The Feast at Solhoug eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about The Feast at Solhoug.

BENGT.

[Rising.] I like her well.  It repents me not a whit that I took her to wife, though of heritage she owned no more than yonder goblet and the brooches of her wedding gown.

     [He goes to the table at the window and takes the goblet.
     [A HOUSE-CARL enters hurriedly and with scared looks, from
       the back.

HOUSE-CARL.

[Calls.] Sir Bengt, Sir Bengt! haste forth with all the speed you can!  Knut Gesling with an armed train is drawing near the house.

BENGT.

  [Putting down the goblet.] Knut Gesling?  Who brings the tidings?

HOUSE-CARL.

Some of your guests espied him on the road beneath, and hastened back to warn you.

BENGT.

  E’en so.  Then will I—!  Fetch me my grandfather’s battle-axe!

     [He and the HOUSE-CARL go out at the back.
     [Soon after, GUDMUND and SIGNE enter quietly and cautiously
       by the door at the back.

SIGNE. [In muffled tones.]

It must then, be so!

GUDMUND. [Also softly.]

Necessity’s might
Constrains us.

SIGNE.

Oh! thus under cover of night
To steal from the valley where I was born?
[Dries her eyes.

Yet shalt thou hear no plaint forlorn. 
’Tis for thy sake my home I flee;
Wert thou not outlawed, Gudmund dear,
I’d stay with my sister.

GUDMUND.

Only to be
Ta’en by Knut Gesling, with bow and spear,
Swung on the croup of his battle-horse,
And made his wife by force.

SIGNE.

Quick, let us flee.  But whither go?

GUDMUND.

Down by the fiord a friend I know;
He’ll find us a ship.  O’er the salt sea foam
We’ll sail away south to Denmark’s bowers. 
There waits you there a happy home;
Right joyously will fleet the hours;
The fairest of flowers they bloom in the shade
Of the beech-tree glade.

SIGNE. [Bursts into tears.]

Farewell, my poor sister!  Like my mother tender
Thou hast guarded the ways my feet have trod,
Hast guided my footsteps, aye praying to God,
The Almighty, to be my defender.—­
Gudmund—­here is a goblet filled with mead;
Let us drink to her; let us wish that ere long
Her soul may again be calm and strong,
And that God may be good to her need.

     [She takes the goblet into her hands.

GUDMUND.

Aye, let us drain it, naming her name!
     [Starts.

Stop!
     [Takes the goblet from her.

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The Feast at Solhoug from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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