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It is now
like a wretched, puling craven, rises up and says : "Why, then, if matters be so, let us e'en make the best of it !' Fortunately for the little whiners, destiny grants them no glimpse of the dread truth; more fortunately still for the world, those who do see into its terror are strengthened and nerved by the view, and they rise and go forth bravely into life: and are true-hearted and merry and glad. He who in olden times passed through the terrors of Orphic and Ionaic and Cabiric mysteries, where he was taught the whole fearful secret of worldly agony, came not forth into weeping, but into wild delight and genial pleasure and glad, golden Truth ; but it was not the weak tyros and puling obstinates who passed this mighty ordeal.
It is not unlikely that by this time some are beginning to ask impatiently, "What in the name of common-sense is this Joyousness, this Hilariter philosophy which you preach so obscurely? To this I can only answer: Friends, it is a thing which will be first fully appreciated in the age to come. in its beginning, as it will be in its fulness, a social development, and one which will require a thorough physical and moral training for the young, as well as mere intellectual cramming; and this latter must not be done at the rate of eight hours per diem, in unventilated, feverish school-rooms. Out of such education comes readily at the age of puberty, a love for morbid melancholy and unhealthy romance. Ay! it will require many another physical and metaphysical reform, now only in the bud. Therefore, you may see that the first principle of Joyousness is Health. Rely on it, that the first step toward purity of mind, toward all that is absolutely right, is a sound body. He who is perfectly well, with the ruddy glow of health in his cheek, firmly braced by vigorous exercise, his frame suffering from no early excesses, his blood untainted by no stimulants, is in the best condition to perceive the Beautiful. I know that the whole world has been diseased for thousands of years. I know that during its disease, it has had beautiful, delicate dreams; pictures by Fra Angelico, Orphic Hymns, beatific visions, Gothic sentiment, Edgar A. Poetry, and whole mythologies of saints and angels, Bhagvat Gheetas and Fenelon fancies. Yet the tender and delicate dreams all came from an unsound state of mind. There will yet come a Northern breeze, which will blow their spirit far away, leaving their mere forms to be regarded as curiosities; not respected as pure and healthy results of Nature.
'I dwell in the province of Languedoc,
Near the sunny coast of Spain; My couch has been the solid rock,
And my life a fast and a pain.
“A short month since, as alone by night,
To the Holy ONE I prayed, Around, above shone a rosy light,
And a voice from heaven said:
"Go forth from the sunny plains of France,
'Neath the lowering German sky, To RITTER HEINRICH my message bear
Repent, Sir Knight, or die.'
• I left my home, and have travelled long
To obey the holy word,
The message of my LORD.'
'Ha! dar'st thou thus ?' cried HEINRICH,
And his face with rage grew pale, None ever threatened HEINRICH,
And lived to tell the tale.
Ho! warder, bring the dungeon-keys,
And you, my comrades brave,
On the borders of the grave.'
The monk stepped back, from his vest he drew
A cross with carvings rare, The image of the CRUCIFIED
Held up aloft in air.
* Ha!' HEINRICH cried, 'think'st this shall save!'
And his lip grew white with ire :
Hurled the image in the fire.
* Thus, foolish priest, thy LORD I mock,
And thus His message spurn.'
For the cross refused to burn.
The menials seized the monk, whose cheek
Ne'er blanched or quailed with dread; “My Master waits with a martyr's crown,'
In glorying tones he said.
They led him 'neath the arches old,
And down the winding stairs, Through corridors made sacred by
The breath of captives' prayers.
They reached, at length, a dungeon-pit,
Down in the deepest gloom; No living man had ever reached
The bottom of that room.
They bound the friar then, hand and foot;
Yet ere they cast him o'er,
Stood gazing down before.
What there he saw, no mortal knows,
For with a fearful cry, He staggered backward, murmuring: 'Repent, Sir Knight, or die.'
They cast the monk into the pit,
Clad in grey vest and cowl,
On RITTER HEINRICH's soul.
The storm had passed, and the country lay
Long years have fled; the castle
Lies in a ruined pile,
Tarry a little while,
Which flows adown the rock,
And the Monk of Languedoc.