Thursday, July 15, 2004

Elders of Pherae Draft

Here is the second scene to the Alcestis verse-play I've been writing off and on. It's in a slightly earlier stage of draft than the Lament of Alcestis, the first scene, which I posted here. The characters are the Chorus of Elders, of which three, designated by numbers in square brackets speak here.
Elders of Pherae
[1] Today's the fatal day, the time --
[2] The house is quiet, cold, and dark
With all death's pall, and yet no sign
Of dirge, procession through the park,
Nor voices raised in sorrowed rhyme --
[1] Today's the day, I know the stars --
Lies are foreign to their dance;
This day was seen from well afar;
God's wisdom leaves no path to chance.--
[3] May God save all from mortal glance!
Alas! Our queen, so good and kind!--
[2] No mourning meets our open ears,
No flowers for the dead we find;
Perhaps 'tis but our shying fears
That bring this coldness to our minds?--
[1] The cold of death, not fear, this is,
the cold of dank, the cold of tomb,
the cold - alas! - of Hades' mists;--
[3] Alas! You speak such words of doom,
And yet they fit too well this gloom!
You speak, I fear, the dreaded word
That truth makes into ruthless law;
Not mage's stars nor augur's birds
Show mortal man such cause to awe --
[2] The fear we feel may yet be found
To be the mist of fog and mind
And all the tracks of silent sound
That fancy's phantoms have designed.

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