The Saint's Tragedy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about The Saint's Tragedy.

Guta.  Is it not a double bondage? 
A husband’s will is clog enough.  Be sure,
Though free, I crave more freedom.

Eliz.  So do I—­
This servitude shall free me—­from myself. 
Therefore I’ll swear.

Isen.  To what?

Eliz.  I know not wholly: 
But this I know, that I shall swear to-night
To yield my will unto a wiser will;
To see God’s truth through eyes which, like the eagle’s,
From higher Alps undazzled eye the sun. 
Compelled to discipline from which my sloth
Would shrink, unbidden,—­to deep devious paths
Which my dull sight would miss, I now can plunge,
And dare life’s eddies fearless.

Isen.  You will repent it.

Eliz.  I do repent, even now.  Therefore I’ll swear. 
And bind myself to that, which once being light,
Will not be less right, when I shrink from it. 
No; if the end be gained—­if I be raised
To freer, nobler use, I’ll dare, I’ll welcome
Him and his means, though they were racks and flames. 
Come, ladies, let us in, and to the chapel. [Exeunt.]


A Chamber.  Guta, Isentrudis, and a Lady.

Lady.  Doubtless she is most holy—­but for wisdom—­
Say if ’tis wise to spurn all rules, all censures,
And mountebank it in the public ways
Till she becomes a jest?

Isen.  How’s this?

Lady.  For one thing—­
Yestreen I passed her in the open street,
Following the vocal line of chanting priests,
Clad in rough serge, and with her soft bare feet
Wooing the ruthless flints; the gaping crowd
Unknowing whom they held, did thrust and jostle
Her tender limbs; she saw me as she passed—­
And blushed and veiled her face, and smiled withal.

Isen.  Oh, think, she’s not seventeen yet.

Guta.  Why expect
Wisdom with love in all?  Each has his gift—­
Our souls are organ pipes of diverse stop
And various pitch; each with its proper notes
Thrilling beneath the self-same breath of God. 
Though poor alone, yet joined, they’re harmony. 
Besides these higher spirits must not bend
To common methods; in their inner world
They move by broader laws, at whose expression
We must adore, not cavil:  here she comes—­
The ministering Saint, fresh from the poor of Christ.

[Elizabeth enters without cloak or shoes, carrying an empty basket.]

Isen.  What’s here, my Princess?  Guta, fetch her robes! 
Rest, rest, my child!

Eliz [throwing herself on a seat] Oh!  I have seen such things! 
I shudder still; your gay looks dazzle me;
As those who long in hideous darkness pent
Blink at the daily light; this room’s too bright! 
We sit in a cloud, and sing, like pictured angels,
And say, the world runs smooth—­while right below
Welters the black fermenting heap of life

Project Gutenberg
The Saint's Tragedy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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