THE IMMORTAL HOUR
SCENE II.--The same.
[DALUA stands, waiting the coining of EOCHAIDH the king. The king is clad in
a leathern hunting dress, with a cleft helmet surmounted by a dragon in pale findruiney.
Sir, I am glad. I had not thought to see
[Taking off his cap, and sweeping it lo,
The king is welcome here.
How know you that the king is here? Far off
The war-horns bray about my threatened Dûn.
None knows that I am here.
And why, O king?
For I am,weary of wars and idle strife,
Who have no joy in all these little things
Men break their lives upon. But in my dreams,
In dreams I have seen that which climbs the stars
And sings upon me through my lonely hours
And will not let me be.
What song is that?
The song . . . but who is he who knows the king
Here in this dim, remote, forgotten wood,
Where led by dreams and visions I have come?
Those led by dreams shall be misled, O king!
You are no druid: no knight in arms: none
Whom I have seen.
I have known camps of men,
The minds and souls of men, and I have heard
Eochaidh the king sighing out his soul in sighs.
Tell me your name.
I am called Dalua
I have not heard that name, and yet in dreams
I have known one who waved a shadowy plume
And smiling said, " I am Dalua." Speak:
Are you this same Dalua?
I have come
To this lone wood and to this lonely mere
To drink from out the Fountain of all dreams,
The Shadowy Fount of Beauty.
The Fount of Beauty, Fountain of all dreams!
Now am I come upon my long desire!
The days have trampled me like armed men
Thrusting their spears as ever on they go,
And I am weary of all things save the, stars,
The wind, shadows and moonrise, and strange dreams.
If you can show me this immortal Fount
Whatso you will is yours.
[Touching him lightly
You are the king,
And know, now, whence you came, and to what end?
The king? The king? What king?
You are the king?
A king of shadows, I! I am no king.
And whither now, and whence?
I am not come
From any place I know of, and I go
Where dreams and visions lead me.
[Suddenly a fountain rises in the mere,
the spray rising high in the moon-shine
Look, O king!
[Staring eagerly, with hand above his eyes
I cannot see what you would have me see.
[Plucking a branch from a mountain-
ash, and waving it before the king's face
I see a Fountain and within its shadow
A great fish swims, and on the moveless wave
The scarlet berries float: dim mid the depths
The face of One I see, most calm and great,
August, with mournful eyes.
Ask what you will.
The word of wisdom,O thou hidden God:
Show me my star of dreams, show me the way!
That shall not be. No backward way is mine.
If I indeed be king, then kingly I
Shall cleave my way through shadows, as through men.
Nay, by the Sun and Moon, I swear
I will not turn my feet.
[Hesitating, turns to look at DALUA,who has swiftly and
silently with-drawn into the wood
There is no backward way for such as I!
Howbeit--for I am shaken with old dreams,
And as an idle wave tossed to and fro
I will go hence: I will go back to where
The quiet moonlight spills from the black brow
Of the great hill that towers above the lands
Wherein men hail me king.
[DALUA'S laughter comes from the wood
Follow, O follow, king of dreams and shadows!
I follow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .