(New Series) 1947.  Price 2/6


(Suggested by the story of Lazarus)



By Mary Devenport O’Neill

Persons in the play in order of appearance:

Caraster, an old basket weaver.
Izar, a very young man.
Marda, Izar’s elder sister, mistress of a farm.
Pabla, a rich farmer.
Lera, Izars other sister—younger than Marda.
Ulla, Pabla’s daughter.
Yaso, a saint, a miracle worker.

Young men and women gathered together for the wedding feast. Crowds gathered together at the tomb.


Place….     An open space in a village. A spreading tree is suggested in the back right-hand comer.

Time….     A morning in Spring. Sometime in the Middle Ages.

Caraster comes in. He is a tall, gaunt, old man, with a thin, clean shaven face and very white hair. He wears a drab coloured smock and trousers. He carries a half-finished basket and a bundle of long thin twigs.

Caraster (Sitting down at right on stool or wooden block):
A lightsome day in a young, gentle season
With all the turning, changing year in front,
The lovely year with all its moods and ways.

Izar (having drifted in):
You know them all, Caraster?

Caraster:     Yes, I know them all.
I know them all so well because I am old.
(He begins to work at his basket. Izar stands looking down at him.)

Izar :     You’re so full of peace.
I think, perhaps, it’s better to be old.
(He sits down on the ground.)

Caraster:     All times of life are good,
And not so different,
For while we live we still have the same world.

Izar :     Listen ! I hear a step.
That could be Marda. (He stands up).

Caraster:     It is not Marda.

Izar:     You are sure, Caraster ?

Caraster:     I know the steps of all who pass this way
Except for strangers, or the very young.
(Izar goes quietly out. Caraster works, stops, listens.)
Ah, now she comes,
Wrestling with the hours,
Coercing time itself.

Marda (coming in):
A fine, bright working day, Caraster,
Have you seen Izar?

Caraster :     Yes, he is there, Marda. (Points towards back right)

Marda (calling):

Izar (coming in):
I am here, Marda.

Marda:     Izar, go quick to the fields
And set the men to plough
The field to the south,
As far as the ridge.
It should be finished by noon.
Then see that they lead the oxen
Down to the stream.

Izar:     Yes, Marda.

Pabla:     I came here about Izar and my daughter, Ulla.
Their marriage, Marda.

Marda:     The thought’s a good one, Pabla.
We’ll talk about it when the ploughing’s finished,
And the seeds and plants are safely in the ground.

Pabla:     I knew what you would say, Marda.
You’ve said it many and many a time before,
And so have I.
It’s a refrain.
We sing it in all seasons,
We sing it while the months go dribbling by.
(He recites slowly, keeping time with his first finger and looking playfully at Marda.)
When the ploughing is finished,
When the seeds are sown.
When the harvest is gathered.
When the threshing’s done,
When the snows have melted,
When the floods are gone —
So on and so on —
(Caraster moves his place again nearer to the back.)

Marda:     When would you have them wed?

Pabla:     Why not to-day?

Marda:     To-day! To-day! Without consideration.
With our minds fixed on work!

Pabla:     Be patient, Marda.
This morning I was wakened by the birds
A dozen songs.
Twining, twisting, weaving themselves together,
Like the little twigs in old Caraster’s baskets—
And I saw the sunlight
Leap from field to field towards the west,
And, though I spoke to myself, I spoke out loud,
“This”, I said, “is weather for a wedding feast.
“Let us wed Izar to-day to my daughter, Ulla.”
I’m in that mood,
A mood for gaiety.
Why should I let it pass?
Why should I say
“For this, for that, or for some other reason
In two months’ time I’ll let myself be gay?”

Marda:     I did not say two months

Pabla:     Let it then be to-day,
Call the men from the fields;
Dress the maids in their best;
Weave a wreath for the bride;
Start the flutes and the dancing;
Draw the pastor away from his prayers;
Let him bless them.

Marda:     It can not be to-day.

Pabla:     Then it must be to-morrow.
(Izar comes in.)

Marda:     Izar ! What brings you here?
It’s not yet noon.

Caraster:     I sent a boy for him.
I thought he ought to know
He’s to be a bridegroom.
(Marda, with impatience, and Pabla, stolidly, turn their backs to, Caraster.)

Pabla:     It is arranged, Izar,
That to-morrow you’re to wed my daughter Ulla.
(Izar, bewildered, looks from one to the other.)

Marda:     Why don’t you speak, Izar?

Pabla:     You are surely pleased, Izar.

Izar:     To-morrow ! About to-morrow.
What was’t you said?

Pabla (to Marda):
He is overcome
It is too much for him.

Marda (to Pabla):
That could not be.
It was all settled when they both were children.

Pabla (to Izar):
I said you were to wed my daughter, Ulla.
There’s nothing new but that we’ve fixed the day.

Izar:     To-morrow — did you say?

Pabla:     Does that not please you ?
It’s what you’ve waited for these many years.

Marda:     You will only lose a day or two from the fields.

Izar (staring at nothing):
To-morrow! It’s so near.

Marda:     So near?

Pabla:     So near?

Izar:     So very near to-day.

Marda:     The boy is right.
There must be preparation.
A bride must be received with ceremony
Not like a bird that flies in through an open window,
Or a cat that strays in through the kitchen door.
(To Pabla)     If you will preserve your mood
Till two days hence,
All will be ready
For the wedding feast.

Pabla:     Have I your promise, Marda?

Marda:     My word and promise.

Pabla:     And yours, Izar.

Izar:     Yes… Pabla. . . Yes.

Marda (To Izar):
Hurry away before too much time is lost.
(Izar starts as if from sleep. Hurries first in one direction, then in another.)

Izar (speaking to himself on his way out):
Far away—
Almost nothing.
Then suddenly it’s near!
It’s here!
Then to-day!

Caraster (to Izar):
Your words flew past my ear.
What did you say?

Izar:     I . . . had forgotten
To warn the herds
About the flocks that stray.
(Marda and Pabla stand, seemingly talking, till Izar is gone. Marda then hurries out. Pabla follows more slowly.)

Caraster (looking after Pabla):
He’ll have his way.
That stout, abounding man
Who eats and drinks and sleeps,
Who pampers all his needs,
And on them lets his pretty fancies grow
Like moss on stones.
(Caraster moves again nearer to the back, works quickly at his basket, stops, listens.)
Footsteps again,
Lera’s light gentle steps.
(Lera comes in.)
That slender gravity
What does it cover?
Are her feet set fast,
Like Marda’s, in the earth,
While her eyes look past it?
Or is her home
Some fabulous, fantastic land.
Beyond the world’s border?

Lera:     I wonder if you’ve seen Izar, Caraster.

Caraster:     I see him now, Lera,
Coming this way along the path by the stream.

Lera (looking towards the hack and beckoning):
Hurry, Izar.
Hurry and come with me.

Izar:     Come where?
Where must I come, Lera?

Lera:     Has no one told you?
Yaso, the Saint, the miracle worker,
Travelling this way,
Will stop to-day at this village.
He will speak to the crowd
On the green by the pond at noon
You and I must be there, Izar.

Izar:     In a great crowd is there a need for me
To make one other?

Lera:     One other! You!
You are Izar, my brother.
Yaso is our friend.
We are his followers,
We must both be there.
We shall see him, hear his words and feel his power
A share of the same power that spins the sun
And wheedles greenery from relenting earth.
If ever people grow, it is said,
Beyond human size in goodness
That power flows into them,
And Nature is like dough between their hands,
It is so with Yaso.
You hesitate, Izar!

Izar:     I gave a promise, Lera.
That I would return to the house
For the meal at noon.

Lera:     It is not yet noon.
Caraster is reliable as a sundial.
As morning grows
He trails the shade
Nearer and nearer to the cedar tree,
And at full noon
He sits between its roots.
Let us go; Izar.
Marda won’t start the meal until I come.

Izar:     There is the work, Lera.

Lera:     The work is slow
And never done.
What need to count an hour or so,
When Yaso with one lifting of a hand,
Ignoring nature, can command
Your crops to fail or grow?
Let us go, Izar.

Izar:     I am coming, Lera.
(Lera and Izar go out. Caraster moves again and, sitting, apparently right under the tree, takes bread out of a cloth and begins to eat.)



Place….     An open space in a village.

Time….     Afternoon, two days later than Scene I.

At the back of the stage there is a wooden seat, also a few blocks to sit on. A wedding party of young men and girls, laughing and playful, come in. The girls wear tight bodices, wide skirts, and bright handkerchief scarves. The young men wear coloured smocks. One of them carries a flute.

First Young Man[1] (to flute player):
Here, Janno, sit behind us with your flute,
And, while we’re waiting, play us a bright tune.
(JANNO plays.)

First Girl:     A very pretty ripple of notes, Janno.
Play on. Our ears are open for some more,

Second Young Man:
Ah ! here they come—
The bride led by her father.

Second Girl:     A wreath of first Spring flowers on her head,
Her dress as gaudy as Mid-Summer’s day.

Third Young Man:
And Pabla portly in his broidered jacket.

Fourth Young Man:
Come, Janno, quickly
Fling them a mouthful of loud welcoming notes.

Pabla (looking round):
Where is Izar?
He should be here the first to await his bride.
It is full time to start the wedding dances.
(Young people crowding round speaking to Ulla.)
We greet you, happy bride. . .
Sit here, I pray…
And have no fear
Your bridegroom will be here. . .
Bringing good reason for his short delay. . .
It is my belief his courage fled. . .
And, hunting after it, he lost his way.

Pabla (sitting beside Ulla on wooden seat):
That may, in truth, be so.
But Marda’s courage was not used to ebb and flow.

First Young Girl:
Let’s sit upon the ground.
This fresh young grass
Is not yet tarnished by the Summer’s dust.

Second Young Girl:
Let us group like the stone angels in the Church.
(They form a tableau. A bright light is turned on.)

Third Girl (leaning back her head):
Here comes the sun.
Now watch it chase the clouds
And see them run,
Like clumsy, lumbering sheep,
Heavy with wool.

Fourth Girl:     I knew the sun would come,
It always shines out on a wedding day.

First Young Man (laughing):
You think it knows?

Fifth Girl:     Not knows, but feels,
And not the wedding, but the gaiety.

Sixth Girl:     I’ve heard it said
The sun loves merriment.
And that when music plays
It sets its rays to dance
On walls and trunks of trees.

Second Young Man (Singing or chanting as if a snatch of an old song):
The bridegroom’s late,
The bride, the music and the dancing wait.

Girls (together):  Hush-sh-sh-sh!

Same Young Man:
I know, I know.
When peddling truth it’s safer to speak low.
Sit close and whisper.
(They act as if whispering, though they speak out loud.)

Third Young Man:
If I’d Ulla for bride
And this were my wedding day
I too would hide.

Fourth Young Man:
And I would be watching
Lest some other snatch
The best match in the land.

Fifth Young Man:
I want beauty and grace.

Sixth Young Man:
For the pleasure of seeing them efface
Themselves on the rasp of life.

Seventh Young Man:
As stuff for a wife
The Ullas are best —
A substantial form
And a face that’s made
To stand up to storm
And hurricane, whether
From life or the weather.

Eighth Young Man:
Not for me.
I believe
In now, not then
I never would barter to-day for to-morrow,
Save up your pleasures for bye and bye;
Next Monday the plague comes your way
And you die.

Ninth Young Man:
And so, Izar should wed
A comely bride instead—
Lou, or Lyn, or Ann, or Isalo.

First Girl (laughing):
Or the scarecrow.

Second Girl:
There is no scarecrow yet.
They only hoist it when the seeds are in.

Third Girl:     It is there, but not yet clothed.
The wind blows on its naked pole,
And makes it shake
It’s long, stiff timber arms.

Fourth Girl (springing up):
At last! Izar,
Oh, no. It is Caraster.

First Young Man:
Caraster come to the wedding.

Caraster (sitting down on a block):
I always come to a marrying,
Or a burying,
Or the christening of a child.
It sets me thinking,
Shuffles my thoughts
So I can feel them spin,
Then the world spins too
And I see it fresh
Like a new world I never saw before.

Second Young Man:
You have strange thoughts, Caraster.

Caraster:     My thoughts are hard and sharp.
And, now that I am old,
As clear as glass.

Third Young Man:
Tell us what you see to-day, what wonder ?

Caraster:     Great crowds like floating leaves on a stream
That carries them for a while,
Then sucks them under.

Fourth Young Man (turning to his comrades):
He is very old.

Girl:     I like his talk.
It’s sad he is not young.

Ulla (impatiently):
Where is Izar?
If he does not come here soon,
They will laugh at me.

Pabla:     He’ll come here soon
Marda will take care
He does not stray.

Several Voices:     Look!
Look !
Here Marda comes.

Ulla (stepping forward):
Izar has not come with her.

Several Voices (as Mar da comes hurrying in):
Why has she made us wait?
What will she say?
Her face is pale,
Hush-sh listen. Let her speak.

Marda:     Izar is in his bed. He is ill.

Several Voices:     Ill!…
Not possible! . . .

Pabla (sharply):
Is this true, Marda;
Or is it that your mind has become changed ?

Marda:     My mind is set as steadily as yours, Pabla.
It does not lightly change.
Izar is ill,
All night his fever raged.
As a fire rages
When it preys on straw.

Pabla:     How did this evil come to him?
(Aside) And on such a day!

Marda (while all lean towards her):
I sent him yesterday,
With the oxen wagon,
To the town
To buy the luxuries for the wedding feast.
The hot sweet wine
And dried fruits from the south,
The spices from the east
And the lengths of silk.
The sun shone when he left,
But the sky clouded,
And rain came down, such rain!
A rain like silver rods,
Reaching from heaven to chastise the earth.
There was fever in that rain,
It struck Izar.

Pabla:     Did he continue onwards to the town?

Marda:     If he had played his mind around
It would have counselled him
That he should return
For his own sake,
And for the poor patient oxen.
But his mind was fastened hard
Upon his errand,
And he went onwards.

Ulla (urgently):
Marda, will he die?

Marda:     No, no, he will not die.
At dawn I sent in haste for the blood-letter
To draw the tainted blood,
That made him bum and rave,
Out of Izar’s veins.
When that was done, I sent
For Rona, the wise woman — born wise —
The seventh daughter of a seventh child,
To place her hands on him
And chant a spell,
Both served him well,
And hour by hour his fever drops away.

Pabla:     We had best go home and come another day.

Marda:     Oh, no, you must not leave,
Izar will come.
Inside an hour
His fever will be down,
And I will lead him here,
He will be weak
So it would be as well
To have performed the wedding dances
All but the very last
The bridegroom’s dance.
And, Pabla you will see
That they are danced with fullest ceremony
As fits the wedding of my—

Pabla (haughtily):
My only daughter.
(Coming forward to centre of stage.)
Custom decrees the bride shall dance
First with her father,
With her bridegroom last.
The bridegroom then,
With music and attending train
Of youthful maids and men
Shall lead his bride to church.
Take partners for the wedding dances.

Young Man:
Izar being absent leaves a partner lacking
And so the youngest girl is partnerless.

Youngest Girl:
Caraster too will dance—with me, Caraster?

Caraster:     No, child, I will not dance,
I will do nothing
To hurry my brittle bones to their last end,
For I am old, and greedy of the years.

Youngest Girl:
Then I’ll sit by you and we’ll watch the steps.
(Janno plays a simple tune. The dance begins.*)

Young Girl (springing up):
Caraster, I see Marda all alone,
She comes this way.
Her head is covered with a mournful shawl.

Marda (coming in with bowed head):
Izar is dead.

MANY Voices:     Dead!
(The girls draw their scarves over their heads, almost hiding their faces. Men and girls bow forward, crossing their hands on their breasts.)

Pabla:     Marda! Marda!

Marda:     Yes, it’s true,
His fever left him.
I raised him to draw on his wedding garment,
He gave a long sigh and died.
(All move out in single file, the girls following Marda, the men following Caraster. Janno last, blowing long lamentations on his flute.)



Place…     Something the same as in Scenes I and II. A curtain suggesting rocks or cliffs might be hung at the back to give a look of wildness. An arrangement of props or rostrums along the left-hand side of the stage should form an up-hill road, rising towards the back. In the extreme front left-hand corner of the stage, there is a low heavy-looking door, the door of the tomb. The up-hill road may be there in Scenes I and II. If the heavy door is there in I and II, it must be concealed.

Time…     Three days later than in Scene II.

Marda and Caraster, when the curtain rises, are seated on a rough bench beside the door.

Caraster:     For three whole days we’ve watched beside his tomb, Marda.
Even princes, the sons of kings, could ask no more.
(Marda nods mournfully.)
It is time we left him, Marda.

Marda:     You are right, Caraster.
It is time we left him and turned back to life.
It is the time of year when days run quickest
And work must pace with them,
Or be wasted work.

Caraster:     Then let us go.

Marda:     Not yet, Caraster.
I promised Lera not to leave the tomb
Till she returned with Yaso, the holy man,
And begged him to raise her brother from the dead.

Caraster:     Ha-ha-ha-ha.

Marda:     Why do you laugh, old man ?

Caraster:     Because I am old I laugh,
Because I have seen much of life
And much of death.

Marda:     I know, I understand.
If ’t’were some other woman’s son or brother
I too would laugh as mockingly as you,
And speak of her
As “That poor hoodwinked fool”
But now it is Izar, my only brother,
So while I mock the fool in me who hopes
I yet must hope.

Caraster:     The wildest hope ever hoped since life was life!

Marda:     Perhaps its very wildness and its size
Overwhelm me,
And, while my reason stands dismayed,
I bow to it.
I’ve never hoped small hopes
Against good sense,
Nor reaped as others reap
Small disappointments like a crop of weeds.

Caraster:     Then fight this monster hope.
Nothing that dies comes back —
Not Man, nor beast,
Nor day, nor year, nor season.
Slowly, slowly day turns into night.
And slowly night brightens and becomes day —
A new, fresh day, for yesterday is dead,
And vulture death has never dropped its prey.
We’ll go, Marda.

Marda:     Not yet. Caraster.

Caraster:     You think to see the sun turn back
And dawn spread from the west
Or in the east to see the new moon set.

* The dancing would be of the simplest kind — mere stepping to music. It may go on for some time, or may be interrupted almost at once by Marda’s entrance.

Marda:     Not so, but I know now,
What I had not known —
That hope springs out of need,
While reason, helpless,
Stands aside and laughs
Like you — that same mocking laugh.
(Starting up and pointing.)
Yaso! He comes, Caraster.

Caraster:     More foolish hope!
You see a shape far off that comes or goes.

Marda:     It comes. It’s growing clearer.
It’s Yaso. There’s no need to see his face,
He’s like a pictured blot against the sky
His long pale-coloured smock,
His heavy travelling cloak slung from his shoulders,
His movement light —
Remindful of a bird that, flying, skims
The water’s surface.
Look now, Caraster.

Caraster:     I see him plainly now,
With all the village seething at his back.
Poor pious souls and wonder-hungry rabble.
(Yaso comes in from right.)
He’s looking round
He’s searching for the tomb
Go, lead him, Marda.

Marda:     Not yet, not yet.
(A big crowd appears at right, young people from Scene II, old people as well.)

Caraster:     The crowds holds back,
They are in awe of him.
The old, in trembling, come and kiss his cloak.
(Yaso comes forward. Marda and Caraster stand and bow to him.)-

Marda:     Lera! She’s here!
She’s pushing through the crowd.
(Lera running forward, sinking down beside Yaso and burying her face in his cloak.)
Yaso, at last, at last,
Three days and nights I’ve followed in your track.
Izar is in that tomb,
Three days he has lain there.
You will raise him, Yaso?
You will let him live again?
Tell me it’s not too late.

Yaso (helping her to her feet):
Why should I raise him Lera?
Why should he, of all the world
Live a second life?

Lera:     He is our only brother,
We are your followers,
You are our powerful friend.

Yaso:     True, yet I may not for mere friendship’s sake
Fold back the tracks that Nature has laid down,
And set them newly.

Lera:     You say mere friendship.

Yaso:     Yes, when I speak of great, essential things.

Lera:     You have the power to raise him?

Yaso:     That power is lent to me.

Lera:     I beg you then to use it
For Izar your follower.
Who heard your words,
Who bowed before you,
Who kissed the hem of your cloak.

Yaso:     Advised by you, Lera.
Izar would have heard the words
And kissed the hem of the smock
Of old Caraster.

Caraster:     I would not allow it, holy man.
That staring crowd would call it sacrilege
For I, Caraster,
Am but a poor basket weaver, very old,
And asking nothing but my daily wage.

Marda:     Hush-sh-sh, Caraster.

Lera:     Izar was trustful, gentle, mild.
His faults were faint —
Beyond common scrutiny.

A Voice in the Crowd:
What says the saint?

Yaso:     Since first creation stirred,
Each quickened thing
Brings something of itself.
Unique and separate,
To speed creation’s impulse onward,
And part it further from unconscious chaos.
Those captive lives that grow from roots,
By some new twist or curve of bole or stem,
By spreading leaves out wider to the light,
Or coaxing shades of colour from the sun,
Give something new to the world.
What has Izar given?

Marda:     Work, holy man
Hard, steady, useful work.

Yaso:     So has the little cart
Whose busy wheels
Carry the weeds from the field
To the smoking pile.
So have the inanimate stones
That grind our oats.

Lera:     Then you’ll not raise him?

Yaso:     I’ve travelled two whole days
And nights to raise him.

Murmurs in the Crowd:
Oh-oh-oh ———

Yaso:     His lamentation in his tomb broke through
The corpse-clothes and the stone,
And struck me on the road to Napolis.
I turned and came to him.
(Turning towards door of tomb) Izar, Izar.
Life stirs in you once more.
Your blood runs in your veins,
Rise up and come.
(To the crowd) Draw back that door.

Caraster:     They shrink, they run,
Though there’s no need to fear.
No life will come from there
But the low life of the worm.

Marda (to the crowd):
Obey the saint
Come quick. Draw back that door.

A Voice in the Crowd:
We are afraid of the dead.
The saint is safe.
(Yaso draws back the door. Izar in a winding sheet, head and face covered with white cloths, is moving out. The people in the crowd, their hands covering their eyes, rush blindly to right of stage. Some crouch on the ground. Others stoop, the bravest look back over their shoulders. Caraster stands up and stares.)

Voices in the Crowd:
It’s coming out —
It’s walking in its shroud —

Izar (as the cloths fall from his face):
The height! The brightness!

Young Man:     Izar! He has spoken!
It is his voice, his face.
(The crowd comes back, closes round Izar).

Marda:     Take off those grave-clothes
Put this smock on him.

Young Man:     I’ll do it Marda. (Takes smock from Marda).

Marda (with white cloth in hand):
Let me get near him,
The mould of the grave is still upon his face.

Old Woman:     She wipes his face, but he looks past her,
As if she was not there.

Young Girl:     He looks all round him at the sky
As if his eyes would fly like birds,
And reach it.
(Izar moves a step or two up the hilly path. He is dressed in his ordinary clothes).

Izar:     Was the world then as wide and bright as this?

Lera (taking Izar’s hand):
Izar, come with us now.
Come with us to the house
For food and warmth.

Woman in the Crowd:
She takes his hand:
She speaks:
He makes no answer.

Izar (moving a step higher):
So little to sustain me,
Through that cold, endless night (points back towards tomb).
No memory of act or thought
Essentially my own.
From which to build an everlasting dream —
Only my frail remembrances
Of drowsy sleep
And the warm smell of grass.

Voices in the Crowd:
What did he say —
He’s changed—
His head held high…
His shoulders straight and square . . .
No trace of death on him.
And yet it is he, Izar.
(Izar moves a step higher up. He speaks, not to anyone, hut as if planning or making resolutions out loud).

Izar:     I’ll walk long roads,
I’ll reach the ocean.
Stray along its edge, and hail a ship
To carry me past uncountable horizons
To some strange kingdom.

Voices in the Crowd:
He’s going away . . .
You heard him say it . . .
He’s leaving them alone . . .
See Marda’s eyes . . .
They’re starting from her head . . .
She won’t believe it . . .
Look ! Lera too . . .
She’s running fast . . .
She’s following Yaso . . .
She has overtaken him …
(Lera reaches Yaso at extreme right of stage).

Lera:     Do not let him go, Yaso,
You alone can hold him.
You raised him from the dead —
What was thought impossible.
Do now this smaller thing
Loose this strangeness from him.
(Yaso keeps silent).
You will do it, Yaso?

Yaso:     I will not do it.

Lera:     Then we have lost him.

Yaso:     And he, perhaps at last, has found himself.
(Yaso, goes out to right. Lera stands looking after him. She makes imploring gestures with her hands. She finally goes out).

Izar (moving a step higher):
I’ll loiter where the sun strikes out
With rays like hammered brass,
And in countries where the air turns into ice,
For now the great things of the world are mine.

Young Man:     Caraster has not moved since the tomb opened.
He stands transfixed
His ancient head appears above the crowd
Gaunt and white like a lightning-blasted tree.

Izar (moving a step higher):
I’ll talk with people of exotic speech,
My friends will look out of unhomely eyes.
That blue white light
The moon throws on the gables of this village
Will find me out in many distant places,
And, boldly from wide skies
And slily through the leaves of forest trees,
Will blanch my face.

Ulla (in a shrill voice):
But the wedding, father,
What about the wedding?

Pabla (sharply):
There’ll be no wedding.
Not with Izar.

Marda:     No, Pabla; No, not that!
He will come back,
To-morrow, perhaps
Or in a day or two.
Where would he go?
How could he live
Without us who have always cared him?
This strangeness will not last.
His brain is flickering like a fresh-lit candle.

Pabla:     Izar will not come back
And, if he did, ‘twoud make no difference.
The man he has become would not marry Ulla,

[1] First Young Man or Young Girl means merely the first to speak in any conversation and not any particular character.