Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Two Lovers of Heaven: Chrysanthus and Daria by Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Part 3 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Not confused or troubled, rather
With a certain fear I see thee,
For which I have grounds most ample.


Because I thought thou wert
One who in a darksome cavern
Died to show thy love for me.

I have yet been not so happy
As to have a chance, Daria,
Of thus proving my attachment.

Be that so, I 've come to seek thee,
Confident, completely sanguine,
That I have the power to conquer,
I alone, thy pains, thy anguish;
Though against me thou shouldst use
The Christian armoury--enchantments.

That thou hast alone the power
To subdue the pains that wrack me,
I admit it; but in what
Thou hast said of Christian magic
I, Daria, must deny it.

How? from what cause else could happen
The effects I just have witnessed?

Miracles they are and marvels.

Why do they affect not me?

'T is because I do not ask them
Against thee; because from aiding
Not myself, no aid is granted.

Then I come here to undo them.

Most severe will be the battle,
Upon one side their due praises
On the other side thy anger.

I would have thee understand
That our gods are sorely damaged
By thy sentiments.

And I
That those gods are false--mere phantoms.

Then get ready for the conflict,
For I will not lower my standard
Save with victory or death.

Though thou makest me thy captive,
Thou my firmness wilt not conquer.

Then to arms! I say, to arms, then!

Though the outposts of the soul,
The weak heart, by thee be captured;
Not so will the Understanding,
The strong warden who doth guard it.

Thou 'lt believe me, if thou 'lt love me.

Thou not me, 'till love attracts thee.

That perhaps may be; for I
Would not give thee this advantage.

Oh! that love indeed may lead thee
To a state so sweet and happy!

Oh! what power will disabuse thee
Of thy ignorance, Chrysanthus?

Oh! what pitying power, Daria,
Will the Christian faith impart thee?


SCENE I.--The Garden of Polemius.


All my house is in confusion,
Full of terrors, full of horrors;[11]
Ah! how true it is a son
Is the source of many sorrows!--

But, my lord, reflect . . .

Consider . . .
Think . . .

Why think, when misery follows?--
Cease: you add to my affliction,
And in no way bring me solace.
Since you see that in his madness
He is now more firm and constant,
Falling sick of new diseases,
Ere he 's well of old disorders:
Since one young and beauteous maiden,
Whom love wished to him to proffer,
Free from every spot and blemish,
Pure and perfect in her fondness,
Is the one whose fatal charms
Give to him such grief and torment,
That each moment he may perish,
That he may expire each moment;
How then can you hope that I
Now shall list to words of comfort?--

Why not give this beauteous maiden
To your son to be his consort,
Since you see his inclination?

For this reason: when the project
I proposed, the two made answer,
That before they wed, some problem,
Some dispute that lay between them
Should be settled: this seemed proper:
But when I would know its nature
I could not the cause discover.
From this closeness I infer
That some secret of importance
Lies between them, and that this
Is the source of all my sorrows.

Sir, my loyalty, my duty
Will not let me any longer
Silence keep, too clearly seeing
How the evil has passed onward.
On that day we searched the mountain. . . .

POLEMIUS (aside).
Woe is me! could he have known then
All this time it was Chrysanthus?

I approaching, where with shoulders
Turned against me stood one figure,
Saw the countenance of another,
And methinks he was . . .

POLEMIUS (aside).
Ye gods!
Yes, he saw him! help! support me!

The same person who came hither
Lately in the garb of a doctor,
Who to-day to cure Chrysanthus
Such unusual treatment orders.
Do you ascertain if he
Is Carpophorus; let no portent
Fright you, on yourself rely,
And you 'll find that all will prosper.

Thanks, Aurelius, for your warning,
Though 't is somewhat tardily offered.
Whether you are right or wrong,
I to-day will solve the problem.
For the sudden palpitation
Of my heart that beats and throbbeth
'Gainst my breast, doth prove how true
Are the suspicions that it fostered.
And if so, then Rome will see
Such examples made, such torments,
That one bleeding corse will show
Wounds enough for myriad corses. [Exeunt Aurelius and Polemius.

Good Escarpin . . .


I know not
How to address you in my sorrow.
Do you say that Cynthia was
One of those not over-modest
Beauties who to court Chrysanthus
Hither came, and who (strange portent!)
Had some share of his bewitchment
In the stupor that came on them?

Yes, sir, and what 's worse, Daria
Was another, thus the torment
That we both endure is equal,
If my case be not the stronger,
Since to love her would be almost
Less an injury than to scorn her.

Well, I will not quarrel with you
On the point (for it were nonsense)
Whether one should feel more keenly
Love or hate, disdain or fondness
Shown to one we love; enough
'T is to me to know, that prompted
Or by vanity or by interest,
She came hither to hold converse
With him, 't is enough to make me
Lose the love I once felt for her.

Sir, two men, one bald, one squint-eyed,
Met one day . . .

What, on your hobby?
A new story?

To tell stories,
Sir, is not my 'forte', 'pon honour:--
Though who would n't make a hazard
When the ball is over the pocket?--

Well, I do not care to hear it.

Ah, you know it then: Another
Let me try: A friar once . . .
Stay though, I have quite forgotten
There are no friars yet in Rome:
Well, once more: a fool . . .

A blockhead
Like yourself, say: cease.

Ah, sir,
My poor tale do n't cruelly shorten.
While the sacristan was blowing . . .

Why, by heaven! I 'll kill you, donkey.

Hear me first, and kill me after.

Was there ever known such folly
As to think 'mid cares so grave
I could listen to such nonsense? (exit.
[Enter Chrysanthus and Daria, at opposite sides.]

DARIA (to herself).
O ye gods, since my intention
Was in empty air to scatter
All these prodigies and wonders
Worked in favour of Chrysanthus
By the Christians' sorcery, why,
Having you for my copartners,
Do I not achieve a victory
Which my beauty might make facile?

O ye heavens, since my ambition
Was to melt Daria's hardness,
And to bring her to the knowledge
Of one God who works these marvels,
Why, so pure is my intention,
Why, so zealous and so sanguine,
Does not easy victory follow,
Due even to my natural talent?

DARIA (aside).
He is here, and though already
Even to see him, to have parley
With him, lights a living fire
In my breast, which burns yet glads me,
Yet he must confess my gods,
Ere I own that I am vanquished.

She comes hither, and though I
By her beauty am distracted,
Still she must become a Christian
Ere a wife's dear name I grant her.

DARIA (aside).
Venus, to my beauty give
Power to make of him my vassal.

Grant, O Lord, unto my tongue
Words that may dispel her darkness.

DARIA (aside).
To come near him makes me tremble.

To address her, quite unmans me:--
Not in vain, O fair Daria, (aloud.
Does the verdure of this garden,
When it sees thee pass, grow young
As beneath spring's dewy spangles;
Not in vain, since though 't is evening,
Thou a new Aurora dazzleth,
That the birds in public concert
Hail thee with a joyous anthem;
Not in vain the streams and fountains,
As their crystal current passes,
Keep melodious time and tune
With the bent boughs of the alders;
The light movement of the zephyrs
As athwart the flowers they 're wafted,
Bends their heads to see thee coming,
Then uplifts them to look after.

These fine flatteries, these fine phrases
Make me doubt of thee, Chrysanthus.
He who gilds the false so well,
Must mere truth find unattractive.

Hast thou then such little faith
In my love?

Thou needst not marvel.


Because no more of faith
Doth a love deserve that acteth
Such deceptions.

What deceptions?

Are not those enough, Chrysanthus,
That thou usest to convince me
Of thy love, of thy attachment,
When my first and well-known wishes
Thou perversely disregardest?
Is it possible a man
So distinguished for his talents,
So illustrious in his blood,
Such a favourite from his manners,
Would desire to ruin all
By an error so unhappy,
And for some delusive dream
See himself abhorred and branded?

I nor talents, manners, blood,
Would be worthy of, if madly
I denied a Great First Cause,
Who made all things, mind and matter,
Time, heaven, earth, air, water, fire,
Sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, beasts, Man then.

Did not Jupiter, then, make heaven,
Where we hear his thunders rattle?

No, for if he could have made
Heaven, he had no need to grasp it
For himself at the partition,
When to Neptune's rule he granted
The great sea, and hell to Pluto;--
Then they were ere all this happened.[12]

Is not Ceres the earth, then?

Since she lets the plough and harrow
Tear its bosom, and a goddess
Would not have her frame so mangled.

Tell me, is not Saturn time?

He is not, though he dispatcheth
All the children he gives birth to;
To a god no crimes should happen.

Is not Venus the air?

Much less,
Since they say that she was fashioned
From the foam, and foam, we know,
Cannot from the air be gathered.

Is not Neptune the sea?

As little,
For inconstancy were god's mark then.

Is not the sun Apollo?


The moon Diana?

All mere babble.
They are but two shining orbs
Placed in heaven, and there commanded
To obey fixed laws of motion
Which thy mind need not embarrass.
How can these be called the gods--
Gods adulterers and assassins!
Gods who pride themselves for thefts,
And a thousand forms of badness,
If the ideas God and Sin
Are opposed as light to darkness?--
With another argument
I would further sift the matter.
Let then Jupiter be a god,
In his own sphere lord and master:
Let Apollo be one also:
Should Jove wish to hurl in anger
Down his red bolts on the world,
And Apollo would not grant them,
He the so-called god of fire;
From the independent action
Of the two does it not follow
One of them must be the vanquished?
Then they cannot be called gods,
Gods whose wills are counteracted.
One is God whom I adore . . .
And He is, in fine, that martyr
Who has died for love of thee!--
Since then, thou hast said, so adverse
Was thy proud disdain, one only
Thou couldst love with love as ardent
Almost as his own, was he
Who would . . .

Oh! proceed no farther,
Hold, delay thee, listen, stay,
Do not drive my brain distracted,
Nor confound my wildered senses,
Nor convulse my speech, my language,
Since at hearing such a mystery
All my strength appears departed.
I do not desire to argue
With thee, for, I own it frankly,
I am but an ignorant woman,
Little skilled in such deep matters.
In this law have I been born,
In it have been bred: the chances
Are that in it I shall die:
And since change in me can hardly
Be expected, for I never
At thy bidding will disparage
My own gods, here stay in peace.
Never do I wish to hearken
To thy words again, or see thee,
For even falsehood, when apparelled
In the garb of truth, exerteth
Too much power to be disregarded. [Exit.

Stay, I cannot live without thee,
Or, if thou wilt go, the magnet
Of thine eye must make me follow.
All my happiness is anchored
There. Return, Daria. . . .

(Enter Carpophorus.)

Follow not her steps till after
You have heard me speak.

What would you?

I would reprimand your lapses,
Seeing how ungratefully
You, my son, towards me have acted.

I ungrateful!

You ungrateful,
Yes, because you have abandoned,
Have forgotten God's assistance,
So effectual and so ample.

Do not say I have forgotten
Or abandoned it, wise master,
Since my memory to preserve it
Is as 't were a diamond tablet.

Think you that I can believe you,
If when having in this garment
Sought you out to train and teach you,
In the Christian faith and practice,
Until deep theology
You most learnedly have mastered;
If, when having seen your progress,
Your attention and exactness,
I in secret gave you baptism,
Which its mark indelibly stampeth;
You so great a good forgetting,
You for such a bliss so thankless,
With such shameful ease surrender
To this love-dream, this attachment?
Did it strike you not, Chrysanthus,
To that calling how contrasted
Are delights, delirious tumults,
Are love's transports and its raptures,
Which you should resist? Recall too,
Can you not? the aid heaven granted
When you helped yourself, and prayed for
Its assistance: were you not guarded
By it when a sweet voice sung,
When a keen wit glowed and argued,
When the instrument was silenced,
When the tongue was forced to stammer,
Until now, when with free will
You succumb to the enchantment
Of one fair and fatal face,
Which hath done to you such damage
That 't will work your final ruin,
If the trial longer lasteth?--

Oh! my father, oh! my teacher,
Hear me, for although the charges
Brought against me thus are heavy,
Still I to myself have ample
Reasons for my exculpation.
Since you taught me, you, dear master,
That the union of two wills
In our law is well established.
Be not then displeased, Carpophorus . . .
(Aside.) Heavens! what have I said? My father!

(Enter Polemius.)

POLEMIUS (aside).
Ah! this name removes all doubt.
But I must restrain my anger,
And dissemble for the present,
If such patience Jove shall grant me:--
How are you to-day, Chrysanthus? (aloud.

Sir, my love and duty cast them
Humbly at your feet: (aside, Thank heaven,
That he heard me not, this calmness
Cannot be assumed).

I value
More than I can say your manner
Towards my son, so kind, so zealous
For his health.

Heaven knows, much farther
Even than this is my ambition,
Sir, to serve you: but the passions
Of Chrysanthus are so strong,
That my skill they overmaster.


Because the means of cure
He perversely counteracteth.

Ah! sir, no, I 've left undone
Nothing that you have commanded.

No, not so, his greatest peril
He has rashly disregarded.

I implicitly can trust you,
Of whose courage, of whose talents
I have been so well informed,
That I mean at once to grant them
The reward they so well merit.

Sir, may heaven preserve and guard you.

Come with me; for I desire
That you should from my apartments
Choose what best doth please you; I
Do not doubt you 'll find an ample
Guerdon for your care.

To be
Honoured in this public manner
Is my best reward.

POLEMIUS (aside).
The world
Shall this day a dread example
Of my justice see, transcending
All recorded in time's annals. (Exeunt Polemius and Carpophorus.)

Better than I could have hoped for
Has it happened, since my father
Shows by his unruffled face
That his name he has not gathered.
What more evidence can I wish for
Than to see the gracious manner
In which he conducts him whither
His reward he means to grant him?
Oh! that love would do as much
In the fears and doubts that rack me,
Since I cannot wed Daria,
And be faithful to Christ's banner.

(Enter Daria.)

DARIA (aside).
Tyrant question which methought
Timely flight alone could answer,
Once again, against my will
To his presence thou dost drag me.

But she comes again: let sorrow
Be awhile replaced by gladness:--
Ah! Daria, so resolved[13] (aloud,
Not to see or hear me more,
Art thou here?

Deep pondering o'er,
As the question I revolved,
I would have the mystery solved:
'T is for that I 'm here, then see
It is not to speak with thee.

Speak, what doubt wouldst thou decide?

Thou hast said a God once died
Through His boundless love to me:
Now to bring thee to conviction
Let me this one strong point try . . .


To be a God, and die,
Doth imply a contradiction.
And if thou dost still deny
To my god the name divine,
And reject him in thy scorn
For beginning, I opine,
If thy God could die, that mine
Might as easily be born.

Thou dost argue with great skill,
But thou must remember still,
That He hath, this God of mine,
Human nature and divine,
And that it has been His will
As it were His power to hide--
God made man--man deified--
When this sinful world He trod,
Since He was not born as God,
And it was as man He died.

Does it not more greatness prove,
As among the beauteous stars,
That one deity should be Mars,
And another should be Jove,
Than this blending God above
With weak man below? To thee
Does not the twin deity
Of two gods more power display,
Than if in some mystic way
God and man conjoined could be?

No, I would infer this rather,
If the god-head were not one,
Each a separate course could run:
But the untreated Father,
But the sole-begotten Son,
But the Holy Spirit who
Ever issues from the two,
Being one sole God, must be
One in power and dignity:--
Until thou dost hold this true,
Till thy creed is that the Son
Was made man, I cannot hear thee,
Cannot see thee or come near thee,
Thee and death at once to shun.

Stay, my love may so be won,
And if thou wouldst wish this done,
Oh! explain this mystery!
What am I to do, ah! me,
That my love may thus be tried?

Seek, O soul! seek Him who died
Solely for the love of thee.

All that I could have replied
Has been said thus suddenly
By this voice that, sounding near,
Strikes upon my startled ear
Like the summons of my death.

Ah! what frost congeals my breath,
Chilling me with icy fear,
As I hear its sad lament:
Whence did sound the voice? [Enter Polemius and soldiers.

From here:
'T is, Chrysanthus, my intent
Thus to place before thy sight--
Thus to show thee in what light
I regard thy restoration
Back to health, the estimation
In which I regard the wight
Who so skilfully hath cured thee.
A surprise I have procured thee,
And for him a fit reward:
Raise the curtain, draw the cord,
See, 't is death! If this . . .
(A curtain is drawn aside, and Carpophorus is seen beheaded, the head
being at some distance from the body.)

I freeze!--

Is the cure of thy disease,
What must that disease have been!
'T is Carpophorus. . . .

Dread scene!

He who with false science came
Not to give thee life indeed,
But that he himself should bleed:--
That thy fate be not the same,
Of his mournful end take heed:
Do not thou that dost survive,
My revenge still further drive,
Since the sentence seems misread--
The physician to be dead,
And the invalid alive.--

It were cruelty extreme,
It were some delirious dream,
That could see in this the cure
Of the ill that I endure.

It to him did pity seem,
Seemed the sole reward that he
Asked or would receive from me:
Since when dying, he but cried . .

Seek, O soul! seek Him who died
Solely for the love of thee!--

What a portent!

What a wonder!

Jove! my own head splits asunder!--

Even though severed, in it dwells
Still the force of magic spells.

Sir, it were a fatal blunder
To be blind to this appalling
Tragedy you wrong by calling
The result of spells--no spells
Are such signs, but miracles
Outside man's experience falling.
He came here because he yearned
With his pure and holy breath
To give life, and so found death.
'T is a lesson that he learned--
'T is a recompense he earned--
Seeing what his Lord could do,
Being to his Master true:
Kill me also: He had one
Bright example: shall I shun
Death in turn when I have two?

I, in listening to thy raving,
Scarce can calm the wrath thou 'rt braving.
Dead ere now thou sure wouldst lie,
Didst thou not desire to die.

Father, if the death I 'm craving . . .

Speak not thus: no son I know.

Not to thee I spoke, for though
Humanly thou hast that name,
Thou hast forfeited thy claim:
I that sweet address now owe
Unto him whose holier aim
Kindled in my heart a flame
Which shall there for ever glow,
Woke within me a new soul
That thou 'rt powerless to control--
Generated a new life
Safe against thy hand or knife:
Him a father's name I give
Who indeed has made me live,
Not to him whose tyrant will
Only has the power to kill.
Therefore on this dear one dead,
On this pallid corse laid low,
Lying bathed in blood and snow,
By this lifeless lodestone led,
I such bitter tears shall shed,
That my grief . . .

Ho! instantly
Tear him from it.

DARIA (aside).
Thus to be
By such prodigies surrounded,
Leaves me dazzled and confounded.

Hide the corse.

Leave that to me
(The head and body are concealed).

Bear Chrysanthus now away
To a tower of darksome gloom
Which shall be his living tomb.

That I hear with scant dismay,
Since the memory of this day
With me there will ever dwell.
Fair Daria, fare thee well,
And since now thou knowest who
Died for love of thee, renew
The sweet vow that in the dell
Once thou gav'st me, Him to love
After death who so loved thee.

Take him hence.

Ah! suddenly
Light descendeth from above
Which my darkness doth remove.
Now thy shadowed truth I see,
Now the Christian's faith profess.
Let thy bloody lictors press
Round me, racking every limb,
Let me only die with him,
Since I openly confess
That the gods are false whom we
Long have worshipped, that I trust
Christ alone--the True--the Just--
The One God, whose power I see,
And who died for love of me.

Take her too, since she in this
Boasts how dark, how blind she is.

Oh! command that I should dwell
With Chrysanthus in his cell.
In our hearts we long are mated,
And ere now had celebrated
Our espousals fond and true,
If the One same God we knew.

This sole bliss alone I waited
To die happy.

How my heart
Is with wrath and rage possest!--
Hold thy hand, present it not,
For I would not have thy lot
By the least indulgence blest;
Nor do thou, if thy wild brain
Such a desperate course maintain,
Hope to have her as thy bride--
Trophy of our gods denied:--
Separate them.

O the pain!

O the woe! unhappy me!

Take them hence, and let them be
(Since my justice now at least
Makes amends for mercy past)
Punished so effectually
That their wishes, their desires,
What each wanteth or requires,
Shall be thwarted or denied,
That between opposing fires
They for ever shall be tried:--
Since Chrysanthus' former mood
Only wished the solitude
Whence such sorrows have arisen,
Take him to the public prison,
And be sure in fire and food
That he shall not be preferred
To the meanest culprit there.
Naked, abject, let him fare
As the lowest of the herd:
There, while chains his body gird,
Let him grovel and so die:--
For Daria, too, hard by
Is another public place,
Shameful home of worse disgrace,
Where imprisoned let her lie:
If, relying on the powers
Of her beauty, her vain pride
Dreamed of being my son's bride,
Never shall she see that hour.
Soon shall fade her virgin flower,
Soon be lost her nymph-like grace--
Roses shall desert her face,
Waving gold her silken hair.
She who left Diana's care
Must with Venus find her place:
'Mong vile women let her dwell,
Vile, abandoned even as they.

ESCARPIN (aside).
There my love shall have full play.
O rare judge, you sentence well!

Sir, if thou must have a fell
Vengeance for this act of mine,
Take my life, for it is thine;
But my honour do not dare
To insult through one so fair.

Wreak thy rage, if faith divine
So offends thee, upon me,
Not upon my chastity:--
'T is a virtue purer far
Than the light of sun or star,
And has ne'er offended thee.

Take them hence.

Ah me, to find
Words, that might affect thy mind!
Melt thy heart!

Ah, me, who e'er
Saw a martyrdom so rare?--

Wouldst thou then the torment fly,
Thou hast only to deny

The Saviour of mankind?
This I cannot do.

Nor I.

Let them instantly from this
To their punishment be led.--

Do not budge from what you said.
It is excellent as it is.

Woe is me! but wherefore fear,
O beloved betroth`ed mine?--
Trust in God, that power divine
For whose sake we suffer here:--
HE will aid us and be near:--

In that confidence I live,
For if He His life could give
For my love, and me select,
He His honour will protect.

These sad tears He will forgive.
Ne'er to see thee more! thus driven. . .

Cease, my heart like thine is riven,
But again we 'll see each other,
When in heaven we 'll be, my brother,
The two lover saints of Heaven. (They are led out.

SCENE II.--The hall of a bordel.

Soldiers conducting Daria.

Here Polemius bade us leave her,
The great senator of Rome.[14] (exeunt.)

As the noonday might be left
In the midnight's dusky robe,
As the light amid the darkness,
As 'mid clouds the solar globe:
But although the shades and shadows,
Through the vapours of Heaven's dome.
Strive with villainous presumption
Light and splendour to enfold,
Though they may conceal the lustre,
Still they cannot stain it, no.
And it is a consolation
This to know, that even the gold,
How so many be its carats,
How so rich may be the lode,
Is not certain of its value
'Till the crucible hath told.
Ah! from one extreme to another
Does my strange existence go:
Yesterday in highest honour,
And to-day so poor and low!
Still, if I am self-reliant,
Need I fear an alien foe?
But, ah me, how insufficient
Is my self-defence alone!--
O new God to whom I offer
Life and soul, whom I adore,
In Thy confidence I rest me.
Help me, Lord, I ask no more.

(Enter Escarpin.)

Where I wonder can she be?
But I need not farther go,
Here she is:--At length, Daria,
My good lady, and soforth,
Now has come the happy moment,
When in open market sold,
All thy charms are for the buyer,
Who can spend a little gold;
And since happily love's tariff
Is not an excessive toll,
Here I am, and so, Daria,
Let these clasping arms enfold . . .

Do not Thou desert Thy handmaid
In this dreadful hour, O Lord!--

Cries of people within.

A VOICE (within).
Oh, the lion! oh, the lion!

Ho! take care of the lion, ho!

Let the lion care himself,
I 'm engaged and cannot go.

A VOICE (within).
From the mountain wilds descending,
Through the crowded streets he goes.

Like the lightning's flash he flieth,
Like the thunder is his roar.

Ah! all right, for I 'm in safety,
Thanks to this obliging door:
Lightning is a thing intended
For high towers and stately domes,
Never heard I of its falling
Upon little lowly homes:
So if lion be the lightning,
Somewhere else will fall the bolt:
Therefore once again, Daria,
Come, I say, embrace me. . . . .
(A lion enters, places himself before Daria, and seizes Escarpin.)

Never in my life did I
See a nobler beast.

Just so,
Nor a more affectionate one
Did I ever meet before,
Since he gives me the embraces
That I asked of thee and more:
O god Bacchus, whom I worship
So devoutly, thou, I know,
Workest powerfully on beasts.
Tell our friend to let me go.

Noble brute, defend my honour,
Be God's minister below.

How he gnaws me! how he claws me!
How he smells! His breath, by Jove,
Is as bad as an emetic.
But you need n't eat me, though.
That would be a sorry blunder,
Like what happened long ago.
Would you like to hear the story?
By your growling you say no.
What! you 'll eat me then? You 'll find me
A tough morsel, skin and bone.
O Daria! I implore thee,
Save me from this monster's throat,
And I give to thee my promise
To respect thee evermore.

Mighty monarch of these deserts,
King of beasts, so plainly known
By thy crown of golden tresses
O'er thy tawny forehead thrown,
In the name of Him who sent thee
To defend that faith I hold,
I command thee to release him,
Free this man and let him go.

What a most obsequious monster!
With his mane he sweeps the floor,
And before her humbly falling,
Kisses her fair feet.

What more
Need we ask, that Thou didst send him,
O great God so late adored,
Than to see his pride thus humbled
When he heard thy name implored?
But upon his feet uprising,
The great roaring Campeador[15]
Of the mountains makes a signal
I should follow: yes, I go,
Fearless now since Thou hast freed me
From this infamous abode.
What will not that lover do
Who for love his life foregoes!-- (Goes out preceded by the lion.

With a lion for her bully
Ready to fight all her foes,
Who will dare to interrupt her?
None, if they are wise I trow.
With her hand upon his mane,
Quite familiarly they go
Through the centre of the city.
Crowds give way as they approach,
And as he who looketh on
Knoweth of the game much more
Than the players, I perceive
They the open country seek
On the further side of Rome.
Like a husband and a wife,
In the pleasant sunshine's glow,
Taking the sweet air they seem.
Well the whole affair doth show
So much curious contradiction,
That, my thought, a brief discourse
You and I must have together.
Is the God whose name is known
To Daria, the same God
Whom Carpophorus adored?
Why, from this what inference follows?
Only this, if it be so,
That Daria He defends,
But the poor Carpophorus, no.
And as I am much more likely
His sad fate to undergo,
Than to be like her protected,
I to change my faith am loth.
So part pagan and part christian
I 'll remain--a bit of both. (Exit.

SCENE III.--The Wood.

(Enter NISIDA and CYNTHIA, flying.)

Fly, fly, Nisida.

Fly, fly, Cynthia,
Since a terror and a woe
Threatens us by far more fearful
Than when late a horror froze
All our words, and o'er our reason
Strange lethargic dulness flowed.

Thou art right, for then 't was only
Our intelligence that owned
The effect of an enchantment,
A mere pause of thought alone.
Here our very life doth leave us,
Seeing with what awful force
Stalks along this mighty lion
Trampling all that stops his course.

Whither shall we fly for shelter?

O Diana, we implore
Help from thee! But stranger still!--
Him who doth appal us so,
The wild monarch of the mountain
See! a woman calm and slow

O astounding sight!

'T is Daria.

I was told
She had been consigned to prison:
Yes, 't is she: on, on they go
Through the forest.

Till the mountain
Hides them, and we see no more.

(Enter Escarpin.)

All Rome is full of wonder and dismay.[16]

What has occurred?

Oh! what has happened, say?

Chrysanthus, being immured
By his stern sire, a thousand ills endured.
Daria too, the same,
But in a house my tongue declines to name.
It pleased the God they both adore
Both to their freedom strangely to restore,
And from their many pains
To free them, and to break their galling chains,
Giving Daria, as attendant squire,
A roaring lion, rolling eyes of fire:--
In fine the two have fled,
But each apart by separate instinct led
To this wild mountain near.
Numerianus coming then to hear
Of the event, assuming in his wrath,
That 't was Polemius who had oped the path
Of freedom for his son and for the maid,
Has not an hour delayed,
But follows them with such a numerous band,
That, see, his squadrons cover all the land.

VOICES (within).
Scour the whole plain.

OTHERS (within).
Descend into the vale.

OTHERS (within).
Pierce the thick wood.

OTHERS (within).
The rugged mountain scale.

This noise, these cries, confirm what I have said:
And since by curiosity I 'm led
To sift the matter to the bottom, I
Will follow with the rest.

I almost die
With fear at the alarm, and yet so great
Is my desire to know Daria's fate,
And that of young Chrysanthus, that I too
Will follow, if a woman so may do.

What strange results such strange events produce!
The very wonder serves as an excuse.

Well, we must only hope that it is so.
Come, Cynthia, let us follow her.

Let us go.

And I with love most fervent,
Ladies, will be your very humble servant. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.--A wilder part of the wood near the cave.

(Enter DARIA guided by the lion.)

O mighty lion, whither am I led?
Where wouldst thou guide me with thy stately tread,
That seems to walk not on the earth, but air?
But lo! he has entered there
Where yonder cave its yawning mouth lays bare,

[The lion enters a cave.]

Leaving me here alone.
But now fate clears, and all will soon be known;
For if I read aright
The signs this desert gives unto my sight,
It is the very place whence echo gave
Responsive music from this mystic cave.
Terror and wonder both my senses scare,
Ah! whither shall I go?

Daria fair!

Who calls my hapless name?
Each leaf that moves doth thrill this wretched frame
With boding and with dread.
But why say wretched? I had better said
Thrice bless`ed: O great God whom I adore,
Baptize me in those tears that I outpour,
In no more fitting form can I declare
My faith and hope in thee.

Daria fair.

Who calls my name? who wakes those wild alarms?

(Enter Chrysanthus.)

Belov`ed bride, 't is one to whom thy charms
Are even less dear than is thy soul, ah! me,
One who would live and who will die with thee.

Belov`ed spouse, my heart could not demand
Than thus to see thee near, to clasp thy hand,
A sweeter solace for my long dismay,
And all the awful wonders of this day.
Hear the surprising tale,
And thou wilt know . . .

VOICES (within).
Search hill.

And plain.

And vale.

Hush! the troops our fight pursuing
Have the forest precincts entered.[17]

What then shall I do, Chrysanthus?

Keep thy faith, thy life surrender:--

I a thousand lives would offer:
Since to God I 'm so indebted
That I 'll think myself too happy
If 't is given for Him.

POLEMIUS (within).
This centre
Of the mountain, whence the sun
Scarcely ever is reflected--
This dark cavern sure must hold them.
Let us penetrate its entrails,
So that here the twain may die.

One thing only is regretted
By me, in my life thus losing,
I am not baptized.

Reject then
That mistrust; in blood and fire[18]
Martyrdom the rite effecteth:--

(Enter Polemius and Soldiers.)

Here, my soldiers, here they are,
And the hand that death presents them
Must be mine, that none may think
I a greater love could cherish
For my son than for my gods.
And as I desire, when wendeth
Hither great Numerianus,
That he find them dead, arrest them
On the spot, and fling them headlong
Into yonder cave whose centre
Is a fathomless abyss:--
And since one sole love cemented
Their two hearts in life, in death
In one sepulchre preserve them.

Oh! how joyfully I die!

And I also, since the sentence
Gives to me the full assurance
Of a happiness most certain
On the day this darksome cave
Doth entomb me in its centre. (They are cast into the abyss.)

Cover the pit's mouth with stones.
(A sudden storm of thunder and lightning: Enter Numerianus, Claudius,
Aurelius, and others.

What can have produced this tempest?

When within the cave they threw them,
Dark eclipse o'erspread the heavens.

Shadowy shapes, phantasmal shadows
Are upon the wind projected.

Lightnings like swift birds of fire
Dart along with burning tresses.

Lo! an earthquake's awful shudder
Makes the very mountains tremble.

Yes, the solid ground upheaveth,
And the mighty rock descendeth
O'er our heads.

While on the instant
Dulcet voices soft and tender
Issue from the cave's abysses.

Rome to-day strange sights presenteth,
When a grave exhibits gladness,
And the sun displays resentment.

(A choir of angels is heard singing from within the cave.)
"Happy day, and happy doom,
May the gladsome world exclaim,
When the darksome cave became
Saint Daria's sacred tomb".
(A great rock falls from the mountain, and covers the tomb, over it is
seen an angel.)

This great cave which holds to-day
In its breast so great a treasure,
Never shall by foot be trodden;--
Thus it is I 've sealed and settled
This great mass of rock upon it,
Which doth shut it up for ever.
And in order that their ashes
On the wind be ne'er dispers`ed,
But while time itself endureth
Shall be honoured and respected,
This brief epitaph, this simple
Line shall tell this simple legend
To the ages that come after:
"Here the bodies are preserv`ed
Of Chrysanthus and Daria,
The two lover-saints of Heaven".

Wherefore humbly we entreat
Pardon for our many errors.

3. The whole of the first scene is in 'asonante' verse, the vowels
being i, e, as in "restrIctEd", "drIftlEss", "hIddEn", etc. These
vowels, or their equivalents in sound, will be found pretty accurately
represented in the last two syllables of every alternate line throughout
the scene, which ends at p. 25, and where the verse changes into the
full consonant rhyme.

4. The resemblance between certain parts of Goethe's Faust and The
Wonder-Working Magician of Calderon has been frequently alluded to, and
has given rise to a good deal of discussion. In the controversy as to
how much the German poet was indebted to the Spanish, I do not recollect
any reference to The Two Lovers of Heaven. The following passage,
however, both in its spirit and language, presents a singular likeness
to the more elaborate discussion of the same difficulty in the text.
The scene is in Faustus's study. Faustus, as in the present play, takes
up a volume of the New Testament, and thus proceeds:

The first line stops me: how shall I proceed?
"The word" cannot express the meaning here.
I must translate the passage differently,
If by the spirit I am rightly guided.
Consider the first line attentively,
Lest hurrying on too fast, you lose the meaning.
Was it then Thought that has created all things?
Can thought make matter? Let us try the line
This will not do--even while I write the phrase,
I feel its faults--oh! help me, holy Spirit,
I 'll weigh the passage once again, and write
Anster's "Faustus", Francfort ed., 1841, p. 63.

5. The same line of argument is worked out with wonderful subtlety of
thought and beauty of poetical expression by Calderon, in one of the
finest of his Autos Sacramentales, "The Sacred Parnassus". Autos
Sacramentales, tom. vi. p. 10.

6. The metre reverts here again to the asonante form, which is kept up
for the remainder of this act. The vowels here used are e, e, or their

7. "This Clytie knew, and knew she was undone,
Whose soul was fix'd, and doted on the sun".
OVID, Metamorphoses, b. iv.

8. In the whole of this scene the asonante vowels are a-e, or their

9. The asonante in e-e, recommences here, and continues until the entry
of Chrysanthus.

10. The metre changes to the asonante in a-e for the remainder of this

11. The asonante in this scene is generally in o-e, o-o, o-a, which are
nearly all alike in sound. In the second scene the asonante is in a-e,
as in "scAttEr", etc.

12. See note referring to the auto, "The Sacred Parnassus", Act 1, p.

13. The asonante changes here into five-lined stanzas in ordinary
rhyme. Three lines rhyme one way and two the other. Poems in this
metre are called in Spanish 'Versos de arte mayor,' from the greater
skill supposed to be required for their composition.

14. The asonante is single here, consisting only of the long accented
o, as in "ROme", "glObe", "dOme", etc.

15. Champion, or combater, the name generally given the Cid.

16. The metre changes to an irregular couplet in long and short lines.

17. The metre changes to the double asonante in e-e, which continues to
the end of the drama.

18. Baptism by blood and fire through martyrdom. Calderon refers here
evidently to the words of St. John the Baptist: "He shall baptize you in
the Holy Ghost and fire"--St. Matth., c. iii. v. ii. The following
passage in the Legend of St. Catherine must also have been present to
his mind:

"Et cum dolerent, quod sine baptismo decederent, virgo respondit: Ne
timeatis, quia effusio vestri sanguinis vobis baptismus reputabitur et
corona". Legenda Aurea, c. 167.



Translated into English Verse

From Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature. London: 1863.

"Denis Florence M'Carthy published in London (in 1861) translations of
two plays, and an auto of Calderon, under the title of 'Love, the
greatest Enchantment; the Sorceries of Sin; the Devotion of the Cross,
from the Spanish of Calderon, attempted strictly in English Asonante,
and other imitative Verse', printing, at the same time, a carefully
corrected text of the originals, page by page, opposite to his
translations. It is, I think, one of the boldest attempts ever made in
English verse. It is, too, as it seems to me, remarkably successful.
Not that asonantes can be made fluent or graceful in English, or easily
perceptible to an English ear, but that the Spanish air and character of
Calderon are so happily preserved. Mr. M'Carthy, in 1853, had published
two volumes of translations from Calderon, to which I have already
referred; and, besides this, he has rendered excellent service to the
cause of Spanish literature in other ways. But in the present volume he
has far surpassed all he had previously done; for Calderon is a poet
who, whenever he is translated, should have his very excesses, both in
thought and manner, fully produced, in order to give a faithful idea of
what is grandest and most distinctive in his genius. Mr. M'Carthy has
done this, I conceive, to a degree which I had previously considered
impossible. Nothing, I think, in the English language will give us so
true an impression of what is most characteristic of the Spanish drama;
perhaps I ought to say, of what is most characteristic of Spanish poetry
generally".--tom. iii. pp. 461, 462.

Extracts from Continental Reviews.

From "Blaeater fuer Literarische Unterhaltung". 1862. Erster Baude,
479 Leipzig, F. A. Brockhans.

"Erwaehnenswerth ist folgender Kuehne versuch einer Rachdildung
Calderon' scher stuecke in Englishchen Assonanzen.

"Love, the greatest enchantment; The Sorceries of Sin; The Devotion of
the Cross, from the Spanish of Calderon, attempted strictly in English
Asonante, and other imitative verse. By Denis Florence Mac-Carthy".

Diese Uebersetzung ist dem Verfasser der "History of Spanish
Literature", George Ticknor, zugeeignet, der in einem Schreiber au den
Uebersetzer die Arbeit "marvellous" nennt und dam fortfaehrt:

"Richt das sie die Assonanzen dem englischen Ohr so hoerbar gemacht
haetten, wie dies mit den Spanischen der Fall ist; unsere widerhaarigen
consonanten machen dies unmoeglich; das Wunderbare ist nur, das sie
dieselben ueberhaupt hoerbar gemacht haben. Meiner Meinung nach nehme
ist Ihre Assonanzen so deutlich wahr, wil die Von August Schlegel oder
Gries und mehr als diejenigen Friedrich Schlegel's. Aber dieser war der
erste, der den versuch dazu machte, und ausserdem bin ich Kein
Deutscher. Wurde es nicht lustig sein, wenn man einmal ein solches
Experiment in franzoeschicher Sprache wolte?"

"Ohne zweifel wuerde MacCarthy Ohne den vorgaug deutscher Nachbilder des
Calderon ebenso wenig darauf gekommen sein englische Assonanzen zu
versuchen, als man ohne das ermunternde Beispiel deutscher Dichter und
Uebersetzer darauf gekommen sein wurde, in Uebersetzungen und
originaldichtungen unter welchen letztern wol besonders Longfellow's
'Evangeline', zu nennen ist, englische Hexameter zu versuchen, was in
letzter zeit gar nicht selten geschehen ist".

From "Boletin de Ferro-Carriles". Cadiz: 1862.

"La novedad que nos comunica de la existencia de traducciones tan
acabadas de nuestro grande e inimitable Calderon, ostendando, hasta
cierto punto, las galas y formas del original, estamos seguros sera
acogida con favor, si no con entusiasmo, per los verdaderos amantes de
las letras espanolas. A ellos nos dirijimos, recomendandoles el ultimo
trabajo del Senor Mac-Carthy, seguros de que participaran del mismo
placer que nosotros hemos experimentado al examinar su fiel, al par que
brillante traduccion; y en cuanto a la dificil tentativa de los
asonantes ingleses, nos sorpende que el Senor Mac-Carthy haya podido
sacar tanto parido, si se considera la indole peculiar de los dos

Extracts from Letters addressed to the Author.

From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Esq.
Cambridge, near Boston, America, April 29, 1862.

"I thank you very much for your new work in the vast and flowery fields
of Calderon. It is, I think, admirable; and presents the old Spanish
dramatist before the English reader in a very attractive light.

"Particularly in the most poetical passages you are excellent; as, for
instance, in the fine description of the gerfalcon and the heron in 'El
Mayor Encanto'.--11 Jor.

"Your previous volumes I have long possessed and highly prized; and I
hope you mean to add more and more, so as to make the translation as
nearly complete as a single life will permit. It seems rather appalling
to undertake the whole of so voluminous a writer. Nevertheless, I hope
you will do it. Having proved that you can, perhaps you ought to do it.
This may be your appointed work. It is a noble one.

"With much regard, I am, etc.,

"Denis Florence Mac-Carthy, Esq.".

From the Same.
Nahant, near Boston, August 10, 1857.


"Before leaving Cambridge to come down here to the sea-side, I had the
pleasure of receiving your precious volume of 'Mysteries of Corpus
Christi'; and should have thanked you sooner for your kindness in
sending it to me, had I not been very busy at the time in getting out my
last volume of Dante.

"I at once read your work, with eagerness and delight--that peculiar and
strange delight which Calderon gives his admirers, as peculiar and
distinct as the flavour of an olive from that of all other fruits.

"You are doing this work admirably, and seem to gain new strength and
sweetness as you go on. It seems as if Calderon himself were behind you
whispering and suggesting. And what better work could you do in your
bright hours or in your dark hours than just this, which seems to have
been put providentially into your hands!

"The extracts from the 'Sacred Parnassus' in the Chronicle, which
reached me yesterday, are also excellent.

"For this and all, many and many thanks.

"Yours faithfully,

"Denis Florence Mac-Carthy, Esq.".

From George Ticknor, Esq., the Historian of Spanish Literature.
"Boston, 16th December, 1861.

"In this point of view, your volume seems to me little less than
marvellous. If I had not read it--indeed, if I had not carefully gone
through with the "Devocion de la Cruz", I should not have believed it
possible to do what you have done. Titian, they say, and some others of
the old masters, laid on colours for their groundwork wholly different
from those they used afterwards, but which they counted upon to shine
through, and contribute materially to the grand results they produced.
So in your translations, the Spanish seems to come through to the
surface; the original air is always perceptible in your variations. It
is like a family likeness coming out in the next generation, yet with
the freshness of originality.

"But the rhyme is as remarkable as the verse and the translation; not
that you have made the asonante as perceptible to the English ear as it
is to the Spanish; our cumbersome consonants make that impossible. But
the wonder is, that you have made it perceptible at all. I think I
perceive your asonantes much as I do those of August Schlegel or Gries,
and more than I do those of Friederich Schlegel. But he was the first
who tried them, and, besides, I am not a German. Would it not be
amusing to have the experiment tried in French?"

From the Same.
"Boston, March 20, 1867.

"The world has claims on you which you ought not to evade; and, if the
path in which you walk of preference, leads to no wide popularity or
brilliant profits, it is, at least, one you have much to yourself, and
cannot fail to enjoy. You have chosen it from faithful love, and will
always love it; I suspect partly because it is your own choice, because
it is peculiarly your own".

From the Same.
"Boston, July 3, 1867.

"Considered from this point of view, I think that in your present volume
["Mysteries of Corpus Christi", or "Autos Sacramentales" of Calderon]
you are always as successful as you were in your previous publications
of the same sort, and sometimes more so; easier, I mean, freer, and more
happily expressive. If I were to pick out my first preference, I should
take your fragment of the 'Veneno y Triaca', at the end; but I think the
whole volume is more fluent, pleasing, and attractive than even its

From the first of English religious painters.

"I cannot resist the impulse I have of offering you my most grateful
thanks for the greatest intellectual treat I have ever experienced in my
life, and which you have afforded me in the magnificent translations of
the divine Calderon; for, surely, of all the poets the world ever saw,
he alone is worthy of standing beside the author of the Book of Job and
of the Psalms, and entrusted, like them, with the noble mission of
commending to the hearts of others all that belongs to the beautiful and
true, ever directing the thoughtful reader through the love of the
beautiful veil, to the great Author of all perfection.

"I cannot conceive a nation can receive a greater boon than being helped
to a love of such works as the religious dramas of this Prince of Poets.
I have for years felt this, and as your translations appeared, have read
them with the greatest possible interest. I knew not of the publication
of the last, and it was to an accidental, yet, with me, habitual
outburst of praise of Calderon, as the antidote and cure for the
trifling literature of the day, that my friend (the) D---- made me aware
of its being out".

[The work especially referred to in the latter part of this interesting
letter is the following: "Mysteries of Corpus Christi (Autos
Sacramentales), from the Spanish of Calderon, by Denis Florence
Mac-Carthy". Duffy, Dublin and London, 1867.]

Extracts from American and Canadian Journals.

From an eloquent article in the "Boston Courier", March 18, 1862,
written by George Stillman Hillard, Esq., the author of "Six Months in
Italy"--a delightful book, worthy of the beautiful country it so
beautifully describes.

"Calderon is one of the three greatest names in Spanish literature, Lope
de Vega and Cervantes being the other two. He is also a great name in
the universal realm of letters, though out of Spain he is little more
than a great name, except in Germany, that land so hospitable to famous
wits, and where, to readers and critics of a mystical and transcendental
turn, his peculiar genius strongly commended him. To form a notion of
what manner of man Calderon was, we must imagine a writer hardly
inferior to Shakespeare in fertility of invention and dramatic insight,
inspired by a religious fervour like that of Doune or Crashaw, and
endowed with the wild and ethereal imagination of Shelley. But the
religious fervour is Catholic, not Protestant, Southern, not Northern:
it is intense, mystical, and ecstatic: like a tongue of upward-darting
flame, it burns and trembles with impassioned impulse to mingle with
empyrean fire. The imagination, too, is not merely southern, but with
an oriental element shining through it, like the ruddy heart of an
opal". . .

"But our purpose is not to speak of Calderon, but of his translator Mr.
MacCarthy; and to make our readers acquainted with his very successful
effort to reproduce in English some of the most characteristic
productions of the genius of Spain, retaining even one of the
peculiarities in the structure of the verse which has hardly ever been
transplanted from the soil of the peninsula". . . .

"Mr. MacCarthy's translations strike us as among the most successful
experiments which have been made to represent in our language the
characteristic beauties of the finest productions of other nations.
They are sufficiently faithful, as may be readily seen by the Spanish
scholar, as the translator has the courage to print the original and his
version side by side. The rich, imaginative passages of Calderon are
reproduced in language of such grace and flexibility as shows in Mr.
MacCarthy no inconsiderable amount of poetical power. The measures of
Calderon are retained; the rhymed passages are translated into rhyme,
and what is more noticeable still, Mr. MacCarthy has done what no writer
in English has ever before essayed, except to a very limited extent--he
has copied the asonantes of the original". . . .

Book of the day: