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RESURRECTION MORN.-ELLEN MURRAY.

(COPYRIGHT, 1891.)

PERSONS REPRESENTED. Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James), Salome, Joanna.

Andrew, Philip, James, Bartholomew, Lebbeus, Jude, Matthew. Scene I.- A low parapet of boards, or pasteboard, facing the

audience. Inside, piles of cushions. Magdalene sits on the cushions, facing the east, looking out steadily. Salome reclining, with face hidden on the cushions. Mary sits apart, face hidden in her hands. Dresses are blue skirts, or striped blue and white, over sacque of darker blue; embroidered scarf at waist; large while

cashmere squares as veils.
Magdulene. Salome, waken! waken! Dost thou sieep?
Salome (rising, and wiping off the tears).

How could I sleep with such a weight down pressed,
A cloud of hopeless grief on heart and brain,

The night a tenfold night.
Magdalene.

Come, let us rise,
And seek His grave with dawn.
Salome ( pointing up).

Nay, Magdalene, 'Tis the midnight. The moon rides clear in heaven. Magdalene ( wringing her hands ).

There is no moon, no dawn. All, all is night.
All evil spirits gibber in tue dark,

Oh, longest, saddest, darkest, blackest night!
Salome (holding Magdalene's hands).

Yes, night of Israel's hope. Oh, never more
Shall His dear voice make paradise of earth,
Or Galilean hills, out-blossoming, thrill
To feel His holy feet. Ah, never more
Shall Olivet re-echo to the shout:

Hosanna to our King."
Magdalene (hiding her face). Oh hush! Oh hush !

My heart will break. A long pause. Salome covers head in veil as before. Magdalene lifts her head and watches, then rises, calling :

Mary! Salome! rise! 'Tis time at last to seek the Master's tomb.

Salome looks up. Mary rises and looks around. Mary. There is no hint of dawn, no morning star,

Rest. Magdalene.

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Magdalene (passionately, standing with arms outstretched to the east).

I cannot rest. So dread,
So terrible this spectral moonlight lies
On that lone place, outside the city gates.
I've heard all night that strange, last cry again,
And folded arms around the rough-hewn wood

That shivered with His pang. · Could I but die !
Mary (drawing Magdalene down beside her).

Hush, Magdalene. He lieth calm and still,
All wrapped in soft, white linen. Nevermore
A breath of hate shall vex His holy ear,

Or cruel hands
Salome.

How could they dare to touch
The Holy One; we scarcely dared to look

Up to His sacred face.
A long pause. They cover their heads and abandon themselves to

grief. Magdalene throws back her veil and again watches. Magdalene (rising).

It must be day.
I go alone.
Mary (rising, coming forward with lifted hand, laying her other on
Magdalene's shoulder).

Nay,-wait-strange, far-off sounds
Move in the air. This dark before the day
Seems lit by sudden flashes and it feels
As if some wondrous secret waited near
To leap from out the dark. My heart grows light,

There must be hope somewhere.
Salome (springing up).

There! what was that ?
Mary. The earthquake.
Magdalene (wildly). Let it shake and bury us

With Him, our Lord. I hate to see the light
He cannot see. (Pointing to east.) That is the dawn.

Now come.
Salome (doubtfully). The city lies asleep; as if no guilt

Crimsoned her hands; as if no cross stood dark
Outside her gates. Those gates, no doubt, are shut.

They will not let us pass.
Magdalene.

We can but try.
Where are the spices?
Salome (picking up oriental jars and handing to others).

Here.
They pass to right wrapping veils round them. Salome raising home

finger, saying:

Move gently, lest
You rouse His grieving mother. Like a new

Heart-piercing it will be to her to wake

In this world empty, lonely, evermore.
Magdalene. And does she sleep?
Mary.

She sleeps not. All these hours
These six and thirty hours silently
She sits, as if a figure carved in stone,
Watching with steadfast, open eyes, the east.
And when John says, "My mother!" or when I
Fold loving arms around her, praying low,
“Weep, weep, dear sister, it will ease thy heart,"
She puts us gently by and says, “Hush, dear!

I wait till He shall come to comfort me."
Salome (moving on tiptoe). Let her not hear us go.
Magdalene (impatiently).

Oh! do not wait. Salome (to Mary). Yet we must stop at Herod's palace door. The lady Joanna would go with us.

[Erit. SCENE II.-A room furnished with low benches, piles of cushions,

tall water jars, etc. Three of the men on left conversing in lou tones, one pouring water into olive-wood cups, one standing, looking eastward, two sitting silent with bowed heads. Dresses, long loose dark robes, fastened by broad sashes ; white cloths, fastened round head us with eastern shepherds.

ntary, Salome, and Joanna (the latter in richly embroidered
obes with crimson sash, come on right, crying):
He's risen !
He is risen!

He's alive.
Andrew (sternly). Be quiet, women ! 'tis not fitting thus

To break upon our grief.
Salome (excited).

There is no grief In all the world. The Lord has risen indeed! Philip (annoyed). Hush, women! you are wild. James (apologizing).

They do not know What they are saying. Mary (clapping her hands softly). Yes, we know, we know

The Lord has risen. From His empty grave

We have come, running.
Bartholomew (shaking his head). They're distraught with Fou.
Joanna (stretching clasped hands upwards).

Nay, wild with gladness. All the air's ablaze
With glory. All the stones are singing out.

The clouds dance up the sky. He lives! He lives! Matthew (astonished, to others). What can they mean?

Mary (more calmly).

The Lord has risen again.
Why can you not believe us ?
Lebbeus (entering from left). What is this?

They say the Lord has risen. They have been
And found an empty tomb. (Shaking his head dejectedly.'

Too well I know
What this means. In their bitterness and spite
Our enemies have broken on the tomb
And dragged that cold and sacred form away

To vent on it their rage.
Jude (authoritatively).

Not possible,
The tomb was sealed with Pontius Pilate's seal.
A guard of Roman soldiers paced the ground.
No woman should have gone. (To the women.)

Did you not see
The guard ?
Salome.

No; there was none.
Joanna (interrupting).

Do you not mind How, on the road, we heard men's footsteps come And cowered in the shadows, while some rushed

Past us as if in flight, with clanging arms. Matthew (incredulous).

In flight! The Roman soldiers! That's a tale

None can believe.
Simon (entering). What do the women say ?
Mary. The Lord has risen. In the morning light,

He stood and smiled upon us, raised His hand

In his own way of blessing.
Simon (to the men).

This is strange.
The Magdalene came running all in tears
An hour ago, and said the tomb was robbed;
And John and Peter started off in speed

As if dread lent them wings.
James (10 the women).

Into the garden ?
Salome (the men listening eagerly with low ejaculations).

Yes, up to the tomb.
There sat two men. But never mortal man
Wore looks so calm, so strong, so merciful.
“Be not afraid!” they said; we trembled so
As that strange glory lit each face and shone
With dazzling whiteness in the tomb's dark door.
"See. He is risen! Nay, He is not here,
Seek not the Living One among the dead.”

But did you go

Philip (turning is the others).

You see just how it is. The woman-heart
Has sent strange visions floating o'er the brain,

And fond, sweet fancies cheat their tearful eyes.
Mary. But then we turned away and He-yes-He,

Our Lord, our own Lord, stood upon the grass,

How could I be deceived ?
James.

Undoubtedly
They've seen a vision of Him.
Joanna. .

Nay, -Himself.
A vision cannot speak. He said, “AU Hail!"

All light were dark to that sweet smile of His.
Bartholomew. But were you near ?
Mary (holding out her hands).

We touched him, held Him. Yca,
We laid our hands upon His blessed feet.
Jude. He would have come to us.
Salome.

He bade us go
And tell you all, and bid you hasten on,

He goes before you into Galilee.
Andrew (to Jude). What if this could be true?
Jude.

An idle tale.
It is not possible.
Andrew (locking the door on the right). We must be calm,

And with strong reason guide our little band
And check these dangerous rumors. Should they reach
The high priest and his friends, the Sadducees,
We soon should go the way our Master went,
Of agony and shame. (To the women, sternly.)

Now do not speak
Of these things, lest ye trouble all our minds

With hopes that are but myths. Keep calm. Be still. Joanna. Be still?-nay-if we held our peace, the rocks

Would cry aloud the tidings. Yea, the dead
Would shout the news. The dust of centuries
Would stir beneath the earth; the souls would rusb

From paradise to speed the message on.
Women come forward to front, and speak towards, but above the

audience ; veils thrown off or backward.

(AWAKE! Rejoice !) Mary (turning eastward).

O mother of all living, Eve, awake!
O grand, pathetic mother, be consoled !
A wake and lead thy daughters in the song,-
Thy loss made good, thy Eden won again.

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