Excerpt from The Return of the Prodigal: A Monodrama A Monodrama (A room of Oriental type, with large windows wide open to the west. Men in festal attire are seated at a long table. The table is richly laid. The men have just finished their feast, but cups of wine are still before them, from which one or another sips at times. The sun is near his setting and soft light irradiates the faces. The center of the group is a handsome young man, with flowing curls of soft brown hair. But his face is bronzed and haggard, and it bears marks of dissolute life. He lifts his bowed head and seems about to speak, when suddenly the sound of singing outside is heard. It comes from a company of young men and maidens returning from the vineyards, which are dimly seen across a narrow valley, softening the sloping hillside with their trellises of green. It is the season of the vintage, and the air is sweet with the scent of grapes, and mellowing apples and pomegranates. The song that is heard is this: ) The vines that we through spring and summer tendedWith patient care, Are heavy now with purple clusters splendid, Which scent the air;But now, the long day's labor being ended, Homeward we fare.We've plucked the grapes, and in the wine vats trodden;Sweet was the foamOf spirting must, in which our feet were sodden, As honeycomb;But sweeter, flower-decked, with fresh sandals shodden.Now to come home! (As the singing gradually dies away in the distance, with a repetition of the last phrase, "Now to come home!" the young man, who has listened intently, again raises his head and begins slowly to speak.) About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.