GUDMUND. [Putting up the phial again.]
That I found it was well for them all.
In three days more was our voyage ended;
Then I fled, by my faithful men attended.
For I knew right well, in the royal hall,
That Audun subtly would work my fall,—
Aye, but at Solhoug he
Cannot harm you. All as of old will be.
All? Nay, Margit—you then were free.
I? Nay, I meant naught. My brain
Is wildered; but ah, I am blithe and fain
To be, as of old, with you sisters twain.
But tell me,—Signe—?
MARGIT. [Points smiling towards the door on the left.]
She comes anon.
To greet her kinsman she needs must don
Her trinkets—a task that takes time, ’tis plain.
I must see—I must see if she knows me again.
[He goes out to the left.
[Following him with her eyes.] How fair and manlike he is! [With a sigh.] There is little likeness ’twixt him and— [Begins putting things in order on the table, but presently stops.] “You then were free,” he said. Yes, then! [A short pause.] ’Twas a strange tale, that of the Princess who— She held another dear, and then— Aye, those women of far-off lands— I have heard it before—they are not weak as we are; they do not fear to pass from thought to deed. [Takes up a goblet which stands on the table.] ’Twas in this beaker that Gudmund and I, when he went away, drank to his happy return. ’Tis well-nigh the only heirloom I brought with me to Solhoug. [Putting the goblet away in a cupboard.] How soft is this summer day; and how light it is in here! So sweetly has the sun not shone for three long years.
[SIGNE, and after her GUDMUND, enters from the left.
SIGNE. [Runs laughing up to MARGIT.]
Ha, ha, ha! He will not believe that ’tis I!
MARGIT. [Smiling to GUDMUND.]
You see: while in far-off lands you strayed,
She, too, has altered, the little maid.
Aye truly! But that she should be—
’Tis a marvel in very deed.
[Takes both SIGNE’s hands and looks at her.
Yet, when I look in these eyes so blue,
The innocent child-mind I still can read—
Yes, Signe, I know that ’tis you!
I needs must laugh when I think how oft
I have thought of you perched on my shoulder aloft
As you used to ride. You were then a child;
Now you are a nixie, spell-weaving, wild.
SIGNE. [Threatening with her finger.]