish on our hands.
  But ere she died she made a full confession
  Of having served in early years the wife
  Of this our citizen, Virginius,
  Who ignorantly hath been foully wronged,
  For whom we feel the deepest sympathy,
  And unto whom I now address myself.

    [_Turns to Virginius._

  O, good centurion, this maid is not
  Thy child in blood; but, as I said, was born
  Of a slave woman in my house. Thy babe
  Died on the moment of its birth. Thou wert
  Away in service. Dost thou not recall?

  _Virginius_ (_in calm affirmative_). Yea, that I do recall.
    (_Aside._) Thou fiend of hell!

  _Marc._ (_triumphantly_). Has he not said? This slave, who did confess
  To us the truth, declared that she had played
  The thief and crept most slyly to my house,
  Stolen the infant of my nurse and slipped
  Out, 'mid the night and gloom, which, friendly, hid
  Her dastard deed. Virginia is the babe,
  And, therefore, lawfully belongs to me.

  _Icilius._ Ye gods!

  _Multitude._ No proofs? No evidence?

  _Marc._ (_proudly_). My word!

    [_Much laughter and some hissing._

  _Appius._ Silence! Virginius, speak, and be as brief
  As the occasion will allow. Proceed.

  _Virginius._ Ye men of Rome! To you, and you alone,
  I speak in my defense, for lo! in you
  I see the qualities of common justice,
  Or faintest sense of mercy, which is rare--
  And less, indeed, unto the point in hand.
  For all these forty years I've lived in Rome,
  A Roman 'mongst the Romans, brave amongst
  The brave, and serving, ere I came of age,
  My mother city. Have I shown myself
  In any manner base, corruptible,
  Or lying, either by my word or deed?
  Ye all are witnesses of me--each man
  Can see and know the truth as God can see.
  This is my babe, of me begotten, born
  Of her whom I so loved--her mother. Lo!
  The very luster of her ebon hair
  Bespeaks the woman who in honor bore
  Virginia. See! The tremble of her lip.
  I do not willingly display my flesh
  And blood to gaze of multitudes, but that
  My straits are desperate. Look upon her hand--
  The long, brown fingers are a copy true
  Of these, though mine are knotted by the grip
  Of sword and the guiding of the plow.
  And now her eyes--Ah, no! I say too much.
  Ye gods of Heaven speak for me this day!

    [_He bows his head upon Virginia's shoulder._

  _Appius._ He faints with sudden revelation from
  The gods of what is manifestly true.
  Virginius, thou art deluded, or
  A man, of old, deceptive.

  _Virginia._ 'Tis a lie!
  He is Virginius, no more, no less!
  And 'tis enough, as Rome can witness to.
  Thou art not worthy to crawl on the ground
  And kiss the hand which hath these many years
  Battled for Rome! Thou canst but harm our flesh.
  His name and mine are unstained as the flame
  On Vesta's altar.

    [_Turns to where Icilius is struggling vainly in the hands of
      the guard._

                            Peace, Icilius!
  Of what avail is aught to such as these?
  Small hope is left--and yet, O, Appius,
  Wert thou not born of woman? For the one
  Who gave thee life, respect her sisters now.
  Let mercy dawn within thy hardened breast,
  Speak but one word--one word--and many lives
  Will leap and live again. Look down upon
  And honor this grey head, now bowed so low;
  The only stay and comfort in his age
  Wouldst tear from him? His years in solitude
  Will roll away, a never-ending tide.
  Ye Romans, look upon your citizens,
  Protect your women--lest indignant Jove
  Lightnings shall send upon you, or the shield
  Of Mars be taken from its sanctuary.

    [_Icilius at this moment breaks from the grasp of the soldiers
      and leaps to Virginia's side. The girl lifts his bound hands and
      places them against her breast, raising her eyes to his._

  Icilius! I heard a ringing laugh,
  And saw, as in a vision, a young child--
  Our flesh and blood--our souls' inheritor.
  I saw adorning me, in the strange dream,
  A wedding garland fresh, not clanging chains.
  O, if to die within thine arms! But stay!
  My father--see the workings of his face!
  He suffers. Father, we shall meet again
  In the Elysian fields, when I am free!

  _Appius._ Fools! Cease your maudlin tragedy! Disperse!
  Come forward, slave, the judgment hath been passed.

  _Cor._ (_starting_). The judgment, and so soon!

  _Tiberius_ (_leaping from the car_). It is not so!
  Virginia, stay awhile!

  _Icilius_ (_aside_). Unbind my hands, Virginia!

  _Virginia._ The knot is hard and I am dazed. I tremble.
  Love, wilt thou sacrifice thy life for me?

  _Icilius._ Ah! some one loose me of these cursed bonds!

    [_He is seized by the soldiers and again forced from the young
      girl's side. Cornelia steps from her car, and coming forward
      kneels at the feet of Appius._

  _Cor._ Lord Appius, behold a broken heart,
  But one with gentle blood from noble veins
  Forever fed. Though proud, I kneel to thee.
  O, loose her bonds--restore her liberty--
  And I my wealth, my house, and e'en my life
  Shall give to thee or this thy servant here.
  Deep down into the dust I do incline
  Myself, who am a lady of the best
  And noblest line in Rome. I offer thee
  My services, if thou wilt free the maid
  Who did befriend me in mine hour of need.

  _Virginia._ Cornelia! To me! Nay, it shall not be!
  Thou friend of friends, such sacrifice is vain.
  One kiss alone I ask of thee--one kiss--
  Then silence! See, Tiberius weeps for thee.

    [_Tiberius springs with a cry into Cornelia's arms. The two draw
      off together. The four citizens come forward._

  _Galba._ O, Appius, we offer thee our lives
  To do with as thou wilt--but loose the maid!

  _Appius._Petitioners, ye gods, from every side?
  It shall not be, for she is Marcus' slave.
  The judgment has been passed, and I have spoken!

    [_A murmuring._

  Make way! The master comes to take his slave!

    [_Confusion. Appius rises, his face ablaze with passion._

  Make way, ye fools! I'll call my colleagues here
  With all their lictors. There will be bloodshed!
  Make way!

  _Icilius._ Ah! but to have my hands about
  His throat, though for a moment, for a breath;
  Though for a heart-beat and, beyond me, Hell!

  _Virginia_ (_in a voice of agony_). Father! My father!

  _Virginius._ Quiet, little girl!
  O, Appius, the final shred of hope,
  The weakened flame, is gone--forever gone.
  Before we part, indeed, one moment grant
  To us aside, that I may speak with her.

  _Appius._ Haste, then, old pleb! Nor tarry long for tears.

  _Virginius._ Tears? What are they? My heart is dead and barren,
  My soul athirst for death. Tears mean no more
  To me than rain upon a broken stone.

    [_He leads the girl aside. All watch in breathless silence._

  _Virginia._ O, Heavenly Powers above, deliver me,
  By whirlwind or by sword, from this dread place!
  Father, farewell!      [_Presses his hand to her lips._

  _Virginius._ Ah! Touch it not!

    [_Snatches a knife from a butcher._

  Thus only can I make thee free, my daughter!

    [_He plunges it into her bosom and she falls back into the arms
      of Icilius, who has freed himself and leaps to her side with a
      cry. Tumult and swaying of the crowd._

  (_Brandishing knife._) With this blood, Appius! thy life and thee
  Devote I to perdition!

    [_Makes his way with the knife through the multitude. Icilius
      lays her body down, murmuring,_ "Virginia, by thy blood shall
      Rome be free!"       [_Exit._

    [_Camilla kneels as though stunned beside the prostrate body._

  _Tiberius._ Ah me! Ah me! Virginia!

    [_Sinks beside her._


    _It rises again to show the collected army, with Virginius and
      Icilius at the head. Appius is about to leave the seat, his
      cloak around his head. Several lictors have fallen to the
      ground. Camilla still kneels beside the body, gazing vacantly
      before her. Virginia's dark hair falls like a shroud around




  What can I do for Thee, Almighty God,
  Whose breath can wake, whose voice can calm, the sea?
  Should I endeavor, with this striving brain,
  Which, in its striving, errs, and, erring, turns,
  And, fearful, flies from its appointed field--
  With these weak hands, that blindly grope along
  The road of Truth to higher things, uplift
  Those fallen by the way, whom Thou didst name
  My brothers? I, to the sad, ancient world,
  Speak, in unfaltering accents, of my soul's
  Instinctive yearnings, loftiest ideals,
  And holiest hopes of the fair destiny
  Of all my fellow-souls, who tread the way?
  When One has left a message, sweet, divine,
  Eternal, for the fainting world to read,
  Should I arise and cry, an echo faint,
  Of His all-satisfying tones of Love,
  And lisp my dreams of Truth? I am afraid!
  Yet, trembling, still I dare not to be mute.
  Remembering His vast Love, I can not choose
  But humbly say the lessons I have learned.
  Teach me, O God, to feel Thy silences,
  And hear Thy voice aright, in wind and wave;
  Teach me the upward look of Faith and Hope,
  Which lifts, nor ever drags the spirit down;
  Teach me the tender touch and the warm smile
  Of a deep, all-embracing heart, whose light
  Is the sweet essence of true Charity!


  Strong-winged soul of the lifting sea,
        Bird of the gale,
  Launch thyself from the crags, and fly
  Over the crested waves, nor sigh
        For the sheltered home, but gladly hail
  The sea and the open sky!

  High, low, high, low,
        Over the foam,
  Gliding level with the mast,
  Darting close above the vast
        Roll of billows--then come home,
  And hide thee from the blast.

  Once again, thy pinions free
        Spread to the speaking breeze!
  Forward, like a mermaid light,
  Onward, like to a soul as white
        As the curling foam of the singing seas,
  Nor shrink from the coming night.

  Rolling fog and fading light,
        Spread and sail!
  Fold thy pinions, breast the deep,
  In the darkness, Spirit, sleep,
        Soul of the gale!


  Home of the Dead! One glance of lingering love
  We cast behind us, where our vessel's wake
  Winds, foaming, backward to Virginian hills.
  Home of the Dead! Retreating from thy shores
  We breathe a final sigh, a last farewell.
  The pillared mansion gleams amid the green,
  The sombre tomb, deserted, stands alone;
  While, over all, a thousand beacons burn.
  The West displays a canopy of sky,
  Woven by angels, flung across the hills,
  Where sleeps the silent dust of Washington.

  Bleak is the wind that leaps like blade unsheathed
  From out the silver scabbard of the East!
  At hide and seek, among the ruffled waves,
  The eerie shadows play in elvish glee.
  A thief, Night steals the golden glories bright
  Of Day. But still a flush of silken rose
  Colors the West, stains the broad river's breast,
  And casts a garland 'cross the Eastern sky.

  Behold, on either shore, reflected green,
  Dim in the dying lustre of the sun,
  While tips of rose, like diadems, adorn
  And wreathe the gracious brows of drowsy hills.
  Behold and marvel! See and comprehend!
  Amid this beauty lies the sacred dust
  Of one who was a hero and a man,
  While all the hills that sleep about his tomb
  Shine with the glory of God's holy light.


  Has she faded from my skies forevermore,
      Like a star that slides adown the arch of Night,
  Or the sunlight, swiftly paling on the shore
      Of my boundless sea of hopes, that glittered bright
  In the lustre of her smile? Is she gone forevermore?
  Or has she but departed for a while?

  Shall I never feel her hand upon my brow?
      Shall I never meet her lips in kisses sweet?
  Or is it that I am denied her now,
      And some day shall hear the music of her feet,
  And, like Proserpine, will come, with the happy winds that blow,
  Leap the years, and find, in her, my final home?


  Adown the vista of the years,
  I turn and look with silent soul,
  As though to catch a muted strain
  Of melody, that seems to roll
  In tender cadence to my ear.
  But, as I wait with eyes that long
  The singer to behold--it fades,
  And silence ends the Cradle Song.

  But when the shadows of the years
  Have lengthened slowly to the West,
  And once again I lay me down
  To sleep, upon my mother's breast,
  Then well I know I ne'er again
  Shall cry to God, "How long? How long?"
  For, to my soul, her voice will sing
  A never-ending Cradle Song.


  Out of the Dark that shrouded Thee, my Lord,
  Upon that day of Passion and of Pain,
  There rose a cry from Thee which rent the sky,
  Piercing the shadows of the noontide gloom
  In vibrant tones that rang with agony
  Supreme, and, with the strength of holy grief,
  Divine despair, rolled upward on the wings
  Of Mystery unto the eternal Throne--
  "Eli! Eli! Lama Sabacthani!"

  Out of the dark that lies about my soul,
  Upon this day of sorrow and of pain,
  I lift mine eyes and gaze with prayerful heart
  Upon the tortured image of my Lord,
  Then lo! the sombre shadows melt away,
  And round my spirit glows a wonderous light,
  By thine own Cross and Passion, blessed Lord,
  And by that mystic moment of despair,
  Thy world shall never know Thine awful Woe,
  Nor cry to God in agony supreme--
  "Eli! Eli! Lama Sabacthani!"


(Dedicated to the statue of Niobe, in the Uffizi Palace, Florence,

  Oh! form of perfect woe, in grief unending!
        Soul-anguish, mortal pangs, in marble moulded!
  Oh, sobs! by us unheard, that bosom rending!
        Oh, tender form! within those arms enfolded!

  With heart undaunted, has the Mother striven
        Against Death's vengeance, e'en within its portal;
  And when her soul with horror most is riven,
        Woman, she dares to face the wrath immortal.

  So, through the ages, see those forms united
        In an eternal clasp. Ah, woe transcendent!
  Upon that face, its beauty all unblighted,
        We read the Mother-love, supreme, resplendent!


  Genius of Death! Thou form as white and slim
  As moonbeams, falling through the awful dome
  Above thee when the deathlike night draws down;
  Speak, through those sweet, still lips, whose solemn curve
  Alone gives token of thine ancient, dread
  Supremacy! Say that thou art not Death,
  But holy Calm or silent hushed Repose.
  Still are thy stern lips dumb, no hopeful breath
  Exhaling! Then, from them, do I appeal
  To something more divine. O'er that calm brow
  And carven face, uplifted from the tomb
  In speechless faith, there shines a wondrous light
  That mocks the awful declaration there.
  Genius of Death thou canst not be, for lo!
  Thou art the Soul of Immortality!


  "Winged Victory?" Unworthy is that name,
  Thou marble miracle of endless Time!
  I see thee standing yonder in the light,
  Upon thy rude and lonely pedestal,
  A shape as strange as it is beautiful.
  To me, thou art a wingéd mystery,
  For where, in all the ages of the past,
  Years of the present, centuries to come,
  Can there be found creation like to thee,
  Conceived by God or Man? A miracle;
  Marble in motion--yet divinely still,
  As though it paused to hear its own low breath--
  Yet breathes not; pacing on its lonely height--
  Yet stirs not; heavenly wings outspread, with chaste
  Angelic curve--yet not in flight extended.
  Thou art not of the living nor the dead.
  Thy wings do breathe of immortality,
  Of Heavenly Presence, yet thy headless form,
  In all its marred and mutilated grace,
  Points to the clay. How can we solve thee, then?
  Enigma so profound was never known
  Among the many countless works of Man.
  Thou art incarnate Mystery itself,
  Brooding above the world; the Universe
  Lies in the shadow of thine outspread wings--
  Thou silent Spirit of the Infinite!


(To Beatrice Cenci, as she is depicted in Guido Reni's painting of St.
Michael and the Dragon.)

  Gold hair, blown back from radiant brow,
        Crowning, like light, a maiden, martyred head,
  Feet planted on the "Dragon," prone,
        And mighty wings in victory outspread.
  In thee what change, divinely wrought!
        What wondrous resurrection from the dead!

  He lies, beneath thy righteous feet,
        Who, cruel craven, caused thee to be slain;
  He writhes who let thee agonize,
        A captive and in undeservéd pain,
  And crawls, in sight of all the world,
        Forever rendered loathsome by that stain!

  And thou, bright dream of brooding light,
        With woman's face and angel's stature, thou
  Exquisite seraph, fresh from God,
        Tell me, why wakes no awful vengeance now
  On thy grave lips? Oh! Woman, wronged,
        Unfold the mystery of that calm brow!


  Gray Irish Sea, wild Irish Sea,
  That spreads so free, gray Irish Sea--
  Your freedom mocks the shores you beat
  With the booming tread of your angry feet;
  The Celtic heart no longer sings
  To the rhythmic rush of Freedom's wings!
  Wild Irish Sea, gray Irish Sea,
  Chant Freedom's dirge, wild Irish Sea!

  Gray Irish Sea, wild Irish Sea,
  You call to me, gray Irish Sea,
  I hear the harp-strings of the North,
  And stirring bagpipes thrilling forth;
  I dream the dreams of olden days,
  I hear bold Ossian chant his lays!
  Wild Irish Sea, gray Irish Sea,
  You call to me, wild Irish Sea!


  Hid in a hushed retreat, a lovely dell,
        Where Mother Nature sings low lullabies,
  And weaves her silence like a sacred spell,
        Beneath the light of deep and tender skies,
        In his lone agony the Lion lies.

  Colossal creature of a sculptor's brain,
        Are you the marble that you seem to be?
  Inanimate, untouched by mortal pain?
        Within that form, and yearning to be free,
        Your soul must wrestle with Death's mystery!

  There is a height Self-sacrifice may climb,
        Nearer the throne of God than any star,
  A height above the wasting tide of Time,
        Beyond the din of Earth's discordant jar--
        A height that untried souls scarce see afar.

  On that great height the Lion of Lucerne,
        With face half-human, with majestic brow,
  Lies stretched. Oh, Love! that will forever burn
        On Pain's dread altar, you alone can know
        The glory and the recompense for Woe!


  As on the brink of that which men call Death,
  Standing 'twixt Time and dread Eternity,
  We pause to gaze with fear-suspended breath
  On that abyss, whose depths we can not see,
  So now, I stand, above thy thundering fall,
  Thou Miracle, of marvels most supreme,
  Who summons all the world, with trumpet call,
  To adore the heavenly genius of thy stream!
  In 'wildering confusion, mad disdain
  Of earthly trammels, earthly tyrannies,
  Shrieking, like legions of damned souls in pain,
  Roaring rebellion 'neath the silent skies,
  Fearful as Death, still thou dost seem to cry,
  "I am the symbol of Eternity!"


(A Rondeau.)

  Where is my heart? Ah! Love, I dare not say,
  I only know that it is hid away,
  Somehow,--somewhere,--and somewhat restless there.
  But safely hid away,--poor heart, somewhere.

  I strive to call it back to me, but nay,--
  That willful heart refuses to obey.
  And do you ask, thus, in your sad, sweet way--
  You, Love, who know so well its secret lair,
  Where is my heart?

  Alone, I wait and wonder, day by day,
  At the poor, pulsing heart, that went astray,
  Once, in the mazes of a woman's hair.
  Could it forsake a labyrinth so fair?
  No need for you to ask, for me to say--
  Where is my heart?


  Is he not, mine? Although he drift from me
  Into the Ocean of the Far Away,
  Across the tideless and the awful sea
  Of Time, while I alone must mutely stay
  Within the doorway of a darkened Day;
  Although he shake the dust from his light feet,
  Dust of my warm Heart's Garden, yet I hold,
  My Love forever, radiant, complete.
  He breathes upon me when spring buds unfold,
  He smiles upon me from the roses' gold;
  I hear him in the tender melody
  Of mating bird; his laugh rings, glad and free,
  In every breeze; like stars his dear eyes shine;
  His spirit is a presence, half-divine,
  Which clasps, enfolds my being like a sea!
  Is he not mine?


        She laughingly gave me a rose, one day,
  And the thorns were sharp,--but the rose was red,
        And fragrant and warm from the sun's bright ray,
  So I clasped the rose, though my fingers bled,--
        And it fluttered in petals away.

        She mockingly offered her heart, one day,
  And I clasped what she gave, though my own heart bled,
        I gazed in her eyes, and her soft hair lay
  On my lips, and I laughed,--though the heart was dead,
        And crumbled to dust away!


  Earth star of the evening, full moon of the twilight,
        Pale soul of the dusk, like a virgin in white,
  With slow graceful motion, so stealthy, so silent,
        She opens her heart to the kisses of night.

  Chaste blossom, ah! thus, when my own Love approaches,
        And bends o'er my spirit with fervor divine,
  Thus would I lay bare, in unbounded devotion,
        A heart pure and tender and fragrant as thine!


  A rampant wind, on a golden day,
  Sported and played with a wild, wild rose,
  He woke her soul from its mute repose,
  He kissed the heart of the wild, wild rose,
  And, kissing,--kissed her leaves away,--
  And now the wind goes sighing.

  Love won me, on a golden day,
  He woke my soul, with a kiss sublime,
  And the whole world vanished, and Death and Time
  Seemed nought at the touch of that kiss sublime!
  Love, kissing,--kissed my heart away,
  And now Love goes rejoicing.

  An Angel came, on pinions gray,
  In his cold, white arms he clasped my Love!
  Earth reeled, the sun went out above.
  Oh! God! I saw Death kiss my Love,
  And, kissing,--kiss his soul away--
  And now my soul goes wailing!


        Into the glowing West!
  And lo! the vast and sunburnt plains unfold,
  An endless, rippling, tideless sea of gold,
        Our own dear Mother's breast;
        The gaunt, the silent earth,
  The bare, brown land without a single tree
  Or blossom as a home for bird or bee,
        It lies, endures the dearth,
        And smiles in spite of thirst
  And parched and craving lips. This is the best,
  The better land, my own, my noble West.

        Into the West!
  Green, verdant with the strength of endless light,
  Immortal sunlight, radiant and bright!
        Where man may work, may rest:
        This is my paradise,
  A land of flowers and of singing seas,
  Of hoary mountain tops and giant trees,
        Beneath vast arching skies,
        Skies that are eloquent
  With sympathy and soft, and deep and true,
  Gray only when we weary of the blue,
        Cloudless and all content.

        Into the West!
  That mother of great men who sing her praise,
  Who marvel o'er her miracles and ways,
        As free and unsuppressed
        As ocean's roll.
  Say, O, ye creatures of the further sea,
  What know ye of her grace and melody,
        The grandeur of her soul?


        As Night, before the dawn,
  In starry splendor, seems to brood
  Above the world, which waits the morn,
  Yet worships Night in melancholy mood,
  As Night, in whom a solemn passion lies,
  So brood and beam my Esther's midnight eyes.

        As sunlight on a rose
  In flashing radiance seems to glow,
  Warming the tender heart within,
  To life and love; as early beams bestow
  Upon that rose a soul which can beguile
  A hundred hearts, so beams my Esther's smile.

        As love-birds, in the Spring,
  Sing on the sylvan boughs at noon,
  And mating-calls in echoes ring,
  Or oft at night they whisper to the moon;
  As stream responds to stream with tender art,
  So, to mine own, replieth Esther's heart.

        As sea to distant sea,
  In grand response to Passion's cry,
  Declares its own vast mystery,
  And answers wild entreaties with a sigh;
  As waves to waves melodiously roll,
  So sings to me forever--Esther's soul.


  It was the Thrush,--it was the joyous Thrush,
  Who, with his beauteous voice, the woods addressed!
  He sank from heavens unseen, and in the hush
  Of floating fragrance and soft-slumbering flowers,
  Dozing beneath the spell of sun-bright hours,
  His summer shower of song the glade's deep heart caressed.

  Bright, speckle-breasted, angel-throated bird!
  He tilted on the hedge, and piped and wooed;
  Now here a note, now there, so low 'twas heard,
  Ofttimes, by one deep listening ear, one only,
  The ear of Silence; he, her minstrel lonely.
  Was it for her divine mute blessing that he sued?

  How often I have watched him in the grass,
  Familiar, small, erect, and bravely dressed
  In spotted golden-brown; have seen him pass
  Alertly to and fro, all blithely springing,
  With elfin bounds; no longer wildly winging;
  Content with Mother Earth, as though he loved her breast.

  Earth born, sky destined, living harp of song,
  Beloved Thrush, pour forth your notes divine!
  Whether to earth or heaven you most belong,
  What the vast purpose of your melody,
  Your mystic glory, your bright ecstasy,
  I know not,--only this, your soul is sweet to mine.


  Dank were the grewsome alleys of the town,
    Dingy the houses of the dreary street;
  The very dogs reflected degradation,
  Gaunt, wolfish; while God's flowers of creation,
    Young children, lacking all that makes life sweet,
  Through the foul-smelling night ran up and down.

  Under a dull street light I watched them play,
    Shrilling in high-pitched and unchildlike tones,
  Daring the perils of the tainted city.
  Then, in my heart, the horror and the pity
    For human kind that in such blackness groans
  Rose, and I could not drive the pall away.

  Amid such concrete evils, inbred sin,
    I, groping, questioned, could Christ's kingdom come,
  By any means? How could he ever enter
  At wealthy portals strong, where self is center,
    Or at the darkened doors of spirits dumb,
  Dulled by the ancient slums' unceasing din?

  But, glancing upward, in my deep distress--
    Myself so small an atom of my race--
  I saw, above the dreadful hovels shining,
  A single star. It seemed, my pain divining,
    To answer from illimitable space,
  And with its rays to sanctify and bless.

  Witness it bore of Law by which worlds move,
    Light of the Soul, the Everlasting Mind,
  Which--in its compass Earth and Heaven holding--
  Is ever like some shining scroll unfolding,
    And will unfold with Time, till all mankind
  Shall read Life's one solution, perfect Love.


  Tall Southern pines, with hearts of mystic throbbing,
    Stretch your restless, weary boughs across the sunset sky,
  Dark Southern pines, whose souls are ever sobbing,
    I would roam through these dim aisles and learn the music of your
        Hark! the wail of hearts that can not weep!
        Hush! the sigh of souls that long to sleep!

  Tall Southern pines, I seek these silent places
    Only in my memory--a memory beside me moves.
  Dark Southern pines, I love your solemn spaces,
    And there in spirit walk, and with her spirit seek the quiet groves.
        Hark! the moan of human hearts that yearn!
        Hush! the plaint of dreams that would return!

  Tall Southern pines, I wrong you in my sorrow.
    Harps divine, you chant a dream not passed, but yet to come!
  Our two souls shall walk together, on some perfect morrow,
    And through the years remain together, when your voices all are
        Hark! her spirit whispers in the grove!
        Hush! I feel the presence of my Love!


  Through fairy green of willows old,
  Aslant the stately, virgin, cold
    Form of the sycamore,
  Where poplars laugh, where beeches pray,
  Where breezes sigh, where streamlets sing,
  And birds are ever caroling,
  One morn, I saw a sunbeam stray;
  This single, holy, radiant ray
  On the wide earth had lost its way,
  Escaped through Heaven's half-open door.

  "Where will the sunbeam find its home?"
  I idly wondered. "Will it roam
    Until it makes its nest
  Perhaps in some dear baby's hair?"
  But no! a baby's tresses shine
  With their own radiance divine--
  The sun of Heaven is always there.
  Or would it find a secret lair
  In flowery heart? Nay, in that rare,
  Deep cell, God's sun long found its rest.

  So the lone sunbeam strays at will,
  And longs for Heaven and rest, until
    Into the silent grove,
  An old man, crippled by disease,
  Creeps down the path, with weary eyes.
  That are too worn to seek the skies,
  With palsied limbs and shaking knees,
  And fixed, dull stare, that only sees
  The stony ground. Oh! stately trees!
  Shade this drear form with arms of love!

  As he pursues his lonely way
  Through the green wood, the shining ray
    Straightway appears to dart
  To that bent form, and seems to light
  A glory in the thin white hair;
  Then, restless still, it makes its lair
  In the sad eyes, so dim of sight,
  And, smiling through the sombre night,
  It deeper sinks, a radiance bright,
  And nestles in the old man's heart.


(To my Mother.)

  Everything beautiful centered in you!
        All that is fair, in your spirit, my Sweet,
  From the depths of the sea to the height of the blue,
        Lies now at my feet.

  They are gems, they are gems you have scattered so free,
        From your zenith of thought they have fallen like rain,
  From the height of your love they descended to me,
        In the midst of my pain!

  Thoughts like the ocean and dreams like the morn,
        Pure and unsullied, most holy and true;
  Dear Love, in my being there shines a new dawn,
        Whose light is from you!

Transcriber's Notes:

  Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.