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© Copyright Paul David Holland 2017


J. Halsen

(written in 2339)

ACT I - an excerpt

The scene is an ante-chamber to the royal apartments in the Hàhan camp beside the coast on the Runúrum, the Westfirth, in Gambélth, just to the west of Hàhnor, the ultimate destination of the people and their king. The time is shortly before the appearance of the Great Comet and the beginning of the Fourth Age.

In Scene 1 Breilus, brother of Bennàthúf, has told the Priest of his fears for where their king is now leading his people; in the second scene he has revealed to his faithful servant his secret love for Alissé, maidservant to Queen Tentara.

Scene 3


ALISSÉ:             What cold chill! This fog, like ghoulish fingers,

 Claws within my throat and into my lungs!

 My heart is choked, madam, by your silence.

 Why drag us out here to face this mute wall,

 Blank drape of wispy dankness? Art not well,

 Wandering thus at daybreak’s stark, surly hour?

 Is your heart burdened with some gnawing pang?

 Oh, mistress, lady Queen, your Majesty,

 What need to rise ere yet the sun is up?

 Can’t you trust your mind to me, who loyal

 Through all these years of bleakest wandering eastwards

 Has soothed your knotted mind and shared complaints

 Too charged with wearied words and thoughts for one?

TENTARA:       Hush now! Hear what there is beyond your words.

 Hear what I can hear; a damp, still echo,

 An awesome silence.

ALISSÉ:                                                      I hear not a thing,

 Though my own beating heart throbs through my head.

 Oh, what is it you’ve brought me out to see,

 When this grey morning’s face stares blankly back,

 Unblinking hour swirling with last eve’s ghosts?

TENTARA:        Just that: for against this silence dripping

  In the gloam of a dawn’s pale procession,

 This head holds no secrets nor seeks to hide.

ALISSÉ:              Hide from what? Tell me now! Release your woes,

 Let me split this brain with its dread secrets

 Clasped close within, quiet clutch of recoiled spores,

 Waiting to burst to the air and spread ruin!

TENTARA:       This queen is sick. Can’t you see death’s pale hue

 Cling shimmering to her taut, livid scalp?

 Her mind is blurred from the buzz of this haze,

 Its humming strains her feebled sight, oh God!

 Why does my sore sight make my heart feel thus?

 When did this pain clutch first at my spirit?

 When shall these clouds take free flight and leave me?