ss="western" style="text-indent: 0.25in;">Strader:
'Tis seven years to-day since thou becam'st
The loved and dear companion of my life
And also unto me a source of light,
Which shone upon a life which formerly
Was threatened only with approaching dark.
In spirit-life I was a starving man
When thou didst first stand at my side and give
That which the world had aye withheld from me.
For long years had I striven earnestly
To probe the depths of science with my mind
To find the worth of life and goal of man.
One day I clearly had to recognize
That all this striving had been quite in vain,
For thou didst show me that man's spirit seeks
How to reveal itself through certain things
Which shunned my knowledge and my eager thought.
I met thee then amidst that company
Where Benedictus was the guide of all,
And listened to thy revelations there.
Later I saw how in Thomasius
The spirit-pupilship could work with power
Within the human soul. What thus I saw
Robbed me of faith in science and good sense,
And yet it showed me nothing at that time
Which really seemed to me intelligent.
I turned away from all the realm of thought
And went on living in an aimless way
Since life had ceased to be of worth to me.
I gave myself to technical pursuits
To bring oblivion and forgetfulness,
And lived a life of torment, till once more
I met thee; and we grew good friends.
It is but natural, that on this day
Remembrance of those old times should again
Stand out so vividly before thy soul.
I also feel a need in mine own heart
To look back once again upon those days
When we were drawn together in life's bond.
I felt the constant strengthening at that time
Within me of the power which made my soul
Able for knowledge from the spirit-worlds.
And under Felix Balde's noble lead
This power grew on thenceforward to that height
At which it stood just seven years ago.
About that time I met Capesius
One day in Felix' lonely woodland home.
A long life had he spent in deep research
And won his way to spirit-pupilship.
He greatly wished to be allowed to learn
My way of gazing on the spirit-world.
So after that I spent much time with him.
And in this house I chanced to meet with thee
And could bring healing to thy mental wounds.
And then the true light shone into my soul
Which long had only gazed upon the dark.
I saw at last what spirit is, in truth.
Thou ledd'st me on in such a way to see
What was disclosed to thee from higher worlds,
That every doubt might swiftly disappear.
All this at that time worked so much on me
That first I thought of thee as nothing else
Except a medium for the spirit's work.
It was a long while e'er I recognized
That not my mind alone hung on thy words,
Which did reveal to it its true abode;
But that my heart was taken captive too
And could no longer live without thee near.
Then didst thou tell me that which thou didst feel
And all thy words were in so strange a form;
It seemed as if thou never hadst one thought
That all the longing dwelling in thy heart
Could even hope it might be satisfied.
Thy words showed clearly that it was advice
That thou wast seeking from thy sister-soul.
Thou spakst of help which thou didst then require
And of the strengthening of thy powers of soul
Which otherwise must keep thee prison-bound.
That my soul's messenger could be by fate
Destined to be companion of my life
Lay very far from all I had in mind
When, seeking help, I showed my heart to thee.
And yet the words that heart from heart unloosed,
How soon they proved that this must be our way.
Hearts often have to point the way to fate.
And when thy heart pronounced the fateful word
My soul was flooded o'er with waves of life
Which, though I could not feel or know them then;
'Twas not till later, when my memory
Rose from the depths of my subconscious soul,
That they fulfilled themselves in rays of light.
I could know all, from what my mem'ry taught,
But could not live it then, because so much
Still held me far apart from spirit-life.
'Twas then indeed I first became aware
Of spirit in close contact with my soul.
Ne'er have I felt like that again; and yet
That knowledge gave to me a certainty
That hath illuminated all my life —
And then flowed on these seven wondrous years.
I learned to feel how e'en mechanic skill
Which now I study, is enriched by souls
Whose attitude t'ward spirit-life is right.
'Twas through the spirit-power which thou couldst give
Kindling my life that I should so perceive
The hidden world of forces whence quite suddenly
As if it had been prompted, there appeared
Before my wondering spirit, that new work
From which we now may dare to hope so much.
Thus in thy light I felt within my soul
The full awakening of all those powers
Which would have perished, had I lived alone.
This certainty of life which I had won
Let me stand upright then, just at that time
When, in such startling wise, Thomasius
Condemned before the Rose Cross brotherhood
The work of his own brain, and cast himself
Adrift, with judgment hard, just at that hour
Which could have brought him to his life's full height
This inner certainty could hold me fast
Then all the outer world seemed to reveal
Naught but a mass of contradicting facts.
Through thee alone have I gained all this power.
The spirit-revelation which thou gav'st
Brought me the sense of knowledge I had won;
And when the revelation came no more
Thou still didst stay my strength and light of soul.
a broken sentence, as if meditating deeply):
Then when the revelation came no more ...
'Tis that which often made me sorrowful.
I wondered if 'twere not deep pain to thee
To lose thy noble power of seership,
And whether thou didst suffer silently,
Lest I should grieve: and yet thy temperament
Showed thou couldst bear with calmness fate's decree
But lately thou hast seemed to me to change,
Joy no more streams from thee as heretofore
And thine eye's glowing light begins to fade.
Indeed it could not be deep pain to me
When spirit-revelation disappeared.
My fate had only changed my way of life;
Which I must needs accept with patience calm —
But now 'tis born once more, and brings great grief.
This is the first time in these seven years
I cannot fathom Theodora's mind:
For each experience of spirit-life
Was such a source of inward joy to thee.
Quite different is the revelation now. —
At first, as then, I feel myself constrained
To drive away all thought that is mine own;
But where, before, after some little time
When I achieved this inward emptiness
A gentle light did hover round my soul
And spirit-pictures wished to form themselves;
There come now unseen feelings of disgust;
Which come in such a way that I am sure
The power I feel within comes from without —
Then fear I cannot banish pours itself
Into my life and governs all my soul —
And gladly would I flee from that dread
Shape that is invisible, and yet abhorred.
It tries to reach me with its evil will
And I can only hate what is revealed.
With Theodora 'tis not possible.
They say that what one thus lives through, is but
The mirrored working of one's own soul-powers.
Yet thy soul could not show such things as these.
slowly, as if reflecting):
I know indeed that such ideas are held —
Therefore with all the power that still was mine
I sank into the spirit-world and prayed
That those same beings who so oft before
Were kind to me, would graciously reveal
How I could learn the cause of all my pain.
in broken words):
And then ... the shining Light ... came ... as before
And formed ... the image ... of an earthly man. ...
It was ... Thomasius.
overcome by the quick inrush of feelings):
... Thomasius ...
The man in whom I always have believed. ...
(Pause, then meditating painfully)
When I again recall before my soul
How he behaved towards the Mystic League.
How of himself and Ahriman he spake —
(Theodora is lost in contemplation, and stares blankly
into space, as if her spirit were absent.)
O Theodora ... what dost thou ... see now? ...