Author: Gilbert Parker
Release Date: Feb, 2003 [EBook #3746] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on August 15, 2001] [This file was last updated on June 13, 2002]
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by Gilbert Parker
Except where references to characters well-known to all the world occur in these pages, this book does not present a picture of public or private individuals living or dead. It is not in any sense a historical novel. It is in conception and portraiture a work of the imagination.
“Strangers come to the outer wall—
(Why do the sleepers stir?)
Strangers enter the Judgment House—
(Why do the sleepers sigh?)
Slow they rise in their judgment seats,
Sieve and measure the naked souls,
Then with a blessing return to sleep.
(Quiet the Judgment House.)
Lone and sick are the vagrant souls—
(When shall the world come home?)”
“Let them fight it out, friend! things have
gone too far,
God must judge the couple: leave them as they are—
Whichever one’s the guiltless, to his glory,
And whichever one the guilt’s with, to my story!
“Once more. Will the wronger, at this last
Dare to say, ‘I did wrong,’ rising in his fall?
No? Let go, then! Both the fighters to their places!
While I count three, step you back as many paces!”
“And the Sibyl, you know. I saw her with my own eyes at Cumae, hanging in a jar; and when the boys asked her, ’What would you, Sibyl?’ she answered, ‘I would die.’”
“So is Pheidippides happy for ever,—the
noble strong man
Who would race like a God, bear the face of a God, whom a
God loved so well:
He saw the land saved he had helped to save, and was suffered to tell
Such tidings, yet never decline, but, gloriously as he began
So to end gloriously—once to shout, thereafter to be mute:
‘Athens is saved!’ Pheidippides dies in the shout for his meed.”
“Oh, never star
Was lost here, but it rose afar.”
THE JASMINE FLOWER