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Act 3

Scene.—Same as Scene 1, Act I.

ELMO.—Since it has been resolved by us to each
Help on some other being of this race,
Let such as have observed them give the news.
What has been seen?

ELIDAH—Saw I an island in the ocean's water,
Where sits one crying: "Peace on earth; goodwill!"
Whose garment's fringe is soldiers, scarlet clad.
Their State keeps her. She feeds from those they've slain.

ETHRON—Beloved spirit, it being against our natures
To come in closer contact with the earth.
Therefore, I've sought out beings that have power
To walk upon the surface of that earth.
Out of their multitudes, with various natures.
Chose I the laughing sprites called from the woods
To serve my ends.

ELMO—How learned you from them?

ETHRON—These things saw I through them:
That kind thoughts, thoughts of others, shall expand them.
Giving new strength, and power of life to both.
Ill thoughts take with them from the soul that throws them—
Or, peoples thinking less of other peoples
By that made measure—
Part of its store of strength:
That he, as well, who sees another suffer,

Having stored up what could be his relief,
And does not use it, thus deprives himself
In exact measure by those his possessions
That he used not.

ELMO—Looking on such, we see—
If they change not—how blind, how wretched they!
How poor these are; how naked—unaware,
Until that hour when they shall start, awake—
Seeing themselves—and shrieking flee such goods,
And gauds; those things that, with a turtle's gripe,
Till then, they'd clung to.

ETHRON—The air below is filled with finest dust—
From this they modeled forth a beauteous maiden:
Thereafter, casting sunlight on this form
Seemed it to live; and, by this form of hers.
Knew I how outward nature, acting on it.
Would fill her inward mind; and saw that she
Was one it would repay us well to serve.

ELMO—How would you, could you, serve her?

ETHEON—Why, I have seen one cruel thing on earth:
That natures that are fitted each to each
Oft lead a life that's all unsatisfied,
Because they feel, and yet they do not know.
The other lives for them; yet die, and never meet.
Therefore, I've brought the one that's fitted for her
And they have met, and in a moment felt
What they have known since Neptune touched, last, earth.
To consummate my plans
I've had her flee her home within the woods;
And, to prevent her guardian following her,

Have given to its obedient sprites the power
To play such tricks as pleased them most upon them.
They lead them now up steeps; through briars and thorns,
And by the many mansions of that route;
O'er angular rocks that mincing feet will wound
And jar out lies, like toads, from mouths that hold them;
Through swamps, through wild grapevines;
Make each one think the other Sylvia,
And set each beating each.
Now will I lead her on through trouble and woe
To drag her dead world from her.

ELMO—Has she no earthly friend to help her?

ETHEON—My ministering spirit showed an aged man
Thinking the daughter that he one time had
Was dead in infancy. They told me then.
That this was Sylvia's father.
Studied I then his brain, and of the spirits
(Which men call thoughts) attracted to his soul
Saw I, 'mongst others, these his last conclusions,
Which showed me odd things of this race of men.
Men knew but little, and seemed not to this :
That when the sun, new-born, goes on its course.
Its number altering with each day it makes.
Meets it and greets it in all germs their number;
Then leap they at its music, known to life.
'Tis what man's done that makes him. What he says.
Though books of eloquence piled mountains high
Contain it—(please them as it may)—for it,
All ears it enters must prove barren wombs,
'Less what he lauds first a man himself has done.
That, when man seems held fast, and bound by fate,

Yet, even then, relief will surely come
And, by some path that will seem plain enough—
When has the fullness of his task been worked—
But which he had completely overlooked
And lost all memory of.

ELMO—This is a good commencement, for an end
To round out royally. What other spirit
Will further speak of what has been discovered?
Here comes one, having bright, mischievous eyes
That an odd humor might find, ev'n in death.

VONRA—I've seen their life is just an odd conceit
Wrought from more odd conceits—
Seeing the future is but night to them.
Queer that, worshiping tenderness to all.
Peace grows their battle cry: Thieving, with some,
Their spreading; with some, their greed, their god.
Those that start war and, through war, seek their will,
Yet talk of heaven to be;
Not knowing that a mind, to grow to that.
Must, by desire, fast to no part be drawn;
Must rise up over all this realm of strife;
Whose hands must hold no more, nor cling to earth;
To go in there must leave itself without;
His mantle of earth released—let go to earth.

ELIDAH—Whose eye that so long doubled was, and kept obscured.
Be merged, be single made, and knowing—and known
To that straight column, straight as a straight rod
That is the light.
Upholding they the things of earth as high.

Fall they down with them. Saw I, this:
Who slowly kills, by words or cruel looks,
Or thoughts unfair, or thoughts by hate projected.
Is as much murderer as is the one
Who does so with a bludgeon.

AIDEL—Whose thoughts are drawn—forced down to central earth.
But there are thoughts, of which are thoughts of art,
Reversing gravity, and they hold life.

VONRA—This, too, saw I of them:
They're never all good; not one entirely bad.
The worst of any will, at times, be saints;
The best, their opposite.

ELMO—What knowledge have they
Of all the radiant hosts of worlds about them?

VONRA—They scarce conceive that all the things of earth
Are things in miniature of worlds full-grown.
That, as their nations think and act like men,
At times being sane, at times being mad as they.
So is their race a unit for vast worlds.
That, as their seas have puny storms upon them.
So are there other storms that sweep through space.
Creating vast currents, whirlpools and tides;
Setting worlds dancing on their rushing billows
Like corks upon the ocean;
Or, carrying systems o'er that mighty deep
By billows hurrying, rushing, raging onward.
That move upon the beacon lights of night
And surge beyond. They dream not of those fleets
That, sails all set, move o'er a darker ocean,

Into those systems where are lights grown dark—
Not earths; not suns.
They laugh at forces fast in fading halls—
The universe fast in the soul of man.
At beings crouching on the star-storm clouds;
At cities dead that we see living yet.
Looking within, they seem to see these things;
But, looking without, upon the world again,
They call them fancies, and they vanish from them.
Ah, if they only knew the law of change—
And knew the half we know—
How would it shake their minds and make them mad.

ETHRON— The only cause of all is ignorance.
From which springs prejudice and every folly.
This shadow of death is now most heavy on them.
But, with our aid, the world begins to move.
This century has promised mighty times
That will out leap the tedious course of nature,
Leaving behind their savagery days of war;
Of right by blood to be the manger dog;
Bights called divine, and many another right
That has been always wrong.
The time will come when to this human race
The only king will be the king of hearts—
When each man will refuse such goods on earth
As all men may not have.
For men will learn that day, that true it is,
That only one thing is all- where assured—
Heart of a gentle man.

VONRA—There's this as their excuse:
How much their life from infancy to age
Is the world's dead world working outward through them.

ELMO—Know they the poorest have as much to give as any?
That each time ever a truth is told: that is an act
To all men a donation more than gifts?
With each truth told

(Though far off as the west is from the east)
Some fetter dropping off;
Someone, till then enslaved, by that made free?

VONRA—Nor know they beings wiser than themselves,
Sometimes stir up their anger, each 'gainst each,
To wear away defects that are within them,
Playing those forces downward and upon them.
Whereof they're unaware.

ELMO—Can they know this:
Man's lack of heart makes earth yield lack of bread.
Whenever nations have bound on their brows
Phylacteries; themselves then, better holding
Than others; then (those others robbed).
Speaks earth in famines?
Know they the heavenly character of music
That tells the way by which buds turn to flowers,
Inscribed in which are secrets of all worlds
Throughout the heavens; which our beings splendid
As their law read?

ETHEON—'Tis sweet to them; but that it is a key
Made to unbolt their gateway into heaven
Know not they all of them.

ELMO—Odd, odd indeed! Comes now our time to move
Upon our westward journey with the sun.

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Adair Welcker

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