[Scene III. The blogosphere. The lengthofwords web site.]
Enter Sean, holding a human skull.
Sean. Woe strikes as a shadow, for no man
May master grief without its hand upon his soul.
All men know darkness, yet darkness knows
That only man may hold aloft the torch of fear.
Enter a Visitor.
Vis. Good sir, have you not emerged from this vile depression?
Sean. Wise men counsel patience. I, though little more than a fool,
Seek the ancients' example, and see that mortal men listen.
Vis. Be well then, and see that illness does no more to foolish minds.
Exit Visitor.Sean. Would that I know what manner of mind would fall
Beneath the mad blows of weakness! [Raises skull]
Does not every man seek to make his mark in a temporal world
And leave death's bed with some trace of passing
That all would know his steps, his breath, his words?
Lies are told by baser men, who shake and shiver and steal
And blow away when Aeolus's winds take land and all.
Does not a man have heart? Does not a man have mind?
Should he know none of fear and stealth that felled far lesser men?
I labored over my words; It is my right to keep them from criminal ways
Yet not shelter them from the eyes of the righteous.
[Lowers skull.] I am no rogue. I make my own words.
Those words I take from others I make due acknowledgement
Lest their spirits hound me in my weakness.
I welcome them to my home. I say to them, pray
If I transgress upon their noble efforts, then let me be damned
And let me remove the words to burn upon the ashes of my folly.
Vis. [Offstage] What of the weaker ones? Do you deny them passage?
Sean. I deny nothing.
But they must know that elder patience still has its threshold
And words, though paltry, are still of value and owned.
Does man not have a mind? Does man not have a soul? [Clutches skull.]
Does ethics trade with morals in ducats and gold?
I open my words to those who would ask for them.
They must resolve weakness with promises of fair use;
Such bravery banishes demons of context to the nethers.
But those who take without question, those who steal without song,
Those who would harm my words by hair or breadth
Deserve nothing but denial. There are enemies around us
Who cloy their promises with empty rights and sundered laws.
It pays to know what lies in their hearts.
Vis. [Offstage] And of their minds?
Sean. [Opens skull, to reveal nothing inside.] What mind?
For any man who would steal such words
Must not have mind nor words of his own.
If not now, then never. Woe follows the man who cannot
Make his mark upon a world that detests him.
The world makes its mark on him, and is lost.