Puslapio vaizdai
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He said it had its own fidelity,

And true to him would be if not to truth.

ETHILDA.

You serve the Heretoch and not Earl Athulf.

EMMA.

Earl Athulf at the Heretoch's behest ;
And they are so entwined that serving one
Is serving both.

ETHILDA.

No, no, you serve not both ; You serve Earl Leolf only.

EMMA.

If it please you. Here is the gold ; with this he said your way Would soon be opened to the King, whose heart Would then be comforted and fortified With tidings of deliverance near at hand.

ETHILDA.

That shall be well; but yet my brother's heart
Is carefuller for the Queen's deliverance.
I would that I had comfort for him there,

EMMA.

I trust that both Earl Leolf and the Queen

Will soon be heard of. Heida, could we find her,
Might tell us much ; for, either by her art
Or by forerunning of intelligence,
What happens to the Heretoch is hers
So soon as it befalls if not before.
But I have sought her fruitlessly. What's here?

I think I see her now.

ETHILDA.

If this be she,

Her errand is to us.

EMMA.

Regard her not,
For she is freest of her utterance
When least importuned or observed. Talk on.

ETHILDA.

I think I asked you—yes—how looked the Earl
When last you saw him ?

EMMA.

Wasted much. His hair, Which was not till this year so much as grizzled, Is almost grey.

ETHILDA.

Earl Athulf grey ?

EMMA.

No, no,

Earl Leolf, Madam.

ETHILDA.

Oh! your pardon. Well, How looked Earl Athulf ? Heida, who has been advancing, and touching her harp

fitfully, now plays a low prelude.

EMMA.

Madam, I may say
Like yonder archway, one half in the shade,
The other in the sun ; for hope shines through him.

HEIDA (sings).
By sun and moon,

By fire and flood,
By well and stone,

And ashen wood,
By lot and torch,

By dreams and thunder,
Comes that above

That would be under.

EMMA.

mark her not; She 's cunning and holds off from questioning, But she will drop you what she has to tell.

She will draw

nearer,

if you

HEIDA (sings again). By Wellesbourne and Charlcote ford, At break of day, I saw a sword. Wessex warriors, rank by rank, Rose on Avon's hither bank ; Mercia's men, in fair array, Looked at them from Marraway ; Close and closer ranged they soon, And the battle joined at noon.

By Wellesbourne and Charlcote Lea,
I heard a sound as of the sea ;
Thirty thousand rushing men,
Twenty thousand met by ten ;
Rang the shield and brake the shaft,
Tosty yelled, Harcather laughed ;
Thorough Avon's waters red
Chased by ten the twenty fled.

By Charlcote ford and Wellesbourne,
I saw the Moon's pale face forlorn.
River flowed and rushes sighed,
Wounded warriors groaned and died.
Ella took his early rest,
The raven stood on his white breast;
Hoarsely in the dead man's ear
Raven whispered. Friend, good cheer !
Ere the winter pinch the crow,
He that slew thee shall lie low.

ETHILDA.

She cannot tell us of a victory past
But she must dash the triumph of our joy
With bodings of the future. Be it so.
'Twixt telling and foretelling, one is sure,
The other not.

EMMA.

Hush ! she can hear

you,

Madam.

HEIDA.

Princess.

ETHILDA.

Well, Heida, hast thou aught to say ?

HEIDA.

Princess, I may not tarry. To the King
Earl Leolf sends his duty, and therewith
This writing. Fare you well.

[Exit.

ETHILDA.

Good Heida, stay! She's gone ; but this shall tell us. You can read.

EMMA reads.

Your Majesty shall know that a battle has been fought and won.

Ella the younger led Prince Edgar's power, which ran and left him on the field. I have entered into Staffordshire. Further forward I

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