Literatura

The Piper (wiersz klasyka)

Peabody Josephine Preston

The Piper A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS   By JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY    BOSTON and NEW YORKHOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge1910    COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY JOSEPHINE PEABODY MARKSALL RIGHTS RESERVED Published November 1909 SEVENTH IMPRESSION    TO LIONEL S. MARKS    Anno 1284Am Dage Johannis et PauliWar der 26 JuniiDorch einen piper mit allerlei farve bekledetGewesen CXXX kinder verledet binnen Hamelen geborenTo Calvarii bi den koppen verloren [THE HAMELIN INSCRIPTION]    CHARACTERS THE PIPER                    )MICHAEL-THE-SWORD-EATER      )   Strolling PlayersCHEAT-THE-DEVIL              ) JACOBUS the Burgomeister     )KURT the Syndic              )PETER the Cobbler            )HANS the Butcher             )AXEL the Smith               )   Men of HamelinMARTIN the Watch             )PETER the Sacristan          )ANSELM, a young priest       )OLD CLAUS, a miser           )TOWN CRIER                   ) JAN                          )HANSEL                       )ILSE                         )   ChildrenTRUDE                        )RUDI                         ) VERONIKA, the wife of KurtBARBARA, daughter of JacobusWIFE of HANS the ButcherWIFE of AXEL the SmithWIFE of MARTIN the WatchOLD URSULA Burghers, nuns, priests, and children   SCENE: HAMELIN ON THE WESER, 1284 A.D.    SCENES ACT I.              The market-place in Hamelin ACT II.   SCENE I.  Inside the 'Hollow-Hill'          SCENE II. The Cross-ways ACT III.            The Cross-ways ACT IV.             The market-place in Hamelin   One week is supposed to elapse between Acts I and II. Acts II and III occupy one day. Act IV concerns the following morning.    The Piper ACT I SCENE: The market-place of Hamelin.  Right, the Minster, withan open shrine (right centre) containing a large sculpturedfigure of the Christ.  Right, farther front, the house of KURT;and other narrow house-fronts.  Left, the Rathaus, and (down)the home of JACOBUS.  Front, to left and right, are corner-houseswith projecting stories and casement windows.  At the centre rear,a narrow street leads away between houses whose gables all butmeet overhead. It is late summer afternoon, with a holiday crowd.  In the opencasements, front (right and left, opposite each other), sitOLD URSULA and OLD CLAUS, looking on at men and things.--In the centre of the place now stands a rude wooden Ark witha tented top: and out of the openings (right and left) appearthe artificial heads of animals, worn by the players inside.One is a Bear (inhabited by MICHAEL-THE-SWORD-EATER); one is alarge Reynard-the-Fox, later apparent as the PIPER.  Close by isthe medieval piece of stage-property known as 'Hell-Mouth,' i.e.a red painted cave with a jaw-like opening into which a mountebankdressed in scarlet (CHEAT-THE-DEVIL) is poking 'Lost Souls' witha pitchfork. BARBARA loiters by the tent.  VERONIKA, the sad young wifeof KURT, watches from the house steps, left, keeping herlittle lame boy, Jan, close beside her. Shouts of delight greet the end of the show, a Noah's Arkmiracle-play of the rudest; and the Children continue toscream with joy whenever an Animal looks out of the Ark. Men and women pay scant attention either to JACOBUS, when hespeaks (himself none too sober)--from his doorstep, promptedby the frowning KURT,--or yet to ANSELM, the priest, whostands forth with lifted hands, at the close of the miracle-play.  ANSELMAnd you, who heed the colors of this show,Look to your laughter!--It doth body forthA Judgment that may take you unaware,--Sun-struck with mirth, like unto chattering leavesSome wind of wrath shall scourge to nothingness. HANS, AXEL, AND OTHERSHurrah, Hurrah! JACOBUS  And now, good townsmen all,Seeing we stand delivered and secureAs once yon chosen creatures of the Ark,For a similitude,--our famine gone,Our plague of rats and mice,-- CROWD  Hurrah--hurrah! JACOBUS'Tis meet we render thanks more soberly-- HANS the ButcherSoberly, soberly, ay!-- JACOBUS  For our deliverance.And now, ye wit, it will be full three daysSince we beheld--our late departed pest.-- OLD URSULA[putting out an ear-trumpet]What does he say? REYNARD[from the Ark]  --Oh, how felicitous! HANS' WIFEHe's only saying there be no more rats. JACOBUS[with oratorical endeavor]Three days it is; and not one mouse,--one mouse,One mouse, I say!--No-o-o!  Quiet. . . as a mouse. [Resuming]And now. . . CROWD  Long live Jacobus!-- JACOBUS  You have seenNoah and the Ark, most aptly happening byWith these same play-folk.  You have marked the Judgment.You all have seen the lost souls sent to--Hell--And, nothing more to do.-- [KURT prompts him]  Yes, yes.--And now. . . [HANS the Butcher steps out of his group.] HANS the ButcherHath no man seen the Piper?--Please your worships. OTHERSAy, ay, so!  --Ay, where is he?    --Ho, the Piper! JACOBUSPiper, my good man? HANS the Butcher--He that charmed the rats! OTHERSYes, yes,--that charmed the rats! JACOBUS[piously]  Why, no man knows.--Which proves him such a random instrumentAs Heaven doth sometimes send us, to our use;Or, as I do conceive, no man at all,--A man of air; or, I would say--delusion.He'll come no more. REYNARD[from the Ark]  Eh?--Oh, indeed, Meaow! JACOBUS'Tis clearest providence.  The rats are gone.The man is gone.  And there is nought to pay,Save peaceful worship.[Pointing to the Minster.] REYNARD[sarcastically]  Oh, indeed,--Meaow![Sudden chorus of derisive animal noises from the Ark,delighting PEOPLE and CHILDREN.] KURTSilence,--you strollers there!  Or I will have youGaoled, one and all. PEOPLE  No, Kurt the Syndic, no! BARBARA[to Jacobus]No; no!  Ah, father, bid them stay awhileAnd play it all again.--Or, if not all,Do let us see that same good youth again,Who swallowed swords--between the Ark PreservedAnd the Last Judgment! REYNARD  Michael-the-Sword-Eater,Laurels for thee! [The BEAR disappears: MICHAEL puts out his own head,and gazes fixedly at BARBARA. CHILDRENOh, can't we see the animals in the Ark?Again?  Oh, can't we see it all again? ILSEOh, leave out Noah!  And let's have only BearsAnd Dromedaries, and the other ones!-- [General confusion.] KURTSilence! JACOBUS  Good people--you have had your shows;And it is meet, that having held due feast,Both with our market and this Miracle,We bring our holiday to close with prayerAnd public thanks unto Saint Willibald,--Upon whose day the rats departed thence. REYNARD[loudly]Saint Willibald! BEAR  --Saint Willibald! OTHER ANIMALS[looking out]  ( Saint Willibald!  ( Saint!  Oh! CROWDSaint Willibald!--And what had he to doWith ridding us o' rats? HANS the Butcher  'T was the Piping ManWho came and stood here in the market-place,And swore to do it for one thousand guilders! PETER the CobblerAy, and he did it, too!--Saint Willibald! [Renewed uproar round the tent.] KURT[to Jacobus]Drive out those mountebanks!  'T is ever so.Admit them to the town and you must payTheir single show with riotings a week.--Look yonder at your daughter. [BARBARA lingers by the Ark-Tent, gazing with girlishinterest at MICHAEL, who gazes at her, his bear-headin his band for the moment.] JACOBUS  Barbara! [She turns back, with an angry glance at KURT.] AXEL the Smith[doggedly to them]By your leave. Masters!  I would like to know,How did Saint Willibald prevail with the rats?--That would I like to know. I, who ha' madeOf strong wrought traps, two hundred, thirty-nine,Two hundred, thirty-nine. REYNARD[calling]  And so would I! HANS the ButcherSo please your worships, may it please the Crier,Now we be here,--to cry the Piping Man-- PETER the CobblerA stranger-man, gay-clad,--in divers colors!Because he, with said piping-- HANS the Butcher  --Drave awayThe horde of rats! PETER the Cobbler[sagely]  To our great benefit;And we be all just men. OTHERS  Ay, ay!--Amen! WOMENAmen, Our Lady and the blessed Saints! JACOBUSWhy, faith, good souls, if ye will have him cried,So be it.--But the ways of Heaven are strange!Mark how our angel of deliverance came,--Or it may be.  Saint Willibald himself,--Most piedly clothed, even as the vilest player!--And straight ascended from us, to the clouds!But cry him, if you will.--Peace to your lungs!--He will not come. [KURT wrathfully consults with JACOBUS, then signals to Crier. CRIER  Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!Whereas, now three days gone, our Plague of RatsWas wholly driven hence, our City cleansed,Our peace restored after sore threat of famine,By a Strange Man who came not back again,Now, therefore, if this Man have ears to hear,Let him stand forth.--Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! [Trumpet.--PEOPLE gaze up and down the little streets.--REYNARDsteps out of the Ark and comes down slowly, with a modestair.--KURT points him out, threateningly, and the CROWD burstsinto derisive laughter.--He doffs his animal-head at leisure,showing a sparkling dark-eyed face. ALLThe Man! the Man! KURT AND JACOBUS  The Devil!--'T is-- ALL  --THE PIPER! [The PIPER regards them all with debonair satisfaction; thenreverses his head-piece and holds it out upside-down, with aconfident smile. PIPERThree days of rest, your worships, you have had.I see no signs of famine hereabout.The rats are gone, even to the nethermost tail:And I've fulfilled my bargain.  Is it granted? [Murmurs, then cheers of "Ay, Ay, PIPER!" from the crowd. Thank 'ee.--My thousand guilders, an you please. JACOBUSOne thou--Come, come!  This was no sober bargain.--No man in reason could-- PIPER  One thousand guilders. KURTOne thousand rogueries! JACOBUS[to PIPER]  You jest too far. AXELLucky, if he get aught!--Two hundred traps,And nine, and thirty!  By Saint Willibald,When was I paid? AXEL'S WIFE  Say, now! PIPER  . . . One thousand guilders. PETER the CobblerGive him an hundred. HANS the Butcher  Double! HANS' WIFE  You were foolsTo make agreement with him.--Ask old Claus.He has the guilders; and his house was full0' rats! OLD CLAUS[shaking his stick from the window]  You Jade!  And I that hoard, and save,And lay by all I have from year to year,To build my monument when I am gone,A fine new tomb there, in Saint Boniface!And I to pay for all your city rats! OLD URSULA[leaning out, opposite]Right, neighbor, right well said!--Piper, hark here.Piper, how did ye charm the rats away? PIPER[coming down]The rats were led--by Cu-ri-os-ity.'Tis so with many rats; and all old women;--Saving your health! JACOBUS  No thought for public weal,In this base grasping on-- PIPER  One thousand guilders. KURT[contemptuously]For piping! PIPER  Shall I pipe them back again? WOMEN                 ( Good Saint Boniface!Merciful heaven! ( Good Saint Willibald!                 ( Peter and Paul defend us! HANS the ButcherNo, no; no fear o' that.  The rats be drowned.We saw them with our eyes. PIPER  Now who shall sayThere is no resurrection for a mouse? KURT--Do you but crop this fellow's ears!-- VERONIKA[from the steps]  Ah, Kurt! JACOBUS[to him, blandly]Deal patiently, good neighbor. All is well.[To the PIPER]Why do you name a price so laughable,My man?  Call you to mind; you have no claim,--No scrip to show. You cling upon-- PIPER[sternly]  Your word. JACOBUSI, would say--just-- PIPER  Your word. JACOBUS  Upon-- PIPER  Your word.Sure, 't was a rotten parchment! JACOBUS  This is a base,Conniving miser! PIPER[turning proudly]Stand forth, Cheat-the-Devil![Up steps the DEVIL in red.  PEOPLE shrink, and then come closer.Be not afeard.  He pleased you all, of late.He hath no sting.--So, boy!  Do off thy head.-- [CHEAT-THE-DEVIL doffs his red head-dress and stands forth,a pale and timorous youth, gentle and half-witted. Michael, stand forth![MICHAEL comes down, bear-head in hand. BARBARA[regarding him sadly]  That goodly sword-eater! PIPER[defiantly]So, Michael, so.--These be two friends of mine.Pay now an even third to each of us.Or, to content your doubts, to each of theseDo you pay here and now, five hundred guilders.Who gets it matters little, for us friends.But you will pay the sum, friend. You will pay!-- HANS, AXEL, AND CROWDCome, there's an honest fellow.  Ay, now, pay!--There's a good friend.--And would I had the same.--One thousand guilders?  --No, too much.    --No, no. KURTPay jugglers?--With a rope apiece! JACOBUS  Why--so-- PIPERThey are my friends; and they shall share with me.'T is time that Hamelin reckoned us for men;--Hath ever dealt with us as we were vermin.Now have I rid you of the other sort--Right you that score!-- KURTThese outcasts! PIPER[hotly]  Say you so?Michael, my man!  Which of you here will tryWith glass or fire, with him? MICHAEL[sullenly]  No, no more glass, to-day! PIPERThen fire and sword![They back away.]  So!--And there's not one manIn Hamelin, here, so honest of his word.Stroller!  A pretty choice you leave us.--QuitThis strolling life, or stroll into a cage!What do you offer him?  A man eats fire--Swords, glass, young April frogs-- CHILDREN  Do it again!Do it again! PIPERYou say to such a man,--'Come be a monk!  A weaver!'  Pretty choice.Here's Cheat-the-Devil, now. PETER the CobblerBut what's his name? PIPERHe doesn't know.  What would you?  Nor do I.But for the something he has seen of life,Making men merry, he 'd know something more!The gentlest devil ever spiked Lost SoulsInto Hell-mouth,--for nothing-by-the-day! OLD URSULA[with her ear-trumpet]Piper, why do you call him Cheat-the-Devil? PIPERBecause his deviltry is all a cheat:--He is no devil,--but a gentle heart!--Friend Michael here hath played the Devil, betimes,Because he can so bravely breathe out fire.He plied the pitchfork so we yelped for mercy,--He reckoned not the stoutness of his arm!--But Cheat-the-Devil here,--he would not hurtWhy--Kurt the Syndic--thrusting him in hell.                              [Laughter. CHEAT-THE-DEVIL[unhappily]No, no--I will not hurt him! PIPER[soothingly to him]  Merry, boy![To the townsfolk]And,--if ye will have reasons, good,--ye see,--I want--one thousand guilders. JACOBUS In all surety,Payment you'll have, my man, But-- HANS the Butcher  As to 's friends,--An that yon Devil be as feat wi' his handsAs he be slow o' tongue, why, I will take himFor prentice.  Wife,--now that would smack o' pride! PETER the CobblerI'll take this fellow that can swallow fire,He's somewhat old for me.  But he can learnMy trade.--A pretty fellow! PIPERAnd your trade? PETER the CobblerPeter the cobbler.-- MICHAEL  I?  What, I?  Make shoes?[Proudly]I swallow fire. PIPER  Enough. BARBARA[aside, bitterly]I'll not believe it. PIPER[to HANS]Your trade? HANS the Butcher  I'm Hans the Butcher. MICHAEL  Butcher? CHEAT-THE-DEVIL[unhappily]  Butcher!Oh, no!  I couldn't hurt them. [Loud laughter. BUTCHER'S WIFE'T is a fool! [The PIPER motions to MICHAEL and CHEAT-THE-DEVIL, who duringthe following join the other player-folk, strike their tent,pack their bundles, and wheel off the bar rows that have servedthem for an Ark, leaving the space clear before the Shrine.Exeunt Strollers, all but MICHAEL, who hangs about, still gazingat BARBARA. JACOBUSGood people, we have wasted time enow.You see this fellow, that he has no writ-- PIPERWhy not, then? 'T was a bargain. If your wordHold only when 't is writ-- KURT  We cannot spendClerkship on them that neither write nor read.What good would parchment do thee? JACOBUS  My good man-- PIPERWho says I cannot read?--Who says I cannot? OLD CLAUSPiper, don't tell me you can read in books! PIPER[at bay]Books!  Where's a book?  Shew me a book, I say! OLD URSULAThe Holy Book!  Bring that--or he'll bewitch you. PIPEROh, never fear.  I charm but fools and children;Now that the rats are gone.--Bring me a Book:A big one!-- [Murmurs.  The PIPER defiant.  The crowd moves towards theMinster.  Enter ANSELM the priest, with a little acolyte,--thetwo bearing a large illuminated Gospel-book.  ANSELM, eyeingthe PIPER gravely, opens the book, which the boy supports onhis head and shoulders. PIPERHo, 't is too heavy!  Come, you cherub-head,Here's too much laid upon one guardian angel![Beckons another small boy, and sets the book on their two backs.Well?--well?  What now?[He looks in frank bewilderment at the eager crowd. CROWD  Read, read! KURT  He cannot read. PIPER[to ANSELM]Turn--turn--there's nothing there.[ANSELM turns pages. PIPER looks on blankly]  . . . Ah, turn again!The red one!--[He takes his fife from his belt]No, the green!  The green one.  So.[Starts to pipe, looking on the book.] CROWD  ( Sure 't is a mad-man!  ( But hear him piping!  ( What is he doing? PIPER[puzzled at their mirth]  What the green one says.--[A burst of laughter from the crowd.  JAN, the little lame boyon the steps, reaches his arms out suddenly and gives a cry ofdelight. JANOh, I love the Man! [He goes, with his crutch, to the PIPER, who turns and gathershim close. JACOBUS[to the People]Leave off this argument. KURT  Go in to Mass. JACOBUSSaint Willibald! PIPER[in a rage]That Saint!-- KURTHence, wandering dog! PIPEROho!--Well, every Saint may have his day.But there are dog-days coming.--Eh, your worship?[To ANSELM, suddenly]You, there! You--Brother--Father--Uncle--You!Speak!  Will you let them in, to say their prayersAnd mock me through their fingers?--Tell these menTo settle it, among their mouldy pockets,Whether they keep their oath.  Then will I go. KURT[savagely]Away with you!-- ANSELM  The Piper should be heard;Ye know it well.  Render to Caesar, therefore,That which is Caesar's. PIPER  --Give the Devil his due! JACOBUS[warily]We must take counsel over such a sum. [Beckoning others, he and KURT go into the Rathaus, followedby all the men.  Exit ANSELM with the Holy Book into theMinster.--The children play Mouse, to and fro, round aboutthe PIPER.--The women, some of them, spin on the doorsteps,with little hand distaff's, or stand about, gossiping. [The PIPER wipes his forehead and goes up slowly (centre) todrink from the fountain at the foot of the Shrine.--MICHAEL,like one in a dream, comes down towards BARBARA, who gazes backat him, fascinated, through her laughter. BARBARAIs it for pay you loiter, Master Player?Were you not paid enough? MICHAEL  No.--One more look. BARBARAHere, then.--Still not enough? MICHAEL No! One more smile. BARBARA[agitated ]Why would you have me smile? MICHAEL[passionately]Oh, when you smiled,It was--it was like sunlight coming throughSome window there,[Pointing to the Minster]--some vision of Our Lady.[She drops her flowers.--He picks them upand gives them back slowly. BARBARAWho are you?  You are some one in disguise. MICHAEL[bitterly]A man--that passes for a mountebank. BARBARA[eagerly]I knew! MICHAEL  What then? BARBARAThou art of noble birth.'T is some disguise, this playing with the fire! MICHAELYes.--For to-day, I lord it with the fire.But it hath burned me, here.[Touching his breast.][Overcome for the moment, she draws away.--The PIPER, coming down, speaks stealthily to MICHAEL,who is still gazing. PIPER  For all our sakes!There is bad weather breeding.--Take to thy heels. [BARBARA turns back to see MICHAEL withdrawing reluctantly,and throws a rose to him with sudden gayety. BARBARAFarewell to you, Sword-Swallower!--farewell! MICHAEL[looking back]Farewell to you, my Lady, in-the-Moon.  [Exit.[JAN clings once more to the PIPER, while the other childrenhang about.  VERONIKA calls to her boy, from the steps. VERONIKADarling.-- PIPER[drawing nearer]  Is this your Boy? VERONIKA  Ay, he is mine;My only one.  He loved thy piping so. PIPERAnd I loved his. HANS' WIFE[stridently]  Poor little boy!  He's lame! PIPER'T is all of us are lame!  But he, he flies. VERONIKAJan, stay here if you will, and hear the pipe,At Church-time. PIPER[to him]  Wilt thou? JAN[softly]  Mother lets me stayHere with the Lonely Man. PIPER  The Lonely Man?[JAN points to the Christ in the Shrine.  VERONIKA crosses herself.The PIPER looks long at the little boy. VERONIKAHe always calls Him so. PIPER  And so would I. VERONIKAIt grieves him that the Head is always bowed,And stricken.  But he loves more to be hereThan yonder in the church. PIPER  And so do I. VERONIKAWhat would you, darling, with the Lonely Man?What do you wait to see? JAN[shyly]  To see Him smile. [The women murmur.  The PIPER comes downfurther to speak to VERONIKA. PIPERYou are some foreign woman. Are you not?Never from Hamelin! VERONIKA  No. AXEL'S WIFE[to her child]  Then run along.And ask the Piper if he'll play againThe tune that charmed the rats. ANOTHER  They might come back! OLD URSULA[calling from her window]Piper!  I want the tune that charmed the rats!If they come back, I'll have my grandson play it. PIPERI pipe but for the children. ILSE[dropping her doll and picking it up]  Oh, do pipeSomething for Fridolin! HANSEL  Oh, pipe at me!Now I'm a mouse!  I'll eat you up!  Rr--rr!-- CHILDRENOh, pipe!  Oh, play!  Oh, play and make us dance!Oh, play, and make us run away from school! PIPERWhy, what are these? CHILDREN[scampering round him]  We're mice, we're mice, we're mice! . . .We're mice, we're mice!  We'll eat up everything! MARTIN'S WIFE[calling]'T is church-time.  La, what will the neighbors say? ILSE[Waving her doll]Oh, please do play something for Fridolin! AXEL'S WIFEDo hear the child.  She's quite the little mother! PIPERA little mother?  Ugh!  How horrible.That fairy thing, that princess,--no, that Child!A little mother?[To her]  Drop the ugly thing! MARTIN'S WIFENow, on my word!  and what's amiss with mothers?Are mothers horrible?[The PIPER is struck with painful memories.] PIPER  No, no.  But--careAnd want and pain and age. . .[Turns back to them with a bitter change of voice]  And penny-wealth,--And penny-counting.--Penny prides and fears--Of what the neighbors say the neighbors say!-- MARTIN'S WIFEAnd were you born without a mother, then? ALLYes, you there!  Ah, I told you!  He's no man.He's of the devil. MARTIN'S WIFE  Who was your mother, then? PIPER[fiercely]Mine!--Nay, I do not know.  For when I saw her,She was a thing so trodden, lost and sad,I cannot think that she was ever young,Save in the cherishing voice.--She was a stroller;My father was a stroller.--So, you have it!And since she clave to him, and hunger too,The Church's ban was on her.--Either live,Mewed up forever,--she! to be a nun;Or keep her life-long wandering with the wind;The very name of wife stript from her troth.That was my mother.--And she starved and sang;And like the wind, she roved and lurked and shudderedOutside your lighted windows, and fled by,Storm-hunted, trying to outstrip the snow,South, south, and homeless as a broken bird,--Limping and hiding!--And she fled, and laughed,And kept me warm; and died!  To you, a Nothing;Nothing, forever, oh, you well-housed mothers!As always, always for the lighted windowsOf all the world, the Dark outside is nothing;And all that limps and hides there in the dark;Famishing,--broken,--lost!  And I have swornFor her sake and for all, that I will haveSome justice, all so late, for wretched men,Out of these same smug towns that drive us forthAfter the show!--Or scheme to cage us upOut of the sunlight; like a squirrel's heartTorn out and drying in the market-place.My mother!  Do you know what mothers are?--Your children!  Do you know them?  Ah, not you!There's not one here but it would follow me,For all your bleating! AXEL'S WIFE  Kuno, come away! [The children cling to him.  He smiles down triumphantly. PIPEROho, Oho!  Look you?--You preach--I pipe![Reenter the men, with KURT and JACOBUS,from the Rathaus, murmuring dubiously.[The PIPER sets down JAN and stands forth, smiling. JACOBUS[smoothly]H'm!  My good man, we have faithfully debatedWhether your vision of so great a sumMight be fulfilled,--as by some miracle.But no.  The moneys we administerWill not allow it; nor the common weal.Therefore, for your late service, here you haveFull fifteen guilders,[Holding forth a purse]  and a pretty sumIndeed, for piping! KURT[ominously]Take them! JACOBUS  Either that,Or, to speak truly, nothing![The PIPER is motionless]Come, come.  Nay, count them, if you will. KURT  Time goes! PIPERAy.  And your oath? KURTNo more; Enough. [There is a sound of organ music from the Minster.] VERONIKA[beseechingly]  Ah, Kurt! KURT[savagely to the crowd]What do ye, mewling of this fellow's rights?He hath none!--Wit ye well, he is a stroller,A wastrel, and the shadow of a man!Ye waste the day and dally with the law.Such have no rights; not in their life nor body!We are in no wise bound.  Nothing is his.He may not carry arms; nor have redressFor any harm that men should put on him,Saving to strike a shadow on the wall!He is a Nothing, by the statute-book;And, by the book, so let him live or die,Like to a masterless dog! [The PIPER stands motionless with head up-raised, not lookingat KURT.  The people, half-cowed, half-doubting, murmur anddraw back.  Lights appear in the Minster; the music continues.KURT and JACOBUS lead in the people.  JACOBUS picks up themoney-purse and takes it with him. VOICES[laughing, drunkenly]One thousand guilders to a 'masterless dog'![Others laugh too, pass by, with pity and derision for the PIPER,and echoes of 'MASTERLESS DOG!'  Exeunt WOMEN and MEN to theMinster.  Only the children are left, dancing round the motionlessfigure of the PIPER. CHILDRENOh, pipe again!  Oh, pipe and make us dance!Oh, pipe and make us run away from school!Oh, pipe and make believe we are the mice! [He looks down at them. He looks up at the houses.  Then he signsto them, with his finger on his lips; and begins, very softly, topipe the Kinder-spell.  The old CLAUS and URSULA in the windowsseem to doze. The children stop first, and look at him, fascinated; thenthey laugh, drowsily, and creep closer,--JAN always near.They crowd around him.  He pipes louder, moving backwards,slowly, with magical gestures, towards the little by-streetsand the closed doors. The doors open, everywhere. Out come the children: little ones in night gowns; bigger ones,with playthings, toy animals, dolls.  He pipes, gayer and louder.They pour in, right and left.  Motion and music fill the air.The PIPER lifts JAN to his shoulder (dropping the little crutch)and marches off, up the street at the rear, piping, in the midstof them all. Last, out of the Minster come tumbling two little acolytes inred, and after them, PETER the Sacristan.  He trips over them inhis amazement and terror; and they are gone after the vanishingchildren before the church-people come out. The old folks lean from their windows. OLD URSULAThe bell, the bell!  the church bell!  They're bewitched! [Peter rushes to the bell-rope and pulls it.  The bell soundsheavily.  Reenter, from the church, the citizens by twos andthrees and scores. OLD URSULAI told ye all,--I told ye!--Devils' bargains![The bell][KURT, JACOBUS, and the others appear.] KURTPeter the Sacristan!  Give by the bell.What means this clangor? PETER the SacristanThey're bewitched!  bewitched![Still pulling and shouting.] URSULAThey're gone! KURT  Thy wits! OLD CLAUSThey're gone--they're gone--they're gone! PETER the SacristanThe children! URSULA--With the Piper!  They're bewitched!I told ye so. OLD CLAUS  --I saw it with these eyes!He piped away the children. [Horror in the crowd.  They bring out lanterns and candles.VERONIKA holds up the forgotten crutch' VERONIKA  Jan--my Jan! KURT[to her]Thy boy!  But mine, my three, all fair and straight.-- AXEL'S WIFE[furiously to him]'T was thy false bargain, thine; who would not payThe Piper.--But we pay! PETER the Sacristan  Bewitched, bewitched!The boys ran out--and I ran after them,And something red did trip me--'t was the Devil.The Devil! OLD URSULA  Ah, ring on, and crack the bell:Ye'll never have them back.--I told ye so! [The bell clangs incessantly]  Curtain    ACT II SCENE I: Inside 'the Hollow Hill.' A great, dim-lighted, cavernous place, which shows signs of masonry.It is part cavern and part cellarage of a ruined, burned-down andforgotten old monastery in the hills.--The only entrance (at thecentre rear), a ramshackle wooden door, closes against a flightof rocky steps.--Light comes from an opening in the roof, and fromthe right, where a faggot-fire glows under an iron pot.--The scenereaches (right and left) into dim corners, where sleeping childrenlie curled up together like kittens. By the fire sits the PIPER, on a tree-stump seat, stitching at a bitof red leather. At his feet is a row of bright-colored small shoes,set two and two.  He looks up now and then, to recount the children,and goes back to work, with quizzical despair. Left, sits a group of three forlorn Strollers.  One nurses a lameknee; one, evidently dumb, talks in signs to the others; one ismunching bread and cheese out of a wallet.  All have the look ofhunted and hungry men.  They speak only in whispers to each otherthroughout the scene; but their hoarse laughter breaks out now andthen over the bird-like ignorance of the children. A shaft of sunlight steals through the hole in the roof. JAN, wholies nearest the PIPER, wakes up. JANOh! [The PIPER turns]Oh, I thought. . . I had a dream! PIPER[softly]Ahe? JANI thought. . . I dreamed. . . somebody wanted me. PIPERSoho! JAN[earnestly]I thought. . . Somebody Wanted me. PIPERHow then?[With watchful tenderness.] JAN  I thought I heard Somebody crying. PIPERPfui!--What a dream.--Don't make me cry again. JANOh, was it you?--Oh, yes! PIPER[apart, tensely]  No Michael yet! [JAN begins to laugh softly, in a bewildered way; then growsquite happy and forgetful.  While the other children waken, hereaches for the pipe and tries to blow upon it, to the PIPER'Samusement.  ILSE and HANSEL, the Butcher's children, wake. ILSEOh! HANSEL  --Oh! PIPER  Ahe? ILSE  I thought I had a dream. PIPERAgain? ILSE. . . It was some lady, calling me. HANSELYes, and a fat man called us to come quick;A fat man, he was crying--about me!That same fat man I dreamt of, yesterday. PIPERCome, did you ever see a fat man cry,About a little Boy? [The Strollers are convulsed with hoarse mirth. HANSELNo,--Never. ILSE  Never!Oh, what a funny dream! [They giggle together.][The PIPER silences the Strollers, with a gesture of warningtowards the rocky door. PIPER[to himself]'T is Hans the Butcher.[To the Children]  Well, what did he say? HANSEL'_Come home, come home, come home_!'  But I didn't go.I don't know where. . . Oh, what a funny dream! ILSEMine was a bad dream!--Mine was a lovely ladyAnd she was by the river, staring in. PIPERYou were the little gold-fish, none could catch.Oh, what a funny dream! . . .[Apart, anxiously]  No Michael yet.[Aloud]Come, bread and broth!  Here--not all, three at a time;'T is simpler.  Here, you kittens. Eat awhile;Then-- [RUDI wakes.] RUDIOh!  I had a dream,--an awful dream! [The PIPER takes JAN on his knee and feeds him, after ladling outa big bowl of broth from the kettle for the Children, and givingthem bread. PIPEROh! oh! I had a dream! CHILDREN  Oh, tell it to us! PIPERI dreamed. . . a Stork. . . had nested in my hat. CHILDRENOh! PIPERAnd when I woke-- CHILDREN  You had-- PIPER  _One hundred children_! CHILDRENOh, it came true!  Oh, oh; it all came true! THE STROLLERSAh, ho, ho, ho![The dumb one rises, stretches, and steals toward the entrance, stoppingto slip a blind-patch over one eye.  The PIPER goes to him with one stride,seizing him by the shoulder. PIPER[to him, and the others, apart]Look you.--No Michael _yet_!--And he is goneFull three days now,--three days.  If he be caught,Why then,--the little ravens shall be fed![Groans from the three]Enough that Cheat-the-Devil leaked out too;--No foot but mine shall quit this fox-hole now!And you,--think praise for once, you have no tongue,And keep these magpies quiet. [Turns away.[To himself]  Ah, that girl.The Burgomeister's Barbara!  But for her,And moon-struck Michael with his 'one more look'!Where is he now?--And where are we?[Turning back to the Children]  So, so. [The Strollers huddle together, with looks of renewed anxiety andwretchedness.--Their laughter at the Children breaks out forlornly nowand then.--The PIPER shepherds the Children, but with watchful eyes andears toward the entrance always.--His action grows more and more tense. RUDI[over his broth]Oh, I remember now!--Before I woke. . .Oh, what an awful dream! ILSEOh, tell us, Rudi,--Oh, scare us,--Rudi, scare us!-- RUDI[bursting into tears]  . . . _Lump was dead_!Lump, Lump!--       [The Children wail. PIPER[distracted]Who's Lump? RUDI  Our Dog! PIPER[shocked and pained]  The Dog!--No, no.Heaven save us--I forgot about the dogs! RUDIHe Wanted me;--and I always wasn't there!And people tied him up,--and other peoplePretended that he bit.--He never bites!He Wanted me, until it broke his heart,And he was dead! PIPER[struggling with his emotion]And then he went to heaven,To chase the happy cats up all the trees;--Little white cats! . . . He wears a golden collar . . .And sometimes--[Aside]--I'd forgot about the dogs!Well, dogs must suffer, so that men grow wise.'T was ever so. [He turns to give JAN a piping lesson] CHILDREN   Oh, what a funny dream![Suddenly he lifts his hand.  They listen, and hear a dim sound of distantchanting, going by on some neighboring road.  The PIPER is puzzled; theStrollers are plainly depressed. JANWhat is it? PIPER  People; passing down below,In the dark valley.[He looks at the Children fixedly]  Do you want to see them? CHILDRENDon't let them find us!  What an ugly noise.--No, no--don't let them come! PIPERHark ye to me.Some day I'll take you out with me to play;High in the sun,--close to the water-fall . . . .And we will make believe--_We'll make believeWe're hiding_! . . . [The Strollers rock with mirth.] CHILDREN  Yes, yes!  Oh, let us make believe! STROLLERSOho, ho, ho!--A make-believe!--Ho, ho! PIPERBut, if you're good,--yes, very, very soonI'll take you, as I promised,-- CHILDREN  --Gypsies, oh! PIPERYes, with the gypsies.  We shall go at night,With just a torch--[Watching them.] CHILDREN  Oh! PIPERLike fire-flies!  Will-o'-the-wisps!And make believe we're hiding, all the way,Till we come out into a sunny land,--All vines and sunlight, yes, and men that sing!Far, far away--forever.[Gives ILSE a bowl to feed the other children][JAN pipes a measure of the Kinder-spell, brokenly.  The PIPER turns.  So!  Thou'lt beMy master, some day.  Thou shalt pipe for me. JAN[piping]Oh, wasn't that one beautiful?--Now you! PIPER[taking the pipe]  The rainbow-bridge by day;     --And borrow a shepherd-crook!  At night we take to the Milky Way;    And then we follow the brook!   We'll follow the brook, whatever way  The brook shall sing, or the sun shall say,    Or the mothering wood-dove coos!  And what do I care, what else I wear,    If I keep my rainbow shoes! [He points to the little row of bright shoes.  The Children scream withjoy.  ILSE and HANSEL run back. CHILDRENOh dear! What lovely shoes!  Oh, which are mine?Oh! Oh!--What lovely shoes!  Oh, which are mine? PIPERTry, till you see.[Taking up a little red pair]  But these,--these are for Jan.[JAN is perched on the tree-stump, shy and silent with pleasure. ILSEOh, those are best of all! And Jan-- PIPER  And JanIs not to trudge, like you.  Jan is to wearBeautiful shoes, and shoes made most of all,To look at![Takes up a pair of bird's wings.] CHILDREN[squealing]  Oh!  Where did you find the wings?Bird's wings! PIPER  There was some hunter in the woods,Who killed more birds than he could carry home.He did not want these,--though the starling did,But could not use them more!  And so,--[Fastening one to each heel]  And so,--They trim a little boy.[Puts them on JAN.  He is radiant.  He stretches out his legs and patsthe feathers. CHILDREN[trying on theirs and capering]  O Jan!--O Jan!Oh! see my shoes! [The PIPER looks at JAN.] PIPERHey day, what now? JANI wish. . . PIPERWhat do you wish?  Wish for it!--It shall come.[JAN pulls him closer and speaks shyly.] JANI wish--that I could show them--to the Man,The Lonely Man.[The PIPER looks at him and backs away; sits down helplessly and looksat him again.Oh, can I?-- PIPERThou!--'T would make me a proud man. JANOh!  it would make Him smile! [The Children dance and caper.  TRUDE wakes up and joins them.  Soundof distant chanting again. TRUDE  I had a dream! PIPERA dream![Pretending to be amazed.  Reflects, a moment]  I know!--Oh, what a funny dream![The Children all fall a-laughing when he does.--Noise without.Cheat-the-Devil's voice crying, 'Cuckoo--Cuckoo!' CHEAT-THE-DEVILQuick, quick!--I've something here. [The others roll away a big stone, and enter by the wooden door (rear),CHEAT-THE-DEVIL.  He does not wear his red hood.  He has a garland roundhis neck, and a basket on his arm. PIPER[sharply to himself]  No Michael yet![To CHEAT-THE-DEVIL]Michael!--Where's Michael? CHEAT-THE-DEVIL  Look you,--you must wait.We must be cunning.--There's a squirrel, mark you,Hopped after me!  He would have found us out.I wanted him; I loved him.  But I ran.For once a squirrel falls a-talking.--Ah!Look what I have.--Guess, guess![Showing his basket to the Children.'] CHILDREN  Cakes![He is sad]  Shoes![He is sadder]  Then--honey![He radiantly undoes his basket, and displays a honeycomb.  The Strollers,too, rush upon him. PIPERAh, Cheat-the-Devil!  They would crop your ears.Where had you this? CHEAT-THE-DEVIL  Why, such a kind old farmer!He'd left his bee-hives; they were all alone;And the bees know me.  So I brought this for you;I knew They 'd like it.--Oh, you're happy now! PIPERBut Michael,--have they caught him? CHEAT-THE-DEVIL  Oh, not they!I heard no word of Michael; Michael's safe!Once on the road I met a countryman,Asked me the way.  And not a word I spoke!'Tis far the wisest.  Twenty riddles he asked me.I smiled and wagged my head.  Anon cries he,This Fool is deaf and dumb!'--That made me angry,But still I spoke not.--And I would not hurt him!He was a bad man.  But I liked the mule.--Now am I safe!--Now am I home at last! PIPER'St.--Met you any people on the way,Singing? CHEAT-THE-DEVIL  No, growling,--growling dreary psalmsAll on a sunny day!  Behind the hedges,I saw them go.  They go from Hamelin, now;And I know why!--[The PIPER beckons him away from the Children.  The mayor's BarbaraMust go to Rudersheim, to be a Nun! PIPERTo be a Nun! CHEAT-THE-DEVILA penance for them all.She weeps; but she must go!  All they, you see,Are wroth against him.--He must give _his_ child-- PIPERA nun! CHEAT-THE-DEVIL[nodding]  Forever!--She, who smiled at Michael.Look you, she weeps!  They are bad people all;--Nothing like these.  [Looking at the Children.  These are all beautiful. PIPERTo lock her up!  A maiden, shut awayOut of the light.  To cage her there for life,Cut off her hair; pretend that she is dead!--Horrible, horrible!  No, I'll not endure it.I'll end this murder.--He shall give up his;But never so!--Not so!--While I do liveTo let things out of cages!--Tell me, quick!--When shall it happen? CHEAT-THE-DEVIL  Why, it falls to-day.I saw two herds of people going by,To be there well aforetime, for the sight.And she is going last of all, at noon;All sparkling, like a Bride.--I heard them tell. PIPERNo, never, never!--No, it shall not be!Hist!-- [Steps heard scrambling down the entrance-way.[Enter MICHAEL in mad haste.  They rush upon him with exultation andrelief.  He shakes them off, doggedly. PIPERSo!--You had like to have hanged us. MICHAEL  --What of that? PIPERAll for a lily maiden. MICHAELAh,--thy pipe!How will it save her?--_Save her_!  Tune thy pipeTo compass that!--You do not know-- PIPER  I know.Tell me no more.--I say it shall not be!To heel, lad!  No, I follow,--none but I!Go,--go!        [MICHAEL rushes out again.[To CHEAT-THE-DEVIL, pointing to the Children]  Do you bide here and shepherd these. CHILDRENWhere are you going?--Take us too!--us too!--Oh, take us with you?--Take us! PIPER[distracted]  No, no, no!You shall be kittens all.  And chase your tails,Till I come back!--So here! [Catches HANSEL and affixes to his little jacket a long strip of leatherfor a tail; then whirls him about. CHILDREN  Me too!--Me too! CHEAT-THE-DEVILLet me make tails,--let me![Seizing shears and leather.] PIPER[wildly]  Faith, and you shall.A master tailor!--Come, here's food for thought.Think all,--[To the Strollers]  And hold your tongues, there!--  If a Cat--If a Cat have--as all men say--Nine Lives,And if Nine Tailors go to make a Man,How long, then, shall it take one Man turned TailorTo keep a Cat in Tails, until she die?[CHEAT-THE-DEVIL looks subdued; the children whirl about.But here's no game for Jan.--Stay!  Something else.--[He runs to a wooden coffer, rear, and takes out a long crystal on theend of a string, with a glance at the shaft of sunlight from the roof.The Children watch. Be quiet, now.--Chase not your tails too far,Till I come home again. CHILDRENCome home--come home! PIPERAnd you shall see my-- CHILDREN  Something Beautiful!Oh, oh, what is it?--Oh, and will it play?Will it play music? PIPERYes.[He hangs the crystal in the sun.  A Rainbow strikes the wall.  --The best of all! CHEAT-THE-DEVIL, JAN, CHILDRENOh, oh, how beautiful,--how beautiful! PIPERAnd hear it pipe and call, and dance, and sing.Heja!--And hark you all.  You have to mind--The Rainbow! [He climbs out, pipe in hand.  The Children whirl about after theirtails.--CHEAT-THE-DEVIL, and JAN on his tree-stump, open-mouthed withhappiness, watch the Rainbow.  Curtain    SCENE II: The Cross-ways: on the Long Road to Rudersheim. A wooded country: high hills at back.  The place is wild and overgrown,like the haunted spot it is reputed to be.  In the foreground, right,a ruined stone well appears, in a mass of weeds and vines.  Opposite,left, tall trees and dense thickets.  Where the roads cross (to left ofcentre), stands a large, neglected shrine, with a weather-worn figureof Christ,--again the 'Lonely Man'--facing towards Hamelin.--The stageis empty, at rise of the curtain; but the sound of chanting from burghersjust gone by fades slowly, on the road to Rudersheim. From the hillside at the rear comes the PIPER, wrapped in a long greencloak, his pipe in his hand.  He looks after the procession, and backto Hamelin.--Enter, springing from the bushes to the right, MICHAEL,who seizes him. Their speech goes breathlessly.  MICHAEL QUICK!--tell me-- PIPER  Patience. MICHAEL  Patience?--Death and hell!Oh, save her--save her!  Give the children back. PIPERNever.  Have you betrayed us? MICHAEL  I!--betrayed? PIPERSo, so, lad. MICHAEL  But to save her-- PIPER  There's a way,--Trust me!  I save her, or we swing togetherMerrily, in a row.--How did you see her? MICHAELBy stealth: two days ago, at evening,Hard by the vine-hid wall of her own garden,I made a warbling like a nightingale;And she came out to hear. PIPER  A serenade!Under the halter! MICHAEL  Hush.--A death-black night,Until she came.--Oh, how to tell thee, lad!She came,--she came, not for the nightingale,But even dreaming that it would be I! PIPERShe knew you?--We are trapped, then. MICHAEL  No, not so!She smiled on me.--Dost thou remember howShe smiled on me that day?  Alas, poor maid,She took me for some noble in disguise!And all these days,--she told me,--she had dreamedThat I would come to save her! PIPER  Said she this? MICHAELAll this--all this, and more! . . .What could lies do?--I lied to her of thee;I swore I knew not of thy vanishment,Nor the lost children.  But I told her true,I was a stroller and an outcast manThat hid there, like a famished castaway,For one more word, without a hope,--a hope;Helpless to save her. PIPER  And she told thee then,She goes to be a nun? MICHAEL  Youth to the grave!And I--vile nothing--cannot go to save her,Only to look my last-- PIPER  Who knows? MICHAEL[bitterly]  Ah, thou!-- PIPERPoor Nightingale![Fingers Us pipe, noiselessly.] MICHAEL[rapt with grief]  Oh, but the scorn of her! PIPERShe smiled on thee. MICHAEL  Until she heard the truth:--A juggler,--truly,--and no wandering knight!Oh, and she wept.[Wildly]  Let us all hang together. PIPERThanks.  Kindly spoken.--Not this afternoon! MICHAELThou knowest they are given up for dead? PIPERTruly. MICHAEL  Bewitched? PIPER  So are they. MICHAEL  Sold to the Devil? PIPER[Facing softly up and down, with the restless cunningof a squirrel at watch]Pfui!  But who else?  Of course.  This same old Devil!This kind old Devil takes on him all we do!Who else is such a refuge in this world?Who could have burned the abbey in this place,Where holy men did live?  Why, 't was the Devil!And who did guard us one secluded spotBy burying a wizard at this cross-ways?--So none dare search the haunted, evil place!The Devil for a landlord!--So say I!And all we poor, we strollers, for his tenants;We gypsies and we pipers in the world,And a few hermits and sword-swallowers,And all the cast-aways that Holy ChurchMust put in cages--cages--to the end![To Michael, who is overcome]Take heart!  I swear,--by all the stars that chime!I'll not have things in Cages! MICHAEL  Barbara!So young,--so young and beautiful! PIPER  And fitTo marry with friend Michael! MICHAEL  Do not mock. PIPERI mock not.--(Baa--Baa--Barbara!) MICHAEL  Ay, she laughed,On that first day.  But still she gazed.--I sawHer, all the while!  I swallowed-- PIPER  Prodigies!A thousand swallows, and no summer yet!But now,--'t is late to ask,--why did you notSwallow her father?--That had saved us all. MICHAELThey will be coming soon.  They will cut offAll her bright hair,--and wall her in forever. PIPERNever.  They shall not. MICHAEL[dully]  Will you give them back,_Now_? PIPERI will never give them back.  Be sure. MICHAELAnd she is made an offering for the town!I heard it of the gossips.--They have swornJacobus shall not keep his one ewe-lambWhile all the rest go childless. PIPER  And I swearThat he shall give her up,--to none but thee! MICHAELYou cannot do it! PIPER  Have I lived like Cain,But to make good one hour of Life and Sun?And have I got this Hamelin in my hands,To make it pay its thousand crueltiesWith such a fool's one-more? . . .--You know right well,'T was not the thousand guilders that I wantedFor thee, or me, or any!--Ten would serve.But there it ached; _there_, in the money-bagThat serves the town of Hamelin for an heart!That stab was mortal!  And I thrust it deep.Life, life, I wanted; safety,--sun and wind!--And but to show them how that daily fearThey call their faith, is made of blasphemiesThat would put out the Sun and Moon and Stars,Early, for some last Judgment![He laughs, up to the tree-tops]  And the Lord,Where will He get His harpers and singing-menAnd them that laugh for joy?--From Hamelin guilds?--Will you imagine Kurt the CouncillorTrying to sing?[He looks at his pipe again; then listens intently. MICHAEL  His lean throat freeze!--But she--Barbara! Barbara!-- PIPER  Patience.  She will come,Dressed like a bride. MICHAEL  Ah, do not mock me so. PIPERI mock not. MICHAELShe will never look at me. PIPERRather than be a nun, I swear she willLook at thee twice,--and with a long, long look.[Chant approaches in the distance, coming from Hamelin. VOICESDies irae, dies illaSolvet saeclum in favilla,Teste David cum Sibylla. Quantus tremor est futurus,Quando judex est venturus,Cuncta stricte discussurus! PIPERBah, how they whine!  Why do they drag it so? MICHAEL[overcome]Oh, can it be the last of all?  O Saints!--O blessed Francis, Ursula, Catherine!Hubert--and Crispin--Pantaleone--Paul!George o' the Dragon!--Michael the Archangel! PIPERMichael Sword-eater, canst not swallow a chant?The well, the well!--Take care. VOICES[nearer]  Inter oves locum praesta,  Et ab hoedis me sequestra,  Statuens in parte dextra.   Confutatis maledictis,  Flammis acribus addictis:  Voca me cum benedictis. [MICHAEL climbs down the ancient well, reaching his head up warily,to see. The PIPER waves to him debonairly, points to the tree-tops, left,and stands a moment showing in his face his disapproval of themusic. He fingers his pipe. As the hymn draws near, he scramblesamong the bushes, left, and disappears. Enter slowly, chanting, the company of burghers from Hamelin,--mentogether first, headed by priests; then the women.--ANSELM and allthe townsfolk appear (saving VERONIKA, the wife of KURT); JACOBUSis meek; KURT very stern.--As they appear, the piping of the Dance-spellbegins softly, high in air.  The hymn wavers; when the first burghersreach the centre of the stage, it breaks down. They look up, bewildered: then, with every sign of consternation,struggle, and vacant fear, they begin to dance, willy-nilly.  Theirfaces work; they struggle to walk on; but it is useless.  The musicwhirls them  irresistibly into a rhythmic pace of 3/4 time, andjogs their words, when they try to speak, into the same dance-measure.One by one,--two and two they go,--round and round like corks at first,with every sign of struggle and protest, then off, on the long roadto Rudersheim.  Fat priests waltz together.--KURT the fierce andJACOBUS the sleek hug each other in frantic endeavor to be released.Their words jolt insanely. KURT, JACOBUS   (  No, no.--No, no--No, no.--No, no!  (  Yes, yes.--I, yes.--Yes, yes.--Yes, yes! SOME  (  _La--crymos--a--Dies--ill--_  (  Bewitched--the Devil!--bewitched--bewitched!  (  I will not--will not--will--I will!  (  No, no--but where!--Help--help!--To arms! OTHERS  (  _Suppli--canti--suppli--Oh_!  (  To Hamelln--back--to Hamelln--stay!  (  No, no!--No, no,--Away,--away![They dance out, convulsively, towards Rudersheim.KURT and JACOBUS, still whirling, cry,-- JACOBUS, KURT  (  Yes, yes!--yes, yes!--Let go--let go--  (  No, no!--I will not--No! . . . No [Exeunt left, dancing. OTHERS  (  Keep time, keep time!  Have mercy!--Time!  (  Oh, let me--go!--Let go--let go!  (  Yes, yes--Yes, yes--No, no--no--no! [BARBARA appears, pale and beautiful;--richly dressed in white,with flowing locks.  She is wan and exhausted.--The dance-mania,as it seizes her, makes her circle slowly and dazedly with acertain pitiful silliness.  The nuns and monks accompanying herpoint in horror.  But they, too, dance off with each other,willy-nilly,--like leaves in a tempest.  BARBARA is left alone,still circling slowly.  The piping sounds softer.  She staggersagainst a tree, and keeps on waving her hands and turning her head,vaguely, in time. MICHAEL looks forth from the well; then climbs out and approaches her. MICHAEL She is so beautiful,--how dare, I tell her?My heart, how beautiful!  The blessed saint! . . .Fear nothing, fairest Lady.--You are saved.[She looks at him unseeingly, and continues to dance.--He holdsout his arms to stop her.Pray you, the danger's gone. Pray you, take breath!Poor, shining dove,--I would not hold thee here,Against thy wish.--'Tis Michael, the sword-eater.[The piping ceases.] BARBARA[murmuring]Yes, yes--I must--I must--I must. . .[Reenter the PIPER from the thickets.] MICHAELLook, I will guard you like a princess, here;Yes, like Our Lady's rose-vine. BARBARA[gasping]  Ah, my heart![The PIPER comes towards her.  She sees him and holds outher arms, crying:--Oh, he has saved me!--I am thine--thine--thine![Falls into his arms half-fainting.  The PIPERstands amazed, alarmed, chagrined. PIPERMine? MICHAEL[furiously]_Thine_?--So was it?  All a trap?  Cock's blood!Thine, thine!--And thou hast piped her wits away.Thine! PIPER[holding her off]  No, not mine! BARBARA[to him]Why did you steal me hence?When did you love me?--Was it on first sight? PIPER[confounded]I, love thee? MICHAEL  --Knave!  thief!  liar! PIPER  --Give me breath.[Holds off BARBARA gently.] BARBARAWhere are you taking me? PIPER  I?  Taking thee? MICHAEL[to her]He shall not steal thee! BARBARA[in a daze]  I must follow him. PIPERNo! 'T is too much.  You shall not follow me!I'll not be followed.--Damsel, sit you down.Here is too much!  I love you not. BARBARA[wonderingly]  You do not?Why did you pipe to me? MICHAEL  --And steal her wits,Stealer of all the children! BARBARA[vaguely]  Are they safe? PIPER[to MICHAEL]Oh, your good faith!--[To her]  They're safe. BARBARA  I knew--I knew it! PIPERAnd so art thou.  But never shall they goTo Hamelin more; and never shale thou goTo be a nun. BARBARATo be a nun,--no, no!  Ah me, I'm spent.Sir, take me with you. MICHAEL[still enraged to the PIPES]  Rid her of the spell!Is this thy pledge? PIPER[distracted]  I do but rub my wits--To think--to think.[To himself]  What shall I do with her,Now that she's here!--Suppose her bound to stay![To them]Hearken.--You, Michael, on to Rudersheim-- MICHAELAnd leave her here?  No, no! PIPER  Then take the girl. BARBARATo Rudersheim?  No, never, never! PIPER  Well . . .Hearken.--There is the hermit, over the hill.[Apart, wildly]But how--suppose she will not marry him?I will not take her where the children are.And yet--[An idea strikes him.  To her]Hark, now;--hark, now, and tell me truly;Can you spin cloth? BARBARA[amazed]I?  Spin? PIPER[eagerly]  Can you make shoes? BARBARAI--_I_ make shoes!--Fellow! PIPER  So. MICHAEL  Art thou mad! PIPERWith me you may not go!  But you'll be safe.Hearken:--you, Michael, go to Rudersheim;And tell the nuns-- BARBARA  No, no!  I dare not have it!Oh, they would send and take me!  No, no, no! PIPERWould you go back to Hamelin? BARBARA  No--no--no!Ah, I am spent.[Droops towards the PIPER; falters and sinks down on the bankbeside the well, in a swoon.--The PIPER is abashed and ruefulfor the moment. MICHAELAll this, your work! PIPER[looking at her closely]  Not mine.This is no charm.  It is all youth and grief,And weariness.  And she shall follow you.--Tell the good nuns you found her sore bewitched,Here in this haunt of 'devils';--clean distraught.No Church could so receive a dancing nun!Tell them thou art an honest, piteous manDesires to marry her. MICHAEL  Marry the Moon! PIPERNo, no, the Moon for me!--She shall be yours;And here she sleeps, until her wits be sound.[He spreads his cloak over her, gently]The sun's still high.  'T is barely afternoon.--[Looks at the sunshine.  A thought strikes him with sudden dismay]'T is--no, the time is going!--On my life,I had forgot Them!--And They will not stayAfter the Rainbow fades. MICHAEL[confounded]Art thou moon-mad? PIPER[madly]No.  Stir not!  Keep her safe!  I come anon.But first I go.--They'll not mind Cheat-the-Devil!They'll creep, to find out where the Rainbow went.I know them!  So would I!--They'll all leak out! MICHAELStay--stay! PIPER  No; guard her, you!--Anon, anon! MICHAELBut you will pipe her up and after you! PIPER[flinging him the pipe from his belt]Do you fear this?  Then keep it till I come.You bide!--The Other cannot. MICHAELWho? PIPER  The Rainbow,The Rainbow!-- [He runs madly up the hillside, and away.]  Curtain    ACT III SCENE: The same, later.  BARBARA lies motionless, stillsleeping.--MICHAEL, sitting on the bank opposite, fingersthe pipe with awe and wistfulness.  He blows softly upon it;then looks at the girl hopefully.  She does not stir. Enter the PIPER, from the hills at back.  He carries a pair ofwater-jars slung over his shoulders, and seems to be in high feather. PIPER[singing]Out of your cage,Come out of your cageAnd take your soul on a pilgrimage!Pease in your shoes, an if you must!--But out and away, before you're dust:  Scribe and Stay-at-home,  Saint and Sage,  Out of your cage,  Out of your cage!--[He feigns to be terror-struck at sight of the pipein Michael's hands]Ho, help!  Good Michael, Michael, loose the charm!Michael, have mercy!  I'm bewitched!-- MICHAEL[giving him the pipe]  Cock's faith!Still mocking!--Well ye know, it will not playSuch games for me. PIPER  Be soothed,--'twas as I guessed,[Unslings the jars]All of them hungry,--and the Rainbow going;-- And Cheat-the-Devil pining in a corner.'Twas well I went: they were for leaking out,And then,--lopped ears for two! MICHAEL  Oh, that will come. PIPERNever believe it!  We have saved her, look you;We save them all!  No prison walls again,For anything so young, in Hamelin there.Wake her, and see. MICHAEL  Ay, wake her.  But for me,Her sleep is gentler. PIPER[comfortingly]  Nay, but wait.--Good faith,Wait.  We have broke the bars of iron now;Still there are golden!--'Tis her very selfIs caged within herself.  Once coax her out,Once set her own heart free!-- MICHAEL  Wake her, and see![The PIPER crosses, humming.] PIPERMind your eyes, tune your tongue!Let it never be said, but sung, but sung,  'Out of your cage, out of your cage!'  Maiden, maiden,--[He wakes her gently.  BARBARA sits up, plainly bewildered;then she sees the PIPER, and says happily:-- BARBARAOh!--you have come to save me.  They are gone.All this, for love of me! PIPER[ruefully]  No, no--I--No! BARBARAYou--you are robbers?[Her hands go to the pearls about her neck.] PIPER[indignant]  No!  Blood on the Moon!This is the maddest world I ever blinked at.--Fear nothing, maiden.  I will tell you all.Come, sit you down; and Michael shall keep watchFrom yonder hillock, lest that any pass.Fear nothing.  None will pass: they are too sureThe Devil hath this cross-ways!--Sit you down. [MICHAEL watches, with jealous wistfulness, from the road (leftrear).--BARBARA half fearfully sits up, on the bank by the well. BARBARANot love?  And yet . . . you do not want my pearls?Then why-- PIPER  For why should all be love or money?Money!  Oho,--that mouldy thousand guildersYou think of!--But it was your Hamelin friendsThat loved the guilders, and not I. BARBARA  Then why--Why did you steal me hence? PIPER  Why did yourselfLong to be stolen? BARBARA[shuddering]  Ah! to be shut up. . .Forever,--young--alive! PIPER  Alive and singing;Young,--young;--and four thick walls and no more sun,No music, and no wandering, and no life!Think you, I would not steal ail things aliveOut of such doom?--How can I breathe and laughWhile there are things in cages?--You are free;And you shall never more go back again. BARBARAAnd you, who are you then? PIPER  How do _I_ know?Moths in the Moon!--Ask me a thing in reason. BARBARAAnd 't was not . . . that you loved me. PIPER  Loved thee?  No!--Save but along with squirrels, and bright fish,And bubbling water. BARBARAThen where shall I go? PIPEROh, little bird,--is that your only song?Go?  Everywhere!  Here be no walls, no hedges,No tolls, no taxes,--rats nor aldermen!Go, say you?  Round the world, and round again![Apart]--Ah, she was Hamelin-born.[He watches her]  But there's a man,--Sky-true, sword-strong, and brave to look upon;One that would thrust his hand in dragon's mouthFor your bright sake; one that would face the Devil,Would swallow fire-- BARBARA  You would? PIPER[desperately]  _I_?--No, not I!Michael,--yon goodman Michael. BARBARA[bitterly]A stroller!---oh, nought but a wandering man. PIPER,Well, would you have a man take root, I ask? BARBARAThat swallows swords. . . . PIPER  Is he a comely man? BARBARAThat swallows swords!-- PIPER  What's manlier to swallow?Did he but swallow pancakes, were that praise?Pancakes and sausage, like your Hamelin yokels?He swallows fire and swords, I say, and more.And yet this man hath for a whole noon-hourGuarded you while you slept;--still as a dove,Distant and kind as shadow; giant-strongFor his enchanted princess,--even you. BARBARASo you bewitched me, then. PIPER[wildly]  How do I know? BARBARAWhere are the children? PIPER  I'll not tell you that.You are too much of Hamelin. BARBARA  You bewitched them! PIPERYes, so it seems.  But how?--Upon my life,'T is more than I know,--yes, a little more.[Rapidly: half in earnest and half in whimsy]Sometimes it works, and sometimes no.  There areSome things upon my soul, I cannot do.[Watching her.] BARBARA[expectantly]Not even with thy pipe? PIPER  Not even so.Some are too hard.--Yet, yet, I love to try:And most, to try with all the hidden charmsI have, that I have never counted through. BARBARA[fascinated]Where are they? PIPER[touching his heart]  Here. BARBARAWhat are they? PIPER  How do I know?If I knew all, why should I care to live?No, no!  The game is What-Will-Happen-Next? BARBARAAnd what will happen? PIPER[tantalizingly]  Ah! how do I know?It keeps me searching.  'T is so glad and sadAnd strange to find out, What-Will-Happen-Next!And mark you this: the strangest miracle. . . BARBARAYes!-- PIPERStranger than the Devil or thy Judgment;Stranger than piping,--even when _I_ pipe!Stranger than charming mice--or even men-- BARBARA[with tense expectancy]What is it?  What? PIPER[watching her]  Why,--what may come to passHere in the heart.  There is one very charm-- BARBARAOh! PIPERAre you brave? BARBARA[awe-struck]  Oh! PIPER[slowly]Will you drink the philter? BARBARA'Tis. . . some enchantment? PIPER[mysteriously]'T is a love philter. BARBARAOh, tell me first-- PIPER  Why, sooth, the only charmIn it, is Love.  It is clear well-water. BARBARA[disappointed]Only well-water? PIPER  Love is only Love.It must be philters, then?[He comes down smiling and beckons to MICHAEL, who draws near, bewildered.  This lady thirstsFor magic![He ties a long green scarf that he has over his shoulder, to awater-jar, and lowers it down the old well; while BARBARA watches,awe-struck.  He continues to sing softly.  _Mind your eyes_,  _Tune your tongue_;  _Let it never he said_,  _But sung,--but sung_!-- MICHAEL[to BARBARA, timidly]  I am glad at least, fair lady,To think how my poor show did give you pleasureThat day--that day when-- BARBARA  Ah! that day of doom! MICHAELWhat is your will? BARBARA[passionately]  I know not; and I care not![Apart]Oh, it is true.--And he a sword-eater![The PIPER hauls up the jar, full of water.] PIPERMichael, your cup. [MICHAEL gives him a drinking-horn from his belt.  The PIPER fills itwith water, solemnly, and turns to BARBARA, who is at first defiant,then fascinated.  Maiden, your ears.  So:--hearken.Before you drink of this, is it your willForever to be gone from Hamelin? BARBARAI must,--I must. PIPERYour mother? BARBARA[piteously]  I have no mother;Nor any father, more.  He gave me up. PIPERThat did he!--For a round one thousand guilders!Weep not, I say.  First, loose you, heart and shoes,From Hamelin.  Put off now, the dust, the mould,The cobble-stones, the little prying windows;The streets that dream o' _What the Neighbors Say_.Think you were never born there.  Think some BreathWakened you early--early on one morning,Deep in a Garden (but you knew not whose),Where voices of wild waters bubbling ran,Shaking down music from glad mountain-tops,--Where the still peaks were burning in the dawn,Like fiery snow,--down into greenest valleys,That do off their blue mist only to showSome deeper blue, some haunt of violets.No voice you heard, nothing you felt or saw,Save in your heart, the tumult of young birds,A nestful of wet wings and morning-cries,Throbbing for flight! . . .Then,--for your Soul, new wakened, felt athirst,You turned to where that call of water led,Laughing for truth,--all truth and star-like laughter!Beautiful water, that will never stay,But runs and laughs and sparkles in the heart,And sends live laughter trickling everywhere,And knows the thousand longings of the Earth!And as you drank it then, so now, drink here; [He reaches her the horn.  She has listened, motionless, like a thingbewitched, her eyes fixed and wide, as if she were sleep-walking.  Shedrinks.  MICHAEL stands near, also motionless.  When she speaks, itis in a younger voice, shy, sweet and full of wonder. And tell me,--tell me, you,--what happened then?What do you see? BARBARAAh!--[She looks before her with wide, new eyes.] PIPER  Do you see--a-- BARBARA  . . .Michael! PIPERSo!--And a good one.  And you call him? BARBARA  . . . Michael. PIPERSo.--'Tis a world of wonders, by my faith!--What is the fairest thing you see but-- BARBARA  Michael. PIPERAnd is he comely as a man should be?And strong?--And wears good promise in his eyes,And keeps it with his heart and with his hands?[She nods like a child]And would you fear to go with him?-- BARBARA  No, no! PIPERThen reach to him that little hand of yours. [MICHAEL, wonder-struck, runs to the jar, pours water upon his hand,rubs it off with haste, and falls on his knees before her, taking herhand fearfully. BARBARA[timidly]And can he talk?-- PIPERYes, yes.--The maid's bewildered.Fear nothing.  Thou'rt so dumb, man!--Yes, yes, yes.Only he kneels; he cannot yet believe.Speak roundly to him.--Will you go with him?He will be gentler to you than a father:He would be brothers five, and dearest friend,And sweetheart,--ay, and knight and serving-man! BARBARAYes, yes, I know he will.  And can he talk, too? PIPERLady, you have bewitched him. MICHAEL  Oh! dear Lady,With you--with you, I dare not ope my mouthSaving to sing, or pray! PIPER  Let it be singing!Lad, 't is a wildered maiden, with no homeSave only thee; and she is more a childThan yesterday. MICHAEL  Oh, lordly, wondrous world!--How is it, Sweet, you smile upon me now? BARBARASure I have ever smiled on thee.  How not?Art thou not Michael?--_And thou lovest me_._And I love thee_!--If I unloved thee ever,It was some spell.--[Rapturously]  But this,--ah, _This is I_![MICHAEL, on his knees, winds his arms about her. PIPER[softly]It is all true,--all true.  Lad, do not doubt;The golden cage is broken. MICHAEL  Oh! more strangeThan morning dreams!  I am like one new-born;I am a speechless babe.--And this is she,My Moon I cried for,--here,-- PIPER  It is thy bride. MICHAELThou wilt not fear to come with me? BARBARAWith thee?With thee!  Ah, look!  What have I more than thee?And thou art mine, tall fellow!  How comes it nowRight happily that I am pranked so fair![She touches her fineries, her long pearl-strings, joyously]And all this came so near to burying;This! MICHAEL  And this dearer gold.[Kissing her hair.] BARBARA  All, all for thee!--[She leans over in a playful rapture andbinds her hair about him]Look,--I will be thy garden that we lost,Yea, everywhere,--in every wilderness.There shall none fright us with a flaming sword!But I will be thy garden! [There is the sound of a herd-bell approaching. PIPERSee,--how the sunlight soon shall pour red wineTo make your marriage-feast!--And do you hearThat faery bell?--No fear!--'T is some white creature,Seeking her whiter lamb.--Go; find our hermit;And he shall bless you,--as a hermit can!And be your pledge for shelter.  There's the path.--[To MICHAEL]Follow each other, close! MICHAEL  Beyond the Sun! PIPERA golden afternoon,--and all is well! [He gives MICHAEL his cloak to wrap round BARBARA.  They go, handin hand, up into the hills,  The herd-bell sounds softly.--The PIPERcocks his head like a squirrel, and listens with delight.  He watchesthe two till they disappear; then comes down joyously. PIPERIf you can only catch them while they're young! [The herd-bell sounds nearer.  He lets down a water-jar into the wellagain.  The nearness of the hell startles him.  He becomes watchfulas a wild creature.  It sounds nearer and nearer.  A woman's voicecalls like the wind: 'Jan! Jan!'--The PIPER, tense and cautious, moves softly down into the shrubberyby the well. VERONIKA'S VOICEJan! PIPER  Hist! Who dared? VERONIKA'S VOICE. . . Jan!-- PIPER  Who dared, I say?A woman.--'T is a woman! [Enter VERONIKA, on the road from Hamelin.  She is very pale andworn, and drags herself along, clutching in her hand a herd-bell.She looks about her, holds up the bell and shakes it once softly,covering it with her fingers again; then she sits wearily downat the foot of the ruined shrine and covers her face, with a sharpbreath. VERONIKA  . . . Ah,--ah,--ah![The PIPER watches with breathless wonder and fascination.  It seemsto horrify him. PIPER[under breath]That woman! [VERONIKA lifts her head suddenly and sees the motion of the bushes. VERONIKAHe is coming!--He is here![She darts towards the well.--The PIPER springs up.Oh, God of Mercy! . . . It is only you!Where is he?--Where?--Where are you hiding him? PIPER[confusedly]Woman . . . what do you, wandering, with that bell?That herd-bell? VERONIKAOh! are you man or cloud? . . . Where is my Jan?Jan,--Jan,--the little lame one!  He is mine.He lives, I know he lives.  I know--yes, yes,You've hidden him.  I will be patient.--Yes. PIPERSurely he lives! VERONIKA  --_Lives_! will you swear it?  Ah,--I will believe!  But he . . . is not so strongAs all the others. PIPER[apart]  Aie, how horrible![To her]Sit you down here.  You cannot go awayWhile you are yet so pale.  Why are you thus?[She looks at him distractedly.] VERONIKAYou, who have torn the hearts out of our bodiesAnd left the city like a place of graves,--Why am I spent?--Ah, ah!--But he's alive!Yes, yes, he's living. PIPER  Oh, how horrible!Why should he not be living?--What am I? VERONIKAI do not know. PIPER  Do you take me for the Devil? VERONIKAI do not know. PIPER  Yet you were not afraid? VERONIKAWhat is there now to fear? PIPER[watching her]  Where are the townsfolk? VERONIKAThey are all gone to Rudersheim. . . PIPER[still watchful]  How so? VERONIKAWhere, for a penance, Barbara, Jacob's daughter,Will take the veil.  His one, for all of ours!It will be over now. PIPER  Have none returned? VERONIKAI know not; I am searching, since the dawn. PIPERTo-day? VERONIKAAnd every day.PIPER  That herd-bell, thereWhy do you bring it? VERONIKA[sobbing]Oh, he loves them so.I knew, if he but heard it, he would follow-- PIPERNo more.  I know! VERONIKA  An if he could! PIPER[like a wounded animal]  You hurt meSomewhere,--you hurt me! VERONIKA  You!--A man of air? PIPERWhat, am I that? VERONIKAWhat are you?--Give them back!Give them to me, I say.  You have them hidden.Are they all living? PIPER[struggling with pity]  Yes, yes. VERONIKA  Give them back! PIPERNo. VERONIKABut they live, they live? PIPER  --Wilt thou believe me? VERONIKAAnd are they safe? PIPER  Yes. VERONIKA  And you hide them? PIPER  Yes. VERONIKAAnd are they . . . warm? PIPER  --Yes. VERONIKA  Are they happy?--Oh,That cannot be!--But do they laugh, sometimes? PIPERYes. VERONIKA--Then you'll give them back again! PIPERNo, never. VERONIKA[Half to herself, distraught between suspense and hope]I must be patient. PIPER  Woman, they all are mine.I hold them in my hands; they bide with me.What's breath and blood,--what are the hearts of children,To Hamelin,--while it heaps its money-bags? VERONIKAYou cared not for the money. PIPER  No?--You seemA foreign woman,--come from very far,That you should know. VERONIKA  I know. I was not bornThere.  But you wrong them.  There were yet a fewWho would have dealt with you more honestlyThan this Jacobus, or-- PIPER  Or Kurt the Syndic!Believe It not.  Those two be tongue and brainFor the whole town!  I know them.  And that townStands as the will of other towns, a score,That make us wandering poor the things we are!It stands for all, unto the end of time,That turns this bright world black and the Sun cold,With hate, and hoarding;--all-triumphant GreedThat spreads above the roots of all despair,And misery, and rotting of the soul!Now shall they learn--if money-bags can learn--What turns the bright world black, and the Sun cold;And what's that creature that they call a child!--And what this winged thing men name a heartBeating queer rhythms that they long to kill.--What is this hunger and this thirst to sing,To laugh, to fight,--to hope, to be believed?And what is truth?  And who did make the stars?      *     *     *    *     * I have to pay for fifty thousand hates,Greeds, cruelties; such barbarous tortured daysA tiger would disdain;--for all my kind!Not my one mother, not my own of kin,--All, all, who wear the motley in the heartOr on the body:--for all caged gloriesAnd trodden wings, and sorrows laughed to scorn.I,--I!--At last. VERONIKA  Ah, me! How can I say:Yet make them happier than they let you be? PIPERWoman, you could!--They know not how to beHappy!  They turn to darkness and to woeAll that is made for joy.  They deal with menAs, far across the mountains, in the south,Men trap a singing thrush, put out his eyes,--And cage him up and bid him then to sing--Sing before God that made him,--yes, to sing!      *     *     *    *     * I save the children.--Yes, I save them, so,Save them forever, who shall save the world!--Yes, even Hamelin.--  But for only _you_,What do they know of Children?--Pfui, _their own_!Who knows a treasure, when it is his own?Do they not whine: '_Five mouths around the table_;_And a poor harvest.  And now comes one more_!_God chastens us_!'--Pfui!-- VERONIKA[apart, dully]  . . . But I must be patient. PIPERYou know, you know, that not one dared, save you,--Dared all alone, to search this devil's haunt. VERONIKAThey would have died-- PIPER  But never risked their _souls_!That knew I also. VERONIKAAh! PIPER'Young faces,' sooth,The old ones prate of!--Bah, what is't they want?'Some one to work for me, when I am old;Some one to follow me unto my grave;Some one--for me!'  Yes, yes.  There is not oneOld huddler-by-the-fire would shift his seatTo a cold corner, if it might bring backAll of the Children in one shower of light! VERONIKAThe old, ah, yes!  But not-- PIPER  The younger men?Aha!  Their pride to keep the name alive;The name, the name, the little Hamelin name,Tied to the trade;--carved plain upon his gravestone!Wonderful!  If your name must chain you, live,To your gaol of a house, your trade you love not,--why,Best go without a name, like me!--How now?Woman,--you suffer? VERONIKA  Ah, yet could I laugh,Piper, yet could I laugh, for one true word,--But not of all men. PIPER  Then of whom? VERONIKA  Of Kurt. PIPERBah, Kurt the Councillor! a man to curse. VERONIKAHe is my husband. PIPER[shortly]  Thine?  I knew it not.Thine?  But it cannot be.  He could not fatherThat little Jan,--that little shipwrecked Star. VERONIKAOh, then you love him?  You will give him back? PIPERThe son of Kurt? VERONIKANo, not _his_ son!  No, no.He is all mine, all mine.  Kurt's sons are straight,And ruddy, like Kurt's wife of Hamelin there,Who died before. PIPERAnd you were wed. . . VERONIKA  So young,It is all like some dream before the sunrise,That left me but that little shipwrecked Star. PIPERWhy did you marry Kurt the Councillor? VERONIKA[humbly]He wanted me.  Once I was beautiful. PIPER[wonderingly]What, more than now? VERONIKA  Mock if you will. PIPER  I mock you;O Woman, . . . you are very beautiful. VERONIKAI meant, with my poor self, to buy him houseAnd warmth, and softness for his little feet.Oh, then I knew not,--when we sell our hearts,We buy us nothing. PIPER  Now you know. VERONIKA  I know.His dearest home it was, to keep my heartAlone and beautiful, and clear and still;And to keep all the gladness in my heart,That bubbled from nowhere!--for him to drink;--And to be houseless of all other things,Even as the Lonely Man.[The PIPER starts]  Where is the child? PIPERNo; that I will not tell.  Only thus much:I love thy child.  Trust me,--I love them, all.They are the brightest miracle I know.Wherever I go, I search the eyes of menTo find such clearness;--and it is not there.Lies, greed and cruelty, and dreadful dark!And all that makes Him sad these thousand years,And keeps His forehead bleeding.--Ah, you know! VERONIKAWhom do you think on? PIPERWhy, the Lonely Man,--But now I have the children safe with me;And men shall never teach them what men know;--Those radiant things that have no wish at allSave for what is all-beautiful!--the Rainbow,The running Water, and the Moon, the Moon!The only things worth having! VERONIKA  --Oh, you will notGive him to me? PIPER  How give you yours again,And not the others?  What a life for him![She hides her face]And Kurt the Syndic, left without his sons?Bah, do not dream of it!  What would Kurt do?--And hearken here!  Should any hunt me down,Take care.  Who then could bring the children back? VERONIKA_Jan_!  _Jan_! PIPERHe loves me.  He is happy. VERONIKA[passionately ]  _No_!Without me?--No. PIPER  He has not even onceCalled you. VERONIKA[staggering]Ah, ah! how cruel!  'Tis the spell,The spell. PIPER[touching his heart]--You hurt me, here.  What makes it, Woman?--Would you not have him happy? VERONIKA  O my God! PIPER[offering her water]Drink here.  Take heart.  O Woman, they must stay!'T is better so.  No, no, I mock thee not.Thou foldest all about me like the DarkThat holds the stars.  I would I were thy child.| VERONIKABut I will find him.  I will find him-- PIPER  No,It must not be!  Their life is bound with mine.If I be harmed, they perish.  Keep that word,Go, go! VERONIKA[passionately]  My longing will bring back my Own. PIPERAh, long not so. VERONIKA  Yes, it will bring him back!He breathes.  And I will wish him home to me,Till my heart break! PIPERHearts never break in Hamelin.Go, then; and teach those other ones to long;Wake up those dead! VERONIKA  Peace.  I shall draw him home. PIPERNot till he cries for thee. VERONIKA  Oh, that will beSoon,--soon. PIPER[gently]  Remember,--if one word of thineSet on the hounds to track me down and slay me,They will be lost forever; they would die,--They, who are in my keeping. VERONIKA  Yea, I hear.But he will come . . . oh, he will come to me,Soon,--soon. [She goes, haltingly, and disappears along the road to Hamelin.--ThePIPER, alone, stands spell-bound, breathing hard, and looking afterher.  Then he turns his head and comes down, doggedly.  Again hepauses.  With a sudden sharp effort he turns, and crosses withpassionate appeal to the shrine, his arm uplifted towards the carvenChrist as if he warded off some accusation.  His speech comes in atorrent. PIPERI will not, no, I will not, Lonely Man!I have them in my hand.  I have them all--All--all!  And I have lived unto this day.You understand . . .[He waits as if for some reply]You know what men they are.And what have they to do with such as these?Think of those old as death, in body and heart,Hugging their wretched hoardings, in cold fearOf moth and rust!--While these miraculous ones,Like golden creatures made of sunset-cloud,Go out forever,--every day, fade byWith music and wild stars!--Ah, but You know.The hermit told me once. You loved them, too.But I know more than he, how You must love them:Their laughter, and their bubbling, skylark wordsTo cool Your heart.  Oh, listen, Lonely Man!--      *     *     *     *     * Oh, let me keep them!  I will bring them to You,Still nights, and breathless mornings; they shall touchYour hands and feet with all their swarming hands,Like showering petals warm on furrowed ground,--All sweetness!  They will make Thee whole again,With love.  Thou wilt lookup and smile on us!      *     *     *     *     * Why not?  I know--the half--You will be saying.You will be thinking of Your Mother.--Ah,But she was different.  She was not as they.She was more like . . . this one, the wife of Kurt!_Of Kurt_!  No, no; ask me not this, not this!Here is some dawn of day for Hamelin,--now!-Tis hearts of men You want.  Not mumbled prayers;Not greed and carven tombs, not misers' candles;No offerings, more, from men that feed on men;Eternal psalms and endless cruelties! . . .Even from now, there may be hearts in Hamelin,Once stabbed awake![He pleads, defends, excuses passionately; before his will givesway, as the arrow flies from the bow-string.]  --_I will not give them back_!And Jan,--for Jan, that little one, that dearestTo Thee and me, hark,--he is wonderful.Ask it not of me.  Thou dost know I cannot!      *     *     *     *     * Look, Lonely Man!  You shall have all of usTo wander the world over, where You standAt all the crossways, and on lonely hills,--Outside the churches, where the lost onesAnd the wayfaring men, and thieves and wolvesAnd lonely creatures, and the ones that sing!We will show all men what we hear and see;And we will make Thee lift Thy head, and smile.      *     *     *     *     * No, no, I cannot give them all!  No, no.--Why wilt Thou ask it?--Let me keep but one.No, no, I will not. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . _Have Thy way.--I will_!  Curtain    ACT IV SCENE: Hamelin market-place. It is early morning; so dark that only a bleak twilight glimmersin the square; the little streets are dim. Everywhere gloom andstillness.  In the house of KURT, beside the Minster, there is onewindow-light behind a curtain in the second story.  At the casements,down right and left, sit OLD CLAUS and OLD URSULA, wan and motionlessas the dead. The church-bell, which likewise seems to have aged, croaks softly,twice.  PETER the Sacristan stands by the bell-rope. OLD URSULANo, no.  They'll never come.  I told ye so.They all are gone.  There will be nothing youngTo follow us to the grave. OLD CLAUS  No, no,--not one! [The Minster-door opens, and out come certain of the townsfolkfrom early mass.  They look unnaturally old and colorless.  Theirsteps lag drearily.--HANS the Butcher and his wife; AXEL the Smithwith his wife, and PETER the Cobbler, meet, on their way to thelittle street, left, and greet one another with painstaking,stricken kindness.  They speak in broken voices. HANS the ButcherWell, well-- AXEL the SmithGod knows![The bell sounds] HANS the ButcherNeighbor, how fare your knees?[AXEL smooths his right leg and gives a jerk of pain.  They allmove stiffly. AXEL the SmithI'm a changed man. HANS the Butcher  Peter the Sacristan,Give by the bell!  It tolls like--Oh, well, well! AXEL the SmithIt does no good, it does no good at all. PETER the CobblerRather, I do believe it mads the demons;And I have given much thought-- AXEL the Smith  Over thy shoes! PETER the Cobbler[modestly]To demons. AXEL'S WIFE  Let him chirp philosophy!He had no children. PETER the Cobbler[wagging his head solemnly]  I'm an altered man.Now were we not proceeding soberly,Singing a godly hymn, and all in tune,But yesterday, when we passed by-- HANS' WIFE  Don't say it!Don't name the curseful place. HANS the Butcher  --And my poor head,It goes round yet;--around, around, around,As I were new ashore from the high seas;Still dancing--dancing-- AXEL the Smith  With 'Yes--yes!--Yes--yes!' HANS the ButcherEven as ye heard, the farmer's yokel found meClasping a tree, and praying to stand still! AXEL the SmithAy, ay,--but that is nought. PETER the Cobbler  All nought beside. HANS' WIFEBetter we had the rats and mice again,Though they did eat us homeless,--if we mightAll starve together!--Oh, my Hans, my Hans! PETER the CobblerHope not, good souls.  Rest sure, they will not come. AXEL'S WIFEWho will say that? PETER the Cobbler[discreetly]Not I; but the Inscription,[He points to the Rathaus wall.] AXEL the SmithOf our own making? PETER the Cobbler  On the Rathaus wall!At our own bidding it was made and graved:--How,--on that day and down this very street,He led them,--he, the Wonderfully-clothed,The Strange Man, with his piping;[They cross themselves]  And they went,--And never came again. HANS' WIFE  But they may come! PETER the Cobbler[pityingly]Marble is final, woman;--nay, poor soul!When once a man be buried, and over himThe stone doth say _Hic Jacet_, or Here Lies,When did that man get up?--There is the stone.They come no more, for piping or for prayer;Until the trump of the Lord Gabriel.And if they came, 'tis not in Hamelin menTo alter any stone, so graven.--MarbleIs final.  Marble has the last word, ever.[Groans from the burghers.] HANS the ButcherO little Ilse!--Oh! and Lump--poor Lump!More than a dog could bear!--More than a dog-- [They all break down.  The Shoemaker consoles them. PETER the CobblerBear up, sweet neighbors.--We are all but dust.No mice, no children.--Hem!  And now Jacobus,--His child, not even safe with Holy Church,But lost and God knows where! AXEL'S WIFEBewitched,--bewitched![Hans and his wife, arm in arm, turn left, towards their house,peering ahead. HANS' WIFEKind saints!  Me out and gone to early mass,And all this mortal church-time, there's a candle,A candle burning in the casement there;--Thou wasteful man! HANS the Butcher[huskily]Come, come!  Do not be chiding.Suppose they came and could not see their way.Suppose--O wife!--I thought they'd love the light!I thought-- PETER the CobblerAy, now! And there's another lightIn Kurt the Syndic's house. [They turn and look up.  Other burghers join the group. All walklamely and look the picture of wretchedness. AXEL'S WIFE  His wife, poor thing,The priest is with her.  Ay, for once, they say,Kurt's bark is broken. OLD URSULA  There will be nothing youngTo follow us to the grave. AXEL'S WIFE  They tell, she seemsSore stricken since the day that she was lost,Lost, searching on the mountain. Since that time,She will be saying nought.  She stares and smiles. HANS' WIFEAnd reaches out her arms,--poor soul! ALL  Poor soul! [Murmur in the distance.  They do not heed it. AXEL the Smith[To the Butcher]That was no foolish thought of thine, yon candle.I do remember now as I look back,They always loved the lights.  My Rudi thereWould aye be meddling with my tinder-box.And once I--Oh!--[Choking] AXEL'S WIFE[soothingly]Now, now! thou didst not hurt him!'T was I!  Oh, once--I shut him in the dark! AXEL the SmithCome home . . . and light the candles. PETER the Cobbler  In the day-time! AXEL'S WIFEOh, it is dark enough! AXEL the SmithLord knows, who madeBoth night and day, one of 'em needs to shine!But nothing does!--Nothing is daylight now.Come, wife, we'll light the candles. [Exit with his wife. PETER the Cobbler  He's a changed man. PETER the SacristanGod help us, what's to do?[Tumult approaching.  Shouts of 'Jacobus' and 'Barbara.'  Hark! HANS' WIFE  Neighbors! HANS the ButcherHark!  Hark! [AXEL and his wife reenter hastily; AXEL rushes toward the noise. AXEL'S WIFEOh, I hear something!  Can it be-- PETER the Cobbler  They're shouting. HANS the ButcherMy Iambs,--my lambs! [AXEL reenters, crestfallen] AXEL the Smith'Tis naught--but Barbara_His--his_! [Shaking his fist at the house of Jacobus. PETER the Cobbler[calling]Jacobus! [The others are stricken with disappointment. HANS the ButcherWife,--'t is none of ours. AXEL the SmithLet him snore on!--The only man would ratherSleep late than meet his only child again! PETER the Cobbler[deprecatingly]No man may parley with the gifts of Fortune![Knocking on the door]Jacobus! [Enter, at the rear, with a straggling crowd, BARBARA and MICHAEL,both radiant and resolute.  She wears the long green cloak overher bridal array. JACOBUS appears in his doorway, night-capped and fur-gowned,shrinking from the hostile crowd.  The people murmur. CROWD  (    Barbara!--She that was bewitched!  (  And who's the man?  Is it the Piper?  No!  (  No, no--some stranger.  Barbara!  Barbara's home;--  (  He never gave her up!--Who is the man? JACOBUSMy daughter!  'Tis my daughter,--found--restored!Oh, heaven is with us! ALL[sullenly]  Ah! JACOBUS  Child, where have you been? ALLAy, where, Jacobus?[He is dismayed.] JACOBUS  Who is this man?--Come hither. BARBARA[without approaching him, lifting her face clearly]Good-morning to you, father!  We are wed.Michael,--shall I go hither?[The townsfolk are amazed.] JACOBUS  She is mad!She is quite mad,--my treasure. PETER the Cobbler  Let her speak.Maids sometimes marry, even in Hamelin. ALL  (  Ay, tell us!  (  Who is he?  Barbara?  (  Art thou mad?--How came ye hither? JACOBUSWho is he? BARBARA  Michael. PETER the Cobbler  'Tis the Sword-Eater!A friend o' the Piper's!--Hearken-- ALL  She's bewitched! HANS' WIFEThis is the girl was vowed to Holy Church,For us and for our children that are lost! BARBARAAy, and did any have a mind to me,When I was lost?  Left dancing, and distraught? ALLWe could not.  We were spell-bound.  Nay, we could not. JACOBUS[sagely, after the others]We could not. BARBARASo!--But there was one who could.There was one man.  And this is he.[turning to Michael]  And I,I am no more your Barbara,--I am his.And I will go with him, over the world.I come to say farewell. JACOBUSHe hath bewitched her! MICHAELWhy did we ever come?  Poor darling one,Thy too-much duty hath us in a trap! AXEL the SmithNo, no!--Fair play! OTHERS  Don't let them go!  We have them. PETER the CobblerHold what ye have.  Be 't children, rats or mice! [Hubbub without, and shouts.  Some of the burghers hasten out afterthis fresh excitement.  JACOBUS is cowed.  BARBARA and MICHAEL arestartled.  The shouts turn savage.  The uproar grows.  Shouts of'Ay, there be is!  We have him!  We have him!  Help--help!  Holdfast!  Ah!  Piper!  Piper!  Piper!' How now?  What all!-- [The crowd parts to admit the PIPER, haled hither with shouts andpelting, by MARTIN the Watch and other men, all breathless.  Hiseyes burn. MICHAEL[apart]  Save us!--They have him. MARTIN[gaspingly]  Help!Mark ye--I caught him!--Help,--and hold him fast! PIPERI came here,--frog! MARTIN  Ay, he were coming on;And after him a squirrel, hopping close! SECOND MANAs no man ever saw a squirrel hop--Near any man from Hamelin!  And I looked-- MARTINAnd it was he; and all we rush upon him--And take him! PIPERLoose thy claws, I tell thee I-- ALL  (  'Ware!  (  Mercy!  (  Let him go! VOICE FROM CROWDI have the squirrel! PIPER[savagely]Let the squirrel go!Or you shall rue it.--Loose him!  He's not mine. [He sees BARBARA and MICHAEL for the first time and recoils withamazement.  BARBARA steps towards him. BARBARAOh, let him go,--let be.  His heart is clear,As water from the well![The PIPER gazes at her, open-mouthed.] ALL  (  She talks in her sleep!  (  The maid's bewitched!  (  Now, will ye hear? AXEL'S WIFEHe piped and made thee dance! PETER the Cobbler  'T was he bewitched us! BARBARA[serenely]Whatever was,--it was for love of me. PIPER[thunderstruck]So! BARBARAHe piped;--and all ye danced and fled away!He piped;--and brought me back my wandering wits,And gave me safe unto my Love again,--My Love I had forgotten. . . . PIPERSo! MICHAEL[with conviction]Truly said. BARBARA[proudly]  Michael. JACOBUSWho is he, pray? BARBARAMy own true love. PETER the Cobbler  Now, is that all his name? BARBARAIt is enough. JACOBUS  --She's mad.  Shall these things be? ALL  (  The Children!  The Children!  (  Where are the Children?  (  Piper!  Pi-per!  Piper! PIPER[sternly]  Quiet you.  And hear me.I came to bring good tidings.  In good faith,Of mine own will, I came.--And like a thiefYou haled me hither.--[They hang upon his words]  . . . Your children--live. ALL  (  Thank God!  I knew, I knew!  (  We could not think them lost.  (  Bewitched!  Oh, but they live!--  (  Piper!--O Piper! PETER the CobblerThey're spell-bound,--mark me! PIPER  Ay, they are,--spell-bound:Fast bound by all the hardness of your hearts;_Caged,--in the iron of your money-lust_-- ALL  (  No, no, not all!  Not I!  Not mine, not mine!  (  No, no,--it is not true. PIPERYour blasphemies,--your cunning and your Fear. ALL  (  No, no!--What can we do?  (  News, Piper, news!  (  Where are your ridings, Piper? PIPERNow hear me.  You did make Jacobus swearTo give his child.--What recks it, how he lose her?--Either to Holy Church--_against her will_!--Or to this man,--so that he give her up!He swore to you.  And she hath pledged her faith.She is fast wed.--Jacobus shall not have her.He breaks all bargains; and for such as he,You suffer.--Will you bear it? ALL  No, no, no! PIPERThen she who was "Proud Barbara" doth wedMichael-the-Sword-Eater.--The pledge shall stand.Shall it? ALL  (  It stands.  (  Ay, ay! PIPERYour word! ALL  (  We swear.  We answer for him.  (  So much for Jacobus! AXEL the SmithAn' if yon fellow like an honest trade,I'll take him!--I'll make swords![Cheers.  Michael is happy.] ALLQuick, quick!--Our children.--Piper!--Tell us all! PIPER'T is well begun.--Now have I come to say:There is one child I may bring back to you,--The first. ALL[in an uproar]  (  Mine--mine!  Let it be mine!  (  Ours'--All of them!  Now!  (  _Mine--mine--mine!--mine_! PIPER[unmoved]  --Oh, Hamelin to the end!Which of you longed the most, and dared the most?Which of you-- [He searches the crowd anxiously with his eyes.] ALL  (  I!  I!  I!  (  We searched the hills!  (  We prayed four days!  (  We fasted twenty hours--  (  Mine!  Mine!  (  Mine--mine--mine--mine! PIPER  Not yet.--They all do liveUnder a spell,--deep in a hollow hill.They sleep, and wake; and lead a charmed life.But first of all,--one child shall come again.[He scans the crowd still]Where is the wife--of Kurt, the Councillor? ALL[savagely]_No, mine, mine, mine_! MARTIN'S WIFEWhat, that lame boy of hers? PIPERWhere is the wife of Kurt? PETER the Cobbler AND OTHERS  --Veronika?The foreign woman?  She is lying ill:Sore-stricken yonder--[Pointing to the house.] PIPER[gladly]  Bid her come, look out! [The crowd moves confusedly towards KURT'S house.  The PIPER tooapproaches, calling] Ho,--ho, within there! [ANSELM, the priest, appears in the doorway with uplifted hand,commanding silence.  He is pale and stern.  At sight of his facethe PIPER, falters. ANSELM  Silence here!--Good peopleWhat means this? PIPER  I have tidings for--the wifeOf Kurt--the Councillor. ANSELMYou are too late. PIPERBid her--look out! ANSELM[solemnly]Her soul is passing, now. [The PIPER falls back stricken and speechless.--The crowd, seeinghim humanly overwhelmed, grows brave. MARTIN'S WIFE'Tis he has done it! HANS the Butcher  --Nay, it is God's will.Poor soul! PETER the Sacristan[fearfully]Don't anger him!  'T was Kurt the SyndicWith his bad bargain. AXEL the Smith  Do not cross the Piper! MARTINNay, but he's spent.  He's nought to fear.--Look there.Mark how he breathes!  Upon him!  Help, help, ho!--Thou piping knave! OTHERSTie--chain him!--Kill him!--Kill him![They surround him.  He thrusts them off.] PETER the Cobbler and OTHERS  (  Bind him, but do not kill him!--Oh, beware!  (  What is he saying?--Peace. PIPER[brokenly]  The wife of Kurt!Off! what can you do?--Oh!  I came, I cameHere, full of peace, and with a heart of love;--To give--but now that one live Soul of allIs gone!--No, no!  --_I say she shall not die_!_She shall not_! ANSELM  Hush!--She is in the hands of God.She is at peace. PIPER  No, never!  Let me by![ANSELM bars the threshold and steps out.] ANSELMThou froward fool!--Wouldst rend with tears againThat shriven breath?  And drag her back to sorrow?It is the will of God. PIPER  --And I say No! ANSELMWho dare dispute-- PIPER  I dare! ANSELM  With death?--With God? PIPERI know His will, for once!  She shall not die.She must come back, and live!--_Veronika_! [He calls up to the lighted window.  The people stand aghast:ANSELM bars the threshold. I come, I come!  I bring your Own to you!Listen, Veronika! [He feels for his pipe.  It is gone.--Hisface shows dismay, for a moment] Where?--Where? PEOPLE  (  He's lost the pipe.--He's hiding it!  (  He cannot pipe them back!  'tis gone--'tis gone.--  (  No, 'tis to save his life.--It is for time. PIPER[to himself]--'T is but a voice.  What matter?-- CROWD  (  Seize him--  (  Bind him! PIPER[to them]Hush![Passionately he stretches his arms towards the window. ANSELMPeace, for this parting Soul! PIPER[with fixed eyes]  _It shall not go_.[To the Window]Veronika!--Ah, listen!--wife of Kurt._He comes . . . he comes!  Open thine eyes a moment_!_Blow the faint fire within thy heart.  He comes_!Thy longing brings him;--ay, _and mine,--and mine_!Heed not these grave-makers, Veronika.Live, live, and laugh once more!--_Oh! do you hear_?Look, how you have to waken all these dead,That walk about you!--Open their dim eyes;Sing to them with your heart, Veronika,As I am piping, far away, outside!Waken them,--change them!  Show them how to long,To reach their arms as you do, for the stars,And fold them in.  Stay but one moment;--stay,And thine own Child shall draw thee back againDown here, to mother him,--mother us all!_Oh, do you listen?--Do not try to answer_,--I hear!--I hear. . . . [A faint sound of piping comes from the distance.--The PIPER isfirst watchful, then radiant.--The burghers are awe-struck, as itsounds nearer. BARBARAListen! MICHAEL  His very tune, [The PIPER faces front with fixed, triumphant eyes above the crowd. MARTIN'S WIFE  O Lord, have mercy!The Pipe is coming to him, through the air! ALL'T is coming to the Piper ;--we are lost.--The Pipe is coming, coming through the air! [The PIPER, with a sudden gesture, commands silence.  He bounds away(centre), and disappears.  The people, spell-bound with terror,murmur and fray. ANSELM_Retro me, Sathanas_! [KURT the Syndic appears on the threshold behind ANSELM, whose armhe touches, whispering.--Their faces are wonder-struck with hopeand awe. HANS the Butcher[to the others, pointing]'T is Kurt the Syndic. AXEL the SmithThen she lives!-- HANS' WIFE  Look there! OTHERSLook, look!  The casement! . . . [The casement of the lighted window opens wide and slowly.--Reenterthe PIPER with JAN in his arms.  The little boy holds the Pipe, andsmiles about with tranquil happiness.  The PIPER, radiant with joy,lifts him high, looking toward VERONIKA'S window.--The awe-struckpeople point to the open casement. VERONIKA'S two white bands reach out; then she herself appears, pale,shining with ecstasy. JAN_'Tis Mother_! [The PIPER lifts him still before the window, gazing up.  Then hesprings upon the bench (outside the lower window) and gives JAN intothe arms of VERONIKA.--KURT and ANSELM how their heads.  A hush.--Then JAN looks down from the window-seat. PIPER[to him, smiling wisely]And all the others? JANThey were all asleep. PIPERI'll waken them![He takes his pipe.--An uproar of joy among the burghers.] AXEL the Smith, HANS the Butcher, ALL  (  Bring lights,--bring lights!  (  Oh, Piper--Oh, my lambs!  (  The children!--The children! [Some rush out madly; others go into their houses for lights; someare left on their knees, weeping for joy. The PIPER sounds a few notes; then lifts his hand and listens,smiling.--Uproar in the distance.--A great harking of dogs;--shoutsand cheers; then the high, sweet voices of the Children. The piping is drowned in cries of joy.  The sun comes out, stillrosy, in a flood of light.  The crowd rushes in.  Fat burghers hugeach other, and laugh and cry.  They are all younger, their facesbloom, as by a miracle. The Children pour in.  Some are carried, some run hand-in-hand.Everywhere women embrace their own.  KURT has his sons.--CHEAT-THE-DEVILcomes, with a daisy-chain around his neck, all smiles. An uproar of light and faces. HANS the ButcherThe treasure for the Piper! ALL  Ay, ay, Piper! HANS the ButcherThe thousand guilders! PIPER  Give them Michael there,For all us three.  I hate to carry things;--Saving out one![He waves his hand to JAN in the window.--VERONIKA appears behindhim, shining with new life.  JAN leans out and points to the ground._Heja_! What now?--[Picking up one of JAN'S winged shoes.] HANS' WIFE  Look! Look!--And wings upon it!  Mercy, what a shoe.--Don't give it back.--The child will fly away! PIPERNo, no![Looking up at the window soothingly.]He only wanted one to show-- JANTo Mother!--See.[Showing her his other foot, joyously] PIPER[to him]  And this,--wilt leave it here?Here--with-- JANThe Lonely Man!  Oh, make Him smile! [The PIPER crosses to the Shrine, with the little shoe, and hangsit up there; then he turns towards the window, waving his hand. CHILDRENWhere are you going? . . .[They run and cling.] PIPERAh, the high-road now! CHILDRENOh! why? PIPER  I have to find somebody there.Yes, now and every day, and everywhereThe wide world over.--So: good-night, good-morning,Good-by!  There's so much piping left to do,--I must be off, and pipe. CHILDREN  Oh! why? PIPER  I promised,Look you! . . . CHILDRENWho is it? PIPERWhy,--the Lonely Man. [He waves them farewells and goes.  The Children dance and laughand sparkle.  Through the hundred sounds of joy, there comes afar-off piping.  THE END 

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przysłano: 5 marca 2010

Peabody Josephine Preston

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