The Poems of Henry Van Dyke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 381 pages of information about The Poems of Henry Van Dyke.

    The falsehood is in her.  She hath been friend
    With Rezon in his priestly plot to win
    Assyria’s favour,—­friend to his design
    To sell his country to enrich his temple,—­
    And friend to him in more,—­I will not name it.

    Nor will I credit it.  Impossible!

    Did she not plead with you against the war,
    Counsel surrender, seek to break your will?

    She did not love my work, a soldier’s task. 
    She never seemed to be at one with me
    Until I was a leper.

                          From whose hand
    Did you receive the sacred cup?

                                    From hers.

    And from that hour the curse began to work.

    But did she not have pity when she saw
    Me smitten?  Did she not beseech the King
    For letters and a guard to make this journey? 
    Has she not been the fountain of my hope,
    My comforter and my most faithful guide
    In this adventure of the dark?  All this
    Is proof of perfect love that would have shared
    A leper’s doom rather than give me up. 
    Can I doubt her who dared to love like this?

    O master, doubt her not,—­but know her name;
    Ruahmah!  It was she alone who wrought
    This wondrous work of love.  She won the King
    To furnish forth this company.  She led
    Our march, kept us in heart, fought off despair,
    Watched over you as if you were her child,
    Prepared your food, your cup, with her own hands,
    Sang you asleep at night, awake at dawn,—­

NAAMAN:  [Interrupting.]
    Enough!  I do remember every hour
    Of that sweet comradeship!  And now her voice
    Wakens the echoes in my lonely breast. 
    Shall I not see her, thank her, speak her name? 
    Ruahmah!  Let me live till I have looked
    Into her eyes and called her my Ruahmah!

        [To his soldiers.]

    Away! away!  I burn to take the road
    That leads me back to Rimmon’s House,—­
    But not to bow,—­by God, never to bow!


TIME:  Three days later

Inner court of the House of Rimmon; a temple with huge pillars at each side.  In the right foreground the seat of the King; at the left, of equal height, the seat of the High Priest.  In the background a broad flight of steps, rising to a curtain of cloudy gray, embroidered with two gigantic hands holding thunderbolts. 
 The temple is in half darkness at first.  Enter KHAMMA and NUBTA, robed as Kharimati, or religious dancers, in gowns of black gauze with yellow embroideries and mantles.

    All is ready for the rites of worship; our lady will play
      a great part in them.  She has put on her Tyrian robes,
      and all her ornaments.

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The Poems of Henry Van Dyke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.