The Unicorn from the Stars

Excerpts from: “The Unicorn From The Stars”
A dramatic play by Lady Gregory and William B. Yeats
Copyright 1904

Thomas Hearne. . . . . a coach builder.
Martin Hearne. . . . . his nephew.

Martin is a young man who is deeply connected to the spiritual realms. He works with his uncle, Thomas, building coaches in England during the 19th century.

Martin has visions and falls into deep trances. He sees the changes that will come to Earth. He sees the thousand riders on the unicorns from the stars.

THOMAS: “He used to be queer as a child, going asleep in the fields and coming back with talk of white horses he saw, and bright people like angels or whatever they were. But I mended that. I taught him to recognize stones beyond angels with a few strokes of a rod. I would never give in to visions or to trances.”

MARTIN: “There were horses…white horses rushing by, with white, shining riders…there was a horse without a rider, and someone caught me up and put me upon him, and we rode away, with the wind, like the wind…”

FATHER JOHN: “That is strange, that is strange. What is it that brings to mind…I heard it in some place, Monocoros di Astris, the Unicorn from the Stars.”

FATHER JOHN: […] “The unicorns…what did the French monk tell me…strength they meant…virginal strength, a rushing, lasting, tireless strength.”

MARTIN: “You might help me to remember that vision I had this morning, to understand it. The memory of it has slipped from me. Wait; it is coming back, little by little. I know that I saw the unicorns trampling, and then a figure, a many-changing figure, holding some bright thing. I knew something was going to happen or to be said…something that would make my whole life strong and beautiful like the rushing of the unicorns, and then, and then…”

MARTIN: “To destroy…to overthrow all that comes between us and God, between us and that shining country. To break the wall, Andrew, the thing, whatever it is that comes between, but where to begin?…”

MARTIN: “We will go out against the world and break it and unmake it. We are the army of the Unicorn from the Stars! We will trample it to pieces. We will consume the world, we will burn it away.”

MARTIN: “I have been beyond the earth, in paradise, in that happy townland. I have seen the shining people. They were all doing one thing or another, but not one of them was at work. All that they did was but the overflowing of their idleness, and their days were a dance bred of the secret frenzy of their hearts, or a battle where the sword made a sound that was like laughter.”

MARTIN: […] “The soul of man is of the imperishable substance of the stars!”

MARTIN: “There on the mountain, a thousand white unicorns trampling; a thousand riders with their swords drawn…the swords clashing! Oh, the sound of the swords, the sound of the clashing of the swords!

Trifid Nebula courtesy Hubble Space Telescope (Click on image for larger view)

Trifid Nebula
courtesy Hubble Space Telescope

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