HIALTI, a Northman.
BLANID, an Irish Bondmaid.


The scene is the interior of a cottage near a misty mere and among unseen mountains on a wild night of late Autumn. In the back wall area door to the left and a long low window in the middle; the latter is shuttered on the outside, and on door and window the wind-driven rain rattles. In the middle of the left-hand wall a door leads into an outhouse; near it is a loom: toward the front of the right-hand wall another door leads to a sleeping-chamber; a settle extends along this wall and in front of it a long table is set. Two rushlights burn on the table. A round hearth is in the middle of the house; its smoke rises into a luffer which hangs from the thatched roof between two beams. The floor is thickly strewn with rushes. There are several wooden stools about the hearth, on one of which HIALTI is sitting mending harness. THORGERD is standing near the loom, spinning with a distaff.

The lass is late about; where is she now?

Let the lass be. What is the lass to you?
She is my lass to handle as I will,
My father gave her to me for my own,
And so I use her as I use my gear....
"She will not last" say you? Well, what of that?
I know gear must wear out, being well used;
Shoes must be trodden under-foot all day,
Though in the mire they go and to the mire;
The hearth-fire wastes the irons used to tend it:
I am the huswife, leave the house to me
And buy me new gear when the old is rotten.

You drive her over hard. In the cold dark,
Hours ere the thin late dawn, she was afoot,
And she has been afoot each moment since:
The butter will not come now without fire,
But I was wakened in the frosty night
By the slow moaning of her weary churn,
And when I rose she stood here without shoes,
She said you took them from her; so I sought,
And gave her them again, and lit the fire.
She dare not sleep with half your tasks undone,
But you slept and your sleep was all her rest;
Yet in her land 'tis you would be the thrall.
You shut the hens in from the storm all day,
But she must trudge with peat-mull in a swill
Up from the water-side and down all day....

Spare her and have my firing spoilt? Not I.
Had it been sodden, how could you light her fires?

You drive her over hard.

THORGERD. What is it to you?
Fodder and yoke your neats, see to your swine,
Put them to breed, and leave my stock to me.
If this is over hard, what will it be,
Last week she still could smile sometimes, so yet
She smiles too often for my happiness.
What money did the calves fetch at the fair?

Where is she now?

THORGERD. What money did the calves
Fetch at the fair last week?

HIALTI. Where is she now?

I spilt the water; she must needs draw more.

The roof-drip at the door would fill her pails.

What money did the calves fetch at the fair?

You need not ask; you had it all to hoard.

You kept some back; who bought them?

HIALTI. He who paid.

The outside door opens and, as the rain drives in, BLANID enters carrying two pails of water by a yoke. Her short-sleeved, frayed, hempen smock is dripping-wet; an old cart-strap is buckled about her middle; her ankles are bare, but her feet are covered by shapeless brogues; her matted hair is cut short, and she has an iron collar about her neck. She sets down her pails, and with difficulty shuts and bolts the door against the wind. Then she carries her pails into the outhouse; as she moves about within she is heard to sing to a tired, monotonous tune.

The bird in my heart's a-calling through a far-fled, tear-grey sea
To the soft slow hills that cherish dim waters weary for me,
Where the folk of rath and dun trail homeward silently
In the mist of the early night-fall that drips from their hair like rain.

The bird in my heart's a-flutter, for the bitter wind of the sea
Shivers with thyme and woodbine as my body with memory;
I feel their perfumes ooze in my ears like melody,
The scent of the mead at the harping I shall not hear again.

The bird in my heart's a-sinking to a hushed vale hid in the sea,
Where the moonlit dew o'er dead fighters is stirred by the feet of the Shee,
Who are lovely and old as the earth but younger than I can be
Who have known the forgetting of dying to a life one lonely pain ...

She returns from the outhouse.

Come here; give me your shoes; quickly, I say.
Why must you go shod softly? Give me your shoes.

She takes them and puts them on the fire.

Is there some joy so deep within you still
That I have missed it though 'tis bright for singing?
It shall not be so long; sing while you can.

No joy ever sank deep enough for singing;
Trouble and all the sorrowful ways of men
Must stir the sad unrest that ends in song.
Joy seeks but peace and silence and still thought;
But those who cannot weep must sing for ease,
And in the sound forget the thought that smote it.

I am made glad, hearing your misery;
Yet all the shapeless, creeping, shivering sounds
You wail about the house will make me share it.
Your songs of faƫ ry and nameless kings
And things that never happened long ago
And an unknown, impossible, shadowy land
Are useless as the starlight after moonset
That will not light men homeward from the fair,
Nay, useless as its melting down thin water:
If you must sing, sing truth to gut-strong tunes
Of Gunnar or of Freya or Andvari,
Vineland the Good and the old Western sea.

Things need not happen that they may be true;
Although impossible, they may be true,
The things that matter happen in the heart.
All earthly truth is true but for a time,
Whilst ages may be altered by one dream,
The things that matter happen in the heart ...

Useless as starlight or the aimless wind.

The wind is all the souls of those sad dead
Who will not stay in Heaven for love of earth;
Hither and thither they surge to find the gate
They see and know not on its new, strange side,
For they have learned too much to be let back.
Ah, some have learned too much before they die.

As she crosses the house at the back HIALTI turns and, catching her hands in his, draws her toward him.

Is it too hard, the thought of that lost vale?

It is too hard, because I must so love it
That were I free I should go there no more,
Lest I should hate it. I must always suffer,
I only suffer this way rather than that,
'Tis the eternal suffering of love
Must search me somehow with love's pitilessness
To make me know all souls; what matter how?
O, I am but a troubled dream of God's,
And even His will can alter not His dreams;
Yea, He is dreaming me a little while,
I must be dreamed out to the hardest end,
Returning then to be unknown in Him;
I shall be Him again when He awakes.
Ah, God, awake, and so forget me soon.

THORGERD, swinging her aside by the collar on her neck.

Set on the water for the porridge; go.

BLANID goes into the outhouse; THORGERD continues to HIALTI.

Why must you hold her hands and hold her eyes?

Under each dark grey lash a long tear slid,
Like rain in a wild rose's shadowy curve
Bowed in the wind about the morning twilight.

Have done; I know; you left the fair at noon
To reach the copse just at the young moon's setting,
I could not find her till i' the night-hid copse
A woman's voice sobbed "If he would but come..."

It is not true; you know it is not true.
Let her alone; you know that I must love you,
And if she loves me she will know it too
And hurt herself far more than you can hurt her.

I hear you say it: and afterward?... Perhaps
My little shears are sharp as any knife.

You would not kill her?

THORGERD. When have I grown kind-hearted?

She lays her hand on his shoulder and, leaning her mouth to his ear, speaks in a low, distinct voice.

Slit nose and lip and where's her beauty then?

He starts from his stool.

Nay, are my kinsfolk as far off as hers?

He turns away as BLANID enters with an iron pot which she hangs from a hook over the fire, and a pitcher of milk which she sets on the table.

THORGERD takes the pot from the fire.

Here's too much water; it will never boil,
And if it did the mess would be too thin.

She pours water from the pot upon the floor, then hangs the pot over the fire again.

Set out the bowls, and finger not their lips.

BLANID goes again to the outhouse, and, returning, sets three bowls with spoons on the table, and a jar of meal by the hearth.

Though porridge needs meal you shall not think for me;
Do nought until I bid you, once. The grain.

BLANID goes yet again to the outhouse and returns with a bag of grain.

You know what grain is for; why do you stand?
Your feet are mine. Down to the quern. Get down.

There's meal in plenty for to-morrow.

THORGERD, laying down her distaff to make porridge.
But is there meal in plenty for next month?
You may be dead then; therefore you must toil,
That I may need to do no aching tasks
Until my man can buy another drudge
From the next herd; for so we shall forget you.

BLANID, kneeling by the quern between the window and the door, and commencing to grind grain.
You hate me far too subtly to forget me;
There is not enough kindness in your heart
To let you thus forego your joy of hate.
Then, too, despite the accident of death,
I cannot go from here against my will.

You shall not die ere I have done with you;
And death shall only come by suffering
Until you are too feeble even to suffer.

The sound of death is ever in mine ears,
Monotonous as the night's infinity
Wherein I was once born where salt winds sweep
The wailing of the waters of the West.
I die, but you can ne'er have done with me.

THORGERD, the porridge being made.
Come, drudge, lift off the pot and fill the bowls.

BLANID, having filled two bowls.
The pot is empty.

THORGERD. But the bowls are full.

Now give the lass some supper; fill her bowl.

THORGERD, pouring milk over the porridge.
There's but enough for two; I'll make no more.
Here, take the pot and scrape it at the quern.

HIALTI and THORGERD draw stools to the table; BLANID carries the pot to the outhouse and returns to the quern; supper proceeds in silence for a few moments, then HIALTI rises and offers his bowl to BLANID.

Share with me, lass; I need no more to-night.

Before BLANID can taste the porridge THORGERD strikes the bowl from her hand.

HIALTI, indignantly, as he reaches to THORGERD'S bowl.
She shall have yours; go you and make us more ...

He is interrupted by a distant wailing which is heard through the storm.

Ohey! Ohey! Ohohey!

Master, I hear one calling in the night.

HIALTI, in a subdued voice.
It is the wind across the chimney-slates.

Ohey! Ohohey!

Master, a man is calling in the night.

An owl, storm-beaten, drowns down the long mere.

THE VOICE, sounding nearer on a gust of wind.
Ohohey! Ohohey!

Master, one lost is helpless in the night.

THORGERD, gently and with an eager smile.
Ay, lass, good lass; go, lass, and seek for him,
Maybe he sinks amid the marshy reeds;
Bring him to warmth and supper and a bed.
I'll shut the door; the light will only daze you.

HIALTI, leaping to the door in front of BLANID, and setting his back to it.
No, no; back, girl, get back. (To THORGERD.)
You murderess,
You know it is the Crier of the Ford,
Who wakens when the clashing waters rise
And the thick night is choked with level rain.
He is not seen; he was not born; he gathers
His bodiless being from the treacherous tarn.
His aged crying gropes about the storm
To snare the spent wayfarer to the ford,
Or draw some pitiful helper to the ford,
And drown them where the unknown water swirls
And strangle them with long brown water-weed:
He seeks their souls for his old soul to feed on,
Because it has no body to nourish it.

THORGERD, hastily yet sullenly.
How should I know?

She grips BLANID'S shoulder and hurries her to the outhouse.

Get in with you to your straw.

She thrusts her into the outhouse and shuts the door upon her; then she turns to HIALTI.

Fool, now I know you love her behind your heart.

I have no mind to waste a half-spent thrall
To prove I love you; and to buy another
Would need more money than eight red-polled stirks.

Choose between her and me; if you take her,
I take the land.

HIALTI. I love you overmuch
To set you equally against a thrall.

What, do I touch you when I touch your fields?

To-morrow I must drive the sold ewes home
And lead more bedding from the bracken-fell
If the storm clears, it is well stacked and dry;
So we must be a-stirring by lantern-light,
Since now you will not have the lass go with me
To milk, but go yourself although three cows
Will not let down their milk to you at all,
You drag their teats so: waking-time comes soon,
Best get to bed.

And leave you to go to your straw's wench?

HIALTI, taking a rushlight in his hand.
Here are enough of your unfaithful words;
I'll alter this to-morrow.

THORGERD. Ay, to-morrow.

HIALTI enters the sleeping-chamber; after watching the door close upon him, THORGERD, her hands clenched and her arms rigid, swiftly steps half way toward the outhouse; then, suddenly relaxing into a pause and smiling with tight lips as she shakes her head slightly and sharply, she turns to the table again, doffs her coif and draws her hair down, blows out the remaining rushlight, and follows HIALTI into the sleeping-chamber.

Henceforth the cottage is only lit by the ever-dying fire. A long, empty silence ensues, broken only by the tumult of the storm and the tinkle of the sinking embers.

Then the outhouse door opens slowly and from it BLANID steps listeningly across the house, in front of the hearth, to the door of the sleeping-chamber, remaining there for a little time with her ear against the door-boards; then she returns noiselessly across the house, behind the hearth, pausing near the house door.

BLANID, in a hushed voice.
If day were only darkness melting down
From darkness into darkness like this rain,
Lost ere 'tis known, then I might always sleep
And sleep and dream I was a queen once more,
She does not know I was a jewelled queen,
For so I spoil her of new heights of joy
In which she might for haughtiness fondle me.
O, I would sleep in that old Crier's arms,
Enduring silence harder than all else,
A mote shut into one cold, kneaded eyelid
Of the dead mere; and dream into the wind,
And cling to stars lest I should slip through space;
And dream I am the body of him I love,
Who yields me only kindness, never love,
O me, that misery of hopeless kindness.
But I'll not die and leave him to her lips;
Though I can never have him she shall not;
For I can use this body worn to a soul
To barter with that Crier of hidden things
That, if he tangles him in his chill hair,
Then I will follow and follow and follow and follow,
Past where the imaged stars ebb past their light
And turn to water under the dark world.

She goes out into the storm, leaving the door open behind her. Presently she is heard singing to a chant-like, ever-falling melody.

I stand in the sick night, whose hid shape is my own shape,
As dazed life in the flickering hearts of old men;
I think like a lean heron with bald head and frayed nape
Motionlessly moulting in a flat pool of a grey fen,
Whose sleep-blinked horny eyes know it can ne'er moult again.

My age-long cry droops in the hoar unseen stars that shake
Until their discordant rays make darkness inside the sky;
My bare cry shivers along the slimy rushes of the drowned lake,
Weariful waters, do you hear a soul's hair tingling your veiled feet nigh?
I stand outside my keen body, yearning into you as I cry.

HIALTI, within.
Is that the lass sobbing a song in sleep?

THORGERD, within.
The wind, the wind, and so as much as she.

BLANID, still out of doors, singing.
Old father of many waters, can you feel my soul touching yours?
I know that to greet your calling leaves me no more any yea or nay;
Yet I too am of kin with lost woods and sedgy shores,
So come secret as your black wind and take the dark core of my heart away,
Ere you beget me on death to be still-born to an unlit day.
Ohey! Ohey! Ohohey!

THE VOICE. Ohohey! Ohey!

HIALTI, within.
Is there a woman's voice inside the wind?

THORGERD, within.
... the unclean Crier croaking ... cover your ears ...

BLANID re-enters the house hurriedly; she shuts and bolts the door, hardly knowing what she does; she falls on her knees with her back to the door, breathing quickly and hard, and swaying backward and forward, her face hid in her hands.

Again and again a terrible blast of wind strains at the unyielding door.

THE VOICE, close at hand.
Open, open; I cannot open; open.
I cannot come to you unless you open.

BLANID, muttering behind her hands.
I will not go ... I can do nothing else ...
It shall not enter ... O, it is in my heart ...

She totters fearfully to the door, after many hesitant backward glances, and opens it slowly and as if she had never known how to open it. She reels against the wall and stands there motionlessly, clutching it with flat hands and outspread arms, as a stooping figure swathed in a rain-coloured, rain-soaked cloak and deep hood enters. Wisps of white hair flutter in the mouth of the hood, and one flicker of the fire-light shows in its depths a soft, shrunken, beardless face with an almost lipless, sunken mouth.

THIS OLD STRANGE MAN, speaking always in a low, even, mournful voice.
A spirit calling in an old, old tongue
Forgotten in lost graves in lonesome places;
A spirit huddled in an old, old heart
Like a blind crone crouched o'er a long-dead fire;
A spirit shrinking in the old, old hills,
Dreading to step down water or hollow night:
Some seek me dreaming one last hope of joy;
Some have been made too wise by too much joy
And seek me longing for deeper misery,
Knowing that joy is weary in unending,
Changeless and one and easy in low perfection,
While misery has as many shapes as evil
That all must learn, and is made new for ever
By fear of pain desired for love of passion;
But feel, O you who call me through the night,
I bring you neither joy nor misery
But only rest so slow and sad and sodden
You will not know of it, you shall only rest
And lose your soul in my soul evermore.

Sounds of heavy breathing are heard from the sleeping-chamber during his speaking. He is continually reaching to BLANID with his muffled, unseen hands, but she holds them from her as continually.

BLANID, always in an eager, suppressed voice.
I have known joy, I know not what it was,
Mead-fumes that filled me cooling to one drop;
I have known misery, a self-numbed sting
That showed me but another joy to lose;
These were too small, I will have only rest,
And lose my soul in your soul evermore.
But if I die into your drooping limbs
I must be mingled there with him I love;
You may not reach him by your hoary crying,
But raise some human wail for help and light
And he will come and I must follow him
Past where the imaged moon shakes like a soul
Pausing in death between two unknown worlds.

A sign, a plighting, and I do your will.

BLANID, winding her arms about his arms from one side, so that
he cannot touch her, and burying her face in his hood.
Kisses. 'Hast drained my soul's blood in each kiss.

I go, I go; make me not come again,
For I am in you, you must melt to me
Past where the imaged dark shuts bending lovers'
Close, unseen-imaged faces within life....

Keeping his face turned toward BLANID, he recedes to the door, where he ceases to be seen in the wind that scurries past.

THE VOICE, immediately and far away.
Help; help; the marsh-lights 'wilder us! A light!

BLANID shuts the door. The fire has now sunk so low that as she crosses the house she is only visible in the half-dark as a dim shape. She pauses by the hearth.

Nay, but I touch toward my joy at last,
And Christ and all His Saints go out like candles
When mass is said and the priest's cup is wiped....

The water laps our waists! Help, help! A light!

BLANID, running to the sleeping-chamber door.
Master, I hear a calling....

After an interval she strikes the door, crying loudly.

Master! Master!

HIALTI, within.
Has the flood washed into the shippon?

There is a pitiful shrieking in the dark.

HIALTI, within.
It is the Crier; break sleep no more for that.

THORGERD, within.
The ox-goad shall reward you when dawn comes ...
Wake us once more and you shall waken often,
Ay, very often, until you dread to sleep ...

I heard that trailing cry like maddened fir-boughs;
Now I hear words, is there a woman's wail?

THORGERD, within.
A woman? Let her drown.

HIALTI, within. I come. I come.
Reach down the lantern and light it, light it, light it.

Standing on a stool, BLANID lifts a lantern from a nail in one of the beams and, carrying it to the hearth, kneels there and seeks to light it with an ember.

THORGERD, within.
You shall not go; it is a lie of hers;
You shall not go ...

A brief struggle in the sleeping-chamber is heard.

HIALTI, within. So; stand you from the door.
Get donned; make up the fire; have water boiling;
And send the wench to lie in your warm form
Ready to cherish what stiffening thing I bring.

BLANID, to herself, lighting the lantern and smiling mischievously.
Yea, I shall cherish a stiffening thing for her.
Lantern, you are as dim as a little soul,
Yet the least soul can light a man to Heaven,
And you might lead him home; but I am like God,
Who makes souls from His aches, I will not ache,
You shall not have a soul, I suck it back.

She extinguishes the light. HIALTI hurries in half-dressed.

Canst find a rope?

BLANID, pointing. Behind the settle there.
To herself.
'Tis a good rope and has two rotten strands;
'Twas meant to make good tinder on the morrow.

Help; help! A light! Come for the woman's sake!

HIALTI, holding out his hand for the lantern.
Hearken and haste; give me the lantern, now!

Master, it will not light....

HIALTI. Will the storm pause?

Ohohey! Ohohey!

Will that dark Crier linger? I must go.

She catches his outstretched hand and kisses it ere, snatching it away, he flings the house door wide open and dashes outside. Soon the sound of his footsteps is lost in the storm.

BLANID, relighting the lantern and starting up.
Master, Master, the light!

Pausing and sending the lantern crashing on the hearth with both hands.

He shall not have it!

She stands with her hands gripping her breasts, leaning forward toward the open door; her breathlessness is all that is heard; she stretches her arms to the night.

I feel as if my long, long hands could reach
Down to the water's heart to pluck him from it.

Will no one ever come?

HIALTI, out of doors. I come; I am nigh.

Ay, he is nigh; but soon he will be far.
I dare not thus fall through the world for him.
O, I shall hear him ... do not let me hear him ...

She throws herself on her face on the floor and, covering her head with the strewn rushes and clasping her hands over them, lies there moaning.

HIALTI, far off, shouting ever more madly.
Thorgerd, Thorgerd ... your hands ... the world slips past me ...
Save ... under ... under ... under ...
Aa-h ...

The shouting ceases suddenly at its height.

BLANID, muffled and choking.
Her name ... her name ... why did he not think my name? ...
But she has lost him, and I kissed his hand ...

THORGERD, rushing from the sleeping-chamber in her night-gear.
Where is the wench?... Make haste, another light:
I heard him dying. O, this prater's breath
Will blow his life out ... Kindle a light and come ...

Ohey! Ohohey! Ohey!

Nay! Nay! Nay! I dare not, I dare not ...
That Crier will drown me too ...

THORGERD. That is nought to me;
Get to your feet ... What, shall I seek a way
To supple you?

BLANID. O, do not hurt me again ...
He dies ... it is my deed ... I dare not come ...

You are too mean to stir his life one thought;
It was the Crafty Crier, I heard that wail ...

The fire is now wholly out, so that the cottage is absolutely dark and nothing is visible.

THE VOICE, near at hand.
Ohohey! Ohey!

THORGERD, fiercely.
Where are you?... O, the Crier is heaving o'er ...

A gust of wind and rain is heard to sweep into the cottage through the open doorway, shifting the rustling floor-rushes as though feet touched them. THE OLD STRANGE MAN has entered.

BLANID, being heard to start to her feet.
There is another breathing in the house ...
He is here ... this darkness is not black enough,
The darkness at light's core alone could hide me ...
Grope for my hand, hold fast and take me home ...

She is heard to sink to the floor again.

Sister of that old race dead in the hills,
Why will you make me come to you once more?
You know you must go down a long withdrawing
To reach the unlit places of your heart,
Which are the night within my unknown eyes
Beyond all stars; so let me touch you once.

BLANID is heard to drag her prostrate body through the rushes toward THORGERD.

Mistress, I am your thrall; you will keep your own ...
I clasp your feet, I kiss your clutching feet,
I lick your feet all over with my tongue,
I will tell you somewhat that will yield a vengeance
For you to work; so do not let me go....

I see you, you white terror with shaking flanks,
Straining to feel me with your hard-shut eyes,
But now I need you not; not yet; not yet.
Your man is drowned and this is it who bargained
Its death for his; will you not give it to me?

THORGERD, laughing.
I am glad he is dead; now I may only love him,
And know no more that last distress of stooping
So far from me as this at my feet must be.
No vengeancing could pay for thoughts of her:
I will not know that such can be in life,
So I will neither yield nor succour her.

She speaks no more, nor moves.

Give it to me; it is mine, give it to me;
I cannot take it while it touches you.

A silence.

I have slain him and I fear to go to him ...
Put out my eyes, and rope me with the dogs,
Nay, strangle me to-morrow; but save me now.

THE OLD MAN, his voice growing fainter and fainter.
Ah, come, you daughter of an ancient earth,
Come down among the folk your heart can know,
You darling of the past, you long-dead queen.
Your aged soul is strange among these men,
As strange as it would be in Paradise;
But once I knew you ere you were begot,
And in the unchanging silence of my heart
There waits a star for you to finish it.

A silence.

You little trembler of a dew-drop dawn,
You are as old as water that makes new dew;
And when the dew falls it runs down to peace.
The end of sorrow is in sorrow's heart
With those who loved and knew the unknown end
Of mothering you a thousand years ago.
Come, then, from her who shapes new pangs for you,
And rest and rest and rest for evermore.

A silence.

One day you will awake and call to me;
And I shall listen for the doubting cry
Until the stars have worn the sky too thin,
And I am drowned within the light beyond....

His voice is lost in the gradual wail of a gust of wind; then it is heard outside and afar.


BLANID, speaking at longer and longer intervals.
O, you have saved me from such evil things
As writhed like tangled tree-roots outside space
Ere God made Himself from them; and for this
My Virgin shall reach down from God's two knees
Whereon She sits, and kiss you for Her own.
My body was yours; now you have saved my soul
My soul is utterly yours to serve in living,
To clothe your soul and be your very heart
In love and soft, unconscious giving of life.
Mother, I have done evil, punish me;
Because we loved him, love me and punish me:
I have sinned, I have parted lovers, be cruel to me
And cleanse me that I may keep near you two...
Think in how many ways you can torture me;
Let me rake up the fire and heat an iron
For you to have your will upon my body,
One thigh is yet unseared ... Will you not speak? ...
I love him, I tell you ... I love him, I love him, I love him ...
I kissed his hand; do you hear? I kissed his hand,
Our Hialti's hand ... I'll make you hurt me yet,
Cold anger is shuddering down your tense thighs;
Feel, this is your foot upon my upturned face,
I lift it across my eyes, wide-open eyes,
Bear down and crush them full of eternal night ...
Speak to me now ... O, will you never speak?
You thrust me down into that Crier's bosom;
For in your heart you make me be unborn
Within a lonely place you never heard of,
Yet if I loose your feet he will return
And I must follow and follow and follow and follow
Past where my imaged thoughts repeat the world,
Till shattered waters break the imaged dream ...
You saved me once; will you undo that greatness?...
We are the tears that God wipes from His eyes:
Lone thoughts will thrust me forth, save me from them ...
Ah, but my lonely love can succour me:
Think, if I drown, 'tis to my Hialti's arms,
To cast you from his heart for ever more;
He will not even know you are forgotten ...
Sister ... Thorgerd....

THORGERD draws in a long breath so sharply that it sounds to stab her repeatedly.

Ay, you will hate me as you used to do,
Will you not hate me as you used to do?
I was so happy when you still could hate me....
I fear it, but you make me go.... Speak once....

After a long silence BLANID is heard to rise and go slowly to the door.

Ohey! Ohey!

THE VOICE, outside. Ohohey!

With a laugh of abandonment BLANID is heard to run into the night; there is a brief silence; then one far-off, long shriek is heard from her.

Ohey! Ohohey!

In the cottage THORGERD is heard to fall heavily to the floor.

The curtain descends on silence and darkness.