Yes, I see! My child,
Why do they hate thee so?
I do not know,
Unless because I will not bow to Rimmon.
Thou needest not. I fear he is a god
Who pities not his people, will not save.
My heart is sick with doubt of him. But thou
Shalt hold thy faith,—I care not what it is,—
Worship thy god; but keep thy spirit free.
Here, take this chain and wear it with my seal,
None shall molest the maid who carries this.
Thou hast found favour in thy master’s eyes;
Hast thou no other gift to ask of me?
My lord, I do entreat thee not to go
To-morrow to the council. Seek the King
And speak with him in secret; but avoid
Why, what is this? Thy wits
Are wandering. Why dost thou ask this thing
Impossible! My honour is engaged
To speak for war, to lead in war against
The Assyrian Bull and save Damascus.
RUAHMAH: [With confused earnestness.]
Then, lord, if thou must go, I pray thee speak,—
I know not how,—but so that all must hear.
With magic of unanswerable words
Persuade thy foes. Yet watch,—beware,—
RUAHMAH: [Turning aside.]
I am entangled in my speech,—no light,—
How shall I tell him? He will not believe.
O my dear lord, thine enemies are they
Of thine own house. I pray thee to beware,—
Child, thy words are wild;
Thy troubles have bewildered all thy brain.
Go, now, and fret no more; but sleep, and dream
Of Israel! For thou shall see thy home
Among the hills again.
And may thy slumber be as sweet and deep
As if thou camped at snowy Hermon’s foot,
Amid the music of his waterfalls
And watched by winged sentries of the sky.
There friendly oak-trees bend their boughs above
The weary head, pillowed on earth’s kind breast,
And unpolluted breezes lightly breathe
A song of sleep among the murmuring leaves.
There the big stars draw nearer, and the sun
Looks forth serene, undimmed by city’s mirk
Or smoke of idol-temples, to behold
The waking wonder of the wide-spread world,
And life renews itself with every morn
In purest joy of living. May the Lord
Deliver thee, dear master, from the nets
Laid for thy feet, and lead thee out, along
The open path, beneath the open sky!
Thou shall be followed always by the heart
Of one poor captive maid who prays for thee.
[Exit RUAHMAH: NAAMAN stands looking after her.]