BLTC Press Titles

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Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Death's jest-book; or, The fool's tragedy

by Thomas Lovell Beddoes


Duke. Soft sleep enwrap thee: with his balm bedew Thy young fair limbs, Sibylla: thou didst need The downy folding of his arms about thee. And wake not yet, for still the starless night Of our misfortune holds its ghostly noon. No serpent shall creep o'er the sand to sting thee, No springing tiger, no uncouth sea-monster, (For such are now the partners of thy chamber,) Disturb thy rest: only the birds shall dare To shake the sparkling blossoms that hang o'er thee, And fan thee with their wings. As I watch for thee, So may the power, that has so far preserved us, Now in the uttermost, now that I feel The cold drops on my forehead, and scarce know Whether Fear shed them there, or the near breath Of our pursuing foes has settled on it, Stretch its shield o'er us.


Entw Ziba.

What bring'st, Ziba ? Hope ? Else be as dumb as that thou bring'st, Despair.

Ziba. Fruits : as I sat among the boughs, and robbed The sparrows and their brothers of their bread, A horde of casqued Saracens rode by, Each swearing that thy sword should rest ere night Within his sheath, his weapon in thy breast.

Duke. Speak lower, Ziba, lest the lady wake. Perhaps she sleeps not, but with half-shut eyes Will hear her fate. The slaves shall need to wash My sword of Moslem blood before they sheath it. Which path took they ?

Ziba, Sleeping, or feigning sleep, Well done of her: 'tis trying on a garb Which she must wear, sooner or later, long: 'Tis but a wanner lighter death. The ruffians, Of whom I spoke, turned towards the cedar forest, And, as they went in, there rushed forth a lion And tore their captain down. Long live the lion ! We'll drink his tawny health: he gave us wine. For, while the Moors in their black fear were flying, I crept up to the fallen wretch, and borrowed His flask of rubious liquor. May the prophet Forgive him, as I do, for carrying it I This for to-day: to-morrow hath gods too, Who'll ripen us fresh berries, and uncage Another lion on another foe.

Duke. Brave Arab, thanks. But saw'st them from

the heights
No christian galley steering for this coast ?

Ziba. I looked abroad upon the wide old world,
And in the sky and sea, through the same clouds,
The same stars saw I glistening, and nought else.
And as my soul sighed unto the world's soul,
Far in the north a wind blackened the waters,
And, after that creating breath was still,
A dark speck sat on the sky's edge: as watching
Upon the heaven-girt border of my mind
The first faint thought of a great deed arise,
With force and fascination I drew on
The wished sight, and my hope seemed to stamp
Its shape upon it. Not yet is it clear
What, or from whom, the vessel.

Duke, Liberty 1

Thou breakest through our dungeon's wall of waves,
As morning bursts the towery spell of night.
Horse of the desert, thou, coy arrowy creature,
Startest like sunrise up, and, from thy mane
Shaking abroad the dews of slumber, boundest
With sparkling hoof along the scattered sands,
The livelong day in liberty and light.
But see, the lady stirs. Once more look out,
And thy next news be safety. \_Exit Ziba.

Hast thou gathered

Rest and refreshment from thy desert couch,
My fair Sibylla?

Sibyl. Deeply have I slept.

As one who hath gone down unto the springs
Of his existence and there bathed, I come
Regenerate up into the world again.
Kindest protector, 'tis to thee I owe
This boon, a greater than my parents gave.
Me, who had never seen this earth, this heaven,
The sun, the stars, the flowers, but shut from nature
Within my dungeon birthplace lived in darkness,
Me hast thou freed from the oppressor's chain,
And godlike given me this heaven, this earth,
The flowers, the stars, the sun. Methinks it were
Ingratitude to thank thee for a gift
So measurelessly great.

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