You are sick!
MARGIT. [Bursting into laughter.]
Ha, ha!—Let me laugh! ’Tis
To laugh when the heart is in laughing mood!
I see that you still have the same wild soul
As of old—
MARGIT. [With sudden seriousness.]
Nay, let not that vex your mind,
’Tis only at midnight it mocks control;
By day I am timid as any hind.
How tame I have grown, you yourself must say,
When you think on the women in lands far away—
Of that fair Princess—ah, she was wild!
Beside her lamblike am I and mild.
She did not helplessly yearn and brood,
She would have acted; and that—
You remind me; Straightway I’ll cast away
What to me is valueless after this day—
[Takes out the phial.
The phial! You meant—?
I thought it might be
At need a friend that should set me free
Should the King’s men chance to lay hands on me.
But from to-night it has lost its worth;
Now will I fight all the kings of earth,
Gather my kinsfolk and friends to the strife,
And battle right stoutly for freedom and life.
[Is about to throw the phial against a rock.
MARGIT. [Seizing his arm.]
Nay, hold! Let me have it—
First tell me why?
I’d fain fling it down to the neckan hard by,
Who so often has made my dull hours fleet
With his harping and songs, so strange and sweet.
Give it me!
[Takes the phial from his hand.
[Feigns to throw it into the river.
GUDMUND. [Goes to the right, and looks down into the ravine.]
Have you thrown it away?
MARGIT. [Concealing the phial.]
Aye, surely! You saw—
[Whispers as she goes towards the house.
Now God help and spare
What would you?
Teach me, I pray,
How to interpret the ancient lay
They sing of the church in the valley there:
A gentle knight and a lady fair,
They loved each other well.
That very day on her bier she lay
He on his sword-point fell.
They buried her by the northward spire,
And him by the south kirk wall;
And theretofore grew neither bush nor briar
In the hallowed ground at all.
But next spring from their coffins twain
Two lilies fair upgrew—
And by and by, o’er the roof-tree high,
They twined and they bloomed the whole year through.
How read you the riddle?