Saint's Tragedy, The - Scene 10


A Street in the Town of Schmalcald. Bodies of
Crusading Troops defiling past . Lewis and E
LIZABETH with their Suite in the foreground .

Lew . Alas! the time is near; I must be gone —
There are our liegemen; how you'll welcome us,
Returned in triumph, bowed with paynim spoils,
Beneath the victor cross, to part no more!
Eliz . Yes — we shall part no more, where next we meet.
Enough to have stood here once on such an errand!
Lew . The bugle calls. — Farewell, my love, my lady,
Queen, sister, saint! One last long kiss — Farewell!
Eliz . One kiss — and then another — and another —
Till 'tis too late to go — and so return —
Oh God! forgive that craven thought! There, take him
Since Thou dost need him. I have kept him ever
Thine, when most mine; and shall I now deny Thee?
Oh! go — yes, go — Thou'lt not forget to pray,
With me, at our old hour? Alas! he's gone
And lost — thank God he hears me not — for ever.
Why look'st thou so, poor girl? I say, for ever.
The day I found the bitter blessed cross,
Something did strike my heart like keen cold steel,
Which quarries daily there with dead dull pains —
Whereby I know that we shall meet no more.
Come! Home, maids, home! Prepare me widow's weeds —
For he is dead to me, and I must soon
Die too to him, and many things; and mark me —
Breathe not his name, lest this love-pampered heart
Should sicken to vain yearnings — Lost! lost! lost!
Lady Oh stay, and watch this pomp
Eliz Well said — we'll stay; so this bright enterprise
Shall blanch our private clouds, and steep our soul
Drunk with the spirit of great Christendom.

[ Men-at-Arms pass, singing .]

The tomb of God before us,
Our fatherland behind,
Our ships shall leap o'er billows steep,
Before a charmed wind.

Above our van great angels
Shall fight along the sky;
While martyrs pure and crowned saints
To God for rescue cry.

The red-cross knights and yoemen
Throughout the holy town,
In faith and might, on left and right,
Shall tread the paynim down.

Till on the Mount Moriah
The Pope of Rome shall stand;
The Kaiser and the King of France
Shall guard him on each hand.

There shall he rule all nations,
With crozier and with sword;
And pour on all the heathen,
The wrath of Christ the Lord.

[ Women — bystanders .]

Christ is a rock in the bare salt land,
To shelter our knights from the sun and sand:
Christ the Lord is a summer sun,
To ripen the grain while they are gone.
Then you who fight in the bare salt land,
And you who work at home,
Fight and work for Christ the Lord,
Until His Kingdom come.

[ Old Knights pass .]

Our stormy sun is sinking;
Our sands are running low;
In one fair fight, before the night,
Our hard-worn hearts shall glow.

We cannot pine in cloister;
We cannot fast and pray;
The sword which built our load of guilt
Must wipe that guilt away.

We know the doom before us;
The dangers of the road;
Have mercy, mercy, Jesu blest,
When we lie low in blood.

When we lie gashed and gory,
The holy walls within,
Sweet Jesu, think upon our end,
And wipe away our sin.

[ Boy Crusaders pass .]

The Christ-child sits on high:
He looks through the merry blue sky;
He holds in His hand a bright lily-band,
For the boys who for Him die.

On holy Mary's arm,
Wrapt safe from terror and harm,
Lulled by the breeze in the paradise trees,
Their souls sleep soft and warm.

Knight David, young and true,
The giant Soldan slew,
And our arms so light, for the Christ-child's right,
Like noble deeds can do.

[ Young Knights pass .]

The rich East blooms fragrant before us;
All Fairy-land beckons us forth;
We must follow the crane in her flight o'er the main,
From the frosts and the moors of the North.

Our sires in the youth of the nations
Swept westward through plunder and blood,
But a holier quest calls us back to the East,
We fight for the kingdom of God.

Then shrink not, and sigh not, fair ladies,
The red cross which flames on each arm and each shield,
Through philtre and spell, and the black charms of hell,
Shall shelter our true love in camp and in field.

[ Old Monk, looking after them .]

Jerusalem, Jerusalem!
The burying place of God!
Why gay and bold, in steel and gold,
O'er the paths where Christ hath trod?
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