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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays.

(SHAWN BRUIN goes over to her.)

SHAWN BRUIN
Beloved, do not leave me! 
Remember when I met you by the well
And took your hand in mine and spoke of love.

MARIE BRUIN
Dear face!  Dear voice!

THE CHILD
Come, newly married bride!

MARIE BRUIN
I always loved her world—­and yet—­and yet—­

(Sinks into his arms.)

THE CHILD (from the door)
White bird, white bird, come with me, little bird.

MARIE BRUIN
She calls to me!

THE CHILD
Come with me, little bird!

MARIE BRUIN
I can hear songs and dancing!

SHAWN BRUIN
Stay with me!

MARIE BRUIN
I think that I would stay—­and yet—­and yet—­

THE CHILD
Come, little bird with crest of gold!

MARIE BRUIN (very softly)
And yet—­

THE CHILD
Come, little bird with silver feet!

(MAIRE dies, and the child goes.)

SHAWN BRUIN
She is dead!

                      BRIDGET BRUIN

Come from that image:  body and soul are gone. 
You have thrown your arms about a drift of leaves
Or bole of an ash tree changed into her image.

                      FATHER HART

Thus do the spirits of evil snatch their prey
Almost out of the very hand of God;
And day by day their power is more and more,
And men and women leave old paths, for pride
Comes knocking with thin knuckles on the heart.

                        A VOICE (singing outside)
      The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
      The wind blows over the lonely of heart,
      And the lonely of heart is withered away
      While the faeries dance in a place apart,
      Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,
      Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;
      For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
      Of a land where even the old are fair,
      And even the wise are merry of tongue;
      But I heard a reed of Coolaney say,
      “When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
      The lonely of heart is withered away.”

    (The song is taken up by many voices, who sing loudly,
      as if in triumph.  Some of the voices seem to come from
      within the house.
)

[CURTAIN]

THE RIDING TO LITHEND[1]

Gordon Bottomley

[Footnote 1:  This play is reprinted by permission of and by arrangement with Constable and Company, Limited, London.]

CHARACTERS

GUNNAR HAMUNDSSON
HALLGERD LONGCOAT, his wife
RANNVEIG, his mother
ODDNY, ASTRID, and STEINVOR, Hallgerd’s housewomen
ORMILD, a woman thrall
BIARTEY, JOFRID, and GUDFINN, beggar-women
GIZUR THE WHITE, MORD VALGARDSSON, THORGRIM THE
    EASTERLING, THORBRAND THORLEIKSSON and ASBRAND
    his brother, AUNUND, THORGEIB, and HROALD,
    riders
MANY OTHER RIDERS AND VOICES OF RIDERS

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