Oh, sad no more! Oh, sweet No more!
Oh, strange No more!
By a mossed brook bank on a stone
I smelt a wild weed-flower alone;
There was a ringing in my ears,
And both my eyes gushed out with tears,
Surely all pleasant things had gone before.
Low buried fathom deep beneath with thee, NO MORE!
("The Gem," 1831)
A CAMP filled with war-chariots, neighing
horses and legions of long-haired soldiers. . . .
A regal tent, gaudy in its barbaric splendour. Its linen walls
are weighed down under the burden of arms. In its centre a raised
seat covered with skins, and on it a stalwart, savage-looking
warrior. He passes in review prisoners of war brought in turn
before him, who are disposed of according to the whim of the heartless
A new captive is now before him, and is addressing him with passionate
earnestness. . . . As he listens to her with suppressed passion
in his manly, but fierce, cruel face, the balls of his eyes become
bloodshot and roll with fury. And as he bends forward with fierce
stare, his whole appearance--his matted locks hanging over the
frowning brow, his big-boned body with strong sinews, and the
two large hands resting on the shield placed upon the right knee--justifies
the remark made in hardly audible whisper by a grey-headed soldier
to his neighbor:
"Little mercy shall the holy prophetess receive at the hand
The captive, who stands between two Burgundian warriors, facing
the ex-prince of the Salians, now king of all the Franks, is an
old woman with silver-white dishevelled hair, hanging over her
skeleton-like shoulders. In spite of her great age, her tall figure
is erect; and the inspired black eyes look proudly and fearlessly
into the cruel face of the treacherous son of Gilderich.
"Aye, King," she says, in a loud, ringing voice. "Aye,
thou art great and mighty now, but thy days are numbered, and
thou shalt reign but three summers longer. Wicked thou wert born
. . . perfidious thou art to thy friends and allies, robbing more
than one of his lawful crown. Murderer of thy next-of-kin, thou
who addest to the knife and spear in open warfare, dagger, poison,
and treason, beware how thou dealest with the servant of Nerthus!"1
"Ha, ha ha! . . . old hag of Hell!" chuckles the King,
with an evil, ominous sneer. "Thou hast crawled out of the
entrails of thy mother-goddess, truly. Thou fearest not my wrath?
It is well. But little need I fear thine empty imprecations. .
. . I, a baptized Christian!"
"So, so," replies the Sybil. "All know that Clovis
has abandoned the gods of his fathers; that he has lost all faith
in the warning voice of the white horse of the Sun, and that out
of fear of the Alemanni he went serving on his knees Remigius,
the servant of the Nazarene, at Rheims. But hast thou become any
truer in thy new faith? Hast thou not murdered in cold blood all
thy brethren who trusted in thee, after, as well as before, thy
apostasy? Hast not thou plighted troth to Alaric, the King of
the West Goths, and hast thou not killed him by stealth, running
thy spear into his back while he was bravely fighting an enemy?
And is it thy new faith and thy new gods that teach thee to be
devising in thy black soul even now foul means against Theodoric,
who put thee down? . . . Beware, Clovis, beware! For now the gods
of thy fathers have risen against thee! Beware, I say, for. .
"Woman!" fiercely cries the King--"Woman, cease
thy insane talk and answer my question. Where is the treasure
of the grove amassed by thy priests of Satan, and hidden after
they had been driven away by the Holy Cross? . . . Thou alone
knowest. Answer, or by Heaven and Hell I shall thrust thy evil
tongue down thy throat for ever!" . . .
She heeds not the threat, but goes on calmly and fearlessly as
before, as if she had not heard.
". . . The gods say, Clovis, thou art accursed! . . . Clovis,
thou shalt be reborn among thy present enemies, and suffer the
tortures thou hast inflicted upon thy victims. All the combined
power and glory thou hast deprived them of shall be thine in prospect,
yet thou shalt never reach it! . . . Thou shalt . . ."
The prophetess never finishes her sentence.
With a terrible oath the King, crouching like a wild beast on
his skin-covered seat, pounces upon her with the leap of a jaguar,
and with one blow fells her to the ground. And as he lifts his
sharp murderous spear the "Holy One" of the Sun-worshipping
tribe makes the air ring with a last imprecation.
"I curse thee, enemy of Nerthus! May my agony be tenfold
thine! . . . . May the Great Law avenge. . . ."
The heavy spear falls, and, running through the victim's throat,
nails the head to the ground. A stream of hot crimson blood gushes
from the gaping wound and covers king and soldiers with indelible
gore. . . .
Time--the landmark of gods and men in the boundless field of Eternity,
the murderer of its offspring and of memory in mankind--time moves
on with noiseless, incessant step through aeons and ages. . .
. Among millions of other Souls, a Soul-Ego is reborn: for weal
or for woe, who knoweth! Captive in its new human Form, it grows
with it, and together they become, at last, conscious of their
Happy are the years of their blooming youth, unclouded with want
or sorrow. Neither knows aught of the Past nor of the Future.
For them all is the joyful Present: for the Soul-Ego is unaware
that it had ever lived in other human tabernacles, it knows not
that it shall be again reborn, and it takes no thought of the
Its Form is calm and content. It has hitherto given its Soul-Ego
no heavy troubles. Its happiness is due to the continuous mild
serenity of its temper, to the affection it spreads wherever it
goes. For it is a noble Form, and its heart is full of benevolence.
Never has the Form startled its Soul-Ego with a too-violent shock,
or otherwise disturbed the calm placidity of its tenant.
Two score of years glide by like one short pilgrimage; a long
walk through the sun-lit paths of life, hedged by ever-blooming
roses with no thorns. The rare sorrows that befall the twin pair,
Form and Soul, appear to them rather like the pale light of the
cold northern moon, whose beams throw into a deeper shadow all
around the moon-lit objects, than as the blackness of night, the
night of hopeless sorrow and despair.
Son of a Prince, born to rule himself one day his father's kingdom;
surrounded from his cradle by reverence and honours; deserving
of the universal respect and sure of the love of all--what could
the Soul-Ego desire more from the Form it dwelt in?
And so the Soul-Ego goes on enjoying existence in its tower of
strength, gazing quietly at the panorama of life ever changing
before its two windows--the two kind blue eyes of a loving and
One day an arrogant and boisterous enemy threatens the father's
kingdom, and the savage instincts of the warrior of old awaken
in the Soul-Ego. It leaves its dream-land amid the blossoms of
life and causes its Ego of clay to draw the soldier's blade, assuring
him it is in defence of his country.
Prompting each other to action, they defeat the enemy and cover
themselves with glory and pride. They make the haughty foe bite
the dust at their feet in supreme humiliation. For this they are
crowned by history with the unfading laurels of valour, which
are those of success. They make a footstool of the fallen enemy
and transform their sire's little kingdom into a great empire.
Satisfied they could achieve no more for the present, they return
to seclusion and to the dreamland of their sweet home.
For three lustra more the Soul-Ego sits at its usual post, beaming
out of its window on the world around. Over its head the sky is
blue and the vast horizons are covered with those seemingly unfading
flowers that grow in the sunlight of health and strength. All
looks fair as a verdant mead in spring. . . . . .
But an evil day comes to all in the drama of being. It waits through
the life of king and of beggar. It leaves traces on the history
of every mortal born from woman, and it can neither be scared
away, entreated. nor propitiated. Health is a dewdrop that falls
from the heavens to vivify the blossoms on earth only during the
morn of life. its spring and summer. . . . It has but a short
duration and returns from whence it came--the invisible realms.
How oft 'neath the bud that is brightest and fairest,
The seeds of the canker in embryo lurk!
How oft at the root of the flower that is rarest--
Secure in its ambush the worm is at work. . . .
The running sand which moves downward in the glass, wherein the
hours of human life are numbered, runs swifter. The worm has gnawed
the blossom of health through its heart. The strong body is found
stretched one day on the thorny bed of pain.
The Soul-Ego beams no longer. It sits still and looks sadly out
of what has become its dungeon windows, on the world which is
now rapidly being shrouded for it in the funeral palls of suffering.
Is it the eve of night eternal which is nearing?
Beautiful are the resorts on the midland sea. An endless line
of surf-beaten, black, ragged rocks stretches, hemmed in between
the golden sands of the coast and the deep blue waters of the
gulf. They offer their granite breast to the fierce blows of the
northwest wind and thus protect the dwellings of the rich that
nestle at their foot on the inland side. The half-ruined cottages
on the open shore are the insufficient shelter of the poor. Their
squalid bodies are often crushed under the walls torn and washed
down by wind and angry wave. But they only follow the great law
of the survival of the fittest. Why should they be protected?
Lovely is the morning when the sun dawns with golden amber tints
and its first rays kiss the cliffs of the beautiful shore. Glad
is the song of the lark, as, emerging from its warm nest of herbs,
it drinks the morning dew from the deep flower-cups; when the
tip of the rosebud thrills under the caress of the first sunbeam,
and earth and heaven smile in mutual greeting. Sad is the Soul-Ego
alone as it gazes on awakening nature from the high couch opposite
the large bay-window.
How calm is the approaching noon as the shadow creeps steadily
on the sundial towards the hour of rest! Now the hot sun begins
to melt the clouds in the limpid air and the last shreds of the
morning mist that lingers on the tops of the distant hills vanish
in it. All nature is prepared to rest at the hot and lazy hour
of midday. The feathered tribes cease their song; their soft,
gaudy wings droop, and they hang their drowsy heads, seeking refuge
from the burning heat. A morning lark is busy nestling in the
bordering bushes under the clustering flowers of the pomegranate
and the sweet bay of the Mediterranean. The active songster has
"Its voice will resound as joyfully again to-morrow!"
sighs the Soul-Ego, as it listens to the dying buzzing of the
insects on the verdant turf. "Shall ever mine?"
And now the flower-scented breeze hardly stirs the languid heads
of the luxuriant plants. A solitary palm-tree, growing out of
the cleft of a moss-covered rock, next catches the eye of the
Soul-Ego. Its once upright, cylindrical trunk has been twisted
out of shape and half-broken by the nightly blasts of the north-west
winds. And as it stretches wearily its drooping feathery arms,
swayed to and fro in the blue pellucid air, its body trembles
and threatens to break in two at the first new gust that may arise.
"And then, the severed part will fall into the sea, and the
once stately palm will be no more," soliloquises the Soul-Ego
as it gazes sadly out of its windows.
Everything returns to life in the cool, old bower at the hour
of sunset. The shadows on the sun-dial become with every moment
thicker, and animate nature awakens busier than ever in the cooler
hours of approaching night. Birds and insects chirrup and buzz
their last evening hymns around the tall and still powerful Form,
as it paces slowly and wearily along the gravel walk. And now
its heavy gaze falls wistfully on the azure bosom of the tranquil
sea. The gulf sparkles like a gem-studded carpet of blue-velvet
in the farewell dancing sunbeams, and smiles like a thoughtless,
drowsy child, weary of tossing about. Further on, calm and serene
in its perfidious beauty, the open sea stretches far and wide
the smooth mirror of its cool waters--salt and bitter as human
tears. It lies in its treacherous repose like a gorgeous, sleeping
monster, watching over the unfathomed mystery of its dark abysses.
Truly the monumentless cemetery of the millions sunk in its depths.
. . .
Without a grave,
Unknell'd, uncoffined and unknown. . . .
while the sorry relic of the once noble Form pacing yonder, once
that its hour strikes and the deep-voiced bells toll the knell
for the departed soul, shall be laid out in state and pomp. Its
dissolution will be announced by millions of trumpet voices. Kings,
princes and the mighty ones of the earth will be present at its
obsequies, or will send their representatives with sorrowful faces
and condoling messages to those left behind. . .
"One point gained, over those 'uncoffined and unknown',"
is the bitter reflection of the Soul-Ego.
Thus glides past one day after the other; and as swift-winged
Time urges his flight, every vanishing hour destroying some thread
in the tissue of life, the Soul-Ego is gradually transformed in
its views of things and men. Flitting between two eternities,
far away from its birth-place, solitary among its crowd of physicians,
and attendants, the Form is drawn with every day nearer to its
Spirit-Soul. Another light unapproached and unapproachable in
days of joy, softly descends upon the weary prisoner. It sees
now that which it had never perceived before. . . . . .
How grand, how mysterious are the spring nights on the seashore
when the winds are chained and the elements lulled! A solemn silence
reigns in nature. Alone the silvery, scarcely audible ripple of
the wave, as it runs caressingly over the moist sand, kissing
shells and pebbles on its up and down journey, reaches the ear
like the regular soft breathing of a sleeping bosom. How small,
how insignificant and helpless feels man, during these quiet hours,
as he stands between the two gigantic magnitudes, the star-hung
dome above, and the slumbering earth below. Heaven and earth are
plunged in sleep, but their souls are awake, and they confabulate,
whispering one to the other mysteries unspeakable. It is then
that the occult side of Nature lifts her dark veils for us, and
reveals secrets we would vainly seek to extort from her during
the day. The firmament, so distant, so far away from earth, now
seems to approach and bend over her. The sidereal meadows exchange
embraces with their more humble sisters of the earth--the daisy-decked
valleys and the green slumbering fields. The heavenly dome falls
prostrate into the arms of the great quiet sea; and the millions
of stars that stud the former peep into and bathe in every lakelet
and pool. To the grief-furrowed soul those twinkling orbs are
the eyes of angels. They look down with ineffable pity on the
suffering of mankind. It is not the night dew that falls on the
sleeping flowers, but sympathetic tears that drop from those orbs,
at the sight of the Great HUMAN SORROW.
. . .
Yes; sweet and beautiful is a southern night. But--
When silently we watch the bed, by the taper's flickering light,
When all we love is fading fast--how terrible is night. . . .
Another day is added to the series of buried days. The far green
hills, and the fragrant boughs of the pomegranate blossom have
melted in the mellow shadows of the night, and both sorrow and
joy are plunged in the lethargy of soul-resting sleep. Every noise
has died out in the royal gardens, and no voice or sound is heard
in that overpowering stillness.
Swift-winged dreams descend from the laughing stars in motley
crowds, and landing upon the earth disperse among mortals and
immortals, amid animals and men. They hover over the sleepers,
each attracted by its affinity and kind; dreams of joy and hope,
balmy and innocent visions, terrible and awesome sights seen with
sealed eyes, sensed by the soul; some instilling happiness and
consolation, others causing sobs to heave the sleeping bosom,
tears and mental torture, all and one preparing unconsciously
to the sleepers their waking thoughts of the morrow.
Even in sleep the Soul-Ego finds no rest.
Hot and feverish its body tosses about in restless agony. For
it, the time of happy dreams is now a vanished shadow, a long
bygone recollection. Through the mental agony of the soul, there
lies a transformed man. Through the physical agony of the frame,
there flutters in it a fully awakened Soul. The veil of illusion
has fallen off from the cold idols of the world, and the vanities
and emptiness of fame and wealth stand bare, often hideous, before
its eyes. The thoughts of the Soul fall like dark shadows on the
cogitative faculties of the fast disorganizing body, haunting
the thinker daily, nightly, hourly. . . .
The sight of his snorting steed pleases him no longer. The recollections
of guns and banners wrested from the enemy; of cities razed, of
trenches, cannons and tents, of an array of conquered spoils now
stirs but little his national pride. Such thoughts move him no
more, and ambition has become powerless to awaken in his aching
heart the haughty recognition of any valourous deed of chivalry.
Visions of another kind now haunt his weary days and long sleepless
nights. . . .
What he now sees is a throng of bayonets clashing against each
other in a mist of smoke and blood: thousands of mangled corpses
covering the ground, torn and cut to shreds by the murderous weapons
devised by science and civilization, blessed to success by the
servants of his God. What he now dreams of are bleeding, wounded
and dying men, with missing limbs and matted locks, wet and soaked
through with gore
A hideous dream detaches itself from a group of passing visions,
and alights heavily on his aching chest. The night-mare shows
him men, expiring on the battle field with a curse on those who
led them to their destruction. Every pang in his own wasting body
brings to him in dream the recollection of pangs still worse,
of pangs suffered through and for him. He sees and feels the
torture of the fallen millions, who die after long hours of terrible
mental and physical agony; who expire in forest and plain, in
stagnant ditches by the road-side, in pools of blood under a sky
made black with smoke. His eyes are once more rivetted to the
torrents of blood, every drop of which represents a tear of despair,
a heart-rent cry, a life-long sorrow. He hears again the thrilling
sighs of desolation, and the shrill cries ringing through mount,
forest and valley. He sees the old mothers who have lost the light
of their souls; families, the hand that fed them. He beholds widowed
young wives thrown on the wide, cold world, and beggared orphans
wailing in the streets by the thousands. He finds the young daughters
of his bravest old soldiers exchanging their mourning garments
for the gaudy frippery of prostitution, and the Soul-Ego shudders
in the sleeping Form. . . . His heart is rent by the groans of
the famished; his eyes blinded by the smoke of burning hamlets,
of homes destroyed, of towns and cities in smouldering ruins.
. . .
And in his terrible dream, he remembers that moment of insanity
in his soldier's life, when standing over a heap of the dead and
the dying, waving in his right hand a naked sword red to its hilt
with smoking blood, and in his left, the colours rent from the
hand of the warrior expiring at his feet, he had sent in a stentorian
voice praises to the throne of the Almighty, thanksgiving for
the victory just obtained! . . . .
He starts in his sleep and awakes in horror. A great shudder shakes
his frame like an aspen leaf, and sinking back on his pillows,
sick at the recollection, he hears a voice--the voice of the Soul-Ego--saying
"Fame and victory are vainglorious words. . . . Thanksgiving
and prayers for lives destroyed--wicked lies and blasphemy!"
. . . .
"What have they brought thee or to thy fatherland, those
bloody victories!" whispers the Soul in him. "A population
clad in iron armour," it replies. "Two score millions
of men dead now to all spiritual aspiration and Soul-life. A people,
henceforth deaf to the peaceful voice of the honest citizen's
duty, averse to a life of peace, blind to the arts and literature,
indifferent to all but lucre and ambition. What is thy future
Kingdom, now? A legion of war-puppets as units, a great wild beast
in their collectivity. A beast that, like the sea yonder, slumbers
gloomily now, but to fall with the more fury on the first enemy
that is indicated to it. Indicated, by whom? It is as though a
heartless, proud Fiend, assuming sudden authority, incarnate Ambition
and Power, had clutched with iron hand the minds of a whole country.
By what wicked enchantment has he brought the people back to those
primeval days of the nation when their ancestors, the yellow-haired
Suevi, and the treacherous Franks roamed about in their warlike
spirit, thirsting to kill, to decimate and subject each other?
By what infernal powers has this been accomplished? Yet the transformation
has been produced and it is as undeniable as the fact that alone
the Fiend rejoices and boasts of the transformation effected.
The whole world is hushed in breathless expectation. Not a wife
or mother, but is haunted in her dreams by the black and ominous
storm-cloud that overhangs the whole of Europe. The cloud is approaching.
. . . . .It comes nearer and nearer Oh woe and horror! I foresee
once more for earth the suffering I have already witnessed. I
read the fatal destiny upon the brow of the flower of Europe's
youth! But if I live and have the power, never, oh never shall
my country take part in it again! No, no, I will not see-
The glutton death gorged with devouring lives. . . .
"I will not hear- . . . . . .robb'd mothers' shrieks
While from men's piteous wounds and horrid gashes
The lab'ring life flows faster than the blood! . . . ."
Firmer and firmer grows in the Soul-Ego the feeling of intense
hatred for the terrible butchery called war; deeper and deeper
does it impress its thoughts upon the Form that holds it captive.
Hope awalocns at times in the aching breast and colours the long
hours of solitude and meditation; like the morning ray that dispels
the dusky shades of shadowy despondency, it lightens the long
hours of lonely thought. But as the rainbow is not always the
dispeller of the storm-clouds but often only a refraction of the
setting sun on a passing cloud, so the moments of dreamy hope
are generally followed by hours of still blacker despair. Why,
oh why, thou mocking Nemesis, hast thou thus purified and enlightened,
among all the sovereigns of this earth, him, whom thou hast made
helpless, speechless and powerless? Why hast thou kindled the
flame of holy brotherly love for man in the breast of one whose
heart already feels the approach of the icy hand of death and
decay, whose strength is steadily deserting him and whose very
life is melting away like foam on the crest of a breaking wave?
And now the hand of Fate is upon the couch of pain. The hour for
the fulfilment of nature's law has struck at last. The old Sire
is no more; the younger man is henceforth a monarch. Voiceless
and helpless, he is nevertheless a potentate, the autocratic master
of millions of subjects. Cruel Fate has erected a throne for him
over an open grave, and beckons him to glory and to power. Devoured
by suffering, he finds himself suddenly crowned. The wasted Form
is snatched from its warm nest amid the palm groves and the roses;
it is whirled from balmy south to the frozen north, where waters
harden into crystal groves and "waves on waves in solid mountains
rise"; whither he now speeds to reign and--speeds to die.
Onward, onward rushes the black, fire-vomiting monster, devised
by man to partially conquer Space and Time. Onward, and further
with every moment from the health-giving, balmy South flies the
train. Like the Dragon of the Fiery Head, it devours distance
and leaves behind it a long trail of smoke, sparks and stench.
And as its long, tortuous, flexible body, wriggling and hissing
like a gigantic dark reptile, glides swiftly, crossing mountain
and moor, forest, tunnel and plain, its swinging monotonous motion
lulls the worn-out occupant, the weary and heartsore Form, to
sleep. . . .
In the moving palace the air is warm and balmy. The luxurious
vehicle is full of exotic plants; and from a large cluster of
sweet-smelling flowers arises together with its scent the fairy
Queen of dreams, followed by her band of joyous elves. The Dryads
laugh in their leafy bowers as the train glides by, and send floating
upon the breeze dreams of green solitudes and fairy visions. The
rumbling noise of wheels is gradually transformed into the roar
of a distant waterfall, to subside into the silvery trills of
a crystalline brook. The Soul-Ego takes its flight into Dreamland.
. . .
It travels through aeons of time, and lives, and feels, and breathes
under the most contrasted forms and personages. It is now a giant,
a Yotun, who rushes into Muspelheim, where Surtur rules with his
It battles fearlessly against a host of monstrous animals, and
puts them to flight with a single wave of its mighty hand. Then
it sees itself in the Northern Mistworld, it penetrates under
the guise of a brave bowman into Helheim, the Kingdom of the Dead,
where a Black-Elf reveals to him a series of its lives and their
mysterious concatenation. "Why does man suffer?" enquires
the Soul-Ego. "Because he would become one," is the
mocking answer. Forthwith, the Soul-Ego stands in the presence
of the holy goddess, Saga. She sings to it of the valorous deeds
of the Germanic heroes, of their virtues and their vices. She
shows the soul the mighty warriors fallen by the hands of many
of its past Forms, on battlefield, as also in the sacred security
of home. It sees itself under the personages of maidens, and of
women, of young and old men, and of children. It feels itself
dying more than once in those forms. It expires as a hero-Spirit,
and is led by the pitying Walkyries from the bloody battlefield
back to the abode of Bliss under the shining foliage of Walhalla.
It heaves its last sigh in another form, and is hurled on to the
cold, hopeless plane of remorse. It closes its innocent eyes in
its last sleep, as an infant, and is forthwith carried along by
the beauteous Elves of Light into an other body--the doomed generator
of Pain and Suffering. In each case the mists of death are dispersed,
and pass from the eyes of the Soul-Ego, no sooner does it cross
the Black Abyss that separates the Kingdom of the Living from
the Realm of the Dead. Thus "Death" becomes but a meaningless
word for it, a vain sound. In every instance the beliefs of the
Mortal take objective life and shape for the Immortal, as soon
as it spans the Bridge. Then they begin to fade, and disappear.
. . .
"What is my Past?" enquires the Soul-Ego of Urd, the
eldest of the Norn sisters. "Why do I suffer?"
A long parchment is unrolled in her hand, and reveals a long series
of mortal beings, in each of whom the Soul-Ego recognises one
of its dwellings. When it comes to the last but one, it sees a
blood-stained hand doing endless deeds of cruelty and treachery,
and it shudders Guileless victims arise around it, and cry to
Orlog for vengeance.
"What is my immediate Present?" asks the dismayed Soul
of Werdandi, the second sister.
"The decree of Orlog is on thyself!" is the answer.
"But Orlog does not pronounce them blindly, as foolish mortals
"What is my Future?" asks despairingly of Skuld, the
third Norn sister, the Soul-Ego. "Is it to be for ever with
tears, and bereaved of Hope?" . . .
No answer is received. But the Dreamer feels whirled through space,
and suddenly the scene changes. The Soul-Ego finds itself on a,
to it, long familiar spot, the royal bower, and the seat opposite
the broken palm-tree. Before it stretches, as formerly, the vast
blue expanse of waters, glassing the rocks and cliffs; there,
too, is the lonely palm, doomed to quick disappearance. The soft
mellow voice of the incessant ripple of the light waves now assumes
human speech, and reminds the Soul-Ego of the vows formed more
than once on that spot. And the Dreamer repeats with enthusiasm
the words pronounced before.
"Never, oh, never shall I, henceforth, sacrifice for vainglorious
fame or ambition a single son of my motherland! Our world is so
full of unavoidable misery, so poor with joys and bliss, and shall
I add to its cup of bitterness the fathomless ocean of woe and
blood, called WAR? Avaunt, such thought! .
. . Oh, never more. . . ."
Strange sight and change. . . .The broken palm which stands before
the mental sight of the Soul-Ego suddenly lifts up its drooping
trunk and becomes erect and verdant as before. Still greater bliss,
the Soul-Ego finds himself as strong and as healthy as
he ever was. In a stentorian voice he sings to the four winds
a loud and a joyous song. He feels a wave of joy and bliss in
him, and seems to know why he is happy.
He is suddenly transported into what looks a fairy-like Hall,
lit with most glowing lights and built of materials, the like
of which he had never seen before. He perceives the heirs and
descendants of all the monarchs of the globe gathered in that
Hall in one happy family. They wear no longer the insignia of
royalty, but, as he seems to know, those who are the reigning
Princes, reign by virtue of their personal merits. It is the greatness
of heart, the nobility of character, their superior qualities
of observation, wisdom, love of Truth and Justice, that have raised
them to the dignity of heirs to the Thrones, of Kings and Queens.
The crowns, by authority and the grace of God, have been thrown
off, and they now rule by "the grace of divine humanity,"
chosen unanimously by recognition of their fitness to rule, and
the reverential love of their voluntary subjects.
All around seems strangely changed. Ambition, grasping greediness
or envy--miscalled Patriotism--exist no longer. Cruel selfishness
has made room for just altruism, and cold indifference to the
wants of the millions no longer finds favour in the sight of the
favoured few. Useless luxury, sham pretences--social and religious--all
has disappeared. No more wars are possible, for the armies are
abolished. Soldiers have turned into diligent, hard-working tillers
of the ground, and the whole globe echoes his song in rapturous
joy. Kingdoms and countries around him live like brothers. The
great, the glorious hour has come at last! That which he hardly
dared to hope and think about in the stillness of his long, suffering
nights, is now realized. The great curse is taken off, and the
world stands absolved and redeemed in its regeneration! . . . .
Trembling with rapturous feelings, his heart overflowing with
love and philanthropy, he rises to pour out a fiery speech that
would become historic, when suddenly he finds his body gone, or,
rather, it is replaced by another body. . . . Yes, it is no longer
the tall, noble Form with which he is familiar, but the body of
somebody else, of whom he as yet knows nothing. Something dark
comes between him and a great dazzling light, and he sees the
shadow of the face of a gigantic timepiece on the ethereal waves.
On its ominous dial he reads:
"NEW ERA: 970,995
YEARS SINCE THE INSTANTANEOUS DESTRUCTION BY
OF THE LAST 2,000,000 OF SOLDIERS IN THE FIELD,
ON THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE GLOBE. 971,000 SOLAR
YEARS SINCE THE SUBMERSION OF THE EUROPEAN
CONTINENTS AND ISLES.
SUCH ARE THE DECREE OF
ORLOG AND THE ANSWER OF
SKULD. . . ."
He makes a strong effort and--is himself again. Prompted by the
Soul-Ego to REMEMBER and ACT
in conformity, he lifts his arms to Heaven and swears in the face
of all nature to preserve peace to the end of his days--in his
own country, at least.
A distant beating of drums and long cries of what he fancies in
his dream are the rapturous thanksgivings, for the pledge just
taken. An abrupt shock, loud clatter, and, as the eyes open, the
Soul-Ego looks out through them in amazement. The heavy gaze meets
the respectful and solemn face of the physician offering the usual
draught. The train stops. He rises from his couch weaker and wearier
than ever, to see around him endless lines of troops armed with
a new and yet more murderous weapon of destruction--ready for
Lucifer, June, 1888
1 "The Nourishing" (Tacit., Germ.
Xl)--the Earth, a Mother-Goddess, the most beneficent deity of
the ancient Germans.
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