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The Temple is laid waste; the precious: Buckle that armor on; and for a watchvessels,
word Censers of gold, vials and veils and Whisper, or cry aloud, “The Help of crowns,
God.” And golden ornaments, and hidden treas
ures, Have all been taken from it, and the SCENE III. — JUDAS MACCABÆUS ; NICAGentiles
NOR. With revelling and with riot fill its courts,
Nicanor. Hail, Judas Maccabæus ! And dally with harlots in the holy places. Judas.
Hail !- Who art thou Judas. All this I knew before. That comest here in this mysterious Fugitives. l'pon the altar
guise Are things profane, things by the law into our camp unheralded ? forbidden ;
A herald Nor can we keep our Sabbaths or our Sent from Nicanor. Feasts,
Heralds come not thus. But on the festivals of Dionysus Armed with thy shirt of mail from head Must walk in their processions, bearing to heel, ivy
Thou glidest like a serpent silently To crown a drunken god.
Into my presence. Wherefore dost thou Judas. This too I know.
turn But tell me of the Jews. How fare the Thy face from me ? A herald speaks Jews ?
his errand Fugitives. The coming of this mis- With forehead unabashed. Thou arta spy chief hath been sore
Sent by Nicanor. And grievous to the people. All the Nic.
No disguise avails ! land
Behold my face; I am Nicanor's self. Is full of lamentation and of mourning. Judas. Thou art indeed Nicanor. I The Princes and the Elders weep and salute thee. wail ;
What brings thee hither to this hostile The young men and the maidens are camp made feeble;
Thus unattended ? The beauty of the women hath been Nic.
Confidence in thee. changed.
Thou hast the nobler virtues of thy race, Judas. And are there none to die for Without the failings that attend those Israel ?
virtues. 'T is not enough to mourn. Breastplate | Thou canst be strong, and yet not tyranand harness
nous, Are better things than sackcloth. Let Canst righteous be and not intolerant. the women
Let there be peace between us. Lament for Israel; the men should die. Judas.
What is peace ? Fugitives. Both men and women die ; Is it to bow in silence to our victors ? old men and young :
Is it to see our cities sacked and pillaged, Old Eleazer died : and Máhala
Our people slain, or sold as slaves, or With all her Seven Sons.
Antiochus, At night-time by the blaze of burning At every step thou takest there is left
towns ; A bloody footprint in the street, by Jerusalem laid waste ; the Holy Temple which
Polluted with strange gods? Are these The avenging wrath of God will track things peace ? thee out!
Nic. These are the dire necessities It is enough. Go to the sutler's tents : that wait Those of you who are men, put on such On war, whose loud and bloody enginery
I seek to stay. Let there be peace beAs ye may find; those of you who are tween women,
Antiochus and thee.
Antiochus ? Of gold and brass ; the mountains glisWhat is Antiochus, that he should prate ten with them, Of peace to me, who am a fugitive? And shine like lamps. And we who are To-day he shall be lifted up; to-morrow
so few Shall not be found, because he is re- And poorly armed, and ready to faint turned
with fasting, Unto his dust ; his thought has come to How shall we fight against this multi. nothing.
tude ? There is no peace between us, nor can Judas. The victory of a battle standbe,
eth not Until this banner floats upon the walls In multitudes, but in the strength that Of our Jerusalem.
Between that city From heaven above. The Lord forbid And thee there lies a waving wall of that I tents,
Should do this thing, and flee away from Held by a host of forty thousand foot,
them. And horsenen seven thousand. What Nay, if our hour be come, then let us
Let us not stain our honor.
'T is the Sabbath. Whose breath shall scatter your white Wilt thou fight on the Sabbath, Maccatents abroad,
bæus ? As flakes of snow.
Judas. Ay; when I fight the battles Nic. Your Mighty One in heaven of the Lord, Will not do battle on the Seventh Day ; I fight them on his day, as on all others. It is his day of rest.
Have ye forgotten certain fugitives Judas.
Silence, blasphemer. That fled once to these hills, and hid Go to thy tents.
Shall it be war or peace ? In caves? How their pursuers camped Judas. War, war, and only war. Go against them to thy tents
Upon the Seventh Day, and challenged That shall be scattered, as by you were
And how they answered not, nor cast a The torn and trampled pages of the Law, stone, Blown through the windy streets. Nor stopped the places where they lay Nic.
Farewell, brave foe! concealed, Judas. Ho, there, my captains ! Have But meekly perished with their wives safe-conduct given
Captains. Lead us to the battle ! SCENE IV. — JUDAS MACCABÆUS ; CAP- Judas. And let our watchword be, TAINS AND SOLDIERS.
“The Help of God!”
Last night I dreamed a dream ; and in Judas. The hour is come. Gather the host together
Beheld Onias, our High-Priest of old, For battle. Lo, with trumpets and with Who holding up his hands prayed for songs
the Jews. The army of Nicanor comes against us. This done, in the like manner there apGo forth to meet them, praying in your peared hearts,
An old man, and exceeding glorions, And fighting with your hands.
With hoary hair, and of a wonderful Captains. Look forth and see ! And excellent majesty. And Onias said: The morning sun is shining on their “This is a lover of the Jews, who prayshields
Much for the people and the Holy The citadel of Antiochus, wherein
The Mother with her Seven Sons was God's prophet Jeremias." And the murdered, prophet
Is still defiant.
Its hateful aspect A sword of gold; and giving it he said : Insults us with the bitter memories “Take thou this holy sword, a gift from Of other days. God,
Judas. Wait; it shall disappear And with it thou shalt wound thine And vanish as a cloud. First let us adversaries.”
cleanse Captains. The Lord is with us! The Sanctuary. See, it is become
Judas. Hark! I hear the trumpets Waste like a wilderness. Its golden Sound from Beth-horon ; from the bat- gates tle-field
Wrenched from their hinges and conOf Joshua, where he smote the Amorites, sumed by fire ; Smote the Five Kings of Eglon and of Shrubs growing in its courts as in a for
Jarmuth, Of Hebron, Lachish, and Jerusalem, Upon its altars hideous and strange As we to-day will smite Nicanor's hosts And leave a memory of great deeds be. And strewn about its pavement at my hind us.
feet Captains and Soldiers. The Help of Its Sacred Books, half burned and paintGod !
ed o'er Judas.
Be Elohim Yehovah ! With images of heathen gods. Lord, thou didst send thine Angel in the Jeus.
Woe! woe! time
Our beauty and our glory are laid waste ! Of Esekias, King of Israel,
The Gentiles have profaned our holy And in the armies of Sennacherib
places ! Didst slay a hundred fourscore and five
(Lamentation and alarm of trumpets.) thousand. Wherefore, O Lord of heaven, now also Judas. This sound of trumpets, and send
this lamentation, Before us a good angel for a fear, The heart-cry of a people toward the And through the might of thy right arm
heavens, let those
Stir me to wrath and vengeance. Go, Be stricken with terror that have come my captains ; this day
I hold you back no longer. Batter Against thy holy people to blaspheme !
down The citadel of Antiochus, while here
We sweep away his altars and his gods. ACT IV. The outer Courts of the Temple at Jeru- SCENE II. — Judas MACCABÆUS ; Jason; salem.
Deep in its inner courts, we found this Judas. Behold, our enemies are discomfited.
Clad as High-Priest. Jerusalem is fallen ; and our banners Judas. I ask not who thou art. Float from her battlements, and o'er her I know thy face, writ over with deceit gates
As are these tattered volumes of the Law Nicanor's severed head, a sign of terror, With heathen images. A priest of God Blackens in wind and sun.
Wast thou in other days, but thou art Captains.
A priest of Satan. Traitor, thou art Ja- Judas.
To pollute it, son.
And to corrupt the Jews; for there are Jason. I am thy prisoner, Judas Maccabæus,
Whose presence is corruption ; to be And it would ill become me to conceal
with them My name or office.
Degrades us and deforms the things we Judas. Over yonder gate
do. There hangs the head of one who was a Jason. I never made a boast, as some Greek.
men do, What should prevent me now, thou man of my superior virtue, nor denied of sin,
The weakness of my nature, that hath From hanging at its side the head of
Subservient to the will of other men. Who born a Jew hath made himself a Judas. Upon this day, the five andGreek ?
twentieth day Jason. Justice prevents thee. of the month Caslán, was the Temple Judas. Justice? Thou art stained
here With every crime 'gainst which the Deca- Profaned by strangers, — by Antiochus logue
And thee, his instrument. Upon this Thunders with all its thunder.
If not Justice, Shall it be cleansed. Thou, who didst Then Mercy, her handmaiden.
lend thyself Judas.
When hast thou Unto this profanation, canst not be At any time, to any man or woman, A witness of these solemn services. Or even to any little child, shown mercy? There can be nothing clean where thou Juson. I have but done what King art present. Antiochus
The people put to death Callisthenes, Commanded me.
Who burned the Temple gates ; and if Judas. True, thou hast been they find thee
Will surely slay thee. I will spare thy With which he struck; but hast been life such a weapon,
To punish thee the longer. Thou shalt So flexible, so fitted to his hand,
wander It tempted him to strike. So thou hast Among, strange nations. Thou, that urged him
hast cast out To double wickedness, thine own and So many from their native land, shalt his.
perish Where is this King? Is he in Antioch In a strange land. Thou, that hast left Among his women still, and from his
so many windows
Unburied, shalt have none to mourn for Throwing down gold by handfuls, for
thee, the rabble
Nor any solemn funerals at all, To scramble for ?
Nor sepulchre with thy fathers. ~Get Jason. Nay, he is gone from there, thee hence ! Gone with an army into the far East. Judas. And wherefore gone?
(Music. Procession of Priests and people,
with citherns, narps, and cymbals. JuJason. I know not. For the space DAS MACCABÆUS pits himself at their Of forty days almost were horsemen head, and they go into the inner courts.) Running in air, in cloth of gold, and armed
SCENE III. — Jason, alone.
Jason. Through the Gate Beautiful I Judas.
Or of death.
see them come Wherefore art thou not with him ? With branches and green boughs and Jason.
I was left
leaves of palm, For service in the Temple.
And pass into the inner courts. Alas !
I should be with them, should be one of Philip. Ecbatana, my Lord ; them,
And yonder mountain range is the But in an evil hour, an hour of weakness, Orontes. That cometh unto all, I fell away
Ant. The Orontes is my river at AnFrom the old faith, and did not clutch tioch.
Why did I leave it ? Why have I been Only an outward semblance of belief ;
tempted For the new faith I cannot make mine By coverings of gold and shields and own,
breastplates Not being born to it. It hath no root To plunder Elymais, and be driven Within me. I am neither Jew nor From out its gates, as by a fiery blast Greek,
Out of a furnace ? But stand between them both, a rene- Philip. These are fortune's changes. yade
Ant. What a defeat it was ! The To each in turn ; having no longer faith Persian horsemen In gods or men. Then what mysterious Came like a mighty wind, the wind charm,
Khamáseen, What fascination is it chains my feet, And melted us away, and scattered us And keeps me gazing like a curious child | As if we were dead leaves, or desert Into the holy places, where the priests
sand. Have raised their altar ? Striking Philip. Be comforted, my Lord; for stones together,
thou hast lost They take fire out of them, and light But what thou hadst not. the lamps
I, who made the Jews In the great candlestick. They spread Skip like the grasshoppers, am made mythe veils,
self And set the loaves of showbread on the To skip among these stones. table.
Be not discouraged. The incense burns; the well-remembered Thy realm of Syria remains to thee; odor
That is not lost nor marred. Comes wafted unto me, and takes me Ant.
0, where are now back
The splendors of my court, my baths and To other days. I see myself among them banquets ? As I was then ; and the old superstition Where are my players and my dancing Creeps over me again ! A childish
women ? fancy!
Where are my sweet musicians with their And hark! they sing with citherns and pipes, with cymbals,
That made me merry in the olden time? And all the people fall upon their faces, I am a laughing-stock to man and brute. Praying and worshipping !- I will away The very camels, with their ugly faces, Into the East, to meet Antiochus Mock me and laugh at me. Upon his homeward journey, crowned Philip.
Alas! my Lord, with triumph.
It is not so. If thou wouldst sleep Alas ! to-day I would give everything
awhile, To see a friend's face, or to hear a voice All would be well. That had the slightest tone of comfort
Ant. Sleep from mine eyes is gone, in it!
And my heart faileth me for very care.
Told us when we were boys, in which the The Mountains of Ecbatana.
bear SCENE I. - ANTIOCHUS ; PHILIP;
Going for honey overturns the hive,
And is stung blind by bees? I am that
beast, Ant. Here let us rest awhile. Where Stung by the Persian swarms of Elymais. are we, Philip?
Philip. When thou art come again to What place is this?