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Of the new diseases that human life Evolves in its progress, rank and rife. Consult the dead upon things that were, But the living only on things that are. Have you done this, by the appliance And aid of doctors ?

Prince Henry. Ay, whole schools Of doctors, with their learned rules ; But the case is quite beyond their

Even the doctors of Salern
Send me back word they can discern
No cure for a malady like this,
Save one which in its nature is
Impossible, and cannot be !

Lucifer. That sounds oracular!
Prince Henry. Unendurable!
Lucifer. What is their remedy?

Prince Henry. You shall see; Writ in this scroll is the mystery. Lucifer (reading). “Not to be

cured, yet not incurable! The only remedy that remains Is the blood that flows from a maiden's

veins, Who of her own free will shall die, And give her life as the price of yours !” That is the strangest of all cures, And one, I think, you will never try; The prescription you may well put by, As something impossible to find Before the world itself shall end ! And yet who knows? One cannot say That into some maiden's brain that kind Of madness will not find its way. Meanwhile permit me to recommend, As the matter admits of no delay, My wonderful Catholicon, Of very subtle and magical powers ! Prince Henry. Purge with your

nostrums and drugs infernal The spouts and gargoyles of these

towers, Not me! My faith is utterly gone In every power but the Power Supernal ! Pray tell me, of what school are you? Lucifer. Both of the Old and of the

New! The school of Hermes Trismegistus, Who uttered his oracles sublime Before the Olympiads, in the dew Of the early dawn and dusk of Time, The reign of dateless old Hephaestus! As northward, from its Nubian springs,

The Nile, for ever new and old,
Among the living and the dead,
Its mighty, mystic stream has rolled ;
So, starting from its fountain-head
Under the lotus-leaves of Isis,
From the dead demigods of eld,
Through long, unbroken lines of kings
Its course the sacred art has held,
Unchecked, unchanged by man's

This art the Arabian Geber taught,
And in alembics, finely wrought,
Distilling herbs and flowers, discovered
The secret that so long had hovered
Upon the misty verge of Truth, .
The Elixir of Perpetual Youth,
Called Alcohol, in the Arab speech!
Like him this wondrous lore teach!

Prince Henry. What! an adept? Lucifer. Nor less, nor more! Prince Henry. I am a reader of your

books, A lover of that mystic lore! With such a piercing glance it looks Into great Nature's open eye, And sees within it trembling lie The portrait of the Deity! And yet, alas! with all my pains, The secret and the mystery Have baffled and eluded me, Unseen the grand result remains ! Lucifer (showing a flask). Behold it

here! this little flask Contains the wonderful quintessence, The perfect flower and efflorescence, Of all the knowledge man can ask ! Hold it up thus against the light! Prince Henry. How limpid, pure,

and crystalline, How quick and tremulous, and bright The little wavelets dance and shine, As were it the Water of Life in sooth!

Lucifer. It is ! Itassuages every pain, Cures all disease, and gives again To age the swift delights of youth. Inhale its fragrance. Prince Henry.

It is sweet, A thousand different odours meet And mingle in its rare perfume, Such as the winds of summer waft At open windows through a room!

Lucifer. Will you not taste it?

Prince Henry Will one draught Suffice ?

Lucifer. If not, you can drink more. Is taken from me, and my weary breast Prince Henry. Into this crystal At length finds rest. goblet pour

The Angel. It is but the rest of the So much as safely I may drink.

fire, from which the air has been Lucifer (pouring). Let not the

taken! quantity alarm you;

It is but the rest of the sand, when the You may drink all; it will not harm

hourglass is not shaken! you.

It is but the rest of the tide between Prince Henry. I am as one who on

the ebb and the flow! the brink

It is but the rest of the wind between Of a dark river stands and sees

the flaws that blow!
The waters flow, the landscape dim With fiendish laughter,
Around him waver, wheel and swim, Hereafter,
And, ere he plunges, stops to think This false physician
Into what whirlpools he may sink; Will mock thee in thy perdition.
One moment pauses, and no more, Prince Henry. Speak! speak !
Then madly plunges from the shore ! Who says that I am ill?
Headlong into the mysteries

I am not ill! I am not weak!
Of life and death I boldly leap,

The trance, the swoon, the dream, is Nor fear the fateful current's sweep,

o'er! Nor what in ambush lurks below!

I feel the chill of death no more! For death is better than disease!

At length

I stand renewed in all my strength! (An ANGEL with an eolian harp

Beneath me I can feel hovers in the air.)

The great earth stagger and reel, Angel. Woe! woe! eternal woe! As if the feet of a descending God Not only the whispered prayer

Upon its surface trod, Of love,

And like a pebble it rolled beneath his But the imprecations of hate,

heel! Reverberate

This, O brave physician ! this For ever and ever through the air Is thy great Palingenesis ! Above!

(Drinks again.) This fearful curse

The Angel. Touch the goblet no Shakes the great universe !

more! Lucifer (disappearing). Drink ! It will make thy heart sore drink !

To its very core ! And thy soul shall sink

Its perfume is the breath Down into the dark abyss,

Of the Angel of Death, Into the infinite abyss,

And the light that within it lies From which no plummet nor rope

Is the flash of his evil eyes. Ever drew up the silver sand of hope ! Beware! Oh, beware! Prince Henry (drinking). It is like For sickness, sorrow, and care a draught of fire !

All are there! Through every vein

Prince Henry (sinking back). O thou I feel again

voice within my breast! The fever of youth, the soft desire ; Why entreat me, why upbraid me, A rapture that is almost pain

When the steadfast tongues of truth Throbs in my heart and fills my brain ! And the flattering hopes of youth joy! O joy! I feel

Have all deceived me and betrayed me? The band of steel

Give me, give me rest, O rest! That so long and heavily has pressed Golden visions wave and hover, Upon my breast

Golden vapours, waters streaming, Uplifted, and the malediction

Landscapes moving, changing, gleamOf my affliction


I am like a happy lover

Hubert. Ah! Master Walter ! Who illumines life with dreaming!

Walter. Alas! how forms and faces Brave physician! Rare physician!

alter! Well hast thou fulfilled thy mission !

I did not know you. You look older! (His head falls on his book.)

Your hair has grown much grayer and

thinner, The Angel (receding). Alas! alas !

And you stoop a little in the shoulder! Like a vapour the golden vision

Hubert. Alack! I am a poor old Shall fade and pass,

sinner, And thou wilt find in thy heart again

And, like these towers, begin to Only the blight of pain,

moulder; And bitter, bitter, bitter contrition !

And you have been absent many a (Courtyard of the Castle. HUBERT

year? standing by the gateway.)

Walter. How is the Prince ? Hubert. How sad the grand old Hubert.

He is not here; castle looks!

He has been ill: and now has fied. O'erhead, the unmolested rooks

Walter. Speak it out frankly: say Upon the turret's windy top

he's dead! Sit, talking of the farmer's crop;

Is it not so? Here in the courtyard springs the grass, Hubert. No; if you please So few are now the feet that pass; A strange, mysterious disease The stately peacocks, bolder grown, Fell on him with a sudden blight. Come hopping down the steps of stone, Whole hours together he would stand As if the castle were their own;

Upon the terrace, in a dream, And I, the poor old seneschal,

Resting his head upon his hand, Haunt, like a ghost, the banquet-hall. Best pleased when

he was most alone, Alas! the merry guests no more

Like Saint John Nepomuck in stone, Crowd through the hospitable door; Looking down into a stream. No eyes with youth and passion shine, In the round Tower, night after night, No cheeks grow redder than the wine; Hesat, and bleared his eyes with books: No song, no laugh, no jovial din

Until one morning we found him there Of drinking wassail to the pin ;

Stretched on the floor, as if in a swoon But all is silent, sad, and drear,

He had fallen from his chair. And now the only sounds I hear

We hardly recognised his sweet looks! Are the hoarse rooks upon the walls,

Walter. Poor Prince ! And horses stamping in their stalls ! Hubert. I think he might have (A horn sounds.)


And he did mend; but very soon
What ho! that merry, sudden blast
Reminds me of the days long past!

The Priests came flocking in like rooks, And, as of old resounding, grate

With all their crosiers and their crooks,

And so at last the matter ended. The heavy hinges of the gate.

Walter. How did it end? And, clattering loud, with iron clank,

Hubert. Why, in Saint Rochus Down goes the sounding bridge of plank,

They made him stand, and wait his

doom; As if it were in haste to greet

And, as if he were condemned to the The pressure of a traveller's feet!

tomb, (Enter WALTER the Minnesinger.)

Began to mutter their hocus-pocus. Walter. How now, my friend! This First, the Mass for the dead they looks quite lonely!

chanted, No banner flying from the walls, Then three times laid upon his head No pages and no seneschals,

A shovelful of churchyard clay, No warders, and one porter only! Saying to him as he stood undaunted, Is it you, Hubert ?

This is a sign that thou art dead,


So in thy heart be penitent!"
And forth from the chapel door he went
Into disgrace and banishment,
Clothed in a cloak of hodden gray,
And bearing a wallet and a bell,
Whose sound should be a perpetual

knell To keep all travellers away. Walter. Oh, horrible fate! Outcast,

rejected, As one with pestilence infected ! Hubert. Then was the family tomb

unsealed, And broken helmet, sword, and shield, Buried together, in common wreck, As is the custom when the last Of any princely house has passed; And thrice, as with a trumpet-blast, A herald shouted down the stair The words of warning and despair,– O Hoheneck! O Hoheneck!” Walter. Still in my soul that cry

goes on,For ever gone! for ever gone! Ah, what a cruel sense of loss, Like a black shadow, would fall across The hearts of all, if he should die ! His gracious presence upon earth Was as a fire upon a hearth. As pleasant songs, at morning sung, The words that dropped from his sweet

tongue Strengthened our hearts; or, heard at

Made all our slumbers soft and light.
Where is he?

In the Odenwald.
Some of his tenants, unappalled
By fear of death or priestly word,
A holy family, that make
Each meal a Supper of the Lord,-
Have him beneath their watch and

ward. For love of him, and Jesus' sake! Pray you come in. For why should I With out-door hospitality My prince's friend thus entertain? Walter. I would a moment here re

main. But you, good Hubert, go before, Fill me a goblet of May-drink, As aromatic as the May From which it steals the breath away, And which he loved so well of yore:

It is of him that I would think.
You shall attend me when I call,
In the ancestral banquet-hall.
Unseen companions, guests of air,
You cannot wait on, will be there;
They taste not food, they drink not.

But their soft eyes look into mine,
And their lips speak to me, and all
The vast and shadowy banquet-hall
Is full of looks and words divine !

(Leaning over the parapet.) The day is done; and slowly from the The stooping sun upgathers his spent

shafts, And puts them back into his golden

quiver ! Below me in the valley, deep and green As goblets are, from which in thirsty

draughts We drink its wine, the swift and mant

ling river Flows on triumphant through these

lovely regions, Etched with the shadows of its sombre

margent, And soft, reflected clouds of gold and

argent ! Yes, there it flows, for ever,

broad and still, As when the vanguard of the Roman

legions First saw it from the top of yonder hill ! How beautiful it is! Fresh fields of

wheat, Vineyard, and town, and tower with

fluttering flag, The consecrated chapel on the crag, And the white hamlet gathered round

its base, Like Mary sitting at her Saviour's feet, And looking up at his beloved face ! O friend! O best of friends! Thy abThan the impending night darkens the

landscape o'er!

sence more

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Prince Henry (reading). One morn

ing, all alone, Out of his convent of gray stone, Into the forest older, darker, grayer, His lips moving as if in prayer, His head sunken upon his breast, As in a dream of rest, Walked the Monk Felix. All about The broad, sweet sunshine lay without, Filling the summer air; And within the woodlands as he trod, The twilight was like the Truce of God With worldly woe and care ; Under him lay the golden moss; And above him the bows of hemlock

trees Waved and made the sign of the cross, And whispered their Benedicites; And from the ground Rose an odour sweet and fragrant Of the wild flowers and the vagrant Vines that wandered, Seeking the sunshine, round and round. These he heeded not, but pondered On the volume in his hand, A volume of Saint Augustine, Wherein he read of the unseen Splendours of God's great town In the unknown land, And, with his eyes cast down In humility, he said: “I believe, O God, What herein I have read, But, alas ! I do not understand !" And lo! he heard The sudden singing of a bird, A snow-white bird, that from a cloud Dropped down, And among the branches brown Sat singing So sweet, and clear, and loud, It seemed a thousand harp-strings

ringing And the Monk Felix closed his book, And long, long, With rapturous look, He listened to the song, And hardly breathed or stirred, Until he saw, as in a vision, The land Elysian, And in the heavenly city heard Angelic feet Fall on the golden flagging of the street.

And he would fain
Have caught the wondrous bird,
But strove in vain;
For it flew away, away,
Far over hill and dell,
And instead of its sweet singing
He heard the convent bell
Suddenly in the silence ringing
For the service of noonday.
And he retraced
His pathway homeward sadly and in

In the convent there was a change!
He looked for each well-known face,
But the faces were new and strange;
New figures sat in the oaken stalls,
New voices chanted in the choir;
Yet the place was the same place,
The same dusky walls
Of cold, gray stone,
The same cloisters and belfry and spire,
A stranger and alone
Among that brotherhood
The Monk Felix stood.
Forty years,” said a Friar,
“ Have I been Prior
Of this convent in the wood,
But for that space
Never have I beheld thy face!”
The heart of the Monk Felix fell:
And he answered, with submissive tone,
“This morning, after the hour of Prime,
I left my cell,
And wandered forth alone,
Listening all the time
To the melodious singing
Of a beautiful white bird,
Until I heard
The bells of the convent ringing
Noon from their noisy towers.
It was as if I dreamed ;
For what to me had seemed
Moments only, had been hours !”
“ Years !” said a voice close by.
It was an aged monk who spoke,
From a bench of oak
Fastened against the wall ;-
He was the oldest monk of all.
For a whole century
Had he been there,
Serving God in prayer,
The meekest and humblest of his crea-


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