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A breath that fleets beyond this iron Harold. The kingdoms of this world world,

began with little, And touches Him that made it.

A hill, a fort, a city — that reach'd a

hand Down to the field beneath it, “Be thou

mine," ACT IV.

Then to the next, “Thou also " — if the


Cried out “I am mine own"; another ARCHBISHOP ALDRED, MORCAR, EDWIN, hill,

and Forces, Enter HAROLD ; the Or fort, or city, took it, and the first standard of the golden Dragon of Wes- Fell, and the next became an Empire. sex preceding him.


Yet Harold. What! are thy people sullen Thou art but a West Saxon : we are from defeat ?

Danes ! Our Wessex dragon flies beyond the

Harold. My mother is a Dane, and I Humber,

am English ; No voice to greet it.

There is a pleasant fable in old books, Edwin. Let not our great king Ye take a stick, and break it; bind a Believe us sullen only shamed to the quick

All in one fagot, snap it over knee, Before the king as having been so

Ye cannot. bruised

Voice. Hear King Harold ! he says

true ! By Harold, king of Norway ; but our help

Harold. Would ye be Norsemen ? Is Harold, king of England. Pardon us,


No! thou !


Or Norman ? Our silence is our reverence for the king!


No! Harold. Earl of the Mercians ! if the Harold. Snap not the fagot-band truth be gall,

then. Cram me not thou with honey, when our

Voice. That is true ! good hive

Voice. Ay, but thou art not kingly, Needs every sting to save it.

only grandson Voices. Aldwyth! Aldwyth ! To Wulfnoth, a poor cow-herd. Harold. Why cry thy people on thy


This old Wulfnoth sister's name?

Would take me on his knees and tell me Morcar. She hath won upon our

tales people thro' her beauty,

Of Alfred and of Athelstan the Great And pleasantness among them.

Who drove you Daves ; and yet he held Voices. Aldwyth, Aldwyth !

that Dane, Harold. They shout as they would Jute, Angle, Saxon, were or should be have her for a queen.

all Morcar. She hath follow'd with our One England, for this cow-herd, like my host, and suffer'd all.

father, Harold. What would ye, men ?

Who shook the Norman scoundrels off Voice. Our old Northumbrian crown

the throne, And kings of our own choosing:

Had in him kingly thoughts - a king Harold.

Your old crown Were little help without our Saxon Not made but born, like the great King carles

of all, Against Hardrada.

A light among the oxen.
Little ! we are Danes,


That is true! Who conquer'd what we walk on, our

Voice. Ay, and I love him now, for own field.

mine own father Harold. They have been plotting was great, and cobbled. here!


Voice. Thou art Tostig's brother, Voice. He calls us little !

Who wastes the land,

of men,



with power,

Harold. This brother comes to save Morcar. Who knows what sows itself Your land from waste; I saved it once among the people ? before,

A goodly flower at times. For when your people banish'd Tostig Harold. The Queen of Wales ? hence,

Why, Morcar, it is all but duty in her And Edward would have sent a host To hate me; I have heard she hates me. against you,


No. Then I, who loved my brother, bade the For I can swear to that, but cannot

king Who doted on him, sanction your decree That these will follow thee against the Of Tostig's banishment, and choice of Norsemen, Morcar,

If thou deny them this. To help the realm from scattering.


Morcar and Edwin, Voice.

King ! thy brother, When will ye cease to plot against my If one may dare to speak the truth, was house? wrong'd,

Edwin. The king can scarcely dream Wild was he, born so: but the plots that we, who know against him

His prowess in the mountains of the Had madden'd tamer men.

Morcar. Thou art one of those Should care to plot against him in the Who brake into Lord Tostig's treasure

North. house

Morcar. Who dares arraign us, king, And slew two hundred of his following, of such a plot ? And now, when Tostig hath come back Harold. Ye heard one witness even

now. Are frighted back to Tostig.

Morcar. The craven ! Old Thane. Ugh! Plots and feuds! There is a faction risen again for Tostig, This is my ninetieth birthday. "Can ye Since Tostig came with Norway — fright not

not love. Be brethren ? Godwin still at feud with Harold. Morcar and Edwin, will ye,

Alfgar, And Alfgar hates King Harold. Plots Follow against the Norseman ? and feuds!


Surely, surely ! This is my ninetieth birthday!

Harold. Morcar and Edwin, will ye Harold.

Old man, Harold Hates nothing ; not his fault, if our two Help us against the Norman ? houses


With good will ; Be less than brothers.

Yea, take the Sacrament upon it, king. Voices. Aldwyth, Harold, Aldwyth ! Harold. Where is thy sister ? Harold. Again ! Morcar ! Edwin ! Morcar. Somewhere hard at hand, What do they mean ?

Call and she comes. Edwin. So the good king would deign [One goes out, then enter ALDWYTH. to lend an ear

Harold. I doubt not but thou know. Not overscornful, we might chance –

est perchance —

Why thou art summon'd. To guess their meaning.

Aldwyth. Why? – I stay with these, Morcar. Thine own meaning, Har-Lest thy fierce Tostig spy me out alone, old,

And flay me all alive. To make all England one, to close all


Canst thou love one feuds,

Who did discrown thine husband, unMixing our bloods, that thence a king

queen thee?

Didst thou not love thine husband ? Half-Godwin and half-Alfgar, one to rule | Aldwyth.

Oh ! my lord, All England beyond question, beyond The nimble, wild, red, wiry, savage quarrel.

king Harold. Who sow'd this fancy here That was, my lord, a match of policy:


Was it? among the people ?

if I yield,

upon oath

may rise


for us,

I knew him brave : he loved his land :/ Where lie the Norsemen? on the Der. he fain

went? ay Had made her great : his finger on her At Stamford-bridge. harp

Morcar, collect thy men ; Edwin, my (I heard him more than once) had in it friend Wales,

Thou lingerest. - Gurth, Her floods, her woods, her hills : had 1 Last night King Edward came to me in been his,

dreams I had been all Welsh.

The rosy face and long down-silvering Aldwyth. Oh, ay all Welsh — and beard yet

He told me I should conquer : I saw thee drive him up his hills — and I am no woman to put faith in dreams.

(To his army.) Cling to the conquer'd if they love, the Last night King Edward came to me in more ;

dreams, If not, they cannot hate the conqueror. And told me we should conquer. We never ---oh! good Morcar, speak Voices.

Forward ! Forward!

Harold and Holy Cross ! His conqueror conquer'd Aldwyth. Aldwyth.

The day is won! Harold.

Goodly news! Morcar. Doubt it not thou ! Since SCENE II. - A PLAIN. BEFORE THE Griffyth's head was sent

BATTLE OF STAMFORD-BRIDGE. To Edward, she hath said it. Harold.

I had rather

HAROLD and his Guard. She would have loved her husband. Harold. Who is it comes this way? Aldwyth, Aldwyth,

Tostig? (Enter Tostig with a Canst thou love me, thou knowing where small force.) O brother, I love?

What art thou doing here? Aldwyth. I can, my lord, for mine Tostig.

am foraging own sake, for thine,

For Norway's army. For England, for thy poor white dove, Harold. I could take and slay thee. who flutters

Thou art in arms against us. Between thee and the porch, but then Tostig.

Take and slay me, would find

For Edward loved me. Her nest within the cloister, and be Harold. Edward bade me spare thee. still.

T'ostig. I hate King Edward, for he Harold. Canst thou love one, who join'd with thee cannot love again?

To drive me outlaw'd. Take and slay Aldwyth. Full hope have I that love me, I say, will answer love.

Or I shall count thee fool. Harold. Then in the name of the Harold. Take thee, or free thee, great God, so be it !

Free thee or slay thee, Norway will Come, Aldred, join our hands before the

have war ; hosts,

No man would strike with Tostig, save That all may see.

for Norway. [ALDRED joins the hands of HAROLD Thou art nothing in thine England, and ALDWYTH and blesses them.

save for Norway, Voices. Harold, Harold and Ald. Who loves not thee but war. What wyth !

dost thou here, Harold. Set forth our golden Dragon, Trampling thy mother's bosom into let him flap

blood ? The wings that beat down Wales ! Tostig. She hath wean'd me from it Advance our Standard of the Warrior,

with such bitterness. Dark among gems and gold ; and thou, I come for mine own Earldom, my brave banner,

Northumbria ; Blaze like a night of fatal stars on those Thou hast given it to the enemy of our Who read their doom and die.


but sew,

Harold. Northumbria threw thee off, , Of wedding had been dash'd into the she will not have thee,

cups Thou hast misused her; and, O) crown- of victory, and our marriage and thy ing crime !

glory Hast murder'd thine own guest, the son Been drunk together ! these poor

hands of Orm, Gamel, at thine own hearth.

Spin, broider — would that they were Tostig. The slow, fat fool !

man's to have held He drawl'd and prated so, I smote him The battle-axe by thee ! suddenly:


There was a moment I knew not what I did.

When being forced aloof from all my Harold. Come back to us,

guard, Know what thou dost, and we may find And striking at Hardrada and his madfor thee,

meni, So thou be chasten d by thy banish- I had wish'd for any weapon. ment,

Alduyth. Why art thou sad ? Some easier Earldom.

Harold. I have lost the boy who Tostig.

What for Norway then ? played at ball with me, He looks for land among you, he and with whom I fought another fight than his.

this Harold. Seven feet of English land, Of Stamford-bridge. or something more.

Aldwyth. Ay! ay! thy victories Seeing he is a giant.

Over our own poor Wales, when at thy Tostig.

O brother, brother, sido O Harold

He conquer’d with thee. Harold. Nay, then come thou back to Harold. No — the childish fist us !

That cannot strike again. Tostig. Never shall any man say that Alduyth. Thou art too kindly. 1, that Tostig

Why didst thou let so many Norsemen Conjured the mightier Harold from his hence? North

Thy fierce forekings had clinch'd their To do the battle for me here in England,

pirate hides Then left him for the meaner ! thee ! To the bleak church doo like kites Thou hast no passion for the House of Godwin

Harold. Is there so great a need to Thou hast but cared to make thyself a

tell thee why? king

Aldwyth. Yea, am I not thy wife ? Thou hast sold me for a cry.

Voices. Hail, Harold, Aldwyth ! Thou gavest thy voice against me in the Bridegroom and bride ! Council


Answer them! I hate thee, and despise thee, and defy

[To HAROLD. thee.

Harold (to all). Earls and Thanes ! Farewell forever!

(Exit. Full thanks for your fair greeting of my Harold. On to Stamford-bridge !


Earls, Thanes, and all our countrymen ! SCENE III. - AFTER THE BATTLE

the day, OF STAMFORD-BRIDGE. BANQUET. Our day beside the Derwent will not

shine HAROLD and ALDWYTH. GURTH, LEOF- Less than a star among the goldenest WIN, MORCAR, EDWIN, and other Earls

hours and Thanes.

Of Alfred, or of Edward his great Voices. Hail! Harold ! Aldwyth! hail, bridegroom and bride!

Or Athelstan, or English Ironside Aldwyth (talking with HAROLD). An- Who fought with Knut, or Knut who swer them thou !

coming Dane Is this our marriage- banquet ? Would Died English. Every man about his the wines


upon a barn.




Fought like a king; the king like his First Thane. How ran that answer own man,

which King Harold gave No better; one for all, and all for one, To his dead namesake, when he ask'd One soul: and therefore have we shat for England ? ter'd back

Leofwin. ** Seven feet of English The hugest wave from Norseland ever earth, or something more, yet

Seeing he is a giant!” Surged on us, and our battle-axes broken First Thane. Then for the bastard The Raven's wing, and dumb'd his car. Six feet and nothing more! rion croak


Ay, but belike From the gray sea forever. Many are Thou hast not learnt his measure. gone

First Thane.

By St. Edmund Drink to the dead who died for us, the I over-measure him. Sound sleep to the

living Who fought and would have died, but Here by dead Norway without dream or happier lived,

dawn! If happier be to live; they both have Second Thane. What is he bragging life

still that he will come In the large mouth of England, till her To thrust our Harold's throne from voice

under him? Die with the world. Hail ! hail ! My nurse would tell me of a molehill Morcar. May all invaders perish like crying Hardrada !

To a mountain “Stand aside and room All traitors fail like Tostig!

for me!” (Al drink but HAROLD. First Thane. Let him come! let him Aldwyth. Thy cup 's full !

Here's to him, sink or Harold. I saw the hand of Tostig swim !

[Drinks. cover it.

Second Thane. God sink him! Our dear, dead, traitor-brother, Tostig, First Thane. Cannot hands which him

had the strength Reverently we buried. Friends, had I To shove that stranded iceberg off our been here,

shores, Without too large self-lauding I must And send the shatter'd North again to hold

sea, The sequel had been other than his Scuttle his cockle-shell? What's Bruleague

Hanburg With Norway, and this battle. Peace To Stamford-bridge? a war-crash, and be with him!

so hard, He was not of the worst. If there be So loud, that, by St. Dunstan, old St. those

Thor At banquet in this hall, and hearing By God, we thought him dead but

our old Thor For there be those I fear who prick'd Heard his own thunder again, and woke the lion

and came To make him spring, that sight of Dan Among us again, and mark'd the sons

of those Might serve an end not English - peace Who made this Britain England, break with them

the North: Likewise, if they can be at peace with

Mark'd how the war-axe swang,

Heard how the war-horn sang,
God gave us to divide us from the wolf! Mark'd how the spear-head sprang,
Aldwyth (aside to HAROLD). Make

Heard how the shield-wall rang,

Iron on iron clang, not our Morcar sullen : it is not

Anvil on hammer bang Harold. Hail to the living who fought, Second Thane. Hammer on anvil, the dead who fell !

hammer on anvil. Old dog, Voices. Hail, hail !

Thou art drunk, old dog!



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