CHRISTUS, going up the mountain.WHO do the people say I am?
JOHN. Some say
|That thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias;|
|And others Jeremiah.|
JAMES. Or that one
|Of the old Prophets is arisen again.|
CHRISTUS.But who say ye I am?
PETER. Thou art the Christ!
|Thou art the Son of God!|
CHRISTUS. Blessed art thou,
|Simon Barjona! Flesh and blood hath not|
|Revealed it unto thee, but even my Father,|
|Which is in Heaven. And I say unto thee|
|That thou art Peter; and upon this rock|| 10|
|I build my Church, and all the gates of Hell|
|Shall not prevail against it. But take heed|
|Ye tell to no man that I am the Christ.|
|For I must go up to Jerusalem,|
|And suffer many things, and be rejected|| 15|
|Of the Chief Priests, and of the Scribes and Elders,|
|And must be crucified, and the third day|
|Shall rise again!|
PETER. Be it far from thee, Lord!
|This shall not be!|
CHRISTUS. Get thee behind me, Satan!
|Thou savorest not the things that be of God,|| 20|
|But those that be of men! If any will|
|Come after me, let him deny himself,|
|And daily take his cross, and follow me.|
|For whosoever will save his life shall lose it,|
|And whosoever will lose his life shall find it.|| 25|
|For wherein shall a man be profited|
|If he shall gain the whole world, and shall lose|
|Himself or be a castaway?|
JAMES, after a long pause. Why doth
|The Master lead us up into this mountain?|
PETER.He goeth up to pray.
JOHN. See, where He standeth
|Above us on the summit of the hill!|
|His face shines as the sun! and all his raiment|
|Exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller|
|On earth can white them! He is not alone;|
|There are two with Him there; two men of eld,|| 35|
|Their white beards blowing on the mountain air,|
|Are talking with him.|
JAMES. I am sore afraid!
PETER.Who and whence are they?
JOHN. Moses and Elias!
PETER.O Master! it is good for us to be here!
|If thou wilt, let us make three tabernacles;|| 40|
|For thee one, and for Moses and Elias!|
JOHN.Behold a bright cloud sailing in the sun!
|It overshadows us. A golden mist|
|Now hides them from us, and envelops us|
|And all the mountain in a luminous shadow!|| 45|
|I see no more. The nearest rocks are hidden.|
VOICE from the cloud.Lo! this is my beloved Son! Hear Him!
PETER.It is the voice of God. He speaketh to us,
|As from the burning bush He spake to Moses!|
JOHN.The cloud-wreaths roll away. The veil is lifted;
|We see again. Behold! He is alone.|
|It was a vision that our eyes beheld,|
|And it hath vanished into the unseen.|
CHRISTUS, coming down from the mountain.I charge ye, tell the vision unto no one,
|Till the Son of Man be risen from the dead!|| 55|
PETER, aside.Again He speaks of it! What can it mean,
|This rising from the dead?|
JAMES. Why say the Scribes
|Elias must first come?|
CHRISTUS. He cometh first,
|Restoring all things. But I say to you,|
|That this Elias is already come.|| 60|
|They knew him not, but have done unto him|
|Whateer they listed, as is written of him.|
PETER, aside.It is of John the Baptist He is speaking.
JAMES.As we descend, see, at the mountains foot,
|A crowd of people; coming, going, thronging|| 65|
|Round the disciples, that we left behind us,|
|Seeming impatient, that we stay so long.|
PETER.It is some blind man, or some paralytic
|That waits the Masters coming to be healed.|
JAMES.I see a boy, who struggles and demeans him
|As if an unclean spirit tormented him!|
A CERTAIN MAN, running forward.Lord! I beseech thee, look upon my son.
|He is mine only child; a lunatic,|
|And sorely vexed; for oftentimes he falleth|
|Into the fire and oft into the water.|| 75|
|Wherever the dumb spirit taketh him|
|He teareth him. He gnasheth with his teeth,|
|And pines away. I spake to thy disciples|
|That they should cast him out, and they could not.|
CHRISTUS.O faithless generation and perverse!
|How long shall I be with you, and suffer you?|
|Bring thy son hither.|
BYSTANDERS. How the unclean spirit
|Seizes the boy, and tortures him with pain!|
|He falleth to the ground and wallows, foaming!|
|He cannot live.|
CHRISTUS. How long is it ago
|Since this came unto him?|
THE FATHER. Even of a child.
|Oh, have compassion on us, Lord, and help us,|
|If thou canst help us.|
CHRISTUS. If thou canst believe.
|For unto him that verily believeth,|
|All things are possible.|
THE FATHER. Lord, I believe!
|Help thou mine unbelief!|
CHRISTUS. Dumb and deaf spirit,
|Come out of him, I charge thee, and no more|
|Enter thou into him!|
The boy utters a loud cry of pain, and then lies still. How motionless
|He lieth there. No life is left in him.|
|His eyes are like a blind mans, that see not.|| 95|
|The boy is dead!|
OTHERS. Behold! the Master stoops,
|And takes him by the hand; and lifts him up.|
|He is not dead.|
DISCIPLES. But one word from those lips,
|But one touch of that hand, and he is healed!|
|Ah, why could we not do it?|
THE FATHER. My poor child!
|Now thou art mine again. The unclean spirit|
|Shall never more torment thee! Look at me!|
|Speak unto me! Say that thou knowest me!|
DISCIPLES to CHRISTUS, departing.Good Master, tell us, for what reason was it
|We could not cast him out?|
CHRISTUS. Because of your unbelief!