The Triumph of Bohemia

By George Sterling

A WOODLAND MASQUE

(Being the thirtieth annual midsummer High Jinks of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, as enacted by members of the club at the Bohemian Grove in Sonoma County, California, the twenty-seventh night of July, Nineteen Hundred and Seven.)

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(The Play is preceded by an orchestral prelude, toward the end of which the curtain is drawn, disclosing a forest glade at the foot of a wooded hillside in moonlight. Seven Tree-Spirits are discovered sleeping. They toss in their slumber and appear perturbed. During the closing measures of the prelude, the First Tree-Spirit awakes slowly and half arises.)

FIRST TREE-SPRIT

(Drowsily)
Who calls? I fain would sleep. Nay, call me not!
I cling to sleep! What voices break my rest?

(Rising)
What power to-night makes heavy all the air,
And with my slumber mixes dreadful dreams?
Some spirit stirs malignly! All the dark
Seems overhung as tho' with monstrous wings,
And menace loads the gloom. My brothers stir,
And mutter broken prophecies from sleep.
'Tis ominous, nor further to be borne,
Save in defiance and all watchfulness.
(Touching the other Tree-Spirits)
O brothers, wake!
(The other Tree-Spirits sleep on, but become more agitated in their slumber.)
    Awake! some peril comes!

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

(Half waking)
Touch not my dream!

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

(Shaking the sleeping Spirits anxiously)
    Awake! A foe is near!

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

(Rising)
The night is strange! I vow some witch hath passed
And spat a curse. My dreams were dipt in fear.

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

And mine!

OTHER TREE-SPIRITS

        And mine! And mine!

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

    I deem 't were well
We should extend some challenge to the wrath-
Demon or lich or ghost-that walks to-night
Our ancient and immutable domain.

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

(Addressing the other Tree-Spirits, who have now arisen and listen with anxious interest.)
'T were well indeed! What strength is like our strength ?
Whose home is like to ours? The leaguing rains
Are but our cup-bearers. The tempest wakes
Our deep, enormous music, and expires.
The furious sun but lends intenser life,
And winter's lance is blunted on our breasts.
The mountains are our brothers, and the sea.
Time is our slave. O brothers! let us cry
Defiance to the powers of earth and air!

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

That cry the mountains know. That cry has rung
These thousand years along this vale of ours.
The centuries have heard our song, and passed.

CHORUS OF TREE-SPIRITS

Like elder gods that congregate-
Like gods that rule a spacious land,
We, from the morn of time made great,
Like Titans mailed, untroubled stand.
Earth's strong and primal sons are we,
And equal of the ageless sea;
August, we hold an ocean's strength;
Our stalwart lives know not their length.
Tho' ancient thrones and empires pass
Like dews at morning from the grass,
Supreme we face the warring sky-
The unharming ages pass us by
    Nor conquer us at all.
    Upon the mountain wall
    At dawn the sun we greet,
    At eventide the stars,
As mighty brotherhoods that meet.
    We set the tempest bars,
    Tho' loud and long it call,
And barriers to the whirlwind's breast-
We scorn their fury and unrest.
    The Pillars shall smite in vain
    The pillars of our hall;
Mankind is but a feeble thing;
    Time sunders not our endless reign;
    Like giants throned we sing;
Defiance proud we fling-
Tho' thunderbolts from heaven may fall,
Tho' all the winds from heaven may swarm-
    To lightning, fire, and storm!

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

Brothers, your souls are wise, your hearts arestrong-
Too strong to fear this menace of the night,
This formless peril of the traitorous dark.
Tho' such appear, we straight with baffling mirth
Shall drive it hence, with arrowy laughter pierce
Its futile mail. Let happiness be arms,
And merriment our refuge and our shield-
The merriment of leaves that shake for joy,
The merriment of brooks and rippling grass.
Ye Saplings, dance in maddest mockery
Of any hostile power that haunts the night!

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

Dance! for the winds compel your boughs in life!
Dance! for the fallen leaf must dance in death!
(The Tree-Spirits withdraw from the center of the stage, leaving eight Saplings, who begin a dance. The dance lasts for several minutes, but is interrupted by the North-Wind Motive in the orchestra, followed by the appearance of the Spirit of the North-Wind..)

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

Who challenges the wind, and sets his breast
Against the tempest ? Who shall stand unscathed
Before my fury? Let that one come forth!

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

O Saplings, dance your merriest, nor heed
These empty thunders!
(The Saplings gaze in terror at the North-Wind, and hesitate.)

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

    Fear ye not at all:
But dance like summer dust in summer winds.
(The Saplings resume their dance, at the end of which the North-Wind Motive is again heard, and the Spirit of the North-Wind advances with threatening gestures.)

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

I now with voice of imminent prophecy
Announce your dooms, and bid you bow to Death!

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

Who then art thou who vauntest? Who art thou,
That mightiest things should stand in awe of thee?

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

I am the North-Wind. On the frozen seas
I have my home, and thence I sally forth
To scourge the world. All living things, abased,
Fall down before me. My resistless hands
Have sundered limb from limb the hugest oaks.
The pine, with broken back, hath bent to me.
I rush athwart the mountain-peak, and shout
My dreadful challenge to the lands below.

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

I know thee. I am father of the grove,
And from a sapling have I striven with thee,
Nor fallen.

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

    Yet thy doom is come, and come
The doom of all thy brothers. I have sworn
Not any life shall brave me in my wrath.

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

(Turning to the other Tree-Spirits.)
Brothers, draw near, that so we hold in scorn
These vauntings and immoderate menaces.
(The Tree-Spirits group themselves before the Spirit of the North-Wind.)

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

And deem ye then that helpless now I stand,
Or that my war is ended ere begun?
Dream not your perils cease: I, too, O Trees!
Am of a brotherhood. All power is ours.
We lay our hands upon the shaken world
And wrench its walls and sturdiest pinnacles.
We drive all life in terror from our front,
And wrap the sea in winding-sheets of foam.
I have prepared this night my war, and now,
O arrogant and unastounded trees!
Mine allies shall announce their offices,
And tell their strengths, and bid you bow to
    Death. . . .
O come, my dreadful brother of the South!
(The South-Wind Motive is heard in the orchestra and the Spirit of the South-Wind appears.)

SPIRIT OF THE SOUTH-WIND

O Trees! I am the South-Wind! On my brow
Sit drought and acrid fevers of the air.
Before me walk the brood of fervent heat
And phantom armies of the pestilence.
I shall impel upon your heads this night
AH poisons and all languors. Ye shall reel
And find the very earth below your feet
Is sick and leprous.

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

    Nay, the boastful winds
Were ever noisy. We despise thy words.

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

    Appear, O loyal brother of the Westl
(The West-Wind Motive is heard in the orchestra, and the Spirit of the West-Wind appears.)

SPIRIT OF THE WEST-WIND

My cloudy walls look down upon the sea,
And mine unresting children walk her tides.
I am the West-Wind. I shall leap the wall
The mountains rear, and smite you on the flank.
I, lord of all the sea, shall rend your limbs
Even as I strike to foam the howling wave.

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

Thunders affright us not, nor any threat
That lacketh deeds behind its braggart breath.

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

Appear, O brother of the bitter East!
(The East-Wind Motive is heard in the orchestra, and the Spirit of the East-Wind appears.)

SPIRIT OF THE EAST-WIND

Behold me! I am Master of the East!
The white Sierras are my granite throne-
The pathless desert is my resting place.
The world is but my harp, and from its chords
I lift a dolorous music to the sky.
I, pitiless, shall tread you down, O Trees!

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

So much of sound, so little of assault
Are food for scorn. A boast is not a blow.
We scorn, O Winds I your furious array.

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

Allies are ours of whom ye little reck;
O Father Time, come forward in thy pow'r!
(The Time Motive is heard in the orchestra, and the Spirit of Time appears, bearing his scythe.)

SPIRIT OF TIME

Cities of men and groves august with years
Mine eyes have seen. They are forgotten now.
All beauty and all strength await my hands,
Which smite to dust all beauty and all strength.
I touch the flower; I touch the butterfly;
I break the sceptres and the swords of kings,
And in my fitting seasons rend their tombs,
And sow their fruitless ashes on the wind.
Minister of eternity am I.

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

We know thee not, nor bend to thee at all,
Except thou gauge with deeds those pomps of breath.

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

Then, foolish Trees, one whom ye know too well
Shall war with you.
Wherefore do thou appear,
O spirit and essential soul of Fire!
(The Fire Motive is heard in the orchestra, and the Spirit of Fire appears high on the hill in a burst of flame. He rushes down the hillside, bearing a flaming torch in the form of a scourge. Flames issue from his helmet, and leap from the earth along his path. He reaches a station above the point where the Spirits of the Winds and Time are gathered.)

SPIRIT OF FIRE I come, whose hunger never yet had glut!

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

Greeting, thou changeless terror that dost walk
By noon-day and by night! Behold thy prey!

SPIRIT OF FIRE

(Coming down to the Spirits of the Winds and Time.)
Madness and furious blood untamable
Do mix in me, till merciless I rage.
Before the vision of astonished men
I rear my flaming throne, and glare thereon,
Waking their tears, that cannot quench mine ire,
Hearing their groans, that soon my laughters fierce
Do drown; till, rushing onward from their fields
I grasp all swords of elemental pow'r
And drive my harnessed whirlwinds o'er the world-
Resistless tempests quickened by my wrath.
(The orchestra here begins the music introductory to the conflict which follows.)

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

We still defy all perils and all pow'rs!
Stand, brothers, as of yore, for not alone
Shall any life resist the warring world.

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

Ye raging and relentless elements
That hold the heavens! Whose voice the thunder is,
Whose lance the thunderbolt, whose wings the rain,
Come, dreadful in your cloudy panoplies!
With night and storm confound these stubborn trees,
And hurl them shattered from their eminence!
(Turning to his allies.)
On! On I nor pause till all the trees are doomed,
And ruinous ashes load the victor winds!
(The Spirits of the Winds, Time and Fire prepare to advance upon the Tree-Spirits, and descend from their station; the latter make ready to repel the assault, armed with branches. The stage is darkened as they rush upon one another, and the conflict is represented chiefly by the music, augmented by thunder and lightning and the howling of the wind. As this comes to a close, the stage gradually becomes bright, and the Tree-Spirits are seen grouped in the center, their enemies having disappeared. The music that accompanies the conflict merges into the Victory Chorus, which the Tree-Spirits sing.)

VICTORY CHORUS

    Ye gods of victory
    Look down on earth and see
    How fail our haughty foes!
    Presumptuous they rose,
    And dared to dream that we could fall.
    Defiant, stern, and strong,
    We met their hostile throng,
    And now the night beholds us all
    Unconquered in our battle-hall.
    O gods of victory!
    Look down on us and we
    Shall praise your power, unfailing lords,
    And cast from all our forest chords
    A music glad and long,
    A high and happy song,
    That fire and time and wmds in vain
    Assail our everlasting reign,
    Victorious and strong.

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT We have conquered! we have conquered! All in vain
The drunk and noisy vaunting of our foes!
We have withstood their onslaught, nor bowed
Who now shall strive with us for evermore?
Who now shall share with us our ancient place,
Or dream to stand unhumbled in our sight?
(The sound of a distant horn is heard from the direcion of the hill. The Tree-Spirits -peer up the hillside.)

SECOND TREE-SPIRIT

What god, with distant clarion from the night,
Betrays his frustrate hunting? All the wood
Is hushed to hear that music on the dark.
(The sound of the horn is again heard, but nearer. The orchestra plays a slow march, and a band of Woodmen appear in the distance on the hillside. They carry broad-axes and torches, and one has a horn slung from his shoulder.)

FIRST TREE-SPIRIT

Lo! who are those that come? What shape of man
Assaults our solitudes ? Man seemed till now
A feeble thing, a red and harmless brute,
That ran all naked in his daily search
For nut and root and egg, or at the stream
Desired the fish. But these are white, and hold
Each one a gleaming weapon in his hand-
The which I fear, not knowing why I fear.
The crimson fire has no such tooth as that.
(The Woodmen begin to sing the Care-Song as they approach, and the Tree-Spirits stealthily with- draw.)

CARE-SONG

    Thro' the wide world everywhere
    Restless mortals flee from Care.
    Where they marry, where they work,
    There shall Care unsleeping lurk.
        Tho' I wander far and wide,
    Care, a shadow at my side,
    Still shall claim his worship due,
    Still shall know me and pursue.
        All in vain I seek a spot
    Where his face shall haunt me not,
    Till beneath the shielding sod
    I shall hide from Care the god.

(The Woodmen finish the Care-Song and gaze curiously about them.)

FIRST WOODMAN

Here, brothers, shall we labor day by day,
And sleep at restful night, till all this grove
Be fallen. These indeed are mighty trees.
How still the night! Tho' not so long ago
It seemed as tho' the wind would never fold
His vast and furious wings. Sleep now till dawn
Awake you. As for me, I shall not sleep,
For I must draw my plans against this wood.
Here, first, I set mine axe.
(First Woodman drives his axe into the nearest tree. A groan is heard. The orchestra plays a fragment of the North-Wind Motive.)

SECOND WOODMAN

Brother, didst groan?
Me thought I heard a sound most grave, as tho'
Far off, a giant knew his doom, and moaned.

FIRST WOODMAN

The sound thou heardst was but the northern wind
Sobbing his heart out in some hollow tree,
And since he may draw near, it well would seem
That we have shelter from his cruelties.
Come, let us fell the smallest of this grove
And set its boughs between us and the gale:
(The Woodmen grasp their axes and turn toward a tree, but are arrested by the hooting of an owl. They gaze up the hillside, where an immense owl may be seen flying slowly in a spiral course toward them.)

SECOND WOODMAN

What spirit stirs within the shaken dark?
What sweep and dreadful imminence of wings?

FIRST WOODMAN

I see what seems a dragon of the night-
Some wide-winged bat of hell!

SECOND WOODMAN

I ween a god,
Enraged, has sent some herald of his ire
To beat us hence. Now whither shall we fly?
(The owl finally alights on the lower hillside at the back of the stage and vanishes. At the point where the owl disappeared, the Spirit of Bohemia, a naked youth, is seen. The flight of the owl is accompanied in the orchestra by the Owl Motive, which changes to the Bohemian Motive when the Spirit of Bohemia enters. The Woodmen fall back in astonishment.)

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O men I what would ye in my chosen place?
Know ye each tree around is holy wood?

FIRST WOODMAN

Nay, this we knew not.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

I, Bohemia,
Within these solemn, everlasting aisles,
Do walk at times, and that my tranquil house
Longer endure, within each pillar high
Have set a guardian spirit . . . .Come ye forth
My forest children.
(The Tree-Spirits emerge from the forest.)
Why this pallid fright
That with unwonted spell constrains each face?
What peril threatens?

THIRD TREE-SPIRIT

(Sings)
O thou mighty one I
Give heed, attend our prayer, and set thy strength
Between us and this doom I Harken our cry,
And sit in judgment as we make appeal!
Justice! O thou arraigner of the wrong!

ARIA

O spirit crowned with grace and pow'r
Be with us in this darkest hour!
The might thy majesty attests

Display to guard our anxious breasts,
Nor suffer that unspared we reel
Before the grey, relentless steel.
For ages we, a stalwart band,
Have cast our shadows o'er the land;
For ages shared the peace that fills
The blue dominion of the hills,
And heard at our unmoving feet
Her changeless tale the brook repeat.
We take no part in Nature's harms,
But ever hold protecting arms
O'er humble things that love our shade;
And now must we too soon, be laid
In ruin on the mother earth?
Shall all the powers that blessed our birth
Forsake us in our time of need?
Must we be humbled as the reed?
Shall we no more grow fair and tall,
Where woodland voices rise and fall,
Nor feel upon our brows again
The soft caresses of the rain,
Nor know the blessings of the light
And all the comfort of the night?
Defend us, Spirit strong and bright!

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O trees I love, 't is well indeed I came!
Had I held revel in some distant land,
As is my wont, nor thought me of this grove,
And how beneath its shade no care endures,
These men had ravaged, ere again I found
Its refuge, this my place of peace, and wrought
Great desolation. It is well I came.
O men that plot the ruin of my home,
Now get ye hence accursed from this spot!

FIRST WOODMAN

Be merciful, Bohemia! We all
Are needy men and humble. We thy wrath
Deserve not, nor deserve thy dreadful curse.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O men I O latest men within this land!
Harken my words: Ye, year by cruel year,
Lay desolate the lordliest groves of earth,
And in great woodland chambers of the gods
Do sacrilege. The living miracle
That Nature, careful for a thousand years,
Did so contrive with wisdom to perform,
Ye in a day undo. Did forests know
What ravage was designed them by your minds,
They in one moan more solemn than the sea s
Would sound their lamentation, and affright
All men and lands. Imagine ye, forsooth,
The patient gods will sit forever calm,
Bearing to see their fairest seats profaned,
And these their altars tumbled from the sky?

SECOND WOODMAN

Men too have need of homes.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Truly, and there,
Housed gentlier than soulless bear or wolf,
Should find both heart and mind made sensitive
To cherish beauty, nor desire to pluck
The field's last flower, nor fell the grove's last tree.
Behold! The land is armied with these woods!
Ye may fare onward for uncounted leagues,
To hear them murmuring in dawns to be.
Must ye, like kine in corn, spare not a shaft?
Nor will ye in one valley leave one grove?
Ye are no men, but brutes, and now my curse
Shall scatter you abroad like frightened swine!

FIRST WOODMAN

Nay, great Bohemia, let mercy rule
Thy heart! Henceforth this grove is holy ground.
At last we see our sin, and so repent
Our sacrilege, and fain would guard these trees.
Permit that we be children too of thine!

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Since ye find grace to hold in reverence
This grove, I now pronounce it of my realm
Chief temple, and do make you ministers
Of my good worship.

FIRST WOODMAN

We would serve thy fane
Forever-thou art gladdest of the gods.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

My worship is a happy one, and hath
Large recompense; and in my temple soon
There shall be gracious spirits that attend
In beauty and in strength. . . . O Fire! come forth!
(A fragment of the Fire Motive is heard in the orchestra, and the Spirit of Fire appears high on the hillside, in a glow of colored light. He descends the hillside slowly, still surrounded by a colored glow, till he reaches the lower hillside at back of stage.)

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Tell now thy service in the years to be.

SPIRIT OF FIRE,

O Master, I shall light the ritual
And, splendid-robed, make bright the temple aisles.
When these thy priests, with melody and song,
Extol thy name, I, glorious on thy hearth,
Shall gild the revel, and dispel all thoughts
That are of darkness. Wherefore, to this grove
I shall not fare henceforth save at thy beck.
Here not as a destroyer shall I rage,
But parent and preserver of the light.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Come forth, O Winds! and tell my new-made priests
Your service.
 (A fragment of the Wind Motives is heard in the orchestra and the Spirits of the East, West, South and North Winds come on in the order named.)

SPIRIT OF THE NORTH-WIND

High Bohemia I we are come !
It is our thought that we no more molest
This grove with all our fury. We shall serve
As minstrels, as the lords of woodland harps-
Masters of wildest music. We by day
Shall wander joyous in the maze of boughs,
And cast like golden fruit our mellow notes
Below to these thy priests, until, by night,
We so with tenderest breath upon our chords
Shall unto slumber lure their drowsy souls
That they forget awhile they ever lived,
And toiled, and were a-troubled. At our call
The timid god of sleep shall cease to fear,
Approach unawed, and bless them till the dawn.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Come forth, O thou portentous soul of Time!
(A fragment of the Time Motive is heard in the orchestra, and the Spirit of Time appears.)

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O Time, what is thy service at my fane?

SPIRIT OF TIME

I shall be very gentle to thy sons.
If aught they mark of me, 't will be my smile.
Even as the welcome shadow of a cloud
My shade shall fall on them, until at last
Desiring rest, they turn to me for sleep,
Like weary children to their father's home.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O ministers of beauty and of peace,
Come hither, then, and greet my worshippers.
(The Spirits of the Winds, Fire and Time descend from the upper stage, and gather before the Spirit of Bohemia.)

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

(Addressing Tree-Spirits.)
Ye have beheld with what concern, this night,
I have arraigned the foemen of your house,
And made of it my temple. Here no more
Shall pride nor strife have power, but brotherhood,
Joy, and the strength of true humility
Cause here the Golden Age to dawn at last.
O Trees, how greatly shall your ancient calm
Renew the hearts of all my children, breathe
A fragrance on their spirits, and make strong
Those spirits to endure all ills of life!
Years shall go by, and ye, my priests, that meet
My gaze to-night, shall pass, and sons to be,
Heirs to the light and love of future years,
Shall sing where ye have sung. These very trees
Shall fall at last, and younger shafts grow tall
To keep unchanged the beauty of this vale.
So pass they-unto every one his life. . . .
But I, Bohemia, I change not at all,
And in a thousand years my faithful sons,
Shall thank, with grateful laughter at their feasts,
You, my first-born, the dear sons of my youth,
Who first of men found beautiful this grove. . .
And now, O latest priests of mine, arise!
And we—
(A prolonged and terrible laugh is heard issuing from the earth. The Care Motive is heard in the orchestra, and Mammon appears from an illuminated cave in the hillside.)

MAMMON

I, god of gold, within my golden cave,
Have heard grave blasphemy-seditious speech
Inimical to my supreme designs.
Seldom mine ears are fed with words like those,
For I am lord of men, and when I speak
They tremble. Well I see, Bohemia,
How thou hast urged as traitors to my rule
These Woodmen, late my serfs, and glad to serve.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Thou seest not all, O Mammon! These are now
Priests of my woodland fane, and have foresworn
Thine empire.

MAMMON

Thou dost lie, Bohemia!
My power is second to no other god's:
Ye Woodmen, late my servants, follow me
Unto my caverns!

FIRST WOODMAN

Nay, thou god of gold!
Our hearts are pledged to purer days than thine-
To fairer service and serener joys.

MAMMON

Then, miserable ones, your bones shall rot
In this far place, for I in punishment
With massy sceptre shall set loose your souls
That so defy me.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Those are burly words:
Let 's see what's father of them !
(Mammon advances threateningly. The Tree-Spirits, the Spirits of the Winds, Fire and Time rally around the Woodmen. Mammon pauses.)

MAMMON

(Laughing.)
Ye have made faithful friends! Wherefore my wrath
I shall forego, and that I may regain
Your fealty, I smile on you, and blot
Your treason, and remit all penalty,

THE TRIUMPH OF BOHEMIA

And promise you large bounty and delights,
If now unto my worship ye return.

FIRST WOODMAN

Thy pleasures and thy punishments, all these
In our refusal have a common fate.
We do despise thy favors.

MAMMON

O ye clods!
What know ye of the splendors of my reign-
Ye that till now have known humilities?
Listen: in midnight palaces of mine,
Music shall serve you at the gleaming feast
And Bacchus tempt your lips with all his wines.
The Seven Sins shall bare for you their breasts
And lead you to their chambers. All your toil
Shall end, and pleasure clothe you as a robe.
Ye shall go forth as kings, and know all bliss,
Beholding nations as your servitors.
(As Mammon speaks, the Woodmen draw nearer to him with open mouths and staring eyes.)

FIRST WOODMAN

What surety have we of these promised joys?

MAMMON

What surety? This!
(Mammon strikes the earth with his sceptre, and the door of the cave from which he entered opens again, disclosing the interior bathed in a golden light. From the cave come four grey-bearded gnomes, bearing heavy bags, from -which they scatter handfuls of gold at the feet of the Woodmen.)

MAMMON

Take these as tokens of the bliss to be
And hasten with me to my city lights.
(The Woodmen stand uncertain, and gaze alternately upon Mammon and the Spirit of Bohemia.)

MAMMON

Imagine now the pleasures that await!
The wild wine singing madly in your veins!
The white, permissive breasts! My splendid domes!
And ease unbroken in my marble courts !
That heavy ore shall make my livery light,
And purchase for you each his dearest wish.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Nay, Mammon! for one thing It cannot buy.

MAMMON

What, then, cannot it buy?

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

A happy heart!

FIRST WOODMAN

Is that the secret of thy worship, then,
Bohemia? Is happiness thy gift?

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

For lasting happiness we turn our eyes
To one alone, and she surrounds you now-
Great Nature, refuge of the weary heart,
And only balm to breasts that have been bruised!
She hath cool hands for every fevered brow,
And gentlest silence for the troubled soul.
Her counsels are most wise. She healeth well,
Having such ministry as calm and sleep.
She is most faithful. Other friends may fail,
But seek ye her in any quiet place,
And smiling, she will rise and give to you
Her kiss, nor tell you any woeful tale.
Entreat her, and she will deny you not;
Abandon her, and she will not pursue.
By gold ye shall not win her, nor by toil,
Nor ever at her side beholding walk
Save in that old simplicity of heart
Her primal lovers brought. So must ye come
As children, little children that believe,
Nor ever doubt her beauty and her faith,
Nor deem her tenderness can change or die. . .
And I, my forest priests, am kin to her:
More happiness hath any day of mine
Than Mammon holds in heavy-hearted years.
I do not proffer lives of craven ease,
Nor tempt your hearts with vampire luxuries
And scarlet-cinctured sins. The gifts I grant
Are man's high heritage-clean toil and sleep,
Beauty, and all her voices in your souls,
And loving friends, and honorable days.
So choose!

MAMMON

Yea, choose !
(As Mammmon speaks, the gnomes again scatter gold at the feet of the Woodmen, -who stand in momentary uncertainty, then with unanimous impulse kneel before the Spirit of Bohemia.)

FIRST WOODMAN

O glad Bohemia,
Be them the master of our happy hearts!
(Mammon rushes down the hillside, the gnomes gathering about him when he reaches the platform-)

MAMMON

Bohemia! thou well dost know that I
And thou are gods; that these who know my reign,
And those that serve thee now within this grove,
Are weak against our godhead, nor have pow'r
In any wise upon us. Thou and I
Alone have power, and thou and I this night
Shall battle for the lordship of this grove.
Come forward then, that so we prove the will
Of greater gods than we, and now decide
Whether these silly men and trees and winds
Shall hold this spot, or whether I, supreme,
Shall smite thee down, and dedicate this vale
To desolation and unchanging dearth.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

Mammon, hold not in scorn my followers,
For they shall see thee die. Nor deem thou they
Abide mine only servants-all glad things
Acknowledge me, all sprites and Bacchic fauns,
That now, unheeded by thy grosser sight,
Do throng this wood, and wait to join my train.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O justice latent at the heart of things,
Decide! Send forth thy vengeful minister
In whatso shape thou wilt. Thou, God, decide!
(The immense owl that heralded the coming of the Spirit of Bohemia now sweeps down the hillside. Mammon, hearing the rush of its wings, turns and dies at its touch, the owl simultaneously disappearing.)

MAMMON

All such are less than we. The combat waits.

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

O justice latent at the heart of things,
Decide I Send forth thy vengeful minister
 In wbatso shape thou wilt. Thou, God, decide !
(The immense owl that heralded the coming of the Spirit of Bohemia now sweeps down the hillside. Mammon, hearing the rush of its wings, turns and dies at its touch, the owl simultaneously disappearing.)

SPIRIT OF BOHEMIA

The will of the Inexorable is shown.
Wherefore, ye priests and worshippers of mine,
Approach with me, that I may now reveal
Great Mammon's secret. Draw ye close, and gaze
Upon those features.
(The Spirit of Bohemia, together with the First and Second Wood-Spirits and First and Second Wood-men, and the Spirits of Fire, Time and the Winds, mount the lower hillside and gather about the body of Mammon.)

See, betraying Death
Hath changed that visage, and proclaims to all
That where high Mammon stood and shook his mace,
There, masked in undisclosing gold, stood Care!
But come, O friends, and hale his body hence.
Thou, Fire, shalt have thine utmost will of him,
Till ye, O Winds, make merry with his dust.

(A march is played by the orchestra, and a procession of Bohemians in robes of red, white and black descends 'the hillside slowly. They carry torches, and a bier covered with a pall. As they reach the point at which the body of Mammon lies, the march merges into the Final Chorus, which is sung by the Wood-Spirits and Woodmen. As this conies to a close the hillside is brilliantly illuminated, the body of Mammon is placed on the bier and the procession forms for the Cremation of Care.)

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