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Mysterious and by torments mayest confess
That he alone is God.
Ye both shall perish
By torments worse than any that your God,
Here or hereafter, hath in store for me.
The Mother. My Sirion, I am proud of thee!
Go to thy bed of torture in yon chamber,
Where lie so many sleepers, heartless mother!
Thy footsteps will not wake them, nor thy voice,
Nor wilt thou hear, amid thy troubled dreams,
Thy children crying for thee in the night!
The Mother. O Death, that stretchest thy
white hands to me,
I fear them not, but press them to my lips,
That are as white as thine; for I am Death,
Nay, am the Mother of Death, seeing these sons
All lying lifeless.-Kiss me, Sirion.
Judas. The trumpets sound; the echoes of the mountains
Answer them, as the Sabbath morning breaks
Over Beth-horon and its battle-field,
Where the great captain of the hosts of God,
A slave brought up in the brick-fields of Egypt,
O'ercame the Amorites. There was no day
Like that, before or after it, nor shall be.
The sun stood still; the hammers of the hail
Beat on their harness; and the captains set
Their weary feet upon the necks of kings,
As I will upon thine, Antiochus,
Thou man of blood!-Behold the rising sun
Strikes on the golden letters of my banner,
Be Elohim Yehovah! Who is like
To thee, O Lord, among the gods?-Alas!
I am not Joshua, I cannot say,
"Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon, and thou Moon,
In Ajalon!" Nor am I one who wastes
The fateful time in useless lamentation;
But one who bears his life upon his hand
To lose it or to save it, as may best
Serve the designs of Him who giveth life.
Judas. Who and what are ye, that with furtive steps.
Steal in among our tents?
The avenging wrath of God will track thee out!
The Battle-field of Beth-horon.
It is enough. Go to the sutler's tents:
Those of you who are men, put on such armor
As ye may find; those of you who are women,
SCENE I.-JUDAS MACCABÆUS in armor before Buckle that armor on; and for a watch-word
Whisper, or cry aloud, "The Help of God."
Outcasts are we, and fugitives as thou art,
Jews of Jerusalem, that have escaped
From the polluted city, and from death.
Judas. None can escape from death.
that ye come
To die for Israel, and ye are welcome.
What tidings bring ye?
Must walk in their processions, bearing ivy
To crown a drunken god.
Tidings of despair.
The Temple is laid waste; the precious vessels,
Censers of gold, vials and veils and crowns,
And golden ornaments, and hidden treasures,
Have all been taken from it, and the Gentiles
With revelling and with riot fill its courts,
And dally with harlots in the holy places."
Judas. All this I knew before.
Upon the altar
Are things profane, things by the law forbidden;
Nor can we keep our Sabbaths or our Feasts,
But on the festivals of Dionysus
This too I know.
But tell me of the Jews. How fare the Jews?
Fugitives. The coming of this mischief hath
And grievous to the people. All the land
Is full of lamentation and of mourning.
The Princes and the Elders weep and wail;
The young men and the maidens are made feeble;
The beauty of the women hath been changed.
Judas. And are there none to die for Israel?
'Tis not enough to mourn. Breastplate and har-
Are better things than sackcloth. Let the women
Lament for Israel; the men should die.
Fugitives. Both men and women die;
Old Eleazer died: and Múhala
With all her Seven Sons.
At every step thou takest there is left
A bloody footprint in the street, by which
Nic. Confidence in thee. Thou hast the nobler virtues of thy race, Without the failings that attend those virtues. SCENE IL-JUDAS MACCABEUS; JEWISH FUGI- Thou canst be strong, and yet not tyrannous, Canst righteous be and not intolerant. Let there be peace between us.
What brings thee hither to this hostile camp
What is peace?
Is it to bow in silence to our victors?
Is it to see our cities sacked and pillaged,
Our people slain, or sold as slaves, or fleeing
At night-time by the blaze of burning towns;
Jerusalem laid waste; the Holy Temple
Polluted with strange gods? Are these things
Nic. These are the dire necessities that wait
On war, whose loud and bloody enginery
I seek to stay. Let there be peace between
Antiochus and thee.
What is Antiochus, that he should prate
Of peace to me, who am a fugitive?
To-day he shall be lifted up; to-morrow
Shall not be found, because he is returned
Unto his dust; his thought has come to nothing.
There is no peace between us, nor can be,
Until this banner floats upon the walls
Of our Jerusalem.
Between that city
And thee there lies a waving wall of tents,
Held by a host of forty thousand foot,
And horsemen seven thousand. What hast thou
To bring against all these?
The power of God, Whose breath shall scatter your white tents abroad,
Captains. The Lord is with us!
Hark! I hear the trumpets
Sound from Beth-horon; from the battle-field
Of Joshua, where he smote the Amorites,
Smote the Five Kings of Eglon and of Jarmuth,
Of Hebron, Lachish, and Jerusalem,
As we to-day will smite Nicanor's hosts
As flakes of snow.
Your Mighty One in heaven And leave a memory of great deeds behind us.
Will not do battle on the Seventh Day;
Captains and Soldiers. The help of God!
It is his day of rest.
Be Elohim Yehovah !
Lord, thou didst send thine Angel in the time
Of Esekias, King of Israel,
And in the armies of Sennacherib
Go to thy tents.
Shall it be war or peace?
War, war, and only war. Go to thy
Didst slay a hundred fourscore and five thousand.
Wherefore, O Lord of heaven, now also send
Before us a good angel for a fear,
And through the might of thy right arm let those
Be stricken with terror that have come this day
Against thy holy people to blaspheme!
That shall be scattered, as by you were scattered
The torn and trampled pages of the Law,
Blown through the windy streets.
Farewell, brave foe!
Judas. Ho, there, my captains! Have safe
Unto Nicanor's herald through the camp,
And come yourselves to me.-Farewell, Nicanor !
SCENE IV. JUDAS MACCABEUS; CAPTAINS
Judas. The hour is come. Gather the host SCENE I.-JUDAS
For battle. Lo, with trumpets and with songs
The army of Nicanor comes against us.
Go forth to meet them, praying in your hearts,
And fighting with your hands.
Look forth and see!
The morning sun is shining on their shields
Of gold and brass; the mountains glisten with
And shine like lamps. And we who are so few
And poorly armed, and ready to faint with fasting,
How shall we fight against this multitude?
Judas. The victory of a battle standeth not
In multitudes, but in the strength that cometh
From heaven above. The Lord forbid that I
Should do this thing, and flee away from them.
Nay, if our hour be come, then let us die;
Let us not stain our honor.
"T is the Sabbath.
Wilt thou fight on the Sabbath, Maccabæus ?
Judas. Ay; when I fight the battles of the
I fight them on his day, as on all others.
Have ye forgotten certain fugitives
That fled once to these hills, and hid themselves
In caves? How their pursuers camped against
Upon the Seventh Day, and challenged them?
And how they answered not, nor cast a stone,
Nor stopped the places where they lay concealed,
But meekly perished with their wives and chil-
The outer Courts of the Temple at Jerusalem.
Even to the number of a thousand souls?
We who are fighting for our laws and lives
Will not so perish.
Lead us to the battle! •
Judas. And let our watchword be, "The
Help of God!"
Last night I dreamed a dream; and in my vision
Beheld Onias, our High-Priest of old,
Who holding up his hands prayed for the Jews.
This done, in the like manner there appeared
An old man, and exceeding glorious,
With hoary hair, and of a wonderful
And excellent majesty. And Onias said:
"This is a lover of the Jews, who prayeth
Much for the people and the Holy City,-
God's prophet Jeremias." And the prophet
Held forth his right hand and gave unto me
A sword of gold; and giving it he said:
"Take thou this holy sword, a gift from God,
And with it thou shalt wound thine adversaries."
Judas. Behold, our enemies are discomfited.
Jerusalem is fallen; and our banners
Float from her battlements, and o'er her gates
Nicanor's severed head, a sign of terror,
Blackens in wind and sun.
The citadel of Antiochus, wherein
The Mother with her Seven Sons was murdered,
Is still defiant.
Its hateful aspect
Insults us with the bitter memories
Of other days.
Wait; it shall disappear
And vanish as a cloud. First let us cleanse
The Sanctuary. See, it is become
Waste like a wilderness. Its golden gates
Wrenched from their hinges and consumed by fire;
Shrubs growing in its courts as in a forest;
Upon its altars hideous and strange idols;
And strewn about its pavement at my feet
Its Sacred Books, half burned and painted o'er
With images of heathen gods.
Our beauty and our glory are laid waste!
The Gentiles have profaned our holy places!
(Lamentation and alarm of trumpets.)
Judas. This sound of trumpets, and this lamentation,
The heart-cry of a people toward the heavens, Stir me to wrath and vengeance. Go, my captains;
Jason. I am thy prisoner, Judas Maccabæus,
And it would ill become me to conceal
My name or office.
Over yonder gate
There hangs the head of one who was a Greek.
What should prevent me now, thou man of sin,
From hanging at its side the head of one
Who born a Jew hath made himself a Greek?
Jason. Justice prevents thee.
Judas. Justice? Thou art stained
Then Mercy, her handmaiden.
At any time, to any man or woman,
Or even to any little child, shown mercy?
Jason. I have but done what King Antiochus
And pass into the inner courts. Alas!
I should be with them, should be one of them,
But in an evil hour, an hour of weakness,
That cometh unto all, I fell away
With every crime 'gainst which the Decalogue
Thunders with all its thunder.
If not Justice,
From the old faith, and did not clutch the new,
Only an outward semblance of belief;
For the new faith I cannot make mine own,
Not being born to it. It hath no root
When hast thou Within me. I am neither Jew nor Greek,
But stand between them both, a renegade
To each in turn; having no longer faith
In gods or men. Then what mysterious charm,
What fascination is it chains my feet,
And keeps me gazing like a curious child
Into the holy places, where the priests
Have raised their altar?-Striking stones to-
True, thou hast been the weapon With which he struck; but hast been such a
So flexible, so fitted to his hand,
It tempted him to strike. So thou hast urged
To double wickedness, thine own and his.
Where is this King? Is he in Antioch
Among his women still, and from his windows
Throwing down gold by handfuls, for the rab-
To scramble for?
Of the month Caslan, was the Temple here
Profaned by strangers,-by Antiochus
And thee, his instrument. Upon this day
Shall it be cleansed. Thou, who didst lend thy-
Unto this profanation, canst not be
A witness of these solemn services.
Jason. Nay, he is gone from there,
Gone with an army into the far East.
Judas. And wherefore gone?
I know not. For the space
Of forty days almost were horsemen seen
Running in air, in cloth of gold, and armed
With lances, like a band of soldiery;
It was a sign of triumph.
Or of death. Wherefore art thou not with him?
I was left
For service in the Temple.
To pollute it,
And to corrupt the Jews; for there are men
Whose presence is corruption; to be with them
Degrades us and deforms the things we do.
Jason. I never made a boast, as some men
The Mountains of Ecbatana.
Of my superior virtue, nor denied
The weakness of my nature, that hath made SCENE I. - ANTIOCHUS; PHILIP; ATTENDANTS.
Subservient to the will of other men.
Judas. Upon this day, the five-and-twentieth
The people put to death Callisthenes,
Who burned the Temple gates; and if they find
Will surely slay thee. I will spare thy life
To punish thee the longer. Thou shalt wander
Among strange nations. Thou, that hast cast
SCENE III-JASON, alone.
Jason. Through the Gate Beautiful I see them come
So many from their native land, shalt perish
In a strange land. Thou, that hast left so many
Unburied, shalt have none to mourn for thee,
Nor any solemn funerals at all,
Nor sepulchre with thy fathers.-Get thee hence!
With branches and green boughs and leaves of palm,
Music. Procession of Priests and people, with citherns, harps, and cymbals. JUDAS MACCABEUS puts himself at their head, and they go into the inner courts.)
There can be nothing clean where thou art pres- Out of a furnace?
They take fire out of them, and light the lamps
In the great candlestick. They spread the veils,
And set the loaves of showbread on the table.
The incense burns; the well-remembered odor
Comes wafted unto me, and takes me back
To other days. I see myself among them
As I was then; and the old superstition
Creeps over me again! A childish fancy! -
And hark! they sing with citherns and with
And all the people fall upon their faces,
Praying and worshipping! I will away
Into the East, to meet Antiochus
Upon his homeward journey, crowned with
Alas! to-day I would give everything
To see a friend's face, or to hear a voice
That had the slightest tone of comfort in it!
Here let us rest awhile. Where are we,
What place is this?
Ecbatana, my Lord;
And yonder mountain range is the Orontes.
Ant. The Orontes is my river at Antioch.
Why did I leave it? Why have I been tempted
By coverings of gold and shields and breastplates
To plunder Elymais, and be driven
From out its gates, as by a fiery blast
Philip. These are fortune's changes.
Ant. What a defeat it was! The Persian
Came like a mighty wind, the wind Khamaseen,
And melted us away, and scattered us
As if we were dead leaves, or desert sand.
Philip. Be comforted, my Lord; for thou
But what thou hadst not.
I, who made the Jews
Skip like the grasshoppers, am made myself
To skip among these stones.
Be not discouraged.
Thy realm of Syria remains to thee;
That is not lost nor marred.
O, where are now
The splendors of my court, my baths and ban-
SCENE II.-ANTIOCHUS; PHILIP; A MESSEN- To live a little longer.
My Lysias, Gorgias, Seron, and Nicanor,
Are babes in battle, and this dreadful Jew
Will rob me of my kingdom and my crown.
My elephants shall trample him to dust;
I will wipe out his nation, and will make
Jerusalem a common burying-place,
And every home within its walls a tomb!
(Throws up his hands, and sinks into the arms of
attendants, who lay him upon a bank.)
The victories of Judas Maccabæus
Form all our annals. First he overthrew
Thy forces at Beth-horon, and passed on,
And took Jerusalem, the Holy City.
And then Emmaus fell; and then Bethsura;
Ephron and all the towns of Galaad,
And Maccabæus marched to Carnion."
Ant. Enough, enough! Go call my chariot
Even Lysias laughs at me!-Go on, go on!
Philip (reading). We pray thee hasten,
thy return. The realm
Is falling from thee. Since thou hast gone from
We will drive forward, forward, without ceasing, Until we come to Antioch. My captains,
A moment more. I cannot stand. I am become at once Weak as an infant. Ye will have to lead me. Jove, or Jehovah, or whatever name Thou wouldst be named,-it is alike to me,If I knew how to pray, I would entreat
O my Lord Thou shalt not die; we will not let thee die! Ant. How canst thou help it, Philip? pain !
Stab after stab. Thou hast no shield against
This unseen weapon. God of Israel,
Since all the other gods abandon me,
Help me. I will release the Holy City,
Garnish with goodly gifts the Holy Temple.
Thy people, whom I judged to be unworthy
To be so much as buried, shall be equal
Unto the citizens of Antioch.
I will become a Jew, and will declare
Through all the world that is inhabited
The power of God!
Philip. He faints. It is like death.
Bring here the royal litter. We will bear him
Into the camp, while yet he lives.
0 Philip, Into what tribulation am I come! Alas! I now remember all the evil That I have done the Jews; and for this cause These troubles are upon me, and behold
I perish through great grief in a strange land. Philip. Antiochus! my King!
Nay, King no longer. Take thou my royal robes, my signet-ring, My crown and sceptre, and deliver them Unto my son, Antiochus Eupator; And unto the good Jews, my citizens, In all my towns, say that their dying monarch Wisheth them joy, prosperity, and health. I who, puffed up with pride and arrogance, Thought all the kingdoms of the earth mine own, If I would but outstretch my hand and take
them, Meet face to face a greater potentate, King Death-Epiphanes-the Illustrious! [Dies.
A HANDFUL OF TRANSLATIONS.
Tartar Song from the Prose Version of
THEN Sobra, the old, old man,-
Three hundred and sixty years
Had he lived in this land of tears,
Bowed down and said, "O Khan!