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Title: Yolanda of Cyprus

Author: Cale Young Rice

Release date: September 27, 2010 [eBook #34004]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Garcia, Christine Aldridge and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)






Publishers Logo


Published, March, 1908






Renier LusignanA Descendant of the Lusignan Kings of Cyprus
BerengereHis Wife
AmauryHis Son, Commander of Famagouste under the Venetians
YolandaThe Ward of Berengere, betrothed to Amaury
CamarinA Baron of Paphos, Guest in the Lusignan Castle
Vittia PisaniA Venetian Lady, also a Guest
MoroA Priest
HassanWarden of the Castle
HalilHis Son, a Boy
TremitusA Physician
OlympioA Greek Boy, serving Amaury
Maga} Berengere's Women
SmardaSlave To Vittia
PietroIn Vittia's pay
Priests, Acolytes, etc.
TimeThe Sixteenth Century
PlaceThe Island of Cyprus



Scene: A dim Hall, of blended Gothic and Saracenic styles, in the Lusignan Castle, on the island of Cyprus near Famagouste. Around the walls, above faint frescoes portraying the deliverance of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, runs a frieze inlaid with the coats-of-arms of former Lusignan kings. On the left, and back, is a door hung with heavy damask, and in the wall opposite, another. Farther down on the right a few steps, whose railing supports a Greek vase with jasmine, lead through a chapel to the sleeping apartments. In the rear, on either side, are guled lattice windows, and in the centre an open grated door, looking upon a loggia, and, across the garden below, over the moonlit sea. Seats are placed about, and, forward, a divan with rich Turkish coverings. A table with a lighted cross-shaped candlestick is by the door, left; and a lectern with a book on it, to the front, right. As the curtain rises, the Women, except Civa, lean wearily on the divan, and Halil near is singing dreamily:


Ah, the balm, the balm,
And ah, the blessing
Of the deep fall of night
And of confessing.
Of the sick soul made white
Of all distressing:
Made white!...
Ah, balm of night
And, ah the blessing!

[The music falls and all seem yielding to sleep. Suddenly there are hoof-beats and sounds at the gates below. Halil springs up.

Halil. Alessa! Maga! Voices at the gates!

[All start up.

Some one is come.

[5] Alessa. Boy, Halil, who?

Halil. Up, up!
Perhaps lord Renier—No: I will learn.

[He runs to curtains and looks.

It is Olympio! Olympio!
From Famagouste and lord Amaury!

Mauria. Ah!
And comes he here?

Halil. As he were lord of skies!
To lady Yolanda, by my lute!

Maga. Where is she?

Alessa. I do not know; perhaps, her chamber.

Mauria. Stay:
His word may be of the Saracens.

Halil (calling). Oho!

[He admits Olympio, who enters insolently down. All press round him gaily.

Mauria. Well, what, Olympio, from Famagouste?
What tidings? tell us.

[6] Maga. See, his sword!

Olympio. Stand off.

Mauria. The tidings, then, the tidings!

Olympio. None—for women.

Mauria. So-ho, my Cupid? None of the Saracens?
Of the squadron huddling yesterday for haven
At Keryneia?

Olympio. Who has told you?

Mauria. Who?
A hundred galleys westing up the wind,
Scenting the shore, but timorous as hounds.
A gale—and twenty down!

Maga. The rest are flown?

Olympio. Ask Zeus, or ask, to-morrow, lord Amaury,
Or, if he comes, to-night. To lady Yolanda
I'm sent and not to tattle, silly, here.

[He starts off, but is arrested by laughter within. It is Civa who enters, holding up a parchment.


O! Only Civa.

[Starts again with Halil.

Civa. How, Olympio!
Stay you, and hear!—May never virgin love him!
Gone as a thistle! (turns).

Mauria. Pouf! (laughs).

Alessa (to Civa). Now what have you?

Civa. Verses! found in the garden. Verses! verses!
On papyrus of Paphos. O, to read!
But you, Alessa—!

Alessa (takes them). In the garden?

Civa. By
The fountain cypress, at the marble feet
Of chaste Diana!

Maga. Where Sir Camarin
And oft our lady—!

Civa. Maga, will you prattle?
Read them to us, Alessa, read them, read.
They are of love!

Maga. No, sorrow.

[8] Civa. O, as a nun
You ever sigh for sorrow!—They are of love!
Of princes bursting through enchanted bounds
To ladies prisoned in an ogre's keep!
Then of the bridals!—O, they are of love!

Maga. No, Civa, no!—of sorrow! see, her lips!

[She points to Alessa, who, reading, has paled.

See, see!

Civa. Alessa!

Alessa. Maga—Civa—Ah!

[She rends the parchment.

Mauria. What are you doing?

Alessa. They were writ to her!

Mauria. To her? to whom? what are you saying? Read!
Read us the verses.

Alessa. No.

Mauria. Tell then his name
Who writes them, and to whom.

Alessa. I will not.

Mauria. Then
[9] It is some guilt you hide!—And touching her
You dote on—lady Yolanda!

Alessa. Shame!

Mauria. Some guilt
Of one, then, in this castle!—See, her lips
Betray it is.

Maga. No, Mauria! no! no! (holds her) hush!

[Forms appear without.

Mauria. O, loose me.

Maga. There, on the loggia! Hush, see—
Our lady and Sir Camarin.

Alessa (fearful). It is....
They heard us, Maga?

Maga. No, but——

Mauria (to Alessa). So? that mouse?

Alessa. You know not, Mauria, what thing you say.—
He is troubling her; be still.

[Stepping out as Berengere enters.

My lady?

[10] Berengere (unwillingly). Yes.
It is time, now, for your lamps,
And for your aves and o'erneeded sleep.
But first I'd know if yet lord Renier——

[Sees Alessa's face.

Why are you pale?

Alessa. I?

Berengere. So—and strange.

Alessa. We have
But put away the distaff and the needle.

Camarin enters.

Berengere. The distaff and the needle—it may be.
And yet you do not seem——

Alessa. My lady—?

Berengere. Go.
And send me Hassan.

[The women leave.

Camarin—you saw?
They were not as their wont is.

[11] Camarin. To your eyes,
My Berengere, that apprehension haunts.
They were as ever. Then be done with fear!

Berengere. I cannot.

Camarin. To the abyss with it. To-night
Is ours—Renier tarries at Famagouste—
Is ours for love and for a long delight!

Berengere. Whose end may be—

Camarin. Dawn and the dewy lark!
And passing of all presage from you.

Berengere (sits). No:
For think, Yolanda's look when by the cypress
We read the verses! And my dream that I
Should with a cross—inscrutable is sleep!—
Bring her deep bitterness.

Camarin. Dreams are a brood
Born of the night and not of destiny.
She guesses not our guilt, and Renier
Clasps to his breast ambition as a bride—
Ambition for Amaury.

[12] Berengere. None can say.
He's much with this Venetian, our guest,
Though Venice gyves us more with tyranny
Than would the Saracen.

Camarin. But through this lady
Of the Pisani, powerful in Venice,
He hopes to lift again his dynasty
Up from decay; and to restore this island,
This verdure-dream of the seas, unto his house.
'Tis clear, my Berengere!

Berengere. Then, her design?
And, the requital that entices her?


Evil will come of it, to us some evil,
Or to Yolanda and Amaury's love.—
But, there; the women.

Camarin. And too brief their stay.
What signal for to-night?

Berengere. Be in the garden.
Over the threshold yonder I will wave
The candle-sign, when all are passed to sleep.

[13] Camarin. And with the beam I shall mount up to you
Quicker than ecstasy.

Berengere. I am as a leaf
Before the wind and raging of your love.

Camarin. But to return unto your breast!

[He leaves her by the divan.

[The women re-enter with silver lighted lamps; behind them are Hassan and the slave Smarda. They wait for Berengere, who has stood silent, to speak.

Berengere (looking up). Ah, you are come; I had forgotten.
And it is time for sleep.—Hassan, the gates:
Close them.

Hassan. And chain them, lady?

Berengere. Wait no longer.
Lord Renier will not come.

Hassan. No word of him?

[14] Berengere. None, though he yesterday left Nicosie
With the priest Moro.

Hassan. Lady—

Berengere. Wait no longer.
Come, women, with your lamps and light the way.

[The women go by the steps. Berengere follows.

Hassan (staring after her). The reason of this mood in her? the reason?
Something is vile. Lady Yolanda weeps
In secret; all for what? By God! the Paphian?
Or she of Venice? (sees Smarda). Now slave! Scythian!
Why do you linger?

Smarda. I am bidden—(snarls) by
My mistress.

Hassan. Spa! Thy mistress hath, I think,
Something of hell in her and has unpacked
A portion in this castle. Is it so?

Smarda. My lady is of Venice.

[15] Hassan. Strike her, God.
Her smirk admits it.

Smarda. Touch me not!

Hassan. I'll wring
Your tongue out sudden, if it now has lies.
What of your lady and lord Renier?

Smarda. Off!

Renier enters behind, with Moro.

Hassan. Your lady and lord Renier, I say!
What do they purpose?

Smarda. Fool-born! look around.

Hassan. Not till——

Smarda. Lord Renier, help.

Hassan. What do you say?

[Turns, and stares amazed.

A fool I am ...

Renier. Where is my wife?

Hassan. Why, she ...
This slave stung me to pry.

Renier. Where is my wife?

[16] Hassan. A moment since she left—the women with her.
She asked for your return.

Renier. And wherefore did?

Hassan. You jeer me.

Renier. Answer.

Hassan. Have you not been gone?

Renier. Not—overfar. Where is Yolanda?—Well?
No matter; find my chamber till I come.
Of my arrival, too, no word to any.

[Hassan goes, confused.

You, Moro, have deferred me; now, I move.
Whether it is suspicion eats in me,
Mistrust and fret and doubt—of whom I say not,
Or whether desire, and unsubduable,
To see Amaury sceptred—I care not.

[To Smarda.

Slave, to your lady who awaits me, say
I'm here and now have chosen.

Moro. Do not!

[17] Renier. Chosen.

[Smarda goes.

None can be great who will not hush his heart
To hold a sceptre, and Amaury must.
He is Lusignan and his lineage
Will drown in him Yolanda's loveliness.

Moro. It will not.

Renier. Then at least I shall uncover
What this Venetian hints.

Moro. Sir?

Renier. I must know.

Moro. 'Tis of your wife?—Yolanda?

Renier. Name them not.
They've shut me from their souls.

Moro. My lord, not so;
But you repulse them.

Renier. When they pity. No,
Something has gone from me or never was
Within my breast. I love not—am unlovable.
Amaury is not so.
And this Venetian Vittia Pisani——

[18] Moro. Distrust her!

Renier. She has power.

Moro. But not truth.
And yesterday a holy relic scorned.

Renier. She loves Amaury. Wed to her he will
Be the elected Governor of Cyprus.
The throne, then, but a step.

Moro. But all too great.
And think; Yolanda is to him as heaven:
He will not yield her.

Renier. Then he must. And she,
The Venetian, has ways to it—a secret
To wrench her from his arms.

Moro. Sir, sir?—of what?

Renier. I know not, of some shame.

Moro. Shame!

Renier. Why do you clutch me?

Moro. I—am a priest—and shame——

Renier. You show suspicions.

[Vittia enters unnoted.

Of whom?—Of whom, and what?

[19] Vittia (lightly). My lord, of women.

[Renier starts and turns.

So does the Holy Church instil him.

Renier. You
Come softly, lady of Venice.

Vittia. Streets of sea
In Venice teach us.

Renier. Of what women, then?
My wife? Yolanda?

Vittia. By the freedom due us,
What matters it? In Venice our lords know
That beauty has no master.

Renier. Has no.... That,
That too has something hid.

Vittia. Suspicious lord!
Yet Berengere Lusignan is his wife!
And soon Yolanda—But for that I'm here.
You sent for me.

Renier (sullen). I sent.

Vittia. To say you've chosen?
[20] And offer me irrevocable aid
To win Amaury?

Renier. All is vain in me
Before the fever for it.

Vittia. Then, I shall.
It must be done. My want is unafraid.
Hourly I am expecting out of Venice
Letters of power.
And what to you I pledge is he shall be
Ruler of Cyprus and these Mediterranean
Blue seas that rock ever against its coast.
That do I pledge ... but more.

Renier. Of rule?... Then what?

Vittia (going up to him). Of shame withheld—dishonor unrevealed.

[As he recoils.

Hush! there are steps.

[The slave re-enters.


Smarda (quickly). My lady!

[21] Vittia. Speak.

Smarda. I've erred; she's not asleep.

Vittia. Who?—Ah! Yolanda?

Smarda. Yes; she is coming!

Renier. Ha!

Vittia. My lord——!

Renier. I'll stay,
Stay and confront her.

Vittia. Ignorantly? No.

Renier. I'll question her.

Vittia. Blindly, and peril all?

Renier. I will return. You put me off, and off.

[By the loggia, with Moro, he goes; the slave slips out. Yolanda enters, sadly, her gaze on the floor. She walks slowly, but becoming conscious starts, sees Vittia, and turns to withdraw.

Vittia. Your pardon—

Yolanda. I can serve you?

[22] Vittia. If you seek
The women, they are gone.

Yolanda. I do not seek them.

Vittia. Nor me?

Yolanda. Nor any.—Yet I would I might
With seeking penetrate the labyrinth
Of your intent.

Vittia. I thank you. And you shall,
To-night—if you have love.

Yolanda. That thread were vain.

Vittia. I say, if you have love.

Yolanda. Of guile?

Vittia. Of her
You hold as mother, and who is Amaury's.

Yolanda. Were it so simple, all designs that ever
Laired in you, would to my eyes have been as clear
As shallows under Morpha's crystal wave.

Vittia. Unproven you speak so.

Yolanda. And proven would.

Vittia. If so, then—save her.

[23] Yolanda. Who? What do you—? (stops).

Vittia (with irony). Mean?
It is not clear?

Yolanda. Save her?

Vittia. The surety flies
Out of your cheek and dead upon your heart:
Yet you are innocent—oh innocent!—
O'er what abyss she hangs!

Yolanda. O'er no abyss.

Vittia. But to her lord is constant!

Yolanda (desperate). She is constant.

Vittia. And to his bed is true!

Yolanda. True.

Vittia. And this baron
Of Paphos—Camarin—is but her friend,
And deeply yours—as oft you feign to shield her!

Yolanda. He is no more.

Vittia. Your heart belies your lips,
Knows better than believing what you say.

Yolanda. Were, were he then ... (struggles) lord Renier knows it not!
[24] And never must. I have misled his thought
From her to me. The danger thus may pass,
The open shame.
Sir Camarin departed, her release
From the remorse and fettering will seem
Sweet as a vista into fairyland.
For none e'er will betray her.

Vittia. None?

Yolanda. Your tone ...!
(Realising.) The still insinuation! You would do it!
This is the beast then of the labyrinth!
And this your heart is!

Vittia. No, not ever: no.
But now, if you deny me.

Yolanda. Speak as a woman,
If there is womanhood in you to speak.
The name of Berengere Lusignan must
Go clean unto the years, fair and unsullied.
Nor must the bloody leap
Of death fall on her from lord Renier's sword,
[25] A death too ready if he but suspect.
No, she is holy!
And holy are my lips
Remembering that they may call her mother!
All the bright world I breathe because of her,
Laughter and roses, day-song of the sea,
Not bitterness and loneliness and blight!
All the bright world,
Of voices, dear as waking to the dead—
Voices of love and tender earthly hopes—
O, all the beauty I was once forbid!
For O!—
She lifted me, a lonely convent weed,
A cloister thing unvisited of dew,
Withering and untended and afar
From the remembered ruin of my home,
And here has planted me in happiness.
Then, for her, all I am!

Vittia. Or—hope to be?

Yolanda. The price, say, of your silence.—I am weary.

[26] Vittia. And would be rid of me.

Yolanda. The price, the price.

Vittia. It is (low and ashamed) that you renounce Amaury's love.

[A pause.

Yolanda. Amaury's love.... You then would rend me there
Where not Eternity could heal the wound
Though all the River of God might be for balm!
Cruelty like to this you could not do?

[Waits a moment.

A swallow on the battlements to-day
Fell from the hawk: you soothed and set it free.
This, then, you would not—!

Vittia. Yes.

Yolanda. You cannot!

Vittia. Yes.

Yolanda (wrung for a moment then calm).
I had forgotten, you are of Venice—Venice
Whose burdening is vast upon this land.

[27] Vittia. And you despise me!

Yolanda. More I loathe
That love of him has led your thought so low.

[Is going.

Vittia. Stay! If you leave and do not choose at once—

[Sounds are heard at the gates.

Who's that?... (starts). Amaury?... You've expected him?

[The chains fall.

Your purpose, then! Is it now to renounce
And force him from you or to have me breathe
To Renier Lusignan the one word
That will transmute his wrong to madness?
Say it! For centuries have stained these walls
But never a wife; never—

Enter Berengere.

Yolanda. Mother?...

Berengere. Amaury
Has spurred to us, Yolanda, from his post,
[28] And is below. But ... what has befallen?

[Looks from one to the other.

Yolanda. He comes here, mother?

Berengere. At once.

Yolanda (in dread). Ah!

Berengere. Child?...

Vittia (to Yolanda). To-night
Must be the end.

Yolanda. Go, go.

Berengere (as Vittia passes out). What thing is this?

Yolanda. Mother, I cannot have him—here—Amaury!
Defer him but a little—till to-morrow.
I cannot see him now.

Berengere. This is o'erstrange.

Yolanda. Help me to think. Go to him, go, and say
Some woman thing—that I am ill—that I
Am at confession—penance—that—Ah, say
But anything!

[29] Berengere. Yolanda!

Yolanda. Say.... No use.
Too late.

Berengere. His step?

Yolanda. Oh, unmistakable;
Along the corridor. Go!

[The curtains are thrown back.

Amaury (at the threshold). My Yolanda!

[Hastens down and takes her, passive, in his arms. Berengere goes.

My, my Yolanda!...

[Kisses her.

To touch you is as triumph to the blood,
Is as the boon of battle to the strong!

Yolanda. Amaury, no; release me and say why
You come: The Saracens—?

Amaury. Not of them now!

[Bends back her head.

But of some tribute incense to this beauty,
Dear as the wind wafts from undying shrines
[30] Of mystery and myrrh!
I'd have the eloquence of quickened moons
Pouring upon the midnight magicly,
To say all I have yearned,
Now, with your head pillowed upon my breast!
Slow sullen speech, come to my soldier lips,
Rough with command, and impotent of softness!
Come to my lips! or fill so full my eyes
That the unutterable shall seem as sweet
To my Yolanda. But ... how, how now? tears?

[Lifts her face.

Yolanda. Amaury——

Amaury. What have I done? Too pronely pressed
You to this coat of steel?

Yolanda. No, no.

Amaury. My words,
Or silence, then?

Yolanda. Amaury, no, but sweet,
Sweet as the roses of Damascus crusht,
Your silence is! and sweeter than the dream
[31] Of April nightingale on Troados,
Or gushing by the springs of Chitria,
Your every word of love! Yet—yet—ah, fold me,
Within your arms oblivion and hold me,
Fast to your being press me, and there bless me
With breathèd power of your manhood's might.

Amaury. This I cannot understand.

Yolanda (freeing herself). Nothing—a folly—groundless frailty.

Amaury. You've been again at some old tale of sorrow,

[Goes to the lectern.

Pining along the pages of a book—
This, telling of that Italy madonna
Whose days were sad—I have forgotten how.
Is it not so?

Yolanda. No, no. The tears of women
Come as the air and sighing of the night,
We know not whence or why.

[32] Amaury. Often, perhaps.
I am not skilled to tell. But never these!
They are of trouble known.

Yolanda. Yet now forget them.

Amaury. It will not leave my heart that somehow—how
I cannot fathom—Camarin——

Yolanda (lightly, to stop him). No farther!

Amaury. That Camarin of Paphos is their cause.—
Tell me——

Yolanda. Yes, that I love thee!

Amaury. Tell me——

Yolanda. Love thee!
As sea the sky! and as the sky the wind!
And as the wind the forest! As the forest—
What does the forest love, Amaury? I
Can think of nothing!

Amaury. Tell me then you have
Never a moment of you yielded to him,
That never he has touched too long this hand—
[33] Till evermore he must, even as I—
Nor once into your eyes too deep has gazed!
You falter? darken?

Yolanda. Would he ne'er had come
Into these halls! that it were beautiful,
Holy to hate him as the Lost can hate.

Amaury. But 'tis not?

Yolanda. God shall judge him.

Amaury. And not you?

Yolanda. Though he is weak, there is within him—

Amaury. That
Which women trust? and you?

[Berengere enters. He turns to her.


Berengere. A runner,
A soldier of your troop within the forts
Has come with word.

Amaury (starting). Mother!

Berengere. It is ill news?
[34] I've seen that battle-light in you before.
'Tis of the Saracens? you ride to-night
Into their peril?

Amaury. Come, the word, the word!

Berengere. Only this token.

Amaury. The spur? the spur? (Takes it.) They then
Are landing!

Yolanda. How, Amaury; tell your meaning!

Amaury. The galleys of the Saracens have found
Anchor and land to-night near Keryneia.
My troops are ready and await me—
So I must speed.

Yolanda (with strange terror). I pray you, do not go.

Amaury. Yolanda!

Yolanda. If I am left alone—!

Amaury. Yolanda!

Yolanda (sinking to a seat). I meant it not—a breath of fear—forget—
And go.

[35] Amaury. I know you not to-night. Farewell.

[He kisses her and hurries off.... A silence.

Berengere. Yolanda——

Yolanda. Mother, I will go to sleep.

[She rises.

Berengere. A change has come to you—a difference
Drawn as a veil between us.

Yolanda. I am weary.

Berengere. You love me?

Yolanda. As, O mother, I love him,
With love impregnable to every ill,
As Paradise is.

Berengere. Then—

Yolanda. I pray, no more.
To-night I am flooded with a deeper tide
Than yet has flowed into my life—and through it
Sounds premonition: so I must have calm.

[She embraces Berengere; goes slowly up steps and off.

[36] Berengere (chilled). What fear—if it is fear—has so unfixed her?
Is it suspicion? Then I must not meet
Him here to-night—or if to-night, no more.
Her premonition!—and my dream that I
Should with a cross bring her deep bitterness.

[Thinks a moment, then takes the crucifix from her neck.

Had Renier but come, perhaps I might ...

[Lays it on table.

O were I dead this sinning would awake me!...
And yet I care not (dully).... No, I will forget.

[Goes firmly from door to door and looks out each. Then lifts, unnoting, the cross-shaped candlestick; and waving it at the loggia, turns holding it before her.

Soon he will come up from the cool, and touch
Away my weakness with mad tenderness.
Soon he will.... Ah!

[Has seen with terror the candlestick's structure.

[37] The cross!... My dream!... Yolanda!

[Lets it fall.

Mercy of God, move in me!... Sacrilege!

[Sinks feebly to the divan, and bows, overcome.

Camarin (appearing after a pause on the loggia).
My Berengere, a moment, and I come!

[Enters, locking the grating behind him. Then he hurries down and leans to lift her face.

Berengere. No, no! nor ever, ever again, for ever!


Go from me and behind leave no farewell....

Camarin. This is—illusion. In the dew I've waited,
And the night's song of you is in my brain—
A song that seems——

Berengere. Withhold from words. At last
Fate is begun! See, with the cross it was
[38] I waved you hither. Leave me—let me pass
Out of this sin—and to repentance—after.

Camarin. I cannot, cannot!

Berengere. Pity, then, my fear.
This moment were it known would end with murder,
Or did it not, dishonour still would kill!
Leave, leave.

Camarin. To-morrow, then; but not to-night!

[He goes behind and puts his arms around her.

Give me thy being once again, thy beauty.
For it I'm mad as bacchanals for wine.

[Yolanda, entering on the balcony, hears, and would retreat, but sees Renier come to the grating.

Once more be to me all that woman may!
Let us again take rapture wings and rise
Up to our world of love, guilt would unsphere.
Let us live over days that passed as streams
Limpid by lotus-banks unto the sea,
O'er all the whispered nights that we have clasped
[39] Knowing the heights and all the deeps of passion!
But speak, and we shall be amid the stars.

[Renier draws a dagger and leaves the grating. With a low cry Yolanda staggers down: the Two rise, fearful.

Berengere. Yolanda!

Yolanda. Mother, mother!... Ah, his eyes!

Berengere. What brings you here—to spy upon me?

Yolanda. Listen!...
Think not of me—no, hush—but of the peril
Arisen up.... Your husband!

Camarin. Renier?

Yolanda. Was at that grating—heard. And from its sheath
Drew forth a dagger!—Ah!

Berengere (weakly). What does she say?

Yolanda. Find calmness now, and some expedient.

[She struggles to think.

Berengere. I cannot die.

[40] Yolanda. No, no.

Berengere. My flesh is weak,
Is poor of courage—poverished by guilt,
As all my soul is! But, Yolanda, you—!

Yolanda. Yes, something must be done—something be done.

[Camarin goes to the curtains and returns.

Berengere. The shame ... the shame ... the shame!

Yolanda. There yet is time.

Berengere. You can deliver! you are innocent.

Yolanda. Perhaps. Let me but think.—He came——

Berengere. You see?
There is escape? a way from it?

Yolanda. Perhaps.
He came after your words ... yes ... could not see
Here in the dimness ... but has only heard
Sir Camarin....

Berengere. I do not know!

[41] Yolanda. Go, in ...
Up to your chamber and be as asleep.
There is a way—I think—dim, but a way.
Go to your chamber; for there yet may be

Berengere. I—yes, yes.

Yolanda. There is a way.

[Berengere goes.

Strength now to walk it! strength unfaltering.

Camarin. What do you purpose?

Yolanda. Here to take her place,
Here at the lowest of her destiny.

Camarin. I do not understand.

Yolanda. But wholly shall.
Clasp me within your arms; he must believe
'Tis I and not his wife you have unhallowed,
Your arms about me, though they burn! and breathe me
Thirst of unbounded love as unto her.

[He clasps her, and they wait.

Ah, it is he!

[42] Camarin. No.

Yolanda. Yes, the words; at once!

Camarin (hoarsely). With all my body and soul-breath I love you,

[Renier enters with Moro.

And all this night is ours for ecstasy.
Kiss me with quenchless kisses, and embrace
Me with your beauty, till——

[Yolanda with a cry, as of fear, looses herself, pretending to discover Renier, who is struck rigid.

Moro. My lord, my lord!...
It is Yolanda.

Renier. Then—

[The dagger falls from him.

Why, then—Amaury!

[Yolanda, realising, stunned, sinks back to the divan.





Several Days Have Elapsed

Scene: The forecourt of the castle, beyond which is the garden and in the distance the mountains, under the deep tropical blue of morning. On the right the wall enclosing the castle grounds runs back and is lost in the foliage of cypress, palm, orange; it is pierced by an arched gate with lifted portcullis. On the left rises the dark front of the castle, its arabesqued doorway open. Across the rear a low arcaded screen of masonry, with an entrance to the right, separates the court from the garden. Before it a fountain, guarded by a statue of a Knight of St. John, falls into a porphyry basin. By the castle door, to the front, and elsewhere, are stone seats. Hassan is standing moodily by the screen, left, looking out the portcullis. He starts, hearing steps, and as the old leach Tremitus enters, motions him silently into the castle; then muttering "the old blood-letter," stands as before, while Civa, Maga, and Mauria are heard in the garden, and enter gaily bearing water-jars to the fountain. Civa sees his look and breaks into a twitting laughter. The other two join her.

[46] Civa. Look at him! Maga! Mauria! behold!
Was ever sight so sweet upon the world?
Is he not very Joy?

Mauria (critically). Now, is he not?
With the price of vinegar upon his face.

[All laugh.

The price of vinegar! who'll buy!—Not I!
Not I! Not I! Not I!

Hassan. Wench.

Civa. Verily!
And not a man! he has discovered it!
You're not a man, Mauria! we were duped.

[Mauria slaps her playfully.

But see him now—a mummy of the Nile!
Who died of choler!

[47] Mauria. Then, a care, he'll bite.
He's been in the grave a long while and he's hungry.
A barley-loaf, quick, Maga!

Civa. To appease him!
But s-sh! beware! there's something of import.

[They stop in mock awe before him.

What does he think of?

Mauria. Sphinxes and the spheres.

Civa. Or little ants and gnats that buzz about him.

Mauria. And how to make them smart for sauciness.

Civa. Or of Alessa!

Maga. No, no, Civa! come;
Enough of teasing.

Civa. Of Alessa!

Maga. No.
Your pitcher, come. He's troubled by the tale
Of lady Yolanda——
And waits for lord Amaury from the battle.

[48] Civa. The—! heigh! heigh-o! awaits! la, la! he does!

[Hassan starts at her tone.

For lord Amaury! does he so indeed?

Hassan. What do you know? Be silent.

Civa. Ho!

Hassan. Itch! would
You have lady Yolanda hear? She comes
Now, as she has this morning thrice, to ask.

[Yolanda appears on the threshold with Alessa.

Lord Renier ... remember, if she learns!

[Civa flouts him, but goes to the fountain. The others follow, fill their jars, and, singing, return to the garden. Yolanda then crosses to Hassan, who waits evasive.

Yolanda. My want is still the same—words are unneeded.

Hassan. To know of lord Amaury?

[49] Yolanda. Lord Amaury—
He has not yet returned?

Hassan (loathly). I have not seen him.

Yolanda. Nor heard?

Hassan. Nothing.

Yolanda. I cannot understand.

[Goes to the gate, troubled.

Hassan (low). Liar that I am to say it!

Yolanda. I cannot—cannot!


The Saracens we know were routed to
Their vessels—all the Allah-crying horde.
And lord Amaury—said the courier not?——
Rode in the battle as a seraph might
To the Holy Sepulchre's deliverance.
And yet no word from him.

Hassan. Perhaps—with reason.

[She looks at him quickly—he flushes.

With reason! ... knowing, lady, what, here, now,
[50] Is rumoured of a baron
And lady Yolanda!... Pardon!

Yolanda (slowly). Of a baron
And lady Yolanda.

Hassan. Yes: it is the women
Who with their ears ever at secrecy
Rumour it. But, lady, it is a lie?
This Camarin, this prinker,
Whose purse is daily loose to us.... I curse him!
His father.... Well, my mother's ten years dead,
Stained, as you know—
And flower-lips breathe innocent above her.
But I'll avenge her doom.

Yolanda. On—whom?

Hassan (points castlewards). On him!
So you, who do not hush this tale of you,
Though it is truthless—hear:
I have a stab for Camarin of Paphos
Whenever he has lived—but say!—too long.

Yolanda (who has listened rigidly. After a pause).
[51] Come here ... look in my eyes, and—deeper.... Shame!

[Quells him.

Pity alone we owe to sin not blame.
And they who love may stray, it seems, beyond
All justice of our judging.—
Is evil mad enchantment come upon
The portals of this castle?

Hassan. I would serve you.

Yolanda. With murder? no. But if you would indeed,
As oft you have——

Hassan. Lady, I will.

Yolanda. Then watch
The Venetian, and when Amaury comes
Find me at once. What sound was that?... A bugle?
It is! it is! Alessa! (Overjoyed.) Do you hear?
His troop! Amaury's! O the silver chime!
Again I breathe, I breathe!
My heart as a bird of May!
[52] Amaury!... Come! we'll go to him! we'll go!
Before any within Lusignan—!

Alessa. Lady!

Yolanda. At once! it rings again! again! we'll go!

Alessa. And tell him?

Yolanda. Warn! Warn him a fever's here
That he must fend his ear from. 'Twill suffice.
And I again shall see him, hear him speak,
Hang on his battle-story blessedly!
And you, Hassan.... But why do you stand stone?
You know something.... He's dead!

Hassan. No, lady, no.

Yolanda. Not? ah! ... then what? 'Twas not his trumpet?

Hassan (after a struggle). No.
And I will lie to you no longer;
Though for obedience it be or life;
And at lord Renier's command.... It is
[53] Not true that lord Amaury from the battle
Has not returned.

Yolanda. But he—you mean—is here?

[Stands motionless.

Hassan. He came ... on yesterday ... at dusk. Was led
Up to his chamber....
So much lord Renier who slipt him in
Revealed, that I might guile you.

Alessa (sharply). And you have?

Hassan. Yes.

Alessa. Though you boasted love to me?

Hassan. Now, woman!

Alessa. Lady, I would have wed him—wed this toad!


Who'd kill the Paphian, too!

Hassan. Yes!

Alessa. Worm! with dust?
Heeling away from him?

[54] Yolanda. Be still, be still.

[Alessa turns to her.

These words can wait on what may yet be helped.
This may undo me! First of all I should
Have seen Amaury! Now——!

Hassan. The Venetian!

[They start. Vittia enters from the castle.

Lady, I will go in.

Alessa. And I; to wait.

[They go.

Yolanda (suddenly). But I to see Amaury.

Vittia. What? (stops).

Yolanda. To see,
Vittia Visani, who withholds Amaury—
Who came last night at dusk, as well you know.

[They face, opposed.

What have you told him?

Vittia. Ha!

Yolanda. Insolence, false
And feigning! But no matter; lies are brief.
I'll go myself to him.

[55] Vittia. To be repelled?

Berengere enters.

Yolanda. If he could trust you—but he could not.

Vittia. Knowing
A Paphian ere this has fondled two?

Yolanda. You hear, mother? (To Vittia). Out of my way at once.

Berengere. Stay, stay! She has not told him! nothing!... Yes,
I too have been aware and kept you blind.
For he was overworn, and still is, much.
But now his wound——

Yolanda. Wound! he is wounded?

Berengere. He sleeps.

Yolanda. And is in danger—jeopardy?

Berengere. In none;
If the leech Tremitus has any skill;
And that you know.

Yolanda. I thank ... Madonna ... thee!

[Vittia laughs and goes.

[56] But you, mother, are come at last to say
Your promises, broken two days, are kept?
You've spoken? won lord Renier to wisdom?
Pled him to silence which alone can save us?
Dear mother——?

Berengere. Do not call me so again.

[Turns away.

I have not—and I will not.

Yolanda. Oh!

Berengere. I cannot....

Yolanda. But can leave me so laden here within
This gulf's dishonour? Never!... So return
And pledge him but to wait!
For this Venetian has now, I bode,
Something of evil more,
When once Amaury hears all that has passed.

Berengere. I cannot.

Yolanda (stung). Then hear, hear me! I
Too am a woman, and the woman wants,
The beauty and ache and dream and glow and urge
[57] Of an unreckoned love are mine as yours.
I will not lose Amaury; but will tell him
Myself the truth.

Berengere. Then—I'll not stay for death,
And wait for shame. But now with Camarin
Will go from here.

Yolanda. Mother!

Berengere. To some retreat

Yolanda. Where still pursuit would follow! even,
I fear, Amaury's?—
And overtake you though it were as far
As the sea foams, or past the sandy void
Of stricken Africa? It would be vain.
Vain, and I cannot have you. No, but listen——

[Breaks off seeing Renier, on the castle threshold. His look is on her, but he comes down addressing Berengere.

Renier. She troubles you too much.

Berengere. My lord?

[58] Renier. Too much.
You cherish her and reap unchastity
For gratitude—unchastity against
Our very son who was betrothed to her.
Yet see her shameless.

Berengere (dully). No; I think you wrong her.

[Yolanda moves apart.

Renier. Nobly you pity! But it will not veil her.
Rather the convent and the crucifix,
Matin and Vesper in a round remote,
And senseless beads, for such.—But what more now
Is she demanding?

Berengere. Little.

Renier. Not the means
Still to deceive Amaury?

Berengere. Renier ... no.

[Speaks loathly.

But I have a request that, if you grant,
Will lead peace back to us ... and from us draw
This fang of fate.

Renier. Ah.

[59] Berengere. Yes.

Renier (slowly). And we might be
As those that wedded love?

Berengere. Perhaps.

Renier. That—love!

[A pause.

Then it shall be, at once.... But no, I first
Have a confession.

Berengere. You?

Renier. A pang!—For days

[Takes her hand.

Before I found Yolanda on the breast
Of Camarin of Paphos——
I suffered in the furnace of suspicion
The fume and suffocation of the thought
That you were the guilty one—you my own wife.

[She recoils to Yolanda, who comes up.

I did; but rue, rue it!...
... Yet—it is just
That you recoil even as now you do
From stain upon your wedded constancy....
[60] And time that is e'er-pitiful must pass
Over it—
Before there is forgiveness. And perhaps
Then I shall win you as I never have.—
Now the request.

Berengere. That now ... I cannot plead.

[Sees Yolanda harden. Is impelled.

And yet I must.... It is that, till I bid,
Amaury may not know of this ... not know
This trouble fallen from a night of evil——
Pitiless on us as a meteor's ash.

Renier. Not of it? he? not know?

Berengere. Trust to me.

Renier. How!
And to this wanton's perfidy to bind
Him witless to her—with a charm perhaps—
Or, past releasing, with a philtre? She
Whom now he holds pure as a spirit sped
From immortality, or the fair fields
Of the sun, to be his bride?

Yolanda. Sir, no!... She means
[61] Not I shall wed him! (Winningly.) Only that you spare
To separate us with this horror; that
You trust me to dispel his love, to pall
And chill his passion from me. For I crave
Only one thing—innocence in his sight.

Renier. I will—that you are mad.
Yet madder I, if to this murk my brain
Were blind.

Yolanda. As it will be! in deadlier dark,
If you attend me not!
And may have destiny you cannot know.
But you will heed?
For somewhere in you there is tenderness.
Once when you chafed in fever and I bore
White orange blossoms dewy to your pillow
You touched my hand gently, as might a father.

[Caresses his.

Once on the tower when alone at dusk
I sang—I know not why—of lost delights,
[62] Of vanished roses that are e'er recalling
May to the world, you came and suddenly
Lifted my brow up silent to your kiss.
Ah, you remember; you will hear me?

Renier. No!
Though you are cunning.—Thus you wove the mesh
About Amaury—till he could not move
Beyond you.

Yolanda. For his sake I ask it.

Renier. For
No sake but to o'ersway him with your eyes
In secret, thus, and with
Your hair that he believes an aureole
Brought with you out of Heaven.

Berengere. Again—wrong.

Renier. So deem you and, my Berengere, I grieve,
Desiring much your peace.

Berengere. It grieves you not.

Renier. Then not! and half I fear—you hear?—it should not.
[63] There's midnight in this thing and mystery.
Does she not love—Camarin?

Yolanda (trembling). Say no more.
Be all—all as you will.

Renier. That brings you low:
But brings to me no light—only again
The stumbling in suspicion.

Yolanda. It should not.

Renier (with a sudden gleam).
To-morrow then, unless Amaury runs
Fitting revenge through Camarin of Paphos,
Your lover, you shall clasp him openly
Before all of Lusignan.

Yolanda. No; no, no!
The thought of it is soil!... Rather ... his death!

Renier. What, what?

Berengere. My lord, she knows not what she says.
The unaccustomed wind of these ill hours
Has torn tranquillity from her and reason.

[64] Yolanda (realising). Yes, as she says—tranquillity and reason.

[Strains to smile.

These hours of ill!

Renier. I'll send her Camarin.

[Goes, looking steadfastly back.

Yolanda (turning, then, to Berengere).
His mood and mien—that tremor in his throat,
Unfaltering. I fear him.

Berengere. Life is fear.
No step was ever taken in the world
But from a brink of danger, or in flight
From happiness whose air is ever sin.
It sickens me.

Yolanda. Mother!

Berengere. Nothing; a pain
Here in my breast.


Yolanda. And it is all through him
Who as a guest came pledged into this house.
[65] Came with the chivalry and manly show
Of reverence and grace, that he too well
Has learnt in cunning lands and used to lure.

[Camarin appears from garden.

Ah, and he seeks us now! unwhelmed of it!
Ready of step, impassive, cold! And see—

[Camarin bows forcedly.

A flawless courtesy! as of a king!
Can he not smile too on his handiwork?
Our days were merciful and he has made
Each moment's beat a blow upon the breast.
Honour was here and innocence lies now
A sacrifice that pain cannot consume.—

Camarin. Or death.

Yolanda. Then have you not, unshameable!
A help for it or healing? you who know
So well the world and its unwonted ways!
A man would have, a man.

Camarin. And I am barren.
[66] My brain an arid waste under remorse.
Only one thing it yields—the love of her
My love has made unholy.

Yolanda. While to me
The shame is left, and silence—no defence,
When it is told Amaury, "See her you
Blest with betrothal and the boon of faith,
Chose as the planet-mate of your proud star!
While, in the battle,
You with the weal of Cyprus on your brow
Dared momently peril,
We found her".... Ah, the memory is fire!——
I will not bear it.

Camarin. Then how? what?... You must.
Though for your suffering I am pitiful,
You must!

[Takes her wrist.

For to one thing, one only now I'm bent——
That Berengere be saved.

Berengere. To-day ... no more.

[67] Camarin. Suspicion and the peril-feet of shame
I must keep from her still.

Yolanda. Though driven o'er
My heart they trample the lone flower of hope.

[Shaking off his hand, then, unnaturally wrought up.

And even now perhaps Amaury hears
And turns away in horror!

Camarin. What? Come, come.
Enough is here without——

Yolanda (as before). I'll go to him!
Despite of them! in to his side and say
That I am innocent—as the first dawn
And dew of Eden!... Yes!

Camarin. A frenzy! Mere
Folly! you wander!

Yolanda (suddenly). That was anguish? whose?

[Is hauntedly listening.

[68] Camarin. Amaury still is many leagues away—

[Hassan appears.

At Keryneia! Do you hear me?

Yolanda. Hassan!

[Is numb as he hurries down from the castle to her. A pause; then her voice falls hoarsely.

I hear you, speak. His wounds I know. The rest!
They've told him?

Hassan. The Venetian, who nursed him
Last night, pouring his potions—
She and lord Renier. They broke his sleep.
He listened to them as one in a grave.
Then they besought of him
Some oath against you, were they right: he would not.
Now he has risen,
Silent and pale and suffering; in leash.
He's coming here.

Camarin. Why, you are mad!

Yolanda. Be still.

[69] Camarin. Amaury was not then delayed? is—here?

[Voices are heard perturbed within the castle. Then Amaury, putting aside Renier and Tremitus, followed by Vittia and others, enters down.

Amaury. I'll not return unto my couch though twice
These wounds and all your wants were urging it!
Yolanda! my Yolanda!—Never, never!

[Takes her to him.

Until I prove you that a word against
Her that I hold here in my arms is more
To me than any peril.

Tremitus. But, sir—!... Aeih!
My precious physic wasted!

Amaury. Till I prove it!
For ... my Yolanda!...
You who are purity if Mary still
Is mother of God and lighteth Paradise!
You in whose presence I am purged as one
[70] Bathing a thousand years in angel song!
They say, you, who are stainless to my eyes
As is the sacring-bell to holy ears,
So undefiled even the perfect lily
Pendent upon your breast fears to pollute it!
Listen, they tell me you—A fool, a fool
Would know it unbelievable and laugh.

Renier. As now a fool is doing?

Amaury. O, sir, pardon.
You are my father, and, I must believe,
Mean well this monster breath's unchastity,
As does this lady (of Vittia) who has gently nursed me.
But you were tricked; it was illusion swum
Before your sleep. Therefore my purpose is
Now to forget it.

Tremitus. Aieh! and to return
Now to my drugs.

Renier. Stand off!—As dogs forget
The lash in hunger of the wonted bone?

[Laughs angrily.

[71] Amaury. A poison so incredible and dark
You cannot duped inoculate me with.
Trust in my veins makes of it but more love.
And to dispel your minds (goes to Camarin) I'll clasp his hand
Whom you have so accused.

Vittia. O do, my lord!

[Smiles disdainfully.

And then embrace him in whose arms three nights
Ago she was embraced.

Yolanda (to her). Can you so say!

Vittia. Yes, and will add——

Amaury. Lady of Venice, nothing!
But this to all, I answer!—
There is my mother, see,
Wounded with wonder of this plight, and pity.
Yolanda has dwelt by her
As the fawn
By the white doe on mount Chionodes.
I would as quick believe that she had given
[72] Her holiness up to contamination
As that Yolanda——

Yolanda. Amaury, enough!... I know!

Amaury. As quickly!

Yolanda. Then ... quell this delirium!

[A pause.

Out of your thought forever let it fall,
Hear no more of it, ever!
Be deaf to it as to a taunt of doom,
In triple mail to every peaceless word,
Granite against even its memory.
Say that you will, and now!...

Renier. So that you may
Allure him yet to wed you?

Amaury. Sir!

Renier. She would.

Yolanda. No, no! But let him.... Then I will go far
Away from here to any alien air,
To opiate India, a lost sea-isle!
To the last peak of arid Caucasus.

[73] Renier. With Camarin of Paphos?

Yolanda. With whoever
Your peace and this compelling pain.... Ah no!

Renier. With him, with him, I say?...

Amaury. You drive and drain her.
To me her words shall be—me and no other.
So my Yolanda now dissolve the cling
Of this invisible but heavy hydra;
I've striven with it till no more I can.
If any tare has been unseemly sown
Upon the April vision of our love,
Say it at once that I may rend and fling it
Away from us. Say it!

Renier. Vainly implored.—
Yet ask her this, If she three nights ago——

Amaury. I will not so insult her.

Tremitus. Aieh——

Renier. Insult?
She knows what I would bid and does she hurl
Her soul in any disavowal?

[74] Amaury. I
Will speak to her alone. Go, all of you,
There to the fountain.

Yolanda. Yes, Amaury, then
One searching of my face shall free your fear.
Alone, alone.

Renier. Still to befool him!

Yolanda (warningly). Choose!
I cannot suffer more of this.

Amaury. Nor I
To breathe ever the burning of this mist
Of anguish and insatiate accusal.—
This wound upon my throat, fever it not
With longer fire of doubt, Yolanda.

Yolanda. Ah!

Berengere. I am not well. I will go to my chamber.

[She passes into the castle.

Renier. But I never until this guiler grants
I found her in the arms of Camarin,
Drinking the frenzied wine of passion
[75] He poured from his soul.

Amaury. Yolanda?

Renier. She is silent;
Dumb to deny it.

Amaury. But she will, she will.
You've driven her with dread and awe.

Vittia (lightly). And truth?

Amaury. Have wounded her. But do not fear, Yolanda;
Fiercely disown.

Yolanda. Amaury ... it is true.

[He staggers slowly back.

No, no; I have not been faithless to you—
Even a moment
To the divinity of love high-altared
Here in my breast! to the immutable
Beauty of it! ... look, look not on me so—
As if I had struck, murdered a little child!
Or palsied one who put a hand to help me;
[76] Or through eternity had desecrated,
Vainly, virginity and trust and truth!
No, my Amaury! I ... do you not see?


Not faithless, hear! it is not true! not true!
But only this——

Camarin. Yolanda!

Yolanda. I——

Camarin. Yolanda!

[A moment, then she sinks down, her face in her hands. Amaury groans; then starting goes fiercely to Hassan, and taking his sword recrosses trembling to Camarin.

Amaury. The day you first set step in Lusignan
An image of the Magdalen within
The chapel yonder fell—presaging this.
Only your death, your death or mine stands pale
[77] Between us now, awaiting silently.
Draw, and at once.

Camarin. Amaury, I will not.

Amaury. Out, quickly.

Camarin. Do your will. I'll put no more
To the guilt I bear, or to the misery
That guilt has brought upon you.

Amaury. Coward!

Camarin. Strike!

Amaury. You play a part! (Raves.) And 'tis that you may live
Still in the love that you a thief have stolen.
So, with your steel——!

Camarin. It stays within its sheath.

Amaury. Then I will not be thwarted though I must
Crush you as one a viper with his heel,
Though I must take your leper throat into
My hands and strangle life from it!
For the same sky you breathe I will not.
The sun that falls upon you shall not foul
[78] My being—
Though I must go down into hell for it.

[He starts, frenzied, to strike, but suddenly staggers; then clasps at his throat, drops the sword, and sinks down moaning.

Yolanda. His wound!

Tremitus. Aeih, aeih! at last.

Yolanda. Amaury! Oh!

[Runs to him. He struggles to his feet.

Amaury! Amaury!

Amaury. Stand away from me.

[She falls back; he laughs in derision.

I to believe her pure as my own mother!

Vittia. Had you but trusted me, Amaury.

Amaury. You?

[Looks long at her.

Henceforth I will.

Vittia. And wholly?

Amaury (significantly). She ... shall do it.

[Starts into the castle.

[79] Yolanda (dauntedly). Amaury! what is this?

Vittia. That, ere a dawn,
Guileless Yolanda, you shall wed with him
Your paramour of Paphos——

Yolanda. Camarin?

Vittia. And from these gates be led wanton away.

[Yolanda, for a moment whelmed, tries to laugh scorn; but, turning, her eye meets Renier's full of suspicion. He follows Amaury meaningly into the castle.






The Same Day

Scene: The Hall and loggia of Act I; but toward sunset, and afar, on the flushed sea, are seen the fisher-boats returning pale-winged to shore. In the left distance, also, a portion of Famagouste is visible above the waves—its orient walls and towers, white domes and houses, interspersed with tall palms. The interior of the Hall is the same; only the divan is placed to the front and left, the lectern near the balcony leading to the sleeping apartments and to the chapel. Smarda is lying lithely on the divan, beguiled with her charms and amulets, and from time to time giving a low, sinuous laugh. Vittia enters, watches a moment, thoughtful, then advances.

Vittia. Smarda——

Smarda (springing up). Lady ... your slave!

[84] Vittia. I think you are.
Think that you are—if ever the leopard yields.

Smarda. To you, lady? A-ha! let him refuse.

Vittia. And you will heed it well; I fear not.
But first I have thought of requital.

Smarda (avidly). Ouie!

Vittia. Those amulets you wear, of jade and sard—

Smarda (quickly dark). Are for revenge—to bring revenge!

Vittia. And from
Your Scythian home, over the hated sea,
They came with you.

Smarda. Yes.

Vittia. From the home whence you
Were torn by the Moor who was your one-time master.
Is it not so?

Smarda. The spirits strangle him!

[Works at the charms.

[85] Vittia. Well, if I win to-night what is begun
You shall not want, to-morrow,
Gold for a weightier witchery upon him.

[The slave's eyes gleam.

But listen, every sinew will be needed
Still to achieve this wedding, though we have
Camarin with us, willing. So I've learned
A ship has come from Venice.

Smarda (quickly). Pietro?

Vittia. Yes, Pietro, it must be, has arrived
With papers that will help.

Smarda. Ha! Fortune's touch!

Vittia. It is, but tardy. Therefore I must have
Them instantly.

Smarda. Ere he has time, lady,
To vaunt his loves, in Lusignan, and babble.

Vittia. As, wooing dolt, he will. But see to it.
I shall be in this place with lord Amaury,
Whom I must ... but no matter.
He left me suddenly a season since
Seeing his father look strangely upon
[86] His mother; for lord Renier's doubt I still
Have been compelled to feed—to move Yolanda.
Here in this place then I shall be, at need.

[She goes engrossedly.

Smarda (recalling the pledge; evilly). A-ha! ha-ha! ha-ha! if she but win!
A talisman with might upon the Moor!

[Begins to dance—a charm held up before her.

If she but win! a-ha! a curse on him!

[Whirls faster with a wild grace, swaying to and fro, and chanting softly the while, till suddenly a laugh in the corridor stops her, and Pietro is heard through the curtains adoring Civa, who pushes him into the Hall, then runs away laughing.

Pietro (after her). Hold, fair one! Stay! You look on Pietro
Of Venice! Pietro!

Smarda (to herself). A-ha ... ha-ha!

[87] Pietro (turning). It is the slave! (Grandly.) I greet you, slave.

Smarda. Greeting!

Pietro. I, Pietro, who, as you know, am sought
By all the loveliest
Attending on the lords and high of Venice.

Smarda. So!... So!

Pietro. "The gentle Pietro," they say.
You may remember.

Smarda. So.

Pietro. "Proud Pietro!"
And then they sigh.

Smarda. So.

Pietro. Then they weep and pine—
"For Pietro"—until I must console them.

Smarda (going to where he poses; contemptuously).
And for all this, O prince of paramours,

[Spurns him.

My lady no doubt has bid you to sail from Venice?

Pietro. Eh?

[88] Smarda. Eh! And she will hear no doubt with love
That you delay the powers of the Senate
Sent in your keeping to her?

Pietro. Slave! ... (alarmed) the papers?

Smarda. With love and with delight? since she awaits them?
With joy? When told your amorous mouthings yonder?

Pietro. Slave, she must never! You will take them to her!

[Fumbles for papers.

In to her ... quickly!...
Dear slave, you will—and say if she inquire
That I was led astray
By the little Cyprian with guiling eyes
Who fell enamoured of me at the gate.

Smarda. Civa!

Pietro. The same! I sought to run away,

[Still searching.

O slave, say to her, but I could not for—
[89] For—for a lady by the marble knight,
That is, by the fountain, swooned, as I came in.
And then—

Smarda. Swooned!

Pietro. As I came!

Smarda (a-quiver). Beside the fount?
Who? which? lady Yolanda? lady Berengere?

[He stares at her ardour.

Did no one say?... My mistress must know this!
The papers, quickly!

Pietro. Slave, you——! By my sins!

[She has seized them swiftly, and gone. He follows amazed. Then sunset begins without, crimson and far; and Amaury appears from the loggia, reckless and worn. He pauses, looks about him, troubled.

Amaury. Not here yet.... There is more in this than seems.

[Goes to divan and sits. Vittia enters behind.

[90] More, Camarin of Paphos, than is clear!

[Starts up.

And she must tell me! (Sees Vittia.) Lady, you I mean.

[Vittia advances inquiringly.

What is beyond this shame upon Yolanda?

Vittia. My lord——?

Amaury. What! It is moving in me clouded,
Deeper than sight but pressing at my peace.
My father's look! you saw it!

Vittia. Ah!

Amaury. And saw
Fear in my mother!

Vittia. Yes, implanted deep.

Amaury. And did not wonder?

Vittia (sits). When I knew its source?
No need, my lord—though your pang too I marked—
For, trust me, ere to-morrow all will cease—
If you are firm.

Amaury. I? who know nought? In what?

[91] Vittia. That do not ask, I pray. (Deftly.) Another could
Fitly reply, but I——

Amaury. No other better!

Vittia. Then ... it will cease, my lord—
So as a flail of doubt it should not still
Beat in you—when Yolanda
Is wed with Camarin ... no, do not speak;
The reason for your sake I must withhold.

Amaury. Though as under sirocco I am kept.


Sirocco!... It is unintelligible!

[Rises. A pause.

Yet you speak gently.

Vittia. No; unblushingly!

[He looks surprised.

Unblushingly to one who knows—though by
A chance—my love to him—my lowered love.

[Turns away.

And yet I cannot rue
That he awaking sudden from the potion
[92] Surprised yearning and truth upon my lips.
No, and I would that gentle words might be
As waters of enchantment on his grief.—
But of Yolanda—


Amaury. Still I love her, still!

Vittia (strainedly). As well she knows, so may refuse to wed
With Camarin.

Amaury. She?

Vittia. Since you are Lusignan,
Heir of a sceptred line,
And yet may reach—the realm.

Amaury (pierced). Which ... do you mean,
She hopes of?

Vittia. Were it folly to make sure?

[A pause.

Amaury. How? speak.

Vittia. Again unshameful? No; one thing
Alone would serve you. That I must not bring
My tongue to falter.

[93] Amaury. Be it so.

Vittia. And yet ...

[He has turned away.

Yet I must bend to! and, my lord, I will!
Will ... for you suffer!
Will, though indelicacy seem to soil
Whatever bloom I boasted.

[Goes to him.

It is this:
To let her ... but for to-day ...
Think you ... for she's aware of my affection ...
Have chosen—to wed me.

Amaury. You!

Vittia. For to-day.
To-morrow I return to Venice, then

Amaury (moved). Lady—?

Vittia. I will bear it.

Amaury. ... Thus?


[94] Then it shall be. And grateful I'll await
The issue's utterance. And stay, wear this—

[Takes off a ring.

From her dead father's hand—
As a proof to her of any tie soever.
But now—for the sails make home along the sea—
Now of my mother.

Vittia. More, my lord?

[Smarda glides in.

Amaury. This only.
To-morrow when again she ... Scythian!

[The slave is gleaming strangely.

Vittia. Smarda! what do you mean? why are you here?

[Sees papers; takes them.

These—but not these alone have brought you! What?

[Follows Smarda's eye.

Of lord Amaury?

Smarda. Of his mother.

Vittia. How!

[95] Smarda. She swooned of terror at the castle gate.
She lies in danger. Hear—'twas as she fled
The lord of Lusignan.

Amaury. My father?

Smarda. He.
And you are sought below, I heard it said:
Some officer of Famagouste—-and men.

[Amaury turns dazed and goes.

Vittia (through a surge of thoughts that have darkened her face).
This is again fortune! ... fortune!

Smarda. Lady?

Vittia. Is! though an instant since it seemed disaster.

Smarda. And how?

Vittia. Yolanda, does not know? nothing?

Smarda. Nothing. She was returning from the rocks,
Where nest the windy gulls,


[96] As I came hither, I stole there at noon
To see her suffer.

Vittia. Then—I can compel her.
She will come here. Go to the curtains, see.
If she is near, the Paphian is in
The bower by the cypress: there, tell him,
The loggia—at once.... Ah!

Yolanda enters.

Yolanda (to herself). "Ah" indeed.

[Her look of purpose changes to one of distrust. But she firmly fronts to Vittia, as the slave slips out.

Vittia. My gratitude! I wished, and you are here.

Yolanda. And—for some reason of less honour—you.

Vittia. I, a dear guest? fa!

Yolanda. Would you were! ... not one
This ne'er-before-envenomed air would banish.


[97] One whose abiding
These walls would loathe aloud—had they a tongue
To utter.

Vittia. Yet I may be mistress of them.
Ere all is done—since still it is my purpose.

Yolanda. Gulfs wide as the hate of God for infamy
Would lie preventing; so there is no fear.


Vittia. A prophesy!

Yolanda. A deeper than disdain.

Vittia. Or than your love of Camarin of Paphos!

Yolanda. Which you would feign, but cannot.

Vittia. Still, before
Evening is done, you will become his wife.

Yolanda. If, ere it come, all under Lusignan
Do not look scorn on Vittia Pisani.


Vittia. What! how?

[98] Yolanda. Plentiful scorn! (With joy.) A thing may still
Be done to lift my hope out of this ruin!
To bring Amaury grateful to my feet!
And I will do it.

Vittia. Tell? ... vowing him first
To win his father's lenience?... No ... I see!
You will when she who's guilty
And this enamoured Paphian are fled!

[Yolanda turns pale.

When they are fled! ha.... And it is too late.

Yolanda. Too—? (stunned). You by a trick—some trick have—!

Vittia. Hindered? Little
I needed.... Her wings are flightless. She is ill,
Verging—go learn!—to death.

Yolanda. Oh ...!

Vittia. To the grave.
And you alone, she knows, can put it far—
Since she is numbed and drained
[99] Momently by the terror of her husband,
Whose every pulse seems to her a suspicion.

Yolanda. And it is you ... you who have urged again
His doubt that would have sunk!

Vittia. It was enough
Merely to sigh—and fear her innocence
Can only seem simple as dew again
If you wed freely Camarin of Paphos.

Yolanda. And that you could! though in her heart remorse
Trampled and tore!
Though with the wounds of battle he you "love"
Is livid still.

Vittia. And grieves?—Be comforted!
For he is—now security has come.

[Shows the ring; Yolanda falls back.

As he is, do not fear.

Yolanda. Amaury!... Oh!
My father's gift—so desecrated? So?—
Ah, you are merciless!

[100] Vittia. Only aware
How to compel your pity to my ends;
For you will spare his mother.

Yolanda. Yielding—still,
And past all season of recovery?
Shattering love for ever at my feet?
No, you are duped. For empty, cold are the veins
Now of submission in me; numb and dead
The pleading of it. And upon you, back,
I cast the burden of your cruelty.


And—if she dies in terror of the lips
Of Renier Lusignan—on your peace
The guilt be!

Vittia. Fa.

Yolanda. The heaping mass of horror!

Vittia (moved). Liar, on her own; for she has sinned.

Yolanda. And suffered!
But you——

[101] Vittia. I say her own. I've done no crime.
And you will wed him.

Yolanda. Or, ... Venetian—
Wed you to Remorse!
For there at the gates that guard your rest you hear
Dim now the risen phantom cries of it,
The presage beat of them like hungry hands
That will o'erwhelm you!
All that I could to spare her I have done;
All that was duty and of love the most.
But you it was who struck and kindled first
Within lord Renier fire of suspicion.
And you it is—
Since in the worst that live there yet is heaven!—
Must null his doubt and ease the sobbing ebb
And flood of her sick spirit; you who must
Go to his fear and with persuasion say
That it is folly of him and of you
So to suspect her, since in Camarin's
Arms I was found. You will!

[102] Vittia. And—then go pray?

[Draws out the papers scornfully.

Rather I'll bring you this:—Authority
Sent me of Venice
To make Amaury lordly over Cyprus,
Or to abase him even of Famagouste;
Which I will do—

[Goes to her.

Unless I have the pledge that you will wed,
Though not to be his wife and free to leave him,
This Paphian,
And with him from Lusignan hence will pass.

[Camarin appears on loggia.

And he has come now for your answer.

Yolanda. Here!
In league with you! in this!

Vittia. Most loyally;
And ready skilfully to disavow,
With every force, your innocence—if you
Attempt betrayal!—
[103] Enter, my lord of Paphos—I have spoken.

[Camarin enters desperately.

But she has pledged no further—though the life
Of Berengere Lusignan fall for it,
And though Amaury.... But you may avail.

[Moves off. Yolanda stands silently between them. Camarin looks at her, falters, then turns on Vittia.

Camarin. As an anchorite covets, Venetian,
Immortal calm, I crave and covet this!
Yet ... I will not entreat it of her more.

Vittia. What!

Camarin. Fate may fall. I swore in dread, but will not!

Yolanda (low). Madonna!

Vittia. You refuse?

Yolanda. He does.

Vittia. The whole?

Yolanda. Lady of Venice, yes; for very shame!

[With deep joy.

Bitterly tho' it be, he must, for shame!
[104] For though he would waste the air of the world to keep
The breath still in the veins
Of her his love so wronged,
He cannot ask me more than breast can bear—
Knowing I have already borne for her
Infection worse than fetid marshes send
From Mesaoria—
Have lost the sky of love that I had arched
And all the stars of it. See, he is dumb!—
He cannot.

Camarin (coldly). No; but to your heart I leave her
And to your pity.

Yolanda. Say not pity to me!

[The word overwhelms her anew.

Am I not needy, fain of it, and can
Endurance ever dure!
What have I left ...
Of joy to ripple in me or of light
To sway me to forgetting—I to whom
[105] Dawn was enchanted incense once, and day,
The least of earth, an ides of heaven bliss.
What to me left! to me!
Who shepherded each happy flock of waves
Running with silvery foaming there to shore,
Who numbered the little leaves with laughing names
Out of my love,
And quickened the winds with quicker winds of hope,
That now are spent ... as summer waters,
Leaving my breast a torrent's barren bed.
Pity and pity! ever pity! No.

[Enter Hassan.

A nun to pity I will be no more.
But you, cruel Venetian.... Ah, ah,
Mother of God! is there no gentleness
In thee to move her and dissolve away
This jeopardy congealing over us?

[A pause.

Vittia. You see, none.

[106] Yolanda. Ah, for sceptre and for might
Then to compel you.

Vittia. Still, there is none.

Yolanda. None....

[Sinks to a seat in despair.

Yet could I think!

Hassan. Lady Yolanda—


Yolanda. Were
My brain less weary!

Hassan. Lady Yolanda—

Yolanda. Well?

Hassan. There is a means—a might.

Yolanda. Well?

[Is half heedless.

Hassan. To compel her.

Yolanda. To ... what?

Hassan. If you will dare it.

Yolanda. Will—?


Hassan. I swear.

[107] Yolanda. Your thought! I have no fear.

Hassan. Then ... let me but
Seize her and shut her fast an hour within
The leprous keep, and she shall write whate'er
You order; then upon a vessel quick
Be sent to Venice whence she came.

Camarin. Mad! mad!
Venice would rise!

Hassan. And Cyprus, to be free!—
But 'tis not, lady! and lord Renier
Shall have a letter of her guile and flight.
Venture it, venture!

Yolanda (after a long pause). If it can be done,
It shall be.

Hassan. Ah!

Yolanda. And must be.

Vittia. Fools, to me!

[She stands defensive, as Hassan prepares to close in.

Yolanda. Quickly, and take her.

Hassan. Now.

[108] Camarin (with sudden horror). No!... Sateless God!

[His eyes are fixed on the balcony. All look, appalled. For slowly down the steps comes Renier following Berengere, whose eyes turn back in fluttering trance upon him.

Yolanda. Ah! ... he will kill her! Stop, my lord! mother!
Lord Renier!

[Runs; takes Berengere in her arms.

Cold is she, stony pale,
And sinking!... Go away from her, go, go!

Renier. No ... she shall tell me.

Yolanda. Mother!... Tell you that
You are her murderer?

Renier. The truth!

Yolanda. The truth!

[Laughs bitterly, and at a loss, as if amazed. Then, almost against her will—

[109] It is suspicion! is that mad suspicion
That you have had of her.

Renier. It is! It is!

Yolanda. And—all because I have these days delayed
To wed with Camarin.

Renier. Delayed?

Yolanda. Because
I show befitting shame that I was here
Found in his arms ... when to Amaury
I was betrothed!

Renier. Power of—!—No!

Yolanda. Because
I grieve to leave Lusignan, this my home—
Where I have dwelt as under tented love—
Though I am bidden.

Renier. This can be?

Berengere (faintly). Yolanda!

Renier. I say—only delayed? and you—?

Yolanda. Yes, yes.
Now I will wed him, heedless, wantless, wild.
[110] Send for the priest and for Amaury, for
Laughter and lights and revelry—for all
Within this castle. But first to her bed,
And to tranquillity,
She must be borne, she your cold violence
Has driven here.... Alessa—Tremitus!

[They have entered.

Lead her within. O mother! piteous mother!——
Ah, it was ruthless, kindless!

Renier. We shall see.

[To Hassan.

Bid Moro and Amaury.—As for her,
I soon may come and seek forgiveness.

Berengere. No!

[Hassan goes.

My brain and breath! ... the pall ... where am I ... how
Long must I lie!...

Tremitus. She speaks to visions. So,
[111] So can the blood do—trick us utterly!

[He supports her—with Alessaslowly up steps and off. Yolanda covers her eyes. Hassan returns with Moro, then, and with Amaury, whose look seeks Vittia.

Yolanda (as all stand silent). Speak, speak, and tell him!

Renier. Yes, Amaury ... you
Are sent for to behold Yolanda wed,
As you commanded,
Here unto Camarin. Shame has till now
Withheld her, but ... what ails you?

Amaury. On; go on.
The sudden blood up to my wounds.

Renier. It has,
I say, withheld her. But she now has chosen.

Amaury. So; and ... it is well. And here are her
Vows I have kept—

[Takes a packet from his breast.

[112] Vows and remembrances ... I shall aspire—

[Hands it; she lets it fall.

That I may loathe her not o'ermuch; and to
Muffle my sword from him that now she weds.

[His voice breaks tonelessly.

Come, let it be.

Yolanda. Amaury!

Amaury (angrily). Priest, be brief!

Moro (before them; as Camarin takes Yolanda's hand).
The Church invests me, and the powers of
This island, here to make you man and wife.
Be joined, ye who have sinned,
In soul, peace and repentances for ever.

[He signs the cross. Yolanda stands dazed. A silence. Then a shuddering cry and all turn toward the balcony, where Alessa bursts, pale and wild and striving to speak.

Yolanda (with dread, awe, premonition). Alessa!

Alessa. Lady Yolanda! you have wed him?

[113] Yolanda (pausing). Yes.

Alessa. Lady Berengere is dead.

Yolanda. No!... No!

[Chokes rebelliously.

It cannot be! mother! cannot! awake her!
And tell her I have wed him! mother! cannot!

[Goes trembling, belieflessly, up the balcony. A strange doubt seizes Amaury. On the rest is silence, consternation, and fear.






Scene: The Chapel of the Castle—or Chapel of the Magdalen—a few hours later. It is of stone, low-arched, gloomy, and adorned with Byzantine mosaics of gaunt saints on backgrounds of gold. The altar is in the rear, and above it a large window, through which pours the still moon. In front of it, to either side, rise two pillars supporting the roof, and on one of them, halfway up, stands a stone image of the Magdalen. Forward are two other pillars whose bases form seats. The right wall has, set midway, a large door hung with heavy curtains. In the rear are smaller doors leading to a sacristy. The altar lamp and a few tapers burn. Alessa enters, rubbing her eyes as if to clear them of vision, looks around, then calls uncertainly—


Alessa. Good father! Father Moro!... He is not here.

[Rubs her eyes again.

The dead are strange! I knew not of their power.
It is as if her spirit still imprisoned
Hovered beneath the pallor of her face
And strove to speak. Good father!

[Enter Moro.

Ah, you were
There in the sacristy.

Moro. Yes, Your desire?

Alessa. The acolytes summoned from Famagouste
To aid your rites before her burial
Have come, and wait.

Moro. Send hither two.

[Looks closely at her.

Alessa. At once.

[Is going. He stops her.

[119] Moro. Woman, this passes silence. There must be
Some question. Do you understand this wedding?
The evil that has risen in this house?
Do you?

Alessa. I may not speak.

Moro. And wherefore may not?

Alessa. I may not. It is best.

Moro. As says Yolanda,
Who is to-day impenetrable in all.
But who, now, in a lofty grief above
The misery that blasted her, seems calm,
And answers only,—
"God in His season will,
I trust, unfold it soon; I cannot, now!" ...
And yet I heard
Her darkly bid the Paphian be gone——
From here—without her.

Alessa. And he would not?

Moro. No.
Does she not see Amaury dangerous
[120] For truth—which you conceal?

Alessa. The acolytes
Are waiting.

Moro. Go.... But if this hour brings forth
What you shall rue——

Alessa. Father!

[Goes quickly, troubled.

Moro. In blindness still!
For Vittia Pisani, who alone
Seems with these twain to share this mystery
Is silent to all importunity.
Oh, Berengere Lusignan!—
But, 'tis mine
To pray and to prepare. (Listens.) The acolytes.

[Two enter, sleek, sanctimonious.

(To Them.) Come here.... You're Serlio,
Of the Ascension. You?

2nd Acolyte. Hilarion.
From Santa Maria by the Templars' well,
Which God looks on with gratitude, father.
For though we're poor and are unworthy servants
[121] We've given willingly our widow's mite.
And now we....

Moro. You are summoned to this place
For ministrations other than the tongue's.
Prepare that altar—masses for the dead.

Hilarion. Man is as grass that withers!

Moro. Kindle all
Its tapers. The departed will be borne
Hither for holy care and sacred rest.
So do—then after
Look to that image of the Magdalen,
Once it has fallen.

Serlio. Domine, dirige!

[Moro goes. They put off cant and set to work.

Hilarion (insolently, lighting a taper).
We'll have good wine for this!

Serlio. The Chian! Hee!
None's like the Chian! and to-morrow, meat!
Last week old Ugo died and we had pheasant.

[122] Hilarion. When we are priests we'll give no comforting
To wife or maid—till we have sipped!

Serlio. And supped!
Though 'tis a Friday and the Pope is dead!

[Silence. They work faster.

Hilarion. There, it is done. Now to the image.

[Mounts pillar.

Serlio. Well,
Olympio, the cock who fetched us, said
That image fell first on the day——

Hilarion. Tchuck! tchuck!
Better no breath about that lord of Paphos,
Or any here. For till the dead are three
Days gone, you know—! But there's the woman. Feign.

[As Alessa re-enters; hypocritically.

The blessed dead! in Purgatory may
They briefly bide.

Serlio. Aye! aye!

Alessa (still troubled). What say you?

[123] Hilarion. Ah!
I lay that it is wiser never to foul
The dead, even in thinking,
For they may hear us, none can say, and once
My mother saw a dead man who had gone
Unshriven start up white and cry out loud
When he was curst.

Serlio. O Lord!

Alessa (staring). No!... Well, such things
There are perchance. And now they say that Venus,
The Anadyomene, who once ruled this isle,
Is come again.... But you have finished? Soon
They bring her body here.

Hilarion. Now have I, now!
It will not totter again.


Alessa. Would that it might
Upon the head of——(catches herself; calmly) You are awaited
There in the sacristy.... The chant begins!

[The acolytes go. She grows more disquieted.

[124] Begins! and lady Yolanda still awaits
Heedless, though Lord Amaury's desperate,
As is the Paphian!... They near!... The curtains!

[Goes to door and draws them back. As she does so the chant swells louder. Then the cortège entersMoro, the acolytes with tapers; Berengere on a litter, Amaury, Renier, Vittia, the women, Hassan, and last Yolanda. The litter, Amaury by it, comes to the altar; the chanting ceases.

Moro (as Amaury bows, shaken).
No moan or any toil of grief be here
Where we have brought her for sainted appeal.
But in this holy place until the tomb
Let her find rest.

Amaury. Set down the bier.

[It is placed.

Moro. Lone rest!
Then bliss Afar for ever!

[125] Amaury (rises). Be it so!

[Turning; brokenly.

But unto any, mother, who have brought thee
Low to this couch, be never ease again.
To any who have put thy life out, never!
But in them be the burning that has seemed
To shrivel thee—whether with pain or fear!
And be appeaseless tears,
Salt tears that rust the fountain of the heart.

[Sinks to a seat. A pause.

Moro. My son, relentless words.

Amaury (up again). To the relentless!

Moro. God hear you not!

Amaury. Then is He not my God.

Moro. Enough, enough. (To the rest.) But go and for her soul
Freight all of you this tide of night with prayer.

Amaury. Never!

Moro. I bid.

Amaury. And I forbid those who
Have prized her not!
[126] For though nought's in the world but prayer may move,
Still but the lips that loved her
Should for her any sin beseeching lift.

[Looking at Yolanda.

They and no other!

Yolanda. It is well.

Amaury. Not one.

Yolanda. Then, mother——

[Goes to bier.

Amaury. That name again?

Yolanda. While I have breath.


Yes, though you hold me purgeless of that sin
Only the pale archangels may endure
Trembling to muse on!
Or though yon image of the Magdalen.
Whose alabaster broke amid her tears
And her torn hair, forbade me with a voice.
And you, whose heart is shaken
As in a tomb a taper's flame, would know
[127] I speak with love.

Camarin. Unswerving love.

Amaury. Then, by
Christ, and the world that craves His blood, I think
She, if she would, or you, could point to me,
Or you, Vittia Pisani,
The reason of this sudden piteous death
Hard on the haunted flight before my father,
Whose lips refuse.

Camarin. She knows no shred of it.

Amaury. You lie to say it.

Camarin. Then will, still—if there
Is need.

Amaury. Because you love her?

Yolanda. Peace, peace, peace.

Amaury. A hollow word for what had never being.

Yolanda. Look on her face and see.

Amaury (at bier). Upon her face!
Where not oblivion the void of death
Has hid away, or can, the agony
[128] Of her last terror—but it trembles still.
I tell you, no. Grief was enough, but now
Through it has risen mystery that chokes
As a miasma from Iscariot's tomb.
And till this pall of doubt be rent away
No earth shall fall and quicken with her dust!
But I will search her face ... till it reveals.

Camarin. He raves.

Amaury. Iscariot! yes!

Yolanda. Again, peace, peace!

Amaury. That you may palter!

Yolanda (gently). That she may not grieve.

[Goes again to bier.

For—if her soul is near—it now is wrung.
Near! would it were to hear me and impart
Its yearning and regret to us who live,
Its dim unhappiness and hollow want.
Yes, mother, were you now about us, vain,
Invisible and without any voice
To tell us of you!
Were you and now could hear through what of cold
[129] Or silence wrap you, oh, so humanly,
And seeming but a veil—
Then would you hear me say—

[Suddenly aghast.

Ah, God!

Amaury. Yolanda!

[She starts back from the bier.


Renier. Girl, what rends you?

Yolanda. Saw you not?

[Rushes to bier and shakes it.

Mother! you hear me? mother!

Renier. Girl!

Yolanda. She breathes!

[Consternation. Some fall to their knees.

Vittia. What? what?

Yolanda. Mother! Her breast! Mother! She moves!

Amaury. God! God!

Yolanda. Stand off from her.... Mother!

Camarin. Her eyes!...
[130] They open! open!

Yolanda. Mother!...

Amaury. See; her lips!
They strive to speak! O faintly. O so faint!
Can you not hear?

Berengere. Yolanda!

Yolanda. Mother!

Berengere. Renier!

Renier. Yes, yes?

Berengere. Yolanda—

Renier. Speak!

Berengere. Christ, save me ... Christ!
Yolanda's innocent, and I ... 'twas I.

Amaury. What? what is it she says?

Berengere. Camarin! Ah!

[She shudders and dies, amid low uttered awe. Renier bends, lays his hand a moment on her breast, then, with a cry of rage, springs from her and draws, and rushes on Camarin, who awaits him, desperate.

[131] Amaury (confused, as they engage).
Yolanda; what is this?

Yolanda. Amaury, in!
Compel lord Renier back! he cannot live,
You only could against Camarin now!
Wait not to question, but obey me! if—
You ever—! (as he rushes in) Holy Magdalen, defend him!

[Renier falls back.

Now, now defend him, if to chastity
Thou'rt vowed in heaven.

Vittia. Fool!... Camarin, strike!

Yolanda. He's wounded!

Camarin. Oh!... Berengere! ... treachery!

[He staggers and sinks back heavily toward the pillar. There is breathless, strained suspense. Then the image above, unsettled and shaken by his fall, sways, totters and crushes upon him. A cry, "The Magdalen!" goes up around.

[132] Hassan (hurrying to him; after awe and silence).
He's dead.

Alessa. The Magdalen!

Hassan. No breath in him.

[A pause.

Renier (low, harshly).
Bear him without then ever from this place,
That never more shall know a holy rite—
And from these gates, I care not to what tomb.

[To Amaury.

Then shall you hear this mystery's content,
That still as a madness measures to your sight.
Bear him without.

[The limp body is borne away. All follow but Amaury, Yolanda, Renier.

Now you shall hear, with shame,
But with exalted pride and happy tears;
Then come obliteration!
Speak, girl ... Nobility
Had never better title to its truth.

[Kisses her hand and goes.

[133] Amaury. Yolanda!... He?... This reverence as to
An angel? Speak!

Yolanda. Amaury——

Amaury. O pause not!

Yolanda. Then—to save her who's dead—from death and shame,
I took her place within the Paphian's arms.

Amaury. O! ... and by me, driven by me, bore this?


Pure as the rills of Paradise, endured?

Yolanda. For you!—and her who sleeps forgiven there.


Now while her spirit weightless overwingeth
Night, to that Throne whose seeing heals all shame!
For her I did! but oh, for you, whose least
Murmur to me is infinite with Spring,
Whose smile is light, filling the air with dawn,
Whose touch, wafture of immortality
[134] Unto my weariness; and whose eyes, now,
Are as the beams God lifted first, they tell us,
Over the uncreated,
In the far singing mother-dawn of the world!—
Come with me then, but tearless, to her side.

[They go to the bier and stand as in a dream. A pause, then her lips move, last, as if inspired.

While there is sin to sway the soul and sink it,
Pity should be as strong as love or death!

[With a cry of joy he enfolds her, and they kneel, wrapped about with the clear moon.


Transcriber's Notes:

Minor typesetting inconsistencies of italics and smallcap words and punctuation have been corrected without comment.

All stage directions have been uniformly formatted to a left uniform indent instead of a right page margin.

Spelling corrections:

Page 3, "aamask" to "damask" (hung with heavy damask).
Page 110, "violenc" to "violence" (she your cold violence).
Page 112, "Caramin" to "Camarin" (84) (as Camarin takes).

Word Variations:

"Aeih" (2) and "Aieh" (2) (as spoken by Tremitus)
"leach" (1) and "leech" (1) (when refering to Tremitus)