Imatges de pàgina
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SOCRATES.

Hear me, thou Highest, and all
Ye filial gods! I swear to keep this vow
Of secrecy, according to my conscience,
And ne'er to break it while my conscience tells me
It ought not to be broken.

HIEROPHANT.

Socrates,
Thy phrase of adjuration is peculiar.
According to thy conscience ! Canst thou not
Omit the word—it seems to puzzle me.

SOCRATES.
No; I repeat it—'tis alone on this
Condition of free conscience that I take
Your vows upon me. I'll not lay a fetter
On my frank spirit that I may not break,
If he the o'ermastering genius of my life
So bids me.

HIEROPHANT.

Well, I will trust thy honesty; And for thy prayer, be it as thou desirest. Let the light shine, and chaos disappear.

(The Allseeing Eye suddenly blazes forth at the extremity

of the cavern, and the forms of gods and goddesses, with
golden crowns, are seen round the walls, glittering in a
flood of light.)

Socrates (kneeling).
Hail, holiest emblem of the holiest essence!
Before that All-beholding Eye of fire
I kneel, even as a child before a father-
Thou light of light! My vehement spirit inhales
Thy lustre and unquenchable glory, like
The ambrosial draught of immortality!
O! that my veriest life could lose itself
In thine, and by voluptuous absorption cease
From its own littleness! Tell me, thou priest,
How doth thy lodge interpret ?-for my heart
Is gasping for intelligence.

HIEROPHANT.

Then, listen
To what I shall unfold. The All-seeing Eye
Is our initiate sign of the prime God-
The ineffable and unrevealable One.
Himself divine, his bright theophanies
Are divine also. All the deities
Of the scattered nations are developements
Of this sole One and All. They are no more
Than his theophanies—his emanations
Made manifest in every sphere of nature;
Such is our doctrine of divine unity,
And divine multitude.

SOCRATES.

Arch hierophant,
I thank thee for that utterance; 'tis the echo
Of my foregone conclusion, inly cherished
For many a year in silence and in worship :
But if there be One God and God is One,
And all the gods but his theophanies,
Divine developements, as thou dost call them,-
Why not instruct the people in this creed?

HIEROPHANT.
We dare not do it; we do fear the grovelling
Coarse passions of the many—of the million :
They are materialists, both born and bred ;
They cannot bear the spiritual, the abstract,
The metaphysical, the transcendental;
It blinds them-makes them sick at heart, and quite
Ashamed of their own arrogance. They love
All sensuous, tangible manifestations
Of Deity-sculptured statues, gorgeous pictures,
And all the fopperies of idolatry:
They like the gods that they can touch and handle,
And kiss and hug, and buy and sell again,
And turn an honest penny on their bargain.

SOCRATES.
Henceforth will I adventure to correct
This gross confusion; I will show the people
That the theogonies of Orpheus, Hesiod,
And all the wild mythology of Homer,
Are but the symbols of an elder creed,
Purer and fairerI will show them that-

HIEROPHANT.
Peace, vain enthusiast ! thou hast enemies
Already by thy truth-searching. The truth
Is not to be forthspoken to the mob,
Unless you wish to die for it.

SOCRATES.

I say
It is: I say, truth is to be forthspoken
Even to the mob; and if I die for it,
Why die I must : but while I live, I will
Shame the abuses of idolatry,
At my worst peril.

HIEROPHANT.

Thou hast too well learnt
The lesson of the first initiation ;
I will reveal the sign thereto belonging :
Mark me--and lay thy hand upon thy forehead
As I do, thus-the initiates will know thee.

SOCRATES (imitating the sign).
Then lead me onward to the second stage;
For I have set my life upon the die,
And will see all—know all;the Oracle
Shall not prove false—at least if I can help it.

SCENE IV.
A second interior Cavern, likewise dark.
(A chorus of PRIESTS and Virgins.)

PRIESTS.
Prepare, prepare, prepare,

The rites of our mystic band;
The fairest of the fair,
The grandest of the grand.

VIRGINS.
Prepare, prepare, prepare,

For Socrates the wise
In the mysteries must share,
Ere he ascends the skies.

PRIESTS.
Prepare, prepare, prepare,

Jupiter, let us see
Thy glittering form, and wear
Thy gorgeous radiancy.

VIRGINS.
Prepare, prepare, prepare,

With the Goddess of the light;
Let the Graces and Muses bear,

The honours of the night.
Enter the HIEROPHANT and SOCRATES.

HIEROPHANT.
Enter the second adytum, and mark
The second mystery.

(A sudden burst of light here takes place, and JUPITER and

Juno are discovered surrounded by beautiful nymphs representing the three Graces and the nine Muses.]

SOCRATES.

My eyes are dazzled
With the pomp of the symbols : how divine must be
That which they represent !-but give me, priest,
Thy key to the enigmas; say what lessons
Of high theosophy am I to learn
From this bright chorus ?

HIEROPHANT.

Esoteric doctrines, Which sage Pythagoras fetched from the climes Of Syria and Chaldea.

SOCRATES.

Say what doctrines ?

HIEROPHANT.
Pythagoras, in his imperial lodge,
Taught us the doctrine of a God of Gods,
A middle mediatorial Deity,
The first theophany of the Eternal
That lives beyond all semblance. Him it is
W'hom men invoke, as Jupiter the son
Of Saturn, under many names and titles-
Phæbus, Apollo, Dionysius,
Mercury, Mars, and all the great Cabiri,
All are developements, all emanations
Of the mysterious God-Son, whom to know
Is worth 'all knowledge.

SOCRATES.

There do I behold
His sovereign image with a radiant diadem
On his princely brow. But who is she that walks
In a most feminine and delicate loveliness
By his side?

HIEROPHANT.

His sister wife, the plastic spirit
Of Nature, that born from him hath become
The bearer of all beings, the Great Mother
Of this elaborated universe
And all its infinite stars. By mortal men
Is she invoked by many names that tell
Her attributes and manifestations ;
She is at once Juno, Ceres, Diana,
Warm Venus, blushing from the foamy wave,
Hecate, Proserpina.

SOCRATES.

How radiantly
She smiles upon the Son-God!-Yet, methinks,
A something terrible lurks in the lid
Of her bright eye, as if the mysteries
Called Birth and Death were twin-born in her glance
Of fire and darkness.

HIEROPHANT.

Even so there are;
You shrewd philosophers anticipate
Our secrets marvellously well.

SOCRATES.

But tell me
What symbolize the Graces and the Muses.

HIEROPHANT.
The Graces symbolize the three relations
Of the eternal scale-past, present, future;

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And on their sacred symmetry depends
All fair proportion, metaphysical,
And physical-all glory and all beauty.

SOCRATES.
And for the Muses nine?

HIEROPHANT.

They are the spirits
Of the nine spheres of mind and matter ; they,
In their unseen subsistence, do pervade
All things harmonical. From the great planets
To the fine chords of a lyre, they regulate
The music of the spheres.-See, even now,
They form the choral planetary dance,
Known to the initiates only.

Socrates.

I remember
The mystics of Pythagoras were all
Enchanted by it.

HIEROPHANT.
Thou, too, shalt behold it.

Socrates.
I'll mark it well : it is the dance of dances.

HIEROPHANT.
Ere they begin, I will confer the sign
Of this the second mystery. Draw thy hand
Across thy throat as I do.

Socrates (taking the sign).

"Tis a sign Of ominous import :--but no more of that, On with the dance ; I'll mark their stations well.

[The impersonators of JUPITER and Juno stand in the

centre, with arms intertwined. The GRACES form the inner circle and the Muses the outer. These concentric circles then commence their evolutions : those near the centre moving faster, and those farther slouer, in ii. tation of the planets, &c.]

SCENE V.
Another Cavern, likewise dark.
(Chorus of Priests and Virgins.)

Priests.
Darkness and mystery, like a spell,

Spread their witcheries here;
Yet is this most hallowed cell
To the initiate brethren dear,

Too dear to tell.

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