MARGIT. [Choking back her tears.]
Aye, of old—!
GUDMUND. [Looks compassionately at her, is silent for a little, then says in a subdued voice.
Shall we do as your husband said?
Pass the time with talk of the dear old days?
No, no, not of them!
Their memory’s dead.
My mind unwillingly backward strays.
Tell rather of what your life has been,
Of what in the wide world you’ve done and seen.
Adventures you’ve lacked not, well I ween—
In all the warmth and the space out yonder,
That heart and mind should be light, what wonder?
In the King’s high hall I found not the joy
That I knew by my own poor hearth as a boy.
MARGIT. [Without looking at him.]
While I, as at Solhoug each day flits past,
Thank Heaven that here has my lot been cast.
’Tis well if for this you can thankful be—
Why not? For am I not honoured and free?
Must not all folk here obey my hest?
Rule I not all things as seemeth me best?
Here I am first, with no second beside me;
And that, as you know, from of old satisfied me.
Did you think you would find me weary and sad?
Nay, my mind is at peace and my heart is glad.
You might, then, have spared your journey here
To Solhoug; ’twill profit you little, I fear.
What, mean you, Dame Margit?
I understand all—
I know why you come to my lonely hall.
And you welcome me not, though you know why I came?
[Bowing and about to go.
God’s peace and farewell, then, my noble dame!
To have stayed in the royal hall, indeed,
Sir Knight, had better become your fame.
In the royal hall? Do you scoff at my need?
Your need? You are ill to content, my friend;
Where, I would know, do you think to end?
You can dress you in velvet and cramoisie,
You stand by the throne, and have lands in fee—
Do you deem, then, that fortune is kind to me?
You said but now that full well you knew
What brought me to Solhoug—
I told you true!
Then you know what of late has befallen me;—
You have heard the tale of my outlawry?